Japan court cites ‘right to be forgotten’ in Google case

Britain's largest listed property company Land Securities has agreed a deal with internet search giant Google to drive business to its shopping malls.A Japanese court has told internet giant Google to hide a man’s criminal past from its search results, saying he has “the right to be forgotten” to rebuild his life, according to reports.

The ruling parallels a move by the European Court of Justice, which said in 2014 that individuals have the right to ask Google to delete personal data produced by its search engine.

Local media said it was Japan’s first court decision that recognized “the right to be forgotten” in connection with internet search results, though successful bids to remove results have previously been made citing a right to privacy.

The Saitama district court, north of Tokyo, in December upheld an earlier, temporary injunction against Google to delete search results about a man convicted of child prostitution and pornography-related offences and who was fined 500,000 yen ($4,400), the Yomiuri Shimbun reported today.

Presiding judge Hisaki Kobayashi said that depending on the nature of the crime offenders have the “right to be forgotten about past crimes, after passage of a certain period of time,” the Yomiuri reported, without naming the man or details of the crime.

The internet company has appealed the case to Tokyo High Court, the Yomiuri said.

The district court declined to comment on reports on the closed-door session and Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

IITian looking for a job ‘sells himself’ on Flipkart

IIT Kharagpur graduate Aakash Neeraj Mittal tried a novel way of getting his foot in the door for the Flipkart job -- by trying to sell himself on the e-commerce website!Making a CV is probably the most boring part of the applying for a job, but a necessary evil nevertheless, but even that can become a fun task if you have the creative flair. That’s exactly what happened when an IIT Kharagpur student recently applied for a product management vacancy at Indian e-commerce Flipkart.

The IIT graduate, Aakash Neeraj Mittal, tried a novel way of getting his foot in the door for the Flipkart job by trying to sell himself on the e-commerce website!

Harsh Bajaj, who was Mittal’s junior at IIT Kharagpur, said in a Quora post: A senior of mine used this really interesting way to make his resume for Flipkart by putting himself for sale on the online e-commerce giant! Literally tried to ‘sell himself ‘.”

This is exactly what Mittal wrote, according to Bajaj: “When you are a 6-pointer and competing with best of the best minds of the country, you know how hard it is to land a job. You start doing some crazy and random stuff to stand out from the crowd. This is my resume for Flipkart’s APM Profile.”

Despite the creative way of selling himself to Flipkart, Mittal unfortunately did not get the interview call from the company.

Sachin and Binny play delivery boys

JLL India heads online for real estate sales

JLL India's e-commerce platform would have a team of on ground expert consultants to close transactions on leads generated online to benefit developers, end users and investors.Realty consultant JLL India today announced it will foray into e-commerce to market housing properties online.

JLL India has already firmed up arrangements with the leading realty developers for this purpose, the consultant said in a statement.

“With this initiative, we will offer buyers credible projects at the right price, with the best deal in the market,” said Ashwinder Raj Singh, CEO — residential services, JLL India.

The initiative, involving the launch of a dedicated e-commerce platform, would dedicate a team of on ground expert consultants to close transactions on leads generated online to benefit developers, end users and investors.

“In line with JLL’s strong emphasis on ethics and accountability, the process will also involve conducting due diligence of the projects before listing the properties on the e-commerce platform,” it added.

For fully-vetted projects, JLL would work closely with the developers to offer the best possible deals to property buyers.

With technology as a key enabler, this initiative will be backed by robust online marketing, dedicated in-house call centre, and customized CRM, mobile application helping execute an automated sales process and an experienced and efficient team.

“Unlike the many aggregators operating in the online real estate market space, we bring to the table an offline follow-up and transaction process to successfully service inquiries generated by digital marketing,” he said.

Paytm introduces Hindi interface on seller app

Besides offering a 30-50% additional cashback on pre-bookings of gifts and sweets, Paytm will extend up to Rs 10,000 as cashback on limited iPhone models.Paytm has introduced Hindi interface on its seller app to expand seller base in tier-II and III cities. The interface will also help the marketplace scale-up its online-to-offline business for shipping large appliances and electronics beyond the current base of 10 cities.

“The top-10 cities of seller-app usage include metros as well as cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Jaipur and others. These sellers usually deal in unstructured categories such as fashion, home and lifestyle products, and the demand to develop a local-language interface has come from the seller meetings,” said Sudhanshu Gupta, vice-president of business at Paytm.

The Hindi interface launched two weeks ago has seen an increase in engagement time and number of active users on the app. The sellers can access data on their performance in the local language.

The launch is keeping on par with the target of on-boarding 5-lakh sellers by the end of 2016. The company currently has 1.5-lakh sellers on-board, while SoftBank-backed rival Snapdeal has 2.5-lakh sellers and Flipkart has more than 85,000 merchants on the platform.
“We will be adding more local languages over the next quarter as we have seen increasing number of sellers in the age group of 20-30 years using the app from Hubli, Rourkela and other cities,” added Gupta. The move to increase the seller base has seen multiple marketplace initiatives being launched by the ecommerce platforms. There have been multiple tie-ups to provide capital, digital and marketing solutions to the seller base through third party vendors.

Flipkart launches online wallet Money to take on Snapdeal, Paytm

Flipkart is likely to acquire a majority stake in online fashion retailer Myntra in what could be the biggest consolidation in India's e-commerce sector.India’s largest online retailerFlipkart is taking a step into the payments business with launch of its wallet and new payment method, called Flipkart Money. The development comes after the Bengaluru-based company acquired FX Mart last year, which is powering Flipkart Money.

Flipkart Money has been launched on Android devices right now, where it can be topped up with Rs 10,000 at a time using credit card, debit card and netbanking. It is expected to be helpful for quick refunds and single click payments on the platform.

Balance is limited to Rs 10,000 only on the wallet and a total of Rs 25,000 can be added to it a month.

Money is part of Flipkart’s Wallet which also includes WS Retail Credit (WS Retail is the main seller on Flipkart), Gift Cards and other saved cards on the online retailer

Flipkart’s local rival Snapdeal also has wallet called Freecharge while Alibaba-backed PayTMoperates both a wallet and marketplace.

Flipkart had previously launched a closed wallet in 2011; however, following its shift to a marketplace model in April 2013, it was forced to restrict this wallet to products sold only by WS Retail, a company hived off by Flipkart to comply with India’s FDI regulations on retail. This was because closed wallets can only be used to purchase its own products and does not allow purchases from third party merchants, for which companies need a semi-closed wallet license from the RBI.

Flipkart had applied for license through its payment gateway business Payzippy in July 2013; however, it was unable to secure a license. The company shut down Payzippy in November last year.

FX Mart on the other hand, had secured a five-year prepaid wallet license in October 2014 and had also applied for a payment bank license, which it did not receive.

Startups lead 2015’s PE/VC funding deals in India

GSF, the Gurgaon-based technology startup accelerator, which was acquired by Facebook, is morphing into a dedicated mobile accelerator.Volumes in private equity and venture capitalists investments in 2015 touched an all-time high with close to 1,049 deals worth $16 billion largely due to rise in investments in Indian startups, says a report.

According to the fourth edition of Grant Thornton’s The Fourth Wheel 2016 report, 2015 witnessed tremendous year-on- year growth in almost each month of the year and saw $16 billion invested in 1,049 investments.

While the significant increase in volume was due to an impressive level of interest among PE and VC investors in startups (over 600 out of the total of 1,049 investments), deal value growth was driven by large investments.

The report, which has been produced in association with IVCA, said the year witnessed an increase in big ticket deals valued over $500 million each. “This is an evidence of a promising business environment that has the potential to attract big investments,” the report said.

Sector-wise, IT and ITeS has been the main driver for growth in 2015 on the back of impressive level of interest in startups in e-commerce space. This interest in startups enabled the sector to reach a 10-year peak level of investment value ($7 billion).
“For a robust market we need both the ends firing — the startup end and an active IPO market. Indian PE space was suffering because of the lack of adequate activity in both these ends. However, we have seen both these correct in 2015 which is good news for the industry,” Grant Thornton India LLP Partner Harish HV said.
According to the report, an interesting trend that is emerging is the corporates and multinational companies setting up funds to invest in smaller startups and marquee entrepreneurs making investments in their personal capacity.
“Looking at the present scenario there is enough funds to be deployed, but the challenge still remains to identify an attractive investment opportunity,” it added.

Amazon launches ‘women-only’ delivery stations

Amazon launches 'women-only' delivery stations
Amazon India is piloting women-only deliveries in Chennai and Kerala to create more jobs in an otherwise male-dominated field. The programme was debuted in January in Kerala and extended to Chennai on Thursday.

The women will deliver packages to offices within 2-3 km of the delivery station on two-wheelers. They will deliver around 40 packages a day in multiple trips.

“Our research has showed that a lot of women are interested to do deliveries and we are ready to break barriers as long as the customer experience is not subdued,” said Samuel Thomas, director of transportation, Amazon India.

“Through this initiative, we have taken the lead to engage with women, create unique relevant job opportunities and enable them to be achievers in this field.”

He said they will also manage and run dedicated delivery stations and their tasks will be similar to those of male counterparts. “We have identified the two pilot locations in Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai based on the local interest we received from the women in these cities,” he said.

The company is planning to open a third station in Kochi in April. “Taking into consideration safety measures, they have a work window between 7 am to 7 pm and there is a helpline number that these associates can dial in anytime for support,” said Thomas.

The e-commerce company has trained over 20 women under the project and plans to train two to three more every month. “We look for basic qualifications — whether they can ride two-wheelers and read and write English,” said Divya Syam, who heads the delivery station in Thiruvananthapuram.

“We have noticed that women are more patient and dedicated when it comes to delivering goods compared with men,” said Syam, who has seven delivery women under her charge.

According to company officials, delivery staff of both genders draw the same salary. Average monthly pay is Rs 12,000, excluding incentives, experts said.
Inspired by her son who is a delivery man for Amazon, Srikumari S Rajkumar, joined in January. “My day starts at 8 am and I finish by 4 pm, which also gives me ample time to do household work and tailoring,” said Rajkumar, 42, who works at the Thiruvananthapuram delivery station. She starts her day by sorting shipments and then hops onto her Honda Activa.
“Customers are surprised when they see me at their doorstep and some women in my neighbourhood have asked me if there are vacancies for them,” said Rajkumar.
Industry experts said this is one way e-commerce companies can meet personnel shortages. Online retail in India is expected to account for 3% of total retail by 2020, according to a PwC report. Further, orders per million are expected to more than double from five million in 2013 to 12 million by 2016.

Amazon to set up its second largest global delivery centre in Hyderabad

Amazon to set up its second largest global delivery centre in HyderabadGlobal e-commerce giant Amazon has decided to set up its second largest global delivery centre outside the US in Hyderabad, which could attract a large portion of its proposed investments of $2 billion into India.
The move comes a year after the Seattle-based online marketplace firm’s decision to build one of its largest Indian fulfilment centre (warehouse) over an area of 2,80,000 sq ft near Hyderabad.
The development also comes close on the heels of Apple choosing Hyderabad to set up its largest technology development centre outside the US and Google announcing to set up a huge campus in the city. A senior Telangana bureaucrat said the state government has allotted a 10-acre land to Amazon where it proposes to build 2.9 million square feet development centre to house a 13,500 member strong team. The current headcount at Amazon development centre at Hyderabad is around 1,000 across multiple offices.
Indicating a keen interest in the Indian market, Amazon currently has a 30,000 square feet area of office space rented out at ONE BKC Mumbai and a 1.2-million square feet office space leased out in Bengaluru.
“The land for the facility (at Hyderabad) is currently under a long-lease with the Government of Telangana,” said Jayesh Ranjan, Telangana’s IT Secretary. A senior government official said Amazon would lay the foundation stone for the proposed global delivery centre on March 30, where its senior VP David Zapolksy and vice president John Morgan are likely to attend.

Aamzon goes luxe, starts selling products of labels like Tumi, Furla, Versace

Aamzon goes luxe, starts selling products of labels like Tumi, Furla, Versace
E-commerce major Amazon has been roping in a host of luxury and bridge to luxury brands to sell their products on its platform in India as it looks to emerge Indian shoppers’ favourite destination for fashion and beauty products.

Over the past three to six months, the US firm has started selling bags and travel accessories of Furla and Tumi, watches of Versus by Versace and Emporio Armani, and shoes of Botticelli, John Galliano, Allesandro Del Aqua and CR7 by Christiano Ronaldo.

Amazon, which has also started selling beauty brands like Eve Snow and Lord & Berry, recently said its beauty store has grown five times since the launch in January last year and that more than 50% of the orders for luxury brands are coming from tier 2 cities like Jaipur, Indore and Coimbatore.

Amazon’s beauty platform sells over 800 products from more than 20 brands including Gentlemen’s tonic, Crabtree & Evelyn, L’Occitane, Leighton Denny, Dermalogica, Ren, Temple Spa, Jo Hansford, Shaze, Pangea Organics and Camel Soap Factory. Amazon said the top performing category for the store is luxury skin care.

“There’s a huge inclination towards natural ingredients in beauty and skin care products,” an Amazon India spokesperson said. “Basis the kind of consumer demand we receive, we see a higher traction towards brands that play on natural ingredients.

Brands like L’Occitane are quite popular in this segment.” Several international brands are taking to e-commerce in India to expand their reach in the country and overcome infrastructure bottlenecks.
For example, Tumi, which retails in India through Genesis Luxury, has started selling its products via Amazon besides its four standalone stores.
“E-commerce is a big business in the United States and we recently started selling with Amazon in India. India is a big opportunity for us,” said Fernando Ciccarelli, senior VP at Tumi Asia.
The super-premium beauty and personal care market in India was estimated at Rs 1,249.5 crore in 2014 by Euromonitor while the luxury accessories and travel goods industry were pegged at Rs 2,038.5 crore and Rs 494.8 crore, respectively.

Yahoo exploring sale of $1 billion-$3 billion in ‘non-core assets’

Goldman said patents, land, property and "non-core units or businesses" are all on the table for potential sale.Yahoo Inc is exploring the sale of $1 billion to $3 billion of patents, property and other “non-core assets,” its chief financial officer said on Thursday.

Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman told the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference that a committee created to explore alternatives to the company’s plan to spin off its core business is looking at quick sales of assets.

Goldman said patents, land, property and “non-core units or businesses” are all on the table for potential sale, and the company has sold or licensed more than $600 million in patents over the last three years.

Yahoo faces increasing pressure from shareholders and investors to sell its core businessinstead of going through a spinoff that would separate the company from its multibillion-dollar stakes in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

In recent weeks, media reports have surfaced that Time Inc , Verizon Communications Inc and several other suitors have emerged as potential buyers.

Goldman did not confirm the reports but said the committee is “aligned to see what best creates shareholder value.