Renault Captur launch by Diwali, to take on Creta, XUV 500

While a launch date hasn’t been specified, the Renault Captur is expected to go on sale in India around Diwali in October. Photo: AFP

While a launch date hasn’t been specified, the Renault Captur is expected to go on sale in India around Diwali in October. Photo: AFP

Mumbai: French auto major Renault is planning to do an encore of its runaway success with the Duster and the small car Kwid, with its new premium SUV, the Captur that’s slated for Diwali launch.

Sumit Sawhney, managing director & chief executive of Renault India told PTI that the much-talked-about launch will take place in the December quarter, but refused to specify whether it could be a Diwali offering or not. The crossover SUV is also known as Kaptur in some global markets like Russia and Captur in Europe which is based on the Clio’s platform. But the Captur that’s coming to the domestic market is a crossover on the Duster platform and will be “positioned at a very premium over the Duster,” he said.

Sounding very bullish, he said Captur is a globally tested SUV having already sold over 1 million units. “We hope to repeat the same level of success here with the Captur”. According to industry analysts, the Captur will take on the Hyundai Creta and the top-end model may take on the Mahindra XUV500, the recently launched Tata Hexa and also Nissan’s Kicks expected by the end of the year.

According to analysts, the SUV may come in two engines options—a 1.6-litre petrol and a 2-litre diesel power train and may be priced around Rs12 lakh, which is the more or less same at that of the Creta. The compact SUV segment is the fastest growing cornering a fourth of the market pie. Launch is expected to cash in on this segment as Renault’s larger SUV, the Koleos, has failed in India therefore withdrawn now.

“The five-seater compact SUV with ‘cross-over DNA’ will be a very premium offering and much higher than the Duster. The new SUV will be rolled out from the company’s Chennai plant,” Sawhney said. The largest European car brand in the country with around 5% market share has primarily two models—the entry level SUV Duster and two variants of its small car Kwid-0.8 litre and 1 litre, which has been specially made for this market and the biggest volume grosser.

Despite media reports that Kwid is facing some headwinds, Sawhney said the “car is selling as per expectation, in fact exceeding our expectation of 8,000-10,000 units in all the seven months of 2017. In fact in most of the months, we have crossed 10,000 units. Together, we have sold around 58,000 units so far in 2017. We were the seventh largest carmaker here and still continues to be now.

“We have completed a little over five years but we are already the No. 1 European car brand here. We’ve a long-term commitment to this market and will continue to aggressively ramp up our network and build on our product offensive strategy to drive volumes. We still stick to our target of being the among the top five players by 2020,” he said.

In this regard he also said the company has already opened 300 outlets, making it the fastest network ramp-up in the country and will have 20 more by December. “Our network expansion is more focused on small towns. For instance we opened 10 outlets on a single day in Kerala taking the overall number 30 in the Southernmost state,” Sawhney added.

On the new launch he said, the Captur has a sensual crossover French design which is a unique vehicle class, clearly reflecting our new global design DNA. The Captur will have features like projector headlamps with C-shaped LED DRLs, large front grille and alloy wheels. Inside the cabin, the crossover will have a 7-inch touch screen compatible with Bluetooth, USB and AUX apart from steering mounted controls, automatic climate control and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.

[“Source-livemint”]

Wipro investing in tech to help Fortune 500 cos exploit, monetise data: CEO

Wipro

Data is going to be the currency of the future and the company has invested heavily in it, Wipro CEO Abidali Neemuchwala has said.

“We are seeing a significant ability to transform customers in the data space, and we feel very upbeat about this because as you rightly said data is going to be the currency of the future and we are very heavily invested in this area,” he told PTI here.


When asked if Wipro had engaged start-ups to monetise data, which will create jobs and automatically check layoffs, he said, “The company has made strategic investments in about 12 startups and some kind of strategic alliance with another 20-22 startups, and out of them all at least 20 per cent of them are in data and data-related areas.”

Neemuchwala also said the company has invested in some very specific IPs which are internal company IPs, and also bagged a very significant deal with a customer couple of quarters back.

“They are in data business and we are using Wipro technology to help them support Chief Marketing Officers of Fortune 500 companies to utilise their data better and monetise their data better… So, we have leadership position in our analytic practice and our significant part of revenues comes from there.. We are seeing a significant ability to transform customers in data space,” he said.

Wipro President and Chief Operating Officer B M Bhanu Murthy said Wipro’s analytical business has grown significantly well this quarter.

To a query on the size of investment in data, Bhanu said the company’s investment in big data has been on a day-to-day discovery platform (DDP) which has gained significant traction in the last two quarters.

Bhanu further said the company is able to leverage DDP with a couple of its investments to help a lot of organisations mine huge data they collect and big data available externally, and hence it is seeing good traction and its investments are paying off through analytical.

[Source:-Businessstandard]

Walmart Holds Open Call 2017, 500 Made in USA Companies Compete for Store Shelf Space

Walmart Open Call 2017 -- 500 Made in USA Companies Competing for Store Shelf Space

Recently, 500 companies — mostly small businesses and startups — went to Walmart (NYSE:WMT) company headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, to pitch their products to company buyers.

If they’re selected, they’ll get to sell their products at Walmart stores and on the retailers website. It could mean huge growth for those small companies. But there are challenges involved as well.

This is the fourth Open Call event Walmart has held.

Walmart Open Call 2017 -- 500 Made in USA Companies Competing for Store Shelf Space

This year, Walmart is specifically looking for American companies and is promoting American manufacturing. So companies that sell products that are made in America could have a good chance of getting their products placed in Walmart stores or even getting the opportunity to manufacture some of Walmart’s private label products.

Walmart Open Call 2017

Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart vice president for U.S. Sourcing and Manufacturing said in a statement, “While finding products our customers want is a year-round focus for our buying teams, Walmart’s annual Open Call is a special opportunity to connect our buyers with companies that are manufacturing products in the U.S. and to identify new and unique product solutions.”

Walmart Open Call 2017 -- 500 Made in USA Companies Competing for Store Shelf Space

American manufacturing has been experiencing a resurgence in some sectors. So this type of open call allows Walmart to potentially tap into some interesting new markets while also taking advantage of some of the positive public perception that often comes with supplying American-made products and supporting job growth and the U.S. economy.

But for the businesses in attendance, the opportunity could be even more significant.

Walmart is the world’s largest retailer. So getting products featured on store shelves or on Walmart.com could provide a huge sales boost.

Walmart Open Call 2017 -- 500 Made in USA Companies Competing for Store Shelf Space

And the significance of that opportunity was not lost on the small businesses in attendance, some of which went to extra lengths to put on a great presentation for their products.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

In fact, nearly 100 companies received deals on the spot. And dozens more will continue to have conversations with Walmart about future opportunities.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

The companies that receive deals from Walmart could also gain some local notoriety and extra coverage for their participation.

Walmart Open Call 2017 -- 500 Made in USA Companies Competing for Store Shelf Space

Overall, this type of event provides a unique opportunity for small businesses, many of which face major roadblocks in getting their products in front of large retailers or corporations.

Of course, this also means that those small businesses that receive deals will need to step up production in order to meet that increased demand. But for the businesses that can take on the extra work, it’s a potentially huge opportunity.

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

Google Allo No Longer Features in Top 500 Apps on Google Play

Google Allo No Longer Features in Top 500 Apps on Google Play
HIGHLIGHTS
Google Allo has seen a drastic ranking drop in last one month
Google recently added a chatbot named Lucky to the app
The app has consistently dropped out of top 500 in recent weeks
It seems like Google’s experiment to simplify messaging and video chats with the release of its Allo and Duo apps is not going as well as the search giant would have hoped – Google Allo is not featuring even in top 500 apps on Google Play in the US currently.

On the basis of Google Play data provided by App Annie, it is clearly visible that Google Allo has dropped out of the top 500 apps several times in since November, with a sharp downward trend more evident in the last couple of weeks, Android Police pointed out in its report. You can see the times it has dropped off the chart as the blank spaces in the graph below, with yellow representing Communications app rank, red representing Applications rank, and blue representing overall rank.

us google allo app annie 1 US Allo App Annie

Things aren’t very different in India either – in the same period, Google Allo dropped off the top 500 charts in the first week of January, as you can see in the graph below.

india google allo app annie 1 India Allo App Annie
Notably, Google introduced Hindi Assistant for India in December last year and Amit Fulay, Group Product Manager at Google, claimed at the time that the app had received tremendous response, especially in India, which he said had one of the highest number of Google Allo users.

Just two months ago, the text-messaging app was ranking consistently around top 200 apps but has seen almost a free-fall since mid-December, AP pointed out in its report.

Google recently added a new chatbot named Lucky to the Allo app that provides users with GIF images on the basis of their requirements. In order to get help from the chat bot, users need to simply type @lucky in the app followed by whatever phrase they want.

Considering that Google has been consistent with its updates to Allo since its launch, it comes across as a surprise that the app is failing to gain traction among Android users.

Tags: Google Allo, Google Play Top 500, Apps, Social, Google, India

[“Source-Gadgets”]