Friday, August 27, 2021

WGHSA-MAHE - Launched First International Alumni Chapter Of USA

The Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA), a constituent of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), launched the first international Alumni Chapter of USA on 25th August, 2021. There were moments of surprise, happiness, exhilaration and joy when alumni met after a decade or more with each other virtually. The program was gracefully presided by Mr. Sanjay Bose Executive Vice President HR and L&D, ITC Hotels as the Chief Guest and Lt. Gen.(Dr) M.D.Venkatesh, Vice Chancellor MAHE, as the Guest of honour.  Dr Rohit Singh, Director Alumni Relations, MAHE was also part of the program.

While welcoming the audience, WGSHA Principal, Chef K.Thiru,  emphasized that Alumni are the brand ambassadors of the Institution and a very vibrant relationship must be established and nurtured. Dr Sandhya Johnson from 1st Course BHM and Mr. Amitava Chatterjee from 6th course BHM, who are instrumental in forming the union, have shared their thoughts and the memories about their days in the college.

Celebrity Chef Vikas Khanna provided his emotional thoughts and excitement about his college days and stressed his commitment to the betterment of the institute. He said WGSHA has helped them to relive the college life with significance and he is always proud to mention WGSHA in every occasion possible. Chief Guest, Mr.Sanjay Bose reiterated the 35 years of partnership between MAHE and ITC Hotels, and shared his happy feelings about the enthusiasm of USA alumni to join the network. He said besides being professionals we have been able to generate some extremely good human beings which he thinks is the larger contribution to society.

Guest of Honour, Dr.Venkatesh appreciated WGSHA’s efforts and said effective alumni engagement is one of the key elements in MAHE’s success as an Institute of Eminence. He said MAHE is proud that there more than 60000 registered alumni who are actively engaged with MAHE activities. Dr. Rohit Singh, Director of Alumni Relations shared his thoughts and wished that this new chapter will widen the possibilities of alumni contributions. The alumni members were happily shared their experiences and expressions about their alma mater. The program concluded with a lovely cultural program by the students of Department of Dietetics and Nutrition. Everyone departed with the resolve to visit again and spread the message amongst all to build and strengthen the network to make it grow exponentially.

Indians Rate Amazon Prime Video As The Most Preferred Streaming Service Of 2021: YouGov’s Study

* Manoj Bajpayee starrer Family Man New Season emerges as the most popular OTT series with two in five viewers listing it as their favourite 

Amazon Prime offers an incredible value with unlimited streaming of the latest and exclusive movies, TV shows, stand-up comedy, Amazon Originals, ad-free music listening through Amazon Prime Music, free fast delivery on India’s largest selection of products, early access to top deals and new launches, unlimited reading with Prime Reading and access to free in-game content and benefits with Gaming with Prime, all available for an annual membership of Rs. 999 

Amazon’s large catalogue of quality content by subscribing to Prime Video Mobile Edition. Prime Video Mobile Edition is a single-user, mobile-only plan currently available for Airtel Pre-Paid customers 

In its continued efforts of bringing the most authentic, relatable and compelling stories across genres, Amazon Prime Video has been adjudged the leader of the digital streaming arena once again. The latest YouGov survey, released on 18th August 2021, has placed Amazon Prime Video as the most preferred streaming service of 2021 amongst Indian viewers. Results of the poll conducted between 15th – 20th June 2021, drawn from responses of thousands of viewers across India, states that Prime Video is the most preferred channel when it comes to viewing Indian originals across multiple languages. 

The results also declare ‘The Family Man – New Season’ as the most favourite show of 2021. Other Amazon Originals such as Chacha Vidhayak & Hain Humare Season 2 were also contenders in the foremost list. As part of the same survey, netizens have rated ‘Four More Shots Season 3’, another Amazon Prime Video original among the most awaited sequels. Right since its launch, the new season of The Family Man has opened to resounding applause from the audience for its gripping narrative and splendid performances which have also surfaced as the key reasons for the Amazon original series topping the favorites’ list. Viewers have attributed the success to Manoj Bajpayee’s charming presence as Srikant Tiwari.    

The poll results revealed that one in eight respondents (12%) consider the language or origin of a series important when deciding what to watch on OTT platforms. Amazon Prime Video (APV), in its constant endeavour to tap the ‘many India’s’, has been rolling out a consistent stream of high-quality content on its streaming service ever since inception. From originals to movies to DTS titles, content on Prime Video has always stuck a chord with the audience seamlessly surpassing boundaries and making the stories travel to over 240 countries and territories worldwide at once.  

In addition to a slew of well-crafted originals’, Amazon Prime Video was the first streaming service in 2020 to launch Direct To Service (DTS) offering with the most anticipated titles across languages. The past year itself witnessed a huge repository of films including Gulabo Sitabo, Shakuntala Devi, Coolie No. 1, Master, Yuvarathna, Jathi Ratnalu, Sania heading for their world premieres on Amazon Prime Video. In 2021, Prime Video has already released 25 titles across languages and formats and has a robust pipeline ready for the rest of the year.  

Tata Motors, Wrestling Federation Of India Strengthen Their Partnership; Launch ‘Quest For Gold At Paris Olympics 2024’

Key highlights:

* Strengthening partnership which started in 2018

* Enabling world-class coaching and training facilities along with wholesome nutritional programme, medical and physiotherapy

* Holistic support to ‘Yodhas’ with enhanced exposure to international tournaments

* Tata Yodha pick-up vehicles presented to all members of Tokyo Olympics 2020 wrestling team

Tata Motors, India’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer and the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) strengthened their long term partnership further with the announcement of the ‘Quest for Gold at Paris Olympics 2024’, a holistic development programme with the singular objective to win the coveted Gold medal at next Olympics. As part of this initiative, WFI, with support from Tata Motors, will focus on the growth, progress and advancement of both men and women wrestlers, across age groups, by providing access to the right infrastructure, platform, opportunities and security. Young and talented Indian wrestlers, ‘Yodhas’ will gain assured and enhanced access to world-class training facilities, internationally-reputed coaches and support through a rich nutritional programme. In addition as part of this initiative, eligible senior wrestlers will be offered central contracts as also the budding junior wrestlers will be supported through virtuous scholarships along with insurance cover, medical and physiotherapy assistance.

Announcing the launch of this ‘Quest for Gold at Paris Olympics 2024’, Shri. Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, Hon’ble MP and President, Wrestling Federation of India, said, “Tata Motors’ committed support since 2018 has helped Indian wrestling grow to greater heights. In the last 3 years, our ‘Yodhas’ have won more than 40-50 medals at international competitions including, 5 medals at the Senior World Wrestling championships – highest ever for India, record 11 medals at the just-concluded Junior World Championship, and 2 medals at recently held Tokyo Olympics. The Cadet Wrestling Team, too, won its first title of the World Championship. The launch of our joint quest today should enable us to fulfil the entire nation’s longstanding aspiration of winning an Olympics Gold medal in wrestling at the next Paris Olympics in 2024.”

Tata Motors honoured the successful Indian wrestling team that participated in the Tokyo Olympics by presenting each member with its tough and rugged Tata Yodha pick-up to convey respect, appreciation and celebration of their heroism and success. Olympic Silver medallist Ravi Kumar Dahiya, bronze medallist Bajrang Punia along with fellow ‘Yodhas’, Anshu Malik, Sonam Malik, Seema Bisla, Deepak Punia and Vinesh Phogat were present in-person to support the quest and receive their Tata Yodha pick-up.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Girish Wagh, Executive Director, Tata Motors, said, “The sport of wrestling is deep rooted across India and enjoys a rich legacy of success in the global arena. Popular and followed by all sections of society, its machismo, aggression and endurance tests speed, agility and power. These virtues perfectly mirror the longevity, durability and robust performance of our commercial vehicles that are much valued by our customers both in India as well as international markets.

Through our steadfast association with WFI, we will continue to promote, train and foster the nation’s rich wrestling talent. At Tata Motors, we believe in supporting the sport and sportspeople who will take our country ahead with their potential, zeal and passion. To ensure that our talented wrestlers have ready access to all that is required to realise their immense potential, further hone their skills and bring home the coveted Olympic Gold in 2024, we are making our ongoing partnership with WFI more holistic and purposeful. I wish the federation and our wrestlers the very best in this quest for the Gold at Paris Olympics 2024.”

A multi-year, strategic partnership, forged between WFI and Tata Motors in 2018, has been developing, promoting and encouraging wrestling as a sport by providing world-class infrastructure, facilities and training to Indian wrestlers. In addition, the support from Tata Motors facilitated coaching of Indian wrestlers by acclaimed international coaches, long stint training in foreign locations, enhanced participation in international tournaments and access to specialist medical care as well as physiotherapy. The high degree of congruence between the tough and rugged commercial vehicles manufactured by Tata Motors and the valour displayed by the Indian wrestlers in global arenas makes this association a perfect match.

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.

About Wrestling Federation of India (WFI)

WFI is governing body for the sport of Wrestling in India. Headquartered in New-Delhi, WFI is duly & exclusively recognized by world body of wrestling - United World Wrestling (UWW), Ministry of Youth Affair & Sports (MoYAS) & the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). 

Fintech Player - BharatPe Forays Into Consumer Fintech Domain With The Launch Of 12% Club

* First-of-its-kind investment and borrowing app for consumers, in partnership with RBI approved NBFCs

* Offers up to 12% interest annually for consumer investments with no lock-in

* Consumers can borrow up to Rs 10 lacs at an interest rate of 12%

* Targets investment of US$ 100mn and loan book of US$ 50mn from the product in the first year

BharatPe, one of India’s fastest growing fintech companies, today announced its foray into the consumer space with the launch of its first-of-its-kind consumer product- 12% Club. Available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store, this product is set to redefine the rules of consumer lending and investments. With 12% Club, consumers will have an option to invest and earn upto 12% annual interest or borrow at a competitive interest rate of 12%. BharatPe has partnered with RBI approved NBFCs to offer this investment-cum-borrowing product for consumers. The company aims to achieve an investment AUM of US$ 100 mn and a lending AUM of US$ 50 mn from this product, by the end of the current fiscal.

The consumers on the 12% Club app can invest their savings anytime by choosing to lend money through BharatPe’s partner P2P NBFCs. Additionally, consumers can avail collateral-free loans of upto Rs. 10 lacs on the 12% Club app for a tenure of 3 months, as per their convenience. There are no processing charges or pre-payment charges on the consumer loans. The loan eligibility will be defined based on a number of factors including consumer’s credit score, the shopping history using PAYBACK loyalty system or the payments done via BharatPe QR.

The consumers investing via the 12% Club app can put in a request to withdraw their investment anytime, partially or completely, without any withdrawal charges. They can start their investment journey by investing as low as Rs. 1000 and enjoy daily credit of interest. The upper limit for investment by an individual is currently set at Rs. 10 lacs and would be increased to Rs 50 lac over the next few months.

Commenting on the launch, Suhail Sameer, Chief Executive Officer, BharatPe said, “As we begin our journey on the consumer side, our focus will be to launch products that are industry shaping, 100% digital and easy to use. This one-of-its-kind product for consumers has been designed to ensure industry-best benefits both for lenders, as well as borrowers. We believe that 12% Club will strike the right chord with a diverse set of new-age digitally savvy customers- from young salaried individuals, to professionals with disposable incomes, as well as the investors who park their funds in various financial instruments. The initial response has been phenomenal. In the pilot phase, we have seen great traction with US$ 5mn of monthly investment run rate and US$ 1mn of monthly borrowing run rate. We are confident that this product will be well received in the market and will play a key role in driving financial inclusion in the country. This is just the beginning and we will be adding new customer products during the rest of the financial year.”

Added Suhail, “BharatPe’s P2P lending product for merchants has been one of our industry defining products with Gross Investments of close to US$ 700mn done by over 6.3 lac merchants. Also, we are one of the largest B2B Fintech lenders in the country, having disbursed over US$ 300 mn in business loans to over 2 lac merchant partners.”

In order to begin the journey of investments/ borrowing via the 12% Club, a customer needs to follow the steps below:

ü  Download the 12% Club app by visiting the link

ü  Complete the sign-up process

ü  Create the 12% Club account and accept T&Cs

ü  Start investments or borrowing journey with 12% Club

Today, BharatPe is a trusted fintech partner for millions of small merchants in India. Over the last 3 years, we have led the way and launched disruptive products to empower merchants- from India’s first interoperable UPI QR, to collateral free business loans and India’s first zero rental POS machines. These products have been well received and have been key contributors for driving financial inclusion for small merchants and kirana store owners.

Recently, BharatPe forayed into the unicorn club with Series E fund raise of US$ 350 mn at a valuation of US$ 2.85 bn. The round, led by Tiger Global, also saw new participation from Dragoneer Investment Group and Steadfast Capital. Five out of the seven existing institutional investors participated in the round - namely Coatue Management, Insight Partners, Sequoia Growth, Ribbit Capital and Amplo. BharatPe is now amongst the Top 5 most valued Fintech startups in India, and has one of the strongest cap tables for any start-up in India.

About BharatPe

BharatPe was co-founded by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani in 2018 with the vision of making financial inclusion a reality for Indian merchants. In 2018, BharatPe launched India’s first UPI interoperable QR code, the first zero MDR payment acceptance service. In 2020, post-Covid, BharatPe also launched India’s only zero MDR card acceptance terminals – BharatSwipe. Currently serving over 70 lakh merchants across 140+ cities, the company is a leader in UPI offline transactions, processing 11 crores+ UPI transactions per month (annualized Transaction Processed Value of US$ 10+ Bn). The company has already facilitated disbursement of loans totaling to over Rs. 2,200 crores to its merchants, since launch. BharatPe’s POS business processes payments of over Rs. 1,400 crores/ month. BharatPe has raised close to US$ 600 million in equity and debt, till date. The company’s list of marquee investors includes Tiger Global, Dragoneer Investment Group, Steadfast Capital, Coatue Management, Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners, Steadview Capital, Beenext, Amplo and Sequoia Capital.  In June 2021, the company announced the acquisition of PAYBACK India, the country’s largest multi-brand loyalty program company with 100 million+ members. In June 2021, it was also given an in-principle approval by Reserve Bank of India to establish a Small Finance Bank, in partnership with Centrum Financial Services Limited (Centrum), the established and profitable NBFC arm of the Centrum Group.

Now Personalize Your Fan In The Shade Of Your Choice-A Unique Offering From Fanzart

Fanzart has been in the business of designer luxury fans for close to a decade now, and is at the forefront of innovation in the sector. In a latest offering, Fanzart now enables its customers to personalize any fan from their catalog to a color shade of their choice. This includes being able to customize the color of your fan blades, the motor housing, and the downrod too. With this option, customers can create a luxury fan that can be incorporated into the interior design of their space in a personalized manner – making their homes truly one-of-a-kind. 

Speaking on the launch of this latest offering, Tarun Lala, Executive Director, Fanzart says, “We strongly believe that luxury fans should make way for customization. This offering is the natural next step for our customers looking for something that is uniquely them. It can be incorporated into our wide portfolio of designer fans – those with lights, retractable blades, wooden blades, and even our pedestal fans. We are sure that interior designers and architects will find this a useful feature too, to provide their clients with exclusive interior design options”. 

As pioneers in the field of luxury fans, Fanzart offers customization for select models in more than 3600 shades allowing you to create a luxury fan that can be incorporated into the interior design of your space in a personalized manner – making your homes truly one-of-a-kind.

Maple – The Maple leaf-shaped 5-blade wooden designer fan, ideal for bedrooms and living rooms. 

Pine – The 65-inch 3-blade wooden fan for larger common living areas like the drawing-room or the bedrooms

Cherry – The 52-inch and 36-inch designer fan with 3 natural wood blades

Salsa – The model that takes on a great glossy shade on its 3 blade aluminium alloy design

Zen – The 56-inch fan with multi-colored LED lights, great for bedrooms, living rooms, and dining areas. 

About Fanzart

In the 10 years since 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. 

For more details and online purchase please log on to

Cinthol Health Plus And Fortis Announce A Partnership Initiative For Post COVID-19 Vaccine Sensitization

The COVID-19 vaccination drive across India is picking up pace, thanks to the combined efforts of public hospitals and private healthcare providers. While people are getting vaccinated, they have many doubts and questions on post-vaccination hygiene and care. On the other hand, some individuals become completely negligent towards hygiene norms after their vaccine dose, believing they are completely immune. Acknowledging these concerns and to address them, an interesting initiative has been announced.

Cinthol Health Plus, the health soap brand from Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL), and Fortis Hospital Vadapalani have joined hands for a post-vaccine sensitization programme. The objective is to create awareness around post-vaccine precautions, do’s and don’ts while encouraging citizens to keep following hygiene norms even after the vaccination is done. The week-long pilot of this programme has already started at Fortis Hospital, Vadapalani (Chennai), where a post-vaccine kit will be given free of cost to those getting vaccinated at the hospital.

Being built on the strong association with protection outdoors, Cinthol Health Plus is a health soap that gives all-round protection with a refreshing fragrance. Fortis Healthcare, a leading private sector healthcare provider in India and across its network hospitals has been at the forefront of the vaccination drive with 24 hospitals across India engaged in administering vaccinations.

Cinthol Health Plus has conceptualized the post-vaccine sensitization kit along with Fortis Hospital, incorporating key hygiene messages that can inform and empower people. The carefully curated kit contains a COVID-19 booklet capturing important do’s and don’ts in an easy to understand language. The kit also includes safety and hygiene products, including Cinthol Health Plus germ protection soap, sanitizer, masks, gloves, face shield, face wipes, among others. 

Commenting about the initiative, Sunil Kataria, CEO - India and SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL), said, “Vaccination is the most important part to beat the COVID-19 virus. As a brand, Cinthol Health Plus has always inspired people to take on one’s duties fearlessly with its assurance of protection from germs. Our post-vaccine sensitization program is a humble step to contribute to the massive national COVID-19 vaccination drive. The strategic partnership with Fortis will facilitate a direct connect with individuals taking their vaccine dose.  We are confident that the pilot program in Chennai will lead to a positive impact and inspire many more such initiatives across cities.” 

Speaking on the partnership, Dr. Sanjay Pandey, Zonal Director, Fortis Hospitals, Chennai said, “We are delighted to partner with Cinthol Health Plus to raise awareness among the public about the need of maintaining basic hygiene during COVID. In many cases, post vaccination, there is misconception in the minds of people that they can ignore basic hygiene – Sanitising, Masking and Social Distancing (SMS). While there is no doubt that the current two-dose vaccines will surely protect an individual from ending up in ICU or getting cured with minimal infection, medical experts are still in the process of learning and understanding the vaccine’s longevity, virus mutations and behaviour. Even before the vaccine, individual discipline protected everyone from the virus spread. Today, it is still necessary to maintain that discipline and follow SMS even after getting vaccinated. We sincerely request every individual to follow SMS principle to contain community spread and remain protected.”

About Godrej Consumer Products Ltd:

Godrej Consumer Products is a leading emerging markets company. As part of the 124-year young Godrej Group, we are fortunate to have a proud legacy built on the strong values of trust, integrity and respect for others. At the same time, we are growing fast and have exciting, ambitious aspirations.

Today, our Group enjoys the patronage of 1.15 billion consumers globally, across different businesses. In line with our 3 by 3 approach to international expansion at Godrej Consumer Products, we are building a presence in 3 emerging markets (Asia, Africa, Latin America) across 3 categories (home care, personal wash, hair care). We rank among the largest household insecticide and hair care players in emerging markets. In household insecticides, we are the leader in India, the second largest player in Indonesia and are expanding our footprint in Africa. We are the leader in serving the hair care needs of women of African descent, the number one player in hair colour in India and Sub-Saharan Africa, and among the leading players in Latin America. We rank number two in soaps in India and are the number one player in air fresheners and wet tissues in Indonesia.

But for us, it is very important that besides our strong financial performance and innovative, much-loved products, we remain a good company. Approximately 23 per cent of the promoter holding in our Group is held in trusts that invest in the environment, health and education. We are also bringing together our passion and purpose to make a difference through our 'Good & Green' approach to create a more inclusive and greener India.

At the heart of all of this, is our talented team. We take much pride in fostering an inspiring workplace, with an agile and high performance culture. We are also deeply committed to recognising and valuing diversity across our teams.

About Fortis Healthcare Limited  

Fortis Healthcare Limited – an IHH Healthcare Berhad Company – is a leading integrated healthcare services provider in India. It is one of the largest healthcare organizations in the country with 36 healthcare facilities (including projects under development), 4000 operational beds and over 400 diagnostics centers (including JVs). Fortis is present in India, United Arab Emirates (UAE) & Sri Lanka. The Company is listed on the BSE Ltd and National Stock Exchange (NSE) of India. It draws strength from its partnership with global major and parent company, IHH, to build upon its culture of world-class patient care and superlative clinical excellence. Fortis employs 23,000 people (including SRL) who share its vision of becoming the world’s most trusted healthcare network. Fortis offers a full spectrum of integrated healthcare services ranging from clinics to quaternary care facilities and a wide range of ancillary services.

UTI Mid Cap Fund: Benefit From The Market’s Potential Sweet Spot

In contrast to biological life cycle, companies do go through periods of growth and saturation. Mid cap companies capture a period in the typical business life cycle, wherein companies have successfully navigated the phase inherent to small companies, such as raising initial capital, managing early growth challenges, however, these companies are likely to sustain leadership, operate with significant moat, and they are not so large enough that their ability to fast grow is disparaging. Therefore, mid-cap companies can offer a sweet spot between fast-growing small businesses and well-established large companies.

Mid cap stocks fall in between large cap and small cap stocks and are typically determined based on the market capitalization of the companies. As defined by SEBI, 101st to 250th company by full market capitalization are mid cap stocks. A mid cap fund predominantly invests in mid cap stocks with a minimum of 65% of the fund’s corpus in equity & equity related instruments of mid cap companies.

The Funds investing in mid cap companies provide investor an opportunity to cover broader market capitalization helping in portfolio diversification and also an opportunity to take part in growth stories of medium sized businesses. However, investors should take cognizance of its inherent risks, as both risk and reward potential of mid cap funds are relatively higher than that of well-diversified growth funds.

UTI Mid Cap Fund is an open ended equity scheme investing predominantly in mid cap companies. The Fund’s strategy focuses on investing in companies with scalable business models and long growth runway, the fund is also open to investing in good companies whose business/s are going through transitory phase of weakness OR undergoing a transformational change. The Fund pursues pure bottom-up stock selection approach to pick businesses with healthy financials and potential for sustenance of margins over a period of time. The Fund is also a well-diversified portfolio with about 70 stock covering various sectors and industries.

The Fund’s inception was on April 7, 2004 and has an AUM of over Rs. 6,200 crores with over 3.60 lakhs of unit holder accounts as of July 31, 2021. The Fund is a true to label product, therefore would prefer to have an allocation in mid cap and small cap companies in the range of 85-90% in the portfolio at all point in time. The Fund has about 67% invested into mid cap companies, 20% into small cap companies and remaining in large cap companies as on July 31, 2021. The scheme’s top holding consists of SRF Ltd., Mphasis Ltd., PI Industries Ltd., Jubilant Foodworks Ltd., Cholamandalam Investment and Financial Services Ltd., Crompton Greaves Consumer Electronics Ltd., Gujarat Gas Ltd., Tube Investments of India Ltd., Bharat Forge Ltd., and Astral Ltd. which accounts for about 27% of the portfolio’s holdings.

The Fund with its diversified exposure aims to strike a balance between risk and reward by following a patient approach towards companies in the portfolio and with right mix of companies with Return on Capital Employed (RoCE) and Cash flow profile. This is likely to aid in mitigating sharp return divergence and volatility of the portfolio.

UTI’s rich experience in research and fund management, coupled with coverage of large cross section of companies in mid and small cap universe will help the Fund in picking quality stocks and also avoid the poor ones.

UTI Mid Cap Fund is suitable for investors looking for an investment in a portfolio predominantly investing in mid cap companies and looking to supplement their core equity portfolio with its underlying growth potential.

Globally The Race To Digital Adoption Picks Up During FY 20-21

Cashfree Payments sees over 150% increase in active merchants in last 12 months

●        Total active/transacting merchants grew by more than 150% between June 2021 and June 2020

●        Growth is primarily led by the e-commerce sector, followed by digital goods and ed-tech sector

●        Tier 2-Tier 3 India contribute increasingly to overall growth base

Leading digital payments and banking technology company Cashfree, announced that it has recorded a rise of 150 per cent in active/transacting merchants from July 2020 to July 2021 highlighting a gradual and systematic increment in digital adoption among merchants.  In the same period, the number of merchant sign-ups has grown from  around 70000 in July 2020 to more than 130000 in July 2021, recording a 95 per cent growth. Interestingly, almost 30 per cent of the overall merchant sign-ups have been from the e-commerce sector, followed closely by the digital goods and the ed-tech sector. Cashfree provides full-stack payments solutions enabling businesses in India to collect payments and make payouts via all available methods with a simple integration.

In the last one year, the pandemic situation has led to an all-time high digital adoption rate for both consumers and businesses. A key contributor to this growth has been the increased  adoption of digital payments among merchants during the pandemic, particularly during the second wave, leading to stringent lockdown measures and social distancing norms. This has propelled the need to cut down on physical modes of payments and adopt digital options. This is particularly evident in Tier 2-Tier 3 India, where the ease of digital payment options, combined with the need to comply with social-distancing norms has  seen the emergence of new geographies contributing to the overall consumer base growth.

Akash Sinha, CEO and Co-Founder, Cashfree said, “The pandemic has led businesses to rethink their entire payment management processes. At Cashfree, we’re using innovations and predictive analysis for precise credit assessment and customized solutions to build a suite of products that can be customised to meet the glocal needs of Indian merchants. One of the earliest adopters have been merchants from the e-commerce sector. They contribute to almost 26% of our overall merchant sign-up base, followed by digital goods and the ed-tech sector. It has also helped to open up our services to deeper India in places such as Indore, Jaipur, Lucknow among others. From bank account verification API and Auto Collect -- a virtual account solution to match inbound payments to customers, Cashfree is constantly trying to ensure that businesses in India have access to technologies that serve their needs.”

At present, Cashfree’s client list  includes leading names like  Cred, BigBasket, Zomato, HDFC Ergo, Ixigo, Acko, Zoomcar, and Delhivery among others.

Cashfree has been expanding rapidly over the past few months. Recently, India’s largest lender, SBI invested in Cashfree underscoring the company’s role in building a robust payments ecosystem. Further delivering on its commitment, Cashfree caters to the difficulties faced by young as well as traditional businesses. Through its partnerships, the company has launched several personalized products and solutions for specific business use cases to elevate end-user experiences. With over 50% market share among payment processors, Cashfree today leads the way in bulk disbursals in India with Cashfree Payouts.

Cashfree is also amongst the leading payment service providers in India and processes transactions worth USD 20 billion annually. Apart from India, Cashfree’s products are used in eight other foreign countries like the USA, Canada and the UAE.

Atos Successfully Delivered Critical IT For Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

* Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 was the most digitally connected Olympic Games in history

Atos, the Worldwide IT Partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, today announced it has run and orchestrated the key digital IT systems that helped to safely and securely deliver the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and enabled billions of fans around the world to follow the competitions in these unprecedented times.

Atos’ broad scope of responsibility in the Olympic Games included everything from program and operations management and the development and hosting of critical applications, to digital integration. Working side-by-side with the IOC (International Olympic Committee), Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and other technology partners, Atos ensured the effective digital delivery of the event.

Reducing the environmental impact of the Olympic Games

The fast-evolving secure, decarbonized, digital technology landscape brings innovation, in each edition of the Olympic Games and Tokyo 2020 was an exciting next step in the digital transformation of the Olympic Games. In line with its own groundbreaking commitments towards decarbonization and Net Zero, Atos is actively participating in global efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the Olympic Games – fully migrating all systems to the cloud, supporting key technology testing and rehearsal remotely and scaling down the number of physical servers needed for previous Olympic Games. This new delivery model enabled to reduce energy consumption, heat emanation, reduce the amount and number of resource intensive hardware infrastructures, as well as limiting the number of employees travelling to the host city. Atos will be reusing the same technologies for the Paralympic Games.

“In these unprecedented times, the support and confidence of our Worldwide Partners is now more important than ever. We are pleased to be working with Atos, our trusted guide in a period of great digital transformation, to provide the digital backbone and key digital platforms we rely on to run the Olympic Games. We are delighted to be able to keep counting on Atos to support the Olympic Movement and to help bring the Olympic values to billions of people across the globe.” said Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Tokyo 2020 in numbers

* All critical applications were hosted 100% in the Atos cloud

* 400,000 accreditations issued (up to 30% since Rio 2016) – which also served as a secure official border entry document into Japan

* 41,724 volunteers accepted through the volunteer portal

* 339 events in the Olympic Program with near-instant transmission of results to fans, journalists and broadcasters

* Billions of viewers

* 200,000 hours of technical testing during the preparations – including Olympic Games-first virtual methods to complete technology rehearsals

* Physical servers have been reduced by nearly 50% compared to previous editions – operating from 250 servers in Rio 2016 to just over 130 in Tokyo 2020

* Record breaking traffic for Olympic digital platforms (+50% users compared to Rio 2016)

* 6.5 M users of the official Olympic website during the first days of the Olympic Games

“Members of the Atos team are champions behind the scenes, and I am extremely proud of their hard work and dedication,” said Elie Girard, Atos CEO. “We brought our trusted digital expertise and 30-year experience to ensure the successful delivery of the Olympic Games. By quickly adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Atos family has shown flexibility and has leveraged its digital security expertise to enable fans and all stakeholders worldwide to keep track of their favorite athletes – which is a fantastic achievement, as these Olympic Games were the most connected in history.”

Atos provided critical digital solutions to Tokyo 2020, including Games Management Systems supporting the planning and operations of the Olympic Games and Information Diffusion Systems delivering real-time results to the media and the Olympic family. Atos also secured the entire IT infrastructure, leveraging its expertise in digital cybersecurity and as number #2 managed services provider worldwide. Its centralized and cloud-based security services included a Security Operations Center (SOC), a Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), endpoint detection & response and vulnerability assessment services.

As part of the digital innovations of the Tokyo 2020, Atos also implemented edge computing technology allowing reduced processing time and developed the most innovative Advanced Access Control Sy­stem in history, which integrates facial recognition.

Looking forward to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024.

After an extraordinary Olympic Games, Atos will look to accomplish the same feat for the truly exciting Paralympic Games, starting August 24, supporting the same spectrum of digital technologies covering 540 events from 22 different sports.

As the secure, decarbonized digital technology landscape evolves Atos teams are eager to bring their innovation commitment and passion for the successful organization of the next editions and will be supporting the IOC for the Beijing 2022 and  Olympic Games Paris 2024

Vi Integrates Vi Movies And Television All In Vi New App

* Now Stream Your favourite Content on Vi App

Vi, India’s leading telecom operator, today announced a significant capacity addition by integrating ‘Vi Movies & TV App’ into the ‘Vi App’, which now allows customers to stream their favourite content seamlessly. Offering a simplified and new user experience, Vi App will now double up as an OTT app offering a rich repertoire of content, in addition to the wide range of products & services available. 

Vi subscribers can now access robust content on Vi App from: 

·         450+ Live TV channels including the likes of Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Colors HD, Colors Infinity, Discovery, MTV, History TV, SunTV, Zee Bangla, Animal Planet, Nick & many more

·         Live News on channels like Aaj Tak, India TV, CNBC Awaaz, Republic TV, ABP News, NDTV 24x7, CNN News & many more

·         Premium content from OTT apps like Voot Select, Discovery, Lionsgate Play, SunNxt and Shemaroo Me

The integrated experience is now live for Android users and will soon be available for iOS users. You can download the App via:  

About Vi:

Vodafone Idea Limited is an Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Group partnership. It is India’s leading telecom service provider. The Company provides pan India Voice and Data services across 4G, 3G and 2G platform. With the large spectrum portfolio to support the growing demand for data and voice, the company is committed to deliver delightful customer experiences and contribute towards creating a truly ‘Digital India’ by enabling millions of citizens to connect and build a better tomorrow. The Company is developing infrastructure to introduce newer and smarter technologies, making both retail and enterprise customers future ready with innovative offerings, conveniently accessible through an ecosystem of digital channels as well as extensive on-ground presence. The Company is listed on National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in India. 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Tetra Pak’s Sustainability Report Shows Strong Actions To Meet Net Zero Ambition


* Accelerated development of the world’s most sustainable food package with €100 million investment per annum

Tetra Pak, a world leading food processing and packaging solutions company released the 2021 Sustainability Report, celebrating the many ways the company has worked to protect food, people, and the planet in the past year. An annual tradition since 1999, this year's report is especially poignant during a global pandemic, while the world's focus on planet and the environment is being challenged.  

Here are some highlights from the global operations in 2020:

·         Continued to ensure food safety and help customers maintain uninterrupted food supplies during the COVID-19 crisis; In 2020 alone, over 77 billion litres of products have been sold in Tetra Pak packages.

·         Worked in partnerships to ensure 64 million children in 45 countries received milk or other nutritious beverages in Tetra Pak packages in their schools, despite the pandemic

·         Achieved our 2020 climate goal, decoupling economic growth from GHG emissions across the full value chain, scope 1, 2, 3 (-19% versus 2010). Achieved an outstanding –70% GHG reduction in our own operations from 2010 to 2020, scope 1 and 2.

·         Announced a net zero climate goal and SBTi approved science-based targets across all scopes 1, 2 & 3

·         Technical validation with limited commercial launch of first aseptic package with non-foil barrier.

·         Launched breakthrough low-energy equipment line for processing juices and still drinks

·         Led and implemented a wide range of activities across the recycling value chain in markets around the world, contributing to increased global carton package recycling rate of 27%.

·         Became the only company in the carton packaging sector to be included in CDP’s leadership band for environmental transparency and action for five years in a row and to score an outstanding double “A” for climate and forests

·         Extended the use of renewable electricity across our factories to 83% in 2020, up from 69% in 2019, surpassing our target of 80%.

In addition, here are some highlights of Tetra Pak's initiatives in India in 2020:

·         Continued to ensure uninterrupted support to our customers and the nation during the lock-down period owing to COVID-19 pandemic. Over 1.8 billion litres of products have been supplied to brands across India in 2020 alone.

·         Deployed over INR 5 crores towards COVID-19 relief efforts in India

·         Worked closely with customers to help optimise their operations and equipment to help reduce water, energy and product waste

·         Installed solar panels with a capacity of 3000 kW, at our manufacturing site at Chakan (Maharashtra) - a step towards reaching our 100% renewable electricity target

·         Doubled the capacity of our Certified Renovation Center that refurbishes packaging & processing equipment by reusing 80% of the material, while extending the life of the equipment by another 60%, significantly reducing the CO2 impact

·         Tetra Pak’s Collection & Recycling Network expanded to cover 26 states and Union Territories, over 45 cities & 15 Army cantonments, supported by 4 recyclers across India

o   4 new collection partners added in 4 cities - Earth Recycler in Chennai, FINISH Society in Udaipur, The Kabadiwala in Bhopal and Waste Warriors in Dehradun

o   A new used carton package collection facility set up in partnership with the Indian Army at Joshimath, Uttarakhand

o   Also, the first ever carton package recycling facility was set up in Sri Lanka, in partnership with EcoMaximus

·         Reached a recycling rate of over 40% in India owing to Tetra Pak’s own efforts as well as the efforts of the industry through Action Alliance for Recycling beverage Cartons (AARC)

o   AARC now includes 15 member companies including leading F&B brands and carton manufacturers

·         Successfully completed 11 years of Go Green with Tetra Pak (consumer awareness program in Mumbai), collecting over 80 lakh carton packages over the years. The program was expanded further to Chennai with 18 consumer drop-off points set up across the city.

·         Successfully concluded Phase 1 (2017-2019) and kicked-off Phase 2 of Alag Karo – Har Din Teen Bin, a waste segregation program run in partnership with Coca Cola India, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, implemented by Saahas.

The full report including highlights & cases from India can be viewed here:

As a world-leading food processing and packaging solutions company, Tetra Pak recognizes that future success depends on the company’s ability to provide safe and environmentally sound products to consumers and commits to being socially responsible in the way that it operates across the value chain. The company has long taken a value chain approach because it recognizes that it can only create a more sustainable future by addressing the interconnected nature of the environmental, social and economic challenges. Tetra Pak uses the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help prioritise sustainability efforts. The company’s Strategy 2030, which will guide the team over the next decade, has “Lead the sustainability transformation” as one of its central pillars comprising of two goals: “Lead with low-carbon circular economy solutions” and “Enhance sustainability across the value chain”. This is well reflected in the actions taken in 2020, and the plans laid out for the next decade.

About Tetra Pak:

Tetra Pak is a world leading food processing and packaging solutions company. Working closely with our customers and suppliers, we provide safe, innovative and environmentally sound products that each day meet the needs of hundreds of millions of people in more than 160 countries. With over 25,000 employees around the world, we believe in responsible industry leadership and a sustainable approach to business.

SIDBI Provides First Approval To Government Of Tamil Nadu Under SIDBI Cluster Development Fund

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), the principal financial institution engaged in the promotion, financing and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has provided the first approval under SIDBI Cluster Development Fund (SCDF) to Government of Tamil Nadu in a special event held at the Tamil Nadu Assembly today.

The in-principle approval letter was handed over by Shri Sivasubramanian Ramann, IA&AS, Chairman and Managing Director, SIDBI in the presence of Shri M. K. Stalin, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Dr. Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, Minister for Finance, Shri Thangam Thennarasu, Minister for Industries, Shri T. M. Anbarasan, Minister for Rural Industries, Shri V. Irai Anbu, IAS, Chief Secretary, Shri S. Krishnan, IAS, Finance Secretary, Shri N. Muruganandam, IAS, Principal Secretary - Industries, Shri V. Arun Roy, IAS, MSME Secretary, Smt. Chitra K. Alai, Chief General Manager, SIDBI and Dr. R. K. Singh, Chief General Manager, SIDBI.

The project specific moderately priced loan assistance under SCDF will be extended by SIDBI to State Government for upgrading various existing MSME clusters and for developing new industrial infrastructural facilities in the State of Tamil Nadu.

Shri Sivasubramanian Ramann, IA&AS, Chairman and Managing Director of SIDBI said, “The thrust shall be laid on clusters in sectors/subsectors which can directly benefit the MSMEs in the state and to bring them to a level ‘NEXT’ wherein they emerge vibrant, higher on the value chain and become sustainable. SIDBI shall complement these with its customized direct lending products being channelized in the supported clusters, setting an example for other institutions to adopt and replicate. On need basis SIDBI shall also examine supporting the soft infrastructure issues in select clusters relating to technology, skilling/upskilling, energy efficiency, market and credit connect. A pilot has been launched in Ambattur leather cluster.”

The expert committee on MSMEs headed by Shri U.K. Sinha has recommended a more focused engagement of SIDBI with State Governments for MSME development and promotion including use of Priority Sector Shortfall (PSS) funds to create a low-cost lending window for State Governments for infrastructure projects in clusters.  Accordingly, SIDBI has set up Project Management Units (PMUs) in 11 states namely, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujrat, Haryana, Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu., The PMUs in co-ordination with SIDBI and State Governments has given policy/scheme inputs on Innovation Voucher Programme scheme, New Entrepreneur cum Enterprise Development Scheme, undertaken rapid profiling of migrant labors options for entrepreneurship in PMU States etc.

SCDF has been setup with support of RBI to support the hard infrastructure facilities in clusters pan India. The fund is envisaged to support setting up, upgrading and renovation of MSME infrastructure in areas other than agriculture.  The major sectors include industrial and agri-allied sectors in the MSME eco-space, social sector projects in and around MSME clusters and connectivity to MSME Clusters.

Tata Motors Honors Olympians Who Narrowly Missed The Podium Finish But Inspired Billions

* Presents them with the Altroz, #TheGoldStandard of hatchbacks

Tata Motors, India’s leading automotive brand today handed over the keys of Altroz - the gold standard of hatchbacks to the Indian athletes who narrowly missed the bronze medal in the recently held Tokyo Olympics. They may not have won a medal but have won hearts of millions and inspired billions through their commendable performances. To recognize and congratulate them, Tata Motors honored 24 Olympians across categories such as Hockey, Wrestling, Golf, Boxing and Discuss throw. An Altroz will be handed over to each athlete, in the High Street Gold colour to mark his or her gold standard efforts.

According to Mr. Shailesh Chandra, President, Passenger Vehicle Business, Tata Motors, “We are extremely proud of our athletes for the sheer commitment and the indomitable spirit they showed at the recently held Tokyo Olympics and it is my honour to share the same platform with them today. Resonating their spirit and acknowledging their hard work, we are ecstatic to present to them the Tata Altroz, the gold standard in premium hatchbacks. As they continue to inspire each one of us, we wish them all the very best for their future and are confident that in years to come, they will bring to our country success galore.

ALTROZ has been receiving a lot of love and appreciation from the audience and is reaching new heights of success. Altroz comes with a futuristic design, 5 Star Global NCAP safety and a host of premium features such as touchscreen infotainment, leatherette seats, iRA connected car technology, Automatic headlamps, Rear AC vents and many more.

De Beers Forevermark Presents Its 10th Annual India Forum

De Beers, the world’s leading diamond company has made several exciting and significant announcements at its 10th annual forum held over the last three days. The announcements include – the De Beers Forevermark rebrand, the launch of the Forevermark Avaanti collection, the new Code of Origin programme and new partnership with National Geographic. Hosting a hybrid virtual and in person event, the diamond brand reached out to over 8 lakhs partners, diamantaires, manufacturers and patrons.

This year’s theme,‘Make Life Brilliant’ reflects De Beers’ purpose and belief that its diamonds have the power to Make Life Brilliant for its customers, communities and the planet, from its commitment to Building Forever and its bold and ambitious 2030 sustainability goals to its timeless jewellery designs.

During the event, De Beers announced that Forevermark™ will be renamed De Beers Forevermark. The name change, is part of De Beers’ wider brand transformation, focused on connecting consumers to the significant social, environmental and responsible sourcing benefits the company creates for the people and places where it discovers diamonds, will create a closer connection between Forevermark and the iconic De Beers brand, De Beers Group’s Building Forever sustainability commitments, and the company’s more than 130 years of diamond expertise. The name change will also deliver important benefits for retail partners, enabling greater storytelling about the positive impact De Beers Forevermark diamonds support throughout the value chain. The name change will apply across all the Forevermark channels, with guests having the opportunity to experience the new De Beers Forevermark brand environment. Additionally, the jewellery house has released its new De Beers Forevermark Diamond Jewellery Verification Report that will authenticate the entire product and not just the diamond a consumer purchases.

Nancy Liu, CEO, De Beers Forevermark said, “We are delighted to welcome our partners to our 10th De Beers Forevermark forum. Over the past decade, we have seen the evolution and development of the diamond industry, along with shifting consumer behaviours. Consumers are increasingly demanding that the brands they purchase reflect their values and inspire trust. A Forevermark diamond has always stood for the highest standards of beauty and responsible sourcing and by aligning Forevermark more closely with the De Beers name, we can directly connect the Forevermark promise with the values and expertise signified by De Beers.”

Adding to its portfolio of designs De Beers Forevermark launched its latest fine jewellery collection, Forevermark Avaanti. Embodying the spirit of possibility, inspiring the wearer to realise their power and make a lasting statement every day - thirty-six stand-out pieces sweep around like a ripple, symbolising the start of something new. Featuring a rare De Beers Forevermark diamond set in 18k yellow, white, or rose gold, the clean, circular designs are also available with the added brilliance of pavé diamonds.

Displaying the latest technologies in retail to its partners, the jewellery house also presented its new virtual store, which will provide consumers with an exclusive first look at the Forevermark Avaanti collection ahead of its launch in India on 10th September. Immersing themselves in the 3D experience, consumers will have the opportunity to explore the collection to find their favourite products alongside the collection's campaign. They will also be able to sign-up for email and WhatsApp updates, allowing them to be the first to shop the collection as soon as it is available.

Attendees at the forum were introduced to De Beers’ new trusted source program, Code of Origin. In India, the Code of Origin program will cover a range of diamonds from 0.08 carats and below. Each piece of jewellery that is accompanied by a Code of Origin certificate provides the consumer with the assurance that the diamonds contained within it are natural and conflict free, and were discovered by De Beers in Botswana, Canada, Namibia, or South Africa. Moreover, it lets the consumer know that the Code of Origin diamonds in their jewellery have had a positive impact on the people and places where they were found, helping to provide jobs, education, healthcare and wildlife conservation. The Code of Origin programme is currently running with a limited number of development partners ahead of it being scaled up in 2022.

Also announced during the event was the launch of Okavango Eternal, a strategic partnership between De Beers and National Geographic to address one of the most critical conservation challenges in Africa: protecting the source waters of the Okavango Delta and the lives and livelihoods they support. The five-year commitment, which will help protect Africa’s endangered species, ensure water and food security for more than one million people and develop livelihood opportunities for 10,000 people, represents a critical inward investment to underpin the resilience and long-term recovery of the region in the years ahead. The partnership is focused on working hand in hand with communities throughout the Okavango to deliver shared ecological solutions that lead to shared economic opportunity.

“We’ve aptly themed this year’s forum ‘Make Life Brilliant’. Today more than ever, we are aware of our ability to connect to an even wider range of consumers with our social purpose and to make life brilliant not just for this generation, but for future generations. This year’s forum is a momentous occasion for us where we adapted both virtually and physically to the new normal. It is an opportunity for us to bring our partners together, to interact and transact over three days, and we have made several new and exciting announcements including, our De Beers Forevermark rebrand, the launch of the Forevermark Avaanti collection, and our new Code of Origin programme as well as our motivating new partnership with National Geographic,” said Sachin Jain, Managing Director, De Beers India.

The De Beers Forevermark Forum was marked a success both on-ground and virtually. The brand now gears up for the upcoming season.

Godrej Interio Boosts Its Digital Foray To Drive Richer Consumer Experience

* Witnesses a stupendous increase of 43% through online sales till July-21 compared to last year; targets 40% growth in online sales by the end of F.Y 22 ~

* 29% of the revenue generated from the Southern markets result from online sales ~

Godrej & Boyce, the flagship company of the Godrej Group, announced that its business Godrej Interio, India’s leading furniture brand in home and institutional segments has revealed that ‘home storage’ has been the highest selling category through online sales since the Covid-19 pandemic hit India. The company also announced that their Interio division is targeting 40% growth through online sales via its own D2C platform, by F.Y.22 and further eyes 30% growth over the next two years.

In line with the global trend in the furniture retail industry, Godrej Interio has been investing heavily in key digital technologies, automation, and processes to build a robust, truly omni-channel, omnipresent furniture brand with the largest footprint across the country.

At the backend Godrej Interio introduced ‘Robotic Process Automation’ to automate the processes resulting in speeding up the communication as many team members were working from home. It also implemented technology to reduce the cost of being connected to all stakeholders along with reducing the cost of the supply chain. Whereas on the front end, the company introduced innovative digital tools like visual search on its website to help customers choose the perfect product for their living spaces. Godrej Interio also brought in artificial intelligence (AI) which scans designs, materials, geometrics and recommends products based on the configuration of the home that people have. The 360-degree walkthrough of the store lets consumers zoom in on products and also interact with the store personnel. In addition to this, the company has also brought in a 3D configurator wherein a customer along with the sales team can customize products and visualize how the room looks before finalizing the purchase.

Subodh Mehta, Senior Vice President (B2C), Godrej Interio said “The pandemic has pushed brands to improve their online shopping experience for consumers with a renewed thrust to seamlessly integrate technology. Taking cognizance of this change in consumer behaviour, we at Godrej Interio have blended our digital and retail stores to deliver a complete Omni-channel experience to our customers by increasing our penetration through online channels. Our retail strategy has taken a little diversion of bringing in more digital tools at the point of sale to make consumer’s decision-making journey easier. We are also increasing the delivery points from 2,000 pin codes to 5,000 pin codes. We have interior designers who work with customers in helping them visualize the looks once they purchase our furniture and provide design consultancy too. Our user friendly, e-commerce enabled website provides consumers with a great opportunity to discover and purchase our range online.”

Godrej Interio plans to bring all of its dealers onto the e-commerce portal so that the customer can directly book orders and it can be delivered to any part of the country from its dealers to customers. It also plans to introduce ‘Consumer Internet of Things’ (CIOT) in products, moving ahead. Earlier last month, Godrej Interio was also conferred the title of India’s Most Desirable Brand Award 2021 by Trust Research Advisory under the ‘Furniture Retail’ category. The brand has taken a giant leap from 186 in 2020 to 38th position this year.

About Godrej Interio:

Godrej Interio (GI) is India’s premium furniture brand in both home and institutional segments with a strong commitment to sustainability and centers of excellence in design, manufacturing, and retail.

Led by the largest in-house design team in the country in the furniture category and awarded with 37 India Design Mark Awards till date, GI aims to transform spaces with its thoughtfully designed furniture to create brighter homes and offices with products that have the highest design quotient in aesthetics, functionality and technology. With consistent pursuit of excellence and a special focus on health and ergonomics, GI’s product portfolio comprises a massive range.

Today, we design and manufacture furniture for office spaces, homes, educational institutes, healthcare facilities, laboratories and more. Along with furniture we offer Audio Visual and 360 Degree Turnkey solutions. Each of our product range revolves around comfort and aesthetics while delivering well-designed, fun and functional furniture solutions. Briefly, Godrej Interio transforms dream spaces to life!

Godrej Interio has 7 manufacturing facilities situated at Mumbai, Khalapur, Haridwar, Shirwal, and Bhagwanpur. GI’s Shirwal Plant is Green Co Platinum Certified, and Mumbai Plants are Green Co Gold Certified. GI is widely known for its comprehensive sustainability certifications for its products in furniture category.

GI commitment to the environment has resulted in manufacturing products with lesser environment footprint. Our pioneering efforts include designing less environment burdening products, usage of eco-friendly materials and setting up less polluting and consuming processes, ensuring eco-friendly packaging and transportation and finally the extended responsibility of recycling/reuse of used furniture and scrap, thus ensuring a lifecycle approach to green. GI has the widest range of green choices for our customers which not only includes products but also services such as green interiors and recycling.

Currently present in over 650 cities with 250 exclusive showrooms and 800 dealers, GI is one of the largest divisions of Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd., part of the Godrej Group, one of India's largest engineering and customer product groups.

The brand boasts of noteworthy awards received so far- CII Exim Bank Award for Business Excellence 2016, Superbrands 2017-18, Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brand 2018 Gold (Home Furniture and Modular Kitchen), TRA’s India’s Most Consumer focused brand 2019, GreenCo Star Performer Award 2019, National Energy Leader Award at CII National Award for Excellence in Energy Management 2018.

FADA Hosted Its 3rd Auto Retail Conclave ‘Thriving Through Disruption’

The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) hosted the third edition of the Auto Retail Conclave today on the theme of ‘Thriving Through Disruption’. Participants included Indian and global automaking companies, industry stalwarts as well as FADA members from across the nation.

Our distinguished Chief Guest, Hon'ble Union Minister, Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of Heavy Industries, inaugurated the conclave along with Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, as Guest of Honour. Also present on the occasion were Mr. Kenichi Ayukawa, President, SIAM and Mr. Sunjay Kapur, incoming President ACMA.  

Hon’ble Union Minister of Heavy Industries, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, acknowledged the significant contribution made by the dealers’ community to the auto industry and economy and said: “The auto industry should play a vital role in making India a manufacturing hub under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji. The Indian government has been making efforts to promote India as a global business-friendly destination. We are promoting Clean, Green & Atmanirbhar Bharat campaigns in India and revitalizing the green mobility movement.”

Additionally, “he urged the automobile industry to continue making efforts to make India an Atmanirbhar manufacturing hub not only for India but globally and to contribute to the success of the government's Automotive Mission Plan 2026”.

Mr. Vinkesh Gulati, President, Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a marked impact on automobile dealers. Many dealerships are family-owned small, mid-sized businesses and partnership firms. The resilient industry has survived the pandemic by managing finances prudently and restructuring the overall dealer business. However, the pandemic and the exit of several prominent auto OEMS has hurt the dealers extensively. While the government has done a lot to promote the viability of the sector, we request it to consider protecting the auto dealers’ rights who have been impacted by the unexpected exit of MNCs with whom they had signed up as long-term partners. Giving industry status will create a sense of equilibrium in this industry.

“The auto retail sector employs over 45 lakh people. It contributes Rs 95,000 crores in direct and indirect taxes and other levies to the Central and State Exchequers. The sector has a minimum set-up cost of INR 1,50,000 crores; 60,000 acres of own land and an investment of INR 2,25,000 crores. In fact the Auto Retail Sector is the largest Sector in the country and every state’s economy. The enormous size and potential of this segment of retail sector can be gauged from the fact that auto retail is 3 times the size of rest of the organized retail.

Industry status will give us better financing options in terms of priority lending from banks, financing from top lenders, private equity investments, easier access to domestic and global funds and more tax benefits. This will boost the confidence of the sector immensely and will result in the scaling up of infrastructure bringing in new investments to make the sector foster growth.”

The conclave witnessed a series of panel discussions on optimization, reinforcement and agility of the dealerships. The key topics for the Power Panel discussion were ‘Strengthening our Relationship’ & ‘Future of Auto Retail’.

An awards ceremony was also held to honour the winners of FADA’s Dealer Satisfaction Study - 2021. The survey was conducted by FADA in collaboration with PremonAsia, a consumer-insight driven consulting & advisory firm based in Singapore. The survey data was spread across sectors & segments on a pan India basis, covering a vast geography and OEM brands. 

MAHE Signs MoU With Anthem Biosciences To Boost Industry-Academic Research Opportunities


Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and Anthem Biosciences, Bangalore, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to boost industry-academic partnerships. The prime focus of the MoU is to explore and evaluate potential industry-academic research opportunities and educational services and provide industrial training and internship opportunities to the students.

Dr. Mahadev Rao, Professor & Head, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, MAHE, Manipal, said “It is our utmost privilege to be working alongside Anthem Biosciences. Our partnership aims to open avenues for students in the field of pharmacy practice, Medical & Clinical Operations, etc. for industry-academic research and provide them industrial training and internship to get real-time experience. We look for to this collaboration”

Anthem Biosciences is a CRISP (Contract Research and Innovation Service Provider) with the capacity to house over 1000 researchers and produce unique commercial medication actives. Anthem assists with drug testing for safety, efficacy (in vitro and in vivo), pre-clinical animal studies in a GLP facility, clone development, Antibody Drug Conjugates, R&D and manufacture of highly potent compounds, flow chemistry-based production, and large-scale commercial product manufacture, in addition to product research and development.

The MoU process was initiated by Dr. Mahadev Rao, Professor and Head, Department of Pharmacy Practice, (Co-ordinator Translational Research Centre), Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MCOPS) along with Dr. Praveen Kumar Shetty, Head & General Manager, Medical & Clinical Operations, Anthem Biosciences, and Dr. Narayana Sabhahit, Registrar, MAHE, Dr. Mallikarjuna Rao, Principal, MCOPS.

WhiteHat Jr Partners With Harvard Business Publishing, KPMG In India And Stanford Professor Jo Boaler To Bolster Employee, Teachers

WhiteHat Jr, a leading live one-on-one online learning platform, has built out a holistic people development charter by partnering with globally renowned institutions such as Harvard Business Publishing (HBP), KPMG in India and Mathematics thought leader and Stanford professor Jo Boaler, to create custom programs aimed at further developing and training employees and teachers and facilitating their capacity for growth, performance, and effectiveness. Through these collaborations, WhiteHat Jr will make accessible world-class initiatives to various divisions within the company ranging from the teacher workforce to operations to sales.

“Our focus has been on building organizational excellence that permeates through each and every function. A key driver of this purposeful and compassionate culture has been investing in the growth and personal development of employees at all levels,” said Trupti Mukker, CEO of WhiteHat Jr. "We are signing up with best in class institutions and thought leaders to help unleash the true potential of the people that matter - our employees and our teachers.”

In just over two years, WhiteHat Jr has not only emerged as a leading platform that has organically attracted registrations from 100+ countries and conducted 8.7+ million live classes but has also hired 16,000+ employees and teachers in India, with more than 65% of them being female.

WhiteHat Jr has been consistently investing in teacher training programs, including its in-house Learning Management System (LMS), comprising more than 10,000 hours of video content. The company now plans to expand its teacher training initiatives by collaborating with Dr. Jo Boaler, Nomellini-Olivier Professor of Mathematics Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education to upskill its Math teachers by certifying them in a world-class Math teaching course.

In addition, Harvard Business Publishing (HBP) will design, develop, and deploy a strategic leadership learning experience for WhiteHat Jr’s cohort of leaders.

Last but not least, KPMG will provide a Competency Development Programme (CDP) to certify WhiteHat Jr's Customer facing and Operations teams based on the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt skills and programs.

WhiteHat Jr’s commitment to its employees also extends to various outreach initiatives, including comprehensive Covid care, health and wellness of its employees, mental health awareness programs, and commitment to reskilling employees while on remote work.

About WhiteHat Jr

WhiteHat Jr has been launched with the singular mission of empowering kids to become creators versus consumers of technology. The company has channeled students’ natural creativity through an engaging curriculum and personalized, live teacher attention. WhiteHat Jr’s 11,000+ strong teacher workforce conducts thousands of LIVE Coding, Math and Music online classes every day on its proprietary platform.  Cumulatively, the company has conducted more than 8.7 million classes to date.

DigitSec, UST Announce Partnership To Offer Continuous Application Security Testing For Salesforce DevSecOps

DigitSec, provider of the most comprehensive AppSec testing platform purpose-built for Salesforce, and UST, a leading digital transformation solutions company, today announced a partnership to provide full-spectrum application security testing as part of a comprehensive Salesforce portfolio for enterprise customers.

* UST will offer its clients the DigitSec SaaS Security Scanner™- S4 for Salesforce™ as part of its plan to deliver more secure and resilient solutions for testing and remediation.

* DigitSec and UST experts will discuss Salesforce security and threat environment and tactics for identifying potential issues during development effectively in a webinar at 09:00 AM PST on September 16, 2021. Speaker and registration info are available here.

DigitSec S4 is a continuous application security testing platform for Salesforce DevSecOps that integrates multiple security tools, empowering developers and administrators to accurately identify security issues faster and with far fewer false positives than traditional AppSec testing solutions. It offers an automated penetration testing solution combining static source code analysis (SAST), interactive runtime testing (IAST), software composition analysis (SCA), and cloud security configuration review for a truly comprehensive Salesforce security assessment.

* Commenting on the partnership, Prasan Vyas, General Manager and Global Head of SFDC Practice, UST said, “At UST, we are constantly improving our value proposition for our Global 2000 and Fortune 500 customers by leveraging our platform expertise and working together with best-of-breed partners to help build secure and robust solutions. For our Salesforce customers, DigitSec presents a digital-age tool to secure applications against potential security threats early on in the build process. The partnership underwrites UST’s deep commitment to the Salesforce platform and helping our customers identify and remediate security risks in their Salesforce orgs.”

* “Given the mission-critical and sensitive nature of customer personally identifiable information (PII) and other data, it’s critical that developers consider security first in their Salesforce projects. Our S4 platform provides a continuous and automated 360-degree view of potential threats and now is available to UST clients as they create and update their Salesforce applications,” said DigitSec CEO Waqas Nazir.    

* S4 for Salesforce can quickly and accurately identify thousands of potential security vulnerabilities with the lowest rate of false positives in the industry.  The DigitSec platform also supports compliance framework requirements including GDPR, HIPAA, ISO-27001, SOX, PCI DSS, CCPA, and APPI.

About DigitSec

DigitSec provides the most comprehensive application security testing platform purpose-built for Salesforce, including automated penetration testing. Its patented SaaS Security Scanner, S4, quickly assesses Salesforce security posture, allowing developers to easily identify potential issues before deployment while supporting compliance requirements. More info can be found at

About UST

For more than 20 years, UST has worked side by side with the world’s best companies to make a real impact through transformation.  Powered by technology, inspired by people, and led by our purpose, we partner with our clients from design to operation. Through our nimble approach, we identify their core challenges and craft disruptive solutions that bring their vision to life. With deep domain expertise and a future-proof philosophy, we embed innovation and agility into our clients’ organizations—delivering measurable value and lasting change across industries and around the world. Together, with over 26,000 employees in 25 countries, we build for boundless impact—touching billions of lives in the process. Visit us at

All brands and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Salesforce, and the Salesforce logo are registered trademarks of, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries., Inc., or any other companies mentioned does not sponsor or endorse UST.

Jana Small Finance Bank Becomes A Banker To Co-Operative Banks

* Partners with HCBL Co-operative Bank and Mysore Merchants Co-operative Bank to offer digital infrastructure and payment services 

Jana Small Finance Bank, a Bengaluru-based small finance bank, signed an MOU with HCBL Co-operative Bank, Lucknow and Mysore Merchants Co-operative Bank, Mysore to provide digital infrastructure and payments services to the respective banks under the bank sponsorship programme of RBI. This alliance will help customers of the co-operative banks enjoy digital transactions powered by Jana SFB.

HCBL co-operative bank in association with Jana Small Finance Bank, can now extend ATM, POS and e-commerce services to its customers. Also this is for the first time that Jana Small Finance Bank has tied-up with a co-operative bank to provide IMPS services thus imparting seamless payment options to its customers.

Under the arrangement with Mysore Merchants Co-operative Bank, Jana SFB branded debit cards will be issued to their customers. Additionally, services like ATM, POS and e-commerce services are also extended to them.

These associations will boost digital transactions enabling more rural customers to come under the gamut of financial inclusion in true sense. Jana Small Finance Bank’s digital capability will now be available to all its partner banks.

Speaking on the association, Ajay Kanwal, MD and CEO of Jana Small Finance Bank said, “It’s wonderful joining hands with HCBL Co-operative Bank and Mysore Merchants Co-operative Bank. Our endeavour is to build an ecosystem by providing smarter and simpler banking solutions for the underserved so that the benefits of digital banking can reach the masses. This partnership is yet another effort to grow our sponsor bank network to make banking products easily accessible to all. ”

Commenting on the partnership, A.K Srivastava, CEO, HCBL co-operative bank, said, “We are delighted to be associated with Jana Small Finance Bank to provide ‘Rupay Debit Card’ facility to our customers. We are also working towards plans to introduce IMPS and e-commerce transactions that can truly help cater to our customers’ needs. These services will bring in the convenience and hassle free money transfers for all our customers working in various segments.”

About Jana Small Finance Bank

Jana Small Finance Bank Limited (Jana Small Finance Bank) is one of the leading Small Finance Banks of India in terms of assets under management and deposit size as at March 31, 2020, as per the report titled ‘Overview of Banking Sector in India’ dated March 12, 2021, issued by IRR Advisory (“IRR Report”). Jana Small Finance Bank has the second most geographically diversified portfolio with a pan-India presence among all Small Finance Banks in India as at March 31, 2020 (Source: IRR Report). As at February 28, 2021, Jana Small Finance Bank had 611 Branches, including 166 Branches in Unbanked Rural Centres, and 134 ATMs located in 229 districts in 20 states and three union territories. Jana Small Finance Bank has served over 8.00 million customers since 2008, including approximately 3.05 million active customers.

Jana Small Finance Bank Limited (the “Bank”) is proposing, subject to receipt of requisite approvals, market conditions and other considerations, to make an initial public offer of its equity shares and has filed a draft red herring prospectus (“DRHP”) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India. The DRHP shall be available on the website of SEBI at, websites of the Stock Exchanges i.e. BSE and NSE at and, respectively, and is available on the websites of the BRLMs i.e. Axis Capital Limited, ICICI Securities Limited and SBI Capital Markets Limited at, and, respectively. Any potential investor should note that investment in equity shares involves a high degree of risk and for details relating to such risk, see "Risk Factors" of the RHP, when available. Potential investors should not rely on the DRHP for any investment decision.

This announcement has been prepared for publication in India and may not be released in the United States. This announcement does not constitute an offer of securities for sale in any jurisdiction, including the United States, and any securities described in this announcement may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration under the US Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or an exemption from registration. Any public offering of securities to be made in the United States will be made by means of a prospectus that may be obtained from the Bank and that will contain detailed information about the Bank and management, as well as financial statements. However, no public offering of securities is being made in the United States. To Aid Farmers With Free PUSA Spraying Services To End Stubble Burning Practices

●        Over 25,000 farmers in Punjab and Haryana, covering more than 5,00,000 acres, have enrolled in’s program and committed to not burn stubble this year

● will provide farmers with free spraying services to encourage this sustainable practice.

● has partnered with IARI & IIM Rohtak for developing and scaling the solution under Phase I of the initiative, an integrated technology-led solutions provider for sustainable agriculture globally and a part of the OpenAg™ network of UPL, announced their program to end stubble burning practices in the states of Punjab and Haryana by replacing the matchstick with a spray service for the PUSA decomposer, a bioenzyme developed by the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI). It decomposes the stubble within 20-25 days after spraying and turns it into manure, further improving the soil quality. The company has signed up over 5,00,000 acres in this program and onboarded more than 25,000 farmers who will be availing this sustainable agriculture practice free of cost.

This comes as a great relief to farmers, citizens, and policymakers alike. Every year, the deliberate burning of 5.7 million acres of rice paddy stubble contributes to polluting the air with toxins, making it unbreathable for people in the nearby cities. The stubble burning impacts the soil quality while nutrients and microbes die and so does any other flora and fauna that comes in the fire’s way. However, the lack of any other viable choice pushes the farmers to burn the crops, as burning is cheaper, faster and clears the land in time for the next cropping cycle.

Commenting on the initiative, Jai Shroff, Global CEO, UPL Ltd., said, “We are excited about the initiative, and we believe this will go a long way in benefiting both the farmers and society-at-large. Our commitment to sustainability remains unparalleled. Through OpenAg™, UPL is creating a network that changes the way a whole industry thinks and works and will help make the agricultural process more sustainable.”

Commenting on the initiative, Dhruv Sawhney, COO and Business Head, said: “75% of Indian farmers are owners of land which span a hectare or less. For them, time and resources are limited, and so they are risk-averse to try new things. They are aware of the negative implications of crop burning, but lack of access to the latest technology and farm mechanisation pushes them to burn the crop. Any delay in handling leftover stubble directly affects their next cropping cycle, which has a domino effect on their yield and ultimately their income."

“This is where steps in and acts as the facilitator of PUSA, a bio-decomposer developed by IARI. Partnering with IIM Rohtak, we have developed an entire ecosystem where the farmers can register for the service via our app and avail our large spraying machines to decompose their stubble. Offering the service free of cost incentivises the farmers to adopt practices that ensure sustainable outcomes, which is the core of all our services at We are excited about this initiative because this will have a direct benefit on the farm’s sustainability as well as the environment and public health," he further added.

The protocol verification and oversight of the project have been developed in collaboration with IIM-Rohtak. Prof. Dheeraj Sharma, Director, IIM Rohtak said:

“We are glad to be a part of this great initiative by where we can create a direct impact by piloting a sustainable agricultural model at this unprecedented scale and proportion. Stubble burning is a major cause of environmental and economic concern. By devising a framework to produce, procure, and make the PUSA spray available at the grassroots level, we are confident about putting an end to this unhealthy practice. We are excited to embark on this journey of sustainability and to track its impact on the environment, health, and the farm.”

The highlight of the initiative is that it ensures a win-win for all the stakeholders involved. For farmers, stubble decomposition leads to increased organic carbon and soil health and a significant cost reduction in fertilisers for the next cropping cycle. Being a sustainable agriculture practice, the initiative also ensures a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases and a reduction in toxins and soot that gets released into the air. When practised for a while, it considerably increases the soil’s nutrient health and microbial activity, ensuring better yield at reduced input costs for the farmers and organic produce for the consumers. plans to scale up the operations to end stubble burning in the states of Punjab and Haryana in the next three years.

About is an open, digital platform for sustainable agriculture. offers complete integrated solutions to secure sustainable outcomes for the agricultural ecosystem.'s solutions reach across the food system, expanding choice-making access transparent, affordable and convenient for all. is part of the OpenAg™ network, embodies the spirit and purpose of OpenAg™, and will push the frontiers in leveling up sustainable outcomes for emerging markets by helping farmers increase their farm productivity and have a positive impact on the planet. 

About UPL

UPL Ltd. (NSE: UPL & BSE: 512070) is a global provider of sustainable agriculture products & solutions, with annual revenue exceeding $5 billion. We are a purpose-led company. Through OpenAg™, UPL is focused on facilitating progress for the entire agricultural value chain. We are building a network that redefines the way an entire industry thinks and works – open to fresh ideas, innovative ways and new answers as we strive towards our mission to make every single food product more sustainable.

As one of the largest agriculture solutions companies worldwide, our robust portfolio consists of biologicals and traditional crop protection solutions with more than 13,600 registrations. We are present in more than 130 countries, represented by more than 10,000 colleagues globally. For more information about our integrated portfolio of solutions across the food value chain including seeds, post-harvest, as well as physical and digital services. 

About OpenAg™

OpenAg™ is an open network to create sustainable growth for all – no limits, no borders. Together we are reimagining sustainability, bringing all of the different players across the food system – from farmers to food producers to consumers - in the spirit of collaboration to change how the whole industry thinks, works and evolves. Through agility, creativity, and cooperation, and from new technologies, seeds, and biological solutions, to digital platforms, training programmes, and partnerships, OpenAg™ is an open door, an open heart, and an open invitation to work together to build sustainable, resilient, beneficial food systems.

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