Global investment management firm Invesco unveiled its first innovation hub in India at Hyderabad, employing around 1,100 people.

Invesco claims to be the first global asset manager to set up an innovation hub in India and hopes to learn from its use and translate the findings around its global offices.

The hub, aimed at serving as a fun and collaborative work space for employees to help align strategies and ideas, will focus on tapping local talent in building innovative products for its global customer network.

Dave Dowsett, global head of strategy innovation and planning at Invesco, said: “We are maturing our innovation pipeline and working closely with teams around the world to develop talent and keep our focus on continuously pivoting towards technology that will set us apart from our competitors and allow us to focus on delivering a superior investment experience for our clients across the globe.”

The hub, which was opened up for employees in January 2017 to give them access to the latest technologies, is now also open to start-ups, especially those in the fintech space to expand the talent pool.

India Investment Journal’ has in-depth coverage on related topics.

Google India is taking a version of its Launchpad Accelerator programme to Tier II towns in India through the “Solve for India” initiative.

The program was kicked off in Pune recently with a set of local entrepreneurs and will be taken to 10 more cities over the course of the year.

It will reach out to entrepreneurs in cities like Indore, Nagpur and Madurai to help them develop solutions in areas like agri-tech, healthcare and sanitation. The programme will provide a platform to developers and entrepreneurs in smaller cities to hear from experts and gain access to direct mentoring and support from Google.

The tech giant aims to reach over 10,000 developers and entrepreneurs this year alone through the programme.

The company will also share product usage insights and help the entrepreneurs build solutions across areas like transportation and education, among others. The focus will also be on developing mobile first solutions with strong offline and language capabilities.

Karthik Padmanabhan, Google India Programme Manager Lead, said: “There are growing number of entrepreneurs in smaller Indian cities who are focusing on building solutions that cater to the real needs of India.”

India Investment Journal’ has in-depth coverage on related topics.

The Kerala state government and the United Nation's Office of Information and Communication Technology have come together to set up India's first UN Technology Innovation Lab in Thiruvananthapuram.

The Kerala Startup Mission will be spearheading this initiative on behalf of the state. Areas of water, sanitation, mobility and agriculture have identified as best suited for this innovation centre and the initiative will not only benefit India but also other UN member states with similar issues into the future.

The start-ups in the state will be working closely with the Innovation lab to build products aimed at addressing these issues.

The proposed centre would be a United Nations technology project led by the Office of Information and Communication Technology and staffed with members from both the technology and substantive programme areas of the UN.

Kerala Startup Mission CEO Saji Gopinath described the new agreement as a great opportunity to create path-breaking technologies.

India Investment Journal’ has in-depth coverage on related topics.

Axalta Coating Systems, a US-based supplier of liquid and powder coatings, has inaugurated its new headquarters for India in Gurugram, Haryana. The opening follows Axalta’s plans, announced in October 2015, to expand its Vadodara facility in Gujarat.

The new HQ will also house an Axalta global business resource centre, which will provide a variety of services to the company’s operations in the region and around the world. The 35,000 square feet facility will enable the American firm to integrate its corporate office and other key country business functions within a single office.

Robert Bryant, executive vice-president and CFO of the firm, said: “We are very excited to see another significant investment support our future growth in India. The new face of Axalta in India has been designed with Axalta’s global standards in mind and enables our company to showcase its commitment to both long-term growth and customer support in the market.”

Axalta’s business in India serves customers in the transportation original equipment manufacturer (OEM), refinish and industrial sectors of the economy. The company stablished its India business in 1996, and today operates a manufacturing plant in Vadodara along with offices and regional training centres in Gurugram, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru and supports an extensive product distribution network across the country.

India Investment Journal’ has in-depth coverage on related topics.

Japanese home appliances and consumer electronics company Panasonic has invested Rs 115 crore ($18mn) to set up a manufacturing plant at Jhajja in Haryana to locally produce refrigerators.

The factory spread across 1,50,000 sqft, with an annual production capacity of 500,000 units will be operational in November 2017 and the company expects sales from the facility to start from April 2018.

Panasonic India and South Asia President and CEO Manish Sharma said: "This will fill the balance pie that was missing from Panasonics locally manufactured product portfolio in India.

“Refrigerators to a large extent will be manufactured in India except the large capacity refrigerator. This factory will help us to penetrate across smaller towns because the requirement for fridge in those markets is rapidly increasing."

Panasonic currently imports its fridges into India from Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam and will continue to import the large-capacity refrigerators.

The Japanese company, which is eyeing revenues of Rs 330 crore ($51.5mn) from refrigerators this fiscal year, said it aims to double its market share and sales from the category in the next two years.

The market for refrigerators is estimated to be 13 million units.

India Investment Journal’ has in-depth coverage on related topics.

An entrepreneurial study conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) has revealed that more than 90 per cent start-ups in India fail in the first five years due to lack of innovation and funding.

The study is based on a survey done in collaboration with Oxford Economics to understand the rapidly evolving Indian start-up ecosystem and its effects on the wider economy. The results reveal that start-ups can exploit a range of attributes and advantages unique to India.

The ‘Entrepreneurial India’ study is based on interviews with more than 1,300 Indian executives, including 600 start-up entrepreneurs, 100 venture capitalists, 100 government leaders, 500 leaders of established companies and 22 educational institution leaders to analyse the macro impact of start-ups on the economic growth of the country.

Nipun Mehrotra, Chief Digital Officer, IBM India/South Asia, said: “We believe that start-ups need to focus on societal problems like healthcare, sanitation, education, transportation, alternate energy management and others, which would help deal with the issues that India and the world face. These require investments in deep technology and products which are built to scale globally.”

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