Truecaller has announced that it has reached over 100 million active users who use the app on a daily basis. In less than a year, the app has leapfrogged from 100 million monthly active users [MAUs] to 100 million Daily Active Users [DAUs], and is growing faster than ever.

In a company blog post Alan Mamedi, CEO & Co-founder shared a letter to express his delight on the milestone

It was so big, in fact, that Truecaller is pleased and excited to announce that we now have more than 100 million daily active users using our app for their daily communication. There are only a handful of mobile-only services that impact as many users each and every day, and we are humbled to be able to join this exclusive group.

We could never have predicted that Truecaller would become a resource for women’s safety in many countries; or that it would be used for e-commerce and courier services around the globe to facilitate the difficult last mile of delivery, or allow more people to experience a data-only product in offline mode. Truecaller is more than just an app on your phone, it has aided in bridging the digital divide between the urban and growing semi-urban/rural markets in India, and has even enabled more African businesses to accept online payment.

The world has come a long way

From people mostly using Nokia and BlackBerry phones years ago, to a wide array of Androids and Apples, technology is constantly evolving around us and the world of communication has come a long way. The cost of both mobile phones and data continues to plunge, which allows more and more people to come online with just their phone.

In emerging markets, Truecaller is seeing the importance of smartphones in peoples’ daily lives. It’s their primary gateway to the internet, their connection with family and friends, people abroad, and increasingly their main banking and finance tool. Smartphones and Truecaller have become indispensable in the lives of our 100 million daily users.

Making your communication safe and efficient

With technology evolving, Truecaller has also come a massively long way since the day we founded the company. From simple beginnings as a Caller ID and spam blocking app, to a full-fledged communications platform with calling, SMS, Flash Messages and payment services.

Ebix, Inc., a leading international supplier of On-Demand software and e-commerce services to the insurance, financial, e-governance and healthcare industries, has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in India based Smartclass Educational Services Private Limited [Smartclass], a leading e-learning Company engaged in the business of education services, development of education products, and implementation of education solutions for K-12 Schools.

Image Source – Ebix

Ebix expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to its earnings and forecasts up to $0.20 in increased Diluted EPS, once the acquisition is fully integrated over the next 6 months. Under the terms of the agreement, Ebix will pay up to $8 million in cash for its stake in SmartClass.

Smartclass is one of India’s leading e-learning companies catering to the fast-growing K-12 education sector in India. With staff strength of approximately 500 employees out of a total of 1000 staff, dedicated to research & development and customer engagement, the Company caters to accredited school education through rich media like 2-D, 3-D, Virtual reality animation etc. Smartclass’s 500-strong sales and marketing staff across the country has helped create a strong growth trajectory, in terms of top line and reach for the Company.

Smartclass today has a customer base encompassing thousands of classrooms, paying for Smartclass e-learning products and services in an on-demand subscription basis. Smartclass will be tightly integrated into Ebix’s Education and e-learning initiatives in India and is seen as one of the many steps, that Ebix intends to take with an intent to invest up to $100 million in the sector.

Robin Raina, Ebix Chairman, President & CEO  said

The e-learning business model is typically asset lite and caters well to strong recurring operating margins, once the customer aggregation crosses the threshold levels. We have been eyeing India’s fast-growing e-learning sector for many years now, fueled by education being one of the highest spending areas traditionally for an Indian median household.

Towards that extent, we have earmarked a $100 million amount for investment in India’s e-learning sector and the acquisition of Smartclass is a logical first step for Ebix to establish its presence in the country’s e-learning markets.

A few years back, we started investing in the healthcare e-learning sector through our Indian subsidiary acquiring Birmingham based Oakstone LLC. Any business-like e-learning where you can create an asset and sell it thousands of times, has strong possibilities of generating strong operating margins and cash flows.

When you consider the strong focus that the Indian Government has put on investing in the e-learning sector in the recent budget, the present nascent state of the country’s education infrastructure, and the fast growth that high tech companies like Smartclass have experienced in India, the decision to take up a strong position in the country’s e-learning markets became an easy one for Ebix.

Divya Lal, Smartclass Chief Executive Officer said

We are very excited by the possibilities of growth, geographical reach and financial strength that this investment from Ebix brings to Smartclass. We look forward to becoming a part of the Ebix family and replicating Ebix’s international success over the last two decades, to build upon our existing strengths and take a leadership place in India’s e-learning industry.

About Ebix, Inc.

With 50+ offices across 5 continents, Ebix, Inc., endeavors to provide On-Demand software and E-commerce services to the insurance, financial, e-learning and healthcare industries. In the Insurance sector, the Company’s main focus is to develop and deploy a wide variety of insurance and reinsurance exchanges on an on-demand basis, while also, providing Software-as-a-Service enterprise solutions in the area of CRM, front-end & back-end systems, outsourced administrative and risk compliance, across the world. For more information, please visit Ebix and EbixCash.

Nazara Technologies Limited and Royal Challengers Sports Private Limited [Royal Challengers Bangalore] have come together to launch their second mobile cricket game RCB Epic Cricket. RCB Epic Cricket is a 3D realistic and simulative game for fans featuring multiplayer mode that allows users to play versus other players across India. In this game, play as Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers along with team sensation Safaraz Khan and rule the pitch.

Image Source – Nazara

Nazara has exclusive mobile gaming rights for a multiyear partnership with Royal Challengers Bangalore to license the intellectual property for curation of freemium games.  HP has come on board as the title sponsor for the official game, RCB Epic Cricket. It has been integrated in the game in the form of jersey branding, billboards, real estate branding, user interface branding and much more. HP is one of the key sponsor brands for RCB for the 11th edition of T20 Season.

Last year, the RCB Star Cricket game rose quickly through the charts and had even reached the No.1 top free games spot on Google Play within few days of its launch. While the peak engagement was during T20, more than 54% of the engagement happened post the T20 season during the rest of the year.

Amrit Thomas, Chairman of Royal Challengers Bangalore, said

Over years, RCB has become more a lifestyle brand than just a cricket team. RCB has immensely transcended the experience of fan engagement. Fans connect with the team across multiple touch points on digital platforms. We strive to give them a seamless and more personalized experience for the love and support they have shown for the team.

Manish Agarwal, CEO, Nazara Games, said

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new muliti- player game RCB Epic Cricket with Royal Challengers Bangalore. It feels great to work with a team which is always eager to push new boundaries whether it is ‘play along’ aspect within the stadium or hall of fame on social media.

RCB fans are in for a treat this year with exciting merchandise to be won within the multiplayer launched in the game. We have also printed a QR code on all the tickets sold at the RCB stadium for them to have an interactive experience while watching the game.

RCB Epic Cricket is currently designed to be played in three modes – Multiplayer Mode, Live Events and Career Mode. The unique part about the game is its multiplayer system which enables the player to create your own RCB Dream Team and play against an opposing team [RCB Dream Team] in a turn based multiplayer match along with elements of strategy. The player can compete on– Daily, Weekly and Monthly Leader-boards to win plenty of original RCB merchandise.

The Live Events enables the player to play real time matches of RCB during the T20 Season. This mode gives the players a chance to help RCB defeat their rival teams. The players can compete in these Live events to win existing RCB merchandises.

The Career mode, on the other hand, will enable the player to play as their favourite RCB stars. To begin with you can step into the shoes of ace cricketer and RCB Captain, Virat Kohli. This mode offers the cricket fans to face 7 bold Teams on-field that have been simulated from T20. This mode also has other cricketing heavyweights such as Yuzvendra Singh Chahal and AB de Villiers. The game is available for download on Google Play Store for android devices and is expected to be available for iOS by mid-April 2018.

RCB Epic Cricket for Android can be downloaded from here

In the advent of the shift towards evaluating performances through ‘Continuous Feedback’, Cyber Managers Software Services [CMSS] [earlier coverage here] has now enabled ‘e-Nhancer – the performance management platform’ with the Continuous Feedback capabilities.

The essence of e-Nhancer’s continuous feedback system is to provide a platform for employees to critique work related activities of their co-workers on real time basis. To facilitate quick feedback, e-Nhancer provides easy access on all major touch points like HR portals, Communication platforms and intranet social workplace available on Mobile or desktop.

According to Godwin Pinto, Business Head Mobility at CMSS, said

Keeping feedback simple and accessible is our primary focus in making e-Nhancer continuous. The roadmap for e-Nhancer with continuous feedback have many more features and they are under development.

In addition to KRA/Goal Settings, Cyclic Review, Ratings the core features of e-Nhancer continuous feedback are:

  1. Give/Seek Feedback – You can choose to give feedback to other employees or seek feedback from your colleagues for any work-related activity. You can record your feedback with voice, video or photographs, and tag them with KRA’s.
  1. Groups – A feature similar to Whatsapp, structured for continuous feedback, allows feedback within a group, either to individuals in a group or to the entire group.
  1. 360 degree feedback/Survey – Employees can conduct a 360 degree feedback/survey to seek perception/opinion of others.
  1. Meeting Calendar Synchronization – e-Nhancer can sync with meeting calendar to seek feedback on meetings which could help in understanding the effectiveness of meetings.
  1. Employee recognition – You can choose to give your appreciation badges to team members for their exceptional performances.
  1. Gamification – Appreciation Badges, Leaderboard, Badge Level Limits are some of the employee engagement aspects that have been added to increase engagement with the platform and promote continuous feedback.
  1. Team Health Monitoring – e-Nhancer comes with AI extensions that allow Managers/Admin to view the sentiments of groups/teams/locations/organization, etc. thus foreseeing, when intervention may be required.

Provider of ‘totally integrated solutions’ in the areas of Software Products, Application Engineering and Professional Service, CMSS is pioneering in creating technology solutions in the Human Resource Domain. The company last year launched Chatbot by the name H-SHARP, designed specifically for Human Resource industry which can make human-like natural conversation with the support of AI, NLP, and Machine Learning [ML].

By 2021, digital transformation will add an estimated US$154 billion to India’s GDP, and increase the growth rate by 1.0% annually, according to a new business study Unlocking the Economic Impact of Digital Transformation in Asia Pacific. The research was produced by Microsoft in partnership with IDC Asia/Pacific.

Image Source – Digital Transformation

The study predicts a dramatic acceleration in the pace of digital transformation across India and Asia Pacific’s economies. In 2017, about 4% of India’s GDP was derived from digital products and services created directly through the use of digital technologies, such as mobility, cloud, Internet of Things [IoT], and artificial intelligence [AI].

Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said

India is clearly on the digital transformation fast track. Within the next four years, it is estimated that nearly 60% of India’s GDP will have a strong connection to the digital transformation trends. Organizations are increasingly deploying emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, and that will accelerate digital transformation led growth even further.

The survey conducted with 1,560 business decision makers in mid and large-sized organizations across 15 economies in the region highlights the rapid impact and widespread disruption that digital transformation is having on traditional business models. The study identified five key benefits from digital transformation.

According to the research findings, organizations are seeing significant and tangible improvements from their digital transformation efforts across these benefits in the range of 11% to 14% today. Business leaders expect to see more than 40% improvements in those key areas by 2020, with the biggest jump expected in productivity, customer advocacy as well as profit margin.

Digital Leaders in India to Gain Lion’s Share of Economic Opportunities

The study indicates that while 90% of organizations in India are in the midst of their digital transformation journey, only 7% in the entire region can be classified as Leaders. These are organizations that have full or progressing digital transformation strategies, with at least a third of their revenue derived from digital products and services. In addition, these companies are seeing between 20 – 30% improvements in benefits across various business areas from their initiatives.

The study indicates that Leaders experience double the benefits of Followers, and these improvements will be more pronounced by 2020. Almost half of Leaders [48%] have a full digital transformation strategy in place.

Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., one of India’s Leaders in Digital Transformation, said

Apollo Hospitals recognized the potential of technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics in providing high quality preventive healthcare services, very early on. With data being generated at an exponential proportion, technology is helping us derive insights to predict and suggest preventive steps with utmost accuracy. Our partnership with Microsoft bring us to the forefront of this remarkable metamorphosis that is allowing us to meet healthcare demand and maintain service excellence regardless of geography.

The Study identified key differences between Leaders and Followers, which contribute to the improvements tracked:

  • Leaders are more concerned about competitors and emergence of disruptive technologies – The digital economy has also given rise to new types of competitors, as well as emerging technologies such as AI that have contributed to the disruption of business models.
  • Business agility and culture of innovation are key goals – When addressing business concerns, Leaders are focused on creating a culture of agility and innovation to counter competition. Followers, on the other hand, are more focused on improving employee productivity and profitability.
  • Measuring digital transformation successes – Organizations across Asia Pacific are starting to adopt new Key Performance Indicators [KPI] to better measure their digital transformation initiatives, such as effectiveness of processes, data as a capital, and customer advocacy in the form of Net Promoter Score [NPS]. As organizations realize the potential of data as the new oil for the digital economy, Leaders are much more focused on leveraging data to grow revenue and productivity, and to transform business models.
  • Leaders are more aware of challenges in their digital transformation journeys – In addition to skills and cyber-security threats as key challenges, Leaders have also identified the need to bolster their data capabilities through the use of advanced analytics to develop actionable insights in fast-moving markets.
  • Leaders are looking to invest in AI and Internet of Things – Emerging technologies such as AI [including cognitive services and robotics] and IoT are areas where Leaders are investing in for 2018. Besides these emerging technologies, Leaders are also more interested in investing in big data analytics to mine data for actionable insights than others.
  • What sets Leaders apart from others are their ability to ride on the digital transformation wave from an organizational culture perspective. The study found that Leaders have these traits

Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D), said

There is a pressing need for organizations to fully capitalize on the potential value of digital transformation in the next few years. To do so, organizations need to invest in building their ecosystem, from employees, to customers, to partners, across their value chain by gaining new insights through new data sources, and incorporating digitization in their products and services.

Microsoft is uniquely positioned to help organizations in India to succeed in their digital transformation journeys today through our agile platforms and solutions that prioritize flexibility, integration and trust. We understand what organizations will need to make their journeys a successful one.

Riding the Wave of Digital Transformation

Organizations in Asia Pacific need to accelerate their digital transformation journey to reap the full benefits of their initiatives, and to address the invisible revolution brought about the mass adoption of AI. More importantly, companies need to focus on capitalizing their own data in order to gain new market insights, create new digital products and services, and monetize data through data sharing securely, and in collaboration with its ecosystem.

Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, Research Director Digital Transformation Practice Lead, IDC Asia/Pacific, said

The pace of digital transformation is accelerating, and IDC expects that by 2021, at least 60% of India’s GDP will be derived from digital products and services, with growth in every industry driven by digitally enhanced offerings, operations and relationships. The study shows Leaders seeing double the benefits of Followers, with improvements in productivity, cost reductions, and customer advocacy. To remain competitive, organizations must establish new metrics, realign organization structures, and re-architect their technology platform.

Microsoft recommends organizations to adopt the following strategies to become a digital transformation Leader

  1. Create a digital culture – An organization need to build a culture of collaboration where it is connected across business functions, and has a vibrant and mature ecosystem of customers and partners. Data can then be embraced across organization and functions, where better decisions can be made and ultimately serving the needs of customers and partners better.
  2. Build an information ecosystem – In a digital world, organizations are capture more volumes of data internally and externally. The key to becoming a Leader is for organizations to be able to convert data into capital assets, and enable data sharing and collaboration internally and externally in an open yet trusted manner. In addition, a proper data strategy will allow businesses to start their AI initiatives to identify connections, insights and trends.
  3. Embrace micro-revolutions – In most cases, digital transformation efforts do not start with widespread change, but a series of micro-revolutions. These are small, quick projects that deliver positive business outcomes and accrue to a bigger and bolder digital transformation initiatives.
  4. Develop Future Ready Skills for Individuals and Organizations – Organizations today must re-look at training and re-skilling its workforce so that workers are equipped with future ready skill sets such as complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity for the digital economy. More importantly, they need to re-balance the workforce to attain and attract key digital talents, as well as be open in creating a flexible work source model where they tap into skills-based marketplace. From a digital skills perspective,LinkedIn’s latest study outlines the ABCs of digital talents required for future economies in the region – artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing. In India, the top in-demand skills are big data, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing.

SharkID, the Social Phone-book app, crossed 5 lakh downloads; with their network database zooming past 75 million numbers. SharkID is a  bootstrapped Startup, founded by Ramesh Sinha, a technocrat & serial entrepreneur.

SharkID is a smart phone-book app backed by a highly scalable Service-oriented architecture with full stack technology, SharkID deploys a Big data Database Mongo and Redis for storage and Encrypted streaming for data security.

Last year performance

  • 5 Lakh downloads within one Year
  • 7.5 Million Calls
  • 75 Million Mobile numbers
  • Caller ID + Mutual Connections

Next Year Target

  • 10 Million Installations
  • 100 Million Calls
  • 1 Billion Mobile numbers

Speaking on the occasion, Ramesh Sinha, Founder – SharkID, said

Our download numbers have more than doubled and climbing – this encourages us to keep pushing, keep striving towards delivering the best experience. For us there can be no greater testament than sustained downloads, week after week. Our users have reaffirmed our core belief – that, given a best-of-breed, secure and smarter technology, User migration is inevitable. Every smartphone User/Business will migrate to a smarter, easier and meshed experience, if someone provides it. And that is precisely what we do.

When 100,000+ network connections get added every day, it validates our belief many times over and is testimony to our technical array expertise and user experience. SharkID stands committed to provide a secure, user immersive experience to individuals and companies.

Elaborating further, he added

Based on the very encouraging response for the SharkID business card, we are further customizing it to ensure smoother on-boarding for professionals & organizations. We are confident that once companies experience the incredible benefits, SharkID will become a movement and our downloads will increase even further. 

Currently the company plans to deepen the user experience and expand the user-base across India to 10 million by March 2019. SharkID for Android can be downloaded from here.

In recent announcements, Dell Technologies has elevated its yearly premier technology conference, Dell EMC World, to Dell Technologies World. This has been done in view of evolving demands of customers and their urgent requirements to transform digitally. The annual partner and customer event is now better and bigger than ever.

Here are the top 7 reasons why this event is a must-attend

#7 Discover what’s next. – “We’re entering the next era of human-machine partnership, a more integrated, personal relationship with technology that has the power to exponentially amplify the creativity, inspiration, intelligence and curiosity of the human spirit.” – Michael Dell, CEO

#6 Boost your careerWith so many innovations at Dell Tech World, you can get practical insights and actionable next steps to improve your processes, organizational speed and meet customer demands anytime/anywhere. Equip yourself with new skills and strategies, achieve technical certifications and expand your network.

#5 Find innovation everywhereThis conference is all about finding and meeting the people who are the brainchild behind the technology/s we use every day. Learn about strategy and products for the future and meet peers from around the globe.

#4 Meet new techLast year, Dell EMC World was bigger and this time after transiting to Dell Technologies World, expect it to be more lively and experiential. See live product releases and get hands on with interactive demos

#3 Collaborate with gurusEverybody is present, from peers to Dell Technologies Leadership team. If you are a technology enthusiast or a leader, this can be a technical opportunity for your or your organization to get insights and learning from the leadership team. These people not only are excited to share what they are doing, but would be willing to understand what your needs are.

#2 All in one placeA platform that will host and showcase the power of seven technology leaders, all in one place. Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware. Together, they are #1 in everything and ready to help transform your business and shape your future.

#1 Make it realThe only conference that makes it real; where you can see, touch and discover products and solutions to enable real transformation from the edge to the core to the cloud. Be a part of this experience and pave the way for making transformation real.

Registration for the event is ongoing. Get ready to sharpen your technology DNA and make digital transformation work for your organization.

To know more about the event – https://www.delltechnologiesworld.com/index.htm

Register here – https://delltechnologiesworldonline.com/2018/portal/newreg.ww

Looking forward to seeing you at Dell Technologies World!

Uber announced the launch of its new driver app, rebuilt completely from the ground up, for and with drivers. The new app provides a more simple and personalized experience, designed to support drivers and delivery partners on every moment of their journey.

Pradeep Parameswaran, Head of Central Operations, Uber India & SA, said

The launch of the new partner [drivers and courier partners] app is a key milestone for Uber. It truly reflects our commitment to the people who have been our partners in growth. We have built this app by listening to what they needed and shaped it alongside them – over 100 partners from Bangalore were a part of the global beta launch. Every piece of their feedback was important and it was incorporated into building an app that meets their needs, every moment of their journey.

Key product features of the new Uber Driver App

Earnings tracker – The new real-time Earnings Tracker lets drivers know – at a glance – how much they earned on their last trip, and makes it easy to track progress toward their goals.

Status bar – Provides real-time updates on market conditions around them and opportunities for more trips nearby. When a driver taps an opportunity, the app will provide optional navigation to the recommended area.

Notifications – This feature lets drivers see messages about upcoming earning opportunities, feedback from their riders, and information about their account.

Driver profile – Gives drivers the opportunity to showcase what they do outside of Uber, and allows riders to learn more about their driver and find new ways to connect.

Driver App Basics – A comprehensive guide to getting started with Uber that will be available to drivers in the coming months.

In India, the app is currently available to select driver partners in Kochi and courier partners in Chennai. It will be rolled out in a phased manner to driver and delivery partners across the country over the coming months.