Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dubai Chamber to Open First India Office in Mumbai During 2017

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry plans to open its first Indian office in Mumbai later this year. Senior officials from Dubai Chamber led by Chairman Majid Saif Al Ghurair and UAE Ambassador Ahmed Al Banna met Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis to discuss on approaches to strengthen business and partnerships between Dubai and Mumbai.

The Dubai Chamber confirmed that Chief Minister Fadnavis supported the opening of their office in Mumbai. They have also invited the Chief Minister and Indian business delegation to visit Dubai.

The visiting Dubai Chamber delegation also hosted discussions with Private Sector Focus Group on the new ways India and UAE can enhance economic cooperation. Of all new companies that registered with Dubai Chamber last year, 29% were Indian, bringing the total number of Indian members to over 36,000.

“We see a host of opportunities for business synergies between Dubai and Mumbai and the presence of the Ambassador Ahmed Al Banna shows the commitment of UAE to India. We had lively discussions, which raised many important subjects regarding doing business in Mumbai,” said Chairman of Dubai Chamber Majid Saif Al Ghurair.

 “We have a strong commitment and will be encouraging Dubai companies to open up business in Mumbai and to strengthen public-private partnerships.”

The Dubai Chamber delegation is visiting Mumbai and Ahmedabad, as part of its Global Business Forum series roadshow.

The delegation includes dignitaries and senior businessmen from the UAE visiting stakeholders in the public and private sector in Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The delegation will also meet up with the Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani and discuss new ways to enhance economic cooperation between Dubai and Gujarat.

Established in 1965, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a non-profit public entity, whose mission is to represent, support and protect the interests of the business community in Dubai by creating a favourable business environment, supporting the development of business, and by promoting Dubai as an international business hub.

Dubai Chamber Applauds Indian Government’s Ease of Doing Business Initiative

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has commended the strengthening of trade and commerce relationship between India and Dubai, crediting this growing relationship to the ease of doing business initiative by the Government at the Centre.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first Indian PM to visit the Gulf nation and this followed by two visits of the crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed last year and in January 2017 to preside over the Republic Day celebrations has strengthened the ties between India and Dubai, said Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Majid Saif Al Ghurair.

Dubai Chamber has placed a strategic focus on strengthening the Emirate’s ties with India. The country is a major part of our expansion strategy and we are excited to be opening our representative office in India later this year,” Majid Saif Al Ghurair said while addressing a delegation of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

“India offers plenty of exciting trade and investment opportunities which businesses in the UAE stand to benefit from. The country is pushing ahead with plans to expand its infrastructure, develop cluster cities, and boost foreign investment in various sectors.”

Dubai Chamber and Dubai-headquartered DP World, which has operations in India, said that relationships between India and Dubai have taken a completely different turn after the PM Modi’s visit in August 2015, followed by the crown Prince of Abu Dhabi’s visits.

“Partnership between India and Dubai is growing stronger by the day and the government is making all efforts to give assistance to business on both sides,” said Anil Singh, Chairman / Senior Vice President and Managing Director - Subcontinent  UAE - India Business Council / DP World.

“Bureaucracy is major challenge faced by businesses operating in India; however, we believe that doors have been opened up for investments to increase in both countries. We also believe that the ease of doing business has been a major push and it will grow with openness and constant dialogues.”

Recently, DP World Group Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem had announced investments of $1 billion in India’s ports, logistics and free trade zone, in addition to its current large portfolio.

Bihar Government & Megasoft Signs MoU to Enhance IT Services with Cloud Technologies

Megasoft Limited, a leading technology company, announced today, the award of cloud-enabled solution and services contract by the Bihar State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd. (BELTRON). The state Government of Bihar, through BELTRON, plans to establish state-of-the-art cloud computing facility for use by its various e-Governance programs and other IT-driven initiatives.

The cloud-enabled State Data Centre (SDC) named ‘Bihar Cloud’ is one of the important elements for supporting initiatives of National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). The primary purpose of the cloud computing solution is to establish a viable ‘Private’ cloud environment for use by the various e-Governance applications of Bihar.

Megasoft, acclaimed for its sophisticated cloud deployments, will provide state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology solution and services to address various needs of multiple line departments within the state that come under the purview of Bihar Cloud. While the solution is focused primarily on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), other services such as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) will complement and be deployed on top of the basic IaaS services.

Rahul Singh, Managing Director, BELTRON said, “In the past, applications and websites of state departments were hosted on different servers. In such a scenario, introduction of a new application or website required all other applications and websites to be brought down. With ‘Bihar Cloud’, sufficient space will be allocated to various state Government departments based on their requirements. The unique feature of this project is that the cloud-based implementation will also further strengthen the security aspect of all the applications. The inauguration of the solution is planned shortly”.

G V Kumar, CEO and Managing Director of Megasoft said, “Virtualization and the cloud mean much more than mere consolidation. Our Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution will not only ease BELTRON’s infrastructure management efforts but also provide them the ability to automatically scale-up or scale-down services hosted in the cloud, based on user demand. By addressing the systems and information technology needs from a holistic perspective, our delivery model will ensure that BELTRON implements ‘Bihar Cloud’ in the most effective manner”.

Megasoft cloud-enabled solution is agnostic to the underlying hardware, storage, network and operating system. Besides enabling end customers to automatically provision services via a web portal it provides service assurance for maintenance and operations activities performed by the users.

Indian CIOs are Prioritizing Digitalization over Conventional Technologies

CIOs in India are prioritizing digitalization and rivaling global top performers when it comes to their commitment to digital business, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner’s annual global survey of CIOs found that average IT budgets in India are expected to grow 10.7 percent in 2017, nearly five times faster than the overall global average of a 2.2 percent increase. However, India is struggling with significant IT talent gaps.

The 2017, Gartner CIO Survey gathered data from 2,598 CIO respondents in 93 countries and all major industries, representing approximately $9.4 trillion in revenue and public-sector budgets, and $292 billion in IT spending. Sixty five Indian CIOs responded to the 2017 Gartner CIO Survey.

“India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and Indian CEOs are looking to their CIOs to deliver on the promise of digitalization,” said Partha Iyengar, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “Indian CIOs are being given the budgets to invest in digitalization and the game-changing technologies that support it, but IT organizations remain immature in some respects and lack key resources. How Indian CIOs deal with the challenges caused by rapid business change and opportunities will help determine the future success of their enterprises.”

When asked how much their company's revenue will grow in 2017, the Indian CIOs surveyed reported that they expected average revenue growth of 12.6 percent. This is much higher than the global average of a 4 percent rise in company revenue among respondents.

The rapid growth in the IT budget poses an extra challenge for Indian CIOs, who will have to be even more creative than their peers elsewhere in finding the skills they need to pursue digital transformation. On the one hand, leaders have committed to using digital technology for business advantage, but skills and resources topped the list of worries at 21 percent.

“Indian CIOs have the money to spend, but the availability of talent and skills necessary to implement key projects remains a significant challenge,” said Iyengar. “The lack of business analytics skills is a global concern, and one that Indian CIOs feel keenly with 35 percent of respondents listing it as a top talent concern. Twenty-five percent of Indian respondents list overall lack of skills as a top-three talent gap, compared with 12 percent of overall respondents. A quarter of Indian CIOs also reported a talent gap in digital business and marketing while 19 percent cited lack of specific technical skills.”

“Indian companies have committed to digital business as resolutely as the world's top-performing enterprises,” said Iyengar. “Like their top-performing counterparts, Indian CIOs list digital business and growth or market share as their enterprises' top strategic business priorities through 2017. In fact, Indian CIOs say it even more emphatically with 37 percent listing digital business as a top priority compared to 28 percent of global top performers and 21 percent of all respondents.”

These business priorities have altered the focus of Indian IT organizations. Indian CIOs mirror global top performers when asked what their IT organizations emphasize. For example, almost 9 out of 10 Indian CIOs stress support for digital business over optimizing IT costs, and almost 80 percent say they emphasize innovation over daily operations.

The commitment Indian CIOs have made to digitalization, involves trade-offs and risks. Today, digitalization accounts for 23 percent of the total IT budget in Indian IT organizations which is more than typical performers (18 percent) but still significantly below top performers (33 percent). Indian CIOs plan to accelerate their funding of digitalization by 2018 to 35 percent of total IT budget compared to a predicted 43 percent among top performers.

“The strong emphasis on digitalization by Indian CIOs comes at the expense of more conventional technologies. Infrastructure, data centers, information security and networking rank much lower among Indian CIOs than even the top performers,” said Iyengar. “This is likely an indication of the fact that Indian CIOs have focused on establishing the foundational capabilities over the past decade or so, and they are now concentrating on addressing the competitive challenges by aggressively investing in digital business.”

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Microsoft Teams Now Available for Office 365 Customers Globally in 19 Languages

Microsoft Corp. has announced the general availability of Microsoft Teams, the company’s new chat-based workspace in Office 365. The new tool for team collaboration is now available to Office 365 business customers in 181 markets and 19 languages.

Customers worldwide are choosing Microsoft Teams to enable collaboration within their organizations.  Since announcing the preview in November, more than 50,000 organizations have started using Microsoft Teams, including Alaska Airlines, ConocoPhillips, Deloitte, Expedia, J.B. Hunt, J. Walter Thompson, Hendrick Motorsports, Sage, Trek Bicycle and Three UK.

“In a world where information is abundant and human time and attention remain scarce, we aspire to help people and groups of people be more productive, wherever they are,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.“Office 365 is the broadest platform and universal toolkit for creation, collaboration and communication. Today we are adding a new tool to Office 365 with Microsoft Teams, a chat-based workspace designed to empower the art of teams.”

Office 365 is designed to meet the unique workstyle of every group with purpose-built, integrated applications: Outlook for enterprise-grade email; SharePoint for intelligent content management; Yammer for networking across the organization; Skype for Business as the backbone for enterprise voice and video; and now, Microsoft Teams.

According to Laurie Koch, vice president of global customer service at Trek Bicycle, Microsoft Teams is already streamlining the company’s work by providing assets and tasks in context: “Across Trek’s global teams, the integrated collection of Office 365 apps serves up a common toolset to collaboratively drive the business forward. We see Microsoft Teams as the project hub of Office 365 where everybody knows where to find the latest documents, notes and tasks, all in line with team conversations for complete context. Teams is quickly becoming a key part of Trek’s get-things-done-fast culture.”

Microsoft has introduced more than 100 new features to Teams since November, including: an enhanced meeting experience, with scheduling capabilities; mobile audio calling, with video calling on Android now and coming soon to iOS and Windows Phone; email integration; and new security and compliance capabilities. The company has also delivered new features to make Microsoft Teams accessible, such as support for screen readers, high contrast and keyboard-only navigation. Guest access capabilities and deeper integration with Outlook, and a richer developer platform are targeted for June of this year.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

LifeCell Drives on Community Stem Cell Banking for Growth in India

LifeCell International – India’s leading stem cell provider, a pioneer in stem cell research– announced the launch of Baby Cord Share, Community Stem Cell banking to address the need for creating a large inventory of stem cells in the country. BabyCord Share brings together the unique benefits of private and public banks, while effectively addressing the challenges of sourcing matching stem cells in India.

Community Stem Cell Banking is a first of its kind global initiative of LifeCell, which allows sharing of preserved umbilical cord stem cells amongst the community of parents. This provides larger access to donor stem cells within the community and higher probability for finding a matching donor stem cell for treatments. Community banking also helps parents and siblings in accessing stem cells from the community pool, thus providing a comprehensive family benefit for treatments.

According to statistics, individual risks of acquiring a blood or immune related conditions that are eventually treatable by stem cells is 1 in 20.  80% of these conditions would require stem cells from a donor, with the remaining would require their own stem cells. Despite the large need, the transplants that are done are relatively very few, due to lack of availability of matching stem cells for treatment and prohibitive costs in sourcing matching stem cell units.

India has a listing of 1,80,000 bone marrow stem cell donors, which is far less than 1% of the global stem cells donor base, despite accounting for 20% of world population. Moreover nearly 40-50% of these bone marrow stem cell donors are either unavailable or refuse to donate at the time of request.

Mayur Abhaya, MD and CEO, LifeCell said, “With increasing awareness amongst the parents preserving their baby’s stem cells, community banking could help increase the inventory by more than 50,000 every year. Through community banking of cord blood units, India has the potential to become the largest inventory of stem cells globally, increasing the scope of potentially lifesaving stem cell transplants for babies, their families, their communities and others of Indian origin worldwide.

 As per a study funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), if 2.5 lakh stem cell units of Indian origin are made available, chances of patients in India finding a matching stem cell unit will exceed that of even a patient in advanced countries such as U.S. Moreover, the cost of sourcing matching stem cells from public banks from elsewhere in the world could cost around Rs 15 to 20 lakhs making it unaffordable to many.

Dr. Prasad Narayanan, Senior Consultant - Medical Oncology, MD (General Medicine), DM (Medical Oncology) said, “At a time when certain conditions require donor stem cells for transplants are almost 4 times higher than conditions that use patients’ own stem cells, Community stem cell banking is a welcome move from LifeCell, addressing access to donor stem cells of Indian origin which will help future generations stay protected”

Everyday around thousands of babies are born in India and the availability of an umbilical cord donated and stored could be abundant to treat many medical conditions.

 Dr. Jyothsna Madan, MD (OBG) Sr. Obstetrician and Gynaecologist said “Off late there have been awareness and trend amongst parents in preserving their baby’s stem cells at birth. With community stem cell banking, the decision towards preserving umbilical cord stem cells gains larger significance with added protection for the child and the additional protection for the family too”

In order to encourage more people to donate to the Community Bank, LifeCell offers benefits like zero retrieval cost, open access to any matching unit, immediate availability and a large inventory, thereby increasing probability of getting the right match. The cost of stem cell transplant for the donor or sibling would be compensated by LifeCell as token of gratitude for signing up for the community bank. The community member can also avail a full refund of membership fee if the sample is released to another member, thereby incentivizing the donor.

Everyday around thousands of babies are born in India and the availability of an umbilical cord donated and stored could be abundant to treat many medical conditions.

V. Ravi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, LifeCell said “Community banking is a new perspective where the baby can bless the family with the protection of stem cells. With an addition of 50,000 units to the community bank every year, notwithstanding the existing inventory of 2,00,000 units of existing customers which may get added to the community.’’

The community stem cell banking will be available to customers with immediate effect at a starting price of Rs 16,990 with an Annual Storage Fee of Rs 4,000 per annum. LifeCell also offers additional long-term plans wherein customers can choose to prepay the storage fee. BabyShield, LifeCell’s preventive genetic screening and diagnostic testing services, is India’s market leader for newborn screening services and recently forayed into prenatal screening.

Mobileye - Driverless Car Technology Firm Now Part of Intel Inc

 US chipmaker Intel is taking a big bet on driverless cars with a $15.3bn takeover of specialist Mobileye.
Intel will pay $63.54 a share in cash for the Israeli company, which develops "autonomous driving" systems.
Mobileye and Intel are already working together, along with German carmaker BMW, to put 40 test vehicles on the road in the second half of this year.
Intel expects the driverless market to be worth as much as $70bn by 2030.
Jerusalem-based Mobileye has contracts with 27 car makers. It also controls about two thirds of the market for software that runs automatic emergency braking and semi-autonomous cruise control systems already fitted to cars and trucks.
Technology companies are racing to launch driverless cars.
Earlier this month, Nissan test drove a converted Leaf vehicle and said it hoped to make the cars available by 2020.
Google has also done extensive development of driverless cars.
Announcing the deal, Intel said that as cars "progress from assisted driving to fully autonomous, they are increasingly becoming data centres on wheels".
The chipmaker reckons that by 2020 driverless cars will generate 4,000 GB, or 4 terabytes, of data a day that can be mined for information.
Betsy Van Hees, analyst at Loop Capital Markets, said Intel had very little presence in the automotive market, "so this is a tremendous opportunity for them to get into a market that has significant growth opportunities".
Timothy Carone, a Notre Dame University academic, said: "Major players are finding ways finding ways to position themselves for a change as seminal as the personal computer revolution."
Mobileye was founded in 1999 to develop "vision-based systems to improve on-road safety and reduce collisions". 

The company, along with Intel's automated driving group, will be based in Israel and led by Amnon Shashua, Mobileye's co-founder, chairman and chief technology officer.

Indian Employers Expect Hiring to Remain Steady in April-June but Projects at Considerably Slower Pace

According to the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey released today by ManpowerGroup, the survey of 4,389 employers across India indicates that the hiring activity is expected to remain steady. In fact, employers in only three other countries report more optimistic second-quarter hiring plans than those in India. However, India’s Net Employment Outlook has now dipped by varying margins for five consecutive quarters, and opportunities for job seekers are expected to be considerably weaker than they were a year ago at this time.

AG Rao, Group Managing Director of ManpowerGroup India said, “The hiring outlook will move at a slow but steady pace as the Indian companies gauge the impact of the ongoing global slowdown compounded by automation in the IT sector and talent scarcity for niche skills. However, there will be great demand for high- skill jobs for the new positions created by automation. The government is putting efforts towards creating jobs and making India a manufacturing hub. Budget 2017 is further expected to favor more foreign investments in India and initiatives like 'Make in India' should drive global companies to set-up manufacturing facilities in India.

“Today companies are moving towards artificial intelligence and are best utilizing technology to drive innovation in order to support the successful integration of new technology. In the current employment scenario, job-seekers need to up-skill and diversify into new areas. Skills adjacency, agility and learnability — all of these characteristics are crucial to demonstrating the desire and ability to learn new skills to become and stay employable throughout long career journeys,” added, Rao.  

Sectoral Trends

Workforce gains are anticipated in all seven industry sectors during the coming quarter. The strongest hiring prospects are reported in the Services sector where employers report a Net Employment Outlook of +22%. Healthy hiring activity is also forecast by employers in two sectors with Outlooks of +21% – the Public Administration and Education sector and the Wholesale and Retail Trade sector. Manufacturing sector employers expect steady payroll gains, reporting an Outlook of +16%, while Outlooks of +15% are reported in both the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector and the Mining & Construction sector. Meanwhile, Transportation & Utilities sector employers report the most cautious Outlook of +10%.

Hiring intentions weaken in six of the seven industry sectors when compared with 1Q 2017. Transportation & Utilities sector employers report the most noteworthy decline of 9 percentage points, while Outlooks are 7 and 6 percentage points weaker in the Mining and Construction sector and the Manufacturing sector, respectively. However, employers in the Wholesale and Retail Trade sector report no quarter-over-quarter change.

When compared with this time one year ago, Outlooks decline in all seven industry sectors. Sharp declines of 27 and 24 percentage points are reported in the Manufacturing sector and the Mining and Construction sector, respectively, while the Outlook for the Transportation and Utilities sector is 21 percentage points weaker. Services sector employers report a decrease of 19 percentage points and Outlooks decline by 17 and 14 percentage points in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector and the Wholesale and Retail Trade sector, respectively.

India’s Regional Trends

Employers in all four regions anticipate an increase in staffing levels during 2Q 2017, with the strongest labor market forecast for the South, where the Net Employment Outlook is +29%. Elsewhere, steady payroll gains are expected in the North and the West, with Outlooks of +18% and +15%, respectively, while the Outlook for the East stands at +12%.

When compared with the previous quarter, Outlooks decline by 5 percentage points in both the North and the East, while employers in the West report a decrease of 4 percentage points. Meanwhile, employers in the South report relatively stable hiring intentions.

Outlooks weaken in all four regions when compared with the second quarter of 2016. Steep declines of 26 and 25 percentage points are reported in the East and the West, respectively. Elsewhere, employers in the North report a decrease of 16 percentage points while the Outlook for the South is 12 percentage points weaker.

Global Trends

ManpowerGroup’s second-quarter research reveals that employers in 39 of 43 countries and territories intendto add to their payrolls by varying degrees in the April-June time frame.* Overall, opportunities for job seekers are expected to remain similar to those available in the first three months of 2017, with employers in most countries and territories signaling that they are content to either maintain current staffing levels or engage in modest levels of payroll growth while they monitor ongoing developments in the marketplace.

Hiring plans improve in 17 of 43 countries and territories when compared quarter-over-quarter, decline in 15, and are unchanged in 11. The year-over-year trend reveals a more pronounced uptick with outlooks strengthens in 25 countries and territories, weakens in 14, and remaining unchanged in three. ** Second-quarter hiring confidence is strongest in Taiwan, Japan, Slovenia and India. The weakest forecasts are reported in Brazil, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland. 

Staffing levels are expected to grow in 22 of 25 countries in the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region. Outlooks improve in 12 countries quarter-over-quarter, weaken in six and are unchanged in seven. In a year-over-year comparison, Outlooks improve in 18 countries and decline in only six.  Job seekers in Slovenia, Hungary and Romania stand to benefit from the strongest employer hiring plans in the EMEA region.

Payrolls are expected to increase in all eight Asia Pacific countries and territories. When compared to the prior quarter, Net Employment Outlooks decline in three countries and territories, are unchanged in four, and improve in only one. In a year-over-year comparison the hiring pace is expected to improve by varying margins in four countries and territories and decline in the remaining four. For the second consecutive quarter, employers in Taiwan report the most optimistic forecast in the region—as well as across the globe—while for the fourth consecutive quarter employers in China report the region’s weakest forecast.

Positive Outlooks are reported in nine of the 10 countries surveyed in the Americas. Hiring confidence strengthens in four countries and declines in six when compared to the first three months of 2017. Year-over-year, hiring prospects improve in three countries, weaken in four and are unchanged in three.  For the third consecutive quarter employers in the United States report the strongest hiring plans in the Americas, and for the ninth consecutive quarter employers in Brazil report the weakest.

Infosys, Chennai Celebrates 20 Glorious Years of Learning, Excellence

Infosys Chennai Development Center (DC) that started its operations in 1996 is celebrating two decades of learning, excellence and progress with great gusto. From the center’s first steps in the city in a two-floored office with 300+ employees, the DC has witnessed tremendous growth over the last 20 years in several respects – it has expanded to two sprawling campuses at Mahindra World City and Sholinganallur, increased the employee strength to over 20,000, and houses some of the most sustainability buildings in the world.

To commemorate this milestone of 20 years, Infosys Chennai orchestrated a series of engaging and interactive events at the campus. Talking about the 20-year journey of Chennai DC, Muthuvel Gajapathi, Center Head, Infosys Chennai (Sholinganallur) said, “These 20 years have been an exhilarating and at the same time, a heartening ride for all of the employees who were associated with the DC. At this significant juncture, we celebrate our successes, contemplate on the challenges we overcame, and look forward to shaping the future with greater vigor and resolve.”

Thothathri V, Center Head, Infosys Chennai (M City) added that, “Our success story continues to progress with the unwavering support from our employees, clients, the local community, and all stakeholders who have played a central role in our transformational growth.”

During the celebration, several long-serving employees of the DC were facilitated for their loyalty and immense contribution towards the organization. Mahesh S, a seasoned employee of Chennai DC spoke on this occasion and said,, “I’ve been fortunate to watch the transformational growth of Infosys, in particular at Chennai DC. It is not just the numbers and the title of being a global leader that I’ve privileged to be associated with, but the formation and evolution of the very fabric of the DC – the teamwork, leadership and camaraderie of the employees here that makes me proud to be part of Chennai DC.”

The DC has been an early adopter of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and has strived hard to reach out to communities in and around Chennai. SNEHAM, the CSR arm of Chennai DC, has rolled out several initiatives to empower the society, and has successfully reached out to 20,000+ beneficiaries in areas of education, community service, monetary support and rural upliftment. Some of the flagship activities include Educare, Joy of Giving Week, SNEHAM Shiksha, Note Book Drive, among others. The DC also extended relentless support for Chennai flood relief and rehabilitation activities.

Chennai DC has also championed environmental stewardship by embarking global sustainability practices. Some of the key initiatives include smart buildings with Building Management System (BMS) for better monitoring and control of Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), Lighting and other key energy intensified systems, smart water metering and increased, focused efforts in renewable energy.

IKEA Redefines Equality with its New Parental Policy in India

IKEA has announced a unique parental leave and HR policy in India under which the co-workers, including the men, will be able to avail six months leave on a child’s birth alongside other benefits. The co-workers will be able to avail the leaves with full salary they are entitled to. The policy has been announced on Women’s Day, to extend support for women and men in their role as parents and as professionals.

IKEA, through its many policies, is empowering the co-workers with many unique initiatives to create a great place to work for men and women both.

1.     Equal and balanced working environment with 50/50 men women at all levels in all functions.
2.     Day care centers in connection to each IKEA store.
3.     Transportation to and from work to ensure that everyone arrives to work and home again in a safe and secure way.

IKEA wants to create an inclusive environment for its co-workers that fits both men and women. Policies are defined to create an inclusive environment for all co-workers in different areas of the business and in different levels of the organization. IKEA believes in a culture where the value added by each individual is recognized.

Announcing the new set of initiatives along with other HR policies, Anna-Carin M√•nsson, Country HR Manager, IKEA India said, “I am delighted to share this piece of news with all our co- workers in India who have been working towards building the IKEA brand in India. For us the co-workers are no less than a family and it becomes imperative for us help them through important phase like this of their lives. What makes it all the more special is announcing this on Women’s Day. We remain committed towards empowering our co-workers at the workplace and ensure equal opportunities.”

Under the parental policy, it’s mandatory for male co-workers to submit a letter/proof of return to work from their partner’s employer and has resumed work post maternity leave to avail all the benefits under this policy. Similar benefits will also be extended to co-workers planning surrogacy or adoption.

The female co-workers will also have an option of reduced working hours in the nursing period; additional 2 weeks of leave with full pay in case of tubectomy operation; leave with full pay and benefits for a maximum period of 1 month in case of illness arising out of pregnancy, delivery, premature birth of child.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tata Elxsi Partners with DiSTI to Produce e-Cockpit Demonstrator

The DiSTI Corporation, a leading provider of graphical user interface software and customized 3D virtual maintenance training solutions, announces a strategic partnership with Tata Elxsi to deliver DiSTI’s GL Studio UI products with Tata Elxsi software services. Tata Elxsi developed their e-Cockpit demonstrator using DiSTI’s GL Studio UI Designer.
Tata Elxsi has joined DiSTI’s partner program as a seasoned global development group of UI content creation and implementation professionals. Showcased during CES 2017 in January, Tata Elxsi adopted GL Studio for their e-Cockpit demonstrator for the development of the Infotainment, Cluster and HUD. Throughout the development process, DiSTI provided UI support for the GL Studio UI Designer. The hardware used for the demonstrator is the Renesas R-Car H3 Salvatore-X board. The demonstrator highlights both how GL Studio can seamlessly handle high performance graphics across multiple displays on a single embedded target, as well as the quality design and software implementation capabilities of Tata Elxsi.
“This partnership highlights the versatility of the GL Studio software suite and our commitment to our partners’ and customers’ success,” said Chris Giordano, DiSTI Vice President, Automotive Division. “DiSTI is honored to collaborate with Tata Elxsi on this project, and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with them.”
DiSTI’s GL Studio UI tools are a comprehensive development suite for seamlessly creating cross platform 2D and 3D user interface content. GL Studio streamlines UI asset creation to implementation readiness in one platform without compromise. By consuming industry standard file formats such as Photoshop and 3ds Max into the GL Studio Designer, the graphics artist’s content directly drives the user experience and the UI designer workflow significantly reduces the time to market.
“With more and more driver assistance happening in automobiles through multiple displays, HMI and Graphics are going to play a major role and Tata Elxsi along with DiSTI are investigating futeristic ways of UX and UI implemenations in vehicles”, says Tony K John, Global Head of Marketing, Partnerships & Alliances, Automotive Business Unit, Tata Elxsi
DiSTI and TATA ELXSI will showcase the e-Cockpit demonstration at Embedded World 2017 in Germany on March 14-16. For a full demonstration, visit them in Hall 4, booth 4-131.

Radisson Blu Atria Opens 167 Rooms Upscale Hotel in Bengaluru

Brussels-headquartered hospitality major Carlson Rezidor launched its third property in the city, when it opened the doors of Radisson Blu Atria Bengaluru on Saturday.

The upper up-scale hotel has been set up in partnership with Bengaluru-based A.S.K. Brothers, which has invested a sum of around Rs 100 crore in renovating the earlier Atria Hotel into its present form. 

The new hotel features 167 guest rooms and suites which boast of modern amenities, apart from four food and beverage outlets — One Atria Caf√©, Tijouri. The Whiskey Bar and Tea and Wine Lounge.

The hotel has over 1,250 sq metres of flexible room configurations with its six meeting spaces and two boardrooms, capable of accommodating large gatherings. Other facilities available at the hotel include the Business Class Lounge, business centre, swimming pool, spa, and a fully-equipped fitness centre.

Explaining travel trends in Bengaluru, A.S.K. Brothers Executive Director Sunder Raju said, “The city is a marketplace for corporate and business travelers. However, the stay of corporate travelers has reduced from four days to one-and-half days per trip, meaning more, frequent travel but for lesser durations.”

“Travellers don’t want in-the-face opulence, but a place to comfortable place for some good rest,” he added.

Referring to the erstwhile Atria property getting a new identity, Raju said, “The market has changed, so have customers’ needs. Sometimes we need to reinvent ourselves.”

“The opening of Radisson Blu Atria Bengaluru is a testament of our footprint in the region and a reflection of the unique brand identity that we bring to the city,” said Raj Rana, CEO (South Asia) at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.

Spirit of Ideation Leads to Innovation and Investment: Priyank Kharge

Young Indians (Yi) an integral part of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organised the 5th National Entrepreneurship Summit in the city Themed ‘Disruption - Challenging Traditions, Transforming World’, the summit was inaugurated by Priyank Kharge, Minister for IT, BT and Tourism Government of Karnataka in the presence of  Ajith Mathew George, Chair, Entrepreneurship Summit 2017,  R K Misra Serial Entrepreneur, and Subramanyam Putrevu, CIO Mindtree Ltd and  Arya Rajesh Kumar, Chair, Yi Bengaluru.

Delivering the inaugural address, Priyank Kharge, Minister for IT, BT and Tourism Government of Karnataka said that, the Government of Karnataka has always pursued disruption and transformative governance. It strives to be bolder and better, with the most advanced digital ecosystem for its citizens. The various e-governance schemes of the government have been path breaking and disruptive whether it be Sakala Scheme, which guarantees services to citizens in the State within a stipulated time limit or the Bhoomi Project for land record management or the ‘Karnataka Valuation & e-Registration’ program to simplify the process of registration of documents. Today the government of Karnataka is acting as a consultant for other states in the implementation of e-governance. The state is has moved on from being the leader in e-governance to being a pioneer in mobile governance. ‘Karnataka One’ an award-winning application that integrates multiple government services into one app is an example of the forward-thinking policies of the government of Karnataka.

Karnataka is the only State in India to have a start-up policy and a start-up cell to encourage and facilitate young entrepreneurs. The government is committed to provide financial, and policy support and mentorship to start-ups and this is the reason why start-ups have flourished in the state. Karnataka is the first state to have a grand startup challenge to promote and foster the spirit of ideation and innovation. The State is not worried about investments, as the government strongly believes that if adequate importance is given to ideation, innovation and invention will follow leading to investment.

While stressing on the need to bridge the gap between academia and Industry, he said that New Age Incubation Network (NAIN) covering academic institutions have been setup by the government to encourage student projects through mentoring and monetary support of Rs. 3 lakhs per project for students in the rural areas. Already 180 student groups have been funded and there has been 70 company incorporations.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, addressing the conference via video chat, said that innovation and disruption has flourished in the private sector but the government has lagged way behind. He called on the youth of the country to play and active role in the democratic process through an informed aware engagement and not just add to the common din. According to him innovation and disruption is the new normal and the internet and the technology the internet represents has created a level playing field. He said that, we have all the pieces to make India a great economic powerhouse but we first need to clean up our governance and make it more transparent.

R K Misra, Serial Entrepreneur and winner of Lead India Campaign said that, disrupted industries typically suffer from a perfect storm of two forces. First, low barriers to entry into these sectors lead to more agile competition. Secondly, they have large legacy business models which often generate the majority of their revenue. These organizations, therefore, have embedded cultural and organizational challenges when it comes to changing at the pace required. Today’s fast paced techno driven business eco-system is fast evolving where mere innovation is not good enough for a business to survive, leave aside success. The new mantra is “Disruption”. In last decade where the focus was on innovation the next decade would be dedicated to disruption. Disruptive technologies are changing the game for businesses by creating entirely new products and services.

Subramanyam Putrevu, Chief Information Officer, Mindtree ltd said that Entrepreneurs and policy makers must not only know what’s on the horizon but also start preparing for its impact. It is estimated that these new emerging technologies could have a potential economic impact between $14 trillion and $33 trillion a year by 2025. This estimate is neither predictive nor comprehensive but based on an in-depth analysis of key potential applications and the value they could create in a number of ways, including the consumer surplus that arises from better products, lower prices, a cleaner environment, and better health.

Ajith Mathew George, Chair, Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 said that today’s fast paced techno driven business eco-system is evolving where mere innovation is not good enough for a business to survive leave aside success. The new mantra is “Disruption”. In last decade where the focus was on innovation the next decade would be dedicated to disruption. Disruptive ideas are changing the game for businesses by creating entirely new products and services. Entrepreneurs have to keep their organizational strategies updated in the face of continually evolving technologies. They not only have to look for disruptive business models but also use technologies to improve internal performance. Digital India stands for transforming India into a digitally empowered knowledge economy. The summit will discuss about “Digital India” initiative of Govt. of India and the challenges & opportunities arising therefrom for Indian Entrepreneurs. It will also look at various schemes launched by Central and State Govt. for the start-ups and young entrepreneurs.  

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