Thursday, March 9, 2017

Fishchain Leverages on Ecommerce Tech to Expand Presence in India

Fish Chain, Bangalore-based startup and a for-profit, social venture has launched Fishchaincat and Chatbot aimed to make seafood available in Bengaluru and expand in a phased manner across India.

After having done its pilot operations over a year ago in Coimbatore, the company has now rolled out operations in the city with new technology innovations.  Now technology and innovation power Fishchaincat every level, but the two key innovations that emphasize the brand’s focus on quality are its Chatbot led ordering process and its first of its kind van delivery model.

The bot commerce has been hosted on IBM Watson platform and comes with smart Artificial Intelligent (AI) self learning bot . So from March 15, 2017 customers can order sea food of any variety on chat. Roy Nathan, CEO and Co-founder of Fishchain said, “Our Fishchaincat and Chatbox are future of e-commerce in India and have invested extensively on it.  Customers can order in their natural language and also track, schedule the order according to their convenience. Using technology we shall reach out to the customers in a shorter time.”

The FishChain chatbot, codeveloped with tech partner PnP Labs, enables consumers to order seafood straight from their smartphones with a few simple texts. The chatbot is one of the few in the country to be enabled by IBM’s Watson Platform as a result of IBM’s association with FishChain’s technology partner.

Multiple rounds of quality checks ensure that the only the best of the day’s catch makes its way to Fish Chain’s order fulfilment centers, where highly trained Fish Chain staff cut, clean, weigh and pack a range of seafood into hygienic, odour-free packaging for delivery. Every FishChain package comes with an innovative code QR code, which when scanned, lets consumers trace where and when their seafood was caught, showcasing the brand’s commitment to quality & transparency.”

Fishchain seeks to address the underserved seafood space, with a brand new seafood shopping experience on a fully integrated supply chain that is built on community, technology and consumer convenience

Nathan explained Fishchain’s focus on community, “At the heart of the Fishchain family are small, independent fishermen from whom we source directly and ethically. We’ve cut out the middlemen from the industry, allowing us to give fishermen their fair due, and consumers fresher fish faster.”  

Committed to working with the marginalized community of independent fisher folk, Fish Chain has not only introduced a first of its kind cashless payment system to ensure that the fishermen are paid promptly and transparently, but is also plowing back 10% of their annual profits into the general welfare of the community.

Naveen Chander, COO and CO-founder elaborated “We pride ourselves on placing quality over cost, not only within the Fishchain system, but also with our community of fishermen. Our fishermen understand the benefits of the long term relationship we’re building and are showing strong interest to adopt better quality control systems including handling of fishes, which helps us to ensure the quality of seafood.”  

Technology and innovation power Fishchaincat every level, but the two key innovations that emphasize the brand’s focus on quality are its chatbot led ordering process and its first of its kind van delivery model.

Fishchain’s fleet of custom designed, temperature controlled FishVans are the first of their kind in India.  Driving up to consumer’s doorsteps with a display that showcases the day’s catch in a refrigerated, completely hygienic, odour free manner, the Fishvans offer unparalleled consumer convenience.

Envisioned as a for profit enterprise with social development at its heart, the founders of Fish Chain are committed to ensuring the benefits of seafood are enjoyed, even by those who may not have access to them traditionally.

With the belief that healthy, happy children are the foundation for a better tomorrow, Fish Chain not only offers a range of kid friendly options for retail consumers, but is working with orphanages, schools and NGOs to providing the same health benefits to kids from disadvantaged backgrounds atleast twice a week. In addition, the brand is working with Amritha University’s “Fish for Food” program to develop ways to help the healthy protein in seafood reach disadvantaged urban communities.

With the launch happening on International Women’s Day, Nathan  added “Women make up nearly 40% of fisher folk, but are themselves highly marginalized in what is a male dominated industry. Fish Chain is honoured to work with the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation to find ways to support fisherwomen package and market their produce, with 100% profits going back to support and build the fisherwoman community.”

Idea Money’ s New App Comes with Unique Features for a faster Customer Experience

With a focus on catalysing digital transactions in line with the government’s vision of a cashless economy, to enable mobile users transact securely and conveniently, Idea Cellular has redesigned the Idea Money* app for both Android and iOS users. The new app now comes loaded with a host of unique and exciting features.

The new app can be used by both, Idea users as well as non-users, on their smartphones. The retailer interface of the app enables retailers to pull payments from feature phone users through a USSD based transaction.

Based on research and user feedback the new and improved Idea Money app comes with a visually appealing interface and added benefits that provide a smoother and friction free navigation experience, giving users easier discoverability and navigation access. The app also features exciting and innovative iconography, theme, and design, along with the following unique features:

Request Money and Split Bill Features: This unique feature enables users to share money or expenses with friends and family in a more convenient and effortless manner. Users can now add their friends and family amongst whom the bill is to be split, and request money thereon.

Standing Instructions Feature: This unique feature for bill payments will also allow Idea users to conduct cyclical payments such as payments of Idea postpaid bills or prepaid recharges without any hassle. This can be done by setting a one-time instruction for conducting the transaction in the required cycle.

The Idea Money app also offers users the benefit of donating money to their favourite charities with a single click. Currently 10 charitable organizations can be reached out through the app, including Concern India Foundation, CRY, Give India, HelpAge India, PETA and Shree Siddhivinayak Temple Trust. Some of the other useful offerings that the app now features include app notification, offers section, a transactions history section and customer personalization.

According to Sudhakar Ramasubramanian, CEO (Designate), Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank Ltd said,“Our new and improved Idea Money App features a vibrant interface which caters to the digitally savvy users, who have in the wake of the demonetization drive, started using payment wallets more frequently. Based on our research and user feedback, we have redesigned the app to be more visually appealing, as well as added a number of new and useful features that will make cashless transactions more secure, accessible and convenient for users. We are committed towards continuously innovating and building new product propositions that work for our partner's and customer's benefit.”

Idea Money has witnessed a huge upsurge both in volumes and usage values, post demonetisation and has almost reached 1 million downloads on the Android platform. There has also been an increase in load money on the wallet through Debit card, Credit card and Internet Banking.

Idea Money is redefining cashless transactions through its unique features that include the recently announced Retailer Assisted Model (RAM) and the availability of USSD based transactions. RAM enables retailers to pull payments and conduct transactions via Idea Money while the USSD feature enables customers without a smartphone to conduct cashless transactions, via an SMS based platform for feature phones.

*Idea Money is a digital wallet offered by Idea Cellular Ltd. through its subsidiary Idea Mobile Commerce Services ltd.

Atos Delivers First Applications for Siemens MindSphere IoT OS

Atos, a leader in digital transformation, is the first partner to deliver mobile applications for MindSphere, the open, cloud-based IoT (Internet of Things) operating system from Siemens. These applications enable manufacturers to access and analyze production data via their mobile devices, enabling them to efficiently manage production, resolve conflict and optimize resources to improve plant productivity. The first six MindSphere applications from Atos include the Manufacturing Sustainability App and the Production Confirmation App.

The apps integrate the production data with that from the various management systems, such as Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Using Big Data Analytics, the apps enable users to receive role-specific and position-specific data about the current and future status of production. With these apps users are able to respond to and manage emerging problems in the production process in a timely manner, streamlining production processes. These Atos apps will be available to end-users in MindSphere version 2.0.

"Our IoT operating system MindSphere coupled with these new applications create concrete added value for customers," says Dr. Ralf Wagner, COO MindSphere at Siemens. "We are delighted that Atos is committed to this open ecosystem and is creating specific solutions on this basis."

“Atos is one of the first partners of MindSphere. We bring integration, infrastructure, consulting and security services as well as expertise in the development of ready-to-use applications, in order to seamlessly connect MindSphere customers with their existing IT systems” said Philippe Miltin, senior vice president of Manufacturing, Retail and Transportation, Atos. "Our objective is to provide more applications over the coming year."

Monday, March 6, 2017

Tech Mahindra to Acquire US Healthcare IT Services CJS Solutions Group for $110 Million

Tech Mahindra Ltd., a specialist in digital transformation, consulting and business reengineering today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire CJS Solutions Group LLC, a US-based healthcare Information Technology consulting company which does business as (DBA) “The HCI Group.”

Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, The HCI Group works with some of the world’s most prestigious Tier-I healthcare service providers, primarily in the US and UK, focusing on providing end-to-end implementation of Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software, training and support services. The HCI Group has a large pool of Epic and Cerner (healthcare software) certified professionals, and it is a leading implementation firm for these leading companies globally. The company also has a presence in Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, and employs more than 500 professionals globally.

The HCI Group’s services include enterprise-wide advisory services, with a focus on IT system implementation and training, as well as specialty service lines in integration, testing, go-live, clinical adoption, optimization, HIMSS EMRAM and cyber security.

“Healthcare is one of the few sectors globally that is driving adoption of digital technologies. The acquisition will not only position Tech Mahindra as a significant player in the healthcare provider space, but will also provide an opportunity to go deeper in this space via EMR implementation and surrounding services route,” said C P Gurnani, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tech Mahindra.

The HCI Group has been recognized as one of the fastest growing private companies in the USA, by various journals. INC magazine has consistently ranked The HCI Group as one of the fastest growing private companies across all sectors (#3 in 2013; #13 in 2014). Earlier this month, the company was recognized as the #11 fastest growing consulting company by the Consulting Magazine.

For 12-month period ended 30th September 2016, the company had revenues of US$ 114 million. The Enterprise Value is US$ 110 million; Tech Mahindra will make an upfront payment of US$ 89.5 million for purchase of 84.7% stake in the Company. The balance stake of 15.3% will be acquired over a period of three years.

“The acquisition aligns very well with our DAVID strategy where ‘Digitalization’ is one of the five main pillars of our future growth strategy. It also aligns perfectly with our new brand philosophy – Connected World. Connected Experiences.” said Atul Kunwar, President & CTO of Tech Mahindra.

“I truly believe that Tech Mahindra is the right partner for us to improve the healthcare industry through a combination of disruption, innovation and cost reduction. What better way to support our customers than by joining with the global leader in digitalization and connected technologies,” said Ricky Caplin, CEO, The HCI Group.

Healthcare and Life Sciences has been one of the focus areas for Tech Mahindra globally and the acquisition will help in consolidating the company’s position in this space. The Company offers innovative and end-to-end integrated solutions for healthcare providers. Its solutions enhances the efficiency of physicians, hospitals, ancillary facilities, clinics, governmental health bodies and public health organizations.

Tech Mahindra was supported on this deal by due diligence advisor Ernst & Young and legal advisor Greenberg Traurig, LLP.  Lodestone Corporate Advisors was the exclusive advisor to Tech Mahindra on the overall transaction.

The HCI Group’s financial advisor for the transaction is Allen and Company LLC, with Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough LLP serving as its legal counsel.

The transaction is expected to close by April 2017, subject to the regulatory approvals.

MUDRA Scheme Can Be The Game Changer For Economic Stability: S Gurumurthy

By Manu Sharma

MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency) was brought in to address the issue of financial assistance to small and medium enterprises and is a potential game-changer for the economy, however, the RBI put a brake saying banks have no money to lend, said S Gurumurthy, Economic Analyst and Columnist.

Addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Annual Members Meet 2017 he said now that money is there, MUDRA will also work. This will be the extended benefit for the Informal sector, as we all know, contribute 50 per cent to the GDP and 90 per cent to the total employment. 

Gurumurthy while addressing the topic on the Economy Fast Forward - Demonetization, GST, Budget 2017 and Digital India in Bengaluru he says that SMEs sector are the ones taking the maximum hit nowI’m not saying there have been no problems during the demonetisation drive, and there was a miscalculation on the nature and extent of problems. It is more than possible that the RBI may have thought printing 6-7 lakh crore currency would have been enough because it was expected that only Rs 10 lakh crore would come back to the system. This kind of mis-judgement may have happened. But, the fact is that this measure definitely will help change the course of economy from speculation to real growth and from asset appreciation to productive growth. 

Gurumurthy also stressed that Indian government has always been in favour of borrowed economic theories “India Centric think tank is essential for any such inevitable step like the note ban. No burrowed theories can be work for the India economy.” 

Others who spoke at the event include Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd and Ravi Raghavan, Chairman, CII Karnataka State Council.

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