Saturday, August 18, 2018

Indian Startup Wins ‘Urban Drinking Water Global Challenge 2018’

The 2018 winners of the Urban Drinking Water Challenge, a global innovation competition to deploy and scale decentralized drinking water solutions for fast-growing, water-scarce cities, were announced by Imagine H2O and Founding Partners Bluewater Group and 11th Hour Racing. Over 160 startups from 37 countries registered for the Challenge. The three winning companies, SmartTerra (Bengaluru, India), Drinkwell (Dhaka, Bangladesh) and Microlyze (Denver, CO) represent a diverse range of technologies and entrepreneurial approaches to solve urban water scarcity and advance U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 6. 

The Challenge’s Founding Partners have committed up to US$ One Million in cash prizes, pilot funding awards and investment. Each winner will be showcased in Stockholm during World Water Week on August 26 - 31, 2018. “Over the next three decades, projected demand for water in cities will increase by 70% resulting in more scenarios similar to Cape Town, which is suffering acute drinking water scarcity,” says Anders Jacobson, Bluewater President and Chief Strategy Officer. “This competition unlocks the resources to validate and scale three promising solutions that prove the benefits of smarter water management in the face of rapid urbanization and looming drinking water shortages.”

Evaluated on the basis of commercial viability, impact and market readiness, the winning startups merge technology with innovative business models to improve the reach and sustainability of drinking water services:

* SmartTerra is equipping second-tier Indian cities with the tools for data-driven decision making and operations to improve delivery and access for the underserved.
* Drinkwell is expanding its turnkey decentralized water purification systems across arsenic-contaminated communities in Bangladesh.
* Microlyze is deploying real-time water testing devices to empower households and provide cost-effective monitoring for US utilities.

Imagine H2O’s evaluation committee included a diverse group of experts from institutions including the World Bank, Grundfos, The Schmidt Family Foundation, Anaergia, Rotoplas, Xylem, Aquaya Institute and Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor.

“11th Hour Racing is committed to addressing the global water crisis through innovation,” says Todd McGuire, Program Director of 11th Hour Racing. “By shining a spotlight on entrepreneurs confronting problems shared by communities around the world, we can position them for scale and bolster our collective efforts for a water-secure future.”

Additionally, the Challenge’s Evaluation Committee awarded an Honorable Mention to Majik Water, a Nairobi-based team developing an atmospheric water generation device in partnership with local communities.

Microsoft, Apollo Hospitals Introduces AI Powered Cardiovascular Disease Risk Score

Microsoft India and Apollo Hospitals has announced the launch of the first ever AI-powered Cardiovascular Disease Risk Score API (application program interface), designed specifically to predict the risk of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in the Indian population. Doctors across the Apollo network of hospitals can now leverage this AI-powered API to predict risk of CVD and drive preventive cardiac care across the country.

According to the National Family Health survey ( by the Union health ministry, one in every eight Indians suffers from high blood pressure. Despite the enormous number of cases, doctors in India are unable to identify the probability of cardiovascular disease, while there are various CVD risk models available worldwide, these do not cater specifically for the Indian population. 

Built on Microsoft Azure, this API aims to determine a more accurate CVD risk score for the Indian population. It has been developed using a combination of applied AI and clinical expertise on a large sample of retrospective data on health checks and coronary events. The scoring considers risk contributors including lifestyle attributes such as diet, tobacco & smoking preferences and physical activity as well as psychological stress & anxiety as reflected via rate of respiration, hypertension and systolic & diastolic blood pressure. The score categorizes risk into high, moderate and minimal and also provides insights on the top modifiable risk contributors, thereby assisting physicians to consult patients in a more holistic way, while providing insights to patients for lifestyle modification and timely interventions.

Commenting on the initiative, Sangita Reddy, joint managing director, Apollo Hospitals said “This partnership is part of our continuing endeavour to design new tools and equip our doctors in the fight against non-communicable diseases. The amalgamation of artificial intelligence and machine learning with the global expertise of our doctors will help prevent heart disease, save lives and ensure those with heart disease can make informed choices on their health. We are confident that the combined power of Apollo and Microsoft can make a meaningful impact to stem the rise of heart disease in India.”

“We believe in the impact technology can have, specifically how Microsoft AI, Azure and collaboration with our partners like Apollo, can come together and transform the healthcare sector. This heart risk score for Indian populace is a true example of how precision healthcare can accelerate prevention of cardio vascular disease and reduce disease burden,” said Anil Bhansali, managing director, Microsoft India (R&D) Private Limited.

The risk score model continues to be validated across multiple private and public health systems. Apollo and Microsoft are also engaging global consortium partners to calibrate and scale this intelligent system for other population groups.

Microsoft AI Network for Healthcare aims to maximize the ability of artificial intelligence and cloud computing to accelerate innovation in the healthcare industry and improve the lives of people around the world. Introduction of this intelligent system in partnership with Apollo Hospitals is a huge step in this journey.

Regional Airlines Player TruJet in Talks with Jet Airways for ATRs

Beleaguered Jet Airways is in an advanced stage of discussions with TruJet to sub-lease up to seven of its ATR planes to the regional airline as it seeks to reduce costs and mop up additional revenues, according to an industry source.

These planes are likely to be sub-leased with complete crew, maintenance and insurance.

Currently, the Naresh Goyal-promoted full service carrier has 15 ATRs in its fleet. TruJet, which started operations in July 2015 has an all ATR fleet.

The deal may be stitched this month, the source privy to the development said.

Jet Airways had attempted to phase out these regional jets in the past as well.

“Both Jet Airways and TruJet are in an advanced stage of negotiations on the ATR deal. As per the on-going discussions, TruJet will initially lease seven ATRs from Jet Airways,” the source told PTI.

While TruJet confirmed it is in discussions with Jet Airways, the latter said that “it continues to evaluate all possible alternatives”.

Partially-owned by Gulf carrier Etihad, Jet Airways has been facing turbulence since the beginning of this year, having reported a massive loss of over Rs 1,000 crore in March quarter.

The source said that the sub-lease period was likely to be for five years under a wet lease arrangement. “If the deal gets through, TruJet could opt for more such planes from the airline,” the source added.

A wet lease is an arrangement under which one airline provides an aircraft, its complete crew, maintenance and insurance.

B'lore Chambers Calls for Upgrading Skills to Tap Opportunity in Aerospace Industry

Industry body Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) on Friday urged stakeholders to take up skilling initiatives to capitalise on growing opportunity in Indian aviation and aerospace industry.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the seminar on Impact of Skill Development on Creation of World Class Aerospace and Aviation Ecosystem, Chairman of BCICI Expert Committee on Aerospace and Aviation Ashok Saxena said the industry is facing huge shortage of skilled workforce and there is a need to reskill employees to meet growing demands of the industry.

“India requires 5 lakh skilled manpower within five years to take on the opportunities in the aviation and aerospace industry. This is necessitated both by defence and civil aviation reqiurments,” he said. 

The one day seminar was organised by BCIC and aerospace technologists’ body SIATI with the support of Aerospace & Aviation Sector Skill Council (AASSC).

“We should not buy humans for doing work. They should be evolved over a period of time with requisite skill set by skilling themselves on shop floors and in simulated environment,” he said. 

Global aerospace major Boeing has projected that it expects a demand for 2,100 new aircraft in India, valued at $290 billion, over the next 20 years. India is now ranked ninth largest civil aviation market in the world, and is projected to become the third largest by 2020. 

“Besides replacement of existing 11 squadrons for defence forces, India requires more than 10,000 helicopters and thousands of civilian aircraft within next five years. India’s aerospace and defence sector is projected to reach $70 billion by 2020 from its present size of just $ 1.7 billion,” Saxena said.

The event also witnessed participation from industry leaders, trainers and faculty members, students, working professionals, consultants and government officials.

Friday, August 17, 2018

SpiceJet to Operate 76 Additional Flights from Aug 17-27 to Help Stranded Passengers in Kerala

SpiceJet, the country’s favourite carrier, will operate an additional 76 flights to help passengers affected by the floods in Kerala which has resulted in the closure of the Kochi airport.

Effective from 17th August 2018, the airline will operate new and additional direct flights on the routes of Chennai-Thiruvanathapuram, Bengaluru-Kozhikode, Male-Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru-Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode-Chennai, and Dubai-Kozhikode. SpiceJet will be deploying a mix of both Boeing 737 and Q400 on these routes.

The new flights are expected to lend a strong hand to the rescue operations that are currently on after the Kerala deluge, termed as ‘one of the worst in decades’, left thousands stranded.

SpiceJet is also offering passengers booked on flights to and from Kochi a full refund on cancellations, waiver of change fees and fare difference for the same sector and for booking an alternate flight for the next 10 days from date of travel. Passengers have also been offered the option to take flights out of Coimbatore, Madurai, Tuticorin, Calicut and Trivandrum.

Bookings for tickets are now open on, SpiceJet’s mobile apps and through online travel portals and travel agents.

PNB Housing Launches New Online Deposits and Mobile App

PNB Housing Finance, the country’s 2nd largest housing finance company by deposit book size, has launched facility of online deposits both on its website and mobile app.

Not only this, the company is also offering attractive rate of interest of up to 8.45% per annum for a 44 month deposit; marking a rise of 35 bps over the last ROI.

PNB Housing is adept in bringing highest level of convenience and unparalleled service to its customers. It thrives of digital interventions that bring ease in transacting with the Company, from anywhere and anytime. The latest addition will allow applicants to create deposits in just 3 simple steps with the help of e-KYC and digital signatures. The auto-renewal and online redemption are other distinctive advantages of the feature.  

PNB Housing Finance Executive Director and Business Head Shaji Varghese said, “Online deposits facility is a relatively new service in the housing finance sector. Paucity of time for many has led to the expectation of getting every service at a touch of a button and our online FD service does just that. Infact, the auto renewal and online redemption features are novice in the sector. So anyone can create a FD without having the need to walk into a branch or call customer care, that too, anytime anywhere in just about 10 minutes. As the entire process is automated, it eliminates the need for physical KYC.”

PNB Housing Finance is one of the few deposit-taking housing finance companies (HFCs) offering competitive interest rates. As on June 30, 2018, the deposits book size stands at INR 11,724 crore. The Company stands 5th among leading HFCs with assets under management at INR 68,578 crore as on June 30, 2018.

Ride the Digital Transformation Wave with Newgen at FIBAC 2018

Newgen Software, a provider of Business Process Management (BPM), Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Customer Communication Management (CCM) platforms,today announced its participation at the FICCI-IBA Annual Banking Conference (FIBAC)2018. The event will be held at Hotel Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai on 20th and 21st August, 2018.

“Banking in India is evolving at a pace which makes it imperative for banks and financial institutions to constantly reinvent and redefine the way they work. Newgen banking solutions augment profitability and business growth by enabling banks to automate processes end-to-end and provide a futuristic banking experience to customers,” said Diwakar Nigam, Chairman and Managing Director, Newgen Software.

Meet Newgen experts at booth number #S9 to discover how banks and financial institutions can become more agile and cost effective transforming critical business processes. Engage with them to understand how these organizations can invest in innovative technologies to meet the demands of a digital customer.

Newgen solutions for the banking industry offer a configurable unified platform, built on BPM, ECM and CCM, to streamline various processes. The processes include account opening, loan origination, trade finance, payments and many others. Moreover, new-age technologies like social, mobility, robotic process automation and digital sensing augment digital transformation. These solutions help businesses respond proactively to the ever-changing market dynamics,enabling greater productivity, enhanced customer experiences, and improved regulatory compliance.

FIBAC,a flagship annual conference is a platform that encourages the proliferation of digital transformation in the banking and financial sector not only from India but also across geographies. 

Indian Telecom Industry Mourns with the Nation Over the Sad Demise of Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee

The telecom industry joins the nation in mourning the demise of one of the most beloved political figures of India. The industry is deeply saddened to see one of the greatest statesmen of the country depart. He will be remembered for his vision, leadership and unique style of statesmanship. 

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away yesterday, aged 93, is seen by the telecom industry as one of the most important figures in the evolution of modern telephony in the country, because of his deep understanding of the transformation power of telecommunications to drive economic developments and citizen’s empowerment. His historic and brave decision to allow for “revenue sharing” from mobile operators, broke the logjam of a precipitous decline of a burgeoning industry that had enormous promise but that had run into severe financial distress. The impact of this visionary and far-reaching decision can be felt even today when the country is celebrated for the achievements of the telecommunications sector.

DG COAI, Rajan S. Mathews, commented, “A great statesman and leader has passed away and the telecom industry is forever indebted to his contribution towards the evolution of modern communication in the country. Mr. Vajpayee was a stellar economic reformer and the National Telecom Policy, 1999, was formulated under his watchful eye. The policy allowed service providers to offer mobile services on revenue-share basis, instead of fixed-fees that the companies had to pay earlier for providing such services. The sector witnessed unprecedented growth in the number of mobile subscribers, foreign and domestic investment, network growth and a series of essential reforms that the industry needed to expand and grow.”

T.R. Dua, DG TAIPA, Commented, “TAIPA, fondly remembers visionary leader, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the vociferous and profound leader who shaped the economic, corporate and liberalization of the Indian telecommunication sector. He was a great visionary and envisioned a robust telecom infrastructure in order to extend the benefits of mobile telephony to the masses, besides revolutionizing the telecom industry. The NDA government, under Shri Vajpayee’s able leadership released the telecom policy in 1999, to achieve much for which it is recognized today. With his demise, the nation has witnessed a big loss. However, his ideologies, patriotism, and knowledge will continue to add value to the nation.”

Motherson Sumi Systems Receives Coveted IND-AAA Rating

Motherson Sumi Systems Limited, the flagship company of automotive ancillary giant Samvardhana Motherson Group has received the coveted AAA rating from India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra.) The outlook is stable. MSSL’s diversified customer base and product profile, strong track record of revenue growth and profits, ability to turnaround acquisitions, global manufacturing footprint and high ROCEs in key businesses, good liquidity across the consolidated profile were some of the key factors for receiving the rating.

Among other things, the rating factors in MSSL’s long-standing and deep relationships with key Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) globally; of the top 21 OEMs, the company has more than 20 years of relationship with 17 OEMs. The Group’s 3CX15 strategy to not have any component, customer or country contributing more than 15% to the business has ensured risk mitigation and steady growth.

On receiving the prestigious AAA rating, Vivek Chaand Sehgal, Chairman, Samvardhana Motherson Group said, “We are proud and delighted with the ratings announcement. Customer satisfaction has been the cornerstone of what we do and the strategies we have followed have created value for all our stakeholders, internal and external. Our teams continue to excel and this is excellent validation for all their effort. The vision of becoming the Globally Preferred Solutions Provider continues to drive our passion to do better.”

Genetec Clearance now Enables Easy Upload of Video Collected by Smart Phones and Security Systems

Genetec Inc. ("Genetec"), a leading technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions today announced the new 'File Request' feature for its Genetec Clearance  digital evidence management system. The feature is designed to make it easy for the general public and private businesses to contribute to crime-solving efforts by sharing relevant video and photos from their cell phones and surveillance systems with law enforcement agencies.

The new feature is simple to use: investigators create a file request link or QR code that can be shared with the public in a variety of ways such as via social media, on the web or on the news. Contributors can then upload videos, photos, and other evidence directly into Clearance for police officers, investigators and security managers to review and use as part of their investigation. Since Clearance can accept a wide variety of proprietary file types and file sizes, it is easy for private businesses to upload digital evidence from their surveillance systems even if they are very large files.

Once uploaded, all case information remains private and secure and user actions are tracked to maintain chain of custody. The Clearance File Request feature also eliminates the need to create multiple copies using insecure means like DVDs or thumb-drives, and saves personnel time from having to drive out to gather evidence.

"As we turn to our phones to capture life's events, and as video surveillance increases, so does the amount of digital evidence created by personal devices and private systems. For investigators, getting access to this evidence can be tricky, especially since large video files are difficult to share. With the new File Request feature in Genetec Clearance, agencies can quickly put out requests for evidence, and maximize their efforts when collaborating during an investigation," said Erick Ceresato, Product Line Manager at Genetec.

Canon India Marks ‘World Photography Day’ Celebrations, Promoting the Culture of Imaging Across the Country

As World Photography Day approaches on August 18, Canon India, one of the leading imaging organizations furthers its commitment to cultivate the passion and spread the knowledge of photography across the nation. To mark the occasion, the imaging leader has organized a series of pan India initiatives, as an exhaustive outreach to enhance photography culture and help enthusiasts hone their clicking skills.

Sharing his thoughts, Kazutada Kobayashi, President and CEO, Canon India said, “Photography is an enabler of memories, all occasions can be preserved and cherished through this beautiful form of art. At Canon India, we believe in enabling and expanding the joy of photography. Over the last six years of my experience in India, I have personally witnessed the culture of photography evolve and our organization has made constant endeavors to support this journey. As people increasingly continue to express themselves through the art of photography, our initiatives like the Photo walks, photography workshops and social media contests are aimed at augmenting their interest in photography.”

“We adopt a 360 degree methodology in the world of imaging, providing an elaborate experience of imaging with ‘Input to Output’. Our camera technology is designed to capture true-to-life information and likewise, our print technology converts those colorful, abstract memories into frame-worthy pictures. We would continue to innovate and delight our customers with best experiences in the imaging space,” added Kobayashi.

Inspiring the spirit of discovery in one’s own city, Canon had organized multi-city photo walks in the months of July and August. The aim of this initiative was to call out to photography enthusiasts to compile hyper-local experiences that bring out the extraordinary that exists in the seemingly mundane aspects of urban lives. The day long photo-walks through the streets of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Kolkata were led by some of the most popular Instagram influencers in the country including Zaid Salman (@yourworldmylens) and Nitish Waila (@nitishwaila) and gave a common platform to photography enthusiasts to capture the flavour of their cities.

With an interesting line up of activities, Canon made these photo-walks experiential for photography enthusiasts to cultivate their passion for photography into a profession. These photo walks were accompanied with a hands-on demonstration of Canon’s EOS M50 mirrorless camera, popularly known as ‘The Conversation Creator’. As an extension to these walks, a contest has also been announced on social media around street and travel photography, where the winners will be awarded with a unit of EOS M50 each.

Present at the photo walks, Eddie Udagawa, Vice President, Consumer Imaging & Information Centre, Canon India said, “In line with our commitment towards the photography community, we take pride in delivering a unique and engaging experience for them through our various pan India initiatives such as multi-city photo-walks, organized with an objective to celebrate and cultivate the spirit of photography.”

He further added, “With more than 50 participants in every city, I was delighted to see them take out time to enhance their passion for photography skills by participating in our photo walks. It has been rewarding to see these photo walks bring about an evolution of photography from a hobby to a passion. Such astounding results captured by the participants, encourages us further to continue delighting our customers with the marvels of imaging.”

In the North region of the country, Canon India will be celebrating World Photography Week by engaging aspiring and professional photographers on various platforms. This would include professional workshops on wedding photography in Meerut for Meerut Camera Club members, a basic photography workshop for students in Bhatnagar International School, Vasant Kunj, DPS school, Sector 102, Gurgaon and Sri Venkateshwara College, South Campus.

In the South region, the organization is organizing a photography workshop at Christ University, Bengaluru for students, to teach them the basics of photography, with a prime focus on travel photography. Furthermore, with a special focus on high-end cameras, there are 13 back-to-back month long workshops planned in Kerala and 4 in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to aggressively promote the photography culture. Additionally, workshops are planned at Canon Image Square stores in South region, providing education on the basics of camera, catering to end-consumers.

In the West, the organization has planned photography workshops at Canon Image Square stores, with Canon promoters. The organization will also be marking its presence at ‘All Maharashtra Photographer Association’ in Navi Mumbai.

In the East, photo walks are being organised across all states with local photography associations to commemorate the occasion. Canon Photo Mentors are coming together at Guwahati Club to organize a Fashion Photography Work shop, with ‘All Assam Fashion Photographers Association, Guwahati’. The Master Service Centre(MSC), Kolkata will bear a special décor to celebrate the day, and our esteemed customers can avail a limited period offer of 10% discount on spare parts for repairs at the MSC, Kolkata.

Continuing its endeavor to support the community and the environment, the organization is also running a digital movement called #ShiftYourFocus. Using the popular social media hashtags, such as #FollowMeTo, #OnMyTable and #FromWhereIStand, the company is aiming to divert the attention of millenials to necessary causes like nature conservation and environment preservation. This campaign will run across all social media platforms of the organization, with the objective to support the required change, with the powerful tool of images.

OLA Obtains Court Order Against Circulation of Disparaging and Confidential Content on 'Hush' -A web Based Mobile Application

J Sagar Associates (JSA) represented ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (OLA) before the Delhi High Court and obtained direction for removal of confidential information and disparaging comments hosted on 'Hush', a web based platform, which allows employees of an Organization to anonymously post comments, gossip and rumor about their Colleagues, Bosses, Co- workers and culture of the Organization.

Delhi High Court also directed 'Hush' to disclose the names of the persons posting the aforesaid comments to the Court in sealed cover.

The JSA team comprised of Dheeraj Nair, Manish Jha and Kunal Chaturvedi.

Cloud Computing Remains Top Emerging Business Risk: Gartner

Cloud computing ranks as the top risk concern for executives in risk, audit, finance and compliance, according to the latest survey by Gartner, Inc. While cloud computing presents organizations with novel opportunities, a number of new risks — including cybersecurity disclosure and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance — make cloud solutions susceptible to unexpected security threats.

In Gartner’s latest quarterly Emerging Risks Report, 110 senior executives in risk, audit, finance and compliance at large global organizations identified cloud computing as the top concern for the second consecutive quarter. Additional information security risks, such as cybersecurity disclosure and GDPR compliance, ranked among the top five concerns of the executives surveyed.

The top two fast-moving, high-impact risks — those which have the ability to cripple an organization quickly — are also related to information security threats. Social engineering and GDPR compliance were cited as most likely to cause the greatest enterprise damage if not adequately addressed by risk management leaders, according to Gartner. However, only 18 percent of the cross-functional executives surveyed currently considered social engineering to be a significant enterprise risk.

Executives should expect cybersecurity threats to affect organizations in unpredictable ways. Through 2022, at least 95 percent of cloud security failures will be the fault of the organization, according to Gartner. As more sophisticated tactics such as social engineering are engineered to compromise sensitive data, organizations should expand their cybersecurity team to address evolving digital risks.

“Executives are right to expand cloud services as part of their digital business initiatives, but they need to ensure their cloud security strategy keeps up with this growth,” said Matthew Shinkman, practice leader at Gartner. “Leaders should start by clearly identifying their most at-risk areas, which remain obscure to many large organization leaders.”

Increased Adoption Brings New Risks

Gartner forecasts cloud computing to be a $300 billion business by 2021, as companies increasingly adopt cloud services to realize their desired digital business outcomes. Through the use of cloud services, cloud computing provides the speed and agility that digital business requires. Adopting the cloud can also result in significant cost savings and generate new sources of revenue.

Results from Gartner’s Emerging Risks Report, however, reveal that companies continue to struggle with security. Despite record spending on information security in the last two years, organizations have lost an estimated $400 billion to cyber theft and fraud worldwide. As cybersecurity events and data breaches increase, it is imperative that organizations elevate IT security to a board-level topic and an essential part of any solid digital business growth strategy.

“Executives should promote risk awareness throughout the organization,” Shinkman stated. “A strong risk culture helps employees make the right decisions and mitigates poor outcomes.”

OMRON Healthcare India Step-Up its After Sales Service Expanse

OMRON Healthcare India, the leader in digital blood pressure monitoring segment, announced the opening of 48 Pickup centres in addition to seven existing authorized after-sales Service centres across tier-1 and 2 cities.

This strategic move denotes company’s efforts to deepen its reach and connect with the end-customers via strengthening its after sales service infrastructure by introducing unique concepts and adding value to the existing facilities.

OMRON Pickup Centres, unique in the healthcare monitoring segment, present walk-in facilities for customers for all of their repair needs. The centres provide the first-level check of product and allow the customers the convenience to get the same picked up after the repair at the nearest service centre thus saving them the hassles of visiting the pharmacies or retailers (from which they had bought the products) and a centralized interface for speedy resolution of their service needs. 

OMRON Service Centres provide a window to take care of all kinds of customer service issues ranging from re-calibration facilities for BP monitors to in and out-of-warranty product repair services needing advanced technical interventions. The customers are also attended and inducted by team of experts who resolve their queries and give them complete know-how on the utility of OMRON healthcare products. These centres are located at New Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Cochin, Chennai, and Kolkata.

Commenting on the initiative, Kazunori Tokura, Managing Director, OMRON Healthcare India, said, “OMRON aims to add on value to the whole customer journey by bringing not only the products but also the services closer to them. After-sales-service, generally, is the last segment in the journey however it plays a very important role in enhancing the satisfaction- level which is a crucial deciding component in the healthcare segment.”

“Preventive healthcare is all set to play a larger role in contributing positively towards the wellbeing of the people of India and this initiative will help us, further, in making a stronger contribution towards the same as a leading player in the healthcare monitoring segment. The expansion is already on and we will have more centers added to the network soon” he added.

Thinking Global, Persistent Systems Partner to Develop IoT Solutions Across Residential Communities

Three Phase Electric is a successful provider of electrical services to home owner associations (HOA) in residential communities across Southern California. In business for over 28 years, it provides lighting and electrical services at large apartment, condo and housing complexes including the large common areas such as recreational facilities, parks, trails, parking areas and swimming pools.

Working with Persistent Systems (BSE & NSE: PERSISTENT), Three Phase Electric developed

Common Sense Smart Community, employing Software 4.0 to disrupt the multi-billion-dollar homeowners' association market and potentially enabling the real estate under management to become software-driven. Today, 21% of the US population lives within a homeowners’ association with 50,000 community managers responsible for managing properties.

After attending several lighting industry events, the team at Three Phase Electric was intrigued about the potential of the Internet of Things (ioT) to transform a labor-intensive, field-based operation into something more automated and efficient, and in the process enable HOAs to be better stewards of the environment and their own environmental impact.

One critical challenge was that neither they nor the HOAs knew until the end of the month, when they received their bill, how much electricity or water they had consumed. If there had been a spike, they may have already been penalized by the utility. The IoT-based platform changed this radically; providing instant monitoring of consumption with no surprises. But that was only the beginning.

Three Phase Electric was so impressed they created a software-driven brand around their offering called Common Sense Smart Community, seeing the broader potential of the platform. Common Sense incorporates everything they have learned about implementing the Internet of Things to monitor lighting, irrigation, swimming pool water quality and temperature in real time to improve efficiencies.

The benefits of the new platform have been a profound change in how Three Phase Electric manages its large residential sites. For example – a maintenance person put a high-powered bulb into a closet light where it clearly wasn’t needed. The system sent an alert and the bulb was changed to something more suitable. In another example, in water-challenged California, the platform monitors irrigation systems for large leaks or broken water lines and will shut a system down immediately if it senses one. It then sends alerts immediately to both the landscaper and the homeowners association. 

Kimberly Weiss, President and CEO of Three Phase electric said, “We all have a profound responsibility to conserve natural resources and preserve our environment, but when you look at the scale and breadth of community associations around the country, I think we have to realize that the environmental responsibility of community associations is greater than that of a single business or residence. Community associations should assume environmental responsibility similar to that taken by cities. This system goes a long way in that direction. Lighting maintenance vendors no longer need to roll a truck to each site to verify the lights are working. Pool maintenance crews don’t have to drive to each pool every day (as mandated by CA Title 22 regulations) to verify that the pool water is safe to swim in. If an irrigation line breaks, the system shuts it down automatically until it’s repaired.”

“Besides the technology side of developing Common Sense, Persistent is an incredible business partner who knew exactly how to rollout this game changing project. Not least of all was ensuring a strong, collaborative process bringing together all the stakeholders to the project – the management company, board of directors, community managers, service providers and residents. We wanted this platform to be a win for everyone and Persistent helped us achieve exactly that.”

The platform, built with Persistent, has the potential to transform the HOA industry and creates a new level of transparency. Community managers, service providers, board members and residents can all see the status of the community facilities anywhere, at any time which means that the expediency and quality of work will be clear to everyone. Repairs left undone can’t be swept under the rug. 

The system also ushers in a new level of efficiency. Community managers no longer have to receive a trouble report, communicate the report in some way to the service provider and then follow up on the status of the correction. The system updates everyone– the manager, service provider and resident (if they care to look) – automatically and simultaneously. The homeowner can have peace of mind, knowing that the repair is underway - or can check what temperature the swimming pool is that day.

Sanjeev Srivastav, Persistent Systems SVP and GM IoT Industrial Solutions says, “This is a powerful, real world example of how the Internet of Things offers the opportunity for the most brick and mortar – literally – operations to become software-driven. Three Phase Electric’s Common Sense initiative has a profound effect on how HOAs can operate with tremendous upside not just for themselves, but all the constituents of these housing developments. It offers fast, accurate, transparent reporting, taking the inefficiencies and delays out of the whole maintenance process.”

Thursday, August 16, 2018

NPCI Launches Unified Payments Interface 2.0 Across India

In an endeavour to serve the customers better, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is pleased to launch Unified Payments Interface (UPI) 2.0. Dr. Urjit Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, Nandan Nilekani, Advisor – Innovation, NPCI, Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, State Bank of India launched the service today in the presence of Biswamohan Mahapatra, Non- Executive Chairman, NPCI, Dilip Asbe, MD & CEO, NPCI and senior bankers from the industry.

Dilip Asbe, MD & CEO, NPCI said, “We are happy to witness the revolution brought about by UPI in the last two years. Large number of banks, merchants, third-party players and consumers trusted this platform which resulted in substantial growth in terms of volume and value of transactions since its inception. With the launch of UPI 2.0 we hope to touch new milestones by expanding UPI’s presence especially in person-to-merchant payment space.”

Nandan Nilekani, Advisor – Innovation, NPCI said, “UPI is a path breaking innovation that is unprecedented globally. Its high volume, low cost and highly scalable architecture built on an open source platform is key to India’s transformation to a digital payment economy.”

Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, State Bank of India said, “NPCI has played a stellar role in enabling various payment platforms. From launching a card payment settlement system that competes with Visa and MasterCard to setting up a platform to facilitate instant money transfer service, NPCI has been moving from one success story to other. The success story of UPI has been acknowledged across the world with other countries trying to emulate similar solutions.” 

The key features of UPI 2.0 are:

1.   Overdraft facility

In addition to current and savings accounts, customers can link their overdraft account to UPI. Customers will be able to transact instantly and all benefits associated with OD account shall be made available to the users. UPI 2.0 will serve as an additional digital channel to access OD account.

2.   One Time Mandate

UPI mandate could be used in a scenario where money is to be transferred later by providing commitment at present. UPI 2.0 mandates are created with one time block functionality for transactions. Customers can pre-authorise a transaction and pay at a later date. It works seamlessly for merchants as well as for individual users. Mandates can be created and executed instantly. On the date of actual purchase, the amount will be deducted and received by the merchant / individual user. 

3.   Invoice in the inbox

This feature is designed for customers to check the invoice sent by merchant prior to making payment. It will help customers to view and verify the credentials and check whether it has come from the right merchant or not. Customers can pay seamlessly post verifying the amount and other important details mentioned in the invoice.

4.   Signed intent & QR

This feature is designed for customers to check the authenticity of merchants while scanning QR code. It notifies the user with information to ascertain whether the merchant is verified UPI merchant or not. This provides an additional security to the QR as well as intent. Transactions are processed faster as app passcode is not required in case of signed intent. It also negates the chances of QR tampering. Customers will be informed in case the receiver is not secured by way of notifications.

TAPMI to Offer its Executive Education Virtually to Offer Post Graduate Program in BIFM

T. A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), a premier B-School in the country, announced the launch of its big new initiative ----TAPMI Virtual, Executive Learning delivered thru synchronous, and live mode to distributed classrooms in 27+ cities. The first flagship program of TAPMI Virtual initiative is a Post-Graduate Certificate Program in Banking, Insurance & Financial Markets (BIFM) and creates a new learning opportunity for working executives.

Speaking on the occasion, TAPMI’s Director Dr. Madhu Veeraraghavan said, “TAPMI Virtual is targeted at corporate executives who are keen to fast track their career. This unique model of LEARNING and APPLYING concurrently is truly designed for Lifelong learning. TAPMI Virtual is really the future of classroom reaching quality education to those who need it where-ever they are.”

TAPMI has created a studio infrastructure in the campus from where its faculty will deliver the program. VC Now, technology partner of TAPMI will deploy its Video Conferencing platform to connect the students at the distributed classrooms across India.

Dr. Meera L. B. Aranha, Program Head - Banking & Financial Services, said, “Penetration of Insurance, credit card, digital payment and retail investment in stock market are extremely low in India and with increasing awareness and the coming of an enabling eco system the entire BFSI sector is poised for a qualitative transformation and quantitative growth”

Prof. Surya, Chairman – TAPMI Virtual Executive Learning added “The 11-month program will be delivered through a mix of the virtual synchronous mode, campus segment, project work and off-classroom engagement. The campus segment will provide participants hands-on applied learning of Market Concepts in the finance lab through the Bloomberg and Reuters terminals. TAPMI Learning and Engagement Platform (LEAP) and Learning Tab will augment the learning of the participants”

The program is scheduled to commence on November 11, 2018 and will have a course fee of Rs 4.00 lakhs. Applicants need to have a minimum industry experience of four years at reputed companies after completion of their graduation.

Vivo Strengthens its Manufacturing in India, Reinforces ‘Make in India’ Commitment

Vivo, the innovative global premium smartphone brand, is proud to announce the expansion of its India manufacturing operations at the hi-tech manufacturing facility in Greater Noida. With investment of INR 300 crores till date, the facility has increased production to more than 2 million units per month, re-iterating Vivo’s commitment to ‘Make in India’.

The newly added SMT lines are catering to the growing demand for Vivo smartphones in the country, including flagship devices like NEX and X21.

“The expansion of our state-of-the-art Greater Noida facility reflects Vivo’s commitment to India, and signifies the success of the Make in India program,” said Jerome Chen, CMO, Vivo India. “Our latest flagship - the NEX, has been manufactured at this facility which has been made possible through our consistent efforts and commitment towards making the region a manufacturing hub for our smartphones.”.”

With more than 5000 employees, the Greater Noida plant has a capacity of manufacturing almost 25 million products in a year. Besides manufacturing, the Greater Noida plants also resides a ‘Test Lab’ where the manufactured products undergo more than 1000 stringent levels of quality and durability tests.

Vivo NEX has been completely made in India and seen much success in the Indian market, establishing Vivo’s presence in the above 40K category. Leading e-commerce platform recognized NEX as ‘Amazon's Choice’ in the 40K-45K segment for the month of July. According to GfK Q2 2018 report, Vivo is the leader in the INR 20-30K segment.

Besides flagship devices like the X21 and NEX, Vivo will continue to manufacture and assemble smartphones in India across its category and price segments that include Y53, Y71, Y83, V9, and V9 Youth.

Tesco in Bengaluru Partners with NASSCOM Foundation to Set Up Karnataka’s First Career Development Centre

Tesco in Bengaluru has collaborated with NASSCOM Foundation to establish the state’s first community Career Development Centre (CDC). To be located at Ambedkar Nagar near Whitefield, the CDC will begin intake of beneficiaries for the course after the formal inauguration in October this year.

Driven by Tesco’s commitment to enhance the socio-economic status of youth from underprivileged communities through digital inclusion, the CDC will host a digital literacy programme in line with the curriculum of the National Digital Literacy Mission. NASSCOM Foundation will implement the three-tiered programme, which aims to touch 700 lives in the initial phase.

Designed to increase job readiness in the IT/ITES and retail sectors, the course will be a comprehensive mix of digital and financial literacy, English language training, personality development and vocational training, where modules include data entry, Business Process Outsourcing, Business Correspondence and Accounting.

Young people hailing from families with average income of less than INR one lakh, who have passed XII Grade, are eligible for the programme. On successful completion of the course, beneficiaries will receive an industry recognized certificate and participation opportunities in job fairs that will be held at regular intervals.

Sumit Mitra, CEO, Tesco Business Services & Tesco Bengaluru, said, “A corporate needs to wear two hats. One is about business and increasing shareholders' value; the other is social responsibility as an obsession to make a difference, change lives and to create a better future.

We believe boosting youth employment is essential to tap the demographic dividend of a country like India. It is also vital to increase employability to maximize opportunities for vocational training, particularly for young people from underprivileged sections of the society. As IT/ITES and retail sectors are buoyant in India, empowering youngsters from less fortunate communities with essential digital skills can ultimately help improve their socio-economic status.

At Tesco in Bengaluru, we are focused on extending our community engagement to bridge the digital divide. We are pleased to partner with NASSCOM Foundation to bring our vision to life.”

Earlier this year, Tesco in Bengaluru partnered with Unnati, a non-government organisation for youth empowerment and Rotary Bangalore Whitefield Central for a 50-day intensive vocational training programme. Nearly 70% of the 320 youngsters who availed the facility were successfully placed for employment at Star Bazaar. To know more about Tesco’s community Career Development Centre, please visit

Shrikant, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said, “The Tesco community Career Development Centre is aimed to not only make the youth from the underserved communities digitally literate but also employment ready. It promises to provide the people from the local community with a chance at becoming Account Executives, Business Process Executives, Point of Sales Executives amongst others. As NASSCOM Foundation, we would like to extend our gratitude to Tesco for being the trend-setter and partnering with us for the first such center in Karnataka.

Online Apparel Start-up, Enakshi Secures First Round of Funding to Tune of Rs 80 Lakhs

Enakshi, an online apparel brand for women has closed their first round of seed fund of 80 lakhs from a private investor. The brand is also in talks with a clutch of other investors to secure a total funding of $1 million over the next two years to build on its distribution network.

Founded in March 2018, by young founders in their early 20s, Maharsh Shah & Namya Patel, launched Enakshi, a virtual boutique for modern women that offers only exclusive pieces of garments with no two pieces alike. The brand plans to utilize the funding amount to increase the brand’s visibility, improve their existing logistics & technology and to empanel more designers from across the nation. Enakshi also plans to expand their business into brick and mortar stores as a next step to giving its customers a first-hand experience of their favorite Enakshi garments.

Enakshi was launched to address two primary concerns of modern women:

* Their everyday worry of ‘what to wear tomorrow’ &
* Their need for exclusivity and novel-ness in their wardrobe 

The virtual boutique helps women explore and discover fashion that is as unique as their individuality. With efficient logistics in place, the brand promises a quick turnaround time by ensuring dispatch on the very same day so that the customers get the garment of their choice sooner than anticipated. Enakshi ensures novelty by launching a new collection every 21 days, where each collection is designed by a different pool of designers, empanelled by the brand from across the nation. Through this unique approach, the brand also aims at disrupting the fashion industry by providing a platform to many talented yet underappreciated designers from across the nation, to collaboratively showcase their creativity befitting the theme of the collection.

Adds Maharsh Shah, co-founder Enakshi, “With the largest social media savvy youth population in the world, India as a market is becoming increasingly fashion conscious. With decades of experience in the women apparel industry through our parent brand Deepkala in Ahmedabad, we noticed that increasing number of women have now started seeking novelty in their every buy and aspire to create a wardrobe that showcases their own individuality. This catapulted the launch of brand Enakshi.”

Namya Patel, co-founder, Enakshi further adds, “At Enakshi, we brief our empanelled designers to create designs to suit the modern women’s preferences. Our primary target audience is women in the age group of 18-48 yr, that don many hats in their daily lives and pride over their individuality. Our designs, therefore, are fluid, to adorn the multiple roles of these women and our philosophy of ‘One Woman, One Design, One Garment’ ensures that there is only one distinctive piece per design. Our efficient backend team and tech ensure that every design ordered is altered in the requested size and dispatched for delivery the same day to keep up with the paced life of a modern woman.”

Women Changemakers Lead Diversity Hiring Opportunities in India

The fourth edition of Women Changemakers Career Fair and Confluence made waves at The Lalit Ashok, Bengaluru recently. An initiative of, the event was an exciting opportunity for women to identify better job opportunities and understand some diversity initiatives of well-known brands.  The excited participants of the Fair had opportunities to network and interact with women corporate leaders as well.

Funded by Mancer Consulting Services, one of India's leading recruitment consultancy firms, helps companies hire curated technology talent.  Women Changemakers is an exclusive career fair and confluence for women, which is the diversity vertical of

At the venue, about 650 women with work experience ranging from freshers to more than 15 years’ experience, and about 100 re-starters listened to the focused discussions and used networking opportunities. The high-level speaker line up and influencers at the Fair was also a huge attraction for most participants who were looking to learn, grow and take wing in their chosen professions.  

Sunil Shah, Deputy CEO- Delivery, Societe Generale Global Solution Center, reiterates, “Diversity and Inclusion, is not only a set of best practices, but a mindset of viewing every person as a unique individual and celebrating the differences irrespective of culture, race, gender or origin. With a remarkably progressive history of 154 years, the Societe Generale Group, houses over 147,000 employees worldwide and 59% are women. Gender Diversity and inclusion, therefore is no longer restricted to the number of women in the organization but in empowerment, enablement and focus on merit based on an individual’s ability. These differences are what make us a thriving fraternity that focuses on functioning Differently Together.”

Tao Li, CEO of APUS Group, who were one of the recruiters at the event said, "APUS is a strong believer of professional equality and women empowerment. In our company about 40% of employees are female, who are experts in their respective fields. We are looking forward to recruit more intelligent women who can contribute towards the growth of the company. Going with the goal of Indian government to empower women, this event is the perfect platform for us towards this big step. It is an inspiring and groundbreaking idea; we encourage the amazing talent pool in this event and wish them for their future endeavor."

The other speakers were, Ashok Pamidi, Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion NASSCOM, Tina Vinod, Head of Diversity Inclusion, Thoughtworks, Sapna Alva Tariyal, Head – Procurement , Societe Generale, Divya Ganesh, Director, McKinsey  and Nidhi Goyal, Disability and Gender Rights Activist and Comedienne, Magesh Sambasivan- Head, HR, Societe Generale .

Naren Krishna, the founder of observing the participation, said,” While Diversity and Inclusion is not just gender diversity, it is undoubtedly the elephant in the room, which requires our immediate attention.  It’s really encouraging for early stage startups like us to see some of the leading companies actively coming forward to embrace and support new platforms and initiatives to solve to problem of gender diversity. A lot of modern day workplaces have also realized that diversity and inclusion is not just a HR problem but also a business problem.”

India’s first exclusive diversity job portal launched

The women Changemakers event also saw a unique product – Equiv, a job portal that helps companies connect with a diversity talent pool- to help with hiring and employee branding.

Speaking during the launch, Naren Krishna, the CEO of said,” For organization like us it’s not just enough to come up with just enough to come with any solution to solve the problem of D&I but it’s also important to come up with a scalable solution that can create impact at a scale. Our vision at Equiv is to leverage technology and come up with a suite of enterprise products that would help companies in achieving their D&I goals. The Job portal is a first step towards that direction to help companies connect with diversity talent. We have lot of other interesting offerings, which are currently in product development stage”

One of Equiv’s unique offerings is the powerful AI tool that delivers text analysis tool powered by AI will help companies come up with right job description to ensure attracting more diversity applications..

With Equiv, The women Changemakers initiative of gets strength, added to the 4000 plus women and 25 companies that partner in this push for change.

Twitter Launches Twitter Lite Google Play App, Introduces More Ways To Celebrate India’s 72nd Independence Day

As India enters its 72nd year of Independence, Twitter is proud to announce the launch of Twitter Lite Google Play app in India as a way for more people across the country to celebrate #IndiaIndependenceDay and see what’s happening in India and the world. People can Tweet with #IndiaIndependenceDay to activate a Red Fort emoji on Twitter and Twitter Lite and join in the celebrations.

Embeddable Tweet:

Twitter Lite minimizes data usage, loads quickly on slower networks and takes up less space on your device. Last year, Twitter introduced the Twitter Lite as a mobile web browser experience available on and is expanding the solution to the Google Play store today for more people in India to celebrate #IndiaIndependenceDay with. For more info about Twitter Lite, please click here.

The Red Fort emoji is live today on Twitter and Twitter Lite, available until 19th August 2018. Indians across the world can exchange their feelings, greetings and wishes with each other, using the hashtags #IndependenceDayIndia OR #IndiaIndependenceDay OR #स्वतंत्रतादिवस OR #சுதந்திரதினம் OR #ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರ್ಯದಿನ OR #ਸੁਤੰਤਰਤਾਦਿਵਸ OR #स्वातंत्र्यदिन OR #സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യദിനം OR #స్వాతంత్ర్యదినోత్సవం OR #ସ୍ୱାଧୀନତାଦିବସ when composing a Tweet to activate the emoji. Twitter emojis are a delightful way to bring together people to celebrate cultural moments and give users a fun way to Tweet, share and celebrate the historic day and express love for their country with live conversations. The Red Fort emoji signifies the historical site where the Prime Minister hoists the flag and delivers his speech from every year on the Independence Day.

In addition, people can watch the live stream of the Prime Minister’s speech and Independence Day celebrations on Twitter with @ANI, @AajTak, @abpnewstv, @CNNNews18, @economictimes, @CNBCTV18Live, @IndiaToday, @TheQuint, @BloombgergQuint from 7am onwards on August 15. Those who prefer a data-friendly way to follow the celebrations can look forward to live Tweet updates from @IndianExpress and @The_Hindu on Twitter Lite.

Mahima Kaul (@misskaul), Head of Public Policy, Twitter India said, “Twitter is committed to add value to the expression of our users, allowing them to share their experiences and views in a more meaningful and engaging manner. With the launch of Twitter Lite Google Play app, the Red Fort emoji and the live streams from news partners available on Twitter to commemorate India’s 72 years of Independence, we are thrilled to bind Indians across the world with a sense of togetherness and celebration.”

Twitter continues to celebrate all cultures with customized initiatives for key milestones and events across the world. These initiatives are conceptualized keeping in mind the sentiments and are a delightful way to reinforce a sense of unity and harmony amongst Twitter and Twitter Lite users.

With the launch of Twitter Lite Google Play app in India today, here are a few ways people can leverage Twitter Lite for more accessible, fast, and data-friendly access to content and conversations on the platform, starting with India’s independence Day:

* Data saver: Twitter Lite is accessible to people with data, bandwidth, and device constraints. Control which images and videos load on the phone by enabling Data saver. People can still load all this content at any time by hitting “Load image” or “Load video”, helping to save money and data in real time.
* Built for 2G and 3G networks: At 3MB, Twitter Lite saves data and space, and loads quickly on unreliable networks. While using the app on 2G or 3G,  people will notice that content will load quickly on Twitter Lite and be able to see what’s happening no matter what network they are on!
* Bookmarks: Running low on data? Want to save a Tweet for later? Bookmarks is an easy-to-use feature that allows people to save important Tweets for later, for when there is more data or a better internet connection.
* Offline mode: Even when connectivity is temporarily lost, Twitter Lite will offer offline support. The user experience will never be interrupted as Tweets last cached will show even when a user goes offline.
* Push notifications: Starting today, Twitter Lite supports push notifications, allowing people to keep up with what’s happening around the world.
* Night mode: Night mode gives the timeline a darker theme, which is easier on the eyes and easier to read — even during the day.
* Threads: Following Twitter’s announcement last year, threaded Tweets are now available on Twitter Lite! We’ve made it easy to create a thread by adding a plus button in the composer, so people can connect their thoughts and publish threaded Tweets all at the same time.

Download Twitter Lite from the Google Play Store and join the conversation today!

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