Leader

IT in Jan Feb Mar 2018

General

  • January 3, 2018 announcement of security bugs (“Meltdown” and “Spectre”) in processor chips causes havoc in tech industry.
  • Cape Town in South Africa runs out of water in February 2018; many cities including Bangalore likely to follow suit in the next decade.
  • Punjab National Bank scam hogs the limelight much of February 2018 in Indian media.
  • Facebook loses $ 35 Billion of market value in a day on March 18, 2018; its founder Mark Zuckerberg issues full page apology in leading newspapers in USA.

Technology

  • ISRO successfully launches 31 satellites on January 12; unfortunately, its communication satellite launched on March 31, 2018 is still “out of reach”.
  • India hosts global solar technology alliance for the first time in Delhi on March 11, 2018 with over 150+ countries represented in the event.
  • P&W engine trouble leads to hundreds of flight cancellations in India by IndiGo and other Airlines in March 2018.

Products

  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 and OnePlus 5T mobile phones launched in the first quarter of 2018 in India.
  • The world saw multiple product launches including NOKIA 8 and Samsung Galaxy 9 during Mobile World Congress(February 26 to March 1, 2018); Samsung launches Galaxy 9 in India on March 6, 2018.
  • Western Digital announces 14 TB disk drive availability by July 2018 on March 13, 2018.
  • Apple launches new products focused on schools including $ 299 iPad in March 2018.

Markets

  • Indian stock markets in a roller coaster; NSE’s NIFTY crossed 10,700 for the first time on January 15, 2018; BSE’s Sensex crosses 35,000 for the first time on January 17, 2018, but there was a crash soon after; Sensex tanks 840 points on February 2, 2018 a day after the Union Budget; the up and down journey continued for the full quarter; global stock markets were no different.
  • HDFC Bank market value crosses ₹ 5 Trillion in January 2018.
  • 70-year old iconic store chain “ToysRUs” becomes history in March 2018 with 800+ outlets shutting down.
  • In mergers & acquisitions in the quarter saw the iconic Xerox getting acquired by Fuji on January 31, 2018 after 115 years of existence; in January 2018 BirlaSoft and KPIT merge; Quess Corporation acquires online recruitment company Monster; InMobi acquires Los Angeles based AerServ for $ 90 Million; in March 2018,QuestGlobal  acquires Exilant and Wipro acquires 30% stake in US-based Cybersecurity firm Denim group.
  • IPO scene in the quarter saw successful IPO by NewGenSoftware (subscribed more than 8 times)in January  2018, Bandhan Bank(subscribed more than 14 times) in March 18,2018 and weak show by ICICI Securities and Hindustan Aeronautics in March 2018.

Indian IT Companies

  • Salil Parekh takes over as Infosys CEO on January 2, 2018.
  • TCS bags multi-year $ 2 Billion Transamerica order – the largest ever for TCS; TCS market cap crosses ₹ 6 Trillion on January 25, 2018.
  • Ola goes to Australia in January 2018.
  • Wipro acquires 30% stake in US-based Cybersecurity firm Denim group and sells Data center business to Ensano for $ 405 Million; invests in US-based AI start-up Avamo; starts operations in Piano, Texas in USA all in the first quarter 2018.
  • Infosys starts 4th Development Center in USA in Indianapolis in March 2018.
  • Indian mid-size IT services firm Zensar acquires US-based AI Startup Cynosure for $ 33 Million on March 23, 2018.
  • Tejas Networks gets ₹ 336 Cr BharatNet order from BSNL on March 28, 2018.

MNC Companies in India

  • Google fined by Competition Commission of India in February 2018 for unfair advertisement placement in search queries.
  • Amazon pumps more money into Amazon Pay in India in March 2018.
  • Wistron to invest ₹ 680 Cr in Bangalore Factory.
  • Informatica announces its plans to hire 350 in Bangalore.

People

  • Dr. Sivan takes over as ISRO Chairman on January 10, 2018.
  • High-profile visitors to India in the quarter include Israel Prime Minister in January 2018, IBM global CEO, Uber CEO, Iranian President and Canadian President in February 2018 and French President in March 2018.
  • IIT Bombay Alumnus Parag Agarwal becomes Twitter CTO in March 2018.
  • Chinese PremierXiset to rule China for life as per Parliament decision of March 10, 2018.
  • Renowned Scientist Stephen Hawking passed away on March 14, 2018.

Interesting start-up activities

  • InMobi buys AerServ for ₹ 58 Cr on January 10, 2018.
  • Pune-based Travel Assistant App Mezi acquired by American Express on January 30, 2018.
  • EduTech start-up Byju’s started by Byju Raveendranturn Unicorn in March 2018.

Education & Research

  • Computer Architecture pioneers Professors John L Hennessy and David A Patterson get Turing Award for 2018.
  • UGC announces graded autonomy; 60 Universities get autonomy in the first.
  • With President giving assent to the IIM Bill, the Institutes get powers to award degrees on January 1, 2018; IIMB takes the lead in conferring MBA on March 28, 2018.
  • Korea University in Sri City – a new generation Liberal Arts university – with Mr R.Seshasayee(ex CII President and Ashok Leyland Chairman) as Chairman to start functioning from 2019.

Interesting Applications

  • WhatsApp payment beta starts in February 2018 with one million customers in India.

Interesting mobile apps

  • With Congress accusing Narendra Modi App of stealing data and BJP accusing Congress App of doing the same and Congress deciding to withdraw the App later, mobile Apps hog limelight

Interesting numbers

  • Indians sent 20 Billion WhatsApp messages (globally 75 Billion) on New Year day 2018
  • Apple sold more watches (8 Million in October to December 2017) than the entire Swiss watch industry!
  • India’s mobile phone subscribers and wire line subscribers as of January 31, 2018 stood at 1152 Million and 24 Million as per TRAI Press Release 35/2018 release of March 23, 2018
  • India’s foreign exchange reserves March 31, 2018 stood at $ 424 Billion (a record) (RBI)
  • Indian Rupee Vs USD was at 65.07 on March 31, 2018 (RBI)

About the Aurthor: Professor Sowmyanarayanan Sadagopan is the Director of IIIT-Bangalore. These are his personal views. He can be reached at ss@iiitb.ac.in.

About the author

Ravikiran Annaswamy

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