Thursday, December 13, 2018

TVS Motor Company Unveils 50,000 Unit of the BMW 310cc Series Motorcycle

TVS Motor Company, a reputed manufacturer of two-wheelers and three-wheelers in the world, today, rolled out the 50,000 unit of the BMW 310cc motorcycle.  The motorcycle was rolled out from the Hosur plant of the company in the presence of Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad, and Mr. KN Radhakrishnan, Director & CEO, TVS Motor Company.

In April 2013, TVS Motor Company and BMW Motorrad signed a long-term strategic partnership to manufacture sub-500cc motorcycles for the globe. This collaboration has resulted in the launch of three products on the 310cc platform namely BMW G 310 R, BMW 310 GS and TVS Motor Company’s TVS Apache RR 310.

Commenting on this milestone, KN Radhakrishnan, Director & CEO, TVS Motor Company, said, “Today is a significant milestone in our journey with BMW Motorrad. Over the course of this six-year partnership, we have had an opportunity to create a common learning platform for both the companies resulting in the creation of aspirational products for the global market. It is heartening to see BMW’s foray into sub 500cc segment meet with positive response across the globe. We are delighted to be a part of this success story.”

Adding to that, Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad said, “Six years back, we took a crucial step with the decision to enter into the sub 500cc category in partnership with TVS Motor Company. In them, we found a perfect partner who have always stood for high quality and technology. We are delighted that we are rolling out the 50,000 unit of our 310 series motorcycles

in less than two years. This reaffirms our decision to offer BMW Motorrad quality-led premium products for the sub 500cc segment.”

The exports for these two BMW Motorrad models, BMW G 310 R and BMW 310 GS, commenced in December 2016 and today, they are being offered in more than 90 countries.

Intersolar India 2018: The Key Event that Helps the Industry Grow Renewable Energy Business

Intersolar India organized its 10th Anniversary event in Bangalore. Bangalore, variously known as the IT, Innovation hub as well as Silicon Valley of India, has been associated with solar since the early nineties and since then has been part of the Indian solar growth story. 

The state of Karnataka also achieved the distinction of being the state with the highest solar installed capacity in India. It is therefore a tribute to the state of Karnataka and the city of Bangalore that Intersolar’s 10th Anniversary is held in Bangalore. The three-day exhibition and conference will open on 11th December. Over 300 exhibitors will participate and highlight their products and innovations in the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre. 

The co-located conference welcomes over 170 expert speakers and 1000 conference delegates in over 35 sessions and workshops. The event is designed to meet the varying needs of the various stakeholders: industry professionals, consultants, manufacturers, suppliers, developers, distributors, contractors, installers, integrators, financiers and investors but also, academicians, students and the large community of end users.

The solar industry in India has been rapidly growing in the past five years. 10 GW of solar was added in 2017 and the total installed capacity now stands at 26 GW, with the ground mount systems accounting for a significant 22.5 GW.  From being an insignificant market, India rose to become the third largest market globally in 2017. India also has stamped its role as a global driver of Solar establishing along with France, the International Solar Alliance. 

The growth in 2018 however slowed down owing particularly to issues like anti-dumping duties, interpretation of tax laws and cap on tariff.  This year, therefore is witnessing a lower capacity addition of 7-8GW. With the 2021 deadline for 100 GW target approaching fast, the capacity addition has to be ramped up. The growth of the rooftop segment with a significant 40 GW target is hampered. There is therefore a need for all stakeholders to work together to stabilize the market dynamics. 

Driven by rising air quality and energy security concern, the importance of EV and energy storage is growing and government is drawing policies to drive these markets. These two segments together provide new growth opportunities for the solar companies. Also floating PV and agro PV are emerging new opportunities. 

The Intersolar India conference will have presentations and discussions by experts on key topics that would include India’s PV demand outlook, national energy storage mission, residential, commercial and industrial rooftops, new market opportunities like agro PV and floating PV, trackers, microgrids and hybrids. The 2018 Intersolar Executive Panel discussion will focus on “India's Renewable Energy Future”. In parallel to the conference, many Intersolar India content partners provide workshops on energy storage, quality assurance and standardization, de-risking investments, achieving excellence in rooftop  installations, PV manufacturing and quality standards, microgrids will be organized in collaboration with reputed institutions like India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), TERI - The Energy and Resources Institute, Skill Council for Green Jobs (SCGJ), Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), Fraunhofer and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE).

In another parallel track Kerala state’s renewable energy implementing agency ANERT will introduce their organization and also explain their various solar programs under the title “Rebuilding Kerala with Green Energy”.  Swissnex of the Swiss Consul General will similarly organize two workshops, one on solar rooftop solutions and building energy efficiency and best practices in battery manufacturing.

Among the more than 170 speakers are Vinay Rustagi, MD Bridge to India, Daniel Liu, Strategy Director Jinko Solar, Atul Arya, Head Energy Storage-Panasonic India, Dr. Anuvrat Joshi, Director-Cleantech Solar Dr. Ashok Das, Founder-Sunmoksha, Dr Alejandro Santis, Head Projects- BFH-Energy Storage Research Centre and Dr. Arul Shanmugasundaram, CTO-Tata Power Solar.

An exclusive program for students to promote the next generation of solar professionals and entrepreneurs has been arranged. Students will get an opportunity to learn from successful young entrepreneurs on their journey in building successful solar business and interact with them. Furthermore an intensive PV training program organized by White House Solar, a leading PV training institution in the US, will cover basics of PV, market development, different types of PV systems and their installation with hands-on demonstration over the two-day training.

Another added attraction is the 1st India Africa Youth Energy Symposium under which two panel discussions will be held one on  “Bottlenecks in Energy Law and Policy” and another on Decentralization of Energy Infrastructure and Capacity Building – Role of Industry and Academia“.

The conference and workshops will take place in Gulmohar, Cassia, Hibiscus and Parijatha Hall in the Conference Centre of the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC).

Numerous exhibitors will make a presentation on their innovations and products at the Innovation Stage at Booth 2064 covering a wide range of topics including EV charging, AI and IOT based solutions, innovative materials for roofing and solar thermal systems, energy measurement and management, cleaning and system maintenance, inverters and power electronic systems.

Each of the Intersolar India Conference Tickets enables access to the 10th Anniversary Networking Reception and Solar Power Developer’s night on the first exhibition and conference day. Conference delegates, VIPs and exhibitors will be able to celebrate 10 powerful years of Intersolar India with drinks, finger food and a great atmosphere.

With a well-rounded conference touching upon key current topics and focused workshops that address specific areas of interest, the Intersolar India conference offers a platform and meeting point for enhancing knowledge, share valuable learnings and success stories and finding solutions to challenges helping the solar industry grow.

Vivo Bolsters its Manufacturing in India, Announces Additional Investment of Rs 40 Billion for New Plant

Vivo, the innovative global smartphone brand, is excited to announce the initialization of their second manufacturing facility in India. The company has acquired additional 169-acre of land in the Yamuna Expressway region in Uttar Pradesh with an estimated investment of Rs 4000 crore (not including land cost). Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath welcomed the initiative and congratulated Vivo for the upcoming facility.

The new land has been acquired near the existing 50-acre manufacturing facility and will help expand Vivo’s manufacturing capabilities and support Vivo’s continued growth in India.

Commenting on the announcement, Nipun Marya, Director-Brand Strategy, Vivo India said, “Vivo entered India in 2014 with a commitment to bring product innovation, focus and value to our consumers. India is a key market for us, and today we have reiterated our commitment by entering the next phase of growth in India, all the while aligning ourselves with the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Additionally, we’re proud that the new plant will offer a major benefit to the surrounding area through high-quality job creation and training opportunities.”

All Vivo smartphones sold in the country are manufactured at the Greater Noida facility which is one of Vivo’s four manufacturing facilities globally.

Vivo’s new manufacturing facility will help achieve its vision of providing best-in-class mobile phones with an affordable pricing in addition to the already existing facility at Greater Noida. The existing manufacturing set-up, which saw an investment of Rs 300 crore already functions at a capacity of 2 million units per month with more than 5,000 workforce.

Vivo will also contribute significantly to the socio-economic growth of the manufacturing ecosystem in India by way of creating additional jobs, wage growth and skill development for factory floor workers as it hopes to generate 5000 additional employment in the first phase of expansion. During this phase, Vivo also plans to double the current production capacity to 50 million units per annum.

HSIL’s Benelave Signs on Bollywood Actor Shraddha Kapoor as the Brand Ambassador

Benelave, from the house of HSIL, the largest ceramics in India, has signed leading Bollywood actor Shraddha Kapoor as its brand ambassador to elevate brand awareness and visibility.

Benelave offers a wide range of bath space products to suit the needs of value-seeking consumers. It is a brand for young Indians who are looking for good designs coupled with modern aesthetics for their bathrooms.

Commenting on the new association, Sandip Somany, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, HSIL Limited said, “Shraddha is one of India’s most loved youth icon, and we believe that our core audience resonates with her grounded and girl-next-door personality. We are excited as this association will enable us explore new avenues for our continued growth and success.”

He further added, “Benelave is on a high growth trajectory and is doing extremely well in in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities since its launch a few years ago. Shraddha’s versatile acting skills have made her extremely popular among the masses and this association will help us widen our existing consumer base”

“HSIL is one of the most trusted and iconic companies in India and I am delighted to be their brand ambassador. It is great to see that HSIL is not only committed towards delivering unmatched designs and quality in their offerings, but also towards creating welcoming bath spaces for the entire family.” said Shraddha Kapoor on the new partnership.

Shraddha will be the face of Benelave’s upcoming campaigns. She joins the likes of Shahrukh Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez among others, who already front HSIL various bath space brands. 

Benelave encompasses the entire bathroom category with various offerings under faucets, showers, sanitaryware, accessories and allied products. Over the years, HSIL Limited has bolstered its distribution network for Benelave with 100 distributors and 2500 retailers across 300 cities.

Array's Virtual Application Delivery Controller Now Available on Google Cloud Platform Marketplace

Array Networks Inc., a network functions platform company, today announced the immediate availability of its vAPV virtual application delivery controller on the Google Cloud Marketplace. Running on Google Compute Engine, Array's virtual ADC provides organizations deploying applications or services on Google Cloud the ability to enhance the availability, performance and security of these applications and services either in a pure public cloud environment or in conjunction with private datacenters. What's more, the availability of the vAPV virtual application delivery controller on Google Cloud Platform enables new deployment models for customers seeking portability and utility pricing for applications and services.

Array's vAPV is a full featured, all-in-one ADC product that offers a broad range of functions such as Layer 3 through 7 server load balancing, content routing, SSL offloading and bridging, caching and compression, multi-layer security, clustering and high availability, link load balancing and global server load balancing (GSLB). This functionality is critical as organizations increasingly move to private, public and hybrid cloud architectures. These enterprises need solutions that allow services and applications to scale to accommodate growing user bases. Array's vAPV virtual load balancer intelligently load balances traffic loads across multiple virtual servers, allowing applications and services to scale up, scale down, or scale out on the fly.

"We are very pleased to join the Google Cloud Platform Marketplace and offer our application delivery solutions that are optimized for Google Cloud," said Paul Andersen, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Array Networks. "The ability to deploy on Google Cloud is an important step toward our vision of supporting our customers' business-critical applications whenever and wherever they choose to deploy them."

Array's vAPV virtual application delivery controller has been verified for compatibility with Google Cloud, helping to ensure reliability and ease of deployment and use. Array offers perpetual, monthly and yearly subscription licenses on a bring-your-own-license (BYOL) basis for Google Cloud.

OBOPAY Launches New Generation Pre-Payment Instrument for Enterprise Customers

In an effort to empower enterprises with a comprehensive disbursement and payments solution, OBOPAY, the global financial technology company, today announced the launch of a new generation pre-payment instrument in partnership with Federal Bank and Mastercard.

Enterprises often have to deal with legacy systems for disbursements and payments to employees and ecosystem partners. At the same time, users have to use different modes for different payments like, bank accounts for using salary, digital wallets for payments, food coupons, insurance cards for insurance claim, etc. All these existing solutions are restrictive in terms of their usage and there are gaps existing in these systems. The OBOPAY card is built as a one-stop solution that addresses all needs of the enterprise and users seamlessly and can be used at over three million Mastercard outlets in India.

The highlights of the card include unique innovations such as the multi-wallet facility that allows dedicated payments and allocation of money for various purposes, the ‘Split transaction’ feature which provides payment flexibility to users and multiple payment scenarios among many others. While Cardholders will be able to use the OBOPAY card as a prepaid card, the card will also provide them with a host of additional features such as card to card money transfer, making online payments, withdrawing cash at ATMs among many others. The card can be availed by all the business entities including corporate, distributor – retailer ecosystem, colleges, factories etc. The account can be operated with zero minimum balance and the users will not be levied any service charge on usage. 

Commenting on the card launch, Shailendra Naidu, CEO, OBOPAY, said “Launch of OBOPAY card is another significant landmark in our journey as it reinstates our position as a global mobile payment solutions company. We are delighted to join hands with Mastercard and Federal Bank for promoting digitization and creating a robust digital payments solution which will provide end users with the highest level of convenience. OBOPAY will play a vital role in facilitating the program management and customer life cycle management for the end-users. The Card is a customer-centric innovation from OBOPAY and we are keen that it helps us do our bit for the cause of Financial Inclusion.”

Vikas Varma, Senior Vice President, South Asia, Mastercard said, “Mastercard is excited to partner with OBOPAY and Federal Bank to provide a convenient and safe payment method to the Indian consumers. OBOPAY card will encourage the use of digital payments for several needs, where the consumers often use cash. This initiative also highlights Mastercard’s continuous commitment to bring digitally empowered financial inclusion to life, especially in tier 2 & 3 cities in India.

Nilufer Mullanfiroze, Senior Vice President, Federal Bank, said, “We are pleased to partner with OBOPAY and Mastercard for promoting payments throughprepaid cards. The card will act as a holistic solution to tackle issues in existing card payment systems in India. The prepaid card can serve multiple purposes such as food coupons,online purchases, fuel purchase, payments to cab aggregators, pharmacies, hospitals, online purchases etc. As a digital payment option, it is a firm step towards less-cash society. ”

The OBOPAY card is a holistic payment ecosystem in itself as it caters to the needs of users, corporates and merchants and addresses multiple payment gaps that exist for corporates, distribution companies, EPC players, Pharma industry etc., which do not have a complete solution for all types of disbursements and payments to their employees, daily wage earners, distributors, retailers, doctors, etc. OBOPAY card is an answer to all the aforesaid concerns. The card has multi-wallets facility with each wallet having the potential to handle a distinct and specific role/ usage as required. Users can use this card for multiple payments such as, bank accounts for using salary, digital wallets for payments, food coupons for food coupons, insurance cards for insurance claim, etc.

Royal Stag ‘Makes it Large’ for Cricket Fans by Partnering with ICC as Official Sponsors

Royal Stag has partnered with the International Cricket Council (ICC) that further strengthens the brand’s ties with Cricket, the sport loved by more than one billion adult fans the world over. The partnership, which runs through 2023, confirms Royal Stag as official sponsors of cricket's international events, including the upcoming big-ticket calendar events – the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC T20 World Cup and ICC World Test Championship.

Cricket has always been central to Royal Stag’s brand communication. Over the years, the brand’s continuous association with the world’s top cricketers has bolstered its engagement with cricket lovers across the country.

“Royal Stag has always stood by its brand philosophy of “Make It Large” – inspiring people to dream large and be the creators of their own destiny. In India cricket transcends from being a sport to a religion, with an ever-increasing set of devoted cricket lovers. Our journey with cricket started in 2000 and since then we have only strengthened our brand associations with the sport, creating a huge impact on cricket fans across the country”, says Kartik Mohindra, CMO, Pernod Ricard India.

Commenting on the deal, Kartik Mohindra further added, “Our aim is to share the excitement of the game with cricket fans around the world. Partnering with ICC, one of the most coveted sports bodies in the world, allows us to deliver a truly “Make it Large” experience for die-hard cricket fans, especially with the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup around the corner”.

On this momentous occasion, Guillaume Girard-Reydet, MD, Pernod Ricard India said, “We are delighted to partner with the prestigious International Cricket Council, and look forward to an action-packed calendar in the next five years of which two events in India only. As India gets ready to host two of these upcoming tournaments, this partnership firmly cements our position in the international sports arena. We continue to stay committed to the sport and cherish the spirit of the game.”

Commenting on the agreement, David Richardson, Chief Executive, International Cricket Council, said: "The ICC is pleased to welcome Royal Stag on board as our Proud Partner. We look forward to working together for the next five years in delivering a meaningful experience to cricket fans across ICC global events.”

ThoughtWorks’ First Ever ‘Interning with Pride’ Program Concludes with Job Offers to all Interns

ThoughtWorks, a global software consultancy celebrated the completion of ‘Interning with Pride,’ a unique internship program designed exclusively for candidates from the LGBTQI+ community. The unique 5-month program was organized at the company’s Hyderabad office with an aim to provide graduates with a safe space to pursue their technical ambitions.

The program received 57 entrees out of which a total of 4 were shortlisted. The program helped interns sharpen their programming skills through hands-on sessions on object-oriented programming practices and principles. It also provided them with exposure to both, agile practices and the latest industry trends. After successful completion of the internship, ThoughtWorks extended job offers to all 4 interns.

Speaking on completion of the successful pilot internship program, Tina Vinod, Diversity and Inclusion Head at ThoughtWorks India said, “We always have and will continue to stand in solidarity with India’s LGBTQI+ community. We truly hope the success of our ‘Interning with Pride’ program encourages many more organizations to run similar initiatives that will embrace and promote diversity in all its forms.”

During the course of the paid internship, candidates were provided with accommodations, laptops and travel support.

Karthik D and Jayanthi, who were amongst the 4 interns extended job offers, they said, “‘Interning With Pride’ helped hone our technical and communication skills amidst open conversations. The intensive training program was set in an environment that encouraged discussion of the LGBTQI+ history, culture, and issues. This experience affirmed our belief in the power of LGBTQI+ allies. We are extremely excited to work at ThoughtWorks and are proud to have been part of the pilot ‘Interning with Pride’ program.”

ThoughtWorkers, Archana Chillala and Srujan Kumar Bojjam who anchored the ‘Interning with Pride’ program added to this positive sentiment by saying, “This internship program has helped us engineer a more aware and inclusive workplace than we had before. At every step of the project, our intention was to ensure the safety and comfort of all the interns which in turn empowered them to bring their authentic selves to work, and do their best work as they felt both, comfortable and confident. Today, we are extremely proud to have such passionate and inquisitive technologists join us as full-time employees.”

‘Interning with Pride’ aligns with ThoughtWorks’ core belief that diversity of thoughts, perspectives, ideas, and solutions enhance innovation. The program is part of ThoughtWorks’ efforts to make the company and the technology industry more inclusive and reflective of the society that we live in. For updates on future editions of the internship program, watch this space.

BT and IISc to Establish a Collaborative Research Centre in Bangalore

BT is partnering with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), one of India’s leading research institutions, to launch a new collaborative research centre in Bangalore, it was announced today.

The new BT India Research Centre (BTIRC) will join BT’s network of collaborative research facilities around the globe, including centres in Northern Ireland, China, the US, and the UAE. These global locations support the company’s strategic research agenda, generate insight into emerging technologies and develop new generations of products and services for BT and its customers. This global innovation network is centred on the BT Labs at Adastral Park, Suffolk, UK, one of the world’s leading centres for telecommunications research.

The BTIRC will focus on the development of cutting-edge artificial intelligence, mobility and cyber-security technologies for use in BT’s strategic programmes, products and services. The centre’s structure and organisation will follow a well-established model used for the company’s other global research locations, combining academic, industry and government partnerships and BT’s own commercial and research expertise.

Howard Watson, Chief Technology and Information Officer, BT, said: “India is an IT and technology powerhouse. We’re proud of our long-standing presence there, which is second only to the UK in terms of our global footprint, with over 10,300 people in the technology, service and support areas serving our customers around the world. The BT India Research Centre will create an exciting new hub for communications innovation, in partnership with the Indian Institute of Science, building new collaborative links between the UK and India in this crucial technology sector that is so central to economic growth.”

Prof Anurag Kumar, Director IISc said: “Collaboration between academia and the industry is essential for making progress in the complex emerging telecommunications technologies. This will be a partnership between one of India’s premier research institutes, and a world leader in telecom technology and services. We at IISc are looking forward to exciting research results and new technologies emerging from this partnership.

In July 2018, BT opened a new Cyber Security Operations Centre (Cyber SOC) in Gurugram. Using a range of advanced cyber security tools, the Cyber SOC monitors threats against BT’s own assets and its customers’ networks on a 24/7 basis, and is able to detect, analyse and mitigate cyber threats in real-time. The Cyber SOC will initially employ around 100 cyber security specialists, in addition to the team of 250 security people based separately in Gurugram, and signifies BT’s commitment to investing in its security capabilities in the region.

BT has a long history of working with leading Indian universities on the development of new technologies and is a significant employer of highly-skilled IT and technology experts in Bangalore and other locations across India. The BTIRC will complement BT’s existing relationship with the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi, which is focused on elastic optical networks and quantum key distribution technologies.

Axis Bank's QuikPay Home Loan Offers Big Savings to Home Buyers

Axis Bank, the country’s third largest private bank, has launched ‘QuikPay Home Loan’, a first-of-its-kind home loan offering that will let home buyers save big on the interest amount component of the loan. Essentially, as against the industry norm, QuikPay Home Loan will offer an alternative repayment structure, wherein the customer repays an equal amount of principal every month along with interest on the outstanding balance. Thus an equated principal amount combined with reducing interest amount component will lead to reducing monthly instalments. As a result, there will be an overall reduction in total interest amount component paid over the entire tenure of the home loan, thereby benefitting the customer.

Instead of EMIs (equated monthly instalments), the customer will pay reducing monthly instalments. While the initial instalments will be higher (than the EMI on the same loan amount for the same tenure), the instalment amount keeps reducing throughout the loan tenure.

Speaking at the launch, Rajiv Anand, Executive Director (Retail Banking), Axis Bank, said, “For the benefit of our customers, we have launched QuikPay Home Loan, which is an innovative product that will reduce the overall interest burden on the borrower. We are confident that this unique concept of ‘reducing monthly instalments’, along with big savings on interest, will be an attractive proposition for home buyers.”

To illustrate the offering, let’s consider a typical home loan of Rs. 50 lacs for a 20 years at 9.00% pa. This loan will have a total interest outgo of Rs. 57.96 lacs over 20 years for the customer. However, with Axis Bank’s QuikPay Home Loans, for a loan of Rs. 50 lacs for the same tenure, even with a slightly higher annual rate of interest of 9.20%, the overall interest outgo will be only Rs 46.19 lacs, thereby resulting in an overall saving of Rs 11.77 lac for the customer.

Refer to the annexure for a detailed comparative break-up of the loan repayment schedule.

Staqu Joins Hands with Tech Mahindra UK to Bring Cross-Content Contextual Recommendations in the European Market

Staqu, the Gurgaon-based artificial intelligence start-up has joined hands with Tech Mahindra, UK. The association is focused on powering content distribution in the European market with relevant and contextual recommendations, whilst creating use-cases to usher in new monetisation opportunities. The association follows Staqu’s win at the Tech Rocketship Award, 2017-18, which exposed it to UK’s world-leading growth ecosystem of VCs, advisors, customers and support networks, thus begetting opportunities to springboard its business internationally.

Enterprises in the European market are required to ethically leverage data and respect the privacy of users, following the General Data Protection Regulation. With Staqu’s proven expertise in cross-content recommendations, video and image analysis, Tech Mahindra would be able to offer its users relevant and contextual content, while completely abiding by the GDPR.

Commenting on the association, Manish Upadhyay, Head of Entertainment and Media, Tech Mahindra for UK, Ireland, and South Europe Market said, “Staqu is a fast-growing AI start-up with proven expertise in contextual and relevant content recommendations. The alliance with Tech Mahindra will help to fuel co-innovation for Media and Entertainment customers in the UK. Tech Mahindra and Staqu are building some use cases jointly to create new monetisation models for media and Entertainment industry in the UK.”

Atul Rai, Co-Founder & CEO of Staqu further added, “It is a great opportunity for us to partner with Tech Mahindra and introduce our AI-based cross-content recommendation engine in the European market. Today’s users are extremely cautious about their data privacy and require content distribution to be relevant and contextual. With previously proven expertise in the domain, we are glad to partner with Tech Mahindra and power content distribution via content recommendations that are contextual and relevant to the users.”

The innovation being brought together by Tech Mahindra and Staqu would understand the content consumption patterns, without obscurely mining data. Furthermore, by understanding the individual behaviour of users, the AI-powered recommendation engine would aid relevant and contextual content distribution, completely removing any scope for blind recommendations. 

Tata Motors to Power Indian wrestling’s Quest for Olympic Gold

The principal sponsors of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Tata Motors Commercial Vehicles Business Unit (CVBU) has set up the ‘Tata Motors Elite Wrestlers Development Program’ to promote, encourage and develop rising Indian wrestlers and prepare them for the Olympic Gold medals at the 2020 Tokyo Games. The program will support the players with best possible training and coaching facilities, enabled by renowned foreign coaches, support staff and international exposure

To prepare the players for the Olympic glory @ Tokyo 2020 & Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Tata Motors Commercial Vehicle Business will help nurture an international standard eco system for athlete support to help India create a new success story at the greatest global platforms. The program will appoint top class foreign coaches for both men and women squads ,best possible support staff who will work both on the physical & mental development of the athletes and organize premium exposure trips for the elite Indian wrestlers so that they train and hone themselves according to the global training standards. The support staff will include experienced physiotherapists, biomechanics, mental trainers and nutritionists. In addition, Tata Motors will also provide insurance cover to the Indian Wrestlers.

Speaking on the occasion, Girish Wagh, President, CVBU, Tata Motors, said, “Tata Motors, in line with its Group’s heritage has constantly looked at encouraging sports and promoting sporting talent across India and overseas. Wrestling as a homegrown sport has definitely grown in popularity and needs further support in enhancing talent. We are strengthening our association with WFI by directing our efforts to promote, train and develop wrestling talent with advance coaching and international sporting experience. We hope these initiatives help the Indian team to perform better. Our best wishes to the team for the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 & Paris 2024 Olympic games."

Commenting on the partnership, Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, President – Wrestling Federation of India said, " Tata Motors coming on board as Indian Wrestling’s development partner will go a long way in creating a strong sporting ecosystem and strengthening our elite program. These facilities will help wrestlers focus fully on themselves and prepare for the toughest tests before winning medals for the country. WFI is grateful for the trust shown in the Federation by Tata Motors and strongly believes that this binding and cooperation will eventually help make a strong beginning for wrestling in India ".

The event will also observe handing over of central contract to the wrestlers. For the first time in the history of Indian Sports, Tata Motors, along with WFI has announced central contracts to a sport other than Cricket, assuring guaranteed benefits to Indian Wrestlers. The central contracts are annual retainers that will be spread across 150 players as per grades and assure basic annual earnings for the players, through the sport.

Today, sports with the energy and dynamism is a major platform to connect with people across India – both masses as well as classes. Wrestling is a homegrown sport that reflects machismo, aggression and endurance that tests speed, agility and power, and are gaining popularity in India and overseas. These attributes blend perfectly with the rich heritage, longevity, durability and robust performance of our Commercial Vehicles. This association will provide Tata Motors the platform to reach out to various stakeholders and the public at large.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

EdTech Startup PlanetSpark Receives Rs 1.6 Crore Seed Funding from FIITJEE

PlanetSpark, a Gurugram-based EdTech startup on a mission to make traditional tuitions obsolete through powerful and gamified learn-tech products and certified teachers in K8 segment, has been infused with funds worth Rs 1.6 crore by FIITJEE, India’s leading education company. PlanetSpark will use the funds to rapidly grow its existing 200+ home based tuition centers by close to 350% to 750+ home-based tuition centers across Delhi NCR and beyond. The funds will also be used to develop powerful, heuristic, gamified learn-tech products for an integrated instructional learning experience.

“At its core, PlanetSpark is a tech company aiming to organize the unorganized market of tuitions in India through scalable tech solutions. We firmly believe that the era of boring tuitions is over and the vast and unorganized tuitions market is ripe for getting organized through full stack tutoring model, following the trend in other markets like transportation, logistics, food delivery or ecommerce. Parents don’t want to send their children to unverified and uncertified tuition teachers any more and they are ready to prefer a professional brand which brings game-based learning models, instructional content, and technological backing and mobile apps," stated Kunal Malik, Co-founder, PlanetSpark.

With a 'Blended Learning' approach to teaching school subjects) to preteens, the startup combines Face to face Classroom learning and tech-based learning. The company develops gamified learning content such as mobile based learning games, educational cartoons, learning activity boxes, workbooks and board games and partners with qualified homemakers and helps them start their home based tech enabled tuition centers using PlanetSpark’s gamified teaching content, technology and training.

“We are clear that the future of early and primary education lies in a Blended Approach to learning where one combines face-to-face teaching with technology. It is a known fact that purely online “learning apps” don’t work as one cannot eliminate the human element of a teacher, especially for younger kids. At the same time, just face to face learning models are neither scalable nor make the learning process fun and gamified using Tech. Hence the sweet spot lies in Blended Learning,” said Maneesh Dhooper, Co-founder, PlanetSpark.

In order to create highly engaging games and learning cartoons for children, the company’s game development team has designed two product innovations that can create a learning game or a learning cartoon within a few hours. This would help the company exponentially scale its content offerings to more subjects and classes in the coming months.

Commenting on the development, D. K. Goel, Chairman Emeritus Fiitjee Group, said, "The home based blended learning model of Planet Spark is poised to empower teachers, students and parents in the learning process."

The team is now gearing-up for the release of its learning tablet which has been developed as a series of story-based learning adventures designed by Russian game design experts. The company plans to scale-up to 5 more cities in the next academic year to spread the joy of learning pan-India!

QuEST Global Announces Aerospace Engineering Expansion in Greater Cincinnati, USA

QuEST Global, the pioneering engineering services provider, has announced plans to strengthen its presence in Sharonville, Ohio. The company intends to add more than 60 new jobs in the State of Ohio with $3.9 million in new payroll at their engineering services center in Cincinnati. With this addition of engineering and aerospace professionals, the company will be better equipped to serve its customers and increase its competitiveness in the aerospace industry across the globe.

After evaluating several locations, QuEST Global selected Sharonville to augment its aerospace engineering workforce in the US. As part of this initiative, the City of Sharonville will provide QuEST a job creation incentive and the Ohio Tax Credit Authority  approved a 1.898 percent, seven-year Job Creation Tax Credit for this project.

“QuEST’s decision to reinvest and expand operations in our Northern Lights District is a testament to the District’s viability as a mixed-use area that blends office, cultural, hospitality and entertainment uses,” said Chris Xeil Lyons, Economic Development Director, City of Sharonville, Ohio.

“Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Cincinnati is thrilled to partner with QuEST Global to help them grow their presence in Greater Cincinnati,” said Kimm Lauterbach, President & CEO, REDI Cincinnati. “We know that engineering services companies like QuEST Global can grow here because Greater Cincinnati has the right mix of affordability and skilled talent.”

"QuEST has been an integral part of the State of Ohio since 1994 and helping grow the community through investments in local talent and infrastructure. Our unique synergy with customers and the ability to expand in various global markets through our integrated local – global delivery approach has helped us bring valuable engineering jobs to the region. QuEST Global is committed to invest and create more jobs in the State of Ohio that will enable us to provide innovative solutions to our customers across the globe,” said Dr. Mani Subramanian, VP - Global Technology Solutions, QuEST Global.

“We are excited about QuEST’s decision to invest and add 60 new aerospace engineering jobs in Sharonville,” said Glenn Richardson, Managing Director for Aerospace and Aviation, JobsOhio. “QuEST’s expansion will grow engineering talent in Southwest Ohio and it will play a critical role in helping the company meet growing demand for its engineering services worldwide.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Drones: A Predominant Technological Innovation in Indian Construction

By AV Antao, Chief Operating Officer, Synergy Property Development Services

Technology plays a pivotal role in shaping Indian construction industry. One new-gen technology that is gaining interest in the construction industry is the usage of drones. It is poised to serve as an effective medium towards building smart cities in a cost-effective, faster and safer manner with optimum utilisation of skills and efforts. It is expected that in the next 10 years, the use of drones in construction will register a manifold growth and will play a leading role in futuristic buildings.

According to a recent industry report, India is one of the fastest growing markets for UAVs and by 2021, the Indian UAV market is expected to reach USD 885.7 million. The usage of drones in the construction industry, has seen a 239% growth year-over-year globally, higher than any other commercial sector. In India too, the growth is set to increase manifold.

In the present scenario, it is very crucial for India to realise the aerial revolution that can be brought about by the proper utilisation of drones which have emerged as a highly viable commercial tool globally. As a matter of fact, the most notable sector of economy being benefitted by drones is construction. There’s no denying on the fact that there is an unstoppable rise of commercial drones; a market set to be worth billions over the coming years.

There are numerous safety and legal implications that one should be aware of, as well as the differences between the commercial and personal use of drones. Despite increasing adoption and regulation, there is still tremendous growth in the use of drones in construction. Drones can add significant value to a project throughout its lifecycle.

The areas where drone technology will benefit the construction process:

Improvised quality and thermal imaging

The quality of the scans and aerial imagery provided by the cameras mounted on top of the drones are undeniably superior. Drones equipped with high-resolution thermal cameras serve as an excellent investigative tool for a host of building-specific applications and energy efficiency audits, including roof insulation inspection. They can also graphically depict energy inefficiencies and identify wet insulations in the roof or elsewhere by displaying temperature variations within the building.

Drones integration with BIM

Drones have proved themselves to be an asset for data-driven approach and thus can effectively undertake numerous tasks to aid the BIM (Building Information Modeling) workflow. Giving an aerial perspective in the creation of the initial BIM, drones also provide scalable point cloud scanning and photography at different stages of construction.

Highly cost-effective in topographical surveys

A drone carrying out standard survey and inspection activities is undoubtedly a significant cost-effective approach, as it removes the need for any kind of monetary or physical efforts put in for the surveys. As an example, for a typical topographic survey, the use of a drone can help to reduce costs by approximately 50%.

Ensuring completion of projects

The use of drones completely eradicates the need of shutting down active work sites for the concerns of maintaining and inspecting work like pipeline or flare stacks, which can be carried out safely under UAV supervision. Drones also monitor site activity and provide a comprehensive overview of the site through land surveying. Therefore, it is highly efficient in reducing the timeframe for the process of construction leading to a speedy delivery of the projects.

Reducing risk and keeping people safe

Drones help in minimising the possibility of risk by being monitored to perform a task. The UAV technology thus helps in supporting the drive towards zero incidents onsite as it takes away some of the risks from the construction activities like the need for labourers to work at heights when inspecting assets like bridges. UAVs and drones are effective in conducting safer, faster and more accurate inspections instead of safety managers, who physically conduct the site walk-throughs to identify potential hazards.

Compact and intelligent results

Acute 3D software can dramatically enhance productivity by turning a simple series of digital photos taken with a smart camera. When these cameras are mounted on drones they give a 360-degree overview of the project into a 3D reality mesh model. The result is a compact, intelligent representation of the asset in its current operating context. This also eases out the task for engineers and designers allowing them to work on an up-to-date 3D model for their enhancement and maintenance plans.

Drones are tools that will play a fundamental role in ensuring that the construction industry can deliver huge and complex projects with a better finishing and on-time results.

AOPEN Monitor Brand Launches in India Exclusively on Amazon

With this launch AOPEN has entrusted Acer to market, sell, and handle the after-sales service of its monitors and related accessories globally. As an Acer subsidiary, AOPEN can leverage the Acer Group’s global footprint to create greater synergy and efficiency in operations.

AOPEN is known for its expertise in high-quality monitors and this move with Acer brings deep knowledge of the Indian market with a vast network of partners and service centers to leverage on. Customers will be spoiled for choice with high-quality offerings serving a wide use case right from entry level to curved screen gaming monitors.

Commenting on the launch, Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO & Consumer Business Head, Acer India said “We are delighted to bring AOPEN Gaming Monitors to India. With this, Acer hopes to open up the monitor market in India with more specialized models right from entry level to curved screen gaming monitor all at a very tantalizing price point.  The demand for PC monitors has been phenomenal so far, and with AOPEN Monitors on board we are excited to offer even more variety of monitors. We are confident that the AOPEN series will amaze the users with its features like 1800R curvature, providing cinematic viewing experience and wide-angle view for powerful performance.”

Uncompromising Gaming Feature:

AOPEN Gaming Monitor are ideal for users who want to be enthralled in gaming. It brings games to life in super sharp colors with upto QHD display, VA ZeroFrame, 1800R curved display and features like rapid 144Hz Refresh Rate, 4ms response time it delivers an ultra-smooth 2D motion images. The in-built technology eliminates screen tearing when fast-moving objects buzz across the screen to deliver a smooth gaming experience. The fast refresh rate is being increasingly coveted by players for making quick and accurate in-game maneuvers while the AMD FreeSync technology puts an end to choppy gameplay and broken frames with fluid, artifact-free performance at virtually any frame rate.

Beautifully crafted

The beautifully designed monitors perfectly complements your space, whether be it a living room or an intense battle filled gaming room with design features like curved screen, thin bezel and metal stand.   

Designed for Visual Treat:

AOPEN monitors have Optimize Image Quality where it takes low-res images and bumps them up a notch and gives Ultra HD feel. It also uses unique form of 6-axis color adjustment in order to aid professionals in obtaining the exact color and hue they prefer. With this feature, the user can adjust hue and saturation in 6 axis. These axis range from R, G, B to C, M and Y, and allow the user to cater the monitor’s colors to their professional needs. 

The curved screen models puts every corner of the screen at the same distance from the user’s eyes, providing a uniform viewing experience and reducing eye strain during long periods of viewing. It also presents a more immersive experience with a wider field of view and increased perceived area of peripheral vision compared to a flat display of the same size

Anti-Glare Feature:

To round out the gaming experience, AOPEN monitor series feature Low Blue Light which filters out harmful blue light by adjusting OSD settings and also it’s been enabled with Flicker-less technology which eliminates annoying screen flicker, and provide comfortable viewing experience.

Pricing and Availability

Starting at Rs. 19990 the AOPEN gaming monitors will be available in India from Amazon exclusively. AOPEN has entrusted Acer to market, sell, and handle the after-sales service of its monitors and related accessories globally. To find out about availability, product specifications and prices in specific markets, please contact your nearest Acer office or retailer.

ACT Fibernet Partners with SonyLIV to Strengthen its OTT Offerings

ACT Fibernet (Atria Convergence Technologies Ltd.) India’s largest fiber-focused wired broadband ISP (Internet Service Provider), has announced its partnership with SonyLIV to expand its OTT offerings and provide premium content to all customers. With a vision to become the most admired in-home entertainment service provider and to offer unmatchable streaming experience, ACT Fibernet is bringing an array of entertainment content that will meet the complete entertainment needs of their customers.

As part of this collaboration, ACT Fibernet customers across all 16 cities can now directly subscribe to SonyLIV and enjoy rich content across movies, sports, shows, music, web originals, English shows and much more. Additionally, this offer is valid on all broadband plans and can be availed at an additional cost of Rs.99 per month.

Speaking on the partnership, Ravi Karthik, Head of Marketing, ACT Fibernet, commented, “SonyLIV is one of the most widely watched OTT platform with a host of original content and we are happy to bring their offerings through our service to all our customers across the country. There is a soaring demand for OTT content, in the last one year we have received overwhelming response for the various other OTT services that we provide to our users. We are positive that we will see a remarkable traction for SonyLIV and our customers will have a wholesome entertainment experience.”

Speaking on the partnership, Uday Sodhi, Business Head - Digital, said,” ACT Fibernet is one of most of the preferred broadband service providers in India, and we are delighted to extend SonyLIV content to its 1.28 million customers in the country. Backed by high internet broadband speed the viewers will enjoy a seamless streaming experience."

IT-BPM Industry to Drive the Inclusive India Growth Story at NASSCOM Foundation’s CSR Leadership Conference

NASSCOM Foundation hosted India’s largest Tech for Good driven conference – The CSR Leadership Conference 2018 in Bangalore today.

The two-day conference brings over 400 delegates consisting of CEOs, CXOs, CSR Heads from the industry, policy makers, influencers, NGO Leads, Tech4Good champions, and social innovators under one roof to discuss innovative approaches to CSR and help create a roadmap to a new, developed and inclusive India.

The event was supported by Accenture, discussing Skills to Succeed. Societe Generale and Wells Fargo also came forward to support the knowledge platform, along with Sonata Software. 

The event saw leaders like Debjani Ghosh, president, NASSCOM call for collaboration across the industry to solve larger national issues. Rekha Menon, Chairman and Senior Managing Director, Accenture India, talked about how India needs to upskill and re-skill its workforce to remain relevant.  Arun Seth, Chairman, NASSCOM Foundation, reflected on NASSCOM Foundation’s role in using technology for social good to create an inclusive India.

Ashok Pamidi, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said, “Sabka Saath, Saka Vikaas, (together with all, development for all) has been one of the cornerstones of the public policy of the Government of India. The conference takes this vision forward by providing a platform for the IT-BPM industry to collaborate and solve India’s most pressing problems.”

He further added, “With Industry Revolution 4.0 technologies, we are at the threshold of what could be history in the making. On the one hand, we plan to use CSR funds to skill people on these new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Robotics, etc. and bridge the skills gap. On the other hand, we plan to use the power of these technologies to address various day-to-day problems and needs of common people while helping improve the social fabric. This conference aims at the discussing opportunities and challenges of these technologies apart from addressing the present implementation needs.”

According to a report from Accenture on creating a future workforce, 95% workforce believes that it needs new skills to remain relevant. Addressing the critical question on future of work and where does India stand in re-skilling its workforce, the Skills to Succeed partner for the conference, Accenture called for an innovative approach, aided with intelligent technologies, to help people develop future-ready skills. The panel consisting of leaders like Gayathri Vasudevan from LabourNet Services India Pvt. Ltd., Clement Chauvet, UNDP, Anita Rajan, Tata STRIVE, Rituparna Chakraborty, TeamLease Services Ltd, and Gaurav Kapoor, NSDC moderated by Kshitija Krishnaswamy, Accenture further discussed on how India’s skilling challenge can be transformed into an opportunity.

Around 80% of the jobs created in the future will require STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths skills. A session focusing on STEM education for children highlighted how CSR initiatives had stepped in to energize the ecosystem by building makerspaces, tinkering labs, collaborating to develop curriculum and expose the students to new technologies at a young age.  

Collaboration in CSR can help bring impact at scale for some of the most challenging of the social problems we face today. Prakriti Panvar from Wells Fargo took the lead in discussing various collaboration models and highlighted best practices in a cross-sectoral, multi-stakeholder environment.

According to a report, 9 out of the ten most polluted cities in the world are in India.  Increasing air pollution, water pollution, inadequate waste disposal, increasing e-waste, growing scarcity of natural resources are some of the few immediate and imminent environmental threats the country faces. Societe Generale has been at the forefront of promoting clean and renewable energy and brought its knowledge to the conference where Sowmya Suryanarayanan talked about how can organizations embed sustainability within the values and culture of an organization.

The first day of CLC also had other interactive panel discussions and impacted talks, Rural Development, Reimagining Healthcare and making development efficient.

The day ended with business leaders like Sandhya Vasudevan, DB Group, Rostow Ravanan, Mindtree, Sarv Saravanan, Dell EMC giving an insight into how they balance business goals with social imperatives.

The CSR Leadership Conference also had a host of networking opportunities and enabled NGOs and Corporates to find relevant partners. CLC also hosted some of the best social innovation project demos.

The second day of CLC will deep dive into engaging learning experiences in Employee Volunteerism with a session by MyGov on Self4Society, Mapping CSR to SDGs, Design Thinking for Development and Best Practices for Monitoring and Evaluation

The CLC has grown over the years to become the largest IT-BPM specific CSR conference. This year the CLC hosted the leadership from across all relevant stakeholder groups involved in the CSR ecosystem – The IT Industry, NGOs, Social Enterprises and Ecosystem support agencies. Some of the participating organizations included - IBM, Intel, Teamlease, Labournet, Atal Innovation Mission, NSDC, Tata Strive, Accenture, Akshaypatra, ACC Limited, Cognizant, Vodafone and Deutsche Bank, Dalberg, PwC, Sattva Consulting, and Storywallahs.

The NASSCOM Foundation CSR Leadership Conference, therefore, delivered on its promise to provide a 360-degree opportunity for all stakeholders to connect, learn from peers and experts, and strive to solve the most significant challenges facing development and diversity in India.

Route Mobile, Oracle Marketing Cloud JV to Help Enterprises Manage and Orchestrate Experiences

Route Mobile Limited (“Route Mobile”), a cloud-communication platform service provider and a Member of Oracle Partner Network (OPN), have announced collaboration with Oracle Marketing Cloud, part of Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Cloud Suite, which empowers organizations to take a smarter approach to customer experience management and business transformation initiatives.

In today’s world, enterprises across the globe are looking for cloud-based solutions to engage deeply with their consumers in an efficient and cost-effective way. Oracle Marketing Cloud is one of the industry providers offering mobile consumer engagement with SMS messaging as a preferred channel for reaching consumers.

“Being a technology-driven cloud communications platform provider means staying ahead of the innovation curve with innovative products and strategic partnerships. We intend to continue to ensure seamless delivery of SMS messages to companies so that they can have deeper mobile customer engagement with two-way SMS communication, which makes the interaction more engaging and generates an excellent customer experience,” said Rajdipkumar Gupta, MD and Group CEO, Route Mobile. “We are excited about this collaboration. We believe that Oracle Responsys customers will benefit from our quality A2P SMS routes across the globe, proprietary cloud communications platforms, and domain expertise. We will aim to ensure every enterprise is armed with a cloud or on premise solution. We plan to leverage this platform to tap, offer our innovative products, and support customers around the world by utilizing the Oracle Responsys platform at a global scale.”

Sharad Kumar, CEO – Route Mobile LLC, added, “We believe that Route Mobile’s collaboration with Oracle Marketing Cloud eases the process for enterprise clients to choose the right SMS aggregator for their business whether it be for cost benefit, local business and regulation understanding or SMS delivery rate. We also believe this engagement could bring exponential business growth in the Middle East and Africa, due to tremendous growth in Mobile handset penetration.”

Route Mobile offers quality A2P SMS routes across the globe. As of December 31, 2017, Route Mobile had over 800 mobile networks and over 230 mobile network operators. We believe this collaboration between Route Mobile and Oracle Marketing Cloud enables companies to leverage Route Mobile’s quality connections for mobile customer engagement over SMS. Together with Oracle Marketing Cloud, Route Mobile intends to help companies reduce IT complexity and improve return on investment by providing successful and on-time A2P SMS delivery.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Blockchain Jobs Witness 50-100% Salary Hike, 200% in Growth Rate

With a 200% increase in job growth rates and salary hikes at 50-100%, Blockchain Developer is the fastest growing skill set and most in demand by employers. There are a significant number of job openings for roles such as Blockchain developer, Blockchain system architect, Blockchain software engineer, among others in top tier organisations like TCS, IBM and Infosys.

According to data from leading global job site, Bengaluru is the leading city for those seeking job opportunities in the Blockchain sector, with over 36 per cent of all the Blockchain job postings in India. It is followed by Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai, making up the top five destinations for Blockchain careers in the country.

UpGrad and IIIT Bangalore have introduced two online programs to ensure high quality upskilling in Blockchain. For existing software developers, IIIT Bangalore provides a 6 month PG Certificate Program in Blockchain Technology priced at Rs 1,00,000 only. For those who are new to coding, IIIT Bangalore & UpGrad have created another program -  PG Program in Software Development - Specialization in Blockchain which teaches students the fundamentals of programming along with Blockchain development priced at Rs 2,25,000 for 11 months.

Speaking at the launch, Ronnie Screwvala, Co-founder and Mayank Kumar, Co- founder & MD – UpGrad said, “The IIIT Bangalore & UpGrad Programs are best positioned to kick start the learner’s career in Blockchain, especially with career assistance and industry relevant projects integrated into the program. The comprehensive programs provide extensive knowledge of Blockchain concepts as well as hands-on projects in developing smart contracts and Hyperledger applications, which is unlike any other course provider in the industry at present. The course is taught by IIIT Bangalore faculty and leading experts from IBM, DCB Bank, BankChain, Elemential, SpringRole, SquadX.”

ThoughtWorks Concludes Fourth Edition of Vapasi – an Initiative that Brings Technical Women Back to Work

ThoughtWorks, a global software consultancy recently concluded its fourth edition of the Vapasi program – a ThoughtWorks India initiative. The program encourages women developers who are currently on a career break, to re-enter the world of programming. Bengaluru’s Vapasi 2018 edition was an intensive 3-week boot camp on Java and object-oriented programming. This particular edition saw 22 participants enroll and complete the program, with 9 of the participants being shortlisted for a 2-month internship program with ThoughtWorks. Post the internship, candidates are eligible to apply for full-time positions at ThoughtWorks.

Commenting on Vapasi, Savita Hortikar, Head of Recruitment, ThoughtWorks India said, “ThoughtWorks has always been passionate about diversity. We recognize that an inclusive work environment built around driven professionals is the answer to sustainable organizational growth. We are happy that the Vapasi program is empowering women technologists to re-enter the workforce and continue their careers.” She further added. “Vapasi is also a platform for women technologists to network, connect with role models and become active members of the tech community.”

This year, ThoughtWorks successfully completed two editions of the program for a total of 44 participants - 22 in Bengaluru and 22 in Pune (conducted in early 2018). Both programs had zero dropouts. Also, the Pune edition saw 5 participants being offered an internship program with ThoughtWorks out of which, 3 are now full-time technologists at the company.

Elizabeth Nisha James, a technologist for more than 6 years, and returning from a 4-year career break had this to say about her experience at Vapasi, "The program has been a life-changing experience. I rediscovered the ‘coder in me’ and was given both, the opportunity and guidance to get back on track with my career.”

Sethuraman Ramasubramanian, Lead Consultant at ThoughtWorks and Vapasi Trainer shared his thoughts on the program, “We recognized that every candidate had excellent problem-solving skills and confidence was the issue only because they had been away from work for a few years. Vapasi has been designed to bolster candidates’ confidence within the first week, and the following 2 weeks are dedicated to hands-on experience of working with new technologies.”

Vapasi is part of #TalkTechToHer, a ThoughtWorks campaign directed towards women in technology who have more than 6 years of work experience. The campaign aims to elevate conversations around inclusivity and drive an important message that women can achieve as much as men, or more, when they are presented with the opportunities, without biases.

Industry 4.0, HealthTech and FinTech Startups Display Innovative Solutions at ITC Infotech’s iTech 2018

ITC Infotech, a specialized global technology services provider and a fully-owned subsidiary of ITC Ltd, successfully concluded the fourth edition of its flagship annual co-creation and technology innovation platform ‘iTech 2018’. As part of iTech 2018, ITC Infotech organized a Startup Showcase and a programing Codeathon on December 8-9, 2018, at its Bangalore headquarters.

The Startup ‘Showcase’ has been designed with the objective of providing innovative technology startups a platform to present their solutions directly to businesses. Shortlisted startups pitched business solutions powered by new age technologies including Artificial Intelligence, Augment Virtual & Mixed Reality, Blockchain and IoT across three industry verticals - Industry 4.0, HealthTech and FinTech. The potential clients for these startups included C level executives from ITC Infotech’s global client base, senior business decision makers, including CIOs from various ITC Ltd., businesses, technology leaders from ITC Infotech’s leading ISV and technology platform partners, and leaders from across ITC Infotech’s various technology LoBs and industry verticals. Two startups, JioVio and Ethereal Machines won a cash prize of Rs. 2 Lakhs each, and the chance to co-develop their solution with ITC Infotech as a part of its go-to-market strategy. JioVio is a med-tech company focused on providing a positive pregnancy, infant care and parenting experience with its innovation in healthcare technology. Ethereal Machines solves manufacturing problems faced by industries by equipping them with affordable machines. Additionally, this year two startups - Detect Technology and NeoEyed won the special jury award for presenting exemplary solutions.

The iTech programing Codeathon, an open forum for students, professional developers and early stage technology startups, witnessed some of the sharpest technology minds compete and created code for complex business applications. Participants addressed various challenges included applications to enable labor matching for farmers & farm owners, interactive mobile UI component using platform specific SDKs, offline analytics for mobile applications, offline app sync and process automation. The codeathon also had an open innovation category to explore Blockchain solution across Industry 4.0, HealthTech and Fintech. Pulse (formerly known as DocTalk) won the Codeathon challenge and was awarded a cash prize of Rs. 2 Lacs. The first runner-up was a team from Institute of Technical Education & Research Bhubaneshwar who won a cash prize of Rs 1 Lacs and the second runner-up was a team from RR Donnelley who won a cash prize of Rs. 50,000. Team from CMR Institute of Technology and Mangalore Institute of Technology & Engineering won special jury awards. Select codeathon participants were also offered internship opportunities with ITC Infotech.

The iTech 2018 jury panel consisted of business leaders from ITC Infotech’s clients and platform & ISV partners, along with senior leaders from various divisions of ITC Ltd.

Commenting on the success of iTech 2018, Sushma Rajagopalan, CEO & MD, ITC Infotech, said, “As a technology company in the digital era, it is important for us to create an effective eco-system in order to develop innovative and disruptive solutions. Our objective is to collaborate with our employees, with our clients and ISV partners, and the world of startups, to work at the cutting edge of technology and make innovation a way of life at ITC Infotech. iTech is an extension of our philosophy to foster startups in a non-threating environment through partnership with our clients, and the larger ecosystem. Through iTech, we are also creating a platform to enhance the learning experiences of the next generation of technologists.”

The fourth edition of iTech 2018 received over 3500 entries for the Codeathon challenge and 32 teams were shortlisted for the final round of development. For Startup Showcase, 15 shortlisted startups were invited to showcase their solutions at the event as a part of the start-up showcase from the 200+ entries that were received.

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