Wednesday, August 24, 2016

REAP to Accelerate Tech Startup Innovations in Indian Real Estate



Brigade Group, a Bengaluru–based real estate developer, has launched Brigade Real Estate Accelerator Program (REAP).
REAP initiative is first of its kind in the Indian real estate sector and will focus on five technologies namely - Internet of Things; Nano Technology; Cleantech and Renewables; Visual Computing; and Logistics and Supply Chain to begin with in the first year. The new initiative will move to a new premises, located next to District 6, on a 5000 square feet of office space. But it has limited the number of seats to 46 and so it will be a rigorous process for the startups to get selected.
“REAP is being set up with the aim to give real estate innovators and inventors in the country an organised approach to help build sustainable and scaleable businesses,” said Nirupa Shankar, brainchild of this new initiative, and director, Brigade Hospitality services.
The real estate sector is one of the most globally recognised sectors contributing a significant number of jobs and GDP growth. In India, real estate and allied industries are the second largest employers after agriculture and are slated to grow at 30 per cent over the next decade, she adds.
“To keep pace with the ever-changing needs of the business, it is imperative to accelerate the pace of adoption of innovation and disruptive technologies in the industry,” said M R Jaishankar, CMD Brigade Enterprises.
“Brigade REAP has been conceptualised to combine resources within the group, as well as with partners and well-wishers to add value to young companies and help them build innovative and path-breaking companies from India,” he said.
REAP has called for online applications at www.brigadereap.com that opens on August 24, 2016 and closes on September 15, 2016. “All the suitable applications will be screened by a panel of experts and shall go live from October 3,  2016,” adds Jaishankar.

Speaking on the objective of Brigade REAP, John Kuruvilla, Chief Mentor, Brigade REAP said, “At REAP we work on ensuring that innovative ideas are not lost in execution and find the perfect application in the real estate industry”.

Samsung’s Z2, the First Tizen Powered 4G Smartphone; Pre-Loaded with Jio Services


Samsung India has launched its first 4G enabled Tizen-powered smartphone, Samsung Z2. Built on the Tizen platform, Samsung Z2 caters to the requirements of new smartphone users transitioning from a feature phone. Driven by the success of Z1 and Z3, and taking forward the smart, fun and simple attributes of Tizen platform, Samsung Z2 has been customised to offer unique value to the Indian consumers. The device comes with powerful specifications, pre-loaded essential apps and Samsung’s popular ‘Make for India’ features such as the Ultra Data Saving mode, S bike mode and the new My Money Transfer, to drive smartphone adoption.

Samsung Z2 comes with a complimentary invitation to the Jio Preview Offer to avail free voice and data services in the trial period. Z2 users will also get complimentary access to premium Jio applications – My Jio, Jio on Demand, Jio Beats – with unlimited options of latest movies, TV shows and songs across multiple languages during the Jio Preview offer.


Manu Sharma, Vice President, Mobile Business, Samsung India Electronics, said “Samsung Z2 makes 4G accessible and relevant to the unique needs of feature phone users and first time smartphone buyers. It brings consumers a fast and affordable mobile internet experience that will democratize 4G usage in the country.”

SMART
Fast and Easy to Use
The user interface on Samsung Z2 is simple and easy to use, offering faster and smoother device performance when combined with the Tizen platform. Powered by a 1.5GHz Quad-core processor, 1GB RAM and 8GB internal memory expandable up to 128GB with a microSD card, the device features dual SIM support and delivers a seamless and user-friendly smartphone experience.  The device is fueled by a 1500mAh long-lasting battery, which is further boosted by the unique ‘Ultra Power Saving mode’, which keeps the phone operational, even at minimal battery levels.

FUN Unlimited Entertainment with Jio Apps As part of the partnership with Jio, Samsung sets a new standard in the mobile entertainment space by offering users with a wide range of free entertainment content to cater to the increasing consumer demand for streaming and on-the-go entertainment. For music lovers, Samsung Z2 consumers will have access to Jio Beats, which offers millions of HD songs in over 20 languages. The video streaming app, Jio On Demand, gives access to latest movies, TV shows and other video content across genres and languages.

Better Viewing and Camera Experience Samsung Z2 is equipped with a superior 4” WVGA screen which allows consumers to enjoy games, videos and other multimedia content to the fullest with superior resolution. The smartphone is equipped with a 5 megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a VGA front camera.

SIMPLE Easy UI, Essential Apps and Features Samsung Z2 gives an effortless mobile experience with Tizen OS and clutter free, intuitive interface making it easy to understand and use. It comes preloaded with essential apps for the ease of new smartphone users. It also features the ‘Make for India’ features developed specifically for Indian consumers. The Ultra Data Saving mode saves up to 40% mobile data by blocking unnecessary background applications from data consumption and by data compression technology, hence ensuring the most simple and cost-efficient 4G experience. Samsung Z2 comes with a dedicated S bike mode, which is designed considering the safety concerns of two-wheeler users in India. It lets consumers ride tension free while encouraging responsible riding.

My Money Transfer Samsung Z2 is equipped with a built-in app that enables users to easily manage transactions and generate mini bank statements. A first of its kind initiative, users can enjoy convenient internet free banking by simply using the unique MMID which can be linked to the registered smartphone through M Pin set by the user. Money transfer to/from popular private and public banks is supported using standard IMPS.

Price and Availability
Samsung Z2 has been priced at Rs 4,590 and will be available in India from August 29, 2016, in three attractive colours – Gold, Black and Wine Red – across mobile phone retail stores. For online consumers, the device is also available through our online partner Paytm exclusively.

Amit Bagaria, Vice President, Paytm, said, “We are delighted to roll out Samsung’s much-awaited launch in one of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market. The new Samsung Z2 will add significant value to the multiple exciting smartphone offerings available to Paytm users. With the reach that the Paytm platform enjoys, with a base of 130 million customers, the partnership allows consumers across the country to effortlessly shop for their favorite Samsung smartphone in a few easy clicks.”

Samsung also sponsored ‘Tizen App Challenge’, a Tizen application contest for Unity developers, which runs from August 18 to November 21, 2016. Any developer providing a Unity-based game application service can enter the contest at https://unity3d.com/partners/samsung/tizen-challenge
.

Mindtree Celebrates its 17th Anniversary with Care 2 Share Initiative



Mindtree is organizing a month-long voluntary initiative “Care 2 Share” as part of its anniversary celebrations to foster social responsibility and incorporate the spirit of community service among its employees. In consonance with its commitment to support and nurture communities, this initiative, spearheaded by the Mindtree Foundation, is aimed at giving back to the community in impactful ways and inspiring philanthropy at an individual level. Instituted since inception, this initiative is an annual affair and this year “Care 2 Share” includes Joy of Giving, Blood Donation, Stem Cell Registry and Old Clothes Drive.

In 2015, over 4000 Mindtree Minds participated and close to 8000 children benefited from this initiative. As a part of Joy of Giving, sports and educational items are bought for children studying in rural government schools that the Foundation is associated with.

Mindtree is one of the largest blood donors among IT companies in the city, with steadily increasing contribution every year. August being Dengue-prevalent season, the donated blood is primarily used to help Dengue patients in rural areas. Last year, 1804 units were collected, with each unit capable of saving 3 lives.

Initially started to help an employee’s son suffering with Leukemia, Stem Cell Registry has since become a regular part of this extensive event. It is seeing increased number of participants every year through rising awareness and internal communication campaigns. Mindtree’s efforts have yielded two successful matches and so far, close to 1400 people have enrolled into the registry.

Mindtree Minds are encouraged to donate toys, books, stationery and old clothes towards the Old Clothes Drive. While toys and books are shared with children, Mindtree Foundation works with Goonj, an NGO that empowers poor communities through clothing, to use old clothes towards making sanitary napkins for rural women which is distributed free of cost.

“Care 2 Share” ends on the 31st of August and is conducted across all office locations in India. Family and friends of Mindtree Minds are also welcome to be a part of this initiative. Founded in 1999, Mindtree celebrated its 17th anniversary on the 18th of August.

Accenture’s Australian Security Company Redcore Will Expand Security’s Offerings


Accenture has entered into an agreement to acquire Redcore, a privately held Australia-based consulting company that specializes in providing identity and access management services (IAM), as well as security services for Cloud, network management, public key infrastructure, cyber defense, applications and the internet of things. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms are not being disclosed.
 
As part of its offerings, Redcore develops holistic authentication, authorization and administration services across a range of cloud, web, mobile and adaptive access-management technologies. Redcore has deployed multiple large-scale cybersecurity solutions, including multi-factor authentication and secure application gateways that are used by some of the major Australian banks and government agencies.
  
“The acquisition of Redcore will allow us to expand our existing IAM services and security-as-a-Service capabilities – along with other critical cyber defense services – while also immediately extending our leadership position in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Kelly Bissell, managing director, Accenture Security. “Redcore has a team of seasoned security leaders who have exceptional security skills and industry knowledge. Together, we will be better positioned to tailor intelligent security services to organizations’ unique businesses and industries and deliver innovative solutions that help build business resilience from the inside out.”

Redcore, with its headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, provides security services and IT service management for a wide range of clients, including government agencies and companies across the finance, health, retail and telecommunications industries. Founded in 2010, Redcore has multiple offices in Australia, India, New Zealand, the Philippines and Singapore and has approximately 130 security professionals.

Joseph Failla, co-founder, Redcore, said, “We are excited to become part of Accenture Security and to bring our proven deep, highly-specialized skills and services to strengthen Accenture’s IAM and other cybersecurity offerings. We are very proud of Redcore’s wonderful team and our achievements, and we now look forward to creating an unrivalled combined cybersecurity team and launching capabilities that will change the market. With Accenture’s extensive global security resources, its methodologies and its interdisciplinary security ecosystem of innovators from across the world, we will be able to rapidly advance Redcore’s capabilities and innovate leading-edge solutions for clients, as well as provide excellent opportunities and career paths for our employees.”

FullContact Expands Footprint with Acquisition of Profoundis in Kerala


FullContact, a US-based provider of the most powerful contact management platform for professionals and enterprises, today announced the acquisition of Profoundis, a Kerala, India-based provider of technology enabled human verifieddata research platform.This is the first-of-its-kind acquisition in Kerala’s startup community.

 Funded by a group of angel investors since mid-2015, Profoundis was founded in 2012 by a group of enterprising technology professionals who were batchmates at the College of Engineering, Chengannur, Kerala. Based at Startup Village, Kochi, the company was the first company from Kerala to get selected to the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator programand one of the three companies to get selected for ‘Start-Up Chile’, an initiative by the Chilean Government in 2013.

FullContact’s purchase of Profoundis follows $25 million in new funding, which the company will use to accelerate its growth, recruit global talent and fund further acquisitions.

“Our goal is to be the smartest, most comprehensive, and most up-to-date address book on the planet.” said Scott Brave, CTO, FullContact. “The only way to truly achieve that is by integrating the best of human intelligence with machine intelligence. Profoundis is a key element of that strategy.”

FullContact will integrate all of Profoundis’ 70 employees, most of whom will remain in Kochi, into its global workforce and add human-based data research to its growing list of capabilities supporting its strategy for expansion and rapid growth. This combination will establish FullContact as a market leader in data quality and data breadth across its contact management solutions for individual professionals and businesses and have a direct impact on the company’s revenue and sales.

“As a strategic partner, Profoundis has been instrumental to adding value and increasing the effectiveness of our data solutions for our clients,” said Bart Lorang, co-founder and CEO of FullContact.  “Together we can further accelerate the growth of FullContact as we continue to build the most powerful fully-connected contact management platform for professionals and businesses.”

“With Profoundis, we were on a mission to help businesses do better by providing additional contextual data about organizations and people,” said Arjun R Pillai, Co-founder and CEO of Profoundis who will be FullContact’sHead of Data Strategy. “Becoming part of the FullContact team allows us to further execute on this mission globally, and together, our users will benefit by having more detailed information about their contacts, allowing them to be even more awesome with people."

Currently, FullContact is used by millions of people through its free apps, enterprise customers and API platform partners. With the suite of consumer apps spanning across iOS, Mac, Android, Gmail, and Web, FullContact’s offerings support two-way sync between iCloud, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Exchange and multiple Google email accounts.

 "The acquisition of Profoundis marks a key milestone for Kerala and its startup community,” said Keyur Patel, Chairman of Profoundis and Founder, Chairman of Fuse Global Ltd. “It also indicates the growing maturity of startup teams in the enterprise space and showcases the global cultural and technological synergies that are evolving. FullContact is the fastest emerging player in the contact management space and picking Profoundis to become part of its growth clearly shows the value each company can derive over the coming years at a global scale.”

Academy of Cyber Defence & Advanced High Tech Advanced Security Now in India


The Vital Intelligence Academy will be a full service facility that will incorporate a multitude of highly advanced training capabilities to include several state-of-the-art training classrooms, conference and event halls, high tech business meeting rooms and the world's most advanced security and cyber security training simulators.

The Vital Intelligence Academy will provide a full range of courses that will fill the needs of emergency management, law-enforcement, disaster management and safety organizations, military and governmental agencies, private security groups, executive protection personal, corporate executives, E-learning facilities (able to live stream safely and securely to most locations in the world) and host international visiting students.

The Vita Intelligence Academy will also serve as a “showcase” for the most advanced and up-to-date cyber defense and security related technology and an integrated gateway to demonstrate and market niche’ and unique security related technology coupled with some of the world's most experienced professional counter terrorism experts. 

After identifying cybersecurity as one of the most serious economic and national security challenges India faces, along with the threats of physical terror attacks that are not at all new to India, the Vital Intelligence Group will share skills and technology in an effort to create sensitive job skills much required especially in the Cyber Sector as well as unique teaching modules in the counter organized crime and terror spheres that will integrate the two providing an aggressive defense platform for the information and communications infrastructure and the development of a comprehensive approach to securing India's digital infrastructure as physical assets.

In making the announcement, Kamal Punjabi, Director of Colosseum Events Pvt Ltd., who with his team has been appointed as the Vital Intelligence Academy's official marketing and P.R agent and representative in India stated “Marc Kahlberg's military and policing intelligence experience along with his fearless approach to voicing key issues of security will provide a valuable point of view and an overall solution to reducing the current threats on a national and personal level but also create the needed skills and eventual jobs that are waiting for this specific sector."

Before his business career, Kahlberg served in the South African Army, Israel Defense Force and Israel National Police. He has created and established police units and has trained Law Enforcement personal from all over the world. Kahlberg has witnessed first-hand 16 serious terror events in the form of suicide bombers and vehicle borne terror attacks. Kahlberg served as the Commander of the Israel National Police Tourist Police Unit in Netanya and Police foreign press spokesperson for Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip. He was involved in the security architecture and design for the South African hosted 2010 soccer world cup, trained and consulted to the organizers and emergency management personal of the Euro 2012 soccer tournament in Poland amongst other large projects.

Marc Kahlberg is the Vital Intelligence Group's CEO and a founding member of the Vital Intelligence Academy and will lead the initiative and program backed by experts from Australia, Africa, Europe, India, Israel, the U.K and the United States. 

ConveGenius Raises Rs 60 Million from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation


ConveGenius, a leading ed-tech company committed to offering mobile solutions for an enhanced quality of education in India, has raised an equity investment worth Rs 60 million from The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. ConveGenius will leverage the invested amount in providing engaging, impactful ‘education for the masses.'

Built on a business model that artfully combines delivering profit by driving volume of sales with improved learning outcomes among children from all backgrounds, ConveGenius curates content from multiple high-quality companies like Mexus Education (Iken), StoryWeaver from Pratham Books, and Chipper Sage. The company’s strength lies in using cutting-edge technology, assessments and data analytics tools to track the progress being made by students in real time, and provide them personalized learning paths with the most relevant content.

Jairaj Bhattacharya, Cofounder and CEO of ConveGenius says “We are excited to be backed by MSDF in our endeavors to reach 3 million children across India and other emerging markets by 2020, thus working towards bridging the gap between the availability and accessibility of good quality educational content. With the current investment, we seek to scale our operations, build on our existing archive of educational content by aggregating more exciting content providers across various languages, and further strengthen our technology for self-learning by building in intelligence and Adaptivity on the CONVEGENIUS Slate platform." 

Director for Michael and Susan Dell Foundation’s India Education portfolio, Prachi Windlass says, “Unlike most educational tech companies that are spending all their time and resources on creating more content, ConveGenius has taken a bold approach: to be a platform leveraging already available content and focus its energies on effective delivery.”

Founded in 2013 by Jairaj Bhattacharya and Shashank Pandey, alumni of IIIT Hyderabad, ConveGenius aims to improve learning outcomes of school-going children by making learning interactive, result-oriented and fun. The company is the first platform company in the K-12 space in India, offering learning programs that enhance grade level competencies for primary school children. The Company had been backed by Mr. Ashish Gupta, Founder and Trustee of Ashoka University and ex COO and Global Head of Evalueserve in their Seed and Angel rounds apart from other angels from Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.

The solution’s disruptive price of about Rs 4500/year has enabled its widespread adoption by NGOs across India as well as high-end learning centers in Singapore. This year, their flagship tablet-based product -- ConveGenius Slate will impact nearly 90,000 children across the country. In June 2016, ConveGenius partnered with Lenovo to launch the first learning tablet mapped to NCERT for classes KG to 5 which is currently available for parents to purchase online on Flipkart.

Latest Touchscreen Car Stereo AVH-X8890BT from Pioneer India


Pioneer India Electronics, the first in-car entertainment systems company to launch Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for Aftermarket in India, today launched its latest touchscreen car stereo AVH-X8890BT as a part of its 2016-17 lineup.

Priced at Rs. 39,990, AVH-X8890BT revolutionizes the driver’s smartphone experience by bringing both Android Auto (for android phone users) and Apple CarPlay (for iPhone users) into a single car stereo. AVH-X8890BTgives its users the best of both the worlds. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay allow users to access their phones from the stereo’s Touchscreen and use apps in a safe way while driving.

Commenting on the launch, Gaurav Kulshrestha, Manager - Marketing & Product Planning, Pioneer India Electronics said, “All the features in AVH-X8890BT are designed with one goal at hand — minimizing the use of the phone, and keeping the person safe behind the wheel. The touchscreen interface of AVH-X8890BT is optimized for glance ability and readability while driving. Android Auto organizes required information into simple cards whereas Apple CarPlay features big icons with a plain background for better readability. To ensure safety special emphasis is given to voice commands. With the use of Google talk in Android Auto and Siri in Apple Car Play, users get to use the best-in-class speech technology for controlling everything with voice. Users can attend calls, send and receive messages all through voice commands with the help of the Bluetooth wired mic that comes along with AVH-X8890BT.”

With Android Auto, users can access Google Maps, listen to smartphone’s music, Manage calls, Listen and reply to messages and WhatsApp. Whereas with Apple CarPlay, users can access Apple Music, Manage calls, messages and listen to Audiobooks and podcasts. The interface of CarPlay and Android Auto is purpose built for driving with simple voice
Commands to control the above features.   Various third-party apps are also compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay depending on the region.

Android Auto or Apple CarPlay is devilishly simple to use. One just needs to plug the phone into the Pioneer’s receiver through the phone’s charging cable and it’s ready to use. For Android Auto one must have the android auto app installed on his android phone whereas CarPlay app is preinstalled on the latest iPhones.

The stereo is also compatible with AppRadio Mode- iPhone/Android. This application gives users the ultimate solution to all their needs during commute by combining the services they want into a single, easy-to-use design. Offline navigation apps like Navmii and Navitel, media, news information and the events calendar are all within reach with its smooth and intuitive interface.

AVH-X8890BT is also loaded with other features like steering wheel control, Dual Zone Audio Video, Bluetooth, 13 Band EQ, Time alignment, HDMI interface, multi-color LED display, Dual USB, and Mixtrax.

Ashish Gaikwad Appointed New MD of Honeywell India from October 1


Honeywell Automation India Limited has announced that Ashish Gaikwad has been appointed as its managing director effective October 1, 2016. Gaikwad succeeds Vikas Chadha, who was recently named president, Honeywell India.

Speaking about the appointment, Suresh Senapaty, chairman, HAIL, said, “HAIL has a 25-year legacy in India, in developing and manufacturing technologies that serve a diverse and extensive customer base across verticals including oil and gas, power, metals, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, mining, infrastructure, IT/ITeS, telecom, banking, healthcare, hospitality, automobiles, defense, aerospace, transportation, and the residential sector. With more than 25 years of experience in automation, control, and advanced software applications in the process industry, Ashish will strategically lead HAIL to continued growth in the region, and strengthen the brand and its equity with customers and other key stakeholders.”

Vikas Chadha, president, Honeywell India, said, “This appointment is a testimony of the maturity and depth of Honeywell’s leadership pipeline and focus on building talent from within. Ashish has successfully driven the growth of the Advanced Solutions business for the Asia Pacific region. With his hands-on knowledge of the latest in automation and control solutions, including software solutions, digital transformation, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and his understanding of the Indian market, I am confident Ashish will take HAIL to new heights.”

Gaikwad joined Honeywell in 1992 and has progressed through roles of increasing responsibility, most recently serving as general manager for the Advanced Solutions business for the Asia Pacific region within Honeywell Process Solutions. He brings to the role a successful track record from a career spanning more than 26 years with a mix of operations, strategic marketing, and general management. Gaikwad has a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani. 

“Not only is India among our top high growth regions globally, it is expected to contribute significantly to Honeywell’s global growth for years to come. With seven state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and five technology development centers, a lot of Honeywell’s software engineering and product development capabilities are also right here. So, it is a great time for me to take on this responsibility in India, especially as Honeywell continues its evolution as a cyber-industrial company. I’m looking forward to driving HAIL forward, and to serving our customers with some of the world’s leading technologies, said Gaikwad.”  

Shramona Chakraborty from Kolkata Winner of IET South Asia PAWT Competition 2016



The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has announced Shramona Chakraborty from MCKV Institute of Engineering, Kolkata as the winner of the IET South Asia 'Present round the World (PATW) 2016 finals in a ceremony that took place at the Hotel Hindustan International, Kolkata today. PATW is a global presentation competition for students, graduates and young professionals aged 18-30 years and aims to provide a platform to showcase and explore their talent and innovative thinking.

Shramona Chakraborty’s winning presentation focused on the topic “Wheelchair on POWER: A revolutionary discover for the physically challenged.” She was awarded a cash prize of Rs. 36,000 and will now compete in the global finals to  be held in London in November this year for a cash prize of £1,000 (approx. Rs. 100,000/-). Vanky Kenny Kataria, student of KK Wagh Institute of Engineering Education and Research was declared runner up for his presentation on the topic “Football Science and Technology”was awarded with the cash prize of Rs. 27,000.

The competition encourages engineers to use their technical know how to solve a social problem, thereby inculcating a culture of application of their academic knowledge by developing their communication skills during the process. As part of the competition, the individual competitors give a presentation for 10 minutes on a subject related to engineering and technology and answer questions for a further five minutes.

This year, the competition witnessed participation from engineers across India and Sri Lanka vying for the top honors. The jury included Prof (Dr)Anish Deb, Professor, Department of Applied Physics, University College of Technology, University of Calcutta, Mr Sankar Nath Mukhopadhyay, DGM, Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation Ltd and Prof (Dr) Amitava Chatterjee, Dept of electrical engineering, Jadhavpur University.

On the side lines of the event, Shekhar Sanyal, Country Head and Director, IET India said "Historically, academia, students and parents have largely focused on developing their technical skills, ignoring a critical component - soft skills. There are multiple surveys that mention engineering students have been increasingly rendered unemployed because of the lack of their communications skills. We at the IET believe that a competition like PATW helps provide a unique platform for students and young professionals to showcase their presentation skills and in turn contribute to their holistic development. It is integral to their rounded growth as professionals and we are thrilled to see the tremendous response from the student ecosystem for this competition series over the years and wish the winner all the best for the global final.”

NSIC Loan Applications for MSMEs to Ease with Rubique’s New Online Platform


Rubique, an online marketplace for financial products for micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), signed an MoU with the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) on Tuesday, for providing easy credit facilities. 

NSIC, a miniratna enterprise under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, will provide SMEs registered with them, easy credit access via the Rubique platform. "The tie-up between NSIC-Rubique will bring in the technology interface, by way of the online platform to strengthen NSIC's endeavour to give credit access and support MSMEs in their growth," said 
Ravindra Nath, NSIC.

He said that NSIC has already tied up arrangements with 33 public and private sector banks, and financial institutions. "Besides easy access to credit, this tie-up will help MSMEs save their time and without any additional cost. It would help us improve their competitiveness in the country," he adds.

Rubique CEO and Founder Manavjeet Singh said the company's matchmaking algorithm would bring more certainty in the process of getting financial help.

"We can check the qualification of the application by matching borrowers eligibility with financial institutions' lending criteria on the website itself. Rubique has tied up with 60-plus financial institutions," he said.

The Mumbai-based company offers a range of financial products and services including personal, car, home and business loan among other services.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Rs 400 Cr Spent By Gionee On Marketing & Branding Activities in India


Chinese handset maker Gionee will spend around Rs 400 crore on marketing and branding activities over the next few months to capitalise on the festive season demand.

The Chinese company, which plans to launch four new smartphones by mid-October, also aims to expand its market share in India to 7-10 per cent by next March.

"We had earmarked a budget of Rs 600 crore this year and we have utilised one-third of it till now. About Rs 200 crore will be pumped in the festive season and the remaining amount will be used in the latter part of the fiscal towards various marketing and branding efforts," Gionee India MD and CEO Arvind Vohra told this media.

He added that the company will also launch 4 smartphones, priced between Rs 9,999 and Rs 24,999 by mid-October.

Gionee India has also signed up Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt as its brand ambassador.

"We are in discussions for signing up another brand ambassador but that is yet to be finalised," he said.

The company today launched its S6s, priced at Rs 17,999.

The 5.5-inch handset features 1.3 Ghz octacore processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal memory (expandable up to 128GB), 13MP rear and 8MP front camera and 3,150 mAh battery.

Asked about sales, he said Gionee India has now crossed half million units sales per month.

"All supply constraints have been sorted. About 60 per cent of our devices are now being manufactured here. We are expecting a robust growth this year in terms of revenues," he said.

Vohra added that Gionee India aims to expand its market share from around 5 per cent to 7-10 per cent by March next year.

In India, Gionee has partnerships with Foxconn and Dixon to assemble its smartphones.

He said the company plans to set up its own manufacturing unit in the next few years to enable 100 per cent local manufacturing.
 

Largest Share of Technology Startup in Bengaluru, Says Assocham Report


Bengaluru is host to the largest share of technology-driven startups, followed by Delhi-NCR and Mumbai, while Hyderabad and Chennai are also quite popular among those techies who are budding entrepreneurs, according to a study by Assocham.

The study done in association with the ‘Thought Arbitrage’ found that in the technology-driven startups, India has moved up to the third position, with the US occupying the top position, with more than 47,000, and the UK with over 4,500 startups. India’s tech startups number around 4,200 up to 2015. 

In terms of total number of startups, comprising tech and non-tech areas, India again figured among the five largest hosts in the world along with China. The number of startups in both India and China was 10,000 each. The US is at the number one position among the overall list of 83,000 budding entrepreneurs. 

Of the Indian startups, riding on technology, IT hub Bengaluru was host of 26%, followed by NCR with 23%, and Mumbai with 17%.  In the ‘catching up’ category fell Hyderabad with 8%, and Chennai and Pune with 6% each.

Schneider Electric’s New Lithium-ion batteries Optimize Energy Storage for UPS’s in India


Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, has introduced a Lithium-ion battery solution for UPS operations. The new lithium-ion battery solution for three-phase uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), brings compact, lightweight, long-lasting and sophisticated energy storage protection to data centers, industrial process, or critical infrastructure.

“It is important for companies to choose the right energy storage solution for their data centers, industrial processes, or critical infrastructure. The backup storage solution must maintain or even increase availability and manageability while reducing UPS footprint”, says Nikhil Pathak, Vice President and Country General Manager - IT Business India and SAARC, Schneider Electric India. In addition, there is a challenge to manage TCO (total cost of ownership), cooling costs, maintenance overheads and other operating expenses, in addition to minimizing the upfront capital cost.

“The traditional valve regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) batteries have been the mainstay of energy storage systems with advantages like low costs, mature technology and relatively stable performance. However, its shortcomings, which are sensitivity to elevated temperatures, large footprint, heavyweight and short lifespan has created a new set of customers shifting to Li-ion batteries (LIB)”, says Pathak. Reduced battery footprint, maintenance, weight, total cost of ownership (TCO) and cooling requirements, improved backup storage predictability and double the life cycle, is making LIBs the preferred energy storage solution.

The LIB system from Schneider comes as a complete package comprising a standard cabinet / rack which houses the battery modules, the SMPS which powers the BMS and the protection switchgear. This solution is currently supported by Schneider Electric’s Symmetra MW, Galaxy 7000, Galaxy VM, and Galaxy VX UPSs.

Digital Platform for UP State Legislature Proceedings, Based on Solution from Persistent Systems


Persistent Systems has announced a new, innovative Multilingual Intelligent Search and Analytics Solution - addressing the needs of India’s State legislatures. The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, inaugurated the solution at the Vidhaan Sabha Bhavan in Lucknow. 
Uttar Pradesh Vidhaan Sabha, India’s largest state assembly, is the first state legislature in the country to embrace the Persistent Systems solution and to embark on such a comprehensive digitization of the proceedings of the State Legislature. SemanticBits, a Hyderabad-based company, partnered with Persistent as part of a consortium for this initiative.
“The Legislature of the State of Uttar Pradesh is the first State Legislature to undertake this stupendous task. Persistent Systems with their partner SemanticBits have completed the task successfully and they deserve appreciation for that. The features of this software like its search engine and other aspects are the latest technology in the field,“ said Pradeep Dubey, Principal Secretary, Legislative Secretariat Uttar Pradesh. “I hope other state assemblies will follow suit.”
“Like every business is becoming software-driven, the opportunity is in front of every state to become software-driven in its functioning. It is a privilege and an honor for all of us at Persistent Systems to be able to impact and improve lives with such a solution. There is an urgent need in India today to make Governments more accessible, transparent, and efficient – both within its own departments and to the general public.” said Dr. Anand Deshpande, Persistent Systems founder and CEO.
More about Multilingual Intelligent Search and Analytics solution:
Legislative information, often dating back to when legislative bodies were first created, is comprised of books of proceedings, newspaper cuttings, orders, letters, as well as audio and video recordings. The Multilingual Intelligent Search and Analytics solution is an integrated solution to scan, annotate and indexed books of proceedings – stored in a secure and tamperproof digital vault, and available on the portal accessible from any device. The solution allows searches in English, Hindi and other official Indian languages, through a specialized search capability custom built for Indian languages.

Multilingual Intelligent Search and Analytics solution replaces the traditional and cumbersome practice of manual or physical searches and retrievals. Time to information is now reduced from days, weeks or even months to mere seconds. It also allows users to look for information and to collate the information, reducing the time and effort taken to compile research reports and improving the accuracy and thoroughness of information. This allows Research Officers to handle more requests with improved efficiency and more qualitative discussions happening in the legislative assembly. Multilingual Intelligent Search and Analytics solution extends access and reach within the Government departments of the State legislatures, and also to the general public.  

Kotak Mahindra Bank Offers Monsoon Bonanza Uphill September 10


To celebrate the long-awaited bountiful rains this year, Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) is presenting several tempting offers: Interest rates on home loans and business loans have been lowered; processing fees have been discounted, and foreclosure charges are being completely waived off, till September 10, 2016.

Customers can now avail home loans at a special interest rate of 9.35% p.a., and business loans/overdraft up to 1% lower interest rate with 25% waiver on processing fees. Additionally, Kotak Mahindra Prime, the 100% subsidiary of KMB, is also offering 50% waiver on processing fee and 100% waiver on foreclosure charges.

Further, on account opening, new customers will also receive gift vouchers from Club Mahindra, Pizza Hut, BookMyShow and Yatra.

Sumit Bali, Sr. EVP and Head – Personal Assets, Kotak Mahindra Bank, said, “In addition to offering 6% p.a. interest rate on savings account on balance of above Rs. 1 lakh, we have designed several loan offers for new and existing customers, for a limited period.”

“Good monsoons always translate into positive news for the country’s economy. We want customers to prosper more, through our special deals on home, business and car loans, in addition to the higher interest rate on savings account,” added Bali.

KMB’s latest campaign – Kona Kona 6% - is also celebrating the rains. After two years of drought, India is witnessing normal to excess rainfall in most parts. The national mood is upbeat, as a good monsoon promises prosperity and better agricultural output. The Kona Kona 6% TVC uses the backdrop of rains to narrate stories of prosperity from different corners of India.

Interest rates on small savings schemes such as postal savings, term and recurring deposits, National Savings Certificate (NSC), etc. saw deep rate cuts recently, and further cuts are on the anvil. The RBI too in recent times cut repo rate by 25 bps to 6.5%. In a falling interest rate scenario, KMB is committed to offer 6% interest rate on savings account balances above Rs. 1 lakh.

Indian Roadshows for Dubai Parks and Resorts As It Opens For Public On October 31, 2016


Dubai Parks and Resorts, set to become the region’s largest integrated theme park destination when it opens on October 31st, has successfully concluded its first three-city trade road show in India. The last leg of the event in Mumbai was also personally attended by the Minister of Tourism of the state of Maharashtra, Jaykumar Jitendrasinh Rawal.  Dubai Parks and Resorts organized this road show with the objective of officially introducing the destination and highlighting its distinctive offerings.

The three-day road show targeted the top Indian trade agents in New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, and focused on asserting Dubai Parks and Resorts’ position in the Indian tourist market as the next ultimate family entertainment destination that is only a three to four-hour flight away. The trade events were successful in educating the industry on the destination’s offer and highlighting what guests can expect to experience in the amazing world of Dubai Parks and Resorts when it opens on October 31st, 2016. Each city witnessed staggering attendance of over 200 travel and trade partners’ keen to understand Dubai Parks and Resorts’ offer for the Indian market.

Vinit Shah, Chief Destination Management Officer of Dubai Parks and Resorts said, “We’re extremely pleased to have introduced the region’s largest integrated entertainment destination to India.” He further added, “With the expertise of hundreds of professionals all over the world, Dubai Parks Resorts will be one of the region’s biggest entertainment destinations. And since India is one of the fastest growing outbound travel markets in the world and with a close proximity to UAE, we strongly believe that it is at forefront of other source markets for us.”

Nevil D’Souza, Head of Sales, Dubai Parks and Resorts said, “It has been an absolute pleasure to have opened up the world of Dubai Parks and Resorts to our potential partners in India. As Indians are keen to explore the world for unique travel experiences, the parks are all set to do exactly that. We look forward to welcoming our guests to the largest multi-themed leisure and entertainment destination in the region”

Dubai Parks and Resorts will feature MOTIONGATE Dubai – a movie based theme park showcasing some of Hollywood’s most beloved characters from DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Studios and Lionsgate as well as the region’s first LEGOLAND Park and a LEGOLAND Water Park. Committed to bringing together the best of the East and West, Dubai Parks and Resorts will also feature Bollywood Parks Dubai, the first theme park based on the sights and sounds of Bollywood. The entire destination will be connected by Riverland Dubai – a uniquely themed retail and dining destination at the heart of Dubai Parks and Resorts, and guests can stay at the Lapita Hotel, a Polynesian-themed resort catering to families as part of the Autograph Collection of Marriott Hotels.

Job Opportunities to Over 40,000 IT Tech Engineering & Freshers Across the Country?


There is a big challenge  - Out of over 1,50,000 engineering students, who graduated in last year from colleges across India, 80 per cent of them were deemed 'unemployable' by India Inc. How does one ensure that engineering students and fresh engineers are able to showcase their capabilities in getting the job done? Some of them are lucky enough to get into a 'branded' college and get placed from campus… but most are not. TechGig Code Wizards  - India’s biggest recruitment drive for final year Engineering and MCA students is set to change this by providing job opportunities to over 40,000 freshers across the country.

CREDIBLE ASSESSMENT - THE SOLUTION TO THE EMPLOYABILITY CHALLENGE
The sustainable competitive advantage of any business is its people – their passion, dedication, ability and creativity in applying their knowledge to come up with innovative solutions. With a highly volatile environment, evolving technologies and challenging market conditions, hiring the right people with the correct capabilities is critical. And if companies need more out of a candidate, they need to look for more in a candidate. When it comes to hiring engineering talent today, evaluating his “tech quotient” is a must. Tech Quotient is possibly the largest, tangible and most robust benchmark of measuring the competency level of a candidate as on date and has been used by nearly 90% of the Indian IT Industry to assess the competencies of millions of Techies. 

INTRODUCING TECH QUOTIENT:
"Tech quotient measures the ability of a technology professional in the application of their knowledge in the work place rather than the knowledge itself. It also removes bias of institute, location and education grades," says Nilanjan Roy, Head of Strategy, Times Business Solutions.

Tech Quotient is a uniquely designed algorithm that allows coding competency evaluations across multiple languages. It is a highly credible measure that tests the capability, coding proficiency and knowledge application ability. Tech Quotient has been used by all IT Giants who work in India including Amadeus, Accenture, IBM, Microsoft, HCL, Sapient, Oracle, Intuit, Persistent, Cisco, Infosys, GE Digital, TCS, HP, Cognizant, Intel, Fiserv and Amazon just to name a few.

Tech Quotient forms the backbone of the TechGig.com, India’s largest platform for IT professionals, and allows employers to assess a techie's individual merit and ability to apply his knowledge, irrespective of his work experience, designation, previous employers, degrees, qualifications or past institutions. 

LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD FOR FRESHERS:
Industry recognized Tech Quotient allows TechGig to successfully conduct several types of coding contests, skill tests, hackathons and other tech challenges, including India's Largest Coding Contest – TechGig Code Gladiators, bringing all techies on to a common benchmark. This technology is now being rolled out to assess final year students on campuses around India in the TechGig Code Wizards Campus Hunt.

TechGig.com helps employers identify and hire the best programmers straight from the colleges through this premium-coding contest Code Wizards. Before you think that Code Wizards is just another coding contest, where a bunch of geeks meet to code for pleasure, here’s more information for your consumption. Code Wizards acts as a serious hiring platform for some of the biggest IT players including BirlaSoft, Sapient, Amazon, Infosys and Iris Software. BirlaSoft shortlisted as many as 1,145 candidates from Code Wizards 2015, followed by Sapient (650) and Amazon (515).

THE CODE WIZARDS SOLUTION:
Explaining how Code Wizards acts as a hiring enabler for tech companies, Nilanjan Roy, Head of Strategy at Times Business Solutions, shares, "Code Wizards brings everyone, despite their geographic location or academy, onto an even platform and uses Tech Quotient to give a fair and unbiased judgment of their ability to apply their knowledge in real world situations as a technology professional. Over 25 top IT companies will be using this particular event to screen and shortlist high performance talent, who may have been overlooked if it were not for this all-India level event."

Going to campuses individually involves large investments in terms of time, manpower and money.  To avoid these challenges, many-a-times, companies focus on just a few 'branded' colleges in prime geographies. This definitely involves lesser effort, but takes them away from a bigger talent pool. On the other hand, candidates in remote parts of the country also loose on their chances of getting hired.

Being an online coding contest, the Code Wizards platform reaches out to the programmers in the remotest parts of the country, to ensure that hiring companies can reach out to the deepest regions and get the best talent from across India, irrespective of their geographic proximity to their future employers.

INDUSTRY ACCOLADES:
Companies like Amazon, who have used Code Wizards, think that it is a powerful platform that eases campus-hiring activity. Rajendra Prasad, Talent Acquisition Lead at Amazon, shares his experience of Code Wizards 2015. He says, “We have leveraged Code Wizards in few of our campus hiring activities. Code Wizards has immense database of colleges and students with associated rankings and ratings. This was helpful in prioritizing from a recruiting standpoint. The team from Times was extremely helpful in following up and updating the status to the campuses and students. The entire activity was well managed by them. We would continue our association with Code Wizards.”

Adding to it, Suhail Akhtar, Head of Development at IG Infotech, says, “TechGig.com provides a great platform for online assessment of programming talent. The Pan India reach of the Code Wizards contest helped us in hiring fresh graduates without having to visit individual campuses.”

The latest edition of the coding contest, TechGig’s Code Wizards 2016, is going to see over 25 top IT Companies screen and shortlist students from over 100 Campuses across India. Final year Engineering and MCA students can click here (http://www.techgig.com/codewizards) to get an opportunity to be hired by the biggest IT companies in the country.