Vishal Sikka Seeks Inspiration From Steve Jobs in His Resignation Letter

 

Infosys CEO and MD Vishal Sikka in his resignation letter has quoted the famous Stanford speech of Steve Jobs as he seeks inspiration to move beyond Infosys. Sikka in his resignation letter said, “I have decided to leave because the distractions, the very public noise around us, have created an untenable atmosphere.”

Co-founder Narayana Murthy, reportedly in an email, had claimed that he had been told by independent directors that Vishal Sikka was more suited as a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) than as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). While this claim is yet to be confirmed, Sikka wrote, “Life is too short to engage in battles of opinions in the public, these add no value, take critical time and focus away from the business, and indeed add more to the noise, to the eardrum buzz…”

Going forward, Sikka—the present Executive Vice Chairman on the Board– wants “to return to an environment of respect, trust and empowerment, where I can take on new lofty challenges…” Seeking inspiration to go ahead his plan, Sikka in his four page resignation letter falls back to the immensely popular Steve Jobs speech: “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

Sikka said, “As Steve Jobs said, I must follow my heart and my intuition, build my buildings, give my givings, and do something else.”

Hinting on what’s next for him, he shared, “Over the next weeks and months, I look forward to working with the Board and management to create a smooth transition, and simultaneously staring into the great unknown, and to doing something great, something purposeful, for the times ahead. And also to spend some time with my loved ones. I’ve been away from home far too often and far too long.”

WATCH VIDEO: Time limited, don’t waste it: Jobs at Stanford

[Source”cnbc”]

OMG launches second Laser-Tag gaming centre in Gurgaon

“A one of a kind laser tag centre in the city, OMG will provide a square for all the action-lovers and casual gamers alike to meet, play and compete”, shares Sahil and Aakritti.

After receiving an enormously overwhelming response for the previous venture, OMG has upped the ante with the advanced physical live activities that are well-set to captivate the action maniacs and offer a hypnotic gaming experience in the monster arena. The action-packed effects and live play makes for an ultimate experience for thrill-seekers.

OMG features some seriously impressive technology, as it takes the gaming affair sincerely, the games say it!

The dimly lit arena takes you to another universe where you will be always under attack so you better stay on your toes. Get set to venture into the evolution of combat gaming experience from plastic toy guns to paintball to harmless laser guns. Bubble Football is the fun recreation of the original football game which entraps you into a zorb like bubble covering your upper body and head. You have got to possess The Flash’s swiftness and Mr. Fantastic’s machinations to outcraft your opponents. OMG has set a benchmark for the gamers with intricate and mind-boggling maze that will set the difficulty level a few notches higher.

The Gamers’ Paradise has introduced a range of other intriguing activities that will leave you tumbling and falling in laughter – these which will be big with casual gamers and families.

[Source”timesofindia”]

Apple’s next big moneymaker is its biggest headache in China

Apple CEO Tim Cook attends the China Development Forum in Beijing, China, March 18, 2017.

For Apple, this summer is closing with good news and bad news.

On the one hand, its financials suggest that as iPhone sales plateau globally, it can count on software to spur growth. Revenue in Apple’s “Services” category—which includes sales in the App Store, as well as Apple Music subscriptions and other media—hit $7.27 billion for the three month-period ending July 1, making it the company’s second-largest business unit.

On the other hand, that growth is increasingly threatened in China, where Apple’s software ambitions face tough challenges as Beijing continues its efforts to wean the country off foreign technology.

The most recent incident came this week when Beijing-based law firm Dare & Sure announced it had filed a complaint (link in Chinese) to China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which oversees antitrust issues, and the State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC), alleging that Apple has been engaging in monopolistic behavior. Representing a group of 28 developers, the firm argues that Apple deletes apps without sufficient explanation, and that its standard 30% take on in-app purchases is unfair. In April, when the firm first announced it was looking for Chinese developers (link in Chinese) to potentially represent, it wrote:

“Some of Apple’s behavior when operating the App Store, when coupled with its absolute advantageous market position, will or already has produced a negative impact on market competition. If Apple cannot explain the reasoning behind this behavior, or cannot prove that this sort of behavior creates benefits in the market that make up for its negative impact, this sort of behavior ought to be subject to China’s anti-monopoly regulations.”

In response to the complaint, Apple said in a statement sent to Quartzthat the App Store “has published guidelines that apply equally to all developers in every country,” and added that it holds “workshops in China throughout the year” to help Chinese developers. It did not address the lawsuit directly.

The SAIC did not reply immediately to Quartz’s request for comment. The NDRC couldn’t be reached for comment.

It’s not clear if the complaint will turn into a case. It’s also not the first of its kind—in 2012, a group of iPhone owners filed a suit against Apple arguing that its 30% take from the App Store was anti-competitive, and the case has yet to close. But the suit marks one of several instances where Apple’s software business has come under pressure in China.

In late July, Apple removed dozens of VPN apps from China’s App Store due to government demands. While not a wholesale removal, the ban nevertheless follows the government’s wider crackdown on software that circumvents the so-called Great Firewall, which blocks access to websites like Google and Facebook.

In May, Chinese tech giant Tencent removed a button in its chat app WeChat that had allowed users to donate small sums of money to bloggers and media personalities. Apple argued that the button was in violation of its policy of taking 30% of from in-app purchases. It also came not long after WeChat launched an app store of its own, which, if it becomes successful, could compete against Apple’s.

Before those incidents, the government targeted other software offerings from Apple. In January it forced Apple to remove the New York Times app from the Chinese App Store. Last year, the government forced Apple to shut down its Chinese iBooks and iTunes movie stores.

Apple needs Service revenue from China just as much as from everywhere else, if not more. For its most recent earnings (and for the third quarter in a row), the Greater China region (which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong) remained the only part of the world where total revenues, which come overwhelmingly from iPhone sales, did not grow annually.

Apple has taken additional steps lately that might help smooth the course in China. Recently it announced it would open a data center in China, in swift compliance with the recently-implemented Cybersecurity Law. It also created a head of Greater China position, and appointed native Chinese-speaker and longtime Apple executive Isabel Ge Mahe to take on the role. As long as these incidents continue at the same pace, she’ll have her hands full.

 [Source”cnbc”]

SoftBank invests at least $2.5 bn in Flipkart; biggest ever investment in Indian internet space

Flipkart said the SoftBank investment, which is the biggest-ever private investment in an Indian technology company, will make the Vision Fund one of the largest shareholders in the online retailer. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

India’s largest Internet firm Flipkart Ltd has raised at least $2.5 billion from SoftBank Vision Fund, scaling up its firepower in the fight with arch rival Amazon India for dominance over India’s e-commerce market.

The latest round of funding takes Flipkart’s cash reserves to more than $4 billion. Flipkart didn’t disclose the amount, but said that the SoftBank investment comprises a mix of primary (investment in the company) and secondary capital (purchase of shares from existing shareholders).

SoftBank invested at least $2.5 billion in Flipkart, three people familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity. Mint and other publications had reported for months that SoftBank would invest more than $1.5 billion in Flipkart by putting in fresh capital and buying shares from Tiger Global Management, Flipkart’s largest shareholder.

Flipkart has now raised more than $6 billion in cash since starting out in 2007, by far the highest by any Indian start-up and among the highest by any start-up globally. Flipkartraised $1.4 billion from Tencent Holdings Ltd, eBay Inc. and Microsoft Corp. in April.

The SoftBank investment comes after Flipkart’s proposed takeover of Snapdeal, the Japanese investor’s portfolio company, collapsed last week.

“This is a monumental deal for Flipkart and India. Very few economies globally attract such overwhelming interest from top-tier investors. It is recognition of India’s unparalleled potential to become a leader in technology and e-commerce on a massive scale. SoftBank’s proven track record of partnering with transformative technology leaders has earned it the reputation of being a visionary investor,” Flipkart co-founders Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal said in a joint statement.

The investment will likely make SoftBank the largest investor in Flipkart and reduce the influence of Tiger Global, whose representative Kalyan Krishnamurthy is Flipkart’s CEO.

In the space of four months, SoftBank has struck two deals that have changed the dynamics of India’s Internet business and made the Japanese investor the most powerful and influential entity in the start-up ecosystem. In May, SoftBank, which is also the largest shareholder in cab hailing firm Ola, invested $1.4 billion in digital payments firm Paytm.

Already, some analysts and investors are saying that SoftBank may orchestrate a mega-merger between Paytm and Flipkart at some point in the future.

The SoftBank investment in Flipkart is part of the company’s latest financing round;

“We want to support innovative companies that are clear winners in India because they are best positioned to leverage technology and help people lead better lives. As the pioneers in Indian e-commerce, Flipkart is doing that every day,” said Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp.

While expectations around the size of India’s e-commerce have significantly diminished from the heady estimates of 2015, it is still considered the last big e-commerce market left. Flipkart is the only local start-up that is seen as serious competition to Amazon India over the long term.

With its financing round in April and the latest SoftBank investment, Flipkart has settled the debate over its ability to take on Amazon. Its prospects have also lifted over the past nine months as it has seen a resurgence in sales

SDource:-livemint

Aurobindo Pharma, Intas in race to buy Mallinckrodt’s US generic business

Aurobindo Pharma and Intas are in the race to buy UK-based Mallinckrodt’s generic drugs business in the US valued at USD 2 billion, this will be the biggest ever overseas acquisition for any Indian drug maker.

Aurobindo Pharma and Intas are in the race to buy UK-based Mallinckrodt’s generic drugs business in the US, sources said. The deal valued at USD 2 billion, will be the biggest ever overseas acquisition for any Indian drug maker.

Sources said the deal is currently in its preliminary stages. The companies have submitted an initial bid for the Mallinckrodt’s generic business, which has been up for sale for last couple of months.

Mallinckrodt’s generics business has sales of around USD 1 billion.

Mallinckrodt has world’s most diverse line of bulk medicinal controlled substances, which has generated interest from these companies. The margins in the segment are quite high with less competition in comparison to the plain generic drugs.

In reply to query sent by CNBC-TV18, Mallinckrodt said it does not comment on market speculation.

Mallinckrodt generic business fits well with the Aurobindo Pharma’s, which is a leading manufacturer of API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient).

Privately held Intas Pharma is backed by Temasek and ChrysCapital. Some strategic and global private equity players are also in the race to acquire Mallinckrodt’s generics business.

Mallinckrodt’s business Includes Fentanyl, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone, Morphine, Codeine-based drugs.

Aurobindo Pharma and Intas did not respond to queries sent by CNBC-TV18.

[Source”indianexpress”]

Bitcoin splits in 2

BitcoinReuters/Lucas Jackson

Bitcoin power brokers were unable to come behind a single solution that would have preserved a unified cryptocurrency by Tuesday morning’s deadline.As such, the digital currency has split in two: bitcoin and bitcoin cash.

“There seems to be some technical issues that might be slowing it down, but yes, the fork has happened,” Peter Borovykh of Blockchain Global, a blockchain technology company, told Business Insider.

“Bitcoin cash is here.”

Eric Voorhees, CEO of ShapeShift, a digital trading company, took toTwitter at around 9:30 a.m. ET to announce the fork this morning.

“Fork has happened,” he wrote.”Now awaiting first block from bitcoin cash. Regardless of opinions, this is very exciting/fascinating day in cryptoland.”

Supporters of the newly formed bitcoin cash (BCC) believe the currency will ” breath new life into” the nearly ten-year-old bitcoin by addressing some of the issues that have underpinned the bitcoin (BTC) as of late, such as slow transaction speeds.

To recap, bitcoin power brokers have been squabbling over the rules that should guide the cryptocurrency’s blockchain network.

On one side of this civil war, there are the so-called core-developers who are in favor of smaller bitcoin blocks, which make up the network, to protect it against hacks. On the other side, are the miners who want to increase the size of blocks to make the network faster and more scalable.

Until last week, the solution known as Segwit2x, which would increase the size of bitcoin blocks to two megabytes, was slated to become the standard.

Then, bitcoin cash came along. The solution is a fork of the bitcoin system: it’s a new software that has all the history of the old platform but bitcoin cash blocks will be eight megabytes.

Bitcoin cash came out of left field, according to Charlie Morris, the chief investment officer of NextBlock Global, an investment firm with digital assets.

“A group of miners who didn’t like SegWit2x are opting for this new software that will increase the size of blocks from the current one megabyte to eight,” Morris told Business Insider.

Only a minority of bitcoin miners, the folks who unlock bitcoin from bitcoin blocks, support the new currency. Furthermore, a number of exchanges have said they won’t back bitcoin cash.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be a dud or that it couldn’t potentially usurp the original bitcoin. Miners might rally behind bitcoin cash if it turns out to be the better digital currency.

“Bitcoin cash has a chance to become the dominant cryptocurrency contingent upon its ability to gain trust and support from both current and new players as well as security of its network,” Borovykh said.”Due to, at least temporary, solution of the scalability issues, bitcoin cash could attract more new capital to the entire crypto space, thus helping increase overall market cap.”

Arthur Hayes, CEO of BitMex, a bitcoin derivative exchange, told Business Insider he thinks a fork will benefit the cryptocurrency in the long run, despite short term volatility and confusion.

“There are people with billions of dollars of skin in the game and they will ultimately go with the superior bitcoin network and the market will follow,” Hayes said.

[Source”pcworld”]

Macau gaming revenue beats expectations in July

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Macau gaming revenue rose at the fastest pace for the year to date in July, reflecting a sustained comeback for the territory’s casinos. Macau casino revenue rose 29.2 per cent year on year last month, up from June’s 25.9 per cent pace and marking the highest growth rate of 2017 to date. The rise also beat a median forecast of 26 per cent growth from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. China’s gambling hub reported July revenue from games of fortune at 23bn patacas ($2.86bn), up 14.9 per cent from last month’s 19.99 bn patacas ($2.49bn), according to the latest figures from Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau. Shares in Macau casino operators were mixed after the release of the July revenue figures. Galaxy Entertainment shares were down 0.9 per cent, while Sands China shed 0.4 per cent and MGM China was up 0.9 per cent.

[Source”indianexpress”]

 

Apple Is Looking for More Tax Breaks in India

Story image for Apple from Fortune

Apple (AAPL, +0.30%) has asked the Indian government to extend tax breaksto its suppliers if India seeks to become a manufacturing hub for iPhones and its components.

Government officials say meeting this request would require a new policy that applies fairly to other device makers, too.

The U.S. tech giant has been in talks with Indian officials since May of last year, when CEO Tim Cook and Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to set up a production base in the country that goes beyond just assembling the devices, as happens today.

The two sides have been discussing a list of “prerequisites” that Apple submitted in October, including duty exemption on raw materials for manufacturing components and capital equipment for 15 years for it to make iPhones from scratch in India.

The company has told the government it would be bringing in a host of these ancillary units when it sets up operations to cater to India, one of the world’s fastest growing smartphone markets, a top government official said.

Related: Here’s What Apple’s iPhone 8 Could Offer According to a New Leak

“They want the same treatment to be given to the component manufacturers; the tax concessions, they want everything. But then some kind of policy will have to be evolved,” the official said.

Apple declined to comment.

The demand could further delay Apple’s plans to penetrate the Indian market, the world’s third largest for smartphones behind the United States and China, but where it has only a 2% share.

The company is looking to India after sales in the Greater China region, once a major growth driver, slid 14% year-on-year to $10.7 billion in the three months ended April 1.

In May, Apple, working with Taiwanese contract manufacturer Winstron, began assembling the iPhone SE in Bengaluru.

The plan that Modi and Cook ordered the two sides to work on, however, envisages manufacturing a full range of iPhones for the domestic market, as well as for export.

Ecosystem for Handsets

For India, which would only be the second iPhone production center after China, such an investment would be a big win for Modi’s Make-in-India campaign.

It would also spawn a vast network of suppliers, in the way that India’s auto ancillary sector took off to feed Maruti Suzuki India’s production line over three decades ago.

Another official, who has led efforts to secure foreign investment in the manufacturing sector, said Apple’s proposal to build its phones in India was being examined favorably by the government.

“My view is that India needs to support Apple to create an ecosystem, which was done for Maruti. This helped to build the automobile and auto component industry in India,” the official said, seeking anonymity in line with government policy.

Related: Foxconn Would Get These Huge Tax Breaks For Opening New U.S. Plant

“Initial support will pay rich dividends in the long run and facilitate innovation, design and manufacturing of electronics components in India,” the official added.

Apple competitors such as South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and China’s Oppo could also benefit from a broader policy review as they, too, currently have predominantly assembly operations in India.

Another government official familiar with the matter said it would be difficult for India to agree to Apple’s request for a customs holiday for just its own operations in India.

Customs duties have already been slashed in order to make India a hub for handset assembly lines, the official said.

That move has encouraged phone makers to set up such facilities in India, and so the duty structure cannot be changed for one company, the official said.

[Source”indianexpress”]

Vegas Strip Gaming Win Outpaces State Of Nevada In June

Vegas Strip Gaming Win Outpaces State Of Nevada In June

On Thursday, the Nevada state gaming control board released its report on gaming revenue for the Las Vegas area in the month of June.

Nevada’s non-restricted gaming licensees reported a total taxable revenue of $893.7 million in June, a 4.4 percent year-over-year increase.

Statewide revenue is now up 3.3 percent over the past year.

More than $495 million (about 55 percent) of Nevada’s statewide gaming revenue in June came from the Las Vegas Strip.

Shareholders of strip mega-resort operators Wynn Resorts, Limited WYNN 2.93%Las Vegas Sands Corp. LVS 0.15% and MGM Resorts International MGM 2.27% are watching Strip numbers closely.

Taxable revenue for the Vegas Strip was up 8.3 percent year over year in June and is now up 3.8 percent overall in the past 12 months.

Related Link: Casino Stocks A Good Gamble After Recent Underperformance

Despite solid numbers from the Strip, historic Downtown Las Vegas once again outpaced the Strip in June, delivering 10.1 percent revenue growth. In the past 12 months, Downtown Vegas taxable revenue is up 9.1 percent, the strongest growth number of any region in the state.

Shares of Boyd Gaming Corporation BYD 1.83% 1.56 percent, which operates three downtown casinos, are up 35.8 percent in the past year.

The next major catalysts for casino stocks will be coming on August 1 when Macau reports gross gaming revenue totals for the month of July. The four U.S.-listed Macau gaming stocks are Las Vegas Sands, MGM, Wynn and Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd(ADR) MLCO 2.06%

[Source”timesofindia”]

Apple is at risk of falling out of the top 5 smartphone vendors in China

Apple CEO Tim Cook attends China Development Forum 2017 - Economic Summit at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on March 18, 2017 in Beijing, China.

Apple CEO Tim Cook attends China Development Forum 2017 – Economic Summit at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on March 18, 2017 in Beijing, China.

Apple’s share of the Chinese smartphone market fell last quarter, according to one analysis, representing the waning dominance of the iPhone ahead of a major milestone.

Local brand Xiaomi snagged the fourth-place spot that was held by Apple, leaving Apple at No. 5, according to Canalys, an independent analyst company. Samsung is also in the top 10 smartphone brands in China, although only the top four brands were ranked by Canalys’ statement.

  1. Huawei: 23 million
  2. Oppo: 21 million
  3. Vivo: 16 million
  4. Xiaomi: 15 million

Source: Canalys

Apple does not break out figures on sales of individual products in each region, and was not immediately available to comment. But earlier this year, a separate report from Counterpoint Research found that the iPhone was not the top selling smartphone in China in 2016, the first time Apple had been unseated since 2012.

Remaining in the top of the crop is key for Apple because the top five brands accounted for almost 75 percent of the 113 million shipments in China, Canalys estimates. It’s an area where Apple has struggled in recent years, with sales down 14 percent year over year last quarter.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed long-term optimism on the Chinese market, despite strong competition provided by WeChat’s software ecosystem, which works on Android or iPhone devices. Apple recently created a new post, managing director of greater China, tapping an executive that has developed China-specific features for iPhone and iPad.

The iPhone 8, considered a marker of the device’s tenth anniversary, is expected by some analysts to revamp Apple’s influence in China. Sales in greater China are expected to hit $9.96 billion in the September quarter, according to FactSet, up from $8.79 billion in the year-ago quarter.

 [Source”timesofindia”]