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Vol 1      Issue 1            Feb 2018

BITS & BYTES

The official newsletter of the IT Committee,IIM Rohtak

INSIDE THIS ISSUE EXCITING TECH STARTUPS TO LOOK OUT FOR

TE C HNOLOGY VS. HUMAN - WHO IS GOING TO WIN? By Gerd Leonhard

SOFTWARE ROBOTS REMOVE BOREDOM FROM JOBS

Technology is always created by humans and in turn re-defining what we can and will do. Every single technological change is now impacting humanity in a much deeper way than ever before because technology will soon impact our own biology, primarily via the rise of genome editing and

HOW AMAZON GO WORKS

artificial intelligence. Technology is no longer just a tool we use to achieve something - we are actually (as McLuhan predicted) becoming tools (ie. technology) ourselves. Some of my futurist colleagues call this

THE SHIFT TO THE CLOUD

transhumanism - something I personally think we should examine with great caution. Yet, exponential technological development in sectors such as computing and deep learning, nano-science, material sciences, energy

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CHANGING THE INDIAN IT LANDSCAPE

(batteries!) etc means that beyond a doubt we are quickly heading towards that point where computers/robots / AI will have the same processing power as the human brain (10 quadrillion CPS - connections per second), the so-called singularity, in probably less than 10 years. When this happens we will need to decide of we want to 'merge' with the machines or not, and the stance I am taking in this book is clear on that discussion: we should

MAJOR EVENTS AFFECTING INDIAN IT INDUSTRY IN 2017

embrace technology but not become it because technology is not what we seek, it's how we seek! Source: Forbes.com


EX C ITING TE C H STARTUPS TO LOOK OUT FOR By Shanay Singh

As 2017 drew to a close and all of us are looking forward to the new year ahead, there are many new and exciting happenings in the Indian startup ecosystem. 2017 marked the registration of over 1000 tech

"Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born." - Alan Kay (Computer Scientist)

startups, taking the total to 5,200 and making India the world's thirdlargest startup ecosystem, according to the report released by Nasscom

The global internet now

and Zinnov on 2nd November. Artificial Intelligence and Analytics were

connects more than 3

the leading technologies, witnessing a significant growth of 75 percent

billion people. India’s 277

and 40 percent respectively.

million Internet users

The B2B segment had 40% of the startups with over 30% share in the

now overshadows the US,

overall tech startups funding. The Fin-Tech startup base indicated a 31%

making it the world’s

YoY growth with an estimated number of 360 startups as of 2017. The

largest Internet market

startups in this space received over $200 mn funding in H1-2017

next to China, according

recording a 135% growth when compared to H1 2016. The main

to Mary Meeker’s famous

subsegments in this area were digital payments, lending, wealth

Internet trends report.

management and ensure-tech. The Health- Tech vertical has an estimated base of 320 startups with a YoY growth of 28% in 2017 while the B2C segment, which focussed on creating innovative business models and taking the vertical approach, consists of over 60% of startups and secured almost 70% of the overall tech startup funding in H1 2017. .


Growing at a five-year CAGR of about 30%, advanced tech startups in 2017 mainly focused on creating products and solutions in segments like Artificial Intelligence, Analytics, Augmented Reality / Virtual reality, Blockchain, and the Internet of Things. With the total base of advanced tech startups currently at 700+, Artificial Intelligence was the fastest growing among the technologies at 75% while Blockchain, which deals with cryptocurrency, also starting to pick up growth by the second half of the year. 2018 promises to be an even more eventful year with several new age technology start-ups expected to make an impact in this space. Let's take a look at some of the most exciting tech start-ups that are a must watch in 2018.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic." - Arthur

Team Indus, a Bangalore based tech start-up, has been working for a long time to build and                                           develop Monikered 'ECA', a rover which will possibly walk on the surface of the moon most probably by early next year. To be launched from Sriharikota abroad an ISRO’s PSLV rocket, the four-wheeled aluminum rocket is   going to be bundled in an indigenously-built

C. Clarke

spacecraft. Founded by Rahul Narayan, an IIT-Delhi alumnus, Team

according to the Internet

Indus is currently competing in the Google Lunar X Prize (GLXP)

& Mobile Association of

Challenge where the winner will receive a grand prize of $20 million. It

India (IAMAI). App usage

is currently among the top 5, down from 32 competing teams and is the

is high, but users actually

only Indian company to reach this far.

spend more time

(Author) 74% of India’s Internet users are on mobile,

consuming content through mobile web Vrushali Prasade, Shubham Mishra, and Harikrishna Valiyath, three BITS PilaniGoa undergraduate students, decided to drop out of college in early 2015, with just an idea of creating something better than the Oculus and started Absentia VR.

browsers (Google Chrome, UC Browser, etc.). Given this statistic, what’s even more surprisingly is that only 3 to 4% of websites in India are mobile enabled according to a recent report by Zinnov. So, the opportunity to create device friendly digital presence is huge!


Absentia VR flagship product has been Norah AI, an artificial-intelligence powered engine that creates 360 degrees panoramic content from 2D images or videos.It uses proprietary algorithms that stitch individual images together and add depth of field to photographs for an immersive experience. The content is viewed on flat screen displays and VR headsets. Their vision is to build an autonomous, AI-powered ecosystem for interactive content creation which would drive a self-fuelling marketplace for elements ranging from animations to full games.

Ranjith Parakkal, 37, founded Bengaluru-based startup Uncanny Vision in the year 2013. After spending 11 years at Texas Instruments as a global technical architect for vision and image processing, he went on to file a patent in image processing which laid the foundation for the startup. Uncanny Vision has been developing Artificial Intelligence -powered computer vision to be embedded into next-generation intelligent surveillance cameras.The team have made a lot of progress in this domain and have developed an optimized AI-based computer algorithmic solution for intelligent surveillance cameras to provide realtime alerts.

technological inventions created

The Bengaluru based, Y Combinator-backed startup thinks that data cost in India is very high at present. Cofounder Shubhendu Sharma believes that even after the launch of Jio there is a lot of room for price wars to happen and they are confident that they can drop the prices even further. They are on a mission to make our cities Internet-friendly by building technologies which people use every day and are affordable, fast and easily accessible. They provide data services in the form of pre-paid tokens sold by small shops like tea stalls and local Kirana stores in Bengaluru.

                                    

"All of the biggest

Founded in 2015, Kissht is an EMI based payment and digital lending platform. With a large number of EMI payment options like EMI on Credit Card, Debit Card and even without Card, Kissht aims to empower online as well as offline Merchant stores to provide comfortable and quick EMI to consumers who wish to purchase  electronic items such as laptops,  mobiles,  ACs, and even home and kitchen appliances.

They also provide EMI options to buy tour Packages, health Packages and much more through their tie-ups with more than 20 financial Institutions across India. The Mumbai-based fintech startup had recently raised $10 Mn funding in a round led by Fosun International, a Chinese investment conglomerate. The existing investors of the startup also took part in the equity financing round, which closed in the last week of November 2017.

by man - the airplane, the automobile, the computer - says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness." - Mark Kennedy (Author) According to the research firm Gartner, public cloud services spending in India was $731 million in 2015, and cloud related spending in India is expected to outpace the rest of the world to reach as much as $1.9 billion by 2019.


SOFTWARE ROBOTS REMOVE BOREDOM FROM JOBS By Aditi Patil

A typical day in the life of a procurement staff consists of scanning their mailbox for vendor invoice, downloading the invoice (pdf format), copying data from the invoice to the company’s ERP system, and prioritizing the data entry into the ERP system based on the date of the invoice. These actions are repeated for over 20-50 times per day or more, depending on the volume of the business. For the procurement staff, this work soon becomes tedious, boring and time-consuming, especially for a large procurement organization. Also, they are bound to make mistakes due to fatigue or boredom. What if the procurement staff gets an assistant - “Software Robot” -

"Technology made large populations possible; large populations now make technology indispensable." - Joseph Krutch (Writer)

who does all the mundane tasks, more efficiently than human beings, along with a significant reduction in time? This would give the staff the

There are 462 Million

opportunity to focus on more productive work or to re-skill themselves

internet users in India

for more challenging work.

in which more than 200

What is RPA?

Million are social media

A more sophisticated term for “software robots” is Robotic Process

active users.

Automation. Robotic process automation is simply a type of software that mimics the activity of a human carrying out a task within a process through the user interface of a computer system. It can simulate almost all human activities such as opening a particular file, transferring data from one file to another; be it excel, pdf, word, powerpoint or any other application, browsing website, copying data from that website, data validation and a lot more. Routine, rule-based, and high-volume processes that are susceptible to high-error rates are ideal for RPA.


RPA can make a huge difference in any computer dependent organization. According to NASSCOM, RPA implementation can provide companies with a cost reduction of 35-65 percent in onshore process operations, 10-30 percent in offshore delivery, and an investment recovery period as short as 6-9 months. RPA application in different industries • Utility Companies For Utility companies such as electricity, gas, water RPA can make a significant impact by dealing with daily monetary transactions, meter-reading exceptions, debtrecovery and customer service. • Legal Industry In the legal industry, software robots can scan through a massive stack of documents needed for a single legal case and provide relevant information to a lawyer in seconds. • Insurance Industry The high volume of transactions and lot of paperwork in Insurance Industry is perfect for RPA. RPA can help insurance companies automate entire workflows and streamline a greater number of their operational activities. • Banking Industry RPA can work with and across legacy systems. Banking institutions can use RPA and reduce the number of database administrators to manage their numerous independent databases and also to solve failed transactions without human intervention. • BPO Industry RPA is widely used in the BPO industry to replace the labor-intensive back office functions. On 8th September 2016, India’s largest private lender, ICICI Bank, became the first bank in India to deploy ‘software robots.’ The robot emulates human action in the bank's over 200 business processes, thereby reducing the response time to customers by up to 60 percent. ICICI Bank, that has a network of 4,451 branches and 14,073 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), has deployed these software robots across the organization, including retail banking operations, agri-business, trade and forex, treasury, and human resources management among others. According to the Institute for Robotic Process Automation, an RPA software robot costs about one-third the price of a full-time offshore employee (FTE) and one-fifth the price of an onshore worker. Another report by McKinsey & Company predicts the additional labor productivity of RPA is expected to be equivalent to the output of between 110 million and 140 million workers. Definitely, ‘Software

"Information Technology and businesses are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other" - Bill Gates

Robots’ will take away dull, repetitive jobs, but at the same time force the existing workforce to re-skill themselves for strategic, analytical or creative tasks. Managers across all domains –finance, operations, marketing, human resources, etc. – need to be aware of the capabilities and shortcomings of disruptive technologies such as RPA to effectively utilize these technologies and bring about favorable changes to the bottom line of their businesses.

The Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Bengaluru, and Research and Development Establishment (Engineers), Pune, are centres for robotics and AI under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).


HOW AMAZON GO WORKS By Nishant Chaudhery

Amazon has been planning concepts which nobody imagines, starting from drone delivery to now Amazon Go. Started by the internet behemoths with continuous innovation, this unprecedented technology was born. Amazon started the new initiative testing last year, and now it is open for normal public in Seattle, USA. This technology requires nothing but a specific application on your smartphone. People with the app can enter the store, choose the products they want and then leave the store with them. First, you need to download the Amazon Go app that helps you gain entry to the store. Once inside, hundreds of cameras and electronic sensors follow people’s movements and record all the products chosen. The products are then placed in the app’s virtual shopping cart. In other words, the app remembers the lot chosen by the customer. If you decide against buying one or more products before leaving the store, the

"Technology made large populations possible; large populations now make technology indispensable." - Joseph Krutch (Writer)

software automatically removes those items from its memory. The system is powered by artificial intelligence. So how does this actually work?, you may be wondering. When you enter the store and put your phone on entry on the store’s scanner, the customers get a QR code that is your ticket to enter the store. As soon as you enter you are constantly monitored with the help of Sensors and Cameras that track you continuously like in part of the store you are, what are you watching, even the shelfs also have integrated sensors which are weight based with tracks all your doings in the store. Because of these sensors, the AI will get to know how many items are picked of the same product based on the weight that directly can be added to the cart for processing. And even if you take one product and put the product back it also directly removes the product from your cart.

There are 462 Million internet users in India in which more than 200 Million are social media active users.


All this is possible because of these cameras, sensors and the machine learning AI which helps to determine what you have picked and what is removed from the shelves and can be restocked again. The technique used is as similar to the self-driving car which also uses sensors, cameras, and radar to check and examine people’s movement. It also tracks your buying history while you shop which can be useful if it does not recognize what product you have purchased on the basis of your preference. At the end of the visit, the customer just walks out of the store with all the desired products. Payment is made automatically through the app, which is linked to the buyer’s credit card. The first Amazon Go is a small food market, selling mainly ready-to-eat products and drinks. It sits on the first floor of Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle.

"If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner." - Omar Bradley (General, US Army) In India, three new ecommerce users are generated every second taking it to the ranks of being the second largest market in terms of users. But 26% of shopping carts are abandoned due to forced user registration and the items in it are never purchased.


THE SHIFT TO THE C LOUD By Nikhil Dargan

The computing power, which once was the territory of huge IT giants that possessed strongly centralized computers and in-house servers is witnessing a shift to the cloud. The organizations are anxiously trimming their elaborate plans pertaining to IT and following the trend are the startups' with their growing need for more and more processing limit. Wisely, they are opting to not invest in pricey equipment and servers. The cloud organizations, with their vast network of data centers, principally provide these services all over the web. Alongside worldwide pioneers, Amazon, Microsoft and Google, small players infused by the possibility of a Digital India are also trudging into this lucrative market. Here's more, given the exponentially growing market, the other

"The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers." - Sydney Harris (Journalist)

engaging factor is the top-notch security. With the suppliers demonstrating how they superiorly secure information against hackers,

Tata Consultancy

an ever-increasing number of CIOs are avoiding their expensive bundled

Services has launched

programming, and IT support contracts for cloud-based services.

its AI platform called

Now, let's try to understand why cloud computing doesn't register as

Ignio, and Wipro has

just another IT based models. To reason this, we find that it

launched a cognitive

concentrates principally on its service implementation, instead of

computing system

technology. Thus, the conveyance of cloud computing administrations is

called “Holmes.” Infosys

comparable to a conventional supply and demand chain in which

has acquired the US

services are offered to clients in words that they comprehend, and the

automation specialist

rest technicalities are withheld. Customers of the cloud are only billed

Panaya Inc for $200

for what they use and have the liberty to place service orders as and

million.

when required. See, it's just another 'add to cart', 'add filter', etc purchase.


A model is only successful if it's constantly adapting to the growing demands, needs. Likewise, cloud computing services should be modeled always placing the users need and benefit in mind. The most impactful arrangements envelop IT assignment and service mechanization and furthermore encompass into business benefit computerization. Here, technology (e.g., capacity, CPU centers and IP addresses) is not the service delivered, but rather the very building block for the services. Zinnov's study on Indian public Cloud Market Landscape says, "With multiple growth drivers like investments in local data centers, maturing channel partner ecosystem, and rapidly growing developer ecosystem, cloud spending will continue to dominate the market landscape and cross the $10 billion mark by 2025, including both public and private cloud spending", gives an important insight into the near future. In the number game, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is expected to continue to be the biggest spend category within public cloud at $2.6-2.8 billion, followed by Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cumulatively accounting for $1.2 billion by 2025. The report also mentions that while the mature enterprise ecosystem is significantly in demand, the vibrant SMB/start-up landscape and government initiatives are indeed bound to increase public cloud consumption going forward. Overall, the vertical forms of IT/ITeS make up the massive share of approximately 35-45 percent of the total public cloud spending, while huge investments in data centers by technology sellers for banking, financial services, and the insurance (BFSI) segment, is taking up cloud adoption. The Government of India is looking up too. A number of projects by the government can be seen migrating to cloud computing services. Few of these famed projects are NREGA, Aadhar project, National population register and the National rural health mission. Mr. Nilekani- chairman of the UIDAI stated during a talk to the World Bank, “First of all, this is not an ID project. There is no card. There is a number. It is a virtual number on the cloud, and we don’t give a physical card". The hierarchy is switching from physical tangibility to virtual extension. While we are at it, it's right to wish for other numerous applications to be created for the advantage of us commoners. Be it for training purposes or for the general noble idea of world peace or for the betterment of health and other heavily substantial elements. These innovations can take government tasks to the zenith level.

"Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response." - Arthur Schlesinger (Historian)

Obviously, even the private sector has been eyeing the arena, having judged and weighed every possibility to gain profit from the advantages of the cloud. The big Indian organizations like Flipkart, Wipro have effectively actualized cloud to fulfill the necessities of their organization and their ever-expanding customer base. Another interesting example of an organization benefiting from the advantage of cloud and using its offerings for customers is Wipro. Wipro Limited (Western India Products Limited) is a multinational IT Consulting and System Integration administrations organization. Wipro not just concurs that cloud is changing the course of business techniques in all of its divisions and entirety but  also immovably trusts that a complete fruitful association requires better business and IT arrangement, enhanced hierarchical spryness and advancement of IT costs which can be accomplished through cloud administrations. They are putting forth benefits like cloud consultative, cloud framework services, cloud application movement, open cloud application, Business Process as a Service(BPAAS), cloud service benefit, cloud coordination and also cloud security.

Global technology sector exports are worth $2 trillion annually: the top five positions are occupied by China ($350 billion), Germany ($140 billion), the US ($140 billion), South Korea ($103 billion), and Japan and India ($ 99 billion).


ARTIFI C IAL INTELLIGEN C E C HANGING THE INDIAN IT LANDS C APE

"The advance of

By Rajat Mohile

technology is based on

India is the world's largest out-sourcing destination for the information technology (IT) industry, accounting for approximately 67% of the $124130 billion US market. In recent times, IT industry has emerged as an employment provider in the country as well as a major contributor to the industry revenue. Though Indian IT industry has been influenced by software development services in the beginning, the trend is changing. The country is becoming the R&D hub of multinational IT companies. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is, currently, one of the most sought-after areas in technology across the globe. Research and development in this field is now growing exponentially and reaching different verticals and industries. India is one of the countries where innovation in AI is gaining increasing traction. Spurring AI-based innovation and establishing AI-

making it fit in so that you don't really even notice it, so it's part of everyday life." - Bill Gates

ready infrastructure are thus necessary to prepare India’s jobs and skills markets to secure its strategic interests. Artificial Intelligence in India Today, people's lives are being impacted by AI in ways which were close to unfathomable few years ago. Until recently, the private sector has largely driven this subtle growth of AI technology, which has been focused primarily on consumer goods. The implications of AI’s applications make it imperative for policymakers in governments of emerging countries like ours as well the Indian IT industry to push for developing and adopting AI-based platforms. Considering the increasing growth of a digital economy, fueled by improving education and globalization, the Indian consumer has unknowingly benefitted the most from the recent advances in AI. Through the use of a variety of online facilities such as Amazon Marketplace and Netflix, that make intelligent product and service recommendations by learning from the online behavior of consumers, consumers are involved in the proliferation of AI in India. Artificial

In March of last year, a robot beat the world champion (a human being, to clarify) at the game Go – which is about 10 years ahead of when boffins had predicted this would happen.


Traditionally, these firms have employed millions of employees for their outsourcing operations. However, in recent years, IT employees in India are being laid-off on an unprecedented scale, due to the companies' increasing adoption of AI-based platforms in their operations. According to U.S.-based agency HfS Research, India’s IT services industry is set to lose 6.4 lakh low-skilled positions to automation by 2021. The reason India’s largest software exporters are investing heavily in building these intelligent platforms despite the loss of human capital is that they aid in cutting operational costs and avoiding human intervention in repetitive basic tasks. For outsourcing firms of such huge size, it has become necessary to invest in these AI platforms, as they can be an important differentiator for clients expecting digital solutions for their core businesses. Push by companies In recent years, leading Indian IT corporations have been making efforts to develop AI-based platforms, considering the prevailing need for the technology.  After nearly three years with the combined efforts of over 100 scientists from two of Tata Consultancy Services’(TCS) research and development labs, the firm developed its own AI platform, Ignio, in 2015. Apart from using machine learning to help TCS' clients develop applications quickly, Ignio, offers a strategic planning capability for infrastructure management and a differentiating delivery in a challenging and competitive service market. The company recently unveiled its plans to transform Ignio into a standalone brand, which, as per expert opinions, is similar to building a software company with different model to its traditional services. Wipro has also developed its own AI platform, 'Heuristics and ontologybased learning machines and experiential systems, abbreviated 'Holmes', which will help them get more business from existing clients and win new outsourcing deal. In April 2017, Infosys launched its new artificial intelligence platform ‘Nia’, which can help businesses understand customer behaviour, forecast revenues, and enable them to deep dive into content of contracts and deal with compliance and fraud. Meanwhile, Intel is also banking on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to drive demand for its electronic chips in India on AI, for which it is aiming to train 15,000 scientists, developers, engineers and students under its 'AI Developer Education Program'. It includes 60 courses, which will train people on ways they can adopt AI for better research, testing or even building of products. According to Mr. Prakash Mallya, managing director at Intel for South Asia, incorporation of AI in developing nations such as our nations would be significantly quicker as compared to developed ones, as the magnitude of progress it will bring will be far greater. According to Intel, by 2025, AI would add to the greatest workload in data hubs, as an investigation of information turns out to be always vital for organizations, governments, and the scholarly world. Courtesy of the impetus being given to the start-up culture in India by the current government, AI-based start-ups have proliferated in the country over the past few years. Edge Networks, Locus, Netradyne, Tricon, and Embibe, are some of the leading AI-based start-ups in India.  Technology Giants back Digital India vision One of the high points of the Digital India mission is the high level of interest demonstrated by Indian as well as global technology giants to partner with the Indian Government in the mission. The latest company to jump the bandwagon is Juniper Networks, with an INR 6,700 crore investment for the digital India drive. According to sources, the firm is looking at schemes such as digitization and digital infrastructure for every Indian national. Legacy tech giant Intel announced a number of projects to back the Digital India vision.  One of its projects is aimed at accelerating digital literacy ‘Ek Kadam Unnati Ki Aur’ initiative.

"Technology is nothing. What's important is that you have a faith in people, that they're basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they'll do wonderful things with them." - Steve Jobs It’s not just tech and business that artificial intelligence is creeping into, of course. Get this: a computer program has been developed to imitate the style of one of the greatest painters of all time, Rembrandt


HCL Technologies recently made an announcement stating that it would enter an alliance with IBM to design systems for smart inventory management, remote monitoring, and smart buildings. Tech Mahindra recently announced a collaboration with a  Dutch company, Tomtom, which specializes in making smart devices for navigation, to develop solutions for inter-connected cars. Infosys, in the last week of September, said it was partnering with General Electric to develop new solutions in the IoT space. TCS said it had invested in growing the capability of AI and would continue to look for such partnerships. AI has been contributing to the Indian IT and start up sectors by offering companies with the unparalleled advantage of data-driven decision-making, which leads to efficiency and also provides cost effective alternatives to certain business processes. Start-ups can now use AI technologies create a mark in the industry. Artificial intelligence in India is still at a young stage of growth. AI created a significant impact after 20-25 years of its introduction in the developed countries. In India, so far AI had been leveraged mainly for analysis of data on a small scale. Now, due the very nature of the service-based Indian IT firms, AI platforms are being increasingly developed and incorporated. Hence, after a few years we can surely expect the technology to grow and get adopted by the Indian IT industry.

"Technology is nothing. What's important is that you have a faith in people, that they're basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they'll do wonderful things with them. " -Â Satya Nadella In January 2015, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and dozens of Artificial Intelligence experts signed an open letter on AI, calling for research on the societal impacts and urging researchers not to create something which cannot be controlled.


MAJOR EVENTS AFFE C TING INDIAN IT INDUSTRY IN 2017 By Amit Mohan Singh

Indian IT sector contribution to GDP stood at 7.7% in 2016. The global IT and ITes marked reached US$ 1.2 trillion in 2016-17. It also stands as one of the highest employee generation sector for the country. IT sector has spread its branches in nearly every industry, and an efficient IT infrastructure is becoming the backbone for the success of any firm. Following are some of the major events that affected IT industry: Massive Layoffs: IT industry saw a massive reduction in employees’ workforce last year across various industries. Reasons included firms’ mergers policies & attention shift, government policies (demonetization), etc. Hindustan Times estimated that around 56,000 employees were likely to lose their job in the Indian IT sector by the end of the year. Apart from Wipro, Cognizant, Infosys, the elites of Indian IT

"New technology is not good or evil in and of itself. It's all about how people choose to use it." - David  Wong

industry who themselves cut around 1500-2000 jobs, below mentioned are some examples which threatened the stability of IT:

The rising tide of cyber

(a) Aircel: This telecom giant lay off around 700 employees in its first

crime has pushed

stage of workforce reduction by February 2017 which was attributed to

information security (a

the merger between Reliance Communication and Aircel.

subset of

By the end of the year, entire telecom industry saw nearly one-fourth of

cybersecurity)

its strength reduced which sums up to around 75000 employees.

spending to more than

(b) Snapdeal: In an attempt to fight toe to toe with their rivals Flipkart

$86.4 billion in 2017,

and to turn around their fortunes, Snapdeal is believed to handed pink

according to Gartner.

slips to around 1000-1500 of its workforce which ranged up to 80% of their total strength. (c) LeEco: Deciding to focus more on US and Chinese market, with the added financial crisis at hand, LeEco fired around 85% of its Indian staff.


(d) Craftsvilla: This ethnic fashion website laid off more than 100 of its employees which included its entire product and technology team. (e) YepMe: This fashion retailer had fired an unspecified number of employees on account of drastic reduction in its sales due to customer’s reluctance of utilizing country’s most commonly used COD payment option due to demonetization. H1B Visa reforms: Goldman Sachs estimates that Indian were 70.1% of H1B visa program beneficiary in 2017. President Donald Trump’s implementation of “Buy American, Hire American” strategy, however, is an attempt to limit the number of such immigrants and promote companies to choose Americans over foreigners. This news shocked Indian IT environment and caused the drop in shares value of IT giants TCS by 4.47%, Infosys by 2%, and Wipro by 1.62%. The strategy also aimed to more than double the minimum salary of H1B visa holders which would then force companies to opt for Americans over cheaper Indian employee. Sushma Swaraj, the Indian External Affairs Minister, put these issues as a “strong concern” during a meeting with US Congressional delegates. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) also put forward a report “Indian Roots, American Soil” stating that Indian firms have created more than 113,000 jobs in the US and have invested nearly $18 billion in the country, $147 million towards CSR, & $588 million RnD expenditures in the US. Given such resistance from India and other local political parties which considered such a bill as a threat to US prosperity, it wasn’t passed as introduced but was forced for a reconsideration. Currently, effective introduced H1B reforms include toughening of H1B renewal process where candidates are now subjected to go through similar procedures as while applying visa for the first time. Whatever be the upcoming reforms, Indian IT firms needs to look into some significant strategic changes of their own. Cyber attacks: As the world moves more towards a data-driven approach, collection of more and more data becomes a high priority. Hackers, realizing the importance of data, and vulnerability of securities have become more active than ever. CERT-In and 4 Sectoral Computer Emergency Response teams look over India’s cybersecurity. CERT-In has reported of more than 27,000 cyber threat security incidents in the first half of 2017 itself, out of which 27 were ransomware attacks; which is alarming as total ransomware attacks reported in 2015 and 2015 were 0 and 2 respectively. Increases in cyber-attacks have forced TRAI (telecom regulator) and judiciary to step in who are chalking out ways how companies can

"Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation." -Dean Kamen

handle user data in India. Following are some past year cybersecurity incidents: (a) BSNL malware attack: Affected 60000 modems which had basic admin-admin username password combination (b) WannaCry: Hit worldwide and demanded ransom in Bitcoins. It is reported that even few Indian banks were a victim of it. (c) Data Breaches: Zomato saw details of 7.7 million user’s info stolen. Jio user private info was kept public on a website: magicapk.com

The cybersecurity community and major media have largely concurred on the prediction that cyber crime damages will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

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Bits & Bytes- The official newsletter of the IT Committee, IIM Rohtak

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