Saturday, March 27, 2021

Muthoot Finance Gives ‘Salute To Covid-19 Warriors’ In Bangalore

Muthoot Finance launches “Salute to Covid-19 Warriors” project to honor healthcare professionals associated with Covid-19 activities. The project is being implemented in collaboration with Bangalore unit of Indian Medical Association (IMA). The Covid Warriors, who have rendered invaluable service, were selected by a committee headed by IMA, which examined the individual applications of medical professionals.

Muthoot Finance Executive Director, George Muthoot Alexander said “It gives us great pride to honour the true heroes that are working on the frontlines tirelessly to ensure that the health and safety of everyone is safeguarded, we appreciate all the healthcare workers dedication and effort”.

Mr. George Muthoot Alexander, Executive Director, Muthoot Finance presented the Muthoot Awards to 35 Covid Warriors working in the health sector in a function held at IMA Hall Bangalore. The award consists of cash award, certificate and memento. The healthcare workers were felicitated by our guest of honour Dr. Vinay H N President, IMA Bangalore Branch, Dr. Jyothi R Hon. Sec. IMA Bangalore Branch, Dr. Pradeep Kumar K N Hon. Sec. IMA Bangalore Branch, Dr. Srinivasa. S PRO. IMA Bangalore Branch and Muthoot Finance management Mr. George Muthoot Alexander, Executive Director, Muthoot Finance, Mr. J S Hiremath, General Manager-Admin, Muthoot Finance, Bangalore, Mr. Arun Pavithran, Zonal Head, Muthoot Finance, Bangalore.

About Muthoot Finance

Muthoot Finance is the flagship company of The Muthoot Group which has 20 diversified business divisions. With 5000+ branches, the Group serves over 2.5 Lac customers every day. Muthoot Finance is India’s largest gold loan NBFC and India’s No.1 Most Trusted Financial Services Brand, according to the Brand Trusted Report. It is a reputed ‘Systemically Important Non-deposit taking NBFC’. As part of the core business, Muthoot Finance provides loans secured against household gold jewellery at highly affordable rates and amazing product features. Globally, the Group has presence across, USA, UK, UAE, Costa Rica, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In the recently announced financial results for FY21 Q2, Muthoot Finance posted a record Net Profit of Rs. 1,735crs (a 25% growth over FY20 Q2). The Consolidated Assets under Management (AUM) grew by 29% for the same period and stood at Rs. 52,286 Crores. 

Blended Approach Could Pave Way For A Brighter Future Of Education In Indian Market

eVidyaloka, an educational social enterprise with a vision to enable quality in education for the children of rural India, had organized Rubaru 2021, the annual summit of eVidyaloka which aims to promote the spirit of rural-urban connection. The event saw rural and urban India coming together to celebrate the successes of the past year and to mark the completion of 10 years of the eVidyaloka journey. 

The event was graced by Sri Suresh Kumar- Education Minister, Government of Karnataka, as the Chief Guest and Sri Tejasvi Surya- Member of Parliament, Government of Karnataka, and Chief Patron of eVidyaloka Prof V. Krishnamurthy, Ex-Dean, BITS Pilani, who appreciated eVidyaloka’s efforts towards educating rural India and the concept of “Loka Sangraha” - a construct of leadership for welfare of the world. The Keynote speakers were Sri B S Saluja, Vice President, Corporate Services, LTI and Sri ArindamBanerjji, EVP & MD, Well Fargo.

While Sri BS Saluja, reflected on the partnership which has grown from partnering with eVidyaloka from 5 schools in one state to 95 schools in five states across India. He also spoke about the benefits of the program from the Corporate perspective where a skilled Rural India is a ready pool of talent for the Corporate World. The sentiment was echoed by Mr. Arindam Banerjee, EVP & MD of Wells Fargo who mentioned that community upliftment and investments in the community will help the Corporate world in the long run, so supporting such initiatives was more important than just a “good to do” initiative.

In keeping with the challenges of the past year and the completion of 10 years of eVidyaloka, the panel discussions revolved the understanding the challenges of online education, the impact of technology to scale educational initiatives & building a future-ready system by multiple stakeholders participating in solutions, and the impact of online learning on children. The first session of the panel consisted of Mr Harish Krishnan- MD, CISCO Systems India, Mr Raghavendra K- Global HRD Head, Infosys BPO, Ms Sapna Chadha - Senior Country Marketing Director, Google India & South East Asia, and Ms ShipraSharma- CSR & Sustainability Director, LTI was moderated by Mr V Ramkumar, Member - Board of trustees, eVidyaloka to discuss the impact of technology on education. 

Speaking about the panel, Sri Ravichandran Venkataraman, Chairperson of eVidyaloka Trust, eVidyaloka, said, "The entire session was very insightful with stakeholders from various folds of the ecosystem who threw light on the efforts that need to be put in to help make quality education accessible to the students, irrespective of their geographical diversities. The need for depth in our educational program came to light. The importance of looking at social impact as core to business was highlighted. As a conclusion, we were left with a pertinent point on whether we have harnessed technology in education well enough and the need to look beyond the obvious solutions in tech for education.”

The second session of the panel discussions, which was graced by Ms Shaheen Mistri- CEO, Teach for India, Mr AbhinavMathur- Founder, Million Sparks Foundation, and Mr ArunNalavadi- Executive Director, Magic Bus India and moderated by Manisha Natarajan, a renowned journalist and public speaker, spoke about the impact of online learning in children. The panellists stressed the need to create joyous learning experiences and to recognize the stress factor that comes with online learning for children. Focus on soft skills in online education was discussed at length and a consensus was reached on a blended learning approach, technology enabled online teaching and option of offline learning through app as the way forward for the future.”

Adding to this, Mr. Venkat Sriraman, Founder and Member, eVidyaloka Trust, said, "What started as an endeavour to provide quality education for children in rural India with a pilot project in one school in rural Tamil Nadu has now reached the length and breadth of the country. Our movement gained huge momentum with the passion of 2500+ volunteers who teach students in seven different languages which help deliver quality education to over 20,000 children across 11 states in India with 1 million+ child learning hours per year of quality education. Rubaru 2021 marks the culmination of our signature events - i) National Science Innovation Challenge which a unique event celebrating the spirit of connecting students from rural and urban India who came together with an innovative solution for challenging problems, and ii) Vgyana - an online interactive quiz for students. With renewed vigour to fight this great digital divide plaguing our country with innovative and local solutions, eVidyaloka is on a crusade to ensure that no child is left behind in their right to education.”

The event ended with a tribute to Mr SP Balasubrahmanyam who was an avid supporter of eVidyalokaand our vision. 

About eVidyaloka:

eVidyaloka was founded in January 2011 by Satish and Venkat, colleagues at Microsoft India, with the passion to bring volunteerism and technology together, to enable quality education for the most deserving children of remote and rural villages of India. After a pilot of the idea on the field for two years, the journey was set in motion with full-time employees since May 2013. Since its inception, this model has reached and empowered more than 20,000 children across 245 villages spread over 11 states in India - Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Kerala. Over 95% of students continue their education through the 10th and 12th grades, signalling a lower dropout rate in schools that adopt the eVidyaloka model. The organization has been funded by contributors such as HP, L&T Technological Services, and Infosys, all socially conscious titans in their industries.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Tata Motors And State Bank of India Join Forces To Offer Innovative Financial Solutions To Commercial Vehicle Customers

Key highlights:

* Tata Motors will leverage SBI’s rural reach through this 3-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

* SBI’s Contactless Lending Platform technology to be deployed to ensure uniformity, transparency and a reduced Turn Around Time (TAT) in the loan approval process

* Applicable across Tata Motors’ small and light commercial vehicles

Tata Motors, India’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, has inked a three-year MoU with the State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s leading public sector bank, to offer unique financial assistance for the purchase of Tata Motors’ range of small and light commercial vehicles. In addition to inducing employment, this collaboration will also stir demand for Tata Motors’ BS6 range of vehicles. Through this partnership, the two business entities will exercise SBI’s Contactless Lending Platform technology to ensure uniformity, transparency and a reduced turnaround time in the loan approval process.

On the occasion, Mr. Girish Wagh, President, Commercial Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors said, “Extending our earnest commitment to bring profitable value propositions to our customers, we are delighted to join hands with the largest bank in the country, the State Bank of India. With a pan-India reach and more than 22,000 branches, SBI has an extensive network across the country, and through this partnership we hope to strengthen our reach, especially in rural areas, aiding employment as well as providing unique and innovative financial assistance to our customers. We remain confident that through our collaboration, we will leverage our common strengths, and continue to serve our customers with dedication and zeal.”

Commenting on this partnership, Mr. C. S. Setty, Managing Director, Retail and Digital Banking, State Bank of India said, “We look forward to leveraging this mutually benefitting collaboration and offer some unique financial services to CV customers and dealers across India. Through our innovative Contactless Lending Platform technology, we hope to further amplify the banking experience of customers and strive to extend a 360-degree benefit to retailers.”

Tata Motors’ diverse small and light commercial vehicle portfolio has been extremely successful in the overall CV ecosystem. This collaboration with SBI will allow Tata Motors’ CV customers to avail loans in a hassle-free manner as well as access SBI’s unique technology-laden offerings. This partnership will introduce easy loan structured schemes which will help mitigate the cost difference between the BS4 and the BS6 vehicles for both, down payment as well as the EMI of the vehicle.

The BS6 range of Tata Motors CVs are engineered on the ‘Power of 6’ philosophy, which offers the best in terms of comfort and convenience, profitability, performance, safety and security and offers a great value to the customers. The robust and reliable vehicles are supported by value-added services like the Sampoorna Seva 2.0, Tata Samarth – Tata Motors’ commitment to commercial vehicle driver welfare, uptime guarantee, customised annual maintenance and fleet management solutions.

About Tata Motors

Tata Motors Limited (NYSE: TTM; BSE: 500570 and 570001; NSE: TATAMOTORS and TATAMTRDVR), a USD 35 billion organization, is a leading global automobile manufacturer of cars, utility vehicles, pick-ups, trucks and buses. Part of the USD 113 billion Tata group, Tata Motors is India’s largest and the only OEM offering extensive range of integrated, smart and e-mobility solutions. It has operations in India, the UK, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa, and Indonesia through a strong global network of 103 subsidiaries, 10 associate companies, 3 joint ventures and 2 joint operations as on March 31, 2020.

With a focus on engineering and tech enabled automotive solutions catering to the future of mobility, Tata Motors is India’s market leader in commercial vehicles and amongst the top four in the passenger vehicles market. With ‘Connecting Aspirations’ at the core of its brand promise, the company’s innovation efforts are focused to develop pioneering technologies that are sustainable as well as suited to evolving aspirations of the market and the customers. Tata Motors strives to bring new products that fire the imagination of GenNext customers, fueled by state of the art design and R&D centers located in India, UK, US, Italy and South Korea. Internationally, Tata commercial and passenger vehicles are marketed in countries, spread across Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, South America, Australia, CIS, and Russia.

Fundermax Crosses The 15,000 Project Mark In 12 Years In India

* A legacy India-based Austrian brand that offers design freedom and sustainability

Key Highlights

* Completion of 15,000 projects in 12 years

* Offers the largest portfolio of products at 30,000 SKUs

* Follow ethical sourcing with renewable wood processing systems

* Emphasizes design freedom for architects and ensures sustainable solutions for consumers

Fundermax, a Rs 100-crore wood-products based architectural company, headquartered in Bengaluru has completed 15,000 projects in the 12 years since it was first set up in 2007. Speaking on this achievement, Dr. Prashanth Reddy, Managing Director, Fundermax India Pvt Ltd says, “Fundermax is a 130-year old Austrian company with a deep-rooted culture. The 15,000 projects we have completed cover a gamut of real estate sectors from residential to hospitality, commercial, ITA, infrastructure and more. We believe in specializing and excelling in every segment where we have a presence. Our fundamental aim has been to offer design freedom to the architect fraternity, and offer sustainability to the consumer. Through our products we aim to enhance design excellence and the longevity of a building”.

Architect Gayathri Shetty speaks highly of Fundermax which was used on the CSR project Nirguna Mandar located in Bengaluru. “While the project made use of the Max Exterior 0924 décor, we have found Fundermax to be a highly versatile product. Besides, the high range of options it provides can lend character to any kind of building”.

The versatility of Fundermax can be seen in the vast range of sectors that use their products. Architect Dinesh Verma of the ACE Group has used Fundermax on the NITTE Meenakshi, school of architecture project located in North Bangalore. “We used the Max Exterior 0803 décor. Fundermax exterior grade laminate is a modern material which can be used to achieve and strike a balance between aesthetical appeal and functional elements of a facade design,"says Dinesh.

Pioneering Processes

Fundermax’s commitment to quality and sustainability begins at sourcing. Since the brand works with wood-based products, it ensures that it follows a renewable wood processing system. Fundermax only sources from places that have a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificate and/or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). This ensures a green building while preventing deforestation.

Fundermax’s in-house design team works on the compatibility of the product to the design given by the architect. The intent is to work towards design compatibility and reduce wastage. Designers work on factors such as wind-loading, sun path, exposure to heat etc.

With the construction industry in India being unorganized, accountability often rests with the product company instead of the executor. To ensure consistency in application, Fundermax developed a system of panel installation that standardized the process and ensured fire safety. All installers are trained with the right tools and they now enjoy a price advantage that could be adjusted to scale. Fundermax is the only brand in India to have Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place for cladding installation.

With up to 60 per cent input in the design and sub-structure of the installation, Fundermax not only contributes to the idea of Atmanirbhar Bharat but also reduces the time of project completion significantly.

About Fundermax

Fundermax is a leader in architectural products for interior and exterior applications; a complete solution provider, supplying not only Max Exterior and Interior panels but also Fundermax developed installation system. A network of trained & experienced ‘Fundermax authorized Business Partners’ across the country, supports the installation of complete system at site.

ASUS Launches All In One, AiO V241 With Dual Functionality Of PC And Display Across Indian Market

* Built with style and performance that go hand in hand, ASUS AiO V241 is the complete suit that lets home users to #DoItAll to meet their computing and entertainment needs


* The Slim and Sleek ASUS AiO V241, supports up to the latest Intel® 11th generation Tiger-lake Core™ i5 processor and Intel’s latest Iris Xe onboard high-performance graphics solution

* Remarkably slim and compact for the size of the display, making it a great space- saving choice for any home or business

* Expand your life-style beyond just a PC, with the HDMI-in port that lets you connect you anything that has an HDMI output, for a seamless and unified display experience across other devices such as Cable set top Box, Gaming Console, OTT Streaming Devices or to your Laptop to enable Dual Screen Multi-tasking.

* 23.8 inch NanoEdge IPS display of ASUS AiO V241 supports 100% sRGB colour gamut and 178-degree viewing angle, for a superior visual immersion

* 3W Large Stereo speakers with large sound-chambers amplify your aural experience along with enhanced bass

* HD Camera and Dual Array Mics enhance your Video Conferencing Experience with enhanced voice and video clarity

* Premium wireless Keyboard and Mouse, offer tether-free yet ergonomic typing and pointing experience

* Specifically designed to address the new realities of distance working and virtual collaboration

* ASUS has a wide range of models of AiOs with 21.5 inch and 23.8 inch display powered by different range of processors to suit different budget needs

ASUS India, arm of Taiwan-based, multinational consumer electronics company, today announced the launch of new slim and sleek ASUS AiO V241, to redefine computing experiences for the home users in India.

Speaking about the new ASUS AiO V241, Leon Yu, Regional Director, System Business Group, ASUS India & South Asia said, “The Integration of office, home and school requires devices that can cater to the needs of a broader consumer persona. The launch of the new All-in-one solutions reestablish our commitment to the Indian market in providing cutting edge technology that can support the future of collaboration, work and play.

ASUS AiO V241 enables our consumers to meet their computing needs and video conferencing needs met by a PC but also all multimedia content consumption needs such as watching TV, Playing Console Games, Watching OTT Content, Streaming movies etc. on a single device. It is this ability of ASUS AiO V241 that gives it the title ‘DO IT ALL’.

ASUS AiO V241 is powerful like never before redefining the set standards of PC’s performance with Intel’s 11th generation Tiger-lake™ i5 processor along with Intel’s latest Iris Xe that lets you experience better graphics solution that brings visuals to life!

ASUS’s precision-craftsmanship, combines simplicity, sophistication of advanced technology and performance for an enhanced all-in-one experience”

ASUS AiO V241EA is a stunningly beautiful 23.8-inch all-in-one PC designed for effortless everyday computing for home and business.

This AiO has a Full-HD NanoEdge display with wide-view technology and a near-invisible 2mm physical bezel[1] design that gives an incredible 88 percent screen-to-body ratio. The NanoEdge IPS display features 178° wide-view technology that makes it perfect for sharing pictures or videos, and the wide 100% sRGB color gamut delivers vivid, realistic-looking colors. The display is enhanced with exclusive ASUS Splendid and ASUS Tru2Life Video technologies to deliver vibrant and vivid visuals with superb detail.

The gorgeous screen and PC components are enclosed a slim and sleek premium body that’s propped up by a metal stand that’s milled out of a single piece of aluminum for a perfect grounded support and with looks that fits in to any interior design seamlessly and effortlessly, whether its home or for business.

ASUS SonicMaster stereo audio system, included in ASUS V241EA, incorporates two advanced bass- reflex speakers for incredibly rich, full and immersive sound. These machines also benefit from DTS® Audio Processing, an audio-processing algorithm for speakers and headphones.

Designed for smooth, responsive performance, ASUS AiO V241EA is powered by up to the latest 11th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor which is accompanied by an all new and powerful Intel Iris® Xe graphics onboard graphics solution which pushes the boundaries of media without the need for dedicated graphics.

ASUS AiO V241 boasts a full complement of I/O ports, including four rear-mounted USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, offering data-transfer rates that are 10X faster than USB 2.0. And for maximum user convenience, there is also a USB 2.0 port and an audio combo jack located within easy reach, on the bottom edge of the screen.

The hero feature on the 24-inch AiO however, is the HDMI-in feature that brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘All-in-One’. It allows you to seamlessly connect other HDMI-out based devices with the AiO such that the PC aspect of the device can co-exist with any connected HDMI device, with just a touch of a button on the AiO.

The possibilities are numerous, such as connecting your Gaming console – for a work and play duality on the gorgeous IPS NanoEdge panel. You can connect your TV-box, such that the same display takes care of it being a PC and a TV, and majorly, it can also act as a second monitor for your work laptop, while being the home computer for the rest of your family. With the HDMI-in feature, it truly is more than a just a simple computer, for any and every one.

Additionally, the AiO also feature an HDMI-out port allows the user to connect to a big-screen TV or even a Home theater sound-system, for supersized entertainment — using just a single HDMI cable for both audio and video.

For ergonomic every-day computing, the AiO come with Wireless Keyboard and Mouse, which have tactile operability, with 2.5mm deep key-travel and large chiclet keys to make typing a superb experience all day long.

ASUS AiO portfolio includes:

ASUS AiO V222:

ASUS AiO V222 has a frameless 22-inch Full HD display with an incredible 87% screen-to-body ratio for edge-to-edge visuals. Combined with its advanced ASUS SonicMaster bass-reflex speaker system, exclusive ASUS Splendid and Tru2Life Video technologies, ASUS AiO V222 delivers deliciously immersive visuals with superb, crystal-clear sound for the ultimate entertainment experience. Preinstalled Windows 10 provides a secure and familiar computing experience, including Cortana’s voice recognition capability for more efficient and productive The ASUS AiO V222 is powered by up to 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 processor for smooth and effortless multitasking performance, improved energy efficiency and enhanced multimedia capabilities. ASUS AiO V222 is available with up to 8GB of fast DDR4 memory. Both models feature support for dual-storage capability, with up to a 1TB HDD and up to a 512GB SSD.


Available soon at ASUS Exclusive Stores, and leading Commercial PC channel partners.

·  ASUS AiO (V241): ₹61,990 /- onwards

·  ASUS AiO (V222): ₹25,990 /- onwards

Above mentioned prices are inclusive of GST.

Seven Smart-Money Hacks By Intermiles In The Indian Market

The pandemic and its subsequent impact on the economy has emphasized the importance of spending wisely. Having a dependable contingency fund in case of emergencies has been never been viewed with as much significance ever before. While spending money is a continuous process, clubbing expenses and choosing smarter modes of payment can help save enormous funds in the long-run.

Thanks to the intervention of technology and innovative modes of payments available today, smart spending is only a matter of knowledge. In this article, we will help identify how one can spend smart, save smart and make each Rupee go that extra mile. 


Ever heard the saying “Every drop makes the mighty ocean”? Very often, people wait until their earnings reach a certain amount to start saving. It can be very tempting to indulge and splurge lavishly with your first income. However, putting aside money month-on-month no matter how small the amount is ideal to help prepare for a rainy day. Disciplined saving habits do take time and effort to cultivate but once they become ingrained, the benefits are multiple and long-term.   


While there are numerous loyalty & rewards programmes available to choose from, it is important to conduct in-depth research before to understand which one offers the maximum benefits aligned to one’s needs & lifestyle. A programme that grants its members the opportunity to earn points regularly across simple day-to-day activities like paying rent, enjoying OTT subscriptions, ordering food, or online shopping in addition to occasional spends like flight tickets or hotel bookings is an ideal option. Engaging frequently with the programme will help accelerate their points earnings & subsequent tier movement as well as avail of discounts & offers being run by the programme or programme partners thus, ensuring that every spend earns for them. 


Apart from convenience and time-saving benefits on account of being accepted across diverse purchases worldwide, co-brand credit cards offer customers several additional opportunities to earn rewards. Right from personalized offers such as welcome bonuses, discount coupons & vouchers to milestone benefits like complimentary movies, flight travel & hotel stay and rewards like insurance, lounge access & golf access. Therefore, as time passes, the more the customer swipes, the closer they come to earning rewards and freebies as well.


Programmes which offer points earning benefits when paying off routine utility bills for gas, mobile, or electricity etc. not only prove to be a one-stop solution for members but, also rewards them for making basic, calendarized payments which they would have anyway conducted as part of their lifestyle. This provides the convenience of time and effort saving along with an additional earning opportunity for loyalty points which when accrued could help fund a future expense such as air tickets, hotel bookings, dining bills and more.


One of the proven methods of building wealth is investing smartly. Whenever undertaking a major expense always evaluate the value of that product  in a few years. If after a few years, the value of the product  diminishes, think twice before incurring  that expense. Instead,  identify and invest in assets that multiply in value over a period of  time. For instance, instead of purchasing an extremely high-end new car, one can consider buying a second hand car  and investing the remaining amount in stocks or real estate that is expected to appraise in a few years. 


Whether a designer outfit, a high end car, or a luxurious holiday, major non-essential expenses must always be planned. Planning grants one the opportunity to save adequately and choose a more value-beneficial deal. This will also eliminate the need to undertake a personal loan which can be excruciating to pay back on account of high-interest rates. 


It has been rightly said, “Health is wealth”. Health is undoubtedly one of the most important things that one can never oversee. Taking good medical insurance will ensure you are prepared for unforeseen situations that can take away major portions of your hard-earned savings within a few days. Pro-tip: An ideal way to save on the cost of health insurance is to use the plan that is provided through your employer.

Bengaluru Based SMB Digitisation Startup FloBiz Raises $10Mn From "Elevation Capital And Existing Investors"

Key Highlights 

* FloBiz intends to use the capital for team expansion, product development and accelerate sales and marketing efforts 

* Founded in 2019, FloBiz has grown 12X in the last 6 months with 3M+ small and medium businesses on boarded onto the platform and $6B+ annualized transaction volume recorded 

* Prior to the $10 Mn Series A capital raise, FloBiz raised $3 Mn in its seed stage round in 2019 

India's fastest growing SMB digitisation startup FloBiz has raised $10 Mn in a Series A round led by Elevation Capital. The latest round also saw participation from existing investors Greenoaks Capital and Beenext. The company, which offers a billing and accounting app myBillBook as its flagship product, intends to use the capital for team expansion, product development and accelerate sales and marketing efforts. 

Driven by multiple tailwinds such as mobile/data penetration, GST compliance, technology adoption and lately Covid-19, historically dispersed SMBs (small and medium businesses) in India are getting more organised and formalised. While technology advancement and digitisation push has led to several transformations in the sector, essential software like custom ERPs and legacy accounting systems still come at a very high cost, require considerable technical know-how and prior accounting knowledge. The absence of affordable and easy-to-use solutions hinder the growth of SMBs significantly. FloBiz’s mission is to unlock this access and accelerate the growth of Indian SMBs through digitisation; in this endeavour the company has re-designed the complete user experience and created a superior software product. 

“The MSME sector is the backbone to India’s GDP helping the country speed up to becoming a $5 trillion economy. Access to smartphones and internet penetration with affordable data plans have led to a rapidly growing demand for digital tools and products amongst small and medium business owners, who currently have to heavily rely on manual, paper-led processes. However, there lies a huge opportunity when it comes to providing end-to-end support and solutions to SMBs for managing their business seamlessly. We strongly believe that our product myBillBook empowers SMBs by automating their workflows, helps maintain inventory better, manage their receivables & payables and download critical business reports for quick and efficient decision making on the go. With this additional funding we plan to grow our trader base at least 7X by 2022 through deeply focused product developments driven by user feedback and making myBillBook simple to use through personalization” says Rahul Raj, Founder and CEO, FloBiz 

Commenting on the announcement, Mridul Arora, Managing Director, Elevation Capital said “Digitisation of SMBs is an irreversible trend and we have been very impressed with FloBiz’s mobile-first, bottom-up product led approach to capture this opportunity. We believe that myBillBook is building for foundational, deep use-cases for this segment making the product indispensable to the SMB owners. We were very impressed with the customer love and the depth of usage of the product across the SMB value chain - retailers, distributors, wholesalers and manufacturers. The optionality opened by capturing deep users across the supply chain are enormous, and we look forward to partnering with the team as they execute on their extensive product road-map.” 

The SMB sector in India is a broad, heterogeneous spectrum that includes small shops, large traders and regional manufacturers. The needs and pain points across the spectrum also vary significantly. For the micro segment, needs are largely limited to maintaining a ledger for debt calculation and accounting. However, for large businesses, use cases and needs are much more involved and deeper. FloBiz understands the diverse market and focuses on catering to businesses across the value chain. FloBiz’s flagship product myBillBook offers deep capabilities - recording several types of transactions (sales, purchases, expenses etc.), maintaining inventory, managing receivables & payables, building business reports (profit & loss, stock summary, sales summary etc.), providing multi-user access with permission controls and many more. The solutions bring complete accounting capabilities on a mobile interface which can be used by any small business owner in their regional language. 

Prior to the $10 Mn Series A capital raise, FloBiz raised $3 Mn in its seed stage round in 2019. FloBiz is now a 60+ member team of talented individuals and has grown 12X in the last 6 months with 3M+ small and medium businesses on-boarded on the platform and $6B+ annualised transaction volume recorded. FloBiz’s flagship app myBillBook offers seamless WhatsApp integration which makes it possible to share invoices, POs, business reports etc. easily with other merchants, accountants and staff members. The app has been designed from a business owner’s perspective rather than an accountant’s, and is currently available in English, Hindi, Gujarati & Tamil. 

Luxury Fan Brand Fanzart Expands Its Presence With Multiple City Approach In Kerala

Leading Indian luxury fan brand Fanzart has expanded its brand’s presence in the country with multi-city openings in Kerala- Kochi, Kannur, Mallapuram, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Pathanamthitta. With this expansion, Fanzart now has a presence in 40 cities across India with a total of 80 showrooms.

Speaking on their Kerala expansion, Mr. Anil Lala, Founder and Director, Fanzart says, “We have had a longstanding relationship with the people of Kerala and have done business there without actually having a physical presence. Our experiences have been great and we believe this is the right time for us to expand our presence into what was an under-penetrated luxury fan market in the state. We have some great partnerships in Kerala and the aim to double down on these and strengthen them”.

Fanzart in Kerala

Fanzart has adopted the partnership route with a shop-in-shop presence across Kerala.

In Thrissur, Fanzart has partnered with Temple Town, a brand that works on bespoke interiors and architecture, while catering to the who’s who of Kerala.

In Kannur and Kozhikode, Fanzart has teamed up with Nikshan Electronics, a well-known electronics store brand in the region. Considering their massive presence, they have taken up the two cities of Kannur and Calicut and exclusively display Fanzart products in their luxury fan segment.

In Pathanamthitta and Kochi, the brand has tied up with P-Square interiors. And in Malappuram, Fanzart has a partnership with Cavallo Building Solutions. This is a well-known brand in the ventilation segment catering to everything from heavy duty HVAC systems to exhausts to designer fans.

Across these showrooms, Fanzart will display anywhere between 15 - 40 luxury fan ranges.

About Fanzart

In the 9 years of its entry into the market, Fanzart has risen to prominence as a pioneer and leader in the luxury designer fans segment. With showrooms across the country, Fanzart is a name to reckon with in the luxury interior segment with its niche offerings. The products are also shipped internationally and have made a mark for themselves. Log in to

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Simple Energy Designs Its First Electric Scooter, Simple Mark 2 On Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Platform On The Cloud

* Simple Energy is an Electric Vehicle (EV) startup that focuses mainly on three aspects: range anxiety, charging time and affordability

* 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud helped Simple Energy to create a digital mockup of the vehicle exterior and develop the electric two-wheeler

* Simple Energy started their association with Dassault Systèmes through the SOLIDWORKS for Entrepreneurs Program

Dassault Systèmes (Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), announced that Bangalore based Simple Energy, an electric vehicle (EV) startup, has deployed the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud through value added partner, EDS Technologies. Simple Energy was part of the SOLIDWORKS for Entrepreneurs program before migrating to SOLIDWORKS applications for designing the electric scooter through value added partner, Best Engineering Aids & Consultancies. Simple Energy regulated project management for designing and manufacturing their first electric scooter, Simple Mark 2, through design and governance applications based on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Globally Dassault Systèmes has the expertise of working with leading EV makers such as NIO, EVUM MOTORS, QEV Technologies, XYT, Canoo and several others. 

Simple Energy focuses on R&D and works closely with stakeholders to launch new affordable EV scooters catering to students, professionals and in tier 2&3 cities in India. The company adopted the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud to address the current challenges about insights in all disciplines, improve collaboration, and visualize 3D design with real-time simulation. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform helped Simple Energy to collaborate and streamline the design process as per production and manufacturing requirements, thereby reducing costs. The company designed Simple Mark 2, the vehicle exteriors, and developed a digital mock-up of the electric two-wheelers leveraging SOLIDWORKS and CATIA applications with the aim of starting production from June 2021 and deliveries starting September 2021.

“We at Simple Energy aim to provide eco-friendly two-wheelers in the budget segment for college students and IT professionals without compromising on the features. Therefore every aspect of design of components, chassis and battery development et al, has to be done in-house and made in India to manage costs. Our team with the technical knowhow needed a platform to integrate a comprehensive and real-time collaborative view on product engineering, simulation and manufacturing,” said Suhas Rajkumar, Founder & CEO, Simple Energy. “Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud and brand applications like SOLIDWORKS and CATIA enabled us to work remotely and collaboratively developing a digital mock-up of the complete vehicle with real-time simulation and real-time engagement with the suppliers and manufacturing teams. Furthermore, the community helps us connect with innovative global companies in EV technology to understand, adopt and customise the best practices of EV development.”

“Globally we see successful startups are integrating mechanical engineering, systems engineering, electronics engineering and creating EV platforms for mobility of the future. This is an interesting shift in India too as more and more companies are emerging in traditional industries integrating technology and business experience platforms. The future business leaders are today’s startups and we have a complete program for startups to conceptualise, design, engineer, manufacture, produce and assemble and even digitize sales and marketing activities,” said Deepak NG, Managing Director, India, Dassault Systèmes. “We want to be a preferred business transformation partner for companies like Simple Energy in domains that will define the consumer experience in mobility of the future.”

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Share this on Twitter: .@SimpleEnergyEV relies on @3DSIndia and #3DEXPERIENCE platform on cloud for design, digital simulation, manufacturing and project management for next generation #EV manufacturing.

Snapdeal Rolls Out Fast-Track Payments For Sellers Across India

* Sellers will receive payment within 3 days under “Jaldi Payments” program 

* Better cash flow to help small businesses grow online sales ~

Snapdeal, India’s leading value e-commerce platform, today rolled out fast-track payment options for sellers on its platform.  Under the “Jaldi Payments”, sellers will be able to receive payment within 3 days of the delivery of their shipment. This will slash their payment receipt time by 76% and will enable them to redeploy the capital to expand their business, build inventory and manage other business needs. 

While the pandemic has led to accelerated growth opportunities for online sellers, easy availability of working capital has been a constraint, especially for small sellers. In a survey conducted by Snapdeal in February 2021, quick and flexible access to finance was identified by many sellers as an important lever of growth.

Based on the inputs received, Snapdeal has rolled out a simple and flexible plan that allows sellers to opt-in for fast-track payments choosing to receive payments within 3 / 7 days of the delivery of their shipments.  Speaking on the launch of the program, Snapdeal spokesperson said, “100% of our sellers are small & medium sellers. Fast and predictable access to funds acts as a force multiplier for them. It enables them to serve more orders with limited working capital as they are able to achieve fast turnover of their inventories. Direct shipments by sellers allows them to manage their inventories more efficiently. Faster payments will enable them now to manage their capital for greater productivity. We are pleased to roll out the “Jaldi Payments” program as part of our continuing efforts to empower small sellers to connect with the online opportunity.”

The sellers will be charged a nominal fee towards the facility. This fee will be a fraction of the cost that they would incur in accessing funds from a bank, NBFCs or other sources.

Snapdeal’s “Jaldi Payments” program was launched earlier this month and has been widely welcomed by sellers. It is in the process of being extended to more sellers on Snapdeal. 

One important reason for sellers to choose Snapdeal is the efficient utilization of their inventory. On Snapdeal, sellers ship directly to the buyers  bypassing the traditional structure of selling through wholesalers and retailers, which means that their stocks are not stuck in the warehouses of online platforms. Combined with the faster payments, small sellers will be able  tap the online opportunity in a larger way by churning their inventories faster and accessing  liquidity to plan their operations. 

As part of its efforts to deepen the availability of value merchandise online, Snapdeal has in the last year added more than 5,000 manufacturer-sellers on its platform. Most of these manufacturer-sellers are from hubs like Meerut, Ludhiana, Tirupur, Jaipur, Panipat, Surat, Rajkot and cover popular products like juicers & food processors, steel & copper utensils, crockery items, bed linen, fashion accessories, kidswear, sarees & suits, casual apparel and fitness equipment.  

Last year, Snapdeal also expanded its decentralized logistics netwok by opening new centres in Ahmedabad, Surat, Jaipur, Indore, Hyderabad, Panipat, Gurugram, Mumbai, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Bahadurgarh, Yamuna Nagar, Rajkot, Bhiwandi, Agra, Noida, and Mathura. 

About Snapdeal

Snapdeal is India’s leading value-focused marketplace with more than 500,000 registered sellers and 213 million-plus listings on the marketplace. Snapdeal plays a significant role in the development of India’s e-commerce sector, especially in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Snapdeal’s focus is on providing a deep assortment of value-priced merchandise that has enabled e-commerce to grow beyond branded products and urban consumers. 

OPPO Find X3 Series Wins Prestigious Red Dot Award For Its Futuristic, Industry-Leading Product Design

OPPO, the leading global smart device brand, today announced that it has won the much coveted Red Dot: Product Design Award for 2021, recognising the pioneering, human-centric and creative thinking behind the futuristic, high-end flagship, OPPO Find X3 Series.

Speaking on the win, Lie Liu, President of Global Marketing, OPPO, said “At OPPO, we create technology to enrich humankind. Channelling the spirit of exploration, we crafted Find X3 Series — an exquisite work of art designed to add more beauty to every moment. We are honoured to have our efforts recognised by the Red Dot Design Award jury, international champions of design-excellence.”

Red Dot Award Winner with Space Age Design and Futuristic Aesthetics

Amongst the most prestigious of all professional design competitions globally, the Red Dot Design Awards body receives entries from over 60 countries, with thousands of submissions for its jury’s consideration. Combining classical space-age elegance with futuristic flourishes, OPPO Find X3 Series impressed the panel to win the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2021.

World-class across the board, pioneering engineering was required to achieve Find X3 Series’ unique visual identity. The striking back panel is crafted from a single sheet of glass that flows elegantly, creating a continuous, edgeless look. Meanwhile, the slender frame belies the flagship power, camera, and battery within.

About OPPO

OPPO is a leading global smart device brand. Since the launch of its first smartphone - “Smiley Face” - in 2008, OPPO has been in relentless pursuit of the perfect synergy of aesthetic satisfaction and innovative technology. Today, OPPO provides a wide range of smart devices spearheaded by the Find and Reno series. Beyond devices, OPPO provides its users with ColorOS and internet services like OPPO Cloud and OPPO+. OPPO operates in more than 40 countries and regions, with 6 Research Institutes and 4 R&D Centers worldwide, as well as an International Design Center in London. The recently opened, first-ever R&D center outside of China, in Hyderabad, is playing a pivotal role in the development of 5G technologies. In line with OPPO's commitment to Make in India, the manufacturing at the Greater Noida plant has been increased to 50 million smartphones per year. According to IDC, OPPO has ranked 4th among the top 5 smartphone brands in India with an 88.4% year on year growth in Q4 2019.

Niyo Partners With Equitas Small Finance Bank To Launch NiyoX

* Introduces '007 Banking' - 0 maintenance charges, 0 commission mutual funds and 7%* interest on account balance 

Niyo, India's premier digital banking fintech, today announced the launch of Niyo X— a state-of-the-art mobile banking solution for millennials — in partnership with Equitas Small Finance Bank and Visa. With this launch, the company aims to on-board 2M customers by calendar year end 2021.

Ahead of the launch, Niyo conducted a nationwide survey among 8000 millennials residing in metro and non-metro cities to understand millennial’s banking needs post Covid-19 pandemic. The study revealed that 70% of Indian millennials are now inclined towards digital banks, especially for convenient customer support.

Interestingly, 55% respondents said that they would switch banks for rewards & offers and 45% would switch banks for better interest rates. Addressing these needs, the NiyoX comes with industry-best ‘007 banking’ features such as 0% commission on mutual funds investment, ‘0’ account maintenance charges, and upto 7% interest on account balances.

Niyo’s Co-founder and CEO Vinay Bagri said, “As India's leading digital banking fintech startup, our primary focus is on easing and enhancing customer experience, and the launch of the Niyo X is a testament to our commitment to the digital transformation of the banking space. We are delighted to launch our most ambitious product through our strategic partnership with Equitas SFB where we will provide the best possible savings account combined with a best-in-class investment account, all tied together with Niyo’s usual thought-through and delightful user interface. We are confident that this will become the most sought-after banking product very soon."

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, millennials have become more cautious with their spends. Niyo’s study also notes that 60% of millennials track their expenses manually and 84% of millennials would like know how they can track their expenses with convenience. To meet their requirements, the Niyo app comes with a unique spend and savings analyzer, thus encouraging customers to be prudent with their expenses and inculcate better savings habits.

Vaibhav Joshi, Chief Digital Officer (CDO), Equitas Small Finance Bank said, “Neobanking is the next big thing in Banking. We are happy to partner with Niyo on this path breaking initiative. The need today is to create use case driven digital banking products and we aim to do just that with our Neobank & Fintech programs. We have developed an extensive API Banking suite that helps partners like Niyo develop a highly specialized and custom developed solution for its target audience. We are sure this program will break the shackles of the traditional banking mindset and establish a true Open Banking model.”

Besides the state-of-the-art mobile app, this account comes with a VISA Platinum Debit Card, an industry-high 7%* p.a. interest rate on account balance and a promise of “zero non-maintenance fee”, making it ideal for the fast-paced lifestyle of today’s aspirational millennial Indian.

NiyoX is also a 2-in-1 account that provides its users access to a full wealth management suite besides the savings account. The comprehensive wealth management suite powered by Niyo Money provides 0 commission mutual funds, facility to track all your investments at one place, robo advisory and a feature that rounds up your expenses and invests the change. Niyo will soon launch domestic and internationals stocks on the platform.

Besides NiyoX will bring in a multilayer reward system comprising referral incentive, rewards points and scratch card-based cashback. This is topped up with some exclusive offers for the users curated by the team.

Tushar Verma, Business Head - NiyoX adds, “We are not only excited to launch this mobile first banking in partnership with Equitas Small Finance Bank, but also eager to see how millennials receive and interact with the product. We've curated this product keeping Millennials in mind and will be bringing in a lot of amazing features in the future versions.”

About Equitas Small Finance Bank:

Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited is the largest SFB in India in terms of number of banking outlets, and the second largest SFB in India in terms of assets under management and total deposits in Fiscal 2019. (Source: CRISIL report). As of September 30, 2019, its distribution channels comprised 853 Banking Outlets and 322 ATMs across 15 states and union territories in India. Its focus customer segments include individuals with limited access to formal financing channels on account of their informal, variable and cash-based income profile. It offers a range of financial products and services that address the specific requirements of these customer segments by taking into account their income profile, nature of business and type of security available. Its asset products are suited to a range of customers with varying profiles. These include provision of small business loans comprising loan against property, housing loans, and agriculture loans to micro-entrepreneurs, microfinance to joint liability groups predominantly comprising women, used and new commercial vehicle loans to drivers and micro-entrepreneurs typically engaged in logistics, MSE loans to proprietorships, and corporate loans. On the liability side, its target customers comprise mass and mass-affluent individuals to whom the Bank offers current accounts, salary accounts, savings accounts, and a variety of deposit accounts. In addition, it also provides non-credit offerings comprising ATM-cum-debit cards, third party insurance, mutual fund products, and issuance of FASTags.

About Niyo:

Niyo is a digital banking Fintech conceptualized in 2015, it currently operates in 4 major business lines: NiyoX is a next gen savings account for millennials, Niyo Money is a power packed of suite of wealth products, Niyo Global Card provides the best banking experience and value for international travelers, and Niyo Bharat Payroll solutions provides modern salary accounts for India’s large blue-collar workforce.

Niyo operates out of corporate offices in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi, and has sales presence in more than 20 states and union territories, currently serving a customer base of around 2 Million and over 7,000 corporates. Niyo currently has around 500 employees, over 250 of which are dedicated to Tech, Product and Design. Niyo’s team includes individuals from a variety of backgrounds and leading universities including IITs, IIMs, ISB, and Ivy league institutions.

Enjoy Your favorite Munch With Crunch Of Almonds And Yummy Pomegranate!

* This launch will be supported by a high impact campaign which includes a TV commercial featuring Samantha Akkineni

Nestlé MUNCH, one of India’s most popular brands in the chocolate and confectionery category sets another innovation benchmark with the launch of Nestlé MUNCH FRUIT O Nuts – which offers a fully loaded experience with crunch of real almonds along with yummy fruity taste of pomegranate bits, all of this wrapped around a crunchy wafer center.

In times when consumers are looking for “good for me” ingredients in their food, this latest offering from Nestlé India provides a crunchy treat with a delightful winning combination of fruits and nuts.

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Nikhil Chand, Director – Foods and Confectionery, Nestlé India said, “Nestlé MUNCH NUTS has delighted young Indian consumers with a range of delicious, light, Munch treats with a fully loaded experience of added crunchy Nuts. With the shift in consumer preference towards “better for me” ingredients, the new MUNCH FRUIT O Nuts is a category first innovation, that brings multiple inclusions of real almonds and fruity pomegranate to India’s favorite crunchy MUNCH. MUNCH FRUIT O Nuts has been developed leveraging our strong R&D capabilities after extensive consumer research which gave us insights on the taste preferences in different parts of India.  It delivers a unique combination of flavor and texture to our consumers. We are extremely excited to launch MUNCH FRUIT O Nuts and are confident that our consumers will enjoy this first of its kind ‘Fully Loaded’ experience.”

Talking about her association with the brand, actress Samantha Akkineni said, “Every bite of MUNCH FRUIT O Nuts is packed with richness of Almonds, followed by an aftertaste of Pomegranate. The novelty of this product is unmatched. More and more millennials are looking for diverse snacking options, moving away from the regular age-old offerings, MUNCH FRUIT O Nuts is a perfect answer to that. I am delighted to be a part of this journey with Munch and hope to see more innovative products in the future from the brand.”

Priced at INR 30, Nestlé MUNCH FRUIT O Nuts will be available at supermarkets, large, format grocery stores. This launch will be supported by a high impact campaign which includes a TV commercial featuring Samantha Akkineni.

New Original Series “Phone Swap India” Launches On Snapchat

Snap Inc. today announced the launch of “Phone Swap India,” its first Snap Original series in India premiering Saturday, 27 March. “Phone Swap” is one of the most popular and long-standing Snap Originals, now in its 12th season and reaching over 69 million unique viewers on Snapchat in the U.S. Produced and filmed in the heart of Mumbai by Colosceum Media, this new series was created in partnership with Team Whistle. Each episode follows two people on a blind date, who are unexpectedly forced to trade phones and then afterwards decide if they want to go on a second date. The 12-episode series is in Hinglish and has English and Hindi subtitles, available only on Snapchat’s Discover. 

Snap Originals are Shows made exclusively for Snapchat by some of the world's greatest storytellers and made for the unique behaviours of mobile. Like all Shows on Snapchat, they are vertical, full screen and created to reflect and celebrate the diverse voices, experiences and passions of the global community of Snapchatters. Last year, more than 70 million people in India watched Shows on Snapchat, and Snap’s daily active user base grew by over 150%. 

“Phone Swap India” marks the first launch from a slate of new original content Snap announced in October 2020, including an upcoming Snap Original with rapper and lyricist Raftaar, and exclusive Creator Shows with the likes of Anushka Sen, Ruhi Singh and Vir Das.

“We have always believed in the importance of investing in a local content experience, working closely with local production partners, and are thrilled to launch Phone Swap India,” said Vanessa Guthrie, Head of Snap Originals. “This is our first Snap Original made for our Indian community and we have so much more in store - we can't wait for Snapchatters to tune in.”

AICTE Collaborates With IBM To Bridge Students’ Skills Gap Through The NEAT 2.0 Platform

* IBM will provide job-relevant courses and certification on emerging technologies such as Cloud, AI & Quantum

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a collaboration with the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and Ministry of Education (MoE) to provide skills-based training courses on the recently launched National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) 2.0 platform. The courses on Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), IoT, Quantum Computing, and Data Science will provide industry-relevant, technical job-role-based training for students and faculty.

The NEAT 2.0 is a joint initiative from AICTE and the Ministry of Education to provide the best technology courses that will upskill the youth and enhance their employability. As part of the collaboration, IBM will provide six courses on the NEAT platform from IBM’s Skills Academy – a world-class training and certification program designed to bridge the skills gap of learners in colleges and universities worldwide. Students and faculty will receive hands-on training for a more enriched learning experience, and students will also earn an IBM Digital Certification upon course completion.

Prof. Anil Dattatraya Sahasrabudhe, Chairperson, AICTE said, “The NEAT 2.0 portal leverages technology to offer the best industry courses that give students adaptive and personalized learning, better learning outcomes, and skill development in niche areas under a common platform. There’s a need to make pedagogical systems more learner-centric and we are bringing in industry experts like IBM, with their Skills Academy Courses, to deliver high-quality content directly to colleges and students. This initiative is a big step towards developing high employability & entrepreneurship, leading to Aatmanirbhar Bharat and will bring revolutionary changes to online learning in India.”

Mona Bharadwaj, Global University Programs Leader, IBM India said, “With technology being the unifier and disruptor of business in the past decade, there has been an accelerated adoption of new-age technologies like Hybrid Cloud, AI, Analytics, quantum computing & IoT even as the demand-supply gap for technology skills continues to widen in India. Universities and colleges need to equip their students with 21st-century skillsets that will build career paths for a young workforce. Our engagement with AICTE is a key step forward in industry-academia collaboration that aims to improve the training and technical education opportunities of students across India and enhance employability.”

The International Labour Organization estimates India’s skill deficit at 29 million by 2030. A recent IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study found that approximately 30% of Gen Z and millennial working professionals plan to enroll in a formal degree, certification, or badging program in 2021. IBM is working with multiple government bodies across sectors to incorporate technical and professional skills training as part of curriculums and to provide free digital education through various initiatives.

Microsoft India Announces The General Availability Of Power Automate Desktop For Windows 10

Microsoft has announced that its Power Automate Desktop solution will be generally available to Windows 10 users in India at no additional cost. Power Automate Desktop for Windows 10 is a new low-code, Robotic Process Automate (RPA) application that empowers businesses to automate repetitive and manual tasks and focus on higher-value work to achieve more. An easy to use application, it enables both coders and non-coders alike to optimize their workflows - from simple data transfers to complex business processes. The solution is part of the Microsoft Power Automate Service.

In a dynamic business environment, organizations are looking for ways to be more productive and drive faster time to value while delivering more strategic and innovative thinking. Repetitive tasks, when managed manually, consume the finite hours in each workday and impact the productivity of employees and organizations. By bringing RPA to Windows 10 users, businesses can empower their knowledge-workers to focus on strategic tasks to deliver higher value to customers. Power Automate Desktop for Windows 10 can also minimize human errors, simplify workflows, reduce maintenance effort and cost, and improve scalability while ensuring security.

Commenting on the announcement, Praveen Mellacheruvu, Business Lead – Business Applications, Microsoft India, said, “In the new dynamic and competitive remote reality, democratization of technology is a major focus of Microsoft to increase productivity of organizations and individuals. With Power Automate Desktop for Windows 10, we are making it possible to automate processes in a logical, clear, simple way without the need to write a single line of code. By bringing robotic process automation to Windows 10, everyone across an organization can collectively focus on work that makes a difference for the bottom line.” 

The RPA capabilities of Power Automate Desktop for Windows 10 streamline workflows across modern and legacy applications on desktop by recording actions such as mouse and keyboard clicks. It records repetitive actions from desktop across multiple applications such as SharePoint, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, and many third-party applications—as well as websites, and then lets users replay the automation whenever needed. With the solution, users can also automate collection of data across multiple sources—such as a database, webpages, Excel files, PDFs, and more—to auto generate a report based on requirements.

To enable customers to leverage the capabilities of Power Automate Desktop for Windows 10, Microsoft offers the Attended RPA plan. The solution enables automation across the organization making it easier to share and collaborate across flows and access more than 400 built-in connectors through cloud flows. Democratization of RPA is further facilitated by identification of bottlenecks in business processes with process advisor (preview), extraction of data from documents in AI Builder, and management and control of flows with centralized governance.

Power Automate Desktop is available worldwide in English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. Earlier this year, Microsoft acquired Softomotive, a London-based RPA solutions provider, to expand low-code, robotic process automation capabilities in Microsoft Power Automate, strengthening the ability for anyone to automate processes. Microsoft Power Automate service is being used by more than 350,000 organizations worldwide to build and deploy custom, end-to-end business solutions using low-code solutions.

Microsoft first introduced RPA in Power Automate at Microsoft Ignite in 2019 and has seen tremendous growth with hundreds of thousands of organizations using Power Automate and taking billions of actions each month. Windows 10 users can harness the power of low-code RPA by downloading Power Automate Desktop on March 2, and it will be included in Windows Insider Preview builds in the coming weeks.

About Microsoft Power Platform and Power Apps

Microsoft Power Platform is a low code platform that allows organizations to analyze data, build solutions, automate processes, and create virtual agents, to meet business challenges effectively.

Power Apps is Microsoft’s low code application development platform that spans Azure, M365 and D365 as well as stand-alone applications, empowering everyone, whether a citizen developer, an IT admin or a Pro Dev to collaborate and solve business problems and innovate faster.

About Microsoft India:

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 13,000 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research, development and customer services and support, across 11 Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, New Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. Microsoft offers its global cloud services from local data centers to accelerate digital transformation across Indian startups, businesses, and government organizations.

LTTS’ Annual Open Innovation Initiative TECHgium® Concludes With Record-Breaking Participation Of Engineering Students

* Over 22,500 students from 354 engineering institutes competed to solve real-life business problems

L&T Technology Services Limited (BSE: 540115, NSE: LTTS), a global leading pure play engineering services company, announced the winners of its annual open innovation initiatives for engineering students, TECHgium®. For the first time held under the virtual mode, the fourth edition of TECHgium® saw record-breaking participation thereby placing the forum as one of the most sought-after by engineering students in India to gain exposure to solving real-life business challenges.

Over 22,500 engineering students from 354 reputed institutes participated in this year’s edition as compared to corresponding figures of 19,000 and 272 in 2019. The participation from faculty members witnessed an even higher surge with numbers jumping from 1,030 to 2,363.

The team from Vellore Institute of Technology, Chennai was declared as winners of the TECHgium® 4th edition for developing a solution that can blur personal information in vehicles. The runners up comprised of students from Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College, Coimbatore for their work on Energy Efficient Defrosting method for Evaporators. The team from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore won the third prize for their concept on Sewage Coagulation using Co-Culture of Bacteria.

TECHgium® is designed to usher in a new generation of engineers with skills and capabilities prized by the industry, enabling them to solve myriad engineering challenges and in the process enhance their career prospects and augment LTTS’ solutions practice.

Dr Keshab Panda, CEO & Managing Director, L&T Technology Services, commented, ‘The engineering services landscape in India is poised to be the sunshine sector for years to come and one key critical element for this to materialize is availability of a robust and wide talent pool of budding technologists. Our TECHgium® open innovation platform is an important step towards this as it aims to provide bright engineering minds an opportunity to gain exposure into real life business challenges. We are thankful to all the students, faculty members and institutes who have helped us achieve new milestones during this latest season of TECHgium®.”

TECHgium®’s successful fourth edition saw 61 innovative PoCs on real life technical challenges pertaining to domains such as AI, Compute Vision, 5G, Ergonomics, and Sustainability, covering major industries including Automotive, Plant Engineering, Telecommunications & Hi-Tech and Industrial & Consumer Products.

Conceptualized in 2017, TECHgium® has established itself as a forum increasingly sought after by the engineering student’s community. Student participation in LTTS’ popular platform increased by 221% since inception. The TECHgium® platform is also used as an avenue to hunt talent for hiring needs and to offer internships.

The winning teams are facilitated with awards worth over ₹15 lacs with additional benefits such as continuation of work on the PoCs of interest, pre-placement offer and recognition by reputed industry professionals.

About L&T Technology Services Ltd

L&T Technology Services Limited (LTTS) is a listed subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro Limited focused on Engineering and R&D (ER&D) services. We offer consultancy, design, development and testing services across the product and process development life cycle. Our customer base includes 69 Fortune 500 companies and 53 of the world’s top ER&D companies, across industrial products, medical devices, transportation, telecom & hi-tech, and the process industries. Headquartered in India, we have over 16,000 employees spread across 17 global design centers, 28 global sales offices and 62 innovation labs as of December 31, 2020. 

International Tuberculosis Symposium On World TB Day, March 24

Each year, World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is obsered on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic. TB remains one of the world's deadliest infectious killers. Each day, nearly 4000 lose their lives to TB, and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. The theme of World TB Day 2021 is 'The Clock is Ticking'. It is high time that we bring back the much-needed attention to TB, despite the COVID pandemic, to not lose the gain achieved over the last decade. In connection with World Tuberculosis Day, Manipal McGill Program for Infectious Diseases, MAHE, Manipal, Department of Infectious Diseases, KMC Manipal & Mayo Clinic Center Tuberculosis, USA organised a Virtual International Symposium on Tuberculosis om March 24, 2021.

Dr Sharath Rao, Dean, KMC Manipal welcomed the gathering.  Dr Kavitha Saravu, the Coordinator of MAC ID and Head of Infectious disease, gave the introduction of the symposium. The Conference was inaugurated by our Chief Guest, the Vice-Chancellor. Lt. Gen. (Dr) M D Venkatesh. The MACID newsletter 'Contagion' was released by the guest of honour, the Pro Vice Chancellor of MAHE, Dr PLNG Rao. He wished the best for the deliberations. Dr T S Murali, Associate Professor, Dept. of Biotechnology, Manipal School of Life Sciences, proposed the vote of thanks.

The program's organising chairpersons were Dr Kavitha Saravu, Dr Madhukar Pai, Director McGill International TB Centre McGill University Canada and Dr Zelalem Temesgen, Director, HIV Program & Director, Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis Division of Infectious Disease Mayo Clinic, USA.

Dr Claudia Denkinger, Head of Division, Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany, took an insightful lecture on 'Advances in Molecular TB Diagnostics'. She discussed alternative methods for sampling and newer molecular diagnostics for improved and faster detection of TB. Dr Mahadev Rao, Professor & Head, Dept. of Pharmacy Practice, MCOPS, MAHE, Manipal, took an exciting session on 'Precision therapy for TB: The way forward.' He shared the results of the extensive research that he has done on this topic in Manipal. Dr Guy Thwaites, Professor of Infectious Diseases, Director, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU), Vietnam, delivered a passionate talk on 'TB meningitis: Improving the treatment outcomes'. He threw light on the most challenging aspects of the diagnostics and TB management of the brain. Dr C Padmapriyadarsini, Director / Scientist F (Medical), National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis [ICMR] Chennai, delivered an enlightening lecture on 'MDR TB: New regimens and advances' with special emphasis on the use of these regimens in Indian settings. Dr Dick Menzies, Director, McGill International TB Centre, Canada, took the concluding talk on 'Latent TB Infection in high-burden settings: To treat or not to treat?' and discussed a vital aspect of TB prevention.

Khatabook Acquires Biz Analyst In A Strategic Move To Strengthen Tech Offerings For MSMEs

* ‘Biz Analyst’ to operate as a distinct brand and offer premium value-added services to customers 

* Acquisition is a part of Khatabook’s ongoing efforts on monetization and growth

* The platform will enable Khatabook’s MSME customers to digitize operations for business growth by leveraging business analytics, sales force automation and digital invoicing

India's fastest growing fintech start-up, Khatabook, today announced the acquisition of Biz Analyst, a leading SaaS business management application, in a deal worth USD 10 million as a mix of cash and equity. With this acquisition, Khatabook aims to leapfrog into the next phase of growth and offer its customer base of over 10 million monthly active merchants an opportunity to scale up their businesses by utilizing premium value-added services. Creating a closer integration with their upstream supply chains -- distributors, wholesalers, traders, and suppliers -- Khatabook users can now seamlessly avail additional features to improve their efficiency through business analytics, sales force automation and digital invoicing.

Launched in late 2016, Biz Analyst is a cash flow positive business providing solutions to SMEs using Tally accounting software to automate daily business operations and make data-driven decisions to manage sales, inventory, outstandings and productivity. The company has achieved consistent growth and currently has over 80,000 paid users. Biz Analyst, now as a part of Khatabook, aims to double the user base in 2021 and create bigger opportunities for the network of its 1000+ channel partners.

The Biz Analyst team will continue to run independently, retaining Mumbai operations while maintaining synergies with the Khatabook headquarter in Bangalore. The original co-founding team of Biz Analyst Vaibhav Vasa, Mehul Sutariya, and Nilesh Zaveri will now be a part of Khatabook’s leadership team.

The acquisition is in line with Khatabook’s continued efforts to drive meaningful change and solve complex problems in-house through technology and focus on building the right infrastructure to empower MSMEs in the country. Utilizing Khatabook’s core strength, Biz Analyst’s tech solutions will potentially reach a widespread and massive network of MSMEs spanning almost every district in India. The tech and product development efforts will be scaled up while streamlining hiring and talent development under the Khatabook structure.

Commenting on this, Ravish Naresh, CEO and Co-founder, Khatabook said, “This deal is our first strategic acquisition as we intensify our network effects up the supply chain and focus on monetization. The features and strengths that Biz Analyst offers are the perfect extension to our present business portfolio. The acquisition is a step forward for Khatabook in its mission to provide business efficiency to India’s MSMEs through value-added services.”

The founders of Biz Analyst, Vaibhav Vasa and Mehul Sutariya in a joint statement said, “We are thrilled to join forces with Khatabook, a company whose core values and mission resonate with ours. Together, we look forward to expanding the digital adoption by SMEs through our affordable SAAS solutions and connecting businesses across different verticals onto a single platform. As the new chapter in our growth journey unfolds, we are excited to create bigger and better opportunities for our team, for our partners, and most importantly, for our customers, by bringing in products that cater towards solving day-to-day challenges faced by them.”

Over the course of the last year, several MSMEs and kiranas have adopted technology to become more operationally resilient. Powering the digital transformation of the ecosystem, Khatabook platform recorded 1.4 billion+ transactions with a cumulative value of more than $100 billion. 

Medimix Launches 100% Natural, Anti-Bacterial And Skin Nourishing Hand Sanitizer Gel

Medimix the flagship brand from the renowned AVA group today announced the launch of its new range of Hand Sanitizer Gel. Medimix Hand Sanitizer Gel brings out the age-old goodness of Medimix in a unique hand sanitizing formulation.

Hand Sanitizers, unlike Hand Washes are generally not washed off from hands upon usage. Natural sanitizers are the best option to keep away from harsh chemicals which tends to dry-out the skin quickly. Medimix hand sanitizer gel brings the age old goodness of Medimix in a unique hand sanitizing formulation. It contains only 100% natural perfumes & moisturizers and is free from all types of artificial colouring agents, thus making Medimix Hand Sanitizer a safe solution.

Innovative combination and blend of natural ingredients including aloe vera, thulasi and natural glycerine are used; which has proven to have powerful anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which offers 99.9% germ protection. The sanitizers will be available in 50 ml and 250 ml bottles and are priced at Rs.25 and Rs. 125 respectively.

Speaking about the offering Dr. AV. Anoop, Managing Director, AVA Group said, “Hand Sanitizers have become inevitable and an essential routine during this pandemic. We have come up with this new addition by bringing our time-tested learning together to cater to the changing preferences and needs of the hour. We are delighted to offer this unique natural blend of hand sanitizer gel which not only protects from germs but also nourishes your skin in every use.”

Medimix Hand Sanitizer Gel is available at all major retail outlets and e-commerce platforms.

About Medimix

Launched in the year 1969, Medimix is the flagship brand of AVA Group. Medimix manufactures a wide variety of skin care products ranging from soaps to hand washes. Medimix has been listed as one of the most trusted brands in India, owing to the finesse and quality maintained by the company in their products. With a vast experience of over 50 years in the field of traditional Ayurvedic science, Medimix brings the goodness of 18 natural herbs, thus providing its users with a healthy and glowing skin. Various products hailing from the Medimix brand include Medimix Classic Soap, Medimix Sandal Soap, Medimix Clear Glycerine-Deep Hydration Soap, Medimix Clear Glycerine-Oil Balance Soap, Medimix Clear Glycerine-Natural Toning Soap and Medimix Transparent Soap. Each of these products are made exclusively for different skin types. Medimix also manufactures hand washes which include Medimix Herbal Hand wash and Medimix Sandal Hand wash, each having the combined goodness of various Ayurvedic elements.

About AVA Group

Founded and developed to its renowned state by Dr. AV Anoop, who owns the production, manufacturing and marketing related activities of Medimix. Other ventures from the house of AVA group include Melam, Kaytra, Divine and Sanjeevanam. Melam is a venture that was taken midway by AVA group. Melam strives to provide its customers with new food experiences that amalgamate together with quality and hygiene. Kaytra presents a traditional and healthy solution to common hair problems. Kaytra products have been made with a combination of traditional herbs and flowers which are known to hold the key to a healthy scalp. Sanjeevanam is a natural healthcare center where every individual can experience a natural way of living and thus identify the need of a joyous existence. Sanjeevanam Ayurveda Hospital in Cochin, Kerala with NABH accreditation was the first Ayurveda hospital to receive the prestigious Diamond class certification from the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of Kerala. With a truly bespoke approach, upon arrival every guest will experience a consultation with Sanjeevanam’s impressive and experienced faculty of senior doctors. Divine is another skin care range born from the house of AVA.

Skullcandy Expands Fan Favourite Product Line With Premium Sound, Active Noise Cancelling Tech With Indy ANC

Skullcandy Inc., the original lifestyle audio brand, is unveiling exciting new addition to their most popular product family. 

Skullcandy’s best-selling product line, Indy True Wireless, is expanding to include Active Noise Canceling technology with Indy ANC. This will be the brand’s first true wireless earbud to feature the ANC technology. They also come enabled with Tile™, eliminating the fear of ever losing your device.

“Skullcandy products are always made with our fans in mind as we look to infuse new technologies in our headphones and earbuds,” said Amlan Bhattacharjya, CEO, Brand Eyes, Distributor of Skullcandy in India. “When it came to Indy ANC we listened — giving our most popular line the upgrades that customers have been wanting. We stand behind building quality products for every experience. Indy ANC do just that!”  

Following last year's release of the widely popular Indy franchise, Skullcandy is debuting their first Active Noise Canceling true wireless earbud, Indy ANC. The earbuds use Skullcandy Active Noise Cancelling technology with customizable Personal Sound via the Skullcandy App for a truly unique listening experience tailored to each user. The enhanced fit of Indy ANC, as well as ambient listening mode, provides more comfort and convenience with the ability to use each bud solo, giving the user full control. With up to 19 hours of total battery life with ANC on, IPX4 Sweat and Water Resistance, Lag-Free Connection, and a wireless charging case, Indy ANC combines the best features of the previous Indy earbuds to create the pinnacle true wireless experience. Indy ANC will be available for 10999/- in True Black. Pre-Orders available at from March 25th onwards.

About Skullcandy®

Skullcandy is the original lifestyle audio brand. Based in Park City, Utah, the company designs, markets and distributes audio products through a variety of global channels in some of the most important cultural hubs in the world. The company's website can be found at 

About Brand Eyes Distributors Pvt. Ltd. 

Brand Eyes distributes consumer electronic and telecom products into high street retail, online, mass merchant and B2B. We do more than just logistics we offer a comprehensive range of services to drive brand and channel growth across our markets. We excel in supply chain management within a broad range of channels and major retailers. Through constant analysis, we identify trends and spot market gaps making us the partner of choice for many of the world’s leading brands.

Infogain Launches Hiring Drive In Pune For Over 200 Tech Profiles By May 2021

Infogain, a Silicon Valley-based leader in human-centered digital platform and software engineering services, today announced its hiring plans for Pune, for the months of March, April and May 2021. The company plans to hire over 200 people in key tech profiles.

The organization is looking at adding talent across the board by hiring for a mix of entry, mid and senior level positions. The profiles on offer include DevSecOps profiles, Azure Cloud Engineers, Azure Data Engineers, .NET microservices developers, Azure IOT + .NET engineers, people experienced in Kubernetes and containers, test automation profiles, React developers and UI/UX resources, among others. Once enrolled, the new joinees will be taken through an on-boarding process that will include a briefing and training sessions as per the job role.  Like other IT services companies, most of Infogain Pune’s staff are currently working from home.

Infogain started its operations in Pune in 2008 with its acquisition of Spider Systems, and subsequently expanded operations in October 2019 with its acquisition of Silicus Technologies, a Microsoft Azure Expert MSP cloud transformation services company operating in Pune since 2005. With Silicus, Infogain expanded its Microsoft Azure capabilities driving business differentiation at scale through cloud-enabled innovation and modernization across apps, IoT, data, AI, and infrastructure solutions, across industries like Retail, Healthcare, Telecom and Energy (IoT).  The Pune facility is one of Infogain’s leading IoT and Azure technology centers in India. With this hiring drive, Infogain Pune center will add new talent to the current count of 500 employees in the next couple of months.

Ravindra Satyanarayana, Senior Vice President, Infogain said, “While 2020 brought a certain level of unpredictability in business, the IT sector showed great resilience and agility. Cloud transformation, while always inevitable, has become critical within a very short period. We are delivering cutting edge projects involving Cloud, IoT, and various other IT services at global brands, many of which have been clients for 5, 10 or even 15 years.” He added, “We have structured training programs to equip our teams with all the expertise they need to deliver great engineering outcomes for our clients. We are currently looking to hire both laterally as well as bring campus talent on board. 

To apply for Infogain’s open positions in Pune, candidates may apply on the Careers page of the official company website.

About Infogain

Infogain is a Silicon Valley-based company with human-centered digital platform and software engineering expertise.  Infogain ‘engineers business outcomes’ for Fortune 500 companies and digital natives across the technology, healthcare, insurance, travel, and retail industries.  We accelerate experience-led transformation and deliver digital platforms using technologies such as cloud, microservices, robotic process automation, IoT, and artificial intelligence.

Infogain is CMMI Level 5, ChrysCapital portfolio company and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Gold Partner and Azure Expert MSP, has offices in California, Washington, Texas, London, Poland, Dubai, India, and Singapore, with delivery centers in Seattle, Houston, Austin, Kraków, New Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, and Mumbai. 

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