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Hitachi’s Ramesh Srinivasan to join BankBazaar as CFO

BENGALURU: Financial marketplace BankBazaar has announced the appointment of Ramesh Srinivasan as its new CFO. Srinivasan comes with 22 years of experience in the banking and financial services Industry (BFSI) segment and was earlier the financial advisor at

Hitachi

Payment Services.

Prior to his current role, he was chief financial officer and was also in charge of business planning and strategy for BNA and CRM at Hitachi Payment Services.

Srinivasan would be based in Chennai and would be responsible for leading the company towards an IPO release.

“Our technology and paperless platform have made BankBazaar the flag-bearer in helping customers access the right financial products online in the safest and simplest manner. Now we are looking to consolidate our successes and plan ahead with an eye on releasing our IPO in 2020-22. We are confident that Ramesh’s expertise in developing financial processes will take us further on our path,” said Adhil Shetty, CEO, BankBazaar.

Previously, BankBazaar had announced that it would be recruiting approximately 400 new employees. As of August 2017, the company has welcomed more than 130 new employees, and is in the process of recruiting more.

Last year, the company expanded into the international market, beginning with Singapore and followed by Malaysia in 2017.

BankBazaar is funded by global investors such as Walden International, Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Growth Partners, Mousse Partners and Amazon, and has received investment of $80 million till date.

Hitachi consortium inks water purchase pact with Dahej SEZ

NEW DELHI: Japanese firm

Hitachi

today said its consortium has inked a pact for sea-water desalination project in Gujarat.

A consortium comprising Hitachi and Hyflux Ltd has signed water purchase agreement concerning water supply volume, price and other details with Dahej Special Economic Zone in Gujarat, Hitachi Ltd said in a statement.

The consortium plans to construct a sea water desalination plant in an industrial park within Dahej SEZ and provide a stable supply of industrial water over a period of 30 years (including the construction period), it added.

“Hitachi will work closely with Hyflux to successfully implement the project, in order to facilitate the use of water resources in Dahej SEZ in Gujarat,” Hitachi President Hiroaki Nakanishi said.

The project is one of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor projects being promoted jointly by the Japanese and Indian governments, involving construction of industrial parks between Delhi and Mumbai utilising private sector capital.

“Going forward, the consortium intends to obtain environmental assessment approval and meet other requirements to successfully implement the project,” the company said.

Hitachi offers innovative solutions to water-related problems

NEW DELHI: Safe and clean drinking water is now a scarce resource all over the world. Although around 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water, only 0.01% of that is readily potable. The scarcity of safe drinking water is fast becoming a major crisis.

Looking at the global future,

Hitachi

, the Japanese multinational engineering and electronics company, has taken steps to provide reliable technologies and services to tackle this problem.

Hitachi has adopted a holistic approach to water environment related problems and it utilises its advanced technological capabilities to address these universal issues.

With over 80 years of expertise in the field of water treatment, Hitachi offers a perse range of technologies for water treatment systems and their control and operation. By integrating their advanced IT technologies and wealth of knowledge, it has created sophisticated intelligent water systems that are improving water infrastructures around the world.

Hitachi technologies comprises of water systems like seawater desalination system, water treatment, sewage water recycling, industrial waste water treatment, information and control systems and sewage treatment.

To date, Hitachi has introduced some of the innovative water treatment technologies in Japan. It has delivered some 550 water treatment plants and 2,800 sewage treatment facilities across the country. It has also distributed 900 monitoring and control systems in the nation.

With the combination of its water treatment technology, it has been successful in providing water production system with minimum environmental impact.

Tata Hitachi rolls out ZAXIS 370LCH Hydraulic Excavator from Kharagpur plant

KOLKATA: Tata Hitachi, a leading construction equipment maker launched a new model in their latest GI Series lineup today from the company’s largest, state-of-the art manufacturing facility at Kharagpur, West Bengal. Following the latest launch, the company hopes to cater to the Indian as well as the global construction equipment markets through exports.

The ZAXIS 370LCH Hydraulic Excavator is the latest roll out the ZAXIS-series excavators from Tata

Hitachi

, which has emerged as a key player in the Indian hydraulic excavator market.

Sandeep Singh, Managing Director of Tata Hitachi said, “With the launch of this new model, we have fortified our presence in granite and marble, blue metal handling and bulk excavation segments in India. The production and rollout of ZAXIS 370LCH will mark the beginning of a new era for us as it will cater to the Indian as well as the global construction equipment markets through exports.”

Speaking at the launch, K Kimura – Alt. Director & Sr. Advisor, Tata Hitachi – said ”The new ZAXIS GI-series from Tata Hitachi has taken the ZAXIS technology to the next level through its features and offerings.”

ZAXIS GI-series has a number of features such as on board ICX (Data Controller) and Global e- service, enabling data downloads, machine location identification and machine maintenance and performance monitoring by the customer. In addition to this , features such as Auto Idle, Power Modes, Work Modes and longer change intervals of consumables will help the customers achieve significant savings in operating costs, the company said in a statement.

Tata Hitachi’s Kharagpur plant rolls out 10,000th machine

KOLKATA: Tata Hitachi’s Kharagpur plant rolled out its 10,000th machine on Thursday, marking a milestone in the 40:60 joint venture between

Tata Motors

and Hitachi Construction Machinery Company.

The machine, ZAXIS470H, was handed over to V Prabhakar Reddy of VPR Mining Infrastructure Private Limited – a leader and trend setter in the Indian mining industry, with many global ongoing projects and a big patron of Tata Hitachi. The day also marked the rollout of the 10,001 st machine – the ZAXIS370GI excavator – which was handed over to Nilmani Panda of Balasore Alloys Limited.

Speaking on the occasion, Sandeep Singh, managing director, Tata

Hitachi

said, "We have been able to cross several milestones at Kharagpur. Handing over of the 10,000th machine series is yet another achievement for us."

The Tata Hitachi Kharagpur plant has been conferred with the Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) excellence award by the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance. This 250 acre plant is counted amongst the biggest construction machinery manufacturing facilities which also has a unique mix of batch and mass production. The plant currently produces hydraulic excavators from 5 T to 40 T,wheel loaders, motor graders, and dump trucks.

Hitachi Hi-Rel starts operations at new facility in Gujarat

NEW DELHI: Japanese firm

Hitachi

Ltd today said it has initiated manufacturing operations at a new facility in Gujarat.

Hitachi Hi-Rel Power Electronics, a group firm of Hitachi, has started operations at a new manufacturing facility in the Sanand-II Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) Estate, Hitachi said in a statement.

“With this new factory now operating alongside its existing Gandhinagar factory, Hitachi Hi-Rel intends to enhance the lineup of industrial power electronics for use in plants in fields such as power generation, steel making, and chemicals,” it added.

The new factory will produce industrial power electronics products such as medium-voltage and low voltage inverter drives steel automation drives and industrial automation products to increase its lineup of offerings.

In order to expand business, Hitachi Hi-Rel Power Electronics is also looking at increasing production capacity and exporting products to regions like Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa among others.

“Through these and other measures, Hitachi Hi-Rel aims to generate revenues of 8 billion Indian Rupees in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016,” the company said.

Hi-Rel Electronics became a subsidiary of Hitachi in October 2011.

Hitachi eyeing 14 per cent market share of Indian projector market

NEW DELHI: Japanese tech giant

Hitachi

aims to increase its share in the Indian projector market to 14 per cent in the next two years as it introduces more products, especially for the education and consumer segment.

The company, which claims to have about eight per cent share currently, terms India as a “top priority market”.

“India is a very important market for us. We are targeting to increase our share in this market to 14 per cent by 2015 (end). We will introduce projectors that will revolutionise the Indian market,” Hitachi Home Electronics Asia Country Head India, Tarun Jain, told a news agency.

The company will also focus on the high-end market and its range of sixteen high performance projectors will cater to the customers across entertainment, business and education segments, he added.

The company said its projectors delivers high contrast picture quality and can be used in conference auditoriums, exhibition halls, large lecture theatres and stage productions.

Targeting audio-visual professionals, Hitachi has also integrated features such as a Central Lens Position and Perfect Fit technology to ensure that the range is geared up for simple and user friendly functionality.

Hitachi Accentualizer uses advanced image processing technology to enhance sharpness, gloss and shade to improve image quality and picture clarity to levels comparable to flat panel screens, it said.

The Picture-by-Picture and Picture-in-Picture feature benefits from two HDMI input connections providing greater flexibility for connection to multiple image devices such as document cameras in classrooms or conference systems in meeting rooms.

Other features include compatibility with the new Projector Quick Connection for iOS and the options of wireless connectivity and digital keystone.

Hitachi’s chief Toshiaki Higashihara meets PM Narendra Modi

NEW DELHI: Japanese industrial solutions giant

Hitachi

‘s President Toshiaki Higashihara today called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Higashihara, who believes India is becoming an increasingly important country for Hitachi’s global growth, had yesterday “committed to contributing to the development of Indian society through the Social Innovation Business in response to ‘Modi-nomics‘”.

“We believe that the extensive experience Hitachi has acquired in facing challenges over the years can be of service to help build strong and sustainable social infrastructure in India,” he said on Monday.

Hitachi, which is targeting a turnover of around Rs 11,000 crore in FY2015 from India, had plans to invest around Rs 3,670 crore over the four years from FY2012 to FY2015 in the country. The Japanese industrial solutions would also hire around 3,000 people to expand its business here.

The company is looking to participate in government-led efforts to put in place and maintain social infrastructures and provide a wide range of products and solutions, such as social infrastructure systems as advanced medical devices and rail systems.

AC market to witness price war as MNCs enter mass segment

KOLKATA: Competition is going to heat up in the air-conditioner market next year as several of the MNC brands who were earlier in the premium segment are now entering into the mass category which may lead to a price war, multiple brokerage reports said.

As per the reports, brands like Daikin and

Hitachi

have started to enter into the mass-market AC segment with pricing as their weapon. Samsung too has recently indicated its intention to enter this category and re-enter window and lower priced non-inverter models.

“Room AC is the most competitive white goods category with presence of more than 50 players. The industry currently faces stiff competition, which is why it even restricted price increases in one of the strong summers in the first half of FY20,” said a report by Emkay Global.

The report said despite strong industry growth and low channel inventory, AC prices this month further dropped by around 1% from the low levels of April 2019.

Brands like Blue Star and

Lloyd

have cut prices of 1.5 ton 3-star fixed-speed AC by 5% and 3% this month, it said. Prices of most selling models such as 1.5 ton 3-star inverter AC had reduced by 11% from July 2018 to April 2019, the report noted.

As per a report by ICICI Securities, the entry of premium brands into mass segment will narrow the price gap with leading brands like Voltas.

Voltas

is the market leader in the room AC segment. The re-entry of Samsung and other brands will restrict Voltas from increasing prices, it said.

Samsung India’s AC business chief Rajeev Bhutani recently told ET that the company has set a target to become market leader in AC market by 2022 and double business in the next two years. The company will have an aggressive pricing strategy to regain back the market share it had lost in last four years when it had vacated the mass product segments and now want to re-enter.

Motilal Oswal in its report said there is a long tail of AC brands and Samsung may be able to gain market share at the cost of these fringe players in the near term.

Refrigerator and washing machine are relatively high-competition segments as compared to room AC. In refrigerator and washing machine, the top three brands contribute around 80% of the market share while in room AC the top eight brands contribute about 75% of the market.

Offline retailers seek price parity with ecommerce marketplaces, threaten to stop stocking goods

KOLKATA: In a shift from their previous stand of blaming ecommerce marketplaces, top distributors and retailers of consumer electronics and smartphones now squarely blame manufacturing companies for deep online discounts that have eroded their sales, and have threatened to stop stocking such products if the heavy rebates continue.

Brick-and-mortar stores allege that companies are either offering better prices to online platforms or not curbing supplies to them, according to three senior industry executives.

However, the manufacturers said they offer similar prices across all sales channels and that separate models have been launched for online and offline stores. Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon maintain they only operate online marketplaces in India and do not determine product prices.

Sales of televisions, smartphones and appliances in brick-and-mortar stores were badly hurt during month-long festive season sales by Amazon and Flipkart from October to November. Several offline retailers claimed their sales had halved from levels during Diwali last year.

Leading consumer electronics retailers across the country such as Viveks, Girias, Shahs, Sathya and Vasanth and the All India Mobile Retailers Association, which represent over 25,000 mobile phone retailers, have asked manufacturers to stop offering discounts online. They also want to be offered the same prices and consumer deals as online retailers and new models to be launched in offline stores along with ecommerce sites.

The association said in a letter that mobile phone makers should offer similar specifications, prices, offers and launch dates for new smartphone models across all channels.

“The way brands are working with online, the preferred channel for better market share, the general trade would similarly like to work with the supportive brands for survival. The concrete boundaries between online and offline retailers need to dissipate before things get out of hand,” the association said.

An Amazon India spokesperson said the prices of products on its marketplace are determined by sellers. Amazon innovates to offer newer services to sellers that enable them to significantly reduce their cost of selling, which they pass on to customers as lower prices. Flipkart did not respond to an email. According to Pulkit Baid, director of Great Eastern Retail, the leading chain in east India, the concern is over deep online discounting, which is an unfair trade practice.

“Brands are either directly indulging in this or they have tools to reign it which they are not using,” he said. Girias director Nitesh Giria said manufacturers should stop supplies and discounts to online retailers because the offline business is badly getting impacted due to this.

“What is happening in ecommerce is not fair play,” he said.

Kamal Nandi, business head at Godrej Appliances and president of the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association, said companies don’t fund discounts and they have created separate product lines for online and offline channels.

“Offline stores have a higher cost of operation and hence we support them with higher margins. Moreover, some of the offline stores themselves sell on ecommerce sites, which they should stop. We cannot stop anyone from selling anywhere since the online sites are all marketplaces,” said Nandi.

Tata-owned Voltas said the company always maintains parity among all channel partners, both offline and online. A spokesperson said offline contributes the maximum sales for them and online is an emerging channel.

COMPLAINT TO COS
South-based retailers had written to companies, including LG, Samsung, Voltas, Godrej, Panasonic, Sony, Daikin,

Hitachi

, Onida and Whirlpool, saying they were “deeply affected by online sales” of their products. The cellphone retailers’ lobby had sent letters to smartphone makers like Samsung, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, Nokia and Motorola.

Retailers in the north had demanded that all dealers and distributors should be given the “best net landing prices with all incentives, irrespective of any quantities, targets and tie-ups”. Moreover, they said rates prevailing online “should be such that can also be offered by us and our sub-dealers with a decent retention”.

Over 1,600 cellphone distributors joined hands earlier this month to create a national platform, All India Mobile Distribution Association, to push manufacturers to create a level playing field.

“Few smartphone brands are supporting only online where they are selling at a loss, which is eroding the offline base,” said member Saurav Bhattacharya.

Panasonic India president Manish Sharma said while the company considers parity of discounts according to the cost of operations of various channels, some channel may decide not to pass them on to customers, which sometimes leads to price variations.