Saturday, April 16, 2022

USAID, Villgro Partner To Accelerate Family Planning And Reproductive Health Outcomes For Young People In India

* Together, USAID and Villgro launched the Yash Entrepreneurs Program, a multi-donor incubator and accelerator program, which will support 20 innovative enterprises over a 30-month period to advance India’s family planning goals. 

Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership India Yash project, together with Villgro, a leading social enterprise incubator in India, launched the Yash Entrepreneurs Program to catalyze innovative business models to improve family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) outcomes for young people. The launch was done in collaboration with the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India. 

The Yash Entrepreneurs Program will support 20 enterprises across India, over a 36-month period, to invest in solutions to revolutionize how youth and adolescents access quality FP/RH services. The program will help shape an entrepreneurial ecosystem to scale promising and cost-effective FP/RH innovations by leveraging partnerships with key public and private sector stakeholders. Each enterprise will receive funding of up to Indian Rupees (INR) 10 Lakhs (approximately US $13,200), as well as technical assistance, mentoring, and incubation support from Villgro. The support will include skill building on the designing, prototyping, and manufacturing of products such as sanitary napkins, digital marketing, financial dashboards, legal compliance, organizational culture, and leadership capability. 

A smaller number of promising startups will be provided with more intensive acceleration support, as well as an additional funding of up to INR 1 Crore (approximately US $1,32,000). The selection will be made based on evidence of future cash flow for the startup, its technology potential, strength of product pipeline, ability for the team to grow the company, and the potential reflected in the first round of funding.

Enterprises across the country that have a ‘minimum viable prototype’ and initial market traction are encouraged to apply at the      link attached. The program particularly encourages women entrepreneurs and businesses with gender-inclusive products and services. Applications will be accepted until May 15, 2022.

Speaking at the launch, USAID/India Health Office Deputy Director, Dr. Amit Shah said: “As the world's largest family planning/reproductive health bilateral donor, USAID is committed to helping countries meet the family planning and reproductive health needs of their people. Through the Yash Entrepreneurs Program launched today, USAID will harness the capabilities of India’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem to test and scale innovative models to improve reproductive health and family planning outcomes for young people. USAID views this as a valuable platform to bring together investors and donors to support enterprises that show promise of creating sustainable health impacts.”

Speaking at the launch, Dr Sapna Poti, Director, Strategic Alliances Division in the Office of Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Government of India said “The Office of PSA is working towards identifying and commercializing innovations across India that have the potential to improve the lives of Indians. ‘Yash Entrepreneurs Program’ will contribute to driving innovation and technology delivery towards solving challenges in the family planning and reproductive health space. We will be facilitating public-private linkages and partnerships for enterprises associated with the program, such that they are able to attain greater scale and create more social impact. We appreciate USAID’s support in improving the health and well-being of our young citizens”.

Speaking at the program’s launch, Srinivas Ramanujam, CEO, Villgro Innovations Foundation, said: “As an organization striving to support and strengthen social enterprises and health avenues, we are tasked with heralding a new wave of transformation across the FP/RH domain in the country. We are confident that the Yash Entrepreneurs Program will prove to be a remarkable achievement in facilitating the incubation and acceleration of solutions which will effectively empower the FP/RH ecosystem to match global standards.” 

USAID’s MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership: India-Yash project is led by Jhpiego, a Johns Hopkins University affiliate and partner. The project demonstrates innovative models to accelerate improvement in FP/RH outcomes for vulnerable adolescents and youth. Dr Somesh Kumar, Country Director, Jhpiego, said “We are determined to create and deliver transformative health care solutions that save lives, working closely with national governments, health experts and local communities to guarantee healthier futures for women and their families. The Yash Entrepreneurs Program will bend the curve towards ensuring high-quality, safe, and effective FP/RH services, products and information for all.” 

About Villgro: 

Villgro Innovations Foundation is India’s foremost and one of the largest social enterprise incubators that support invention-based social enterprises in Health, Agribusiness and Climate Action. In the Health sector, Villgro is focused on improving health outcomes for underserved communities through affordable, accessible, and innovative solutions that span the detection, management, and prevention of ailments. 

Since 2001, Villgro has supported 323 social enterprises that have raised over INR 4,388 million in investments, to create 4922 jobs and impact over 20 million lives.  Villgro was awarded the Top Incubator Award by the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (GoI) in 2020. 


USAID is the U.S. Government’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID works to help lift lives, build communities, and advance democracy. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity; demonstrates American generosity; and helps countries progress along their development journey. In India, USAID is collaborating with the country’s growing human and financial resources through partnerships that catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship to solve critical local and global development challenges. To learn more, visit


The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) MOMENTUM suite of awards works with governments, civil and private sectors, and other key partners to improve access to family planning and reproductive health services and make high-quality health care available to mothers and children so they can live healthy, productive lives. The MOMENTUM design builds on five decades of USAID programming and represents the agency’s most ambitious investment. This integrated design leverages USAID’s maternal, child health, and family planning programs to create more impactful and sustainable change.

MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership is part of the MOMENTUM suite of innovative awards and works in tandem with country governments and local nongovernmental organizations to provide targeted technical and capacity development assistance (TCDA) and contribute to the global technical leadership and policy dialogue on improving measurable outcomes for MNCH/FP/RH care.

Neuberg Diagnostics Announces Launch Of 14 New Neuberg Advanced & Affordable Diagnostics & Health Checkup Centres

* Neuberg acquires HiTech Advanced Laboratories Chennai. Forms a new legal entity named Neuberg HiTech Laboratories Pvt Ltd to focus on affordable diagnostics segment  

*  Neuberg to invest Rs. 200 cr for Tamil Nadu expansion this financial year

Neuberg plans to expand its network to over 500 own and franchisee associate collection centres and 100 diagnostics and health check-up centres in Tamil Nadu this financial year  

* With differential focus for preventive care & affordable diagnostics and advanced diagnostics the company aims to cater to diversified customer segments in Tamil Nadu 

* Neuberg is in talks with like-minded pathologists, radiologists and cardiologists for potential partnerships and investment opportunities in the state to promote prevention and early & accurate diagnostics benefiting all sections of population in Chennai  

* People with  BPL, white ration cardholders will be given 50 percent concession at all its company owned  centres as part of its CSR initiative 

* Home visits for non-fasting samples within one hour on the same day within a 2 km radius of any Neuberg centre  

Neuberg Diagnostics, one of the top 4 Path lab chains of Indian origin, today announced the launch of 14 Neuberg Advanced & Affordable  Diagnostics & Health Checkup Centres with a pipeline of 100 such centres to come up in this financial year. This new business segment will make diagnostics affordable and accessible to one and all. Services offered will include blood tests, X-rays, ECG and Ultrasound Scans, health checkups, and home sample collection.  For this and other expansion initiatives in Tamil Nadu, the company has committed to invest Rs. 200 crores in FY2022-23.  

The diagnosis and health check-ups can be availed at the 14 diagnostics and health checkup centres, each located in Anna Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Aynavaram, Hasthinapuram, lyappanthangal, Kilpauk, Mylapore, Nanganallur, Ponnamallee, Peravallur, Ramapuram, Saligramam, Tambaram and Valasavakkam soon.  

The company has committed to offer 50% concession on tests to BPL white ration cardholders and will also facilitate home visits for non-fasting samples within one hour on the same day within 2 Km of the radius of any centre.     

These 14 advanced and affordable diagnostics and health checkup centres were launched at the hands of Hon’ble Ma. Subramanian, Minister for Health, Medical Education and Family Welfare, Government of Tamil Nadu. Also present at the launch event were Mr. P K Sekar Babu, Honorable Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, and Dr. Kalanidhi Veeraswamy, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha.  

Subramanian, Minister for Health, Medical Education, and Family Welfare, Government of Tamil Nadu, said, “The healthcare ecosystem is integral to the well-being and growth of the society. We recognize this and have thus been focused on encouraging the entrepreneurial ecosystem which can contribute to strengthening public health management and service delivery. We commend companies like Neuberg Diagnostics with global presence and commitment to quality that are investing in the state, augmenting the health infrastructure, and raising the bar of healthcare excellence.  

Dr. GSK Velu, Chairman and Managing Director, Neuberg Diagnostics, said, “Our aim is to complement the government’s healthcare architecture, generate employment opportunities, and play a crucial role in improving the healthcare infrastructure of the region. To achieve these overreaching objectives, we are focused on strengthening as well as diversifying our diagnostics offerings. Further, we would like to ensure that our offerings are catering to the needs of various customer segments covering entire Tamil Nadu. During this year, with substantial investments in digital initiatives, we want to expand our presence to every district in Tamil Nadu. To achieve this, we are exploring potential partnerships and joint investment opportunities with like-minded pathologists, radiologists, and cardiologists with an exclusive focus on the Diagnostics and Wellness segments.”  

Neuberg will ensure a distinctive focus on advanced diagnostics at affordable costs, preventive diagnostics care, and a digital online presence to easy access & convenience. The company has already roped in MS Dhoni as its brand ambassador to create awareness for preventive care and early diagnosis to remain healthy.  

Currently, with more than 150 labs and 1000 plus collection centres, Neuberg Diagnostics is present in India, the USA, the UAE, and South Africa. By partnering and integrating with the top reputed laboratories like Bangalore based Anand Diagnostics Laboratory( Neuberg Anand ) ; Ahmedabad based Supratech Micropath ( Neuberg Supratech ) ; Pune based A.G Diagnostics( Neuberg AG) ; Chennai based Ehrlich Lab( Neuberg Ehrlich ) ; Dubai based Minerva Lab( Neuberg Minerva ) , and South Africa based Global Lab ( Neuberg Global ) & several others   Neuberg has created a strong foothold in India / Middle East & Africa and has also established its presence in the USA through a Genomics Laboratory based in North Carolina. Neuberg group employs over 5000 employees and over 800 of them are based in Tamil Nadu currently. 

Photo Caption :  Dr. Saranya Narayan, Technical Director and Chief Microbiologist, Neuberg Diagnostics; Dr GSK Velu, Chairman and Managing Director, Neuberg Diagnostics; Subramanian, Minister of Health, Medical Education and Family Welfare, Government of Tamil Nadu, P. K. Sekar Babu,Minister of Charitable Endowments, Kalanidhi Veeraswamy, member of the Lok Sabha at the launch event of 14 new Neuberg Diagnostics & health checkup centres. 

Upstox Introduces Good-Till-Triggered Feature On Its Platform

* The feature offers a combination of order placement, stop-loss, and target price across all trading segments—Intraday, Equity Delivery, F&O, Currency Derivatives & Commodities

Upstox, one of the leading investment platforms in India, has added the Good-Till-Triggered (GTT) feature on its platform. The new feature will allow users to place orders with stop-loss and target price, across all trading segments, viz. Intraday, Equity Delivery, F&O, Currency Derivatives & Commodities.

This feature is available for all traders and investors on the platform. The order will remain active for one day in the case of intraday orders, 365 days for delivery orders, and as per contract expiry in the case of futures and options. It will allow traders and investors to decide at what price they want to enter or exit the market without placing an order every day. By bucketing all orders together, this feature will make trading seamless for the users.

Talking about the launch, Mr. Shrini Viswanath, Co-Founder, Upstox, said, “This feature comes as a part of our ongoing efforts to make investing equitable and seamless for our users. With the GTT feature, we hope to provide traders with more convenience, while also encouraging them to maintain a disciplined trading mindset and be aware of their risk appetite. More importantly, traders will no longer have to worry about constantly verifying the status of a single order.

Through the many value adds that come with this feature, we hope to promote equity participation in the country while also providing a varied set of services to our users. We're constantly striving to improve the customer experience and make financial planning more accessible to everyone.”

Upstox aims to simplify its customers' investment experiences as much as possible, and this feature will allow them to minimize risks across all investment categories. GTT allows users to concentrate on the stop-loss and target price, which encourages strategic and long-term thinking. With this functionality, users will be able to trade more conveniently on Upstox platform, as all orders will be grouped together.

The feature is currently available on Android and will be rolled out on iOS soon.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

RR Kabel Strengthens Its Position In Consumer Electricals Business Through The Acquisition Of Luminous Home Electricals Business

RR Kabel, one of the leading electrical manufacturing company and a part RR Global, USD 1.25billion conglomerate has today announced the acquisition of Luminous Home Electrical business from Schneider. This acquisition will further strengthen RR Kabel’s consumer electricals business which has a diversified portfolio of fans, lights & appliances. The transaction is expected to close in May’22.

Speaking on the acquisition, Mr. Shreegopal Kabra, Managing Director, RR Kabel said, “We are delighted to welcome the Luminous Home Electrical team and associates into the RR Global family and embark on a new journey together. Leveraging each other’s strengths - especially in technological expertise, skills and capabilities - we are confident the collaboration will help expand our services and create greater value for all of our customers. At RR, we have always upheld the highest quality and safety standards for our customers, and Schneider’s faith in transferring their home electricals business to us stands as a testament to that. As a major player and innovation leader in the wire and cable industry, we believe the acquisition will further our leading position in India’s fast-growing home electrical industry.”

Mr. Tribhuvan Kabra, Chairman, RR Global added "The acquisition of Luminous Home Electrical Business (part of Schneider group) an important step in our overall growth strategy. Considering that we are one of the fastest-growing companies in this sector, we have always believed in ensuring consistent innovation within our product portfolio to meet our customer expectation. Through this acquisition with Luminous HEB we hope to better deliver on our promise to our stakeholders across the country and to take our brand to the next level."

Speaking on the acquisition, Mr. Vivek Abrol, CEO – Consumer (FMEG) Business, RR Kabel said – “We are on an exciting journey of expanding a value added consumer centric business, which outpaced the industry growth in FY22 by over 3X.  Looking forward, the Luminous Home Electricals Business will be a strong addition to our new chapter of growth, by leveraging its valued capabilities including R&D strength, a state-of-art manufacturing facility, admired product portfolio and most importantly a dedicated and highly capable team and channel partner network. This acquisition is an important milestone to our ambition of creating one of the leading national portfolios in the home electricals category over the next 5-6 years.” 

About RR Kabel

RR Kabel is the flagship company of RR Global. It is amongst the leading wires and cables manufacturers in India and a pioneer in wire design, technology and applicability.  The company has over the years, focused on technology and research to continually enhance the reliability and safe conduction of electricity, resulting in a stellar track record delivering over 30% compounded annual revenue growth over the last 20 years. 

In their 20-year journey so far, RR Kabel has obtained or been awarded several product and system certifications and awards that speak to the firm’s continued focus on quality and reliability. RR Kabel has received over 27 international product certifications and is first in India to have REACH, ROHS & BASEC and relevant ISO certifications. RR Kabel today is a respected and recognized name in the Wires & Cables Industry in India and overseas with a global presence in over 85 countries.

To enable the strategic vision, RR Kabel has the support of TPG that has invested in the RR Kabel business and is helping the organic and inorganic growth strategy to achieve RR’s vision.

Falguni Nayar Wins The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award 2021


*         A.M. Naik from Larsen & Toubro honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award

*         EOY Winners also announced in nine other Award Categories

*         Distinguished nine-member Jury Panel, led by K V Kamath, selects the winners

Ms. Falguni Nayar, Founder & CEO, Nykaa, was today named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ 2021 and will now represent India at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Award (WEOY) on 9 June 2022. Shri Bhupender Yadav, Honourable Minister of Labour & Employment and Environment, Forest & Climate Change graced the ceremony as the Chief Guest and addressed the audience. Dr. Bhagwat K Karad, Honourable Minister of State for Finance was the Guest of Honour.

An investment banker turned entrepreneur, Falguni Nayar disrupted a brick-and-mortar industry by taking a digital route to sell beauty products in 2012. Her start-up, Nykaa, is one of the profitable start-ups in the country with a strong omni-channel presence. Over the last two years, she has diversified from beauty into fashion and lifestyle and has a well-established portfolio of over 2,600+ international brands and 100+ offline stores. The company recently raised fresh capital for expansion through a blockbuster IPO. Falguni was the recipient of EY Entrepreneur of The Year Award in the Start-up category in 2019.

In his address, the Chief Guest, Shri Bhupender Yadav, Honourable Minister of Labour & Employment and Environment, Forest & Climate Change said, “India is marching towards an inclusive and sustainable economy which firmly believes in enabling and enhancing the efficiency and efficacy of our entrepreneurs. It is great to see that this year, EOY Awards has 21 Finalists with combined revenues of INR 1.87 trillion, who collectively employ more than 2,60,000 people; this is a testimony of nation’s entrepreneurial talent.”

A M Naik, Group Chairman, Larsen & Toubro, was felicitated with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Naik joined the L&T in 1965 and grew within the ranks to become the Chairman and Managing Director in 2003. He has been instrumental in transforming the engineering services company into one of India’s foremost conglomerates spanning engineering and construction, energy, finance and IT. Imbibing ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, he has given a strong ‘Make in India’ orientation to the company's products and has engaged L&T in sectors of national significance of defense, nuclear, energy, aerospace, infrastructure, oil & gas and power.

Awards were also announced for nine other categories with the winners representing both mature industries and young entrepreneurs from startups including unicorns. 

Green Tech: $50 billion+ Opportunity For Tech Firms: BCG Report

COP26 has been a major milestone event for governments, corporations & citizens of the world, in realizing the impact of our existence on the environment. It has mobilized the private sector globally, with 5,200+ businesses & 450+ financial institutes, accounting for 40% of financial assets, committing to science-based net-zero targets. These commitments & growing awareness on net-zero places technology firms at the cusp of a breakthrough growth, driven by companies embedding sustainability in their business models, instead of focusing on standalone use cases. This is evident given more than 60% CXOs across industries focusing on sustainability when considering a digital project.

In this regard, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has launched a new report titled, “The Next “Digital”: Unlocking $50 Billion Green Tech Opportunity”. To understand the growing trend of global leaders investing in ESG, BCG conducted a study comprising 850+ CXOs across industries as part of the ‘BCG Global Digital Transformation Survey 2021’. In addition to the survey, BCG conducted detailed interviews with climate-focused VC funds, technology and consulting firm leaders investing in ESG, and secondary market research.

The report highlights that green-tech growth is driven by the increasing adoption of sustainable use-cases across IoT (Internet of Things), cloud computing, data platforms & analytics, digital twin, and blockchain, indicating clear positive signs of a vast opportunity of US$45-55 Billion every year, which is expected to grow at 25-30% annually over the next five years.

The report indicates a clear positive sign - green-tech investments have increased from US$5 Billion in cumulative investments in 2016 to US$10 Billion in cumulative investments in 2021. For green-tech investors, IoT, analytics and cloud computing are the favourites, with each technology accounting for more than US$3 Billion in investments respectively. While the bulk of this growth is expected in developed economies in North America and Europe, Asia is also expected to grow rapidly with various countries, including India, committing to net-zero targets.

While this growth is massive across business cases, green tech in the digital supply chain is the most critical use-case, followed by energy optimization solutions across offices & manufacturing facilities. Banks & investment firms are also leading the race with the rapid adoption of green solutions like climate risk monitoring systems and customer-facing products like green mortgages, carbon tracking credit cards, etc. On the retail front, giants are investing massively in transparency in ESG reporting, regenerative farming & e2e traceability solutions (farm to customer) for their products.

Sreyssha George, Managing Director and Partner, BCG India, said “Despite the growing interest and demand by companies, green tech in India is still at a nascent stage. Estimated to reach a US$45-55 Billion market by 2027, the industry will require greater innovation and investment to support this tremendous growth. Tech companies must focus on building a strong portfolio of sustainability products, by identifying priority use cases for its clients, to capture this opportunity and disrupt the market.”

A copy of the report can be downloaded here

Bangalore International Airport Announces Winners Of BIAL Genie Hackathon In Collaboration With Microsoft

Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) — operator of Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport) today announced winners of the ‘BIAL Genie Hackathon’ in collaboration with Microsoft. Over 11, 500 teams comprising developers and data scientists from across India participated in this challenge to design innovative solutions using Microsoft Azure services. The hackathon sought to unearth new innovations and solutions that will improve the end-to-end passenger experience at BLR Airport.

Team Reboot Rebels emerged the grand winners of the hackathon with their innovative application ‘Fly Ezy’ winning INR 1.5 lacs as cash reward. The 4-member Reboot Rebels team suggested potential solutions to support the passenger journey from commuting to the airport, internal navigation at the airport, facilitating access to shopping offers as well as alerts for passenger flights to enhance the overall passenger experience.

Other key highlights of Team Reboot Rebels included features like Internal Navigation which can be integrated into the airport map and shows dynamic movement on the map with real-time insights for passengers using the app. The application was designed to give passengers an easy, efficient, secure, and memorable travel experience. Another useful feature was a Blockchain wallet which allows passengers to be rewarded with coins in their wallet which can later be redeemed to get discount coupons at stores in and around the airport.

Team Code Blooded were declared the runner up with their AI based solution called “AIR DASH” which included various usage of Azure services for AR based easy navigation through Azure Maps, a Personalized Marketplace developed through Azure Machine Learning Studio including smooth onboarding for ecosystem partners. They won a cash reward of INR 1 lakh.

The BIAL Genie Hackathon took place between October 2021 to February 2022 to drive technology-led innovation through the development of an app using Azure. Out of 107 shortlisted ideas, 29 prototypes were submitted with a final shortlist of 7 for the finale. The shortlisted teams were provided Azure credits, technical resources, and mentoring sessions by Microsoft subject matter experts (SMEs).

Commenting on this, George Fanthome, Chief Information Officer, BIAL, said, “I would like to thank all participants of the hackathon for the overwhelming response and congratulate the winning teams. This brought together some of the brightest minds in the tech space and has enabled them to create solutions that would have an impact in enhancing customer experience at BLR Airport, by leveraging the next generation of digital technologies. We look forward to seeing the transformative ideas develop into practical actions that will help us realise the vision of a digitalised and smart airport.”

Shivir Chordia, Azure Business Group Lead, Microsoft India, said, “As a cloud service company, Microsoft has always been supporting developers all over the world to create solutions which help businesses and organizations transform. We received some very interesting and transformative ideas for the BIAL Genie Hackathon, and I would like to congratulate the winning teams and all the hackathon participants for their efforts.”

About BIAL

Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport), named after the founder of the City – Hiriya Kempegowda – has the unique distinction of being the first Greenfield Airport in India, established on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. This heralded a revolution in Indian aviation, as more airports in the Country were privatised, thereafter. BLR Airport commenced operations on May 24, 2008 – 33 months from the start of construction. The expansion of the Terminal was completed in 2014 to cater to the steady, unprecedented growth in passenger volumes. Having served 10 million passengers in 2008, BLR Airport witnessed phenomenal growth during the subsequent years, becoming the fastest growing airport in the world in 2018. As the busiest Airport in South India and the third largest in the Country, BLR Airport welcomed 33.3 million passengers in FY 2018-19.

PNB Commemorates 128th foundation Day: Launches ”Cardless Cash Withdrawal, Virtual Debit Card”

*NUnder the new leadership of Shri Atul Kumar Goel, PNB revamps its digital banking services by launching a plethora of innovative offerings~ 

To honor its illustrious legacy of 127 years of service to the nation, Punjab National Bank (PNB) announced the launch of Cardless Cash Withdrawal and Virtual Debit Card, along with a range of other select digital services on its mobile app named PNB One, for safe banking transactions.  

The new services were launched by Shri Atul Kumar Goel, MD & CEO of PNB, at the Bank's head office in New Delhi, in the presence of Executive Directors - Shri Vijay Dube, Shri Swarup Kumar Saha and  Shri Kalyan Kumar, along with Vijay Kumar Tyagi - Chief Vigilance Officer of the Bank,  CGMs, senior officials and other bank staff. 

Thanking customers, employees and other stakeholders for their continued support during the challenging times, Shri Atul Kumar Goel further added, "With the financial sector on a strong route to recovery, PNB is witnessing robust growth. With that, PNB redefines its commitment to digital transformation by introducing a plethora of innovative offerings. We vow to remain committed to showcasing enhanced performance by integrating our new motto, 'One Team, One Dream'. Our renewed emphasis on employees as an asset, customer-centricity and strong focus on lending activities will play a vital role in our sustainable growth" 

During the celebrations, PNB launched various digital initiatives such as Insta Personal Loan to Pensioners, Application Supported by Blocked Amount (ASBA) facility on PNB One App, PNB 360 Information Portal for employees, Trade Finance Redefined Portal and Collection of loan EMI through Bharat Bill Pay. 

The Bank also felicitated its valued customers Shri Mahesh Gupta, MD of Kent RO Systems, Shri Shivraj Kundu - M.D. of K.C.C. Buildcon, Madhu Sudhan Bhageria - Chairman & MD of Filatex India, along with top performers of PNB Parivar. 

CSR initiative – Vidyanjali: 

Under its CSR program that focuses on strengthening the quality of education in government schools, PNB distributed basic school essentials to Govt. Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in Matiala (Delhi) and Govt. Co-ed SS school in  Dwarka (Delhi). This initiative was in line with the Government of India's nationwide campaign Vidyanjali initiative under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, which aims to strengthen schools through community, CSR, and private sector involvement. 

Shri Vijay Dube, Executive Director, extended the welcome speech, while the vote of thanks was given by Shri Kalyan Kumar, Executive Director. 

PNB expands its digital product offerings 

Insta Personal Loan to Pensioners: Customers who depend on their pensions can now avail PNB's 24x7 Insta Personal Loan digital service to get hassle-free loans up to Rs 8 lakh anytime, anywhere, thus saving time and travel to the branch. 

Collection of loan EMI through Bharat Bill Pay System (BBPS): Customers can now directly repay their PNB Bank loan EMIs from any bank's account through Internet Banking/ Mobile Banking having BBPS functionality. Customers are also being provided with an option on Bank's Corporate Website to repay EMIs of loan accounts maintained with PNB through internet banking, Debit Card and UPI of any bank. 

Trade Finance Redefined Portal: An advanced platform that will facilitate customers to initiate trade transactions online. The platform offers a user-friendly interface for a quick submission of transactions, a calendar with highlighted due dates, real-time on-screen display of the dashboard as some of the many features. 

PNB 360: This portal shall be a one-stop information repository for the day-to-day operational requirements of branches and administrative offices. It will offer a 360-degree user-friendly view of the business figures and compliance status on various parameters at the click of a button. 

Application Supported by Blocked Amount (ASBA) facility on PNB One app: PNB will now offer the Application Supported by Blocked Amount facility on its mobile banking platform, PNB One, with the aim to offer a paperless, time-efficient, and customer-friendly approach for 24x7 IPO applicants. This feature is the first of its kind to be introduced by PNB 

LTI Expands Its Presence In The USA With A New Engagement Center In Hartford, CT

* The center to accelerate workforce localization and skill development

Larsen & Toubro Infotech (BSE: 540005, NSE: LTI), a global technology consulting and digital solutions company has expanded its presence in the USA with a new engagement center in Hartford, CT. The engagement center will enable workforce transformation and localization for LTI in the Americas.

The new center was inaugurated by Luke Bronin, Mayor of Hartford, Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Senator for Connecticut, David Lehman, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development & Governor’s Senior Economic Advisor, Sanjay Jalona, CEO & Managing Director, LTI and Jacqueline Bamman, Chief People Officer, Nassau Financial Group. Located in the historic “boat building” in the heart of downtown Hartford, the center is equipped with advanced technology infrastructure and an evolved organizational approach leveraging cloud-based collaboration tools.

With a capacity to support over 100 employees, this LTI center will welcome experienced professionals and talented graduates from the University of Connecticut (UCONN), St. Joseph’s University (USJ), and Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). The design, build out, and operations of the new center have been executed by a women-led team, orchestrated by Paula Beaulieu, Center Lead and Associate Vice President, LTI.

Luke Bronin, Mayor of Hartford, said, “We are excited to welcome LTI, a rising star in the global technology sector, to the City of Hartford. This new LTI engagement center is powerful addition to the rapidly growing tech ecosystem in the City of Hartford.  LTI has committed to building partnerships and investing in the Hartford community and the Greater Hartford region, and we look forward to working closely with LTI to help build a talent pipeline in partnership with our educatIional institutions.”

David Lehman, Commissioner- Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development & Governor’s Senior Economic Advisor, said, “LTI’s new engagement center is the latest example of tech-focused companies making the strategic decision to invest and grow in Connecticut.  The company’s focus on client and community make them a welcome addition to our capital city.”

Sanjay Jalona, CEO & Managing Director, LTI, said, “Hartford is an incredible hub for employment opportunities due to its access to some of the best educational institutions. LTI’s engagement center in the city will help us create a cohesive network and provide strategic support to local clients and staff. This center further strengthens LTI’s service capabilities in the US while establishing a strong foothold in the market.”

The center will also provide an agile environment for LTI’s employees to create and deliver cutting-edge digital solutions for clients. By facilitating employees and client engagements, the new center aims to bring LTI’s remarkable services closer to its customers. As a modern workspace that encourages innovation and upskilling, the Hartford center will leverage workplace flexibility to foster engagement among clients and employees and strive for organizational inclusivity by adopting LTI’s Yin-Yang Model designed for future of work.

LTI’s clients in Connecticut represent sectors as diverse as Banking and Finance, Insurance, Manufacturing, Utilities, Life Sciences, and Aerospace & Defense. The company has seven offices across the USA and counts more than 70 Fortune 500 companies as its clients. 

About LTI:

LTI (NSE: LTI) is a global technology consulting and digital solutions company helping more than 475 clients succeed in a converging world. With operations in 33 countries, we go the extra mile to assist our clients and accelerate their digital transformation journeys. Founded in 1997 as a subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro Limited, our unique heritage gives us unrivalled real-world expertise to solve the most complex challenges of enterprises across all industries. Each day, our team of more than 40,000 LTItes enable our clients to improve the effectiveness of their business and technology operations and deliver value to their customers, employees, and shareholders. Learn more at or follow us at @LTI_Global.

EKA Signs “MoU With Log9 To Provide Advanced Fast Charging Battery Solutions”

* Log9’s advanced battery technology will enable EKA’s E-buses & LCV’s to InstaCharge in less than 30 minutes  

EKA, an electric vehicles & technology company, and a subsidiary of Pinnacle Industries Limited, has announced entering into a long-term strategic collaboration, initiated through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with Bengaluru-headquartered advanced battery technology startup Log9 Materials. The partnership is mainly aimed to provide Log9 fast-charging advanced battery solution RapidX for EKA’s new energy vehicles, including their recently launched pure electric bus range, EKA E9 and soon to be launched range of Light Commercial Vehicles.  

Notably, Log9’s RapidX batteries are the first of-its-kind batteries in India for electric buses and SCVs that come with 15-years warranty, long cycle life (of greater than 15,000 charge-discharge cycles), and are powered by InstaCharge battery technology which enables charging time of less than 30 minutes on both the LCV and e-Bus platforms of EKA. Further, both these LCVs and e-Buses powered by Log9's batteries shall be made available to the market at scale in the upcoming 3 to 6 months. Following the launch of respective vehicle platforms, as a part of the collaboration EKA & Log9 will be targeting to deploy at least 10,000 InstaCharged LCVs and 200+ e-Buses within a year. The vehicles will be deployed initially in Mumbai and Pune Metropolitan regions, and later rolled out across other metros and geographies.  

Speaking on the partnership, Dr. Sudhir Mehta, Chairman, EKA & Pinnacle Industries Limited, highlighted, “We are pleased to announce this new strategic alliance with Log9, a leading Indian battery technology company. At EKA, we are committed to providing a solid platform for sustainable, efficient, reliable public & commercial transport in cities, and our collaboration with Log9 is another step to strengthen our commitment. We look forward creating a new ecosystem in global CV electric mobility that is equipped with powerful technology for mass adaptation. I am confident that both EKA & Log9 will put India on the global road map for creating revolutionary new energy commercial vehicles & solutions equipped with best in class battery technology. EV adoption is no more a choice but a necessity and with such collaborations, we will be able to transform the sector to greater heights.” 

EKA is a subsidiary of Pinnacle Industries, India’s leading automotive seating, interiors & speciality vehicles company, and is one of the only 3 commercial vehicle manufacturers approved under the Champion OEM Scheme of the Government of India’s Auto PLI policy. 

Speaking on the collaboration, Dr. Akshay Singhal, Founder & CEO, Log9 Materials said, “We are happy and proud to partner with EKA by Pinnacle Mobility Solutions to integrate our RapidX batteries for the first time into EKA’s Electric Bus and LCV trucks that will be particularly useful for intercity logistics and movement purposes. Log9’s RapidX batteries will enable InstaCharging these vehicles in under 30 minutes, which in turn will lead to less waiting times or downtime and increased vehicle utilization on roads, while offering optimum Power, Performance and Peace of Mind for the end-users. We are confident that this long term partnership between Log9 and EKA will go a long way to revolutionize EVs in India, while in parallel furthering our mission of Pioneering Responsible Energy and promoting zero-emission electric mobility.” 

Log9 has leveraged its cell-to-pack competency to develop its InstaCharge batteries that provide 9x faster charging, 9x better performance, and 9x battery life. Log9’s InstaCharge technology brings down the total charging time which further optimizes the utilization of charging infrastructure and operational profitability for commercial vehicles.  

EKA recently introduced its first 9-metre pure electric & zero-emission bus, EKA E9, featuring a new streamlined vehicle design, maximized power & range due to its monocoque stainless steel chassis and complete composite structure. With a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) lower than existing diesel-engine buses and other commercial vehicles, EKA E9 promises to deliver sustainability and profitability to all stakeholders. EKA is also developing Light Commercial Vehicles, designed to help increase range and lower operating costs while helping businesses achieve ambitious sustainability goals. Enabled with pioneering new digital technology, it will allow a custom fleet management system as well.   

About Pinnacle Industries: 

Started in 1996, Pinnacle Industries Ltd. is India’s leading automotive seating, interiors and special application vehicles company. Pinnacle Industries has continuously expanded its product range through investing in its employees, clientele and technology partners, with the group today employing over 3000 people in India, Spain & USA. 

About Log9 Materials 

Log9 is an indigenous deep-tech and advanced battery-tech startup that is redefining the EV industry's standards in the fight against climate change, by offering batteries that can be charged 9x faster, can last 9x longer and offer 9x higher performance and safety. It is the only Indian company today that holds in-house competencies ranging from electrode materials to cell fabrication to battery packs. Log9's sole purpose and mission is to pioneer Responsible Energy, and through its initiative, the Responsible Delivery Movement, Log9 is leading an industrywide consortium of OEMs, Aggregators, End Users, and other stakeholders to raise awareness about the threats of climate change and is mobilizing the first and last-mile delivery ecosystems to combat it. Furthermore, with an eye on the changing transportation and logistics industries, Log9 is investing heavily in the research and development of Aluminum Fuel Cells that will power long-haul commercial vehicles of the future. Log9 is funded by leading VCs like Sequoia and Exfinity Ventures and strategic investors such as Amara Raja Batteries and Petronas (Malaysia).  

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

OPPO Launches Its F21 Pro Series With Ultra-Slim Design, Smart Photography And Unparalleled Performance

·          F21 Pro comes with segment-first Flagship Sony IMX709 Selfie camera sensor

·          F21 Pro’s sunset orange variant features an industry-first fiber-glass leather design

·          The F21 Pro 5G is the slimmest 5G phone under F Series, it is 7.55mm thin and weighs 173g

·          The F21 Pro comes with orbit light and the F21 Pro 5G features Dual-Ring Floating Light for notifications

·          OPPO Enco Air2 Pro comes with a 12.4mm titanized diaphragm driver, transparent bubble design and much more

OPPO, the leading global smart device brand, announces the launch of its F21 Pro and F21 Pro 5G smartphones along with the OPPO Enco Air2 Pro TWS earbuds.

OPPO F21 Pro is priced at INR 22,999 and will be available from 15th April onwards, while the OPPO F21 Pro 5G and the OPPO Enco Air2 Pro—priced at INR 26,999 and INR 3,499 respectively—will go on sale from 21st April across online and mainline retailers,

Unleashing Unlimited Potential in Professional Portrait Photography

The F21 Pro and the F21 Pro 5G set a new benchmark in smartphone selfie shooting. The F21 Pro’s 32MP selfie camera—backed by Sony's IMX709 RGBW (red, blue, green, white) selfie sensor—is 60% more sensitive to light allowing users to get crisp, clear and well-exposed photographs.

OPPO has also introduced the segment-first 2MP microlens on the OPPO F21 Pro—with support for 15x/30x magnification—that lets users explore textures, colours, shapes and sizes at a microscopic level. Its AI Portrait Enhancement feature adjusts the colour and skin tone of the subject to produce sharper portrait images.

The F21 Pro 5G, on the other hand, boasts a 16MP front camera, a 64MP main camera, a 2MP depth camera, and a 2MP macro triple camera unit. It comes with the AI Scene Enhancement feature that optimises colour saturation and contrast in over 23 scenes, like birds, architecture, and food.   Also, its Dual View Video feature allows you to use front and rear cameras simultaneously to record a video.

The Selfie HDR feature—available on the F21 Pro and the F21 Pro 5G—detects background light and auto-adjusts to capture sharper, brighter, and natural-looking selfies in dimly-lit or backlit surroundings.  Both devices also come with the Bokeh Flare Portrait feature that blurs the background, boosts bokeh light spots and enhances the subject's brightness to capture professional-looking portraits.

Talking about the F21 Pro Series Damyant Singh Khanoria, Chief Marketing Officer, OPPO India, said, “The OPPO F Series is defined by its unmatched performance and stylish, sleek design. With the new F21 Pro Series, we set a new benchmark in professional portrait photography while retaining the values that the F Series promise. Flaunt the ultra-slim eye-catching smartphone and capture your favourite memories in portrait.”

Industry-first fibreglass leather design backed by OPPO Glow

The F21 Pro comes in two colour options: Sunset Orange and Cosmic Black. The Sunset Orange model is equipped with OPPO’s industry-first Fibreglass-Leather design on its back that doubles up as a ‘frameless’ battery cover to make the phone thin, light and durable. The Fibreglass–Leather design uses a lychee texture coating and a moulded plate cover that seamlessly integrates the phone's back cover with the mid-frame for a premium look and feel.

The F21 Pro also comes with the Orbit Light feature that encircles the microlens and emits a soft breathing light to notify you about messages, calls and the charging status of the device's battery. The F21 Pro is just 7.54mm thin and weighs 175g. The phone is fronted by a 2.5D Corning Glass for extra durability.

The F21 Pro 5G, on the other hand, comes in two colours: Rainbow Spectrum and Cosmic Black. The Rainbow Spectrum model uses a three-layer texture and a two-layer coating process that gives its back cover a matte finish with a subtle glittery appearance. Together, the layers create an iridescent and prismatic effect that reflects red to mint green, yellow to purple, and green to pink. 

The Cosmic Black model flaunts the OPPO Glow design that makes the rear look glossy while giving it a matte-in-hand feel that is fingerprint and stain-resistant. The F21 Pro 5G boosts its aesthetic appeal with OPPO’s Dual-Ring Floating Notification Light around its rear cameras that pulsate when the phone is switched on, while on recharge or when you receive any notification.

The F21 Pro 5G is the slimmest 5G device F Series. It is 7.55mm thin and weighs just 173g. Both the handsets come with a 6.4-inch AMOLED display.

Power-packed features for seamless performance

A person playing a guitar

Description automatically generated with low confidenceThe OPPO F21 Pro drives smartphone performance with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 chipset, while the OPPO F21 Pro 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G Mobile SoC. Both the devices in the F21 Pro Series come with a 4,500mAh battery and 33W SUPERVOOC that fully charges the devices in 63 minutes; a 5 minutes charge is sufficient to make three hours of calls or for 100 minutes of movie watching.

Both the devices come with 128GB storage and 8GB RAM that can be increased by an additional 5GB via OPPO’s proprietary RAM Expansion technology to run multiple memory-heavy apps with zero lag.

Both variants also come with features like the AI Frame Rate Stabilizer, AI System Booster and Quick Startup that provide a seamless and immersive entertainment experience. 

Operating with Ease on the User-friendly ColorOS 12

The F21 Pro Series comes with OPPO’s new ColorOS 12 that includes an Anti-Peeping notification feature for privacy where notification content is hidden if the phone detects someone else looking at your screen when messages pop up.

Customers can also use Air Gestures to answer, mute calls, or scroll up and down on pages by swiping their hands without touching the phone. The Omoji feature boosted by OPPO's leading Face Capture algorithm allows users to express themselves through a personalised emoji avatar.

IoT Portfolio

The OPPO Enco Air2 Pro are TWS earbuds with Active Noise Cancellation that neutralises low-frequency everyday noise from subways and buses or higher-frequency noise from dormitories and offices.

It comes with a 12.4mm titanised diaphragm driver, a custom-made large rear chamber that works with the Enco Live bass tuning to produce deeper bass and an overall balanced sound. The OPPO Enco Air2 Pro comes in a dual-layer transparent bubble design with a refractive top cover.

The OPPO Enco Air2 Pro will go on sale starting 21st April and will be available on OPPO online store and mainline retail outlets.


The smartphone is available for pre booking from 08th April 2022 onwards. Customers will get a 10% Cashback from HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank, Standard Chartered, IDFC First Bank, and Bank of Baroda credit cards along with no-cost EMI up to 6 months. They can also avail an offer 70% assured buyback, via OPPO Upgrade for the new F21 Pro Series.

They can also get an exchange bonus of up to INR 2000 for their old device of any brand, and an INR 3000 in exchange of an OPPO device. Customers will also be able to avail No Cost EMI up to 6 months, one EMI cashback with IDFC First Bank, and affordable EMI schemes are also available from finance partners like Bajaj Finserv, IDFC First Bank, Kotak Bank, ICICI Consumer Finance, Mahindra Finance and others.

Customers who have pre-booked their F21 Pro Series can get their smartphones on 13th April 2022.

Additionally, lucky customers get a chance to spin and win assured gifts. They even stand a chance to win OPPO F21 Pro from a free raffle after the purchase. 

Vi To Empower Bharat Youth With Employment, Skilling Opportunities

* Partners with a set of digital start-ups & domain experts - Apna, Enguru & Pariksha – to bring a slew of digital offerings that will help the Bharat youth advance in their career

Having a good job and being equipped with the right skills are two crucial factors for success in career and life. Vi, India’s leading telecom operator, has announced a set of offerings for the youth of Bharat to help them with finding employment, becoming more employable & also help them prepare for government jobs.

Giving wings to its customers aspirations, for a better tomorrow, Vi Jobs & Education integrates India’s largest job search platform ‘Apna’, leading English learning platform ‘Enguru’ and ‘Pariksha’ a platform specializing in government employment exam preparation.

Primarily targeted towards the large prepaid user base in India, Vi Jobs & Education on the Vi App offers a one stop solution for youth to search for jobs, improve spoken English skills and excel in Govt. employment exams, empowering them to fulfil their career dreams.

Commenting on the launch of this unique proposition, Avneesh Khosla, CMO, Vodafone Idea Limited, said “In line with Vi’s brand promise ‘together for tomorrow’, we’ve been looking at the need gaps in consumers’ daily lives, where we believe we can play a role of an enabler to help them get ahead in life. When we look at youth in this country their key aspiration is to get a good job and become more employable. The relevance of digital skills and fluency in spoken English have become more pronounced for today’s youth. Further, Government Employment remains a top choice for the large part of this segment, particularly for those coming from tier 2 & 3 cities. Based on these insights, we have curated the Vi Jobs & Education proposition in partnership with Apna, Enguru and Pariksha. We believe, that these integrated solutions will enable Vi customers to further their efforts in gaining a competitive edge and march ahead to meet their career  aspirations.”

1.  Job Search Made Easy With Vi Jobs & Education on the Vi App:

The State of Mobile 2022 report suggests that Job-Searches will be the top category for mobile users across the globe. And the emergence of gig economy, according to a joint report by BCG and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation - ‘Unlocking the Potential of the Gig Economy in India’, can serve up to 90 million jobs in the non-farm sector alone.

Vi Jobs & Education on the Vi App in partnership with apna, offers free priority access to India’s largest job listing. Priority access ensures double the visibility prospects to recruiters, thus double the chance of interview opportunities for a quick job search solution. This service will be available for all Vi customers at no cost.   

Commenting on the partnership, Nirmit Parikh, CEO and Founder, said "In the last few months alone, apna enabled more than 350 million interviews and professional conversations because of the fast internet proliferation in deep pockets of India made possible by leading telecom operators like Vi. Access to the internet has not only opened avenues for people, but has also played a significant role in reducing the collar divide between professionals. In the coming years, we are certain to completely dismantle this divide through our inclusive platform. As we continue our journey of impacting a billion lives, we are thrilled to partner with a telecom provider such as Vi to digitally empower the youth of our country by giving them an easy access to hyperlocal opportunities around them"

2.  English Education Made Easy With Vi Jobs & Education on the Vi App:

English fluency increases prospects of getting a job, getting a better salary and progressing in one’s career, in certain segments.

Vi Jobs & Education in partnership with leading English learning platform ‘enguru’ offers 14 days of free trial with unlimited interactive live classes conducted by experts. Learners can continue with the platform at 15% to 25% discounted price after the trial period. The users will also be entitled to free access of interactive, gamified, industry specific self-learning modules, worth Rs 1500.

Speaking on the association Udit Hinduja, COO, Enguru said “We are excited to partner with Vi on bringing a mobile-first, affordable & high quality English learning program to their subscribers. Enguru’s live classes allow users to practice speaking with expert teachers & students from across the country, with classes offered through the day across all levels of English. We believe our product will help Vi subscribers in their interview preparation & career growth.” 

3.  Preparation for Govt. Jobs Exams made easy with Vi Jobs & Education on the Vi App:

Government jobs have always been highly sought-after for as long as they have existed in India. Each year, millions of youth aspire to land themselves a Government job.

Making the process of applying of Govt jobs convenient for Vi users, Vi Jobs & Education in partnership with Pariksha offers the aspirants of Central/State Govt. jobs , one month free subscription to ‘Pariksha’. This also includes unlimited mock tests across 150+ exams. At the end of the free period, users can continue at a nominal subscription fee of Rs. 249/year.

Commenting on the tie-up Vikram Shekhawat, Co-founder, Pariksha said “Pariksha is the largest and the fastest growing vernacular test prep platform which is on a mission to democratize education and make relevant, credible, quality content available to everyone preparing for govt exams in the country. With this deep integrated partnership with one of the largest and most trusted telecom partners, we will be able to reach our goal faster and narrow the gap between opportunities for over 75 million govt job aspirants across Bharat. This partnership will act as the new age digital book and will create the largest impact at the bottom of the pyramid.”

MADAME Targets 33.3% Growth In e-Commerce Business For 2022-23, Aims To Reach Rs 10 Crores From

MADAME, the flagship brand of Jain Amar Group, is now aiming to leverage the growing e-commerce ecosystem and the online apparel shopping space by targeting 10% of its total sales through digital platforms in the financial year 2022-23.

The company has set an aim for a 33.3% growth in its overall business in the next financial while reaching a sales target of Rs 10 crores on Currently, for the financial year 2021-22, Glamly’s contribution to the total sales stands at Rs 3 crores.

While the e-commerce ecosystem in India has various big players like Mynta, Amazon, etc., and MADAME has consistently maintained a strong presence on all these platforms, it is now looking to expand its online sales through an in-house e-commerce website

MADAME customers have been using to shop for the latest collections and the website witnessed a strong momentum during the 2021 summer season. The e-commerce platform also gained more attention during the pandemic period and continues to attract a sizeable segment of customers.

“We are excited about the opportunities that are available to us in the form of e-commerce. Being a brand catering to the young Indian who is fashion conscious and who is doing a lot of her shopping through digital platforms, I think MADAME has a huge potential to grow and capture a sizeable market,” says Sumedha Jain, Head- E-commerce and Marketing. According to IBEF (Indian Brand Equity Foundation) estimates, India's e-commerce business will exceed that of the United States and become the world's second-largest market by 2034. By 2025, the sector is predicted to increase at a phenomenal 19.24 per cent CAGR, reaching USD 111.40 billion.

According to a Unicommerce report, the country's online fashion business rose by 51% in the fiscal year 2021 compared to the fiscal year 2020. This proves the potential of online fashion business in India and MADAME plans to capitalize effectively on this potential by creating its own niche space.

Skill India Gives a Boost To Entrepreneurship Across Jharkhand Region

* The National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD) signs MoU with the Central University of Jharkhand (CUJ) Ranchi to jointly promote Entrepreneurship in Educational institutions

* The MoU has been signed with the objective of working together and co-design new programmes and policies to support innovation and entrepreneurship in technical and professional education in India

In line with Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Skill India gives a boost to entrepreneurship in the state of Jharkhand. The National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD), an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, signs an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Central University of Jharkhand (CUJ), Ranchi, with the goal of identifying mutual collaboration opportunities and promoting entrepreneurship in technical and professional education in India. The primary objective of this MOU is to combine the strengths of NIESBUD and Central University of Jharkhand (CUJ), Ranchi, towards the sustained development of entrepreneurial skills, entrepreneurship education, and facilitated training. The entire collaboration is aimed at creating a conducive environment to promote entrepreneurship on and off campus through a series of mutually agreed, collaborative and value-added programmes, policies, and curriculum.

Under the partnership, both NIESBUD and Central University of Jharkhand will work together to boost Jharkhand’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. This will be achieved by extending their respective institutional expertise in terms of technology, knowledge, management, and resources. In addition, the institutions will organise a trainer's training programme in the areas of entrepreneurship skills and education. Furthermore, by working together, both institutions will be co-creating proposals and a trainer’s training programme for The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) countries. In addition to that, they would also be conducting joint events like seminars/workshops/outreach programmes in the area of common interest to encourage students to understand the intricacies of entrepreneurship.

The partnership will enable exchange of best practices and provide access to resources and knowledge repositories on request within the institutional capacity for the better design of new programmes and policies in entrepreneurship.

Expressing his views on the MoU, Shri. Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said, “Jharkhand has become the hub for start-ups over the last decade. The number of emerging enterprises has grown and has slowly made room for several manufacturing and service-oriented companies. It has made notable contribution to the flourishing of the state’s economy and ensures ease of doing business. Entrepreneurs are the drivers of the nation's economy; they stimulate development and employment. Inculcating entrepreneurial skills and spirit into the budding innovators of tomorrow is a part of the national push towards making India a hub of innovation.”

“The partnership promises to create a conducive ecosystem for emerging entrepreneurs, which will enhance the country’s research and industrial development as well. With initiatives like these, the ministry is sprinting toward Atmanirbharta and actively co-designing new policies and curricular programmes to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in technical and professional education in India” he further added.

The MoU was signed and exchanged between Dr Poonam Sinha, Director, The National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD) and Professor Kshiti Bhusan Das, Vice Chancellor and Dr Devdas Laata, Head, Department of Energy Engineering, the Central University of Jharkhand (CUJ), Ranchi, in the presence of Shri Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship India.

The MoU will be valid for a period of five years. Both institutions will appoint appropriate representatives as needed and by the MOU's expectations to support proper planning, review, and implementation.

About Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE)

MSDE was formed on 9th November 2014, by the Government of India to focus on enhancing employability of skills. Since its inception, MSDE has undertaken significant initiatives and reforms in terms of formalizing the policy, framework and standards; launching of new programs and schemes; creating new infrastructure and upgrading the existing institutions; partnering with States; engaging with industries and building societal acceptance and aspirations for skills. The Ministry aims to bridge the gap between demand and supply of skilled manpower to build new skills and innovation not only for existing jobs but also for jobs that are to be created. Till date, more than 5.5 crore youth have been trained in various skills under Skill India. Strengthens Senior Leadership Team With Domain Experts, an AI-powered Enterprise SaaS platform focusing on B2B BNPL, today announced the appointment of senior leaders.

The company has strengthened the team by adding two senior members: Prakash Dara, Executive Vice President, Scoring & New Credit Products and Manish Gupta, Strategic Advisor.

Commenting on the appointments, Raghunath Subramanian, Co-Founder, Global CEO and Executive Chairman, said, “I am delighted to expand our senior leadership team at As category creators in the AI-powered Enterprise SaaS with B2B BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) embedded, we are sure this empowers us to drive large-scale transformation in the supply chain ecosystem across geographies. With the expanded team we will now be focusing on building our business globally, starting with India.“

“Prakash Dara, a seasoned Risk and Business professional, will be responsible for strategically driving Actyv Score as a standalone product, create new age underwriting models to propel B2B BNPL and also help in innovating new credit products.  Manish Gupta,  a reputed business leader in the FMCG sector has joined as the Strategic Advisor and will augment business relationships and also contribute to relevant technology interventions for transformation across the eco-system,” he said.

Prakash a CA, CS and CWA,  has over 23 years of experience in the banking sector. He has been the Executive Vice-President and Business Head at Kotak Mahindra Bank across multiple verticals.  After his long stint with Kotak, he was associated with Mango Advisors LLP as a partner and is the Co-Founder of Flint Consulting LLP an investment banking firm.

Prakash Dara said, “I am thrilled to be a part of the team, who are trying to simplify and make credit accessible to the B2B segment. Despite being the backbone of the country’s economy, 80% of the MSMEs lack formal access to credit. Through, we are on a mission to change the game by empowering these enterprises with hassle-free credit in order to help them run an efficient business.”

Manish is an Engineer and XLRI alumni, has over 26 years of experience in the FMCG sector. He has held various leadership positions and has led large teams at world renowned FMCG companies like Reckitt, GSK Consumer & Walmart, thereby giving him a ringside view of the Indian trade ecosystem.

Manish Gupta said “Having been an integral part of FMCG industry for over 20 years, I understand the growth opportunity that can be unlocked for all the players in the value chain. It’s intuitively simple - easy access to capital creates easy access to brand availability at stores! This virtuous cycle creates new business, new jobs and helps propel the national economic engine. I look forward to doing my bit towards building this connected eco-system :, FIs, Brand owning Enterprises and their distributors & retailers." is an easy to adapt Enterprise SaaS low-code no-code platform. It is used by large enterprises (like Britannia, Nivea, Adani Wilmar Previously,” he said.  and others) to transform their supply chains and to empower their partners with an intuitive platform and financial products. Actyv Score enables financial institutions like Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank and others to provide unsecured, low-interest, closed-loop credit (BNPL for B2B) for SMBs.

About is an easy to adapt Enterprise SaaS low-code no-code platform. It is used by large enterprises to transform their supply chains and to empower their supply chain partners. Enterprises can scout for partners via the platform and appoint/onboard them digitally. During the onboarding process, checks for errors and frauds in the partner’s documents and then analyses the data extracted to create the partner’s Financial Health Report and Actyv Score. Based on these, the partner gets access to closed-loop bank credit - BNPL for B2B - which it can use as working capital.

For more information, please visit: 

BPCL Collaborates With Microsoft To Leverage Cloud And AI Technologies To Redefine Customer Experience


·         Announces a seven-year partnership with Microsoft to build a cloud led, resilient business operation

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) and Microsoft announced a strategic cloud partnership aimed at accelerating the firm’s digital transformation and shaping the future of innovation in the oil and gas industry. The collaboration seeks to unlock the opportunities that Microsoft’s cloud provides to address the unique challenges of the oil and gas sector, enabling BPCL to accelerate the modernization of its tech architecture to enhance customer experience.

The partnership gives a strong fillip to BPCL’s digital-first strategy, as part of ‘Project Anubhav’ to redefine customer experience through the pillars of trust, personalization, and convenience. Through a seven-year collaboration, Microsoft will provide infrastructure as a service (IAAS), platform as a service (PAAS), network and security services on the cloud, including Azure native services on Azure Datafactory, API, IOT and analytics. Microsoft’s secure cloud platform with data privacy at the center will fuel BPCL’s cloud transformation, providing the intelligence to transform operations, build smarter supply chains and increase customer engagement. Both companies have also been working closely to provide a secure collaboration experience for BPCL’s employee ecosystem across the country, with Microsoft Teams and workplace productivity suite.  

As part of the strategic partnership, the companies will focus on the following:

·         Creating a digital customer experience for BPCL customers through UFill-an innovative fuelling solution powered by Microsoft Azure, which delivers on BPCL’s promise of ensuring that their customers have complete control over Time, Technology and Transparency as part of their fuelling experience. With UFill, the invitation to customers is to “Fast forward your fill”, leveraging the latest in digital technology which obviates the need for looking at zero or final reading and such offline manual interventions.

·         To reaffirm its brand promise of quality and trust, BPCL is digitally transforming its backend operations, enabling IoT powered supply chains with Microsoft Azure.  BPCL’s Digital Nerve Center, IRIS will remotely monitor thousands of sensors, integrating across 19000+ fuel stations, retail terminals, bottling plants, consumer pumps, RDI (Railway Diesel Installations) and VTS (Vehicle Tracking System) systems, to ensure BPCL’s entire supply chain is tamper proof and delivers 100% percent quality.

·         Powered by Azure Analytics, BPCL is building a conversational AI platform, the chat bot, Urja, to provide access to anytime, anywhere customer support across platforms customer support across platforms anytime, anywhere. Urja can be accessed by customers on platforms of their choice, including WhatsApp and Facebook, providing the flexibility and convenience of access at a click.

Rahul Tandon, Chief General Manager (Project Anubhav), BPCL said, “Microsoft has been one of the undisputed global leaders in technology for decades altogether and BPCL is proud of taking this partnership forward now in the cloud domain. Through our cloud based digital transformation project, we are focused to build innovative and customer friendly solutions which are increasingly interconnected, smart, always available and provide a single window of BPCL services to customers seamlessly. We look forward to unlock value for the organization by availing world class scalable infrastructure, crashing our time to market and reimagining the way our customers interact with BPCL.”

Sharing his thoughts on the partnership, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said, “BPCL is one of the most respected public sector companies in the country and we are honoured to work together to define the next frontiers of data driven innovation and customer engagement in the oil and gas industry. Bringing together BPCL’s operational expertise with Microsoft’s cloud and AI capabilities, our partnership will help fortify BPCL’s business operations with trust and security at the core.”

Microsoft has over 60 cloud regions across the globe with Azure available in 140 countries, delivering a comprehensive set of enterprise-grade cloud computing services for developers and businesses of all sizes to create new customer experiences, transform their business and operations and accelerate the pace of innovation. As India continues its journey towards becoming a data and AI led innovation hub, Microsoft’s collaboration with BPCL is a strong reinforcement of its commitment to partner with public sector organizations, making available the technology and tools required to accelerate their digital success.

About Microsoft India

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

About BPCL

A Fortune Global 500 Company, Bharat Petroleum is the second largest Indian Oil Marketing Company and one of the premier integrated energy companies in India, engaged in refining of crude oil and marketing of petroleum products, with a significant presence in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry. The company attained the coveted Maharatna status, joining the elite club of companies having greater operational & financial autonomy.

Bharat Petroleum is powering India’s economy in multiple ways. Over 8.5 crore families depend BPCL’s 6,500+ LPG distributors to supply their homes with cooking gas. More than 1.2 crore vehicles tank up every day at one of BPCL’s 20,000+ petrol pumps. And more than 50 airports use the company’s high-quality products to fuel their aircrafts. BPCL also serves 10000+ industrial and commercial customers across multiple sectors like Cement, Railways, Paints, and Petrochemicals etc

Cummins India Powers Employee Upskilling In Collaboration With BITS Pilani For New Age Manufacturing Technologies

* BITS Pilani Work Integrated Learning Programmes provide B.Tech in Manufacturing Technology and M.Tech in Automotive Engineering to Cummins India employees

Cummins India, in collaboration with the Work Integrated Learning Programmes (WILP) Division of BITS Pilani, is fostering a culture of continuous learning and upskilling amongst employees through bespoke learning programmes. Sponsored by Cummins India, the B.Tech and M.Tech programmes empower the entry-level associates and shop floor employees with professional degrees, new-age power skills and industry knowledge to create a strong foundation in their career journey.

The partnership initiated in August 2017 with a pilot batch of 40 employees of Cummins India getting enrolled in the B.Tech programme. Since then, two batches comprising of 85 employees have successfully graduated with B.Tech and M.Tech degrees. The employees enrolled in both programmes are a diversified group selected from critical functions like manufacturing, engineering, purchasing, quality, marketing, and supply chain.

BITS Pilani’s WILP is a coveted programme at Cummins India as it enables employees to fulfil their dream of acquiring an engineering degree from one of the top institutes in India without taking a career break. The programme also provides exposure and visibility that adds immense value to their personal and professional development. BITS Pilani WILP has equipped over 1,00,000 working professionals with career-advancing skills in industries such as IT & ITES, Automotive, Manufacturing, Pharma, Chemicals, Metals and Mining.

Talking about the partnership and underlining the significance of continuous learning and upskilling, Anupama Kaul, Human Resources Leader, Cummins India, said, “In line with our ‘Hire to Develop’ philosophy, and to make Cummins a true learning organization, we continuously invest in the development of our employees in various ways. One of many such interventions is our investment in Sponsored Education Programmes for our employees that include flexible options to continue formal education. We cherish and take pride in our collaboration with BITS Pilani for its unique Work Integrated Learning Programmes (WILPs) designed to provide a holistic learning experience to our employees. Our employees immensely value and have tremendously benefitted from these learning programmes.”

Talking about the collaboration, Prof. G. Sundar, Director Off-Campus Programmes & Industry Engagement, BITS Pilani, said, “We are proud and pleased at the same time to be collaborating with one of the leading manufacturing companies, Cummins India. We at BITS Pilani WILP constantly strive to build and offer programmes with curricula that are well suited to enhance the technical competencies required for organizations in various sectors, and in so doing, transform working professionals in a way that will facilitate their individual career growth without taking a sabbatical.”

The work integrated programme structure and flexibility to customize the curriculum to suit Cummins India’s learning needs is the primary foundation of the partnership with BITS Pilani WILP. BITS Pilani WILP has been a pioneer in the field of Work Integrated Learning Programmes and comes with a legacy of over four decades. They are reflected clearly in the content, delivery, infrastructure, interactions, and every element of the programme and the overall execution, right from the very first orientation session until graduation. BITS Pilani WILP has been at the forefront of empowering and mentoring India's working professionals through multiple initiatives.

About Cummins India Limited

Cummins India Limited, part of the Cummins Group in India, is headquartered in Pune since 1962 and is the country's leading manufacturer of diesel and natural gas engines for power generation, industrial and automotive markets. Cummins India Limited has a country-wide network of 20 dealerships with over 450 service points that provides products, services, and after-market solutions for uptime of Cummins equipment and engines to customers in India, Nepal, and Bhutan.

About Cummins Group in India:

Cummins in India, a power leader, is a group of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute, and service engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, air handling, filtration, emission solutions, and electrical power generation systems. Its technology and pioneering initiatives are bringing innovative solutions and dependable services at the best possible value to users across the country. Its high-performance outlook is based on customer focus, integrity, and capability of its people. Part of the $19.8 billion Cummins Inc. USA. Cummins in India is a Group of seven legal entities across 200 locations in the country with a combined turnover of  ?17,000 crores in 2021 and employing over 10,000 individuals.

About BITS Pilani Work Integrated Learning Programmes:

India has a large and qualified professional workforce, which must and will continue to grow in size, complexity, and quality. Given the nature of modern professions, and the acquired reputation of Indian professionals in these roles, continual learning and higher educational qualifications are necessary tools for the nation to succeed within and compete globally. Work Integrated Learning Programmes of BITS Pilani (WILP) are degree/diploma/certificate programmes which are developed and conducted by BITS Pilani in association and jointly with organizations representing various industry sectors.

About BITS Pilani:

Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (BITS Pilani) is an Institution of national repute, known for providing technical education of the highest standards and is well recognized for its innovations, and strong links with industry. It is consistently ranked as the best private engineering & technology institution by leading ranking agencies and publications. MHRD, Govt. of India, in August 2018 announced BITS Pilani as one of the first six Institutions of Eminence in the country. It is one of the few universities that has created an institutionalized framework for achieving a vibrant environment that successfully inculcates an ambience for experiential and cooperative learning and education. BITS Pilani views education as a continual engagement and experience and ensures that the learning experience is integrated seamlessly not only across its classrooms and laboratories, but also in the industry, as exemplified by its Practice School, and Work Integrated Learning Programmes.

M&M Partners With CSC Grameen eStores For Its Small Commercial Vehicle (SCV) Range

* Mahindra’s range of Small Commercial Vehicle (SCV) range will now be available via more than three lakh CSC Grameen eStores catering to over seven lakh villages in India

* M&M’s range of SUVs and Pickups are already available via the CSC Grameen eStores

* CSC Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) will assist customers with their enquiries through the eStores.

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. announced its partnership with CSC Grameen eStore for its Small Commercial Vehicle (SCV) range of products. CSC Grameen eStore is a subsidiary of CSC eGovernance Services India Ltd., which is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) promoted by MeitY. Customers can visit their nearest CSC Grameen eStore to make an enquiry about select Mahindra SCV range, namely Supro & Jeeto.

As a part of this association, the CSC Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE) network will serve as M&M touchpoint in over seven lakh villages across India, further aiding and simplifying the process of enquiries and purchases. This will be processed digitally by the VLE to facilitate information, test drive and/or delivery by an authorized Mahindra dealer. The service is available pan-India.

Commenting on the announcement, Amit Sagar, Business Head – SCV at Automotive division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., said, “With the growing internet penetration facilitating better access to information, this partnership is a suitable step to further strengthen our rural foothold and there is no better partner than CSC Grameen eStore to help us improve our customer experience. We are increasingly focusing on digital solutions and are confident that the availability of skilled VLEs will provide the desired confidence and comfort to our customers throughout their association with Mahindra. It will not just make buying more convenient but also help us connect deeply with our customers.”

The partnership will harness CSC Grameen’s digital platform to facilitate Mahindra vehicle enquiries and real time online lead transfer to M&M from deep rural pockets. Using CSC’s path breaking digital tools, the Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) would explain product features to customers and share the purchase intent with M&M for further action by authorized Mahindra dealers.

"We are delighted to have strategic tie-up with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. CSC Grameen eStore has been a path breaking Government of India initiative to enhance customer convenience by taking products and services to the customer’s vicinity using technology as a tool. We are confident that this tie-up will further enhance customer experience and help him buying Mahindra Small Commercial Vehicles in deep rural geographies. The association with Mahindra will also enhance CSC's horizon with an opportunity to help sell India's leading small commercial vehicles. The son of the soil VLEs will further facilitate Mahindra's Jeeto and Supro enquiry at the customer’s doorstep,” said Mr. Raja Kishore, Chief Operating Office, CSC Grameen eStore.

M&M’s SUPRO Profit truck range is developed on the successful SUPRO platform. It is affordable, more powerful, boasts of a greater payload capacity and higher mileage and thereby higher profit to the customers. The SUPRO Profit truck range comes in both diesel as well as CNG fuel options. The Jeeto brand launched in 2015, has been a great success and a choice of over 2 lakh happy customers. It is a strong offering in <2Ton load category which comes with multi fuel options of Diesel, CNG & Gasoline and in two different deck sizes providing array of options to customer.

About Mahindra

Founded in 1945, the Mahindra Group is one of the largest and most admired multinational federation of companies with 260,000 employees in over 100 countries. It enjoys a leadership position in farm equipment, utility vehicles, information technology and financial services in India and is the world’s largest tractor company by volume. It has a strong presence in renewable energy, agriculture, logistics, hospitality and real estate. 

The Mahindra Group has a clear focus on leading ESG globally, enabling rural prosperity and enhancing urban living, with a goal to drive positive change in the lives of communities and stakeholders to enable them to Rise.

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