Saturday, April 21, 2018

Honeywell Expands its Fulgaon Manufacturing Facility in Pune by Doubling Operational Space

Honeywell has  announced the expansion of its Fulgaon manufacturing facility in Pune to meet the growing demand for automation solutions and factory instrumentation more effectively. In line with the growth of the Indian manufacturing sector, Honeywell continues to invest in its local production capabilities by doubling the operational space of the plant to 151,000 square feet. The state-of-the-art facility enables Honeywell to provide enhanced expertise and training capabilities to customers and expand its production range.

Originally built in 2014, the facility integrates advanced engineering, testing and manufacturing of equipment for the process industries such as refining, oil and gas, pulp and paper, power generation, chemicals, life sciences, and metals, minerals and mining. In addition, it offers a customer integration center, thermal solutions and smart metering factories, and a Honeywell Intelligrated® demonstration center. The center provides an immersive experience by letting customers interact with technologies that make manufacturing safer, more secure, comfortable and energy efficient.

“The expansion of our plant allows us to now commercialize new technologies that are researched and developed in Honeywell technology development centers here in India and globally and with that to widen our product range and meet future customer demand,” said Ashish M Gaikwad, managing director, Honeywell Automation India Limited. “In alignment with the government’s ‘Make in India’ mission, we continue to leverage the existing local manufacturing expertise and support our domestic as well as international customers.”

  Honeywell products and solutions manufactured in Fulgaon offer precision, repeatability, and durability for industrial applications across the markets. Honeywell’s flagship product, Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS)—a solution that integrates control and safety systems along with other crucial manufacturing processes, will be assembled at the facility. Some of the other products to be manufactured in this facility include hybrid programmable logic controllers (PLC), load computers, smart transmitters, industrial burners, gas trains, smart meters, sensors, shifters, and switches.

“The Fulgaon facility continues to build Honeywell’s local footprint and expertise to improve our customer service for the automation business in India,” said Vimal Kapur, president, Honeywell Process Solutions. “With production and integration facilities closer to the domestic customers, we can seamlessly integrate customer needs and specifications into our products and solutions—helping us to serve them more quickly and efficiently.”

Aside from the Fulgaon plant, Honeywell has a significant presence in Maharashtra with its automation and turbocharger manufacturing facilities based in Pune.

Cisco Launches START Products Program Designed for SMBs in Gujarat

Cisco has deepened its commitment to Gujarat with the launch of Cisco START- a product portfolio specifically designed to help SMBs in Gujarat build their digital foundation and become globally competitive.  This initiative is aligned with Cisco’s commitment to accelerate Gujarat’s digital transformation and showcase how digitization can fuel economic growth, world-class innovation, sustainable competitiveness, and prosperity.

A digitized state aims to drive GDP growth, create jobs and foster innovation, enhance research and education, stimulate entrepreneurship, accelerate business innovation, develop economic cluster initiatives, and support infrastructure. Towards that, Cisco is the leading technology partner helping states across India become digital hubs of innovation by building sophisticated and forward-thinking IT network ecosystems that allow for greater connectivity, productivity, and security. 

With Gujarat looking to drive growth through digitization, SMBs have become an essential component of the journey as the state houses one of the largest concentration of SMEs in the country. Increasing high-speed broadband coverage, rising adoption of mobile devices, improving connectivity quality and networks are accelerating the growth of Gujarat’s SMB sector. However, SMBs face challenges such as access to right technology, lack of skill sets as well as high entry cost that limit their ability to scale and seize opportunities provided by digitization. An IDC’s survey of SMBs across India shows that the top three business priorities for SMBs are to reduce costs, gain operational efficiency, and improve productivity.

Cisco START aims to make it easy for SMBs and midmarket customers to embrace digitization by providing them with access to a suite of simple, secure and smart enterprise-class technologies, specifically tailored to their needs. More specifically, Cisco START delivers:

The right-sized, right-priced solutions wherever they are on their digital journey Enhanced operations, services, and processes to reduce overheads and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)Improved workforce productivity and innovation to meet the increased demands of today and the evolving opportunities of tomorrow

 Sudhir Nayar, Managing Director, Commercial Sales, Cisco India & SAARC said, “We are excited to be a part of Gujarat’s digital journey and help further the government’s vision to create sustainable competitiveness and prosperity. SMBs are a key pillar of the economy and are a huge source of employment and innovation. SMBs have a much wider geographic footprint than large enterprises and are best placed to democratise the benefits of digitization. We launched Cisco START as a commitment to help SMBs adopt a digital-first mindset that can help them digitize, secure their business and stay ahead of the technology curve.”

SMB is the fastest growing segment for Cisco in India. In the last one year, Cisco has on-boarded over 5,000 new SMB customers, out of which over 300 customers are from Gujarat.

SAP Celebrates India Inc’s Digital Champions at the 11th ACE Awards in Mumbai

Celebrating India’s most successful digital innovators,  SAP SE has announced the winners of the 11th edition of SAP ACE Awards. The coveted ceremony felicitated 21 Indian enterprises who have achieved business excellence and showcased consistent innovation by using technology as the key competitive differentiator.

SAP ACE Awards 2018 received over 300 project nominations competing across 16 major award categories, with a distinct focus on large and midsize companies. Over the last decade, SAP ACE Awards have become an industry benchmark to recognize not only the best-run businesses but also outstanding individuals who are a creating a true digital impact in the Indian business community.

“It is time to navigate from digital schemes to creating digital businesses,” said Deb Deep Sengupta, President and Managing Director, SAP Indian Subcontinent. “In their transformation journey, 
companies must become agile, obtain the necessary skills while simultaneously innovate at a rapid speed. The 11th edition of SAP ACE Awards acknowledges and honors digital leaders who have the mindset to deliver game-changing innovation in their respective fields.”

As part of the methodical process, all the front running nominees were assessed by an eminent jury nominated by management board of SAP India User Group (INDUS).

SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh gets BML Munjal Award 2018 For ‘Business Excellence through Learning & Development’

India’s favourite airline, SpiceJet, was honoured with the ‘BML Munjal Awards 2018’ for ‘Business Excellence through Learning and Development’ at a grand awards banquet held at Taj Palace, New Delhi on April 19, 2018. Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, received the prestigious award from Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the former President of India.

The awards are named after the late Hero Group Chairman and Padma Bhushan Awardee Dr. Brijmohan Lall Munjal. The annual BML Munjal Awards recognize organizations that have successfully deployed programs and implemented innovative strategies, processes and systems for learning and development, using people development as a tool to achieve Business Excellence.

SpiceJet was awarded for exceptional innovation undertaken towards achieving enhanced customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. Focused initiatives like emphasis on consistency in service delivery and customer retention, resulted in enhanced brand loyalty, while the airline’s pursuit for operational efficiency helped it achieve a breakthrough of reducing fuel burn on every flight by 2%.

“I am honoured to receive this award. This is a recognition of SpiceJet’s spectacular comeback and remarkable performance. We have achieved what very few airlines in the world have managed and I share this award with each and every SpiceJetter who has been a part of this magnificent journey,” said Ajay Singh, CMD, SpiceJet.

 SpiceJet, under the leadership of Ajay Singh, has scripted one of the most remarkable turnaround stories of recent times. From staring at an imminent closure to achieving 12 quarters of profit and a load factor of over 90% every month for 35 months in a row (a global aviation record), SpiceJet’s turnaround story has been one which probably has no parallel in the aviation world today. The SpiceJet stock has emerged as world’s best-performing aviation stock.

A distinguished ten-member Jury Panel, which comprised eminent names like Arun Kumar, Chairman & CEO, KPMG India, B. Ashok, CMD, Indian Oil Corporation, R.C. Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki, Ashish Kumar Chauhan,  MD & CEO, BSE Limited,  D K Sarraf, CMD, ONGC LTD. and T.V. Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education selected the winners.

The first quarter of 2018 saw the airline acknowledged with lead industry titles and recognitions such as the ‘CAPA Chairman’s Order of Merit for Excellence in Indian Aviation Award’ and ‘EY Entrepreneur of the year 2017 for Business Transformation’ presented to Ajay Singh besides SpiceJet being conferred with India’s ‘Best Domestic Airline’ Award at Wings India 2018.

Bangalore Brands Dell, Fastrack, Tanishq, Arrow Lead in Most Trust Brands 2018 Across India


The 8th in its series, The Brand Trust Report 2018, India’s most comprehensive study on Brand Trust, has been released by TRA Research. Bangalore-based brands have made a strong showing with city brands leading 5 of the 38 Super Categories in the report. These leaders repeated from last year are Dell (Personal Technology), Fastrack (Branded Fashion), Tanishq (Jewellery). New Category trust leaders are Arrow (Apparel) and AO Smith (Water Heaters). Significant is that the Bangalore list of Most Trusted Brands turns the All-India list topsy-turvy with its unique culture that mixes the large migrant population with low participation of working women, molding the city’s mind. LG (All-India 3rd) leads Bangalore’s Most Trusted list followed by in second position by Hewlett Packard (All-India 9th) and the city’s affinity for spending time in traffic brings BMW (All-India 15th) to third trusted rank in the city. LIC (All-India 24th) is at fourth position and GE (All-India 88th) makes it to fifth Most Trusted from the city. Not surprisingly, city preferences push some brands up on the national list as well. Some of these are – IBM at 6th (All-India – 45th), E-Bay at 10th (All-India 84th), Intel at 17th (All-India 71st), HCL at 18th (All-India – 64th).
The All-India Most Trust list is as follows: Samsung leads the second year in a row to become India’s Most Trusted Brand. Sony and LG follow to retain pole positions as India’s second and third Most Trusted Brands in an encore of 2017. The fourth Most Trusted Brand is India’s leading multinational conglomerate, Tata, and is followed by the Cupertino based technology company, Apple, slipping a rank from last year. Also maintaining its position among the top 10 Most Trusted and rising two ranks to attain the 6th position in 2018 is Dell. Honda is at rank 7. This is followed by Nike which has shown a substantial steadily climbed over the years (rank 49 in 2015, rank 48 in 2016 and rank 37 in 2017) to rank 8 in 2018. Hewlett Packard has a two rank jump over last year to rank 9, while Maruti Suzuki fell by three ranks from 2017 to rank 10 in India’s Most Trusted Brand list.  BTR 2018, the eighth in the series, is launched annually by TRA Research, a brand intelligence and data insights Company. TRA Research is a part of the Comniscient Group.

N. Chandramouli, CEO, TRA Research, said on the occasion of the report’s launch, “In a changing India, Bangalore shows the most significant change – and represents true internationalization with a blend of localization, because of exposure to brands which might be unknown elsewhere in India, making it to India’s 20 Most Trusted Brands.  Fox Entertainment, KMF (Karnataka Milk Federation), CVS Pharmacy inclusions in the national list are largely due to Bangalore’s audiences trusting these brands”.

Among India’s 1000 Most Trusted brands in BTR 18, 38 Super-Categories and 335 Categories were listed. The categories with the maximum brands were F&B and FMCG contributing to 25.6% of the total brands in the listings. When compared to last year, 320 new brands made it to the list, 368 brands fell in rank, 307 brands rose in rank, and 5 brands retained their ranks. Some of the important category leaders in Brand Trust are State Bank of India (All-India rank 21) from BFSI, Arrow (All-India rank 43) from Formalwear, Pepsi (All-India rank 44) from F&B, Amazon (All-India rank 53) from Online Retailer - Diversified, American Express (All-India rank 167) from Credit/Debit card, Muthoot Finance (All-India rank 171) from Financial Services, Tanishq (All-India rank 258) from Jewellery, Aviva Life Insurance (All-India rank 459) from Insurance-Private, and Kangaroo Kids (All-India rank 640) leading in Pre-School. Brands that witnessed a falling trend were Bajaj (fallen from rank 6 in 2015 to rank 16 in 2018) and Godrej (fallen from rank 9 in 2015 to rank 17 in 2018).

The Brand Trust Report 2018, the eighth in its series, is the result of a comprehensive primary research conducted on the proprietary 61-Attribute Trust Matrix of TRA. This year’s study involved 15,000 hours of fieldwork, covering 2,488 consumer-influencers across 16 cities in India; it generated 5 million datapoints and 9,000 unique brands, from which the top 1000 brands have been listed in this year’s report. The 200-page, hardbound report is available for Rs. 14,000.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Merck Foundation and Manipal Academy of Higher Education Signs MoU to Train Embryologists from Africa and Asia


Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA, Germany, and Manipal Academy of Higher Education, MAHE sign MoU to partner in providing embryology training program for Africa and Asia.

During the event Dr. Rasha Kelej stated that, “We are pleased to partner with the Manipal Academy of Higher Education in India to provide hands-on practical training to develop embryologists’ platform in Africa and Asia to increase the number of standalone embryologists, and to improve the access to cost-effective fertility care in the developing countries, since the lack of trained and skilled health personnel is the main challenge in Africa and Asia.”

Merck Foundation in partnership with MAHE launched Merck Embryology Training Program, a certificate course in Assistive Reproduction and Embryology through its ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign.

During the eventProf. Poornima Baliga, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of MAHE said, “Merck Foundation is working for a noble cause, and we are excited about this partnership and hope for a long-term partnership with the foundation.”

Prof.Pragna Rao, Dean, Kasturba Medical College, Manipalappreciated the efforts of Merck Foundation, “We are glad to be a part of this wonderful initiative of Merck Foundation. We appreciate the Merck Foundation’s effortsto break the infertility stigma and to build fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.”

The program aims to bridge the deficit of highly skilled Embryologists in Africa and part of Asia to match the ever-rising demand for fertility care in these countries. “The training program will shoulder the responsibility of fine-tuning and honing the delicate skills of the embryologists in IVF Centres, and emphasize the importance of ethics while handling human sperm, eggs and embryos”, said Prof Satish Adiga who is heading the training program.

Merck Foundation is planning to progressively scale-up to more African and Asian countries in addition to other developing countries. Through the clear benefits demonstrated of improving healthcare capacities, cultural shift to destigmatize infertility, the Merck More Than a Mother has sustained active participation in the different countries since 2015.

About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign; In many Cultures, childless women suffer discrimination, stigma, and ostracism. Their inability to have children results in great isolation, disinheritance, and assaults. “Merck More Than a Mother” empowers such women through the access to information, health, change of mindsets and economic empowerment.

Merck Foundation provided for more than 50 candidates, three months to six months clinical and practical training for fertility specialists and embryologists in more than 17 countries across Africa and Asia.

Merck Foundation is making history in many African countries where they never had fertility specialists or specialized fertility clinics before ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ intervention, to train the first fertility specialists such as; in Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia, Niger, Chad, and Guinea. 

Merck Foundation plan supported the establishment of the first public IVF centers in Ethiopia and Uganda through providing the clinical and practical training necessary for their staff. Merck Foundation also plans to support the establishment of the first public IVF in Tanzania soon.

Mobile Device Cloud Redefining Mobile Testing for Enterprises: pCloudy – Hexaware Report


pCloudy.com, the key product of SSTS Inc. and one of the largest cloud platforms to test mobile apps on real devices, and Hexaware Technologies, the fastest growing automation-led providers of IT, BPO and consulting services company, jointly unveiled a whitepaper on the challenges faced by modern enterprises in mobile app testing space and mobile device cloud as a solution to address the challenges. The report finds out how mobile device cloud can help enterprises overcome the challenges such as increase in device fragmentation, demand for faster delivery to market, vast diversity in mobile platforms and operating system, huge number of mobile network operators etc.

With the mobile apps ecosystem growing exponentially with time, enterprises are struggling to form a comprehensive mobile app test strategy that can reduce the cost and enhance the quality of the app with an accelerated time to market. In this context, the pCloudy-Hexaware report identified many other challenges faced by enterprises in mobile app testing, some of which include requirement of real life field testing, data security, need of real devices at each stage of mobile app development lifecycle, optimization of test infrastructure for geographically dispersed teams and continuous testing for faster release. 

The report studies several pre-requisites for the right solutions that can be used across various sectors for continuous integration and delivery by constantly integrating changesto an app at all stages of the delivery chain. Any such solutions should include testing on real devices, a cloud mobile lab infrastructure for collaboration among teams and investment on test automation. However, for integrating changes at each stage of app testing, cost effectiveness, need for continuous and faster delivery and a comprehensive test coverage, mobile device cloud is the only solution which can serve as a single point solution for mobile teams. 

While releasing the report, Avinash Tiwari, Co-founder and Director, pCloudy, said “Our report highlights the huge potential of mobile device cloud in streamlining the test processes to keep pace with the market and technology trends and stay competitive by getting high quality mobile apps into user hands at a faster note. We have also focused on how large organizations can pick and choose the suitable cloud model to carry out their app testing tasks across global office locations leveraging the suitable MDC option.”

He further added, “Mobile device cloud has transformed the app testing and can help large enterprises to reduce cycle times, improve the quality of apps and get the mobile app testing framework in order. With different models suitably created to meet organizational needs, it encourages collaboration and improves DevOps efficiencies for continuous integration and makes it easy to test on a wide variety of devices.”

Commenting on the occasion, Satyendu Mohanty, Global Head, Digital Assurance, Hexaware Technologies Ltd. said, “The high adoption rate of multiple channels for accessing a variety of apps by the customers through their smart devices is adding new revenue streams for organizations. Due to the sheer variety of mobile devices, platforms, the high rate of obsolescence and dynamic features getting introduced rapidly, setting up a dedicated mobile device infrastructure by procuring all the combinations of available devices and platforms for testing is not a commercially viable proposition for many service providers!! pCloudy helps to overcome these challenges by bringing in multiple MDC options. With pCloudy as our partner, larger organizations can pick and choose the suitable cloud across global locations leveraging the suitable MDC option. Organizations which do not need a dedicated annual setup, can opt for pay-per-use models thus significantly optimizing the cost.”