If you asked anyone four months ago about what application they would usually use for video conferencing with their friends or colleagues, it would mostly be Zoom or Google Hangouts. But video conferencing applications and platforms saw an exponential boom in demand and saw a steep increase in daily active users since the last three months. This is solely due to the COVID-19 pandemic which spread to all corners of the world and forced businesses to shut shops and offices as there is no vaccine for the virus. Organisations shifted their focus to investing in remote work setups and to using video conferencing applications to conduct team and client meetings.
Zoom was the clear winner during the initial stages of the pandemic as it already had the capabilities to host more than ten users in a single call. Therefore it came as no surprise that global daily active users on the Zoom App rose upto 67% since January 1st, 2020. However, other tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft began upgrading their video conferencing softwares so they could take on more volume of users.
Google Meets is a relatively new video conferencing platform offered by Google but now Google intends to make Google Meets a part of Gmail. This may sound simple but the impact is much more widespread, as this move basically offers Google to reach out to a wider audience. Gmail is one of the apps which boasts more than a five billion plus installations on the play store. Google basically intends to win the video conferencing war and it intends to do it quickly.
Most business meetings are joined via links, and most of those links are joined from one of three applications: Gmail client, Calendar client, or group communications app. Google’s Calendar app makes it easy to create Google Meet rooms and having Meets in Gmail means it is easier for the Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm to suggest a Google Meet link when a user types in a meeting or makes reference to one.
Google however cannot force any existing android smartphone maker to bundle Google Meets with Gmail on already released devices. However, Google can amend its contract so that future smartphone launches can include Meets. But in order to not lose any time Google is side stepping this whole process by basically building an app inside an app which means Google Meets being a part of Gmail makes it easier for Google to capture market share. Google will begin rolling out this feature on their next Gmail update and although users can toggle to turn this feature off, almost no one would even bother to do so.
Mukesh Ambani Enters Top Ten Billionaires List
Mukesh Ambani is the head of India’s biggest Petrochemical and Telecommunications giant Reliance Industries Limited. Mukesh Ambani also achieved a new milestone in his splendid career as he broke out into the World’s Top Ten Richest Billionaires list for the first time in his career.
Mukesh Ambani entered the high profile and exclusive club of billionaires as his net worth jumped to $ 64.5 billion which catapulted him to the exclusive list of the richest billionaires in the world. Mukesh Ambani is now the ninth richest billionaire in the world as he beats Google co founder Larry Page. Mukesh Ambani also holds the distinction of the only Asian tycoon in the exclusive list of World’s Top Ten Billionaires.
Mukesh Ambani is riding on the back of a series of investments into the company’s digital unit, Jio Platforms Ltd., which Reliance claimed made the company net debt free and also proved the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the fortunes of Reliance Industries.
While a crash in oil prices caused uncertainty in a stake sale of Reliance’s oil and chemicals division, in just two months Jio managed to attract some $ 15 billion which is more than half the investment into telecom companies worldwide this year. A report by popular equity and brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein predicted Jio is likely to capture 48% of India’s mobile subscriber market share by 2025.
Mukesh Ambani has an unmatched drive to become the biggest and the best industry leader in India as well as the world. In India, Reliance officially became the biggest petrochemical company last year, when it surpassed government owned Indian Oil Corporation to become the country’s largest company by revenue. Mukesh Ambani said “No power on Earth can stop India from rising higher (sic.)” during Reliance Industries latest Annual General Meeting (AGM.)
Infosys Considering Permanent Work From Home For 30% Or More Employees
In what could be considered as a game changing move if it becomes a reality, Infosys is considering the idea to permanently let about one third of its employees to work from home. Infosys is considered as one of the leading companies in the software and Information Technology (IT) sector in India, as well as the world. This Indian IT giant is always at the forefront of innovation and setting new market trends for others to follow.
Many companies and organizations across the globe and India have been forced to shift to a remote working model due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to work remotely is because the virus is highly contagious and can spread very quickly. Infosys might become one of the first companies to consider a plan for transitioning a large part of its employees into remote work, permanently.
In an interview with a popular business news daily, Infosys’s Head of Human Resources and Executive Vice President, Richard Lobo said “Once things are normal, over a period of time, probably 50 per cent of employees will come to office and the rest will work from home. Moving on, 66 per cent will be in office but 33 per cent will work permanently from home (sic.)” This translates to roughly 80,000 employees out of its total workforce of 2,42,371 employees. As offices are opening up gradually, Infosys has currently about 5 percent of its workforce going to offices in India while the rest are working from home. Commenting on the plan of action for the next few months Lobo said “we can’t predict the course of the pandemic but if it is following the path that it is, for most countries and if everything goes well, a third of total employees will come back to office (sic.)”
However, Infosys is not the only company mulling over transitioning into permanent work from home model. Another Indian IT giant, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) announced a whopping 75% of its 4,48,000 employees globally would be working from home by 2025.
Let us know if you think the work from home model will be adapted by various other companies in the future post COVID-19!
Target Sets A Benchmark By Raising Minimum Wage
Target Corporation is a well known organisation in the United States of America (USA) as one of leading retail chains in the Country. Target is always at the forefront of retail innovation and competes with its rival, Walmart to gain an upper hand. However, in a recent operational move Target has one upped its competitors when it announced it would raise its minimum wage from $ 13 an hour to $ 15 an hour permanently beginning from July. The increase to 15 dollars an hour is significant as it impacts 275,000 employees that work in their stores and distribution centers. Target has nearly 1,900 stores and 41 distribution centers.
The significance of its move is very high as it comes at a time when the world is battling its worst pandemic in years which has led to businesses shutting down, offices and governments declaring emergencies and lockdown. The decision to increase the minimum wage comes at a time when the world is celebrating retail store workers for their essential services and this move will only strengthen the employee loyalty while increasing the brand value of Target.
However, the decision to implement the minimum wage of 15 dollars per hour was announced in 2017 as a goal by Target Corporation. The employees of Target already received a temporary wage pay when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and now the minimum wage pay is made permanent. The retail corporation will also offer a one time bonus of $ 200 to hourly employees at the end of July “for their efforts throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.”
The new minimum wage by Target is also important considering that the Federal average minimum wage in the USA is $ 7.25 per hour. The hourly wages at Walmart is at $ 11 per hour and although Walmart has been paying hourly bonuses to employees during the pandemic, it has ceased to do so in the recent weeks.
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