From IT services to launches and global technology giants there were several things happening in the world of tech this past week.
The week gone by was interesting not just because of technology-related events in the Indian IT industry, but also because of a distinct human element that most of these conversations bring to the table.
On the business side, even as the rupee continued its free fall this week, it turned out that the 'obvious' benefit to Indian IT firms that primarily do business with US was not so obvious after all.
Given that the rupee has not fallen as much against other currencies that form a large part of the Indian IT industry's client base, and clients now have more mature spending models, the impact is not expected to be material for the industry as a whole.
On Tuesday, a former Tech Mahindra employee- Gaurav Pramanik's tweet forced the Mahindra Group Executive Chairman Anand Mahindra and Chief Executive CP Gurnani to respond to his allegations. Pramanik alleged that his former boss, who also heads diversity and inclusivity at Tech Mahindra, made derogatory remarks against homosexuals and Muslims while he was working with the firm. After almost exactly a week of his first tweet on the issue, the person he accused was sacked from the IT firm.
Interestingly, all of this played out on microblogging platform Twitter, which underscores the importance of social media in our lives. While most social media platforms have been under fire for not being able to find a solution to issues of fake news and spread of misinformation, they are also a very effective medium for people to voice their concerns.
The Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government also launched home delivery of 40 government services at a nominal cost of Rs 50 to the requestor, marking what could be a game changer in the e-governance story. Moneycontrol spoke to the technology provider behind the project- VFS Global. Read: This global company is behind Delhi govt's plan to provide doorstep delivery of services
By the third day of the launch of the service, as many as 21,000 calls were connected to the Delhi government call centre, necessitating an increase in the number of phone lines available for the citizens. This clearly shows there is a demand for services that make the lives of citizens easier.
Tech giant Apple also launched its most expensive iPhones yet at an event in Cupertino on September 12.
Costing a whopping Rs 99,990 for the lowest variant and Rs 1,44,900 for the highest, it has left many Apple loyalists wondering if they should consider an upgrade their existing devices or not.
Apple has already been seeing low growth in India because of its high price points and this could further lower an already slow growth trajectory.
Another tech giant, IBM, also partnered with IIT-Bombay for advanced artificial intelligence research, making it the only Indian institute to join a group of global partners involved in the project. Read: IBM and IIT-Bombay join hands to advance artificial intelligence research
The lack of research focus has been a constant issue in India and its educational and corporate world. Initiatives like this will certainly help bridge that gap.
Infosys on September 14 announced acquisition of Finland-based firm Fluido for Rs 544 crore. The acquisition will strengthen Infosys' position as a Salesforce enterprise cloud services provider. Read: Infosys to acquire Fluido for over Rs 544 crore
Another important development was PhonePe's cogently argued blog supporting the Reserve Bank of India mandate for data localisation of transactions. Read: PhonePe attacks global rivals; says RBI rules to plug loopholes used to evade taxes
If Google or another tech giant ends up complying with the RBI mandate, it will, in a way, set a precedent for data localisation requirements in other policies.While there is strong support for data being locally stored for financial transactions, the same can’t be said for localisation demands in the Data Protection Bill and draft e-commerce policy.