Posts Tagged ‘India’

India’s Tech Mahindra to Acquire Lightbridge Communications

November 21st, 2014

India’s Tech Mahindra Ltd. said Thursday it has agreed to buy U.S.-based network-engineering services provider Lightbridge Communications for an enterprise value of about $240 million.Outsourcing9

Lightbridge, which helps telecommunications clients design and optimize their networks, has more than 5,000 employees in more than 50 countries. Lightbridge has annual revenue of more than $400 million, the Indian outsourcing-services company said in a statement.

Tech Mahindra said it would absorb all of Lightbridge’s employees.

Tech Mahindra earns more than 50% of its revenue from telecommunications business.

The deal would bolster Tech Mahindra’s telecommunications network-consulting and operations through Lightbridge’s tools and technology platforms to provide services to clients.

Enterprise valuation usually adds the target company’s debt as well as the value of any preferred shares, but excludes its cash and cash equivalents. Tech Mahindra didn’t provide any details on Lightbridge’s cash or its obligations.


Healthcare providers in India to spend $1.1 billion on IT in 2014: Gartner

November 10th, 2014

Healthcare providers in India are expected to spend $1.1 billion on IT products and services in 2014, a 5 per cent rise over 2013.Outsourcing23

The forecast by Gartner includes spending by healthcare providers (includes hospitals and hospital systems, as well as ambulatory service and physicians’ practices) on internal services, software, IT services, data center, devices and telecom services.

IT Services, which includes consulting, implementation, IT outsourcing and business process outsourcing, will be the largest overall spending category throughout the forecast period within the health care providers sector. It is expected to reach $300 million in 2014, up from $280 million in 2013, with consulting segment growing 10 per cent, the global research and analysis firm said in a statement.

“India has a new government, and the Ministry of Health will closely examine ways to deliver cost effective healthcare across the country. Delivering wide access to healthcare in an affordable manner will be a top priority for the wider public healthcare system,” said Anurag Gupta, research director at Gartner.

“The organised private healthcare sector will continue its expansion across Tier II and Tier III cities, as well as niche sectors like maternity and child health. We expect emphasis on eHealth, mobile health, telemedicine, public private partnership and leveraging innovative delivery models,” he added.

Internal services – salaries and benefits paid to the information services staff of an organisation – will achieve the highest growth rate amongst the spending categories – forecast to be 18 per cent in 2014.

The information services staff includes all company employees that plan, develop, implement and maintain information systems. Software will achieve a growth rate of 8.4 per cent in 2014 to reach $98 million in 2014, up from $90 million in 2013, led by growth in vertical specific software (software applications that are unique to a vertical industry. These are standalone applications that are not modules or extensions of horizontal applications).


Cognizant raises full-year revenue guidance

November 6th, 2014

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. raised its full-year revenue forecast after it reported an 11.9% increase in sales for the September quarter, boosted by higher demand for its healthcare and financial services. Outsourcing19

The Nasdaq-listed company said on Wednesday it now expects full-year revenue to range between $10.13 billion and $10.16 billion, compared with its earlier forecast of around $10.1 billion.

Revenue rose to $2.58 billion in the three months ended 30 September from $2.31 billion a year ago. It rose 2.5% from the preceding June quarter. Net income rose 11.3% to $355.6 million from $319.6 million a year earlier.

The increase in the revenue forecast comes three months after Cognizant disappointed investors by cutting its full-year revenue growth prediction citing client-specific challenges.

Analysts at Baird Equity Research said they were “encouraged” by the increase in guidance by Cognizant. “We think that the stock is a good value, given its discount to Infosys (despite faster revenue growth) and potential for upside to consensus 2015 estimates from the TriZetto acquisition,” the analysts wrote in a note on Wednesday.

Cognizant’s slowing healthcare business, which represented about 25.4% of its total revenue, has been a problem for the company over the past few quarters. To boost its healthcare business, Cognizant struck a deal to buy TriZetto Corp. for $2.7 billion in September.

In the latest quarter, healthcare sales rose by about 9% from a year ago, slower than its previous quarters, and 1.5% sequentially.

TriZetto’s services reach 245,000 healthcare providers, representing more than half of the insured population in the US, which is a lucrative market for IT service providers.

A January report by researcher Gartner Inc. said information technology services spending by global healthcare providers will grow by 4.33% to $31.96 billion in 2014.

The “overall demand environment remains strong”, Cognizant president Gordon Coburn said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to Francisco D’Souza, chief executive officer of Cognizant, “there is a tremendous opportunity in the marketplace as the advent of new digital technologies, global economic pressures, and an evolving regulatory environment force businesses across all industries to change and adapt faster than ever before”.

According to Gartner analyst Ian Marriott, Cognizant’s performance in the September quarter could be attributed to it performing well across all geographies. He added that discretionary spending is picking up in Cognizant’s major buying markets, which are North America and Western Europe.

Last month, India’s second largest software services exporter Infosys Ltd reported a higher-than-expected increase in its second-quarter profit as it added almost 50 new clients and benefited from favourable foreign exchange fluctuations.

However, India’s largest software provider Tata Consultancy Services Ltd posted quarterly revenue that fell short of analysts’ estimates as demand for outsourcing in Latin America was weak.

In the September quarter, consulting and technology services (formerly known as application development) and outsourcing services (formerly called application management) represented 53.5% and 46.5% of revenue, respectively. Consulting and technology services increased 5.1% sequentially and 18% from a year ago.

Outsourcing services were flat sequentially and grew 5.7% from a year ago.

The management said pricing was stable during the September quarter.

During the quarter, Cognizant added about 12,300 people and ended the quarter with nearly 200,000 employees globally.

Around 43% of gross additions for the September quarter were directly from colleges, while 57% comprised experienced professionals.


TCS sees digital services as over $5-bn opportunity

October 27th, 2014

Country’s largest IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) expects digital platforms like cloud, Big Data and mobility solutions to bring in cumulative revenues of over $5 billion in next few years.Outsourcing34

Earlier, the Mumbai-based firm had said that it expects to do $5 billion cumulative business over the next three to four years from the “digital opportunity”.

“The way to look at it is that, when I originally said it, I said that over the next three to four years we will do $5 billion cumulative. But now, I think we will do much more than that on a cumulative basis,” TCS CEO and Managing Director N Chandrasekaran told analysts.

The run rate will not touch the $5 billion mark but it will definitely touch a few billion dollars, he added.

He said the opportunity is huge as most of the ADM work that is getting replaced or rationalised is moving into digital.

“Most of the infrastructure contracts come up with outsourcing of infrastructure to maintain the service levels in a managed services model, but with a transformation component to move to cloud infrastructure,” he said.

And commoditised applications, when they are transitioned, customers are willing to look at application platforms which are cloud-based, he added.

“So, all these three facts will definitely move things to Digital,” he said.

Chandrasekaran, who recently got a five-year extension, said at the announcement of the firm’s second quarter results that TCS is contemplating whether to disclose numbers from the digital technologies stream.

For the July-September quarter, the Mumbai-based company posted 13.2% jump in its net profit at Rs 5,244 crore as against Rs 4,653.9 crore in the year-ago period.

Revenue jumped 13.5% to Rs 23,816 crore in the second quarter ended September 30 as compared to Rs 20,977 crore in the corresponding period of last year.

However, on a quarter-on-quarter basis, net profit was down by 5.8%, but revenue grew 7.7%.


Wipro Sees Rosier End to Year as US Clients Spend

October 24th, 2014

India’s third-biggest software services firm Wipro Ltd , under pressure to improve lacklustre sales growth, said it saw a rosier end to the year as more confident US clients increase spending.Outsourcing35
Wipro, which provides outsourcing services for big-name clients such as US bank Citigroup, posted an 8 percent increase in second-quarter net profit on Wednesday, narrowly missing expectations. It said it continued to face “headwinds” in key accounts, particularly European clients.

But chief executive TK Kurien, appointed in 2011 to turn around the technology firm, said there were improvements ahead as discretionary spending returns in North America.

“We expect the revenue to come back in quarter four of this year or maximum quarter one next year,” Kurien told reporters. “But it will come back.”

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Bangalore-based Wipro posted consolidated net profit of 20.85 billion rupees ($340.4 million). Analysts, on average, were expecting Wipro to make 21.09 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total revenue rose to 118.16 billion rupees from 109.91 billion rupees in the same period last year.

“Overall the demand environment continues to hold steady. In North America we see discretionary spend returning,” Kurien said. He added the group saw opportunities in continental Europe, where outsourcing has yet to expand to US levels.

Wipro added 50 new customers during the quarter.

Kurien was picked to lead the company more than three years ago by founder chairman Azim Premji, after Premji sacked joint CEOs Suresh Vaswani and Girish Paranjpe.

Wipro, however, has struggled to catch up with rivals such as Tata Consultancy Services and Cognizant Technology . Peer Infosys has itself been hit by management changes over the last couple of years, but has reassured investors with a new chief executive. [ID:nL3N0S51OA]

“Infosys has now laid out their plans, so we know what the idea is. Wipro has talked about plans for some time, but it does not show on results,” Ankita Somani, analyst with MSFL Research said.

Wipro said it expected revenues from its IT services business to be in the range of $1.81 billion to $1.84 billion in the current quarter. For thee quarter ended Sept., the unit saw revenues of $1.77 billion.

Shares in Wipro closed ahead of the results at 583.65 rupees on Wednesday in the Mumbai market.


‘India’s IT spending to grow 9.4% to $73bn in 2015’

October 16th, 2014

IT spending in India is projected to rise to $73.3bn in 2015 – a 9.4% increase from the $67.1bn forecast for 2014, said US information technology research and advisory firm Gartner.Outsourcing25

“India is forecast to be the third largest IT market within the Asia/Pacific region by the end of 2016 and will further progress to become the second-largest market for IT by the end of 2018,” said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of research.

“Much of the growth from being the number four market in Asia/Pacific to number three is likely to happen in 2015,” he added.

“IT spending in India is on pace to increase 2.9% this year, primarily on the back of strong growth within the IT services and software, which will grow 10.5% and 9.6%,” said Partha Iyengar, distinguished analyst and Gartner India head of research.

In 2014, mobile devices will grow 13.5%, and will dislodge mobile voice services to be the largest segment within the overall IT market in India, Gartner said.Mobile data services will be the fastest growing segment in India, growing 18.2% in 2014. Telecommunication services will account for 41.4% of overall IT spending, and it will decline 0.7% in 2014, it added.

“The impact that the digital business economy is having on the IT industry is dramatic. Since 2013, 650mn new physical objects have come online. 3D printers became a billion dollar market; 10% of automobiles became connected; and the number of chief data officers and chief digital officer positions have doubled. In 2015, all of these things will double again,” Sondergaard said.

Gartner defined digital business as new business designs that blend the virtual world and the physical worlds, changing how processes and industries work through the Internet of Things.

“This year enterprises will spend over $40bn designing, implementing and operating the Internet of Things,” Sondergaard said.

“Every piece of equipment, anything of value, will have embedded sensors. This means leading asset-intensive enterprises will have over half-a-million IP addressable objects in 2020.”


Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg would like more Indian users on the Internet

October 10th, 2014

With riffs on the Mars mission and the famed Indian IT outsourcing story, and marrying the objectives of, the project his company and a clutch of others launched in August last year, with India’s ambitious Digital India mission, Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg hinted at ways his company could take the Internet to the “more than billion people who are still not connected”.

Part of that plan may involve telcos.

On 31 July, for instance, Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s largest telco, and Facebook jointly launched an app in Zambia to provide free access to Facebook and other online services to people who might otherwise have no access to the world wide web. The app is available only to Bharti Airtel subscribers in Zambia.

Zuckerberg hinted at a similar type of service for India with local telecom operators. “You need a 911 type of service for the Internet, (which can provide) some free access for basic services like health and education,” Zuckerberg said, but added that “one will need a model where the operators too make money”., founded by Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung, hopes to take the Internet to the 66% of the world’s population that is still off the grid.

Digital India is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious programme that clubs e-governance, Internet access for all and electronics manufacturing.

“I do not believe that the Internet is more important than food, toilets or clean water (in a country like India). People need (all) these things in a modern society. But I really think we’re (Facebook) much better suited to help out in providing Internet-based services rather than providing clean water,” said Zuckerberg during the launch of on Thursday in India.

On Friday, Zuckerberg will meet Modi “to explore ways in which his company can participate” in the Digital India mission.

With close to 110 million of its 1.32 billion users in India, Zuckerberg has more than one reason to be in the country. Fifty million Indian users are on messaging service WhatsApp, a user base Zuckerberg has no intention of monetizing “in the near-term”, except for the 99 cents that is charged from each user after one year of service.

India, he pointed out, has 243 million Internet users—just a fifth of its population.

The barriers to Internet adoption in the country include cultural barriers, low quality of coverage, uneven distribution of wealth and “many who still don’t see any good reason to access the Internet”, Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg, who is also meeting up with Facebook’s partners in India to discuss some of these issues, has some experience in widening Internet access in developing countries.

Last, but not the least, he is here to figure out how Facebook can spur developers to provide more local language content apps, since “almost 80% of the world’s Internet content is in just about 10 major languages”.

“More than 65% of Facebook users access the Internet in a language other than English,” Zuckerberg said. Delivering the keynote address at the summit earlier in the day, Zuckerberg announced a $1 million fund to incentivize developers in India.

Among other prizes, an amount of $250,000 will be presented to the app, website or service that judges determine best meets the needs of one of the four designated population categories: women, students, farmers and migrant workers—four awards in total. Each of the award winners will also be eligible to receive a package of tools and services worth up to $60,000 from Facebook’s FbStart programme.

“India is where all the growth is taking place,” said Jonathan Sreekumaran, business director, north, of Webchutney Studio Pvt. Ltd, a media and marketing firm which is part of Dentsu Network.

“Silicon Valley is showing lots of interest in India, especially with a change in the government. Also, India, unlike the developed markets such as the States (the US) or Canada, is not at a saturation point,” he said.

Digital India is proving to be a magnet for global technology companies, a point driven home by the visits of three global executives to the country in September alone.

On 15 September, Sundar Pichai, senior vice-president at Google Inc. who handles the company’s Chrome, apps and Android business, was in India to promote the company’s low-cost Android One smartphones. Jeff Bezos, president, chief executive and chairman of the board of the world’s largest online retailer Inc., came visiting on 28 September. This was followed by a visit by Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft Corp., on 30 September.

Mahesh Murthy, co-founder, Seedfund, and founder of Pinstorm, a marketing and advertising firm, pointed out that there are only around 300 million people in India who can speak or understand English.

“Facebook is already at 110 million users in India, so it is coming close to the ceiling. Growth will slow down. The only way numbers can grow again is if Facebook opens up to people who are not English-savvy in India, not just with language versions of Facebook,” said Murthy. “The problem is that due to our government’s short-sightedness, nobody knows how to use any Indian language keyboard. So even if you have a Facebook in Hindi, no one will know how to type on it.”

According to Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst at Gartner Inc., “In terms of increasing numbers in India, it is fine, but the bigger question is how to make money out of this growing market.”

Tripathi noted that Facebook has advertisements and missed-call options (where the company calls back users who give it a missed call). “Now they also have a smart plugin.” he added.

Facebook has also received flak on a range of issues including misuse of online privacy.

According to Murthy, “As long as people want to connect on Facebook for free, they have to contend with the fact that data about them is being packaged and sold to advertisers”.

Sreekumaran said Facebook is reportedly trying to win over those who are concerned about privacy. “As far as rights are concerned, at the end of the day, you’re still using someone’s platform to do your own thing. There are rules of engagement using the platform. Period.”

When asked why there was no uniform privacy policy across countries, the stringent EU laws that rein in Facebook being a case in point, Zuckerberg said, “We are certainly open to feedback about the products we roll out…we take into account cultural and local needs and we certainly empathize (with) and understand nuances (in different countries).”


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