Friday, November 15, 2019

Ed-Tech Start-Up Lido Learning Announces Series A $3 Million Funding

Mumbai based Ed-tech startup Lido learning has raised $3million as part of a Series A funding round led by prominent investors like Ronnie Screwvala (Chairman Upgrad), Ananth Narayanan (CEO Medlife), Vikrampati Singhania (MD JK Tyres), Anupam Mittal (CEO, Arihant Patni (MD Patni Wealth Advisors), amongst others.

Founded in April 2019 by second time ed-tech entrepreneur Sahil Sheth, Lido Learning is revolutionizing traditional tutorials through immersive live small-group online tuitions. Lido caters to students from Class 5-9; offering yearlong coaching classes in Math and Science through an integrated online platform that combines unique interactive content with the best tutors from across the country.

“Ed-Tech is presently under invested but is a massive opportunity in India. Online tutoring is very nascent and Lido has a clear opportunity for market leadership with the strong product and tech it has developed. They are onto something very big here “, said Ronnie Screwvala. 

According to a Google-KPMG report, the online tutoring market is expected to grow dramatically in the next two years, to around 10 Million users by 2021. This is still only a tiny sliver of the Indian market that has over 250 million students currently enrolled in schools so that the potential for future growth is tremendous.  Lido’s ultimate goal is to provide a personalized learning experience to every student - 250 million unique classrooms for 250 million unique students.

Within 3 months of operations, Lido has gained incredible traction and is expanding rapidly across the country.

Lido’s key value proposition is in its dynamic learning environment - interactive classroom, excellent teachers and supportive academic advisors. At the centre of this is the state-of-the-art online classroom with animated visual content, immersive games and quizzes with real-time results. Every class has a maximum student to teacher ratio of 6:1 to ensure that each student receives enough coaching, feedback and doubt clearance. Lido aims to build an entire learning ecosystem around students so to push them to their furthest achievement levels with academic advisors assigned to every student to mentor and coach them. Within a few weeks of learning on Lido, students are performing 20% better on classroom tests and are feeling more prepared and confident to participate in class.

Given its futuristic platform, engaging content and highly skilled teachers and mentors, Lido is expected to disrupt the existing K-12 ed-tech industry through a massive improvement in quality while being affordable to the average student.

A 51 Year Old with Recurrent Brain Stroke Given a New Lease of Life at Manipal Hospitals

Manipal Hospitals, Bangalore stacked up yet another medical marvel and gave a new lease of life to Mrs. Jayanti Singh a 51-year-old school teacher who was suffering from recurrent brain stroke. The neurology team  who worked relentlessly to give her a second life and helped her go back to her nobel profession are Dr. Manjunath – Consultant Neurologist, Dr. Paritosh Pandey – Consultant Neurosurgeon and Dr. Ullas V Acharya – Consultant Interventional Radiologist.

Initially Mrs. Jayanthi was presented to the Manipal medical emergency department with history of acute onset right hand weakness, slurring of speech and deviation of face to the left since 4.5 hours. On arrival, she was evaluated by emergency department physicians and found to be drowsy but arousable with high blood pressure recordings of 180/70 mmHg. The power in the right hand was 3/5 with right-sided UMN facial palsy.

Speaking about the case, Dr. Manjunath, Consultant Neurologist at Manipal Hospitals Bangalore said, “Stroke alert was raised and we immediately took control of the situation. Imaging revealed small areas of strokes in the brain with occlusion of a large artery supplying the brain named left internal carotid artery. She was taken up for emergency mechanical thrombectomy where special equipments like stents and aspiration catheters were employed to remove the clot and establish reperfusion. This treatment was done through a small nick in the right leg through which catheter tubes were taken across the arterial system to the ones supplying the brain. Jayanthi was then put on anticoagulant therapy followed by antiplatelet and lipid-lowering agents in order to prevent stroke. She then underwent intense rehabilitation program and on discharge had regained most of her hand power to near normal with improved speech. “

Unfortunately, Jayanti yet came again to the Hospital on November 2nd with similar symptoms. The stroke had relapsed in this case and there was slurring of speech and facial drooping towards the left side, without any limb weakness.  Jayanti was in the hospital within the golden hour as she and her family were quite aware of the stroke symptoms due to similar experience in the past.

Speaking after the success of the case, Dr. Paritosh Pandey , Consultant Neurosurgeon  at Manipal Hospitals Bangalore said, “ Jayanthi was in the hospital for the second time. Imaging confirmed left  internal carotid artery occlusion with very small developing infarcts. She was immediately taken up for mechanical thrombectomy, successfully recanalised using similar techniques as in the past and showed immediate post procedure recovery. The timely act of recognizing early symptoms of stroke by the patient relatives and reporting to a nearby comprehensive stroke centre is commendable helping the patient recover without any neurological deficits. We at Manipal Hospitals have 24 x 7 stroke services rendered by an able active stroke team who strive to reduce burden of this emerging non-communicable disease, “ stroke”, otherwise simply called as Brain attack. “

Thanking the stroke team at Manipal Hospitals, Mrs. Jayanti Singh said, “Today I am  proud to go back to my  Noble profession and I have completely regained my speech and motor power. My heart felt gratitude to the stroke team at Manipal Hospitals who constantly supported me and give me a fresh lease of life not once but twice. Infact I am also suffering from Mitral stenosis that is a heart ailment and therefore my case was even more challenging for doctors. Today I feel healthy and the quality of my life has improved immensely. “

Around 1.54 million Indians are affected by strokes every year and the worse is 90 per cent of stroke patients failed to reach hospital on time. The lifetime risk of stroke after the age of 55 is 1 in 5 for women and 1 in 6 for men.

Hybrid Cloud Future Bright As 73 Percent of Enterprises Moving Apps Back on Prem

Nutanix, Inc., a leader in enterprise cloud computing, today announced the findings of its second global Enterprise Cloud Index survey and research report, which measures enterprise progress with adopting private, hybrid and public clouds. The new report found enterprises plan to aggressively shift investment to hybrid cloud architectures, with respondents reporting steady and substantial hybrid deployment plans over the next five years. The vast majority of 2019 survey respondents (85%) selected hybrid cloud as their ideal IT operating model.

For the second consecutive year, Vanson Bourne conducted research on behalf of Nutanix to learn about the state of global enterprise cloud deployments and adoption plans. The researcher surveyed 2,650 IT decision-makers in 24 countries around the world about where they’re running their business applications today, where they plan to run them in the future, what their cloud challenges are, and how their cloud initiatives stack up against other IT projects and priorities. The 2019 respondent base spanned multiple industries, business sizes, and the following geographies: the Americas; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and the Asia-Pacific (APJ) region.

This year’s report illustrated that creating and executing a cloud strategy has become a multidimensional challenge. At one time, a primary value proposition associated with the public cloud was substantial upfront capex savings. Now, enterprises have discovered that there are other considerations when selecting the best cloud for the business as well, and that one size cloud strategy doesn’t fit all use cases. For example, while applications with unpredictable usage may be best suited to the public clouds offering elastic IT resources, workloads with more predictable characteristics can often run on-premises at a lower cost than public cloud. Savings are also dependent on businesses’ ability to match each application to the appropriate cloud service and pricing tier, and to remain diligent about regularly reviewing service plans and fees, which change frequently.

In this ever-changing environment, flexibility is essential, and a hybrid cloud provides this choice. Other key findings from the report include:

Apps are migrating away from the public cloud back to on-premises infrastructures. Nearly three-fourths (73%) of respondents reported that they are moving some applications off the public cloud and back on prem, and 22% of those users are moving five or more applications. These moves underscore, in part, enterprises’ need for hybrid cloud’s flexibility in allowing them to adapt their infrastructures based on their fluctuating requirements. App mobility is critical, and more than nine in ten (95%) respondents reported that it is essential or desirable to be able to easily move applications between cloud environments.

Security remains the biggest factor impacting enterprises’ future cloud strategies. Well over half of 2019 respondents (60%) said that the state of security among clouds would have the biggest influence on their cloud deployment plans going forward. Similarly, data security and compliance represented the top variable (26%) in determining where an enterprise runs a given workload.

IT professionals deem the hybrid cloud the most secure of all the IT operating models. More than a quarter of respondents (28%) picked the hybrid model as the most secure — substantially surpassing those who chose a fully private cloud/on-prem model (21%) and more than twice as many as those who chose traditional (non-cloud-enabled) private data centers (13%). One reason for this is perhaps because enterprises can select the right cloud for their security requirements.

Nearly a quarter (23.5%) of respondents currently aren’t leveraging any cloud technology today. Many companies still fall behind when it comes to enterprise cloud adoption. However, respondents’ reported plans indicate that in one year’s time, the number of enterprises with no cloud deployments will plummet to 6.5% and in two years’ time will drop by more than half to 3%. Regionally, the Americas reported a slightly lower incidence of non-cloud use (21%) compared to EMEA (25%) and APJ (24%).

Enterprises are striving to integrate cloud computing with their digital transformation goals. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of 2019 respondents said digital transformation was driving their cloud implementations, and 64% said that digital transformation was the top business priority in their organizations.

“As organizations continue to grapple with complex digital transformation initiatives, flexibility and security are critical components to enable seamless and reliable cloud adoption,” said Wendy M. Pfeiffer, CIO of Nutanix. “The enterprise has progressed in its understanding and adoption of hybrid cloud, but there is still work to do when it comes to reaping all of its benefits. In the next few years, we’ll see businesses rethinking how to best utilize hybrid cloud, including hiring for hybrid computing skills and reskilling IT teams to keep up with emerging technologies.”

“Cloud computing has become an integral part of business strategy, but it has introduced several challenges along with it," said Ashish Nadkarni, group vice president of infrastructure systems, platforms and technologies at IDC. "These include security and application performance concerns and high cost. As the 2019 Enterprise Cloud Index report demonstrates, hybrid cloud will continue to be the best option for enterprises, enabling them to securely meet modernization and agility requirements for workloads.”

Fujifilm Launches the ‘Never Stop’ Brand Campaign Across India


* Fujifilm’s new digital film highlights the brand’s commitment to achievement and growth
* Titled as ‘Never Stop’ captures the essence of offering innovation and a holistic expertise to its customers across sectors
* Focuses on ‘Never Stop’ believing, innovating, changing and challenging

Fujifilm India Private Limited, a pioneer in imaging technologies, today announced the launch of its latest brand campaign for its globally proclaimed “NEVER STOP” in India. The digital film focuses on communicating the company’s diverse array of business operations as well as its corporate mindset committed to take on new challenges with best-in-class technologies in different sectors.

The new film titled, ‘Never Stop’ highlights Fujifilm’s long-standing relationship with the Indian consumers and the brand’s constant focus towards revealing new technologies while cementing its position as a market disruptor. It illustrates how the company is commitment to continuously evolve its technology and build expertise in areas like healthcare, high-functioning materials, and imaging solutions.

With Never Stop, Fujifilm aims to unveil the elevated brand identity and highlight the essence of reinvention through the lives of a regular Indian Family. The film tends to find common ground with an Indian household as they visit a hospital during a health issue and emotionally builds connect with how one should never stop believing, innovating, changing and challenging.

Storyboard: The new digital film is a reflection of how the brand mirrors its values and convictions through the concept of Never Stop. It revolves around an endearing old Indian couple visiting the hospital for wife’s health check-up. The story unfolds by highlighting how the granddaughter tries to cheer her grandmother by capturing the moment with instax and further spreads a smile on her grandfather by showing him the instant film of his happy wife. As the Lady is taken for various checkups, the video highlights Fujifilm’s Advanced Diagnostic Imaging System that comes with top-notch technologies. The film beautifully captures the raw emotions of the family as the doctor examines the reports of the patient and delivers the happy news of a normal report. The film ends with a content family returning home where the grandson captures the happy moment in his Fujifilm digital camera.

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Haruto Iwata, Managing Director, Fujifilm India Pvt Ltd. Said, “With our “NEVER STOP” brand campaign, we are thrilled to showcase our unwavering commitment of introducing innovative products and services to the Indian market across sectors. We believe that business corporation must be an entity that contributes to resolving social issues through its business activities, and by developing and supplying its own technologies, products and services. The digital film has been designed in line with our belief and showcases our transition from a company focused on photographic film to a company providing new value across a wide range of different fields and contributing to the resolution of various societal issue.”

Sanjib Dey of Hammer Communications adds, “In line with Fujifilm’s global “NEVER STOP” campaign, we wanted to shed light on the Brand’s: “IMAGING expertise, unwavering INNOVATION drive and an INSPIRATIONAL urge to solve social challenges” in India, that makes it different in this highly competitive landscape. Given the interesting concept of ‘Never Stop’, we thought of creating a film that builds a strong emotional connect with the audience and resonates with the brand. The film captures Fujifilm’s legacy and commitment of introducing innovative products and services and further highlights its belief that one should never stop believing, hoping, living, etc.”

The film, conceptualized and created in collaboration with Hammer Communications will premiere on 11th, November 2019 across all digital platforms and leading OTT boards like Hotstar, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. Along with this, the brand would also be promoting the ‘Never Stop’ campaign through print and digital mediums across India. Additionally the brand is heavily advertising on popular news portals, metro stations, airports and hospitals displaying its medical applications.

Following its reinvention, Fujifilm Holdings is not only active in the field of photography but also a range of other fields. They include the health care business, which incorporates medical devices, pharmaceuticals, regenerative medicine, cosmetics and, other products. Along with highly functional material businesses, which produces various display materials. In addition, Fujifilm has a document business, which provides a range of solutions and services linking with multifunction devices and printers.

Women Showcase Prowess in New-Age Technologies at TechGig Geek Goddess 2019


* Tanneeru Leela beat 73,388 women technologists to take home the title crown
* All the 73,300 + code submissions underwent strict scrutiny and only 375 women technologists were invited for the finale hackathon
* Niche technologies as Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation, Cloud were the core theme of hackathons
* Winners took home prizes worth Rs 7,50,000 collectively
* Finale day celebrations concluded with a job fair for IT professionals where half a dozen companies hired women technologists for their firms 

It was a ‘David versus Goliath’ scenario at TechGig Geek Goddess 2019 finale when Tanneeru Leela took on more than 73,387 women technologists to win this year’s title crown. She braved 375 women technologists at the four-hour-long, offline final code competition to clinch the crown.

TechGig Geek Goddess is the annual, women-only coding competition from TechGig that brings together women programmers from all the walks of life to showcase their technology skills and claim their glory. In its fifth edition, TechGig Geek Goddess recorded the highest ever participation at 73,388+.

The 2019 edition was announced on August 19 and was closed for submissions on October 21. All the code submissions were checked on various parameters, including innovation, quality, the ease of application among others. After the rigorous check, only 375 women technologists were invited for the finale day hackathon on November 8, 2019, at the Four Seasons hotel in Bengaluru.

The event was graced by some of the most notable names of India’s IT industry. The event began with an inaugural address by Ruchika Panesar, Vice President Global Services Group Technology and Head of Technology - India, American Express. Dr Neeta Verma, Director General, NIC delivered a special address at the event. A series of panel discussions ensued in the evening ceremony where technology and diversity leaders from Goldman Sachs, Automation Anywhere, Wipro, Oracle, Cisco, Capgemini, TomTom, Xoriant, Cognizant, Capgemini, American Express and RBS participated. 

This year’s competition was intense with the introduction of cutting edge technologies as hackathon themes. They are being: Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Cloudify everything, Solution hunters’ hackathon, among others.

“We saw enthusiastic participation for niche themes as RPA, AI/ML with the registrations in the range of 4,000-6,000. This is proof that women technologists are raring to work and shine in the new-age technology streams. Owing to a tough selection process and high cut-off marks in the prelim and semi-final rounds, out of 73,388 registrations, only 375 women technologists made it to the final round. With only 0.51% of participants making it to the finale, I feel that all the finalists were best of the best coding minds in India. To win over this genius talent pool is a true feat and I congratulate all winners for their indomitable spirit,” said Sanjay Goyal, Business Head, TimesJobs and TechGig

Adding to that Ram Awasthi, VP – Technology, Times Internet mentioned, “This is the first time that I am a part of the TechGig Geek Goddess finale event. The energy here is infectious and I was amazed to see such young girls coding enthusiastically using the new-age technologies like Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Cloud and others.” 

TechGig Geek Goddess 2019 edition finale day was marked by a live hackathon in the morning, followed by a Women Disruptors’ Conference in the evening, followed by a glitzy awards ceremony. Like last year, this year too TechGig Geek Goddess is presented by American Express, a globally integrated payments company. Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment bank and active investor in India, is the contest’s platinum partner this year.

Ruchika Panesar, Vice President Global Services Group Technology and Head of Technology - India, American Express heartily congratulated all the hackathon participants. “This outstanding accomplishment is the latest chapter in an inspiring story about women achieving great things in technology. At American Express, we strive to be a place where women want to work and build careers. It’s fantastic to see so many women technologists compete in this unique event, and we’re excited to see what all of you go on to achieve in the world. Congratulations to TechGig Geek Goddess for creating this great platform to nurture talented women in technology,” she said.

Overall, nine winners were felicitated at the ceremony. Collectively, all winners took home prizes worth Rs 7,50,000.

TechGig Geek Goddess 2019 concluded with an exclusive job fair for participants on November 9, 2019, where participating companies hired candidates for their companies. A complete list of winners at TechGig Geek Goddess 2019 is as follows:

Theme winners -
Automation Anywhere Hackathon:
Winners - Sarika Patil, MrunalKotkar
Runners up - KatheejaBeevi, SornamThiyagarajan

AI/ML Hackathon by American Express:
Winners - Laisha Wadhwa
Runners up - JayathilagaRamajayam

Cloudify Everything Hackathon by Hexaware Technologies:
Winners - Arti Kumari&Navya Singh
Runners up - NandanaKudeti

Solution Hunters’ Hackathon by JetBrains:
Winners -  Nithya Vasudevan
Runners up - Rajhrita Dutta

Coding winners –

TechGig Geek Goddess 2019 Champion: Tanneeru Leela
First runners up – Urvashi Rai
Second runners up – Snehlata Mishra
Third runners up – Anviti Srivastava
Fourth runners up – MridulChirania

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Russian Mi-38 Launched in the International Market During the Dubai Airshow 2019

During the Dubai Airshow 2019, the Russian Helicopters Holding Company (part of Rostec State Corporation) will make the first foreign presentation of its newest Mi-38 civilian helicopter. The rotorcraft featuring a luxury cabin will be showcased at the static exposition, and will also take part in the flight program.

The civilian version of the first serial Mi-38 helicopter was introduced last August at MAKS-2019 Moscow air show, where it was demonstrated to the Russian President Vladimir Putin. Cutting-edge technical solutions in the field of safety and comfort were used in the development of the helicopter interior. The engines of Mi-38 are located behind the main rotor transmission, instead of their traditional forward placement, which ensures the reduction in aerodynamic resistance and noise level in the cockpit, as well as increased the rotorcraft safety. In addition to its excellent flight performance, the competitive advantage of Mi-38 is its cost, which is lower than that of its foreign same-class peers.
The flight range of the transport version of the new Mi-38 helicopter is up to 1,000 kilometers (with additional fuel tanks). With its maximum takeoff weight of 15.6 tonnes, the helicopter can carry 5 tons of payload on board or on an external sling.

Another novelty of the Dubai Airshow will be the light Ansat helicopter, which, following its European debut in Le Bourget, will be introduced to the Middle East. The corporate version of the rotorcraft will also take part in the flight program of the show. In this configuration, the helicopter can comfortably transport up to 5 passengers.
“Research and development effort, as well as experimental designing activity within the Mi-38 project was financed by the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade. The helicopter was originally designed to meet the toughest existing and potential standards of safety, environmental friendliness, land noise. The closest attention was paid to meeting the customers' needs in terms of flight performance, operational and economic parameters. Our engineers have performed a range of activities aimed at further expanding the operational capabilities and ensuring maximum versatility of the helicopter use. The improvements aimed at ensuring reliable and comfortable operation of the new rotorcraft in the conditions of hot climate and desert terrain should be of particular interest to operators in the Middle East,” noted the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov.

"It is the first time in Russia's newest history that our civilian helicopters will be presented at a Middle East air show. The format and content of the participation of Russian Helicopters Holding Company in the Dubai Airshow demonstrate the new approaches of Rostec State Corporation to promoting Russian high-tech civilian products on foreign markets, which involves the support from the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Russian Export Center, and leasing companies. We are confident that, in terms of its price and quality, Russian-made helicopters can be quite competitive in the world market and we expect that their demonstration will result in more actual contracts," said Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov.
"Dubai Airshow will be the first foreign site for us to demonstrate our latest Mi-38, so we say that we are making the world premiere of this rotorcraft, as well as the debut of Ansat in the Middle East. The UAE sees the rapid development of its urban mobility sector, therefore, in addition to flight models, at our booth, we will present the VRT300 UAV, and a model of a light single-engine VRT500 helicopter will be showcased at our joint exposition with Tawazun, an Emirati Holding Company. It is no secret that UAE investors are interested in joining the project, and we expect to take the first actual steps in this area during the exhibition', said Director General of Russian Helicopters holding company Andrey Boginsky.

Mi-38 can be operated in a wide range of climatic conditions including maritime, tropical and cold climates. The use of unparalleled technical solutions makes Mi-38 superior to other similar-class helicopters in terms of load capacity, seating capacity and main performance characteristics.

Light multi-purpose Ansat helicopter is equipped with two engines and can be used for passenger transportation, cargo delivery, environmental monitoring and as an ambulance aircraft. Ansat has successfully passed high-altitude tests, which proved that it is suitable for use in mountainous terrain at up to 3,500 meters of altitude, as well as climatic tests, which confirmed its operability in a temperature range between -45° and +50° ะก.

Light VRT500 helicopter and VRT300 UAV were developed by VR-Technologies Design Bureau and feature coaxial rotors, which ensure their high side wind resistance and small dimensions making them suitable for use in the restrained urban conditions.

VRT500 features the largest passenger/cargo cabin in its class, with a total seating capacity of up to 5 people. The flight and technical parameters of the helicopter will allow it to speed up to 250 km/h, have a flight range of up to 860 km and carry on board up to 730 kg of payload.

Elior India Unveils El Chef - A First-of-its-Kind Digital Initiative for Corporate Employees in India

Elior India, India's largest pure play food services company, has announces the launch of El Chef - a new to industry, pioneering digital initiative for food at the workplace. The El Chef platform allows employees to create their favourite menus, monitor order updates & history, check out weekly menus and plan meals based on their specific needs.

Information about allergens, the total calorie value of the meal, and e-invoices are also readily available on the El Chef platform. In addition to this, all modern payments gateways like online wallets, credit/debit card, UPI etc are enabled on this interface to allow users a seamless transaction experience without any promotional interventions.

At the launch, Philippe Guillemot, CEO, Elior Group said, “Innovation is an essential component of Elior Group's corporate mission. It is a part of what we are and what we want to become: a responsible player in the everyday lives of the people we serve. The Group's passion for innovation covers not only food and services but also technology. With a unique application like El Chef, Elior India is set to make a lasting impression in the food services industry. The Group is proud to have El Chef as a part of its repertoire and excited to be here with Elior India on this momentous occasion.”

“Many working professionals tend to skip their meals or simply have no time for it. An in-house food ordering app like El Chef can help during challenges like stringent deadlines, extended meetings, and other such issues faced by employees in the corporate sector. El Chef is a first-of-its-kind digital initiative by a food services company that will not only act as an extensive menu planning and ordering platform, but will also help us track consumer’s consumption preferences, understand food trends amongst employees better, offer healthy options according to taste, and help us serve our customers better. With El Chef, we will also be able to reduce food wastage more effectively as part of our sustainability goals within India," said Sanjay Kumar, CEO & MD, Elior India.

Elior entered India in 2017 through two simultaneous acquisitions – Megabite and CRCL with the aim to provide and transform the food experience of employees at the workplace. Three years later, we feel proud that our vision has been embraced widely and more and more companies that value employee well-being choose us as their preferred food services partner.

Elior India remains bullish on the Indian market and will continue to invest in it as and when the right opportunities come up. The mix will include investments in technology platforms, core assets, infrastructure and of course bolt-on acquisitions to complement the existing portfolio. After having recently invested in setting up production facilities in Delhi, Elior India now serves more than 200,000 meals per day with over 4500 employees utilizing state-of-the-art technologies in the day-to-day operations with best in class safety standards. 

US-Based AMJ Ventures Invests $2 Million in Alia Bhatt-Backed Fashion-Tech Startup StyleCracker

US-based investor AMJ Ventures has invested USD 2 million into Bollywood star Alia Bhatt-backed StyleCracker, India’s largest personal styling platform

The fashion-tech startup will be using the funds towards building out further capabilities in machine learning and in strengthening its moat on the personalisation front, its Co-Founder and Managing Director, Dhimaan Shah, said.

“The funds will also be used to build a strong pan India presence and move even closer to being the stylist to every Indian. StyleCracker has grown rapidly since inception at a CAGR of over 150% and is on track to grow the business over 250% this financial year, after its funding from AMJ Ventures. The rapid growth is complemented by healthy economics with the Company turning profitable at a unit economic level,” added Shah.

Commenting on the deal, Anish Patel, Founding Partner at AMJ Ventures, said his company partners with disruptive start-ups who are on a mission to change the status-quo, and is looking to potentially combine data science with human expertise and reinvent businesses. “Style cracker has shown great potential. The business has successfully maintained a low exchange and return rate which is nearly 1/3rd of what ecommerce sites have. The business is also supported by a great learning algorithm. Glad to partner and accelerate the growth of StyleCracker, with value proposition to make fashion accessible to India at large as the platform democratizes personal styling. We look forward to tapping into the booming start up market in India by investing in more businesses,” he added.

Existing businesses where AMJ has made investments in India include Avail Finance, a Bangalore-based loan financing service; and Propelld, a company which provides finances for higher education courses. AMJ Capital already has multiple successful investments in the US and is now looking at growing and expanding its portfolio in India.

Dhimaan Shah said “With the Indian consumer becoming increasingly fashion forward yet starved of time and access, the focus for the consumer has shifted from discounted deals to one of curated fashion and tremendous convenience, albeit at value driven prices. Hence, this partnership between AMJ and StyleCracker will ensure unmatched convenience in user experience as well as value driven, unique supply.”

"With increased accessibility to information today, the consumer has become more discerning and aware of trends. They have highly evolved preferences, yet are sensitive to price points. In this unique and complex landscape, we offer deep personalisation that’s deeply nuanced and super emotional because that’s how fashion is consumed.  Our vision has always been to be the stylist to every Indian. Our users are conscious about what they wear and how they look. With AMJ’s investment we see huge opportunity in decoding the complex needs of the Indian consumer and use several data points with predictive learning tech to make it scalable and better" said Archana Walavalkar Co-Founder & Creative Director, StyleCracker

About AMJ Ventures: AMJ Ventures is a fund that partners with disruptive entrepreneurs who are on a mission to change the status-quo. We fuse capital, insights, and strategy to create compelling partnerships that build transformational businesses. After having grown businesses globally (Collabera, Cognixia, ClikSource, Brillio), the family has now launched a fund to help younger entrepreneurs scale their businesses. AMJ has recently begun its foray into the Indian market, where it hopes to marry global best practices with local Indian dynamics to help startups solve their most pressing problems and achieve uncommon growth. Existing businesses where AMJ has made investments include Armarium (a NYC-based luxury rental platform), Avail Finance (a Bangalore-based loan financing service), and Propelld (financing for higher education courses).

Jetpreivilege is Now Rebranded as Intermiles in Indian Market

Jet Privilege Private Limited (JPPL), the independent loyalty and rewards management company, part of the Etihad Aviation Group, has unveiled its new brand identity ‘InterMiles’, propelling its intent to fulfil the evolving travel & lifestyle aspirations of discerning consumers. InterMiles will encompass both the award-winning loyalty and rewards programme (previously, JetPrivilege) and the ubiquitous rewards and recognition currency (previously, JPMiles). The programme will offer its growing base of close to 10 million members the opportunity to earn and redeem InterMiles, the new age currency of engagement, across travel, hospitality and lifestyle services across 10+ categories and 150+ programme partners.

The company has been on an exciting transformational journey over the last 5 years to expand from an airline-centric programme to emerging as an everyday travel-and-lifestyle rewards programme as discerning consumers have shifted beyond transactional rewards and cashback. In fact, over the last six months alone, the programme has managed over 33 billion InterMiles.

Speaking about the development, Mr. Manish Dureja, Managing Director, Jet Privilege Pvt. Ltd. said, “We are embarking on a new journey with InterMiles, built on sound business fundamentals, the trust of millions of members and the passion of a committed team. What started as a frequent flyer programme has, today, become the platform of choice that empowers our members to fulfill their travel and lifestyle aspirations. As we reinforce our commitment to the promise of making our members’ journey more fulfilling, our growth plan is, focused on aggregating more benefits and simplifying access to a growing bouquet of experiences and rewards.”

The name InterMiles suggests the interchangeable nature of the rewards currency where it can be earned and redeemed across platforms including airlines, hotels, dine, shop, fuel among others. A critical part of the new design was to create a distinctive marque that would both be recognizable and memorable. The marque, comprising a dot (the first step of the journey) and dash (the way/path one takes on the journey), signifies the brand’s promise to customers to make their every journey more rewarding. The brand colour is a bespoke shade, ‘Twilight Red’ that combines warmth, enthusiasm, playfulness and energy that will appeal to the core target group of experience seekers.

Commenting on the brand identity, Mr. Zameer Kochar, Vice President – Marketing and Member Engagement, said, “We know that seeking unique, fulfilling and memorable experiences is a key driver for India’s growing segment of discerning consumers. InterMiles is driven by our vision to make a positive difference in our consumers’ lives.

We have therefore designed a distinctive brand identity that represents this growing community of experience seekers. The brand identity stood out among our consumers for the simplicity of the name that created easy understanding and high appeal.”

The InterMiles journey is a rewarding one as every InterMile a member earns, moves them to a higher Tier with additional benefits and privileges. Earning Miles has never been easier and there is more to gain from every booking made across all travel and lifestyle categories, including more airlines with any flight to any destination, up to the last seat available, hotels, dining, shopping, re-fueling and co-brand cards. Members can discover new places, make new memories and have more fulfilling journeys with free flights, free hotels, free fuel as well as 2500+ merchandise options at the Reward Store.

Members can earn InterMiles for all their activities on

Bangalore Qualifiers of Red Bull Shuttle Up to be Held on November 16

After an overwhelming response last year, Red Bull Shuttle Up- India’s first ever exclusive Women’s Doubles tournament, will be back in action with the upcoming qualifiers round on 16th November in Bangalore.

Set to be held at the Fair Play Arena in J.P Nagar, the tournament aims to give wings to the next generation of Women’s Doubles badminton players while encouraging them to take up the sport professionally.

Qualifiers have already been held across Delhi, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Chandigarh. The winning pair from each qualifier will be flown down to Hyderabad for the National Finals on 8th December 2019. The national finals winners will get a chance to play against Ashwini Ponnappa- one of India’s best doubles badminton players of all time – and a partner of her choosing.

With the growing popularity of the sport be it viewership (5th most viewed) or participation (2nd most played), the tournament aims to further boost and improve participation and popularity amongst aspiring women players.

India’s ace women doubles shuttler and Red Bull athlete Ashwini Ponnappa said, “It has been my ambition to promote badminton in India, especially for women. It’s great to be associated with brands like Red Bull that create such platforms and that give wings to the dreams of aspiring talent. It’s been a great journey with Red Bull Shuttle Up and I only see it growing in the years to come. I would like to wish all the participants the very best of luck.”

Winners of the other city qualifiers:

Delhi qualifiers Results:
Winners: Kavya Gandhi and Rageshri Garg

Runners up: Anahita and Ojashwini

Hyderabad qualifiers:
Winners: Poorvi Singh and Vanshika Kapila
Runners up: Likhita Gouti and Maitreyi

Guwahati qualifiers:
Winners: Ernacles Syiem and Mamta Singh
Runners up: Niyanta Das and Nandini Goswami

Chandigarh qualifiers:
Winners: Daman Raj Kumar and Akanshi Baliyan
Runners up: Ishita and Garima

Upcoming Qualifiers:
Bangalore qualifiers:
Date: 16th November 2019
Venue: Fair Play Arena, 66, 3rd Cross Rd, Nrupathunga Nagar, Kothnoor Dinne, 8th Phase, J. P. Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560076

Mumbai qualifiers:

Date: 23rd November 2019

Venue: Khar Gymkhana, 13th Rd, Khar, Khar West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400052

Open exclusively for women above the age of 16, all matches are played in the knock out format. All pairs will play of 3 sets with 11 points in the knockout phase and 21 points in the city qualifiers finals match. Each pair, with prior notification to the referee, can call for a super point once in a set. By calling for a super point, the pair will get 2 points if they win that particular point. There will be no deduction of points if the pair loses that point. Players must be prepared to play 5/6 matches in a day, during the event. The winning pairs of each qualifier will make it through to the National Finals on 8th December 2019 in Hyderabad.

The first edition of Red Bull Shuttle Up was an overwhelming success as India’s U19 ranked number 1 women’s doubles pair Ritika Thaker and Simran Singhi from Mumbai claimed the championship title after a charged 11-1; 11-6 final match win over opponents Daman Rajkumar and Muskan Taya from Delhi. The duo also got a chance to play against one of India’s best doubles players Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy at Phoenix Marketcity Kurla, Mumbai

Exide Life Insurance launches First-of-its-Kind, Non-Linked Participating Individual


Pay Premium for a limited term, enjoy Life Insurance Cover for age up to 75 or 100 years
Flexibility to avail guaranteed regular income or lump sum payouts or both
Highly customizable plan offering 5 bonus options
Single plan to address multiple life goals
Get Tax benefits as per prevailing tax laws

Exide Life Insurance today announced the launch of its non-linked participating individual Life insurance plan, Exide Life Sampoorna Jeevan. The first-of-its-kind plan, Exide Life Sampoorna Jeevan, not only provides life insurance cover till age 75 or 100 years but also offers an individual the power to customize the payouts to suit the financial needs at multiple life stages.

Addressing the customer need to plan their life goals, Exide Life Sampoorna Jeevan allows the customer the flexibility to avail guaranteed regular income till age 75 or 100 or lump sum payouts or even opt for both. The plan offers 4 guaranteed benefit options and 5 bonus options to choose from, making the plan extensively comprehensive to suit the varying and changing needs of the customer. With 28 possible permutations made available to the customers, each of the Guaranteed and Bonus options provides a unique benefit, allowing customers to create a plan that works best for them.

On the occasion of the launch, Mr. Sanjay Tiwari, Director, Product Management & Customer Service, Exide Life Insurance said, “For us, the customer is always at the forefront. All our product offerings are conceptualized keeping the customer needs in mind. Through extensive customization, Exide Life Sampoorna Jeevan offers customers the freedom to select their preferred means of benefit payouts thereby helping them plan better for their life goals. Be it 2nd income or legacy creation, long term cover for family’s financial protection or bonus payouts from end of first year itself, partial withdrawal for unplanned expenses or pre-defined lump sum payouts for life’s important milestones, this plan has all the customer needs covered. It has aptly been positioned as the plan that stays ‘with you, through life’. We believe this product will create a disruption in the market.”

TKM Cheers Up School Children with a Newly Constructed School Building on Children’s Day


* Inaugurates the newly-renovated Government Model Higher Primary School at Bidadi on the occasion of Children’s Day, ensuring a better learning experience for school children
* TKM upgrades the school with modern facilities including: new classrooms, Computer room, Laboratory, Library, Toilets, Sports room, Dining Hall for wholesome growth of school children
* Further supports ‘Right to Quality Education’, benefitting over 260 children in the community
* Toyota reconstructed 9 school buildings under CSR [total 940 children benefited]

In line with its mission to support and enrich neighbouring communities through sustainable solutions, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, today, inaugurated the newly constructed Government Model Higher Primary School at Bidadi. Equipped with modern facilities, the school will benefit the school children thereby, creating a wholesome environment for the overall growth of the students, ensuring improvement in the standard of their learning experience.

The refurbished Government Model Higher Primary School was inaugurated by Mr. A Manjunath, Hon’ble MLA, Magadi Constituency, Mr. C M Lingappa MLC, Mr. Basappa President Zilla Panchayat Ramanagara, Mr. Ganakal Nataraj President Taluk Panchayat Ramanagara, Mr.  Somashekaraiha, Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI Education), Takuya Nakanishi – Senior Vice President TKM, Mr. Naveen Soni, Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor along with other Town Municipal Corporation Officials and elected representatives.

Built post-independence, the Government Model Higher Primary School at Bidadi has around 260 school children, providing education to students studying from Standard I to VIII. However, due to its dilapidated condition, the school was under-utilized and not able to provide required facilities to school children in the community.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor took up this project, under its CSR initiative and restored the school infrastructure at a grass root level. The school now is upgraded and equipped with modern facilities including: six new classrooms with restored furniture, computer room, laboratory, sports room, toilets for students, kitchen, dining hall, and a library. This upgradation of the Government School will benefit a larger number of school children in the community and help them avail advanced facilities at the school.

Commending TKM on its relentless efforts towards the betterment of the society, Mr. A Manjunath, Hon'ble MLA, Magadi Constituency said, “Development of rural education plays an important role in economic and social betterment of the people. We are glad that responsible corporates like TKM have been consistently working towards ensuring quality school infrastructure in rural Karnataka.  Earlier the school was in a dilapidated condition and students and staff were scared to sit inside the classrooms. We hope more such organizations will come up to work together in bridging the gap in rural education system. Such initiatives will definitely help in bringing up the literacy rate by encouraging more and more parents to send their children to schools. With the dedicated support from TKM we hope will be able to bring about a positive transformation by providing holistic solutions for quality education “

Inaugurating the upgraded Government Model Higher Primary School, Mr. Naveen Soni, Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, “Quality infrastructure and quality teachers have a huge impact on the learning outcomes and consequently, the retention of children in schools.  Lack of clean, safe, accessible and adequate school infrastructure have been responsible for increasing school dropouts in Rural India. The need of the hour is to create a safer and comfortable learning experience for the school children.”

He further added, “ Education is the premise for any country’s progress and as a responsible corporate citizen, over the years, we have been working with Government to upgrade school building with functional toilets, provide learning aids, engage with teachers for their skill enhancement to build a conducive environment. Aligned with our commitment to improve education for the underprivileged in the community, we hope the upgraded Government School will help foster better learning for the school children to learn and grow, and be the change makers for tomorrow.”

Toyota Kirloskar Motor, over the years, has initiated several projects to accelerate access to quality education in Karnataka. Recently, the company distributed school supply kit consisting of bags, books, geometry box’s, drawing books and crayons to 24,500 students across first to tenth grades in Government schools at Ramanagara district. Toyota also initiated school health programme to address the malnutrition, anaemia and eye problems of government school children in Ramnagara district. With this project, TKM is aiming to cover around 10,000 school children.

As part of its CSR intervention and supporting Government of India’s “Swachh Bharat Mission”, TKM introduced Project ABCD (A Behavioural Change through Demonstration) in 2015, covering 58,518 children in 1004 schools at Ramanagara district (Karnataka) to improve public health and sanitation in villages. Project ABCD has been significantly contributing to the Government’s Sustainable Development Goal of ending open defecation in India. 

This program impacted the children to motivate the parents to construct toilets at the homes.  Total 12634 household toilets have been constructed since last 4 years. All children of 687 schools under ABCD program have 100% sanitation facilities at home.

Toyota remains committed to bring in more enriching and sustainable CSR projects for the holistic development of the community members, thus effectively contributing to the underlying cause of positive societal development and bring in a change towards transformation of the larger community.

CreativeSprout’s Assimilate to Organize India’s First Health Marketing Summit in New Delhi


* A gathering of top healthcare and marketing professionals to discuss and share evolving market challenges and insights and develop custom strategies for the healthcare industry

* Top-notch global leaders from healthcare, marketing, and communication to share insights and ideas around branding and positioning specifically keeping the focus on healthcare and  medical industry’s requirements

CreativeSprout’s Assimilate is organizing the first-of-its-kind national-level Health Marketing Summit in association with Medvarsity. This summit is scheduled to take place in New Delhi on Nov. 22, 2019. Experts from healthcare, marketing, and communication will gather at Taurus Sarovar Portico Hotel near IGI Airport for a day to share insight on evolving marketing challenges of the healthcare industry and how they could be tackled effectively.

Marketing has evolved over time and has become the most important function with a vital role in every sector. When it comes to healthcare organisations, patient-centricity has become the key focus with respect to its offerings and solutions. It is crucial to build patient engagement which goes beyond physical solutions & well-being, and also focuses on the emotional aspect of it. In this digital world, search engines are quickly becoming ‘first opinion’ source and are enabling primary research when it comes to checking performance or seeking reviews of healthcare organizations, hospitals, clinics or small nursing homes; or even an individual. This carefully curated marketing summit will help small, medium, and large healthcare organizations to chart the future course of action when it comes to strengthening their presence and brand.

The Health Marketing Summit is a conference designed to address each of the aspects of building a strong brand when it comes to all types of healthcare enterprises. Participants will learn about the most advanced tools and tricks of marketing, such as social media marketing, search engine optimization, geofencing, reputation management, etc. Challenges like patient acquisition, how to develop communication keeping in mind regulatory compliances, patient engagement beyond prescription will be discussed at this event. The conference will also be beneficial for senior doctors who’d like to strengthen their services and individuals looking to build a startup in the healthcare industry.

Gerald Jaideep, Founder of CreativeSprout Media Pvt. Ltd. & CEO Medvarsity Online Ltd. expresses his views by saying, “Context matters when it comes to effective communication. The healthcare industry needs to be in sync with the fast-evolving digital tech space and be agile in communicating effectively with its customers. Right message at the right time and place is key to driving effective engagement. At HealthMS, we will explore all these aspects with industry experts."

Leaders from industry giants like Apollo Group, Ogilvy Healthcare & PR, 1mg, Medanta Heart City, Adfactors, Medulla Communications; as well as founders of some of the most innovative healthcare platforms like Plexus MD, Weljii, Avanzar Health will share their unique insights and learning at HealthMS. 

New Liftoff Reports Shows Asia has Highest Early Mobile User App Retension Rates but Drops Off Over Time

Liftoff, the leader in performance-driven mobile user acquisition, today released its annual Mobile App Trends Report, which provides insights into the booming app economy. The report found that Asia is home to some of the highest-performing countries in terms of Day 1 mobile app user retention, although loyalty towards the apps, in general, tends to drop off after 30 days.

Based on Liftoff’s internal data, the report analyzes over 349 billion impressions across 992 mobile apps, 5.35 billion clicks and 76.6 million total post-install events. Spanning a variety of app categories, including those in Finance, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Music & Audio, Education, Gaming, Shopping, Social Media and more. The report covered 30 countries in four regions; including 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific (Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam). The report found the following:

First Impressions Count: Asian countries show highest Day 1 retention rates among all countries in dataset

The mobile app user retention rate measures the percentage of consumers that continue to use an app over a given period of time. In Asia – where the average Day 1 retention rate was recorded at 25.2 percent, Taiwan (at 29.5 percent) outperformed the region’s average retention rate, followed by Malaysia (29.1 percent), Japan (28.4 percent) and Thailand (27.0 percent).

Despite the high figures recorded for first day retention, the figure was shown to drop off considerably after a month. This is as the Day 3 retention rate stood only at 12.6 percent in Asia – the lowest across all regions – while Day 7 retention rates dropped to 8.1 percent (lower than the 8.9 percent and 8.5 percent in the North America and EMEA regions respectively, but still higher than the 7.9 percent in Latin America). By Day 30, Asia’s retention rate stood at 3.1 percent; lower than the 3.5 percent seen both in the EMEA and North America regions, however still higher than the 2.8 percent in Latin America.

A key factor explaining the high early retention rates in Asia is the relatively low cost to engagement ratio for users to install an app which, at US$1.11 cost for 100 percent engagement, signifies one of the lowest ratios amongst all the regions. The drop off by Day 30 could then be explained by the low conversion of cost to engagement for in-app purchases (US$85.95 cost for 1.3 percent engagement) and purchases (US$67.68 cost for 1.6 percent engagement). Amongst all the other regions, the figures highlighted the second-highest costs in their categories yet only showed the lowest engagement rates.

Despite this, there seems to be more value derived from app subscriptions in Asia. For instance, the cost to acquire users in Asia was US$28.95 whereas the engagement rate was 3.8 percent. While the engagement rate was only the third highest amongst all the other regions, the cost was the lowest.

Gen Z(ero Ownership): Consumers Are Far More Willing to Subscribe to Services than to Make a Purchase…

The trend seen in app subscriptions in Asia reflected an overarching trend seen across all the regions studied. Liftoff’s latest report showed that there is a cultural shift in consumer purchase behaviour, as subscription rates jumped more than 1.5x year-over-year. This is as the subscription economy has taken off in recent years, as consumers have moved increasingly away from ownership, and the market has noticed: today, there are over two thousand consumer-focused subscription businesses capitalizing on customers’ diverse tastes. This trend is also set to take off in Asia, where a Citi Bank study showed that companies will increasingly move towards subscription-based models to access products and services rather than a one-time purchase.

For the past two years, Liftoff’s data pointed to the growth of the subscription model, but this year it shows one key difference: mobile users are far more willing to subscribe to a service than to make a one-time purchase.

“The subscription model, particularly in e-commerce, offers consumers a convenient, personalized, and often lower-cost way to buy what they want and need,” stated Mark Ellis, CEO and co-founder of Liftoff. “In Asia, we are now seeing more regional companies attempting to emulate the subscription-based models seen in the West and try to replicate it in the region.

“With, internet and mobile penetration set to grow even further, we only see such services not only becoming more popular in the region, but even going as far as to say that they could be the norm. Marketers looking to capitalize on this cultural shift should explore subscription-based models or tiers, or take note of key points in the year when purchase behavior is up to get the most bang for their buck.”

#Advantage Cities – ACT Fibernet Partners with Greater Chennai Corporation to Roll Out Public Wi-Fi Hotspots in Chennai

ACT Fibernet, India’s largest fiber-focused wired broadband ISP (Internet Service Provider), today announced partnership with Greater Chennai Corporation to set up WiFi zones in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The initiative is part of the Smart City project started by the government and executed by Greater Chennai Corporation to provide citizens access to free and seamless WiFi connectivity.

As part of the tie-up, ACT Fibernet together with Greater Chennai Corporation has installed 25+ Wi-fi zones across prime locations in the city including 14 Amma Canteens across 15 Zones in Greater Chennai Corporation. Close to 250 to 300 users can login at the same time under each WiFi zone that will be available 24*7 for the users to experience high speed internet powered by ACT Fibernet.

Users can access the WiFi hotspots through ACT Fibernet network for 30 minutes at 20 Mbps speed to upload and download files, browse online, watch videos, visit social media handles and more. Existing users of ACT Fibernet will be able to enjoy home speeds and data in public using their log in credentials.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sandeep Gupta, COO, Atria Convergence Technologies Ltd commented, “The Government of Tamil Nadu is committed to deliver wide network WiFi connectivity in the state through various smart city projects. ACT Fibernet’s vision is to deliver high speed internet to all citizens and we are extremely privileged to work with government to bring superfast internet via hotspots to common man. With this initiative, many more people can access high speed internet and help accelerate government’s vision of inclusive Digital Tamil Nadu and Digital India.”

Mr. G. Prakash, IAS, Commissioner, Greater Chennai Corporation added –“ACT Fibernet is one of the most trusted fiber broadband provider in India and we are happy to have them on board. ACT Fibernet has been providing high-speed and futuristic internet connectivity to millions of homes in India, many of our government schools are also powered by their fiber internet connectivity, and we will now extend the technology to our citizens in Chennai. We believe their service will remarkably enhance the internet experience of our people across the city”.

According to recent report by DigiAnalysys, public WiFi in India is expected to witness a sevenfold jump to 21 lakh by 2021 from 3.06 lakh at present. Furthermore, in the next two years there will be 1.25 million public WiFi hotspots addition in gram panchayat, 50,000 in smart cities 4,701 in railway stations, retail outlets, colleges etc as part of the governments Digital India and Bharat Net program.

Garware Technical Fibres Net Profit Swells by 40.5% in Q2 FY20

Garware Technical Fibres Ltd. (Formerly Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd.), a leading manufacturer of technical textiles for the Indian and global markets, today announced its financial results for the second quarter and half year ended September 30, 2019.

Q2 FY20 Highlights:

▪ Net Sales declined by 11.2% to Rs. 232.42 Cr in Q2 FY20 as compared to Rs. 261.83 Cr in Q2 FY19

▪ Profit before tax reduced by 10.6% to Rs. 43.54 Cr in Q2 FY20 as compared to Rs. 48.69 Cr in the same quarter last year

▪ Net profit after tax has grown by 40.5% to Rs. 46.26 Cr in the quarter as against Rs. 32.93 Cr in the corresponding period of FY19

▪ EPS for Q2 FY20 is at Rs. 21.14; this is a growth of 40.5 % over Q2 FY19

H1FY20 Highlights:

▪ Net Sales decreased by 8.2% to Rs. 464.75 Cr in H1FY20 as compared to Rs. 506.09 Cr in H1FY19

▪ Profit before tax decreased by 9.6% to Rs. 85.74 Cr in H1FY20 as compared to Rs. 94.84 Cr in the same period last year

▪ Net profit (PAT) has increased by 18% to Rs. 75.86 Cr in the period as against Rs. 64.30 Cr in the corresponding period of FY19

▪ EPS for the period is at Rs. 34.67 in H1FY20; this is a rise of 18% over H1FY19

Management Comments:

Commenting on the results, Mr. Vayu Garware, CMD, Garware Technical Fibres Ltd. said, “The first half results have been a mixed bag. On the domestic front, the cyclones as well as the extended rains affected our growth in the fisheries segment. In our international business, we have had some delays in receipt of substantial orders as many of the aquaculture customers gauged our new innovative V2 technology offerings before placing their requirements. However we now have good visibility for the second half of the year and will look towards an improved year end result. On the plus side, we have had good working capital management in the first half, resulting in higher fund generation from operations.”

About Garware Technical Fibres Ltd. (Formerly Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd.): (BSE: 509557 / NSE: GARFIBRES)

Garware Technical Fibres Ltd. (formerly Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd.), an ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015 certified company is a leading player in Technical Textiles specializing in providing customized solutions to its customers worldwide. Globally, the company is known for its applied innovation in the field of sports, fisheries, aquaculture, shipping, agriculture, coated fabrics and geo-synthetics. The company`s products are manufactured in state-of-art facilities at Wai and Pune and marketed in more than 75 countries.

Incidence of Poorly Controlled Diabetes Highest in 50-60 Age Group: Finds RV Metropolis Study

Out of the total of 359892 samples tested for HbA1c over the last five years in Bangalore by RV Metropolis, as many as 25% were found to be suffering from poorly controlled diabetes.

The incidence of poorly controlled diabetes was found to be the highest in the age group of 50-60 years (about 30%), followed by 60-70 years (about 28%) and 40-50 years (26.68%). The incidence was the lowest in the age group of 20-30 years (20%) but increased steadily to peak in the age group of 50-60 years. It thereafter showed a decline in the older age groups.

Interestingly, 23.26% of all females tested were found to suffer from poorly controlled diabetes, compared to 27% for males.

Out of 359892 samples tested at RV Metropolis laboratory in Bangalore, almost 19 % were found to be in pre-diabetic stage, about 29% were found to be diabetic, while 25.97% tested non-diabetic.

About 25% of samples tested for HbA1c reported levels greater than 8%, which means that their blood glucose levels are not controlled. Prolonged high blood glucose levels put diabetic patients under risk to develop diabetes-related complications.

Commenting on the study Dr Ravi Kumar, Chief of Laboratory, RV Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, said, “Diabetes is a growing challenge in India with estimated 8.7% diabetic population in the age group of 20 and 70 years. The rising prevalence of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases is driven by a combination of factors – rapid urbanization, sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets, uncontrolled use of alcohol and tobacco. Lifestyle interventions2 (sleep, exercise and diet modifications) along with regular monitoring is a must for Diabetes Management.”

For the purpose of this data analysis:

Data for samples tested for HbA1c was collated for over a period of five years
Sample data of repetitive patients were removed and only one single reading from a patient was used for the study
Sample was analysed by applying the reference range from 2019 ADA Guidelines

ADA 2019 Reference Range for HbA1c

Image result for ada guidelines 2019 hba1c target

Result ranges below 5.7% - Normal
Result ranges between 5.7% and 6.5% - Prediabetes
Result ranges greater than 6.5% and below 8% - Diabetes
Result ranges above 8% - Poorly controlled diabetes

A1C Testing - Recommendations

Perform the A1C test at least two times a year in patients who are meeting treatment goals (and who have stable glycemic control)
Perform the A1C test quarterly in patients whose therapy has changed or who are not meeting glycemic goals
Point-of-care testing for A1C provides the opportunity for more timely treatment changes
* 1 United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study Group: Intensive blood-glucose control with sulphonylureas or insulin compared with conventional treatment and risk of complications in patients with type 2 diabetes (UKPDS 33). Lancet 352: 837–853, 1998

* 2 Nutrition and lifestyle intervention in type 2 diabetes: pilot study in the Netherlands showing improved glucose control and reduction in glucose lowering medication (Pot GK, et al. bmjnph 2019;0:1–8.). British Medical Journal, Prevention and Health

Type 2 diabetes is a form of diabetes that is characterized by high blood sugar levels, presence of insulin resistance and relative lack of insulin secretion. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop over years and it is possible to entirely miss a diagnosis if periodic testing or monitoring is not done. In many cases, the disease is diagnosed several years after onset or once complications have already set in.

Type 2 Diabetes Complications

With type 2 diabetes it is important to control blood glucose levels in order to avoid associated complications. A well-planned diet in consultation with your dietician/doctor, regular physical activity, prescribed medications and regular periodic testing may help prevent complications. These complications develop over many years and is directly related to increased blood glucose levels causing damage to blood vessels. While damage to tiny blood vessels causes micro-vascular complications, damage to large vessels causes macro-vascular complications.

Microvascular Complications: Related to Eye, Kidney and Nerves

Eyes: Abnormal Blood glucose levels for a long duration causes cataracts and/or retinopathy which may eventually lead to diminished or loss of vision. It is important to monitor blood glucose levels and do a yearly eye check-up with an ophthalmologist.

Kidneys: Abnormal Blood glucose levels for a long duration can lead to Diabetic Nephropathy and if untreated leads to impaired kidney function resulting in long term dialysis and/or kidney transplant. To prevent diabetic nephropathy, it is important to test for mirco-albuminuria along with regular blood sugar monitoring. With medications, it is possible to prevent or restrict further kidney damage.

Nerves: Long term diabetes can lead to condition affecting nerve cells called as Diabetic Neuropathy (peripheral, autonomic, proximal, and focal neuropathies). Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of nerve damage, and it most often affects the nerves related to the hands and feet. One serious complication of diabetic peripheral neuropathy to the feet is loss of sensations to the skin resulting in injuries leading to wounds. The wounds may become infected and the infection can spread to the leg and if left untreated, the foot may need to be amputated to keep the infection from spreading.

Macrovascular Complications: Related to Heart, Brain, and Blood Vessels

Type 2 diabetes or increased blood sugar levels can be a risk factor in cardiovascular diseases leading to formation of plaque resulting in a heart attack, stroke or vessel blockage in the legs (DVT).

Research has shown that people with type 2 diabetes who reduce their HbA1c level by 1% are: [1]

19% less likely to develop cataracts
16% less likely to have a heart condition
43% less likely to undergo amputation or death due to peripheral vascular disease
What is HbA1c?
The term HbA1c refers to glycated haemoglobin. It develops when haemoglobin, a protein within red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body combines with glucose in the blood resulting in ‘glycation of haemoglobin’. By measuring glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), clinicians can get an overall picture of what average blood sugar levels have been over A1C over approximately 3 months

For people with diabetes this is important as the higher the HbA1c, the greater the risk of developing diabetes-related complications.

JLL Brings Together India’s Leading Real Estate Technology Startups at its Hackathon


* The Hackathon was organised as part of JLL IDEAs, JLL’s proptech accelerator programme started in partnership with Invest India, AGNIi and Startup India
* Today’s Hackathon focused on identifying leading real estate technology startups and innovative technologies from individuals/companies for the final rounds
* Winners in the final round to receive awards including potential funding opportunities by JLL Spark, mentorship from industry leaders, incubation opportunities and client meetings to test and pilot their solutions in a real world environment

JLL, leading real estate and property investment management consultants and Invest India, along with the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation agency, under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, under their Proptech accelerator programme, JLL IDEAs brought together India’s leading and emerging property technology companies under one umbrella to conduct the Hackathon at New Delhi and Bengaluru.

JLL IDEAs is a collaboration between JLL and the initiatives housed at Invest India, - Accelerating Growth of New India’s Innovations (AGNIi) and Startup India. AGNIi is the national technology commercialization programme, from the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt. of India and Startup India is the government’s flagship initiative to boost the startup ecosystem in the country.

The products showcased included offerings across asset valuation, smart buildings, employee experience, sustainability and a lot more. These offerings encapsulate the elements like Blockchain, AI, Machine Learning, IOT etc. and aims to empower investors and tenants, drive efficiencies, increase profitability and enhance safety and trust in the real estate sector.

Through the jointly conducted Hackathons, the judges have identified 10 finalists for its final round, planned in Mumbai.

JLL IDEAs is India’s biggest real estate proptech accelerator that will promote startups working on cutting edge, disruptive technologies and solutions impacting developers, investors and occupier clients in the country. The programme at the end of the mega contest select the best startups in real estate and aims to create India’s biggest platform for convergence of technology in real estate sector.

Winners of this hackathon will receive awards including potential funding opportunities through JLL Spark, mentorship from real estate leaders, incubation opportunities and client meetings to test and pilot their solutions in a real world environment. With US$100mn of investment fund, JLL Spark is focused on creating new products, investments and supporting startups in the real estate tech industry.

Ramesh Nair, CEO & Country Head - India, JLL said, “The proptech space is fast evolving, as evidenced at today’s Hackathon, conducted at Bengaluru and New Delhi. We are hopeful that winners of the Hackathon and the final rounds of this mega contest will add immense value to the growth of the sector. I sincerely thank our jury members, partners for their continued support. Along with our partners, Invest India, AGNIi and Startup India, we will continue to work towards promoting the programme in India, making it more meaningful and beneficial for the sector. Today’s contests were an example of our efforts in that direction.”

Juggy Marwaha, Executive Managing Director – India, JLL said, “JLL IDEAs is a platform for technology enablers, game changers, who wish to change the way real estate activity is carried out in the country. The unique initiative is an amalgamation of youth and experience, brought together to transform the real estate sector and prepare for future. It is interesting to see that young, energetic entrepreneurs are coming together and ideating on how real estate sector can be made agile and efficient. This said, companies adopting to technology innovation will lead the change along with JLL IDEAs.”

Sandeep Sethi, Managing Director – Corporate Solutions, West Asia, JLL said, “Our homes and workplaces have fast evolved. And technology adoption has big role to play in this transformation. With end-users spending a significant amount of time in offices and the built environment in general, it is imperative that the real estate sector adopts and embraces technology much faster and offers the required human experience and brings workplace efficiency across the spectrum. Proptech space has the potential to do that for us. And JLL IDEAs is the platform that will continue to work towards this common goal.”   

Rahul Nayar, Vice President, AGNI India, Invest India said, “It is AGNIi’s constant endeavour to support India’s technology innovation ecosystem, of which real estate sector is an important part. We are very happy to collaborate with JLL, which initiated the proptech accelerator programme JLL IDEAs. The partnership will help us find and surface exciting new innovation opportunities for futuristic real estate technology initiatives and technology innovators across India.”

Toyota Mobility Foundation Makes Significant Contribution to Create a Robust Mobility Ecosystem in India

Over the last few decades, India has witnessed a fast-paced urban growth of its cities accompanied by population and economic growth. This rapid urbanization has led to multiple social and environmental issues that are currently being faced by several metro cities in the country, including those related to satisfying the mobility needs of its people. As per reports by the United Nations, India is projected to add four new megacities by 2030 and its urban population is expected to grow to 814 million by 2050. The current scenario has resulted in various challenges of congestion and pollution, but conversely, has created a great opportunity for OEMs and innovators to develop viable and sustainable modes of transportation that are cost-effective, convenient and easily accessible for all.

Keeping in mind the challenges and opportunities arising out of this rapidly growing urbanization, Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) in collaboration with WRI India Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, jointly initiated Station Access and Mobility Program (STAMP) focusing on high-quality first and last mile connectivity solutions to urban mass transit, namely the Metro. It was an attempt to support the Government initiatives to enable mass transportation by increasing ridership and seamless mobility for the public. So far, this multi-city initiative has worked with the metro rail agencies and other partners in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi and most recently in Mumbai, to improve the first and last-mile connectivity and making it easier for the public to access mass transit metro stations. They both have also agreed to work together to enhance metro accessibility through multi-modal mobility solutions in seven Indian cities by 2021 (which will be over half of the operational metro networks in the country).

Additionally, TMF and WRI have been working closely with other innovative mobility operators in India such as Bounce, Mobycy, Bykerr, Quickride & Constapark, to support their initiatives to deliver innovative solutions for a hassle-free urban commute. At a recent event held in Bangalore, TMF in close cooperation and collaboration with WRI, conducted an interactive session with Toyota’s Japan R&D Center experts, along with Bounce, Red Bus and HopOn, to discuss mobility challenges in Indian metro cities and their possible solutions.

Sharing his thoughts on the work done by TMF to create a holistic mobility ecosystem in India, Mr. Pras Ganesh, Program Director for Asia Region, said, “As the popularity of the urban transport is rising in India, it is imperative to develop economical, innovative and easily accessible solutions for last-mile connectivity towards achieving safe, sustainable mobility and decongested Indian cities. No real change can be achieved without including public participation and dialogue focusing on the core issues and finding a fitting solution. With our initiatives, we have been able to reinforce the importance of engaging communities by partnering with our mobility partners and formulating the mobility needs and viable solutions.

We believe that sustainable transport system is a key driver of sustainable urban development. The positive response received from our partners including Government officials, key stakeholders, and our mobility start-up partners truly shows the common belief we all share and our vision to encourage innovation and an integrated and seamless mobility experience for the customers by building upon the initiatives of the government.”

Globally, the Toyota Mobility Foundation is focused to improve access to connected transportation systems that are greener, safer and more inclusive by working with local partners and residents to design, deliver, and scale solutions for communities across the globe. To tackle the global mobility challenges, TMF also run competitions that generate inclusive solutions to connectivity issues in transportation and promote advances in personal mobility. Through its various initiatives, it is also partnering with cross-sector leaders and experts to foster dialogue committed to addressing mobility issues around the world, and implementing tailored solutions to local mobility issues to improve the lives of citizens in the community.

Three Entrepreneurs from Karnataka Win National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019 for Efforts in Building Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in India

The fourth edition of National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019 recognized 30 Young Entrepreneurs and 6 Organizations / Individuals building Entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country

* The awards were presented to honor outstanding contributions in entrepreneurship development and included a trophy, a certificate and prize money of up to Rs 10 lakhs
* The winners from Karnataka were awarded under two categories: Agriculture and Renewables

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) conferred awards to 30 Young entrepreneurs and six organizations and individuals who have contributed in entrepreneurship development during the fourth edition of the National Entrepreneurship Awards (NEA). The awards are part of the government’s initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship in the country.

The winners from Karnataka include Aspartika Biotech Pvt. Ltd. and Neo Systek that received awards under the ‘Renewables category’ and won prize money of Rs. Five Lakhs each and Future Bio Tech that received an award under ‘Agriculture category’ and won prize money of Rs. Five Lakhs as well.

The award ceremony was held at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, New Delhi on November 9th and was graced by Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon’ble Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, who has been spearheading the Ministry’s vision and focusing extensively on encouraging young skilled youth to take up entrepreneurship bringing the shift from being a job seeker to a job giver.

Speaking on the entrepreneurial growth culture in India, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon’ble Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, said, "Today, India is at a threshold of startup boom, as we are world’s third fastest growing startup eco-system. With 7,200 startups, India is closely behind UK with 11,864 startups and catching up to US which had 41,500 startups as of 2018. India is changing and soar the aspirations of its people. It is an evidence of drastic improvement in the business environment, Of course fueled by the innovative modules of business that we are witnessing from the youth of the country. It is our priority that we give the right kind of support to the aspiring talent and nurture and encourage our young minds to dream big and achieve bigger.”

“NEA is a great platform to encourage young aspiring entrepreneurs and recognize the exemplary work that they have done adding to their professional and nation’s overall growth. I wish all of them the very best for their future and hope they further motivate many more to be a part of India’s growth story,” he further added.

Due to the concerted ground level effort, this year, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship witnessed a sharp increase not only in the total number of applications, but also in terms of completed applications from a variety of businesses. These ground level initiatives were in the form of targeted meetings, focused workshops, specialized gatherings like MSME meets, seminars at alumni gatherings of various business schools, One-on-One interaction with Entrepreneurs during Fairs and Exhibitions etc. All these collectively could create resounding effect to bring seriousness for completing applications although it meant some amount of hard work by the applicants. The number of completed applications grew from 2379 last year to 4134 this year. This 73% growth of successful entrepreneurs completing their application for National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019 is reflection of the increasing seriousness of young entrepreneurs for the coveted National Entrepreneurship Awards.

About the winners

Shri Srinivas BV( Founder) and Sunjeet Kumar Ghosh ( co-founder) from Bengaluru established a startup named Aspartika Biotech Pvt. Ltd. The startup aims at utilizing locally generated wastes and by-products of agro-industries and develop value added products omega-3 fatty acids for human and animal application and feed additives for aqua, poultry, cattle and swine.

The second startup named Future Bio Tech is run by Shri. Manjunath R (Founder and CEO) and Mr. CB Karimani (Co-founder) from Dharwad. The startup aims to provide sustainable solutions to Indian agriculture, which in-turn will improve soil fertility, productivity and improve life of farmers by bringing more profitability to their produce. Future biotech is a leading manufacturers, marketers and exporters of micronutrients, organic manures, bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides and plant growth promoters. Their products are biodegradable, environment-friendly and protect crops naturally.

Shri Goutam Surana (Founder) incorporated Neo Systek with an aim to safeguard the future of the generations to come by offering premium water saving solutions and other Eco-friendly raw materials and equipment in India. It offers green products and services which can be implemented and followed easily. Our product range includes Waterless Urinals, Low Flow Toilets(WC), Microbial Culture, Neo Flow Restrictors, Bio Urinal Cakes, Waste Heat Exchanger, Ozonators etc. The cater to leading companies like Infosys, Wipro, Accenture, TCS, SAP Lab, Goldman Sach, GE, Mindtree, Yahoo, L&T etc.

For the successful execution of the National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019, MSDE partnered with twelve premier institutes and organization which are spread across the country,  including IIT Madras (Lead Partner), IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur, XLRI, TISS, NSIC, IIT Guwahati, IRMA, MANAGE, NIF (Co-Lead), NABARD, and RSETI. These institutions were responsible for mobilizing nominations and evaluation process.

The winners were selected by an eminent panel of National level Jury members comprising of Dr. R A Mashelkar, Former Director-General, CSIR; Mr. Milind Kamble, Founder, DICCI; Ms. Neelam Chibber, MD & Managing Trustee Industree Foundation; Mr. Arun Tyagi, Director, Induslnd Bank Limited; Shri Harish Hande, Founder SELCO India Foundation and Mr. Vinayak Nath, Managing Partner, Venture Catalysts.     

The National Entrepreneurship Awards (NEA) was instituted by the Ministry of Skill Development &Entrepreneurship in 2016 to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship across the country and honoring the Young Entrepreneurs and Eco-System Builders for their outstanding efforts in entrepreneurship development.  The Awards ceremony witnessed attendance from senior officials of the ministry, members of the Skill Sector Councils, corporate leaders; successful and budding entrepreneurs among others.

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