Saturday, April 25, 2020

Star India Rolls Out National Campaign for Consumer Safety Across Indian Markets

As the nation is coming together in these unprecedented times, Star India Network which reaches 700 million viewers a month, has launched a special nationwide campaign with consumer safety as its theme -- TV Entertainment Recharge Ka Safe Tareeka.

The campaign promotes the urgent need for safety awareness, to keep families entertained while staying safe at home. Through its unique creative, it urges families to keep problems out of their homes by not stepping out -- not even for their TV bill. It advises viewers to use the online facilities so that they can continue to #StayHomeStaySafe.

“Our campaign focuses on encouraging consumers to stay home and safe, remain entertained and pay TV bills online. We are leveraging the unparalleled reach of our popular GEC, Kids, Movies and Sports channels across multiple languages to spread the message, during these extremely difficult times,” said Gurjeev Singh Kapoor, President and Head – Distribution and International Business, Star India. “I would also like to take this opportunity, on behalf of Star India, to applaud the brave teams of Cable and DTH partners working on-ground, and to salute their efforts that have ensured continued services to viewers,” he added.

Star India has added even more to the entertainment quotient across its network of channels by bringing back on popular demand, classic shows like Mahabharat, new comedy show Maharaj ki Jai Ho, and Hotstar Specials presents Hostages on Star Plus; Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar- Ek Maha-Manav ki Maha-Gatha on Star Bharat; Raja Shivchhatrapati and World TV premier of Baban on Star Pravah. Consumers can watch the original episodes of Super Singer shot exclusively on mobile phone and iconic show Bojhena Shey Bojhena on Star Jalsha; new show Odavum Mudiyathu Oliyavum Mudiyathu and sketch comedy show Lollu Sabha making a comeback on Vijay and Muddulakshmi and Aarathigobba Kirthigobba on Star Suvarna. Maa TV viewers can revisit favourite episodes of Karthika Deepam and Vadhinamma along with new and exciting movie premieres; Asianet viewers can also look forward to an exciting movie line-up.

Star Gold has been entertaining its viewers with a series of latest movie premieres such as the biggest action-thriller, War, the biggest comedy Housefull 4, and many more including Bala, Darbar and Chhapaak.

Star Movies will be airing premiers of kid-friendly movies such as Mary Poppins Returns, Dumbo and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms on Playdate - property with Star Movies, along with popular Marvel movies selection and the best of action blockbusters with ‘Action@9’ property. Viewers can also look forward to some fine English entertainment with latest season of American Idol and best of Koffee with Karan and Masterchef Australia.

With 100 hours of fresh content added to the kids network, the summer bonanza across Disney Channel and Hungama TV includes local and home-grown series like Bapu, a pure and positive story of a wise old leader along with an all-animal story of a joyful circus troupe of friends in Guddu and a soft toy with innovative gadgets in Gadget Guru Ganesha. Kids can also enjoy The Hagemaru Show which narrates the tale of the mischievous Hagemaru in addition to new episodes of Selfie with Bajrangi, Doraemon, Chacha Chaudhary and Miraculous.

Sports fans can enjoy Cricket Connected, where cricket legends engage with fans through video calls every week; Best of IPL, and nostalgic games from Vivo PKL on the Star Sports Network.

Viewers can exercise their brains daily with interactive games and experiments on the show Brain Boosters on National Geographic and also watch the journey that defined India’s fight against the deadly contagion in a new show Lockdown: India’s fight against Coronavirus - shot from home.

As a network Star TV has remained emotionally connected with millions of Indians for more than 25 years, and will continue with its complete support during these difficult times.

Chalet Hotels Makes Its Debut As A Great Place to Work In India

Chalet Hotels Ltd, owner, developer and asset manager of high-end hotels in key metro cities in India makes its debut, by getting certified in the 2020 - 2021 list of Great Places to Work (GPTW) by Great Place to Work® Institute (India). Chalet Hotels Ltd. makes it to the prestigious list among other top Companies basis best practices benchmarked to global standards.

Great Place to Work is the global authority on building, sustaining and recognizing High-Trust, High-Performance Culture at workplaces. Chalet Hotels has earned this recognition among several thousands of entries across various sectors like entertainment, media, technology, financial services and more, which were subject to a rigorous screening and selection procedure including Culture Audits and validated employee feedback. The GPTW survey assesses employee experience across five dimensions – credibility, fairness, pride, respect, and camaraderie. The survey is designed to help define the relationship employees have with management, with other employees and the personal connection to their jobs.

Speaking about this, Mr. Sanjay Sethi, MD & CEO, Chalet Hotels Ltd. said, “As one of the country’s largest hotel asset management companies we are honored to make an entry into the prestigious list of Great Place To Work. In a people intensive industry like ours, creating an environment with positive employee experience is a key strategic priority for businesses and we are glad this has echoed in the employee feedback too. We have evolved into a company where people inspire and challenge each other to be their best, and recognitions like GPTW strengthen our resolve to do better and focus on creating a benchmark in the industry.”

With the rising number of millennial and Generation Z employees, Chalet Hotels Ltd. empowers its people through integrated policies and robust learning and development programs. The company has always been one of the pioneers in responsible corporate practices. In 2019, the company also introduced ‘The Pride Side’ policy, which fortifies a non-discriminative and transparent environment at the work place. Some of the other path leading practices for employees at Chalet Hotels Ltd. include the Anchal policy which encompasses initiatives and practices to support expectant mothers to achieve work-life balance and to help them conquer challenges. For the new fathers, we introduced a 5 days paternity leave taking into consideration the increased work and personal responsibilities and the inevitable need to make time for the family, to be there for them. A rendezvous with the CEO is a monthly initiative which gives our employees, across all levels, a direct platform to showcase their ideas and concerns or just a discussion with the top management. Every phase in life demands an upgraded version of oneself. Based on this thought, Leadership Execution Accelerated Program (LEAP), a one year intensive leadership development programme, specially designed to upgrade their professional skills and apply the knowledge gained to function efficiently on a day to day basis.

About Great Place to Work at Institute:

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on building, sustaining and recognizing High-Trust, High-Performance CultureTM at workplaces. Great Place to Work® Institute has conducted pioneering research on the characteristics of great workplaces for over 30 years. It believes all organizations can become great workplaces, and the mission is to help them succeed. Great Place to Work® Institute partners more than 10,000 organizations every year around the world to help create and sustain a High-Trust, HighPerformance Culture™.

About Chalet Hotels Limited:

Chalet Hotels Limited (CHL) is an owner, developer and asset manager of high-end hotels in key metro cities in India. Our hotel platform comprises six operating hotels, including a hotel with a co-located serviced residence, located in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Pune. CHL’s hotels are branded with globally recognized hospitality brands and are in the luxury-upper upscale and upscale hotel segments. The hotel platform emphasizes strategic locations, efficient design and development, appropriate positioning in hotel segments together with branding and operational tie-ups with leading hospitality companies. CHL uses its experience to actively manage the hotel assets to drive performance.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Commissions a Unique ‘Dealer Operations Restart Guideline’

As we find new ways to navigate the impact of COVID 19 on lives and businesses, Toyota Kirloskar Motor today, curated a unique ‘Dealer Operations Restart Guideline’ to educate and empower its dealer partners about the importance and adherence to good safety & hygiene practices, so as to secure all stakeholders from health hazards. Safety is one of Toyota’s key priorities and it resonates in the ways the company has been undertaking to safeguard its employees and other stakeholders. Keeping this in mind and soon after introducing a comprehensive ‘Restart Manual’ as a guide for industries to follow post the lockdown withdrawal, TKM has now introduced a detailed guideline to kick start its dealer operations.

The unique ‘Dealer Operations Restart Guideline’ aims at instilling confidence in the existing and prospective customers about the safety and hygiene initiatives introduced at Toyota dealer outlets, across the country. Given the fact that the withdrawal of the lockdown does not in any way mean the pandemic is over and adherence to good safety & hygiene practices is the only key to keeping the virus at bay, the recovery phase will require unprecedented levels of caution.  In this situation, TKM’s ‘Restart Guideline’ comes in as an all-inclusive reference document highlighting the effective measures that can help in setting the foundation for sustainable growth as business operations resumes to near normalcy after the lockdown is over. TKM’s ‘Dealer Operations Restart Guideline’ suggests Toyota Dealerships about the ways in which they can deal with the current situation, simultaneously encouraging them to follow the norms of the local administration in their respective region.

Sharing his thoughts on this unique initiative, Mr. Naveen Soni, Senior Vice President, Sales and Service, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, “There is no doubt that besides affecting the health and safety of people across the globe, the COVID-19 outbreak has brought the world economy to a standstill. In uncertain times like these, it is paramount to lead the change and strive to thrive during this period of transformation, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our stakeholders and simultaneously safeguarding business continuity. In this backdrop, we have come up with this unique ‘Dealer Operations Restart Guideline’ benefitting not just our dealer partners and their staff but also our loyal customers.

In the current environment, it goes without saying that in addition to closely monitoring the situation, it is imperative to introduce SOPs encouraging employees to address customer needs effectively post COVID-19, which will bring inevitable changes along with it. Let us work together as One Team One Goal with greater speed and agility.”

Giving utmost importance to safety, the ‘Dealer Operations Restart Guideline’ charts out directives for TKM’s dealer network shedding light on the safety protocols for the respective facilities and staff along with recommendations for customer interface during sales and after sales services. The manual focuses on three key areas which include:

Facility and Staff: Maintaining hygiene at customer touchpoints and sanitization of the inside and outside of the dealership premises with minimized usage of air conditioners. Additionally, TKM has also taken steps to maintain social distancing at workplace, recommended usage of face masks and sanitizers, regular thermal checking and formation of a COVID Task Force to address

safety concerns and boost morale of the staff. It further educates the dealer staff to address customer queries following the new norms.

Sales: The company’s sales services will also witness a change. Employees are being directed to maintain transparency while communicating with customers and provide video or photo evidence of safety measures followed at the dealership, wherever required. There will be thermal checking and sanitization points set-up at all the entry and exit points, workstations and the premises of the dealerships. Face masks will be made available with all staff, and avoiding exchange of physical documents will be practiced as much as possible. Product demonstration will also see a change as a whole new disinfection process will be implemented before every demo, to assure customer safety. Masks and gloves will be provided during test drives and the company representative will be directed to sit in the rear seat while the customer drives, adhering to the rule of social distancing.

After sales: Certain measures have also been introduced with regard to the pick-up and delivery of vehicles, these include showcasing temperature certificate to customer during pick-up, disinfecting hands before receiving the vehicle keys. The drop-off of the vehicle will only be allowed once the seats and steering is disinfected while invoices will be shared through emails and Toyota Connect app with digital money transactions. As far the production and washing area is concerned, all staff will wear face masks and gloves during their work hours with all commonly used tool kits being disinfected frequently.

As a committed corporate, TKM has been studying and observing the evolving situation in the country and is determined to devise simple and practical solutions to arising problems in hopes to help the country and the industry recover from the inflictions of the COVID 19 pandemic.

South Indian Actors Turn to Twitter to Inform and Entertain Fans During the COVID-19 Lockdown

As India continues to follow a nationwide lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the entertainment industry has come to a standstill, resulting in cancelled shoots and indefinitely postponed film releases. This crisis is challenging the ways in which actors connect with their fans.

Despite that, fans remain optimistic, and are taking to Twitter to interact with their favourite actors. In return, South India’s leading actors are leaving no stone unturned in reciprocating this affection. From Telugu cinema’s megastars, Chiranjeevi (@KChiruTweets), Mahesh Babu (@urstrulyMahesh), Ram Charan (@AlwaysRamCharan) to Tamil cinema’s pride Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth), prominent South Indian celebrities are Tweeting to engage with fans and encourage them to stay home and be safe. Actors are also making videos at home with song lyrics that urge people to isolate and stay safe amidst the COVID-19 crisis, several fans too are joining the made-at-home video action on Twitter.

Chiranjeevi (@KChiruTweets) shares, “I owe everything to my fans and audiences. The possibility of directly interacting with them and sharing my thoughts through a platform like Twitter has often crossed my mind. But during these unprecedented times, I felt an urgent need to communicate directly with my fans and fellow Indians and this led me to join the platform in March, on the Telugu New year’s day and the first day of the nationwide lockdown. During COVID-19, it has become more important than ever before to stay connected so that we can get through this pandemic together. Twitter is doing a great job of helping people do that.”

The lockdown has merged the boundaries between professional and personal lives, and many actors are Tweeting snippets of precious moments spent with their families. In fact, Mahesh Babu (@urstrulyMahesh) made his ‘stay home, stay safe’ appeal to fans by sharing a video of his daughter in which she talks about the precautionary measures that are necessary to fight coronavirus and flatten the curve.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Yahoo India Announces Before, After Search Trends Online Post One month in lockdown

A lot can change in a month. No one knows this better than Indian users, whose online search priorities changed enormously through the COVID-19 lockdown which began in India on March 24. Yahoo announced ‘Search in the Lockdown,’ which chronicles and compares what users in India searched for right before the country went into lockdown a month ago and new search priorities that have emerged since. These trends are based on users’ daily search habits in the last one month and an editorial selection of what they read, recommended and shared most on Yahoo.

Top search keywords / searches: COVID-19 searches record massive jump

Before COVID-19 began to rule the search bar, the top search keywords online (for news) included ‘Delhi election results,’ ‘Delhi riots / Delhi violence’ and ‘JNU violence’. The top searched keywords (people) included (US President) ‘Donald Trump’, (Delhi CM) ‘Arvind Kejriwal’ and (politician) ‘Jyotiraditya Scindia’.

Through the lockdown, Novel Coronavirus related searches rose by a whopping 427%. The top 5 COVID-19 keywords were ‘COVID-19 updates’, ‘Symptoms of COVID-19’, ‘COVID-19 treatment’, ‘COVID-19 death toll’ and ‘Live COVID-19 tracker.’

Top searches related to the Novel Coronavirus included ‘Lockdown in India,’ ‘Vaccine for coronavirus,’ ‘Social distancing’ — a new term for most Indians, and Hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus — the anti-malarial drug that India is a leading producer of, described by US President Donald Trump as “one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine” and a possible treatment for COVID-19.

Netizens scramble for WFH / productivity tools online

From pre-lockdown navigational searches for ‘WhatsApp web’ and ‘YouTube,’ Indians, who had to overnight work and learn from home, searched for a new class of products and tools to stay productive. The following were the ‘Top 5 Most Searched Tools for Team Communication,’ that enabled students to learn and professionals to work together remotely through the lockdown:

Google Hangouts
Microsoft Teams
Most Searched Female Celebrity: Kanika Kapoor knocks Priyanka Chopra off the top

Social media favorite Priyanka Chopra was the Most Searched Female Celebrity online in pre-lockdown India, She was joined at No. 2 and No. 3 by regulars on this list Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone respectively.

That changed when singer Kanika Kapoor pipped these superstars to take the top spot on the list after she tested positive for COVID-19. (The UP police booked the singer for negligence for attending three social gatherings in Lucknow — this after her return from London and being instructed by the authorities to self-isolate.) Curiosity was at an all-time high about the singer, the chronology of her illness and her recovery online. In fact, Kanika Kapoor — known for her hits Babydoll and Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan — wasn’t just the Most Searched Female Celebrity, she was the Most Searched Celebrity among both male and female celebs, through the lockdown.

During the lockdown, Priyanka Chopra slipped to No.2, with Disha Patani, Deepika Padukone and Sara Ali Khan making up the Top 5 Most Searched Female Celebrities. Katrina Kaif slid off the top 5 completely in the last month.

Lockdown celebs stayed in the news for their philanthropy, commitment to support COVID-19 causes and awareness, besides spreading cheer and rocking lockdown fashion for fans on social media.

Most Searched Male Celebrity: Amitabh Bachchan rises to rule

Superstars Rajinikanth (after Darbar), Salman Khan and Aamir Khan were top 3 in the Most Searched Male Celebrity category before the lockdown was announced. Post-lockdown, superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth, active voices urging fans to stay safe through this period (and with some controversial tweets) took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the list of Most Searched Male Celebs. Salman Khan slid one place to No.3 — he put a new spin on the classic Sholay dialogue with, “Jo darr gaya samjho woh bachch gaya.” (Those who get scared, save themselves).

From public service announcements to generous donations and offering a glimpse of life in a lockdown, celebrities stayed in the public eye and accessible on social media. Actors Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff rounded off the Top 5 Most Searched Male Celebs through the lockdown.

Top Entertainment Searches: The Resurgence of Ramayan

It was entertainment as usual pre-lockdown, with netizens in India searching for Big Boss, Drive, Tanhaji, Housefull 4 and Good Newwz as their top entertainment searches. After the lockdown, Ramayan broke through overnight to become the top entertainment search after it was re-telecast on Doordarshan — a demand that sprung up on social media, with users requesting mythological programs be brought back for people at home during the quarantine! Pandemic movie Contagion also jumped into the top 5. Indians however continued to search for fun viewing — Good Newwz, Tanhaji and Big Boss, made up the top 5 Entertainment Searches in the last month.

Top searches for OTT services during lockdown: Amazon Prime Video ahead of Netflix

As demand for OTT services spiked, searches for OTT services rose by 59% with users searching for streaming choices online.

The Top 5 Searches for OTT Services were:

Amazon Prime Video
Top recipe searches: Dalgona Coffee craze hits India too

With restaurants shut and food delivery services interrupted, Indians searched online for ways to make their meals more interesting. Dalgona Coffee was trending across the world after going viral on social media and India was no exception. The recipe for this frothy caffeine cup rose to No. 1 on the list of Top Recipe Searches during the lockdown. Indians experimenting in the kitchen also searched for cake, paneer and chicken recipes. With staples like bread off the shelf for parts of the lockdown, users also searched for breakfast recipes online.

A sample of top questions Indians looked for answers to online during the lockdown
What is COVID-19?
How long does coronavirus live on surfaces?
How to make a mask at home?
Is there any vaccine for Coronavirus?
Is there a cure for Coronavirus?
Does Coronavirus spread through air?
What happens to Coronavirus patients in quarantine?
What is the treatment for Coronavirus?
What is the difference between n95 and n99 pollution mask?
How does Coronavirus spread?
How to prevent Coronavirus?
How many people (have) died from coronavirus?
How many children have got COVID-19?
How to contribute to PM’s corona fund?

Companies Share COVID-19 Day-Zero Strategy Keeping Employee Safety at Core

With the government giving a relaxation in the lockdown norms, companies are laying out the blueprint for business continuity while giving utmost importance to the safety of their employees. The pandemic has resulted in a paradigm shift where organizations, whether big or small, are prioritizing the health of employees just as much as they prioritize their financial stability. With almost every other organization planning to get easy access to A-grade medical facilities at work, they are also considering issuing certain guidelines for their workforce while also expecting the latter to strictly abide by the compliance.

We can expect several cultural shifts to prevail at work for the next few months, including office attendance as more companies are encouraging the digitization of their operations while also eliminating most of the high risk work. In addition to this, there will be a huge difference in terms of people’s socializing patterns, working habits and their extensive support for their employers.

Here are few such organizations and their precautionary measures for Covid-19 preparedness to safeguard their employees:


Toyota plans to open its factories next month where it will introduce a daily self examination of health status for each employee where it will encourage them to stay back home in the event of any sickness. It will also ensure social distancing at pick up points while commuting to and fro from the factory, thermal screening at the time of pick up, alternative seating in the buses and maintaining social distancing at all times at the factories. While on the shop floor, it will be making it mandatory for its workers to wear a mask along with the standard cap/helmet and gloves. 

Xanadu Realty

Xanadu Realty India's leading Real Estate B2B consultancy firm has ensured that it has maintained a strong level of people centricity and employee engagement during the lock-down phase and has already begun planning for life once the lockdown ends. Xanadu ensures the roll-out of a Safety Protocol to the entire organization with dos and don’ts aimed at keeping people safe. Zoning the corporate office and sales offices into defined engagement zones to ensure social distancing norms are maintained. Each zone will also have scheduled disinfection done to keep surfaces and contact areas safe and also by ensuring that not more than 25% of the organization is aggregated at a single location at any time. To reduce physical engagement to the best extent possible, all meetings that can be done virtually will be done in such a manner. The organization is also providing Covid-19 fighting essentials such as hand sanitizers and masks accessible to all associates. In addition, Xanadu has honored all hiring offers that they had made prior to the lockdown and has continued hiring to ensure they are at 100% capacity on day zero post lockdown.


With an objective of continuing the essential pharmaceutical manufacturing, Biocon has reduced the number of people in its offices to only those who carry out work such as manufacturing, logistics and quality operations, and has asked all other employees to work remotely from home. To promote good hygiene at work, Biocon has ensured the use of hand sanitizers, creation of zoning inside offices, satellite food courts, introduction of shift working, reduction of the seating density, and the reduction in the number of travelers in its company transport.

Brookfield Properties

Brookfield Properties has taken several long-term mitigating measures to ensure a safe working environment with high standards of hygiene to safeguard all its tenants, employees and other end users of its spaces across India including Candor TechSpace in Gurgaon, Noida and Kolkata; as well as for Powai Business District and Equinox Business Park in Mumbai. As a part of this, it is conducting a periodic fumigation of back premises such plant rooms, staircases, basements and terrace, front premises such as lobbies, food court and other prominent locations. It is also ensuring deep cleaning of cooling coils undertaken in addition to cleaning and disinfection of filters to flush out workspaces with fresh air before occupancy, and is also periodically monitoring the air quality.

In addition to this, Brookfield Properties is also conducting temperature checks at the entrances and periodic checks for front-line staff to monitor their health. It has also issued strict guidelines for self-regulation, personal protective equipment, and social distancing within the campus along with several safety protocols to be followed while entering and exiting the campus. 

Home Credit Introduces Health and Wellness Initiatives for Employees Amidst Covid-19 Lockdown

Home Credit India (HCIN), a local arm of the international consumer finance provider with operations spanning over Europe and Asia, has introduced a spree of activities for the wellness of their employeesduring the COVID lockdown. Under the campaign #TogetherWeWin, a plethora of activities like mindfulness sessions, doctor consultations, online counselling, COVID-19 awareness drive, and welfare sessions for children are being organized for employees.

Daily mindfulness sessions are held to ensure mental well-being of employees. This is important as this is the first time that employees are working from home for a prolonged time duration which can impact their mental well-being and behaviour. Sessions are conceptualized for employees to build their mental strength and control anxiety during this challenging period.

A 24X7 helpline for Home Credit employees in distress who seek for online/telephonic counselling for any kind of emotional orpsychological disturbances is yet another step from Home Credit. Employees can register on toreceive the best of expert advices to help them ride through the crisis.

To help ensure the safety of the families and loved ones, Home Credit is conducting regular trainings and sessions for its employees. These are divided under 6 modules including, characteristics of a Pandemic, COVID-19 symptoms, how to stop spread of the virus, Myths Vs Facts, COVID-19 Insurance for HCIN employees and information sources.

Other key initiatives like webinar sessions on assisting employees for the wellness of their children, helping pregnant employees with appropriate guidance, have also been introduced.

Home Credit has pioneered the cause of employee safety since the start of this pandemic. The company introduced a special COVID-19 hospitalization cover of Rs 5 lakh per employee. Any employee who tests COVID-19 positive and requires immediate hospitalization is eligible to avail this insurance plan.

Take care of your health by sitting at home and consulting a general physician online. Home Credit also offers free online doctor consultations.

Satya Bharti School Students Celebrate Earth Day 2020 by Participating in e-Competition

Bharti Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises, upheld the motto of Earth Day in its Satya Bharti Schools. Nearly 40,000 student in I92 Satya Bharti schools in rural India celebrated Earth Day 2020 in the form of a painting competition, while being at home.

Multiple themes were given to children to inspire their imagination, such as Water Conservation, Tree Plantation, Say No to Plastic, Save the Planet Earth, Environmental Pollution, and more. The students made beautiful paintings, and shared them with their teachers through WhatsApp groups created by parents and teachers.

During the nationwide lockdown, Satya Bharti Schools are ensuring that students continue to get education through e-learning. Class-wise WhatsApp groups have been formed and students are being given class specific reading material, video links and assignments.

About Bharti Foundation : Bharti Foundation was set up in the year 2000 as the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises. It implements and supports programs in primary, secondary and higher education as well as Sanitation. The flagship Satya Bharti School Program provides free quality education to thousands of underprivileged children in rural India across six states, with a focus on the girl child, since 2006. The impact of quality education has been scaled-up by transferring the learning and good practices of this program to lakhs of students studying in government schools across several Indian states and union territories, through the Satya Bharti Quality Support Program, since 2013.  Satya Bharti Abhiyan, the sanitation initiative since 2014, has been improving sanitation conditions in the districts of Punjab by providing access to toilets and by fostering behavioral change in communities. Together, the Foundation’s programs have cumulatively impacted over 2 million community members. 

The higher education partnerships and initiatives are designed to meet the education paradigms of the 21st century. Bharti School of Telecommunication Technology and Management (IIT, Delhi), Bharti Centre for Communication (IIT, Bombay) and Bharti Institute of Public Policy, Mohali (ISB, Mohali) are among the leading higher education institutions in the country. The Satya Bharti Institute of Technology is deftly on the path of being established as an institution of global excellence in research and learning.

Current Program Reach


16 States, UTs/54 Districts/210 Blocks

2,70,000 + Students (current enrollment)


25,000 + Toilets constructed*

1,85,000 + Beneficiaries **

* include (rural & urban Ludhiana + rural Amritsar), 37 Ladies’ toilets at Ludhiana Police Commissionerate and 14 Girls’ toilets constructed in government schools

** >55,000 estimated beneficiaries annually for Ladies’ toilets at Ludhiana Police Commissionerate

Data as of Feb 2020

Sashwata Bandhana - Airtel Supports its Partners Through Their Support Programs in Karnataka

In such unprecedented situation we are all seeing a sharp drop in business during this lock down period. This disruption has impacted many other categories in much worse ways. This sudden lockdown has also reduced returns of the

Airtel distributors , partners, franchises during April.

In order to help its partners . distributors  in Karnataka  tide over this tough time, Airtel has extended a onetime support for the month of April

This is done with an endeavour to ensure that the partners and other such front line resources get their basic income. Therefore passing the base monthly pay to all partner staff for the month of April said C Surendran, CEO – Karnataka, Bharti Airtel Ltd

Airtel is offering below programs for all its distributors/ franchises :

a) Airtel Child Scholarship
b) Airtel ki Ladli (Daughter’s Thanks Program)
c) Anmol Ratna and
d) Yuva Ratna.

They have also recently covered all Field Sales executives under the covid-19 medical insurance program as a gesture of our gratitude towards this force.

Daaji, Guide of Heartfulness and PV Sindhu to Host A LIVECAST During the 3-Day Global Virtual Youth Retreat

With an aim to keep the youth of the world motivated and inspired to handle the evolving COVID 19 situation and after with positivity, Heartfulness Institute is hosting ‘Bounce Back with YOUth 2.0’, a one of a kind Global Virtual Youth Retreat. This 3-day global virtual youth retreat for the young generation will enable them to dive deeper into understanding themselves. This event facilitates a journey of one’s present self to an even more peaceful, harmonious, and sustainable self. During the retreat, there will be a series of live sessions that are designed to be experiential and engaging with an eclectic mix of catalytic keynotes, practical workshops, interactive panels and much more.

As part of the  retreat on Saturday 25th April, 2020 at 7:30 pm IST (10am EST) - A LIVECAST session between P.V. Sindhu (an Indian professional badminton player) and Kamlesh D. Patel (present guide of Heartfulness, affectionately known as Daaji) will expedite inspiration and contemplation for youth who look forward to safe spaces for personal growth and creating services towards social impact. These hands-on activities will guide youth around the world to find their innermost strengths. Thousands of youth from 30+ countries such as India, Switzerland, Italy, United Kingdom, France, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, etc. are participating in this global virtual retreat.

The 3-Day event will be organized via a digital platform partnered with Heartfulness Institute. The event is scheduled between April 24th - 26th during 2 PM-7 PM IST to accommodate the European, African, and Asian time zones. The event hopes to lead changes by understanding oneself and bring out a pragmatic being within the self. Website for registration and more information is at

Other speakers of prominence will include Chiki Sarkar, CEO of Juggernaut; Shyam Bhat, CEO of Mindfit; Kiran Bir Sethi, Founder at Design for Change; Tanvi Khanna, Professional Squash Player, Indian Squash Team and Ira Trivedi - Author, and famous yoga teacher, & more.

The institute has collaborated with YourDOST and Ripples for Change Foundation for reaching out to the youth and inspire them to lead the change in this changing environment. The live casts will be made available on their social media platforms.

Annamrita Foundation Provides Meals for 79 Lac+ Migrant & Poor Families impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Key Points

* Since the lockdown on March 25, 2020, has provided:
* ~30 Lac meals across Maharashtra: Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Wada & Jalna

Distributed ~79 Lac meals across India
* Philanthropists and corporates pitch in to widen reach to the underprivileged
* The Foundation invites individuals and corporates to collaborate in this initiative through contributions to reach many more

Annamrita, formerly known as ISKCON Food Relief Foundation, has stepped up during the current lockdown to control the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide nutritious and hygienic meals to migrant workers, daily wage earners, slum dwellers and the poor living on streets across the nation. The Foundation launched ‘Operation Karuna’ to fight the scourge of hunger among the most vulnerable sections of society. Reliance Foundation and Ajay Piramal led Piramal Foundation have been key enablers with the former having pledged uninterrupted supplies of groceries and food grains during the lockdown period. Rotary Club of Bombay Queens Necklace has provided the much required initial funding for cooking large quantities of meals.

In the lockdown period since March 25, 2020 ~79 Lac meals have been distributed across the country at ~3.2 Lac meals per day. The Annamrita Foundation is inviting individuals, philanthropists, corporates and NGOs to come forward and contribute either small or large donations to this cause as there are vast numbers that are yet to receive this dire support.

Annamrita kitchens follow strict guidelines of hygiene and safety while preparing meals. Leveraging its unique ISO certified mass cooking technology, the power of a robust supply chain and industrial size kitchens, large quantities of meals are efficiently distributed to identified partner organizations/NGOs that have taken on the responsibility to ensure door-to-door delivery to the needy especially in slums. In Maharashtra, 81 tons of rice, 46 tons of pulses, 14 tons of cooking oil, 63.5 tons of vegetables, 4 tons of spices and 6 tons of salt have been utilized so far, to prepare these meals.

Dr. Radha Krishna Das, Annamrita Foundation said, “This is a difficult time for our country. Inspired by the teachings of our Founder, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, out of compassion towards our fellow living beings, we are committed to making a difference in their lives. The workers and volunteers of Annamrita are risking lives to do what is needed. We are grateful for the support we are receiving from our partner organizations as their active engagement has gone a long way to achieve the successful distribution of food. We request more people to join this initiative through their contributions so that we are able to reach many more that are currently facing acute hunger and shortage of food.”


* Donors: The generous partner organizations that have contributed funds and donated in kind include Reliance Foundation, Ajay Piramal led Piramal Foundation, Rotary Club of Mumbai Queens Necklace, TajSats, Cipla, Bharat Petroleum, Bajaj, Thermax, Mahanagar Gas Limited, JSW, TVS, Mafatlal, IIFL Finance, Pidilite, Mahyco Monsanto, Bayer, Pranic Healing, Sahachari Foundation and other organizations and entrepreneurs.

* Distribution Partners: Rotary Club of Bombay Queens Necklace, Giants Parivar, NESH52 – No One Ever Sleeps Hungry, Art of Living, YMCA, Arham Yuva Seva Group, IDF and others.

Apart from big organizations, a large number of individuals and corporate employees have come forward to pledge and donate amounts staring from as little as INR 100 to crores as per their capacity. The love and support from individuals has encouraged. Annamrita Foundation to carry forward the noble task of feeding thousands of underprivileged people across the country.

Other Initiatives during the Lockdown include:

* Municipal Staff Feeding Program: At the request of the Municipal Commissioner of MCGM, Mumbai, Annamrita Foundation is delivering meals to all the dedicated and hardworking staff of the municipality on emergency duty. Over 10,000 members of the staff from departments such as solid waste management, maintenance, public health, education, social justice, fire, water and disaster management from 24 Wards around the city are catered to.

* Hospital Staff Feeding Program: The real battle against COVID-19 is taking place in quarantine centers and hospitals with doctors, nurses and several assisting teams working to save patients from the jaws of the disease. Annamrita Foundation is working round-the-clock to deliver meals to these hospitals and quarantine centers in Mumbai.

Acuver Appoints Manjunath B S as the New Chief Technology Officer

Acuver Consulting Private Ltd. has appointed a new Chief Technology Officer (CTO), technology leader Manjunath B S. As CTO, Manjunath will be the custodian of tech innovation and strategy as well as drive the organization’s engineering vision. His role will span strategic planning, R&D and forging a culture of continuous innovation. Acuver has recently launched an end-to-end Product Engineering as a service, which will be led by Manjunath.

“Manjunath brings a wealth of experience and we are eager to see him overhaul our product engineering service offering.  We will be counting on him as a seasoned leader to deliver exceptional quality and ramp up value for our clients”, said Sunny Nandwani, Founder and Managing Partner, Acuver.

Previously, Manjunath worked with Tesco, Reliance Retail and Schneider Electric in mission critical engineering and management roles. With more than sixteen years of industry experience, he is a veteran in building agile software products and scaling organizations. He has a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from NMAM Institute of Technology.

“Helping organizations scale up quality and delivery on both consumer and supply chain side is my passion, and given that Acuver is at the prime of its growth phase, this role really calls out to me. I am looking forward to fortifying the Acuver Centre of Excellence, developing the company's technical community and accelerating efficiency within internal teams as well as in our commercial offerings to support long term company's growth objectives”, said Manjunath. “I am honored to contribute to Acuver as CTO”, he added.

Acuver Consulting helps companies optimize their supply-chain for enhanced efficiency, profitability and customer experience. Acuver combines the right tools, methodologies and expertise in IT, business and technology to deliver solutions customized to the client’s unique operational landscape. 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Indian Tourism Industry on the Brink of Collapse with Massive Job Loss as COVID-19 Brings Tourism to A Standstill

Key Points

* Over 95% MSMEs of 53,000 travel agents, 1,15,000 Tour Operators (inbound, domestic, outbound), 15,000 Adventure, 2700 MICE, 19,11,000 Tourist Transporters, 53,000 hospitality and 5 lakh restaurants facing the heat due to lack of cash flows
* COVID-19 Pandemic has jeopardized India’s once hailing 5 lakh crores tourism industry and employment of an estimated 3.8 crore jobs

Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality, the policy federation of all the national associations representing the complete tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India (ADTOI, ATOAI, FHRAI, HAI, IATO, ICPB, IHHA, ITTA, TAAI, TAFI) over the past six weeks has been appealing to the Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Tourism Minister, Commerce Minister, Aviation Minister, Niti Aayog and the Parliamentary Committee on Tourism and Reserve Bank of India. Indian Tourism industry, in 2018-19 handled business of over 10.5 million foreign tourists, more than 5million visiting NRIs, 1.8 billion domestic tourist visits & over 26 million outbound travellers. The industry is facing its biggest economic challenge with the larger and combined effect of 9/11 and the slowdown of 2009 and estimated bigger effect than the Economic Depression and World War II.

All the cash inflows of the industry have completely frozen and are likely to stay that way for the financial year 2020-21.  To address the issues of cash outflows, FAITH has recommended immediate measures for survival that need to be addressed parallelly.

* A complete deferment for twelve months of all statutory dues payable by tourism, travel & hospitality industry at the Central Government level, state and municipal government level without attracting any penal interest. These would include GST, Advance Tax payments, PF, ESI, customs duties, excise fees, fixed power & water charges and any fees for licenses and renewal at the state level.

* A support fund ‘Tourism COVID 19 Relief fund’ to be set up by RBI or Ministry of Finance or Tourism to support salaries and establishment costs. It should be either in the form of an interest free loan to Tourism companies for repayment of the principle over 10 years. The industry estimates the value of the fund to be minimum of Rs.50,000 crores which is almost equal to gross banking credit to the Indian Tourism industry.

* RBI has already provided for three months moratorium on EMIs of principle and interest payments on loans and recalculation of working capital from Financial Institutions. This needs to be without any accrued and accumulated interest during this period and it needs to be extended for twelve months.

To achieve the above FAITH recommends setting up National Tourism Task Force of all relevant ministries of the Central Government along with ministry of tourism and chief secretaries of State governments and industry stakeholders. This should be with legislative powers on the lines of GST council for state-wise standardized tourism response.

FAITH has also recommended that once the survival measures have been implemented then the measures for revival of Indian Tourism needs to be put in immediately. The Govt needs to stimulate domestic tourism by giving 200% weighted reduction of expenses to Indian corporates for undertaking their meeting, conferences, and exhibitions in India. LTA like income tax exemption of upto Rs.1.5 lakhs to Indians for undertaking their holidays with the country, these exemptions to be availed against invoices issued by GST registered Indian Tourism service providers.

To stimulate Tourism exports, SEIS needs to be notified at 10% value for all foreign exchange tourism companies and needs to be maintained at minimum same value for next 5 years and for off-season, it could go upto 15% value. To ensure the revival of Indian travel agent, all refunds, advances and cancellation amounts to be immediately paid back by all airlines, railways and state wildlife parks.

The TCS on travel agent proposed in the finance bill 2020 to be implemented on October 1, should be completely abolished as it puts the Indian travel fraternity at a huge disadvantage of upto 15% v/s their global competitors. Additionally, the service fee for credit card charges needs to below 1% and all corporate travel agent credit cards to be honored. To additionally ensure the survival of Indian tourist transporters, all inter-state levy need to be reduced and standardized. The year 2020-21 can be declared as a GST tax holiday for Indian tourism without stopping the flow of Input tax credits since there will be minimal GST collections from highly reduced travel within India.

FAITH urges the Government to declare immediate survival measures to prevent mass bankruptcy and crores of unprecedented layoffs. Worldover, countries have already put in support measures for Tourism industry through salary support and tax waiver such as USA, UK, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Indonesia and many others.

Intuit QuickBooks Joins Hands with Milaap to Support Small Businesses in India During COVID-19

Intuit QuickBooks today announced the launch of the Small Business Relief Initiative, in collaboration with Milaap, to help small and micro businesses in India to raise money to tackle the challenges arising from the COVID-19 lockdown. Intuit’s QuickBooks Online is the world’s leading financial management solution for small businesses and accountants.

The Small Business Relief Initiative aims to raise funds for small and micro-businesses that are facing difficulties in paying employee salaries and in covering business expenses due to COVID-19. India has around 6.4 crore MSMEs that contribute to 29% of the GDP and employ 11.1 crore people. (Source)

As the COVID-19 induced lockdown continues, most of the small and micro businesses in the country are struggling to survive mainly due to cash flow problems. The Small Business Relief Initiative brings together Milaap’s crowdfunding platform with Intuit QuickBooks’ expertise, to provide local businesses with the resources and tools they require to start a crowdfunding campaign in a few clicks, via the Milaap  platform where qualifying businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 can raise micro-grants to meet essential business expenses.

Talking about the program, Aditi Puri Batra, Country Manager, Intuit QuickBooks India, said, “Small and micro businesses play an important role in the larger supply chain and thus their health is imperative to kick-start the industry when the lockdown eases. While the Government of India and Reserve Bank of India have taken multiple steps to address the liquidity crunch faced by these businesses, there is a need for more programs that can put cash into their hands as not every one of them may have access to lending. We are hopeful our initiative fills that gap and empowers these small and micro businesses that are also a crucial source of employment for millions of people in the country.”

Intuit QuickBooks India is also fundraising by enabling its employees in India to donate funds to a small and micro business of their choice on Milaap’s platform and creating awareness about the initiative across its small business network and associated brand channels.

Regarding this initiative, Mayukh Choudhury, CEO and co-founder, Milaap said, “Small and micro businesses are a lifeline for countless communities. Over the last decade, Milaap has supported over 1.5 lakh micro and small businesses. An immediate financial stimulus, for these vulnerable businesses is the need of the hour. Such a stimulus will address not only the availability of goods across local areas, but also the sustenance of employment across the economy.”

How the Small Business Relief Initiative works:

Intuit QuickBooks India Small Business help site: Intuit QuickBooks is providing its network of small businesses with a resources and tools site that enables businesses to start their own fundraiser or support an existing one. From there, small businesses can share their story on Milaap and request help covering employee-related and business expenses. Then everyone - friends, family, neighbours, companies - can all search the Small Business Relief Initiative site to find small businesses in need and donate directly to them. Small Business Relief Fund:, India’s largest crowdfunding platform for medical emergencies and social causes, has launched the Small Business Relief Initiative where people can donate to support the overall initiative. Donors in India will be able to donate towards a business of their choice on the Milaap platform.

The Small Business Relief Initiative in India follows a similar program Gofundme launched by Intuit QuickBooks in the US in partnership with Gofundme.

Emirates Steps Up Safety Measures for Customers and Employees at the Airport and On Board

Emirates is stepping up precautionary measures at the airport and on board to ensure the health and safety of its employees and customers. All cabin crew, boarding agents and ground staff in direct contact with passengers will now don personal protective equipment (PPE) which includes a protective disposable gown over their uniforms, and a safety visor, in addition to masks and gloves.

At Dubai International airport, gloves and masks are mandatory for all customers and employees. Thermal scanners monitor the temperatures of all passengers and employees stepping into the airport. Physical distancing indicators have been placed on the ground and at waiting areas to help travellers maintain the necessary distance during check-in and boarding.

The airport team has also installed protective barriers at each check-in desk to provide additional safety reassurance to passengers and employees during interaction over the counter.

On board Emirates’ flights, seats are pre-allocated with vacant seats placed between individual passengers or family groups in observance of physical distancing protocols.

Emirates has also modified its inflight services for health and safety reasons. Food and beverages continue to be offered in the form of bento-styled boxes to reduce contact between the crew and customers during meal service, and minimise risk of interaction. The personal boxes provide customers with sandwiches, beverages, snacks and desserts.

Similarly, to reduce risk of spreading the virus by touch, magazines and other print reading material are temporarily unavailable. Cabin baggage are currently not accepted on flights. Carry-on items allowed in the cabin are limited to laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items. All other items have to be checked in, and Emirates will add the cabin baggage allowance to customers’ check-in baggage allowance. Customers have to wear their masks and gloves throughout their journey from check-in until they disembark.

All Emirates aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes in Dubai, after each journey.

Tata Tele Business Services Offer ‘Work from Home’ Solutions to Enterprises

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered both demand and supply side challenges for enterprises across India. With most of the businesses moving their operations to a work from home mode, Tata Tele Business Services (TTBS) is offering ‘Work from Home’ solutions that empower these enterprises with robust, end-to-end connectivity solutions with secure access, collaboration and back-office operations.

As enterprises adapt to this new reality, TTBS’ Work from Home solutions help them maintain ‘business as usual’ mode while improving their efficiency and productivity as their employees work remotely. Some of these solutions include Hosted IVR, which allows enterprises to quickly set up distributed call center and enable agents to work from home, Audio and Web conferencing solutions which enable collaboration across employees, partners and customers, International Bridging Services that allow business to remain globally connected and Secure Document and Data Management solutions that address security concerns arising out of a distributed and remote working environment.

Elaborating on these solutions, Mr. Sai Pratyush, Group Product Head – IOT, Cloud and SaaS, Tata Teleservices Ltd. said, “The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a need for business continuity and we are committed to not only providing our customers with uninterrupted telecom services, but also support them with innovative solutions that help them deal effectively with this unprecedented crisis. As working from home becomes the new normal, our customers want solutions that enable employees to connect securely from their homes and collaborate effectively with their colleagues who are also working remotely. We will continue to focus on bringing to market, innovative solutions that would help our customers address this new normal.”

TTBS has leveraged its expertise and experience in the telecom sector to address the surge in customer demand for reliable connectivity and access to applications and services they need. With the focus on customer centricity and innovation, TTBS will continue to play the role of technology enabler by strengthening its portfolio of services especially in the areas of SaaS, IaaS, IOT and Cloud.

Following are the Work From Home solutions from TTBS:

* Hosted IVR – The service allows enterprises to setup a ‘Distributed Call Centre’ for remote work scenarios. The cloud-based IVR service facilitates agents receive customer calls on mobile devices, perform complex tasks such as Dynamic Call Routing and Call Hunting for a seamless customer service experience. Moreover, the service al so enables team leads track team’s performance by analyzing call quality and critical parameters like received and missed calls ratio per hour.

* Interactive Website - The service ensure a higher level of customer satisfaction in all digital aspects. It can help the businesses automate visitor’s experience by providing tools to address customer queries remotely. The suite also offers ‘Auto Routing’ to direct customer queries to department specific agents, and ‘In-chat’ file sharing to facilitate agent collaboration to resolve a specific customer query

* Audio & Web Collaboration - Tala Tele Business Services ensures a higher degree of digital collaboration at every step of remote working setup. The ‘Audio & Web Collaboration’ ensures seamless exchange of multimedia files over different platforms and devices. It offers unlimited conferencing service at fixed affordable monthly rentals wherein you can add up to 125 participants at a time. The service enjoys a wide reach with local dial in across 80 countries across the world with 130+ access numbers. The suite offers File Sharing, Chat, Record and Replay meetings over a ‘Secure Conferencing Setup’ for your employees, colleagues, partners and customers over desktops, smartphones and tablets.

* International Bridging Services – With employees making international calls while working from home without any ISD packs, Tata Teleservices’s IBS ensures globally connectivity at optimized ISD costs. The service includes ‘Secure Calling’ to offer password protected ISD calling at employee level with basic mobile devices without any third-party app installation. Moreover, the ISB feature also ensures privacy of employee’s personal mobile numbers by masking it on International calls.

* Document Management System - The DMS service facilitates sharing of large documents remotely without compromising on security. Our document security algorithms secure and de-risk document repositories from data loss. The DMS also enables highest standards of data confidentiality by only allowing authorized users to access certain documents. The service also enables role-based access to boost employee’s collaboration by allowing them to work on the same set of documents remotely.

* Office 365 Collaboration Suite - Tata Tele Business Services also offers ‘Office 365 Collaboration Suite’, the one-stop collaboration and productivity package for all the business requirements. The cloud-based software` suite includes- Microsoft Teams, One Drive, Share Point and Yammer to help the businesses thrive in today’s digital era.

* Dropbox for Business - The ‘Dropbox for Business’ that serves as a central place to store and access documents during work from home scenarios. With Dropbox for business, the teams can work from anywhere and sync important files across all devices.

Faradion Bags First Order for Sodium-ion Batteries from ICM Australia


* Sodium-ion batteries are a superior alternative to Chinese Lithium-ion batteries
* Sodium-ion batteries poised to revolutionize mobile and automobile sectors
* Faradion actively looking at India as a destination for manufacturing of Sodium-ion batteries

Faradion Ltd., world leader in sodium-ion battery technology, has announced its first order from ICM Australia. Sodium-ion batteries, owing to its exceptional superiority over lithium-ion batteries, are likely to revolutionise the automobile/mobility, storage and mobile sectors across the world.

Faradion’s Sodium-ion technology provides similar performance to conventional chemistries, while replacing expensive materials such as cobalt and lithium with the far more abundant sodium. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, Faradion’s sodium-ion batteries have exceptional thermal stability and safety. Further they can be safely transported and maintained at zero volts.

India is one of the largest markets for mobile devices across the world. Recently the country has also demonstrated significant progress in the adoption of EV (Electric Vehicle) technology, making it a priority market for Faradion. Further, as the world seeks out alternatives to China-dependent Lithium-ion batteries, Faradion’s Sodium-ion based technology offers a promising solution. In line with this, Faradion is actively exploring manufacturing presence in India for its Sodium-ion batteries for diversified applications.

Having seen significant interest in regions such as the US, Europe and India due to its performance, safety and price point, Mr. James Quinn, CEO of Faradion says Australasia is the next logical region for Faradion given the market conditions.

“Faradion is accelerating large scale industrialisation of its safe, low cost, Sodium-ion energy storage technology.”

“After Australia, we foresee India as our next priority big market, given the huge growth in mobile devices and a bigger electric mobility market waiting to grow rapidly” Quinn concludes.

In recent years, Australia and New Zealand have demonstrated a steady uptake in battery storage in residential, commercial and grid scale applications due to factors including significant reductions in the cost of storage and solar systems; increasing cost of electricity, concerns about blackouts and financial incentives and policies from the government.

Speaking about this order from ICM Australia, Mr. Thomas Gregson, ICM Australia Investment Director said, “This order represents a first step for an Australian company to commercialise world leading sodium-ion technology, and we’re pleased to be offering a premium product that is safe and price competitive to the Australasian market.”

“We have seen large interest in energy storage solutions recently and believe the Faradion technology can provide, in a sustainable way, the energy security customers require at attractive ROIs,” Gregson adds.

Airtel Marks Earth Day 2020 with LIVE Streaming of Concert by Grammy Award Winner “Ricky Kej”

As India stays home as part of its battle against COVID-19, Airtel’s digital entertainment platforms will enable its customers to celebrate #EarthDay2020 in a unique way.

To mark the global Earth Day celebrations, Airtel will LIVE stream a special concert by globally renowned and Grammy Award winning artist Ricky Kej, who along with 40 other musicians from across six countries will perform online from their respective homes.

The artists will also perform a new song ‘Shine Your Light” which the unique world ensemble of musicians are performing to promote a message of solidarity and showing kindness to everyone especially during these testing times.

The concert will available to Airtel customers for FREE on Airtel Digital TV (DTH Channel 222) and Airtel Xstream App starting 8pm (April 22, 2020).

The mega-concert has been brought together by One Page Spotlight along with WWF, United Nations Climate Change, UNCCD, UNICEF, UNESCO – MGIEP and the Earth Day Network with an aim to support WHO and COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Del Monte Partners with Zomato, Swiggy & Dunzo for "Home Delivery of its Products" Amidst Lockdown

Fieldfresh Foods Pvt. Ltd announced strategic tie-ups for its premium food brand, Del Monte, with online food delivering platforms Zomato and Swiggy as well as door to door delivery app Dunzo to deliver its range of premium food products - which include Tomato Ketchup, Mayo, Pasta, Olive Oil and fruit drinks - to consumers’ homes amidst the continuing lockdown.

As part of the tie up, Zomato has started home delivering Del Monte products in Bangalore.

Zomato has created a Del Monte store under its new Zomato Market section where consumers can glance through the Del Monte product range available in their vicinity and place an order for the same on the app itself.

Del Monte’ partnership with Swiggy will ensure safe and secure supply of its products to consumers homes, starting with Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar in the East region, followed by Bangalore, Delhi NCR and other major cities over the next few days.

Dunzo is currently doing doorstep delivery for Del Monte in Bangalore with Chennai and Pune going live shortly.Again, one just needs to search for Del Monte in the app and the list of stores and products available nearby get displayed.

“In such unprecedented times, we striving to ensure continuity in the supply of our products to consumers. In our efforts to ensure the same, we have partnered with app-based delivery platforms for smooth and safe delivery of our products across major cities, enabling accessibility and convenience for the consumers,” Yogesh Bellani, CEO Fieldfresh Foods said.

These products will be available at Del Monte’s distribution centers from where these partners will pick up and then, ensure safe delivery of these products across cities.

“We are happy to partner with leading delivery startups in this endeavor.This will make sure safe door to door delivery of food items that will help consumers to avoid stepping out and support social distancing, as it becomes the biggest tool for India’s fight against Covid-19,” Bellani said.

All the three tie-ups are operational and have started delivering from 17thApril, 2020.

About Del Monte:

Brand Del Monte has over 100 years of rich international heritage during which it has been synonymous with quality and taste. The brand originated in the US and is now available all across the globe. The Del Monte range of branded processed food and beverage products in India includes Fruit drinks, Ketchup & Sauces, Packaged Fruits and the Italian Range consisting of Pasta, Olive Oil and Olives and a Culinary range for both B2B and B2C markets.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Healing Touch’ Hand Sanitiser Launched By N. Ranga Rao and Sons to Combat COVID-19

N. Ranga Rao and Sons, the makers of Cycle Pure Agarbathies are launching sanitisers under the brand name ‘Healing Touch’ to combat the novel Coronavirus pandemic. The organisation has converted one of their fragrance lines to meet the surge in demand of sanitisers in the market. The vitamin C enriched Lemon based sanitiser has been crafted to ensure hygiene and safety of the citizens.

Committed to serving the nation and its people whom they work with, the brand has turned one of their fragrance lines into manufacturing hand sanitisers to meet the need of the hour. Ensuring the quality and accessibility of the product, the making was guided and certified by AYUSH.

Speaking on the launch, Mr. Kiran Ranga, Managing Partner, N Ranga Rao & Sons said, “The market has seen a surge in demand for hand sanitisers lately, in the wake of COVID - 19. With the support of FSSAI, we have created Healing Touch in just 15 days to meet the supply and demand for this essential commodity. Our target is to reach maximum consumers and safeguard them at a time like this.

"Considering hygiene is of utmost importance in the health space, our hand sanitisers are safe and have been curated in-line with the hygiene standard. Manufacturing hand sanitisers was within our reach and we are glad that we are introducing this in the market at the right time.”  He adds.

About NR Group: 

The Mysuru-based NR Group was founded by Shri N. Ranga Rao in 1948. A true visionary and philanthropist, Shri. Ranga Rao created the ubiquitous Cycle Pure Agarbathies which has today become the largest selling incense brand in the world. From a home-grown enterprise, NR Group has evolved into a successfully run business conglomerate with an established presence in India and abroad. The Group has diversified into various business categories like functional air care products (Lia brand of room fresheners and car-fresheners), wellness home fragrance products (IRIS) under Ripple Fragrances, floral extracts (NESSO) and Rangsons Technologies. Today it is truly an Agarbathi to Aerospace conglomerate as it is also involved in making parts for defence helicopters. The organization has largely committed towards social responsibilities and fulfills them, through its charity arm ‘NR Foundation’. NR Group today is managed by the third generation of the Ranga family. For more information on NR Group, please visit 

NODWIN Gaming Adopts #PlayApartTogether Campaign for India

NODWIN Gaming joins the World Health Organisation’s safety campaign #PlayApartTogether with a range of games to keep young India at home, safe and engaged! Global gaming industry leaders in the interactive entertainment space, including Riot Games, Twitch, Big Fish Games, YouTube Gaming etc have globally joined the #PlayApartTogether, to encourage people to practice social distancing to contain the spread of COVID-19. NODWIN Gaming urges the Indian gaming community to actively participate in the global campaign and #PlayApartTogether.

As part of the campaign, a team of highly respected gamers from NODWIN’s community has curated a list of their recommended games for different devices - mobiles, PCs and consoles. Some of the games are listed below:

Mobiles – Pool, Hearthstone, Last Day Cats, Marvel Super War, Roblox, Mobile Legends and Standoff 2

PCs- Call Duty Warzone, Dead By Daylight, RIFT, Smite, Destiny 2, World Warships, and Rocket League

Consoles – FIFA 20, Gears, Grand Theft Auto, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Sekiro, Red Dead Redemption II and Spiderman.

Globally, the need of the hour is for people to stay home and help in their own way to flatten the curve. This global campaign is the gaming sector’s way of informing and encouraging the vast network of users to follow social safety norms. We have experienced a 25-30% hike in our viewership in the last few days. Gaming today has much to offer – from careful mathematical reasoning to the sheer exhilaration of walking away undefeated, and most importantly, to get our minds off the crisis.  Through games like these, we aim to share WHO’s important message of safety while letting our community know that they are not alone”, said Sidharth Kedia, CEO, NODWIN Gaming.


NODWIN Gaming, India’s leading esports company, is an independent subsidiary of mobile gaming company Nazara Technologies. Formed in 2015, the Gurugram-based company has since produced around 10,000 hours of gaming content, created 20 million+ touchpoints and organized 120+ gaming and esports events. NODWIN Gaming currently operates in India, the Middle East and South Africa.

Through its strategic partnerships with global players & publishers including ESL, Mineski, Valve and Tencent, NODWIN Gaming has introduced Indians to some of the best global experiences ranging from IPs such as DreamHack & ESL India Premiership, merchandise, gaming influencer management services as well as digital streaming services. 

Passport Feature on Tinder Now Free for All Members: Tips on How to Make the Most of It

Background: Tinder made the decision to make Passport free for all our members in this time of self-isolation and social distancing. Tinder Passport is typically a paid feature for Tinder Plus & Gold subscribers. Members can search by city or drop a pin on the map and you can begin Liking, matching and chatting with Tinder members in a destination of their choice. Navigate between your current location and new destinations. This is now available for free to all Tinder members

Tinder has got some insider tips to make the most of the globe-trotting feature while the bulk of our days are spent indoors. For those who haven’t traveled the world yet with Tinder, Passport lets you drop a pin to swipe, match and connect with members anywhere in the world. 

Here are 5 simple tips from Tinder that will help you make the most of this quarantine gem.

1. Give your “boarding pass” a refresh.

Just as you’d spend hours packing the perfect outfits before a big trip--ok or maybe just a few frantic minutes stuffing your suitcase with whatever you can find--you want to make sure your profile has a similar vibe for the city you’re swiping in. If you’re passporting into a destination where it’s summer right now, put your best beachside shots to the front. Even better, if you’ve been to the city before, throw in your favorite photo memories to show you’re not a total tourist.

2. Make it to the gate.

Confused on where to find Passport? We’ve got you covered.

Tap the profile icon
Open “Settings”
Scroll down and tap “Location”
Add a new location
Start Swiping

3. Talk the talk: How to break the ice with your Match

Rule of Passport #1: Don’t google translate your cheesy pick-up lines. There’s never been a better time to retire your auto-pilot icebreaker and send something new that’ll get your international conversation off on the right foot. Here are some examples to get you started:

These opening lines should help you get the chats flowing with your match from Madrid (or, literally, anywhere else in the world).

1. In normal times, what would be the first thing you’d tell someone who’s visiting [insert place] to do?

2. What’s not in your bio that I should absolutely know about you?

3. Are you a jeans on the plane type of person? Please say no.

4. Any idea how you say “nice pic” in [insert the language of your match’s country]?

5. If you had to live in one landmark, which would it be: the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, or the Taj Mahal?

6. If you could go on a trip with any famous person, who would it be?

4. Not just for tropical destinations.

Passport isn’t just for ticking destinations off your bucket list. If you find yourself social distancing with your parents in your childhood hometown far from your everyday life, you can Passport back to the places you used to frequent to keep connecting with new people.

5. The world is your oyster.

You can change locations as often as you want so fill up that virtual passport book. And no need to worry about timezones, your profile can show up for up to 24 hours after your trip so you can maximize your matches. 

NCPA Presents New Edition of the Digital Series, ‘NCPA@home’ from April 23-26, 2020

The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) is back with a new edition of NCPA@home to keep you entertained! Log on to NCPA’s YouTube channel from Thursday, 23rd April, to Sunday, 26th April 2020, at 6pm to witness performances by eminent artistes from across genres.

The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) introduced the invigorating digital series, ‘NCPA@home’ with the intent to spread positivity through art in these unprecedented times. The series showcase includes exclusive videos and content from Indian Music, Dance, International Music, and the Symphony Orchestra of India from NCPA's extensive archival library. Specially curated for music and dance enthusiasts, patrons can enjoy some of the finest performances from the confines of their home!

The digital series has earlier showcased performances by stalwarts such as Girija Devi, Mallika Sarabhai, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Aditi Mangaldas, Mud Morganfield and more. The series further includes presentations, lecture demonstrations and masterclasses.

The highlights of the coming week include: -

The debut performance of New York City’s Mingus Dynasty Quintet in India, at the NCPA International Jazz festival 2019
‘Song of the Himalayas’ – An experience through music, stories and visuals by Indian music composer and musician Shantanu Moitra with Ani Choying, Kaushiki Chakraborty, Purbayan Chatterjee and Ashwin Srinivasan
A concert by the Symphony Orchestra of India featuring Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, conducted by Martyn Brabbins with Marat Bisengaliev on violin
A classical Bharatanatyam dance presentation, ‘KALA - TIME’, by Indian classical dancer and choreographer Malavika Sarukkai at the NCPA ADD ART Festival 2019

Block your calendar and log on to NCPA's YouTube channel to enjoy all the upcoming showcases!

YouTube link -

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Honda India Foundation Extends Support During the Pandemic with Sprayers and Food Packets for the Homeless

Fulfilling its commitment towards the COVID-19 relief efforts, Honda India Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of all Honda group companies in India handed over 800 units of Honda engine powered High Pressure Backpack Sprayers in Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Gujarat.

The equipment was handed over to Mr. Sadan Ahlawat (Personal Secretary to Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana), Mr. Gautam Trivedi (Personal Assistant to Health Minister of Rajasthan), Mr. Sarafraj Khan (Joint Commisioner, Bengaluru, Karnataka) and Mr. M.N. Patel (Deputy Collector, Gujarat Urban Development Mission, Gandhinagar, Gujarat).

These High Pressure Backpack Sprayers are built with 4-stroke technology and Honda’s reliable engine. The environment friendly machines and portable machines can be used easily in multi-storey buildings and helps in completing the sanitization process much faster as the spray can reach to distant areas through its high speed capacity.

Additionally, being a socially responsible corporate, the company understands the need of the hour and supports those most in need as major services stay disrupted. Therefore, in order to take care of the poor and underprivileged in these difficult times, Honda started the distribution of 1,000 food packets each day since 3 April, 2020 to the people of Khoh Village (Dist. Gurugram) & Mohindergarh (Haryana) and to the villages of Vitthalapur, Gujarat.

Supporting the Karnataka Police who is risking their life for the safety of people, Honda started distributing over 500 food packets each day beginning 1 April, 2020.

Lastly, catering to the poor and homeless at this crucial time, Honda provided a total of 8,760 food packets during a period of 22 days to the local administration of Tapukara & Greater Noida.

About Honda India Foundation (HIF)

Honda India Foundation (HIF) is the CSR arm of all Honda group companies in India - Honda Cars India Ltd, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt Ltd, Honda Siel Power Products Ltd., Honda R&D (India) Pvt. Ltd and Honda Access India. The Foundation undertakes focused corporate social responsibility initiatives to promote road safety, environment protection, education & health care. Honda globally aspires to be ‘a company that society wants to exist” and contributes to the realization of a sustainable society by serving people worldwide with the joy of expanding their life’s potential through its social contribution activities.

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