Thursday, November 23, 2017

OYO Customers Now Have the Choice to Receive Booking Confirmation via WhatsApp

In a bid to ensure hassle-free communication and booking experience for its guests, OYO - India’s largest hospitality company, has started testing WhatsApp enterprise solution. Travellers booking an OYO will now have the choice to receive their booking confirmations along with cancellation and navigation details for locating a hotel via WhatsApp. This development is in line with OYO’s pioneering use of technology in budget hotel operations in India - enabling users to book a hotel across 230 cities in India, Malaysia and Nepal within seconds via the OYO app.

Once a booking is created, the integration will allow OYO to send a  confirmation message through WhatsApp. Customers will receive the message through OYO’s verified profile to ensure reliability. In case of connectivity issues, OYO will further notify the guests through SMS. Users who do not use WhatsApp will receive notifications through SMS and email. In order to ensure privacy and security for guests, the company will only send relevant information about a guest’s stay through WhatsApp. Guests will also receive directions for locating their hotel on the day of the check-in and notification in case a booking is cancelled.

Commenting on the development, Anil Goel, CTO - OYO, said, “Technology has been the biggest driver for OYO to create value in India’s hospitality industry and also the experience we offer to our guests. Since OYO’s inception, we have built first-in-industry tech solutions - such as OYO consumer app, Krypton and the Owner app for our hotel partners. With the latest WhatsApp integration, we will make the post-booking experience hassle-free for our guests. They can now easily access their booking details via WhatsApp, which enjoys a huge reach in India with over 200 million active users. It’s fast, secure and hassle-free — exactly how the OYO experience is.”

Through innovation in technology, training and strong brand recall, OYO has established its leadership in the hospitality segment today with 8,500-plus hotels in more than 230 cities within its network.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Motherhood Expands to 300 Bed Neonatology Care Centres by 2017; Starts Neonatal ICU on the Wheels


At a time when Neonatal Care and saving the lives of newborns is becoming a national priority, Bangalore based Motherhood, a leading network of Women & Children’s hospital is expanding their network of Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) to better serve premature newborns and sick babies born in the city of Bangalore and neighbouring districts of the state. The single speciality women & children’s hospital chain currently has 4 hospitals in Bangalore with a 5th facility currently under execution. It has multiple new hospitals under execution across the country. The first phase of 70beds NICU expansion at an investment of Rs. 150 million makes it a large network of NICU beds across the city of Bangalore. The network will be backed by a full-time team of 34 highly trained and specialised Neonatologists along with a team of skilled nurses.

Nearly 0.75 million newborns don’t survive every year in India, the highest for any country in the world. The neonatal period—the first 28 days of life—carries the highest risk of mortality per day than any other period during the childhood. The daily risk of mortality in the first 4 weeks of life is 30-fold higher than the post-neonatal period. Still, new-born health did not receive the commensurate attention it deserved until during the past decade. This has resulted in a slow decline in neonatal mortality rate in our country. Preterm complications & infections are the two main reasons for neonatal deaths in India. Unless immediate action and appropriate measures are not taken, the neonatal mortality rate cannot be reduced. 

Vijayarathna V, CEO, Motherhood Hospitals’ said, “We are going to extend our Neonatology services to inborns (within the hospital) and also outborns (born at other institutions) who require specialised Care. 40% of our NICU beds are earmarked for babies who are born in other hospitals in Bangalore or neighbouring parts of the state who require NICU support. We also have a well-equipped Neonatal Ambulance to transport such babies from various places. With a strength of 34 Neonatologists, we intend to provide the best of care to new-borns and infants round the clock.” 

Motherhood Hospitals has recently operationalised its 4thhospital in HRBR Layout and will be launching its 5th centre in South Bangalore, Banashankari by beginning of 2018. It will also foray its presence in cities like Mumbai, Pune and Chennai by end of the financial year. The company was funded by leading private equity fund TPG Growth in 2016.

“Infant mortality and morbidity in the country is on the rise. India’s next big challenge is to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)–which countries have agreed upon under the aegis of the United Nations Development Programme–on child and neonatal mortality. The SDG is to reduce child mortality to 25 per 1,000 live births and neonatal mortality to 12 per 1,000 live births. Therefore, it is extremely important that healthcare in India recognizes the gap and act on it” shared by Dr. Pratap Chandra, Dr. Vikas Satwik and Dr. Prashanth Gowda, Senior Neonatologists at Motherhood.

Speaking to the media, Vishal Bali, Executive Chairman, Asia Healthcare Holdings & Senior Advisor - Healthcare, TPG Growth said “As we began the expansion of the Motherhood chain of Women & Children’s Hospital across the country, the demand supply gap in high end Neonatology Care became very apparent. A good blend of high technology infrastructure with high end clinical skills is required to save many new borns across the country and provide parents the much needed confidence as they go through the birthing experience. Over the last year Motherhood Hospitals have transformed to provide not just high-end Obstetrics and Gynaecology services but with the addition of Neonatology and Reproductive Medicine (IVF) each hospital now provides comprehensive clinical services to women & children. These changes are critical to demonstrate the advancement in this spectrum of the healthcare sector.”

Adient Opens Automotive Seating Prototyping and Testing Facility at Pune Tech Centre

Adient, the global leader in automotive seating announced that it has broken ground on a state-of-the art automotive seating prototyping and testing facility in Pune that will be the largest of its kind ever to be built in India. Construction of the new facility marks a major expansion of Adient’s existing technical center in Pune, already a world-class facility with the largest workforce among the automotive seating supplier’s global network of tech centers.

The new facility, which is scheduled to open in late 2018, will provide physical testing to augment the capabilities of the existing technical center in Pune, a global Center of Competence at Adient for computer-aided engineering (CAE), computer-aided design (CAD) automation and finite element analysis (FEA) simulation expertise. First established in 2000, Adient’s India Tech Center today has a total headcount of approximately 1,000 engineers, which consists of roughly 850 engineers based locally in Pune and a further 150 engineers stationed at Adient locations outside India on global assignments. 

Situated on a 20,000 m2 site near the existing tech center, the new prototyping and testing facility will boast full-scale prototyping, testing, and trim capabilities, enabling Adient to conduct full product verification in India to global customer and regulatory standards. The facility will house a fully hydraulic acceleration sled test system, offering precision pulse matching, full payload capability, and high-speed video capture from onboard cameras. A 6-axis shaker table at the facility, complete with semi-anechoic chamber, will enable NHV (noise, vibration and harshness) analysis and road durability testing.

“As well as underscoring our long-term commitment to India, this investment of more than $30 million is an important milestone for Adient as we optimize our engineering footprint around the world to deliver global standard product development and innovation capabilities wherever our customers are,” said Dr. Detlef Juerss, Vice President, Engineering & Chief Technical Officer at Adient. “With this new facility, we will be able to fully execute product development including design and product validation for global and local launch programs right here in Pune, all backed by cutting-edge infrastructure that will be truly unrivaled in India’s automotive industry.”

“Adient has for many years benefited from its strong focus on design in India, a dynamic environment that is rich in talent and creative inspiration. Our India Tech Center team already plays a vital role in Adient’s global industrial design operations, providing designs to support our customers today and imagining concepts that will shape the experience of mobility in the future” said Richard Chung, Vice President, Innovation at Adient. “I am very excited about the potential we can unleash in Pune as we accelerate our design and innovation processes here.”

“Adient was one of the first global automotive tier 1 suppliers to enter India. Over the past two decades since then we have built world-class manufacturing and product development capabilities across the country. We work closely with our customers, who recognize that success in India depends on developing India-specific products,” said Murali Rajagopalan, Director and Country Manager, Adient India. “India is phasing in new safety regulations for which development activities need to begin now. As far as Adient is concerned, the timing could not be better. When this new facility opens we will be able to support our customers on an entirely new level, so I see this as an exciting new chapter for Adient India.”

Adient (then a division of Johnson Controls) first established its operations in India in 1995 through the formation of Tata Johnson Controls, a collaboration with Tata Automotive Components. Adient, which recently celebrated the first anniversary of its spin-off as an independent automotive supplier, today has more than 2,500 employees at its wholly owned subsidiary Adient India. Adient recently received a Best Supplier Award for Quality from Tata Motors, adding to a long list of supplier awards it received in 2017, which include the Toyota Regional Contribution Award, the Honda Supplier Development Award, the Nissan Supplier Quality Award (for the fourth consecutive year), and the Nissan Global Innovation Award.

eScan Security Solution Retains its Gold Partnership with Microsoft

eScan Enterprise Security Solution has once again retained the Microsoft Gold Partnership. eScan has earned the "Gold Certificate" in Microsoft's Partner Program in recognition of its expertise, strategic role and contribution to the security industry.

eScan had successfully completed the stringent process of Microsoft to earn the most credible Microsoft Gold Certificate & it is the highest level of Microsoft partnership. For the certification every participant must enroll certain number of partner points throughout the year to qualify. eScan has been receiving this prestigious certificate for over a decade now consecutively.

As a certified gold partner, eScan will have access to the Partner Knowledge Base and receive priority listing in Microsoft directories. The Microsoft partner network enables eScan strengthen its capabilities to showcase leadership at the marketplace on the latest technologies. This also is testimony to better serve customers with trust and commitment.

Govind Rammurthy, CEO & MD, eScan, "This Microsoft Gold Partnership certificate showcases our expertise and commitment to today's technology market and demonstrates our deep knowledge of MS technologies and its products. It establishes our drive towards developing world-class products at par with our global peers and provides security to the vast MS platform users."

Infinix Zero5 and Active Noise Cancellation Headphones Now Available Only on Flipkart

Infinix Mobile, the premium smartphone brand from TRANSSION Holdings, today announced the exclusive availability of its recently launched flagship “Dual camera” smartphone - Zero5, on Flipkart. In addition to attractive offers on the Zero5, Infinix Mobile has also introduced its brand new “Quiet” series of noise cancellation headphones exclusively on Flipkart at an introductory offer price. The Zero5 is available on Flipkart at an introductory price of Rs 17,999 starting November 22. The offer period begins from 12 noon on November 22 and continues till 24.

As part of the introductory offer, on purchase of every Zero5 using HDFC Bank Credit and Debit cards, customers can avail a ten percent instant discount. In addition, customers can also exchange their old mobile for the all new Zero5 and avail an additional discount of Rs 1000 over the regular exchange value of their old phone. To help its customers make the most of their smartphone experience, Infinix Mobile and Flipkart are also offering a whopping extra 100GB data on recharge of Rs 309 or abovevalid for 10 recharges. The offer further entails a complimentary Jio Prime membership worth Rs 99.

As for the newly introduced exciting range of active noise cancellation headphones from Infinix Mobile, the Quiet 2 will be available at an introductory offer price of Rs 1,499 and the Quiet X will be available at an introductory offer price of Rs 4,999. This introductory offer is valid only for 3 days from November 22 to 24. 

Ayyappan Rajagopal, Senior Director - Smartphones at Flipkart, said, “We are glad to partner with Infinix for their upcoming launch of Zero5 series. Infinix began its journey in India through Flipkart hinting at the fact that Flipkart is the preferred online retailer and the undisputed leader in the online smartphones market. We are confident that through Flipkart's wide reach & seamless affordability levers, coupled with the Infinix’s superior technology and design, the new Zero 5 series launched will disrupt the market and excite customers, reinforcing the strong belief they have in Flipkart." 

Anish Kapoor, CEO, Infinix India said, “The all new Infinix Zero5 and our exciting new range of active noise cancellation headsets together offer a complete smartphone experience to our discerning consumers. We understand and value our customers and intend to further incentivize them with these attractive launch offers. Flipkart continues to be our exclusive partner, given their reach and understanding of our core consumers. With these exciting offers, we look forward to delivering the maximum value to our first customers and add to Infinix’s India growth story.”

Infinix Zero5 is a brand new smartphone that aims to bridge the gap between professional and amateur photography and carve a niche for itself. Packed with a premium dual camera setup, which uses a 12MP wide-angle lens and 13MP telephoto lens, the smartphone helps deliver a remarkable DSLR like experience. It also stands out with its 2x optical zoom, paired with up to 10x digital zoom that bring the object closer and enables clearer photography. Furthermore, the Zero5 is equipped with 16MP selfie camera with 4in1 pixel selfie camera technology, f/2.0 aperture and front flash for stunning selfies. Further adding to the phone’s finesse is its 15.18cms (5.98) FHD LTPS JDI display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. It runs on the latest XOS 3.0 Android Nougat powered by 2.6GHz Octa-Core Helio P25 processor with 6GB DDR4X RAM for bolstering speed and efficiency. It supports 4350mAh battery with 18W xCharge, a fast charger solution.

To up its users’ style quotient, the phone comes in varied color options including Sandstone Black, Champagne Gold and Bordeaux Red for the Zero 5 (6GB+ 64GB) and Bronze Gold Black for the Zero 5 pro (6GB + 128GB).

Infinix’s new range of noise free wired & wireless headphones, available in two variants; Quiet 2 (MRP Rs 2,499) and Quiet X MRP Rs 8999) are also expected to be a game-changer in the audio world. Equipped with Active Noise Cancellation, a technology presently available only in super premium segments, these headphones offer premium value within affordable pricing.  The noise cancellation technology is a great enabler, allowing users disconnect from a noisy environment with just a simple push / toggle button, at the same time enhancing their audio experience.

Upstream Cos Expect Shorter Time to Produce Oil and Gas Due to Digital Tech Investments: Reports from Accenture and Microsoft

Faster and better decision-making and shorter time to first oil and gas top the list of expected benefits that digital technologies can drive for upstream oil and gas companies, a new survey from Accenture and Microsoft Corp. reports. Respondents to the Accenture and Microsoft 2017 Upstream Oil and Gas Digital Trends Survey”  also estimated the monetary value of digital technologies and noted the next wave’s potential to further transform their business, despite ongoing low oil prices.

Asked to identify the top ways digital benefits their companies, faster and better decision-making (30 percent) remained foremost, as in the 2016 edition of the survey. Faster time to produce oil and gas, however, jumped to second place from fifth last year (19 percent). Reduced risk enabled by real-time decision support was the third most important (12 percent).

Now in its sixth edition, the global survey showed the upstream areas most expected to benefit today from digital are production (28 percent), geological and geophysical (27 percent), and drilling and completion (19 percent).
Digital technologies like IoT and predictive analytics can have a significant impact on the upstream oil and gas companies operations,” said Sandeep Dutta, managing director and lead for Accenture’s resources group in India. 

“IoT and analytics can help analyze diverse sets of operational data like drilling parameters and cross disciplinary data (geological models) and provide incisive operational insights. Predictive analytics can also reduce downtime, spare parts inventory and boost production in conventional as well as non-operational asset classes. Additionally, by using digital technologies at large, upstream companies can reduce finding, development and maintenance costs; material costs can also be optimized through the right digital interventions.”

Almost two-thirds (62 percent) of the more than 300 professionals surveyed perceive business value from digital technologies, with 27 percent totalling it at $50 million to $100 million or more for their companies. However, 14 percent of upstream respondents don’t know how much monetary value digital is delivering, 20 percent don’t measure it, and 4 percent believe digital is adding no value to their businesses today.

Most of the respondents expect their companies to realize value from digital technologies and 73 percent said most of their oil and gas fields will become fully automated using these technologies in three to five years.

On the other hand, 39 percent of respondents said the greatest risk from a lack of digital investment is becoming uncompetitive; more than double the next group at 19 percent who cited the inability to transition to a new energy landscape. Surprisingly, despite the rise of connected devices on oilfields further exposing upstream companies to cybersecurity risks, the fear of increased cyberattacks came in at a distant third (18 percent).

“Digital technologies that upstream companies are investing in today include mobile devices (56 percent), cloud (45 percent), big data and analytics (43 percent) and IoT (42 percent). Priority investment areas for these technologies are asset management and maintenance, capital project management and production optimization.

“It’s not always about petabytes of data. It’s about a set of solutions and technologies that could not have been achieved even five years ago,” said Egbert Schroeer, Worldwide Managing Director, Process Manufacturing, Microsoft Corp. “Digital is doing more than helping reduce operational costs through increased worker productivity with mobility. The cloud, better asset management and remote monitoring through analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are driving operational excellence and subsurface data management for the oil and gas industry. However, it will be essential for upstream companies to quickly develop in-house capabilities and add external talent for data analytics and other leading technologies, to stay ahead in the digital revolution.”

Upstream companies are also now adding digital workforce challenges to their ongoing talent concerns.

Recruitment is their biggest challenge in this regard, especially skill-building for contingent labor, freelancers and onboarding new hires. Most said it will take three to five years to build the necessary digital skill base. For example, the great majority of respondents (85 percent) felt their companies lacked fully mature analytics capabilities. While they plan to develop that area, the expected three-to-five-year time frame in which they aim to do that might be too extended - competitively speaking - as technologies advance rapidly. This is especially relevant, as an Accenture Strategy study, 

Wirecard, Capital Float Partner to Provide Small Retailers Fast, Customized Loans in India

The leading global financial technology company Wirecard has entered into a unique alliance with Capital Float, the largest digital lending platform in India. Through this alliance, Capital Float will offer its recently launched ‘Proprietor Finance’ product to Wirecard’s agents, comprising of thousands of small retailers in India. The goal is to offer these retailers a unique revolving credit facility called ‘Pay Later’. Developed in-house at Capital Float, this working capital finance solution helps SMEs to make vendor payments on time.

The small retailer segment in India, comprising a total market of over 15 million retailers, has traditionally been underserved by conventional financial institutions due to inadequate documentation and ineligibility from a conservative credit perspective. These credit-starved businesses can now avail hassle-free working capital from Capital Float, which will help them manage their inventory and cash flows. ‘Pay Later’  will serve a significant portion of Wirecard’s customer base, which comprises of digital remittance shop owners, as it will enable them to geometrically increase scale of transactions on the platform, resulting in sizeably larger earnings for the retailers.

“We’re excited to announce our partnership with Wirecard. With close to 20 years of vintage in payment services, they possess immense multinational expertise and a robust network of small retailers. Through this collaboration, we believe that we can expand our borrower base to newer SME segments. We’re currently providing finance to Wirecard agents in the greater Chennai area to start off with and we intend to expand our scope to other metros and large tier 1 cities over the few months. We aim to disseminate more than thousand loans to Wirecard agents in the near future.” said Gaurav Hinduja, Co-Founder of Capital Float.

“We’re pleased to be collaborating with Capital Float, the leading digital lending company in India. We’re convinced that their top notch processes and products will significantly bolster the business relationships we have with our agents across India. By enabling them with lines of credit, they will be able to maximize their income on the Wirecard platform” said Georg von Waldenfels, Executive Vice President Consumer Solutions and Member of the Board of Wirecard India.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Smart Asia 2017 Expo & Summit at White Orchid in Bengaluru from November 23-25, 2017



Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC), a non-profit Taiwanese government co-sponsored trade promotion organization, today announced the First Edition of ‘Smart Asia 2017—Expo & Summit’, which will be held November 23-25 at the White Orchid Convention Center in Bangalore. The event will connect Taiwan's expertise in building efficient smart cities with India’s burgeoning Smart Cities Mission. The first edition of the trade show focuses on three main themes: Smart City Solutions, Smart Technology Applications, and City Development Products and Services.

The ‘India-Taiwan Smart City Summit’ will be held in parallel to the three-day show from November 23 to 24. Co-organized by TWTC, Advanced Public Transportation Research Center (APTRC), and Intelligent Transportation Society of Taiwan, the Summit will comprise a series of keynote speeches and panel discussions by industry stalwarts across verticals who will deliberate Smart City Cooperation between India and Taiwan. These experts will also address Smart Transportation solutions on the second day of the Summit. The discussions will delve into crucial elements such as challenges and opportunities of ‘Smart Cities Mission’ in India, IoT solutions for smart cities, and city sustainability implementation. We will also explore the ways in which smart transportation will reshape the future of urban living, via the joint efforts of technologically advanced Taiwan companies.  Important speakers for the Summit include Vice President R.T. Tsai of Delta Electronics, Chairperson Chun-Ming Kuo of Taiwan Water Corporation, CEO Raj Cherubal of Chennai Smart City Limited, and Director SK Jason Chang of Advanced Public Transportation Research Center, Taiwan.

Promoting the initiative at the Press Conference of SMART ASIA, Thomas Huang, Executive Director of Exhibition Department of TWTC, expressed his expectations of the event. He also stressed that at a time when India is undergoing large-scale urban development, the show and the India-Taiwan Smart City Summit serve as a platform for government representatives and industry professionals from both India and Taiwanto exchange insights and collaborate toward new partnerships.

Fifty world-class Taiwan companies will be showcasing products and services at SMART ASIA 2017 which will help India accelerate the government’s Smart CitiesMission. Key exhibitors include Advantech, ATEN International, Aver Information, MOXA, and QNAP Systems, who also appeared at the press conference to introduce their products. Other renowned exhibitors joining the trade show are CHEM, CTCI, Delta Electronics, FETC International, and YouBike.

SMART ASIA 2017 Expo & Summit is being organized by the Taipei World Trade Center, a sister organization to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), and will be held at the White Orchid Convention Center, Bangalore from November 23-25, 2017. The event serves as a catalyst to foster a collaborative relationship between Taiwan and India and to leverage business synergies between the two countries for mutual growth and development.

Nuvepro Secures $400K Seed Funding through 1 Crowd to Fuel Growth

Nuvepro, a managed cloud environment solutions provider, today announced that it has raised $400K investment led by 1Crowd and its investor community. The investment will be used to deepen their R&D efforts and continue to expand into the worldwide market.

1Crowd is a unique angel investment platform focused on early stage ventures. It has more than 500 investors, 50 mentors and has made over 12 investments since March 2016. With the funds, the company will be able to leverage 1Crowd’s ecosystem of mentors, industry connects and investor community to benefit from strategic to operational support.

As part of the managed cloud environment solution, Nuvepro delivers ready-to-use infrastructure and applications on a single or multiple clouds, automates the resource provisioning, manages cloud resources & spend, ensures governance and compliance of cloud usage, integrates with your existing tools. All of this is done through a single-source self-service portal. The platform ensures that CIOs have complete control over resources, hierarchy, and subscription management. The embedded analytics provides insights that will help CIOs to track the cloud usage, optimize the resources and cut costs by over 50%.

Giridhar LV, CEO, Nuvepro said, “80% of enterprises are using the cloud. However, the CIOs are still finding it challenging to increase the cloud adoption and utilization. The returns on their cloud investments are far from realized. Nuvepro was founded with a singular vision to make the cloud work, help CIOs make the most of their cloud investments and enable them to take the competitive-edge. We do it by taking complete ownership through managed cloud environment so that CIOs don’t need to worry about provisioning, governance, security, skill building, shadow IT and managing multiple clouds.”

Anup Kuruvilla, Co-Founder of 1Crowd, said “Along with a well-respected, experienced and dedicated team, Nuvepro addresses key modern day challenge of cloud adoption. Microsoft Azure and Amazon web services have made strong strides in moving resources to the cloud and making the value proposition for enterprises attractive. We believe Nuvepro would be able to form a crucial bridge between enterprises and cloud providers by driving faster adoption. The underlying business model of providing ready to use cloud infrastructure available on a subscription or pay per go basis is also a strong pull for enterprises.”
The startup was founded in 2014 by Janakiraman S, Giridhar LV, Umesh Bhatt, Moyukh Goswami and Rajesh Vasudevan, all having significant years of professional experience.

Janakiraman, Chairman, Nuvepro said, “The debate on cloud is over. The focus now is to improve the cloud adoption and utilization. 1Crowd’s trust and investment in this vision gives us extra push to enable more CIOs to realize the true benefits of the cloud.”

Microsoft CyberSecurity Engagement Center Touches 126 Organizations in a Year

Microsoft India has announced the first anniversary of their India Cybersecurity Engagement Center. Over the period of a year, the center has reached out to 126 organizations, empowering them with information and techniques to secure critical information infrastructure and help reduce malware and digital risk in the country. Part of a global network of eight such centres, it brings together Microsoft capabilities to foster deeper cybersecurity collaborations with public and private sector organizations and build a trusted and secure computing environment, a critical enabler for India’s digital transformation.

The company has also rolled out a nationwide campaign to increase awareness on cybersecurity and cyber hygiene, ahead of the upcoming Global Conference of Cyber Space (GCCS2017). Aimed at a wide gamut of audiences from enterprises to school children, the initiative underlines the company’s commitment to the Digital India vision and making cyberspace safer. 

Anant Maheshwari, President-Microsoft India, said, Cybersecurity is vital for Digital India. A data driven economy can flourish only when governments, businesses and individuals leverage the power of cloud computing with the confidence that their data is secure. Microsoft understands that economic vitality and national security depend on a stable, safe, and resilient cyberspace. We believe that through active collaboration between the government and the private sector we can succeed in building a safe and secure digital ecosystem in the country.”

The initiatives under the Intelligent Security program include:

CISO Advisory Board: Microsoft has partnered several organizations across sectors to set up a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) Advisory Board. The objective of the board is to foster a deep and continuous engagement with the CISO community and share information and knowledge about latest developments in cybersecurity as well best techniques and practices, through discussions and tools such as white papers on critical security topics.

Cybersecurity workshops for private enterprises: Through its three-pronged approach of a comprehensive platform, unique intelligence and partnerships, Microsoft is driving educational sessions and coaching sessions with enterprises across the country. Aimed at helping organizations understand their security requirements and protect their information infrastructure better, this follows the Microsoft Secure campaign in 2016. Close to a hundred enterprises have already participated in the workshops so far.

The GDPR Academy: The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in May 2018, significantly raises the bar for privacy. Privacy and compliance are business essential and the GDPR requires that organizations respect and protect personal data – no matter where it is sent, processed or stored. To help simplify the path to compliance, Microsoft is organizing a series of worldwide webinars as well as physical workshops in select Indian cities under the aegis of its GDPR Academy for its customers. 

Microsoft’s industry leadership in data privacy protection has been recognized for over a decade, beginning with the establishment of the company’s Trustworthy Computing principles, which include security, privacy, compliance and transparency. Microsoft has committed to be  GDPR compliant by May 2018, and is the first major cloud provider to offer thecontractual commitments required by the GDPR to its customers.

Making cyber-hygiene a habit among the young: In a bid to inculcate create awareness about good practices for holistic and collaborative cyber-physical safety of children, Microsoft is working with partner schools to integrate lessons on cyber-hygiene and cyber safety into their curriculum, starting with the 25 schools under the Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATL) initiative, which is part of Niti Aayog’sflagship program Atal Innovation Mission (AIM). Microsoft also joined hands recently with KidZania and Dr. Jyoti Kapoor, Sr. Psychiatrist, Paras Hospitals to organize a workshop on good practices for holistic and collaborative cyber-physical safety of children.

Microsoft’s approach to cybersecurity in today’s cloud-centric world rests on three core functional areas: protect, detect and respond. To support a comprehensive, cross-company and cross-industry approach to cybersecurity, Microsoft invests more than a billion dollars a year in security research, innovation and developmentIt is the first company in the industry to win a certification ISO/IEC 27018 that validates the highest levels of data security and privacy. 

Coffee Day India Rally Gears up for its 3rd International Motorsports Season

The much-awaited Coffee Day India Rally 2017 is all set to bring forth an action-packed international rally this season in the coffee town of Chikmagalur. Organized by The Motor Sports Club of Chikmagalur (MSCC) and sponsored by Coffee Day Group, India will witness high octane action amidst the coffee estates of Coffee Day in the fifth and final round of FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, to be held from November 24 to 26.

With nearly 45 entries including the best known names in motorsports, Coffee Day India Rally will see a thrilling battle among all the contenders this season. The three-day extravaganza will witness concurrent running of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (4-wheel drive and 2-wheel drive) and the FMSCI MRF Indian National Rally Championship.

The list of competitors is headlined by Gaurav Gill, the only Indian to have won the FIA APRC title and the current defending champion, driving for Team MRF. Also on the APRC grid are Gill’s team-mate, Ole Christian Veiby from Norway, a regular on the World Rally Championship circuit, and the factory driver for Skoda, and New Zealand’s Michael Young, besides Kerala-based PG Abhilash, Sumit Panjabi and Sri Lankan Shafraz Junaid.

Gill along with his partner Stephane Prevot from Belgium is leading the APRC points table with 136, just six ahead of Veiby and his fellow-Norwegian co-driver Stig Rune Skjarmoen. Both Gill and Veiby will be driving the Race Torque-prepared Skoda Fabia R5 car.

The INRC entry list includes Amittrajit Ghosh, Arjun Rao Aroor, Rahul Kanthraj, Karna Kadur and young Dean Mascarenhas besides a clutch of home-grown talent.

Venkatesh M, Director, Coffee Day Hotels and Resorts, said: “Coffee Day India Rally was initiated 15 years ago with the intent to place Chikmagalur on the international motorsport map. Due to its tough terrain, the rally has been a one-of-a-kind challenging event with spectators enjoying the special thrill of speed amidst nature. Coffee Day has ardently promoted the rally consistently over the years. With constant efforts from our dedicated team at Coffee Day Global and Motor Sports Club of Chikmagalur, we have managed to amplify the dynamics of the rally over the years. It gives us immense pleasure to associate with our international partners consistently for 3 years. The successful attempts to organize the rally as per international standards has resulted Coffee Day India Rally to be one of the most anticipated rallies in the National motorsport calendar.”   

Farooq Ahmed, Chairman Coffee Day India Rally and Member and Vice-President of Chikmagalur Motor Sports Club of Chikmagalur, said: “Coffee Day India Rally is one of the exciting motorsport events in the country. Our biggest milestone was achieved when Coffee Day India Rally entered the Asia Pacific Cup Rally championship circuit in 2015. The rally in Chikmagalur has expanded the horizon of motorsports among the young and enthusiastic rally drivers in the country. We are expecting thrilling performances this year as the entries have some of the biggest names from Indian motorsports.”

The APRC participants will cover 502 kms of which 207.54 Kms comprise Special Stages, beginning with the Super Special Stage at the Amber Valley school grounds on Friday, November 24 while the INRC cars will do 225.39 kms with 81.63 Kms of Special Stages. The entire rally route is located in the Coffee Day Global’s estates bordering Chikmagalur.

Gary Lee Appointment as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Canon India

Canon India, today announced the appointment of Gary Lee as the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President. Under his new role, Lee would be overseeing the Finance & Taxation, Legal and Corporate Communication divisions at Canon India. He takes over the roles and responsibilities from Anuj Aggarwal who has been elevated to Canon Marketing Philippines as a Vice President.

This transition is a significant move by the organisation to elevate its leadership across geographies and cultivate globally competent human resources.  The objective is to build a global management system, targeting optimal use of human resources in operations worldwide. The criteria involves examining and identifying professionals for senior management positions and develop the skills of these future leaders by rotating them through key positions overseas.

Commenting on this imperative move in the thought leadership arena, Kazutada Kobayashi, President & CEO, Canon India said, “Employees have always been integral to Canon’s success story across the globe. I have personally been associated with Canon for over 37 years now, where I have spent 30 years working in various overseas operations in geographies including Germany, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and India. At Canon India, we consider our employees to be the biggest assets of our organisation and with this leadership transition, I am extremely proud to see Canon India becoming an integral part of this Global leadership movement.”

“With an impeccable growth trajectory for building core competencies of people, business transformation and operations, Gary Lee brings with him extraordinary leadership skills. We welcome him to this wonderful country. Anuj Aggarwal’s contribution to the growth of Canon in India has been monumental. I wish him the absolute best and I am confident that he will continue adding more feathers to the progress of Canon Marketing Philippines,” added Kobayashi. 

Having added to Canon India’s progress for nearly 15 years, Anuj Aggarwal, former Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Canon India remarked, “I have spent a considerable tenure of my career with Canon, starting as a Manager Finance in 2000, moving to the role of the Chief Financial Officer in 2007 and then being elevated as the Vice President in 2015. At Canon, employees are constantly empowered to prosper and grow in life. Our HR team plays an integral role in motivating all employees to challenge their abilities and strengthen their skills. With the endeavours of all our employees, today we have accomplished the position of a pioneer in the imaging space in the country. Moving forward, I feel privileged to be acknowledged for serving my organisation at the Global platform, as Vice President in Canon Marketing Philippines. I look forward to the new avenues.”

Canon India has already established its leadership in the imaging world and under Mr. Lee’s management the company aims at achieving further heights. Mr. Lee has more than 20 years of experience in Accounting, IT and Finance. With his strong and diverse experience, he has helped improve the company’s operation efficiency by integrating information technologies into different business operations, and has led his team to several significant accomplishments.

Joining the India operations, Gary Lee, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Canon India, said, “India as a nation, has consistently exhibited a great deal of potential for the imaging business. I am elated to witness Canon India’s growth journey over the past two decades and I am honoured to be selected for this new role to serve in this dynamic nation. Our world-class imaging portfolio joined with the staggering ability and enthusiasm of our organisations Global offices, provides us a remarkable opportunity to further elevate the fate of imaging in India. I envision contributing to this great journey of Canon in India and expanding on the strong footprint that we have built over the years.” 

Along with this global leadership movement, several other overseas assignment opportunities contribute to increased exposure and learning for Canon employees. These include, Canon Global Assignment Program, Service Engineer Attachment Program, Canon Asia Global Assignment Program and Canon Asia Short-term Assignment Program.

BankBazaar Revamps Mobile App to Simplify your Financial Needs

BankBazaar.com, India’s leading Personal Finance marketplace, has revamped its mobile app with a host of new improvements. These include gold/silver and fuel rate trackers and personalised graphs for better visualisation of expenses in the Personal Finance feature of the Android app. For the first time, a comprehensive number of Personal Finance features have been aggregated on one single interface to provide users a complete view of their finances.

With the new upgrade, the BankBazaar app now allows users to check specific details of their financial transaction history, letting them control their money better. Some of the other useful features include daily gold/silver and fuel rate updates, daily tips on money management and latest news from the world of finance. Moreover, the EMI calculator further simplifies all those complicated loan calculations, making the app a one-stop destination for everything related to personal finance.

Rati Shetty, Chief Product Officer, BankBazaar.com says, “Our mission has been to help consumers access the right financial products and make their financial journey simpler. The introduction of Personal Finance feature in the BankBazaar mobile app is another step towards simplifying money management for users and encouraging responsible fiscal behaviour.”

With more than 1M downloads, the BankBazaar app is one of the most handy personal finance apps available. The introduction of the provision to check Experian Credit Report on the go makes the app all the more versatile. Not just that, it also lets you track your bank balance and Credit Card dues. When put together, these features provide a holistic view of your finances that can help you:
1.     Track better: The fuel trackers help you keep a city-wise watch on the rates, and let you manage and track your fuel spends. The option to view all monthly spends in graphical form will let you manage your money better.
2.     Plan better: The Credit Card and EMI trackers keep you updated about your payment deadlines. When you have a clear picture of your balances and the payment deadlines, you can plan your finances better. With regular alerts prompting you to make the payments, you have lesser chance of missing a payment and letting it affect your Credit Score.
3.     Save better: With all information available over a highly simplified interface on your mobile phone, you can manage your finances and control your expenses. These will eventually help you save better.
It is now simpler than ever to track all your finances on the go using your phone. Be it your credit, Credit Score, savings or expenses, the BankBazaar app can help you keep a track of every aspect of your finances and get a better handle on your money.   
                             
BankBazaar.com hosts the widest range of financial products from over 50+ of the biggest public and private sector banks, NBFCs, and Mutual Funds players in India. It gets an average of 20 million visitors per month. The company raised US$110M through funding from investors such as Amazon.com, Experian, Fidelity Growth Partners, Mousse Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Walden International.

Pitney Bowes Study Finds a Market Driven by a More Demanding, Frequent and Global Online Shopper

Pitney Bowes, a global technology company providing innovative products and solutions to power commerce, released the 2017 Pitney Bowes Global Ecommerce Study – the first study to comprehensively analyze the global ecommerce landscape from both a retailer and consumer perspective. The study is based on survey results of 1,200 retailers from eight countries including India and 12,000 consumers from 12 global markets.

The study offers a detailed portrait of trends impacting online retailers and consumers around the globe. Some of the report’s most interesting findings are summarized below:
India saw incremental global purchases.

Asia Pacific saw the largest year-over-year incremental cross-border purchases, with India (18%), China (12%) and South Korea (8%) contributing most. Indians are purchasing cross-border with greatest frequency with 1 out of 5 purchasing daily / weekly. India is the only country that has interest in quick delivery for a cost, and are split across free longer delivery and quicker shorter deliveries for a fee.

For many online shoppers, 2016 was a holiday to forget…

Nearly half (47%) of online shoppers globally reported frustration with everything from shipping, to returns, to lost products and miscalculated duties and taxes during the 2016 holiday shopping season. Shoppers in Asia Pacific – particularly India (73%), Hong Kong (69%) China (64%) and South Korea (58%) – reported the most challenges. In the US, 36% of online shoppers experienced problems, up 5% from the previous year.

“As consumers become more experienced with online shopping, they’re shifting more of their holiday spend online and expecting better and better service from retailers, said Lila Snyder, President, Global Ecommerce and Presort Services, Pitney Bowes. “Online shoppers have an entire global marketplace at their fingertips. They expect that there is always a way to get the product they want, shipped where they want, when they want it. This creates both opportunities and challenges for retailers.”

She continued, “With even more purchases expected to be online this year, retailers need to double-down on the elements of the consumer experience that matter most – delivery, returns, tracking and world-class customer care.”
A more experienced, demanding and frequent global online shopper

  • Online shopping is ubiquitous in major global markets, but is showing signs of plateauing, with 94% of consumers having made a domestic online purchase – flat year-over-year.

  • Consumers are shopping online more frequently. More than one-third of global consumers make online purchases at least once per week.

  • 70% of online shoppers have made a cross-border purchase.

  • Online shoppers are exercising a wider range of options when it comes to shipping, collecting, or returning their items:

“Click-and-collect” – purchasing online and picking up in store – is now common practice for 40% of global online shoppers, up from 28% the previous year. In the US alone, this option is exercised by 46% of online shoppers versus 27% in the previous year. And the practice is most common in Hong Kong where 69% “click-and-collect.”

  • Consumers prefer free shipping with longer delivery times (75%) over paying for expedited parcel shipments (25%).

Online shoppers in India increasingly prefer online marketplaces over retailer websites

  • 67% of online shoppers turn to marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, Rakuten, Tmall and JD.com to search for products.

  • This trend is most prevalent in Germany, India and China.

  • Product assortment, better deals and easy checkout are the top three reasons for online marketplace purchases.

Retailers are beginning to recognize the growth opportunity in global ecommerce. Business plans reveal a tipping point may be on the horizon.

  • 62% of retailers have a cross-border ecommerce business today. And the vast majority of retailers who don’t offer cross-border, plan to in the next 12 months. If these retailers execute against their stated business plans, 93% will offer cross-border shopping by this time next year – that equates to a 50% increase in cross-border retailers in just one year.
Credit cards versus e-wallets – a dead heat…
·         Credit cards (like Visa and MasterCard) and e-wallets (like PayPal and AliPay) have been locked in a battle for payment option supremacy for several years. When this survey asked consumers what type of payment option they prefer when making a purchase outside of their home country, 41% chose e-wallets and 39% chose credit cards – the exact inverse of the results from the previous year.

  • Preferred payment options vary by market.

  • India is the only country equally uses credit cards, E- wallets, and debit cards/ bank transfers.
  • “It is important that cross-border retailers focus on the consumers they are trying to reach, not necessarily the consumers they are most used to when developing their strategies around payment options and just about any aspect of their global ecommerce solutions,” said Snyder.