Friday, February 9, 2018

Jet Airways to Begin its Second Daily Flight to Singapore Effective March 15, 2018

Effective March 15, 2018, Jet Airways, India’s premier, full service international airline, will commence a second daily frequency from Bengaluru to Singapore, given the growing passenger traffic on the popular route.

The introduction of the second frequency forms part of Jet Airways’ focus to strengthen its presence in Bengaluru as the carrier’s upcoming third hub, aside from those in Mumbai and Delhi, in its endeavour to facilitate seamless onward connections for guests across its global network of 64 destinations, including 44 in India.

The new daily flight - 9W 26, will depart from Bengaluru at 02:05 hrs (IST) and arrive into Singapore at 09:15 hrs (LT), allowing corporate and business travellers to get a head start on their day. Aside from providing choice for Corporate travellers, the timings of the new flight are also expected to be of significance to the fast expanding Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions segment in Bengaluru.

During its return journey, flight 9W 25 will depart from Singapore at a comfortable time of10:15 hrs (LT), arriving in Bengaluru at 12:10 hrs (IST), allowing guests arriving in Bengaluru to travel onwards to destinations such as Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and Mangalore using convenient connections on Jet Airways’ extensive domestic network.

To celebrate the introduction of the new frequency, Jet Airways has announced special ‘introductory’ return Economy fares from Bengaluru, starting at Rs 11,768 only. Guests can book tickets with these special fares starting February 15, 2018. These inaugural fares are applicable for journeys commencing from March 15, 2018 onwards.

Gaurang Shetty, Whole Time Director, Jet Airways
, said “Jet Airways has seen an enthusiastic response from its guests travelling between Bengaluru and Singapore. We recognize the need for bolstering our existing service and provide guests with additional options to plan their travel. This second daily service will benefit business travellers who are looking at tapping into India and Singapore’s promising commercial opportunities. In addition, Singapore boasts of a huge Indian diaspora that can avail of this opportunity to strengthen ties to their roots.”

With the introduction of the second frequency between Bengaluru and Singapore, Jet Airways cargo capacity will now doubles on this route to offer 5000 kilos each way.

From Bengaluru, the primary commodities which are uplifted for Singapore are perishables, flowers, garments, computer parts and accessories. Whilst on the Singapore – Bengaluru route the primary commodities being shipped are electronic goods and accessories, computer parts and peripherals.

The new service importantly, will give movement of goods to access the Amsterdam market and other destinations in Europe. This is made possible with a daily connection from Singapore to Amsterdam via direct dallies available between Bengaluru and Amsterdam.

The new frequency will now offer guests from Bengaluru convenient connections to Denpasar/Bali, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur on flights operated by codeshare partners Garuda and Malaysian Airlines via Singapore. It will also offer guests travelling from destinations in the Indo-Pacific like Fiji, Darwin, Phuket, Penang, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane on codeshare partners like Fiji Airways, Jetstar Asia and Qantas, a seamless connection to Amsterdam via Bengaluru.

Jet Airways has been seeing an increase in air traffic between India, Singapore and the ASEAN region. Along with its codeshare partners, Jet Airways provides its guests the widest network of destinations to travel to by leveraging their strategic codeshare alliances. A growing Indian expatriate population in Singapore and strong India-Singapore trade links are fuelling demand for travel between the two countries. Simultaneously, the number of leisure travelers to Singapore has also seen a rapid rise. In 2016, about 100,000 cruise passengers from India - the highest for any country - were registered by the Singapore Tourism Board.

The airline had recently launched a non-stop, wide body service to Amsterdam from Bengaluru, in codeshare with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air France and Delta Air Lines, connecting guests to 106 destinations in Europe and onwards to North America, which has been receiving an encouraging response

During the summer schedule, the timings of the new flight will change to depart from Bengaluru at 01:30 hrs (IST) to arrive in Singapore at 08:55 hrs (LT). The return flight from Singapore will however, continue to depart at 10:05 hrs (LT) to arrive into Bengaluru at 12:10hrs (IST).

ABB India Delivers Solid Growth and Balanced Performance in 2017; PAT Up 12% to Rs 420 Cr

“We have delivered balanced performance in 2017, and built a solid foundation for future growth and profitability as our nation's and global markets improve. The year was marked by our success in landmark nation-building projects across the country from Kashmir to Kerala,” said Sanjeev Sharma, Managing Director, ABB India. “In addition, our collaboration with customers for charting their digitalization and higher productivity roadmaps resulted in significant engagement and business traction. ABB India will continue to deliver next level solutions and enabling technologies for nation building through our partners and customers for the energy and the fourth industrial revolution.”


Figures in INR crores*

Q4 2017
Q4 2016
Profit before tax
Profit before tax %
Profit after tax
Profit after tax %
Operational EBITA**
Operational EBITA %

All numbers including comparative periods are as per IndAS accounting standards.
The Company evaluates the profitability of its segments based on Operational EBITA. Operational EBITA represents income from operations excluding: (i) amortization expense on intangibles, (ii) restructuring and restructuring-related expenses, (iii) non-operational pension cost, (iv) gains and losses from sale of businesses, acquisition-related expenses and certain non-operational items, as well as (v) foreign exchange/commodity timing differences in income from operations consisting of: (a) unrealized gains and losses on derivatives (foreign exchange, commodities, embedded derivatives), (b) unrealized foreign exchange movements on receivables/payables (and related assets/liabilities).
*** Like for like basis, excluding one-time mega HVDC order (received in Q4 2016) and large traction transformer order (received in Q3 2016) totaling Rs 4467 crore

Total orders grew in the fourth quarter by 44 percent and in 2017 by 19 percent, excluding the exceptionally large UHVDC order and the large traction transformer orders booked in 2016. Orders in the second half of the year benefited from reviving industrial activity; however, base orders developed well throughout 2017, and short cycle activity was strong.

Export orders reached an all-time high in the year, significantly more than doubling in 2017.

Major orders were secured from both domestic and international customers, comprising propulsion equipment for railways in India, and substations for electric transport from South East Asian countries.

The efforts in getting customers digital-ready yielded results in 2017 with smart factory pilots, including remote monitoring solutions, established across several sectors including cement, paint, pharma, oil and gas and two-wheeler manufacturers.

Orders received for the fourth quarter were Rs 2911 crore. The order backlog of Rs 11,534 crore, as of December 31, 2017, notwithstanding the absence of the exceptionally large UHVDC order, provides solid visibility for future revenue.

Revenue and operations
ABB India’s revenue for 2017 was Rs 9087 crore.

All divisions contributed, aided by stabilization and selective improvement in end-customer markets including ports, process industries, mining, refining and emerging markets such as food and beverage, smart cities and metros.

The company closed the year with a solid cash performance across all four divisions, reinforcing the mantra of cash over revenue for a balanced growth.

Profit before tax (PBT) increased by 8 percent to INR 622 crore and profit after tax (PAT) by 12 percent to INR 420 crore compared to the prior year period.

The Board of Directors has recommended a dividend of Rs 4.4 per share (220 percent), subject to the approval of shareholders at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.

Chairman of the board of ABB India
Jean Christophe Deslarzes, Head of Human Resource, and member of Executive Committee, ABB Group has been appointed as the non-executive non-independent director and the chairman of the board of directors for ABB India Limited. He succeeds Frank Duggan, who has resigned from the position of chairman and he has taken over a new role as the President of the Europe region, ABB Group.

ABB is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner of Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 135,000 employees.

Kansai Nerolac Paints Primes for Digital Innovation Journey with SAP Leonardo

SAP SE has announced that leading Indian paints company Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd is adopting SAP Leonardo to streamline operations by leveraging next-generation technologies including Machine Learning and Internet of Things (IoT).

Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd (KNPL) will also implement SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Edge Services to help fulfil the company’s objective of fast-tracking its digital transformation journey. As key milestones of the journey, KNPL aims to immediately transform its salesforce effectiveness, supply chain efficiency and manufacturing robustness. The company will thus be able to innovate faster with less risk through proven methodology, pioneering technology and industry accelerators enabled by the SAP portfolio.

“The arrival of new-age technologies has given rise to an urgent need for digital innovation in the industry,” said Jason Gonsalves, VP – Corporate Planning, IT, HR and Materials, Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd. “We are aiming to boost our digital quotient with SAP. By being able to rapidly incorporate the next-generation technologies, we will be able to catalyse process innovation at every level of our organisation.”

“With SAP Leonardo, KNPL will be able to automate and augment existing processes while building a smarter business model,”said Subramanian Ananthapadmanabhan, Vice President, Enterprise Business, SAP Indian Subcontinent. “As an early adopter of this revolutionary technology, KNPL is paving the way for the industry to go digital.”

SAP Leonardo is a digital innovation system that brings together machine learning, IoT, blockchain, analytics and big data on SAP Cloud Platform using design thinking services.

MAHE Pro Vice Chancellor to Take Over as President MUJ

Dr. G.K. Prabhu, Pro Vice Chancellor of Manipal Academy of Higher Education has been appointed as President, Manipal University Jaipur (MUJ). He will take charge on February 14, 2018. Dr. Prabhu has held a number of posts in MAHE, Manipal. In September 2015, he was chosen to head Manipal Institute of Technology. And, while still holding the Director’s post, he was made Pro VC (Technology and Management) in April 2017. He was responsible for the development and implementation of Manipal University’s Strategic Plans for its engineering and management institutions.

Prior to becoming Director of MIT, Dr. Prabhu served as the Registrar of the University for seven and half years. Dr. Prabhu started his career as Lecturer in Electronics and Communication Engineering, MIT, Manipal in 1989. Since then, he has served the institute in various capacities such as Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Associate Director (Research & Development) and Deputy Registrar (Technical), Manipal University.

As an acclaimed teacher, he carved a niche for himself. He is passionate about research and has several publications in reputed national and international journals. He was honored with the “Shri Shyam Lal Saxena Memorial Award” from the National Academy of Medical Sciences for his published work in Biomedical Engineering in 2007.

Dr. Prabhu is an active member of the “Biomedical Engineering Society of India” (BMESI), a professional body and was the Secretary of this association during 2002-08. As Director MIT, he has led several student focused initiatives, including initiating the upgradation and modernization of the MIT campus and infrastructure. His open-door empathetic approach and management style continue to win him admiration and plaudits from his colleagues, faculty and students. For his several achievements and his contributions to the local community the District Administration has honored him with the ‘Udupi District Kannada Rajyostava Award’ in November 2017. 

Dr. Prabhu completed his schooling in Karkala, where he belongs to. He obtained his B.E. degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the Bapuji Institute of Engineering and Technology, Mysore University in 1989. With a passion for applying engineering principles to solve problems of medicine and biology, he pursued his M.Tech in Biomedical Engineering in 1994 from Manipal Institute of Technology, Mangalore University with a first rank and completed Ph.D. in 2001 from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

Toyota Showcases All New Land Cruiser Prado at Auto Expo 2018

Toyota Kirloskar Motor showcases the All New Land Cruiser Prado at the  Auto Expo 2018.  One of the most celebrated off-roader globally, the Prado in its renewed avatar comes with robust exteriors, impressive and highly functional interiors, while maintaining the legendary toughness and substance of the SUV.

A next-generation mid-sized Land Cruiser, the All New Prado boasts of exterior updates through a new hood, radiator grille, headlamps, bumpers, fenders and a cabin that is spruced with a new design combimeter and center console is available in D-4D Diesel with engine offering a power of 127 kW @ 3400 rpm and a torque 410 Nm @ 1600-2800 rpm.

Commenting on the new offering,  N Raja, Deputy Managing Director, Sales & Service, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, “We are delighted to showcase the renewed version of our luxury SUV with go-anywhere capability – the All New Land Cruiser Prado in the Indian market.  Over the years, we have continued to hone the Prado to embody an SUV of indomitable repute which has made it a head turner in any city and off-roader that will leave others trailing behind. Encompassing the enduring Land Cruiser DNA of a hard-core off-roader ready to take on any hurdles coupled with advanced robustness and functionality, the Prado’s heroic stance traces back to years of off-roading adventure and dominance on city roads. Also equipped with top-notch off-road features such as crawl control and multi-terrain select, the Prado is an offering apt for ardent adventure lovers. One of the finest of SUVs, today Prado has been esteemed in around 190 countries, by 2.95 million customers.

The All New Land Cruiser Prado is a radical evolution towards a more modern and advanced impression in line with the changing lifestyle preferences of our customers. Built on the ironic heritage of QDR [Quality, Durability, and Reliability] leadership and our commitment to the rich heritage of Toyota’s unconquerable SUVs, we are certain that this new offering will continue to delight our Indian customers who are looking for a top-class SUV. Today Utility Vehicles (UVs) constitute around 28% of the mass market vehicles in India, and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) about 40% of higher price products.UVs have been always our stronghold, and with this we hope to further consolidate our position in the market and complement our four wheel drive range he added.

The New Land Cruiser Prado will be available in three new Exterior Colors- Blackish Ageha, Avant Garde Bronze and Vintage Brown Pearl apart from its existing colors (White Pearl, Silver Metallic, Grey Metallic, Attitude Black Metallic and Red Mica Metallic and two New Interior Colors- Neutral Beige and  Redwood apart from the existing Black color.
Ø  Exteriors -  Tough styling as a genuine SUV and robust new exterior that will assert the powerful on-road presence
Ø  Interiors – Advanced impression with a highly functional layout and refined craftsmanship

New & Advanced Robust Exteriors:

Ø  New and imposing Hood & Radiator Grille
Ø  All new LED Headlamps and taillights
Ø  All new front and rear bumpers
Ø  Chrome door window frame moulding
Ø  New Fenders
Ø  ORVM – Puddle lamp addition
Ø  Alloy Wheels with New high brightness paint
Ø  New license plate garnish

New Luxurious & Modern Interior Features:

Ø  New design Combimeter and Center Console
Ø  Robust and Modern seat upholstery and ornaments
Ø  Driver and passenger seat ventilation and heating
Ø  New Steering Wheel
Ø  Illuminated Entry System [ Side + Rear Step ]
Ø  New Interior colors and Ornaments
Ø  Painted inside door handle

   Safety & securities:

Ø  ABS [Anti-lock Braking System] with EBD [Electronic Brake-force Distribution] and BA [Brake Assist]
Ø  7 SRS Airbags: Driver, Passenger, Driver & Passenger Side, Driver Knee, Curtain Side Airbags
Ø  Whiplash Injury Lessening [WIL] Headrests [Front only]
Ø  Vehicle Stability Control [VSC]
Ø  Tyre Pressure Monitoring System [TPMS]
Ø  Immobilizer
Ø  Angle sensor in Intrusion sensor

     Chassis and Transmission

Ø  Suspension Front / Rear - ( Double Wishbone / 4 – Link with Air Spring , Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System [ KDSS], Adaptive Variable Suspension [Comfort,Normal,Sport Modes] with Rear Air Suspension
Ø  Brake Front / Rear – Ventilated Disc/ Ventilated Disc
Ø  Transmission – 5 Speed Automatic
Ø  Drive type – 4WD

      Off-road Features:

Ø  Crawl Control [5 Speed Select]
Ø  Multi Terrain Select [MTS]
Ø  Multi Terrain Monitor [4 Camera Surround Check]
Ø  Panoramic View Monitor

*The vehicle prototype is undergoing evaluation by testing agencies and type approval certificate is awaited

NCR Unveils Select Edition Small Footprint ATMs for Remote, Underserved Locations

NCR Corporation, a global leader in omni-channel solutions has unveiled its SelfServ Select Edition (SE) Cash and SE Recycle ATMs, that will help financial institutions (FIs) to expand their reach and serve the more than 19% unbanked population in India. This new, small-footprint ATM technology from NCR is designed to enable banks to offer access to cash in remote, previously underserved locations.

India remains overwhelmingly a cash economy with more than 50% of all retail transactions completed using cash – an estimated 18.5 billion will be withdrawn from ATMs in 2018 alone. That number is estimated to reach 26 billion by 2022. Powered by NCR’s intuitive CxBanking software, that unlocks amazing consumer experiences across physical and digital banking channels, the Select Edition ATMs will enable FIs to easily connect consumers with cash while providing greater levels of security, improved uptime and ease-of-use. Additionally, the Biometric recognition feature ensures easy and secure consumer authentication in rural areas facing literacy challenges.

“Financial inclusion is emerging as a new paradigm of economic growth that plays a major role in driving away poverty from the country by reaching and serving the undeserved,” said Jose Resendiz, vice president & general manager, NCR Financial Services. “The new ATMs will allow financial institutions to modernize their ATM network, improve customer experience and extend their reach to serve areas where cash demand is strong.”

The addition of NCR SE Recycle ATMs, together with NCR OptiCash cash management and forecasting solution, will help Financial Institutions to improve ATM availability and optimize costs by reducing cash replenishment visits, as well as lower cash handling costs and reduce the amount of ‘idle’ cash. In addition, the new recycling ATM will enable consumers and small business to make accurate and secure real-time cash deposits.

#BeThereBeFree at Vh1 Supersonic 2018 from February 9–11 at Laxmi Lawns, Pune

Calling all music lovers to Pune, Vh1 Supersonic powered by Budweiser is all set to transform into a multi-genre international destination from February 9–11. Every year, the festival just keeps getting bigger and better. In this edition, as the youth capital of India turns into the nation’s ‘music and party capital’ there is something for everyone in the fifth edition of Vh1 Supersonic!

Here's all the excitement this edition of Vh1 Supersonic promises to offer from rock and indie music to future bass and driving techno and a heady mix of artists in the Super Line-Up. The artist lineup for this year comprises over 70 artists with multiple headlining acts. Starting with the American Rock Legend - Incubus, one of the most popular Rock bands and coming to India or the first time, Brandon Boyd from Incubus will be joining none other than the legendary Dancehall Rapper Sean Paul as he sets the stage on fire. The bass-heavy electronic dance music producer Marshmello along with some the most popular musicians such as Major Lazer, Alt-J, Dillon Francis, Ookay, Joseph Capriati and many more.

Commenting on what’s in store for Vh1 Supersonic 2018, Saugato Bhowmik, Business Head, Integrated Network Solution & Consumer Products, said, “We wanted to celebrate our fifth Anniversary edition of Vh1 Supersonic with our fans. To do that, we are bringing back the iconic trio Major Lazer and keep our promise to fans that have been eagerly waiting for the gang. We have always brought the most loved and talented artists to our festival and we are extremely delighted to bring Major Lazer back. We will continue to make our Superfans happy.”

The 2018 edition of the festival will not only see some of the biggest names from the world of dance music but will have five stages including the techno ensemble The Awakenings. The hottest addition is the new Live Stagewhich will feature rock music legends.

As the festival goers enjoy the epic artist line-up across three days, the festival will surprise them with numerous experiences to enjoy along with the music. From the delicious food market – #SuperGrub to a shopper’s paradise - #SuperFlea to world class art at #Art@Supersonic to release the inner kid in you at Action Central. Unwind at the beautiful beer garden or the De-stress Tent or just chill out and enjoy the Happy hours as Vh1 Supersonic is where the party never stops!

Vh1 Supersonic is open to all and special arrangements are made for the specially-abled in association with Enable Travel, from volunteers to elevated platforms and ramps. To show that we support WomenPower, the festival has women only bars equipped with an essentials booth and a women safety squad watching over the festival grounds. Because we care for the environment, we trade trash for goodies!

Owing to the success in the last four years, this edition of Vh1 Supersonic has received support from its sponsors with Gionee has come on board as a Title sponsor and the festival is powered by Budweiser. The festival has sponsors across various sectors such as Ecommerce, Lifestyle Consumer, Electronic Retailer and FMCG, to name a few.

Gear up to transcend yourself with the 5th edition of Vh1 Supersonic 2018 on February 9 –11  in Pune!

SulaFest 2018 Wraps Up its Successful 11th Edition- A Spectacular Celebration of Global Music, Food and Wine

With an aspiration to break boundaries and set new milestones as India’s leading Gourmet World Music Festival, SulaFest 2018 was the 11th edition of the two-day music, food and wine extravaganza. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Sula’s own lush vineyards the festival gave audiences a unique experience of the best from the worlds of music, food and wine. The vineyards were brought to life with culinary and cultural experiences that left fest-goers with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

This year fest-goers swayed to the tunes of over 100 artists including Bollywood sensation Amit Trivedi who set the stage on fire and wowed his rapt audience. Electrifying performances by internationally celebrated artists including Gypsy Hill, electronic-folk band Crystal Fighters,Austrian music producer and performing artist Parov Stellar and vocal groove band Bauchklangalso left the audiences spellbound.

Whilst music enthusiasts had their passion satiated by performances on the 2 stages, food and drink connoisseurs indulged their senses and taste buds with some of the finest flavours from across the world.

The gourmet food spread gave fest-goers the chance to gorge on a range of scrumptious cuisines including Oriental, Mughlai, Indian and Italian amongst others. In addition to award-winning wines from Sula (including their 3 recent Indian Wine Consumer Choice Awards 2018 gold medal winners), brands such as Beluga, Hardys, Mud House, Kumala, Asahi, Cointreau, Highland Queen and Pitu Cachaca added to global soul of the festival

Sprinkling a little glitz and glamour on the event celebrities, socialites and industrialists such as Shibani Kashyap, Siddharth of ‘Rang De Basanti’ fame, Sonali Sehgal of ‘Pyaar ka Punchnama’, Prahlad Kakkar, Suchitra Pillai, Kashmira Shah and Mansi Scott, amongst others, were spotted grooving to the tunes at the festival.

Rajeev Samant, CEO & Founder of Sula Vineyards was once again delighted with the festival and said overjoyed with the success of the festival saying: “What an incredible weekend! Fantastic to see the vineyards packed with fest-goers yet again.  It is always such a delight to open our doors for SulaFest and seeing so many people having such a great time makes it all worthwhile!  I am immensely grateful to all our partners and the artists for the part they play in SulaFest but of course it is the audience that makes it such a great experience. I am sure they have all gone away with more SulaFest memories just as I have”

Speaking about SulaFest 2018, Ken Pritchard, Senior Vice President, Marketing & International Sales, Sula Vineyards said, “What a great weekend! Another fabulous SulaFest which everyone enjoyed. A huge thank-you to all our sponsors and partners, we couldn’t do it without you!  The ultimate measure of success is happy fest-goers and I saw many thousands of those over the 2 days.  The second decade of SulaFest has arrived!"

In addition to the finest food, wine and music, some of the highlights of the festival included specially curated experiences, such as grape stomping sessions and games hosted by Tinder. Giving audiences the perfect weekend getaway, “Camp Tinder” featured bonfire sessions with exclusive acoustic performances by spectacular artists. Taking forward the successful association from the last edition, Brookside by Hershey’s sampled their pomegranate, Blueberry and Raspberry chocolates at the fest whilst Jal, the SulaFest hydration partner kept the audience cool in the glorious sunny weather. Some of the activities that took the crowd by storm included exclusive meet and greet sessions with the artists performing at the SulaFest tent city, treasure hunts and exquisite wine and food pairing sessions. The SulaFest Bazaaroffered a selection of unique, funky items that added to the festival experience, especially for all the shopaholics!

In line with the core principle of making SulaFest synonymous with ‘The World Gourmet Music Festival’, organisers of Sula plan to include diverse new experiences in years to come making the next editions even bigger and better. SVP Marketing and International Sales adding: “We aim to make SulaFest the best festival experience in India, so look out for some great new experiences in 2019!”

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