Friday, May 4, 2018

Flipkart Board Finally Approves 75 Percent Stake Sell to Walmart for $15 Billion

Finally, after a long discussion over the deal, Flipkart board has approved an agreement to sell 75 per cent equity to Walmart for $15 billion. Amidst the speculations of exits of co-founders of the SoftBank-backed e-commerce marketplace, the proposed deal seems to be final now.

According to a Bloomberg report, SoftBank is going to sell over 20 per cent stake in Flipkart at a valuation of $20 billion. Besides, Google parent Alphabet is also likely to participate in the deal.

SoftBank has already given the green signal for the deal. And as per earlier reports, the Japanese internet and investment conglomerate will get an exit of $4 billion for its $2.5 billion investment in Flipkart eight months ago.

The development also puts an end to the long thread of Amazon’s repeated efforts of acquiring a controlling stake in Flipkart. Last month it offered a break-up fee of $2 billion to the Bengaluru-based company and recently it made a formal offer to buy a 60 per cent stake in the online retailer.

The proposed deal may take 10 days to complete and the financial details may get updated by the end, the report added.

Meanwhile, Flipkart has bought back $350 million worth of shares from its investors as it seeks to convert its Singapore-incorporated company to a private limited firm. The move will further ease the way in for a new strategic investor.

The deal has also triggered multiple speculations in the media. While co-founders of Flipkart reportedly willing to sell their stakes and may take an exit from the company, Google’s entry in the Flipkart-Walmart deal will take on Amazon’s supremacy in India.

Google and Walmart have already made a huge dent in US market. Both forged a partnership in the US last year where Walmart products are sold on Google Express, the tech giant’s online mall.

Google also offers personalised voice shopping for Walmart products online. Additionally, customers can place orders for Walmart products by speaking them out to Google Home devices. Walmart customers have the option of linking their accounts to Google.

If the deal in India gets fructify according to present scenario then Google and Walmart will replicate their business synergies in India on the lines of the US.

Tata Motors Launches TATA NEXON A.M.T. Comes with Smart Hill Assist for Convenience in ‘Stop – and – Go’ City Traffic

Driving the A.M.T market with its class leading products, Tata Motors today announced the launch of its latest and the most awaited product in this segment – the Tata NEXON HyprDrive Self – Shift Gears (S-SG). With the introduction of the Tata NEXON Hyprdrive S-SG, Tata Motors has branded all its 2 pedal transmission cars as ‘HyprDrive’ while all the AMT variants from the Company will be now be termed as Self-Shift Gears (S-SG). 

Launched at a starting price of INR. 9.41 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi, for the petrol variant (1.2L turbocharged Revotron) and at INR. 10.3 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi, for the Diesel variant (1.5L turbocharged Revotorq), the Tata NEXON HyprDrive S-SG is the first AMT in India to have Multi-Drive modes (3 modes – ECO, CITY and SPORT).

According to Mayank Pareek, President- Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors, said, “Our focus is to introduce products and services that not only enhance the brand, but simultaneously align well with the rising aspirations of customer segments. AMT as a transmission is ideally suited for India’s traffic conditions, reducing the stress of driving at an affordable price, without compromising on fuel efficiency. With the introduction of the Hyprdrive S-SG in the NEXON, we aim to tap a larger market and increase our market share in not only the Compact SUV segment but also the AMT segment. Additionally, understanding the growing need for personalization among Indian customers, we are introducing the ‘IMAGINATOR’ – our online platform to visualize and customize the NEXON.”

Sporting the all-new Etna Orange color with a Sonic Silver dual-tone roof option, the Tata NEXON Hyprdrive S-SG comes with best-in-class ground clearance of 209 mm.  Extensively loaded with features, the car is equipped with an intelligent transmission controller, which includes features such as anti-stall, kick-down and fast-off; helping optimize the automatic gearshifts to provide best power output during overtaking maneuvers or quick acceleration requirements. This combined with 110PS power output from turbocharged motors results in an enthralling and sporty drive experience like no other.

In addition to providing a clutch-free drive experience, the car comes with features like Smart Hill Assist and Crawl function, making the car high on convenience. While the Smart Hill Assist prevents the NEXON from rolling-back on uphill drives during bumper-to-bumper traffic, the Crawl function comes into play during slow moving traffic by helping the car move ahead without pressing the accelerator. Further adding to the convenience is the wearable PEPS Key, which will allow customers to wear their car key smartly as a wristband and enjoy hassle-free access and ignition of the NEXON.

Keeping safety as its core, the SUV provides standard safety features like dual frontal airbags and ABS with electronic brake-force distribution in all wheels, to ensure peace of mind while enjoying a spirited drive. The spacious cabin along with a 350L boot space and rear 60:40 seat split to store extra luggage, makes it a complete package for long distance trips.

Additionally, the Tata NEXON HyprDrive S-SG is not only pegged at drive convenience, but also comes with class-leading infotainment system. It comes with a 6.5” floating dash-top touchscreen infotainment with next-gen smartphone connectivity and an exclusively tuned 8-speaker system from Harman-KardonTM, for a surround sound theatre like experience. With next-generation of smartphone connectivity with Android AutoTM to ensure an easy and intuitive vocal interaction with the infotainment for navigation, music, making calls; the system additionally allows reading & replying to text & WhatsAppTM messages. Add to this, voice alerts for warning functions, video playback and image viewing options, truly define the technologically advanced DNA of the Tata NEXON HyprDrive S-SG.

Along with the launch of Tata NEXON HyprDrive S-SG, Tata Motors has announced the launch of its online car customization platform - ‘IMAGINATOR’ for the NEXON. The IMAGINATOR is a platform that offers the flexibility to a user to enhance the look of his/her car by visualizing and adding the required accessories. This platform also enables a seamless online accessories purchase which in turn enhances the overall customer experience.

With its class leading design and performance, the Tata NEXON has been the most awarded Compact SUV of the year with 17 awards.

Honeywell and Safe Water Networks Win India CSR Award for Providing Safe Drinking Water Access to 420,000 People in Telangana

Honeywell has announced that its not-for-profit entity Honeywell Hometown Solutions India Foundation (HHSIF) has received the India Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award for its safe drinking water program in Telangana. The award was presented to Honeywell at the annual India CSR Leadership Summit & Awards in New Delhi, which honors outstanding and innovative CSR, sustainability and social enterprise projects.

Honeywell is funding 130 safe water stations in Telangana via its not-for-profit partner Safe Water Network. These stations provide access to safe drinking water for 420,000 people in areas that suffer from groundwater contamination due to factors such as salinity, nitrates and fluorides. Fluoride contamination can cause skeletal fluorosis, stunting and teeth mottling among youth, and spinal bending, joint pain and difficulty in mobility among the elderly.

“Together with Honeywell, we are converting the traditional mindset and centuries-old behavior of treating water as a freely available resource,” said Ravi Sewak, Country Director, Safe Water Network India. “Communities are accessing safe water conveniently from water ATMs (similar to automated teller machines) using their precharged radio-frequency indentification (RFID) cards. Now, we see more men collecting water instead of women who traditionally had to walk miles to fetch and carry water to their homes. We are poised to replicate and scale this model in other clusters.”

“We are honored to receive this prestigious recognition. This initiative is one of our flagship CSR programs that is transforming health, increasing productivity and improving the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people in the state – all of which are the imperatives that help drive the Prime Minister’s ‘ease of living’ vision,” said Vikas Chadha, President, Honeywell India.

“Honeywell is committed to improving the world we live in by creating, supporting and nurturing outstanding CSR programs that make real, sustainable and measurable impact on the communities that Honeywell serves,” Chadha added.

Through this award-winning program, Honeywell and Safe Water Network set up locally-owned and operated safe water stations that deliver safe, affordable, and reliable water adhering to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS-10500) for potable  water quality to those in need. Community engagement is key to promoting safe water adoption, which begins with door-to-door consumer outreach. Local stakeholders are mobilized to ensure people understand that investing in safe water will help reduce healthcare expenses and increase productivity.

Over the last two years, Safe Water Network and Honeywell India have already set up more than 100 safe water stations across the Karimnagar, Adilabad, Warangal Rural, Warangal Urban, Jayashankar, Mahabubabad, Jagtiyal, Peddapalli, Badradri, Mancherial, Suryapet, Khammam, Medak, and Nalgonda districts.

Global CRM Leader Salesforce Completes Acquisition of MuleSoft

Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, has announced it has completed its acquisition of MuleSoft, the provider of one of the world's leading platforms for building application networks. With MuleSoft, Salesforce will accelerate customers’ digital transformations, enabling them to unlock data across legacy systems, cloud apps and devices to make smarter, faster decisions and create highly differentiated, connected experiences for their customers.

Comments on the News:
“Every company is undergoing a digital transformation and integration has never been more strategic,” said Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce. “Now with MuleSoft, Salesforce will enable customers to connect all of the information throughout their enterprise across all public and private clouds and data sources—radically enhancing innovation. I am thrilled to welcome MuleSoft to the Salesforce Ohana.”

 “By joining Salesforce, we have a tremendous opportunity to realize our vision for the application network,” said Greg Schott, CEO of MuleSoft, a Salesforce company. “Our team is excited about accelerating MuleSoft’s mission to connect any application, data and device by building innovative products that enable our customers’ continued success.”

“Pilot Flying J is transforming its guest experience across its network of more than 750 travel centers throughout North America to make life easier for drivers on the road,” said Mike Rogers, Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy and Information Officer, Pilot Flying J. “By creating an application network that connects any app, data source or device, we were able to quickly deploy our myPilot mobile app. With MuleSoft and Salesforce, we have been able to deliver new features to our guests, including mobile payment and real-time parking availability data to professional drivers. We are excited about the collaboration between MuleSoft and Salesforce and how it will further benefit our guests by enabling us to deliver intelligent, connected experiences.”

“Deloitte has long-standing relationships with Salesforce and MuleSoft and looks forward to exploring the innovative ways to harness this combined technology to help clients meet their toughest business challenges,” said Jason Girzadas, Deloitte Global Managing Principal, Consulting.

“Salesforce's purchase of MuleSoft puts the customer right at the heart of digital transformation. Many companies are still lagging due to the difficulty in integrating legacy infrastructure, automating manual and paper-based processes, and managing data growth. MuleSoft will play a starring role in projects for the businesses that still have not formalized digital transformation strategies,” said Sheryl Kingstone, Research Director, 451 Research.

MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform and Salesforce Integration Cloud: Connect Every Experience
Companies of every size and industry need to transform how they do business in the digital age to innovate faster, deliver differentiated customer experiences and increase operational efficiency. 

MuleSoft will continue to build toward its vision for the application network with Anypoint Platform, connecting any application, data source and device—whether it touches Salesforce or not. Anypoint Platform will also be available as part of the Salesforce Integration Cloud, which—along with other complementary tools—will make it easy for customers to surface any data regardless of where it resides to deliver intelligent, connected customer experiences across all channels and touchpoints.

MathWorks Concludes 8th Annual MATLAB EXPO in Three Major Cities Around India

MathWorks, the leading developer of mathematical computing software for engineers and scientists, successfully concluded the 8th edition of its annual conference, MATLAB EXPO. The EXPO, one of India’s premier events for research and engineering communities, was hosted in Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad on the 19th, 24th and 26th of April 2018 respectively.

The EXPO featured presentations and workshops by MathWorks technical professionals and customers on a broad range of topics and applications of MATLAB and Simulink. Engineers from Honda, NXP, L&T Technology Services and Tata Steel presented their success stories about how MATLAB and Simulink are helping them innovate and address today’s most difficult engineering challenges. Michelle Hirsch from MathWorks presented the keynote address entitled ‘Are You Ready for AI? Is AI Ready for You?’ The EXPO brought together engineers, scientists, and researchers to learn more about MATLAB and Simulink. The exhibition area showcased solutions from MathWorks partners.

Commenting on the event, Sunil Motwani, industry manager at MathWorks, said, “We see MATLAB EXPO as a platform where engineers get a glimpse into how leading companies are using MATLAB and Simulink to constantly improve and innovate their services. In this year’s Expo, participants showed more interest in ‘Data Analytics’ and ‘Robotics and Autonomous Systems’ tracks. Customer presentations demonstrated pioneering usage of MATLAB and Simulink to develop complex systems for a range of commercial and defense applications.  Through our solutions, we look forward to enabling more customers to showcase their success stories in the coming years.”

Added Hirsch, “We are happy about the success of MATLAB EXPO 2018 in all three cities. Today, when enterprises are gearing themselves up for Industry 4.0, events like our EXPO serve as a venue for innovators, scientists and industry experts to come together and explore the latest in technology solutions. This year, more than 2,500 MATLAB and Simulink users gathered at the EXPO which signifies the growing customer base in India. This is the third year we are hosting the EXPO in three cities across the country and we are very pleased by the response from our users.”

Mahindra BAJA SAEINDIA Announces the Launch of Registrations for the 12th Edition

Mahindra Presents BAJA SAEINDIA announced the launch of registrations for BAJA SAEINDIA 2019. This marks the 12th season of the competition that offers a platform for young engineering talent to showcase their skills and transform their theoretical knowledge into practical experience as they compete to build an ideal all-terrain vehicle.

The theme for this season is “Adventure Reloaded”. It is based on the challenging nature of the competition and through this season, BAJA SAEINDIA would like the teams to experience this journey of adventure comprising designing, manufacturing, driving, teamwork and a lifetime opportunity to live the foremost level of difficulty.

The teams will be judged on six main parameters in the Virtual BAJA event which are – their knowledge of the rulebook, the design of the vehicle, the project plan, the design methodology, the design evaluation plain and viva sessions. This will be followed by two main events to prove their mettle.

To promote electric mobility in India, eBAJA teams who are new, will receive a financial support of up to INR 1.5 Lakhs from BAJA SAEINDIA.

In order to encourage diversification in the upcoming BAJA SAEINDIA 2019, the teams will benefit with additional points during the Virtual BAJA rounds if they comprise of students from non-mechanical background.

The Registrations will be open until the 20th May 2018 and the competition is scheduled to be kicked off on the 13th July 2018 at Chitkara University, Punjab.

Registration portal link -

Tata Motors to Sell its Defense and Aerospace Portfolio to Tata Advanced Systems Limited to Unlock their Full Potential

Tata Motors Ltd (TML), a leading global automotive company providing smart mobility solutions across commercial and passenger vehicles, announced today that its Board has approved, subject to the requisite regulatory and other approvals, the following:

1.       The sale of its defense business to Group entity Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL). This will not include the pure civilian vehicles which will continue to be with TML. TML will receive an upfront consideration of Rs 100 Crs, adjusted for capex incurred and changes in working capital in the intervening period until closure date, and a deferred consideration of 3% of the revenue generated from identified Specialized Defence Projects for upto 15 years from FY20 subject to a maximum of Rs 1750 Crs.
2.       The sale of its shareholding in its wholly owned subsidiary, TAL Manufacturing Solutions Ltd (TAL) to TASL at an enterprise value of Rs 625 crores. As a condition precedent, Tata Motors will acquire the non-aerospace business from TAL at a value of Rs.10 lakhs.

This is in line with Tata Motor’s plan to drive Turnaround 2.0, take necessary steps to further its defense business by leveraging the scale and strengths of the unified aerospace and defense entity at the Group level, while monetizing its non-core assets to reduce net-debt.

Speaking on the two strategic deals, Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors said, “Tata Motors has been a strategic partner to the Indian Ministry of Defence in defence mobility solutions for several decades. We will continue providing civilian logistics vehicles to the Defence customers. On our transition to a full range combat vehicle player, we realized that our current portfolio is small and we need scale to unlock its true potential. We believe Tata Advanced Systems Limited will be better equipped to execute larger and more complex projects and be more globally competitive as part of the larger Tata Group. Therefore we have decided that it is in our best interests to sell this part of the business to Tata Advanced Systems Limited and participate in the future growth of this business through a revenue share agreement.’

“Also, TAL Aerospace Solutions is a non-core business to Tata Motors. We have been working on charting our next phase of growth and would like to use the opportunity of consolidation at Group level to monetize our investment in this area.” added Guenter.

Tata Motors Defence
Tata Motors has been associated with the country’s off-road defence and security forces, since 1958 and has supplied over 1,50,000 vehicles to the Indian Military and Paramilitary forces, so far. The company offers products and services that not only meet the needs of the domestic market, but are also positioned to meet most stringent requirements across the world. Tata Motors exports its range of specialized defence vehicles to the SAARC, ASEAN and African regions. With Tata Motors’ rich portfolio in multi-axle range like 12×12, 8×8 & 6×6, the company has started supplying to leading Missile OEMs across the world. The company has also established itself as a supplier of specialist vehicles for UN peacekeeping missions. Tata Motors’ range of off-road vehicles are also being procured by the agencies involved in AID & Development, across the world like GSA, KBR, Oxfam, RONCO, RA International & Riders.

TAL Aerospace Solutions
TAL, a TATA Enterprise, is a wholly owned subsidiary of TATA Motors and is one of the leading companies in India, wherein its automotive and heavy engine range business has been successfully delivering manufacturing solutions for over 40 years to customers and more recently, to Robotics, Aerospace and Defence sectors. TAL has been structured to deliver solutions through its three business units: a) Aerospace Business Unit – with a focus on manufacture of precision components including exotic materials and composites and assemblies for aero-structures, b) Robotics And Automation – Robots and cost effective automation solutions and c) Manufacturing Solutions – Integrated Manufacturing Systems Division, Machine Tool Division and Hydraulic Solutions (b & c collectively – the non aerospace business). Telco Automation Limited (TAL) was formed in 2000, by merging two mother divisions of TATA Motors – Machine Tools and Growth. The ones that designed and built the machines, equipment and automation requirements of TATA Motors, during its setup of manufacturing facilities. This model was followed by TATA Motors in the 1960’s and 70’s, to ensure lower cost of capital acquisition by minimizing imports of such machines and equipment and thereby build vehicles at prices that were affordable to Indian customers.

Rubique 2.0 Lays Out 100 Crore Monthly Revenue Roadmap For 2021 and Breakeven by 2019

Setting an example on how grassroot level innovation propelled by disruptive technologies in the traditional banking space, can simplify complex financial procedures for the entire nation, Rubique Technologies PVT LTD, India’s largest online financial matchmaking platform has today announced the start of its new journey with Rubique 2.0; unveiling its new brand identity. Currently, clocking $7.2 Mn (Rs 47 Cr) revenue in March 2018, with a monthly revenue of INR 3.5 Cr, the company aims to reach an Rs 100 crore month on month revenue by 2021 and plans to breakeven by 2019.
Laying out its 2.0 vision, as initial steps, Rubique will sharpen its focus on creating a robust technology based financial ecosystem in the markets, earlier untouched by Fintech and further strengthen its technological and analytics capabilities to expand its credit product offerings to deepen its reach to small enterprises and underserved micro enterprises. As a part of its ambitious growth targets, the company has planned to heavily invest in newer products and partnerships under its Insurance segments, and further expand its product distribution into 100 more cities in India this year.

Bringing alive its renewed brand identity, Rubique Technology has unveiled its new logo which enshrines its core values and mission statement, to fulfil every financial aspiration in the Simplest, Shortest & Speediest way possible. The new logo represents the three pillars of the company- FIs, Customers and influences: integrating deep technology and domain expertise, applying insights from across industries, and consistently delivering world-class integrated, end-to-end solutions for all financial services. It also highlights Rubique’s strong technology heritage, signifying a higher level of engagement and brand permission that helps all stakeholders leverage its technology expertise to address their business and financial requirements and drive future opportunities in this digital era.

Speaking on the occasion, Manav Jeet, MD & CEO, Rubique, said “Almost around four years back we started a journey with a vision to disrupt Indian banking sector with cutting edge technology and frugal innovation to simplify finances for individual and MSMEs. We stumbled, learned and grown into one of the foremost success stories driving India’s rapidly-growing digital financial services sector. We now introduce, the second leg of our journey, Rubique 2.0, leapfrogging into the future of banking with a renewed and re-imagined focus; delving deeper into newer and underserved markets with the power of technology enabled financial inclusion. Rubique2.0 encapsulates what we do and mean, for our partners – FIs, Customers and Business Associates - and these values find expression in our new brand identity.”

In its constant endeavour to stay ahead of the technology innovation curve and bring a symbiotic relationship between traditional lending institutions and technology, the fintech major plans to develop technology products for the ecosystem to add push for digital adoption & facilitate new technologies into banking ex. TAB solution facilitating finance for SME customers, alternate data based credit scoring mechanism to facilitate underwriting for first time borrowers using machine learning and big data analytics; create infrastructure to mitigate fraud with deepen security and data privacy and leverage alternate data, image recognition and video analytics on SPOT to automate data filling and verification thus making customer on boarding seamless and hassle free.

Established in the year 2014, Rubique with its technology thinking of financial services, has proven itself as one of the fastest growing Fintech companies in India, witnessing 4X growth year on year. Currently, serving more than 2 lakh customers with offerings varying from Loans, Credit Cards to Insurance, the company has helped facilitate a massive disbursement of Rs 2,670 crores and over 82,000 credit card setups, till date through its platform, almost 65% of which is targeted to SMEs in India. Growing at a rapid pace year on year, Rubique has witnessed an exponential growth of 6x in loan disbursement from FY 16 A – FY18E as of March 2018, 8.9X growth in Credit Card set ups and 7.8 X growth in Revenue.

Speaking on the renewed brand identity, Sheetal Mayekar, Founding Member and Strategic & Commercial Intelligence, said, “The new brand identity marks our journey of transformation in the digital world. Our brand refresh signals an even closer engagement with customers, focusing on millennials with greater innovation in bringing advanced technologies to access deeper markets and ease credit access to the country and focus on entire ecosystem growth working as a collaborator.”
With constantly innovating & evolving industry, the futuristic technologies such as Blockchain, Big Data and AI used by Rubique analyses multiple data points to assess the creditworthiness of the customers and provide them the offers they are eligible for, thereby removing the manual efforts in the loan processing system.

Suraj Agarwal, CTO Rubique added, “The digital access to finance will continue to massively impact all individuals and businesses in the country. Undoubtedly technology will play a vital role in uplifting the Indian economy over the next five years, and therefore Rubique has taken a holistic approach to introduce tech intervention at all possible touch points. Implementation of disruptive technologies blockchain. Smart KYC & Paperless loan process is nothing but one step towards creating a unified flow of information to make the transactions simpler, and reduce the processing time for customers”

With the recent close of its new funds led by two of the world’s largest corporate and investment firms, the investment subsidiary RSP India Fund, LLC of Japan’s Recruit Co. Ltd. and Russian venture capital management company, Emery Capital, along with Blacksoil and existing investor Kalaari Capital, Rubique is planning to invest heavily in Data Science methodologies and leverage insights generated to build stronger business propositions. The company has recently built a data science team which leverages its rich customer data and bank credit policies to build a proprietary AI based Matchmaking and ranking algorithm that provides a customized list to each consumer based on his/her needs and profile.

Focusing on maintaining a tech-led asset-light model, while remaining unit economics positive at the transaction level, Rubique 2.0 to have a renewed focus on innovation, marketing and strategic partnerships, particularly in the B2C segment, bring advanced technology features at every stage of loan processing cycle through its Online Plus Model, Improving operational efficiency & reducing cost of acquisition, creating easy access to finance with a focus on bridging financing gap and make finance easy  & accessible to the customers.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muthoot Pappachan Group Launches Chit Business in Karnataka Towards Further Financial Inclusion

Muthoot Pappachan Group has announced the launch of Muthoot Pappachan Chits business in Bengaluru to financially support the MSMEs and people at the bottom-of –the-pyramid. The aim is to financially empower these segments who are already accustomed to the concept of chit especially in the southern region while maintaining the highest level of ethical standards, best practices, professional integrity, corporate governance and regulatory compliance – for the benefit of customers.. Before the end of the financial year, the intent for the Group is to expand the Chits business beyond Karnataka and look at Rs 1,000 crore of business from Karnataka within this fiscal.

These chits will be available to the customers of Bengaluru through the Muthoot Pappachan Chits office located FFK Towers, 1st Floor, 30th Cross, Tilaknagar Main Road, Jayanagar  and nationally will be available from over 3600 branches of Muthoot Fincorp Ltd (MFL). MFL is the flagship company of Muthoot Pappachan Group and one of the leading NBFCs in India with over 3500 retail branches, pan India.

Additionally, there are multiple channels for distribution established such as Agents, Direct sales teams, Corporate’s, focussing on MSMEs primarily and Digital channels. The efforts will be solely directed towards ensuring that the best of services reach the maximum number of consumers in the beginning and then eventually at sustaining these customers. In terms of technology, Muthoot Pappachan Chits have established the following processes and systems such as:

Online Platform- with following features
·         Shop & buy various scheme – Complete details of the product with terms & conditions
·         Pay online
·         Balance & statement online
Automated process – Hassel free onboarding of customer by eliminating filling up of manual forms/application other than one single pager
·         Auto filled agreements
·         Auto filled forms & challans
·         Automated Prize Money Distribution documents

The chits business in India is primarily unorganised and the organized players are few who are dealing with their own as well as policy challenges and changes in this space. The organised market size of Karnataka for chit business is approximate~ Rs 15,000 crore and Muthoot Pappachan Chits sees itself as one of the major players in the coming years.

Thomas John Muthoot, Chairman & Managing Director, Muthoot Pappachan Group launching the Chits business for Karnataka, said, “We feel that with our experience in the financial business, our deep understanding of the financial instruments space, our lengthy association with the needs & wants of our customers and our commitment to providing them with the right financial products and services, we will deliver effectively and empower their human ambitions. We as a group are guided by our vision to provide the common man with simple & easy financial products, solutions & services, to meet the needs and fulfil their dreams towards tangible & substantial betterment in their lives.”

Roy John, Vice President, Muthoot Pappachan Chit (India) Pvt. Ltd.  further added, “Chits are a popular form of saving and borrowing in Southern India and a very strong source of financial management. With our wealth of expertise in the financial services space, we feel we will bring a lot of value and structure to a space that we currently see as driven primarily by unorganised players.”.

TCL launches iFFALCON Smart TVs starting at Rs. 13,499 Powered by Android 7.0 Nougat in India

In a game-changing move which could potentially redefine how Indians consume new-age entertainment content, TCL Multimedia, one of the top-three TV manufacturers in the world, has launched its India-centric smart TV brand iFFALCON in the market through its exclusive association with Flipkart. TCL also showcased two stunning smart TV offerings, iFFALCON 55K2A powered by Android 7.0 Nougat and iFFALCON F2, at the grand event.

Through iFFALCON, TCL aims to upgrade the home entertainment experience for viewers across the country by giving them seamless access to their choice of entertainment, whether online or offline. Operating at the intersection of high-quality content, smart technology, and powerful hardware, iFFALCON provides the most fulfilling and enriching entertainment experience to its users by delivering the ultimate audio and visual spectacle.

Power, precision, performance for a matchless entertainment experience

What makes iFFALCON’s launch such a landmark development is how TCL has customised the cutting-edge, market-leading solutions of its smart TV sub-brand FFALCON for the Indian market. It also marks the first time a smart TV range equipped with Android 7.0 Nougat has been introduced in India. TCL’s renowned vertically-integrated manufacturing capabilities ensure that everything – from backlight and module to display, set, and panel – is produced in-house to meet and exceed global quality standards. This promise of superior quality is backed by the proven manufacturing prowess of TCL-owned CSOT Technology, a world-leading enterprise in display technology that ranks fifth globally for LCD panel shipments.

iFFALCON’s high-quality products are equipped with the latest technology and are supported by the strong background in global smart TV operations and service localisation of its parent company. Heavy investments into advanced technologies such as 5G, big data, and artificial intelligence made by TCL enable iFFALCON to provide users with direct access to personalised content. Through its robust partnerships with leading content providers such as Jio Digital, Netflix, Google Play Movies & TV,Youtube and ErosNow , Yupp TV, Flickree. iFFALCON also offers its customers with a rich and diversified content library for a more immersive entertainment experience. Its unique brand proposition is further augmented by its robust sales channel integration with Flipkart, one of India’s leading online marketplaces.

Speaking on the launch, Tony Guo, Global CEO – FFALCON Technology, said, “With the demand for smart home entertainment solutions in India growing at a rapid pace, the country’s smart TV market is in need for more technologically-evolved offerings. The launch of iFFALCON smart TVs will fulfil this need-gap. We are bringing the latest entertainment technology to India for fulfilling iFFALCON’s brand promise of enabling an ‘Incredible Smart Life’ for every customer.”

Harry Wu, GM – TCL Multimedia Overseas Business Center, said, “With iFFALCON, TCL is further strengthening its leadership position in the India market. Our long-term vision is to bring the latest entertainment technology to the Indian youth and become the go-to brand for smart products. The launch of iFFALCON will help us achieve this aim.”

Ajay Yadav, VP, Flipkart said "We are committed to bringing the best in class technology products for customers to constantly keep them excited. Our exclusive partnership with iFFalcon, by TCL, offers a range of TVs that ensure an immersive experience backed by the latest in entertainment and technology. We are confident TVs from TCL would be another best seller on Flipkart, while we continue to be India’s most trusted destination for TVs” "

The iFFALCON launch further strengthens TCL’s position as a leader in the smart consumer electronics domain, both in India and on a worldwide scale. The company is currently ranked no.3 in the LCD TV segment with 10.3% of the global market share. It surpassed its annual sales target in 2017 by selling more than 23 million TVs to register a year-on-year sales growth of 16.4%. TCL has also sustained its spectacular growth momentum in the Indian market as well, with its full-year sales volume in the country surging by 121.5% to cross 100k units. In 2017, TCL Multimedia’s turnover surpassed HK$40.00 billion for the first time in its history, hitting a historic high of HK$40.82 billion and representing a 22.4% year-on-year increase.

iFFALCON 55K2A: A 4K UHD Google-certified Android TV
What’s large-screen entertainment without ultra-high definition picture clarity? This seems to be the main thought behind iFFALCON 55K2A, the flagship offering from iFFALCON. The 4K UHD TV comes equipped with 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. By enabling an accurate reproduction of light and dark shades through HDR, iFFALCON 55K2A elevates the viewing experience to the next level.

iFFALCON 55K2A also comes equipped with Micro Dimming technology and revolutionary features such as white LED HD backlight – a landmark development in LED HD backlight technology which drastically enhances the colour gamut and provides more dynamic colour contrast. It also has Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound and advanced DTS post-processing technology to ensure sound quality which rivals a top-of-the-range stereo system. Its Smart Volume feature automatically adjusts the volume to eliminate sudden sound fluctuations typically experienced when switching channels or when television commercials air, while also automatically detecting the type of content you are watching – sports, news, movies, etc. – and adjusting the sound setting to it.

Powered by Android 7.0 Nougat, iFFALCON 55K2A offers multiple advanced features such as task switching, picture-in-picture, and in-built Google Chromecast to users. It also allows users to install apps from other devices through its multiple platform sync feature, in addition to enabling sign-ins from several Google accounts. Users also have the option of using Google Voice Search by simply pressing a button on their remotes and giving a voice input, thus eliminating the need for complicated navigation and tiresome typing. With a full suite of Google services customised for iFFALCON 55K2A, the Google-certified Android TV is poised to become a single-stop tech solution for fulfilling the varied entertainment requirements of the country’s growing and vibrant young consumer base.

iFFALCON 55K2A is powered by a powerful quad-core CPU and dual-core GPU, and has 2.56 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage. The powerful processing that this enables allows for seamless and hassle-free multitasking, as well as instant power on within two seconds. While a 2.4 GHz+5GHz dual-band WiFi enables seamless online streaming, iFFALCON 55K2A also minimises power consumption. Entertainment apps such as Hotstar, YouTube, Netflix, YuppTV, Google Play Movies & TV, Eros Now, and Voot are available for download through the Google Play store on iFFALCON 55K2A, while JioCinema comes preinstalled with each set. This enables iFFALCON users to watch their choice of movies, shows, music, sports, videos, and more at a single place!

iFFALCON F2: A next-level viewing experience
Designed to heighten the entertainment experience of Indian viewers, iFFALCON F2 comes equipped with features like Full HD and Micro Dimming technology. The latest generation of iFFALCON LED HD backlight enhances the colour gamut and provides dynamic contrast.
And that’s not all! The latest version of the App Store on iFFALCON F2 provides a comprehensive range of downloadable content from over 500 applications ranging from video-on-demand, social, gaming, music, and photo sharing. It comes preinstalled with Netflix, one of the biggest online streaming platforms in the world. Adding yet more immersion to the mix, iFFALCON F2 has T-Cast, an integrated feature exclusive for iFFALCON TV which allows users to operate the TV via their smartphones.

iFFALCON F2 also comes with Dolby decoder and supports a variety of audio and video formats, including the latest coding system, from the antenna to the USB and other input channels such as H.264/MPEG4/MKV/AVI/MP4 video coding. Equipped with comprehensive safety features such as lightning protection, fast heat ventilation, and wide voltage range, it consumes significantly lower power and is moisture-proof. iFFALCON F2 comes in two configurations, the 40-inch variant 40F2 and the 32-inch variant 32F2.

Pricing and booking: iFFALCON’s first three models will be available for purchase from May 7. iFFALCON 55K2A will be available at Rs 45,999, while iFFALCON 40F2 and iFFALCON 32F2 will be priced at Rs 19,999 and Rs 13,499 respectively. To make the deal even sweeter, all three iFFALCON models will come with a bundled cashback offer with JioFi data card.Stay tuned and know more details on Flipkart iFFALCON brand store.

NCR Gears up to Host the 4th Edition of One Mega Event from May 23-25, 2018 at Pragati Maidan with Emphasis on the Rapid Development of Smart Cities

The future of humanity lies in sustainable cities, for the strategies to improve the sustainability of the environment can profoundly improve the quality of life of people living in these cities. However, behind this lies the crucial question of how governments, industry experts, and individuals can help build and shape such sustainable cities that will determine our collective future. It is to initiate discussions around such critical issues and find practical tech-led solutions that India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) & Exhibitions India Group is bringing the 4th edition of the acclaimed One Mega Event. Scheduled between May 23 and May 25, 2018 at New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, the event will have companies from 40 countries – from ground-breaking start-ups to blue-chip multinationals – unveil their latest technology products and services across 20,000 square meters of exposition space.

Launched in 2015, One Mega Event is the largest trade show and conference of its kind in the country. It brings together global industry leaders, exhibitors, industry associations, speakers, government administrators, municipal bodies, urban planning experts, investors, pioneers, technology innovators, architects, academia, and the media to envision the cities of tomorrow. Together, they share their views and proposals for making cities more viable, efficient, transparent, and, above all, enhancing the quality of life of its residents.

Government and business delegations from all over the globe are expected to attend the event that incorporates five vertical expos, namely Buildings India 2018 expo: Building a sustainable future, Solar India 2018 expo: Solar energy for a sustainable future, Transport India 2018 expo: Smarter transport for a sustainable future, Smart Cities India 2018 expo: Smarter solutions for a better tomorrow, Water India 2018 expo: Clean water for a sustainable future. Featuring amongst the participants at the event will be some prominent entities such as Epson India, Havells, Infineon, JK Cements, Johnson Controls, National Highway Authority of India, National Mission for Ganga Rejuvenation, New Delhi Municipal Corporation, ST Micro, Tata Group, and Vikram Solar. One Mega Event will be sponsored by SAP and Schneider Electric.

Commenting on the upcoming event, Prem Behl, Chairman, Exhibitions India Group, said, “The world is witnessing unprecedented urbanization at present, and there is perhaps no other country that is getting urbanized as swiftly as India. If unplanned, this leads to several critical issues such as overcrowding, congestion, and declining quality of life. Addressing these concerns requires well-designed cities that can deliver benefits in terms of economic development and prosperity, as well as encourage creativity and learning. Through this event, we endeavor to inspire people who already live in urban areas to look at their cities through a new lens and develop fresh insights which can help governments manage extant urban challenges. Our vision is to help all stakeholders across the value chain see how they can help in building robust urban infrastructures and sustainable energy, water, and transport systems by combining synergies and working towards a common goal.”

Ranked #1 on Google listings, and considered a must-attend event in this genre worldwide, One Mega Event features action-packed conference sessions, panel discussions, and plenary sessions, and provides opportunities for one-on-one meetings, group discussions, and networking activities. A full line-up of over 50 conference sessions enables delegates to collaborate and share best practices across a wide range of smart technology areas. Through a world-class exhibit space, One Mega Event ensures an experiential trade show for all involved in promoting efficient buildings, solar power, smart transportation, smart cities, and smart water management.

Amazon India Continues to Expand India Infrastructure; Adds Five New Fulfillment Centres

Amazon India has announced it was increasing its storage capacity in 2018 by 1.5X over the previous year, as continued investment in its fulfillment infrastructure to match its rapidly expanding business in India. With the addition of five new Fulfillment Centres (FC), now has 67 FCs in 13 states, with a total storage capacity of over 20 million cubic feet. This includes the recently announced specialized network of 6 FCs for the large appliances and furniture category and another specialized network of 15 FCs to support the AmazonNow business. 

These new FCs will be set up in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Vijayawada and Kolkata to support increased customer and seller demand from these regions. All of these fulfillment centres will be fully operational before the festive season of 2018 as continues to be the fastest growing ecommerce company at scale in India. 

“We want to ensure that Indian customers can buy anything, anytime from anywhere in the country. At Amazon, we have been consistently investing in our infrastructure and delivery network, to provide a superior experience to both customers and sellers. With the addition of this expanded infrastructure, we will be able to offer an even better Prime experience to our customers.” said Akhil Saxena, Vice President, Customer Fulfillment, Amazon India.

He added, “The 67 FCs we now have across our fulfillment network will enable tens of thousands of small & medium businesses to fulfil their orders in a cost-efficient manner. We continue to remain committed to long term investment for infrastructure and technology in India that helps create thousands of new jobs, and brings economic growth in these areas, including ancillary businesses such as packaging, transportation and logistics.”

Amazon has created one of the most advanced fulfilment networks in the world and sellers in India have been benefitting from Amazon’s expertise in fulfilment, reliable nationwide delivery and customer service. When using Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA), sellers across India send their products to Amazon’s FCs and once an order is placed, Amazon picks, packs & ships the order to the customer, provides customer service and manages returns on behalf of the sellers.

Sellers save money by replacing their upfront capital expense with low variable cost and pay only for the storage space they use and the orders that Amazon fulfills. Sellers always have the flexibility to choose the number of products they want to have fulfilled by Amazon and scale according to their business requirements. Currently, over 40 million products are available for immediate shipping through the network of Amazon’s FCs in India. This selection will only increase with the expanding FC footprint and benefit sellers and customers alike.

All customers on and the Amazon mobile shopping app have an easy and convenient access to over 170 million products across hundreds of categories. They benefit from a safe and secure ordering experience, convenient electronic payments, Cash on Delivery, Amazon’s 24x7 customer service support, and a globally recognized and comprehensive 100% purchase protection provided by Amazon’s A-to-Z Guarantee. They can also enjoy’s guaranteed next-day, two day delivery, Sunday and Morning delivery on products fulfilled by Amazon.

Accenture Interactive Named Largest Digital Network Worldwide by Advertising Age in Annual Agency Report for Third Year in a Row

Ad Age has named Accenture Interactive the largest digital network worldwide in its Agency Report 2018, published today. This is the third consecutive year in which Accenture Interactive was ranked the largest digital network worldwide. The analysis is based on an evaluation of more than 600 agencies, networks and companies.

 Ad Age’s annual Agency Report includes agency rankings based on worldwide and U.S. revenues in 2017. Accenture Interactive reported the highest worldwide revenue of any digital network, at $6.5 billion for Accenture’s fiscal year 2017 (ended August 31, 2017), reflecting year-over-year growth of 35%.

 Accenture Interactive ranked as follows:
 #1 – World’s 15 Largest Digital Networks
#1 – World’s 25 Largest Consolidated Networks
#6 – World’s 25 Largest Agency Companies

The rankings reflect a banner year for Accenture Interactive and significantly increased demand for its differentiated customer experience capabilities that connect creativity, strategy and technology.
“The future is all about creating the ultimate customer experience,” said Brian Whipple, global head of Accenture Interactive. “Brands today are built by a series of interconnected experiences consumers have with a company across multiple, increasingly digital, channels. Our model is purpose-built on assembling the right mix of digital and business transformation skills to deliver the best customer experiences on the planet. I’m extremely grateful to our clients and team who deserve all the credit for this success.”

Calendar year 2017 was a milestone year for Accenture Interactive, including having:
Pioneered inventions, including an AI-driven programmatic video format and Accenture Genome, next-generation personalization technology

Launched an Extended Reality group and added industrial design capabilities to its Fjord design & innovation unit

Entered new markets, including Buenos Aires and Colombia and opened a Digital Hub in Singapore – all collaborative work environments to foster co-creation with clients
Landed new accounts, including Maserati, The Vatican, and Wärtsilä 
Hired industry luminaries such as former Wunderman president Eduardo Bicudo  
Acquired award-winning agencies, including SinnerSchrader (Germany), Kunstmaan (Belgium), The Monkeys (Australia), MATTER and Wire Stone (US)             
“Today’s clients face challenges of speed and agility and are looking for agencies built from the ground up for the digital world, providing the right brains and skills,” said Amy Fuller, Accenture’s chief marketing & communications officer. “CMOs are looking for equal parts strategic and creative partner, with a mix of multi-disciplinary skills – such as design, deep technology and marketing analytics – to help solve their toughest business and brand challenges. We’re proud that Ad Age has recognized Accenture Interactive and our successful model that brings unique capabilities and innovative services to the market.”

According to the Agency Report, digital overall captured 51% of 2017 U.S. revenue for agencies of all disciplines – reflecting a growth rate of 7%, versus 8% in 2016. The report notes that, despite overall lackluster category growth, parts of the agency market are thriving. Digital work in 2017 accounted for more than half of U.S. agency revenue for the very first time. Also, consultancies for the first time captured spots 6 to 10 on the list of the world’s biggest agency companies, and “are well-positioned with deep ties to the C-suite,” says lead writer, Bradley Johnson.

 Ad Age’s 74th Agency Report, published annually since 1945, includes rankings of the largest agencies and agency companies based on prior year revenue.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor sells 13,871 units Including Exports of 834 units of the Etios Series During April 2018

Toyota Kirloskar Motor sold a total of 13037 units in the domestic market this month of April 2018. The company exported 834 units of the Etios series this month thus clocking a total of 13871 units.  TKM sold a total of 12964 units in the domestic market and exported 1109 units of the Etios series in April 2017.

Commenting on the sales performance, N. Raja, Deputy Managing Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, “This month was quite eventful for us with the bookings opening for the most awaited product Toyota Yaris. Yaris is loaded with first in segment features and offers great value proposition in terms of best in segment quality, comfort safety and performance.

The world class sedan has been well appreciated nationwide since its first appearance at the Auto Expo 2018. It comes at an exciting Introductory price in the range of  ₹ 8,75,000/- to  ₹ 14,07,000/, there has been very good initial response from customers.  The deliveries to customers will begin from mid May.

Fortuner and Innova Crysta continue to maintain a strong position in the market as undisputed segment leaders. We are thankful to our customers for their continued trust and loyalty to the brand.

We look forward to a positive growth momentum in the domestic sales in the upcoming month and expect good sales volume for our new entry Toyota Yaris.

Script Huddle- Kitchen Masterclass with Celebrity Chef Sarah Todd in Bangalore

Celebrity chef Sarah Todd executed her exciting Kitchen Masterclass at ‘Script’, Bangalore’s newest furniture and accessories store. 

The Masterclass was a part of ‘Script Huddle’ which brings together like-minded people in a deep and meaningful way, in a series of in-store workshops, curated panel discussions, meet-ups and performances that cover design, décor and DIY yes, but also music, literature and work-life balance.

 The event witnessed Bengaluru food lovers in full strength as they attended Sarah’s knives workshop and learnt some unique techniques of prepping, plating and setting the table. Inspired by the concept of ‘Freedom of Living, Script believes that such events just like their products will also strive to deliver a life which is fluid, enjoyable, beautiful and purposeful.

Forcepoint Announces APAC Channel Partner Awards to Fuel Growth in Delivering Human-Centric Cybersecurity

Global cybersecurity leader Forcepoint today announced its partner award winners, presented during the gala dinner at its APAC Channel Partner conference in Taipei, Taiwan. Forcepoint’s partner awards celebrate the global partner community and the innovation and value-added services they deliver to Forcepoint end-user customers. Key channel partners from across the region attended a two-day conference to learn more about Forcepoint’s human-centric security strategy and Risk-Adaptive Protection.

The winners this year are:
·         APAC Distributor of the Year: Inflow Technologies (India)
·         Top Cloud Distributor: TECH DATA (Australia)
·         Top Data Distributor: Data World (Hong Kong)
·         Rookie Distributor of the Year: Netpoleon (Thailand)
·         Platinum Partner of the Year: Hitachi Systems (India)
·         Platinum Partner of the Year (Cloud): IBM (Australia)
·         Platinum Partner of the Year (Data): ACPL Systems (India)
·         Gold partner of the Year: Radmik (Malaysia)
·         Rookie Partner of the Year (Cloud): Equate Technologies (Australia)
·         Rookie Partner of the Year (Data): Answer Co. Ltd (Korea)

“We are delighted to celebrate the success which investment in our human-centric security approach brings to our APAC network of partners,” said George Chang, vice president of APAC at Forcepoint. “Forcepoint is driving an inflection point in the cybersecurity industry. With traditional approaches no longer working, and breaches getting bigger and causing more damage and disruptions, the industry needs to move towards Risk-adaptive Protection to meet today’s sophisticated security threats.”

To further support partners in delivering differentiated, human-centric cybersecurity capabilities, Forcepoint announced the appointment of Alex Lim as senior director of channel and alliances for Asia Pacific and Japan at Forcepoint.

In his new role and working closely with Tom Flink, vice president of global channel sales at Forcepoint, Lim will lead the APAC channel team in expanding business opportunities via channel partners, service providers, system integrators and distributors through Forcepoint’s differentiated and high-growth security systems. Previously, Lim successfully led and grew business for Forcepoint’s Southeast Asia region for more than 10 years helping enterprise customers protect their users and critical data while enabling partners to adopt the Human Point system of cybersecurity capabilities that included DLP, UEBA, CASB, NGFW and web/email security.

“Alex has been an experienced leader and a passionate advocate of the channel’s ability to enable organizations to keep their people and IP safe in this digital world,” said Flink. “He will play a vital role to expand the APAC channel eco-system and work with our partners to deliver Risk-Adaptive Protection innovations to businesses demanding a fresh approach to security.”

“The human-centric approach to cybersecurity represents a largely untapped opportunity for the channel as customers seek to rapidly respond to and eliminate risk in an ever-evolving threat landscape,” said Lim. “I’m excited to support our channel partners in growing their business as they modernize their customer’s cybersecurity capabilities.”

At the APAC Partner conference, key partners from across the region came together to learn more about Forcepoint’s transformation of cybersecurity and the opportunities to grow in 2018 and beyond. In the last three months alone Forcepoint has been recognized by CRN on its 20 Coolest Cloud Security Vendors list, the 2018 Cloud 100 and 2017 Products of the Year for Forcepoint CASB. Forcepoint’s Flink was also named to the prestigious list of CRN 2018 Channel Chiefs.

The conference delivered insight to APAC partners on how focus at Forcepoint is shifting to the end user, by enabling Risk-Adaptive Protection to continuously assess risk and automatically provide proportional enforcement that can be dialed up or down. This capability is enabled through the power of human-centric behavior analytics that understand interactions with data across users, machines and accounts. With the industry's first automated enforcement capability that dynamically adapts, security analysts are now freed to focus on high value activities and eliminate the backlog of alerts from traditional security tools.

In addition, partners had an opportunity to hear the APAC perspective on cybersecurity industry issues from leading IT analyst firm Frost & Sullivan and the National Bureau of Investigation, Philippines.

In the past six months, Forcepoint has added many strategic partners to its channel programme including Sify Limited in India, Zillione Limited in Sri Lanka, Quann Asia Pacific Pte Ltd in Singapore, and Avantgarde Technologiesand Equate Technologies in Australia.

Arvind Gautam, executive vice president and head of TIS Business, Sify Limited said, “Our customers are asking us to deliver a cybersecurity strategy that not only allows them to innovate and but also deal with security threats effectively as they happen. Our partnership with Forcepoint has allowed us to offer revolutionary human-centric cybersecurity solutions and we are confident that we can continue to grow together.”

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