Today’s PSLV launch could create history. And a new market for Isro

For over two decades, it has impeccably accomplished the tasks allotted. This morning, with 37 consecutive successes behind it, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will lift-off from Sriharikota with 104 satellites on board, almost thrice the number that a Russian rocket, which currently holds the record, carried three years ago.It is not that there is no other rocket...

Defence PSUs are firing blanks

A wintry January morning in Bengaluru saw the coming together of two very unlikely sets of people. Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Bharat Earth Movers Ltd, all suppliers of various defence equipment to the armed forces, were hosting an event at the BEL Officers Club. It was a mission to woo startups—an officious sounding seminar...

The lens is on Hotstar

Late last year, Ajit Mohan, the chief executive officer of Hotstar, Star India’s Over-The-Top (OTT) service, wrote an email to the employees, primarily to apprise them of key organisational changes. The email also delved a fair bit on Hotstar’s operations. Mohan listed out some of the biggest milestones Hotstar managed to achieve in November alone:Notable from Mohan’s email is...

Of Ratan Tata, YourStory and the Media

2016 was a terrible year for media globally. And 2017 might be even worse. Things haven't been looking up in India. It’s only February and the Kolkata-headquartered ABP group is reported to have laid off anywhere between 300 to 700 employees.But far away from Kolkata, in Bengaluru, there are silver linings.Because YourStory Media Private Limited has raised a fairly...

The inside story of 500 Startups’ India adventure

Shalini Prakash is the only member of 500 Startups left in India. Pankaj Jain, partner and India operations head, quit at the end of December 2016. Soaib Grewal resigned a few weeks before Jain. And the $25 million 500 Kulfi fund failed to set.A spokesperson told Economic Times in January 2017, “Due to recent moves by the India...

The H-1B linchpin

In 2013, when Nationwide Insurance in Ohio chose technology company Guidewire to run its $9 billion worth of business on the latter’s core insurance offerings, it knew it was a big deal. What it did not realise was how difficult it would be to find people to spearhead that transformation. EY, the consulting company, was helping Guidewire understand how...

A game with no winners

In December 2016, one particular acquisition slid past most of mainstream media’s eye in India. It was a small deal, after all, just $8.5 million. Starbreeze Studios, a Swedish game developer, acquired Dhruva Interactive, a 20-year-old gaming services company. $8.5 million isn’t a lot of money, so it is easy to brush it off as a small deal. Except,...

The twists and rolls of Faasos

There is visible chaos at the Faasos office in Mumbai. Someone’s always yelling across the room asking for a report, someone will jostle past you with a sheet of paper; it is never quiet. The chaos means that the big 12-seater conference room in the centre of the room is always occupied. There is another smaller one, and you’ll...

Can Amazon crack groceries in India

For Vikram Kumar, an Amazon delivery executive in New Delhi, the last few months have been rather hectic. It’s eight pm on a chilly Friday evening, and Kumar is at my doorstep, delivering his penultimate order of the day. “Din mein aath ya dus order toh kar hi leta hoon sir,” he says. (“I manage to deliver eight to...

Of exclusive deals and dire straits

When Motorola came to India with the first generation Moto G in late 2013, almost a year after exiting the country, not a single distributor wanted to take a bet on the brand. A team that was being managed from the Motorola London office had reached out to all the big offline channel partners, only to be rejected. Even...

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