Thursday, May 31, 2007

AUGTICS is hiring

Not a regular post item, but wanted to let you that that AUGTICS is hiring.

We are looking for people at entry levels (1-2 years experience) and high analytical skills. People from GIS industry who want to apply their knowledge for developing unique solutions for Indian Real Estate Industry will find the job most exciting and fulfilling. AUGTICS will offer the best possible GIS application job in India, a wonderful and challenging working environment and a fast track career growth. The selected candidates will be eligible for employee stock options. We do not want "yes sirs" and "blind followers". For that matter, we do not have a “sir culture” at AUGTICS. We are looking for people who have "can do" attitude and are willing to change and challenge the existing order! Yes, attitude is the top most characteristic that we will look for. If you know any candidates who will fit in the bill, please do pass on their resumes at jobs@augtics.com or get in touch with me directly (in strict confidence).

We have various openings at senior level as well. Please get in touch with me directly, if you are interested.

Stay tuned to for my regular post!

Manoj Misra

Monday, May 28, 2007

Are we map-literate?

I am getting less and less time to write the blog. Hope that I am able to reverse this trend soon as we get into the next phase of AUGTICS life!! But, I do manage to keep a close track of the development within the Indian geospatial market.

I have been overjoyed looking at the recent developments in the Indian Geospatial industry. In sharp contract to the business model followed by the existing market leaders (Rolta, Infotech, RMSI), there are several companies that are springing up with a product based strategy. In the past I have mentioned about SatNav, RouteGru etc. Couple of days back I met with another company Geotrackers (http://www.geotrackers.com/) started by young IIM graduates, that plans to come up with LBS products and services. There is another company Bannari Infotech - Geo Edge that claims to be a pioneer in location based services in India (are they?)!. Company write up says – "we pride ourselves with having created many world-class pioneering products in the location services industry, often offering solutions not available elsewhere in India and at times even in Asia”.

Also, news of MapMyIndia raising capital from Kleiner Perkins & Sherpalo Ventures (undisclosed amount) escaped industry attention. The money will be used for creating highest quality GIS information. Source: http://www.contentsutra.com/categories/name/Venture%20Capital/

In previous post I mentioned that Navteq and Teleatlas are planning to be active in Indian market very soon. Keep your focus on Reliance (ADA), who may spring a surprise in near future by coming up with web-gis/LBS products. Have tasted great initial success with Zapak, if they do plan to launch an LBS product, you will see a lot of publicity.

Clearly, a new trend has set-in and we can expect to see action and war in LBS space in India in the very near future!

But one of the fundamental points that I keep on asking myself – Is Indian population, in general map-literate? Do we really like “reading maps”? Are we good at “reading maps”? Are we “taught map reading at high-school level”? Do we really depend on maps in our day to day lives? The answer, most likely, will be no! We don’t sell maps at petrol pump stations (like in US). We do not find a hood map of a city when we go to a place like (Ranikhet). And we do not see “city map board” in our cities. This fundamental issue may have an implication in adoption of LBS technology in the market. Those who are able to come up with smart non-map based applications, will take lead and those who relay largely on map display based applications, may not get the desired results.

Manoj Misra



PS: "Ranikhet" is a beautiful hill station in Uttarakhand. I spent first 17 years of my life at Ranikhet. You can get a great view snow-clad Himayala range there and Ranikhet gets snow every winter. Forget air-conditioner, you don't even need a fan in summers!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

M&A activities in Indian GIS industry

M&A activities in Indian GIS Industry seems to be on the rise..

1. A press release from Infotech, today, indicates that they have acquired majority stake in a Hyderabad based GIS start-up Geospace Integra. I had mentioned about Geospace Integra in one of my earlier post and was impressed to see the company growth since its inception about a year back. What's surprising is that the company put itself on the block within the first year of inception! What's even more surprising is that Infotech, one of the reasonably successful Indian GIS companies, in India felt the need to acquire another Indian company to grow it's India market !!! Read press release at..

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Infotech Enterprises makes strategic investment to address geospatial market opportunities in India and Middle East

Infotech Enterprises Ltd on May 15, 2007 has announced its strategic move to address Geospatial business opportunities in India and the Middle East by taking majority stake in Hyderabad-based Geospatial Integrated Solution Pvt Ltd (Geospace Integra).The geospatial market in India and Middle East is estimated at Rs 1000 crore and is expected to see a 12% growth rate over the next five years. The India government's Open Map Policy and Survey of India's large-scale mapping initiatives are unlocking geospatial opportunities in several areas. These include land records; urban planning; environment, forestry and natural resources; utility infrastructure planning and management; and defence. Similarly, the rapid pace of infrastructure development in the Middle East has led to a growing demand for geospatial services in that region.The Company is a world leader in geospatial services, particularly for the telecom, utilities and government markets in North America, Europe and Australia. It also enjoys a significant presence in the telecom and utility segments in India. By investing in Geospace Integra and leveraging the combined entity's strengths, the Company moves into an even stronger position to address the high-growth geospatial markets in India and the Middle East.Under the terms of the agreement, the Company and Geospace Integra will consolidate their geospatial business in India and Middle East into a single entity led by Chandrasekhar Nori. Chandrasekhar Nori has over 25 years of experience in Remote Sensing and mapping industry in India. He is credited with engineering and development of photowriting and imaging technology for Indian defence industry. The new entity will operate as a subsidiary of the Company.BVR Mohan Reddy, the Company's Chairman and Managing Director commented: "As we continue to reinforce our leadership position in the global geospatial markets, India and the Middle East become increasingly strategic to our growth objectives. By leveraging the knowledge and experience of Geospace Integra, supported by Chandrasekhar Nori's leadership, we have a compelling value proposition for customers in these markets. We expect to achieve Rs 100 Crore revenue in the next 3 years from our India and Middle East business."
Source: Equity Bulls
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2. November 2006, I met with one of the founders of Manchitra Service who mentioned to me that they are existing out of business and and company will have new owners. There was no formal news about this transaction but a visit at the Manchitra website will indicate some changes in the management team.

3. A leading global street mapping company has closed (or is very close to finalizing) the deal to acquire a Pune based GIS data company to further it's Indian street data plans (I hope that there is a formal company release soon)

Although the size of these deals is not known and is not likely to be too big, it's a good pointer to the fact that GIS industry in Investing - in India based GIS business! As I said earlier, a bright future ahead!!

Manoj Misra

Monday, May 7, 2007

Why did I change my focus to Real Estate?

This post is for friends and past, present & potential business associates!

Many of you questioned my logic of leaving the GIS industry and focusing my energies in the Real Estate industry instead. I did not elaborate much on what will be the exact nature of business AUGTICS will be doing and what is our business model and hence your questions was reasonable and expected. I have received several requests for knowing exact dates of launch of our corporate website and well as the portal. The wait will still continue as we continue to refine both, but we are doing what is most important at this stage - engaging with a lot of potential customers. However, now I will make an attempt to explain our new initiative – in bits and pieces!!

Recently, I made one good friend. He used to be actively dealing in the financial market in past and is currently focusing his energies on several diverse areas. There was a specific discussion on a company’s stock performance and he gave a fantastic analysis. He ended the discussion by saying – “you can take a man out of market but you can not take a market out of man”! How true it’s for someone who has lived with GIS technology for years!! You can take a man out of GIS but can not take GIS out of man!!!

Well now on to the reason to shift focus to Real Estate Industry. The most hackneyed cliché in the real estate business is that the three most important factors in the value of land are Location, Location, and Location. That’s the reason I am focusing on Real Estate!!

Manoj Misra

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