Thursday, July 18, 2019

KPMG – Videocon Partners with 247around to Enable Pan India After Sales Servicing


With an intention to help Videocon in regaining its consumer electronics market share in India, KPMG the brand’s resolution professional, has taken a bold step by handing over its all India after sales service to 247around, a digital post-purchase home appliance servicing platform.  It will provide services such as installations, repair, returns-validation, maintenance contracts, and warranty thereby ensuring the seamless customer experience. It will enable Videocon’s customers to perform self-diagnostics, decipher issues, and estimate prices much before the engineer arrives at home.

Videocon Industries is now back into the process of manufacturing, sale, and distribution of consumer goods. They recently launched India’s latest AI-enabled television, which is the flagship product of the season. Powered by Sensy Technology, the television provides a superior viewing experience and takes care of a family’s diverse tech needs. However, to help the users adapt to and accept this new generation of smart TVs comfortably, they need assistance that is easily accessible. This is where 247around steps in.

Speaking on this collaboration, Nitin Malhotra, CEO and Co-Founder of 247around said, “Consumers prefer buying latest appliances which enhance their lifestyle but what matters the buying decision most is the after sale feedback of the brand, our unique the proposition is that we use technology to our advantage in order to provide seamless repair experience to customers. We use remote diagnostics and more to know in advance what exactly has gone wrong in the product, such that engineer armed with relevant parts can arrive at your doorstep thus minimizing the downtime. Through our association with Videocon, we will enable the brand to manage its customer loyalty efficiently.”

247around is a technology-abled platform that acts as a backbone to its brand partners while empowering them with analytical assistance and helping on-ground engineers take better repair decisions thus delivering best-in-class repair services. The offerings at 247around include services such as installations, demonstrations, returns validation, maintenance contracts, and warranty services, among others. The user can book any of the aforementioned services through the company’s official Android app, website or call center. Once booked, a team of qualified engineers arrives at the given address. Besides Videocon, the platform currently works with 100+ brands and has set expansion plans to reach consumers directly through B2C. It ultimately envisages becoming the fastest service provider delivering superior quality service and best-in-class consumer experience.

3i Infotech’s ORION 11j to Consolidate the Business Operations of Gayatrishakti Paper & Boards Ltd


3i Infotech Limited, a global Information Technology company, committed to accelerating business transformation, helped enhance Gayatrishakti Paper & Boards Limited (GSPBL)’s growing business. The company upgraded to ORION 11j, a GST and TDS-compliant ERP solution from 3i Infotech to solve the challenges pertaining to its operations and reporting.

GSPBL was using the earlier version of ORION that met their business needs for long.  But the growing business needs and dynamic in market expectation requires better scalable, dynamic, business controls and analytics. The upgradation to 3i Infotech’s ORION 11j helped them in improving their business efficiency. It further ensured inventory accuracy and reduction of wastage.

ORION 11j, an enterprise manufacturing suite consisting of finance, purchase, inventory and sales modules, facilitated auto scheduling of reports / invoices and email facility to concerned persons without any manual intervention. Complex reports were generated using ORION 11j and hence additional reporting from other external sources was not required. With the fully web-based system, GSPBL was able to access their system from anywhere with minimum bandwidth requirement.

Speaking on the implementation, Mr. Mahesh Jalan, Executive Director from GSPBL said, “ORION 11j ERP solution was the answer to our fast-expanding business as it helped consolidate our business operations and offer complete visibility by providing real time data flow across the locations. We were looking for a GST-compliant solution and ORION 11j was the right fit as it facilitated prompt GST and TDS reporting and met our requirements.”

Mr. Suryanarayan Kasichainula, EVP & Business Head (ERP), 3i Infotech said, “Through the effective implementation of ORION 11j, GSPBL was able to achieve a remarkable advancement in their overall operations. The solution provided a proactive system with alerts and dashboards, which offered a complete business view for informed decision-making. ORION 11j, being a single integrated solution that connects all business units, enabled the company to gain a 360-degree visibility into its operations.”

Social Media Influences Opinions & Attitudes of Majority School Students: Fortis Study


A study by the Behavioural and Mental Health department of Fortis Healthcare found that Social Media plays a pivotal role in forming opinions and attitudes among majority of the school students today. It also confirmed that as many as 78% students spend a lot of time on social media. A majority of 92% agreed that it’s a conducive platform to spread positive narration about mental health. The survey was done under the supervision of Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Mental Health & Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare.

The study noted that the content which the students see via various social media platforms do contribute towards influencing their opinions and attitudes. The students admitted that the content which they see via various social media platforms do contribute towards influencing their opinions and attitudes. The role and influence of social media in shaping the belief systems and attitudes of the young generations is very evident, affirmed Dr Parikh.

Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare said, “The ability of social media to influence the belief systems and attitudes of the youth cannot be contested. But it is heartening that majority of the students recognize social media as an effective means to create awareness about relevant issues. We need to capitalize on the role that social media platforms play in the creating alternative and positive narratives around social issues. Finding ways of building the engagement of young people with platforms that are driven to create awareness, encourage help-seeking and act as a support system is a must in this regard. There is a need for us to evaluate the way we are approaching mental health in the context of the young population and find better mechanisms of connecting and engaging with them on mental health. There is untapped potential that needs to be fully utilized to build mental health related awareness.”

The survey was conducted among 4000 school students studying psychology in Class XI and XII, from over 200 schools across 10 cities; viz. Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Mohali, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Bangalore, Lucknow, Varanasi, Dehradun and Chennai. The idea behind this survey was to understand the relevance of social media in present times, the impact it has and how it has the power to shape narratives which influence their opinions and attitudes. The survey highlighted the need for media literacy among parents. Knowledge of social media would enable parents to understand their child’s perspective better and provide insights into how time spent on social media could be more productive and constructive.

Decade of “Social Entrepreneurship India Award” for Jubilant Bhartia Foundation and Schwab Foundation


Jubilant Bhartia Foundation and Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a sister organisation of the World Economic Forum, celebrate 10 years of a vibrant partnership in bringing the most coveted social entrepreneurship award in India. In 2010, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and Jubilant Bhartia Foundation came together to promote social innovation in India through the Social Entrepreneur of the Year (SEOY) India Award.

Ø Social Innovation Takes Off in India: A total of over 1480 unique social innovation applications have been received in 10 years.
Ø 10 years have seen a total of 497 women applications across India.
Ø Women Change Makers: 5 out of 9 winners of the SEOY India award are women social entrepreneurs.
Ø Turnover of participating social organisations range from Rs 1 million to Rs 600 million.
Ø Stringent evaluation: Two new parameters for evaluation of social entrepreneurs – Market-based and Technology-enabled solutions added this year.
Ø New Trends: In the recent years, sustainable farming and clean technology have emerged as new areas of social entrepreneurship

The SEOY India award 2019 will be presented at a high-profile event in New Delhi on 3rd October this year coinciding with the ‘India Economic Summit’ of the World Economic Forum and Confederation of Indian Industry.

The annual award recognises entrepreneurs who implement innovative, sustainable and scalable solutions. These entrepreneurs address pressing issues faced by under-served communities in an effort to make inclusive growth a reality in India. They work in diverse areas such as health, education, employment, water, clean energy, building identity & entitlements, financial literacy, access to information and technology among others. The applications are evaluated on the key parameters of Innovation, Sustainability, Direct Social Impact, Reach & Scope, Replicability. The year 2019 sees the addition of two new parameters of ‘Market-based’ and ‘Technology-enabled’ solutions. The finalists will be selected following an intensive search and selection process, including expert reviews and site visits. The winner is selected by a prominent Jury consisting of eminent leaders and professionals from Government, Business, Media and Civil Society.

The winner of SEOY India will join the world’s largest network of social enterprises affiliated with The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, so as to engage, build and sustain their social enterprises. The winner is awarded by a prominent chief guest in a magnificent ceremony every year.

2019 Applications Trend:
Over 120 applicants from 19 cities
Over 30 applications from women social entrepreneurs
Health sector with 43% applications leads the nomination tally followed by Education at 40%, Environment 27% and Rural Development following closely at 26%
Around 20% of the entries from Women Empowerment
Most active sectors are Education, Health, Livelihood, Environment, Technology, Women Empowerment
New categories witnessed are Enterprise Development, Disability, Water & Sanitation, Labour Conditions, Micro Finance, Housing, Fair Trade, Energy, Sustainable Farming, Communication Media, Clean Technology and Nutrition

The Social Entrepreneur of the Year (SEOY) India Award aims to promote and celebrate leading social entrepreneurs and their unique ventures in India that help in addressing the various gaps in our society and country. Through providing recognition, the SEOY India Award hopes to inspire many other potential social entrepreneurs in India every year.

Shell Drives Sustainable Energy Solution at Shell E4 Demo Day in Bengaluru


After a successful first edition in 2018, Shell returned with its second edition of Shell E4 Demo Day, the largest Energy Entrepreneurship Conference in India on July 16, 2019 in Bengaluru. The event included a unique gathering of energy focused startups along with the attendance of Arvind Tiwary, Chair, IoT Forum, TiE and Subhashini Chandran, EVP and Managing Director – India at Xynteo. The day also witnessed the graduation of 10 startups which were selected by Shell for incubation at the Shell Technology Centre Bangalore in January 2019.

The 10 startups which include Mobycy, RightWatts, Ziptrax, igrenEnergi, TresMoto, Manastu Space, AutoVRse, LogisticsNow, Maximl and iGarage, operate on diverse domains and backgrounds. These startups have interesting business models and differentiated product offerings like Battery Management, Digital - AR/VR, Mobility Solutions, Logistics, Energy Management, Operations Efficiency and Energy IOT Applications.  While a number of these startups are working towards a pilot with Shell businesses, some others are closely working with Shell to co-create customer solutions.

Like last year, Shell E4 continues to bring together technical, financial and technological expertise to help India move a step closer to its desired energy efficiency targets.

Speaking on the occasion, Sada Iyer, Shell Technology Centre Bangalore Leader, said, “At Shell, we constantly strive to strengthen our commitment to partner energy entrepreneurs and take steady steps towards India’s transition to a sustainable tomorrow. We are glad to announce the graduation of the second cohort of the E4 programme and we wish each of the graduating start-ups success in their journey towards a better future. By mentoring these start-ups, we have nurtured and enabled the young energy entrepreneurs to bring innovations in the Indian energy sector. We are hopeful that the next year will see even more diverse energy start-ups striving towards an advanced and sustainable ecosystem with Shell E4.”

With an overall approach to nurture a culture of open innovation, through various programmes like Research Connect, Shell Technology Ventures and Shell E4, Shell endeavours to support, engage and empower start-ups at various stages of their lifecycle. Going forward the programme has an interesting growth journey. Following the larger energy focused cohorts, Shell will also be empowering startups under specific themes and sub-sectors and on Monday announced that the 3rd cohort of the E4 programme will focus on digital startups and the 4th cohort will focus on the theme ‘Future of Mobility for India’. The registrations for the 4th cohort are open from July 15 – October 15, 2019.

James Unterreiner, General Manager, Shell E4  Start-up Hub, said, “Keeping in mind the idea behind introducing Shell E4, we have and shall keep identifying and engaging with start-ups who have the talent and vision to innovate technology that will further accelerate India’s transition to a sustainable energy future. On behalf of Shell, I congratulate each of the start-ups under the second cohort of Shell E4 and wish them the very best in their journey ahead.”

Launched in 2017, Shell E4 programme aims at playing a prominent role in accelerating technologies that are fit for India’s energy transition. Shell Technology Centre Bangalore is integral to Shell’s core ambition of providing cleaner energy solutions, for India and the world.

One of the company’s three global innovation hubs, the centre, houses the Shell E4 startups at a vibrant co-working space for six months. The startups are offered a seed funding of USD 20,000 each and access to:

Prototyping laboratories for product development and testing
Bootcamps aimed at customer discovery and improving the product
Top industry mentors and experts
New markets and interactions with investors and other growth and funding opportunities
Since their graduation last year, the startups in the first cohort have witnessed significant growth in their businesses. A noteworthy example is Detect Technologies who have successfully raised Series A funding of $3.3 million from Tier 1 VCs and their cofounders are featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 in both India and Asia. ION Energy’s advanced battery management & intelligence platform is being used by top tier OEMs and Battery Pack Makers in 10+ countries. IoTrek is piloting with 2 Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) companies at construction job sites in India and commercially launched product for US market; partnering with General Contractors to deploy the pilot projects.

Startups also have the opportunity to work closely with Shell businesses themselves. For instance, Detect Technologies is working on joint R&D projects with Shell. As alumni of the programme, the startups will continue receiving access to the E4 laboratory, in addition to support from the Shell E4 team for Shell deployment opportunities.

LTI to Acquire Advanced Analytics Firm Lymbyc, a Specialist AI, ML and Analytics Firm



Larsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd., a global technology consulting and digital solutions company, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Lymbyc, a specialist AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics company. The acquisition further strengthens LTI’s fast-growing digital and analytics offerings.

Founded in 2012, Lymbyc is headquartered in Bengaluru, India and has customers in the USA, UK, Africa, and India. The company is well recognized for its unique capabilities in analytics and data-sciences space. The core of Lymbyc’s capabilities are centered around a proprietary product, Leni, which solves for the entire spectrum of descriptive to predictive business insights, leveraging deep learning, Natural Language Processing, data visualization and predictive analytics. Leni is a virtual analyst that allows users to conversationally access information and insights.

With growing dependence on data, global enterprises need to be better at data discovery, agile analytics, and ability to process large datasets. Lymbyc’s expertise in these spheres will enhance LTI’s Mosaic platform to provide differentiated analytics solutions in a SaaS model. 

Sanjay Jalona, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, LTI, said: “We believe self-service capabilities for AI and advanced analytics will be the next wave of disruption in the marketplace, and Lymbyc brings this capability to our Mosaic platform. Leni by Lymbyc is an industry-agnostic platform that solves business user’s need for experience, speed, and comprehension. I welcome Lymbyc’s experienced management team and all its employees to the LTI family.”

Satyakam Mohanty, Founder & CEO, Lymbyc  said: “As a strategic business partner of LTI during last year, we have seen first hand how LTI is leading data and digital transformation agenda for its clients. With AI becoming increasingly mainstream, we are excited to join hands with LTI and to help a larger and richer set of clients. Leni, our AI-based Virtual Analyst is perfectly suited to deliver better value to business users and maximize their information and analytics investments.”

LTI and Lymbyc have been strategic partners for last one year, and have collaborated to deliver unique solutions to several leading global enterprises.

Lymbyc is the fifth acquisition by LTI since the company got listed in 2016. Earlier this year, the company acquired Ruletronics, a boutique Pega Consulting company, and N+P (NEILSEN+PARTNER), a Temenos Wealthsuite specialist.

Emirates to Launch Services to Mexico City via Barcelona from December 9, 2019


Emirates announced its plan to launch a new daily service from Dubai (DXB) to Mexico City International Airport (MEX), via the Spanish city of Barcelona (BCN), starting on 9 December 2019.

Emirates’ Mexico City flight will be a linked service with Barcelona, meaning that customers can now travel between the two cities in unprecedented style and comfort.  Citizens from Mexico, Spain and the UAE only need their passports to enjoy visa-free travel to each respective country.

The new route will be operated with a two-class Emirates Boeing 777-200LR which offers 38 Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and 264 seats in Economy Class. The new 777 flight will also offer up to 14 tonnes of cargo, opening up access to more global markets for Mexican exports such as avocados, berries or mangoes, automotive parts or medical supplies. Emirates SkyCargo has been flying freighters to/from Mexico City since 2014 already and in the last year carried over 22,500 tons of cargo on the route.

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline said: “We are excited to be able to introduce new air connectivity between Dubai and Mexico. The availability of high-quality, daily international air services is essential for the development of tourism, business and cultural ties. Trade, especially in high-value and time-sensitive products, will be facilitated by the ample cargo capacity on Emirates’ Boeing 777 aircraft. We also expect tourism to receive a major boost from the daily flights on our newly-refurbished Boeing 777-200LR.”

Sir Tim added: “Due to the high altitude of Mexico City airport, it is not possible to operate a non-stop flight from Dubai, and Barcelona was a natural choice for a stopover. We are pleased to offer a direct connection on the route between the Spanish city and Mexico City that has long been neglected by other airlines and remains underserved despite the strong customer demand. We would like to thank the authorities and our partners in both Spain and Mexico for their support of the new route and look forward to provide our unique product and award-winning service to travellers.”

“Mexico supports the launch of the long-awaited flight Dubai-Barcelona-Mexico City, which responds to Mexico’s Government tourism policy towards opening new markets and strengthening connectivity between the Middle East and Mexico. We are eager to receive tourists from this part of the world”, said Mexico’s Minister of Tourism, Miguel Torruco Marqués.

"Emirates’ arrival will bring a significant contribution to our international connectivity network by adding up daily services to Dubai and beyond. Emirates will be the 43rd carrier operating international flights into Mexico ... congratulations!!”, said Rodrigo Vasquez C, Director General, Mexican Civil Aviation Authority.

Mexico City, the first destination in Mexico to be served by Emirates, is the largest city of Mexico and the most populous city in North America. Mexico’s capital is one of the most important cultural and financial centres in the Americas, accounting for nearly a third of the nation’s GDP. Located in the Valley of Mexico at an altitude of 2,240 metres, the city is famous for its historic centre known as

Zocalo, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mexico City is also an important trade and industrial city, specifically in the automotive, medical supplies and pharmaceutical industries. 

Mexico is a popular destination for business and leisure travellers around the world, in particular from UAE, Spain, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Egypt and Lebanon. Mexico is also home to Middle East communities that can now take advantage of the new service.

Dubai is also increasing in popularity with Mexican travellers. In the first 5 months of 2019 alone, Mexican visitor numbers to Dubai have grown by 32% compared to the same period last year*.

Passengers flying with Emirates can book a Dubai Stopover package which will allow them to stay in Dubai for a few days on their way to/from one of over 140 destinations. Dubai offers everything from desert outings to beaches to family-friendly hotels, and even ski slopes at the Mall of the Emirates. Having become the fourth-most-visited city in the world, Dubai is known for its eclectic mix of offerings, from futuristic architecture to vibrant traditional culture and diversity. Passengers on the route can also decide to stop over in Barcelona on their way to/from Mexico or Dubai.

Emirates flight EK 255 will depart Dubai at 03:30 local time, arriving in Barcelona at 08:00 before departing again at 09:55 and arriving into Mexico City at 16:15 on the same day. The return flight EK256 will depart Mexico City at 19:40 local time, arriving in Barcelona the next day at 13:25. EK256 will depart once again from Barcelona at 15:10 bound for Dubai where it will arrive at 00:45 the following day, facilitating convenient onward connections to numerous destinations in India, South-East Asia and the Middle East.

Passengers in all cabin classes can enjoy the friendly service from Emirates’ international cabin crew, meals prepared by gourmet chefs, and over 4,000 channels of movies, TV programs, music and podcasts, including channels in Spanish, on its award-winning ice entertainment system.

* Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM)  

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