Saturday, October 16, 2021

Castrol India Launches Its Fourth Edition Of Super Mechanic Contest

* This year’s edition, conducted in partnership with the TV9 network, will cover over 100,000 mechanics across India through learning programs and live masterclasses

Castrol, India’s leading lubricant company, has launched the fourth edition of the country’s largest and most awaited mechanic skilling initiative, the Castrol Super Mechanic Contest (SMC). Launched in 2017, this highly successful initiative provides a holistic platform for India’s car and bike mechanics to hone their skills, demonstrate their talent, and earn national recognition. This year’s contest theme of #SeekhengeJeetengeBadhenge salutes the passion and the spirit of mechanics who keep India moving and will provide them an opportunity to upskill themselves with new technological advancements in the automotive sector. Participating mechanics will test their skills with other mechanics across the country to emerge as the 2021 Castrol Super Mechanic. 

Amidst the ongoing pandemic, the Super Mechanic Contest 2021 will leverage both physical and digital mediums to expand its reach across India’s mechanic community and enable maximum participation. It will aim to bring over 100,000 mechanics onboard for the contest. Registrations for the contest will be conducted through an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) round, as well as a dedicated web portal, with 9 available language options – English, Hindi, Bengali, Telegu, Kannada, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayalam, and Tamil. Castrol will partner with the TV9 network to co-create and promote the Super Mechanic Contest 2021, which will be hosted by popular GEC actor Ravi Dubey, who has been the face of the contest since its launch in 2017. 

This year’s contest will feature a range of exciting new digital tools that will make participation across phases more interactive and personalized. These will include daily auto content that engages participants by providing information around the contest, tips to crack successive rounds and master the fastest finger first, and potential rewards & recognition that winners will receive. Besides this, SMC 2021 will also include a mobile game to enable participating mechanics to master various assignments and challenges. External experts and previous Super Mechanic Contest winners will also conduct a series of live masterclasses with the participants to help them sharpen their skills.

Link to the YouTube video -

In 2021, Castrol aims to quadruple the number of mechanics trained through its masterclasses, compared to the number of mechanics trained in the 2019 edition of the contest. Castrol will collaborate with the Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC) of India for the certified upskilling of shortlisted mechanics through its masterclass sessions. 

Extending support to the initiative, Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Minister of Education, Government of India, said, “Castrol Super Mechanic Contest is a program that has consistently worked alongside the Government of India’s mission of Skill India, aiding mechanics across the country to hone their talent and skills. We congratulate Castrol India for launching its fourth successful edition of the contest and hope it will enrich the knowledge and skill sets of mechanics, fulfilling our vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat”. 

Announcing the launch, Sandeep Sangwan, Managing Director, Castrol India Limited, said, “We are thrilled to kickstart the fourth edition of Castrol Super Mechanic, a contest that has consistently placed the interests of the mechanic community at its core. Over the years, this contest has empowered the mechanic community to demonstrate their talent and upgrade their skill sets with the latest industry knowledge made available to them through this platform. This year’s theme, #SeekhengeJeetengeBadhenge, resonates with the spirit of being future-ready as the contest extends its commitment to equip all participants with relevant skills that can help them navigate new changes and challenges in the times to come.”

He further added, “The pandemic has reminded us more than ever of the need to match our pace with changing times. At Castrol India, we believe it is our responsibility to fuel the ambitions, and future-proof the livelihoods, of the mechanic community –a pivotal force that keeps India moving. We hope it can inspire them in their journey towards success and recognition.” 

Arindam Lahiri, CEO, Automotive Skills Development Council – India, said “Upskilling and continuous knowledge transfer plays a crucial role in propelling the growth trajectories of mechanics and automobile professionals. We are delighted to partner with Castrol India and hope to leverage this platform to train mechanics in new-age vehicle maintenance and the latest technologies. ASDC aims to provide a comprehensive and structured knowledge paradigm and certified learning sessions that will ensure their relevance in the industry and improve their opportunities for a sustainable livelihood.”

Castrol Super Mechanic will be promoted across TV9 network channels and digital platforms. Commenting on the partnership, Barun Das, CEO, TV9 Network, said, “TV9 Network is excited to be associated with Castrol Super Mechanic Contest, which is an attempt to bring about positive changes in the lives of bike and car mechanics. We are glad to be part of this unique upskilling initiative for mechanics, who play a key role in keeping the wheels of our economy moving. This partnership reinforces the TV9 Network’s commitment towards people’s welfare and progress. We truly hope that Castrol Super Mechanic Contest will empower and inspire mechanics across every nook and corner of India to explore their true potential and embrace new opportunities.”

Following the digital progression of its phases and successive rounds, the contest will culminate into an in-person grand finale that will be held in Delhi NCR. The winners will be felicitated in the presence of honorable dignitaries. The contest and finale will be covered in varying capacities across television and online digital platforms, presenting several mechanics with a lifetime opportunity to feature on national television. 

Reflecting on his astonishing journey, Super Mechanic Hardevsinh Jadeja, winner of Castrol Super Mechanic Contest 2019, said, “I am so glad that Super Mechanic is back this year! It has provided me with such an enriching platform to upgrade my skills and gain national recognition. I urge all my fellow mechanics across India to participate in the contest. It has been a truly life-changing platform for me!”

How to participate?

To participate, interested applicants can dial 18005325999 and follow further directions.

Mechanics will also be informed through SMS and can stay updated by visiting

India’s First Sub-Compact SUV, Tata Punch, Is Also India’s Safest Car

* Receives a 5-star safety rating of 16.453 from Global NCAP,

* Highest adult occupant protection rating any vehicle has received in India

Tata Motors, India’s leading automobile brand, today announced that its most recent addition to its popular ‘New Forever’ range of SUVs, the Tata Punch, also India’s first sub-compact SUV has become the latest recipient of the 5-star rating (16.453) for adult occupant protection and 4-star rating (40.891) for child occupant protection from Global NCAP, the foremost global car assessment programme. The Punch is third car from Tata Motors to receive this recognition after Altroz in January 2020 and Nexon in December 2018.

Designed across its studios in India, UK, and Italy, the Punch has been developed to herald the creation of an entirely new category - the sub-compact SUV, to address a growing customer need for a small in size but big on space, safety, performance and features.

Absolute Safety Features  

Ø Dual Airbags

Ø ABS with EBD and Corner Stability Control

Ø Segment First Feature: Brake Sway Control - detects the tendency of instability during abrupt braking before the ABS kicks in to avoid vehicle swaying from the driving path

Ø Front Fog Lamp with Cornering Function 

Ø Child Seat ISOFIX Anchor Points

Ø Perimetric Alarm System

Ø Reverse Parking Camera

Ø Driver & Co-Driver Seat Belt Reminders

Ø Tire Puncture repair Kit

Ø Extensive use of High Strength Steel

Commenting on this milestone, Mr. Shailesh Chandra, President, Passenger Vehicles Business, Tata Motors, said, “SUVs are the ideal solution for Indian customers as they offer a perfect balance of performance, comfort and durability suited for Indian roads.  When we were developing the Punch, we were very clear that despite its compact size, we wanted to offer customers a holistic package. The Punch reinforces the four core pillars that define all Tata SUVs- Stunning Design, Versatile and Engaging Performance, Roomy and Spacious Interiors, and Absolute Safety. We are proud to have delivered yet another product that will be regarded as the safest passenger vehicle on Indian roads. This landmark achievement by Tata Motors is also a testament of the fact that the automotive industry in India is capable of delivering the highest global standards of safety in vehicles.”

According to Mr Rajendra Petkar, President & Chief Technology Officer, Tata Motors, “We are delighted to offer yet another 5-star rated car from our stable - The Tata Punch. It is an Industry first achievement in the sub-compact SUV segment and a testimony to Tata Motors continued commitment and leadership on product safety. This achievement is in line with our philosophy that vehicle safety should be made accessible to all. Getting the GNCAP 5-star for vehicle program comes as an outcome of the relentless hard work put in by cross-functional teams across the organization, including our supplier partners. Together they have delivered yet another excellent package consisting of an outstanding structural integrity while deploying “digital first” strategy. The Company has dedicated itself to the mission of ‘Safe Bharat’ by developing innovative and safe mobility solutions and is committed to the mobility transformation through Connected, Electrified, Shared & Safe (CESS) approach.”

Built on the proven and modern Agile Light Flexible Advanced (ALFA) Architecture, the PUNCH incorporate several industry first innovations to enhance both functionality and driving pleasure. Its tall stance, high ground clearance and commanding driving position provide an exhilarating driving experience even while navigating all the unexpected challenges that Indian roads offer. The class leading comfort, advanced infotainment and connectivity match the high expectations of the discerning Indian car-buyers.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Iconic Side Of Thrill: The New BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Iconic Edition Launched In India

* Limited units available on BMW Online Shop.

* Unmistakable Presence & Comfort: BMW Iconic Glow Kidney Grille, rear seat headrest cushion, Exclusive Crystal Gear Shift Knob.

* Ultimate sports sedan for the driver. Unmatched luxury for passengers.

* Thrilling performance: Typical BMW driving dynamics, unbridled power.

* #The3GranLimousineIconicEdition #The3GranLimousine #TheGrandSideOfThrill #SheerDrivingPleasure

BMW India has launched the new BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Iconic Edition in the country. Locally produced at BMW Group Plant Chennai exclusively for the Indian market, the car is available in both petrol and diesel variants at all BMW India dealerships from today onwards.

The long wheelbase ‘Gran Limousine’ Iconic Edition is a latest addition to the BMW 3 Series family. It is the long wheelbase version of the highly successful BMW 3 Series. It has been launched in India considering the clientele’s preference for long sedans. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Iconic Edition takes on the position of the longest, most spacious and comfortable car in its segment and sets a new benchmark in the class. It offers sportiness, comfort and innovations exclusively for the Indian market.

Mr. Vikram Pawah, President, BMW Group India said, “BMW India will celebrate this festive season with the launch of three fascinating limited editions across its product range. The 3 Series Gran Limousine has set a new standard in luxury with its elongated design, enhanced space, luxurious comfort and dynamic performance. We are delighted to present the new BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Iconic Edition with an enhanced, unique and captivating character. It delivers sheer driving pleasure and indulges in superlative luxury, making it a perfect choice for individuals as well as their families. Limited units of this ‘Iconic Edition’ Gran Limousine are tailored with an innovative proposition that will attract young, progressive Indians who want a perfect combination of sporty performance and higher practicality for family usage in this segment.”

The new BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Iconic Edition blends the joy of driving and the outstanding comfort of an extremely spacious sedan. The grandeur rises many notches higher, thanks to a modern design with a larger, elongated body and bigger rear doors. Due to the extended wheelbase, there is more room to unwind, more legroom for rear passengers and a pleasant seating experience even on long journeys. The powerful engine ensures thrilling performance and acceleration. The long list of indulgence features such as BMW Iconic Glow Kidney Grille, Exclusive Crystal Gear Shift Knob, Rear Seat Headrest Cushion, Panorama Glass Sunroof, Comfort Seats in front, bespoke ‘Vernasca’ leather upholstery, luxurious rear seat, Parking Assist with Reverse Assist, Ambient Lighting, BMW Live Cockpit Professional and Wireless Charging adds to its appeal.

The new BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Iconic Edition is available in one diesel variant (BMW 320Ld Luxury Line) and one petrol variant (BMW 330Li Luxury Line) which are locally produced. The ex-showroom prices are –

BMW 330Li Iconic Edition   :           INR 53,50,000

BMW 320Ld Iconic Edition   :           INR 54,90,000

Price prevailing at the time of invoicing will be applicable. Ex-showroom prices inclusive of GST (incl. compensation cess) as applicable but exclude Road Tax, Tax Collected at Source (TCS), RTO statutory taxes/fees, other local tax cess levies and insurance. Price / options are subject to change without prior notice. *For further information, contact an authorised BMW dealer.

The new BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Iconic Edition is available in three exciting metallic paintworks – Mineral White, Carbon Black and Cashmere Silver. Upholstery in Cognac | Black

Thanks to BMW India Financial Services, customized and flexible financial solutions can be designed as per individual requirements. BMW 360˚ offers exclusive packages with great value and peace of mind. Customers enjoy hassle-free ownership with low monthly payments, assured buy-back up to four years and flexible term-end options. Exclusive interest rates will also be applicable for a limited period.

Service Inclusive and Service Inclusive Plus further reduce cost of ownership. Customers can choose from a variety of service plans according to duration and mileage. The packages cover Condition Based Service (CBS) and maintenance work with plans ranging from 3 yrs / 40,000 kms to 10 yrs / 2,00,000 kms. Service Inclusive packages for the new BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Iconic Edition start from INR 48262 for petrol variants and INR 65,018 for diesel variants. Additionally, the packages can be extended during the run time by just paying a differential amount. Repair Inclusive extends warranty benefits from third year of operation to maximum sixth year, after the completion of the standard two-year warranty period. For 3 years, unlimited mileage on the new BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Iconic Edition, it costs INR 38,114 for both petrol and diesel variants.

The new BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Iconic Edition

The exterior body design of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Iconic Edition blends the new, extremely precise design language and sporting aura of the BMW 3 Series with distinctive proportions. The unique character in long-wheelbase guise stems from an extra 110 millimetres of wheelbase and the associated increase in seating comfort and legroom in the rear compartment. Encompassing an exterior length of 4,819 millimeters and a 2,961-millimetre wheelbase, the exterior dimensions of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Iconic Edition outstrip those of any other car in its class.

Creating a striking front look is the large BMW Iconic Glow Kidney Grille with single surround for the two elements and LED headlights with extended features. The kidney grilles Iconic Glow lends the vehicle a unique radiance. LED lighting exclusively sets the scene for the BMW kidney grille and the zone in front of the vehicle from opening to starting and from switching off the ignition to locking the vehicle. BMW’s hallmark sporting prowess is embodied here by short overhangs, a long bonnet and a set-back passenger compartment. The model’s stretched silhouette underscores its inherent elegance and hints at the enviable spaciousness of the interior. A sporty look is created by the slim three-dimensional L- shaped LED taillights along with two large freeform tailpipes.

The interior is designed to accentuate grand cabin spaciousness with ample legroom in the rear compartment, which sets a new benchmark in the class. The comfort-oriented character is highlighted through improved padding and pampering Vernasca leather upholstery of the rear seats, newly designed headrest and the central armrest between the rear seats. The exclusive Crystal Gear Shift Knob lends the cockpit a modern look with its eye-catching facets and an illuminated "3" model logo for an even more elegant look at night. The rear seat comfort is further enhanced with Reat Seat Headrest Cushion and Coat Hanger with base carrier. The large 480 litres luggage compartment meets the needs of long-distance travel. The automatic tail-gate operation increases access convenience by enabling the boot lid to be opened / closed at the press of a button.

Welcome Light Carpet, projected from the side sill, welcomes passengers in glamorous style. Added to which, the car comes with illuminated door sill plates. The driver and front passenger settle into electrically adjustable Comfort Seats with Sensatec door trim. The driver-focused cockpit includes a sports leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons along with the instrument cluster / control display grouping. The modern design of the centre console with galvanic embellisher adds to the cabin’s premiumness. Filling up the cabin with a sense of spaciousness is the large Panorama sunroof. Ambient Lighting with six dimmable designs creates an atmosphere for every mood. In another model-specific feature, the ambient lighting also includes an illuminated contour strip on the back of the front seats. The three-zone automatic climate control with active carbon filters optimizes air quality. The optimised acoustic properties reduce noise levels and make the journey peaceful.

Thanks to unrivalled BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, the petrol and diesel engines meld maximum power with exemplary efficiency and offer spontaneous responsiveness even at low engine speeds. The two-litre four-cylinder petrol engine of the BMW 330Li produces an output of 258 hp and maximum torque of 400 Nm at 1,550 – 4,400 rpm. The car accelerates from 0 -100 km / hr in just 6.2 seconds. The two-litre four-cylinder diesel engine of the BMW 320Ld produces an output of 190 hp and a maximum torque of 400 Nm at 1,750 – 2,500 rpm. The car accelerates from 0 -100 km / hr in just 7.6 seconds.

The eight speed steptronic sport automatic transmission performs smooth, almost imperceptible gearshifts. At any time, in any gear, the transmission collaborates perfectly with the engine, enabling it to develop its full power and efficiency. For even greater driving pleasure, it comes with steering wheel paddle shifters and cruise control with braking function. Using Launch Control, ambitious drivers can achieve maximum acceleration with optimized traction from a standstill. Using the Driving Experience Control switch, the driver can choose between different driving modes to suit the driving conditions - ECO PRO, Comfort, Sport and Sport+.

A host of BMW ConnectedDrive technologies continue to break the innovation barrier in automotive industry. Modern cockpit concept BMW Live Cockpit Professional includes 3D Navigation, a 12.3-inch digital instrument display behind the steering wheel and a 10.25 inch Control Display. The occupants can operate a number of functions simply by speaking to their BMW Virtual Assistant. The smartphone holder integrated into the centre console allows inductive, Wireless Charging for mobile phones. Wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto ensure seamless smartphone connection with the car to access several functions. The car has a Harman Kardon Surround Sound system with 16 loudspeakers.

Parking Assistant with Rear View Camera makes parking in tight spots easier. Reversing Assistant provides unmatched support in reversing out of a parking spot or through narrow driveways. It keeps a record of the last 50 metres driven and assists by taking over the steering.

BMW EfficientDynamics includes features such as 8-speed Steptronic Sport Automatic Transmission, Auto Start-Stop, Brake-Energy Regeneration, Electronic Power Steering, 50:50 Weight Distribution and ECO PRO mode in Driving Experience Control.

BMW Safety technologies include six airbags, Attentiveness Assistance, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Cornering Brake Control (CBC), electric parking brake with auto hold, side-impact protection, electronic vehicle immobilizer and crash sensor, ISOFIX child seat mounting and integrated emergency spare wheel under the load floor.

Wipro Ltd Records Strong Operating Performance In Q2FY22


CMP: Rs673  |

Target Price: Rs680

■    Wipro's IT services revenue grew 6.9% QoQ (8.1% CC; 4.6% organic) to USD2.6bn in Q2FY22, a tad ahead of our estimates. IT services EBITM declined 10bps QoQ to 17.7% as revenue momentum and operating efficiencies largely negated wage hikes and investments in sales, capabilities and talent.

■    Wipro guided for IT services revenue to be in the range of USD2,631-2,683mn in Q3, implying 2-4% QoQ growth. Management remains fairly confident of delivering double-digit organic revenue growth in FY22. It reiterated EBITM guidance of 17-17.5% for FY22.

■    Wipro signed 9 large deals with a combined TCV of USD580mn in Q2. Management indicated that 18% growth in deal TCV wins in H1 (ACV - 29%) and robust deal pipeline across markets with a good mix of small and large deals give good revenue visibility.

■    We raise FY22E/FY23E/FY24E EPS by 1.8%/3.4%/4.3%, factoring in Q2 performance and sustained growth momentum. We retain Hold with a revised TP of Rs680 at 25x Sep'23E EPS (earlier 23x).

Infosys Ltd Records Strong Margin Beat; Raises FY22 Revenue Growth Guidance


CMP: Rs1709  |

Target Price: Rs1910

■    Infosys' Q2FY22 operating performance was ahead of expectations due to a margin beat. Revenues grew 5.7% QoQ (6.3% CC) to USD4bn, in line with estimates. Operating efficiencies and SG&A leverage restricted the EBITM decline to 10bps QoQ to 23.6%.

■    Infosys raised its FY22 revenue growth guidance to 16.5-17.5% CC (earlier 14-16%), implying a 1.5-2.5% CQGR over Q3-Q4, on the back of broad-based demand, solid deal intake and healthy deal pipeline. The company retained its EBITM guidance at 22-24%.

■    Large deal intake was healthy at USD2.2bn in Q2FY22 (37% new), with 22 large deals signed during the quarter. The deal pipeline remains healthy, with a good mix of new and renewal deals offering good revenue visibility.

■    We increase earnings estimates by 0.4%/0.6%/0.4% for FY22/FY23/FY24, factoring in Q2 performance. We maintain Buy with a TP of Rs1,910 at 28x Sep'23E EPS, considering strong earnings momentum and robust demand environment.

Mindtree Ltd Operating Performance Beats Expectations In Q2 Of FY22



CMP: Rs 4364  |  

Target Price: Rs3300

■    Q2FY22 operating performance beat our expectations. Revenue grew 12.8% QoQ to USD350.1mn (13.4% CC). EBITDAM expanded ~20bps QoQ to 20.5% on the back of revenue acceleration and operating efficiencies, which negated the salary hike impact.

■    The company is confident of delivering industry-leading double-digit revenue growth on the back of strong deal wins, healthy deal pipeline and broad-based revenue growth. MTCL remains confident of delivering 20%+ EBITDAM in FY22.

■    Deal wins remained healthy in Q2 at USD360mn, albeit moderated a bit from record USD504n in Q1. Management indicated that the deal intake remains well-balanced across annuity and transformational deals.

■    We raise our FY22E/23E/24E EPS by 7.5%/8.4%/7.9%, factoring in Q2 performance beat. We maintain Sell on the stock with a revised TP of Rs3,300 at 30x Sep'23E EPS (earlier Rs3,070), considering rich valuations and anticipated pressure on margins.

IT Services Leader Crayon Acquires An Australia-Based Cloud And Licensing Specialist - Rhipe

* Australia-based public company to be part of global expansion strategy

Crayon, a leader in IT services and innovation, today announced it has acquired rhipe, an Australia-based cloud and licensing specialist, to further Crayon’s global expansion strategy and services portfolio.

The acquisition comes via a Scheme of Arrangement, which became legally effective today after a due diligence and negotiation period. Upon implementation of the Scheme, Crayon will acquire all rhipe shares.

The acquisition reinforces Crayon’s customer-centric commitment to provide innovation and cost optimization solutions to drive new growth opportunities.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome rhipe to the Crayon family as part of our global expansion strategy,” said Crayon CEO Melissa Mulholland. “rhipe is a leading distributor of cloud solutions and services in the Asia Pacific region and through our combined business models, we will help more customers and partners solve their business needs with a greater portfolio of solutions.”

rhipe is a channel-focused, leading wholesale provider of subscription-based cloud licenses, infrastructure, and services. It was established in 2003 and serves more than 3,000 IT resellers. Implementation of the Scheme of Arrangement is expected to be complete on 3 November 2021. The purchase includes all of rhipe’s 600 employees and its activities across Asia Pacific, as well as the recently acquired Azure services business Parallo, which joined rhipe in September 2020 and emt Distribution, the cyber security software company acquired in April 2021.

“The shareholders of rhipe and the rhipe Board have both overwhelmingly concluded the Scheme represents an attractive outcome for our shareholders, partners, customers, and staff,” said rhipe Chairman Gary Cox. “rhipe’s partners and customers will benefit from the broader global service capability from a combined Crayon and rhipe. In addition, Crayon’s offer is positive news for rhipe’s staff, as we believe there will be increased career opportunities in a larger and more diverse, combined company.”

Crayon has been steadily growing in Australia. It opened its first offices in August 2019, and last year purchased Oracle specialist Navicle, and Winc’s software licensing operations.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Blockchain Startup Arcana Raises $2.3 Million From Republic Crypto, Woodstock, DCG, Sahil Lavingia & Others

* Plans to Expand Its Team, Deepen Its Global Penetration through Community Building and Developer Evangelism

* Disrupts the privacy tools for developers

Arcana Network, a fast emerging Blockchain startup that offers Decentralised storage and data privacy platform for Ethereum and EVM compatible app developers, today announced that it has raised $2.3 million from leading investors in the Blockchain Ecosystem. The strategic round of funding was led by Republic Crypto and Woodstock Fund, and also saw participation from Digital Currency Group (DCG), Hyperedge, Sahil Lavingia's, Fenbushi Capital, LD Capital, and Paradigm Shift VC. The company has raised this round in less than a quarter since their seed funding.

The $2.3M round also saw participation from Ganesh Swami, CEO of Covalent, Ajeet Khurana, Buidlers Tribe, Nishal Shetty of WazirX, Ajit Tripathi from Aave, along with Arcana’s seed investors AU21 and Arcanum Capital who’ve also invested in this round.

With this fundraise, Arcana expects to expand its squad, strengthen its product portfolio and soon launch Arcana's XAR token. The company also plans to invest in community building; they had recently announced a waitlist for developers and witnessed 100s join the queue to get their hands on its SDK. They have closed the first series of project partnerships that will participate in Arcana’s Alpha Testnet Launching in Oct ’21.

Founded by Mayur Relekar (CEO) and Co-founders Aravindh Kumar, and Abhishek Chaudhary in 2019, Arcana Network aims to be the most developer-friendly decentralized storage option amongst the other storage platforms such as IPFS, Filecoin, Storj, Sia… and gives developers a privacy stack in addition to storage to help apps securely manage data with complete privacy preservation.

Mayur Relekar, CEO of Arcana believes, “Data privacy and security will be first-class citizens in every app’s stack. Privacy and ownership of data will be a necessity for every product and developers need easy to use tools to fulfil this. With a vision to be privacy-first and developer-friendly platform, Arcana is working with developers across sectors from DeFi, NFT platforms, Social Networks, and Wallets, to traditional web 2.0 products in Fintech, Healthcare, and Enterprise SaaS, to bring privacy and security to their data.”

Speaking on the occasion, Aravindh Kumar, Co-founder said, “We have a great partnership with our investors, who continue to believe in our vision for Arcana and how we intend to serve better tools for developers and their users. More than 60% of the strategic fund raised would be devoted to build the community and develop a robust platform that will help app developers from easily authenticating users who can carry their keys and identity while interacting with apps, to easily sharing and managing access to data.”

Himanshu Yadav, Founding Partner from Woodstock, said, “Arcana's team has been building for more than 2 years and is tackling some of the biggest use cases and problems in the blockchain space - decentralized storage, privacy, and identity. Their modular and interoperable infrastructure stack will abstract a lot of complexities for the dapp developers thereby helping accelerate the application development on top of these next-generation Web 3.0 protocols.”

About Arcana Network:

Arcana Network, is a fast-emerging Blockchain startup that offers Decentralised storage and privacy stack with authentication, end to end encryption, key management, and access control for Ethereum and EVM compatible chain’s app developers. Established in June 2019, Arcana’s mission is to catalyse privacy and security of user data by being the most developer-friendly platform for data privacy. The company in July 2021 raised its seed funding from angel investors and veterans in the crypto space.

Union Bank Of India Signs MoU With CDAC, Hyderabad To Create Comprehensive Cyber Security

* The collaboration with CDAC, Hyderabad aims to create comprehensive cyber security awareness and education program for Union Bank’s customers, employees, and people at large. 

Union Bank of India entered into partnership with CDAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) Hyderabad, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, under Bank’s Cyber Security Centre of Excellence (CCoE) initiative, according to which CDAC will assist the Bank to impart Cyber Security Awareness and Education to its stakeholders. 

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Shri Raj Kiran Rai G, MD & CEO,  Union Bank of India and Smt P R Lakshmi Eswari, Director, CDAC-Hyderabad, at a virtual event held through Video Conferencing at the Bank’s Head Office in Mumbai and CDAC-Hyderabad Centre. 

Terming     the    collaboration    with    CDAC   as   an    important   milestone, Shri Rajkiran Rai G said “CDAC-Hyderabad has been engaged in multiple areas of IT, more particularly in Education, Training, Multilingual Technology, e-learning Technologies, and Information Security Education and Awareness (ISEA) among others. This association with   CDAC, Hyderabad will help the Bank in conducting Online/Offline sessions on Cyber Security Awareness, preparation of information security material like Audio/ Video / Brochure and Booklets and also for conducting mass campaigns and Social Media campaigns to educate the Staff, Customers and people at large, as a national initiative towards spreading Cyber Security Awareness.” 

This collaboration is a first of its kind initiative on Cyber Security and will benefit Bank’s Staff and Customers and different user groups, people at large to improve their security awareness levels and guide them to protect themselves from cyber threats in this digital era. 

On the occasion, Shri Rajkiran Rai G, MD & CEO, Union Bank of India also unveiled following initiatives for Cyber Security Awareness for Bank’s Customers and people at large: 

1.    E-book on Cyber Security Awareness - "We care for you" , 

2.    T Shirt promoting Cyber Security Awareness Messages #SafeWithUBI 

3.    Spin-N-Learn – A unique Spin-N-Learn Online game on Cyber Security Awareness which is hosted on Bank’s corporate website. 

4.    Union Bank Corporate Cyber Security Awareness Song– Bank's corporate song on Cyber security awareness with theme “Do your part-#Becybersmart” which will remind all of us to be alert and vigilant always and do their part to be cyber smart for mitigating and tackling cyber related Banking frauds. 

Also, Bank inaugurated the “Union Bank Conclave on Cyber Security Awareness Mission 2021-22” on 11.10.2021 as part of the National Cyber Security Awareness month being observed nationally.  The event was attended by senior Officials from  Reserve Bank of India, NCIIPC, Cert-In, Indian Cyber Crime Co-ordination center (I4C), IDRBT,Hyderabad, CDAC-Hyderabad, NIBM-Pune, IIT Bombay and Cyber Jagrithi Foundation. 

Photo Caption:  Shri Rajkiran Rai G, MD & CEO Union Bank of India along with Shri Gopal Singh Gusain, Executive Director, Shri Nitesh Ranjan, Executive on the occasion of MOU signing.

CarDekho Raises $250 M In Pre IPO Round, Reaches Unicorn Status With $1.2 B Valuation

Leapfrog Investments led the round, alongside Canyon Partners, Mirae Asset, Harbor Spring Capital and existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Sunley House 

CarDekho Group exceeded $100mn revenue run-rate in Sep’21 with strong performance across business segments 

The new funds will be used to accelerate growth in CarDekho’s Used Car transactions, Financial services and Insurance businesses, and expand internationally 

CarDekho, India’s largest car search platform, has announced a $250mn round of funding that included $200mn Series E equity and $50mn debt in its pre IPO round. With the latest fundraising, CarDekho joins the unicorn club with a valuation of $1.2bn and becomes the first unicorn based in Jaipur, Rajasthan. 

It is the largest ever fundraise by CarDekho and the proceeds will be used to accelerate CarDekho’s growth in the Used Car transactions,  Financial services and insurance businesses, build robust product and technology functions, increase brand awareness, and expand into new markets.  

CarDekho currently buys cars from customers in more than 100 markets and has a catalogue of 3,000+ certified pre-owned cars for online purchase. The company will be expanding its Used Car retail transactions business geographically and is set to increase its catalogue to 10,000 cars in the near future.  

The company plans to expand across India with retail hubs that will focus on both used car buying and certified pre-owned car retail transactions with customers. CarDekho team is currently present in India, Indonesia and Philippines and aims to use the funds to expand internationally. The company’s auto and non-auto products are currently used in more than 30 countries globally. 

Mr. Amit Jain, Co-founder and CEO CarDekho said, “CarDekho, from being a car research portal, has evolved to become a complete ecosystem for car buying, lifecycle management and selling. We are committed to empowering our customers and providing them with a convenient and hassle-free experience. The new fundraise will help us expand our Used Car transactions and Financial services businesses. The trust and conviction of our investors will help us to accelerate our growth plans whilst we provide our customers with an experience that will continue to re-define car buying and selling.” 

The funding round was led by LeapFrog Investments, a global impact investor focused on financial services and healthcare access. As CarDekho Group continues to scale, LeapFrog will support the company’s plans to deliver quality and affordable vehicles, insurance, and finance to millions of new emerging consumers. Improved mobility remains a proven driver of access to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities. 

Other new investors who participated included US based Canyon Partners, Mirae Asset and Harbor Spring Capital. CarDekho’s existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Sunley House invested further, reaffirming their confidence in the company. Sequoia Capital India was one of the early investors in CarDekho having led the Series A round in 2013 and Series C round in 2018.  

CarDekho’s digital platforms, ‘New Auto’, and its financial services businesses are already profitable and its insurance business,, has crossed the breakeven point. With the new investment, CarDekho moves closer to its vision of making car buying, selling, and owing an enjoyable, transparent and affordable experience for its customers.  

CarDekho has been the pioneer in digitalizing the auto ecosystem in India and, along with its group companies, it has become the go-to destination for all auto stakeholders, including original equipment manufacturers, dealers, car buyers and sellers. CarDekho works directly with almost all automobile manufacturers in India, amounting for up to 30% of annual sales for its strategic partners. CarDekho works actively with 3,500+ new auto dealers and 4,000+ used car dealers, homegrown traders and entrepreneurs. It collaborates with 14+ financial institutions and 40+ insurance companies to facilitate used car finance and insurance thereby providing a seamless experience to both used car buyers and sellers. 

Stewart Langdon, Partner and Co-Head of South Asian Investments, LeapFrog Investments, said, “Amit and the team have done an outstanding job in building the leading digital platform in India’s auto-tech market. We expect the business to continue on its rapid growth trajectory thanks to the calibre of the team and the extraordinary tailwinds which this segment now enjoys from increasing formalisation, digitisation and transparency. CarDekho is an outstanding platform for large scale social impact, already making vehicles more accessible, affordable and trustworthy for over three million emerging consumers. Improving access to mobility in this way will help to drive development in other key areas, such as healthcare and education.” 

Mr. Shailesh Lakhani, Managing Director, Sequoia India said, “Amit, Anurag, and the team at Cardekho have built a business that has far exceeded our initial expectations. Several of their business units hold leadership positions, and are now building further expertise in the used cars and financial services space where they are strongly positioned. The team at Sequoia India continues to be strong believers in their long-term success.”  

Mr Abhinav Sharman, Director, Sunley House Capital said, “We are thrilled to continue our support of CarDekho and their mission to be the leading retail auto and financial services provider in Southeast Asia. Since our initial investment, the company has had tremendous growth, establishing itself as the largest tech-auto platform in India. We are confident that this new investment will enable Cardekho to accelerate its growth in the auto retail market while capitalizing on the sizeable addressable market in auto insurance.” 

Numis and Credit Suisse acted as the financial advisors to CarDekho. 

About CarDekho Group  

CarDekho Group, headquartered in Jaipur, was founded in 2008 and has footprints in India and South-East Asia. The group currently operates various leading Indian auto portals such as,,,, and more. CarDekho Gaadi has a presence in 100+ markets across India where customers can sell their used cars. CarDekho currently has 3000+ certified pre-owned cars for customers to buy from its portal.  

The company expanded its presence in Indonesia under the brand name OTO and has quickly become the number one auto portal in the country. It also acquired the Philippines operations of Carmudi thereby expanding its operations to two Southeast Asian countries. CarDekho has raised funding from marquee investors including Sequoia Capital India, Hillhouse Capital, Ping An, Sunley House, CapitalG (formerly known as Google Capital), HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Times Internet, Trifecta, Ratan Tata, Times Internet Limited, Kreatif Media Karya and Dentsu. 

Equicom Savings Bank Selects FSS Secure3D For Online Fraud Detection

FSS (Financial Software and Systems), a leading global provider of integrated payment products and a payments processor has partnered with Equicom Savings Bank (EqB) - one of the leading banks in the Philippines to address online fraud and to boost e-commerce growth.

Under this partnership, FSS will provide its Secure3D, an intelligent payment authentication solution, to create a safer and seamless way for consumers to transact in the digital economy.  The Philippines is one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia, with transactions projected to grow from US$ 4 Billion in 2020 to US$ 15 Billion in 2025[i].

With increasing adoption, fraud attack vectors have grown in sophistication, and costs are on the rise, amounting to 2.03% of overall annual revenues. FSS Secure3D, modelled on EMVCo 3.2 guidelines, will help Equicom verify customer identity and flag fraudulent transactions before a payment transaction is authorized.

Speaking on the collaboration EqB Vice President and Head for Consumer & Small Business Lending Division Roussel E. Larger, noted; “Fraud is an ever-evolving problem, so we need to ensure that our prevention technology is evolving even better to maximize protection. Our partnership with FSS enables us to leverage its experience and technology to mitigate fraud threats and create low-friction trusted experiences that customers expect, providing both protection and opportunities to increase sales and revenue.”

For his part, FSS PayTech COO Krishnan Srinivasan said; “The payments market is fiercely competitive, so it is of paramount importance for financial institutions to layer intelligent counter-fraud measures to lower fraud costs. Our globally proven Secure3D delivers a solid technology foundation to keep ahead of fraud and aligns with core operational and risk strategies, enabling Equicom balance fraud detection without compromising the customer experience.”

Modelled on EMVCo 3DS 3.2 guidelines, FSS Secure3D exploits rich data streams exchanged between merchants and issuers to continually learn customers’ transactional DNA and assess risk based on a combination of location, merchant, transaction, and device-related attributes.

This technology helps systemically isolate higher-risk transactions while reducing the need to interrupt the consumer’s purchase. As for higher-risk transactions, FSS Secure3D dynamically provides additional verification checks such as biometric-based identification or a one-time passcode. FSS offers Authentication As-a-Service on FSSNeT, where FSS assumes responsibility for implementation, integration, certification, testing, and technical operations. This practice alleviates costs as well as the regulatory compliance burden.  Benchmarked to process 8,000 transactions per second, FSS Secure3D assures faster processing time and higher sales conversion. FSS Secure3D is certified by EMVCo and key card schemes like Visa, MasterCard, and Amex.

About FSS 

Financial Software and Systems (FSS) is a leader in payments technology and transaction processing. The company offers an integrated portfolio of software products, hosted payment services, and software solutions built over 30+ years of experience. FSS, end-to-end payments products suite, powers retail delivery channels including ATM, POS, Internet, and Mobile and critical back-end functions including cards management, reconciliation, settlement, merchant management, and device monitoring. Headquartered in Chennai, India, FSS services leading global banks, financial institutions, processors, central regulators, and governments across North America, UK, Europe, ME, Africa, and APAC and has 2,500 experts on board. For more information, visit

About Equicom 

Equicom Savings Bank (EqB) is a medium-sized savings bank established on September 29, 2008. It is a member of the Equicom Group and was among the country’s top 20 thrift banks (in a group of 51 small, medium, and large thrift banks) in terms of total assets, total deposits, total loan portfolio volume, and return on equity. Moreover, its cardholders have access to over 20,000 BancNet ATMs nationwide and around one (1) million Visa Plus ATMs worldwide. The Bank’s corporate vision is to be the preferred savings bank of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and consumers. EQB is the first bank to receive the Pagtugon Award bestowed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in 2012.

Punjab National Bank Reduces “Gold Loan Rates” Across India

Adding cheer to the festive season, Punjab National Bank (PNB) has come up with a range of deals and offers, making its banking services and transactions more attractive than ever before. As part of the new scheme, the bank has slashed the interest rate on loans against gold jewellery and Sovereign Gold Bond by 145 basis points to bring more joy to its customers. 

PNB now offers loans against Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB) at 7.20% and loans against gold jewellery at 7.30%. 

Additionally, PNB has slashed the home loan rate which now starts from 6.60%, while customers can avail car loans starting from 7.15% and personal loans from 8.95%, one of the lowest in the industry. 

During the festive season, PNB is also offering a full waiver of service charges/processing fee on the loans against gold jewellery and SGB, similar to home loans and vehicle loans announced recently. 

The bank has also slashed the margin on home loans. Hence, home loan seekers can now avail of loans up to 80% of the property's value without any upper ceiling on the loan amount. 

With the reduction in interest rate and zero processing fee, funds are available at a very competitive rate on a range of retail loan products offered by PNB during this season. 

Hero Motocorp Adds Cheer To The Festive Season With Exciting Retail Finance Schemes

Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters, has introduced a range of new and exciting retail finance schemes for customers.

Adding cheer to the ongoing festive season, the company is making numerous finance offers available to customers through a wide range of partners.

The innovative financial products such as No-Hypothecation, No cost EMIs, and Cash EMI (loan without a bank account), ensure that customers can bring home their preferred Hero MotoCorp product hassle-free. Along with Hero FinCorp, it has also introduced segment-first schemes such as Kisan EMI and Balloon EMI. These schemes provide tailor-made solutions for farm-income-based customers as well as customers with seasonal incomes. 

Through easy options and customized schemes, Hero MotoCorp is ensuring that almost all customer segments in the country have access to convenient finance and purchasing power. Thus, empowering them and boosting the economy in the process.

Additionally, Hero MotoCorp has introduced attractive schemes such as Aadhaar based funding, low down payment starting from Rs. 6,999/-, low interest rate of 5.55% and long tenure loans of up to 48 months. Customers can also avail of instant monetary benefits by using credit and debit cards of select banks like SBI and ICICI.

Providing customers with the power to choose, Hero MotoCorp has tied up with multiple nationalized banks, private banks and Non-banking financial corporations (NBFCs), including HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank, Shriram City Union Finance, HDB Financial Services, IDFC First Bank, and Wheels EMI.

Customers can visit their nearest Hero MotoCorp outlet for more information.

SchoolEdTech LEAD To Host A Nationwide Student Championship Event For 10 lakh+ Students

* Top performers of LEAD Championship stand chance to win rewards up to INR 10 lakhs~

India’s largest SchoolEdtech Company in K-12 segment, LEAD today announced the launch of LEAD Championships 2021, the country’s biggest student championship. The inaugural session was hosted by Master Entertainer Aditya Narayan. This year, the Championship will have four categories – English Champs, Science Champs, Quiz Champs and Li’l Champs and is open to 10 lakh+ students from 2000+ schools across India.

The competition is designed to provide a national platform to students of all age groups & prepare them for success in the examination of life. By motivating students to demonstrate skills such as speaking, reading, listening, comprehension, application of their science-based concepts, current affairs, etc, LEAD focuses on holistic learning of students instead of only curriculum based assessments.

Students from Senior KG to Class 9 can submit their entries from October 13 to November 10, 2021 on the website here:

LEAD Cofounder & CEO, Sumeet Mehta said, “For a long time, students in small towns and affordable schools have not had the opportunity to demonstrate their talent at the national level. LEAD Championships 2021 is India's biggest national platform. It will provide students with exposure, practice and experiences that will propel them to achieve newer heights.”

English Champs will focus on elocution and public speaking, while Science Champs will provide an opportunity to students to showcase their scientific acumen and create science projects that have a strong real-world connection. Besides, Quiz Champs will test students’ level of knowledge regarding geography, nations, governments, current events and news from around the world. Lastly, a special competition has been designed for pre-primary students called the Li’l Champs which focuses on creating awareness about the surrounding as students will have to dress up as one of the characters from the list of themes and speak a few sentences or dialogues while acting as the character. Once the qualifier round is conducted, the students will compete in the Quarter Final round followed by Semi Finals and Finale round.

LEAD will provide all students qualifying to Quarter Final Round with an exclusive opportunity to interact and learn from experts through a series of exclusive masterclasses.

The winners of the four championships will take home exciting prizes up to INR 10 lakhs in addition to the highly coveted LEAD Championship Trophy.

Link and snapshots of the launch event:

Cert-In & KOO Collaborate To Spread Awareness On Cyber Security

* The campaign will run through October 2021 with the theme ‘Do Your Part, #BeCyberSmart’

Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India, and India’s multi-lingual micro-blogging platform Koo are jointly executing citizen outreach activity to create awareness on cyber security this October - which is observed as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This collaboration aims to increase public awareness on the need to stay safe and secure online and leverages the theme  - Do Your Part, #BeCyberSmart. CERT-In and Koo App will boost awareness on issues like phishing, hacking, personal information security, password & PIN management, avoiding clickbait and protecting one’s privacy while using public Wi-Fi. 

Koo App will run this campaign across multiple Indian languages to strengthen the outreach amongst internet users from across the country. A slew of contests will be held to enhance engagement and knowledge sharing on this crucial subject, with winners getting exciting prizes.

Throwing light on this collaboration, Aprameya Radhakrishna, Co-founder & CEO, Koo App said, “As a unique social media platform that empowers Indians to engage and connect across multiple languages, we seek to empower our users with crucial information pertaining to aspects of cyber security and privacy - which is needed to make the interconnected world much more secure and resilient. We are pleased to associate with CERT-In, the National Nodal Agency for incident response, to build awareness on cyber security, which we believe is part of Koo’s continued efforts to make social media a safe, trustworthy and reliable platform for internet users.”

Dr. Sanjay Bahl, Director General, CERT-In said, “People are the weakest link in cyber security.  To sensitize citizens and increase cyber security awareness amongst them, CERT-In is observing Cyber Security Awareness Month during October 2021 with the theme ‘Do Your Part, #BeCyberSmart’. Towards this, various citizen-oriented campaigns as well as training programs for the technical cyber security community in India are in progress. The collaboration with Koo is a step in this direction for the digital age citizens to enjoy their online experience in a safe and secure manner.”

About Koo:

Koo was founded in March 2020 as a multilingual micro-blogging platform in Indian languages. Available in multiple Indian languages, Koo enables people from different regions in India to express themselves in their mother tongue. In a country where just 10% of India speak English, there’s a deep need for a social media platform that can deliver immersive language experiences to Indian users and help them connect with each other. Koo provides a stage for the voices of Indians who prefer to interact in Indian languages. Crores of users, including some of the most eminent personalities from across India, now use the platform actively. 

Jaguar Land Rover Trials World-First Digital Supply Chain For Leather Using Blockchain Technology

* Secure blockchain technology ensures full transparency in the leather supply chain

* Jaguar Land Rover partners with Circulor, Bridge of Weir Leather Company and University of Nottingham on industry-leading leather trial

* ‘Digital twin’ created to track entire leather production process using GPS, biometrics and QR codes

* Project is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to offering customers sustainable and responsible premium material choices

* Trial is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s journey to net zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039

Jaguar Land Rover has trialled the use of secure blockchain technology to ensure full transparency within a sustainable leather supply chain.

In the world-first, Jaguar Land Rover partnered with supply chain traceability provider Circulor, leading UK leather manufacturer Bridge of Weir Leather Company and the University of Nottingham to trial the use of traceability technology in the leather supply chain.

As well as tracking compliance, the digital process enabled Jaguar Land Rover to assess the carbon footprint of its leather supply network, working with UK-based Bridge of Weir Leather Company to trace its lowest carbon leather from farm to finished article – all part of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to reducing the environmental and ethical impact of its products across their lifecycle.

Jaguar Land Rover is committed to offering customers more sustainable and responsible material choices for their vehicle interiors, such as Kvadrat – a refined high-quality wool blend textile that's paired with a suede cloth made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle – available on Jaguar’s all-electric I-PACE.

As part of the Innovate UK-funded research, a ‘digital twin’ of the raw material was created, allowing its progress to be tracked through the leather supply chain simultaneously in the real world and digitally. A combination of GPS data, biometrics and QR codes was used to digitally verify the movement of leather at every step of the process using blockchain technology.

Defining the verification process has created a repeatable blueprint for tracing a single piece of leather at every stage. It can be used across Jaguar Land Rover’s global supply chain and by other industries that rely on leather, such as fashion and footwear.

The project is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Reimagine strategy: a sustainability-rich combination of modern luxury, unique customer experiences, and positive societal impact.

Reimagine aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039. Jaguar Land Rover will work with industry experts to improve sustainability, reduce emissions and collaborate on next-generation technology, data and software development leadership.

Dave Owen, Jaguar Land Rover Executive Director of Supply Chain, said: “We are currently restructuring our supply chain as part of Reimagine, with a focus on transparency and sustainability. The outcome from this world-first trial will allow us to further improve the sustainability of the leather supply chain around the globe, ensuring the complete traceability of raw materials from origin to vehicle.

“This is one step in our journey to net zero carbon emissions across our supply chain, products and operations by 2039, enabled by leading edge digital capabilities.”

Through InMotion, its venture capital and mobility services arm, Jaguar Land Rover previously announced an investment in Circulor, allowing the company to source premium materials with greater transparency as to the provenance, welfare, and compliance of suppliers throughout its networks.

The technology could be deployed to trace other commodities. Circulor is already using blockchain to improve the traceability of minerals used for electric vehicle batteries. Blockchain technology is impossible to modify or tamper with, giving customers greater confidence that the sustainable supply chain is authentic, and all materials have been sustainably sourced.

Dr Warren Bowden, Innovation and Sustainability Director of Scottish Leather Group, said “In partnership with Jaguar Land Rover and the University of Nottingham, we believe there is a clear opportunity to implement blockchain technology to enhance the existing, world-leading standards of traceability and transparency that exist within UK agriculture and its Cattle Tracing Scheme.

“At Bridge of Weir, we see the potential to create carbon-positive leather – if we source from local farms where the livestock is grass fed, where there is no deforestation, and we couple this responsible approach to sourcing with ongoing innovation to create zero carbon and zero waste manufacturing processes. The blockchain technology developed in this trial will enable each stage in the process, and the entire leather supply chain, to be accurately tracked and measured.”

InMobi Signs Definitive Agreement To Acquire Appsumer Analytics And Insights Platform To Power Performance Marketers Around The Globe

* Deal Brings Unified Intelligence to Mobile Marketing and Deeper Understanding of Marketing Effectiveness; Improves Business Performance for Global Advertisers 

InMobi, a leading provider of content, monetization and marketing technologies that help businesses fuel growth, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Appsumer, a performance insights platform for mobile app advertisers that provides a 360-degree view of marketing spend across channels, allowing advertisers to turn complex data into rich insights. Based in London, Appsumer has been the intelligence platform of choice for performance marketing teams at consumer brands, including Miniclip, Picsart, Viber and more. The company was funded by Galvanise Capital and named a Top 100 UK start-up.

Appsumer’s self-serve technology platform, intellectual property and team will support InMobi’s end-to-end content, monetization and marketing stack and empower marketers to assess their performance marketing spend all in one place. With third-party identifiers losing their dominance, which complicates the measurement and attribution process, it’s more important than ever that marketers have a clean, crisp view of how their marketing channels are performing. Appsumer’s workspace allows customers a single source of truth to track performance, analyze results and use that data to plan more effective campaigns.

Together, InMobi and Appsumer intend to build an operating system that makes understanding user acquisition funnels easier by using artificial intelligence (AI) to build predictive capabilities into the platform to help growth marketers more quickly experiment and iterate to optimize results from their user acquisition strategies.

Shumel Lais, CEO and Founder of Appsumer joins InMobi and will continue to lead the division, charting its future growth path and product roadmap. The full Appsumer team will join InMobi to ensure client service continuity and further develop and support the analytics and automation offering under the InMobi umbrella. Appsumer will continue operating independently as a subsidiary within the global InMobi organizational structure.

“Appsumer brings a next-generation approach for advertisers to better understand the efficacy of their marketing efforts across multiple channels that growth marketing teams employ daily,” said Abhay Singhal, Co-Founder of InMobi Group and CEO of InMobi Marketing Solutions. “The solution makes it easy to map all mobile performance media investment to business outcomes; Shumel and his team are well-known industry leaders and visionaries in their field and will play an instrumental role in driving InMobi’s next wave of growth and innovation.”

“Joining forces with InMobi potentially represents an exponential growth path for our pioneering technology,” said Lais. “I’m excited that Appsumer has the opportunity to get into the hands of even more developers and marketing teams worldwide to leverage our best of breed offering, making it the default home for growth marketing.”

Appsumer’s platform offers marketers no-code integrations with more than 100 marketing channels, customizable dashboards for clients to build and track goals and KPIs, and daily processing of marketing data for more accurate measurement and informed decision making. On average, Appsumer customers access the platform more than five times each week, making it a central part of their performance marketing operations. 

The acquisition of Appsumer extends InMobi’s recent enterprise expansions. Last month, InMobi launched InMobi Telco to help mobile carriers and handset manufacturers optimize their customer experiences and diversify their revenue streams. 

About InMobi

InMobi is the leading provider of content, monetization, and marketing technologies that help fuel growth for industries around the world. The company’s end-to-end advertising software platform, connected content and commerce experiences activate audiences, drive real connections, and diversify revenue for businesses everywhere. With deep expertise and unique reach in mobile, InMobi is a trusted and transparent technology partner for marketers, content creators and businesses of all kinds. Incorporated in Singapore, InMobi maintains a large presence in San Francisco, London, and Bangalore and has operations in New York, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Delhi, Mumbai, Beijing, Shanghai, Jakarta, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Melbourne, Seoul, Tokyo, and Dubai. To learn more, visit 

About Appsumer

Appsumer is built for performance marketing teams at consumer mobile apps who want to accelerate user acquisition more effectively. The platform aggregates and normalizes cross-channel cost, attribution, revenue, and predictive data and visualizes it in an easy-to-use business intelligence (BI) tool for user acquisition (UA) teams. This gives marketers a single tool where they can make more effective optimization decisions and improve performance. Appsumer has been recognized as one of the top 100 UK-based startups and won industry awards including Digiday’s Best Mobile Marketing Platform. Its platform powers user acquisition teams at top-grossing consumer mobile apps worldwide including Lovoo, Miniclip, Trainline, Huuuge Games, and Picsart.

Godrej Appliances Targets Double-Digit Growth This Festive Season With A Slew Of New Products And Attractive Schemes

* Introduces new range of refrigerators and washing machines

* Rolls out ‘Dil Se Diwali’ offer with a basket of easy EMI schemes and upto 20% cashback

Godrej Appliances, one of India’s leading manufacturers of Consumer Appliances and amongst the key consumer facing businesses of Godrej & Boyce, flagship company of Godrej group, unveiled its ‘Dil Se Diwali’ festive promotion by launching a range of new products and enticing offers to make this festive season brighter.

With second wave at an end, consumers are looking forward to some celebrations finally, albeit with caution. Appliances are a part and parcel of festive celebrations at home and the season is expected to augur positive purchase sentiments. The company has launched a range of aesthetic glass door direct cool refrigerators, double door frost free refrigerators, and top load washing machines. This is in line with the increased traction witnessed in the premium segments since the last few months and follows the company’s foray into the premium category of dishwashers recently.

Commenting on the festive launches and offers, Mr. Kamal Nandi, Business Head and Executive Vice President – Godrej Appliances, said, “After a difficult year dealing with the pandemic, consumers in India are gearing up to celebrate the festival season. Despite concerns around the third COVID wave, double vaccination should help in driving positive consumer sentiment. Festive season usually contributes 30% of annual sales for us. We are seeing encouraging signs of demand revival and are targeting a double-digit growth rate of 20% plus during this festive season. We believe this season, consumers will celebrate ‘Dil Se Diwali’ with our slew of exciting offers and new introductions.”

The festive season is marked by deals and offers and given the overall economic downturn in multiple sectors due to Covid, festive promotions will also play an even more significant role this year.  In keeping with consumers’ need for liquidity, the company has designed lucrative cash backs upto 20% and Multiple EMI schemes (8/0, 10/2, 12/4 standard EMI schemes, 1 EMI off on 20/5 scheme and 24/4 fixed EMI schemes starting at just Rs. 900). Consumers can also take home a premium Godrej Appliance by paying just ₹1 down payment, creating yet another opportunity for our customer’s delight. Extended warranty is also available in specific categories and segments to ensure that the customer is getting maximum value on his festive purchase. The Dil Se Diwali festive promotion offers will be available till 15th November across stores. Customers can also avail offers on the company’s e-store at

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Description automatically generatedFurthermore, Mr. Sanjeev Jain, National Sales Head, Godrej Appliances, added, "We are happy to continue the Godrej tradition of bringing joy into the lives of millions of Indians through our value-laden products and further dazzle up the festivities through our thoughtfully designed offers – cashbacks, easy finance schemes with attractive EMI, extended warranty and more is available for our consumers to pick from. With our technologically advanced products exclusively launched for the season, backed with attractive offers we are confident of a good festive run.”

About Godrej Appliances:

Godrej Appliances, a business unit of Godrej & Boyce, is one of the leading Home Appliances players in India. Godrej & Boyce was the first Indian Company in 1958 to manufacture Refrigerators and since then Godrej Appliances has expanded its portfolio across many other categories like Washing Machines, Air Conditioners, Microwave Ovens, futuristic Thermo-electric cooling solutions, Air Coolers, Deep Freezers, highly specialized Medical Refrigerators and more recently, UVC Technology-Based Disinfecting devices and Dishwashers, all powered by the driving philosophy of 'Things made thoughtfully’. This thought extends from human-centric design to planet centric design. Environment is a core value at Godrej. Both manufacturing units of Godrej Appliances became the first in the country to win the coveted Platinum Plus Green Co certification for their pioneering green manufacturing practices. The brand takes pride in not just its carefully designed products and environment-friendly technologies, but also best in class after-sales service delivered through over 680 service centers and more than 4500 SmartBuddy service experts spread all over the country.

To learn more visit :

Canara Bank Launches Credit Outreach Programme Across Karnataka

Hon’ble PM in his independence day speech on 15th August 2021 has launched “Azadi Ka Amruth Mahothsav” celebrating 75th year of independence through various outreach programmes. As a part of the directions from Government of India (GOI) SLBC Karnataka has decided to conduct Mega outreach programmes in 19 districts of the state starting from 13th October 2021 . All Public sector banks, Regional Rural Banks, DCCBs, MFIs, NBFCs and Private sector banks operating in the district along with NABARD  and other government departments such as  KVIC, KVIB and DIC are participating in the programme. The credit outreach programme is conducted to create awareness on various credit facilities available and to accept and issue provisional sanctions.

The Credit outreach programmes are conducted to create awareness and sanction loans under Pradhan Mantri Mudhra Yojana -PMMY (MUDRA), Stand Up India, PMSVANidhi, ECLGS, PMEGP, Agriculture Infrastructure Fund scheme (AIF), Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund scheme (AHIDF), Agriculture, MSME, Retail, Education, Housing loans and other Atmanirbhar Bharat schemes.

During the programme all efforts will also be made by banks to drive a special awareness campaign regarding various PM Jana Suraksha schemes of GOI like Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), APY and enrolments also will be undertaken there itself. Awareness and enrolment under digital banking also will be part of the outreach. 

Other districts also will be conducting similar programmes at various centres of the respective districts  and will be creating credit  and digital awareness among the public.

SLBC requests General public to utilize the opportunity and avail credit facilities and also to get enrolled under PM Jana Suraksha schemes during the outreach programme.

Eightfold AI And Tata Consultancy Services Announce Partnership To Transform Talent Management For Enterprises Across The Globe

 Eightfold AI today announced its partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization. Through this alliance, TCS will offer services for the Eightfold Talent Intelligence Platform, and develop innovative joint solutions enabling enterprises to transform talent outcomes, retain top performers, upskill and reskill the workforce, recruit top talent efficiently, and reach diversity goals.

“Tata Consultancy Services brings the experience, depth and organizational knowledge required to create the sustainable business outcomes that our joint clients expect from Eightfold AI,” said Kamal Ahluwalia, President of Eightfold AI. “Their expertise and culture of innovation make them an ideal partner. We are excited about the possibilities our clients will achieve with our Talent Intelligence Platform paired with the services of TCS.”

“We believe through our partnership with Eightfold, we can help organizations manage workforce skills at scale and unleash their potential via AI enabled skill curation. By leveraging TCS’s domain expertise, consulting depth and center of innovation along with Eightfold’s cutting edge platform solution, our customers will be able to use AI for skill discovery, promote internal mobility, enable data driven decisions, drive diversity agenda etc.," said Ram Subramanian, Global Head of Human Capital Practice at TCS.

About Tata Consultancy Services

Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization that has been partnering with many of the world’s largest businesses in their transformation journeys for the last 50 years. TCS offers a consulting-led, cognitive powered, integrated portfolio of business, technology and engineering services and solutions. This is delivered through its unique Location Independent Agile™ delivery model, recognized as a benchmark of excellence in software development. For more information, visit

About Eightfold AI

Eightfold AI® delivers the Talent Intelligence Platform™, the most effective way for organizations to retain top performers, upskill and reskill the workforce, recruit top talent efficiently, and reach diversity goals. Eightfold AI's patented, deep learning artificial intelligence platform empowers enterprises to turn talent management into a competitive advantage. For more information, visit

'Sarvendriyanam Nayanam Pradhanam’ 80% Of Knowledge That We Acquire Is Through Our Vision

* World Sight Day on Oct 14, 2021

* By Dr. Satya Prasad Balki, MS, FCAS, Cornea, Phaco & Refractive Surgeon, MaxiVision Group of Eye Hospitals

As the excerpt from ’Neeti satakam’ written by the great scholar Chanakya says - ‘sarvendriyanam nayanam pradhanam’, which literally means, of all the senses, the sense of vision is supreme!  Ever wondered why he made this observation?! Because-80% of knowledge that we acquire is through our vision. Without vision, the other senses of hearing, taste, smell, and touch cannot differentiate! If you are blindfolded and made to smell a rose and a bottle of rose perfume, Can you differentiate?!

This only goes to show how our ancient scholars understood the importance of vision and documented it, ‘father of surgery’ Sushruta had described in detail the anatomy of the eye and its diseases like cataract and its treatment which involved displacing the cataractous lens with a sharp instrument inside the eye known as couching.

In the year 2000 WHO started to celebrate the second Thursday of every October as ‘WORLD SIGHT DAY’. This initiative is to bring global awareness to the issues of eye care facilities and preventable blindness. As I write this article, there are over 1 billion people worldwide with no access to eye care or even a basic eye examination, most suffering from treatable conditions such as cataracts wherein the natural lens of the eye loses its transparency, a surgery to replace this with an artificial lens suffices in restoring vision, refractive errors like simple myopia, hyperopia, especially in young children-which, only need spectacle correction, diabetic retinopathy in adults wherein the retina of eyes is damaged due to uncontrolled diabetes, which warrants prompt treatment to avoid permanent loss of vision.

As an eye doctor, I know that these conditions are indeed treatable with timely intervention; all it takes is access to the patient. In our practice we regularly have outreach programmes wherein we travel to remote corners of the country and conduct eye camps, the response to these camps is simply overwhelming with patients turning up in thousands every single time, which highlights the gravity of the situation and the need to administer timely treatment and spread awareness.

Hence the WHO has set a goal that by the year 2030 there should be an increase of 40% in effective coverage of refractive errors and a 30% increase in cataract procedures around the world.

Today is world sight day ( 14th Oct 2021)! And the theme this year is ‘’love your eyes’’, which is more relevant now than ever. With people locked up in their homes, work from home option has only worsened the burden we put on our eyes, mind you, eyes are as resilient as they are sensitive, they best try to accommodate the stress we put them under. Online classes for kids are increasing the rate of refractive errors. So we need to take care of our eyes, try and reduce screen time, get frequent and thorough eye checkups with your eye doctor and follow their advice, which is one of the objectives of this year’s sight day-

Let us pledge to Get an eye checkup and encourage our friends and family to follow the same.

Pledge to protect our eyes

Pledge to create awareness about preventable blindness and the need for eye donation

I urge my readers to use social media on this day to spread the message of eye care with the hashtag #loveyoureyes and make this unique initiative a success.

Also, with the festival season coming up, kindly exercise caution while playing with fireworks as they can cause serious and sometimes irreversible damage to your eyes, which is substantiated by the fact that the few days around Diwali are the busiest for eye doctors. Maintain a safe distance while playing with fireworks and use of protective eyewear is imperative. 

I Would like to end with another fascinating trivia, did you know that the basic design and function of a camera is based on well the way the eye functions-technology mimics biology!  We spend a fortune on a high-end smartphone or an SLR camera when our eyes have a staggering resolution of 576 pixels!! Now that’s a crystal clear picture!! and you have got two at no expense !!

I hope with these few words I have done my bit to spread the message -love, cherish and nourish your eyes because they are precious! 

Stay healthy! Live better!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Westlife Development Led McDonald’s Introduces Chef’s Special Gourmet Burger Collection To Mark Its 25th Year In India

* The new range of indulgent burgers will strengthen McDonald’s leadership in the burger category

McDonald’s India turns 25 this year and the brand is giving its consumers, one more reason to celebrate this milestone! After 25 years of serving favourites like McAloo Tikki, Maharaja Mac, McSpicy, Mc Veggie & McChicken, Westlife Development Ltd led McDonald’s (West & South India), has unveiled a new range of indulgent Gourmet Burgers. This Chef’s special range consists of unique and generously sized, scrumptious burgers with signature McDonald’s touches to add some more favourites to your list.

Menu innovation has been a key pillar of success for brand McDonald’s in India. The brand has successfully managed to knit local flavours in its product range. With the launch of the Gourmet range, McDonald’s aims to strengthen its leadership in the burger category.  What makes this new selection of burgers a gourmet affair is the exotic patties, ingredients and sauces that they contain. The range is a mix of delectable cheesy indulgences and spicy delights to cater to all palates and taste buds. The burgers are also bigger in size and are curated to offer consumers, more filling meal options at McDonald’s.

Speaking on the launch of this new Gourmet Burger Collection, Smita Jatia, Director, Westlife Development Ltd said,” Menu innovation has been in our DNA. We have always strived to weave in local flavours and preferences into our menu. At the same time, our endeavour has been to bring global flavours to India in a truly McDonald’s way. This new range of premium burgers has been carefully crafted with exotic ingredients and is aimed at providing filling meal options to the customers thereby strengthening the meal proposition at our restaurants”. 

Here is a sneak peek into some burgers from this new Gourmet Burger Collection:

Cheese Lava American Burger: Cheese Lava American Burger is one of the star products of McDonald’s New Gourmet Burger Collection. The relishing salad in this one is propped up against jalapenos and shredded onions, with the roasted chipotle sauce and cheesy goodness oozes out of the patty. All this slides inside freshly toasted buns!

Piri Piri Spiced Chicken Burger: A Piri Piri spiced, grilled chicken patty topped with a roasted chipotle sauce, shredded onions, jalapenos, and a refreshing salad, placed between freshly toasted Piri Piri buns!

Triple Cheese American Veg Burger: A crunchy corn patty filled with cheese, topped with jalapenos, shredded lettuce and more cheese, layered between Piri-Piri Buns.

Piri Piri Spiced Veg Burger: An exotic, spicy veg patty, topped with roasted chipotle sauce, shredded Onions, Jalapenos and a delish salad all layered between freshly toasted Piri Piri Buns.

McSpicy Premium Chicken Burger: McSpicy Premium Chicken Burger assures a lavish burger experience. A spicy chicken patty, shredded lettuce topped with Jalapenos and Cheese slice, spicy Habanero sauce & cheese sauce layered between toasted whole wheat buns.

Chunky Chipotle American Chicken Burger: A combo of grilled chicken patty and Piri Piri chicken patty, smeared with a Roasted Chipotle sauce, cheese, shredded onions, jalapenos and a delish salad layered between freshly toasted quarter pound buns.

McDonalds is committed to staying ahead of customer expectations and giving them global products with the perfect local twist to take the concept of comfort food a notch higher. This is just the start of the silver jubilee celebrations from the brand and there is much more coming soon!

The McDonald's Gourmet Burger Collection is available across all outlets in South and West India. You can order it on the McDelivery app or go to the nearest McDonald’s restaurant.

Are you ready to indulge in this glorious gourmet experience by McDonald’s?

As part of its Golden Guarantee promise, McDonald's has implemented stringent safety and hygiene protocols to ensure the complete safety of its customers and employees.

About Westlife Development:

Westlife Development Limited (BSE: 505533) (WDL) focuses on setting up and operating Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) in India through its subsidiary Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd. (HRPL). The Company operates a chain of McDonald’s restaurants in West and South India, having a master franchisee relationship with McDonald’s Corporation USA, through the latter’s Indian subsidiary.

About Hardcastle Restaurants:

HRPL is a McDonald’s franchisee with rights to own and operate McDonald’s restaurants in India’s West and South markets. HRPL has been a franchisee in the region since its inception in 1996.

HRPL serves over 200 million customers, annually, at its 305 (as of June 30th, 2021) McDonald’s restaurants across 42 cities in the states of Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and parts of Madhya Pradesh and Union Territory of Puducherry and provides direct employment to close to 10,000 employees. McDonald’s operates through various formats and brand extensions including standalone restaurants, drive- thrus, 24/7, McDelivery, McBreakfast and dessert kiosks. The menu features Burgers, Finger Foods, Wraps, Rice, Salads and Hot and Cold Beverages besides a wide range of desserts. Several of the McDonald’s restaurants feature an in-house McCafé.

The pillars of the McDonald's system – Quality, Service, Cleanliness and Value – are evident at each of the restaurants that HRPL operates.

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