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Last Updated : Dec 08, 2018 06:14 PM IST | Source:

This week in IT: YouTube trends, HCL's massive acquisition and H-1B trouble for techies

NIIT Technologies’ promoters were reported to be considering a stake sale and considering an exit from the mid-size IT firm

Neha Alawadhi @alnehaa

This week was an interesting one for the technology industry in India, with the US making an important change to the way H-1B visas are granted and HCL Technologies making the largest-ever acquisition by an Indian IT company on Friday.

Fresh H-1B visa woes for techies

Last Saturday, the US immigration agency said it will require applicants of H-1B visa to register electronically instead of sending physical copies. It also said foreigners studying in the US will have a better chance of getting H-1B visas.

While the move is expected to have a negative impact on the Indian technology services industry, which has for long been a beneficiary of the H-1B work visa programme, it is likely to be an opening for Indians studying higher degrees in the US, experts Moneycontrol spoke to said.

NIIT Tech and MindTree in the news for reported stake sales

NIIT Technologies’ promoters were reported to be considering a stake sale and considering an exit from the mid-size IT firm, according to a report in the business paper The Economic Times.

Among private equity funds, the company has reportedly sounded out Bain Capital, Blackstone, Carlyle, Apax Partners and Advent for the purpose, ET reported. NIIT Technologies, however, denied the report and called it unsubstantiated.

The business paper Mint reported that another mid-sized firm, MindTree’s largest investor and Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha and a few other large shareholders are looking to sell their stake.

The company has previously denied similar reports but MindTree chairman told Mint that financial investors have the “prerogative to monetise their stake based on their individual priorities”.

Indian smartphone users set to double in five years

Cisco released a study that found that the number of smartphone users in India is expected to double to 829 million by 2022 from 404.1 million in 2017.

Cisco's Visual Networking Index (VNI) said the trend was visible from the data consumption trends in India, where Internet networks are expected to carry 646 petabytes of data per day by 2022, up from 108 petabytes of data per day in 2017.
The growth in data consumption is complemented by the growing number of connected devices which is expected to go up to 2.2 billion by 2022 from 1.6 billion in 2017. A large part of this will come from smartphones, growing at an annual rate of 15 percent.

HCL Technologies in the news-signs biggest ever deal by Indian IT firm worth $1.8 bln

On Friday, the company made the largest ever acquisition by an Indian IT firm- worth $1.8 billion- to buy seven products from IBM.

The two companies also have a long standing IP-partnership for five of the products acquired.

The deal, however, failed to enthuse investors as the market awaits greater clarity on the contours of the deal.

The stock fell as much as 7.6 percent after the deal announcement on Friday.

Analysts and industry watchers feel HCL will have to add significant capacity to be able to sell these products without the IBM banner.

Separately, HCL Technologies Australia head Michael Horton told Moneycontrol that the company is open to acquisitions and partnering with local companies in the region.

YouTube releases 2018 trends
YouTube’s annual trends report revealed that music, comedy, food/recipes, continued to grow in 2018, while learning and education, beauty, DIY [Do-It-Yourself] and dance emerged as the fastest growing verticals with many new subcategories.

Emerging and well-known YouTube stars made it big in the year's Top Trending Videos list, and it was found that 71 percent of online video viewers go first to YouTube to watch videos to learn something.

Ads and Bollywood videos also got major viewership on the video hosting platform.
First Published on Dec 8, 2018 06:14 pm
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