Ratan Tata Wins Deming Cup
Columbia Business School’s W. Edwards Deming Center for Quality, Productivity, and Competitiveness has named Ratan N. Tata, chairman of India’s Tata Sons Ltd., one of two honorees of this year’s third annual Deming Cup. Tata and co-winner Terry J. Lundgren, chairman and CEO of Macy’s, received their awards at Columbia University Oct. 23. The honor recognizes “achievements of practitioners who adhere to and promote excellence in operations — the Deming Center’s area of focus.” Introduced by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Tata was lauded for his “instrumental role in transforming a family business from an Indian conglomerate into a global organization.”
SBA Fetes Calif. Executive
Dhananjay Rawal, founder of Tustin, Calif.-based Enviro Compliance Solutions, has been named Minority Enterprise Development small business person of the year in the Small Business Administration’s district in Santa Ana, Calif. Enviro has grown from a one-person firm to nine employees engaged nationwide in engineering, environmental consulting and construction. Rawal said getting certified as an 8(a) company was the key to growth. “I got the certification and my first contract was $160,000,” he said. “Now we are doing $5 million to $6 million in projects a year."
Aussie Researchers Win Grants
Four researchers from Geelong, Australia-based Deakin University have won fellowships from the Australian Academy of Science. They will spend 3-12 months working at Indian research institutes. Among 16 researchers receiving the early career fellowships are Nishar Hameed and Rangam Rajkhowa of Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials and Santosh Jatrana of the Alfred Deakin Research Institute. Their research will explore the use of natural plastics to replace those made from petroleum, develop ways to use silk to repair perforated eardrums and bone defects and look at the impact of a health workforce imbalance in India.
Financial Services Fall Short
India’s move to provide financial services to the poor hasn’t reached those in need, according to a joint report by Microsave India and Washington, D.C.-based New America Foundation’s Global Assets Project. GAP director Jamie Zimmerman said, “While India’s impressive economic growth over the past two decades has been encouraging, the nation still has a long way to go in terms of poverty reduction, with 65 percent of adults excluded from the formal financial sector. Research shows low-income Indians can and do want to save, but government efforts aiming to make it easier for them to do so in a formal way have not yet made it compelling." The report is based on 146 savings products and interviews with about 30 Indian financial institutions.
Bangalore Hosts Fairfax County
The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority in Virginia has chosen Brickwork India to run its marketing office in Bangalore. Brickwork will work with Indian firms looking at expanding to the U.S. Co-founded by Vivek Kulkarni and Sangeeta Kulkarni in 2004, Brickwork offers consulting and IT services. Rajesh Pai and Kishore KVM will represent Brickwork to promote FCEDA initiatives in India. About 25 Indian firms have offices in Fairfax County. FCEDA’s outreach efforts include marketing sites in London, Los Angeles, Munich, Seoul and Tel Aviv.
Dhingana Raises $7 Million
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based online Indian music streaming site Dhingana has raised $7 million in series “B” funds led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation by series “A” investors Inventus Capital Partners and Helion Venture Partners. Lightspeed principal Dev Khare has joined Dhingana’s board. The company, which has an office in Pune, was co-founded by twin brothers Snehal and Swapnil Shinde (I-W, Jan. 6, 2012) Dhingana, which claims over 15 million visitors per month from more than 220 countries, plans to use the funding to expand its team and marketing, sales and business development efforts. The company offers HTML5, iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Symbian applications.
Azuki Systems Books $4M
Acton, Mass.-based Azuki Systems, the provider of a multi-screen video delivery platform, has raised $4 million from Kepha Partners and Sigma Partners. Raj Nair is co-founder and CTO. Nair formerly worked at Cisco Systems after Cisco’s acquisition of ArrowPoint Communications, where he was founding engineer. Nair was a principal engineer at Fujitsu Communications and worked at Netrix Corp. He has a degree in mechanical engineering from IIT-Madras and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Maryland.
Aryaka Expands Portfolio
Aryaka, a Milpitas, Calif.-based provider of WAN optimization as-a-service technology, said its new application delivery-as-a-service model adds to the company’s portfolio of applications inside and outside the enterprise firewall. “Today’s IT managers are looking for a simpler way to make all their applications run at speeds just like their Local Area Networks in a reliable and secure environment with full visibility and control over their traffic," said Aryaka CEO and founder Ajit Gupta. “Aryaka’s application delivery as-a-service enables enterprises to leverage the cloud and extend the reach of business applications to users outside the bounds of the traditional corporate network.”
Braintree Payments Funded
Chicago-based Braintree Payments, the supplier of a mobile and online payments platform, has closed a $35 million round from Accel Partners, Greycroft, New Enterprise Associates and RRE. Amit Jhawar, a former associate at Bain Capital, is the company’s COO. Aunkur Arya is GM, mobile. Braintree has raised a total of about $70 million. The company powers and automates online payments for merchants and companies online. Clients include Angry Birds, Uber, 37signals, OpenTable, Fab, GitHub, Airbnb, Heroku, Engine Yard, Animoto, Shopify and HotelTonight.