Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Social Alpha, CIIE.co, Be An Angel Network Announce Seed Investment Of USD 180K In Desi Hangover, A Sustainable D2C Footwear Brand


* The seed investment will enable the footwear brand to hire, grow their B2C clientele, strengthen their B2B network and expand across product categories and conduct R&D

* Desi Hangover creates sustainable footwear using an age-old vegetable tanning process

* The Mumbai-based start-up leverages traditional craftsmanship and technology to drive innovation to co-create products that have helped artisans achieve economies of scale

* Founded by Hitesh Kenjale, Lakshya Arora, and Abha Agrawal, Desi Hangover, catering to a global customer base, promotes conscious fashion

Social Alpha, CIIE.co, Be An Angel Network announce seed investment of USD 180K in Desi Hangover, a sustainable D2C footwear brand that has brought about prosperity in the lives of the Kolhapuri artisan community with predictable, financially rewarding livelihoods. Founded by Hitesh Kenjale, Lakshya Arora, and Abha Agarwal, Desi Hangover is showcasing Indian craftsmanship to domestic and international audiences, blending traditional styles with forward-looking footwear designs. The process innovations introduced in these rural shoemaking centres has augmented production manifold. Desi Hangover’s intervention has led to a three-time increase in remuneration for the artisan community. The start-up’s association has also encouraged women, who comprise 50% of the workforce, to become active contributors to the shoe-making process.

The Mumbai-based enterprise’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in the use of the centuries’ old vegetable tanning process that converts animal hide into usable leather. Vegetable tanning is universally regarded as an environmentally friendly option since it uses only organic substances.

India’s footwear industry is expected to grow 8 times by 2030. The domestic footwear market is estimated to reach $15.5 billion by 2022, from $10.6 billion in 2019. India is the 2nd largest producer of footwear in the world. Desi Hangover uses an omnichannel method, driving product sales through diversified online channels and offline retail partners.

Hitesh Kenjale, CEO of Desi Hangover said, “The world has not been exposed to Indian craftsmanship. The way we see it is that it has an enormous potential to become a global entity. We at Desi Hangover are building a new-age brand that showcases the hidden talent of our craft clusters to a global audience. We see immense growth potential in the offline distribution mediums. Our strong relationships built over the years will help us build a strong D2C channel supported by our offline networks. The fundraise will help us double down on the strategy.”

Commenting on the funding, Manoj Kumar, Founder and CEO, Social Alpha said,  The Desi Hangover team has demonstrated that sustainability is as much about protecting Mother Earth as it is about de-risking the livelihoods of the poor and marginalised sections of the society. At Social Alpha we are proud of our portfolio companies as they continue to demonstrate business case for sustainable consumption creating triple bottom line impact.

Chintan Bakshi, Partner – Incubation at CIIE.co said, “CIIE.co, with its regional mandate through CIIE Regional Innovation Foundation, regards Indian crafts as one of its focus areas and has supported and funded start-ups in the sector. Desi Hangover was part of the second edition of the Craft Accelerator that CIIE.co conducted in 2019. Start-ups like Desi Hangover are using technology, design interventions and business model innovation to develop world class products using the traditional crafts of India.”

Thaneshwar Singh, Founder – Be An Angel Network said,  “We invested in Desi Hangover as it promotes Indian traditional craftsmanship and has the potential to do so at a global level. At the Be An Angel Network, we not only want to back young entrepreneurs, but also allow young investors to invest in promising start-ups.”

About Social Alpha:

Social Alpha is a multistage innovation curation and venture development platform for science and technology start-ups that address the most critical social, economic, and environmental challenges through the power of entrepreneurship and market-creating innovations. Since its inception in 2016, Social Alpha has supported more than 150 start-ups, including 60+ seed investments. For more information, visit www.socialalpha.org 

LinkedIn: SocialAlpha

Twitter: @SocialAlphaIN

Facebook: SocialAlpha

Instagram: social_alpha_in 

About CIIE.co:

CIIE.co is the start-up incubation centre at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. It provides support to start-ups and entrepreneurs across their lifecycle by supporting early-stage start-ups from tier 2 and tier 3 cities, seed funding and acceleration support, research and insights and capital for growth.

About Be An Angel Network:

Be an Angel is an early stage investing platform, which identifies prospective start-ups in the pilot phase and supports them with the required funding and mentoring for future phases of growth.

Signify Launches Its Latest Ad Campaign ‘The New Shape Of Style’ For Philips HexaStyle Downlight


Signify (Euronext: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting, today rolled out its latest TV advertising campaign ‘The new shape of style’ for its Philips HexaStyle LED downlight. Emphasizing the new unique hexagon shape of these downlights, the light-hearted campaign showcases the various unique patterns that consumers can create on their ceiling using these downlights. The humorous 45- second film has been developed by Publicis and targets consumers building their new home or renovating existing ones.

LED Downlights are a growing category in India, and a big hit with people building new homes. However, currently they are available in only two shapes - round or square. By using hexagon-shaped downlights, consumers can now use their creativity to create unique patterns in their ceiling that will make their house stand out amongst the crowd. Based on this insight, the film captures the varied emotions that the beautiful lighting patterns evoke amongst the guests who have arrived at the house- warming party of the host. While all guests are mesmerized by the lights, they are also secretly envious of the host and make trivial snide remarks about him behind his back, questioning his salary and financial status to be able to afford such beautiful lights. The scene ends with the host of the party enjoying the envious adulation of his guests and remarking that “Hexa Style ke designs ceilings pe hi nahi, dilon pe bhi lag jaate hai”, emphasizing that Philips HexaStyle’s unique patterns not only brighten up your ceiling but also induce envy amongst your neighbors. The TVC concludes by highlighting the ease of installing these downlights, as they fit into regular round cut-outs in the ceiling.

The TVC will play on primetime TV slots across leading general entertainment, news and movie channels across India.

Speaking about the campaign, Nikhil Gupta, Head of Marketing & Integrated Communications and Commercial Operations, Signify Innovations India Limited said, “Our latest TVC has been conceptualized keeping in mind our strong legacy in innovation. With Philips HexaStyle downlight, we have redefined the shape element and created yet another new category in downlights. Its unique hexagonal shape will enable consumers to express their creativity and design a truly personalized lighting experience for their home, by creating unique patterns on their ceilings. With this ad, we have attempted to play on the undercurrents of envy and backhanded compliments that people receive from their social groups, while possessing a new product. We hope that consumers like the ad and become early adopters of our latest innovation.”

"It’s not every day that one finds lights that have this uniquely stylish, hexagonal shape and the beautiful designs that are made possible because of it. So when people see them, there ought to be some surprise, a little appreciation and definitely, a lot of envy" said Vikash Chemjong, NCD, Publicis.

TVC link :

https://fb.watch/aK5VmuNJGj/

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CZGvBbQlqlB/

Client: Signify India (Nikhil Gupta, Natasha Wadhwa, Aastha Bhatnagar)

Creative: Vikash Chemjong & Ranadeep Dasgupta (Publicis)

Account Planning: Radhika Burman (Publicis) Account Management: Saurabh Singh (Publicis) Production House: A For Orange Productions Director: Deepanshu Malik

Producer: Parul Madaan

Sify Reports Consolidated Financial Results For Quarter 3 Of 2021-22


* Revenues of INR 6783 Million. EBITDA of INR 1574 Million.

HIGHLIGHTS

Revenue was INR 6783 Million, a growth of 8% over the same quarter last year.

EBITDA was INR 1574 Million, an increase of 22% over the same quarter last year.

Profit before tax for the quarter was INR 477 Million, an increase of 19% over the same quarter last year.

Profit after tax was INR 344 Million, an increase of 36% over the same quarter last year.

CAPEX during the quarter was INR 2887 Million.

MANAGEMENT COMMENTARY

Mr. Raju Vegesna, Chairman, said, “Given the proactive governance through the pandemic, India is better placed through the third phase that we are currently experiencing. Digital IT infrastructure across the country has been scaled up aggressively since Networks and Data Centers were declared ‘Essential’ services. Indian businesses are now convinced of the importance of business process continuity and converged services for seamless business output.

This has led to both a surge of services from Cloud based local startups and growing hyperscale investment in Indian IT infrastructure. We see this as a right time for Sify to scale up.”  

Mr. Kamal Nath, CEO, said, “Enterprises looking for cloud-based Digital Transformation services see our Digital-first bouquet of services as a natural fitment for their evolving business demands. We are seeing an upswing in demand for our cloud@core services as the right delivery model for these demands. Our successful delivery for Hyperscalers is a strong endorsement of our agility and capability on the Data Center front and increases the attractiveness of our Data Centers to our Enterprise clients. With the market learning to work around the pandemic, these demands should continue”.

Mr. M P Vijay Kumar, CFO, said, “The customer demand for digital infrastructure services is encouraging.  We will continue to expand on our Data center and network capacity. Our fiscal discipline will continue right through our investment journey without impacting customer experience.

Cash balance at the end of the quarter was INR 2381 Million”.

BUSINESS SUMMARY

Revenue from Data Center colocation services grew by 44% over same quarter last year.

Revenue from Digital services fell by 18% over same quarter last year

Revenue from Network centric services grew by 8% over same quarter last year.

The Revenue split between the businesses during the quarter was Data Center colocation services 30%, Digital Services 24% and Network centric services 46%.

BUSINESS HIGHLIGHTS 

As part of our Corporate Venture Capital initiative, Sify has further invested, during the quarter, USD 100,000 in the earlier announced start-ups in the Silicon Valley area.

Sify committed to a capital outlay of INR 9900 Million toward fresh capacity building for data center expansion in the Navi Mumbai region. This is in addition to the capital outlay of INR 1200 Million for expansion of DC capacity in the same region.

Sify Technologies has been recognized as a “Niche Player” in the 2021 Gartner Magic quadrant for Managed Network services. The recognition is for completeness of vision and ability to execute leading to superior quality of service.

The business continues to grow the reach of the network. As on Dec 31, 2021, Sify provides services via 769 fiber nodes and 1893 wireless base stations across the country, a 6% and 11% increase respectively over the same quarter last year.

As part of its Digital Experience Project, Sify completed full automation of service assurance, asset management and service provisioning across its network. This will accelerate the deployment of a streamlined customer experience in the coming quarters. 

CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENTS

One of India’s oldest MNCs, the subsidiary of an Industrial engineering major, and one of India’s oldest FMCG players contracted to migrate from their on-premise DC to our Cloud platforms.

A subsidiary of one of the oldest Indian MNCs, a pan-India health chain and a leisure major contracted for a greenfield cloud implementation.

An automobile finance major, a software player and organic dairy major contracted for DRaaS.

An NBFC, a micro banking player and a private ISP player migrated from the competition to Sify DC.

One of India’s largest Private banks and two other established Public sector banks migrated from their on premise DC to Sify DC. The private bank also contracted for Managed Cloud services.

A scheduled bank contracted with Sify for modernisation of their DC.

Multiple logistics players, a medical research institution and an infrastructure services player contracted for managed services.

One of India’s largest public sector insurance firms contracted for a Security Operations Center on-premises and also to deploy Managed services.

One of India's largest Public sector bank's contracted with Sify for a pan-India MPLS network. 

A leading small-finance bank contracted with Sify to provide seamless connectivity solution across all its branches and supplier base.

An international banking major contracted for global connectivity to connect its sites in India to its global locations.

A private service insurance major, as part of its data center transformation project, signed a contract for a multi cloud network integrated with its data center interconnect.

A scheduled bank contracted to expand its SDWAN deployment to support its branch expansion.

One of India's oldest steel majors contracted for a complete Network integration, including managed services, while a Public sector bank contracted for Network monitoring and management services across their entire network.

An automobile major contracted to augment the Network infrastructure at its DC and branches.

Network services signed up 61 new clients for the quarter.

MADAME Witnesses Nearly 25% Growth Owing To Expansion And Merchandizing Strategy


MADAME, India’s leading western-wear fashion apparel brand, has closed the FY 21 till December, on a positive note witnessing an impressive growth of 25 % owing to its strategic focus towards fresh expansions, merchandise mix and on time deliveries.

The brand's financial year 2021-22 got off to a rough start owing to the second wave of pandemic. However, following the market's reopening in June of the year, the brand has experienced double-digit growth. Until December’21, the brand has shown exceptional growth, breaking all LFR retail records for all months.

“MADAME has significant retail partners such as Shoppers Stop, Central, Lifestyle, Reliance Trends, Project eve, and many other structured large retail formats as a successful and well-known brand. More than 300 retail touch points across the country are supplied by the brand. These collaborations have aided the company in maintaining and expanding sales, allowing it to continue to develop despite the pandemic,” says Ashish Ranjan, Business Manager- LFR.

“During the current fiscal year, the brand expects to sell 250 thousand units, accounting for roughly 15% of total originations retail sales. We are aiming for a larger leap through the LFR segment as we see more untapped areas and unexplored retail pockets. In the next three years, the brand plans to develop its retail business by 30% with a top line of Rs.180 Cr,” he adds.

MADAME has been known as an industry leader when it comes to western wear fashion category in India and enjoys a strong loyal customer base in the country. Over the last decade, it has expanded and has acquired a big market space. Today, the brand has its exclusive stores in different parts of the country and a dedicated e-commerce platform – glamly.com- on which it sells its products at exciting discounts and offers.

SBI Card Q3 FY22 PAT Grows 84% To Rs 386 Cr Vs Rs 210 Cr For Q3 FY21


* Financial Results for the Quarter and 9 months Ended December 31, 2021 

* Cards in force cross the 13 Mn+ milestone 

* New Accounts cross 1 Mn+ milestone in Q3 FY22  

The Board of Directors of SBI Cards and Payment Services Limited approved the Company’s results for the quarter and 9 months ended December 31, 2021, at their meeting held on Monday, January 24, 2022. 

Performance Highlights Q3 FY22  

Total Revenue increases 24% YoY to Rs 3,140 Cr  

Profit after tax increases 84% YoY to Rs 386 Cr  

ROAA at 5.0% for Q3 FY22 vs. 3.3% for Q3 FY21 

ROAE at 21.2% for Q3 FY22 vs. 13.8% for Q3 FY21 

Capital Adequacy Ratio at 24.2%; Tier 1 at 21.3%  

Key Metrics 

New accounts volume at 1,008k for Q3 FY22 up by 10% as compared to 918k for Q3 FY21. 

Card-in-force grew by 15% to 1.32 Cr as of Q3 FY22 vs 1.15 Cr as of Q3 FY21. 

Total spends grew by 47% to Rs55,397 Cr in Q3 FY22 vs Rs 37,797 Cr in Q3 FY21. 

Market share 9M FY22 (available till Nov’21) – Card-in-force at 19.2% (FY21: 19.1%); Spends at 19.0% (FY21: 19.4%); Transactions at 20.0% (FY21: 19.7%).  

Receivables grew by 13% to Rs 29,129 Cr as of Q3 FY22 vs Rs 25,749 Cr as of Q3 FY21. 

GNPA at 2.40% as of Q3 FY22 vs 4.51%* as of Q3 FY21; NNPA at 0.83% as of Q3 FY22 vs 1.60%* as of Q3 FY21. 

Total RBI RE book including RBI RE 2.0 assets at 2% in Q3 FY22 vs 9% in Q3 FY21. 

Profit & Loss Account for the Quarter ended December 31, 2021  

Total revenue increased by Rs 600 Cr, or 24% to Rs 3,140 Cr for Q3 FY22 vs Rs 2,540 Cr for Q3 FY21, increase is primarily due to higher Income from fees and services in Q3 FY22. 

Finance costs increased by Rs 16 Cr, or 6% to Rs 277 Cr for Q3 FY22 from Rs 261 Cr for Q3 FY21. 

Total Operating cost increased by Rs 371 Cr, or 28% to Rs 1,719 Cr for Q3 FY22 from Rs 1,348 Cr for Q3 FY21, increase is due to higher business volumes & festive campaigns in Q3 FY22. 

Earnings before credit costs increased by Rs 213 Cr, or 23% to Rs 1,144 Cr for Q3 FY22 vs Rs 931 Cr for Q3 FY21. 

Total Management overlay provision at Rs 162 Cr as on Dec’21. Impairment losses & bad debts expenses for Q3 FY22 at Rs 625 Cr vs Rs 648 Cr for Q3 FY21. 

Profit before tax increased by Rs 236 Cr, or 83% to Rs 519 Cr for Q3 FY22 vs Rs 283 Cr for Q3 FY21 

Profit after tax increased by Rs176 Cr, or 84% to Rs 386 Cr for Q3 FY22 vs Rs 210 Cr for Q3 FY21  

Profit & Loss Account for the 9 months ended December 31, 2021  

For the 9 months ended December 31, 2021: 

Total revenue increased by Rs 1,040 Cr, or 14% to Rs 8,285 Cr for 9M FY22 vs Rs 7,245 Cr for 9M FY21. 

Finance costs decreased by Rs 40 Cr, or 5% to Rs 760 Cr for 9M FY22 from Rs 800 Cr for 9M FY21. 

Total Operating cost at Rs 4,268 Cr for 9M FY22 from Rs 3,361 Cr for 9M FY21, increase is primarily due to higher business volumes. 

Earnings before credit costs increased by Rs 173 Cr, or 6% to Rs 3,258 Cr for 9M FY22 from Rs 3,085 Cr for 9M FY21. 

Impairment losses & bad debts expenses for the period at Rs 1,865 Cr for 9M FY22 vs Rs 1,995 Cr for 9M FY21. 

Profit before tax increased by Rs 304 Cr, or 28% to Rs1,393 Cr for 9M FY22 vs Rs 1,089 Cr for 9M FY21.  

Profit after tax increased by Rs 226 Cr, or 28% to Rs 1,035 Cr for 9M FY22 vs Rs 809 Cr for 9M FY21. 

Balance Sheet as of December 31, 2021 

Total Balance Sheet size as of December 31, 2021 was Rs 32,105 Cr as against Rs 27,006 Cr as of March 31, 2021. 

Total Gross Advances (Credit card receivables) as of December 31, 2021 were Rs29,129 Cr, as against Rs 25,114 Cr as of March 31, 2021.  

Net worth as of December 31, 2021 was  7,468 Cr as against ? 6,374 Cr as of March 31, 2021. 

Asset Quality 

The Gross non-performing assets were at 2.40% of gross advances as on December 31, 2021 as against 4.51%* as on December 31, 2020. Net non-performing assets were at 0.83% as against 1.60%* as on December 31, 2020. 

Capital Adequacy 

As per the capital adequacy norms issued by the RBI, Company’s capital to risk ratio consisting of tier I and tier II capital should not be less than 15% of its aggregate risk weighted assets on - balance sheet and of risk adjusted value of off-balance sheet items. As of December 31, 2021, Company’s CRAR was 24.2% compared to 23.7% as of December 31, 2020. 

The tier I capital in respect of an NBFC-ND-SI, at any point of time, is required to be not be less than 10%. Company’s Tier I capital was 21.3% as of December 31, 2021 compared to 19.8% as of December 31, 2020. 

Rating 

CRISIL Long Term            -  AAA/Stable 

CRISIL Short Term           -  A1+ 

ICRA Long Term   -           AAA/Stable 

ICRA Short Term -           A1+ 

Monday, January 24, 2022

Symphony Set To Help Transform Industrial & Commercial Workspaces With Its “Large Space Venti-Cooling” Communication Thrust


* To highlight its Large Space Venti-Cooling (LSV) category for industrial & commercial spaces and to promote the importance of cool, healthy & conducive working environment, Symphony Ltd has launched a 360-degree campaign, that includes a TVC 

Symphony Limited, India’s home-grown global air-cooling company and the world’s largest manufacturer of air-coolers has launched a new integrated advertising and promotional campaign titled “Symphony Large Space Venti-Cooling” to highlight its Large Space Venti-Cooling (LSV) category. Through this campaign that includes a TVC, Symphony Ltd. aims to reach out to large industrial and commercial spaces like Factories, Warehouses, Showrooms, Educational Institutes, Hospitals, Restaurants, etc. and educate them of the importance of a healthy and comfortable working environment for its workers/employees. 

The TVC opens with a dialogue between a father and a son (who has recently returned from his studies abroad) sitting in an office cabin where the son is reminiscing about the old nicknames given to the employees who used to be lazy, used to take sick leaves or were prone to making errors. The father happily corrects the son and informs him how all these employees have transformed in the last three years. The father insists the son to visit the factory’s shop floor and meet all the employees, but the son is hesitant to go as the temperature might be higher on the shop floor. However, on his father’s insistence, the son accompanies him to the shop floor and is surprised to experience a whole new cool environment. The video ends with the father beaming with pride upon installing Large Space Venti-Cooling from Symphony which has consequently offered a conducive working environment to workers and has changed the lives of these employees. 

On the launch of the integrated communication, Mr. Rajesh Mishra, President - Sales and Marketing, Symphony, said, “This campaign is intended to educate about the benefits of air cooling for businesses and also communicate how it acts as a growth and profit catalyst for them. We believe that our cooling solutions are not just for the benefit of the shopfloor employees but go much beyond offering cooling comfort. They have the ability to improve productivity, enhance efficiency, safeguard health, reduce downtime, improve turnaround time and in turn help businesses achieve much better profits.” 

Symphony Large Space Venti-Cooling is a unique combination of air-cooling and ventilation, saves 90% electricity as compared to any air conditioner, and is an eco-friendly option for cooling large spaces. Through this solution, the endeavor of Symphony Ltd. is to help transform the productivity and profitability of large workspaces by offering comfort cooling in the environment. 

“Ignorance and apathy are the prime reasons for lack of adoption of comfort air cooling in commercial & industrial workspaces. The campaign aims to evangelize the benefits of venti-cooling and offer business-impacting logic to install Symphony’s cooling solutions” says Mr. Rajiv Sabnis, Founder, Brave (Creative Agency) 

Symphony also plans to run some extensions of this campaign highlighting the low running cost of these air-cooling solutions and its potential usage in all sorts of large space like showrooms, schools, hospitals, residences etc. 

Link to ad:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrxJXpSppUM 

Heartfulness Launches “The Authentic Yoga Book” Brings Yoga Closer To One and All


Heartfulness launched “The Authentic Yoga” originally written by Shri P. Y. Deshpande with additional content by Heartfulness Guide – Daaji, that includes the Foreword and a new chapter presenting the yogic practices in the light of Heartfulness for everyone to benefit from Yoga directly. The book gives a deep insight into the true state of Yoga in finding unity within body, heart, and soul in totality that can rightly translate us into being ‘human’.   

The book is highly philosophical although written in a simple language. It is also quite a departure for Shri Deshpande to write it in English because he was originally a Marathi novelist. After meeting J. Krishnamurthy in 1961, he started to get involved in spirituality and wrote a series of books such as one on Bhagavat Gita and this one on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras in English. And the latter was one of the books that set him up on the international stage as a great writer and as a highly regarding philosopher. Daaji not only wanted to reprint it because it was out of print but also to bring Deshpande’s school of Yoga to modern consciousness. Daaji’s chapter in the book talks about how to take what Deshpande ji said and translate it practically in modern-day life. It is also beautifully laid out and easy to read unlike what it was in the ‘60s. 

Daaji says, “The benefits of yoga have been preached time and again. But there is much beyond physical and mental wellness that people need to understand that yoga imparts. There are emotional and spiritual aspects too that yoga elevates one along with character building and very few are aware of this aspect of yoga. To be one within oneself and with the universe is paramount for overall well-being and this is what I have tried to bring into light through this book. The idea was to bring Deshpande’s school of Yoga to modern consciousness. The one chapter that I wrote at the end of the book not only talks about how to take what Deshpande recommended as the proper method of Yoga, but also help people translate it practically in modern-day life. What I have also worked at through this chapter is removing the obstacles and the impediments that people face in achieving the state of Yoga.” 

While many other books on yoga revolve around the aspects of asanas and pranayama as are the most commonly practised, Yoga begins with Niyama and Yama – which is character development and how to lead one’s lifestyle. This is followed by asanas and pranayama which are about physical wellbeing and energetic body, then the contemporary practice of yoga leading to Samadhi. Deshpande takes all of these aspects like Patanjali did, but he does it in a very different way than the yoga gurus and traditions from earlier times. An incredibly creative novelist that Deshpande was, meeting with Krishnamurthi influenced gave him to take a novel approach by experiencing Yoga himself from direct perception to Yogic perception. This is what makes the book very deep and a great source to understand what yoga truly is. 

Deshpande also understands what stops us from attaining the state of Yoga. Yoga means unity or oneness within. He describes this beautifully as he guides us through the sutras in what stops us viz., our desires, likes, and dislikes – in attaining the Yogic state. He is able to describe as a physicist would – the physical, the energetic, the absolute state of existence that exists in matter, the universe, and human beings and  he is able to describe how we can relate to the impediments, the emotions, and complexities in our systems. It is also something that Babuji did in a similar period in the 20th century, but not many yogis understand this and he has done this just superbly. 

While Patanjali spoke about what creates mental disharmony in sutra format in short sentences with an essence, Deshpande ji expands the complexities and entanglements in our system. What he doesn’t do and which Daaji does in the last chapter of the book is recommending the practices to remove them from the system.  

Practising the form of yoga as suggested by Deshpande ji and Daaji is very simple. A platform in Heartfulness known as Yoga for Unity has online videos from experts from all over the world so people can do yoga at home. This is not just for people who are adaptive and flexible, but also the many forms of yoga offered on the platform suit everyone from beginners’ level or those who are not fit or agile, and then there are breathing exercises and meditating practices. The platform Includes Heartfulness Academy and others such as Iyengar Yoga, Krishnamacharya Yoga, Shivananda Yoga, Bihar School of Yoga, etc. giving practices to do what Deshpande ji is talking about in The Authentic Yoga to create holistic well-being. 

To sum it up, The Authentic Yoga is gold and a treasure of well-being. It is just not well-known around the world. But by accessing Yoga’s essence through the book, people get to understand this amazing philosophy and psychology of living. 

Website for the book is http://heartfulness.org/AY 

AST Announces Strategic Investment By Recognize


* Partnership will focus on expanding cloud services offerings and enhancing global delivery capabilities

AST Corporation, a leading cloud and digital transformation solutions provider, today announced it has received a strategic growth investment from Recognize, a technology services-focused investment platform. AST is an award-winning cloud services provider that has served clients in the public and commercial sectors for more than two decades. The partnership with Recognize enables AST to accelerate investment in innovation, enhance its global delivery footprint and expand its solution offering to clients.

"AST has built a strong foundation with an award-winning culture focused on leveraging cloud technology in our core Oracle and Salesforce ecosystems to deliver value-based outcomes for our customers,” said Justin Winter, CEO of AST. “As we look at the next chapter, we are excited about the partnership with Recognize, which will accelerate our efforts in building a differentiated, purposeful digital transformation solutions provider.”

With over 750 team members globally, AST is a leading, trusted services partner to Oracle, Salesforce and other notable technology vendors, managing large-scale digital transformation efforts. As organizations accelerate their shift to leveraging next-generation technologies, AST is uniquely positioned to manage clients’ digital transformation initiatives, including securely and efficiently shifting on-premise systems to cloud-based applications. 

“We are excited to work alongside Justin and his team to help AST continue to build on its already strong track record,” said Charles Phillips, Recognize co-founder and former president of Oracle. “AST is well positioned to capitalize on Oracle’s maturing cloud service and customers now have a clear path toward meaningful digital transformation,” 

“We are deeply impressed by the company that Justin and his team have built,” said David Wasserman, co-founder and managing partner of Recognize. "AST’s leadership position across its core end markets, differentiated focus on best-in-class service capabilities and industry-leading culture made us excited to partner with the team as they continue scaling the business.”

Charles Phillips will join the company’s Board of Directors as Chairman alongside fellow Recognize co-founder David Wasserman and Recognize partner Mike Grady. This is the fourth platform investment for Recognize as it continues to deploy capital from its flagship fund. 

Willkie Farr & Gallagher acted as legal advisor to Recognize. Guggenheim Securities, LLC and Harris Williams acted as financial advisors to AST and Davis Polk & Wardwell acted as legal advisor.

About AST

AST is an award-winning full-service enterprise systems integrator, serving clients in the public and commercial sectors for more than two decades. Clients look to AST for leadership and assistance in systems integration, business process redesign, project management, systems administration, and training. From on-premise applications to modern cloud technology, AST’s services encompass all aspects of Enterprise Resource Planning, Business Intelligence, Enterprise Performance Management, Customer Experience, and Middleware. AST also offers flexible Managed Services, supporting the needs of over 200 Public Sector and Commercial customers around the globe.

About Recognize 

Recognize is a technology investment platform exclusively focused on the technology services industry. Tech services firms envision, build, configure, manage, and operate software and business processes to deliver digital outcomes for enterprises. The firm provides operational expertise, industry insights, and strategic capital to innovative companies in this sector. Recognize is led by industry veterans Frank D’Souza, Raj Mehta, Charles Phillips, and David Wasserman, along with partners Mike Grady, Josh Miller, Deborah Munfa, and Shawn Pride. To learn more, visit www.recognize.com

NASSCOM Recognizes Kovai.co At Emerge 50 Awards 2021


Kovai.co, a multi-product enterprise SaaS company specializing in enterprise integration and knowledge management space based out of Coimbatore, India, and London, UK., has been recognized in NASSCOM Emerge 50 Awards 2021 under the “SaaS” Award Category.

NASSCOM Emerge 50 awards is India's most prestigious and prominent awards in the software product industry, with the mission to find and recognize the most innovative software product companies who would be the future trendsetters from India. While the Indian SaaS ecosystem remains robust with a strong base of startups as well as unicorns, NASSCOM has identified the top 5 business models that are emerging within SaaS landscape leading to the evolution of the market. This category includes companies that offer vertical and horizontal solutions ranging from Mobile SaaS to BI and analytics.

Kovai.co's leading product - Document360 is the #1 rated Knowledge base platform engineered for growing companies. Users can instantly create, collaborate, and manage a public or private knowledge base. Thanking NASSCOM on this recognition, Saravana Kumar, Founder and CEO of Kovai.co highlighted how difficult & challenging it was for their enterprise products BizTalk360 & Serverless360 R&D team to get apt knowledge base solution.This triggered the R&D team to develop the product Document360 which is now widely being used by different enterprises and is one of the fastest growing products for Kovai.co.

For 2021, under the “SaaS award” category NASSCOM received an overwhelming number of applications and Kovai.co was one of the final winners. Other categories recognized for Emerge 50 Awards 2021 included – Fintech, Health Tech, Retail Tech, Logistics, Enterprise, Strategic sector, and more.

"To have been a part of NASSCOM Emerge 50 awards is a great privilege by itself, and winning it is a prestigious honour for us. Like we often say, our tagline #TogetherWeGrow is a testament to the fact that we couldn’t have achieved this without the support of our customers and employees. For us to be recognized in this category, given that we are based out of a tier 2 city in Coimbatore with a team of 250+ people; it is a proud moment. We want to thank the entire jury for identifying companies like ours!” he concluded.

About Kovai.co

Kovai.co is a multi-product enterprise SaaS company specializing in enterprise integration and knowledge management space based out of Coimbatore, India and London, UK. Kovai.co is a technology partner of choice for many of the world’s leading enterprises to manage and monitor their Microsoft BizTalk and Azure Serverless environments. Kovai.co’s product team consists of thinkers and innovators who are re-defining the way robust Enterprise Software and SaaS products are built.

Indipaisa And Hitachi Payment Services Introduce New Fintech Platform


* Developed for MSMEs, the platform will further boost financial inclusion

Hitachi Payment Services, India’s foremost enabler of both cash and digital payments and Indipaisa, a member of the Nexxo Network, an international network of Fintech companies operating in the Middle East, Asia and Europe, recently tied up to develop a new Fintech platform for India’s MSMEs. With its future-ready, digital payment capabilities, Hitachi Payment Services will provide a superior technology framework for the new Fintech platform for India’s MSMEs. 

Indipaisa’s mission is to empower Micro, Small & Mid-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), and the new Fintech platform will drive a range of financial solutions to help India’s 63 million MSMEs take charge of their business finances. In partnership with Hitachi Payment Services, Indipaisa will offer a range of payment solutions to match the specific needs of Indian MSME owners and operators, to help them grow their businesses, comply with government tax laws, and build a better future for themselves and their families.

Mr. Anuj Khosla, CEO - Digital Business of Hitachi Payment Services said, “As one of India’s leading solution providers to the digital payments ecosystem, we have seen the ecosystem positively evolve in the last few years and are happy to associate with Indipaisa for the new Fintech platform. Our technological know-how, centralized infrastructure and expansive network will further help in democratizing digital payments, thereby providing an impetus towards financial inclusion for the marginalized MSMEs.”

Mr. Aizaz Tahsildar, CEO of Indipaisa said, “Indipaisa is very proud and honoured to work with Hitachi Payment Services to help Indian small businesses align with India’s digital drive for a cashless society.” Mr. Tahsildar added, “We plan to offer high-quality digital platform for fintech services at affordable prices for Indian MSME market; which is simple, easy and fast to manage by the owners and operators of MSME. Having innovative leaders with deep payment domain knowledge in fintech gives us a strong competitive advantage to successfully execute our plans in India.”

Mr. Nebil Ben Aissa, Chairman of Indipaisa said, “We are very excited to invest in India and offer our financial services to empower Indian small business owners and operators and help them build a better future for their businesses and their families. Our experience in servicing Indian small business owners and operators in the Middle East and other markets gives us confidence that our solutions will deliver value and gain traction in India”.

Supply Chain Visibility Leader FourKites Gives Back To Chennai Community


* ourKites Donates $50,000 to UNICEF to support children in need in local communities

FourKites, the #1 global supply chain visibility platform, today announced a donation of $50,000 to UNICEF. The move represents the company’s commitment to the Chennai community and its growing employee base. The funds donated to UNICEF by FourKites will be used toward improving the lives of children in need.

Commenting on the developments, Mr. Mathew Elenjickal, FourKites Founder and CEO, said, “We are pleased to be a part of UNICEF’s groundbreaking work helping children across the globe. The last two years have been tough on all of us and, during this time, our employees and their families remained committed to supporting their community and co-workers. Our donation to UNICEF is a token of gratitude and appreciation for their efforts.”

FourKites places great importance on corporate social responsibility and, with the support of its employees, has actively contributed to the betterment of society through various initiatives. During the COVID-19 outbreak, FourKites organized a global fundraiser for offering relief measures in India. The company donated a sum of over rupees twenty-nine lakhs toward healthcare and humanitarian intervention during a time of great need. Additionally, FourKites contributed a sum of $10,000 to the PM care fund. The company also joined hands with non-profit organization Give India to donate $40,000, which helped provide oxygen concentrators at Indian military hospitals under army commands at Lucknow, Kolkata, Pune, Chandimandir and Udampur.

“Taking care of our people means we also take care of our communities,” said Ms. Rashi Jain, Managing Director of FourKites, India. “Today, we offer everything from mentoring to professional reimbursement, employee assistance programmes and community service. We are proud to offer even greater opportunities for support and development as we grow.”

2021 was a year of record growth for FourKites around the world, and particularly in APAC, with 120% year-over-year growth in APAC shipments tracked, and 95% growth in new APAC customers. The company was also recognized as a Great Place to Work® by the Great Place to Work (GPTW) Institute for the third consecutive year. With a team of over 250 people in India across Engineering, Product and Operations, FourKites recently announced plans to add over 100 engineers in India across various skill sets, including front end, OCR, back end, NLP, AI and DevOps.

About FourKites: FourKites® is the #1 supply chain visibility platform in the world, extending visibility beyond transportation into yards, warehouses, stores and beyond. Tracking more than 2.5 million shipments daily across road, rail, ocean, air, parcel and courier, and reaching 176 countries, FourKites combines real-time data and powerful machine learning to help companies digitize their end-to-end supply chains. More than 1,000 of the world’s most recognized brands — including 9 of the top-10 CPG and 18 of the top-20 food and beverage companies — trust FourKites to transform their business and create more agile, efficient and sustainable supply chains. To learn more, visit https://www.fourkites.com/.

Spinny outlook 2022 - Continue To Expand To More Than 30 Cities By End Of This Year


* With a significant organic growth trajectory driven by customer recommendation in 2021, the company aims continue growth with car ownership services in new cities of the country

The automotive consumer behaviour is increasingly being altered by the ongoing pandemic. As health and hygiene concerns take prominence amongst consumers, there is a significant change towards personal mobility & buyers shifting to the digital world. Spinny, a full stack used car buying platform focuses on providing a safe & smooth used car buying & selling experience with its #WithExtraCare initiative. Nothing exemplifies this better than the growing number of buyers who’ve got a used car delivered to their home with a complete online transaction.

With a significant growth journey in 2021, Spinny – the full-stack online-to-offline used car retail platform aims to expand to more than 30 cities by the end of 2022 and will strengthen its online deliveries to simplify the used car buying process for consumers. The Company will bring more technological advancement and modern solutions with contactless home deliveries this year in line with increasing consumer shift towards safety, convenience, and environment-friendly personal mobility.  Presently, Spinny is in 22 cities, including Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Indore, Kochi and Coimbatore. With SellRight by Spinny®, the brand facilitates hassle free selling experience from the seller’s home. They are already active in the cities connected with the bigger cities such as Hubli, Mangalore, Mysore, Ambala and Karnal.

In alignment with Spinny’s principles and strategies, the company had introduced a special initiative #WithExtraCare during the pandemic peak that provided a completely contactless car buying and selling experience for customers. The protocols for social distancing and sanitization of cars have continued and earned trust from customers to set a benchmark in the automobile segment.

In 2022, the trend of personal mobility shifting steadily towards used cars continues to gain more traction. Significantly, the used car industry market numbers are slated to record a robust 15% growth uptick in FY2022. As per SIAM, pre-owned car sales are poised to increase at 10% CAGR by 2024.

Understanding the consumer concerns during the pandemic, Spinny provides a contemporary solution at each of its touchpoints to serve a ‘simple and delightful car ownership’ at the core of every experience whether it’s buying or selling a car.

Spinny’s continuous focus on digitization keeps all safety measures in check and offers enhanced services through home deliveries and pick-ups #WithExtraCare. All Spinny employees and staff are double vaccinated and go through a training to offer personalised service while maintaining social distancing and car hygiene. With each test drive, customers get a complimentary safety kit with masks, gloves and sanitizers.

Elaborating on its performance, Niraj Singh, Founder & CEO – Spinny, said, “We take heart in Spinny’s inherent ease of usage and our quality, we believe, in determining what today’s car buyer wants. We are taking the facile and fair Spinny method to new cities in India. The developments were driven by customer’s acceptance in online purchases. In 2022, we will continue to earn customer’s trust with transparency and cater to the needs of the consumers with utmost precautions & keeping all safety measures in check.”

In sync with its growth and expansion, Spinny intends to augment its workforce by 5000+ employees by the end of 2022. The Company’s employee-focused policies make it a perfect environment to work and grow. 

In 2021, the brand had announced its association with sports icons PV Sindhu, a believer and a customer of Spinny and Sachin Tendulkar, a strategic investor and the lead brand ambassador.

About Spinny

Founded in 2015, Spinny is a used car retailing platform that aims to bring about transparency and convenience in the car buying and selling process in India. Spinny operates across the entire value chain of pre-owned cars, embedding superior technology and processes to deliver a premium experience to customers. As a testimony of Spinny's commitment to transparency and quality, every car on the Spinny platform comes with a 200-point inspection checklist, 5-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee, and 1-year after-sales warranty. Currently, Spinny has 36 car hubs & is operational in 22 cities – Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Indore and Coimbatore.

For more information visit: https://www.spinny.com/ 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Pre Budget Expectation Quotes From Indian 'C' Level Officers Ahead Of The Union Budget 2022


Mr. Sushanth Pai, Chief Financial Officer, Matrimony.com stated that, “Some sectors such as travel and hospitality have been heavily impacted due to the current situation. The budget should focus on support to revive such sectors. A study of all the policy reforms needs to undertaken with greater intensity to see how they can be implemented effectively and with speed, so that the basic ecosystem of well-being can be boosted.”

Pre budget expectation quote from TenderCuts ahead of the Union Budget 2022

Nishanth Chandran, Founder & CEO, TenderCuts stated that, “The $ 40 billion meat industry is growing at a rapid pace with the introduction of several schemes by the Central government aiding the livestock sector in 2021. The Government assistance in providing cold storage facilities through credit linked back-ended subsidies available at the rate of 35% of the project cost in general areas and 50% in hilly and scheduled areas has paved way for entrepreneurship. To continue with the momentum, the government should also work towards attracting investments offering more subsidies on electricity tariffs to develop perishable logistics infrastructure, which is another route that can be explored.”

pre-budget Quote for 2022 from Mr. Rakesh Jain, CEO, Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd. 

“For the Union Budget 2022, the Government should consider bringing healthcare facilities, such as diagnostic centers, specialty hospitals, wellness facilities, under the “Infrastructure” category. This will bring in funding from large institutions, including insurance companies that seek and have regulatory obligation of investments in “Infrastructure assets”. The insurance and healthcare sector need to evolve together to boost access to quality and affordable healthcare to the masses.”

Attributed to Dr. Alok Khullar, CEO, Gleneagles Global Health City  

“The outbreak of Covid-19 has taught the healthcare sector some important lessons. The healthcare sector has and will continue to play a crucial role in saving lives, treating other ailments while tackling the pandemic. With the disruption caused to the healthcare sector during this period, we urge the government to give adequate importance to the healthcare sector in the upcoming Union Budget 2022 by considering –  

Special schemes that should be provided for formal training of doctors and nurses to enhance skills and bandwidth to offer care to a larger population which will help strengthen the quality of healthcare resources in the longer run 

Building capacity for Intensive Care by enhancing skills of nurses and by providing better equipment and infrastructure 

Significance to be given to Appropriate Screening for Non-Communicable Diseases to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment which will help in reduction of hospitalisation in the last minute 

Upgrading infrastructure at Primary Health Care level for early Outpatient treatment thus reducing Hospitalization time and cost 

Benefits to be given to manufacturers of Healthcare equipment & consumables under the ‘Make in India’ campaign for high quality products and healthcare equipment to be manufactured at reasonable costs 

Healthcare organisations must be given access to working capital and preferential funding to ensure that the overall cost of operations is reduced 

Healthcare sector needs to be considered as a priority and an essential service. Various subsidies and benefits should be given on land rates and other necessities such as electricity, as it will pave for accessible and affordable healthcare with better infrastructure and high quality treatment improving access to care and better patient outcomes.” 

An Opportunity For Decisive Transformation And Win Back India’s Farmer


* Budget expectations from Mr. Randhir Chauhan – Managing Director, Netafim India and SVP, Netafim Ltd  

Agriculture continues to be a dominating employment generating sector and contributes a significant proportion to the country’s GDP. Even in the unfortunate pandemic, the sector climbed new heights with record production of various food grains, exhibiting resilience and ensuring food security. Despite the success in terms of production that has ensured food security in the country, food inflation and volatility in prices continue to remain high causing inconvenience to consumers and uneven income for farmers. Besides pandemic wrecking substantial physical, social, economic and emotional havoc on all the stakeholders of the Indian agricultural system, locust infestation from East Africa to India, Natural calamities, and depleting natural resources only added to the sector’s woes. Even though the policymakers accelerated a raft of measures and announced reforms to give thrust to the sector, it has reached an inflection point that needs immediate attention. Thus, the forthcoming budget offers an opportunity to fix an array of ancillary problems and fast run the wheels of reforms to accelerate the growth engine of the Indian agriculture sector. 

Alignment of Micro-irrigation coverage with ambitious Vision India@2047 

While the Government is working on the blueprint for India@2047 to be ‘future ready’, it is important to accelerate India’s growth and adoption towards new-age agriculture practices with optimum utilization of resources. The average penetration of micro-irrigation in the irrigated area (drip & sprinkler) is estimated at 17% which is much lesser compared to countries like Israel (90%), Russia (78%), Spain (75%), the USA (55%) and Brazil (52%). We need to have an ambitious target and align the execution process to take micro-irrigation coverage to 60-70% in the next 25 years.  

Identifying areas and crops to integrate the benefit of micro-irrigation with structured governance and execution strategy will help the country climb a newer height of fiscal growth. To do so, the government may create 5 years bucket of appropriate execution and monitoring roadmap for the next 25 years backed by adequate budgetary support consistently. 

Process streamlining measures in irrigation subsidy  

While the micro-irrigation coverage has benefitted millions of farmers, the scheme implementation leaves a lot to desire at the execution level. The delays in the disbursal of micro-irrigation subsidies under the PMKSY program are hampering its progress. Online portal for an end-to-end process execution and visibility, transparency in the process for fund disbursement, ensuring checkpoints at various stages and adherence to timelines would bring the efficiency in subsidy disbursal and support farmers to be debt-free much conveniently. 

Providing infrastructure status to the Micro-irrigation industry 

Infrastructure status would help the micro-irrigation manufacturer (95% of which comes under MSME) in reduced operating costs, thereby accelerating the industry growth as well as bring the equipment cost down for the farmer community. 

Aligning different schemes together for exponential benefit – Solar and Micro-irrigation, Agriculture alongside Solar installations, and others 

Focus on renewable energy like solar would ensure energy security in the agriculture sector as well as in the rural landscape and address environmental concerns. Making farmers energy-sufficient would also reduce the burden on government energy subsidy bills. Solar installation-friendly agriculture would help farmers with reduced operational costs, boost land utilization and improve overall income. 

Diversification programs to increase crop productivity  

12 percent of the cropped area under Fruits & Vegetables (F&V) leads to 24 percent in value terms, in contrast to 13 percent area under oilseeds which gives only 6 percent in value terms because of lack of scalability. Policymakers may consider promoting domestic oilseeds and oil palm cultivation with higher productivity measures to address the demand cycle. Similarly, disrupting rice cultivation that covers more area and water utilization through drip technology would improve yield, save water and reduce carbon emissions. Drip irrigation adoption also have the potential to facilitates crop diversification thus, making a direct impact on farmer incomes. 

Policy & Budget outlay for Integrated Climate Smart Agriculture practices 

Climate change has led to reduced crop yields and farm productivity. Besides, the increased occurrence of invasive pests, weather variability, poor agriculture practices has also added to the deteriorating situation of climate change. The agriculture sector is one of the main contributors to the climate problem. It currently generates 19–29% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A shift towards Climate-Smart agriculture practices through proper policy and financial outlay can go a long way in achieving sustainable growth. 

Focus on creating infrastructures to support innovation and digitalization in Agriculture 

Special focus and fund allocation in the upcoming budget for infrastructure in rural areas would support the digitalization of agriculture and put the sector on the fast track. Currently, India is spending less than 1% of Agri GDP in R&D. An Agri innovation fund, which supports ag-tech solutions, start-ups, and digitalization at different levels of the Agri value chain can transform the agriculture economy in the future. 

Interest subsidy on agriculture for long term loans 

Access to credit remains one of the critical elements in a sustainable and more importantly a growing ecosystem. Interest subsidy on agriculture for long-term loans to help farmers with continual investment in farm mechanization and building state-of-the-art infrastructure would go a long way to develop a sustainable model in agriculture. Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for adopting micro-irrigation similar to CGTMSE for MSMEs will be helpful where initial support can be provided by the government. 

Special budgetary assistance for Micro Irrigation to State Government to overcome COVID impact 

The financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has left many states across the country to slash the budget for micro-irrigation. The policymakers should consider supporting the states through an additional corpus of funds either by direct special assistance program or increasing the existing Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) set up under NABARD to facilitate the states in mobilizing resources for expanding coverage of micro-irrigation. 

FedEx Express Tests Electric Vehicles In Indian Markets


FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, today announced the start of electric vehicle (EV) trials in India as part of its global goal to achieve carbon neutral operations by 2040.

The trial of the electric vehicle, which is expected to conclude in a month in Bangalore, will test the vehicle technology within FedEx Express operations, assessing the vehicles’ operational effectiveness on a standard route fully loaded with packages. Following positive trial results, FedEx Express will extend the trial to Delhi.

With last-mile delivery burgeoning thanks to rapid e-commerce growth, each new electric vehicle added to the FedEx delivery fleet in India can reduce fuel consumption and emissions equivalent to five passenger cars.       

Mohamad Sayegh, Vice President, India Operations for FedEx Express said, “FedEx has a mission to connect the world responsibly and resourcefully, and I’m incredibly pleased to announce the launch of our electric vehicle trial in India, which is in line with our global goal to achieve carbon neutral operations by 2040.”

“With the growth of e-commerce in India, we’re constantly looking for ways to support this momentum while reducing environmental impact. The commencement of EV trials brings us one step closer to this vision,” he added.

Vehicle electrification is one of the key areas in FedEx’s journey toward reaching its carbon neutral operations goal. By 2040, it is intended that the entire FedEx global parcel pickup and delivery (PUD) fleet will be zero-emission electric vehicles. This vehicle electrification goal is being approached through phased programs to replace existing vehicles. The aim is for 50% of FedEx Express global PUD vehicle purchases to be electric vehicles by 2025, rising to 100% by 2030.

“The trial is a critical part of the integration of electric vehicle technology across our operations. Finding the right technology to serve our business, our customers, and our team members will play a key role in the successful integration of electric vehicles into the FedEx Express fleet,” Sayegh said.

The shift to electric vehicles also aligns with the FedEx commitment to enhance its services and solutions in India, offering customers connectivity and access to global markets, while helping safeguard the health of our planet.

About FedEx Express

FedEx Express is the world's largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date.

About FedEx Corp.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenue of $90 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively, operating collaboratively and innovating digitally under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its 600,000 team members to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. FedEx is committed to connecting people and possibilities around the world responsibly and resourcefully, with a goal to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040. To learn more,  visit fedex.com/about.

TVS Credit And IIM Trichy Sign A MoU To Boost Innovation And Create Solutions For Financial Inclusion


India's leading financial services provider TVS Credit Services Limited and the Indian Institute of Management Trichy (IIMT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost innovation, R&D, and collaboration for designing new solutions for promoting financial inclusion in the country. Being one of the fast-growing NBFCs in the country, TVS Credit's partnership with the leading B-school, IIMT, will create an avenue to leverage the collective talent and expertise from both institutions for product development, knowledge creation and research in the areas of management and public policy.

Speaking on the collaboration, Venkatraman G, Chief Executive Officer, TVS Credit, said, "The signing of the MoU with IIM Trichy will create the foundation for future collaboration between the two institutions. TVS Credit has been successfully empowering people across sectors and helping them fulfil their aspirations. It has been a constant endeavour of TVS Credit to steer industry growth and national development by encouraging product innovation and nurturing young talent. The outcomes from such initiatives will help us drive organisational growth and serve our customers and the nation better for years to come. The collaboration will help boost innovation, R&D, and help in designing new solutions to promote financial inclusion in the country."

The partnership would bring together academic and industry stalwarts and professionals who would jointly design, develop and deliver cutting-edge technological solutions in areas of management and financial inclusion. The strategic collaboration will also be a platform to train and mentor young professionals.  Speaking on the collaboration, Dr. Pawan Kumar Singh, Director, IIM Trichy, said, "We welcome this significant initiative that formalises and strengthens our relationship with the leading market player, TVS Credit, a company which is well-known for its services and values. We look forward to make the collaboration fruitful on multiple platforms and focus on mutual knowledge exchange initiatives. Such partnerships will help construct concrete and innovative solutions, thereby creating a long-lasting impact."

Additionally, Dr. Prashant Gupta, Chairperson of Executive Education and Consulting, IIM Trichy, said, "We are pleased to be associated with TVS Credit. This partnership could lead to a mutually benefitting journey in the coming time with a special focus on programmes such as Management Development Programme (MDP) and  Leadership Development Program (LDP).Furthermore, it will mentor the students at IIM Trichy and offer them immense industry exposure."

Under this collaboration, both organisations are creating a seamless ecosystem between industries, academia and government agencies by leveraging analytics and technology. It aims to provide these solutions in consulting, research projects, placements, management development programmes, and case studies.The first beneficiaries of this initiative will be the TVS Credit employees and the students of IIMT. The pact holds a strong potential to revolutionise the industry at large. In addition, it is expected to help the NBFC sector improve resource efficiency and productivity. 

About TVS Credit Services Ltd

TVS Credit Services Limited is a leading Non-Banking Financial Company with over 32,000 points of presence across India. Being the number one financier for TVS Motor Limited and one of the leading tractor financiers, TVS Credit has a fast-growing footprint in used cars, consumer durable, used commercial vehicle and business loans segment. Over 6.5 million happy customers have been served with the help of 19,000+ motivated employees and robust tech and analytics powered processes. TVS Credit is driven by a mission to empower Indians to dream bigger, secure in the knowledge in the fulfilment of their aspirations. With new products on the anvil and an unwavering commitment to customer service and constant improvement, TVS Credit creates value for the customers, employees and partners.

Know more about TVS Credit at www.tvscredit.com

ABB India Turns Its Nelamangala Campus Water Positive Certification From TERI

 


•      Total annual rainwater harvesting potential of more than 200 million liters

•      The campus has achieved close to 85% water recyclability

•      Water positivity index is 1.24

ABB India today announced that its Nelamangala unit has received a ‘Water Positive’ certification from The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). In place of simply replacing the amount of water taken from the environment, the unit implemented an Innovative 6R approach towards ‘Water Positivity’ to replenish more water than it consumes at the location.

The unique 6R approach includes initiatives such as rainwater use and recharge, reduction in the use of freshwater, water recycling, and real-time monitoring of water consumption, recharge, and saving. The Nelamangala unit currently has 17 rainwater recharge wells, 2 recharge ponds along with 5 cross wave technology-based recharge tanks. ABB products such as water flow meters were installed in the rainwater recharge system to capture real-time data.

To reduce consumption of water, ABB India installed water-efficient fixtures, restricted the use of turf in the landscape area, and planted drought-tolerant plants in 81 percent of the landscape area. The unit has provisions of rainwater tanks for rooftop runoff along with TERI-approved filtration to get suitable water for a variety of end-uses. The campus has achieved close to 85 percent of water recyclability with the help of efficient Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) and recycling the treated wastewater for use in gardening and washrooms.

The water positivity index for Nelamangala plant is 1.24, which demonstrates our contribution towards replenishing much greater quantity of water for the environment than withdrawals for our operation. The index also shows our enhanced dependency on secondary water sources such as treated wastewater, rainwater, etc. and lesser dependency on groundwater sources for our operation.

“At ABB, ‘sustainability in practice’ is at the core of everything we do. It is a key part of our company’s purpose and of the value that we create for our customers, employees, and all our stakeholders. Our Nelamangala unit turning ‘Water Positive’ is a step towards continued resource conservation, in line with our 2030 global sustainability commitments.  We are committed to implementing various other similar environment-friendly measures across our ABB India locations to bring about a sustainable change,” said Sanjeev Sharma, Country Head and Managing Director, ABB India.

“In times of a severe water crisis in India, I am pleased to acknowledge that TERI has awarded India’s first water positivity certificate to ABB India, for one of their six factories in the country. I look forward to witnessing more partnerships in the sector and development of innovative solutions to manage and monitor natural resources on Earth,” added Sanjay Seth, Senior Director - Sustainable Habitat Programme, TERI, & CEO, GRIHA Council.

ABB’s Nelamangala unit, comprising of nearly 1500 employees, houses a state-of-the-art robotics facility spread over 3600 sq mt that delivers robotic applications and digital solutions for a variety of Indian industries. The Nelamangala unit also houses one of the first smart factories in Bangalore to produce ABB’s entire range of smart power products. 

ABB India’s water management initiatives at the unit were vetted by renowned external organizations such as GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) Council, Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) along with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). Assessment parameters included water monitoring system & KPI management, rainwater recharge and usage, water reduction initiatives, wastewater treatment and recycling system, and impact on the community.

ABB India currently recycles almost 95 percent of the waste generated across all their facilities within their premises to achieve long-term sustainability goals of zero waste to landfill. They have also enhanced the water recyclability by 4 percent in 2021 as compared to the year 2020 which resulted in reduction of freshwater withdrawal and overall water footprint of the company.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries. www.abb.com.

NeoGrowth Strengthens Board; Appoints CEO Arun Nayyar As A Whole-Time Director


NeoGrowth, India’s leading SME digital lender, recently appointed its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Arun Nayyar, to the company’s Board of Directors, with effect from January 6, 2022. He has been designated as Whole-time Director & CEO, and with this appointment, the Board now comprises nine members.

Mr. Arun Nayyar, 45, has more than two decades of rich experience in the BFSI industry, and has spent the last 12 years in leading early and growth stage MSME lending businesses. Prior to NeoGrowth, Arun Nayyar was with Edelweiss Financial Services where he had been the ‘Chief Executive Officer – SME Lending’. He has also worked with Citibank and CRISIL. He is a Chartered Accountant by qualification.

Mr. Arun Nayyar has served as CEO of NeoGrowth since August 2018. Under his leadership, the company has been focusing on innovation with proprietary technology. He has played an instrumental role in advancing the digital loan journey for NeoGrowth customers, increasing its branch network, adding to its product range, and growing the portfolio. The company has also navigated through multiple challenges including the outbreak and aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a clear focus on building technology, use of analytics and staying at the forefront of latest industry developments.

Mr. Dhruv Khaitan, Founder & Chairman, NeoGrowth, said, “Arun’s stewardship has resulted in delivering tremendous business value to all stakeholders, in spite of the pandemic distress. Under his leadership, NeoGrowth’s business volumes are back to pre-COVID levels. I look forward to have him on the Board as we continue to work together in this journey for NeoGrowth to reach newer heights.”

Mr. Arun Nayyar, Chief Executive Officer, NeoGrowth, said, “I thank the Board for reposing their faith in me. At NeoGrowth, we continue to introduce tailored products and services that make digital lending easy and effective for all small businesses and meet their holistic business needs. With the support of the Board, I look forward to driving NeoGrowth to its highest potential.”

During the pandemic, NeoGrowth was one of the first non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) to create a customer outreach program, Sanjivni, as a measure to combat COVID-19 efficiently. Over the last three years, NeoGrowth has introduced several digitally enabled products like NeoCash Insta Loan, Plus secured loans, and several digital assets including a customer app to support the customer throughout the loan journey. The company has also put in place a very responsive and proactive risk management approach to overcome business challenges.

Mr. Nayyar will continue to lead NeoGrowth and strengthen its unique digital payments-based lending model with a customer centric approach. 

About NeoGrowth:

NeoGrowth Credit Pvt. Ltd is an SME- focussed lending fintech, leveraging the digital payments ecosystem. It is a systemically Important, Non-Deposit taking NBFC driving innovation with proprietary technology. NeoGrowth’s data science and technology led approach enables it to offer quick and hassle-free loans to MSMEs across 65+ segments. NeoGrowth offers a unique daily repayment option to its customers with multi-channel repayment modes. The company not only helps its customers grow but also drives financial inclusion making a positive social impact. NeoGrowth is backed by renowned investors, namely Omidyar Network, Lightrock, Khosla Impact, Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund – Quona Capital, IIFL Seed Ventures Fund, WestBridge and Leapfrog Investments.

KFin Technologies Launches Its New Corporate Brand Identity


KFin Technologies Private Limited (“KFintech”), an established SaaS company in India has announced the launch of its new corporate brand identity reflective of its corporate ethos.

The new brand identity has been indigenously designed to symbolise KFintech’s transformation and evolution as a company with foundational tenets of trust, technology and thought leadership. The triskelion motif represents a trifecta of the mentioned tenets culminating in Transformation representing rotational symmetry, usually denoted by three interlocking spirals.

The Golden Ratio incorporated in the logo ensures that the three arms in the design proportionately follow it, to depict a perfect symmetry and interdependence among its communication pillars. The letter ‘K’ represents Kinetic energy symbolizing the innate energy of the entity in motion. The tagline, ‘Experience Transformation’ reinforces KFintech’s role as a TechFin company.

Sreekanth Nadella, CEO, KFin Technologies Private Limited, said, “With the financial services participants embracing digital – transformational technologies curated with trust and thought leadership have been playing a pivotal role in redefining the new normal. The positioning of our identity is to reflect our organization’s purpose, strategic direction and strong execution capabilities in transforming mission critical financial infrastructure solutions to be most preferred and proactive solutions provider. The new logo symbolises perpetual transformation and the infinite loop of evolution.”

“We are deeply honoured for the trust that our clients and other stakeholders have reposed in us. As they say, “the best brand you can wear is your own identity” our new brand identifies itself with our unwavering commitment to transform the solutions and better the outcomes for the common good of all stakeholders.” Nadella added.

Hanisha Vadlamani, Chief of Brand & Corporate Communications, KFin Technologies Private Limited said, “KFintech as a brand has affinity and resonance to transform and meet the growing expectations of the consumers. The new brand identity and the ‘triskelion’ in the logo embody the corporate ethos of KFintech. While retaining the legacy of our brand name, the new look and feel of the brand are designed to internalize the core tenets and to convey to the world our coming-of-age transformation to be a critical pillar in the asset management industry.”

Godrej Consumer Products Limited Ranked No.1 Among India’s Top Companies For Sustainability And CSR 2021


Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL), a leading FMCG company, was ranked number 1 among the top 100 companies in India, for sustainability and CSR initiatives in 2021. This ranking is based on a survey conducted by Futurescape and published by The CSR Journal, and analyses a list of 100 companies that have mapped their business goals to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2021.

The Responsible Business Rankings of India’s Top Companies for Sustainability and CSR in 2021 show that around 80% of the top 100 companies incorporate SDGs into their responsible business actions. All the top 25 companies map their business goals with SDGs. The Top 10 ranks cover a range of industries — information technology, FMCG, chemicals, life sciences, textiles, power, steel and mining. GCPL is ranked among companies like Infosys, Wipro, Tata Chemicals Limited, ITC Limited, Jubilant Life Sciences Limited, Grasim Industries Limited, Vedanta Limited, and Tata Power Company Limited.

GCPL has ranked number 1 for the first time with a spending of INR. 34.08 Crore on CSR initiatives in fiscal year 2020-21. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the company recognised the urgent need for corporate support to be extended to communities to ensure immediate relief. GCPL diverted 63% of its CSR budget to reach over 2.77 lakh of the most vulnerable communities in India and initiated medium and long-term support to over 9,000 nano entrepreneurs. By March 2021, over 1,000 people re-established their businesses or received entitlements.

Commenting on this recognition, Sudhir Sitapati, Managing Director and CEO, GCPL, said: “At Godrej Consumer Products, we are committed to building for a more sustainable future, while placing our planet and people alongside profits. In fiscal year 2020-21, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world, we focused our efforts to ensure immediate relief and mid-to-long-term rehabilitation support. We worked in partnership with local authorities, the national government, and our communities, to provide support to the last mile. We continued to support our existing CSR programmes and pivoted our approach to the changing context on-ground. We have now partnered with local healthcare providers to raise awareness on vaccination among low-income and underserved communities. We aim to reach over 1, 00,000 people in India by March 2022. Going forward, we have bolder CSR goals, and aim to drive impact for over 13 million people by 2025.”

Another key area of focus in pandemic relief was strengthening public healthcare. GCPL donated medical equipment worth INR 2.36 Crore to the governments in Mumbai and Assam. In India, GCPL donated 21 lakh units of sanitation products in response to requests from local authorities, hospitals, and NGOs for frontline workers and communities.

Under its Sustainability and CSR initiative, Good & Green, GCPL has been working towards enhancing the employability of beauty professionals by providing employment to micro and nano beauty influencers, protecting people from vector-borne diseases through its EMBED programme, ensuring judicious use of natural resources, and implementing a range of environmental sustainability and community development initiatives.

GCPL also ranks among the top 15% within the industry for excellence in sustainability as part of the Sustainability Yearbook 2021 by S&P Global CSA.

About Godrej Consumer Products Limited

Godrej Consumer Products is a part of the over 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. As an emerging market company, we have witnessed rapid growth and are pursuing our exciting and innovative aspirations.

Today, our Group enjoys the patronage of 1.15 billion consumers globally, across different businesses. 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% of the promoter holding in the Godrej 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 build a more inclusive and greener India.

At the heart of it all, 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.

www.godrejcp.com

78% Bangaloreans Pplan To Switch From Renting To Owning Assets: Post ‘Generation-Rent’ Study By Godrej Housing Finance


Key Findings

* 25% feel purchasing house of their own is crucial to securing their future, second to job security (45%)

* 40% respondents feel buying a new house is the best investment option at present compared to the national average (32%)

* Flexibility on policy, timelines and credibility are the factors most important while choosing a home loan provider

78% people in Bengaluru have now become more inclined towards asset building and property purchase as an investment option in the post-pandemic world, revealed the latest study, Post 'Generation-Rent' commissioned by Godrej Housing Finance (GHF). The study was commission to gain insight into the shift in consumer's preference and the factors thereof that drive the decisions for considering property purchase, asset creation, and investment avenues by Indian consumers to secure their future in a post-pandemic world. 

The study further revealed that 25% of people in the city feel purchasing house of their own is crucial to securing their future second to job security (45%). Additionally, 40% feel buying a new house is the best investment option at present compared to national average of 32%. 

‘Generation-Rent’ is a well-documented phenomenon associated with Millennials across the world who prefer to rent over asset ownership of consumer durables and even housing. In stark contrast to earlier assumptions, the study found around 76% of Indians highlighted that they now plan to switch from renting to owning assets as an investment and lifestyle choice.

The Post ‘Generation-Rent’ study by Godrej Housing Finance revealed that almost half of Indians (49.13%) had started making headway in their house-hunting aspirations and reaching out to housing finance companies in the past year. 32.9% believe that buying a new house is the best investment option at present, while 16% mentioned owning a house is a top priority as work from home is the new normal.

The study also found that 25.5% of the Indians consider owning a home the second-most important aspect defining 'personal security', with job security leading the chart with 40.6% voting for it.  

Commenting on the findings, Manish Shah, MD & CEO, Godrej Housing Finance, said, “The pandemic has brought about a clear shift in preference amongst Indian consumers. They are gravitating towards future-proofing through long-term investments. With affordability at an all-time high, there has probably never been a better time to buy a house, which is both an important element of asset allocation and a key pillar of financial security. That said, customers believe that this change requires enhanced support from their financial partner to advise and guide them through this long-term commitment. The study re-affirmed our need to double down on offering innovation, flexibility and digital alternatives in both product design and delivery to facilitate homeownership better and ease the customer's financing journey.” 

The study further revealed that flexibility on policy, credibility and transparency of the brand, digital offerings, and relative turnaround time for processing are the top factors that drive the selection of financing partner. This can be attributed to consumers becoming accustomed to the on-demand gratification of their requirements aided by digital technology. 

The study also found that digital-first and frictionless processes are perceived as both an advantage and a starting point for consumers while choosing today's financing brands. Companies and services that offer end-to-end digital solutions gain an edge in consumer preference over more traditional financing models. 

About Godrej Housing Finance:

Godrej Housing Finance (GHF), a part of Godrej Industries Ltd., aims to build a long term, sustainable retail financial services business in India, deeply anchored around the Godrej Group's 124-year legacy of trust and excellence.

With a keen focus on product innovation, a digital-first approach, data-driven decision-making, and strong risk fundamentals, Godrej Housing Finance offers home loans and Loans against Property to customers across Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Pune and Ahmedabad

It follows a fair, fast and transparent process that enables Indians to purchase their dream homes - with flexible, affordable, and hyper-personalized loans to their financial capability and convenience. 

Godrej Housing Finance is committed to creating a great people organization built on the fundamentals of inclusivity, diversity and equality for all its employees, partners and stakeholders.

Methodology of the report: The report is based on interviews conducted by Innovative Research Services (India) Pvt. Ltd., with over 2000 Indians between 18-60 years of age across Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, and Ahmedabad.

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