Saturday, November 28, 2020

Shekar Viswanathan Retires After 2 Decades at Toyota Kirloskar Motor

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) today announced the retirement of Mr. Shekar Viswanathan effective November 30, 2020. He led TKM as the Vice Chairman and Whole-time Director for over seven years.

Mr. Shekar Viswanathan superannuates after an illustrious career of over 20 years with TKM and the Toyota Group in India.  His long tenure and career advancement at Toyota clearly manifests the company’s commitment to its people and its well curated career growth plan for individuals within the organization. 

During this time, Mr. Shekar Viswanathan helped build TKM in India since joining the Board of Directors in 2008 as the Whole-time Director and as the Vice Chairman and Whole-time Director since 2013. He also helped strengthen the Toyota Group companies in the country, as the former director of Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts and Deputy Managing Director of TG Kirloskar Automotive during his career.

Besides, his knowledge of the industry and financial services he has had the distinction of holding leadership positions in prestigious industrial associations like FICCI, CII, SIAM, ACMA and BCIC.

Bidding farewell, Mr. Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman, TKM, said “Mr. Viswanathan and I have very long association. He has very consistently provided invaluable counsel and strong leadership in numerous capacities across Toyota and other group companies. His commitment, passion and vision for furthering the rise of the automobile industry in India have earned him great plaudits. I wish him well.”

Commenting on the development, Mr. Masakazu Yoshimura, Managing Director, TKM, said,“Our operations in India play a vital role for Toyota globally. As a part of the key leadership team, Shekar Viswanathan has been one of the strongest pillars for TKM fostering its growth in India. His retirement will be a loss for TKM and the auto industry at large. We are grateful for his leadership in several capacities over the years and wish him well. We will truly miss his great leadership skills.”

Sharing his views, Mr. Shekar Viswanathan said, “It is not easy to say goodbye to a company where I have spent more than two decades. Having said that, I look forward to my retirement to pursue ventures and hobbies that I could not take up all this while. I am awaiting the day when India will make and sell more than 12 million cars per year from the current 3 million cars per year as Indian engineers’ supervisors and workmen have shown themselves to be on par with world standards.  I am thankful to TMC, TDEM, TMAP, TKM and Toyota Group companies for showing faith in my abilities and allowing me the opportunity to hone my leadership skills.”

Airtel Delhi "Half Marathon 2020" on November 29 : Running in the New Normal

This time, the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2020 is being conducted in keeping with pandemic restrictions. This time, the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is being conducted in keeping with pandemic restrictions. The event is being held on Nov 29 and will see the participation of top runners from across the world. The organisers have created a secure bio-bubble to protect the elite runners from the coronavirus. 

Although, this year, the general public will not be joining the elite runners. They can instead run from wherever they are. All they have to do is register, choose their race category and download the ADHM app. They can then complete their chosen distance from wherever they are between Nov 25 and Nov 29th. 

Karnataka Circle CEO Surendran has nominated himself. for the Airtel Half Delhi Marathon 2020 ( ADHM) a virtual run and the Care Champion fundraiser, Considering it’s a first of its kind virtual run and the fact that the prestigious ADHM runners can run in any city linked with a cause will be exciting for the brand.  

Some of the world’s top runners are expected to take part in the prestigious Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Sunday, November 29th , with the organisers promising to provide bio-secure zones to ensure a COVID-19 free race for the elite runners. While the international and Indian elite runners will be at the start line at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Delhi, the amateurs from across the globe will join them via the exclusive Airtel Delhi Half Marathon Mobile App.  

Hero Motocorp Appoints Global Mobility Expert Micheal Clarke as Chief Operating Officer

Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters, today appointed global mobility expert Michael Clarke to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer (COO), with the additional role of Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO).

Based out of India, Mike will join Hero MotoCorp effective January 1, 2021 and report to Dr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman & CEO of Hero MotoCorp. The Nomination and Remuneration Committee (NRC) of Hero MotoCorp has approved the appointment.

In the emerging “new world” of business, Mike Clarke’s appointment comes close on the heels of recent augmenting of the Leadership Team at Hero MotoCorp.

As part of this process, Hero MotoCorp has earlier announced assigning the role of Head of Strategy to Malo Le Masson and expanded the role of Ravi Pisipaty as the Head of Plant Operations. Sanjay Bhan has returned to the Company as the Head of Global Business (GB) to play a key role in the rapid expansion and consolidation of Hero in the international markets. Mahesh Kaikini, the Head of Gurugram plant, has been appointed as the Chief Quality Officer, while Ashutosh Varma has been elevated to the role of Head of National Sales.

Mike Clarke is a business leader with more than 25 years’ global experience in publicly listed companies in the US and UK. Mike has worked extensively in building, leading and managing teams across geographies and functions. 

Mike has worked in leadership roles in some of the world’s top companies, such as Fiat Group SPA and Delphi Technologies. Mike was also in leadership roles in Operations and Human Resources functions in several other companies, including Tenneco Automotive and Hertz Corporation Breed Technology (formerly AlliedSignal SRS) across Europe.

A mechanical engineer and an MBA from the John Moore’s University in Liverpool, UK, Mike started his career with Delco Electronics Overseas Corporation (a subsidiary of General Motors) in Liverpool, before moving to Colgate Palmolive based out of Manchester.

Dr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman & CEO, Hero MotoCorp, said “I am excited to have Mike join the Hero family at this crucial juncture in time of emerging opportunities and new challenges. Mike brings considerable global experience and expertise in managing complex operations, international restructuring, organisational and cultural change.  His experience will be highly beneficial as we look to further consolidate our market leadership across continents. We have a clear focus to create benchmark products and facilities, including industry leading processes and operations. Mike will contribute by playing a vital role in providing strategic leadership in operational excellence and driving the Talent agenda at Hero MotoCorp.”

Commenting on his appointment, Mike Clarke said “It is an absolute privilege to be joining Dr. Munjal and his Leadership Team at Hero MotoCorp.  We are in unprecedented times across the globe and it is clear that Hero MotoCorp is navigating successfully and maintaining its number one position in the industry. I am passionately looking forward to contributing to and continuing the journey being led by Dr. Munjal globally as well as in the domestic market in India. I can’t wait to get going and meeting more Heroes.”

Garmin India Launches Forerunner 745 for Athletes and Running Enthusiasts with Detailed Performance Metrics

 Now runners can enjoy multiple benefits with Forerunner 745

* Multiple –satellite support systems

* Built-in activity profiles for running, triathlon, cycling, swimming, track running and more

* Personalized run and cycling workout suggestions based on current training status

* Support from Garmin Coach and free training plan

Garmin India, a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today launched the all new Forerunner 745, an advanced GPS smartwatch built for runners and triathletes looking for detailed training data, on-device workouts smartwatch features and more.

Specially designed understanding the requirements of the athletes, the smartwatch monitor stats and analyzes data to help users in achieving their goals. The users can train with dozens of built-in activity profiles, including triathlon, pool swimming, track running and more.

Further, avoiding any distractions and bringing more convenience, athletes can now round out their training routines and can seamlessly switch between activities with the press of a button during a race or brick workout.

Becoming the best partner during training and workout, the Forerunner 745 supports essential performance monitoring tools like VO2 max, training load, training status, and aerobic and anaerobic training effects. Additionally, users will now also receive on-device running and cycling daily workout suggestions based on their current training load and VO2 max. Runners can also view all six running metrics – including cadence, stride length, and more – right on the watch.

The Forerunner 745 also features advanced dynamics to help with cycling and swim training. While on a bike, it will track data such as left/right balance, time seated and standing, platform center offset and power phase1.

During a swim, the Forerunner 745 will track distance, stroke, pace, personal records and more. Based on the difficulty of a workout, the improved recovery time feature will let athletes know how long to rest before a hard training session. It also accounts for other factors that impact recovery including all-day stress, sleep and daily activities, and will adjust the recovery time on the watch, making it easier than ever for athletes to get the most out of their workouts.

Commenting on the launch of Forerunner 745, Mr. Ali Rizvi, Director, Garmin India said, “We at Garmin thrive to deliver the product which enhances our user’s experience with its data accuracy, quality, and world-class technology. The all-new Forerunner 745 is developed by Garmin’s R&D team understanding the actual need of all the athletes which keeps them away from all the distractions and supports with the detailed performance metrics. Along with its features, the smartwatch will also support the athletes with personalized run and cycling workout suggestions and guidance from Garmin coach which will further help in making improvements in their workout schedule and make their training more robust”

Runners and triathletes can take their training to the next level. The smartwatch lets users sync indoor and outdoor workouts automatically from Garmin Connect™ or other training apps, including TrainingPeaks® and TrainerRoad, right to the watch. What’s more, the Forerunner 745 is compatible with Garmin Coach, free training plans that adapt based on a runner’s goals and performance. Garmin users can train for a 5K, 10K or half-marathon with the help of three running coaches – Jeff Galloway, Greg McMillan and Amy Parkerson-Mitchell – to guide and motivate them.

Before heading out for a run or ride, athletes can plan and download routes using the course creator in Garmin Connect, which uses Trendline™ popularity routing to provide the best road, trail or mountain routes that are aggregated from those most traveled by fellow runners and cyclists. For athletes using platforms like Strava2 and Komoot, they can create courses that will seamlessly sync to the Forerunner 745.

The Forerunner 745 gives athletes the freedom to enjoy their favorite tunes on a run or during a workout without having to take a phone along. The watch stores up to 500 songs and lets users sync playlists from select preloaded music streaming services3 such as Spotify®, Amazon Music or transfer music from a computer.

Made to be worn all day, every day, the Forerunner 745 features tools to track an athlete’s well-being. A wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor4 will help provide a clearer picture of how athletes are sleeping and adjusting to altitude acclimation while the Body Battery™ energy monitor lets athletes track their energy levels to find the best times for activity and rest. Additionally, the menstrual cycle tracking feature helps women adjust their training to maximize improvement potential and plan for upcoming races based on where they are in their cycle.

Even while on the move, the Forerunner 745 lets athletes stay in touch. Directly from the wrist, users can receive text messages and view social media updates, emails and more. Whether working out alone or with friends, built-in safety and tracking features include incident detection, assistance and LiveTrack to let loved ones follow along on a run or ride5. Following a workout, the Forerunner 745 will automatically upload activities to Garmin Connect.

The Forerunner 745 features up to 1 week of battery life in smartwatch mode, up to 16 hours in GPS mode and up to 6 hours in GPS mode with music.

Price: The all new Forerunner 745 comes at an attractive price of Rs. 52,990 and is available in four quirky colours: Whitestone, Magma Red, Neo Tropic and Black.


Online:, Paytm Mall, Tata CLiQ, Flipkart, Myntra,

Offline: All Garmin brand stores, Lifestyle, Kolozilla Sports, Wheels Sports, Matermind Bicycle, Bums of the saddle, Cyclofit, Pro Bikers.

Mindtree Limited, Nordex Group Partners a Bid to Drive Digital Transformation

Mindtree Limited, an Indian multinational information technology and outsourcing company has united with wind turbine manufacturer, The Nordex Group, in a five-year deal on 23 November to simplify, modernise and transform its complete IT landscape globally. This deal will see Mindtree as The Nordex Group’s partner, providing scalability to support the company's growth plan. Mindtree has been around since 1999 while The Nordex Group dates back even farther to 1985 and since its launch, it has installed wind power capacity of more than 30 GW in more than 40 markets.

“Demand for wind power will continue to grow globally and so will Nordex. Delivering to our expanding international customer base reliably and securely will require standardisation and simplification of our underlying systems. We will design a scalable digital architecture that enables us to deliver with speed and agility,” said Stefan Ewald, CIO Nordex Group.

To align the Nordex Group’s IT infrastructure with its strategic vision across the complete value chain, Mindtree will support the full stack transformation of its current IT operations and service delivery. “The scope includes the standardisation and roll out of new projects and operational processes, the consolidation of existing IT services, and the development of a future-ready cloud platform which maintains a robust cybersecurity posture,” said Venu Lambu, President, Global Markets, Mindtree.

India's IT and Business Services Market to Reach $13 Billion by December 2020: IDC

Research firm IDC (International Data Corporation) expects India's IT & Business Services market in India will grow by 5.4 percent annually to reach US $13 billion by December 2020. The IT & Business Services market grew by 5.3 percent year-on-year in 1H 2020 (January-June 2020) as compared to the 8.9 percent growth in 1H 2019. Reduced growth is the result of the pandemic. Of the IT & Business Services market, the IT Services market contributed 77.4 percent in 1H 2020 and grew by 5.9 percent YoY in 1H 2020 compared to the 9.3 percent growth in 1H2019.

Further, as reported by IDC, the IT Services market will begin picking up momentum gradually from 2021 onwards and is projected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 7.2 percent between 2019-2024, to be valued at US $13.4 billion by the end of 2024.

"In 1H20, the role of IT Services vendors gained higher prominence, as organizations increasingly approached them to help ensure business continuity by putting in place various technologies, solutions, best practices and frameworks. During these difficult times, organizations were investing higher in collaboration applications, VPN licenses, endpoint devices, cybersecurity solutions, cloud, AI, and automation. Apart from just ensuring business continuity, the role of IT service providers have also been towards helping organizations to achieve a higher degree of tech resilience, adaptability, and DX maturity, to become future-ready." said Garima Goenka, Market Analyst, IT Services, IDC India.

"Additionally, most leading IT Service vendors have launched innovative AI-based applications to help the government and healthcare sectors to provide citizen services and answer COVID-19 related queries, and for organizations to ensure the safe and secure return of their employees to the workplace,” Goenka added.

"Enterprises strongly felt the need for advisory and support services to propel their digital journey amidst the pandemic. As a result, IT service providers witnessed a strong surge in demand for various services such as systems and network management, IT Consulting, hosting application management and hosting infrastructure services, among others. IT investments across all the major sectors such as BFSI, healthcare, telecom, IT/ITeS, government and manufacturing increased considerably to improve overall experience and maintain business continuity and resiliency," said Shweta Baidya, Senior Research Manager, Enterprise Software and ICT Services, IDC India.

"The government also relaxed some of the stringent guidelines that IT sector had to adhere to, prior to COVID-19 . The new rules provide increased flexibility with respect to work from home/ anywhere policies and has also modified some of the existing guidelines to augment the growth in the sector," added Baidya.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Jaguar Racing Unveils Jaguar I-Type 5 Race Car Ahead of New Formula E Campaign

 * Jaguar Racing reveal their new Jaguar I-TYPE 5 electric race car with state-of-the-art in-house powertrain

* Winning driver line-up of Sam Bird and Mitch Evans will push for points in season seven of the all-electric series

* Jaguar once again competes in an Official World Championship as the ABB FIA Formula E electric series will start season seven with its new status

* Leading materials science company, Dow, joins the Jaguar Racing team as an Official Partner

* The Jaguar Racing Formula E Team will be dressed in custom Polo Ralph Lauren packable quilted jackets created from recycled nylon and polyester fabrics

* Jaguar continues its Race to Innovate philosophy by testing an innovative new race seat made from TYPEFIBRE, a sustainably sourced collection of materials, developed in-house at Jaguar Land Rover

* Jaguar Racing will return to the streets of Santiago on the 16 January for the first of 14 races in 12 cities

Jaguar Racing have revealed their brand-new electric race car, the Jaguar I-TYPE 5, in a virtual launch 50 days before season seven of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

The electric single-seater features a new powertrain developed in-house, which will run for the next two seasons. Jaguar Racing engineers have focussed on efficiency gains, reduced weight and lowered the centre of gravity of the I-TYPE 5’s powertrain. New suspension will provide greater adjustment from track to track and a more efficient invertor will improve switching speeds and performance. The state-of-the-art invertor also features 24 carat gold due to its highly conductive properties.

Sam Bird and Mitch Evans – one of the strongest pairings on the Formula E grid – will drive the new race car. Evans has been with Jaguar Racing since they joined the all-electric championship in 2016. Bird, who has won races in every Formula E season, joins the British team this season.

Jaguar Racing welcomes leading materials science company, Dow, for their first ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season with the team. Dow join as an Official Partner and with over 100 years of experience in automotive, Dow brings material expertise and a pioneering spirit to the Jaguar Racing team through its MobilityScienceTM platform and its polyolefin, polyurethanes acrylic, specialty chemical and silicone technologies.

Dow join Jaguar Racing’s leading partner line-up that includes GKN Automotive, Viessmann, Castrol and Official Suppliers Alpinestars and DR1VA.

In addition, Polo Ralph Lauren and Jaguar Racing have come together to celebrate the new Jaguar I-TYPE 5 and their shared values of cutting-edge innovation and sustainability. Kicking off the racing season in style, Jaguar’s Formula E Team will be dressed in custom designed Polo Ralph Lauren packable quilted jackets bearing the Jaguar Racing logo, created from recycled nylon and polyester fabrics, as well as recycled down-alternative insulation.

Jaguar Racing is also pleased to debut at the season seven launch the use of new sustainable materials called TYPEFIBRE. The I-TYPE 5 has a new prototype race seat made from sustainably sourced TYPEFIBRE. It will be tested at speed in different temperatures, loads and environments around the world as part of the team’s Race to Innovate mission – sharing the benefits of race technology with road cars and in turn Jaguar customers.

James Barclay, Jaguar Racing Team Director: “Season seven is a very exciting year for Jaguar Racing and for Formula E. It’s the first season Formula E boasts world championship status and is Jaguar Racing’s fifth season in the world’s fastest-growing global motorsport. The team have worked harder than ever to create the most efficient, state-of-the-art race car and it is fantastic to be able to unveil it to our customers, fans and partners. This season we also welcome Sam Bird into the Jaguar Racing family and he is already settling in very well. Both Sam and Mitch are hugely motivated along with the rest of the team for the season ahead. We’d like to extend a warm welcome to our new partner Dow. The countdown is now on until we’re back out on track in Santiago and we will be pushing for points, podiums and wins.”

Sam Bird, Jaguar Racing driver, #10: “Revealing the new Jaguar I-TYPE 5 to fans today makes it feel very real that I am part of Jaguar Racing and builds excitement to get season seven under way. I think the launch is the biggest milestone away from the track action as it highlights all the hard work the team at Jaguar Racing have been doing in the off-season. Now I can’t wait to take the I-TYPE 5 out on circuit and start my first season with such an iconic British brand.”

Mitch Evans, Jaguar Racing driver, #20: “Launch day is always a great landmark for the team as we show the world what we’ve been working on behind closed doors and set our intentions for the season. For me it’s a moment to set my own goals for the next season and start the year with positive momentum. This is my fifth season with the team and we are more determined than ever to make this the most successful year we’ve had together.”

Jim Fitterling, Dow Chairman and CEO: “Strong partnerships are based on shared visions and values. Our new relationship with Jaguar Racing is grounded in a common focus – delivering more sustainable solutions to the world through collaboration, innovation and inclusion. As a global materials science leader, we look forward to working together to advance vehicle electrification through our MobilityScience platform — making progress on our collective journey to a carbon neutral world.”

Jaguar Racing will return to the streets of Santiago on the 16 January for the first of 14 races in 12 cities.

Aakash Institute Announces Revised Dates for its Flagship National Scholarship Exam, ‘ANTHE 2020’

* Hundreds of deserving students will be awarded up to 100% scholarship to help them take the first step in their endeavour to become doctors and IITians 

* One of the largest private sector entrance exams in the country, ANTHE saw more than 3.4 lakh plus students appearing for the exam in 2019 

* Since 2010 when it was first instituted, ANTHE has seen more than 19 lakh students appearing for the Aakash National Talent Hunt Exam 

* Students studying in Class VII- XII can take benefit of this scholarship program 

* Apart from scholarship, students will also get the Meritnation School Booster Course free of cost  

Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL), the national leader in test preparation services for aspiring doctors and IITians with more than 200+ centres across the country, has announced revised dates for the Eleventh edition of its flagship Annual Scholarship Exam, named as Aakash National Talent Hunt Exam (ANTHE). The examination will now be held over a period of 9 days starting from December 12 -20, 2020 across 24 states & Union Territories in the country.  

Online examinations will be conducted between December 12-20, 2020 (every day) from 12:00 PM – 08:30 PM. Students can take the exam anytime during this login window. The offline examinations will be held on December 20, 2020 in two shifts - 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM (morning) and 04:00 PM – 05:00 PM (evening) following the government guidelines. 

Post the announcement of the initial examination dates, Aakash Institute had received innumerable requests from students as well as parents from all over India to reschedule the dates for ANTHE 2020 amid the pandemic and festive season. Additionally, during this period several schools will be conducting their Pre-Board examinations which will make it difficult for students to prepare for ANTHE 2020. Standing true to its core value of student-first, Aakash Institute has decided to reschedule ANTHE 2020 in the interest of the students so that they can appear for the exam without any hindrances. 

Being one of the largest private sector pan-India exams, ANTHE gives deserving students an opportunity to earn up to 100% scholarship and helps them take the first step in their endeavour to become doctors and IITians. In 2019 alone, the number of students who appeared for the exam was more than 3.4 lakhs. The last date for submitting enrolment form for ANTHE 2020 is 3 days before the date of the online exam and 7 Days before the date of the offline exam. The exam fee is a nominal Rs. 200 which can be paid through net banking channels, debit card, credit card or directly at Aakash Institute’s branch/centre.  

As an additional benefit, students enrolling for ANTHE will also get the Meritnation school booster course free of cost. Meritnation is a subsidiary of AESL. 

The results will be declared on 4th Jan 2021 for students studying in Class X, XI, XII and on 2nd Jan 2021 for students studying in Class VII, VIII & IX. 

2000+ students across Classes VII to XII will be eligible for 100% scholarship on Tuition Fee, along with 700 students eligible for Cash Awards.   

Beyond the top scoring students, there will also be attractive scholarships on Tuition Fee based on the marks scored by the student in ANTHE test. 

The countrywide talent hunt will be conducted across the states & Union Territories of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. AESL has also announced that more ANTHE centres can be opened in any city on request from students, parents or school authorities, subject to minimum conditions. 

Commenting on the rescheduling of dates of ANTHE 2020, Mr. Aakash Chaudhry, Director and CEO of Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL), said “We are overwhelmed by the response that ANTHE has received over the last decade. Today, it has emerged as one of the largest gateways in the country for school students aspiring to realise their Medical or IIT dreams. Keeping the current situation in mind, we have rescheduled the dates for the examination so that the students get time to prepare better. To encourage more participation, we have invited applications from students’ studying in Class VII-XII.” 

About Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) 

Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) provides comprehensive test preparatory services for students preparing for Medical and Engineering Entrance Examinations, School/Board Exams and Competitive Exams such as NTSE, KVPY, and Olympiads. The “Aakash” brand is associated with quality coaching and a proven student selection track record in various prestigious Medical and Engineering Entrance Examinations, Scholarship exams & Olympiads. 

With over 33 years of operational experience in the test preparatory industry with a PAN India network of 205+ Aakash Centers (including franchisee), and a student count of more than 2,50,000, Aakash is the biggest education organisation in India. A subsidiary of the AESL group, Aakash Edutech Pvt Ltd (AEPL) was launched in the year 2020. It comprises two distinct divisions namely, Aakash Digital and Meritnation.    

For Every ₹ 1 Invested, Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme Delivers ₹ 33.05 of Social Value

●        In the past three years, initial investment of Dettol School Hygiene Curriculum INR 15.9 crore has yielded worthy outcomes

●        At a time when hand hygiene is of critical importance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, an increase of 86% in the adoption of hygiene practices by students was witnessed  

RB, under its flagship campaign, Dettol Banega Swasth India today, launched the Social Return on Investment (SROI) Evaluation Study Report of its successful Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme at ISC-FICCI Indian Sanitation Conclave 2020. The virtual discussion focused on the need for an integrated approach to WASH in schools in the times of covid-19.

The link between hygiene and public health has now been clearly established. Yet, proper hand washing practices remain elusive in much of the country. Even before a meal, 69.9% of rural India still washes their hands without soap. Another 15% only wash their hands with water after defecation. The Dettol School Hygiene Programme was envisioned as a step towards improving poor sanitary practices in schools, homes, and communities, by promoting behavioral changes.

Mr. Ravi Bhatnagar, Director External Affairs and Partnerships, Reckitt Benckiser Health AMESA said, “We at Dettol BSI believe in the idea of health & hygiene for all. Dettol School Curriculum in partnership with our development partners was introduced to drive behavior change among young children based on age appropriate behavioral nudges. Our aim is to emphasize on the need to facilitate a sanitized environment & to create the importance of WASH in preventing the spread of infection amongst children.”

He further added, “There is a tremendous amount of work done by corporates, NGOs and citizens to work with the Government. However, to address the current situation we all must come together to fight this pandemic. A standalone intervention receives a lower social return on investment, however with an  integration of interventions which is more nutrition-sensitive including water, right to nutrition & diarrhoea management, social return on investment touches the ratio of 1:47. This creates a bigger impact on society. It's time we look at hygiene, sanitation and health together and not separately to tackle this pandemic.”

Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, Chair, India Sanitation Coalition said “In addition to the monetary investment, corporates like RB also bring their ability to successfully implement and their need to measure outcomes that we see in the SROI report of the Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme. The fact that we can measure every 1 rupee invested has delivered 33 rupees of social value is a huge multiplier when looking at actual impact on ground.”

“Through the hygiene programs in school, we have seen role reversal of children & parents where children have taken up the role of teaching the right way to wash hands. They have become an agent of change in communities in spreading awareness about health & hygiene. We believe that hygiene curriculum should be part of the daily school day. As we have seen through the pandemic, the only way to protect ourselves from diseases is by washing hands.” said Ms. Tinni Sawhney, CEO, Aga Khan Foundation.

Key highlights from the report:

●        For every ₹ 1 invested, the Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme delivers ₹ 33.05 of social value

●        An initial investment of INR 15.9 crore has yielded worthy outcomes through innovations such as using creative platforms to reinforce key hygiene measures, structured hygiene sessions in schools, supporting trainings at multiple levels and more, we have brought about social value worth INR 526 crore

●        At a time when hand hygiene is of critical importance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, an increase of 86% in the adoption of hygiene practices by students was witnessed  

●        The program has reached 13 million children so far and counting across 8 states, 40 districts and 650,000 schools across India

●        250+ Schools awarded by PM under Swachh Vidyalaya (Clean School) Awards

●        Direct Impact on children:

o   14.2% Reduction in diarrhoea among children

o   17% Increase in school attendance

o   89% students follow all the necessary hygiene practices which have been taught in school

o   92% students share hygiene knowledge with parents and family members

The Dettol School Hygiene Education Programme seeks to drive behaviour change through a multifaceted approach, which targets schools and the community at large. The school programme has been designed in recognition of the fact that, by changing the mindset and behaviour of school students, they can become a catalyst for change in schools, homes and neighbourhoods. By working with teachers and principals, the right knowledge can be passed on to build good habits in children and future generations.

Major School Hygiene Education Programme interventions that helped to bring Behavioural Change Communication/aspect are:

Hygiene Corner: A dedicated corner to teach WASH practices using posters, paintings, etc.

Adoption of Games and Experiential Learning Methods: Gamification helped to make learning fun and day-to-day application led to experimentation of the lessons learnt at home and in school.

Distribution of Hygiene Kits: Access to soaps, hand-wash and sanitary pads.

Soap Banks: Soap kept near toilets and wash basins for use before and after meals or after using the toilet./

Vi Unveils Collaborative Program to Offer Range of Benefits for Learning & Upskilling, Health & Wellness, and Business Help

Equipping consumers for a better tomorrow, Vi - the newest telecom brand, today announced its collaborative program to offer unique propositions across learning & upskilling, health & wellness, and business help for the Indian mobile users. Vodafone Idea Limited has launched this initiative to address the changing requirements of today’s digital society enabling individuals and enterprises to get a range of benefits and value-adds.

Through this new proposition, Vi will offer not just enriched connectivity but also an array of digital products and services to complement the core business.

In just a few months’ time, the world has seen a permanent shift in the way we live and work. The pandemic has accelerated digital adoption and telecommunications has become a platform for this digital society. The changing circumstances have seen the consumer needs evolve beyond connectivity and entertainment, to online education, health, and business becoming daily essentials in the digital way of life.

To cater to consumer needs, VIL has entered into strategic partnerships with key players in the areas of Learning & Upskilling, Health & Wellness, and Business help to offer benefits to the new age customers. The company has forged partnerships with upGrad, Udemy, Pedagogy,, 1mg, MFine, Eunimart and others, and plans to on-board more partners under each of these areas to enable Vi users get exclusive offers from these players.

Commenting on the initiative, Ravinder Takkar, MD & CEO, Vodafone Idea said, “One of the key pillars of VIL’s business strategy is to drive partnerships and digital revenue streams, across segments. This will help us drive more value for our customers and offer growth opportunities for the business.”

“Having established pan-India 4G coverage for 1 Bn Indians and delivering fastest 4G speeds, Vi is now bringing a range of new age service offerings to address the digital shift in customer behaviour. Through our collaboration with the category best across key areas of consumer interest such as learning & upskilling, health & wellness, and business help, Vi will now offer a platform of services for our customers”, further added Ravinder Takkar.

Vi customers can look forward to more such possibilities in the next few weeks!

To avail the exclusive benefits, Vi customers just need to download the Vi app and unlock the benefits. The offer is available to all prepaid, postpaid Vi users and not attached to any plan or pack.

SecOps, DevOps and CloudOps Need to Work in Tandem to Achieve Cyber Resilience for Future-Ready Enterprises: CLOUDSEC 2020

* Trend Micro plans to launch its local XDR data lake in India early next month 

* Invests in building a strong cloud delivery team in India, with AWS and Microsoft Azure integration 

CLOUDSEC 2020, one of the industry's biggest cybersecurity events hosted by Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE:4704), attracted more than 100 business and technology leaders from industry-defining companies speaking at the virtual event this year. At the exhilarating three-day event, the panelists and experts emphasized on how a fine balance between SecOps, DevOps and CloudOps should be met, for organizations to achieve success in their digital transformation journey. A model, where CloudOps and SecOps teams can talk about doing touchless or SOC-less security, that is automation all the way through the workflow. Where, DevOps and CloudOps teams can share dashboards and talk a lot about vulnerabilities. Also, where SecOps and DevOps teams can discuss full shift left with no code releases etc. 

They broached on important aspects, such as what they consider to be the biggest barrier to successful cloud migration among organizations – which is, while working with the DevOps function, the question that usually arises is – How come I have to learn about security as DevOps, but security doesn’t have to learn about DevOps? Automation was a hot and trending topic, with two very big in different forms of automation currently underway in security operations. The first one being Automation/ Security-as-Code (SaC) for SOC, which is about focusing on the alert problem. This is a very important form of automation, however, it’s not the automation that drives a successful cloud migration use case. That can be achieved through a different automation - Automation/ SaC for DevOps. The difference is that this automation is targeted at cloud security deployment, configuration and DevOps workflow, and not security operation workflow and operations. 

At the sidelines of the event, Trend Micro also highlighted the tremendous growth they have achieved in India in the last two years, especially in its cloud and endpoint security business. The company has increased its team size to address the cloud requirements and has launched Trend Micro Cloud One – Network Security this year, that delivers simple and comprehensive protection of virtual private clouds at scale to support compliance requirements, with zero disruption to applications or traffic. The company will also launch its local XDR data lake next month in India, available for key partners and SOC solution providers. Trend Micro will continue to have a razor-sharp focus on banking, manufacturing and government sectors as the major segments for the coming year. 

Nilesh Jain, Vice President, Southeast Asia and India, Trend Micro said, “India is a growing and an important market for us. As the cybersecurity industry and the technology landscape evolves, we see ourselves transitioning to become a DevOps company, emphasising more on product development to drive growth. With digitalisation and the ongoing pandemic, Indian enterprises are rapidly moving to cloud and adopting next generation technologies and SaaS based solutions. There is a growing concern on data sovereignty issues, and at Trend Micro we consider this as a big priority and hence have decided to invest in our local data lake for majority of our critical projects like XDR, Apex One and Cloud App Security solutions. We opine that enterprises will increasingly choose solutions from vendors who give them assurance on their confidential data not leaving geographical boundaries of the country. Also, globally we will be launching file storage security for cloud, which is a first-of-its-kind and unique offering that is going to address the requirements of customers.” 

Sharing his advice for CIOs and CISOs on choosing the right security solution and safeguarding their journey to the cloud, he further added, “Analyzing technologies which provide proactive protection and detection with cross-generational technology to prevent cyberattacks should be a priority. It is also important to invest in technology with minimum of five years value in mind, for it to be effective. Being the organizations’ security gatekeepers, they need to identify a vendor who provides best-in-class solutions in all categories with the ability to integrate and work together, without compromising on the functionalities and security posture. This is where XDR comes into the picture.” 

With respect to the growth of its channel and partner ecosystem, Trend Micro is investing heavily in building a strong service and cloud delivery team in India, considering the tight integration with AWS and Microsoft Azure. The company is enabling and recruiting partners with the skillsets of doing API, SOC/SOAR integration, incident response services, coding and programming and those who understand security analytics. This team will also be responsible for developing partner ecosystem not only in India but also in APAC and bigger regions for Trend Micro. 


Founded in 2011, CLOUDSEC has established itself as a global community for cyber security experts and professionals. The CLOUDSEC 2020 tagline “Transformation Your Way” aims to inspire technology professionals and users to achieve transformation wherever they are in the digital transformation lifecycle. The virtual event this year enables enterprises to stay connected, informed and on track with their cloud security journey - through access to insightful resources, thought leadership and networking. 

About Trend Micro 

Trend Micro, a global leader in cybersecurity, helps make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Leveraging over 30 years of security expertise, global threat research, and continuous innovation, Trend Micro enables resilience for businesses, governments, and consumers with connected solutions across cloud workloads, endpoints, email, IIoT, and networks. Our XGen™ security strategy powers our solutions with a cross-generational blend of threat-defense techniques that are optimized for key environments and leverage shared threat intelligence for better, faster protection. With over 6,700 employees in 65 countries, and the world's most advanced global threat research and intelligence, Trend Micro enables organizations to secure their connected world. 

Majority of Indian Workers Would Want to Work Completely from Home: Atlassian Survey

Atlassian Corporation Plc (NASDAQ:TEAM), a leading provider of team collaboration and productivity software and the maker of Jira, Confluence, and Trello products, has launched an India-based study highlighting the changing work practices of individuals, teams and organisations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the report titled - Reworking Work: Understanding The Rise of Work Anywhere, 83% of employees in India are still nervous about going back to the office while there’s no vaccine and restrictions are still in place. 

The study commissioned by Atlassian and conducted by Australian research agency PaperGiant, is an extension of the previous global survey conducted in early 2020 with knowledge workers in Australia, USA, Japan, Germany and France using observational, qualitative, and ethnographic research methodologies. In India, 1,425 participants from tier 1, 2 and 3 cities were surveyed for over four weeks in October 2020.  

As per the research findings, Indian employees were more likely to want to work completely from home (66%) than any other country surveyed. While people are still managing new challenges that come with remote work, many reported a sense of ‘relief’ being free from the usual presenteeism of the office environment. 70% of people reported their job satisfaction is better than before COVID-19 restrictions. In fact, 61% of employees find it manageable to effectively work at home during the COVID-19 restrictions. With all the positives surrounding remote work, the study also revealed that a majority of Indian workers (78%) were actually worried about what their home life looks like to their colleagues and what it says to them. 

A core finding mentions that 86% of employees in India thought the members of their team feel closer to each other now and 75% thought their team worked better together compared to pre-Covid. People are sharing more personal experiences with their team. The majority of Indian employees (89%) reported a feeling of unity and cohesion in their team. Another insightful revelation was that 1 in 2 (50%) of managers said their job security was much better now than before COVID-19. The pandemic has triggered a shift in managerial roles and managers are feeling more integral to workflows and productivity than ever. 

Dinesh Ajmera, Site Lead and Head of Engineering, Bengaluru, Atlassian said, “The research findings point to how the ‘new normal’ will shape work, relationships and collaboration in the future. These are the voices of real people facing real complexities. Now is our opportunity to use the insights we have been presented with to adapt for the better, guided by the experiences of employees around the world.” 

“We at Atlassian are embracing this change wholeheartedly and investing early in developing a workforce that can navigate this new environment, and thrive in it. We believe that our unique organisational culture and focus on employee wellbeing, will go a long way in making this transition smooth. It’s heartening to know that even during these difficult times, our India office has been steadfast with an uptick in hiring,” he further added. 

Consistent with the industry sentiment on digital adoption seeing a quantum leap during the pandemic, the study reveals that Indian employees are rapidly adopting digital toolkits and skills for worry of being left behind. The introduction of social distancing and remote working has accelerated the move to a digital-first environment, forcing people to adapt. 

From an organisational perspective, 88% of Indian employees believed their company was already well prepared for returning to the office, while 78% of the workforce in India were annoyed that it took a pandemic to allow them to work from home. While from a work-life balance standpoint, 81% of people in India say it’s more difficult to maintain boundaries between work and personal lives, compared to 79% in Australia and 58% in the US. 

To find out more about the research and download the report, please visit here. Assess your Work Life Impact with Atlassian Team Playbook.  

About the research 

The Reworking Work: Understanding The Rise of Work Anywhere was commissioned by Atlassian and conducted by PaperGiant, with the support of international research partners. Our research was conducted over four weeks in October 2020 – almost eight months since the pandemic began. The methodology used a mixed-method approach, combining 19 in-depth remote interviews via Zoom with various workers in India, a two-week global diary study of six participants as well as a 15-minute quantitative survey of almost 1,400 knowledge workers across tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India. Respondents for all three methodologies were between the ages of 25-64, at a company of 250 employees or more. 

About Atlassian 

Atlassian unleashes the potential of every team. Our collaboration software helps teams organize, discuss, and complete shared work. Teams at more than 182,000 customers, across large and small organizations - including General Motors, Walmart Labs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lyft, Verizon, Spotify, and NASA - use Atlassian’s project tracking, content creation and sharing, and service management products to work better together and deliver quality results on time. Learn more about products including Jira Software, Confluence, Trello, Bitbucket, Opsgenie, Jira Service Desk, and Jira Align at 

About PaperGiant 

PaperGiant is a strategic research and design consultancy that helps organizations understand and solve complex problems. PaperGiant specializes in combining qualitative and quantitative research to understand customers and communities and translates that understanding into designs for product, service, and policy. PaperGiant has offices in Melbourne and Canberra and works throughout Australasia. Learn more about their work and services at Transforms Lending with ‘Paisabazaar Stack’, a Digital Stack with Microsoft Azure and Azure AI, India’s largest digital marketplace for lending products, has developed ‘Paisabazaar Stack’ – a digital lending solution using Microsoft Azure technologies and Azure AI to optimize loan disbursals and credit card issuance. Built on the Azure platform, the Stack is integrated with Paisabazaar’s partner banks and NBFCs to enable consumers to access credit products through end-to-end presence-less and contactless processes. In addition to help consumers stay safe, the Stack is also enabling banks and non-banking financial corporations (NBFCs) to disburse unsecured loans in a presence-less, completely digital manner, within 3 to 5 hours as compared to 3 to 7 days earlier. works with over 130 partners with lending products on its platform and caters to credit enquiries from over 1200 cities and towns every month. Traditionally, a loan application requires in-person meetings between the applicant and back representative to fill up forms, collection of supporting documents and verification of identity. This is followed by an additional manual verification by bank officials before a loan is granted or declined, and a final in-person signing of the agreement. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, there was a breakdown in these steps and processes. With the launch of the Digital Stack, the process has been restored digitally and the time required for loan disbursal been significantly reduced.  

According to Mukesh Sharma, Chief Technology Officer,, “The Stack is actually a tectonic shift in the industry. Most large lenders and Fintechs were unprepared due to the lack of digital processes and infrastructure. We all had to wake up to a new reality and adapt to it. Everybody was impacted and our focus was to ensure that consumers could have access to the loans they needed, through completely paperless and presence-less processes. We recognized the potential of AI and Cognitive Services to make end-to-end digital loan disbursals a reality with our Digital Stack.  As the market leader with partnerships with most large banks and new-age lenders - and a culture of innovation since inception - we are well placed to accelerate this critical shift towards the much-needed digitization of the entire ecosystem.”   

To ensure continuity and minimize difficulties for customers, the start-up embraced a culture of innovation, which according to a study by IDC commission by Microsoft, identifies the synergy between technology, process, data, and people, that allows organizations to drive sustained innovation.  

Sharma also adds that the lockdown accelerated the process,” We were trying to create this stack before the pandemic hit us. We wanted to create paperless digital programs, but things were not moving because the industry was not ready. But when the lockdown happened, we were the first to launch this digital stack.”  

The Paisabazaar Stack is providing flexibility, scalability, security, and efficiencies to its lending partners. End users can access credit much quicker, from the comfort of their homes, with zero physical interaction. Each physical step in the lending process has now been built digitally: 

* KYC Verification – the Digital KYC Module in the Paisabazaar Stack includes offline KYC verification(O-KYC) and Video KYC that uses Azure Cognitive Services. Applicants can verify their identity and also their location and liveliness—ensuring they were real people and not bots.  

* Income & Employment Validation – The Stack accelerates income validation and employment verification of consumers. An applicant’s bank statements are analysed digitally using AI to determine his/ her financial health and provide results to Paisabazaar’s lending partners, which enables quicker decision-making. Additionally, customers can provide self-attested proof of income viz., bank statements and salary slips digitally.  

* Repayment Set-up & Agreements –Using the stack, Paisabazaar has been able to fast-track the NACH process and streamlined verification of bank account details and set up repayment instructions through digital mandate on behalf of its partner lenders.  

Moreover, their ‘Chance of Approval’ feature enables Paisabazaar to provide customized lending solutions to using a predictive algorithm model. also provides ‘pre-qualified offers’ from partner banks and NBFCs.  The model which is built using big data, machine learning and mass scaled using Azure Kubernetes and Container Services, matches a borrower's profile like income, credit score, age, among others, with the various lending criteria of different lenders. It then provides customers with the odds of getting their loan application approved—Excellent, Good, Fair or Poor—against each lender.  This has improved loan approval rates considerably over the last 18 months since the feature was launched. 

Rajiv Sodhi, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft India, said, “Organizations in India understand that they need to improve across all culture of innovation dimensions, especially technology. It is encouraging to see business leaders recognize this, and plan to focus on technology to drive sustained innovation and realize their digital transformation ambition. Achieving success in digital transformation requires both the adoption of tools and technologies as well as enhancing own people’s capabilities – what we term as tech intensity – a critical component of the culture of innovation. Our goal is to realize an inclusive future where all organizations in India are dynamic and resilient – to recover well and thrive despite the crisis. At Microsoft, we are committed to working with organizations in India to make this happen, together,”  

Culture of Innovation  

Microsoft India and IDC have recently published a study highlighting that looks at the relationship between a culture of innovation and an organization’s growth. The Culture of Innovation refers to an organization’s ongoing ability  to respond quickly to challenges and successfully perform in four dimensions - People, Processes, Data and Technology capabilities.  

The study highlighted that innovation is not an option anymore – it is a necessity. The findings included the following:  

·         77% of Indian organizations have found innovation to be critical or important to their performance and resilience  

·         In a short span of six months, organizations in India have increased their ability to innovate by 4% by maturing their Culture of Innovation.  

·         Close to 78% of India organizations are speeding up digitalization in a variety of ways to adapt to the new reality. This included launching digital products and introducing digital payments to embracing ecommerce and automation.  

·         As a result, Indian companies are aiming at increasing their revenue from digital products and services to 50% in the next 3 years from 36% at present.  

·         64% of respondents acknowledged that innovation has become easier in the post-COVID-19 era. Prior to the pandemic, only 32.5% of Indian business found innovation in their products and services easier.  

·         45% organizations indicated that for the next 12 months, they will focus on Technology as most essential for business resilience and recovery.  

Importance of Organ Donations and Saving Lives Through Kidney Transplant

Due to the fear of COVID-19 infection, at the end of March 2020, the Government of India had stopped all elective surgeries for some time. However, it is important to adapt and co-exist in these uncertain times and Manipal Hospitals as a patient centric institution has once again shown the way by giving hope and setting a benchmark when it comes to transplantations and organ donations. The Hospital has successfully carried out few such emergency kidney transplants during the extended lockdown maintaining an infection-free environment throughout. In recent months, Manipal Hospitals has carried out 13 kidney transplants i.e, 6 including a cadaver transplant in September, followed by 3 in October, 4 in November. One more transplant scheduled to happen this week.

Dr. Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman of Manipal Hospitals says, “At Manipal Hospitals, we have come to realize that the new normal in our lives has to coexist with the pandemic. Also, over a period of time, it becomes inevitable especially in emergencies, living transplantation is the only chance of saving a life. Manipal Hospitals was one of the first to give hope and set another benchmark by deciding to step up to the new normal situation.”

Elaborating on the topic, Dr Vishwanth. S – HOD and Consultant - Nephrology, Transplant Physician, Manipal Hospitals, Old Airport Road said, “Approximately 220,000 people in India require kidney transplantation annually due to kidney failure mostly resulting from long-standing diabetes and hypertension. However, only 7500 transplants are possible due to the lack of donors. Some of the most common barriers to living donation include donor's concern r egarding complete recovery post-transplant. Living donors have a very low chance of long-term health problems in most cases and can be expected to live a full, healthy life as any other person. At present, cadaver kidney transplantation accounts for only 10% of all kidney transplants. As per the Indian law, intensive care doctors can request for organ donation in the event of brain death to promote decreased donation rate in India. Though the rates of cadaver kidney transplantation rates have improved over 3 times since 2012, it has dropped down significantly in the wake of the pandemic”

Though transplant is elective, sometimes it can be lifesaving. Living donor success rate is as high as 90-95% and the rate of survival in patients receiving a cadaver kidney is about 80-85%.  The hospital restarted the transplant programs with all the precautionary care needed. Coupled with globally accepted state-of-art infrastructure and able and expert hands of doctors and staff of the Manipal Hospitals Old Airport Road was triumphant in driving 12 live renal transplants and one cadaver renal transplant to successful completion during the recent months. Further, to minimize hospital exposure, postoperative hospital stays were made shorter and video conferencing was also being undertaken for follow-ups.

Dr Deepak Dubey, HOD and Consultant – Urology, Robotic Surgery and Renal Transplant, who was extremely pivotal in performing some of the transplants, remarks that, “A kidney transplant offers a better quality of life than dialysis for those with end-stage renal disease. With the covid-19 pandemic, there is an obvious concern about the risk of acquiring an infection during the transplant process. Our team has been successfully conducting renal transplants during the pandemic with very positive outcomes. All precautions are being maintained to prevent covid transmission during the transplant process.”

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Helia Raises $3M From Silicon Valley Investors, Including Neo, Abstract Ventures and Kevin Hartz

Helia, a US based enterprise security startup by Indian origin co-founder, Ashwin Sreenivas, along with the company’s US co-founders, Russell Kaplan and Daniel Berrios, today announces that it has raised USD 3 million. The funding round was led by some of the top venture capital firms and investors in Silicon Valley including Neo, Abstract Ventures and Kevin Hartz, the cofounder and chairman of Eventbrite.

Helia’s SaaS platform enhances physical security within enterprises by autonomously reviewing security camera footage in real time. Rather than requiring large teams of human guards, Helia uses cutting edge deep learning to monitor cameras for security events, and alerts teams of breaches instantaneously, before they escalate into security incidents. Helia does this without requiring specialized cameras. Instead, it integrates with existing security cameras, processes their feeds on an enterprise’s premises using Helia’s deep learning stack, and centralizes results to the cloud where they can be viewed securely.

Helia has worked extensively with teams in India on product development, particularly in start-up hubs like Bangalore that are filled with deeply technical and entrepreneurial teams. Furthermore, Ashwin has deep connections to India, having spent the majority of his life in Cochin, Kerala.

“We are honored to have this incredible group of investors backing our vision and helping Helia on its journey” said Ashwin Sreenivas, co-founder of Helia. There is growing demand within enterprises for security teams to change posture from reactive to proactive. Rather than simply addressing the consequences of a breach, Helia allows security teams to prevent the incident altogether.

*  Helia's AI autonomously monitors all existing security cameras, and alerts security teams of breaches in real time, allowing officers to respond before the breach can escalate.

*  Breach detection ensures that only authorized employees have access to spaces.

*  Enterprise risk reports quantify risk over time allowing security leaders to uncover access control vulnerabilities and allocate guard staffing optimally

About the Founders: Ashwin Sreenivas, a technology entrepreneur from Kerala, is one of three co-founders at Helia; prior, he was a deployment strategist at Palantir Technologies, and has graduated with degrees in computer science and AI from Stanford University (BS, MS). Russell Kaplan, co-founder, was formerly a senior machine learning scientist at Tesla, and also has degrees in AI from Stanford University (BS, MS). Daniel Berrios, co-founder, worked in the TMT investment banking group at Goldman Sachs, and has a degree in economics from Stanford University.

About Helia: Helia is structuring and understanding the world's video. Billions of hours of video are created every day, but almost none of it can be used to create value; Helia changes this by using AI to autonomously review video in real time. The company uses advanced computer vision to integrate with existing security cameras and access control systems to monitor for breaches. Security teams are then notified of incidents in real time, along with a video clip of the event, allowing for quick identification, triage, and response.

HiHi – New Vibrant, Online Community Launched Across Indian Market

* App has clocked 47,000 downloads till date 

Meotida Pvt. Ltd. announces the launch of a vibrant, interactive and user-friendly dating app in India – HiHi - for young and dynamic individuals seeking friendship and meaningful relationships from their smartphones. Launched in Aug. 2020 on Google Play Store, the app has already made over 47,000 individuals fall in love with the platform within a short span of time and the numbers keep on increasing.

HiHi is dedicated to facilitate smooth conversations between young, like-minded and free-thinking individuals wherein they can interact, make friends, engage in discussions, share thoughts and views and even go on potential dates.

Speaking about this launch, Mr. Jistesh Bisht, CEO, HiHi (Meotida Pvt Ltd.) said, “We are extremely happy to build a thriving community of so many young, energetic and dynamic users via HiHi who continue to engage and interact with one another.  Soon after we commenced our operations, our aim was to create a platform where these active individuals can find like-minded people to engage with and befriend them through a safe, secure and clutter-free platform like ours. We look forward to becoming a leading player in India's online dating market by continuing to expand this thriving community.”

The app’s unique aspect lies in its advanced algorithms which scans and ensures authenticity of all profiles via a detailed registration funnel in order to find a perfectly compatible partner for the members. It also has an easy user interface which enables one to set up their profile and customise it further basis their preferences. In addition, it allows users to communicate only with people who are swiped ‘Left’ by another user thereby making it a safe place to converse without limits.

According to Online Market Researcher Statista’s report, the user penetration in the Indian online dating market is estimated to touch 3.2% by 2023, testimony to Indian society evolving culturally at a rapid pace over the last few years augmented by the extensive access to technology, especially smartphones. HiHi’s focus now lies in steering its user growth and increasing user engagement by adapting to their needs.

YES BANK and Worldline Support Merchants and Communities by Providing Remote Payment Solutions Through SMS Pay


·         Merchants can accept remote payments through SMS PAY using the POS Terminal

·         SMS Pay is offered to YES BANK Merchants at no additional cost

·         Assists in maintaining social distancing by providing remote and contactless payment solutions

YES BANK announced the launch of SMS Pay functionality on POS terminals in partnership with Worldline, enabling merchants to accept contactless and remote payments from their customers. This initiative is in line with the Bank’s commitment to support small and medium businesses in restarting their businesses while providing safety to their customers. SMS Pay is a step towards facilitating merchants to accept remote payments on their POS machines and enabling their customers to transact safely from the comfort of their homes.

Through this, a safe and simple platform is created for shopkeepers and merchants including local kirana stores & departmental stores enabling them to request payments against invoices by simply entering amount and customer contact details on their POS machines. Instantly an SMS is triggered to the customer’s mobile number with a payment link, allowing them to pay securely through their domestic debit and credit cards.

Speaking on the launch, Rajanish Prabhu, Business Head - Credit Cards and Merchant Acquisition, YES BANK, said “In line with the Bank’s strategy of building a transformed Digital Bank, we along with Worldline have been working on supporting our merchant partners through innovative solutions which help them unlock their businesses in a safe and convenient manner. SMS Pay is a simple yet convenient value addition to our merchant POS solutions and provides an alternative channel of payment acceptance for our merchants at zero incremental cost. SMS Pay will help in boosting business by providing merchants dual benefit of enabling them to serve outside their vicinity as payments can be made remotely as well providing safety and convenience to their customers.”

Speaking on the launch, Deepak Chandnani, Managing Director, Worldline South Asia and Middle East said, "Consumers continue to increasingly prefer digital payment options over cash. Technology enabled contactless payment solutions are the need of the hour and Worldline is in the forefront of this emerging trend. We will continue to innovate and enhance the functionalities of all our acquiring solutions including POS terminals in order to provide convenient, frictionless and secure solutions for merchants as well as customers. We are pleased to extend our relationship with our trusted partner, YES BANK to provide the SMS Pay feature for their merchants.”

Platform Benefits:

·         Zero contact payments

·         Remote & quick setup on POS terminals

·         Trusted and secure

·         Easy to operate

Simple and Instant Payment Process Flow

YES BANK POS terminals have an SMS Pay option displayed in the terminal menu

Upon selecting SMS Pay, the terminal prompts merchant to enter customer’s mobile number and sale amount

The customer receives URL for making payment via SMS

Customer completes the payment remotely via Internet payment gateway (IPG) page through his or her preferred mode of payment (domestic credit or debit card)

Once the payment is complete, charge slip is generated from the POS machine and merchant can deliver goods or services.

BharatPe’s POS Business Grows to US$ 2Bn Annualized Transaction Value in 3 Months

BharatPe, India’s largest merchant payments company, today announced that it has recorded the fastest ever scale up on POS in the industry. BharatPe’s POS business has grown to US$ 2bn annualized transaction value in just 3 months post the launch. The company announced that its POS business now contributes to 25% of the annualized transaction value. The company currently offers this product in 10 cities of the country and plans to ramp it up to 40 cities by the end of the current fiscal year. It has set a target of US$ 5bn POS annualized transaction value from the POS business by end of FY21. 

BharatSwipe, the POS machine from BharatPe launched in the second half of 2020 is India’s first zero rental card machine that offers the merchants the option for zero transaction charges. It allows the merchants to accept payments from a range of credit and debit cards. Additionally, the merchant can generate receipt for both card and QR transactions. BharatSwipe has received an overwhelming response from small merchants across industries including kirana store owners, restaurant owners as well as entrepreneurs with 4-5 outlets. 

Talking about the success of BharatSwipe, Mr. Suhail Sameer, Group President, BharatPe, said, “BharatSwipe has been one of our biggest success stories. In just about a quarter, our POS business is now 1/4th of our annualized transaction value. We launched POS machine with zero rental and zero transaction fee which resonated well with the merchant community and helped us get a headstart in this competitive market. This success is also a testimony of our in-depth understanding of small merchants’ financial services requirements. Interestingly, our average daily active merchants on POS are much higher than the industry average. We will be aggressively focusing on building this business as we expand to newer markets. We currently have close to 35,000 machines in the market and are targeting 1,00,000 POS machines deployment by the end of the current fiscal. Also, we have recently launched cash advance loans based on the merchant’s POS transaction data and initial data looks very promising. We will be scaling this up in the coming months.” 

BharatPe offers a range of fintech products to help small merchants grow their business.  These include industry’s first interoperable UPI QR with zero transaction fee, a range of credit and insurance products, the POS machine and digital gold. It recently announced its aggressive expansion plans across Tier-1, 2 and 3 cities in the country. The company is currently present in 35+ cities and plans to scale up its presence by adding another 30 cities to its list by December 2020. 

About BharatPe 

BharatPe was co-founded by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani in 2018 with the vision to make financial inclusion a reality for Indian merchants. BharatPe launched India’s first UPI interoperable QR code, first ZERO MDR payment acceptance service, and first UPI payment backed merchant cash advance service. In 2020, post-Covid, BharatPe also launched India’s only ZERO MDR card acceptance terminals – BharatSwipe. Currently serving over 50 lakh merchants across 35 cities, the company has grown business 30x in 2019 and is a leader in UPI offline transactions, having processed 5 crore+ UPI transactions a month (annualized TPV of US$ 7+ Bn). The company has already facilitated disbursement of over Rs. 500 crores to its merchants since launch. BharatPe has raised US$ 142.5 million till date. The company’s list of marquee investors includes Beenext, Sequoia, SteadView Capital, Ribbit Capital, Coatue Management LLC, Insight Partners, and Amplo. 

GoodWorker, Founded by Temasek, Joins with Sonu Sood, Schoolnet and Invests Rs. 250 Cr in Tech Platform for Blue-Collar Workers

* Pravasi Rojgar, an initiative of Sonu Sood and Schoolnet, has already onboarded 10 lakh job seekers and thousands of employers within 4 months  

* GoodWorker to Expand Pravasi Rojgar’s horizon by leveraging technology to deliver job matching, upskilling, financial and other services for 10 crore blue-collar workers  

As India steers through the COVID-19 crisis towards self-reliance and growth, there is an urgent need to address the challenges faced by the blue-collar worker community in the areas of employment and empowerment. To bridge this gap, GoodWorker, a digital job matching platform, has come together with noted actor, Sonu Sood and Schoolnet, a leading education and vocational skills provider, to form a joint venture with an initial investment of Rs. 250 Cr (~US$ 34M). 

The technology platform aims to reach 10 crore Indians by providing access to good jobs and career progression through upskilling services, followed by financial, healthcare and social security services. The initiative will also help employers in recruiting and retaining verified blue-collar workers, which will result in productivity gains, improved profitability and sustainable operations. 

The platform uses decentralised technology built by Affinidi, also founded by Singapore investment company Temasek, and will provide workers and their families with digital identities and verifiable credentials. They will have greater control of their data, and improved access to employment opportunities and life empowering services. 

Pravasi Rojgar was launched by Sonu Sood along with Schoolnet in July 2020 as an employment portal for job-seekers, especially migrants, after millions lost jobs in the pandemic. This initiative has received an overwhelming response from all stakeholders, onboarding over 10 lakh job seekers and thousands of employers within just 4 months of its launch. Pravasi Rojgar’s scope is now being expanded beyond job matching in partnership with GoodWorker, building on the combined strengths in migrant outreach, education, skilling and technology. The strategy centres around a core digital platform supported by Schoolnet’s physical network spread across India. The joint venture will formally launch its product offerings early next year. 

Ekam Advisors, an investment banking firm out of Mumbai has been instrumental in bringing all the partners together and advised on the strategy for this initiative. 

Announcing the partnership, Pradyumna Agrawal, Board Member of GoodWorker, said, “The cutting-edge technology that GoodWorker brings will allow businesses in India to effectively expand their operations by finding the right talent, and also allow workers to have control over their data while widening access to digital products and services. With digital transformation accelerating against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, GoodWorker’s investment reflects our optimism towards trends in India that are underpinned by technology and digitalisation.” 

RCM Reddy & KK Iyer, Board Members of Schoolnet, said “Schoolnet, as a market leader in education and skilling services, reaching more than 1 crore students, youth and enterprises, along with its deep domain knowledge and execution track record, is uniquely positioned to realise this mission of creating a community of an empowered blue-collar workforce.”  

Sonu Sood, whose philanthropic services for migrant workers have been widely recognized, said “This partnership will help in realising my dream of providing a better life and securing livelihood for millions of youth. I am fortunate to partner with this socially relevant technology platform, as it helps institutionalise and scale Pravasi Rojgar's humanitarian efforts.” 

This partnership is expected to complement the Government’s initiatives to spur economic growth, create employment opportunities and support inclusive development through the use of technology at scale.      

Nokia 2.4 Launches with An AI-Powered Camera, Two Days of Battery Life1 and An Immersive, Large HD+ Screen

* First in the series to feature a dual camera; capture the details in the dark with Night mode and refocus bokeh images post-capture

* Three years of security updates and two years of AndroidTM OS software upgrades offering great value from a brand that you can trust

* Premium Nordic design that’s built to last and featuring Finnish-inspired, brand-new contemporary colours; Dusk and Fjord

HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, today announces the launch of Nokia 2.4, the latest addition to the widely successful Nokia 2-series in India.

The next generation Nokia 2 brings advanced AI imaging features including Night mode and Portrait mode, helping to take your photos to the next level. See the bigger picture and do more for longer – watch, learn and create on the large 6.5” (16.5 cm) HD+ screen. And, thanks to its two-day battery life[i], you’re free to enjoy your favourite apps and games for longer without battery anxiety. Bringing modern essentials like fingerprint and face unlock, you can benefit from effortless access and added security. Plus, the Nokia 2.4 comes with our Android promise, giving you three years of monthly security updates and two years of OS updates, meaning it’s ready for Android 11 and 12. The Nokia 2.4 comes with a unique and refined and premium Nordic design that’s built to last and features Finnish-inspired, brand-new contemporary colours: Dusk, Fjord and Charcoal.

Sanmeet Singh Kochhar, Vice President, HMD Global:

“The 2-series is a fan favourite and the most successful series in India. It brings much loved features such as a two-day battery life, an AI-powered camera and pure, secure and up-to-date Android, all in an affordable and elegant package. The Nokia 2.4 continues to exceed expectations when it comes to what a phone within this segment can provide. We’ve included high-end features like the AI camera with Night mode and Portrait mode. The large screen makes for a more immersive visual experience, and for added security, a biometric fingerprint sensor is included, which is a first for the series. All of this wrapped up in a timeless Finnish design that’s reflected in the Nokia 2.4 colour palette.”

“Fans around the world know and trust Nokia phones. Recently, we have been rated as the leaders3 in Trust rankings by Counterpoint Research, based on our leadership in providing Software upgrades, Security Updates and Build Quality. During this uncertain time and beyond, trust the Nokia 2.4 – the all-rounder smartphone – for your life journey whether at home with your loved ones, or while stepping up at work.”

Detailed night and portrait shots fueled by AI imaging

Moments worth capturing don’t always happen in the light of day. With Night mode’s advanced image fusion and exposure stacking, the Nokia 2.4 lets you capture vibrant detail even in darker conditions. Bring out your creativity with Portrait mode’s custom shapes and blurred backgrounds. With the new Portrait Editor, you can refocus and edit pictures long after you’ve snapped them – making for instantly shareable and unique shots.

Watch, learn and create on a 6.5” (16.5 cm) screen and enjoy long-lasting entertainment

A large HD+ display with a selfie notch maximises the screen, bringing you an elevated viewing experience at an accessible price for those looking to get lost in their favourite shows. Plus, staying true to the signature two-day battery life you’d expect from the Nokia 2 range, the Nokia 2.4 is packed with a large 4500mAh battery that lasts up to two days on a single charge thanks to the AI-assisted Adaptive Battery, so you can spend more time recharging yourself and not your phone.[ii] It learns what apps you use the most and prioritises power for them – so you can use more of the features you love, for longer.

Timeless design inspired by our Finnish roots, built to last

The Nokia 2.4 brings with it modern essentials, such as accessing your device quickly and easily with a convenient fingerprint sensor and AI face unlock giving you versatility in how you use your phone. True to its Finnish roots, the Nokia 2.4 comes wrapped in a durable design that’s not only built to look good but also to last. The 3D nano-textured cover sits securely in your hand and has a stunning finish available in Nordic-inspired colours. Plus, the die-cast metal chassis with polycarbonate shell gives your phone rigidity combined with the comfortable feel you’d expect from a Nokia phone.

Benefit from an Android 11 and 12-ready smartphone

Nokia 2.4 delivers on our pure, secure and up-to-date promise by bringing you an excellent software experience with a streamlined interface and no bloatware. Part of the Android One programme, the Nokia 2.4 ensures you can enjoy the latest Android features and security with three years of monthly security updates and two years of software upgrades, so you get more out of your phone for longer. Plus, accessing information is even easier with the help of Google Assistant – activated by voice or the dedicated button.

Pricing and availability

The Nokia 2.4 is available Dusk, Fjord and Charcoal colour options, at a recommended best buy price of INR 10,399 for the 3GB/64GB variant.

The Nokia 2.4 will be available online exclusively on starting 26th Nov. 2020. The first 100 customers on placing successful orders between 26 Nov. 12:00 noon IST and 04 Dec. 11:59 pm IST, will also receive a 007 merchandise hamper comprising 007 special edition bottle, cap and metal keychain.

Starting 4th Dec. 2020, Nokia 2.4 will be available online on and Flipkart, and at leading retail outlets across India.

Nokia 2.4 customers on Jio would be entitled to benefits worth Rs. 3,550. The benefits include instant cashback of Rs 2,000 on the prepaid recharge of Rs. 349 plan and Rs 1,550 worth vouchers from partners. This offer is applicable to new as well as existing Jio subscribers.

India Tour of Australia Goes Live on SonyLIV; Scam 1992 Travels South Along with the Host of Other Shows

After months of waiting to see team India in action, SonyLIV is here with a breather for all cricket lovers. The much-hyped India Tour of Australia will go live on the platform starting 27th November. In one of the most high-octane series in International cricket, Team Kohli will take on the Aussies for three ODI’s, three T20’s and 4 test matches at their home turf till 15th January 2021. With simultaneous feeds across 4 languages, the much-anticipated tour will be available for viewing to SonyLIV’s premium subscribers.

Post a successful period of quarantine, the teams are now set to lock horns, this Friday onwards across venues in Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, and Melbourne. Team India will begin with a slight edge over the hosts in the ODI’s, with a 12-10 win-loss record against them in recent past. However, Australia, who recently defeated world champions England in their home turf, will look to replicate victory, led by Aaron Finch. Premium subscribers will get an access to the live feed without any delay.

There’s a lot to rejoice for soccer fans as well on SonyLIV with the popular UEFA Champions League 2020-21, the 66th season of Europe's premier club football tournament along with UEFA Europa League and Serie A matches going live on the platform. 2021 brings another sporting spectacle - Australian Open with Rafael Nadal headlining the event next year in Melbourne.  

And there’s more in store for SonyLIV’s patrons. Following its stupendous success amongst audience and critics,  Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story will now be available for the regional audience with its dubbed versions in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada along with the host of other titles like Avrodh: The Siege Within, Your Honor, Undekhi and more. This development is in alignment with SonyLIV’s brand promise of curating an expansive content catalogue across languages and emerge as a go to destination for digital content.

In addition to this, the platform has recently launched titles like Uncommonsense by Saloni, Daan Sthapana hosted by the reputed speaker Devdutt Pattnaik and Mahabharat- Ant ya Aarambh, an 11-episode animation series.  Highly acclaimed English shows like The Good Doctor S4 and For Life S2 are also up for viewing for the Indian audience.

So, whether you are a cricket lover or a football enthusiast, an ardent fan of stand-up comedy or a devout believer in mythology, SonyLIV is the place to be.

About SonyLIV

SonyLIV is the first Indian premium Video on demand (VOD) service by Sony Pictures Networks’ (SPN) providing multi-screen engagement for users on all devices. Launched in January 2013, the digital streaming player is home to 24 years of rich content from the library of Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) with over 40,000 hours of programming. SonyLIV subscribers get exclusive access to key sporting events from across the globe, the latest Hollywood Shows, Originals, 18,000+ hours of TV Shows, LiveTV, News, Lifestyle, Fitness and Kids content.

With 100 million+ app downloads so far, SonyLIV is the first amongst its competition to provide original and exclusive premium content to Indian viewers. SonyLIV is the first OTT platform to launch an Original web series - #Lovebytes, followed by India’s first Marathi Original – YOLO. Currently, the platform has over 150+ original shows spread across Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Bengali. The Tamil and Telugu library itself boasts of 2000+ hours of Movies and Originals. SonyLIV recently added new originals to its line-up - Avrodh, Your Honor, Undekhi and Scam 1992 being some of them.

Apart from being the official Indian streaming partner for Global Sporting events, SonyLIV keeps its viewers entertained throughout the year with Live action Cricket, Football, Tennis, Basketball, eSports, Racing and Fighting Sports. The platform offers its subscribers a host of premium International tournaments like the UEFA Champions League, Australian Open, Serie A, W.W.E., N.B.A., UFC, F.A. Cup, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Euro 2020, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Mzansi Super League, Big Bash, T10, ATP Tours, Impact Wrestling and The Ashes to name a few. SonyLIV also has rights to tournaments of Cricket Boards inclusive Cricket Australia, England and Wales Cricket Board & Cricket Ireland. In 2019, the service launched in the Middle East and has plans to expand its complete bouquet of services in several Southeast Asian countries.

SonyLIV has partnerships with key International studios – SPE Films, Lionsgate and iTV, which allows its subscribers exclusive access to award-winning shows like, Seinfeld, Power, The Good Doctor and Mr. Mercedes. The platform recently added a host of celebrated Hollywood shows to its library like LA’s Finest S2, On Becoming a God in Central Florida, Alex Rider, For Life, Lincoln Rhyme, War of the Worlds, Commons and Indebted amongst others.  SonyLIV also has exclusive local partnerships with the likes of TVF, which adds popular Indian Originals like Gullak and Tripling S2 to their vast content library.

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