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Twitter Bounty Program Is Lucrative Enough To Pocket Few Thousands Dollars In A Jiffy

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twitter tweets

Twitter has come up with a new bounty program. Twitter bounty offer may not be as commercially lucrative as Microsoft or Facebook, it’s definitely adds a lot of weightage to individual’s experinece and resume.

Twitter announced Friday that it will host a competition for hackers and computer researchers to identify biases within its image-cropping algorithm. This decision was made after a group had previously discovered the algorithm was biased against Black men and women. 

This competition is part of an overall effort to ensure that artificial intelligence technology acts ethically. In a blog post, the social networking company stated that the bounty competition was designed to identify “potential harms” of this algorithm that Twitter team failed to identifiy.

Twitter Bounty Program: Big Picture

  • After last year’s criticism about images previews that excluded Black faces from posts, Twitter said in May that a study conducted by three of its machine-learning researchers revealed an 8 percent advantage for women and a 4 percent preference for white people. 
  • Twitter publicly released the computer code that decides how images are cropped in the Twitter feed. On Friday, participants are asked to find how the algorithm could cause harm, such as stereotyping or denigrating any group of people.
  • The winners will receive cash prizes ranging from $500 (roughly Rs 37,200) to $3,500 (roughly Rs 2,60,000).
  • Twitter will also invite winners to present their work at a workshop hosted by Twitter at DEF CON in August, one of largest hacker conferences held annually in Las Vegas.
  • Twitter challenge is open from July 30 to August 06, 2021 for everyone.
  • Interested participants need to enroll with HackerOne to make a valid submission; existing HackerOne account holders are also eligible to participate in this challenge.
  • To particpate you need to follow this link.

Food For Thought

Twitter is hyper actively adding new features and actively ironing out all kind of issues that the microblogging site has been criticised for long. With over 196 million daily monetisable users Twitter is now aiming to jump into e-commerce with the addition of new shopping feature. Twitter is also exploring the feasibility of monthly subscription model which will come with a bunch of premium features.

if you believe on your research skills, Twitter bounty program is definitely worth giving a shot.

Elon Musk Puts His Weight Behind Epic Games Against Apple!

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elon musk the boring company

Elon Musk and Apple has a kind of weird connect. As Elon is known to be too vocal when it comes to expression of views, this time he has openly put his weights behind Epic Games against Apple.

On Friday, Elon Musk tweeted in the favour of “Fortnite” maker Epic Games, who has been at loggershead with Apple challenging App Store commission policy. Dubbed as ‘Movers and Shakers of the market‘, Elon Musk has once again aimed his killer weapon at Apple and threw his weight behind Epic Games in the epic battle between Apple and Epic Games.

Epic Games filed a lawsuit last year against Apple for misusing its market dominance in mobile app markets after Apple decided to charge 30% commission. Epic broke Apple’s rules by introducing its own in-app payments system in Fortnite to bypass widely debated Apple’s commissions policy.

Apple faced immense criticism against the App Store commission policy before cutting it to half. But, Apple banned Epic Games from App Store!

Apple, which has defended its App Store practices in court as well as to legislators in hearings, didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

Yesterday we reported about the the discussion that held between Elon Musk and Tim Cook, CEO – Apple, in 2016 about the possible acquisition of Tesla. It’s quite interesting, rather surprising, to know the real reason behind Tim Cook hanging up phone on the face of Elon.

Both Tim Cook and Elon Musk, however, denied reports that they had any discussion related to the potential acquisition of the electric carmaker. Elon also denied taking over as CEO of the iPhone maker. 

Musk took aim at Apple during a call with Wall Street analysts this week. He criticized the company’s “walled gardens” or tightly controlled tech ecosystem, and its use of cobalt (a key mineral in making lithium-ion battery batteries).

For long Elon has been very vocal with his tweets. At multiple occasion his own tweets landed him in trouble. Last year Tesla’s lost $14 billion in a day due to Elon’s single tweet. The incident also led SEC to take a note and slapped a fine of $20 million on Elon and Tesla each.

At the time when the battle between Apple and Epic Games is being fight in courtm, what damages or advantages he brings with his latest tweet to himself, Epic Games or Apple is hard to anticipate. But whatever Elon does it always has a far reaching impact.

Elon Musk, CEO of Apple: Had Tim Cook Agreed To Acquire Tesla In 2016

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Elon Musk CEO of Apple

Depending on who you speak to, Elon Musk and Tim Cook has their own version of the history that relates Tesla and Apple. In 2016, Musk claimed to have reached out to Cook exploring possibiity of Apple acquiring Tesla, but Cook gave cold shoulders and didn’t see value in investing time in the discussion related to the acquisition possibilities. Cook, on the other hand, claims to have never spoken to Musk.

Now, Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins has a new book out next month, titled as “Power Play: Tesla Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century“. It recounts a heated conversation between Musk and Cook about the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla.

Good to Elon though, that the talk never materealised; today he is world’s second richest billionaire, and Tim Cook is not at all in the list of top 25. All thanks to soaring stock value of Tesla.

According to a Los Angeles Times review, Musk and Cook were reportedly talking on the phone about Tesla’s unveiling and the difficulties that came with it. Cook suggested that Apple purchase Tesla.

Musk was interested in the proposition but only on one condition: He should be the names as CEO of Apple, not Tesla. Cook replied with the ‘F word’ and reportedly hung up immediately.

When Musk asked that he wanted to be the CEO, Cook first believed Musk meant that he wanted to be CEO of Tesla and not CEO of Apple.

Cook agreed as Apple did the similar deal with the founders of Beats which Apple acquired in 2014.

Realising that Cook is mistaken, Musk, clarified:

No, Apple. Apple CEO.

When asked in a recent interview about his relationship with Musk, Tim Cook explained that while he’s “never spoken to Elon,” he has “great admiration and respect” for Tesla. Apple has also employed a lot of Tesla employees over the years for its ambitious Apple Car project which is apparently progressing at a slow speed due to various obstacles. Musk once called Apple the “Tesla graveyard”. “

Apple is in the midst of its efforts to build an electric car of some sort, which presumably would compete directly with Tesla. While it would be interesting to see if Apple could ever give Tesla run for its money, it’s more fascinating to imagine how Apple would have today has Tim agreed to Musk!

Amazon To Cough Up Whopping $888 Million In Fine For GDPR Violation

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Amazon India

Amazon found itself in hot water earlier this month but managed to keep it under the cover. The company was slapped with largest ever fine for data protection violations in Europe. On July 16, Luxembourg’s data protection authority asked Amazon to cough up 746 million euros ($888 million) in penalty for violating the EU’s strict data protection laws, known as the GDPR.

According to Bloomberg, the fine was issued by Luxembourg’s CNPD in response to an investigation into Amazon’s processing of customer data. The CNPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment and has not commented publicly on the decision.

Its investigation into Amazon was based on a 2018 complaint by French privacy group La Quadrature du Net. It claims it represents the interests and preferences of thousands of Europeans, to ensure that their data isn’t used by large tech companies to alter their behavior for commercial or political purposes. 

The eCommerce behemoth refrained from responding to a request for comment.

Amazon’s use of customer data is being scrutinized more and more at home market as well as abroad. Regulators worry that the company’s data processing policies could be in violation of privacy protections and give it an advantage over other companies operating within the marketplace. Amazon wants customers to be confident that their data is secure. This is in contrast to many GDPR fines.

“Maintaining the security of our customers’ information and their trust are top priorities,” said an Amazon spokesman in a statement on Friday. “There has been no data breach, and no customer data has been exposed to any third party. These facts are undisputed.”

Amazon is planning to appeal against the ruling.

“The decision relating to how we show customers relevant advertising relies on subjective and untested interpretations of European privacy law, and the proposed fine is entirely out of proportion with even that interpretation,” Amazon spokesperson said.

With the advent of the GDPR, data protection authorities in Europe gained greater power to take action against companies that fail to properly use data and protect data. Companies that fail to comply with their obligations can be fined up to 4% by the national regulator of the European country where they are based. Amazon’s Luxembourg headquarters means that the CNPD has the authority to determine if the company is following the rules.

iPhone Revenue Figure Cemets Apple’s Domination In Global Smartphone Market

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Sales of iPhone 12 Series

Samsung and Xiaomi may be the leading pack in terms of shipments, but when it comes to revenue from smartphones, which is a real deal, equations change drastically. Apple iPhone revenue figures leave both Samsung and Xiaomi much behind, cementing its domination in the globals smartphone market.

According to the latest report from Counterpoint, a leading research firm, Apple accounted for 41% of the global smartphone OEM revenue in Q2 2021, up 7% point from 34% in the year-ago quarter.

In Q2 2021, no smartphone OEM matched Apple’s performance in the revenue segment. None of the top performers by smartphone shipments, be it Xiaomi, Samsung, Oppo or Vivo, could gain even half of what Apple gained in the last one year. The record sales of the iPhone 12 series have been helping Apple widen the gap with each passing quarter.

Apple iPhone Revenue: Big Picture

  • The global smartphone sales revenue reached $96 billion in Q2 2021, up by 25% YoY.
  • Apple captured 41% of the global smartphone revenue market in Q2 2021.
  • The increased ASP of iPhone, combined with the highest ever sales of iPhone in the second quarter, helped Apple to increase its share by 7% point in the last one year.
  • Despite aggressive marketing tactics and campaigns to promote its ultra-premium Galaxy S21, S21 Ultra and Galaxy Fold 2, Smasung could manage to capture only 15% of the global smartphone revenue market in Q2 2021.
  • Samsung’s global smartphone revenue market share declined from 17% in Q2 2020 to 15% in Q2 2021.
  • Samsung was the only OEM among the top smartphone vendors by the shipment share whose revenue share declined.
  • Xiaomi, which secured the second position in the list of top smartphone vendors by smartphone shipments, accounted for 9% of the global smartphone revenue share in Q2 2021.
  • One of the primary reasons behind the below-than-expected share of Xiaomi was its domination in entry, budget and mid-range price segments.
  • Unlike Apple and Samsung, a huge chunk of Xiaomi’s smartphone quarterly sales fall under sub-$300 price segment.
  • Oppo and Vivo also captured 9% each of the global smartphone revenue market in Q2 2021.

Food For Thought

Apple, the world’s first publicly listed tech company with a market cap of over $2 trillion, might have stopped disclosing the number of iPhone it sells every quarter, but the revenue figure tells a lot about the increasing popularity of the iPhone. The skyrocketing sales of iPhone 12 Pro Max – the most expensive iPhone Apple has ever made – has zipped the mouth of critics who mocked Apple for launching the device at such an exorbitant price.

Finally, it’s turning out that Apple is on course with its strategy of not compromising with price and quality to fall into the trap of number games. In the end, it’s revenue and profit, not just sales figures, that matter the most for investors, markets and the management of any company.

OYO Can Make A Big Announcement That Can Skyrocket Its Valuation

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OYO, the Indian startup unicorn from the hospitality industry, can make a major announcement in the next few days. Despite being hit badly due to the pandemic and grim possibility in near future, it’s inches away from clinching a deal with the world’s largest software giant. Yes, we are talking about none other than Microsoft!

According to the sources of TechCrunch, Microsoft is evaluating OYO for the next investment. The talk is in its final leg and both the companies could announce the deal in the next few days.

OYO, which was valued whopping $9 billion once, has witnessed its valuation tanked to $3 billion in recent time. The mass layoffs and increasing losses have forced the startup unicorn to take a conservative approach until the situation turns back to the pre-covid level.

Microsoft Invest In OYO: Big Picture

  • It’s not yet clear how much money Microsoft would be investing in OYO, but the deal will soar the valuation of OYO to $9 billion, or even higher.
  • if the deal is materialised, OYO would shift its tech infrastructure to Microsoft’s Azure.
  • The pandemic hit OYO was valued at only $3 billion in the recent quarters by none other than its lead investor Softbank.
  • OYO raised $660 million in debt funding from global institutional investors to stay cash flow positive and invest in the business opportunities.
  • So far OYO has raised $4.1 billion in 18 rounds from 26 investors.
  • Like many other Indian startup unicorns, OYO is also exploring the possibility of IPO, but the company has not decided on any fixed timeframe for it.
  • With the increasing vaccination rate, OYO is expecting to reach the business back to the pre-covid level soon. Few big claims made by CEO Ritesh Agarwal turned many heads.
  • In Europe, the number of daily bookings on OYO has doubled as the vaccination rate is relatively high.
  • Microsoft’s investment in OYO will provide the Indian startup unicorn with a bigger runway in this tough time. It will also help OYO to restrategize and resume its marketing activities that were cut down due to financial stress.

Food For Thought

OYO is not the only startup struggling in the pandemic-hit era. Many other startups that are in the retail or travel or hospitality industry are facing equally tough times to attract any new investment to stay afloat. In such a situation Microsoft investment in OYO is no less than a lifeline that can turn the table back in the favour of OYO.

On the flip side, the world is staring at the third wave as the numbers of active cases of Covid have started increasing again. In such a scenario OYO may need a very big runway and a huge injection of funds to survive. A lot depends on how big of a check Microsoft is going to write for Oyo!

Happy Birthday Henry Ford: The Creator of Model T Car

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henry ford

At times, a trial and error method can work wonders. However, success demands courage, dedication, perseverance and relentless hard work. As a teenager, Henry Ford apparently believed in the similar thought and dismantled the watch presented to him on his birthday to explore how it functioned and then reassembled it. Tinkering with things and an interest in machines at an early age was encouraged by his parents.

Date of Birth: July 30, 1863

Died: April 7, 1947

The steam engine captured Ford’s attention when he was indulging in engineering activities and staying away from farming. His interests resulted in his building a gasoline engine at home mounted on the kitchen sink. On the 158th birth anniversary of the founder of Ford Motor Company, we revisit some interesting facts about the man.

  1. Born near Dearborn, Michigan, Henry Ford looked up to Thomas Edison as his role model and personal hero. When Edison heard of Henry’s idea of building a four wheeled contraption he endorsed his idea and this in turn galvanized Henry’s thoughts and instilled confidence in him to proceed further.
  2. Most of the middle class Americans owe gratitude to Henry, for an amazing yet affordable invention to cater to their commutation needs. The Model T car of Ford was termed as “Car of the Century,” by Global Automotive Elections Foundation, as it was game changer and transformed the rich man’s luxury into an innovation serving millions of the common populace. Though, the car was noisy, unattractive and uncomfortable within five years of manufacturing around half a million vehicles were on the road. Henry Ford himself jested on the car’s color stating “any customer can have any car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black.
  3. Henry Ford was inducted into the “Automotive hall of fame,” to stand among the few automotive great personalities since its inception in 1939 in Dearborn.
  4. In 1896, he unveiled a Quadricycle, the first self-propelled vehicle. The wheels of this were similar to heavy bicycle wheels and the steering looked like the tiller of a boat. The vehicle could only move forward but not backward. He came up with a second car in 1898 and succeeded in persuading a group of people to invest. On July 16, 1903, he came up with the third automotive venture—the Ford Motor Company and the new Model T car came into the market creating records. In 2020, the company has sold 4,187,000 vehicles at wholesale throughout the world.
  5. Henry Ford and his team collected ideas from several industries from bicycle makers, gun makers, and meat packers to get the best from each industry and utilize the apt ones in the motor industry. The moving assembly line set-up was adopted from the meat industry in 1913 and it has retained its place in the company even after 100 years of its introduction. In January 1914, Ford took the other bold decision of doubling the wages to $5 per day of 53,000 people per year. As of 2020, Ford Motor Company employs 186,000 employees with a market cap of $55.32 billion.
  6. Apart from being a successful entrepreneur, he built some schools that imparted education through traditional classroom technique along with practical experience or “learning through doing.” Even today the firm reserves a third of its funds for education through scholarships. “Operation Better World,” initiated by the Ford community aims at involving the local Ford dealers to implement hunger relief and health care programs.
  7. During the World War II, Henry Ford backed the US army by helping them with jeeps, bombers, and tanks.

“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs” these words of Henry Ford aptly showcase his life, research, and his love for invention. He breathed technicality throughout the life and explored a new path to lead a proficient life. On this day, we salute this amazing mind who presented a new version of the automobile industry.

The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from Tech Industry, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or a renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian Assange, by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.

To make it more exciting, we suggest you take advantage of the comment section if you are among the ones celebrating their birthday with today’s featured personality.

Ola IPO: No Earlier Than FY23 To Make The Most of Electric Vehicle Hype

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Excited by the historic response to Zomato IPO, many other Indian startup unicorns have started gearing up for IPO. And the latest name, many wanted to hear, is ANI Technologies, the company doing business as Ola.

According to few people Dazeinfo spoke to, Ola IPO could be a reality soon, but not before the next financial year. Ola has started putting blocks in place to launch a successful IPO. The people, on the condition of anonymity and without spilling too many beans, said that Ola IPO could be the biggest IPO launch in Indian history beating Zomato IPO, which was the biggest IPO by a tech company to date.

No wonder Ola is not in hurry to float its IPO this year, unlike Paytm, PolicyBazaar or many other startup unicorns which are aiming for big gains by betting on the excitement towards startups in the stock market. The company is expecting the demand for cabs to be back to the pre-covid era with more relief in lockdown. On the other hand, it wants to create enough buzz and traction about Ola Electric in the market, which will help the company to attain a higher valuation during IPO.

Ola IPO: Big Picture

  • The sources have rejected the possibility of Ola IPO in the ongoing fiscal year. They, however, confirmed that the Indian multinational app-based ride-hailing startup has started the preparation for the IPO that could be floated by mid of next year.
  • The Softbank backed Ola leads the Indian market with 32 million monthly active users on Android. This is much higher than its arch-rival Uber India which reportedly has 22 million users as of June 2021, according to App Annie data.
  • After nearly two years of silence, Ola recently raised $500 million from Temasek and Plum Wood Investment Ltd, an affiliate of private equity fund Warburg Pincus. Interestingly, Ola’s co-founder and CEO, Bhavish Agarwal, also participated in this round in a bid to increase his stake in the company.
  • So far, Ola (ANI Technologies) has raised a total of $4.6 billion from 48 investors.
  • Ola attained the valuation of $6 billion when it raised $300 million from Hyundai and Kia Motors in 2019.
  • After the recent round of $500 million the company’s valuation is expected to soar significantly.
  • The recent investment move was tagged with ‘pre-IPO round’ as the company said that the investment came ahead of IPO. However, it didn’t elaborate anything more on the timeline of Ola IPO then.
  • The Ola IPO will be issued by ANI Technologies, the parent of Ola Cabs, Ola Foods and Ola Financial Services.
  • Ola Electric, a subsidiary of ANI Technologies, has just started taking booking for its first electric scooter which is expected to hit the roads in late August 2021.
  • Ola Electric is expecting to capture a sizeable share of the electric two-vehicle market in India by the end of ongoing FY’22.
  • ANI Technologies is now entering the business of pre-owned car retailing business to compete with other startups, i.e CarDekho and Spinny.
  • Ola has recently awarded stocks worth Rs 400 crore to employees, which eventually created the ESOP Pool of Rs 3,000 crore.

Food For Thought

For Ola, it would be a major milestone to achieve as the company has survived a lot of ups and downs in the last few years. Bhavesh Agarwal who has left no stone unturned to retain control, including the rejection of the $1.1 billion investment offer from its lead investor SoftBank, is now busy overseeing the operations of Ola Electric – an electric vehicle startup that operates as an independent entity. Covid has hit the company badly as a large number of people are still preferring to confined inside their houses as offices remain shut. Ridesharing and Carpooling have become a distant dream now in an era of social distancing and this may have a direct impact on Ola’s revenue book for a longer duration.

All said and done, odds are not favouring Ola much, but we hope that situation may fast become normal. There could be no better time than now for startup unicorns to float their IPO, especially after the overwhelming response received by Zomato and excitement created by Paytm, which is gearing up for the launch of India’s biggest IPO.

Best Payment Methods Accepted by Online Casinos in India

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In the era of internet and smartphone, people are fast adopting the digital paymet methods are comes with a conveninece of handling, processing in a quick session and keping a record of every transaction. Realising the enromous potential and exploded adoption of digital payments by users across the world, almost every business has strated aceepting digital payments in one way or other; gaming business is no exception.

Playing at online casinos for real money will require you to deposit real cash. So, after signing up for an account with an online casino of your choice, the next step is to deposit cash. Indian players have plenty of options in funding their accounts, and some of the most convenient methods will be discussed in this article.

A good online gambling site must give players many ways to deposit funds and, most importantly, allow players to make quick online deposits with just a few taps. Below is the list of the best payment methods accepted by online casinos in India.

Debit/Credit Cards (Online Banking)

Fund transfer is now possible with just a few clicks. Thanks to online banking. You can use your credit or debit card to transfer funds to your online gambling account. The good thing about online bank transfer is it does not impose additional charges or commissions. Not to mention, the fund transfer is instant, so you can easily fund your account. However, there is a slight issue with withdrawing funds via debit or credit card. You cannot withdraw funds right away. In general, it would take up to 10 business days for the money to reflect in your account. Some of the debit and credit cards widely accepted in India are MasterCard, VISA, and Amex.

E-wallets

It is the second preferred deposit method accepted by Indian casinos. Different payment channels fall under e-Wallets, such as Neteller, Skrill, Paytm, and PayPal. The beauty of e-Wallet is it gives an added layer of protection covering you from cybercrime risk. We will discuss in detail the available e-Wallets:

Paytm

It is used by the majority of Indian casinos for both deposit and withdrawal. Many Indians prefer using Paytm because of its optimum security measures and simplicity. Fund transfer can be done in real-time, which offers the kind of convenience Indian players need.

PayPal

It is a payment method used by millions of people from different parts of the world. There are many purposes for using PayPal and one of which is making payments to Indian casinos. However, you have to be wary as not all Indian online casinos accept PayPal, so you have to know beforehand if your online casino accepts PayPal. If not, you might want to consider other e-Wallet options.

Neteller

What sets Neteller apart from other e-Wallet options is that it enables you to deposit using a wide range of currencies, including Indian Rupees (INR). It has a currency conversion feature offering seamless transactions. All this without undergoing government supervision.

Skrill

It is the counterpart of Neteller, which is widely available for Indian players. Its features are most likely the same as Neteller, although there could be a few differences in fees.

MuchBetter

It is an excellent payment method for people who are looking for an alternative to usual payment methods (banking method). MuchBetter brings many advantages to online casino players, such as extremely low fees imposed to deposit and withdrawal transactions. It is a safe and secure platform accepted around the globe. Another great thing about MuchBetter is its intuitive design making it easy to use even by novice players. Most of all, it accepts Indian Rupees, which is an added advantage for Indian players.

Unified Payment Interface (UPI)

Wondering how this payment work? It functions like an email ID for your money. It is a distinct identifier the bank uses to transfer funds and make payments with the aid of the Immediate Payments Service. It offers many advantages, especially for Indian players. The transaction takes place directly from bank to bank. Unlike e-Wallets that use a mobile number, UPI uses a virtual payment address. The limit per transaction is high, too (Rs 1 lakh). In fact, way higher when compared to other payment methods. Over 2.8 billion UPI transactions, amounting to Rs 547,373 crores, were recorded during the month of June 2021

Cryptocurrency

The majority of online casinos in India accept cryptocurrency, especially bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. The beauty of this payment method is you can send the payment in real-time and anonymously. So, if you want to safeguard your personal and financial information while playing online casinos, cryptocurrency is definitely one of the best options.

If you are looking for the best payment methods for online casinos in India, the ones mentioned above are the best options. They are widely accepted in all major online casinos, not only in India but in different parts of the world. Each comes with pros and cons, but you have to weigh all your options to find the one that best suits your needs. Unified Payment Interface and e-Wallets are the two most common options, Skrill, Neteller, and MuchBetter as the ideal choice. Some use prepaid cards such as AstroPay. At the end of the day, you have to choose the payment method you are most comfortable with.

Happy Birthday JRD Tata: The Father Of Indian Aviation

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JRD-Tata-facts

On this day, July 29, 1904, the enterprising legend was born who started working at TATA (his uncle Jamsetji Tata’s firm) as an unpaid intern only to grow into the founder of the prestigious Tata Group. Being a French citizen by birth, Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, the man behind the mammoth Tata Empire, embraced Indian citizenship to expand an industrial group of 14 enterprises with a net worth of $100 million into a conglomeration of 95 enterprises of the staggering net worth of US $5 billion. Though in person he may not be around, but his achievements leave an everlasting impact.

While his zeal for flying is a less known fact, there are many others which detail the life of this high aiming man who wrote a new chapter in the history of the Tata family. Here is a collection of less known interesting facts about JRD Tata or “Jeh” as his friends lovingly called him.

Date of Birth: July 29, 1904

Net Worth: $1 Billion

Died: November 29, 1993

1. Louis Bleriot, the first man to fly over The English Channel, provoked and left the fifteen-year-old boy JRD Tata passionate for flying and this dream of his was fulfilled after ten years. As a result, JRD Tata prior transforming himself into business tycoon was the first one to get a pilot license bearing No.1 in 1929 in India. He was the first pilot of India and later gave wings to his dream by establishing Tata Airlines. In 1988, after 50 years of leadership of the group he received Guggenheim Medal for his contribution to the aviation industry. Later the Tata Aviation service was transformed into the presently renowned Air India, in 1946. Soon after two years after attaining independence Government of India took 49% of the company and extended it with the option to obtain an additional 2%.

2. JRD Tata personifies simplicity. When his counterparts and other entrepreneurs worried about security and resorted to several methods to fulfil necessary protection steps, he stood apart and told “Nobody will kidnap me, for nobody will want a ransom in rupees!” on a lighter note. Moreover, he resided amidst the greenery yet in a bungalow but not a skyscraper. When he was asked how the small room served him as anybody in his position may dwell in a bigger one, he readily told them “It suffices me.”

3. Though his formal education was limited, his greatest contribution to the management has been “encouraging his employees.” As a Chairman he dealt with each individual in a prescribed manner to derive the best out of them. As Chairperson he also admits that in this process you may result in suppressing yourself, but it is essential to lead men because men need affection. Today the Tata Group stands at over 750,000 employees across more than 100 odd countries.

4. The Chairman inspires his employees to respect him, and he was a people man and loves staying as he likes them. “Not excellence. Perfection. You aim for perfection; you will attain excellence. If you aim for excellence, you will go lower” are his words to motivate people around him. An “Employee association with management” a program initiated by J.R.D. Tata in 1956 to give employees an opportunity to speak up in the company affairs.

5. Unfortunately, few members of the Tata family succumbed to death owing to cancer. As an initiative to take care of the people and prevent them from the deadly disease, Sir Dorabji Tata Trust under the leadership of J.R.D. Tata set up the first Cancer Hospital (Tata Memorial Hospital) and institute in India to take the medical science to the new heights and reserved funds for advanced research and development. Also known as Tata Memorial Centre, this outfit welcomes nearly 30,000 new patients yearly, performing 8500 major operations annually.

6. The personnel department of Tata Steel came up when JRD Tata revamped the industrial relations structure in Jamshedpur. As he learned the machines in the company were given extra care rather than the people working towards the welfare of the firm. Bharat Ratna was conferred on him as a tribute to his selfless humanitarian endeavours in 1992. Today, Tata Steel has manufacturing operations in 26 countries with 9.7 MTPA crude steel production just from its Jamshedpur Steel Works facility.

7. Joining the Tata group as an unpaid apprentice in 1925, in nine months, he was inducted to the board of Tata Sons, when he was all of 22 years. As a newbie in the group, he was guided by John Peterson an ex-Indian Civil Service Officer. In 1938, at 34 years he was elected to be the Chairman of Tata & Sons, beginning the era of JRD. He diversified the operations of the firm to include consultancy services, information technology, consumer durables, industrial products, consumer goods, hotels, engineering, and power.

8. Philanthropy remained the tradition of Tatas. While the Lady Tata Memorial Trust, part of the Allied Trusts of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, grants scholarships (both national and international) supporting research in leukaemia and blood-related diseases, the JRD and Thelma J Tata Trust concentrates on health and education of women and children.

9. UN Population Award was bestowed on JRD in 1992 for his great contribution towards population control over years, agitating with the causes of overpopulation and imparting education, especially among women and children to control the population. He also served as Founder Chairman of the Family Planning Foundation.

The Father of Indian Aviation has a plentiful to share from his kitty. He had contributed a lot for the family office and had transformed the kingdom into a US$ 119.60 billion empire. He remains in the memories till date after decades following his sad demise on November 29, 1993.

His life has not left behind memories but revolutionary events to be treasured by all Indians forever. As an initiative towards the collection of those works, he has preserved some of his conversations between himself and father through wire and letter on the Tata Archives. On the birth anniversary of JRD Tata, we encourage everyone to take learning from his splendid leadership and visionary qualities that brought in a revolutionary difference to what India is proud of, even today, all summed up in this beautiful quote of his:

“Uncommon thinkers reuse what common thinkers refuse”

The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from Tech Industry, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or a renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian Assange, by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.

To make it more exciting, we suggest you take advantage of the comment section if you are among the ones celebrating their birthday with today’s featured personality.

Apple Is Slowly, But Steadily, Winning India Market: Records Double-Digit Growth In Q2 2021

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Looks like the strategy to launch multiple variants of the iPhone 12 series is helping Apple to strengthen its presence in India. Apple has recently disclosed that response from emerging markets, including India, is quite encouraging.

While announcing the result of Q3 FY21, (Q2 2021) which ended on June 30 2021, Tim Cook, CEO – Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), said that Apple witnessed record growth in the June quarter revenue. The Cupertino giant posted revenue of $81.4 billion, up by 36% YoY. He emphasized that the majority of markets, especially the emerging ones like India, performed exceptionally well to attain a double-digit growth in terms of revenue.

Apple is yet to capture a sizeable share of the market in India. Be it smartphones or laptops, the company is still trying to figure out the price point that could make users fall for it in a big number.

Apple India Growth: Big Picture

  • Apple has revealed that the response received from India during the June quarter is quite encouraging. The total global revenue growth across their product and services swelled to double-digit in the third quarter of Apple’s fiscal 2021. It’s important to note that Apple’s fiscal year starts from October every year.
  • Tim Cook specifically mentioned the iPhone SE, launched a year ago, and is the entry point of Apple’s iPhone range.
  • Tim Cook hinted that, unlike iPhone 12 Mini, the company would not discontinue iPhone SE and may launch the successor of the iPhone SE without increasing the price to lure more people towards Apple’s ecosystem.
  • Without disclosing any India specific figures, Tim Cook also hinted that Apple’s growth in India is encouraging enough to work towards the direction of making Apple’s product more affordable in the world’s second-largest market by the number of device users.
  • While Apple’s revenue includes all products and services, the growth is primarily led by the iPhone which accounts for nearly half of the overall revenue every quarter.
  • Apple has shifted the production base of some of the iPhone models to India to reap the benefits of various schemes of the Indian government and to cut down import duties. It has eventually helped Apple to slash the price of iPhone models that are being manufactured in India.
  • Apple is expected to double its share in the smartphone market in India. It is estimated that the market share of iPhone would increase to 4% in 2021 from 2% in 2020.
  • In June ended quarter Apple reported $21.7 billion in net income which is nearly double – precisely 93% – than the year-ago quarter.

Food For Thought

Apple has been constantly trying to bring iPhone under the reach of as many people as possible in India. Most Apple products in India are available with nearly 20% – 40% price premium compared to the price in the US, thanks to exorbitant import duties. India is among the few countries where import duty is the highest. Quite recently, Elon Musk, CEO – Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA), expressed his displeasure about the same.

As the US and China market is heading for saturation, Apple is actively exploring strategies to deep penetrate the market, like India, which has the least penetration level but has a huge potential to grow. It would be interesting to what strategies Apple will employ in the months to come. Will it finally be ready to compromise with its profit margins to slash the price of its products in India or let it remain out of reach of a majority of the population to maintain its brand value? Finding a perfect balance in India is going to be tricky for Tim Cook and Team, for sure.

The Jaw-Dropping Disney+ Hotstar Subscription Charges Are Set To Shoot Up!

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The party for all Disney+ Hotstar users has finally come to an end. The existing jaw-dropping subscription charges of Disney+ Hotstar, which made the company acquire users at an impressive rate, are set to shoot up.

The OTT platform which currently offers two subscription plans in India is reportedly planning to adopt the price pattern similar to Netflix, albeit at a much cheaper rate.

The new Disney+ Hotstar plan starts from Rs 499, and goes as high as Rs 1,499 per year. The company, which has been taking a huge hit on its revenue book due to its below-market-standard pricing strategy, is apparently looking to do away from losses occurring from India operations by increasing the annual subscription charges for users.

Disney+ HotStar Subscription Plans: Big Picture

  • Disney+ Hotstar currently has content-type tiers for users. It charges Rs 399 annually for Indian content. The content under this plan is available in HD quality, Dolby 5.1 audio and can be streamed on a single screen.
  • The other current plan, called Disney+ Hotstar Premium, is available at annual subscription charges of Rs 1,499. It allows users to access the complete library that can be streamed in 4K quality and on two screens.
  • There is another Rs 299 monthly subscription as well which is largely being used by users only for a trial purpose.

All of the above plans are set to go away!

  • Under the new subscription plan, Disney+ Hotstar will charge Rs 499 annually from users to have access to the complete library. However, viewers would be restricted to stream the content on mobile devices, similar to the Netflix Mobile plan.
  • The new Rs 899 Super Plan will offer all the benefits of Rs 499 plan but users would be able to access content on TV. Subscribers would be able to view all content in HD quality and on 2 screens simultaneously.
  • The third plan at Rs 1,499 is identical to the current Premium plan.
  • The new subscription plans of Disney+ Hotstar don’t restrict users based on region, and all subscribers, irrespective of what plan they choose, will have access to the complete library the OTT major has.
  • Disney+ Hostar reportedly had 103.6 million paid streaming subscribers by the end of Q1 2021. The company added 8.7 million new subscribers in Q1 2021.
  • Despite adding a record number of paid subscribers the revenue of Disney fell 13% to $15.61 billion in the second quarter ended April 3, 2021. The company is yet to release the third quarter of ongoing financial year performance.

Disney+ Hotstar: Food For Thought

After the skyrocketing growth during the pandemic, the adoption rate of all the OTT platforms is slowing down. With the new subscription plan, Disney+ Hotstar is trying to meet the expectations of analysts by improving the ARPU which is way lower than Netflix and HBO. The current ARPU of Disney+ (including India’s Hotstar) is $3.99, whereas Netflix’s ARPU is hovering at $11.53.

While Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer – Disney, has kept claiming that lower ARPU is not a concern for the company, the new plans clearly indicate otherwise, especially the number of paid subscribers is comparatively much lower than its arch-rival Netflix and HBO.

India market is driven by price sensitivity. Therefore, it would be interesting to see how many existing subscribers renew their annual subscription of Disney+ Hotsar by paying more than doubled the amount.

Zomato To Give Booster Shot To Grofers Now: Eyes On A Big Chunk Of Grocery Delivery Market

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After the historic performance with IPO, Zomato is now gearing up for another milestone – to grab a sizeable share of the online grocery market in India. According to media reports, India’s first public listed startup unicorn Zomato is considering investing more funds in Grofers to help it strengthen the market presence.

In a recent interview, InfoEdge’s founder and vice chairman said that Zomato won’t mind dipping its toes in the grocery market again. InfoEdge has the largest percentage of shares in Zomato.

These developments are not surprising considering the fact that Zomato has declared its interest in re-entering the grocery delivery market.

Zomato and the Grocery Market: Big Picture

  • Zomato is expected to lead a $470 million investment round in Grofers.
  • Just last month Zomato invested $100 million in Grofers, for a stake of 9.3%, setting the latter’s value at more than $1 billion.
  • SoftBank is the largest investor in Grofers with a controlling stake of 51.9%
  • The eGrocery market in India has great potential, especially since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, as there has been a shift in consumer behavior since the same. 
  • Earlier people used to buy groceries from brick and mortar shops, now instead of being susceptible to the virus by going out in the shops, they prefer buying it online. Hence online grocery adoption has seen an uptick due to the pandemic. 
  • The online grocery delivery market in India has been largely driven by utility as 80% of those who ordered during the covid induced lockdown did so because of convenience.
  • This might be a reason why this market has grown by 60% in the year 2020 and is expected to grow 41-49% in the first half of 2021 alone. The investors are ready to cash in on this phenomenon. According to an expert, most of the marketplace investments will be made in grocery in the next 5 years.
  • India’s online grocery delivery business is estimated to be whopping $18.2 billion market by 2024.
  • Zomato once was in the eGrocery market itself. It then quit to focus on its core market, food delivery. It was beneficial as it became the first Indian unicorn to  open an IPO.
  • Zomato did not completely exit the grocery delivery market. It still provides fresh and high-quality groceries, fruits, vegetables, and spices to restaurants. This initiative is called HyperPure.
  • Because it never completely exited the market, the speculations had always been high for Zomato to re-enter eGrocery. Now the food delivery unicorn has announced the same.
  • Zomato probably wants to strengthen its network in the grocery delivery business through fresh round of strategic investment in Grofers, which is another Indian unicorn.
  • Grofers too will benefit from Zomato’s investment as many private equity investors will be attracted to it because of the latter. Grofers itself has impressive investors, with SoftBank holding 51% and Tiger Global holding 19.2% in it.

Food For Thought

Just investing in the eGrocery market does not ensure success for the Zomato-Grofers duo. It will have to face many competitors in this market now, considering Amazon and Flipkart, the eCommerce giants, are also leaving no stone unturned to grab a sizeable share of India’s online grocery delivery market, currently dominated by TATA-owned BigBasket.

On the other hand, Zomato’s competitor in the food delivery market, Swiggy, is already in e-grocery market. JioMart app is set to launch across 200 cities, while BigBasket delivers more than 300,000 orders in a day.

Looks like online grocery delivery is the next battlefield for all the delivery unicorns of India.

Installing Windows 11 OS: Don’t Fall Prey To Hackers!

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Microsoft had once said that its Windows OS line-up will end after Windows 10. But 6 years after launching Windows 10, Microsoft has announced that it is ready to roll out Windows 11, an upgrade to Windows 10.

In a dedicated event in June, Microsoft finally announced Windows 11 after multiple leaks, rumours and a full leak of a developer build. As of now, only the beta version of Windows 11 OS is available, that too only for testing.

The early adopters of technologies are eagerly waiting for Windows 11 OS, which will only be released to the public in October. Hackers, however, are already taking advantage of the excitement towards having Windows 11 OS installed. It’s been found that hackers have rolled out fake Windows 11 installers, packed with malware, worms, ransomware, etc. to eat away people’s computer software.

Windows 11: The Big Picture

  • In June event, Microsoft revealed that Windows 11 is packed with many features like visual changes, android app support, changes in the Microsoft Store, new widgets, snap groups, larger touch targets, etc.; and users are eagerly waiting for these updates.
  • Many users are already trying to upgrade to Windows 11 while it will only be available to the general public only in October. As of now, it is available only for beta testing to those developers who are a part of Windows Insider Program. 
  • To take undue advantage of users’ sentiment, cybercriminals are slipping in malwares to users who think that they are downloading Microsoft’s new OS. This was revealed in the latest report of Kaspersky on Microsoft Windows 11. 
  • In the same report Kaspersky warns the users that if they are installing the Windows 11 update from an unknown or unverified source, then it is likely that they are falling prey to a fake installer, riddled with malware. 
  • Kaspersky revealed that to fool innocent users, attackers are attaching an extra file (the malware) with the so-called Windows 11 file. They are naming the file just like the original one and are also making sure the size of the fake update matches with the real one to make it look genuine. 
  • Even the installation wizard of the executable file looks like the legitimate installation wizard of Windows. Another executable installer consists of a license agreement, when users agree to the terms and conditions, multiple malware would be installed in the device and this would later compromise its privacy and security.
  • To avoid this, the eager users will have to make sure that they are downloading the beta version of the update from Microsoft’s official source only. They should also know that the Windows 11 OS upgrade is free and will only be available for consumers in October. 
  • The users should also keep in mind that the Windows 11 OS will run on specific devices only, like the ones that have Intel Core processor of 8th Gen or newer, AMD Zen 2 or newer processor, TPM (Trusted Platform Module) 2.0, among several other technicalities. All this automatically rules out the compatibility of several devices.

Food For Thought

It is said that half information is more dangerous than no information. The users that are falling prey to cyber-attacks via fake Windows 11 updates are also falling prey to the danger of half information. They should keep in mind that as of now Microsoft has just ‘announced’ the updates and hasn’t yet ‘released’ the public version of the same. In the era of the internet, hackers and scammers are not leaving a single chance to trick people, and that calls for attentiveness and awareness about whatever you are doing on the internet.

Elon Musk Reveals The Real Reason Behind The Delay of Tesla Cars In India

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When Tesla Inc. officially formed its board in India early this year, people got excited in anticipation of soon-to-be-launch Tesla’s electric cars in India. Little did they knew that Elon Musk will have to face a unique set of challenges in the world’s fifth-largest country by the number of car sales.

When a famous Youtuber asked Elon Musk about the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) of Tesla cars in India, the latter responded that he wanted to do so, but heavy import duties in India are adversely affecting his plan of India debut. Elon Musk blamed India’s import duties on imported cars, which happen to be the highest on earth for a large country. He also expressed his unhappiness towards India’s treatment to clean energy vehicles like any other diesel or petrol cars, which is inconsistent with the climate goals.

Tesla Inc. has written to Indian ministries asking for a company-specific exemption on import duty for electric vehicles (EVs) in India. The move, however, is likely to fail as Apple made a similar appeal a few years ago but failed to attain any exemptions. The iPhone maker is now manufacturing some of its products in India to avail producer linked incentives (PLI).

Tesla Car Launch in India: Big Picture

  • Musk’s Tesla Inc has been actively lobbying for import duty exemptions in India, but haven’t availed any success so far.
  • As of now,  India has two slabs of import duty on fully imported cars; 100% for the cars with CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) value of more than USD 40,000, while 60% on those costing less than USD 40,000. This is the rate he thinks is too high for Tesla EVs, which are pro clean energy.
  • India has been following its own set of rules which are pro domestic manufacturers. Pressure from domestic manufacturers is another reason why Tesla’s EVs are not likely to receive any exemptions. 
  • To push local manufacturing, the Indian government is actively introducing various schemes like Make in India. An apparent policy shift, just for Tesla, is unlikely, according to experts.
  • The Indian government has also announced $4.6 billion incentive for companies to boost the production of electric vehicles in India.
  • The government has hinted at Apple which asked for similar exemptions but is now producing four mobile phone models through contract manufacturers Winstron in Karnataka and Foxconn in Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Musk is probably aware of this and this is the reason why he said to a Twitter user that if a temporary tariff relief is given to Tesla’s imported EVs and if it succeeds in the Indian market, only then the company might set up a factory in India.
  • Tesla Inc had registered a local company in India in January, it has also ramped up local hiring in the country.
  • Just last month Tesla kicked off the hiring process in India, posting various job roles for senior-level executives.
  • In FY’20 over 242,000 Electric vehicles were sold in India. Two-wheelers accounted for 63% of the year sales.
  • The sales of electric cars in India is yet to reach a significant number. However, it’s estimated that electric cars will account for 8% of new car sales in India by 2030, albeit much lower than the global share of 28%.
  • India is estimated to take more than a decade to attain 30% electrification in cars.

Food for Thought

No matter what, being a true visionary, Elon Musk well understand the potential of the Indian market. With India’s affinity to clean energy and its products, any investment – even if that is required to set up domestic manufacturing in India – is likely to return profits in the future; especially when the government has promised that they will make manufacturing in India more conducive than it is in China, where Tesla Inc is manufacturing its cars right now.