Dr Sumantran becomes vice chairman of Ashok Leyland

Dr Sumantran will be responsible for the business plan and results of the defence and light commercial vehicle business units of Ashok Leyland

Ashok Leyland said that it has appointed Dr V Sumantran as the vice chairman of the company. Besides his responsibilities as member of the board, Dr Sumantran will be responsible for the business plan and results of the defence and light commercial vehicle business units of Ashok Leyland.

Dr Sumantran is the executive vice-chairman of Hinduja Automotive Ltd and has been leading the expansion strategy of the Group. He has been on the board of Ashok Leyland since 2008. Dr Sumantran has over 26 years of experience in the automobile industry both in India and abroad, in senior management positions.

Vinod K Dasari, managing director, will be responsible for all other operations of Ashok Leyland, including manufacturing of products as required by defence and light commercial vehicle business units.

R Seshasayee, executive vice chairman, will continue to have overall responsibilities for all operations of Ashok Leyland, its subsidiaries and associate companies.

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More than 92% of IT heads say employees spend 2-4 hours shopping online during work

A recent ISACA India Online Shopping Survey indicates that 56% of IT heads say enterprises lose between Rs50,000 and Rs2,50,000 per employee due to online shopping during work hours using official computers or personal smart-phones

ISACA, an independent, global, non-profit association of IT (Information Technology) professionals has conducted a global survey with IT leaders on online shopping done by employees during work hours using work-provided or personal mobile devices.

The survey helps gauge current attitudes and organisational behaviour related to risk and rewards associated with online shopping and the blurring boundaries between personal and work devices. The study is based on October 2011 online polling of 298 IT leaders from various organisations across India.

Key findings from the ‘ISACA India Online Shopping Survey’ include (a) More than half of IT professionals in India (56%) believe that the risk resulting from employees’ use of personal mobile devices for work activities currently outweighs the benefits (b) 56 % of IT professionals in India believe their enterprise loses between Rs50,000 and Rs2,50,000 per employee who shops online during work hours using work-supplied computers or smart-phones and (c) 41% of respondents in India say their enterprises don’t provide security guidance.

India is one of the fastest-growing mobile markets in the world and the domestic mobile phone market is increasingly moving towards smart-phones. According to the India edition of the ‘2011 ISACA Shopping on the Job Survey: Online Holiday Shopping and BYOD (Bring your own device) Security’, more than half of IT professionals in India (56%) believe that the risk resulting from employees’ use of personal mobile devices for work activities currently outweighs the benefits. Yet, since more than a third of enterprises allow personal devices to be used for work, global IT association ISACA urges enterprises to embrace the technology and the benefits it brings, while educating employees on the potential risk.

The study also examined risky online behaviour at work. Nearly 60% of IT professionals in India say that their enterprise prohibits employees from accessing social media websites from work-supplied devices. A total of 38% limit the use of work-supplied mobile devices for personal use and 45% prohibit employees from shopping online using a work-supplied device.

Yet 92% of respondents say employees will spend at least 2-4 hours shopping online during work hours, and more than 56% say employees will spend 6 hours or more. 56% of IT professionals in India believe their enterprise loses between Rs50,000 and Rs2,50,000 per employee who shops online during work hours using work-supplied computers or smart phones. To minimise the costly risk associated with online shopping, 52% of the polled companies prohibit the use of work email addresses for personal online shopping and about 56% have a security policy that covers mobile devices. Additionally, 70% of the organisations provide training on the policy and 68% have technology in place to protect against Web-based attacks.

“As companies increasingly provide employees with laptops and smart phones—and as others increasingly allow employees to use their own devices at work—work and personal activities continue to blur and risk increases. This results in an increasing risk to the enterprise because of the danger that cookies and other tools used by online sites for gathering information could be potentially be gathering other information from the systems,” says Niraj Kapasi, IT auditor and chair of ISACA’s India Task Force. “Between lost productivity, the dangers of unsecured networks and the potential to lose or misplace the small items, mobile devices pose many risks that must be managed to obtain their substantial benefits.”

Loss of a company-supplied device is considered as a high risk to the enterprise by 91% of the survey participants.

While the use of applications with geo-location is increasing, 41% of respondents in India say their enterprises don’t provide security guidance on it. Geo-location is valuable, but employees need education on when to enable and disable it.

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Bharti Airtel's Q2 net profit down by 38.17% at Rs1,027 crore

Bharti Airtel said the roll-out of its 3G network resulted in a higher amortisation cost of Rs164 crore for the quarter, while its net interest cost rose to Rs115 crore during the reporting period

New Delhi: The country’s largest telecom major Bharti Airtel today posted a 38.17% fall in second quarter consolidated net profit to Rs1,027 crore due to higher interest outgo and costs related to the roll-out of its third generation (3G) network, reports PTI.

This is the seventh straight quarter in which Bharti Airtel has reported a consecutive decline in its net profit.

In the corresponding quarter ended 30th September last year, the company had registered a consolidated net profit of Rs1,661 crore.

Bharti Airtel said the roll-out of its 3G network resulted in a higher amortisation cost of Rs164 crore for the quarter, while its net interest cost rose to Rs115 crore during the reporting period.

The impact of the recent judicial pronouncement on regulatory matters has been prudently considered in the quarter’s financials, it added.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, Bharti Airtel’s net profit for the second quarter was down 15.49% from Rs1,215.2 crore in the June quarter.

Total sales were up by 13.38% at Rs17,270 crore in Q2, FY11-12, as against Rs15,231 crore in Q2, FY10-11.

“This year is progressing well for the company. India has achieved double-digit growth, fuelled by non-voice businesses.

The arrest of continuously declining prices in India augurs well for the telecom industry,” Bharti Airtel CMD Sunil Mittal said.

“We look forward to constructive deliberation on the draft National Telecom Policy, 2011, and TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) recommendations for prompting the government’s broadband vision and viability of the sector,” he added.

The company’s overall customer base stood at 237 million across 19 countries.

Monthly average revenue per user (ARPU), a key metric for telecom carriers, from Bharti’s Indian operations fell to Rs183 during the reporting quarter from Rs190 in the June quarter. Average usage per user also declined to 423 minutes at the end of the September quarter from 445 minutes in the June quarter this year.

On the African business, Mr Mittal said, “Africa has notched up strong revenue growth of 23%. The company has launched 3G services in Congo B and Airtel Money in Zambia and Kenya.”

“We continue to expand our footprint across Africa, with our recent acquisition of 2G and 3G licence in Rwanda,” he added.

The monthly ARPU for Airtel’s African operations stayed flat at $7.3 during the reporting quarter, while average usage increased to 128 minutes in the quarter ended 30th September from 121 minutes in the June quarter this year.

Last year, Bharti acquired Zain Telecom’s Africa operations for $10.7 billion to become the world’s fifth-largest mobile operator.

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