Saturday, May 12, 2018

MSRIT Engineering Students Develop Low-Cost Battery Using Nanotech at Pradarshana-2018

A group of students from M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bengaluru secured 2nd place in Pradarshana-2018, a project exhibition held on May 9 and 10 for their project entitled  “Characterization and improvisation of unique future energy device-Supercapacitor.”

The project by four students—Singa Tharun Kumar Reddy (21), M Akshay Shenoy (21), Manoj Kumar D (21) and Manvir Singh (21) is a unique energy storage device, a 3 volts battery that can charge in 10 seconds.

It is built with nanotechnology and all the materials used are eco-friendly. It provides better energy, power applications and lightweight properties with the help of nanoparticles.

This small battery can be arranged in series to get higher voltages like 12V, 24V so on.

This project was a year and a half in making. 5000 prototypes later, the group found the final product.

A similar project was undertaken earlier but it was priced at Rs 300 per battery. However, this group of students have priced the battery at Rs 50 to 100, which are efficient and lightweight.

This battery can be used in electric vehicles, regenerative braking system and energy suspension to name a few.

Canara Bank Posts A Loss As Provisions Surge Threefold In March Quarter of 2018

State-owned Canara Bank reported higher-than-expected losses as asset quality worsened and provisions against bad loans surged threefold in the quarter ended March.

The lender reported a net loss of Rs 4,859.8 crore during the quarter, it said in its exchange filing. That’s much higher than Rs 698 crore estimated by analysts tracked by the media. Canara Bank had reported a net profit of Rs 214 crore in the comparable quarter last year.

The lender took a tax writeback of Rs 2,450 crore during the quarter, without which losses would have been steeper.

Canara Bank’s quarterly loss is the second biggest quarterly loss reported by a public sector bank during the bad loan clean-up, which began in 2015 with the Reserve Bank of India’s asset quality review.

Canara Bank saw asset quality deteriorate in the fourth quarter as gross bad loans rose to 11.84 percent of total assets from 10.38 percent in the previous quarter. Ratio of net non-performing assets increased to 7.48 percent from 6.78 percent on a sequential basis.

Provisions against bad loans increased threefold to Rs 8,762 crore in the same period. Canara Bank said it did not take the benefits allowed by the Reserve Bank of India on provisioning against stressed accounts undergoing insolvency proceedings at the National Company Law Tribunal, mark-to-market losses and enhanced gratuity. It also classified one gems and jewellery account as a non-performing asset in the March quarter owing to fraud.

The state-owned bank said the divergence in its gross bad loans at the end of financial year 2016-17 stood at Rs 3,248 crore.

Alliance Tire Group Launches a New Range of Radial OTR Tires Under its World-renowned Brand Galaxy

Alliance Tire Group (ATG) is a leading name in the Global Off-Highway Tire Business. It owns three world-renowned brands – Alliance, Galaxy and Primex. Galaxy, the standard bearer brand for application specific, purpose-built tires, has launched its very first Radial OTR range, specially made to keep pace with the challenging needs of high-pressure job-sites.

Product Features:
•    Superior performance
•    Sturdy construction with customised tread designs
•    Excellent stability and optimal traction
•    Minimum heat build-up
•    Strong carcass protection and superior cut resistance
•    Excellent durability and reduced downtime

Speaking on the launch, The ATG Group Representative said, “Job-sites are maturing and becoming more challenging, leading to a change in the type of equipment being used, kind of material being handled, the surfaces of work. Galaxy range is specially designed to keep pace with these changing needs and help machines to perform at their full capacities without delays or downtime. Special tread compounds facilitate smooth functioning for longer cycles. At ATG, we understand that critical jobs can’t afford delays and require dependable partners to achieve results.’’

Galaxy hardworking range of tires is the optimal choice for such high –pressure job sites where business just can’t stop. These ranges of tires are designed for loaders, graders and dump trucks.

The Pattern of Galaxy Radial OTR Tire:
·         HTSR 400 E4/L4
·         LDSR 300 E3/L3
·         MGSR 200 G2

Yes Bank Hosts 7 Innovative Fintech Startups at the Demo Day of its 'YES FINTECH' Global Accelerator

YES BANK, India’s fourth largest private sector bank announced graduation of 7 startups from the Autumn cohort of its Global Fintech Accelerator, YES FINTECH. 

The 15 week innovation program focused on mentoring start-ups to develop scalable business solutions. The 7 start-ups also had a unique opportunity to access YES BANK‘s vast network of 2 million+ retail, 10,000+ SME and 5000+ Corporate customers in addition to Digital banking infrastructure support and funding access.

Commenting on the event, Rana Kapoor, MD & CEO, YES BANK, said, “We are pleased with the outcomes of our 2nd cohort, which has addressed multiple focus areas with material impact on Productivity, Data Intelligence, new MSME business generation and enhanced customer service, among others. At YES BANK, we believe in collaboration over ownership and have successfully been able to forge meaningful relationships with start-ups around the world which has helped us access innovations and solutions. Since launching the accelerator programme, we have seeded and scaled several such technologies which has had a multiplier effect on the entire fintech ecosystem.”

The Demo day, where each of the 7 start-ups had the opportunity to showcase their co-created solutions, was attended by a network of leading corporate clients of YES BANK, media executives, startup mentors in addition to the startups of YES FINTECH’s first cohort and Investors across verticals such as Finance, Technology, Capital Markets, Entertainment and Media etc. Several corporate partners expressed interest in adopting the solutions and will now enter into definitive contractual negotiations with the respective start-ups.

5 of the 7 startups have successfully completed PoCs and are to moving to commercialization, and 3 are in process of raising funds on the back of successful PoCs.

Fintechs that showcased their solutions during YES FINTECH’s Demo Day, May 11 2018:

*Sentimer, a Spanish fintech startup, offers AI and voice based automated customer support and transactions for MSMEs with the goal of improving customer experience via simpler, intuitive and homogeneous support service. The solution has the potential to be scaled by integration with smart speakers/ personal assistants developed by internet giants.

* bNesis based in Warsaw, Poland, bNESIS is a fintech startup focused on building a unified API service for enabling credit scoring and SME profiling via leading e-commerce portals for loan disbursement basis GST returns and transaction data.

*Pingal uses data science and natural language search to provide data driven decision making and real-time reporting on business KPIs. The Mumbai based startup launched operations in May 2017 and are looking at bagging multiple corporate projects within a year, with support from YES FINTECH.

*Karza assists in leveraging GST returns to underwrite loans from SMEs and corporates along with alternative credit scoring. Using this solution YES BANK is:

*Further deepening the YES GST solution

*Developing risk containment solutions for faster risk profiling and mitigate NPAs and loan frauds by locating defaulting absconders and tracing their assets for recovery using Karza’s advanced machine learning and data mining technologies.

*Balance is deepening the bank’s penetration in the new to bank/youth segment by developing a savings habit and enabling smart investments. Balance is a personal savings app that aids financial education among youth to save the petty change and invest in FDs and mutual funds.

*Fyle links email, consumer apps and other platform to simplify and automate recording, sharing and processing of expenses and invoices to a one-click process within an organization. Bangalore based Fyle has also recently raised funds from Pravega Ventures and Beenext, a Singapore-based venture capital firm.

*FinBit offers loan decisioning by automated analysis of bank statement to enable underwriters in understanding a customer’s financial behavior.

Amazon Launches Shutterbug in India to Host Tutorials, Workshops with Photography Experts

Amazon India has launched Shutterbug, a one-of-its-kind online club for photography enthusiasts. An India-first initiative across Amazon geographies, Shutterbug is designed to be a free to use, engaged community bringing all photographers from beginners to professionals under one roof.

The club is open for everyone interested in photography and offers a mix of tips & tutorials, engagement opportunities with renowned photo mentors, offline workshops and exciting contests to showcase photography skills.

At its heart, Shutterbug comes with the aim to educate and upskill budding photographers in India. To achieve this, Amazon India has partnered with Toehold Travel & Photography, a renowned training & photography brand helmed by Jayanth Sharma, a Sanctuary Asia award-winning photographer. 

Shutterbug will feature original bite-sized video training content and exercises from Toehold. There is also a formal course on photography featuring five modules with 17 videos called Essentials of Photography. Shutterbug will also feature monthly content on advanced techniques on different genres of photography. Moreover, Amazon India will be leveraging expert content & renowned photo mentors from top imaging brands like Leica, Canon and Sony.

“ has a wide customer reach being the world’s largest product search engine. Associating with a program like Shutterbug helps us to not only bring our devices and accessories to the customers but also educate them about the advantages, utility and optical excellence of our products”, said Sunil Kaul, Managing Director, Leica Camera, APAC. He further added, “I foresee that programs like these help build the desire for new product categories in India as these need awareness for adoption and growth.”

“Shutterbug has been designed with a single objective of helping photography enthusiasts indulge in their passion. Along with video content, we will be facilitating interactions with leading brands and stalwarts of the industry. We look forward to celebrating photography in India through this unique platform.” said Jonathan Burks, Category Leader - Consumer Electronics, Amazon India.

Statistically, photography has become a ubiquitous hobby among millennials around the world. According to industry reports, in 2017, 1.2 trillion photos were clicked – about 160 pictures for each of the 7.5Bn people on earth! In 2016, 350Mn photos were shared on Facebook, 95Mn on Instagram, 400Mn Snapchat and 1.6Bn via WhatsApp every day. However, what separates iconic photographers from amateurs is their curiosity to learn, continuing practice to hone their skills and using the right equipment for the job.

Ather Energy Signs Agreement with Sanmina Corporation to Develop and Produce Key Components for the S340

Ather Energy, the smart electric two-wheeler start-up, has announced it has signed an agreement with Sanmina Corporation, a leading integrated manufacturing solutions company headquartered in San Jose, California, to develop and manufacture key components designed by Ather for its maiden scooter – the Ather S340.

As part of the agreement, Sanmina will exclusively manufacture Ather’s charging system, battery management systems and dashboard at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chennai, India.
Speaking on the agreement, Tarun Mehta, CEO and co-founder of Ather Energy said, “We value a manufacturing partner like Sanmina, with expertise in battery management systems and electric vehicles, who is as excited as we are about this market. In a smart scooter like the S340, integrating the power circuits with each other, the onboard charger and the charging stations is of paramount importance. Sanmina and Ather have designed a system that offers the utmost efficiency with the highest levels of safety.”  

Commenting on the agreement, Mike Landy, Sanmina’s EVP and COO of EMS for Asia and Europe said, “Sanmina is excited to partner with Ather Energy. We are impressed with the sophisticated design and innovative technology in the S340. Sanmina specializes in mission critical products and electronics, and we are proud to collaborate with Ather Energy.”

The Ather S340 is slated to launch in Bangalore in June, 2018.

COAI Welcomes Tech, Digital Service Firm Ciena as an Associate Member

COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India), the apex industry association representing leading telecom, internet, technology and digital services companies, today welcomed Ciena as an associate member. Ciena is one of the leading telecommunications networking equipment, software, and services suppliers, headquartered in Hanover, Maryland, USA. The company started operations in India in 2005, and is a strategic supplier to many network operators in India including many of the country’s top service providers. Further, the company is also a key vendor to many undersea and overland cable consortiums.

Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI, welcoming the new member said, “We welcome Ciena on board as an Associate Member. The joint efforts of COAI for the industry and Ciena’s expertise in broadband networks will go a long way in fulfilling the Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi’s dream of building a digitally empowered nation. Ciena will further benefit by the access to industry licensed operators and awareness of issues pertaining to the telecom industry, in terms of gaining know-how on customer needs, government policies and regulation.”

COAI’s Associate Membership comprises companies that provide applications, manufacture or support the functioning, promotion, research development and evolution of Mobile Communications Services. COAI’s other Associate Members include Accenture, ACT Fibernet, Amazon, Cisco, IBM, Indus Towers, Google India Pvt Ltd, Ericsson India Pvt Ltd, Sterlite Technologies, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd, Indus Towers Ltd, Nokia Solutions and Networks Pvt Ltd, Qualcomm India Pvt Ltd, ZTE, Facebook India Online Services Pvt Ltd etc.

Ryan Perera, Vice President and General Manager, Ciena India, is honored to be a part of this key industry association saying, “As India continues to see massive mobile broadband subscriber growth across the country, COAI will play a key role to help examine the opportunity for operators and suppliers alike and also provide strategic direction to shape its future. We look forward to sharing our expertise with all members in showcasing and building more adaptive networks that will support the Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative.”

Build Digital Workplace with Newgen BPM Platorm - OmniDocs 10.0

Newgen Software, a provider of Business Process Management (BPM), Enterprise Content Management (ECM), and Customer Communication Management (CCM) platforms, today released OmniDocs10.0, an enhanced version of its ECM Suite. The version enables faster and accurate processing of documents and allows users to design document processes through a no-code wizard setup. This version offers enriched user experience with anintuitive and refreshed UI/UX.

Newgen OmniDocs 10.0 offers extensive configuration capabilities, allowing customers to personalize the ECM system as per their business, departments, teams, and users. This enables organizationsdrive ECM adoption while making departments more efficient and usersmore productive.

“The suite offers smart tools to capture content from multiple sources, manage it in a secure centralized repository and make information accessible via content-centric processes. It offers flexibility to access or deliver content over mobile and cloud, creating a highly connected and digital workplace,” said Diwakar Nigam, Chairmanand Managing Director, Newgen Software.

Key enhancements offered by the platform include:

·  Easy Search Enhancements: Enables faster information access with federated and intuitive search capabilities, such as auto-suggestion, hit highlighting, and others. Optimizes search queries by removing redundant words and phrases

·   OmniProcess  Wizard: Offers no-code wizard-based design and deployment of document processes  across multiple departments and teams with multi-level linear workflows

·    OmniProcess Reports: Helps monitor document processing performance of employees with out of the box visual reports. Tracks document process KPIs such as the number of documents or folders uploaded, verified or approved by users

·    Google Drive and SharePoint integration: Enables collaborative content creation via Google Drive interface with OmniDocs.  Allows archival directly from SharePoint to OmniDocs

OmniDocs 10.0 is highly scalable with large-scale enterprise deployments, managing billions of documents. It has use cases across verticals, such as Banking, BPO, Insurance, Telecom, Healthcare, Legal, Public Sector and others.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

India's Information Technology Outlook in 2018 Cautiously Positive: Nasscom Report

Outlook for the Indian information technology (IT) sector is ‘cautiously positive’ in 2018 as challenges remain amidst prospects of greater IT spending with global and US economies improving, industry body Nasscom said.

Dismissing speculation about 2018 being a come-back year for the IT sector, the president of the industry body Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies), R Chandrashekhar, said, “That’s the problem, that people proclaim a major revival very quickly.”

“Neither was a decline predicted nor a sudden massive revival or change this year,” he told the media here.

Stating that there is always a phase-lag and that many things can happen in-between, Chandrashekhar said outlook for the current calendar year is “cautiously positive”.

He conceded that no doubt the global outlook was looking up as “the global economy, the US economy and all of that...are all looking positive.

However, it does not immediately translate into bigger prospects for the industry,” he cautioned. “It isn’t yet time to say it (challenging times) is all we are seeing everything being great and all that... No,” he stressed.

The short-term prognosis for the global economy is good; US economy is doing well, which usually does translate into greater IT spending even though it may not be visible today. But the time it (IT spending) takes and to what magnitude is something which really needs to be monitored closely, he said.

‘Old challenges’ continue and none of them have disappeared, he said, adding, some of them may have abated, while some others may have reduced either in immediacy or in their magnitude of impact.

“And then there are new ones like continued small administrative actions in the US which have been there... that don’t individually have a big impact, but collectively they add up to a number of negatives,” he said.

“So, all those things are now a part of business in a global industry which is dealing with de-globalisation and anti-globalisation,” he said.

On the industry working towards more digital influence, and subsequent revenues, he said Nasscom has been consistently saying that there are only three things India needs to focus on, “skilling, skilling and skilling.”

Forbes Releases First Crypto Rich People List; Chris Larsen at the Top

Forbes has released its first ever list of richest people in cryptocurrency, which is topped by Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen, with an estimated crypto net worth of $7.5-8 billion.

There is a huge spike in the value of the unregulated cryptocurrencies, which are ‘mined’ using secret algorithms based on the blockchain technologies. According to Forbes, the average 2017 price change of Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP, three of the most common cryptocurrencies, is a whopping 14,409%.

As per the publication, there are now nearly 1,500 cryptoassets in existence, valued at an aggregate $550 billion, up 31 times since the beginning of 2017. “Fortunes of this magnitude should never be allowed to lurk in the shadows,” Forbes Editor Randall Lane said.

The list also features Joseph Lubin with crypto net worth ($1-5 billion), Changpeng Zhao ($1.1-2 billion), Cameron & Tyler Winklevoss ($900 million-1.1 billion) and Matthew Mellon ($900 million-1.1 billion).

Others in the list include Brian Armstrong, Matthew Roszak, Anthony Di Iorio, Brock Pierce, Michael Novogratz, Brendan Blumer, Dan Larimer, Valery Vavilov, Charles Hoskinson, Brad Garlinghouse, Barry Silbert, Vitalik Buterin, Tim Draper and Song Chi-Hyung. The publication noted that given the “opaqueness” and crypto’s hyper-volatility, Forbes presented the net-worth estimates in ranges.

It further said: “It’s a near certainty that we have missed some people and that some of our estimates are wide of the mark”.

Satyam Computers Services to Pay $125 Million to Settle US Litigation in US Court

Mahindra Satyam, formerly known as Satyam Computer Services, today said it has agreed to pay $125 million to settle a clutch of class action suits filed against the company in a United States District Court.

According to Mahindra Satyam chairman Vineet Nayyer, the amount will be delivered to the plaintiffs once the US Court judge gives final approval to the settlement deal, which may take around four months.

"The $125 million will come from cash reserves which are at Rs 2,900 crore at the last count. So we don't see any problem in getting money. The amount will be put in an escrow account in a few days' time," Nayyer said.

"We will have to get the Reserve Bank approval. Once the approval comes, then this money will be transferred to plaintiffs and distributed," he added. Furthermore, the company will also pay the lead plaintiffs 25 per cent of any net recovery that it may obtain in future from PricewaterhouseCoopers-related entities that helped Satyam Computer founder Ramalinga Raju perpetrate the fraud.

The Lawrence School, Sanawar Launches Leadership Program for School Students Across India

The Lawrence School, Sanawar (Himachal Pradesh) in collaboration with Aspire, will present an unprecedented cast for their second edition of The Sanawar Leadership Program (TSLP), a summer leadership camp (a ten day residential camp) for 10-14 year old young leaders on their 139 acres, 150 years old majestic campus in the Kasauli Hills.

The program from 19-28 June 2018 is open to Middle School students (ages 10-14) from across the country. The Lawrence School, Sanawar opened its campus to the nation through this program, to gift its legacy of creating national leaders, beyond the students who attend the co-ed boarding between Grades 5 to 12.

The 10-day residential camp from June 19-28, 2018 will help students understand and practice enlightened leadership, develop self-awareness, grow confidence, and evolve intellectually as well as emotionally through experiential learning. The Lawrence School has retained Aspire (, a pioneer in leadership education, to build and deliver the program. Aspire has created and conducted such programs for leading schools in India, including The Doon School (Dehradun), Oakridge International School (Hyderabad) and The Shri Ram School (Gurgaon).

According to Vinay Pande, Headmaster of the school, “The Lawrence School, Sanawar, understands leadership intimately. In 2013, we became the first school in the world to send a team of students to successfully climb Mount Everest. Our motto, ‘Never Give In’ underlines the lessons we teach at TSLP. The first edition of TSLP secured very high student satisfaction rating of 4.8 on a scale of 1-5.”

Amit Bhatia, Global CEO of London-headquartered, The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment or GSG and formerly, Founder of McKinsey Knowledge Centre commented, “Our children are our future leaders. They can seize their and our futures if we nurture, groom and invest in them. Every year, I take a fortnight away from work to invest in this shared future. It’s a privilege to be part of TSLP. ”

The participants of the leadership programme experience Sanawar life under the watchful eyes of the highly experienced school teachers and staff, learn about leadership through reflective and discussion based socratic dialogue and case studies, participate in camping and other adventure activities, engage in community service, learn oratory and other communications and life skills. Most importantly through all activities and sessions, there is a common thread that will lead students towards greater knowledge and experience of values-based leadership and help them to start discovering what they can achieve as individuals and enlightened leaders.

Triansha Tandan, Chief Learning & Development Officer at Aspire, who will lead TSLP commented, “For six years, our Leadership Programs have created real impact on hearts and minds of students. We connect with students at a deep personal level, enable them to learn about their inner selves, practice decision-making, and evolve as powerful and values-based leaders.

The program will feature two TiE-Aspire Young Achievers:
•        Jamuna Boro an international boxer who grew up in challenging environment in her Assam village. She won a gold medal in the 2013 at the Second Nations Cup International Sub-Junior Girls Boxing Tournament in Serbia.
•        Vidya Y, is a Bangalore academician completely blind from birth. She was the first blind student to take a Computer Science major in Christ University. She received a Gold medal for topping the M.Sc. (Digital Society) at IIIT Bangalore, interned with Microsoft and founded a non-profit ‘Vision Empower’ to encourage blind students to pursue Math and Science through technology
They will lead the students towards a greater realisation of their potential, an inherent belief in themselves and the indomitable human spirit that can conquer and nurture all. In 2017, guest speakers and trainers at TSLP included Navin Gulia, author and adventurer; Abhilash Tomy, the first Indian sailor to complete a solo circumnavigation of the globe; and Bhakti Sharma, a world record holder in open-water swimming.

A participant from Blue Bells International School said, “The Best Programme in the world, I would love to come again!” Another from The Heritage School commented, “Very glad to be here. Positivity and higher thinking level.”

The participants will:
a)    learn about and experience leadership through reflective and discussion based socratic dialogue and case studies,
b)    participate in camping and other adventure activities,
c)    engage in community service,
d)    learn oratory and other communications and life skills,
e)    move towards greater knowledge and experience of values-based leadership and
f)     start discovering what they can achieve as individuals and enlightened leaders.

Red Hat and Microsoft Co-Develop the First Red Hat OpenShift Jointly Managed Service on a Public Cloud

Microsoft Corp. and Red Hat Inc. have expanded their alliance to empower enterprise developers to run container-based applications across Microsoft Azure and on-premises. With this collaboration, the companies will introduce the first jointly managed OpenShift offering in the public cloud, combining the power of Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform, and Azure, Microsoft’s public cloud.

"Gartner predicts that, by 2020, more than 50% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production, up from less than 20% today."

With organizations turning to containerized applications and Kubernetes to drive digital transformation and help address customer, competitive, and market demands, they need solutions to easily orchestrate and manage these applications, across the public cloud and on-premises. Red Hat OpenShift on Azure will be jointly engineered, and designed to reduce the complexity of container management for customers. As the companies’ preferred offering for hybrid container workflows for our joint customers, Red Hat and Microsoft will jointly manage the solution for customers, with support from both companies.

In addition to being a fully managed service, Red Hat OpenShift on Azure, will bring enterprise developers:
* Flexibility: Freely move applications between on-premises environments and Azure using OpenShift, which offers a consistent container platform across the hybrid cloud.
* Speed: Connect faster, and with enhanced security, between Azure and on-premises OpenShift clusters with hybrid networking.
* Productivity: Access Azure services like Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Machine Learning, and Azure SQL DB, making developers more productive.

When customers choose Red Hat OpenShift on Azure, they will receive a managed service backed by operations and support services from both companies. Support extends across their containerized applications, operating systems, infrastructure and the orchestrator. Further, Red Hat’s and Microsoft’s sales organizations will work together to bring the companies’ extensive technology platforms to customers, equipping them to build more cloud-native applications and modernize existing applications.

Customers can more easily move their applications between on-premises environments and Microsoft Azure because they are leveraging a consistent container platform in OpenShift across both footprints of the hybrid cloud.

The expanded collaboration between Microsoft and Red Hat will also include:
* Enabling the hybrid cloud with full support for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform on-premises and on Microsoft Azure Stack, offering a consistent on- and off-premises foundation for the development, deployment, and management of cloud-native applications on Microsoft infrastructure. This provides a pathway for customers to pair the power of the Azure public cloud with the flexibility and control of OpenShift on-premises on Azure Stack.

* Multi-architecture container management that spans both Windows Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux containers. Red Hat OpenShift on Microsoft Azure will consistently support Windows containers alongside Red Hat Enterprise Linux containers, offering a uniform orchestration platform that spans the leading enterprise platform providers.

* More ways to harness data with expanded integration of Microsoft SQL Server across the Red Hat OpenShift landscape. This will soon include SQL Server as a Red Hat certified container for deployment on Red Hat OpenShift on Azure and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform across the hybrid cloud, including Azure Stack.

* More ways for developers to use Microsoft tools with Red Hat as Visual Studio Enterprise and Visual Studio Professional subscribers will get Red Hat Enterprise Linux credits. For the first time, developers can work with .NET, Java, or the most popular open source frameworks on this single, and supported, platform.

Red Hat OpenShift on Azure is anticipated to be available in preview in the coming months. Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Azure and Azure Stack are currently available.

Paul Cormier, president, Products and Technologies, Red Hat remarks, "Very few organizations are able to fully silo their IT operations into a solely on-premises or public cloud footprint; instead, it’s a hybrid mixture of these environments that presents a path towards digital transformation. By extending our partnership with Microsoft, we’re able to offer the industry’s most comprehensive Kubernetes platform on a leading public cloud, providing the ability for customers to more easily harness innovation across the hybrid cloud without sacrificing production stability.”

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft says, "Microsoft and Red Hat are aligned in our vision to deliver simplicity, choice and flexibility to enterprise developers building cloud-native applications. Today, we’re combining both companies’ leadership in Kubernetes, hybrid cloud and enterprise operating systems to simplify the complex process of container management, with an industry-first solution on Azure.” 

SHAREit Acquires South India’s Favourite Movie App Fastfilmz; Founder Karam Malhotra Become CEO of SHAREit India

SHAREit, a leading one stop content platform, announced that it has acquired Fastfilmz, one of the top movie app for South Indian movies. SHAREit’s acquisition of the number one South Indian OTT platform Fastfilmz will help expand their content catalogue and increase their regional user base in India. With this acquisition, Mr. Karam Malhotra, the founder of Fastfilmz will now become the CEO of SHAREit India.

This strategic deal will have a greater benefit for the users as they can now view their favourite films without much buffering and less usage of data. Fastfilmz, which is valued at around $13m (INR 80-100cr) and has raised $4m (INR 25cr) in last series funding round in 2017 , has always promised to add the best of titles of in its catalogue. Users can now enjoy these hit films from 4 south Indian languages whenever and wherever they want to just by accessing SHAREit app.

Jason Wang, Managing Director, SHAREit India said “We believe that in a mobile-first consumption environment like India, a platform like SHAREit is the answer to all their entertainment needs. We think adding Fastfilmz to our product will help us enhance the engagements to millions of users. We are witnessing excellent organic virality so far and are at the forefront of a secular movement in media tech, which is the rise of massive simultaneous online social communities. We are very excited to work alongside the Fastfilmz team to bring this experience to Indian consumers.”

Karam Malhotra, Founder Fastfilmz, said “SHAREit has a huge user base and their loyalty towards the platform is incredible. My team and I are thus very humbled to be given the opportunity to serve this community and be associated with a brand like SHAREit. Indian users are spending nearly 60% of their time on their phones watching videos, movies, mobile TV.Thus SHAREit’s focus and promise to provide these users a new interactive form of engaging content is truly exciting!

The acquisition supports SHAREit’s vision of becoming one stop entertainment solution by combining content, technology, and distribution in an interesting and inimitable manner. The app is highly differentiated from a slew of OTT offerings and gives SHAREit a direct distribution to complement its strong reach via social media networks. The combination of Fastfilmz and SHAREit’s media assets will ensure strong user growth and quality community engagement, which is the bedrock of any successful content consumption platform.

SHAREit has over 1.5 billion users globally and the app has reached out to more than 200 countries and regions and it is currently available in 39 languages. It is the most preferred platform for data sharing and content acquisition among internet users worldwide. SHAREit has a huge user base in India. Based on the intensive research conducted it has been noted that youngsters in major Indian cities, in the age group of 16-28 are the most active downloader’s and avid users of SHAREit.

Sameer Shelke of Aujas Elected into Forbes Tech Council - Community for CIOs, CTOs and Tech Executives

Sameer Shelke, Cofounder & CTO of Aujas, a global cybersecurity transformation company, has been accepted into the Forbes Technology Council, an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives.

Sameer joins other Forbes Technology Council members, who are hand-selected, to become part of a curated network of successful peers and get access to a variety of exclusive benefits and resources, including the opportunity to submit thought leadership articles and short tips on industry-related topics for publishing on

Forbes Councils combines an innovative, high-touch approach to community management perfected by the team behind Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) with the extensive resources and global reach of Forbes. As a result, Forbes Council members get access to the people, benefits and expertise they need to grow their businesses — and a dedicated member concierge who acts as an extension of their own team, providing personalized one-on-one support.

“I am excited to be a part of the Forbes Technology Council, enabling me to learn from and contribute to the community. My acceptance to the council is a testimony to the value created by Team Aujas, working with clients across the globe. Participation in the council’s initiatives would further enable us to engage with the industry on critical cybersecurity transformations required to mitigate risks in the digital age.” Says, Sameer Shelke.

Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, says, “We are honored to welcome Sameer into the community. Our mission with Forbes Councils is to curate successful professionals from every industry, creating a vetted, social capital-driven network that helps every member make an even greater impact on the business world.”

World’s Largest Ecommerce Deal is Now a Reality; India's Flipkart Acquired by Walmart for $16 Billion

One of the world's largest e-commerce deal was finally announced culminating deal between Walmart and Flipkart that began in September 2016 with Walmart’s plans to pick a minority stake in Flipkart.

Walmart Inc. on Wednesday announced its high profile acquisition of Flipkart for $16 billion for a valuation of over $20 billion, making it the largest ecommerce acquisition in the world. The Bentonville company has acquired 77% of the Bengaluru-based company.

This is also the largest buyout for the US company with its biggest bet ever in online space and on India, underscoring the growing digital consumption potential in a country of 1.3 billion.

The Wednesday announcement culminates discussions between Walmart and the Bengaluru company that began in September 2016 with Walmart’s plans to pick a minority stake in Flipkart. The talks pivoted earlier this year towards the world’s largest retailer acquiring Flipkart.

The deal, which will see founder Sachin Bansal exit completely, will now pit US-based giants Walmart and Amazon in the Indian market, which experts say will help in growing the share online retail.

“This allows Walmart to jump into a high-growth market, and results in two global players focusing on the growth of the Indian ecommerce market,” said Prasanto Roy, vice-president of NASSCOM’s Internet council.

“The ecommerce fight ahead should be less about market share than about growing the market manifold.”

The deal is also expected to generate wealth in crores of rupees for founders, investors as well as several employees.

“The distribution of wealth will be inspiring. We haven't had such as situation since Infosys. It will inspire many more Indians to take the entrepreneurial path in the coming years,” said Vani Kola, managing director of Kalaari Capital.

Walmart intends to keep the current management of Flipkart and the Bengaluru team will report to Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart’s US e-commerce, whose company was acquired by Walmart for $3.3 billion in August 2016.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had committed $5 bn to India, and the investments in its India business are expected to cross the mark soon.

The Amazon marketplace business in India alone has received over Rs 20000 crore , with significant investments also going into its cloud business and the newly launched food retail segment. Overall, the Walmart-Flipkart deal is expected to be a good boost for the ecommerce sector and may bring in some rationality, according to Sanjay Sethi, CEO of ShopClues.

"Walmart is a long-term player, and it might bring in more rationality into the market,” Sethi said.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Finally Flipkart Board Clears 75% Stake Sale Deal with Walmart for $15 Billion

After months of negotiations, the US global retail giant Walmart Inc has been able to strike a deal with Flipkart, India's most valuable startup. According to a Bloomberg report, Flipkart Online Services Pvt has approved 75 per cent stake sale to Walmart for $15 billion.

Tech giant Google's parent company Alphabet Inc would also tag along with Walmart for an investment in Flipkart. As per the deal, SoftBank Group Corp, which is one of the biggest investors in Flipkart, through its Vision Fund, would sell its 20-plus per cent stake in the company for around $20 billion valuation. 

The report claims the deal can't be called certain, and that terms could change in the next 10 days. The US retail giant was in talks with Flipkart for around a year to acquire a controlling stake in the firm as it looks to take on rival Inc head-on in India, a market where e-commerce is tipped to grow to $200 billion in a decade. Experts say the Amercian company could bag four of the 10 seats on Flipkart's board.

Some of Flipkart's main investors - US hedge fund Tiger Global Management, South African tech investor Naspers and venture capital firm Accel - are likely to retain small stakes, the report said.

Currently, SoftBank and Tiger Global own little more than 20 per cent each of Flipkart, Naspers holds nearly 13 per cent stake, Accel 6.4 per cent, while the Bansals own just over 5 per cent each of the company.

On May 3, world's biggest e-commerce player Amazon, which is Flipkart's main competitor in India, had made a counter offer to Flipkart to buy a 60 per cent stake in the company. The deal offered by the Jeff Bezos-run company proposed to merge Flipkart entirely with its Indian arm and sought a non-compete agreement with Flipkart's founders for 1-2 years.

However, the Flipkart board's decision to take the Walmart offer will make it easy to get the regulatory approval. Any Flipkart-Amazon deal would have come under the scanner of the competition watchdog given their dominant market share - around 70 per cent collectively - in the Indian e-commerce market.

Once the acquisition process is complete, Flipkart's Executive Chairman Sachin Bansal may hang up his boots after taking company to new heights in the past 10 years, reports suggest.

Bangalore-Based Vijaya Bank Records Net Profit Up 1.6% at Rs 207 Crore

Public sector lender Vijaya Bank on Monday reported a 1.6% increase in net profit at Rs 207.31 in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 compared with Rs 203.99 crore in the same quarter a year ago.

However, for Fiscal 2017-18, the bank's net profit came down to Rs 727.02 crore compared with Rs 750.48 crore in the previous fiscal.

The bank's total income during the quarter grew to Rs 3,728.22 crore as against Rs 3,504.73 crore in the year-ago period.

In a regulatory filing, the bank said that its provisioning for non-performing assets for the quarter stood at Rs 552.91 crore as against Rs 344.56 crore in March quarter of 2016-17.

The bank informed the exchange that the Board has recommended dividend of Rs 1.20 per share.

Godrej Consumer Ltd Announces its Financial Results for the Quarter Ended March 31, 2018.


·         4Q FY 2018 consolidated constant currency sales increased by 6%* year-on-year
-   India business sales growth of 7%* year-on-year, led by 6% volume growth
-   International business sales growth of 6% year-on-year, on a constant currency basis
·         4Q FY 2018 consolidated constant currency EBITDA increased by 14%
·         4Q FY 2018 consolidated net profit and EPS (without exceptional items) increased by 12%
·         The board has declared an interim dividend of 700% (INR 7.00 per share)
*Comparable growth assuming GST in the base quarter sales

Commenting on the financial performance of 4Q FY 2018,  Nisaba Godrej, Executive Chairperson, GCPL, said: “During fiscal year 2018, our focused strategy and balanced portfolio enabled us to deliver competitive, profitable growth, despite tough operating conditions in a few of our categories and geographies. Our constant currency sales increased by 9%* and EBITDA increased by 12%, led by robust gross margin expansion. We continue to make healthy investments in strengthening our brands and enhancing our capabilities for sustainable future growth.

In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018, we had a mixed performance with relatively softer sales growth, while sustaining robust EBITDA growth. Our India business delivered a competitive 7% comparable growth, driven by a volume growth of 6%. Our secondary sales growth was higher at 10%. The performance in our international portfolio was relatively muted due to the weakness in Indonesia and Africa. However, we expect to see a strong turnaround in growth rates in fiscal year 2019. We are planning for significant new launches and go-to-market initiatives across clusters. Overall, we are confident of delivering a stronger performance in fiscal year 2019.

We remain relentlessly focused on becoming more agile, increasing the pace of innovations, enhancing our go-to-market approach and investing in our key talent, to continue to outperform the market and deliver industry-leading returns.”

*Comparable growth assuming GST in the base quarter sales


Performance Highlights
·         4Q FY 2018 India sales increased by 7%* to INR 1,329 crore
·         4Q FY 2018 Adjusted EBITDA increased by 22% to INR 383 crore
·         4Q FY 2018 net profit increased by 18% to INR 295 crore

Category Review

Household Insecticides
Household Insecticides had a subdued quarter with a sales decline of 5%* due to an adverse season in January-February 2018. However, our average growth rates are back to double digits for March-April 2018. Our recent launch in Personal Repellents is scaling up well, with double-digit market share in out of home segment. Towards the end of the quarter, we also launched a higher efficacy liquid vapouriser under the Goodknight brand.

Soaps continued its strong, double-digit growth momentum and delivered a growth of 19%*. This was led by strong double-digit volume growth. This robust growth was driven by effective micro-marketing initiatives, variants-led strategy and strong on-ground execution. It was supported by healthy brand investments driving growth in Godrej No. 1 and Cinthol. We have also continued to gain market share during the quarter.

Hair Colours
Our Hair Colours business grew by 3%, following 33% growth in 3QFY18, driven by channel up-stocking post GST led MRP cuts. However, sales growth in 2HFY18 stood at 18%. Godrej Expert Rich Crème continues to improve penetration and gain market share.

Air Fresheners
Godrej aer continues to maintain its leadership position in the overall Air Care market and gain share, aided by innovations and strong execution.
Text Box: *Comparable growth assuming GST in the base quarter sales

Our Indonesia business sustained its robust margin expansion and regained all lost market share in Household Insecticides, with exit market share of over 50%. Constant currency sales declined by 6% during the quarter. Our growth was partially impacted by inventory reduction with key modern retail channel partners. The recently launched premium range of Hit Expert is receiving encouraging traction. Our adjusted EBITDA margin increased by 370 bps, despite higher A&P investments (up 160 bps year-on-year). This was led by rationalised trade promotion spends and Project PI (a cost savings initiative).

Africa, USA and Middle East
Our Africa, USA and Middle East business had a relatively weak quarter with constant currency sales growth of 7% led entirely by volume. Sales in the quarter was impacted by continuing sluggishness in Kenya; the business excluding Kenya grew in double-digits in constant currency terms. Our adjusted EBITDA margin declined by 400 bps year-on-year due to scale de-leverage and upfront investments to scale up the business.

Latin America
We saw a recovery in performance in our Latin America business with 28% constant currency sales growth.  Our adjusted EBITDA margin declined by 270 bps year-on-year due to an increase in marketing and sales promotion investments.

Our Europe business delivered a healthy sales growth of 11% in constant currency terms. The performance was led by strong growth in our own brands. Our adjusted EBITDA margin declined by 230 bps year-on-year due to a one-time reversal of A&P provisions in the base quarter.

Bank of India Offers Preferential Pricing to Consumers with Good CIBIL Score

Bank of India (BOI) is offering preferential pricing to consumers with a good CIBIL Score on a home loan of Rs 30 lakhs or more.

This initiative will see the bank offer a home loan at marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) for consumers with a CIBIL Score of 760 and above. MCLR is the minimum interest rate of a bank below which it cannot lend.

A consumer’s CIBIL Score is a 3-digit numeric summary of the credit information report (CIR) — summarizing the past credit behaviour and repayment history — and ranges from 300 to 900. The higher the Score, the better are the chances of loan approval. Most banks check a consumer’s CIBIL Score and Report before approving a loan.

Bank of India shared, “We are committed to providing superior, pro-active and innovative offerings to our customers, helping them access credit whenever required. Consumers with a good credit discipline should be rewarded, as it helps propagate the importance and need to maintain a good financial history. Our preferential pricing model aims to reward high-scoring home-loan aspirants with competitive ROI, thereby helping them making their dream home a reality.”

Bank of India’s new CIBIL Score-based ROI for home loan above Rs 30 Lakhs: CIBIL’s Head of Direct to Consumers Interactive, Hrushikesh Mehta commented, “Bank of India’s CIBIL Score based incentive helps further highlight the need to monitor and build a positive credit profile through good credit habits. This has always been our mantra and we are happy to be aligned with Bank of India on this. We are dedicated to helping consumers have a faster, easier and cheaper access to credit.”

ANB Capital Merges with Anuj Puri’s ANAROCK Property Consultants; Shobhit Agarwal to Head New Entity as MD & CEO - ANAROCK Capital

Anuj Puri, Chairman - ANAROCK Property Consultants and Shobhit Agarwal, MD & CEO - ANB Capital Advisors today announced the formal merger of ANB Capital with the ANAROCK Group to create ANAROCK Capital, which Shobhit Agarwal will head as MD & CEO. The ANAROCK Group’s residential services division has already defined itself as India's leading, fastest-growing and most disruptive consultancy in the industry. With the addition of the Capital Markets vertical, ANAROCK takes a major step forward towards its ambitious expansion plans.

"The Indian real estate market is in its next evolutionary stage, and perfectly primed for ANAROCK Capital," says Anuj Puri. "The firm will fill the massive real estate investment banking advisory gap that exists in a market completely redefined by RERA in terms of how the market operates and who will operate it going forward. Among several other functions, ANAROCK Capital will advise on big-ticket funding, acquisition and consolidation mandates. Shobhit's vast experience and deep-rooted industry relationships will come into play with immediate effect. I take particular pride in announcing the second merger of equals in my professional life - and more are to follow."

Shobhit Agarwal has been a prominent deal-maker in Indian real estate capital markets for over two decades and looks forward to taking the massive stakes involved to the next level. "Our capital markets team consists of well-honed industry experts who are adept at handling multimillion-dollar capital mandates" says Agarwal, who has already traded capital in excess of US$ 10 billion in his previous assignments. "Leveraging the ANAROCK Group's tremendous market penetration and superb operational infrastructure with 10 operational offices in India and 1 in Dubai, ANAROCK Capital will lead the real estate investment banking business from the front. There is over US$ 150 billion of capital to be traded in Indian real estate over the next 5 years - and with our collective expertise, existing exposure and resources, we are perfectly poised to capture a major share of it. "

Building on ANB Capital's existing strengths and expertise, ANAROCK Capital will provide services in real estate investment banking, financial management of big-ticket mergers, acquisitions and restructurings. The firm already provides capital advisory services to some of the country's leading corporations, institutions and state governments, based on a unique business model that eliminates the conflicts of interest inherent to large, multi-product financial institutions and multi-vertical international property consultants.

India's Startup Lenskart Invests in ThinOptics Inc.- A California based Start Up

Lenskart Solutions invests 0.5 Million USD in a California-based start-up ThinOptics Inc. that makes innovative reading glasses that stick on your nose; you can attach them to your phone, keychain, laptop, such that you never forget them.

ThinOptics has a patented designs that allows reading glasses to stay on your nose and you can tweak/mould them to get the best fit. These glasses have no temples, are super slim and look so cool that one can't not notice them on the face. 

Announcing the investment, Peyush Bansal, CEO, Lenskart said: “ThinOptics is a revolutionary product that solves the problem of people forgetting to carry their reading glasses everywhere and often losing them too. At Lenskart, our vision is to revolutionize eyewear and, hence, this investment fits that vision. We have been testing ThinOptics with Indian consumers for last few months and the response has been phenomenal. Almost all users come back and order a second pair! With this investment, we intend to work closely with ThinOptics’ California team for growing the India market as well as bringing more innovations in this area. I am excited about this investment.”

“We’ve been partners with Lenskart since 2015, and have been so pleased with the progress we’ve made together in the India market, we elected to deepen our relationship in 2018,” says David Westendorf, ThinOptics CEO. “With this Lenskart investment, we will continue to evolve our product portfolio to serve the sophisticated needs of India eyewear customers. We will be making several new product announcements in the coming months that deliver on our brand promise to always have our glasses within reach, on the items you never leave home without: your phone, your wallet and keys.”

This is Lenskart's third investment in less than a year. The company, in September 2017, invested in Ditto, which is an augmented reality technology for trying frames online. Just recently, Lenskart also invested in 6over6, an Israel based start-up, working on enabling eye exams through the Android phone. The company is clearly going after innovation centered around eyewear and has made a dominant mark in the Indian eyewear industry.

Lenskart is now the largest optical retailer in the country with 5 million plus App downloads, 410 stores, 200 home opticians. Company claims to ship 300,000 eyewear per month which is the largest in the country now.

ThinOptics products are now available on Lenskart website and App.

On Mother’s Day, JOHNSON’S Collects Emotion-Stirring Stories from 356 Mothers from Karnataka on an Exclusive Platform Provided

Leading baby care expert, JOHNSON’S celebrates 125 years of providing and enhancing baby care across the globe through its most-loved products. The brand dedicated this year to engaging with and listening to mothers who have shown their unwavering trust and love in the brand. As a run down to Mother’s Day, JOHNSON’S reached out to millions of mothers across the country to hear their experience of always providing the best of baby care, and received 24000 heartwarming stories through calls and their social media platforms in just 2 months. These calls came from across all generations of mothers with only one goal uniting them all, wanting ‘Best for Baby’.

In India, JOHNSON’S Baby is the most preferred  in the baby care category with most doctors in India using Johnson’s for their own babies. The pioneering science and research that goes into the products are pivotal in leading the standards in baby care around the world.

The most beloved baby care brand received a total of 1491 calls from the south region. Out of the total calls, there were many touching stories by mothers that reinforced the brand’s connect with the mothers emotionally.

A humbling number of 356 mothers from  across Karnataka itself shared their best for baby care stories and showed their undying support and love for the brand while sharing precious moments with their babies and reminiscing their own childhood.

One mother from Bangalore, Dalia Choudhury shared her heart wrenching story of how she lost her baby boy at only 11 days old to congenital heart issues. Her baby boy fought very hard and was extremely brave through those trying times. The smell of Johnson’s baby products is what remains as the memory of her lost little boy and every time she gets a whiff of the very same smell she is taken back in time when she was holding her baby close to her heart where he will always remain.

“Our age old tradition of listening to moms and healthcare professionals along with experts has empowered us to understand and innovate to benchmark industry standards.  On this journey of 125 years, we are proud to have evolved with mothers and their evolving needs to do what is best for their baby. As a part of this campaign, we have engaged with over 25000 mothers to hear what their best baby care story is. Like parents, we are never satisfied with “good enough” and hence we will strive to do what is best for the baby each day.” - Dimple Sidhar, Vice President — Marketing, Consumer Products Division, Johnson & Johnson India.

This is another testimony to the trust and love that the brand enjoys in India where a record-breaking number of 25000 Indian mother-baby stories have been collected in a period of just 2 months.

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