Friday, January 31, 2020

Rishi Kapoor Joins Sapphire Human Solutions as Associate Partner!

Rishi Kapoor, former Senior Director – Conferences & Special Initiatives, Times Strategic Solutions Ltd. (ET Edge), has joined Sapphire Human Solutions as an Associate Partner. Sapphire Human Solutions is India’s premium retained executive search firm with over a decade of experience in CXO facilitations.

Ankit Bansal, Founder & CEO, Sapphire Human Solutions said that the move was a part of the company’s efforts to invest and drive accelerated growth in India. Sapphire Human Solutions is now foraying into space where the expertise and relationship built with the CXO community will lead to creating Industry and function lead destinations encompassing the entire eco-system. Rishi with his vast experience will help us start & head Sapphire Connect which is our new business initiative. He is a highly motivated, positive and goal-oriented individual who has a good understanding of this space and I am confident he will set new milestones and help us curve a niche in the B2B IP space.

Rishi Kapoor has over 15 years of experience in building and managing sustainable verticals in media industry with a proven track record of helping organizations achieve their strategic objectives, while keeping a sharp focus on top & bottom line performance. He was part of the initial core team of ET Edge that started the business and was instrumental in launching many successful IPs in India and abroad.

In his career span, Rishi has been the integral part of senior team with Companies like Times Strategic Solutions (ET Edge), Planman Consulting, HT Media, IDG Media & Monster India.

Rishi Kapoor, said, it’s a great move for me and an opportunity to establish one of the most premium B2B business models that is sustainable and outcome driven. A clear vision, commitment and conviction towards the business bolstered with my actionable intelligence underscores my confidence as I look forward to making an impact.

More than 7600 Bangaloreans Failed Godrej Security Solutions’ Home Locker Break-In Challenge

India’s largest and trusted home security solutions provider, Godrej Security Solution, today completed 150 days of its unique Break-in Challenge. During the first phase of the challenge, held across eight key metro cities of the country, over 1 lakh consumers partook but failed to break open a Godrej home locker as against a locked wooden cupboard.

GSS’s Break-in Challenge was unveiled in August 2019 during which the company committed to reaching out to 10 lakh Indian consumers from 350 residential societies and commercial establishments across 15 key cities before FY2021. The challenge was commenced in response to a consumer behaviour insight study, ‘India’s Security Solution Quotient’ which revealed 55% of Indian consumers continue to store their valuables in cupboards or wardrobes despite the availability of more economical and safe options like home lockers.

Commenting on this initiative, Mehernosh Pithawalla, Group Head, Vice President and Global Head - Marketing, Sales & Innovation said, “Last year our consumer behaviour survey, India’s Security Solutions Quotient, highlighted that one in every two residents in India continues to store their valuables in cupboards and wardrobes. This was one of the critical security mistakes pointed out by the study. It highlighted an urgent need to educate consumers that our home lockers are 10 to 1000 times stronger and more secure than wardrobes. Basis the principles of ‘show don’t tell’ we embarked on a consumer activation programme that not just educated consumers but also gave them first-hand experience of security solutions available in the market. We are happy to announce that in the first phase, over 1 lakh people failed in the attempt to break-open our home locker and claim the INR 1 lakh prize money. Consequently, we have seen a proportionate skew towards the adoption of trustworthy security solutions and home lockers amongst the participants as they acknowledge the importance of protecting their valuables and loved ones for attaining peace of mind.”

The Break-in-Challenge is a part of the Godrej Security Solutions' recent omnichannel marketing campaign, #BilkulSafeHai, under which the company has taken various measures to reach out, educate and engage consumers on the importance of adopting home security solutions. The campaign was launched with a humorous series of TVCs, digital videos and print campaigns featuring leading Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana starting September 2019. As an extension of the strategy, the company also launched its e-commerce store in November 2019.

About Godrej Security Solutions:

Godrej Security Solutions is a division of Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd and part of the USD 4.1 billion Godrej Group. A pioneer and leader in the business, Godrej Security Solutions Division is the largest manufacturer and marketer of Security Solutions in India. It is the largest supplier of security solutions to several prestigious banking, corporate and public institutions. For the first time in the category and the industry, Godrej Security Solutions Division has been awarded the Superbrand status. It has also won the “Most Preferred brand” award in the Home Segment. The Division currently exports its products to over 45 countries including Middle East Asia, South East Asia, Far East Asia, East Africa, the US, Europe and the SAARC Countries.

Dineout’s Great Indian Restaurant Festival Brings the Joy Of Dining Out to Bangalore from January 31, to March 1

Dineout, India’s largest dining out and restaurant tech solutions platform is back with the 5th edition of their Great Indian Restaurant Festival (GIRF) from January 31 to March 1. With GIRF India will experience the #JoyOfDiningOut (JODO) with the biggest discounts on total bill, food, drinks, buffet and more, at 10000+ restaurants across 20 cities namely Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Goa, Jaipur, Indore, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Nagpur, Kochi, Surat, Agra, Udaipur, and Vadodara. Users can also additionally avail 20% cashback on their restaurant bills using Dineout Pay. With GIRF, Dineout aims to provide maximum savings for diners with exclusive partner offers from HDFC bank and bonus miles from Intermiles (formerly JetPrivilege).

Dineout has also released a digital film around the festival focusing on “No Drama, Only Khaana” as a solution to diners who want value for their money without any drama, excuses or influences like birthdays, anniversaries and more, often used by people to get the best deals at restaurants. The full brand film can be watched here:

To further encourage the dining out culture in the country, Dineout also coined the new millennial lingo JODO which is similar to FOMO and YOLO.

Commenting on the latest edition of GIRF, Mr. Ankit Mehrotra, CEO & Co-founder, Dineout said, “GIRF over the years has gained an unparalleled reputation of being one of the largest restaurant festivals in India. GIRF’s popularity affirms that Indians love dining out and are no more restricted to just occasions. With the biggest discounts and offers, we want to extend the #JoyOfDiningOut in the truest sense to our users across 20 cities, especially millennials who will resonate with the language of #JODO.”

Dineout has successfully organized 4 editions of GIRF since 2017. Last year, GIRF was introduced twice in the same year in the months of February & August, seating close to 2.5 million & 4 million diners respectively. It also helped its participating restaurants garner revenue higher than the usual days during both the editions. The participating restaurants witnessed 3x rise in their revenue in their most recent edition. GIRF deals for all can be bought starting 25th Jan for dining between 31st January to 1st March 2020 at restaurants like Rajdhani, Gillys, Beijing Bites, Red Rhino, Hilton EGL, Bengaluru Marriott, Conrad, Taco Bell & more.

Speaking on the association, a spokesperson from HDFC Bank said, “We are happy to be associated with Dineout’s Great Indian Restaurant festival for 3rd consecutive year. The festival in a short span of time has been instrumental in driving change towards the dining culture of India. The festival’s popularity has helped us build a strong connect with our customers also as they look for offers & cashbacks. While GIRF offers great deals, HDFC Bank customers can additionally enjoy exclusive deals & cashbacks during the festival.

Vikas Chandak, Senior Vice-President, Strategic Business & Partnerships of InterMiles, said, “We, at InterMiles, are committed to building strong partnerships that drive significant value & enriching experiences for our members. Our long-standing partnership with Dineout is immensely popular with our members and we witness a remarkable increase in engagement during the Great Indian Restaurant Festival. We are happy to participate in the 5th edition of GIRF as Food Sponsors & Reward Partners. We are confident that this year, once again, our members will enjoy the GIRF deals and the additional benefits brought to them by InterMiles.”

So, get ready to experience a month full of dining out at great discounts with no hidden agendas. Enjoy hassle-free experiences and without stressing about over-budget bills.

Snapchat Presents a Unique Form of Personalised Entertainment with Bitmoji TV

Premiering Saturday morning, February 1st, Bitmoji TV is a brand-new, fully animated show starring Snapchatters and their friends on Snapchat. It’s a new form of personalized entertainment, where the experience is unique for each viewer.

Just like Bitmoji stories, Bitmoji TV casts the friend, that was snapped most recently as a Snapchatter’s co-star in an episode. To make it more fun and interesting, Snapchatters, Snap different friends to see episodes of Bitmoji TV with different co-stars. Each season is comprised of 10 episodes averaging three minutes in length. It is an engaging, fun and relatable bringing a personalised spin on regular television. New episodes air weekly on Saturday mornings on the Discover feed to Snapchatters globally. Comedy stars Andy Richter, Jon Lovitz, and Riki Landhome can be heard in episodes throughout the first season of Bitmoji TV.

Since their debut in November 2018, more than 100 million Snapchatters have watched and loved Bitmoji Stories. This has led to deeper level of personalized storytelling and a richer viewing experience that takes shape through Bitmoji TV. Snapchat has always been about real friends and real connections. A special bond forms when people repeatedly use their Bitmojis to represent and express themselves with people they care about most. This bond has allowed Snapchat to extend the avatar from identity, to a broader range of digital experiences like playing Snap Games, 3D Bitmoji AR Lens experiences and the much loved Bitmoji TV.

Available exclusively on Snapchat Discover, Bitmoji TV joins Snapchat’s robust and highly engaging Discover page that features over 450 premium content channels worldwide. Discover offers news and entertainment from trusted media brands and storytellers,

To get started, watch Bitmoji TV only on Snapchat’s Discover and also subscribe to Bitmoji TV and receive notifications for new episodes. 

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Global AI Advisory Firm Mindfields Opens Delivery Centre in Bengaluru

Mindfields, the global Intelligent Automation and Artificial Intelligence advisory firm, has announced the opening of its Delivery Centre in Bengaluru, it’s first in India. The Delivery Centre situated in Bengaluru will enable Mindfields to provide a hybrid model of onshore and offshore automation services to its customers in Australia, Asia and North America.

On the occasion, Mohit Sharma, Founder and Chairman, Mindfields said, “Our new Delivery Centre in Bengaluru will lower the cost of automation by utilising an optimal mix of onshore and offshore resources.  This would enable our clients to scale up automation by making business case feasible for more processes. The Centre will work on developing new product lines by integrating AI (Artificial Intelligence), RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and Analytics.

We also plan to have a strong research team in Bengaluru to work on and experiment on emerging technologies to develop products to address our clients’ business challenges. By June 2020 we aim to have a centre operating in 3 shifts to offer 24/7 services to global clients. All of us at Mindfields are very excited about the Centre which is an important milestone in our new growth journey.”

The Bengaluru Delivery Centre will further consolidate Mindfields’ leadership position in Australia. It will enable to scale up and replicate the same success in North America and Asia. 

About Mindfields
Founded in 2006, Mindfields is a vendor-agnostic Intelligent Automation and Artificial Intelligence advisory firm, providing strategy services to CXO level executives across verticals on emerging and disruptive technologies. Mindfields started its Automation Advisory offering in 2013 and it was among with first few on Global basis and first in Australia to offer such advisory services. Mindfields is globally recognised by Gartner, IDC, ISG and HfS Research as a leading, niche Intelligent Automation (IA) advisory firm. We enable our clients to 'Grow for Tomorrow'. We have been ranked among the top 20 fastest growing Australian firms in the Deloitte Fast 500 in 2017. Mindfields has been expanding its footprint and presently has operations in Australia, Asia and the United States.

St. Francis College Introduces An Internship Program To Strengthen Students’ Professional Future

In today’s highly competitive world, career oriented students seek bright prospects and fast growth. Grooming students appropriately and equipping them to fit present day industry requirements is the need of the hour. Within a few months of its inception, St. Francis College launched a one of its kind internship program for its 1st year students, to give them an opportunity to be a part of the professional environment during their course. The real world experience in the form of access to professionals and work environment, immensely contributes to the learning of students.

This trailblazing initiative is sure to catapult St. Francis College’s position as a thought leader among institutions. Since academia and industry are two important pillars of our economy, a robust collaboration between the two will enable growth in the education system and produce an employment-ready workforce.

Situated in the heart of Bangalore, in the vibrant neighbourhood of Koramangala, St. Francis College established by the Franciscan Brothers, is committed to mould the younger generation into high-profile professionals. The state-of-the-art campus offers the finest resources and amenities for holistic learning and development of the students.

Br. Sayimon, Director, St. Francis College, said, “It was my vision to address the employability issue that students currently face across India. Through our internship program, we are among the first colleges in the country to bridge the industry academia gap. We have given all 400 of our students from across India a big boost, to be more confident as well as enhance their readiness for the corporate world. Our first semester students are now better prepared to understand the nuances of the corporate world and interpret the business scenario.”

Commending the college on the initiative, Professor S. Japhet, Vice-Chancellor – Bengaluru Central University said, “At a time when India is grappling with lack of skilled workforce, it is encouraging to see how St. Francis College is grooming candidates with hands-on exposure. I congratulate the institution for taking up the task to bridge the industry-academia gap. This internship program is sure to serve as a model to be emulated across other universities as well.  Initiatives such as this will be key to realizing our government’s vision to drive employment.”

Over 105 leading companies across various spheres of business and NGO’s descended at the campus at a unique interactive event to offer internships to students. All the 400 students were assigned projects based on their interests, the nature of work and location. The top recruiters included the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Decathalon, VLCC, Zivame, Tripvillas, Ingo Electric, Eat Raja, Datacor Informatis, I am Here App, JBrown, Life VR, Integro, Nightingales Medical Trust, Little Sisters of the Poor, Dream India Network and many more. While the minimum period for internship was 15 days, the maximum extended up till 6 months. The students could continue to work post 3pm on weekdays and weekends.

Through the internship program, the students gained first hand exposure to various corporate functions including communication, business development, social media marketing, financial literacy, data entry, website development, interacting with clients in India and overseas, outreach and much more.

Speaking at the successful completion of the program, Sameera Fernandes, Director – Strategy & Planning, Dean of Academics, St. Francis College, who has over 19 years experience in the corporate world and international affairs said, “We wanted to address the employability issue right from the start. Our courses have been designed keeping in mind the future of work. We also wanted our students to understand and experience work culture, so that they have a right perspective on the academic front and see its implementation right through. As a thought leader in the industry, my plan is to bridge industry and academia. One way was to change the ‘stereotype’ of a fresher. Now our students have industry experience right from the first semester, over and above gaining exposure through guest lecturers, panel discussions, industrial tours and project reports. By the time they graduate with a degree in their hand, the students will have already have commendable work experience across 6 companies/sectors in their resume.”

The internship program has given students at St. Francis College, the opportunity to use their years on campus to explore various sectors/ industries and then choose their ‘career of choice’ once they graduate. It also ensures that the younger generation enjoys their work and pursues their passion. The students are key contributors at the work place and also bring about change in the work culture.

St. Francis College also takes pride in introducing new courses to expand the horizons of students. An aviation course affiliated to IATA Canada is in the pipeline, which will give students an option to pursue alternate careers after pilot and cabin crew training. An interior design course which would give students professional exposure through internships and enlightening lectures by visiting faculty, is also in the offing.

The college is also committed to mould students to be socially responsible. Students from St. Francis College recently participated in a Polio Eradication Drive in association with Rotary International, WHO and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase their social consciousness.

Mahindra Electric Launches New Brand Identity; Celebrates Over 200 Million Electric Kilometres on Indian Roads

Mahindra Electric Mobility Ltd, a part of the USD 20.7 billion Mahindra Group, and the pioneers of electric mobility in India unveiled a new corporate brand identity with a new logo and tagline - ‘Spark the New’. The new brand identity is meant to give the brand a renewed thrust to achieve its global ambition of being a leading player in electric mobility technology solutions.

The identity also simplifies the portfolio so that the vehicles and hardware solutions are offered under ME branding and the software solutions are offered under NEMO branding. The new identity further enhances the brand for a digital world by ensuring the logo works seamlessly on digital assets as well as on the EV components and vehicles. This move will help the brand approach the Indian and global markets with a clarity of purpose and a sharply defined identity.

The launch of the new brand coincides with the completion of over 200 million electric kilometers by Mahindra EVs on Indian road. The 200 million plus eKilometers done by Mahindra’s electric vehicles has helped save over 22,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions in India. This translates into the need to plant over 10 lakh trees to absorb the equivalent levels of emissions.

The company also unveiled its new vision of being a leading brand in enabling customized electric mobility solutions through cutting-edge technology. The new identity intends to position the organization as the preferred e-mobility partner for OEMs across the globe.

Speaking at the launch of the new brand identity, Mahesh Babu, CEO, Mahindra Electric said, “Today, with a decade’s worth of experience in electric vehicle technology, we are completely prepared to make India an EV hub and take our technologies global. Our new positioning is an acknowledgement of this ambition while being a testament to our pioneering past. It emphasizes our ambition to innovate and create cutting-edge technology with agility, such that we deliver products which make a positive difference to society.”

He further added, “Our new identity truly recognizes the essence of ‘Mahindra Electric’ and there are no better words to capture this than ‘Spark The New’. These powerful words resonate not just with us at Mahindra Electric, but are a clarion call for everyone to join the movement towards sustainable mobility.”

New Logo:

In the new logo, the word ‘electric’ has been derived from the characters of the word Mahindra, thereby ensuring uniformity and recognition. The characters of the word ‘electric’ have been made lowercase to make the brand more approachable.

The red colour in the logo helps us to ensure our identity is deeply connected with the parent Mahindra brand and the blue ensures our connection with electric mobility is further strengthened. 

New tagline:

Our ‘Spark the New’ positioning is a rallying cry for action and works with both internal and the external stakeholders. It has an active voice and a vibrant energy that ensures our actions are always guided by innovation in order to drive new thinking, new ideas and new solutions in the electric mobility technology space.

About Mahindra Electric

Mahindra Electric, a part of the USD 20.7 billion Mahindra Group is a global pioneer in the development and production of electric vehicles. Mahindra Electric is India’s only EV manufacturer with indigenously developed EV technologies that have won global accolades. The Mahindra Group has one of the most diversified portfolios of electric vehicles with the e2oPlus hatch, the eVerito sedan and the eSupro mini-van and Mahindra Treo range of three-wheelers.

Pushing the limits of technology and innovation, Mahindra has acknowledged the need to redefine mobility at every step. This has led to a vision with a desire to transform; a vision which provides an imagination which is more sustainable and more dependable. Venturing into the paradigm of alternative technology has helped Mahindra enable a clean, green and a smarter tomorrow.

Hello. This is Akeira: Intelligent Virtual Assistant Capabilities Just Got Easier to Set Up

Uniphore, an early conversation service automation category leader, is expanding its solution offerings by delivering akeiraTM 2.0, an intelligent conversational digital assistant. Akeira helps automate conversations and reduce the cost of customer service for enterprises while providing  a better customer experience. Key features and associated business outcomes include: 

Simplifying and accelerating deployment time of conversational digital assistants:

Visual modeler: create and edit conversational flows on the fly for easy, rapid deployments
Training: train the intents in a language for a channel and deploy across multiple channels 
Virtual agent health tracking: track intent served and call handling capacity 
Sand box for testing: simulate an intent in a sand box before moving to production

Integration that brings cost savings and better customer satisfaction:

Assisted training: rapid and continuous intent training to improve akeira™’s NLU models to cut down on live agent volume
Live agent transfer: intent-based routing or “hot transfer” of calls to a live agent based on contextual scenarios such as multiple failures or escalating customer sentiments or irritation
Business end point connector service: secure connectivity to business applications and traditional interactive voice response systems
Granular control of intents: flexibility to leverage intent-based features at will or to disengage in live environments for smoother roll outs

Uniphore conversational digital agents do what humans don’t like to

Akeira conversational digital agents work alongside call center humans to radically boost productivity and customer experience. They handle simple transactional conversations which shouldn’t require a human agent in the first place. They make suggestions during a call, proactively look up information and can take actions. Uniphore’s automated digital agents resolve issues in real time, with the capability to seamlessly hand back to a human at any time.

Akeira is an intuitive, flexible, intelligent solution that allows you to build out a digital virtual assistant on existing interactive voice response channels, web chat and mobile app channels to interact with the customers answering or responding to a wide range of questions and requests. Secure enterprise connectors to standard CRM, ticketing and other backend applications further widen the type of requests and queries that can be handled. Akeira is multilingual, supporting global languages and flexible deployment options whether it is on cloud or on premise.

Advanced functionality to save time

At the core of akeira is a new visual modeler. This easy-to-use interface gives administrators the ability to design and deploy entire conversations from start to finish in a few minutes.  Enterprise administrators can create an intent flow, design responses, train user input variations for intent identification and simulate intent behavior from a single interface.  The Visual modeler is scalable and can be trained once and deployed across multiple channels. Akeira’s interfaces will guide a user through every step of the conversation creation process.

Once deployed, akeira will keep track of real-time performance metrics using a virtual assistant health card that will identify the need for corrective action in a virtual assistant and enable administrators to take these actions based on data from the health card.

The success or failure of a virtual assistant is greatly impacted by its ability to learn continuously from conversations that have happened and the outcomes or next actions. To help ensure more effective interactions, akeira now has a function called “assisted training” which is a semi autonomous machine learning capability where an organization can continuously train akeira based on historical conversations and even allow users to identify patterns for new intents. Our digital agents act just like humans. Akeira can personalize content and understands sentiment, trends, and intent.

Extending akeira for even better customer experiences

With an extensive list of features and functionality already built into akeira, there are additional areas and applications where akeira can be deployed.  For example, the AI and automation capabilities can be leveraged across digital channels including web, mobile and social channels.  Additional support for more languages and more automated machine learning capabilities are in development which will provide both enterprises and end customers a cost-efficient, personalized, accurate and predictive omnichannel customer experience.

“As virtual assistants and various bots came on the scene a few years ago, many organizations rushed in, believing it would solve their problems of scale and reduce costs.  But that proved false,” said Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal at ZK Research. “In order for these bots to be successful, there needs to be capabilities which help not only set up but maintain and monitor the outcomes as well as help make recommendations for improvement. Uniphore’s latest akeira offering is a solid step forward in this direction”

“Customers have high expectations for any interactions with customer service agents, both real and virtual,” said Samith Ramachandran, senior vice president of product engineering at Uniphore. “Our latest akeira offering steps up the features and functionality of intelligent virtual assistants and makes them easier to set up, more cost effective to manage and, ultimately, smarter in the way they respond.”

About Uniphore:

Uniphore is the global leader in conversational service automation with offices in the U.S., India and Asia. The Company’s vision is to disrupt an outdated customer service model by bridging the gap between human and machine using voice, AI and automation so that every voice, on every call, is truly heard.

Uniphore enables businesses globally to deliver transformational customer service by providing an automation platform where digital agents take over transactional conversations from humans and coach agents during calls and accurately predict language, emotion and intent – all in real time. Conversational automation and analytics, conversational assistant and conversational security elevate how enterprises support and engage their customers, build loyalty and realize efficiencies.

Software Reviews Firm G2 Has Doubled Its Headcount, Revenue in India; Raised $100 Million So Far

G2, a US based software review platform, provides authentic over one million user reviews to more than 5 million people across the globe to help them find the best software and services for their business. Thousands of software vendors market their products on G2 to reach these buyers. Since acquiring Indian start-up, Siftery, in 2018, the company has more than doubled its employee headcount in Bengaluru and increased software reviews and traffic in India by 400%. Siftery was built to help companies manage their software spend.

Relaunched in March 2019 as G2 Track, the offering has expanded to help businesses manage all aspects of their software spend from managing contracts to account usage and compliance. Both the Siftery solutions and the team have been fully integrated into G2 and provided the foundation for the G2 operations in Bengaluru.

Addressing the media at its G2 office, Mr. Godard Abel, Co Founder and CEO of G2 said, "When we acquired Siftery, it had about 20 employees in India and we have since more than doubled the employee headcount to 55. We have not only expanded in headcount but also in office space. Our entry into the Indian market through this acquisition has helped us grow our revenue in India by 2X and we intend to grow many folds in India."

G2 has registered 5 million software buyers coming each month to search for software solutions and even though the US market accounts for over 60% of traffic, India is the fastest growing region and already accounts for 10% of global traffic. G2 expects its Indian market to double on a yearly basis. Europe accounts for just over 20% of the global users.

Abel recently attended SaaSBooMi in Chennai, which is Asia’s largest Software as a Service (SaaS) conference for SaaS founders. With the favorable market conditions and learnings from first-generation Indian SaaS startups like Zoho, second generation SaaS startups, like Freshworks, and Chargebee, are poised to replicate and even surpass the success of companies that came before them, remarks Abel.

"All are familiar with TripAdvisor, an online travel company that operates a global platform with user-generated content, price comparison tools, and online reservations for transportation, lodging, travel experiences, and restaurants. Similarly, since startups want to expand overseas, G2 gives them the platform with real-time reviews and helps them grow,” remarks Abel.

Abel said that it is exciting for G2 since startups like Freshworks, a cloud-based helpdesk software, became the third startup company in India to be called a unicorn in the year 2018. "We strongly believe this is the wave is for software product companies in India and they will become emerging global leaders.”

G2 has over 2,000 customers who list their products on G2, including, AWS, IBM, Hubspot, and also Indian based SaaS companies like Zoho, Freshdesk, and Druva, who all use G2 marketplace to sell their products.

In respect to the Initial Public Offering (IPO), Abel says we have deffered it by another 2-3 years mainly because we wish grow bigger and expand further before announcing our IPO.

When asked about his India Budget 2020 expectations, Abel said, “I would request the local government to spend more to develop the digital and physical infrastructure. This will help us grow here much faster.”

Abel is alumni of Stanford University and founder of several successful startups, including BigMachines which sold to Oracle, and SteelBrick which was acquired by Salesforce. The serial entrepreneur’s third start-up, G2, has already raised $100 million so far.

Western Union and Airtel Payments Bank Real-Time International Remittances to India

Western Union, a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments, and Airtel Payments Bank, a subsidiary of India’s largest integrated telco - Bharti Airtel announced a collaboration enabling millions of Airtel Payments Bank customers in India to receive international remittances in their bank accounts.

Airtel Payments Bank customers can soon direct Western Union money transfers into their bank accounts through the banking section of the Airtel Thanks App in real-time1. These transfers will be available for withdrawal at any of the over 500,000 banking points of Airtel Payments Bank.

Western Union’s collaboration with Airtel Payments Bank offers another channel for swift transfer of cross-border remittances into India, the world’s largest remittance-receiving country according to the World Bank.  With an unmatched distribution reach, millions of Airtel Payments Bank customers across the country will soon be able to seamlessly connect and conveniently withdraw the money, sent to them by their loved ones around the world.

The announcement marks further expansion of Western Union’s unique ability to partner with a growing base of national tech leaders by leveraging its core assets – including global settlement capabilities, network, compliance and technology systems - to enable international cross-border transfers with customer facing innovation.

Receiver-directed money transfer services are on the rise with flexible linkages offered by mobile apps and wallets. It offers receiving customers the choice of a preferred payout method based on convenience.

“The future of money transfer is to deliver what customers want – allowing them to move money whenever, however and wherever they want. Our platform cuts through the international complexities so millions of new customers can access their funds in real-time,” said Western Union President and CEO, Hikmet Ersek.

"Our business offers multiple channel choice for our customers and it comes from building an inter-connectedness platform that links diverse financial and fintech players including Banks, FIs, Telcoms and Fintech players,” Ersek said.

“With India being the largest receiver of global remittances, this alliance is designed to enable better access for the recipients and contribute to financial inclusion in the country. This innovation is an example of how Airtel Payments Bank endeavours to play a role in improving the country’s payments ecosystem,” said Rajesh Sud, Managing Director – Financial Services at Bharti Enterprises and Additional Director at Airtel Payments Bank.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Western Union to add inbound global remittances to our portfolio of digitally enabled financial services. Our technology platforms and deep distribution reach allows customers to access a range of financial services in a convenient fashion. We will continue to bring to market innovative solutions that simplify basic financial services and empower every Indian,” said Anubrata Biswas, MD & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank.

The collaboration will work on the Reserve Bank of India mandated Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS), a quick and easy way of transferring personal remittances from abroad to beneficiaries in India. Only inward personal remittances into India such as remittances towards family maintenance and remittances favoring foreign tourists visiting India are permissible under the MTSS guidelines.


The Airtel Thanks app is available for both iOS and Android users. Customers can conveniently receive Western Union money transfers into their Airtel Payments Bank accounts with the Airtel Thanks app by simply inputting the unique tracking number (MTCN), expected remittance amount and sender details. Customers can receive up to a maximum of Rs. 95,000 per transaction.

1. Funds may be delayed or services unavailable based on certain transaction conditions, including amount sent, destination country, currency availability, regulatory and foreign exchange issues, required receiver action(s), identification requirements, Agent location hours, differences in time zones, or selection of delayed options.

Vikram Hospital Bengaluru Performs Successful Delivery on a Patient Suffering from Intracranial Rosai Dorfman Disease

Vikram Hospital Bengaluru, a trusted quaternary care multi-specialty hospital, announced today that it successfully conducted delivery of a patient suffering from a Rare Case of Intracranial Rosai Dorfman Disease (RDD) along with other complications. This feat was performed by the ‘Obstetrics & Gynecology’ at Vikram Hospital.

Roopa, a 38 years old lady was diagnosed to have a rare condition called Rosai-Dorfman Disease (RDD) at Vikram Hospital, She initially presented to our Neurosurgeons with c/o feeling unsteady while walking which worsened with movement of head for 2-3 months duration.  She also had headaches & nasal block.  MRI of the head and neck and biopsy from the nasal sinus was done by our ENT surgeon and the condition was diagnosed by our Pathologist as intracranial RDD.  Patient was seen by Dr. Niti Raizada, Sr. Consultant, Medical Oncologist and started on chemotherapy.

Patient had been married for 12 years and had undergone 2 cycles of IVF but was unable to get pregnant.  After she was diagnosed with RDD, she had given up hopes of pregnancy.  Miraculously, patient discovered she was pregnant within three months of the chemotherapy and continued the pregnancy despite the risk of teratogenicity.

Elaborating on the criticality of the case, Dr. Shashikala Ksheerasagar, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Vikram Hospital, said, “Our team of doctors categorized this case as high risk pregnancy and handled such a case for the first time. The case was very challenging from the beginning as the patient had a spontaneous pregnancy following chemotherapy for RDD, the Obstetric team faced many challenges managing the patient in the presence of co-morbidities like Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), Anemia, Sub clinical hypothyroidism, Allergic bronchitis, Progressive symptom of RDD like diplopia (Visual disturbance double vision), and cerebellar ataxia (difficulty in walking) and Headaches.”

Roopa’s health continued to deteriorate where she had difficulty walking, visual disturbances & managing day to day activities like cooking, housekeeping and as pregnancy advanced, she was heavily dependent on her husband for performing even the smallest of tasks such as eating food, medication, etc. If condition was untreated, she would have headaches, severe visual disturbance and incapability to walk. She would have continuously raised intracranial pressures which could lead to herniation of brainstem and sudden death.

It was a challenge handling her, an elective C/S was done, and patient closely monitored post operatively. Post pregnancy Lactation was an issue as she had a delay in initiation of lactation. Two and a half months after delivery patient underwent radical stereotactic radiation for the intracanal lesion. Following radiotherapy, patient made a good recovery and was able to handle her baby, her household chores independently,” added Dr. Shashikala Ksheerasagar, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Vikram Hospital.

Dr. Mohan D. Mahendrakar, Consultant Pediatrician & Neonatologist, Vikram Hospital, Bengaluru said, “Patient delivered a baby boy and we found that baby was suffering from imperferforate anus, ASD (Atrial Septal Defect - hole in the heart) and PUJ obstruction on the left side. After diagnosis, the baby underwent colostomy on the very first day he was born.”

After a period of time as the baby grew older, an ANO-RECTO PLASTY was conducted by Dr. Deepti Vepakomma, Consultant Paediatric Surgery. Now the baby is more than a year old and has normal growth and development.

Dr. Niti Raizada, Sr. Consultant, Medical Oncologist & Hemato-oncologist, Vikram Hospital, Bengaluru, said, “Intracranial Rosai Dorfman Disease is extremely rare, and it is an uncommon benign idiopathic lymphoproliferative disorder. It commonly affects lymph nodes, extra nodal involvement of multiple organs, Bilateral painless cervical lymphadenopathy, fever, night sweats and weight loss. Exacerbation of RDD during pregnancy and the need to resort to radiotherapy using cyber knife due to aggravation of symptoms and remarkable recovery”.  is what we have seen.

RDD in this lady responded very well to combination chemotherapy drugs - however they were discontinued when she conceived.  Later post-delivery, disease evaluation suggestion that tumor had increased in size and causing many symptoms when additional local therapy was recommended.

Dr. Somesh Mittal, MD & CEO, Vikram Hospital Bengaluru also commented, “We are proud to have dedicated and specialized consultants who focus constantly on saving lives of patients at all stages of illness. Roopa’s case was highly risky and our consultants worked really hard to save her and also her child. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Telegram Introduces Polls 2.0 to Enhance Chat Experience with Three New Kind of Polling Options

Key Highlights

* Polls 2.0 comes with three new capabilities: Visible Votes, Multiple Answers and Quiz Mode
* Channels and Groups can explore possibility of conducting polls in multiple ways
* Quiz Bot: for additional text and media along with multi question quizzes

Telegram, a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app, today announced an addition of new and exciting features for conducting various types of polls within chat groups and channels. Termed as Polls 2.0, users can now explore three new kinds of Telegram Polls – Visible Votes, Multiple Answers and Quiz Mode.

Polls 2.0 aims to enrich the learning experience, giving its users more options to engage and express their opinions by way of selecting from various options. This new feature can enhance the experience of users to create opinions, generate polls and be used by learning and education channels to create objective based learning through multiple choice questions (MCQs) and subject based quizzes. Already popular with students, this new feature by Telegram, will make exam preparations and learning methods more interesting and participative.

Launched globally and available for Indian users, these polls can be created in groups or channels. An updated attachment menu, now allows ‘Poll’ Option where users can follow simple steps from the menu and choose one of the three poll type. Creating a poll is made easy by simply typing the question, add answer options, choose the settings that fit in as best purpose, and just roll it out.

Telegram recognises that messaging applications have become an intrinsic part of communication across age groups and industries. Focussing on driving relevant innovations to bring new features and capabilities on the app that can enhance, evolve and transform the overall user experience, the company launched three new capabilities:

A new capability: Bot API and Quiz Bot

Quiz Bot is going to be another surprise for the users as it will allow them to create multi-question quizzes with additional text and media capability and share them with others. This enables them to create exam-style prompts with graphs and tables. Users can answer on the groups, channels, or personally, as well. The Bot can also keep a tap that how many answers were right, time taken by a user and upload it to a global leaderboard Telegram has created.

All the new poll types are supported in today's update to the Bot API, so bot developers can build on this new functionality.

The bot will keep tabs on how many questions users got right and how much time it took them to complete the quiz. It also keeps a global leaderboard for each quiz create by any user.

About Telegram:

Telegram, a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app with a focus on security and speed was launched in 2013. A device agnostic platform, it provides its users the capability of sharing unlimited files up to 1.5 GB setting itself apart from various other platforms. The open API and AI based BOT integration provides the messenger app a competitive edge over other platforms. Users can create groups for up to 200,000 people or channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences.

ServiceNow Introduces New Industry Solutions Strategy will Focus on Banking and Telecom Verticals

ServiceNow, the company that makes work, work better for people, today announced a new industry solutions strategy to deliver workflows that help companies in specific industries address their unique digital transformation challenges and create value at scale. ServiceNow initially will focus on developing industry solutions for banking and telecommunications and will work with strategic partners to support its industry solutions journey and integrate those solutions in the customer environment.

“Every company around the world aspires to deliver great experiences that drive fierce customer loyalty and create powerful employee engagement,” said Bill McDermott, president and CEO, ServiceNow. “And companies across many industries are turning to ServiceNow to help them transform their business to unleash productivity and fuel innovation. By creating industry–specific solutions, delivered through a partner–led model, we can better address the unique challenges that companies in key vertical markets face as they look to digitally transform their businesses.”

ServiceNow’s new banking solution will simplify middle–to–back office operations to help banks move at the speed of digital business, delivering seamless customer experiences throughout the enterprise that drive customer loyalty. The company’s new telecommunications solution will align customer care and service assurance to transform how communication service providers deliver great customer experiences by proactively anticipating issues and addressing them quickly while maximizing availability and quality of service.

Expanded Partnerships to Support Industry Solutions Model

ServiceNow also announced it is extending the scope of its partnerships with Deloitte and Accenture to address the unique challenges in the initial target industries.

Deloitte will become the “Lead Launch” Partner for ServiceNow’s banking solution, working with ServiceNow to implement new workflows that will transform how banks operate. This builds on Deloitte’s existing role as Lead Launch Partner for ServiceNow’s Finance Close Automation product, which was announced last year at ServiceNow’s Knowledge 2019 conference.

“Our Financial Services clients are looking to leverage technology to rethink customer experiences, and banks in particular need to transform underlying operations to make that happen faster,” said Brian Johnston, Financial Services Industry Leader, and Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “As part of our strategic collaboration with ServiceNow, we are combining Deloitte’s industry know how with ServiceNow’s intelligent and intuitive cloud platform to deliver solutions that help our Financial Services clients move at the speed of digital business.”

Accenture will become the “Lead Launch” ecosystem partner for ServiceNow on its new telecommunications solution, helping companies drive digital transformation through purpose–built workflows. Accenture will also help guide ServiceNow’s product roadmap and create telecommunications–specific digital workflow solutions that deliver great experiences to help support software defined networking, especially vital for new connected services enabled by 5G.

“With 5G being one of the highest priorities and most significant investments for service providers, they are seeking a competitive advantage by establishing greater agility and scale in today’s cloud–first world,” said Peters Suh, North America Communications Industry Lead at Accenture. “Through our expanded ecosystem partnership with ServiceNow, we’re better positioned than ever to help companies elevate solutions and support the transitions of the telecommunications industry.”

ServiceNow’s solutions for banking and telecommunications are expected to be available later this year. The company expects to announce solutions for additional industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, media, technology and others, in the future.

ServiceNow is making work, work better for people by delivering digital workflows that simplify employee experiences and unlock productivity. As a strategic partner to the world’s largest enterprises, ServiceNow is focused on enabling digital transformation and driving customer success. The Now Platform is the not–so–secret sauce that allows ServiceNow to deliver experiences that transform the world of work. ServiceNow’s intelligent and intuitive cloud platform serves as a single foundation for delivering enterprise–wide digital workflows.

Chinese SUV Maker GWM to Make its India Debut at Auto Expo 2020

Great Wall Motor Co Ltd (GWM), China’s largest SUV manufacturer, has announced that it will make its debut in India on 5th February 2020, at the Auto Expo 2020 in Greater Noida, which will be its brand premier in India along with announcement of its India plans.

At the Auto Expo – The Motor Show 2020, GWM will undertake the global premier of Haval Concept H and the Indian debut of Concept vehicle Vision 2025. Apart from this GWM will also showcase its excellence and strength in automotive technology with its range of Haval SUVs, GWM EV products, and innovations in the area of intelligent safety, connectivity and advanced autonomous systems. The GWM brand is built on the philosophy of innovation, sustainability & smart mobility. Haval is an automotive marque owned by GWM that specializes in full range of SUV’s.

GWM has made strides in setting the grounds for its exhilarating entry in India by signing an agreement to acquire the General Motor India’s Talegaon factory on January 17, 2020. This is a significant step forward for GWM and reinforces the commitment of the brand for Indian market.

Mr. Wei Jianjun, Chairman, GWM, stated, “This is indeed a proud moment for us as we are on the verge of entering the Indian automotive market. We are excited at the limitless possibilities that lay ahead as India is an important market for us. At GWM, we aim to set new benchmarks in the Indian automobile industry and hope to create an everlasting relationship with the discerning Indian customer. With the R&D center in Bangalore and now our participation at the 15th edition of the Auto Expo, we want to further ascertain the importance of India as the core strategic market.”

Since 1997, GWM has continuously accelerated global market expansion along with its brand awareness and international reputation. At present, GWM has sales network in more than 60 countries and regions with the support of five regional marketing centers in Russia, Australia, South Africa, South America, and the Middle East.

About Great Wall Motor  : Founded in 1984, GWM is the largest SUV manufacturer in China. Currently, it owns Haval, Great Wall EV and Great Wall Pickup brands. The products cover traditional fuel-powered, pure electric, hybrid and other new energy models, and now GWM is actively developing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. At present, GWM has more than 70 holding subsidiaries worldwide and employs nearly 70,000 people. It has R&D centers in China, India, the United States, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Austria. GWM has formed a “9 +5” global production system, including 9 manufacturing facilities and 5 KD plants.

Blue Dart Extends its Successful “First Time Buyer Program” in India

Blue Dart Express Limited, South Asia's premier express air and integrated transportation & Distribution Company and part of Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL), extends its “First Time Buyer program” for its customers across India, launched on the 1st of September 2019 - customers who signed up for Blue Dart’s International services which include – International Outbound and Import Express between September 2019 to December 2019, were eligible for this program. In light of the colossal positive response that has been received with the introduction of the program Blue Dart is extending the program from 1st January 2020 – 31st March 2020. Blue Dart facilitates its International services to 220 countries and territories worldwide. It also offers Time Definite Express 10.30 and Time Definite Express 12 services which is a door-to-door delivery before 10:30 a.m. and before 12 noon respectively on the next possible business day.

Commenting on the announcement, Ketan Kulkarni, CMO & Head - Business Development, Blue Dart said, “Blue Dart has always focused on going beyond customer satisfaction to ensure customer delight. Our customers are the most important part of our business, we value them and work tirelessly to ensure that we offer the best solution to meet their needs. As part of our continuous effort towards higher engagement and sustaining a strong relationship with our customers, we introduced the First Time Buyer program. Every new customer is presented with a memento, other offers through the year and a dedicated and quick response team to welcome them aboard, reassuring them that they have made the right decision to partner with us for their logistics requirements”.

Blue Dart continues to maintain a strong focus on MSMEs, a segment that is seen as the growth engine of India’s economy. MSMEs contribute to more than 45% to India’s manufacturing sector and more than 30% to the country’s GDP and have grown at more than 10% CAGR in the past 5 years.

Blue Dart with its core competence in being the best and setting the pace in the industry aims to be a Partner of Choice for MSMEs in the country. Blue Dart will extend the First Time Buyer program to MSME customers who sign up between January 2020 to March 2020, for international and domestic services.

Top Trends Driving Technology Innovation Investments in 2020 Revealed by Virtusa

Virtusa Corporation, a global provider of digital strategy, digital engineering, and IT services and solutions that help clients change and disrupt markets through innovation engineering, today announced the findings of detailed research that identifies trends that will drive emerging technology investments in 2020. The third annual Virtusa xLabs’ Trend Almanac details the top ten technology trends that will strategically align with business and technology investments.

The major trends, which Virtusa identified in collaboration with technology and business leaders, focus on the Financial Services, Insurance, and Life Sciences industries. Aligning investments to the most influential technology trends will help businesses to stay competitive and drive growth in 2020 and throughout the new decade.

The full report identifies three overriding themes:

* The democratization of emerging tech, reducing the investment, and skill needed to develop and capitalize on tech across infrastructure, applications, and data.
* The need for transparency, ethical practice, and good governance to balance the manic rush to explore and exploit "The New."
* A change in how companies manage tech-enabled innovation programs, ensuring that tech is seen as a means to drive better commercial outcomes, rather than being an end in itself.

“The Virtusa xLabs’ Trend Almanac exposes the new business imperatives that business and technology leaders need to invest in to remain competitive,” said Senthil Ravindran, EVP and global head of cloud transformation and digital innovation, Virtusa.  “Digital transformation demands a new way of thinking and getting a jump start on the trends that will impact customers tomorrow. This Trend Almanac will be a key resource in helping businesses do just that.”

The top ten trends include:

Open Banking Goes Global: Open Banking is starting to become a global movement. To date, actual regulations and market changes have only occurred in Europe, even though, as a topic it has been on everybody's tongue. But the move by Australian regulators to implement substantial regulatory reforms this year, giving consumers greater control of their data, signals the paradigm shift to the API economy is well underway. We explore this trend and classify the current approaches to Open Banking across the world.

No Child's Play in the Sandbox. A new breed of regulatory sandbox is making waves. Thematic regulatory sandboxes are credited with taking a more focused approach to sandbox design, where the policy objectives, as well as the problems tackled by the sandbox, are clearly defined. This appeals to regulators as much as fintechs and big firms, who are looking to build engagement and accelerate promising innovations to markets in a controlled and safe environment.

Value Over Volume in Healthcare. Healthcare systems around the world are sinking under the weight of escalating costs. However, there are positive signs that a transition is underway from the reigning fee-for-service delivery model, which has contributed to the cost overhang in many countries, towards the value-based care model. Regulatory and technology forces are key factors that are driving this shift. In 2020, we believe this pivot to value-based care will gain further momentum.

Shop Now, Pay Later. Point of sale finance is getting red hot. In recent years, digital startup lenders have carved up the segment, leveraging the latest tech to introduce installment loans to the millennial market, but also thinking outside the box by devising new business models. Consumers are on board, as are retailers. Meanwhile, banks have mostly been onlookers, having decided not to develop their own customer-facing solutions. In 2020, we think banks will get into the game.

The End of All Disease? CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a breakthrough technology lauded for its extraordinary precision and ease of use. Since Doudna and Charpentier’s landmark paper was published in 2012, there has been a flurry of research activity and much progress as well as media interest in the field. CRISPR is now poised to move into the next phase in the journey from lab to market.

From Factory to App: Automobiles Take a New Route. Consumer adoption of “mobility as a service” (MaaS) is challenging the auto manufacturers' traditional approach to "mobility as an asset." Tech-enabled innovations, such as ride-sharing, last-mile micro-mobility solutions, and the rise of autonomous cars as a utility, are driving the growing popularity of MaaS offerings. In 2020, auto manufacturers will join this trend by creating new propositions around MaaS.

Ready, Set, Quantum! After decades in the wilderness, quantum computing is finally hitting its stride. Instead of being held back by hardware hurdles, in a surprising twist, enterprises have been powering ahead with innovations on “near- term” quantum machines. No longer is this esoteric field the domain of researchers alone, it is now being addressed by a broader set of players, helped along by greater access to tools and collaborations.

Corporate Innovation Hubs Grow Up. The reputation of corporate innovation hubs has taken a hit in recent years, causing businesses to rethink their operating model. This year, there will be a greater focus on empowering a network of affiliate labs in a federated model, which will enable labs to pursue innovation rather than incremental optimizations. With this model, there will be greater alignment between the business unit’s objectives, its funding, and the activities of the innovation program.

Self-Aware Infrastructure. In a digital world run by infrastructure, machine learning is weakening the dependence of human supervision. Progressively, smart infrastructure will be able to self-govern, self- optimize, and self-heal, resulting in highly optimized, fault-tolerant infrastructure. As cloud service providers continue to expand their footprint in the infrastructure market, we will see the first signs of self-aware infrastructure in 2020.

Machine Learning for All. In 2020, we believe there will be more efficient algorithms to automate Machine Learning (AutoML). This will spur the adoption of AutoML at the enterprise level, helping non-tech firms access the capabilities to build ML applications quickly. This democratization of machine learning will also make AI experts and data scientists more productive and advance the field of AI to new frontiers. 

Emirates Celebrates 2020 with Special Fares to Latin America From February 1 to November 30, 2020

Emirates is synonymous with the best travel experience, and with its special fares across all cabin classes to select destinations in Latin America, it gets even better. The 10% discount offer is available from 28th January to 10th February and is valid for travel between 1st February and 30th November.

Whether for globe-trotting adventures, business trips or visiting friends and family, Emirates helps connects passengers to the world’s most exciting global destinations in style. From Buenos Aires’ eclectic neo-European charm to the unrivalled view of the snow-capped Andes mountains, from Santiago to the sun-kissed shores of São Paulo, Emirates brings the best of South America closer to travellers from India.

Those travelling to Rio de Janeiro in early 2020 will also get the chance to experience the city’s world-famous Carnival celebration – the world’s largest festive celebration of its kind that attracts over 5 million people annually. Explore Rio’s dramatic landscapes that offer epic hiking opportunities or go for a seaside cycling trail alongside Rio’s picturesque seaside. Visit the city centre to check out Insta-worthy colourful graffitti.

Emirates’ latest route Mexico is also part of this new offer – allowing more travellers to experience a culturally rich country that is also the cradle of ancient Aztec civilization. Museum hopping in Mexico is a must do for tourists, one of the most famous one being the Frida Kahlo House. Apart from the rich heritage, visiting local markets are a great way to mingle with like-minded locals and sample local delicacies like Carnitas, Quesadillas and Pambazos.

The discount is available for all Emirates flights from India to Rio de Janeiro (GIG), Buenos Aires (EZE), São Paulo (GRU), Santiago de Chile (SCL) as well as the newly added Mexico City (MEX) route. An all-inclusive return ticket for Economy Class starts at 85,007, Business Class at 290,852 and First Class at 658,076. Travellers must book on, where they will also find a list of the terms and conditions.

Emirates currently operates to and from nine airports in India – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram – with 170 weekly services. From Dubai, Emirates connects passengers to 159 global destinations in 85 countries and territories, spanning six continents.

As an airline renowned for providing its passengers with an exceptional flying experience, Emirates allows customers travelling in all classes to enjoy regionally inspired cuisine, more than 4,500 entertainment channels on ice – the airline’s award-winning inflight entertainment system – and up to 20MB complimentary Wi-Fi to stay connected with friends and family during the flight.

Trend Micro Furthers its Patent Protection by Joining Industry Group Committed to Fight Patent Infringement

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, today announced it has joined non-profit community LOT Network in a bid to combat the growing threat posed to its business and its customers by patent assertion entities (PAEs).

Often described as “patent trolls,” PAEs are companies that don’t make any products but instead seek royalties by asserting its patents against those who do make products.

“Trend Micro has been able to offer industry leading protection for its global customers for over three decades thanks in a large part to the skill and expertise of its R&D team and the high quality of its intellectual property,” said Felix Sterling, chief legal officer for Trend Micro. “By joining LOT Network today we’re taking a united stand against the patent trolls, and passing on the protections we get through our membership to our customers. Their lawsuits drain tens of billions from the global economy and distract innovative companies like Trend Micro from the important task of serving their customers.”

Although PAE-driven lawsuits have been a problem for decades, they’ve soared in volume by 500% over the past 10 years. Even though fewer than 1% of defendants in these cases are eventually found to have infringed a valid patent, over 80% choose to settle before trial to save prohibitive legal costs.

This has a real impact on innovation: firms forced to pay PAEs are estimated to spend $211 million less on R&D.

LOT Network was founded in 2014 as a non-profit community of companies that have decided to take a stand against PAEs. Members agree that if and only if a member’s assets fall into the hands of a patent troll, they will grant a license to all other members -- thus rendering them immune from PAE litigation using those assets. All traditional uses of patents, such as selling them or using them to sue other companies, are retained.

The community now has over 500 members, including some of the world’s biggest tech companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Cisco.

Trend Micro’s patents are an essential part of its success, protecting intellectual property that is the cornerstone of innovative products and platforms such as Cloud One, XDR and Apex One.

Together, these innovative solutions help to protect over half a million public and private sector organizations and more than 250 million endpoints across the globe.

Accenture, Google Cloud to Help Life Sciences Companies Discover, Develop and Delivery of Innovative Therapies

Accenture and Google Cloud has announced that Google Cloud will be the cloud technology provider for Accenture’s INTIENT life sciences industry platform.

The new, multi-year agreement brings Google’s cloud and artificial intelligence capabilities together with Accenture’s life sciences services and platforms and is intended to help life sciences organizations make their data more accessible, secure and valuable.

The INTIENT platform provides life sciences organizations with end-to-end capabilities from discovery and research to clinical development and the delivery of treatments. Accenture launched INTIENT in May 2019, building on more than seven years of collaboration with over 25 life sciences companies to develop and deploy platform technology solutions.

“INTIENT will advance Accenture’s and Google Cloud’s shared mission to empower life sciences organizations with intelligent solutions that help bring innovative treatments to patients around the world, with greater speed, safety, and efficacy,” said Simon Eaves, group chief executive of Products at Accenture. “Together, we can deliver exceptional value to clients at a rapid pace.”

Google Cloud’s architecture supports open source technology that will enable Accenture to expand the capabilities of INTIENT by allowing partners, independent software vendors, and content providers to rapidly develop and provide additional solutions that extend the value of the platform.

Tariq Shaukat, president at Google Cloud, said, “We’re excited to partner with Accenture to transform the life sciences industry with cloud technologies. Our shared goal is to accelerate developments in treatments by leveraging powerful Google Cloud capabilities, such as AI and data analytics, to gain insights that correlate symptoms, events, and treatments in new and unexpected ways.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Google Cloud will be the cloud technology provider for current and future solutions that are a part of the Accenture INTIENT platform for life sciences. The agreement is an extension of the partnership between Accenture and Google built over the last eight years. A key milestone in the relationship was the July 2018 launch of the Accenture Google Cloud Business Group, which helps companies use Google Cloud technology to deliver superior customer experiences and accelerate their digital transformation journeys.

Tata Global Beverages Unveils New ‘Tata Tea Export Portfolio’

Tata Global Beverages Ltd, the world’s 2nd largest tea company and brand owners of Tata Tea and Tetley Tea, is pleased to announce the launch of ‘Tata Tea Export Portfolio’ consisting of Tata Tea Gold & Tata Tea Premium, aimed at the South Asian diaspora living in the UK and Europe.

The range has our two popular Tea brands in India:

1.       Tata Tea Gold: Rich Taste & Irresistible Aroma – A blend of CTC teas with 15% long leaves
2.       Tata Tea Premium: A unique blend of big & small CTC leaves - which gives Tata Tea Premium its unique taste & strength

These brands are packed at our 100% EOU (Export Oriented Unit) factory in India and are fully compliant as per regulatory requirements in the UK & Europe.

Speaking about the launch, Sushant Dash, President - India and Middle East, Tata Global Beverages said “We are excited to launch our iconic Indian brand Tata Tea in the UK and Europe. This launch will ensure our Tata Tea brands are made available consistently to consumers around the world. We hope these brands will delight consumers in these markets just as they have done in India.”

Omar Kidwai, head of Tata Tea Global exports expressed his excitement and pleasure in launching the Tata tea products in the UK & European markets.

Discovery Signs Superstar Rajinikanth for the First Episode of ‘Into The Wild with Bear Grylls’

Discovery, after featuring PM Modi in the first episode of Man Vs Wild, which was shot in India, has now signed Superstar Rajinikanth, to feature in the first episode of a new format series called ‘Into The Wild with Bear Grylls’ produced by The Natural Studios and Banijay Asia. The show marks the television debut for Rajinikanth, admiringly addressed as Thailavia, who has gained a cult status for being a Humane Superstar – simple, humble, generously loved – and adored by millions for more than four decades.  Rajinikanth will join world's most recognizable face of survival and outdoor adventure, Bear Grylls.

Into The Wild with Bear Grylls is an innovative new format inspired by Man Vs Wild, which is one of the most watched wilderness survival television series in the world. Last year, ‘Man Vs Wild with Bear Grylls & PM Modi’ episode disrupted the Indian media landscape, establishing itself as the TV event of the year. Beyond Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bear Grylls has also hosted prominent celebrities in the past such as then sitting American President Barack Obama, Kate Winslet, Roger Federer, Julia Roberts and many more.

“Into The Wild is a truly unique show – at one level it offers adrenaline pumping action, while at another, the show lends itself beautifully to driving a specific purpose for the larger good of society. So, when, officials from Discovery, a brand globally respected for offering inspiring real-life entertainment, approached me, I agreed to finally make my debut on TV after more than four decades of Cinema. Kavithalayaa, the iconic Production house founded by my guru, K. Balachander also played a significant role,” said, Rajinikanth. “Bear Grylls has tested the survival skills of multiple celebrity guests, pushing them to their limits; I look forward to the survival challenge in the mesmerizing wilderness of India.”

Talking about raising awareness about water conservation, Rajinikanth, said, “Every Indian will need to come forward and contribute in conserving water; this war has to be led at all levels including government, community as well as on the individual front. I believe this show on Discovery is a perfect platform to take the message of conserving water to every home across the country.”

“Our team is all very excited to work closely with Thalaiva! Much more than a cine star, Rajinikanth is a phenomenon who has captivated audiences across the world with his on-screen and off-screen work,” said, Bear Grylls. “He has always shown such energy and flair in all he does and he will need that courage and determination again on our journey into the beautiful wilds of India.”

“The combination of Rajinikanth in a never seen before avatar and Bear Grylls’ edge of the seat challenges, will make the show a must watch for every Indian,” said, Megha Tata, Managing Director – South Asia, Discovery. “We have decided to give a layer of purpose to each episode of the newly commissioned series, Into The Wild with Bear Grylls, as we aim to contribute to humanity in our unique way. Last year, the show featuring PM Modi, generated much desired attention on conservation of Wildlife; we are confident that the forthcoming episode featuring Rajinikanth will sensitize each one of us about conservation of water.”

Into The Wild with Bear Grylls is produced for Discovery Communications India by The Natural Studios and Banijay Asia, where Bear Grylls, Delbert Shoopman and Deepak Dhar are Executive Producers.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Tata Motors Ushers in a New Wave of e-Mobility in India, Launches the Nexon EV at Rs 13.99 Lakhs

Redefining the evolution of EVs in India, Tata Motors has announced the launch of India’s Own Electric SUV – the Nexon EV at an introductory price starting from INR 13.99 Lakhs (Ex- Showroom – All India). It is 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 zippy performance, an ARAI certified anxiety-free range of 312 km on a single charge, an efficient high voltage system, fast charging capability, extended battery life and class leading safety features. The Nexon EV will be available in three trim levels across 60 authorized dealerships in 22 cities. It will be available in three exciting colour options – Signature Teal Blue colour, Moonlit Silver and Glacier White.

In order to accelerate the adoption of EVs in India, Tata Motors is closely working with other Tata Group companies including Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Autocomp, Tata Motors Finance and Croma, to create an e-mobility ecosystem, Tata uniEVerse.

Commenting at the launch, Tata Sons Group Chairman, N Chandrasekaran said, “E-Mobility is an irreversible mega-trend and an imperative for addressing pollution and generating job opportunities in India. Through Tata uniEVerse, our Group companies have synchronized their efforts to develop a holistic e-mobility ecosystem to accelerate the adoption of EVs in India. I am delighted that this ecosystem has come together with the launch of Tata Nexon EV, a path breaking electric SUV that can match the aspirations of mainstream Indian customers.”

Powered by Tata uniEVerse, consumers will have access to a suite of e-mobility offerings including charging solutions, innovative retail experiences and easy financing options. Tata Motors has partnered with Tata Power to provide end-to-end charging solutions at home, workplace and for captive and public charging. To develop the component supplier ecosystem, Tata Motors is collaborating with Tata Chemicals, which is working on manufacturing lithium-ion battery cells, exploring active chemicals manufacturing and battery recycling. The auto major is also working with Tata Autocomp for the localisation of battery pack assembly and motor assembly. As an extension to the consumer’s digital lifestyle, Tata Motors has partnered with Croma to provide a digital retail experience to its customers. The last piece of the solution involves introduction of affordable financing solutions for both personal and fleet segments, which will be provided by Tata Motors Finance.

Announcing the launch of Nexon EV, Mr. Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors Ltd. said, “After 16 months of strenuous effort, we are delighted to launch India’s Own Electric SUV, the Nexon EV. This high performance, connected vehicle is uniquely suited to address the aspirations of Indian customers, and making EVs mainstream. We are confident that this game changing product will further reinforce our commitment towards developing sustainable and responsible mobility solutions for India.”

Tata Motors is offering a hassle free ownership experience with a customized sales and service solution:

* Experience an immersive, visual experience of Nexon EV at select Croma stores in Mumbai, Delhi & Bengaluru
* Engage with the in-house trained EV product specialists across dealerships and Croma stores
* Avail doorstep service for both scheduled and corrective maintenance requirements to minimize the need for workshop visits
* 24x7 roadside & emergency assistance services along with the 24x7 call centre support will ensure round-the-clock support for any unforeseen or emergency service requirement

To know more about the Nexon EV or to book a test drive, customers can visit or follow social handles across:
Twitter -,
Facebook – Instagram –

Career in IT with Dual Degree in Computer Science from IIIT-B, Liverpool John Moores University

Leading online education company upGrad has taken up a significant initiative by launching a one-of-a-kind dual degree program in Computer Science. The program has been launched as a joint flagship initiative with IIIT-Bangalore and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), UK.

Owing to the evolution of the IT industry and emergence of new-age technology like Blockchain, AI, and Software programming, upGrad has launched this program with the purpose of upskilling working professionals for future careers in IT.

The 18-month dual-degree program enables learners to choose their specialization between two base PG diplomas- Full Stack Development or Blockchain Specialization. This program is an ideal fit for professionals looking to upskill in software development, website design, front end and backend development, dynamic programming, etc.

With this course, upGrad creates another significant milestone in the age of technological innovations, whilst bridging the skill gap in India and providing an array of career opportunities. Moreover, learners have the liberty to choose their specialization after building their foundation and programming basics for the first 6 months, and obtaining insights from industry experts from IBM, DCB Bank to decide the best fit for their profile.

Post completion of the program learners can pursue a Masters in Research with LJMU and graduate with dual credentials: M.Sc. and a specialized PG Diploma. The placement cell assures a minimum of three job interviews and job placement assistance with leading tech firms.

In each specialization, there are several job opportunities available including Full-Stack Developer, Backend/ Frontend Developer, Blockchain Developer, Ethereum Developer, Hyperledger Developer, Solidity Developer, and Javascript Developer.

This is the company’s second partnership with Liverpool John Moores University. Established in 1823, LJMU is rated among the top 20 engineering schools in the UK. The university is one of the largest, most dynamic, and forward-thinking institutes.

About upGrad:

Founded in early 2015, upGrad offers online programs for working professionals. In a short span of around 5 years, upGrad on-boarded over 21.5K paid learners and impacted more than 370K individuals globally, making it India’s largest online higher-education company, basis gross revenue generated from the Indian market in FY18-19.

upGrad provides programs in the areas of Data Science, Technology, Management and MBA to college students, working-class and enterprises. These programs are designed and delivered in collaboration with top-notch universities like IIT Madras, IIIT-B, BITS Pilani, MICA, NMIMS Global Access, Duke CE, Liverpool John Moores University and others. To further enhance the learning experience, a comprehensive ecosystem has been built which includes one-on-one mentoring, peer-to-peer learning, industry networking and most importantly expert career guidance providing learners holistic support to elevate their careers to the next level.

The company has been awarded the title of ‘Best Tech for Education’ by IAMAI in 2019. The company received the ‘Best Education Brands’ award by Economic Times and has made it to LinkedIn’s ‘Top 25 Startups’ two years in a row in 2018 and 2019.

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