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Infosys Layoff – The IT giant Infosys Technologies fires 2100 employees

With companies keen on maximum utilisation of employees and low tolerance to poor performance in the backdrop of global economic turmoil, nearly 2,100 employees in software firm Infosys have faced the axe.

“Some of these employees have been asked to go while some have left on their own,” V Balakrishnan, CFO of the Bangalore-based company, told PTI on April 11, 2009.

Prior to asking the employees to leave, they were put on a performance improvement course and those who showed no improvement were asked to leave while some others quit, he said.

“Tolerance to poor performance is very low given the current economic scenario,” said Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan.

Usually, the employees who showed poor performance were given some more time to improve themselves, but this time there had been no such consideration, he said.

Both the officials said the sacking was part of annual routine, which usually formed five per cent of the total number of employees but this time it was much lower.

Some of the employees had been “outplaced”, Kris said, which refers to the firm hiring the services of placement agencies to help the employees to get placements in other firms. Infosys has a workforce of 105,000, including trainees.

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April 13, 2009 Posted by | General, India Related, IT, Software, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Rahman thanks mother, God at Oscars gala

Indian music maestro AR Rahman won the Oscar for his original score in the highly acclaimed movie Slumdog Millionaire.

The composer was overwhelmed and interspersed his speech with Hindi as well as Tamil on receiving the coveted trophy here Sunday.

“There is a dialogue from an old Hindi film,”Mere paas ma hai” – which means I have nothing but a mother. My mother is here, I have her blessings. I am glad she could be here,” said Rahman.

He ended the acceptance speech by saying “God is great” in Tamil, something he says after winning every award.

February 23, 2009 Posted by | Bollywood, Cinema, General, Hollywood, Kollywood, Oscar, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

AR Rahman gets 2 Oscars for Slumdog’s music

It was a dream run at the Oscars for India.

Filmmaker Danny Boyle’s rags-to-riches romance set in India, Slumdog Millionaire, won eight Oscar awards for best feature film, direction, original song, original score, sound mixing, editing, adapted screenplay and cinematography.

An elated Rahman who won the Academy Awards for best original score and song from the film Slumdog Millionaire said, “I want to thank everyone. The essence of the film is optimism and hope. All through my life I had the choice of love and hate…I chose love and I am here.” Read story

Boyle, 52, who had never before been nominated for an Oscar, beat David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon), Gus Van Sant (Milk), and Stephen Daldry (The Reader).

Boyle also becomes the first British winner of best director since Sam Mendes was honored in 2000 for American Beauty.

Resul Pookutty, who won the Oscar for best sound mixing, along with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke said, “I dedicate this award to my country. This is not just an award, it is history.”

Smile Pinki, a 39-minute short film in Hindi and Bhojpuri, directed by Emmy-nominated producer Megan Mylan won the best documentary short subject Oscar. Read story

Spanish actress Penelope Cruz won her first Oscar on 22/02/2009 as best supporting actress for her performance as tempestuous artist Maria Elena in Woody Allen’s romantic comedy Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

“I dedicate this to all the actors from my country,” Cruz said in Spanish as she accepted the award.

Heath Ledger got the best supporting actor award for The Dark Knight. Ledger becomes the second man to win an acting Oscar posthumously.

Movie fans flocked to Hollywood on 22/02/2009(23/02/2009  morning India time) to watch the stars parade up the red carpet for the Oscars, the world’s top film awards.

Suspense at the gala ceremony had shifted to whether host Hugh Jackman and producers Bill Condon and Laurence Mark (Dreamgirls) can recapture a dwindling television audience with a showcase of top stars and films.

Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre where the 81st Academy Awards were held saw actors like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Sean Penn, Meryl Streep and scores of other stars.

Many around the world watched on television to see what Jackman would do. He who won a Tony award on Broadway for his work in The Boy From Oz as well as TV’s Emmy award for hosting the stage world’s Tony awards.

He was brought in to the Oscars to help spruce up the show. He, Condon and Mark had been mostly quiet about their plans, but The Los Angeles Times said the pair hired Australian director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) to stage one number and comic writer/director Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) for laughs.

Jackman performed a musical introduction and a longer routine in the middle of the more than three-hour show.

Popular films always work

The biggest draw for Oscars has always been having popular movies at the centre of the show and suspense over which films, actors and actresses will win awards.

Slumdog, an often dark but ultimately hopeful tale about a poor Indian boy who competes for love and money on a TV game show, has generated about $150 million in global ticket sales.

It has earned awards from critics and industry groups whose members include actors, directors, producers and writers.

The movie’s key competition came from Milk, starring Penn as gay activist Harvey Milk, as well as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with Pitt as a man who ages backward.

The other two nominees were Frost/Nixon, which recounts the historic interviews of disgraced former US President Richard Nixon by British TV host David Frost, and the drama The Reader

February 23, 2009 Posted by | Bollywood, Cinema, General, Hollywood, India Related, Kollywood, Oscar, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ramalinga Raju is hit over Obama in Internet search

He may be popular for all the wrong reasons, but Satyam’s disgraced founder Ramalinga Raju has beaten US President-elect Barack Obama on internet popularity charts in India, and is closing the gap abroad too.

By now infamous IT czar Raju shot to limelight earlier this month after disclosing what has emerged as the country’s biggest ever corporate fraud in India and has been called

‘India’s Enron’ right from the word go. Google’s search volume index shows Raju and Obama were generating almost equal searches from India during the first six days of the year, with Obama leading by a small margin. However, Raju jumped up the charts on January 7, when he admitted to a massive fraud of about Rs 7,800 crore.

The search volumes for Raju are estimated to have been over 10 times more than that of Obama on January 7, after which it has been declining consistently but Raju is still holding an edge over the US President-elect.

In terms of search volumes generated from various regions, Raju’s own state Andhra Pradesh is on top, followed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi. In terms of cities too, the maximum search volume has been from Hyderabad, where both Raju and Satyam are based, followed by Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Mahape and Delhi.

As regards searches for Obama, Tamil Nadu has been on the top, followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi among the regions. For cities, the maximum search volumes for Obama has come from Chennai, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. Outside India too, Raju has generated significant search volumes from UAE, Singapore, Finland, US, Poland, Australia, UK, Canada and Germany, but has lagged Obama. Raju has been searched for in Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Dallas and San Fransisco, while search queries have come in Polish language too, other than English.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | General, India Related, IT, Software, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Top Ten Cities for Outsourcing in India

India has 35 major cities. Not all of them are good offshore outsourcing hubs.

In the recent past, several studies have been carried out to identify the best or most attractive cities in India. Gartner Inc, National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) and KPMG, neoIT, Mercer, A T Kearney, Merrill Lynch and several others have carried out city studies for a wide range of objectives.

Important parameters that were considered when developing the rankings in these studies include:

  • Availability of Infrastructure (Power, Transport, Telecommunication, Housing)
  • Cost of Living
  • Real Estate Costs
  • Availability of Skilled Manpower
  • Attrition Rates
  • Quality of Living
  • Political Climate
  • Educational Institutions

Urban infrastructure in India is not the best in the world. Indian cities are facing overpopulation, indiscriminate growth and shortage of urban services like public transportation, water supply and sanitation. It is important to point out that the 2006 World-wide Quality of Living Survey by Mercer for 350 global cities has the top Indian cities Mumbai and Delhi ranked at 150th place. Not impressive at all. On the networking front, India ranks 40th out of 115 countries with the network readiness index of 0.23.

Despite the constrains imposed by the infrastructure or lack thereof, availability of skilled manpower and the low cost advantage continues to drive investment into urban India.

An analysis of city rankings by different surveys and study of recent outsourcing trends reveals that the top 10 outsourcing destinations in India are:

1. Chennai was the poor cousin of Bangalore and Hyderabad during the initial years of the IT boom in India. Today it is the lead outsourcing destination due to the low cost advantage, improving infrastructure, international connectivity, availability of land, skilled manpower and lower attrition rates compared to Bangalore and Hyderabad.

2. Hyderabad continues to woo investors by focusing on improving its urban infrastructure. The Governments, both past and present, have been very clear in their focus and support to the IT industry. The city has been among the most favored destinations due to the infrastructural improvements and the planned growth phased in by the governments in the twin cities.

3. Bangalore is the technology hub of India. It is increasingly becoming a global melting pot of cultures. The original garden and pub city of India has a comfortable climate compared to the other Indian cities that are happening in terms of outsourcing. However, the city’s infrastructure is inadequate to meet the demands of the exploding population. There is a growing feeling that other cities will overtake Bangalore if it continues to suffer due to political bickering, skyrocketing real estate prices and poor urban planning. According to a recent survey, it still ranks as the top city for living, earning and investing.

4. National Capital Region (NCR) includes Delhi and its surrounding suburbs. Delhi is expensive and not as popular for outsourcing. It is the suburbs, Gurgaon and Noida that have become important outsourcing destinations due to their proximity to the capital. They continue to be a major draw due to improving transport connectivity with Delhi, good international linkage and availability of skilled manpower.

5. Pune is Maharastra’s response to Bangalore. Its proximity to India’s financial capital, Mumbai and availability of trained manpower has led to the development of a thriving hi-tech outsourcing industry in this erstwhile retirement and education haven. Apart from other infrastructure components, the city is focusing on township projects to improve housing facilities.

6. Chandigarh and Mohali are twin cities. Chandigarh is one of the few planned and good cities of India. Mohali is its twin. Together, they have the space as well as the intellectual and financial capability to become India’s best outsourcing destinations. It does not yet have an international airport, but is well connected to New Delhi by road and rail.

7. Kolkata, the capital city of the state of West Bengal is high in intellect and has an advantage in terms of low costs. However, the city is famous for its traffic snarls and trade union shut downs. The current state government under chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is making the right noises to encourage investors. Early indications are that it may actually emerge as a good outsourcing destination.

8. Mysore is one of India’s smaller cities, which have joined the outsourcing bandwagon. Its proximity to Bangalore and presence of companies like Infosys and Wipro has helped the cause. It is emerging as a preferred choice over Bangalore as India’s silicon city is now congested, expensive and has higher than average attrition rates.

9. Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala is well known for some of the leading science & technology research organizations in India. The city has the infrastructure and skilled workforce to attract IT investments. It is early days yet and remains to be seen whether Thiruvananthapuram can woo investors away from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.

10. Coimbatore is the emerging engineering outsourcing hub located in the state of Tamil Nadu. The government of Tamil Nadu is keen on developing Coimbatore as a major IT destination in the state. Coimbatore’s strength is its rich engineering tradition and young graduating engineers to meet the manpower demands of the growing industry.

January 7, 2009 Posted by | Business, General, India Related, IT, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sachin Tendulkar role model of cricket: Andrew Flintoff

England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff

Sachin Tendulkar’s match-winning century knock in Chennai which he dedicated to the people of India deeply hurt by the terror attack in Mumbai has earned respect from England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff who called the master bastman a “role model” for the game.

“It is impossible not to admire him (Tendulkar) when you are out in the middle. He is a class player and a great role model for the game,” Flintoff said.

“His innings (in Chennai) was a scriptwriter’s dream. The lad from Mumbai, with everything that has happened there, scores a hundred to win and then dedicates it to everyone in the country. Thinking about it, it was probably inevitable it happened,” he was quoted as saying by ‘The Independent’. Flintoff said playing against Tendulkar brought the best out of him.

“Playing against him brings the best out of you in a lot of ways. The worrying thing for us is that he was getting better towards the end of that innings. You could see in the way he was playing he was back to his best.”

The 31-year-old Lancashire player was of the view that there is very little margin for error bowling against greats like Tendulkar and Brian Lara.  “I enjoy bowling at him, as I did at the likes of Brian
Lara. I think they bring the best out of you. Your margins for error are small, you have to bowl well to restrict them, never mind get them out.”

December 20, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, India Related, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

England have the bulldog spirit to hit back: Michael Vaughan

Former England captain Michael Vaughan

Former captain Michael Vaughan has backed England to bounce back from the bitter loss in  Chennai, saying that Kevin Pietersen and his men have the “bulldog spirit” to square the Test series against India in Mohali.

“One thing with the England team is we do have a ‘bulldog spirit’, a fighting spirit. We proved that in this game,” Vaughan said ahead of the second and final Test in Mohali starting December 19, 2008.

England dominated the first three days of the Chennai Test before losing the plot on the fourth day when Indian opener Virender Sehwag went on a rampage to snatch the match away from the visitors.

“It was a great game of cricket. Both teams played to an incredible standard in terms of what they’d gone through in the previous two weeks,” Vaughan was quoted as saying by ‘The Daily Telegraph’.

“The England team can be very proud of the way they played. For three-and-three-quarter days they dominated the Test and that is something which is very difficult to do in India,” he added.

Vaughan admitted that the six-wicket loss was a bitter pill to swallow, considering the way England dominated most part of the match. “The defining moment was that middle session (on day four) when we probably let the momentum sway back towards India when we could have nailed home the game.”

However, Vaughan, who is currently on a sabbatical from international cricket, said the task would be tough test of England’s mental strength. “We’ve just lost a real big game, a game that all the
lads would have expected to win on that fourth evening,” he said.

“It’s going to be a real task of mental strength. The boys are pretty drained and emotionally tired from what they’ve been through in the last few weeks. But if they win the toss, and bat, and get put runs on the board they can put India under a lot of pressure,” he added.

The right-hander, training with the England’s elite performance squad, said he is working towards his international comeback. “My mind is very refreshed and of course after such a great game of cricket I’m desperate to get out there and make decisions, play and score runs,” he said.

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, India Related, Sports, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tendulkar ton scripts India’s historical win

Sachin Tendulkar led the Indian run chase to take India to a famous
victory on the decisive day of the first Test against England. The
master batsman clobbered his 41st Test hundred as India won by six
wickets. The second hero on the tense day was Yuvraj Singh who proved
his Test credentials with an unbeaten 85 while Tendulkar remained
unconquered on 103.

Chasing a
daunting 387-run target, India lost only three wickets on the day as
they scripted the fourth highest successful run chase in history of
Test cricket. The final two sessions of play saw India dominate
proceedings with Tendulkar and Yuvraj batting with authority to swing
the match completely in India’s favour shortly after tea. India, who
started the second session on a poor note losing VVS Laxman, made 91
runs after lunch without any further damage and in the post tea
session, the willows of Yuvraj and Tendulkar flourished in grand style
to author India’s highest run chase in the sub-continent.

Tendulkar
was a picture of poise as he batted with effortless ease on a slow
turning track, plundering nine boundaries in his unbeaten innings. He
authored the chase, playing the sheet anchor to perfection and building
vital stands with of 42 Gautam Gambhir, of 41 with Laxman (41) and
finally an unbroken 162 one with Yuvraj. And in a fitting finish, a
nudge down the leg side took Tendulkar to his century and India home.

India
suffered a big blow after lunch when Graeme Swann had VVS Laxman caught
at short midwicket for 26. England at that stage had India under
pressure at 224-4 but Yuvraj ignored both the nerves and the words that
came his way from Andrew Flintoff to punch a determined knock that
included a huge six off Monty Panesar.

He batted
with caution, showing the temperament that was amiss in several of his
previous Test outings. But once he settled down, the southpaw displayed
the spectacular strokeplay he is capable of. His 84 came off only 131
balls that saw him hammer eight boundaries and one six.

India
started the day at 131-1, needing 256 to win on the final day at the MA
Chidambaram stadium with Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid in the
middle. But England got the perfect start with Andrew Flintoff removing
Dravid, who could add only a couple to his overnight score of two.
Dravid, who has been in dismal form throughout 2008, edged an outgoing
delivery and Matt Prior made no mistake behind the stumps.

Gambhir
reached his half-century soon after Dravid’s dismissal but he once
again fell to a poor shot. He poked at a wide delivery from James
Anderson and Paul Collingwood leaped to his right to take a neat catch.
The southpaw made 66 with seven boundaries to his name.

December 15, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, India Related, Sports, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rahul Dravid needs a big score: Sourav Ganguly

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly says Rahul Dravid needs to get a big knock under his belt to ward off critics who have been questioning his place in the team for some time now.

“The pressure is bound to start mounting on Rahul Dravid after another below par effort and he must get a big score before the murmurings about his place in the team get louder,” Ganguly wrote in his column.

Dravid, who has been struggling with the bat ever since the last English summer, could only manage three in the first innings of the ongoing first Test against England in Chennai on Dec 11, 2008.

There was also much expected from Yuvraj Singh, who earned a recall to the Test team after an excellent performance in the ODI series, but the Chandigarh lad too disappointed scoring just 14.

“Yuvraj failed to make an impression in his comeback Test, but that was down to the supreme line and length that the English bowlers maintained against him,” Ganguly wrote.

“They used the short ball well, and also kept the spinners on, which Yuvraj does not enjoy when he starts his innings,” he added.

The classy southpaw also had a word of advice for England skipper Kevin Pietersen.

“Pietersen needs to adjust ‘mentally’ while batting in the subcontinent, as he is far too good a player to be gifting his wicket to the opposition. It’s paramount that he holds the English middle order together, especially in trying batting conditions,” Ganguly reckoned.

India’s most successful captain also wondered by India “always seem to struggle in the first Test of a new series” and hoped that a strong performance from the side was just around the corner.

December 13, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, India Related, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

England may return, first Test shifted to Mohali

The England cricket team is likely to return to India on December 3 to play the two Test series against India.

The first Test from December 11 to 15 has been shifted to Mohali from Ahmedabad. The second Test had been shifted to Chennai earlier itself after the terror attack on Mumbai.

The three-day practice game that was scheduled to be held in Baroda from December 5 to 7 is also likely to be played in Mohali.

England called off their seven-match ODI series with two more games to play after the terror attacks in Mumbai. The visitors were playing their fifth ODI in Cuttack on December 26 when terrorists struck India’s financial capital.

The team flew to Bangalore from where they flew back home. While some England cricketers have voiced their reservations about coming back to play in India, England skipper Kevin Pietersen has refused to be cowed down by the attacks.

December 1, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, India Related, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment