SILICON VILLAGE

Friday, February 3, 2017

Over 2,50,000 FKCCI Businesses to Get GST Trained on Tally Platform

Tally Solutions Private Limited, a premier Indian software product company, today signed an MoU with FKCCI (The Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce & Industry. About 50,000 direct and indirect members of FKCCI will be trained by Tally Solutions as means of GST preparation and transition as part of this collaboration.  The MoU was announced at a mega event held at Le Meridien, Bengaluru.

Speaking about the MoU, Tejas Goenka, Executive Director – Tally Solutions said, “We are delighted to have collaborated with the FKCCI for GST awareness for their members.  FKCCI is the single largest commerce and industry body in the state of Karnataka and this tie-up will allow us to reach out to all their member businesses and prepare them for GST transition. The recently announced budget has paved the way for GST with the finance minister talking about the government’s reach out starting 1stApril for industry readiness. As a company which has been the technology partner for SMEs, we are proactively reaching out to businesses across industries for the same and consider it our responsibility to educate and help them to successfully comply with GST. This association is another step in that direction.”

The event was attended office bearers of FKCCI and senior officials from Tally Solutions. Tally will hold GST awareness sessions in every district of Karnataka for FKCCI members, said an official.

Vijaya Bank Q3 Net Rises Four-Fold to Rs 230 Crore; Focus on Farm, Housing and Infrastructure

Bengaluru-headquartered public sector lender Vijaya Bank on Thursday reported a nearly four-fold jump in its net profit to Rs 230.28 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2016. The bank will follow the guidelines set by the FM Jaitley Budget 2017 i.e. focusing on key sectors like the Farm Credit; Housing Sector (Affordable) and Infrastructure.

The bank had reported a net profit of Rs 52.61 crore in the corresponding quarter, last year. Vijaya Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kishore Kumar Sansi said, “From the last six quarters, we have been doing very well. The strategy is to concentrate on retail business, improve NIM (net interest margin), and not to concentrate much on topline at the cost of profit.” “That is how, we have been able to reduce our high-cost deposit... almost to negligible. Then, reorientation from corporate credit to retail has given few more dividends and coupled with good treasury profits,”Sansi explained.

Net Interest Income (NII),or the difference between the interest earned on loans and the interest paid on deposits, grew at 22.88% to Rs 906.49 crore, compared with Rs 737.70 crore. The bank’s total income rose to Rs 3,714.37 crore in the quarter under review from Rs 3,237.02 crore in the same period a year ago, Vijaya Bank said in a statement. The bank’s gross non-performing assets (NPAs) rose to 6.98%, against 4.32% in the same quarter last fiscal. Net NPAs rose to 4.74% in the quarter under review compared with 2.98%, a year ago. When asked about demonetisation’s effects on the public banking sector, 

Vijaya Bank Executive Director B S Rama Rao said, “It is a temporary phenomenon, which does not affect the demands of the corporate sector. However, the bank does not visualise any improvement in the economy as of now.” Provision coverage ratio increased to 55.44% and retail advances increased to Rs 27,284crore,up by 22.88%. As on December 31, 2016, the bank has 2,030 branches and 1,865 ATMs. Vijaya Bank’s stocks jumped 19.78% to Rs 63.90 a share on the BSE.

Siemens and Bentley Systems Jointly Offer Planning and Design Solutions for Utilities

Building on the strategic alliance between Siemens and Bentley Systems that was made public in November 2016, Siemens’ Energy Management Division and Bentley Systems have announced an agreement to jointly develop solutions to accelerate digitalization of planning, design, and operations for power utilities and industrial power customers. Bentley Systems is a global leader in software solutions for advancing the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure. The first of the new offerings will integrate Bentley Systems’ utility design and geographic information systems (GIS) capabilities with Siemens’ Power System Simulation (PSS) Suite, with specific solutions for power transmission, power distribution, and industrial facilities. Combining these two platforms provides customers with Bentley’s expertise in 3D infrastructure asset modeling and GIS with Siemens’ knowledge and renowned experience in energy system planning and simulation.

“The energy industry trend toward decentralization represents a significant challenge as well as a great opportunity for power producers and consumers alike, and our strategic alliance with Bentley Systems will help our customers better leverage this changing landscape through the combination of our powerful solutions,” said Ralf Christian, CEO of the Siemens Energy Management Division. “Siemens and Bentley share a commitment to openness, interoperability, and the common goal of helping our customers drive the digital enterprise across their supply chains.”

Bentley Systems Chief Product Officer Bhupinder Singh said, “We are excited to collaborate with Siemens to help our power utilities users advance in ‘going digital.’ Siemens’ expertise in electrical power systems planning and simulation are the perfect complement to our GIS and infrastructure engineering solutions, and we will work together to bring new innovations and tangible business benefits to our users around the world.”

Distributed energy resources (DER), like microgrids and their off-grid on-grid mode, require more advanced planning approaches to ensure system reliability and stability. Bentley’s OpenUtilities solution for utility power grid design and GIS will be integrated with Siemens’ PSS Suite for power system planning to provide seamless workflows and data integration, while supporting optimal network design for both operational and economic performance. Through a connected data environment, utility engineers will now have the added benefit of sharing critical design information to reduce design time and construction costs to deliver optimal and comprehensive utility network updates.

In addition, the Siemens Bentley initiative will provide intelligent Siemens components for easy placement into Bentley’s Substation application for 3D modeling, while intelligent electrical symbols will provide necessary details for comprehensive reports in a substation’s 2D schematic layout capabilities. Bentley users will have access to a comprehensive Siemens’ components catalog through Bentley’s cloud services.

UL Launches Online Pledge Campaign for Indian Road Safety



Driven by social media, the campaign focuses on encouraging responsible driver behavior particularly among the youth, to combat the alarming road traffic fatalities in India

In an effort to rectify India’s infamous reputation as the country with the deadliest roads in the world, UL, a global safety science organization, through its not for profit arm has launched an online pledge campaign to change bad driver behaviour. 

Dubbed #SafetyFirst, the campaign urges the social media user to take a pledge to put safety first at all times - by promising to be responsible, by adhering to basic road safety rules against overspeeding, drunken driving and underage driving, by encouraging the use of helmet and seatbelts and by yielding right of way to emergency vehicles like ambulances.

The pledge, shareable on Facebook and Twitter, can be made at UL’s Safety Smart India site http://ulsafetysmart.com/india/index. The microsite educates potential pledge takers about the disastrous ramifications of indulging in unsafe driving practices. For instance, “drivers using cell phones look but fail to see up to 50 percent of the information in their driving environment”.

“India’s road safety challenges are complex and multifold, the resolution of which requires an impactful, holistic approach. While a lot can be said about stricter enforcement of rules and improvement of road infrastructure, a major part of the road safety problem in India involves increasing accountability of drivers and improving road behaviour. It is this very issue that we want to tackle through this campaign. While people are aware of the rules, when they make a conscious effort to pledge for safety, it brings positive changes to their behaviour on the road. This is the impact we are hoping to achieve with our campaign,” says R.A Venkitachalam, Vice President, Public Safety Mission, UL.

Alstrom Foundation Celebrates 10-years; Commits Support Sustainable Community Projects in India



The Alstom Foundation will support 18 projects this year spread across all continents with a particular focus on employability, welfare and children’s education. The selected projects are in: India, Vietnam, the U.S., Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, France, U.K., Italy, Romania, Algeria, Egypt and South Africa. 

The Foundation has identified two important stakeholder groups in India -
a.       Women and children from rural communities residing in close proximity to Alstom’s upcoming manufacturing unit at Madhepura in Bihar which requires sustainable solutions to improve employability, resilient livelihood, access to good health,  sanitation and maternity facilities
b.      Socio-economic support for marginalized and socially excluded children living in and around Bengaluru and Delhi, who face enormous challenges to access good education
The Alstom Foundation - which is celebrating 10 years of activity - has already supported a total of 151 projects across 52 countries.

With a budget of €1 million per year, the Alstom Foundation supports and funds projects proposed by Alstom’s employees who team up with local partners and not-for-profit organizations to carry out initiatives aimed at improving living conditions in communities located near the Alstom’s facilities and project sites around the world. The Foundation’s past projects have focused on: Economic and Social Development, Access to Energy and Water, Environmental Protection and Access to Mobility.

Alstom in India is currently executing metro projects in several Indian cites including Chennai, Kochi, Bengaluru, Delhi and Lucknow. In the mainline space, Alstom is executing signaling and power supply systems for 343 kilometer section of the World Bank funded Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor. With an Engineering Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru, coupled with strong manufacturing base in SriCity (Andhra Pradesh), Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) and the upcoming facility at Madhepura (Bihar), Alstom is positioned to serve both Indian as well as global markets. The company in India employs close to 3000 people from diverse backgrounds and is ramping up operations to cater to the increasing demand in the sub-continent. 

Next Gen Ashok Leyland School Bus – Sunshine and New MiTR Launch in Bengaluru

Ashok Leyland, flagship of the Hinduja Group, and the country’s largest Bus manufacturer, today launched the much-awaited Sunshine and the new MiTR in Bengaluru. Sunshine is an ideal combination of safety and comfort designed to make school bus journeys happy and memorable. The New MiTR is a safe and modern school bus in Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segment. 

Sharing his views on these new products, Vinod K. Dasari, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Ashok Leyland Ltd. said, “With the brand promise of Aapki Jeet, Hamari Jeet, we at Ashok Leyland have always believed in setting new benchmarks in everything that we do. Sunshine and MiTR are very special to us and they will set new benchmarks in the school transport sector. Children are the nation’s future and to ensure that their travel to and from school is stress-free, it becomes imperative that we completely re-look at their mode of transport. Sunshine reflects the happy world of children while at the same time revolutionizing safety through a host of features such as frontal crash protection, rollover compliant design and anti-bacterial interiors. Both Sunshine and MiTR are shaped by technology and expertise of global standards that will transform the daily commute of children making journeys safer and more comfortable.”

Commenting on Sunshine, T. Venkataraman, Senior Vice President, Global Buses, Ashok Leyland said, “Being the largest bus manufacturer in India and the fourth largest in the world, we believe in setting industry benchmarks. At Ashok Leyland, our core philosophy behind each product is to modernise the industry and taking this thought forward we are launching Sunshine today. Sunshine is a result of extensive feedback from all our stakeholders – including children, parents, drivers and customers - and an immersive study into the lives of all these stakeholders. For the first time we had children and parents visit our R&D centre and share their feedback on what an ideal school bus means for them. We complemented this with Jury Appraisals by customers to factor in their voices as well. Sunshine has been crafted after in-depth research and analysis of over 3,000+ stakeholder voices to offer industry-leading features for its occupants, to provide our customers with economical transport solutions, and to deliver on its brand promise of safe journeys, happy memories.”

Speaking at New MiTR launch, Nitin Seth, President - Light Commercial Vehicles, Ashok Leyland, said, “We are delighted to present this Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segment bus, the ‘MiTR’ from Ashok Leyland. After introducing the PARTNER earlier this month, this is our second launch in the LCV within a month. With multiple seat options and best-in-class features, MiTR will add strength to our fast-expanding LCV portfolio. We will continue to delight our customers with contemporary products that deliver best-in-class user experience, coupled with exceptional efficiency. In the coming months, we will pursue our expansion of LCV portfolio very aggressively and intend to have a similar leadership position in this segment as we have in M&HCV.”

Racold Launches Italian Designed ANDRIS Range of Water Heaters Priced Rs.7630 Onwards

V Ramnath, Managing Director, Ariston Thermo India Private Limited unveiled a new range of electric storage water heaters ‘Andris’ under the brand Racold.

Designed by renowned Italian Designer Umberto Palermo, Andris a premium designed water heater is meant to enhance aesthetic of the bath space. The path breaking design is already successful in Vietnam and South East Asia market and is set to be the much awaited product of the year in India.

Andris has a titanium enamel coating on its inner tank which provides durability even in the harshest of water conditions. Andris has a minimalistic design which is a perfect balance of geometry and style. The combination of compact design and thick PUF insulation makes it highly energy efficient is validated by the 5 star rating from BEE. Andris is rated 8 bar enabling it to withstand high pressure, making it suitable for high rise buildings.

V Ramnath, Managing Director, Ariston Thermo India Private Ltd. said, “There is an emerging trend for designer bathrooms. Bathrooms are no longer just a utility space, just like a house or a living room is an extension of one’s identity and is seen as a reflection of one’s taste, choices and personality. We continue to set benchmarks in the industry by introducing innovative, state-of-the-art technology and aesthetically designed products every year. The new offering bears testimony to our ability of constantly offering innovative and customized solutions based on consumer insights. We continue to invest and look at opportunities on how to expand the category. Our endeavor going forward will be to focus on consumer backed innovation, distribution, after sales service and world class manufacturing”.

Andris will be available in capacities of 10, 15 and  25 liters across two variants Andris Lux and Andris Lux Plus. With prices starting from Rs. 7,630 the product will be available for consumers across India.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

‘Technology Push to Aid Digital Economy’ - Union Budget 2017-18

Budget Reactions 2017

Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India says, “The Finance Minister has presented a balanced budget, underlined by the continued push to using technology to aid a digital economy. As India strengthens its position on the global map, the need for skilled youth is crucial. The budget’s focus on extending market relevant training for the youth and setting up 100 international skill centers across the country, is a positive move. The emphasis on science and technology for students, and launch of SWAYAM, will further empower India’s youth for the future. I am glad to witness the increasing focus on cybersecurity, which is critical to securing the economy’s digital transformation. The reduction of corporate tax for MSMEs is a welcome move and will boost the economic growth. The momentum in the implementation of GST is promising and I look forward to seeing it unfold in the coming months.” 

Krish Iyer, President and CEO Walmart India says, “The Union Budget 2017 is a game changer and continues to rightly focus on rural, agriculture and infrastructure sector with an aim to give boost to formal economy.  The planned investment in these sectors will not only create much needed jobs in the country but also spur consumer spending and boost economic growth. Fiscal deficit too has been contained very well.

The continued focus on ease of doing business with several measures such as abolishing FIPB, 'Model law on contract farming', Simplification of Labour laws under four areas – wages, industrial relation, social security and welfare and Safety -  augurs very well for the economy. Major income tax relief in the lowest bracket is laudable as it will bring back consumer confidence and boost domestic consumption. 

The measures announced to boost the manufacturing sector are commendable. Rewarding MSMEs by reducing rate of income tax will further boost `Make in India’; Proposal to set up dairy processing fund will boost food processing while increased allocation to schemes such as MSIPS will boost the electronics sector. Rural sector gets a boost with increased allocation to MNREGA.

The agenda for the year to `transform, energise and clean India’ is indeed noteworthy. Government's commitment to lift 1 crore people out of poverty by 2019 is commendable.

Government's steps to promote digital economy post demonetisation are very logical and will boost formal economy.

Overall, this is a very good budget. Adherence to fiscal discipline, with emphasis on growth, development, increasing infrastructural and rural spending, and encouraging formal economy are key aspects of the budget.

Besides, there is focus on timely implementation and execution effective April 1 2017 as the Budget has been brought forward by one month, and combining Railway budget with Union Budget is a historic move.

Rostow Ravanan, CEO and MD, Mindtree says,Several measures introduced in the 2017 Union Budget are an important step towards building India into an important digital economy. This budget has made special provisions to ensure greater financial growth, with emphasis on enhancing cybersecurity in finance, and bringing greater coordination and transparency between departments. The Computer Emergency Response Scheme is a great initiative which will smoothen coordination between finance regulators. The push to drive adoption of mobile and an Aadhaar-enabled payment system will help bring in greater financial inclusion amongst citizens.

Additionally, IT exemption for start-ups will help reduce income tax for smaller companies with a turnover less than Rs 50 crore, which we believe will significantly improve the ease of doing business for smaller businesses and start-ups in India. There has also been a revision in personal income tax rates which will boost consumption to some extent.

The new budget has also made provisions to raise India’s innovation quotient, through the setting up of an innovation fund to encourage and fuel innovation amongst youth. The budget’s focus on making education more accessible to educationally backward blocks, along with the steps taken to ramp up the Skill India Mission will also help in maximizing the potential and capabilities of youth in the country.”

Rishi Bhatnagar, President, Aeris says, “Overall a very positive budget. Reduction of corporate tax rates from 30% to 25% for MSME firms will definitely encourage investors and corporates. Some of the steps taken will definitely increase foreign direct investment and lead to employment generation which will be good for country.”

Surendra Singh – Country Director, Forcepoint says, “We appreciate and welcome the Finance Minister’s announcement on setting up a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) for the financial sector made today during Union Budget  2017. It reaffirms Digital India’s long term commitment towards securing consumer’s against cyber frauds. We believe that this initiative will help to strengthen security of the financial sector amid the increasing incidents of cyber frauds thereby protecting the consumers of various financial institutions”.

Indian Leisure Tourists Going to South Africa on the Rise Every Fiscal


Spending by Indian travellers in South Africa has crossed ZAR 1.1 billion (Rs 551 crore) with 81,429 arrivals by the end of the third quarter, a growth of 27%.

Addressing reporters at the South African Tourism Trade Delegation roadshow here in Bangalore, SA Tourism India country manager Hanneli Slabber said, “Overall, average spend per leisure traveller from India was placed at ZAR 150,000 (Rs 5,90,000), indicating that South Africa attractsavarietyofpocket sizes.”

“We want to sustain this growth,and also attract return travellers. Going forward, we would focus on increasing the geographical scope of the market — our biggest sources are Mumbai and Delhi, followed by Bengaluru and Chennai at present,”Hanneli added.

The average number of nights by Indian tourists in South Africa now stands at 11 for leisure, and 19 for business, with the ‘Rainbow Nation’ attracting scores of Indian travelers wanting to soak in adventure, culture, wildlife, cricket and history, among other interests.

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