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NRDC Inks Technology Commercialization Agreement for Ayush-82
Jun 10,2016

National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), an Enterprise of the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, New Delhi and M/s Chaturbhuj Pharmaceutical Co, Haridwar have entered into License Agreement for commercialization of Ayush-82, an ayurvedic Formulation for management of Diabetes. Chairman & Managing Director, Dr. H. Purushotham NRDC said that Ayush-82 was developed by Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), New Delhi, an Autonomous Organisation under the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy). The Licence agreement was signed by Dr. H. Purushotham , CMD , on behalf of National Research Development Corporation, New Delhi and Shri Murari Sharma, Proprietor, Chaturbhuj Pharmaceutical Co , Haridwar. National Research Development Corporation has so far licensed 13 Ayurvedic technologies developed by CCRAS to more than 33 companies in India.

Ayush-82; an anti diabetic drug developed by CCRAS is a combination of known and tested hypoglycemic drugs. Its clinical studies have been done extensively. Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases marked by high level of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action or both. Diabetes may lead to serious complications in multiple organ systems. The use of this cost effective drug would help millions of people suffering from Diabetes.

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Moodys: Indian public sector banks face high external capital needs
Jun 10,2016

Moodys Investors Service says that the weak earnings outlook for Indias public sector banks highlights their high level of external capital needs and their capitalisation profiles will further deteriorate unless the government provides additional capital support.

Furthermore, the banks asset quality will remain under pressure over the next 12 months, as they continue to recognize non-performing loans (NPLs) from some of the larger leveraged corporate groups, particularly in the steel and power sectors, says Alka Anbarasu, a Moodys Vice President and Senior Analyst.

As a result, elevated provisioning expenses will continue to constrain profitability and limit internal capital generation, adds Anbarasu.

In view of their results for the fiscal year ended March 2016 (FY2016), Moodys analysis suggests capital requirements of about INR1.2 trillion for its 11 rated public sector banks, far higher than the remaining INR450 billion included in the governments budget for capital distribution to the banks until 2020.

Furthermore, the fact that most bank shares are currently trading below book value constrains their ability to use public offerings to raise capital.

Moodys analysis of the rated-public sector banks capital needs assumes that: (1) they will see an average net new NPL recognition rate of 1.3% between FY2017 and FY2019, including slippages from their restructured loans; (2) credit costs will remain fairly high, at an average of 1.6% over FY2017-FY2019; and (3) they will raise their loan loss coverage by more than 70% by FY2019.

Moodys scenario analysis also assumes a gradual pick-up in credit growth from 10% in FY2017 to 15% in FY2019, driven by both the retail segment and an uptick in corporate loan demand.

However, capital levels have also improved recently on the back of new Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rules that have broadened the banks capital base. The rules, amended in March 2016, allow the banks to recognize revaluation reserves, deferred tax assets and foreign currency reserves as common equity tier 1 (CET1) capital, in turn resulting in a one-off boost to capital levels.

Specifically, the new rules allow the banks to recognize 45% of their property revaluation reserves, 75% of their foreign exchange translation reserves, and certain deferred tax assets as comprising up to 10% of CET1 capital, in line with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision guidelines.

The improvement occurs even though the asset quality review mandated by the RBI in the second half of FY2016 -- in an effort to clean up the banks balance sheets -- has adversely affected profitability.

In particular, the review resulted in higher NPL ratios and increased loan loss provisioning expenses. Eight of the 11 public sector banks that we rate posted a net loss for the full year, and the other three reported a significant decline in their profitability.

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IIP to Rise in April; WPI May Show Marginal Uptick and Retail Prices to Stabilise in May
Jun 10,2016

Industrial production in April 2016 is expected to improve compared to March 2016. On the price front, wholesale price inflation will continue to rise, albeit moderately, and retail inflation will remain stable in May 2016, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). Ind-Ra estimates the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) growth for April 2016 at 2.2% and May 2016 Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation at 5.4% and 0.7% respectively.

Ind-Ra expects industrial production in April 2016 to benefit from better performance in the core sectors of the economy. IIP surprised on the downside and clocked a negligible growth rate of 0.1% in March 2016 (February 2016: 2.0% yoy) primarily due to the negative growth rate of 1.2% in manufacturing. The eight core infrastructure industries that comprise around 38% of IIP grew 8.5% yoy in April 2016 as against 6.4% yoy in the previous month. Core sector industries such as petroleum refinery products (April 2016: 17.9% yoy) and steel (April 2016: 6.1% yoy) have shown robust growth, on the back of an extremely low base. The strong growth in refinery products output is in line with the increase in its consumption. Electricity, which has a weight of 10.3%, led the growth in the core sector with a growth rate of 14.7% in April 2016 as against 11.3% in the previous month. The growth in cement output (April 2016: 4.4% yoy) is also encouraging and appears to be aided by the revival of the road sector. Ind-Ra believes higher electricity output, growth in vehicle production, rising cement and steel production will lift IIP in April 2016.

Ind-Ra expects WPI to show a modest uptick in May 2016, on the back of rising oil prices and high pulses and sugar prices. WPI inflation is expected at 0.7% yoy in May 2016. WPI moved into the positive territory and clocked a growth rate of 0.34% in April 2016 after 17 consecutive months of contraction. Pulses continue to be the sore point so far as food inflation is concerned. At the price rise of 36.4% in April 2016, pulses inflation has remained in excess of 30% for 11 consecutive months. Sugar inflation rose to 16.1% in April 2016 compared to 6.2% in the previous month.

Ind-Ra expects May 2016 retail inflation to remain unchanged at 5.4% yoy from the previous month. The increase in April consumer prices was led by food inflation that rose to 6.3% yoy from 5.2% in the previous month. High value food items such as meat, fish, fruits and vegetables drove food inflation higher in April 2016. RBI in its second bi-monthly monetary policy review held on June 7 expressed concern about the upside risks to the inflation trajectory despite the expectation of a normal monsoon.

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The total number of road accidents increased by 2.5 per cent from 4,89,400 in 2014 to 5,01,423 in 2015
Jun 10,2016

The Minister of Road Transport & Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari launched the report n++Road Accidents in India 2015n++. Road accidents have emerged as a major public health problem globally, and more so in India where almost 5 lakh accidents occurred last year, killing 1,46000 people and leaving thrice the number injured. With one of the highest motorization growth rate in the world, accompanied by rapid expansion in road network and urbanization over the years, our country is faced with serious impacts on road safety levels.

According to the report compiled by the Transport Research Wing, the total number of road accidents increased by 2.5 per cent from 4,89,400 in 2014 to 5,01,423 in 2015. The total number of persons killed in road accidents increased by 4.6 per cent from 1,39,671 in 2014 to 1,46,133 in 2015. Road accident injuries have also increased by 1.4 per cent from 4,93,474 in 2014 to 5,00,279 in 2015. The severity of road accidents, measured in terms of number of persons killed per 100 accidents has increased from 28.5 in 2014 to 29.1 in 2015.

The analysis of road accident data 2015 reveals that about 1,374 accidents and 400 deaths take place every day on Indian roads which further translates into 57 accidents and loss of 17 lives on an average every hour in our country. About 54.1 per cent of all persons killed in road accidents were in the 15 -34 years age group during the year 2015.

Thirteen top states namely Tamil Nadu (69,059), Maharashtra (63,805), Madhya Pradesh (54,947), Karnataka (44,011), Kerala (39,014), Uttar Pradesh (32,385), Andhra Pradesh (24,258), Rajasthan (24,072), Gujarat (23,183), Telengana (21,252), Chattisgarh (14,446),West Bengal (13,208) and Haryana (11,174) together accounted for 86.7 per cent of all road accidents in the country. Around 83.6 per cent of all road accidents fatalities also occurred in the top thirteen states.

The fifty Million Plus Cities accounted for a share of 22.1 per cent in total road accidents in the country, 11.3 per cent in total persons killed in road accidents and 16.4 per cent in total persons injured in road accidents. Mumbai had the highest number of road accidents (23,468) while Delhi had the highest number of deaths (1622) due to road accidents. Accident severity in terms of percentage share of 50 Million Cities was 14.9 per cent in 2015 as against 15.0 per cent in 2014.

Drivers fault has been revealed as the single most responsible factor for road accidents, accounted for 77.1 per cent of total road accidents during 2015 as against 78.8 per cent during 2014. Within the category of drivers fault, road accidents caused and persons killed due to exceeding lawful speed/over speeding by drivers accounted for a share of 62.2 per cent (2,40,463 out of 3,86,481 accidents) and 61.0 per cent (64,633 out of 1,06,021 deaths) respectively.

Speaking on the occasion the Minister reiterated Indias resolve and commitment as a signatory to the Brasilia Declaration, to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities by 50 per cent by 2020. He dwelt at length on the various measures being taken in this direction, including steps like rectifying black spots, incorporating engineering solutions at the design stage, safety standards for automobiles, proper trauma care and generating public awareness.

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NRDC inks MoA with Andhra Pradesh government to start Agribusiness incubation centers
Jun 09,2016

The Andhra Pradesh Government through its AP Food Processing Society has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the National Research Development Corporation, an Enterprise of the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, New Delhi (NRDC) to strengthen the agribusiness & food processing sector by establishing Smart Agribusiness Platform Networks of Andhra Pradesh (SAPNAP). These networks will focus on creation of enabling ecosystem for accelerated growth of agribusiness by involving all the stakeholders.

SAPNAP will have two key development platforms - Smart Agribusiness Value-chains and Smart Agribusiness Incubators & Accelerators. Smart Agribusiness Value Chains will focus on Intelligence / Analytics / Big Data, Innovations and Partnerships. The Smart Agribusiness incubators will focus on establishment of 13 district level incubators with enabling infrastructure and ecosystem for start ups, enterprise development and FPO mentoring.

NRDC shall be the knowledge partner in the programme and would provide the required technologies / know-how / IPRs and other value added techno-commercial services to the Start-ups of SAPNAP and linkages to the national and international Stakeholders.

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Ind-Ra: Refinancing, Risk-balancing Could Steer Highway Sector Out of Troubles
Jun 09,2016

India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) believes that although the highway sector is weighed down by concerns such as over leverage, lower-than-expected cash flows and land acquisition issues, the possibility of refinancing to the tune of INR84.5bn plus the risk balancing approach could well prove to be the silver lining in the dark clouds looming over the sector since the past few years.

Ind-Ra believes that positive traction towards refinancing is already visible as developers with completed projects are tapping capital markets/banks for exploring refinancing opportunities to optimise on the rate of interest and tail. This would also aid in directing capital towards new projects. Refinancing would result in debt amortisation being better aligned with the expected cash flows thereby resulting in improved credit metrics and possibly positive rating movements.

In the next couple of years, the hybrid annuity model is likely to be the dominant model with 47% of all projects being awarded on this model. In the current scenario of stretched liquidity position of sponsors, such a model balances risk appropriately between the concession grantor and the concessionaire and is likely to be the preferred mode of bidding for projects for developers.

The Union Budget 2016-17 also prioritised the sector with a budgetary allocation of INR550bn for roads and highways with the aim to invigorate private sector participation in the sector. The INR550bn allocation for roads and highways and INR50bn allocation for Special Accelerated Road Development Programme in the most recent budget for the north east region continue to provide impetus to the highway sector.

Ind-Ra estimates that around INR255bn of project level debt could be under stress. Unfavourable macro-economic conditions, suboptimal traffic performance and stretched debt levels are the key reasons for the strain visible on project cash flows. Unless the projects undergo a structural change, such as debt restructuring or refinancing, the projects credit metrics are unlikely to improve substantially. Due to the capital intensive nature of highway projects, more than 70% of the sample projects have a debt/equity ratio higher than 2.3x which further ratifies the extent of (over) leverage.

Ind-Ras analysis reveals that projects are 19% over leveraged over FY17-FY25 to meet the lenders restrictive covenants of 1.2x debt service coverage ratio, which if not reduced could lead to projects breaching restrictive covenants embedded in the financing agreements.

In the projects rated by Ind-Ra, maintenance work of around INR3bn is likely to be carried out in the next couple of years. Of these, around 64% of the projects do not have any provision for major maintenance. Possible re-gearing or further sponsor support for funding the same cannot be ruled out.

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MoU signed between NIIF and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) for facilitating Investment from Qatar in the infrastructure sector in India
Jun 09,2016

With a view to attracting investments from Qatar under the umbrella of NIIF, the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) entered into an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) on 5th June, 2016 during the visit of the Prime Minister of India to Doha on June 4th and 5th , 2016. The MoU was signed by Mr. Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani, CEO of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Mr. Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs on behalf of NIIF Ltd.

The objective of the MoU is to facilitate QIA to study investment opportunities in the infrastructure sector in India and develop a framework for exchange of information with regard to such investments opportunities, in order to enable both sides to decide on joint investments. It will remain in effect for twelve (12) months during which period, both parties will discuss and agree on the terms, principles, criteria for such investments. The NIIF shall share with QIA a pipeline of investment opportunities available in the infrastructure sector in India

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar. They are long-term investors and access investment opportunities across all geographical areas, sectors and asset classes. The majority of their investments are outside Qatar with assets spanning a wide range of sectors and spread across asset classes. The fund deploys a wide range of investment strategies and invests through a carefully selected network of top-tier fund managers.

The Government had earlier approved the creation of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) with the aim to attract investment from both domestic and international sources for maximizing economic impact mainly through infrastructure development in commercially viable projects, both greenfield and brownfield, including stalled projects.

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Skill Development Training for the residents of villages around Kamarajar Port
Jun 09,2016

Kamarajar Port has taken up Skill development training under CSR initiatives for the local fishermen community at a cost of Rs.1,57,50,000/-. The training will be imparted by MRF Institute of Driver Development, Chennai and National Institute for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Hyderabad.

The training by MRF Institute has already started. KPL is incurring the cost of training, transport and also stipend. MRF Institute will give training to 196 applicants in driving. The National Institute of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Hyderabad will give training to 865 applicants in the trade of Lab technician, tailoring/garment making, AC & Refrigeration mechanic, electrician, wireman, welding, motor rewinding and mobile phone servicing.

The above initiatives will make the local fishermen skilled in various trades and make them employable. This initiative was taken up as per the recommendation of NABARD consultants, appointed by KPL who have conducted the baseline survey of nearby villages.

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More than one lakh connections released under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
Jun 09,2016

Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Sh Dharmendra Pradhan held a review meeting on implementation of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in the State of Uttar Pradesh on 08 June 2016 with all District Nodal Officers (DNOs) of state. The meeting in New Delhi was also attended by top officials of three Oil Marketing Companies and senior officials of the Ministry. The thrust of the meeting was essentially to expedite the implementation process and carry it forward on a war footing.

The Minister complimented all Nodal Officers for implementing the Scheme across the State and appreciated the efforts made to release more than one lakh connections under the Scheme in the very first month of implementation. He urged the Nodal Officers to reach out to all the eligible beneficiaries and ensure that the connections are released in a time bound manner. He also emphasized that adequate awareness/education on safety norms should be given to all the beneficiaries along-with insurance coverage provided for the consumers. The reasons for rejecting the application should also be documented and kept in the public domain. A transparent process should be followed in this regard.

Nodal Officers shared their experiences in implementing the Scheme and also gave feedback on the response of the beneficiaries. They informed that the Scheme was receiving extensive publicity and the response from the beneficiaries was quite encouraging. Distribution Melas, under the stewardship of the local elected Member of Parliament have been organized to release new connections to the beneficiaries.

MoS(I/C) directed that the issue and concern raised by the DNOs to be addressed expeditiously and suitable instructions should be issued in this regard.

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Gartner Forecasts Indian Business Intelligence and Analytics Software Revenue to Reach $214 Million in 2016
Jun 09,2016

Indian business intelligence (BI) software revenue is forecast to reach US$ 213.8 million in 2016, a 18.6 percent increase over 2015 revenue of $180.2 million, according to Gartner, Inc. This forecast includes revenue for BI platforms, advanced analytics platforms, analytic applications and corporate performance management (CPM) software.

The BI and analytics market is undergoing significant change. Adoption of machine learning techniques, and the emergence of smart data discovery solutions are fueling next round of investments, said BhavishSood, research director at Gartner.

The BI platforms segment continues to lead the BI software market in India, as BI platforms revenue is forecast to reach $136.8 million in 2016 (see Table 1). All segments of the BI software market in India are expected to experience double-digit growth in the next 2 years.

Table 1 India BI Software Revenue Forecast Estimates (Millions of Dollars)

Market Segment

2015 YR

2016 YR

Analytic Applications and Performance ManagementRevenue21.125.1Growth (%)18.94%CPM SuitesRevenue28.533.3Growth16.76%Advanced Analytics PlatformsRevenue15.018.6Growth23.59%BI PlatformsRevenue115.6136.8Growth18.33%Total Revenue180.2213.8Total Growth (%)18.59%

Source: Gartner (June 2016)

We see signs of the emerging importance of BI in India as senior executives are increasingly exploring the different styles of analytics to resolve their business imperatives, said Mr. Sood. There is an increased emphasis on metrics management and the growing use of performance management. Big data use cases are maturing and have executive visibility. This is leading to more investments in BI and information management.

Purchasing decisions continue to move from IT leaders to line-of-business executives and users who want more agility and more flexible personalized options n++ making the land-and-expand model the new norm. This is in stark contrast to the large, enterprise-scale deals that fueled double-digit growth at a time when IT had larger budgets and wielded much more influence in buying decisions. The primary drivers of new growth in this rapidly evolving market are being influenced by the following dynamics:  The increased need for governance will serve as the catalyst for renewed IT engagement as business-user-led deployments expand.  Market awareness and adoption of smart data discovery will extend data discovery to a wider range of users, increasing the reach and impact of analytics.  Indian enterprises adopting BI have the advantage of benefiting from earlier adopters in developed markets, rather than needing to build their approaches from the ground up. They are increasing BI adoption through data discovery, geospatial and mobile based approaches.

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Incentives like interest subvention & MEIS imperative to promote G&J exports: ASSOCHAM
Jun 09,2016

Apex industry body ASSOCHAM today urged the government to extend incentives like interest subvention, Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) and others to promote gems and jewellery (G&J) exports that have been marred by global slowdown thereby putting at risk livelihood of over 30 lakh people employed by the sector across India.

n++G&J exports from India are likely to remain under pressure this year as well, even though there are indications of improvement in business sentiment in United States of America (USA) which takes nearly half of countrys diamond jewellery production,n++ noted an ASSOCHAM paper titled 2015-16: A year of dismal export performance for India.

n++Though market share of the USA and Hong Kong in diamond and precious stones exports has expanded to 29 per cent and 36 per cent respectively over the last few years, market share of the UAE has fallen steadily from one-fifth a few years ago to less than one-tenth of the total exports,n++ noted the paper prepared by the ASSOCHAM Economic Research Bureau (AERB).

While import of rough diamonds and semi-precious stones have fallen by over 11 per cent in FY2015-16, the net diamond exports and semi-precious stones have declined by about 43 per cent year-on-year i.e. from $4.2 billion (bn) in 2014-15 to just $2.4 bn in 2015-16.

Besides, exports of jewellery have also fallen by about 17 per cent i.e. from $13.2 bn in 2014-15 to $11 bn in 2015-16. Dubai and Thailand are fast emerging as major jewellery manufacturing hub as a lot of Indian businesses are setting up units there.

The Gold Monetisation Scheme might help reduce reliance on import of gold to meet domestic demand and may have some positive impact during the course of the year, the paper observed.

ASSOCHAM has reiterated its appeal to the government for granting industry status, to the gems and jewellery sector to give a fillip to investments and bring down costs of operation as that would also help build trust and faith in Indian brands in global markets and in achieving goals of Make in India.

Modernisation of labour laws, requirement of more export-oriented economic zones, establishment of a gold board, ensuring access to better financing, relaxation of certain taxation laws, segregation of investment and consumption demand, setting up a gold tourism circuit are certain key areas focus on which can help in reviving the G&J sector in the country.

Impact of falling global prices and export volumes has not only affected the G&J sector but petroleum products exports have also plummeted by over 46 per cent i.e. from about $67 bn to $30.4 bn during the aforementioned period. n++This seems to be much larger problem as Indian firms are losing their share in global markets.n++

The ASSOCHAM paper has also suggested for replacing power looms that account for about 65 per cent of fabric production in India by modern shuttle-less weaving equipment, besides it is also required to diversify its export markets away from a few countries in the European Union and the USA to nearby countries in the Asian continent.

Further, ASSOCHAM has recommended to urgently put in place the long-pending goods and services tax (GST) to reduce the burden of un-refunded state level taxes to make Indias exports competitive.

It has also suggested the government to set up a high-level committee to look into costs of inter-state barriers to trade and suggest a time-bound roadmap to address the same as that would not only provide much-needed relief to the export sector but weld India into a single market much bigger than EU in terms of population.

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Commerce Ministry approves establishment of Mega Leather Cluster at Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh
Jun 09,2016

The Ministry of Commerce & Industry has given approval to establishment of Mega Leather Cluster at Kota Mandal, Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh. Minister of Commerce & Industry Smt Nirmala Sitharaman in a letter to the Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh mentioned that It gives me immense pleasure to inform you that proposal for establishment of Mega Leather Cluster at Kota Mandal, Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh has been approved with a central government assistance of Rs 125 Crores. The project sanctioned under Indian Leather Development program would create state of the art infrastructure for labour intensive units and is expected to generate employment for 20,000 people and leverage an investment of at least Rs 500 Crores in the first phase itself. The Minister requested the Chief Minister that due process related to award of contract etc be completed so that the central government could release the funds to start the project as soon as possible.

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Gartner Survey Shows Technology Provider CEOs Believe That Customer Experience Provides a Winning Strategy
Jun 08,2016

Technology and service provider (TSP) CEOs are using innovation projects and leveraging digital business to drive growth through better engagement with customers, according to a new survey by Gartner, Inc. The survey found that investment is being driven toward sales and customer-facing roles instead of toward new product development or cost-saving measures.

Gartner analysts presented these findings during the Gartner Tech Growth & Innovation Conference, which is taking place here through Wednesday. The survey involved 501 CEOs from North America and Western Europe at TSPs with annual revenue from $10 million to more than $1 billion.

Gartner has long believed that the best product doesnt always win and that many other factors contribute to success, especially a positive customer experience, said Todd Berkowitz, research vice president at Gartner. Customer engagement received the highest investment from an innovation standpoint with 42 percent of TSP CEOs listing it as one of the top two priorities, ahead of new products and services and significantly ahead of internally focused activities.

Innovation spending is still being directed toward new products and services, but more often it is being directed to find new ways of engaging customers, which includes sales, marketing and customer success management efforts.

With only 5 percent of technology vendors very or extremely effective at differentiating themselves, differentiation continues to be a major issue for TSPs, and its even harder when the differentiation is tied to product features and capabilities, said Mr. Berkowitz. Superior customer engagement, which leads to a superior customer experience, can be a powerful source of differentiation, although only when based on real proof, versus simple claims.

Like all end-user CEOs, TSP CEOs believe that digital business will be transformational to their business. However, the survey showed that, when compared to all end-user CEOs, those from TSPs are more likely to believe that that digital would be impactful in allowing them to enter new markets and industries rather than just drive down costs and push more business through digital channels. TSPs said that they are using digital business to create revenue/customer value (43 percent in top three expected outcomes) and cross-industry boundaries (40 percent) rather than reduce costs (33 percent) and drive more business through digital channels (30 percent).

While TSP CEOs clearly view customer experience improvements as the single biggest factor in winning more deals, they see improving sales and marketing effectiveness as being more important in hitting future growth targets. They are investing more heavily in sales and marketing than anywhere else, including customer experience or product development. Sixty-two percent of survey respondents placed sales in their top three areas for investment and 51 percent had marketing in their top three, compared with only 37 percent for product development. CEOs are also investing more heavily in customer-facing roles to help hit those targets.

For TSPs, long-term success, and even long-term survival requires continued innovation, embracing of new opportunities and responding to the changing needs of customers, said Mr. Berkowitz. By innovating in areas outside of products and services and using digital to improve customer engagement and experience, TSPs can drive competitive advantages. In addition, by adapting sales and marketing strategies and continuing to invest in those areas, TSPs can more easily meet future growth targets.

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Global economy stuck in low-growth trap-OECD
Jun 08,2016

The global economy is stuck in a low-growth trap that will require more coordinated and comprehensive use of fiscal, monetary and structural policies to move to a higher growth path and ensure that promises are kept to both young and old, according to the OECDs latest Global Economic Outlook.

n++Growth is flat in the advanced economies and has slowed in many of the emerging economies that have been the global locomotive since the crisis,n++ OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurrn++a said while launching the Outlook during the Organisations annual Ministerial Council Meeting and Forum in Paris. n++Slower productivity growth and rising inequality pose further challenges. Comprehensive policy action is urgently needed to ensure that we get off this disappointing growth path and propel our economies to levels that will safeguard living standards for all,n++ Mr Gurrn++a said.

Weak trade growth, sluggish investment, subdued wages and slower activity in key emerging markets will all contribute to modest global GDP growth of 3% in 2016, essentially the same level as in 2015, according to the Outlook. Global recovery is expected to improve only to 3.3% in 2017.

Among the major advanced economies, the moderate recovery will continue in the United States, which is projected to grow by 1.8% in 2016 and 2.2% in 2017. The euro area will improve slowly, with growth of 1.6% in 2016 and 1.7% in 2017. In Japan, growth is projected at 0.7% in 2016 and 0.4% in 2017. The 34-country OECD area is projected to grow by 1.8% in 2016 and 2.1% in 2017, according to the Outlook.

With rebalancing continuing in China, growth is expected to continue to drift lower to 6.5% in 2016 and 6.2% in 2017, supported by demand stimulus. Indias growth rates are expected to hover near 7.5% this year and next, but many emerging market economies continue to lose momentum. The deep recessions in Russia and Brazil will persist, with Brazil expected to contract by 4.3% in 2016 and 1.7% in 2017.

The Outlook draws attention to a number of downside risks. Most immediately, a United Kingdom vote to leave the European Union would trigger negative economic effects on the UK, other European countries and the rest of the world. Brexit would lead to economic uncertainty and hinder trade growth, with global effects being even stronger if the British withdrawal from the EU triggers volatility in financial markets. By 2030, post-Brexit UK GDP could be over 5% lower than if the country remained in the European Union.

n++If we dont take action to boost productivity and potential growth, both younger and older generations will be worse off,n++ said OECD Chief Economist Catherine L Mann. n++The longer the global economy remains in this low-growth trap, the harder it will be for governments to meet fundamental promises. The consequences of policy inaction will be low career prospects for todays youth, who have suffered so much already from the crisis, and lower retirement income for future pensioners.n++

The OECD highlights a series of policy requirements, including more comprehensive use of fiscal policy and revived structural reforms to break out of the low-growth trap.

The Outlook argues that reliance on monetary policy alone cannot deliver satisfactory growth and inflation. Additional monetary policy easing could now prove to be less effective than in the past, and even counterproductive in some circumstances.

Many countries have room for fiscal policies to strengthen activity via public investment, especially as low long-term interest rates have effectively increased fiscal space. While almost all countries have scope to reallocate public spending towards more growth-friendly projects, collective action across economies to raise public investment in projects with a high growth impact would boost demand and improve fiscal sustainability.

Given the weak global economy and the backdrop of rising income inequality in many countries, more ambitious structural reforms - in particular targeting services sectors - can boost demand in the short-term and promote long-term improvements in employment, productivity growth and inclusiveness, the OECD said.

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Strategic partnership between Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship & Ministry of Civil Aviation to Boost to skill initiatives in aviation
Jun 08,2016

Airport Authority of India (AAI), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) signed a Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) where AAI has committed to contribute an amount of 5.25 crore of its CSR funds to NSDF along with land and premises for setting up skill development centres in the country for scaling up skill development initiatives in the aviation sector. This pact is the result of the joint efforts made between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The MoU signing ceremony took place in the presence of Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy The MoU was signed by Mr. Rajesh Agarwal, CEO, NSDF, Mr. Rajiv Goel, Director India Aviation Academy, Airport Authority of India and Mr. Jayant Krishna, CEO, NSDC.

Commenting on the strategic partnership, Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju said, n++As we gear up for a new civil aviation policy, for new avenues that aviation will open up for economic growth of the country, for more new airports, and existing ones becoming active; there has to be a large part of our strategy towards sourcing skilled workforce to make all our plans successful. Our plans can be the most well thought out plans, but we need trained and certified people to execute those plans. Any vibrant program needs a skilled workforce. Our partnership with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship through this MoU signing between AAI, NSDC and NSDF will certainly help us ready that workforce from right now. In this way, we are investing back into our sectors and the countrys brighter future.n++

Welcoming this contribution from the aviation sector, Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, said, n++The Aviation Sector has seen some good traction in the skill ecosystem. It is estimated that by 2035, the Indian Civil Aviation sector would employ 8 to 10 lakh personnel directly and another 3 lakh indirectly. To cater to this requirement, we introduced a new Sector Skill Council exclusively for preparing a job ready workforce for the Aerospace & Aviation Sector, last year. We welcome the contribution being made by the Airport Authority of India through their CSR funds. We are certain that together we will be able to bring about a constructive change in the aviation sector in India. I thank Mr. Gajapathi Raju and the Civil Aviation Ministry for joining hands with us in this endeavour.n++

n++We have skilled more than 1.04 crore youth last year in 2015-16 which is an incremental growth by 36.8% from the previous year. With contributions like these we are certain that we will be able to bring speed and scale along with standards to skill initiatives in the nation,n++ he further added.

Speaking on the occasion Secretary, MSDE, Mr. Rohit Nandan, said, n++This is a welcoming move from the Civil Aviation Ministry and AAI; and we are a committed to this partnership with them. We hope that more Corporates and PSUs like them, come forward and invest in skills for a brighter future of the country. Skill India is the largest human resource exercises that has ever happened till now and it is imperative that we together develop a vision for convergence across all stakeholders in the country to achieve this goal of skilling 40.2 crore people in the country. Our partnership with Civil Aviation Ministry is certain to see great results.n++

Under the MoU, AAI also committed to undertake Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programs for their current employees, to train and certify in their existing skill sets, in association with the Aerospace & Aviation Sector Skill Council and any other council as may seem fit. The this MoU, AAI will also align its ongoing skill development programs with the Skill India Mission so that all courses are aligned to one National Skill Qualification Framework which is recognised by the industry today.

The program will be managed by NSDC and its training partners who have till now cumulatively skilled more than 80.33 lakh youth in the country. The fund contributed by AAI will also be utilised to support and sponsor candidates for skill development programs, including Substantially Affected Persons under AAI projects.

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