Friday, May 24, 2019

Morgan Stanley Sets Indian Capital Markets at 45,000 by June 2020


Capital markets are going to take comfort on account of continuity in administration and policies assuming re-election of a majority government, a Morgan Stanley report said while setting the target for BSE Sensex at 45,000 by June 2020.

“The election result trends are implying continuity in administration. Assuming re-election of the majority government turns out to be the eventual result. It means the equity markets can predict policy,” the report said.

It has set BSE Sensex target at 45,000 for June 2020.

The report expects the inflation framework, fiscal consolidation, infrastructure spending, FDI focus and strong external affairs policies to continue.

“The new administration may bring some changes such as increasing cash transfers to poor people, more emphasis on portfolio flows, focus on the country’s external trade and social/constitutional reforms (like Article 370),” it said.

The market will now shift focus to the growth cycle.

The report expects the RBI to be more accommodative and the economy to come out of its soft patch of the past few months.

Earnings could be heading into a new cycle and domestic flows should return with strength, it said.

Some of the key concerns of the investors include fresh wave of bad loans, further slowdown in consumption hurting earnings growth prospects, fiscal slippage, tepid or even negative domestic flows and global headwinds, according to the report.

“We see the RBI policy in early June, ongoing liquidity infusion, verdict on RBI reserves, high frequency growth data, and the Union Budget to redress several of these concerns in the coming weeks, driving share prices higher,” it said.

It expects RBI to cut rates by 25-50 basis points over the next six months and will continue to infuse liquidity and probably take banking sector liquidity to neutral from a deficit.

Over the past 12 months, the RBI has injected Rs 3.2 trillion through open market operations and about Rs 700 billion through USD swaps.

The non-banking financial sector is likely to experience slower growth as the sector builds liquidity and capital, and this will be an opportunity for the large banks.

“In that context, it is also important for the government to consider further capital infusion into the public sector banks which are flush with deposits but are capital constrained from lending,” the report said.

Corporate India Awaits Bold Reforms Post PM Modi’s Landslide Victory


India Inc on Thursday said BJP-led NDA’s stupendous performance in Lok Sabha polls as indicated by trends is an endorsement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decisive leadership, asserting that NDA 2.0 must unleash bold initiatives to transform the economy.

Several corporate honchos, including Anand Mahindra, Adi Godrej, Anil Agarwal and Sunil Mittal cheered as trends pointed towards the BJP and allies returning to power with a thumping majority, saying it was the time for deep reforms entwined with India’s ambition to emerge as a global superpower.

“The government will now re-ignite its reforms agenda to push growth, tackle critical issues like creating more jobs, usher in more tax-friendly laws, strengthen India’s position in global trade while protecting domestic industry from dumping and create more conducive environment to attract FDI in critical segments like mining and Oil & Gas,” Vedanta Resources Chairman Anil Agarwal said.

Bharti Enterprises Founder & Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said the phenomenal mandate clearly underlines the nation’s unambiguous confidence in Prime Minister Modi’s decisive and visionary leadership.

This solid verdict would further strengthen his resolve to drive forward the economic agenda to ensure that the fruits of the economic momentum continue to reach the poor, so visible during the last five years, he added.

Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra said that Modi is set to become the most powerful democratically-elected leader in the world after the thumping win.

“Size of the country (Land mass+population) X Size of the Economy X Size of the election mandate = Leader’s Power Quotient. By the measure of this crude formula, @narendramodi is about to become the most powerful, democratically elected leader in the world today... (sic),” Mahindra tweeted.

CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee termed the verdict as a mandate for development and said, “The election results will reinvigorate the strong and constructive government-industry partnership and dialogue for growth built by the government in its previous term...”

CSS Corp’s Homegrown Intelligent Automation Solution Recognized for Business Innovation Award 2019


CSS Corp, a new age IT services and technology support company, today announced that it has won ‘The Golden Globe Tigers 2019 Awards’ in the Business Innovation category. The results were declared by the CMO Asia group at the Le Meridien hotel in Malaysia. CSS Corp was acknowledged for its intelligent automation capabilities, built with innovative solutions that enable IT operations to become more agile and accessible for enterprises.

CSS Corp’s intelligent automation for IT operations has been designed to leverage the transformative potential of cognitive technologies to drive customer centricity, simplify businesses, and ensure top-notch service delivery and management for enterprises. By infusing intelligence into IT operations, the platform promotes the highest level of predictability and service-level optimization, providing agility, speed, and flexibility.

Speaking about the win, Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp, said, “We are deeply honored to receive this prestigious award for our innovative service model in IT operations. Our cognitive solutions have been a catalyst in transforming traditional IT ecosystems into smarter hybrid frameworks, adding more value to our customers. We continue to work on empowering our customers to drive greater business agility and efficiency through context-driven IT operations.”

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Flash Electronics Files Suit in U.S Against Royal Enfield for Patent Infringement


Flash Electronics India Ltd, the leading electronic and electric auto components player has filed a law suit against Royal Enfield challenging patent infringement in the US regarding production of an important component for two wheelers/ motorcycles.

As per the suit filed, Royal Enfield has infringed Flash electronics’ patent on “Regulator Rectifier Device and Method for Regulating an Output Voltage of the Same” duly issued by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) to Flash Electronics on February 20, 2018  after Flash’s R&D department made a breakthrough invention of the component in 2014.  Since then Flash Electronics has been the key manufacturer and supplier of this component to many leading two-wheeler manufacturers in India and overseas.

The regulator-rectifier is a vital component that smoothly and efficiently converts the AC (Alternating Current) voltage produced in motorcycle engines into DC (Direct Current) voltage to charge the batteries, power the headlights, light up the instrument panel hence drives the motorcycle’s electrical systems.

Besides USA, Flash has been granted patent in various other countries including many European countries including Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Austria, Switzerland as well as Turkey  and the company would be filing similar suits in the respective jurisdictions soon.

Commenting on the incident, Mr. Sanjeev Vasdev, Founder and Managing Director, Flash Electronics India Pvt Ltd said “Flash Electronics is a responsible and mature member of the automotive community, manufacturing cutting edge engineering products since decades and is recognized on a global automotive front for its strong in-house R&D capabilities. We have been trusted suppliers to leading auto manufacturers across India and overseas and it’s unfortunate to have to deal with such an unexpected and unprecedented act on the part of Royal Enfield, one of the most prestigious names in the automotive sector. This incident is highly objectionable and has dented the credibility of the brand, at least with us as a partner”.

Further, Mr. Vasdev mentioned that the company was approached by 3 senior officials of Royal Enfield on 12th October 2018 in New Delhi to settle the issue amicably and requested Flash not to file any suit on the matter. Flash waited for the outcome of this meeting but Royal Enfield did not address the issue.

Mr. Vasdev further commented that Flash will take all necessary action required across the world to ensure that Royal Enfield stops infringing the patent and pays compensation for the violation which would run into millions of dollars .He also urged other component manufacturers to be vigilant , on this kind of predatory behaviour.

Companies Set to Re-Design Job Roles Due to Massive Skills Shortage: Shine.com HR Trends Survey


Shine.com, India’s 2nd largest job portal, recently conducted a survey mapping major HR trends for 2019. The survey revealed interesting insights into the evolving jobs landscape and its implications on the nature of jobs across industries. According to the survey, nearly half (47 %) of senior HR professionals are predicting a skills shortage in the country in the near future. As a result, over one-third (37%) are focusing on redesigning jobs to accommodate swiftly changing trends.

Redesigned jobs demand diversified skillsets

As organizations rapidly adopt technology to streamline processes and make them more efficient, traditional job roles are undergoing a massive transformation. Diversified job roles that require more wide-ranging skill sets are emerging. For instance, data related roles are fast-evolving as companies realize the importance of the goldmine of data they are sitting on. Therefore, companies are looking to hire Senior Data Science leaders who possess expertise in data science, and at the same time can understand the business and functional needs to create a strategic roadmap that can leverage the vast data collated by the company for business growth.

Similarly, companies that previously hired traditionally-skilled brand marketers are now eyeing new-age communications experts who can oversee digital marketing, social media, SEO, SEM, influencer marketing, website development, and more. Companies are, therefore, looking for Marketers who can wear multiple hats while delivering multi-dimensional brand communication.

On the other hand, while jobs like UI/UX designing were largely technical in the past, these roles now require a degree of interpersonal skills. Designers must be able to understand the end user's stated and unstated requirements in order to ensure that they are delivering a digital experience that is most suited to their preferences. They need to be able to connect, collaborate, adapt, and improve products and systems based on these customer needs.

Further, UI/UX designers who possess data expertise and can look at UI/UX studies and user flows, and then adapt designs basis the information will be more in demand than traditional designers. The above-mentioned examples make it clear that jobs are transforming at an accelerated pace, and job seekers need to follow suit in order to stay relevant within the rapidly-changing jobs market.

Revamping job applications become a must

As the skill demand in the job landscape moves towards a more tech-centric approach, candidates will also need to modify their job applications, CV and resume formats. Traditional CVs can no longer be expected to stand out of the clutter. A lot of skills from different functional areas must be combined into one role in order to appeal to organizations. Since a candidate may not have all the requisite skills, the aptitude to learn is also becoming an essential skill. Hence, candidates need to go beyond the skills they possess and also highlight their strengths and proxy skills that can show an aptitude for acquiring new skills to remain relevant in the quickly-evolving jobs landscape. 

Speaking on the changing job trends, Zairus Master, CEO, Shine.com, said, “As new job roles enter the market, we are already seeing job descriptions evolve. Skills which wouldn’t typically be found in the same role earlier are now being combined to create more multidimensional profiles. Hence, the traditional resume formats are now becoming irrelevant. Jobseekers will need to amplify the appeal of their resumes by highlighting the relevant job skills that they possess. For instance, data entry professionals will now need to acquire data science skills to be able to land high-value jobs. At this juncture, upskilling/reskilling is a good option for professionals looking to augment their career growth trajectory.”

Upskilling/Reskilling is the need of the hour

Shine.com further emphasized the urgent need to upskill/reskill the workforce to meet the evolving nature of jobs. More than half (54.05%) of the HR professionals surveyed mentioned that they will invest in large-scale upskilling/reskilling in their organizations. Further, until the skills of the workforce are aligned with business goals, 38.04% of the respondents will focus on developing a rewards strategy to attract and retain gig economy workers.

However, since upskilling/reskilling is a relatively gradual process, the focus of organizations will remain on revamping job profiles and hiring professionals who can fulfill these multi-faceted job roles that are more demanding and skill-based than ever before.

HR trends survey key highlights:

Nearly half (47 %) of senior HR professionals are predicting a skills shortage in the country in the near future. 
Over one-third, senior HR professionals (37%) are focusing on redesigning jobs to accommodate swiftly changing trends 
More than half (54.05%) HR professionals surveyed mentioned that they will invest in large-scale upskilling/reskilling in their organizations
The skills of the workforce are aligned with business goals, 38.04% of the respondents will focus on developing a rewards strategy to attract and retain gig economy workers.  

Zendesk Unveils Next Generation of Conversational Messaging Experiences


Zendesk, Inc. has announced it acquired Smooch Technologies Holdings ULC, the Montreal-based company behind Smooch, a platform connecting businesses with customers to power more personalized and human conversations. The acquisition marks Zendesk's next step in delivering the best omnichannel experiences by connecting conversations between businesses and customers on any messaging channel--from websites and mobile apps to the world's leading messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

"We live in a messaging-centric world, and customers expect the convenience and interactivity of messaging to be part of their experiences," said Mikkel Svane, Zendesk founder, CEO and chairman. "As long-time partners with Smooch, we know first hand how much they have advanced the conversational experience to bring together all forms of messaging and create a continuous conversation between customers and businesses."

More than 75 percent* of all smartphone users now use messaging apps such as WhatsApp. Smooch is one of the largest providers of WhatsApp Business integration, and through Zendesk’s early access program, companies can now reach WhatsApp’s 1.5 billion users to manage service interactions and engage with customers directly through Zendesk Chat. This marks the continued expansion of Zendesk’s integration with the WhatsApp Business API into The Zendesk Suite.

Create a consistent conversational experience

Businesses struggle to manage the rapidly increasing number of customer inquiries across a variety of disparate channels. Smooch is the only messaging solution pulling in all customer conversations across web, mobile, and social messaging into a cohesive interface no matter what the channel is. As an API and SDK-based development platform built on AWS, Smooch’s acquisition furthers Zendesk’s commitment to an open, flexible CRM that businesses can harness to build and offer differentiated customer experiences.

“With their launch of Sunshine last year, Zendesk took the bold and disruptive step required to compete for and win the future of CRM,” said Warren Levitan, co-founder and CEO of Smooch  “The decision to combine forces with Zendesk and help further their CRM strategy will allow us to supercharge our existing mission for building the best customer experiences.  We are thrilled to be joining the entire Zendesk team, so many of whom we have had the pleasure to work with over the past three-and-a-half years.”

Together, Zendesk and Smooch will drive the next wave of connected conversations on a variety of messaging channels, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, LINE, WeChat, Telegram, Twitter DM, Viber, Kakao Talk, SMS text, RCS and through native web iOS and Android apps. For example, with these expanded capabilities, an online retailer could seamlessly manage an issue with an incorrect shipment or return that starts on social messaging like WhatsApp and shifts to its own native messaging experience in one continuous, informed thread within Zendesk.

In addition to product enhancements, Zendesk announced a Conversation Solutions Team, which will support businesses seeking to leverage Smooch’s best-in-class conversation platform to craft personalized messaging experiences. This team can deliver customized messaging applications such as a global hotel brand that provides customers with a premium, omnichannel guest experience through the ability to message hotel staff on property in real-time for any needs across a range of messaging platforms. 

Empower a collaborative, cross-functional team

Businesses know that the need to connect and collaborate in real-time is critical, and Slack is the preferred communications channel for business. To provide the best experience and service, customer-facing employees need the ability to pull in subject matter experts quickly and easily. Zendesk today announced the general availability of Side Conversations for Slack. Side Conversations empowers teams to work seamlessly together with other departments or partners outside the company without leaving Zendesk. This is especially critical for sales and support who frequently work together to solve and prioritize customer issues. With Zendesk Sell and Support integration, service and sales teams can quickly partner to develop joint solutions with full customer context.

Suite expansion with new integrations

To make great customer experience accessible to everyone, Zendesk launched The Suite in 2018, and it quickly became the company’s most successful product launch ever, driving a 400 percent increase in our customers adopting omnichannel solutions. A core part of The Suite’s success is its robust and growing Zendesk Marketplace, which is expanding with the addition of new Suite Ready partners including Atlassian, Lessonly, Maestro, Stella, Tymeshift, Geckoboard, Statuspage and Ada. These integrations help businesses improve their customer experience (CX) operations in a variety of ways, including training and managing their workforce, tracking KPIs and goals, and monitoring their tickets for quality assurance.

The Smooch acquisition, WhatsApp and Slack integrations, and The Suite expansion were all unveiled at the one-day customer experience event, Zendesk Showcase, taking place in New York today.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Tata Motors Unveils India’s First Small Compact Truck – Tata INTRA


Key Highlights: Product

·            INTRA meets the evolving needs of the new age informed customer who seeks high revenues, low cost of ownership and superior vehicle performance leading to prosperity

·            First compact truck, conceptualized and engineered on a new Modular Platform

·            An all-new rugged & powerful COMPACT TRUCK range built on Tata Motors’ new ‘Premium Tough’ design philosophy

·            Ergonomically designed cabin with car-like design, steering comfort, low noise and comfortable seats - makes INTRA highly suitable for fatigue free long inter-city trips.

·            Best-in-class features in terms of vehicle power, acceleration, load carrying capacity, driving comfort, superior reliability and durable aggregates

·            Available in two distinct variants – INTRA V10 & INTRA V20, offering superior performance and best-in-class mileage

·            Both variants come with two trim levers, with higher trim having HVAC, music system, LED tail lamps along with enriched and colour coordinated interiors

·            Power train is tuned to suit various duty cycles using Gear Shift Advisor or Economy switch leading to enhanced fuel efficiency

·            Short turning radius allows easy manoeuvrability in high traffic intra-city trips

Key Highlights: Service

·            Intra customers will get the various benefits under Sampoorna Seva umbrella - including 24X7 workshop, attractive AMC packages, breakdown assistance and accidental insurance for drivers

·            Customer can enjoy benefits of TATA Samarth which offers health insurance, hospitalization cover, support in child education and financial literacy

Strengthening its position as pioneers and leader of the Small Commercial Vehicles (SCV) segment, Tata Motors, India’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer today launched a range of new generation ‘compact truck’ – the Tata INTRA. Conceptualised post extensive market research and customer feedback, Tata INTRA is engineered and built to offer class-leading features, meeting the demanding and ever-evolving requirements of the SCV industry. Tata INTRA promises to deliver superior performance, increased pay-load capacity, high fuel efficiency and durability, all leading to significant increase in revenues and lowest cost of operation to the discerning owners.

With a best in class, 2512 mm x 1602 mm load body length, Tata INTRA comes in two variants- V10 and V20. The INTRA range starts from INR 5,35,000 onwards depending on the variant, thereby offering a superior value proposition to our discerning customers.

The Tata INTRA is powered by future ready engines, which are scalable to BSVI norms. The INTRA V20 comes with 1400 cc DI Engine with 52KW (70 HP) & INTRA V10 is powered with 800 CC DI Engine delivering 30KW (40 hp), offering quick acceleration, faster trips and low turnaround time. The vehicle has a standard power steering fitment and with low turning circle radius of 4.75m, it ensures easy manoeuvrability even on narrow and congested roads. The power train is tuned to suit various duty cycles using Gear Shift Advisor or economy switch, leading to enhanced fuel efficiency. INTRA also has a 5-speed gearbox with cable shift mechanism offering a pleasurable driving experience.

Speaking at the launch, Mr. Guenter Butschek, CEO and MD, Tata Motors, said, “As the leader in the Commercial Vehicle industry we are playing a key role in shaping the CV market by introducing global products based on deep customer insights. We have strengthened our actions under the ongoing turnaround. With intense sales activation, new product launches, continued thrust on cost reduction, we have been able to improve our CV business performance. We want to strengthen our leadership position across all segments we operate in. The Tata INTRA is a testament of our unrelenting commitment to introduce products that embody engineering passion and bolster customer value proposition and it will be a game changer for us in the SCV segment as it offers several industry-first features, setting high standards in the market.”

Commenting on the launch of Tata INTRA vehicles, Mr. Girish Wagh, President – Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors, said, “The customer preferences are shifting everyday towards better performance, advanced features and higher returns. After a thorough research, we learnt about the growing aspirations of the new age customers. These insights have helped us conceptualize and develop the Tata INTRA. It is ideal for customers who want to upgrade their commercial vehicles for higher business returns and lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), enabled by proven and reliable aggregates and driving comfort leading to longer, fatigue free drives. We have always led the industry and created new sub-segments to create demand. The launch of India’s first compact truck, fills an important gap in the Indian SCV market and we are bringing yet another game-changing product after our much successful product Tata ACE.”

Innovative Features:

The Tata INTRA has a boltable full forward robust body shell cabin and has been intelligently designed with a smart nose along with seatbelts with ELR (Emergency Locking Retractor). Built on a hydroformed frame, the INTRA is comparatively lighter. The smartly engineered cabin space, improved ergonomics and low NVH levels, boasts of stylish car-like interiors with sufficient storage capacity and comfortable seating, enabling drivers to operate fatigue free over long hauls, which in turn offers significant improvement in productivity. Modern features such as mobile charging point, electronic instrument cluster, big headlamps, large windscreen, lockable glove box, storage on dashboard & door trims, headrest for comfort while driving, pre-fitted music system and AC in the premium version to enhance the fatigue-free driving experience. The gear lever is mounted on the dashboard making longer drives comfortable and tireless for the driver. The front and rear rigid axles and leaf springs ensure superior load carrying capability and low cost of maintenance.

Network strategy and Aftermarket services:

The Company has the most extensive network and extended arm salesman in the form of Tata Gram Mitra, which will be leveraged to penetrate even into small towns. With this, we will be available at every tehsils (over 5000) to serve the customers. The vehicle comes with an industry best warranty of 2 years or 72,000 kms, supported by extensive countrywide network for sales, service and spare parts. The reliable and durable aggregates of TATA Intra combined with its best in class spare part prices ensures low cost of maintenance. Customers will benefit from host of excellent aftermarket support through value added services under the umbrella of ‘Sampoorna Seva’ including a 24X7 workshop, mobile workshops, AMC packages, breakdown assistance and accidental insurance for drivers of Tata INTRA. Customers will also be offered exclusive privileges under the “Samarth program” for driver wellness, which covers areas like Accidental insurance, hospitalization cover, financial counselling and educational assistance packages for their children.

Michelin Introduces the New “MICHELIN PRIMACY 4 ST” Tyres in India

Michelin announced the availability of its “MICHELIN Primacy 4ST tyres” in India. True to its mission of sustainable mobility, this latest update of the popular PRIMACY range, the new tyre is a reference in tyre safety.

After three years of development, this tyre provides a high level of performance on wet roads. Going with its tagline of “Safe when new, Safe when worn (1)”, MICHELIN Primacy 4ST tyres respond to the customers’ need for long lasting performance with exceptional braking results from new until it is worn (down to the level of the tread wear indicator) even when tested in the most demanding wet conditions. Thanks to the use of latest generation elastomers, the new MICHELIN Primacy 4ST tyre delivers a very high level of grip from the first to the last kilometer. To achieve this level of grip, the tread pattern has been optimized with a new design that reveals squarer and less tapered grooves.

Mohan Kumar, Executive Vice President Michelin India said: “We are delighted to bring MICHELIN Primacy 4ST tyres to India. Michelin  is committed to deliver long lasting performance from the first to the last kilometer. This new range will provide motorists with the pleasure of driving without compromising on performance, safety and longevity. Several Michelin patented technologies have been combined to provide this range  with very high performance levels due to a new rubber compound, and tread  pattern  that has been optimized to offer a high performance levels at the end of the tyre’s life.”

FOR SILENT AND COMFORTABLE RIDE (2)

The Evergrip Technology provides outstanding wet grip, thanks to a new tread pattern that provides >50% of additional grooves to evacuate more water (when new and when worn) compared to the previous generation tyre. New rubber compounds, stronger and more consistent bonding of rubber and silica ensure uniform energy dissipation of the tyre when in contact with the wet road for improved comfort. THE 2nd generation Silent Rib Technology provides a quiet, ride thanks to inter-locking bands between tread blocks that minimize air pumping sounds  as the tyre is rolling.

EXCELLENT WET GRIP

MICHELIN Primacy 4ST offers an excellent level of performance in braking on wet roads. When compared to competitor tyres in wet conditions, the new MICHELIN PRIMACY 4ST tyre brakes, on average, 2.3m shorter than its direct competitors and when tested in a worn condition, the tyre brakes 5.2m shorter than the average of the competitor tyres (3)

The new MICHELIN PRIMACY 4ST tyre also simplifies the reading of its wear level. In addition to the presence of a traditional tread wear indicators on the shoulder, it has a MICHELIN marking at the bottom of the tread grooves. These two methods allow users to quickly and simply identify the level of wear of their tyres.

The new MICHELIN PRIMACY 4ST tyre is a concrete demonstration of the Michelin Group’s strategy: consumers must be able to drive safely, throughout the life of the tyre, right down to the legal wear indicator of 1.6 mm. Designed for hatchbacks, entry-level to premium sedans and cross-overs, MICHELIN PRIMACY 4ST is already OE homologated by Mercedes, Volkswagen, Toyota for certain models in specific markets across the world.

Lowe’s Acquires Retail Analytics Platform from Boomerang Commerce

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. has announced it is accelerating its technology capabilities and focus on driving strong retail fundamentals by acquiring the Retail Analytics platform from Boomerang Commerce. The technology will be integrated into the company’s core retail business and bolster strategic and data-driven pricing and merchandise assortment decisions across Lowe’s businesses.

The platform provides a retail analytics solution that processes product and pricing datasets to convert them to insights and actions. The acquisition is designed to assist in modernizing and digitizing Lowe’s approach to pricing.

“One of the key components of our transformation here at Lowe’s is to modernize our technology. Pricing and Assortment Planning have been identified as strategic areas in need of modernization. And when we find the right assets available to buy and advance our strategy, we’ll do that,” said Seemantini Godbole, Lowe’s Chief Information Officer. “Adding this team and technology to our existing capabilities helps us leverage the right data quickly, effectively and successfully.”

Boomerang Commerce was founded by Guru Hariharan in 2012 and is based in Mountain View, California. Lowe’s acquisition includes the proprietary technology and tools for the Retail Analytics platform but excludes customer contracts and related confidential information and data. As part of the transaction, some associates from the Retail Analytics teams based in Bangalore and the United States will join Lowe’s. After this acquisition, Boomerang Commerce’s product CommerceIQ, which automates e-commerce growth for leading consumer brands, will operate as an independent business under the CommerceIQ.ai name with Mr. Hariharan as CEO.

“The Retail Analytics team is thrilled to join Lowe’s and has high regard for the company’s leadership in the home improvement industry,” Hariharan said. “This transaction culminates a successful relationship over the past four years.”

vivo Y91 Smartphone is Now Available with 3GB RAM at Rs 9,990

vivo, the global innovative smartphone brand, today introduced the latest Y91 variant with 3GB RAM to strengthen its Y-series portfolio. The new smartphone features a 15.80 cms (6.22) Halo FullViewTM Display to provide an uninterrupted viewing experience to the users. The device is packed with a massive 4030 mAh battery, a dual rear camera setup featuring a 13+2MP shooter complimented by a Front 8MP camera.

Available in Starry Black and Nebula Purple, the Y91 (3GB) will be available across leading online platforms (Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm), all offline partner outlets and vivo India E-Store at a price of INR 9,990.

Like all vivo devices, the Y91 (3GB) follows our commitment to ‘Make in India’ and is being manufactured at vivo’s Greater Noida facility.

Smile, you’re on Camera

The Y91 (3GB) has a super-clear 13MP main rear camera, and a 2MP secondary rear camera which captures depth-of-field information. Combined they have the power to rival even professional-grade bokeh shots. Just point, shoot, and become the focus of every shot.

The Y91’s sharp, 8MP front-camera captures more facial details. Its AI algorithm detects your gender, age, skin tone, skin texture, and lighting environment. It automatically delivers facial enhancements, personally customized to deliver the most beautiful results.

Say Hello to Halo FullViewTM Display

The all-new 15.80cm Halo FullView™ Display stands head and shoulders above conventional notch-displays, featuring a maximized screen-to-body ratio of 88.6%. The camera centered up top evokes the halo of a rising sun, casting its warmth and beauty upon the world. Its small size and clever design rewards users with a more expansive mobile viewing experience.

Juice-Up with a 4030 mAh Battery

The high-capacity 4030mAh battery is further complemented by an exclusive, smart power management system. It allows you to play at will, even when on the go, without worrying about running out of power.

Multitask With Ease

At the heart of the Y91 (3GB) lies the Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 octa-core processor with a 12nm design. This results in faster processing speeds while consuming less energy. Activate apps faster, switch between them seamlessly, and enjoy a smooth user experience. Moreover, the Y91 (3GB) can run multiple apps with ease, thanks to its 3GB RAM and octa-core processor. The 32GB (expandable up to 256GB) gives you ample freedom to download whatever you want.

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 www.landrover.in   

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 https://www.bangalorewatchco.in/order-renaissance-stri

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.

Availability
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."

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