Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Indian Economy Projected to Grow at 7.1% in FY’20: United Nation

The economy is projected to grow at 7.1% in fiscal year 2020 on the back of strong domestic consumption and investment but the GDP growth is a downward revision from the 7.4% estimated in January this year, according to a report by the United Nations.

The World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019 Mid-year Update, released here Tuesday, said that the economy, expanded by 7.2% in 2018.

“Strong domestic consumption and investment will continue to support growth, which is projected at 7.0% in 2019 and 7.1% in 2020,” the report said.

The estimates for India, however, reflect a downward revision from the projections made in the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019 report released in January this year. That report had estimated that India would grow at 7.6% in fiscal year 2019 and 7.4% in 2020. It must be noted that despite the downward revisions, India remains the fastest growing major economy.

The WESP mid-year update noted that growth projections for 2019 have been revised downward in all major developed economies. The growth outlook for many developing economies has also weakened, it said, adding that despite downward revisions, growth in India remains “strong” amid robust domestic demand.

“The global growth outlook has weakened amid unresolved trade tensions. Across both developed and developing countries, growth projections for 2019 have been downgraded. Alongside a slow-down in international trade, business sentiments have deteriorated, casting a cloud on investment prospects,” the report said.

Toyota Signs MoU to Set-Up Centre of Excellence at Manipal Academy of Higher Education

Key Highlights

* As a part of its commitment towards Skill Development, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) hands over engine kit to MAHE to enhance practical knowledge amongst engineering students
* Toyota’s objective is to achieve excellence in development of core employability skills, competency standards and training on advancement in technologies to meet the demands of varied industries globally
* Such initiative also aims to support Toyota’s social mission to enable Quality education amongst the youth of India
* The CoE would support trained human capital to understand and deal with the industry needs in a broad context and sustainable manner
* Toyota practices Kaizen “continuous improvement”, aligning with this philosophy - these skill centers will be evaluated & basis feedback, further skill level scale-ups may be considered in future
* This is Toyota’s 6thCentre of Excellence in the state of Karnataka

In line with its long-standing commitment towards Skill Development, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set-up a Toyota Centre of Excellence at Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Karnataka. The concept of establishing Toyota Centre of Excellence at various colleges and institutes is to reiterate Toyota’s commitment to upscale skill sets and offer well expertized workforce to the automotive industry. Through this skill initiative, the institution can be equipped to impart high quality skill standards by providing expert trainers, facilities and equipment.

In order to enable in depth knowledge-base of engine composition at the grass-root level, Toyota handed over one cut section of the vehicle engine and an assembled engine to MAHE. The key focus is to provide comprehensive learning opportunities for the students, offering them a first- hand experience of the vehicle engine. The engine cut section will showcase the component set- up in an engine and its related functioning. While the engine assembly section helps the students to gain an insight of the real orientation of the assembled engine including the dismantling and re-assembling techniques, thus achieving high quality skill sets in engine operating mechanism as part of the Skill Enhancement program.

This initiative is fundamentally incorporated to pursue Toyota’s main objectives to promote, setup, monitor, govern and regulate institutions and academies for skill excellence through development of core employability skills, competency standards and to train on advanced technologies to meet the industry demands globally.

The event was graced by Dr. D. Srikanth Rao, Director, Manipal Institute of Technology, MAHE, Mr. Raju B. Ketkale, Sr. Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor and Mr. Naveen Soni, Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, amongst other dignitaries.

Dr H Vinod Bhat, Vice-chancellor, Manipal Academy of Higher Education said, “Manipal Academy of Higher Education is happy to be associated with a brand like Toyota, which has a legacy of Quality and Excellence as their basic DNA. Being a pioneer in manufacturing cars of global standards, Toyota over the years has led by example of being a responsible corporate citizen through its various initiatives to cover broader societal issues.

As academicians, it is our responsibility to impart quality education to our students. Skill enhancement is of utmost importance for the socio-economic development of any nation. It is an honour for us to partner with Toyota. Through this initiative, I am confident that the students would gain a better insight into the complexity associated with the engine, which is an essential part of a vehicle, while enriching their learning experience and making it exciting.”

Expressing his views on the occasion, Mr. Naveen Soni - Vice President - Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, “The quality of learning and education is very critical for the economic growth and development of a nation. Through the network of Centres of Excellence in association with various colleges and institutes across the country, which can help drive rapid, targeted improvements in the quality of training, we are striving to provide more comprehensive learning opportunities for the students at the grass-root level. Being a responsible corporate citizen, our objective at Toyota is to empower the students to be industry ready with desired skill sets and competencies, while contributing to the nations’ growth and Industry’s employability ratio.

We believe that such practical exposure would aid the students to cope with different levels of operations associated with automotive functional mechanisms, while making classroom learning more practical, interesting and interactive.

Toyota’s scalable and sustainable skill approach focuses to bridge the gap between India’s rapidly growing industrial sector with evolving technologies and availability of skilled workforce. Through these intensive skill efforts, we provide more comprehensive learning opportunities for the students at the grass-root level, thus standing strong by our commitment to offer the industry better skilled workforce for the future requirements.” He added.

The company has been tirelessly working towards enhancing the employability quotient in the automobile manufacturing industry across India by promoting unique skill sets.

As a part of its commitment towards developing world class skilled workforce for the emerging Indian Auto Industry, Toyota in 2007 established the Toyota Technical Training Institute (TTTI)

which offers a three-year rigorous full-time training in – Automobile Assembly, Automobile Paint, Automobile Weld and Mechatronics (a combination of mechanical and industrial electronics) to financially challenged students hailing from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families from across Karnataka. This institute exclusively emphasizes on over all development of the trainees as per industry requirements & towards “Perfecting people” and there by contributing young multi skilled, energetic, ideal students to the nation. Training Curriculum is a unique blend which focuses on the holistic development of Knowledge (16%), Skill (34%), Body and Mind (50%) of the students. Last year Toyota’s TTTI institute accomplished the key milestone of being selected for “Manufacturing Skill Transfer Promotion Programme” under the MoU signed by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Government of Japan (METI) and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Government of India (MSDE).

Some of the key highlights of TKM’s other skill initiatives follows:

·         Gurukul is a well-equipped learning center at TKM imparts diverse training to employees at all levels which helps them to improve their abilities and thoroughly fulfill their roles. Everyone who works in Toyota experiences 70% of their development through the job itself; and the experience serves as a driving force in developing the next generation.

·         Toyota Technical Education Program (T-TEP) provides technical know-how training to ITI students across India along with providing hands-on real-time experience within Toyota dealerships

·         Toyota Apprentice Scheme (TAS) – Under TAS, TKM has trained over 12,000 Apprentice Members (ITI, Diploma and Engineer) since 2002, which makes it one of the largest sources of providing such manpower to the industry.

·         National Skill Contest– Launched in 2014, National Sales & Service Skill Contest is an initiative that provides Toyota’s dealer sales & service personnel to showcase their skill levels with a view to identify gaps and improvise. Held at three levels – across dealership, regional and national levels, the contestants are evaluated on various parameters such as knowledge, process demonstration, soft skills and role plays among others. Continuous training skills are imparted to hone the dealer personnel skill sets to meet the growing expectations and deliver Toyota’s best-of-all Quality, Durability & Reliability for ultimate customer delight.

Spice Mobility Transforms its Corporate Identity to DiGiSPICE Tech, Forays into the Larger Digital Tech and Fintech-Ecosystem

Spice Mobility Limited, in its Board meeting held today, announced its consolidated Financial  results  for  the  quarter  and  year  ended  31st  March  2019,  posting  a  Revenue  of  Rs 376.68 Cr as against the previous year revenue of  Rs 280.52 Cr,  a growth of 34 % year on year and also  reported  a  Profit  after  tax  of  Rs 9.08 Cr  as  against  a  Loss  of  Rs 44.70 Cr in the previous year.

The Board of Directors also recommended a dividend of 15% of the paid-up equity capital of the Company for the year ended 31st March 2019, subject to shareholders’ approval.

The Company launched its digital initiatives in the last 12 months under the ‘’DiGiSPICE‘‘ brand and has seen notable success in developing countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, Kenya and other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa apart from India. The Company also launched its Digital Financial Technology services business through its subsidiary company. Branded “Spice Money”, the digital platform offers financial services in semi urban and rural India.

Announcing the above developments, Mr. Dilip Modi, Chairman of the Company said: “There are two megatrends that we, at DiGiSPICE, are very excited about. The first megatrend that we are seeing is that worldwide Telcos, enterprises and governments are aggressively working on their digital transformation blueprints. DiGiSPICE Technologies, with a pedigree of digital, aims to work closely as partners with telcos and enterprises across developing and developed markets in enabling their digital transformation journey.

The second megatrend that we are witnessing is around ‘BHARAT’ going DIGITAL. Spice Money, a wholly owned subsidiary of DiGiSPICE Technologies, is working to financially empower a billion people in BHARAT using digital platforms. We, have, to date, on boarded over 200K next door kirana stores as our customer service partners on the Spice Money digital platform. More than 5 million customers are availing financial services at these Spice Money customer service points every month. We are committed towards building DiGiSPICE Technologies into a leading NextGen digital services and products company in the emerging new technologies space” added Mr. Modi.

As a part of its continuous effort to professionalize the management of the Company, the Board had recently appointed Ms. Preeti Das, as the CEO of Spice Mobility. She brings over three decades of global experience from multiple large organizations like Microsoft, Oracle, Birlasoft etc. in IT and Digital services. She will lead the Company’s Digital transformation journey with a view to create a leadership position for DiGiSPICE in offering Digital technology services to Telcos, Enterprises and Governments across the world.

The Company further announced completion of a demerger process through a Scheme of Arrangement, which has been duly approved by NCLT, Delhi. The Scheme paves the way for:

i) Consolidating all the technology services businesses under Spice Mobility, making Spice Mobility a Digital Technology Services Company.

ii) Creating a separate Digital Financial services company, as its wholly owned subsidiary.

In order to give a true representation of the nature of Company’s business, the Board of Directors also proposed:

a)       Change of name of ‘’Spice Mobility Limited’’ to ‘’DiGiSPICE Technologies Limited’’ and change of name of its subsidiary ‘’Spice Digital Limited ‘‘to‘’ Spice Money Limited’’, subject to necessary approvals. While ‘DiGiSPICE Technologies Limited ‘will focus on providing digital technologies services, ‘Spice Money Limited ‘will be the FINTECH subsidiary of the Company, focusing on driving digital financial services in India.

b)       An application to be made to the Stock Exchanges to reclassify Spice Mobility Limited (New name ‘DiGiSPICE Technologies Limited ‘) from the current Industry classification of ‘’Telecom -Telecommunication Equipment ‘‘to ‘’Information Technology -Software and Services -IT Consulting and Application software ‘’ sector. This will enable the Company to rightly position itself with customers, partners, investors and analysts and also enable investors to compare and analyze the performance of the Company with the right Industry benchmarks.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

AURIC India’s Greenfield Smart Industrial City Holds Roadshow for Industries, MNCs, Entrepreneurs & Corporates in Bangalore


Aurangabad Industrial Township Limited conducted a Roadshow in the City to apprise a business gathering comprising Industries, MNCs, entrepreneurs, corporates and domestic enterprises based in Bangalore and Karnataka region on the opportunities, benefits, and advantages offered by the India's first Greenfield Industrial Smart City - AURIC (Aurangabad Industrial City). Addressing the gathering were Mr. Gajanan Patil (Jt. Managing Director, Aurangabad Industrial Township Limited), Mr. T. Parabrahman( Former Chairman, CII Karnataka), Mr. Prasad Kokil (MD, Sanjay Group) and Mr. Vijay Patil (General Manager, MIDC).

Aurangabad Industrial City (AURIC), a well-planned and one of its kind Greenfield smart industrial city is being developed across an area of 10,000 acres in Maharashtra as a part of Delhi – Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and promoted by Aurangabad Industrial Township Limited (AITL), a special purpose vehicle and partnership between DMICDC (an agency of Government of India) and MIDC (the investment promotion and facilitation arm of the state government of Maharashtra).

The Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) is India`s most ambitious and one of the world's largest- infrastructure programme. Its goal is to develop new industrial cities as 'Smart Cities' and converge next generation technologies across infrastructure sectors. In the first phase, eight new cities are being created. With an estimated investment of US$100 billion, a high-tech industrial zone is planned, spread across six states.

Mr. Gajanan Patil, Jt. Managing Director, AURIC, said, “AURIC has attracted a record investment of Rs. 3,600 crore (Rs. 36 billion) in CY 2018 from investors. AURIC has allotted 52 plots comprising 507,164 sq. mt. Infrastructure packages of Rs. 7,947 crore (Rs. 79.47 bn) has been approved by the Government of India to help AURIC offer high-value, sustainable infrastructure that will support long-term economic vitality, a high quality of life, and a knowledge-based ecosystem with breakthrough innovation and efficiency. AURIC is expected to attract investment of Rs. 60,000-70,000 crore (Rs. 600-700 bn) from global players, which will generate employment for lakhs of people. The value of the output is expected to be exports of USD 11.6 billion and Industrial output of USD 46.2 bn”.

Investors include Hyosung Corporation of South Korea, the largest global spandex producer. Several global companies from the US, Europe, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea have also been considering investments in AURIC –  e.g. Fuji Silvertech Japan’s leading precast concrete manufacturing company. Companies closer home around AURIC include Skoda, Siemens, Bajaj, Johnson & Johnson, Crompton & Greaves, Perkins, Liebherr, Lupin, Endress + Hauser, Wockhardt & Endurance amongst others.

AURIC aims at offering high-value, sustainable infrastructure to support long-term economic vitality, a high quality of life, and a knowledge-based ecosystem with breakthrough innovation and efficiency. It is positioned to create over 150,000 jobs as employment along with housing for over 300,000 people including industrial workforce and their families while truly embracing the concept of live, work and play.

Besides a rail and highway network that connects the new city to major cities in India, AURIC is only 15 minutes away from the Aurangabad International Airport and provides direct flight connections to key hubs at Mumbai, Delhi and other Metro cities of India. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust’s dry port and container terminal at Jalna is only 40 kilometres away. This will give industries at AURIC an easy access to India’s largest sea port of the country – the JNPT.

AURIC is India’s 1st ‘Walk-to-Work’ Smart Industrial City. The concept of ‘Walk to work’ which encourages housing options, workplaces, and shopping centres, to be developed in the vicinity of each other, will be implemented. This concept also includes walkable streets and blocks and reachable public spaces. This new integrated industrial township will be a congregation of office spaces, residences, hotels, large & small format retail, hospitals, schools, parks, entertainment hubs and lots more. 60% of the total land has been utilized for industrial purposes, while 40% is for residential, commercial, institutions, open spaces and social-cultural amenities. Thus fueling tremendous economic growth and creating a thriving, vibrant community to live, work and play. To implement this vision, a state-of-the-art smart technology will be employed, infrastructure will focus on clean, reusable and recycling methodologies, and industrial growth will be encouraged in targeted areas to build upon the industrial success of the region.

The Future-ready Smart Industrial City will showcase Smart Governance features such as e-LMS (Land Management System) which is specially developed for AURIC. This is the first-of-its-kind system in the country in which land allotment has been made simpler and efficient with a vision of ensuring 100% digital and paperless transactions. AURIC will provide a high grade and cost-efficient power source, with a reduced carbon footprint and compact design. Operated out of a GIS substation with a SCADA system, residents are assured 24x7 reliable power with an underground cable for every plot and ICT enabled “Smart + Connected” City components including Fiber optic infrastructure, Public Wi-Fi, AURIC e-Governance and ERP (AEE), Surveillance system, Internet of Things (IoT) for utilities, Multi-Services digital kiosks, Environmental sensors, e-Education and e-Healthcare, Smart poles, Cloud hosting.

Land Rover Introduces a 221 kW (300 PS) Petrol Powered Range Rover Sport from ₹ 86.71 Lakh

Jaguar Land Rover India, has announced the launch of the 2.0 l petrol derivatives of the Model Year 2019 Range Rover Sport in India, priced at ₹ 86.71 lakh. Available in S, SE & HSE trim, the new derivative is powered by a 2.0 l petrol engine with a twin-scroll turbocharger, that delivers a power output of 221 kW and 400 Nm of peak torque.

Rohit Suri, President & Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover India Ltd. (JLRIL), said: “The success of the Range Rover Sport has been integral in driving demand for the Land Rover portfolio in India. The Model Year 2019 2.0 l petrol derivative should further increase the aspirational value of the flagship model at an attractive and exciting price.”

Combining driving pleasure, fuel economy and refinement with unparalleled capability, the Range Rover Sport is perfectly proportioned, enhancing the dynamic design and contemporary feel with features such as the sliding panoramic roof and powered tailgate. For 2019, the Range Rover Sport comes with a range of exciting features including three-zone Climate Control, Protect, Control Pro, Park Pack and Cabin Air Ionisation.

Seamlessly integrating technology in the overall driving experience, the Range Rover Sport comes with a contemporary interior and advanced features such as the Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, 31.24 cm (12.3) Interactive Driver Display and full colour Head-up Display.

Further details on the Range Rover Sport are available on   

Land Rover Product Portfolio in India

The Land Rover range in India includes the Discovery Sport (starting at ₹ 44.68 Lakh), Range Rover Evoque (starting at ₹ 52.06 Lakh), Discovery (starting at ₹ 76.94 Lakh), the Range Rover Velar (starting at ₹ 72.47 Lakh), Range Rover Sport (starting at ₹ 86.71 Lakh) and Range Rover (starting at ₹ 181.86 Lakh). All prices mentioned are ex-showroom prices in India.

Jaguar Land Rover Retailer Network in India

Jaguar Land Rover vehicles are available in India through 26 authorised outlets in Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Kochi, Karnal, Ludhiana, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Noida, Pune, Raipur, Vijayawada and Surat. 

Kansai Nerolac Launches with Royal challengers Bangalore ‘Colour Trails Wall Designs’, Inspired through Photo-Walks

Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd (KNPL), one of the leading paint companies in India launched their new offering, ‘Colour Trails Wall Designs’ with star players from the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) team. The event witnessed Mr. Peeyush Bachlaus, General Manager Marketing, Decorative Paints, Kansai Nerolac Paints Limited launch the designs along with RCB players Captain Virat Kohli, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Dale Steyn and Tim Southee. Kansai Nerolac Paints is a team sponsor for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

‘Colour Trails Wall Designs’ by Kansai Nerolac is a unique theme-based photowalk initiative wherein each wall design is inspired by images clicked by photography enthusiasts across different places in India. These inspirations are then converted into wall designs for the home. This edition of wall designs takes inspirations from cities like Delhi (Rustic yet modern), Jaipur (Hawa Mahal), Kolkata (festivities and culture) and Mumbai (eclectic streets) to name a few.

Speaking on the launch, Mr. Peeyush Bachlaus, General Manager Marketing, Decorative Paints, Kansai Nerolac Paints Limited said, “At Nerolac, we constantly work towards creating experiences that transform, inspire and touch lives. The idea behind Colour Trails Wall Designs is to offer our customers an opportunity using inspiration from all round us to  personalize their home space. We have taken the photography route to bring alive one’s inspiration in the form of these wall designs and each design has a unique story to tell. It also makes a great gift for loved ones, to mark occasions and experiences shared together. We are happy to have launched this initiative with Royal Challengers Bangalore.”

Mr. Sanjeev Churiwala, Chairman of Royal Challengers Bangalore commented, “We are delighted to launch the Colour Trails Wall Designs initiative by Kansai Nerolac Paints Limited. As cricketers, the team is always travelling to new places, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. This property is a perfect medium for them and others to bring to life their experiences in their homes.”

So far, 70 such Colour Trails have been organized by Kansai Nerolac across different parts of the country, connecting more than 1000 customers on ground and over 10 million users across social media platforms.

Goldmine’s ‘Forward’ Wins Social Media Mandate for Bank of Baroda

Established in 2014, Forward - Goldmine’s digital arm, has once again won the Social Media mandate in a multi-agency pitch and will service Bank of Baroda, India’s second largest public sector bank for another 3 years starting April 2019 across creative, media and ORM-led services.

Forward has launched the bank’s various digital platforms in 2016 and has helped Bank of Baroda connect with a new audience and push its new digital banking products. The agency has also assisted the bank leverage its partnerships with multiple events across the country.

Commenting on this development, Mr. O K Kaul, General Manager, Marketing, Corporate Communications & WMS of Bank of Baroda said, “We are delighted to extend our association with Goldmine as our social media partner. Thanks to their strategic insights, digital expertise, in-depth knowledge of the category, our visibility online is very strong today. The campaigns they have created and executed have helped us establish a good digital footprint within the banking sector. Being a technologically strong Bank, we particularly appreciate that Forward has deployed QuickMetrix, a strong social analytics and management software that supports all digital activities with relevant data.”

To this, Aastha Singla Co-founder, Forward, Goldmine said, “Servicing Bank of Baroda has always been a learning experience for us. Given the current dynamics, the next three years seem crucial especially with the three way amalgamation of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank, making it a financial powerhouse. With a positive outlook, we look forward to the challenges and opportunities that come in the near future.”

From the onset, Forward deployed QuickMetrix (India’s leading Social Media Listening and ORM software) for a strong technology platform to manage the Bank’s online presence across social platforms.  QuickMetrix is integrated with the Bank’s internal systems to build a seamless experience for its customers’ service requests originating from social media.

Pleased with this extension, Surendra S. Baliga, Co-founder, QuickMetrix said, “It is a matter of great pride for us that Bank of Baroda has deployed QuickMetrix since 2016 and has chosen to do so for the next three years. We have learnt a lot from Bank of Baroda and QuickMetrix will continue to evolve to serve India’s second largest Public Sector Bank.”

Magnet360, Mindtree’s Salesforce Practice, Named a Leader in Professional Services for Salesforce Sales and Service Cloud by ISG

Magnet360, the Mindtree Salesforce practice, has been named a leader in Professional Services for Salesforce Sales and Service Cloud in the U.S. ISG Provider Lens for the Salesforce Ecosystem. This recognition is attributed to our sustained investment in Salesforce solutions as well as our ability to apply Salesforce expertise across a range of industries.

The ISG Provider Lens report on the Salesforce Ecosystem examines service providers that offer capabilities covering the system integration aspects of a project for Salesforce customers. This report is focused on companies using the Salesforce Sales and Service Clouds.

“The complexity of large enterprise technology landscapes, including legacy systems, creates challenges for businesses to get the most value from their investment in Salesforce Clouds,”.,” said Matt Meents, CEO of Magnet360. “This recognition from ISG reflects the investments we’ve made over many years to help our clients tap into the full potential of the Salesforce Platform to transform their businesses.”

The ISG report cites Magnet360’s strengths in the following areas:

·         Industry solutions and accelerators: Magnet360 has several industry solutions, including offerings for consumer-packaged goods and retail, manufacturing (including IoT aspects), financial services (where it has a focus on insurance and partners with Duck Creek) and the Patient Engage solution for healthcare. Connected Manufacturing from Magnet360 provides a powerful solution for Service Cloud that extensively uses IoT elements.

·         Methodology: Magnet360 brings a well-developed methodology to project engagements and includes a variety of accelerators to support specific project activities. These include Code Analyzer, Org Optimizer, Risk Base Testing and others. Magnet360 applies a strong focus on the initial project phases, where it applies its Fast Forward methodology for strategy development and roadmap planning.
·         Attention to data quality: Magnet360’s project methodology is laser-focused on data management, including measuring data quality as part of the business performance assessment.
·         Customer commitment: Magnet360 has a growing global customer base and has won multiple Salesforce Partner Innovation Awards for its work with customers.

“Salesforce customers are looking for partners who can support multi-cloud implementations which require a well-developed procurement model to be successful,” said Jan Erik Aase, a director and principal analyst at ISG. “With their Magnet360 practice, Mindtree is able to marry 15 years of Salesforce expertise with the ability to cover integrations with other technology packages and positions them as a leading partner in the complex Salesforce ecosystem.”

The ISG Provider Lens Quadrant report series provides valuable insights on service provider capabilities based on ISG’s unique methodology, which blends empirical, data-driven research and market analysis with the real-world working experiences and observations of ISG’s global advisory team.

Renaissance Strī for Women by Bangalore Watch Company

Bangalore Watch Company, an independent boutique watch brand from India, after a lot of success with their debut collection of gentleman’s timepieces, has introduced ‘Renaissance Strī’, an extension of their debut, the Renaissance Automatic line in a women-friendly aesthetic.

The Renaissance Strī consists of a total of five categories — three of them in rose gold plated stainless steel and two in stainless steel. The watches are available in dial colours — Opaline, Anthracite and a unique Emerald.

The watches of the Renaissance Strī collection are made with surgical-grade steel, scratch-resistant Sapphire crystals, a slim case design adorned with 72 Swarovski crystals, powered by Swiss quartz movements with genuine leather straps and presented in beautiful lacquer finished wooden boxes. The price range of the collection is between INR 28,000 and INR 32,000.

Speaking about their newest watch collection for women, Founder and Creative Director of  Bangalore Watch Company  Nirupesh Joshi says, “Often, we have been asked to introduce an exclusive collection for women. This strong demand lead to the launch of Renaissance Strī, a vintage-inspired classic watch for women.”

The Renaissance Strī collection is now open for orders for the watch lovers. Renaissance Strī collection available at

India Food Services Industry to Add 2 Million Jobs Over the Next Two Years: Nandan Nilekani

Looking at the job scenario, the food services industry is a big driver in the country and will add another 2 million jobs over the next 2 years, said Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani after releasing the fourth edition of the 'India Food Services' report 2019, compiled by the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) in Bengaluru. He said presently this industry employees over 7 million to and this is expected to grow to 9 Million.

Indicating formalisation of the food services industry was inevitable in India, Nilekani on Monday advised stakeholders to have a certification system for skills of their employees in the supply chain.

"I urge you to bring out a certification system to raise the skills of millions of people. This will help you build employment for the industry and can go beyond 10 million in the near future," said Nilekani after releasing the fourth edition of the 'India Food Services' report 2019, compiled by the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) here.

Noting that multiple forces play a major part in the growth of the multi-crore industry, he said the Goods and Services Tax (GST), digital payments and food quality were the other major factors that would formalise the industry with an ecosystem of its own.

"They are frenemies. Though brick and mortar always thrive, the restaurants need to make sure they have a good supply chain to support the tight timelines the delivery boys have," Nilekani said.

NRAI President Rahul Singh said the Indian restaurant industry employed 73 lakh people in the last fiscal 2018-19.

"The organised food service sector, which is 35 per cent of the total market, contributed a whopping Rs 18,000 crore as taxes in the last fiscal, which is 12 per cent of the total organized market," said Singh.

According to the report, compiled once in 3 years, growing urbanisation, rising income levels and improved investment climate have made the food service sector grow at 11 per cent during the last 3 years and it is estimated to be at Rs 4,23,865 crore in 2018-19.

Growing at 9 per cent, the sector is projected to reach Rs 599,784 crore by 2022-23.

In terms of employment, the organised sector provided jobs to 37 lakh people, or 51 per cent of the total in 2018-19, the unorganised sector to another 36 lakh people (49 per cent) of the total workforce. This is estimated to grow 6 per cent to 92 lakh in 2022-23.

NRAI's Bengaluru chapter head chef Manu Chandra said the average spend per household per month on eating out has been estimated at Rs 3,586 in the tech hub, which was higher than the national average of Rs 2,500.

Empirical Data Blockchain Solution Brings Transparency to CSR Projects

Empirical Data, a new breed blockchain solution provider, today announced the launch and introduction of RedShift, a first of its kind blockchain solution for corporate CSR. This game changing solution provides a robust platform for corporates to ensure smooth CSR project execution. RedShift brings a simple, efficient and affordable enterprise solution that helps corporates to focus and execute humanitarian and social projects.

"A well-executed CSR project is the best way to give back to the society. We are excited to introduce RedShift which will help create greater transparency and visibility in daily corporate CSR transactions. With RedShift we aim to change the way businesses interact with various stakeholders in the CSR activities," said Karthik Ramarao, Founder & CTO at Empirical Data.

Empirical Data is incorporated as the Indian subsidiary of trANa Technologies, headquartered in Singapore, providing groundbreaking enterprise solutions on its blockchain - Fusion Core. By adding leading-edge innovations and enhancements to the open source blockchain framework, Empirical Data has successfully integrated blockchain with sensors, IOT and ML to introduce new breed of solutions for enterprises.

RedShift enables a shared system of immutable single data source for all stakeholders. Its applications reach far beyond the scope of CSR and philanthropy. Apart from providing step by step execution of activities, this tamper proof solution provides a consistent set of records for the whole value chain to see and review. RedShift enables stakeholders and auditors to easily trace the provenance of the data as well as to be prepared for random inquests from government audit bodies.

Blockchain is an enabler for RedShift, providing fundamental change, transparency and empowerment for the execution of CSR in India. Redshift's SXCAL engine is equipped with advanced features such as alarms, flags, invoice creation, payment initiation and more. With RedShift corporate enterprises can now make use of unprecedented benefits such a conservation of time, effort and also get instant reconciliation and updates.

The Redshift solution is available from the 20th of May 2019.

Homegrown Smart Wearables Startup KaHa Raises US$6.2M in Series B Funding

KaHa, a Singapore-based end-to-end IoT platform startup for smart wearables, has raised US$6.2 million in Series B funding to accelerate its growth in Asia. The funding round was led by ICT Fund, a specialized deep-tech venture capital fund and an existing strategic investor from Europe.

The funds raised in this round will enable the company to boost its research and development and scale its operations in the Asia Pacific region. APAC is the world’s fastest growing smart wearables market, outperforming Europe, the Americas, and Africa.

KaHa will be expanding its presence in Singapore as well as play a more significant role in the country’s IoT ecosystem. This year, the firm launched the COVE R2C IoT Innovation Lab, a multipartite IoT innovation and research lab in one-north technology hub. In close collaboration with public and private partners, KaHa is currently developing innovative use cases on smart wearables. Valuable partners across the IoT development value chain include Singapore research institute A*STAR SIMTech, Bridgestone, Curtis Australia, MHA Manufacture de Haute Accessoirie Partners, Tex Line, and Titan.

“As a company with a mission to create a better and safer environment, it is important to us to bring innovative and relevant technologies into a consumer’s everyday life. Apart from helping us expand our product line, this new round of funding will allow KaHa to discover more breakthrough products that can support the health and wellness, sports and fitness, safety and digital payments needs, as well as increase the COVE platform’s availability internationally and improve our accessibility and affordability,” said Pawan Gandhi, Founder, and CEO of KaHa.  “With the continued support of our existing strategic investor and new partner ICT Fund, we are strategically positioned to make our mission possible.”

Brijesh Pande, managing partner of ICT Fund said: “We are delighted to partner with KaHa, which is well placed to capitalize on the fast-growing market opportunity in smart wearables. Consumer product brands will increasingly need to offer ‘smart’ products to maintain leadership and KaHa, with its innovative end-to-end platform, is a perfect partner for global brands.”

“We are very pleased with KaHa’s progress and track record and it’s been clear that its platform can be scaled across various brands.  We are excited about increasing our investment in KaHa on this next phase as it continues to drive scale and growth in the wearable tech and IoT space," said Andy Raswork, board member of existing strategic investor.

Incorporated in Singapore in 2015, KaHa is one of the few companies in the world to have an end-to-end IoT platform for smart wearables including electronics design, printed circuit board assembly, application framework for iOS and Android, cloud services, data analytics and smart after-sales service tool.  The platform enables partners and customers to incorporate the latest technology without prohibitive financial costs and speed up their go-to-market time for smart products including smart bands, smartwatches, smart accessories and smart apparel. 

Stanley Black & Decker Launches STANLEY Earth With a Solar-Powered Water Pump to Empower Farmers in India

Stanley Black & Decker has launched STANLEY Earth in India, the company’s new brand for purpose-driven product technologies that innovate for social good. With this launch, the company aims to leverage its core technology expertise and broad partnership network to create solutions that address unmet societal needs including critical sustainable development challenges such as water, energy, and climate.

Aligned with the solar agricultural revolution underway in India, STANLEY Earth’s first product is NADI, an eco-friendly, efficient solar-powered brushless DC water pump that facilitates reliable irrigation for agricultural applications for farmers across the country. NADI™, which means “river”, uses STANLEY’s highly efficient brushless direct current (BLDC) motor technology to drive the pump along with solar panels that power the entire system.

Commenting on the launch of STANLEY Earth in India, Jim Loree, President and CEO, Stanley Black & Decker said, “The world around us is facing a growing number of increasingly critical societal issues today. As a company which makes products and services that help create and shape our world, we have an obligation to leverage our resources and expertise to create new solutions to address these very challenges. Our new brand STANLEY Earth is a reflection of our commitment to ‘Innovating with Purpose,’ a core pillar of our CSR Strategy and 22/22 Vision.”

“The launch of products like these will play a key role in helping our company create positive change and get us closer to achieving our goal of enhancing the lives of 500 million people. We want to be reckoned as a force for good in alignment with our purpose, for those who make the world,” Loree added.

NADI offers a sustainable alternative to the 25 million inefficient diesel and alternating current (AC) pumps currently used for agriculture, which draw almost 20% of the electricity generated in the country and pose a huge environmental pollution challenge. The smart pump has an intelligent controller that enables micro-irrigation. It incorporates an IOT-based agricultural platform complete with sensors that connect to the cloud and mobile networks, providing real-time data on the pump health along with key environmental metrics. This will enable farmers to efficiently monitor pump performance and conduct preventive maintenance as needed.

“Nearly two years ago, we set out on a mission to deliver a self-sustaining irrigation solution that can provide millions of farmers in India, a solution to one of their key challenges – reliable and consistent access to clean water,” said Ramana Gogula Vice President of Clean Technology Innovation at Stanley Black & Decker.

He went on to add, “Through the innovation of our STANLEY Earth’s team and collaboration with key partners, we have delivered an affordable solution that can help transform not only the lives of farmers in India, but also the lives of farmers in any part of the world that face water scarcity. NADI™ embodies the mission of STANLEY Earth, but it is the first of many products to come – we’re excited about the difference we can make.”

NADI was piloted in India with a farmer who was initially growing only fruits and vegetables. After installing the technology on his farm, he was able to add rice to his crop mix and manage his water supply well enough to produce multiple harvests per year. The smart pump will be made available to rural farmers across India through a strong partnership network that includes Agri-Retail Networks, distributors and systems integrators.

STANLEY Earth is also forging strategic alliances with key financial partners in the agro-domain, to make this solar technology intervention more affordable for the farmers in the country.  

Bentley Systems Announces Availability of OpenSite Designer

Bentley Systems, Incorporated, the leading global provider of comprehensive software and digital twins services for advancing the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure, today announced the availability of OpenSite Designer, its integrated application for civil site and land development workflows across conceptual, preliminary, and detailed design phases. OpenSite Designer advances BIM through comprehensive 3D site design, spanning reality modeling of site conditions from drone imagery and scans, geotechnical analysis, terrain modeling, site layout and grading optimization, stormwater drainage modeling and analysis, underground utilities modeling, detailed drawing production, and enlivened visualizations.

OpenSite Designer enables rapid and iterative conceptual design, leveraging contextual information obtained through point clouds, reality meshes, GIS, and other sources to enhance understanding of existing site conditions. Interoperating with PLAXIS and SoilVision, Bentley’s geotechnical engineering solutions, site plans can be enhanced with new information about the active properties of soil including bearing capacity, stresses, and displacement.

With OpenSite Designer, users can create intelligent 3D models containing site information, terrain data, parking lots, building pads, driveways, sidewalks, parcel layout, and related site features. During preliminary design, the site engineer can complete and subjectively improve the layout while relying on further automated optimizations, which respond to the engineering changes. To complete the project’s digital workflows, OpenSite Designer fully supports the site engineer’s detailed design including the production of all required project deliverables.

For many site engineers, OpenSite Designer will advance civil site design from traditional 2D plans and profiles to a 3D modeling environment, assuring more efficient analysis of hydraulics, geotechnical, geospatial, and earthworks. Incorporating the analytics optimization of Bentley’s SITEOPS technology, OpenSite Designer is the successor to the site design capabilities of Bentley’s PowerCivil, topoGraph, GEOPAK Site, InRoads Site, and MXSite.

Dustin Parkman, vice president, civil infrastructure design integration for Bentley Systems, said, “The collaborative nature of digital workflows converging analysis and simulation with design and modeling is exemplified in our new OpenSite Designer. We’re excited that for the first time there is a complete solution for site design and land development to accelerate site engineers going digital!”

Michael Semeraro, Jr., PE, PP, managing principal, EVP, Langan International, said, “Langan is always looking for opportunities to differentiate ourselves from competitors with technical excellence and expertise. We have depended on SITEOPS for site optimization, earthwork analysis, and cost identification in our planning phase. We now look forward to using OpenSite Designer to also produce our detailed designs and documentation.”

Greg Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems, said, “Interestingly, after three decades of leadership in civil engineering software scope advancement, the culmination is OpenSite Designer – a very accessible and widely-needed application which combines complete fitness for purpose with unprecedented ease of use and adoption. In effect, it brings to bear what we consider to be the indispensable characteristics of infrastructure digital twins – reality from imagery, veracity from simulation and optimization, and fidelity to design intent across revisions. Both site engineers’ work satisfaction, and their site designs, will be vastly enhanced by the breakthroughs in OpenSite Designer."

Monday, May 20, 2019

Larson & Toubro Will Make Mindtree Into a Big Company: AM Naik

The acquisition of Mindtree is the topmost agenda for infrastructure giant Larsen & Toubro at the moment and eventually the mid-sized IT firm is going to be transformed into a big company, L&T Group Chairman A M Naik said.

The  $20 billion conglomerate, which has taken its overall holding in Mindtree to about 26%, will launch the open offer to buy additional stake in around 10 days, he added.

“We continuously look for opportunities as they come by, but right now our mind is completely occupied on Mindtree and I hope we will be able to eventually make this into a big company as well,” Naik said.

“We have got around 26% stake in Mindtree and will wait till we get 51%. The open offer will be launched in about 10-12 days,” he added.

Elaborating on Mindtree promoters’ opposition to the takeover bid, Naik said they have started to realise that L&T is also an employee-centric organisation.

“I think slowly they also feel...they wanted to sell it anyway. Altogether it is about 12%(stake) and we are not saying you sell and go. Whenever they sell and if they want to sell it to us, we will buy the stake,” he said.

He added,  “I hope we will do better and do great things in IT and engineering service, once we complete our acquisition of Mindtree, we will be $3 billion and our idea is in three to four years, take it to $5 billion,” he asserted.

He added: “It was zero when I took over....application of new generation of technologies is now a major focus for us with L&T Nxt and I hope we will do a great job in this area.”

Earlier, L&T had purchased around 20% stake of V G Siddhartha and Cafe Coffee Day in Mindtree through a block deal for about Rs 3,210 crore and has since topped that with share purchases from the open market. In all, the infrastructure major is eyeing up to 66% stake in Mindtree for around Rs 10,800 crore. 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Samsung, Instagram Share Tips on the Art of Creating Impactful Videos at Samsung Opera House


As a part of its flagship campaign, ‘India, Ready Action’ to engage with Indian millennials, Samsung in association with Instagram, on Thursday, organized a consumer workshop to share tips on creating short impactful videos using smartphones. The event had sessions by representatives from Samsung and Instagram along with a special session by Celebrity Chef Saransh Goila who encouraged the audience to participate in the campaign and spoke about the power of video as a tool to break stereotypes.

Samsung’s recently launched ‘India, Ready Action’ campaign urges Gen Z and Indian millennials to come forward and break stereotypes about India by uploading videos up to 60-seconds showcasing their vision of ‘Real India’. The campaign has already received an overwhelming response with close to 57 million views on YouTube and is providing the youth of the country an unparalleled platform to change perceptions about India.

“At Samsung, we want to enable young Indians to ride the new trend of video creation and break stereotypes about our beautiful country. Our Gen Z and young millennials are a most vivacious, socially conscious lot, driven by a zest for India. Moreover, they are digital natives who live in the ‘Era of Live’ and video is fast becoming their medium of expression. #IndiaReadyAction is tailor made for them to express themselves,” Ranjivjit Singh, Chief Marketing Officer, Samsung India, said.

“Our recently launched Galaxy A series smartphones and Samsung Smart TVs enable people to move from an Era of Selfie to an Era of Live, where people foster more authentic and meaningful connections,” he added.

‘Indians only play cricket’, ‘Entertainment in India is limited to Bollywood’, ‘India is all about spicy food’, ‘India lacks nightlife’ are some of the stereotypes millennials are attempting to break and showcase the emerging India story to the world. So far, the entries show football gaining traction in the country, fans enjoying music concerts, beautiful streets of India and the varied cuisines from different parts of the country.

The campaign, which has been initiated through the launch of a campaign video, has been conceptualized by Samsung’s creative agency Cheil India.

While there has been an exponential growth in video consumption over the years, led by Gen Z and young millennials, this generation of Indians is also leading content creation. Priding themselves on spontaneity and creativity, these digital natives don’t just shoot stills, but create videos. They’re adding filters and experimenting with AR effects and are sharing their life stories through videos across multiple social platforms.

With #IndiaReadyAction, this generation is getting empowered to showcase Real India through their unique videos.

Participants can share their view of Real India through short videos on themes such as food, places, entertainment and culture. Participants can shoot videos using any smartphone and post on their Instagram accounts tagging @SamsungIndia, using the hashtags #IndiaReadyAction, #City and #Theme.

The videos that participants post on Instagram will be populated on a map of India that is hosted on a Samsung India microsite ( This will create a map of Real India, through the eyes of Gen Z and young millennials.

Every week, Samsung will announce 7 lucky participants who will get the latest Galaxy A70 smartphone that comes with a host of disruptive features, including a 32MP triple rear camera capable of shooting stunning super slow-mo videos, a massive 4500mAh battery with 25W super-fast charging capability and a 6.7 inch sAMOLED Infinity U display to give young consumers the freedom and convenience to share, stream and play all day long.

There’s more. At the end of the campaign, 20 of the most interesting videos will be rewarded with Galaxy A80 smartphones and Samsung 43 inch Smart TVs.

Galaxy A80 is designed for digital natives who want to interact, play and share in the moment and comes with Samsung’s revolutionary 48MP rotating camera enabling consumers to shoot same quality videos from both sides. Galaxy A80 comes with innovative features such as 3D Depth camera capable of shooting Live Focus videos & Ultra-wide camera with super steady mode.

Samsung has also launched its latest Smart TVs with industry first benefits such as Home Cloud that allow users to store their favourite moments on their smartphones wirelessly to the USB drive connected to the TV and Live Cast that empowers consumers to seamlessly stream live moments from any remote location on to their Smart TV.

UNSW Australian Team Reports Breakthrough in Quantum Computing

A team of scientists from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia has measured for the first time accuracy of two-qubit operations in silicon, a feat that would enable scaling up to a full-scale quantum processor.

Computers today process information in binary bits that take either a 0 or 1 value while quantum computers depend on the related but superior concept of the qubit. What makes qubits superior to conventional bits is that in addition to just occupying a 0 or 1 position, they can occupy both at the same time -- what's known in quantum mechanics as the superposition.

"All quantum computations can be made up of one-qubit operations and two-qubit operations – they're the central building blocks of quantum computing," said nanoelectronics researcher Andrew Dzurak from UNSW, Australia’s research-intensive university.

The research published in the prestigious journal Nature, promises quantum computers that would enable a vastly more powerful and faster way of making calculations than the computing power we've had until now.

In 2015, Dzurak and fellow researchers built the world's first quantum logic gate in silicon, so that two qubits could communicate with one another.

The experiments were performed by Wister Huang, a final-year PhD student in Electrical Engineering, and Dr Henry Yang, a senior research fellow at UNSW.

A number of groups around the world have since demonstrated two-qubit gates in silicon but the true accuracy of such a two-qubit gate was unknown.

“Fidelity is a critical parameter which determines how viable a qubit technology is – you can only tap into the tremendous power of quantum computing if the qubit operations are near perfect, with only tiny errors allowed,” informed Dr Yang.   UNSW leads in innovation having received $550m in research income and ranked at top position in Australian Research Council Linkage Industry grants in Australia in 2017.

In this study, the team implemented and performed Clifford-based fidelity benchmarking - a technique that can assess qubit accuracy across all technology platforms - demonstrating an average two-qubit gate fidelity of 98 per cent.

“Quantum computing is this century’s space race – and Sydney is leading the charge. This milestone is another step towards realising a large-scale quantum computer,” said UNSW Dean of Engineering, Professor Mark Hoffman.

Quantum computers will have a wide range of important applications in the future thanks to their ability to perform far more complex calculations at much greater speeds, including solving problems that are simply beyond the ability of today’s computers.

“But for most of those important applications, millions of qubits will be needed, and you're going to have to correct quantum errors, even when they’re small,” said Professor Dzurak.

“For error correction to be possible, the qubits themselves have to be very accurate in the first place – so it’s crucial to assess their fidelity.”

The researchers said that silicon as a technology platform is ideal for scaling up to the large numbers of qubits needed for universal quantum computing.

“We think that we’ll achieve significantly higher fidelities in the near future, opening the path to full-scale, fault-tolerant quantum computation. We’re now on the verge of a two-qubit accuracy that’s high enough for quantum error correction,” informed Professor Dzurak.

In another paper – recently published in Nature Electronics – the same team achieved the record for the world’s most accurate 1-qubit gate in a silicon quantum dot, with a remarkable fidelity of 99.96 per cent.

Researchers at UNSW, who take pride in creating the most efficient silicon solar cell and engineering the technology to turn old tyres into steel as well as starting the quantum computer, offer an incredible study environment to nurture growth and encourage forward-thinking among its 60,000 students from over 130 countries, says Amit Dasgupta, former diplomat and founding India country director for UNSW India.

Würfel Küche Enters Complete Home Furnishing and Interior Solutions in Bengaluru

Key Highlights

·        Würfel Living is a cutting edge, fashion driven lifestyle brand envisioning creation of fashion homes where living is more enjoyable, healthy and stylish.

·        A one-of-its-kind studio spread across 25,000 sq. ft. with an array of home interior styles and furnishings.

Premium modular kitchen and wardrobe brand, Würfel Küche announced the launch of its new vertical, Würfel Living with the inaugural of its maiden showroom in Bengaluru today. This studio will display products curated from different parts of Europe, all housed under one roof.

Speaking on the occasion of the launch, Khanindra Barman, CEO & Co-Founder of Würfel said “We are thrilled to announce the launch of Würfel Living. For the first time ever, customers have access to premium and imported home interiors & furnishing products, all under a single roof. We believe in designing and conceptualizing fashion homes. And to the delight of the customers, all this comes at a great price. We have now launched our first display studio in Bengaluru and will soon open more studios within the city and across the country”

“At Würfel Living, simplicity embraces luxury. We aim to give customers not just an opportunity to purchase products, but also experience it first hand, to get a touch-and-feel prior to purchase. We have divided our studio into 12 different themes and each theme represents a kitchen, a living room and a dining room. These themes will be refreshed 4 times a year, giving customers a newer experience each time they visit. We have a wide range of kitchens, wardrobes, bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms. We also have a myriad of furnishing options like rugs, pots, lightings and artifacts.

Since 2015, Würfel has revolutionized the modular kitchen industry by providing customers not just products, but a world-class experience - through superior quality standards in designing, manufacturing, installation, servicing and other comprehensive solutions.  While Würfel Küche continues to source raw materials from Europe, processed through top-of-the-line European machinery to deliver customized European modular kitchens and wardrobes to suit customers in India, Würfel Living will source finished products from different OEMs across Europe.

Commenting on the launch, Pankaj Bhatia, COO & Co-Founder of Würfel added “We saw great demand for a premium end-to-end home interiors solution and we decided to bridge the gap with Würfel Living.  We wish to showcase a brand which will change the perspective of lifestyle homes in India. We take great pride in presenting an exclusive, hand-made Italian collection of sofas made of pure leather, for the first time in India.”

“Just hand us the key to your empty home and we will have it ready for you to move in with your luggage. We will design and source all the materials for home owners, builders and designers and also provide complete end-to-end solutions.” states Naveen NJ, CFO & Co-Founder of Würfel.

Würfel was founded by the association of two companies KP Group and Maruthi Ceramics. Würfel Living’s maiden display studio located at Banaswadi in Bengaluru is spread over 25,000 Sq. ft. and houses a wide range of premium home interiors and furnishing products.

For more information, please visit our store located at 14, Service Ring Road, Banaswadi, Bengaluru or call us on 1800 3000 2926. You can also visit our website

Microsoft AI Making the Digital World a More Accessible Place

WEF report states that more than 1 billion people worldwide experience some form of disability stopping them from completing their education or, getting them employed. We at Microsoft, strongly believe that technology has the potential to empower people to achieve more, help strengthen education opportunities, and make the workplace more inviting and inclusive for people with disabilities. Accessible technologies, enabled by AI, help people with disabilities unlock their full potential at school, work, and home.

In celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Microsoft is underscoring its commitment to make technology more accessible for everyone. In her most recent Microsoft on the Issues blog post, Chief Accessibility Officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie explains how “making accessibility part of how we do business around the world is essential. Thinking about it as a cultural shift, and how we manage a business is core to achieving this goal.”

At Microsoft, accessibility and inclusion are essential to deliver our mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. We put accessibility at the heart of design to make products and services that adapts to each user’s unique situation, device capabilities and human abilities to learn, use, build and master. Microsoft 365 is an example that helps make people accessible with disabilities to make them more productive. Similarly, using AI enabled technologies, we are creating robust solutions such as real-time speech-to-text transcription, visual recognition services and predictive text functionality.

Leveraging technology, at Microsoft, we are building accessible and inclusive solutions to empower people with disabilities through the following:

·         Empowering through Windows 10:

* Eye control enables you to type with an on-screen keyboard, communicate with people, and control the mouse with just your eyes.

*  Magnifier makes part or all of your screen bigger so you can see words and images better.

*  Narrator reads text on your screen aloud and describes events, such as notifications or calendar appointments, so you can use your computer without a display.

·         Learning Tools improves reading and writing for learners regardless of their age and ability. The tool is offered in Word, OneNote, Edge and Outlook.

·         Xbox Adaptive Controller was designed to empower gamers with limited mobility. Every aspect of the controller, including the packaging, was designed in close partnership with the accessibility community.

·         Seeing AI - an app that narrates the world for people who are blind or have low vision. What began as a hackathon project has evolved into an app that has helped people with more than 10 million tasks.

·         Soundscape reimagines how technology can enhance independence and mobility to empower people who are blind or have low vision

JLL Rose 167 Spots to #189 on Fortune 500 Distinguished 2019 List

JLL announced that it rose 167 spots to #189 on the prestigious Fortune 500 list, which ranks the largest U.S.-based companies by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. The jump makes JLL the second biggest mover on the list. JLL’s annual total revenue reached a record high of $16.3 billion in 2018.

“Our significant movement up this year’s Fortune 500 list is a tremendous honour and pays testament to our unwavering commitment to teamwork, ethics and excellence,” said Christian Ulbrich, JLL CEO. “Our focus on delivering outstanding value to our clients drives our own business performance. The combination of our fantastic colleagues and clients create this rewarding sense of achieving goals together.”

JLL continues to be recognized for its performance, ethics and commitment to being an employer of choice. It was named one of Fortune’s 2019 Most Admired Companies, a World’s Most Ethical Company by Ethisphere for the 12th consecutive year and one of Forbes’ America’s Best Employers.

Atos Delivers World’s Highest-Performing Quantum Simulator to Energy Company Total

Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, today announced it has delivered its Atos Quantum Learning Machine, the world's highest-performing commercially available quantum simulator, to French multinational energy company Total. As part of an ambitious cross-functional research project, the Total group intends to use the Atos QLM to support all of its businesses.

Combining a high-powered, ultra-compact machine with a universal programming language, the Atos Quantum Learning Machine enables researchers and engineers to develop and experiment with quantum software.

It simulates the laws of physics, which are at the very heart of quantum computing, to compute the exact execution of a quantum program with double-digit precision.

Quantum simulation will find concrete applications within the Total group such as molecular and materials chemistry, the optimization of energy networks, vehicle fleets or industrial tools and, in the longer term, seismic imaging and fluid mechanics.

“By gaining expertise in quantum computing with this solution from Atos - a recognized industry leader - we are once again demonstrating our pioneering spirit. We will develop a quantum approach to different research issues covering all our businesses to explore new ways of solving problems and improve performance and efficiency," said Marie-Noëlle Semeria, R&D Director at Total.

“Through our program focused on the future of quantum computing, Atos is working closely with researchers and engineers around the globe, such as Total, to support them with tools to drive significant technological advances,” said Sophie Proust, Atos CTO. “The Atos Quantum Learning Machine enables businesses such as Total to develop and experiment with quantum processes and delivers superior simulation capabilities to speed innovation.”

In November 2016, Atos launched an ambitious program to anticipate the future of quantum computing and to be prepared for the opportunities as well as the risks that come with it. As a result of this initiative, Atos was the first to successfully model quantum noise. To date, the company has installed Quantum Learning Machines in numerous countries including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States empowering major research programs in various sectors.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Tata Motors, J&K Bank Enters into MoU for Commercial Vehicle Customers in India

Tata Motors, the market leader in Commercial Vehicles industry, has joined hands with J&K bank to offer superior products and services to their customers. Both the entities will be working together to offer innovative retail finance solutions for the entire range of cargo and passenger carriers to facilitate the purchase of commercial vehicles while ensuring superior operating economics for the end customers.

J&K Bank Limited, founded in 1938 has an extremely large presence with 1000+ branches, spread across the country. It functions as a universal bank in Jammu and Kashmir. With the launch of “Digital India” campaign J&K Bank has moved most of its products on customer centric technology platforms and has developed a leading edge in playing a significant role in the retail banking space. 

On the occasion of MOU signing, Mr. R.T. Wasan Vice President- Sales & Marketing, CVBU, Tata Motors said, “This is a welcome partnership between two esteemed organizations who have a similar culture of contributing to society which will hugely benefit the customers particularly in J&K. We are absolutely confident that this will help us increase our reach in the state of J&K and help us serve our customers in an efficient and delightful manner”

Mr. Parvez Ahmed, Chairman and CEO of J&K Bank said, “We are delighted to join hands with Tata Motors and have aligned our organization structure, processes and systems to bring about an accelerated growth in the retail banking space. This MoU will help us to generate wonderful employment opportunities in J&K and other parts of the country.”

Tata Motors offers end-to-end smart transport solutions starting from sub 1 ton, going upto above 55T vehicles in cargo and construct range. The Company also offers the passenger transport range in the country and has the widest sales and service distribution network of 3798 touchpoints. In J&K, Tata Motors enjoys an 81% market share in trucks plans to further extend its share through this important association. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Global Luxury Residential Prices Register Lowest Growth Since Q4 2009: Knight Frank

International Property Consultant Knight Frank releases its Prime Global Cities Index that tracks the movement in luxury residential prices (top 5% of the housing market) across 45 cities globally. The index highlights that luxury residential prices have registered its lowest rate of annual growth since the final quarter of 2009. Two years ago, prime property prices were rising at an average rate of 4.3% per annum, which has now slowed to 1.3%.

The dip in the growth during the first quarter of 2019 is said to be attributed to the looming threat of a global trade war, uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the International Monetary Fund’s projection that 70% of world’s economies would see a slowdown in growth in 2019.

Key findings

·         The index increased by 1.3% in the year to Q1 2019, its lowest annual rate of growth since Q4 2009.
·         Delhi secures a spot in top 10. Ranked at the 7th position, prime property price grows by 5.8% on 12-month and 4.4 % on 3-month basis
·         City of Bengaluru witnesses a growth of 2% on 12-month and 0.8% on 3-month basis, stands at the 20th position on the Index
·         Standing at the 31st rank, Mumbai registers a dismal growth by 0.6% on 12 month and 0.3% on 3-month basis, indicating a momentum in the affordable & mid-segment housing category.

Ather Energy Begins Setting-Up 50-55 Charging Points Across Chennai by End of 2019

Ather Energy today announced the installation of their fast charging network, Ather Grid in Chennai. The city will see 50 - 55 Ather Grid points up and running by the end of the year. The fast charging network can be used by all electric two-wheelers and four-wheelers and this facility is being offered free of charge till the end of the year.

Chennai has 7 active fast charging Ather Points installed and is the second city in India to have Ather’s charging network. The company has partnered with progressive hosts including cafés, restaurants, tech parks, malls and gyms to reduce range anxiety and ease the adoption of electric vehicles in Chennai. The charging stations can today be found at Forum Vijaya mall, AtWorks and Bikes and Burgers, and other restaurants. The company continues to partner with more hosts which can offer EV owners easy accessibility and fit into their lifestyle.

With the installation of the charging network, Ather Energy officially makes its foray into the Chennai market. Following Ather Grid, the city will have its own experience centre - Ather Space - and pre-orders for Chennai will open in June. In the meantime, consumers can express pre-order interest on the company’s website to get early access to test rides and priority deliveries.

The charging network is supported by the Ather Grid app which allows all EV owners to locate and check the availability of the nearest charging stations in real-time. Ather Energy in its accelerated expansion phase targets to set-up 6500 charging points across the country by 2022.

Quote by Ravneet Phokela, Chief Business Officer: “Ather Grid has seen steady adoption in Bengaluru and we believe that accessible charging infrastructure is critical before launching our products in any market we enter. We have already signed up with multiple partners and will add 50 charging points by the end of the year. Chennai was a natural choice for our expansion as the auto hub of the country and as the birthplace of Ather in IIT Madras. We are working on setting-up the charging network and our experience centre - Ather Space - in time for the launch of the Ather 450 in the coming weeks.”

About Ather Grid: Ather Grid, solves the critical need of public charging of electric vehicles. As of May 2019, the Ather Grid network spans across 31 charging points across 24 locations in Bengaluru and 7 locations in Chennai. The company has plans to expand the network and set-up charging Points at 6500 EV charging Points in 30 cities by 2023.

The charging Point locations have been selected to reduce the hassle of public charging can be found in key locations in both the cities e.g. the malls, cafes, restaurants, gyms and tech parks.

The charging network can be used by all electric four wheelers and electric two wheelers through the Ather Grid App, which can locate and check the availability of the Points in real time. The company aims to have an Ather Grid Point no more than 2 km driving distance from the next one.

Chennai locations as of May 2019: Forum Vijaya Mall, AtWorks (@works), Bikes & Burgers, Soul Garden Bistro, CocoJaunt 1728 & Kriyates

Bengaluru locations as of May 2019: Phoenix Market City, Godrej Nature’s Basket Sadashivnagar, Forum Shantiniketan, The Only Place, ELCITA, ITPB Park Square Mall + 17 more.

About Ather 450: The Ather 450 is designed for city riding conditions, it comes with a top speed of 80 km/hr, a range of 75 km and one of the quickest accelerations for the scooter category of 0-40 km/hr in 3.9 seconds. Also, for the first time in the category, Ather 450 comes with parking assist, which allows riders to reverse into tight parking spots. The key differentiators of the Ather 450 are its intelligent features, seamless charging and ownership experience. The Ather 450 has a 7” touchscreen dashboard that allows onboard navigation with options of alternate routes and saved locations. It comes with the Ather app that enables push navigation from the phone to the vehicle dashboard, remote monitoring of the vehicle’s health and charge status. Finally, with the over-the-air (OTA) updates functionality, the vehicle is capable of improving over time with continuous upgrades and the addition of new features and functionalities.

About Ather Energy: Ather Energy, India’s premium, smart electric vehicle company was founded in 2013 by IIT Madras alumni, Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain. Backed by founders of Flipkart, Tiger Global and Hero Motocorp, Ather Energy has designed India’s first truly intelligent electric scooters - Ather 450 & Ather 340 - powered by a comprehensive public charging network, Ather Grid, built and designed in India.  With 31 charging Points in Bengaluru, Ather Grid is the largest fast charging network for two wheelers in the country. With over 42 patent applications, 127 trademarks and 122 design registrations to its name, Ather Energy aims to provide consumers with the best possible ownership experience. The company currently operates in Bengaluru and will be entering the Chennai market in June 2019, followed by other major cities across the country.  

Rapid Adoption of Extended Reality Creates Urgent Need for Responsible Design and Deployment of Immersive Tech

Despite its potential to provide tremendous economic and social benefits, extended reality (XR) carries new physical, mental and social risks that require business leaders to proactively design, build and deploy XR tools and business models responsibly from the start, according to a new report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

Waking Up to a New Reality: Building a Responsible Future for Immersive Technologies,” published in collaboration with the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance (G20 YEA), examines how extended reality (XR) — which includes virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and a growing range of other immersive tools — is already creating new value well beyond the worlds of gaming and entertainment. In addition to delivering enhanced customer experiences, immersive tools are being used to augment workforce productivity, provide training and deliver mental health treatments.

In fact, industry expenditure on XR is overtaking consumer spending and is set to reach triple the level of consumer usage by 2023, reaching US$121billon, according to IDC. Accenture analysis shows that the number of patent applications for AR and VR rose almost five-fold between 2014 and 2016, to more than 6,000, and start-up funding grew 237% in the same period.

Despite the opportunities, the report notes that the power and intimacy of XR tools pose new dangers to the wellbeing of individuals and society that are far greater than those experienced as a result of today’s technologies. These new dangers include:

Misuse of personal data: Going beyond people’s personal information, or social media activity, XR could expose their feelings, behaviors and judgments to cyber-theft and manipulation.
Fake experiences: When consuming news and information through immersive experiences, it will be harder to separate reality from fiction, making it easier to profoundly influence behaviors, opinions and decisions.
Cybersecurity: Not only could avatars be used to create new forms of identity-related crime, but critical tasks, like surgery, that become dependent on immersive technologies, could be at risk of extortion.
Anti-social behavior: Trolls could go from intimidating with words on social media to physically intimidating people in a virtual world with avatars.  And antisocial behavior that is normalized in a virtual environment can creep into real-world behaviors.

“We believe the best experiences are those that sit at the intersection of purpose and innovation to improve lives,” said Rori Duboff, head of content innovation, Accenture Interactive. “There is a tremendous opportunity with XR to learn from past mistakes and design more inclusive and accountable worlds and experiences. Ultimately, for XR to succeed, strategy and creative teams must have diverse mindsets, and experiences need to be accessible to everyone.”

The report also points to the greater risks of tech addiction and the disengagement of people from real-world societal problems and shows how unequal access to XR could amplify social divisions through exclusion from consumer and working opportunities.

“We are entering a post-digital era where emerging technologies such as XR are driving the next waves of innovation and growth,” said Marc Carrel-Billiard, senior managing director of Accenture Labs and global lead of Accenture’s Extended Reality group. “XR will be core to enabling these opportunities, but we must address the risks posed by today’s technologies and design XR tools and immersive experiences responsibly.”

Priority actions for businesses include:

Build your early-warning system: Rather than creating rules that cannot keep up with rapid innovation, business leaders must instil a culture of responsibility that integrates ethical questions into the habitual behaviours of everyday work and key decisions.
Draw on diverse experts for responsible design: Businesses must extend their ecosystem of partners to include neuroscientists, mental health experts, sociologists and behavioural theorists to aid the responsible design and use of XR tools.
Supercharge your workers: Target XR investments to improve worker productivity, training and creativity. The very roles that are most exposed to automation are often those that will be augmented by immersive technologies, helping to turn jobs at risk into jobs of the future.

“XR is rapidly moving beyond virtual reality and augmented reality to include a wide range of tools that use and enhance our human senses, including touch, smell, taste and even our thoughts. Used correctly, these promise incredible improvements to the way we live and work,” said Armen Ovanessoff, principal director, Accenture Research. “We have a duty to ensure that safeguards keep up with technological innovation. We’re calling on business leaders, policymakers and civil society to act now, together, to proactively design a responsible future for XR.”

The report also recommends actions for policy makers:

Ensure inclusive and affordable access: extend powerful new infrastructure (like 5G networks) to make XR experiences widely available, at appropriate prices, especially for the provision of health, education and social services.
Incentivize local innovators and entrepreneurs: enable small businesses to not only use XR tools and experiences, but also participate in their development, ensuring locally-relevant solutions.

Stimulate research and discussion: convene relevant experts from across sectors and disciplines to build the necessary understanding and principles that allow XR innovation to flourish amid appropriate safeguards.

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