Saturday, June 6, 2020

Private Hospitals Freezes Charge of ₹15,000 Per Day for Covid-19 Treatment in Tamil Nadu

The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday capped the charges for COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals at ₹15,000 per day in Intensive Care Units across the state and announced that no fee over and above the fixed slab can be claimed from patients. In private sector hospitals, the per day charges for treatment in ICUs shall not exceed ₹15,000 and in general wards, for asymptomatic people and those with mild symptoms, the maximum is ₹7,500, Health Minister C Vijayabaskar said in an official release.

"Chief Minister K Palaniswami has ordered the ceiling for COVID-19 treatment charges," the Minister said. For the purpose of fixing upper limit on rates, hospitals have been categorised based on factors like amenities and for the first two levels of Grade A1 and A2 hospitals, the maximum allowable per day fee in general ward and ICU are ₹7,500 and ₹15,000 respectively. In the next two levels of hospitals that fall under Grade A3 and A4, the ceiling for charges per day in general ward and the ICU are ₹5,000 and ₹15,000. Following patients' complaints of exorbitant fee in private hospitals for COVID-19 treatment and media reports over the issue, a panel headed by Health Secretary Beela Rajesh submitted a report to the government on permissible charges for private hospitals, the release said. The government, considering the report has fixed the upper limit.

"The charges that have been announced are the maximum. No fee over and above the permitted charges can be collected from the patients," the government said. During these times of the pandemic, both the government and private hospitals shall work together and people's welfare initiatives like fixation of rates will further augment COVID-19 treatment initiatives, the government said. On Thursday, the government had announced the rate card for COVID-19 treatment under the Chief Minister's Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme in authorised private hospitals in the State. The maximum payable rate per day by the government to private hospitals on behalf of people availing COVID-19 treatment is ₹5,000 for general ward (for asymptomatic people and those with mild symptoms) and in the Intensive Care Unit, it is between ₹9,000 and ₹15,000.

Signify Aims to be Plastic-Free on All Consumer Packaging in 2021

Phasing Out Plastics

* Company phasing out plastics from all its consumer-related packaging
* Plastics will mostly be replaced with recycled paper-based materials
* Switch to plastic-free packaging avoids the use of 2,500 tons of plastics per year

Eindhoven, the Netherlands – Each year, eight million tons of plastic end up in the oceans, killing one million marine birds and threatening hundreds of marine life species. Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues and consumers are increasingly critical of the packaging of products that they buy.

Signify (Euronext: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting, is actively striving for a reduction of the environmental impact of its products. As part of its packaging policy, Signify already uses 80% recycled paper for its packaging and will now start phasing out all plastics from packaging for consumer-related products with the aim to be plastic-free in 2021.

By phasing out plastic used for consumer product packaging, Signify will avoid the use of over 2,500 tonnes of plastics per year. This is equal to 125 million PET bottles which, placed in a row, would stretch more than 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles), roughly the distance from Tromsø in the north of Norway, to Gibraltar at the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula, and back[1]. On top of that, our new packaging is smaller, reducing carbon emissions from transport and the materials we use by 6,000 tons per year – equivalent to the amount of CO2 that 270,000 fully grown trees can absorb in a year[2].

“Plastic waste has a very negative impact on our planet and its biodiversity and we decided that we must take a leading role and start using plastic-free alternatives. It is the right thing to do and meets the increasing expectations of our customers,” said Eric Rondolat, CEO of Signify. “I look forward to the moment that we can announce that we no longer use plastics in our packaging.”

On average, Signify’s packaging policy already requires all packaging to contain more than 80% recycled paper and virgin materials must be from certified renewable sources. In cases where paper-based materials aren’t applicable, Signify looks into other non-plastic alternatives. Signify has already started the phase-out of plastic by removing commonly used plastic inserts from Philips Hue bulb packaging. It has also selected paper foam to package the recently launched Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box. Replacing blister packs with paper-based box packaging will be sequenced across our product portfolio and different regions, starting with LED bulbs in Europe in the third quarter of 2020, and the rest of the world following from the start of 2021.

Signify already started replacing the plastic blister packaging for its LED lamps with paper-based materials in the Pacific, where the switch was received very positively and resulted in an increase in sales.

“When we replaced our packaging in the Pacific region, customers said that it was more appealing and environmentally friendly,” Rondolat added. “I call upon other companies to join us in making the switch and will gladly share our lessons learned.”

Phasing out plastics is a further way we are driving sustainability in our business and another milestone alongside our Brighter Lives, Better World sustainability program. We are on track to achieve carbon neutrality globally this year and already achieved carbon neutrality in 15 of our 19 markets. We were recognized in 2019 by being named Industry Leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third year in a row.

Tata Cha Reopens for Full Service with Zero Contact Dining from June 8

TATA Cha, the out of home beverage initiative by TATA Consumer Products has introduced ZERO CONTACT DINING through a mobile app, as it reopens its outlets effective June 8. Customers will be able to digitally placed orders through the app ensuring zero contact at every step of their ordering journey.

In addition to zero contact dining, the outlets will ensure stringent implementation of social distancing norms adhering to WHO advisory and measures such as 50% reduced seating, temperature screening for customers & Cha buddies, hand sanitization, mandatory masks, and sanitization of furniture after every use.

Speaking about this move by TATA Cha, Sushant Dash, President, Beverages– India & Middle East, TATA Consumer Products, said, “In the post covid era, consumer behaviour has thoroughly changed. There lies scepticism in adopting the pre-covid lifestyle and making it a part of our everyday routine once again. Through zero contact dining and best in class hygiene practices we are ensuring a safe dining experience at Tata Cha.”

All Tata Cha cafes will be open from June 8th and are already operational for takeaways and delivery.

About TATA Consumer Products Limited

TATA Consumer Products Limited is a focused consumer products company uniting the principal food and beverage interests of the TATA Group under one umbrella. It was formed after a de-merger of the consumer products business of TATA Chemicals Limited into TATA Global Beverages Limited, under a Scheme of Arrangement which was sanctioned by the Tribunal in January 2020, the Scheme is operational from February 7, 2020. The Company’s portfolio of products includes tea, coffee, water, salt, pulses, spices, and ready-to-eat offerings. TATA Consumer Products is the 2nd largest branded tea company in the world and over 300 million servings of its beverage brands are consumed everyday across the globe. Its key beverage brands include TATA Tea, Tetley, Eight O’Clock Coffee, TATA Coffee Grand and Himalayan Natural Mineral Water. Its foods portfolio includes brands such as TATA Salt and TATA Sampann. In India, TATA Consumer Products has a reach of over 200 million households, giving it an unparalleled ability to leverage the TATA brand in consumer products. The Company has an annual turnover of ~Rs. 10,000 cr and employs 2,200+ people in its branded business workforce.

About TATA Cha

TATA Cha is a warm tea café which marks TATA Consumer Products’ pilot entry in the out of home of beverage category. The first TATA Cha tea cafe is located at 12th Main Indiranagar, the heart of Bangalore.  At TATA Cha, the essence of the offering is rooted in being authentically Indian. It is about bringing to the consumer the warmth of tapri chai in a modern environment. The balance lies in creating an experience which is premium and aspirational yet, real and authentic. At the core of this venture is the motivation to enhance the appeal of tea and make it more vibrant for the newer consumer groups like the millennials. TATA Cha has an extensive menu crafted to revive lost Indian recipes that blend warmth with a dash of youthfulness. This includes signature tea-based hot and cold beverages, traditional snacks, dunkers, exclusive all day breakfast and meals with a twist. For decades, TATA Consumer Products has built its expertise in understanding the nuances of tea drinking in India and we are aware that Indians love boiled tea. Backed with this insight, TATA Cha specialises in serving freshly boiled tea, just like the corner tea shop, served one perfect cup at a time. An aim to optimize the ‘out of home’ tea drinking experience coupled with snacks, TATA Cha will bring back fond, nostalgic moments.

TATA Cha is designed to reflect the heritage of TATA Consumer Products while embracing local culture. The core objective is to create a space that is warm and nurture a renewed love for tea. The interior décor, hence, brings together a mix of warm soft wood, bright colours, colorful and patterned fabrics to create a charming, youthful ambience. 

Message from Anil Chaudhry, Managing Director and Zone President of Schneider Electric India

I am delighted to welcome you to this very first issue of our monthly newsletter. Through this platform, I would like to share some inspiring stories and developments at Schneider Electric, with you.

The world is moving towards a change which is likely to be permanent. A digitised future, paving the way for transformation of economies and industries, is one of them. The recent crisis has acted as a catalyst to accelerate our process of digitisation. This has led us to see how successfully we could redefine the way we work, interact and conduct our business. From digitising the workforce to adopting strategies that will help accelerate business processes and productivity—we are going through a complete paradigm shift today, and seeing its benefits at the same time.

While the going has been tough a rapid scaling up in our digitisation has allowed us to identify and activate the opportunities which this crisis has thrown up. Our workforce too has been able to readily scale up digitally to address these business opportunities. Going forward we are looking at putting a robust digital roadmap in place, to ensure business continuity and provide our continued support to you through this time and beyond.

This period also taught us some critical lessons. One of the most important was a mindset, to acknowledge, and take the situation head on. While we keep our focus on health and safety, it is important for us to acknowledge that we need to also simultaneously focus on business stability and growth. We represent access to energy and digitisation for our customers and we need to refocus on building an energy efficient world for them. Here’s a safety handbook we have created, you could refer to it for protection during this time.

Manipal Hospitals Bangalore Felicitates 20 Year Old Braveheart Battling Cancer on “Cancer Survivorship Day”

Manipal Hospitals Bangalore one of India’s leading Healthcare provider felicitated 20 year old young brave heart battling lung cancer on account of “Cancer Survivorship Day today. On this day, Manipal Hospitals applauds the heroism and the motivation of such young fighters. Inspiring millions of people who are battling cancer this young boy who aspires to be a journalist has displayed immense grit and courage and has proved that the power of human resilience and undying spirit can help people win over cancer battles.

20-year-old Anirudh has been fighting extremely rare kind of lung cancer and is under treatment at Manipal Hospital, Old Airport Road Bangalore. He was diagnosed with Lung cancer in December 2019 and has been undergoing treatment ever since. Anirudh came to hospital with a dry cough and on further investigation; doctors discovered the presence of a mass in his lung. He had also lost about 9kgs of weight in the recent past and was under extreme fatigue. The symptoms hinted at a possibility of cancer in the lung and he was diagnosed with Pleuro-pulmonary blastoma.  This is an extremely rare kind of cancer that occurs in the chest, specifically in the lungs or lung coverings. Doctors at Manipal Hospitals left no stone unturned to give the best line of treatments to Anirudh.

“No cancer is strong enough to break mental strength of a human being and the survivorship strength and positive attitude has helped Anirudh to defeat cancer. In this case of young Anirudh his will power and positive energy and strength coupled with cancer survivor’s group support and treatment provided by the team of oncologists will help him defeat cancer and he will certainly emerge victorious and will be a Cancer graduate soon” said Dr Somashekhar, Chairman of Manipal Comprehensive Cancer Care, Manipal Hospitals

Dr Amit Rautan, Medical Oncologist at the Manipal Hospitals, Old Airport Road said, “His type of cancer is very rare. It needs treatment with aggressive chemotherapy for multiple cycles. He has been taking these cycles very positively and has shown improvement in his interim scans. We are hoping he responds well and can move forward in life with the same positive and cheerful manner”

It has not been an easy task for Anirudh to say the least, sharing his experience he said “I couldn’t comprehend what had happened when I first heard I had cancer. It took some time for the news to sink in my family and friends were supportive during this period. Also, the doctors and counsellors at the Manipal Hospital constantly ensured I was informed and provided support during this period”

“I was going through chemo which affected my days and my moods” he said “I wasn’t going to college and hence had to keep myself busy and motivated to keep going forward and fight cancer. I have finished 4 cycles of chemotherapy. I have a few more cycles left. I do believe that my family and friends have played a huge role to keep me positive during this time.”

Planning to Invest in Mutual Funds? Here’s How You Can Install Paytm Money App and Grow Your Wealth

Earlier, investing in mutual funds used to be a complicated process with all the hassles of paper-based account opening. With its fully digital platform, Paytm Money app has made it simple and convenient for everyone to start investing in mutual funds and grow their wealth. Now, you can open an investment account free of cost and earn up to 1% higher returns with direct plans, avoiding any commissions charged by banks or distributors. In addition to this, with just a few taps, you get to view updated mutual fund information, top-rated schemes, hand-picked investment ideas and exclusive mutual fund recommendations for everyone to start investing. 

Over time, Paytm Money has evolved into a comprehensive wealth management tool. Here, you can also save taxes with the help of ELSS Funds and build a retirement corpus through the National Pension System (NPS). Together, these two options offer you a combined tax-saving of up to Rs 62,400.  Also, you can start a SIP in your preferred mutual fund for as low as Rs. 100.

Here’s how you can create an account on Paytm Money and start investing in a mutual fund: 

Step 1: Install Paytm Money app from Google Play store or App Store

Step 2: Login with your Paytm account credentials or instantly create a new account with your mobile number

Step 3: Complete your KYC & become investment-ready within minutes

Step 4:  Tap on ‘Invest’ button at the bottom of the home screen

Step 5: Select, ‘Discover Mutual Funds for Investments’ & you can now compare various schemes based on its ratings, ideas, fund manager, and AMC information

Step 6: Select a fund of your choice and tap on ‘Invest Now’

Step 7: The app lets you invest via SIP or the Lump-sum mode. Select your desired option and enter the amount of investment. Next, tap on ‘Proceed to Payment’

Step 8: Make the payment using UPI, Net banking or by setting an Auto-Pay with your bank for automatic deduction of your payments. Complete the transaction and you are done!

Ecom Express Appoints Amit Kumar as Lead - Environment Health & Safety As Of June 2020

Ecom Express, a leading technology enabled end-to-end logistics solutions provider to e-commerce industry, is pleased to announce that it has appointed Mr. Amit Kumar as company’s new General Manager - Environment Health and Safety (EHS) as of June 2020. In his current role, Amit will be responsible for the Health & Safety of more than 30000+ employees working across 2600+ locations.

“Amit is a vital component to the company's senior leadership in critical EHS performance areas. We believe in adhering to the highest safety standards as imperative and he has enterprise responsibility for the EHS operations,” said Mr. T.A. Krishnan, Co-founder and CEO, Ecom Express. “We are confident that his considerable experience will guide the company towards enhanced environment health and safety outcomes,” he added.

In his new role, Mr. Kumar will be responsible for the Management systems and strategic planning for Environment, Social, Health & Safety Management System with major focus on Road Safety and environmental initiatives. He brings the right focus on business growth, operational excellence, Behaviour Based Safety Programs, Process safety, Risk reduction strategies, and Coaching senior management on Safety Leadership. His responsibilities will also include ensuring compliance, implementation, communications and adherence to the EHS regulations and best practices set by the government. He will also provide his expertise, consulting and services to ensure these are in compliance with safety norms.

Commenting on the appointment, Amit Kumar, General Manager, Environment Health and Safety, Ecom Express said, “I am excited to have been granted this opportunity to bring an overall cultural change with respect to environment and safety practices. I look forward to integrating every aspect of the organisation which results in sustainable business excellence.”

Amit comes with over a decade of EHS experience in designing and executing EHS strategies across dispersed organisation, with a focus on business growth, operational excellence, behaviour based safety programs, process safety, risk reduction strategies, and coaching senior management on safety leadership.

Amit’s career in EHS spans numerous industries, including manufacturing, process-based industry, FMCG and IT. Most recently, Amit served as HSE Lead for Compass group where he was responsible for Health and Safety of more than 14000 employees and worked closely with South East Asia Leadership.

About Ecom Express

Ecom Express Private Limited is a leading end-to-end technology enabled logistics solutions provider to the Indian e-commerce industry. Headquartered in Gurugram, Ecom Express was incorporated in 2012 by T.A. Krishnan, Manju Dhawan, K. Satyanarayana and Sanjeev Saxena with their 100+ years of cumulative experience in the Indian logistics and distribution industry. Ecom Express has its presence in all 29 states of the country and operates in over 2400 towns across 25,000+ PIN-codes in India. The company is the first private logistics company in India to envision a full-state coverage strategy, offered in 20 states including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. Through this deep reach strategy, the company has a capability to deliver to over 1.2 billion people i.e. 92%+ of India’s population.

Friday, June 5, 2020

ITC Strengthens its Initiatives in Water Stewardship & Biodiversity Conservation

ITC Limited, one of India’s leading multi-business conglomerates and an exemplar in environment sustainability said that it is rapidly scaling up its highly acclaimed Integrated Watershed Development and Environmental Resources Replenishment initiatives through partnerships with various State governments. These partnerships will be largely focussed on water stewardship and biodiversity conservation.

Over the past decades, ITC has demonstrated environmental stewardship by not only ensuring efficient use of resources but also by augmenting precious natural capital. ITC has the distinction of being the only company in the world to be carbon positive for over 14 years, water positive for over 17 years and solid waste recycling positive for over 12 years.  Over 41% of the energy consumed by ITC is met through renewable sources. ITC’s afforestation programme has greened over 7,76,000 acres. Its watershed development initiatives have covered over 1 million acres, whilst its solid waste management programme Well Being out of Waste (WoW) covers over 1 crore citizens across the country. ITC is also a pioneer in green building movement in the country with over 25 Platinum-rated green buildings. Some of its other notable social investment initiatives at scale include women empowerment, primary education, skilling and vocational training, livestock development, health & sanitation and so on. ITC’s businesses have supported over 6 million sustainable livelihoods till date.

Commenting on the company’s resolve to reinforce its environment sustainability initiatives, Mr. Chitranjan Dar, Corporate Management Committee Member of ITC responsible for overall supervision of Quality Assurance, ITC Life Sciences & Technology Centre, Central Projects Organisation and Environment, Health & Safety said, “Going forward, our focus on sustainability and environment stewardship would gain larger significance in the post-Covid-19 period. The lockdown period has witnessed nature healing herself and going forward, citizens will expect corporates to demonstrate larger steps to replenish and preserve the environment. At ITC, we believe that expanding interventions in environment replenishment and addressing climate change will be critical for a sustainable future.  An enterprise of tomorrow is one that pursues competitive growth to create larger value for society even as it enriches the environment and creates opportunities for sustainable livelihoods. Our Integrated Watershed Development programme, large scale afforestation programme, our renewable energy and green buildings footprint are some of the successful pivots in our strategy to pursue ‘Responsible Competitiveness’ – a socio-economic construct that underpins the ITC’s objective to be future ready whilst ensuring that growth is sustainable and inclusive.”

It is also ITC’s strong belief that Biodiversity conservation and water stewardship are extremely critical aspects of environment protection as forests and other biomass are natural sponges which improves groundwater recharge and sub-surface flows. Such focus is even more relevant today when the world is increasingly imparting a renewed focus on biodiversity conservation as a means to maintain vital ecological balance.

ITC’s Water Stewardship Initiatives

ITC’s extensive watershed programme today covers more than 1,000,000 acres across India. Under this program, the company has adopted a comprehensive approach focussed on supply augmentation and demand side management. Supply augmentation covers area treatment, water harvesting, groundwater recharge and biodiversity conservation and demand side management aims at improving water use efficiency in principal crops of area. ITC’s Kovai Paperboards factory in Tamil Nadu has earned the unique distinction of being the only facility in India to be awarded the Alliance for Water Stewardship Platinum-level certification – the highest recognition for water stewardship in the world.

The success of ITC’s integrated water management approach has not only benefitted farmers by enhancing crop yields and expanding cultivation area but has also led to large savings through efficiency in water usage.

ITC's Water Stewardship programme is also a community based participatory approach. It employs low cost technologies to arrest erosion, enhance moisture, conserve rainwater and recharge groundwater. The benefits of ITC’s water stewardship programme are multiple and multidimensional.

With water scarcity increasingly becoming an area of concern, ITC continues to focus on an integrated water management approach within the fence that includes investing in water conservation measures and rainwater harvesting initiatives at its units. For larger coverage and scale, ITC has also partnered with various State Government departments and programmes such as MGNREGS programme and NABARD for watershed development in 5.6 lakh acres area.

Similarly, as part of demand management, ITC has entered a novel partnership with Water Resources Department of Maharashtra to improve water productivity in 2.42 lakh acres of command area which is under four irrigation schemes spread in 4 districts of the state. This partnership aims at supporting the Government’s ‘More Crop per Drop’ credo and reduce crop water demand in the dams.

These large scale interventions will serve as meaningful examples and inspire many more such fruitful programmes in this area to benefit farmers.

ITC’s Biodiversity management initiatives:

To improve biodiversity, ITC is partnering with Forest departments in Maharashtra and Telangana to improve forest cover through soil moisture conservation and fringe area development. The Company is also partnering with Wasteland and Pastureland development board of Rajasthan for regeneration of pasturelands in the State. These partnerships will help impact 79,000 acres of forest land and 2.47 lakh acres of pasturelands in 11 districts.

As a responsible Corporate, ITC is committed to continue to strengthen and scale up its environmental sustainability interventions through-and post the pandemic. The company believes that business is an integral organ of society that can bring about transformational change in social value creation, besides enriching the environment. It is with this conviction that ITC continues to pursue business models that envisages the creation of social and environmental capital and economic wealth as a unified strategy.

Vedanta Iron Ore Karnataka Pledges 40,000 Sapling Plantation on World Environment Day

Vedanta Iron Ore Karnataka, as part of its bio-investment agenda this year has chalked out a target to plant over 40,000 saplings to mark the celebration of World Environment Day. These plantations will be carried out inside the mining vicinity and as well as peripheral community areas. Vedanta Iron Ore Karnataka has been consistently working towards creating a sustainable ecosystem and also, organising continuous activities for creating awareness among the employees, stakeholders, and community on the importance of a cleaner and greener environment. So far, under this project around 50,000 sapling plantation was carried out last year at demarcated areas such as rehabilitation of mine dumps and safety zones & at forest areas, mining sites, schools & roadsides in Chitradurga District. To mark the occasion, there will be a week-long observation and as a part of one of the initiative, 'Each one- Plant one' each employee will be provided with a sapling to plant at their respective residences.

On the occasion, Mr. Krishna Reddy, Director - Iron Ore Karnataka said, 'As a responsible corporate organization we operate on a sustainable and safe framework that protects our direct and indirect employees, peripheral communities & our surrounding environment. Our efforts over the years have subsequently ensured the revival of a healthy environment through our continuous development initiatives. We are sincerely committed to intensifying our efforts to create a more sustainable future for our future generations.'

Under the prevailing circumstances of the widespread pandemic, Vedanta is committed to ensure the safety of it's direct and indirect employees and stakeholders, by taking all the required mandatory precautions such as  social distancing to carry out the plantations in structured phases.  On the occasion, the employees of Vedanta Iron Ore Karnataka took the customary pledge with an intention to provide impetus to their efforts directed at a cleaner and greener environment. The week-long activities will be conducted keeping in tune with this year's theme “Time for nature.”

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Announces Upcoming Price Hike for Camry Hybrid & Vellfire Models

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) has announced its decision to implement a price increase for Camry Hybrid Electric Vehicle and The Vellfire with effect from July 2020. The impending hike have been necessitated due to the substantial rise in exchange rate.

Touted as one of Toyota’s flagship models amongst self-charging electric vehicles, the new generation Camry Hybrid Electric Vehicle redefines luxury sedan experience with its dynamic performance, styling & comfortable interiors.  The Vellfire, latest launch by TKM in India, also stands out for its ultra-luxurious, powerful and eco-advanced performance backed by low fuel consumption and carbon footprints.

Since their launch, both the models have received overwhelming response and have seen a steady demand in the Indian market.

Ather Energy Completes Two Successful Years of Operations in India

2 Years of Operations

* Expanding to 8 new cities with new financing and ownership models.
* Introducing exchange offers & upgrades on ICE vehicles to boost the adoption of EVs

Ather Energy today completes two years since the launch of the Ather 450 in Bengaluru. Since 2018, the company has grown in leaps and bounds adding the Ather 450 Plus & Ather 450X to its product portfolio and will be expanding to 8 more cities in 2020.

Ather was the first automobile company in India that has been offering OTA upgrades to its consumers: adding new ride modes, new features and constantly improving the ride and ownership experience. With 6 Over The Air (OTA) software upgrades, the Ather 450s on the road have only been improving since their delivery, unlike traditional vehicles that don’t have the ability to upgrade their in-field vehicles.

The company has added a slew of financial models to make adoption of EVs easy. Their first-in-category lease plans made owning a two wheeler easier, with no long term commitment. And with the Ather 450X launched in January 2020, the company has rolled out an innovative battery subscription model. In this plan, the consumer pays for the scooter, without the cost of the battery. The battery is paid for under a monthly subscription model that only makes the upfront scooter sticker price lower, but also provides a lifelong battery warranty – as long as the customer is on the subscription plan. The company is now planning to come up with a vehicle exchange program to attract scooter owners to upgrade to a better electric vehicle. There are other ownership models that the company is piloting, which will be rolled out over the next few months.

The next 6 months will see Ather in multiple cities with its new products : Ather 450X & Ather 450 Plus. The company is gearing up to open experience centres through dealerships in Hyderabad, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Coimbatore, etc. The new 400,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Hosur will also open later in the year.

Tarun Mehta, Co-founder and CEO Ather Energy said “The lockdown helped us reevaluate and reassess our long term goals. We are going to open as many avenues as possible to promote electric vehicles. From introducing new ownership models and to continue offering the most varied financing options, we will ensure that owning an E2W is a hassle-free proposition for any consumer. Exciting times ahead for Ather and the EV industry”

Some facts on Ather 450 owners & the community :

* 11 million kilometers traveled across the Ather 450 fleet.
* 6 OTA updates on the Ather 450
* Most distance traveled by a single Ather 450: 26,600 km
* More than 7000 evangelists and owners on the Ather Forum

TECNO Celebrates ‘1 Million Spark Customers’; Ups Community Platform Play with TECNO Spot

With its popular SPARK smartphone series, TECNO hits the 1 million Spark customer count in 7 months in India. The watershed moment reinforces TECNO’s success story in India on the back of a ‘segment-first’ approach which has consistently pushed the benchmark for entry-level and mid-budget smartphones on camera, design and the overall feature-led experience.

With Spark series including SPARK Go Plus and recently launched SPARK 5, TECNO has set a benchmark of bringing the most affordable dot notch display, biggest screen, futuristic premium design, AI-supported Quad camera, massive battery in the budget segment which was unprecedented and went a long way in creating real value for the customers of the segments.

The achievement has also lent a supporting hand in boosting TECNO’s immediate efforts to offer a common, interactive online platform for its consumers with ‘TECNO Spot’. This innovative platform has provided consumers with compelling means to connect and interact with their favorite smartphone brand, while indulging in games and contests. The endeavor also marks the company’s intent to ramp up its online play and build a strong community of TECNO Smartphone users in India.

Commenting On the development, Arijeet Talapatra, CEO of TRANSSION India said, “Since its incubation, TECNO demonstrated its unfaltering commitment to the India market. With our offerings and initiatives, we have tried to create real value for our customers and the people of Greater Bharat. And the achievement of 1 million Spark customers clearly shows that our customers have acknowledged the value we have created for them and appreciate our efforts. With our consumers being the glue that holds the brand together, it is imperative for us to continue putting our best foot forward in order to serve them better. TECNO Spot is one such initiative that we believe will enable us to connect with our customers in a better way.”

TECNO Spot is a community platform for TECNO users and can be accessed either by registering at or by downloading the TECNO Spot App from the Google Play Store.  Within one month of its launch, TECNO Spot India is now a 6000+ strong user community that enables users with latest news, launches, reviews, tips and tricks on photography and engaging activities. Consumers can get to know more about the functioning of a product, or seek clarity on any issues faced by them in regard to their TECNO smartphones and also share suggestions and feedback about the products.  And the fun part is that the consumers can also participate in contests, polls and stand a chance to win exciting prizes, while interacting and supporting each other, just like a community.

As per the Counterpoint Report for Q1’20, post the launch of the Spark Series, TECNO has strengthened its position as one of the Top 5 offline smartphone brands in the 5-7k segment. Stepping into 2020 H2, TECNO in line with its ‘India First’ approach will further consolidate its position to build a strong portfolio across 5-10K smartphones category by introducing many other segment-first features such as best in-class battery, design, display and camera experience that is customized to enhance the life of the Indian consumers.

Huami Launches Amazfit BIP S Smartwatch at INR 4,999 in India


* Powered with 40days battery, GPS and compass, 5 ATM water resistant
* Launched on Online platforms Amazon, Flipkart & Myntra
* Also available in the offline market across India via leading stores like Croma, Reliance Digital & Poorvika Mobiles
* Debuted on Amazfit’s India website -

Huami Corporation, a biometric and activity data-driven company with significant expertise in smart wearable technology and the number 1 smartwatch brand in the watch segment, has officially launched Amazfit Bip S smartwatch in India. Starting 3rd June onwards, customers can purchase Amazfit Bip S online on Amazon, Flipkart & Myntra and offline via Croma, Reliance Digital & Poorvika Mobiles at INR 4,999/- across the country. The brand is all set with heavy retail offline and online presence for their latest launch, customers can also purchase Bip S by Amazfit’s official website in India, Huami has partnered with PR Innovations, a leading technology importer, to market and distribute Amazfit Bip S in India.

Amazfit Bip S is the latest addition to the Bip model that has gained wide acceptance in the market earlier. Bip S integrates Huami-PAI, a revolutionary indicator of personal activity that gives you details about your heart health and overall fitness, helping you reach or maintain your personal best. Bip S is equipped with power-packed battery life and sleep tracking with ultra-lightweight and thin body design. Featuring a colourful transflective display, and 5 ATM water resistance, great battery life of up to 40 days*, Bluetooth music control and built-in GPS, the latest Amazfit Bip S provides an exceptional experience at a promising price bracket.

Commenting on the launch, Mark Mao, Vice President of Overseas Business, Huami, said, “Following the huge success and popularity of Amazfit Bip and Amazfit Bip Lite we have now introduced Amazfit Bip S, which debuted at CES 2020. We are elated to launch our latest product Amazfit Bip S in the Indian market. The Bip S is designed for millennials and fitness enthusiasts to track their daily activities & performance while doing sport and adding colors to their lifestyle. The Indian market has always accepted us with great trust and response, and we are looking forward to receiving the same once again.” 

The Amazfit Bip S is equipped with daily tracking activities along with 10 sports modes: Treadmill, Outdoor running, Walking, Indoor cycling, Outdoor cycling, Open water, Pool, Yoga, Elliptical trainer, Freestyle. Huami self-developed optical sensor, provides high-precision continuous heart rate tracking, heart rate warning and heart rate interval values. The highly colorful display is always on and easily readable outdoors even under bright sunlight. It has true bright colors with 64 Gamut. Built-in GPS and GLONASS dual mode positioning allow you to accurately track your route and distance.


With up to 40 days endurance on a basic usage scenario and 15 days on a typical usage scenario, the Bip S battery will keep up with one’s busy & active lifestyle.

*Test conditions:

30 days: Run once a week for 30 minutes, receive 100 notifications per day, default brightness 60%

Note: Tests conducted in-lab, results may vary according to usage

OYO Initiates Feed for Good- Food Drive for the Needy Across Six Cities Across Indian

CSR Activity

* ‘Feed for Good’ - food drive to provide 1000 meals per day to the needy, including migrants and the underprivileged will run for 5 days across Delhi, Noida, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata & Hyderabad
* OYO has partnered with Jagorani, Live to Give & The United Foundation to execute the food drive

Given the current COVID19 situation, shortage of essentials and commute restrictions, there is a dire need to reach out to those stranded and left without basic necessities. The pandemic has impacted many including migrant & daily wage workers without any means to earn a livelihood and provide for their family.  Standing together with the government and local administration efforts during these tough times, OYO, one of the world’s leading hotel chains is organising a food drive initiative, ‘Feed For Good’ across six cities in India to distribute over 1000 meals per day for a duration of 5 days.  Starting June 1, the drive is being held in Delhi, Noida, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata & Hyderabad.

OYO has partnered with Jagorani, Live to Give & The United Foundation who will help ensure that hygienically-prepared & packaged, nutritious meals reach the ones in need.

* Jagorani Foundation in association with OYO is conducting the drive in the Sundarbans at the Super-cyclone Amphan Relief Camp.

* The United Foundation is distributing meals to daily wage workers and Shramik passengers transiting from Bengaluru via Shramik special trains that began operations from May 1 for transportation of stranded migrant labourers.

* Live to Give will be serving disadvantaged, domestic and daily wage working women, widows and their families.

Speaking about the ‘Feed for Good’ initiative, Ankit Gupta, Chief Operating Officer & SVP – Frontier Businesses, OYO India and South Asia said, “These are trying times for all of us around the world. But it is also a time for us to step forward and help those in need. As the coronavirus continues to impact livelihoods, several sections of society have been left without basic necessities. We hope that the food drive helps and supports those in need. At OYO we strive to stand together with the community and do our bit as a responsible corporate citizen. We stand by our motto that we are #InThisTogether. ”

Commenting on the initiative, Marzy Parakh, Founder, Live to Give said, “We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to OYO for supporting our cause and to the Women’s Development Corporation Of Maharashtra which serves 1.6 million disadvantaged families in Maharashtra. Through them, we were able to identify and serve a verified list of thousands of disadvantaged, domestic and daily wage working women, widows and their families.”

Earlier OYO also initiated  ‘Donate A Night’, a crowdfunding campaign across its platforms where one can voluntarily contribute to donate one night’s accommodation for migrants, daily wagers, medical first responders, policemen and other emergency services personnel.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Emirates Offers Flights for Passengers to 29 Cities and Resumes Transits through its Dubai Hub

Following the UAE Federal Government’s announcement to lift restrictions on transit passengers services, from 15th June Emirates will offer passenger services to 16 more cities on its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. With travel restrictions remaining in place in most countries, customers are reminded to check entry and exit requirements before their journeys.

Flights to the following cities will be available for booking on or via travel agents: Bahrain, Manchester, Zurich, Vienna, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dublin, New York JFK, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, Taipei, Hong Kong, Perth and Brisbane.

In addition, from 8th June Emirates will offer flights from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad for travellers from Pakistan who wish to connect onwards to other Emirates destinations.

With this latest announcement, Emirates will be offering flights for passengers on the back of its scheduled cargo operations from Dubai to 29 cities, including existing flights to London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney, Melbourne and Manila (from 11th June).

Customers can book to fly between destinations in the Asia Pacific and Europe or the Americas, with a convenient connection in Dubai, as long as they meet travel and immigration entry requirements of their destination country.

Working closely with the UAE authorities, Emirates continues to take a measured and phased approach to flight resumption and rebuilding connections between Dubai and the world.

Health and safety first: Emirates has implemented a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the customer journey to ensure the safety of its customers and employees on the ground and in the air, including the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to all customers.

Travel restrictions: Customers are reminded that travel restrictions remain in place, and travellers will only be accepted on flights if they comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their destination countries. Residents returning to the UAE can check the latest requirements at:

AP Govt Collaborates with IBM to Offer ‘Watson Assistant for Citizens’ to Provide Responses to Covid-19 Questions

The National Health Mission, under the Government of Andhra Pradesh, and IBM announced today that a virtual agent that provides COVID-19-related information for citizens on the response efforts and measures by the Andhra Pradesh Government has been launched at the Andhra Pradesh National Health Mission portal of Department of Health, Medical and Family Welfare - - a website under the auspices of the Andhra Pradesh Government.

The Watson virtual agent (called Watson Assistant for Citizens) on the IBM public cloud brings together Watson Assistant, Natural Language Processing capabilities from IBM Research, and state-of-art enterprise AI search capabilities with Watson Discovery, to understand and respond to common questions about COVID-19 in English, Telugu and Hindi.

Shri Bhaskar Kattamneni, Mission Director, National Health Mission and Commissioner of Health, Medical & Family Welfare Department, Andhra Pradesh said, “IBM has been a trusted partner to the Government of Andhra Pradesh for a long period of time in enabling better delivery of citizen services. I appreciate the collaborative efforts of IBM in disseminating meaningful information to citizens of Andhra Pradesh in this pandemic situation. While the government is putting all resources available at its disposal to use, efforts like these go a long way in helping citizens meet their information needs. I also appreciate the quick turnaround time of the IBM team to include Telugu, the official language of state, into the Watson virtual agent.”

Commenting on the announcement, Sandip Patel, General Manager, IBM India/South Asia said, “In these unprecedented times, access to accurate information plays a critical role in allaying fears, dispelling myths and building trust among citizens. We are honoured to collaborate with the Government of Andhra Pradesh and to contribute to the prompt measures they have taken to provide their citizens with easy access to relevant information from reliable sources in local language. IBM is the innovation partner to businesses, governments and citizens across the world, and is committed to marshalling its resources, technology and expertise towards initiatives that help to manage COVID-19 outbreak.”

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the police helplines and call centers of other relevant bodies have received a large number of calls from citizens asking to be informed on matters relating to COVID-19. In order to reach as many citizens as possible and meet their information needs, the National Health Mission, under the Government of Andhra Pradesh has collaborated with IBM to set up a Watson - based virtual agent that has been designed and trained to understand natural language and interact with users.

Based on the information provided by all the relevant ministries of the Central Government and the Andhra Pradesh Government for the prevention & treatment related guidance, citizen welfare schemes and consolidated at the main portal of the Department of Health, Medical and Family Welfare, Andhra Pradesh. The virtual agent can answer citizens' questions, asking for clarification or redirecting the user to specific information on the portal or to other websites of related ministries and official bodies. The virtual agent is deployed in a web browser and it is built in a way that it safeguards the privacy of the users.

The objective of this type of advanced technologies (chatbots or virtual agents) is to help reduce the waiting times for calls that users make to the telephone lines of state services relating to the novel coronavirus with an aim to best serve them.

Apollo Clinic and HDFC ERGO Collaborate to Offer Customers a Healthy and Secure Future

HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company, India’s third largest non-life insurance provider in the private sector, and Apollo Clinic, India’s leading multi-specialty clinics by Apollo Health and Lifestyle (AHLL), announced their corporate agency tie-up to offer insurance products to customers. Taking the approach “Together Towards Tomorrow for a Healthier and Secure Future” the two companies aim to provide financial security to customers from hospitalisation and treatment expenses.

The COVID-19 pandemic has well established that a health exigency may strike anyone at any time. Unless one is covered with a comprehensive health insurance plan, hospitalization bills and treatment expenses will eat into your hard earned savings. But, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, majority of Indians do not have health expenditure coverage. The report stated, 14% of the rural population and 19% of the urban population said they had health expenditure coverage. Therefore, this collaboration comes as a boon to the customers, especially amidst the on-going pandemic, which has made health insurance a must-have for all.

Apollo Clinic is the only comprehensively integrated Primary Care model in India that offers customers healthcare facilities such as Specialist Consultations across 15+ specialties, Lab and imaging Diagnostics, preventive Health Checks, Vaccinations, Diabetes care, Dentistry, Audiology, Eye care & wear, Urgent Care treatment room and a Pharmacy. Apollo Clinic provides customers access to quality healthcare, at their convenience, and this association will now offer financial security with HDFC ERGO’s comprehensive health plans – my:health Suraksha and my:health Medisure Super Top-up. Furthermore, customers of Apollo Clinic will also have access to wellness benefits under HDFC ERGO’s my:health mobile application, which include fitness discounts at renewals, specially designed preventive health check-ups after every renewal and wellness services like health coaching, nutrition and weight management services, discounts at pharmacies among others.

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Ankur Bahorey, President – Bancassurance, HDFC ERGO General Insurance said, “Apollo Clinic is committed to their customers and offers best-in-class healthcare services. Our association will now allow their customers to avail quality insurance products as well, along with a promise of superior customer service experience from HDFC ERGO. The collaboration makes the famous phrase ‘Health is Wealth’ come true and we are geared-up ‘Together Towards Tomorrow for a Healthier and Secure Future’ for our customers. We see immense potential in this association and firmly believe that customers of Apollo Clinic will benefit from the bouquet of our Insurance products.”

Mr. Anand Wasker, Chief Operating Officer, Apollo Clinic said, “Our Vision is to “touch a billion lives” and we are able to do this by being the first port of call in the neighborhood providing all Primary Healthcare OPD services under one roof via the Apollo Clinic format. Customers truly and deeply think about their health when they visit a healthcare centre and we wanted to offer them superior Health Insurance products. HDFC ERGO General Insurance & Apollo Clinic both believe that Health Insurance is a critical component of our customer’s endeavor to live a healthy life; both physically and financially.”

Apollo Clinic is the first and only Healthcare Company in India, to have secured a corporate agency for the distribution of Insurance products. Customers can avail of HDFC ERGO’s insurance policies at any of the Apollo Clinics or through their website

Singapore Tourism Board Partners with Zomato to Bring Virtual Weekend Fest Experience through Zomaland@Home

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is among the first National Tourism Organizations (NTOs) to stage an elaborate consumer engagement event in India, digitally, in partnership with Zomato, during the on-going COVID-19 situation. Constantly on the look-out for innovative and effective ways to engage the Indian consumers and present itself as a top-of-mind destination, the STB is embarking on a partnership initiative with Zomato for “Zomaland@home”, happening during the first two weekends of June 2020.

After a successful partnership with Zomato for ‘Zomaland Season 2’ which was held across nine cities in India, the STB is presenting a digital initiative with the leading restaurant aggregator and food-delivery platform. “Zomaland@home”, as a weekend festival, will feature renowned artistes from both India and Singapore showcasing their talents and passions across food, music, stand–up comedy and more. Fans can enjoy the festivals from the comfort of their homes.

This association will feature a total of seven Singaporean artistes such as rapper and singer Yung Raja, chefs Sarah Huang Benjamin and Eric Chan, mixologist Vijay Mudaliar, stand-up artistes Rishi Budhrani and Sharul Channa, DJ Luq Here along with Indian Chef Saransh Goila who has previously worked with the STB on multiple projects.

Viewers will get to see interesting collaborations between the artistes. Chefs Eric and Saransh will be coming together to share their common passion for food, their journeys as Chefs and cook up a surprise dish inspired by each other’s cultural background. Collaborating for the first time ever will be Rapper and singer Yung Raja and his Indian counterpart Naezy, where fans can expect a rousing and high-energy rap performance as the two talents come together to elevate each other’s artistry to the next level. 

In addition, Chef Eric will be sharing his recipe for the specialty Cheesecake dessert at his restaurant “Mad About Sucre” while Chef Sarah will highlight Singapore’s Peranakan culture with a masterclass on making popular kueh (bite-sized snack) Ondeh Ondeh (glutinous rice balls with palm sugar filing coated with desiccated coconut). Audience can also look forward to impressing their friends with new and interesting DIY cocktail recipes by well-known mixologist Vijay from native Bar. Viewers will be treated to a night of laughter from stand-up comedians Rishi and Sharul’s “Kitchen Roast” session, where the comedians try their hand at cooking while roasting each other. Luq Here (DJ) will be spinning popular dance tracks to keep the party going.  

Over the last few years, STB has promoted its destination brand “Passion Made Possible” creatively and presented Singapore’s diverse offerings to an important market like India. Speaking about this association with Zomato, GB Srithar, Regional Director – India, Middle East & South Asia (IMESA), STB said, “It will take some time before we can welcome visitors back to Singapore, as the global COVID-19 situation remains volatile. While travel restrictions are still in place, we seek to continue our strong connections with the Indian consumers. After a successful partnership with Zomato in 2019, we are thrilled to embark on this innovative joint digital initiative to showcase Singapore’s culinary, nightlife, entertainment offerings to the Indian audience through these virtual weekend festivals. We invite Indian audiences to tune in and enjoy the experiential delights that our Singapore and Indian talents have to serve up.”

Chaitanya Mathur, Global Head, Zomato Live adds, “After the success of Zomaland across 9 cities nationally, and a season-long partnership with Singapore Tourism Board, we are elated to further continue our relationship via Zomaland @ Home - Zomato’s foray into the digital space of food & entertainment. Both, Indian & Singapore’s celebrated talents from the culinary, nightlife and entertainment industry will perform live across various platforms and offer incredible experiences to our audiences & keep us thoroughly entertained over the next 2 weekends, while we follow quarantine even across countries and borders.”

Industry Response on Approval Provisioning of Rs 20,000 Crore as Subordinate Debt to Provide Equity Support to Stressed MSMEs

Reaction quotes from and  Crediwatch on Union Cabinet announcement on the approval provisioning of Rs 20,000 crore as subordinate debt to provide equity support to stressed MSMEs

Ms Meghna Suryakumar, Founder and CEO, Crediwatch (A credit intelligence firm provides data insights to lenders and corporates for business entities)
In our view, some of the measures which should be welcomed by small businesses in India are - New definition for MSMEs - As per the new regulation, the new categorization of investment of Rs 1 cr and turnover of Rs 5 cr being classified as micro-units. Units with an investment of Rs 10 cr and turnover of Rs 50 cr will be classified as small units while those with an investment of Rs 50 cr and turnover of Rs 250 cr will be classified as medium units.the new definition will promote them into growing further in size and scale. The infusion of Rs 50,000 crore equity scheme for MSMEs with an excellent export track record will help them in getting listed, this move to further push – India’s step onto becoming self-reliant.

Collateral-free automatic loans - While this extends the previous loan moratorium benefits, the new terms should benefit as many as 45 lac businesses and help with working capital requirements in coming days. We believe, setting the threshold for eligibility (Rs 25 cr outstanding and Rs 100 cr turnover) is helpful. This would help the small businesses meet some immediate working capital needs like salaries, rents etc and would help kickstart the business after the lockdown.  The distressed asset fund of Rs 4,000 crore, will aid 200,000 distressed MSMEs with loans of up to Rs 75 lakhs”.

Mr Sandip  Chhettri, COO, (India’s largest online B2B marketplace)

"The Cabinet’s decision to further upward the investment and turnover limits for medium enterprises is a welcome one. After 14 long years since enactment of the MSME Development Act, a revision in MSME definition was announced last month, according to which limit of medium units was increased to Rs. 20 Crore of investment and Rs. 100 Crore of turnover. Now on June 1, it has been decided that for medium enterprises the limits will be Rs. 50 Crore of investment and Rs. 250 Crore of turnover.

After the May 13 decision, objections were raised that the Rs. 20 crore/100 crore limit was not enough considering market and price conditions, and it is great to see the Centre taking a positive step so promptly. Time has changed, and so is the market, and the latest move is a realistic and big step forward. We are also very positive about the new composite formula of classification for manufacturing and service units as now there will be no difference between the manufacturing and service sectors."

Bombardier Transportation Extends Partnership with QuEST Global


* This collaboration has enabled delivery of outstanding engineering solutions to the rail industry since 2017
* This extension ensures long-term success in the rail market through strong partnership integration
Global mobility solution provider Bombardier Transportation and QuEST Global, a global product engineering and lifecycle services company, have signed an agreement to extend their existing partnership in order to strengthen cooperation to further develop engineering capabilities for the rail market. The goal of this alliance is to ensure future innovation, as well as excellent delivery and project execution. Since 2017, both companies have been closely collaborating to deliver outstanding engineering solutions to the rail industry.

“Signing this agreement to extend our existing collaboration with QuEST Global is an important step in providing world-class technical solutions to the global rail market. This extended strategic partnership will give us additional access to great engineering talent for joint product development across the entire value chain,” said Danny Di Perna, President of Bombardier Transportation.

Commenting on the partnership, Ajit Prabhu, Chairman & CEO at QuEST Global said, “This partnership is a testament to our expertise in driving transformational initiatives with our customers and long-term partner Bombardier Transportation. Our capability in converging mechanical, electronics and software technologies has helped our customers create their frontier by advancing the ways people live, work, travel and engage with each other. We look forward to helping Bombardier to enhance their competitiveness in the rail domain.”

About QuEST Global 

For more than 20 years, QuEST Global has aimed to be a trusted global product engineering and lifecycle services partner to many of the world’s most recognized companies in the Aero Engines, Hi-Tech, Aerospace & Defense, Transportation (Auto and Rail), Power and Industrial, Oil & Gas and Medical Devices industries. With a global presence in 15 countries, 68 global centers and 12,300+ personnel, QuEST  Global believes that it is at the forefront of the convergence of the mechanical, electronics, software and digital engineering innovations to engineer solutions for a safer, cleaner world. QuEST Global’s deep domain knowledge and digital expertise aim to help its clients accelerate product development and innovation cycles, create alternate revenue streams, enhance consumer experience and make manufacturing processes and operations more efficient.

About Bombardier Transportation

Bombardier Transportation is a global mobility solution provider leading the way with the rail industry’s broadest portfolio. It covers the full spectrum of solutions, ranging from trains to sub-systems and signalling to complete turnkey transport systems, e-mobility technology and data-driven maintenance services. Combining technology and performance with empathy, Bombardier Transportation continuously breaks new ground in sustainable mobility by providing integrated solutions that create substantial benefits for operators, passengers and the environment. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, Bombardier Transportation employs around 36,000 people and its products and services operate in over 60 countries.

About Bombardier

With over 60,000 employees across two business segments, Bombardier is a global leader in the transportation industry, creating innovative and game-changing planes and trains. Our products and services provide world-class transportation experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montréal, Canada, Bombardier has production and engineering sites in over 25 countries across the segments of Aviation and Transportation. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, Bombardier posted revenues of $15.8 billion.

Clumio Unveils Data Protection Service for Long-Term Retention and Compliance of AWS Native Services

Clumio, innovators of authentic SaaS for enterprise backup, today announced data protection for Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service) workloads, eliminating cost, risk and compliance-related barriers to cloud adoption -- specifically, the migration of mission critical apps to the cloud. Clumio’s service, the first data protection service for long-term retention of AWS native services, also orchestrates operational recovery snapshots for free. The company continues to advance SaaS backup for the all cloud enterprise, delivering a seamless public cloud backup solution and enabling companies to get to the cloud faster.

Today’s data protection landscape presents several challenges for enterprises. On-premises backup tools are complex, costly and don’t “translate” to the cloud; these on-premises solutions only provide snapshot data protection, meaning data backup and compliance are not addressed. Meanwhile, cloud backups that use snapshots alone for file recovery and data retention have inherent cost, compliance and ransomware risks. These risks severely limit companies attempting to move mission critical databases to the public cloud. Clumio’s enterprise backup as a service consolidates operational recovery, backup and compliance requirements – all within a predictable cost model. Clumio includes snapshot orchestration for free, air-gap snapshot protection and long-term retention, translating to secure and compliant data protection at a substantially lower cost. This announcement for AWS comes after Clumio’s recent addition of Microsoft 365 to its enterprise backup as a service -- the first enterprise data protection service in the market to protect private cloud, public cloud and SaaS on a single platform. Clumio’s AWS and Microsoft 365 data protection “firsts” empower enterprises to map to an “all cloud” model efficiently and effectively, expediting innovation in the process.

“Enterprises are telling us that they spend 40 percent of their total storage budget on snapshots -- and for that they don’t even get complete data protection or compliance,” said Poojan Kumar, CEO and co-founder, Clumio. “With Clumio, companies shave up to 50 percent off their snapshot spend and can stop paying competitors for snapshot orchestration altogether when they use the free tier in Clumio. Clumio’s air-gap data protection, unified policy management and seamless cloud backups -- all with a predictable cost model -- allow companies to move their business critical apps to the cloud without worry.”

“At FrogSlayer, we must think about how to address operational recovery, data recovery, and compliance for our enterprise clients,” said Brian Cahill, technology director at FrogSlayer. “Clumio seamlessly handles operational recovery while significantly reducing our snapshot costs. Even better, I don’t have to worry about snapshot limitations, or develop scripts and retention algorithms because Clumio handles all of this. We now have line of sight to significantly reduce our TCO for long-term data retention since it is an integral part of the Clumio service.”

"Moving to AWS introduces new complexities for compliance, long-term data retention, and data security," said Joseph Alcorn, manager of infrastructure services and architecture, Point Loma Nazarene University. "Addressing these complexities are 'musts' for our mission-critical database applications, and our legacy, on-prem approach simply did not scale to the cloud. As a single service that protects EBS and RDS for operational recovery, data recovery, and long- term retention, Clumio will dramatically reduce our business risk and costs as we accelerate to the cloud." 

“Organizations migrating their mission critical databases to the cloud are in a quandary when it comes to data protection options. Snapshot-only protection strategies are costly, risky and can be non-compliant,” said Steve McDowell, senior analyst, Moor Insights and Strategy. “Clumio’s secure SaaS backup for AWS native services outsmarts snapshot managers by delivering the same functionality for free, allowing Clumio to focus its innovative tiered pricing model on what enterprises value more - lower TCO for long-term retention and compliance for their data in the cloud.”

Clumio’s AWS data protection service includes the following capabilities:

* Operational Recovery: Point-in-time recovery, in-account snapshots and free snapshot orchestration for EBS and RDS workloads
* Data Recovery: Simple restores, granular record retrieval and air-gap snapshots
* Compliance: Long-term retention, record-level retrieval and deletion, export for legal hold/eDiscovery and data store
Clumio for Amazon EBS became available in November 2019. Clumio for Amazon RDS will be available on June 11, 2020.

Five Apps Working with NPCI to Ease Digital Payments Woes

Though our government has announced relaxations in the lockdown. Many of us  are avoiding crowded areas like  shops,parks and  neighbourhood stores to maintain social distancing in this critical scenario. 

This is where a lot of companies are working to ease digital payments.The  National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) is  urging Indian citizens to use digital payments to reduce social contact and reduce the chance of transmission of novel Coronavirus.NPCI and the State Governments are ensuring that more and more vendors of essential services are on the digital platforms. Below are 5 companies who are working with NPCI to ease the digital payments for the people:


Blockchain-based platform XPay. Life offers an array of digital payment services, including touch screen ATP kiosk, web, mobile app, POS device and others. The platform caters to both B2B as well as B2C segment. The company providing the highest level of transparency during transactions. It has partnered with leading banks to further expand its reach. XPay.Life has completed 1 Lakh transactions worth INR 5 Cr, since its beta version launch in 2019. In the last ten months, it also claims to have achieved 234% growth via web and mobile app. People can pay for their Electricity, Mobile recharges, DTH, Broadband, LPG, Loan EMI, etc. through the Xpay Life App and web version. Majorly serving the rural India for easing Their payment woes, the platform has 253 billers across India with a wider reach to 50000+ pin codes in Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities across India.


Cointab is a mobile app which enables you to manage your money with ease - add bank accounts from 90+ banks and easily check account balance, transfer money to friends & family in real-time and request money from them.You can pay your credit card bills in real-time, do recharge of your mobile/dth, and pay all of your utility bills from any of your bank accounts.You can easily view your Employee Provident Fund (EPF) data, balance, passbook.Its a simple and convenient way of banking  


CRED is a members-only club that rewards individuals for their timely credit card bill payments by providing them with exclusive offers and access to premium experiences. It is a platform that allows credit card users to manage multiple cards along with an analysis of their credit score. Members with a high Experian or CRIF score are eligible for exclusive rewards upon payment of their credit card bills through the app. Among many of the features in the app are CRED's credit card spend tracking and management feature which provided the user with analysis of spend tracking and efficiency of usage of the card.

Pay Nearby

Pay Nearby Technologies, a FinTech company, is offering financial/non-financial services to the underbanked and unbanked segment is on a mission to launch its own network of Micro ATMs.It operates on a B2B2C model, where they partner with neighbourhood retail stores who can offer Assisted Digital Financial Services like Aadhaar ATM, SMS Payment, Khata Service, Utility Payment, Prepaid Cards, Mutual Funds & Insurance, Money Transfer, Hyperlocal Services and payment services like Bharat QR and UPI using the PayNearby App.The company had recently  tied up with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Equitas Small Finance Bank for this initiative.


Udaan was launched in 2016 by former Flipkart senior executives Sujeet Kumar, Vaibhav Gupta, and Amod Malviya, Udaan connects small or medium-sized businesses (SMBs), manufacturers, wholesalers, traders, and retailers to sell goods and services to each other.The company also offers other services such as credit financing and logistics to connect manufacturers with retailers.Udaan is joining the brigade of UPI payments app with its QR-code based digital payments for retail outlets, restaurants and merchants.

Govt Approves Big Agricultural Reforms that’ll Help Farmers Trade Freely in India

The Narendra Modi government Wednesday approved amendments to the Essential Commodities Act and brought an ordinance that will allow farmers to sell their crop to anyone, a move that is expected to go a long way in helping Indian farmers and transforming the agriculture sector.The decisions are part of the Modi government’s Rs 20 lakh crore lockdown relief package, which was announced in multiple parts last month.The changes to the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, will “deregulate” various agricultural commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from stock limits, except in case of natural calamities like famine. 

In context to the same,  Mr. Amith Agarwal,Co-Founder & CEO, AgriBazaar shares, " I wish to congratulate the Indian government, especially our Hon’ble Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Minister of Rural Development Shri Narendra Singh Tomarji for this historic decision. The amendment to the Essential Commodities Act marks the beginning of a new chapter in India's agriculture history. The removal of inter-state agri-trade barriers will help farmers, especially, small farm owners and FPN's to sell their produce at an all India level with better and transparent price discovery mechanism. The measure will improve the ease of doing business for the agri-sector and foster greater transparency, efficiency and trust across the value chain. Additionally, this will serve our goals of doubling farmers' income by 2022 as well as the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan.

He further added that as an industry stakeholder, I am excited by the opportunities brought about by this move. We believe our full-stack agritech e-mandi platform AgriBazaar will empower small farmers and FPN's to connect with buyers across India in a fast, fair and futuristic manner."

Cactus Communications Launches an Integrated Ecosystem of Tools to Simplify the Life of Researchers Amid Covid-19

Cactus Communications, a technology company accelerating scientific advancement, today announced the launch of R (, an extensive integrated ecosystem of tools and support for academic researchers. 

The ecosystem currently offers six tools and platforms, all designed to address a specific need or issue that researchers face. R Pubsure is an AI-powered platform that evaluates the submission readiness of research manuscripts and recommends suitable journals. R Discovery (beta) brings together the power of AI and the researcher community to help researchers conduct literature search faster and more intelligently. R Upskill is a learning platform with the largest collection of curated courses and handbooks for researchers. R Voice (beta) is a community platform that allows researchers to connect with other researchers over wide-ranging topics. An upcoming concept, R Fund, will allow researchers to find funding for their research in a timely manner.

In April this year, CACTUS had launched R Concept, a comprehensive AI-powered, expert-curated platform on research, insights, commentary, and expert recommendations related to COVID-19. This offering is available in the R ecosystem.

Abhishek Goel, Co-founder and CEO of CACTUS, spoke on the motivation behind building this ecosystem: “Modern researchers have to fight to find time in the lab. Too much time is spent on writing, formatting, submitting, reviewing, discovery, planning lectures, and applying for grants—activities that take up valuable time of the very people who could be spending that time in the lab, solving real world problems. We wanted to simplify things for researchers, a need that’s more pressing now than it has ever been.” 

The ecosystem leverages the company’s AI, concept extraction, and deep learning capabilities. Earlier this year, the company had acquired UNSILO, a Demark-based AI startup, to enhance its repertoire of tech solutions. 

The ecosystem will give members access to multiple tools and solutions seamlessly and effortlessly. PubSURE, which was earlier a standalone solution offered by CACTUS, has now been made available in the R ecosystem. Researchers who have signed up with PubSURE can now access the entire suite of R solutions and much more in terms of services, information, and connections.

CACTUS is currently inviting researchers to explore the R platform and ecosystem of tools and share their feedback. 

Researchers can sign up at to access the ecosystem.

Dr. Majeed Foundation Contributes ₹2 Crores Towards Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority to combat COVID-19

Dr. Majeed Foundation, a non-profit institution founded by Dr. Muhammed Majeed, Founder and Chairman of Sami-Sabinsa Group, today contributed ₹2 crores to Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority, to help combat the widespread outbreak of COVID-19.

Dr. Muhammed Majeed, Founder and Chairman of Sami-Sabinsa Group and Ms. Neeraja Shetty, CEO and Director, Sami Labs Ltd, met with the Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, Dr. Ashwathnarayan C N and handed over the cheque to him.

As part of the efforts by Dr. Majeed Foundation to support people in distress, the foundation has ramped up its community outreach programs to reach out to the poor and vulnerable communities. Especially to those who have been most affected by the pandemic in Bengaluru and Hyderabad and provided them with essential food items, protective equipment, hand sanitizers and health supplements.

Recently in Chokkasandra, Peenya, Bengaluru, Dr. Majeed Foundation distributed a total of 2,000 food kits - each food kit containing essential grocery items with 5 kgs of rice, 1 kg toor dal, 1 kg atta, 1 kg sugar, 1 kg salt, I ltr oil, one bath soap and a reusable face mask.

In Hyderabad, Dr. Majeed Foundation distributed a total of 1600 food kits to the residents of Turkapally village, an old age home, and various slum-dwelling units.

Dr. Muhammed Majeed, Founder and Chairman of Sami-Sabinsa Group said, “We have always believed in supporting the less fortunate while also giving back to the society and the nation. Today, as Covid-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented challenge for the state of Karnataka, the contribution of ₹2 crores towards Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority is a step towards helping combat the virus.”

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