Saturday, July 28, 2018

Samsung Slash prices after GST Rate Cut, LG, Panasonic and Godrej Consumers also Announce Reduction in Prices

Welcoming the government's decision to slash Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates on over 50 items, including refrigerators, washing machines and small televisions, several consumer electronics companies, including Samsung, have promised that they will pass on the full benefits to the consumers.

The new prices will be applicable from July 27, Samsung India said in a statement.

"Samsung is a consumer-centric company. We are happy to extend full benefits, that is 7.81+ per cent of GST rate reduction to all our consumers," said Rajeev Bhutani, senior vice-president, consumer electronics, Samsung India.

"We believe it will fuel the demand for consumer electronics products now and in the ensuing festival season," Bhutani said.

Last week, the GST Council brought down tax rates to 18 per cent from 28 per cent on 15 items, including vacuum cleaners, washing machine, 68 cm (27 inch) TV, fridge, laundry machines, paints, hand dryers, food grinders and varnishes.

As per the GST notification, the new duty slabs is effective from Friday.

Extending the benefits to the consumers, LG, Panasonic and Godrej Consumers have already announced a reduction in prices from 7 to 8 per cent.

The decision could also boost India's mobile phone industry as lithium-ion batteries are among the items listed for tax reduction.

"The reduction of GST slab on lithium-ion batteries used in mobile phones from 28 per cent to 18 per cent will certainly prove as a good boost to the mobile phone industry as it would improve the penetration and affordability of the product in smaller towns across the country," said Sudhir Kumar, CEO of domestic smartphone firm Tambo Mobile.

Domestic consumer electronic brand Intex Technologies also welcomed the move.

"The move by the government to cut GST in product segments like televisions (below 68 cm), washing machines, refrigerators and even power banks from 28 per cent to 18 per cent is indeed a very welcome and much-awaited move," said Nidhi Markanday, Director, Intex Technologies.

"The rate cut will benefit consumer durable companies like us to pass on the benefit to the consumers for the upcoming festive season. This move brings cheer to both consumers and players like us. We will definitely re-work the pricing and announce the price drop it well in time for the festive season," Markanday said.

Narayan Seva Sansthan Organized Artificial Limb Measurement Camp at Bangalore for Differently-Abled

Narayan Seva Sansthan - a non- profit organization today organized an Artificial Limb Measurement camp for differently-abled individuals at Bangalore. The camp was organized to measure size of the artificial limbs, which will be developed after customization and will be installed on the individual differently-abled beneficiaries. Over 40 differently-abled individuals participants were measured for the artificial limbs. A team of 5 doctors conducted the camp which first diagnosed the feasibility of artificial limbs and then measurements were taken for customization of artificial limbs.

A number of people lose their limbs in many cases due to some accident or other diseases which adversely makes them dependent on others. An artificial limb not only improves their mobility but also makes them independent by instilling a new confidence. Artificial limbs make their normal day-to-day activities less tedious. The activities, which seem challenging or difficult, are much easily executed with the addition of artificial limbs.

Prashant Agarwal, President of Narayan Seva Sansthan shared, “We at Narayan Seva Sansthan are working for the upliftment of the differently able and underprivileged individuals. In most cases, differently-abled individuals are able to lead a normal life with a perfectly fitted artificial limb. We are committed to bring the differently able community to the main stream society by empowering them physically, socially and economically.”

Narayan Seva Sansthan, which is based out of Udaipur in Rajasthan, has operated over 3.5 lac patients in last 30 years. It has 1100 bedded hospital facility, which does not only cure the differently able individuals but also provides them social and economical rehabilitation. Narayan Seva Sansthan is the hope of polio, Cerebral Palsy, Lymphatic Filariasis patients belonging from India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Ukraine, UK and USA. Daily thousands of patients are served in this smart village ‘Badi’ in Udaipur, Rajasthan. There is no Cash Counter or Payment Gateway for the patients coming to Narayan Seva Sansthan for any Physical, Social and Economic rehabilitation.

9 New Projects at 11th Edition of Annual Property Exhibition - Brigade Showcase 2018

Brigade, one of India’s leading developers headquartered in Bengaluru, announced 9 new launches on the first day of  Brigade Showcase 2018, the 11th edition of Brigade’s annual property exhibition today.

The nine new launches include 4 residential projects, 3 commercial projects and                  2 customer- centric initiatives. The residential projects are Brigade Woods, Brigade Buena Vista – Phase 2, Parkside East by Brigade & Parkside West by Brigade. Inspired by the success of Parkside @ Brigade Orchards in Devanahalli, Brigade is expanding the Parkside brand with multiple ‘Independent Living for Seniors’ projects across Bengaluru. The commercial projects include Arcade @ Brigade Orchards, Brigade Southfield, and Brigade Senate -1.

The two customer-centric initiatives are the Brigade + Easy Home packages, which will ease ones transition into their new Brigade home and One Brigade, a unique loyalty app spanning the hospitality, retail and real estate categories.

Apart from the new launches, the event which is open till July 29, 2018 will feature ready-to-move-in and ongoing projects across 6 cities in South India. Customers may choose from over 30 projects starting from ₹34 Lakhs, all under one roof.

On this occasion, M R Jaishankar, Chairman & Managing Director, Brigade Group said: “Brigade Showcase has truly made a mark in the consumer’s mind to be the best occasion to invest in a Brigade property – be it residential or commercial. Understanding the current market and making way for newer trends in the real estate industry, we will have 9 new launches at Brigade Showcase this year, including an exclusive preview of our Parkside brand expansion. We look forward to welcoming our discerning buyers to make the best use of this opportunity to Upgrade to Brigade.”

Customers can avail exciting price offers at the event and to make the buying experience more memorable, every customer who buys a property at the event will get an iPhone 8 or X.

The event is open to the public between 11 am and 8 pm on all the three days.

Friday, July 27, 2018

First Boeing Apache, Chinook Transport Helicopters for India Complete Inaugural Flights

Boeing and India recently took a significant step towards modernizing the Indian Air Force’s helicopter fleet by completing the first flights of Apache and Chinook helicopters destined for delivery next year.

“First flight of India’s Apache and Chinook helicopters are important milestones towards strengthening Indian armed forces capabilities,” said Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India. “India will receive the most advanced versions of both the AH-64E Apache and the CH-47F Chinook. Indian industry partners such as Dynamatics is building large sections of Chinook, and the Tata Boeing joint venture in Hyderabad is building the complete fuselage of the Apache.”

India ultimately will receive 22 AH-64E Apache attack, and 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook transport, helicopters.

The contract for the Indian Air Force’s 22 Apaches and 15 Chinooks was finalized in September 2015. Additionally, six Apaches were cleared for purchase for the Indian Army in 2017. Fuselages for this Army order will be produced by Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited, the joint venture between Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems in Hyderabad.

The AH-64E Apache is the world’s leading multi-role attack helicopter and is flown by the U. S. Army, features enhanced performance, joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding.

The Chinook is a true multi-role, vertical-lift platform, emphasizing heavy-lift transport of troops, artillery, equipment, and fuel. It is the helicopter of choice for humanitarian disaster-relief operations, in missions such as transportation of relief supplies and mass evacuation of refugees.

Muthoot Group Leading from the Top of the World - Mount Everest

The Muthoot Group, one of India’s leading business conglomerates, proudly waved its flag on Mount Everest, World’s highest mountain above sea level. The expedition was led by famous mountaineer and expedition leader, Philip James Crampton, along with his group of 5 members and 6 Sherpas.

The flag carried the message “Always On top of the World”, which also resonates with the Brand’s empowering and inspiring message – “Life Mein Aagey Badhiye” and “Taking India Forward.”

Speaking of this historic moment, Alexander George Muthoot, Deputy Managing Director, The Muthoot Group said, "It is a moment of sheer pride for us to have our flag on Mount Everest. We’re on top of the world, quite literally! This reflects the strength and direction of our organization, and our commitment to Taking India Forward. It also surely amplifies The Muthoot Group’s recognition across all customer segments, from the individual consumer to the largest global organization.”

Listed on NSE and BSE, Muthoot Finance, the financial arm of The Muthoot Group, has disbursed over Rs 3 lakh crores as easy secured loans out of which more than Rs 1 lakh crores was disbursed in rural, semi-rural and urban areas. Muthoot Finance is a Financial Supermarket offering a wide range of services encompassing Insurance, Foreign Exchange, Money Transfer, Debentures, PAN Card, Travel Services and Muthoot ATMs all under one roof. Muthoot Finance, with a customer base of 48 crores (including repeat customers), serves more than 2, 53,000 satisfied customers every day.

Amazon launches Alexa Cast with Amazon Music for New Way to Listen to Music on Alexa-Enabled Devices

Amazon has announced the launch of an exciting new feature, Alexa Cast with Amazon Music – a new way for customers to enjoy the music they love on Alexa-enabled devices. This feature allows Amazon Prime Music India listeners to play music and/or control music playback on their Alexa-enabled devices from the Amazon Prime Music app on iOS and Android devices. Now customers can easily  transition the playlist from their app to Alexa-enabled devices for a continuous, uninterrupted music listening experience.  

Sahas Malhotra, Director, Amazon Prime Music India said, “Alexa Cast is set to make the music streaming experience for Prime members even simpler with its integration in Amazon Prime Music app and Alexa-enabled devices. We want to make sure our customers enjoy an uninterrupted music streaming wherever they go – from listening to music while driving your car or on your commute to entering your home, we want to make sure there’s no break in your listening experience. With a magical combination of Alexa voice controls and an ad free music streaming on the Prime Music app, we will continue to make your music listening experience easier, more natural and simpler”.

With the launch of Alexa Cast, the music streaming experience on Alexa devices is enhanced  as it offers an ability to swiftly switch between voice and Amazon Prime Music app controls. The Prime Music app will now be able to match the progress of the music playback making the task of switching between app and voice control smoother. Furthermore, in-app features on Prime Music such as recommended hand-curated playlists, stations, albums and new music are set to complement the Alexa music listening experience.  

Starting today, customers can update their Amazon Prime Music app for iOS or Android or download it from Apple or Google Play Stores. Navigate to “now playing” view to find the Alexa Cast icon on Amazon Prime Music app to begin playing music on Echo devices or simply tap the Alexa icon to bring up a list of all available Alexa enabled devices to select a device or group to start casting music.

Amazon Prime Music is available on Android and iOS mobile phone apps, Desktop app and Web player, Amazon Fire TV sticks and Amazon Echo devices. 

Adani Ports Signs Long Term Regasification Pact with GAIL for Dhamra LNG Terminal

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), India’s leading port infrastructure developer and part of the Adani Group, today said it had signed a long term agreement with GAIL (India) Ltd, the state run gas company, to provide Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) regasification services on a use or pay basis, at its upcoming LNG import terminal at Dhamra in Odisha.

As per the contract, GAIL India has booked 1.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) regasification capacity for a period of 20 years. GAIL plans to supply the gas to its portfolio of customers located in the eastern region and along the under development Jagdishpur– Haldia gas grid.

“Partnering with GAIL India for facilitating LNG imports is a notable milestone for Adani Ports. This project is now close to being fully subscribed and will play a pioneering role in powering eastern India towards a prosperous and economical gas based future.  It will also become a hub for supply to Bangladesh and Myanmar” said Karan Adani, CEO, APSEZ.

The foundation stone of the project was laid on July’17 and construction has commenced by Larsen & Toubro, a leading infrastructure firm, winning the contract to set up the tankages for gas storage and by CTCI Corporation, a Taiwanese firm, that has won the contract for the regasification package. The terminal is expected to be commissioned during the second half of 2021. 

The proposed Dhamra LNG import terminal is designed for an initial capacity of 5 MTPA, expandable up to 10 MTPA. Initially, it will have two full containment type tanks of 180,000 m3 capacity each.  It will be first of its kind in India and second LNG terminal on the east coast after IOC’s Ennore terminal in Tamilnadu. 

It will have a jetty capable of handling a wide range of LNG supply vessels, including the largest Q-max fleet from Qatar. The terminal will be capable of reloading LNG to service proximate markets via the marine route and will also have truck loading gantries to help grow the nascent but exciting LNG by truck market.    

Commvault Unveils Broad Program Enhancements to Help Partners Simply, Streamline and Scale their Businesses

Commvault, a recognized global leader in enterprise backup, recovery, and data management across hybrid environments has announced that it has broadly expanded its dedication to partners.  Through significant commitments to personnel, programs and resources, all of which put partners firmly at the center of Commvault’s go-to-market strategy, it creates an even stronger foundation for the mutual success of Commvault and its worldwide partner network.

Building on direct feedback from partners, and in concert with the formal launch of its new partner program year, Commvault has improved all aspects of partner engagement in an effort to make it easier to do business with Commvault, understand Commvault’s product offerings, and take full advantage of the growing opportunities with customers in the backup & recovery and data management markets. 

In support of the company’s strategic commitment to become a more partner-led business, Commvault announced that it has undertaken a major redeployment of resources across its sales, partner and field marketing organizations to create new teams dedicated to Commvault’s four routes to market: Alliance Partners, Value Added Resellers (VARs) and Distributors, Service Providers and Global Systems Integrators (GSIs).

Commvault’s people, programs and tools are all focused on supporting these partners to accelerate business growth for both Commvault and its partners, and include these program enhancements: 

· The creation of a new Partner Success Desk – an on-demand service center for partners around the globe – that provides 24-hour assistance with things such as RFP response questions, and fielding technical questions through every step of the sales process. The Partner Success Desk provides partners with easier, faster access to Commvault support and resources.
· A robust Partner Demand Center, which gives partners access to Commvault’s marketing concierge team to help activate and execute marketing campaigns. The Partner Demand Center provides the ability to seamlessly stream content directly to partners’ websites and social media platforms.
· A dramatically improved Commvault Quote Center designed to make it easier for partner organizations to generate and provide product quotes in matter of minutes, dramatically reducing the time it takes for sellers to create proposals, giving them a competitive advantage.
· A refreshed Partner Portal environment with new tools, content, and resources all focused on optimizing the partner experience and ensuring joint success.  With new, simplified access and click-to-chat capabilities, partners can quickly and easily take advantage of all the latest sales tools, marketing resources, and enablement assets to grow and scale their Commvault business.
· A simplified Partner Program inclusion of expanded Business Development Funds, available for partners to help scale their businesses and grow their new customer opportunities by promoting and selling Commvault solutions.
· New investments in organizational leadership - Part of Commvault’s commitment to partners is the hiring of new, senior executive talent laser-focused on partner success, including the addition of a new worldwide head of channels, Scott Strubel.
· A completely repackaged and simplified product set that brings together comprehensive backup and recovery and data management, including storage infrastructure, service delivery orchestration and data governance. Commvault’s newly packaged product set has been simplified and consolidated from more than 20 offerings into four powerful products. The full details on the new product packaging can be found in this announcement.

“As a longstanding Commvault reseller, we know that the company always puts its partner ecosystem first,” said Damon Robertson, Managing Director COOLSPRiT. “The new enhancements to the Partner Advantage program are just another reminder of their commitment to helping COOLSPIRiT succeed in delivering industry leading data management solutions to my customers in an evolving and increasingly cloud-centric digital economy.”

"By simplifying their partner program processes and expanding partner rewards, Commvault’s Partner Advantage program offer new opportunities for increased sales and new revenue streams,” said Edward Hoogeveen, Cloud Solutions Architect, Strategy & Solutions, Telindus. “These enhancements allow me to build on the success of my partnership with them, while offering the support to address and combat real business challenges.”
“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Commvault as the company ushers in this new era of its Partner Advantage program,” said Chris Kiaie, Managing Director, ORIIUM. “We look forward to selling, implementing and managing even more Commvault data solutions for our customers in a way that is more customizable than ever before, with a refreshed sense of simplicity and increased levels of support.”

With easier-to-quote products and different pricing and licensing options to fit the needs of their customers, Commvault makes it easier for partners to sell, implement and manage Commvault solutions, benefiting both the seller and customer.

"Commvault’s goal is to be the partner of choice for backup and recovery and data management. Business moves fast, and Commvault continues to transform to help our partners quickly deliver solutions that help them grow. All of our investments and enhancements to the partner program have been designed to help partners build and scale their businesses," said Owen Taraniuk, head of worldwide partnerships and market development, Commvault. “These changes and improvements are a direct result of partner feedback and will help us all advance together and make it easier to do business with Commvault as we strive to better meet the evolving needs of our partners in an increasingly cloud-centric, digital economy.”

DoT Gets Final Approval to Vodafone-Idea Merger to Create a $23 B Telecom Entity

The Department of Telecom on Thursday gave its final approval to the mega merger of Vodafone and Idea Cellular, which will create the country’s largest mobile operator with around 430 million subscribers.

Following Idea Cellular and Vodafone India making a joint payment of Rs 7,268.78 crore for merging their mobile businesses, the DoT gave its final approval for the merger. Now the entities will approach the Registrar of Companies (RoC) for stipulated filings for approval, completing the last leg of formalities.

The DoT gave conditional nod to the merger on July 9, and asked the two firms to meet the demand raised for taking the merger on record.

Once the merger process is complete, the new entity will create India’s largest telecom operator worth over $23 billion (over Rs 1.5 lakh crore), with 35% customer market share. The merger will also help both the firms tide over their debt and face competition in the industry, which has intensified after the entry of Reliance Jio to the market.

The merger entails transfer of licences of Vodafone India and Vodafone Mobile Services Limited to Idea Cellular. The combined entity will begin working as a single entity Vodafone Idea Limited.

Vodafone will own 45.1% stake in the combined entity, while Kumar Mangalam Birla-led Aditya Birla Group would have 26%, and Idea shareholders the remaining 28.9%.

Accordingly, Birla will be the non-executive Chairman and Balesh Sharma (currently Chief Operating Officer of Vodafone India) will be the new CEO of the merged entity, which will remain listed.

Birla said he is “very optimistic” about the two firms coming together. “It is a very exciting journey ahead of us in the sense of Idea and Vodafone coming together.

The actual work starts now so we will see... we are very optimistic about it,” he added.

On how long it will take for the merged entity to be operational, Birla said it would take “a few weeks”. He said the companies are yet to decide on the branding for the new entity. 

YES Bank Reports Q1 Net Jump of 30.5 Percent in 2018

Private sector lender Yes Bank on Thursday reported 30.5% jump in net profit to Rs 1,260.36 crore for the first quarter ended on June 30, 2018, on the account of higher income.

The bank had reported a net profit of Rs 965.52 crore in the same quarter of last fiscal. Total income of the bank jumped to Rs 8,272.18 crore in the April-June quarter, up 42.96% from Rs 5,785.96 crore in the same quarter of 2017-18, the private bank said in a statement.

However, provisions for bad loans and contingencies more than doubled to Rs 625.65 crore in the June quarter from Rs 285.78 crore in the year ago period. The increase in provisions was on account of rise in gross NPAs to 1.31% of advances as on June 30, 2018, against 0.97% as on June 30, 2017. At the same time, net NPAs were up to 0.59% of net advances on June 30, 2018, from 0.39% at the end of the first quarter of 2017-18.

In the second list of stressed assets referred to NCLT, the bank has total exposure of Rs 654.7 crore across seven accounts. Entire Funded exposure from the above, aggregating to Rs 568.0 crore (across three accounts), is classified as NPA and has provision coverage of 43%, it said.

Yes Bank reported 22.7% growth in net interest income to Rs 2,219.1 crore in the first quarter while its non-interest income grew by 49.6% year-on-year to Rs 1,694.1 crore.

“The growth has been well segmented...particularly retail business which grew 105% year-on-year taking retail banking proportion in total advances to 1,” Yes Bank MD& CEO Rana Kapoor said.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

New Debt Fund ‘Mahindra Credit Risk Yojana,’ for Investors Seeking Reasonable Income and Capital Appreciation

Mahindra Mutual Fund, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Limited (MMFSL) launches new open ended debt scheme ‘Mahindra Credit Risk Yojana,’ for investors who are seeking reasonable income and capital appreciation over medium to long term. Mahindra Credit Risk Yojana is an open ended debt scheme predominantly investing in AA and below rated corporate bonds (excluding AA+ rated corporate bonds). The New Fund Offer opens on July 27, 2018 and closes on August 10, 2018. The scheme will reopen for continuous sale and repurchase within 5 business days from the date of allotment 2018. 
Ashutosh Bishnoi, MD & CEO, Mahindra Mutual Fund said, ‘Mahindra Credit Risk Yojana’ provides investors an opportunity to participate in India growth story by investing in well diversified debt portfolio of fundamentally strong, high liquid and well-known companies. We believe the scheme offers an attractive long term investment opportunity, hence, investors seeking reasonable income and capital appreciation must participate in the offered scheme.”

Mahindra Credit Risk Yojana aims to invest in quality instruments of moderate to high safety investment grade, and generate optimum returns with less volatility at the lowest quantum of risk. The selection of securities based on Risk Guard Process – An in-house Research and Process Framework

Investors with moderate risk appetite, looking to diversify their portfolio, and seeking an alternate to traditional investment options that have the potential to deliver better risk adjusted returns should look forward to ‘Mahindra Credit Risk Yojana’ scheme. The scheme is suitable for investors who are looking for an optimum balance of safety, liquidity and yield.

The scheme would predominantly invest minimum of 65% in AA and below rated Corporate Bonds (excluding AA+ rated Corporate Bonds), upto 35% in Debt and Money Market Instruments (includes securitized debt up to 30% of the net assets of the Scheme) and upto 10% in units issued by REITs & InvITs, with potential for capital appreciation in case of reduction in interest rates and diversified across sectors with an endeavor to invest substantial proportion into debt of listed entities (or listed parent).

Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.   

Samsung Gear IconX: Designed for Music and Movement is Priced Rs 13,990 Hits Indian Roads

Samsung, India’s biggest and most trusted consumer electronics and mobile phone brand, today introduced the all new Gear IconX, a truly cord free earbuds, designed to enhance any activity by giving you tangle-free usage and music on-the-go. Lightweight and ergonomic, the earbuds are designed around the human ear to ensure a comfortable yet secure fit to last through the most intense activity.

Gear IconX is ideal for consumers who are always in action so that they can be totally immersed in what they are doing without worrying about tangled wires and could actually strive to do better with the accompaniment of their favourite music tracks.

“Gear IconX brings a lot of enhancement besides completely cord-free usage, including Bixby voice commands, activity tracking and, most importantly, the music experience. These lightweight and comfortable earbuds are an ideal music companion for consumers, could be a dancer, painter, chef and anyone else, who needs tangle-free movement of their hands, while he/she is working. It also has special features for the fitness enthusiasts,” Aditya Babbar, General Manager, Mobile Business, Samsung India, said.

“A lot of consumer insights have been incorporated in terms of design aesthetics, comfort and usability of these earbuds. For example, a touchpad eliminates the need for keys or press buttons that is uncomfortable and irritating for the users,” he added.

Designed to complement any kind of movement and activity, Gear IconX is a perfect accompaniment that brings seamless connectivity and even adds music to liven up the moment – while they are commuting, relaxing at home, or even doing their daily chores.

Enriched Music Experience
Gear IconX’s standalone music playback and 4GB of built-in storage allow users to listen to their favorite music without being connected to the phone. Music can be easily loaded either wirelessly or from the phone or PC using a USB cable. Once done, touch based gestures allow for the usual play, pause, skip as well as the power to browse entire playlists making it an intuitive listening experience with minimum fuss.

The equalizer feature allows users to quickly and easily adjust the audio frequency to optimal levels by choosing from five finely tuned presets: Bass Boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clear and Treble Boost. The enhanced Ambient Sound function enables users to specify exactly how much ambient sound they would like the earbuds to let in. This makes it easier for users to pay attention to sounds around them.

Enhanced Connectivity
Gear IconX lets you take your calls in stereophonic clarity. It also calls out incoming callers, messages and notifications for you. The earbuds are also your newest connection to Bixby. With a simple tap and hold of the earbud you can use your voice to control your music or place a call or put out a message – without even having the phone in your hand.

Gear IconX comes with fast-charging and battery life of up to five hours of music streaming or seven hours of standalone music playback. Gear IconX case also works as a power bank and gives you one additional battery charge. A quick charge of 10-min in the case gives you one hour of connectivity for when you don’t have the time for a full recharge.

Smart Activity Tracking
The sweat resistant and cord free design of Gear IconX makes it perfect for people who like to stay fit with dedicated fitness routines. While it can be paired with dedicated tracking devices like the Gear S3 Frontier or the Gear Fit2 Pro, it also has activity tracking capabilities built into it. It can automatically track your run or walk and return analytics like distance, time and calories burned.

It can also double up as an in-ear running coach as it syncs in with the Pace Setter feature on the Samsung Health platform. The Pace Setter allows users to choose from various preset activity programs from ‘Light Walking’ to ‘Speed Endurance’ to custom creating programs on their smartphone.

Once the Gear IconX is synced up with the Pace Setter on the phone, it takes over by coaching the user with in-ear voice prompts to speed up or slow down at predefined moments in the chosen program without requiring the phone to be around. The enhanced Ambient Sound function makes it easier for users to pay attention to sounds around them, which makes Gear IconX especially useful when running or cycling outdoors.

Price and availability
Gear IconX will be available in India from July 26, 2018, in Black colour at Rs 13,990 at major retail outlets,                                                 

Narayan Seva Sansthan to Organize Free Artificial Limb Measurement Camp on July 21 at Jayanagar-3 Block

Narayan Seva Sansthan - a non- profit organization is going to organize an Artificial Limb Measurement camp on 21st July, Saturday for differently-abled individuals at Bengaluru. The camp will be organized at 507/4, (129-2), New Diagonal Road, Behind Bheema Jewelers, 3-Block, Jayanagar, Bengaluru. Individual with lost limbs can participate in the camp, in which the team of experts and doctors will diagnose the feasibility of artificial limbs and then measurements will be taken for customization of artificial limbs. Later on Narayan Seva Sansthan will develop the artificial limbs and will install on the individual differently-abled beneficiaries.

Interested differently-abled individuals can contact on mobile number 9341200200 for more information and participation in the camp.

A number of people lose their limbs in many cases due to some accident or other diseases which adversely makes them dependent on others. An artificial limb not only improves their mobility but also makes them independent by instilling a new confidence. Artificial limbs make their normal day-to-day activities less tedious. The activities, which seem challenging or difficult, are much easily executed with the addition of artificial limbs.

Prashant Agarwal, President of Narayan Seva Sansthan shared, “We at Narayan Seva Sansthan are working for the upliftment of the differently able and underprivileged individuals. In most cases, differently-abled individuals are able to lead a normal life with a perfectly fitted artificial limb. We are committed to bring the differently able community to the main stream society by empowering them physically, socially and economically.”

Narayan Seva Sansthan, which is based out of Udaipur in Rajasthan, has operated over 3.5 lac patients in last 30 years. It has 1100 bedded hospital facility, which does not only cure the differently able individuals but also provides them social and economical rehabilitation. Narayan Seva Sansthan is the hope of polio, Cerebral Palsy, Lymphatic Filariasis patients belonging from India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Ukraine, UK and USA. Daily thousands of patients are served in this smart village ‘Badi’ in Udaipur, Rajasthan. There is no Cash Counter or Payment Gateway for the patients coming to Narayan Seva Sansthan for any Physical, Social and Economic rehabilitation.    

Kwality Unveils its Exciting Range of ‘Breakfast Cereals’ in Bengaluru

“Eat Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dinner like a Poor man”. Breakfast literally means, “breaking the fast” since it’s the first meal you eat after sleeping, and therefore fasting all night. Today because of the nuclear family and complexity of work, most of the youngsters, young couples tend to skip breakfast, which is harmful to health. Kwality foods are taking initiative of inculcating the habit of having breakfast through launch of exciting cereals and their campaign.

Kwality, one of the leading manufacturers of Masalas and Instant mixes from the house of Pagariya Food Product Pvt. Ltd. today announced the launch of its wide range of healthy and delicious ‘breakfast cereals’. A unique combination of wholegrain and multigrain, the range of breakfast cereals offers a variety of breakfast choices for all Indian families.

For over 20 years Pagariya Foods has been present in Indian kitchens through Masalas, Instant Mixes, and a wide range of Breakfast Cereals. The Breakfast cereals come in three categories. The adult range has Corn Flakes, Corn Flakes Almond Honey, Corn Flakes Honey, Corn Flakes Strawberry. Under the Health range, they have Ragi flakes, Muesli Crunchy, Muesli Mixed Fruit, Muesli Fruit n Nuts, Oats and Wheat Porridge. For Children, they have a special range: Choco Flakes, Choco Fills, Strawberry Fills, Vanilla Fills and Fruit Rings. Each of these is a combination of various grains like wheat, ragi and oats that come in unique flavors and has been specially created keeping in mind the Indian palate. The new cereals are available at all big supermarkets such as Big Bazaar, D-Mart, Metro, More, Spar and various other brick and mortar stores. Additionally, they are also available at leading online stores like Amazon, BigBasket and Flipkart. The key USP’s of entire range is that it is 100% Natural, No artificial colors and No preservatives.

Today the size of Breakfast Cereals in India is 2500 cr and growing at a CAGR of 27-28%. By 2020 the turnover will touch 4000 cr. Company is aiming to grow by over 100%+ in next few years and become one of the top 5 Breakfast cereal company in India.

In addition to the new cereals, Kwality has also repackaged their entire range of breakfast cereals. The modern and exciting new packaging designs reflect the company’s desire to give Indian consumers high quality, healthy, tasty and affordable breakfast. With this launch, company becomes 2nd brand to have widest range of Cereal makers in India and 1st by an Indian company.

Speaking at the launch, Naresh Pagariya, Managing Director, Pagariya Food Pvt. Ltd said, "We are extremely thrilled to announce our newly packaged cereals which are in line with our vision to introduce products that are rooted in our philosophy of nutrition, wellness, convenience and health. We believe that the consumer’s need for breakfast choices in India is growing exponentially and our range of products are uniquely placed to satisfy this need.”

The company is aggressively focusing its operational and marketing strategies to capture new markets across India and reach INR 100 crore mark by 2020 from the current 40 crore. By introducing smaller packs of Rs. 5/- and Rs. 10/-, the company is ensuring that people in tier 2, tier 3 and rural Indian cities also can now have nutritious and tasty breakfast cereals. Company today has 400+ Distributors and covers 25000+ retail outlets. In the past couple of years, the company has gained momentum in terms of new products; rejuvenating the marketing and sales team and focusing on volume growth; and these initiatives have yielded positive results.

Emotion AI Startup Entropik Tech, Raises Pre-Series Around of $1.1 M from BIF & IDFC

Entropik Tech, a pioneer in the space of Emotion AI, announced its ‘Pre-series A’ round of $1.1Million led by BIF (Bharat Innovation Fund) and co-invested by IDFC-Parampara Capital, Arthavida Ventures and Jitendra Gupta (MD, PayU); existing investors also participated in the round. The investments will help Entropik Tech scale their platform Affect Lab2.0, launch more IP based products and increase global footprint.

Part of ‘Accenture Ventures Cohort’, ‘Viacom18 VStEP’ program, ‘SAP’& ‘Plug and Play’ accelerator programs, the tech startup is also the first company in the $100M Bharat Innovation Fund’s portfolio.

Ranjan Kumar, Founder and CEO, Entropik Tech quoted, “As consumers, our purchase and consumption decisions are strongly influenced by our emotions.  We first decide on a purchase based on emotion, and then try to justify it through the more rational parts of our brain. Our online SAAS platform Affect Lab 2.0 enables brands to measure subconscious emotional responses to their offerings & create resonance with their consumers.”

Founded in 2016, Entropik Tech is a unique AI (Artificial Intelligence) company that tracks consumer’s Cognitive & Emotional response at its point of origin using cutting edge technologies like Brainwave Mapping, Facial Coding & Eye Tracking.

“Entropik Tech’s AI technique to interpret emotional states & responses from brainwaves is path breaking and has a wide range of uses ranging from understanding consumer preferences to improving mental health. The possibilities are exciting and we look forward to supporting Entropik Tech in maximizing the potential of this disruptive technology” said, Ashwin Raguraman, Partner, Bharat Innovation Fund

Jatin Desai, General Partner, Parampara Capital, said "We are very excited to be part of Entropik's journey as Ranjan and his team have built world-class products in Emotion AI using deep tech with multiple use cases across various verticals. Their products have relevance both in India and for global markets and it's a perfect fit for IDFC-Parampara Fund's investment theme." 

“It’s extremely gratifying to have over 50 clients spread across Media & Advertising, FMCG, Retail and Market Research industries, use our platform to know more about their consumers & optimize their Ads, Trailers, Products and User Experience (UX). With this investment, we will be able to deliver innovations like, Emotive NLP/Chatbots Assistants, Emotionally Intelligent Automotives, Sentiment Analysis for HR (recruitment), and many more. I am very excited about the disruptive potential Emotion AI has towards solving real business problems. There is a lot to be done!” said, Ranjan Kumar

Based out of Bengaluru, Entropik Tech is a 20 member team that relies on over 150 years of collective experience to build Emotion AI based applications. Entropik Tech has filed multiple patents since its inception and recently achieved a 100% revenue growth in the previous quarter.

Toyota Production System to Support Mobility at Olympic, Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020

With two years to go until the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, Toyota today outlined the mobility concept that will become the basis for its Tokyo 2020 Games activities, organized around three main pillars : (1) Mobility for all; (2) Sustainability, centering on the realization of a hydrogen society, with the environment and safety as core principles; and (3) Transportation support of staff, media and athletes between Games venues using a Toyota Production System (TPS)-based system.

Toyota believes that giving unprecedented access to people including those with impairments brings the notion of mobility back to its most fundamental meaning: the freedom to move.

In collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the company would like to help make Tokyo, the first host city to welcome both the Olympic and the Paralympic Games for the second time, a global showcase for “Mobility for All,” contributing to making those Games the most innovative in history.

“The freedom of being mobile is at the heart of being able to participate in society,” said Toyota President Akio Toyoda. “If someone wants to take on a challenge and moving is what is preventing them from doing so, Toyota would like to help tackle that problem. We want mobility to be a possibility, not an obstacle. By being involved with the Olympics, the Paralympics and the Special Olympics Games, I hope that Toyota will come to respect everyone’s uniqueness and embrace diversity. Once that is realized, we will finally be able to take a step closer to our goal of “mobility for all” and ensure, like athletes show us every day, that being mobile equals having a chance to make one’s dreams come true.”

Toyota became the first worldwide mobility partner of the IOC and the IPC in 2015 with the aim to contribute to “creating a peaceful society without discrimination through sports” and “a commitment to creating a sustainable society through mobility”. Additionally, from last year, Toyota launched its first global corporate initiative, “Start Your Impossible,” to bring people together and contribute to a society where all people can challenge what is possible. The product categories covered by the Toyota sponsorship are: vehicles, mobility services and certain transportation and mobility support products (including robots). At Tokyo 2020, Toyota’s support will be deployed in three main areas:

1. “Mobility for All”, Taking on the challenge to provide the freedom to move to everyone including those with impairments through the Tokyo 2020 games,         Toyota will:

* Showcase the future of automated driving as the ultimate “mobility for all”, demonstrating how automated vehicles could one day offer the freedom to move everyone. Verification testing and demonstrations using SAE Level 4* automation, where all driving functions are performed by the vehicle in certain well-defined areas of operation, will take place in the Tokyo Water Front City and Haneda areas in Tokyo;

* Introduce a new type of moving experience through a demonstration of “TOYOTA Concept-i,” a car that recognizes drivers’ emotions and preferences and can make conversation using artificial intelligence (AI);

* Support transportation services for athletes and affiliated guests around the Athlete’s Village with e-Palette, the next generation battery electric vehicle specially designed for Mobility as a Service (MaaS);                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       * Provide its existing assistive vehicles lineup, WelCab, as well as new personal mobility devices and support for last-mile mobility needs.

* Toyota also hopes its new JPN Taxi, introduced in October 2017, will be popular around Tokyo to welcome visitors from around the world, including people using wheelchairs.                                                                                                                                                               *  Provide personal mobility solutions such as the Toyota i-ROAD as well as a standing-riding device to support working staff at the Games, such as security officers.                                                                                                                                                                           2 Sustainability, with the environment and safety as core principles, centered on the realization of a hydrogen society

Toyota plans to contribute to sustainable Games by providing a fleet of over 3,000 passenger vehicles for official use and others, equipped with the latest environmental and safety technologies to minimize environmental burden and traffic accidents.

* In order to make Tokyo 2020 a turning point in realizing a hydrogen society, Toyota will support the Games and their legacy with a large number of zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) such as the Mirai sedan for official use. In addition, the Fuel Cell Bus “Sora,” as well as Fuel Cell forklifts made and sold by Toyota Industries Corporation, will help support the Games.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        * In addition to FCEV, the latest Hybrid Electric/Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV/PHEV) from the Toyota and Lexus line-ups, as well as new Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), will mainly compose the rest of the fleet. In total, the company and the Games’ organisers aim to achieve the lowest emissions target level of any official vehicle fleet used at the Olympic and Paralympic Games with the use of these official vehicles.                                                                                                                                                                                                     * Vehicles for official use will be equipped with the latest active safety technology packages such as Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) and Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+), as well as Parking Support Brake (PKSB), a technology to help prevent collisions that primarily occur in parking lots and garages.

* In addition to official vehicles above, some vehicles will feature Highway Teammate, an automated driving safety function that allows hands-off driving on highways (SAE Level 2* automation).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 3. Games official transportation support using the Toyota Production System

It is estimated that 15 million visitors will join Tokyo’s 15 million citizens during the Games period. While the Tokyo Metropolitan Area will surely live up to its reputation as one of the most efficient cities for urban mobility, Toyota will support the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to help ensure a safe and effective transportation between venues for those using the official fleet. To do this, the company will provide the knowledge it has garnered over years of experience applying the Toyota Production System.

 * Toyota will also support the movement of official staff and athletes to and from events with the latest information and connected technologies, such as vehicle Data Communication Modules connected to its Mobility Service Platform, to provide safe, secure, and smooth transportation of people and freight during the games.

* Toyota will also support on-the-ground vehicle dispatching and transportation operations from an efficiency standpoint.

Cities around the world currently face challenges surrounding mobility, having to solve issues ranging from traffic congestion to air pollution, traffic accidents, and access for people with impairments. Starting from Tokyo 2020 and through Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024, Toyota is hoping to help tackle these challenges in collaboration with stakeholders around the world, and contribute to creating legacy to realize a sustainable mobility society.

Toyota will disclose more of its plans and contributions, including those related to new mobility products and solutions, moving forward between now and Tokyo 2020.

NTT Subsidiary Netmagic Launches Two New Hyperscale Datacenters in Mumbai and Bangalore

NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communications business within the NTT Group, announced today that the Company launches two new high-density and hyperscale datacenters in Mumbai and Bangalore, through Netmagic, a subsidiary of NTT Com and one of the leading Managed Hosting and Multi-Cloud Hybrid IT solution providers. Mumbai’s datacenter (DC 6) will offer 7,900 m2 of server room area (equivalent to 2,750 racks), and Bangalore Datacenter (DC 3) will offer 5,700 m2 of server room area (equivalent to 1,500 racks). These two facilities will expand NTT Com’s datacenter capacity (server room) in India by 70 percent.

Extending the promise of world-class data center facilities to Indian customers, these are yet another “Nexcenter” branded datacenters in the country. The datacenters will deliver Netmagic's entire suite of services including Managed Colocation, Dedicated Hosting, Multi-Cloud, IT Infrastructure Monitoring & Management, Managed Security, Disaster Recovery and Managed App Hosting. These new datacenters in Mumbai and Bangalore are operational with some marquee anchored customers on-board already.

“This occasion is of great pride for us, as these new datacenters in Mumbai and Bangalore reflect the added advantage of Netmagic’s operational excellence in Managed Services. This gives these data centers the capability of becoming the new benchmark for the industry in India,” said Takanobu Maeda, Senior Vice President Global Business, Member of the Board, NTT Communications Corporation. “These facilities are a part of our Nexcenter brand of Global datacenter services providing end-to-end ICT solutions combining datacenter/cloud,  network and managed services, thereby, capitalizing on the trend of enterprises’ migrating their on-premise systems to the cloud.”

“On the 20th anniversary of Netmagic, it gives me great pleasure to announce our two new datacenters in Mumbai and Bangalore, which will facilitate Indian and multi-national enterprises in experiencing our state-of-the-art facilities,” said Sharad Sanghi, MD & CEO, Netmagic (An NTT Communications Company). “Given Mumbai's and Bangalore’s business importance, Netmagic’s Mumbai DC 6 and Bangalore DC 3 are poised to become the very heart of India’s IT Infrastructure needs, offering the right platform for enterprises and start-ups alike, to grow, scale and innovate in order to take business to the next level.”

Enterprises are demanding increasingly complex and diversified ICT environments to digitally transform their businesses. In particular, companies require hybrid ICT environments that combine security and reliability for core tasks and flexibility and agility for artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) and fintech technologies.

India is Asia’s third-largest market for data center services, following only Japan and China, and market growth is averaging high annual rates of 25% to 30%. Data centers are using increasingly more data as large IT providers launch new cloud services for mobile internet, e-commerce, IoT and big data. NTT Com, which offers Netmagic data centers in Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi (Noida) and Chennai, opened its India Bangalore 2 Data Center in 2014 and India Mumbai 5 Data Center (Mumbai DC5) in 2015.

Going forward, NTT Com will continue to strengthen its hybrid ICT solutions to support the digital transformations of customers in India.

Features of Mumbai DC6 and Bangalore DC3

Mumbai DC6 is conveniently located just 15 minutes by car from Mumbai International Airport and is adjacent to NTT Com’s India Mumbai DC5. It will deliver services mainly for multiple Indian and foreign firms engaged in Internet, media and financial services. Bangalore DC3, which is located in a data center-dedicated building in Whitefield in east Bangalore, will support companies engaged mainly in IT services and business process outsourcing (BPO) services for system development and operational management, both domestic and international.

* Top-level stability for electric power and connectivity

Both facilities meet the rigorous equipment and operations standards of NexcenterTM, NTT Com’s data center service brand. Also, redundant electric power, cooling and telecommunication equipment and robust security equipment will enable top-level reliability and SLAs for customers operating in the Indian market. Although India’s electric power supply is unstable and blackouts occur often, both data centers will supply stable electric power 24/7, including UPS.

* Network and cloud-service solutions for business development

High-speed, large-capacity Network services will be offered under a National Long Distance license and a Virtual Network Operator – International Long Distance license that have been acquired by NTT Communications India Network Services. Solutions combining NTT Com’s network and cloud services will enable customers to optimize their hybrid ICT environments.

* Secure, flexible operational services backed by international certifications

Services based on Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) guidelines for IT system operational management will ensure secure, flexible management. Remote-hand services will be provided by on-site technicians skilled in advanced operational system that has acquired international certifications such as ISO27001, ISO9001 and ISO20000-1, and also SAP and Cisco certifications. In addition, the data centers will acquire certification under the PCI DSS information security standard for branded credit cards.   

Hitachi Vantara Appoints Hemant Tiwari as General Manager for India

Hitachi Vantara, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd. has announced the appointment of Hemant Tiwari as vice president and general manager for India. Tiwari will lead Hitachi Vantara’s business and operations in India with a focus on growing the overall business, building up the partner ecosystem, and accelerating expansion of the company's revenue and market share in India.

With over 36 years of IT industry experience, Tiwari has created and led high-performing teams and achieved exceptional results in driving business growth, employee engagement, partner relationships and customer loyalty. Prior to joining Hitachi Vantara, Tiwari worked at Hewlett Packard for over two decades in various senior management positions across Asia and India. In his most recent role with Hewlett Packard Enterprises based in Singapore, Tiwari served as general manager and managing director of data center and hybrid IT in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. All told, Tiwari has spent 27 years in senior management roles in the India market while at Hewlett Packard India, Microland and DCM Data Systems. He brings to Hitachi Vantara vast experience driving the growth of enterprise server, storage, data center, networking and hybrid cloud portfolio across consumer, SMB, commercial and enterprise segments.

Daniel Chong, senior vice president and general manager of Hitachi Vantara APAC, commented, ‘’India is a critical market for Hitachi Vantara. With the immense potential and digital-led transformation that the country is witnessing today, the business opportunities in creating innovative data-driven approach for our customers to deliver business value and accelerate their digital transformation journey are phenomenal. We are excited about the leadership Hemant will provide in growing our business in the India market through our unique expertise and innovative technology solutions.’’

Commenting on his appointment, Hemant Tiwari, vice president and general manager, India said, “I am thrilled to be joining the Hitachi Vantara team and I look forward to working closely with our partners and customers to take full advantage of the fast-growing technology landscape and opportunities that the Indian market has to offer. As the technology industry continues to evolve across different segments, it is truly an exciting time to lead and drive the company’s growth in India.”                                                                   

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