November 30, 2006

TCS bags Somerfield's $65 m contract

Source : The Economic Times Network,
Dated : 30/11/2006

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the $3-billion IT outsourcing major, has bagged a $65-million, seven-year deal from the $10-billion UK retail chain, Somerfield.

By TCS’ standards this isn’t a very large deal but it is unique because this is arguably the first time an Indian IT company has won a full service contract. This means that TCS will be responsible for developing and maintaining customised software and keeping off-the-shelf hardware and application software that Somerfield uses up-to-date.

Normally, Indian companies win a part of the contract that deals with the development and maintainence of customised software first and then work their way into other things like infrastructure management and package implementation.
This is a good development because TCS won this deal against global majors who do these deals regularly.

“We believe if we do this deal well then the client will look at us for managing their discretionary spending on IT later on,” says Phiroz Vandrevala, global head (corporate affairs, TCS). TCS also believes that it has been able to structure the contract in a way that will not impact its margins. What has it done differently?

Normally full service deals require the service providers to take over all the assets — hardware, software, people — from the client’s books to its own. Not in this case. TCS will not take over the hardware and off-the-shelf software.

“They will remain on the client’s books. We will manage it as if it was our own but the cheque for these will be written by the client directly to those vendors and we will get management fees for this advisory bit,” says Mr Vandrevala.

Since off-the-shelf hardware and software are low-margin business TCS will avoid any hits to its margins. IT industry analysts realise this but feel it is not bold enough. “I think they have stopped a shade short making this a total outsourcing deal.

They will have to consider taking the entire operation on their books in their future deals because it makes the life of their client much easier and it also delivers bigger topline growth,” says Siddharth Pai, partner, TPI, an outsourcing advisory firm.

Mr Pai may have a point there because if this contract were to be done by a global outsourcing major it would have been at least 2.5 times bigger in revenues, albeit less profitable. This contract is a fixed-price one, an Achilles Heel for Indian companies.

TCS seems to be on a safer grounds here because it does more business on fixed-price contracts that any other indian companies. “Since the contract has a large infrastructure component to it and appears less project-oriented the risk of margin loss appears to be less,” says Mr Pai.

TCS has shown more purpose by announcing that approximately 115 people will lose their jobs in Somerfield’s UK operation. This shows the changed environment as far as outsourcing is concerned. Three years ago, any mention of a job loss due to outsourcing would have been considered blasphemous.

TCS has also shown some good political acumen by stressing that these jobs will move to the TCS’ UK operations and therefore the country will remain job-neutral — for the time being.


The new face of Indian Search Engine -

Few days back,while watching the Business News on CNBC TV-18,I came across the news that a new company called is launched by two IIT alumini guys named "Anurag Dod" and "Gaurav Mishra".The name seems to be pretty INDIAN.Listed below are some of the interesting facts about

About the Business:
Guess what, their business is also targeting the Indian audience who want a change from Google.Yes, is a new company which also be in the same business as Google(which will enter the booming business of Search Engines.It will take competition with Google,forgotten hero , Yahoo Search and other engines engine seems to be pretty good and is molded on googol lines.

About the Funding: has been funded by Sequoia Capital India( and Angel Investors.

Some interesting Facts:
There are lots of interesting things to watch out for . Apart from being Indian and searching only Indian based pages,it allows the users to search for restraunts,hotels in any city in India just by giving the Hotel name and city.

The look and feel is same like Google.Hence,you wont miss Google a lot -:)
More information given below.

Check out Anurag Dod's interview on "

-Himanshu J Sheth
(30/11/2006,3:24 AM)


YouTube strikes deal with Verizon to deliver mobile video

Source :

YouTube will deliver user-submitted video from its site to mobile customers of Verizon’s V Cast video service.

You have to pay $15/month extra (above Verizon’s basic wireless service) for V Cast. However, a caveat: Verizon phones will only carry “high quality” YouTube videos, which seems to go against YouTube’s origins of promoting user-generated videos that are often grainy and of average-quality, but compelling nonetheless. Still, video quality is improving overall, and so this may not be a problem near-term. It is also a first for YouTube, which had promised the service was coming. More deals coming.


November 29, 2006

Chance to meet the VC's,Entrepreneurs at

Register at to meet the budding entrepreneurs in the field of business.How the startups get funded and how they enhance the business.

I will be there at Chennai on January,20 and 21 -:) What about you? Wanna come?


BarCamp Bangalore2.0 on the way!!!

BarCamp,Bangalore kicks off on December 2nd and 3rd ,2006.
Follow "" to register for the event.

        Bar Camp

Never miss an opportunity to meet technology oriented people who are different from the oridinary lot.

See you there at BarCamp 2.0


November 26, 2006

Wal-Mart steps in as Tesco quits

Economic Times Network,
Dated: 26/11/2006

The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart is believed to be close to striking a deal with the Sunil Mittal led-Bharti Industries, after UK retail Tesco dropped plans to ally with the New Delhi-based group for its India foray. Tesco called off talks with Bharti putting an end to the much awaited partnership in the retail sector.

According to sources, talks between the two soured in the last minute on several issues but the important ones were royalty and branding. Tesco was not too keen on merely being a back-end partner in India the way Tatas chose to with Woolworth in the durable business.

Bharti is also understood to have been Wal-Mart’s fourth choice as its partner after the global retailer had held several months of intense negotiations with other Indian business houses like the Birlas, M&M and Rahejas, informed sources said.

Wal-Mart is also believed to have committed 'serious money' in the Indian market that would enable the JV to take on the muscle of a strong competitor such as Reliance Retail. Initially, Wal-Mart would provide the back-end supply chain and cutting-edge processes while Bharti would operate the front end.

Also, the royalty and investments in the joint venture offered by Wal-Mart was far higher than that offered by Tesco and it could provide the joint venture the scale and pricing that other retailers would not.

With this, the Bentonville Arkansas-based giant has succumbed to what it always called `the unbelievable potential’ of India’s booming economy and consumerism. Earlier on Saturday, a Reuters copy quoted a Tesco spokesman as having ended negotiations to form a widely-expected joint venture with Bharti, but said the company still planned to enter India’s retail sector.

Wal-Mart scored over Tesco in its swiftness in executing the deal. John Menzer, president and chief executive of the retailer’s international arm was instrumental in sealing the deal, it is learnt. While Tesco was bullish on the India plans, they probably took a little longer in sealing the deal.

Various industry sources ET spoke to attribute several reasons to the turn of events. They said that Tesco didn’t take kindly to the way Wal-Mart joined the fray with a counter offer of sorts. It took also took serious objections to media reports about both Tesco and Wal-Mart were in talks with the Bharti group for a possible partnership.


November 25, 2006

TV Tuner for Portable Devices Launched

Microtune has announced a new tuner chip that brings quality digital TV to PC notebooks, portable TVs, tuner sticks, portable DVD players and other small devices that demand both high performance and lower power.

Called the MicroTuner MT2130, the new tuner, when integrated into portable consumer products, allows users to watch analog and digital TV across cable or off-air broadcasts, to time-shift programs and to capture video for multimedia applications.

"The worldwide transition to digital television is increasingly spanning a widening range of consumer electronics and peripherals," said James A. Fontaine, Microtune's President and CEO. "Our new MT2130 leverages the superior engineering, excellent performance and reliability that have come to characterize Microtune tuners, and it adapts our market-proven RF technology for new classes of power-sensitive digital TV devices. By deploying the MT2130 chip, our customers can differentiate their portable products by offering superior TV reception across the analog and digital broadcasts that exist today."

Microtune's new MT2130 is based on the architecture of the company's three-in-one tuner — the MT2131 analog/digital/cable tuner. The MT2130 is engineered to receive weak signals and to compensate for the small, built-in antennas typical of portable products. It deploys Microtune's ClearTune filtering technology to improve channel reception and is engineered to minimize noise and distortion for consistent, stable picture quality.

The chip supports multiple TV transmission standards (ATSC, QAM, DVB-T, ISDB-T, DMB-T, NTSC, PAL and SECAM). As a result, it permits manufacturers to deploy the same tuner on multiple platforms, gaining economies of scale, while providing a single solution that cost-effectively bridges the multiple analog and digital TV standards that co-exist today.

At ¼-inch in size, the MT2130 chip fits into very small designs, such as dongle or flash-stick packages, and can be easily configured in multi-tuner architectures. Multi-tuner architectures enable diversity applications and permits users to enable 'watch and record' two or more channels simultaneously.

The MT2130 tuner is sampling now to select customers and is priced at less than $3.00 in volume quantities.


November 20, 2006

Nvidia to Acquire PortalPlayer For $357 Million

Source :
Dated : 07/11/2006

In a strategic acquisition graphics chip maker Nvidia has decided to acquire PortalPlayer, a firm that made its name selling mp3 decoding chips, which were used by Apple in its iPod Nano range.

PortalPlayer was established in 1999 and counts among its customers companies like SanDisk, Philips and Samsung.Recently Apple announced it would no longer be using chips from PortalPlayer, preferring to go over to Samsung instead. This was a major loss for PortalPlayer, as Apple was its primary customer. This loss caused PortalPlayer's stock market value to crash and left it as easy pickings for others.

Nvidia, who is rapidly looking to expand into the handheld PMP market, saw this as a great opportunity and decided to acquire PortalPlayer for $357 million.

Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of Nvidia had this to say, "With this acquisition, we are combining the two essential technologies of next-generation PMPs, PDAs, portable game players, and phones: PortalPlayer’s innovative Application Processor technology and NVIDIA's industry-leading GPU technology. With the products created through this combination, we intend to drive the next digital revolution, where the mobile device becomes our most personal computers."


November 16, 2006

iRiver Announces 4 GB Clix

Source :
Dated : 16/11/2006

The elusive iRiver Clix, renewed with 4 GB storage memory, has officially been priced at US$199.99 (around Rs 9,200). The portable media player plays MP3s, WMAs, OGGs, FM radio, MPEG-4 video as well as photos, on a 2.2-inch QVGA display.

The player is also PlaysForSure compatible, letting you purchase and download music from online subscription sites such as Microsoft's recently released Zune media player is not PlaysForSure compatible, instead being locked to only the proprietory Zune Marketplace for purchasing music.


Indians are the start-up kings of US!!!

Source : The Economic Times Network,
Dated : 16/11/2006

Indian immigrants to the US account for 28% of all foreign-founded private start-up companies in a climate dominated by immigrant entrepreneurs, according to a new study on the hot-button issue.

The study found that over the last 15 years, immigrants have started one in four (25%) US public companies that were venture-backed, representing a market capitalisation of more than $500 billion.

Topping that, a survey of private, venture-backed start-up companies in the US estimated that a staggering 47% have immigrant founders.

In that group, “India was the most prevalent country of origin with 28%, followed by the United Kingdom (11%), China (5%), Iran (4%.) and France (4%.),’’ the study says. No numbers were given for public venture-backed firms, but even in that category, “the most common countries of origin are India, Israel and Taiwan’’.

The findings back the long-held view, based on more limited surveys in Silicon Valley, that Indian immigrants are a significant force in Americans’ start-up culture. Indians have been founding companies in the US outside the Bay area for decades, going back to Amar Bose’s Bose Corp in Massachusetts and the Suhas Patil-founded Cirrus Logic in Utah.

The study also found that immigrant founders are responsible for building a high percentage of the most innovative American companies, with 87% operating in sectors such as high-tech manufacturing, infotech and life sciences.

Global Indian Takeover :

• In the last 15 years, one in four US public cos, with a market cap of $500 bn, has been started by immigrants, led by Indians, Israelis and Taiwanese.
• Study found 47% of venture-backed start-up firms had immigrant founders. India (28%) was followed by UK (11%), China (5%), Iran (4%) and France (4%).
• Nearly half of the immigrant entrepreneurs arrived in the US as students and more than half of them started their businesses within 12 years.
• 87% of immigrant founders operate in high-tech manufacturing, IT and life sciences.
• They hold an average of 14.5 patents. 69% of these individuals have become American citizens.


November 9, 2006

Is it the time for Reliance Retail to regroup?

People in India were very much excited about Reliance Infocomm Ltd. launching its mobile in the market.The same excitement was there when Mukesh Ambani led "Reliance Retail " announced the requirement of land for their retail outlets.

Just in a single day,record no of hits were seen on their website.May be I thought,US retail giant Wal-Mart may get a stiff competition from our Desi Reliance Retail.

Relaince Retail shop opens in Hyderabad:
Few days back(on the 4th November,2006),Reliance Retail opened its first retail outlet in Hyderabad and the response there was fascinating.When I saw the interview of the people(on CNBC TV-18) who purchased from Reliance retail,there was a big sense of satisfaction on their faces.

Reliance Strategy:
  • The price of the commodities and other goods less than the other competitors like Kishore Biyani led Future Group,Food World,other kirana stores.For example. There is a difference of 2 rupees on one Kg. of Rice between Reliance Retail and Food World.
  • The ambience out there is very good.
  • Plus,last but not the least and the most important point is Reliance Retail knows its customers well.They offer Reliance Retail membership cards which would give more benifits to the customers.This is a missing feature in all its competitors.
A sudden rainfall (for Reliance Retail) in the month of November:

The arrival of Reliance Retail was causing a big concern to Kishore Biyani , when he was seen on the "India Retail Forum".

But all good things come to an end or should I say "The way to sucess is not easy and you cannot take a leap to reach the top".Now the question is "Suddenly after this fascinating start of Realince Retail,what happened"?

The CEO of Reliance Retail Rajeev Karwal(the man who made Electorlux Kelvinator Ltd,sometimes also called as King of consumer durables) is moving out of Reliance Retail after a small stint of 10 months with Reliance Retail(Source:Economic Times Network,09/11/2006).
He was the one of the first high profile persons roped in by Reliance and Ajay Baijal would be the CEO of the Retail arm of Reliance.

This came as a shock to the industry insiders and the reason for his quick exit is not known(Source:Economic Times Network,09/11/2006).But definitely,this is the time for Reliance Retail to regroup its strategies as well its team since , "It takes time to create good brand value but it does not take more time to loose Brand value!!!"

-Himanshu J Sheth
(09/11/2006,6:20 PM)