Short Takes

Short Takes
Short Takes

Italy to partner India's Smart Cities Italy, in its own initiative for 100 smart cities for the next 20 years with an investment of $1.2 trillion, is keen to partner with India. Italy has the largest number of smart cities in Europe. Francesco Pensabene, Italian trade commissioner and director of its trade promotion office, said: "Italy can be a strong partner for smart cities in terms of design and technology. We are very attentive and focussed on India′s smart cities. "We offer a strong partnership for India for its smart cities. Italian companies can majorly contribute in terms of design and technology for the smart cities." Italy has launched a two-year campaign to explore new business avenues and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Smart Cities initiative is first on the list of Italian companies, he indicated. Italy follows in the footsteps of countries like Japan, US, Canada, Germany and France, who are already committed to the project. Amazon plans $3bn drive for India The world's largest e-retailer, Amazon, has said it will increase its investment in India by $3 billion, bringing the total amount invested in the country to more than $5 billion. The online giant announced a $2 billion investment in India in 2014 and already employs 45,000 people in the country. Chief executive Jeff Bezos said Amazon continued to see "huge potential" in India, its fastest-growing region. He said: "We have already created some 45,000 jobs and continue to see huge potential in the Indian economy. Our Amazon.in team is surpassing even our most ambitious planned milestones." Amazon said it would open a Web Services Cloud Region in India this year and the country would soon become home to the firm's largest software engineering and development centre outside of the US, located in Hyderabad. The firm has so far built 21 fulfilment centres with more than 5 million cubic feet of storage space. Nokia invests in Indian ecommerce Finnish telecom equipment manufacturer Nokia is betting big on India's ecommerce sector of India as a revenue generator for its global analytics and application business. Nokia is to set up its first centre of excellence for the Internet of Things (IoT) in Bengaluru this year, spending around $10-30 million on the facility. Bhaskar Gotri, president of Nokia′s analytics and applications business, said: "We′re in the early stages of discussions for non-operator-led services that need to get monetised in sectors like ecommerce. "For large companies, we will be product and technology providers and for them our software can run on-premise. But there′s a broad market... for which we can provide software as a service (SaaS)." Nokia believes this model would reduce the need for upfront capital, which will make its proposition attractive to start-ups and established enterprises. Analytics and applications in India are set to expand rapidly as demand grows for tools that help to understand and monetise customer behaviour.

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