Saturday, December 21, 2019

STT GDC India Opens its 15th 18MW Green Data Centre Facility Spread Over 400,000 sq.ft in Bengaluru


* Further enhances market leadership as India’s largest data centre operator with the addition of a purpose-built hyper scale facility spread over 400,000 sq.ft. adding 18MW of IT load to its total existing capacity
* Over INR 600 crore will be invested into build the state-of-the-art, purpose-built data centre with its infrastructure developed to the highest industry standards 

STT Global Data Centres India Private Limited (STT GDC India) has announced the opening of STT Bengaluru DC 3 in Whitefield, Bengaluru. The new Tier III data centre marks the first facility to be inaugurated as part of STT GDC India’s multi-megawatt capacity expansion plan, spanning major cities in the country.

The newly constructed 18MW, purpose-built facility is spread over 400,000 sq.ft. The entire data centre is designed to meet the highest benchmark in green practices and is built from ground up, drawing on STT GDC India’s combined design, construction, engineering, and operations expertise. It is designed to meet the modern day high-density computing needs of our customers for Mobility, e-Commerce, IoT, Cloud and Big Data.

The wide array of connectivity options comprise of configuration alternatives, including shared rack space, individual racks and cage. STT Bengaluru DC-3 will deliver bespoke solutions suiting customised needs and multi-megawatt dedicated spaces catering for both retail and wholesale customers.

Key facts and figures of STT Bengaluru DC-3

* State-of-the-art, purpose-built data centre (G+5) located in Bengaluru’s best-known business district, Whitefield
* The land, building (core and shell), mechanical, electrical plant and equipment are entirely owned by STT GDC India
* With the highest structural and technical specifications, the building is built with post-tension slab technology, spread over 400,000 sq.ft.
* An IGBC green building – Gold, which minimises the building’s impact on the climate and natural environment
* The building is built for seismic zone 3, which is one level higher than required making it one of the sturdiest buildings in the city   
* Floor loading: 1500 kg/sqm to 2000 kg/sqm & 50,000 sq.ft. of seamless floor plate area. With clear height of 5.5 metres, the data centre floor is designed to accommodate racks up to 58U
* Large weather-proof, loading dock with two freight lifts (3000 kg capacity each) to transport preloaded racks seamlessly
* Carrier-neutral and carrier dense facility with large MMR rooms offering a wide array of connectivity choices approaching the building from three diversified paths
* Secured with a perimeter of multi-level security zones, including 24/7 manned security, CCTV video surveillance, identification with biometric access control, and security breach alarms
* Uptime institute Tier-III compliant for continued mission imperatives for design
* Onsite 66kV GIS substation receiving power from two independent power substations for the highest level of power availability
* State-of-the-art, building automation and monitoring system
* Large capacity reliable HT generators with fuel back up of more than 48 hours of continuous operation

Continuing STT GDC India’s strong focus on sustainability, this new data centre includes design features of high-efficiency chillers, reduced water consumption through intelligent design, and energy-efficient uninterruptible power supply.

At the launch, Sumit Mukhija, CEO – STT GDC India, said, “Bengaluru is a hub for many start-ups as well as ITES, e-Commerce, Biotech, and Fintech entities. As the IT city’s largest operational data centre, I’m excited to announce that STT Bengaluru DC-3 marks the first data centre to be inaugurated as part of our multi-megawatt capacity expansion across India, designed to strengthen the backbone infrastructure of the nation’s Silicon Valley. The new facility is also backed by our commitment to providing best-in-class data centre infrastructure for varied retail and wholesale clients”

The latest expansion add ups to 15 data centres under STT GDC India’s ownership and management, and increases the power capacity to over 90 MW of critical IT load across 8 cities, further strengthening its market-leading position as India’s data centre provider of choice for customers with mission-critical IT requirements.

 About STT Global Data Centres India Private limited

A joint venture between ST Telemedia Global Data Centres and Tata Communications, STT Global Data Centres India Private Limited (STT GDC India) is a market-leading data centre service provider with the largest data centre footprint in the country. Since 2004, STT GDC India has been managing the country’s largest raised floor area and critical IT load with now 15 facilities across 8 major cities serving over 1000 customers, including many Fortune 500 companies. Its mission-critical solutions comprise of best-in-class offerings delivering industry-leading uptime to its customers. STT GDC India now operates three of the country’s largest data centre facilities in Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru. For more information, visit

Evolving Engagement Models and Skillsets in the Age of Business Transformation

By Raj Vattikuti, Founder and Chairman of Altimetrik Corp

Technology is changing the world at a speed never seen before. This is dramatically changing customer behavior and their expectations from businesses, who are struggling hard to keep up to the tide. Business transformation is what every enterprise needs today to stay relevant in the near future, which goes beyond the purview of what digital transformation alone brings to the table.

This is also changing the way business has traditionally engaged with technology, which was a lot more in silo and disparately connected. Today, technology is the key driving force in the way businesses run both internally and externally. The expectation of the business from technology, therefore, is now more connected and integrated. Hence, traditional engagement models are failing in several instances and new technology models are gaining more success in their partnerships.

The point being that business transformation requires a whole new approach and a different set of people with specific skill sets. Forward looking enterprises who are seriously looking at modernizing their business and evolving customer experience, need a special type of companies to partner with as compared to traditional consulting and outsourcing models.

What does it mean? Enterprises are looking for companies who bring ‘practitioners’ who can create end-to-end solutions, and work with both business and technology to achieve relevant business outcomes. They have the ability to create the business transformation architecture based on their horizontal domain-based knowledge.

Practitioners are people who work closely with business to identify and define the set of business outcomes, prioritize, and build an incremental roadmap, instead of a typical big bang approach that usually fails to address definitive issues. Especially when it comes to data related transformation, practitioners are able to define the relevant sources of data. Then they bring data engineering scrum teams who assimilate data from various sources and connect them back to business. They are also the data scientists who work with the business and technology teams to apply the effective algorithms, build dashboards, and provide effective and predictive analytics. Then there are the transformation product engineering teams who ultimately create the products that are derived from these insights and are built to deliver outcomes.

Another crucial part of a business transformation program is the discipline and the governance framework that centrally manages, monitors, and ensures the effectiveness of the initiative. Enterprises need to focus on an innovation framework that helps in maintaining this discipline and add more value to the whole transformation exercise.

This is applicable to every business, be it in the retail, manufacturing, healthcare, automotive or the financial services domain, where change is rapid and directly affects the consumer. It takes one disruptor to bite the largest chunk of pie from established behemoths in any domain. As Einstein has famously said, “we cannot solve our problems using the same thinking we used when we created them.” We have several examples where the failure to evolve the thought process has led to the extinction of successful, established businesses.

Today, however, I feel quite hopeful as I see many enterprises have started to change their thinking towards technology and the providers they choose as partners. It will be interesting to wait and watch the remarkable outcomes these new partnerships will bring to the market and to consumers. 

vivo-CMR Study: Average Indian Spends Over 1800 Hours a Year on their Smartphone

Global smartphone brand vivo in association with Cybermedia Research (CMR), has announced the results of the study titled ‘Smartphone and their impact on human relationships’, to dive deep into the influence of mobile devices on the consumers and their social interactions. As the smartphone becomes the center of universe in our lives, its impact on society, on behaviors and every day human connections is significant. The study evaluates and reports the various dimensions of uninhibited smartphone usage while highlighting the trends, patterns and habits that influence smartphone user actions, moods and preferences.

With smartphones entering every facet of our lives, the survey aimed to understand how mobile devices are altering lives and relationships of users. In the report, it was found that 75% of the respondents agreed to have owned a smartphone in their teens and of them, 41% were hooked to phones even before graduating from high school. From showcasing the benefits to the depth of addiction, the vivo and CMR study tries to understand the behavioral changes pertaining to smartphone usage.

The vivo and CMR ‘Smartphones and their Impact on Human Relationships’ report is based on a survey conducted online as well as face to face across top 8 cities in India. The report cuts across age-groups and demographics: youth, working professionals, housewives spanning the age groups of 18 to 45. The total number of respondents were 2000 out of which 36% were females and 64% were males.

According to Nipun Marya, Director Brand Strategy, vivo India, “Smartphones are ubiquitous in our lives today, be it connecting with friends, family, entertainment, eating out or even travel or entertainment. As the “born in the net” generation grows up as digital natives, there is a fundamental change underway within society- redefining relationships, interactions and the very fabric of human emotions and exchanges. This transformation is also an opportunity to harness and drive positive change, reinforce balance and responsible proliferation of technology and its usage amongst consumers. As a brand that believes in the well-being of our customers, we commissioned this study to get insight into a very pertinent issue that we collectively must address and debate as a community.”

Commenting on the survey findings, Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group, CMR  said, “While the explosive surge in smartphones in India has enabled Indians with not just communicating with loved ones, but with myriad other uses cases, including  in consuming entertainment and in expressing themselves, our survey results demonstrate that the  dependency over smartphones has increased. While smartphone will continue to be the primary go-to device, smartphone users have realized that periodically switching-off would help benefit their personal health.”

Some of the key findings are as below:

* Average Indian spends 1/3rd of their waking hours on their phone, which translates to 1800 hours a year
* 30% fewer people meet family and loved ones multiple times a month (now vs 10 Years ago)
* 1 in 3 people feel that they can't even have a 5 min. conversation with friends and family without checking their phones
* 73% respondents agree that if smartphone usage continues at the current rate or grows, that it is likely to impact your mental or physical health.
* 3 out of 5 people say that it's important to have a life separate from mobile phone and that could help them lead to happier lives.
* For results based on a randomly chosen sample of this size, there is 95% confidence that the results have a statistical precision of plus or minus 2.2% of what they would be if the entire population had been surveyed.

Playerzpot Among Top 10 Online Sports Fantasy Portal in India

It is fascinating to witness the evolving landscape of Indian sports and the rapid rise of online fantasy gaming in the country/ fan engagement. Cricket matches are one of the two occasions annually where every Indian feels the patriotic surge and cheers for the nation, our cricket team and those individuals playing representing our nation. The matches are gripping and over some time gradually fans shift to affiliate with the individuals, playing for the nation more than the game itself.  Playerzpot is an online sports fantasy portal. It is a platform with over 1 million users in India.  Playerzpot offers its users Fantasy gaming for Cricket, Football & Kabaddi matches. Within 4 years of inception, Playerzpot today ranks among the TOP 10 Fantasy Platforms in India with a 1% market share. What's fascinating about the company is that it's a profitable business amidst the fierce competition.

It is a multi-sport aggregator platform that offers Free to Play, Pay to Play, content, commerce and community engagement for various sports. With their customer-centric approach, they ensure the highest possible gain for their customers in the easiest, reliable and secure way. Their unique referral system allows users to earn while sitting from the comfort of their homes.

The Founder and Director of the company Yogesh Doiphode is an IT graduate from VJTI and a vivid sports lover with a vision of changing the gaming landscape in India. Mitesh Gangar is the Co-Founder and Director, who is a veteran in programming, as a full stack developer and Android developer. Under their capable leadership, they expect to see Playerzpot changing the way an Indian sports fan can consume sports online.

They hold experience of converting a start-up into a profitable business by using the best possible marketing strategies. They have been using strong methods to turn this venture into a big part of the lucrative business in the current market. They have established Standard Operating Procedures; Playerzpot’s Fantasy sports aspires to be one of the best games to play.

India has over 300 million online sports fans, of which over 60 million use fantasy sports as their primary tool for engagement with their favorite sport. In all likelihood, the next wave of growth in sports consumption will mainly be driven by fantasy sports and sports content platforms. Playerzpot is a futuristic project with great potential. The portal provides curated sports experience across the available sports format enabling fan engagement with peers and people sitting across the country. 

Four Unique Innovations Honored at the First-Ever WTFL Indian Startup Innovation Camp 2019

Key Pointers

* Startups that won the competition under the categories of Community, Conservation, Culture and Commerce are F5 Escapes, Quick Ride, NotOnMap and MeTripping, respectively
* These innovations were first-of-its-kind innovations; poised to disrupt the travel, tourism and hospitality sector
* In association with IHCL and Tata Trusts, WTFL is committed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in the sector
* WTFL Start-Up Innovation Camp 2019 focused on talent, innovation, diversity and sustainable development within and beyond travel, tourism and hospitality industry

After attaining a successful stature at global level, World Tourism Forum Lucerne (WTFL) made its debut in India this year with first-of-its-kind competition – Indian Start-Up Innovation Camp 2019. The event concluded today on 18th December at Taj, Bengaluru where the four winners with the most unique and innovative ideas were announced.

In the first phase of evaluation, WTFL shortlisted 16 unique startups for the final round after evaluating 200 startup applications. Winners of this competition were announced in the categories of Community, Conservation, Culture and Commerce respectively in the field of travel, tourism and hospitality from the Indian subcontinent. They were also rewarded with USD 10,000 each along with a personalized two-year mentoring by industry experts.

Martin Barth, President and CEO, World Tourism Forum Lucerne said, “Out of all the game-changing ideas by 200 startups that applied for Indian Start-Up Innovation Camp 2019, we are happy to announce the names of four most unique startups that stood out with flying colors. We believe, organizing the event in India this year gave us an opportunity to come across interesting ideas. Considering that, India has a niche product portfolio in travel, tourism and hospitality sector and is expected to grow at a rate of 100% by 2028. We are sure to make a mark and create awareness around the on-going environmental issues and look forward to holding more such engaging events in India in the coming years.”

Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and CEO, The Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) said, “Tourism has been one of the growing economic sectors across the world. IHCL is proud to support WTFL in this great initiative to recognize innovation in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector, which is one of the biggest job creators globally.”

Prabhat Pani, Senior Advisor - Partnerships, Tata Trusts, said, “The Travel, Tourism and Hospitality sector has the opportunity to bring about irreversible change in the remotest parts of India, through collective efforts of several institutions and influencers in the society. Tata Trusts believes that wider impact can be achieved through the creation of a collaborative ecosystem that fosters innovation, inclusion, sustainability and entrepreneurship. Further, Tata Trusts, with its focus on integrated community-based interventions across India, aim to create sustainable value-chains, while augmenting the socio-ecological resources.”

The globally renowned platform that provides world’s leading tourism, travel and hospitality leaders along with innovators to meet and shape a more sustainable future. For the past 10 years, WTFL has given an exclusive ground to the budding businessmen by nurturing their innovations in this sector. With this platform, our country will brace up to revive Brand India with the help of 5 Ts: Tradition, Talent, Tourism, Trade and Technology.

In 2017, Global Himalayan Expedition became the first Indian start-up to have won the prestigious WTFL competition.

TECNO Spark Power Joins Flipkart’s Year End Sale from Dec 21, 2019


* Following its debut on Flipkart, Spark Power received an overwhelming Consumer response
* Spark Power boasts of a segment-first 6000 mAh battery with Amoled Screen which creates tremendous value for the entry-level consumers Smartphone
* The smartphone will be available at INR 8,499 with some Special offers from December 21, 2019 till December 23, 2019 as part of Flipkart’s Year End Sale

TECNO, the global smartphone brand, has announced that its newly-launched Spark Power smartphone will be a part of Flipkart’s long-awaited Year End Sale, making it the perfect choice for a Christmas & New Year gift.  Spark Power, which has already received a stellar response from the Consumers. It is a game-changer in the sub-9k category owing to its segment-first 6000 mAh battery – a monster that can make the phone last up to five days giving users 29 hours of video playback, 35 hours of calling, 17 hours of gaming or 200 hours of music – all in a single charge! Additionally, it has a brilliant 6.35-inch HD+ dot notch display with AMOLED Screen

SPARK Power has been well received by the consumers and the response has been great in terms of feedback making it the ‘Highest rated Smartphone brand’ on Flipkart in India. On a scale of 5 stars, the phone received a 4.7 stars for its battery, 4.2 for display and a unique 5 stars in the ‘value for money’ category.

Spark Power is the latest addition in TECNO’s already impressive ‘Spark’ series line-up that also includes SPARK Go the best-selling most affordable dot notch display smartphone at INR 5499. The ‘category defining’ 6000 mAh battery of TECNO Spark Power with AI power saving & safe charging addresses the most important need of the category consumers -- enjoy uninterrupted entertainment on the go.

TECNO Spark Power is sleek and boasts curved glossy unibody for a stylish finish. The smartphone is available in two contemporary color hues - Dawn Blue and Alpenglow Gold. It also incorporates TECNO’s unique localised anti-oil fingerprint sensor.  Another unique feature is the Smart Key which allows users a one-touch access to Google Assistant.

Automobile Awards – ICOTY & IMOTY 2020 Recognise and Honor Auto Industry Innovation


* Hyundai Venue earns the recognition of the ‘Indian Car of the Year Award 2020’
* Hero XPulse 200 wins the ‘Indian Motorcycle of the Year Award 2020’
* BMW 3-Series clinches the title of ‘Premium Car Award 2020 by ICOTY’

JK Tyre, presented the most prestigious awards of the Indian automotive industry- the 15th Indian Car of the Year (ICOTY), 13th Indian Motorcycle of the Year (IMOTY) and 2nd Premium Car Award 2020 by ICOTY. Winners of these eminent awards, which signify the highest auto performance standards, were awarded in the presence of industry visionaries, top executive and auto enthusiasts.

Reflecting its nationwide popularity, Hyundai Venue was adjudged the ‘Indian Car of the Year 2020’, while Hero XPulse 200, which is a favorite among biking aficionados, was awarded the ‘Indian Bike of the Year 2020’. Marking its second year at the ICOTY platform, the Premium Car Award 2020 by ICOTY award was bagged by BMW 3-Series.

Dr. Raghupati Singhania, Chairman & Managing Director, JK Tyre & Industries Limited, presented the awards to the winners along with Mr. Yogendra Pratap, Chairman, ICOTY 2020, and Mr. Aspi Bhathena, Chairman, IMOTY 2020.

Commenting on the occasion, Dr. Raghupati Singhania said, “This is the most exciting night for the auto industry and rightfully so. We, at JK Tyre, are proud to be supporting the ICOTY & IMOTY awards ever since its inception. With automakers leaping forward and innovating at a rapid pace, this year brought many strong contenders to the table, making the jury’s task of picking winners that much more difficult. Despite the tough competition, each entrant is a winner in their own right. I would like to extend hearty congratulations to tonight’s winners who made it to the top with the exceptional style, technology and innovation they brought in their vehicles. It has been an absolute joy to witness the same zeal translating on to the roads. JK Tyre’s support to ICOTY and IMOTY Awards is a testimony to that fervor for excellence and being part of this remarkable journey has been simply wonderful.”

Every year, a panel of auto experts from India’s top automobile publications come forward to judge the ICOTY and IMOTY Awards.  This year’s awards gave us the best car and the best motorcycle from a plethora of new launches witnessed throughout the year.

Introduced in 2005 and 2007 respectively, the ICOTY and IMOTY are the most prestigious awards in the Indian Automobile Industry.

Representing Hyundai Venue, the winner of ICOTY 2020, Mr. S.S. Kim, MD & CEO, Hyundai Motor India Limited, said, “It is a moment of great pride for all of us at the Hyundai family. We are honored to win the most prestigious automotive award – ‘Indian Car of the Year 2020’ for India’s First Connected SUV – Hyundai VENUE. Hyundai VENUE has become the customers’ first choice in India and has penned a new success story with over 95,000 bookings (till date) in India. Winning the 6th ICOTY award symbolizes the trust and faith of customers in Hyundai brand. We thank all our Customers, Partners, Media and Jurors for choosing Hyundai VENUE as the Indian Car of the Year 2020 and making Hyundai the Most Loved and Trusted car manufacturer in India.”

Representing the Hero XPulse 200 which emerged as the winner of IMOTY 2020, Dr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotoCorp Ltd. said, “We are delighted to receive the most coveted honour of the Indian automotive industry. 2019 has been a milestone year for us in augmenting our brand appeal as the 'Premium Hero'. It has been our conscious effort to design and develop new premium motorcycles and scooters that will redefine these segments. Our new range of premium products have been completely designed and developed by our own in-house engineers at the CIT. Going forward, we will continue to bring new products for our customers around the word in this segment”

The ICOTY & the IMOTY awards recognize and reward the rigorous efforts made by auto manufacturers in the areas of design excellence, innovation and R&D to ensure customer satisfaction.

Congratulating the winners, Mr. Yogendra Pratap, Chairman, ICOTY 2020, said, “Hyundai Venue and Kia Seltos were close competitors for the top slot of Indian Car of The Year 2020 Award. While both the cars are standouts in their respective segments, value for money was a key consideration and Hyundai Venue stood out given its accessibility. Even on the performance parameter, it emerged as the clear winner. For Premium Car Award 2020 by ICOTY, both the top two contenders, BMW 3-Series and X5 have evolved notably over their previous generations. With affordability and accessibility as the top valued factors for assessment, BMW 3-Series emerged as the top choice.”

Mr. Aspi Bhathena, Chairman, IMOTY 2020, said, “The competition was extremely intense across all categories in this edition of the ICOTY and IMOTY Awards. Despite the challenging industry scenario, we have had some exciting entrants in the segment. The jury really had a tough time, as the winning margin was just a few points between the winner and the runners-up. The jury simply made the right choice, as it is not just about building feature-rich bikes but also offers added value proposition. Undoubtedly, Hero XPulse ticks all the boxes and deserves to be the winner.”

TKM Conducts Sanitation Quiz Competition to Recognize Change Makers of Tomorrow


- Project ABCD has covered 58,719 school children and 3,89,747 community members creating awareness on the importance of sanitation and basic hygiene, which has resulted in 687 schools being Open Defecation Free

- TKM has partnered with NGO – SNEHA, to carry out activities in schools; bringing a behavioral change pertaining Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practices among school children 

- TKM’s girl child sanitation initiatives have effectively contributed in reduction of girl child school missing hours to zero in Ramanagara district

- This unique projects has been commended for its key contribution by the Karnataka State’s Education Board and most recently a case study on the project was accepted for publication by Ivy Publishing which then made its way to Harvard Business Review case collection

As a part of its unique CSR initiative, Project ABCD (A Behavioural Change through Demonstration), Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), today, organized a district level quiz competition for the third consecutive year witnessing participation from over 4074 school children from 118 schools. Supporting Government of India’s ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, Project ABCD was rolled out in the year 2015, implemented in 1,004 schools covering 58,719 children at Ramanagara district in Karnataka. In-line with Government of India’s national campaign, ‘Swacch Bharat: Swacch Vidyalaya’, Project ABCD aims to spread awareness and promote safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practices among school children.

The event was graced by Mr. Ikram, IAS, Chief Executive Officer, Ramanagara Zilla Panchayat, Mr. Naveen Soni, Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor along with the senior management representation from TKM.

Through Project ABCD, over 58,719 children from 1,004 schools in the district have been trained so far on better hygiene practices, importance of hand washing, and usage and maintenance of toilets. Over the years, this project has substantially expanded its reach across Magadi, Kanakapura, Ramanagara and Channapatana, enhancing the awareness by training the teachers and children on the importance of sanitation and basic hygiene.

Commemorating the success of Project ABCD, the quiz program supports its mission to enhance the knowledge on personal hygiene and sanitation among school children. It further motivates them to sustainably practice good hygiene and advocate these practices to other school children and community members. This competition is developed to evaluate the level of awareness among school children through various activities including Quiz, Painting, etc. It also acts as a great platform to check the effectiveness of the sanitation campaign on WASH practices and general knowledge about sanitation and hygiene amongst school children undergoing the ABCD program at their respective schools. Additionally, it helps the school children to openly discuss, share their views and knowledge about the WASH practices; motivating others.

LG Steps Up its Game with the Launch of LG Dual Screen Smartphone in Indian Market

LG Electronics has unveiled the LG G8XThinQ, its newest G series smartphone, and a more advanced LG Dual Screen in India. The LG G8XThinQ Dual Screen smartphone is designed to help users find a whole new way to multitask while being creative in its design and outlook. Taking its consumer experience to the next level, LG G8XThinQ with LG Dual Screen will be available across all retail outlets at INR 49,999 starting tomorrow.

LG G8XThinQ with LG Dual Screen offer consumers an entirely new way to interact with a mobile device and usher in new possibilities for mobile gaming, content creation and consumption, productivity and much more.

LG G8XThinQ Dual Screen lets consumers be as productive as they can be, quickly and easily. Whether texting a friend while watching a video, updating fantasy football while researching stats, sharing and comparing while online shopping, or writing an email while referencing a presentation, consumers can navigate, research, communicate and more across two screens simply and efficiently.

What’s more, LG G8XThinQ Dual Screen features unique experiences that provide more control for scenarios where two identical OLED displays simply work better than one, saving precious screen real estate. LG gives consumers the option to have the power and flexibility of two screens, but the freedom to choose one based on the situation. By detaching LG Dual Screen from LG G8XThinQ, going minimal is as simple as a snap.

LG Dual Screen boasts a convenient cover display, with the essentials like notifications, date, time, battery life available at a glance. With a 360° Freestop Hinge, LG Dual Screen is able to lock into at any angle, making it practical for use as a game controller at 120°, a mini-laptop at 140°, flat at 180°, a stand or tent at 270°, or to take a call flipped back on itself at 360°.

LG Game Pad is an immersive dual screen experience designed to level-up mobile gaming and deliver an edge in the competitive moment. It gives gamers a complete view of a game on one screen and a full controller on the other, giving the options to choose from multiple virtual controllers or build a custom layout to match specific game play needs and styles. LG Game Pad mimics touch input on the main display, making it compatible with most games.

The LG Smart Keyboard converts LG G8XThinQ Dual Screen into a mini-laptop for on-the-go use. The bottom display transforms into a full-screen virtual keyboard making it easier to write emails, edit presentations, text, or search the web in full-screen on the top display.

“We are delighted to introduce LG G8X ThinQ to our consumers with dual screen as a differentiated factor. It comes with two displays allowing two apps running parallel on each screen thus making multitasking much easier for its users. I am sure, this phone will redefine the way our consumers interact with the device,” said Advait Vaidya, Business Head – Mobile Division, LG Electronics India Pvt Ltd. “We will continue to innovate and expand the world of our smartphones and the Dual Screen and continue our journey to help create the best user experience, he added.”

Dual, The Better

LG’s newest G series smartphone shares the identical 6.4-inch display of LG Dual Screen for double the productivity and fun. An in-display fingerprint sensor makes locking and unlocking the LG G8XThinQ easier than ever, even with the Dual Screen folded back. While automatic adjustment of a smartphone display’s brightness using sensors is nothing new, in the G8XThinQ, an ambient light sensor also adjusts the contrast to maximize image details and reduce eye strain. And the phone’s front-facing camera sits within an unobtrusive Waterdrop lens cut out, letting users appreciate the 6.4-inch Full Vision display to the maximum.

Faster and more efficient with UI apps on large Dual Screen

Without the hassle of going back and forth from thumbnail to full-sized photo, one can use the Dual Screen to see thumbnails on one screen and large pictures on another. Online shopping is more convenient with the web browser being optimised for Dual screen. Instead of the inconveniently small keyboard, one can use the Dual Screen to launch a full-screen keyboard on one display. The custom Game Pad is specialized for shooting, racing, action, sports games or get recommendations. One can also fully see themselves on one screen and everyone else on the other with the Dual video call.

Click-on with new phones

And when it comes to the camera, the LG G8XThinQ is a shutterbug’s dream come true, sporting a 32MP front super wide angle 136-degree shooter with a 1.6μm sensor that rivals the impressive cameras on the back for stellar shots whichever way the phone is facing. Also, for the perfect selfie, Reflector Mode ensures clearer, sharper portraits even in dark environments letting users adjust the lighting colour to match their mood or preference. AI Action Shot in the new LG G8XThinQ recognizes and compensates for movement with a shutter speed of 1/480 of a second to keep subjects fully in focus; ideal for taking memorable shots of kids or pets playing. 4K Time Lapse lets users create artistic time lapse videos in stunning 4K resolution while LG Steady Cam provides enhanced image stability for footage that looks more polished and professional. Available for the first time, switching between front and rear cameras while recording video is possible with LG G8XThinQ.

Enhance your audio experience

A proven leader in smartphone audio, LG doesn’t disappoint with its G8XThinQ. Two 1.2W speakers deliver bold, perfectly balanced stereo sound while the 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC tuned by Meridian Audio continues to make LG the benchmark for exceptional smartphone sound. On the recording end, the LG G8XThinQ features a microphone which is automatically turned up when capturing video to ensure that sounds are recorded in vivid detail for the most captivating, ASMR recordings.

Your designer luxury device

Discover the sleek, minimalist design of the LG G8X ThinQ, as well as the advanced features you can only get in an LG dual-screen phone. Loaded with Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 855 Octa-Core, 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC, IP68 Water & Dust Proof, In screen Finger Print, Powerful 4,000mAh Battery, as well as the advanced AI features you can only get in an LG dual-screen phone.

Mother's Recipe Introduces a Range of “Street-Styled Authentic Chutneys” in Spout Pack

Indian street foods with their complementing chutneys from various cities are well-known for their taste and variety. Every region has its own specialty and India leads the charts in terms of street food. Yet, as far as street food hygiene is concerned, there are very poor standards. People who consume street food more often, have been reported to suffer from foodborne diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid fever and food poisoning.

Key features:
* Authentic Tasty Indian Chutneys
* Hygienic & Trusted
* Easy to carry while travelling
* Easy and convenient Packaging – aroma sealed & Spill proof
* The spout pack has a Modern, trendy & premium look
* Easy to store
* Available across all major retail stores and online grocers in 200gm pack for just Rs. 50

Mother's Recipe, a leading FMCG brand, has introduced a range of street-styled authentic chaat chutneys in an all-new attractive and convenient spout pack. Manufactured in it’s state-of-the-art plant in Pune under strict hygienic conditions, these chutneys are available in 5 variants like Delhi Chat Chutney, Bhelpuri Chutney, Red Chilli Garlic Chutney, Samosa Chutney, and Tamarind Date Chutney. Attractively packed in the all-new easy to pour spout pack, it will surely enhance the taste of everyday homemade snacks in the most chat patta way.

Commenting on the new range of chutneys, Ms. Sanjana Desai, Executive Director, Mother’s Recipe – Desai Foods Pvt Ltd said, “Mother’s Recipe is committed to delivering products, which satisfy palates and are appropriate for the Indian consumer. Our home-style range of chutneys is the result of extensive research and consumer insight which are made from fresh ingredients to deliver the authentic taste of home-cooked food. We have consciously introduced these delicious chutneys in a more convenient and easy to pour spout pack to inculcate the habit of eating good and quality food at home. With the launch of so many chutney variants, everyone can enjoy their favourite street food and snacks anytime.”

The products are available in all hypermarkets, exclusive Mother’s Recipe outlets and local retail stores across Delhi-NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad and on e-commerce portals like Bigbasket.

Mother’s Recipe products are category leaders in Pickles and Paste categories and market shares vary from 25% to 40%. In pickles, Mother’s Recipe dominates the category and is the only National Brand available across with more than 64 variants. Other than pickles, the product range consists of Ready to Cook (RTC) Spice Mixes, Condiments, Papads, Appalams, Instant Mixes and now Chutneys.

“Chutney’s, sauces and pastes as a category in India have witnessed consistent growth over the past few years. According to the report by World Food India this category has maintained the momentum with double-digit growth during the period 2016-21. This growth can be attributed to employee affluence and growing millennial customers along with a rise in working women's population. The demands of the FMCG segment are evolving everyday and consumers are seeking convenience, hygiene, authenticity and better-packaged products. As a result, we need to continuously innovate in line with the growing consumer expectations while providing our customers with only the best quality & tastiest of products, go ahead and try one chutney. ” Sanjana concluded.


Red Chilli Garlic Chutney
Delhi Chaat Chutney
Bhelpuri Chutney
Samosa Chutney
Tamarind Date Chutney

Omidyar Network Partners with Neelesh Misra and BIG FM to Launch New Radio Show ‘Zindagi Mobile’

Omidyar Network India, an investment firm focused on social impact, today launched a radio show, ‘Zindagi Mobile’, in partnership with one of India’s largest radio networks with 58 stations - BIG FM and renowned radio storyteller Neelesh Misra. Through powerful storytelling, the show will aim to raise awareness around key aspects of engaging in the digital world: the benefits of technology, the risks it creates, recourse in the case of harms and the concept and importance of privacy.

Narrated by India’s favorite storyteller Neelesh Misra, each episode of the show will talk about themes that both empower as well as protect the ‘next half billion’ population from harms of technology. The episodes will cover topics like the importance of consent (e.g. the right to know what a company does with your phone number), the empowerment that technology provides (e.g. adopting new forms of payment), and measures for protection from harms (e.g. guarding against banking fraud). The show will also seek to underline the value of as well as nuances around privacy. Aired over a period of 10 weeks with a weekly episode of 15 minutes at a primetime slot every Tuesday, each episode will rebroadcast thrice, at different time bands, to reach the widest possible audience. Each episode will be aired in five languages- Hindi, English Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil in relevant markets.

By 2022, half a billion Indians are expected to come online through their mobile phones. Despite being the driver of change for the next half billion (NHB), mobile phones also make these users vulnerable to financial fraud, identity theft and illegal usage of personal data among other things. With ‘Zindagi Mobile’, the creators will underline that privacy is an individual’s fundamental right while focusing on educating audiences about the two aspects of what constitutes Good Tech – using ‘Tech for Good’ and helping create ‘Responsible Tech’ that focuses on building tech that protects its audience from potential risks and harms.

Commenting on this first of its kind initiative by the firm, Rohan Vyavaharkar, Director, Marketing and Communication, Omidyar Network India said, “At Omidyar Network India, we believe technology must serve the society at the broadest level. As India’s “next half billion” comes online, this show seeks to inform, sensitize and help equip them to better understand how tech can help improve their lives, the vulnerabilities it creates and how to exercise their right to privacy. We believe this awareness building effort will contribute to helping them participate effectively in the digital economy.”

Commenting on the partnership, Neelesh Misra said "The digital surge has revolutionized our lives and connected us like never before - my parents don’t feel that far from their grandchildren now thanks to video calls - but there are things one has to be careful of. Digital means can also be used to harm or hassle others. Also, there is a huge issue of the Right to Privacy - a fundamental right - that we often don’t value enough it realize that it’s being violated every time we give away our phone number, our address, our email ID, and for the vulnerable millions, their ATM Pins. We need to raise awareness on this with millions of Indians. I am glad to be a part of a new show that brings to the fore and addresses a critical issue and will help us in raising awareness through strong and impactful storytelling. I don’t think anywhere in the world would audio storytelling have been used to raise awareness around privacy.”

After having worked on purpose-driven initiatives, Mr. Sunil Kumaran, Country Head – Product, Marketing and Thwink BIG, BIG FM speaks about the need for Zindagi Mobile in today’s world, “Staying true to our philosophy, ‘Change Starts With You’, BIG FM has been at the forefront in spearheading some of the most impactful and innovative purpose-driven initiatives. Our partnership with Omidyar Network India mirrors our philosophy and seeks to aid us in reaching out to a wider set of an audience while appraising them on the perils of technology. With more than 564 million of the Indian population expected to become Internet users by 2020, this conversation is the need of the hour and we are proud to host a show like Zindagi Mobile. Through the show, we seek to provide a platform that acts as a guiding light for billions of people in a bid to save them from falling into any tech trap.”

Omidyar Network India will also be studying the impact of these stories on its audience in a few markets and will be releasing its findings at the end of this season.

Friday, December 20, 2019

About 56 Percent of Online Sales are by First Time Shoppers: Nielsen

The e-commerce industry in India is seeing a huge uptick in customer growth with every second shopper in the online space a new shopper, according to a report. The report by market research firm Nielsen also says that the online consumer looks forward to deals and festival offers with both periods seeing a huge jump in sales at the start of a festive sale.

According to the report in the September to October festive sales period, a whopping 84% sales came from this period of ‘Big Billion Days sale’ as against just 16% during non-sales days. High ticket categories such as electronics, large appliances, and home decor saw a 3-4X jump in sales this year.

The report captured digital shoppers behavior through an opt-in panel of 190k internet users spread across 52 cities in the country. It was released on Thursday and broadly covers the period from May to August this year.

Prasun Basu, South Asia Zone President, Nielsen Global Connect said, “Digital Retail has caused a paradigm shift when it comes to shopper trends among Indian consumers in the last decade. Every second person on the channel is a new shopper, and it is imperative for brand managers and marketers to get actionable insights into online shoppers.”

The report throws out a multitude of interesting data points.

It suggests that while mobiles continue to rule the roost in terms of share of online sales, cornering 48%, online shoppers are increasingly buying fashion apparel, footwear, luggage and accessories getting 16%, followed by FMCG at 11%. It states that within the fashion category, men’s clothing at 58% was the highest contributor. However, in terms of volumes of orders, FMCG dominated with 56% of the net orders.

Another interesting data point is that in the eight metros (cities with a population of 5 million and above), consumers seem to be moving to try out new baskets, with mobiles with 38%, followed by FMCG at 21% and fashion apparel at 16%. In smaller cities, mobiles contributed 50%, followed by fashion at 16% and FMCG at 9%.

The report suggests that more than 53% of new shoppers get mobiles as their first online purchase, followed by fashion 16% and Appliances at 9%.

Kunal Gupta, Head, E-Commerce, Nielsen, South Asia said, “The ecommerce channel is seen as a critical channel for the consumer, and is an extension of brick or mortar retail. There is a phenomenon of ‘prime time’ that is apparent in digital shopper today; with 23% sales happening from 8 pm-11 pm and a third of the sales coming through the course of the night.

This reinforces the quest for convenience with anytime anywhere access to the shopping cart.”

Thursday, December 19, 2019

L&T Technology Services Opens Aerospace & Defense Engineering Design Center in Rockford, Illinois

L&T Technology Services Limited, a leading global pure-play engineering services company, announced it has opened a design engineering center in Rockford, Illinois (USA) to cater to the new age digital requirements of the aerospace and defense markets. The latest initiative will enable LTTS to further build on the momentum gained by the company in the aerospace sector across the globe.

This center of excellence will specialize in development of high-performance engineering solutions for global aerospace and defense technology players. The facility will have a team of over 100 engineers with expertise in digital engineering, systems engineering and avionics design.

The center was inaugurated by Mr. Stan Kottke, Vice President of Electric Power Systems, Collins Aerospace, Senator Dave Syverson  and Mr. Tom McNamara, Mayor, Rockford City, IL, in the presence of Dr. Keshab Panda, CEO & Managing Director, L&T Technology Services and other top industry officials. The 130-seater center of excellence is LTTS’ sixth design center in the United States.

In July this year, LTTS was selected by Collins Aerospace to provide advanced aerospace and defense service needs.

LTTS’ distinct advantages in the aerospace landscape include ITAR (International Traffic in Arms) Compliance, certified state-of-art facilities, strong global customer base, robust lab & testing infrastructure and strategic alliances with Fortune 500 companies.

The company’s offerings to the aerospace sector encompass a wide spectrum including aero engine, aero structure & systems, avionics, air traffic management and new-age disruptive digital transformation solutions which cater to all phases of the Aircraft Lifecycle- design, manufacturing and aftermarket services.

“The new center of excellence serves as a testament to LTTS’ commitment to continued innovation and advanced capabilities in the aerospace and defense realms,” said Dr Keshab Panda, CEO & Managing Director at L&T Technology Services Limited. Through this investment, we will leverage our expertise in systems engineering and deliver differentiated value to our customers,” he said.

Mr. Tom McNamara, Mayor, City of Rockford, said, “Rockford has always been at the forefront of manufacturing and aerospace. We’re thrilled that L&T Technology Services will continue to build on that legacy by creating a hub for new digital opportunities for the aero and defense industries and further bolstering the business environment in this region”.

Hero Motocorp's Premium Adventure Bike - Xpulse 200 - Awarded ‘2020 Indian Motorcycle of the Year’

XPulse 200 – the adventure motorcycle from Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, has received the most prestigious recognition of the Indian two-wheeler industry – ‘The Indian Motorcycle of the Year’ (IMOTY), thus strongly establishing the Company’s new modern premium brand appeal.

The flagship product of the Company’s premium portfolio, the XPulse 200 – a dynamic, on-road-off-road motorcycle – has redefined the Indian adventure motorcycle segment. Within just a few months of its launch, the XPulse 200 has grabbed the attention of thrill seekers, not just in India but also across countries in Asia, South America and the Middle East.

Having strong emphasis on performance, maneuverability and aesthetics, the motorcycle has been designed and developed at Hero MotoCorp’s world-class R&D set-up – The Centre for Innovation & Technology (CIT) in Jaipur.

Commenting on the occasion, Dr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotoCorp, said, “We are delighted to receive the most coveted honour of the Indian automotive industry. 2019 has been a milestone year for us in augmenting our brand appeal as the 'Premium Hero'. It has been our conscious effort to design and develop new premium motorcycles and scooters that will redefine these segments. Our new range of premium products have been completely designed and developed by our own in-house engineers at the CIT. Going forward, we will continue to bring new products for our customers around the world in this segment.”

The IMOTY award was adjudged by an esteemed jury panel that comprised of 12 of India’s most renowned automotive experts from prominent automotive publications and news websites. The nominees were evaluated on several stringent parameters, including, value proposition, performance, comfort, fuel-efficiency, suitability to the Indian roads etc.

Oh Fizz! Sudarshan Ramamurthy aka ‘Soda’ Wins Premiere Season of Sterling Reserve Comedy Project

Sterling Reserve Comedy Project in partnership with Comedy Central India took laughter-therapy to a whole new level, in its premiere season. The stand-up talent hunt that created an uproar of laughter in the nation, crowned Sudarshan Ramamurthy aka ‘Soda’ as the winner. Giving undiscovered comedians the opportunity of a lifetime, the show hosted by the humorous and witty Varun Thakur, received an overwhelming response.

Sterling Reserve Comedy Project (SRCP) is an extension of Sterling Reserve Project – an umbrella platform that looks to discover, enable and incubate emerging talent in the performing arts.

Aspiring comedians from across India participated in this talent hunt, to become the next comedy sensation. Over the course of seven long weeks, India voted to decide the Top 8 – Gurpreet Singh, Anny Thakkar, Snighdha Jain, Pooja Ruparel, Sarvesh CK, Sudarshan Ramamurthy, Kuriakose Saju Vaisan and Siddhartha Shetty that made it to the last round. Breaking the measures of our laugh-o-meter, the finalists went up against each other one last time in an epic grand-finale, judged by hilarious duo Cyrus Sahukar and Anu Menon. Garnering over 20,000 votes from audience bursting into peals of laughter, Sudarshan Ramamurthy emerged as the winner of the show.

Tata Motors Unveils India’s Own Electric SUV - The Nexon EV


* First EV to be powered by the state-of-the-art Ziptron technology
* Promises zippy performance, acceleration from 0 to 100 kmph in just 9.9 seconds
* Delivers an anxiety free long range of more than 300 kms on a single full-charge
* Comes with 35 Mobile App based connected features
* Bookings will commence starting Dec 20, 2019 at

Tata Motors has unveiled India’s Own Electric SUV – the Nexon EV, an aspirational SUV for personal car buyers looking for a thrilling, connected drive experience with zero emissions. Powered by the cutting-edge Ziptron technology, this vehicle promises an efficient high voltage system, zippy performance, long-range, fast charging capability, extended battery life and class leading safety features. Scheduled to be launched in January 2020, the Nexon EV is expected to be priced between INR 15 to 17 Lakhs.

Available in three variants – XZ+ LUX, XZ+ (both in 2 tone) and XM (in single tone), the NEXON EV will come in three exciting colour options – Signature Teal Blue colour, Moonlit Silver and Glacier White. The car will additionally come with a warranty of 8 years or 1,60,000 kms (whichever is earlier) on battery & motor.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Mr. Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors said, “After introducing our cutting-edge EV technology, Ziptron, we are thrilled to unveil the first EV featuring this technology – The Nexon EV. This is a high performance, connected vehicle that is uniquely suited to address the aspirations of Indian customers and break all barriers for EV adoption. We are confident that this development will mark an important milestone in India’s electrification journey, and further reinforce our commitment towards developing sustainable and responsible mobility solutions for India.”


The new Nexon EV sports a bold and confident design that brings into play the IMPACT DESIGN 2.0 language. The new design further accentuates the already strong and purposeful stance of the Nexon, resulting in a road presence that makes it stand out & apart. The slim, wide grille-cum-lamp entity is underscored by the Tata Motors Humanity Line running from lamp to lamp, adding a touch of premiumness through its chrome treatment and more three-dimensional form. Completing the new design of the front end is the bumper with its sporty central grille, detailed with the Tata Motors signature Tri-Arrows.

On the inside, the Nexon EV cabin comes with modern design, spacious interiors, and premium sound management to deliver a comfortable tranquil drive. The vehicle also comes with a 7 inch Harman infotainment system offering top-notch connectivity and unmatched acoustics. It also supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.


Nexon EV is equipped with a powerful and high-efficiency 129 PS permanent-magnet AC motor powered by a high capacity 30.2 kWh lithium-ion battery. The motor produces 245 Nm of instant torque from a standstill, enabling Nexon EV to accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in just 9.9 seconds. The EV comes with a best-in-industry dust and water proof battery pack which meets IP67 standards. This high-density battery pack is liquid-cooled to excel in Indian conditions. The battery pack is placed underneath the vehicle body, giving the SUV a center of gravity more akin to that of a sedan or a hatchback, ensuring maximum stability and excellent dynamic performance on winding roads.

The vehicle comes with two drive mode options – DRIVE & SPORT. It utilizes smart drive tech features - Regenerative Braking to charge the battery while coasting, Hill Ascent & Descent Assist to make driving on slopes more convenient and Smart Regen with Creep feature allows user to tackle congested city traffic without fatigue.


Nexon EV delivers an anxiety free long range of more than 300 kms on a single charge with zero emissions. When plugged into a Fast DC Charger, the Nexon EV will replenish 80% battery capacity within 60 minutes. In addition, the Nexon EV can be charged from any 15 amp plug point.


Nexon EV offers 35 Mobile App based connected features, ranging from remote commands, vehicle tracking, driving behavior analytics, navigation and remote diagnostics. The ZConnect App enables owners to locate the nearby charging points, TML service stations, set-up speed alerts, track vehicle location and many more features.


The Nexon EV retains all its learnings from the Nexon Global NCAP rating and comes with class leading safety features. Proving its reliability, the car has been rigorously tested across 1 million kms across the toughest terrains in India, covering high altitudes, unpaved roads, steep gradients and under extreme weather conditions.

The all new Nexon EV can be pre-booked for an amount of Rs 21,000 starting December 20, 2019, either through company’s official website or through select authorized dealers. To know more about the Nexon EV, visit

Meditronic Celebrates Forty Years of Transforming Healthcare in India

India Medtronic Private Limited, wholly-owned subsidiary of Medtronic plc has celebrated 40 years of operations in India. The anniversary event held in New Delhi today was celebrated in the presence of key government officials, healthcare leaders, leading physicians, partners and employees of Medtronic India. A book celebrating Medtronic’s 40-year journey of transforming healthcare in India was unveiled by leading Physicians and Surgeons and Key Government Dignitaries at the event. The book showcases key milestones achieved by Medtronic in India in its efforts to improving access to quality healthcare in the country.

Healthcare practitioners from diverse fields convened to share their perspectives on the future of healthcare in India and the contribution of medical technology in improving patient outcomes.

“I am honored to be leading Medtronic India during this milestone anniversary which is the celebration of an inspiring period of service to health of India. We are proud of the innovative products and services launched in India and the outcomes that we’ve achieved,” said Madan Krishnan, vice president, Medtronic Indian Subcontinent. “Through our innovation-led, patient-centric and India-focused approach, we are confident of writing a golden chapter of WINNING INDIA in the history of Medtronic. And most importantly, we continue to advance our Mission and take healthcare Further, Together.”

The book, ‘Medtronic Story – 40 Years of Transforming Healthcare in India’ includes some of the major turning points in Medtronic India’s journey from humble beginnings in 1979 in Vadodara (Baroda) with only 30 employees to a robust family of 1700 employees spanning 14 locations across India. The book features two Therapy and Procedure Training Centers, two R&D centers and a Global Technology Centre; which are a testament of Medtronic’s ever-increasing footprint in India, apart from introducing many world class technologies and tailor-made solutions. The book chronicles stories of patients, who were recipients of Medtronic therapies and healthcare professionals, through whom many of the key technologies were introduced into the market. The e-book can be accessed here.

WinZO Unveils India’s First Global Game Developers’ Console

WinZO Games announced the launch of the WinZO developers’ console, a one-stop platform for developers to connect and publish their games on WinZO App, a vernacular arcade gaming platform already clocking 175MM+ paid games every month. This new product provides developers globally a real-time access to a micro-payments backed WinZO Platform that comes with a promise of an immediate 100X up take in the revenue generated from games in India.

With the console, WinZO aims to support the game developer community by providing an alternative monetization method for their existing games directly and help them earn 100x from the moment the game gets approved on the platform. This comes only a few months after WinZO announced its fund of $1.5MM that was setup to support the gaming community globally. The game developers will be able to unlock a host of features provided by WinZO Games for higher retention, increased outreach, premium user acquisition and branding.

The platform is simple and effective in tracking metrics and data such as revenue generated, game sessions, unique users, user feedback, etc. of published games. Developers can register and create their profile and get a unique ID to submit their game for approval. To further ease the process, WinZO is also providing Integration Kit and Documentation for developers. Once the game is uploaded developers will be able to monitor the revenue the game earns through a multipurpose dashboard. WinZO is also using AI to personalize the gaming experience for users which increases retention and help identify the users interest towards games and formats.

Mr Paavan Nanda, Cofounder, WinZO Games, said: “The mobile gaming ecosystem in India is transforming rapidly but monetization remains the biggest roadblock. We are offering a unique and stable approach through the game developers’ console, a breakthrough to redefine the gaming ecosystem in India.”

He further added: “It was interesting to learn that India leads the world in mobile game downloads followed by the United States and Brazil, according to App Annie. However, there is dismal growth in consumer spend on games. This indicates the need for a stable monetization model in India for game developers to support and promote quality gaming content.”

In-app purchase and ad revenues for gaming content have been abysmally low in India, restricting developers’ focus on making quality games. They have to either sell the games to big publishers or implement ad revenues which again decrease retentions. With the Developers console, WinZO brings global gaming content in India by providing alternate monetization method for the existing games directly.

The console will give ready access to 12 million+ registered users on the platform, who are making more than 175 million micro-transactions in a month. These players are playing from 10,000+ cities, towns and villages across India. Less than 10% of the audience is from Metro/Top Cities of the country. The average time spent on the app is 55 mins/day. This is more than the time spent watching TV during prime time. We see these numbers grow 10 times within the next 12 months.

Audisankara Pioneers Pracademics in India with SkillsSG Ventures of Singapore

Chennai-headquartered Audisankara, with a growing presence across South India, is entering into an unprecedented agreement with Singapore-based SkillsSG Ventures to co-create a multi-sectoral skill development partnership in Andhra Pradesh. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Dr Penchalaiah Vanki, Chairman of Audisankara Group of Institutions, and Mr David Kwee, Chairman of SkillsSG Ventures.

Promoting 21st century skills in education, Pracademics (Practical Education) aims to develop a skilled and dynamic workforce that will meet enterprise needs in the 4th Industrial Revolution. India is projected to have a deficit of 47 million skilled workforce within the next 5 years despite growing number of graduates. Yet this shortfall can be greatly reduced through the right training and methodology that will enhance employability among youths.

“We support India as the Skill Capital of the World.” states Dr. Vanki Penchalaiah, Chairman, Audisankara Group of Institutions. “Youths today are seeking high-value skills which allow for advanced employability and entrepreneurial opportunities. The Fourth Industrial Revolution demands nothing less than versatile skill-sets and mind-sets. Our partnership with SSGV will play a catalytic role towards the same by developing 21st Century technologists and leaders for India and the World. We hope to support and complement Andhra Pradesh government’s recent plans to set up a skill development university and 25 skill development centers” added Mr. Aditya Barrela, Group CEO, Audisankara Group of Institutions.

“SkillsSG Ventures is a Singapore-based joint venture comprising 12 Approved Training Organisations. These are training providers accredited by the Singapore Government, each with its own sectoral skills development curriculum and expertise.” Mr Cheng Hong Siang, Business Development Director.

“We are building on shared intent, values and vision”, said Mr David Kwee, SkillsSG Ventures Chairman and CEO of Training Vision Institute. “Skills in education is a model of human talent development that combines the pragmatics of experiential skill-development, rigorous academic know-how and industry-responsive curriculum. This allows for learning to be achieved in modules that can stack up into a higher education pathway. It creates relevance and promotes progression through lifelong learning.”

The Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) was signed at Audisankara’s campus in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh on 17th December 2019 and includes pacts with 12 Singaporean Education and Skill Development companies who uniquely complement Audisankara’s efforts to transform today’s higher education.

The MOU paves the way for an Andhra Pradesh-based, Singapore-supported global platform that focuses on Employability, Entrepreneurship and Lifelong Learning by the following means:

* A cutting-edge Center of Excellence in Digital & Design Technologies which will offer dual-track certification and degree programs with International Universities such as Bath University, Boston University, Excelsior University and so on.
* Dual-track programs, joint-research, international placements and exchanges commencing in second quarter of 2020.
* International Multi-Skills Centre in 20 acres and 2 lakh S.ft building at Nellore -- the epicentre of South India’s Industrial ecosystem.
* Training centres in Chennai and Bangalore for: Recognition of prior learning, Skilling for remote work, Apprenticeships, International placements and exchanges
* SkillsSG Ventures to support Audisankara in Implementation of Government-funded projects.
* The setting up of a Micro Entrepreneurship University (“MEU”)

Airtel “Shuts Down 3G Network” in Karnataka, Upgrades Customers to High Speed 4G Network

In line with its plans to phase out 3G technology across India, Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) today announced that it has shut down its 3G network in Karnataka.

Airtel mobile broadband services in Karnataka will now be available to customers on its high speed 4G network along with HD quality VOLTE calling. Airtel has been consistently rated as the fastest mobile network in India by multiple globally renowned platforms.

All customers on Airtel 3G were duly notified and requested to upgrade their handsets/SIMs to continue enjoying best-in-class smartphone experience on Airtel 4G. Customers who are yet to upgrade their 3G handsets/SIMs will continue to get access to high quality voice services.

Airtel added that it will continue to provide 2G services in Karnataka to serve the connectivity needs of customers on feature phones.

C Surendran, CEO – Karnataka & Odisha, Bharti Airtel said: “The smartphone ecosystem has shifted towards 4G devices, which have become highly affordable, and customers are upgrading to high speed 4G services for better digital experience. As Karnataka’s leading mobile operator, Airtel is focused on serving its customers with best-in-class services. In line with this mission, we have redeployed the 3G spectrum to further strengthen our 4G footprint and deployed cutting edge technologies to serve the evolving needs of our customers.”

In Karnataka, Airtel has redeployed its 3G spectrum for 4G services. The company has rolled out L900 technology in the 900 Mhz band and L2100 technology in the 2100 MHz to bolster its existing 4G footprint in the 2300 Mhz and 1800 Mhz bands. With these cutting edge technology rollouts customers on Airtel 4G will enjoy a superior network experience backed by exciting exclusive offerings as part of Airtel.

Dr. Agarwal’s Group of Eye Hospitals Raises Rs. 215 Crores from CDC Group

Dr. Agarwal’s Healthcare Ltd. (DAHCL) has raised Rs. 215 crores of debt from CDC Group to expand the geographical footprint of the eye care chain across India, Africa and South Asia along with significant investments in latest technology for super specialty eye-care. The group has recently set up its first hospital in Mumbai in partnership with Advanced Eye Institute in Navi Mumbai. Dr. Agarwal’s Healthcare Ltd. (DAHCL) had raised Rs. 270 crore investment from Temasek, a global investment company headquartered in Singapore earlier this year.

CDC Group is a development finance institution funded by the UK government. The CDC group has primarily focused on investing in developing countries for the past 70 years across sectors such as healthcare, financial services, infrastructure, manufacturing, food and agriculture, construction and real estate, education, etc. Its direct investments in health care in India include Rainbow Hospitals, CARE Hospitals, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences and Narayana Health.

“CDC’s investment will immensely help in furthering our vision in bringing affordable world class eye-care services to patients across the globe.” said Prof. (Dr.) Amar Agarwal, (MS, FRCS, FRC Ophth), Chairman, Dr. Agarwal’s Group of Eye Hospitals.

Dr. Adil Agarwal, CEO, Dr. Agarwal’s Group of Eye Hospitals said that “The investment will be used to support the business through its next phase of growth, including the acquisition of small hospitals and chains. With CDC’s focus on Africa and South Asia, the group is looking to bolster its international presence. We are also looking to expand aggressively in Maharashtra, Kerala and central India besides penetrating deeper into our existing markets. We will also be investing more in cutting edge technology such as SMILE, Femto Laser and Robotic Cataract Surgery across our centers.”

The Dr. Agarwal’s group has been at the forefront of innovation in the field of Ophthalmology with procedures such as Glued IOL (to treat patients with complicated lens problems), PDEK (an ultra-modern form of Corneal transplants) and PhakoNIT (Removal of Cataract through a sub 1mm incision). The latest invention from the group is a novel technique called “Single-Pass Four Throw” (SFT) along with “Pin Hole Pupilloplasty”, which is also referred to as PPP. The surgical technique is being used to help in pupillary reconstruction as well as to treat complicated cases of Narrow Angle Glaucoma.  There is also a lot of focus on education and training and the group attracts doctors from across the globe for its training programs; They also offer a DNB (post-graduate) program and various fellowship programs to train young, budding surgeons.

“With CDC’s expertise and relentless focus on developing markets, the group is poised to move towards greater heights.” said Mr. Suresh Prabhala, ADV Partners. A fund advised by ADV Partners invested Rs 270 crores in Dr Agarwal’s HealthCare Ltd in 2016 and has been a key component of the company’s board and growth story.

ACT Fibernet and BBMP to Expand Wi-Fi Footprint in Bengaluru


* 4000 Wi-Fi hotspots across Bengaluru in the next nine - twelve months
* 800 Sq Km of Bengaluru will be connected to Wi-Fi internet
* One-hour free internet connectivity per day

ACT Fibernet, India’s largest fiber-focused wired broadband ISP (Internet Service Provider), recently announced collaboration with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike(BBMP) to set up Wi-Fi zones in Bengaluru. The project is part of the Digital Karnataka initiative started by the government to provide citizens access to free and high quality public Wi-Fi connectivity.

This project was announced at Bengaluru Tech Summit by C. N. Ashwath Narayan, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for IT and BT, Karnataka in the presence of Bala Malladi, CEO, Atria Convergence Technologies Ltd. and other government officials.

ACT Fibernet will work in conjunction with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike(BBMP)and install 4000 Wi-Fi zones across the city.  Users can access free Wi-Fi connectivity through ACT Fibernet network for one hour to upload and download files, browse online, watch videos, visit social media handles and more. Post one hour a fee of INR 50 will be levied for each hour. 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. Bala Malladi, CEO, Atria Convergence Technologies Ltd. commented, “The Government of Karnataka is committed to deliver Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the Bengaluru the silicon city of India. Under its Advantage Cities program, ACT Fibernet is committed to provide this wi-fi coverage to fulfil the vision of Digital Karnataka and digital India. This will help citizens of Bengaluru access high speed internet and hence bringing the best internet experience to everyone. We consider it our privilege to work in conjunction with the government in this regard”

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

AI, AR, VR and Virtual Wardrobe to Propel Fashion Retail, 20th India Fashion Forum Discusses Retail Trends in Bengaluru

The fashion retail industry has undergone radical changes lately with technologies, like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Virtual Wardrobe Propelling Fashion Retail in India. Also the upswing of social media, digital commerce has seen increase among the consumers in the country. As the Indian consumer and retailer gear up for more developments in the near future, the 20th India Fashion Forum (IFF) made its debut in Bengaluru, bringing together experts, professionals, analysts, key decision makers and leaders from across the fashion retail business for a two-day conference from December 17-18 , 2019 to discuss and deliberate on the learning's of the past year, success stories and the way forward.

Organised to discuss the upcoming trends in the Indian fashion retail world that is constantly having new global entrants and innovative products, the IFF 2019 agenda includes presentations and panel discussions on the latest trends and insights in clothing segment, sustainable manufacturing, physical retail, apps and much more. ‘Athleisure’, growth of women’s wear, traditional wear, innovation and traceability were deliberated upon during the event.

Welcoming his successor Akhilesh Prasad, President & CEO, Fashion & Lifestyle Business, Reliance Retail, IFF’s Outgoing Chairman Suresh J, MD & CEO, Arvind Brands & Retail, said, “The fashion retail business in the country and across the globe has undergone a radical transformation in the past few years. I cannot think of a better person to take over as IFF Chairman than Akhilesh Prasad who has built a billion dollar fashion brand in the last 3-4 years.”

Indicating positive growth for Indian retail players notwithstanding the presence of global brands in the market, Akhilesh said, “It is my privilege to chair the 20th India Fashion Forum. This is a forum for the industry to get together, take stock of the scenario and learn to prepare for the future. Bengaluru has been chosen to host this edition given the city’s legacy of organised retail and I urge the local retail players to support this decision given the city’s pioneering status in fashion, digital commerce and technology space.”

The inaugural panel discussion, led by Bijou Kurien, Strategy Board Member, L Catterton Asia Holdings, sifted through the opportunities and challenges in India as the fastest changing consumer market of the world. The panelists consisted of Akhilesh Prasad; Suresh J; Arun Sirdeshmukh, Head, Amazon Fashion; Ashish Dikshit, MD, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail; CK Venkataraman, MD, Titan Co. and Mukul Baffna, CEO, Arvind Internet. They spoke at length on what the future promised for India as a global market for fashion.

Highlighting the touch points discussed thus far in the conference, Bijou said, “We have seen the development of data, analytics, artificial intelligence in the fashion business in the recent years. Technology has come to be embedded in our internal operating processes as well as in the customer interface. We are now at a point where we are beginning to see a merger of offline and online retail.”

Akhilesh said, “As far as our brand is concerned, there has been no compromise on our product and the value for our product is relevant anywhere in India. It is a rare brand that has taken a mono-brand strategy for the entire country; our offerings remain the same whether the store is in Bareilly or in Mumbai. The offerings, the format, the brand positioning along with the price as a surprise, continue to help us grow. We offer state-of-the-art western wear designed out of London and manufactured out of China to our consumers in India. We launched Ajio as an experiment in private label. It came right after a few experiments, after which we have managed to grow our turnover by 100% every year because we have unique strategies in place.”

Arun Sirdeshmukh attributed the growth of his company to the new customer category whose growth stands at a staggering 80% in Amazon Fashion. He remarked on the attention given to reasonable price quality equation, convenience of availability, product selection and vernacular digital communication as the top reasons for continued new customers.

Growth in Indian ethnic wear and the growing market of 30-40 million households belonging to the upper middle class category and the burgeoning100 million middle class households aiming for aspirational brands were discussed as the top near future trends for the fashion business in the country.

Envisaging a steady and bright future for the Indian fashion retail business, Akhilesh remarked that the rich culture and long-standing trading and textile history are the main strengths for the Indian retail economy. “Although resources are limited, most of the changes in the world have happened through innovative thinking. Indians have our native intelligence and an ancient, yet robust civilisation. In the economic history of the world until 1750, India and China had dominated world trade. The West has a vintage of 200-250 years, but I am certain that in the next 50 years, the cycle will change and India and China will again dominate the retail scene.”

He projected the entry of hundreds of global retailers into India in the near future which would, in turn, be an advantage to the domestic players who will always dominate local retail economy. “There will be a lot of changes in the next 10 years, much more since the advent of modern retail in the 1980s. While Indian traditional wear is here to stay, e-commerce is expected to evolve along with modern retail. Retail being the second largest employer in the country, regulations will ensure that employment in this sector is not disrupted. With the field open for global retailers, I am certain that the future holds promise for a mature economy.”

Earlier during the day, Saloni Nangia, President, Technopak, highlighted the market share of women’s wear in India which currently accounts for 38% and projected the overall fashion merchandise to increase in its market share from 13% in 2020 to 18% in 2025. She also projected the growth of high fashion value at affordable value pricing, Next Gen interfaces with virtual trial rooms, magic mirrors, visual and voice search, among other innovations.

‘Athleisure’, a term indicating the merger of casual with fitness wear and blending sports wear with style, was projected to take over the millennials and Gen Z who are the key drivers of this clothing segment. Sumit Chopra, Director Research Analysis, Globaldata, threw insights on this informing that 86% of this consumer segment considered exercise and physical fitness as key to wellbeing and the expansion of fashion specialists into sportswear, social media and celebrity endorsements have been crucial to the popularity of athleisure.

The second panel discussion saw experts discussing on sustainable and environment-friendly manufacturing practices increasingly adopted by international brands such as Levi Strauss & Co, The Woolmark Company, Lenzing and Crea Worldwide to reduce hazardous chemical discharge and make the products biodegradable.

Some of the other other key topics discussed through the day included fashion forecasting, single brand retail chains, decoding the customer journey, reimagining physical retail, profitability in fashion business, etc.

On the occasion, the dignitaries released the 17th edition of ‘India Business of Fashion Report (IBoFR) 2020 Year Book which seeks to foster a circa 2020 understanding of elements that will define innovation and sustainability-led business of fashion in India. This edition also witnessed the launch of ‘Fashion Techway’, a series of fashion retail sessions centered around the relevance of technology in the business.  

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