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News Digest: Shine, Aircel, Murthy, Zee, Vavasi, Sistema, SatNav, Mindtree & More

Shine.com crosses 3 million candidates

In less than 2 years since launch Shine.com a part of Firefly eVentures, HT Media group has crossed the 3 million candidate mark. Shine claims to be number four, and is eying the number three spot (with Naukri and Monster at the first two). Interestingly, Shine plans to launch a new advertising campaign. (Release)

Nikhil adds: more relevant than total number of candidates, is the number of revenue modifications, which give an insight into repeat usage. Given Shine’s advertising spends, surely the company would have had signups…but there’s no indication of whether those who signed up return or not. More spends on an advertising campaign? HT Media will have to explain their spends to shareholders at some point in time.

Aircel: Pay Per Second

Aircel has launched  its pay per second tariff plan in Andhra Pradesh. In this plan users will be cahrged 1paise per second both on local and STD calls. The company is calling this the ‘Hungama-offer’ (Release)

Nikhil adds: We’re now beyond a point where a per second billing is a customer acquisition strategy – I think it’s more of a retention policy. But all this excitement around per second billing is rather amusing. Remember that Tata Indicom had launched the same a few years ago, and it had little impact.

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Infosys Chairman Murthy Sells 800,000 Shares; To Start VC Fund

Infosys Technologies chairman and chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy sold one-fourth of his holding in the company, to set up a venture capital fund that will support young and promising entrepreneurs. The sale raised Rs174.3 crore that would be used to set up the venture capital fund. Murthy and his family together hold a nearly 5% stake in the company. In 2006 Azim Premji, Wipro started a similar fund, PremjiInvest, which has a corpus of around $1 billion. (Read more at livemint)

Nikhil adds: it’s one thing to allocate money to a fund, quite another to take on the role of a mentor. It might help a startup to have the Murthy name attached to it as an investor, and Murthy might help open doors for the company, but we doubt there will be much value beyond money if Murthy doesn’t take personal interest in the companies that he is funding, and gets involved. Otherwise, it’s just one part of his capital parked for high risk investments.

The Line Of Divide For Zee Group

Subhash Chandra and his three brothers Laxmi, Jawahar and Ashok have quietly and consensually come to what they call a pre-partition agreement for the Zee-Essel Group. This has been done keeping in mind the liking/inclination of each of the brothers and his children towards businesses within the group as well as keeping the interests of minority shareholders in mind. In 1997 itself the share of each brother across the groups businesses and assets, both movable and immovable was defined.  (Read more at TOI)

HCL Bags BSNL Contract

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HCL-Infosystems has emerged as the lowest bidder quoting Rs 861 crore for setting up operations support systems (OSS) and business support system (BSS) in the east zone for BSNL. Mahindra Satyam/Spanco bid was the second lowest at Rs 904 crore, TCS and Prithvi bid at Rs 934 crore and Rs 2,000 crore respectively. HCL Info was also the lowest bidder for BSNL South Zone IT contract for GSM. (Read more at Business Line)

MindTree Introduces Bluetooth Health Device Solution on Android Platform

NSE listed MindTree Ltd. has announced the launch of its Bluetooth health device solution on the Android platform. The solution is designed to provide seamless interoperability among personal healthcare devices, thereby allowing individuals to connect with their healthcare administrators in real-time. (Release)

Sriram Sharma To Head Starcom, Bangalore

Starcom MediaVest Group has named Sriram Sharma as general manager for their Bangalore office after Ashwini Kamat relocated to Mumbai for personal reasons. Sharma was previously with OnMobile Global and has  worked at Maxus, Initiative Media, Hughes Software Systems and McCann Erickson. (Read more at campaignIndia)

Agri Info To Farmers On Mobile Phone

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Handygo Ltd, a VAS provider has tied up with India Meteorological Department to provide farmers with meteorological inputs and details on sourcing bank loans as well as mandi rates through IVR and GPRS. handygo has launched its services in 21 districts of Punjab and 20 districts of Haryana, and now plans to focus on 23 districts of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, West Bengal, and Maharashtra. The service will be in the vernacular language. (Read more at Business Line)

DEN Networks IPO Opens On October 28, Expects To Raise Rs 410 Crore.

DEN Networks is entering the capital markets with an initial public offering of two crore shares. The price band for the issue has been fixed at Rs 195-205. The money raised will be used to develop the company’s cable television and broadband infrastructure and services, acquisition of content and broadcast rights and for general corporate purposes. (Read more at Business Line)

Videocon D2H: DTH Service

Videocon Group’s recently launched DTH services D2H has offered users three  alternate platforms to the traditional connections — by DTH-enabled satellite DVD, DTH-enabled LCD TV, and DTH-enabled TV sets. The company hopes to have a user base of two million by the end of the year. At present the DTH market boasts of over 16 million subscribers.D2H is offering DTH-enabled TV sets, LCDs and only a DTH box for Rs 8,190, Rs 13,490 and Rs 1,790 respectively.  (Read more at Business Standard)

Essar Raises Rs 4,280 cr

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ETHL Communications Holdings Ltd (ECHL), Essar Group’s holding company for telecom services, has raised Rs 4,280 crore through private placement of its zero-coupon bonds. The company intends to use the proceeds for its expansion plans, including mobile services and handset distribution. (Release)

In & Out: Balaji Telefilms

R Karthik has resigned from Balaji Telefilms as CEO after twelve years in the company where he had started as Senior Marketing Executive. In another move Vikram Malhotra joins Balaji Motion Pictures as Chief Operating Officer from Kingfisher Airlines where he headed the marketing. (Read more at afaqs)

BSNL, MTNL Ride On Vavasi’s Back To Enter Russia & Europe

BSNL and MTNL are planning to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with Delhi-based Vavasi group to participate in a joint venture for Russian and western European telecom operations. According to the agreement Vavasi is acquiring frequency spectrum and licences for Russia and several western European countries. The same SPV that is being formed to acquire a majority stake in Zain will be used to invest in the Russian operations. As part of the agreement half the equity in the SPV will be controlled by the Vavasi group, and the rest will be held by the BSNL-MTNL combine. (Read more at Business Standard)

Also read:
BSNL, MTNL Mulling Stake In Zain Telecom; Gains
MTNL & BSNL Proceed With Zain Deal; More About Vavasi

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SSTL 20 percent Stake Sale To Russian Government.

Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd, a joint venture between Russia’s Sistema and Shyam Group of India, has initiated the process to offload around 20% stake to the Russian government through a fresh issue of equity. Currently, Sistema, which is owned by the Russian government, is the majority stakeholder in domestic mobile services provider with 73.71% while Shyam Group holds 23.79% and the rest 2.5% is held by the public. It is estimated that Sistema will have to spend around $600-700 million to pick up the 20% stake. (Read more at DNA)

SatNav Introduces New PND

SatNav Technologies has launched a, 4.7 inch, Bluetooth enabled, among other features,  PND that is priced at Rs. 16,990 and is available at www.satguide.in. The PND comes pre-installed with road maps of 404 cities and more than 16 lakh destinations. (Release)

Microsoft Launches Windows 7 In India

Microsoft Corporation India Pvt. Ltd. today announced the availability of Windows 7 , with a streamlined user interface and several new features,  for its customers in India . The two primary editions are: Windows 7 Home Premium for home consumers and Windows 7 Professional for small and medium sized businesses. (Release)

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7Seas Technologies’ Kraze  on Intel BX

7Seas Technologies Limited announced that it is collaborating with Intel on its Business Exchange Program to reach out to new gaming customers. 7Seas’ Racing Game KRAZE is going to be made available on the Intel Business Exchange for evaluation and purchase an the game will be certified as ‘Runs Best on Intel Core 2 Duo.’ (Release)

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