Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten to enter India in the next six to eight months


RakutenSeeks to tap the  Rs.62,000 crore e-commerce market
Japanese online retailer Rakuten Inc. may enter India in the next six to eight months, and is seeking a strategic alliance to tap rapid growth in the country’s Rs.62,000 crore e-commerce market, said three persons familiar with the company’s plan.

Looks like Rakuten is exploring the possibility of starting a travel and hospitality portal in India, said one of the three persons, an executive with a large consulting company.

Rakuten has various businesses such as e-retail, travel and financial services (payment solutions). Its 100% subsidiary Rakuten Travel operates an online hotel reservation website with over 1.8 million room nights booked per month. The firm has access to more than 20,000 domestic and 15,000 international hotels and has a presence in South Korea and China.

Founded by Hiroshi Mikitani in 1997, Rakuten runs a multi-category shopping portal Rakuten Global Market and host of other portals such as Rakuten Coupons and TicketStar, among others. In the face of a stagnating Japanese economy and weak consumer sentiment, the Japanese firm has been aggressively eyeing global growth markets.

On a shopping spreee, Rakuten recently acquired Cyprus-based call and messaging app provider Viber Media Ltd for $900 million from Israeli entrepreneur Talmon Marco. In the last two years, it has bought US-based e-commerce portal Buy.com for $250 million and rebranded it “Rakuten.com Shopping,” e-reading platform Kobo, Spanish video streaming service Wuaki.tv and global video streaming platform Viki.

For the past few months, teams from Rakuten have been consulting investors, companies and industry experts as it explored the Indian market.

Experts say that since Rakuten’s strength lies in its online shopping business, it would make sense for the company to eventually enter that segment. The current foreign direct investment policy does not allow foreign capital in single- or multi-brand online retailing.

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Mobile Location-Based Advertising will be worth € 10.7 billion in 2018

Mobile Location Based Advertsing

location based advertisng

According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, the total value of the global real-time mobile location-based advertising and marketing (LBA) market will grow from € 1.2 billion in 2013 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54 percent to € 10.7 billion in 2018. This will then correspond to 38.6 percent of all mobile advertising and marketing. Location-based advertising and marketing will thus represent around 7 percent of digital advertising, or 2 percent of the total global ad spend for all media.

The past year has seen a number of significant developments in the real-time mobile LBA space. One example is the concept of beacons based on Bluetooth low energy (BLE). “The concept of Bluetooth marketing has been reinvigorated following Apple’s introduction of iBeacon in 2013”, said Rickard Andersson, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. While so far remaining sparsely deployed, Berg Insight anticipates that beacon adoption will take off in 2014 as retailers launch innovative marketing schemes and leverage the possibility to analyse how customers roam and dwell in stores and aisles. “The burgeoning BLE-based beacon ecosystem is now populated by a large number of diverse players including PayPal, Qualcomm and start-ups such as Estimote, Swirl and Shopkick”, said Mr. Andersson. He adds that these companies constitute a completely new set of players competing alongside established LBA specialists like Verve, Placecast and xAd, LBS players including Intersec, Telenav and Waze, and operators such as AT&T, SFR and the UK joint venture Weve.

Download report brochure: Location-Based Advertising and Marketing

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NTT DoCoMo unload entire stake in Tata Teleservices, Exit India

NTT Docomo

NTT DoCoMo has decided to sell its around 26.5% stake in its joint venture with Tata Teleservices as agreed between the two partners, the Japanese company said Friday.

“Under the agreement, Docomo holds the right to require that its TTSL shares be acquired for 50% of the acquisition price, which amounts to Rs 7250 crore or a fair market price, whichever is higher,” said the statement.

“In the event that TTSL fails to achieve these performance targets by the end of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, DOCOMO plans to exercise the above-mentioned right in or before June 2014,” the contract between the two companies had stated.

The Japanese telco had purchased about 26.5% in Tata Teleservices in stages in 2009 and 2011 for $2.7 billion. As part of the agreement, certain performance targets were set for the Tata companyBSE -1.01 % that was on the verge of launching GSM technology services at the time.

“It is uncertain how the option will be performed, however, and DOCOMO is not able to predict how events will unfold. The effect on DOCOMO’s corporate earnings for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015 cannot be forecast at this time due to these uncertainties”, Docomo said in the statement.

The agreement between the two companies allows DoCoMo to sell the stake to Tata Sons Ltd.

Unlisted Tata Teleservices expanded into lucrative GSM-based mobile phone services after the deal with DoCoMo and amassed subscribers by offering a cheaper per-second billing plan, but it subsequently failed to build on its initial success and has lost market share in the past two years.

It currently ranks seventh in terms of subscriber numbers among the 12 firms that operate in country’s fiercely competitive telecoms market.

Analysts expect DoCoMo to report about 80 billion yen ($780 million) in related losses in the financial year ended on March 31 when it announces its earnings at 0600 GMT.

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AMD Introduces New Socketed AMD Sempron and AMD Athlon APU Products with AM1 Platform in India

AMD Athlon


Chipmaker AMD today announced India availability of its new AM1 platform featuring  quad-core and dual-core variants of the AMD APUcodenamed “Kabini” into the component channel for system builders.The AM1 platform, branded with the AMD Athlon™ and AMD Sempron™ APU brands will deliver award-winning Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture and “Jaguar” CPU cores on motherboards from the leading manufacturers. AMD Athlon™ 5150/5350 and AMD Sempron ™ 2650/3850APUs provide consumers a balanced computing experience on a socketed upgradable platform.

AMD Athlon and AMD Sempron APUs deliver a quad-core solution to consumers that includestwo SATA 6 Gbps ports, two USB 3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, PCIe 2.0 lanes for graphic card upgrades, and a trio of video outputs (DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA)starting at under $40 USD . The AMD AM1 platform provides up to 3x more compute performance than itscompetitors, as well as balanced computing with DirectX® 11.2 and Windows 8.1 support to mainstream markets .

AMD Partner Program Launch

AMD also announced the official launch of the new AMD Partner Program, aimed to strengthen and reward its global channel partners in India today. The program is based on three cornerstones: Aspire, Motivate, Design – AMD.   The AMD Partner Program provides well-defined and transparent criteria through a tiered program offering a broad range of attributes including: financial, access, marketing, referral/recognition, technical, and material benefits.Anenhanced AMD Partner Portal provides up-to-date information to partners through secure web access, with contenttailored to help channel partners grow and prosper with AMD’s broad, industry-leading technology portfolio.

The AMD Partner Program recognizes distributors, system builders, retailersand etailersas Elite, Premier, Provisional Premier, and Select partners, based on criteria outlined within the program. As channel partners ascend to a higher tier, they are eligible to receive anincreased level of benefits. The new “Hero Builder” badge is a supplemental designation awarded toinfluential and dedicated system builders that are ultra-AMD enthusiasts. Depending on thechannel partner’s tiered status, Hero Builders will receive additional program benefits, as well as exclusive early access to select AMD technology.

“Over the last year AMD introduced some ground breaking new technologies with our next-generation APUs, HSA features and our AMD Radeon™ R-Series GPUs.  But these amazing products cannot succeed without a strong and vibrant channel to deliver them,” said Roy Taylor, corporate vice president, Channel Sales, AMD.  “Under the leadership of Amy McFarland, we examined our channel program and have made significant improvements to it.  We now have a program that reflects the new AMD and which will hopefully surprise and delight all of our channel partners worldwide.”

“Association with AMD has always been important to our business and with the new partner program we see it strengthening even further.” said Mr. Bhavesh Shah, Proprietor of Niagara Info. “This enhanced program promises access to critical information, AMD’s support team and transparency that will assist us in informed decisions” he added.

For us, our customers are extremely valuable and are our biggest asset, and AMD plays a key role in adding value to that relationship. We believe that this initiative of improved structure and enhanced access to product roadmaps, training tools and support, will help us grow our business and maximize profitability. We are absolutely thrilled to have deepened our ties with AMD”, said Mr. MadhuSudhan Reddy, MD, General Computer Hyderabad.

When partners register as part of the new AMD Partner Program, they receive access to a secure AMD Partner Portal. The Portal offers sales tools, marketing assets, product training, video spotlights, top reviews and news, resources such as the latest drivers, and more.  All of these resources are designed to help channel partners grow their AMD business.

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nexGTv bags Pepsi IPL’s live streaming mobile rights second time in a row


NexGTVnexGTv, India’s premier mobile TV service has bagged the official mobile live streaming rights of Pepsi IPL 2014 season. Now the users of the mobile TV app will be able to enjoy all the Pepsi IPL action on their handsets. DigiVive has partnered for content with Times Internet, the digital arm of the Times of India Group. Apart from all the matches, the users will also be able to watch match repeats and highlights as all this will be available in the Video-on-Demand section. Pepsi IPL channel will be clubbed into existing subscription packs of nexGTv and hence users can simply subscribe to these packs.

nexGTv mobile TV service is very popular among the users with 17 million  downloads. On an average there are 30000 downloads each day. At present, nexGTv users have access to range of over 150 channels with plethora of features like – replay TV, EPG guide, on screen controls, option of deleting and listing the channels as per their choice and much more. The service was a hit among the people even during the previous Pepsi IPL season as it attracted huge traction during that time.

G.D. Singh, Director, DigiVive said, “We are contended to offer the live streaming of all the matches of Pepsi IPL 2014 to our users second time in a row. Cricket is a religion in India and there are a lot of emotions involved with the sport. This is our one step towards our commitment of offering the best-in-class content. We have witnessed immense success during the last Pepsi IPL seasons too and are very bullish this time again.”

On the tie-up with Times Internet, Harshavardhan T, Business Head – IPL, said, “Pepsi IPL is a huge sporting extravaganza and has huge viewership. The viewership is increasing on various forms and on various platforms. We are really excited that we have tied up with nexGTv. This partnership will enable an even larger reach for this cricketing tournament.”

nexGTv is one-of-its-kind service and various features like replay TV, adaptive streaming, best-in-class user interface and 24×7 customer care support call center makes it very unique from other prevailing mobile TV services in India. It offers channels ranging from national to regional in the category of entertainment, movies, news, and much more. Also, it offers best of content with top channels such as Sony bouquet, India Cast, Aaj Tak, Asianet, Raj Channels etc. One of its unique features is adaptive streaming which enables seamless live streaming even on 2G network.

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MBA graduates eye e-commerce jobs in India


In a stamp of approval for the fast-growing startup ecosystem in the country, one-fourth of MBA students from across India’s top-tier business schools, including the IIMs, said they would prefer working for the fledgling e-commerce sector, pipping traditional favourites like consulting and financial services jobs.

The sector, which has been flush with funds on the back of growing adoption of online shopping, is now the second most preferred job avenue for B-school graduates after the FMCG industry.

Continuing with its rapid acceptance among management graduates, e-commerce has dethroned management consultancy from the second spot for the first time this year even as sectors such as manufacturing, software and IT services fell out of the top 10 league, said findings from a survey conducted by global market research firm Nielsen and shared exclusively with TOI.

Investment banking, a much coveted sector for MBA graduates in the pre-economic crisis days, is now at a lowly 10th spot, having lost its sheen internationally and in India among MBAs. Investment banks with fat bonuses on offer were a big draw before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

What is significant though is that despite economic uncertainty still looming large, the trend of young MBA graduates looking to board the startup bandwagon has only gone up over the past couple of years in India.

Nielsen India’s Campus recruiter Index, an annual survey mapping preferred career choices of 1,600 MBA students from the top 35 management institutions, ranked Hindustan Unilever on top of the list of recruiters followed by Procter & Gamble and Google.

E-commerce companies made a total of 81 offers constituting about 28% of the overall technology offers at ISB, where leading the pack were Amazon, Flipkart, InMobi and Myntra.com. The year witnessed a 50% increase in the number of startups participating in the placements process, Menon said. Many new startups like Silicon Valley venture capital fund Sequoia Capital-backed BankBazaar.com and Zomato came to ISB for the first time.

At IIM-Calcutta, the world’s largest online retailer Amazon made the highest number of offers on campus at 16 for leadership and operations roles.

“Two years back, students graduating from top B-schools like the IIMs would ask if there was job security in e-commerce. They wanted jobs in consulting and I-banks. But things have changed quite dramatically as these youngsters realize jobs in startups offer a larger canvas for them to make an impact,” said Kunal Bahl, co-founder, Snapdeal, which is backed by eBay and other top VC funds. Bahl, a Wharton graduate, said Snapdeal hired around 25 MBA graduates from different IIMs this year.

Sankarshan Basu, chairperson, career development services at IIM Bangalore, said consulting and finance occupied the top spots with close to half of the graduating batch joining them while FMCG, e-commerce and technology companies hired the remaining 50%. XLRI’s placement chairman Rajiv Mishra said FMCG had maintained its pole position at the B-school this year.

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Exclusive Interview : Sahil Chalana , Founder of Coupon Aggregation portal Zoutons.com

Sahil Chalana

Sahil ChalanaWe spoke to Sahil Chalana, one of the Founders of Zoutons.com, an online Coupon Aggregation and deal Discovery portal. Sahil, a BITS Pilani Alumnus, is also the CEO of 3.14 Digital , a digital performance marketing firm founded by him in 2010. 3.14 Digital has a large client base including, Educomp Raffles, NIIT Imperia, Foodpanda India etc.

Q: So What is Zoutons.com all about and What is the Business Model?

Zoutons.com is an online Coupons and Deal Discovery Platform featuring coupons from more than 300 ecommerce portals including top stores like Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra, and Snapdeal etc

The Business Model is simple, we direct traffic onto the shopping portal websites where users apply the coupons they have discovered on our website. This way we generate transactions for these stores and pay us an affiliate commission for every transaction, which varies from 5-20% of the sale.

zoutonsApart from this, we are the only Couponing Portal to Feature Exclusive Bank Coupons. So if you are searching for HDFC Bank Coupons or the Citibank Card offers, we have the most updated list of card offers.

We also offer brand wise coupons which further reduces the effort of users in finding appropriately matched coupons to their shopping needs.

The portal is ergonomically designed for startup stores, providing them a genuine platform to enhance their consumer reach through coupons.

Q: Why Zoutons.com and how did it all start?

I am also the founder 3.14 Digital, a 30 people strong Digital Performance Marketing company having specializations in Lead Generation and Cost per Acquisition (CPA) models for Education, BFSI & ecommerce verticals.

At a point in the beginning of 2013, when our ecommerce revenue was really picking, Nishit, who is the other founder, came up with the idea of getting into a coupon Aggregation Platform for e-retailers.

Since internally many of us were Discount and Bargain Hunters, launching Zoutons was also in a way gratification for us as well as a step to diversify as a company. We launched Zoutons in July 2013.

Q: How do you differentiate yourself from other couponing Portals?

We try to differentiate ourselves from our competitors in several ways.
First, we put of a lot of Focus on the coupon & deal Quality. At the end of the day, it’s all about giving your users the best experience which in our case the best coupons which they could use.
Second, we are the only site to focus on coupons and offers by Banks and brands. When the user goes to an e-commerce site, he might easily miss the fact that his bank is offering him a discount. On Zoutons, you can look for bank wise Coupons and not miss any.
Real Time coupon Syndication & feeds – We also do some real time coupon syndication. Lot of couponing websites do this manually. We are trying to automate this. Also, since 30% of traffic of ours is already mobile, there is a greater focus we are putting on getting the mobile piece right.

Q: What is your Current Team size and growth Plans?

The zoutons.com team consists of 6 people, ably assisted by the Affiliate team from 3.14 Digital. Most of the time is spent on training people on how to deliver the best of Coupon and Deals to our Users.

Right now we offer deals, discounts and coupons on around 300 Stores, 50 banks and 450 Brands. We have an aim to touch 700 Stores and 1500 brands by end March 2014. From a user point of we just crossed 100,000 users in December this year. We would like to touch a million users served by February.

Q: Tell us about your Technology Platform and upcoming features?

The Coupon Aggregation Platform is built on Open source LAMP. The Technology is in-house though the initial Design was outsourced.

From a Features point of view, our biggest priority is going Mobile. We are currently in the process of coming with an Android app and a much faster version of the current Mobile Website.

We are also building real time Coupon Syndication Engine that would add and update coupons just when they are created an ecommerce stores so that there is manual Lag. In future, we would like to have more personalization feature that shows coupons according to users’ past buying experience.

Q: Have you raised any Funding? What is it that you are looking for from the next round?

We have internally incubated Zoutons and have put in cash of around Rs 20 Lacs.  We are using that fund to build our technology and team.

The Angel round is enough to sustain us till March. Once we have crossed a milestone of serving a million visitors, we would like approach investors with the possibility of a next round.

Q: Who are the Founders and their background?

Zoutons.com was founded by me and Nishit Kumar. I am also the founder of 3.14 Digital, a top affiliate Marketing company and had graduated from BITS Pilani in 2010.


Nishit Kumar who is the other founder of Zoutons and is currently leading the team, joined 3.14 Digital as an Associate in early 2013. He graduated from Lovely Professional University in 2012.

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The development of Lithium-ion batteries


The Lithium-ion battery is being used increasingly in portable devices and finding the right one to suit your needs can noticeably improve your user experience. There are many specialized online shops that boast impressive ranges. Leading online suppliers such as RS Components and Premier Farnell, for example, have a wide range of batteries available online, including Lithium-ion ones, which offer several advantages compared to standard battery types.

Benefits of Li-ion batteries

The use of Lithium-ion batteries has been boosted recently due to their adaptability for mobile phones and laptops. They have a higher energy density and lower weight than the nickel-based alternatives, making them ideal for portable devices. Approximately five billion Li-ion batteries were sold worldwide last year.

Possible drawbacks

Despite the huge benefits of Li-ion batteries, their uses have been somewhat confined to small items such as laptops and mobile phones. Their suitability for electric cars is a matter of debate as such vehicles need a battery of 500 watt-hours per kilogram. The current batteries on the market only provide about 150 watt-hours, compared to petrol’s 12,000. Consequently, much more development is needed if the Li-ion battery is to be suitable for motor cars.


Development of the Li-ion is ongoing and some companies are adapting it by using non-flammable materials. Meanwhile, improvements are being made to the performance of the battery by getting more energy stored in the same available space and also making the battery capable of holding its charge for longer periods of time.

Further developments in lithium will see batteries getting even smaller, some as small as grains of sand, while greater use will be made of solar power, which will increase the number of ways the batteries can be recharged.

There is also work going into extending the life of the batteries. Their performance declines a couple of years into their life, but new technology in wireless recharging could extend this considerably.

The future

Some believe that lithium technology is already showing signs of age. While the aforementioned advances will ensure lithium will remain dominant for a while, long term, there cannot be a reliance on it if we want improved performance from our gadgets and vehicles.

Maybe, as some researchers claim, there will be increases in the sources of energy used to power devices and there will be no need for batteries at all? Ambient backscatter is already used to power devices and its further development could make batteries obsolete. This is doubtful as it is likely only to be available for the smallest of devices and laptops, with electric cars having to rely on batteries for a long time to come.

Assuming that batteries will continue to be used, magnesium ion may replace lithium in the future because magnesium is more abundant and therefore cheaper. Lithium air is another possibility, differing from Li-ion as it allows much greater “charge storage”. Neither of these alternatives is the finished article but their development may be viewed more closely in the coming years.




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eBay India collaborates with PAYBACK; Consumers can now redeem their PAYBACK points on eBay India

eBay and Payback

eBay and PaybackeBay India , India’s leading eCommerce marketplace announced its collaboration with PAYBACK for the PAYBACK Loyalty Program, which enables consumers to redeem their PAYBACK points on eBay India. eBay India and PAYBACK consumers will benefit by using the accumulated points to make purchases on a wide variety of products available on eBay India. Consumers may also club an eBay India offer with the PAYBACK points to enjoy better deals for purchases made on eBay India.

Commenting on the collaboration, Ms. Shivani Dhanda – Head Marketing, eBay India, said, “At eBay India, we are committed to grow the eCommerce market in India and  continuously look at opportunities to evoke online shopping trial and also engage existing consumers. Our collaboration with PAYBACK is a head start in creating loyalty in the online shopping space.”

She further added, “Our main objective is to encourage more Indians to enjoy the many benefits of online shopping. This collaboration provides an easy avenue for customers to redeem their accumulated points from a wide selection of 1.5 million products across 2,000 categories at their convenience”.

To redeem PAYBACK points on eBay India, consumers are required to link their eBay India account to their PAYBACK account. Each PAYBACK point is equivalent to twenty five paise.

eBay India (www.ebay.in) is India’s leading online shopping destination with the widest range of great deals on over 1.5 million products across gadgets, lifestyle, collectibles & media categories. eBay India has 2.1 million active users from 4,306 Indian cities, towns and rural areas.

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How to buy gifts without having to worry about it


There are numerous occasions when one wants to give a gift to friends or relatives but   money is limited. This feeling generally is a setback for youths who are into a relationship and are not able to buy the gift of their choice for their beloved as they are too expensive.

There are numerous occasions when we want to express our love and affection to the special someone in our life. But, pocket money is limited and gift items that may add value to a relationship are many. Managing both the things together gets somewhat difficult and most of youngsters end up with no money in pockets to manage monthly expenses. However, money crunch cannot stop them to go shopping for gifts.

Shopping itself is a task that takes your valuable time and energy. There are several products like clothes, jewellery, footwear, jackets and accessories that tempt us to buy. However, it causes much inconvenience to look for things you need to buy from one shop to another. Above all, it is quite dissappointing when we do not get the things that we desire.

But, Gen-next need not worry. The way and means of shopping has changed. The online multi-brands stores have come as a solution to all the worries of young guns who are leaving behind the traditional way of shopping. They are buying things the way they want. Single platform or shop, gift coupons, vouchers, credit and debit card, monthly instalment facility from banks have brought back the joy of gifting. Registering for price alerts along with discount gift coupons can save a lot of money for those who buy gifts frequently. Each time you buy something, it increases your chance to get gift coupons of higher value.

The sudden spurt of online shops selling all kinds of brands at a single platform has changed the meaning of shopping altogether. It has given option to compare and buy the best in the market. Replacing brick and mortar shops, online shops are turning out to be saviour for shopping freak people who often get amazed by the products. The added advantage of redeeming gift coupons is an added advantage with online shopping.

Today, all big retailers have online shopping stores selling a range of products virtually. Be it anything all kinds of products are available on the virtual world where you can compare prices and get the best deal with a single click. Online shopping has come as a respite for people who do not wish to step out of their homes for anything they need. One can shop anytime and from anywhere. After all, it saves money, time and energy in today’s fast paced life.

Started in the year 2007, Myntra is one of the biggest shopping portals for all the online shoppers. Grab the best discounts and offers from the new collection available, or you can also get additional discount on the products using Myntra’s discount coupons. The wide range of products lets you simply choose the best one that suits your style. Be a trendsetter and walk in style with the latest in the fashion trends with 100% original products from over 500+ brands to shop from. The online shop store offers to its customers a hassle free shopping experience with the widest range of products and brands.

Online shops are win-win situation for both customers and shop owners as it is pocket friendly for customers and shopkeepers too need put heavy investment in market to purchase or take a shop on rent. Virtual world has lot to offer. So, don’t wait and feel the experience.

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