Friday, March 6, 2020

Expert View: Step by Step Guide to Clear Competitive Exams


By Akhand Swaroop Pandit, Educationist, CEO & Founder, Catalyst Group, Online Learning Platform

The initial move towards your groundwork for any competitive exam is to comprehend the pre-requirements of the exam. You should also well-rehearsed with the syllabus (you get that easily on the Internet). Other than the syllabus, you should make a note of the weightage of various subjects so that you can plan your preparations like wise. Looking over previous years' question papers assists in getting well acquainted with the exam pattern.

Here are six steps that you can follow to prepare for any competitive exam:

1) Understanding the syllabus: First thing first, you should always put all your mind and heart in understanding the syllabus of the exam and the level of questions asked. It is very important for you to understand “what to prepare”.

2) Preparing a time table: After you have decided on “what to prepare” it is your turn to plan “how to prepare”. Prepare a time table including your short term and long term goals; this in turn will help you in timely preparation for the exam. A good time table is most likely to help you in better preparation and avoids haphazardness.

3) Study Smartly: Working hard is always important but smart study never goes out of fashion. Going through previous years question papers gives you an edge and also you can analyze the kind of questions being asked, including heavy weightage topic. Your major focus should be on qualitative studying rather than quantitative studying.

4) Revise regularly: Every candidate should have a regular revision strategy in handy. It takes at least four times of regular revision to actually remember something for long term. Whatever you study should be revised on the third day then on the sixth day then on twelfth day and after than on twenty first day. A good revision cycle is definitely going to help you ace the exam.

5) Take Breaks: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, as rightly emphasized by the proverb, it is equally important to take breaks. Rather than studying for long durations divided your slots and take a break in between, go out for a walk, take a nap or just listen you’re your favorite track.

6) Keep yourself motivated:  The last and the most important thing is to keep yourself motivated. Motivation to achieve your goal is the key to success. If you are preparing for any exam and if you lack motivation then even a single failure is going to affect you badly. To qualify any exam we should have a strong desire to clear it and it should be maintained on a regular basis.
Belief' is a very powerful tool. You must believe in yourself and your preparation. Ensure that you study the same way throughout the year, to avoid last minute rush and stress. Spend 10-15 minutes before going off to sleep to quickly recap all that you learnt throughout the day.

Also,a bit of physical activity and meditation helps to improve concentration. Do not take stress throughout the entire preparation time and stay away from stressful people. Each and every moment you must tell yourself “I Can, I Will" and trust me you will do it!

PVR Expands its Presence in Karnataka; Opens 12th Property in Bengaluru


PVR Cinemas, the largest and the most premium film exhibition company in India, announced the launch of its 5-screen multiplex in OMR Bangalore at Orion Uptown Mall, today. The property boosts the concept of neighborhood movie viewing in an endeavor to take world class cinema to the doorstep of the patrons. The BARCORGB+ Laser projectorsmake a debutin the state of Karnataka with this opening. Equipped with technological excellence andcoupled with best-in-segment F&B offerings and hospitality services the new multiplexmakes enhanced movie-viewing experienceeasily accessible to the audiences located in the periphery of Bengaluru. With this launch, PVR augments its presence in the state of Karnatakaacross 15properties to 103 screens and to46 properties and 286 screens in Southern India.

With this opening, PVR consolidates its growth momentum in FY 2019-20, so far opening 83 screens in the year, bringing its portfolio to 841 screens at 176 properties in 71 cities.

Located in the popular and fast developing residential suburb ofOld Madras Road, the property is well-connected to the city and the neighboringstate of Tamil Nadu. The new cinema spreads across an area of 22,906 sq. ft.with a seating capacity of 876 audiences. Integrated with advanced technological features like BARCO RGB+ Laser projectors, QSC 7.1 surround sound system, UHB 3D system and Harkness Silver &Perlux White screens, the new cinema ensuresunparalleled cinematic experience at the theatres.

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR Ltd. said,“We feel proud to cross the 100 screens milestone in the state of Karnataka at the verybeginning of the year. Southern India has a strong market with significant growth potential. In Bengaluru, we have introduced some of our best formats and offerings owing to the nature of preferences by our customers. This property is integrated with differentiated features making cinema viewing accessible, engaging and convenient. We are sure this new multiplex will be well received by our patrons and we look forward to witnessing their excitement for the new RGB+ Laser equipped theaters.”

“We are happy to introduce the new property which is integrated with the best-in-segment in-theatrical solutions to the patrons in Bangalore. The endeavor was to take the modern cinema viewing experience to more people and the property stands true to the commitment owing to its convenient location. We will continue to enhance the consumer experience through innovation and set new benchmarks in the Indian multiplex industry.”said Mr. Pramod Arora, Chief Growth and Strategy Officer, PVR Ltd.

Designed around the concept of modernity, the new cinema enhances customer experience through Quick tix facility, delectable Gourmet menu and recliner seats. Customers can further redeem PVR gift cards and check for privilege membership at the cinema.

Tinder Pledges Upto $1 Million in Free In-App Ads to Women Entrepreneurs in India


Tinder, the world’s most popular app for meeting new people, is pledging up to $1 Million in in-app advertising to support women/anyone who identifies as women entrepreneurs in India.

Tinder is inviting applications from companies where at least 50 percent of the founding team are women or identify as women. To qualify, companies should be under 3 years old, have cumulatively raised less than INR 35 crores in equity financing, and actively target Gen-Z and millennial audiences in India. Both for-profit and not-for-profit entities may apply. Entries will be accepted on a first come first serve basis for up to 25 startups, subject to meeting all eligibility criteria, and applications will close on the 31st of March 2020. Only the first 500 applications will be considered.

Over 90% of Tinder’s community is between the ages of 18-30, and for any women-owned business aimed at that cohort, the ads are intended to support their business, grow their network and help them speak directly to potential consumers. All applicants will be screened by an all-woman panel of Tinder execs in their sole discretion, and all decisions are final.

At Tinder, equal opportunity and inclusivity are core values and we recognize its impact on communities and businesses. Tinder believes in amplifying women’s voices, and the initiative is designed to empower women entrepreneurs, giving them a platform to reach their audiences, raise awareness and generate relevant leads.

Tinder believes change is necessary and knows that real change—the kind that endures—must come from within. In 2018 Tinder partnered with an outside firm to do a comprehensive pay equity audit to make sure that there weren’t disparities at Tinder. All statistical evidence indicates that Tinder has achieved pay equity, and they remain committed to maintaining leadership in this space.

“We are proud to have women driving growth within the organisation across various functions including management, product engineering, and design. We remain committed to our promise of opening doors for women around the world and this initiative is another step in this direction” said Taru Kapoor, GM, Tinder and Match Group, India.

How it works:

Sign up through this application form. You can also access this form through Tinder India’s Instagram handle @tinder_india. Applications are evaluated on need, brand fit, and relevance to Gen Z and millennial audiences.
If you have been selected or should Tinder need additional information, Tinder will reach out to you via email in 2-14 business days.
Once you receive an email confirmation, you will be asked to provide marketing materials and copy for your ad. Ads are subject to Tinder’s guidelines, restrictions, and formatting requirements.

About Tinder

Tinder was introduced on a college campus in 2012 and is the world’s most popular app for meeting new people. It has been downloaded more than 340 million times and is available in 190 countries and 40+ languages. As of Q3 2019, Tinder had nearly 5.7 million subscribers and was the highest grossing non-gaming app globally.

Manipal Hospitals Bangalore Organizes “The Power of Her” Event On International Women’s Day


Ahead of International Women’s Day, Manipal Hospitals Bangalore honored 10 incredible women for their courage and grit to combat their medical illnesses.  To celebrate the spirit of womanhood and appreciate their strength and unwavering willpower displayed to overcome deadly diseases, these brave women were honored with the title of “Woman of Victory” to acknowledge their fighting spirit. Ms. Rachna Singh, renowned author who is best known for her debut best-seller ‘Dating, Diapers and Denial’ was the guest of honor for the occasion.

Each of these incredible women shared several heartwarming stories of struggle and bravery. The case of Ms. Jumana Hozef Chinikamwala, a 46-year-old entrepreneur was a great example of fighting the Big C with a positive attitude. When she was detected with breast cancer 3.5 years ago, Dr. Shabber Zaveri, Consultant – Surgical Oncology,-Manipal Hospitals Old Airport Road Bangalore, explained the disease and gave her the confidence she needed. Determined to fight the deadly disease and with a positive outlook, she overcame the condition and started work on third day post the surgery. She feels that women are quite strong to overcome any difficulties in life with inner strength & willpower.

Ms. Gayathri Rao had spine issues termed Thoracic scoliosis, due to which she was unable to walk properly. She underwent Scoliosis corrective surgery at Manipal Hospitals Bangalore under the consultancy of Dr. Vidyadhara S - HOD & Consultant Spine Surgeon - Spine Care, Manipal Hospitals Old Airport Road Bangalore.

Ms. Sridevi Krishnamurthy was diagnosed with colon rectal carcinoma or peritoneal cancer- stage 4, on March 2019. With the help of Dr. Ashwin Rajagopal, Consultant - Surgical Oncologist and Dr. Amit Rauthan - Consultant, Cancer Care, Manipal Hospitals Old Airport Road Bangalore, she underwent an 11-hour surgery using novel technology HIPEC for cancer cure. In less than a year, she continued her journey as a survivor with maintenance medication.

Ms. Abantika Baidya was having a problem with her second pregnancy, with a morbidly adherent placenta. She was in complete bed rest due to the tendency of bleeding. Dr. Gayathri Karthik Nagesh - Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Manipal Hospitals Old Airport Road Bangalore suggested a Caesarean section with hysterectomy and part of the urinary bladder to be removed with premature delivery. The final decision was to go for caesarean section with premature delivery.

Ms. Sunitha Atinus was admitted at Manipal Hospitals after a road traffic accident. Multiple facial injuries and fractures were fixed by the efficient team of doctors under Dr. Srikanth V, Consultant - Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery, Manipal Hospitals Old Airport Road Bangalore, Dr. Ashok B.C, Consultant - Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery, Manipal Hospitals Old Airport Road Bangalore, Dr. Anantheswar Y. N, Consultant - Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery, Manipal Hospitals Old Airport Road Bangalore and was taken good care by the nursing team. She recovered with best possible face in two months. She had around 27 surgeries and procedures in total until January 2014.

Ms. Jessica, a 50-year-old entrepreneur was fighting multiple severe health issues due to obesity. Even after innumerable tries, she could not overcome the issue due to her hormonal changes. Dr. Mohit P Shetti, Consultant – Gastroenterologist, Manipal Hospitals, Old Aiport Road, Bangalore advised her to undergo Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) which was a safe, non-surgical, minimally invasive, endoscopic procedure for her weight loss and after a tough long life, she managed to take control back into her hands.

Ms. Lipika Phani now counsel’s cancer patients, after fighting her own battle with fallopian tube cancer treated by Dr. Poonam Patil, Consultant – Medical Oncology, Manipal Hospitals, Old Aiport Road, Bangalore.

Mrs. Pushpa Sevenraj went back to being a loving mother after her liver transplant, Donor was her son Mr. Bharath Raj and the treating doctor was Dr. Ravichand C Siddachari, Consultant HPB, Organ Transplant, Liver Transplant Surgery, Manipal Hospitals, Old Airport Road, Bangalore.

Ms. Shibani Choudhury went back to her job and active lifestyle after 3 heart attacks. Dr. Prof Ranjan Shetty, HOD & Consultant – Interventional Cardiologist, Cardiology, Manipal Hospitals, Old Aiport Road, Bangalore who performed angioplasty. After angioplasty, it was seen 95% blockage in heart. Later, doctor placed a stent. Although, she has fully recovered, it took longer time to get over her emotional saga.

Ms. Pooja Bajaj, who began riding a bike at the age of 15, always had a passion for the wheels, until a recent accident of a broken collarbone posed as a roadblock and she did not let it stop her from getting back on her beloved bike. Dr. Hemant K Kalyan, Consultant – Orthopaedic  Surgery, Manipal Hospitals, Old Aiport Road, Bangalore gave her a new lease of life.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman Manipal Hospitals “It is a proud moment for Manipal Hospitals to honour these “Woman of Victory” who have overcome their illness with much strength and will power.  We are happy to have touched so many lives as and are committed to offering best clinical outcomes. On this International Women’s day, salute the brave hearts who are an inspiration to people."

Limelight Expands Content Delivery Capacity to Support Increasing Demand for Online Content


Limelight Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: LLNW), a leading provider of edge cloud services, today announced it has increased its network egress capacity more than 70 percent in the last year to support the growth of online traffic and the needs of customers worldwide. Limelight has added this global capacity in an environmentally sensitive manner, setting a new standard for more energy efficient content delivery solutions.

Since January 2019, Limelight has increased egress capacity to over 70 terabits per second with 130 points-of-presence (PoPs) across the globe. Limelight’s expansion, along with the Ericsson Edge Gravity initiative, added new content delivery capabilities in service provider networks in 19 locations across 8 countries: Thailand, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Australia, Turkey and Malaysia.

Over the last year, efficiency has consistently improved through the use of software innovation and new server technology. Limelight’s new next generation servers, for example, increase the average amount of data delivered per unit of power (megabits per second per watt) by almost 80 percent, providing increased capacity and reliability for customers.

In addition to efficiency gains, Limelight saw online traffic increase by almost 50 percent in the last year. This strong demand was primarily due to Limelight’s significant involvement in several live and on-demand OTT launches by some of the largest media companies in the world. These companies rely on Limelight as a trusted partner based on network performance, global scale, and customer support.

“We’re delivering record online traffic and performance levels while expanding in an environmentally responsible way,” said Ersin Galioglu, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Limelight. “With many major media companies launching OTT offerings, we’re adding capacity globally as efficiently as possible to meet the growing demand.”

Advisory on Coronavirus to Coworking Spaces from Qdesq


With the spike in novel Coronavirus cases in India, Qdesq would like to share some tips to safeguard your occupants. It is essential to first understand how the disease could spread. COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally must be within six feet of someone who is contagious.

Although the fatality rate of the virus is 3.4%, it is still quite important to take all necessary precautions.

How to prevent the Spread of Novel Coronavirus in your Workspace

Advise Sick Individuals to Rest at Home

People witnessing symptoms like - flu, mild cold or cough, body-ache should stay at home and avoid public spaces.

Tie up with a Hospital

Take the initiative of associating with a hospital to access immediate medical treatment and other facilities for suspected COVID-19 cases

Sanitize your Workspace

Shut down the office for a day or two and deep sanitize each corner of the workspace.

Keep Sanitizer in Each Room

Provide sanitizer in each room to ensure cleanliness.

Provide Factual Information

Due to the current scenario, myths are all over social media platforms. Hence, providing the factual information should be a priority.

Distribute Masks

Last but not least, the providers should take the initiative of distributing masks to prevent the spread of the disease.

Please stick to the valid sources of information such as WHO to avoid any sort of panic.

Outbreak such as Coronavirus brings in the need for corporates to plan a contingency strategy around office space and ensuring uninterrupted work flow. Work from home is clearly no solution. The solution is to work near home in safe and compliant serviced or a flex office. Contact Qdesq for advise on best BCP strategy or drop a line at bcp@qdesq.com.

Qdesq is India’s largest tech-enabled flexible space platform having 2800+ Properties listed Pan-India.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Aeternity Starfleet Program Propels Blockchain Adoption In India


AE Ventures, a blockchain investment company that launched the √¶ternity Starfleet India program earlier last year, has registered over 170+ early-stage startups for the first edition of the √¶ternity’s Global Starfleet Program in India. Over 50% of the registered startups are businesses with traction/users/revenue that are willing to implement blockchain for the very first time through √¶ternity, leading to an acceleration in blockchain adoption amongst enterprises across sectors. Indian businesses are now increasingly open to exploring and implementing blockchain as a technology. With the business benefits of blockchain becoming evident to enterprises through strong used cases in the market, a sizable share of the businesses are increasingly implementing blockchain in their projects now.

While still, in its nascent stage, India’s blockchain market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 37% till 2024 according to a report by Invest India. Blockchain’s transformational potential in India has been recognized by enterprises across sectors in India. The Fintech sector recorded the most affinity to adopting blockchain used-case from the registered start-ups, comprising of over 14% of the registered start-ups, followed by the Healthcare sector with 13% and Agritech with 10% of the registered start-ups. Blockchain-based used cases in social media marketing, public sector, and renewable energy are also garnering considerable interest in the Starfleet India program.

The FinTech sector has seen the highest adoption, despite the cautious regulatory approach in India. A conducive regulatory and government procurement policy environment, will accelerate startup growth and drive blockchain implementation not only in the BFSI sector but across other sectors as well.

Nikola Stojanow, the CEO of AE Ventures said, “We are very excited to see this trend among companies that haven’t implemented blockchain, showing affinity towards exploring this technology when a strong used case is available. This is an example of the increased awareness that has helped the blockchain ecosystem and we are happy to be a part of the journey that busts any myths about blockchain and helps increase its adoption across India. We look forward to working with the new wave of startups selected for Starfleet India and are very excited to empower India’s blockchain ecosystem.”

As per reports from the Startup India initiative, the Indian startup ecosystem is the third-largest in terms of the number of tech startups following the US and China, and while the ecosystem is thriving, new players often find it difficult to access the correct channels due to a gap in the opportunities to network, receive mentorship and the right platforms to pilot their innovations. Aeternity Global Starfleet program, organized by AE Ventures in partnership with IBC Media - an innovation management company in Bangalore, aims to bridge this gap and provide relevant startups with the necessary impetus in the form of initial capital funding, along with six months of technology support, go-to-market strategy access and help with business development, marketing, and legal affairs.

Raghu Mohan, CEO, IBC Media added, “This change in trend is an example of a more favorable ecosystem in India for blockchain technology to thrive. We are happy to be a part of this changing mindset and truly believe that accelerator programs like Starfleet India are pivotal, in bringing blockchain to more businesses and in helping companies realize that, the capabilities to implement your tech are already available here. Hence, we do not need to make new ones.”

Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund Ties Up with Saraswat Bank

Highlights

* Collaboration to offer mutual fund solutions of Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund through Saraswat Bank’s 280 branches across six states
* Aims at combining synergies to enhance the reach of investing solutions

Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Limited, a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Capital Limited (a significant non-bank financial services’ conglomerate), and investment manager to Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund (ABSLMF) today announced a strategic tie up with the largest, and one of the oldest, Urban Co-operative Banks in India, Saraswat Bank. As per the agreement, Saraswat Bank will now offer the entire bouquet of Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund products at its 280 plus branches across the country.

Commenting on the association, A. Balasubramanian, MD & CEO, Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Limited said, "As one of India’s leading Mutual Fund players, we are constantly on the look-out for opportunities that can help us expand the distribution reach of mutual fund products and enable investors to benefit from our offerings. Saraswat Bank, undoubtedly is one of the prestigious and trusted names in the banking industry. We are confident that the strong network of Saraswat Bank’s branches coupled with Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund’s expertise will further mutual fund penetration in India. Customer focus and product leadership are the key values that create a more common thread between us and we look forward to sustain this trust while building value for our customers.”

ABSLMF has been strengthening its distribution reach and is adopting and maintaining wide range of innovations to cater both to the urban and rural areas of the country. The fund house would be leveraging Saraswat Bank’s robust branch network to reach a wider cross section of the Indian population to provide them investing solutions through its wide range of product offerings.

Speaking on the development, Gautam Thakur, Chairman, Saraswat Bank said “We are delighted to be associated with Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund to offer their mutual fund schemes to our valued customers. At Saraswat Bank, we continue to blend our 100-year legacy with the flexibility and foresight of a contemporary institution, bringing best-in-industry products and services to our customers. This tie-up would go a long way in further strengthening the bond with our customers by offering them investment options in mutual fund schemes of ABSLMF.”

Saraswat Bank has more than 280 branches and 266 ATMs across six states in India – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Delhi. It has correspondent banking relationships across sixty-five countries covering nine currencies.

Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund is focused on expanding the reach and enhancing the appeal of mutual funds across a wider set of investors in India. As part of its strategic focus the fund house aims to strengthen its business across all partner banks along with the new tie-up with Saraswat Bank.

Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.

Hindware Appliances Strengthens its Consumer Appliance Segment with Foray into Ceiling Fans

Somany Home Innovation Limited, makers of ‘Hindware Appliances’ has forayed into the ceiling fans category under its popular brand ‘Hindware Snowcrest’ to further strengthen its presence in the consumer appliances segment.

Aimed at delivering a refreshing new look to homes of today’s discerning consumers, Hindware Snowcrest fans are aesthetically designed, custom crafted for modern Indian homes. The fans are available in a lineup of six models under three categories such as Premium, Decorative and Classic at an introductory price range from INR 1499 to INR 2999 and are available at modern trade outlets and e-commerce portals. The fans are equipped with features such as easy to clean dust resistant blades, aerodynamic blades for even air distribution, optimum air delivery at low voltage amongst others. The fans come with a 2-year warranty and are available in four primary colours chocolate gold, metallic being copper and dark walnut bronze and white metallic silver.

After witnessing acceptability and success owing to disruptive technologies and innovative features in Air Purification and Air-Cooling category, Hindware Appliances is expanding its product portfolio in the air treatment business through Ceiling fans.

Speaking on the launch, Mr. Rakesh Kaul, CEO and Whole Time Director, Somany Home Innovation Limited said, “ Our entry into fans category segment is backed by consumer insights, our wide established distribution channel, R&D and product development to cater to our growing customer base. We have joined hands with the finest manufacturing and design facilities in the country and aim to bring products which are well engineered to deliver optimized performances while retaining competitive cost”.

He further added, “We believe in giving ‘power in the hands’ of consumers, and therefore recently have launched Smart (IoT enabled) kitchen chimney, water purifier and water heater. In due time, we will be bringing internet connectivity to our other range of products”.

The total size of the fan market in India is valued at approximate INR 8000 crore, with 110 million units sold every year. Ceiling fans are a common household appliance and this has resulted in a steady double-digit growth of the segment over the years. The fan market in India consists of ceiling, table, wall, pedestal, exhaust and multi-utility fans. Out of which ceiling fan constitutes 77% of the total share. As per India Electric Fan Market Outlook 2022, the revenue for organized electric fan market is growing with a CAGR of more than 10% as compared to the last five years.

Hindware Appliances is one of the fastest growing consumer products in the country ranging from water heaters and water purifiers to air coolers, air purifiers, extractor fans, and kitchen appliances, which are all relevant in the modern consumer lifestyle of today, with each contributing to make better homes a reality in India. Currently, Somany Home Innovation Limited (SHIL) has a network of over 9,250+ retailers and modern retail outlets, 575+ trade partner network and 200+ distributors. Recently, the company expanded its product category into IoT enabled appliances across water purifiers, water heaters and chimneys.

About Somany Home Innovation Limited (SHIL):

Somany Home Innovation Limited (SHIL) is a leading Home Improvement Solutions company in India. The makers of the ‘Hindware Appliances’, the company is listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The company houses a range of products under Consumer Appliances, Home Retail Solutions and Furniture and Kitchen Fittings business.

SHIL’s focus on R&D activities helps the company to enhance capacity to conceive innovative ideas infused with varying degrees of novelty and this has led the company to apply for over 21 patents since its inception.

Travel with Adequate Precautions - #SafeBusTravel a Corona Virus Customer Safety Awareness Campaign Launched


In an effort to promote awareness as well to expand the safety net around the spread of the coronavirus, AbhiBus.com is offering to hand-deliver to their homes protection grade masks to all those who book tickets on their platforms across the country. In addition to this, AbhiBus will also provide hand sanitizers in a partner bus services.

Bus is preferred mode of travel for 63% travellers in India (according to International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and On average there are 20 million of travellers that use buses to travel from one city to another and are potentially vulnerable towards contracting the virus. However, based on various medical advisories, the virus being non-airborne makes it possible to avoid getting infected if adequate precautions are taken by every individual. These include, but not limited to, wearing of protection grade masks, constantly washing hands, use of hand sanitizers as simple steps towards mitigating the risk amongst others.

While announcing the initiative, Mr. Rohit Sharma, Chief Operating Officer - Abhibus.com said, “Prevention is best case for protection from the spread of this virus which is causing a global pandemonium. Life still needs to go on and if adequate precautions are taken by every individual then the spread of this virus can be avoided. In this context, AbhiBus.com is offering to its customers the free masks so that they become the inspiration for others to get theirs and wear the protection. On our own, we are trying to make the awareness go viral against the deadly virus.”

Further, AbhiBus.com as part of its efforts to spread awareness is providing free hand sanitizers in  the partner buses that it offers the  tickets for, and is  putting up notices in buses on proper techniques to handle personal hygiene so that they can be protected as well as orienting the bus operators and owners towards.

Jaguar Land Rover India has Partnered with Tata Power for End-to-End Charging Solutions



Highlights

* Jaguar Land Rover India has partnered with Tata Power for end-to-end charging solutions for its range of electrified vehicles to be launched in India
* Tata Power will provide full charging solutions to Jaguar Land Rover Retailers and customers, along with the required after-sales support
* The partnership will benefit customers of the upcoming Jaguar I-PACE that will arrive in India in the second half of this year as well as future Jaguar Land Rover Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV)

Jaguar Land Rover India has announced today that it has entered into a partnership with Tata Power to offer end-to-end EV charging solutions. Tata Power will provide charging solutions for Jaguar Land Rover in India, across its retail network of 27 outlets in 24 cities and at customer’s residence and/or office. India’s largest integrated Power Company, Tata Power will be responsible for providing a range of AC and DC chargers, starting from 7 kW to 50 kW capacity. Tata Power will be the preferred partner to facilitate the installation and management of chargers at the designated premises and other after-sales related support services.

Rohit Suri, President & Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover India said:

“The partnership with Tata Power will be a tremendous value addition for Jaguar Land Rover customers as it provides a one-stop solution to their charging needs and also provides easy accessibility to the wide network of public charging infrastructure being set up by Tata Power across India. This tie-up is one step forward in creating the right ecosystem enabling a simple and hassle free charging experience for owners of our first Electric Vehicle, the Jaguar I-PACE, which makes its debut in India later this year.”

Ramesh Subramanyam, CFO & President - New Business, Tata Power Company Limited said:

“Tata Power is delighted to work with Jaguar Land Rover India as an end-to-end EV charging partner. As India’s leading integrated player in the EV charging space, we will provide Jaguar Land Rover India’s EV customers with easy, ubiquitous and seamless charging experience at their Homes, Offices and Public places. This partnership is also an endorsement of their faith in us and our ability to deal with the electrified range of vehicles that Jaguar Land Rover will bring into India.”

About Tata Power

Tata Power is India’s largest integrated power company and, together with its subsidiaries & jointly controlled entities, has an installed capacity of 11,265 MW. A pioneer in the field, it has a presence across the entire power value chain: Generation of renewable as well as conventional power including hydro and thermal energy; transmission & distribution, trading and coal & freight logistics. With renewable energy assets in solar and wind accounting for 30% of the company's portfolio, Tata Power is a leader in clean energy generation. In line with the company's view on sustainable and clean energy development, Tata Power is steering the transformation of utilities to integrated solutions by looking at new business growth in EV charging & storage, distributed generation & rooftops, micro grids and home automation & smart meters.

Tata Power have a network to over 120 charging points across public, captive, residential & corporate segments addressing different charging standards

Jaguar Product Portfolio in India

The Jaguar range in India includes XE (starting at ₹ 44.98 Lakh), XF (starting at ₹ 49.78 Lakh), F-PACE (starting at ₹ 63.78 Lakh), XJ (starting at ₹ 111.30 Lakh) and F-TYPE (starting at ₹ 90.93 Lakh). All prices mentioned are ex-showroom prices in India.

Land Rover Product Portfolio in India

The Land Rover range in India includes the Range Rover Evoque (starting at ₹ 54.94 Lakh),  Discovery Sport (starting at ₹ 57.06 Lakh), the New Defender (starting at ₹ 69.99 Lakh) the Range Rover Velar (priced at ₹ 71.87 Lakh), Discovery (starting at ₹ 75.60 Lakh), Range Rover Sport (starting at ₹ 87.02 Lakh) and Range Rover (starting at ₹ 182.25 Lakh). All prices mentioned are ex-showroom prices in India.

Mindfields Named One of Asia-Pacific’s Leading Service Providers in Automation and Artificial Intelligence


Mindfields, the global Intelligent Automation, and Artificial Intelligence advisory firm today announced that IDC Financial Insights has named it as one of the leading service providers in the recently released IDC Perspective: Six Capabilities from Leading RPA Service Providers That Advance Financial Services Institutions toward Intelligent Automation. The IDC Perspective recognises Mindfields as a leading service provider which has the desired capabilities to offer ready propositions in intelligent automation solutions to the financial services industry in Asia/Pacific.

IDC Financial Insights indicates that institutions which choose an intelligent automation service provider based on six identified capabilities, typically achieve more favorable and long-term results from their automation deployments. The report maps and analyses these six capabilities for eight leading service providers including Mindfields. These capabilities are:

Ability to deliver desired business outcomes
Process identification and optimization
Ability to deliver enterprise wide scale
Security, governance, and post-deployment support as core tenets
Intelligence powered by AI technologies and innovative tools; and
Availability of talent and strong ecosystem support.
Mohit Sharma, Founder and Chairman, Mindfields said, “All of us at Mindfields are enthused to be part of the report and we thank IDC for shortlisting us for this report.  The report is truly an acknowledgment of our steadfast commitment in enabling our clients to Grow for Tomorrow by offering disruptive Intelligent Automation (IA) services. Mindfields has been focused on scaling up the automation journeys of its clients and bringing down the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for automation.”

The IDC report is an important enabler for Financial Services institutions to understand the various nuances in the implementation or scaling of automation solutions. It recognizes the importance of our CoE.exe, MindUni and MindEzy offerings.

Mindfields has been a partner to several leading Financial Services Institutions in the Asia Pacific region on their automation journeys. Mindfields uses a comprehensive approach including the use of RPA, Intelligent Automation, AI and other innovative technologies to deliver business outcomes. Its product portfolio includes a Centre of Excellence platform (CoE.exe), a cloud-based automation management platform (MindEzy), an onshore, offshore or hybrid support offering (MindSupport), Mindfields IP based IA consulting and bot development training programs, which are customized for both graduate and corporate professionals (MindUni) and a finance function automation package (CFO.exe). Mindfields has implemented over 1000 processes and deployed more than 400 robots in production on a global basis.

Mindfields is a pioneer of Automation Advisory Services in the Asia-Pacific region and works with several leading enterprise clients including organisations such as ANZ Bank, ING, Rabo Bank, Equifax, iCare, AMP, CIBC, Pepper Finance, Suncorp, Aus Post, Water Corporation, St John of God Healthcare, Edith Cowan University, Australia Post, Australian Super, Sensis and Seek to assist in their Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation journey.

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 was among the first few on a Global basis and the 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. 

Top 5 Business Apps in India Through Which You Can Take Personal Loans


Thanks to internet the world is digitalized, everything is just a click away and you can buy anything and everything right from the vegetables to any electrical appliances. And sometimes, we all face a shortage of funds in order to purchase these things. Traditional banking involves a lot of paperwork and long and tedious procedures to process loan applications. In the alternate if you land up borrowing money from money lenders then you will get stuck with high rates of interest and almost everytime they would ask for some form of collateral, making the process very dubious. However, today with technological advancements and a fintech revolution we have the immense flexibility of using Apps which provide quick, safe and hassle-free personal loans, sometimes within minutes. We bring to you our analysis of India’s top 5 Apps which provide personal loans:

1.    Bajaj Finserv

Bajaj Finserv offers Personal Loan for financing a wedding to tackling a medical emergency, funding higher education to renovating your home. Instant approval, minimal paperwork, no collateral, disbursal in just 24 hours. The app has 12,000+ partner outlets in over 150 cities with Croma, Vijaya Sales, Hometown, Home Centre, Urban Ladder, Helios, and more, which allow consumers to shop around in any of them.

This app lets you to login using the Aadhar Card, and social media profiles. You can edit the personal details easily on the app. You can share the first 6 digits of your Credit Card to increase the chances of getting an approval. This will also make you eligible for higher loan amounts. The app ensures not to use your Credit Card details for any banking purpose. And no money will be deducted from the card. After disbursal of the loan amount, you can shop across any of the partnered outlets like, HomeTown, HomeStore, Helios, etc.

2.    Indiabulls Dhani Loan App

Indiabulls Dhani supported by Indiabulls Consumer Finance Limited is fastest digital loan fulfillment platform in India, which provides instant loan disbursal. Dhani provides loans from ₹ 1000 to ₹ 15 Lakhs instantly within 3 minutes directly in its customer’s bank account. Loans have tenure beginning from three months and going up to thirty six months. Indiabulls Dhani is the only loan providing company which enables its customers to earn rewards along with their personal loan. You have an opportunity to reduce your EMIs by earning Dhani points which gets converted into cash on every timely monthly installment payment. Indiabulls Dhani has a customer base of more than 2 million people and the company offers higher loan amounts on additional loans availed from Dhani.

3.    PaySense

PaySense, a digital platform to get an online Instant personal loan which has partnered with IIFL, Fullerton and Northern ARC for the disbursal of personal loans.

With this app, you can avail personal loan from ₹ 5000 to ₹ 5 lakh. Based on person’s risk profile loan amount and tenure is decided. Salaried individuals having a salary of ₹ 12,000 per month and self-employed individuals earning ₹ 15,000 per month are eligible to apply for the loan. The KYC documents and bank statements are required to establish your eligibility for the loan. Once documents are approved loan is disbursed within 5 hours. It has presence in 43+ cities

4.    EarlySalary

EarlySalary is an innovative lending platform that changes the way loans in India are taken. It is popular among the young generation because of its easy payback option in easy EMIs. Flexible repayment tenure from 90 to 365 days. No prepayment charges applied, one can pay interest only on the amount used.

To avail of the loan using this app, no credit history is required. Loan ranging from ₹ 5,000 to ₹ 2 lakh can be availed using this app. Cash is transferred to your bank account in minutes. For EMI purchase, this app can be utilized at Amazon, Flipkart, and Big Bazaar.

5.    LoanTap

LoanTap uses cutting edge technology to deliver fastest loans online.  It provides loans in the category of two-wheeler loans, flexible personal loans, lifestyle and celebration loans, home loans and lower instalment loans. Repayment options of the app include accelerated payment options and bullet repayment to the principal outstanding. They provide customized loans to the customer according to their need.

LoanTap offers EMI Free Loan between ₹ 1 Lakh to ₹ 10 Lakh. However, the final loan amount is decided basis one’s eligibility and credit checks. The loan tenure is from 6 months to 5 Years. The process of applying for the loan is simple and requires minimal documentation.

ACT Fibernet to Provide ‘ACT Stream TV 4K’ Device on Rental Model to all Customers


Amazon Prime video, Netflix add to bill and other new features now available on upgraded ACT Stream TV 4K. Special promotion provides 100+ Live TV channels complimentary.

ACT Fibernet, one of India’s largest wired ISPs (Internet Service Provider), today announced roll out of its upgraded media streaming device – ACT Stream TV 4K to all its customers, on a device rental model starting as low as INR 200 + Taxes per month. Earlier ACT Stream TV 4k was available only to select customers in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad markets.

All your entertainment in a single screen

ACT Stream TV 4K is a streaming device that lets users view both TV channels and Video on Demand through a single unified user interface. Powered by android tv, the device comes with Dolby Audio, Bluetooth, and USB support, and over 3000 apps from the Google TV store.

“Customers today enjoy content on TV and across Video on demand platforms. With the ACT Stream TV 4K, we wanted to bring convenience and value to our customers. In line with our promise of Feel the Advantage, customers can now view/ stream all their favorite content (Streaming Apps+ live tv) in one place. Customers will also be eligible for special offers on Netflix (cash backs) and popular apps like Hooq and Zee5.”, said Ravi Karthik , Marketing Head , ACT Fibernet.

Updates in Current release:

1.       Now with Amazon Prime

To provide customers with a complete entertainment experience, the device will now have Amazon Prime integrated into it along with existing streaming apps such as Netflix, Hotstar, Sony Liv, Hooq, Zee5, YouTube, Sun NXT.

2.       Netflix add to bill and cashbacks:

ACT Stream TV 4K now also comes with unique feature of single click subscription where customers can sign up for Netflix and pay via their ACT Fibernet bill from Inside the device and enjoy cashbacks up to Rs. 500 p.m.

3.       Special Promotion: 100+ Live TV channels and extra data complimentary

Customers will be able to watch their favorite shows from 100+ live TV channels including premium channels, and get 100 GB data each month complimentary till August 31st, 2020 as part of the launch

4.       How to get the ACT Stream TV 4K:

Option 1: Device Rental: Customers can visit Customers can visit www.actcorp.in/streamtv4k and book their ACT Stream TV 4K. they need to pay a one-time refundable security deposit of INR 1000 and choose one of two rental plans –

1.       Monthly device rental fee of INR 200 + Taxes

2.       6-Month device rental fee of INR 1000 + Taxes (and save Rs.200)

Option 2: Purchase

ACT Stream TV 4K can also be purchased on the website www.actcorp.in/streamtv4k at MRP of Rs.4499/-

All customers will get special promotional offer of 100+ TV channels, 100 GB extra data per month along with 1-month Zee5 and 2-months HOOQ subscription complimentary.

About ACT Fibernet

ACT Fibernet, one of India’s largest wired ISPs (Internet Service Provider) in India. ACT Fibernet is headquartered in Bangalore has operations in 19 Indian cities with over 1.5 million customers. ACT Fibernet is known for its cutting-edge technology and high-speed broadband connectivity that the company provides to its customers. ACT Fibernet was the first broadband service provider to bring 1 Giga speed connectivity in India to the city of Hyderabad in 2017, followed by Bengaluru and Chennai in 2018. 

Digital Transformation and Future of Tech Jobs in India - Survey Report by Simplilearn

Highlights

* Over 1750 professionals participated in Simplilearn’s annual survey on “Digital Transformation and Future of Tech Jobs in India.”
* AI, Data Science, and Cloud Computing remain the hottest fields for 2020

Simplilearn, a leading digital skills training provider, published the findings of its annual survey titled “Digital Transformation and Future of Tech Jobs in India”. The survey provides insights into how digital transformation is impacting the Indian workforce. Simplilearn surveyed over 1750 learners and IT professionals in India to understand their views on upskilling, emerging digital skills, and the nature of future jobs.

How Digital Transformation affects the Indian workforce

Digitization is today transforming businesses globally and across India. Organizations are gradually integrating new technologies like AI and machine learning, which are proving effective in increasing productivity and efficiency at workplaces. Remarkably, 44.7% of respondents shared that the company’s shift to digitization has motivated them to invest in upskilling themselves. 25.6% of the survey respondents stated that digitization has helped improve their performance at work, and 12.7% said that it opened new project opportunities. Another 7.9% said it attracted new job opportunities.

Digital Skills needed in today’s job market

Automation will soon replace job roles that involve repetitive tasks, and in turn, it will create new job opportunities in the field of technology. A World Economic Forum report stated that AI will create 58 million new jobs by 2022; this is a strong indicator of the need to upskill and reskill employees. The survey highlights that the interest in skills related to AI and Machine learning has increased from 18% in 2018 to 30 % in 2019. Including AI and ML, the top 4 new skills for 2020 include 26% for Data science, 18% for cloud computing, and 10% for cybersecurity.

With rising digital transformation across sectors, AI, Data Science, and Cloud Computing remain the fields with the highest demand for 2020.  The report predicts the average yearly salary of a Data Scientist will be between Rs 5 lakh to 42 lakh, followed by the range of Rs 4.97 lakh to 50 lakh per year for someone in Cloud Computing and Rs 5 lakh to 70 lakh per year for Artificial Intelligence related jobs.

How professionals are sponsoring their career growth with skilling programs

For organizations today, it is of utmost importance to invest in digitally upskilling their employees to prevent both the company and its workforce from becoming obsolete. 58.3% of survey respondents stated that they take up upskilling courses at their own cost, while 10.5% have the company sponsoring. The remaining 31.2% indicated that they and their organizations contribute together to the cost of upskilling programs.

Sharing his views on the Simplilearn annual survey, Krishna Kumar, Founder and CEO of Simplilearn, said, “With the maturing technology sector, employers are looking for validation of an employee’s skill sets with relevant certification. Professionals do understand that they need to upskill to stay relevant in their careers and are focusing on getting hands-on learning from the digital skilling courses they take up. We are today seeing a rise in self-financed training by professionals, as compared to 2018. Though this method of training is gaining traction, sizable shares of professionals still depend on their organizations to fund their upskilling needs. Therefore time is now for enterprises to make L&D a boardroom discussion.”

The ultimate motivation to upskill

Beyond the challenges to upskill lies the motivation level of a professional. As per the survey, the top three reasons for upskilling are as follows and highlights that salary hikes remain a strong motivator for upskilling, with 33% of professionals agreeing. Survey respondents cited additional motivating factors: 27% of professionals choose to upskill to get opportunities related to hands-on and industry-relevant projects, and another 21% wish to upskill for rewards and recognition.

Today, the Indian workforce understands that their roles will evolve as technology progresses. As they feel the impact of new technologies, both professionals and organizations will have to acquire new technology skills to keep pace with the emerging job trends in 2020.

Pat Fry, Former President and CEO of Sutter Health, Joins CitiusTech’s Board of Directors

CitiusTech, a leading provider of healthcare technology services and solutions, announced today that Patrick (‘Pat’) Fry, former President and CEO of Sutter Health, has joined its board of directors.

“I am thrilled to join the CitiusTech board,” said Pat. “The healthcare industry faces many new challenges today, and technology is playing important role in shaping the future of the industry. I look forward to working with CitiusTech’s leadership team as they continue to deliver next-gen solutions and drive innovation in healthcare.”

Pat Fry brings over 30 years of healthcare experience, having joined Sutter Health in 1982 and becoming president and CEO in 2005. Under his leadership, Sutter Health went on to become one of the nation’s leading healthcare systems. Fry’s achievements include overseeing the implementation of one of the nation’s most sophisticated and comprehensive electronic health records, creation of the Sutter Medical Network, which unites Sutter’s 5,000 aligned and affiliated physicians and implementing My Health Online, which provides more than 1 million Northern Californians with anytime online access to their personal health records. He also led the growth of the Sutter Health Plus health plan.

“It is an honor for us to bring on board an accomplished industry leader like Pat. His leadership and rich experience in building and scaling healthcare organizations will be a significant asset to CitiusTech. We look forward to working closely with Pat to solve complex industry challenges,” said Rizwan Koita, CEO of CitiusTech.

Fry is past chair of the California Hospital Association board of directors. He has also served on the American Hospital Association Governing Council and AHA Regional Policy board.

About CitiusTech

CitiusTech (www.citiustech.com) is a specialist provider of healthcare technology services and solutions to medical technology companies, providers, payers and life sciences organizations, with over 4,000 professionals worldwide. CitiusTech’s services and solutions include management consulting, healthcare software development, healthcare interoperability, regulatory compliance, BI/analytics, consumer engagement, care coordination and population health management. CitiusTech helps customers accelerate innovation in healthcare through solutions and accelerators for clinical quality reporting, healthcare big data, cloud computing, mobile health and predictive analytics. With cutting-edge technology expertise, world-class service quality and a global resource base, CitiusTech consistently delivers best-in-class solutions and an unmatched cost advantage to healthcare clients worldwide.

New Accenture Research Finds Hidden Value in Closing the Equality Progress Gap


A significant gap exists between the way leaders and employees view progress toward equality in their organizations, according to a new cross industry research from Accenture. Closing the gap will yield substantial benefits for companies and their employees.

The report, “Getting to Equal 2020: The Hidden Value of Culture Makers,” which covers several industries across 28 countries including India, found that organizations are at an inflection point: Today’s workforce cares increasingly about workplace culture and believes it is critical to helping them thrive in the workplace (reported by 88% of women and 77% of men in India), and majority of leaders (91% in India) believe an inclusive workplace culture is vital to the success of their business. 

At the same time, there is a perception gap: nearly all leaders in India (94%) believe their people feel included, yet just one third (36%) of employees agree.  Two out of three leaders (66%) feel they create empowering environments where people have a sense of belonging, however less than half (48%) of employees agree.

Most leaders also rank diversity and workplace culture low on their list of top organizational priorities. A majority of leaders in India ranked brand recognition and quality (84%), and financial performance (78%) at the top of their list of priorities, while only 37% ranked diversity on top. Also, only 37% ranked culture at the top.

“For every organization today, building a culture of equality needs as much focus as any other business goal,” said Rekha M. Menon, Chairman and Senior Managing Director, Accenture in India. “In an era where innovation drives growth, people are the most valuable source of competitive advantage, and equality and empowerment are key to unleashing their potential.”

Narrow the gap, accelerate progress

Aligning leaders’ perceptions with those of their employees would yield significant upsides. Everyone—both women and men—would advance faster, and global profits would increase by US$3.7 trillion, including US$ 1.35 trillion in the Asia Pacific region.

If the gap were closed by half:

In India, the proportion of women who feel like a key member of their team with real influence over decisions would rise from 1-in-5 to more than 1-in-3.
The annual retention rate in India would increase by 2% for women from 88% to 90%.

The research is especially timely for leaders, as employee expectations are only set to increase. In India, it was found that a large percentage of Gen Z is more concerned with workplace culture than Boomers: (81% vs. 72% respectively).

The Culture Makers

The report identified a small percentage of leaders—‘Culture Makers’—who are more committed to building equal cultures. These leaders recognize the importance of factors such as pay transparency, family leave and the freedom to be creative in helping employees thrive.

Globally, Culture Makers are much more likely to have spoken out on a range of workplace issues, including gender equality (52% vs. 35% of all leaders) and sexual harassment/discrimination (51% vs. 30%). They hold themselves accountable, leading organizations that are nearly twice as likely to have publicly announced a target to hire and retain more women.

While just 6% of leaders surveyed globally, are Culture Makers, they represent a more gender-balanced group compared to the broader group of leaders surveyed (45% women vs 32% of all leaders, respectively). Additionally, a full 68% of them are Millennials, compared to 59% of all leaders. They are more likely to lead organizations where people advance, focus on innovation and remain committed – and their organizations’ profits are nearly three times higher than those of their peers.

Achieving a culture of equality

The report lays out steps to help close perception gaps and drive progress toward a more equal culture that benefits everyone and enables leaders to continuously evolve their strategies to meet changing needs.

The research reaffirms that bold leadership, comprehensive action and an empowering environment are proven anchors for creating a culture of equality:

* Bold Leadership – Leaders must truly believe that culture matters and prioritize it. For example, benchmark progress toward a culture of equality by setting and publishing targets; and reward and recognize leaders and teams on progress. A culture of equality starts at the top.
* Comprehensive Action – Go beyond the data. Leaders should engage in a meaningful, continuous dialogue with employees. Consider face-to-face meetings, focus groups, town halls. Conducting ongoing, real-time conversations with employees helps to capture feedback and empower leadership to quickly drive change.
* Empowering Environment – Encourage and cultivate Culture Makers. Create opportunities for future Culture Makers to opt-in and take on specific culture-related roles within their organizations and find ways to bring leaders and culture-minded employees together to develop specific, actionable solutions.   

Intuit India Conferred with CSR Award for Flagship CSR Project Intuit RISE – ‘Educating Girl Child’


Intuit RISE – ‘Educating Girl Child’ the flagship CSR project of Intuit India aimed at sponsoring education for girl children, has been awarded with the ‘Rotary Karnataka CSR Award - 2020’ for ‘Best CSR Practices in promoting basic education and literacy’.

The conference and award ceremony was held in Bengaluru to celebrate the contribution made by various stakeholders towards community service in Karnataka for socio-economic development of this State. The theme of this years’ conference was “Connecting Corporates and Communities’’.

The event was attended by Dr. Ashwath Narayan C.N., Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Higher Education, IT & BT, Science & Technology, Skill Development, Entrepreneurship and Livelihood, Karnataka State, in the presence of District Rotary Governor Dr. Sameer Hariani and President, Prathima C and addressed issues such as – Sports in CSR, D&I, Healthcare, Education in Public Schools, ISR, Skill  Development & Livelihood.

Sanket Atal, Managing Director, Intuit India said, “We are happy and extremely grateful to receive this award, as it is an acknowledgment of the hard work that our team has put into making this program a success. At Intuit, we believe that fulfilling our mission—to power prosperity around the world—extends beyond our daily work to the greater ways we can give back to society. The spirit of the ‘Educating Girl Child’ program is to support education and create opportunities for little girls who otherwise do not have access to education, where most of them are first-generation learners. Intuit aims to provide a platform for the next generation’s young girls to grow and access quality education that would enable them to be the change-makers of tomorrow. “

Diversity and inclusion are a part of the company’s DNA and Intuit focuses on creating an environment that encourages everyone to grow. As part of their larger effort to bridge the education gap for women/girls in India, Intuit India launched the Educating Girl Child Project in partnership with the Concern India Foundation in 2017 - a nonprofit organization that partners with corporations across India to create change.

About the Program

At Intuit, we believe that everyone — no matter who they are, no matter where they live — should have the opportunity to prosper. We are using the collective strength of our products and our people to deliver on our mission, especially for those that need it most.

Through this program, for every women employee who joins Intuit, we sponsor the education of one girl child. Intuit aims to not only help girl children obtain and access education but also create a pipeline for future talent in the country. As part of Intuit Rise—a program empowering society through various initiatives for women, youth, and their environment—Intuit India will sponsor the education of a girl for every woman that joins the company. This program aims to sponsor the education of hundreds of girls across the country through free education, after school tutoring, career counselling, and life skill lessons. Girls in the program will also receive the opportunity to connect with female engineers at Intuit to learn more about being a woman in tech!

LISAA Organizes Self - Defence Workshop with NGO Durga for Women’s Day on March 6

LISAA School of Design, a premier fashion school joins hands with NGO Durga to organize self–defence workshop for the students to mark International Women’s Day on 6th March, 2020 at its campus. The workshop will devise interesting methods to help women understand behavior use their judgement and respond to inappropriate behavior. They will implement the influence of theatre to convey the spirit of active deterrence in women.

“Theatre based workshop by Durga will help our students to learn essentials required to detect and deter harassment by forging an atmosphere that ignites courage and nurtures capability with an undefeatable spirit”, says Avi Keswani, Director, LISAA School of Design.

“Our workshop with the students of LISAA School of Design will focus on enabling them to understand the seriousness and sensitivity of the issues and how they can participate to contribute”, says Priya Varadarajan, Founder-Managing Trustee, Durga

It will create a constructive environment where heart to heart dialogues will be shared and cold stares will be replaced with warm encouragement. Together with men, they will discuss and deliberate ways to resolve sexual harassment and will further help other women discover their potential in doing so.

LISAA School of Design is a premier Design institute over 35 years of existence in France. The aim of LISAA School of Design is to nurture their students to become not only technically professional but also be sensitive to the aesthetics, culture and spiritual ethos of the society for whom they design. Spread across 11 locations globally, LISAA School of Design is built on heritage, excellence and opportunities. It was set up in India in 2013 with state-of-the-art infrastructure and campus in Bangalore.

LISAA - Bangalore is owned and operated by CREO Valley, the school of creativity and innovation recognized by Qualifications & Assessments International (QAI), UK, Federation of European School (FEDE) and Jawaharlal Nehru Technical Education - Council of Skill Development (JNTE) in higher education. LISAA School of Design has a multidisciplinary approach to design education that promotes both creativity and experimentation, studying and learning in this environment helps the students to develop a unique perspective.

LISAA Bangalore is recognized by the University in Bangalore to offer Degree Courses in Fashion & Textile Design, Interior & Product Design and Graphic & Web Design. It also offers Student Exchange program with more than 7 other locations in France.

Avaali Helps Enterprises to Increase Process Agility, Drive Governance and Compliance with IMS


Avaali is a consulting and technology services company specializing in Information Management. We work with large enterprises to help them increase process agility, drive governance and compliance with Information Management solutions

Over the past 18 months, Avaali has heavily invested in its own framework branded ‘Velocious. The concept to Velocious is that a confluence of various technologies is what will drive process automation for enterprises going forward. And that enterprises do not heavily leverage what they have already invested in terms of OEM solutions. Velocious is a set of ready to deploy solutions that leverages various technologies such as AI Chatbot, OCR, Workflow, RPA and content management solutions talking to transactional applications at the back-end.  Avaali has launched the Velocious Supplier Portal, Solutions for logistics such as the Shipment tracking solution, e-docket solution as well as AI Chatbot, Migration tool etc. as a part of Velocious.

Avaali is growing rapidly across its focus geographies and additionally is also entering into Europe market this year. Over the next years, the company plans to rapidly scale right from new customers they serve to increasing share of wallet from existing customers. They also plan to launch additional solutions under Velocious.

The company is headquartered in India ( Bangalore ) with subsidiaries in Singapore and UAE. A significant number of projects they have done is in the shared services space, wherein they’ve consulted companies to set up a shared service center, supported in taking important decisions with respect to captive, hybrid or outsourced models and done technology evaluations. Avaali walks the talk by ensuring successful implementations of solutions such as Information Management, Robotic Process Automation, Shared services automation solutions etc.

Green Shoots of Bounce-Back Showing in Q3 Retail Spends, Steady Climb in Digital Payments Usage


The Retailers Association of India and Innoviti Payment Solutions unveiled the first volume of their quarterly publication on Retail Payments Insights. The report presents an overview of quarter-wise trends in store sales during the fiscal year 2019-20, in comparison corresponding period of fiscal year 2018-19 from the same cohort of stores.

Based on the report data, overall same store sales growth trends across multiple sectors, including Food & Grocery, Fashion & Apparel, Consumer Durables & IT, Jewelry, Personal Accessories, Healthcare & Wellness and Entertainment indicate that growth in Q1(AMJ) FY19-20 was strong across retail sectors, with an overall blended growth of 11%.  Q2(JAS) FY19-20 showed clear signs of slowdown across sectors with growth dropping to 3.6%.  However, the latest available Q3(OND) FY19-20 data shows an emerging reversal of this slowdown with early signs of growth recovery, possibly fueled by the festival season discounts. Across regions, South and East zone growth has been relatively stronger across quarters, showing greater resilience to the slowdown.

Mr. Rajeev Agrawal, CEO, Innoviti said “With nearly 5% of all India offline digital spends being processed through our pan-India spread of retail POS terminals, we at Innoviti have a unique bird’s eye view into emerging trends across retail categories. We are excited to partner with a renowned industry body like RAI to package this insight into regular volumes of the RAI-Innoviti Payments Insight Reports. We expect these ongoing quarterly trend reports to provide useful data insights to not just the Indian retail industry, but also broader economy watchers.”

Mr. Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India said, “RAI - Innoviti Payment Insights aims to fill a critical gap about percentage growth in sales at category and zonal level. It gives an overview of the growth at grass roots as it is based on data collected from retail stores in 697 cities across 36 states. It gives a balanced view of how economic and macro-trends are impacting the sector based on customer payments data. The initiative is in line with RAI's mandate of developing, facilitating and propagating practices that will help grow retail in India.”     

Across retail categories, spending on staples has shown much stronger reliance to the Q2 slowdown as compared to discretionary spend categories. Over the YTD period April 2019 to December 2019, Food & Grocery spends showed a growth of ~13% which is more than double the overall blended retail growth of ~6.5%. Comparatively, discretionary categories like Fashion/Apparels showed the effects of slowdown with growth averaging 2.8%.

During the YTD period of April 2019 to December 2019, retail spends have also witnessed a steadily growing contribution of from digital payment modes as a percentage of overall store sales. In particular, digital payments contribution climbed between 4 -6% in South and East Zone, over and above a base volume growth of ~ 7.5%.

The report incorporates samples from 36 states and union territories, 697 cities and sales by value of $10 B from a diverse collection of 20,230 modern and general trade stores. While computing growth trends, the same cohort of stores is considered between the same quarter of consecutive years. Sales trends considered include estimates of cash and all forms of digital transactions.  The report will be published as a quarterly report with this first volume covering the period from April 2019 to December 2019.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

New McAfee Report Hackers Using Hidden Mobile Apps and Unique Distribution Methods to Target Consumers

 News Highlights:

* McAfee releases new Mobile Threat Report that predicts 2020 to be year of mobile sneak attacks
* Hidden mobile apps result in approximately 50% of all malicious threats in 2019
* LeifAccess tricks victims into enabling risky settings using fake security warnings to perform unwanted automated actions

Today McAfee released its Mobile Threat Report 2020, which found that hackers are using hidden mobile apps, third-party login and counterfeit gaming videos to target consumers. Last year, hackers targeted consumers with a wide variety of methods, from backdoors to mining cryptocurrencies. Based on new research, McAfee has uncovered that hackers have expanded the ways of hiding their attacks, making them increasingly difficult to identify and remove, which makes it seem like 2020 will be the year of mobile sneak attacks.

McAfee found that hidden apps are the most active mobile threat facing consumers, generating nearly 50% of all malicious activities in 2019- a 30% increase from 2018. Hackers continue to target consumers through channels that they spend the most time on- their devices, as the average person globally is expected to own 15 connected devices by 2030. Hidden apps take advantage of unsuspecting consumers in multiple ways, including taking advantage of consumers using third-party login services or serving unwanted ads.

“Mobile devices hold the key to our lives – both corporate and personal. Unfortunately, they are also amongst the easiest attack vectors for cybercriminals because, consumer awareness levels towards security of their devices and apps is low. Hidden apps have emerged as the most active mobile threat category and it’s highly advisable that consumers stay vigilant with regards to where they download applications from, what they click and also ensure they use the right security software on their devices, to enable detection and protection of their digital lives.” said Venkat Krishnapur, Vice-President of Engineering and Managing Director, McAfee India.

The McAfee Mobile Threat Report 2020 highlights the following mobile trends:

Hackers use gaming popularity to spoof consumers –Hackers are taking advantage of the popularity of gaming by distributing their malicious apps via links in popular gamer chat apps and cheat videos by creating their own content containing links to fake apps. These apps masquerade as genuine with icons that closely mimic those of the real apps but serve unwanted ads and collect user data. McAfee researchers uncovered that popular apps like FaceApp, Spotify, and Call of Duty all have fake versions trying to prey on unsuspecting consumers, especially younger users.

New mobile malware uses third-party sign-on to cheat app ranking systems – McAfee researchers have uncovered new information on mobile malware dubbed LeifAccess, also known as Shopper. This malware takes advantage of the accessibility features in Android to create accounts, download apps, and post reviews using names and emails configured on the victim’s device. McAfee researchers observed apps based on LeifAccess being distributed via social media, gaming platforms, malvertising, and gamer chat apps. Fake warnings are used to get the user to activate accessibility services, enabling the full range of the malware’s capabilities.

Unique approach to steal sensitive data through legitimate transit app. McAfee researchers found that a series of South Korean transit apps, were compromised with a fake library and plugin that could exfiltrate confidential files, called MalBus. The attack was hidden in a legitimate South Korean transit app by hacking the original developer’s Google Play account. The series provides a range of information for each region of South Korea, such as bus stop locations, route maps, and schedule times for more than 5 years. MalBus represents a different attack method as hackers went after the account of a legitimate developer of a popular app with a solid reputation.

“There exists a growing trend for many apps to remain hidden, stealing precious resources and important data from the device that acts as the remote control to consumers digital world,” said Raj Samani, McAfee Fellow and Chief Scientist. “Now, more than ever, it is critical consumers make themselves aware of modern threats and the steps they can take to defend themselves against them, such as staying on legitimate app stores and reading reviews carefully.”  

Indo-German JV Powercon Awarded at Renewal Energy Summit

Highlights

* India's 1st renewable energy asset management company Powercon honoured as the 'Independent Service Provider of the Demi-Decade: 2016-2020' during the event "RE Assets 2020"
* Under 'Make in India' drive, Powercon is raising the energy generation levels by 10%+
* Powercon shared the idea of saving up to Rs 36,000 crores by merely managing renewable energy assets differently

Powercon, India's first renewable energy asset management company, today announced that it was recognized for its domain expertise, proven results of distinct rise in renewable energy generation and an extensive drive down of per unit generation cost; sustainably over a period of 5 years. The RE Assets 2020 Forum honoured Powercon as 'Independent Service Provider of the Demi- Decade : 2016-2020' at New Delhi.

RE Assets 2020 is one of the largest events focused on detailed technical and business aspects of Solar and Wind energy Operations & Maintenance and Asset Management.

Praveen Kakulte, CEO at the Power Group said, "Our final delivery will always be 'Electricity at an affordable rate'. We are structured to optimize energy production, to enhance asset life and to lower the cost of generation. 'More MWh of Energy per MW of installed Power, over entire lifetime of the assets' is our mission."

Powercon has been the leader in the renewable energy sector developing intelligent solutions for modern India. Year after year, they have scaled new heights bringing in greater transparency, faster response rates and delivering higher output. Asset Owners and IPPs have witnessed a rise in generation and hence the revenue by as much as 12 to 15 percent compared to their yesteryears performance, as a result of their partnership with Powercon.

Complementing Powercon's scientifically oriented optimisation solutions, Praveen Kakulte further added, "If policy directions were to be re-oriented towards targetting MWh instead of MW, it would result in an overall productivity gain of at least 10% from the same assets. India would hence prevent the otherwise needed 10% additional investment in new installations. It would mean preventing an avoidable expenditure of Rs 36,000 Crores."

Innovative IoT solutions derived from wind domain knowledge, data driven approach, deep-diving into functionalities, the minute detailing and technology enabled resolution from a value stand-point has helped Powercon in contributing significantly across the renewable energy production industry in India.

With physical presence across 7 states in the country and remote governance across 21 countries, Powercon supports 40 GW from their state-of-the-art Asset Management Studio in Pune. Recognised as Asia's only & 1st ISP operated Studio, asset class covering Wind, Solar PV, Hydro, Hybrids, etc. of many legendary IPPs are managed integrally, on their Energy Studio Pro® IT enabled asset management platform of partner BaxEnergy. Use of drone technologies with thermal imaging to capture data beyond the in-built sensory of the turbines has provided a greater see through capability to the wind asset management industry making operations simple & yield efficient.

Powercon has revealed insights on yield optimization, reliability enhancement, longevity and technical valuation enabling compensation, recoveries, improvisation and M&As, for 5.5+ GW across 60+ Indian wind parks with 17 turbine variants.

Lowe’s Innovation Labs Receives 300+ Applications from Start-Ups Across 5 Cities


Technology is changing the way every industry does business by helping to create efficiencies, save money, and provide better products and services. Retail businesses have adopted technology at a faster pace to keep accelerating the rate of innovation, investing in, developing partnerships with, and collaboration with startups.

Lowe’s Innovation Labs (LIL),  a hub of Lowe’s Companies Inc, is focusing on building emerging technologies such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality, robotics, AI and additive manufacturing. The Lab accelerates experiences that Lowe’s customers and associates expect today and develops new capabilities and offerings that will power tomorrow. Taking this further, LIL announced a four month accelerator program – Bangalore Cohort 2020 in search of talented Indian technology startup companies by visiting five cities: Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad.

This initiative gave start-ups a platform to showcase their exemplary ideas and helped Lowe’s to recognize organizations that are doing breakthrough work in technology, together they plan to combine efforts and ideas to devise cutting edge strategies. It is designed to foster partnerships and sponsor projects with Indian startups eager to transform home improvement retail, whether that’s creating groundbreaking experiences for home dwellers, generating new services for trade professionals or applying emerging tech to the retail associate experience.

LIL received over 300+ startup applications out of which over 60 startups were selected for the first round. These startups were selected basis their phenomenal work in deep technologies such as  AR/VR, ML&AI, NLP, Big Data, Nanotech, Haptics, Blockchain, Image recognition, Computer vision and many more. Right now, LIL is in the process of shortlisting a few startups that will be a part of the launch program towards the end of March 2020.

1.1 Million Bangaloreans Play Games on Gamezop on Smartphones

Gamezop, India’s leading gaming platform, is witnessing rapid adoption in the Silicon Valley of India. The gaming platform has registered a whopping 375% growth YoY in Bengaluru, with 1.1 Mn users from the city in February 2020. Overall, Gamezop saw over 27 Mn users in February.

The company offers over 250 popular games to its users in two formats: casual gaming and real money gaming. In the second format, Gamezop allows users to win money for playing games. Users can visit www.gamezop.com and compete with other users to bag attractive cash prizes.

Gamezop’s remarkable traction comes from its unconventional distribution model: unlike other players in smartphone gaming, Gamezop doesn’t push installs of an app. Instead, Gamezop embeds games inside other apps where they can be played instantly; just like videos can be played on a social media page.

Each partner app that integrates Gamezop serves as an entry point, and with more than 1,000 partner apps, Gamezop has that many entry points. The approach has reaped rollicking results. Their network is so massive now that 97% of the smartphones in India have at least two such Gamezop entry points. And each month, 70-80 new apps integrate Gamezop, further adding to their penetration.

Closer inspection shows how the B2B2C model was made to scale: for partner apps, adding Gamezop takes 30 minutes and increases the time spend on them by up to 40%. Gamezop makes the deal more lucrative by paying a monthly fee to these partner apps. As a result, apps from across categories – social, travel, news, e-commerce, utility, and even astrology – have adopted Gamezop.

“Before YouTube was launched in 2005, each video was downloaded as a file and played on VLC or some other media player. That is exactly where smartphone gaming is today: each game needs to be installed as an app, which is extremely frictional and unwarranted. Gamezop makes games instant, like YouTube does with videos,” says Yashash Agarwal, Gamezop’s 24-year old CEO.

Gamezop is the brainchild of Yashash and Gaurav Agarwal, both of who were enlisted on the coveted Forbes ‘30 Under 30’. With their 35-member team, they have built a profitable business that closed the last financial year with 45% EBITDA. In spite of their success, Gamezop is currently present only on 1% of the apps published by Indian developers. Their userbase and profitability are expected to surge exponentially as more app developers continue to join their network, both from India and overseas.

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