Miscellany

Miscellany

Flipkart announces hackathon to deal with B'luru traffic woes

E-commerce major Flipkart today announced a hackathon to crowdsource "innovative", "implementable" solutions from the tech community and concerned citizens, that could help ease the city's perennial traffic problem.
Termed "Gridlock Hackathon," the initiative marks the start of the "Month of Innovation" at Flipkart, a part of its 10th year anniversary celebrations, the company said.

RCom rejects rating downgrades by Moody's, Fitch

Telecom operator Reliance Communications today rejected credit rating cuts by Moody's and Fitch as the agencies' views apply only on its USD 300 million bonds, which are being serviced regularly. The company said that in May 2015, it had issued 6.5 per cent coupon bearing USD bonds, maturing in ovember 2020, for an aggregate amount of USD 300 million.
"These bonds constitute about 4 per cent of the total debt of the company. The bonds have always been serviced regularly on the due dates and are fully current in servicing, as on date...

Apple widens home-tech empire

Apple Inc’s first major new pro­duct for two years, the HomePod spe­aker, marks the biggest effort yet from the technology company to use its Siri digital assistant to keep customers wedded to a growing palette of products and services.
The smart speaker works by talking to an updated Siri that better understands music-related requests, Apple said during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California.

Indian firms witnessed 37% drop in H-1B visas in 2016

The drop in US visas started even before Donald Trump became US president. Even as the new US administration sought restrictions in H-1B visa lottery to push hard its avowed policy of ‘Buy American; Hire American,’ a study by a US-based policy research group has revealed that Indian companies had witnessed a 37 per cent drop in their new H-1B visa approvals in 2016 itself, when compared to those approved in 2015.

Solar doom for Indian firms, boon for Chinese entities

Some of India’s biggest solar equipment makers are facing financial collapse, priced out by Chinese competitors as prime minister Narendra Modi’s government prioritises cheap power over local manufacturing despite his ‘make in India’ push.
Though president Donald Trump is pulling the United States out of the Paris accord on climate change, India is sticking to its huge renewable energy programme. That has created a multi-billion-dollar market for Chinese solar product makers, who are facing an overcapacity at home and steep duties in Europe.

Modi e-car push to boost SoftBank

SoftBank Group is in talks with the Indian government to facilitate the use of renewable energy like solar to charge electric vehicles in the country, a senior executive at the Japanese group’s local unit told Reuters.
India is considering electrifying all its vehicles over the next 15 years, a plan that could boost SoftBank’s solar ambitions in the country if the government adopts renewable energy to charge the vehicles.

Travel packages to be sold on social media

For the travel industry, social media is becoming a significant lead generator and content provider. With airline companies going big on social commerce, soon travel packages will be available on social networking sites.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are getting bigger in social commerce, travel providers hope that social media will soon have a larger role to play in selling travel packages.

Millennials prefer travelling with family

Going on a solo travel would be a fad among the millennials globally. But Indian millenials are more family-oriented. Majority like travelling with their family members who belong to different generations, finds a study.
Over 50 per cent of Indian millennials want to spend quality time travelling with their multi-generational fa­m­ily and 42 per cent enjoy travelling with their partner. Friends and parents come next in the list and only 7 per cent enjoy travelling alone, finds the survey by online travel company Expedia.

SEBI sets up panel to improve corporate governance

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has set up a committee to help improve corporate governance of listed companies, it said on Friday, in the light of recent high-profile corporate tussles.

Apart from helping ensure the independence of independent directors, the panel will also advise the market regulator on resolving issues related to accounting, auditing and board’s disclosure practices, SEBI said in press release.

RCom gets 7 mths to service debt; to cut burden by 60%

Debt-laden Reliance Communications today said its lenders have agreed to a strategic restructuring plan under which it will get a 7-month standstill to service loans amounting to Rs 45,000 crore.
In a damage control mode following credit rating downgrades, RCom chairman Anil Ambani held a press conference to announce that the debt burden will be reduced to Rs 20,000 crore with two deals by September, before the December deadline given by the lenders at a meeting with them earlier in the day.

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