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Found 34 results

  1. Apple is finally letting third-party companies manufacture cables that were highly required for the iPhone. Ever since the company removed the headphone jack, it caused dilemmas for many iPhone users who upgraded to the iPhone 7/8 or X. Apple has now updated the specs for its MFi accessories program that now lets companies put USB-C ports on licensed devices as well as 3.5mm to Lightning cables for the first time. © Apple It's a great move for Apple as many of their users would benefit from the new update, especially when the company adopts USB-C ports on their laptops. Third party companies can now build accessories like battery packs, speakers and controllers that can use USB-C charging. The move to allow 3.5mm to Lightning cables means that users will now be able to use the latest iPhones with older headphones and speakers. This will allow users to directly connect iPhones to 3.5mm aux inputs without ever having to use the dongle. © Apple However, not all is peachy as Apple is limiting a few things such as USB-C ports cannot be used for pass-through charging or sync iPhones. This means that third-party manufacturers Lightning to USB-C cables cannot be used for fast charging or sync data with Apple's current MacBook laptops. © Apple At the moment, the only way you fast charge your iPhone is by using the official Apple USB-C to Lightning cable that costs a bomb. Currently, the cable is not available in countries like India that adds more insult to injury. Third party cables are known to be cheaper alternatives to Apple's official cables and it seems like we won't be seeing them anytime soon. Nevertheless, at least you can now use the AUX cable in your car to listen to music or at a friend's party. Source: 9to5Mac
  2. ISLAMABAD: Minister for Power Division Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari issued direction to assess the performance of distribution companies (DISCOs) and their CEOs in order to eliminate any mismatch in tariff, an official press release said on Tuesday. The performance of the DISCOs will be assessed on the basis of their success to bridge the gap in the sold and billed units, said the press statement. A performance review meeting was held today, following which the notification was issued. Leghari directed the CEOs of all DISCOs to submit quarterly tariff adjustment petitions during March with the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA). This will also help in reducing the gap in billed and recovered amount by the DISCOs, said the statement. The federal minister directed the CEOs to ensure replacement of defective meters within seven days after it is has been declared defective, besides clearing the backlog of defective meters in their respective DISCOs by March 31, 2018. Leghari, also gave instructions to all the chairmen of the Board of Directors to make proper procurement plan for the next fiscal year and get it approved by April 15, 2018.
  3. The French newspaper Liberation charged men 25 percent more for their copy to mark International Woman's Day on Thursday. Photo: AFP French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday marked International Women´s Day with a pledge to "name and shame" companies that pay women less than men for the same work. On a visit to a Paris-based property management firm hailed as a model of gender equality, he announced plans to ?drastically? increase inspections of companies to ensure they complied with a law requiring equal pay for equal work. "We will put in place a ´name and shame´ system to make public [the names of] companies that least respect the law," said Macron, who has made tackling sexism a key priority. "No one wants to be bottom of the class on this issue," he said. The World Economic Forum last year ranked France 11th out of 144 countries for gender equality but a dismal 129th for wage equality for similar work. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced plans to get tough on companies that pay women less. Under a package of workplace reforms to be finalised next month, wage screening software will be rolled out in all companies with more than 250 employees from 2019, and in all companies with over 50 employees by 2022, Philippe said. Companies found to have ?unjustified? disparities will have three years to rectify the situation or face fines of up to 1 percent of their wage bill, Philippe said. Men pay more Sexism and violence against women -- brought into sharp relief by the #MeToo campaign launched after the Harvey Weinstein scandal -- dominated the headlines in France on Thursday. Male readers of leftwing daily Liberation were asked to pay 25 percent more for their paper for the day, the proportion by which French women are underpaid compared to men, according to official statistics. For the same job, women are paid on average nine percent less. Liberation published two editions Thursday with different cover pages, one marked "for women, 2 euros, normal price" with a symbol of a woman, the other marked "for men, 2.50 euros" with a symbol of a man. The paper said it was inspired by Canadian monthly Maclean´s, which charged men more for its March edition to denounce the gender wage gap. But not everyone was on board with the operation. A vendor at a newsstand in central Paris told AFP he had sold only one copy of the paper -- a 'female' version he sold to a regular male customer who plucked it off the stand and pressed the standard 2 euros in his hand.
  4. Today, India is the fourth fastest growing economy in the world with 7.2 percent projected growth in the future. Adding to that is the rapidly growing startup culture which is motivating other big companies to be more employee friendly as well then they were before. All these factors are just the indication of how rapidly the work environment is changing in India, and that too for the better. Recently a U.S. employment search engine company, Indeed, ranked the top technology companies to work for in India and this is what managing director of Indeed India, Sashi Kumar has to say on the report. "The companies featured on our Best Places to Work — Tech Companies in India list are not only industry leaders, but also firms known for valuing their employees and offering them great opportunities for career progression,” he said. He further added, "Companies that can attract the best talent across sectors are able to create and maintain a strong sense of community and provide capable mentorship. This is especially true of technology firms which strive to create a productive environment for their employees, ensuring optimum levels of job satisfaction," Here is the list of the company as per their ranking. 1. Google © Indiatimes 2. Amazon 3. Intel 4. IBM 5. Tata Consultancy Services(TCS) © TOI 6. Cisco 7. Microsoft 8. SAP © Gadgets Now 9. HP 10. Cognizant Technology Solutions
  5. European aeroplane-manufacturer Airbus SE and US-based Delta Air Lines Inc have formed an alliance with US wireless carrier Sprint Corp, satellite startup OneWeb backed by Japan?s SoftBank, and India?s Bharti Airtel Ltd to develop in-flight 5G services, the companies said. The alliance, referred to as ?Seamless Air Alliance,? aims to let mobile operators provide services to airline customers through satellite technology, the companies said in a statement. Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed. Sprint will be launching its 5G network next year, the company?s Chief Commercial Officer Dow Draper said on Monday. Delta said Gogo, its existing partner and in-flight connectivity provider, will also join the alliance.
  6. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/1b4091df67a877f3c12b719a2ef67dc2.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9Mi8xLzIwMTggMjo1MDo0MiBQTSZoYXNoX3ZhbHVlPUdBZFdnQWhiczhWeUJvRGVZS1FhQVE9PSZ2YWxpZG1pbnV0ZXM9NjAmaWQ9MQ== style=center] ISLAMABAD: The power division has removed from position heads of four electric supply companies of the country for not containing losses in their respective regions and subsequently causing a loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer. Sources in the power division said the authorities concerned were mulling over sending the names of dismissed officials to the National Accountability Bureau. According to a notification issued Thursday, the officials removed from positions include Lahore Electric Supply Company Chief Executive Officer Wajid Kazmi, Peshawar Electric Supply Company CEO Shabbir Jillani, Sukkur Electric Power Company?s Abdul Latif Anjum and Quetta Electric Supply Company?s Rehmatullah Baloch. The aforementioned officials have been removed from position for failing to contain and abetting power theft in their areas. A few days back Pakistan Electric Power Company Managing Director Musaddiq Ahmed Khan informed the Public Accounts Committee that losses caused to 10 power supply companies of the country due power theft amounted to Rs213 billion.
  7. A construction site is seen in the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev, in the occupied West Bank December 22, 2016/File photo: Reuters GENEVA: The United Nations human rights office said it had identified 206 companies doing business linked to unlawful Israeli settlements in the West Bank and it urged them to avoid any complicity in ?pervasive? violations against Palestinians. Israel fears that companies listed on any UN ?blacklist? could be targeted for boycotts or divestment aimed at stepping up pressure over its settlements, which most countries and the world body view as illegal. ?Businesses play a central role in furthering the establishment, maintenance and expansion of Israeli settlements,? the UN report said. ?In doing so, they are contributing to Israel?s confiscation of land, facilitate the transfer of its population into the Occupied Palestinian Territory and are involved in the exploitation of Palestine?s natural resources,? it said. The majority of the companies, or 143, are domiciled in Israel or the settlements, followed by 22 in the United States, it said. The remainder are based in 19 other countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, France and Britain. The UN report did not name the companies and said that its database was not yet complete. Israel?s ambassador, Aviva Raz Shechter, said her government was still studying the report, launched by a resolution of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016, but rejected the concept as ?fundamentally illegitimate?. ?It is outside the competence and the authority of the Human Rights Council to deal with blacklisting. ... This is part of the bias to try to delegitimise Israel,? Raz Shechter told Reuters. Israel did not want to see the UN human rights office at the ?forefront of a BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction)? movement, she said. Raz Shechter declined to discuss any of the Israeli companies or say whether some were state-owned, adding: ?Companies are not engaged in any unlawful activities.? Israel?s main ally, the United States, says the 47-member Human Rights Council is stacked with opponents of Israel. US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Council last June that it was reviewing its participation given the forum?s ?chronic anti-Israel bias?. Haley said in a statement on Wednesday that while the report ?wisely refrained from listing individual companies, the fact that the report was issued at all is yet another reminder of the Council?s anti-Israel obsession.? 'Corporate responsibility' The report said that the work in producing the UN database ?does not purport to constitute a judicial process of any kind?. But businesses operating in the occupied territories have a corporate responsibility to carry out due diligence and consider ?whether it is possible to engage in such an environment in a manner that respects human rights?, it said. The office?s mandate was to identify businesses involved in the construction of settlements, surveillance, services including transport, and banking and financial operations such as loans for housing. Violations associated with the settlements are ?pervasive and devastating, reaching every facet of Palestinian life,? the report said. It cited restrictions on freedom of religion, movement and education and lack of access to land, water and jobs. The report is to be debated at the UN Human Rights Council session of Feb. 26 to March 23.
  8. Photo: Brunswick Mineral Springs ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court halted on Thursday 24 mineral water companies from operating in the country until they can satisfy the court regarding their safety standards. Hearing a suo motu case on safe drinking water, the three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, observed that until they are satisfied that the said companies are distributing safe drinking water, they will not be allowed to operate. The chief justice remarked during the hearing that they have to keep in mind the interest as well as safety of children. The court observed that the companies should realise that they cannot sell unsafe drinking water. The hearing was then adjourned for an indefinite period. Poisonous and running out: Pakistan's water crisis More than two-thirds of households drink bacterially contaminated water and, every year, 53,000 Pakistani children die of diarrhoea after drinking it, says UNICEF In a report published on January 8, the AFP stated that more than two-thirds of households drink bacterially contaminated water and, every year, 53,000 Pakistani children die of diarrhoea after drinking it, according to the UNICEF. Cases of typhoid, cholera, dysentery and hepatitis are rampant. According to the UN and Pakistani authorities, between 30 and 40 per cent of diseases and deaths nationwide are linked to poor water quality, the report added.
  9. Reporters trail US Senator Dianne Feinstein as she arrives ahead of a vote ? on a bill to renew the National Security Agency's (NSA) warrantless internet surveillance program ? at the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Files WASHINGTON: Senior US congressional Democrats urged social media companies on Tuesday to investigate reported actions by automated Russia-linked accounts, in connection with a Republican memorandum that was said to be critical of special counsel Robert Mueller?s probe of President Donald Trump?s ties with Russia. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Representative Adam Schiff ? the ranking Democrat on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee ? wrote to Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc, requesting an ?in-depth forensic examination?. Republicans have been calling for the release of a classified memorandum commissioned by Devin Nunes ? the House Intelligence committee?s Republican chairman ? who they say shows anti-Trump bias at the Justice Department, backed by a social media campaign with the hashtag #ReleasetheMemo. Democrats have criticized the memo as a ?misleading set of talking points?. Last week, the Alliance for Securing Democracy ? a project of the nonpartisan German Marshall Fund think tank ? said a network of Kremlin-controlled accounts was put into action to amplify the Republicans? demand on social media. This prompted the letter from Feinstein and Schiff, whose committees ? along with special counsel Mueller ? are investigating whether Russia sought to influence the 2016 US presidential election and allegations of collusion between Trump?s campaign and Moscow. Moscow denies seeking to influence the election, and Trump denies any collusion. ?If these reports are accurate, we are witnessing an ongoing attack by the Russian government through Kremlin-linked social media actors directly acting to intervene and influence our democratic process,? Feinstein and Schiff said in the letter to Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. ?This should be disconcerting to all Americans, but especially your companies as, once again, it appears the vast majority of their efforts are concentrated on your platforms,? they said. The two lawmakers asked for a public report to Congress and the public by January 26, and for immediate steps to expose and deactivate such accounts. Officials at Twitter and Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Aides to the Republican leaders of the Senate and House intelligence and Senate judiciary committees also did not immediately respond.
  10. Reza Pahlavi ? the last heir apparent to the defunct throne of the Imperial State of Iran and the current head of the exiled House of Pahlavi ? speaks during an interview with Reuters in Washington, US, January 3, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts WASHINGTON: The Trump administration should encourage US technology companies to provide communication services to Iranians as they protest their country?s clerical rulers, Reza Pahlavi ? the last heir to the Iranian monarchy ? said. In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, Pahlavi also criticized the Trump administration?s ban on travel to the United States by most Iranians, calling it ?ridiculous?. Anti-government protests have gripped Iran for nearly a week in the most sustained challenge to the Islamic Republic?s clerical elite in almost a decade. Pahlavi has lived in exile for nearly four decades since his father ? the US-backed Shah ? was overthrown in the 1979 Revolution. The opposition to Iran?s clerical government is atomized, with no clear recognized leader. But some demonstrators have in recent days chanted slogans in favour of Reza Shah ? Pahlavi?s grandfather ? breaking a longstanding taboo. Pahlavi said he wants to see Iranians ?determine their own fate out of their own free will?, and praised US President Donald Trump and members of his cabinet for speaking in support of Iranian protesters. But he said they also should take steps to ensure that Iranians have access to communication and social media tools, which they have used to share videos and messages documenting protests and clashes with security forces. Iran ? which bars the use of major social media platforms ? also has restricted access to the Telegram messaging app, and Iranian users in recent days have reported major hurdles in accessing the internet. ?We need more than lip service. We need to see concrete actions,? Pahlavi said. ?This has to be immediate... As we speak, the regime is attempting yet again to try to shut down whatever it is, whether it?s Instagram or Telegram.? There is a precedent for this type of US intervention. In 2009, amid mass protests over a disputed election, an Obama administration official asked Twitter executives to delay scheduled maintenance so Iranians could continue to use the service to communicate. Technology experts have documented numerous examples of commercial services being denied to Iranians, often because of concerns about running afoul of US sanctions. Activists have urged tech companies to loosen their Iran policies, but say the Trump administration could expand exemptions to make clear that some services are allowed. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a news briefing on Tuesday that the United States wants to see Iranians have access to social media and other tools. But when asked if Google was ?over-interpreting? US sanctions on Iran by blocking access to one of its services there, Nauert said she had ?no idea?. Asked if the State Department is urging tech companies to do more to ensure access for Iranians, a State Department spokeswoman did not answer directly but said US support for the free flow of information to Iranians ?is a key element of the President?s new US strategy for Iran?. Exemptions to sanctions The Obama administration approved exemptions to US sanctions that allowed for providing chat, email, social networking, photo sharing, web browsing, blogging, and other personal communication services. Twitter and messaging service Signal did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Facebook and Google declined to comment. ?The policies of these companies are not really clear,? Amir Rashidi ? an internet security researcher at New York-based non-governmental organization (NGO) Center for Human Rights in Iran ? said. Pahlavi critiqued the Trump administration?s decision to ban nearly all Iranian travellers and immigrants from the US as part of a broader travel ban targeting several mostly Muslim countries. ?Iranian diplomats still can travel (here) but innocent Iranians, who, in fact, work and have built this country are barred from coming,? said Pahlavi, who lives in the United States. ?Why? Because they?re under the so-called ban. That?s ridiculous.? A State Department spokeswoman said US support for the Iranian people ?is a fundamentally separate issue? from the travel ban.
  11. Foreign investment was reported in 562 new companies ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) registered 8,286 new companies during 2017, showing growth of 34 per cent when compared to the registration of the last financial year. According to the annual report 2017 released by SECP, the new registration has raised the total number of registered companies to 80,700. The trend witnessed was that approximately 86% companies were registered as private limited companies, 11% were registered as single-member companies and, three percent were registered as public unlisted, association?s not-for-profit, trade organizations and foreign companies. The services sector took a lead with the incorporation of 1,303 companies, followed by trading with 1,100, construction with 936, information technology with 773, tourism with 518, education with 254, food and beverages with 252, engineering with 225, real estate development with 224, fuel and energy 211, corporate agricultural farming with 190, textile with 173, pharmaceutical and transport with 166 each, communication with 158, auto and allied with 137, power generation with 123, healthcare with 121, broadcasting and telecasting with 103, paper and board with 101, and 1,052 companies in other sectors. Foreign investment was reported in 562 new companies. These companies have foreign investors from Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, the UAE, the UK and the US. Moreover, 63 foreign companies from China, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UAE, the UK and the US have established places of business in Pakistan during the last fiscal year. Meanwhile, the report stated that these companies are engaged in the fields of auto and allied, cable and electric goods, communication, construction, engineering, food and beverages, healthcare, services, power generation, trading, textile, transport, fuel and energy, information technology, insurance, steel and allied and other sectors.
  12. Chairman NAB chairing a meeting at NAB Headquarters ? Online ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, taking notice of 435 offshore companies of Pakistanis in Panama and British Virgin Island, on Tuesday directed immediate inquiry into the matter. Iqbal directed the bureau to investigate the matter without any pressure or influence, a press statement said. The chairman also directed the bureau to approach the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to collect information regarding the offshore companies. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf's leader Aleem Khan is one of the political notables mentioned in the list. Khan is mentioned as the owner of a company. Former chairman of FBR, Abdullah Yousaf, and his family are also included among those who have an offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and Panama. In April last year, the ICIJ had revealed names throughout the world, including of Pakistani politicians, businessmen, bankers as well as a serving high court judge and a retired judge, who were reported to have offshore companies. Over 400 Pakistanis were identified in the Panama Papers to have offshore companies. During the hearing of the Panama case and even after Nawaz Sharif?s disqualification, one of the petitioners ? Sirajul Haq, Jamaat-e-Islami chief ? has been demanding of the apex court to try all those who have offshore companies abroad.
  13. I think we can all take a wild guess as to which feature Android companies are already rushing to copy. We already spotted a smartphone that copied the iPhone X notch, but it lacked all the sensors Apple has integrated on their latest smartphone. However, a report by DigiTimes says that Android companies are already digging deeper into the notch and are trying to copy what's inside it. Haha I called it. Android smartphones are already copying the iPhone X https://t.co/isTEWFfaV9 pic.twitter.com/8bFXKlhvOj — Akshay Bhalla (@Bhallanator) November 9, 2017 The TrueDepth front-facing camera uses 30,000 infrared dots to map a user's face and aid in facial recognition capabilities. This feature is lacking in any Android smartphone and it seems like this may change in the near future. Android device manufacturers are now attempting to adopt the same ID sensing technology on their upcoming models and we are not surprised. (c) MensXp In fact, I predicted this would happen the moment iPhone X was available to buy. I tweeted out something similar and then found a Xiaomi phone that is already replicating the feature. At the time, the notch was only copied in the design sense, however, new reports are now pointing towards the actual technology being copied. (c) Apple The report goes into detail and says that companies like Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi are already looking to acquire 3D sensing components. Suppliers like Largan Precision, Sunny Optical, Orbbec, and Himax Technologies are supposed to provide the parts. With a large number of companies now looking to manufacture the technology, this, in turn, will also benefit Apple as costs of production will also go down. The report has currently only mentioned Chinese smartphone manufactures and there is no word on companies like Samsung, LG, HTC or Google trying to replicate the same 3D sensing technology. Reports have already confirmed that Samsung is already working on a similar technology for their upcoming smartphones in 2018. Source: Digitmes
  14. Photo: File ISLAMABAD: A body representing oil companies in Pakistan said Honda Motor Company, which has blamed local gasoline companies for damage to engines in one of its vehicle models, appears to know the engines are incompatible with Pakistani fuel standards and need to be calibrated. Honda Motor Co?s Pakistan subsidiary, Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Ltd, filed the complaint with the country?s oil and gas regulator last week, saying high levels of manganese appeared to be damaging engines in its vehicles. ?The Honda Civic 1.5 I VTEC Turbo model is currently incompatible with market fuels available in Pakistan,? head of the Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) Ilyas Fazil said in a statement on Wednesday. ?Pakistan is currently at the beginning of its clean fuels journey, and sulphur levels in fuel remain higher than those in required for Euro 4 vehicles such as the Honda Civic 1.5,? Fazil said. Honda has said it is temporarily suspending production of the model in Pakistan due to the problem. Pakistan to probe complaint that Shell, Total, PSO added manganese to gasoline Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Limited said the harmful additive appeared to be damaging the engines in its vehicles ?The fact that sales of this vehicle are to be suspended, may suggest that the vehicle manufacturer is aware of this and intends to properly calibrate the vehicle for the Pakistan market,? he added. Honda declined to comment on the statement issued by OCAC. ?We have filed a complaint with the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA),? senior Honda executive Nadeem Azam told Reuters. ?OGRA is now investigating, so let that investigation result come,? he added. Senior industry officials told Reuters that Pakistan?s path to meeting the clean fuel standards found in developed countries could take up to 20 years. Honda?s complaint states that Pakistani suppliers used the additive to elevate the Research Octane Number (RON) used to grade petroleum and lower quality fuel up to the RON 92 grade required by regulatory standards. In response, OCAC states that Honda is ?attempting to blame catalyst failures and potential warranty claims on fuel quality, rather than on the inappropriate calibration of the vehicle.? Pakistan?s petroleum sales have spiked in the past two years, rising 10 per cent between 2015 and 2017 and continued growth is expected as Chinese-backed development projects spur the transportation and automotive sectors.
  15. LONDON: British shell companies have been linked to 52 money laundering scandals involving 80 billion pounds ($105 billion) in the past 14 years, according to researchers at campaign group Transparency International. Tax evasion and financial crime has shot to the top of the international agenda in recent days following reports based on leaked documents from Appleby, a prominent offshore law firm founded in Bermuda. But the report from Transparency International?s UK arm said it?s not just Caribbean islands that are used to hide illicit money flows and that Britain was a key link in many of the largest corruption scandals of recent years. Fraudsters in eastern Europe and elsewhere often channel money through UK-registered entities because they appear to many people as more legitimate than tax haven-registered companies, the non-governmental body said. The UK Treasury declined immediate comment on the report. Britain says it is doing more than most countries to tackle illicit money flows. It is the only country to have introduced a functioning, publicly-available register of true beneficial owners of companies. However, the system is poorly policed. Companies House, the body which overseas British corporate records, does not have the resources to verify the information submitted to it. Also, successive British governments have sought to make it easy to register companies, for example allowing people to do so online and without verifying their identification, in the hope this spurs entrepreneurship. This has led to a small industry of formation agents establishing blocks of companies and partnerships which they then make available to overseas parties. Transparency International found that around half of the 766 companies alleged to have been involved in money laundering schemes were based at just eight UK addresses. ?Financially these scandals could amount to 80 billion pounds or more in illicit wealth, with some of them threatening the financial stability of whole economies. The human damage inflicted on the victims of these crimes is still being counted,? the report said.
  16. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has released a database of around 13.4 million documents revealing over 25,000 companies owned by the world's rich and influential individuals. The ICIJ coordinated the Panama Papers investigation into offshore companies. The latest files have disclosed the financial details of politicians, corporations, and celebrities among others. The Paradise Papers comprise a major part of documents leaked from the company 'Appleby'. The documents ? obtained by a German newspaper from two companies in Singapore and Bermuda ? have made public the data of over 25,000 companies owned by individuals from 180 countries, from 1950 to 2016. Around 381 investigative journalists from 67 countries worked extensively to bring these facts before the people. Senior The News reporter and ICIJ member Umar Cheema was also part of the team that unearthed the Paradise Papers. In Pakistan, only Jang Group partners with the ICIJ. Pakistanis named in Paradise Papers Shaukat Aziz Former prime minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz was found linked with Antarctic Trust. Antarctic Trust set up by him whose beneficiaries include Aziz?s wife, their children and granddaughter. Aziz had set up the trust in Delaware (USA) before becoming finance minister. Interestingly, the trust was neither declared during his stint as finance minister nor as prime minister. Speaking through his attorney in New York, Shaukat Aziz said that he didn?t have to declare the trust in Pakistan as he was a settlor. When asked if his wife or children declared the trust, he responded that they didn?t have to declare because they were beneficiaries, not the beneficial owners. Aziz served as prime minister from August 28, 2004, to November 15, 2007 and was appointed as finance minister in 1999. Aziz settled abroad after his tenure came to an end in 2007. Ayaz Khan Niazi Moreover, former National Insurance Corporation Limited chairperson Ayaz Khan Niazi has also been identified in the records in connection with four offshore holdings in British Virgin Islands. One of them was a trust, Andalusian Discretionary Trust, while the other three were set up as companies: Andalusian Establishment Limited, Andalusian Enterprises Limited and Andalusian Holdings Limited. All the three companies were set up in 2010 when Niazi was the chairperson of National Insurance Corporation Limited. In the record, however, Niazi?s two brothers, Hussain Khan Niazi and Muhammad Ali Khan Niazi, were shown as the beneficial owners, whereas Ayaz along with his father Abdul Razaq Khan and mother Fauzia Razzaq acted as directors. World Leaders Queen Elizabeth II Queen Elizabeth II has invested millions of dollars in medical and consumer loan companies, Appleby?s files show. While the Queen?s personal estate, the Duchy of Lancaster, provides some details of its investments in UK property, such as commercial buildings scattered across southern England, it has never disclosed details of its offshore investments. The records show that as of 2007, the queen?s personal estate invested in a Cayman Islands fund that in turn invested in a private equity company that controlled BrightHouse, a UK rent-to-own firm criticised by consumer watchdogs and members of Parliament for selling household goods to cash-strapped Britons on payment plans with interest rates as high as 99.9 percent. Rex Tillerson US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was a director of Marib Upstream Services Co., a Bermuda-based company created to conduct oil and gas operations in Yemen?s Marib-Al-Jawf basin. Tillerson joined the company?s board in March 1997, when he was the president of Exxon Yemen, and resigned in March 1998, according to Appleby?s client database. Marib Upstream Services was a joint venture of three companies: the Yemen Gas Company, the Yemen Exploration & Production Company and the Yemen LNG Company. The Yemen Gas Company was state-owned, Yemen Exploration & Production Company was owned by Exxon Mobil and Hunt Oil, and the Yemen LNG Company had several shareholders, the largest of which is the French oil company Total. Marib Upstream Services operated in accordance with a production-sharing agreement between Yemen and the oil companies until 2005, when Yemen ended the production-sharing agreement and turned over production rights to a state-owned company. Tillerson did not respond to a request for comment from ICIJ and its media partner The New York Times. Queen Noor of Jordan Other royals and politicians with newly disclosed offshore ties include Queen Noor of Jordan, who was listed as the beneficiary of two trusts on the island of Jersey, including one that held her sprawling British estate. Wesley Clark, a one-time Democratic presidential hopeful and a retired four-star US Army general who served as NATO?s supreme commander in Europe , was a director of an online gambling company with offshore subsidiaries, the files show. In addition to disclosures about politicians and corporations, the files reveal details about the financial lives of the rich and famous ? and the completely unknown. They include Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen?s yacht and submarines, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar?s Cayman Island investment vehicle, Singers Madonna and Bono The Paradise Papers also reveal Madonna?s shares in a medical supplies company. Pop singer and social justice activist Bono ? listed under his full name, Paul Hewson ? owned shares in a company registered in Malta that invested in shopping center in Lithuania, company records show. Stephen Bronfman The files reveal that Stephen Bronfman, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau?s adviser and close friend, teamed up with Leo Kolber, another Liberal Party stalwart and former member of Canada?s Senate, and Kolber?s son to quietly move millions of dollars to a Cayman trust. The offshore maneuvers may have avoided taxes in Canada, the United States and Israel, according to experts who reviewed some of the 3,000-plus files detailing the trust?s activities. As the offshore riches grew, lawyers for Bronfman, the Kolbers and other wealthy interests lobbied Canada?s Parliament to fight legislative proposals to tax income from offshore trusts. Bronfman remains a key fundraiser for Trudeau, who has championed openness in government and promised a crackdown on offshore tax dodging. In September, Trudeau told the UN General Assembly: ?Right now, we have a system that encourages wealthy Canadians to use private corporations to pay a lower tax rate than middle-class Canadians. That?s not fair and we?re going to fix it.? US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross The Appleby files show how Wilbur Ross, Trump?s commerce secretary, has used a chain of Cayman Islands entities to maintain a financial stake in Navigator Holdings, a shipping company whose top clients include the Kremlin-linked energy firm Sibur. Among Sibur?s key owners are Kirill Shamalov, Russian President Putin?s son-in-law, and Gennady Timchenko, a billionaire the US government sanctioned in 2014 because of his links to Putin. Sibur is a major customer of Navigator, paying the company more than $23 million in 2016. When he joined Trump?s cabinet, Ross divested his interests in 80 companies. But he kept stakes in nine companies, including the four that connect him to Navigator and its Russian clients. These revelations come against a backdrop of growing concerns about hidden Russian involvement in US political affairs. Tech mogul Yuri Milner In 2011, the investment fund of tech mogul Yuri Milner acted as an intermediary when one of the Russian government firms, VTB Bank, quietly invested $191 million in Twitter Inc. Documents also show that a financial subsidiary of the Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom funded a shell company that, through its ownership of a Milner-affiliated company, held roughly $1 billion in Facebook shares shortly before the social network?s 2012 initial public offering. More recently, Milner invested $850,000 in Cadre, a real estate firm co-founded by Trump?s son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner. Milner is a Russian citizen who lives in Silicon Valley. His ties to Twitter, Facebook and Kushner?s firm have been previously disclosed. But his links to the Kremlin financial institutions weren?t previously known. What is Paradise Papers? The Paradise Papers is a database comprising around 13.4 million documents, which reveals over 25000 companies owned by the world's rich and influential individuals. The documents were obtained from two companies in Singapore and Bermuda by a German newspaper and shared with the ICIJ. A major part of the Panama Papers comprises leaked files from company 'Appleby'. The files reveal data of over 25,000 companies owned by individuals from 180 countries, from 1950 to 2016. Below is a comparison of Paradise Papers with Panama Papers: Number of politicians and public officials Paradise Papers: 127 politicians and public officials (14 current or former country leaders included) from more than 47 countries Panama Papers: 140 politicians and public officials from more than 50 countries Which leak is the bigger than other? Paradise Papers is bigger in number of records (13.5 million in Paradise Papers vs. 11.5 million in Panama Papers) and Panama Papers is bigger in terms of size of the leak (1.4 Tb in Paradise Papers vs. 2.6 Tb in Panama Papers). It is one of the biggest leaks in the history of journalism instead of the biggest, and then one may also compare some of the different figures related to the data size between Paradise Papers and previous leaks. Journalists in Paradise Papers project Media partners, countries, journalists * Number of journalists 381 * Number of media partners 96 * Number of countries 67 If you just consider the number of journalists, yes. There are more journalists working on the Paradise Papers than the Panama Papers at the time of the project release (381 Paradise Papers - 376 Panama Papers). As for the number of media partners and number of countries, there are a few less. Panama Papers had 100+ media partners and 76 countries. The ICIJ currently has for Paradise Papers 96 media partners and 67 countries. Disclaimer: It is pertinent to note here that not every offshore firm is necessarily illegal.
  17. People march across the Brooklyn Bridge to protest the planned dissolution of DACA in Manhattan, New York City, US, September 5, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Yang/Files SAN FRANCISCO: Alphabet Inc?s Google and Facebook Inc on Wednesday joined a legal challenge by more than 100 tech companies against a decision to end protection for so-called ?Dreamer? immigrants, the companies told Reuters. A legal briefing was filed Wednesday afternoon on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects immigrants brought into the United States illegally as children from deportation and which the Trump administration has decided to scrap. Tech firms argue that such immigrants are vital to the U.S. economy and that ending the program will hit growth. The filing is in support of a lawsuit filed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in the Northern District of California, according to the filing. Tech companies signed on to the amicus brief - a supporting document in a case, submitted by interested parties - also included Airbnb, Microsoft Corp, Salesforce.com Inc, Lyft, Uber, and Twitter Inc. Becerra filed an additional motion on Wednesday that seeks to put a block on the withdrawal of DACA. That was supported by iPhone maker Apple Inc. ?Apple will be harmed significantly if it can no longer benefit from the hard work, creativity, and intelligence of its employees with DACA status,? said Deirdre O?Brien, Apple?s vice president of people, in a filing supporting the motion. Apple employs more than 250 DACA recipients, the filing said. The lawsuit challenges Trump?s September decision to rescind DACA, which was established by former President Barack Obama in 2012. It is set to expire in March. ?DACA?s rescission will inflict serious harm on U.S. companies, all workers, and the American economy as a whole,? the filing reads, according to a draft of the amicus brief provided by one of the companies. A week ago, dozens of tech companies, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc and others, formed The Coalition for the American Dream, a group calling for bipartisan legislation this year that would give illegal immigrants a path to permanent residency. Reuters was first to report that the coalition was being formed. About 900,000 immigrants have been shielded from deportation since the DACA program began.
  18. Calls for a boycott of Catalan food, cars and other goods, to punish the region for its separatist push, are worrying businesses who fear the economy will suffer. "You have to hit them where it hurts the most: the wallet," a Twitter user wrote under the hashtag #boycottcatalanproducts. "We Spaniards who do not want Spain to be broken up... we can take action by adopting dissuasive steps of an economic nature," reads a Facebook page calling for consumers to snub Catalan products. Appeals for a boycott have become more urgent since Catalonia's separatist regional government held a banned independence referendum on October 1 in defiance of Spain's central government and courts. The campaign targets Catalonia's key agriculture and food sectors, with consumers urged to shun cava, a sparkling wine, Estrella Damm beer, as well as Vichy Catalan and Font Vella bottled water. Medicines are also on the list to hurt Catalonia's important pharmaceutical sector, as well as cars made by Seat, German carmaker Volkswagen's Spanish unit in the region. Products made by foreign multinationals in Catalonia, including Nestle and Unilever, have also been swept up in the campaign. Mobile phone applications help consumers identify which products come from the rebel region. Unclear impact The impact of the boycott campaign is hard to measure to date. "We have had some clients who have bought less," especially in Madrid, Rosa Rebula, a manager at cava producer Rosell i Formosa, told AFP. But she said the company will only be able to confirm the trend in November -- a peak period for sales of cava ahead of the Christmas holiday season. Some clients made it very clear that they had stopped buying cava for political reasons, said Rebula. The company suffered the effects of another boycott in 2004 after a Catalan politician opposed Madrid's bid to host the 2012 Olympics. That campaign "was very intense. And we never won back the majority of clients which we lost... the consequences could be serious this time as well," said Rebula. Freixenet, Spain's biggest cava maker which is planning to move its headquarters out of Catalonia because of the uncertainty caused by the independence push, said it will only have sales figures by the end of the year. Barcelona's Chamber of Commerce and Catalan employers' groups have not yet provided figures on the impact of the campaign. 'Shoot ourselves in foot' Several prominent figures have appealed for calm, including Josep Borrell, a former European Parliament vice president who is from Catalonia. "The boycott must stop because the people who will be ruined by it will feel even more anti-Spain," he said earlier this week. Others have warned the boycott could do just as much harm to companies in the rest of Spain. Many Catalan products use raw materials from other parts of the country, said Francisco Javier Peinado of a confederation representing businesses in the eastern region of Extremadura on the border with Portugal. "Every time we boycott a Catalan product, we shoot ourselves in the foot," he said in an interview with the El Pais newspaper. Glass used to produce cava bottles comes from the northern province of Leon, and the cork stoppers from Extremadura, said Rebula. "If they don't buy anything, we also can't buy" these products from suppliers, she said. Some Catalan separatists have called for a boycott of hundreds of companies, especially major banks, that have moved their legal headquarters out of Catalonia in recent weeks. Spain's largest union, Comisiones Obreras (CCOO), slammed the appeal as "ridiculous and counterproductive", and warned it could cost jobs. Even Catalonia's regional government criticised the campaign. "Putting the economy in danger is always an own-goal," Catalonia's business minister, Santi Vila, tweeted.
  19. Protesters carry signs during the Peoples Climate March at the White House in Washington, US, April 29, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Files OSLO: US companies are still among the most ambitious in setting targets to combat global warming despite President Donald Trump?s plans to quit the 195-nation Paris climate agreement, a 2017 survey showed on Tuesday. US-based firms made up a fifth of those in a 2017 ?A-list? of 159 companies judged to have ambitious policies on limiting climate change and protecting water resources and forests, according to London-based non-profit CDP. This made US firms the biggest single national group and was similar to levels in 2016, according to CDP, which tracks companies? environmental performance and was formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project. ?We don?t see US companies faring worse in our analysis? since Trump took office, Marcus Norton ? chief partnerships officer and general counsel at CDP ? said. ?The business case for climate action remains despite a lack of support [at] the federal level,? he told Reuters. Trump has said he will pull out of the 2015 Paris deal and instead bolster the US fossil fuel industry. The US president doubts mainstream findings that climate change will cause more floods, droughts, wildfires, heatwaves and rising sea levels. US companies on the 2017 list include Philip Morris International, Microsoft, Bank of America and Biogen Inc. Norton said the criteria for inclusion on the CDP list were made tougher each year. Separately, CDP said French cosmetics giant L?Oreal and Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group Unilever were the top performers on the global ranking, scoring straight ?A?s on a scorecard that rates corporate policies on preventing climate change, ensuring water security and protecting forests. The two demonstrated ?how business can reduce carbon dioxide emissions, increase water security and tackle deforestation while making a profit,? CDP said. The two firms have often scored highly. Overall, CDP said 89 percent of companies in a wider survey of more than 1,000 companies had some form of carbon emissions targets, up from 85 percent in 2016. And 14 percent were committed to aligning their goals with climate science, which requires deep cuts in emissions to achieve Paris agreement goals, up from 9 percent last year.
  20. There is a reason why every other startup in the world loves to call their startup the #UberofSomething. This is because when it all comes down to brass tacks, the startup company valuation Uber tops the charts, leading by huge margins. The current total valuation of the on-demand Taxi booking company is estimated to be around $ 68 Billion as of 2017. Then China's Didi Chuxing came in with a total valuation of $50 Billion with another On - Demand Taxi booking company. Now, you may be thinking, why are we talking about foreign startups like Uber and Didi Chuxing. Well, it is because these days before starting another company, we need to reflect on our Indian startups as well and and work on crucial things that we are surely missing. It could be innovation that might be missing and a copy paste culture could be that one culprit which leads us down the wrong path or one where we just eventually become average in everything. In India, the unicorn-ship or one can say the Olympic torch relay is spearheaded by Flipkart with an approximate valuation of $ 11.6 Billion. © The News Minute We are lagging by the huge margin and in the number of startups as well. Young and even smaller countries like Estonia are making their mark in innovation, then why not us? Why are we not competent enough in providing something more than services and create service startups that are not on par with the world-class market leaders? Why are we not able excite early customers and introduce more innovative products for them in the market. Maybe it is time to self-reflect and win everyone's trust back in India and make India the market leader again. Now, the question that arises is whether should we tighten the game like China and save our OlaCabs and Flipkart against Uber and Amazon or should we keep learning from the healthy competition they are keeping us in. Philosophically and with a futuristic vision, one may favor the latter but then that will also sprout the favorable results only if we are not cheated. Mission and vision should be one for the nation. Total valuation: 35.45 B against $ 738 B of total 217 unicorn companies all over the world. 1. Flipkart Total valuation: $11.6 B © PriceFixR Flipkart, an eCommerce marketplace was founded in October 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (no relation) and is competing against the market leader Amazon. Will Flipkart thrive against such a fierce competitor? Only time will tell. © NDTV Profit Left to Right: Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal © cbinsights 2. Snapdeal Total valuation: $7 B © YourStory Snapdeal is again an eCommerce marketplace which was started by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal in February 2010. Once considered as the top e-commerce website, they are now struggling against Flipkart and Amazon. Also, at one point Flipkart were in talks to buy Snapdeal but the latter refused the offer and decided to stand strong alone. © Livemint Left to Right: Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal © cbinsights 3. One97 Communications (operates as Paytm) Total valuation: $5.7 B © Mi Shoppe Paytm, as we are all aware of, partially due to demonetization, is a fintech sector company which facilitates users to make cashless digital transactions through a digital wallet. The company was founded in August 2010 by Vijay Shekhar Sharma. The name Paytm has been derived from "Payment Through Mobile." © Tech in Asia Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma © cbinsights 4. Olacabs Total valuation: $3.65 B © Tanay Sai Ola is one of the first major, Indian on-demand taxi booking service companies that has made to the list of unicorns. Ola Cabs was founded on 3 December 2010 by Bhavish Aggarwal, and Ankit Bhati and is headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka. © Letsintern Olacabs founder Ankit Bhatia © cbinsights 5. ReNew Power Ventures Total valuation: $2 B © CleanTechnica ReNew Power Ventures is a renewable energy company headquartered in Gurugram, Haryana. The company was founded 6 years ago in 2011 by Sumant Sinha. ReNew Power Ventures is an Independent Power Producer (IPP) of clean energy with an installed capacity of more than 1000 MegaWatt. It's power plant span across the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Gujarat, © Livemint ReNew Power Ventures founder Sumant Sinha © cbinsights 6. Hike Total valuation: $1.4 B © Wikipedia Hike is a cross-platform instant messaging service for smartphones that uses the internet for communication. The company was launched 4 years ago in December 2012 by Kavin Bharti. Its major competitor includes Whatsapp and WeChat. Its valuation touched to $ 1.4 B when it received $175 million dollars in funding from the Chinese internet firm Tencent and manufacturing giant Foxconn. Now, this was the time when entrepreneurs and investors were scratching their heads due to the downfall in the industry and here on the other hand, Hike surprised everybody by raising a huge round of funding. A round of funding that made it a unicorn company. © BW Disrupt Hike messenger founder Kavin Mittal © cbinsights 7. Shopclues Total valuation: $1.1 B © Owler Shopclues is another major Indian eCommerce marketplace that is competing against the likes of Amazon, Flipkart, Jabong and more. The company was founded in California's Silicon Valley in 2011 by Radhika Aggarwal, Sandeep Aggarwal, and Sanjay Sethi. The company is headquartered in Gurugram, India. © NewsBytes Left to Right: Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, Sanjay Sethi, and Sandeep Aggarwal © cbinsights 8. Zomato Media Total valuation: $1 B © Newsmobile Zomato is a restaurant search and discovery service company founded by Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah in 2008. Zomato, as of now operates in 23 countries, including India, United States, and Australia. With the help of Zomato, one can get all the information and reviews on restaurants, including images of menus, and it comes handy when the restaurant does not have its own website. © The Huffington Post India Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal © cbinsights 9. InMobi Total valuation: $1 B © Mobile App Marketing InMobi is an ad tech company which functions as a global advertising and discovery platform that reaches over 1.5 billion unique mobile devices worldwide. InMobi was founded in 2007 by Naveen Tewari, Amit Gupta, Mohit Saxena, and Abhay Singhal. InMobi's platform enables consumers to discover new products and services by providing contextual, relevant, and curated recommendations on mobile devices. The platform allows brands, publishers, and developers to engage consumers through mobile advertising. © YourStory InMobi founder Naveen Tewari © cbinsights 10. Quikr Total valuation: $1 B © First Report.in The last one on the list is Quikr which is another eCommerce marketplace that simply proves that eCommerce is the recipe for success and in a race to being a unicorn company too. In other words, Quikr is a classified advertising platform which was founded by Pranay Chulet and Jiby Thomas in 2008. The company is headquartered in Bangalore, India. © Property Portal Watch Quikr founder Pranay Chulet © cbinsights You can view the complete list here.
  21. ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked on Wednesday that the motive behind hiding an offshore company is to hide wealth. He made the observation while hearing a disqualification petition against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Secretary General Jehangir Tareen. A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab, is hearing a petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) against Tareen and PTI Chairman Imran Khan seeking their disqualification. The petition alleges that Tareen owns offshore companies in the name of his children, shared gifts worth over Rs1.6 billion among family members, and was involved in insider trading in the shares of United Sugar Mills Limited in 2005. Tareen gets 10 days to submit children's income tax returns, offshore company details Three-member bench adjourns PTI leader's disqualification case Justice Bandial further remarked that it is mandatory to declare assets and wealth [for politicians seeking public office] as per the law. Tareen?s lawyer, presenting his arguments, said that the petition has been filed as a tit for tat for a petition against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif filed by Tareen. ?The petition has been filed on a political basis,? he said. When asked in the previous hearings what grounds he seeks to disqualify the lawmaker, Abbasi?s counsel had replied to the bench that Tareen failed to declare his offshore companies, did not pay agro tax and committed insider trading. He added that the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) sent a notice to Tareen over insider trading as well Justice Bandial, addressing Abbasi's counsel, observed that the petitioner has not provided any material regarding Tareen's offshore company. The judge wondered why the counsel brought forward the matter of the offshore company if he did not have sufficient material on it. The counsel informed the bench that Tareen showed his agriculture revenue to be Rs540 million to the Federal Board of Revenue whereas the same was shown as Rs120 million to the Election Commission of Pakistan. He said the difference is of Rs420 million in 2010. Chief Justice Nisar responded that if he paid less income tax then it is a matter between Tareen and the income tax authorities. This is not our concern as we are looking at issues of being honest and truthful, the chief justice observed further. At an even earlier hearing, the bench had sought answers to five questions from Tareen?s counsel. The questions were when was Tareen's trust formed, when was the offshore company formed, who?s the legal and beneficial owner of the company, when and for how much was the offshore company formed, and how many times did he give funds as gifts to his children from 2002-17.
  22. TOKYO: Companies in Japan?s service industries are struggling to hire and retain staff as the labour market becomes the tightest in decades, and are increasingly taking unorthodox steps to alleviate the shortage. That can include looking to housewives and the retired to come into or rejoin the labour force. In some cases, it means offering better working conditions for some staff, even if this requires raising prices. In others, companies are reducing the services they offer, perhaps by cutting opening hours, or delaying expansion plans. Japan?s jobless rate stood at a 23-year low of 2.8 percent in August, reflecting a strengthening economy and shrinking working-age population in a rapidly ageing society. And on Monday, the Bank of Japan?s ?tankan? quarterly survey showed that the ratio of companies complaining of labour shortages, rather than excess staff, was at its highest level since 1992. The labour squeeze can reduce the speed of economic development, and even curb some economic activity altogether, hurting Japan?s chances of a period of sustainable growth. For example, at Sun Mall in Chiba, east of Tokyo, labor shortages have led some tenants to abandon plans to take up space at the site, and others to shut up shop when key workers could not be replaced, according to Seth Sulkin, president and CEO of the mall?s owner Pacifica Capital KK. He also said a new spa due to open there in a few months has been forced to push back the opening date due to staff shortages. ?The pool of people seeking part-time jobs is shrinking rapidly, particularly outside of central Tokyo,? Sulkin said. ?We?ve recommended that the tenants convert some of the positions to full-time and raise wages but they tell us they can't-do that and still make money,? he said. ?In Tokyo, it?s easier to hire people but it?s not as easy as it used to be,? he said. By contrast, ?in our Chiba mall, I think the location is the big issue, there?s just not enough people.? FROM HOUSEWIVES TO RETIREES With the economy at near full-employment, companies are being forced to try to find new sources of labour. Fast food chain McDonald?s Holdings Co Japan Ltd, following in the footsteps of convenience store operator FamilyMart UNY Holdings, says it will try to expand its core workforce beyond young people by targeting housewives for part-time positions. More than half of housewives with children would like to work but are not able to find a suitable job, a survey of more than 4,000 married mothers by the Jobs Research Centre found. They were particularly concerned about long working days that don?t fit with their responsibilities at home. Signs of companies moving to improve working conditions to retain and attract staff include Doutor Nichires Holdings Co Ltd, which has introduced severance pay for some temporary employees at its Doutor Coffee chain. That is an unusual move in a country where there is a large gap in pay and working conditions between temporary and permanent employees. Some restaurant operators, including Royal Holdings Co Ltd and McDonald?s Japan, have begun moving away from 24-hour operations, but that is far from the preferred option for companies in an industry that prides itself on offering convenience and service at all hours of the day. More than 80% of companies surveyed in a Reuters poll in June reported that they expected labour shortages would force them to restrict the number of services they can offer over the next several years. Some efforts to expand the labour force are finding corporate thinking has only changed so much. This March, human resources firm Fullcast Holdings Co Ltd set up a recruitment agency aimed at Japan?s over 60s and, while almost 2,000 retirees have registered, many companies are not able to accommodate them, says Fullcast Senior Works President Yasuhiro Sumi. ?If there were jobs that met their needs in terms of things like distance from home, job type and working hours there are lots of employable people,? he said. Many companies remain hesitant to spend their record cash piles on raising wages, in part because they are unable to pass on costs to their customers who are accustomed to nearly two decades of mostly falling prices. ?It seems that deepening labour shortages are not resulting in higher prices that reflect rises in wage and labour costs,? says Hideo Kumano, chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute.
  23. LAHORE: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has submitted records of companies owned by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, his wife, two sons and daughter-in-law in the National Accountability Bureau?s (NAB) Lahore office. The records, required as part of the bureau?s investigation into Dar?s assets in light of the Panama papers verdict, were submitted by SECP Joint Director Ali Adnan to NAB?s combined investigation team. The seven companies are: CNG Pakistan, Spencer Distribution Limited, Hajveri Holdings, Gulf Insurance, HDS Securities, Spencer Pharmacy, and Hajveri Modaraba Management. Records include Form 21, Form 29, certificates of incorporation and Memorandums of Association. Dar files review petition against Panama case verdict Finance minister has objected to working of the Panama case JIT, saying 'the JIT self-evidently exceeded its mandate' NAB had requested for the records of Dar?s companies in a letter to the chairman of SECP on August 15. In its July 28 verdict, the five-member Supreme Court bench disqualified the then prime minister and ordered NAB to prepare and file a reference in an accountability court within six weeks against members of the Sharif family and others, including Dar. A reference was ordered against Dar possessing assets and funds beyond his known sources of income, "as discussed in paragraph 9 of the judgment". NAB to file four references against Sharif family, Dar References would be filed by NAB Rawalpindi, will be pursued in an accountability court The accountability court was given six months to wrap up the proceedings. NAB has been tasked with filing references against the Sharif family, Dar and Captain (retd) Safdar by September 8.
  24. DETROIT: Autotech Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, said it had raised $120 million from automotive companies and financial investors for a fund that will invest in startups working on transportation services and digital vehicle technology. The fund will try to connect startup companies with its corporate investors, which include big automotive suppliers BorgWarner Inc and Autoliv Inc, and two unidentified automakers, Autotech founders Quin Garcia and Alexei Andreev told Reuters ahead of Wednesday's announcement of the fund. The fund already has investments in ride service company Lyft; Outdoorsy, which enables users to share recreational vehicles; and Work Truck Solutions, which designs software to help owners of commercial truck fleets track their vehicles. Older transportation companies are looking for ideas on how to make money from vehicles after the initial sale, such as through sharing services. They also are interested in startups that could help them use data acquired from vehicles to sell insurance or locate and pay for parking, Garcia and Andreev said. The new Autotech Ventures fund comes as vehicle manufacturers and suppliers are scouring the technology sector for talent and ideas but are wary of overpaying. General Motors Co's estimated $1 billion acquisition of self-driving vehicle company Cruise Automation and Uber Technologies Inc's [UBER.UL] purchase of self-driving truck startup Otto have accelerated this trend. In the self-driving vehicle arena, the Autotech Ventures fund will focus on companies developing specific technology, ?rather than a jack of all trades,? Garcia said. Autotech Ventures has invested in Deepscale, a startup developing technology that processes the information a car gets from sensors about the surrounding environment but is not trying to build an entire operating system for an autonomous vehicle.
  25. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the statement after meeting accountants late Saturday. Photo: Reuters/File India has canceled the registration of more than 100,000 companies which were "in violation of laws", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, in the latest effort by the government against "black money" and tax evasion. The decision was taken based on an extensive data analysis conducted by the government after Modi in November announced a sudden ban on high-value currency banknotes. More than 300,000 firms had come under scanner for irregular transactions following the banknote ban, while licenses of more than 100,000 firms had been canceled, Modi said, without naming any company. "This is not an ordinary decision," Modi said late on Saturday while addressing a gathering of accountants, hours after launching the country's landmark sales tax reform. "Further stern measures will be taken in the coming days against companies which are violating the law." While the decision to outlaw 500 and 1,000-rupee bank notes last year was part of a broader crackdown on corruption, the sudden withdrawal of 86 per cent of currency in circulation left businesses, farmers and households suffering. Modi defended his decision, calling it a "fight" for the poor. The government's "data mining" exercise initiated after the November decision was still ongoing, Modi said. The government will also take action against more than 37,000 identified "shell companies" which were found to be engaged in illegal transactions. "The ones who have looted the poor, will have to return to the poor," Modi said.