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Insurance as a service: Software as a Service set to transform the insurance industry

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

 Studies conducted by Ovum, the global analyst house*, reveal that the use of SaaS (software as a service) in the global insurance industry is already significant with at least a third of all insurers fully deploying or trialling SaaS currently.  Despite a significant minority of insurers remaining cautious of SaaS (for regulatory, risk and reliability reasons) there is almost universal agreement among insurance carriers that SaaS will have a significant impact on both the insurance industry and i

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In the Pink on Monkeys, Raisins, Money -- and the Flow

Monday, June 8th, 2015

What’s going on here … little furry primates, sweet rewards: is this magazine about business -- or zoos?

 Enter American Daniel Pink. He is, well, in the pink!

Enter American Daniel Pink. He is, well, in the pink! Dan started his dive into the midst of that color when he received a JD from Yale Law School. Then he held some government posts, such as chief speechwriter between 1995 to 1997 for Vice President Al Gore.

As a refreshingly idealistic author, he has penned five bestselling books about the changing world of work. These include “A Whole New Mind,” translated into 24 languages, and “To Sell is Human.” In “Drive,” Pink explains how money is not always the best bait for the employee fish, the theme of this interview.

Overall, Dan shifts us toward a -- surprising -- new world view based on his grasp of the psychology of control versus self - directed cooperation. He has the courage to slap at GE's snarling former CEO Jack Welch.

In 2013, www.Thinkers 50 selected him one of the world’s top 15 business cogitaters. He is also host and co-executive producer of “Crowd Control,” a new television series about human behavior on the National Geographic Channel


Dan gives this exclusive interview to Victor Fic Biztech’s special correspondent for politics and economics, who edited it for clarity.

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Incredible India’ Yes, the Slogan Conveys the Country’s Inner Spirit

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

India has a brand, a slogan that is so simple and yet so great, so absolutely undeniable: “Incredible India.” Not only is the “in-in” alliteration rather catchy, but it’s also no exaggeration. In fact, it may even be an understatement. Love it or hate it, there’s just no other place on earth like India in terms of the enormous diversity you see and feel everywhere – in geography, people, languages, culture, religion, well, just about everything. Indians are not so totally different from one another, however, as not to share one common bond: they’re all Indian. Even if they speak different languages, worship different deities, come from widely divergent social and economic backgrounds, even from tribal groupings in remote regions, to a foreigner they are more or less the same people. That’s all the more reason to wonder at “Incredible India,” the branding of an enormous country that’s bursting at the seams in terms of population, ambitions, dreams – and, yes, problems, divisions, corruption and crime. By far the world’s largest democracy, India is full of all the political infighting, public and private controversies, charges and counter-charges, trade-offs and payoffs, loud talking and backstabbing that goes with any democratic system. The problems are multiplied in India by its immense population, more than 1.2 billion and growing at a rate that means the number of people living in India in a few years will surpass that of the Chinese.

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Future of Indian-South Korean relations after Prime Minister Modi’s recent visit

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

As the relationship between India and South Korea has been substantially growing both economically and strategically, it is of greater importance to manage security issues pertaining to both countries, particularly considering that India is a rising Asia-Pacific power

Prime Minister Modi’s recent trip to Korea was heavily tilted towards improving economic engagement with Korea. It is indeed vital to continue strengthening the business relationship, yet it is more important to address international security matters which face both countries, predominantly for subtle business transactions and for the global peace in South and East Asia. Similarly South Korea perhaps should pay more attention to India’s security conflicts with the neighboring countries as President Park Geun-Hye is seeking to establish a manufacturing hub in India in order to explore better opportunities to export to Arab countries. In fact, India has the human  capital to support Korean plans.

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First International Day of Yoga (IDY) in the Republic of Korea on 21 June 2015.

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Yoga is a 5,000-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice having its origin in India, which Aims to transform both body and mind. On December 11 in 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. The declaration came after the call for the adoption of 21 June as International Day of Yoga by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi during his address to UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014 wherein he stated: "Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature." In Suggesting June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, as the International Day of Yoga, Narendra Modi had said, "the date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world." Yogi and mystic, Sadhguru notes the importance of this day in the yogic tradition: “On the day of the summer solstice, Adiyogi (the first yogi) turned south and first set his eyes on the Saptarishis or Seven Sages, who were his first disciples to carry the science of yoga to many parts of the world. It is wonderful that June 21 marks this momentous event in the history of humanity.”

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India’s Top 20 Residential Neighbourhoods

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Traditionally, the southern neighborhoods of India’s primary cities have always been the poshest and most desirable locations for HNI home buyers. Historically, these localities have housed the Who’s Who of the city. This phenomenon still continues; however, over time, other areas are competing with these legacy locations and attracting the younger nouveau riche.

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Speed of talks has increased: Parrikar on Indo-China border agreement

Friday, May 29th, 2015

 Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday said that the process for border agreement with China has been initiated, but added that it would take time to resolve the present problem.

"There are confidence-building measures which had already been initiated. The speed of talks has increased. I think a lot depends on these aspects so that we can resolve the problem. But it is not a five minute task... it will take much longer, but the exercise is on," Parrikar said in an exclusive interview with ANI.

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Indian Navy chief downplays 'white paper' release by China

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R.K. Dhowan on Thursday downplayed the 'white paper' released by China on Tuesday that outlines a strategy to boost Beijing's naval reach and announces plans for the construction of two light houses in disputed waters, developments which are likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Chinese maritime ambitions.
The naval chief replying to the question of China's perceived threat in the Indian Ocean region said "It is natural for any navy to have its plans which cover a spectrum of their entire operations, so it isormal activity for any white paper of any navy," said Admiral Dhowan.
In a policy document issued by the State Council, the Communist-ruled country's cabinet, China had vowed to increase its "open seas protection", switching from air defence to both offence and defence,nd criticised neighbours who take "provocative actions" on its reefs and islands
On the issue of coastal security, the navy chief explained the action being taken since the Indian navy was given the charge as the lead agency in coordination of coastal security in 2008.
"Setting up of 46 coastal radar stations, 74 automatic identification systems, induction of our fast and scepter class and leveraging of technology with patrols that are carried out by the navy and the coast guard. Our ships, UAV's and aircraft keep the complete surveillance under patrol," added Admiral Dhowan.

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Prime minister Modi ’s visit to Korea heavily tilted towards business

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

Indian Prime Minister Modi's maiden trip to South Korea as is scheduled for May 18-19, after  his visit to China and Mongolia.

From all the available sources in the public domain, it is becoming more and more clear our Prime Minister’s visit to Seoul will focus on economic and business promotion. If advance visits of Indian official to Seoul in recent weeks are any indication Strategic and security issues are not expected to get much attention and mostly likely put on the back burner.

It is hoped that the Prime Minister's May tour to these three countries might attract as much as $10 billion in financial assistance for his pet projects: Smart Cities, Digital India and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

South Korea has shown significant interest in these projects. Advance teams are currently negotiating terms and conditions for the infrastructure development package, which will be funded by South Korea's Export Import Bank. Sources have indicated that most of the assistance would be provided on a long-term basis at reasonable interest rates.

South Koreans have also shown great interest in his “Make in India” campaign. Indian delagates are said to be persuading big South Korean businesses to invest in India, and the Indian government is hinting that more infrastructure sectors could be covered following the bilateral negotiations to make the deal more attractive to South Koreans.

The Prime Minister is especially interested in developing closer ties with the shipbuilding industry, in particular those companies open to building ships in India. Knowing well that South Korea is a world leader in LNG transportation vessels, he has been encouraging India's private as well as state-run players to develop relations with Korea’s top shipbuilders such as Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo, Samsung, STX, Hanjin, Sundong and Hyundai Samho; and looking into the possibility of making a ship in India for LNG imports. If a deal comes through this might be seen as one of the concrete outcomes of the visit.

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Emerging Strategic Convergence Between India and Korea

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Strategic balance in East Asia is changing. In this new strategic equilibrium Korea and India are being forced to evolve new policy alternatives to protect their national interests. Fundamental questions are bothering both countries. How do they to keep peace and stability during this transition period in a region full of historical animosities and boundary, ethnic and economic disputes? How best can two middle powers like India and Korea serve, protect, and promote their national interests?

India and Korea, two of the most successful democracies in Asia, are natural partners. India and Korea have lot to gain if they work together. Today, both are significant middle powers with strong economies and are already playing an established role in e international institutions. Both as democracies have a strong interests in the rule of international law establishing regional order. Their joining of hands presents a new paradigm shift in international relations: two new rising Asian powers building their collaborative identity, and crafting a new role for themselves to protect and promote their own vision, instead of blindly following the polices of traditional super powers. Together they have the potential to forge a third way, not only for themselves but all other fellow smaller countries facing the same choice in the region.

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On Epictetus and Tin Cups: How the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ POWS Won Their War

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

“Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.” Epictetus

When naval aviator James Bond Stockdale became a ‘guest’ in the Hanoi Hilton, his vital leadership helped his men to survive. His son James Stockdale Jr. recalls his father’s sterling character. Then Taylor Kiland  author of ‘Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton,’ distills the lessons in this exclusive, unique interview to Victor Fic, Biztech’s special correspondent for business and politics.

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Visit of Indian Defence Minister to the Republic of Korea April 15-18 2015

Monday, April 20th, 2015

On the first day of his official visit to Seoul, Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar began the day at a solemn ceremony to pay homage to martyrs of Korea’s independence movement and the Korean War at the National Cemetery. He also recalled the role of the Indian Army in providing medical assistance andrepatriation of prisoners during the War.Later in the day, Defence Minister visited Korea’s ninth largest corporation, Hanwha. In its 63 year history,this firm has become a Korean leader in ordnance, fuzes, precision guided systems, sensors and aerospace.In the detailed site visit facilitated by Hanwha President Shim, RM invited Hanwha to participate in the Make in India programme, taking into account the enormous opportunities for mutually beneficial business.

Later in the evening, in Seoul, Shri Manohar Parrikar addressed an India-Korea Defence Industry Forumarranged by the Embassy in association with the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Korea (ICCK). Senior representatives of 10 Indian defence firms interacted with senior representatives of the Korean DefenceAcquisition and Program Administration (DAPA), Korean Defence Industries Association, and over 15 leading Korean defence industries. Defence Minister highlighted that the defence industry in India would be likely to see $250 bn worth of business over the next decade as India modernized its defence systems and industries.After outlining the policy changes being brought forward by the Government of Prime Minister Modi to facilitate investment in the defence sector, Shri Manohar Parrikar said that the time had come for Korean defence firms to take advantage of the high brand value enjoyed by Korean-made produts in India, and to enter the defence market as partners for the long-term.

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India needs to 'act' to make its new "Act East Policy" work

Friday, April 17th, 2015


At the 12th ASEAN summit in Myanmar on November 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi renamed India's "Look East" policy to “Act East” policy. On the occasion, Prime Minister Modi proudly declared: "My government has been in office for six months and the intensity and momentum with which we have enhanced our engagement in the east is a reflection of the priority that we give to this region... A new era of economic development, industrialization and trade has begun in India. Externally, India's 'Look East Policy' has become the 'Act East' policy,"
High sounding rhetoric apart years of neglect has left India‘s Look East Asia policy in shatters. Serious doubts are being raised about India’s commitment to the region. Case in point is the fate of two important projects— the Kaladan multi-modal transport project and India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway. These were both sold as big ticket projects for India’s commitment to East Asia. The deadline, for the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway which was expected to be completed by 2016, has been extended to 2019. Similarly, the Kaladan multi-modal transport project is also struggling to meet the completion deadline, which calls into question the India’s commitment to the region. Meanwhile China, another country trying to integrate Southeast Asia with its growth engine, has started building roads and bridges, gaining the trust of Southeast Asian countries.
It is common perception that there is definite bias against East Asia as far allocation of human resources is concerned. Almost all diplomatic and consular posts in the region are understaffed and under experienced. There is no longer sanctity about the level of particular post in the missions. A second secretary is replacing a counselor, a grade III officer, replacing a Grade I officer and so on. Very few officers being sent to the region have shown to have some understanding of the power dynamics of the region. Most of them learn on the job. Such practices are sending the wrong signals to the region. The region is crying out for fully functional missions staffed by skilled and dedicated diplomats corps.

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Asia's evolving 'Great Game'

Friday, April 17th, 2015

It's difficult to say which foe bothers India the most. Chinese troops crossed India's frontiers in 1962, nipping bits of territory that they've never relinquished. Pakistan has waged three useless wars to try and recover the Indian portion of Kashmir, a Himalayan wonderland divided by a line of control since the end of British rule in 1947.

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The Defence Minister of India (RM) Shri Manohar Parikkar Visiting Seoul

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

The Defence Minister of India (RM) Shri Manohar Parikkar arrived in Seoul today on his first official visit to South Korea . The Minister is accompanied by the Defence Secretary and senior Indian military and civilian officials from the Ministry of Defence and an Indian Defence industry delegation.

During this three-day visit to RoK, RM will co-chair the India-ROK Defence Ministerial meeting with his Korean counterpart Gen.Han Min-Koo on 17 April. They will hold extensive discussions on the entire gamut of the bilateral defence relationship and regional and global issues of mutual interest, and will in particular identify ways to upgrade the Defence relationship.

RM will also meet the Chairman Of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Choi Yun-hee, Minister Chang Myoung-Jin of the Korean Defence Acquisition Program Administration and National Security Adviser, Gen Kim Kwan-Jin.

Kolaveri Di vs. Gangnam Style

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

“Why this Kolaveri, Kolaveri, Kolaveri Di?” was on everybody’s lips in 2011 and in the early months of 2012 too. The video pictured the song recording within the confines of a recording studio involving just five people in all, including the singer Dhanush, the music com­poser, the heroine and the director of the movie, which featured the song. The tune and catchy lines sung in Tamil and English to a slow rhythm along with the simple video made quick headlines.

INTERVIEW: Aneel Karnani

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
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Aneel Karnani was born in 1951. He was educated at Harvard Business School, and is now a Professor of Strategy at the Ross School of Business, The University of Michigan. He gives this exclusive interview about Indian firm’s foreign ac­quisitions to Victor Fic, our special correspondent for economics and politics.
Explain the internationalization trend of Indian firms. Please cite examples.
Companies originating from emerging economies have been increasingly pursu­ing international acquisitions, driven by various factors such as the liberalization of their domestic economies, globalization of their industries, intensity of competition, managerial capabilities, and access to capi­tal markets. This is also true for Indian com­panies. Recent major examples include Tata Steel acquiring Corus Group for US$13 bil­lion, Hindalco Industries buying Novellis for $5.7 billon, Tata Motors buying Jaguar Land Rover for $2.3 billion, and Bharti Airtel pur­chasing Zain’s African telecom operations for $10.7 billion.

India-South Korea Collaboration in Green Energy Initiatives

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Two emerging powers in the Asia- Pacific region, India and South Korea, continue to extend their tentacles of friendly relations. India, with its ‘Look East Policy’, and South Korea with its ‘New Asia Policy’ seem to be drawing the same road map to progress. What could be more productive than collaboration and co-operation?
Going beyond infrastructure develop­ment, automobile industry, steel, defense equipment and consumer electronics and communications technology, the two na­tions have come together in energy-related fields to become self-reliant as well as to be environmentally friendly in their endeav­ors.

South Korea’s Trade Surplus in IT Sector Increases Ten-fold

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

According to the ministry, the IT export business numbers have grown about 12 percent on a yearly basis during the last few years. The numbers of exports have risen up to $14.52 billion. Imports have also not been lagging far behind, show­ing a good standard growth and rising this year by about 2.2 percent on a year-by-year basis, coming to about $6.66 billion this year.
The trade surplus regarding infor­mation technology has come to about $7.86 billion, which is in fact higher than South Korea’s surplus of all other trades combined. The total surplus of South Korea in November was calcu­lated at $4.48 billion, while total export numbers in the country grew by 3.9 percent, amounting to $47.8 billion. The import numbers have shown an in­crease of 0.7 percent, reaching $43.32 billion.

Increasing Popularity of Mobile Banking in South Korea

Monday, December 2nd, 2013
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The mobile technology market is currently working its way towards dominance across the globe. More individuals now go online to search for top devices like mobile phones and tablets as invest­ments, boosting economic benefits for in­vestors and mobile device manufacturers.
Statistics don’t lie when indicating the growing number of consumers investing on tablets and mobile phones. Regular con­sumers love how they can access their so­cial media pages at the palm of their hands with the help of these devices. Moreover, portability also plays an important role as to why many people choose to have these high -end devices.

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