The hunt is over...Infosys appoints Vishal Sikka as CEO and MD
The Infosys Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Vishal Sikka as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (CEO & MD) of the company. Dr. Sikka will be inducted as a whole-time director of the Board and CEO & MD (Designate) on June 14, 2014. He will take over as CEO & MD from S. D. Shibulal on August 1, 2014. The Board has also elevated U.B. Pravin Rao, President and whole-time director, as Chief Operating Officer, with effect from June 14, 2014. Dr. Vishal Sikka was, until recently, a member of the Executive Board of SAP AG, leading all products and driving innovation globally. He has worked closely with leaders of global companies in building breakthrough business solutions. At SAP, he was responsible for all products, from traditional and cloud-based applications to technology and platform products including HANA, analytics, mobile and middleware. In addition, Dr. Sikka led multiple initiatives to accelerate innovation and research at SAP. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University, USA.
Commenting on his appointment, Dr. Sikka said, "I am honored to lead Infosys, an iconic company built by pioneers in the technology industry. I look forward to working with and learning from talented Infoscions around the world. Computing technology is reshaping every industry across every walk of life. We, at Infosys, have a unique opportunity to deliver breakthrough solutions that will bring greater value to our clients, employees, investors and other stakeholders. I am grateful to the Infosys Nominations and Governance Committee, Kamath, Murthy and the Board for this opportunity."...Read More
N R Narayana Murthy to step down as Executive Chairman of Infosys; son to quit too
N R Narayana Murthy and Mr S Gopalkrishnan will voluntarily step down as Executive Chairman and Executive Vice Chairman, respectively, on June 14, 2014. N R Narayana Murthy will be designated as Chairman Emeritus with effect from October 11, 2014 in recognition of his contributions to the company. "I am pleased with the selection of Dr. Vishal Sikka as our new CEO." said Executive Chairman, Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy. "Vishal brings valuable experience as a leader of a large, global corporation. His illustrious track record and value system make him an ideal choice to lead Infosys. On behalf of all of us at Infosys, I would like to thank Mr. Gopalakrishnan, Mr. Shibulal and Mr. Batni for their contributions." Murthy added , "I would like to thank our clients, the members of the Board, all my colleagues at Infosys, ex-Infoscions, our investors, the media, and well-wishers of the company for their support and encouragement. I also want to thank the members of my office, the Chief Financial Officer and the head of Human Resources for their fabulous support through my second innings at Infosys."
Oil prices hit high on escalating Iraq war
Oil prices hit monthly highs on fears that oil supplies from Iraq could get disrupted. In India, there is a chance that petrol prices may cool slightly even as oil marketing firms appear reluctant seeking a pricing cushion considering the Iraq developments. Internationally the Iraq situation is getting worrisome. Kurdish forces took control of an oil hub of Kirkuk after the Shi'ite-led government's troops abandoned their posts. US President Obama is not ruling out action there. European benchmark Brent crude for July delivery rallied $3.07 to $113.02 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.
April IIP at 3.4%
The IIP for the month of April 2014 stands at 172.1, which is 3.4% higher as compared to the level in the month of April 2013. The cumulative growth for the period April-March 2013-14 over the corresponding period of the previous year stands at (-) 0.1%. The Indices of Industrial Production for the Mining, Manufacturing and Electricity sectors for the month of April 2014 stand at 122.0, 180.7 and 178.1 respectively, with the corresponding growth rates of 1.2%, 2.6% and 11.9% as compared to April 2013 (Statement I). The cumulative growth in the three sectors during April-March 2013-14 over the corresponding period of 2012-13 has been (-) 0.6%, (-) 0.8% and 6.1% respectively.
In terms of industries, fourteen (14) out of the twenty two (22) industry groups (as per 2-digit NIC-2004) in the manufacturing sec tor have shown positive growth during the month of April 2014 as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year (St atement II). The industry group Electrical machinery and apparatus n.e.c. has shown the highest positive growth of 66.0%, followed by 9.6% in Machinery and equipment n.e.c. and 9.1% in Tobacco products. On the other hand, the industry group Radio, TV and communication equipment & apparatus has shown the highest negative growth of (-) 31.6%, followed by (-) 22.1% in Wearing apparel; dressing and dyeing of fur and (-) 14.6% in Motor vehicles, trailers & semi-trailers. As per Use-based classification, the growth rates in April 2014 over April 2013 are 6.8% in Basic goods, 15.7% in Capital goods and 4.4% in Intermediate goods (Statement III). The Consumer durables and Consumer non-durables have recorded growth of (-) 7.6% and (-) 3.3% respectively, with the overall growth in Consumer goods being (-) 5.1%...Read More
May CPI at 8.28%
The government today announced the data on inflation based on the combined consumer price index (CPI) for rural and urban India for May 2014. Provisional annual inflation rate based on all India general CPI (Combined) for the month of May, 2014 on point to point basis (May 2014 over May 2013) is 8.28% as compared to 8.59% (final) for previous month of April 2014. The corresponding provisional inflation rates for rural and urban areas for May 2014 are 8.86% and 7.55%.Inflation rates (final) for rural and urban areas for April 2014 are 9.17% and 7.69% respectively. Provisional annual inflation rate based on all India CFPI (Combined) for the month of May, 2014 on point to point basis (May 2014 over May 2013) is 9.56% as compared to 9.83% (final) for previous month of April 2014. The corresponding provisional inflation rates for rural and urban areas for May 2014 are 10.27%and 7.98%respectively. Inflation rates (final) for rural and urban areas for April 2014 are 10.53% and 8.35% respectively.
World Bank projects India growth at 5.5% in FY15
The World Bank has Lowered Projections for Global Economic Outlook and urged developing countries to double down on domestic reforms. Developing countries are headed for a year of disappointing growth, as first quarter weakness in 2014 has delayed an expected pick-up in economic activity, according to the World Banks Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report. Bad weather in the US, the crisis in Ukraine, rebalancing in China, political strife in several middle-income economies, slow progress on structural reform, and capacity constraints are all contributing to a third straight year of sub 5 percent growth for the developing countries as a whole. "Growth rates in the developing world remain far too modest to create the kind of jobs we need to improve the lives of the poorest 40 percent," said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. "Clearly, countries need to move faster and invest more in domestic structural reforms to get broad-based economic growth to levels needed to end extreme poverty in our generation." The Bank has lowered its forecasts for developing countries, now eyeing growth at 4.8 percent this year, down from its January estimate of 5.3 percent. Signs point to strengthening in 2015 and 2016 to 5.4 and 5.5 percent, respectively. China is expected to grow by 7.6 percent this year, but this will depend on the success of rebalancing efforts. If a hard landing occurs, the reverberations across Asia would be widely felt...Read More
Hiring activity sees stability in May '14 over April'14: Naukri
The Naukri Job Speak Index for the month of May 2014 was at 1600 indicating a stable hiring scenario when compared to April 2014. Yearly comparison shows a 14 % increase in hiring activity when compared to May13. Industry wise hiring sentiment was muted across all the major sectors except ITES and IT sector. ITES sector saw the index moving up by 15% M-O-M. Among the top metros, Hyderabad also saw growth with the index moving up by 8% in May14 over April14. Hitesh Oberoi, Managing Director and CEO Info Edge (India) Ltd said "Hiring activity is seeing a period of stability. Since the elections are now over and we have a stable government at the center, we expect companies to start recruiting in the coming months".
Industry Sector Analysis:
An in depth analysis reveals that the apart from the ITES sector , IT and Oil & Gas have done well with the index moving up by 10% and 3% in May14 over April14.
The Insurance sector has witnessed the maximum decline with the index moving down by 30% M-O-M. It was followed by Pharma and Telecom sector which saw a downward spiral with the index moving down by 8% each respectively in May14 over April14. Other sectors like BFSI have seen a decline of 5% while Auto and Construction & Engineering has seen a dip of 3% in the same period.
Functional Area Analysis:
The demand for professionals working in BPO and IT saw the maximum growth with the Naukri Job Speak Index moving up by 11% and 10 % in May14 over April14.
Professionals working in Banking& Insurance have seen maximum decline with the Naukri Job Speak Index moving down by 27% while Marketing & Advertising has seen a dip of 17% in the same period. Professionals seeking employment in Project Management and Production management have seen a negative inflection with the Naukri Job Speak Index moving down by 10% and 7% respectively in May14 over April14...Read More
Weekly: Sensex, Nifty end in red
After a blistering start to the week in which Nifty tested 7700 mark, index went into corrective mode as profit booking was seen across the broader markets. Weakness was seen across global markets amid concerns of escalating tensions in Iraq and rising oil prices. If all this was not enough, Indian Meteorological Department reportedly said that rainfall over the country as a whole for the 2014 southwest monsoon season is likely to be below normal. In addition, disappointing trade deficit data dampened the sentiment on Dalal Street.
However, despite this weeks decline optimism prevails ahead of the newly formed Modi government's first Union budget, expecting promises on the revival of the domestic economy. Encouraging investments, including through FDI, reform of tax regime, containing food inflation and reigniting the investment cycle are part of the government agenda. This was spelt out by the President in his joint address to Parliament.
Considering the overall bullish structure of the market, we maintain our stance to use any declines to accumulate quality index & midcap stocks. We are extremely hopeful that the new Government will deliver on reforms given their strong mandate, past performance of NDA regime, economic progress of Gujarat and announcements made in last two weeks since government formation.
For the week, BSE Sensex closed at 25, 228 down 0.7% while the NSE Nifty closed at 7, 542 down 0.5%...Read More
Mumbai is most expensive city in India; Jaipur is most budget-friendly
TripAdvisor, the worlds largest travel site* launched the fourth edition of its annual TripIndex, a travel price index of 56 cities across the globe including 9 Indian cities. The index compares the cost of an evening out, taking into account typical costs for two people to enjoy a pre-meal cocktail, a meal out, taxis, and an overnight stay for two during the summer travel months of June to August.
Mumbai takes the top spot from Kolkata this year as the most expensive city with a total TripIndex cost of Rs 10771.76. Jaipur emerges as the most budget-friendly city, with a total TripIndex cost of Rs 7625.32.
The Indian City - Story
Hotel: Mumbai has the highest average hotel room cost of Rs 6734. Hotels in Jaipur are the cheapest to stay with an average hotel room cost of Rs 3602.33.
Dinner: Travellers need to dish out Rs 3680.83 for a dinner for two in Chennai as against a meal in Chandigarh which costs just Rs 2163.
Cocktail: Drinks for two in New Delhi is almost double the cost in Chandigarh. With Rs 1670, New Delhi is the most expensive city in the category compared to Chandigarh, the cheapest across all cities where the price is just Rs 860.
Taxi: 2 journeys of 2 miles each way (6.4 kilometers) in Chennai can set you back by Rs. 151.35 while the same distance in Jaipur is a meager Rs. 60...Read More
Strong Rupee: Majority travellers look international
While last year saw most travellers opting for domestic travel due to the rupee depreciating to drastically low lows, this year more Indians are making international travel plans with the appreciating rupee. As per a survey released by Yatra.com, Indias most preferred online travel company, 89% Indians are enthusiastic to explore international destinations this summer.
Yatra survey found that 78% of travellers were planning a holiday abroad while hoping for the rupee to rise further, 16% were willing to go even if the rupee stayed unchanged, and the balance 6% said that they remained undecided on their travel plans.
Sharat Dhall, President, Yatra.com, commented, "As compared to last year, where we saw the rupee devalue to over Rs. 68 to the US dollar, the strong resurgence of the rupee to Rs. 59 this year has kick-started a significant surge in overseas travel due to attractive savings on air tickets. We have observed an increase of over 32% in travellers booking our International holiday packages this year."
Popular destination picks
The survey also revealed that Europe, the United States and the South East Asian countries are the top destinations of choice, followed by Turkey and Mauritius in that order. Yatra.com also found that the travellers are willing to go the extra mile by increasing their outlay on holiday getaways. 49% travellers considered upgrading their hotel due to the rupee appreciation...Read More
Zero Tolerance towards Child Labour
India has 12.6 million child labours in the age group of 5 to 14 as per the National Census 2001; it is yet to commit itself to complete elimination of child labour. The election manifesto of the incoming governments party states its commitment to "Review, amend and strengthen the Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 2012".
It is in this context that CRY, in partnership with Philips LED TV, brings together youth, child rights practitioners and experts, eminent photographers, children and public at large for a two month long campaign "Click Rights Open Your Eyes". This campaign aims to map the impact of child labour legislation and recommend changes. An expert consultation to build upon the recommendations of the parliamentary standing committee marked the launch of this campaign.
Key Recommendations for the CLPRA Amendment bill 2012
- Harmonizing the age of children across various social and labour legislations
- Legislation should not divide children into child and adolescent as both are equally vulnerable
- Using the criteria of Factories Act to define hazardous occupations is unacceptable
- Monitoring and accountability should be clearly spelt out in the act for its enforcement
- Clarity of role, accountability and convergence among stakeholders in rescue of child labour
- Institutionalize rehabilitation through clarity of procedure at district, state and inter-state level
- Develop explicit linkage of child labour legislation with juvenile justice, trafficking and integrated child protection scheme...Read More
Beware of online banking frauds: Look before you reply
Last month, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) noticed a fake and fictitious account created as http://www.rbi-inonline.org/savings.html by some unknown persons, saying they were offering various banking facilities. Some fraudsters were asking the public to apply online for opening a "RBI Savings Account". When this came to the notice of the central bank, they immediately cautioned the public by stating that the RBI does not offer services offered by commercial banks, such as, savings bank account, current bank account or credit cards. "As such, the question of the Reserve Bank offering online banking services, as is indicated on the fake site, does not arise," it said on its website. The RBI also cautioned public that applying online on that website could result in compromising their own crucial personal information that may be misused to cause financial and other loss to them.
Look before you reply--Now, if it has so happened that you have given out your crucial financial information, like your bank account number, PIN, credit card details or your contact number, on such a website, you may be in trouble. A typical fraud, called the "phishing" fraud, a common cyber attack, has been creating havoc, especially in the banking sector. Here, the fraudster creates a website that looks similar to your original bank. He then sends emails with a subject and e-mail ID, again similar to that of your original bank, asking for urgent upgradation of your bank account. The mail thus misleads the customer, who in turn discloses his vital financial information, which may be misused to cause financial loss to him...Read More
A Brief History: The Internet Then and Now
Yao Dong is a Syracuse University graduate student. And like her peers, she spends a significant amount of time on the Internet. She orders her textbooks online each semester, catches the latest news with her iPhone apps, chats with her mom over Facetime and saves important files to Dropbox. For Yao, life without the digital world at her fingertips is unimaginable. But it wasnt too long ago when ordering a textbook on a computer was unimaginable. In 1983, only 10% of U.S. adults owned a home computer and 45% of those early adopters didnt think their computers were all that helpful. The Internet was out there too, but it was primarily used by government institutions, science labs and research organizations to share files and exchange information. Then came the game changer: the World Wide Web. Twenty-five years ago, the World Wide Web, which was invented by British scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, gave us a system for publishing information over the Internet and served as our entrance to conversation, creativity and a virtual global community. Still, it wasnt an immediate sensation. Back in 1995, only 14 percent of U.S. adults had Internet access, while 42 percent had never heard of the Internet. Those who did have access had to use a slow by todays standards dial-up modem connection, limiting access to offices, homes and other fixed locations via telephone landlines...Read More
8% of the Top 50 India CEOs are women: QlikView
Qlik, a leader in user-driven Business Intelligence (BI), has launched a new QlikView application that unveils the anatomy of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) based in Asia Pacific including India. The typical CEO in India for example is male, around 56 years old, and with a degree from a local university - either the Indian Institute of Technology or the Indian Institute of Management. Globally, women represent around 10% of all board-level positions worldwide even though they make up over 40% of the global work force. The QlikView application reveals a starker statistic: only 3.2% of the 250 CEOs across Asia Pacific measured are female. While India leads the pack with four female CEOs out of 50, the application shows a continuing lack of gender diversity in the boardroom. Change may be underway however, with India recently passing legislation that mandates that corporations' boards of directors include at least one female member. These are just some of the key insights that can be discovered on the new interactive application called Where Do APAC CEOs Come From built using the QlikView Business Discovery platform. Looking at the top 250 Asia Pacific-based companies listed in the 2013 Forbes Global 2000 ranking, the application pulled together information collected about the CEOs from these organizations. These include gender, age, universities, industries, and previous positions...Read More
India monsoon tracker: Waiting for landfall
This year's monsoon rains appear set to start on the southern coast of India in the next 24 hours, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). Typically, the monsoon rains start on the southern coast around 1 June; thus, this year there has been a marginal delay. Accordingly, rainfall has been 40% below normal in the first week of June. However, satellite images released by the IMD indicate a decent concentration of monsoon clouds. Nevertheless, one must note that this is too early in the monsoon season to form an opinion either way. For the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), this year's monsoon rainfall will be a crucial variable in calibrating monetary policy, as the rains will have implications for both inflation and growth (see India: CPI and the RBI Concerns overdone?, 4 April 2014).
The RBI had a marginally dovish stance in its June policy statement. But El Nio-related risks cannot be discounted. If the monsoon rains fail in the coming months, fears of higher food inflation will come back (see Asia Strategy Notes: El Nio: An emerging risk for food prices, 6 May 2014). However, the IMD is expecting monsoon rains to be ~95% of normal in 2014, according to its late-April projection for the season. It is likely to release an updated view in late June. In this context, what also appears healthy is that water reservoir levels are significantly higher (~150%) than their 10-year average levels, which gives a buffer in case of a weaker monsoon season, as per the latest report from the Ministry of Agriculture...Read More
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