February 9, 2010

Paypal suspends payment to India without explanation

PayPal, the online payment service provider that is a owned by eBay of San Jose, has shocked Indian nationals who rely on the service by suspending payment transactions to and from India for more than a week. Almost nothing was given in explanation for this abrupt action except a vague blog post on their website by Anuj Nayar, a PayPal spokesman:

Personal payments to and from India and transfers to local banks in India have been suspended while we work with our business partners and other stakeholders to address questions they have about the service

PayPal executives have been unavailable for comment on specific reasons why the service was discontinued. There is speculation that this may have something to do with new Indian government rules aimed at preventing money laundering. Last November, the Indian government introduced rules requiring financial institutions and other intermediaries to verify the identity of clients carrying out international money transfers.

Paypal has not just been blocking all their money transfer but has also not letting the Indian account holders withdraw money they already have in their accounts. For the past week, merchants have been unable to withdraw funds in Rupees to local Indian banks. shocking many Indians who have relyed on the service. The blocking started on January 28th and Paypal will only say that it is working to resolve the current situations in “the shortest span of time.”

Filed under Banking and Financial Services, India by

November 29, 2007

Clearstone Venture Partners to invest $30 million in India consumer markets

Venture capital investor Clearstone Venture Partners, which has two offices in California and one in Mumbai, plans to invest $30-40 million in companies focusing on India’s consumer market in fiscal 2008. According to a press release from the company, Clearstone, which has $650 million in committed capital under management, has invested a total of $21 million in three Indian companies with partners since 2006. Clearstone Venture Partners, which plans to focus on India’s high-growth, consumer-driven market, says the sector is not overcrowded with investors,”The market is still underplayed. It can take more investors.” said Clearstone Director Rahul Khanna.

Filed under India, Venture Capital by

November 14, 2007

Cisco Systems to invest another $100 million in India

Cisco Systems, the giant San Jose, Calif., networking company, will invest a further $100 million in venture capital initiatives in India. VentureBeatWire reports that that tand he plan was mentioned by Chief Executive John Chambers and follows two years after Cisco announced a plan to invest $1.1 billion in India over two to three years, including $100 million in venture investments. This is an expansion of that plan.

Filed under India, Venture Capital by

October 31, 2007

Gap scrambles to contain damage from sweatshop allegations

California clothing retailer, Gap, Inc., is reeling from a report in Britain’s Observer newspaper that found children as young as 10 making clothes for the Gap in a squalid factory in New Delhi. The children said they had been working for up to 15 hours a day and had never been given promised wages for embroidering sequins onto the flowing saris worn by Indian women. An AP report said the children were packed into a filthy room, sleeping on the same floor where they sewed all day. Gap responded by saying the factory was being run by a subcontractor who was hired in violation of Gap’s policies, and none of the products made there will be sold in its stores. “We appreciate that the media identified this subcontractor, and we acted swiftly in this situation,” Gap spokesman Bill Chandler told an AP reporter. “Under no circumstances is it acceptable for children to produce or work on garments.”

Filed under Fashion and Apparel, India, Legal and Criminal Issues by

October 2, 2007

Falling dollar pushing up India outsourcing costs

Interesting article in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Around the globe, the falling dollar is touching everyone in the business world, from Saudi oil princes to U.S. computer-makers, making American goods and services cheaper while raising the cost of foreign products.

One effect that hasn’t received much attention is how the dollar’s relentless drop is throwing a bit of sand into the gears of India’s vaunted technology machine. That movement of technology operations to India is a trend that has emerged as a prime symbol of globalization in recent years.

The reason U.S. companies went to India for technology in the first place was to save money. Workers there in the outsourcing sector earn roughly one-eighth as much as their American counterparts, according to experts on India business. And software development services that might cost $200 to $275 per person per hour in the United States can be purchased from an Indian company for $25 an hour or less, those experts note.

The past year, the dollar has fallen from about 45 rupees to about 39. That 13 percent drop, on top of significant pay increases there, has shaved part of the Indian cost advantage, forcing both buyers and sellers of technology services to adapt. And economists expect the rupee to strengthen over the long term as India’s economy matures.

“We are facing some tough questions. It’s not an easy process,” said GK Murthy, senior vice president with Sierra Atlantic, a Fremont business software services company that does most of its programming in India.

One ironic bit of fallout from the falling dollar: Big Indian software companies are stepping up their hiring of American tech workers, who have suddenly become a lot cheaper to employ. For example, Bangalore technology giant Wipro Technologies recently unveiled a plan for a software development center in the Atlanta area that ultimately could hire 500 programmers.

Full article:

Filed under India, Information Technology by

July 26, 2007

Canaan Partners invests in India-based career social networking portal

Canaan Partners, a $2.4 billion global venture capital firm, today announced it has led a joint investment with The Entrepreneur’s Funds and Miven Venture Partners in techTribe, India’s leading career networking portal. techTribe is a software company that enables current and future Indian technology professionals to enhance their careers through social networking. The investment will be used to expand techTribe’s sales and marketing infrastructure in India and to drive new revenue growth. Alok Mittal, Canaan’s managing director in India, will be named to the techTribe board of directors.

Filed under India, Venture Capital by

May 10, 2007

Chief Minister of Indian State of Andhra Pradesh on trade mission in California

“A popular state leader from India is on a trade mission in California. The idea is to forge new alliances between California’s Silicon Valley and the booming Indian economy. The popular Chief Minister of Andhra Pardesh, India is making a splash in Silicon Valley. Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy comes armed with a trade video touting his southern region of India, and desire for new investment. Chief Minister Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, State of Andhra Pradesh: ‘So the synergy’s we have with California, we want to enlarge for that the synergy’s we have with Silicon Valley, we want to enlarge with that.’ India predicts its demand for semiconductors will be a $35 billion dollar market by 2015. Many Silicon Valley companies are already there and expanding, others are moving in… This is a busy day for the Chief Minster. After networking in Silicon Valley, he went to Sacramento to meet with Governor Arnold Schwazenegger and then back to San Jose for an event tonight with Lt. Governor John Garamendi… Chief Minister Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, ‘The Californians they should try to go into more research and more value added things and try to outsource less important things to developing countries like us and have it be a win-win situation for both.’ Dr. Reddy may not be able to sell his ideas to everyone, but he is eager to sell Andhra Pardesh India to California.”

Filed under Foreign Relations, India, Silicon Valley by

March 19, 2007

San Diego Flight Training School signs MOU to train India pilots

“San Diego Flight Training International (SDFTI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Apace Consultants to begin training hundreds of student pilots from India and throughout Southeast Asia. The MOU established a framework in which students bound for India-based airlines will be referred to SDFTI for flight training, using the school’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved commercial multiengine curriculum with additional elements that meet specific requirements of India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) commercial pilot license guidelines. ‘Aviation in India is growing at a tremendous rate, but there are not enough instructors or equipment for pilot trainees,’ said Phil Thalheimer, President of SDFTI. ‘We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Apace Consultants. Our intent is to provide the best personalized training for each and every aspiring pilot.’”

Filed under Aerospace and Aviation, India by

March 13, 2007

Wine Institute asks for trade talks with India

“The Wine Institute, which represents more than 1,000 California wineries and related businesses, said Friday it strongly supports a request by U.S. trade representatives for World Trade Organization-sponsored talks to reduce what it called India’s ‘prohibitive duties’ on U.S. wines and distilled spirits. The San Francisco-based wine industry trade association wants the WTO to set up dispute-settlement talks to resolve the disagreement. India, with a population of more than 1 billion people and a rapidly growing economy, is becoming an increasingly important market for international wines and spirits producers, including those from California and the United States. But producers complain that it imposes several layers of additional duties on imports of wine and distilled spirits beyond basic customs duties.”

Filed under Agriculture and Food, India by

March 8, 2007

GlobalRoads opens India facility

The Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal reports: “GlobalRoads Inc., which focuses on sales automation services and open source for businesses, said Wednesday it launched a new product engineering center in India. Sunnyvale-based GlobalRoads said the center in Hyderabad is expected to employ up to 70 percent of the company’s engineering resources over the next three years” “We strongly believe that all our planned investments in India will help deliver at an accelerated pace on the company’s product and services commitments while enabling economies of scale and desired cost advantages,” company president and co-founder Bradford Newton said in a prepared statement.”

Filed under India, Information Technology by

February 22, 2007

Jacobs scores two new overseas contracts

“Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (of Pasadena) has received two new contracts, one from the Indian Oil Corp. Limited and a second from POWEO Production… In its contract from Indian Oil Corp. Limited, a Jacobs subsidiary will provide project management consultancy services for a 400,000 tons per year Motor Spirit Quality project at its Panipat Refinery in the state of Haryana, India…

Separately, Jacobs announced that it will provide owner engineer support for a new 400 MWe combined cycle Gas turbine power plant at Pont-sur-Sambre, France…The facility will be the first production unit operated by POWEO Group who has been an electricity trader on the French energy market for almost four years.”

Filed under Energy Industry, France, India by

February 20, 2007

NEA to invest up to $200 million in India

“New Enterprise Associates Pvt. Ltd. said Monday it is expanding in India and focusing up to $200 million in several technology sectors there. The venture capital firm, which has an office in Menlo Park, said the Mumbai office and upcoming investments are in line with its strategy to develop a presence in the emerging markets of India and China.”

Filed under India, Venture Capital by

Proxim opens facility in India

“Proxim Wireless Corp., which focuses on scalable broadband wireless networking systems for service providers, municipalities, governments and enterprises, said Monday it opened a new facility in India. San Jose-based Proxim, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Terabeam Inc., said the new facility will be used for development and deployment of its Wi-Fi mesh, WiMAX, and MeshMAX product lines and to support its burgeoning Indian customer base.”

Filed under India, Telecommunications by

February 17, 2007

University of California delegation headed to India

“A delegation of University of California faculty members and administrators led by President Robert C. Dynes will embark this week on a high-level visit to India aimed at dramatically strengthening research and educational collaborations between California and India. The week-long visit to New Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai beginning Feb. 17 will bring UC researchers together with leaders from some of India’s top academic, governmental, and industrial institutions to discuss how California and India can collaborate to develop solutions to common pressing challenges in science, technology, health, and economic development. Joining Dynes on the visit will be representatives of the UC-based California Institutes for Science and Innovation, UC’s Global Health Sciences initiative, UC agriculture faculty, and UC external relations staff. The delegation will meet with Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the Indian minister of science and technology, representatives of technology companies in India, leaders of several Indian research and education institutes, and Indian public health advocates. ‘Most of the challenges facing our world today are not confined within the borders of any one state or country,’ Dynes said. ‘Solving the big challenges affecting our world – and sustaining a position of leader’. “

Filed under India, University of California by

Google funding India Venture Capital Firms

“Google has committed money to two Indian venture capital firms, saying fledgling companies in India with good ideas have too few avenues for financial support. Google invested undisclosed amounts into small venture firms Seedfund and Erasmic. The amounts were likely in the single digit millions… Last year, Google began investing directly into start-ups, including WiFI router company FON, and another WiFi router company Meraki. Overall, these investments have been very small, relative to the hundreds of millions invested by other large companies, such as Intel. Red Herring first wrote about the Google VC move a couple of weeks ago, and Samir Sood, Google’s head of corporate development in South Asia has since sent out a statement, explaining the move: “While the rush of large amounts of venture capital into India is well-documented, very little of this trickles down to the really small firms, the early-stage start-ups.”

Filed under India, Information Technology, Telecommunications, Venture Capital by

February 12, 2007

Indian Consulate in San Francisco has Information Security Breach

New American Media has reported that the Indian Consulate in San Francisco is in damage control following a San Francisco Chronicle report revealing that that piles of visa applications containing personal information were found in a recycling center with open public access. The report said the boxes contained confidential paperwork for virtually everyone in California and other Western states who applied for visas to travel to India between 2002 and 2005.

NAM reports that news of the data dumping comes at a time when there is growing concern in the U.S. about identity theft, and concern in particular about data security in India following recent reports of data theft in outsourcing operations there.

Consul General B.S. Prakash, in his defense, said they didn’t consider the documents confidential, “We would see something as confidential if it has a Social Security number or a credit card number, not a passport number.” Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Ronen Sen, however, disagreed: “I am appalled,” he said “What has happened is inexcusable.” Calling the dumping of documents “totally unacceptable,” he assured that “immediate remedial measures had been taken,” and pledged that “it will never recur again.”

Filed under Foreign Relations, India by

Caritor buys Keane for $854 million

“Caritor Inc, a $100 million California-headquartered global provider of IT services with a predominant presence in India, is acquiring US-based Keane Inc for $854 million in an all cash deal. Keane is a Boston headquartered publicly listed $900 million IT and BPO service provider. The combined entity will storm into the $1 billion league employing 14,000 employees… The new entity will have Keane as its name and the company will be taken private. The chairman of Caritor, Mani Subramanian, will be the Chairman and CEO of the new firm. Subramanian was among the key senior executives of Wipro during its growth days before leaving to start Caritor in 1993. The company was started as IT Solutions, which was then re-christened Caritor during 2004.”

Filed under India, Information Technology, Mergers and Acquisitions by

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