Saturday, January 18, 2020

ACT Dons the Role of Platinum Sponsors at Bengaluru Open ATP Championship

ACT Fibernet (Atria Convergence Technologies Ltd.) India’s largest fiber-focused wired broadband ISP (Internet Service Provider) has reasserted its strong connect with the coveted Bengaluru Open by donning the cap of the Platinum Sponsor of the premium event.

The Bengaluru Open, to be held at the KSLTA from Feb 10 to 16, ranks as one of the biggest ATP Challenger Tour events across the world and the biggest in Asia, offering a total prize purse of US $ 162,000. The event will showcase some of the best players from across the world and is a platform to leverage tennis as an aspiring sport in India. As many as 48 players from over 20 countries (main draw) will be vying for honours in the week-long event that promises quality action to the tennis buffs of Bengaluru.

ACT had supported the previous two editions of the Bengaluru Open which aims to portray as the next sports capital of India while keeping the image of the Silicon City intact. Thus ACT Fibernet has joined hands with KSLTA to boost the sporting culture in the city and also be a part of responsible citizens (Sponsors) who have a common target of uplifting the image of the Garden City while also promoting the sport of tennis.

“Being one of the largest indigenous companies in Bangalore, we consciously make efforts to contribute towards the prowess and progress of this City. Bengaluru Open is one such prestigious event which has grown manifold and successfully established itself as one of the biggest tennis tournaments of Asia in the last few years. It is our pleasure to be part of the event for the third consecutive year and we will provide full support to make this season a grand success”, said Bala Malladi, CEO, ACT.

“Bengaluru Open has become a coveted stop on the ATP Challenger tour which also happens to be the biggest event in Asia. This is an event that is aimed at enhancing brand Bengaluru and also provide the best possible platform for the Indian players to participate in the highest category of ATP Challenger event to better their world rankings. The city of Bengaluru looks forward for this event and is fortunate to find support from the stakeholders of the city, not just the Government but also the corporate sector. ACT, being the pioneer of high speed Internet in the country and more importantly founded and headquartered in Bengaluru, have been supporting the last 2 editions of Bengaluru Open and have shown their commitment this time too. On behalf of Bengaluru Open, I thank ACT and its CEO Mr. Bala Malladi for this continued support and partnership. Companies like ACT certainly help the event raise the bar.” said Priyank Kharge, the brainchild behind the Bengaluru Open and its Chairperson.

India-Thailand Sign Joint Statement for Trade During the Visit of Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand to Bengaluru

Thai Trade Center, Mumbai. Royal Thai Consulate-General is glad to inform you that the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand is organizing a Business Matching Event & Business Seminar Event on the 17th January 2020 at the ITC Gardenia Hotel, Bengaluru, which will be presided over by the Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Commerce, Thailand – H.E. Jurin Laksanawisit.

We along with Crescendo Worldwide, Pune, World Trade Center, Bengaluru, Bangalore Chamber of Industry & Commerce and Indo-Thai Chamber of Commerce are happy to organize this exclusive Business Networking Event during which there will be companies from Thailand for B2B meetings with interested Indian Companies from the sectors of Modified Starch, Rubber Wood, Rubber, Fruits, Food, Construction Materials, Furniture, Interior Design, A4 Paper, Stationery, Cosmetics, Bio-Plastics, Bio-Fertilizers, Lubricants, Etc..

This is a wonderful chance to test various Thai& Indian products and an initiative to attract the Indian Companies to invest in Thailand and also do business jointly with the Thai Companies. We wish that our products will find a special place in the hearts of every Indian customer.

Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Commerce, Thailand – H.E. Jurin Laksanawisit will also give a brief understanding on the benefits that will be given to Indian Companies by the Thailand government helping the Indian Companies in Investing in Thailand.

Welcome remarks will be given by H.E. Mr. Nitirooge Phoneprasert, Consul General, Royal Thai Consulate-General, Chennai;Mr. Bose Nair-Vice President, World Trade Center, Bengaluru; Mr. Rohit Mehta – President, Indo-Thai Chamber of MSME’s and Mr. Devesh R Agarwal, President, Bangalore Chamber of Industry & Commerce.

On the upcoming event, Mr Vineet Verma, President, World Trade Center, Bangalore, Kochi, Chennai said -‘At World Trade Centre, it is our constant endeavour to promote and further strengthen international trade and opportunities among countries.

Thailand continues to exhibit great potential and we look forward to further strengthening trade ties between the two countries. Many sectors and industries coming together from both the sides will enable us to tap into the growing business opportunities. On behalf of World Trade Centre, I take this opportunity to wish the delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Commerce, Thailand – H.E. Jurin Laksanawisit, Thai Trade Centre and all the participants great success. I am sure exchange opportunities will strengthen the Indo-Thailand bi-lateral trade.

There will also be a panel discussion on “Potential Business Creation & Opportunities between India and Thailand in “The Hospitality & Smart Building Solutions” focusing on sectors like Architecture and Technology Trends in 2020; Residential/Real Estate; Hotel Industry; Construction Industry & Services; Infrastructure (Urban Infrastructure).

The visit of Deputy Prime Minister is the second time after his success of trade connection in Mumbai and Chennai. The meeting led to the signing of many MoUs, namely cooperation between Indian rubberwood and Thai furniture association, and the beginning of cooperation between Bigbasket and Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion. This visit is also the best opportunity and initiative to build bilateral relation between South India & Thailand both in terms of mutual trade and investment.

Friday, January 17, 2020

LAVA Launches Z71 with a Dedicated Google Assistant Key Priced at Rs 6,299 and Available on Flipkart

LAVA International Limited has announced the launch of its new smartphone, LAVA Z71. Catering to the ever increasing data consumption needs of today’s millennial; the handset is being launched with a special JIO offer, where the buyer gets Rs. 1200 instant cash back and an additional 50GB of 4G data.

LAVA Z71 equipped with a dedicated Google Assistant key enables users to access a variety of apps and features, using voice command. The smartphone’s 5.7”HD+ Dot Notch display with an aspect ratio of 19:9 provides an immersive viewing experience to the users.

Coming to the camera, LAVA Z71 is coupled with 13MP+2MP Dual Rear Camera with an LED Flash and a 5MP selfie camera with soft flash that captures stunning pictures, even in low light. The smart phone’s camera is packed with premium features like professional mode and an AI studio Mode which enables users to click pictures using 6 level portraits.

The LAVA Z71 runs on latest Android 9 Pie OS and also has a face-unlock feature and a fingerprint scanner.

The smartphone offers 2GB RAM and a storage capacity of 32GB, expandable up to 256 GB to ensure enough space to store your favourite music, videos, pictures and apps.

Packed with a powerful 3200 mAh AI battery, the LAVA Z71 runs for 1.5 days in a single charge. The smartphone is powered by a 2GHz quad-core MediaTek Helio A22 16nm processor and offers dual SIM with 4G as well as VoLTE support.

“We are happy to add LAVA Z71 to our bouquet of smartphones. The data consumption of the budget smartphone users has increased exponentially and they want to upgrade to the latest smartphone with attractive features. LAVA Z71 caters to this requirement with its great collective of features, comprising notch display, dual camera, face-unlock and fingerprint scanner at a pocket-friendly price. This launch is yet another endeavour from LAVA to fulfil its commitment of making advance smartphone technology available and affordable for all,” said Tejinder Singh, Head- Product, LAVA International Limited.

The smartphone comes in two attractive colour variants - Steel Blue and Ruby Red with mirror finish design. Priced at Rs 6,299, LAVA Z71 is currently available on Flipkart.

Jaguar Land Rover's New Shape-Shifting Seat of the Future Makes you Think You're Walking


* Pioneering technology could help reduce the health risks caused by sitting down too long
* ‘Morphable’ seat system continually adjusts to optimise customer wellbeing on long journeys
* Micro-adjustments made by series of actuators in seat foam simulate the rhythm of walking
* Research forms part of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to make societies safer and healthier

Jaguar Land Rover is developing the seat of the future - a pioneering shape-shifting system designed to improve customer wellbeing by tackling the health risks of sitting down for too long.

The ‘morphable’ seat, being trialled by Jaguar Land Rover’s Body Interiors Research division, uses a series of actuators in the seat foam to create constant micro-adjustments that make your brain think you’re walking, and could be individually tailored to each driver and passenger.

More than a quarter of people worldwide – 1.4 billion – are living increasingly sedentary lifestyles*, which can shorten muscles in the legs, hips and gluteals causing back pain. The weakened muscles also mean you are more likely to injure yourself from falls or strains.

By simulating the rhythm of walking, a movement known as pelvic oscillation, the technology can help mitigate against the health risks of sitting down for too long on extended journeys with UK drivers covering an average of 234 km every week**.

Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Medical Officer, said: “The wellbeing of our customers and employees is at the heart of all our technological research projects. We are using our engineering expertise to develop the seat of the future using innovative technologies not seen before in the automotive industry to help tackle an issue that affects people across the globe.”

Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles already feature the latest in ergonomic seat design, with multi-directional adjustments, massage functions and climate control fitted across the range. Dr Iley has also issued advice on how to adjust your seat to ensure the perfect driving position, from removing bulky items in your pocket, to shoulder positioning and from ensuring your spine and pelvis are straight to supporting your thighs to reduce pressure points. View the video here.

The research is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to continually improving customer wellbeing through technological innovation. Previous projects have included research to reduce the effects of motion sickness and the implementation of ultraviolet light technology to stop the spread of colds and flu.

Together, these efforts are driving towards Destination Zero; Jaguar Land Rover’s ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner – a responsible future for our workers, customers and communities around us. Through relentless innovation, Jaguar Land Rover is adapting product and services to meet the rapidly-changing world.

New Study Finds AI as a Viable Tool to Detect Changes in Patients’ Mental Health

The USC Signal Analysis and Interpretation Lab (SAIL), a center that focuses on analyzing signals by people, from people and for people, in new collaboration with UCLA, has found that AI can accurately detect changes in clinical states from speech as well as physicians. The study appears in PLOS One.

SAIL, which has long applied AI and machine learning to identify and classify video, audio and physiological data, partnered with researchers at UCLA to analyze voice data from patients being treated for serious mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and major depressive disorders. These individuals and their treating clinicians used the MyCoachConnect interactive voice and mobile tool, created and hosted on the Chorus platform at UCLA, to provide voice diaries related to their mental health states. SAIL then collaborated with UCLA researchers to apply AI to listen to hundreds of voicemails using custom software to detect changes in patients’ clinical states.  The SAIL AI was able to match clinicians’ ratings of their patients.

“Machine learning allowed us to illuminate the various clinically-meaningful dimensions of language use and vocal patterns of the patients over time and personalized at each individual level,” said senior author Dr. Shri Narayanan, Niki and Max Nikias Chair in Engineering and Director of SAIL at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Tracking changes in clinical states is important, say the researchers, to detect if there is a change that shows that condition has improved or worsened that would warrant the need for changing treatment.

“Listening to people has always been at the core of psychiatry.  Our approach builds on that fundamental technique to hear what people are saying using modern AI. We hope this will help us better understand how our patients are doing and transform mental health care to be more personalized and proactive to what an individual needs,” said lead author of the study Dr. Armen Arevian, Director of the Jane and Terry Semel Institute Innovation Lab which focuses on the interdisciplinary intersection of mental health, neuroscience and technology.

This project builds on SAIL’s body of work in behavioral machine intelligence to analyze psychotherapy sessions to detect empathy of addiction counselors-in- training in order to improve their chances of better outcomes, in addition to the Lab’s work analyzing language for cognitive diagnoses and legal processes.

The next step in this joint research is to scale up this individualized approach to a larger population over longer time periods of observation.

NuTy’s Proprietary HPP Preservation Technology Keeps Food Fresh, Healthier & Safer

NuTy became India’s first company to launch extended shelf-life, ready-to-eat curries, and meals using non-thermal cold pasteurization through its proprietary cooking process aided by HPP (High-Pressure Processing) technology. NuTy is also India’s first omnichannel Food-As-A-Service company using modern food technologies, processes and logistics to offer gratifying, healthy meal options affordably. NuTy’s multi-pronged vision is to help satiate every appetite through authentically curated regional cuisines, reducing waste and also enhancing livelihood by creating micro food-entrepreneurs. NuTy, a venture of Tulita Ahara Pvt Ltd., has its high-tech HPP meal factory in Hosur with a meal processing capacity of 5 tons-per-day. The company has invested US$ 5million in building the facilities and building its network so far.

Ray Nathan, Co-founder, NuTy, a serial entrepreneur with successful exits from his earlier ventures, said, "Food is among the most basic of human needs, and most often working urban millennial’s have to make compromises of taste, health or money every day due to non-availability of any existing options. A balanced diet is a primary human need and therefore we have focused on ready-to-eat meals that are affordable, nutritious, tasty, hygienic food with a long shelf-life. We source produce from farmers to ensure quality and cost, we are careful to ensure genuine regional recipes, and give our meals shelf-life of up to 60 days through our proprietary HPP technology without any artificial additives added."

Adding to this Naveen Chander, Co-founder, NuTy, said, "Our new curries range with 30 options allows any individual or food-entrepreneur to increase food variety, with least trouble and minimal investment. We aim to be India’s kitchen and will have a reach in 500 cities and towns by 2023 and would have created 200,000 micro food-entrepreneurs by then. Food habits of new India are changing rapidly, kitchen time is reducing and work-led migration leads to the non-availability of the foods we love most. NuTy has truly brought together the combination that was hitherto thought impossible in Ready-To-Eat meals."

“We are scaling rapidly and we expect to cover the top 50 cities in India by the end of 2020. By 2023 we expect to be within a two-kilometer reach of any customer, with large cities have over 1000 points-of-sale (POS), medium-size cities having 300 to 500 POS and small cities having 100 POS. We will be available through grocery delivery apps like Big Basket and Amazon by the middle of next month and other hyper-local delivery apps by the middle of 2020. Soon everyone can enjoy a healthy, nutritious and tasty NuTy meal on-demand,” said Nitin Bhatt Group VP Sales & Marketing NuTy. 

About NuTy:

NuTy is India’s first Food-as-a-service brand offering Home-style ready-meals based on regional recipes. Founded by Ray Nathan and Naveen Chander, NuTy is one of the first food brands in Asia to use HPP technology in fresh curries resulting in superior taste, quality, and nutrition at the same time. NuTy Ready-Meals are available as take-away at hundreds of retail stores and on food-delivery platforms like Swiggy, Zomato, and UberEats.’s Poker Players Bag Multiple Prizes at IPC Awards 2020, the best online poker platform for the Indian poker players, has always proved its mettle. This time also it has won the hearts of poker enthusiasts with six of its players winning awards at the Indian Poker Championship(IPC) 2020 in Goa. The IPC kicked off on January 14 and will continue till 19th of this month.

Players from 9stacks bagged Awards in various categories:

Amresh Kumar - PLO (Pot Limit Omaha) Grinder of the year.
Radhika Mahalingaiah - Recreational Player of the year.
Sagar Patnaik - Texas Hold ’em Grinder of the year
Gitanshu Mehta – Midstakes Tournament Player of the year
Anuj Manocha - High stakes Tournament Player of the year
Bhavye Mittal - 9stacks All-Rounder of the year.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sudhir Kamath, CEO & Co-Founder, 9stacks, said, “It is wonderful that so many of our players have been recognized for their success at poker. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the young achievers who have performed well in the IPC and want to wish them a great future in poker. 9stacks, with its innovative ideas, has always provided a user-friendly platform to its players and is determined to become the India’s most preferred online poker destination.”

Ever since its inception in 2017, has been offering emerging professional poker players a chance to compete with the best at live events around the world. This year, 9stacks Team India is participating at the Goa IPC and has previously sent players to Vegas, Manila, Czech Republic and Thailand. In particular, 9stacks has sent dominant teams to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker - in 2018, 25 players represented 9stacks Team India in Vegas, and two of them finished in the top 100 of the 8000-entrant Main Event there. In 2019, as many as 65 players qualified for Vegas, and this year’s LFGVegas3 promotion kicked off next week with a target to enable even more players to chase their Vegas dreams.

As the poker industry continues to grow in India, awards functions like IPC recognize current success stories and encourage more players to play poker, and the ever-increasing numbers for the IPC are proof of this. Live as well as online poker has seen phenomenal growth in India in the last three years.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Herman Miller Unveils Atlas Office Landscape and Cosm Chair for Indian Corporate Market

Herman Miller, Inc., a globally recognized provider of furnishings and related technologies and services, has launched its Atlas Office Landscape workstation and Cosm chair in India. Uniting human-centered design with Herman Miller’s leadership in innovative technology and materials, the company has unveiled these products as a testimony of being at the forefront of modern design, including the evolution of flexible workstations.  The company has already bagged customers for its new range of Atlas Office Landscape like Apple India, Manguard Plus, one of Ireland's leading private security service providers, offering clients professional solutions to their security needs in the Indian market.

This comes at the back of Herman Miller opening a new 2500 sq. ft. state-of-the-art office facility in the heart of Bangalore, supporting India and various other geographies across the world in terms of design, IT, R&D, finance and others.

Atlas Office Landscape designed by internationally acclaimed designer Tim Wallace, is an exceptional demonstration of responding to the new culture of workplace design for the 21st century desking requirements. It brings together height-adjustability and collaborative working, while offering flexibility without being constrained by structures. It also provides ergonomic support and is built to fit in almost all workspaces.

Cosm chair uses a revolutionary technology Auto-Harmonic Tilt that instantly responds to the user's body movement when seated and provides optimal support and a more neutral balance. This tilt mechanism is a culmination of two decades of design, research and engineering that is further deepened with Herman Miller’s understanding of how people sit and work. Designed by Studio 7.5, Cosm chair offers unparalleled comfort and performance. TIME Magazine has named Cosm to its list of the 100 Best Inventions of 2019, calling it the ‘pinnacle of personalization’. It has also received the prestigious Red Dot Best of the Best Product Design Award in the ‘Office Chairs’ category.

Jeremy Hocking, President, Herman Miller International said, “With the introduction of Atlas Office Landscape and Cosm chair in India, Herman Miller reinforces the company’s worldwide leadership in workplace innovation and high-performance seating. With our collection of leading brands, a global multi-channel distribution capability and a clear set of strategic priorities, we remain well-positioned to drive sustainable long-term growth.”

The company commenced its operation in 2005 in India and has witnessed a 60% Year-on -Year (YoY) growth in the premium office furniture category and is poised to grow at a pace of 25% in FY 19-20. While the company continues to focus on key global accounts, it has plans to tap on homegrown business within India.

Speaking on the company’s long-term commitment to the India and APAC market, Kartik Shethia, Vice President, Herman Miller Asia Pacific said, “India has always been and will continue to be one of the most promising and dynamic markets for Herman Miller. We are focused and committed in terms of further investments, channel development, new product introductions and strengthening the team in India. With height adjustable workspace picking up pace here, we felt the necessity to launch Atlas Office Landscape workstation and Cosm Chair in India. We also plan to expand our retail offering and make high-quality products accessible across markets in India and APAC.”

"Over the years, several leading IT players including Amazon India, Adobe, Google, Microsoft and Reliance Jio are all customers of HermanMiller's wide range of office furniture's in India spread across Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai," remarks Shethia.

Herman Miller inaugurated its production facility at Bidadi in October 2015 to specifically serve India and neighbouring markets. It has witnessed a growth of 83% in FY 18-19 and is set to achieve a 100% growth in FY 19-20. Many international products have been localised and the company plans to offer new products lines from the India plant soon. The plant now serves more than 70% of the local demand. The company also plans to expand in the retail market with a focus on appointing channel partners in tier II cities. It has already opened an online store and listed few products on Amazon and Flipkart to cater to the digital market.

The Herman Miller Group, with a 100-plus-year history is a family of individually vibrant brands. The family of brands includes Colebrook Bosson Saunders, Design Within Reach, Geiger, HAY, Maars Living Walls, Maharam, naughtone and Nemschoff.

About Herman Miller

Herman Miller is a globally recognized provider of furnishings and related technologies and services.  Since its inception in 1905, the company has relied on innovative design to help people do great things. The global design leader has evolved into Herman Miller Group, a family of brands that collectively offers a variety of products for environments where people live, learn, work, and heal. The family of brands includes Colebrook Bosson Saunders, Design Within Reach, Geiger, HAY, Maars Living Walls, Maharam, naughtone, Nemschoff, and Herman Miller. 

Five Tech Platforms that Help in Reducing Teacher Workload in India

As we move into 2020, the issue of overworked teachers continues to loom large, and answers are proving to be elusive as ever. What may come as a surprise is that teachers have always worked hard; in fact, the median working week has not changed significantly over the last twenty years. With the introduction of EdTech in schools and automating admin can reduce teachers’ workload by and significantly improve teachers’ day-to-day experience. Let’s take a look at some of the leading platforms, which are truly making a difference in reducing the teacher workload.

1. Launched in 2015, Byju's - The Learning App, is a learning app for students across age groups with programmes in English and Hindi that make learning and understanding concepts easier not only for school kids but also saves the time and effort of the teachers. The subject focus of the platform is math and science, and the concepts are explained using 12-20 minute digital animated videos, helping the teachers to express themselves in a better way and at the same time also reduces their workload.

2. TeachNext@Home, the award-winning multimedia content, integrated with world-class tools, lesson plans and assessments, helps students clarify doubts, revise concepts, develop their analytical skills and customise their learning needs at home, ensuring the best possible learning outcomes for students. The quality of the content has been validated through a testing tool, the Learning Objective Evaluation (LOBE) Instrument, developed at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Meant to enhance the home-learning experience, it helps 21st-century learners to be the architects of their own knowledge anytime, anywhere; helping to reduce teacher workload.

3. With mass adoption of technology Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools, India's most innovative school chain has also taken several steps to reduce teacher workload.  With technology based classroom solutions and standardising the base level of education along with ensuring all students have access to high level of high quality education with the help of AI enabled classrooms, Shemford Group of schools have taken a major to solve specific problems that teachers and schools actually deal with day to day.

4. Poland-based Brainly is designed to help students boost their inquisitiveness with a continuous flow of questions and radical solutions. The startup not just focuses on cracking puzzling questions but also on sharing ideas, deepening insights, and exploring knowledge.Founded in 2009, Brainly is the modern education company uniting students and experts in a fun, interactive world that celebrates understanding. Being the shortcut-free solution for fast-tracked learning it also reduces the workload for teachers. With over 150 million monthly users hailing from more than 35 countries accessing the platform, Brainly is the world’s most trusted, teacher-approved online learning resource.

5. Shiksha knowledge solutions, A highly experienced Lucknow based K-12 solution provider proffering turnkey solutions, has introduced diverse technologies like school management app, principal desk and a digital platform that caters to all stakeholders of the school along with full cycle services, starting from product conceptualization to implementation and support to the teachers and help them resolving as many workload bottlenecks as possible.

All these platforms are effectively eliminating unnecessary workload of teachers by streamlining data management. Research shows, that in school, the teacher is the most important factor on student achievement. It is critical therefore that they should only use technology if it frees and supports them to teach as well as they can.

Senior Bangalore Doctors Vouch for Ranitidine, API Used in Certain Antacids as Trusted, Safe & Effective Drug

A group of prominent city doctors from different specialties met the media today for a discussion to separate facts from myths about Ranitidine, an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) used in certain antacids. During the meet, the doctors said that there is lot of misconception and unnecessary confusion on ranitidine.

A popular, ages-old medicine used to treat gastric acidity, Ranitidine was commercially introduced in 1981 and has stood up to the expectations of medical fraternity for being safe and efficacious. Ranitidine features on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.

Facts on ranitidine:

US FDA has confirmed through their tests, by simulating what happens to ranitidine after it has been exposed to acid in the stomach with a normal diet and results of these tests indicate that NDMA is not formed through this process. 3
Neither US FDA or DCGI have asked for a ban on ranitidine.
Age-old medicine for treating gastric acidity
Features in WHO’s List of Essential Medicines 4

Contrary to the popular perception created, Ranitidine has not been banned. None of the key pharmaceutical regulators such as the US FDA, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) /CDSCO have asked for a ban. However, the recall by a few manufacturers in India was purely voluntary. The US FDA tested numerous ranitidine products and found levels of NDMA similar to levels one would be exposed to if they ate common foods like grilled or smoked meats.

The US FDA in its recent statement issued on January 8, 2020 has said that NDMA is a known environmental contaminant found in water and certain foods. A person taking a drug that contains NDMA at-or-below the acceptable daily intake limit every day for 70 years is not expected to have an increased risk of cancer.2

Reiterating US FDA’s stand on the issue, Dr. T. R. Raghu, HOD-Cardiology, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research said, “The USFDA, in its statement, has confirmed that ranitidine does not lead to cancer in typical stomach conditions of humans. Cardiologists like me have been prescribing ranitidine for several years, and haven’t yet come across any adverse reactions in our patients. Ranitidine is an age-old molecule commonly prescribed by cardiologists with other drugs for heart. It is a safe and efficacious drug for hyperacidity. In fact, ranitidine is better because it does not cause drug interaction with Clopidogrel and Aspirin (which cardiologists prescribe often) unlike other class of antacids.”

Echoing similar opinion, Dr Ashok Kumar, Professor and HOD, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research said, “The CDCSO/DCGI never banned ranitidine. They have only asked the state bodies to get the product tested from manufacturers. Blood thinning agents are given to cardiac patients which causes hyperacidity. In order to counter this acidity, ranitidine is prescribed in combination, and we have always found it safe for our patients over so many years. Ranitidine is given to outdoor patients as well as to those patients in ICU when they are dealing with stress ulcers.”

Dr Nagendra Kumar, Consultant Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Hepatology and Nutrition, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, Columbia Asia Hospitals said, “We have gathered here to dispel the misinformation around ranitidine. It is an age old molecule, low priced and affordable medication. I have been prescribing my patients for ranitidine for years and none of my patients have reported any serious adverse effect of the medicine consumption. There is no co-relation between ranitidine and cancer seen in my practice of so many years.”

Dr Purushottam Chavan, Assistant Professor, Head and Neck Onco-Surgeon, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology said, “US FDA has clearly stated that a person taking a drug that has NDMA below the acceptable limit every day for 70 years is not expected to have an increased risk of cancer. Also, ranitidine is usually prescribed for short duration. As per the latest update from US FDA, the acceptable daily intake limit for NDMA is 0.096 micrograms (96 nanograms) or 0.32 ppm for ranitidine containing products.”

Dr Arun KN, Nephrologist,  Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital said, “Ranitidine came to India in 1980s when I was a medical student. Surgeries for peptic ulcers, which were one of the commonest surgeries in those times, have become very rare within a decade after ranitidine came. At present, there is a lot of confusion among patients, media and healthcare practitioners about ranitidine and its side effects. The USFDA has certified that ranitidine is safe for human consumption. NDMA is a naturally occurring contaminant which is present in air, food, water etc. As a senior nephrologist, I want to assure patients that ranitidine is a safe and reliable drug. Recently, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) asked Ranitidine to be made available again in all civic hospitals and dispensaries for use after seeing the test reports on Ranitidine from the laboratory which showed no contamination in the drug. The test reports prove that the drug is safe for consumption.”

Motilal Oswal Financial Services Announces the Launch of Digi Partner


* No compulsion of office infrastructure
* Exclusive reactivation & HNI client dealing support desk
* Minimum refundable deposit
* Dedicated Apps for Trader & Investors
* Personalized Advisory support for all segments & products
* Online Funds & Securities pay-in and pay-out facility
* Client wise Surveillance & RMS facility
* Trade confirmation to clients through voice blast & ECN (Electronic contract note)

MotilalOswal Financial Services has announced the launch of their new asset-light business partner model, Digi-Partner. Capitalizing on the trend of digitization, given more than 70% of transactions of purchase happen digitally; this was an apt move for a financial services leader like MOFSL. This model requires little/no investment to start a financial intermediation business and will certainly revolutionize the sector.

As the name suggests, Digi-Partner is a unique partnership model where your complete business right from acquiring clients, account opening, business operations, product suggestions, advisory product Investments and moderation is done digitally. While you focus on activating your relationships, the technology provides the backbone to help your business grow.

Speaking on this initiative Gaurav Manihar, Head – Business Alliances , MOFSL said, “It is a well-known fact that India has a young, educated population. It is also known that equity penetration in India is less than 4% ( vis-a-vis 60% in USA) and hence presents a large opportunity for financial intermediation. Our Digi Partner model helps young Indians who have a passion for investing and relationship management to turn entrepreneur by removing the barriers that prevent them from doing so.”

Some of the key advantages of this model are

* Minimal cost of customer acquisition in digital channels compared to traditional channels
* High reduction in the cost of transactions and servicing through digital channels compared to traditional channels
* Multifold increase in revenue generation through customers as compared to branch only model

Through this unique business model, MotilalOswal Financial Services wishes to reach out those who aspire to become entrepreneurs in the field of financial intermediation but cannot afford very high investment due to infrastructure costs. The capital market penetration in India is very low as compared to other developed countries. The more the affordable such business modules get, it will help in multiplying equity penetration in India.

Kavita Viswanath Joins JFrog as GM India to Help Drive Growth

JFrog, “The Liquid Software Company” known for enabling continuous update flows with advanced DevOps platform tools, has appointed Ms. Kavita Viswanath as its General Manager for India to oversee their India Operations.

“We are excited to onboard Ms. Kavita Viswanath as the General Manager for JFrog India,” said Orit Goren, COO at JFrog. “The business world is streaming fast towards cloud services and that accelerates their adoption of DevOps and DevSecOps to account for continuous delivery and seamless deployment. We are scaling up our operations in India and Kavita’s experience in leading teams and integrating functions across a company will play a major role with us.”

In recent years, JFrog has acquired two US-India based companies. CloudMunch allows DevOps business intelligence and analytics to drive DevOps forward by scaling software releases and Continuous Updates. Shippable is a best-of-breed CI/CD technology that is now included in the JFrog Platform as JFrog Pipelines and JFrog Mission Control. Between those two acquisitions, the headcount at JFrog in India has continued to grow.

Viswanath brings over 19 years of experience in leading roles with different sectors. She was associated with Flipkart before joining JFrog, and was responsible for building the B2B business of their ‘Made in India’ brand Billion. She also played a role as Head of Planning and Strategy for Flipkart Ads. Her most recent assignment with them was leading Global Sales at Myntra, for their AI-based SaaS product.

“I am happy to have this great opportunity with JFrog India. JFrog has proved its presence in the global business of cloud and DevOps services, and India has unmatched business potential to explore in this area,” said Kavita Viswanath in a statement.

Viswanath proudly joins JFrog after many years in the software business with leading global technology companies like Microsoft and Oracle, where for more than a decade she managed Enterprise Sales and Alliances for their on-premises and Cloud businesses.

Continued Viswanath: “I look forward to leading the dynamic team and helping JFrog scale up their India operations.”

About JFrog

JFrog is on a mission to enable continuous updates through liquid software, empowering developers to code high-quality applications that securely flow to end-users with zero downtime. JFrog is the creator of Artifactory, the heart of the end-to-end Universal DevOps platform for automating, managing, securing, distributing, and monitoring all types of technologies. JFrog products are available as open-source, on-premise, and on the cloud on AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. As a leading universal, highly available enterprise DevOps solution, the JFrog platform empowers customers with trusted and expedited software releases from code-to-production. JFrog is trusted by more than 6,000 customers, and top global brands such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Uber, VMware, and Spotify depend on JFrog to manage their binaries for their mission-critical applications. JFrog is privately held with offices across North America, Europe, and Asia.

LogMeIn Announces New GoTo Marketplace and Latest Partner Integrations

LogMeIn, Inc. has announced the launch of the GoTo Marketplace, a single point of access to all of the applications and productivity tools that integrate with LogMeIn’s GoTo suite of Unified Communications & Collaboration (UCC) products. LogMeIn also announced new and improved integrations for the GoTo portfolio, including Salesforce Lightning, Theta Lake, Clio, Zoho and Prezi. The new integrations, built by both LogMeIn and their partners, help drive productivity and efficiency within their customer’s communication and collaboration workflows.

The GoTo Marketplace was built for customers to more easily access all of the applications that integrate with GoTo’s suite of products, such as GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, Jive and GoToConnect — which combines the power and reliability of Jive's cloud VoIP phone systems with GoToMeeting's web, audio and video conferencing. Customers can quickly begin using the GoTo suite with applications and productivity tools — ranging from sales, marketing and customer support tools, to scheduling, collaboration, education and learning apps — from one easy-to-navigate website. The GoTo Marketplace provides customers and their end-users a way to build a more personalized workflow offering that fits in to their professional ecosystem based on their specific roles and business needs.

“Working the way our customers want to work, and helping to improve their productivity and efficiency, has been — and continues to be — one of our top priorities,” said Mark Strassman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of UCC at LogMeIn. “This means supporting them from a product standpoint with our meeting, webinar, voice and room solutions, and working within their ecosystem to integrate with the tools they already use. Our new integration marketplace was built with the customer top of mind, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer these exciting new integrations.”

The latest integrations to be included in the GoTo Marketplace are:

•  Clio and Jive/GoToConnect – With Clio and Jive/GoToConnect, legal practices receive alerts through automated screen pops when a current client is calling, and seamless call-tracking ensures that a recent or past call can be attributed to a time entry which can later be billed in Clio. New matters can also be created or attributed to a call in Jive and instantly synced to Clio.

•  Prezi and GoToWebinar – With Prezi and GoToWebinar you and your content come together on the same screen, similar to a news broadcast, for more engaging visuals in your webinars. This removes the need to switch to a separate screen to show visual references and creates a clearer connection between a person and their visual content.

•  Theta Lake and GoToMeeting – Theta Lake automates the capture and archiving of video communications and detects compliance risks and unintentional data sharing in video communications. This is extremely valuable for customers in regulated industries who need a process to detect these risks that remain hidden in video communications.

•  Salesforce Lightning and GoToMeeting – This integration for GoToMeeting allows users to launch GoToMeeting straight from Salesforce, making it easy to setup face-to-face meetings with leads, contacts and opportunities without ever leaving Salesforce. Users also get full context of prospects with detailed records of sales calls, recordings and conversations histories. Salesforce also integrates with GoToWebinar.

•  Salesforce Lightning and Jive/GoToConnect – Users can click-to-call using Jive Voice and GoToConnect, straight from Salesforce with this new integration, currently in public beta. This integration provides more accurate sales analytics with automatic call logging and daily call tracking, as well as improved efficiency with click-to-call, note taking and finding and responding to missed calls.

•   Zoho and Jive/GoToConnect — The Zoho CRM-Jive/GoToConnect integration helps sales teams simplify call activity management for inbound and outbound phone calls with call notification screen pop-ups, click-to call dialing, and automatic call logging. Zia Intelligent Call Routing, powered by Zoho’s Intelligent Assistant (ZIA), prioritizes and automatically routes calls to match customer needs with agent skills, enabling companies to deliver first-call resolution and ramp up and improve the caller experience with personalized service, simpler workflows and advanced call management features. Zoho also integrates with GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar.

“Zoho's suite of products, and our market-leading CRM in particular, provide business critical information and serve as a platform for enabling unified customer experiences," said Anand Nergunam, VP Revenue Growth at Zoho. “Integrating it with GoTo’s suite of products helps businesses deliver a personalized customer experience and improve efficiency. Through our partnership, we're making it easier for businesses to leverage the full power of both platforms through simpler workflows and deep integrations."

"Law firms need powerful technology to make their lives, and the lives of their customers, easier. That's why we chose to partner with LogMeIn and their GoTo suite of products,” said Andrew Gay, Manager of App & Developer Ecosystem at Clio. "Combining Clio Manage, Clio's leading practice management software, with Jive, offers law firms across the globe the ability to capture more billable hours and improve a client’s overall experience."

Tata Altroz Earns the 5-Star Adult Safety Rating from Global NCAP

Key Highlights:
• Tata Motors (TML) yet again rolls out the safest car in the country : 2nd time in a row
• Altroz becomes the second Indian car to get the Global NCAP 5-star rating (Adult occupant protection)
• 5-star safety as standard across all variants of Altroz

Tata Motors, has proudly announced that its premium hatchback - the Altroz has become the latest recipient of the 5-star adult safety rating from Global NCAP, the foremost global car assessment programme. This makes Altroz not only the second vehicle from Tata Motors to achieve this, but also makes it the second passenger car in the Indian automotive industry to make it to this level, after the Nexon, which was awarded this distinction in December 2018.

The Tata Altroz has been designed to offer world-class protection to its occupants, which was been hitherto lauded in media reviews of the car. This landmark achievement by Tata Motors is also a testament of the fact that the automotive industry in India is capable of delivering the highest global standards of safety in vehicles.

Commenting on this landmark achievement, Mr. Mayank Pareek, President, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit (PVBU), Tata Motors, said, “We are proud to have delivered yet another product that will be regarded as the safest passenger vehicle on Indian roads. In alignment with our philosophy of Connected Electrified Shared and Safe (CESS) mobility solutions, we have successfully provided the Indian automotive industry with yet another product that is a certified example of stringent safety. The Nexon was the proverbial guiding light for us in this aspect, and the Altroz has followed its footsteps, setting a new benchmark across the industry safety standards. We hope that achievements such as this one, elevate the trust in our badge among the Indian car-buyers and continue to prove Tata Motors as a brand associated with class-defining products.”

Road safety has been the prime agenda jointly for both the Government as well as the industry and Tata Motors is known to make both elegant and safe cars. This latest Global NCAP score reaffirms that TML stands by its commitment to make the best in global car safety, accessible to Indian customers. The Company has dedicated itself to the mission of ‘Safe Bharat’ by developing innovative mobility solutions, in personal as well as mass transportation. Tata Motors is committed to the mobility transformation through Connected, Electrified, Shared & Safe (CESS) and the company has taken conscious decision to build the nation responsibly by bringing in an inclusive & sustainable approach.

Expressing himself on this milestone, Mr. Rajendra Petkar, President and Chief Technology Officer, Tata Motors, said, “We are delighted to have made yet another car – the Tata Altroz that raises the bar for automotive safety standards across the industry. Being an industry first in the hatchback segment in the country, this is in lockstep with our objective to deliver mobility solutions that possess advanced technological features alongside providing robust protection for the occupants. This achievement is in line our philosophy that vehicle safety should be made accessible to all. Getting GNCAP 5 star for the Altroz is an outcome of the relentless hard work put in by the engineering team with support from the project function and entire organization, including our supplier partners. Together they delivered an excellent package consisting of outstanding structural integrity while using a “digital first” strategy.”

The Altroz’s structure and overall safety has been evaluated through the Global NCAP crash tests. The car has been tested for both front and side impacts. The combined evaluation of both the tests by Global NCAP have resulted in a full 5-star rating. Altroz has also achieved a notable 3-star for child occupant safety.

Keeping in line with this achievement, safety has also been kept as a critical aspect of the Company’s theme for Auto Expo 2020, which takes place next month.

CamScanner Touches 100 Million Users in India; Achieves a Milestone

CamScanner, the most popular document management solution for individuals, small businesses, organizations, governments, and schools around the world, announced that it has reached 100 million users in India. This extremely popular app has changed the way people scan their documents with attractive features like book-ebook, Scanning of PowerPoint Presentation, Printing Certificates, etc.

CamScanner is the most widely used scanning app in the world. With the diverse user base, the app is mostly used by teachers, students, white-collar workers, lawyers, and doctors, to name a few. Currently, nearly 7.6% of the Indian population CamScanner.

Speaking on the announcement, Mr. Micheal Zhen, CEO, CamScanner said “The Indian market is one of the most important markets for us. The fact that 100 Million users value our offering is humbling and is a testimony to the efforts of the incredible team at CamScanner. We will continue to innovate and add new features in order to make the app more accessible for existing and new users”

Trusted by global leaders, such as the ICICI Bank, the brand plans to introduce more functions suitable for the Indian market. Under the new suite, the Indian users will be able to generate electronic copies of their utility documents such as identity cards, licenses, etc. in a 1:1 ratio.

Available on Google Play Store and iOS App Store, CamScanner has been installed on over 370 million devices across more than 200 countries. CamScanner records more than 50,000 subscribers every day, making it the world’s most popular mobile scanning application.

10 Million Tree Mission - Afforestation Drive by iValue InfoSolutions

iValue InfoSolutions, India's fastest growing technology aggregator, initiated a plantation drive as part of their CSR activity where they sponsored and organized the afforestation activity through plantation drive at Ulsoor Lake Park, Bangalore on Saturday, 11th Jan 2020 which is the inaugural event of the 10 Million tree mission by BBMP and "Koti Vriksha Sene". This has been conceived as part of iValue's "Go Green" initiative to save the environment.

Mr. Krishna Raj Sharma, CEO, iValue InfoSolutions stressed on iValue's commitment to give back to the society which we are all part of, the necessity of such initiatives and the duty of socially responsible organizations to get involved in initiatives to restore nature and environment which is the most crucial need of the hour. He also reminisced on the glory of the Old Bangalore of his childhood with its exuberant green cover, and stated that in future too, iValue will be happy to team up with organizations to further the cause of "Go Green" and to re-instate the lost charm of the Garden city. It was a tremendously successful event which saw participation of more than 800 people from different demographics and different walks of life.

The event was inaugurated and attended by Dignitaries like BBMP Commissioner Mr. B S Anil Kumar, Mayor Mr. Goutham Kumar, MLA Mr. Rizwan Arshad, MP Mr. P C Mohan, Corporates Mrs. Mamtha and Mr. Sampath Kumar and Mr. Nagraj, The Plog man of India and Mrs. Payal, the founder of Pinkathon. Many NGOs, Corporates and Schools also participated in the event and the event was covered by various media houses.

iValue InfoSolutions was applauded by various dignitaries and felicitated for their "Go Green " Initiative and the commendable contribution towards environmental conservation through social Afforestation using Miyawaki techniques.

Mrs. Surbhi, Founder of the NGO "With U" Trust and part of "Koti Vriksha Sene" mission presented the Certificate of Appreciation to Mr. Krishna Raj Sharma, CEO, iValue and Mr. Dhirendra Kumar Panda, Head-HR, iValue.

COLOROTHON’ Season 12 – To be Held at Kittur Rani Chennamma Stadium, Jayanagar

COLOROTHON, after 11 seasons across 5 cities in India and One lakh collective participation, is back to Bengaluru for Season 12, to rekindle the lost joy of drawing, painting and capturing your imagination alive on paper. ‘COLOROTHON -Draw your imagination, season 12’, is being organized by Breathe Entertainment,  Sunday, the 19th January ,2020  from 8 am to 4 pm at Kittur Rani Chennamma Stadium,Jayanagar, near Madhavan Park, Bengaluru.

In what is expected to be the largest open air drawing and painting session, people in the age group between 3 and 90 years can come along with their families, express their imagination and creativity on paper.

The event will be inaugurated by Senior Congress Leader Shri. DK. Shaivakumar , along with Shri. Ramalinga Reddy, Senior Congress Leader, Ex. Home Minister, Govt. of Karnataka in the presence of Mrs. Sowmya Reddy, Jayanagar MLA, N. Nagaraju, ByrasandraCorporator, Wing Commander M A Afraz(Retd) Founder – Honorpoint Bengaluru  and Celebrity guests like Actress Shwetha Srivatsav, and Mrs. Prathima David ,  Mrs. India Pride Of Nation Ravishing 2019 1st Runner-up & A certified Yoga teacher.

Revealing the activities lined up for the event, Kishore Joseph, Founder Trustee COLOROTHON, said, “Even though not a competition we will announce 15 best paintings selected across 5 age groups, which are 3 to 7, 8 to 12, 13 to 20, 21 to 30, and 31 and above to encourage and remind people that a life without creativity could never be colorful. 300 Best paintings will be donated to our charity partner Charity Partner- Honourpoint India's only online memorial for  Martyrs of Indian Armed Forces.

This season a special category is being introduced for the theme “ A Salute to Fallen Heroes” of our Armed Forces to connect the participants with the cause of Honourpoint.  The event will also witness 30 accomplished artist doing live paintings to inspire the budding artists. He added.

Incidentally Colorothon Season 12 will be appreciated by Exclusive World Records for most number of people painting under one platform for all age groups.

The event will also have a lineup of special activities ranging from interactive drums circle by Drum Events India (Indo African Band), magic by Rakesh Regan,  caricature, doodle artist, dance performance by Genesis School of Dance, Unplugged performance, robo act by Robo Ganesh , India’s Got Talent Artist , Motivational talk by Wing Commander M A Afraz(Retd), Founder – Honorpoint, talk by Tony V  Francis, The autograph seeker on how to write colourfully ,  a special act by Agni- Art For All, India’s got talent artist and man more.

Our vision is to see Indians from all over the country of all ages and all groups take to painting on a day which will be celebrated as Colorothon Day”

COLOROTHON is a platform that brings people together to celebrate colors and life. As an organizer we have elevated this season with inception of a largest open air painting exhibition, which will happen within a span of one month. Christened as a COLOROTHON initiative, the exhibition will display all the paintings from the event and the proceedings will go to charitable organizations. 

Viktor Hovland Wins The Hero Challenge One-Hole-Knockout Night Golf Contest in Abu Dhabi

Yet another thrilling edition of the innovative one-hole-knockout night golf contest, the Hero Challenge, culminated in Abu Dhabi, teeing-off the 2020 season amidst a loud cheer from fans.

Viktor Hovland clinched the winners’ title and called ‘The Hero Challenge’ his ‘first’ professional win. He put on an amazing display of wedge play under lights at the iconic Yas Marina Formula 1 Circuit.

Dr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotoCorp, presented the trophy to Hovland.

With this ‘The Hero Challenge’ made an impressive debut in Abu Dhabi ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Norwegian Hovland, 22, a former World Amateur No. 1, uniquely scored with every single shot as he emerged a winner, over World No.1, Brooks Koepka in the semi-final and then beat former Open champion, Louis Oosthuizen with another precise show.

Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters, recently extended ‘The Hero Challenge’ on the European Tour until 2022, with the number of annual events increasing from three to five. The Abu Dhabi edition marked the first Hero Challenge of the 2020 season.

In this edition of the Hero Challenge, players were required to hit from a customized platform, about 100 yards from the target, which had colored zones worth five, 10, 25 and 50 points for each shot, depending on where it lands.

With his final shot of the night worth double, Hovland found the ‘Bull’s Eye’ for 50, which doubled to 100 points. His total of 190 points was way more than Oosthuizen’s 55.

Hovland, who turned professional after the US Open last year, and now has a PGA Tour card, said, “I can’t complain, it was a pretty good start to the week. It’s an insane venue; I have never been to a place like this, so what a place to get my first professional victory!”

He added, “I hit some nice wedge shots tonight so hopefully that carries through to the tournament this week. To win the Hero Challenge is pretty cool and I’m looking forward to playing in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in a couple of days.”

Earlier, Hovland beat Koepka comprehensively in the semi-final while Oosthuizen beat two-time Rolex Series winner Bernd Wiesberger in the second semi-final.

In the group stage, Koepka and Wiesberger progressed to semi-final from Group 1, while the 2016 Masters winner Danny Willett was eliminated. Oosthuizen and Hovland moved ahead from Group 2 while Matt Fitzpatrick, a former Hero Challenge winner, was eliminated.

Hovland became the 11th different winner in 11 editions of the hugely popular Hero Challenge, which was broadcast live.

Following Abu Dhabi, the event moves to Europe for three more exciting editions, including the Scandinavian Mixed Hosted by Henrik and Annika in Stockholm, the Porsche European Open in Hamburg, and the Betfred British Masters, to be hosted by Lee Westwood at Close House. The series finale will take place ahead of the European Tour’s season-ending event in Dubai and will feature the winners of all four Hero Challenge events from 2020.


Final: Hovland beat Oosthuizen 190-55
Semi-final: Hovland bt Koepka ; Oosthuizen bt Wiesberger

Group stage:
Group 1: 1. Koepka; 2. Wiesberger; 3. Willett (eliminated);
Group 2: 1. Oosthuizen; 2. Hovland; 3. Fitzpatrick (eliminated)

iQuippo Becomes the First Platform to Digitise Co-Lending Programmes of Banks and NBFCs

iQuippo, India's first digital marketplace for infrastructure equipment has launched its upgraded financing portal ( and became the first digital platform in the country to digitise the co-lending programmes of banks and NBFCs.

The state-of-the-art platform now offers its customers an option to choose offers from different financial institutions; it also negotiates with them online on behalf of the financial institutions and customises offers according to their financing needs. Customers will be able to track their loan applications online, get feedback on documents that they need to avail loans and get answers to all their queries relating to the disbursement process. They will also benefit from a single window access to multiple financiers, simple documentation and hassle-free application. They will also get real time offers from the financiers in form of competitive rates and higher LTVs (loan to value ratio). Following this launch, iQuippo's customers will be to avail finance for their equipment purchase at the click of a mouse from the comfort of their home/office.

Meanwhile, dealers will be able to upload their invoices, generate leads, track customer applications and avail a free Customer Relationship Management tool which will improve their client relationships.

Financiers will have a chance to check credit scores and receive other necessary data for loan approvals in a transparent and efficient manner. This will lead to a quicker turnaround time, digitised documentation and reduction in cost for financing partners. The current sole lending and co-lending banks such as  HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, YES Bank, Bank of Baroda, Oriental Bank of Commerce, and leading financial services companies like Srei Equipment Finance and Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services  are expected to offer loans to iQuippo customers for purchase of infrastructure equipment on the platform.

The move further enhances iQuippo's drive to digitise the entire lifecycle of infrastructure equipment and bring all the relevant stakeholders – customers, original equipment makers ("OEMs"), dealers and financiers – on one platform. The portal has integrated the risk and the pricing engine, which provide customers with dynamic pricing and financiers with dynamic risk adjustments according to the changes in the market situation, both at micro and macro levels.

The platform is especially beneficial to SMEs and MSMEs as they will be empowered with the knowledge of their credit disbursement process and will be able to address any issues on a real time basis.

The portal has been jointly developed with IBM to offer transformational technology with highest level of security, performance and transparency. With this launch, iQuippo has emerged as the one-stop-shop for all its stakeholders.

Commenting on the development, Mr. Anant Raj Kanoria, CEO, iQuippo, said: "We have developed the portal together with IBM and in the process became India's first ever platform to digitise the co-lending process. Our teams have been part of several desgin thinking workshops with internal and external stakeholders and conducitng market surverys to find the best technology solution for our stakeholders. We believe that the portal will be a game changer in the equipment market as it makes life easier for all stakeholders through a transparent process."

"Ever since the concept of co-lending was introduced by the Reserve Bank of India ("RBI") at the end of 2018 we have been observing the market and noticed that the volumes have not been high through this model. Our research showed that the primary reason for low volumes was the slow turnaround time. Hence, with the help of technology we decided to remove the existing process barriers and made the entire process easier and faster for all our stakeholders," he added.

"The most fascinating aspects of our portal are the negotiation and customisation options for our customers. Indians always have a preference for bargain buys and to digitise the process of negotiation initially was a challenge. But we are delighted that we have been able to introduce this aspect and create a value proposition for our customers. We want to be known for our innovation and are happy to positively disrupt the infrastructure equipment ecosystem by bringing customers, OEMs, dealers and financiers on one platform. We are committed to transform the infrastructure equipment industry and will continue to innovate to create an environment in which P2P, B2B and B2C businesses flourish," Mr. Kanoria said.

Alliance, Grameen Creative Lab Form Partnership to Address Plastic Waste in Indian Cities

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) has announced a partnership with the Grameen Creative Lab to support development of Zero Plastic Waste Cities to reduce plastic waste leaking into the environment.

Zero Plastic Waste Cities are being developed by the Grameen Creative Lab, an organization founded and led by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus. This project will develop and implement social businesses – tackling one or more social problems in a financially self-sustaining way – to enable improved municipal waste management systems. Starting in 2020, projects will be launched in two separate cities in India and Vietnam.

“The Alliance to End Plastic Waste and the Grameen Creative Lab share the goal of helping to end plastic waste in the environment and creating new opportunities for individuals and communities while doing so,” said Jacob Duer, President and CEO, Alliance to End Plastic Waste. “Our critical work together in India and Vietnam will enable meaningful, sustainable improvement in the protection of our environment and in the quality of life for all those who live, work and play in Zero Plastic Waste Cities.”

“We need to build a circular economy in order to achieve zero plastic waste pollution. Entrepreneurship and social business will go a long way in achieving this goal. Grameen Creative Lab wants to create new opportunities for waste pickers and we are delighted to partner with the Alliance to End Plastic Waste for this initiative,” said Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

Harnessing the potential of the informal sector is important to increase waste collection and provide economic opportunity. The social businesses aim is to empower different players in the formal and informal waste value chain to increase conversion of collected waste into recycled material, supporting greater circularity and economic empowerment.

Grameen Creative Lab is identifying local partners for implementing the projects and conducting pilot assessments in the two countries. The two cities will be announced in early 2020 and Grameen Creative Lab will also explore approaches to scale these social businesses to additional cities in 2021. The projects are being carried out by the team of Yunus Environment Hub, Grameen Creative Lab’s initiative to address environmental issues through social business creation.

About the Alliance to End Plastic Waste

Established in 2019, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste is a not-for-profit organization that includes companies that make, use, sell, process, collect and recycle plastics, including chemical and plastic manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers, converters, and waste management companies. The Alliance is the foremost CEO-driven international organization focused on bringing together industry, government, communities, and civil society in the fight to end plastic waste. The Alliance is working to promote programs and partnerships that focus on solutions in four core areas: infrastructure, innovation, education, and clean up. The Alliance membership represents global companies and organizations located throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Arabian Gulf. The Alliance is located in Singapore.

Member companies are: BASF, Berry Global, Braskem, Charter NEX Films, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, Clariant, Covestro, Dow, EQUATE Petrochemical Company, ExxonMobil, Formosa Plastics Corporation USA, Gemini Corporation, Geocycle, Grupo Phoenix, Henkel, LyondellBasell, Milliken & Company, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Mitsui Chemicals, NOVA Chemicals, Novolex, OxyChem, PepsiCo, PolyOne, Pregis, Procter & Gamble, Reliance Industries, SABIC, Sasol, SCG Chemicals, Sealed Air Corporation, Shell, Sinopec, SKC co., ltd., Storopack, SUEZ, Sumitomo Chemical, TOMRA, Total, Veolia, Versalis (Eni), Westlake Chemical Corporation.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Acer Retained No. 1 PC Gaming Notebook Brand in India with 26.4% Market Share

Acer, one of the world’s leading gaming PC makers has successfully retained its spot of being the “No.1 PC Gaming Brand” in India for two consecutive years (2018 – 19), as per leading research firm.

Acer gained the highest spot in the gaming industry with its critically acclaimed and extensively popular Predator and Nitro gaming series. Acer in India has the widest portfolio of PC gaming products such as laptops, desktops, monitors and accessories specifically designed for beginners to professional gamers. Acer has maintained the No. 1 position for 2018 and 2019 respectively with regards to unit shipments.

Commenting on the achievement, Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO & Consumer Business Head, Acer India said, “We are very proud to attain the No.1 position in the gaming category for two consecutive years. We believe in creating best in class technology which serves the purpose of today’s generation and assist them to go across and achieve next level in the forefront of technology. Our strong commitment in developing exceptional gaming laptops, desktops, and monitors has also helped create new opportunities for customers and learners. I would like to thank everyone who have supported us to be the leader in this segment and will continue to delight our customers towards strengthening market leadership.”

Acer has been working towards structuring a strong presence of the Indian gaming industry since gaming in India is booming and is a clear indicator of constant evolution of this sector. To ascertain its position, the company has also launched multiple gaming laptops and accessories such as Triton 500, Triton 900, Helios 300, Helios 700, Nitro 5, Nitro 7, Nitro Stream and AOPEN Monitors, etc. and these devices are ready to master the gaming arena with the latest processors.

To add to this growing gaming fever in the country, Acer also organized the Asia’s mega PUBG PC eSports Tournament to encourage the nascent e-sports players in India. Acer focuses to grow on the gaming market holistically by supporting the gaming industry through cutting-edge products, training and professional eSports event.

(Source: (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, Q3 November 2019)

FCA India Expands Jeep Compass Range by Launching BSVI Diesel Automatic Variants


* Currently available in two variants– Longitude (base) and Limited Plus (top-end)
* Both variants offered in AWD configuration, with BSVI diesel engines and the new 9-speed automatic transmission
* Cruise Control feature is Standard equipmentin both variants
* Longitude gets larger 7-inch UConnect screen with reverse camera and dynamic grid lines functionality
* BSVI 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine optimized for stop-and-go traffic conditions and enhanced fuel efficiency

FCA India has announced the expansion of the Jeep Compass range by introducing two turbo-diesel variants with 9-speed automatic transmission. The two variants – Longitude and Limited Plus – will be offered to customers in the All-wheel Drive (AWD / 4x4)configuration and will be powered by the locally-manufactured BSVI-compliant 2.0-litre 173 HP, 350 Nm turbo-diesel engine.

The Jeep Compass 4x4 Longitude 9AT will be available to customers at INR 21.96 lakh and the Limited Plus for INR 24.99 lakh (ex-showroom, pan-India). Bookings and test drives are open at all 80 FCA authorised dealer showrooms present in 68 Indian cities.

Commenting on the range expansion, Dr. Partha Datta – President and Managing Director, FCA India said, “We are strengtheningand expanding the Jeep Compass range with the introduction of four diesel automatic variants, of which, the base and top-end variant will available to consumers right away. Both variants offer more equipment, boosting the value-for-money proposition for the customer which we believe will increase our share in the segment. This roll out has also given us the opportunity to offer our locally-made BSVI-compliant 2.0-litre turbo-diesel powertrain to consumers much before the statutory deadline.”


The roll out of the Jeep Compass 9-speed automatic range signifies the fact that the BSVI-compliant version of the proven 2.0-litre 173 HP 350 Nm turbo-diesel powertrain is now in mainstream production. This powertrain has been locally-produced in FCA’s JV manufacturing facility in Ranjangaon.

The Jeep Diesel Automatic range pushes equipment levels a few notches up, especially in the mid-range variant, Longitude. A large part of the Jeep Compass customer base has been gravitating towards the higher end of the range, hence adding more equipment to the Longitude compared to what this variant has been offering, would be more enticing to interested customers. The gap in pricing and equipment levels between the Longitude and Limited Plus are consciously significant in order to do justice to customers interested in either variant.

Jeep Compass Longitude 4x4 Turbo-diesel 9-speed Automatic

The Longitude packageis now packed with more Standard Equipment such as Cruise Control (introduced for the first time in this trim), a larger 7-inch UConnect screen with reverse camera and dynamic grid lines functionality, dual-zone air conditioning and two-tone interiors, passive entry to vehicle and push button start. Like all variants in the Compass portfolio, the Longitude already comes with standard features such as 17-inch alloys shod with all-season tyres, safety aids such as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control (TC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA), disc brakes on all four wheels, Electric Parking Brake (EPB) and the delightful Frequency Damped Suspension (FSD). It carries the Jeep 4x4 DNA in the SelecTerrain AWD system which is equipped with 4 modes – Auto, Sand, Mud and Snow.

Jeep Compass Limited Plus4x4 Turbo-diesel 9-speed Automatic

The Limited Plus remains the top-of-the-line amongst the non-Trail Rated variants in the Jeep Compass portfolio and comes with all the equipment and features that are offered in the base and mid variants, as well as additional features that befit the most premium offering in the line-up.

Other key and popular features in the Limited Plus are the larger 8.4-inch UConnect Infotainment screen, dual-pane panoramic sun / moon roof, plush leather interiors, 8-way powered seat for the driver, auto headlamps, rain sensitive wipers, auto-dimming IRVM and six airbags, amongst a plethora of other standard features including the 18-inch alloy wheels.

Dr. Datta concluded, “We offera lifestyle to our customers, not just a product. Whilst the Jeep Compass is equipped with every necessary electronic convenience feature that customers nowadaysexpect in a vehicle, we have always retained our fundamentals of solid engineering, uncompromised safety and unmatched 4x4 capability, all of these true to the 80-year strong Jeep pedigree.”

Audi Unveils its Style Statement on Wheels - The Audi Q8 in India


* Flagship SUV introduces the new face of Audi’s Q-family in India
* Big on customization for individuals who want a car to match their personality
* A driver’s car that boaststhe power-packed combo of a3.0L TFSI petrol engine and 8-speed tiptronic transmission
* Sporty dynamics with permanent quattro all-wheel drive
* Adaptive air suspension with controlled damping as standard
* Cutting-edge tech including MMI touch response with haptic feedback, Audi Smartphone Interface, B&O Sound System andmyAUDI Connect
* 0-100kmph in 5.9 seconds
* Priced at INR 1.33 Croreonwards

Audi, the German luxury car manufacturer, today launched the new face of its Q family - the Audi Q8. A combination of a four-door luxury coupé and a versatile SUV, the Audi Q8 is equipped with a powerful yet efficient 3.0 TFSI engine that generates 250KW (340 hp) and 500Nm of torque propelling the car from 0-100kmph in 5.9 seconds. Richly equipped, comprehensively connected and tough enough for off-road duty, the Audi Q8 55 TFSI is a composed companion for business and leisure. It is big on customization and is pricedat INR 1.33 Crore onwards

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India, said,“With the launch of the Audi Q8, we are targetingindividuals who want their car to match their personality. Each Audi Q8 will bemade-to-order, available with a plethora of customization options to choose from; we want every Q8 in the country to look different, from the outside and the inside. The Audi Q8 will be imported to Indiaas a fully built unitsand there will be only 200 units on offer. The launch of our new flagship SUV marks the beginning of a power-packed year for us and we are confident that the Audi Q8 will attract enthusiasts who enjoy driving.”

Mr. Dhillon further added, “We are entering a new segment with the Audi Q8 but the guiding principles remain the same – bold design, cutting edge technology and exciting performance. The 3.0L TFSI engine with 48V mild-hybrid technology, progressive steering and air suspension make every drive in the Q8 memorable.”

“Audi India has set-out very clear goals for itself in next few years under Strategy 2025. 2020 is an extremely important year for Audi India as we launch our new BSVI product portfolio. The Audi Q8 is part of our strategy to strengthen Audi’s presence in the country under the goals of Strategy2025. C and D segments are key focus areas for us in defining the Strategy 2025. The Audi Q8 will help us gain a stronger hold in the D segment market and will be our brand shaper in the days to come.”

Audi India also introduced Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) elements that give customers a look and feel of a car that can be configured before purchase. As part of the Digital Retail initiatives, Audi India has also taken e-commerce to the next level – customers can now purchase genuine Audi merchandise directly online from the Audi Shop on URL (

Audi Q8 – Highlights at a glance:

Dimensional and space concept:

* 4.99 meters (16.4 ft) long, 2.00 meters (6.6 ft) wide and 1.71 meters (5.6 ft) tall
* With a wheelbase of 3.00 meters (9.8 ft) it offers a specious interior
* The luggage compartment holds up to 1,755 litres

Exterior Design:

* Sporty design and upscale prestige like no other
* Imposing Singleframe grille in octagonal design
* The size & shape of the broad C-pillar evokes memories of race-winning quattro cars
* LED headlights flow into swell in the upper fender
* The flare of the fender starts midway on the door & extends to integrate elegantly with the rear lift gate
* Pronounced air intakes enhance the aggressive SUV character
* Panoramic sunroof and frameless doors
* Standard HD Matrix LED Technology brighten up the darkest nights
* Continuous running LED strip with dynamic indicators
* Trapezoidal tailpipe design, High Gloss Black design trim and Diffusers in Anthracite black optional
* Optional S Line Exterior package for sporty and aggressive looks
* Optional S Line Sports Package with Sports Air Suspension, Flat Bottom Steering Wheel and Sports Seats


* Wrap around design
* High quality cabin ‘Aero-acoustics’
* Driver-focused Cockpit design
* Button-less MMI Navigation system with Touch Response
* Options include customized contour seats with massage function and ventilation.Four-zone automatic air conditioning and air quality package with fragrance and ionizer further enhance the elegant ambience.

Features & Digitalization:

* MMI and Touch Response – 2 Screens, Primary (25.65 cms,10.1”) and Secondary (21.84 cms, 8.6”)
* Haptic and Acoustic feedback
* MMI Search - Free Text Search
* Natural language interaction with speed dialogue system
* Advanced handwriting recognition – whole word recognition
* Provision for shortcuts in the secondary screen
* Audi Phone Box with Wireless Charging
* B&O 3D Surround Sound System (23 Speakers, 1920 watts)
* Audi Music and Smartphone Interface

Suspension and Drive:

* 3.0 L TFSI, 340 hp, 500 NM, BSVI compliant, 48V Mild Hybrid
* 0-100 in 5.9 seconds. Top Speed 250km/h
* Fast and smooth-shifting eight-speed tiptronic transmission
* 254 millimeters of ground clearance, short overhangs, quattro permanent all-wheel drive and hill descent control
* Standard progressive steering with optional all-wheel steering
* Adaptive air suspension with controlled damping as standard
* Audi Drive Select with 7 driving modes including “Individual” mode


* Audi Pre-Sense basic
* 8 Airbags
* Audi Park Assist
* Electronic Stabilization Program


* Audi Exclusive customization with 54 exterior colors, 11 interior colors and 9 wooden inlays to choose from
* Infinite personalization possibilities

MyAudi Connect:
* First-in-luxury car segment
* One Application – All-Things Audi

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