Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Aadhar Housing Finance Ltd NCD Issue to Open from September 14, 2018 with Attractive Interest Rate upto 9.75% Per Annum

Aadhar Housing Finance Limited (the “Company”), a deposit taking housing finance company registered with the NHB and focused on providing affordable housing financing products for the EWS and LIG segment in India, in tier 2 to tier 4 cities and towns, proposes to open public issue of Secured Redeemable Non-Convertible Debentures (“NCDs”) of face value of Rs. 1,000 on September 14, 2018, 1,40,00,000 for an amount of Rs. 50,000 lakhs (“Base Issue Size”) with an option to retain oversubscription up to Rs. 90,000 lakhs aggregating up to Rs. 1,40,000 lakhs (“Tranche 1 Issue Limit”) (“Tranche 1 Issue”).

The Issue is scheduled to close on September 28, 2018 with an option of early closure or extension as decided by the Board of Directors of the Company (“Board”) or the Working Committee.

Ratings by CARE Ratings & Brickwork Ratings India: Outlook: Stable

The NCDs proposed to be issued under this Issue have been rated ‘CARE AA+ (SO) ((Pronounced as CARE Double A Plus Structured Obligation); Outlook: Stable)’ for an amount of `3,00,000 lakhs, by CARE Ratings Limited (“CARE”) and ‘BWR AA+ (SO) (Pronounced as BWR Doub le A Plus (Structured Obligation)), Outlook: Stable (for an amount of `3,00,000 lakhs, by Brickwork Ratings India Private Limited (“Brickwork”) The rating of CARE AA+ (SO); Outlook: Stable by CARE and BWR AA+ (SO), Outlook: Stable by Brickwork indicate that instruments with this rating are considered to have high degree of safety regarding timely servicing of financial obligations. Such instruments carry very low credit risk.

Allotment is on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Issue Structure:

Tenure 3 years (Category I, II, III and IV)

Series I: Frequency of Interest Payment “NA”. Coupon Rate: “NA”. Effective Yield: 9.60%.

Series II: Frequency of Interest Payment Annual. Coupon Rate: 9.60%. Effective Yield: 9.59%.

Tenure 5 years (Category I, II, III and IV)

Series III: Frequency of Interest Payment Monthly. Coupon Rate: 9.25%. Effective Yield: 9.65%.

Series IV: Frequency of Interest Payment Annual. Coupon Rate: 9.65%. Effective Yield: 9.64%.

Tenure 10 years (Category I, II, III and IV)

Series V: Frequency of Interest Payment Monthly. Coupon Rate: 9.35%. Effective Yield: 9.75%.

Series VI: Frequency of Interest Payment Annual. Coupon Rate: 9.75%. Effective Yield: 9.74%.

[Category IV] Investors (Retail Individual Investors) are defined as Resident Indian Individuals and Hindu Undivided Families through the Karta applying for an amount aggregating up to and including Rs. 10,00,000 across all options of NCDs in the Tranche I Issue.

At least 75% of the net proceeds of the Public Issue of NCDs will be used for the For the purpose of onward lending, financing, and for repayment of interest and principal of existing borrowings of the Company. A maximum of up to 25% will be used for general corporate purposes.

The NCDs offered through the Shelf Prospectus and the Tranche I Prospectus are proposed to be listed on BSE Limited (“BSE”). BSE Is the Designated Stock Exchange.

The Lead Managers to the Issue are YES Securities (India) Limited, Edelweiss Financial Services Limited, YES Bank Limited, Axis Bank Limited, A. K. Capital Services Limited, Green Bridge Capital Advisory Private Limited and Trust Investment Advisors Private Limited.

Luminous Unveils “Regalia”, India's First Wall Mounted Smart Power Backup System

Luminous Power Technologies, India’s leading power back-up specialist, announced the launch of REGALIA in the southern states of the country today. It’s a revolutionary lithium ion based power back-up system that can be wall mounted and comes loaded with multiple user-friendly features. Regalia is a compact power back-up system that is designed in an aesthetically pleasing and modern style with an expected lifespan of up to 10 years. It uses the integrated lithium ion battery technology which makes it maintenance free and removes the need of periodic water top up. Regalia is also future ready, offering consumers the option to charge Regalia with regular mains supply or through solar panels harnessing abundant solar energy.

Speaking at the launch, Vipul Sabharwal, Managing Director, Luminous Power Technologies, said, “At Luminous we consistently strive towards excellence in quality and performance. We take great pride to come up with path-breaking products Indian consumers have never seen before. Regalia is our most sophisticated and smartest power back-up system. With Regalia, we are bringing a whole new experience to our consumers that will change the way power back-up technology is perceived. Regalia is smart, safe, stylish, solar ready, has an everlasting battery and is maintenance free. It truly is a revolutionary power back-up system. We feel that the tech-oriented markets in Southern India are ready to adopt a high-tech product like Regalia.”

Regalia is designed to suit modern sensibilities to seamlessly blend with the home décor for both contemporary and traditionally styled homes. It enables users to stay connected using Wi-Fi. It also has a touch screen to view backup time, charging time or for configuration. It is safe, eliminating the risk of accidental contact by doing away with wires, terminals and includes an in-built safety mechanism to protect appliances from voltage surges and short circuits.

Worldwide Public Cloud Revenue to Grow 17.3 Percent in 2019

The worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.3 percent in 2019 to total $206.2 billion, up from $175.8 billion in 2018, according to Gartner, Inc. In 2018, Gartner forecasts that the market will grow 21 percent, up from $145.3 billion in 2017.

The fastest-growing segment of the market is cloud system infrastructure services (infrastructure as a service or IaaS), which is forecast to grow 27.6 percent in 2019 to reach $39.5 billion, up from $31 billion in 2018 (see Table 1).

By 2022, Gartner expects that 90 percent of organizations purchasing public cloud IaaS will do so from an integrated IaaS and platform as a service (PaaS) provider, and will use both the IaaS and PaaS capabilities from that provider.

"Demand for integrated IaaS and PaaS offerings is driving the next wave of cloud infrastructure adoption," said Sid Nag, research director at Gartner. “We expect that IaaS-only cloud providers will continue to exist in the future, but only as niche players, as organizations will demand offerings with more breadth and depth for their hybrid environments. Already, strategic initiatives such as digital transformation projects resulting in the adoption of multicloud and hybrid cloud fuel the growth of the IaaS market."

Software as a service (SaaS) remains the largest segment of the cloud market, with revenue expected to grow 17.8 percent to reach $85.1 billion in 2019.

“The increasing adoption of SaaS applications and other cloud services impacts the management, dissemination and exploitation of enterprise content,” Craig Roth, research vice president at Gartner. “Organizations are steadily — but not exclusively — shifting their content environments to SaaS. Gartner expects that by 2019, the current enterprise content management (ECM) market will devolve into purpose-built, cloud-based content solutions and solution services applications.”

In the business process as a service (BPaaS) category, Gartner forecasts a revenue growth of 7.9 percent, to reach $50.3 billion in 2019. Gartner found that especially in this category, buyers increasingly expect deep domain expertise, technology and global deployment capabilities from their providers as well as service portfolios that bridge legacy offerings and support new automated, digital and cloud service delivery paradigms.

Machine Learning Among 3 Technologies to Have a Transformational Business Impact Within 2 to 5 Years

The 2018 Gartner, Inc. Hype Cycle for information and communication technology (ICT) in India classifies machine learning (ML) among three technologies that will have a transformational business impact within the next two to five years.

The ICT Hype Cycle identifies 28 key technologies and capabilities for digital transformation that are important for local Indian IT leaders (see Figure 1). The focus is on three stages of digital business delivery — designing, delivering and scaling — which reflect the focus of 75 percent of CIOs in India.

“Scaling business is the primary objective of Indian CIOs,”said Pankaj Prasad, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Doing it right requires continued investment in proven technologies and balanced investment in emerging technologies that sustain growth.”

Gartner analysts classified 13 technologies on the Hype Cycle that will take two to five years to reach mainstream adoption. Of these 13, the three technologies that will have transformational impact on organizations are machine learning, edge computing and platform as a service (PaaS).

 Peak of Inflated Expectations

Machine learning continues to climb up the hype curve in India. ML has moved from being at the Innovation Trigger in 2017 to close to the Peak on this year’s Hype Cycle.

Organizations in India, across various industries, are still evaluating ML and experimenting with it. “There is a lack of understanding of the technology and therefore user adoption is currently limited,” said Prasad. While large banks and insurance companies in India are either evaluating or piloting specific use cases (for example, fraud prediction, lending appraisal and propensity to buy prediction), organizations in retail are evaluating and piloting ML concepts in customer segmentation, churn analysis and predictive modeling of buying behavior. “In the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector, we witness some use cases particularly in drug research and oncology/cancer research,” he added.

Edge computing made its entry onto the Hype Cycle this year and moved to the Peak of Inflated Expectations. Gartner defines edge computing as solutions that facilitate data processing at or near the source of data generation. For example, in the context of the Internet of Things, the sources of data generation are usually things with sensors or embedded devices.

Edge computing serves as the decentralized extension of the campus networks, cellular networks, data center networks or the cloud. It solves many issues as it decreases latency and reduces unnecessary traffic. It also establishes a hub for interconnection between interested peers and a hub for data thinning of complex media types or computational loads.

Moving Up the Slope of Enlightenment

Platform as a service (PaaS) is moving up the Slope of Enlightenment. Several trends are increasing consumer’s confidence and making the adoption of PaaS progress towards the Plateau of Productivity. Among them is the maturity of PaaS offerings, which is improving over time. IT megavendors are fast improving their execution and a growing market acceptance of the smaller xPaaS innovators.

The PaaS software revenue in India is on pace to total US$186 million in 2018, an increase of 29.7 percent from 2017. The rapid growth of PaaS is indicative of Indian organizations moving away from traditional on-premises, license-based database consumption models to cloud-based “as a service” models, which are generally more price-competitive.

“Don’t delay adoption of cloud PaaS. It saves your organization’s expensive vendor lock-in and chaotic handling of their hybrid technology environment,” said Prasad.

Entering the Plateau of Productivity

Unified communications and collaboration (UCC) is the only technology moving onto the Plateau of Productivity this year. With every business becoming digital, the need for seamless connectivity is very high. UCC fulfills this necessity by helping workers shift seamlessly from messaging to voice to video, and across physical spaces, platforms and devices, to reach internal and external collaborators.

“While ML and edge computing helps CIOs attain their digital business objectives, PaaS and UCC help organizations with their ‘grow the business initiatives’,” said Prasad.

Accenture Future Talent Platform now Available for SAP SuccessFactors to Fortify Digital Learning Experiences

Accenture is making its interactive learning platform, the Accenture Future Talent Platform, available for easy integration to SAP SuccessFactors solutions. This will help Accenture’s SAP SuccessFactors clients offer curated bite-sized video content on emerging topics to enable their workforces to stay up-to-date in critical areas such as artificial intelligence, digital, cloud, IoT, design thinking and security.

The Accenture Future Talent Platform helps companies address today’s talent challenge in a rapidly evolving technology environment and close the skills gap by empowering employees to reskill, upskill and continuously learn. It can now be integrated into the SAP SuccessFactors Learning solution, creating customized learning modules that provide unique and interactive learning experiences. Subject matter experts can access Accenture’s pre-curated library of content or create new learning boards sourced from an ecosystem of private and public thought leadership for a better, faster learning experience. Users can access all features of the Accenture Future Talent Platform, interact with each other through comments and track their learning progress from the SAP SuccessFactors solution.

“Research from Accenture shows that while 78 percent of business leaders expect their organizations to be digital by 2020, half of these leaders don’t believe they have a digitally skilled workforce.” said Sanjeev Vohra, group technology officer, Accenture Technology. “The Accenture Future Talent Platform helps create a culture of learning and integrates with SAP SuccessFactors so that employees can access trainings through a familiar interface and acquire the digital and intelligent skills necessary to succeed in the age of the New.”

Accenture will be showcasing the Accenture Future Talent Platform at SuccessConnect, held on September 11-13 in Las Vegas.

Trend Micro to Strengthen Policybazaar's Security Posture

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, shields Policybazaar from vulnerabilities and strengthens their security posture by addressing their security needs. Policybazaar, India’s largest and leading insurance aggregator website, specializing in providing comparative analysis of various insurance, chose Trend Micro Deep Security and Trend Micro Deep Discovery Inspector to identify evasive threats and to provide virtual patching against exploits in real-time.

Policybazaar required a high-level security solution for the applications that they migrated to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. Trend Micro Deep Security, a robust cloud security solution with anti-malware, web reputation, firewall, and intrusion prevention modules, provided the company an in-depth analysis to remediate and defend against targeted attacks and protected cloud workloads from data breaches and business disruptions. This solution enabled stress-free integration with a hybrid cloud environment, and was able to meet compliance requirements. Deep Security enables the management of multiple security controls from a single dashboard, simplifying and centralizing security operations.

Policybazaar also wanted better visibility across the organization’s threat landscape, including the ability to identify and stop malicious activity at the endpoints. Trend Micro Deep Discovery Inspector, enabled the company to detect, analyze, adapt and respond to targeted attacks with network-wide visibility, insight, and control. Also, it continues detecting and protecting against zero-day malware, document exploits, attacker network activity, web threats, email threats such as phishing and spear phishing, and more.

“Implementation of Trend Micro’s solutions resulted in Policybazaar gaining a complete and proactive security solution. Deep Security improved protection and enhanced visibility for applications in AWS, strengthening our security posture. Deep Discovery provided network-wide visibility, and rapid containment and response of malware. The easy integration of the solutions and quick implementation time was an additional benefit,” said Mr. Bibhu Krishna, VP IT Infrastructure and Security, Policybazaar.

“Policybazaar was seeking a comprehensive security solution that would equip their servers, network, and email with advanced protection, and that could detect and block security exploits, while also being equipped with cloud capabilities to protect AWS environment. At Trend Micro, they found the perfect partner who could provide exactly that and more. Policybazaar’s application and data security needs were met through automated instance security provisioning and workload-aware security policy,” said Nilesh Jain, Vice President – South East Asia and India, Trend Micro.

Trend Micro’s position as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms since 2002, along with Deep Discovery’s rank as the “most effective recommended breach detection system” for two years running by NSS Labs, further encouraged Policybazaar’s decision to choose Trend Micro.

Vijendra Katiyar, National Sales Manager, Trend Micro said, “Both Trend Micro’s Deep Security and Deep Discovery Inspector are powered by XGen, a smart, optimized, and connected security approach. As per Policybazaar’s requirements, these solutions collectively provide comprehensive protection, greater operational efficiency, superior platform support, and tighter integration with existing investments.”

With its AWS environment protected by Trend Micro solutions, Policybazaar now has a solid security foundation. With this foundation in place, Policybazaar plans to gain a deeper understanding of new attack vectors and continue to take steps to defend against the next generation of cyberthreats.

Electronics Major Opens 'World's Largest Mobile Experience Centre - Samsung Opera House' in Bengaluru

Bengaluru's iconic Opera House on Brigade Road was given a facelift, and now it is called 'Samsung Opera House'.

After a two years for Samsung to renovate and restore this place, the Opera House will bring together technology, lifestyle and innovation to offer people unique experiences.

Mohandeep Singh, Senior Vice President, Mobile Business, Samsung India, said the company will showcase all its products- right from smartphones, Smart TVs to Family Hub Refrigerators, among others.

Singh added that they are also looking to come up with such experience centres in other cities as well.

"Samsung Opera House will have a fully functional customer service centre, and it is also equipped with high-speed public Wi-Fi," Singh said.

In India, Samsung has two manufacturing facilities, five R&D centres and one design centre. Samsung's first R&D centre was set up in 1996 in Bengaluru. Today Samsung R&D Institute, Bengaluru (SRI-B) is the Company's biggest R&D centre in the world, outside Korea. It has the largest retail and distribution network in the country with over 1,80,000 retail partners and 2,100 Samsung brand stores spread across the country.

In July this year, Samsung opened the largest phone factory in Noida. It had said that it would spend Rs 4,920 crore over three years to expand capacity at its Noida plant.

Looking to further cement its position in India, South Korean tech major Samsung set up what is arguably the world's largest mobile experience centre in Bengaluru, barely two months after it opened its biggest mobile factory in Noida.

"We are looking at more number of such experience centres in the country. We are looking at covering all the big cities in India over a period of time with such centres," Singh told the media.

However, he did not mention a timeline for the launch of other such centres in India.

The centre would offer Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) experiences and for the first time in India, enthusiasts would be able to enjoy VR experiences such as the "4D Sway Chair" or the "Whiplash Pulsar 4D chair" that makes 360-degrees three-dimensional movements.

The tech giant would also showcase its full line-up of smartphones and wearable devices at the experience centre along with flagship consumer electronics products such as the QLED TV, Smart TVs, "The Frame", and "Family Hub" refrigerators.

The centre would also house a home appliance zone which would have a kitchen set-up where a chef would give live cooking demonstrations using Samsung smart ovens.

Also, this would be the biggest-ever display of Samsung accessories such as cases, covers and power banks at the "Samsung Opera House" wherein prospective buyers would be offered customization options for accessories.

"They would be given choices such as the installation of military strength skins for screen protection and 360-degree body protection (for phones). They can also get laser engraving done of any design or content on the mobile covers they choose," the company added.

"Samsung Opera House" would also house a range of Harman Kardon, JBL and Samsung audio products.

In June last year, the South Korean tech major announced a Rs 4,915 crore investment to expand its Noida plant and, after a year, the new facility is ready to double production.

The company is currently making 67 million smartphones in the country and with the new plant being functional, it is expected to manufacture nearly 120 million mobile phones.

Samsung dominated the premium smartphone segment in India in the first half of 2018 with 48 per cent market share, according to a report from from(CMR).

Elevate 2018 Selects 77 Startups for Funding and Mentorship in Bengaluru

Elevate 2018, the comprehensive one year government-sponsored startup pitch event, came to conclusion on Tuesday with 77 startups selected for funding and mentorship.

The programme, organised under the Startup Karnataka initiative of the Karnataka Ministry of IT-BT and S&T, received over 600 applications from across the State and startups in various verticals.

Interacting with DH, Department of IT-BT Principal Secretary Gaurav Gupta said the programme is running for the second year with grant success with the selection of 500 startups in a multi-city pitching.

“The selected people will be taken to the startup hubs in Silicon Valley, Sweden, London and Switzerland, and will get access to Rs 2 crore funding,” he said. 

Gupta said many entrepreneurs have great ideas. “What can help them really shine is the right guidance from the right people, and we are providing them,” he said.

The 77 startups that are selected include verticals like agri-tech, audio visual and graphic, biotech, ESDM, IT/ITES, KCT and med tech/clean tech.

Even though 63 startups are selected from Bengaluru, Elevate 2018 has representation from Dharwad, Mysuru, Udupi and Uttara Kannada.

The government has earmarked a sum of Rs 24 crore towards funding of these innovative startups, of which a special Rs 2 crores has been set aside for startups from the Hyderabad and Karnataka region.

Ather Energy Begins Deliveries of Ather 450 Electric Scooters in Bengaluru

After a very successful launch, Ather Energy begins deliveries of their scooters today in Bengaluru. Select few customers were invited to the company’s Final Assembly Unit today to take their Ather 450’s home. Prior to delivering the intelligent, electric scooters, the company set up private charging stations at their residences. With the multiple  fast public chargers set up by Ather, the owners will have free charging available both at home and across the city.

Quote from Tarun Mehta, Co-founder & CEO: “The past few weeks have been incredible for everyone at Ather Energy. Today, marks the real launch of the company as consumers take their first scooters home and begin to ride them. We will continue to deliver more Ather 450s in batches to the rest of our pre-orders in the coming months. We still have a lot to learn about the final ownership and day to day usage of our vehicles and are looking forward to the next phase of our growth.”

Taking an innovative go-to-market route, customers had the option of placing orders through the company website along with booking their test ride slots; nearly 60% of consumers choosing to place orders online. Ather is also offering a first of its kind, subscription plan, Ather One. The comprehensive plan, makes owning and riding the Ather scooters a hassle-free experience. The plan covers data costs, charging costs both at home and in public and it includes periodic doorstep service of the vehicles and cost of common spare parts.

The automotive startup announced its expansion plans starting with Chennai and rolling on to more markets in the new year. Ather has already started working on the charging network, AtherGrid in Chennai and expect to set up their experience centre, AtherSpace by Q2 2019 which will be followed by other cities.

Ather Energy opened pre-orders in early June, 2018, and has sold out its inventory for the rest of the year. The company has completed nearly 3500 test rides at its experience centre, AtherSpace in Indiranagar, Bengaluru and has been consistently adding more charging locations to AtherGrid, its electric vehicle charging network. Electric vehicle owners can now find 22 charging Points across the city on their AtherGrid app.

About Ather 450: The Ather 450 is designed for city riding conditions, it comes with a top speed of 80 km/hr, a range of 75 km and one of the quickest accelerations of 3.9 seconds from 0-40 km/hr in the scooter category. Also for the first time in the category, Ather 450 comes with parking assist, which allows riders to reverse into tight parking spots.

The key differentiator of the Ather 450 are its intelligent features, seamless charging and ownership experience. The Ather 450 has a 7” touchscreen dashboard that allows onboard navigation with options of alternative routes and saved locations. It comes with the Ather app that enables push navigation from the phone to the vehicle dashboard, remote monitoring of the vehicle’s health and charge status. Finally, with the over-the-air (OTA) updates functionality, the vehicle is capable of improving over time with continuous upgrades and addition of new features and functionalities.

Zendesk Acquires the Company Behind Base to Deliver Software Designed for Salespeople

Zendesk, Inc. has announced it has acquired FutureSimple Inc., the company behind Base. Base is known for building modern, easy-to-use sales force automation software designed to help salespeople do their jobs more effectively. Zendesk will invest in Base’s ongoing market growth and product development, focusing on existing customers and delivering products for smaller, fast-growing sales teams, expanding to larger organizations over time.

“Base is a natural fit with Zendesk because we both share a passion for designing beautiful products built for the people who actually use them,” said Mikkel Svane, founder and CEO, Zendesk. “We want to do for sales what Zendesk has already done for customer service: give salespeople tools built around them and the customers they serve.”

Founded in 2009, Base is a modern sales solution that provides integrated tools for communication, lead scoring, reporting and more. The company is widely recognized by customers and industry analysts for its leading mobile app and a user-friendly experience. Gartner has positioned Base as a Visionary in the July 2018 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation.

Base and Zendesk last year launched an integration between their products, bringing together support and sales information about customers. Among the companies using it is home loan education platform Mortgage Coach. Its director of IT and QA support services called the integration seamless and said it ultimately saved the team countless hours of data duplication.

While legacy sales force automation tools are designed around rigid management processes that discourage salespeople from using them, Base gives sales teams the information and context they need to be effective and successful with prospects and customers. The result is a tool that helps salespeople work and sell more easily.

“Legacy sales tools were never built for the people actually using them. Our core philosophy in building Base, was to create a world-class experience for sales professionals to help them close more deals,” said Uzi Shmilovici, founder and CEO, Base. “Just like Zendesk set out to improve the customer experience, we set out to dramatically improve the sales experience for 30 million sales professionals worldwide. We are thrilled to be joining Zendesk in building the future of customer experience software.”

Currently serving over 5,000 customers globally across industries, Base has offices in San Francisco and Krakow, Poland. All of Base’s customers will continue to receive support and services, and the Base team will all be offered roles at Zendesk. Matt Price, formerly Zendesk’s senior vice president, product portfolio, will lead a team dedicated to growing Base across product and go-to-market.

“The Base team is perfectly suited to join Zendesk in our mission to deliver helpful, easy to use, flexible and scalable products focused on the customer,” said Matt Price, senior vice president and general manager, Base. “Together we will build deeper integrations with our products so sales and service can more easily collaborate.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. For the year ending December 31, 2018, the acquisition is not estimated to have a significant impact on Zendesk’s revenue and is expected to be dilutive to GAAP and Non-GAAP operating margin and earnings per share. These estimates reflect a reduction relating to fair value adjustments to acquired deferred revenue. Zendesk will provide further detail on the actual and expected impact of the acquisition on its results of operations for the year ending December 31, 2018 when it releases financial results for the quarter ending September 30, 2018.

Quantta Collaborates with NITI Aayog to Predict a GDP Growth of 7.83%

Quantta Analytics, a leading player in the Big Data and Analytics space in India, has collaborated with the NITI Aayog to develop an algorithm to predict the GDP of India.

Traditionally released by the Central Statistical Office (CSO) of the Government of India, Quantta has used its extensive database on the Indian Economy to provide an advance signal to senior leaders in Government about the state of the economy.

Using data from several sectors, that drive growth, it predicted a First Quarter growth rate of 7.83% indicating that the Indian Economy is firing on all cylinders. The actual numbers released this evening by the Central Statistical Office showed a GVA growth of 8.00% very close to the prediction made by the collaborative effort between NITI Aayog and Quantta.

The Indian Economy has shrugged off the effects of macro-economic factors such as the implementation of GST on the road to growth to zoom ahead with GDP predicted to grow 7.85% in FY 18-19 by economists in Quantta & Niti-Aayog. The Services and Construction sectors have shown strong growth and growth in the energy demand indicates a robust commercial and industrial sector.

Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog said “The Leading Economic Indicator Index being developed by Quantta Index in collaboration with NITI Aayog was put up on the website of Quantta at on the 29th of August 2018. Their analytically designed and empirically validated estimate of 7.83% Q1 GDP growth are a shade below the GVA of 8.00%. Congratulations to the entire team for being proven right”

Ritesh Bawri, founder Quantta Analytics said “it is a proud moment for Quantta to work with the highest echelons of Government to provide an advance warning system so that the Government can take proactive action to drive growth in the Indian Economy”

The GDP growth comes on the back of several headwinds, including a hardening of oil prices. India imports approximately 220 million tons of crude oil each year pegged at approximately US $87.725 billion according to the Ministry of Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell. Also, in the past year the Indian Rupee has depreciated from ~ Rs. 64 to the US Dollar to over Rs. 71 to the US Dollar. Despite this, “we expect the Indian economy to do well in the first half of Financial Year 2018-19”

The proprietary algorithm uses machine learning, that uses data from several sectors such as aviation, railways and cement to predict the state of the Indian economy. The algorithm was tested using ten-year historical data. The model showed over 80% confidence level in predicting the historical GDP figures.

Also, the model was able to accurately predict the directionality of the economy. The outcome would be the ability to provide early warning signals to the Government of India for course corrections if any. Quantta worked with a small team at NITI Aayog which provided help and support to develop the algorithm. Quantta is a full stack technology platform focused on the Indian Economy. We have built cutting edge tools to collate, aggregate, and organize behavioural insights into customer behaviour.

Tata Motors Inaugurates its New Passenger Vehicles Showroom in Bengaluru

Tata Motors launched a new state-of-the-art full-range passenger vehicle showroom and workshop, M/s Kropex Auto Pvt Ltd, in Bengaluru today. Expanding its class leading automotive experience, the inauguration of this showroom and workshop is a step towards Tata Motors’ aggressive network expansion plans, in line with its Turnaround 2.0 strategy.

Inaugurated by Mayank Pareek – President, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors and SN Barman - Vice President, Sales, Marketing & Customer Support, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors, the Company has a total of 11 showrooms in Bengaluru and boasts of 44 showrooms in Karnataka overall. Spanning across 4500 sq. ft. of area, this newly inaugurated showroom is strategically located at the Main Hosur Road in Electronic City, and will cater to the aspiring customers of the city with a stunning range of new generation passenger cars from Tata Motors. 

According to Mayank Pareek – President, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors - “With ‘Connecting Aspirations’ at the center of our brand promise, we at Tata Motors are working with our network partners to offer our customers a solid product mix and a delightful showroom experience. As part of our Turnaround 2.0 journey, we are concentrating on optimizing various business levers and focus on strengthening its sales network and customer experience, in order to enhance performance and profitability. Hence, the current focus for the fiscal is on winning sustainably as part of this transformation journey. We continue to enhance and expand our network to cater to our evolving customers, with high expectations.”

According to Vanik Sachadeva, Dealer Principal, M/s Kropex Auto Pvt Ltd, “We are delighted to extend our partnership with Tata Motors and are extremely happy to launch this showroom today in Bengaluru. With a commitment to provide best in class purchase experience during sales to all our customers, we look forward to working with Tata Motors and strengthen our relationship in the years to come.”

Equipped with the latest technology, this new showroom will retail Tata Motors’ next gen PV line up. The company also offers a workshop to its customers which is equipped with latest equipment and advanced mechanization and automation. Tata Motors aims to increase its reach aggressively and through these showrooms it will continue to offer best value and experience to customers. Tata Motors’ Turnaround 2.0 journey will focus on ‘Winning sustainably in PVs’ with an objective to increase market presence and drive volumes in PVs.

Kurt Sievers Named President to Oversee All Businesses at NXP

NXP Semiconductors N.V. has changes to the senior leadership team designed to better align with the company’s renewed focus and growth strategy.

Effective immediately, Kurt Sievers, executive vice president & general manager of NXP’s automotive business, has been promoted to president of NXP Semiconductors. Under the new structure, Kurt Sievers will oversee all of NXP’s business lines.

“This new structure follows the natural evolution of our strategy, as we strengthen our focus on secure connected devices through the automotive and industrial & IoT businesses while also participating in the mobile and communications infrastructure markets,” said Rick Clemmer, chief executive officer of NXP. “As technological change accelerates, all our focus verticals require edge to node platforms and solutions that facilitate data analytics, machine learning and advanced services. By simplifying our organization, we will be better able to fully leverage our scale, facilitate cross-company collaboration and reduce overhead, all of which will help us unlock the full profitable growth potential of our business.”

“Kurt is an exceptional leader who inspires others to reach their full potential working across organization boundaries and delivers great results,” said Rick Clemmer. “Under his guidance, our automotive business has grown to be the #1 semiconductor supplier to that industry, architecting the most complete solution portfolio and establishing the deepest strategic partnerships across the autonomous driving and safer driving mobility ecosystem. By continuously raising the bar, Kurt has helped us to evolve from product leadership positions to be a recognized thought leader. I am excited about the prospect of working with Kurt over the coming years to extend these results across the entire business. We have a great team that I am confident will be able to keep NXP evolving and growing.”

“This is an exciting time to lead our business to broader leadership for Secure Connections for the Smarter World,” said Kurt Sievers. “Our scalable embedded & analog solutions make it easy for our customers to innovate, while we master the underlying complexity and ensure scalability, functional safety and security,” he added. “I am energized by our positive customer feedback and employee engagement and I look forward to make NXP the benchmark of value creation for all our stakeholders.”

Ruediger (Rudy) Stroh has decided to pursue his next chapter outside the company, effective September 30, 2018, after a successful nine-year career during which he served as executive vice-president and general manager of NXP’s security & connectivity business.

“On behalf NXP’s board of directors, I want to thank Rudy for the passion, energy and vision he brought to the company, and wish him all the best in the future,” said Rick Clemmer, chief executive officer of NXP Semiconductors. “Under his talented leadership, NXP brought mobile wallets into the hands of billions of consumers, created security solutions for billions of payment and identity credentials and developed the broadest portfolio of fit-for-purpose IoT & security solutions that pave the way for revolutionary machine learning inferencing in edge computing. I believe the company is well positioned to build on Rudy’s record of success and continue to deliver solid results. To ensure the success of this change, Rudy will be working closely with Kurt and me during a transition period.”

Jennifer Wuamett, deputy general counsel and chief IP officer, will succeed Guido Dierick as executive vice president and general counsel of NXP Semiconductors, effective immediately. Guido Dierick retires as general counsel but remains country manager of NXP Semiconductors Netherlands.

“Jennifer’s unique mix of understanding technology and expertise in intellectual property, corporate governance and legal matters make her ideally suited to lead NXP’s legal & IP teams, as she did for Freescale Semiconductor,” said Rick Clemmer. “Jennifer is an industry-recognized intellectual property expert and an outstanding leader; in an expanded role, her talent will continue to be a great asset for our company.”

Guido Dierick retires from his general counsel position after an exceptional 36-year career in the electronics industry.

“Guido’s achievements are too many to recount and he has been my trusted partner throughout NXP’s history,” said Rick Clemmer. “I sincerely thank Guido for his outstanding guidance, insights and leadership across all these years; wish him well in his personal pursuits of charitable causes and am glad he continues to contribute to our success as country manager of NXP Netherlands.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Infosys Sign 3-year Deal with Australian Open as its Official Digital Innovation Partner

Infosys, India’s second largest software services firm recently signed a three-year partnership with the Australian Open as its official digital innovation partner.

In a BSE filing, Infosys said the company will leverage its expertise in emerging technologies like big data and analytics, AI as well as virtual and augmented reality, to provide unique, innovative and engaging experiences for fans.

Commenting on the development, Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said partnering with Infosys is an exciting next step.

“It is a right step in our ongoing quest to innovate the Australian Open and engage new audiences across the world,” he said. Infosys and nor the Australian Open didn’t reveal the financial details of the deal.

Infosys CEO and MD Salil Parekh said the partnership is about creating new ways of experiencing the Australian Open. “We are really excited about the opportunity to showcase how digital technologies can enhance the boundaries of this tournament,” he said.

India Enters Big League as Tejas Gets First Mid-Air Fuelling

The Indigenous light combat aircraft Tejas, for the first time, received fuel mid-air from an IAF tanker aircraft recently, taking a big step towards becoming fully ready for combat in the Indian Air Force.

Within minutes of taking off from Gwalior, the home-made combat jet received 1,900 kg of fuel from the IAF IL78 tanker in a successful air-to-air operation.

The refuelling was carried out at an altitude of 20,000 feet. All the internal tanks and drop tanks were refuelled to enhance the aircraft’s endurance. The aircraft was moving at a speed of 270 knots. The aircraft was piloted by Wg Cdr Siddharth Singh of the National Flight Test Centre.

“The air-to-air refueling capability for LCA is a force multiplier for the IAF, giving the aircraft the potential to stay airborne for much longer periods of time,” tweeted Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

With this, India joins the elite group of countries that have developed the Air-to-Air (AAR) system for military class of aircraft, says HAL Chairman and Managing Direct, R Madhavan.

The enhanced range and endurance is expected to provide IAF a host of options in exploiting the operational potential of the LCA as well as to participate in international exercises without having to stage through several locations en-route.

The refueling, explained an officer, would allow a take-off with higher payload, which could be extra weapons too. “The maximum take-off weight is maintained by carrying less fuel and topping up once the aircraft is air borne,” he said.

It would enable the Tejas aircraft to undertake multi-role missions, both for air defence and strike, the officer pointed out.

Before the ‘wet contact’ trial, the ‘dry contact trials’ were successfully conducted twice on September 4 and 6, where the Drogue (basket) extended from the IAF tanker aircraft by a fuel hose, was tracked and plugged into using the aircraft refuelling probe without taking fuel.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Aeronautical Development Agency have pushed the target date for the Final Operational Clearance sometimes in the middle of 2019. The deadline is years beyond the original schedule and the last target deadline in June 2018 was missed.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Hareesha Pattaje, MD of Technology at Synechron Wins the CIO100 FutureTech Leader Award 2018

Synechron, a global financial services consulting and technology services provider, today announced that Hareesha Pattaje, Managing Director – Technology was awarded the coveted CIO100 FutureTech Leader Award 2018.

The award recognizes Hareesha’s extensive efforts in formulating and executing reskilling and up-skilling strategies at Synechron. His vision for identifying and deploying relevant future technology skills has been instrumental in creating a future-proof environment at the company. Hareesha also has played an important role in setting up the Synechron Blockchain CoE.  

“I am honored to have won the CIO100 FutureTech Leader award. The sheer hard work, dedication and perseverance put in by our team has borne fruit,” said Hareesha Pattaje, Managing Director – Technology at Synechron. “We are committed to reskilling and upskilling our talented specialists to ensure we continue to innovate cutting-edge solutions for our clients.”

Commenting on this, Faisal Husain, Co-founder and CEO of Synechron said, “Hareesha has been a part of the organization for close to 15 years now. His leadership and guidance has nurtured our talent into industry’s best R&D experts. He has been pivotal in bringing some of the best in class innovations at Synechron. Our heartiest congratulations to Hareesha and his team for winning this coveted award.”

The CIO100 Awards honors 100 outstanding organizations and their CIOs for exemplary use of technology while the symposium encourages the exchange of ideas and inspires future transformation through the proactive adoption of technology solutions. It is the most powerful congregation of IT leaders in India with entry exclusive to winners. Adjudicated by an eminent jury comprising of the who’s who of the IT industry, the parameters to judge the FutureTech Leader Award 2018 included strategies that business leaders have formulated and rolled-out to create a balance between the future technology requirements and the current ones in smart and relevant ways.

Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Inaugurates Workshop on Understanding Rare Scripts

Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, AnantKumar Hegde has inaugurated a Workshop on Understanding Rare Scripts at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, Regional Centre (IGNCA), Bengaluru. The workshop is being organised in line with IGNCA’s larger mandate to enable engagement and preservation of India’s heritage and archival resources. The workshop will offer hands on training in deciphering the script, accessing manuscripts and will also cover issues in manuscriptology research. 

The objective of the initiative is to document and archive the country’s languages that have been lost or are likely to be lost in the near future. The inauguration was conducted in the august presence of Dr Sachchidanand, Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA, Dr Ramesh C Gaur, Head Kalanidhi Division, IGNCA and Dr. K.R. Venugopal, Vice Chancellor, Bangalore University.

Courses will be open to students and scholars who are interested in heritage research. No prior training in manuscriptology is necessary. Participants will also be encouraged to further their training by undertaking translation projects from the microfilm library at the Regional Centre Bengaluru.

Speaking at the ceremony, AnantKumar Hegde said, “In recent years the language diversity is under threat as speakers of diverse languages are becoming rare. Scripts and languages are important aspect of our culture. There are plenty of things one can do to contribute towards documenting a language, depending on the skill-set. Besides the preservation of the neglected archival records, the initiative is also aimed at compiling the local history of state. The problem needs to be addressed at societal level, in which the communities have to take part in conservation of language diversity that is part of cultural wealth.”

India is home to priceless manuscript collections which are a source of invaluable knowledge. IGNCA seeks to create opportunities that results in skill development and also foster engagement with our culture. 

Regional Center Bengaluru houses a niche library with 14,000 books which cover subjects such as arts, culture and history. The manuscript microfilms library has been aggregated from over 52 centres across the country with about 22,000 microfilms rolls covering 2,85,000 manuscripts. One lakh vintage and contemporary colour slides are available for research scholars and academicians.

The Modi script was used to write the Marathi language spoken in the current state of Maharashtra. It originated as a cursive script during the 17th century CE. Modi was used until the 1950's when Devanagari replaced it as the written medium of the Marathi language. The script is used all over Canara and Western Hilly regions of Karnataka. Many manuscripts written in these scripts are also found in erstwhile districts of Mumbai, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Shimoga and Kasaragod district of Kerala. Most government records in the region prior to 1950 are in Modi Script.

This Festive - Dussehra and Diwali Season to Bring 20 M Buyers on Ecom: Redseer

About 20 million people are expected to shop on various e-commerce platforms during the festive sale next month, translating into sales of around $3 billion for players like Amazon and Flipkart, says a report.

The report by RedSeer Consulting stated that about 13-24 million shoppers had transacted on e-commerce sites during the five-day festive sale last year and 10 million in 2016 around the same time frame.

The festive sale not only brings in discounts and deals for customers but is also an annual showdown of sorts between the two largest players - Flipkart and Amazon India.

While the two companies are yet to announce the sale dates for this year, it is likely to be held in October. According to RedSeer, the daily gross merchandise value (GMV) during the five-day sale period is expected to be around $527 million. GMV refers to the total sales value of merchandise sold through the platform over a certain period of time.

During May-July 2018 period, the GMV was around $62 million, while it was about $280-300 million during last year’s five-day festive sale.

The report also said the share of items like electronics and furniture during the sale could be higher this year due to “affordability” initiatives being undertaken by the e-commerce players. Also, while mobile phones would continue to be the bulk of the sales (52%), categories like fashion are expected to be about 15%, RedSeer said.

Like in offline retail, e-commerce companies see a major bump up in sales during Dussehra and Diwali.

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