Friday, April 23, 2021

Government To Launch Grand Challenge For PropTech Startups Says DCM Ashwath Narayan

Curtains fell on One World, One Realty, the virtual Global PropTech Summit aimed at defining a sustainability road map for the real estate and construction industry, presented by Brigade Reap and HDFC Capital with eminent speakers deliberating on PropTech for Urbanization. Setting the context to the theme for the day, M R Jaishankar, CMD, Brigade Enterprises said, “Technology has brought in a lot of near real time intelligence and transparency into almost every aspect of our business. For example, almost 95% of our workforce at Brigade are on site and all progress was mapped from people physically transferring information from the project site to the Head Office. Today, using the AI technology of a Brigade REAP mentee, our Project Heads are able to get these reports in real time. This has enabled 25% time saving in quality audits and rework if necessary. Drones and video analytics tools are being used to map progress in real time. We are looking at engaging companies that are using drones and video analytics tools to map progress in real time. We also work with data analytics companies that help us use trends and predictive mapping to validate our decisions.”

In his keynote address, Dr. C N Ashwath Narayan, Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka said, “The Government of Karnataka understands the importance of encouraging startups and innovative technologies in solving urban challenges. We are soon launching a grand challenge in partnership with urban development department and transport department where startups can access funding of up to one crore rupees to solve urban challenges. Challenges will include issues such as property tax collection improvement, underground utility detection and digital enforcement portal for the transport department. I encourage you to be on the lookout for this challenge and participate in it. Our Government has always adopted a consultative and the stakeholder driven approach toward developing any sector. The Urban Development department has already launched a pilot for Karnataka urban observatory on the lines of global best practices and India urban observatory. The observatory will provide a data repository for all the innovators and startups in other domain to use government data sets and design solutions. Next step will be to institutionalize this effort and design pilot solutions in partnership with private sector, academia and startups. I urge everyone to join hands and collaborate to create a more resolute India for tomorrow. We can leverage technology in urban planning and city development and also develop a vibrant property tech ecosystem in Karnataka. I encourage all stakeholders to make Karnataka the Proptech Capital of Asia.

“I strongly believe that every Real estate & Construction company across the world has no choice but to re-engineer itself and adopt technology at a far more rapid pace. In India our industry invests the least amount in Technology. Labour productivity in the real estate sector is extremely low and I believe that with reskilling our workforce using ‘reskilling platforms’ and using a large degree of  automation, we can get as efficient, if not better than the automotive industry where I see many similarities.  If we all put our minds together and we work as One, I can confidently say that we can mitigate the challenges to both the environment as also help enhance efficiency of our Industry” Jaishankar added.

The fireside chats and panel discussions that were held over the two days of One World One Realty were of the voice that PropTech is likely to witness a tremendous boost in the near future with growing use of technologies such as big data, AI, virtual reality etc. As discussed in one of the panels, Climate Bonds is looking at mobilizing 100 trillion bond market for climate change solutions and organisations like UPL and Capital land have taken advantage of their focus on sustainability and reducing energy consumption which helped them raise hundreds of millions of dollars. Real estate developers can now avail similar loans. Proptech start-ups that showcased technologies how proptech is disrupting processes in real estate and construction included Breeze (Germany), Metrikus (UK), Snaptrude (India), SmartvizX (India) and Massive Mobility (India).

Parle Products Partners With IBM Transformative Hybrid Cloud And AI Capabilities To Drive Growth

Parle will leverage IBM's transformative hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, along with its leading security and industry expertise with the tech major's business consulting and technology services, the two companies said in a joint statement.

FMCG major Parle Products and IBM on Thursday announced a partnership under which the IT major will provide technological support to the biscuit maker to bring its products to the market quickly and effectively.

Parle will leverage IBM's transformative hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, along with its leading security and industry expertise with the tech major's business consulting and technology services, the two companies said in a joint statement.

This will help Parle get its products, such as Parle-G, the world's top-selling biscuit by volume -- to market at the right time and in the right place, it added.

Commenting on the partnership, Parle Products Executive Director Ajay Chauhan said, "as the largest biscuit brand provider in India, our priority is meeting the growing demands of Indian consumers. By working with IBM to accelerate our journey to the cloud and strengthen our security posture, we will work to uncover new ways to reduce time-to-market and streamline operations – a significant milestone for us."

Under the partnership, Parle Products will migrate its mission-critical SAP workloads, ERP, supply chain, and analytics applications to IBM Cloud, while IBM will also help design a critical KPIs-based performance management framework to measure and monitor the health of Parle's business processes and their outcomes, the statement said.

Moreover, Parle will also be leveraging IBM's deep industry expertise with IBM Global Business Services (GBS) and Global Technology Services (GTS) to host its workloads on IBM Cloud, among other services, it added.

Parle said by embracing a hybrid cloud-based approach, it expects to innovate more quickly – finding new ways to get its products into the homes of consumers, even as the coronavirus pandemic creates challenges in the supply chain and mandates that some employees work remotely.

Through streamlining operations and achieving greater scalability to meet changing demands, Parle expects to witness business growth in India and beyond, it added.

IBM India Managing Director Sandip Patel said IBM's collaboration with Parle has brought in decades of industry and technology expertise to help realise their vision of ensuring the right products are made available in the market at the right time.

"By leveraging the technologies like hybrid cloud and AI, underpinned by security, Parle will be well equipped to meet growing consumer demands, while security is at the forefront of their digital innovations," he added.

ASUS India Launches ExpertBook B9 - Next-Generation Brilliance


* World’s lightest 14” business laptop1 updated to remain the industry leader, with 11th Gen Intel® Core™ Processor and Intel® Iris® Xe graphics

* World's lightest 14" business laptop: Weighs as little as 1005g2 and benefits from rugged construction that meets US military standards

* ExpertBook_B9450_KV-photo_1A_Star-Black_03Next-level performance: Intel® Evo™ verified with up to 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor with Iris® Xe graphics, superfast Wi-Fi 6, and Thunderbolt 4.

* Made for Enterprise Business: Memory up to 16GB LPDDR4X / Up to Dual 2TB PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 SSD & supports Raid 0 and Raid 1, and onboard Ethernet

* NanoEdge Display – 14” IPS Full-HD Panel with slim bezels in a 13.3 inch class laptop body, with Anti-glare for comfortable long hours in productivity

* Perfect for Video Conferencing: Harman Kardon certified speakers - Two-way AI noise-canceling technology - Quad 360-degree far-field mics - HD camera with Privacy shutter

* Ergonomic Productivity: ErgoLift Hinge, NumberPad 2.0 and Spill-resistant backlit keyboard, 180-degree hinge

* Business-grade Security: Trusted Platform Module, Fingerprint Sensor, Windows Hello Face Recognition (IR camera), Proximity Sensor, Kensington Lock Slot

* Clear, fast and green: AdaptiveLock for rapid login and an accessory box that doubles as a stand

* Ideal partner: Highly portable, powerful, and tough, ExpertBook B9 is the ideal partner for the corporate world with 20.7 hours’ battery life which supports fast charging with 65W USB-C Charging

ASUS, a Taiwan-head-quartered, multinational computer hardware as well as consumer electronics and the fastest-growing consumer laptop brand in India, today announced the launch of ExpertBook B9, the next generation of the 2020 Red Dot Design Award-winning mobile PC powerhouse.

ExpertBook B9 (B9400CEA) is the world’s lightest 14-inch business laptop, empowering business professionals to thrive in the modern world with leading-edge technology and features. Verified as an Intel® Evo™  platform laptop, ExpertBook B9 delivers premium performance and responsiveness, efficient battery usage and stunning visuals. With the rise of remote work, modern business professionals have increasing telecommuting needs.

Speaking about the new ExpertBook B9, Leon Yu, Regional Director, System Business Group, ASUS India & South Asia said, “Our vision is to innovate and build solutions that are aesthetically well crafted, by understanding what our users think, feel, and do. The ExpertBook B9 is engineered to improve your on-the-go work efficiency, provide extraordinary performance along with extraordinary battery life, ensure comprehensive connectivity and security thus setting a new benchmark in business laptops. Powered by an 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processor, the ExpertBook B9400 is the master of lightness and power, making it an ideal partner for Business Leaders who value both performance and persistence in the corporate world. 

Commenting on the launch of the ExpertBook B9, Roshni Das, Marketing Director, Intel India said, “Intel® Evo™ verified notebooks including the ASUS ExpertBook B9 are co-engineered and designed to deliver exceptional laptop experiences from anywhere. Powered by the 11th Gen Intel® Core™processor with Intel® Iris® Xe graphics, they deliver the remarkable responsiveness and long battery life that business users need to stay productive wherever they are.”

The latest ExpertBook B9 models inherit all the strong features of the previous generation, engineered with the latest cutting-edge up to 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors with Intel® Iris® Xe integrated graphics for serious performance and visual excellence, RAID 0 and RAID 1 technology support, Thunderbolt™ 4 for flexible connections at warp speed, AdaptiveLock proximity sensor for ultrafast logins and security, and AI noise-cancelation technology for undisturbed video calls – perfect for the increasingly remote working patterns imposed by the current pandemic environment.

Despite these vast improvements in performance and functionality, ExpertBook B9 is still one of the world’s lightest 14” business laptop1 – weighing a mere 1005 grams and that’s including the massive 4-cell 66Whr battery. It also offers close to a full day battery life, it’s good for days of real-world use between recharges.

Committed to creating a sustainable future, ASUS has also strived to make ExpertBook B9 an environmentally conscious choice. It is both Energy Star® 7.1-certified and rated by EPEAT™ Gold, offering an assurance of energy efficiency that reduces operating costs over the long term. Even the packaging is environmentally sound, with the accessory box able to transform into a laptop stand for instant elevation with an ecological nod.

ExpertBook_B9400_Reuse accessory box

Ultimate portability

ExpertBook B9 is incredibly thin and light, and encased in a magnesium-lithium-alloy chassis, yet still has room for a battery that lasts for days of real-world use. The 1005 g ExpertBook B9 packs a 66 Wh battery that stores enough juice for close to a full day – all in a 14.9-mm-thin profile.

Fast-charging support thanks to the 65W USB-C charging brings the battery up to 60% of maximum capacity in just 49 minutes, so there is no need to worry about downtime on the road.

Brilliance in performance

ExpertBook B9’s appeal doesn’t end with svelte dimensions and all-day battery life, though. Being superfast, secure, full of storage and connections to handle all the business situation professionals will encounter is what ExpertBook B9 pursues relentlessly – with the latest model packing the some seriously powerful specifications.

These are led by new and high-performance 11th Gen up to Intel® Core™ i7 processor with Intel® Iris® Xe graphics which delivers discrete-level graphics performance for next-gen media experiences and 16 GB LDDR4x 4266 MHz memory. There’s also superfast Intel® Wi-Fi 6 and huge storage in the form of up to dual 2 TB SSDs with support for RAID 0 and RAID 1 technology for improved data reliability or faster operation.

Despite its thin profile, ExpertBook B9 is loaded with I/O ports. These include cutting-edge Thunderbolt™ 4, the next generation of the universal cable connectivity solution that offers support for the next-level USB4 interface, 40 Gbps data transfer speeds, dual 4K display output and fast charging. It also offers standard USB Type-A and HDMI outputs, plus a wired network connectivity with a unique MAC address for easy device management.

US military-grade durability

ExpertBook B9 is remarkably durable, too. To be strong enough for every journey, it meets the next-level and industry-leading MIL-STD 810H US military standard test, which is more rigorous and demanding than ever before. It is also subject to drop tests, shock tests, vibration tests, extremes of high and temperatures, and days subjected to humidity levels of 95%.

Our engineers took things even further to prove that ExpertBook B9 is built tough. Connectors are inserted and removed from the ports 5,000 times, up to 30 kg of force is placed on the reinforced lid, keys are struck 10-million times, and the lid is opened and closed up to 50,000 times. We also intentionally spill various liquids on the keyboard. After all that, we’re confident that ExpertBook B9 is able to withstand the rigors of the daily grind.

A mobile workhorse with smart features

Despite it’s the ultrathin bezels of its 14-inch NanoEdge display, ExpertBook B9 includes both a webcam for video calls, plus an infrared camera and smart proximity sensor for fast biometric face login. The moment the user sits in front of ExpertBook B9, ASUS AdaptiveLock technology detects their presence and the infrared camera to recognize their face before logging them in automatically — so it’s possible to get to work without lifting a finger. Then, when the user steps away, ExpertBook B9 automatically locks itself, protecting both the laptop and the personal data it contains.

With the increase of remote work and video conferences, we also implemented exclusive ASUS AI noise-canceling technology to ensure the best experience. ASUS AI noise-canceling audio employs machine learning in order to isolate unwanted noise from human speech. The ClearVoice Mic feature in the MyASUS app can filter out ambient noise and, in Multi-presenter mode, normalize all individual voices from different positions for optimum group conference-call quality. The ClearVoice Speaker feature filters out all ambient noise apart from human speech — making it easy to hear what everyone else is saying.

ExpertBook B9 also features up to four 360° far-field microphone and Harman Kardon-certified speakers to ensure clear sound. It also includes a virtual assistant with Amazon Alexa integration, plus a built-in light bar that illuminates during interaction.

Of course, ExpertBook B9 features the exclusive ASUS NumberPad 2.0, the renowned LED-illuminated numeric keypad that is perfect for crunching numbers. Tap the NumberPad icon on the top right of the touchpad to turn it on, and tap the icon on the left to toggle between two brightness settings. Clever software provides control over the cursor, even when NumberPad 2.0 is activated.

Rock-solid security

Security is a paramount key concern in the modern world, so ExpertBook B9 is equipped with many measures to ensure that both the hardware and the user’s data are kept safe. An integrated fingerprint sensor makes signing in as simple as one touch, while the aforementioned biometric-login webcam benefits from a physical sliding shield – so it just takes one swipe for the visual reassurance of a covered lens.

ExpertBook B9 also offers an optional Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip to stores passwords and encryption keys for added security. There are also software-based tools offering numerous and diverse protections, including ASUS Business Manager and the optional ASUS Control Center.

ExpertBook B9 combines beauty, brains and brawn

ExpertBook B9’s thin chassis and light weight would seem to be at odds with its rugged construction and high-performance specifications, but our engineers made sure that performance, durability, and longevity came together in perfect harmony. A combination of cutting-edge technologies enables high efficient video conferencing, seamless login, and snappier responsiveness in a smaller, lighter form factor. Extremely portable, powerful and tough, ExpertBook B9 is the ideal partner in the corporate world.


ExpertBook B9 will be soon available at ASUS Exclusive Stores, and leading Commercial PC channel partners, starting at  ₹115,489 (exclusive of GST).

1.As of August 1, 2020. Based on internal ASUS market analysis comparing the size of ExpertBook B9 to competitor products from vendors including Acer, HP, Huawei, Lenovo, Microsoft and Samsung. Actual weight may vary by specs.

Atlassian Acquires ThinkTilt, Maker Of ProForma, To Further Augment Jira Drive Transformation

* ProForma and Jira Service Management help enterprises drive transformation

Atlassian Corporation Plc (NASDAQ: TEAM), a leading provider of team collaboration and productivity software and the maker of Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket and Trello products, today announced the acquisition of ThinkTilt, maker of ProForma, a no-code/low-code form builder for Jira. The acquisition builds on investments Atlassian is making to address the service management challenges faced by all companies embracing agile and digital workplace practices.

Used by over 700 companies, ThinkTilt helps IT empower any team in their organization to deliver great service and support to all their other employees quickly. ThinkTilt is already a very successful partner in the Atlassian Marketplace. Atlassian will continue to augment its advanced forms and checklist capabilities and integrate ProForma tightly with Jira Service Management.

With its no-code/low-code editor, ProForma supports 24 languages and 300-plus pre-built form templates that encapsulate customer best practices. The launch is focused on bringing developers and IT together by helping other business teams develop services, deliver value fast and cope with the reality of remote and hybrid work.

Edwin Wong, Head of product, IT, Atlassian said, “By integrating ProForma with Jira Service Management, teams will be able to deliver exceptional service experiences even faster. Dynamic, cascading forms only surface the relevant fields to their employees and customers. Advanced form validation capabilities allows IT to quickly collect and validate all the information they need about a request before it gets automatically fast-tracked to the right teams for resolution.”

The ThinkTilt acquisition builds on Atlassian’s investment in IT Service Management (ITSM) and Enterprise Service Management (ESM) and plays a key role in furthering Atlassian’s mission to unleash the potential of every team.

Previously, the company has made a number of acquisitions in this space, including its purchase of Opsgenie for helping ops teams handle incidents faster and more efficiently and purchase of Halp that turns team messaging apps into an internal help desk and ticketing solution among for employees. Additional investments include an embedded knowledge base in Jira Service Management, powered by Confluence, more portal customization options, and the ability to democratize service management by delegating administration permissions - all designed to help IT power service management across an enterprise and enable every team to operate at high velocity. 

About Atlassian 

Atlassian unleashes the potential of every team. Our team collaboration and productivity software help teams organize, discuss, and complete shared work. Teams at more than 194,000 customers, across large and small organizations - including Bank of America, Redfin, NASA, Verizon, and Dropbox - use Atlassian’s project tracking, content creation and sharing, and service management products to work better together and deliver quality results on time. Learn more about our products, including Jira Software, Confluence, Jira Service Management, Trello, Bitbucket, and Jira Align at

Toyota Kirloskar Motor's Scheduled Annual Maintenance Program From April 26 To May 14, 2021

Toyota Kirloskar Motor has announced its scheduled annual maintenance program across both its plants from 26th April to 14th May, 2021. Periodic maintenance of plant and machinery is a standard operating procedure to enhance the competitiveness of the plants, such as operational efficiencies, productivity and safety of equipment, from time-to-time basis.  

During this period, operations at both the Toyota factories in Bidadi will witness a temporary halt, impacting supply of vehicles produced at its plants. The company will use the pipeline finished goods inventory to serve the pending & immediate requirements of its customers so as to ensure minimal discomfort to them. However, any inconvenience thus caused to customers due to this temporary shut-down is regretted and the company along with its dealer partners will ensure that best efforts are made to mitigate such issues. This shutdown will have no impact on the supply of other models such as the Glanza, the Urban Cruiser, imported vehicle models as well as vehicle servicing operations.

Only limited number of employees as permissible by the rules of social distancing & other mandatory guidelines will be engaged in essential jobs & activities at the plant.  The management will also use this time to further enhance modern COVID-19 protection measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all its people. Toyota in India, has its manufacturing unit based in Bidadi near Bangalore. Spread across 432 acres of land, Plant I has a capacity of Up to 1,00,000 units & Plant II with a capacity of up to 2,10,000 units, annually.

Livinguard AG Steps Up To Safeguard Indians During The Second Wave Of COVID-19

* Increase affordability and accessibility of its antiviral masks and gloves to deliver the ultimate protection 

Since March 2021, the daily cases have been rising and have hit a 5-month high, with the maximum active cases. One of the primary reasons for the sudden spike can be attributed to the complacency among the public about wearing masks and maintaining basic COVID protocols. To help control the increasing numbers and live up to its purpose of protecting the health and well-being of people, Livinguard AG, the globally renowned hygiene brand, has made their hygiene products, specifically masks and gloves, even more accessible for the masses and institutions - Governments, Public Sector Bodies, Corporates, Hospitals, Hospitality, Manufacturing units, etc. By ramping up manufacturing in India, Livinguard has been able to bring down its costs and reduce prices upto 50% across B2B and B2C channels. Textiles treated with Livinguard Technology have been scientifically proven to destroy >99.9% bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) by researchers at the Freie Universität Berlin and The Department of Environmental Science at the University of Arizona. Furthermore, they are reusable and washable up to 6 months, effectively replacing 210 single-use masks.

Mr. Sanjeev Swamy, Founder, Inventor & CEO, Livinguard AG, said, “With the rise in daily cases, we at Livinguard, want to stand by the country, our Government, health facilities and our fellow citizens, to avoid maximum casualties during the second wave. Our purpose is to protect the health and wellbeing of people; we want to make our technology and its benefits more accessible and affordable for all in these difficult times. Our technology is scientifically proven to permanently destroy >99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 virus and masks impregnated with Livinguard technology are protecting Covid Warriors all around the world. Our masks are washable and reusable, and mostly made from cotton making it eco-friendly and sustainable. Our masks need to be washed only with water about once a week and therefore last you upto 6 months. I can proudly say several institutions and organisations in India have entrusted Livinguard and chosen our technology to protect themselves from the Virus. We want to extend this protection to as many Indians as possible.” 

Livinguard’s unique and pioneering technology can play a vital role in defence against the novel coronavirus. Researchers from Freie Universität Berlin in Germany have confirmed the efficacy of Livinguard’s continuous self-disinfecting technology to permanently destroy the novel coronavirus when applied to textiles or surfaces. Similarly, the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Arizona, USA conducted laboratory testing on fabrics treated with the Livinguard technology and confirmed that the technology permanently deactivated greater than 99.9% of the human coronavirus. When microbes come in contact with the most arduously scientifically driven textile surface, it has a strong positive charge, the negatively charged microbial cell, is destroyed leading to permanent obliteration of the microorganism. Unlike heavy metal-based solutions, such as titanium, silver, zinc and copper, this novel technology has been found to be safe for both skin and lungs. Moreover, Livinguard Technology destroys continuously, which significantly diminishes the risk of transferring them to the user and to other surfaces. 

Several global and Indian organisations have chosen Livinguard products for the safety and protection of their employees. These include renowned institutions such as Alembic, KKR, RBL, Zee Network, Cipla and many more. Fine Hygienic Holdings in Dubai also empower their Fine Guard masks with Livingurd’s Technology. Livinguard has also partnered with Blue Star to provide their air conditioning and cooling units with Livinguard treated filters that can destroy bacteria and viruses, including the coronavirus. Livinguard recently collaborated with PadSquad and Live to Give, to donate 50,000 reusable masks and 43,500 reusable sanitary napkins to the BMC, Mumbai Police, IT dept and others. 

On Livinguard’s recent donation to the BMC, Shri P. Velrasu, Additional Municipal Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, added, “We are glad to partner with Livinguard, PadSquad and Live to Give. Livinguard’s unique and innovative antiviral masks can protect our frontline workers as they fight the Virus to keep the citizens of Mumbai safe. The pioneering Livinguard technology allows for reusability and washability of the mask up to 6 months, significantly reducing the waste generated from traditional, single-use masks. We are glad that Livinguard has joined our fight in protecting both people and the planet.” 

James Lafferty, CEO of Fine Hygiene Holdings, Dubai, stands strong with us in the fight against COVID-19,"We believe the breakthrough technology of Livinguard is a cornerstone for our company for the decades to come. As the world now becomes more attuned to communicable disease prevention, Livinguard Technology will be an integral part of our plans, not only on wearables such as our Fine Guard Masks, but also gloves, wipes and specialized paper products. The applications are endless, and it provides a wonderful opportunity for Fine to dramatically improve the wellness of the world’s consumers.” 

Livinguard’s patented and break-through technology created a new self-disinfecting-textile category, recently approved by the EPA in the United States, whereby a washable and reusable textile kills bacteria and viruses. The brand is committed to providing better hygiene solutions, suited for the future, against unprecedented global adversities. It views personal and planetary health as inseparable imperatives and is hence committed to provide protection that is not only appropriate for people but also the planet. Being a partner to the Government and institutions to curb the spread of COVID-19, Livinguard has pledged to offer these world class products at up to 50% reduced prices to ensure affordability and accessibility for those who need it most and also made the line of products available across leading ecommerce platforms like Amazon, Nykaa, and Flipkart. Livinguard products are also available at leading offline retail stores and pharmacies. For bulk purchases to safeguard employees and staff, corporates and institutions can connect with Livinguard directly at to avail further discounts.  

About Livinguard AG: 

Livinguard is an environmentally friendly hygiene technology platform based in Zug, Switzerland. It is the first company in the world to empower textiles and other materials with self-disinfecting properties, it licenses its patented technologies to companies from various industries to improve the health and wellbeing of consumers. Livinguard AG operates in Switzerland, Germany, USA, Singapore, Japan, India, and South Africa. The ever-increasing levels of pollution, global travel, shared mobility, and the prevalence of drug resistant microbes have led to growing threats of infectious disease. The company sees its solutions as essential safeguards that can offer enhanced safety and better health to billions of people. Livinguard believes that our future is tied to sustainable solutions amidst non-degradable wastes that threaten our existence on this planet. Their commitment is to develop highly effective technologies that also minimize waste and use of resources. The company views personal and planetary health as inseparable imperatives and the foundational base of everything that they do. Livinguard is committed to bring good health and well-being to people and the planet. Livinguard is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Innovators Community. 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

New data By Zendesk Reveals Digital Transformation Accelerated By 1-3 Years For Over Half Of India’s Companies

In 2020, companies made seismic shifts in how they do business as the impacts of COVID-19 transformed customer expectations and workplace dynamics, virtually overnight. Being digital-first and, in many cases, digital-only, meant companies had to rapidly acquire new technologies to reach customers and connect remote teams. Against this backdrop, Zendesk, Inc (NYSE: ZEN), a customer service software company with support and sales products designed to improve customer relationships, has released new data on digital adoption in India. 

The most successful companies are adopting new technologies at light speed. This accelerated timeline of adopting innovative solutions and technology - known as the “digital tipping point”. In fact, among tech decision makers in India, 93% of them say COVID-19 sped up digital adoption. More than half say that digital transformation has been sped up by 1-3 years. At the same time, 72% of customers in India say that customer experience (CX) is more important to them now than a year ago. 

“CX isn’t just a sideline part in a company’s digital transformation, it is the driving force behind it. The past year has shown us that the most successful companies are infusing great customer experiences in everything they do, and this will remain true in 2021 and beyond. Case in point, 41% of tech decision makers in APAC saw increased investment in CX in 2020, with 53% seeing continued increase in 2021. We believe there will be a continued focus on customer centricity and ongoing digital transformation as we adapt to our next normal,” said KT Prasad, MD & RVP SAARC, Zendesk.

The pressure on delivering great CX has never been higher. Across APAC, two in five customers use multiple channels for the same issue - meaning support teams need to be prepared to serve customers across multiple channels. Not only that, customers increasingly expect personalisation from brands throughout their CX journey - 89% of customers in India agree. 

In response to the increased spotlight on CX and digital adoption, businesses in India are recognising the need to up their CX game and are investing in their customers and employees. 90% of Indian companies say CX is now a priority in their digital business transformation efforts. In APAC, 55% of tech decision makers say their budgets for tech purchases will increase in 2021, helping them to better manage more distributed workforces, adapt to the next normal and add new ways to offer support.  

Navigating across the digital tipping point

Zendesk has outlined five main areas of investment for every company to consider a great customer experience:

Messaging has evolved from being how people communicate in their personal lives to becoming a business essential, and has grown faster than any other customer service channel. It will remain the dominant channel for both simple self-service as well as more complex conversations.

Artificial intelligence will become table stakes for customers who want to be in control of their conversations. Companies need to leverage self-service and automation to deliver friction-free customer experiences. 61% of APAC customers say chatbots are helpful with simple issues.

Build agility into the business from Day 1 to have the infrastructure needed to adapt immediately to unexpected volatility, new customer needs and changing business demands. 

Remote work tools will keep maturing to enable better collaboration, establish deeper trust, and build meaningful connections. 

Being able to make data-driven decisions that address emerging CX challenges will be a major differentiator. 

About Zendesk: Champions of Customer Service

Zendesk started the customer experience revolution in 2007 by enabling any business around the world to take their customer service online. Today, Zendesk is the champion of great service everywhere for everyone, and powers billions of conversations, connecting more than 100,000 brands with hundreds of millions of customers over telephony, chat, email, messaging, social channels, communities, review sites and help centers. Zendesk products are built with love to be loved. The company was conceived in Copenhagen, Denmark, built and grown in California, taken public in New York City, and today employs more than 4,000 people across the world. 

RapiPay To Provide Free AEPS (Aadhaar Enabled Payment System) Services To Its Merchants

* The move is to boost financial inclusion in the country and increase AEPS reach.  

* Cash out business (AEPS and Micro ATM) has grown by 30% in transactions value in April 2021 over March 2021.  

To facilitate the government’s agenda of financial inclusion growth in India, especially rural areas, RapiPay, one of the leading assisted payments Fintech company announces free AEPS (Aadhaar Payment Enabled System) services for merchants and retailers. This initiative will benefit millions of Indian consumers who will be able to withdraw cash from their neighborhood RapiPay agent outlet. The free AEPS activation will encourage more and more retailers to start providing AEPS services to serve customers and grow their business. RapiPay targets to activate over 1 lakh new AEPS ids to its agents with this move which means 1 Lakh more ATM machines for the people.  

For the past one year, this pandemic has resulted in economic disruption affecting people from all walks of life, especially in rural areas. The major hit was taken by small local businesses. The businesses which sailed through this tough period are those who made optimum usage of digital mediums and had adopted multiple avenues to sustain their businesses. RapiPay is one such company that helps shopkeepers and retailers to provide assisted payments and banking services to the unbanked population. Considering the current scenario, RapiPay has taken this major step of waiving off its one-time fees to empower more merchant partners and customers to adopt digital transactions. 

Commenting on this announcement, Mr. Yogendra Kashyap, CEO, RapiPay said, “At a time when small businesses and people are facing challenges like partial lockdown, social distancing, curfew, etc., the need of easy access of basic financial services to the under banked population is paramount. This initiative will help lakhs of retailers to use AEPS and offer cash withdrawal facility to consumers. RapiPay Saathis are also benefitted with one of the best commissions in the industry. We have already seen with the second wave of the lockdown our cash out business has grown by 30% for AEPS and 27% for Micro ATM transaction value for April 2021 over March 2021.” 

In the past one year of pandemic, RapiPay has witnessed a robust growth by over 250% from pre-covid to March 2021. The number of agents has quadrupled from 50K in Feb 2020 to 2 lakhs in Apr 2021. With RapiPay’s presence in the hinterlands of India, the government’s cashless incentives and DBT transfers are reaching the unbanked areas successfully.  

The lockdown has seen demand for AePS & Micro ATMs surging due to near doorstep services provided by Banking Business Correspondents. AePS and Micro ATMs facilitated millions of customers for cash withdrawals of the benefits they availed under Jan Dhan Yojana, PM-Kissan Samman Nidhi etc. during the pandemic.  

About RapiPay 

S.K. Narvar promoted RapiPay Fintech Pvt. Ltd., is instrumental in growing financial inclusion services in the country with services like Money Transfer, Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS), Micro ATM, Payments and many more. With a nationwide network of over 1.5 lakhs retailers (RapiPay Saathis), RapiPay is providing Banking and Financial services to more than 1 crore underbanked consumers every month. RapiPay is a subsidiary of Capital India Finance Limited (CIFL).

Sunteck Realty Limited Announces “Operational Update For Q4 & FY21”

* Pre-sales grows by 6% Q-o-Q in Q4 FY21 to Rs 371 cr 

* Collections grows by 27% Q-o-Q in Q4 FY21 to Rs 321 cr 

* Highest-ever collections achieved during the 4QFY21 and FY21  

* Strong quarter-wise sequential growth witnessed in FY21 both in Pre-sales and Collections  

* Aggressive project acquisitions done in FY21 within the industry 

Sunteck Realty Limited announced its Q4 and FY21 operational updates. 

Q4FY21 Highlights – 

Strong pre-sales witnessed during the quarter. 

Highest-ever collections achieved during the quarter. 

Acquisition of ~7 acre land parcel at Borivali (West), under the asset light JDA model. The residential project in the western suburbs of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) will have ~1 mn sq ft of development potential.  

Strong cash flows during the quarter resulting in further reduction of negligible debt. Our average cost of borrowing has further come down during the quarter. 

FY21 Highlights – 

Highest-ever pre-sales achieved in the mid-income segment driven by residential projects at ODC, Goregaon West - a yoy growth of 77%.  

Strong pre-sales also witnessed in the ready to move in projects across segments. 

Highest-ever collections achieved in a financial year in FY21 at Rs 780 cr. 

Aggressive project acquisition done in FY21 within the industry - 3 new project acquisitions under the asset-light strategy totaling to approx. 8 mn sq ft. at Vasai, Vasind and Borivali. These projects will further strengthen the cash flows and balance sheet of the company. 

Commenting on the Q4 and FY21 operational performance, Mr. Kamal Khetan, Chairman and Managing Director, Sunteck Realty Ltd. said: “Presently, we are witnessing strong consolidation across the industry and we will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of this trend. The industry consolidation has already resulted in 3 new project acquisitions for us at Vasai, Vasind and Borivali in MMR. Going forward, we expect to leverage our brand franchise and management expertise to continue to evaluate new growth opportunities and thereby increasing our overall market share. 

During FY21, we have achieved strong pre-sales and highest-ever collections. A key to our strong operational performance is being a dominant developer in each of the micro-markets and housing segments we are operating.  Additionally, the focus on our core strength of sales & marketing and in-house construction capabilities will enable us to sustain this strong pre-sales and collections trend going forward.”  

About Sunteck Realty 

Sunteck Realty Limited (SRL) is one of the fastest growing Mumbai-based luxury real estate development companies. SRL has an immaculate track record of having one of the lowest net Debt/Equity ratios, financial prudency and sustainable growth. The company focuses on a city centric development portfolio of about 40 million square feet spread across 28 projects. Sunteck Realty has differentiated its projects under five brands - ‘Signature’: Uber luxury residences, ‘Signia’: Ultra luxury residences, ‘Sunteck City’: Premium luxury residences, ‘Sunteck World’: Aspirational luxury residences, ‘Sunteck’: Commercial & Retail developments. The company has been a trendsetter in creating iconic destinations such as the flagship project, Signature Island at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Sunteck City in Oshiwara District Centre (ODC), Goregaon and SunteckWorld at Naigaon - the largest township of MMR’s western Suburbs. 

WhiteHat Jr Collaborates With Kapil Dev To Create Unique Learning Opportunities For Children

WhiteHat Jr, a leading EdTech company known for delivering live online classes in Coding & Math, has collaborated with ace cricketer and former World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev to make learning fun and engaging. The association leverages a Cricket-based project to inspire students to create interesting applications. The project known as Kapil's Swing Bowling XI will be interwoven in the WhiteHat Jr curriculum to encourage students to create a mobile app that stimulates bowling on a cricket pitch by applying expert inputs in the form of bowling tips provided by the legendary cricketer.

Children can access this special project after completing 8 classes on the platform. Students will get exclusive access to a creative library of Kapil Dev’s images & videos, where he will be sharing his expertise as a bowler, in the form of tips. This one-of-a-kind project will connect children to their passion for cricket and help them apply concepts learnt in the course to a real-life situation. They can further extend and personalize their application as they choose. The project has been customized for students across levels - from beginner to intermediate to advanced to pro - with the level of complexity increasing with functions built into the simulator.  The company hopes to inspire thousands of students to create their own unique applications.

Speaking about the association, Kapil Dev said, “The exposure that today’s kids have is unbelievable and this project with Whitehat Jr aims to inspire children to create their own mobile application building on nuggets offered by me is a prime example of how engaged thinking and learning can lead to pointed outcomes. To be able to involve the next generation to understand the science behind tried and tested bowling methodologies is remarkable.  I am excited to see kids’ creative rendition in the form of new-age apps.”

“For children to become creators, we need to make learning fun, engaging and application-oriented, ” said Balaji Ramanujam, Chief Learning Officer, WhiteHat Jr. "We believe this project will pave the way for many such integrations across different  interest areas that children have.”

About WhiteHat Jr

WhiteHat Jr. has been launched with the singular mission of enabling kids to become creators versus consumers of technology. The company has been able to channel students’ natural creativity through an engaging curriculum and personalized live teacher attention. WhiteHat Jr. currently has more than 175,000+ students from around the world. The company’s 11,000+ strong women-only teacher workforce conducts LIVE Coding and Math online classes every day on its proprietary platform.

IBM Study: COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted 9 In 10 Surveyed Consumers’ Views On Sustainability

* Global research reveals majority of consumers are willing to pay to support a sustainable future

The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated consumers’ focus on sustainability and willingness to pay out of their own pockets – or even take a pay cut – for a sustainable future, according to a new IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) survey of over 14,000 consumers in nine countries.

Nine in 10 consumers surveyed reported the COVID-19 pandemic affected their views on environmental sustainability, and COVID-19 was the top factor cited in influencing their view – more than others presented such as widespread wildfires/brushfires, disasters due to weather events and news coverage on the topic.

The survey also revealed differences in consumer opinion across geographies, with Americans surveyed reporting the least concern about sustainability topics. For example, only 51 percent of US consumers surveyed said addressing climate change was very or extremely important to them, compared to 73 percent of respondents from all other countries.

“The survey showed respondents worldwide are increasingly concerned about the global climate crisis, and we have also observed businesses in many industries looking to take action to meet their customers’ and investors’ expectations and manage their own environmental goals,” said Dr. Murray Simpson, global lead for sustainability, climate & transition, IBM Global Business Services. “We see many companies beginning to make strides to build transparent supply chains or improve energy management to reduce carbon emissions with the help of innovative technologies like AI and Blockchain.”

According to the survey, many consumers are increasingly willing to change how they shop, travel, choose an employer and even where they make personal investments due to environmental sustainability factors.

Many surveyed employees are willing to accept a lower salary to work at a sustainability-conscious employer

According to the survey, 71 percent of employees and employment seekers surveyed say that environmentally sustainable companies are more attractive employers. In addition, more than two-thirds of the full potential workforce* respondents are more likely to apply for and accept jobs with environmentally and socially responsible organizations – and nearly half surveyed would accept a lower salary to work for such organizations.

At the same time, 48 percent of consumers surveyed trust corporate commitments on sustainability, with 64 percent of respondents expecting increased public scrutiny in the year ahead.

Given that one in four employees surveyed in February 2021 plan to switch employers this year, companies could face a risk of losing top talent to more sustainability-conscious competitors.

Environmental sustainability is affecting personal investment decisions

Forty-eight percent of all personal investors surveyed already take environmental sustainability into account in their investment portfolios and a further fifth (21 percent) surveyed say they are likely to do so in the future. 59 percent of personal investors surveyed expect to buy or sell holdings in the next year based on environmental sustainability factors.

Many surveyed shoppers and travelers are willing to pay more for environmental sustainability

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s financial impact on many individuals, 54 percent of consumers surveyed are willing to pay a premium for brands that are sustainable and/or environmentally responsible.

In addition, 55 percent of consumers surveyed report sustainability is very or extremely important to them when choosing a brand – 22 percent higher than consumers surveyed pre-COVID-19 pandemic by IBM. Slightly more than six in ten consumers surveyed said they are willing to change their purchasing behavior to help reduce negative impact on the environment, with consumers surveyed in India (78 percent) and China (70 percent) being the most willing.

With regards to travel, almost one in three respondents strongly believe their personal travel habits contribute to climate change. 82 percent of consumers surveyed globally would choose a more environmentally friendly transportation option even if it costs more, but only 64 percent of American respondents agreed compared to 95 percent of Indian and 91 percent of Chinese respondents.


The IBM Institute for Business Value surveyed more than 14,000 adults globally from nine countries (United States, India, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Brazil and China) during March 2021 to better understand consumers’ opinions and perspectives on environmental sustainability.

*Full potential workforce refers to survey respondents who are employed full-time or part-time, unemployed but currently seeking employment, or a full-time student or apprentice.

About the IBM Institute for Business Value 

The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) delivers trusted business insights from our position at the intersection of technology and business, combining expertise from industry thinkers, leading academics, and subject matter experts with global research and performance data. The IBV thought leadership portfolio includes research deep dives, benchmarking and performance comparisons, and data visualizations that support business decision making across regions, industries and technologies. 

Brigade Reap And HDFC Capital’s ‘One World One Realty’ To Focus On Creating A More Efficient And Sustainable World

* Two Day Virtual Summit on Sustainability in Real Estate and Construction Sector Inaugurated on International Earth Day

One World, One Realty, a virtual Global PropTech Summit aimed at defining a sustainability road map for the real estate and construction industry, presented by Brigade Reap and HDFC Capital, was inaugurated today by Shri. Hardeep S Puri, Honorable Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs; Civil Aviation and MoS Commerce and Industry, Government of India and Dr. Ashwath Narayan C N, Honorable Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka. The two-day virtual summit which was inaugurated on International Earth Day will deliberate on a series of topics on innovation and technology to create a more efficient and sustainable world. The summit will address the issue of global warming, environmental concerns and emission impacts and how the real estate and construction sector can come together, globally as one to use technology and innovation for a better world.

Eminent industry leaders from the Real Estate, Construction and Infrastructure sectors including Mr. Deepak Parekh, Chairman - HDFC Ltd, Mr. Mahesh Ramanujam President and  CEO, U.S. Green Building Council USGBC, Mr. Vipul Roongta, MD and  CEO - HDFC Capital Advisors Ltd, Mr. Ankur Gupta, Managing Partner, Head of India - Real Estate, Brookfield, Mr. Nipun Sahani, Partner, Real Assets – Apollo Global, Mr. Mridul Upreti, Sector Lead - Tourism, Retail and  Property – IFC, Mr. Hari Marar, MD and  CEO, Bangalore International Airport, Mr. Faisal Butt, CEO, Founder and  Chairman, Pi Labs Ltd, UK, Mr. Nicholas Brathwaite, Founding Managing Partner, WRVI, California, Mr. Jonathan Hannam, Co-Founder and  Managing Partner, Taronga Ventures, Australia, Mr. Manuel Ventura Sala, CCO, Wellness TechGroup, Spain, Ms. Daisy Chittilapilly, MD, CISCO INDIA and  SAARC, Ms. Nirupa Shankar, Executive Director, Brigade Enterprises Ltd, Mr. P.S Narayan, Global Head, Sustainability and Social, Wipro Ltd and Mr. Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mahindra are some of the speakers at the summit.

Speaking at the inauguration, Shri. Hardip S Puri said, “The theme of Sustainable Development for the Global Summit One World One Realty is most appropriate and timely. The global housing technology challenge launched by the PM in January 2021 is an example of our commitment to sustainable development. This is a program harnessing global expertise on the use of new construction techniques, and green technologies in constructing houses in lesser time frames than those with other conventional technologies. These light house projects, as they are called, will come up in six geoclimatic zones in the country and will pave the way to ultimately mainstream their use. I urge all participants in this summit to play an active role in propagating the use of new technologies. We are well aware of the adverse impact of climate change, therefore minimizing the carbon footprint must remain the central focus even as we urbanise. We owe this to the health of our future generations. I am confident the deliberations in the various sessions will yield positive outcomes. I also urge the construction industry in India to raise the bar when it comes to the use of green technologies in construction so that India becomes a force to reckon with”.

Mr. Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC Ltd in his address said, “Technology has enabled developers to virtually showcase their properties and home loan providers have leveraged digital platforms to continue to serve new and existing customers. Capitalizing on technology for the real estate sector will also improve governance. This will bring in much needed transparency, accountability and improve cost efficiency. PropTech companies can play a big role in accelerating the Government's smart city mission as well as help local level bodies and municipalities in terms of facilitating online approvals of building permits. We strongly believe that technology will play a significant role in the development of a sustainable and efficient real estate ecosystem. Sustainability must become a part of our DNA if we are to leave a better world for future generations.”

“When we launched Brigade REAP in 2016, the main objective was to select and mentor sustainability startups that would bring disruptive technologies to the real estate industry, which would reduce cost, increase revenue and save time.  These start-ups have been most exciting to mentor and grow. They have the ability to tackle big issues plaguing the real estate industry from an environment and operations perspective. Through this summit, we aim to bring together some of the finest minds including start-ups and seasoned industry professionals from across the world. They will share their experiences and insights on how the real estate and construction industry can leverage technology for efficient development by increasing sustainability, optimising resources and adopting new practices to work towards a carbon neutral ‘built world’. The need of the hour is to re-engineer and reimagine the business to ensure that design, planning, construction and operations in the industry gets more efficient. We need to optimize the use of natural resources and build more responsibly”, said Nirupa Shankar, Executive Director, Brigade Enterprises Ltd.

Proptech Startups focused on sustainability will present real time solutions at the summit. These include ZigZag Solar (Netherlands), WEGOT (India), Strawcture (India), Ricron (India), Square Yards, Facilio, Xpedize, Build Supply, Evercamp (UK)Metrikus (UK), Snaptrude (India) and Smart Vizx (India).

Globale Media Supports “Made In India” Apps As They Witness Huge Boost Amidst The New Internet Boom

Leading AI-based mobile advertising platform, Globale Media has stepped up to support the Vocal for Local cause. In the last one year, the Indian app industry has grown enormously, and Globale Media is all set to support Indian advertisers. Recently, the company launched a new offering for app marketers, called Keyboard Search Ads. Apart from that, Globale Media has a variety of offerings for the advertisers such as App recommendation on OEM channels, Appography via P2P offline sharing apps, and exclusive placements with 100+ Top SDK partners. 

This initiative is aligned with the government’s latest encouragement in developing homegrown tech products and solutions as opposed to populating international alternatives. The push for a Made-in-India ecosystem was made right after the ban of Chinese apps and the launch of Atmanirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge. 

During a time when the mobile advertising industry is growing at a rapid pace, Globale Media has taken an initiative to help hundreds of Indian apps to reach their target audience. Business and productivity apps had 7.1 billion downloads in 2020. The shift was observed not just in the volume of downloads but also in the type of apps that were downloaded. According to AppsFlyer’s recent article, Gaming, e-Commerce, Health, and Media are booming verticals in the Indian app ecosystem, with gaming apps being the new fad. The number of games played each month on average per user has increased 35% over last year – the highest worldwide. 

The app economy in India has surged because of a wave of increased internet and smartphone usage. 

Statista has predicted that over 500 million people in India will access the internet from mobile devices by 2023. During this point of rapid market maturation, Globale Media’s opportunity comes as a benefit to the Made in India app ecosystem.

Commenting on this, Mr. Bhavesh Talreja, Founder and CEO shared, “We are extremely happy to announce that Globale Media is empowering Made-in-India apps and is replacing the monopoly of international names. Amidst this second COVID wave, the Indian app ecosystem is seeing tremendous growth and we are extending our support to the advertisers with our variety of offerings."

Top app downloads by country, Q2 2020

Source: Sensor Tower

Recently, the company has reported a 500% increase in revenue since last financial year. Globale Media was recognized in the ‘Top 10 AdTech Start-ups of 2019’ that boosted its popularity amongst Indian advertisers and owing to their relationships with OEM and SDK partners, they have been able to provide app marketers with tremendous results. 

About Globale Media:

Globale Media is one of the largest AI-driven mobile advertising platforms that support advertisers aiming to reach their brand awareness and user acquisition goals. Through their direct partnerships with top OEMs, publishers, and app developers, Globale Media creates unique experiences for app marketers. They do it by ensuring 100% direct app traffic over mobile and OEMs utilizing their white-label technology that predicts app users based on their profiles. Globale Media accelerates enterprise growth by driving high-quality traffic to all major app verticals including gaming, e-commerce, lifestyle, utilities, social, education, entertainment, and others.

Keysight Releases Fourth Security Report Highlighting Three Critical Areas Of Concern To Network Security

* Threats include phishing trends due to pandemic, ransomware and critical security supply chain weaknesses

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS), a leading technology company that delivers advanced design and validation solutions to help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, today announced its fourth Keysight Security Report. The 2021 report features network security trends over the past year from Keysight’s Application and Threat Intelligence (ATI) Research Center and highlights three areas of critical concern to network security.

The report draws on Keysight’s in-depth experience in network security testing, as well as the company’s expertise in network and cloud visibility. The elite, globally distributed team of dedicated cybersecurity professionals that make up Keysight’s ATI Research Center monitor and analyze evolving indicators that threaten the security of enterprise IT networks. This team leverages input to the research process from multiple sources, including honeypots placed worldwide which actively seek threats in the wild, independent research by the team, international exploit databases, the Dark Web, scans of security news alerts and crowdsourcing, as well as social media and partner feeds.

“This report combines lessons learned in 2020 with impactful insights for network security professionals for 2021. Both the data and insights are based on research conducted by Keysight’s Application and Threat Intelligence (ATI) Research Center,” said Scott Register, vice president, security solutions for Keysight. “Cybercrime did not take a holiday during the pandemic. Cyber criminals leveraged phishing, ransomware and supply chain vector attacks to strike networks for financial gain. We believe that these network security trends will continue in 2021.”

Three trends characterized cybercrime for most of 2020:

·  Phishing attacks increased by 62 percent. Keysight research shows that there was a 62 percent increase in phishing attacks in 2020 over 2019. In fact, there was rapid increase in these attacks when the pandemic took center stage in March and April as social engineering attacks were related to the pandemic.

·  Monetary gain took center stage as a key cybercrime motivator. There was a huge uptick in the deployment of ransomware starting in June. While this trend was directed across all industries, healthcare was hit especially hard. 59 percent of the attacks occurred during the second half of 2020.

·   Supply chain attacks hit the headlines with the SolarWinds attack. The supply chain continues to be a weakness and the SolarWinds attack reinforced the need for security architects to embrace a holistic and comprehensive approach.

Strategic Insights from the Keysight Security Report, 2021

Strategic Insight #1: Phishing and additional social engineering attacks will continue to take advantage of pandemic-related headlines. Keysight’s recommendation: People need to recognize social engineering vaccination scams and network security teams must be aware that bad actors target personally identifiable information (PII) in a healthcare and government setting.

Strategic Insight #2: Ransomware is highly popular because it makes a lot of money for bad actors. While it’s not going away, business models continue to mutate along with malware variants. Keysight’s recommendation: It’s critical to keep enterprise threat detection systems up-to-date with the latest signatures and behavioral patterns, as ransomware builders are getting better at obfuscation and avoiding detection. In addition, network security teams should also be aware that exploitation practices evolve.

Strategic Insight #3: An organization’s supply chain is more than just components. There is a tendency to think of a supply chain as outside entities that either supply a company with software and hardware components or the supplies used when building a product. Keysight’s recommendation: The supply chain is critical to the operation of a business, including utilities, email, cloud providers and even coffee suppliers. Network security must consider non-traditional components that may touch an organization and IT systems.

Strategic Insight #4: Zero-trust is more than just a buzzword. It does not mean limiting what users can see when they connect to an organization’s network. Keysight’s recommendation: A successful zero-trust implementation requires that systems and users can only access the internal or external resources that they absolutely need.

Strategic Insight #5: Assume an organization is breached and behaves accordingly. Keysight’s recommendation: Organizations need visibility into their networks and cloud resources. If network security teams cannot spot anomalies hiding in their network (whether on-premises, in the cloud, or a remote user), then they are allowing breaches to remain undetected indefinitely.

An editorial abstract of this report is available in Keysight’s newsroom:

For a full copy of the fourth annual Keysight Security Report, go here:

About Keysight Technologies

Keysight delivers advanced design and validation solutions that help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Keysight’s dedication to speed and precision extends to software-driven insights and analytics that bring tomorrow’s technology products to market faster across the development lifecycle, in design simulation, prototype validation, automated software testing, manufacturing analysis, and network performance optimization and visibility in enterprise, service provider and cloud environments.  Our customers span the worldwide communications and industrial ecosystems, aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, semiconductor and general electronics. Keysight generated revenues of $4.2B in fiscal year 2020. 

Rise In Overall Income, Employment And Education And Community Development Are Long-Term Impacts Of Zoho's Tenkasi Office: Study

* Zoho's rural revival initiatives have also led to women empowerment, skill building, and indirect job and wealth creation, the study has revealed

Zoho Corp, the Chennai-headquartered global technology company, has today released a study detailing the socio-economic impact of its rural office in Tenkasi over the past decade. Economix Consulting Group (ECG), a Chennai-based consulting firm that conducted the study, did around 7,300 minutes of interactions with nearly 300 stakeholders. The study revealed several areas of positive impact in Tenkasi district such as overall income, women empowerment, education and skill-building, employment, and community development.

Over the past year, Zoho has intensified its rural revival initiatives. It has opened around 20 satellite offices in rural and non-urban areas around the world, mostly in India. The Indian offices, started to cater to the employees who wanted to continue working from their hometowns during the pandemic, are located in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar. Zoho plans to open 100 new offices around the world. The company has traditionally stayed away from urban centres, believing that software can be built from anywhere.

"There is a lot of latent talent in the world that is waiting for an opportunity," said Sridhar Vembu, CEO and Co-founder, Zoho Corp. "The concentration of jobs in urban cities has taken away talented youth from the villages where they are most needed. By bringing high-paying jobs to villages, Zoho is helping restore the talent where it belongs. Over a period, we can see it benefit the local community, and lead to overall development and economic growth. On the other hand, it allows our employees to stay close to their families and enjoy a better standard of living. The study has helped us capture the long-term impact of rural offices, and validated our approach."

Zoho in Tenkasi

Zoho, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, had opened its first rural office in Mathlamparai, Tenkasi in 2011 with six employees. Currently, the office has around 500 employees. It also has a division of Zoho Schools of Learning (ZSL), a programme through which students who have completed Class 12th or a diploma course are trained and hired as employees. Over the past decade, Zoho's presence has led to an increase in overall income, provided skill-building and employment opportunities for youth, empowered women with greater agency, and contributed significantly to Tenkasi's socio-economic development, the ECG study has found.

Key findings of the study:

1. Community impact: Zoho has helped revamp infrastructure of local schools, improve sanitation and hygiene through waste clearance, pond desilting and undertaking other development initiatives. Zoho has also been running an agricultural farm from Tenkasi, providing livelihood for field workers. According to local elected and administrative officials:

Zoho is one of the main reasons for Tenkasi being given a district status.

New housing facilities are being constructed to accommodate Zoho employees.

Company employees have started investing in agriculture.

Farming initiatives by Zoho have created awareness about organic farming to some extent amongst the locals and farmers. The panchayat has now started producing vermicompost.

2. Indirect job/wealth creation: Zoho has had a significantly positive impact on suppliers and vendors it works with. In addition to benefitting them financially, there has been a ripple effect in terms of their ability to support their children’s education and take care of their extended family.

Zoho is the first client for 31% of the vendors and suppliers

About 44% report that they have been able to acquire more clients due to their association with Zoho.

50% report being able to ‘improve the education and healthcare of their family’ because of their partnership with Zoho.

69% indicate that they are able to support their extended family financially, of whom 82% contribute ‘more than 50%’ of their earnings.

63% said they were able to ‘uplift the livelihood of their relatives, friends,' thanks to Zoho.

3. Impact on employees:

i. Re-distribution of wealth and rise in overall income: The study shows a significant positive impact on Zoho employees hailing from Tenkasi, Tirunelveli, and surrounding areas. Besides vastly improving their standard of living, Zoho has enabled them to support their extended families and friends financially.

58% employees report that they support the education expenses of one or more immediate or extended family member; 67% employees provide some form of support (monetary or otherwise) to family or friends since their employment with Zoho.

95% of Zoho Schools of Learning-Tenkasi alumni, currently living outside Tenkasi, report some form of support (monetary or otherwise) to immediate or extended family or friends since their employment with Zoho, of whom 94% report monetary support to family.

ii) Empowerment of women: As per the last available public data, female literacy in Tenkasi was 45% and women’s participation in the workforce was around 35% (agricultural) and 58% (non-agricultural). The nature of work largely remains in low-paying jobs. Zoho affords a way out of this.

A healthy 64% of women employees report spending more on themselves since their employment with Zoho.

38% report that they make their own lifestyle decisions.

22% indicate that they always make their financial decisions, and an equivalent 22% report making those decisions in conjunction with family.

75% of the women respondents among the ZSL-Tenkasi alumni currently living outside Tenkasi, indicate that financial decisions are made by them in conjunction with a male family member.

iii) Offering an alternative to conventional method of education: Zoho has had a significantly positive impact on Zoho Schools of Learning-Tenkasi students, faculty and their families. It has made them more confident and articulate (including English language skills), enhanced their social skills, and provided them with an opportunity to support their families.

More than 75% students opine that the balance between classroom and on-the-job training is perfect, are confident of getting jobs outside Zoho and about fulfilling family's aspirations, and feel better about themselves with respect to their college peers.

More than 70% students report that they are treated like adults by family and their social circle and that their opinion is valued. 50% of the students feel that they are learning faster than their peers and that their families are happy with their choice.

All the teachers feel that ZSL is superior to other educational institutions. The curriculum is updated every 6-12 months to address the needs of the industry and the students. The faculty opine that the training also prepares the students for jobs outside of Zoho.

"The Socio-Economic Impact Measurement model curated for Zoho is a judicious mix of quantitative and qualitative factors, with significant emphasis on qualitative assessment using ECG's '360° Eye' Stakeholder Consultation Process," said Latha  Ramanathan, Founder and CEO, ECG. "Often, in such studies, the pursuit of majority (quantitatively) leads to ignoring the opinions/feelings of the minority. The qualitative aspect of the model ensured that irrespective of the sample size within each group, their views and voices were heard and incorporated. The personal and professional impacts, impacts on families, and impacts on small businesses, coupled with the quantitative assessment, resulted in the final output of the study. For the ECG team, listening to the students and other stakeholders was incredibly moving and powerful."


The Measuring Impact Framework was developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in 2006, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to enable business to measure its impact on society. It takes the first steps in measuring business contributions in line with a broader view on societal value. The framework moves beyond conventional reporting to outline the contributions of business activity from the perspective of various relevant stakeholders.

While modelling the methodology on the Measuring Impact framework, ECG has designed their approach using “stakeholder consultations” as the central, holistic theme with their 360° framework to measuring impacts, that are both relevant and contextually significant. A mixture of quantitative indicators, qualitative observations and respondent quotations are used to evaluate the contributions of the organisation to “each distinct group” of stakeholders. This is supported throughout by significant secondary research to meaningfully evaluate the survey results. Gradients based on availability and validity of evidence are then used to rank the outcomes in order of their impact on the social environment in which the business operates and the organisation’s ability to sustain its socio-economic footprint.

About Zoho

With 50+ apps in nearly every major business category, including sales, marketing, customer support, accounting and back office operations, and an array of productivity and collaboration tools, Zoho Corporation is one of the world's most prolific software companies. Zoho is privately held and profitable with more than 9,000 employees. Zoho is headquartered in Austin, Texas with international headquarters in Chennai, India. Additional offices are in the United States, India, Japan, China, Singapore, Mexico, Australia, the Netherlands, and the United Arab Emirates. Zoho respects user privacy and does not have an ad-revenue model in any part of its business, including its free products. More than 60 million users around the world, across hundreds of thousands of companies, rely on Zoho every day to run their businesses, including Zoho itself. 

About Economix Consulting Group (ECG)

ECG ( is a Chennai based niche consulting and analytics firm focusing on Consumer Behaviour and Strategic Insights. Since its inception in 2016, ECG has specialised in enabling B2C organizations "listen to the voice of their customers" in a cost-effective and swift manner. ECG also enables strategic decision making through "actionable" studies using their 360° Eye approach to stakeholder consultations.

Happiest Minds Is Ranked Among Top 50 Companies For Data Scientists To Work For - 2021

* Ranks among top 10 companies for Diversity & Inclusion

Happiest Minds Technologies Limited (NSE: HAPPSTMNDS), a ‘Born Digital. Born Agile’, digital transformation and IT Solutions Company announced that it has been ranked at 11th position in Analytics India Magazine’s Top 50 List for Data Scientists to Work For – 2021. Adding further glory to this, is the ranking under Diversity & Inclusion category where Happiest Minds has been ranked among the top 10 at eighth position.

In its third edition, this year’s rankings involved a robust scrutiny of 143 nominations across all industries. The nominated companies were closely analyzed basis five key parameters namely Learning & Support, Productivity & Engagement, Benefits & Well-being, Rewarding Excellence and Diversity & Inclusion. Basis this, an overall index was derived using the average score corresponding to each of these parameters. The aim of the rankings is to recognize those organizations who have HR policies and work environment that offers a great place to work for those with data scientist and data analytics skillsets.

Pertaining to Diversity & Inclusion, Happiest Minds emerged among the top basis focused hiring drives, women safety & engagement initiatives, health camps focusing on women’s needs, enhanced policies and sensitization training programs.

Joseph Anantharaju, Exec. Vice Chairman, Happiest Minds Technologies, said,” We have built a very strong and talented team of AI and Data Scientists and are committed to implementing best in class talent retention as well as diversity & inclusion practices. We have a keen focus on the wellbeing of our people and a commitment towards excellence, which is embedded in our company values.”

Ajay Agrawal, Senior Vice President & Head – Analytics/AI CoE, said “Our team thrives on innovation and we have built a portfolio of AI based solution accelerators that help us stay ahead in the game. Our team also has access to great training facilities, collaborative work environment and best in class industry partners and platforms.”

Happiest Minds has a dedicated Center of Excellence for Advanced Analytics and AI. The deep AI and Data science expertise helps build solutions by leveraging latest deep learning and machine learning techniques with simultaneous use of Automated Machine learning and ML Ops to increase the productivity of data scientists. The company has built petabyte scale Data & AI solutions for leading Media, Education & Publishing, Retail and Industrial Companies, resulting in multi-million dollar revenue increase and cost savings for its customers.

Happiest Minds is the first Indian IT company to adopt programs for its people on the global movement related to mindfulness. The company’s mission statement of Happiest People, Happiest Customers reflects the commitment to provide a healthy work environment to its workforce, including a culture that rewards self-development and innovation.

About Happiest Minds Technologies

Happiest Minds Technologies Limited (NSE: HAPPSTMNDS), a Mindful IT Company, enables digital transformation for enterprises and technology providers by delivering seamless customer experiences, business efficiency and actionable insights. We do this by leveraging a spectrum of disruptive technologies such as: artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud, digital process automation, internet of things, robotics/drones, security, virtual/augmented reality, etc. Positioned as ‘Born Digital . Born Agile’, our capabilities span digital solutions, infrastructure, product engineering and security. We deliver these services across industry sectors such as automotive, BFSI, consumer packaged goods, e-commerce, edutech, engineering R&D, hi-tech, manufacturing, retail and travel/transportation/hospitality.

A Great Place to Work-Certified™ Company, Happiest Minds is headquartered in Bangalore, India with operations in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia and Middle East.

UST Joins The Climate Pledge, A Commitment Co-founded By Amazon And Global Optimism; Commits To Net-Zero Carbon By 2040

* Pledge to Crack the Climate Crisis; Switching to renewable energy; Creating own solar power plants 

UST, a leading digital transformation solutions company, is taking another step in committing to a more environmentally friendly future by joining The Climate Pledge, a cross-sector business community working together to crack the climate crisis and solve the challenges of decarbonizing our economy. The commitment co-founded by Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Global Optimism calls on new signatories to be net-zero carbon across their businesses by 2040—a decade ahead of the Paris Accord’s goal of 2050. 

By joining this initiative, UST is marking an unwavering commitment to sustainability. Powered by purpose, UST invests an average of 2% net profits in impact-based outcomes annually and is implementing science-based, high-impact changes to the business initiatives that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals of 2030.

For over 20 years, UST has strived to drop its carbon emissions and has been innovating to address climate change and environmental issues and focus on global sustainability and socio-economic development. From its humble beginnings in 1999, UST has always invested in improving society through several CSR projects and positively impacting the world. These initiatives range from planting trees and restoring mangrove forests to rescuing and rehabilitating people impacted by natural disasters. UST’s ‘Step It Up America’ and ‘Impact India’ programs provide career training and employment opportunities. UST’s IGBC LEED Gold certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) 6.5-acre Trivandrum India campus has one-third of the area with waterbody/lake channeling throughout the campus. The company continues to seek opportunities to protect the planet and commit to transforming lives for the communities they impact every day.

“We are thrilled to join and support The Climate Pledge. From our inception, we have always endeavored to transform the lives of our employees, clients, end customers, and the community we live in,” said Krishna Sudheendra, Chief Executive Officer, UST. “Environmental stewardship has also been a foundational part of this journey. Together with Amazon, Global Optimism, and the other signatories, we are fully committed to drive tangible progress and jointly take action to limit global warming.”

“Less than two years ago, Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge and called on other companies to reach the Paris Agreement 10 years early—today, more than 100 companies with over $1.4 trillion in global annual revenues and more than 5 million employees have signed the pledge,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “We are proud to stand with other signatories to use our scale to decarbonize the economy through real business change and innovation.”

As a signatory of The Climate Pledge, UST commits to:

Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis.

Implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business change and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies.

Take actions to neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

Switching to renewable energy for 25% of power needs by 2025 and 50% by 2030.

Utilizing electric vehicles only for movement within our global campuses.

Creating own solar power plant to generate 1.2MW of power by 2023.

“Our mission has always been to transform not just businesses, but the people and communities they touch. We are thrilled to be a part of this initiative, which aligns with our long-term commitment to sustainability,” said Nandagopal Ramachandran, General Manager – Operations. “As we advance in our sustainability goals, this effort enables us to make a truly boundless impact. We proudly stand with Amazon, Global Optimism, and the other signatories of The Climate Pledge, in a commitment to being a net-zero carbon company by 2040.”

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Jaipur Rugs In Collaboration With Abin Chaudhuri Pays Ode To The Soul Of Architecture Through A New Collection Launch

Jaipur Rugs, one of India’s largest manufacturers of hand-knotted rugs unveils its new collection ‘Archetype’ in collaboration with Abin Chaudhuri.

The new collection is an amalgamation of Jaipur Rugs’ decades of craftsmanship with Abin Chaudhuri’s vision and design aesthetic drawing inspiration from architecture in different epochs i.e., Ancient, Vintage, Modern, Brutalist and Contemporary.

Derived from the Greek word ‘arkhetupon’, meaning something molded first as a model, Archetype presents the fundamental principles of architecture through simple forms, colours and shapes on rugs. Addressing variations of the human personality through architectural philosophies - from ancient to contemporary, each design is driven to inspire, seamlessly introducing creative energy in spaces. Archetype embodies the soul of architecture through elemental forms made by hand.

Jaipur Rugs is a story of empowered artisans, with a close-knit community of more than 40,000 spread across 600 villages in India. These artisans have gone through rigorous training to uphold the quality standards promised with every rug and systems in place for choice of material sourcing, timely delivery and sustaible production.

Speaking on the collection, Yogesh Chaudhary commented, “With every new collection we aim to collaborate with people who can showcase the ancestral art of rug making with a new vison. We seek to deliver a creative combination of age-old art and modern interpretation. With Archetype, Abin has highlighted various facets of human personality through architectural philosophies. With his graphical visual interpretation of architectural eras, he has helped us add some great designs to our product offering. His rugs have a fresh take on architectural tents that will work beautifully in all kinds of homes and settings. His eclectic designs and style concepts will add depth, dimension and perspective into a customer’s space.”

“Archetype embodies the soul of architecture through elemental forms made by hand. It presents the fundamental principles of architecture through simple forms, colours and shapes on rugs. It celebrates the idea that in every magnificent creation of man lies a concept that is simple, primitive and driven by collective evolution. To me, carpets are like art work – knitted pieces of art lying on the floor. They enrich the space by adding value as it is fine tuned in the design stage to artistically fit these new world interiors while also reflecting on the heritage. Each design in the collection is driven to inspire, seamlessly introducing creative energy in spaces”.  says Abin Chaudhuri founder, Abin Design Studio

Experience this collection on starting April 21, 2021. 

About Jaipur Rugs

Jaipur Rugs is a family business strengthened by the purpose of protecting ancestral know-how and connecting rural craftsmanship with global consumers. By placing the human aspect at its core, the company has grown to become the largest network of artisans in India. It uses the age-old art form of handmade carpets as a tool to bring prosperity into the homes of 40,000 rural artisans of which 80% are women. Founded in 1978 by Nand Kishore Chaudhary with just two looms, it now has over 7000 looms and sells in over 60 countries. Today the company creates contemporary works of art by collaborating with creative talents capable of showcasing this ancestral craft with a new vision.

About Abin Chaudhuri

Abin Chaudhuri founded Abin Design Studio, which is exploring the ‘unknown’ journey, experimentation with materials and technology, and the engaging art and culture, aiming to provide a ‘soul in the shell’. The studio is engaging design in the urban fabric and peri - urban edge, as a catalyst for deliberate change.

His work focuses on the idea of holistic design, not just limiting to ideas, but also physical manifestation through multi-disciplinary collaboration. His explorations intend to push the boundaries of thought, prevalent socio-cultural landscape and spatial construct, challenging the role of architecture in the society, by being unafraid of unfamiliar explorations. The studio is also the recipient of several national and international accolades.

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