Saturday, January 27, 2024

First Time Ever, Entrepreneurs From Skill Ecosystem Honoured As Guests At Republic Day Celebration

Aligned with the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri. Narendra Modi to make Bharat a nation of job creators, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister of Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India interacted with over 100 entrepreneurs who have been trained under various skill development institutions like National Institute of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD), Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) and Skill India’s flagship scheme— Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). “This is the first time ever that entrepreneurs from the skill ecosystem are accorded the honor of being guests at the Republic Day celebrations, a testament to the visionary leadership of Hon'ble PM”, said Shri Dharmendra Pradhan.

Shri. Nirmaljit Singh Kalsi, President, National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET), Shri. Atul Kumar Tiwari, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Smt. Trishaljit Sethi, Director General, Directorate General of Training (DGT) also graced the occasion with their presence.

During the event, the entrepreneurs shared insights into how skill training under the Skill India Mission has been instrumental in enhancing their capacities, problem-solving abilities, and establishing unique differentiators for marketing their products. They all extended gratitude towards Hon’ble Prime Minister and the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship for providing them with on-the-job training and invaluable industry exposure, empowering them to transform their lives and convert their aspirations into tangible realities.

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister of Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India said “Today, I had the privilege of engaging in insightful conversations with the beneficiaries from our skill ecosystem. Witnessing their journey from entrepreneurship to self-reliance is truly inspiring. These small and micro entrepreneurs are set to contribute a new dimension to the country's development journey. Under Modi ji's government, a government dedicated to the poor and deprived, the #ModiGuarantee spans from essentials like food and housing to comprehensive skill development and socio-economic security. Empowering the deprived and weaker sections of society is the cornerstone of this administration, with the common citizen being Modi ji's unwavering priority.”

A few entrepreneurs were also invited on stage to share their experiences, talk about the challenges and elaborate on how with proper skill training under the Skill India Mission, they were able to convert their trials into opportunities. Champions like Shital Tamang, a visionary female entrepreneur from Upper Gom, South Sikkim, is reshaping the country's growth trajectory through her venture- Sikkim Handloom and Handicrafts. With 20 employees under her leadership, Tamang's commitment echoes in changing lives—a true testament to her entrepreneurial spirit.

Likewise, the bold steps taken by entrepreneurs such as Indrajit Sadhukhan were applauded, who established a flourishing business by doing a course in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning in 2020, serving as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs. Amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Sanjeet showcased exceptional resilience and determination, founding Shree Electrical in 2021, attaining success through skill development. An inspiring story is also of Jyotirmayee Sahu, a female entrepreneur hailing from Odisha. A graduate with a proactive approach towards self-empowerment, pursued a transformative course in Mushroom Grower Entrepreneurship and embarked on a remarkable journey into mushroom cultivation. Jyotirmayee's startup flourished within a span of six months and achieved remarkable success.

Driven by the vision to make entrepreneurial ecosystem more outcome-driven, accessible, and holistic in its approach along with a focus on new-age, industry 4.0 and advanced technologies, several schemes are being introduced to equip entrepreneurs, students and other beneficiaries with relevant knowledge and skills that align with the rapidly evolving needs of the industries. To achieve this, schemes like PM Vishwakarma and a comprehensive digital platform – Skill India Digital (SID) have been launched to bridge the academia and industry gap and develop a range of entrepreneurial skills such as leadership, creative thinking, teamwork and business growth to transition India from 3rd largest to number one start-up ecosystem over the next few years.

The minister also appreciated and encouraged the entrepreneurs for undertaking vocational training, heralding a new dawn in skill development and entrepreneurship ecosystem in India. Entrepreneurs hailing from diverse corners of the nation including states like Odisha, Kerala, Sikkim, Manipur, Delhi, West Bengal, Telangana, and beyond converged the event and are attending the Republic Day Parade today. They all represent several industries like beauty & wellness, handmade, beauty therapist, tailor, sewing machine operator, and computer operator.

In recognizing that skilling India's youth is instrumental for the startup ecosystem, MSDE’s initiatives are poised to create a conducive environment for growth, fuelling job creation, productivity, and efficiency for the betterment of society.

10th IIHM Young Chef Olympiad (YCO) To Witness 60 Participating Countries

* Bengaluru, Hyderabad to host students from 10 countries each

“Over the years people will forget Suborno Bose and Sanjeev Kapoor, but people will remember India and the YCO. When it comes to culinary Excellence through competition the world will look at us and remember the Young Chef Olympiad. IIHM had taken the lead, but it will pass on to India as a country.” – Sanjeev Kapoor, Padma Shri Chef and Global Culinary icon on the importance of YCO in the World’s Culinary History

There could be no better expression of the magnitude and grandeur that the IIHM International Young Chef Olympiad has achieved through a decade of its existence. Such an acknowledgement comes at a time when the world’s biggest culinary Olympiad for student chefs from all over the world, is all set to celebrate a glorious 10th edition this year. The culinary megaevent   that is also a celebration of the multicultural diversity of food from across the borders will be held across six cities of India – Delhi, Pune, Goa, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata – from 29th January 2024 to 4th February 2024. YCO 2024 will witness participation of student chefs from over 60 countries, including France, England, Singapore, USA, Spain, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Iran, Turkey and China among others. The IIHM International Young Chef Olympiad 2024 continues to embrace the theme of Sustainability, supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while promoting culinary youth diplomacy in its own way to promote unity and inclusivity across the globe. 

Bengaluru will host students from Philippines, UAE, Kenya, Nepal, Fiji, Turkey, Mexico, Sweden, Mauritius and Bulgaria. Hyderabad will host students from Malaysia, Jordan, Iran, Luxembourg, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Maldives, Armenia, Ireland and Ethiopia. 

The week-long extravaganza, which features an action-packed timetable for the contestants as well as the mentors, is being organized by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) in partnership with the International Hospitality Council (IHC) London. The contestants will undertake two rounds of culinary challenges in their quest to win the coveted YCO 2024 Champion Trophy and a validation of their skills by globally renowned experts from the food and hospitality industry. YCO 2024 continues to be a significant platform for Sustainability as it continues to embrace the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) and spreads the message across the world through this mega platform. The YCO 2024 Sustainability Award is another acknowledgement of any work or contribution towards the SDGs by any country or institution from anywhere in the world.  

Talking about YCO 2024, Dr Suborno Bose, the  CEO of International Hospitality Council (IHC) and Founder YCO, said, “Through the course of 10 years, the Young Chef Olympiad has grown from strength to strength and has taken on many worthy causes starting from unity in diversity to the UN Sustainability Development Goals and to the promotion of Millets. Through the immersive experience of the Olympiad, we aim to dismantle barriers and cultivate an environment where dialogue flourishes and friendship blossoms.” 

Culinary Youth Diplomacy is another important aspect of the YCO that has been highlighted through the 10 years of this grand culinary event. Each participant is a representative of his or her country and brings to the platform  a fresh new idea or experience. New friendships and bonds are created through this week-long exchange programme and every one returns with something new. This exchange of culture, brotherhood and ideas is what YCO has always stood for and will continue to showcase in future as well. 

YCO 2024 will begin with the grand Opening Ceremony on 29th January at the Siri Fort in New Delhi. The occasion will be marked by the presence of distinguished culinary and hospitality experts from across the world. The 60 participants dressed in their respective traditional attire will assemble on stage. The Opening ceremony’s highlight is the IIHM Young Chef Olympiad Global Hospitality Congress, a panel discussion where distinguished speakers from across the world will participate. 

The competition rounds will start from 30th January at the IIHM campus kitchens in Delhi, Pune, Goa, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The top 10 contestants as per the scores of the two rounds will compete in the Grand Finale of YCO 2024 in Kolkata on 3rd  February. The Plate Trophy will also be held on the same day wherein the contestants holding positions 11 to 20 in the first round will compete. An additional round has been introduced this  epic year and it has been named as the Dr Bose Challenge Trophy.  

The Dr Bose Culinary International Challenge 2024 will be a competition for those teams that did not reach the Grand Finale or the Plate Trophy rounds. These countries will be invited to participate in an interesting team event where two participants and their mentors will work and cook together to create a new street food dish for eight people served in sustainable containers and presented to the judges. The YCO panel of senior judges will decide which countries will compete together. Language and communication skills will be fully judged in this round. 

The Olympiad will conclude on 4th February with a closing ceremony, where the YCO 2024 Champion, runners-up, Plate Trophy winner and Dr Bose Challenge winner along with other awardees will be announced. As in other years, YCO  participants will also be competing for other crowns including Best Vegetarian Dish, Best Souffle Pancakes, five Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea Rising Star Awards, three Best Hygienic and Kitchen Practice awards, six Best Ambassador Awards and six Mentor Awards, Kitchen Cut Chef Management Award for the Best Recipe nutritional analysis and recipe costing and many more. 

In keeping with its vision to promote Sustainability and camaraderie the 10th IIHM Young Chef Olympiad 2024 will recognize contestants for the YCO 2024 Sustainability Award. Student teams representing colleges and institutions in their respective countries will have to give a media presentation on any kind of sustainability project that they have been involved in that meets any one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Spirit of Young Chef Olympiad International Award is another special award presented to the competitor who displays outstanding personal attributes and skills during the competition period. 

In each of the competition’s rounds, the contestants will be judged on their basic skills, innovation and creativity. Besides, judges will also mark on the cooking technique, along with portioning, presentation, colour and finish of the dishes.

The Grand Finale and Plate Trophy and Dr Bose Challenge Trophy of YCO 2024 will test the contestant’s creativity, innovation, cooking skills and professional good practice in a time bound environment. As in previous years Padma Shri Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will be the Principal Judge and Mentor for YCO 2024 while Prof David Foskett OBE, the legendary hospitality educator and author is Chairman of the Jury. The judging panel includes internationally acclaimed celebrity chef judges including Chief Judge Chef John Wood, a Michelin Star Chef and Founder of KitchenCUT . The panel of senior judges will include Chef Gary MacLean, National Chef of Scotland, Chef Brian Turner CBE famous British Celebrity, Chef Steve Munkley, Chef Chris Galvin Michelin star Chef, Chef Enzo Oliveri the Sicilian Chef, Chef Rahul Akerkar, Chef Mario Perera, Executive Chef of The Dorchester London, Celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar, Chef Dr Parvinder Bali of OCLD, Chef Manjunath Mural, Indian Michelin star from Singapore, Chef Dato’ Abdul Wahab Zamzani, Celebrity Chef from Malaysia and others

Showcasing the multicultural culinary diversity of different countries, YCO 2024 will also bring together the student chefs and chef mentors for the “United World of Young Chefs”. This event will provide a great opportunity for the 60 participating countries to present their national cuisine to a global culinary audience in Kolkata on 1st February, 2024. 

About Young Chef Olympiad (YCO):

Launched in the year 2015, Young Chef Olympiad (YCO) aims to give young student chefs from around the world a platform to showcase their skills and compete at the global level. Through the last five editions of the Olympiad, the world has seen culinary stars been born and dreams been celebrated on the global culinary stage.

Bank of Baroda Raises Rs. 5,000 Crores At A Coupon Of 7.57% P.A. Through The Issuance Of Long-Term Infrastructure Bonds

* The issue received a strong response from investors with a total of 128 bids amounting to Rs. 14,950 Crores

Bank of Baroda (Bank), one of India’s leading public sector banks announced that it has raised Rs. 5,000 Crores through the issuance of Long-Term Infrastructure Bonds. The Bank received a total of 128 bids amounting to Rs. 14,950 Crores against the total issue size of Rs. 5,000 Crores (Base issue of Rs. 1,000 Crores and Greenshoe option to retain oversubscription up to Rs. 4,000 Crores). This translates to ~15 times the base issue size and ~3 times the total issue size. The Bank accepted bids for Rs. 5,000 Crores at a coupon of 7.57% p.a.

The Bank said that the private placement of long-term infrastructure bonds received an overwhelming response, resulting into over subscription which allowed it to price the issue at a competitive 7.57% p.a. This is despite tight liquidity conditions prevalent in the market.

These bonds are senior, unsecured, listed, rated, taxable Bonds, having a fixed maturity of 10 years from the date of allotment.

The allotment of these bonds took place on 25th January, 2024.

The bonds are rated AAA with a Stable outlook by CRISIL and India Ratings.

Kansai Nerolac Transforms The City Of Ayodhya With Shades Of Spirituality And Grandeur

The theme of ‘transformation’ creates a positive atmosphere complimenting the spiritual aura of Ayodhya

Part of the ‘Paint My City’ project in Ayodhya

Kansai Nerolac Paints Limited (KNPL), one of India's leading paint companies, announces the successful completion of a monumental project – the painting of the 16-kilometre Ayodhya Dham stretch, as part of the Paint My City project. This significant endeavour includes painting of the revered Ram Path, Bhakti Path and Janmbhumi Path, symbolically leading to the sacred site of the Ram Mandir. Kansai Nerolac took on the responsibility, with due approval from Ayodhya Development Authority, to enhance the visual appeal of the surroundings and creating a fitting atmosphere for the historic occasion of the Ram Mandir inauguration.

The 16-kilometer stretch has undergone a meticulous painting process, depicting the essence of spirituality, culture, and reverence that surrounds Ayodhya Dham. It has crafted a visual narrative on the roads, with each stroke and colour capturing the rich tapestry of Ayodhya's cultural heritage. With more than 300 individuals involved including contractors, architects and painters, this was one of the momentous projects carried out by Kansai Nerolac.

The colour palette used, which consists of exclusive Nerolac shades of Fantan (Code: 2079P), Caramel (Code: 2753T) and Linen Cream (Code: 2742P), compliments the spiritual aura of Ayodhya, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the entire stretch. The project aims to create an immersive experience for pilgrims and visitors alike, setting the tone for the spiritual journey towards the Ram Mandir.

With the theme of ‘Transformation’, the intent was to use paint products that create a positive atmosphere with colour and art. Utilising cutting-edge paint technology, Kansai Nerolac will ensure durability and longevity of the paintwork, offering protection against weathering and environmental factors.

With a legacy of 100 years, Kansai Nerolac has been a part of cultural growth and development of India. With the completion of the Ayodhya Dham Project, they have added another feather to the cap. In the coming months, the company will work closely with the government body for the next phases of development and beautification of Ayodhya.

SBI Card Registers 30% YoY Revenue Growth In Q3 FY24; Revenue At Rs 4,742 Cr; PAT At Rs 549 Cr

The Board of Directors of SBI Cards and Payment Services Limited approved the Company’s results for the Q3 FY24 and 9 months ended December 31, 2023, at their meeting.

Performance Highlights Q3 FY24

Total Revenue increased by 30% YoY at Rs 4,742 Cr in Q3 FY24 v/s Rs 3,656 Cr in Q3 FY23

PAT increased by 8% YoY at Rs 549 Cr in Q3 FY24 v/s Rs 509 Cr in Q3 FY23

ROAA at 4.1% in Q3 FY24 v/s 4.8% in Q3 FY23

ROAE at 19.2% in Q3 FY24 v/s 22.0% in Q3 FY23

Capital Adequacy Ratio at 18.4%; Tier 1 at 16.3%

Business Highlights

New accounts volume down by 33% at 1,096K in Q3 FY24 v/s 1,634K in Q3 FY23

Cards-in-force grew by 16% at 1.85 Cr as of Q3 FY24 v/s 1.59 Cr as of Q3 FY23

Spends grew by 41% at Rs 96,860 Cr in Q3 FY24 v/s Rs 68,835 Cr in Q3 FY23

Receivables grew by 26% at Rs 48,850 Cr in Q3 FY24 v/s Rs 38,626 Cr in Q3 FY23

Market share for FY24 Card-in-force 18.9% (FY23: 19.7%), Spends 18.3% (FY23: 18.2%) #2 for both, Cards-in-force and spends, in industry

Profit & Loss Account for the Quarter ended December 31, 2023

Total income increased by 30% at Rs 4,742 Cr in Q3 FY24 v/s Rs 3,656 Cr in Q3 FY23. This movement was a result of the following key factors:

Interest income increased by 29% at Rs 2,082 Cr in Q3 FY24 v/s Rs 1,609 Cr in Q3 FY23

Non-Interest Income (Fees, Commission & others) increased by 34% at Rs 2,539 Cr in Q3 FY24 v/s Rs 1,898 Cr in Q3 FY23

Finance costs increased by 50% at Rs 695 Cr in Q3 FY24 v/s Rs 464 Cr in Q3 FY23

Total Operating cost increased by 23% at Rs 2,426 Cr in Q3 FY24 from Rs 1,974 Cr in Q3 FY23

Earnings before credit costs increased by 33% at Rs 1,620 Cr in Q3 FY24 v/s Rs 1,217 Cr in Q3 FY23

Impairment on financial instruments increased by 66% at Rs 883 Cr in Q3 FY24 v/s Rs 533 Cr in Q3 FY23

Profit after tax increased by 8% at Rs 549 Cr in Q3 FY24 v/s Rs 509 Cr in Q3 FY23

Profit & Loss Account for the 9 months ended December 31, 2023

Total income increased by 25% at Rs 13,009 Cr in 9M FY24 v/s Rs 10,372 Cr in 9M FY23. This movement was a result of the following key factors:

Interest income increased by 29% at Rs 5,788 Cr in 9M FY24 v/s Rs 4,481 Cr in 9M FY23

Non-Interest Income (Fees, Commission & others) increased by 26% at Rs 6,832 Cr in 9M FY24 v/s Rs 5,424 Cr in 9M FY23

Finance costs increased by 64% to Rs 1,871 Cr in 9M FY24 v/s Rs 1,140 Cr in 9M FY23

Total Operating cost increased by 18% at Rs 6,451 Cr in 9M FY24 v/s Rs 5,472 Cr in 9M FY23

Earnings before credit cost increased by 25% at Rs 4,687 Cr in 9M FY24 v/s Rs 3,760 Cr in 9M FY23  

Impairment on financial instruments increased by 53% at Rs 2,343 Cr in 9M FY24 v/s Rs 1,529 Cr in 9M FY23

Profit after tax increased by 5% to Rs 1,745 Cr in 9M FY24 vs Rs 1,662 Cr in 9M FY23

Balance Sheet as of December 31, 2023

Total Balance Sheet size as of December 31, 2023, at Rs 55,576 Cr as against Rs 45,546 Cr as of March 31, 2023

Total Gross Advances (Credit card receivables) as of December 31, 2023, at Rs 48,850 Cr, as against Rs 40,722 Cr as of March 31, 2023

Net worth as of December 31, 2023, at Rs 11,724 Cr as against Rs 9,902 Cr as of March 31, 2023

Asset Quality

The Gross non-performing assets were at 2.64% of gross advances as of December 31, 2023, as against 2.35% as of March 31, 2023. Net non-performing assets were at 0.96% as of December 31, 2023, as against 0.87% as of March 31, 2023.

Capital Adequacy

As per the capital adequacy norms issued by the RBI, Company’s capital to risk ratio consisting of Tier I and Tier II capital should not be less than 15% of its aggregate risk weighted assets on - balance sheet and of risk adjusted value of off-balance sheet items. As of December 31, 2023, Company’s CRAR was 18.4% compared to 23.1% as of March 31, 2023.

The Tier I capital in respect of an NBFC-ND-SI, at any point of time, can’t be less than 10%. Company’s Tier I capital was 16.3% as of December 31, 2023, compared to 20.4% as of March 31, 2023.


CRISIL Long Term         -             AAA/Stable

CRISIL Short Term        -             A1+

ICRA Long Term           -             AAA/Stable

ICRA Short Term          -             A1+

State Bank of India (SBI) Removes Religare Finvest Limited’s (RFL) 'Fraud' Tag

In a significant development, the State Bank of India (SBI), one of the lenders of Religare Finvest Limited (RFL), has removed RFL’s record, reported by it as fraud, from the Central Fraud Registry database. This decision follows an Order dated December 18, 2023 from the Honourable Delhi High Court directing SBI to remove the fraud tag. SBI informed RFL today through a formal communication.

In March 2023, RFL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Religare Enterprises Limited (REL), achieved a key milestone when it completed a One-Time Settlement (OTS) with 16 lenders through organic collections. The Company paid more than Rs 9000 crores to the country's banking system. Currently, RFL is awaiting the lifting of the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) imposed on RFL by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in January 2018.

Commenting on the development, Dr Rashmi Saluja, Executive Chairperson, REL & CMD RFL said, “We are pleased to witness the positive outcome of our efforts. The removal of the 'fraud' tag stands as a testament to the commitment and dedication of the Company’s Board, management and employees in resurrecting RFL and the Group from the brink in the aftermath of fraud perpetrated by the erstwhile promoters and their affiliates and putting it on the path of growth and development. This is pivotal step in the revival of RFL.”

Mr Pankaj Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, RFL said, “The announcement holds great significance for the Company, as it will open doors for our strategic path towards achieving growth. RFL eagerly awaits the much anticipated removal of the RBI Corrective Action Plan (CAP) that was put into effect in January 2018.”

The Central Fraud Registry, established under the Reserve Bank of India (Frauds Classification and Reporting by Commercial Banks and Select FIs) Directions, 2016, is a web-based and searchable database on frauds reported by commercial banks and select financial institutions in terms of Master Directions on classification and reporting of frauds.

About Religare Enterprises Limited:

Religare Enterprises Limited (REL), a Core Investment Company (CIC) registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), is a diversified financial services company. REL offers an integrated suite of financial services through its underlying subsidiaries and operating entities, including loans to SMEs, Affordable Housing Finance, Health Insurance and Retail Broking. REL is listed on the BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) and National Stock Exchange (NSE) in India. The Religare Group (REL & subsidiaries) reaches over 1 million policyholders in the insurance business, 1 million plus broking customers, more than 26,000 customers in MSME finance and over 10,000 customers in affordable housing finance. The Group employs more than 11,000 professionals servicing this diversified customer base with a presence in over 1,000 locations across India.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Agratas Partners With Tata Technologies To Fast-Track Development Of Best-In-Class Battery Solutions For Mobility And Energy Sector

·         The collaboration with Tata Technologies will enable Agratas to accelerate product development, including the design and integration of battery cells into modules and packs for global customers in the mobility and energy sectors.

·         Tata Technologies will develop digital business architectures to support the production of best-in-class battery solutions at Agratas’ gigafactories in India and the UK.

·         Through this collaboration, Tata Technologies will expand its upstream capabilities, strengthening its end-to-end Electric Vehicle design and development capabilities.

Agratas, Tata Group’s global battery business, and Tata Technologies, a global product engineering and digital services company, have announced their collaboration to scale Agratas’ product development and enterprise systems, supporting the design, development and manufacturing of best-in-class battery solutions.

Leveraging Tata Technologies’ over 25 years of expertise in product development, digital engineering, digital manufacturing and product supply chain, Agratas will accelerate its product development timelines, including integrating battery cells into modules and packs across multiple applications to match customer requirements.

The two companies are maximising Tata Group’s comprehensive #OneTata approach, with Tata Technologies also developing the digital business architectures to support the production of best-in-class battery solutions at Agratas’ gigafactories in India and the UK. This new alliance embodies the cross-Tata Group mission to develop a holistic eMobility ecosystem that will advance the production and adoption of Electric Vehicles in India and worldwide. With battery cell production due to commence in 2026, the collaboration is helping to propel Agratas’ anchor customers, Tata Motors and JLR, towards a fully electrified future.

Commenting on the collaboration, Tom Flack, CEO, Agratas, said: “We are fully committed towards delivering best-in-class battery solutions to our customers and helping to supercharge the global transition to electric mobility and clean energy storage. Teaming up with Tata Technologies strengthens our pursuit of this mission, helping us to leverage its expertise in Electric Vehicle engineering, including competitive design, packaging and integration of battery packs that are critical for the performance of our customers’ products, from next generation Electric Vehicles to energy-dense storage solutions. Our collaboration with Tata Technologies also maximises inter-Group synergies and business excellence, showcasing the strategic benefits of being part of the Tata Group.”

Reinforcing the collaboration with Agratas, Warren Harris, CEO & Managing Director, Tata Technologies, said: “Tata Technologies’ vision of engineering a better world embodies a commitment to innovating sustainable solutions across the eMobility value chain that helps manufacturing companies accelerate their transition towards net zero. The trust awarded by Agratas reaffirms our long-standing expertise in Electric Vehicle engineering and digital transformation solutions for sustainable products. We believe this collaboration will help us strengthen our capabilities around the design and integration of battery pack solutions into battery electric vehicles and also help Agratas accelerate the industrialisation of its gigafactories in the UK and India, enabling it to deliver competitive battery solutions to its customers.”

As Agratas scales up its operations, Tata Technologies is also helping Agratas to mobilise resources by facilitating recruitment of highly skilled individuals, enabling onboarding and supporting employee lifecycle activities during this critical growth phase. These resources span roles across the battery solution value chain, including corporate, operational and research functions, reaffirming the depth and breadth of the collaborative engagement.

Belenus Champions Pioneers Comprehensive Fertility Care With Launch Of "Fertility & Andrology Clinic" In Collaboration With Milann

Belenus Champions Hospital proudly announces the inauguration of its cutting-edge "Fertility & Andrology Clinic," a collaborative initiative with Milann - Fertility Specialists. This marks a significant step towards providing holistic fertility care for both males and females under one roof.

The launch event was graced by distinguished guests, including Ms. Anjali Ajaikumar, Director at Milann and Executive Director at HCG; Dr. Nanda Rajneesh, Founder and Chairman of the Society for Prevention; Ms. Pushpa Manjunath BM, Ex-Corporator, BBMP Varthur Ward; Dr. Manjunath, Founder of Belenus Champions Hospital; Dr. Kishore, Co-Founder of Belenus Champions Hospital; Dr. Pratik, Urologist & Andrologist; Dr. Karthika, Obstetrician & Gynecologist; and Dr. Shashidhar, COO of Belenus Champions Hospital.

Ms. Anjali Ajaikumar, Director at Milann and Executive Director at HCG, expressed her enthusiasm, stating, "The collaboration between Belenus Champions Hospital and Milann is a strategic step towards offering comprehensive fertility solutions. Our combined expertise will provide a supportive environment for couples seeking fertility care."

Dr. Nanda Rajneesh, Founder and Chairman of the Society for Cancer Prevention, highlighted the importance of accessible fertility care, stating, "The Fertility & Andrology Clinic is a commendable initiative that addresses a critical need in our society. It ensures that individuals and couples have access to specialized care for their unique fertility concerns."

Ms. Pushpa Manjunath BM, Ex-Corporator, BBMP Varthur Ward, emphasized the significance of localized healthcare solutions, saying, "The Fertility & Andrology Clinic at Belenus Champions Hospital is a positive step towards bringing advanced fertility care closer to the community. It aligns with the hospital's commitment to serving the local population."

Dr. Manjunath, Founder of Belenus Champions Hospital, expressed his pride in extending the hospital's services, stating, "The Fertility & Andrology Clinic is a testament to our commitment to providing comprehensive healthcare. We are proud to collaborate with Milann to offer specialized fertility care for our community."

Dr. Kishore, Co-Founder of Belenus Champions Hospital, stated, "The Fertility & Andrology Clinic represents a new era in fertility care. Our collaboration with Milann combines expertise to deliver personalized and advanced solutions for couples on their fertility journey."

Dr. Pratik, Urologist & Andrologist, and Dr. Karthika, Obstetrician & Gynecologist, shared their excitement about the clinic's potential to address diverse fertility challenges faced by both males and females.

Dr. Shashidhar, COO of Belenus Champions Hospital, concluded, "The launch of the Fertility & Andrology Clinic reflects our commitment to providing comprehensive and compassionate healthcare. Together with Milann, we aim to offer a ray of hope to those seeking fertility solutions."

The Fertility & Andrology Clinic at Belenus Champions Hospital is now open to serve individuals and couples seeking fertility care. For appointments and inquiries, contact 080 6936 6936

In A first, Tennis Legend Roger Federer Meets Olympic Gold Medalist Neeraj Chopra In Zurich

When Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer meets Indian Olympic Gold medalist Neeraj Chopra in Zurich, the world sits up and takes notice. After all, not often do you see two dedicated, charming, and passionate sportspersons who’ve done their respective countries proud, occupy the same space!

Switzerland Tourism, however, has set the ball rolling by uniting these two great icons who belong to different worlds of sport — Tennis and Javelin Throw — at Zurich’s La Réserve Eden au Lac for a casual and free-flowing conversation.

The rendezvous was marked by mutual respect, admiration, and shared stories of triumph and dedication between the two stars. Federer, known for his longevity and prowess on and off the tennis court, warmly welcomed Neeraj who is also Switzerland Tourism’s Friendship Ambassador, to his home country.

“It’s a dream come true for me to meet Roger Federer here in Zurich. I have always admired his skill, his spirit of true sportsmanship and his ability to inspire millions around the world. Today, however, what inspired me the most was his humility and his easy-going charm that made me feel so comfortable in his presence. We had a wonderful time exchanging notes about our respective passions and life’s experiences on and off the field,” said Neeraj Chopra.

Roger Federer was equally excited meeting Neeraj and shared, “I am amazed by how much Neeraj has achieved personally and for his country through his grit and determination. It’s been great to meet him here in Zurich.”

Other than sharing a great love for sports, they also share a common love for Switzerland! Roger Federer is the global ambassador for Switzerland Tourism and Neeraj Chopra is the board’s Friendship Ambassador from India.

Organized by the Switzerland Tourism Board, this historic meeting between Roger Federer and Neeraj Chopra served as a reminder of the power of sport to bring people together, transcending borders, cultures, and disciplines. The same power applies to tourism.

“We are so happy that we could organize a meeting between these two great sports icons who are both our brand ambassadors as tourism also brings people together by fostering cultural exchange and widening our horizons with diverse experiences which enrich our lives”, Ritu Sharma, Deputy Director, and Marketing Head – India, added.

LG's Announces QNED 83 Series; Raises The Bar For LED TV In Bangalore

LG Electronics, India’s leading Consumer Durable brand today announced the launch of its LG QNED (Quantum NanoCell Display) 83 series, the next generation evolution of LED in Bangalore. Setting a new standard for visual excellence and immersive entertainment, LG Electronics is committed to providing a holistic viewing experience through the LG QNED 83 series.

The launch took place at Croma Store, JP Nagar, Bangalore, and featured the unveiling of the QNED model, specifically the 55 QNED 83. The main attendees include Mr Manoj Mohandas (Regional Business Head, Karnataka, LG Electronics), Mr. Anand S (Store Manager, Croma, JP Nagar), Mr. Aditya (HR Head - South, Croma) and Mr. Roshan Mampilly (ZISM, LG Electronics).

The QNED 83 Series showcases the combined power of Quantum Dot and NanoCell technologies with 120hz refresh rate, offering viewers a visual experience that sets new standards in realism and clarity. With a comprehensive set of features including Dolby Vision & Atmos, AI Super Upscaling, Local Dimming, and advanced gaming capabilities, the QNED 83 Series is set to redefine the home entertainment experience.

Commenting on the launch, Mr Manoj Mohandas, Regional Business Head, Karnataka, LG Electronics said, “We are thrilled to introduce the QNED 83 TVs in Bangalore, fostering a commitment to excellence and innovation. Harnessing the fusion of Quantum Dot and NanoCell technologies, complemented by a 120Hz refresh rate, our TVs establish a groundbreaking standard for visual excellence. Enhanced by the power of Dolby Vision and Atmos, these televisions elevate the cinematic experience, breathing life into every on-screen moment with unparalleled clarity and immersive sound.”

Key Features of QNED 83 Series:

·       Quantum Dot & NanoCell Fusion:

The QNED 83 Series boasts the combined power of Quantum Dot and NanoCell technologies, ensuring richer and more accurate colors in stunning 4K resolution.

·       Powerful Processor | ?7 Gen6 AI 4K:

The ?7 AI Processor 4K Gen6 takes center stage, delivering a dynamic viewing experience tailored to individual preferences. It puts the "Pro" in processor, ensuring a seamless and responsive performance.

·       Dolby Vision & Atmos:

Experience an outstanding cinematic journey with support for Dolby Vision & Atmos. The QNED 83 Series brings content to life with stunning visuals and immersive audio, creating a truly cinematic experience in the comfort of your home.

·       Local Dimming:

Smart dimming technology with deep-learning algorithms minimizes the halo effect, creating sharper and more natural images. The QNED 83 Series ensures a superior visual experience with its innovative local dimming feature.

·       AI Picture Pro & AI Sound Pro:

The new ?7 Gen6 AI processor has been optimized to provide an even better picture and sound experience, offering wider surround sound with Virtual 5.1.2 channels for an immersive audio experience.

·       Immersive Gaming and 120Hz refresh rate:

Elevate your gaming experience with features like Game Dashboard & Optimizer, AMD FreeSync, VRR, and a 120Hz refresh rate. The QNED 83 Series ensures fast, smooth gameplay, allowing users to truly immerse themselves in the gaming world.

·       Advanced webOS:

Enjoy a personalized, quick, and easy smart experience with the all-new webOS. Access a variety of content from popular streaming services like Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+ Hotstar, and Prime Video effortlessly.

·       Multi-View:

Transform your viewing experience with Multi-View, allowing screens from two different sources to be displayed simultaneously in side-by-side, picture-in-picture, or double input modes.

·       Variety Content:

Access a wide range of content from popular streaming services like Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+ Hotstar, and Prime Video, ensuring entertainment for every viewer's interest.

·       Personalized Features:

 Benefit from features such as Quick Cards, Picture Wizard, User Profiles, ThinQ AI, and compatibility with voice assistants like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Airplay2.

The QNED83 Series is more than just a TV; it's a gateway to a world of unparalleled entertainment. LG continues to push the boundaries of innovation, offering a television that redefines the home entertainment experience.

About LG Electronics India Pvt Ltd               

LG Electronics India Pvt. Ltd. (LG Electronics), a wholly owned subsidiary of LG Electronics Inc, South Korea was established in January 1997 in India. It is one of the most formidable brands in consumer electronics - Home Entertainment, home appliances*, HVAC, IT hardware. In India, LG Electronics has earned a premium brand positioning and is an acknowledged trendsetter in the industry.  LGEIL's manufacturing unit at Greater Noida is one of the most eco-friendly units among all LG manufacturing plants in the world. The second Greenfield facility is located at Ranjangaon; Pune which manufacture LED TVs, air conditioners, commercial air conditioning systems, washing machines, refrigerators, and monitors.

*Home Appliances include- Refrigerator, Washing Machine, AC, Water purifier, Microwave, Fan, Dishwasher & Air purifier.

Introduce Additional Measures That Can Aid Credit Growth, Financial Inclusion And Digital Enablement Of Financial Services

Pre-budget expectations from Nalin Negi, Chief Financial Officer & Interim CEO, BharatPe

“As India sets sight on becoming a US$ 5 trillion economy by 2025, the upcoming Interim Budget offers a timely opportunity to formulate policies that further unlock the potential of fintechs in enabling financial inclusion and powering their growth. I am hopeful that the government will announce measures to increase capital availability for fintechs operating in underserved domains like rural credit, digital payments, and digital lending. Regulations around digital banking, data governance and emerging technologies have fueled the building of sustainable fintech businesses over the last year or so, and I am hoping that the budget will introduce additional measures that can aid credit growth, financial inclusion and digital enablement of financial services. 

It would also be good to see tax benefits and favourable initiatives for research, product innovation and skill development being introduced, so as to encourage indigenization that can help India emerge as the global innovation hub.  Additionally, in order to nurture the blooming startup ecosystem, the Government should further broaden the eligibility criteria and look at providing tax reliefs to employees in start-ups around Employee Stock Ownership (ESOPs). I am optimistic that this budget will set the stage for enhanced collaboration between fintech innovators and policy makers to nurture an ecosystem that can equitably power India's digital economic aspirations.”

Bajaj Allianz Life’s plank-Led Fitness Initiative Celebrates ISRO’s Grand Feats, This 75th Republic Day

Bajaj Allianz Life, one of the leading private life insurance companies, proudly unveils Plankathon 2024, the fourth edition of its unique fitness initiative. This edition themed as #PlankForAces, is exceptional as it seeks to express gratitude towards the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) – the true aces who propelled India to the moon and, more recently, achieved success with the Solar Mission, Aditya L1. The initiative is impeccably timed to coincide with the celebration of India's 75th Republic Day and will culminate in an on-ground event in Bangalore’s Sri Kanteerava Outdoor Stadium on 11th February, 2024.

Through the countdown to the on-ground event, this unique challenge encourages individuals to share their planking videos with the #PlankForAces, creating a collective gesture of gratitude for ISRO's stellar contributions to space exploration.

Chandramohan Mehra, Chief Marketing Officer, Bajaj Allianz Life, said, "A high engaging fitness drive at the core, the plank initiative in its 4th edition, continues to be anchored on platforms that strike a chord with larger cohort. The new edition of the Plank campaign celebrates ISRO’s accomplishments which also align with India’s unmatched rise in tech, economic and geopolitical power. We are confident that #PlankForAces will generate massive participation as it has always done".

The Bajaj Allianz Life Plankathon goes beyond individual health and fitness benefits to contribute to larger societal causes since 2018. The first edition, #36SecPlankChallenge, was linked to curing heart disorders amongst economically disadvantaged kids in collaboration with Hrudaya Foundation. The second edition, #PlankForIndia, supported the young Indian Olympians in association with OGQ. The third edition #PlankToThank aimed to express gratitude towards the Indian Armed Forces and mark India’s 75th Independence Day in style and provided for livelihood for retired jawans.

Join the fourth edition, #PlankForACES 2024 and commit to champion the cause of fitness, and salute the real ACES of ISRO.

Watch the video here:

To participate:

·         Record your 10 seconds plank video

·         Upload on

About Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance

Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance is one of India’s leading and fastest growing private life insurers. The company is a partnership between two powerful and successful entities in their own right – Bajaj Finserv Limited, one of India’s most diversified non-banking financial institutions and Allianz SE, one of the world’s leading asset manager and insurer. The Company commenced its journey in 2001, and today delivers its promise of Life. Goals. DONE through innovative value-packed insurance products that are backed by a robust tech and digital ecosystem. Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance continues its journey of transformation through its products and tech-enabled state-of-the-art services to enhance customer delight.

Bajaj Allianz Life now serves over 4.38 crore (as on 30th November, 2023) individual and group customers. The Company has a large distribution network of 510 branches (as on 30th November, 2023), over 1,40,562 agents (as on 30th November, 2023) a comprehensive set of trusted partners, and its proprietary sales channels (online and offline). Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance has an Individual Claim Settlement Ratio of 99.04% and a Solvency Ratio of 516% (as on 31st March 2023).

ORRA Unveils 2.5 Carat-Look Diamond Earrings This Republic Day

Whether you find yourself attending the Republic Day ceremony or an evening soiree in your surroundings, ORRA has you covered with its newly launched 2.5-carat look diamond earrings, a perfect addition to elevate your style on this significant occasion. As India's Leading diamond destination, ORRA consistently keeps pace with festivities, unveiling timeless pieces for every celebration.

In a splendid homage to the nation's spirit, ORRA proudly introduces the limited edition 2.5-carat look diamond earrings, on the auspicious Republic Day. This launch not only embodies the harmonious blend of opulence and patriotism but also reflects ORRA's commitment to craftsmanship and unparalleled quality. Designed with meticulous attention to detail, the 2.5 carat lookdiamond earrings, from the Republic Collection exude timeless elegance, capturing the grandeur of the occasion. 

The recently launched 'Aekta' - The Wedding Collection, a manifestation of the brand's deep Indian roots. Rooted in the cultural richness of Indian weddings, 'Aekta' transcends mere adornment, becoming a profound narrative of love, heritage, and luxury. From delicately crafted cocktail jewellery to opulent heavy sets, this collection reflects the evolving preferences of modern brides and her wedding party. Complementing these are other extravagant lines such as the Astra Collection, Desired Collection, and Platinum Collection and Crown Star featuring India’s brightest diamond. 

Featured among these collections is ORRA's exquisite all-in-one box set, meticulously designed to captivate hearts on special occasions. This enchanting set comprises a stunning pendant and matching earrings, making it the ideal gift for birthdays, anniversaries, and the much-anticipated Valentine's Day. Explore our diverse range of offerings, from dazzling diamond necklaces adorned with colored stones to meticulously crafted box sets and the refined elegance of 2.5 -carat look diamond earrings.  

ORRA is known for providing 100% certified jewellery with complimentary insurance and free lifetime maintenance. The brand offers a lifetime exchange, buyback, and a seven-day return policy for conflict-free diamonds. Additionally, ORRA provides a 6-month upgrade facility, and all its jewellery is BIS Hallmark Certified.

As part of the ongoing Diamond Festival, and to make the Republic Day celebrations even more special, ORRA is offering special  discounts, for customers visiting the store: 

·         Up to 25% off on diamond jewellery (for a limited period) * 

·         0% interest on EMI facilities* 

·         Free Shagun Gold Coin on diamond jewellery purchase*

·         100% exchange value on old gold jewellery* 

*Terms and Conditions apply 

About ORRA: 

The journey of a million gazes began in 1888 before it metamorphosed into ORRA. From sculpting and manufacturing diamonds to crafting and retailing the finest diamond and gold jewellery, ORRA has come a long way since its inception. Today, ORRA is one of India's finest diamond jewellery retail chains, having spread its glow with 84 stores in 38 cities and has consistently been at the forefront of design, leadership and product innovation with 5 global design centres. 

Master craftsmen who have inherited the centuries - old legacy of jewellery making, brilliantly cut Belgian diamonds, delicate designs in diamond jewellery, elaborate bridal sets in coloured stones, the 73-facet patented ORRA Crown Star, the one-of-its-kind ORRA store. These are just some of the facets that go into making ORRA - The Finest Diamond Destination. 

For more information, visit – 

Samsung India Ties Up With Blinkit To Deliver Galaxy S24 Series In 10 Minutes In Select Cities

Samsung, India’s largest electronics company, today announced a tie-up with quick-commerce platform Blinkit to deliver its recently launched Galaxy S24 series in India. Customers in Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru and Mumbai can order Galaxy S24 Ultra, Galaxy S24+ and Galaxy S24 smartphones on Blinkit and get the phone delivered in less than 10 minutes.

Customers buying the Galaxy S24 series on Blinkit can avail an instant cashback of INR 5000 if the purchase is done through HDFC Bank credit card.

The tie-up with Blinkit will help Samsung cater to the huge demand for its flagship S24 series in India. Samsung has secured record pre-bookings for Galaxy S24 series, making it the most successful S series ever. More than 250,000 customers in India pre-booked a Galaxy S24 smartphone in just three days since January 18.

The ’Made in India’ Galaxy S24 Ultra, Galaxy S24+ and Galaxy S24 smartphones come with Live Translate, Interpreter, Chat Assist, Note Assist and Transcript Assist features. AI built into Samsung Keyboard can also translate messages in real-time in 13 languages, including Hindi. In the car, Android Auto will automatically summarize incoming messages and suggest relevant replies and actions.

Galaxy S24 comes with gesture-driven ‘Circle to Search feature’. Users can circle, highlight, scribble on, or tap anything on Galaxy S24’s screen to see helpful, high-quality search results. For certain searches, generative AI-powered overviews can provide helpful information and context pulled together from across the web.

Galaxy S24 series’ ProVisual Engine is a comprehensive suite of AI-powered tools that transform image capturing abilities and maximize creative freedom. The Quad Tele System on Galaxy S24 Ultra now comes with a new 5x optical zoom lens that works with the 50MP sensor to enable optical-quality performance at zoom levels from 2x, 3x, 5x to 10x.

The new Instant Slow-mo can generate additional frames based on movements to smoothly slow down action-packed moments for a more detailed look. Super HDR reveals lifelike previews before the shutter is ever pressed.

Galaxy S24 series continues Samsung’s commitment to extending the product lifecycle, offering seven generations of OS upgrades and seven years of security updates to help users reliably experience the optimized performance of their Galaxy devices for even longer.

IISc Signs MoU With Wipro GE Healthcare To Advance MedTech Innovation From India - For India And The World

* The first-of-its-kind collaboration between the organisations is aimed at increasing industry-academia knowledge sharing in emerging technology areas like Precision care, Robotics, Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, and 5G to improve the innovation ecosystem and accelerate local manufacturing.

Wipro GE Healthcare, a leading global medical technology, diagnostics, and digital solutions innovator today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), India’s premier research institution, for a pioneering alliance to advance healthcare innovation, research, and technology development in India. This collaboration aims to take a comprehensive approach in solving the care gap by addressing the full lifecycle that includes co-developing solutions, validating the technologies, and manufacturing them locally to bring them to the market. With the impending commencement of the Bagchi-Parthasarathy Hospital & IISc Medical School, this strategic collaboration will enable translation of technologies from bench to bedside.

According to World Health Organisation Report 2018, “Globally, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) accounted for 71% of total deaths. In India, NCDs were estimated to account for 63% of all deaths, and cancer was one of the leading causes (9%).”[1] This industry-academia collaboration aims to advance indigenous innovation and manufacturing of MedTech products that meets the needs of both global and local patients suffering from NCDs including cancer, cardiology, and neurology in line with the agenda of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

The collaboration will entail co-development initiatives in the areas of basic and applied science, systems engineering, product & software development, consultancy, publications, academic studies, internships, fellowships, and training. IISc and GE HealthCare will constitute a joint working committee, comprising representatives from both sides, for research around product and solution development.

Govindan Rangarajan, Director, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), said, “We see a tremendous need for innovative R&D that can improve outcomes in patients with NCD. The collaboration will emphasise combining science and engineering with translational & clinical research to epitomize “bench-to-bedside” innovation. GE HealthCare is the right partner for us in this initiative, given their leadership and strong footprint in India for R&D and manufacturing. We are confident that together, we can accelerate India’s position as a global force for healthcare for the world.” 

Chaitanya Sarawate, Managing Director, Wipro GE Healthcare and President & CEO, GE HealthCare South Asia, said, “India today is at an inflection point, with a potential to become the hub for the world. IISc is a premier educational institute engaged in technical education, basic and applied research, innovation, entrepreneurship, and industrial consultancy and GE HealthCare is a world leader in MedTech with strategic R&D and manufacturing footprint in India. This is a strategic collaboration that combines the strengths, capabilities, and local infrastructure of both entities. Our aim together is to invest in technologies of the future that can revolutionize the care paradigm – with more precise, connected, and compassionate care to patients in India and worldwide.”

The collaboration aligns with the Indian Government's emphasis on fostering local Research and Development (R&D) and Manufacturing in the MedTech sector, necessitating Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models to further drive technology development. Collaborative efforts by both the entities will be deployed for product development and clinical research, improving indigenization of manufacturing and academic activities to strengthen the healthcare ecosystem.

About IISc:

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was established in 1909 by a visionary partnership between the industrialist Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, the Mysore royal family and the Government of India. Over the last 114 years, IISc has become India’s premier institute for advanced scientific and technological research and education. Its mandate is “to provide for advanced instruction and to conduct original investigations in all branches of knowledge as are likely to promote the material and industrial welfare of India.” In 2018, IISc was selected as an Institution of Eminence (IoE) by the Government of India, and it consistently figures among the top Indian institutions in world university rankings. More information at:

About GE HealthCare Technologies Inc.

GE HealthCare is a leading global medical technology, pharmaceutical diagnostics, and digital solutions innovator, dedicated to providing integrated solutions, services, and data analytics to make hospitals more efficient, clinicians more effective, therapies more precise, and patients healthier and happier. Serving patients and providers for more than 100 years, GE HealthCare is advancing personalized, connected, and compassionate care, while simplifying the patient’s journey across the care pathway. Together our Imaging, Ultrasound, Patient Care Solutions, and Pharmaceutical Diagnostics businesses help improve patient care from diagnosis, to therapy, to monitoring. We are an $18.3 billion business with 50,000 employees working to create a world where healthcare has no limits. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, X and Insights for the latest news, or visit our website for more information. 

Tata Motors Opens Bookings For India’s 1st AMT CNG Cars

* To launch the Tiago and Tigor iCNG AMT

Tata Motors, India’s leading automotive manufacturer, has revolutionized the CNG segment in the country by introducing AMT in its CNG cars—a first in the industry. The company today opened bookings for Tiago and Tigor iCNG AMT. By incorporating Twin Cylinder CNG technology to free up the much-needed boot space in CNG cars, Tata Motors is pioneering a new trend with the introduction of automatic transmission in CNG vehicles.

This is a great offering for consumers as these cars will offer superior economy of CNG, convenience of automatic, safety assurance of being built on proven architecture and top of line comfort and convenience features. Customers can now book the preferred car of their choice by vising their nearest Tata Motors authorized dealership or online for INR 21,000, starting today.

The Tiago iCNG AMT will come in 3 variants – XTA CNG, XZA+ CNG & XZA NRG while the Tigor iCNG AMT will be available in 2 variants – XZA CNG & XZA+ CNG.

OMG! It’s Automatic

India’s 1st Automatic Car that offers petrol-like performance and comfort.

Best-in-Class Performance & Drivability – No perceived difference in the performance of the vehicle in petrol and CNG drivability.

Smooth Gear Shifter Quality – Gear Shifting Movement & Shift Quality is smoother & in line with Petrol AMT.

High Restart Gradability – Restart gradability is in line with Petrol & has the best in segment restart.

Easy Creep Behavior in Traffic & Parking – Creep tuned for easy Maneuver in city traffic conditions & parking.

OMG! It’s Intelligent!

Twin Cylinder CNG tanks: 1st in Industry – The smart placement of the twin cylinders below the luggage areas ensures uncompromised boot space.

Single Advanced ECU - 1st in Industry – Ensures effortless and jerk free shifting between petrol and CNG modes.

Direct Start in CNG - 1st in Industry – Both cars start directly in the CNG mode so you do not have to worry about switching to CNG mode during drives. This also saves fuel every time you start the car.

OMG! It’s Safe! – The Tiago iCNG AMT and Tigor iCNG AMT come with best-in-class safety features.

Micro Switch to keep car switched off at time of refueling – The micro switch turns off the ignition as soon as the fuel lid is opened and keeps it off until the lid is securely closed.

Thermal Incident Protection – The iCNG technology immediately cuts off CNG supply to the engine in case of a thermal incident and releases gas from the cylinder directly into the atmosphere through a special nozzle as a measure of safety.

Safe location of CNG cylinders – The twin CNG cylinders located below the luggage area offer the safest solution, as the valves and pipes are protected under the load floor, minimizing the risk of potential damage.

Use of Advance Materials in iCNG kit to prevent leakage – The iCNG kit has been tested across temperatures and pressures to prevent any gas leaks.

Leak Detection Feature – The iCNG technology immediately detects a gas leak and switches from CNG to petrol mode.

OMG! It’s Powerful!

These iCNG AMT cars offer incredible performance with the powerful 1.2L Revotron Engine. The Advance iCNG Technology gives unmatched performance with a perfect combination of Power & Pick-up.

Furthermore, adding to the current color palate, the company has also introduced an interesting new Tornado Blue in the Tiago, Grassland Beige in Tiago NRG and a Meteor Bronze in the Tigor. 

Since its launch, Tiago and Tigor have achieved key milestones, embodying Tata Motors' new design philosophy and paving the way for future models. Over the years, the Tiago and Tigor have earned immense popularity among numerous young and dynamic customers due to the multi-powertrain options, appealing design, exceptional safety features, feature-rich interiors, and cutting-edge technology integration. With this addition the Company is expanding its CNG portfolio and addressing the need for Automatic technology in CNG.

The CNG industry has witnessed significant growth of 40.5% in FY24, compared to FY23, as reported by Vahan. Tata Motors currently has the widest portfolio in the CNG space – offering Tiago, Tigor, Altroz, and Punch in this option, and is among the top 2 brands in the CNG market with a growth of 67.9% in FY24 compared to last year, in CNG sales.

Mother’s Recipe Partners with Swiggy To Add More Flavor To 'Swiggy SteppinOut X Zakir Khan Live: A Laughter & Gourmet Fest

Mother's Recipe, a renowned brand known for its delicious and traditional flavors has announced its association with Swiggy as the Official Taste Partner for the “Swiggy X Zakir Khan Live A Laughter & Gourmet Fest”. 

Zakir Khan is celebrated for his Hindi Shayari and unforgettable jokes through storytelling that captures the hearts of his audience. This collaboration between Mother’s Recipe and Swiggy aims to craft an immersive experience that combines the joy of laughter with the rich taste of Mother's Recipe, showcasing a shared commitment to delivering memorable experiences to audiences across India. 

As part of the fest's Food & Beverage section, attendees can look forward to enjoying Mother's Recipe's complimentary range of Chutneys and Sauces to pair with the diverse food offerings at the event. Attendees can expect to encounter Mother'sRecipe branding prominently displayed at the event venue, creating a visual feast that mirrors the vibrancy of the comedy show and the brand's diverse range of products. 

Ms. Sanjana Desai, Executive Director of Mother's Recipe, expressed her enthusiasm about this collaboration, stating, "We are thrilled to be associated with Swiggy for 'Zakir Khan - Live A Laughter & Gourmet Fest.' The distinctive synergy between Zakir Khan's flavorful comedy and the authentic taste of Mother's Recipe makes this partnership truly special. As the Official Taste Partner, we look forward to contributing our unique touch to this unforgettable journey of laughter and flavor." 

Swapnil Bajpai, Vice President Sales at Swiggy, shares, “Excited to onboard Mother’s Recipe as the official sponsor for the SwiggyX Zakir Khan Live Tour.Together, we're addingmore flavor to the fun. This collaboration is all about delivering great entertainment with tasty food, creating unforgettable moments for our users and customers. There’s more joy in every bite and laugh!” 

This collaboration exemplifies the fusion of entertainment and food, encapsulating the spirit of 'Haq Se Taste Partner.' Mother's Recipe invites everyone to jointhe festivities, savor the laughter, and indulge in the authentic flavors that only Mother's Recipe can provide. 

Solidaridad Asia Handholds Small Tea Growers (STGs) Of India To Get An Even Playing Ground In The Global Market

Solidaridad Asia continues to spearhead sustainable economic development, placing a strong focus on empowering Small Tea Growers (STGs) across India to compete equitably in the global market. Through its TRINITEA program, Solidaridad addresses the longstanding challenges faced by STGs, encompassing compliance, price competitiveness, and the enhancement of export tea quality.  

The STGs, instrumental in contributing over 50% of India's total tea production, have historically encountered significant hurdles due to limited access to essential resources and support. This unfortunate circumstance has led to suboptimal agricultural practices, compromised tea quality, and susceptibility to exploitation within the supply chain. In response to these challenges, Solidaridad, in collaboration with the Indian Tea Association (ITA), introduced TRINITEA, a program that focuses on various strategic aspects aimed at uplifting STGs. Solidaridad Asia's TRINITEA program stands as a comprehensive support system for Small Tea Growers (STGs) in India, addressing critical facets crucial for their success in the global market. The program's multifaceted approach encompasses several key components, notably focusing on enhancing the capabilities and practices of STGs. 

Firstly, the initiative provides consistent and ongoing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Training to STGs. This training spans the agronomical, social, and environmental aspects, offering a holistic approach to tea cultivation. The overarching goal is to not only elevate crop yield but also to enhance the overall quality of tea produced by these growers. Secondly, TRINITEA extends essential Compliance Support to STGs, aiding them in adhering to vital industry standards such as the Plant Protection Code and FSSAI norms. This aspect ensures that tea production maintains high levels of safety and compliance, fostering a secure and trustworthy supply chain. Additionally, the program acknowledges the pressing challenges posed by climate change. It takes proactive measures by guiding STGs in implementing Climate-Smart Solutions aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of changing environmental conditions on tea production. This forward-thinking approach fortifies the resilience of STGs against the impacts of a changing climate, promoting sustainable practices within the industry. 

"TRINITEA is a testament to our commitment to empowering small tea growers, ensuring they receive the support and resources needed to compete globally while upholding sustainable practices. Through innovative solutions like Soli-Trace, we're not just transforming supply chains, we're fostering a direct connection between consumers and growers, bridging the gap for a more equitable tea industry." - Dr. Shatadru Chattopadhyay, Managing Director of Solidaridad Network Asia 

Moreover, the introduction of Soli-Trace, a technology-driven traceability solution by Solidaridad Asia, adds a layer of sophistication to the TRINITEA program. Through the innovative Tracebilitea app, the journey of the green leaf is meticulously documented, ensuring robust traceability and transparency in the supply chain. This not only establishes trust among buyers but also empowers consumers. By scanning QR codes on tea packages, consumers gain direct access to detailed product journey information and can offer feedback directly to the farmers. This fosters a profound connection between consumers and growers, nurturing brand loyalty and a deeper sense of engagement within the tea industry. 

Soli-Trace, at its core, is a transformative force in the agricultural industry, digitally empowering agri-businesses into purpose-driven brands. It not only delivers better value for farmers but also offers consumers unparalleled supply chain transparency. Moreover, Soli-Trace ensures fairness across the value chain, from farmers to agri-businesses to consumers, granting everyone an equal footing to achieve optimal returns on their investment and sustainability commitments. It records the sustainability practices of farmers, intermediaries, and agri-businesses involved in delivering finished products to consumers, integrating farmers into the digital economy with principles of fair participation, ownership, voice, and value in the shared ecosystem. 

TRINITEA and Soli-Trace are evidence of Solidaridad Asia's firm commitment to encouraging small and marginal farmers, fostering compliance, price competitiveness, and quality, thereby shaping a more equitable and sustainable Indian tea industry. Together, these initiatives strive to ensure that the unsung heroes of the Indian tea industry receive the recognition and opportunities they genuinely deserve. 

About Solidaridad: 

Solidaridad has been a frontrunner in sustainable economic development and champions the cause of the small and marginal farmers, workers, and miners. The organization fosters sustainable and inclusive supply chains, focusing on bringing prosperity; harnessing inclusivity, and producing in balance with nature.  

With over 50 years of experience in developing solutions to make communities more resilient, Solidaridad employs around 1,000 expert staff as boots and brains on the ground, operating in over 40 countries across five continents through eight independently supervised regional offices.  

Recognizing markets as pivotal to realizing positive changes in the society and environment, Solidaridad looks at public-private partnerships as an increasingly important mechanism for testing innovations, speeding up change, and taking success to scale. With improved scale and speed, the organization aims to create a pervasive impact in society toward a more inclusive, climate-resilient, and sustainable economy.  

A pioneer in developing and implementing national sustainability, Solidaridad engages in joint programs with businesses, investors, governments, producers and producer organizations, service providers, labor unions, and other CSOs to bring about effective transformation in the agriculture and mining sectors towards sustainable farming and responsible mining practices. 

Dalmia Bharat Delivers Strong Financial Performance With Profit Growing At 22% YoY

Q3 FY24 Highlights 

Volume increased 8.1% YoY to 6.8 MnT 

Revenue increased 7.3% YoY to Rs. 3,600 Cr  

EBITDA increased 20.3% YoY to Rs. 775 Cr 

Cement capacity increased to 44.6 MnT 

One of Lowest Carbon footprint in global cement world at 459 kgCO2/Ton[1] of Cement 

Net Debt/EBITDA stood at 0.16x 

Mr. Puneet Dalmia takes additional role of CEO & MD of Dalmia (Cement) Bharat Ltd 

Dalmia Bharat Limited, (BSE: 542216, NSE: DALBHARAT), a leading cement manufacturing company, reported its consolidated financial results for the quarter and nine months ended December 31, 2023. 

Commenting on the quarter gone by, Mr. Puneet Dalmia, Managing Director & CEO – Dalmia Bharat Limited, said, “India has undergone a huge metamorphosis with a lot of reforms in the last decade. With this, the base for sustainable growth has been set, the momentum is clearly built and we are now clearly transitioned from a Reform Phase into a fast Growth phase. Foreseeing this massive growth opportunity, we remain committed to our plan of 110-130 MnT by 2031.” 

He further added, “Our sales volume improved 8.1% YoY with EBITDA growing 20.3%YoY to Rs. 775 Cr in Q3FY24. With the cement price being largely stable, correction in commodity prices has led to margin recovery; from the lows of 12.8% in Q2FY23 to 21.5% during Q3FY24. While we believe that margins may improve further from here on, our focus for next 12-15 months would remain on improving our capacity utilization and delivering industry leading volume growth.” 

Mr. Dharmender Tuteja, Chief Financial Officer – Dalmia Bharat Limited, said “We continue to remain one of the lowest cost producers in the country. This, along with softening commodity prices, helped us to achieve 11.3% YoY growth in our EBITDA/T to Rs 1,138. We continue to further strengthen our operational efficiencies through strategic investments. In line with our commitment to keep net debt at less than 2 time of EBITDA, we closed this quarter with Net Debt to EBITDA at 0.16 times. Our Net Debt is now reduced to Rs 431 Cr.” 

Key updates for the quarter 

Mr. Puneet Dalmia, in addition to CEO & MD of Dalmia Bharat Ltd, has taken additional responsibility of CEO & MD of Dalmia (Cement) Bharat Ltd, the operating company, with effect from December 8, 2023. 

Completed debottlenecking at Belgaum, Karnataka (0.9 MnT). Total Cement capacity increased to 44.6 MnT.  

Received 2nd installment of Rs 320 Cr from Sarvapriya Healthcare Solutions Private Limited, a promoter group company, for the sale of investment in Dalmia Bharat Refractories Limited by Dalmia (Cement) Bharat Ltd.  

Received final installment of Rs 120 Cr from Hippostores Technology Pvt. Ltd., a promoter group company, on account of sale of Hippo Stores (the retail venture). 

Key Recognitions during the quarter 

Won CII SCALE Logistics & Supply Chain Excellence Awards for Most Innovative Delivery Models in Cement Supply Chain 

Won India's best circular economy champion of the year in World Conclave and Awards 2023 

Awarded Outstanding Achievements in Environment Protection in 23rd Annual Greentech Environment Award 2023 

Won Platinum and Jury Champion Award for "In house design, & development of Robotic cleaning device for solar panels" under Innovative Kaizen category.

Residential Prices Surge 11.2% YoY In Bengaluru: Magicbricks PropIndex (Oct-Dec 2023)

* Residential demand jumped 12.0% YoY in the same quarter 

Magicbricks, India's leading real estate platform, released its flagship PropIndex Report (October-December 2023) which observed a significant surge of 11.2% YoY in property prices in Bengaluru. The report further unveiled that despite the price rise, the residential demand increased 12% YoY in the same quarter, while supply reduced 21.9% YoY.  

At the same time, compared to the previous quarter, the residential demand decreased 13.6% QoQ as prices increased 3% QoQ and supply reduced 2.9% QoQ, a cyclical reduction due to fluctuations in demand, prices, and supply that shape market dynamics. The average rates of ready-to-move and under-construction properties in Bengaluru increased 2.2% QoQ and 4.9% QoQ respectively. 

Elaborating on these trends, Abhishek Bhadra, Research Head, Magicbricks, commented, "The year 2023 served as a pivotal period for the real estate sector, witnessing an exponential surge in residential demand propelled by robust macroeconomic factors and positive customer sentiment. However, constrained residential supply and increasing home loan rates had an inflationary impact on residential prices, subsequently declining demand this quarter. Despite these short-term challenges, we foresee a positive trajectory for residential demand in the medium to long term, anticipating a rebound in supply and moderation in residential prices.” 

The report further shared that the residential demand in Bengaluru was dominated by 3BHK configurations, commanding a substantial 48% share, closely trailed by 2BHK configurations, which accounted for 29%. Sarjapur Road and Whitefield emerged as the preferred residential localities in Bengaluru.  

The report, based on insights from the behavior and preferences of over 2 crore customers within the primary (first time sale) and secondary (resale) residential real estate market on the Magicbricks platform, also unveiled that across 13 key cities, property prices surged 18.8% YoY between with an 18.8% YoY and 3.97% QoQ surge between October and December 2023. This report also revealed notable trends in residential demand, supply, and property rates in Bengaluru.  

About Magicbricks: India's no 1 property site   

As the largest platform for buyers and sellers of property to connect in a transparent manner, Magicbricks has monthly traffic exceeding 2 crores and an active base of over 15 lakh property listings. Magicbricks has metamorphosed into a full-stack service provider for all real estate needs, with 15+ services including home loans, pay rent, movers and packers, legal assistance, property valuation, and expert advice. 

With 15+ years of experience and deep research-based knowledge, Magicbricks also presents a repertoire of insight-driven platforms like MBTV- India’s leading online real estate YouTube channel, and other proprietary tools so that home buyers can access all information related to price trends and forecasts, locality reviews and more.  

Zuno General Insurance Harnesses Tech For Safer Roads With Zuno Driving Quotient' Initiative During Indian Road Safety Month

Zuno General Insurance, a new-age digital insurer, announced its road safety initiative as it proudly supports the Road Safety Month organized by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India. The initiative, spanning from 12th to 25th January 2024, aims to raise awareness about the critical importance of road safety and encourages responsible driving practices for safer roads. 

Given its digital first approach, Zuno General Insurance is using Tech  along with an interesting marketing campaign to drive home the message. The campaign will lean on Bollywood driven pop culture  in the country to drive activation programmes in five major cities across India, namely Mumbai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru. At identified long-duration signals in each city, these iconic characters will engage with citizens urging them to follow traffic rules and help raise awareness in their signature style. 

The initiative will also introduce the Zuno Driving Quotient challenge (ZDQ), encouraging individuals to download the Zuno App and assess their driving skills and get an objective score through the app. 

The Company conducted surveys and found that there was a general overconfidence bias amongst people while assessing their own driving ability, with over 65% drivers believing their driving was very good. On the contrary, some case studies on the subject state that only around 30-35% drivers are good or excellent drivers. This reaffirmed Zuno’s conviction that there was a dire need for a mechanism that would effectively measure driving behviour and  encourage and guide people to improve it over time. 

The Zuno app employs motion detection and monitors factors such as sudden braking, distracted driving, and over-speeding to calculate a comprehensive Driving Score. This score not only offers valuable insights into one’s driving habits but also encourages safer driving practices. Simply put, the better you drive, the better your score will be and the more you can save on your insurance premium. The users can take the 15-day driving challenge by downloading the Zuno app and take a journey of self-discovery and road safety. 

Specially curated brand spots on high-frequency radio platforms will urge people to follow traffic rules and drive safely or face encounters with the scariest/deadliest characters of Bollywood in their city. 

Shanai Ghosh, MD and CEO of Zuno General Insurance, remarked, "Road safety is a shared responsibility, and Zuno is committed to driving positive change on our roads. Our initiative seeks to create a lasting impression on the driver community in understanding their role and impact in fostering safer roads in the country. We aim to promote safer driving habits while engaging the audience through a blend of curiosity and nostalgia. Our ‘Zuno Driving Quotient’ is an important step in raising awareness on around good driving behaviour, correlation with road accidents and eventual positive impact on the society, as a whole. We are going a step beyond awareness, by using rewards to influence behavioural change. Everyone who engages with it, will be incentivized to drive better, thus making roads safer for people in India, leading to lower accidents and lower fatalities. For us, it is not just a campaign but a movement to make India drive better with Zuno Driving Quotient”. 

Blue Dart’s Records Quarter 3 Sales At Rs 1,383 Crores

Blue Dart Express Limited, South Asia's leading express air, integrated transportation, and distribution logistics company, announced its financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2023, at the Board Meeting. 

The company posted Rs 82 crores profit after tax for the quarter ended December 31, 2023. Revenue from operations for the quarter ended December 31, 2023, stood at Rs 1,383 crores. 

Reflecting on the company's performance, Balfour Manuel, Managing Director of Blue Dart Express Ltd., said, "In the post-pandemic era, as global trade normalizes, we continue to navigate challenges such as higher interest rates and increasing costs. Despite these hurdles, we not only surpassed pre-pandemic revenue levels but also have continued to invest in capacities and strengthened our position as the provider of choice for our customers. Our commitment to customer-centricity remains our top priority, driving our success." 

Discussing the business outlook, he emphasized, “The growth opportunities and continued focus on customer centricity have enabled us to continue to invest, aligned with our strategic focus on People, Process and Technology. This is complemented by a Last In-First Out approach, further reinforcing our market leadership.” 

Exceptional Service Quality, coupled with automation and technology, continues to be pivotal in providing customers with a seamless, one-stop solution for all their logistics requirements. The company handled 919 lakh shipments, weighing 314,239 metric tonnes, in the Quarter ended December 31, 2023. 

Blue Dart was recently recognized as India's Top Value Creator 2023 in the transport and logistics category, highlighting its commitment to excellence. The company has not only established itself as the Provider of Choice but also stands out as an Employer of Choice and an Investment of Choice for all its stakeholders. Blue Dart continues to set a precedent in the industry, dedicated to delivering outstanding value and upholding its leadership position.  

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