The Indian government suggested that Indians need to aggressively work on homegrown technologies and develop them so that they are on par with technologies developed by global giants. This push comes on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic which forced the government to enforce a strict lockdown which has exceeded two months. The economic struggles are slowly becoming apparent as the shutdown has impacted millions of businesses across the country. In order to stabilize the economy the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi suggested Indians should focus on locally sourced products as a first priority.
During the lockdown chances of hearing about online video calling applications like Zoom, Google Meets and Microsoft Teams are very high as a lot of businesses which went remote have used one of these softwares as part of team communications. The Indian government has identified and shortlisted ten Indian companies to develop a Made In India video conferencing solution. These companies include Zoho, HCL, PeopleLink, Aria Telecom, CyberHorizon Corp, Instrive Softlabs, PeopleLink Unified Communications Sarv Webs, Soulpage IT Solutions, Techgentsia Software Technologies and Data Ingenious.
Each of these companies would receive 5 Lakh INR to develop a prototype similar to Zoom or Google Meets. The government would then shortlist three companies out of the ten and grant them 20 Lakh INR, to develop the video conferencing platform. The government would finally select one of the three companies to provide the final build which would be used by Central and state governments as an alternative to Zoom and Google Meets.
After the third round, the government would select the best solution which will get the final contract. The contract is said to be for a period of four years. In the first year, the government is expected to pay INR 1 Crore to the selected startup while additional INR 10 Lakh would be given to the company in the next three years for operations and maintenance of the solution.
The Project was undertaken by the Ministry of Information Technology and as a part of the push to promote Indian software products. The video conferencing solution should be able to work in low bandwidth areas without any glitches.
India’s Reliance JioMeet To Take On Zoom
Mukesh Ambani seems to be having one of the best years of his career, proving that the COVID-19 pandemic is not a hindrance to his goals. Mukesh Ambani’s latest product is a video conferencing app which aims to take on the hottest video conferencing app, Zoom. The telecommunications vertical of Reliance Industries, Reliance Jio, formally launched Reliance JioMeet, on Thursday evening, which has an uncanny resemblance to Zoom.
Zoom has emerged as one of the companies which has thrived due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as businesses are forced to shut down their offices and shift their operations to remote work. This meant the demand for a good video conferencing software shot up and Zoom stepped up to the task before Google, Microsoft and Facebook could catch up. Zoom has also removed time limits for the conference calls and made the entire suite free of cost for schools and businesses in the affected regions across the globe, thereby further increasing its popularity.
However, JioMeet has a similar if not better offering than Zoom. JioMeet offers unlimited number of free calls in high definition (720p) to users and supports as many as 100 participants on a call. Interestingly, JioMeet appears to not impose a short time limit on a call’s duration. Jio Platforms says a free call can be uninterrupted for “up to 24 hours” long. The service currently has no paid plans and considering Jio’s reputation for giving services for free for years like Jio data plans, it would come as no surprise if JioMeet is also made free for the time being.
JioMeet comes at the perfect time as the Indian government suggested that Indians need to aggressively work on homegrown technologies and develop them so that they are on par with technologies developed by global giants. The government has called for leading Indian software and IT companies to come up with an alternative for Zoom and it looks like Jio has stepped up to the task.
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!
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