SILICON VILLAGE

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Online Office Platform Aahaa Stores Raises $1 Million in Second Round of Pre-Series



Aahaa Stores, one of the fastest growing online office supplies platform, today announced that it has raised the second round of pre-series A funding from investor group led by YourNest Angel Fund, an early stage investor in technology, ecommerce and consumer centric businesses. The company had raised first round funding of equal amount around eighteen months ago. The company had grown multifold since then in terms of Product portfolio, customer base, geographical presence and sales turnover. Two of the existing investors including YourNest have participated in this round as well at a substantially higher valuation as compared to their earlier investments. This reaffirms the investors’ faith in Aahaa Stores. In addition to them, a new investor with a strong equity financing background has picked up 50% equity of the fresh capital.

The company plans to utilize the funds for expanding the business across new verticals and geographies. Aahaa Stores also announced its intent to realize their long-term vision by strengthening its technology platform iPOS, mobilizing top talent and reaching out to new customers across verticals via the funds received.  

Asokan Sattanathan, Founder and Chairman, Aahaa Stores, said “The second round of pre-series A funding from YourNest and other marquee investors is a strategic step towards building and enhancing further on technology, talent, infrastructure, brand and innovative customer-centric business models. With our unique solution providing capabilities in the indirect office supplies space, we are well-poised to reach Rs 100 crores run rate and attain breakeven volumes by the end of this financial year. Within a short span of time, we have been able to create a niche platform for online office supplies segment which reiterates our confidence that we will soon emerge as a leader in the online office supplies space.”

Commenting on this development, Sunil K Goyal, Managing Director and Fund Manager, Yournest, said “Aahaa stores has won the trust of the finest enterprise customers in segments including BFSI, Manufacturing and IT, in a short period of time. Winning customer confidence in this competitive market opens further doors for immense growth in meeting the needs of intelligent procurement. aahaa team has the leadership depth and the domain knowledge to excel and grow as a B2B market place." 

Launched in 2013, Aahaa has hugely benefitted the BFSI and IT sectors by managing their daily need of essential indirect supplies efficiently and effectively at 4000+ branches across the country. Aahaa has helped many corporates of repute rejig their brand through mobilizing rich and attractive merchandise in their Brand Stores and taking end to end responsibility from sourcing to last mile delivery. Aahaa is immensely popular for streamlining purchase to pay processes in the otherwise competitive manufacturing sector when it comes to tail spends.

International Innovation Corps, University of Chicago Aims to Accelerate Social Development by Bringing Together Private Public Enterprises

The University of Chicago’s International Innovation Corps (IIC) organized a three-day conference at their center in Delhi. The event featured panel discussions on creating participatory spaces in public policy, innovations in development finance, filling data gaps and fuelling data governance. The emerging theme from the deliberations was the role of public private partnerships in scaling and accelerating social development initiatives and creating an ecosystem which would help enable this.

Stalwarts from the NITI Aayog, the Rajasthan Education Department, organizations such as Michael and Susan Dell Foundation,  Dasra, Villgro India, SEWA, Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence, IDInsight, Data{Meet}, SocialCops, X Billion Labs, Saajha, Aranya Agricultural Alternatives came together to discuss their learnings and observations on the need to involve communities in the creation and delivery of policy initiatives; the significance of participation of private funding, philanthropic giving and impact investing to accelerate the development process; and overcoming gaps in data collection, management and analytics. 

A keynote lecture by Naresh Pal Gangwar, Secretary of Education, Government of Rajasthan, on systemic transformations in education, was also able to bring these different themes together.  The Secretary’s lecture highlighted how Rajasthan’s School Education Department has been able to combine data systems, community engagement, and partnerships with NGOs and foundations, to bring about large-scale change in education governance. While learning outcomes will take many years to improve, putting in place the right governance structures is a critical first step.

Panel discussions highlighted that lack of ownership is a challenge when it comes to scaling social initiatives. Creating communitarian organizations with participation from all sectors could help build holistic programs and address challenges with existing initiatives. Information sharing and building capacity at the official level, as well as community level, would help accelerate this.  

Prachi Jain Windlass, India Education Director, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, shared “When it comes to achieving scale and making social development initiatives sustainable, it cannot be achieved in isolation by education technology companies, or NGOs. Working closely with the government and facilitating community involvement is what will make these initiatives a success.”

IIC’s education programs in Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh are helping build formal and informal channels to encourage community participation, designing tools to collect data at the village level, and building capacity to scale such interventions, by ensuring that local governance structures in each state are kept in mind and proper feedback mechanisms are developed. All of this is being enabled through collaborations with state governments.

Throwing light on the recently launched Gyan Sankalp Education Funding Portal designed by the Government of Rajasthan and the IIC, Tullika Saini, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Education, Rajasthan shared “There is a 5000+crore infrastructure financing gap in Rajasthan schools. A larger vision is required to connect potential funders with on-ground projects which have been identified after careful observation of needs of people on the ground, which the Gyan Sankalp portal aims at enabling. There is an opportunity for every organization to be a part of education initiatives in the country and the portal is a tool to connect the two.”

Avik Sarkar, Incharge, Data Analytics Cell, Energy Modeling Unit, NITI Aayog, who engaged with an IIC team to work on data systems, said “Gaps in data analysis and effective utilization of data, to implement impactful initiatives, exist because of lack of digitization of data. Data needs to be seen as a tool that empowers people and proper governance mechanisms need to be put in place to collect and digitize relevant data. Partnerships with private organizations for capacity building to impart necessary skills to accelerate digitization of data can help take this forward.”


Avik Sarkar, Incharge, Data Analytics Cell, Energy Modeling Unit, NITI Aayog; Tullika Saini, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Education, Rajasthan; Prachi Jain Windlass, Director, India Education, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation; Megha Jain, Associate Director, Strategic Philanthropy, Dasra, leaders of NGOs and social enterprises, and government officials attended the conference.

SOC Gaining Focus & IOT Set to Play a Big Role in Next 10 Years: Trend Micro

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions had their global executive Kevin Simzer, EVP, Sales & Marketing in India recently, stressing on how APAC tends to be a lead adopter around next generation projects focused on Cloud, Virtualization and Container related technologies. In a total addressable market size of $15 billion, he opined that IOT is here to stay for the next decade, and Hybrid Cloud security was seen as one of the strongest growth areas in India and around the APAC region. Another area which is increasingly come into the fore is SOC (Security Operations Centre), and what customers are doing from an incident response standpoint.

“India market in particular is very technology savvy. We are going to take big initiatives largely driven in India partnering with big system integrators (SI’s) who happen to be champions. We want to be part of the next wave of opportunity by investing in companies, through our $100 million VC arm on IOT and next generation landscape of applications that are there. We are very excited about developments around Blockchain, IOT, and other applications that might shake the future,” said Kevin.

On the sidelines of the upcoming CLOUDSEC event in India, he further added, “Hybrid Cloud would be the hottest of the hot topics of discussion during this years’ industry-wide consortium, with Ransomware too being one of the other hot topics. I think the event will allow the participants to get a good view of the world, and of what security ecosystem looks like.”   

From a growth perspective, both globally and in APAC region, all three of Trend Micro’s major solution areas are witnessing significant growth: Endpoint, Hybrid Cloud security and Network. 50% of the business comes from Endpoint, and that is growing in mid- single digit. Hybrid Cloud security offering is growing at 45% plus, a quarter of their business; and the Network defense that forms quarter of our business is growing at 25%.

“India is completely a true reflection of what is happening globally. Today, the most interesting part in India is Azure and AWS, both of which have made significant investments in India. We have a dedicated team to address Azure and AWS business. Our focus is to be present whenever customers are opting for Azure and AWS”, said Nilesh Jain, Country Manager (India & SAARC), Trend Micro.

To cater to the massive shortage of skills, and cyber security professionals in the industry, with reports suggesting 1 million cyber security positions open across the globe; Trend Micro has also setup a cybersecurity training centre in Cairo, Egypt with plans to introduce in Brazil, Canada including India.

MarketSmith India & 5Paisa.com Tieup for World Class Research Info

For the first time in India, an independent equity research firm and a broking house have come together to give a world class research information to investors.

5Paisa.com, the discount broking arm of IIFL, is going to integrate MarketSmith India in their app to give access to an independent and world class research to its customers. This will benefit the customers of 5Paisa.com in a big way from next week as they will now get access to all the research content of MarketSmith India, helping them to take informed investment decisions.

'It is indeed going to be a first of its kind of integration and tie-up. As of now, none of the discount broking houses are offering research in any form to their customers, and 5Paisa.com will lead the way by giving world class research to its customers', says Anupam Singhi, CEO, MarketSmith India (part of William O'Neil India).

The tie-up is an extension of its customer acquisition exercise for MarketSmith India to help people take informed trading / investment decisions at a very affordable price. With an aim to make larger investor community in India about William O Neil's empirical research of growth investing, 5Paisa.com will bring in their customers and its deep geographical reach to MSI's customer acquisition activity. In near future, MarketSmith India's customers might directly be able to place their trades on MSI's research using 5Paisa.com's trading platform.

"We are happy to associate with MarketSmith India as we believe that our customers will greatly benefit from the world class research that will be offered by MarketSmith India," said Prakarsh Gagdani, CEO, 5Paisa.com.

Benefitting from the tie-up, 5Paisa.com customers will get access to world class independent research which has proven its merits in different market conditions across different geographies across the world. 5Paisa.com customers will have to pay Rs 12499 per annum (less 10% inaugural discount) to access the premium features of MarketSmith India. However, each and every customer of 5Paisa.com will have access to Free Content of MSI without paying any subscription fees. 

Godrej Appliances Unveils Eon Front Load Washing Machines with New Allergy Protect Health Features


Godrej Appliances, one of India’s leading players in the Home Appliances industry, has unveiled its range of front load fully automatic washing machines under its sub brand Godrej Eon.

This range of machines comes equipped with a new feature called Allergy Protect, a superior wash programme, certified by Allergy UK that is effective in getting rid of seven common allergens and bacteria. Allergy Protect focuses not only on removing visible stains from clothes but also invisible allergens and bacteria allowing for a truly pristine wash. It also consumes less energy and water as it features another ground-breaking innovation - Eco-Balance technology, which optimizes water and electricity consumption depending on the size of the load.

The new range of washing machines is designed with various other distinctive in-built features that together redefine the concept of cleaning. It has 15 unique wash programmes to cater to the diverse laundry needs of the consumers, an anti-crease function to ease ironing and a rapid 15-minute wash programme that offers a short and convenient solution for less soiled clothes. It also packs a powerful wash with 3 levels of stain selection and foam protection system for better detergent removal.

Godrej’s new front load washing machines places convenience at the heart of its human-centric design philosophy, making them easy-to-use whilst also standing out from the competition. 

Sanjeev Jain, National Sales Head - Godrej Appliances, said, “We have always been at the forefront when it comes to providing differentiated solutions in washing machines. We were the first to introduce toughened glass lids, colour options in washing machines, steel drum in semi-automatic washing machines, water and power sensing DAC technology and ultra-sonic wash technology. With our new technologies, Allergy Protect and Eco Balance in our front load washing machines, we have raised the bar on innovation even higher. We are already among the fastest growing brands in the washing machine category and with this new range, we intend to consolidate our position in the category.”

Rakesh Sial, Product Group Head - Godrej Appliances, said, “Prevalence of bacteria and allergens in clothes can lead to severe skin diseases especially amongst kids as they are more prone to infections. For a thorough wash, we need to focus on the visible as well as the non-visible contaminations on the clothes. Furthermore, water conservation has become a global need. Hence to combat these critical issues while focusing on the health of the consumers, we have enhanced our washing machine range with our foray into the front load fully automatic category. Godrej Eon Front load washing machine promises to make washing clothes a delightful and healthy experience and provide complete convenience to the consumers.”

The new range is available in capacities of 7Kg and 6Kg. It will be priced at between Rs 27,000-Rs 34,500.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

CASHe, Paisabazaar.com Ink Partnership Deal, Aim To Collectively Disburse 35,000 Loans by Dec 2017

Aeries Financial Technologies Pvt. Ltd., a fin-tech company promoted by serial entrepreneur and private equity investor Mr. V. Raman Kumar, today announced that CASHe, India’s fastest loan-giving app for young salaried professionals, has entered a strategic partnership with Paisabazaar.com, India’s No. 1 in loans & credit cards marketplace, to offer short-term personal loans to consumers who otherwise get rejected from traditional lending institutions. Paisabazaar.com will now feature a new category under short-term loans which will exclusively feature CASHe’s loan products. This tie-up will enable CASHe to reach out to a sizable online customer base of Paisabazaar.com.

Speaking about the partnership, V. Raman Kumar, Chairman, Aeries Financial Technologies said, “Paisabazaar is the market place leader in online financial products and has a loyal and growing customer base across India. By Introducing CASHe’s app-based short-term loan products on its platform, we look forward to leveraging the platform’s wide distribution network and its strong customer portfolio, especially in the short-term lending space. We are confident that this partnership will create a win-win situation for those customers who would have never qualified for any loan from traditional lending institutions. They will now have access to CASHe’s short-term loan products on a single platform. I am truly thrilled by this partnership,” he added

Paisabazaar.com and CASHe are together targeting to disburse 35,000 loans by the end of 2017. Paisabazaar.com in 2016-17 was the only online financial player to disburse loans worth Rs 2500 crore. By the end of this financial year, it aims to hit an annualized disbursal of Rs 6000 crore.

Commenting on the collaboration, Naveen Kukreja, CEO & Co-founder, Paisabazaar.com said, “As a market leader in the lending space, we get customers from across the spectrum on our platform - HNIs, entrepreneurs, young salaried professionals, low income profiles etc. These customers have varied credit profiles, with credit scores ranging from ‘Excellent’ to ‘Poor’. In line with this, we are delighted to partner with CASHe to help improve access to credit for young salaried professionals with below par credit scores. Not only is it a great platform to access credit for short term, it’s also an excellent medium for consumers to behave responsibly on this loan and build their credit profile. We look forward to providing credit to thousands of customers over the next few months through this partnership.”

CASHe provides hassle-free loans with its app enabled documentation and loan disbursal/repayment process. Powered by its industry-first algorithm driven credit scoring platform, The Social Loan Quotient (SLQ), CASHe quickly determines a user’s credit worthiness by using multiple unique data points to arrive at a distinct credit profile of the customer. SLQ is transforming the traditional credit rating measurements thereby providing immediate loans to the under-served young professionals who are kept out by traditional credit rating and banking systems. CASHe is completely automated and requires no personal intervention and no physical documentation. The average time taken for a loan to be disbursed is about 8 minutes, subject to proper submission of all documents.

GOK, Amazon India Partner to Help Local Start-Ups Sell Online Under its Launchpad Program

In line with its vision to transform the way India buys & sells, Amazon India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Technology Services (KBITS) at ‘ELEVATE100’ event held today in Bangalore. As part of the alliance, Amazon India will work with KBITS to educate, train & enable select start-ups to sell their products to Amazon customers across the country under its Launchpad program. Amazon Launchpad, the company’s flagship program dedicated to promote innovative products backed by technological excellence, makes it easy for Indian startups to launch, market, and distribute their products to millions of Amazon customers across India and around the world through a dedicated store.
The Government of Karnataka has operationalized a dedicated ‘Karnataka Startup Cell’ as a one-stop shop to provide assistance to startups with respect to information on regulatory environment, networking with industry bodies and academic institutions. The Start-up Cell, operated by KBITS, provides the ‘Startup Karnataka Booster Kit’ – a collection of software tools and services provided by a ‘Booster Kit Service Provider’ which enables start-ups to avail enhanced marketing support and showcase their innovative products to the customers.
As part of this alliance, Amazon Launchpad as a ‘Booster Kit Service Provider’, shall provide a dedicated storefront on www.amazon.in and other services to all the shortlisted product start-ups including periodic support and services in improving their presence on the marketplace, generating demand for their products, and guiding them towards sustainable business growth under the program.  KBITS will share a database of product start-ups registered with the Karnataka Start-up Cell with the Launchpad team on a monthly and quarterly basis to help start-ups leverage Amazon’s world-class e-commerce expertise, global infrastructure, and powerful marketing tools to help them deliver their products to millions of Amazon customers.
Sharing his views on the MoU, Priyank Kharge, Minister for IT, BT and Tourism, Government of Karnataka said “We are extremely glad to partner with Amazon India for providing a platform for start-ups to enter the booming space of e-commerce. With their rich experience and deep understanding of consumers, Amazon Launchpad program can really make a difference in facilitating these talented start-ups take advantage of the growing digital economy and e-commerce. This initiative will help the start-ups in showcasing their product which will be available to the massive Amazon customer base across the country. We expect Amazon’s Launchpad program to greatly boost the morale of young entrepreneurs and make them successful.”
Manish Tiwary, Vice-President, Category Management, Amazon India, added, “Amazon Launchpad is an exceptional opportunity for Indian Startups to get access to a nationwide customer base. Through this program individual entrepreneurs, innovators and creators from across Karnataka can leverage the Amazon marketplace to increase the scale of their business and even get easy access to global markets. We are excited to partner with the Government of Karnataka to encourage innovation from the Indian start-up community and guide start-ups towards sustainable business growth”.
In the past, Amazon Launchpad has tied up with various partners operating in the ecosystem, such as DIPP’s Start Up India initiative to offer Startups a streamlined on-boarding experience, access to custom product pages with unique content, marketing support to aid product discovery, and access to Amazon’s customer base & fulfilment network, all geared toward helping Startups scale up their businesses and successfully launch their innovative products.
Under this program, Amazon offers services of inventory management, order fulfilment, customer service and more for start-ups, allowing them to focus their efforts on the innovation that results in more products that customers will love. Startups that have developed a unique and innovative consumer products qualify for Amazon Launchpad. The products have to be from a category Amazon.in currently operates in (except for books & media) and they should be ready for shipping on the day of the application, or the following 30 days.

Edtech Startup Kings Learning Raises US$2.5 Million from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

Kings Learning, a technology-driven spoken English learning startup, has raised US$ 2.5 million in funding from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, together with other US based tech investors. The organization aims to address the employability issue in India amongst underserved youth owing to poor English language and communication skills, through offline, online and blended delivery channels.

Enguru, Kings Learning’s mobile-based spoken English app, allows users to self-learn both general spoken English and employability-focused conversational English.  It also allows users to learn English in their native language and currently supports 28 different languages. The app has been downloaded about 2 million times till date, and is currently being used to improve spoken English skills by more than 120,000 active users monthly. The app’s platform is adaptive and gamified with real time assessments, which makes it easier for not just individuals but also corporates to use it for their employee training modules.

Arshan Vakil, Co-Founder and CEO, Kings Learning, said, “Our goal is to leverage innovative technology and creative content to deliver high quality and engaging English education to all. We are excited to partner with our investors as we move into the next phase of our growth which will primarily be focused on scaling up our offerings like Enguru, strengthening our technology and analytics engine and expanding the Kings Learning team.”

Prachi Windlass, Education Director, India, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, said, “English has become a ticket to enter the booming knowledge-driven job economy of India, however, few have access to quality English language training. Almost half of the graduates in India, primarily from underprivileged backgrounds, are considered unemployable in most of the sectors due to lack of spoken English skills. Thankfully, mobile internet explosion, supplemented by exemplary work undertaken by technology-driven organizations like Kings Learning, is helping address this problem. We are excited to support Kings Learning’s efforts in their journey ahead.”

100 Innovative Startups Picked Out of 1,700 Applications for Elevate

ELEVATE 100, the entrepreneurship platform of the Karnataka government to select 100 innovative startups, has helped the state to look at innovation happening across the state, said Minister for IT, BT & Tourism, Priyank Kharge.

Speaking at a media interaction, at the Elevate 100 event, he said selecting 100 innovative startups out of 1,700 applications was a tedious task.

“We organised three month-long pitching sessions at Mysuru, Kalaburagi, Mangaluru, Hubballi and Bengaluru. This helped us to narrow down to 300 startups and later select 111 startups for the continuous mentoring programme and Rs 35 crore grant. We have selected 11 rural and 19 women entrepreneurs,” Kharge said.

He said the selection process helped the government in enhancing industry and government collaboration and strengthen innovation prowess of Karnataka.

“The efforts of Karnataka government doesn’t stop at elevating the chosen 100. We see ELEVATE 100 as a continuous process where the best ideas from the state gets the support and guidance they deserve,” he said.

The startups selected include electronics system design & manufacturing (ESDM -27), Life Sciences (19), BioTech (11), Agri-Tech (11), animation, visual effects, gaming & comic Sector (AVGC- 4), Clean Tech (4), and information technology enabled services (26). Women Entrepreneurs -19, Rural -11.

During the two-day Elevate 100 conference, the state government signed eight MoUs to cater to the needs of the identified startups.

Karnataka Signs MoUs with 8 Technology Firms to Assist Startups

The Karnataka government has signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with eight technology companies, including Google and Amazon India, to help startups under its Elevate 100 programme. The state has selected 100 startups under the programme and will provide them with mentorship and financial support from its Rs 400-crore startup fund.

Google and Amazon Activate will provide $3,000 worth of cloud credits for startups registered with the government's Startup Cell and $20,000 worth of cloud credits to startups who are winners of Elevate 100. Digital Ocean will provide $100 one-time credit and a $1,000 one-time credit. Yes Bank, Kotak Bank, and Zoho will help the startups with banking and accounting services. PwC and Legal Advisors will help them with consulting services.

Priyank Kharge, IT, BT & tourism minister, said: “The efforts of the Karnataka government doesn't stop at elevating the chosen 100. We see Elevate 100 as a continuing process where the best ideas from the state get the support and guidance they deserve.“

The winners, which were selected from 1,700 applicants, operate in various sectors.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Over 1,70,000 School Children to Benefit from Amazon Cares, Akshaya Patra Partnership for Ksheera Bhagya Scheme in Bengaluru

In line with Amazon Care’s vision of transforming lives, Amazon has partnered with The Akshaya PatraFoundation to reach out to 1,70,000 children across 1300 schools, contributing to the Government of Karnataka's flagship ‘Ksheera Bhagya’ Scheme in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Under the partnership, Amazon will help the Foundation in distributing and providing a healthy glass of milk to the school children, five days a week to help them be stronger, sharper and have a great start to their day.

The partnership was announced at an event held today at Govt. Kannada & Tamil Model Primary School, Cleveland Town, Bengaluru, in the presence of Roshan Baig, Minister for Urban Development & Haj, A. Manju, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries & Horticulture Department, Mehroz Khan, Member of the Chief Minister’s Vision Group, R Akhanda SrinivasaMurthy, MLA, Pulikeshi Nagar, AR Zakir, Councillor, Pulikeshi Nagar, Prabha Alexander, BEO, North Range 3and Gopal Pillai, Director & GM, Seller Services, Amazon India.

Akshaya Patra, in partnership with the Government of Karnataka, implements the Ksheera Bhagya Scheme to provide milk to school andanganwadi children in Karnataka.  This scheme ensures that children start their day in school with a healthy glass of milk, which is rich in protein and fat, essential for healthy growth and all-round development of children. This nutritious component also helps in improving their concentration in school. The partnership between Amazon Cares and Akshaya Patra will enable Akshaya Patra to implement the Ksheera Bhagya Scheme to provide milk to school children for five days of the week for this entire academic year.

Encouraging this partnership, Roshan Baig, A. Manju and Mehroz Khan expressed their support for the scheme. They also spoke on the benefits of providing milk to school children on regular basis. They appreciated Amazon Cares for partnering with Akshaya Patra and this direction of transforming lives of the underserved children in the society.

Talking about the partnership, Gopal Pillai, Director & GM, Seller Services, Amazon India said, “In line with Amazon Care’s vision of Transforming Lives, we have partnered with the civil society at large to bring about transformation and betterment of the community. We work in areas of education, health, livelihoodand sanitation all over the country.  Today, we are delighted topartner with Akshaya Patra and contribute our bit in the Ksheer Bhagya Scheme, to help in the milk distribution across 1300 government schools in Bengaluru and ensure that these children get a healthy glass of milk every morning for their holistic growth.”         

Shridhar Venkat, CEO, The Akshaya Patra Foundation said, “We welcome Amazon Care’s initiative to support the supply of milk underKsheera Bhagya Scheme by the Government of Karnataka, which helps the child to start the morning in schools with a nutritious and healthy drink. With this support, we look forward to work with the Government of Karnataka in making the child’s morning healthy and energetic.”

ABB Reaches 5 Gigawatt Milestone for Supply of Solar Inverters in India

ABB India has surpassed the 5 GW milestone for the supply of solar inverters in India. From schools to airports, canal tops and mega solar plants, ABB's solar inverters with global technology made In India power various solar Installations across the country. As per market reports, India is set to become the third largest solar market in the world in 2017, expected to touch about 5 percent of the global solar capacity and ABB India is ready to support this growth.

Azure Power and ABB India's senior leadership were present at an event to mark the 5GW milestone journey supported by ABB customers in India. The event took place in ABB solar inverter factory in Bengaluru. Inverters are the heart of solar installations and ABB pioneered inverter production in the country in 2012. Last year, ABB India doubled its solar inverter manufacturing capacity in India. The expansion follows earlier milestones achieved by ABB India in 2015 – the first company to double the solar inverter installed base to 2GW in a span of five months. ABB's end to end portfolio for solar energy including solar inverters, powers about 50 percent of the various solar projects in the country.

"Azure Power has demonstrated its strong project development, engineering, and execution capabilities with the support of leading technology partners such as ABB. Their best in class technology and solutions complement our strategy of superior operating performance of our long term energy contracts," said Inderpreet S Wadhwa, Chairman and CEO, Azure Power.

“We would like to thank and acknowledge all our customers and channel partners for their continued support and commitment to ABB quality and technology. As India makes rapid strides on its clean energy mission, we are proud to partner this journey with our best in class, future-proof global technology made in India,” said Sanjeev Sharma, Managing Director, ABB India. “Quality products and innovative solutions are key to continue the momentum of growth of Indian renewable energy installations with digitalization adding the competitive edge. This makes ABB a natural choice to keep pace with the energy revolution sweeping the sector,” he added.

An early entrant in the renewable energy landscape, Azure Power is among the longest tenured utility scale solar power producers in India, with one of the largest portfolios of operating projects in the country. They executed India’s first private utility scale solar project in 2009 and the first megawatt-scale solar rooftop project over a distributed area in 2013. Azure Power's rooftop solar project portfolio comprises 100 MW across 14 states in India.

Between April 2016 and March 2017, India witnessed more renewable energy capacity addition than the thermal counterpart for the first time in history, data of the Indian Central Electricity Authority (CEA) showed.

ABB is the leading global supplier of solar photovoltaic (PV) inverters. ABB's solar inverter product portfolio ranges from 2 kW to 2 MW; 2 kW to 120 kW are string inverters optimized for residential rooftop usage and 250 kW to 2 MW central inverters are ideal for cost-efficient multi-megawatt power plants. The key differentiators of ABB solar inverters are high reliability, efficiency and ease of installation and maintenance. Plant management solutions including environmental management, software tools and lifetime support are also part of the portfolio.

ABB offerings in solar in India: ABB provides the most comprehensive portfolio of products, systems, solutions and services along the solar PV value chain that enable the generation, transmission and distribution of solar power for grid-connected and microgrid applications. ABB’s offering includes inverters, low-voltage products, monitoring and control systems, grid connection, stabilization and integration products, as well as complete electrical balance of plant solutions. ABB also offers a wide range of support and maintenance services, including remote operations and diagnostics, helping ensure solar installations deliver optimal performance.

Royal Stag Barrel Selects Large Short Films Strengthens Partnership With Jio Mami

Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films, one of the most credible and celebrated stages for short films in India, announces its association with Jio MAMI with Star for the second time in a row. Strengthening this partnership and taking this alliance a notch higher, Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films will continue to sponsor the Large Short Film category at the 19th season of this esteemed film festival in Mumbai. The Mumbai Film Festival is the biggest movie feast in India showcasing the latest cutting-edge, independent cinema from across the world. The association will help to promote new trends in the cinema space and also strengthen Large Short Films as a big platform for short films in India.

True to the platform’s highly acclaimed status in the industry today, Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films will premier 4 powerful short films by acclaimed Bollywood directors at the festival this year. Furthermore these master storytellers will share their ‘pursuit to perfection’ stories over panel discussions.  

Over the last three years, Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films has gained immense popularity and has released some of the most prodigious and award winning short films with renowned artists and directors from the industry which truly reflects originality, imagination and perfection.

Speaking about the association, Raja Banerji, Assistant Vice President, Marketing, Pernod Ricard India, said “We are extremely delighted to take our association with JIO MAMI to the next level. Not only are we proud  to own the short film category at the festival, we are also happy to screen 4 short films by renowned directors and 10 short films by aspiring film makers at the festival making this partnership grander. Our platform Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films has carved a niche for itself in the short film industry in India by driving its evolution in the last few years. It is great to see that not only are short films emerging as powerful as full feature films attracting great audiences, but are also attracting great talent from the mainstream film industry. This association is enormously crucial for the growth of our platform as well as the continued progression of the short film genre.”

United in their commitment to the short film genre with Jio MAMI with Star, the platform has created a challenging contest for aspiring filmmakers across the country. Inspiring them to create original short films and providing them the right stage to showcase their work, the platform will screen 10 best short films at the festival. Out of these, one director – the jury’s favourite will get an opportunity to intern with Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The contest will be judged by an eminent jury comprising producer and actress, Srishti Behl Arya, actor Rajkummar Rao and film director and screenwriter Nitya Mehra.

Smriti Kiran, Creative Director, Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star said, "We are extremely proud of our partnership with The Royal Stag Barrel Select-Large Short Films. This is our second year of association. Some of the best content with regard to short films in India has come out of this platform. They have put short films on the map by backing the most exciting narratives, filmmakers and discovering some really unique new voices. Last year the films that screened under this category were so good that I cannot wait to watch the final ten films that make it after going through the scrutiny of the stellar LSF Jury this year: Filmmakers Nitya Mehra, Shrishti Arya and Actor Rajkummar Rao. These are the films we will screen at the festival this year."

Themed on the philosophy of “Make it Perfect”, The Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films is a platform for aspiring directors to feature along with mainstream Bollywood directors while still chasing their creative energy to create a niche for themselves in the industry. The platform gives a credible stage to the storytellers to showcase their artistic creativity and reach out to their target audience through the digital world.

To inspire young filmmakers to create powerful short films that will have a profound effect on its audience, we have created a short film featuring the legendary actor / director Tinu Anand. Conceptualized by River, an independent creative agency and produced by Early Man production house, the short film celebrates the power, an original film can hold over its audience and how it influences people in many ways.

Power Devices - SiC & IGBT from ROHM Can Reduce the Cost of Renewable Energy

ROHM Semiconductor India Pvt Ltd (RSI) a subsidiary of ROHM Co. Ltd., Kyoto, has recently announced an array of power solutions like SiC, IGBT, and gate drivers, for improving the power conversion efficiency. These products are intended to meet the harsh condition of India’s rapidly growing power infrastructure.
“Quality is our top priority at all times” said Daisuke Nakamura, Managing Director of Rohm Semiconductor India Pvt. Ltd. “It is our company mission which we have maintained since its establishment in 1958. It is same in India business, too.  We always offer the high quality and reliable solutions and by that, we also would like to be the best partner of Indian customers. Silicon Carbide power devices with trench structure that leverage industry-leading technology is a product which will be able to contribute ‘affordable renewable energy’. It would help not only the improvement of energy conversion but also the implementation of smaller and stronger in renewable energy application like a solar inverter or high input voltage power supply.”

The population increase due to urbanization, growing manufacturing Industries, India will face a chronic power shortage. Rural electrification is also attained high priority. This has driven the demand for solutions that can provide a stable and distributed energy with minimal resource utilization. This has increased the demand for power plants based on renewable energy like solar, wind energy, besides other not so popular biomass, tidal etc. According to the National Electricity Plan drafted by the Central Electric Authority, the country will see a rapid increase in non-fossil fuels based renewable energy, like nuclear or hydro-electric power to 56.5% by 2027. This will serve to decrease the country’s reliance on fossil fuels while establishing renewable energy as a viable new source for the future, while clamping on the trade deficit owing to the import of oil and coal.

RSI, working on the Gandhian principle of “more from less, for more” to make the energy affordable to masses. It is working towards maximizing the energy harvested by controlling the power loss during all the power stages of conversion like conditioning, inversion etc. This is towards creating more from less, i.e., effective utilization of renewable energy. For example, as much as 30% of the electric energy is lost in the process of generation, transmission and distribution. This loss along with the loses in power conversion is believed to exceed 35%. In response, RSI proposes power solutions centered on cutting-edge SiC power devices that achieve higher efficiency in the power conversion. The trench SiC-based inverters can reduce power loss by as much as ~2% compared to the conventional devices like IGBT, Si MOSFET etc., while contributing towards miniaturization owing to reduced heat dissipation.

The improvement in size and efficiency owing to the adoption of the power solutions from RSI, like gate drivers, trench SiC MOSFETs, and IGBTs, play a vital role in enabling small scale and distributed power plants for tapping solar and wind energy. A ~2% increase in efficiency along with the reduced cooling requirements can bring in a considerable cost saving for the end customers, besides improving the reliability of the power converters. This will help bridge the demand supply gap, which is “more from less, for more”, thus reaching more people. The distributed power generation, besides reducing a huge burden on our grid, reduces the transmission and distribution losses.

Quick local support for designing systems using technologies is available from experienced Application Engineering team in Bangalore. RSI’s sales & marketing teams in New Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai work closely with customers to ensure support in adopting these products and reap the rich benefits.

Five New 4G jivi Mobiles Enters Smart Phone Business Across India

Jivi mobiles has entered the smart phone market with its new product portfolio of 5 smart phones starting from Rs 3,333 to Rs 6,599 in India. Priced very competitively, every model comes with double warranty which means the user will get a free replacement and free screen replacement for 111 days from the date of purchase. Along with standard accessories, the customers will also get protection gears free of cost which included Tempered glass, protective case and flip cover.

Under the 111 days replacement warranty, the company is offering replacement of handset for hardware defect within 111 days from the date of purchase/activation. There is also free screen (LCD/TP) replacement one time within 111 days from the date of purchase & activation.

jivi smart phones exhibit great style combined with cutting-edge technology, the devices aspire to be the ideal companion for people who are looking for offering seamless and enhanced user experience at an affordable price.

Talking about the new range of smart phones, Pankaj Anand, CEO, jivi mobiles said, “We are extremely happy to launch our smart phone range for our discerning customers. At jivi, the focus is on providing the best technology at competitive prices. Our research team has worked tirelessly in making this a reality. We are one of the very few companies in the country to offer such a wide range of smart phones at such amazing price points and we are the pioneers in offering 111 days warranty as well. All our devices and chargers are Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) approved. The products would be ‘Made in India’, in our facility in Delhi. ”  

Expressing his elation on the launch of smart phone, Irffan Khan, brand Ambassador of jivi mobiles said, “I have always known jivi to be an inspirational brand in India as they have assiduously worked towards achieving their goal of providing cutting edge technology at best prices to the customers. The new range of smart phones is a proof of their commitment and 111 days replacement warranty is a never seen before offer. I am very happy to be associated with jivi mobiles and would love to see through this association for a long time.”        

jivi mobiles has taken a major step in the direction of realizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Vision of ‘Make in India’ by setting up two new facilities with an investment of Rs. 200 crores. Jivi Mobile first factory is in Mahipalpur, New Delhi built up on an area of 15000 sq. ft. which would cater to North and East India demand of jivi mobiles phones. Company’s 1st facility in Mahipalpur has a capacity to roll out 7 lakh phones per month and it employs some 350 employees in the first phase.

Second facility of jivi mobiles which is located in Lonavla, Maharashtra to cater to the South and Western parts of the country, would be operational in the coming months.

Juniper Networks Introduces Contrail Security to Help Enterprises Protect Applications in Any Cloud

Juniper Networks, an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, today announced Juniper® Contrail Security, a new security and micro segmentation solution specifically designed to allow enterprises and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud providers to protect applications running in multiple cloud environments.

Organizations are building and deploying cloud-native applications across public and private clouds to realize the benefits of scale, flexibility and agility. As these applications scale, their components are distributed across multiple heterogeneous clouds, which can also inadvertently distribute vulnerabilities and increase the risk of a business-impacting security breach. To further complicate matters, the perimeter of cloud environments is blurred, rendering perimeter-based policies ineffective in preventing the lateral spread of threats and creating the need for agile enforcement points that require up-to-date policies. Security administrators are also burdened with having to manually create and manage myriad security policies across multiple environments and do not have clear visibility into how applications interact with each other. These conditions can lead to applications running in opaque environments with ineffective security and limited scalability.

Contrail Security enables an innovative response to the heightened risk brought about by today’s cloud workloads and applications. Practitioners will have visibility and control with simplified operations driven by consistent, intent-driven security policies that seamlessly interoperate with existing security controls and virtual environments. With Contrail Security, Juniper Networks is transforming the way enterprises and SaaS cloud providers protect, manage and monitor their cloud-native applications in heterogeneous environments. Contrail Security combined with the automated threat detection and enforcement of Juniper’s Software Defined Secure Networks platform will further fuel the expansion of a truly unified cybersecurity platform, able to adaptively respond to any threat.

News Highlights:
Juniper Contrail Security helps enterprises diminish risk to applications running in any cloud environment by enabling automated application traffic discovery with dynamic policy enforcement to stop the spread of inside threats through:

  • Consistent Intent-driven Policy: Streamlines policy creation by enabling administrators to define intent using simple terms that allow smart microsegmentation across diverse cloud environments including OpenStack, Kubernetes, bare metal servers, public clouds and more.
  • Multiple Enforcement Points: Leverages distributed security and networking policies to orchestrate defense and protect applications from threats. For more comprehensive defense, Contrail Security integrates with next-generation virtual firewalls to enable advanced security services and ensure businesses are protected.
  • Application Traffic Visibility and Advanced Analytics:Delivers visualization, analytics and orchestration across hybrid cloud environments while reducing risk from unauthorized traffic with application-to-application flow discovery. Provides deep insight into application interactions, leveraging machine learning to detect anomalies and take corrective actions.

 “Contrail Security is a key step forward in our mission to transform how enterprises and SaaS cloud providers secure their cloud-native applications running in all cloud environments. By offering enhanced threat prevention, policy management, visibility and control, and by leveraging our battle-tested Contrail Networking product components, our customers will be able to better protect themselves against threats without compromising scale, performance and interoperability,” says Pratik Roychowdhury, senior director of product management, Contrail at Juniper Networks

 “Juniper Networks has a strong history in both network orchestration and security. The next five years will be critical for companies that are planning to transform their network infrastructure. Security buyers deploying complex SDN-enabled networks would be wise to consider vendors with a deep expertise in network orchestration,” remarks Jeff Wilson, research director and advisor, Cybersecurity Technology at IHS Markit 


 Myriad and our customers are increasingly relying on both hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud application delivery strategies. In these environments, it has been nearly impossible for security teams to keep up. Contrail Security changes that. The combination of intent-driven policy, consistency across environments, multiple enforcement points, intelligent machine learning, and intuitive templates and wizards promise to set a new bar for application security. We believe Contrail Security will prove to be THE tool for stopping the spread of lateral threats without compromising scale or performance across hybrid & multi-cloud environments,” adds Chris Grundemann, principal architect at Myriad Supply.

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