Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Zee News And BARC Exit Poll Predicts A Robust Win For BJP In Gujarat And Himachal Pradesh


* AAP might sweep Delhi in MCD elections

Zee News, one of the leading and most trusted news channels in India, along with Broadcast Assessment and Rating Council conducted exit polls for the Delhi MCD elections and Gujarat & Himachal Assembly Elections on Monday. The Exit polls predict BJP reigning in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh while AAP sweeping Delhi MCD elections.

The Zee News Exit Polls result of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly Election 2022 showed that the vote share is majorly titled towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). As per Zee News and BARC Exit poll the most critical issues in Gujarat are corruption, inflation, mass urbanisation and unemployment. The BJP has been in power in Gujarat for more than two decades and as per the exit poll of it has been predicted to win a record number of seats (110-125) out of 182 seats. Interestingly, the Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections also included a vote share of 47% for BJP, Congress - 41%, AAP minimum 2%, including 10% for others. Additionally, it was also observed that CM Jairam Thakur received 35 percent of support in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections as the Chief Ministerial candidate. 

The Delhi Municipal Corporation, in total, has 250 wards. The Zee News network has been extensively reporting on the vision expressed by Corporators, Party candidates, and Contestants for the betterment of the nation. As per the exit poll conducted by Zee News, the Aam Aadmi Party by Arvind Kejriwal is predicted to have a massive vote share in the MCD Elections 2022. In terms of vote share, BJP 39%, Congress 11%, AAP is expected to get 46%, and others 4%.

Commenting on the Zee News Exit Polls result projections, Abhay Ojha, CBO said, “We, at Zee News, always look forward to presenting news to our viewers and readers from a national perspective, with an in-depth analysis and fact-based information. Zee, as a reliable news network, strongly believes that a positive change in people’s thought process can bring a positive change for the whole nation.”

The exit polls help in projecting the number of seats several political parties are likely to win in an election. The polls were conducted using Random Sampling Quantitative Data Collection of Assembly Constituencies by Field Survey & CATI Methodology and the results were further telecasted on Zee News and Zee Delhi NCR Haryana. 

About Zee Media Corporation Ltd: Zee Media Corporation Limited is one of India’s leading media and entertainment companies with strong presence in the news and regional entertainment genres and is India's one of the largest News Network with 14 news channels in 7 different languages touching more than 183 Million viewers and digital properties like zeenews.com and dnaindia.com

Airtel Launches ‘World Pass’ – One Pack For Travel Across 184 Countries


Four transformative changes :

* Significantly higher value in terms of data and voice benefits. More economical even compared to local connections abroad

* 24/7 call centre support on call and WhatsApp chat

** Unlimited data for emergency usage and messaging applications

* Power to Manage everything yourself on the Airtel Thanks app

As the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic ebb, we are beginning to witness a massive surge in international travel both for work and leisure. India, in fact, has seen a jump of 3X in international travellers this year, which is likely to double next year.

In order to make staying connected easy, intuitive and compelling, Airtel has launched ‘Airtel World Pass’. The World Pass revolutionises the experience for all international travel because it works seamlessly across 184 countries. So even if you are en-route at an Airport or travelling to two or more countries one pack now covers all your roaming needs.

This change comes on the back of extensive customer research conducted by Airtel that showed that many customers find International Roaming packs in general confusing across the whole global Telco industry. As a result, many are not connected when they want to be. Or they seek complex alternatives of temporary connections abroad. Airtel has now solved this problem structurally with the launch of the Airtel World pass.

Commenting on the launch of the Airtel World Pass, Shashwat Sharma, Director Consumer Business, Bharti Airtel said, “At Airtel, our mission is to solve customer problems so that our experience speaks for itself. The feedback that we have heard on international travel related concerns has compelled us to launch a defining proposition for our customers – the Airtel World Pass. This offers our customers one pack for the globe, significantly greater value, allows them to control what they use on the app and allows for emergency data usage long after the pack allowance is over.” 

“With Airtel World pass, we have set a new standard in the global telecom industry. I am certain our customers will benefit hugely from it as they travel the world, keeping their phones switched on, no matter where they are. As a matter of fact, our new plans offer significantly better value than travel or local sims in most countries.” Sharma added.

Airtel World Pass – Key Features

·               One Plan for travel to 184 countries. No confusion over which zone or pack to select. No need for multiple packs across multiple countries or transit airports

·               24X7 Call centre support for the customer from any corner of the world, absolutely free of cost. A dedicated number 99100-99100 available on call and WhatsApp for all international travelling customer, serviced with a network and experience specialist squad for a real-time resolution of issues.

·               Special Packs for long stay/frequent travellers - Prepaid and postpaid packs specifically designed for frequent travellers and long stay customers that offer up to 1 year validity at an affordable cost.

·               Plans packed with significantly higher value for customers. In addition, customers will have Unlimited data available for emergency usage and messaging applications.

·               All control in the customers hand where they can manage their entire International roaming needs on the Airtel Thanks app, with updates on usage, billing amount or addition of data or minutes as needed.   

For complete details on the new packs, and our entire catalogue of international packs, visit https://www.airtel.in/ir-packs/

KMC Manipal Is Set To Welcome Indian Neurobehavior Researchers And Clinicians To The 1st Indian Neurobehavior Conference


Kasturba Medical College, MAHE is organizing their 1st Indian Neurobehavior Conference between 19th to 21st December 2022 wherein Neuroscientists from various renowned Indian institutes will be attending the event.

The conference is aiming to bridge the gap underlying neuropsychiatric disorders and basic neurobiological mechanisms by bringing together Indian neuroscience researchers and clinicians working on various model organisms like flies, mosquitoes, mice, monkeys, and patient population.

There will be a session for talks and poster presentations which will focus on the function of brain at the molecular, genetic, and neural circuit level which is fundamental for the development of novel therapies targeting the neurodegeneration and neuroimmune dysfunctionalities. 

Speaking about the Conference Dr Pavan Agrawal said, “We are very excited to discuss the function of the brain at molecular, genetic & circuit level with fellow neuroscience researchers. In this unique meeting, we will provide a shared platform to clinicians and basic biomedical researchers and focus on targeting neuronal disorders. I am sure it will be a very stimulating conference for all”

This unique conference will encourage sharing of experiences through round table discussions and mentoring sessions between senior and young researchers in the field. There will be a shared platform for clinicians and basic biomedical researchers with an aim of targeting neuronal disorders.

Disney Grants To Benefit Communities And Wildlife In 25 Countries


-    India grants to protect the Indian Rhinoceros, Snow Leopard and Black Soft-Shell Turtles

Continuing its ongoing efforts to support a healthier planet for people and wildlife, The Walt Disney Company has announced the award of grants to 43 non-profit organizations working with communities across 25 countries to protect more than 60 animal species this year. In India, three non-profits – International Rhino Foundation, Panthera and Turtle Survival Alliance – are beneficiaries of the grants being extended.

The International Rhino Foundation, which creates Rhino habitats in India, will use its grant to protect the Indian rhinoceros by addressing threats of habitat loss and poaching by improving the range and effectiveness of anti-poaching patrols and increasing numbers through a conservation breeding and translocation programme.

Panthera’s snow leopard conservation programme will deploy its grant towards educating villagers, children and religious figures about snow leopards and the threats they face in northern India. Building predator-proof corrals to protest livestock, supporting community income diversification and livestock insurance programmes as well as conducting ecological studies to understand the impact of climate change on habitat use of snow leopard prey species.

The Turtle Survival Alliance, through its Indian Turtle Conservation Programme, is focused on ensuring efficient and effective captive breeding of critically endangered black soft-shell turtles in temple bonds in Assam in north-east India, through breeding and expansion of the head-starting facility at Nagsankar Temple in Tezpur. The programme also seeks to engage local fishermen in the conservation programme apart from community education and awareness efforts and establishing a reintroduction protocol to aid in the recovery of the remaining populations of the turtle.

“As stewards of the environment, we have an obligation to future generations to pass on a cleaner and greener planet to them. Protecting our wildlife and nature is at the heart of our various sustainability programmes and it’s heartening to see the dedication of our NGO partners who are so deeply  devoted to making a happier and healthier planet possible for all,” said George Cherian, Head - Corporate Communications & Enterprise Social Responsibility, Disney Star.

Disney is committed to saving wildlife and building a global community inspired to protect the magic of nature together. Since 1995, Disney has directed more than USD120mn and the expertise of our dedicated teams to support organizations working with communities to save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet.

Shriram Finance Limited. Shriram Transport Finance And Shriram City Union Finance Are Now Shriram Finance


* Shriram Finance Limited is a diversified NBFC with Net worth of INR 409 billion

* Catering to the diversified needs of 6.7 million customers in rural and semi-urban India with an AUM of INR 1.71 trillion

* Announces the growth strategy - Driving the Self-employed and Small Business Economy

Shriram Transport Finance Company, the largest financier of commercial vehicles, and Shriram City Union Finance, the largest two-wheeler financer and leader in micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) lending, have been merged to form Shriram Finance Limited (Shriram Finance). Shriram Finance will be a diversified player with a robust net worth of Rs 40,900 Crs and Assets under Management (AUM) of Rs 1,71,000 Crs, the Company caters to over 6.7 million customers across India. The growth strategy for the Company will be focused on driving the self-employed and the MSME economy.

Mr Umesh Revankar, a long-serving Shriram veteran, will serve as Executive Vice Chairman of the merged entity. Commenting on the merger he said, “It is the natural culmination of a journey of 43 years. With the balance sheet strengthened through the merger, we can serve the needs of the market better than ever before. As a customer-focused company, we can bring more products and assist them with access to credit faster. We have invested heavily in technology to improve efficiency and customer service levels. We are looking forward to an exciting phase of sustained double-digit growth.”

Mr YS Chakravarti, MD & CEO, Shriram Finance commented, “The timing of the merger is brilliant. As India is growing, we are seeing robust demand for credit among MSMEs. We are always close to the market with our 3600+ locations. All our business segments– financing commercial vehicles, MSMEs, Personal Loans, Gold Loans, or Vehicle Loans – are poised to grow.”

The company also announced its growth strategy - Driving the Self-employed and Small Business Economy and has chalked out five strategic pillars to drive future growth:

To be the country’s most preferred financial services destination

Focus on self-employed, small businesses and new-to-credit customers

Diversified product portfolio across credit, insurance and investing to capture a larger wallet share

Generate an industry-leading Return on Asset (ROA) and Return on Equity (ROE) in the long term

Delivering customer delight in rural and semi-urban areas by leveraging technology and through empowered employee.

Malaysia Airlines Launches Year-End Sale; Offers Upto 25% Off For Select Destinations


* Get ready for your next international adventure

Malaysia Airlines invites travellers to plan their next adventures during its Year-End Sale and enjoy up to 25% off on airfares to select international destinations from 29 November to 12 December 2022, for travel until 31 August 2023.

Whether to visit loved ones or discover the country’s diverse landscape and unique offerings, holidaygoers can enjoy airfares starting from INR 20,999 all-in to Kuala Lumpur from destinations within India. Customers are also invited to extend their adventure and fly seamlessly to neighbouring cities and countries such as Bali from INR 30,999, Singapore from INR 26,899 and Bangkok from INR 25,999 all-in, via the airline’s Economy Class.

On top of these great fares, Malaysia Airlines is also offering 20% off on add-ons such as seat selection, extra baggage, Golden Lounge access, premium bundle and value bundle allowing customers to travel with convenience and peace of mind. Enrich members will also earn 10% Bonus Enrich Points when they book within this campaign period. Terms and conditions apply.

Amit Mehta, Country Manager-South Asia, Malaysia Airlines, commented, “At Malaysia Airlines, we are committed to connecting people with their loved ones and helping them explore new places. As we approach the year-end holiday season, we invite travellers to take this opportunity and plan for their next adventure. Wherever they choose to fly, we want to reassure our guests that our commitment remains in providing a safe, seamless and convenient end-to-end travel experience from the moment they book their flights and board our aircraft, in line with our brand campaign ‘This is Malaysia Hospitality’. We are hopeful that our customers will make the most of the ongoing sale and we look forward to welcoming them onboard Malaysia Airlines soon!”

For more information and to book your next holiday, visit the official Malaysia Airlines website at www.malaysiaairlines.com or download the app to get the latest promotions conveniently at your fingertips anytime and anywhere! Sign up to become an Enrich member for free at www.enrich.malaysiaairlines.com and start earning Enrich Points today.

About Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines is the national carrier of Malaysia, offering the best way to fly to, from and around Malaysia through its premium and full-service offerings. Malaysia Airlines carries up to 40,000 guests daily on memorable journeys and embodies the incredible diversity of Malaysia; capturing its rich traditions, cultures and cuisines via its inimitable Malaysian Hospitality.

The airline is part of the Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), a global aviation organisation that comprises different aviation business and lifestyle travel solution portfolios aimed at serving global air travel needs. The airline is committed to facilitating safe and seamless travels by placing safety and hygiene as the anchor across all end-to-end consumer touchpoints in line with its MHFlySafe initiative. Via its alliance with oneworld®, Malaysia Airlines offers superior connectivity to more than 900 destinations in 170 territories across the globe. In India, the airline operates 52 weekly flights across six cities including Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kochi.  For more information,  visit www.malaysiaairlines.com

UPI Transactions Witnesses 650% Rise At Semi-Urban And Rural Stores: PayNearby


* PayNearby releases detailed analysis on ‘assisted financial transactions’, in its second edition of Pan-India report titled Retail-O-Nomics

·         25% rise in value and 14% rise in volume of assisted financial transactions via retail counters

·         25% increase in the demand for micro ATMs and mPOS instruments

·         EMI collections for financial institutions and NBFCs have seen a steep growth of over 200%

·         Bill payments service at local stores witnessed an increase of 12% in value and 10% in volume

·         Digital loan for MSMEs sees a spurt of 263%

PayNearby, India’s largest branchless banking and digital network, today said that there was a growth of 25% and 14% in value and volume respectively, in assisted financial transactions across semi-urban and rural retail counters in India in 2022. This indicates a behavioural shift in consumers in these regions, with more citizens adopting assisted digital means for their banking and lifestyle requirements and getting incorporated into the formal economy.

The growth figures have been observed across different product offerings of PayNearby, including Unified Payments Interface (UPI), cash withdrawal, MSME credit, utility payment, cash management, assisted e-commerce and more. They were availed by citizens through local retail counters like kirana stores, mobile recharge stores, medical shops, customer service points (CSPs), travel agents, etc.

As per the report, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions saw a whopping 650% and 500% increase in value and volume across PayNearby retail counters, representing the growing adoption of UPI beyond Tier II regions in the country. This also highlights the pivotal role UPI can play in promoting digital financial inclusion.

The insight was shared as part of the second edition of the pan-India report titled ‘Retail-O-Nomics’, released by PayNearby. The report has been prepared basis transactions across a million plus retail touchpoints throughout the country. The findings of the report are based on business data collected for a comparison period, ranging from January to October 2022 vis-à-vis the same period during 2021.

In a key insight, the report states that the mPOS business has seen more than 100% growth, along with over 25% increase in demand for micro ATMs and mPOS instruments. The upswing in demand for digital payment options at retail outlets underlines the critical role played by small retail stores in bridging the infrastructure gap and driving financial inclusion at the last mile.

Cash withdrawal business through micro ATMs and AePS, which continues to be one of the major income drivers for semi urban and rural digital counters, has seen an overall growth of 8% in value and 9% in volume respectively. Cash withdrawals through micro ATM has witnessed a 25% increase in value and 28% increase in volume as compared to the same period last year. This growth figure shows the growing role played by this portable digital device in ensuring easy accessibility of bank accounts, while helping merchants use cash-at-store more effectively and augment their income. However, there has been a slight dip in the average cash withdrawal per transaction from INR 2620 in 2021 to INR 2595 in 2022.

As per the report, semi urban and rural India were an equal participant to this double-digit growth in assisted financial transactions, and the rate of adoption was comparable between urban and rural underserved demographics.

The report also indicates a sharp growth of over 200% in the cash collection business (including EMIs) with a monthly average of INR 1400 crores, indicating demand for lending and other financing solutions, bouncing back to the pre-pandemic levels. Increased demand was witnessed across most cash collection processes, including collection from logistics and ecommerce companies, which saw a leap of over 89% in volumes. Insurance premiums at retail stores, too, saw a massive 370% in growth and 365% increase in customers during the survey time-period.

Commenting on the report findings, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby, said, “The findings in the report are inspiring and emphasise the fact that Bharat is gearing to walk hand-in-hand with India. Bharat is aspirational, and the increased offtake of green shoot services like assisted commerce, OTT subscription, micro-lending validates our commitment to make these services easily available at a store nearby.

We have serviced close to INR 70,000 crores of digital services in the first 10 months of this calendar year and the steady growth of cash withdrawal business, together with the fast track adoption of some of these green shoot services indicate a steady recovery of our economy post the devastating impact of the pandemic. We will continue to strengthen our efforts to simplify high end technology, so that most services can be democratised and made available to all through our well entrenched Distribution-as-a-Service network.

It is also heartening to see an accelerated demand within the retail community to make assisted financial transactions available at a store nearby. This is not only a great income generator for the merchant, but also helps build the nation grounds up and bridge the gap between Bharat and India. PayNearby, Zidd Aage Badhne Ki.”

Subscription-based digital services, such as OTTs, online education, online gaming have also seen positive growth.  Even though the numbers are small, it validates a latent demand for such services and the growing affinity of digital products in a post pandemic Bharat.

The bill payments service at local stores witnessed an increase of 12% in value and 10% in volume. Mobile recharges grew by 18% over last year. Travel bookings saw a rise of 8% in flight and 6% in rail bookings this festival season, compared to the same period last year, driven largely by visiting friends and family, traveling to their natives for the festival. The report also highlights an 88% uptick in Pan Card issuance quarter on quarter. All of these indicate that the local kirana store has evolved into a multi-utility point for consumers for meeting most of their financial and digital needs.

Micro-credit for MSMEs, also saw a growth of 263% during this period; indicating a huge latent demand for viable credit in this segment that needs to be addressed for India to transition to the next stage of development.

In another interesting observation, around 32% of the banking transactions were registered during the non-banking hours between 6.00 pm to 12.00 am. This underlines the crucial role retail outlets play in serving the masses with their banking and digital needs.

About PayNearby:

Incepted in April 2016, PayNearby is a DPIIT-certified company and India’s leading branchless banking and digital payments network. PayNearby operates on a B2B2C model, where it partners with neighbourhood retail stores and enables them with the tools to provide digital and financial services to local communities. PayNearby’s mission is to make financial services available to everyone, everywhere. The company aims to simplify high-end technology so that it can be easily assimilated at the last mile while transforming the lives of its retail partners and customers.

Today, PayNearby, through its tech-led DaaS (Distribution as a Service) network, serves 75% of India and is enabling services like cash withdrawal, remittance, Aadhaar Banking, bill payment and recharges, savings, travel, digital payments, insurance and more. Currently, PayNearby’s 50 lakh-plus micro-entrepreneurs across 20,000+ PIN codes assist 20+ crore customers across the country to the tune of more than ~7500 crores GTV per month.

To know more: www.paynearby.in

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