IdeateLabs ropes in Divya Ajitkumar as Business Head

IdeateLabs, one of India’s largest independent full-service digital-first creative agencies has roped in Divya Ajitkumar as Business Head. She will be based out of the Mumbai office and will be reporting to the Director, Vrutika Dawda.

Divya has over a decade of experience in the digital space, having worked in highly organized and evolved markets with exposure to cutting edge technology and access to top tier publishers and clients in geos like NYC and London. Her roles involved collaborating across cross-functional teams like display, performance, search, affiliate and social and her core expertise lies in setting-up processes and solving complex business problems.

Prior to joining IdeateLabs, she has worked with companies like, WeWork, O&M, iProspect and Starcom MediaVest managing brands like Coca-Cola, Samsung, Avon, Honda and RIM amongst others.

Her new responsibilities at IdeateLabs involve building new business as well as growing existing ones, planning, strategizing, managing campaigns, growing P&L, and managing stakeholders.

Vrutika Dawda, Director, IdeateLabs said, “Divya brings a lot of experience coupled with fresh ideas to the table. Her business values and ideals fit right into the culture and DNA of IdeateLabs. Divya will be playing a crucial role in multiplying businesses and strengthening relationships with existing and new clients along with the stakeholders. We look forward to having her on board, to aggregate and enhance the business.”

Commenting on her new role, Divya Ajitkumar, Business Head, IdeateLabs commented, “At IdeateLabs I have found a role that is both challenging and interesting.  Given the tremendous pressure to succeed in the Indian market, the only way to survive is to stand heads and shoulders over the rest. Where the differentiation between agencies is starting to blur, IdeateLabs has decided not to add to the chorus by being another commodity focused agency. Rather we are investing in products and IPs that drive value for clients through actionable results. Clients today have become just as digitally savvy as the agency. We are at the crux of a defining shift in the marketplace where we are seeing a lot of clients question the value of an agency. What they seek is a partner, a guide, an extension of themselves. Capitalizing on key moments to drive their agenda is critical. Through digital, your opportunity is immense to demonstrate value addition by creating different business models that can help amplify their ROI.”

About IdeateLabs (  IdeateLabs, one of India’s largest independent full-service digital-first creative agencies . It is a fired-up group of professionals from the creative, tech and marketing worlds. While its clientele exceeds 75 well-known Indian and International names, its portfolio spans across varied business verticals. Its clientele includes renowned brands like Hiranandani Communities, Brand Factory, Future Group, HDFC Bank, Magma Finance, Hafele, Kalpataru, Fullerton India, Franklin Templeton Mutual Funds to name a few. IdeateLabs specializes in taking brand challenges and turning them into opportunities that deliver tangible and valuable results. IdeateLabs has its headquarters in Mumbai and satellite offices in Singapore and Dubai.



Move designed to deepen Innoviti’s solutioning for existing customers, while widening distribution to newer market segments.

Leading payment solutions provider, Innoviti Payment Solutions announced the induction of former Future Group and Croma senior executive, Mr. Hemant Taware to its senior management team. He is a retail industry veteran with over 25 years of diverse experience in Direct Sales, Marketing, and Operations across sectors like Food & Grocery, Apparel, CDIT & Telecom. Mr. Taware till recently was the Strategic Planning & Business Development Head at Future Group where he has been instrumental in orchestrating Change Management in their Design & Build function.

Prior to that Mr. Taware handled leadership roles at some of India’s marquee retail organizations such as Chief Operating Officer at HyperCITY Retail, Chief of Operations at Croma, Chief Operating Officer at The Mobile Store and General Manager at ABRL. Mr. Taware’s appointment reaffirms Innoviti’s goal of building a world-class payments company by bringing senior talent from user industries to strengthen its expanding eco-system of payments linked value added services for retail merchants.

Mr. Hemant Taware, Chief Business Officer – Merchant Ecosystem, Innoviti said “I’m very excited to be joining Innoviti’s team at a crucial time when the company is poised to aggressively grow its pioneering industry-leading software solutions in the digital payments space.  Innoviti’s technologies have been at the forefront of setting new benchmarks for how retail businesses can extract more out of a payment transaction by adding intelligence to it. This is helping retail businesses transform their payment acceptance processing infrastructure into genuine drivers of business growth in today’s tough economic environment. I look forward to an exciting journey with Innoviti’s young and talented team.

Across India Innoviti processes over US$ 5Bn of payments annually from over 1000+ cities, with a throughput per point of acceptance of 7000$, 2X of India’s average (as per RBI data).  Innoviti’s payment solutions helps merchants, banks and brands influence commercial transactions happening in offline commerce more efficiently than possible otherwise, through an unconventional use of payment terminals.

Innoviti is backed by marquee investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, USA, FMO, Netherlands, SBI Venture Capital, Singapore and Catamaran, India.



MiQ Appoints Siddharth Dabhade to Lead India Business

The industry veteran will be responsible for accelerating the penetration of MiQ’s marketing intelligence solutions across the region

Global marketing intelligence firm, MiQ, has appointed Siddharth Dabhade as Managing Director (India) to develop and grow the Indian business as a strong contributor to the company’s global expansion. He will focus on increasing the penetration of the company’s programmatic and analytics solutions, forging strong relationships with leading brands and media agencies, and building a strategic leadership position for the company in the region. The announcement showcases MiQ’s growth ambitions for its data-driven solutions in the Indian market.

Prior to joining MiQ, Siddharth has played a variety of technology, business development and management roles with industry giants such as IBM, Microsoft and Google, with his most recent position leading the Indian business of global retail technology and advertising leader, Criteo. Armed with two decades of core digital marketing, key customer relationship management and business advisory experience, Siddharth will be driving the growth strategy, alongside a specialised and experienced team in Bangalore, our technology center for MiQ globally. He will report to MiQ Co-Founder and Chief Expansion Officer, Lee Puri.

Speaking on his new role, Siddharth Dabhade said, “Today, just curating large data lakes is not enough, and the ability to draw actionable insights from these large sets of data is one of the biggest challenges companies face. MiQ’s unique focus on marketing intelligence-led programmatic actions adds huge value to agencies and clients and fuels business strategies of the future. The power of MiQ’s technology together with a great working culture attracted me to take up the opportunity of ushering the next phase of growth for the Indian market.”

Lee Puri, Co-Founder and Chief Expansion Officer, MiQ added, “Since our inception in 2010, MiQ has always put people and organisational culture ahead of everything else. I am glad to welcome Siddharth to the MiQ family. His track record speaks for itself, and we are excited to have him onboard to lead one of the fastest-growing data markets in the world.”


Infosys using automation to transform clients’ business: Nilekani

Renewing legacy systems but discarding legacy mindsets, India’s global software major Infosys is relying on automation for digital transformation of their clients’ business, Chairman Nandan Nilekani said on Saturday.

“We are relying on extreme automation to free up our people to focus more on solving client challenges, mentoring their teams and investing in learning for digital transformation of their business,” he said at the company’s 38th Annual General Meeting here.

Addressing shareholders, the board of directors and employees, Nilekani, one of the Infosys co-founders, said the management was working to dissolve silos across its global operations to ensure its clients have instant access to ideas emanating from Infocions so as to leverage their best when they interact with them.

“The novel approach means focusing on personal growth, nurturing zero-latency in processes, ensuring just-in-time data for decision-making, driving hyper-productivity and facilitating learning to instil new patterns of behaviour,” he said.

As its global clients were operating in a complex world, disrupted by many digital technologies, he said they were looking at the company to partner with them in the new digital era.

“Our work across industries, value chains and geographies give us keen insights into the pattern of changes transforming the fundamental wiring across a diverse set of businesses. We know that with this understanding, we are uniquely positioned to assist our clients in picking the right signals and to discover what’s next,” he asserted.

Sharing the growth strategy with investors, the Chairman said the company would provide a roadmap to transform its clients’ IT infrastructure into digital infrastructure.

“We can work with them to build and leverage direct-to-consumer channels that provide consumer insights. We can also help them emulate platform companies that bring customers more choices by moving into adjacencies,” he said.

The firm is also training the employees to explain its clients how their competitors, with a ‘winner take all’ approach, were moving to change the rules of the game.

“We can contribute to shaping counter moves that bring data together with AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Machine Learning to chart new ways of creating value. We can also build systems for them to respond at the speed of data, much like the ‘adapt to survive’ response, typical of living species,” he said.

For instance, the company has developed ‘InfyMe’ app — a mobile-first window for its employees to access by tapping on their mobile phones.

‘Lex’ is another app that is popular among employees seeking to prepare for emerging digital opportunities by developing corresponding skills.

“These are early manifestations of the connected, sentient digital world we are beginning to build for our people,” said Nilakeni.

Guided by the strategy of Chief Executive Salil Parekh, the IT major is increasing its relevance to clients and building greater business model resilience.

“Over the last fiscal, we have deepened our digital capabilities, especially in experience, data, analytics, cloud, SaaS, IoT, cyber-security, AI and Machine Learning,” said Nilekani.

To enhance its ability to engage with clients for their large digital transformation programmes, the $12-billion company invested in nurturing specialised client-facing teams to drive strategic partnerships.

“I cannot ask for better preparedness to focus on our clients and the transformational work we need to execute for them,” Nilekani added.



Film, business celebs at Modi’s oath-taking ceremony

The who’s who of business, cinema, politics and sports gathered to be witness of the return of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and formation of his new cabinet at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, here on Thursday.

A red carpet was laid out for the guests for the oath-taking ceremony which took place as the sun set in the national capital, where the temperature was well above 40 degrees.

Modi, who led the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to a spectacular victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was administered the oath of office and secrecy in Hindi by President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony attended by around 8,000 people.

From the business world, there were Lakshmi Mittal, Ratan Tata, Gautam Adani, Mukesh Ambani with Nita and son Anmol, T. S. Kalyanaraman, Tata Group Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Vedanta’s Founder and Chairman Anil Agarwal.

The 1983 World Cup winning team skipper Kapil Dev was also present among the guests.

Spiritual master Sadhguru took a prominent seat at the event, which was also attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former President Pratibha Patil, along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad seated prominently.

Film celebrities Kangana Ranaut chose a gossamer white sari for the occasion, and veteran singer Asha Bhosle also chose an elegant cream for the event. Also present were Karan Johar, superstar Rajinikanth, besides Anupam Kher, Sushant Singh Rajput, Shahid Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Abhishek Kapoor, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Boney Kapoor, Madhur Bhandarkar, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Aanand L. Rai, Omung Kumar, Rajkumar Hirani, Kapil Sharma, Kailash KherAshoke Pandit and Mahaveer Jain — all were dressed in either formal suits or simple ethnic wear.

Rajinikanth was accompanied by his wife Latha, as was Shahid, who came with Mira.

Ahead of the event, Anil Kapoor wrote on Instagram: “Honoured to be attending one of the most important ceremonies of the year.”

Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra told IANS that he was humbled to be a part of the “historic moment”.

“The question is not what we expect from them. The question is what each Indian will do for their Motherland,” he said.

Kangana, a day before reaching Delhi to be a part of the ceremony, had told the media: “There are a lot of expectations associated with him (Modi)… So all my best wishes for him that whatever goals he has set for himself, he reaches all of them.”



Rahul says no angel tax, no permissions for new business

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday promised incentives for entrepreneurs and start-ups to boost job creation in the country, saying there will be no permissions required for the first three years of any new business, no angel tax and sold incentives based on the number of jobs created.

He also promised easy bank credit if the party is voted to power in the Lok Sabha elections.

“Youngsters, Want to start a new business? Want to create jobs for India? Here’s our plan for you: 1. ZERO permissions for the first 3 years of any new business. 2. Goodbye Angel Tax 3. Solid incentives & tax credits based on how many jobs you create. 4. Easy Bank Credit,” Gandhi said in a tweet.

The move is seen as an effort by Gandhi to woo the youth ahead of Lok Sabha elections and keep the focus on economic issues.

Gandhi has been criticising the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for failing to create promised jobs and the issue is a major poll plank of the Congress .

The promises are part of Congress plan to boost employment opportunities if it comes to power and provide a viable roadmap to achieve the objectives.



Business worth Rs 25,000 cr hit as traders protest against Pulwama attack; CAIT

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Monday said that business worth about Rs 25,000 crore was hit due to the “Bharat Trade Bandh” that was called to protest against the recent Pulwama terror attack.

According to CAIT, the day-long bandh saw seven crore business establishments remain closed across the country, including Delhi.

“Business of about Rs 25,000 crore was hit due to today’s ‘Bharat Trade Bandh’,” the confederation said in a statement.

“In the wake of tremendous and spontaneous voluntary response from traders across the country, the CAIT has decided to create a Special Relief Fund exclusively for the welfare of the forces,” it said.

In the worst-ever terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir since militancy erupted in 1989, a suicide bomber on Thursday rammed his SUV packed with explosives into a CRPF bus on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Pulwama district, killing as many as 40 troopers and leaving many injured.



Alphabet logs $39.3 bn in revenue on Google ad business

Riding on Google’s robust ad business, the parent company Alphabet has logged $39.3 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 — an increase of 22 per cent from the same period a year ago.

Google’s advertising business accounted for $32.6 billion of Alphabet’s overall revenue.

“In 2018 we delivered strong revenue growth, up 23 per cent year over year to $136.8 billion, and up 22 per cent for the fourth quarter to $39.3 billion,” Ruth Porat, Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet and Google, said in a statement on Monday.

Alphabet’s traffic and acquisition cost was $7.4 billion, up from $6.5 billion a year ago.

“With great opportunities ahead, we continue to make focused investments in the talent and infrastructure needed to bring exceptional products and experiences to our users, advertisers and partners around the globe,” Porat added.

The company which now has 98,771 employees globally reported a net income of $8.94 billion for the fourth quarter.

Other revenue — which includes hardware, Play Store, and Google Cloud enterprise efforts — reported $6.4 billion. Alphabet did not separately disclose how much its Cloud business contributed to this quarter’s revenue.