Wednesday, December 27, 2017

22 Students from Narayana PU Colleges Bangalore Selected in Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) 2017

Twenty-Two students from Narayana PU Colleges Bangalore have been selected for fellowships in the prestigious The Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY).
This program initiated and funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, aims to attract exceptionally highly motivated students for pursuing basic science courses and research career in science.

The objective of the program is to identify students with talent and aptitude for research; help them realize their academic potential; encourage them to take up research careers in Science, and ensure the growth of the best scientific minds for research and development in the country.

Speaking on the success of the students Dr.Sindhura, Director - Narayana Educational Institutions said, “We are overjoyed with the success of our students who have worked very hard to achieve this goal. KVPY is a prestigious platform that has been support truly deserving and hardworking students. We consider this to be a big win not just for the students but for all of us at Narayana. The success of these students who have been selected from the classroom program, was only possible due to the dedication and commitment of these students coupled with the guidance and motivation provided by the faculty of Narayana Institutes. We aim to multiply the number of selections in the coming years”

The Department of Science and Technology, the nodal agency of the Government has entrusted the overall responsibility for organizing and running the KVPY Program to the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and set up a Management Committee and a National Advisory Committee (NAC) for overseeing its implementation. A core committee looks after both the day-to-day and academic aspects of the KVPY Program.

Narayana PU Colleges Bangalore have a great reputation and a very high success rate in KVPY examinations. 11 students were selected in the 2016 from Karnataka and this number has doubled this year.

IESA Announces Start Up Pitch Competition and Innovation Pavilion for Energy Storage India (ESI) 2018

India’s first start up competition focused on energy storage, electric vehicles & charging infrastructure and micro-grids

Supported by StartUp India (DIPP, Govt. of India Initiative), Mumbai Angel Network, TiE-Delhi NCR, Sangam Venture and Global Energy Storage Alliance (GESA) Prize worth Rs 5 lakh will be provided Pune, India: India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), India’s leading alliance on energy storage, today announced start up pitch competition and innovation pavilion for Energy Storage India (ESI) 2018 during Jan 10 to 12 in New Delhi.

This is India’s first start-up competition focused on energy storage, electric vehicles & charging infrastructure and micro-grids. The competition is supported by Startup India (DIPP, Govt. of India Initiative), Mumbai Angel Network, TiE-Delhi-NCR, Sangam Venture and Global Energy Storage Alliance (GESA). ESI is the leading international conference and expo addressing the need for energy storage, micro-grids & EV solutions in India. It provides first-class networking event to drive energy storage market expansion in profitable applications – highlighting the synergies, inter-relationships and new business opportunities for transmission, distribution, customer-sited, micro-grids/campuses and e-mobility applications. ESI 2018 will also feature Innovation pavilion to showcase next- gen products and solutions from startup companies.

To enter the competition, start-up companies having annual revenue < Rs 3.25 crore ($ 0.5ml) and operations of < 5 years can submit the start-up details in 500 words by December 30, 2017. 

Shortlisted companies have to submit 5 slide presentation January 8, 2018 and the top 3 winners will get complimentary IESA membership for a year.

Process of the competition
· Application form submission by 30th December 2017
· Shortlisted companies will be informed by 2nd January 2018
· Up to 10 shortlisted companies will present their concept at the Investors Forum on 11th January 2018 at ESI2018.
 · Top 3 companies will receive IESA awards with cash prize and expression of interest from investors Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, Executive Director, Indian Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) says, “We are excited to announce first of its kind startup competition for the Indian startups in energy storage space. Today, India has more startups than before and is on the cusp of transformation. 

Certain challenges are faced by them due to limited direction and access. With this competition, we want to bridge the gap using IESA network and I invite the Indian entrepreneurs to take advantage of this opportunity. We are thankful to Startup India and other partners for their support to us. India is anticipated to become one of the best markets for the adoption of energy storage technologies due to several drivers like the fastest growing economy, increasing the share of renewables, transmission constraints, need for providing 24*7 quality power and electric mobility mission. IESA has set a mission to also make India a global hub for innovation and manufacturing of advanced energy storage, microgrids sand EV technologies by 2022.”

The Government of India has clearly decided to prioritize electric vehicles with a goal of having 100% Electric Vehicles (EVs) by 2030. Energy Storage is a key component of this and there are number of ways in which EV adoption could be transformative for the grid. With better tariff structures and use of right storage technologies in EVs, one could also use EVs as distributed storage and provide grid balancing services. This transformation will not only help in greening the transportation fleet by reducing diesel/petrol consumption and associated emissions but will also help in greening the grid if EVs are used for better integration of renewable resources in the grid.

Many Indian automobiles companies have plans to adopt EVs. The 5th International Conference & Expo on Energy Storage and Microgrids ( is scheduled from January 11 – 12, 2018 along with Pre – Conference Workshops on January 10, 2018 2018 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India. 

Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Industry and Commerce will be inaugurating the conference & exhibition. RV Deshpande, Minister of Large and Medium Scale Industries and Infrastructure Development, Govt. of Karnataka (First state to release electric vehicle and energy storage policy in India) will be the keynote speaker for electric vehicle session. This year, it is poised to get 2000+ industry experts, 100+ speakers from over 25 countries and 50+ exhibitors. 

Western Digital Revamps Service Approach for Enhanced Customer Experience

Western Digital Corp., a global leader in storage solutions, announced a revamp in their service policy for enhancing customer experience, reducing turnaround time (TAT), providing a more comprehensive and widespread coverage, and adding value to channel partners.

Western Digital is revamping its service policy by offering customer support through different 25 + 50 service locations across the country. 25 of these are Over the Counter points (OTCs), equipped with necessary infrastructure and trained work force to ensure product(s)/ drive(s) authentication and provide an On-spot replacement for end consumers. Rest 50 are drop points that offer customers with faulty product(s)/ drive(s) flexibility to drop their units and get the replacement product(s)/ drive(s) dispatched to their communication address as per the applicable timeframe. Replacements are subjected to the faulty product(s)/ drive(s) passing necessary authentication and other applicable criteria.

The process commences when a customer with a faulty product calls the helpline or generates an online request. An RMA is generated and the customer is informed/ or find online of an OTC/ drop point near their convenient location. Once the customer approaches the convenient OTC/ drop point and submits the faulty product(s)/ drive(s), necessary authentication and visual inspections are conducted. Once the product(s)/ drive(s) passes the applicable conditions and are substantiated as a failed/ faulty product(s)/ drive(s), a replacement is offered immediately basis the available inventory at OTC facility. In case of drop points, customer is provided information on the Turn-around time (TAT) and the replacement product(s)/ drive(s) is then dispatched to the customer’s provided communication address. 

“India has always been a core market segment for us and our aim has always been to boost our customers’ satisfaction levels. This service revamp is our attempt to make the customers’ experience more seamless and comfortable”, says Khalid Wani, Managing Director Sales, India, Western Digital Corporation.

With seamless system integration among various customer touchpoints, Western Digital aims to reduce processing time and improve information accuracy, amounting to shorter lead-time and higher customer satisfaction. Installed over three phases, all of these OTC and drop point facilities are operational as of date and first hand feedback of the customer has been highly encouraging.

Lendingkart Finance Raises Rs 25 Crore in Cash Credit Facility from State Bank of India

Lendingkart Finance Limited has announced that it has raised Rs 25 crore in cash credit facility from State Bank of India, India’s largest public sector banking and financial services company. This new influx of funds will be used towards growing the loan book. As the company expands its reach to over 950 cities across the country, these funds will come in handy to widen Lendingkart Finance’s offerings to SMEs country-wide. As of today, Lendingkart Finance has disbursed over 20,000 loans to more than 12,000 SMEs across 23 diverse sectors.  

Speaking on the latest development, Harshvardhan Lunia, CEO and Co-founder, Lendingkart Technologies said, “At Lendingkart Finance, we recognize the importance of promoting financial inclusivity among SMEs in our country who are one of the most critical sectors contributing towards the country’s revenue. Given the role they play in growing our economy, if India is to witness unremitting progress, supporting these enterprises is a must. We feel extremely privileged to have partnered with India’s largest bank which also shares the same vision of supporting the unbanked SME sector. SBI, being one of the oldest and largest banks, has played a critical role in shaping India’s financial landscape for the last century. Their rich experience and sound knowledge of the banking industry, will enable us to bridge the gap between demand and supply of small business loans in the country. With the funds raised, we will further grow our loan books, expanding our reach to many more underserved SMEs.”

Aligned with the Government of India’s agenda of building financial inclusion, Lendingkart Finance is working towards ensuring availability of working capital for SMEs across the country that currently do not have access to credit or are capital deficient.

Lendingkart Finance uses robust in-house technology tools based on big data analytics and machine learning algorithms to evaluate its client’s creditworthiness. About 5,000 data variables are assessed to determine factors like financial health, comparative market performance, social reliability & compliance. Once the evaluation process is completed, loan amount is disbursed to the deserving borrower within 72 hours from the time of application.

Lendingkart Finance has expanded its operations pan India and is present in over 950 cities across 29 states and 7 UTs, offering quick and easy collateral-free loans with minimal paperwork. Till date, over 3,70,000 SMEs have reached out to Lendingkart Finance for their credit requirement.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Ashok Leyland Launches Captain Haulage and 3718 Plus Trucks in Bengaluru

Ashok Leyland, flagship of the Hinduja Group, and one of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in India, launched Captain Haulage and 3718 Plus, the BS-IV trucks with iEGR (Intelligent Exhaust Gas Recirculation) engines in Bengaluru today. Ashok Leyland also introduced Haulage Trucks with maintenance free Hubs i.e., with Unitized Wheel Bearings.

Present at the launch, Anuj Kathuria, President, Global Trucks, Ashok Leyland Ltd., said, “Ashok Leyland has been gaining customers’ trust across the country, across segments. This has been possible owing to our winning combination of products, our innovation-led technologies and our customer-first approach. Karnataka, especially Bengaluru, has been one of our key focus market and our customers here are seeing the value in investing in our products. As part of our strategy to further grow and strengthen our leadership, Captain Haulage and 3718 Plus will play an important role. Both will be leading from the front in delivering our brand promise of ‘Aapki Jeet. Hamari Jeet’ to our customers. The winning combination includes competitive price point, higher fuel efficiency, more payload and heavy duty aggregates resulting in lower operating cost, maintenance cost, better maneuverability and durability. All of this combined with our innovative iEGR technology, will help reduce operating costs for customers, resulting in higher profitability.”

The Captain Haulage trucks are especially designed to deliver higher uptime and faster turnaround time to meet the high productivity demands of the logistics industry. Captain is powered by the H series CRS engine with iEGR technology, and offers high initial pickup, superior driveability and unmatched fuel economy. With international styling and comfort and designed for the Indian operating conditions, the Captain offers the best-in-class cabin which is available in both AC and non AC versions. These vehicles also come with an essential safety feature, Frontal Crash Protection. This feature helps the vehicle to absorb the impact in case of an unfortunate incident of head-on collision and keeps the occupants of the vehicle safe. Captain Haulage Trucks are available in 25T, 31T & 37T GVW segments. The range is built for a wide number of applications like Market Load, Parcel, Tankers, Cement Bulkers and Containers.

3718 PLUS is latest addition in 37T segment which is one of the fastest growing segments in CV industry. This offers another 10% fuel savings, 225 kgs of more payload and 10% extra tyre life from new technology tyres. 3718 PLUS offer the best maneuverability through optimal overall length, 27.5 ft & 29.5 ft loading span options, and appropriate positioning of lift axle.

In Trucks with Unitized Wheel Bearings, grease is packed for life and no periodical hub greasing, end play adjustment or bearing replacement are required. It also helps in improving tyre life. Unitized Wheel Bearings are now available as an optional feature on 37T & 31T range and will expanded to other ranges progressively.

IBAB, Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute, Harvard University (SAI) Hosted a Two-Week Course on Genomics in Healthcare and Translational Research

From over 220 applications, 25 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students from across India were selected to participate in a residential two-week hands on workshop in ‘Genomics in Healthcare and Translational Research’ from December 10-23, 2017. This workshop was under the aegis of the B4 (Boston Bangalore Biosciences Beginnings) Program, funded by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, and supported by the IT/BT Department, Government of Karnataka.

B4 aims to build a scientific research corridor by engaging scientists from India and Harvard through exchange programs. Its two projects are the Science & Technology Fellowship (B4) Program in Boston and the Young Scientist Development Courses held in Bangalore. The B4 program was led by Professor Venkatesh Murthy, Harvard University, and is coordinated by Savitha Ananth, SAI.

The aim of the Genomics workshop was to “introduce talented Indian students to the emerging area of genomics and enable them to explore the power and excitement of Next Generation Sequencing technologies to address clinically relevant research questions,” said Professor M.Vijayalakshmi, IBAB, who was instrumental in developing the curriculum for the workshop.

Genomics and Next-generation Sequencing technologies have influenced scientific research and medicine significantly, which has made a striking impact on healthcare and translational medicine over the last decade. The capability to sequence DNA at higher speeds with precision and resolution unravels several dimensions of the complex genome and enhances the applicability of genomic information in personalized medicine. 

There is an acute shortage of cutting-edge training courses that focus on both aspects of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS); generation of genomic data through sequencing, and the analysis of sequencing data. The disease patterns specific to the Indian subcontinent and the mutant profiles of Indian patients have not been explored systematically in the case of several diseases. This underlines the need for focussed training to a large number of student researchers and clinicians to bridge the existing gap between academic and clinical research. Such trainings will not only equip clinicians with newer ways of addressing health care but also create employment opportunities for trained personnel in scientific research laboratories and hospitals across India.

Distinguished faculty and postdoctoral fellows from institutions such as Boston University, Harvard, Broad Institute, Boston, ACTREC (Mumbai), IGIB (Delhi), CCMB (Hyderabad), IISC and NCBS (Bangalore) trained the participants on both the experimental aspects of genomic sequencing & computational analysis of sequencing data through didactic research lectures and hands-on sessions. The workshop concluded on December 23 with a panel discussion on ‘Genomics - Trends and Opportunities’.  

Following the workshop was the valedictory event of the first phase of B4. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. VijayaRaghavan (Secretary, DBT) who highlighted the current and future study and practice of Bio Sciences in India. He emphasized the need to build a science-based ecosystem that is sensitive to the nation’s needs.

Dr. Vijay Raghavan’s talk was followed by a panel moderated by Prof. Venkatesh Murthy, Chair of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Boston and lead faculty of the B4 Program. The discussion focused on the impact of the program in India. Panelists included Aditya Murthy, Faculty from IISC, and three B4 fellows, Parvathi Sreekumar, Ramya Purkanti, and Gayatri Ramakrishnan, who have recently returned from a year at Harvard.

The closing vote of thanks was delivered by Prof. N. Yathindra, Director, IBAB. Who spoke of the value of the B4 Program for the young Indian scientists and the bridge created between academic institutions in the US and India. He also emphasized the value of translation of knowledge from academia to practice.

Huawei Brings Industry White Paper on Future Roadmap for Digital Transformation with All Cloud Network

Huawei, leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, unveiled a whitepaper on digitalization of telecom operators as well as enterprises using All Cloud Networks. The white paper titled “Digital Transformation with an All Cloud Network” also takes a comprehensive look at India’s digitalization journey and the role of telecom operators in enabling this transformation.
With strong policy support from government-backed initiatives like ‘Digital India’ and ‘Smart City’, digital transformation is gaining further momentum and the telecom sector will be the nerve center for the vision of ‘Digital India’, the Huawei commissioned white paper said.

Speaking on the occasion, Jay Chen, CEO, Huawei Telecommunications India, said, “Digitization has provided us with a unique opportunity for exponential growth. In order to unlock the true potential of the digital economy, telecom sector and enterprises must turn to All Cloud on their Digital Transformation journey.”

“Building All Cloud networks takes a combined effort between all industry stakeholders. Guided by the spirit of openness and collaboration, Huawei is ready and willing to partner with all members of the industry ecosystem. Backed by our global expertise, we enable carriers and enterprises in building All Cloud networks that puts them on the right path to Digital Transformation,” he added.

The paper conveys that the global digital transformation market is estimated to reach $23 trillion by 2025 presenting a significant opportunity for both operators as well as enterprises. The Indian (Internet of Everything) IoE market is likely to contribute about 2.2% of the global digital opportunity in the next decade, with a whopping 75% of this being contributed by the public sector and the rest by the private sector. Industry segments like Utilities, ICT, Transport and Professional Services lead the pack in the private sector with CAGR of 10%, 9%, 9% and 9% digital investment respectively.

Reiterating that rapidly growing Indian telecommunications industry is the second largest globally, connecting billions of citizens, the white paper goes on to suggest that post the successful implementation of ‘fourth generation’ (4G) networks, unprecedented availability of content coupled with exponentially rising demand for data consumption is paving way for the rollout of ‘fifth generation’ (5G) of networks in the near future. This network technology will focus on ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) as well as enhanced communication, while delivering unprecedented opportunities to innovate and grow to industries across the board.

PNB Housing Finance Inaugurates New Hub at Malleshwaram, Bengaluru

PNB Housing Finance, the country’s fifth-largest housing finance company, inaugurated a state-of-the-art hub at Malleshwaram in Bangalore, taking the total number of branches and hubs in South India to 33.

The new hub, located on 15th Cross, Malleshwaram, was inaugurated by R. Ashok, former Deputy Chief Minister, in the presence of the zonal credit manager of PNB Housing- Manas Mahapatra and Vinod Reddy, Zonal Business Head- South.

PNB Housing Finance Executive Director and Business Head Shaji Varghese said, ““The opening of processing hub in Malleshwaram will not only strengthen our network in southern region but also ease processes for loan and deposit customers in the surrounding areas. We, at PNB Housing Finance, always endeavour to provide our customers with a smooth and hassle-free experience of availing home loan. The Malleshwaram hub will significantly ease operations and offer a high level of personalised service to all our customers.”

Nearly 30 per cent of the company’s retail home loan business comes from the South. Bangalore alone contributes close to 47 per cent of the business, making it one of the most important revenue generating regions for the company. “The expansion is a part of our ongoing strategy to increase operations, grow our customer base, boost profitability and strengthen our presence in South India.”, Mr. Varghese added.

PNB Housing Finance has a total of 78 branches across 47 towns and cities. In H1 2017-18, the company sanctioned Rs 25,452 crore worth of loans with total disbursements of over Rs 15,000 crore. In the current fiscal, PNB Housing Finance plans to open 23 new branches across the country. A majority of these will be located in western and southern regions.

Gionee Unveils S10 Lite with 16MP Front Camera for the Selfie Lovers Priced at Rs 15,999

Gionee India, the smartphone brand is consistently ramping up its product portfolio and with the latest S10 Lite the brand consolidates its lead on the ‘selfie trend.’ With constant efforts to cater to the Indian customer’s preferences by offering supreme selfie and battery competencies in its devices, Gionee today announced the availability of S10 Lite across all retail stores in India at a price of Rs 15,999 from Dec 23, 2017.

Packed with the best in class features, S10 Lite distinguishes itself with a professional 16MP selfie camera which excels in different modes like group selfie and bokeh selfie. Embedded with 3100mAh battery and lightning fast fingerprint sensor. The device is supported by a strong Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform - Quad-core 1.4GHz which enhances the photo taking experience with outstanding computing power. Backed by Gionee Amigo 4.0, developed on the basis of Android 7.1, the device promises upgraded user experience powered by intelligent management system.

S10 Lite has a WhatsApp clone feature that enables users to create three WhatsApp accounts, allowing them to differentiate their personal and professional life. The device allows a user to split screen, making it possible to juggle different activities on one screen at one time. Rooted with Intelligent eye protection, the device has a blue light filtering which protects the user’s eyes and reduces fatigue, making a long-time use of the phone more comfortable. The phone possesses a 4GB RAM that assists in multi-tasking and a 32GB ROM that is expandable up to 256GB.

Commenting on the launch, David Chang, Global Sales Director, Gionee India said, “We are a leader of the Selfie revolution and with the S10 Lite we aim to reinforce our brand proposition of Super Selfie – Super Battery. By strengthening our S Series we aim to not only further enhance the brand’s connection with young consumers but also keep up with the growing demand for high quality smartphones with superior photography capabilities.”

Gionee India has also joined hands with PayTm and Jio to announce an exciting offer with this launch. Every purchase of S10 Lite will come with 2 PayTM Cashback Voucher Codes entitling customers with Rs 250 cash back on a base buy of Rs 350 from PayTM Mall. New or existing Jio Customers who purchase S10 Lite will get 5 GB data each month for a period of 10 months on any data recharge of Rs 309 and above.

 Super Selfie
S10 Lite continues to focus on exceptional selfie performance with the bokeh and group selfies, featuring a 16MP front camera along with a customized selfie flash to spread light onto faces more evenly and softly. Gionee’s independent facial enhancement algorithm automatically detects a user’s face and applies custom beauty settings. Powered by 4-cell technology, the front camera captures more light than before resulting clearer and more beautiful selfie.
 Super Battery
The S10 Lite offers longer battery life and seamless user experience thanks to an integrated software and hardware solution. Powered by a 3100 mAh battery, users can enjoy uninterrupted usage regardless of web browsing, reading or even consuming video content.
 Super Experience
The seamless interplay between hardware and software allows Gionee S10 Lite to offer an optimized smartphone experience. The S10 Lite runs on an Quad-core 1.4GHz processor gives a better performance and a less power consumption. Powered by a 4GB RAM, the S10 Lite enables smooth multitasking and easy operation, while 4GB+32GB internal storage (Expandable up to 256GB) provides ample storage space.

Artificial Intelligence Could Add $957 Billion to Indian Economy, According to New Research by Accenture

Research released from Accenture reveals that artificial intelligence (AI) could add US$957 billion to the Indian economy by changing the nature of work to create better outcomes for businesses and society. The report, ‘Rewire for Growth,’ estimates that AI has the potential to increase India’s annual growth rate of gross value added (GVA) by 1.3 percentage points, lifting the country’s income by 15 percent in 2035.

“AI’s transformative power can be compared to the advent of computing itself, and there’s strong early evidence that AI can play a key role in unlocking socio-economic value in India. The time to act is now. With the right investments AI can create a flywheel effect ‘liberating’ people to create long term economic and societal value,” said Rekha M. Menon, senior managing director and chairman, Accenture India.

The report explores the strength of India’s AI innovation ecosystem relative to other G20 economies across five key pillars– Universities, Startups, Large Businesses, Policy makers and Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships.  It studies the current state of activity, areas of opportunities and challenges, and finds that even with a tech-savvy talent pool, renowned universities, healthy levels of entrepreneurship and strong corporations, India lags on key indicators of AI development.

The research finds that major Indian technical universities have been pioneering fundamental research in AI, but are not doing enough to strengthen the AI ecosystem around them, unlike their global counterparts such as Cambridge and Oxford in the UK. It also finds that although AI startups have witnessed higher than average growth in India since 2011, and in 2016 ranked third among G20 countries measured by the number of AI startups, the size of funding received is substantially smaller than in the United States and China, reflecting the limited success of India’s AI startups in achieving scale so far.

In line with global trends, large businesses will play a key role in unlocking the economic value of AI, with more than 88 percent of businesses in India surveyed by Accenture earlier this year, expecting to make moderate-to-extensive investments in one or more AI-related technologies over the next three years. In addition, digital platform companies can play a key role in driving AI innovations in India, in line with global trends. Also, that small and large companies alike will need an enabling environment and policy framework to advance AI-led growth.

The report suggests that to realize the full potential of AI, India needs concentrated effort at the national level, with collaboration between policy makers, civil society and the private sector to:

·         Build an AI blueprint: Develop a long-term vision and action plan that unites the ecosystem, and addresses technical and ethical questions as they arise.

·         Bolster R&D: Increase spending on core AI research, facilitate ecosystem collaboration for innovation, and create opportunities for smaller players.

·         Democratize data: Enable greater access to data, to drive the successful adoption of AI for societal and business needs.

·         Prepare the next generation: Invest in building multidisciplinary and STEAM skills—science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics—demanded by AI.

·         Embrace smart regulation: Set guiding principles on “responsible AI” and develop regulation that adapts to the shorter innovation cycles of AI to achieve the twin goals of promoting trust and preserving maximum flexibility to innovate. 

“The economic boost will be driven by innovative AI technologies that enable people to make more efficient use of their time and do what humans do best – create, imagine and innovate new things.  What’s needed is a clear, long-term vision, and a multi-stakeholder action plan that balances growth with the ethical questions posed by AI,” Menon added.

Polycom Collaboration Drivers to Transform Businesses in 2018

According to Polycom’s The Changing World of Work research, more than half (51%) of Indian respondents said that they use video multiple times a day to collaborate with others for work purposes. Video collaboration is the way forward in India and its adoption is only expected to increase exponentially in the next 12-18 months, forecasts Polycom with the release of their top five drivers that are set to impact business collaboration in 2018.
“The future of work and that of the workplace is changing rapidly. There is a massive shift in how technology is implemented and used in the workplace,” said Minhaj Zia, Vice President, India & SAARC and South East Asia, Polycom. ”Collaboration solutions such as video conferencing is not a luxury reserved for large enterprises or big groups of people. Thanks to purpose-built solutions and the cloud, we are seeing business-grade collaboration becoming more available across devices, spaces, and locations, no matter the size of the organisation”. He added, “As we head into 2018, we fully expect technology will continue to evolve, enabling us to improve our business communication and collaboration at all levels.”
Outlined below are Polycom’s top collaboration predictions for 2018:

1.     Cloud brings need for interoperability - The cloud space has transformed, not just our office and workspaces but the way we work. If we look at the next generation of technology – it’s modular, it’s adaptive, it’s solutions based and it’s cloud based. As cloud continues to move into the mainstream, the conversation is no longer about that sub 50 office space, the one-to-three user space is back on the table; and how you bring them into the network with mobile devices, with USB devices, and more will be a priority for businesses of all sizes in 2018.

2.     User experience and ease of adoption reigns supreme -Where we work and collaborate is no longer confined to a traditional four-walled office environment. Today, people want to connect and collaborate with ‘the office’, regardless of their location or device. This growth in anywhere working and geographically distributed workforces mean that businesses will need to find new ways to empower employees with vastly different experiences and relationships with technology, ensuring they can collaborate effectively to drive the productivity.

Users want simple click and join. They don’t want to go looking for a meeting room ID, or a truncated number, or the smart board switch to upload documents for team discussion. We will expect to see end users continuing to demand more intelligent, conferencing solutions that can ‘do it all’ – whether connecting from a meeting room, personal device or third-party platform.
3.     Meetings are getting smarter and more mobile - Technology, like the latest intelligent face-detection and voice triangulation cameras, wireless content-sharing, a simple ‘click to join’ meeting interface, AI and advanced analytics are helping meetings get smarter and more productive.
In basic terms, it is the convergence of people plus, not versus, technology that are now working together. What’s more, as organisations move to Skype for Business, Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, we expect them to look at removing extraneous meeting technologies and integrate collaboration via these platforms as a means to reduce costs and ensure a consistent user experience.
4.     The hyper-collaborative organisation - Imagine that the next step for individuals, teams and organisations would be to go from being “collaborative” amongst themselves to “hyper-collaborative” – bringing together knowledge, capabilities and ideas from a number of ecosystems, geographies and industries.
We anticipate that for 2018 and beyond, more workplaces will be open to embracing ‘anywhere working’, that enables this evolution in partnerships and teamwork. Enabling people to work, the way they want, where they want and in a hyper-collaborative manner that will become business-normal.
5.     Bridging the urban-rural divide - With the improvement of our broadband infrastructure, India becomes more digitally inclusive and we can expect to see a jump in demand for collaboration solutions like high definition video and digital content sharing that were previously unavailable. 
Speaking on the collaboration trends, Arjun Vishwanathan, Associate Director, Emerging Technologies, IDC India said, “Employees are the greatest asset for any organisation. The way they collaborate and engage with each other to ideate, solve problems, share knowledge, and make decisions, is key to success. Indian workplaces must prepare for the future by adopting the right collaboration tools and deliver on these expectations to remain competitive and forward-thinking in the next few years”.

Cambridge Assessment English Teams Up with TCS iON to Offer Indian Learners Business English Qualifications

Cambridge Assessment English, a department of the prestigious University of Cambridge, has signed an agreement with TCS iON, a strategic unit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, who will administer Cambridge’s computer-based Business English certificates throughout India.

Signing the agreement, Cambridge Assessment English CEO Saul Nassé explained “The Cambridge Business English Certificates are well established in India, and are popular with both employers and universities. By teaming up with TCS, we can benefit from their well proven platform, robust infrastructure and customer service to make it much easier for people all across India to take an internationally recognised qualification that they can use all over the world to prove that they have the English language skills they need for success in the global economy.”

Cambridge will leverage TCS iON’s Digital Assessment Platform’s extensive, high stake assessment capability to conduct exams across the country.

Speaking about the partnership, V. Ramaswamy, Global Head, TCS iON said, “TCS iON is delighted to partner with Cambridge Assessment English. TCS iON is in the forefront of re-imagining assessment solutions and is globally leading the digital transformation in this space. We will bring the platform capabilities along with the reach and presence to the Cambridge English: Business Certificates across the country. We are extremely happy to work with Cambridge University to ensure that the technology we deploy is beneficial to the learners and professionals here. We continue to present superior options for international institutions to take their products to Indian learners.”

TCS iON has developed digital solutions that help conduct large scale, high stake exams, while enabling institutions and exam bodies to effectively shorten the exam cycle. It does this with the support of high quality-computing infrastructure, large distributed execution team and a robust digital platform.  By teaming up with TCS iON, Cambridge Assessment English will make it much convenient for learners and professionals from every state in India to take an internationally recognised Cambridge English: Business Certificate exam.  Cambridge English: Business Certificates are a standard used all over the world to demonstrate prowess in English. TCS iON Digital Assessment platforms will provide a wide range of benchmarked assessment capabilities for the Cambridge English: Business Certificates.  

Nassé signed the agreement in New Delhi, along with V.Ramaswamy, Global Head, TCS iON. The signing was a highlight of Nassé’s most recent visit to India, a country he knows well from his days as head of BBC Worldwide Productions India, and which he visits frequently in his current capacity. 

Nassé explained further, “Cambridge Assessment English exists to help people learn English and prove their skills to the world, and it’s always a delight to visit India where there is so much focus on English and so many great initiatives to give people at all levels of society access to the language of international business, education and diplomacy. TCS is the latest organisation to join our list of partnerships that help us to share the expertise which we gain from our work in more than 130 countries, without losing the vital spark which makes Indian education so dynamic.”

Infosys BPO Limited Renamed as Infosys BPM Limited

Infosys BPO, the Business Process Outsourcing subsidiary of Infosys Limited has announced that the company has received the approval of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India to change its name to Infosys BPM Limited. The new name is effective immediately, and will be implemented across the company's services.

The new name is a reflection of the paradigm shift in the nature of services that the company now offers through its holistic approach of end-to-end transformative BPM (Business Process Management). The scope and complexity of business processing work and the expectations of clients have changed significantly over the past few years as clients expect transformative value much beyond arbitrage through outsourcing and offshoring.

Infosys BPM’s technology heritage and investment in business domain Centers of Excellence have enabled the company to amplify human potential and leverage their ‘humanware’ – a unique combination of ‘employees with business domain expertise + software’ to address client business problems through the use of innovative technologies such as Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics, Rich Content Visualization and Mobile Technologies.

Each business day more than 34,000 Infosys associates with ‘ignited minds’ from 80 nationalities working out of 32 global locations partner with clients to enhance and reshape their stakeholder (customers, employees, suppliers) experience. The nature of work the company does has moved beyond processing transactions to the management of a client’s end-to-end business process as a partner, necessitating the change in name from ‘Infosys BPO’ to ‘Infosys BPM’.

Anantha Radhakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Infosys BPM, said, “The change in the name signifies our vision of ‘reimagining business processes’ across experience, effectiveness and efficiencyThrough our integrated people + software approach we continue to co-create business value for our clients, leveraging Automation, Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Cloud. It reflects the new enhanced expectations that our clients have from us, and our end-to-end digital solutions to solve their business problems. It also embodies the aspirations and capabilities of our young associates to transform the business processes they manage for our clients.”

Godrej Provides ‘Freedom of Living’ Through Launch of ‘Script’, a Premium Furniture Brand

Godrej has announced the launch of its first premium furniture store, ‘Script’, in India’s Garden City, Bengaluru. Located in the posh neighborhood of Indira Nagar, The Script store is spread over 14,000 sq.ft of inspirational and design led home interior solutions. The premium furniture brand is inspired by contemporary lifestyle that promises to offer ‘freedom of living’, that uplifts every experience and assist consumers from Bengaluru to balance their daily activities with great ease and joy.

Conceptualized and designed by globally acclaimed design firm Gensler, the store seamlessly combines beauty and intelligence. It offers home solutions that are crafted for new age, contemporary consumers that like to chart their own path be unique; live beyond the traditional. The store offers furniture and interior solutions that reflects the consumers persona.

Script, the first attainable premium furniture brand from the house of Godrej has launched their first store in Bangalore owing to a perfect blend of consumer profiling and existing infrastructure. The IT capital is known to have consumers that are well-informed with a lot of global exposure and enjoys a finer lifestyle. Being well-traveled, consumers in the metropolis are conscious about of the latest designs and innovations. These consumers are design and technology savvy. Furthermore owing to a large working population, the contemporary consumers also prefer living space ecosystems that are multi functional while being aesthetically designed.

Through ‘Script’, Godrej has once again spurred the furniture segment by launching India’s first attainable premium home furniture brand. The brand plans to launch 18 stores across 3 cities(Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai) and eyes total revenue of 320cr by the end of the 3rd fiscal year.

Anil Mathur, COO Godrej & Boyce said, “We have always believed in going beyond the mundane and therefore consistently provided extraordinarily innovative products to our customers. Script is an earnest endeavor in the same direction. It doesn’t merely attempt to satisfy customers but delight them through finest design and technological features. The brand is premium and niche but endeavors to reach the mass market wherein aspiration for cutting-edge products exists but prevailing range remains non-existent.”

Commenting on the launch, Rajat Mathur, Business Head Script said, “Script is a new perspective on furniture and accessory design that is inspired by contemporary living. Currently there is limited number of international and national branded furniture players in the market. In addition, there is also a vacuum in the attainable premium segment in furniture retail. With Script, we see a huge opportunity to bridge this gap across the metropolis and state. Bangalore is an evolved market with well-informed new age consumers and we would like to tap on this opportunity”.

As a brand offering, Script facilitates a fluid living experience and disrupts consumer behavior in this segment with ‘Freedom of living’. The brand innovates using design thinking and furniture to be a part of the new way of living.