Saturday, January 30, 2021

Airtel Announces Success 5G Service Ready Network In Hyderabad


In a major landmark, Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), India’s premier communications solutions provider, announced that it has become the country’s first telco to successfully demonstrate & orchestrate Live 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad city. 

Airtel did this over its existing liberalised spectrum in the 1800 MHz band through the NSA (Non Stand Alone) network technology. Using a first of its kind, dynamic spectrum sharing, Airtel seamlessly operated 5G and 4G concurrently within the same spectrum block. This demonstration has emphatically validated the 5G readiness of Airtel’s network across all domains - Radio, Core and Transport.  

Airtel 5G is capable of delivering 10x speeds, 10x latency and 100x concurrency when compared to existing technologies. Specifically, in Hyderabad, users were able to download a full length movie in a matter of seconds on a 5G phone. This demonstration has underlined the company’s technology capabilities. The full impact of the 5G experience, however, will be available to our customers, when adequate spectrum is available and government approvals received. 

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel said: “I am very proud of our engineers who have worked tirelessly to showcase this incredible capability in Tech City, Hyderabad today. Every one of our investments is future proofed as this game changing test in Hyderabad proves. With Airtel being the first operator to demonstrate this capability, we have shown again that we have always been the first in India to pioneer new technologies in our quest for empowering Indians everywhere.”  

“We believe India has the potential to become a global hub for 5G innovation. To make that happen we need the eco system to come together – applications, devices and network innovation. We are more than ready to do our bit.” added Gopal Vittal.                   

About Bharti Airtel 

Headquartered in India, Airtel is a global telecommunications company with operations in 18 countries across South Asia and Africa. The company ranks amongst the top three mobile operators globally and its mobile network covers a population of over two billion people. Airtel is India’s largest integrated telecom provider and the second largest mobile operator in Africa. At the end of September 2020, Airtel had approx. 440 million customers across its operations.  

Airtel’s portfolio includes high speed 4G/4.5G mobile broadband, Airtel Xstream Fiber that promises speeds up to 1Gbps, converged digital TV solutions through the Airtel Xstream 4K Hybrid Box, digital payments through Airtel Payments Bank as well as an integrated suite of services across connectivity, collaboration, cloud and security that serves over one million businesses.   

Airtel’s OTT services include Airtel Thanks app for self-care, Airtel Xstream app for video, Wynk Music for entertainment and Airtel BlueJeans for video conferencing. In addition, Airtel has forged strategic partnerships with hundreds of companies across the world to enable the Airtel platform to deliver an array of consumer and enterprise services.  

Tata Motors Launches The Limited-Edition Tata Tiago; Celebrates 1st Anniversary Of Tiago Refresh Range

Keeping up with the brand promise of offering consumers the ‘New Forever’ range, Tata Motors, India’s leading automotive brand, today announced the launch of a limited edition Tata Tiago at a price of INR 5.79 Lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). This launch will commemorate the first anniversary of Tiago Refresh and its success in the hatchback market.

Building on the XT variant, the Tiago Limited Edition will be available in manual transmission, with three single tone colours - Flame Red, Pearlescent White & Daytona Grey. Additional features include:

·         New 14-inch Bold Black Alloy Wheels

·         5-inch Touchscreen Infotainment by Harman, consisting of:

o    3D Navigation through Navimaps

o    Reverse Parking Sensor with Display

o    Voice Command Recognition

o    Image & Video Playback

·         Rear Parcel Shelf

Commenting on the launch of this new variant, Mr. Vivek Srivatsa – Head - Marketing, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors said, “Since its launch in 2016, the Tiago has been very successful in its segment and has been appreciated by all. Following the same, the product’s BS6 version was introduced in 2020 which also received a 4 star safety rating by GNCAP at launch, making it the safest in its segment. With more than 3.25 lakh happy customers on the road, the Tiago has evidently received tremendous market response. We are confident that through the introduction of this limited period variant and in alignment with our New Forever philosophy, we will continue to bring excitement in this space while catering to the ever evolving demand of our consumers.”

Brookfield Launches Rs 3,800-Cr IPO For Its Real Estate Investment Trust From February 3-5, 2021

* Investors will be able to buy a unit of the REIT in the band of Rs 274-275, valuing the trust at Rs 8,327 crore at the upper end of the band, Ankur Gupta, managing partner, real estate said, adding that the net asset value (NAV) per unit is Rs 311.

Alternative asset manager Brookfield on Friday announced its Rs 3,800-crore initial public offer (IPO) for its real estate investment trust (REIT), giving investors a share of over 1.4 crore square feet of its commercial properties across the country.

With the IPO coming amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the global asset manager said there is no data to suggest that work from home is the new normal and exuded confidence that benefits like closely working together for productivity purposes will eventually get teams to work from offices.

REITs are a relatively newer platform in India and so far two REITs have been listed.

The issue will open for subscription on February 3 and close on February 5, and bids can be made for a minimum of 200 units and in multiples of 200 thereafter by bidders other than anchor investors.

Investors will be able to buy a unit of the REIT in the band of Rs 274-275, valuing the trust at Rs 8,327 crore at the upper end of the band, Ankur Gupta, managing partner, real estate said, adding that the net asset value (NAV) per unit is Rs 311.

Gupta said hybrid models of working from home or from outside office spaces were already in place even before the pandemic and added that when the economy is firing on all cylinders, 'we need to see how efficiently we deliver on services and products,' he noted.

'As long as the economy is doing well, commercial realty has a very strong reason to do well,' he told reporters in a virtual press conference ahead of its IPO.

Admitting that tenants were looking at consolidating their presence very early into the pandemic, he said leasing prospects look robust now.

Brookfield is offering 1.4 crore square feet of its portfolio in the REIT and proposing to reduce its shareholding in the same to 54 per cent post-issue. The proceeds of the issue will be used for de-leveraging, Gupta said.

The REIT is on the lookout for adding another 1.5 crore square feet of space in the next few years and investors in the REIT will stand to get returns in the form of dividends from the long-term leasing out of the commercial properties.

Bulk of the commercial properties are buildings leased out to technology, finance, financial technology, media and other service-sector players, especially multinationals, for long term leases, Gupta said, adding that they have over 90 per cent occupancy at present.

All the properties have been working through the lockdown, collections have been over 98 per cent and 5 lakh square feet of space has been re-leased during the pandemic, he said, adding it has a leasing pipeline of 16 lakh square feet where conversations with prospective clients are on.

Kaku Nakase, president and country head of Bank of America, one of the lead managers, said this is the first REIT in Asia for Brookfield and added that the pandemic has made India more important for multinational companies. 

Maharashtra Tops Justice Delivery In India, Southern States Dominate Ranking :India Justice Report

The second edition of the India Justice Report, India’s only ranking of states on delivery of Justice to people, announced here today, ranks Maharashtra once again at the top of the 18 Large and Mid-sized states (with population of over one crore each), followed by Tamil Nadu (2019: 3rd), Telangana (2019: 11th) Punjab (2019: 4th) and Kerala (2019: 2nd). The list of seven Small States (population less than one crore each) was topped by Tripura (2019: 7th), followed by Sikkim (2019: 2nd) and Goa (2019: 3rd).

The India Justice Report (IJR) is an initiative of Tata Trusts in collaboration with Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, DAKSH, TISS–Prayas, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy and How India Lives. The maiden IJR was announced in 2019.

Through a rigorous 14-month quantitative research, the India Justice Report 2020 once again tracks the progress states have made in capacitating their justice delivery structures to effectively deliver services to all. It takes account of latest statistics and situations as they existed prior to March 2020.  It brings together otherwise siloed statistics

from authoritative government sources, on the four pillars of Justice delivery–Police, Judiciary, Prisons and Legal Aid.

The Report highlights stark conclusions, when aggregated for an all-India picture. Women comprise only 29% of judges in India.  Two-thirds of the country’s inmates are undertrials. In the last 25 years, since 1995, only 1.5 crore people have received legal aid, though 80% of the country’s population is entitled to.

Each pillar was analysed through the prism of budgets, human resources, personnel workload, diversity, infrastructure and trends (intention to improve over a five-year period), against the state’s own declared standards and benchmarks. Basis these themes, the Report assesses how all the 29 states and 7 UTs have capacitated themselves and, out of them, ranks the 18 Large and Mid-sized states and 7 small-sized states introducing a spirit of competitiveness.

Pillar-wise performance

Commenting on the Report, Justice (retd.) Madan B. Lokur, said, “While ranking states, the Report does not play up one state against another—it merely highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each pillar in each state thereby encouraging internal assessments for introducing positive changes in the delivery of justice. The Report fosters competition between states but more importantly, places the state in competition with itself to provide its people with the best possible justice delivery.”

Mr. N Srinath, CEO of Tata Trusts, said, "The India Justice Reports of 2019 and now 2020 make a significant contribution to laying the evidence base for policy makers and civil society to initiate early improvements for the benefit of us all."

Ms. Shloka Nath, Head – Policy and Advocacy, Tata Trusts, said, “The India Justice Report assesses all the pillars of justice delivery– Police, Judiciary, Prisons and Legal Aid—as one system.  The justice system in India is overburdened and stressed making it difficult for most people to access justice services. The Report demystifies the system as a whole through statistics across the four pillars. We hope that like the first report, this second edition too, fosters a more informed discourse and perhaps most importantly, serves as a tool for policymakers, and other stakeholders to identify areas of quick repair."

Ms. Maja Daruwala, Chief Editor, India Justice Report 2019, said, “The justice system has been neglected for too long. It entered the pandemic era with co-morbidities—underfunding, large vacancies, poor infrastructure and inadequately trained personnel at all levels. It must be designated as an essential service and be equipped as a first responder to provide the public with its services in every situation especially emergencies and certainly in the on-going pandemic.”

Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog, has said, “Justice delivery is an underlying essential service upon which rests the success of other development goals. I commend the India Justice Report team for bringing out the second edition of the report. At NITI Aayog we have been striving to foster wider discussions on improving overall justice delivery. The IJR 2020 will help the states to identify areas of immediate improvement and the rankings will hopefully give them an incentive to do better."

Note to editors:

1.     For key findings on each pillar, please refer to the Key Findings document

2.     For further details and perspective please refer to respective pillar backgrounders or visit:

3.     For an interactive web-visualisation to compare and assess states, please visit:

4.     The India Justice Report 2020, national factsheet and an interactive web output will be available at

5.     The IJR 2020 uses the latest official data available at the time of going to press:  for the police it is 1 January 2020; prisons 31 December 2019; judiciary uses data from 2018-19, 2019 and 2020; and for legal aid 2019-20 and March 2020. Population figures are sourced from the National Commission on Population 2019 and budget figures rely on Comptroller and Auditor General reports for 2017–2018.

About Tata Trusts

Since inception in 1892, Tata Trusts, India’s oldest philanthropic organisation, has played a pioneering role in bringing about an enduring difference in the lives of the communities it serves. Guided by the principles and the vision of proactive philanthropy of the Founder, Jamsetji Tata, the Trusts’ purpose is to catalyse development in the areas of health, nutrition, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, livelihood, digital transformation, migration and urban habitat, social justice and inclusion, environment and energy, skill development, sports, and arts and culture. The Trusts’ programmes, achieved through direct implementation, partnerships and grant making, are marked by innovations, relevant to the country.

Friday, January 29, 2021

An Enterprising Initiative Towards Securing The Future Of Sustainability In Sugarcane Supply Chain Sector In India

* Acclaimed international civil society organisation, Solidaridad, organizes a multi-stakeholder discussion and deliberates on the opportunities of the sugarcane industry in India and the ways to mitigate challenges facing sustainable transformation in the sector 

India is the world’s largest consumer of sugar. The country’s sugarcane industry, second only to cotton in size, relies on more than six million smallholder farmers and countless labourers to produce its sugar. However, sugarcane farming is highly water-intensive, and recent years have witnessed significant depletion of ground water resources—threatening food security, economic growth and livelihoods of the farmers. Solidaridad, along with its consortium of partners, brought together multiple stakeholders in a policy consultation event on Friday to deliberate on the moot issues and the way forward for sustainability in sugarcane farming in India. The diverse cross-sectoral participation led to a milieu of strategic discussions on creating an enabling environment for resource-efficient supply chains in the sugarcane industry. 

The virtual advocacy event was designed to facilitate exchange of thoughts and ideas amongst sustainability practitioners, sugar companies, sugar mills, local and state governments, financial institutions and civil society organisations from India, Netherlands and across different parts of the world, working on a wide range of issues related to sustainable development, agriculture, water efficiency and business responsibility in the sugarcane sector. The event centred around influencing, advocating and exploring business and policy action strategies for sustainable and inclusive development in India’s agriculture sector. The emphasis was on taking learnings from current sustainable initiatives in India to develop recommendations on various thematic challenges, such as: 

Income and food security of farmers in the context of water and climate change  

Use of inclusive technology and artificial intelligence (AI) in agriculture 

Access to finance for farmers to adopt mechanisation and water-efficient practices 

Issues and opportunities with sustainable certification in India  

The shared experience of implementing an FDW Sugarcane programme in India with a consortium of partners over the past years has led Solidaridad to take this step forward in building a platform to share the experiences and achievements from the programme. Supported by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), Solidaridad launched the water-efficient sugarcane production programme during 2014-2015 in the states of Karnataka and Telangana in India. The FDW Sugarcane programme on increasing water-use efficiency in sugarcane farming in India was one of the first public-private partnership (PPP) programmes. It is currently running in its sixth year of implementation on the ground.   

Implemented by Solidaridad, the PPP programme comprises sugarcane companies, such as NSL Sugars Limited and Natems Sugar Private Limited and their respective sugar mills; knowledge partners Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI) and Osmania University; and technological partner eLEAF, which facilitates satellite mapping of the sugarcane plots for information on water, crop, crop-water productivity through robust monitoring systems. 

The programme aims to address over-exploitation of groundwater resources and alternatively focus on water-efficient practices. The objective of the FDW Sugarcane programme is to create a comprehensive and powerful impact at the ground level to support 35,000 farmers in sustainable agricultural practices by providing regular agriculture and financial literacy trainings, exposure visits to different sugarcane growing states, support in the uptake of latest technologies, development of local entrepreneurs and building robust infrastructures. The programme has so far been able to increase sugarcane productivity, reduce production cost and raise the farmers’ income from sugarcane production in the two states. 

Solidaridad, along with its consortium of partners, organised this multi-stakeholder sugarcane and water event by bringing together various stakeholders from the water and sugarcane industry. Sugar mills, sugar companies, agricultural universities, local and state government, financial institutions and NGOs alike were present at the virtual event today to discuss the opportunities and possibilities of building a more sustainable and resilient sugarcane sector. The diverse cross-sectoral participation created a milieu of strategic discussions on the way forward to the creation of an enabling environment for a resource-efficient supply chain in the sugarcane industry. 

The advocacy event was addressed by H.E. Marten van den Berg, Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands; Ms Ella Lammers Senior Advisor, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO); Dr Pandith Madhnure, Director, Ground Water Department, Government of Telengana; Dr Bakshi Ram, Director, Sugarcane Breeding Institute (SBI); Dr. Shatadru Chattopadhayay, Managing Trustee, Solidaridad; Mr Shivajirao Deshmukh, Director General, Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI); Mr Roshan Lal Tamak, Executive Director and CEO, DCM Sriram; Ms Ritu Baruah, India Programme Manager, Bonsucro and Mr Manish Pandey, Director & Head -Project analysis, Quality Council of India (QCI), along with other relevant stakeholders of the sugarcane and water industry. 

Embarking on this initiative, Dr. Shatadru Chattopadhayay, Managing Trustee, Solidaridad said “Sugarcane is historically called 'honey without bee'. It is the crop of the future with many potential uses from food, bagasse, fuel, fodder to even paper providing income source to around six millions of small farmers in India. However, sugarcane sector faces significant sustainability challenges relating to water use, soil health, productivity, profitability and smallholder livelihoods. The situation is exacerbated by increased rainfall variability due to climate change, which may reduce sugarcane yields by up to 30%. Solidaridad works across the sugarcane value chain from farmers, mills to sugar buying companies and financial institutions to make sugarcane sector more sustainable. Solidaridad experts also demonstrate that farmers and mills can increase profit while taking care of the environment. So far, We have achieved an increase in farmers average productivity between 20 to 40 per cent while saving billions of litres of water.” 

A Noble Step towards Sustainable Agriculture 

India's sugarcane industry relies on more than six million smallholder farmers to produce its sugar. Due to small farm size and the associated inefficiencies, Indian productivity lags far behind other parts of the world. Solidaridad has been working with all the stakeholders of the industry to improve productivity, increase water efficiency and deploy climate-smart agricultural practices throughout the country. One component, the VSI training programme, prepared by Solidaridad with funding from PepsiCo, and supported by the International Finance Corporation and Olam, enrolled 400 women from the Kolhapur and Belgaum Districts of Maharashtra and Karnataka states. Sugarcane is a labour-intensive crop and more than 60% of that work is done by women. The curriculum emphasised on water management, soil health, pest control and fertiliser optimisation and other good agricultural practices, which prepared the women to improve farm productivity. This new-found knowledge had a significant effect on their roles within their families, leading to increased confidence and greater self-esteem for many of them. The ability to improve their family’s wellbeing through greater productivity of their farms has been empowering. 

India is reported to have the highest groundwater depletion rates in the world, and, in Northern India, it is at crisis levels. With agriculture as the dominant consumer of water, it is imperative that action be taken now, at a national scale, not only to reduce consumption but also to harvest rainwater. Solidaridad is expanding its sugarcane programme to address this crisis. But this effort needs the sustained support of the companies buying sugar produced by these farmers. The six million sugarcane farmers, the majority of whom are women, must be enlisted in this effort. The programme underway in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madya Pradesh is working with around 25,000 farmers. Other Solidaridad’s programmes in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere involve another 300,000 sugarcane farmers.  

H.E. Marten van den Berg, Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands “India and the Netherlands are committed to contribute towards global sustainable development thereby contributing towards the Sustainable Development Goals. We’re keen to work together with India on shared challenges and joint, innovative and cost effective solutions. Public-private partnerships between India and the Netherlands create win-win opportunities. In the field of water, several Dutch companies have been active in India for years who have reinforced several successful sustainable partnerships between India and the Netherlands.” 

About Solidaridad  

Solidaridad is an international solution-oriented civil society organization with partners all over the world. A journey spanning over five decades, Solidaridad has more often than not been the cradle of innovation in the sustainable development sector worldwide, pioneering several sustainable initiatives such as the global fair-trade movement among others. The organisation stands by its agenda of accelerating global sustainable and inclusive development through meaningful and strategic partnerships. Solidaridad’s mission is to ??bring together supply chain actors and engage them into?? creating innovative solutions towards improving production and ensuring transition to a ??sustainable and inclusive economy. Solidaridad aspires to ??transform production practices in a way that leads to fair and profitable livelihoods and ??business opportunities for the producers and guarantees them decent ??working conditions and a ??living wage, without depleting their land of its essential resources. 

India Business Success In 2021 Hinges On Delivering Exceptional Customer Experiences

* Global Annual Customer Experience Trends Report 2021 shows customers continue to be more demanding, making it harder for businesses to meet expectations in a post-pandemic world

Despite 2020 being a year of far-reaching and rapid transformation in how people live, collaborate, and connect, the global Zendesk (NYSE: ZEN) Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report 2021 shows the customer experience is increasingly crucial to business success and that the most successful companies are adopting new technology at record speed. In fact, new data released today shows that half (53%) of organisations in APAC are planning to invest in CX software more in 2021.  At the same time, two in five (44%) customers in the region say that experience is more important to them now compared to a year ago and 67% of companies say their organisation prioritises CX more than a year ago. This view  is also echoed by a majority of companies (90%) and customers (56%) surveyed in India.

The report looks at the top trends in customer experience through the Zendesk Benchmark, a unique data index on how more than 90,000 companies use their support solutions. The global report also includes survey insights from  India, as well as the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Korea, Italy, the Nordics, and Benelux.

“We’ve seen companies in APAC embrace digitalisation at an incredible speed this year in response to the dramatic shifts in the operating landscape they’ve had to navigate. Customer experience has never been more important, and we think this accelerated adoption of technology is likely to continue in 2021. Organisations need to ensure they have the right strategies, processes and technology in place to empower customer support teams and drive business success,” said Wendy Johnstone, Chief Operating Officer, APAC, Zendesk. 

Further highlighting the acceleration of technology, a Gartner survey conducted in 2020 found that 91% of organisations said that CX was one of or the primary goal of their digital business transformation efforts.

“Even as businesses in India are looking forward to a new year of possibilities and are gradually returning to their workplace, one thing remains – the new normal is here to stay. The pandemic has accelerated the digital wave in the country within just a matter of days, raising the bar of customer expectations and demands. The CX Trends Report 2021 highlights how a seamless customer experience (CX) journey can elevate the overall experience and satisfaction that a brand offers its customers to drive longer lasting loyalty”, said KT Prasad, MD and RVP, India & SAARC, Zendesk.

From navigating changing behaviours to adopting new channels to reimagining the workforce, the Zendesk CX Trends Report 2021 gives companies a roadmap to navigate this new CX landscape so they can champion good customer service at every turn. Top findings include: 

Stay ahead of the digital curve: Companies are adopting technology at light speed, and it’s adapt or get left behind. In India, 73% of the customers are willing to spend more for a better online experience, while 40% of customers will switch to a competitor after one bad experience. On a macro level, organisations identified as ’high-performing’ in APAC based on customer service metrics such as CSAT and reply speed, are more likely to have adopted omnichannel solutions, with over half (54%) offering self-service in addition to other key channels including phone, email or messaging, compared to just 20% of low performers. 

Be part of a more conversational world: As customers adopt new behaviours, the soaring popularity of messaging apps opens the door for more streamlined, conversational experiences. Ninety-three percent of customers in India have tried a new way to get in touch with customer service in the last year - the highest in the region. For many, that includes using messaging for support requests over apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, which have spiked significantly during the pandemic with social messaging up 117% in APAC since February 2020.

Realise the power of employee experience: In an increasingly distributed world, companies must rethink how they work smarter across teams. Many employees across APAC still don’t feel like they have the right tools to succeed in this new and often distributed environment, whether it’s keeping track of their performance indicators, staying connected with their colleagues, or feeling supported by their companies. However, employees in India feel otherwise. Only 14% of managers in India say they don’t have the right analytics tools to measure success for remote teams, and 13% of agents don’t have the right tools to work successfully from home - the lowest in APAC.

Set teams up for success by emphasising agility: Facing continued volatility, service and support organisations must find ways to keep up with their customers. Customer experience leaders cited the ability to quickly adapt to the evolving needs of customers as their biggest challenge in 2020 and the highest priority going forward.

Make it easier for customers with a focus on CX: Unprecedented in speed and scale, the recent surge in online channels puts pressure on companies to meet rising expectations as customer experience takes center stage. The vast majority (72%) of customers in India say they are willing to spend more with a company that offers a good customer experience, while 62% will take their business elsewhere following bad experiences.

Additional resources

?      For more, including data and insights by region, industry and company size, go to LINK to read the full report. 

?      Check out the virtual event, “CX Trends 2021” here


This annual look at the top trends in customer experience combines analysis of the Zendesk Benchmark, a unique data index on how more than 90,000 companies use their support solutions, with the results of surveys gauging the attitudes of more than 8,000 consumers, customer service agents and managers, and technology buyers, in 15 countries, including US, UK, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, Mexico, India, Singapore, Korea, Italy, the Nordics, and Benelux.

About Zendesk

Zendesk is a service-first CRM company that builds support, sales, and customer engagement software designed to foster better customer relationships. From large enterprises to startups, we believe that powerful, innovative customer experiences should be within reach for every company, no matter the size, industry or ambition. Zendesk serves more than 160,000 customers across a multitude of industries in over 30 languages. Zendesk is headquartered in San Francisco, and operates offices worldwide. 

Dvara KGFS Wins “Technology For Financial Inclusion Awards 2020


Dvara KGFS, a leading NBFC in India, was announced as the winner in the award category – Technology for Financial Inclusion at “The Inclusive Finance India Awards 2020”. The award was presented to Dvara KGFS in recognition for the robust technology offering a suite of financial services & products for the underserved section of the society and for their operational excellence over the last year.  

The award was presented by Shri. Anurag Thakur, Honorable Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Government of India to Mr. Joby C O, CEO, Dvara KGFS.  

Upon receiving the award, Mr. Joby. C. O., CEO, Dvara KGFS said, “We are delighted to receive this award for ‘Fintech for Financial Inclusion’. Dvara KGFS caters to more than a million customers across 6 states and provides comprehensive wealth management services to people living in remote rural areas where they have limited or no access to financial products. We believe that rural households require guidance and support for planning their income and investing in as many financial instruments such as savings, insurance, pension funds & other forms of investments to secure their financial future.  This would enable them to achieve financial freedom in the long term with adequate support of short term loans for their immediate requirements. Today, nearly 30,000 of our women customers from different geographies save around INR 500 per month through our innovative ‘Dvara Sampoorna Sampath Plan’ taking care of their savings, insurance & investments needs.” 

Dvara KGFS is one of the pioneers in financial inclusion by deploying technology to remote rural population to access financial products, enhance customer experience and strengthen internal digital capabilities. The technology has helped in diversifying the product portfolio through API integrations with Banks & other Financial Service providers. Dvara KGFS has branched into crop loans & insurance products by proving real-time banking services like AePS module, gold loan, savings products. 

About Dvara KGFS -  Dvara KGFS, a systematically important NBFC in the Dvara Group regulated by RBI, works with a mission to maximise the financial well-being of every individual and every enterprise by providing complete access to financial services in remote rural India. Dvara KGFS has a strong presence in Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha, spread across 48 Districts with 308 branches and more than 1.1 million enrolled customers.  

Accenture, SAP To Help Organizations Transform Their Business through RISE with SAP

Accenture (NYSE: ACN) is working with SAP to help organizations accelerate business transformation through cloud-based deployments of SAP® solutions. With a goal of supporting clients at any stage of their transformation journey, Accenture is offering solutions and services that help lower the cost and risk of migrating SAP S/4HANA® to the cloud and pave the way for a reinvention of business models and processes.

New research from Accenture found that the vast majority of companies recognize that cloud provides the means to a variety of business benefits – greater cost efficiencies, improved service levels, and greater speed to market as well as enabling reimagined business models and improving business resilience. However, just 37% of companies say they are achieving the full value expected on cloud investments. Accenture and SAP are working together to help clients embark on business transformation through RISE with SAP, a new business transformation offering that uses the flexibility of public or private cloud infrastructure to provide the full intelligent enterprise experience, including the enterprise resource planning capabilities of SAP S/4HANA and integration with SAP Business Technology Platform.

Accenture’s approach to building on cloud can reduce many upfront migration costs, allowing more resources to be invested in creating new ways of working and new innovations that add business value. With a core system based on SAP S/4HANA on an agile cloud infrastructure, clients can quickly implement industry-specific processes and use joint solutions and extend functionality on SAP Business Technology Platform to simplify deployments.

“There are many options for moving SAP applications to the cloud; the path to embrace these changes is unique to every organization. The newly launched RISE with SAP clarifies options for clients in their journey to transform into intelligent enterprises,” said Caspar Borggreve, global lead for the Accenture SAP Business Group. “With our experience in SAP solutions, SAP Business Technology Platform and cloud deployments, Accenture brings an exceptional combination of industry and functional expertise and innovation at scale to power transformation across every facet of the business. We deliver 360ᵒ value through a smart approach that uses automation, existing investments and modern implementation methods to deliver solutions with greater speed and less disruption.”

Accenture is recognized as a leading partner to the world’s major cloud providers and recently launched Accenture Cloud First, a new multi-service group of 70,000 cloud professionals focused on enabling organizations to move to the cloud with greater speed and achieve greater value for all their stakeholders at this critical time. Accenture also works side-by-side with SAP to help companies improve business operations with industry-specific solutions based on SAP Business Technology Platform and integrated with SAP’s intelligent suite and SAP Business Network.

“The RISE with SAP offering helps simplify and accelerate our customers’ move to the cloud and will help deliver continuous innovation throughout their journey to become an intelligent enterprise,” said Dr. Uwe Grigoleit, senior vice president and general manager, SAP S/4HANA, SAP. “Together with our strong ecosystem, we will help customers chart a course for their business transformation.”

Accenture offers a range of services and assets to help clients move faster and gain more value from SAP S/4HANA. For designing, developing and delivering industry-specific cloud solutions, clients can look to Accenture myConcerto®, an insight-driven platform with intelligent capabilities and pre-configured solutions for industry and business functions. Clients can also use Accenture myWizard® to bolster automation across the end-to-end software engineering lifecycle and drive seamless systems transformation programs with speed, quality and predictability.

In April 2020, Accenture was named a Leader and positioned furthest in completeness of vision in Gartner’s 2020 “Magic Quadrant for SAP S/4HANA® Application Services, Worldwide”. Accenture was also named a Leader by Forrester in “The Forrester Wave™: Global SAP Services Providers”.

About Accenture 

Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services — all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 514,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities.

Indian Businesses Will Need To Tune Up Technology To Rethink, Reboot Digital Strategies


By Padmanabhan Iyer, MD and Global CEO, 3i Infotech

While COVID-19 continues to play out an unprecedented upheaval across the globe, businesses will need to tune up technology to bring some semblance of order to uncertainty, complexity and to rethink and reboot their digital strategies. Mr. Padmanabhan Iyer, Managing Director and Global CEO, 3i Infotech, pens some major tech predictions that will help steer through 2021. 

Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is undoubtedly one of the biggest tech trends at the moment and during 2021, it will become an even more valuable tool to help us interpret and understand the world around us. Customer patterns have changed drastically given the COVID-19 period and will continue well into 2021. This means that machine learning algorithms will become better informed with more data as well as increasingly sophisticated in the solutions they uncover for us. 

Digital Integration: Bridging the physical and digital 

As the digitalization trend continues to accelerate, the potential for optimizing processes, making data-driven decisions in real time, and creating new products, services, and business models will be the key that guides an organization’s efforts. Realizing the full promise of digital may require integrating systems and data across entire ecosystems. The more data one feeds into a digital ecosystem, the more detailed, dynamic, and valuable the digital initiative becomes. 

In the digitisation space, from a vertical perspective, payments & remittances will continue to have accelerated growth. Digital on-boarding has picked up pace in 2020 considering the social distancing required in view of the pandemic. This trend will continue as well. Micro, small and medium enterprises will be the focus area from digitisation perspective. 


The urgency and need for automation technologies, such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), AI, and machine learning, are stronger now than ever before. And the COVID-19 pandemic has made such automation solutions undeniably urgent. Democratization of automation would make these solutions easily accessible to all and when this concept becomes a reality, organizations will certainly see massive business transformation. Automation often requires extensive human participation and support. Thus, democratization will give companies sufficient access to automating mundane tasks and empower non-tech users. However, every new approach comes with a set of challenges, and the democratization of automation is no different. By developing and following a systematic framework, businesses can address such complexities with ease. 

XaaS (Everything-as-a-Service) 

As-a-Service (aaS) has already become the standard to turn into a truly digital-native enterprise. The new pattern in the aaS model is Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) where services delivered will totally dwell on the cloud with virtual access to nearly everything. Tools, for example, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a critical part in building those services or expanding existing services to go beyond the digital-native status quo. 

Open Banking 

Open banking is reported to have generated $7.29 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $43.15 billion by 2026. Open banking will become the norm with even emerging markets rolling out regulations. This will fuel innovation in the fintech space addressing the New to Credit segment. Fintech as a service platform will emerge enabling banking as a service. This trend will be seen across the BFSI segment with multiple use cases that are evolving on a day-to-day basis. 

Augmented & Virtual Reality (AR & VR) 

AR & VR will evolve with use cases in businesses beyond the entertainment industry. The fact that they can create large simulation environments and the collaboration further with Artificial Intelligence will stimulate innovation. 5G technology will accentuate the use of AR/VR with better user experiences with shorter latencies. 

Regulatory Aspects: 

The enormous growth in the digital space puts equal focus on the regulatory aspects. Firstly, RegTech is gaining importance to ensure compliance is made simple with required analytics in place. This also helps the entities to focus on growing business where RegTech will enable required support for regulatory aspects. 

Secondly, there is a growing concern on ‘Security & Privacy concerns’ that needs to be addressed comprehensively with cybercrime increasing day by day. According to Gartner, by 2023, 65% of the world’s population will have its personal data covered under some kind of modern privacy regulations. 

Prospecta Recognised As Provider Of Master Data Management Solutions By Independent Research Firm

* Independent Research Firm highlights the importance of Master Data Management for businesses as data volume generated grows multi-fold

Prospecta Software Australia Pty Ltd (“Prospecta”), a global provider of niche services around enterprise customers for data and automation, is pleased to announce that it has been recognized as one of the providers of Master Data Management (MDM) solutions in the recent report, Now Tech: Master Data Management. Q4 2020 by Forrester, an independent market research company.

Romit Mukerji, Managing Director, India, Prospecta said, “We are honoured to be recognized by Forrester as a vendor of Master Data Management (MDM) solutions. Data is a critical asset for any enterprise today. MDM plays a pivotal role in enabling businesses to manage data accurately and efficiently to extract value and take faster insights-led business decisions that ultimately accelerate growth. We believe this acknowledgement is a testament to our continued efforts to address today’s challenges around data and automation.”

The volume of data generated is accelerating at an extraordinary pace, making MDM critical to any business function. Master Data Management acts as a catalyst in providing businesses with a single source of reliable information on products, customers, employees, suppliers, enterprise assets, and more by eliminating duplicate or erroneous data. It enables businesses to make informed decisions, improve compliance, efficiency, decrease costs, and identify value add solutions to deliver a better customer experience.

The report, Now Tech: Master Data Management Q4 2020 by Forrester, highlights these benefits of MDM and that enterprises are increasingly investing in a single source of data management which acquires, governs, protects, and distributes data for accelerating their business models. Forrester overviewed Prospecta as one of the MDM vendors based on its market presence (global) and functionality (on-premises; public cloud; multicloud; SaaS), under the small revenue category.

Prospecta’s proprietary cloud-based platform MDO (Master Data Online), is fast becoming the preferred option for companies seeking to address their data challenges, including several Indian and global companies such as Godrej, UPL, Hindustan Zinc, Bluestar, Dow Chemical, Mondelez, and Brookfield, among others. MDO is SAP certified and can be easily integrated with other leading enterprise solutions as well. Most recently, Prospecta raised AUD 20 million from Ellerston JAADE Australian Private Assets Fund to accelerate its product and operations globally including India.

FRAI Karnataka Appeals To The Prime Minister To Order Recall Of Proposed Amendments In COTPA Law


* Small retailers are already reeling under the aftermaths of the COVID pandemic and this fresh attack will be devastating for their families

* Around 2 lakh micro and petty retailers to lose substantial incomes and suffer harassment in the state of Karnataka

* India already has the toughest tobacco regulations in the world and an overkill in the pandemic period is very insensitive

Federation of Retailer Association of India(FRAI), a representative body of about 4 crore micro, small and medium retailersfrom across the country with membership of 34 Retail Associations from Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western part of the country, today appealed to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji, to intervene and order a recall of the proposed 2020 amendments in the COTPA law which threaten to further attack the livelihoods of petty retailers selling tobacco and related products across India.

FRAI Karnataka Chapter today staged a protest and has also appealed to Sh. B. S. Yediyurappa, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka to save the interests and livelihoods of around 2 lakh micro retailers and 10 lakhs dependants in the state who sell multiple products to earn a meagre sum to look after their families and save them from the potential harassment.  

FRAI represents the interests of the poorest of the poor in the country and raise issues which impact their employment opportunities and also render help to such people who are unable to express their views.FRAImembers sustain their livelihood by selling goods of daily needs which are demanded by general public like biscuits, soft drinks, mineral water, cigarettes, bidi, pan etc. in the neighbourhood. The profit of these micro retailers in selling these essential products works out to about Rs 15,000 per month which is barely adequate to feed two square meals a day to their family members.

The Coronavirus triggered lockdowns and economic destruction has further damaged the economic condition of small retailers and any further adverse policy which destabilizes their business activity will be devastating. FRAI and its member organizations from all over the country are disturbed by the undemocratic amendment of CoTPA bill 2020 proposed by the Ministry of Health, which disallows retail sale of loose sticks of cigarettes, prohibits sale of tobacco products persons below 21 years, put controls on in-shop advertising and promotion amongst others, as they seemed to be aimed at destroying the business for the smaller retailers without impacting large retailers. 

Speaking on the issue, ShriMurali Krishna, Member Federation of Retailers Association of India, and President, Karnataka State Small Beedi Cigarette Retailer Association, said “We humbly appeal for the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s empathy and request him to instruct the designated ministry to immediately roll back the proposed COTPA amendments as they are extremely harsh. By making age old trade practices like selling loose cigarettes a cognizable offence and an imprisonment of 7 years for small violations makes small traders look like heinous criminals. Compared to a 2-year imprisonment for extortion or for dangerous driving that can cause death, this is the extreme of the extremes. This puts paan, bidi and cigarette sellers in the same crime list category as a person voluntarily throwing acid on someone or causing death by negligence etc. How can anybody be so insensitive while drafting the amendment towards poor, marginalized people who are struggling to earn their daily living?”

“Already India has the toughest tobacco control laws in the world which has led to degrowth in legal tobacco consumption. Current laws have only helped illicit and smuggled cigarettes to grow benefiting anti-social elements. Then why these extra harsh tobacco control measures have become more important than other health issues like fighting deadly diseases such as coronavirus, diabetes, obesity, mental health, and diseases caused by rising air pollution etc. Unlike Coronavirus, policy changes like these are totally in the hands of our policy makers and should be given a serious human consideration. Today, we feel victimized and targeted as a community and plead for the mercy of Modi Ji”, he added. 

Increase of area within which tobacco products cannot be sold from 100 yards of an educational institution to 100 metres of an educational institution. Refuting the proposal, ShriMurali, said, “Our members provide various products to consumers based on the necessities. The tobacco products such as cigarettes and bidis are also included in the products offered by our members. As per law, we do not sell tobacco products to minors. In a congested and heavily populated cities, such a restriction is impractical. Petty retailers will have to vacate their place without any means to support their livelihoods. Moreover, if a new educational institution will come up within 100 metres of the retailer’s location and he will again be asked to move”.

The suggested amendment prohibits sale of tobacco products persons below 21 years (earlier this was 18 years). In India, an 18-year-old person can cast his / her vote to elect government of choice, get a driving license. But it is draconian, that same person cannot exercise their choice when it to comes to buying a tobacco product, which is sold legally. The existing law already prohibits sale of cigarettes to minors, so there is no cause for concern that persons who do not understand implications are buying tobacco products.

The petty retailers also request exemption for any such licencing requirement under the proposed amendment. A poor and uneducated small shopkeeper which barely manages two square meal a day, will have to struggle to get a license, and not only that, will also have to struggle to renew it every year. Perpetual harassment will increase under the guise of administrative control. This will not only increase the cost of doing business, but at the same time it will lead to corruption & harassment of the millions of small shopkeepers in the country.

FRAI believes that few NGOs who work for foreign companies are constantly pressurizing the government to enforce unfair and unimplementable laws against small shopkeepers. These policies are helping big foreign and ecommerce companies at the cost of business of petty retailers.

FRAI and its members requests the Government of India to be practical and equitable, especially for the lowest socio-economic strata of society who are already struggling to make two ends meet and not impose such harsh, arbitrary and unreasonable restrictions on our right to trade and livelihood. 

CSS Corp Wins 2021 BIG Innovation Award For Its Indigenous Intelligent Automation Platform, Contelli

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, today announced that it has been named a winner in the 2021 BIG Innovation Awards in the best products category by the Business Intelligence Group (BIG) for their homegrown platform, Contelli.

CSS Corp’s Contelli enables enterprises to unlock the full potential of their IT infrastructure with a business-first transformation approach, powered by cutting-edge cognitive technology. It is a one-of-its-kind advanced AIOps platform that harmonizes, automates, and modernizes every aspect of infrastructure operation. It drives self-provisioning and self-healing infrastructure, on-demand capacity management, algorithmic operations, proactive security threat prevention, predictive analytics through advanced pattern matching, and cost analysis and optimization. Contelli is incredibly flexible to modern enterprises' needs as it can work in multi-cloud, on-premise, hybrid, and multi-technology ecosystems. The platform is highly modular to be tailored to suit any client environment. The solution has proven to be a key driver for operational excellence, process efficiency, and resource optimization for CSS Corp’s customers.

“Being recognised by the Business Intelligence Group reinforces our deep expertise in effectively manging enterprise and IT operations ecosystems. Our solutions are built with a focus to drive business outcomes for our customers and transform their challenges into opportunities. This recognition is a testimony to our constant effort in delivering winning results for our clients. Our focus on improving customer engagement has helped us innovate and adapt to changing industry trends and seamlessly meet customer needs through our technology-driven solutions”, said Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp.

“Not only innovation allows organisations to stay relevant in the market, but also helps humanity to progress by making our lives more productive, healthy and comfortable. We are thrilled to be honouring CSS Corp, as they are one of the organizations leading this charge and helping humanity progress”, said Maria Jimenez, chief operating officer of the Business Intelligence Group.

Organizations from across the globe submitted their recent innovations for consideration in the BIG Innovation Awards. Nominations were then judged by a select group of business leaders and executives who volunteer their time and expertise to score submissions.

About CSS Corp

CSS Corp is a new-age IT services and technology support company that harnesses the power of AI, automation, analytics, cloud, and digital to address customer needs. The company partners with leading enterprises to help realize their strategic business outcomes. Its team of 8,000+ technology professionals across 18 global locations is passionate about helping customers differentiate and succeed.

About Business Intelligence Group

The Business Intelligence Group was founded with the mission of recognizing true talent and superior performance in the business world. Unlike other industry award programs, these programs are judged by business executives having experience and knowledge. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and then rewards those companies whose achievements stand above those of their peers. 

Nutrify India Plans To Mark International Health And Nutrition Journalist Day On Feb 5,, 2021

Nutrify India has decided to justifiably recognize the efforts of health and nutrition journalists who have been a substantial catalyst in shaping the nutraceutical sector globally. Nutrify India will celebrate their first anniversary on 5th February, 2021 as an International Health and Nutrition Journalist Day. With a commitment to enable and empower India to become a leader in nutraceuticals they continue their endeavour to focus on the health and nutrition of journalist. For each success that this industry gains, it leads to celebration and growth, but in the journey of success, health and nutrition journalists are often ignored. Health and nutrition journalists play a critical role in creating an ecosystem that connects this industry.

The nutraceuticals industry is grappling with its own challenges in rectifying the various loopholes in the system. Along with the support extended by ministries and policymakers, the community of journalists also works towards ensuring a balance in the industry. They act as a vital link that churns out stories that can throw clear impressions of the progress of the ongoing developments. Through impeccable journalistic standards they have shaped the nutraceuticals sector not only India but globally as well.

India is considered as the foundation of nutrition, primarily in Ayurveda. India has the presence of a large number of botanical gardens in the world with 52 agro-climatic zones. Ironically, the substantive business of nutraceuticals, medicine ingredients and nutrition science are currently driven by countries other than India. India has a long way to go in structuring nutraceuticals as a dominant industry. The struggle of this sector ranges from ministry-related in competencies across health, food processing and Ayush campaigns. India constitutes only 2% of the global nutraceutical industry.

India has been recognized as a rapidly growing nutritional market with a stable demand for innovation due to its unique advantage of the availability of raw materials. Globally, a consumer’s daily diet consists of nutraceuticals thereby making this industry a very significant one. This domain has proved to have tremendous scope owing to aging population and rising healthcare costs. The Indian government is providing a critical thrust to Ayurveda which will further boost this sector. There are various competitive advantages that this industry can overcome with strong innovations that can lead to leveraging growth opportunities. India’s strong presence in the export market makes them a fierce contender in the global nutraceuticals market. 

University of Southern California And Amazon Establish Center For Secure And Trusted Machine Leaning

USC and Amazon today announced they are creating a joint research center focused on development of new approaches to machine learning (ML) privacy, security, and trustworthiness. The Center for Secure and Trusted Machine Learning, which will be housed at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering, will support USC and Amazon researchers in the development of novel approaches to privacy-preserving ML solutions. 

The expectation is that the center will unleash a new line of fundamental research on privacy and security aspects of machine learning – a timely and critical effort given the proliferation of artificial intelligence across all aspects of society from education to finance, transportation, healthcare, and many others.

Each year, the center will provide support for research projects focused on the development of new methodologies for secure and privacy-preserving machine learning solutions that can scale to support billions of users. In addition, the center will provide annual fellowships to talented doctoral students working in this research area, enabling them to advance research frontiers. Fellowship recipients will be named as Amazon ML Fellows in recognition of their promise and achievements. These fellowships will give students greater understanding of industry and solution-driven research.

“Developing solutions to protect our data requires cutting edge advances.  I am pleased the USC-Amazon center will build a platform based on a shared commitment to advancing understanding and developing solutions,” said USC Provost Charles F. Zukoski. “The center reflects the important role that our university has in society, as a leading research institution, in promoting the advancement of scholarship and technology.”

“At Amazon, our mission is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company,” said Prem Natarajan, Alexa AI vice president of Natural Understanding. “For us, customer trust is of paramount importance. And that means maintaining the highest possible standards of security and privacy when handling customer data.  We are delighted to bring together top talent at Amazon and USC in a joint mission to drive ground-breaking advances in privacy and security preserving machine learning – advances that enable us to continue to safely and securely deliver experiences that enrich and delight our customers worldwide.”

In addition to funded research projects and annual fellowships for doctoral students, the collaborators will host an annual joint public research symposium to share their knowledge with the machine learning and AI communities. Amazon and USC will also host annual workshops, and training and recruiting events for university and high school students.

“We are delighted to partner with Amazon in establishing the Center for Secure and Trusted Machine Learning at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Creating such mutually beneficial partnerships between academia and industry will help guide the development of a field as important and as rapidly changing as machine learning and artificial intelligence. Enhancing the security and trustworthiness of these powerful technologies is a necessity and a grand challenge-type problem. We eagerly anticipate the results of this new collaboration,” said Yannis C. Yortsos, dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Salman Avestimehr, professor and director of the Information Theory and Machine Learning research lab at USC Viterbi and an Amazon Scholar, will be the inaugural director of the center.

“The USC-Amazon center provides an exciting opportunity, through close university-industry collaboration, to study trust and security. Through the center’s Amazon ML Fellows program, we can also recognize our exceptional PhD students and further the impact of their research through collaborations with Amazon,” says Avestimehr.

The new center is expected to leverage talent and scholarship across Amazon and USC Viterbi, particularly the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Department of Computer Science, and the school’s leading research institutes, such as the Information Sciences Institute.

About USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Engineering began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, in 2004, the school was named the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, honoring alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm, a key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. The school is consistently ranked among the top engineering programs in the world. It enrolls more than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students, taught by 188 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with more than 90 endowed chairs and professorships. The school offers comprehensive programs in all major areas of engineering, from aerospace and astronautical engineering, to biomedical, chemical, civil and environmental engineering, to computer science and materials science, and to electrical engineering, industrial and systems engineering and mechanical engineering. With annual research expenditures exceeding $207M, the school is home to the Information Science Institute and more than 45 other research centers. Its more than 50,000 alumni span the globe. USC Viterbi is also home to the pioneering distance learning program DEN@Viterbi, ranked as the top such program in the nation the last two years. USC Viterbi is the only engineering school in the nation with three top-10 USNWR rankings: Best Graduate Schools, Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs, and Best Online Information Technology Programs.  

Keysight’s End-to-End Open RAN Solution Portfolio Drives Performance Reliability and Innovation in Multi-Vendor 5G Networks

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS), a leading technology company that helps enterprises, service providers and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, has introduced a suite of end-to-end solutions that enables an ecosystem of Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) vendors and mobile operators to verify interoperability, performance, conformance and security of multi-vendor 5G networks based on O-RAN standard interfaces.

Many mobile operators are deploying cloud-native and virtualized radio access network (RAN) architectures based on specifications set by the O-RAN Alliance to deliver 5G services. The transition towards multi-vendor networks introduces interoperability and performance complexity. End-to-end testing, from the edge of the RAN to the 5G core (5GC), as well as from early pre-silicon development to system integration, ensures performance levels are met. Comprehensive testing across a heterogeneous network enables vendors to extend the capabilities of their designs and mobile operators to deliver solutions that support innovative service offerings.

“Vendors of radio units (O-RUs), distributed units (O-DUs), central units (O-CUs) and RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) need integrated, virtualized and cloud native solutions to validate performance, establish interoperability between network elements and ensure compliance to the latest O-RAN and 3GPP specifications,” said Giampaolo Tardioli, vice president and general manager for Keysight’s network access group. “Keysight’s end-to-end open RAN solution portfolio enables this ecosystem to verify components across every level of the protocol stack, ensuring that subsystems perform as expected and cohesively.”

Keysight’s Open RAN Architect (KORA) offers integrated solutions that accelerate the development, integration and deployment of O-RAN-compliant equipment. The suite is tailored to the supply chain workflow consisting of chipset makers, network equipment manufacturers (NEMs), mobile operators and Open Test and Integration Centers (OTIC). Users can uniquely access a common set of solutions to simplify the sharing of results across the workflow from pre-silicon to cloud deployments.

Keysight joined the O-RAN Alliance shortly after its inception. Early engagement with key industry stakeholders has resulted in broad and deep expertise in the O-RAN standards. As editor of the O-RAN fronthaul conformance test specifications in the O-RAN Alliance, Keysight’s continuous contributions to the development of the O-RAN standards is enabling the industry to verify compliance of O-RUs and O-DUs to O-RAN specifications using approved O-RAN test cases. As the liaison of the O-RAN Alliance Security Task Group, Keysight is helping to drive industry efforts that address security in open RANs.

Keysight’s Open RAN Architect (KORA) includes Open RAN Studio, UeSIM, RuSIM, CoreSIM, DuSIM, CuSIM, RIC Test, ATI Pentest, CyPerf, Breaking Point, Vision Edge, IxNetwork, CloudPeak, and Nemo Outdoor.

The portfolio covers both 3GPP and O-RAN testing and is segmented to support the following key stakeholders:

* Keysight Open RAN Architect (KORA) – Chip Designer Suite

Enables chipset vendors to verify compliance of O-RAN designs to O-RAN specifications using O-RAN simulation tools prior to tape out, reducing development time.

* Keysight Open RAN Architect (KORA) – NEM Suite

Enables open RAN hardware and software vendors to verify compliance to O-RAN specifications and interoperability, ensuring each function integrates as expected into a multi-vendor open RAN.

* Keysight Open RAN Architect (KORA) – Operator Suite

Enables mobile operators to verify conformance, interoperability and performance of subsystems that drive new 5G service revenue opportunities.

* Keysight Open RAN Architect (KORA) – OTIC Suite

Enables OTICs to validate conformance, interoperability and performance using tools that adhere to the O-RAN specifications with thorough, repeatable and automated processes.

Additional information regarding Keysight’s Open RAN Architect suites and solutions are available at:

About Keysight Technologies

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) is a leading technology company that helps enterprises, service providers and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Keysight's solutions optimize networks and bring electronic products to market faster and at a lower cost with offerings from design simulation, to prototype validation, to manufacturing test, to optimization in networks and cloud environments. Customers span the worldwide communications ecosystem, aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, semiconductor and general electronics end markets. Keysight generated revenues of $4.2B in fiscal year 2020.

ThoughtWorks Launches First ‘Looking Glass,’ Bringing The Technology-LED Changes Impacting Business Into Focus

ThoughtWorks, a global software consultancy, today released Looking Glass, a guide to the critical technology-driven shifts set to shape business in 2021 and beyond. The report, which incorporates five-years of internal strategy and experiences from real-life client work, offers industry leaders a rare glimpse into how ThoughtWorks keeps the businesses they advise at the forefront of technology and innovation.

"Looking Glass is rich in insight and advice that will allow any business, from any industry, to look ahead at the technology trends impacting customer behavior and the tools driving enterprise growth," says Dr. Rebecca Parsons, chief technology officer at ThoughtWorks. "ThoughtWorkers have been successfully leveraging these technology lenses for our own business and for the many clients we serve. Today we are excited to invite business leaders from across the globe to peer into the Looking Glass alongside us."

Looking Glass identifies over 120 individual trends separated into six 'lenses' of focus for 2021, collectively giving businesses from all industries tools for success that extend beyond typical specified trend reports. Notably, ThoughtWorks offers a new interpretation of the term 'hostile tech,' which is commonly associated with criminal activity such as ransomware, data theft and computer viruses. Instead, hostile tech by this report's definition can encompass not just criminal tech, but also use cases like advertising and customer targeting, and isn't always malicious or intended.

"These are turbulent times with businesses facing more uncertainty than ever and increased pressure to rapidly digitize," said Julie Woods-Moss, chief marketing officer at ThoughtWorks. "Unlike traditional trends forecasts, Looking Glass gives businesses the actual tools and actionable insights needed to succeed in the coming year, but these principles are also crucial for long-term business planning. Looking Glass helps industry leaders cut through the noise of tech trends and focus on what is actually critical to business success."

The six lenses in this first-of-its-kind report are:

Humanity, augmented: Powerful new data-based tools are revolutionizing the way businesses make decisions and deploy talent, with broadly positive results. But these technologies also come with ethical and organizational challenges that responsible enterprises need to bear in mind.

Accelerating towards sustainability: As consumers, governments and investors demand greater environmental accountability from companies, going green has gone from optional to a business imperative. Technology will present both challenges and opportunities in the drive to embed sustainability in more activities and practices.

Evolving interactions: Consumers aren't just demanding availability and accessibility — they expect interactions to be seamless, and richer. Enterprises can deliver this experience through evolving interfaces that blend speech, touch and visuals.

Morphing of the computing fabric: The boundaries of computing are expanding, pushing the edges of what's possible for enterprises. The emerging computing environment not only provides the opportunity to tap into unprecedented data analysis and processing power, but also to structure computing architecture to better serve the needs of the business.

Coopetition forces platforms into ecosystems: The platforms created by businesses are increasingly only a starting point. Meeting rising customer expectations often requires joining up with or being open to other participants, turning platforms into ecosystems of related products and services that evolve dynamically as constituents cooperate and compete.

The expanding impact of hostile tech: 'Hostile' technology is commonly associated with criminal activity such as ransomware, breaking into a system to steal data or creating computer viruses — but this misses the complete picture. The landscape is evolving in a way that the definition of hostile tech should be broadened to include legal, even widely accepted, acts which ultimately threaten societal well-being.

ThoughtWorks' Looking Glass will be updated on an annual basis, to keep pace with the constant shifts in technology priorities and applications for businesses. Visit to stay up to date with the latest business and industry insights for digital leaders.

About ThoughtWorks

We are a software consultancy and community of passionate purpose-led individuals, 7,000+ people strong across 46 offices in 15 countries. Over our 25+ year history, we have helped our clients solve complex business problems where technology is the differentiator. When the only constant is change, we prepare you for the unpredictable.

HSIL Delivered Strong Revenue Growth Of 10.8% And EBIT Growth Of 65.9% On Y-o-Y

 HSIL Limited, India’s leading packaging and building products manufacturing company, today announced its financial results for the third quarter ended on December 31, 2020.

Financial Performance Highlights: Q3 FY2021

* Total income of ? 548 crore, growth of 10.8% on Y-o-Y basis

* EBITDA of ? 101 crore, growth of 35.5% on Y-o-Y basis with EBITDA margins of 18.4%

* EBIT of ? 70 crore with EBIT margins of 12.7%

* Net profit of ? 36 crore with margins of 6.6%

Q3 FY2021 Results Update:

Total income for the third quarter of FY2021 was ? 548 crore compared to ? 494 crore in the same quarter last year, a growth of 10.8% on Y-o-Y basis. Despite the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, sales rebounded successively in the third quarter driven by improved average realizations, improved product mix and a strong recovery in volumes underpinned by robust demand from alcoholic beverage industry. Packaging Products reported Revenue from Operations of ? 361 crore, a growth of 15.2% on Y-o-Y basis while Building Products reported Revenue from Operations of ? 179 crore, a growth of 29.8 % on Y-o-Y basis.

HSIL reported EBITDA of ? 101 crore with EBITDA margins improving to 18.4% as compared to 15.0% in Q3 FY2020. The margin improvement was driven by improved capacity utilization levels coupled with optimized sourcing of key raw materials. Adjusted PAT margins were 6.6% in Q3 FY2021 as compared to 3.2% in Q3 FY2020 and 5.0% in Q2 FY2021. The income tax writebacks of ? 14.7 crore in Q2 FY2021 resulted in higher profit after tax during that period.

During the quarter, Company also completed the Buy Back of 7.59 million shares for an amount aggregating to ? 63.9 crore. The Company has utilized 91.32% of the maximum Buy Back Size excluding the transaction costs, as per regulatory provisions.

Business Vertical Performance: In Packaging Products, sales recovered very well with volumes driven largely by beer, food & beverage industry. Due to optimized sourcing of key raw materials and higher capacity utilization, EBIT margins improved to 17.6% in Q3 FY2021 from 14.2% in Q3 FY2020. During the quarter, 46 new products were developed, and 13 new products were also commercialized. In Building Products, post Covid-19 lockdowns, all the plants are now operational and the capacity utilization levels have improved sequentially.

HSIL maintained its focus on Packaging Products Business and the segment saw sales volumes growth during the quarter, reflecting consumers’ preference for quality and sustainable packaging alternatives. The Company also aligned its operations to navigate successfully in the challenging environment and was able to generate strong results with the expectation of benefiting from operational efficiencies and cost reduction efforts in the longer run.

Commenting on the quarterly results, Mr. Sandip Somany, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, HSIL Limited said, “For the quarter under review, HSIL Limited has delivered excellent results on the back of higher capacity utilization, operational efficiency and cost optimization measures resulting in resilient margins. Our Glass business continues to accelerate, while Building Products Division reported another strong quarter of sustained growth.”

Given the strong demand and better opportunities in the glass packaging market, the company plans to invest ? 220 crore to manufacture high margin specialty glass with a manufacturing capacity of 150 tonnes per day which will be completed within next 18 months.

About HSIL Limited:

HSIL Limited is India’s leading Packaging Products Company that manufactures and markets various packaging products, including glass containers and Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles, products & security caps, and closures. Packaging Products Division has six plants in India, located across Telangana, Uttarakhand, and Karnataka. This Division has a comprehensive product range, catering to 500+ globally acclaimed institutional clients in India. The company’s Building Products division primarily comprises the manufacturing of sanitaryware, faucets, and plastic pipes and fittings and has five plants spread across Haryana, Rajasthan, and Telangana.

The Sporty, Smart, Stunning Renault Kiger Makes Its Debut In India

 * Showcases Renault’s focus on disruptive innovation and will radically alter the dynamics in the B-SUV segment

* To be first launched in India, followed by other markets

* Stunning design: Distinct, athletic design combining urban modernity with agility and muscular bodywork that exudes sturdiness and dynamism

* Smart Cabin: A smart cabin that combines technology, functionality and roominess, Renault KIGER brings latest tech features to the CMFA+ platform that laid the foundation for the success of TRIBER with segment leading roominess, cabin storage and cargo space

* Sporty Drive Powered by a New Global Engine: Renault KIGER will come with a brand-new turbo petrol engine, providing both performance and fuel efficiency

After the initial exhilaration created by the reveal of its show car, Groupe Renault globally premiered the eagerly awaited Renault KIGER in India today. A brand-new compact SUV designed and developed for India before making its international debut, Renault KIGER is the latest in the line of revolutionary products to be launched by Renault in India. Just like DUSTER, KWID AND TRIBER, Renault KIGER will also change the dynamics in its segment and promises to be another gamechanger from Renault.

Renault KIGER has already made a striking presence thanks to its Stunning design, which depicts a very strong personality. Renault KIGER has been designed with a host of sporty and muscular elements and stands out as a true SUV. On the inside, Renault KIGER’s Smart cabin combines technology, functionality and roominess. Renault KIGER will be powered by a new turbocharged 1.0L petrol engine for more performance and driving pleasure. The engine has been tested for reliability and durability, and offers the latest technological innovations already featured on Renault’s global range. This high performance, modern and efficient engine will ensure a Sporty drive and will be complemented by multi sense drive modes which offer the flexibility to best suit the customers driving preferences.

“After Duster, Kwid and Triber, we are now preparing for the launch of Renault KIGER, a modern SUV that is a perfect fit for the Indian market. KIGER combines the best Renault has to offer: our expertise in innovative cars with the creativity and in-depth knowledge of customer needs. A strong proof that Renault really is a game-changer,” shared Fabrice Cambolive, SVP, Renault Brand, Sales & Operations.

“True to the promise of the show-car, Renault KIGER is a robust, dynamic and generous SUV. Armed for travel in the urban jungle, we also designed it for the outdoors and to easily navigate any type of road conditions. KIGER has a distinctive SUV look and its long wheelbase enables great space and volume on board. Its ‘smart cabin’ has been specially designed to encourage sharing and convenience,” added Laurens van den Acker, EVP, Head of Design, Groupe Renault.

Renault KIGER will demonstrate the competence of India’s design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities and highlights Renault’s strong commitment to the ‘Make in India’ mission. In India, Groupe Renault has always focused to be disruptive and innovative which is amply proven with its product range. Renault will further build on this with the launch of the all-new Renault KIGER. 

Commenting on Renault KIGER and the importance of the India market, Venkatram Mamillapalle, Country CEO & Managing Director, Renault India Operations, shared, “Renault has continued to move forward in India and has navigated the challenging macro-economic environment, bettering the industry trends. We have managed this by our robust business strategy which includes our exciting product range, laser-sharp focus on quality and customer centricity and our aggressive network ramp up across the country. Today, we take another major step in India with the global reveal of Renault KIGER, our all-new B-SUV which will stand out as an excitingly sporty, super smart and attractively stunning offering. Following Duster, which made SUVs accessible to a large set of people, not just in India but across the world, Renault KIGER will once again make SUV aspirations accessible to a whole new set of customers and we look forward to building on our increasing customer base with this new game-changer.”


With its distinct, athletic design that is bursting with energy, the KIGER SUV combines urban modernity with agility, whichever road it takes. With its muscular bodywork that exudes sturdiness and dynamism, the KIGER is a real invitation to escape the urban jungle and experience a new kind of driving.

Sturdy on the road

The KIGER’S design was inspired by the KIGER show-car that was unveiled at the end of 2020. A sculpted bonnet that enhances the car’s personality sits at the front, above an impressive bumper. The wings boost the design with their pronounced shoulder lines, while the black sills and wheel arches provide further protection. The high ground clearance (205 mm) and functional roof bars heighten the vehicle’s silhouette and complete its bold SUV look.

Wheels built for adventure

At higher trim levels, the KIGER’S 40.64 cm alloy wheels have a black diamond-cut finish for a sporty and stylish look. The protective wheel arch cladding makes the bodywork look bolder and sturdier. The 2,500 mm long wheelbase places the wheels at the four corners of the vehicle, offering increased stability on any type of road while optimising the space inside the car, providing optimum comfort for each passenger and boot volume of 405 Litres that is unrivalled in the segment.

Strong and agile, athletic curves

The top of the KIGER boasts a dynamic silhouette with sleek and taut lines, in contrast with the more muscular and solid lower part. The slender windscreen extends into a floating roof that runs down to a steep-sloping rear window, giving the car a coupé-style SUV look. The aerodynamic spoiler with cut-outs featured on the roof drop is topped by a shark fin antenna to give the car a very distinctive look.

Sporty design expression

Renault designers have equipped the KIGER with several features to give the car a sporty look. The front grille’s 3D graphic finish with honeycomb-shaped chromed effects is a perfect example, while the Aluminium Finish skid plate further enhances the rear bumper.

The boot door’s sloping and sporty rear window, finished off with the integrated spoiler, once again highlights KIGER’S aerodynamic silhouette.

Modern and striking front end

The upper strip formed by the front grille and the LED daytime running lights positioned at both ends give the car an elevated stance. The highly recognisable lower part divides the bumper into two areas, each large corner featuring three LED headlights separately encased in a chrome octagonal unit with PURE VISION and a chrome reflector. This coherent and overlapping split-design contrasts with the bodywork and gives a strong identity with modernity and sophistication.

Rear lighting signature

All-new LED taillights light up the rear of the car. The tail lamp units with glossy black inserts are resolutely modern and distinctive within the segment, outlining the KIGER’S rear double C-shaped lighting signature. They are featured at each end of the bodywork and extend out over the wings, providing Kiger a distinct unique personality.

Two-tone body colour

The KIGER comes in six exciting body colours: Ice Cool White, Planet Grey, Moonlight Grey, Mahogany Brown, Caspian Blue, Radiant Red with Mystery Black Roof. All trim-levels include a two-tone option. Providing an opportunity to customers to choose from the wide range of single or dual tone colour options, Radiant Red which is an exclusive colour will only be available as a top variant under two-tone colour scheme.


A compact yet surprisingly spacious vehicle

KIGER interiors are called the smart cabin as it combines technology, functionality and roominess. KIGER is just under four metres long and falls into the compact SUV category, yet thanks to the CMFA+ platform DNA, just like Triber it offers segment leading roominess, cabin storage and cargo space. The interior has been designed to perfectly combine the sturdiness of an SUV with a focus on sophistication and technology.  With a high centre console, 20.32 cm floating display link and wireless smart phone replication, KIGER interiors have been specially designed to encourage sharing and convenience.

Attractive style

The chiselled curves that play with light and shade give the impression of a floating cockpit, accentuated by piano-style control dials, suspended air conditioning controls and a pedestal that is easily accessible from the centre console. The console features a 20.32 cm floating touch screen, giving the passenger compartment a modern look, and so does a 17.78 cm Multi-Skin Reconfigurable TFT colour cluster.

Unprecedented comfort and roominess

The KIGER provides record levels of roominess with space onboard that you can feel. At the front, the KIGER offers a 710-mm Couple Distance between seats – the best in its segment. At the rear, KIGER provides best in segment second row legroom (222 mm) and elbow room (1431 mm). The seat height provides a commanding driving position accentuating driving comfort.

Optimum Boot capacity

The Kiger sets a very high standard when it comes to load capacity, offering the best boot capacity in the segment (405 litres which extends to 879 litres with second row folded).

Optimised storage space

The KIGER provides passengers with a whole host of clever storage compartments for a total onboard capacity of 29L including four 1L water bottle holders and 2 cup holders – an outstanding figure in the segment. The central armrest hides a 7.5 litre storage space while the glove compartment has an unprecedented volume of 10.5 litres. Smart solutions like these allow multi-level access organised with the needs of passengers in mind.

Smart and practical passenger compartment

The KIGER’S smart cockpit was designed to give a practical onboard experience without detracting from the style. Its new technology makes every day driving easy and enjoyable.

Modern and smart central console

The KIGER’S high, wide centre console is focused around a large 20.32 cm floating touch screen that features wireless smart phone replication for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto at higher trims. Wireless smart phone replication allows passengers to connect their smartphones seamlessly and access the special driving and multimedia apps. Passengers can select five permanent shortcuts for faster access to apps and features. The system not only offers voice recognition through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but also Bluetooth connectivity that can pair with up to five devices, a USB socket for faster charging and a built-in MP4 video player.

MULTI-SENSE driving experience and ambiance lighting

At higher trim levels, the driver has access to MULTI-SENSE settings to select different driving modes. Engine mapping, gear changes (for automatic transmissions), the responsive steering column and the digital speedometer are reset when changing driving modes, for an optimum driving experience.

· Multi-Skin 17.78 cm Reconfigurable TFT cluster changes its colour and widget configuration according to the mode selected, displaying useful information relevant to selected driving mode:

· Normal mode: Provides an optimum driving parameter of the engine apt for city driving conditions. It also provides handy information like real-time & average fuel consumption all in a blue colour look.

·  Eco mode: Provides a drive which is inclined towards economic driving practices. Changing the overall appearance of the TFT into green, the indicators, like an animated leaf provides real time feedback to maximize economic driving.

·  Sports Mode: Provides a driving environment which is full of fun and sportiness, with crisper engine response and faster shifting. The overall TFT screen appearance turns into red with quick information of acceleration gauge, torque / power ratios etc providing drivers to have all the fun!

Premium sound system

The KIGER boasts a brand new, well-tuned quality sound system: The Auditorium 3D Sound system by Arkamys, with a technology that diffuses 3D sound tailor-made to suit the materials and shape of the passenger compartment. All in all, there are eight onboard speakers (four boomers, four tweeters). The system also automatically adjusts sound volume according to the speed of the vehicle at higher trim levels. The system can be activated and adjusted on demand to ensure the best sound quality whatever the route.

Hands-free smart access card

With the modern hands-free card for everyday convenience, doors can be opened and closed automatically, and the engine started without a key. The sensors in the card allow drivers to lock and unlock the doors without having to take the card out of their pocket or press a button. They can also start the vehicle without having to insert the card. The hands-free system also includes a door auto-lock function when drivers walk away from the vehicle. This feature is a real time-saver and incredibly convenient.

Easier manoeuvring

The KIGER uses technology to ensure safety with radar sensors and a reverse camera with guiding lines. The driver can enjoy greater visibility and precision when reversing or manoeuvring for parking. The turning radius is 5.02 metres.

Additional all-new exclusive features

The KIGER boasts a variety of unique features, including automatic air-conditioning, which can still be adjusted manually via the air-conditioning control.

Another new feature available at higher trim levels is the white ambient lighting in the passenger compartment. It lights up the storage compartment at the front of the centre console and the back of the front door grip handles.

Cockpit features back-lit steering wheel controls. These have a whole host of settings such as access to the onboard computer menu, speaker volume, phone and radio features and voice recognition. Kiger will also feature a first in segment PM2.5 Clean Air Filter. This advanced atmospheric filter fitted in to the ventilation system ensures good air quality inside the vehicle.


Platform and Engines

The KIGER features a new turbocharged petrol engine for more versatility and driving pleasure. The modular platform, designed by the Renault-Nissan Alliance and already featured on the Triber, provides the right balance between performance and efficiency.

A platform full of advantages

The KIGER shares the same modular platform as the Triber, meaning that it offers key advantages unparalleled in the market:

·        Roomier passenger compartment

·        Optimisation of engine compartment size

·        Best in Segment Cabin Storage space. Best in segment Cargo Space

·        Best in segment Rear elbow width - 3 passengers accommodated comfortably

·        Best in Segment turning Radius

·        Best in Segment dashboard visibility from rear seat

·        Comfort and driving pleasure

·        Best in segment fuel efficiency

·        Higher Ground Clearance

The KIGER’S platform and new engine guarantee response and versatility for the best possible driving experience.

Powerful engine and driving pleasure

The KIGER is fitted with a three-cylinder turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine, with a power output of 100 Ps and a torque of 160 Nm (available from 3,200 rpm). The engine has been tested for reliability and longevity, and offers the latest technological innovations already featured on the Clio and the Captur in Europe. It boasts the best fuel economy of its category with 20 km/litre consumption.

The 1.0-litre 100 Ps turbocharged engine is paired with a five-speed manual gearbox. An X-TRONIC automatic continuously variable transmission will be available shortly after the KIGER’S commercial launch. This latest-generation CVT gearbox designed by the Alliance provides smooth and responsive transitions enhancing drivability and comfort in urban areas, along with excellent fuel efficiency.

The ENERGY 1.0-litre 72 Ps and 96 Nm naturally aspirated engine is also available in the KIGER range, with either a five-speed manual or the EASY-R five-speed robotised gearbox AMT, which provides the comfort of clutchless driving at affordable pricing. It features a manual mode that allows the driver to drive either in fully automatic or sequential mode. It ensures efficient engine starting, safe car-overtaking manoeuvres and the best possible driving pleasure, with an outstanding power-to-weight ratio and best in segment torque-to-weight ratio in the compact SUV segment.

Onboard safety

On board, the two front seats and the two rear side seats are fitted with three-point seatbelts, while the rear middle passenger seat features a two-point seatbelt.

The two front airbags for the driver and front-seat passenger along with the two side airbags round out the safety suite.

Both front seats get seat belt reminder alert for enhanced safety.

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