Saturday, January 12, 2019

Infosys Approves Rs 8,260 Crore Buyback Plan with Maximum Price of Rs 800 Per Share


In line with market expectations, Infosys on Friday approved buyback of shares, its second in less than two years.

The company said it would buy back 103,250,000 equity shares, which is 2.36% of the paid-up capital of the company as of December 31, 2018. The buyback size stands at Rs 8,260 crore at a maximum price of Rs 800 per share.

The buyback value per share is at a premium of 14.6% on the current market price. On Friday, the company’s shares closed 0.58% up at Rs 683.70 on BSE.

The company has constituted a buyback committee (Buyback Committee), comprising the COO, the CFO, the Deputy CFO, the General Counsel and the Company Secretary of the Company. “The Buyback Committee has the power to do all such acts, deeds, matters, and things as it may, in its absolute discretion, deem necessary, expedient, usual or proper in connection with the Buyback,” the company said.

It has also announced a special dividend of Rs 4 per equity share. Infosys will spend further Rs 2,107 crore over the special dividend. In June 2018, it had announced a special dividend of Rs 10 per share resulting in a payout of Rs 2,600 crore.

Infosys Management Scraps Plans to Sell Panaya, Skava


It was among Infosys Ltd’s most ambitious buys that eventually became a bone of contention between founder Narayana Murthy and the then chief executive officer and managing director Vishal Sikka. Infosys then tried to exit the Israeli enterprise software management company after Vishal Sikka was forced out of the company. It has now shelved that exercise.

The company on Friday said it had declassified the provider of automation technology as well as other sell-off candidates as “held for sale”. This includes Kallidus and Skava. It had bought e-commerce services provider Kallidus for $120 million. This gave it access to the holding group behind San Francisco-based Skava, a cloud-based platform provider of online services for retailers. All the acquisitions happened in 2015.

“During the quarter ended December 31, 2018, based on evaluation of proposals received and progress of negotiations with potential buyers, the company concluded it was no longer highly probable that the sale would be consummated by 31 March 2019,” the company said in a statement.

Infosys has been an acquisition-shy company, choosing instead to sit on cash — it conducted its first-ever share buyback in 2017 and announced another one on Friday. Sikka, bubbling with ideas as the company’s first non-founder CEO and a desire to move the traditional bread-and-butter software exporter to a company riding on automation and artificial intelligence, tried to change that. Panaya was a step in that direction — Infosys bought it at an enterprise value of $200 million.

Murthy accused Sikka of not being transparent in the deal, while also charging him of other misdemeanours. An April 13 story by Mint mentioned how the company’s then chief financial officer Rajiv Bansal walked out of a board meeting, protesting against the acquisition.

Later, a generous severance package to Bansal was questioned by shareholders and Murthy. A whistleblower claimed that the acquisition was overvalued and this became the foundation for allegations that the company, under Sikka, had bought out Bansal’s silence. Once Sikka was ousted, the company held back further payments to Bansal. The case went into arbitration and Bansal won.

In the December quarter, the company took a one-off depreciation charge and amortisation expenses of $12 million on its books, which hit its margins. Infosys will now continue to hold companies at a reduced fair value with plans to repurpose Skava’s micro services-based business and refocus Panaya’s suite of products.

Monkey Shoulder Crowned No1 Trending and Bestselling Brand

For the fifth year running, Monkey Shoulder’s commitment to the unconventional has landed the brand the title of ‘World’s Top Trending Scotch’ in the annual Drinks International report, which polls leading figures from the world’s best bars.

The malt whisky, which is 100% made for mixing, has also been named ‘World’s Bestselling Scotch’, with the report revealing that it was the go-to scotch in 22% of bars and among the top three in 36%.

Commenting on this, James Pennefather, India Managing Director at William Grant & Sons said: “A perfect record for Monkey Shoulder to win Number 1 in both trending and best selling Scotch in the world by Drinks International. It’s truly rewarding to be not just the desired brand amongst the bartenders but a clear favourite with the consumers. The proposition of giving consumers drinking experiences the way they like them to be, enables cheeky and playful connects with early adopters, whisky enthusiasts and connoisseurs.  Whether it’s the game-changing thought of making a blended malt whisky that’s made for mixing or the revolutionary new thinking and inventions, we are committed to bringing great Scotch to whisky drinkers” , he added

The achievements pay homage to the brand’s continued investment in bartender initiatives throughout 2018, including Camp Monkey and Monkey Shoulder’s Ultimate Bartender Championships. Monkey Shoulder has been steering the rising cocktail culture by encouraging consumers to experiment outside of the “straight” or “with water” only approach. Monkey Shoulder’s Ultimate Bartender Championship is a one of a kind platform for developing new age bartenders of today around the globe, challenging bartending ‘skills that pay the bills.’ Known for empowering the bartender community with skills and tools, the Brand has invested itself towards igniting creativity and establish craftsmanship in cocktail making.

The Drinks International Annual Brands Report surveys bar owners, managers and head bartenders from the world’s leading bars. Bars selected include winners and nominees from The World’s 50 Best Bars, Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards, Asia’s 50 best Bars, Drink Magazine’s Bar Awards, the Mixology Awards, the Class Bar Awards, Australian Bartender Awards and Time Out Awards from markets around the world. This year, 127 bars took part in the survey.

Bestselling brands are determined via sales figures, with top trending brands judged by bartenders, based on those that customers are increasingly asking for, due to word-of-mouth or bartender recommendations.

Abbott and “Malaria No More” Work Together to End Malaria in Odisha


Abbott announced that it is supporting a partnership between the government of the eastern Indian state of Odisha and Malaria No More, providing technology, expertise and funding support to advance efforts to end malaria in the state. 

The partnership builds on Odisha's success in significantly driving down malaria cases and deaths in the last year. With a population of nearly 42 million people, Odisha accounted for about 40 percent of India's malaria burden and one-third of Southeast Asia's malaria burden in 2016.[1] In support of India's 2015 commitment to be malaria-free by 2030, the government of Odisha has prioritized malaria control and elimination.[2]

In collaboration with Malaria No More and the government of Odisha, Abbott is supplying 1 million rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and technical expertise to strengthen Odisha's malaria detection and surveillance system. In addition, Abbott is providing US$750,000 (INR 52 million) over three years to Malaria No More to back its work with the Odisha government to define and support a comprehensive state malaria elimination strategy that can be used as a model for other states to follow.

ODISHA – LEADING THE WAY IN INDIA'S COMMITMENT TO ELIMINATE MALARIA

According to the recent WHO World Malaria Report 2018, India, with a population of 1.3 billion people, has the fourth highest malaria burden in the world and of the 11 highest burden countries, was the only one to have reported a reduction in malaria cases – 24 percent – between 2016 and 2017.

In 2017, India launched its five-year National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination, which shifts focus from malaria "control" to "elimination" and provides a road-map with targets to end malaria in 571 of India's 678 districts by 2022. 

India's recent progress was largely due to substantial reductions in malaria cases in Odisha. Through persistent efforts and innovative approaches, Odisha achieved an 80 percent reduction in cases in less than one year. Odisha's success is due to innovative approaches such as training 44,000 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) to reach its most vulnerable citizens with rapid diagnostic tests and other life-saving malaria interventions in areas where most cases remain.[3]

INNOVATIVE RAPID DIAGNOSTICS TO PLAY CRITICAL ROLE IN DETECTING MALARIA

Eliminating malaria will require more robust and accurate data. Rapid diagnostic tests are the frontline first step of data collection that can provide baseline information for Odisha's malaria surveillance system. With strategic use of data, health officials can make better decisions about where to deploy the most effective malaria control tools.

"Abbott is committed to supporting the partnership to help end malaria, including sharing our life-changing technologies that can detect malaria," said Damian Halloran, Vice President, Infectious Disease–Emerging Markets, Abbott. "The government of Odisha deserves enormous credit for its commitment to the fight against this deadly disease. Together with Malaria No More, we're looking forward to advancing this important work and to further building out Odisha's surveillance and data collection capacity."

The 1 million rapid diagnostic tests donated by Abbott will be the antigen-based SD BIOLINE Malaria Ag P.f/P.v, a screening test for the detection of Plasmodium falciparum (P.f) and Plasmodium vivax (P.v) parasites in human whole blood.

EXPANDING THE IMPACT OF ODISHA'S SUCCESS MODEL

Expanding access to diagnostics and treatment, strengthening data collection, distributing 11 million bed nets and improving health care worker skills propelled Odisha's fight against malaria in 2017. The government's DAMaN initiative, which stands for Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran, or "Malaria Control in Inaccessible Areas," included village-wide testing for malaria using RDTs and treatment campaigns – along with malnutrition care and other services – to substantially reduce parasite levels before the monsoon season caused mosquitoes and malaria to proliferate.

To increase the impact of Odisha's success model, in August 2018, Malaria No More entered into an agreement with the government of Odisha to provide technical assistance to the Odisha Vector Borne Disease Control Program (VBDCP) and support overall strategy development.

Prime Video Ushers in the New Year with the Trailer Launch of Prime Original Series - Four More Shots Please!


Amazon Prime Video, today, unveiled the much-awaited trailer of their upcoming Prime Original series titled Four More Shots Please!  The series has been created by Rangita Pritish Nandy, produced by Pritish Nandy Communications and directed by Anu Menon. The new Prime Original casts a spotlight on the strong bond of female friendship that serves as a life-line for young women in urban India as they adapt, flourish and rebel in a rapidly evolving societal culture with changing gender roles. Helmed by a predominantly women cast and crew, the show has been written by Devika Bhagat, with dialogues from Ishita Moitra. Prime members from more than 200 countries and territories can binge-watch the 10-part series starting 25th January 2019.

Vijay Subramaniam, Director and Head, Content, Amazon Prime Video, India said, “At Prime Video we are focused on serving a wide and diverse set of customers their daily dose of entertainment on our service. From reality shows for millennials, to comedy for all, hard hitting heartland story in Mirzapur to a psychological thriller in Breathe, we have something for everyone on Prime Video. We are excited to start this year with a female centric, genre defining, aspirational show, that will take viewers on a larger than life journey into the urban women’s world.  Let the celebrations begin – Four More Shots Please!”

Pritish Nandy, Chairman, Pritish Nandy Communications said, “It is always our endeavor, through our films, to strike a chord with relatable stories, stories that capture the spirit of today’s India, the new India that is often missing from our cinema. With our debut digital venture we intend to take this ahead and explore what cinema is yet to brave.  Four More Shots Please! takes you on a unique journey that today’s audiences will identify with. Yes, it is about women—four young urban women whose lives and loves we follow, whose passion and fierce individuality we celebrate—but it is also a delightful insight into what modern day relationships are based on. Friendship, love, compassion, and a joyous celebration of what brings them together. The show has been put together largely by a women crew too, led by Rangita (its creator) and Anu (the director for this season) and in Amazon Prime Video we have found the perfect partner to explore the sheer magic of this genre.”

The bold and clutter-breaking trailer introduces us to the lead characters and captures their no-holds-barred banter and rapport, revealing their lovable imperfections and how they navigate modern life with its high and lows, contradictions and dichotomies. Audiences will get a glimpse of the dilemma faced by Anjana, a single mother in a tumultuous relationship with her ex-husband, struggling to move on both emotionally and sexually.  We also meet Damini, a smart, successful, unrestrained and fiercely independent journalist who firmly believes that she needs no man to satisfy her needs; she owns her sexuality in a non-fussy, practical way. The trailer reveals the insecurities faced by Siddhi that stem from a complicated relationship with her mother, while showcasing Umang’s unbridled, sexually adventurous, bi-curious personality and enthusiastic willingness to experiment. Despite their obvious differences, these four girls share a beautiful friendship that forms the core foundation of their life and the support system that keeps them buoyant.

Watch the trailer of Four More Shots Please! here: https://youtu.be/D7NCW8gMtVs

Anu Menon, Director, said, “From the moment I read the first page of the script, I have been excited about the release of Four More Shots, Please!  The show is determinedly front-footed and is an unapologetic take on the highs and lows of being a modern millennial Indian woman. It is sassy, sexy, funny, glamorous but it also packs an emotional punch, tugging at your heart when you least expect it.  Directing this Prime Original Series has been both an exhilarating and liberating experience for me, with both, Amazon Prime Video and Pritish Nandy Communications giving me not just complete freedom but also the right kind of support to help bring my vision alive. I can't wait for the launch and hope that viewers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed directing it.”

The Prime Original Series stars Sayani Gupta, Kirti Kulhari, Bani J and Maanvi Gagroo along with a stellar ensemble cast comprising of Prateik Babbar, Lisa Ray, Milind Soman and Neil Bhooplalam along with Amrita Puri and Sapna Pabbi.  Replete with pop cultural references, Four More Shots Please! is the one thing you need to watch to get into the mind of the modern Indian woman. The show launches on Prime Video on 25th January 2019.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Samsung to Unveil its Smart Foldable Phone at CES in 2019


Samsung is likely to unveil at flagship smartphone -Foldable at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) happening in January 2019 at Las Vegas. According to a source, indicates that a selected number of vendors were given an early look at the device and also that Samsung’s director of Product Strategy and Marketing - Suzanne de Silva, had earlier confirmed that the new phone will be ready to hit stores in the first half of 2019.

Samsung flagship smartphones, the foldable phone will have limited availability in the initial stage. A Samsung representative has told Gizmodo that “the foldable device will launch by the first half of 2019 in select markets. We are currently ready for its mass production and expecting at least 1 million units to be produced.”

Samsung’s foldable phone which still doesn’t have a confirmed name, was shown at Samsung’s Developer Conference. It uses what the company calls an Infinity Flex Display which is a flexible OLED display with a 7.3-inch primary panel which once folded, converts into a regular phone form-factor with a 4.2-inch display. The second smaller display on the outside lights up when you fold the device and shows content as you would see on a regular smartphone. The panel which is on the inside can run up to three apps simultaneously using ‘multi active window’.

The new smartphone is also expected to carry a heavy price tag. Speculations suggest anything above the $1500 price mark and it is possible that the device will be launched in Samsung’s hometown first followed by the rest of the world.

64% Indians Not Equipped to Handle Home Safety Threats: Har Ghar Surakshit 2018 Report


Indians are at risk when it comes to home safety as 64% people are not equipped to handle home safety threats such as burglaries, robberies, among others. This is according to Godrej LocksS ‘Har Ghar Surakshit 2018 Report: India’s Safety Paradox – Home Safety Vs Digital Safety’, conducted by Research Now. This report was released as a part of #HarGharSurakshit, a nationwide campaign by Godrej LocksS to promote home safety across Indian homes.

Godrej LocksS ‘Har Ghar Surakshit 2018 Report: India’s Safety Paradox – Home Safety Vs Digital Safety’ focus on people’s perception of home safety in the digital age. Homes in India are not just a place to stay but are also considered as safe abodes for families. Indians store their important documents and credentials at home, along with money, jewellery, and other valuables. There is a lot to protect, but Indians seem to be lagging behind in upgrading even the primary source of protection of their homes i.e. locks as only 40% Indians change their locks in 2-3 years and 20% have never changed it.

Godrej LocksS ‘Har Ghar Surakshit 2018 Report’ highlights that 70% of all the thefts that happen in India are home thefts and the other 30% being the digital thefts. Yet, Indians are more resolute in safeguarding just their digital assets instead of focusing on home safety. People have swiftly adopted technologies for their digital safety. As a matter of habit, 83% Indians change their digital passwords every 6 months more frequently than considering a safety upgrade for their homes. 67% change their PC passwords and 50% change their debit card PIN every 2 months.  50% also ensure they use a reputed anti-virus on their computers or mobiles. Over 55% use ļ¬ngerprint sensors on their phones to prevent unauthorized access.

However, despite the day-to-day usage and awareness of technologies, Godrej LocksS ‘Har Ghar Surakshit 2018 Report’ indicates that Indians are reluctant in adopting them for securing their homes. The report says 83% Indians are aware of digital/electronic locking technologies yet more than 61% do not want to embrace technology and upgrade to high tech safety solutions for homes.

Commenting on Godrej LocksS ‘Har Ghar Surakshit 2018 Report’ and its findings, Mr. Shyam Motwani, Executive Vice-President and Business Head, Godrej Locking Solutions and Systems said, “As a brand that is synonymous with trust and safety, Godrej LocksS purpose is to make people aware of the importance of home safety. Har Ghar Surakshit report suggests that Indians, although feel safe at home, are unprepared to deal with home safety issues. Moreover, home safety has become secondary in this digital age. We want to encourage people to prioritize home safety just like how they secure their digital assets. In line with this vision, #HarGharSurakshit campaign will promote the larger cause of enhancing safety across homes of people in urban and rural India.”

Indians enhance their digital safety actively due to regular updates of digital risks through information across platforms. They also receive reminders to change their passwords or upgrade their digital security level to the next advanced versions. Similarly, people are willing to enhance their home safety if they are made more aware and provided with information, which will bring about a behavioural change amongst citizens towards the perception of home safety. Through #HarGharSurakshit campaign, Godrej LocksS intends to bridge this awareness gap. The company has pledged an investment of INR 100 crore over the next 3 years towards #HarGharSurakshit and will be undertaking multiple initiatives through various platforms across India.

Residential Market Recovers in a Newly Regulated Environment Keeping Prices Stable Across 2018: Knight Frank India


Knight Frank India has announced the tenth edition of its flagship half-yearly report – India Real Estate. The report presents a comprehensive analysis of the residential (across eight cities) and office (across seven cities) market performance for the period July – December 2018 (H2 2017). The report has established 2018 to be historically best performing year for the commercial office with leasing crossing 46 million square feet (msf). For the residential market saw some upward movement in sales velocity but stopped short of being a year of recovery. Total sales of residential units were estimated to be 242,328 units registering a 6% increase over full year 2017.

Both the residential and the commercial office markets of Bengaluru saw an uptick in demand. For the residential market, sales for full year 2018 were registered at 43,776 units, while new units launched were registered at 27,382 units. Commercial office demand remained strong for another year, with leasing activity levels settling at 13.4 msf, while supply largely remained restricted at 7.6 msf in 2018.

Residential market highlights for Bengaluru:

Residential launches in H2 2018 were at 11,826 units denoting a y-o-y growth of 41% over same time last year
On an overall basis, 2018 saw new residential unit launches to the tune of 27,382 units marking a 22% rise y-o-y, albeit on a smaller base.
The average size of newly launched units has shrunk by 7% in 2018 as compared to those in 2014
For the first time since 2014, the residential market saw positive sales growth putting the residential sector on an upward growth trajectory.
The average residential prices in 2018 saw a marginal growth of 2% y-o-y over 2017, but with smaller units, the effect on ticket sizes was limited.

Shantanu Mazumder, Senior Branch Director – Bangalore, Knight Frank, “Largely end-user driven, Bengaluru’s residential market remained buoyant with a line of caution. Both launches, and sales depicted upward trajectory, but the market activities can at best be termed conservative. Developers have been cautious of keeping a steady pace of new launches ensuring that demand is adequately catered whilst bringing down the unsold inventory in the market.”

Commercial market highlights Bengaluru

Bengaluru continued to see the highest volume of leasing with over 13 msf being transacted in the entire year. The percentage growth in 2018 over last year was recorded at close to 15%.
H2 2018 recorded nearly 7 msf of office space leasing surpassing the transaction volume in the first half of 2018 and registering a y-o-y growth of close to 17% from same time last year.
BFSI sector led the leasing activities in the city constituting 28% of total leasing volumes in H2 2018, while IT/ ITeS took up 37% share of total leasing volume.
At 7.6 msf, the total supply in 2018 took a contrarian path and registered a y-o-y decline of 6% over 2017.
As a result of office space demand continually outpacing supply, the vacancy levels in Bengaluru have been registered at 4.3%.
In the same space, the average rental values for Bengaluru also saw a rise of about 17% in 2018.

Shantanu Mazumder, Senior Branch Director – Bangalore, Knight Frank, “Bengaluru’s commercial market is precariously poised at this juncture where the supply is grossly lower than the demand. While, in current context it is making the office sector highly investor friendly providing rental security and relatively higher rental yield. However protracted trend of reducing supply can lead to stagnant or degrowth of the market.”

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Subex Diversifies into New Verticals with the Launch of CrunchMetrics


Subex, a leading telecom analytics solution provider, has announced the launch of a new brand, CrunchMetrics, an advanced anomaly detection system designed to help organizations discover business opportunities and mitigate risks in real-time. It leverages the combined power of statistics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to sift through data and identify anomalies that are a representation of business impact. CrunchMetrics is vertical agnostic and has a wide range of use cases for Telecom, Retail and FinTech verticals at launch. CrunchMetrics is a division of Subex Digital LLP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Subex Limited.

Rapid digitalization across industries today has led to a massive explosion of data volumes where years’ worth of data in the last decade is now being generated in the matter of a few hours. While organizations are doing reasonably well to capture and store this data, the mechanisms to truly make use of such huge volumes of data are unable to match the current volumes and velocity of data being generated. Due to this challenge, organisations fall short of responding to significant changes which can improve business critical functions. Addressing this gap, CrunchMetrics brings to the table real-time anomaly detection helping organizations find the ‘needle in the haystack’, thereby facilitating low latency decision making. Through the launch of CrunchMetrics, Subex aims to address a huge market that is expected to reach USD 4.5 Billion by 2022 and will to cater to a variety of verticals.

Commenting on this launch, Vinod Kumar, CEO and MD, Subex said, “We are delighted to launch CrunchMetrics, a new brand within our overall portfolio. The addressable problem and the market size is huge, and with our focused efforts and investments, we are confident of creating an impact by delivering value to our customers. With over two decades of experience in handling large volumes of complex data, we thoroughly understand the art of handling the data and putting it to good use. We have already begun engaging our customers and the initial response has been very encouraging. From a business perspective CrunchMetrics marks our entry into areas beyond the telecom domain, such as the booming FinTech and Retail segments that are significant consumers of data”

Justin van der Lande, Principal Analyst, Analysys Mason said, “Businesses today are generating massive amounts of data. Discovering opportunities or insights using traditional BI systems or rules-based systems is becoming harder and more expensive, slowing the take-up data-driven automations. An AI-based anomaly detection solution can help in enabling smarter decision making and reducing time to discovery by removing much of the complexity needed to model data trends and to quickly spot any changes to them.”

CrunchMetrics is a completely automated solution that enables organizations to identify business incidents that are otherwise hard to detect. Through self-learning algorithms, it evolves continuously basis insights acquired from the latest incidents. Some of the benefits include focused attention on incidents that matter, reduction in decision-making latency, ability to uncover new opportunities, and diminishing losses due to hidden trends.

“CrunchMetrics adopts new-age technologies such as AI and ML to interpret data, making it a flexible channel that organizations can leverage to make business decisions in a timely manner. Further, it seamlessly integrates with existing systems through simple mechanisms such as web-services or Application Programming Interface (APIs) enabling organizations to uncover new opportunities that can further be leveraged by them,” said Shankar Roddam, Chief Operating Officer, Subex.

85% Believe they Should Get Health Insurance Before the Age of 30: Massive Demand for Health Insurance: GOQii IndiFit Report 2019


Healthcare issues have remained a challenge in India for a very long time. Overall trust in the healthcare system has deteriorated further with 96.5% of people not trusting the system. With 67.8% of Indians not trusting Hospitals. To add to this, the rising cost of healthcare has prompted Indians to focus more on health insurance. 62.8% of Indians believe having a health insurance policy is an absolute necessity and approximately 85% believe health insurance should be bought by the age of 30, indicates the GOQii-India Fit report 2019 titled ‘Insurance: An Investment in Health’.

GOQii, India’s leading preventive healthcare ecosystem today unveiled the fifth edition of ‘India Fit Report. India Fit Report 2019 is a result of a year-long study of more than 700,000 GOQii users – a first-of-its-kind report that presents a holistic overview on the health and lifestyle of Indians across different parameters such as steps taken, lifestyle diseases (Diabetes, Cardiac and Hypertension), BMI (Body Mass Index), nutrition, water, stress, sleep, gut health and immunity, smoking and alcohol consumption; all of which are classified according to gender and key cities. This year India Fit report has gone a step further to also look at what people think of Health Insurance and can it be looked at as Investment in health?

The report indicates despite the increasing awareness about the importance and need for an insurance policy, 20% of the respondents still don’t own insurance policy. The common notion that continues to prevail is that insurance is confusing to understand, a prime reason that discourages people from buying one. The high cost of insurance also deters them.

Approximately 90% of people believe healthier people should pay lesser premiums on their insurance policies. 70% are willing to share health data with insurance companies to get a discount on premiums.

The survey deep dives into insurance as that will be a critical aspect in the years to come for all individuals. Respondents strongly believed cashless hospitalization (87.9%) is the most sought-after health insurance benefit followed by medical bills reimbursement facility (67.7%) and better treatment in best hospitals (59.0%).

Most people decide to buy a particular policy due to the good quality hospital network it provides (42.3%). Further, people also buy a policy from a particular provider because of its easy claim procedures (41.9%) and an accessible hospital network (40.3%). Low cost, good coverage and benefits, simple terms and conditions are some of the other convincing factors for people to buy health insurance.

Further, the report indicates, 38.3% people between the age group of 20-45 suffer from at least one lifestyle disease ranging from Diabetes, BP, Cardiac issues to Thyroid, Acute GI and Acidity. In the last two years, lifestyle diseases have shown an increase. Cases of Cholesterol among people have increased from 10.1% to 14.1% this year, High blood pressure is on the rise, with an increase from 9% to 12%. This data signifies that a strong insurance system will be imperative for all individuals and GOQii is leading the efforts in this space, by being the first player to build a preventive healthcare model and showing the need and benefits of insurance, through this study.

Increase in lifestyle diseases and medical costs coupled with the lack of trust in healthcare has prompted people to get active and be healthy. This also arises from the fact that people are not wanting to spend their life being disease struck. GOQii India Fit Report 2019 indicates that as compared to 2017, in 2018, people are taking to running has increased from 22% to 33% among people wanting to be active. Cycling has increased from 10% to 15%. Conscious of being healthy has also led people to sleep and take rest more. The report reveals that Indians have slept more (6:51 hrs) from (6:32 hrs) last year.

When it comes to being healthy, Bangaloreans seem to be at the forefront. According to the report, Bengaluru has yet again topped the list of being the healthiest city in India beating Mumbai. However, the one aspect that is bothering Indians to a large extent is ‘Pollution’. Air pollution has been a killer in the last couple of years and the situation is only worsening. The India Fit report has studied 8 main cities on 3 basic parameters namely Air, water and food to find out how India has fared? The results have shown that Pune is the most livable city on air, water and food quality front and Delhi is most polluted in terms of its air quality. 

Commenting on the findings of the India Fit Report 2019, Vishal Gondal, Founder and CEO of GOQii said, “Trust in healthcare has further deteriorated and there is a dire need to reimagine health. We are aiming to change and get people to move away from a reactive and cure based healthcare to a preventive healthcare system,”.

Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation to Inaugurate Convergence India 2019 Expo


Emerging technologies, their application and ability to disrupt the way things function are highly deliberated subjects today. How these trends will evolve in the coming year and how businesses can best tap this potential is the theme of Convergence India 2019 expo’s 27th edition. The event will bring together the latest technology innovations and trends from telecom & mobile communication, internet of things, information technology & security, broadcast & digital media, mobile devices and accessories, as well as emerging technologies and enterprise solutions under one roof.

The three-day exhibition and conference, to be held in New Delhi from 29-31 January, 2019, will welcome 800+ exhibitors and 200+ speakers from 30+ countries. Over 25,000 trade visitors are expected, including key government officials, overseas representatives, and private players from the telecom and broadcast sectors, cable TV & satellite operators, system integrators, information and network security etc., resulting in tremendous business activity, negotiations, intellectual discussions and much more.

Co-located with the event will be the Internet of Things India 2019 expo and the Embedded Tech India 2019 expo, which will focus on technologies and developments in the space of cloud & big data, virtual & augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, drones, application development, cloud services, M2M solutions, semiconductor manufacturing, energy & automation technology, smart cities etc. The three events together will provide a robust opportunity for professionals, digital innovators, international business gurus, telecom and broadcasting czars, leaders from IT, Internet and IoT industries, to interact and do business with each other.

Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry, commented, “I am happy to learn that Exhibitions India Group, along with India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) as co-organiser, is hosting the 27th edition of Convergence India 2019 expo, the 3rd edition of Internet of Things India 2019 expo, and Embedded Tech India 2019 expo in New Delhi. Also, it is a pleasure to know that the expos will focus on the convergence of technologies across telecom, IT, broadcast and digital media sectors, and the fast growing IoT infrastructure in India. This will be a great opportunity for industry leaders and influencers to discuss the latest trends and disruptions impacting various industry verticals. I would like to congratulate the organisers for hosting these events, which continue to provide a remarkable opportunity to various stakeholders to come up with innovative solutions for India’s growth in the future.”

“I am confident the expos will be immensely useful to further extend the impact of Digital India and Make in India campaigns globally, and also enhance India’s share of exports through trade in goods and services. The expos are bound to provide huge opportunities to exhibitors to promote Brand India, apart from exploring possibilities of entering into joint ventures and business collaborations,” said LC Goyal, CMD, ITPO.

“Digital and telecommunications technologies are inevitably set to become the new norm across industries and sectors on a global front. From AI and automation, which are transforming the nature of work and delivering unprecedented levels of productivity, to AR and VR emerging as an advanced interface between machines and humans, we are on the cusp of a massive revolution. Adopting these technologies on a wide scale in our country will be the key to promoting Brand India globally, and that is just what we aim to do through the Convergence India, Internet of Things India and Embedded Tech expos,” said Shri Prem Behl, Chairman, Exhibitions India Group.

Prem Behl further added, “As we get ready to host the 27th edition of Convergence India expo, we also aim to help bolster the collaboration between companies and governments in order to achieve long-term success. The event this year will emphasise on showcasing the innovations that will power the next generation of industry and our economy, along with providing a conducive platform to facilitate an exchange of ideas and technologies for various stakeholders.”

Amongst the key attractions of the expo will be the Mobile & Accessories Pavilion which will showcase the potential of mobile devices & accessories ecosystem. The SATCOM Pavilion, on the other hand, shall exhibit the latest technologies in satellite and telecommunications, transmission systems & equipment, cabling systems, home systems & broadband, post production & new media, audio & radio displays, telecine & film etc.

The Start-up Planet invites IoT start-ups to showcase future technology trends to be integrated into existing technologies that would result in a ‘smarter’ product or application. This will also be an open platform for entrepreneurs to interact with government representatives, corporate leaders, investors, and quality business visitors.

The Embedded Tech India 2019 expo will showcase leading-edge products and solutions that empower smart products, smart home, smart industry, and ultimately smart cities. The show will host a product line that uses microcontrollers, sensors, RF, motor-control, secure MCUs, and other solutions.

#SkillIndia Gets a Boost as The/Nudge Launches “Centre for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship”


The/Nudge Foundation, a non-profit focused on poverty alleviation, in partnership with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) recently announced the launch of “Centre for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship” (CSDE), India’s first institution dedicated to accelerating the impact and scale of India’s skill development and entrepreneurship initiatives. India is adding 1 million people into the workforce every month and this institutional approach to work on deeper issues affecting skilling ecosystem is critical and timely. The Centre aims to become an eminent, global institution that addresses the pressing problems of youth unemployability and unemployment.

Congratulating on the launch, Shri Rajesh Agrawal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship said, “Organizations such as The/Nudge Foundation are rooted in strong, on-ground action and are providing an institutional backbone to the government to help accelerate the scale of the Government’s initiatives. The gaps in the skilling ecosystem can be filled through new thinking, new insights and new ideas that they bring. We need to innovate across all levels to make Skill India the backbone for the New India of our dreams.”

Atul Satija, Founder & CEO, The/Nudge said, “Our Gurukul model has been scaled up to aid 3500 students to graduate annually, with 100% placements into top employers, which has helped us understand the deeper challenges and opportunities that skill development presents. With CSDE, we are expanding our mandate to support the skilling ecosystem at large, given the magnitude of the problem India is facing today, and dedicate this Centre to the youth of the nation.”

CSDE will focus on research, innovations, technology, consulting, and programs to support the skill development ecosystem and stakeholders including government, academia, industry and service providers. CSDE will also partner with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to jointly work on research, pilots and new innovative models in skilling.

Speaking about the collaboration, Manish Kumar, MD & CEO, NSDC said, “NSDC facilitate initiatives that create a multiplier effect on the skill ecosystem. The/Nudge Foundation has demonstrated success in running the Gurukul program which focuses on all-round development of an individual. The launch of Center for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship will support NSDC’s efforts in empowering youth with skills and enable innovation through action research.”

In 2015, The/Nudge Foundation started the Gurukul program, a 90-day fully residential training program for underprivileged youth, aimed at job and life-readiness. The Gurukuls are located in Bangalore and Delhi, running at an annual student rate of 3500+, serving students from across more than 10 states specializing in livelihoods such as BPO, Retail, Plumbing, Electrician, Beauty and achieving 100% placements.

IBM Earns Record 9,100 Patents in 2018, Tops U.S. Patent List


IBM inventors received a record 9,100 patents in 2018, marking the company’s 26th consecutive year of U.S. patent leadership. IBM led the industry in the number of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, cybersecurity and quantum computing-related patent grants. 

“IBM is committed to leading the way on the technologies that change the way the world works – and solving problems many people have not even thought of yet,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO. “Our clients and their customers are the beneficiaries of these innovations, particularly our leadership in AI, cloud, blockchain and security for business.”

Overall, nearly half of the 2018 patents relate to pioneering advancements in AI, cloud computing, cybersecurity, blockchain and quantum computing.

The industry-leading 1,600 AI patents IBM inventors were granted in 2018 include new ways to use AI to help us converse and protect the earth’s lakes and waterways. AI also played a large role in the more than 1,400 cyber security patents IBM inventors were granted in 2018, including an AI-powered security approach to combat voice phishing.

Some IBM patents granted in 2018 include: 

Project Debater is a first-of-a-kind AI system from IBM Research that can debate humans on complex topics. IBM inventors patented an approach to use machine learning to identify evidence, such as relevant text segments in unstructured text data, which supports or opposes a claim or topic under consideration. This could help provide advancements in how machines and humans interact in conversation.
IBM inventors patented an intelligent system that could be used to identify, characterize, and monitor vertical temperature profiles and gradients, which affect marine life, in lakes and other aquatic ecosystems. Analytics combined with the IBM Cloudand Internet of Things (IoT) mapping has helped IBM along with collaborators to engineer the world’s smartest lake, Lake George. 
“Phishing” occurs when a person or computer system tries to obtain sensitive information from unknowing victims. Most recently, phishers have turned to voice phishing, or “vishing,” in which unsuspecting victims are called directly and “vishers” use a voice over IP (VoIP) system to mask their identity. IBM has patented an AI system that could, with permission from the primary user, analyze conversation patterns between two parties in order to identify attempts by one of the parties to deceive the other. The system could send an alert message in real-time to warn a potential vishing victim and help company IT experts better prevent and manage computer and mobile security threats. 

IBM inventors received more than 2,000 cloud computing patents in 2018, including a patent on a specialized monitor for unikernel-based virtual machines that takes a lightweight approach to improving isolation and security between a cloud application and its host, while also reducing provisioning times and improving performance. The approach is related to IBM’s research in container security and could enable organizations to more easily move data and applications securely across cloud and on-premises environments. 

IBM inventors also continue to break ground in the development of blockchain and its rapid pace of global adoption. IBM was granted a patent on an approach for encrypting data stored in a blockchain, where transactions are encrypted using an encryption key. IBM clients can put data on a blockchain that they would like to share with other blockchain participants. However, instead of storing the data openly for any of the blockchain participants to see, clients can encrypt their data beforehand and only other clients that have been given a decryption key can read the data from the blockchain. 

IBM researchers also patented significant inventions in quantum computing, including a new way of miniaturizing components to improve the performance of quantum computers. 

The new patents were granted to a diverse group of more than 8,500 IBM inventors in 47 different U.S. states and 48 countries. 

Manipal Hospitals Bengaluru Organizes ‘You can save life anywhere’ Campaign to Mark World Ambulance Day


Manipal Hospitals Bengaluru has organized ‘You can save life anywhere’ campaign in the city to mark World Ambulance Day. Aimed at creating awareness and training people with life saving techniques, the event witnessed around 200 people participating in the MARS ambulance rally and training of CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and AED (Automated External Defibrillator).  The campaign was flagged off by P. Harishekaran, Inspector General of Police and Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) and Shwetha R. Prasad, Kannada Actress in the presence of Dr. H Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman- Manipal Hospitals.

The campaign kicked off with MARS ambulance rally, which started from Manipal Hospitals in order to spread the message of ‘Give Way Save a Life’ to public, followed by inauguration of the poster exhibition on life saving techniques and training session. The training programs included CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) which is used to help people having sudden cardiac arrest and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) which is used to restore oxygenated blood flow to the vital organs.

People can further avail these training programs by booking via the hospital’s website across all the hospitals of Manipal. Further, every second Saturday of the month have been dedicated to this training. The Hospital aims to train people in batches starting with admin staff of metro and malls in Bangalore, police, students, general public and gym instructors this year.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr.  H Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman, Manipal Hospitals said, “In today’s fast paced era where lot of people are injured or lose their lives in road traffic accidents, ambulances play an important role in saving their lives. However, ambulances are not given their due importance by the citizens and many a time they do not make way for them. It is extremely important to sensitize people on how critical it is to give way to an ambulance and if people understand this, then half the battle is won. In order for the same, Manipal Hospitals through this campaign, aims to educate and train general public the usage of handy life saving techniques like CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and AED (Automated External Defibrillator).”

Manipal Ambulance Response Service (MARS) was launched in 2015 and since its inception, it has been ensuring the best outcomes in terms of saving lives and bringing smiles back on the faces of its patients and their loved ones. Enabled with GPS based live vehicle tracking system and equipped with critical lifesaving equipment’s, Manipal’s fleet of ambulance have saved 23984 lives until date. It is also equipped with Central Monitoring System, which relays images of patient condition direct to Emergency Response Centre. The state-of-the technology enables the ambulance to deal with any kind of crucial emergencies.

Speaking on the occasion P. Harishekaran, Inspector General of Police and Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Bengaluru city said, “It is essential for each and every one of us to know the importance of ambulances and the role they play in saving lives. It is not only the traffic police’s responsibility to make way for ambulances but all the general public’s. They need to feel empathetic and be responsive. I feel privileged to be part of this noble and unique initiative of Manipal Hospitals and congratulate each and every one behind this.”

Supporting the initiative Shwetha R Prasad, Kannada Actress said, “I am extremely delighted to be part of this great cause and appreciate each and every one of you. Manipal Hospitals’ ‘You can save life anywhere’ campaign is truly remarkable and I hope the message ‘Give Way Save a Life’ spreads to all the public.

Ask Amazon Alexa for real estate news, powered by Housing.com, PropTiger.com & Makaan.com


Elara Technologies Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based digital real estate company and owner of Housing.com, PropTiger.com, and Makaan.com, has announced yet another industry-first initiative by offering latest news of the Indian real estate sector on Alexa-compatible smart home devices. With this latest development,content available on the respective news and blog sections of Housing.com, PropTiger.com, and Makaan.com which is Housing News, PropGuide and MakaanIQ respectively, will be available for consumption on Amazon Alexa.

With traction of over one million sessions each month, the exclusive news and blog sections - Housing News, PropGuide and MakaanIQ have successfully brought in many home-seekers, sellers, agents and enthusiasts within its fold. To listen to daily updates, users need to add Housing News, MakaanIQ or PropGuide to the Alexa skill set, and it will read the latest news in real estate along with other news from sources that one may have added. The cloud-based voice service from Amazon Alexa will present a compact brief of the news that can be consumed efficiently by a user. 

Commenting on the developmentRavi Bhushan, Group CPTO, Housing.com, PropTiger.com and Makaan.com said,“With almost 28% of queries, voice-enabled searches are the new frontier and they are expected to contribute 50% of all global searches. We are always at the forefront of adopting technology and transforming customer experience by providing instant solutions. Getting our news content in the voice format is another step towards offering our customers the utmost convenience. We see immense potential in serving informational queries such as latest news, property rates, how to guides and more such content in the voice format.”

“With emerging technologies shaping our lifestyle and dependencies, the recent development demonstrates our single-minded focus and commitment towards consumers, helping them experience property in a way never envisaged before. Most forward-thinking companies have pioneered change; in our field, we are delighted to have done it again,” added Bhushan.

Given that real estate is the most preferred asset class for Indians, this development was a need waiting to be fulfilled. Recent technological advancements such as seamless integration with voice and artificial intelligence all set to take centre stage, Housing News, MakaanIQ and PropGuide have already taken the plunge. Consuming content through voice command is an important step as consumers now want every information to be bundled in a fun, informative and hassle-free way.

Tesco Bengaluru Inaugurates First Community Career Development Centre in Partnership with NASSCOM Foundation



Tesco Bengaluru inaugurated its maiden Community Development Centre (CDC) at Immadahalli, Whitefield today in collaboration with Nasscom Foundation and welcomed the first batch of students. This is the first such initiative undertaken by the two partners to  enhance opportunities for employability of youth from disadvantaged communities. In addition to the skill-based training, the Centre will also support the students with placement opportunities in IT/ ITES/ retail sectors.

Designed according to the curriculum proposed in National Digital Literacy Mission, the programme at the newly inaugurated centre is curated with modules such as English language training, personality development, vocational training, data entry, accountancy and Business Process Outsourcing under three verticals – Career Courses for students between 17 to 30 years of age, Skill Courses, and Digital and Financial Literacy modules for students who are 14 years and above.

Commenting on the launch of the Centre, Dr. Sumit Mitra, CEO – Tesco Business Services & Tesco Bengaluru said, “As a leader in the retail space for over a 100 years, Tesco has always prioritized community outreach and development of future generation. At Tesco Bengaluru, education is the one of the focus areas of our CSR programme and we are creating and enhancing opportunities for youth to improve their livelihood through skill building & training programmes.

With this career Community Development Centre, we aim to address the issues concerning the burgeoning youth unemployment in India and skills-gap in the retail, IT/ITES sectors. We are honoured to be partnering with Nasscom Foundation for this endeavour. We look forward to working with them to expand the impact and reach of the programme over the next few years.”

In line with the CDC’s focus on delivering skill based training, the first batch comprises of 12 – 15 students to maintain a fair student-teacher ratio.

Ashok Pamidi, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation said, “Having trained over 1 lakh people on digital literacy, NASSCOM Foundation through this centre is trying to go beyond making people digitally equipped to make them employable in a digital economy.”

With the opening of the CDC, Tesco Bengaluru and NASSCOM Foundation hope to also enrol girl students from the communities who can equally benefit from the programme.

Commenting on the same, Pamidi further added, “Our digital literacy centres across India have seen an encouraging 60:40 female to male ratio in trainees. We hope that this continues with the CDC too and further, helps our objective to make more women employable. We want to thank TESCO for helping bridge the skills gap at the bottom of the pyramid and would urge more organizations to come forward to support the cause.”

At the start of the programme, Learning and Development experts will match each candidate’s strengths with their future aspirations and enable them to choose courses that will enhance their job readiness. Upon completion of the course, Tesco Bengaluru and NASSCOM Foundation will jointly issue a certificate to eligible candidates and arrange for placement opportunities through participation at job fairs. The partners will also provide post-placement support to the beneficiaries if required.

Central Government will Extend Support to Make Solapur Uniform Hub of the Country



After two successful events in Solapur third edition organized by Solapur Garment Manufacturers Association organizes to be held from January 8 to 10. Sushil Gaekwad, Director of Textiles, Government of India inaugurated the 3rd edition of Uniform, Garment and Fabric Manufacturers Fair 2019 at Dr Prabhakar Kore Convention Centre in Bengaluru.

Sushil Gaekwad, Director of Textiles Government of India said that the Solapur has the potential of becoming the Uniform Hub of the country and the Central government will extent all support in achieving the goal set by Maharashtra. He said that the Solapur industry has aptly achieved prosperity and growth and has generated large employment. Gaekwad said that the Modi Government’s regime has supported the industry in achieving huge growth with right policies. 

On behalf of the Central government Gaekwad, Director of Textiles, Government  of India, inaugurated 3rd edition of India’s Uniform, Garment and Fabric Manufacturers Fair 2019 in Bengluru on Tuesday January 8. The Fair has been organized by Solapur Garment Manufacturers Association from January 8 to 10, 2019 at Dr Prabhakar Kore Convention Centre, Opp Peenya Metro Centre, Near Yashwantpur Railway Station, Bengaluru and will be held between 10 am and 9pm. 

Praising the initiatives taken by Solapur Garment Manufacturers Association in association with the Textiles department of the Maharashtra government, Gaekwad said “The Centre has put in lot of efforts with progressive policies for the Textiles industries. The Textile sector in Solapur has proved the policies right by achiving the growth. It has helped job generation and more youths have joined the sector which has been a positive sign for the sector. The Centre is committed to help every possible way to ensure that Solapur is reckoned as the Uniform hub of the country.”

Gaekwad was accompanied by H.K.Govindraj, Principal Secretary, Textiles Department, Maharashtra. Dr. Prabhakar Kore, chairman KLE society & Rajya Sabha MP; Arjunji Khotkar Minister of State for Textile, Maharashtra; Atul Patne Secretary , Textiles Department, Maharashtra too were present for the inauguration function of the 3rd edition of Uniform Garment and Fabric Manufacturers Fair 2019 in Bengaluru.

Among other dignitaries from the Textiles industry to participate in the inaugural function included, Ramvallabh Jaju, President Solapur Readymade Kapad Utpadak Sangh, Nilesh Shah, Fair Chairman; Shri Rajendra Kochar,Secretary Solapur Readymade Kapad Utpadak Sangh; Priyavarta Mafatlal,CEO Mafatlal Industries Limited; M B Raghunath, President Sales, Mafatlal Industries Limited; Manoj Chandna,Director Sales and Head Institutional sales, Raymond Ltd; Ashok P. Solanki, Managing Director, Unitex Synthetics (I) Pvt. Ltd  (Wocky Tocky); Vikas Todi, Director,Sparshfab textiles pvt ltd; Sunil Tibrewal, Founder & Designated Partner, Qmax Mills LLP; Suchendra Hanchate, DGM Product & Wholesale Trade, Bombay Dyeing;. Prakashji Dakalia, Founder & Director of Mahaveer Textile; Vivekji Mehta, Head Marketing, Reliance Industries Ltd Textile Division; Pradipji Ringasia, Senior General Manager, Siyaram Silk Mills Limited.

Govindraj said, “Maharashtra government has chalked out Cluster Parks and Textile Parks for Solapur. They will help the Solapur industry to achieve its goal. The Central government has been extending lot of support to the textiles industry in the state. After holding two editions of the Fair over last two years in  Solapur the Textile Hub of Maharashtra, the Association has successfully organized the third edition in Bengaluru. This will help the textile sector in Maharashtra to expand its wings not only to the neighboring states, but also to across the country.”

The Fair witness the discussion on various issues and topic related to the industry. The panel discussions were held on Making India world's Uniform Sourcing Hub and steps needed to be taken to materialize it. Office bearers of Solapur Garment Manufacturers association & delegation of fabric Manufacturer’s participated in the discussions along with other stakeholders. 

The Fair was held outside the state this year with a aim of promoting State of Maharashtra as Uniform Sourcing hub of world, as never such imitative has happened till today. Renowned brands in uniform and garment sectors are participating in the Fair. Mafatlal, U Code, Valji, Qmax World, Sangam, Bombay Dyeing, Siyaram’s Unicode, Sparsh Fab, Only Vimal, Wocky Tocky are some of leading brands in Uniform fabric manufacturers who have been associated with the organizers.

Among participants are the leading names from Corporate which include Mafatlal Industries, Reliance industry , Raymond, Bombay Dying, Ranjit Fabs Ltd, Pushpa Textiles,J C Pacific Apparels,Zeven,DAC’s, D M Hosiery, 10 Grams, Zoom Apparels among others.Overseas participants are from USA, Dubai, Oman, Nigeria, Ghana, Nepal, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Qatar and Senegal. 

The Fair has participation by brands, retailers, dealers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retail chains, semi-wholesalers, traders, distributors, E-commerce agents, retail chains under one roof.  The fair has uniform wear, men’s, ladies and kids wear, shoes manufacturers, socks manufacturer, uniform related accessories and uniform fabric at the display.

Brainchild of Textiles Minister of Maharashtra Shri Subhash Deshmukh, first two Fairs was organized in Solapur in January 2017 and 2018. Inaugurated by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in January 2018, the Fair witnessed as many as 10000 retailers from across the country visiting it. It was organized in association with the Maharashtra State Government’s Textile Ministry, sponsored by Mafatlal Industries Limited, the market leader and largest producer of corporate uniforms, work wear and school uniform fabric and garments in India and supported by Bank of India as banking partner. The ultimate aim of the Fair was to generate 2000 new units in Solapur by the year 2022, in the process making this city the uniform sourcing hub of India.

The Solapur Garment Manufacturers Association has not only been organizing such Fairs but also has taken the initiative to start a training centre for garment stitching where needy women are trained at no cost. Starting in July, 2017 the centre till date has trained hundreds of women who have been given jobs in various garment factories. Seeing the potential of the Solapur garment industry, Mafatlal Industries started a uniform garment manufacturing unit there. 

Solapur is gaining significance for Garment trade; hence to help its promotion and expansion such international level Uniform & Garment Exhibition is being held. The uniform manufacturing industry in India has an aggregate volume of 18,000 crore out of which 10,000 crore is already catered by manufacturing Industry. However about 8,000 crore  is being supplied to local schools in forms of direct which local retailers and institutions get stitched by local tailors leading to much inconvenience. Solapur is witnessing higher demand for school uniforms, kids garments, gents and ladies dresses and hence this industry is witnessing good progress in the region.

Acer India Debuts All-New Swift 7 with Compact Design and Incredible Screen-to-body Ratio

Acer has announced the incredibly thin and light Swift 7 (SF714-52T) with a new premium chassis that liberates the display. Honoree of a CES 2019 Innovation Award, its ultra-narrow bezels make it virtually borderless, giving the 14-inch Swift 7 an impressive 92 percent screen-to-body ratio. Powered by Windows 10, it’s feather-light too, meaning traveling professionals who carry a notebook through the day will rejoice at its weight of just 890 grams — giving the Swift 7 an almost weightless feel when carrying it in a briefcase or small bag.

“The Acer Swift 7 strikes a balance between art and technology, and in doing so pushes ultra-portable PC design to new territories” said Jerry Hou, General Manager, Consumer Notebooks, IT Products Business, Acer Inc. “With a striking screen-to-body ratio of an incredible 92 percent, Acer customers can stay more productive with a compact, thinner and lighter notebook that feels ‘barely there’ while carrying it around through the day and during business travel.”

“We designed the latest 8th Gen Intel Core processors to deliver a complete platform with the performance to enable rich user experiences and the power efficiency to extend battery life, all in a fanless design” said Chris Walker, Vice President of Client Computing at Intel. “It is exciting to collaborate with Acer on the innovation displayed on the new Acer Swift 7.”

Ultra-Compact Design Results in Stunning 92% Screen-to-Body Ratio

Thanks to incredible design and engineering advances, the redesigned Swift 7 fits the latest tech into a chassis that is significantly smaller than its predecessor. It has a four-side narrow bezel design with bezels measuring just 2.57 mm[ii], dramatically reducing the width and depth of the notebook to just 317.9 mm W x 191.5 mm D (12.51 W x 7.53 D inches) for an immersive, almost full screen display. Like its predecessors, the Swift 7 (SF714-52T) remains incredibly thin and light, measuring under 1 cm thin at 9.95 mm (0.39 inches) and weighing less than 1 kg at just 890 grams (1.96 pounds).

The Swift 7 is incredibly thin and lightweight, yet durable. Designed for portability, it’s made with magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminum alloys. These materials are two to four times stronger than standard aluminum alloys at the same thickness, yet are up to 20 to 35 percent lighter to keep the laptop under 1 kg.  In addition, Acer applied a micro-arc oxidation finish to create a surface with an elegant, ceramic-like material.

The 14-inch Full HD 1920x1080 touch display with IPS[iii] technology allows smooth touch interactions and presents vibrant and crystal-clear images. Featuring a 100% sRGB/72% NTSC color gamut and 300 nits of brightness, the Swift 7 brings immersive experiences through its advanced display. Plus, it’s extra durable thanks to a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 6.

Performance with All-Day Battery Life 

The Swift 7 is powered by the latest 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8500Y processor to deliver top-notch performance for web browsing, productivity with presentations and spreadsheets, and even using compute intensive creator tools while enabling a fanless design. With up to 512GB of fast PCIe SSD storage, a large amount of files can be stored and quickly accessed, and with up to 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM, customers can multitask smoothly. And with 10 hours1 of battery life, customers can use their Swift 7 well into the evening.

Connectivity via Thunderbolt 3 and Advanced WiFi

Customers can accomplish more using the two USB Type-C ports supporting Thunderbolt 3 for high bandwidth speeds up to 40 Gbps while also delivering system power and connecting to any display, as well as USB 3.1 Gen 2. The DisplayPort 1.2 provides fast data transfers at up to 10 Gbps and supports high resolution external displays and speedy charging of external devices. Staying connected with the Acer Swift 7 is reliable and super-fast with Intel Wireless-AC delivering Wi-Fi 5 capable of Gigabit speed and featuring 2x2 MU-MIMO technology. Peripherals can also be connected via Bluetooth 5.0, while the combo headphone and speaker jack ensures clear and crisp audio.

Intuitive Features for an Exceptional Experience

The Swift 7’s design delivers an exceptional experience for jet-setting professionals. The chiclet keyboard has well-spaced keys allowing users to type up documents with minimal mistakes. The keyboard also provides 1.1 mm of travel distance and responsive feedback. In addition, the backlit keyboard makes typing comfortable in low-light conditions. 

The Corning Gorilla Glass touchpad is precise and responsive while scrolling and navigating. The glass touchpad also has an integrated click button, support for multi-touch gestures and a responsive physical click. Plus, the power button doubles as a fingerprint reader so customers can simultaneously turn on the device while using a more secure login through password-free Windows Hello.

The new Swift 7 features a push-to-open camera for webchats and video recording that can be kept closed to prevent unintended camera usage and to protect privacy. The camera has a 55-degree angle of view, and features high-dynamic-range (HDR) to deliver images in wider viewing angles to accommodate groups.

Price and Availability

The Acer Swift 7 (SF714-52T) with a touch display will be available with 8GB or 16GB of LDDR3 RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of SSD PCIe storage. The new Swift 7 will be available in North America in May, starting at $1,699; in EMEA in April, starting at €1,799; and in April in China, starting at ¥14,999.

Monday, January 7, 2019

TCS iON Digital Zone Goes Green to Power its Centers Through Renewable Energy by 2020


TCS iON, a strategic unit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization announces an initiative to convert its TCS iON Digital Zones into clean energy efficient Green Zones. Under this initiative, TCS iON today commissioned its first solar power rooftop project at Ram Ganga Vihar in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. Under the clean energy mission, it aims to transform its 251 owned centers to solar empowered zones which will contribute to save more than 25% of TCS iON Digital Zone’s total electricity consumption across the country.

TCS iON conducts more than 85% of the large-scale and high-stake academic and recruitment examinations in India through its state-of-the-art infrastructure across 625 cities through its ‘Phygital’ platforms. The TCS iON Digital Zone at Ram Ganga Vihar, Moradabad alone has 532 computing nodes with the capacity of assessing 2000 candidates a day. This zone went live on 10th May 2016, has conducted more than 435 exams and assessed 2,25,000 candidates till date.

Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head, TCS iON said, “We understand our responsibility as a corporate to work towards sustainable development of our nation and imbibe the consciousness of environment protection amongst the young generation. TCS iON took a leap by establishing paperless assessments through our Digital centres, saving approximately 17, 85, 000 trees till date. We now take another step to optimize energy consumption and identify methods to utilize renewable energy for these centers. We will undertake a clean energy drive for every TCS iON Digital Zone to be empowered with cutting edge energy consumption practices and are deploying IoT based monitoring methods under this initiative.”

TCS iON has always been at the forefront in bringing about a revolution in the Indian education system. While assessment has been a pain point for various exam-conducting bodies across the country involving the challenges of the time taken to declare results, errors in results, malpractice attempts and so on, the TCS iON Digital Zones support the entire process of conducting exams. Right from scheduling examinations, assigning test centers, distributing digital question papers to evaluating and managing results. Through its digital offering, TCS iON not only helps reduce administrative efforts and costs in a secured way but also contributes immensely to the mother earth. Enabling paperless assessments by digitalizing examination processes, TCS iON has now take another step forward in its contribution towards environment sustainability.

Going green not only contributes to reducing the global warming emissions and pollution, but the use of green energy has proved to be highly beneficial for a healthy environment.  With this initiative, TCS iON, which is focused on exploring continuous innovations, has taken yet another step towards reducing the carbon footprint and move forward in preserving resources for current and future generations.

Garmin India Unveils Smart GPS-Enabled Lifestyle Watch-Instinct

Garmin has announced the launch of its lifestyle watch - Instinct, which is a GPS-enabled smartwatch with built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter plus multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo respectively) support and wrist-based heart rate monitor. 

The Garmin Instinct comes in a fiber-reinforced polymer case and is thermal, shock, and water resistant (US military standard 810G). The fiber-reinforced polymer case adds strength and durability, and the chemically-strengthened, scratch-resistant display is high-contrast enough to read in bright sunlight, Garmin said.

Seamless GPS Integration: Built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter plus multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo) support help track in more challenging environments than GPS alone.

Monitor and Train: The Instinct GPS watch monitors heart rate, activity, and stress throughout the day when users are ready to train, they are covered with preloaded activity profiles for running, biking, swimming and more.

Instinct is loaded with various multiple sports modes like running, cycling, swimming, climbing, skiing, rowing, weightlifting and yoga.

Garmin Connect: The watch can be paired with the phone and Garmin Connect online fitness community for automatic uploads, live tracking and the GroupTrack feature. Designed for the outdoors, the new Garmin Instinct will be available in three colours- Flame Red, Graphite and Tundra at Rs 26,990. 

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