Friday, May 31, 2019

Array Networks Conducts Relief Program for Cyclone Fani Victims in Puri, Odisha

Array Networks acted fast and came forward to help the Fani victims by handing over relief packages in Gop block of Puri district, Odisha. The regional team took up the task of reaching out to the victims who have not been attended post the cyclone tragedy. On 25th May 2019, Array members teamed up with local volunteers to identify and aid relief and recovery in Gop. A total of 100 relief packages were distributed, which could take care of the families for few days.

"Fani is one of the worst cyclones that has hit India's eastern coastline, Odisha. While many have come together to help the victims, a lot of attention is still needed from rest of India," said Ajay Mohanty, Regional Sales Head (East) at Array Networks . "I would like to thank my colleagues, local volunteers who came forward to help in packaging relief packets, distribution and managing people. They were our local guides, who helped us in identifying the real victims, easing the distribution process."

Array local team together with donor and volunteers conducted a two days relief program to deliver meals and basic amenities to the affected families. Volunteers travelled 200 kms to identify the victims who required support and help. They selected 15 villages to start with, after identifying victims, the team distributed relief packages, each carrying tarpaulin, solar lamp, basic amenities like cereals, pulses etc. at the Local LIC office.

"We at Array feel proud to be able to extend timely support to help the cyclone victims with our small contribution. It is in times like these, that the humanity comes together as a team to help restore normalcy," said Shibu Paul, VP - International Sales at Array Networks.

The government, NGOs and localities all have come together for the relief and restoration of Odisha.

Canon India Plans to Bolster Printing Industry Presence in Southern Market

Canon India, one of the leading digital imaging organizations in country, is planning to strengthen its retail presence in the southern region for its Consumer System Products Division and will reach out to 5000 retailers pan India in tier II and tier III in the next two years. Recently, Canon India introduced a unique concept store for showcasing Canon Inkjet printing technology in Chennai. This year, the company is planning to introduce 19 PIXMA Zones in South to familiarize consumers with the range of inkjet printers, cartridges and photo media according to their usage and needs. By providing a personalized demo experience with an excellent sales support, PIXMA zones are a one-stop shop solution for all printing requirements.

Currently, the company has reached out to over 1300 retail outlets (distributors, retailers and national retailers) in South India and aims to expand the retail presence for the Inkjet printers and system integrators for laser printers. In 2018, Canon India launched six new ink tank models which redefined the inkjet business with lower running cost and high capacity or ink. The cost per print is now as low as nine paisa per print with the launch of the new inkjet models. Canon grew the highest in the Inktank category in 2018 and is targeting to consolidate its leadership position in the segment. 

According to Mr. C Sukumaran, Director, Consumer Systems Products (CSP), Canon India, “We continue to be the industry leaders specializing in crafting consumer centric technological innovations in India. South is one of the most highly consumer centric markets for us. The contribution of the region in the overall growth for 2018 stands at whopping 29%. Bangalore, Chennai and Cochin are the top cities that define Canon’s business. Having reached out to 3000 retailers, Canon’s distribution stands strong in the market and we will continue to penetrate in tier III and tier IV markets by keeping Bengaluru as the base market for South India.”

Canon has more than 200 service centres across India and covers over 90% pin codes, giving the company deep reach. To further strengthen the customer service, Canon is now planning to launch 75 PIXMA Zone experience across the markets in 2019. So far, the company has launched four zones in Delhi, Chennai, Ludhiana and Hyderabad.

Tata Motors Touched Over 7 Lakh Indian Lives in the Last 12 Months

Key Highlights

Emphasizes on four pillars- Health, Education, Employability and the Environment

·         Health: 3.8 lakh people benefitted and over 90% of malnourished children treated and healthy

·         Education: 1.4 lakh students engaged, pass percentage improved from 55% in FY2015 to 80% in FY2019

·         Employability: 1 lakh youth skilled, of which over 56% found employment, led to annual increase in family income by ₹1 lakh.

·         Environment: Planted 11 lakh saplings (of indigenous varieties) and ensured 85%  survival rate

·         Volunteering: 40% of total employees invested 60,000 volunteering hours for social cause

In line with the vision of ‘all stakeholders’ wellbeing as the very purpose of our existence’, as conceived by Jamsetji Tata, the Tata Group founder, Tata Motors has been pioneering its corporate social responsibility agenda to promote Health, Education, Employability and the Environment. Community development as well as the scope and depth of its operations have grown exponentially over the years. Reinforcing its commitment towards nation building, Tata Motors has touched over 7 lakh lives of which nearly 40% belong to the SC and ST communities

Here is a snapshot of the company’s CSR interventions across four key thrust areas:

1.       Building and Strengthening Healthcare Facilities ‘AROGYA’

The focus in this programme has been on eradicating malnutrition in children under five year age and providing safe drinking water especially in drought prone tribal hamlets/habitations. The company has created a strong cadre of community health workers who provide basic health services at the doorstep. In Pune, Jamshedpur and Lucknow, the mobile medical van ferries the neighborhood on a regular basis and has arrested many health issues. As a result, the number of parents availing the services have reduced over time.

Overall Impact:

-          In FY19, over 3 Lakh people benefitted from this programme
-          Over 90% of the malnourished children brought to sustained healthy zone
-          Water security ensured across 450 habitations

2.       Augmenting Primary Education System ‘VIDYADHANAM’

This programme is engineered to improve the academic performance of secondary/college going students through targeted approach by instituting need-based financial support, special coaching classes, etc. Tata Motors is the first corporate in India to support IIT Bombay under Affirmative Action (AA) for Financial Aid Programme (FAP) program.

Overall Impact:

-          Over 1 lakh students were engaged through this programme
-          Pass % in government schools improved from 55% in FY 2015 to 80% in FY 17
-          44% of class 10th students secured first class marks

3.       Enhancing programmes on Employability ‘KAUSHALYA’

The programme focuses on training unemployed youth in three segments - auto trades, non-auto trades and agriculture & allied activities. On receiving NSDC certification, students find employment opportunities in open market (including Tata Motors' ecosystem). The company also engages with community based groups of women and farmers and helps them earn supplementary income through agriculture and allied programs. In Pune, Tata Motors ran an exclusive driver training batches of 50 women in partnership with Ambika Motors. Currently, Tata Motors in collaboration with Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) is training another batch of 50 SC women.

Overall Impact:

-          Skilled over 1 lakh youth and farmers
-          56% have found employment in selected trades post training
-          4% of the trained youth started their own enterprise
-          Increase in the annual income by ₹ 1 lakh

4.       Nurturing sustainability through environmental programmes ‘VASUNDHARA’

Concentrated efforts to increase the green cover through sapling plantation and also enhanced environmental awareness among communities.

Overall Impact

-          Over 11 lakh saplings were planted and ensured their survival rate remained significantly high (85%); 90% plants are indigenous
-          Over 89,000 people (mostly young children) were sensitize about the cause
-          27% reduction in wood demand due to adoption of fuel efficient cooking stove

5.       Inclusive, Equitable and holistic development of society through ‘AADHAR’

To promote inclusivity, Tata Motors has institutionalized Tata Affirmative Action Programme (TAAP) known as “Aadhar” that practices positive discrimination for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) in case of Employment and & Entrepreneurship and higher coverage in CSR led programmes.

Under the concept of Integrated Village Development, which focuses on holistic development of a tribal village/hamlet, Tata Motor collaborated with Sahabhag (the CSR Cell of Government of Maharashtra). This pilot project saw improvement in the quality of 3000 tribal lives of Pathardi gram panchayat in Jawhar block of Palghar district where 70% of the resources for village development came from the government.

No. of SC/ST lives touched by 5 ‘E’s:

-          Essential Enablers: 1,88,091 Lives Touched

-          Education: 37,463 Lives Touched

-          Employability: 25,280 Lives Touched

-          Employment: 11% employees are fromSC/ST community.

-          Entrepreneurship: 26 (SC/ST) vendors have been developed

6.       Volunteering Programme:

·         10500 employees (40% of total workforce) invested 60000 volunteering hours for social development

·         95 Fast trackers under ‘Leadership One’ engaged in CSR projects for 8 weeks

·         106 managers signed up for Pro-Engage. Dedicated 6 months to address social causes

Microsoft India Aims to Drive Growth in Premium PC Market with Affordability Program

Microsoft Surface devices will now be available across premium retail stores in India for customers with EMI options. Through this initiative, Microsoft aims to make the Surface line of devices become more affordable to everyone. This affordability initiative extends to the latest Surface devices such as Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Book 2. Additionally, the Surface Go is being launched in select premium outlets by Microsoft’s authorized Distributor HCL Infosystems Limited. Citibank will offer additional limited period cashback till June 30th, 2019 to all Citibank credit card customers in India on purchase of Surface devices shipped within India. Store details can be viewed at

Apart from making the Surface line-up more affordable, Microsoft also announced offline retail availability of the recently launched Surface Go, Microsoft’s smallest and most affordable Surface device yet, to make the device more accessible to everyone. Surface Go is now available in Croma, Reliance Digital, Vijay Sales, and other select retailers in India.

Surface Pro 6: Your Device, Your Way

Surface Pro 6 features redesigned architecture under its hood that delivers astonishing power. The quad-core, 8th Generation Intel Core processor device is an instrument of versatility, portability and power. It is 1.5 times faster than its predecessor, while offering the same all-day battery life. Surface Pro 6 features a 12.3” PixelSense display that is perfect for rendering designs on a photo editing software, or for binge-watching serials on your favorite streaming apps.

For users who use Surface for ideation, they can continue to lean on the new generation to take their ideas to the next level by combining digital inking features and Surface Pen with everyday Artificial Intelligence (AI) features available on Office 365. With helpful time-saver features on Windows 10, including the password-free Windows Hello sign-in and Windows Timeline, users can get more done on their Surface Pro 6.

Surface Laptop 2: Perfect Balance, Perfect Work and Life Partner

The all-new Surface Laptop 2 continues to deliver outstanding performance for users seeking a stylish yet conventional device. Sleek and light, with improved speed and performance enabled by the latest 8th Generation Intel Quad Core processor, Surface Laptop 2 is 85 percent more powerful than its predecessor.

With up to 14.5 hours of battery life[1], Surface Laptop 2 is meticulously crafted with its premium design, PixelSense Touch Display, and best in class keyboard and trackpad. Surface Laptop 2 is more than a workhorse – it is a style statement.

The Most Powerful Surface Ever: Surface Book 2

Surface Book 2 is up to five times more powerful than the original. With a stunning PixelSense Display, Surface Book 2 gives you the power of a laptop, the versatility of a tablet and the freedom of a portable studio all in one beautifully styled device. Removing the barrier between a conventional desktop and laptop, the Surface Book 2 featuring the latest 8th Gen Intel Dual-Core or Quad-Core processors, and NVIDIA GeForce GPUs.

Every detail of the iconic Surface Book 2 design has been refined, from the dynamic fulcrum hinge for a more stable touch experience, to the improved, backlit keyboard and flexibility of both USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports. It’s designed to deliver the ultimate in performance and versatility without compromise. For those seeking flexibility in the way they use their device, the Surface Book 2 supports four different modes, including Studio Mode, Laptop Mode, View Mode, or even Tablet mode by simply detaching the screen.

Surface Go - A full laptop on the go, and a workstation at your desk

Powered by an Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y, users can expect to seamlessly launch an application like OneNote, or stream videos from Netflix. The processor, which has been chosen to manage performance, battery life and thinness, provides the portable power to get stuff done. Surface Go also offers up to 9 hours of battery life[2], which brings users from their work desks to their couches – all on a single charge. Weighing at just 1.15 pounds and 8.3mm thin, the 10-inch, Surface Go offers laptop performance and tablet portability for individuals seeking a versatile form factor. Surface Go addresses what people wanted from a smaller device – lightweight, productive and accessible.

Surface Go fits snugly in most bags and is ideal for everyday tasks. Surface Go brings to consumers what is already expected from a Surface device: a productive 2-in-1 device that supports inking with the Surface Pen[3] with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity; a 3:2 high-resolution PixelSense custom calibrated display which is designed to render the pages of most school textbooks; a built-in with full friction hinge that extends to 165 degrees helps you stay in your flow from tablet to studio mode, and support for type and mouse input with our Signature Type Cover.

Castrol India and 3M India Announce a Strategic Collaboration for Vehicle Care Products

Castrol India Limited (Castrol), one of India’s leading automotive and industrial lubricants brands, along with 3M India Limited (3M) - subsidiary of the globally recognized technology company, today announced a strategic collaboration to bring a range of market leading vehicle care products to the automotive after-market.

The collaboration agreement was signed by Omer Dormen, Managing Director, Castrol India Limited, and Debarati Sen, Managing Director, 3M India Limited, in Mumbai today.

A range of 3M-Castrol branded bike and car care products including shampoo, glass cleaner, cream wax, dashboard and tyre dressers will be available across India.

Commenting on the collaboration, Omer Dormen, Managing Director, Castrol India Limited said, “Castrol is excited to combine our technological expertise, marketing and distribution strengths with 3M, a global leader in vehicle care innovation. Through this collaboration we enter into the $200 million vehicle care market in India, a move which aligns with Castrol’s approach to developing and embracing new business models in the ever-evolving automotive landscape.”

Debarati Sen, Managing Director, 3M India Limited added, “We are really pleased to see this collaboration come to life between two globally respected and trusted brands.  Castrol and 3M, both have an established presence in India and share values of customer-centricity, with innovation and technology at the heart of everything we do. This collaboration will help us leverage our common strengths to meet the changing needs of Indian consumers and bring unique value offerings through the 3M-Castrol range of vehicle care products.”

Castrol and 3M look to harness a new business model with this collaboration. Castrol offers 3M’s market-leading vehicle-care products range to its customers and consumers, and 3M India will leverage the strength of Castrol’s robust pan-India marketing and distribution network of over 100,000 independent workshops and retail outlets.

Shyam Balasubramanian, Global Innovation Director, Castrol said, “We are bringing together Castrol’s extensive network with 3M’s innovation capabilities to improve the driving experience of our consumers. We are confident of being able to scale up the model.”

PT Mukund, 3M Automotive Aftermarket Executive Director, Asia said, “We are very excited to bring together 3M’s Automotive Aftermarket solutions with Castrol’s reputed lubricants offerings to enable superior automotive care for India customers.”

Tata Motors Collaborates with IOCL to Launch First-of-its-Kind ‘Saarthi Aaram Kendra’ for Driver Welfare in India

Enhancing our commitment towards the betterment of the driver community, Tata Motors, India’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, in conjunction with the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL), the largest commercial oil company in India, launched an innovative, industry-first driver welfare initiative, ‘Saarthi Aaram Kendra’. The initiative provides pit stops for drivers to take rest, thereby supporting their physical and mental well-being. The first of many, Saarthi Aaram Kendras, was inaugurated at Bawal today, which is located on India’s busiest National highway-NH8.

Enabling driver welfare and safety has always been the foremost priority for Tata Motors and Indian Oil. The Saarthi Aaram Kendra is a step forward towards recognizing the efforts of commercial vehicle saarthis by providing them access to basic amenities on the go. The facility has been comprehensively designed to have an end-to-end solution for the saarthis, which includes restrooms, restaurant, secured parking with CCTV camera, self-cooking, launderette, open bathing facility, barber shop, clean drinking water facility, TV and Wi-Fi. Saarthis can also avail truck related services from the vehicle service workshop available within the premises.

As a part of the commitment towards the saarthi community, Tata Motors recently also introduced an initiative, under the banner of ‘Tata Motors Samarth’, a program, which covers areas like accidental insurance, hospitalization cover, financial counselling and educational assistance packages for their children, in order to achieve economic, social and health wellbeing of the saarthis and their families.

Along the same lines, Indian Oil through its Large Format ROs and ‘Sarai’ has ensured comfort to long distance drivers. Regular eye check-ups under the name ‘Ujala’, training on safe driving practices, distribution of driver kits are few other initiatives Indian Oil has taken up for the welfare of drivers.

Commenting on the initiative, Mr Girish Wagh, President - CVBU, Tata Motors Limited, said, “At Tata Motors, ensuring road safety and comfort to our Saarthis is our priority. Saarthi Aaram Kendra is an initiative offering basic facilities on the go to the commercial vehicle saarthis. It offers an environment wherein saarthis will easily have access to their basic needs, this, in turn, will help them de-stress after long journeys and thereby improve their overall efficiency. We are glad to associate with IndianOil for this initiative bringing comfort and safety to the saarthis. In the initial phase, around 100+ saarthis will benefit every day at this facility, which will be gradually scaled up.”

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Vigyan Kumar, Executive Director (Retail Sales), IndianOil, said, “IndianOil and Tata Motors have come together for various business tie-ups in the past and this new joint initiative on driver welfare activity will further improve the goodwill towards driver community. IndianOil has always pioneered in taking various driver-centric initiatives at most of its highway retail outlets. Saarthi Aaram Kendra is another such unique initiative taken in this direction to cater to the daily needs of commercial vehicle drivers in a more efficient manner which will provide a feeling of homestay to them at our Retail outlets.”

Going forward, Tata Motors and IOCL plan to set up more such facilities on high traffic National Highways.

MSSI Launches World MS Day 2019 with a Photography Exhibition at Karnatka Chitrakala Parishat, Bangalore

To mark this year’s World MS Day (WMSD), and to highlight the invisible symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), MSSI, Bengaluru Chapter, in association with the Rotary Raj Mahal Vilas, Eisai Pharmaceuticals India Pvt. Ltd., Ubiqare, Honeycomb India Pvt Ltd,   and Sanofi Genzyme will be hosting a photography exhibition at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat till  May 31st, 2019 followed by an exhibition & at the Honeycomb Art Gallery, Koramangala from 1st June to 7th June 2019.

RJ Melodee : Keeping with the theme of this year, a group of photographers based in the Bengaluru came together to depict what life looks like to live with MS and the emotional impact it can have on people with MS (PwMS).

The objective of this exhibition is to not only capture the emotions behind the condition, but to create awareness about it.  The general understanding of MS and how it can impact everyone differently is very limited.  MS is one of the most common neurological disorders and causes of disability in young adults worldwide. There are 2.3 million people with MS worldwide. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 31. with around twice as many women diagnosed than men. We estimate that around 2,00,000 MS persons of them are from India. The cause of MS is not yet known and yet there is no cure, though there are treatments available that can help some forms of MS and stop its progression. Symptoms can include blurred vision, weak limbs, tingling sensations, unsteadiness, memory problems and fatigue. MS makes life unpredictable for everyone. Therefore, as it is not a very common disorder in India it is very often mis-diagnosed and there is very little awareness of the same in the Society.

Commenting on the upcoming photography exhibition, MSSI’s WMSD representative Shankar Subramanian said, “They say a picture speaks a thousand words. Through the stories and images, we plan to bring an awareness of MS in a country where it is still difficult for people to come out in the open and share that they have MS. We plan to bring in the empathy required to care and support people with MS.”

A group of 6 photographers from India namely Arun Bhat, Girish Mayachari, Kshithidhar, Punkaj Gupta, Shankar Subramanian & Tanya Raj were given the task of interpreting the photographs to represent the Invisible symptoms.  Some photos have been made by PwMS, featuring MS Persons and some photos just have volunteers. One of the youngest photographers on the project, Kshitidhar S, says “As soon as I heard about the project, I was very happy that it was an amazing opportunity to work on symptoms of a debilitating disease i.e., multiple sclerosis. I felt capturing these invisible symptoms would be a great challenge and it would help people know the symptoms through the photographs.”

After the initial exhibition, the plan is to take this forward to other cities in the country as well. During the exhibition, interactive physical models will be created in the gallery for the visitors to experience these symptoms.  They will be provided with a sheet where they can tally the photographs with the corresponding symptom. The core objective of this exhibition is to end on a positive note and to showcase that despite all the challenges, the persons with MS always put up a brave fight.

Ficci Survey Puts Q4, 2019 India's GDP Growth at 6.5 Percent

India’s GDP likely grew 6.5% in the fourth quarter ended March 2019, said an economic outlook survey of industry chamber Ficci on Thursday.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) will release the official data on Friday.

Ficci said survey has put forth an annual median GDP growth forecast for 2019-20 at 7.1% and the projection for fiscal 2020-21 has been put at 7.2%. “The minimum and maximum growth estimate stood at 6.8% and 7.3%, respectively, for 2019-20 in the survey, which was conducted in May 2019 among economists belonging to the industry, banking and financial services sector,” it said.

The median growth forecast for agriculture and allied activities has been put at 3% for 2019-20. Industry and services sector are expected to grow by 6.9% and 8%, respectively, during the year. The outlook of participating economists on inflation remained moderate, the chamber said.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation rate is projected at 3.1% in 2019-20, with a minimum and maximum range of 2.1% and 4%, respectively.

On the contrary, the survey found that retail inflation has a median forecast of 4% for 2019-20.

Participants also expressed that concerns remain on the external front with median current account deficit forecast pegged at 2.1% of GDP for 2019-20.

Median export growth is pegged at 4% in the financial year 2019-20. Imports, on the other hand, are forecast to grow at 3.8% in the same year.

Ficci further said that the majority of the participating economists believed that the US’ decision to end waiver granted to countries amid sanctions imposed on Iran is significant and will affect major oil-importing countries, including India.

This becomes a major concern at a time when international prices of crude oil have been on the rise due to other factors such as supply constraints being undertaken by OPEC countries, the survey said. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Goldman Sachs Invests $250 Million and Opens New Bengaluru Office

Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment bank, today announced a major milestone in its continued growth in India with the opening of its new $250 million Bengaluru office. Located at Helios Business Park, 150 Outer Ring Road (“150 ORR”), the new office will serve as a global center supporting innovation at the intersections of technology and financial services.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David M. Solomon said: “The Bengaluru office has grown in size and technological sophistication to become an incubator of talent for our businesses around the world. The significant investment we have made to build this state-of-the- art workplace reflects the importance placed on the high-quality work done in India and our focus on hiring the best people.”

The Bengaluru operations started in 2004. Today it has employees over 5,000 professionals and is Goldman Sachs’ third largest office in the world by headcount and an integral part of the firm’s global activities, especially in the arena of technology where it has the second largest number of engineers after the firm’s New York headquarters.

Over the past five years, the Bengaluru office headcount has grown at approximately 24 percent CAGR (year-over-year growth rate). During the same period, Goldman Sachs has also increased campus hiring of full-time employees in India by 20 percent. In the past two years, engineering campus recruitment in India has increased by more than 60 percent (full-time hires and interns). In 2018, Goldman Sachs recruited from 89 Indian universities and post-graduate programs.

Gunjan Samtani, head of Goldman Sachs in Bengaluru, said: “Our Bengaluru office has become one of the firm’s global centers of innovation focused on the development and application of artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics to help solve business problems for our worldwide network. The world-class facilities built into 150 ORR, which is a name that commemorates the firm’s 150th anniversary this year, will enable our people to further locally
innovate and collaborate with our offices around the world.”

In addition to developing successful, long-term domestic careers, the office has also been a global exporter of exceptional talent. For the past five years, over 700 Indian professionals, who started their careers at Goldman Sachs in Bengaluru, have relocated internationally to 30 Goldman Sachs offices around the world, including New York, London, Hong Kong and San Francisco, across global divisions and business units, including Securities, Investment Banking, Research and Technology.

In 2014, Goldman Sachs first broke ground for the construction of the new Bengaluru office. Reflecting the firm’s broader commitment to sustainability, 150 ORR has been designed to achieve LEED Platinum i and WELL Gold certifications ii. It is one of the largest commercial office buildings in India to achieve such high ratings.

Designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, who also designed Goldman Sachs’ global headquarters 200 West in New York, the new Bengaluru office has 1.2 million square feet of building area housed within three 10 story towers connected at the ground level and a capacity for approximately 7,300 employees. 150 ORR features world-class health, fitness and childcare facilities adjacent to 2.5 acres of landscaped outdoor parks and courtyards with over 400 trees.

In 2018, Goldman Sachs Bengaluru was named to LinkedIn’s “Top 25 Companies: Where India Wants to Work Now” list and the “100 Best Companies for Women in India” list by Working Mother & AVTAR.

Baby Cleanne Papillon is Perhaps the 3rd Miracle Baby in the World with a Shared Heart

Team of doctors at Narayana Health City performed the world’s first PDA stenting as well as region’s first thoracopagus separation surgery and saved the life of baby Cleanne Papillon. Hailing from Mauritius, Baby Cleanne Papillon was one of the conjoined twins who had a shared heart with her sister.

Born to Mrs. and Mr. Ian Papillon, the babies were thoracopagus twins. Generally in thoracopagus twins the bodies are joined from the neck to the upper abdomen, however, in this case their heart were also joined. Instead of four chambers for each, together, they had seven chambers. As their survival required expert care, the Mauritian health department reached out to hospitals abroad. However, as it was a complex case with negligible chances for survival, many of the hospitals in Europe and other Asian countries were not open to consider the case. Narayana Health City stood up as a Good Samaritan and took up this challenging case owing to their vast experience in handling complex pediatric cases.

As the children shared a heart and were not in a position to even breathe, they were supported by hand pumps for oxygen through the journey. As soon as they arrived, the multi-disciplinary team under the aegis of Dr. Ashley D’Cruz, Director & Sr. Consultant Pediatric Surgeon & Urologist, Dr Sanjay Rao, Sr consultant – Paediatric Surgery and Organ Tranplant, Dr. Shreesha Shankar Maiya, Consultant – Paediatric Cardiology and Electrophysiology, Dr. Riyan Shetty, Consultant Critical Care Services & Head of Extracorporeal Life Support, Dr Ganesh Sambandamoorthy, Consultant – Anaesthesia & Critical Care and Dr. Harini Sreedharan, Consultant Neonatology, did a thorough examination of the babies. Considering the babies had a shared heart and survival chances were bleak, multiple specialties had to deliberate to find a way to save at least one of them. With the parents consent the team of doctors started the treatment. The doctors put them on intensive care. The intensive care team under the leadership of Dr. Riyan Shetty and Dr Ganesh Sambandamoorthy ensured the babies were stabilized faster. Once they were stabilized, PDA stenting was performed to improve the condition of the heart.

Elaborating about PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus) stenting, Dr. Shreesha Shankar Maiya, Consultant – Paediatric Cardiology and Electrophysiology said, “Open surgery was not a choice in this case as the children were conjoined from the thorax region. Further, their heart was fused and the chambers were merged making their case a complex and unsuitable one for any surgical treatment. PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus) stenting is interventional procedure wherein a stent is placed in the PDA and the blood flow from the heart is maintained. The intervention was successful and they were oxygenated well.”

While the intervention was successful, as staying together will affect both the lives, the doctors advised separation surgery. Though the babies were twins, one of them suffered from non correctable congenital anomalies. In fact, the unhealthy child was becoming more like a burden on the healthy baby and hence the parents along with the doctors chose to support the healthy child. They separated the babies.  The tissues of sacrificed baby were used to reconstruct the torso of surviving twin.

Elaborating about the case, Dr. Ashley D’ Cruz said, “The survival rate in conjoined twins are minimal. In fact, the survival ratio of siamese twins with fused heart is even low. The child is the ‘3rd Miracle Baby’ in the world who has survived a Thoracopagus separation surgery.”

Expressing his gratitude, Mr. Ian Papillon, father of the patient said, “When we got to know that we are expecting twins, we were very excited. After the delivery when we were informed that our daughters were conjoined and were sharing a single heart we were shattered. We thought we will lose both of them. Today, we have at least one of our daughters with us only because of the doctors at Narayana Health and I am extremely thankful to them for that. We are also grateful to our government for funding my children’s visit and their treatment. While I am taking back one daughter, however for me she is mirroring for her sister as one.”

Baby Papillon has responded well to the intervention and is in a position to return to her homeland. Equipped with a team of multi disciplinary experts Narayana Health City has become one of the most sought after hospital to treat conjoined twins. The surgery makes Narayana Health City one of the few hospitals in the world to have successfully completed and saved 4 sets of conjoined twins and 1 case of parasitic twinning apart from this case.

GOJEK Celebrates 10 Million Trips in Singapore and Introduces ‘Driver Milestones’ Programme


Ride-hailing platform GOJEK today announced that it has hit the milestone of 10 million completed trips in Singapore. This announcement coincides with the Indonesia-based company celebrating six months of operations in Singapore, after officially launching its ride-hailing service on November 29, 2018.

In line with 10 million trips, GOJEK is launching ‘Driver Milestones’, a rewards programme for its Singapore driver-partners to thank them for their continued support and professional service. Drivers who have completed 1,000, 2,500 and 5,000 trips since GOJEK’s launch in Singapore, will soon be recognised with enhanced benefits and decals that mark their trip milestones.

Raditya Wibowo, GOJEK’s Global Head of Transport, commented: “I am immensely proud of the dedication and passion that our Singapore team has shown since we started operations here. Following our launch in Singapore, response from the driver community has been extremely positive, with tens of thousands of driver-partners signing up and achieving their milestones, and many new driver-partners coming on board our platform every day. Even so, we are not stopping now and we remain focused on enhancing our product to meet the everyday needs of Singaporeans.”

Lien Choong Luen, General Manager of GOJEK Singapore, added: “This feat of 10 million

completed trips would not have been possible without the support of all of you: our loyal driver-partners, passionate riders, and everyone in the GOJEK Singapore team. With this milestone, we have taken a solid first step in bringing choice back to riders and drivers, and created a great, sustainable ride-hailing product. Our entry has also spurred competition in the market, and most importantly, greater innovation and value for users.”

Following its launch into the Singapore market, GOJEK has also been continuously enhancing its offering by using feedback submitted by users. “Number masking” was recently implemented on the platform to improve privacy for both its riders and driver-partners, and GOJEK enhanced its newly-launched GoalBetter driver benefits programme by adding a partnership with Singtel that offers mobile data savings to its driver-partners.

Helo Takes Users to Cricket World Cup 2019 With #CheerforIndia

Helo, India's leading social media platform, is giving cricket fans a chance to cheer for team India in England during the Cricket World Cup 2019 with its #CheerForIndia campaign. The campaign encourages users to use the #CheerforIndia hashtag and post original content related to the World Cup 2019 on the Helo, in any of the 14 Indian languages on the app they are most comfortable with. Helo users with the most engaging and interactive posts will get a chance to travel to England and witness team India’s match live.

Coinciding with the highly-anticipated World Cup 2019, the campaign, which runs from May 25th to June 14th, is specifically designed for all cricket enthusiasts as well as the fence-sitters on Helo. While select winners will win tickets to India’s matches in England, other winners also stand a chance to win exciting prizes.

“Cricket in India is a religion that unifies all and with this campaign, we aim to bring our Helo community even closer together to support and cheer for team India during the Cricket World Cup’. Through our #CheerforIndia campaign, we aim to engage and encourage our 40 million monthly active users, who can choose to express themselves in any of the 14 Indian languages available on the platform. We are looking forward to engaging cricket lovers and enthusiasts to come together, connect and participate in a contest, built around India’s favourite sport. Helo wishes Team India all the very best for the tournament,” said, Shyamanga Barooah, Head of Content Operations, Helo.

Recently, Helo partnered with Indian Wheelchair Cricket team as the team sponsor for the Asia Cup in Nepal. This association made Helo the first social media app to host and promote Indian Wheelchair Cricket on its platform. As part of this partnership, Helo also served as the official digital media partner for the Indian Wheelchair Cricket team during the tournament.

Helo’s machine learning powered, visual platform is specifically designed for Indian mobile users who prefer to communicate in their mother tongues. It enables users to create quality content with easy-to-use tools, make new friends, share latest and top trending jokes, memes, status updates, wishes, quotes, shayari and Bollywood news. Available in 14 Indian languages, the app currently has 40 million users, including celebrities, influencers and general users. For more updates, download Helo via iOS or Google Play.

Amazon Expands its Pantry Service to 110 Smaller Cities in India today announced the expansion of its popular program ‘Amazon Pantry’. It will now be available to customers in 110 cities & towns. Customers in Belgaum, Chikkaballapur, Dharwad, Hubli, Karwar, Kolar, Ramanagara and Attibele can now choose from up to 5,000 grocery and household products from 500 plus brands on Amazon Pantry.

Amazon Pantry makes it convenient for customers to stock-up for a basket of frequently purchased products while increasing savings. Customers can build a basket from Amazon Pantry and have all the products delivered in a single box at their doorstep the following day. They can choose from 5,000 products by over 500 brands. In select cities of Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune, customers can also choose from convenient time slots to schedule their order deliveries.

Commenting on the expansion, Saurabh Srivastava, Director - Category Management, Amazon India said, “Amazon Pantry has become popular with customers as it offers unbeatable savings and convenience of door step delivery, month after month. We have now added more than 70 cities & towns in the last few months to take the total number of cities covered by Amazon Pantry to 110. Customers even in towns like Karwar, Kolar, Ramanagara among others can now enjoy the benefits of Amazon Pantry.”

Amazon Pantry offers selection ranging across staples, cooking essentials, snacks, beverages, packaged food, household supplies, personal care, skin care, pet food, baby products such as diapers & baby food and lots more.

Trend Micro Partners with Market Leading Security Awareness Vendors to Offer Comprehensive Free Training Content

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, today announced partnerships with several leading cybersecurity training providers to help businesses protect their employees from the latest cyber threats. To ensure customers have a wide variety of training styles and formats, Trend Micro is teaming up with four leading partners:  NINJIO, InfoSec,  NextTech Security, and  GoldPhish.

The new training materials are available on Trend Micro’s Phish Insight tool, which is a free, highly flexible security awareness solution. This new educational platform will offer customers a diverse library of training content to enhance employee awareness initiatives and arm organizations with the resources they need to improve overall enterprise security.

“All businesses today are susceptible to socially engineered phishing emails and BEC attacks, which can cause severe financial and reputational damage,” said Wendy Moore, vice president of product marketing for Trend Micro. “We want to help make the digital world safer, and have partnered with four leading organizations from around the world to offer educational resources to complement our free Phish Insight tool. Adding educational resources allow companies to not only test their employees’ security awareness, but also improve this awareness.”

Reported BEC attacks cost global businesses nearly $1.3 billion in 2018, more than any other threat category, and phishing emails are linked to a third of data breaches and 94% of malware occurring last year. The latest improvements to Phish Insight will enable businesses to better train staff to curb the impact of these threats.

In line with customer feedback, Trend Micro is working with multiple proven training providers to offer a wide range of content to fit the broadest possible variety of organizational cultures – whether that’s a more conservative teaching style or animated story telling. Some firms will prefer micro learning experiences for their employees whereas other will prefer longer more detailed training sessions, the key is to have enough choice to meet this demand.

Customers will have access to the content that best fits their needs with no contracts or subscriptions, completely free for the first six months during a beta period.

6 Proptech Startups Successfully Graduate at the Brigade REAP Accelerator Demo Day

Brigade REAP, an accelerator program focused on technology that impacts the Real Estate industry, celebrated its Demo Day by unveiling its latest cohort of 6 startups to the industry and VC community.  The keynote address was given by Vipul Roongta, Managing Director and CEO of HDFC Capital Advisors

Located within the Brigade Gateway Campus at Bangalore, the Brigade REAP accelerator program is Asia’s first-ever startup accelerator focused to help startups in the Real Estate sector.

REAP was Launched in October 2016 with an intention to Mentor startups leveraging technology which can help in delivering greater efficiencies to the Real Estate sector. Till date 21 startups graduated through the Brigade REAP Accelerator program.

Over 200 plus start-ups applied for this cohort and the shortlisted startups went through 2 rounds of intense jury selection before the final 6 startups were inducted into the program. The startups inducted in the program went through a four month intensive mentorship and acceleration program before being handed over to the Industry for consumption of their products and services.

At the Demo Day, the 6 start-ups demonstrated their ventures to eminent developers from the Real Estate Industry, Investors, HNI’s, other startup founders and senior management of global corporates.

"In today’s competitive business environment, the ability to adopt and make use of technological innovations to improve operational efficiencies and customer delight will be the key differentiator between the good and great performance. ," said Ms. Nirupa Shankar, Director, Brigade REAP speaking on the occasion.  Rajeev Nair, Head Operations , ] added, “At Brigade REAP, we work with companies on an individual basis and strengthen their value prop, business models & product road map thereby helping them scale in a sustainable and exponential manner.

The startups that presented at the Demo Day are:

1.      Bluesinq Automations: An IoT company that converts existing switches to intelligent switches with an aim to make them staple in every Indian home. They provide simple to install, easy to use & visually pleasing products at cost effective rates.
2.      Clairco:  A clean air company that monitors and purifies indoor air quality and ensures clean air indoors in an affordable and measurable way, by adding purification capabilities in existing AC systems. Customer can view the air quality remotely on a Dashboard which gives never seen before clarity on the quality of air.
3.      Dextra Square: A property security solutions company that helps consumers secure their properties in an effective & hassle-free manner.
4.      Exprs:  A last yard logistics company, building an efficient network of micro-distribution centres across gated communities and corporate buildings to make communities safer and businesses more efficient.
5.      Renewate: India’s only platform for renovation and refurbishment, contributing towards organizing an unorganized sector through a single platform.
6.      Smarter Dharma: Leveraging technology to deliver cost and resource efficiency for the Real Estate industry by injecting sustainability right from conceptualization to handover of infrastructure projects.

Brigade REAP is looking for the next set of exciting startups who are solving problems in the proptech space.

Global Indian International School Launched Various New Programmes this Summer to Promote Holistic Development of Students

Global Indian International School (GIIS), recently launched various programs this summer that emphasised on the holistic growth of its students. These specialised programs were launched across GIIS campuses in Noida, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Surat and were designed to inculcate skills of information technology, robotics, research-based learning and global thinking into its students.

Launched under the Nine Gems model, these programmes provided a platform for the students to cultivate new skills and enhance the inherent ones along with goal-setting and making them future ready. The activities within these programs were intended to help students learn the skills they will need for college and beyond. More than 600 students participated in these activities across GIIS campuses in India, making the program a huge success.

Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Rajiv Bansal, Director-Operations, GIIS India said, “GIIS aims to nurture the students and create leaders of tomorrow. Our NINE Gems framework is designed to stimulate students to think innovatively, hone their talent and create an identity of their own. Such initiatives have been undertaken to channelize students’ interests and help them grow holistically.”

GIIS Campuses in different cities launched the following initiatives.

Hindustan Scouts & Guides (HSG) - GIIS Bangalore organised 2 camps recently to instil discipline and healthy life in students. HSG is recognised by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. More than 100 GIIS students successfully completed the three-day Praveshika Training and Rajya Puraskar Preparation Camp and earned the prestigious title of a ‘Guide’ or a ‘Scout’

Art & Dancing, Dramatics with Helen O’ Grady, Edu Sports, Golf, Dance & Language classrooms -GIIS Noida launched these programs for its students and  also collaborated with “The Golf Revolution” team to train students into the likes of the sport and with “LAGMA school of Languages” that will be offering language programmes in French, German, Chinese, and Spanish.

Robotics at Summer Camp – Innovation was at the core of the summer camp organized at GIIS Ahmedabad. A 5-day Skill Development with robotics summer camp was organized for students from Grade 3 to 7, where they learnt the basics of Robotics. Enthusiastic students built Edge Avoider Robots using Lego parts and also ran the Robots with the help of Software, which was based on drag and drop method. Apart from Ahmedabad, even Noida and Bangalore organised a summer camp filled with fun and learning for the students.

Pro-Champs and innovative clubs - GIIS Surat concentrated on activities that focused on various forms of sports, music, dance and innovative hobby clubs on arts, crafts, literature, language, horticulture and yoga, to name a few.

Most of these initiatives were introduced during the vacation period in order to provide students with a great amalgamation of fun & learning and to ensure maximum participation. Based on the interest of the students, few of these activities will also be continued as part of the after-school programme.

Adoption of ICT Solutions can Eliminate 20% of World’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions - IEEE

Information and communications technology (ICT) encompasses the tools and networks used to create, store and share information. That includes computers, the internet, telecommunications and broadcasting technologies. With the rapid rate of change in all things internet-related, ICT is consistently at the center of the technology conversation. New device turnover raises the question of how to make the relatively short life cycle of phones and computers more sustainable.

According to Charles Despins, IEEE Senior Member and Co-Chair, IEEE Sustainable ICT initiative and Vice President of research, partnerships and faculty affairs at École de technologie supérieure (ETS) at the Université du Québec, “Information and communications technology (ICT) (and the so-called digital revolution in a broader sense) are a double-edged sword in terms of building a sustainable future. On one hand, ICT’s energy consumption and carbon footprint have grown substantially in recent decades. This has been a result of the development of networks, increased usage and non-renewable energy sources powering (at least partly) these ICT infrastructures. ICT life-cycle management also remains a challenge, exemplified by a growing e-waste problem. On the other hand, detailed studies have shown that widespread adoption of ICT solutions in various industries could enable the elimination of 20% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, as well as substantially contribute to the achievement of at least half of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals”

”Over the last decade, the ICT industry has made great strides on the ‘sustainability in ICT’ front (improved energy efficiency is a good example). Much more needs to be done, but the process is engaged. Going forward, with ICT gradually immersing itself in every industry and area of human activity, “sustainability through ICT” is a huge opportunity but also a daunting challenge. It requires a much stronger dialogue and concerted actions between the technology and ICT industry community, the other industry sectors that use ICT and public policy makers. With respect to the latter, this means engaging at the national government level but also at regional and municipal levels. Notably, when we talk about ‘smart’ cities, ‘smart’ must also mean ‘sustainable.’

Further in this 21st century, the social impacts of sustainable ICT will range from clean, healthy and prosperous communities to individuals fully empowered to pursue their own goals. However, at the current time, as we discuss 5G, 6G and novel applications, just under 50% of the world’s population does not even have access to the internet. In this respect, there is a rich-and-poor-country digital divide as well as an urban-rural divide in many developed countries. As engineers, we must engage at the local level to make our own communities smarter and more sustainable. Much of the positive impacts of sustainable ICT will come from the bottom up instead of the top down”, said Charles Despins.

Seagram’s Royal Stag ‘Makes it Large’ Gives Cricket Fan’s a Money Can’t Buy Experience

Making it large in the international cricket showground, Seagram’s Royal Stag, the proud partners of the ICC World Cup 2019, announces ‘India’s Largest Fan’ Campaign for die-hard cricket fans. Cricket undoubtedly is more than just a sport in our country. Watching the world cup live in England and Wales, is a dream for every cricket fan.

Royal Stag, an iconic brand that has always celebrated the spirit of cricket, is all set to ride on the cricket fever this season with the ‘Royal Stag India’s Largest Fan’ Campaign. Consumers can participate in the campaign by simply giving a missed call on 85019-85019 & get a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to watch the world cup live in England and Wales. The 360 campaign will run across print, radio outdoor and digital mediums.

The campaign will be supplemented with a high energy music video that personifies “India’s Largest Fan” and the dream of watching the world cup live in England and Wales. The high-octane song has been written by Swanand Kirkire ,Music by Shamir Tandon & sung by Benny Dayal. The audio visual really brings to life the spirit of cricket & the experience of India’s largest Fan. You can also preview the music video on YouTube- .

Commenting on the association, Kartik Mohindra, Chief Marketing Officer, Pernod Ricard India said,” Royal Stag’s ‘India’s Largest Fan’ contest is the perfect opportunity for our patrons to fulfill their dream of watching the ICC Cricket world cup live and that too in England & Wales, the place from which cricket originated. Cricket is worshipped like a religion in India and we understand the passion people have for the sport in this country. Our association with the ICC World Cup 2019 will further reinforce our commitment to the sport. Royal Stag has always lived up to its brand philosophy of ‘Make it large’. With India’s Largest Fan Contest, we hope to give cricket lovers a ‘money can’t buy experience’ in England and Wales, truly making it large in full glory and taking forward our association with the ICC”. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

GoI Extends its Technology Partnership with CropIn for CCE Pilot Studies in the Rabi Season

The Central Government of India had partnered with CropIn and nine other research institutions and private agencies to optimize Crop Cutting Experiments (CCE) across the country in September 2018. The goal behind the initiative was to optimize the Crop Cutting Experiments to make them more accurate, scalable and predictable by using cutting-edge technologies like Remote Sensing, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics. The initiative was carried out under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), the Centre's flagship crop insurance programme, and was coordinated and monitored by the Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC).

The PMFBY requires the states to carry out a minimum of four crop-wise CCE in every gram panchayat for the submission of the yield data to insurance companies within 30 days of harvest. The CCE was traditionally being conducted using a random survey method to estimate the crop yields of a given location. However, considering that there are 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in India, it is challenging to conduct reliable and accurate CCE in the country at scale within a short harvesting window. Applying technology to the traditional process of CCE will expedite the execution of the experiments and ensure faster processing insurance claims under PMFBY.

The MNCFC has now extended the pilot studies that were being conducted by CropIn to the Rabi season. The objective of these pilot studies is two-fold: 1. It seeks to optimize the number of crop cutting experiments so that they become more manageable, 2. It wants to establish a robust dispute resolution mechanism that enables swift resolution of claim disputes.

The first phase of the pilot studies began in September 2018 and was completed by February 2019. For the next phase, that is Rabi season 2018-19, the studies are being conducted in 25 districts across 10 states including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. CropIn will be conducting the CCE in 4 districts across the states of Karnataka, Bihar, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh. These pilot studies are integral to a more efficient claims processing system which will eventually have a huge impact on the success of PMFBY. The State Governments’ support in executing these studies will continue to play a crucial role.

Similar to the first phase, CropIn will be using its cutting-edge yield and health mapping proprietary AI-ML algorithms that leverage satellite imagery to conduct the CCE. CropIn’s flagship agri-tech products, SmartFarm and SmartRisk will ensure the accurate and efficient execution of the CCE.

CropIn is trying to ensure that CCEs are no longer conducted on random plots. SmartRisk™,  CropIn’s award-winning AI and ML-powered platform, uses both satellite imagery and ground-level data to identify the plots that represent the most accurate sample for the district. Apart from plot selection, SmartRisk also helps both the Government and the insurance companies to gain access to scientific, scalable, and accurate reports that make it easier to conduct crop yield assessments and process insurance claims.

CropIn’s flagship product, SmartFarm, is a digital farm management solution that captures the precise location and size of the farm on which the CCE is being conducted as well as the details of the farmer. This enables greater visibility and transparency in the entire CCE process. CropIn’s AI and ML algorithms not only enable the smart-sampling of crops but also enhance visibility across the entire process. CropIn enables access to a variety of data points, from identifying the crop being grown in a unit area to the harvest readiness of the crops to determine the optimal crop yield points. This allows relevant stakeholders to make more informed decisions.

Indian farmers officially have access to subsidized insurance policies but in order to get coverage or get claims processed, they need to jump through several hoops. With technology-powered CCEs, the process becomes more objective, accurate and fair. The Government’s extension of the CCE pilot studies goes to show that there is enormous potential in a more technology-centric approach.

Gartner Says the Future of Self-Service Is Customer-Led Automation

In order to cope with the avalanche of digital information and activities, customers — like organizations — will increasingly turn to automation moving forward, according to Gartner, Inc.

“There is often a lot of discussion about how enterprises continue to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) to save time and money, but we often overlook the next generation of customers being equally amenable to conducting their personal experiences the same way,” said Anthony Mullen, senior research director at Gartner.

“The reality is that customers have to engage with endless digital activities over their lifetime, which means much more data to consider. The trend of customers assigning their endless digital activities to their virtual personal assistants (VPAs), chatbots and other self-service tools will grow over the next 10 years.”

Shift in Customer Self-Service

Self-service is becoming the norm as customers increasingly expect an effortless experience at scale. Organizations are turning to naturalistic engagement methods, such as voice and other AI-powered technologies, to give customers what they want and achieve higher operational efficiency. In fact, 91% of organizations are planning to deploy AI within the next three years. By 2030, a billion service tickets will be raised automatically by customer-owned bots.

“What’s interesting is that when we begin to look at the dynamics of self-service and continued automation by organizations over a longer time frame, cracks begin to appear,” said Mr. Mullen. “The burden of managing and supporting self-services is being taken from today’s support staff and being pushed into customers’ hands. This level of delegation, from ‘DIY’ to customer-led AI, will be a major force shaping customer self-service.”

The four scenarios that represent the future of self-service then become:

Do it myself
Do it together
Let my bot do it
Let our bots do it

“As customers embrace these DIY mindsets, they will choose providers that allow them to interact easily with these consumer-controlled touchpoints, like smart speakers and VPAs. Enterprise-provided user interfaces will increasingly play second fiddle to customer-controlled experiences,” said Mr. Mullen. “Since customers won’t be able to keep up with the level of self-service required to manage their digital lives, they will delegate to their own bots to manage it for them. The customer self-service of the future is not just about the customers themselves, but both customers and their bots.”

Generation Z Is Most Comfortable With Automation

There is a desire for automation and the use of AI to save time and money across all generations and use cases, however Generation Z (those born between 1995 and 2009) is the most amenable to using these technologies to make their lives easier.

By 2030, personal technologies will become the go-to for user experience delivery. As Generation Z will represent the largest customer base through then, it will lead in the use of customer-directed automation technologies to obtain support and value from the organizations they choose to interact with.

Western Digital's University Hiring Program Helps Accelerate its R&D Centre Headcount to 2,700

By Manu Sharma

Western Digital (WD) a US-based computer hard disk drive manufacturer and data storage company has made significant inroads into the Indian market. After the acquisition of SanDisk in 2016, its India research and development (R&D) centre in Bangalore has become one of its key design centres employing over 2700 engineers mainly through its successful University Hiring Program.

WD's College Graduate Program  in India starts with an intensive four-week bootcamp wherein the students learn the overview of product lines, engineering development, product marketing and business.

Talking to the media, Siva Sivaram, Executive Vice President, Western Digital says, "We have seen our university hires file patents and generate trade secrets within the first year of joining. This is a true testimony to our culture of innovation. SanDisk had a big presence in Bangalore since 2006 with 70 persons and these has been further strengthened under Western Digital. There has been a growth of employment and patents so much so that it’s now the second biggest facility after the US offices."

The company hires freshly graduated college students with bachelors/masters engineering degree directly from top colleges across the country for the post of Design Engineers. The candidates need to show scripting skills in python/Java languages and exposure to hardware design. Similarly, the company also hires Firmware Engineers. Ideal Candidates have exposure to hardware design and can program in machine language as well as high level languages like C, C++.

Western Digital is an authority on non-volatile memory technology and has also been adding 150-200 masters and PhDs students every year from every high Indian universities.

Sivaram remarks, "India is a strategic region for WD and we have grown ten times in the last 5-6 years and almost doubled in the last two years, The strong team in India has played a pivotal role in the company's R&D and product development strategy of the company. The engineering R&D division expertise includes ASIC, memory design, storage, firmware and software development for clients, mobility, enterprise and data centre solutions. The India R&D facility has numerous patents to its credit and have developed key products like the 200 GB micro SD card and 128 GB micro SD card."

Lately India R&D centre has become one of the key engineering sites globally. The centre contributes significantly to the overall innovations in the enterprise, embedded and consumer storage technology segments. “Our focus has been to develop strong end-to-end capabilities in product development across multiple segments of our diverse product portfolio and operate in four verticals, which include retail consumers of SD cards, mobile companies, client computing with laptops, desktops, in the enterprise, and hyperscale data centres," he remarks.

SanDisk has its headquarters in Sunnyvale, California and and two more centres in Irvine and Rochester in the US and additional R&D centres in Israel, Japan, and India. "We don't have a centre in Europe," stated Sivaram.

India is a high growth market and our customer count continues to grow, especially in the mobile segment.  India is the second-largest mobile subscriber base in the world after China. Besides India is a key market and it has been witnessing rapid adoption of consumer electronics such as mobile phones, digital cameras, personal computers and digital music players where SanDisk is uniquely positioned to capitalise on the storage needs of these large, fast-paced markets.

IDC India forecasts that the external enterprise storage systems market is expected to grow at a single-digit compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) for the 2018–2023 time-period. The advent of 3rd Platform technologies and digital transformation initiatives across organizations would drive incremental revenues in the near future. 

Plus Offices Looking to Raise Around $5 Million to Open More Coworking Facilities in India

Plus Offices is one of the late entrants in the market but they are one of the fastest growing coworking space in Gurgaon. Plus Offices is now eyeing a bigger pie of the cake in the coworking space. They provide customised productive shared workspaces and tailor made services  for  entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, mentors, consultants, small businesses and large enterprises. The offerings are varied in nature and can be tailor built for various customers according to their work demands.

Started in year 2018, Plus Offices has now expanded its coworking locations in Sector 44 and Sector 67, Gurgaon. With an increase in demand for more coworking office spaces, Plus Offices is now looking to raise funds for expansion in the coworking space domain both in Gurgaon, Delhi & NCR and finally to various parts of the country.

Mr Ravi Kikan, who has been a startup specialist and has had multiple exposures in the startup ecosystem is currently leading Plus Offices in India as a Chief Operating Officer and as part of the founding team based out of Gurgaon. He says " We are looking at building Plus Offices as productive Coworking Space in Gurgaon and hope to become one of the key players in this category by 2019-20, we have aggressive plans across India" . He also added that " Startups, Growth bound ventures, SMBs and Corporates all need coworking and productive workspaces beyond the regular brick and mortar offering which everyone has. To be a differentiator we are planning to help our coworkers in growth and expansion without any hassle or additional pinch on pricing"

Mr Ravi Kikan also runs Startup Specialists Community on LinkedIn  which has around 300,000+ global members who are startups, mentors, entrepreneurs, consultants and startup lovers from across the globe. He added " Our bigger objective will be to create a big, vibrant, productive and useful community of startups, growth ventures and SMBs who can co create, collaborate and look at Coworking beyond the regular hot desking and stylish infra structure"

Plus Offices was initially funded through family and friends and some Angel investors from Delhi and NCR. After the first seed round they got into strategic alliances with a couple of real estate players to work as an operating partner to build and expand Coworking Work Space in Gurgaon.

The business has ambitious growth plans, particularly since the opening of its second coworking facility at sector 67, Gurgaon. The current estimated Coworker strength is around 1000+ coworkers at both the Coworking facilities in Gurgaon which is bound to increase to around 3000+ by this year end in both the facilities.

Looking at the bigger opportunity in the Coworking Space domain, Plus Offices is now looking at raising around $5 million to be fueled into growth planning and expansion into new regions in India and building bigger and better collaborative coworking spaces to help Startups and SMBs at large.

Plus Offices provides unique amenities which a class coworking facility would have including wifi, storage, ample parking, shuttle services, a café where members can purchase healthy food items, a lounge and event spaces, complimentary coffee and tea, recreational areas including a mentor program.

Plus Offices has built a relaxing environment where startups, SMBs, small business owners can connect with a network of resources and services that can help their business grow,” said Mr Ravi Kikan.

Mr Ravi Kikan also added "If you are a Entrepreneur, Consultant, Startup, SMB or Corporate who is waiting to expand or move into a newer or bigger or productive facility, we would love to connect with you and host you at Plus Offices. The whole objective is to bring a great experience for the Coworker who is working at our Plus Offices facility so that he or she is more productive and enjoys his focus on work"

Plus Offices provides not only shared amenities and resources, but also a sense of community, networking, and idea exchange among other things. Besides this, Plus Offices was started with an agenda to encourage the startups and women entrepreneurs by offering flexible membership agreements.

Coworking spaces, though a relatively new concept in India, has become a hot property with growth in the number of new startups in Gurgaon.

There are around 70+ Startups, 5 SMBs which are currently coworking with Plus Offices and the plan is to have around 500+ Startups and SMBs to be a part of Plus Offices in the Coworking Space in Gurgaon.The overall plan is to have around 20,000 Coworkers working out of various Coworking facilities of Plus offices in 2019-2020.

Sensory Steering Wheel Keeps Your Eyes on the Road

A steering wheel developed by Jaguar Land Rover could help keep drivers’ eyes on the road – by using heat to tell drivers when to turn left or right.

The research, in partnership with Glasgow University, has created a ‘sensory steering wheel’, parts of which can be quickly heated and cooled to inform drivers where to turn, when to change lane or to warn of an approaching junction. This could be particularly useful when visibility is reduced through poor weather or the layout of the road.

The technology has also been applied to the gear-shift paddles to indicate when hand over from the driver to autonomous control in future self-driving vehicles is complete.

Driver distraction is a major contributor to road accidents around the world and accounts for 10 per cent of all fatal crashes in the USA alone*. Jaguar Land Rover’s research suggests thermal cues could be a way to keep drivers fully focused on the road.

The cues work on both sides of the steering wheel, indicating the direction to turn by rapidly warming or cooling one side by a difference of up to 6oC. For comfort a driver could adjust the range of temperature change.

Studies have shown** temperature-based instructions could also be used for non-urgent notifications, where vibrations could be deemed unnecessarily attention grabbing, for example as a warning when fuel is running low, or for upcoming events, such as points of interest. Thermal cues can also be used where audio feedback would be deemed too disruptive to cabin conversations or media playback.

Alexandros Mouzakitis, Jaguar Land Rover Electrical Research Senior Manager, said: “Safety is a number one priority for Jaguar Land Rover and we are committed to continuously improving our vehicles with the latest technological developments as well as preparing the business for a self-driving future.

“The ‘sensory steering wheel’ is all part of this vision, with thermal cues able to reduce the amount of time drivers have to take their eyes off the road.

“Research has shown people readily understand the heating and cooling dynamics to denote directions and the subtlety of temperature change can be perfect for certain feedback that doesn’t require a more intrusive audio or vibration-based cue.”

The Jaguar Land Rover-funded research is part of a PhD study undertaken by Patrizia Di Campli San Vito at Glasgow University as part of its Glasgow Interactive Systems Research Section (GIST).

Jaguar and Land Rover models already boast a wide range of sophisticated Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) designed to improve driver and vehicle safety, including the new generation Head-Up Display in the Range Rover Velar. The Velar also features capacitive steering wheel controls for common functions that combine with the Interactive Driver Display to help reduce driver distraction.

Computex 2019: Kingston Demonstrates Everyday Life Storage

For over three decades, Kingston, a world leader in memory storage products and technology solutions, continues to develop industry-leading products and technology solutions with great performance, reliability and consistency. This year during Computex, Kingston aims to show high-performance storage products for consumer and enterprise, as well as embedded solutions which power products found in your everyday life. With memory products that empower innovation, Kingston is everywhere with you. The highlighted demo products include:

Next-Generation SSDs for Consumer, Power User and Enterprise

• KC2000 M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD: Using the latest controller and 96-layer 3D TLC NAND, it offers superior read/write speeds, improving the workflow in desktop, workstations and high-performance computing systems. It also supports end-to-end data protection to ensure the data’s safety.

• Data Center 500 Series Enterprise SSDs: DC500R is optimized for read-intensive applications while DC500M is optimized for mixed-use workloads. Both SSDs implement strict Quality of Service (QoS) requirements to ensure predictable I/O performance and low latencies.

• A2000 M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD: The upcoming SSD features the 4 Channel Gen 3x4 controller and 3D TLC NAND. With build in NVMe driver, it could support various system from Windows to Linux, offering lower power and heat.

A Reliable Business Partner: Kingston IPC Solutions

Meanwhile, Kingston continues to offer rock-solid reliability and maximum performance for SI and IPC system builders. Kingston’s 100% tested products come with full BOM control and Product Change Notification (PCN), meet the strict quality standards and deliver outstanding service to our OEM and industrial clients.

Experience Kingston: The Embedded Solutions in Your Daily Lives

Kingston’s embedded solutions include eMMC, eMCP, ePOP and DRAM components. The

embedded solutions can be widely used for any other consuming electronic existed in people’s daily


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TVS Emerald Acquires Two Land Parcels; Announces its Foray into Bengaluru Residential Market

TVS Emerald, the real estate arm of TVS Group, today announced their foray into the Bengaluru market with the acquisition of two land parcels at Hosur Road and Kanakapura Road. The land parcel on Hosur road, near Manipal country, will be developed into an aspirational high-rise apartment community over 6 acres targeting younger professionals.  The project offers good connectivity to Electronic City, Bannergatta Road, Sarjapur Road and Koramangala. It is strategically located close to office spaces as well as the proposed metro line.

At Kanakapura Road, TVS Emerald will develop a gated community, comprising villas and row houses spread across 6.4 acres. Located in a serene area near the  Art of Living institution, amidst lush greenery, the community will boast of world class amenities offering customers a unique lifestyle and good connectivity. The project is located close to IT office spaces in Bannergatta Road, Mysore Road, Electronic City as well as industrial parks in Bidadi and Jigani.

‘’Over the past 6 years, TVS Emerald has been developing projects across Chennai and is developing about 6 million square feet. We are committed to offering aspirational living with world-class amenities delivered on time. We are happy to bring the same values to Bengaluru and develop projects which nurture nature to create a world of healthy living. Our projects will bring international design to the Bengaluru market, combining the best of urban living and high-quality lifestyles,’’ said Mr. Rajaraman, Executive Vice-President, TVS Emerald.

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