Saturday, November 2, 2019

Technology Trends Shaping E-procurement Industry Across India

Private and government organizations have always procured goods, materials, and labour from vendors. Before e-procurement, organizations procured using simple methods that often resulted in corruption. When the internet became widespread e-procurement became commonplace. Today large organizations have established e-procurement portals that make procurement transparent and seamless. E-procurement today facilitates B2B and e-commerce transactions. Advances in software led to e-procurement picking up steam. With each advance, e-procurement became more thorough and precise.

The prestige of workers in the e-procurement industry has been tied to the state of the economy. During slumps, procurement was managed by clerks. When the economy was robust, procurement became vital to strategy and was managed by well-educated professionals. Today an e-procurement strategy is more vital than ever and believed to be a solution to weathering downturns.

Industries Adopting E-procurement

40% of demand for e-procurement comes from government organisations while 10% comes from manufacturing industries, 12% from hospitality businesses, 4% from IT and software companies, 3% from e-commerce companies, 20% from banking entities, 3% from FMCG players, 3% from the telecom industry, 4% from the healthcare sector, and 1% from other industries.
E-procurement in Next 5 Years

Over the next 5 years, e-procurement will present numerous opportunities to businesses. Businesses that exploit such opportunities will add value to their models. Procurement will deeply influence organization strategy and be a source of competitive advantage. Procurement managers will not only be accountable for lower costs but also innovation, agility, and supply certainty.

Technologies like robotics, AI, and blockchain will make procurement more intelligent, efficient and transform it from a tactical differentiator to a strategic one. Data will be continuously cleansed and improved using machine learning techniques. This will leverage process outcomes and automatically identify and cure data anomalies in systems. Manual processes for high-volume and regular procurement tasks will be eliminated. Procurement will become seamless end-to-end.
Procurement will happen over hyper-connected ecosystems which will become the standard. The process from sourcing to settlement will be unified and provide business agility and speed. 

New Technologies Impacting E-procurement

Technology and digitalization are dramatically changing customer experiences and expectations. Procurement has evolved from an operative, administrative system to a strategic function. Redundant procurement tasks are being automated and C-suite leaders are being involved in decision making. Digital technologies are leading to product innovations that lead to superior market visibility and higher profits.

Last year organizations adopted cognitive procurement technologies like big data analytics, machine learning, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and robotic process automation. In 2019 these technologies are being adopted more aggressively. Blockchain is being used to transform procurement by improving contract management, tracking, and payment processing.

Before e-procurement organizations communicated offline. Today e-procurement lets organizations work in a coordinated environment. Organizations today are likely to communicate in real-time using online platforms. Organizations use AI to source strategically by predicting demand and during advanced negotiation techniques to optimise their search for suppliers.

Businesses and government organizations have realised that data is the fuel that provides deep insights. It helps make decisions that drive profits and ensure growth. Companies use emerging technologies that convert data into useful information. Such information improves purchasing power, spending management, and mitigates risk.  

Orion Shopping Festival Draws Huge Enthusiasm Among Shoppers

It’s that time of the year, when Bengaluru’s most exciting festive shopping event gets going, attracting huge enthusiasm from eager shoppers who wait for the best deals and promotions. And the annual Orion Shopping Festival at Orion Mall Brigade Gateway never fails to disappoint with its delicious mix of offers and amazing prizes to aspire for.  Beyond the exciting rewards and incentives for shopping, the mall also gets a resplendent makeover with décor that inspires everyone to truly live the spirit of the festive month.

This year, starting from October 5 till November 3, Orion Mall at Brigade Gateway is pulling out all the stops for all those who need an incentive to kick off their festive season shopping frenzies. Shoppers will stand a chance of winning an iconic Harley Davidson Street 750 as the weekly prize, and the cutting edge One Plus 7 phones as the daily prize, making this year’s festivities all the more alluring.

“Orion Shopping Festival is an event that all our patrons look forward to every year.  The mall’s décor is a major draw with people coming here to soak in the beauty of the mall and click pictures as it is a sight to behold. And shoppers flock to us during the festival for an all-in-one experience that covers all their favourite retail brands, and of course, the world-class dining and leisure experiences. Also this time round, we’ve giving away exciting prizes that almost everyone aspires to owning. For close to a decade now, we have kept the excitement levels up and have become the preferred choice for gala festive shopping events in the city” opines Vijay Kumar Bhatia, Sr. GM- Orion Malls.

Singapore - Karnataka Collaborate in Material and Child Healthcare Benefits for 100,000 Mothers, Newborns

Healthcare leaders and specialists across Karnataka and Singapore mark the successful conclusion of a three-year collaboration between the two countries on antenatal and child healthcare in Karnataka at a healthcare symposium today. The three-year capacity building initiative has successfully trained nearly 180 Indian healthcare professionals across the Southern Indian state and as a result, at least 100,000 pregnant mothers and newborns have benefited from better quality healthcare services.

The Enhancing Maternal and Child Health Services (EMCH) Programme is a three-year specialist programme implemented by the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) in partnership with SingHealth and the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare (SIHFW), Government of Karnataka. The EMCH Programme was designed to help augment the government’s efforts to tackle preventable causes of both infant and maternal deaths, with the aim of reducing infant deaths and ensuring safer pregnancies for more women.

Since 2016, A/Prof Tan Hak Koon, SIF Specialist Team Leader and Senior Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, SingHealth has led a team of multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals from the Singapore General Hospital to work with their Indian counterparts in government healthcare institutions in 26 districts across Karnataka including Bengaluru, Belgaum, Mysuru, and Shivamogga to reduce the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). [Please refer to the project factsheet for more information on the project.]

These efforts also contribute towards achieving the larger UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 of Good Health and Well-Being, where the global goal1 is to bring the MMR to 70 per 100,000 live births and IMR to 12 per 1000 live births. In India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s has set goals2 of achieving an MMR of 100 by 2020 and IMR of 28 by 2019. Karnataka’s commitment to improving the reproductive and child healthcare systems has helped surpass these goals with an MMR of 703 and IMR of 254 and respectively.

“The overall health and well-being of our society is reflected in having a robust healthcare system for pregnant mothers and infants. Through the SIF and EMCH Programme, we have been able to address gaps in the antenatal care and have made improvements in our journey to providing better services and creating a reliable, sustainable healthcare environment for our citizens. We are heartened that the collaborative efforts by our Indian doctors and their Singaporean counterparts continue to reap positive effects in bringing down our MMR and IMR,” said Dr Rajkumar N, Deputy Director (Maternal Health), Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka.

Over the three-year EMCH Programme, the doctors, nurses, public health leaders and officials from Karnataka had the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience with their Singaporean peers through a series of training workshops, a symposium and a study visit to Singapore. All parties gained valuable insights and perspectives from the learning exchange. Among the trained pool of healthcare practitioners, 31 Master Trainers were identified and received additional training on how to cascade their knowledge to their peers in the industry.   

As part of the programme, a half-day Symposium on Labour Room Management will be held at the Lalit Ashok Hotel in Bangalore today. Organised by SingHealth, the Symposium is expected to draw more than 150 delegates, including clinicians from the field of obstetrics & gynaecology, as well as ministry health officials. Experts from Singapore and Karnataka will share their perspectives on topics in the area of maternal and child health.

Professor Ivy Ng, SingHealth’s Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “SingHealth is privileged to have worked with the SIF and SIHFW, Government of Karnataka on this programme to reduce infant and maternal mortality and morbidity rates in our respective communities. Our multidisciplinary team of obstetricians, neonatologists, midwives and senior nurses has benefited from the sharing, camaraderie and knowledge exchange as they interacted with the healthcare teams in Karnataka.”

SIF’s Executive Director Jean Tan said, “The EMCH Programme brought together the medical communities in Singapore and Karnataka to help raise standards of MCH in Karnataka which has since benefitted 100,000 pregnant mothers and newborns. This impact – delivered entirely by a team of volunteers from SingHealth who have given generously of their time and talent and their counterparts in Karnataka – bears testament to SIF’s vision of making friends for a better world.”

The EMCH Programme is yet another collaborative project in India in healthcare – one of the key focus areas of the SIF’s work – and joins the ranks of similar maternity and child health programmes in Tamil Nadu (2009 – 2013) and (2015 – 2018). It also marks another milestone in the 24-year friendship between the SIF and India to uplift lives and build enduring friendships between our peoples.

Vedanta Ltd Celebrates 64th Karnataka Rajyotsava at Chitradurga Unit

On the account of the 64th Karnataka Rajyotsava, Vedanta Ltd Chitradurga Mines observed a grand celebration to rejoice & revere the leaders who were pertinent in the state’s formation. To kick-start the day, a Sathya Narayan puja was conducted amidst the Vedanta family invoking the blessings of the Lord. Mr. Ashok Sangenahalli, a notable laureate popularly known for his work, “Nanu Buddhanu illa”, attended as the Chief guest on this special occasion. The ceremonious flag hoisting took place in the presence of Mr. Ashok Sangenahalli,  Mr. Shrishaila Gouda - Mines Cheif Operating Officer, Mr. Rahul Roongta - Mines Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Chandrakant Patil - Mines External Relations Officer and Mr. Manjunatha - member of Meghnahalli Gram Panchayat. They were also joined by locals from the peripheral communities and direct & indirect employees. Post the flag hoisting ceremony, two minutes of silence was observed in tribute to the fallen martyrs. More than 1000 attendees were present at the ceremony.

While addressing the gathering, Mr. Ashok Sangenahalli said, “Since the company marked its presence in this community - a lot of development has taken place, in terms of hiring, community needs & environment. I wish this company continues to grow.”

On the occasion, Mr. Krishna Reddy, Director, Iron Ore, Karnataka said, “Our operations are a success mainly because of the warmth & cooperation we received from the people of Karnataka. We uphold our commitment to work for our communities & developing the state’s economy”.

At Vedanta Ltd, as a group spread out across the world we value the plethora of culture & traditions. It is inbuilt within us to prioritize our communities and direct & indirect employees.Time and again, Vedanta Ltd. business has contributed towards improvement of road safety through its periodic interventions such as roads repair work, road safety signage and traffic management programs within and outside the premises etc. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

Aviation X Lab to Reinvent the Next Era of Air Travel at Area 2071

Aviation X Lab, the ambitious aviation-specific incubator that brings some of the largest global pioneers under one umbrella, was unveiled at Area 2071 earlier in the week. Aviation X Lab establishes a long-term partnership between Emirates and Airbus, Collins Aerospace, GE Aviation, and Thales with an aim to enhance the travel experience. Telecom provider du has signed on as its Digital Innovation Partner.

In partnership with Dubai Future Foundation, Aviation X Lab aims to innovate and create the next era of aviation with its bold vision to positively impact the lives of one billion people.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline & Group said: “Aviation is a cornerstone of the UAE’s economy, supporting around 800,000 jobs and contributing to the economy US$47.4 billion, which is set to increase nearly three-fold by 2037.* Dubai is looking to mitigate the challenges in the aviation ecosystem, and we have a laser-sharp focus on the evolution of technology and innovations that impact the industry, communities, future generations and our planet.

“We want to look far beyond aviation as it exists today and embrace the innovations waiting to happen, the next set of Big Ideas in the aviation space. Aviation X Lab will identify, support, fund and make these innovations accessible globally. Our aim is to transform human mobility.”

Aviation X Lab announced its first-ever challenges with the deadline for submissions set in early 2020: 
Challenge 1 - Carbon negative aviation industry: Although the aviation industry is responsible for just 2% of the world’s carbon emissions, the challenge is based on the premise that airlines produces 115gm of CO2 per passenger km, which is 859 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The challenge is to reduce this by 100gm or 87% to 15gm of CO2 per passenger km by 2030.

Challenge 2 - Airports to Airportals: While the travel industry is projected to double in the next 15 years, adding 3.4 billion new travellers, the current model of airports is a barrier to passenger growth. The challenge is to rethink the airports’ model to achieve metrics of 10 passengers per M2 of airport infrastructure with a 10-minute maximum transition time between landside and airside.ÿ

Aviation X Lab is inviting and reaching out to start-ups, innovators, academics, NGOs, activists and corporates globally to participate in the challenges. The incubator will select teams and bring them to Dubai to co-create, experiment and develop prototypes at their premises in Area 2071. In the next phase, up to four teams will be shortlisted, and invited to pitch to investors and venture capitalists for additional funding. 

The opening event witnessed demos of three key products –two from Emirates, and one from Thales.

Emirates demonstrated two ground-breaking solutions incorporating AI technology. One supports an important sustainability goal – reducing food waste. The technology provides real-time predictions and recommendations that ensure customers get their first choice inflight, while minimising quantities of unconsumed food. Bahja, an app created by a team of UAE Nationals, incorporates facial recognition technology to help measure employee happiness, and provides real-time feedback. The app encourages employees to share their motivations with the user community, contributing to a happier workplace, and therefore happier customers.

Thales showcased how Solo, its virtual assistant powered by Thales TrUE AI (Transparent, Understandable, and Ethical AI), could help increase safety and support the pilot in every decisive moment during flight. In the demo, Solo leveraged every available data to permanently provide the crew with the most efficient trajectory to optimise flight efficiency and passenger comfort.

Aviation X Lab will work in cycles of 12 months with five key active phases: launching challenges; sourcing start-ups globally; validating concepts; exploring rapid feasibility, and sourcing funding. Through this journey, X Lab will offer hands-on logistics support, research, resources, peer feedback, mentorship, and close collaboration.

Aviation X Lab was founded in October 2017 with an MOU signed in the presence of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. 

Customer is Key @ ABB’s New Website for Digital Industrial Solutions

ABB has launched its new website for ABB Ability, the company’s digital offering. The customer-centric website provides in-depth information about the solutions, people and partnerships that are driving digital transformation across industries. The English-based website can be accessed at:

The new website is organized by customer segment, making it easy for customers to browse the ABB Ability solutions most relevant to their business needs. Within each segment, website visitors can find customer success stories, use cases, and the entire ABB Ability catalog, which includes 220 solutions across a wide range of distinct customer segments. It also highlights ABB’s digital partners – Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Dassault Systèmes and IBM – and the capabilities they bring to complement and complete ABB’s digital solutions.

“Just like ABB, the ABB Ability website is focused on customers first,” said Guido Jouret, Chief Digital Officer at ABB. “We are excited to provide our customers with this enhanced intuitive tool, which will continue to evolve with new features alongside our digital platform. This new website is just the latest example of how ABB Ability is writing the future of digitalization for our customers.”

The ABB Ability website also offers valuable insights into topics that are profoundly altering how companies operate in the 21st century, such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the Energy Revolution and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Visitors can also learn more about ABB’s approach to digital transformation.

In addition, website visitors can view videos explaining how ABB’s digital solutions for the Marine industry reduce emissions in city ports, or how the integration of digital systems and ABB Ability smart sensors improve quality in the Food and Beverage industry. The site also provides a direct link into the ABB Ability Marketplace, ABB’s new online portal for selling digital solutions.

ABB is a technology leader that is driving the digital transformation of industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB has four customer-​focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by the ABB Ability digital platform. ABB’s Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees.

How Music Affects How You Act, Feel and Think: According to AI

Your heart beats faster, palms sweat and part of your brain called the Heschl’s gyrus lights up like a Christmas tree. Chances are, you’ve never thought about what happens to your brain and body when you listen to music in such a detailed way.

But it’s a question that has puzzled scientists for decades: Why does something as abstract as music provoke such a consistent response?

In a new study, a team of USC researchers, with the help of artificial intelligence, investigated how music affects listeners’ brains, bodies and emotions.

The research team looked at heart rate, galvanic skin response (or sweat gland activity), brain activity and subjective feelings of happiness and sadness in a group of volunteers as they listened to three pieces of unfamiliar music.

Of the 74 musical features examined, the researchers found dynamics, register, rhythm and harmony were particularly helpful in predicting listeners’ response.

“Taking a holistic view of music perception, using all different kinds of musical predictors, gives us an unprecedented insight into how our bodies and brains respond to music,” said the study’s lead author Tim Greer, a computer science PhD student and a member of the USC Signal Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory (SAIL).

Contrast is crucial

Amongst their findings, the researchers noted that music powerfully influenced parts of the brain in the auditory complex called the Heschls’ gyrus and the superior temporal gyrus (plural: gyri).

Specifically, the brain responded to pulse clarity, or the strength of the beat (put simply: your gyri will be looking lively when listening to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance).

They also found that changing dynamics, rhythm and timbre, or the introduction of new instruments, brings about the uptick in response. In other words, contrast is crucial. For instance, the gyri activate when there is a change in dynamics, or “loudness.”

“If a song is loud throughout, there's not a lot of dynamic variability, and the experience will not be as powerful as if the composer uses a change in loudness,” said Greer, himself a composer who plays sax and keyboard.

“It’s the songwriter’s job to take you on a rollercoaster of emotions in under three minutes, and dynamic variability is one of the ways this is achieved.”           

So, if you’re listening to a whole album of black metal, which is consistently loud, you’re probably not going to see a response. But if you’re listening to Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, which goes from a quiet verse to loud chorus and back again, it’s a different story.               

The team also discovered that galvanic skin response—basically, a measure of sweat — increased after the entrance of a new instrument or start of a musical crescendo. 

“When each new instrument enters, you can see a spike in the collective response of the skin,” said Greer.

In addition, the most stimulating moments in music were preceded by an increase in the complexity level of the song. In essence, the more instruments are in the song, the more people responded. (Think: the first section of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, as the song builds to a crescendo by adding more instruments.)

And the saddest note of all? That award goes to the raised 7th note of the minor scale. The study found the note F# in a song in the key of G minor was positively correlated with high sadness ratings.

That might be the reason the narrator’s anguish is almost palpable in The Animals’ House of the Rising Sun, which uses the raised 7th of the minor scale to launch into each increasingly emotional verse.

New territory

For this experiment, the team selected three emotional pieces of music that did not contain lyrics and were not highly familiar, so no element of memory was attached to the listeners’ emotional response. (Hearing a song that played in the background during a wisdom tooth extraction, for instance, might skew your perception.)

In the neuroimaging experiment, 40 volunteers listened to a series of sad or happy musical excerpts, while their brains were scanned using MRI. This was conducted at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute by Assal Habibi, an assistant professor of psychology at USC Dornsife, and her team, including Matthew Sachs, a postdoctoral scholar currently at Columbia University.

To measure physical reaction, 60 people listened to music on headphones, while their heart activity and skin conductance were measured. The same group also rated the intensity of emotion (happy or sad) from 1 to 10 while listening to the music.

Then, the computer scientists crunched the data using AI algorithms to determine which auditory features people responded to consistently.

 In the past, neuroscientists trying to better understand the impact of music on the body, brain and emotions have analyzed MRI brain scans over very short segments of time—for instance, looking at the brain reacting to two seconds of music.

By contrast, in this study, using algorithms to analyze data gathered in the lab, the scientists were able to look at how people felt while listening to music over longer periods of time, not only from brain scans, but also combining data from other modes.

“Novel multimodal computing approaches help not just illuminate human affective experiences to music at the brain and body level, but in connecting them to how actually individuals feel and articulate their experiences,” said Professor Shrikanth (Shri) Narayanan, study co-author, Niki and C. L. Max Nikias Chair in Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering and computer science.

“This is new territory,” added Habibi.

Feeling good

In addition to helping researchers identify songs for the perfect workout, study or sleep playlist, the research has therapeutic applications — music has been shown to calm anxiety, ease pain and help people with disabilities or dementia.

“From a therapy perspective, music is a really good tool to induce emotion and engage a better mood,” said Habibi.

“Using this research, we can design musical stimuli for therapy in depression and other mood disorders. It also helps us understand how emotions are processed in the brain.”

According to the researchers, future studies could look at how different types of music can positively manipulate our emotional responses and whether the intent of the composer matches the listener’s perception of a piece of music.

The paper, titled “A Multimodal View into Music’s Effect on Human Neural, Physiological, and Emotional Experience,” was presented at ACM Multimedia, Oct. 22. The research team also includes Ben Ma, a USC Viterbi undergraduate in computer science and a member of USC SAIL. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

OYO LIFE Emerges as India's Largest Co-Living Player with Over 40,000 Beds in 9 Cities


●        Strengthens national footprint as the fastest-growing co-living company with 700+ buildings, 40,000+ beds
●        OYO LIFE is present in 9 cities - Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Pune, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai

OYO LIFE, the country's fastest-growing, long-term, fully managed housing rental solutions player announced today that it has emerged as the largest player in India. On its first anniversary, OYO LIFE announced that it has strengthened its footprint in the country with 40,000+ live beds and 700+ live buildings across 9 cities - Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Pune, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Kolkata. The company has been successfully revolutionizing the housing and long-term rental offerings with its first-of-its-kind, hassle-free, and technology-driven rental housing product. Targeted at millennials and young professionals, OYO LIFE offers an end-to-end managed, comfortable, high-quality living experience that eliminates the hassles of discovering, accessing and managing everyday housing.

Launched in October 2018, OYO LIFE is currently witnessing about 85-90% occupancy (matured buildings) with 95% of the residents renewing their stay and choosing it as the preferred stay option and is adding 5000-8,000 beds a month. OYO LIFE started its operations in 4 cities - Gurugram, Noida, Bengaluru and Pune with 100+ live buildings, 500+ beds in October 2018. Within a year of its launch, the company has expanded its footprint to 5 more cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata - making it the fastest-growing long-term rental player in India. The company recently confirmed its growing presence in the student housing sector through tie-ups with marquee institutes like IIT Delhi and Plaksha University’s Fellowship program in Gurugram.

Unlike aggregators in the industry, OYO LIFE leases an entire building, transforms it, controls inventory and manages operations end-to-end to offer a superior co-living experience, replete with break-out zones and community gaming and interaction areas. Starting at an affordable price of INR 5,999 per bed, all OYO LIFE buildings are equipped with essential amenities like Wi-Fi connectivity, television, refrigerator, furnishings, AC, regular housekeeping, power backup, CCTV surveillance, and 24/7 caretaking. By doing so, OYO LIFE addresses the supply-demand gap in the long-term rental housing space and eliminates the hassles of heavy deposits, lock-in period, lack of safety infrastructure, unpredictable living conditions, expenses on furnishings, maintenance and unreliable housekeeping.

Talking about its growth trajectory and the milestone, Rohit Kapoor, Chief Executive Officer, New Real Estate Businesses, OYO, said, “OYO LIFE was conceptualized based on the feedback and demand from our valued customers and building owners for solving the pain-points associated with long-term rentals including high deposits, lock-in periods, non-transparent payments and lack of amenities. We are ecstatic to see OYO LIFE getting an overwhelming response in India and extremely humbled to achieve this milestone. Technology and design have always been key differentiators for us as well as our focus on building a community of young professionals through our in-house networking and community events. Originally targeted at young professionals and first jobbers, we have been seeing interesting case studies of customers across various stages of life ranging from students, couples, right up to families and senior citizens across diverse income groups, choosing OYO LIFE as their preferred option. Consequently, we expect the co-living market to continue to grow further and we at OYO LIFE are geared to provide over 100,000 beds by 2019-end. This is in line with OYO’s mission of creating quality living spaces and experiences, anywhere, for everyone.”

OYO LIFE accommodation provides essential amenities like Wi-Fi connectivity, television, regular housekeeping, power backup, CCTV surveillance, and 24/7 caretaking. Residents also have access to OYO Support at all times for any escalation and issues, at no additional cost over the monthly rental charges. These living spaces are carefully curated keeping in mind the preferences of the young and ‘always on’ generation, with a focus on comfort and convenience, so that these young creative minds can pursue their passions.

Facebook Ties Up with SAIF Partners To Boost India’s SMB Ecosystem

Strengthening its commitment to enable the growth of small and medium businesses (SMBs) and entrepreneurship in the country, Facebook India today announced its collaboration with SAIF Partners, one of the leading venture capital funds in the country that is invested in helping brands grow by supporting visionary entrepreneurs across diverse sectors.

The partnership is a part of Facebook’s VC Brand Incubator Program, which is an industry-first initiative launched in June for building the ecosystem for SMB growth in the country by providing young businesses with timely skilling and guidance. In just five short months, the VC Brand Incubator Program has tied up with three venture capital funds -  Sauce.VC, Fireside Ventures, and now SAIF Partners. In partnership with these three VC funds, Facebook has already skilled, trained, and mentored more than 70 brands at various stages of their growth journey.

Talking about the VC Brand Incubator Program, and the latest partnership with SAIF Partners Archana Vohra, Director, Small and Medium Businesses at Facebook India said, “Our vast experience with SMBs tells us that strong digital skills and timely guidance can help them succeed and increase profits quickly. Facebook has consistently delivered business results for SMBs, and through the VC Brand Incubator Program and the latest partnership with SAIF Partners we’ve deepened our commitment to the growth of small businesses and entrepreneurship in India. Businesses from across industries and at different stages of their growth journey have experienced measurable and positive business impact as a result of this program, and with SAIF Partners on board we now have an opportunity to deliver an even larger impact.”

SAIF Partners is one of the leading venture capital funds in India. In the past it has been an early stage investor in iconic brands such as MakeMyTrip, BookMyShow,, and Paytm.

Said Deepak Gaur, Managing Director, SAIF Partners, “We are thrilled to partner with Facebook to create a platform for young consumer companies to learn from the Facebook leadership as well as each other about the best practices and the playbook for scaling on Facebook’s family of apps. We believe that programs like the VC Brand Incubator will go a long way in helping early stage consumer-focused companies avoid common mistakes, enabling them to create differentiated brand awareness on digital platforms in the most efficient manner.”

Twenty-four brands associated with SAIF Partners have now become a part of Facebook’s VC Brand Incubator Program. They are from industries as distinct as e-commerce, CPG, auto, education, and health among others, and include names such as Chaayos, Spinny, Airblack, Peebuddy, Skoodoo, and TheMomsCo.

Said Raghav Verma, Co-Founder of Chaayos, “Facebook and Instagram are important platforms for us to communicate with our audience. The session with Facebook experts helped us understand the new rules for winning on these new-age mediums. We have already run pilot campaigns, and seen tangible results by leveraging the right audience, mood, and creative designs.”

Since the inception of the VC Brand Incubator Program in June brands from distinct industries have participated in it. Many of these brands have seen considerable and measurable growth in brand awareness, sales, and profits as a result of the Program.

Said Aman Gupta, Co-Founder of BOAT, which sells trendy and affordable audio products and accessories, “Facebook's support has helped us propel our business and attain 10X growth in scale. This has been achieved via their special events, managed support, and guidance around the best practices. The program helps brand like us grow manifold by driving business outcomes. With 1.1M members in our boAthead family, our journey has just begun.”

“We became a part of the VC Brand Incubator Program in July and since then we’ve been able to increase traffic on our Website by nearly 50%, get new customers, and have seen revenue from Facebook increase by almost 30%,”  said Ritika Gupta, Director and Co-Founder, KalkiFashion.

SMBs are the backbone of India’s economy, and a large source of new job creation in the country. Facebook is committed to boosting the SMB and startup ecosystem in the country, and through programs such as the VC Brand Incubator it will continue to contribute to the social and economic growth of India.

MongoDB and Alibaba Cloud Launch Agreement for Digital Services

MongoDB, Inc., the leading, modern, general purpose database platform, has announced a partnership with Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA), to offer customers an authorized MongoDB-as-a-service solution. Customers of Alibaba Cloud will be able to use this managed offering from Alibaba Cloud’s data centers globally.

With this partnership, Alibaba Cloud ensures end-to-end management and support for customers on current and future versions of MongoDB, with the ability to escalate bug fixes and support issues on their behalf. Now, users of Alibaba Cloud’s platform offering will have easy access to the latest MongoDB features and capabilities, backed by comprehensive support from Alibaba Cloud and MongoDB.

“Not only is China one of the largest markets for database software, but there also has been enormous adoption of MongoDB in this market. In fact, over the past four years the most downloads of MongoDB have been from China, reflecting the global popularity of MongoDB’s next-generation database platform,” said Dev Ittycheria, President & CEO of MongoDB. “Now, customers of all sizes have access to the only authorized MongoDB DBaaS offering in mainland China. We’re excited to partner with Alibaba Cloud to enable customers to use MongoDB to transform their businesses.”

New MongoDB features that are now supported on Alibaba Cloud’s platform offering include multi-document ACID transactions, aggregation pipeline type conversions, non-blocking secondary reads, extensions to change streams and 40 percent faster data migrations. With the release of MongoDB 4.2, Alibaba Cloud customers are able to take advantage of distributed transactions, client-side field-level encryption, wildcard indexes, on-demand materialized views and more.

Feifei Li, Vice President of Alibaba Group, President and Senior Fellow of Database System, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, said, “MongoDB is a popular database worldwide, and with the latest Community and Enterprise Advanced edition of MongoDB running on our platform, we are able to support a wide range of customer needs from open-source developers to enterprise IT teams of all sizes. Combined with Alibaba Cloud's native data analytics capabilities, working with partners like MongoDB will empower our customers to generate more business insights from their daily operations.”

Hero Motocorp Sets New Benchmark in Manufacturing Excellence at the Haridwar Facility

Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters, has crossed yet another milestone in its illustrious journey, with its manufacturing facility at Haridwar, in the northern Indian hill state of Uttarakhand achieving the unique distinction of surpassing 25 million units in cumulative production.

The manufacturing facility, commissioned in April 2008, has achieved the milestone in just over 11 years of operation - an industry record. The Haridwar facility of Hero MotoCorp is also the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturing plant with an installed capacity to produce 9500 vehicles per day.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Vikram Kasbekar, Executive Director (Operations) and Chief Technology Officer, Hero MotoCorp said, “This is a significant milestone for not just our Haridwar manufacturing plant, but also the entire organization. The manufacturing practices that we follow at Hero MotoCorp have always set new benchmarks in the industry. The production of 25 million two-wheelers at our Haridwar plant in such a short period of time since its commencement of operation bears testimony to the dedication and competency of the team. We are grateful to all our valued customers, partners, investors, the state government of Uttarakhand and all other stakeholders for their continued support and faith in us..”

Keeping Hero MotoCorp’s focus on sustainability, the Haridwar manufacturing facility has the world’s largest green-roof, spread over 4500 sq. mtr. The plant produces 1.95 MW of solar power, has zero liquid discharge and a lake for rain water harvesting.

The plant produces Hero MotoCorp’s popular motorcycles – HF Deluxe, Splendor+, Splendor iSmart 110, Passion Pro and Passion 110. With a robust supply chain, it sources 75% (in value) of the parts from industries within Uttarakhand.

Hero MotoCorp currently has seven globally benchmarked manufacturing facilities, including five in India and one each in Bangladesh and Colombia. The plants located in India are at Gurugram and Dharuhera in Haryana, Neemrana in Rajasthan, Halol in Gujarat and Haridwar.
The Company’s eighth manufacturing facility is coming up at Chittoor in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

The combined installed annual production capacity of Hero MotoCorp is currently around nine million units.

CSS Corp Wins Gold in IT Services at the 11th Annual 2019 Golden Bridge Awards

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology company, has won Gold in the 11th Annual 2019 Golden Bridge Awards for its Innovative Network Solutions. The company was bestowed with the ‘Best Solution of the Year’ title in the IT services category. The award was presented in San Francisco on October 28, 2019, during the red-carpet awards ceremony.           

CSS Corp’s innovative network solutions are designed to enable telcos to address the challenges associated with 5G installations and accelerate their 5G rollouts. Leveraging cognitive technologies such as AI/ML, advanced analytics and intelligent automation, the solutions drive network transformation reliably and cost-effectively. Built on their multi-vendor and multi-technology networks expertise, the end-to-end solutions cover advanced network planning, NFV automation, digital quality assurance, field operations optimization, and cognitive network operations. Developed in CSS Corp’s state-of-the-art innovation labs, the solutions enable organizations to scale up their resilience, business agility, and operational excellence.

Speaking on the occasion, Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp said, “Building a system that is agile and intuitive with a deep focus on business operations and customer experience is indispensable today. Our digital-focused strategy and innovative network solutions have helped us to offer flexible and value-based services to our clientele, and fast-track their network transformation journeys. This award is a testament to CSS Corp’s vision to offer best-in-class solutions that leverage cognitive technologies to solve a wide range of business problems. I’m proud that our solutions have been appreciated by more than 160 esteemed jury panelists from a broad spectrum of industries around the world.”

“We will continue to push boundaries and explore new frontiers in bringing more cutting-edge and cost-effective network solutions for our customers to enable them to succeed.”

Time Spent Binge-Watching Rises 23% in India According to New Limelight Networks “State of Online Video” Report

Online video streaming has now reached an all-time high as the world now watches them for 6 hours and 48 minutes weekly – with the same figure for Indians being 8 hours and 33 minutes or 1 hour 45 minutes higher than the global average. This is according to the new “State of Online Video 2019” research report by Limelight Networks (Nasdaq: LLNW), a leading provider of edge cloud services.

The report also found that the time spent on binge-watching is also on the rise in India, jumping more than 23 percent from last year to an average of 2 hours, 25 minutes at a time. In the global survey, Indians were also less apprehensive of pre-roll advertisements, with 84.8 percent being either affirmative or neutral if the content is free. The survey also revealed that Indians mostly watch online videos from home, followed by travel or commute. Since India is new to the digital bandwagon, it doesn’t come as a surprise that 89 percent are also subscribed to cable TV. This figure was observed to be the lowest for Japan, where the subscriptions turned out to be just 39 percent or less than half as compared to India.

The study also pointed out that the adoption of dedicated streaming devices is also gradually increasing in India. 27 percent of the respondents owned Google Chromecast and 34 percent owned Amazon Fire TV Stick. 18 percent of the respondents didn’t have any streaming device at all. Another key takeaway from the survey is that smartphones are the primary streaming device. Digital devices such as computers and laptops came next on the list followed by a connected device or a smart TV. The top spot as the most popular content in India was shared by both TV Shows and News, with Movies and professionally developed content on social media coming next on the list.

“India is quickly opening up to the idea of online video streaming,” said Mr. Ashwin Rao, Director - Sales, Limelight Networks, India. This ongoing trend has been highlighted time and again by our State of Online Video studies over the years. Now, as data costs are further lowering and smartphone penetration increasing, people living even in the remotest of regions are coming under the fold of digital technology and services. It is opening new avenues for India’s content creators and aggregators to tap the burgeoning market with quality programming and seamless user experiences. Limelight Networks enables them to do precisely the same, while also tapping the global market with its robust and highly scalable global infrastructure – leaving no stone unturned in terms of content delivery.”

Additional insights from the report include:

●        Broadcast viewing takes a hit as online videos become more popular: Broadcast videos are bearing the brunt of smartphone adoption in India as the users are looking towards them for their primary entertainment. Online video watching has now officially become the preferred go-to entertainment alternative for Indians. Global viewership for traditional TV remains higher than online video across every country except Singapore and India.

●        Price sensitivity is the deciding factor in video subscriptions. Increasing price continues to be the primary reason why people claimed (28 percent) they will cancel their cable subscription. 15 percent Indians said they will do so if all content they watch becomes available online.

●        Streaming advertisements shouldn’t disrupt the viewing experience. Global consumers are most accepting of ads during an online video if they can skip it (59 percent) or if it’s a short ad before a free video (57 percent).

●        Mobile phones are the preferred online streaming devices. Like the last year, smartphones continue to be the primary streaming device for Indians followed by computers. However, there was also an increase in video viewing via tablet this year. It needs to be also noted that smartphones have overtaken computers as the preferred streaming device for global consumers for the first time.

The State of Online Video report is based on responses from 4,500 consumers in France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the U.K., and the U.S. age 18 and older, who watch one hour or more of online video content each week.

LTTS’ AiKno Awarded Frost & Sullivan’s 2019 Indian Cognitive Automation Technology Innovation Leadership Award

L&T Technology Services Limited, a leading global pure-play engineering services company, was conferred with the Frost & Sullivan Indian Cognitive Automation Technology Innovation Leadership award at its 2019 India Best Practices Awards Banquet in Mumbai.

The 2019 award recipients were judged on various parameters including market share growth, product portfolio diversity, key achievements, go-to-market strategy, vertical and horizontal diversity, major customer acquisitions, efficacy of innovation process, product service and positioning.

Frost & Sullivan Awards are presented to companies that demonstrate best practices across industries. The Awards are recognition of their innovation, commitment, technological innovation, customer service, and successful business strategies required to advance in the global marketplace. Frost & Sullivan's intent is to help drive innovation, excellence, and a positive change in the global economy by recognizing best-in-class products, companies, and individuals.

Frost & Sullivan’s industry analyst team benchmarks market participants and measures their performance through independent, primary interviews, and secondary industry research to evaluate and identify best practices.

LTTS was recognized for its proprietary cognitive intelligence framework, AiKnoTM, which has been deployed globally at various customer projects. AiKnoTM was developed to host and integrate a range of intelligent solutions across multiple facets of engineering such as smart buildings, supplier management, energy optimization, documentation optimization, predictive maintenance and cognitive analytics.

As an AI platform dedicated to Industry 4.0, AiKno’s unique capabilities have the potential to change the product engineering and manufacturing landscape globally. Last year, AiKnoTM  won NASSCOM’s AI Game Changer Award for its prowess in meta data extraction.

AiKno’s credentials include some of the world’s first-of-its-kind applications built on its framework – an interactive cognitive repository of geo-spatial data that was built from legacy documents for an oil and gas major. AiKno’s image processing capabilities have been used to build a pneumonia detection solution to help radiologists identify the symptoms and detect the disease in its initial phase.

Abhishek Sinha, Chief Operating Officer and Board Member, L&T Technology Services said, “AiKnoTM has the potential to change the way businesses operate by successfully navigating the industrial engineering challenges. This prestigious recognition of our AiKnoTM framework validates the potential of this technology to pave the way for new innovations and positive transformation stories across sectors. LTTS’ multi-vertical industry expertise ensures that AiKnoTM can be deployed across a range of sectors from oil & gas, medical devices, transportation, telecom to aerospace.”

Anand S, Vice President, Frost & Sullivan said, “LTTS has become a high-growth company and has gained over 250 high-profile customers within a short period of time. As a subsidiary of conglomerate Larsen & Toubro, which has over 80 years of experience in the field of engineering, manufacturing, and information technology among others, LTTS’ parentage has enabled it to devise solutions that are revolutionizing the AI and automation space across industry sectors.”

Gartner Identifies Top 9 Digital Experience Trends for 2020

Gartner, Inc. has identified nine digital experience trends that organizations need to explore in 2020. CIOs should consider these trends in their strategic planning over the next 12 months as the span of digital touchpoints continues to increase.

Gartner’s digital experience trends fall within two broad categories — how digital technology is experienced and how digital experiences will be built. The way in which engaging digital experiences are crafted is becoming increasingly formalized, which means that delivering a digital experience that ensures a measurable outcome will require both creative excellence and consistent process execution.

Speaking at Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo in Australia today, Brian Prentice, research vice president at Gartner, said digital experience is a key aspect of workforce digital dexterity — the ability and desire to use new and existing technology for better business outcomes — to close the skills gap and drive competitive advantage.

“Willingness to engage with digital technology will become a key factor in determining any IT system’s ability to successfully deliver business outcomes,” Mr. Prentice said. “Digital experience is no longer limited to the domain of born-digital companies or outlier enterprises in specific industries. CIOs must ensure that their organization puts as much effort into understanding how people interact with and experience digital technology as they put into tracking technology itself.”

Gartner’s top digital experience trends for 2020 (in no particular order) are:

1. Multiexperience

Multiexperience refers to the various permutations of modality (touch, voice and gesture), device and app with which users interact on their digital journeys. A multiexperience strategy involves creating fit-for-purpose apps based on touchpoint-specific modalities, while at the same time ensuring a consistent and unified user experience (UX) across web, mobile, wearables, conversational and immersive touchpoints.

2. Interfaceless Machines

Manufacturers across industries are abandoning on-machine controls or traditional interface models in favor of apps that run on their customers’ mobile devices. Larger screens on mobile devices, high resolutions and rich device APIs allow for device control experiences far beyond what can be achieved with on-machine interfaces. This opens up whole new avenues for advances in a product’s industrial design, while still allowing manufacturers to compete on new functionality made possible by added microprocessors.

3. Agent Interfaces

Agent interfaces employ artificial intelligence (AI) to predict what users intend to do from user input and other contextual cues. This information is then used to assist by either easing or automating the execution of those efforts. It shifts the attention of users from how a tool works to what they want to achieve with the tool. Agent interfaces represent a whole new paradigm of human-computer interaction and have broad implications that will greatly influence how enterprises interact with customers, offer services and provide tools to employees. Conversational UIs (or chatbots) are good examples.

4. Facial Recognition Payment

This is a digital experience trend emerging in China, which will disrupt the widespread use of QR code payments and further diminish the use of bank cards and cash. Facial recognition payment is already happening outside China, particularly through Apple’s Face ID with Apple Pay, with the trust existing between the user and the ecosystem provider (such as a bank). In China, however, consumers are required to give up privacy for an added level of convenience, with the trust primarily between the organization taking payment and the ecosystem provider. Facial recognition payment offers CIOs a whole new perspective on enhancing digital CX and driving business growth.

5. Inclusive Design

Inclusive design is the principle that the best way to serve the needs of the broad community is to consider the special needs of all possible communities. Originating as an approach to design for people with disabilities, inclusive design will expand to accommodate cultural sensitivities and behavior patterns. Designers need to consider features and capabilities that accommodate all segments that are potential customers or users of their products.

6. Insourced Digital Design Services

Digital design is the process organizations use to create the best digital experience for their customers, employees and other stakeholders. It has been undergoing a shift from being a service delivered almost entirely by external agencies to a capability provided by internal digital design teams. This trend is most pronounced in industries facing a rapid rate of digitalization. As digital touchpoints increase, insourcing digital design reduces costs and supplier complexity while increasing operational efficiency and digital experience innovation.

7. UX Research Renaissance

UX research and associated testing methodologies uncover human insights that are essential for successful design, development and innovation initiatives. Increasingly, the value of understanding users, what they do and why they do it is seen as a differentiator for organizations. UX research identifies both the features and the designs that products or experiences should have to drive usage, customer satisfaction, loyalty and ROI.

8. Design to Code

A new generation of digital design tools is emerging that allows designers to generate presentation layer code directly from screen designs and interactive prototypes. Design to code enables the dynamic and ongoing creation of templates, modules and components — both as design patterns and reusable code.

9. Design Ops

The need to define and implement design systems in the business has led to the creation of the design ops process and the emergence of tools to implement governance over the design process. Design professionals can create and deploy design standards, such as layouts, color palettes, typefaces, controls, components and other elements, and control them across multiple business units, applications, endpoints and other design variables.

“Compelling digital experiences are ultimately functions of digital design,” Mr. Prentice said. “This process contextualizes both existing and emerging technologies in ways that are relevant and meaningful for people. A whole new set of digital technology to support both the individual tasks of designers and the efficiency of the overall design process is emerging. This combination of process formalization and technology will allow digital design to scale significantly.”

India Meditronic is Now Great Place to Work-Certified from October 2019 to September 2020

India Medtronic Private Limited, wholly owned subsidiary of Medtronic plc (NYSE: MDT), today announced their certification as a Great Place to Work. India Medtronic Pvt Ltd earned this acknowledgement by surpassing the threshold of Trust Index© and Culture Audit© framework under the category of ‘Large Organizations’ (more than 500 employees). The certification is valid for the period of October 2019 – September 2020.

Great Place to Work Certification is considered as the Gold Standard in identifying and recognizing Great Workplace Cultures. It reflects the High-Trust, High-Performance Culture within the organization. The certification, which is a two-step process involves:

1.    Participation in the Trust Index© employee survey.
2.    Culture Audit© that captures data on various aspects of organization’s culture and people practices.

Some key highlights from the survey:

1.    India Medtronic Pvt Ltd achieved a score of 83 under the category ‘Pride’ which measures employees' sense of pride in their work by assessing the feelings employees have toward their jobs, team or work group and the company.

2.    India Medtronic Pvt Ltd scored 91 on parameter for Top 50-best companies to work

* Top areas of strength identified-
* Contribution to Society
* Fairness regardless of race, caste, gender

“Tenet 5 of the Medtronic Mission talks about our most important asset — our people. The broad range of ideas and diversity of experiences brought by our employees is what drives our innovation and problem-solving approach, which ultimately results in better outcomes for patients,” said Madan Krishnan, vice president and managing director, India Medtronic Pvt Ltd. “The Great Place to Work® Certification is another milestone in Medtronic’s 40th year in India and to be validated by our employees is gratifying.”

This Certification has also earned India Medtronic Pvt Ltd the chance to feature on the ‘Best Workplaces’ list - the world’s largest and most respected study of workplace excellence and people management practices.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

TCS iON’s Digital Marking Hub Expands its Evaluator Ecosystem

TCS iON, a strategic unit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, announced a partnership with The English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) to train and certify its faculty and senior students on the TCS iON Digital Marking Hub platform. This further expands the large ecosystem of professional evaluators that TCS iON uses to offer location-independent marking services to customers across the globe using its Digital Marking Hub platform.

The TCS iON Digital Marking Hub is a first-of-its-kind platform that digitizes the subjective answer script evaluation process, leveraging digital technology along with the expertise of professional evaluators to make the process location-independent, scalable, faster and more efficient. The platform allows markers to perform video, audio, and paper-pen based answer book marking.

With a growing demand for English language literacy, institutions in non-English speaking countries have increased their focus on English language education. However, the absence of sufficient numbers of local evaluators proficient in English has proved a bottleneck in the timely and accurate assessment of students. By making the process location-independent, TCS iON enables the use of a global pool of expertise to help these institutions improve the scale and quality of their student evaluation process.

“Our Digital Marking Hub takes answer script evaluation into the digital era, helping educational institutions and exam bodies gain immense speed and efficiency, while freeing them from the administrative, operational and logistical hassles involved in the traditional manual process,” said Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head, TCS iON. “Our partnership with EFLU will offer opportunities to certified evaluators in India to participate in marking students across the world in English and other foreign languages.”

Prof E Suresh Kumar, Vice Chancellor, EFLU, said, “This is one of the most significant partnerships that the University has entered into in the past two years. TCS iON’s training and certification in marking will empower EFLU’s teachers and senior students to expand their horizons and become part of a larger marking community, while also providing them the opportunity to connect with learners from different parts of the world.”

TCS iON offers location-independent marking services to a number of customers including Sapix Yozemi Group (Yoyogi Seminar), a cram school in Japan, for assessment of spoken English tests. TCS iON has also on-boarded qualified and certified teachers of English and other domain subjects in India, who have been meticulously trained to evaluate textual and spoken (audio) responses.

Paysquare Rolls Out Highly Scalable, Centralised Solutions Suite for Global Payroll Operations

Payroll outsourcing giant Paysquare has added yet another jewel to its crown with the unveiling of trend-setting global payroll processing solutions and services suite for enterprises with multi-country presence.

In a bid to answer cut throat competition, business complexities and uncertainties, enterprises today are zeroing in on innovation, upskilling of the workforce and comprehensive restructuring measures to stay profitable.

In such a scenario, enterprises with global presence witness frequent hiccups owing to the absence of stringent compliance with local and global payroll regulations. Inducting local human resources across borders not only incurs hefty expenditure but also induces complexities in payroll management.

Moreover, with no stringent data security measures in place, the likelihood of a breach of employee confidential information escalates significantly.

Paysquare’s global payroll processing solutions suite ensures centralised management of payroll operations across the globe utilizing cutting edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence for a seamless, user- friendly payroll experience to the global workforce of an enterprise.

Furthermore, any updates related to payroll compliance are instantly synchronised with the system ensuring zero scope for errors and avoiding hefty regulatory penalties.

Some of the industry-leading features of the solutions suite include :-

●       Monthly payroll calculation and delivery
●       Employee specific income tax management and submission to local tax authorities
●       Employee payroll data maintenance
●       Electronic pay-slip reporting

 ‘’Our team at Paysquare is committed to ensuring an end to end payroll management for our esteemed clientele. The industry-leading global payroll processing solutions suite features comprehensive migration support; a highly scalable, cutting edge back-end payroll system and a multi-layer data security mechanism. All of this ensures a distinctive payroll experience to multinational enterprises,’’ said Rakesh Jain, CEO and founder, Paysquare.

 Right from disbursing salaries to analysing operational costs or generating performance metrics of employees, outsourcing payroll has come as an end to end service for enterprises, eyeing to tap on new opportunities and streamline revenue centric operations.

 With rapid advancements in technology, the payroll landscape has now transformed from legacy on-premise system towards a cloud-based service. Emerging technologies including Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Chatbots are empowering payroll processes to automate repetitive, tedious manual tasks which consume significant work hours of professionals.

NOFILTR.GROUP Launches the Influencer Community ‘Creator21’

NOFILTR.GROUP, a leading social media label, and influencer incubator has launched its new influencer community – ‘Creator21’. Creator21 is a community of innovative thinkers and creators who will collaborate to reshape the future of content creation in India. It aims to reach out to a wide audience of creators across the country offering them a platform to meet likeminded people. They can share creative ideas that will help them build a better world and a stronger career path.

Being at the forefront of the influencer marketing space, NOFILTR has always come up with ground-breaking work in the creator and influencer segment. Launch of Creator 21 aims at building a community that focuses on creating meaningful and inspirational work for the next generation of creators to carry forward or build on.

Talking about the launch of this community, Mr. Sumedh Chaphekar, Founder and CEO, NOFILTR Group addressed the audience of creators, “I am very excited to begin the journey Creator21 and extremely grateful to all the creators for inculcating trust in us and believing in our ideology. Over the past few years, social media has evolved drastically. We engaged in a thorough discussion of over 6 months and went through various challenges that are faced by the creative minds, that is what germinated the idea of having a community that binds us all. Creator 21 aims to organize collaborative events for the creators from every platform such as YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and much more.”, he added.

The launch event was followed by various innovative activities where the guests enjoyed the elaborate photo booth setup. Top influencers and creators were invited for the launch. Four spectacularly scintillating photo-booths were set up where the creators could come together and generate some quirky, innovative content.  The community event of Creator21 helped the creators to meet like-minded people and expand their network to collaborate with each other. It will serve as an avenue for all the creators to grow together in the wake of making meaningful content and relationships. With this event, the platform aims to foster offline as well as online community building and help members nurture deeper and professional relationships.

Nearly 35 influencers attended the launch event such as Awez Darbar, Nagma Mirajkar, Angry Prash, Mrunu, Sanket Mehta, Aashna Hegde, Sunny Chopra, Funcho and Anam Darbar to name a few.

International Investors Eye Indian Technical Textile Market Through Techtextil India 2019

In a bid to attract the booming Indian market, international contingents have booked exhibition space at Techtextil India 2019 in full force. The show with over 160 exhibitors will showcase exclusive international pavilions, an exclusive area for the composite industry and knowledge focussed forum - Techtextil India Symposium.

The 7th edition of Techtextil India 2019 will witness strong participation from major international countries and regions, indicating the booming dynamics of the Indian technical textiles industry. Companies like Andritz Küsters GmbH, Europlasma, Hardick Bv, Protechnic S.A.; Laroche SA, Andritz Perfojet Sas, Bombi Meccanica, Sicam, Zimmer, Morchem S.P.A Bookwang Tech, Jr Corporation, KSG Co Ltd and Samwha Machinery are some of the international names presenting on the show floor.

Techtextil India is the leading international trade fair for technical textile and non-woven offering complete solutions of the entire value chain of 12 application areas from Agrotech to Sporttech which address all visitors’ target groups. Attracting investors from all over the country, the show will prove to be a lucrative platform for international companies that will facilitate growth by enabling businesses and professionals to build trade relations, evaluate market trends and share technical expertise.

The sunrise sector of the Indian technical textile industry possesses great potential due to its cost-effectiveness, durability, and versatility within the market. Effective strides taken by the government of India to boost growth and development has also played a major role to entice international companies to view India as a strong market for trade.

With over 160 exhibitors, the international trade fair is a trusted platform organised by well-known B2B exhibition organisers, Meese Frankfurt Trade Fairs India Pvt Ltd and a string of successful previous editions has led international companies to choose Techtextil India 2019 as their preferred choice.

Enthusiastic visitors and exhibitors, unique textile innovations, inspiring conversations will experience the progressive atmosphere of Techtextil India 2019 in their retrospective film. At the fair, suppliers and manufacturers of functional apparel fabrics and technical textiles, nonwovens, fibres and yarns, which are used in sports, industrial areas, and outdoor clothing, will be represented from countries like India, Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Taiwan.

Other prominent names from the industry like Aditya Birla Yarns (P T Elegant), Archroma, Coated Sales, Far Eastern New Century Corporation, Ginni Filaments, Groz Beckert, Lenzing Ag India, Lucky International, SIOEN Industries Montex Glass Fiber, Oerlikon Nonwovon, Park Non Woven Pvt Ltd, Piotex Textech Pvt. Ltd, PyroTex Industries GmbH, Saint Gobain Adfors, Grindwell Norton Ltd, Sarex Chemicals, Shreenath Adhesives, Suntech Geotextile Pvt. Ltd, Supreme Nonwoven and the Filament Factory GmbH will also be present to showcase advanced technologies and solutions to cater various application areas of the industry.

Encouraging the composite industry within technical textiles, the trade fair will also see participation from composite companies that will bring a range of material at “World of Composites”. This platform will host leading companies offering raw materials, metal composites; nano composites; and other composite based industrial products. Some of the companies presenting at the show include Essen International, Jiangyin Desel Environmental Protection Equipment Co., Ltd., Jushi India, Madhu Glasstex Pvt Ltd, Saint Gobain Adfors, Grindwell Norton Ltd., SPG Glass Fibre Pvt. Ltd. and Supertech Fabrics Pvt Ltd.

Additionally, Techtextil India Symposium will also be conducted, which is the premier forum for the technical textiles industry (including nonwovens and composites) bringing together top-level speakers, technical specialists and highly qualified professionals across the industry.

The conference will attract speakers and delegates representing the entire cross-section and stakeholders at a common platform, including the leading machinery manufacturers, raw material suppliers, fabric suppliers, the end-product manufacturers, consultants, startups/new entrepreneurs, investors, research and development companies, testing, and certification authorities and industry associations, major textile institutions, etc.

Poised to be an integral part amidst Indian and international traders for the technical textile market in the country, the show will open an array of opportunities during its schedule from 20 – 22 November 2019 at Bombay Exhibition Center, Mumbai.

Holiday Inn Resort Phuket Announces Grand Re-Opening after $4.6 Million Make-Over

The Holiday Inn Resort Phuket today announced its grand re-opening after undergoing a USD$4.6 million renovation process in the last 7 months. An oasis of tranquility in bustling Patong, the refurbished resort successfully combines the established reputation of Thai hospitality with a calm, relaxed and luxurious ambience.

Having undergone a transformative make-over in its Busakorn Wing, the resort strives to provide guests with unrivalled high-end service, personal welcome facilities, premium-use swimming pools and a host of indulgent packages.

“Offering a fabulous resort within a resort experience, we are thrilled to unveil the newly renovated Busakorn Wing where tropical sophistication meets traditional Thai luxury. Offering a fresh guest experience for our new and returning guests, the beautifully appointed Studio Rooms and Villas meld heritage-inspired décor but with Modern Thai elegance,” said Bart Callens, General Manager of the Resort. 

As Patong’s first international hotel, Holiday Inn Phuket Resort has been serving guests for over 30 years becoming one of the most well-known hotels in the region. Located centrally in Patong with direct access to prime dining, entertainment and shopping locations, the hotel is sheltered from the crowds and provides a restful ambience.

As part of its re-launch, a total of 104 studio rooms, including 17 new poolside rooms, have been renovated. The new refurbishments also offer an adult-only villa area with pool access and poolview rooms, new facilities and exclusive indulgence packages.

“The interior design draws inspiration from the rich tapestry of Thailand’s cotton traditional weaving styles and careful attention has been paid to the finishing touches to create a truly distinctive holiday experience for our guests. Rooms overlook tropical swimming pools framed by landscaped gardens to create a peaceful oasis right in the heart of Patong. The Busakorn Wing has its own entrance and reception, and two additional swimming pools for the exclusive use of Busakorn guests,” Callens added.

Living up to Thailand's reputation as the Land of Smiles, Holiday Inn Resort Phuket aims to leave its guests with lasting smiles for the duration of their stay. The friendly and courteous staff is a reflection of the warm Thai hospitality and aligns with the highly-esteemed global reputation of Holiday Inn Resorts as an attentive and customer-centric brand. 

Dr. Jaya Vaidhyanathan Honored with Silver Stevies for the Lifetime Achievement Award and Innovator

The 16th Annual International Business Awards®, an international and all-encompassing business awards program, awarded Dr. Jaya Vaidhyanathan CEO of BCT Digital the Lifetime Achievement Award - Business Services Industries and Innovator of the Year 2019 with Silver Stevies®. Jaya has been recognized for her two decades of global experience in being a catalyst for digital transformation, and her vision for “reverse innovation”.

BCT Digital is division of Bahwan CyberTek (BCT), a global technology company specializing in AI, Blockchain, IoT and Predictive Analytics. Dr. Jaya, in her current role, spearheaded BCT’s digital transformation initiatives to build quality products for the global banking and financial services industry. She pioneered the award winning product on “Early Warning System”, a credit risk management product that helps identify incipient stress accounts early to reduce NPA. She is also the brain child behind other successful risk management products for Model Risk, Operational Risk and Liquidity Risk. The products are built using best in class technology combining AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain.

The 16th Annual International Business Awards®, known as ‘the International Stevies’, is a premier business award. It was created in 2002 to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide. The 2019 competition attracted more than 4,000 nominations from organizations of all types in 74 nations. Winners were determined through more than two months of judging by the average scores of more than 250 professionals worldwide.

Gartner Says Global IT Spending to Grow 3.7 Percent in 2020

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.7 trillion in 2019, an increase of 0.4% from 2018, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. This is the lowest forecast growth in 2019 so far. Global IT spending is expected to rebound in 2020 with forecast growth of 3.7%, primarily due to enterprise software spending.

“The slowdown in IT spending in 2019 is not expected to stretch as far into 2020 despite concerns over a recession and companies cutting back on discretionary IT spending,” said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. 

Gartner analysts are discussing the emerging trends that are driving the digital society and IT spending during Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo, taking place here through Thursday.

Today’s complex geopolitical environment has pushed regulatory compliance to the top of organizations’ priority list. Overall spending on security increased 10.5% in 2019, with cloud security projected to grow 41.2% over the next five years. “This is not just about keeping the ‘bad guys’ out,” said Mr. Lovelock. “It is also about the expanding need to be compliant with tariffs and trade policy, intellectual property rights, and even with the multiple and sometimes overlapping privacy laws.”

Despite the ongoing tariff war, U.S. IT spending is forecast to grow 3.5% in 2019, but IT spending in China is expected to grow only 0.1%. “Tariffs do not have a direct effect on IT spending, yet,” said Mr. Lovelock. “Should tariffs extend to devices like PCs and mobile phones, we will likely see manufacturers switch supply routes to minimize costs and have their technology made outside of China.”

The device market will see the sharpest spending decline among all segments in 2019, down 5.3% from $713 billion in 2018. However, the market is expected to see modest growth of 1.2% in 2020. “Similar to how consumers have reached a threshold for upgrading to new technology and applications, technology general managers and product managers should invest only in the next generation of products that will push them closer to becoming a true technology company,” said Mr. Lovelock.

IT spending growth is being driven by the rest of the world catching up on cloud spending. The U.S. is leading cloud adoption and accounts for over half of global spending on cloud. In some cases, countries that Gartner tracks lag one to seven years in cloud adoption rates. “For perspective, the country directly behind the U.S. on cloud spending is the United Kingdom, which only spends 8% on public cloud services. An interesting outlier is China, which has the highest growth of cloud spending out of all countries. While China is closing the spending gap, it still will not reach U.S. levels by 2023,” said Mr. Lovelock.

Gartner predicts that organizations with a high percentage of IT spending dedicated to the cloud will become the recognized digital leaders in the future. “Most companies are caught trying to either cut costs or invest for growth, but the top-performing enterprises are doing both. A core challenge facing the industry is how organizations can operate as both a traditional company and a technology company at the same time,” said Mr. Lovelock. “These ‘and’ dilemmas will drive future IT spending trends.”

Gartner’s IT spending forecast methodology relies heavily on rigorous analysis of sales by thousands of vendors across the entire range of IT products and services. Gartner uses primary research techniques, complemented by secondary research sources, to build a comprehensive database of market size data on which to base its forecast.

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