Category Archives: Business


BlackBerry services interrupted again

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BlackBerry customers across India, as well as in some other countries,  were not able to send and receive emails on May 3, 2013. The subscribers were not able to get messages through the BlackBerry messenger,  as the Canadian company services were disrupted for a few hours.

As always, the anguish of the customers could be seen on the social networking site Twitter, where they demanded an answer from the handset maker. One of the subscribers wrote, “Blackberry please, please tell me we’re not experiencing another Blackberry outage. Is it just me?”

Other users on the social network said that the enterprise service of the company were not working as well. The company on the other hand, said that the service was down just for some time and that the restoration work was in progress. While acknowledging what the Twitter users said, they elaborated that some of their customers might be facing issues with their services and that all the relevant teams were working to resolve the issue.

BlackBerry also apologised its customers who were affected. Earlier, the company had faced a 3-day global outage in the month of October 2011 and many of these frustrated users had forced the company to make substantial improvements in the quality of the services.


Boeing to compensate Air India for grounding of Dreamliners

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The Rajya Sabha was informed on May 2, 2013, that the US-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing, said that it has agreed to compensate the Indian carrier Air India, for the grounding of its Dreamliner aircraft due to battery and fire incidents. KC Venugopal, the Minister of state for civil aviation replied in the positive, when he was asked about the compensation to Air India.

Venugopal however, did not reveal the quantum of compensation,  but said that it is in accordance with the Purchase agreement for the Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which was signed between the American manufacturer and the Indian carrier. The minister said that there was a warranty clause in the agreement,  which had specified that Boeing will not be liable for any damages due to loss of use, revenue or profit,  due to any fault in the aircraft.

However, when the agreement was signed, the situation of grounding of the entire fleet of the newly acquired aircraft for a prolonged period of time was not mentioned or taken into account. The minister said that the issue of compensation for the loss incurred by Air India due to grounding was taken up by Boeing.

The Dreamliner Aircraft have remained grounded since the month of January, after fire reports in the battery of the aircrafts which were parked in Boston.


Amul to begin international auction of its products

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Indian dairy giant and the makers of the Amul brand, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, will begin offering some of its products to global buyers. These global buyers will be offered products through an international auction site, starting from next month.

R S Sodhi, the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation managing director said, “We will begin selling our SMP (Skimmed Milk Products) and WMP (Whole Milk Powder) products through Global Dairy Trade platform, from June this year. It will provide us direct access to 900 globally big customers and also help fetch better price for our produce”. Sodhi added that the international market for SMP and WMP is improving day by day, while the exports are getting equally lucrative.

India will now sell dairy products in countries like US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, through an international auction route, where the prices are at record highs. Amul is considered to be one of the most fast moving consumer brands in the country and will now begin competition with international brands.

It will also be competing with brands from New Zealand like Fonterra,  which owns GDT to sell through the auction route. GDT is considered to be an auction platform for dairy commodities,  which are internationally traded.


BlackBerry Q10 sells out in two hours

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The new BlackBerry Q10 smartphone has become the fastest selling consumer electronics product for Selfridges. Selfridges is a high-end British departmental store chain and the smartphone had gone on sale exclusively at the Oxford St. London Store over the weekend.

Initially, the device was priced at £696 and was sold out in just two hours. UK BlackBerry said that it had made hourly delivery runs to the Carphone Warehouse concession,  which was selling the device inside the shop to keep up with the demand of the customer.

The company has not revealed any official customer sales data, but at least one report has suggested that 2,000 units were sold in the first 90 minutes in the capital. Similar figures were reported at the Birmingham and Manchester Stores. A majority of buyers were from sharp operators who were looking up to sell to corporate IT people and BlackBerry enthusiasts.

An eye witness had claimed that some people, who were possibly exporters, were buying 30 or more units at once and thus laying down £18,000 or more for the phone. Julian Slim, the head of the store said that the device has been without a doubt the most highly anticipated phone that they have ever sold.


Restaurants in Mumbai to protest against service tax

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More than 27,000 restaurants in the city of Mumbai, which is considered to be the financial capital of India, are likely to remain closed on April 29, 2013. The protest has been taken up in response to a call by the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR), to protest the imposition of service tax on partly air-conditioned restaurants,  in the budget.

The other states which also supported the bandh by the AHAR include Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and the Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Association of India. Arvind Shetty, the president of AHAR said, “From April, I have to charge my customers an additional 12.63 per cent on 40 per cent of their total bill as service tax and pay to central treasury if my restaurant is fully or partly air-conditioned. This is in addition to the 12.5 per cent VAT.”

Shetty added that the move by the government is unjustified, as the service tax will be applicable to all customers,  including those who are in the non-conditioning area. AHAR has demanded the finance minister P Chidambaram to roll back the levy, but no relief has been made so far.

Shashikant Shetty, the AHAR General Secretary said that a majority of their members operate small food joints which serve snacks and meals. Moreover, a small portion of these restaurants is air-conditioned,  due to the demand from customers.