Thursday, August 24, 2017

Infosys Turmoil Unfortunate: Remarks Karnataka Minister Deshpande

Karnataka Industries Minister R V Deshpande termed the recent developments at IT major Infosys following sudden resignation of Vishal Sikka as "unfortunate".

"Very unfortunate developments, this should not have happened at Infosys," Deshpande said when asked about the recent events at the city headquartered company.

"I can understand transparency is very important. If there is no transparency there are ways to find out the truth, but unfortunately, according to me, investors' confidence and shareholders' confidence have been shaken," he told reporters.

"Infosys is the pride of the country, it is known to the entire world. We are all proud of Infosys. I can only say such developments are unfortunate," he added.

Last Friday, Sikka, the first non-founder CEO of Infosys, resigned from the company following months of acrimony with high-profile founders, led by N R Narayana Murthy, citing "malicious" and "personal attacks" on him.

While Sikka did not name Murthy for his exit, the board of the US$10 billion firm blamed the founder for "continuous assault" through "factually inaccurate" and "already-disproved rumours" for the resignation of the CEO.

Murthy, however, maintained that his only concerns were the lapses in corporate governance standards, something that Infosys was admired for at one point.

Sharp decline in Infosys share prices following the developments has wiped out Rs 34,000 crore of investors' wealth in the last two days.

When asked about reports that Nandan Nilekani is likely to return to Infosys, Deshpande said he would not like to comment on it, and it is left to the decision of the board, founders and shareholders of the company.

Nilekani, one of the co-founders of the company had joined the Congress party ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He had also contested and lost the election from Bengaluru South constituency.

Noting that the developments at the company were not healthy, Deshpande said, "founders have struggled for the company, at the same time shareholders have fully cooperated. Vishal Sikka also has good reputation. These things should have been sorted out in-house".

"I think, still time is there. I am confident that they are all people with rich experience, good people. The board, founders and shareholders will come under one roof to resolve this issue," he said.

Second Innings Most Likely for Infosys Co-founder Nandan Nilekani

Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani is likely to return to helm the IT giant, according to media reports.
However, clarity on the status of Nilekani's specific role will be clearer in another 48 hours.
Meanwhile, the buzz of Nandan Nilekani's return to Infosys led to the company's shares rise as much as 3%.
Many domestic institutional investors including ICICI Prudential Asset Management, HDFC Asset Management, Birla Sun Life AMC among others, had written to Infosys board to bring former chief executive Nandan Nilekani back to take care of the firm in turbulent times after Vishal Sikka's resignation as MD and CEO.
Nandan Nilekani was among the seven founders that set up Infosys more than three decades ago and served as its CEO between March 2002 to April 2007. Later in 2009, Nilekani had left the firm to head the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

According to a report, the Nilekani family owes a 2.29% stake in Infosys, as per the quarter ended June this year.

Earlier in the day, Narayana Murthy postponed a scheduled conference with the company's investors. The said conference will now reportedly be held on August 29.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Miklens Bio Sets Up India’s First Agri Microbial Tech Plant in Bengaluru

Miklens Bio Pvt. Ltd, a Research and Development driven Agri Microbial Technology (AMT) product start-up headquartered in Mumbai has announced the inauguration of its first manufacturing facility in Bengaluru. The plant was inaugurated by Dr. Stephen Devanesan, Former Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Professor, Principal Scientist & Associate Director of Research, Kerala Agricultural University, in the presence of Miklens Bio management team, scientists and organic farming activists.

Miklens Bio manufacturing facility & R & D laboratory is spread over 10,000 sq. ft. and has an installed capacity to manufacture 10 lakh litres annually. The in-house developed research-based agri inputs to be manufactured will include Plant Growth Enhancers, Plant Protection, Bio-Fertilizers and Bio-Pesticides. Importantly these products are pest & pathogen specific and not crop specific, thus offering farmers the choice to use only those inputs which meet their specific requirement.

With the plant starting commercial production, Miklens Bio will have the necessary edge to scale up their production to meet the demand of our farmer brethren. These products have undergone extensive trials under lab and open field conditions. Miklens Bio has been certified as “Approved Input for Organic Agriculture” by Control Union a reputed certifying agency worldwide. In addition to this, the products have been tested in Canada for their efficacy.

Inaugurating the facility, Dr. Stephen Devanesan, said, “It is heartening to note that start-ups like Miklens Bio through their research are developing and manufacturing products that have profound impact on our eco-system and paving way for sustainable growth. Miklens Bio agri inputs, I am sure would go a long way in helping our farmers increase yields, improve crop quality, ensure residue free cultivation and in the process not only improve their income but also help reduce health hazards of consumers. I am told that the products are derived from nature and thus they are not only good for the soil but also monetarily viable for the farmers in comparison with the synthetic counterparts.”

According to Santosh Nair, Founder & Managing Director, Miklens Bio Pvt. Ltd., “We believe in sustainable & responsible agricultural practices and as a natural corollary our bio products promote the idea of ‘Farming with naturally driven microbes’ with a goal to reduce the dependence on toxic chemical based inputs. Our effort is to bring to the market agricultural inputs that are globally accepted because of the positive impact they have on farming communities, and on the society.”

Further, he said, we aim to become a preferred supplier in the “Pure Bio” segment. Our research focus is to develop & manufacture various biotechnology-based agricultural inputs to cater to the need of farming community by promoting the effective advantage of bio-based agri inputs. Also, our research initiatives will focus on developing innovative products that are not only eco-friendly but safe and help in increasing the yields across crops, he added.

Our bio start-up has an ambitious goal to promote sustainable edge to the society and environment, pointed out Dr. Nisha M M, Director - Research, Miklens Bio Pvt. Ltd. Following this mission, we are building mastery in developing bio products that help in Residue Free Cultivation. This advocate’s use of products derived from microbial sources. Besides being perfect natural replacements for chemical pesticides, these products are cost-effective as well and assimilate into the ecosystem without leaving any toxic residue. Unlike broad-spectrum synthetic chemicals, these products work specifically against certain target organisms without harming beneficial organisms, she added.

Smart Software Testing Solutions Invests in Online Crowd Testing Platform,

Smart Software Testing solutions Inc. (SSTS), the company behind Bangalore - one of largest mobile device cloud platform, today announced a strategic investment in, a Bengaluru, India based startup building SaaS platform for managed Crowd Testing and User Experience testing. The company also announced its intent to integrate pCloudy and its AI powered Mobile App Testing platform with with an aim to build world’s largest cloud platform for mobile and IoT Testing by as early as 2019. As part of the arrangement, Avinash Tiwari, Co-founder & Director of SSTS will join the board of  

SSTS Inc. founded in 2015 by Pankaj Goel, Lalit Jain and Avinash Tiwari is leveraging AI and robotics across its two products, OpKey and pCloudy, to solve some of the pressing testing needs of enterprises undertaking digital transformation and IoT journey. 

Avinash Tiwari, Co-Founder of SSTS Inc. said “The investment in Crowd4Test aligns with our focus of building All-In-One platform for Mobile app and IoT app Testing. By combining our mobile device cloud and AI powered App certification engine with 2000+ strong global community of testers at Crowd4Test, we are uniquely positioned to serve mobile testing needs for all segments of our customers from DIY to Real User Beta Testing and A/B Testing”

SSTS is backed by one of India’s Leading Early Stage funds – YourNest Angel Fund, along with some of the marquee angel investors from the industry.

Commenting on this development, Girish Shivani, Executive director YourNest Angel Fund added – “We are very bullish on the market for mobile application testing solutions and have seen it grow significantly over the last few years and is projected to grow to $13.3 billion market by 2026. SSTS has shown significant traction in this space by on-boarding 200+ enterprise customers and more than 10,000 mobile developers and testers over last two years. We are confident that this investment by SSTS team will help them further expand footprint into this fast-growing segment and position them as a leader in Mobile application testing space”

Ranganadh Damera, Founder CEO of Crowd4Test expressed confidence adding “Within a short span of time, we have been able to create a niche Managed crowd testing platform trusted by 100+ customers and 2000+ community of tester globally and now by combining forces with SSTS, we are confident of becoming a leader in our chosen niche”

Indus Towers Achieves 50% Portfolio of Green Sites; Envisions to go Diesel-Free

Indus Towers, India’s largest telecom infrastructure company, achieves a key milestone in its sustainable telecom journey by converting half of its portfolio to green sites. In line with its commitment towards protecting the environment, the company has made significant progress in expanding its green sites portfolio to over 62,000 mobile sites across India. Today, Indus Towers operates more than 86,200 sites as outdoor sites, totalling to 70% of portfolio, by eliminating usage of air-conditioners at such sites.

Marquee initiatives like ‘Shut AC’ program coupled with deployment of disruptive storage solutions have resulted in - significant reduction in direct carbon emissions equivalent to planting 27 million trees and diesel savings of 200 million litres in last five years. Since its inception in 2008, the company has consistently worked towards creating value for all its stakeholders in a sustainable manner with commitment towards green initiatives and ‘Putting India First’. Technology innovations continue to be the backbone of every change envisaged at Indus Towers with focus on driving down environmental impact while enabling uninterrupted telecommunication networks.

Speaking on the occasion, Bimal Dayal, Chief Executive Officer, Indus Towers said, “Our vision is to achieve diesel free operations and we are actively exploring deployment of new-age solutions to reach this goal. Technology and innovation remain to be at the core of all our business operations as we focus on sustainable telecom journey for a better India.”

Leveraging innovation and technology to reduce environmental impact
Indus Towers uses high-energy efficiency solutions to achieve maximum power output and has been deploying Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) batteries at its sites. Implementing environment-friendly initiatives such as Solar Cooling Units (SCUs) and Simple Power Solutions (SPSs) at sites, the company has saved nearly 40 per cent energy savings since inception. An SCU is a smart and innovative solution that runs independent of power from a grid, battery or diesel and is charged with solar energy. It also uses natural air as its coolant, with zero cost of cooling. The company is also testing Hybrid solar, fuel cells, bio-mass and CNG/PNG energy solutions to power mobile towers.

Energy Use and conservation
One of the accomplishments towards reducing significant power consumption has been replacing air-conditioning with Free Cooling Units (FCUs) and Natural Cooling Units (NCUs) to maximise the conversion of Indoor (ID) to Outdoor (OD) as a part of SHUT AC initiative. The company has reduced energy consumption in mobile towers in addition to lowering carbon emissions.

DHL eCommerce Gets Logistics Tech Platform - FarEye On Board

FarEye, a Logistics Management Solution became a partner of choice for DHL eCommerce to enhance its customer experience, optimize its resources and deliver its brand promise ‘real-time’. DHL eCommerce is a division of the world’s leading logistics company Deutsche Post DHL Group. The Group generated revenue of more than 57 billion euros in 2016. DHL eCommerce provides international, standard parcel delivery for business customers. It supports business processes with mature e-commerce shipping solutions and technology platforms that help enable various online businesses.

DHL eCommerce continuously invests in technology to improve processes and have better communication across all parties. FarEye’s platform became an apt fit as it seamlessly integrated with the organization’s existing systems and made the IT infrastructure flexible and agile. Being a SaaS platform, FarEye gave DHL eCommerce the flexibility to the scale-up and down depending on the demand levels, which gave them an edge to adapt quickly to any work environment.

DHL eCommerce measured vendors not only basis the features they offered but evaluated them holistically from a ‘process proposed’ perspective.

Charles Brewer, CEO DHL eCommerce expressed, “With eCommerce growing at such a rapid pace we see a fantastic opportunity for high-quality solutions that will offer a great customer experience and more choice, convenience and control for online shoppers. FarEye’s platform is scalable, future-oriented and flexible. With FarEye we can deliver ‘delight’ by having complete visibility of the logistics movement and keeping customer informed at every step, ‘real-time’.”

Kushal Nahata, Co-founder & CEO FarEye said, “FarEye is an indispensable support system for brands whose focus is enhanced customer experience and complete visibility of their logistics. Our association with DHL e-commerce has been extremely gratifying as we were competing against giants. FarEye is an enterprise grade technology platform and this win is a testimony to our platform’s capability and defined processes. We shall continue to strive towards excellence and keep our customers at the center of all our activities.”

FarEye has proved to be a partner of choice for DHL eCommerce by optimizing their resources, enhancing their customers’ experience with real-time alerts & smart analytics and making parcel shops more efficient with complete visibility.

Freshteam’s CRM Enables Recruiters Deliver Superior Candidate Experience

Freshworks, the leading provider of cloud-based business software, announced the launch of Freshteam, a recruitment management software that empowers businesses to efficiently organize their talent acquisition function, engage with candidates, and better align the human resources organization to business goals. Freshteam’s flexible hiring workflows and intuitive design make it a great fit for businesses of all sizes.

According to HBR, 80% of employee turnover occurs due to faulty hiring decisions. Recruiters spend most of their time in executing operational responsibilities than concentrating on building quality pipeline and recruiting, which in turn affects the end-to-end-hiring process.

Freshteam, built on the experiences faced by the talent acquisition team at Freshworks as it scaled from six employees to a 1000+ strong global workforce, aims to improve the hiring experience for not just recruiters but also every stakeholder involved the hiring process, thereby helping businesses deliver an exceptional end-to-end hiring and candidate experience.

Recruiters can manage the entire recruitment process all under one platform. In addition to the standard market features like job posting management and interview scheduling, recruiters can attract top talent through multiple sourcing channels including social media channels, contextually collaborate with hiring teams, engage with candidates directly from the application tracking system (ATS), get organized by building candidate databases that help archive candidate profiles, and leverage a mobile-friendly version to be connected on the go.

"At Freshworks, our mission is to build software that helps our customers manage every critical business function," said Girish Mathrubootham, CEO & Founder of Freshworks. "During the early days of Freshworks, it was a big challenge to get candidate experience right. Recruiters have a tough job of simultaneously managing candidates, interviewers and external staffing vendors for every opening to deliver the best hiring experience.

Our talent acquisition team needed a unified way to manage all the touchpoints of the candidate life cycle, much like how customer interactions and sales leads are managed through a CRM. As we tried to solve for it, we wanted to build a solution that puts Candidate Relationship Management right at the center of an organization's talent acquisition process. So, we built Freshteam, a recruitment management solution that transforms hiring experience for recruiters as well as candidates, while helping organizations grow even faster.”

To encourage SMBs to focus on their hiring experience, Freshteam will be available for free for companies with less than 50 employees. In future product releases, Freshteam will integrate with other Freshworks software.

Virtual Campus League to Connect Top Campus Tech Talent and IT Employers

TechGig unveils the first-of-its-kind code contest in India for engineering students and graduates across India to show off their coding skills to 25+ top IT/Tech companies. The ‘Virtual Campus League’ creates a level playing where participating colleges and their talent gets a fair chance to showcase their talent within the industry.

The ‘talent v/s pedigree’ debate is more relevant in today’s time when an engineering student’s pedigree determines his chance for internship or interview with top IT employers. On the other hand, tech firms also want to reach out to the right talent straight from engineering colleges quickly. However, the right talent may be beyond their campus hiring strategy and gets limited to IITs only.

Sensing this gap, has launched ‘Virtual Campus League’ to create a level playing field where participating colleges and students get a fair chance to showcase their talent to top IT/Tech firms. This first-of-its-kind contest is open for 2nd, 3rd and 4th year engineering students who have a knack for coding and recent engineering graduates (2017 pass outs) with less than one year work experience.

This contest’s format allows students to appear for coding and aptitude tests, and their scores would be used to generate their All India Ranks. Participating IT companies will shortlist candidates for interviews and internships basis their scores.

In its maiden edition, TechGig Virtual Campus League has forged a strategic partnership with 30 National Institutes of Technology (NITs). The contest - which started on August 21, 2017 - welcomes students from all engineering colleges to register for free.

“Our vision with Virtual Campus League is to create a platform for all engineering students and graduates to have a fair chance to showcase their skills to the industry. This will help in two ways – students will be able to showcase their knowledge to top companies; and secondly it will give participating companies access to desired talent pool which is beyond their reach. College TPOs will also be able to monitor the performance of their students,” said Dipti Tandon, VP-Corporate Strategy, Times Internet Limited & Head Product and Technology, TechGig.

Highlights of this contest are –
·  25+ top IT/Tech companies will be offering 500+ interviews/internship opportunities
·  Free participation for Corporates/Colleges/ Students
·  Practice tests are also available based on the format of questions asked by top IT/Tech firms during campus placements

Ramathreya Krishnamurthi, Business Head, TimesJobs & TechGig is confident that this contest will open scores of new internships/job interview opportunities for thousands of engineering graduates. “This is a completely new concept in India, designed only for engineering students and freshers with less than 1 year work experience. More than 25 companies have already affirmed their participation in the Virtual Campus League, with names like Amadeus, Coho, Delhivery in the line-up. We are sure that engineering students will participate in huge numbers and make the most of this opportunity with the tech giants,” said Krishnamurthi.

Top rankers here can win prizes worth Rs 1 Lakh, Certificates with All India Ranks and TechGig T-shirts to top two rankers of every college. All contest participants will get online certificates with All India Ranks.

With so much happening at the ‘Virtual Campus League’, participants can only wait for this momentum to reach its peak and get their dream interview call or internship with top IT companies. 

George Chang Joins Forcepoint as VP Sales for APAC to Empower Customers with Human-Centric Security

Global cybersecurity leader Forcepoint has announced it is further cementing Asia-Pacific operations to meet growing demand for human-centric cybersecurity solutions by appointing George Chang as vice president of sales. Chang is based in Forcepoint’s Singapore office and reports to chief revenue officer, Sean Foster.
At Forcepoint APAC, Chang leads the company’s growth strategy in the region and will drive customer engagement across the entire portfolio of Forcepoint’s technology, including CASB, data loss prevention, insider threat, web security, email security and next-generation firewalls.
The appointment expands on the company’s commitment to deliver insightful security solutions that help customers understand the rhythm of people in the organization and flow of critical business data and intellectual property – wherever it may reside. This people-first approach helps global enterprises and governments focus resources on activities that present the greatest risk to their business or mission.
“In the new digital and mobile world where there is no longer a perimeter, the detection and protection of data using point products is just not good enough. The market is moving to cyber solutions that adapt protection based on the context of user behavior, and we need inspirational and driven leaders to help customers and partners address this paradigm shift,” said Foster. “George and his team will help lead the charge in delivering the most intelligent systems that facilitate business and foster productivity while stopping bad cyber activity.”
Chang brings more than 20 years of experience in international business across the technology industry. Most recently, he served as regional vice president of APAC sales at Fortinet in Singapore. Prior to this, George held senior leadership roles in multiple technology companies including OpenNet Pte. Ltd., SYSTEX South Asia, Inter-touch Pte. Ltd., and STSN (Asia Pacific). George earned his master’s degree in international business from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia and a bachelor’s degree in business computing from Queensland University of Technology, Australia.

“As the network perimeter dissolves, companies are looking to how, when and why people interact with data – and where this information travels,” said Chang. “We have the unique opportunity to partner with Asia-Pacific companies to ensure their users and critical business data are protected everywhere. These organizations can maximize their investments by putting cyber behaviors at the center of their security equation.”

Capital Float Secures $45 Million of Equity Funding in Series C Round Led by Ribbit Capital

Capital Float, India’s largest digital lending platform, announced today that it has raised $45 Million (Rs. 293 crores) in Series C equity funding. The round was led by Silicon Valley-based Ribbit Capital, with participation from existing investors - SAIF Partners, Sequoia India and Creation Investments. In parallel, the company has also raised more than $67 Million (Rs. 437 crores) in new debt lines from leading banks (including RBL Bank, IDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank) and NBFCs (including IFMR, Reliance Capital), bringing the total amount of fresh capital raised in the last 12 months to over $112 Million (Rs. 730 crores).

“We are thrilled to partner with a world-class FinTech investor like Ribbit Capital at this key inflection point in Capital Float’s journey,” said Co-founders Sashank Rishyasringa & Gaurav Hinduja in a joint statement. “We are growing at an exciting pace, currently originating over Rs. 200 crores in disbursals every month. Over the past year alone, we have disbursed loans of over Rs. 2,100 crores to 12,000 plus customers across 300 cities. Our proprietary technology and credit-scoring platform is now able to deliver loans in as fast as 3 minutes via a mobile app. Despite achieving such rapid growth, we have kept our NPAs to 2%, and are on track to reach profitability by the end of current fiscal year.”

Capital Float will utilize these funds to increase its geographic footprint, improve customer experience and launch a new set of innovative credit products for SMEs across India. It will also invest in scaling up its hybrid marketplace model and deepening technology integrations with partner financial institutions.

Over the past year, the lender has rapidly diversified its portfolio, lending to a wide range of sectors including manufacturing, services, e-commerce, transportation, hospitality and retail. Post-demonetization, the company expanded its lending business to target small merchants and kirana stores, delivering loans as small as Rs. 25,000. These touch-free loans are delivered in seconds via its mobile app, powered by the India Stack.

Capital Float has also pioneered a hybrid marketplace model, where banks and NBFCs “co-lend” alongside the company’s own balance sheet to fund borrowers. The company has currently partnered with 5 institutions, including IDFC Bank and IFMR, and the marketplace contributes to 35% of the company’s total disbursals.

Nick Shalek (Partner) from Ribbit Capital, which led the Series C, said “We’ve been impressed by the Capital Float team since the first time we talked with them about their business four years ago. The company has achieved remarkable growth by delivering innovative products to small businesses and consumers, while at the same time providing attractive returns to investors on the platform. With this financing, Capital Float is further cementing its lead as the top technology-enabled NBFC in India, and we are thrilled to support the company's journey.”

Ravi Adusumalli (Managing Director), SAIF Partners, added “We have been a part of Capital Float’s journey from their seed round of funding. Their experienced senior management team has strategically led the company’s growth via innovative products and partnerships with ecosystem leaders. Capital Float continues to disrupt lending at a granular level in India.”

“Sequoia is delighted to re-invest in Capital Float. Their strong customer focus and continuous drive to diversify the product portfolio to discover and meet niche areas of industry demand gives us great confidence in the company’s future prospects” added Gautam Mago (Managing Director), Sequoia Capital India Advisors.

Patrick Fisher (Managing Partner & Founder), Creation Investments, another returning investor, pointed out to the positive atmosphere created by government policies. "With the government's drive towards a digital India, we believe the FinTech sector will be a key enabler towards achieving this vision. Capital Float has proven itself as a leader in the digital lending space and hence they have our wholehearted support. We hope with this fresh infusion of funds, the company will reach even greater heights”, he said.

·         Series C equity funding round of $45 million (Rs. 293 crores) led by Ribbit Capital with significant participation from existing investors – SAIF Partners, Sequoia India and Creation Investments.
·         Additional $67million (approx. Rs. 437 crore) raised in debt from banks (including RBL Bank, IDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank) and NBFCs (including IFMR, Reliance Capital). Takes total funding in last 12 months to $112 million.
·         Capital Float has originated Rs. 2,500 crores in loans till date to 15,000 plus customers. Currently originating Rs. 200 crores of loans per month.
·         New loan product focusing on small merchants and kirana stores. Micro loans, disbursed in less than 3 minutes via mobile. Currently disbursing 1,000 loans per month, plans to reach 5,000/month by end of fiscal year.
·         Portfolio outstanding grew nearly 4x over the last year, and currently stands at Rs. 700 crores. 
·         Operates country’s largest hybrid marketplace with leading banks & NBFCs (e.g. IDFC Bank & IFMR) participating as co-lenders, 35% of loans are serviced via the marketplace
·         NPAs at 2.0%. Company on track to achieve profitability in current fiscal year.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Samsung India Partners with Karnataka Government to Donate Notebooks and Pens to Over 30,000 Students in Karnataka

Samsung India has collaborated with the Government of Karnataka for a notebook donation drive to extend its support to students from government schools across Bengaluru, Kolar and Mulbaghal districts in the state.

A team of volunteers from Samsung R&D Institute, Bengaluru visited over 450 schools and distributed 160,000 notebooks and 38,500 pens to over 30,000 students in two days.

“As a market leader, Samsung caters to the needs of its consumers with meaningful innovations and quality products, and also pledges to contribute to the needs of the society to create a better life for people. The notebook donation drive, through which we have been able to reach out to over 30,000 students in Karnataka, is a small step in that direction,” said Dipesh Shah, Managing Director, Samsung R&D Institute, Bengaluru.

Earlier this year, Samsung donated stationery items such as dictionaries, exam pads, geometry boxes, bags and stationery pouches to around 500 schools in Karnataka.

Another important milestone was the agreement with Government of Karnataka to help the state efficiently manage its public healthcare facilities. As part of the agreement, Samsung Research & Development Institute, Bangalore (SRI-B) provided over 1,000 Samsung Tab IRIS devices to the Department of Health, Government of Karnataka. Samsung Tab IRIS, the first commercial tablet to be approved by UIDAI for Aadhaar and KYC verification, is enabling Public Health Centers (PHC) in the state to build their database in a digital format.

Samsung began its journey in India in 1995, and in over two decades, it has grown into one of the country’s biggest consumer product companies, with 2 manufacturing plants, 5 R&D centres, 1 design centre, 1.5 lakh retail outlets and over 70,000 employees. Samsung is also India’s Most Trusted Brand and is pioneering local manufacturing through its ‘Make for India’ initiative.

Samsung India Citizenship Initiatives
Samsung Smart Class, the Company’s flagship citizen program in India, promotes digital education among underprivileged students, especially in rural India. This initiative aims to bridge the digital gap between rural and urban India and provide equal opportunities for quality education to children from all backgrounds. Since 2013, over 470 Samsung Smart Class have been set up at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya schools across the length and breadth of India benefitting over 2.5 lakh students. In addition, over 8,000 teachers have been trained on how to use interactive technology to teach.

The Company has also established Samsung Technical Schools in partnership with the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), Government of India and ITIs in the states of Bihar, West Bengal, Kerala, Rajasthan and Delhi, to address the need for talented manpower with practical know-how and relevant industry experience. Students at the 22 Samsung Technical Schools also benefit from exposure to Samsung manufacturing facilities and authorized service centers. Till date, Samsung Technical Schools have provided technical training for job opportunities to over 2,000 youth.

One of the Company’s key citizenship initiatives is the Samsung Smart Healthcare program that has been designed to support the Government’s efforts to provide the best of healthcare to millions of citizens especially from the economically weaker sections. Through this program, Samsung provides government hospitals its innovative healthcare equipment such as ultrasound, digital radiology and accessories, with the aim to make affordable healthcare accessible to the large number of patients at select Government hospitals in Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Gurugram and Delhi.

TCS iON, The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) Partners for Digital Transformation

TCS iON, a strategic unit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization has announced a partnership with The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) for its digital transformation initiative.  As a part of this association, TCS iON will deploy an end-to-end digital learning solution for ICSI to facilitate self-education amongst students, especially aimed for the benefit of students in remote areas who may not have easy access to ICSI’s regional chapters. 

The Digital Learning Platform developed by TCS iON will enable students to remain constantly connected with ICSI and actively participate in projects and discussion forums promoted by the Institute. By leveraging the digital forces, the platform will provide students, anywhere-anytime-any device access to ICSI’s study material helping them learn at their own pace and also develop comprehensive understanding of the course subjects. To support this digital transformation, TCS iON will help migrate the ICSI’s course content for foundation, executive and professional courses into suitable digital formats.

Commenting on the partnership, Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head, TCS iON said, “Technology is playing a pivotal role in driving Digital transformation in the field of education. Today’s learners need a Social First approach to learning and ICSI has taken this path for their students. This will help ICSI to cater to the changing needs of the learning community in a more relevant and adaptable manner.  We look forward to the partnership with ICSI as we use our technology prowess to make institute’s rich content easily accessible to a larger section of the student community. We are also confident that the institute’s digitization efforts will go a long way in retaining its position as one of the premier educational institutions in India.”

CS (Dr.) Shyam Agarwal, ICSI President said, ICSI has embarked on a ‘digital transformation’ journey.  Newer tools are being used to disseminate ‘knowledge’ to the members and students in the form of webinars, live webcasts of programs and seminars. With the ever-changing needs of the profession, standardization of delivery has become the need of the hour. Therefore, ICSI in association with TCS iON has taken an initiative of setting up a digital learning platform for our students across the length and breadth of the country. Through this partnership we will provide an enriching experience to our students and members”

Over 2500 Women Participate in Exclusive Hackathon - Pitney Bowes’s Code Inspire 2.0

Aimed at enhancing women representation in technology, Pitney Bowes Inc., a global technology company that provides innovative products and solutions to power commerce, today announced the winners of its second diversity hackathon ‘Pitney Bowes Code Inspire 2.0’, targeted at women in colleges, working professionals and those who have taken a career break.

Pitney Bowes Code Inspire 2.0 was a week-long programming marathon which had over 2500+ participants registering for the online qualifying round, of which 12 were shortlisted and invited for the final round to the Pitney Bowes Pune office. This is the second successful edition of the Pitney Bowes Diversity hackathon.

Diversity & Inclusion are deep-rooted in Pitney Bowes culture and the company boasts of several women-centric policies, some of which include:
  • Mayeri, the Pitney Bowes Maternity program that extends 6 months of maternity leave to new mothers, along with other key benefits such as free sessions with nutritionists, tie-ups with crèches, a designated buddy to help make a smooth transition back from maternity
  • A ‘Special hiring day’ on International Women’s Day dedicated in the calendar to facilitate referrals for women
  • Customized Training Intervention Programs for women employees by taking a blended approach to learning ranging from industry relevant case studies to simulations
It is this commitment of providing a great work culture that values diversity and inclusion for employees that led to Pitney Bowes being recognized as a Great Work Place seven times, since the inception of its India operations in 2007. In 2017, Pitney Bowes ranked #9 in India’s Great Place to Work list; has been recognized for Excellence in driving a ‘Culture of Innovation & Change Management’ by the Association of Talent Development and has been named America’s Best Large Employers for the second time.

Cuemath Hosts the Biggest Mathematics Carnival for Kids in Bangalore

Namma Bengaluru witnessed the biggest ever mathematics carnival hosted by Cuemath  - India's leading home-based yesterday, after-school learning program for mathematics. From math learning tools to intuitive puzzles and games, this mathematics carnival was thoughtfully designed to make sure that every child (from KG – 8th grade) enjoyed the process of math learning at the event. The event took place at Elaan Convention Centre, JP Nagar and was attended by over 5000 people. (3000+ children along with their parents).

In the spirit of Independence Day, Cuemath has found a reason to also celebrate 'freedom from the fear of math'. This year, our Independence Day, 15th August, is also a special date that comes only once in 100 years. It is a Pythagorean Triplet. So how does August 15, 2017 really become a Pythagorean triplet? Pythagorean triplet is sum of the square of the first two sides equivalent to the square if the third side. So, 152 + 82 = 172   

Organized against the backdrop of a mathematical coincidence, which was observed on August 15, 2017, this mathematics carnival by Cuemath was one of a kind. To build the enthusiasm and excitement, Cuemath curated some brain cracking math learning tools and puzzles for children between KG and 8th grade that challenged their creativity, imagination, thinking skills, and social skills. Some of the key activities included, Fraction Hopscotch, Arithmetic Spinner, Go Bananas, Play with Geometry, Code Decode and Math Jigsaw.

Manan Khurma, Founder and CEO at Cuemath said, “This is a first of its kind math carnival that Bangalore has ever witnessed. There's mathematics in everything around us. And as people who celebrate math, we're only too pleased to note that this year our independence day also has an interesting mathematical coincidence. In the spirit of our Independence Day, we wanted to showcase the many ways in which the fear of mathematics can be conquered and what better way than organizing a fun filled carnival; bringing kids under one roof with interesting games and puzzles and helping them experience the fascinating side of math in an engaging and non-competitive environment”.

Commenting on Cuemath Pythagoras Fest 2017, Shereena, Principal, Sunshine School, said, “Cuemath has a lot of scope for kids because kids learn best when they are having fun. At Cuemath its about engaging children to learn mathematics the right way. 26 of my students accompanied me all the way from Kanakapura to be a part of this engaging carnival. I’m sure my students learnt a lot and I hope to use some of these activities in my school as well. This result is proof of the efficiencies that active learning can bring and thereby help children experience the engaging side of mathematics”.

Started in 2013, Cuemath is a home-based, active math learning program for kids between KG to 8th Grade. Combining the power of technology and personal teaching, Cuemath offers a unique curriculum that ensures a holistic learning experience through workbooks, math boxes, puzzle cards and a tablet. Cuemath’s self-paced program is setting a unique precedence for math teaching and learning as it challenges its traditional means of rote learning formulas, restricting curriculum to a fixed syllabus and focusing purely on scoring.

The future ahead is driven by technology. In just a decade from now, the skill that will truly matter is one’s ability to solve complex problems where math will surely play a huge role. Thus, one needs to begin now and empower children to go beyond the mark/score system and enable them with the ability to think logically and apply an analytical approach to arrive at answers.

Government Launches GST Training Programme to Skill 2 Lakh Youth

Government on Saturday pushed a GST preparing program under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna. Through this program around two lakh people will be readied, and those readied people will then further help in associations especially in domains, for instance, selection and calculation of cost hazard under the new obligation organization.Skill development minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said at an event deal with to check the second recognition of Skill India Mission,that this readiness program will completed in 14 states.

Rudy alongside Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti,Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan,Health Minister J P Nadda,Textiles Minister Smriti Irani and Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar carefully initiated the training course at 100 focuses in the nation.

The service likewise propelled a national entrance for assessors and mentors other than 51 new PMKVY focuses. With this, the aggregate number of PMKVY focuses has expanded to 200.

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