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Global Internet users to reach 3.47 billion this year

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New Delhi, Dec 7: With the sudden surge in smartphone adoption taking place in India and Vietnam and user base is likely to escalate by almost 20 per cent in both countries, the year will see 3.47 billion people using the Internet, according to market research firm eMarketer.

Internet users will represent 46.8 per cent of the global population and mobile phones will be the primary device for Internet access, used by 2.73 billion people, news agency IANS quoted citing the firm’s report.

According to  the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and market research firm IMRB International, the number of Internet users in India is anticipated to reach 450-465 million. The report claimed that overall Internet penetration in India was presently around 31 per cent.

Developing digital markets in Asia-Pacific region, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa will witness the fastest Internet user growth from 2017-21, driven by increasing mobile broadband coverage and smartphone adoption.

By 2019, more than half of the world will access the Internet on regular basis and in 2021 more than four billion people will be online.

However, Internet user growth will scale down from 6.1 per cent this year to 3.5 per cent by 2021 as Intenet use hits saturation, the report asserted.

On the other hand, tablet penetration among Internet users will reduce this year.

About 32.9 per cent of Internet users at global front will access a tablet this year, down from 33.2 per cent in 2016.

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Infosys CFO Ranganath resigns, search for successor soon

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Ranganath

Bengaluru, Aug 18 (IANS) Infosys Chief Financial Officer (CFO) M.D. Ranganath has resigned and will continue in the executive post till November 16, the IT major said on Saturday.

“The Board of Directors accepted the resignation of Ranganath as the CFO and key managerial personnel. He will continue in the post till November 16. The Board will soon search for the next CFO,” said the city-based software firm in a statement here.

Claiming that he resigned to pursue professional opportunities in new areas, Ranganath said he had an 18-year successful career in the $10.9-billion global firm and as its CFO for the past three crucial years.

“I am grateful to the iconic firm for giving me an opportunity to serve as CFO. I am also proud that during its critical phase, we delivered strong financial outcomes, strengthened its competitive position and enhanced the value of its stakeholders,” said Ranganath in the statement.

Ranganath, 55, is the third CFO to leave Infosys in the last six years after then CFO V. Balakrishnan was elevated to the Board as a Director and head of the company’s back office operations (Infosys BPO) in October 2012.

Balakrishnan left Infosys subsequently in December 2013.

Rajiv Bansal, who succeeded Balakrishnan in November 2012, resigned from the high-profile executive post in October 2015 amid a raging controversy over governance issues between the company’s co-founders and previous Board of Directors.

Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy also objected to the hefty severance package given to Bansal, who was a party to the “costly” acquisition of the US-based Panaya software firm in February 2015 under the company’s first non-promoter Chief Executive Vishal Sikka, who too resigned on August 18, 2017.

According to the company’s 37th annual report, Ranganath’s annual compensation in fiscal 2017-18 was Rs 7.98 crore, including Rs 7.03 crore as salary, Rs 24 lakh as retrials and 71 lakh shares as stock options.

Ranganath, who owned 9,256 shares at the beginning of fiscal 2017-18, exercised 7,662 shares and held 16,918 cumulative shares at the end of last fiscal.

Commenting on the CFO’s contribution, co-founder and Board Chairman Nandan Nilekani said Ranganath had played a pivotal role in the company’s growth and success.

“During his 18-year long stint, I have seen Ranganath in leadership roles and delivering results with distinction. With him as CFO, the company had resilient financial performance, implemented capital allocation policy and earned respect of stakeholders for enhanced value creation,” said Nilekani.

Chief Executive Salil Parekh said that he worked with Ranganath over the past few quarters in shaping the company’s strategic direction.

“I admire Ranganath’s financial acumen, understanding of the company’s business and ability to deliver results. He played a crucial role and provided leadership. I am confident he will ensure a smooth transition,” added Parekh.

In a separate statement, Narayana Murthy said that Ranganath had worked with him for over 15 years and found him to him to be one of the best CFOs in the country.

“Ranganath’s ability to take tough decisions in challenging situations, his financial expertise, strong value system, unfailing courtesy and flawless execution always distinguished him as an exemplary leader and a key asset for Infosys,” said Murthy.

Lauding Ranganath for raising investor confidence in the company during the last five years by managing costs and margins, Murthy said the outgoing CFO was a rare individual who understood all stakeholders, including clients, delivery teams, employee aspirations, finance, investors, governance, law and the role of an ethical business.

“Ranganath is everything the idea of Infosys has always stood for. His departure is an irreplaceable loss for the company at this critical juncture. I wish him the best in his future endeavours, Murthy said.

As part of the leadership team, Ranganath has played key roles in consulting, finance, strategy, risk management and M&A (mergers and acquisitions) and worked with the board and its committees in formulating and executing the firm’s strategic priorities.

Ranganath was also the company’s chief risk officer from January 2008 to July 2013.

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Back series GDP calculation proved UPA years best: Chidambaram

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P Chidambaram
P. Chidambaram (File Photo)

New Delhi, Aug 18: Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Saturday challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to match up with the UPA’s GDP rate in its fifth year and said that back series calculation of GDP has proved that the best years of economic growth were the UPA years 2004-2014.

Quoting figures of the recently released Ministry of Statistics’ data, Chidambaram said: “Truth has triumphed. The back series calculation of GDP has proved that the best years of economic growth were the UPA years 2004-2014.”

“The average growth rate under four governments since 1999 were– NDA I – 5.68 per cent, UPA I – 8.36 per cent UPA II – 7.68 per cent and NDA II – 7.35 per cent (four years),” Chidambaram tweeted.

“I wish the Modi government well in its fifth year. It can never catch up with UPA I, but I wish it catches up with UPA II,” he added.

Chidambaram said that the UPA governments delivered the best ever decadal growth and lifted 140 million people out of poverty and thanked the people for the opportunity to serve them for 10 years.

IANS

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SBI contributes Rs 2 cr for flood-hit Kerala

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Mumbai, Aug 18: The State Bank of India (SBI) has donated Rs 2 crore for the Kerala flood victims and initiated several other ground-level measures in the deluged state, an official said on Saturday.

The SBI has encouraged all its 270,000 staffers to contribute to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF), and the bank would contribute an equivalent amount.

It also announced a waiver of fees and charges on services like loans for flood relief, duplicate passbooks, ATM cards, cheque books and EMI delays, besides making attempts to restore the working of branches and ATMs in the flood affected regions of the state.

Besides, the SBI has decided to waive all charges on remittance to the CMDRF, penalty on non-maintenance of minimum account balance from proceeds of relief fund provided by the government and agencies and if already recovered, such charges would be refunded for customers in the state.

The bank has extended Xpress Credit to existing customers with relaxed norms for a month, deployed cash at PoS (Point of Sale) to enable people avail Rs 2,000 to meet daily cash requirements across the state.

Persons who have lost or displaced personal documents can open small accounts with only photos and signature or thumb impressions and all employees of SBI deployed to address requirements of the customers and ensure best possible service.

At least  324 persons have lost their lives, thousands displaced or stranded as incessant rains pounded Kerala since the past 10 days, causing havoc in 12 districts.

With IANS Inputs

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