Friday, October 2, 2020

Renault Launches “Kwid Neotech Edition” in the Indian Market

* Attractive: Renault KWID’s contemporary SUV-inspired design language is taken a step further with a stylish, fresh and fresh first-in-segment dual-tone exterior 

* Innovative: After having introduced the 20.32 cm Touchscreen MediaNAV Evolution, rear camera and a host of other segment-first features, KWID continues its innovation journey with the KWID NEOTECH edition 

* Affordable: Renault KWID stands out for its great fuel efficiency, accessibility to segment-first features providing an unmatched value proposition and economical cost of ownership, which is enabled by its high localisation levels of 98%   

* These superior offerings have been one the key drivers of its success with KWID recently celebrating its 3,50,000 sales milestone in India  

Renault India announced the launch of the 2020 NEOTECH edition of its flagship offering KWID in 0.8L MT, 1.0L MT and 1.0L AMT variants. The limited-edition features first-in-segment stylish and fresh dual-tone exterior. Customers can choose between two colour combinations - Zanskar Blue body with Silver roof and Silver body with Zanskar Blue roof. With an incremental increase of only INR 30,000, KWID NEOTECH offers a greater value package and maximises the customer advantage, with a host of great features.  


In addition to the youthful exteriors, the KWID NEOTECH edition offers 8” touch screen ULC with Apple car play, Android Auto, USB socket for front passengers, Aux sockets, Flex wheels, 3D decals on the C-pillar, NEOTECH door claddings, seat fabric modification with blue inserts & blue stitches, chrome AMT dial, chrome add-on grille and B-pillar black tapping, all of which add to the fun and spirited look of the KWID.  

Staying true to its focus on innovation, Renault has kept the KWID range fresh and contemporary with several enhancements made at regular intervals to cater to the evolving needs of customers. Renault has always ensured the right mix of modern design and convenient features in the KWID. In 2019, Renault India introduced an all-new bolder, more stylish KWID, loaded with many first-in-class features. The latest RXL 1.0L variant made the KWID range even more accessible for customers, with the launch of the new RXL variant in a 1.0L powertrain, in both MT and AMT versions.  

The Attractive, Innovative and Affordable SUV inspired Renault KWID has emerged as a true game-changer and volume driver for Renault in India. KWID redefines the entry segment’s value index led by its contemporary SUV-inspired design language, best-in-class features and an economical cost of ownership, which is enabled by its 98% localisation levels, which also makes it a strong ‘Make in India’ testament.  

KWID also offers a host of equipment and features, which redefined the segment. These include the 20.32 cm Touchscreen MediaNAV Evolution, first-in-class LED digital instrument cluster, a floor console-mounted AMT dial, one-touch lane change indicator, speed-dependent volume control and a boot capacity of 279 litres. 

As part of its low cost of ownership promise, Renault offers optional extended warranty up to 5 years & 100,000 Km from the date of vehicle delivery. There are other service offerings like Renault Easy care, the prepaid maintenance program which offers assured cost savings. These offerings have enabled customers to enjoy an unparalleled brand ownership experience and peace of mind. 

A New Perspective On Tourism Post The Covid 19 Era Pandemic


A collective of Sydney tourism operators including Sea Life Aquarium, Dreamtime Southern X and Sydney Harbour Boat Tours star in a new interactive destination guide, co-funded by the City of Sydney.

Sydney360 is an online city guide using 360 degree photography from the air, land and sea to create a stunning virtual tour of Sydney with local experts showing off their favourite hideaways.

The concept is the brainchild of Mark Dalgleish, owner of Sydney Harbour Boat Tours whose family-run business was devastated by Covid-19, along with the rest of Sydney’s tourism industry. “We were all in the same boat. Hundreds of small businesses and guides who relied almost entirely on international visitors were facing closures and unemployment. So rather than sit back and wait for handouts we got a small group of operators to think outside the box and fight back” said Dalgleish.

Although Sydney360 includes some of Sydney’s major attractions such as Merlin Entertainment’s Wild Life Zoo, most of the businesses are small independent operators such as Margret Campbell from indigenous tour company Dreamtime Southern X, who’s haunting Welcome to Country sets the scene. “This was an opportunity to do something truly innovative and be able to connect with travellers ‘virtually’ and show them why Sydney is so important to our culture.” she said.

Alan Toner runs EcoWalks Tours, which came to a grinding halt with Covid-19. “I loved the idea of 360, it really brings the national parks and Sydney bushland to life and gives us a new marketing channel for local and domestic business.”

The guide is free and accessible on any device. Online users get a birdseye view of Sydney and can navigate their own journey to places and activities of interest. Filming was done by one of Australia’s leading virtual reality specialists Ondrej Koucky of Rapturous Media, who says the guide represents the future in holiday planning and virtual travel, allowing people around the world to experience the wonders of a destination from the comfort of their living room.

But according to Dalgleish, despite using state-of-the-art technology the most compelling part of the guide is the inclusion of authentic Sydneysiders. “The best way to learn about a place or discover something unique is to hear it from a local, so we gathered some of the most knowledgeable Sydney tour guides and got them to show us their favourite haunts, then by shooting in 360 these passionate story- tellers and places come to life ... it’s the next best thing to being here!” says Dalgleish.

He plans to expand the concept to include other sectors doing it tough during the Covid-19 pandemic, including boutique accommodation and dining. “Our aim is to support local tourism operators by adding content to Sydney360, expanding to regional NSW and taking destination360 throughout Australia and to major global tourism hubs.”

PNB Donates Rs. 40 Lacs to PM Cares Fund Under "DIGITAL APNAYEN" Campaign

The nation’s leading public sector bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB), had launched an innovative digital campaign, named as "DIGITAL APNAYEN," on the 74th Independence Day, which is in line with the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, GOI guidelines encouraging digital banking under the coveted Digital India Initiative. This campaign is being organised from 15th August 2020 to 31st March 2021 and complements the government’s vision of on boarding about one crore customers on digital payment modes under the auspices of the 'Digital Apnayen' campaign. The government’s initiative is aimed at ensuring seamless & secure digital Banking services for all, auguring a new era of digitisation & revolutionary change in the banking norms.  

Punjab National Bank committed to contribute ₹5.00 towards the PM CARES Fund on behalf of each customer on boarding on Digital Platform. To honour its commitment, PNB donated Rs. Forty Lakhs Fourteen Thousand and Forty to PM CARES FUND on 1st October 2020 and handed over the cheque to Shri Debashish Panda, Secretary and Shri Pankaj Jain, Additional Secretary, Both Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. As of now more than 8lac customers have contributed under the 6 parameters of ‘Digital Apnayen’ campaign of PNB. The campaign envisages encouraging customers to use digital Channels and participate in the noble cause of donating to PM CARES FUNDS for COVID-19, by PNB. 

Upon receiving the donation, Debashish Panda, Secretary, Department Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India said “The Ministry of Finance is very appreciative of this initiative of PNB, educating and encouraging a wide range of demographics of the customers to use digital banking channels, which support the government’s Digital India initiative. We thank PNB for the wholehearted contribution that it has made to the PM Cares Fund during this difficult phase of pandemic in the country. This is a very important initiative of the government and the support of PNB in laying the foundations of a digitally empowered society is worth felicitation.”   

On the occasion, Shri S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao, MD & CEO of Punjab National Bank, said, “The ‘Digital Apnayen’ campaign aims to ensure that government services and benefits are made available to citizens electronically and make India digitally empowered. We have seen a rapid increase in our customer base across nation and have successfully added more than 8lac new customers. With the evolving force of customer expectations PNB has been continuously taking formative steps towards enhancing our digital channels and making it seamless and user friendly.  

He further added, PNB is fully committed and will continue to play an integral and indispensable part in the country’s journey towards digital economic progress. It is our honour to contribute to PM Cares Fund with the contribution of our valued customers and a step towards transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.” 

Punjab National Bank committed to contribute ₹5.00 towards the PM CARES Fund on behalf of each customer on boarding on Digital Platform and conducting transaction, basis 6 parameters i.e.  

1. First financial transaction to activate their RuPay Debit card on PoS 

2. First financial transaction on E-commerce platform 

3. Activation of AePS account through fund transfer 

4. Activation of AePS account through BHIM Aadhaar Merchants payment 

5. Activation of UPI service 

6. Download and Registration for UPI facility This campaign is in line with the initiative ‘Digital Adoption’ by the Mission Office, Dept. of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India. According to the finance ministry the Public sector bank (PSBs) have on-boarded about one crore customers on digital payment modes in just one month of the launch of the campaign. 

The campaign, aimed at encouraging customers to use digital banking channels, was launched on August 15 under the aegis of the government's Digital India initiative. Under the campaign, banks were asked to on-board a minimum 100 new customers including merchants and financial inclusion account holders by each branch on digital payment mode. 

Out of 10917 branches of PNB, almost 5000 branches have been instrumental in enrolling more than 100 customers on digital platforms and these branches includes metro, urban, semi-urban and rural competence. 

SBI - HUL Join Hands to Transform Retailer Payments Digitally

* The partnership will enable digital solutions for retailers and customers of HUL

* SBI will provide a paperless instant OD facility to retailers to enable payments to distributors via a hassle-free online platform

* SBI will provide financing to HUL’s distributors at reasonable rates

* The partnership will act as a change catalyst in the adoption of digital payments among HUL retailers, small entrepreneurs in semi-urban and rural areas

On the 151st birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, two of the country’s iconic companies, State Bank of India (SBI) and Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) have come together to cater to the needs of small retailers by providing them digital payment and financing solutions.  This partnership will help digitally empower HUL retailers and distributors through SBI’s customized solutions. Under this collaboration, the bank will offer an instant paperless overdraft facility of up to Rs. 50,000 to retailers for their billings with distributors as well as financing facilities to HUL’s distributors.

To ensure customers get the option of digital payments in smaller towns as well, the bank will install SBI Point of Sale machines at multiple HUL touchpoints across the country. Additionally, SBI will provide UPI based solutions to HUL retailers for hassle-free, safe and instant cashless payments to their dealers from HUL’s retailer application “Shikhar”. The Bank will also offer HUL employees the option of a corporate salary package via an SBI microsite hosted on HUL’s intranet.

Mr. Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, SBI said, “It is an honor for SBI to be associated with one of the most trusted companies globally and offer comprehensive and customized offerings for its stakeholders. SBI has always been working towards serving the last mile customers and similar is the case with HUL which caters to its customers in the remotest part of the country. We are glad that SBI has got an opportunity to leverage its strong geographic presence and strategic digital solutions to simplify the financial needs of HUL’s customers, retailers, dealers, and employees. We are confident that our alliance with HUL will turn out to be an exemplary amalgamation of SBI’s banking prowess and HUL’s inspiring customer connect.”

Mr. Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman & Managing Director, HUL said, "Our partnership with SBI is a push to provide digital solutions to important constituents of our ecosystem. General trade is a very important channel for the country as it serves the needs of millions of consumers by making essential products available. This channel also plays a significant role in our economy by creating employment opportunities for a wide spectrum of people. It is our endeavor to digitize and modernize this channel; support the retailers with the right assortment and enable them to access timely and affordable funding. The timing of the partnership could not have been better as this addresses one of the key needs for retailers and distributors, given the economic fallout of the pandemic."

SBI’s 22000 branches and 58000 ATMs spread out across the country complements HUL’s deep rural reach. The partnership between the two companies will catalyze the adoption of digital (UPI) payments among small-scale entrepreneurs and retailers in the farthest corners of the country and pave way for a truly transformative leg of the digital India journey.

About State Bank of India:

State Bank of India (SBI) is the largest commercial bank in terms of assets, deposits, branches, customers, and employees. It is also the largest mortgage lender in the country. As on June 30, 2020, the bank has a deposit base of over Rs. 34 lakh crore with CASA ratio of more than 45% and advances of nearly Rs. 24 lakh crore. SBI commands nearly 34% market share in home loans and nearly 33% in the auto loans segment. The Bank has the largest network of over 22,100 branches in India with an ATM / CDM network of over 58,500 and total BC outlets of more than 62,200. The number of customers using internet banking facilities is about 76 million and mobile banking services stand a little more than 17 million. The integrated digital and lifestyle platform by SBI - YONO has crossed the landmark of 58 million downloads. YONO which has 26 million registered users, witnesses 5.5 million logins per day along with over 4000 daily disbursals of personal loans, 16,000 YONO Krishi Agri Gold Loans. The bank recently launched the YONO Global app in the UK and Mauritius and plans to cover 9 more countries by the end of 2020. On social media platforms, SBI has the highest number of followers on Facebook and Twitter amongst all banks worldwide.

About Hindustan Unilever Limited:

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is India's largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods Company with a heritage of over 85 years in India. On any given day, nine out of ten Indian households use our products to feel good, look good, and get more out of life, giving us a unique opportunity to build a brighter future. 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

TechGig and American Express Join Hands to Recognise India’s Best Women Technologists

* India’s largest coding competition for women - TechGig Geek Goddess - opened for code submissions recently

* TechGig Geek Goddess 2020 will have 3 screening rounds and will conclude with a virtual grand finale

* Last year’s edition saw participation from 73,388 women technologists

One year ago, Hyderabad-based engineer Tanneeru Leela was best known for her quiet demeanour. Now, she is known as the mighty coder who defeated 73,388 women technologists at India’s biggest women-only code competition - TechGig Geek Goddess 2019 edition! From a quiet, work focussed technologist, to a leading #WomanInTechnology - this persona change happened for her overnight when the world saw her coding prowess at the Geek Goddess code competition. 

A similar transition happened with Snehlata Mishra, who recollected that after winning the Geek Goddess 2018 title, her social media platforms were flooded with ‘connection requests’ - akin to the celebrities. Snehlata Mishra’s story is a typical tale of a talented young woman from a small town who set her eyes on the IT domain and won the prestigious Geek Goddess 2018 title.  

Year after year, TechGig Geek Goddess helps transform the careers of thousands of women engineers who participate in this annual coding event. American Express is a perfect presenting partner for TechGig Geek Goddess, now for the third year in a row. The globally integrated payments company is an ardent champion of diversity and of recognising top women technologists.

The news of TechGig Geek Goddess 2020 edition’s launch was celebrated by Tanneeru Leela and many other past winners and participants. “I’m so happy that the 2020 edition has opened up because I want to reclaim my title,” she said. Last year, her company celebrated her win like their collective acclaim. “They had put up the announcement, followed by a celebration in office and suddenly everybody started to recognise me,” Leela said. 

This is the sixth edition of TechGig Geek Goddess, and owing to the COVID-19 situation this edition will conclude with a virtual grand finale and a career fair in December later this year. The present edition will have 3 screening rounds in two tracks, namely – Coding and Application Development. 

Sanjay Goyal, Business Head of TimesJobs and TechGig said, “Being a technologist, I always felt that coding is powered by passion; not by any gender. However, women coders needed a global platform to showcase their coding skills. The TechGig Geek Goddess has become that ‘global platform’ in the last six years. From 15,000 registrations in the first edition to 73,388 registrations in the fifth edition - the TechGig Geek Goddess community has become 489% stronger! I am proud to announce that American Express has joined us at the world's largest women-only coding contest - Geek Goddess - as the presenting partner for the third successive year.”

“Our partnership with TechGig Geek Goddess is a relationship of pride and purpose,” said Ruchika Panesar - Vice President, CTO Group and Head of Technology at American Express India and JAPA. “American Express proudly backs women in technology and we’re committed to building a diverse workforce and continually expanding our pipeline of top tech talent to include more women and individuals from diverse groups and backgrounds. Congratulations to the very capable and enthusiastic women taking part in this program, particularly during these extraordinary times, and best of luck!”

For now, Tanneeru Leela and her peers are busy flexing their coding muscle. “I will have to start practicing (coding) again because the competition is very tough…. I know,” she said. Here’s wishing all the best to these women!

Registration at TechGig Geek Goddess is free @

Zee5’s HiPi Premier League Promises An Entertaining Fiesta During The T20 Cricket Extravanza

India is the land of diverse cultures. Each city, each region brings its own dynamic mix of people and traditions. However unique they may be, what binds all of them together, undoubtedly, is ONE unifying factor – the love for CRICKET! Be it the Cricket World Cup, an ICC tournament or the Indian Premier League, the craze for cricket is nearly present amongst every Indian. With the onset of the 2020 season of the IPL, fans are eager to engage more with their beloved sport, their favourite team and the sportsperson they love to cheer for. Making the T20 cricket extravaganza even more exciting during the pandemic, ZEE5, India’s entertainment super-app, has curated its own entertaining HiPi Premier League (HPL) on the app’s UGC platform – HiPi, to enable fans to partake in one of the biggest sporting spectaculars of 2020. HPL went LIVE on 19th September 2020 and has taken content creators by storm by giving them a reason and a platform to celebrate cricket.

The HPL is divided in 8 exciting teams with captains who are well-known celebrities and renowned influencers. HPL Gurus (captains) like Sugandha Mishra, Sanket Bhosle, Gaurav Gera and Ssumier Pasricha have started the competition to become the ultimate champions of the league by creating some exciting short videos to entertain and engage with the audience. The 8 competing teams have been formed keeping the actual tournament team and the regions they represent. Hyderabad Hippers, Mumbai Mastis, Delhi Dhoomers, Rajasthan Rockstars, Punjab Putters, Chennai Swaggers, Bangalore Badshahs, and Kolkata Khiladis are the teams on HPL. The teams are creating exciting content and engaging through their captains/gurus while encouraging more people to join their teams to support their favourite players.

Mr. Manish Kalra, Senior Vice President and Business Head – AVOD, ZEE5, India, said, “ZEE5’s journey towards becoming the one-stop entertainment destination is fuelled by the platform’s innovations that cater to the larger consumer segment. The launch of HiPi also stemmed from this vision and has delivered the perfect place for India’s finest creators to craft content and attain the fandom status. Cricket being a strong sentiment in India, the launch of the HiPi Premier League (HPL) will provide these crazy fans one more opportunity to express through engaging and fun content. HPL will truly redefine the cricketing experience by enhancing the T20 tournament’s reach through contribution from the content creators and brands together.”

Echoing these sentiments, some of the gurus of HiPi’s Premier League also shared views on how excited they are, to be a part of HPL.

Sugandha Mishra shared, “The lockdown has resulted in cricket fans craving for every opportunity to engage since they are unable to attend live matches to witness their favourite teams in action. The HPL is set to fill that void that the fans have been waiting for. I am excited to be a part of this unique initiative and look forward to express my love for the biggest cricket tournament on HiPi.”

Gaurav Gera said, “The HPL is a distinctive initiative by ZEE5 which celebrates the nation’s favourite sport in a unique way! It will be entertaining, engaging and exciting for fans to not only consume, but also, create entertaining short format content, participate in challenges, learn more about the game and the players. Be it the fun quizzes, polls or challenges or trivia, the HPL is going to be every cricket lover’s dream platform to express their love for the game in creative and engaging ways.”

Ssumier Pasricha remarked, “All the teams boast of such fun creators that we can expect some fireworks each day with the HPL. This will also inspire more fans to come up with their unique videos and engage with other creators, viewers and brands throughout the league. Be it entertaining challenges, contests, or creativity the HiPi Premier League is sure to encourage the super fan in all of us!”

Pammi Aunty aka Ssumier added, “Apni team nu sport karo te onna nu jitao and make them win HorKi.”

Bringing one more reason to cheer for fans, ZEE5 has ensured that the lockdown doesn’t restrict the interaction of fans with the sport by encouraging them to participate in the HPL. Users whose videos get maximum likes in a day and in a week, in addition to the season’s leading content creator is entitled to win the exciting HiPiZen of the Day, HiPiZen of the Week and the Grand Prize awards.

Dettol Launches Limited Edition Handwash – Made from 100% Recycled Plastic in India

Dettol, the leading germ protection brand today, announced, the launch of its Dettol Handwash’s protection from 100 illness causing germs in a new 100 % recycled bottle in India. The one of its kind, limited-edition handwash bottle has a beautiful contemporary design in black colour highlighted by golden inscriptions. And certain proceeds from the sale of every bottle will directly go to the ASSOCHAM foundation for plastic waste recycling, among other environmental causes. With this launch, Dettol aims to reach conscious consumers who want to make a positive impact on the environment while ensuring regular handwashing habits are maintained.

With the introduction of the category leading Dettol Handwash in a fully recycled bottle, Dettol aims to take a formative step in the direction of addressing the plastic pollution problem which has further exacerbated amidst Covid-19.  As part of this initiative, Dettol will continue its efforts to create awareness about the importance of handwashing to prevent the spread of illness through a 360degree media activation, while also driving awareness of this new unique 100% recycled bottle.

Commenting on the launch and the initiative, Mr. Pankaj Duhan, Chief Marketing Officer, RB Health South Asia said, “The onset of the pandemic has raised many questions surrounding plastic waste. Being the leading health brand, we at Dettol, have partnered with our consumers in their journey to fight the spread of COVID-19 by propagating correct hygiene measures. However, it is also our responsibility to address the environmental concerns arising due to increased use of plastic. With this launch Dettol’s protection from the 100 illness causing germs packed in 100% recycled packaging will not only protect your hands from germs but your environment too. This will provide environmentally conscious consumers an opportunity to give back to the environment, while getting their trusted Dettol germ protection. I am proud to say that Reliance Retail has joined hands with us as an exclusive partner to make the dream of bringing the new Dettol 100% recycled handwash bottle to your homes.”

As a mission-driven company, RB is committed to creating a positive environmental impact through sustainable business practices. On a global scale, by 2025, RB will have 100% plastic packaging for all products made using reusable or recycled material. Dettol 100% recycled handwash bottle is the first step in this direction in India. This initiative is a testament of RB’s commitment towards contributing to the fight against plastic waste, and catalyzing change within the industry and beyond.

The new Dettol Liquid handwash Black is made with 100% Post Consumer Resin (PCR). It is available exclusively at Reliance Retail & Jio Mart in 200 ml sized bottle priced at INR 99.

Bengaluru-Based Orion Mall At Brigade Gateway Gets LEED Gold Certification

Orion Mall At Brigade Gateway is the first mall in the country to receive a LEED Gold Certification under ARC Existing Building category. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. The certification system provides a dependable framework for assessing a building’s degree of compliance with global environmental protection and sustainability standards. Some of the chief parameters that determine a building’s rating include energy expenditure, water usage, carbon dioxide emission, waste management, indoor air quality, etc.

Orion Mall was able to get the certification due to its highly-efficient operational structure that prioritizes sustainability and utilization of green technology over traditionally more cost effective solutions. “I’m proud to say that the Brigade Orion Mall in Bengaluru is setting high benchmarks for other retailers to follow.   This certification is the result of truly exceptional performance by the mall facility team through consistent upgrading and maintenance of facility systems along with strict adherence to environmental protocols.” declares Selvarasu M, LEED Fellow & Managing Director from LEAD Consultancy, who works as a sustainability consultant for the mall.

Even with receiving sizable number of footfalls on a regular basis, the mall has consistently excelled at maintaining the eco-friendly dimension of the overall infrastructure. In view of the extensive range of businesses operating with the mall, this feat is considerably more impressive. Manu R, General Manager - Facilities & Technical Co-Ordination opines “I believe the key to our success as a standard-bearer for eco-friendly operation is our no-compromise attitude. We invest in the best equipment, employ personnel with high degree of expertise and keep abreast of latest developments in green technology that facilitates our pro-environment operational goals.”, Shashie Kumar, COO – Retail said, “Our endeavour is customer-centricity combined  with the focus of sustainability in our day-to-day operations.

"Being Responsible Socially is a Core Value for Brigade. We are constantly exploring for ways to reduce our carbon footprint and improve the operational efficiency of our malls. We invest in technology that helps us save water, reduce electricity consumption. Start-ups from our Brigade REAP program such as WEGOT and Clairco have helped us achieve this.  ” says Nirupa Shankar, Executive Director at Brigade Enterprises Ltd.

About Orion Mall

A world-class mall in every facet, the iconic Orion Mall at Brigade Gateway is Brigade Group's flagship mall venture and has won every accolade and prestigious award bestowed by the most recognised industry associations in India. This premium mall set high standards across construction, architecture, consumer experience, and marketing; and quickly established itself as the benchmark among its peers. Spread across 8.2 lakh square feet, with every detail of a rich modern retail environment woven in, Orion Mall at Brigade Gateway is a true game changer in the mall industry. 

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Sells 8116 Units in Sept and Registers 46% Growth Compared to Aug 2020

Toyota Kirloskar Motor today announced that the company sold a total of 8116 units in the month of September 2020, thereby clocking a growth of 46% when compared to the wholesales in August 2020 (the company had clocked 5555 units in the month of August 2020). For reference, the company had sold a total of 10,203 units in the domestic market in September 2019 and had exported 708 units of the Etios as well.

Commenting on the month’s performance, Mr. Naveen Soni, Sr. Vice President, Sales & Service- TKM said, “We are seeing demand pick up and a lot more confidence in our dealers, thereby witnessing a 14 to 18% growth in orders when compared to last few months. September has been our best month so far, ever since the pandemic hit us in March 2020. Factors leading to this can be attributed to the pent up demand amongst customers as well as the onset of the festive season.

In terms of production, our manufacturing side has gone back to two shift production a day, thereby supporting us to keep up with the demand. Another factor leading to such demand could be attributed to the new launches in the market. TKM also announced the launch of Urban Cruiser in September and we have got a very good response from our customers and the market, ever since we opened the bookings for Urban Cruiser. We are grateful towards our loyal customers who have pre-booked the Urban Cruiser as this reiterates their trust and faith on brand Toyota,” he concluded.

LTI Launches Canvas PolarSled Enabling Rapid Migration to Snowflake

Larsen & Toubro Infotech (BSE code: 540005, NSE: LTI), a global technology consulting and digital solutions company launched Canvas PolarSled, an automated cloud migration and modernization framework to help enterprises accelerate their data journey to Snowflake, the cloud data platform. LTI Canvas PolarSled enables enterprises with rapid migration of their cloud data to Snowflake’s single, integrated platform in an efficient and low-risk way.

With its innovative architecture, unique consumption model and near-unlimited scalability, Snowflake adoption can help enterprises emerge as fully equipped digital organizations. LTI Canvas PolarSled is a unique framework that provides a complete playbook on automation strategy and governance to ensure swift migration to Snowflake.

LTI Canvas PolarSled approaches migration to Snowflake in three layers, each with a specific set of tools, governance and outcomes:

1.  A consulting led and contextualized migration strategy and design

2.  End-to-end migration across entire analytics value chain by leveraging LTI tools & accelerators

3.  Optimizing Snowflake data platform post-migration

Sanjay Jalona, CEO & Managing Director, LTI said, “At LTI, we are excited about innovations in the data modernization landscape. Our partnership with Snowflake is instrumental in amplifying our capabilities to deliver next-gen projects and enhanced outcomes for our clients in this space. We designed LTI Canvas PolarSled, to design, implement and manage Snowflake migration programs efficiently and enable customers to expedite their journey to cloud.”

Kevin Miller, VP – System Integrators, Snowflake said, “LTI has a strong focus on building comprehensive capabilities around Snowflake. They are an industry leader in providing Snowflake consulting and technology services to enterprises across the globe. We believe LTI Canvas PolarSled is an exponential framework that will offer differentiated value to customers through the process of migration to Snowflake.”

LTI works with leading global organizations providing comprehensive Snowflake implementation and migration services including design, preparation, re-platforming and performance optimization.

About LTI:

LTI (NSE: LTI) is a global technology consulting and digital solutions Company helping more than 420 clients succeed in a converging world. With operations in 32 countries, we go the extra mile for our clients and accelerate their digital transformation with LTI’s Mosaic platform enabling their mobile, social, analytics, IoT and cloud journeys. Founded in 1997 as a subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro Limited, our unique heritage gives us unrivaled real-world expertise to solve the most complex challenges of enterprises across all industries. Each day, our team of more than 30,000 LTItes enable our clients to improve the effectiveness of their business and technology operations and deliver value to their customers, employees and shareholders.

73% India Inc. Employers Introduced Salary Cuts, Middle-Level Managers Suffered Most: Times Jobs


* A new TimesJobs survey of 1,385 HR managers found that 73% Indian firms had introduced salary cuts to keep their organisations afloat during the COVID-19 times

* Maximum pay cuts happened at the middle management level, as stated by 40% of survey respondents

* About 60% organisations are in favour of revoking the salary cuts at an appropriate time

* In the wake of Unlock 4.0, 61% of companies are considering reopening their offices in the coming months, most want to call about 40% staff only 

About 73% of Indian firms resorted to salary cuts to keep their business going amid the tough COVID-19 situation, found a recent survey conducted by TimesJobs. About 1,385 HR managers working in different industries participated in the survey and said that the middle management level suffered the steepest pay cuts.

A significant finding is that among the firms who saw salary cuts, most (61%), are keen on revoking these cuts in an appropriate time. The TimesJobs survey aimed at understanding how India Inc. faced the COVID-19 times, the new approach to employee engagement and, the employers’ outlook in the ‘Unlock 4.0’ scenario.

Five important takeaways from this survey are:

1.  Less working hours to keep the workforce happy:

In the wake of salary cuts, most companies introduced new regimes. Most employers resorted to reduced working hours (voted by 25% of survey respondents), followed by 22% firms who offered extra leaves to their employees.

2. Upskilling is beating even COVID insurance:

Most (38%) companies offered paid upskilling opportunities to their employees, as a means to connect with them more actively. About 25% HR managers said that they started recognising employee achievements publically to keep their workforce engaged, and 19% of respondents introduced paid insurance against COVID-19, as a measure to bond with employees.

3. Office could restart for many, but not for everyone:

With Unlock 4.0 in progress, a majority (61%) of HR managers are keen on reopening their offices in the coming month. Whereas, 39% HR managers said that they do not plan to open their offices so soon. Those who were keen on restarting offices said that they will be doing so as soon as the next 30 days. Also, most want to call back about 40% employees, to begin with.

4.  Masks, sanitisers & ArogyaSetu status check before walking into workplaces:

With employers showing keenness on reopening their office premises, wearing masks and carrying sanitisers will be mandatory for those coming to office, said 50% surveyed HR managers. About 25% of HR managers said that they would mandate the use of ArogyaSetu verified health status for all employees coming to the office.

5. Job market could regain activity in the next 6 months:

The TimesJobs survey also asked the HR managers if the job market will be buoyant any time soon, and 46% respondents said that it could take 6 months for the recruitment sentiment to get back to its old track. About 31% said it could take one year, and 15% said that it could take two years for the job market to be back.

Summarising the findings of the new TimesJobs survey, Sanjay Goyal, TimesJobs and TechGig said, “The COVID-19 pandemic is a litmus test for organisational structures, values and their commitment to the employees. The TimesJobs survey indicates that while many firms opted for pay cuts in challenging business times, they are willing to restore these back. It's heartening to see that employers are trying out new concepts such as reduced working hours, extended leaves, offering paid upskilling opportunities and insurance against COVID-19, to keep employees engaged. This hints that ‘employee wellbeing’ is slowly becoming the cornerstone of workplace culture - a typical sign of mature and evolved workplaces.”

The complete report is available at

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

AI, Blockchain and IOT Together To Bring Real Value to Organizations

By Sanjay Pathak, Head Blockchain, Healthcare & Insurance Practice, 3i Infotech 

A few decades back, it would have been impossible to imagine the way we communicate, interact or transact on social and economic fronts today. 

Similarly, today it’s very hard to fathom the real potential of ‘blockchain’, despite the promises it has. Blockchain today is still in its infancy, and its mainstream value is yet to be realized. While, it’s for sure that blockchain will disrupt the existing solutions, not only in industry and commerce but in almost all aspects of our day-to-day lives, but it cannot do so just by itself. Same holds true for Internet of Things (IoT) as well as for Artificial Intelligence (AI), though in different perspectives and magnitudes. The underlying fact is that to get the real value the new age emerging technologies like blockchain, AI and IoT will have to work in tandem. As we begin to understand the new normal in the midst of the corona pandemic, it will be important to draw value from any digital transformation that organizations undertake. Businesses will have to think beyond their domain and scope to provide services which are of actual value to consumers.  

This article focuses not on “why” but delves into “how” this can happen.  

When it comes to communication and transactions, speed and efficiency are the prime factors that have improved by leaps and bounds. IoT has brought new and cheaper ways to communicate with ‘things’ which was not fathomable in the past. Now, blockchain, with promise of immutability, transparency, security, Interoperability etc. allows us to exploit otherwise unused resources, trade the un-tradable, and allow new ecosystems that were not possible before. The new entrant AI (inclusive of machine/deep learning, vision, NLP, robots or autonomous machines etc.) has already started to deliver great value to many industries, so much so, as to reduce or even replace the human element. Further advancement in 5G communication only sounds as a positive catalyst to this ecosystem.  

However, the aforementioned technologies, with a disjointed ecosystem or industries’ siloed approach towards them, may not reach their full potential, as promised.   

In the above combination, ‘data’ becomes the common driving factor. While IoT is producing data from new sources and sensors, blockchain is safeguarding and ensuring immutability, and the AI layer on top is helping deliver new business meanings and outcomes in almost real-time. In summary, data value chain, comes from new technologies enabling collection, sharing, security, immutability, analysis, and automation of decisions with minimal human involvement. 

If you observe the shifting industry trends, as per a recent Gartner report, 75% of IoT implementers have already implemented blockchain or plan to do so by 2020 in US. While this is just the beginning, the best is yet to come, when industries will start to think on real customer problems, rather than their domain specific process and functions. 

Let’s run this model on a practical consumer problem of provenance - the classic ‘Farm to Table’ use case. Through the journey, the big questions that need solutions are with respect to quality, credibility, genuineness, safety, increase in efficiency and warranting correct distribution of revenue. IoT takes care of conditions maintained in farms with respect to temperature, humidity, soil nutrients and growth progress, and also conditions at processing centers and logistics. All this information along with farmer, land and crop details can be collected and stored on blockchain-based smart contracts. AI-based engine on top of this, with feeds from weather systems etc. can potentially trigger and automatically execute smart contracts and take required action based on pre-agreed rules, including payments etc. In an adverse event like an outbreak at any stage, the source could be easily traced and isolate the products that used the impacted material and necessary actions can be taken to quickly prevent further damage. Next, this can be extended to insurance and forward commodity trading using a trade setup, thus bringing real value from agriculture, supply chain, financial services, insurance and other industries combined.  

IoT has come a long way in improving the type of sensors, size and cost and even their usage in some industries; the real consumer centric benefits can be manifold. AI faces the challenge of accuracy, trust and confidence over replacement by the human cognitive mind. Building such ecosystems without regulatory pressure, is not easy if not impossible. This is one of the primary factors for Blockchain and other similar transformative technologies not gaining mainstream acceptance or adoption.  

On the backdrop of traditional computing, let’s also keep an eye on ‘Quantum Computing’ breakthroughs, as this not only threatens the key features of these emerging technologies, but will severely impact best of encryption, security and cryptography that exists today. Which means any industry, digital ecosystems, IT infrastructure will have to evolve in rapid pace before they get negatively impacted.  

NTT Ltd. Expands Its Hyperscale Data Center Footprint With Addition of Mumbai 7 Data Center

NTT Ltd.’s Global Data Centers division today announced the expansion of its line of data center facilities with the launch of a new high-density and hyperscale data center in Mumbai, the financial capital of India. The Mumbai 7 Data Center operates with 375,000 sq.ft of colocation space, and will offer the capacity to host 5000 racks and over 30 MW of load.  The new Mumbai 7 Data Center facility will expand NTT Ltd’s data center capacity (server room) in India by 30 percent.

NTT plans to invest around 2 billion dollars on the expansion of data centers, networks, and solar power projects in India.

This current data center footprint expansion in India is part of the ongoing growth strategy of the Global Data Centers division which operates the third-largest data center platform in the world, with over 160 data centers spanning more than 20 countries and regions. The Mumbai 7 Data Center is operational with some marquee anchored customers on-board already.

The Mumbai 7 Data Center is the third hyperscale data center in Chandivali campus and is well connected by fiber from all four sides. Together NTT’s Mumbai hub of data centers makes the Chandivali campus India’s first and largest operational hyperscale Data Center Park, which totals over 1,000,000 sq.ft., 13,000 racks and 100 MW of load capacity.

“India has been a key market for NTT Ltd’s data center portfolio. Organizations today demand an ever-expanding global platform to reach their growing digital business objectives,” said Masaaki Moribayashi, Senior Executive Vice President, Services of NTT Ltd. “That’s why we continue to expand our portfolio of state-of-the-art data centers in new and existing markets that complement our global geographic footprint and support our clients as their demand increases for reliable, robust cloud services, cloud communications, digital entertainment, and new technologies such as artificial intelligence.”

Sharad Sanghi, CEO, Global Data Centers and Cloud Infrastructure of NTT Ltd. in India said, “We are extremely pleased to increase our data center footprint in Mumbai, during this pandemic to enable our clients to derive greater value while delivering business outcomes. Our data center facilities are poised to become the very heart of India’s IT Infrastructure needs providing the right platform with end-to-end ICT solutions combining hosted infrastructure, network, security  and managed services – to balance the critical IT load of businesses.”

With NTT reinforcing their commitment to following sustainable best practices while growing their data centers platform, Global Data Centers and Cloud Infrastructure division in India has launched its first 50 MW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Solapur, Maharashtra, which is built in partnership with Tata Power, one of India’s largest integrated Power Company. The company’s new Solapur power plant is aimed at meeting 83% of the power needed by the Mumbai data centers. The capacity can be expanded to generate another 50 MW solar power in the future.

According to 451 Research, NTT is currently the leader in India data center market. India is growing at 23% CAGR (2017-2022) due to increased demand from global cloud providers and a proposed data sovereignty law by the Indian government, as well as less-than-ideal market conditions that have been playing elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region.

With the addition of Mumbai 7 Data Center, NTT Ltd’s Global Data Centers and Cloud Infrastructure division in India currently operates with 10 data centers across 4 major cities with over 1.5 million sq. ft. and over 150 MW of power. The company plans to double its capacity in the next two to three years to strengthen its hybrid ICT solutions and support the digital transformations of customers in India.

About the Global Data Centers division of NTT Ltd

Global Data Centers is a division of NTT Ltd. and incorporates DPA, e-shelter, Gyron, Netmagic, NTT Indonesia Nexcenter, RagingWire, and other NTT Communications group data center divisions. Our combined global platform is one of the largest in the world, with over 160 data centers spanning more than 20 countries and regions including North America, APAC, EMEA, and India. As a neutral operator, we offer access to multiple cloud providers, a large variety of Internet Exchanges and telecommunication network providers including our own IPv6 compliant, tier 1 global IP network. Our clients include hyperscalers and global enterprises across all industries, including the financial, media, gaming, healthcare, manufacturing and retail industries, and public sector. 

About NTT Ltd.

NTT Ltd. is a leading global technology services company bringing together 28 brands including NTT Communications, Dimension Data and NTT Security. We partner with organizations around the world to shape and achieve outcomes through intelligent technology solutions. For us, intelligent means data driven, connected, digital, and secure. As a global ICT provider, we employ more than 40,000 people in a diverse and dynamic workplace that spans 57 countries, trading in 73 countries and delivering services in over 200 countries. Together we enable the connected future. 

Honda Roars Into the Mid-Size Motorcycle Segment in Indian Market



* Classic style meets modern aesthetics: Honda’s originality with a timeless sense of design

* Power at heart: Big powerful 350cc, 4 stroke OHC single-cylinder engine with PGM-FI technology

* Rich thumping exhaust note creates a distinct statement on the roads

* Segment First Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) maintains rear wheel traction

* Segment First Honda Smartphone Voice Control system (HSVCS)* - convenient connectivity

* Segment First Assist & Slipper Clutch ensures less fatigue and more comfort

* Segment First Advanced Digital- Analogue Speedometer displays real-time advanced information

* Segment First Full LED Setup (front & back) for extra visibility

* Comfort & convenience: Wide section rear tyre, dual disc brakes with dual channel ABS, Engine Start/Stop Switch, Hazard Switch, 15 litre fuel tank

* Bookings open at Honda’s BigWing dealerships and website from today

Making a grand entry in the mid-size 350-500cc motorcycle segment, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. today announced its global unveiling of the brand new H’ness - CB350. Built with 9 new patent applications, H’ness - CB350 is the 3rd BSVI model in the Honda’s BigWing portfolio – its exclusive Premium Bike vertical.

Also marking their Digital presence on this global unveiling of H’ness - CB350 were Mr. Noriaki Abe (Managing Officer, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. & Chief Officer, Motorcycle Operations, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.) and Mr. Masayuki Igarashi (Operating Officer, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Chief Officer, Regional Operations (Asia & Oceania), Honda Motor Co., Ltd. President and CEO, Asian Honda Motor Co., Ltd) from Japan.

Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Atsushi Ogata, Managing Director, President & CEO, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “Globally, CB series of motorcycles symbolize Honda's history of challenges. For more than 60 years, Honda has consistently given the prefix "CB" to models representing on-road sports. Also, the riders have always been the focus in the evolution of the CB. It was once again the Indian riders who motivated the development of H’ness - CB350. To this end, the latest technologies are generously reflected in its 9 new patent applications. Today, we are proud to usher in a new motorcycling culture in the mid-size segment with this global unveiling of H’ness - CB350.”

Elaborating on H’ness - CB350, Mr. Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Director – Sales & Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “The basic value of H’ness is in its majesty which enriches rider’s motorcycling experience to “go further with free spirit”, encounter new roads and landscapes with Honda’s unrivalled reliability. With its authentic roar, upright road presence & a wide range of new values, H’ness - CB350 delivers an unmatched riding performance. H’ness - CB350, proudly takes forward the rich legacy of Honda’s CB DNA and provides the joy of riding through a wide range of situations like daily use in the city or long road trips. Get ready for a true companion that radiates royalty & evokes emotion.”


With an eye on the future and respect for the past, H’ness - CB350 blends Honda’s originality with a timeless sense of design and substantial character. The style resonates with the new age motorcyclists’ sense of self-expression and uniqueness.

From the dominating front facia with handlebars, suspension and large wheels H’ness - CB350 looks confident and commanding.

Dual-tone fuel tank* with bold Honda mark provides a heritage inspired look that attracts every eye on the road. Further highlighting this bold and classic outlook is the big powerful 350cc engine with machined fins.

Stunning 7-Y Shaped spoke alloy wheels compliment the dimension of H’ness - CB350 and announce a distinctive modern roadster look. Chrome plated parts (exhaust, mirrors and fenders) and wider rear section tyre define a bold macho look with retro yet modern appeal.


At the heart of H’ness - CB350 is the big powerful 350cc, air cooled 4 stroke OHC single-cylinder engine equipped with PGM-FI technology. It delivers a category leading max torque of 30 Nm@3000 rpm which make it an easy going versatile motorcycle be it for daily city commute or longer weekend rides.  The evolved sensors, developed through computer simulations, makes it a machine that fully respects the riders wish delivering them an ultimate sense of comfort and controllability.

Main shaft coaxial balancer placed on the cylinder eliminates both primary & secondary vibrations, making H’ness - CB350 a perfect companion for longer rides, offering a highly attractive engine feel that transmits throbs from the long-stroke engine.

H’ness - CB350 comes with a large tailpipe of 45mm that optimizes balance with the muffler capacity, producing a bold low-pitched sound. A single one-chamber structure in the expansion chamber helps deliver a rich thumping exhaust note when you wind on the throttle. Exhaust pipes are double skinned to prevent heat discoloration and intact the visual appeal for long.

The engine uses offset cylinder position that reduces the sliding friction and asymmetrical connecting rod ensures minimum energy loss while combustion. It uses closed crankcase with a wall between crankcase and transmission reducing energy loss due to internal friction.

The air cooling system maintains highly dense air intake to improve efficiency and ensures favorable combustion in all rpm ranges by keeping the engine temperature within ideal range. The piston cooling jet improves engines thermal efficiency, leading to an improved fuel efficiency. 


Exhibiting Honda’s finest craftsmanship that ‘Excites the World’, are 5 segment first features:

Segment First Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) helps in maintaining rear wheel traction by detecting difference between front and rear wheel speeds, calculating the slip ratio and further controlling engine torque via the fuel injection. HSTC can be turned ON/OFF using a switch on the left side of meter. A ‘T’ indicator in the digital display flickers when the system is engaging.

Segment First Honda Smartphone Voice Control system (HSVCS)* allows riders to remain in touch with the world while enjoying the exciting riding experience on H’ness - CB350. To deepen connect of the riders, DLX Pro variant is equipped with the world's first-ever Honda Smartphone Voice Control system (HSVCS) developed in-house. Rider can connect his smartphone with the motorcycle via Bluetooth through HSVCS application. Once connected, rider can operate the system with controls on the left side of the handle bar to use distinct features such as phone calls, navigation, music playback and incoming messages. To facilitate complete concentration on riding the information accessed will be communicated from the helmet headset speaker**.

Segment First Assist and Slipper Clutch makes the gear shifts smoother while reducing clutch lever operation load ensuring less fatigue and more comfort during a rides that involve frequent shifting. 

The heritage inspired Segment First Advanced Digital – Analogue Speedometer presents intelligent information on the go. It integrates details like HSTC, ABS, side stand indicator with engine inhibitor, ECO indicator, mileage features, HSVCS, gear position indicator and battery voltage meter. The ride experience is further enriched with fuel efficiency details displayed in 3 modes – real time mileage, average mileage and distance to empty.

Segment First Full LED Setup (both front & back) allows rider to banish the darkness and light up the darkest of paths also adding an oomph to the style quotient.


Dual channel ABS prevents wheels from locking when brakes are applied in emergency or when operated on slippery roads ensuring a greater sense of confidence. Anchoring the motorcycle is a large 310mm disc brake up front and 240mm rear disc providing adequate braking performance.

Large section front suspension not only enhances the massive imposing image but also provides immense comfort on rough roads. Pressurized nitrogen charged rear suspension provides highly responsive rear damping performance.

Engine Start/Stop Switch gives the convenience of turning-off the engine on brief stops with flick of a switch. Ensuring safety of riders in low visibility conditions is the Hazard Switch feature.

Chrome plated dual horn* not only add to rider’s convenience but also amplify the premium look.

19-inch front tyre exhibits a distinctive modern roadster style along with an increased stability in different road conditions. Giving a comfortable lower stance is 18-inch 130 section rear tyre for an enhanced ride quality and improved overall road grip.

The half - duplex cradle frame in steel pipe is used for a soft steering feel. Load allocated to the front is optimized by mounting the engine at low position to lower the center of gravity, which immensely impacts the overall riding feel and maneuverability of the motorcycle.

A highly rigid box-section steel tube is used for the swing arm to effectively reduce distortion and transmit torque of the driving force to road surface improving overall comfortable riding feel. 

Tailored for complete control, the riding position features a closely set handlebar and a positional relationship between seat and footrest has been designed to allow the rider to hold on firmly in any riding condition.

Dual seat with superior cushioning is provided to make your daily and highways rides immensely comfortable. Fuel tank capacity of 15 liters gives a sense of freedom from frequent pit-stops during long rides.

Honda will also be offering a special 6-year warranty package (3 years standard + 3 years optional extended warranty) on H’ness-CB350.

Customers can also visit for more details.

“Excites The World” campaign: From this year, Honda will expand Big Wing network all across India for customers to receive the full experience and understanding of the product from specialized dealerships. “Excites the World” will be Honda’s slogan to promote Big Wing network in India. Driven by never ending challenging spirit, Honda’s world-class motorcycles with advanced technologies will offer the joy of exciting riding to customers. 

About “CB Brand”: CB Brand has a long history starting from CB92 in 1952, and has always been benchmark of on-road sports motorcycle globally. With the performance, technology, and unmatched reliability that Honda devotes all our passion and wisdom in its development from rider’s point of view. A representation of Honda’s globally admired CB range, ‘CB is the answer’ to the aspirations and passion of riders all across the globe.

Google Cloud Extends its Cloud Upskilling Program on TechGig, IT Professionals Can Learn Cloud Skills for Free


About 90% of the Indian technologists believe that certifications in cloud computing will improve their career prospects, as per a survey conducted by TechGig, India’s biggest developer community. Further, 28% of the respondents said that they were already upskilling on cloud computing (through various mediums) to ensure career progression. 

The rising demand for cloud technologies prompted TechGig and Google Cloud to extend their cloud learning program - Cloud DevJam - till the end of 2020. Cloud DevJam, a free-to-register upskilling program was launched in May 2020 to help IT professionals learn cloud computing, and has more than 65,768 active learners in a span of just 3 months. This number clearly indicates that Indian IT professionals are keen on learning new-age technologies. 

At Cloud DevJam, the learning journey is broken down into different milestones, using a combination of activities like webinars, hands-on labs, contests, hackathons are launched to help one grasp the cloud concepts and complete one milestone, after the other. 

The first leg of the program which kicked off in May 2020 focussed on an array of Google Cloud topics including Core Infrastructure, Data & Machine Learning, Application Development and more. With the extension till December 2020, the Cloud DevJam program now delves deeper into more specific learning such as Architecting with Google Kubernetes Engine, Data Warehouse modernisation with BigQuery, and migrating to Google Cloud. 

The program is also known for offering Qwiklabs subscriptions to participants, which provide a real cloud environment to learn cloud platforms and software, such as Firebase, Kubernetes and others. 

In the words of Ankit Mahapatra, one of the active learners, say that the Qwiklabs subscriptions are the best part of the program. “I am glad I came across the Cloud DevJam program. Its QwikLabs subscriptions are helping me try out pretty much all the breadth of services Google Cloud Platform”. 

Another participant Sourav Dey said that this program has made his learning amazing.  “Thanks for making cloud learning easy for us with all the opportunities like Google Cloud OnAir, Qwiklabs skill badges and Cloud Study Jam”. 

Arnab Nandy, who is a Full Stack Java Developer and a participant at Cloud DevJam mentioned that the program was helping him enjoy and learn cloud techniques. “Google made it possible to learn cloud with a really great way through hands-on practice in Qwiklabs,” he said.  

Sanjay Goyal, Business Head, TimesJobs and TechGig said, “Cloud DevJam is a unique opportunity for technologists to explore, learn, and upskill on the Google Cloud Platform. I'm extremely proud to announce this program’s extension which will enable developers to learn more and deep-dive into concepts. I welcome all the IT professionals to participate in the ‘Cloud DevJam’ program and leverage this learning opportunity.” 

Anil Bhansali, VP Engineering and Head India Development Center, Google Cloud added, “Cloud computing is the future of technology. It is great to see that the Cloud DevJam is now getting extended so more developers can learn, upskill, and progress in their careers. As the market dynamics change, it’s important to stay up to date and prepare for what’s next.”

The Cloud DevJam program is among the popular programs at TechGig with IT professionals proudly showing their badges, certificates, and other laurels on social media with #CloudDevJam.

About TechGig:

TechGig is a young and enthusiastic technology company, offering cutting-edge solutions to its clients using innovative technologies. We help our business partners realise their true talent and business potential using our specialised skill assessment, community engagement and recruitment solutions

About Google Cloud

Google Cloud provides organisations with leading infrastructure, platform capabilities and industry solutions. We deliver enterprise-grade cloud solutions that leverage Google’s cutting-edge technology to help companies operate more efficiently and adapt to changing needs, giving customers a foundation for the future. Customers in more than 150 countries turn to Google Cloud as their trusted partner to solve their most critical business problems.

Nelco, Telesat Partner to Bring Advanced LEO Satellite Network to India

Nelco, India’s leading and fastest growing satellite communication service provider, has entered into a cooperation agreement with Telesat, a leading global satellite operator that has been addressing complex connectivity challenges for over 50 years. Nelco and Telesat will collaborate on terrestrial facilities, commercial distribution and regulatory frameworks to offer Telesat LEO satellite connectivity in India. 

Telesat LEO is a next generation satellite constellation that leverages Telesat’s global, priority Ka-band spectrum rights and patent-pending architecture to fundamentally transform global communications. Telesat LEO will help close the digital divide in remote and challenging locations, accelerate 5G expansion, and set new levels of performance for enterprise, telecom, mobility and government broadband connectivity on land, air and sea. The Telesat LEO constellation will provide complete coverage of India and superior enterprise connectivity in the country, subject to the necessary regulatory clearances.

The availability of the Telesat LEO Network in India has the potential to provide significant benefits in areas like 4G/5G backhaul, mobile hotspots, distance education, telemedicine, village connectivity, as well as maritime and inflight connectivity. The open architecture, compliant with the Metro Ethernet Forum standard, will simplify the integration of Telesat LEO services with enterprise networks, including Nelco infrastructure and service offerings. Acting as a virtual fibre network, Telesat LEO Layer 2 transport service can deliver hundreds of Mbps to a terminal.

The Telesat LEO Satellites Incorporate Next-Generation Technologies, including:

* Data Processing in Space: Full digital modulation, demodulation, and data routing occurs in space, resulting in higher capacity and flexibility

* Phased Array Antennas: Sophisticated antennas on each satellite with hopping and reconfigurable beams scan the earth to provide full coverage and can dynamically focus capacity precisely where required

* Optical Inter-satellite Links: Data can travel at the speed of light from one satellite to another, resulting in a fully interconnected global mesh network in space.

Globally, the satellite communications industry has been growing at a rapid pace owing to advancements in technology, light touch regulations and an increase in Internet traffic demands. LEO satellites are poised to revolutionise the industry, and with the prospective opening of the space sector in India, Nelco, through its strategic relationship with Telesat, plans to serve new market segments and requirements for high-bandwidth, low latency applications with Telesat LEO connectivity.

Speaking on this new development, Mr. P J Nath, MD & CEO of NELCO said, “Considering the huge potential for Satcom services growth in the country in the coming years, we are continuously exploring the latest satellite technologies to bring better value to our customers and expand the market. We believe that our partnership with Telesat will help in bringing LEO satellites into the country, which has the potential to revolutionise connectivity in the future”.

“We are honoured to collaborate with Nelco, a highly innovative and respected enterprise connectivity leader in India,” stated Michael Schwartz, Telesat’s Senior Vice President, Corporate and Business Development. “Telesat LEO’s secure, high throughput, low-latency network will bring unsurpassed performance and flexibility for enterprise applications and extend the reach of terrestrial networks throughout India.”

About Nelco -

Nelco, a part of Tata Group, was started in 1940 as a revolutionary electronics company (with many firsts to its name). Nelco is a major Satcom service provider in India, providing highly reliable B2B data connectivity solutions across the country through its wholly owned subsidiary Tatanet Services Ltd. It has been playing an important role in the development and growth of important industry segments like Banking & Financial Services, Renewable Energy, Mining, offshore Oil & Gas exploration etc., by providing Satcom services for business-critical applications in the remotest locations. Nelco has taken the lead in offering digital communication services to both Aero & Maritime segments in the country.  NELCO is listed in BSE and NSE and The Tata Power Company Ltd. holds 50.1% of the shares in the company.

About Telesat –

Backed by a legacy of engineering excellence, reliability and industry-leading customer service, Telesat has grown to be one of the largest and most successful global satellite operators. Telesat works collaboratively with its customers to deliver critical connectivity solutions that tackle the world’s most complex communications challenges, providing powerful advantages that improve their operations and drive growth. Telesat LEO, our Low Earth Orbit network will revolutionize global broadband connectivity by delivering a combination of high capacity, security, resiliency and affordability with ultra-low latency and fiber-like speeds.

Privately held and headquartered in Ottawa, Canada with offices and facilities around the world, Telesat’s principal shareholders are Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Loral Space & Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: LORL). 

Tata Motors Launches the Signa 5525.S – India’s First 4x2 Prime Mover with Highest Gross Combination Weight of 55 Tonnes

Key highlights:

* Highest gross combination weight (GCW) of 55 tonnes for a 4x2 prime mover

* Available with multiple GCW range on 51T, 52T, 53T, 54T and 55T with appropriate trailer combination

* Powered by Cummins 6.7-litre engine – world’s largest selling Euro 6 commercial vehicle engine

* Power and torque rating of 250hp and 950Nm; with flat torque curve ranging 1000-1800rpm

* Equipped with 3 drive modes, Gear Shift Advisor, Hill Start Assist and many more industry-best value enhanced features

Tata Motors, India’s leading commercial vehicles manufacturer, today announced the launch of the Signa 5525.S – India’s highest GCW prime mover (tractor) in 4x2 segment. The Signa 5525.S 4x2’s unmatched 55-tonne GCW offers unique value proposition for customers to maximise profitability. The model is designed with Tata Motors’ Power of 6 philosophy empowering customers with the power of enhanced performance, lower total cost of ownership, higher comfort and convenience; thereby improving the revenue and reduction operating cost at the same time.

The Signa 5525.S 4x2 prime mover is powered by Cummins 6.7-litre engine with a power rating of 250hp and torque rating of 950Nm from 1000-1800rpm, ensuring fatigue-less driving and reduced turnaround time for more trips and higher revenue. The drivetrain is designed with industry-proven G1150 9-speed gearbox, 430mm dia. organic clutch and heavy-duty RA110 rear axle with enhanced pulling power; designed for demanding terrain and multiple application requirements. The Signa 5525.S is equipped with 3 distinct drive modes – Light, Medium and Heavy, coupled with Gear shift Advisor to ensure optimum power and torque selection, based on the load and terrain, and on-drive coaching for right gear selection ensuring high fuel efficiency and the lowest total cost of operations in its segment.

Speaking at the launch, Mr. RT Wasan, Vice President, Product Line, M&HCV, Tata Motors said, “With the introduction of the Signa 5525.S 4x2, Tata Motors continues its mission to be the pioneer in the Indian commercial vehicle industry with the widest range of products, offering its customers the best-in-class solutions to improve their overall profitability through both levers of higher revenue generation and operating cost reduction. Continuing with our constant endeavour to deliver the best product offering to our esteemed customers, we are happy to announce that we are the first manufacturer to offer the 55-tonne GCW on a 4x2 prime mover. Through our Power of 6 philosophy, we will continue to offer best-in-class products and solutions and further strengthen our numero uno position in both the cargo and construck segments. Each of these new vehicles come factory fitted with the Tata Motors’ digital solution for optimal fleet management, the Fleet Edge, to further enhance the productivity of the fleet and improve customer profitability.”

The new model is available with the popular Signa cabin, the country’s highest selling M&HCV cabin offering 3-way mechanically adjustable driving seat, spacious sleeper berth, tilt & telescopic steering system and ample utility space. The Signa 5525.S’ suspended cabin guarantees lower NVH characteristics and provides a comfortable ride even on tough terrains. The powerful air conditioning system coupled with Ambient Air Temperature sensor assures comfortable all-weather driving and lower fuel consumption. The crash-tested cabin, high seating position, bigger daylight opening, rear view mirror, blind spot mirror, solid steel 3-piece bumper make it one of the safest cabins to drive. Moreover, new technology advanced features like Engine Brake and iCGT brake gives greater vehicle control and lowers the maintenance costs. It also comes with the standard fitment of Fleet Edge – Tata Motors’ next-gen digital solution for optimal fleet management, to further increase the uptime and reduce the total cost of ownership.

The Signa 5525.S 4x2 comes with advanced and wide range of fully built solutions offering customers a one-stop solution with multiple advantages like better financing terms, earning from delivery day, nationwide service warranty and higher resale value thereby making overall much better value proposition for customers.

The entire range of Tata Motors M&HCV trucks comes with a best-in-the-industry warranty of 6 years / 6 lakh kilometres. Tata Motors also offers Sampoorna Seva 2.0 and Tata Samarth – the company’s commitment to commercial vehicle driver welfare, uptime guarantee, on-site service, and customised annual maintenance and fleet management solutions with each M&HCV.

FOGSI, Bayer Zydus Pharma Announce Collaboration to Drive Adoption of Digital Tech Solution ‘Ask Tanu’ Amongst Indian Women

* COVID-19 is posing an urgent threat to women’s health and empowerment by limiting access to family planning and healthcare services.

* Recognizing the need to provide health information and education in relation to contraception, FOGSI has announced its intention to raise awareness and to support the use of chatbot service ‘Ask Tanu’

* Bayer Zydus Pharma’s ‘Ask Tanu’ is a Facebook 24/7 digital chatbot using artificial intelligence that stimulates human conversation to provide women with credible information on contraception, helping them make informed choices

* Representatives from Bayer, FOGSI and other organizations in Asia Pacific jointly pledged their commitment to be ‘HerHeroes’ to empower women in making informed choices about family planning and their health

On the eve of World Contraception Day, the Federation of Obstetric & Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) and Bayer Zydus Pharma Pvt. Ltd. today announced their collaboration to drive increased adoption of chatbot service ‘Ask Tanu’. This digital technology will enable more women nationwide to seek credible and scientifically accurate health information and make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. Covid-19 has shifted the majority of healthcare resources to combat the spread of the pandemic, disrupting the provision of other essential health services, including women’s healthcare and contraception. The Lancet World Report has estimated that the lockdown could leave roughly 26 million couples in India without access to contraception, resulting in 2.3 million unintended pregnancies and over 800,000 unsafe abortions, which is the third leading cause of maternal mortality in India.[2]

With the rising strain on the country’s healthcare resources and decreased access to medical professionals, there is a growing need to overcome the obstacles posed by the pandemic. Digitalization offers a way forward to empower informed choices and help improve women’s health. Taking into consideration this critical need, FOGSI’s professional network of over 500 gynaecologists and obstetricians will raise awareness of ‘Ask Tanu’ nationwide as a credible source of women’s health information. The chatbot will provide 24/7 support, providing women with easier access to reliable health information and education in relation to contraception.

Commenting on digital technology as a means of fulfilling an unmet need for health information for Indian women, Dr. Shobha Gudi, Chairperson of Family Welfare Committee, FOGSI said, “Many women are putting off face-to-face medical consultations for seeking professional advice due to fear of contracting the virus. There are of course other contributing factors such as non-availability of clinical services and lack of transportation. But even prior to the pandemic, there was a huge gap in accessing family planning and contraceptive information. Data from our 4th National Family Health Survey clearly shows that few healthcare workers were speaking about family planning to women who were non-users, and amongst the users, only few women were informed of the potential advantages and disadvantages of various contraceptive methods. Even though the family planning program in India is long-established, there is still significant reticence associated with contraception and women hesitate to talk about it. Chatbot services such as ‘Ask Tanu’ can help fill knowledge gaps and enable and empower women with trusted information from verified sources, so they can make informed choices.”

This World Contraception Day, healthcare professionals, policymakers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and women influencers in Asia Pacific also rally together to call for women to prioritize their health and their family planning needs, even during the pandemic. With COVID-19 posing an urgent threat to women’s health and ability to plan their families, Bayer today launched the #HerHero campaign to support women in taking action to prioritize their health and take charge of their lives. Women’s influencers and representatives from key organizations in Asia Pacific came together today at the #HerHero Virtual Forum, organized by Bayer in collaboration with the Population Council and other partners, and jointly pledged their commitment to be ‘HerHeroes’, those who support and empower women in their communities to help them make informed choices. They also called for wider public support to join in the pledge and give voice to women’s health needs and empowerment.

“Despite the progress made in empowering women’s lives over the last 60 years, barriers still exist today, made worse by the current pandemic. ‘Ask Tanu’ was designed to overcome such barriers, and we are proud to collaborate with FOGSI to increase the reach and impact of this digital solution, so that more women can seek and benefit from this reliable source of information. Moreover, in India and across the Asia Pacific region, this day also marks the launch of Bayer’s #HerHero campaign, which rallies key stakeholders and women’s influencers to call for a wider support network of everyday heroes to champion and help women prioritize their health and their family planning needs, even during the pandemic,” said Manoj Saxena, Managing Director Bayer Zydus Pharma & South Asia Head at Bayer.

About Bayer

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2019, the Group employed around 104,000 people and had sales of € 43.5 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to € 2.9 billion and R&D expenses to € 5.3 billion.

Lionsgate Play Partners with Airtel to Bring Premium Hollywood Movies to “Airtel Xstream Box”

 After the resounding success of Lionsgate Play content on Airtel Xstream app, global content leader Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) is bringing its premium content to the Airtel Xstream Android 4K TV Box. This association is the result of Lionsgate’s growing consumer base and distribution in India. Through this partnership, the fast-growing user base of Airtel Xstream Box will have easy access to premium Hollywood content by Lionsgate Play on the big screens from the comfort of their homes. This will include multiple hours of Ultra HD content, complementing Airtel Xtream’s extensive high-quality programming.   

Lionsgate Play is one of the leading OTT players that offers wide ranging high-quality English content in the country. The premium OTT service completed one year of its operations in India this August and has witnessed tremendous growth in the viewership each passing month. Since the lockdown, the audiences are watching premium Hollywood content on the big screens at home resulting in increased consumption of Hollywood content in English as well as in their preferred regional languages. The partnership will give Airtel customers access to a deep portfolio of Lionsgate Play content on the Airtel Xstream Box. This exclusive partnership between Lionsgate and Airtel enables Lionsgate Play to showcase blockbusters including titles such as John Wick, La La Land, Knives Out, Twilight in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Bhojpuri also to reach out to regional language cinephiles. In addition, viewers can now enjoy movies from various genres – action, thriller, horror, comedy, drama and documentaries.  

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Rohit Jain, Managing Director, Lionsgate South Asia, said, “We launched on Airtel Xstream app in Jan 2020 and since then we have seen an exponential growth on stream counts. We have been continuously strengthening our already robust catalogue with horror, comedy, drama, action & thriller movies. To be a key entertainment player in India we see following important levers: availability of curated high-quality Hollywood content that world is watching, localization in Indian languages to increase relevance and strengthening our distribution to solve for reach. Keeping the Indian audiences love for Hollywood in Indian languages in mind we always make our movies available in local languages like Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Bhojpuri and will continue to invest in quality dubbing to make premium content accessible to the length and breadth of the country. We will also keep strengthening our distribution and are very excited to extend our offering to additional consumers via the Airtel Xstream Box. With this partnership our content will find its place on large screen TV at home, and the experience of watching premium content on the big screen is unparalleled”. 

Sunil Taldar, Director – Homes, Bharti Airtel said, “We are delighted to deepen our partnership with Lionsgate and bring their premium content to more and more customers through our digital platforms. Airtel Xstream Box continues to see growing adoption as customers discover the joy of hybrid TV experience through one device and enjoy the best of OTT content with linear TV.”   

Airtel Xstream Box makes any TV a smart TV. Customers get access to all LIVE TV channels plus the best of video streaming apps effectively eliminating the need for multiple entertainment devices at home. Airtel Xstream TV Box is priced at Rs 3999 for new customers and existing Airtel DTH users can upgrade to the Android box for just Rs 2249. The box also comes included in all Airtel Xstream Fiber plans.  

About Lionsgate Play 

Lionsgate Play, a premium streaming service from Lionsgate India and Starz, offers curated Hollywood content for Indian consumers, with much of the content available in multiple Indian languages. Lionsgate India, one of the most recent entrants in the South Asian market, distributes premium content to linear and digital platforms across the region. It develops and produces original local Indian language content as well as adaptations of globally successful content. Starz, a Lionsgate subsidiary, is a leading global media and entertainment company that produces and distributes premium streaming content to worldwide audiences across subscription television platforms. It offers subscribers more than 7,500 distinct premium television episodes and feature films, including STARZ original series, first-run movies and other popular programming. 

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