Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Vikram Kirloskar Conferred With Prestigious IIM-JRD Tata Award 2020



* Mr. Kirloskar has been conferred with this coveted award for his ‘Excellence in Corporate Leadership in Metallurgical Industries’

Toyota Kirloskar Motor India’s Vice Chairman, Mr. Vikram Kirloskar was today honoured with the prestigious IIM-JRD Tata Award for 2020 by the Indian Institute of Metals (IIM).  The award was conferred to him for his service to the country through his ‘Excellence in Corporate Leadership in Metallurgical Industries’.

In a digital event held on February 24, 2021, the IIM-JRD Tata Award for 2020 was handed over to Mr. Kirloskar, in the auspicious presence of the Honourable Minister of Steel Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, and the Honourable Minister of State for Steel, Mr. Faggan Singh Kulaste. The event was attended by many other distinguished industrialists, academicians, and researchers from across the country. 

Expressing his gratitude upon being bestowed with such an honour, Mr. Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman of TKM, said “It is a privilege to receive this award as it is a much appreciated recognition and encouragement. I have strongly been guided by a vision of making India a world-class manufacturing hub & my commitment has always been towards developing world-class manufacturing competencies and building great talent, thereby driving a socio-economic growth agenda which fosters growth not just for the company but for the people, the society and the country at large. I am thrilled to receive this award as it is a true testimony to our efforts in this direction”.

Mr. Vikram Kirloskar is the 4th Generation scion of the Kirloskar Group. He is the Chairman and Managing Director of Kirloskar Systems Ltd. and the Vice Chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Kirloskar’s contribution to the industry has been pivotal, having held and lead several prestigious positions in SIAM, CII & ARAI.

Instituted in 2007 by the Indian Institute of Metals (IIM), the IIM-JRD Tata award is conferred annually at the National Metallurgists Day instituted by the Ministry of Steel & Mines. IIM in its journey spanning over 74 years has been recognizing eminent metallurgists, material scientists, industry professionals, researchers, teachers, and students for their significant contributions concerned with Minerals, Metals, Materials, and their applications, since its inception. Eminent personalities like Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons and Tata Group,  B Muthurmanan, former Vice-chairman of Tata Steel, Dr. E Sreedharan, former MD of Delhi Metro, Debnarayan Bhattacharya, MD, Hindalco Industries, Dr. Sanak Mishra, vice-president of Arcelor Mittal, HM Nerurkar, former MD of Tata Steel, Mr. S K Roongta, Chairman, Bharat Aluminium Company Limited, Mr. Sajjan Jindal, CMD, JSW Group and Mr. SN Subrahmanyan CEO & MD, Larsen & Toubro Limited. have been earlier recipients of this award. 

Demand Rising For Home Loans In Mid & High-Range Segments: Magicbricks Home Loans Consumer Report


 -   Rs.34 lakhs is average loan amount searched on Magicbricks

-   Increased consumer demand for Balance Transfer and Loan Against Property

-   Bajaj, ICICI, HDFC most sought after banks for balance transfer and loan against property

Good deals for mid and high-range properties continue to attract prospective property buyers as around 46% of the consumer preference is now in the range of Rs.30 lakh-Rs.1.crore and above category, with most of the demand being generated from the key residential markets of Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Delhi, revealed Magicbricks Home Loans Consumer Report.

A recently conducted consumer poll by Magicbricks, India’s No.1 property site, revealed that nearly 38% consumers want to take a home loan ranging between Rs.30 lakh - Rs.1 crore indicating the demand revival towards mid and high range homes for multiple reasons like need for an extra room due to Work From Home (WFH), reduction in circle rates, stamp duty, and low interest rates. As per the poll (sample size of 1100 respondents), about 20% prospective home buyers are planning to borrow a home loan between Rs.50 lakh and Rs.1crore and above category.

Commenting on the consumer trend, Mr. Sudhir Pai, CEO, Magicbricks, said: “Thanks to the recent initiatives by the Central and the State governments, we are witnessing a rise in demand for home loans for mid-segment and high range properties. The market sentiment seems to be well aligned to the demand and reflects the same as consumer search data on Magicbricks Home Loans suggests that the average loan amount searched on the platform is Rs.34 lakh. This augurs well for the industry and indicates that transactions are picking up gradually across all segments of residential real estate."

Consumer behavior on Magicbricks Home Loans also suggests that most of the demand is being generated from the key residential markets of Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune. Besides Home Loans, Loan against Property (LAP) and Balance Transfer seems to be gaining currency in terms of consumer preference.

The average LAP amount searched in Hyderabad is Rs.35 lakh, Rs.45 lakh in Delhi-NCR, Rs.50 lakh in Mumbai and Kolkata and Rs.70 lakh in Bengaluru. Similarly, the average balance transfer amount searched in Bangalore is Rs.60 lakh, Rs.35 lakh in Delhi NCR, Rs.32 lakh in Pune, Rs.40 lakh in Hyderabad, and Rs.80 lakh in Mumbai.  

Several public and private banks and other financial institutions have reduced their home loan interest rates, which in turn offers further impetus to rising consumer appetite in the home buying space. With the Reserve Bank of India keeping the repo rate unchanged at a constant 4% in its recent policy review meeting, many banks are also offering interest rates less than 7% for home loans to further catalyse the rising demand for home buying.

Magicbricks Home Loans enables property seekers avail medium to long term loans to finance their dream home. It offers cheaper, easier, and faster home loans from more than 15 banks. It also allows loan seekers to compare the best available offers and rates, gain online and offline assistance during the application process and also get a wide range of home loans including balance transfers and loan against property.

About Magicbricks

Magicbricks is India’s No.1 property site. With monthly traffic exceeding 20 million visits and with an active base of over 1.4 million+ property listings, Magicbricks provides the largest platform for buyers and sellers of property to connect with each other in a clear, transparent manner. With this in mind, Magicbricks has innovated several product features, content, and research services, which have helped us build the largest audience pool.

Hitachi Launches New Range Of Room Air Conditioners For The New-Age Consumers: ‘One For Everyone’


* Catering to the rising demand for a smart and comfort driven lifestyle, the super exciting range of ACs for 2021 is inspired by nature and company’s Japanese roots

The consumer of the new informed world has evolved and is full of energy, passion and positivity. This New Bharat’s new-age consumer aspires for innovative product offerings, leading to convenience and comfort. In its endeavor to offer ultimate ease and comfort to the consumer of the new informed world, Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Ltd. has today announced the launch of its super exciting range of new-age Room Air Conditioners for 2021. Inspired by nature and its Japanese roots, the new aesthetically appealing and premium looking product lineup includes Hitachi Cooling and Heating’s first ever Ambience light which allows consumers to perfectly tune-in with their desired temperature and comfort level, a new stunning ‘iconic wave design’ that is inspired by naturally existing wave form and Hitachi’s fusion line which is inspired by the Japanese Kintsugi art. The company also introduced new airCloud Home app for its Wi-Fi enabled ACs with smart geo fencing feature and voice command and a plethora of other futuristic air conditioning products and technologies.

“Consumer is the King and we understand that consumer of the new Informed world is evolving every day and their need for NEW is changing. In our endeavor to meet demands of this aspiring consumer, Hitachi is committed to set new consumer satisfaction milestones with its best in class products and solutions. Our innovations are developed keeping consumer needs in mind, because at Hitachi ‘New begins with you’. This is the same philosophy which we are going to use in this year’s brand communication as well. We are offering a wide range of 30+ models and 90+ SKUs in Room AC category which caters to the ever-evolving need of our customers’ in both residential and light commercial spaces for their homes, villas”, said Gurmeet Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Ltd.

“Energy conservation is our core belief and therefore, we plan on going heavily on inverter technology to help consumers save electricity, money and environment. With Inverter Split AC models ranging between 5, 4 and 3-Star category, almost as high as 80% of our entire Split AC line up is inverter based. As sustainability has become the new norm of the informed world, almost all of our Room AC models are charged with environment friendly Green refrigerant. We are confident that the new lineup of our exciting products will certainly create a comfortable, healthy and perfectly pleasant indoor environment in Indian homes.”, Mr. Singh further added.

In its expanded product portfolio, Hitachi Cooling & Heating India offers innovations that offer unparalleled indoor experience and add comfort to the life. From premium looking, technologically advanced Room ACs, SET-FREE mini (VRF based) & Cassette models for premium residential and smaller commercial spaces, to highly efficient SET-FREE Sigma (VRF System) & latest Ductable air conditioning type models for large commercial buildings, the company offers pathbreaking products that meet everyone’s diverse requirements.

Inspired by the ever-changing seasons, company has introduced Hitachi’s first ever Ambience light in this year’s super exciting product range. Ambience light is an immersive display on the ac which allows consumers to perfectly tune-in with their desired temperature and comfort level. With the Ambience light feature, consumers can easily know their surrounding ambience ranging from cold, comfort to warm. This feature has 3 specific colors- cool blue for cool ambience, comfort green for comfort ambience and warm red for warm ambience. Ambience light offers ultimate flexibility and comfort for consumers to set their preferred ambience easily in just one glance.

Most suited to meet the cooling demands of a large room (up to 400 sq. ft), Hitachi Cooling & Heating has also launched its high capacity, heavy performing and truly powerful machines- Takeshi ACs. While, normal AC can throw air maximum at 7 mt. or so, Takeshi can throw up to 15 mt. Available in 1.7 TR / 2.0 TR / 2.5 TR & 3.1 TR., Takeshi’s one unit satisfies the cooling needs of a larger spaces perfectly, which otherwise would have required 2 normal capacity models.

In recent time with rapid urbanization going around, new constructions often have room sizes of 120 to 135 sq. ft. for which 1.5 TR model is oversized and 1 TR is undersized. To address this challenge, the company has introduced a special category of 1.25 TR, 3- & 5-Star inverter models, which fits in perfectly for this room size. This is apt for markets such as Kerala, Karnataka, Mumbai, Pune, etc. A new compact 1.0 TR outdoor unit with outstanding aesthetics and indoor spit AC unit for lower capacity AC requirements is also one of the latest additions to the new range.

For those who want something extra, Hitachi has launched a new series called the X series. We have picked the most advanced and high-tech features and technologies to curate the models of our X series for those customers who are looking for something that is priceless yet not price-conscious and delivers the best quality and performance.

Bringing the expandable inverter technology legacy of split air conditioner to window air conditioner, the new product lineup has Shizuka inverter window air conditioner range. It expands its cooling capacity when the temperature goes up in extreme summers and can work up to 52° C.

Catering to the rising demand for IoT-based products at smart homes, the company has introduced airCloud home along with its exciting range of Wi-Fi connected smart air conditioners. airCloud home allows consumers to control their air conditioner remotely through smartphone or Google Home/Alexa digital device or even voice assistant on their mobile phones.

The new product range is also powered by Hitachi air technologies to ensure all round comfort and unmatched indoor experience. The 5 unique features of Hitachi air comprise of auto coil dry technology for odour free air, wave blade design for silent air, big flow deflector for surround air, iClean+ for clean air and iFresh for fresh air.

The company is also endeavoring to promote and push ‘Made in India' ACs and aims to reduce its component imports to almost to half and increase exports three folds in the next three years. We have a large range of Inverter ACs between 3-5 Star and we plan to sell more than 75-80% of our total volume through inverter models this year.

In order to bridge the gap of accessibility of Room AC (RAC) in Tier 2 and 3 towns, the company plans on strengthening its retail outreach (10,000+ retail touch points) and introducing multiple finance schemes and warranty offers. With this new product range and brand communication for 2021, Hitachi Cooling and Heating India is set to address the inherent consumer needs and will be driven by a strong sales & marketing push across the country, brand promotion in local languages and channel advocacy. The new product line-up for 2021 is available across all leading retail stores and on leading e-commerce portals.

About Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Limited:

Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Limited is a joint venture company of Johnson Controls, US and Hitachi Appliances, Japan. Through this joint venture, we have combined the rich heritage and innovative technology of Hitachi with the industry-leading expertise and a global network of Johnson Controls. The partnership is aimed at addressing the cooling needs faster, smarter and much more efficiently than ever before. Our customers will stand to benefit from our world-class R&D centres, where our researchers work tirelessly to provide innovative solutions and quality products that are designed to meet every expectation. Johnson Controls – Hitachi Air Conditioning Company has global presence, out of which India unit is called “Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Limited”

Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Limited manufactures a wide range of products under Hitachi brand, such as room air-conditioners (Split & Window ACs) to commercial air-conditioners including Chiller, Cassette Air conditioners, Ductable air-conditioners & VRF systems. Our company is not just limited to making air conditioners but also, into trading of Refrigerators.

Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Limited’s headquarter is situated in Ahmedabad, Gujarat with manufacturing plant in Kadi, Gujarat. Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Limited is amongst the top air-conditioning companies in India.


Global Prime Residential Markets Register A Price Rise Of 1.9% In 2020: Knight Frank Wealth Report 2021


* Cities from Australasia, Asia and Europe dominate the top 10 best performing prime residential markets

* Global prime markets register an average price rise of 1.9% in 2020, eclipsing its 2019 performance of 1.8% 

Auckland tops the PIRI 100 list by registering an annual price rise of 17.5%. Asian cities occupy the following top spots: Shenzhen (13.3%), Seoul (11.7%) and Manila (10.2%)

* Prime property markets in Delhi (-0.1%), Mumbai (-1.5%), Bengaluru (-2.0%), register annual decline in prices in 2020

House prices are rising because of the pandemic, not despite it. According to Knight Frank’s Prime International Residential Index (PIRI 100), the global prime residential pricing has registered an increase of 1.9% year – on – year (YoY). Luxury housing markets performed better than expected in 2020, with 66 of the 100 markets featured in PIRI recording annual price growth of 2%. PIRI 100 tracks the movements in luxury residential prices across the world’s top residential markets.

Globally, Delhi ranked 72nd in terms of luxury residential prices which remained marginally lower at -0.1% YoY in 2020. Mumbai (ranked 77th) and Bengaluru (ranked 79th) registered a decline of 1.5% and 2.0% YoY respectively in prime residential prices. With respect to the PIRI 100 list, Auckland, in New Zealand tops the table by registering an annual price rise of 17.5% YoY, while Buenos Aires, in Argentina was the worst-hit city globally, down by 12% YoY. 

Kate Everett-Allen, head of international residential research at Knight Frank, said: “Expectations of second homes are increasing. With greater flexibility around remote working, owners are lengthening their stays with many now viewing them as ‘co-primary’ homes. From fast broadband to cinema rooms, gyms and A-grade technology, a second home now has a long wish list to fulfil.”

HOW MUCH SPACE CAN $1 MILLION BUY?

Monaco continues its reign as the world’s most expensive city where US$ 1 million can get you 15 square metres of space in 2020. Comparatively in Mumbai, you can purchase 106 square metres (1141 sq. ft.) of prime residential real estate, a 3.7% increase compared to 102 square meters (1100 sq. ft.) in 2019.

Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director, Knight Frank India, said, “2020 has been a year that saw COVID-19 influenced slowdown not only in the real estate industry but overall, in the economy. The policy decisions by the Maharashtra and Karnataka Governments to reduce the stamp duty have acted as a counterbalance to the disruption caused by the pandemic. The luxury residential sales saw an exponential surge in Mumbai in Q4 2020 and the demand outlook for 2021 remains resilient. The current market price offers a premium value to make a luxury residential asset purchase in Indian cities for both domestic and global wealthy individuals.”

KEY DRIVER FOR PRIME RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE:

According to Knight Frank’s upcoming Wealth Report 2021, 26% of the Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (someone with a net worth of over US$30 million including their primary residence) globally are planning on purchasing a home in 2021, with the main desire to upgrade the main residences. Globally, the pandemic is supercharging demand for locations that offer a surfeit of wellness – think mountains, lakes and coastal hotspots. The report also highlights that 19% of India’s ultra-wealthy are considering buying a home in 2021.

Mahindra Rolls Out Krish-e Digital Era Technology Centres In Karnataka


* Krish-e - Mahindra’s new ‘Farming as a Service’ (FaaS) business kicks off a digital era in Indian agriculture.

* Offers farmers a wide variety of technology-driven services customised to crops and stages in the crop cycle.

* Leverages the power of Agronomy, Mechanisation and Digitisation to raise farmers’ income per acre of land. 

* Roll out of the first set of Krish-e centres in Karnataka to offer Agronomy, Equipment Rental and Digitisation services, supported by three farmer facing apps – Krish-e, Krish-e Rental and Krish-e Nidaan

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.’s Farm Equipment Sector (FES), a part of the USD 19.4 billion Mahindra Group, today rolled out Krish-e Centres in Jamkhandi, Mysore, Bijapur, Bidar and Gulbarga in Karnataka as part of Mahindra’s new ‘Farming as a Service’ business.

With the tag line – ‘Expert Takneek. Naye Upay. Parinaam Dikhaye’ – Krish-e is a business vertical that provides technology driven services which are progressive, affordable and accessible to farmers. Krish-e aims to increase farmer income through digitally enabled services, across the complete crop cycle.

These include agronomy advisory, access to advanced farm equipment rentals and new-age precision farming solutions, all focused on bringing down overall farming costs and improving crop output and consequently the farmer’s income.

In addition to Karnataka, Krish-e centres are now operational across all major states of India including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Commenting on this historic launch, Hemant Sikka – President, Farm Equipment Sector (FES), M&M Ltd. said. “Although investments and technological innovations in agriculture have improved output levels in India, productivity and farm incomes have great scope for further improvement. At Mahindra, we want to do our part by making a difference in the way farming is done. With an increase in farmers’ incomes as the core focus, our vision is to provide technology at competitive costs to Indian farmers and thereby enable them to Rise!”

Mr. Sikka further added “We are happy that Krish-e is rolling out its centres in Karnataka in the 75th year of the Mahindra Group. Krish-e is an innovative new business vertical conceived with the idea of ushering in a new digital age of farming in India. It aims to transform the lives of farmers, by helping them adopt better more effective farming techniques powered by AI, IoT and digital solutions that are affordable and accessible paving the way for increased productivity and profitability. Through Krish-e, we at Mahindra are engaging with our farmers more deeply and creating stronger relationships.”

Ramesh Ramachandran – Senior Vice President, FES Strategy & FaaS, M&M Ltd., said, “Krish-e is already making a difference to farming outcomes through its services which amalgamate agronomy, mechanisation and digitisation. Through Krish-e, we have already impacted over 1 lakh farmers, with solutions tailored to demonstrate impact on cultivation costs, crop health and productivity. Krish-e currently has approximately 1,900 demo plots, where we work alongside farmers to showcase visible impact through a combination of agronomy inputs and advanced mechanisation solutions. Through Krish-e, we are working to create a nation of Champion Farmers.” 

Kicking off a Digital Era in Farming

Krish-e will leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to benefit the farming ecosystem and bring the power of precision farming to farmers, affordably and in an accessible manner. To enable this, M&M has made strategic investments across the globe including in Resson – a Canadian predictive analytics company, Gamaya – a Swiss hyperspectral image analytics company and Carnot – an Indian AI enabled Agri IoT company.

Krish-e Precision Farming solutions use a variety of sensors and cameras on the farm, on drones, on satellites and on farm equipment to collect soil, crop and machine data. AI algorithms transform this data into user friendly and insight rich field maps, enabling farmers and agronomists to run variable rate farming operations, using intelligent machines. Such operations are already helping potato, grape and sugarcane farmers reduce their costs of cultivation and improve their yields. 

Krish-e has launched three apps to deliver advisory and rental services in a differentiated and farmer focused manner. Advisory services are crop specific and farm specific. They include a customised and dynamic crop calendar and real time diagnosis and resolution of pest & diseases.

The rental app leverages an AI powered IoT kit that tracks equipment and work performed. Targeted at rental entrepreneurs with a fleet of equipment, the kit is designed to be Plug and Play, intuitive to use and extremely affordable. Already used by almost 2,000 rental entrepreneurs, the kit increases the efficiency and profitability of rental operations.

These three apps are available as Krish-e, Krish-e Rental and Krish-e Nidaan to download from the Google Play store.

About Mahindra

The Mahindra Group is a USD 19.4 billion federation of companies that enables people to rise through innovative mobility solutions, driving rural prosperity, enhancing urban living, nurturing new businesses and fostering communities. It enjoys a leadership position in utility vehicles, information technology, financial services and vacation ownership in India and is the world’s largest tractor company by volume.  It also enjoys a strong presence in renewable energy, agribusiness, logistics and real estate development. Headquartered in India, Mahindra employs over 2,56,000 people across 100 countries.

Pandemic effect: India Pushes Forward To Upgrade Critical Care Health Infrastructure And Adoption Of World Class Medical Tech

 



The COVID-19 induced pandemic revealed major creaks in healthcare systems across the globe. In India, the void of a limited number of hospitals, debilitating medical infrastructure and restricted access to healthcare was felt the strongest for 72 years of the country’s independence. As state and central governments recognized the gaps, it can be sufficiently said that the pandemic completely changed the dynamics of the Indian healthcare ecosystem for years to come.

Ventilators and PPE kits became the face of the pandemic as the country scrambled to provide critical healthcare to its citizens. According to data from the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy and Princeton University, India had only 48,000 ventilators at the time of the pandemic’s outbreak against the requirement for 1,50,000 ventilators. This scenario now is undergoing a major change and at a rapid pace. 

A number of domestic manufacturers like Bharat Electronics Limited (in collaboration Skanray Technologies), AgVa Healthcare (in collaboration with Maruti Suzuki Limited), MedTech Zone, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hyundai Motor India Ltd, have successfully manufactured and delivered ventilators to meet the need gap. At the same time many global players came with world class medical technology. Brands like Hamilton Medical, GE Healthcare supplied cutting edge ventilators to various health care facilities during these times. Hamilton Medical, a specialist ventilator brand from Switzerland and a world leader in ventilator technology is in the process of installing a batch of 1500 ventilators across central government run hospitals, which include the AIIMS in Gorakhpur, Bhatinda, Raebareli and Nagpur as well as many government hospitals in tier 2 towns such as Tripura, Dimapur, Dibrugarh, Imphal, Silchar and others. Earlier availability of such advanced ventilators in tier-2 towns were unheard of, making critical care infrastructure limited to metros. Philips, a global leader in health technology, recently introduced its mobile Intensive Care Units (ICUs) for India

In the 2021 Union Budget of India, the government announced a 137% increase in healthcare spends, with the goal to address the long pending need to grow more on health as a percentage of the GDP. This additional spend is envisaged to go towards all round upliftment, from vaccination, to preventive health and to augment the national medical infrastructure with specific focus on critical care. 

Already, some progress has been made. Through the pandemic period, India progressively saw growth in the number of ICU beds, number of ventilators and oxygenated beds. As per the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in April 2020, India’s ICU bed count stood at 27,360. By January 2021, this had increased to 36,008. The country’s oxygenated  bed count rose by over 152% in the same period. The Central government procured a total of 38,867 ventilators at a cost of Rs 1,850.76 crore for distributing among the States and the Union Territories.

Dr. Debendra Kumar Tripathy, Additional professor (Dept of Anesthesiology and Critical Care) and Vice Dean (Innovation) at AIIMS, Rishikesh says, “In the pre-Covid era India was severely lacking ventilators, monitors and trained manpower to run critical care facilities. This pandemic has been able to draw the attention of healthcare policymakers towards the need for more intensive care units. Many states have today grown their ICU infrastructure 2 to 3-fold and in cases even 5 to 7 fold. Even district headquarters have better infrastructure and trained manpower today. At AIIMS Rishikesh we expanded the critical care capacity from just one ICU to now 7 ICU’s during the pandemic. Today, after the reduction in pandemic related patient load these ICUs are being utilized to provide tertiary care to routine patients.”

The pandemic set forth a global crisis for the critical care manufacturing sector. There was global shortage of ventilators as countries scrambled to upgrade their healthcare infrastructure. The disruption created by the pandemic in the global supply chain added to this challenge. Due to the worldwide spread of coronavirus, exports of medical equipment including ventilators came to a halt. The situation was so taxing that as many as fifty-four countries stopped exporting medical goods including ventilators.

Speaking on the importance of delivering critical care support to critical patients, Dr. Vasudevan, HoD JIPMER, Puducherry said, “We had a good infrastructure in place until the pandemic struck.  Suddenly, ventilators became crucial equipment to maintain patients' conditions. We had to ramp up our facilities and we received ventilators under PM cares program. These were both home-grown and some from international companies. However, to run this equipment is a challenge and some of these especially the imported ventilators were based on Artificial Intelligence and automated functioning. This made it easy for us to monitor patients.”

COVID-19 in essence proved to be a disruptor of India’s healthcare sector by pushing it for its much-needed crucial upgrades and pivotal implementation. The progress of Critical care infrastructure is now not only taking place in metro cities but also expanding to 2-3 tier cities.  However, with that came the challenge of finding trained healthcare professionals to manage and operate many ventilators at a time. That is where advanced technological interventions and expertise in manufacturing becomes pivotal. 

The onus now lies in ensuring effective critical care management and infrastructure is present in every scale of government, public and private healthcare setups. India needs to move beyond minting doctors and building hospitals. It is essential that doctors and hospitals are equipped to deliver healthcare using advanced tools. 

Meditronic Launches Tyrx Envelope In India: An Innovative Solution To Stabilize And Help Reduce Infections Associated With Cardiac Implants


India Medtronic Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Medtronic plc (NYSE:MDT), today announced the launch of the TYRX™ Absorbable Antibacterial Envelope (TYRX Envelope) - an absorbable, single-use, antibacterial envelope designed to stabilize a cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) or implanted neurostimulator while releasing antimicrobial agents over a minimum of seven days.[ii] Constructed from a multifilament, knitted absorbable mesh, the TYRX Envelope holds the CIED device and is fully absorbed by the body approximately nine weeks after implantation.[iii] It can be used with any implantable defibrillator, pacemaker, or neurostimulator.

Annually in India, 50,000 people with heart conditions receive a CIED, such as a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), to help manage abnormal heart rhythms.[iv] As with any surgical procedure, there is risk for infection due to bacteria being introduced at the time of implantation. Current standard of care for CIED infection treatment includes complete system removal/replacement and prolonged antibiotic therapy.

“We strive to offer products and services of the highest quality that deliver clinical and economic value to patients and physicians. TYRX is one such value-based offering aimed at lowering infection risk and reducing readmission rates with the long-term goal of creating better outcomes,” said Abhishek Bhargava, director, Cardiac Rhythm Management, Cardiac Ablation & Diagnostics at Medtronic India. “Medtronic’s vision remains anchored on introducing innovations that continue to alleviate pain, restore health and extend life.”

CIED infections occur in 1-4%[v] of all CIED patients and are associated with substantially increased morbidity, mortality, and cost.[vi] Results from the landmark Worldwide Randomized Antibiotic Envelope Infection Prevention Trial (WRAP-IT)1 demonstrated the TYRX Envelope reduced the risk of major infection by 40% in patients with CIEDs, and reduced pocket infections by 61%, when used as an adjunctive therapy in addition to standard-of-care infection prevention strategies for patients at higher risk of infection. Further, it did not increase the risk of procedure-related or system-related complications through 12 months. The study enrolled approximately 7,000 patients, from 181 centers in 25 countries in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.

The study population included patients receiving an initial cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D); and patients receiving a replacement, system revision or generator upgrade of an existing pacemaker, cardiac resynchronization therapy-pacemaker (CRT-P), implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) or CRT-D. Patients with diabetes, previous history of infection, renal failure, and/or congestive heart failure also are at higher risk for CIED infections.

The TYRX Envelope was cleared by the FDA in 2013 and received CE Mark in 2014.

In 2019, the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) issued an international consensus document on how to prevent, diagnose and treat CIED infections. The TYRX Envelope is recommended for the WRAP-IT study population and patients with other high-risk factors as outlined in the document.

About Medtronic

Medtronic plc (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is among the world’s largest medical technology, services and solutions companies – alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world. Medtronic employs more than 90,000 people worldwide, serving physicians, hospitals and patients in more than 150 countries. The company is focused on collaborating with stakeholders around the world to take healthcare Further, Together.

Godrej Locks Eyes Rs 100 Crore Revenue From Its Kitchen Systems Business, Launches Smart Kitchen Storage Solutions Brand ‘SKIDO’


Godrej & Boyce, the flagship company of the Godrej group announced that its business unit Godrej Locks & Architectural Fittings and Systems, is eyeing a revenue of INR 100 crore from its Godrej Kitchen Fittings and Systems business, in the next five years. The company has launched SKIDO- Smart Kitchen Drawers and Organisers, an innovative range of smart kitchen storage solutions. To meet the unique requirements of the Indian kitchen, the company curated SKIDO which is ‘Designed in India and made for India’. The range has eight products including kitchen drawers and dedicated organisers for cutlery, cup & saucer, wok, fry pan, thalis, containers, and jars & bottles.

SKIDO is an outcome of extensive research conducted by the company to study Indian kitchens and the different style of cooking. The insights led Godrej Locks to create the SKIDO range of innovative storage solutions that make the lives of kitchen users easier and better. The company aims to reduce dependence on western solutions which were the only options consumers had, and offer customized solutions for Indian kitchen spaces. SKIDO storage solutions are convenient to install, easy-to-carry and are multi-functional.

Commenting on the launch of SKIDO, Shyam Motwani, EVP and Business Head, Godrej Locks & Architectural Fittings and Systems said, “The Indian modular kitchen business is valued at INR 2,500 crore and is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 27% during 2019-2024. We see tremendous growth potential in this segment considering that 4% of our total sales were generated from this segment last year. In the next few years, our strategic focus would be to achieve INR 100 crore revenue from this segment. We have witnessed a renewed demand in kitchen accessories given that modern Indian families are now using their kitchen more than ever and looking for effective solutions. This demand will be a definitive growth driver.”

Godrej Locks has been present in the Kitchen Systems category since 2015. Under this, the company offers various products like Ergo Drawers, Wire Baskets, Corner Solutions, Tall Units, Soft Pro Systems, Drawer Channels, and Hinges. SKIDO is the latest offering under this segment. SKIDO starts at INR 15000-20000 per set and will be available across general trade and hardware. 

About Godrej Locks & Architectural Fittings and Systems

Godrej Locks & Architectural Fittings and Systems is a 123-year-old leading manufacturer of innovative locking devices. Since its inception in 1897 by Ardeshir Godrej, the name ‘Godrej’ has become synonymous with trust, protection and integrity. From the first Anchor branded lock in 1897 to the first ever spring less lock in 1907, to the iconic 'Navtal' in 1954, and to the postmodern biometric locks, Godrej has set every benchmark in the locks industry.

Over the years, Godrej Locks & Architectural Fittings and Systems have changed in form, function and scope of application. But one thing still remains the same – the solid stamp of trust and reliability. Godrej Locks adhere to global quality norms and hold ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications.

With their locks reaching several countries around the world over a period of time, the brand has come a long way in delivering world-class smart locking solutions, therefore revolutionizing the very perception of a locking device from a mere functionality at an entry and exit point, to a proud pause at the doorstep, a moment to take in the significance of how far they have come.

Impact By Honeywell Launched To Cater To Growing MidSegment Across Indian Market


* Impact by Honeywell brings world-class, affordable, easy-to-install and easy-to-use products and digital solutions that are customized for mid-segment customers

* Honeywell targeting B2B SME customers in tier-1 and tier-2 cities and beyond

Honeywell, a Fortune 100 technology leader, today announced the launch of Impact by Honeywell, a brand that has been especially created to cater to the growing mid-segment in India.

As part of the launch, the company introduced several products that have been locally developed to solve the unique challenges faced by mid-segment customers in terms of productivity, cost control, revenue leakage, quality, and compliance.

Dr. Akshay Bellare, President, Honeywell India, said, “Impact by Honeywell brings the weight of Honeywell’s technology capabilities to offer world-class, affordable, easy-to-install and easy-to-use products and digital solutions that are geared to solve the problems of mid-segment customers.”

Middle-income households in India are set to almost double by 2030, offering small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with an opportunity to meet their burgeoning demands. Furthermore, the Government of India’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan is expected to give a boost to the SME sector

“In the business-to-business context, this segment represents a large customer base spread within and beyond tier-1 and tier-2 cities, and a significant opportunity for Honeywell in the end markets that it serves,” Akshay added.

According to him, Honeywell sees tremendous potential for adoption of automation, digitalization, and smart products and solutions by SME or mid-segment customers.

The company has put in place a new team with an entrepreneurial, startup culture at a new office in Pune. In a relatively short span of time, Impact by Honeywell has expanded its customer base and product portfolio.

Impact by Honeywell’s portfolio includes a range of affordable, simple and connected solutions that go into buildings and focus on energy management, fire safety, security and surveillance, and workforce management.

Speaking about one such product, the Universal AC Controller, Jasmeet Bhatia, who heads the buildings technologies line of business for Impact by Honeywell, said, “This simple yet powerful device saves up to 30% of AC energy bills by reducing wastage and unwanted usage of air conditioners. This battery-operated device works with most AC models, old or new and is a must have product for commercial and residential buildings.”

Impact by Honeywell also has products and solutions that cater to healthcare, e-commerce, and supply chain verticals. These include warehouse automation, digital safety and productivity solutions, and asset health monitoring – the last among these was developed in response to COVID-19, but has wider applications for the pharma industry. The BluTag 360TM is a digital tracking and shipment condition monitoring solution for vaccines and drugs.

Speaking about one of his marquee offerings in his portfolio, Chaitanya Paspuleti, who leads the safety and productivity solutions portfolio for Impact by Honeywell, said, “We recently introduced a warehouse management system for ecommerce businesses in India. With a setup time of less than five weeks, the Software as a Service solution enables e-commerce companies to increase product diversity, price products competitively, and manage fluctuating demand.”

Impact by Honeywell has a dedicated engineering team that works closely with its mid-segment customers to understand their pain points and develop solutions that are unique to this segment.

Today, India is one of the largest economies, and ground zero for innovation and production. The emerging mid-segment, rise in purchasing power and consumption, and demand for localized products and solutions will continue to be critical drivers for Honeywell. Eventually, India will become the staging ground for Honeywell to take these products and solutions to other emerging geographies around the world.

NSDC Collaborates With SahiPay To Promote Digital Financial Literacy And Create Nano-Entrepreneurs


With a vision to promote nano-entrepreneurship amongst youth in the financial services sector, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) today announced its collaboration with SahiPay - an Android based integrated platform developed by Manipal Business solutions (MBS) to promote digital enablement and financial inclusion in the country. The partnership aims to facilitate skilling of youth in digital financial services and provide them with an opportunity to explore self-employment for sustainable livelihood. Candidates will be provided access to free digital skilling on ‘Online Entrepreneurship Program’ through NSDC’s eSkill India portal, co-curated by experts from the field of financial inclusion and skilling from both the organizations.

eSkill India’s knowledge partnership with MBS’ SahiPay platform will facilitate digital skilling of youth towards financial inclusion and help create a holistic ecosystem for promotion of self-employment and nano – entrepreneurship in the financial services sector. The partnership aims to combine NSDC’s digital skilling expertise, robust training infrastructure and wide network with SahiPay’s industry insights to design and conduct targeted skill development programs for youth to boost their employability and productivity. The e-course would enable the candidates to gain knowledge in the field of digital financial services, impart skills towards self-employment and provide the opportunity to be a part of SahiPay. NSDC and SahiPay will also organize various digital and on-ground initiatives to create wider awareness amongst youth across the country about digital financial literacy and highlight the several prospects of self-employment that the sector offers.

Commenting on the partnership, Ms. Vandana Bhatnagar, NSDC, said, “Indian digital payments industry has been experiencing an accelerated growth and is estimated to grow multi-fold in the next five years. We aim to leverage the emerging opportunities in the sector by imparting the youth with requisite knowledge and training in digital financial literacy and encourage them to embrace nano-entrepreneurship for sustained growth in future.”

Under the partnership the enrolled candidates would learn about Indian Banking and Financial Services Industry along with Digital Payment Platform Operations through content such as Entrepreneurship, Know Your Customer (KYC), Security and Compliances, Communication Skills, Banking Services, AePS Banking, Payment Services (UPI, QR Code, Cards), Domestic Money Transfer, Value Added Services (Bill Payments/Recharges) and SahiPay Platform & Services. It will provide a long-term sustainable business model and mechanism to generate regular income through its multiple offerings. Entrepreneurs registered with SahiPay could generate a monthly average revenue and further providing income generating services to any consumers as per their need.

Sharing his thoughts on the collaboration, Mr. Abhay Gupte, MD & CEO, Manipal Technologies Ltd., said, “Digital Financial Literacy and Creation of Nano Entrepreneurship” is an exclusive financial entrepreneurship program, which offers a comprehensive understanding of Indian banking and financial sector along with operational know how of integrated payment platform offered by SahiPay.

This “Skill-based Entrepreneurship Program” is aimed to provide the candidates an instant employability and opportunity to earn through diversified services of SahiPay.”

eSkillIndia is a digital skilling initiative from NSDC that aggregates digital learning resources through various Indian and global knowledge partnerships, to enable access to best-in-class learning resources for the Indian youth. Presently, the portal catalogues over 825 digital courses from its partners and additional 4000+ courses are connected through affiliate channels across various sectors in multiple languages, providing learners with the technology and skills needed to prosper in a rapidly transforming digital world.  The portal is facilitating a nation-wide opportunity for self-livelihood through a strong foundation of accessible digital skilling courses in the financial sector.

MBS’ SahiPay is a convenient and secure digital platform which enables entrepreneurs to accept digital payments from the retail customers and provide multiple Value Added and Banking Services depending on the end-consumer preference.

About National Skill Development Corporation

National Skill Development Corporation, working under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, is a unique public-private-partnership which aims to catalyze creation of quality vocational training ecosystem in India. Since inception in 2010, NSDC has trained more than 2.5 crore people through its partnership with 600+ training partners, 11,000+ training centers spread over 600+ districts across the country. NSDC has established 36 Sector Skill Councils and is implementing Government’s flagship skill development schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK), National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS), among others.

About eSkill India

NSDC’s eSkill India is an eLearning aggregator portal that provides learners with a platform to explore online skill-courses anytime, anywhere. The portal leverages technology to enable skill seekers accelerate their learning through methods like virtual learning and remote classroom. Across 10 Indian languages, eSkillIndia offers over 16 lakh minutes of high-quality digital content that spans various industry sectors, including agriculture, healthcare, telecommunication, retail, pharmaceutical, banking and finance, electronics and information technology. 

About Manipal Business Solutions

Manipal Business Solutions Pvt Ltd (MBS) is a part of the diversified “The Manipal Group”, which has established a major presence in the areas of BFSI, Telecom, Education, Healthcare, IT, Retail, Printing and Publishing; with a workforce of 8,000+ providing solutions and services to its clients. MBS is a preferred partner for “Rural Unified Banking Services” commonly known as Financial Inclusion initiative in India. MBS provides a fully functional and certified end-to-end system for enabling authentication/e-KYC &   payments   on   UIDAI-Aadhaar Enabled Payments System (AEPS) platform to financial institutions. MBS has developed the complete technology in-house and deployed the same on field at leading financial institutions in India to facilitate the Financial Inclusion drive. 

About SahiPay

Manipal Business Solutions (MBS) has developed an Android based integrated platform- ‘SahiPay®’ to provides Digital Payments, Banking and Value-added Services across the merchant outlets to promote digital enablement and Financial inclusion in the country.

In addition to the omnichannel digital payment acceptance, SahiPay enables its users to provide a bouquet of banking and value-added services to the end consumers through its large merchant network. The consumers can perform multiple banking transactions like cash withdrawal/deposit, fund transfer, mini statements, and a/c balance enquiry. The value-added services include multiple recharges & bill payments, travel bookings, Domestic Remittances, Mutual Funds, Insurances, EMI collection, Lending Services, Three-two wheelers finance, e-Governance services along with Assisted e-commerce.

SahiPay is committed towards providing a convenient & trustworthy service Platform to the Indian payment industry by enabling fast and secure digital payment transactions through its integrated platform and facilitating self-employment opportunities to the youths across the country.

Aditya Birla Health Insurance Introduces India’s First Health Insurance Plan With Upto 100% Return On Premium

 


* Introduces a new version/avatar of its flagship product ‘Activ Health’ 

* Policy to offer mental counselling coverage, Homeopathy telemedicine, home treatment, and a host of other industry leading benefits

Aditya Birla Health Insurance Company Ltd. (ABHICL), the Health Insurance subsidiary of Aditya Birla Capital Limited, a significant non-banking financial services company, today announced an industry-first initiative of up to 100% health insurance premium returns and other significant product offering upgrades. The newly designed version of its flagship product ‘Activ Health’ will inspire customers to lead a healthy lifestyle.  

The Activ Health policy is a feature-rich product that provides comprehensive health protection with extensive wellness benefits. Aditya Birla Health Insurance is the only insurance company offering up to 100% premium returns, i.e. HealthReturnsTM, rewards and up to 100% reload of Sum Insured through its enhanced version of ‘Activ Health’ policy. The consumer is rewarded  through a cash-equivalent which can be used for either health-related expenses like buying medicines, paying for diagnostic tests, day care treatment, out-patient expenses (OPD), and alternative treatments (which are traditionally excluded), or most importantly can be used towards the payment of future premium. 

The plan allows the wellness ecosystem to be easily accessed by people without exclusivity. Going forth with the holistic health approach, Activ Health plan also offers coverage for mental illness counselling, unlimited Homeopathy telemedicine, day care treatments, modern and advance treatment methods, Day 1 coverage for chronic illnesses; for all customers, and more. One can become their healthiest version by tracking their health, accessing the details of their health insurance, and availing health care services through the Activ Health app. Customers can also earn their HealthReturnsTM by working out with the workout videos available through the Activ Health app.

Key Features of enhanced Activ Health include -

India’s first health insurance plan rewarding consumers up to 100% of their health insurance premium as HealthReturnsTM – maximise earnings by leading a healthy life.  

Asia’s first ever health insurance plan offering mental illness counselling coverage.

Industry-first plan to cover unlimited homeopathy telemedicine.

For those who have a chronic condition or develop (automatic upgrade at no extra cost) -

-      Day 1 cover for Chronic illnesses like Asthma, High Blood Pressure, High cholesterol and Diabetes

-      Get OPD benefits, doctor consultations and guidance from experts to improve health condition as part of the Chronic management program

Double Sum Insured in 2 claim-free years- earn 50% No Claim Bonus for every claim-free year – max up to 100% of Sum insured.

Access to an expert health coach for Medical, Nutritional, Mental & Fitness, Mental Counselling session, Homeopathy teleconsultation - this is a great benefit as it covers medical, nutrition, homeopathy, etc. 

In-Patient hospitalisation and Home treatment expenses will cover conditions like chemotherapy, Dengue, Covid-19 and more.

Cover for modern and advanced treatment methods like stem cell therapy, oral chemotherapy and more, post hospitalisation expenses for physiotherapy, hospitalisation for mental illnesses, obesity treatment and dental consultations and investigations.

Optional features include –

International Coverage for Major Illnesses- cashless hospitalisation for critical illnesses for treatment abroad

In-built international cashless treatment covered for up to INR 3 to 6 crore

While detailing the product features, Mr. Mayank Bathwal, CEO at Aditya Birla Health Insurance, said, “As a pioneer of the wellness ecosystem in health insurance and an enabler of holistic healthcare choices, ABHI has consistently encouraged policyholders to stay active and healthy and taken efforts to provide comprehensive care to its customers. We have designed the ‘Activ Health’ policy to meet the evolving needs of the customers and to promote a sustainable healthy lifestyle. We are introducing, an industry-first initiative of up to 100% HealthReturnsTM through our incentive based health and wellness program under Activ Health policy. The details of your Activ Health policy can be easily viewed on the Activ Health app along with earning your HealthReturnsTM. This offering is more than just a health insurance, it provides access to sustainable wellness practices while serving the ‘health anxious’ and the ‘health-conscious’ who want to venture beyond ‘reactive care’”.

Tomorrow Capital Leads Rs 47 Cr Series A Round In Global Education Platform Leverage Education


* Fund sets aside INR 200 Cr for new investments over next 12 months

Tomorrow Capital, a Mumbai-based $100-million venture capital fund, led the INR 47 Cr Series A investment round in Leverage Ed-tech Private Limited, a start-up that works to empower students across India to find and access the best-matched higher education options globally, and caters to the width of their needs. This is the fund’s second edtech investment in the last two months, based on their thesis of building large consumer brands in the education space. 

Talking about the current investment Rohini Prakash CEO, Tomorrow Capital said that, "We have always looked at the education space as one where large home-grown consumer brands will drive the market for the long term. We have been studying the space for a while now and identified higher education and co-curricular support for K-12 as areas which present an opportunity to build highly scalable brands. The pandemic-led, school-from-home situation has had a deep impact on the conventional brick and mortar forms of businesses and has enhanced the digital distribution and adoption of these services, which is a big enabler for scale”. 

“We believe our partnership with Leverage Edu will help co-create a brand in global education as its highly scalable online model is uniquely placed to cater to a growing demand for a more globalized education experience. This segment has always been underserved with a lot of unorganized players ignoring the need to look at a student’s journey holistically, which is where Leverage Edu is uniquely positioned to cater to a wide range of a student’s needs”, Rohini added.

This second investment from Tomorrow Capital in Edtech comes in quick succession after the fund’s USD 2 mn investment in BeyondSkool, a live, online co-curricular upskilling academy for kids that provides a global curriculum-based learning outcome irrespective of the school that the students attend. “We have been on the lookout for disruptive models in edtech inspiring ‘real’ education over traditional rote-learning systems. BeyondSkool is in an excellent position to inspire an overhaul of the same by making kids logically sound problem solvers through applied forms of knowledge, all digitally enabled.  These are the type of white-space opportunities we seek to back, supported by driven founders and our thesis in edtech", Rohini mentioned. Tomorrow Capital is closely working with both the companies in the areas of building distribution and branding, which is part of the fund’s core ideology to work closely with the founders to help them accelerate a great business by building a strong brand and deep distribution. 

Including the current investment, Tomorrow Capital has invested nearly INR 100 crores over the last three years in five early-stage start-ups. The other investments are in Bonito Designs, a design-centric, tech enabled home interior design and execution firm, and Multiliving Technologies, a home management platform that uses both human and artificial intelligence providing home-user services of managed assets, managed rental and managed lifestyle. Tomorrow Capital recently exited from ZenoHealth (previously Generico) – a pharmacy chain selling low-cost generic drugs, at an over 7x return in just 2 years. 

Tomorrow Capital has set aside another Rs 200 crores for a fresh round of investments over the next 12 months and is in the process of identifying new opportunities. Explaining the investment philosophy of Tomorrow Capital, Rohini Prakash, CEO said, “Tomorrow Capital focuses on helping consumer start-ups with long-term patient capital, thought-partnership, hands-on operational support, industry networks, and access to resources to achieve an exponential growth trajectory and a high leverage for success. We invest selectively and are focused on ensuring that our investments provide more than just capital, by guiding and assisting the portfolio company in every way to ensure success."

About Tomorrow Capital:

Tomorrow Capital is a USD 100m early-stage investment fund focused on building India’s next big consumer brands by providing more than just capital. The Tomorrow Capital team becomes an extension of the portfolio companies’ founding teams and assists the entrepreneur in scaling the business rapidly through building a scalable organization, brand and distribution strategy. Tomorrow Capital provides access to blue-chip talent, industry networks, and resources for growth which enables entrepreneurs to drive the next wave of growth.

The Tomorrow Capital team is comprised of seasoned professionals with experience in organization and brand building and has a strong track record of working with entrepreneurs to build stellar teams and rapidly scale up the businesses. 

Tomorrow Capital is backed by Abhinandan Lodha, who is also part of the fund’s Investment Committee. 

NeoGrowth Aims To Digitise Two Lakh Small Indian Businesses In FY’22


* Launches one stop digital platform ‘DiGibizz’ to meet growing business needs of SMEs

NeoGrowth Credit Pvt. Ltd., a pioneer in SME lending in India, today announced the launch of an end-to-end platform to help SMEs become digital-ready. The company aims to help over 2 lakh SMEs meet their financial and non-financial business needs by offering access to integrated, best-in-class digital solutions.

The platform was conceptualised based on a research done during the pandemic that emphasized the crying need of small businesses to digitise their operations, as they faced stiff competition from big brands and online apps and portals.

The DiGibizz platform, powered by an in-house expert recommendation engine, guides any small business owner to evaluate his or her business’ digital readiness. Based on this evaluation, the recommendation engine Digit-O-Meter provides a customized report of practical measures to become digital-ready. Not only this, the platform also offers a many choices of execution partners with best-in-class business solutions for digital enablement of small businesses. These include PayU, Snapbizz, FloBiz, Near.Store, Apna.co, Mobicommerce, Go Digit, Religare, BrandPulse Marketing Services, Pinnacle Management & Utility Services, Accunity Services, Smartech Electronics, Syrow, Vakilsearch, DigiHealth etc.

“NeoGrowth has always focused on creating a positive social impact by lending to first-generation entrepreneurs, assisting women entrepreneurs, and supporting our customers to create jobs and improve credit scores through our loans. We understand the growth, financing, manpower and other challenges that small business owners in India face. DiGibizz is our endeavour to digitally enable small businesses to overcome these challenges and drive business growth in the new normal.” said Mr. Piyush Khaitan, Founder & Managing Director, NeoGrowth Credit Pvt. Ltd.

Ms. Reshma Deokar, owner of Advait Medical & General Store, Mumbai, one of the first customers of the platform, said, “In the fast-evolving pharma sector, diGibizz has supported a woman entrepreneur like me at the right time to upgrade my business. Today, my business has grown to the next level with NeoGrowth’s support.”

The diGiBizz platform is available on http://digibizz.neogrowth.in

Headquartered in Mumbai, the company serves 70+ industries with a presence across 27 cities in India. NeoGrowth has disbursed over INR 6,000 crores loans to 28,000 customers till date. To create a greater social impact by providing easy finance to under-served markets with advanced tech-solutions, the company disbursed loans to first-generation entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs, and first-time borrowers. On the technology front, it has heavily invested in analytics, machine learning, digitisation of customer journey and digitally verified alternate sources of data, which has helped it reduce the turnaround time for loan sanctions and underwrite basis various types of alternate data. It provides financing to retailers, restaurants, apparel shops, kirana stores, petrol pumps, groceries, pharmacies and other MSMEs with flexible repayment options and customized products addressing multiple business needs.

About NeoGrowth:

NeoGrowth Credit Pvt. Ltd is a Systemically Important, Non-Deposit taking NBFC and a pioneer in SME lending based on the underwriting of digital payments data. NeoGrowth provides finance to small business owners to drive business growth that matches their ambitions. Hassle-free loans are powered by technology innovations and leverage the digital payments ecosystem. It provides financing to retailers, restaurants, apparel shops, kirana stores, petrol pumps, groceries, pharmacies and other MSMEs with flexible repayment options and customized products addressing multiple business needs. It not only helps its customers grow but also drives financial inclusion making a positive social impact. NeoGrowth is backed by renowned investors, namely Omidyar Network, Aspada Investment Company, Khosla Impact, Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund – Quona Capital, IIFL Seed Ventures Fund and Leapfrog Investments.

IBM Security Report: Attacks On Industries Supporting COVID-19 Response Efforts Double


* Ransomware Group Banks Millions; Cloudy Forecast Amid 40% Rise in Open-Source Malware in 2020; Social Distancing “Must Have” Tools Dominate Top Spoofed Brands

IBM (NYSE: IBM) Security today released the 2021 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index highlighting how cyberattacks evolved in 2020 as threat actors sought to profit from the unprecedented socioeconomic, business and political challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, IBM Security X-Force observed attackers pivoting their attacks to businesses for which global COVID-19 response efforts heavily relied, such as hospitals, medical and pharmaceutical manufacturers, as well as energy companies powering the COVID-19 supply chain.

According to the new report, cyberattacks on healthcare, manufacturing, and energy doubled from the year prior, with threat actors targeting organizations that could not afford downtime due to risks of disrupting medical efforts or critical supply chains. In fact, manufacturing and energy were the most attacked industries in 2020, second only to the finance and insurance sector. Contributing to this was attackers taking advantage of the nearly 50% increase in vulnerabilities in industrial control systems (ICS), which manufacturing and energy both strongly depend on.

“In essence, the pandemic reshaped what is considered critical infrastructure today, and attackers took note. Many organizations were pushed to the front lines of response efforts for the first time – whether to support COVID-19 research, uphold vaccine and food supply chains, or produce personal protective equipment,” said Nick Rossmann, Global Threat Intelligence Lead, IBM Security X-Force. “Attackers’ victimology shifted as the COVID-19 timeline of events unfolded, indicating yet again, the adaptability, resourcefulness and persistence of cyber adversaries.”

The X-Force Threat Intelligence Index is based on insights and observations from monitoring over 150 billion security events per day in more than 130 countries. In addition, data is gathered and analyzed from multiple sources within IBM, including IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence and Incident Response, X-Force Red, IBM Managed Security Services, and data provided by Quad9 and Intezer, both of which contributed to the 2021 report.

Some of the report's key highlights include: 

Cybercriminals Accelerate Use of Linux Malware – With a 40% increase in Linux-related malware families in the past year, according to Intezer, and a 500% increase in Go-written malware in the first six months of 2020, attackers are accelerating a migration to Linux malware, that can more easily run-on various platforms, including cloud environments.

* Pandemic Drives Top Spoofed Brands – Amid a year of social distancing and remote work, brands offering collaboration tools such as Google, Dropbox and Microsoft, or online shopping brands such as Amazon and PayPal, made the top 10 spoofed brands in 2020. YouTube and Facebook, which consumers relied on more for news digestion last year, also topped the list. Surprisingly, making an inaugural debut as the seventh most commonly impersonated brand in 2020 was Adidas, likely driven by demand for the Yeezy and Superstar sneaker lines.

* Ransomware Groups Cash In On Profitable Business Model – Ransomware was the cause of nearly one in four attacks that X-Force responded to in 2020, with attacks aggressively evolving to include double extortion tactics. Using this model, X-Force assesses Sodinokibi – the most commonly observed ransomware group in 2020 – had a very profitable year. X-Force estimates that the group made a conservative estimate of over $123 million in the past year, with approximately two-thirds of its victims paying a ransom, according to the report.

Investment in Open-Source Malware Threatens Cloud Environments

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses sought to accelerate their cloud adoption. “In fact, a recent Gartner survey found that almost 70% of organizations using cloud services today plan to increase their cloud spending in the wake of the disruption caused by COVID-19.” But with Linux currently powering 90% of cloud workloads and the X-Force report detailing a 500% increase in Linux-related malware families in the past decade, cloud environments can become a prime attack vector for threat actors.

With the rise in open-source malware, IBM assesses that attackers may be looking for ways to improve their profit margins – possibly reducing costs, increasing effectiveness and creating opportunities to scale more profitable attacks. The report highlights various threat groups such as APT28, APT29 and Carbanak turning to open-source malware, indicating that this trend will be an accelerator for more cloud attacks in the coming year.

The report also suggests that attackers are exploiting the expandable processing power that cloud environments provide, passing along heavy cloud usage charges on victim organizations, as Intezer observed more than 13% new, previously unobserved code in Linux cryptomining malware in 2020.

With attackers’ sights set on clouds, X-Force recommends that organizations should consider a zero-trust approach to their security strategy. Businesses should also make confidential computing a core component of their security infrastructure to help protect their most sensitive data – by encrypting data in use, organizations can help reduce the risk of exploitability from a malicious actor, even if they’re able to access their sensitive environments.

Cybercriminals Disguised as Celebrity Brand

The 2021 report highlights that cybercriminals opted to disguise themselves most often as brands that consumers trust. Considered one of the most influential brands in the world, Adidas appeared attractive to cybercriminals attempting to exploit consumer demand to drive those looking for coveted sneakers to malicious websites designed to look like legitimate sites. Once a user visited these legitimate-looking domains, cybercriminals would either seek to carry out online payment scams, steal users’ financial information, harvest user credentials, or infect victims’ devices with malware.

The report indicates that the majority of Adidas spoofing is associated with the Yeezy and Superstar sneaker lines. The Yeezy line alone reportedly pulled in $1.3 billion in 2019 and was one of the top selling sneakers for the sportswear manufacturing giant. It’s likely that, with the hype for the next sneaker release in early 2020, attackers leveraged the demand of the money-making brand to make their own profit.

Ransomware Dominates 2020 as Most Common Attack

According to the report, in 2020 the world experienced more ransomware attacks compared to 2019, with nearly 60% of ransomware attacks that X-Force responded to using a double extortion strategy whereby attackers encrypted, stole and then threatened to leak data, if the ransom wasn’t paid. In fact, in 2020, 36% of the data breaches that X-Force tracked came from ransomware attacks that also involved alleged data theft, suggesting that data breaches and ransomware attacks are beginning to collide.

The most active ransomware group reported in 2020 was Sodinokibi (also known as REvil), accounting for 22% of all ransomware incidents that X-Force observed. X-Force estimates that Sodinokibi stole approximately 21.6 terabytes of data from its victims, that nearly two-thirds of Sodinokibi victims paid ransom, and approximately 43% had their data leaked – which X-Force estimates resulted in the group making over $123 million in the past year.

Like Sodinokibi, the report found that the most successful ransomware groups in 2020 were focused on also stealing and leaking data, as well as creating ransomware-as-a-service cartels and outsourcing key aspects of their operations to cybercriminals that specialize in different aspects of an attack. In response to these more aggressive ransomware attacks, X-Force recommends that organizations limit access to sensitive data and protect highly privileged accounts with privileged access management (PAM) and identity and access management (IAM).

Additional key findings in the report include:

Vulnerabilities Surpass Phishing as Most Common Infection Vector – The 2021 report reveals that the most successful way victim environments were accessed last year was scanning and exploiting for vulnerabilities (35%), surpassing phishing (31%) for the first time in years.

Europe Felt the Brunt of 2020 Attacks – Accounting for 31% of attacks X-Force responded to in 2020, per the report, Europe experienced more attacks than any other region, with ransomware rising as the top culprit. In addition, Europe saw more insider threat attacks than any other region, seeing twice as many such attacks as North America and Asia combined.

The report features data IBM collected in 2020 to deliver insightful information about the global threat landscape and inform security professionals about the threats most relevant to their organizations. To download a copy of the X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2021, please visit: https://www.ibm.biz/threatindex2021   

About IBM Security

IBM Security offers one of the most advanced and integrated portfolios of enterprise security products and services. The portfolio, supported by world-renowned IBM Security X-Force research, enables organizations to effectively manage risk and defend against emerging threats. IBM operates one of the world's broadest security research, development and delivery organizations, monitors 150 billion+ security events per day in more than 130 countries, and has been granted more than 10,000 security patents worldwide. 

Vaishnavi Group Partnership With Katerra's Technologies Helps Completes Residential Project 20 Months Ahead Of Time


* Partnership with Katerra for next-gen construction technology makes this possible

Vaishnavi Group has successfully completed their 896 unit apartment project, Vaishnavi Serene in Yelahanka, way ahead of the scheduled time, 20 months ahead to be precise. This astounding achievement comes in the wake of habitual delays that the construction industry has been dogged with for the last decade.

In 2019, Vaishnavi Group had joined hands with Katerra, a technology-driven offsite precast construction company, to introduce the next generation construction technology in their project Vaishnavi Serene. Katerra, which adopts the integrated offsite manufacturing technology and the concept of DFMA (Designor For Manufacturing and Assembly), ensured 50 per cent faster completion time, besides reducing pollution on site by over 40 per cent.

Commenting on this incredible achievement, Mr. C.N Govindaraju, Chairman & Managing Director, Vaishnavi Group, says, “This achievement stands as a testimony to what new age technology can do to construction. Our collaboration with Katerra was in keeping with our aim of ‘Building from the Heart’ where we have created homes that offer the best functional use of the living spaces.

Our meticulously planned spaces offer the homeowner in Vaishnavi Serene the experience and efficiency of a 1400 Sq ft residence for a given space of 1118 Sq ft 3-bedroom unit. Besides, the project has not only been completed way ahead of schedule but the build quality and finish of the spaces come with an unmatched standard, thanks to the technology opted coupled with our ethos. Additionally, the technology is in line with our green thinking as the impact on the environment in the form of construction debris, water consumption, wastage and noise is substantially reduced.”

He further points out that, Yelahanka being an upcoming growth hub, the infrastructure development the locality is currently witnessing will make the project a winning proposition for the home buyer.

Smart and efficient technology:

Speaking on the efficiency of the offsite casting and the new age technology offered by Katerra, Nejeeb Khan, the Head - Design & Brand Strategy, Asia & Middle East, Katerra says, “Our factory manufactured and assembled solutions come with the highest quality in design, production and finish, eliminating many of the oft faced problems associated with conventional on-site construction. Designed and manufactured to precision, we deliver quality homes that increase speed of implementation while simultaneously reducing waste through the optimal use of resources and minimal environmental intervention. Vaishnavi Serene stands testimony to our quality and unmatched standards, a product of new age technology in action.”

The project also comes with 100 percent offsite manufactured bathroom pods that merely have to be plugged into the designated area on a floor plate. Because of the offsite manufacturing of the precast elements, there has also been a substantial saving on material used, besides the conservation of water given the steam curing adopted in the factory. The factory finished precast concrete slabs come with all the built in mechanical, electrical and plumbing conduits.

Situated adjacent to the lush green CRPF campus in Yelahanka, Vaishnavi Serene offers units in configurations of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms, in sizes that range from 635 Sq ft to 1118 Sq ft. The smartly sized homes, besides their highly enhanced space efficiency, are also Vaastu compliant.

Happy customers:

“When we booked our unit in November 2019, we did not expect to have the project completed on time, leave alone ahead of schedule, especially in the backdrop of Covid-19. But what transpired was not only completion 20 months ahead of schedule but also deliverance of immaculate quality and finish. This has happened only because of the adoption of the integrated offsite manufacturing technology, which has certainly provided a quality and standard that is way ahead of the conventional construction methods.”, say Devendra Bhimrao Sawant and Poonam Devendra Sawant, proud home owners at Vaishnavi Serene.

Chekkera Subbaiah Devaiah and Poonam Devaiah, also happy home owners at Vaishnavi Serene, have this to say about the project- “We are really pleased to see Vaishnavi Group stand by its commitment even during such difficult times as the ongoing pandemic, and complete the project not just on schedule but way ahead of the stipulated completion time.”

About Vaishnavi Group

Vaishnavi Group, a Bengaluru based Real Estate Company started with the explicit aim of making a mark in the real estate segment as the most admired brand for its integrity, commitment and for exceeding expectations consistently. Started in 1998 by its charismatic leader, C N Govindaraju, a civil engineer by profession, Vaishnavi Group has come a long way, carving a niche in Bangalore’s real estate market, leaving an indelible mark amidst its expanding customer base.

Vaishnavi Group’s commercial projects are Grade A buildings, designed for LEED platinum certification and acclaimed for their strategic locations and highly efficient designs. The company has currently 9 million Sq ft of projects in various stages of development. 

About Katerra

Katerra is a technology company optimizing the way buildings are designed and constructed. Katerra is a technology company at heart.  Katerra is bringing the tested systems approaches of industrialized global industries to bring greater efficiency to building design and construction. Founded in 2015, by Michael Marks, today Katerra has over 700+ projects in progress and 6 factories across the globe. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Katerra has operational offices across America, India, China and the Middle East employing over 7500 people.

Rapido Auto Completes 1 Million Rides Within Five Months Of Operations


Rapido, India’s largest bike taxi platform, today announced the completion of 1 Million Rapido Auto Rides within five months of launch. The company launched the Rapido Auto Service in October 2020 and is currently present in 25 cities in the country.

Rapido Auto has onboarded almost 70,000 Captains so far and plans to onboard half a million in the next six months. It also plans to encourage women to join the Rapido Auto Captain fleet and provide them with an opportunity to earn extra income. The service acts as an additional public commute option for commuters that is safe, affordable and conveniently accessible. Hyderabad sees the highest demand for the service, followed by Delhi, Chennai.

On the completion of 1 Million Rapido Auto rides, Aravind Sanka, Co-Founder, Rapido, said, “In the aftermath of the ongoing pandemic, autos have emerged as a preferred way of commuting after bike taxis. There is a growing demand for safe, affordable and accessible rides, and Rapido Autos fulfill that gap, while also providing a familiarity of experience and standardization of pricing. We will continue to focus on making the service available to all cities Rapido is present in.”

Each Rapido auto is powered with Rapido’s GPS technology ensuring access to continuous demand from customers around them. Through Rapido Auto, users can track and share their ride in real-time, with their loved ones. Rapido Auto, like Rapido Bike Taxi service, has an in-app feedback mechanism to allow for and ensure a safe and consistent experience for commuters.

Rapido recently announced several initiatives towards maintaining safety and following guidelines to protect the customer and the Captain, including the innovative Safety back shields for bike taxi rides. For the Auto services, the captains are mandated to sanitize and clean the seats and all customer accessible areas, post every ride, along with mandatory usage of masks during the entire ride by the Captains and the passengers.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

EuroKids International School Appoints Mr. Bijou Kurien To Its Board


EuroKids International, a leading Education company in India backed by global investment firm KKR has announced the addition of Mr. Bijou Kurien as a new board member to the EuroKids International Group. A retail sector veteran, Mr. Kurien is highly credited for his contribution to the development of the Indian retail sector. He has also been associated with several marquee brands in the fast moving consumer products and consumer lifestyle sectors in India, for over 34 years.

Mr. Kurien is a science graduate and has also completed his post-graduation in Business Management from XLRI, Jamshedpur. Kurien is an Independent Director on the boards of several listed and unlisted companies, and advises select consumer product companies and mentors a few start -ups.  He is presently the Chairman of the Retailers Association of India (RAI).  Mr. Kurien is also a member of the World Retail Congress since its inception, as a member of its Advisory Board as well as the Grand Jury for selection of the World Retail Award winners. In addition to retail industry foray, Bijou is the Mentor of the FICCI National Retail Committee, and Governing boards of various academic institutions.

Welcoming Mr. Bijou Kurien to the board of EuroKids International Group, Prajodh Rajan, Co-founder and Group CEO, EuroKids International, said, “We are excited to have Bijou join our board of directors. He joins EuroKids at an exciting time in which we are poised to grow multi fold and are fast expanding into newer market segments. Our organization will greatly benefit from Bijou’s extensive knowledge of consumer behaviour, marketing, retail and from his prior experience across a range of sectors.

“I’m delighted to join the Board of Directors at EuroKids International and am looking forward to assisting the organization at a strategic level by leveraging my retail & consumer experience as we create more access points for furthering high quality education in the country. With EuroKids Group, I see the opportunity to build a scaled education organization that can cater to the growing aspirations of the Indian parents”, said Mr. Kurien.

About EuroKids International:

As India’s leading Early Childhood Education & K-12 Education company, delivering the ‘Joy of Learning’ is at the heart of EuroKids International. By enhancing its pedagogy and consistently building a holistic, nurturing and secure learning environment for children, EuroKids is coming closer to its vision of REINVENTING EDUCATION in the country.  Over the last 2 decades, EuroKids International has played an active role in the evolution of the education landscape. With its portfolio of brands - EuroKids Preschool, Kangaroo Kids Preschool, EuroKids DayCare, EuroSchool & Billabong High International, EuroKids is committed to delivering a robust foundation for future generations. The group’s ‘Child First’ ideology ensures that growth and engagement needs of a child are met in a home-like environment. Child safety focus and ensuring active engagement with parents during these crucial developmental years of the child is what makes EuroKids, a child’s Second Home. EuroKids, with its presence in over 360 cities with 1,200+ pre-schools and 38+ Schools, is achieving new milestones in education every day. 

Sharp Spike In Cases Of Mature Cataract And Dry Eyes During Pandemic


The ongoing pandemic has led to increased severity and morbidity in eye conditions of people in Bengaluru because of delayed treatment and lifestyle changes due to the pandemic, according to eye surgeons at Dr. Agarwals Eye Hospital. The elderly people have been particularly impacted, with cases of mature cataracts going up as much as five times compared to the period before the pandemic. Incidence of severe dry eyes has also risen three times as people have been spending more time glued to digital screens. 

Said Dr. Ram Mirlay, Regional Head – Clinical Services, Dr. Agarwals Eye Hospital, Bengaluru: “During the last one year of the pandemic, patients have been worried about contracting coronavirus if they visited a hospital. Most people with pre-existing eye problems did not go for regular follow-ups during the lockdown and even afterwards, leading to aggravation of their condition. Others with newly developed eye problems waited to consult the doctors, which led to serious consequences, including loss of vision. In the last three months of 2019, before the pandemic had hit fully, just 10 percent of all cataract patients coming to our hospital were suffering from mature cataract. In the last quarter of 2020, this figure jumped to 50%, a five-fold increase.”  

He added: “We have also noticed worsening of existing cases of glaucoma in many patients as they hesitated to come for regular follow-ups. People with diabetes ignored their period eye check-ups, leading to severe complications in their retina. Pandemic has had a huge socio-economic impact too. Many cataract patients coming to us are opting to get operated in only one eye, as they are running low on finances due to reduced income.”  

Said Dr. Archana S, Regional Head – Clinical Services, Dr Agarwals Eye Hospital, Bengaluru: “Cases of severe dry eyes due to digital eye strain jumped from 10% before the pandemic to 30% now, as working from home led to loss of work-life balance and people got habituated to looking at digital screens for long hours. Those working on digital screens blink much less than normal, and even the blinks are not fully complete. This, coupled with glare and flickering of screens, has led to a big spike in incidence of digital eye strain and dry eyes. To give relief to the eyes, the rule is that for every 20 minutes of computer work, you should look away for 20 seconds to objects at least 20 feet away, or, better still, look out of the window.” 

She added: “It is important for people to not neglect their eye problems in pandemic times. To begin with, tele-consult is a good option and, in many cases, should be enough to get the right advice. Sometimes the doctor will advise to consult in person. That is the time when not doing anything can aggravate a minor eye problem to a more serious one. Rather than delaying treatment, choose an eye hospital where all safety precautions are being implemented.” 

Said Dr. Ram Mirlay: “Diabetic patients above 50 years old need to get their eyes screened at least once a year by an ophthalmologist, as over 30% of them go on to develop some form of diabetic eye disease, including vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy. Such patients should be extra careful in the pandemic time and do not hesitate to visit a hospital for regular check-ups. Any delay can create more severe complications, including loss of vision. This is true for Glaucoma patients too. If their condition is unstable or they develop unusual symptoms such as eye pain or changes in vision, they should see the doctor immediately.”  

About Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospitals: 

Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital a comprehensive eye hospital offering a one-stop solution for eye ailments; was started in the year 1957. Now the hospital is in its 61st year of offering quality services in eye care. It has 80+ hospitals across India. With a visible footprint in the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andaman, West Bengal, and Rajasthan. A tertiary eye care centre at Mauritius marks its first step towards establishing an international presence extended up to 13 branches covering the Indian Ocean region, African countries and East Asia. 

Webisdom Heading Towards New Account Into The World Of Online Gaming


Digital marketing company ‘Webisdom’ which has worked with several gaming companies in the past is set to launch A1 games. The Covid19 pandemic has altered consumer behaviour leading to increased advertising on digital medium. The pandemic has also acted as a catalyst to the growth of the online gaming industry. This has led to the emergence of a new ‘space’ that marketers are taking notice of – online gaming platforms. Brands are not behind in tapping into this new space for marketing. In fact, advertising on gaming platforms is increasingly becoming a part of marketing plans of several companies due to the sticky young audience that is focused in their consumption patterns. In addition, gamers are willing to watch video ads for rewards.

Deepika, daughter of Mr. Chatar Singh Baid and investor in A1 games says, A1 Games, says “Online gaming platforms offer an immersive experience to users and opens up possibilities to engage with real gamers worldwide and post accomplishments on social media. Online games are not just a one person entertainment experience but have now become full-fledged virtual social spaces. So, we will continue to see the time spent on gaming going up.”

Mr. Suraj Bajpai, CEO Webisdom, says “In the last two to three years, we have run promotions, in-app purchases and also more serious brand building activities for several brands; even FMCG brands are now investing in mobile game advertising. We believe that more and more brands would be looking at this media platform as means of advertising. The younger population is hardly watching television, and gaming being a more interactive media would be the logical way ahead for brands to gain more visibility with this customer base. These platforms would be the ‘silent’ influencers.”

With the online gaming industries flourishing fast, Gamers are more than twice as likely to pay attention to advertisements placed in mobile games at 41 percent, as compared to ads placed on the internet at 17 percent, in magazines or on billboards at 15 percent each. Also, indicators such as engagement, targeting, and completion rates, can be identified and measured far more effectively.

Online gaming companies have successfully stirred up the interest of the youth with gaming being amongst the top five activities carried out on mobile device by a young tech-savvy population (with 75% aged under 45). As per industry estimates, India has over 300 million gamers today. Further, a survey has revealed gaming is part of daily lives of more than one-third Indians — 40% men and 35% women play mobile games at least five days a week. This past year, especially post the lockdown; online gaming platforms have received unprecedented traffic with a record 45-60% increase in time spent. A leading Indian gaming company witnessed a 200% increase in its user base during the lockdown, with about 1, 00,000 new users joining the platform every day.

About Webisdom

Webisdom is acommunity of diligent experts dedicated to developing streamlined digital solutions for businesses. They specialize in developing digital transformation solutions, digital marketing strategies, creative design and content development, website and mobile app development, app designing and performance marketing. Their work is founded on understanding the clients’ institutional context, macroeconomic environment and various business nodes. They have presence across India, Gulf, US and UK.The company is currently handling the launch and branding of an upcoming gaming platform – A1 Games, rumoured to be a smarter and safer gaming platform.

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