Saturday, May 18, 2019

Samsung, Instagram Share Tips on the Art of Creating Impactful Videos at Samsung Opera House


As a part of its flagship campaign, ‘India, Ready Action’ to engage with Indian millennials, Samsung in association with Instagram, on Thursday, organized a consumer workshop to share tips on creating short impactful videos using smartphones. The event had sessions by representatives from Samsung and Instagram along with a special session by Celebrity Chef Saransh Goila who encouraged the audience to participate in the campaign and spoke about the power of video as a tool to break stereotypes.

Samsung’s recently launched ‘India, Ready Action’ campaign urges Gen Z and Indian millennials to come forward and break stereotypes about India by uploading videos up to 60-seconds showcasing their vision of ‘Real India’. The campaign has already received an overwhelming response with close to 57 million views on YouTube and is providing the youth of the country an unparalleled platform to change perceptions about India.

“At Samsung, we want to enable young Indians to ride the new trend of video creation and break stereotypes about our beautiful country. Our Gen Z and young millennials are a most vivacious, socially conscious lot, driven by a zest for India. Moreover, they are digital natives who live in the ‘Era of Live’ and video is fast becoming their medium of expression. #IndiaReadyAction is tailor made for them to express themselves,” Ranjivjit Singh, Chief Marketing Officer, Samsung India, said.

“Our recently launched Galaxy A series smartphones and Samsung Smart TVs enable people to move from an Era of Selfie to an Era of Live, where people foster more authentic and meaningful connections,” he added.

‘Indians only play cricket’, ‘Entertainment in India is limited to Bollywood’, ‘India is all about spicy food’, ‘India lacks nightlife’ are some of the stereotypes millennials are attempting to break and showcase the emerging India story to the world. So far, the entries show football gaining traction in the country, fans enjoying music concerts, beautiful streets of India and the varied cuisines from different parts of the country.

The campaign, which has been initiated through the launch of a campaign video, has been conceptualized by Samsung’s creative agency Cheil India.

While there has been an exponential growth in video consumption over the years, led by Gen Z and young millennials, this generation of Indians is also leading content creation. Priding themselves on spontaneity and creativity, these digital natives don’t just shoot stills, but create videos. They’re adding filters and experimenting with AR effects and are sharing their life stories through videos across multiple social platforms.

With #IndiaReadyAction, this generation is getting empowered to showcase Real India through their unique videos.

Participants can share their view of Real India through short videos on themes such as food, places, entertainment and culture. Participants can shoot videos using any smartphone and post on their Instagram accounts tagging @SamsungIndia, using the hashtags #IndiaReadyAction, #City and #Theme.

The videos that participants post on Instagram will be populated on a map of India that is hosted on a Samsung India microsite ( This will create a map of Real India, through the eyes of Gen Z and young millennials.

Every week, Samsung will announce 7 lucky participants who will get the latest Galaxy A70 smartphone that comes with a host of disruptive features, including a 32MP triple rear camera capable of shooting stunning super slow-mo videos, a massive 4500mAh battery with 25W super-fast charging capability and a 6.7 inch sAMOLED Infinity U display to give young consumers the freedom and convenience to share, stream and play all day long.

There’s more. At the end of the campaign, 20 of the most interesting videos will be rewarded with Galaxy A80 smartphones and Samsung 43 inch Smart TVs.

Galaxy A80 is designed for digital natives who want to interact, play and share in the moment and comes with Samsung’s revolutionary 48MP rotating camera enabling consumers to shoot same quality videos from both sides. Galaxy A80 comes with innovative features such as 3D Depth camera capable of shooting Live Focus videos & Ultra-wide camera with super steady mode.

Samsung has also launched its latest Smart TVs with industry first benefits such as Home Cloud that allow users to store their favourite moments on their smartphones wirelessly to the USB drive connected to the TV and Live Cast that empowers consumers to seamlessly stream live moments from any remote location on to their Smart TV.

UNSW Australian Team Reports Breakthrough in Quantum Computing

A team of scientists from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia has measured for the first time accuracy of two-qubit operations in silicon, a feat that would enable scaling up to a full-scale quantum processor.

Computers today process information in binary bits that take either a 0 or 1 value while quantum computers depend on the related but superior concept of the qubit. What makes qubits superior to conventional bits is that in addition to just occupying a 0 or 1 position, they can occupy both at the same time -- what's known in quantum mechanics as the superposition.

"All quantum computations can be made up of one-qubit operations and two-qubit operations – they're the central building blocks of quantum computing," said nanoelectronics researcher Andrew Dzurak from UNSW, Australia’s research-intensive university.

The research published in the prestigious journal Nature, promises quantum computers that would enable a vastly more powerful and faster way of making calculations than the computing power we've had until now.

In 2015, Dzurak and fellow researchers built the world's first quantum logic gate in silicon, so that two qubits could communicate with one another.

The experiments were performed by Wister Huang, a final-year PhD student in Electrical Engineering, and Dr Henry Yang, a senior research fellow at UNSW.

A number of groups around the world have since demonstrated two-qubit gates in silicon but the true accuracy of such a two-qubit gate was unknown.

“Fidelity is a critical parameter which determines how viable a qubit technology is – you can only tap into the tremendous power of quantum computing if the qubit operations are near perfect, with only tiny errors allowed,” informed Dr Yang.   UNSW leads in innovation having received $550m in research income and ranked at top position in Australian Research Council Linkage Industry grants in Australia in 2017.

In this study, the team implemented and performed Clifford-based fidelity benchmarking - a technique that can assess qubit accuracy across all technology platforms - demonstrating an average two-qubit gate fidelity of 98 per cent.

“Quantum computing is this century’s space race – and Sydney is leading the charge. This milestone is another step towards realising a large-scale quantum computer,” said UNSW Dean of Engineering, Professor Mark Hoffman.

Quantum computers will have a wide range of important applications in the future thanks to their ability to perform far more complex calculations at much greater speeds, including solving problems that are simply beyond the ability of today’s computers.

“But for most of those important applications, millions of qubits will be needed, and you're going to have to correct quantum errors, even when they’re small,” said Professor Dzurak.

“For error correction to be possible, the qubits themselves have to be very accurate in the first place – so it’s crucial to assess their fidelity.”

The researchers said that silicon as a technology platform is ideal for scaling up to the large numbers of qubits needed for universal quantum computing.

“We think that we’ll achieve significantly higher fidelities in the near future, opening the path to full-scale, fault-tolerant quantum computation. We’re now on the verge of a two-qubit accuracy that’s high enough for quantum error correction,” informed Professor Dzurak.

In another paper – recently published in Nature Electronics – the same team achieved the record for the world’s most accurate 1-qubit gate in a silicon quantum dot, with a remarkable fidelity of 99.96 per cent.

Researchers at UNSW, who take pride in creating the most efficient silicon solar cell and engineering the technology to turn old tyres into steel as well as starting the quantum computer, offer an incredible study environment to nurture growth and encourage forward-thinking among its 60,000 students from over 130 countries, says Amit Dasgupta, former diplomat and founding India country director for UNSW India.

Würfel Küche Enters Complete Home Furnishing and Interior Solutions in Bengaluru

Key Highlights

·        Würfel Living is a cutting edge, fashion driven lifestyle brand envisioning creation of fashion homes where living is more enjoyable, healthy and stylish.

·        A one-of-its-kind studio spread across 25,000 sq. ft. with an array of home interior styles and furnishings.

Premium modular kitchen and wardrobe brand, Würfel Küche announced the launch of its new vertical, Würfel Living with the inaugural of its maiden showroom in Bengaluru today. This studio will display products curated from different parts of Europe, all housed under one roof.

Speaking on the occasion of the launch, Khanindra Barman, CEO & Co-Founder of Würfel said “We are thrilled to announce the launch of Würfel Living. For the first time ever, customers have access to premium and imported home interiors & furnishing products, all under a single roof. We believe in designing and conceptualizing fashion homes. And to the delight of the customers, all this comes at a great price. We have now launched our first display studio in Bengaluru and will soon open more studios within the city and across the country”

“At Würfel Living, simplicity embraces luxury. We aim to give customers not just an opportunity to purchase products, but also experience it first hand, to get a touch-and-feel prior to purchase. We have divided our studio into 12 different themes and each theme represents a kitchen, a living room and a dining room. These themes will be refreshed 4 times a year, giving customers a newer experience each time they visit. We have a wide range of kitchens, wardrobes, bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms. We also have a myriad of furnishing options like rugs, pots, lightings and artifacts.

Since 2015, Würfel has revolutionized the modular kitchen industry by providing customers not just products, but a world-class experience - through superior quality standards in designing, manufacturing, installation, servicing and other comprehensive solutions.  While Würfel Küche continues to source raw materials from Europe, processed through top-of-the-line European machinery to deliver customized European modular kitchens and wardrobes to suit customers in India, Würfel Living will source finished products from different OEMs across Europe.

Commenting on the launch, Pankaj Bhatia, COO & Co-Founder of Würfel added “We saw great demand for a premium end-to-end home interiors solution and we decided to bridge the gap with Würfel Living.  We wish to showcase a brand which will change the perspective of lifestyle homes in India. We take great pride in presenting an exclusive, hand-made Italian collection of sofas made of pure leather, for the first time in India.”

“Just hand us the key to your empty home and we will have it ready for you to move in with your luggage. We will design and source all the materials for home owners, builders and designers and also provide complete end-to-end solutions.” states Naveen NJ, CFO & Co-Founder of Würfel.

Würfel was founded by the association of two companies KP Group and Maruthi Ceramics. Würfel Living’s maiden display studio located at Banaswadi in Bengaluru is spread over 25,000 Sq. ft. and houses a wide range of premium home interiors and furnishing products.

For more information, please visit our store located at 14, Service Ring Road, Banaswadi, Bengaluru or call us on 1800 3000 2926. You can also visit our website

Microsoft AI Making the Digital World a More Accessible Place

WEF report states that more than 1 billion people worldwide experience some form of disability stopping them from completing their education or, getting them employed. We at Microsoft, strongly believe that technology has the potential to empower people to achieve more, help strengthen education opportunities, and make the workplace more inviting and inclusive for people with disabilities. Accessible technologies, enabled by AI, help people with disabilities unlock their full potential at school, work, and home.

In celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Microsoft is underscoring its commitment to make technology more accessible for everyone. In her most recent Microsoft on the Issues blog post, Chief Accessibility Officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie explains how “making accessibility part of how we do business around the world is essential. Thinking about it as a cultural shift, and how we manage a business is core to achieving this goal.”

At Microsoft, accessibility and inclusion are essential to deliver our mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. We put accessibility at the heart of design to make products and services that adapts to each user’s unique situation, device capabilities and human abilities to learn, use, build and master. Microsoft 365 is an example that helps make people accessible with disabilities to make them more productive. Similarly, using AI enabled technologies, we are creating robust solutions such as real-time speech-to-text transcription, visual recognition services and predictive text functionality.

Leveraging technology, at Microsoft, we are building accessible and inclusive solutions to empower people with disabilities through the following:

·         Empowering through Windows 10:

* Eye control enables you to type with an on-screen keyboard, communicate with people, and control the mouse with just your eyes.

*  Magnifier makes part or all of your screen bigger so you can see words and images better.

*  Narrator reads text on your screen aloud and describes events, such as notifications or calendar appointments, so you can use your computer without a display.

·         Learning Tools improves reading and writing for learners regardless of their age and ability. The tool is offered in Word, OneNote, Edge and Outlook.

·         Xbox Adaptive Controller was designed to empower gamers with limited mobility. Every aspect of the controller, including the packaging, was designed in close partnership with the accessibility community.

·         Seeing AI - an app that narrates the world for people who are blind or have low vision. What began as a hackathon project has evolved into an app that has helped people with more than 10 million tasks.

·         Soundscape reimagines how technology can enhance independence and mobility to empower people who are blind or have low vision

JLL Rose 167 Spots to #189 on Fortune 500 Distinguished 2019 List

JLL announced that it rose 167 spots to #189 on the prestigious Fortune 500 list, which ranks the largest U.S.-based companies by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. The jump makes JLL the second biggest mover on the list. JLL’s annual total revenue reached a record high of $16.3 billion in 2018.

“Our significant movement up this year’s Fortune 500 list is a tremendous honour and pays testament to our unwavering commitment to teamwork, ethics and excellence,” said Christian Ulbrich, JLL CEO. “Our focus on delivering outstanding value to our clients drives our own business performance. The combination of our fantastic colleagues and clients create this rewarding sense of achieving goals together.”

JLL continues to be recognized for its performance, ethics and commitment to being an employer of choice. It was named one of Fortune’s 2019 Most Admired Companies, a World’s Most Ethical Company by Ethisphere for the 12th consecutive year and one of Forbes’ America’s Best Employers.

Atos Delivers World’s Highest-Performing Quantum Simulator to Energy Company Total

Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, today announced it has delivered its Atos Quantum Learning Machine, the world's highest-performing commercially available quantum simulator, to French multinational energy company Total. As part of an ambitious cross-functional research project, the Total group intends to use the Atos QLM to support all of its businesses.

Combining a high-powered, ultra-compact machine with a universal programming language, the Atos Quantum Learning Machine enables researchers and engineers to develop and experiment with quantum software.

It simulates the laws of physics, which are at the very heart of quantum computing, to compute the exact execution of a quantum program with double-digit precision.

Quantum simulation will find concrete applications within the Total group such as molecular and materials chemistry, the optimization of energy networks, vehicle fleets or industrial tools and, in the longer term, seismic imaging and fluid mechanics.

“By gaining expertise in quantum computing with this solution from Atos - a recognized industry leader - we are once again demonstrating our pioneering spirit. We will develop a quantum approach to different research issues covering all our businesses to explore new ways of solving problems and improve performance and efficiency," said Marie-Noëlle Semeria, R&D Director at Total.

“Through our program focused on the future of quantum computing, Atos is working closely with researchers and engineers around the globe, such as Total, to support them with tools to drive significant technological advances,” said Sophie Proust, Atos CTO. “The Atos Quantum Learning Machine enables businesses such as Total to develop and experiment with quantum processes and delivers superior simulation capabilities to speed innovation.”

In November 2016, Atos launched an ambitious program to anticipate the future of quantum computing and to be prepared for the opportunities as well as the risks that come with it. As a result of this initiative, Atos was the first to successfully model quantum noise. To date, the company has installed Quantum Learning Machines in numerous countries including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States empowering major research programs in various sectors.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Tata Motors, J&K Bank Enters into MoU for Commercial Vehicle Customers in India

Tata Motors, the market leader in Commercial Vehicles industry, has joined hands with J&K bank to offer superior products and services to their customers. Both the entities will be working together to offer innovative retail finance solutions for the entire range of cargo and passenger carriers to facilitate the purchase of commercial vehicles while ensuring superior operating economics for the end customers.

J&K Bank Limited, founded in 1938 has an extremely large presence with 1000+ branches, spread across the country. It functions as a universal bank in Jammu and Kashmir. With the launch of “Digital India” campaign J&K Bank has moved most of its products on customer centric technology platforms and has developed a leading edge in playing a significant role in the retail banking space. 

On the occasion of MOU signing, Mr. R.T. Wasan Vice President- Sales & Marketing, CVBU, Tata Motors said, “This is a welcome partnership between two esteemed organizations who have a similar culture of contributing to society which will hugely benefit the customers particularly in J&K. We are absolutely confident that this will help us increase our reach in the state of J&K and help us serve our customers in an efficient and delightful manner”

Mr. Parvez Ahmed, Chairman and CEO of J&K Bank said, “We are delighted to join hands with Tata Motors and have aligned our organization structure, processes and systems to bring about an accelerated growth in the retail banking space. This MoU will help us to generate wonderful employment opportunities in J&K and other parts of the country.”

Tata Motors offers end-to-end smart transport solutions starting from sub 1 ton, going upto above 55T vehicles in cargo and construct range. The Company also offers the passenger transport range in the country and has the widest sales and service distribution network of 3798 touchpoints. In J&K, Tata Motors enjoys an 81% market share in trucks plans to further extend its share through this important association. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Global Luxury Residential Prices Register Lowest Growth Since Q4 2009: Knight Frank

International Property Consultant Knight Frank releases its Prime Global Cities Index that tracks the movement in luxury residential prices (top 5% of the housing market) across 45 cities globally. The index highlights that luxury residential prices have registered its lowest rate of annual growth since the final quarter of 2009. Two years ago, prime property prices were rising at an average rate of 4.3% per annum, which has now slowed to 1.3%.

The dip in the growth during the first quarter of 2019 is said to be attributed to the looming threat of a global trade war, uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the International Monetary Fund’s projection that 70% of world’s economies would see a slowdown in growth in 2019.

Key findings

·         The index increased by 1.3% in the year to Q1 2019, its lowest annual rate of growth since Q4 2009.
·         Delhi secures a spot in top 10. Ranked at the 7th position, prime property price grows by 5.8% on 12-month and 4.4 % on 3-month basis
·         City of Bengaluru witnesses a growth of 2% on 12-month and 0.8% on 3-month basis, stands at the 20th position on the Index
·         Standing at the 31st rank, Mumbai registers a dismal growth by 0.6% on 12 month and 0.3% on 3-month basis, indicating a momentum in the affordable & mid-segment housing category.

Ather Energy Begins Setting-Up 50-55 Charging Points Across Chennai by End of 2019

Ather Energy today announced the installation of their fast charging network, Ather Grid in Chennai. The city will see 50 - 55 Ather Grid points up and running by the end of the year. The fast charging network can be used by all electric two-wheelers and four-wheelers and this facility is being offered free of charge till the end of the year.

Chennai has 7 active fast charging Ather Points installed and is the second city in India to have Ather’s charging network. The company has partnered with progressive hosts including cafés, restaurants, tech parks, malls and gyms to reduce range anxiety and ease the adoption of electric vehicles in Chennai. The charging stations can today be found at Forum Vijaya mall, AtWorks and Bikes and Burgers, and other restaurants. The company continues to partner with more hosts which can offer EV owners easy accessibility and fit into their lifestyle.

With the installation of the charging network, Ather Energy officially makes its foray into the Chennai market. Following Ather Grid, the city will have its own experience centre - Ather Space - and pre-orders for Chennai will open in June. In the meantime, consumers can express pre-order interest on the company’s website to get early access to test rides and priority deliveries.

The charging network is supported by the Ather Grid app which allows all EV owners to locate and check the availability of the nearest charging stations in real-time. Ather Energy in its accelerated expansion phase targets to set-up 6500 charging points across the country by 2022.

Quote by Ravneet Phokela, Chief Business Officer: “Ather Grid has seen steady adoption in Bengaluru and we believe that accessible charging infrastructure is critical before launching our products in any market we enter. We have already signed up with multiple partners and will add 50 charging points by the end of the year. Chennai was a natural choice for our expansion as the auto hub of the country and as the birthplace of Ather in IIT Madras. We are working on setting-up the charging network and our experience centre - Ather Space - in time for the launch of the Ather 450 in the coming weeks.”

About Ather Grid: Ather Grid, solves the critical need of public charging of electric vehicles. As of May 2019, the Ather Grid network spans across 31 charging points across 24 locations in Bengaluru and 7 locations in Chennai. The company has plans to expand the network and set-up charging Points at 6500 EV charging Points in 30 cities by 2023.

The charging Point locations have been selected to reduce the hassle of public charging can be found in key locations in both the cities e.g. the malls, cafes, restaurants, gyms and tech parks.

The charging network can be used by all electric four wheelers and electric two wheelers through the Ather Grid App, which can locate and check the availability of the Points in real time. The company aims to have an Ather Grid Point no more than 2 km driving distance from the next one.

Chennai locations as of May 2019: Forum Vijaya Mall, AtWorks (@works), Bikes & Burgers, Soul Garden Bistro, CocoJaunt 1728 & Kriyates

Bengaluru locations as of May 2019: Phoenix Market City, Godrej Nature’s Basket Sadashivnagar, Forum Shantiniketan, The Only Place, ELCITA, ITPB Park Square Mall + 17 more.

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 for the scooter category of 0-40 km/hr in 3.9 seconds. 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 differentiators 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 alternate 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 the addition of new features and functionalities.

About Ather Energy: Ather Energy, India’s premium, smart electric vehicle company was founded in 2013 by IIT Madras alumni, Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain. Backed by founders of Flipkart, Tiger Global and Hero Motocorp, Ather Energy has designed India’s first truly intelligent electric scooters - Ather 450 & Ather 340 - powered by a comprehensive public charging network, Ather Grid, built and designed in India.  With 31 charging Points in Bengaluru, Ather Grid is the largest fast charging network for two wheelers in the country. With over 42 patent applications, 127 trademarks and 122 design registrations to its name, Ather Energy aims to provide consumers with the best possible ownership experience. The company currently operates in Bengaluru and will be entering the Chennai market in June 2019, followed by other major cities across the country.  

Rapid Adoption of Extended Reality Creates Urgent Need for Responsible Design and Deployment of Immersive Tech

Despite its potential to provide tremendous economic and social benefits, extended reality (XR) carries new physical, mental and social risks that require business leaders to proactively design, build and deploy XR tools and business models responsibly from the start, according to a new report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

Waking Up to a New Reality: Building a Responsible Future for Immersive Technologies,” published in collaboration with the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance (G20 YEA), examines how extended reality (XR) — which includes virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and a growing range of other immersive tools — is already creating new value well beyond the worlds of gaming and entertainment. In addition to delivering enhanced customer experiences, immersive tools are being used to augment workforce productivity, provide training and deliver mental health treatments.

In fact, industry expenditure on XR is overtaking consumer spending and is set to reach triple the level of consumer usage by 2023, reaching US$121billon, according to IDC. Accenture analysis shows that the number of patent applications for AR and VR rose almost five-fold between 2014 and 2016, to more than 6,000, and start-up funding grew 237% in the same period.

Despite the opportunities, the report notes that the power and intimacy of XR tools pose new dangers to the wellbeing of individuals and society that are far greater than those experienced as a result of today’s technologies. These new dangers include:

Misuse of personal data: Going beyond people’s personal information, or social media activity, XR could expose their feelings, behaviors and judgments to cyber-theft and manipulation.
Fake experiences: When consuming news and information through immersive experiences, it will be harder to separate reality from fiction, making it easier to profoundly influence behaviors, opinions and decisions.
Cybersecurity: Not only could avatars be used to create new forms of identity-related crime, but critical tasks, like surgery, that become dependent on immersive technologies, could be at risk of extortion.
Anti-social behavior: Trolls could go from intimidating with words on social media to physically intimidating people in a virtual world with avatars.  And antisocial behavior that is normalized in a virtual environment can creep into real-world behaviors.

“We believe the best experiences are those that sit at the intersection of purpose and innovation to improve lives,” said Rori Duboff, head of content innovation, Accenture Interactive. “There is a tremendous opportunity with XR to learn from past mistakes and design more inclusive and accountable worlds and experiences. Ultimately, for XR to succeed, strategy and creative teams must have diverse mindsets, and experiences need to be accessible to everyone.”

The report also points to the greater risks of tech addiction and the disengagement of people from real-world societal problems and shows how unequal access to XR could amplify social divisions through exclusion from consumer and working opportunities.

“We are entering a post-digital era where emerging technologies such as XR are driving the next waves of innovation and growth,” said Marc Carrel-Billiard, senior managing director of Accenture Labs and global lead of Accenture’s Extended Reality group. “XR will be core to enabling these opportunities, but we must address the risks posed by today’s technologies and design XR tools and immersive experiences responsibly.”

Priority actions for businesses include:

Build your early-warning system: Rather than creating rules that cannot keep up with rapid innovation, business leaders must instil a culture of responsibility that integrates ethical questions into the habitual behaviours of everyday work and key decisions.
Draw on diverse experts for responsible design: Businesses must extend their ecosystem of partners to include neuroscientists, mental health experts, sociologists and behavioural theorists to aid the responsible design and use of XR tools.
Supercharge your workers: Target XR investments to improve worker productivity, training and creativity. The very roles that are most exposed to automation are often those that will be augmented by immersive technologies, helping to turn jobs at risk into jobs of the future.

“XR is rapidly moving beyond virtual reality and augmented reality to include a wide range of tools that use and enhance our human senses, including touch, smell, taste and even our thoughts. Used correctly, these promise incredible improvements to the way we live and work,” said Armen Ovanessoff, principal director, Accenture Research. “We have a duty to ensure that safeguards keep up with technological innovation. We’re calling on business leaders, policymakers and civil society to act now, together, to proactively design a responsible future for XR.”

The report also recommends actions for policy makers:

Ensure inclusive and affordable access: extend powerful new infrastructure (like 5G networks) to make XR experiences widely available, at appropriate prices, especially for the provision of health, education and social services.
Incentivize local innovators and entrepreneurs: enable small businesses to not only use XR tools and experiences, but also participate in their development, ensuring locally-relevant solutions.

Stimulate research and discussion: convene relevant experts from across sectors and disciplines to build the necessary understanding and principles that allow XR innovation to flourish amid appropriate safeguards.

ICICI Bank Announces Winners of the ‘ICICI Appathon 2019’ Challenge

ICICI Bank announced the winners of ‘ICICI Appathon 2019’, the third season of its mobile and web application development challenge. The ‘Grand Finale’ of the ‘ICICI Appathon 2019’ saw Sreejith PP & Vivek Aithal from Bengaluru; Vaibhav Maheshwari & Ujjwal Kumar from Surat and Rishabh Singh from Chennai taking home the top honours for developing the next generation banking applications focusing on UPI 2.0.

Over 400 participants including developers and start-ups from across the globe took part in the contest which offered more than 100 APIs (Application Programme Interface) from the Bank as well as programme partner Experian Credit Information Company of India. The participants created innovative working prototypes of mobile and web applications around new features of UPI 2.0 such as pre-authorization of a UPI transaction, verifying details of an invoice before paying, linking an overdraft account to UPI and additional security in the form of signed intent/QR while making a payment. The eminent jury adjudged the winners on the basis of five criteria: innovation around UPI 2.0, functionality, business potential, relevance & scalability and user experience.

The jury comprised of Mr. Anup Bagchi, Executive Director, ICICI Bank; Mr. B. Madhivanan, Chief Technology & Digital Officer, ICICI Bank; Mr. Sai Sadagopan, Head - India Digital, TCS; Mr. Sunil Mishra, Head - Ecosystem Innovation Group, Infosys Finacle; Mr. Amey Mashelkar, Head, JioGenNext; Mr. Ashish Singhal, Managing Director, Experian Credit Information Company of India and Mr. Balaji V. V., Head – Business Technology Group, ICICI Bank.

The first winning application focused on bid and auction model for booking a cab via any ride hailing app. The first runner up emphasized on using feature of UPI 2.0 to link UPI to OD account while the second runner up focused on enabling UPI payments without internet.

Mr. B. Madhivanan, Chief Technology & Digital Officer, ICICI Bank said, “We at ICICI Bank continue to seek opportunities to partner with the wider fintech ecosystem to re-imagine, ideate and execute things which interest our customers and add value to them. In line with this vision, we have been conducting ICICI Appathon for the last three years. The programme has enabled us to tap into the minds of talented technopreneurs in the country as well as developers globally and helped us cater to our customers better.

We are extremely happy to note the interest that ICICI Appathon has garnered this year with over 400 participants. We have got some interesting ideas which we believe will enable development of breakthrough solutions using UPI 2.0 that will make banking simpler than ever before. We will continue to promote innovation in every aspect of our business and ICICI Appathon will continue to evolve as a perfect platform for the young and creative minds to come together and showcase their innovations.”

Mr. Venkatramana Gosavi, Senior Vice President & Global Head of Sales, Infosys Finacle said "Digitisation is transforming the banking business, enabling banks to augment and enrich their value propositions through ecosystem offerings. As the principal technology partner for ICICI Bank, we are happy to continue our support towards the ICICI Appathon, now in its third edition. It has proven to be a global platform to enable startups, independent developers and other players to convert their ideas into real world propositions”.

"TCS is delighted to be the title partner for the third edition of the ICICI Appathon. This collaboration with ICICI Bank harnesses the abundance of innovation talent available within India's start up ecosystem and developer community, and opens up entrepreneurial opportunities in the exciting world of next generation payments. Congratulations to all the winners”, said Mr. Ujjwal Mathur, VP & Country Head - India Business, TCS.

The top three winners will get the following rewards:

·         Total prize money of over Rs 10 lakh from TCS, Infosys EdgeVerve and Experian.

·         A potential engagement opportunity with ICICI Bank.

·         An opportunity for the finalists to get a fast-track entry to Finacle ‘Fintech Connect’, a programme for FinTechs to co-innovate with Finacle to accelerate banking innovation.

As ‘ICICI Appathon’ APIs were available on a developer platform, over 400 participants took part in it from across the globe. While nearly half of the participants were among the age-group of 20-29 years, nearly 20% participated from non - metro cities like Rae Bareli, Nagpur, Erode and other places. Further, it also witnessed significant participation from women technopreneurs also.

Trend Micro Delivers the Industry’s Most Complete Security Across Cloud and Container Workloads

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, today announced the availability of the industry’s most complete security from a single solution protecting across cloud and container workloads. This leadership has been achieved through newly launched container security capabilities added to Trend Micro Deep Security to elevate protection across the entire DevOps lifecycle and runtime stack.

From virtual servers and data centers to public and private cloud workloads, containers are increasingly used and demand protection. Leading enterprises are bringing together their application development teams, IT operations and their security team to help the business deliver automated, secured applications to market quicker. Trend Micro connects teams with technology tools that bake security into the process while meeting compliance needs and reducing risk.

“While customers have been securing their containers with our technology for a couple of years now, we are proud to significantly expand our offering,” said Steve Quane, Executive Vice President, Network Defense and Hybrid Cloud Security for Trend Micro. “Unlike many of the one-off point solutions crowding the market, our offering provides automated build-pipeline container image scanning, and extensive runtime protection providing full visibility and control. What is strikingly unique is our consolidated tool for container plus workload security in every environment.”

Senior analyst and group director Doug Cahill at Enterprise Strategy Group believed, “Developers might be surprised by the scope of this new offering. The on-going deployment of application containers into production environments requires that the entire build-ship-run continuum be secured. As such, protection across the CI/CD pipeline for container environments must include the ability to the detect vulnerabilities, secrets, malware, and misconfigurations for early protection at build time, while delivering critical threat protection across on-prem and cloud host, orchestration and container layers at runtime.”

The new features available now in Trend Micro’s container security solution include:

1) Securing across the complete DevOps lifecycle
Within the software build-pipeline, Trend Micro has extended its container image scanning to include pre-registry scanning, providing earlier detection of vulnerabilities and malware over and above scanning the trusted registry for any future threats. Deep Security will now also scan for embedded secrets such as passwords and private keys and provide compliance and configuration validation checks, along with image assertion for digitally signed images.

2) Securing across the entire stack
At runtime of the container, Trend Micro has boosted container platform protection across Docker and Kubernetes. Deep Security has long ensured protection for the host and containers at runtime. This includes intrusion prevention system (IPS) rules, integrity monitoring to detect compromised instances of the platform, as well as log inspection.

To ensure complete protection, Trend Micro inspects all lateral and horizontal traffic movement (east, west, north, south) between containers and platform layers like Kubernetes and Docker.

3) Securing while granting full control
To increase automation and decrease manual tasks, security and operations teams using Trend Micro can now use any command shell to execute the application program interfaces (APIs). This additional option ensures full control of deploying policies, automation of monitoring, reporting and more. This completely new set of representational state transfer APIs have been written to automate security for application development and operations teams across the container orchestration tools and runtime environments.

Atos Selected as Major Google Cloud High Performance Computing Services Partner

Looking ahead to the 4th Atos Technology Days co-located with VivaTech, Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, today announced Google Cloud selected the company as a major high-performance computing services partner, expanding the global partnership with new services for enterprise customers. Leveraging Atos’ Center for Excellence in Performance Programming (CEPP), customers will have the computing power needed to get the most out of their data when addressing large issues in science, engineering and business.

Immense amounts of information spanning across complex, global entities requires a large aggregation of computing power in order to turn data into valuable insight. Atos helps companies ensure their applications make the most of Google Cloud’s high-performance cloud computing technologies to get optimal application performance.

Customers within the partnership will benefit from expert services, including:

* New parallel technology recommendations for developers including accelerators, co-processors, hybrid systems and many-core processors
* Enhancement of commercial and open-source applications, including input/output and network
* Proof of Concepts (POCs) to demonstrate performance gains
* Expert workshops to initiate customer porting, optimization and acceleration of simulations
* Application and solution benchmarks
* Access to specific compute resources and tailored training.

“To provide customers with the most advanced cloud infrastructure, we are focused on supporting their high-performance needs, and in partnership with partners like Atos, we can address HPC scale, speed, agility and security,” said Kevin Ichhpurani, Corporate Vice President, Global Ecosystem at Google Cloud.

Atos and Google Cloud customers are some of the largest global companies with highly demanding workloads that are paralleled across hundreds or thousands of machines. Leveraging the skilled workforce, speed and scale of the CEPP from Atos, customers’ workload management will be supported by key analysis and optimization for their application performance on Google Cloud.

“We’re thrilled to continue to build our partnership with Google Cloud,” said Pierre Barnabé, Chief Operating Officer, Big Data & Security at Atos. “In our role as a leader in high performance computing, Atos brings its expertise and experience to enterprise customers to ensure that they have the computing power and support needed when moving from on-premise to Google Cloud.”

For its 4th edition, The Atos Technology Days are co-located with VivaTech, the world’s rendezvous for start-ups and leaders to celebrate innovation, with over 100,000 attendees.

Dengue Patients in Bangalore Can Avail Platelets Through Donor Helpline ‘7878782020’

Dengue cases are only going up in India. From less than 60,000 cases in 2009, dengue cases in India increased to 2,89,575 in 2018, almost 500 % spike, as per the data from Health Management Information System 2018. Dengue patients face a decline in blood platelets count leading to internal bleeding and eventually death in extreme cases. Thus, this drop in platelet count requires quick platelet transfusion to save lives. However, platelets are not readily available as they cannot be stored for more than 5 days. On this National Dengue Day, India’s first platelet donor helpline ‘7878782020’ by Godrej HIT is committed to assist citizens in Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai, avail platelets through a ready pool of platelets donors.

In 2017, Godrej HIT established an online community of platelets donors with an intent to build a base of donors big enough to save lives.  This online donor community with a dedicated 24X7 helpline ‘7878782020’ has now grown to 1.25 lac registered donors. The helpline has successfully saved lives of 5 critical dengue patients till now. 

Dengue patients or their relatives seeking platelet can call on HIT Platelet helpline ‘7878782020’. On receiving requests, 1.25 lac registered donors are updated through calls and SMS. The platelet donor visits the patient directly at any hospital where he/she is admitted or the platelets are sent to the patient. They can also avail platelets transfusion at their nearest Apollo Hospital, the medical partner for the helpline, even if they are not admitted there. People  can register themselves as platelets donor through the website .

Commenting on the India’s First Platelet Donor Helpline, Mr. Sunil Kataria, CEO – India & SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products Limited, said, “Platelet donor helpline is India’s unique platform bringing donors and dengue patients together to help each other crowd source platelets. It helps patients get platelets which cannot be stored. We are happy to see that over the last one year more than 1 lac people have registered to be platelet donors resulting into 5 lives being saved. Though this is a good start, we consider it as our responsibility to create mass awareness around how platelets are crucial during dengue and encourage more platelet donations.”

Speaking on the initiative, Ms. Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group, said, “Vector borne diseases like dengue are emerging as a threat to public health in India. To address this issue, we at Apollo Hospitals, have tied-up with Godrej HIT to build a platelet donor community. Through this initiative, we are trying to bridge the disparity in awareness and provide ready resources to manage diseases like dengue.”

A survey conducted by Godrej HIT found 94% citizens are unaware about the critical level of platelets count below which platelet transfusion is required in dengue cases. Unlike blood, platelets can't be stored for more than 5 days. The report also informed that 80% of the citizens are unaware of this fact.  Due to a short shelf life of platelets, there is also a high demand for platelet donors. Platelets are extracted from a donor through a process called apheresis which allows extraction of large amounts of platelets from a single donor. The procedure is safe and one can return to normal activities soon. In fact, the body replaces the platelet count back to normal within 24 hours.

As part of the platelet donor community, Godrej HIT wanted to educate masses on platelet donation and threats posed by loss of platelets in dengue cases.  Over the last one year, an awareness program reached out to over 5 million citizens across India.

Karnataka to Witness Affordable Housing Boom by 2022: Credai Report

Karnataka is set to witness boom in affordable housing by 2022, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (Credai) said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, here on Wednesday, R Nagaraj, Vice President, Credai- National, said construction of affordable houses on the outskirts of Bengaluru will gather pace, where Namma Metro connectivity is coming up. The areas will include Bidadi, Whitefield near Hope Farm, Chandapura, Mysuru Road, Hosur Road and Sarjapura Road. Here not only connectivity, but also floor space index and government initiatives will also be a factor for the increase in construction and demand, he said.

He said that construction of houses in these areas will range between Rs 45 lakh and Rs 60 lakh and will start by 2020. Construction of houses, where rentals will range between Rs 10,000 to 12,000, will also pick up. By 2020, the real estate market will see further boom in Bengaluru. The new central government will encourage real estate, by reducing the GST on construction materials which will also be beneficial to buyers and the market.

The members pointed that in Bengaluru there was a boom in the commercial segment when compared to the residential segment.

Bentley Systems Announces the Acquisition of Keynetix, Provider of Geotechnical Data Management Cloud Services

Bentley Systems, Incorporated, the leading global provider of comprehensive software and digital twins services for advancing the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure, today announced the acquisition of Keynetix, a UK-headquartered provider of cloud-based software for capturing, visualizing, modeling, and sharing of geotechnical data. The addition of Keynetix software expands Bentley’s geotechnical offerings and accelerates Bentley’s vision of enabling subsurface digital twins for infrastructure projects and assets.

Subsurface digital twins can be vital for assessing and managing risks in infrastructure projects, and to the planning, design, construction and operations of infrastructure assets. The creation and curation of subsurface digital twins involves modeling the underground environment (geology, hydrology, chemistry, and engineering properties, and the underground infrastructure), and utility networks, structures, and tunnels – and then analyzing and simulating the subsurface behavior. Supplementing borehole reports managed by Bentley’s gINT software, Keynetix’s cloud-based geotechnical knowledge management system captures and manages underground environment information for Bentley’s geotechnical analysis applications, PLAXIS and SoilVision.

Mark Bevan, associate director, ground investigation data systems for UK-based Structural Soils, Ltd., a member of the RSK Group Ltd., said, “Bentley’s gINT and Keynetix’s HoleBASE software platforms are core, business critical tools within our ground investigation (GI) businesses, and have been so for more than 20 years. The acquisition of Keynetix’s modern and innovative software into the Bentley portfolio, alongside the mature and proven gINT platform, is a breath-taking and exciting landmark moment within the GI digital landscape. The rapidly growing Bentley geotechnical platform is helping to maximize the potential positives of the digital shift we are experiencing within the GI workplace. Ground investigation is truly going digital.”

Bob Mankowski, vice president and business unit executive of digital cities for Bentley Systems, said, “Infrastructure professionals know that the geologic, hydrologic, chemical and engineering properties of a potential project site, and the infrastructure assets buried beneath the soil, roads, and other structures represent some of the greatest risks to infrastructure project safety, budgets, and schedules. Having a subsurface digital twin – a 3D representation of the subsurface coupled with models to analyze and simulate behavior – will be immensely valuable in all phases of the asset lifecycle. The Keynetix team and their technology bring decades of experience and cutting-edge cloud services to Bentley’s already strong geotechnical portfolio – gINT, PLAXIS, and SoilVision – and will accelerate the progress of our vision for subsurface digital twins.”

Roger Chandler, managing director of Keynetix, said, “Today's announcement provides our team, customers, and partners with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to advance digital engineering in the geotechnical industry. At Keynetix, our mission has always been to make geotechnical data more broadly accessible and valuable. Today’s announcement will truly open up geotechnical data collaboration across Bentley, Autodesk, and other platforms.”

Greg Bentley, CEO for Bentley Systems, said, “My colleagues and I welcome our new teammates from Keynetix, led by principals Roger Chandler, Gary Morin, and Carl Grice, who for many years have envisioned the potential and necessity of geotechnical and geoenvironmental data management to enable better designs and more successful projects. The geotechnical and infrastructure professions will benefit from their continued and expanded leadership, now within Bentley Systems!”

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Fast&Up Announced as the Official Energy Drink Partner for Procam International Running Events in India

Fast&Up, the flagship sports and active nutrition brand of Aeronutrix Sports Products Private Limited, has announced its partnership with Procam International, India’s leading sports management company, as the official energy drink partner to the Tata Consultancy Services World 10K in Bengaluru and all their other IAAF Labelled races.

Fast&Up has inked this prestigious partnership for these nationally proclaimed events within 3 years of its inception. As the energy drink partner to these runs, the brand has successfully placed its name amidst the top brands of India. This association will aid the brand to create awareness and cater to more than 1250,000 runners nationally. The brand will provide energy drink support with its flagship product Fast&Up Reload to the runners during their run that will provide them with energy and help enhance performance. The partnership is a step forward towards the brand’s aim to revolutionize the way sports nutrition is administered in India.

Fast&Up is spearheading the sports nutrition revolution in India with its wide range of effervescent products. It is the only Indian nutrition brand to be certified with 'Informed-Choice' across its flagship products. Effervescent nutrition renders enhanced bioavailability that is an essential element aiding as a performance booster, making it an intelligent and better format compared to traditional supplements.

The professional running community in Bengaluru were the forerunners in adopting this technology, Fast&Up had become their first choice for sports nutrition since it launched. Running groups such as Soles of Bangalore, Jayanagar Jaguars & Pacemakers have been the brand’s source of support & their enthusiasm for fast&Up became the USP of the brand. Also, coaches such as Neera Katwal, Anubhav Karmakar and Bhumika Patel are part of Fast&Up Fit Squad Athletes and have recommend Fast&Up products to many leading athletes.

Vijayaraghavan Venugopal, CEO, Aeronutrix Sports Pvt. Ltd, said, “We are proud to be associated with Procam. It is a prestigious moment for our entire team to achieve this feat within 3 years of our launch. We are excited to fuel runners in Bengaluru for this 10K race and across the country in the next year. We thank the running community for showing support to Fast&Up, making it a trusted brand for sports in India”

Vivek Singh, Jd. MD, Procam International, said, “For us at Procam International, runners are our biggest stakeholders. We are constantly striving to ensure an enhanced running experience for our runners and we believe it is the same for Fast&Up. We are delighted to welcome Fast&Up as our energy drink partner and look forward to growing this partnership.” 

Top 5 Global Companies Simplifying Group Communication for Enterprises

Businesses today have branched out to various geographical locations, employing a diverse and often, remotely located workforce. This very evolution of businesses warrants the organisations to have tools and services in place to enable unified communication. With UC solutions, companies are able to extend easier collaboration and communication between remotely located teams, saving time and unlocking business potential through systematic synergies.

Helping you in the pursuit for a reliable unified communication platform, here’s listing the top five companies to watch out for!

1.       Telebu: Audio conferencing with 10,000+ participants, and more

Building communication products for today’s ambitious and fast-growing enterprises, Telebu Communications is a leading provider of unified communication solutions. Its marque product, grptalk, an audio-conferencing solution, allows up to 10,000+ members to easily collaborate on a conference call. Unlike other mediums, the conference calls by grptalk are instantaneous (dial-outs), with participants only needing to answer the bridge calls, without any pin code or passwords. Utilising PSTN networks, grptalk offers easy connectivity, even in low network coverage areas. In addition to the audio conferencing solution, grptalk also offers bulk text and voice SMS solution, inbound and outbound call centre software, emergency alert system, and an API platform.

2.       Slack: Channelizing collaboration for enterprise success

A collaboration hub, Slack helps teams work together on a wide gamut of projects, right from daily tasks to budget discussions. It organises conversations for enterprises via channels, which can be set up for teams, projects or different locations of the office. Different members can join or leave the channels to their own accord, and conversation history can be easily searched to simplify information retrieval. Not only does slack allow team members to share text documents, audios and videos, it also keeps the data secured and protected.

3.       Zoho Cliq: Messaging & file-sharing in real-time

Real-time messaging is oftentimes crucial for decision making. Zoho Cliq allows files of varying formats to be shared instantly through a chat window. Through the same window, team members can also collaborate via audio or video calls. It also creates different channels for individual teams or projects, and the chat history is searchable for different files, documents, and texts.

4.       Avaya: For mission-critical & real-time communication

Avaya prides itself in being a global leader in digital communication software, services and devices. The solutions are available for all businesses of different sizes. The customisable solutions by Avaya are open and intelligent, bring the flexibility of the cloud to the fore, further enabling hybrid deployments. Furthermore, the planning, support, and management teams at Avaya help enterprises with efficient and optimised solutions.

5.       Samepage: Bringing offices together in a single app

An award-winning UC and collaboration platform, Samepage brings offices together in a single app. It serves various needs and makes collaboration hassle-free and simple by providing group texting, video and voice chat through mobile and desktop. The solutions by Samepage enable easy file sharing, co-authoring documents, task management, and sharing calendars. Offering a unified and singular place for employees, Samepage helps teams get more done without breaking into a sweat.

Atos Launches New Unified Cloud Identity and Access Management Solution for Ultimate Security

Looking ahead to the 4th Atos Technology Days co-located with VivaTech, Atos today launches a new unified cloud Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution for ultimate security.

Acting as a single identity provider and management system for all platforms, cloud and on-premise, this new solution, based on Evidian software from Atos, enables organizations to keep control of all identities that need access to their business systems, providing them with ultimate security.

One single sign-on to access multi-cloud and on-premise environments

Today, businesses are using and accessing numerous cloud solutions, from different providers – each one of them including their own identity system and requiring users to manage several access codes.

With the unified cloud Identity and Access Management solution from Atos, businesses can create and manage one central repository of identities and access rights. In this way, users only need one single sign-on to access multi-cloud and on-premise environments.

Enhanced security with full control of all identities

With this enhanced data security solution, businesses can protect their users’ accesses and keep control of their identities, rather than dealing with a multitude of cloud providers. Businesses will also have access to a single Identity and Access Management console for the governance and administration of their identities and access rights – thus facilitating the enforcement of policies, compliance reporting and security incident response.

Other key benefits

This unified cloud Identity and Access Management solution is integrated within the cloud platform and centrally manages the access to cloud and non-cloud platforms, and enables:

Cloud migration facilitation – avoiding the complexity of adapting access management policies when moving from one cloud provider to another
Audit simplification – with a single point of administration and tracking
Automated and cost-efficient provisioning and de-provisioning of SaaS applications at the exact time needed by clients – eliminating the risk of dormant accounts

“Thanks to the unified cloud Identity and Access Management solution by Atos, our clients can provide a secure and convenient access to critical resources for business users, while meeting compliance demands. Our solution is facilitating day-to-day work and optimizing costs” says Sébastien Brachet, Managing Director of IAM/IGA activities within the Atos Group.

Spice Money Achieves Massive Gross Transactional Value of Rs 2400 Crore During Q1, 2019

Spice Money achieves a massive Gross Transactional Value of INR 2400 crore during the month of April exclusively, carries out 12 million transactions within this period

Introduces a slew of product offerings such as Spice ATM to enable debit card based transactions, takes further strides in its aim to achieve nationwide financial inclusion

National, 15th May, 2019-Spice Money, a business unit of Spice Digital and one of India’s largest tech-enabled Hyper Local Payments Network, recently achieved a feat of carrying out 12 million transactions within the month of April. The transactions generated a massive Gross Transactional Value of INR 2400 crore, firmly establishing Spice Money as a preferred platform to carry out financial transactions for the unserved and underserved population in the country. Spice Money has introduced new product offerings and enriched existing ones to further its goal of extending digitized transactional benefits to a large section of people who have little access to conventional financial facilities.

Spice Money, in addition to its Aadhaar Based payment system, has added a Mini-ATM feature that enables users to carry out debit-card based transactions. It helps to circumvent a few problems which might crop up during Aadhaar based transactions, such as bio-metric mismatch, data error etc. The move is expected to serve the elder population significantly, who often complain of hassles during fingerprint based Aadhaar transactions, which might change due to age. Additionally, Debit-card based transactions allow for a higher withdrawal limit, thereby enhancing the scope of the transactions that can be completed.

Considering the same, it is no surprise that during the month of April only, 5 million unique customers have walked into Spice-money affiliated stores and carried out transactions. The platform has enabled next door Kirana stores to function as ‘Mini-Banks’, and users can also realize transactions ranging from utility bill payments, domestic remittances, travel-related transactions, Cash Deposit, Cash Withdrawal, Air Time Recharge, POS Services, Railway Ticketing Services etc. through Spice Money’s authorized agents.

Commenting on the achievement, Dilip Modi, Chairman, Spice Money, said, “The April figures underline the strong growth trajectory Spice Money has achieved over a considerable period of time. We have strived to diversify our services framework significantly, and have already acquired licenses such as Prepaid Instruments License and Bharat Bill Payment System license. We have also partnered with leading service providers across verticals, such as Yatra for travel-related transactions, to offer seamless financial experience.   We hope to expand our footprint even deeper in India and serve as the bridge between the served and the un-served, providing financial services to every individual with limited accessibility.”

Spice Money has also created substantial employment opportunities by appointing Village Level Entrepreneurs and empowering them through a cutting-edge ‘Cloud Infrastructure.’ For its continued efforts in bridging the gap between ‘India’ and ‘Bharat’ Spice Money was bestowed with the NPCI Excellence Award in 2018.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Volkswagen Inaugurates of its 1st Pop-Up & City Store at Richmond Town, Bengaluru

In a bid to enhance accessibility and touch points within the Indian market, Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker today inaugurated their first City and Pop-up store in the state of Karnataka. Under the brands’ initiative towards preparing to be ‘Fit for the Future’ and being innovative, Volkswagen will be launching 30 new pop-up and city stores across key markets in the next one year.

In a two spoke strategic approach, the Volkswagen Pop-up store aims to drive in aspiration towards premium mobility in India. The brand aims to touch base with the Indian heartland and offer them the opportunity to look and feel the brand before a customer makes his purchase decision. In India, in most cities a car purchase continues to involve the agreement of the entire family. For making this a smoother effort, the Pop-up stores would facilitate this premium experience in high growth markets of the country.

While the city store, being a derivative of the pop-up store will cater to the young, vibrant and energetic customers living in urban areas. The city stores will be effective, efficient and completely upbeat while continuing to offer a premium experience. It will be paperless in nature that will address customer queries seamlessly in this new digital era. However, after-sales services will be undertaken by the nearest workshops associated to the traditional fully-featured dealerships within the city.

Sharing his thought process on this new establishment, Mr. Steffen Knapp, Director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars said, “Our business environment is changing at a breathtaking pace in view of new technologies and enhanced customer expectations. Our customers today value innovation and in turn expect a prompt and hassle-free experience with Volkswagen. In lieu of that, Volkswagen has been working relentlessly towards being ‘Fit for the Future’ within which we’ve inaugurated our first Pop-up and City store in Karnataka.”

Highlighting the details further, Mr. Knapp said, “This new format of transforming our sales stores is in alignment with our global growth strategy. As the world is moving towards connected mobility solutions, digitalization across the sales and after-sales process is pertinent. We’re constantly innovating our brand offerings and we trust our customers would appreciate the Volkswagen experience.”

Commenting on the Volkswagen India partnership in Bengaluru, Mr. Rajiv Sanghvi, Managing Director, PPS Motors Pvt. Ltd. said, “To enhance the customer purchase experience in today's digital age, we are driven to deliver this world-class showroom that combines traditional and digital tools to offer a seamless sales experience to our customers.”

Both the City and Pop-up stores are now fully operational and can be visited for a heightened customer experience. With this, Volkswagen will cover a total network of 119 showrooms, 113 workshops in 100 cities across India.

Thomson Smart TVs Offer On Flipkart Big Shopping Days Sale from May 15-19, 2019

Thomson announces price drops on all its TV models, including the newly launched India’s only 40 4k TV sets. The five day long Flipkart BSD Sale for TV & Appliances category is starting on 15th May when the brand will offer full smart TVs for a price starting from INR 10,999 to INR 33,999 and non - smart TVS from INR 7499.

THOMSON had recently launched India’s only 40 4k TV keeping in mind today’s space crunched Indian consumer who aspires to watch 4k content and high quality videos at a super affordable price. THOMSON always have kept the need of Indian consumer in mind from all sectors of the country. The brand re - launched in India early last year and since then it has introduced umpteen number of SKUs from smart, non – smart to 4k televisions.

This is THOMSON’s biggest price cuts before the FLIPKART Big Billions Days SALE and the brand wants it’s consumers to make the most of it.

Announcing the offers, Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO SPPL, and Exclusive Brand Licensee of Thomson in India, said: “Flipkart BSD Sale has always been important for us. This year Thomson will be offering some great deals and will be dropping prices for the first time in 2019.”


Thomson B9 Pro 80cm (32 inch) HD Ready LED Smart TV: INR 10,999
Thomson B9 Pro 102cm (40 inch) Full HD LED Smart TV: INR 16,999
Thomson UD9 (40TH1000) 40-inch 4K Smart TV: INR 19,999
Thomson UD9 Series 108cm (43 inch) Ultra HD: INR 23,999
Thomson 43TH6000 (43-inch) LED Smart TV: INR 23,999
Thomson UD9 124cm (50 inch) Ultra HD (4K) LED Smart TV : INR 29,999
Thomson UD9 140cm (55 inch) Ultra HD (4K) LED Smart TV : 33,999

Non Smart

Thomson R9 60cm (24 inch) HD Ready LED TV : INR 7499
Thomson R9 80cm (32 inch) HD Ready LED TV : INR 8999
Thomson R9 122cm (48 inch) Full HD LED TV   : INR 20,499

About Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd. (SPPL):

SPPL is a manufacturing concern established in 1990 with its Head Office in Noida. Its initial business was plastic injection molding which then graduated to manufacturing of CRT TV’s and to LED TV’s on date. We were one of the largest manufacturers of CRT TV cabinets in the 90’s and early 00’s. Today we are one of India’s foremost OEM’s in CRT and LED Television. We have 3 manufacturing plants in India located in Noida, Una and Jammu. We have an employee strength of over 1000 across India and are expanding as we grow. For additional information on Thomson TVs in India.

Visit us at, follow us on Twitter @thomsontvindia, or like us on Facebook at Thomson India.    

Sagisu Bags the Prestigious GlobalTiE50 Award at TiEcon 2019

Sagisu a new age intracity logistics partner which is disrupting the transportation eco-system, recently bagged the sought-after TiE50 Award. Now in its tenth year, the award institutionalised by TiEcon is the world’s largest conference for tech entrepreneurs.

Through its proprietary Smart Hub and state-of-the-art technology, Sagisu is changing the fragmented Logistics Market by deploying technology, achieving efficiency, better volumes at lower costs to deliver state-of-the-art intracity transportation experience to customers.

Mithun Kadur, the Founder of Sagisu said, “We are the next generation urban freight service provider, specialising in intracity movements and catering to enterprise customers in their logistics needs. The award reciprocates the same value and vision we cherish the most – to fulfill the aspirations. Such appreciation from the industry boost our efforts and fuels us to work even harder for achieving our mission”.

The company known for its unique business and service model, with its offices in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad started its expansion plans for the entire South India by setting-up its operational offices in the two most important business hubs in the region. It’s a giant leap from the promising start-up which sets to increase its trucker’s fleet to 1000+ in the next 6months servicing 25+ clients in each city.

The initial area of service is aggregation business with primary focus on Ecommerce, Retail, Pharma, Logistics, Dairy & Farm Fresh, Real Estate and CPG sectors. Sagisu has hired initial employee strength of 15+ people in each of the two cities.  Both the regional offices are being led by General Managers with their past experiences from Paytm, Ola and the likes, supported by Supply Operation Managers, Territory Business Managers and the frontline Supply Executives.

“For over 27 years as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and with a global footprint of half million entrepreneurs, enterprise executives, and investment professionals, at TiE Silicon Valley we take pride in the fact that we have created TiE50, a strong 10-year-old brand for recognising high potential startups,” said B.J. Arun, President, TiE Silicon Valley.

Now celebrating its tenth year, TiE50 Awards provides a one-of-a-kind showcase for the world’s top technology and technology-enabled startups. Since its inception, 84 percent of TiE50 winners and top startups have been funded at a total of over $1 billion. Many of these companies went on to acquisition or IPO with 29 of the exits at over $100 million.

About Sagisu: Sagisu was incorporated in May 2016 with an idea to be the new-age intra city logistics service provider who seamlessly integrates demand and supply between our Customers & Truckers. Based out from Bangalore, 'Sagisu' truly reciprocates its meaning - seamlessly move the goods from one place to another. The company addresses the core problem of a demand supply asymmetry between truckers & customers for intracity logistics with an integrated cutting-edge technology to provide a seamless & consistent experience. Guided by its values and beliefs, the company thrives on collaboration, cohesion, and fostering a culture where employees’ stands for ‘diversely equal’. Sagisu plans to further expand its operations in major cities across South India catering to more cities and clients supported by a highly skilled operations team.

Amazon India’s First Community Centre in Karnataka Celebrates Two Years of Transforming Lives

Amazon Cares, the CSR initiative of Amazon India had launched its first Community Centre in Karnataka in April 2017 to support 17 villages like K. Mallasandra, Besthamanahalli, Mayasandra and Samethanahalli, in Bangalore in line with its continued efforts for positive engagement with the ecosystem it operates in. The Community Centre set up in partnership with FORD India (Forum for Rural Development) has now completed two years of focused initiatives in education, health & hygiene, environment, livelihood & skill development and women empowerment. There are two Community Centres currently in the region with fourteen such centers across the country with the objective of achieving sustainable development.

“Keeping our vision in mind, over the past 2 years, we have created opportunities for close to 5,000 individuals to realize their potential in Karnataka and in turn supported the transformation of the lives of the local communities. We are committed to using our resources and infrastructure of innovation and technology to enable diverse communities succeed. We believe that through our sustained efforts we can help support India’s development” said Karuna Pande, Director, Customer Fulfilment, Amazon India.

Commenting on the same, Srinivas, Headmaster, Lower Primary School, Rachamanahalli village said “The Centre has created spaces for women, youth and children in our villages to learn various skills, become more computer literate, have access to books for reading and learn with educational aids. Over the past two years, by adopting better health and hygiene practices, we have witnessed a significant change in the quality of life. With the experience of Amazon India and the focus of our local community, we are confident of building a sustainable effort towards creating a better future for all of us.”

Education: Aligned with the National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM), the education support initiative enabled access to quality education for the community through digital literacy and has positively affected the lives of about more than 700 people so far. The centres have also imparted basic training sessions on computer skills, reading and writing workshops and career counselling sessions to women and youth that has enabled them to secure better job opportunities.

Amazon India has supported parents with Early Childhood Development sessions across 13 anganwadis in the villages where around 500 children in the age group of 2 -6 years ‘learn while they play’ through various activities. There are two libraries in these Centres, well equipped with thousands of carefully selected books ranging from school textbooks and encyclopedias to novels and competitive examination reference books that have helped more than 200 students in the region.

Livelihood: The livelihood initiative focused on creating awareness among the community members about government schemes that work towards supporting the marginalized and economically weaker sections of the society. The project has reached out to more than 700 beneficiaries of the community.         

Women Empowerment: In order to promote women empowerment, the centres have assisted around 1,200 local women to support their families financially by training them on vocational skills like Basic and Advanced Tailoring, a beautician course and so on. Many women were also provided sessions on micro-entrepreneurship, financial literacy and given exposure visits for practical learning.

Health and Hygiene: Amazon India promotes preventive healthcare through partnerships with the local medical community and government organizations. Some of the initiatives rolled out at the centres include awareness programs on cleanliness and household waste management, maternity care and menstrual hygiene to name a few. Besides this, regular health check-up camps are conducted for people across all age groups. Overall, around 1,700 adults and children have benefitted from these programs so far.

Amazon Cares demonstrates the philosophy of being ‘good neighbors’ through the activities undertaken in areas where Amazon India operates. The Company imbibes this philosophy to empower and engage its employees, customers, sellers, local communities and other stakeholders in its contributions to create opportunities and transform lives.

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