Saturday, December 30, 2023

India's E-commerce Market Set To Exceed $2028 Billion, Reports 'The How India Shops Online

In a groundbreaking report titled 'The How India Shops Online,' Bain & Company projects that India's e-commerce market is poised to surpass an impressive $2028 billion by the year 160. The report emphasizes the remarkable growth observed in online shopping in India, forecasting a leap from $57 billion in 2023 to an astonishing $5 billion over the next 160 years.

The data aligns with the findings of Ben & Co's online 2023 report, which tracks customer spending patterns in the e-commerce market. Notably, India's online retail market has shown steady growth, increasing by $8-12 billion annually since 2020.

Bain & Co, in collaboration with e-commerce giant Flipkart, reveals that the Indian online shopping market is expected to grow by 17% in 2023, compared to a year ago. Although this growth rate is slower than the 25-30% observed from 2019 to 2022, it is attributed to factors such as high inflation.

Seshu Kumar Tirumala, Chief Buying and Merchandising Officer, shared insights during the recent Internet Commerce Summit 2023. He highlighted the strategic shift made after the COVID pandemic, focusing on quick deliveries. With 350 dark stores delivering 6,000-20,000 items in 15-20 minutes, this initiative started in late 2022 and has shown steady growth.

Tirumala emphasized the importance of catering to customer preferences for fast delivery, acknowledging the significance of reaching 100 smaller markets within 15 minutes. The plan includes opening 1,500 more stores in the next 3-4 cities, with a major focus on the Quick Commerce segment.

Lenskart's Co-founder, Ramneek Khurrana, underscored the success in non-metro cities like Jaipur and Kochi, revealing that less than 50% of their overall business comes from metro cities. Recognizing substantial growth potential in cities such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, and Gujarat, Khurrana highlighted the significant market share yet to be captured, especially in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.

Despite the booming e-commerce trend in India, the report notes that online spending accounts for only 5-6% of total retail expenses, indicating vast untapped potential. The report concludes that India's e-commerce market is poised to grow by over 5% in the next five years.

In response to this surge in online shopping, several major e-commerce players are increasing their investments in India. Amazon, Flipkart, and Ajio are among the key players capitalizing on the growing opportunities in the country. Amazon, for instance, recently pledged an additional $2030 billion, bringing its total investment in India to $26 billion.

The landscape of online shopping in India continues to evolve, with an emphasis on quick deliveries, strategic expansion into Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, and increased investments from major e-commerce players. As the market continues to grow, industry leaders are navigating the changing dynamics to meet consumer demands and maintain sustainable growth.

Groundbreaking Ceremony Of IIL's Greenfield Animal Vaccine Manufacturing Facility

Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL),one of India's leading biotechnology companies dedicated to manufacturing and supplying life-saving vaccines, has started construction of its new greenfield veterinary vaccine facility to manufacture the Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine (FMD-Vac) as well as Foot and Mouth Disease + Haemorrhagic Septicaemia Vaccine (FMD+HS-Vac) in Hyderabad’s Genome valley. 

This brand-new unit will have a BSL3 facility for the manufacture of Drug substances and a Fill-Finish capability for the production of both drug products FMD vaccine and the FMD+HS vaccine.  

Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Ltd (TSIIC), a Government of Telangana undertaking had allotted the land to IIL at Biotech Park, Phase III, Karkapatla, Siddipet district in Telangana. The proposed facility has a capacity of 150 million doses/annum of FMD vaccine or FMD+HS vaccine each. With an investment of approximately INR 700 Cr, the proposed facility is expected to create more than 750 direct and indirect jobs. 

Indian Immunologicals Limited is a subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB). In its more than 40 years of journey, IIL has carved a niche space as a leading “One Health” organization, manufacturing animal and human vaccines. IIL also exports its products to more than 60 countries across the globe.  

Today the Chairman of NDDB & IIL led the groundbreaking ceremony in the presence of IIL board members, employees, and officials from NDDB. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Meenesh Shah, Chairman of NDDB and IIL said, “IIL continues to fulfil the purpose for which it was created by NDDB as a world class vaccine manufacturer. This new vaccine manufacturing facility in Hyderabad is dedicated to the nation and will certainly aid in the eradication of Foot and Mouth Disease in our country. IIL's ability to discover and manufacture affordable vaccines has saved the exchequer several thousand crores of rupees”. 

Dr. K Anand Kumar, Managing Director, IIL said, “We are the largest supplier of FMD vaccine to Government of India’s prestigious Livestock Health Disease Control Programme (LHDCP). We are in an exponential growth phase and expected to grow 40% this year alone. In order to sustain the momentum, IIL is seriously considering making additional investments in building infrastructure within India and in other emerging geographies including Africa in a manner to develop tools that will help in control and eradication of diseases.” 

About Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL) 

Indian Immunologicals Limited headquartered in Hyderabad, India is one of the largest producers of vaccines in Asia. IIL was setup by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in 1982. IIL has multiple GMP manufacturing sites and exports to over 50 countries. IIL has a strong R&D pipeline and has launched several animal and human vaccines in the Indian market at affordable prices. IIL specializes in the development of various types of vaccines ranging from inactivated and live viral vaccines, polysaccharide conjugate vaccines, recombinant subunit vaccines, toxoid vaccines, live bacterial vaccines. More details about the company can be viewed on 

Friday, December 29, 2023

"Tourism In Madhya Pradesh To Wear A New Look In 2024," Says Principal Secretary Tourism Sheo Shekhar Shukla

In an effort to boost tourism the Madhya Pradesh government has mapped an innovative strategy for 2024. Besides introducing new elements, the government plans to revamp and broaden the existing schemes to add more vibrancy to the sector.

Cruise tourism, all women rides, safety of women, wellness and rural vacations will be an integral part of the 2024 trajectory.

“We designed a multi-pronged strategy for tourism in 2023. In 2024, the plan is to make it more holistic, inclusive, sustainable, eco-friendly and adventure packed,” says Principal Secretary Tourism Sheo Shekhar Shukla.

Cruise Tourism, New Trails

“We have a buoyant plan for cruise tourism in 2024. The main attraction will be the nearly 130 km inter-state cruise on river Narmada from the Statue of Oneness in Omkareshwar to the Statue of Unity in Gujarat. Floating jetties are already being put in place for this,” says Shukla who is also the Managing Director of Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board.

The multi-option, multi-destination cruises, will be punctuated with rural experiences in between the two destinations.

Elaborating on other cruise projects lined up for 2024 Shukla said that plans were afoot to link the Rajhat Dam near Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh to Deogarh in Uttar Pradesh.

“Long distance, intra-state cruises will be a new attraction for 2024,” he added.

Intra-state cruises from Miakal Resort in Bargi near Jabalpur to Tindini in Mandla district, Dharaji in Dewas to Sailani Tapu east of Omkareshwar, Sanjit village to the tent city of Gandhi Sagar are also on the anvil. The Tawa-Madhai cruise will be given a facelift by adding new experiences.

Identifying and developing new trekking trails in various buffer zones of National Parks/Sanctuaries will form part of the 2024 tourism strategy.

There will be promotion of state through different biking trails and car rallies. A special attraction – The Queens on the Wheel—an all women seven-day biking event – slated for February 2024 will take the riders on an adventurous ride from Bhopal to Orcha to Bhopal via Chanderi, Kuno, Gwalior, Mitawali, Padavali, Bateshwar, Orchha and Khajuraho.

“We have elaborate plans to develop many new off-beat destinations thereby leveraging the USP of our State.”

Catalyzing Connectivity, Wellness Vacations

In a bid to enhance connectivity between the various destinations, the tourism department is working to reintroduce small aircrafts under PPP.

“This is the best time to re-start this as the tourism sector has now bounced back after a post pandemic lull,” adds Shukla.

The 2024 calendar will have retreats for yoga and meditation.

“Wellness vacations offers much beyond diet and physical nurturing. The retreats will have a number of creative offerings. I am confident that the endeavor will spiral the tourist graph of the state,” says Shukla.

The plan is to host 12 such retreats in the first year followed by 24 and 36 in the second and third consecutive years. The retreats would be hosted in the select hotels owned by the Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation.

Offbeat destinations, Rural Tourism

In 2024 plans are up the sleeve to connect atleast 10 unexplored destinations with the mainstream tourism. The process for tapping the offbeat destinations had kick-started in 2023 and in 2024 this will take a more robust shape.

“The thrust will be on connectivity and infrastructure development of these destinations. We want to map a holistic development of these places,” maintains Shukla adding: “The concept of building glamping sites with multifarious immersive experiences around these destinations had started in 2023. In 2024, besides increasing the number of tent cities we will make them more tourist friendly.”

While the contours of Rural tourism were sketched during pandemic days, this will be widened in 2024.

Maintaining that the number of home stays would be increased to more than 500 in 2024 he said: “We would be introducing new village life experiences that are innovative and in sync with the rural life.”

Shukla said that safe destinations for women will be a priority and various initiatives were underway for mass skilling of women in hospitality related job roles to increase their strength in various front line jobs. “The Board has already trained more than 4000 women and in 2024 we propose to absorb more of them in the hotel and travel industry.”


An upswing for MP tourism in 2023

After battling an inclement weather due to the pandemic, tourism in Madhya Pradesh bounced back in 2023, thanks to the steadfast efforts made by the state government.

Introduction of new circuits, festivals and setting of tent cities at offbeat destinations, providing rural experiences were some of the hallmarks of 2023.

The first editions of Kuno and Chanderi festivals got a good jumpstart while the Mandu and the Gandhi Sagar Floating Festival made novel ways to attract visitors including the sprawling ultra- luxurious tent cities built around these destinations

“Our objective for starting the festivals at Kuno and Chanderi was to knit tourism with culture and wild life. We have got a good feedback from tourists,” says Shukla.

ABP Live Presents An Exclusive Roundtable Discussion Featuring Top OTT Actors At Meta Office, Mumbai

ABP Live’s Entertainment channel ENT Live, has announced an exclusive and star-studded roundtable discussion set to captivate audiences, offering an unprecedented glimpse into the world of digital entertainment. Hosted by ENT Live's Editor, Amit Bhatia, this engaging discussion brings together eight prominent OTT actors at the esteemed Meta office in Mumbai.

Scheduled for airing on December 30, 2023, at 9 PM, this momentous gathering promises an evening of unparalleled insights and candid conversations. Viewers will be treated to the thoughts and perspectives of some of the industry's most versatile and celebrated actors, shedding light on the intricacies of their craft and the rapidly evolving landscape of OTT platforms.

The ensemble of talent features esteemed personalities, including:

·         Naveen Kasturia, renowned for his exceptional portrayal in Amazon Prime's "Aspirants."

·         Sharib Hashmi, acclaimed for his captivating performance in the widely acclaimed "Family Man."

·         Maanvi Gagroo, a household name from the popular web series "Four More Shots" and the recent "Half Love Half Arranged."

·         Sunny Hinduja, known for his impactful roles in the web series "The Railway Men."

·         Gagan Arora Aka Bagga, the engaging talent behind "College Romance."

·         Lubna Salim, a notable figure from ZEE5's "Aam Aadmi Family," bringing her charm to the table.

·         Dibyendu Bhattacharya, seen in "The Railway Men" and the movie "Mission Raniganj," offering his seasoned presence.

·         Anshul Chauhan, recognized for her role as Ranbir Kapoor's sister in "Animal," completing the stellar lineup.

This dynamic roundtable discussion, set against the vibrant backdrop of the Meta office in Mumbai, promises an intimate and insightful exploration into the world of these accomplished artists. Audiences will have the exclusive opportunity to witness first-hand the candid exchanges and profound perspectives that shape the future of digital entertainment.

ENT Live invite viewers to tune in at 9 PM on December 30, 2023, for this unforgettable rendezvous with brilliance. Don't miss the chance to be part of the conversation and experience the magic, only on ABP Live’s Entertainment channel ENT Live.

About ABP Network

An innovative media and content creation company, ABP Network is a credible voice in the broadcast & digital sphere, with a multi-language portfolio of news channels reaching 535 million individuals in India. ABP Studios, which comes under the purview of ABP Creations – the content innovation arm of the network – creates, produces, and licenses original, path-breaking content outside of news. ABP Network is a group entity of ABP, which was incorporated almost 100 years ago and continues to reign as a leading media company.

Cyber Frauds During Festivals: How To Stay Safe During 2024 And Beyond?

By Uma Pendyala, Head Business Ops, SecurEyes

As we near the year end festivities across the globe, a kaleidoscope of colors, lights, and the spirit of giving, there's also an unwelcome guest lurking in the shadows—cyber fraud. While the celebrations bring joy, they also create opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit the heightened shopping frenzy and the eagerness to revel in the festivities. In this article, we'll unwrap the latest trends and tactics employed by cybercriminals during this vulnerable period and arm ourselves with the knowledge needed to navigate the festivities safely.

Festive Fraud Flavors:

1. Phishing Frenzy:

   The festive season sees a surge in phishing attempts through emails, SMS, and messages that mimic legitimate brands. These messages often promise unbelievable deals on festive essentials, leading unsuspecting victims to fake websites designed to steal financial information. Beware of urgent requests for immediate action or claims of winning prizes.

To protect yourself during this phishing frenzy, exercise caution when faced with unsolicited messages, especially those demanding immediate responses. Legitimate businesses seldom pressure customers with urgency, so any claim of an imminent reward or threat should be met with skepticism. It's crucial to verify the authenticity of communications before taking any action, ensuring that the festivities remain joyful and free from the clutches of cybercriminals.

2. Fake Festive Offers:

   Glittering deals and discounts on everything from electronics to travel packages can be tempting. However, caution is advised when encountering websites with poor design, grammatical errors, or unfamiliar payment methods. Research the seller and compare prices before making any purchases.

Before making any purchases, scrutinize the website's legitimacy, check for customer reviews, and validate the offered discounts against market norms. This discerning approach ensures that your festive shopping remains a celebration of savings without falling prey to the deceptive tactics of cyber fraudsters.

3. Lucky Draw/Win Prizes Hoax:

 The festive spirit thrives on the hope of winning big, and scammers exploit this by offering lucrative prizes in exchange for personal information or participation fees. The golden rule here is: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Vigilance is paramount when encountering such schemes. Verify the legitimacy of any prize offers through official channels and avoid divulging personal information hastily. By adhering to this golden rule, you can shield yourself from the disappointment and potential harm associated with falling victim to these win-now-pay-later schemes.

4. Festive Ponzi Schemes:

As the season of giving approaches, be wary of investment opportunities promising quick returns. These fraudulent schemes often prey on the desire to earn extra cash for festive expenses. Remember, genuine investments rarely offer guaranteed high returns.

Protect your financial well-being by conducting due diligence before engaging in any investment. Scrutinize the legitimacy of the scheme, seek advice from financial experts, and be wary of high-pressure tactics. By maintaining a cautious stance, you can ensure that your festive season is characterized by genuine joy rather than financial woes.

5. Smishing Scams:

 SMS messages offering festive discounts or claiming urgent action needed on your bank account are a growing threat. Avoid clicking on any links or sharing personal information through SMS. When in doubt, verify directly with the bank or brand.

It is important to verify the information directly with the purported sender, whether it's a bank or a trusted brand. By adopting this cautious approach, you can thwart the attempts of smishers and preserve the security of your personal data during the festive season.

Staying Safe in the Festive Frenzy:

1. Double-check the Sender:

Before clicking on any links or responding to messages, verify the sender's email address, phone number, or website URL. Look for misspellings or inconsistencies that could indicate a phishing attempt.

2. Ditch the Urgency:

Scammers often create a sense of urgency to pressure individuals into making quick decisions. Take your time, and verify information before taking any action. Legitimate entities will not rush you into decisions.

3. Beware of Freebies:

In the festive season, offers that seem too good to be true often are. Exercise caution with promotions that promise freebies, and remember that nothing truly comes for free.

4. Strengthen Your Passwords:

Use strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts, and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. This adds an extra layer of security, making it more challenging for cybercriminals to access your accounts.

5. Shop from Trusted Sources:

Stick to reputable websites and brands with secure payment gateways. Avoid unfamiliar online stores or deals that seem too cheap. If in doubt, do a quick online search for reviews and customer feedback.

6. Report Suspicious Activity:

If you encounter a scam, report it to the relevant authorities and the platform where you found it. By reporting such incidents, you contribute to the collective effort to create a safer online environment for everyone.

Festive Fraud: A Shared Responsibility:

Cybersecurity is not an individual endeavor; it's a collective effort. By staying informed about the latest threats, being vigilant in our online interactions, and reporting suspicious activities, we can create a safer digital space for everyone. Remember, the festive season is about joy, connection, and celebrating with loved ones. Don't let cybercriminals steal your sparkle. Embrace the festivities with caution, and may your celebrations be merry, bright, and secure.

Belenus Champions Hospital Introduces The Knee & Robotic Surgery Clinic, With Complimentary Robotic Knee Surgery

Belenus Champions Hospital proudly launched its latest endeavor, the "Knee & Robotic Surgery Clinic," marking a significant milestone in advancing orthopedic care in Bengaluru. This state-of-the-art clinic integrates advanced robotic technology with artificial intelligence called as CORI robotic system, a first in Bengaluru, to redefine knee treatments, offering patients unprecedented precision and efficacy in surgical interventions.

Led by the esteemed Head of the Department, Dr. Nataraj H.M, a seasoned Senior Consultant renowned for his expertise in orthopedics, the clinic showcases a commitment to excellence in knee health. Dr. Nataraj H.M. brings forth a wealth of experience and unwavering dedication to enhancing patient outcomes and ensuring the highest quality of care.

"At Belenus Champions Hospital, we're thrilled to pioneer the launch of our 'Knee & Robotic Surgery Clinic,' elevating standards in orthopedic treatments with cutting-edge robotic technology. We aim to provide patients with unparalleled precision and faster recovery through state-of-the-art procedures,” stated Dr. H M Nataraj.

The clinic boasts a comprehensive range of advanced technology equipment and facilities, ensuring a holistic approach to knee care. Patients can expect personalized treatment plans tailored to their specific needs, optimizing recovery and mobility.

To celebrate the inauguration of this remarkable specialty clinic, Belenus Champions Hospital is proud to offer complimentary Robotic Knee Surgery for eligible patients. This initiative underlines our commitment to accessibility and innovation in healthcare.

"We're excited to offer Free Robotic Knee Surgery as part of our launch, extending our commitment to the community by making cutting-edge treatments accessible," added Dr. Kishore, Director at Belenus Champions Hospital.

Belenus Champions Hospital is a leading healthcare institution dedicated to providing comprehensive and compassionate care across various medical specialties, committed to leveraging advanced technology and expertise for the betterment of patients' lives.

Dr. Shashidhar M, CEO of Belenus Champions Hospital, remarked, "The 'Knee & Robotic Surgery Clinic' signifies our commitment to innovation and patient-centric care. We aim to set new benchmarks in orthopedic surgery, ensuring our patients receive the best possible care." At the event, a poster was launched by patients who have undergone robotic knee replacement and Directors. 

Photo Caption: Dr Nataraj H.M - Senior Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon & HOD, Dr Manjunath - Founder & Director, Dr Shashidhar M, CEO, Belenus Champions Hospital at the launch of Knee & Robotic Surgery Clinic and poster held in the city, today.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Only 18% Borrowers Understand Data Privacy Guidelines Reflects Home Credit India’s “How India Borrows Survey 2023”


Consumer Durable and business needs continue to be the key reason for borrowing in 2023. 

Growing acceptance of digitalisation of financial services with 29% borrowers opting for online loans; 51% desire to shift to online channels for their next loan. 

Only 18% borrowers understand the data privacy rules, majority of them (88%) with just the superficial understanding on the subject.   

In Bengaluru, 50% borrowers favour completing loan journey completely through online mediums; while 38% respondents say they trust embedded finance.  

91% people in Bengaluru are more optimistic about continued adoption of digital lending due to internet and data revolution. 

Home Credit India, a local arm of the leading global consumer finance provider launched their annual How India Borrows Survey 2023, which aims to understand the constantly evolving consumer borrowing behaviour. Since 2021, the trend in borrowing had shifted from running the household to buying consumer durable such as smartphones & home appliances (44% in 2023). While consumer durable loans decreased by 9%, business-related borrowing increased by 5%, making it a total of 19% middle class borrowing to expand or to start a new business.  

Most of the borrowers in the study are online pro, with 48% relying on online shopping for their personal purchases. 44% of these borrowers rely on online banking for financial transactions. More than half (54%) comfortable with mobile banking for day-to-day financial updates. 

Another major highlight is the growing acceptance of digitalisation of financial services. As per the HIB 2023, over one-fourth of borrowers opted for online channel for availing loans. Loans initiated through tele calling increased by 3% (from 16% in 2022 to 19% in 2023), while loans through POS/ bank branches saw a decline by 4% (from 56% to 51%). 

In line with the digital transition, more than half of the borrowers (51%) are looking forward to completing their entire future loan application on mobile App without any physical interaction with POS/ Banks. The preference for online loan mediums is primarily driven by younger and aspirational small-town borrowers, with cities like, Dehradun at 61%, Ludhiana at 59%, Ahmedabad at 56%, and Chandigarh at 52%.  

Embedded finance has gained traction in the recent years with 50% borrowers open to embrace the same during e-shopping. However, the uptake for the product among borrowers has come down by 10% from 2022 due to stringent RBI regulations on BNPL & PPI products leading to fewer offers. It is preferred as it makes borrowing faster and makes ecommerce shopping an easier process. EMI cards (49%) continue to be the most preferred medium for taking credit due to higher trust and faster disbursals. 

Speaking on the consumer study, Ashish Tiwari, Chief Marketing Officer, Home Credit India, said “At Home Credit India, we are dedicated to fostering financial literacy and empowering individuals to make informed choices. The survey not only highlights the preferences of today's borrowers but also emphasizes the need for greater awareness of data privacy. As we navigate this digital era, Home Credit remains committed to providing trustworthy, transparent and accessible financial solutions, ensuring a responsible and inclusive financial future for all." 

The HIB Study was conducted across 17 cities including Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Bhopal, Patna, Ranchi, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Kochi, and Dehradun. The sample size is approx. 1842 borrowers in the age group of 18-55 years, with an average income of Rs. 31,000 per month.  

As India accelerates into the digital lending era, the study underlines a critical concern among borrowers regarding the usage of their personal data by loan companies. Only 18% borrowers understand the data privacy rules, majority of them (88%) with just the superficial understanding on the subject.  About 60% borrowers are worried about how their personal data is collected and used by the lending apps. 58% of these worried borrowers also feel that the lending apps collect more data than required. Gen Z and borrowers from smaller towns show higher concern with the amount of data being collected by lending apps. Among metros, 78% of borrowers from Chennai voice their concern about the amount of data collected.  

Regionwise, in Bengaluru, only 13% of individuals in Bengaluru claim to understand how loan companies use their personal data. Additionally, 52% of respondents express worry about their data being collected by lending apps, and 18% believe that these apps gather more information than necessary. Meanwhile, a notable 50% of borrowers express a strong inclination toward completing their entire loan journey through online platforms, reflecting a growing reliance on digital channels for financial transactions. While 38% of respondents said they would like to use embedded finance.  

Less than one-fourth (23%) of the borrowers understand about the usage of their personal data by loan apps. Borrowers from Chennai seem to be more digitally advanced and 76% of them claim to understand the usage of personal data. Almost 60% of the borrowers in India voice out that they don’t have any control on the data being shared by them, more so by borrowers from tier 1 towns.   

70% of the borrowers feel the need of transparent communication on the usage of personal data. This is mostly driven by males and Gen Z. Borrowers across geographies except South seem to have a similar opinion. 

In terms of digital literacy, 23% of the middle-class borrowers have heard/seen about the chatbot service in the past. 43% borrowers find chatbot service as easy to use, led by Women, & Gen Z. WhatsApp is an emerging digital channel for loan with 59% of borrowers having received loan messages on WhatsApp. However, only one-fourth borrowers consider loan offers received on WhatsApp as trustworthy, with Gen Z showing more trust towards this. 

As interest in financial education is growing in the country, 39% of borrowers said they would like a reputed organization to educate them about finance related tasks over the internet with GenZ showing maximum interest. Smaller towns like Ludhiana (57%), Patna (55%) and Bhopal (48%) show higher interest in financial learning.  

Ageas Federal Life Insurance Strengthens Presence Through Strategic Partnership With NKGSB Co-operative Bank

* The partnership with NKGSB Co-operative Bank Ltd focuses on Bancassurance to promote and sell insurance products. 

* The collaboration is expected to enhance AFLI’s distribution reach, contributing to the expansion of the business 

Ageas Federal Life Insurance, one of India’s most reputed private life insurance companies announced its partnership with NKGSB Co-operative Bank Ltd, a premier multi state co-operative bank. This partnership marks a significant expansion of Ageas Federal Life Insurance's distribution network, aiming to make life insurance products more accessible to a broader audience. 

Ranked among India’s top 10 best co-operative Banks, NKGSB Co-operative Bank Ltd today has 104 branches spread over the state of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. By joining forces with NKGSB Co-operative Bank, Ageas Federal Life Insurance enhances its reach and distribution capabilities. This collaboration is poised to bring the benefits of life insurance closer to customers and foster financial security across communities. 

Speaking on the partnership Mr. Vighnesh Shahane, MD and CEO at Ageas Federal Life Insurance said, “We are thrilled to partner with NKGSB Co-operative Bank in our mission to make life insurance more widely available. This collaboration aligns with our commitment to providing comprehensive financial protection and further strengthens our position in the market. NKGSB Co-operative Bank, known for its strong customer base and extensive network, adds a valuable dimension to Ageas Federal Life Insurance's distribution strategy. The collaboration aims to leverage the collective strengths of both entities, creating a win-win situation for customers seeking reliable life insurance solutions.” 

Mrs. Himangi Nadkarni, Chairperson at NKGSB Co-operative Bank Ltd said, “We are excited about the possibilities that this partnership brings to our customers. Teaming up with Ageas Federal Life Insurance allows us to offer a broader range of financial products and services, reinforcing our commitment to meeting the diverse needs of our valued customers." 

This collaboration highlights Ageas Federal Life Insurance's commitment to innovation, customer contentment, and extending its presence in the insurance sector. Meanwhile, Ageas Federal Life Insurance declared a net profit of INR 114 crore in FY 2022-23, a growth of 21% from the previous financial year. This is the 11th consecutive year of profit for the private Life Insurer. The company’s total premium rose by 5% to INR 2,160 crore in FY 2022-23 from INR 2,052 crore in FY2021-22. The company also has its ambitious plan of growing its topline by 40% CAGR over the next 5 years.  

EKA Mobility Joins Forces With Mitsui And VDL Group To Create A Leading Global OEM In India

* EKA, Mitsui & VDL Groep have entered a strategic long-term partnership, that will include joint investments, equity & technology cooperation 

* With a joint investment of over USD 100 million (~ INR 850 crores) in phases, the  cooperation will position India as the global manufacturing & sourcing hub for electric vehicles  

EKA Mobility, a leading electric vehicles & technology company based in India, is thrilled to announce a partnership with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Japan) and VDL Groep (Netherlands). This strategic cooperation marks a significant milestone in the evolution of the Indian automotive industry, propelling India toward becoming a global hub for sustainable transportation. The alliance is set to establish most cutting edge global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the region.  

This is one of the largest and most significant partnerships in the new mobility segment in India bringing together the strengths and expertise of three leading automotive conglomerates in Asia & Europe to accelerate the development and adoption of innovative electric mobility solutions globally. Under the cooperation, EKA Mobility, known for its cutting-edge electric vehicles and comprehensive EV ecosystem, will receive significant and strategic investments from Mitsui, a global trading and investment company with a rich history of contributing to industrial innovation, and technological support & equity partnership from VDL Groep, a leading Dutch technology and manufacturing company. The combined expertise and resources of the three entities will usher in a new era of sustainable transportation and manufacturing excellence. 

Key Highlights of the cooperation: 

Strategic Investment: Mitsui & Co., Ltd. will make significant financial investments in EKA Mobility, enabling the company to scale up its manufacturing operations and expand its product portfolio. Mitsui will also provide support to EKA for exports to select emerging markets as well as establishment of systems & process.  

Technological Leadership: As part of this partnership, VDL Bus & Coach, a subsidiary of VDL Groep and Europe’s frontrunner in electric buses & coaches will support EKA Mobility by transfer of technology to produce electric buses in India for the Indian market. 

Strengthening 'Make in India': The alliance is firmly aligned with the Indian government's 'Make in India' initiative, aimed at promoting local manufacturing and job creation. 

Sustainability: The cooperation emphasizes a commitment to sustainability and environment conscious mobility solutions, furthering the reduction of carbon footprints. 

Dr. Sudhir Mehta, Founder & Chairman of EKA Mobility, expressed his views about the cooperation, stating, "This partnership with Mitsui and VDL Groep represents a significant step toward making India a global hub for electric vehicle manufacturing. We are proud to join forces with such distinguished partners who share our vision of sustainable, profitable & efficient transportation." 

Nobuyoshi Umezawa, GM of Mobility Business Division in Mitsui & Co. India: "Through the cooperation of EKA, VDL, and Mitsui, we aim to contribute to "Make in India" by leveraging EKA's excellent engineering and local network, and VDL's cutting-edge technological capabilities. Furthermore, we would like to utilize our Mitsui's global network to promote exporting EKA's competitive products to overseas markets and contribute to creating eco-friendly societies". 

Rolf-Jan Zweep, CEO VDL Bus & Coach: "We are delighted to partner with EKA Mobility and Mitsui. Although the basis of our high-quality development and manufacturing competences lie in north-western Europe, we see many opportunities in India, which is obviously a promising growth market. With this cooperation, we foresee especially many synergy benefits in the areas of procurement and development".   

EKA Mobility is one of the commercial vehicle manufacturers approved under the Champion OEM Scheme & EV component manufacturing scheme of the Government of India’s Auto PLI policy. EKA is the only Indian company offering end-to-end design, manufacturing & technology of new energy vehicles from scratch in India. The company has set up a state-of-the-art research, development, engineering & innovation center in Pune, Maharashtra, and has significantly grown its order book, with more than 500 electric buses and 5000+ electric light commercial vehicle orders in the pipeline. All these vehicles will be completely designed & manufactured in India, at EKA’s proposed state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. In last two years, the company has introduced electric city bus, staff carrier & school bus, 9 meter hydrogen fuel-cell electric bus, and is now all set to enter the last mile delivery with its range of e-LCVs designed & customized to suit Indian customers and businesses.  

Bank of Baroda Empowers Students With The Launch Of The “bob BRO Savings Account”

-  bob BRO is a zero balance account providing a customised bundle of offers to students to kickstart their financial journey 

- Concessional Interest Rate on Baroda Education Loan 

- BOB teams up with IIT Bombay’s Mood Indigo, Asia’s largest college festival, as the Exclusive Banking Partner, to promote bob BRO 

Bank of Baroda (Bank), one of India’s leading public sector banks, has launched the bob BRO Savings Account - a Zero Balance Savings Account especially designed for students aged 16 to 25 years. The bob BRO Savings account provides students access to a banking programme that is customised to meet their specific needs and is easy & straightforward to operate, with no minimum balance requirement, a lifetime complimentary debit card and a number of other benefits.   

The bob Bro Savings Account comes with a bundle of offers for students including no minimum balance, up to 15 basis points interest rate concession on Education Loans, complete waiver of processing fee on education loans and a lifetime free RuPay Platinum Debit Card with exclusive offers on top brands in categories such as Electronics, Consumer Durables, Travel, Food, Fashion, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Grocery and Health. 

To tap the youth, the Bank has tied up with Mood Indigo (Moodi), IIT Bombay’s annual student fest and Asia's largest college cultural festival, as the exclusive banking partner. In its 53rd edition this year, Mood Indigo takes place from December 18th to 21st, 2023 playing host to college students from across the country.  

Bank of Baroda has also collaborated with Spotify, for all the students attending Mood Indigo. Those who open a bob BRO savings account during the festival, will have the opportunity to win a hamper of Spotify merchandise. In addition, based on the artists performing at the festival, a new playlist, ‘Bank of Baroda x Mood Indigo’, will also be available to stream on Spotify. 

Shri Ravindra Singh Negi, Chief General Manager - Retail Liabilities & NRI Business, Bank of Baroda said, “Today’s youth are looking for a richer, more personalised and rewarding experience with their bank, backed by safety and service. The bob BRO Savings Account introduces young adults to the world of banking with a tailor-made product offering that takes care of their specific banking requirements and gives them access to features & benefits that they value the most. bob BRO makes banking simple, enabling them to start their journey towards savings and financial independence with ease.”  

Shri V G Senthilkumar, Head - Marketing & Branding, Bank of Baroda said, “In a rapidly changing landscape, Bank of Baroda continues to evolve and transform to stay relevant and meaningful to a new generation of customers. We take a long-term approach to build lasting relationships that transcend generations. Our association with Mood Indigo is in line with this philosophy.” 

Bank of Baroda has also built an immersive Metaverse environment that will be showcased at Mood Indigo, where students can experience various digital payment options through virtual/ augmented reality.  

Salient features of the bob BRO Savings Bank Account: 

Zero balance savings account for the age group 16 years to 25 years 

Lifetime Free RuPay Platinum Debit Card with attractive offers on leading brands 

Complimentary Domestic Airport Lounge access (2 per quarter) 

Free Personal Accident Insurance Cover up to Rs 2 lakh 

Auto Sweep Facility available  

Free NEFT/RTGS/IMPS/UPI through digital channels and branch 

Unlimited free cheque leaves  

Free SMS/Email Alerts 

Up to 100% Concession in Demat AMC  

Concessional Interest Rates on Education Loans with zero processing fee* 

Exclusive Credit Card offers, subject to eligibility 

T&C apply 

For details on the bob BRO Savings Account and to open an account, click on bob BRO Savings Account or visit the nearest Bank of Baroda branch.  

Torque Pharma Introduces Its Newest Nutraceutical Under The Brand “Multipower”

* The product is priced at INR 110 for 10 Soft Gelatin Capsules, which is available at retail stores and online at 

Torque Pharma, a leading entity in the pharmaceutical industry, has introduced its “Multipower Soft Gelatin Capsules”, a Nutraceutical Endowment designed to promote health and wellbeing. This innovative product combines the advantages of Multivitamin with Calcium, Zinc, Iron, Minerals, and Ginseng. It helps to enhance immunity and energy, catering to daily nutritional requirements. 

The Multipower Soft Gelatin Capsules contains Ginseng extract, vital vitamins like vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, B3 & minerals like Calcium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese & Zinc that addresses nutritional deficiencies. These capsules not only help in increasing energy levels and enhancing stamina, but also helps in bolstering immunity, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. It further helps in improving concentration and stress management. 

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Abhay Iqbal Singh Bedi, Director of Torque Pharma said, “We are elated to launch our latest offering, Nutraceutical under the brand ‘Multipower.’ This product signifies our dedication to improving the overall quality of life, transcending the boundaries of mere illness treatment. In addition to delivering essential nutrients like Zinc and Vitamin C, it also contributes to sharpening focus in the day-to-day activities of consumers within today's fast-paced lifestyle. We are eagerly waiting for feedback from our valued customers." 

To cater to a wider audience, Multipower Softgel Capsules are reasonably priced at INR 110, providing 10 Capsules in 1 Strip. They are accessible at nearby retail outlets and the online store - 

Buy here: 

About Torque Pharma:  

Founded as a generic pharmaceutical organization, Torque Pharma strides ahead with the legacy of over four decades as the torchbearers of positive change driven by unwavering ethical standards and practices. Right from our inception, we have been committed to rewriting the definition of excellence within the healthcare ecosystem. Our mission, "Better Together," is a testament to our dedication towards continuous evolution alongside the people who collectively shape our society, as we believe that “togetherness” makes the world a better place. Torque Pharma has expanded its scope into the FMCG and Ayurvedic sectors, aligning with its unwavering commitment to providing high-quality, accessible healthcare for all. Not only does Torque Pharma have a significant national presence pan India, but also internationally as its products are available in select countries. Our portfolio consists of an extensive range of products that elevate the quality of living. Join us in our journey to drive innovation, leave a lasting positive impact, and help us shape a healthier world made better together. 

Coca-Cola Extends Partnership With The International Cricket Council (ICC) For Next Eight Years

* Amplifying Global Cricket Experiences, Coca-Cola establishes itself as a long-standing partner of the ICC

The International Cricket Council (ICC) and Coca-Cola are thrilled to announce an eight-year global partnership encompassing ICC World events across all three formats, up until the end of 2031.

The official signing ceremony which took place at ICC’s Headquarters marked a historic milestone for the partnership and demonstrated Coca-Cola's commitment to sports. This eight-year partnership as a Global Partner of the ICC, confirmed the collaboration as one of the longest-ever associations formed by the ICC with a single brand, spanning a total timeline of 13 years (2019 - 2031). 

The relationship will see The Coca-Cola Company’s brands becoming exclusive non-alcoholic beverage partners. The agreement includes all men’s and women’s events at the pinnacle of the sport including the ICC Cricket World Cups, ICC T20 World Cups, and ICC Champions Trophies through to the end of 2031. During the course of the partnership, there will be both a major international men’s and women’s event every year as well as a World Test Championship Final every two years.

ICC Chief Commercial Officer, Anurag Dahiya said: “I am thrilled to welcome back The Coca-Cola Company as an ICC Global Partner as we enter a landmark eight-year partnership, which unites one of the world’s leading brands with the second largest sport in the world. This long-term collaboration ushers in a new commercial era, filled with exciting prospects for the sport. With the Men’s T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies, and the Women’s edition in Bangladesh just around the corner, we’re poised for unprecedented global growth and engagement. This partnership not only celebrates our sport’s expansion but also promises innovative opportunities to enhance our fans’ experience worldwide.”

Bradford Ross, VP Global Sports and Entertainment Marketing & Partnerships at The Coca-Cola Company, stated, “In alignment with our rich history of global sports partnerships, the collaboration with ICC reinforces our commitment to refreshing sports fans and elevating their entertainment experiences. Sports holds immense power to unite people, and this partnership provides us with a unique opportunity to blend our brand affinity with the fervor for the world’s cricketing game. We endeavor to continue to delight consumers with our diverse portfolio and create unique experiences for fans.” 

During the recent ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023, Thums Up and Limca Sportz were the exclusive beverage and sports drink partners, activating a host of online and offline fan engagement activations. Additionally, Sprite took center stage with its captivating 'Thand rakh' campaign, aimed at elevating and sustaining the enthusiasm of cricket fans throughout the biggest World Cup ever.

Coca-Cola has been globally committed to supporting local sporting events and organizations around the world. The Coca-Cola Company has an eight-decade-long association with the Olympics. Moreover, for over four decades, it has been associated with the FIFA, T20 World Cup, and using the power of sports to bring people together and transform lives. The recent association of ThumsUp with the Olympics and Paralympics in India is a testimony to the Company’s belief in sports and its enduring journey towards making a refreshing difference.   

About The Coca-Cola Company

Coca-Cola in India is one of the country’s leading beverage companies, offering a range of high-quality and refreshing beverage options to consumers. The company, in line with its vision of ‘Beverages For Life’, offers a wide portfolio of products which includes hydration, sports, sparkling, coffee, tea, nutrition, juice and dairy based products. In India its beverage range includes Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Thums Up, Charged by Thums Up, Fanta, Limca, Sprite, Maaza, Minute Maid range of juices and juice beverages. The Company also offers hydration beverages including Limca Sportz, Smartwater, Kinley, Dasani and Bonaqua packaged drinking water and Kinley Club Soda. Premium products constitute Schweppes range and Smartwater. In addition, it offers Costa Coffee and organic green tea based beverage- Honest Tea amongst its range of coffee and Tea. The Company is constantly transforming its portfolio, from reducing sugar in its drinks to bringing innovative new products to market.

The company along with its owned bottling operations and franchise bottling partners has a strong network of close to 4 million retail outlets through which it refreshes millions of consumers across the country. It seeks to positively impact people’s lives, communities and the planet through water replenishment, packaging recycling, sustainable agriculture initiatives and carbon emission reductions across its value chain.

Globally together with its bottling partners, The Coca-Cola Company employs more than 700,000 people, helping to bring economic opportunity to local communities worldwide. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

ART Housing Finance Partners With SignDesk For Housing Loan Kit Digitization”

* ART Housing Finance empowers underserved segments with eSign-backed housing loans 

ART Housing Finance Ltd (ART Housing Finance), a leading Housing Finance Company (HFC) providing long-term housing loans to middle and lower-income groups, has announced a strategic partnership with SignDesk, a global provider of document automation solutions. This collaboration aims to revolutionize housing finance for underserved segments by digitizing loan kits and simplifying the application process through integrated eSignatures and eStamping.

Bridging the credit gap in non-urban India

Credit penetration in non-urban areas remains a critical challenge in India, with informal credit dominating the lending landscape. This lack of formal credit access leaves rural and underserved communities vulnerable to economic cycles and exploitative lending practices. However, the surging demand for housing presents a golden opportunity to bridge this gap and empower these segments.

ART Housing Finance stands committed to providing flexible home loan solutions to middle and low-income groups in peri-urban and rural India. Leveraging digital innovation and a robust on-ground presence, the company builds sustainable credit pipelines, fostering affordable housing dreams.

Technology as the game-changer

Traditionally, lenders serving non-urban areas grapple with high operational costs and delays due to complex underwriting needs and challenges in establishing customer connections. Technology adoption is now emerging as a powerful equalizer, enabling housing finance companies to overcome these hurdles.

By partnering with SignDesk, ART Housing Finance has achieved complete loan kit digitization. Aadhaar-registered borrowers can now seamlessly eSign loan agreements online, with advanced encryption and traceability ensuring utmost security. Biometric signatures further streamline the process for non-Aadhaar users.

The company also utilizes eStamping to comply with state regulations, scale operations, and boost efficiency. This not only eliminates forgery risks and guarantees document authenticity but also facilitates remote workflows, a critical advantage in the post-pandemic era.

The combined impact of these digital solutions has been remarkable. ART Housing Finance has witnessed a 20% reduction in operating costs and a 1.5x improvement in loan disbursement efficiency. This translates to faster loan approvals and a more positive experience for borrowers.

Dominic Vijay Kumar, Senior VP & CTO, ART Housing Finance (India) Ltd:

“Integrating e-sign and e-stamp technology into our loan workflows has been transformative. We've empowered our customers with a convenient and speedy loan sanction process. They can now eSign documents and procure e-stamp papers digitally, anytime, anywhere. This customer-centric approach is at the heart of everything we do.”

Krupesh Bhat, Founder, SignDesk:

“Making housing finance accessible to vulnerable populations like rural residents is crucial for inclusive economic growth. Banks and NBFCs in these areas face unique challenges and need digitization to remain competitive and offer exceptional service. E-sign and e-stamp solutions directly address these concerns, mitigating structural risks and building trust. By digitizing loan kits, financial institutions can empower borrowers and foster a more robust financial ecosystem.”

The road ahead: Technology paves the way for financial inclusion

Housing finance plays a pivotal role in integrating traditionally underserved and unserved populations into the formal economy. De-risking rural credit, ensuring operational efficiency, and prioritizing data security remain key challenges. Technology will continue to be the driving force in overcoming these hurdles and paving the way for a more inclusive financial landscape.

As India's Fintech sector flourishes, banks and NBFCs must embrace document automation solutions like eSignatures, eStamping, and digital KYC verification. This will not only expedite loan processes and reduce costs for lenders but, more importantly, build trust and empower borrowers across the nation. Leveraging cutting-edge compliance technology is not just a trend but an imperative for driving India's formal economy forward.

Ref Links -


Inauguration Of Research-Based Incubation Facility For Geographical Indications (GIs) At MAHE, Manipal -Udupi

Vision Karnataka Foundation (VKF) and Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) inaugurated the commencement of a research-based incubation programme for Geographical Indications (GIs) tagged products on 27th December 2023 at Manipal. The incubation program is working on building, developing, and growing livelihood clusters around Udupi region with GI focussed communities belonging to the Udupi Mattu Gulla and Shankarpura (Udupi) Mallige clusters.

Speaking to the media, Mr. Kishor Jagirdar, President of Vision Karnataka Foundation (VKF) said that it is a proud moment for VKF to be associated with Department of Commerce, MAHE to launch this initiative of Research-based incubation facility. This is a first of its kind in the country that is focussing on incubation for GI tagged communities engaged in market linkage activities. The incubation facility is also supporting other activities like product design, branding, packing and packaging, legal aspects, standardization, leveraging value adds, exploring digital market place and other strategies etc. This effort is exclusively directed towards addressing the grassroot level community-based barriers of these GI clusters. Initially it will cover two GI based areas and then gradually reach out to 48 select GIs in Karnataka over next two years. Additionally, this partnership is working on identifying potential GI tagged opportunities at the local, regional and national level.

Under this incubation arrangement, VKF will be providing support for this initiative by handholding the GI farmers, Self Help Groups and other stakeholders for improving the product quality, enhancing the marketability, providing better market linkages for the GI tagged products. Keen on taking this initiative to next level, VKF is planning to set up Common Facility Centers (CFC) under the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Cluster Development Programme (CDP) scheme to provide much needed value addition to these GI tagged products. This unique initiative will bring in incremental income generation possibilities for growers along with developing entrepreneurs in the process.

The Sustainable Development Goals Coordination Centre (SDGCC) is also signatory to this with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Govt of Karnataka. VKF is the Technical Agency for Ministry of MSME, Government of India and also State Government. VKF is driving several livelihood clusters in India under ‘Scheme of Fund for the Regeneration of Traditional Industries’ (SFURTI) scheme.

Vivesvaraya Trade Promotion Centre (VTCP), the nodal agency for the promotion of international trade and Geographical Indications tagged products from the State of Karnataka was represented on this occasion by Smt. Prabhavathi Rao, Facilitator - Intellectual Property Initiatives, on behalf of Director (Exports) & Managing Director -Shri B.K Shivakumar. She informed that as the pioneer in the country in launching the first of its kind exclusive Geographical Indications Policy, VTPC under the aegis of the Department of Industries & Commerce, Govt of Karnataka, has been working to facilitate and promote artisans of traditional and legacy products that the state is famed for. Among various initiatives, she mentioned that with the registration of artisans/producers/farmers for the respective GI tagged products as Authorised Users, being provided thrust, in accordance with GI Act of 1999, VTPC would take steps to register the farmers of Udupi Mattu Gulla Brinjal and Udupi Jasmine as Authorised Users of the GI crops.

Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), an Institution of Eminence (IOE), deemed to be University is proud to engage in this initiative as a ‘enabling agency’. In its pursuit of educating the public on vital topics of social interest, MAHE has raised the bar for social responsibility. To accomplish social development, MAHE is actively involved in putting up a number of partnership-focused strategies for the good of the society. Hence, working for the local farming community who grow unique GI tagged products is a matter of high priority for MAHE. The incubation facility that is envisaged through this partnership will initially target to promote the improvement of two clusters of Udupi Mattu Gulla Brinjal and Udupi Jasmine and will gradually cover the other GIs grown in Karnataka through the incubation program.

Lt. Gen. (Dr.) M. D. Venkatesh, Vice Chancellor of Manipal Academy of Higher Education, expressed his enthusiasm for the initiative, stating, 'This collaboration marks a significant milestone in the journey of sustainable development and community empowerment. At MAHE, we are deeply committed to fostering innovation and education that benefits society at large. By supporting this incubation program for GI-tagged products like Udupi Mattu Gulla and Shankarpura Udupi Mallige, we are not just nurturing local talent and traditional practices but also contributing to the economic and social upliftment of the region. Our students and faculty are eager to engage in this unique learning experience, which aligns perfectly with our ethos of blending academic excellence with societal service’.

Dr. Giridhar Kini, Registrar, MAHE who was present during the function stated that MAHE gives high priority to projects which has the element of local development. Such initiatives provide field-based learning opportunities to the students and faculties of MAHE with an added incentive of social development.

Speaking on this occasion, Dr. Sandeep Shenoy, Head, Department of Commerce, MAHE said that this is a significant step in addressing the growth of GI livelihood clusters. Dr. Sandeep said that the Department will assist the GI clusters in the marketing of the products and help in setting market linkages and play an enablers role in improving the livelihood of these clusters.

Tanishq's Gold Exchange Program Set To Delight 1 Lakh Brides Across India

~ Tanishq's year-round exchange program has become a beacon of joy for brides over the years ~

In the journey of life, weddings stand as timeless chapters, weaving together love, commitment, and the promise of a beautiful journey ahead. Tanishq, India’s largest jewellery retail brand from the house of Tata known for its commitment to quality and unparalleled designs, has been an integral part of these cherished narratives. Presenting its revamped ‘Gold Exchange Policy’ catering to the upcoming wedding season, Tanishq reaffirms its commitment to trust, transparency, and unparalleled value for brides in today’s ever-evolving market.

Every passing hour, more than 100 individuals warmly embrace Tanishq's Exchange community. With over 35 lakh weddings scheduled in the forthcoming months, Tanishq’s ‘Gold Exchange Program’ promises customers the optimal value for their gold assets. This policy offers a gateway to transform old gold into exquisite new designs by Tanishq, perfect for adorning on one's significant day. Customers can avail 100%* value on old gold purchased from any jeweller in India of 22KT and above. Moreover, amidst prevailing gold rates, brides can effortlessly acquire stunning new designs by simply exchanging their old gold, requiring no additional payment. This seamless process not only offers exquisite new jewellery but also provides a savvy solution to navigate through the current market dynamics.

An offer that awaits you all-year-round, Tanishq’s Exchange Program, crafted with your concerns in mind, unfolding like a treasure trove of possibilities.

Tanishq's commitment extends beyond merely providing jewellery; it intertwines with each bride's unique journey. Rivaah by Tanishq; a wedding exclusive sub-brand caters to meticulously crafted collections, stands as the preferred choice for brides across India. The bridal trousseau range from Rivaah is skillfully crafted to be a reflection of the rich, timeless traditions that adorn the brides and make them feel cherished on their special day. To cater to the growing demand in the wedding segment, Tanishq caters to a wide range of signature designs across vibrant colour stones, dazzling gold, shining diamonds, exquisite polki, and precious kundan jewellery perfect for every wedding occasion from haldi, mehendi, sangeet, to the most precious Wedding day.

As a customer-centric endeavor, Rivaah by Tanishq also launched 'Real Brides' campaign in 2022. This initiative features real brides of India who chose Tanishq to be a part of their extraordinary day. Tailored to forge a deeper customer con nection, this bespoke initiative makes a chosen few customers from different walks of life as the face of Tanishq in various cities. The campaign shines a spotlight on Tanishq's thoughtfully curated designs for brides hailing from different regions across India, honoring them as the esteemed Rivaah Brides. Participants were given the opportunity to walk the ramp, reliving a cherished memory from their special day, this time as a Rivaah Bride.

Exchange of gold not only fosters national recycling over imports but also champions planet-friendly practices by advocating recycling over mining—a sustainable, environmentally conscious choice that echoes Tanishq's commitment to preserving our planet's resources.

Speaking on the initiative, Mr. Vasudeva Rao, Regional Business Manager, Tanishq, said, “We are optimistic about the upcoming wedding season this quarter and are expecting a thriving period with robust demand in the wedding jewellery segment. We understand that jewellery is a quintessential part of traditional weddings in India and we see great potential in this category. Rivaah by Tanishq through its extensive assortment of wedding jewellery, caters to brides from across India. We take pride in jewellery from Rivaah by Tanishq being the customer’s preferred choice on the most important day of her life. Customers can now get the best value on their old gold along with exquisite craftsmanship, and a transparent exchange process to gear up for the wedding season.”

*T&C Apply

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Kotak Mahindra Bank To Appoint Mr. C S Rajan, As New Part-Time Chairman

Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (‘Kotak’ or ‘the Bank’) today announced that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of Mr. C S Rajan, Independent Director of the Bank, as the Part-time Chairman, for a period of two years, effective 1st January 2024.

Mr. Rajan’s appointment as the next Part-time Chairman of the Bank’s Board follows the retirement of the incumbent Part-time Chairman, Mr Prakash Apte, whose term expires on 31st December 2023.

Mr. C S Rajan is a successful leader with over 40 years of experience across significant government portfolios. He was appointed as an Independent Director on the Board of the Bank, with effect from 22nd October 2022. An IAS officer of 1978 batch, he retired as Chief Secretary of the Government of Rajasthan in the year 2016. He served in leadership roles for 12 years in key Infrastructure sectors such as Energy, Highways, Water Resources and Industry including SSI/MSME and worked for 14 years in Agriculture and Rural Development. During his 38 years of service in the IAS he has also acquired experience in the fields of Human Resources, Finance and General Administration. He has served on inter-disciplinary teams for review of World Bank projects in other States and also as a Consultant to the World Bank in a Study on ‘Farmer Participation in Agricultural Research and Extension System’. After his retirement from active service in July 2016, he served as Deputy Chairman in the Chief Ministers’ Advisory Council of Rajasthan for a period of two and half years. In October 2018, Mr. Rajan was appointed by the Government of India on the Board of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (“IL & FS”) initially as Director, thereafter as Managing Director for a period of three and half years, then as Chairman & Managing Director for a year and, since then, he has been serving as the Non-Executive Chairman of IL & FS.

Mr. Prakash Apte, Non-Executive Independent Part-Time Chairman, Kotak Mahindra Bank said, “We are pleased to announce that RBI has approved the appointment of Mr. C S Rajan as the next Chairman of Kotak Mahindra Bank. His expertise across sectors vital to India’s future, including infrastructure, roads, energy, agriculture & rural development, industry and commerce will bring a fresh perspective to the deliberations and contribute to the Bank’s growth.”

Mr. Dipak Gupta, Managing Director & CEO, Kotak Mahindra Bank said, “We thank Mr. Prakash Apte for his contribution to the Bank, first as an Independent Director and subsequently as the Chairman of the Bank’s Board. We would like to congratulate Mr. C S Rajan on his appointment as Chairman of the Bank’s Board. We are confident that the Bank will benefit immensely from Mr. Rajan’s guidance for its next phase of growth.”

Mr. C S Rajan, Independent Director and Non-Executive Independent Part-Time Chairman – Designate, Kotak Mahindra Bank said, “I am deeply humbled and honoured to accept the appointment as Chairman of the Bank and thank the Board for entrusting me with the responsibility to steer the Bank to new heights and increase stakeholder value. I look forward to working collaboratively with the Board and the entire Team.”

About Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited

Established in 1985, Kotak Mahindra Group is one of India's leading financial services conglomerates. In February 2003, Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd. (KMFL), the Group's flagship company, received banking licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), becoming the first non-banking finance company in India to convert into a bank - Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited

The Bank has four Strategic Business Units – Consumer Banking, Corporate Banking, Commercial Banking, and Treasury, which cater to retail and corporate customers across urban and rural India. The premise of Kotak Mahindra Group’s business model is concentrated India, diversified financial services. The bold vision that underscores the Group’s growth is an inclusive one, with a host of products and services designed to address the needs of the unbanked and insufficiently banked. As on 30 September 2023, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd has a national footprint of 1,850 branches and 3,170 ATMs, and branches in GIFT City and DIFC (Dubai).

For more information, please visit the company’s website at

ABB India Wins ‘Smart Factory Of The Year’ At The Frost & Sullivan’s India Manufacturing Excellence Awards 2023, Amongst Others

ABB India’s Smart Power Division bagged the ‘Smart Factory of the Year’ award demonstrating its digital readiness at the Frost & Sullivan’s 19th edition of the India Manufacturing Excellence Awards 2023. This award was based on multiple factors including, smart manufacturing & IIoT systems, AI & Machine learning, and digital modelling for process layout amongst others.

ABB India also won ‘Indian Manufacturer of the Year-1st Runner up’ award for excellence in manufacturing practices and ‘Consistency Aspirer Award’ for Diligence, Perseverance, Foresight and Dedication towards manufacturing excellence.

Additionally, Manufacturing Transformation Champion of the Year was awarded to Mr. Saju SR, Senior Vice President, ABB India Limited, Smart Power Division, for outstanding contributions and achievements in the Manufacturing domain.

The 19th edition of the Frost & Sullivan India Manufacturing Excellence Awards (IMEA) celebrated achievements in optimizing operational excellence and demonstrating future readiness. The evaluation criteria included the utilization of digital manufacturing tools, optimization of the supply chain, and effective enhancement of manufacturing capabilities.

ABB India’s Smart Power division factory in Bangalore showcased its Digital Readiness Framework involving its adoption of digital tools, its readiness and maturity to go along the digital transformation journey for its on-site assessment of maturity.

ABB India bags ‘Smart Factory of the Year’ at the Frost & Sullivan’s India Manufacturing Excellence Awards 2023, amongst others.

ABB India bags ‘Indian Manufacturer of the Year-1st Runner up’ at the Frost & Sullivan’s India Manufacturing Excellence Awards 2023

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a technology leader in electrification and automation, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. The company’s solutions connect engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered and operated. Building on more than 130 years of excellence, ABB’s ~105,000 employees are committed to driving innovations that accelerate industrial transformation.

ABB’s Electrification Business Area is a global leader in electrical products and solutions, operating in more than 100 countries, with over 200 manufacturing sites. Our 50,000+ employees are dedicated to transforming how people live, connect and work by delivering safe, smart and sustainable electrification solutions. We are shaping the future trends of electrification, differentiating through technological and digital innovation while delivering an outstanding experience through operational excellence for our customers across utilities, industry, buildings, infrastructure and mobility.

Samsung Galaxy A25 5G, Galaxy A15 5G With Awesome Camera And New Editing Features Launched In India

Samsung, India’s largest consumer electronics brand, announced the launch of Galaxy A15 5G and Galaxy A25 5G today. The 2024 Galaxy A series is aimed at offering the latest Galaxy innovations at an affordable price, making awesome technology accessible to everyone. Galaxy A15 5G is the successor of Galaxy A14 5G, India’s no.1 selling 5G smartphone, according to Counterpoint Research. Galaxy A25 5G stands out with Super AMOLED display with Vision Booster technology, 50MP triple camera setup that comes with a host of Awesome photo-editing features, massive 5000mAh battery and security tools like Knox Vault.

"Galaxy A series smartphones exemplify Samsung's prowess in delivering transformative innovations at an affordable price, making them the first choice of millions of consumers in India. We are thankful to our consumers for making Galaxy A14 5G the No.1 selling 5G smartphones in India this year. Galaxy A25 5G and Galaxy A15 5G take the stellar legacy of Galaxy A series forward with a superior camera and a host of awesome photo-editing features for users to capture and edit on-the-go and produce professional level creations,” said Aditya Babbar, Senior Director, Mobile Business, Samsung India.

Awesome Design and Display

Galaxy A15 5G and Galaxy A25 5G showcase Galaxy’s signature design philosophy for a premium feel. Galaxy A15 5G sports a glastic back panel with haze finish, while Galaxy A25 5G’s glossy prism pattern back panel looks stunning. The new key island design on the side panel and the flat linear camera housing creates a unique silhouette for enhanced grip.

Galaxy A15 5G will come in three refreshing colours – Blue Black, Blue and Light Blue, while Galaxy A25 5G will be available in Blue Black, Blue, and Yellow colours.  Galaxy A15 5G's 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display, enhanced with Vision Booster, creates smooth, bright and vivid viewing experiences with 90Hz refresh rate and a low blue light display for eye comfort. The Galaxy A25 5G's 6.5-inch, Super AMOLED display expresses rich colours and details up to 1000 nits brightness while enhanced with Vision Booster for clear outdoor visibility. Galaxy A25 comes with Eye Comfort Shield to reduce harmful blue light.

Awesome Camera and Editing

Galaxy A15 5G sports a 50MP triple camera setup with VDIS to reduce blur or distortion in videos from unsteady or shaky movements. Galaxy A25 5G features a 50MP (OIS) triple camera setup to shoot high-resolution and shake-free photos and videos, eliminating blurred images caused by hand tremors or accidental shakes. Galaxy A25 5G, has a 13MP front camera for crisp and clear selfies.  The Galaxy A25 5G comes with Awesome photo-editing features like  Single Take, Remaster and Object Eraser to reimagine your photographs with easy-to-use editing tools.

·        Single Take: Single Take feature generates up to 10 photos and 4 video clips in real time with one shot

·        Remaster: Remaster photos and GIFs is a native camera feature, using AI to enhance your images, without the need to download additional third-party applications

·     Object Eraser: Object eraser as a tool allows you to edit and remove an object or a person from your image cleanly without leaving any smudges or other blemishes. Object eraser feature is also capable of removing unnecessary shadows and reflections

·       Image clipper feature lets you easily extract a subject from an image and separate it from its background. Clipped images can not only be modified to create memes and stickers but also shared and saved in a different apps

Awesome Security & Privacy

Galaxy A15 5G and Galaxy A25 5G come with Knox Security platform, built at the chip level, ensuring users are in full control of their data with features like Auto Blocker, Privacy Dashboard, Samsung Passkey and others. Galaxy A15 5G and Galaxy A25 5G also feature Knox Vault chipset, designed to safeguard your sensitive data, such as PINs, passwords and patterns, in a separate tamper-resistant storage for protection against software and hardware threats.

Taking privacy to the next level, Knox offers Secure Folder, which is a safe space for storing your private photos, videos, documents, and more. Everything added to the Secure Folder is placed in a private, encrypted space that can only be accessed by you. Galaxy A15 5G and Galaxy A25 5G have been designed to stay future-ready with up to 4 generations of OS upgrades and up to 5 years of security updates.

Awesome Galaxy Experiences

Galaxy A15 5G and Galaxy A25 5G come with a host of exciting features that elevate the Galaxy Experience. The Quick Share feature enables you to instantly share files, photos and documents with other devices, including your laptop and tab. The highlight of Quick Share is the Private Share feature, which allows you to share personal and sensitive content securely, without concerns of invasion of privacy and loss of ownership. Your files are encrypted and you can set permission and expiration date for the data and grant read-only access.

Both Galaxy A15 5G and A25 5G get the all-new Samsung Wallet, which lets consumers enjoy a seamless experience to store IDs and redefine payments convenience .

Awesome Power and Battery

Galaxy A15 5G and Galaxy A25 5G come in 8GB memory and 128GB/256GB storage options.  Galaxy A15 5G is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 6100+ processor, while Galaxy A25 5G is powered  by Exynos 1280, which is built on the 5nm process and offers more power and speed for as seamless multitasking experience.           

Both Galaxy A15 5G and Galaxy A25 5G come with 5000mAh battery that lasts up to two days. Galaxy A15 5G and Galaxy A25 5G support 25W fast charging and are equipped with adaptive power-saving mode that automatically adapts to your usage to ensure optimal power savings. The sleeping app management feature puts apps to sleep and prevents them from running in the background so you can focus on the apps you use most often.

Tata Motors Electrifies Bengaluru’s Urban Commuting With 100 Starbus Electric Vehicles

* BMTC inducts Tata Motors’ state-of-the-art electric buses for comfortable, emission-free mass mobility

Tata Motors, India’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, has accelerated Bengaluru's electrified public transport with the delivery of technologically-advanced Starbus EVs to Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). This marks a significant milestone as part of a larger order as per the agreement between TML Smart City Mobility Solutions Ltd., a Tata Motors subsidiary, and BMTC, encompassing the commencement of supply, operation and maintenance of 921 state-of-the-art 12-metre low-floor electric buses, over a 12-year period. Tata Starbus EV, an indigenous innovation, joins BMTC's fleet, boasting superior design and best-in-class features for a sustainable and comfortable commuting experience. Aligned with the Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat initiatives, these zero-emission electric buses are developed on next-gen architecture, powered by advanced battery systems for safe, comfortable and convenient intra-city commute across the city of Bengaluru. 

Tata Motors’ smart electric bus was inaugurated by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri Siddaramaiah along with Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri DK Shivakumar, Shri Ramalingareddy, Hon’ble Minister for Transport & Mujarai, Govt of Karnataka & Chairman, BMTC, Shri Rizwan Arshad, Hon’ble MLA, Shivajinagar Assembly Constituency, Ms Kala Krishnswamy, IPS, Director (S&V), BMTC and Ms. G Sathyavathi, IAS, Managing Director, BMTC.

Commenting on the announcement, Ms. G Sathyavathi, IAS, Managing Director, BMTC, said "We are delighted to induct Tata Motors’ state-of-the-art buses after successful completion of prototype trials of Tata’s electric buses within the city. The remarkable performance of these electric buses align perfectly with BMTC’s commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and improving the quality of life for our citizens. These buses will not only contribute towards eco-friendly transportation, but will also offer noise-free and comfortable mass mobility in the city.”

Sharing his thoughts at the event, Mr. Asim Kumar Mukhopadhyay, CEO and MD, TML Smart City Mobility Solutions Limited, said “We are elated to witness our top-of-the-line Starbus EVs inducted in BMTC’s fleet. Our offering to the citizens of Bengaluru is testament to our commitment to cutting-edge, eco-friendly offerings. We are confident that our buses will further strengthen BMTC’s fleet and make public transportation safe, comfortable, tech driven and energy-efficient. These buses have been developed and manufactured at state-of-the-art facilities and have been rigorously tested and validated across varied conditions.”

Till date, Tata Motors has supplied over 1,500 electric buses across multiple cities in India, which have cumulatively clocked more than 10 crore kilometres, with an uptime of over 95%. The Tata Starbus EV, is a cutting-edge e-bus that sets new benchmarks for urban city commuting. With its full-electric drivetrain, this state-of-the-art vehicle optimises energy consumption, resulting in low energy usage and operational costs. It offers features like ease of boarding, comfortable seating and driver-friendly operations, while ensuring zero emissions. Equipped with electronic stability control, electronic brake distribution, air suspension, Intelligent Transport System, panic button among other advanced features, it prioritises comfort and safety to its commuters. This electric bus embodies the commitment to cleaner public transport and is an ideal choice for urban passenger transportation needs.

About Tata Motors

Part of the USD 128 billion Tata group, Tata Motors Limited (BSE: 500570 and 570001; NSE: TATAMOTORS and TATAMTRDVR), a USD 42 billion organization, is a leading global automobile manufacturer of cars, utility vehicles, pick-ups,  trucks, and buses, offering an extensive range of integrated, smart, and e-mobility solutions. With ‘Connecting Aspirations’ at the core of its brand promise, Tata Motors is India’s market leader in commercial vehicles and ranks among the top three in the passenger vehicles market.

Tata Motors strives to bring new products that captivate the imagination of GenNext customers, fueled by state-of-the-art design and R&D centres located in India, the UK, the US, Italy, and South Korea. By focusing on engineering and tech- enabled automotive solutions catering to the future of mobility, the company’s innovation efforts are focused on developing pioneering technologies that are both sustainable and suited to the evolving market and customer aspirations. The company is pioneering India's Electric Vehicle (EV) transition and driving the shift towards sustainable mobility solutions by developing a tailored product strategy, leveraging the synergy between Group companies and playing an active role in liaising with the Government of India in developing the policy framework.

With operations in India, the UK, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa and Indonesia, Tata Motors markets its vehicles in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the SAARC countries. As of March 31, 2023, Tata Motors’ operations include 88 consolidated subsidiaries, two joint operations, three joint ventures, and numerous equity-accounted associates, including their subsidiaries, over which the company exercises significant influence.

Photo Caption: Tata Motors electrifies Bengaluru’s urban commuting with 100 Starbus EVs.

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