Thursday, February 28, 2019

Silk Mark Expo 2019 in Pune


PUNE: Silk Mark Organization of India, Central Silk Board is organising National level Special Handloom Expo - Silk Mark Expo 2019 at Sonal Hall, Near Garware College, Karve Road,Pune for the benefit of the consumers in Pune.

Expo will open on 1st March 2019 and will continue upto 14th March 2019. The Exhibitors hail from far flung handloom weaving centers of India. Only Authorized Users of Silk Mark & Handloom Mark are allowed to participate in the Expo. Products are tagged with Silk Mark label to ensure purity of Silk & Handloom Mark Label to ensure the origin of the product. There will a display of Live Silk Worm rearing and free Silk Testing Facilities for the benefit of Silk consumers.

This Expo is sponsored by Development Commissioner (Handlooms) especially for market promotion of Handloom Silk products with Silk Mark and Handloom Mark. The main objective is to provide 100 % Pure Silk Handloom Products to the consumers of Pune with quality assurance of Silk Mark and Handloom Mark in addition to promoting all types of Silks produced in different Handloom Weaving Clusters.

Silk Mark Organization of India, Central Silk Board, Ministry of Textile, Govt. of India is making all efforts to create awareness about the importance of Pure Silk among the Silk Loving consumers through Silk Mark Expos. These provide a wide platform for small Handloom Weavers / Women Entrepreneurs / Traders / Handloom Societies besides creating a Brand Image for Indian Silks.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Škoda launches city SUV Škoda Kamiq


PUNE: Škoda is adding a third model to its European SUV portfolio: the Škoda Kamiq. Just like with the successful Škoda Kodiaq and Karoq, the name Kamiq also originates from the language of the Inuit people who live in northern Canada and Greenland: it means something that fits perfectly.

Sitting in the growing city SUV segment, the Škoda Kamiq perfectly combines the advantages of a sport utility vehicle – such as higher ground clearance and an elevated seat position – with the agility of a compact car. With an emotive design, state-of-the-art assistance and infotainment systems, a generous amount of space and numerous Simply Clever features, the new Kamiq equally fulfils the needs of both family- and lifestyle-oriented customers.

Škoda Auto Ceo, Bernhard Maier, said, “By introducing the Škoda Kamiq, we are completing our successful European SUV portfolio at the lower end. As our first city SUV, the Škoda Kamiq will captivate new customer groups for the ŠKODA brand and it is therefore an important component of our model campaign.

The Škoda Kamiq offers an attractive overall package and combines SUV‑typical characteristics such as the elevated seat position and a good view of the road with agile handling, an emotive design, a high level of safety and state-of-the-art connectivity. Furthermore, its generous amount of space and many Simply Clever features make it a real Škoda.”

The Škoda Kamiq continues the successful SUV design language from the Kodiaq and the Karoq and comes with new visual highlights such as the split headlights featuring the daytime running lights above the main headlights. The city SUV is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) and, with a length of 4,241 mm, offers the Škoda-typical generous amount of space.

 “With the expansion of our SUV family, we have not only focused on a uniform design language, the clear line of the names containing a K and a Q also accentuates the coherence and has a high recognition value. In the language of the Inuit, Kamiq embodies something in which you feel comfortable in any situation and that has its own character. That suits this car perfectly,” explained Alain Favey, Škoda Auto Board Member for Sales and Marketing.

With the Kamiq, Škoda is tapping into a new, younger target group that pursues a modern, adventure-oriented lifestyle in the increasingly popular city SUV segment. Apart from a car’s off-road appearance, a high level of efficiency is especially important in this segment and the Kamiq is therefore exclusively available with front-wheel drive.

Mphasis, NCPEDP honoured with Zero Project Award


PUNE (BENGALURU): Mphasis, an Information Technology (IT) solutions provider specializing in cloud and cognitive services; and National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) were recently honoured with the prestigious Zero Project award, for their exemplary work in advocating for a national disability policy which was implemented in June, 2017.

Zero Project is an initiative of the Essl Foundation that focuses on the rights of persons with disabilities globally. It provides a platform where the most innovative and effective solutions to problems that persons with disabilities face, are shared. The award was jointly conferred to both entities under the Innovation Practices category at the Awards Function recently held in Vienna.

While most countries have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ensuring the implementation of these commitments through practical laws and policies is a complex and challenging process.  India ratified the UNCRPD in 2007 and the old Act required over a hundred amendments to comply with UNCRPD. It took over a decade to push for appropriate policies and amendments that will safeguard the rights of over 70 million people with disabilities living in India.

In 2016, both entities achieved a fruitful outcome for their long term campaign when the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act was passed unanimously by both Houses of Parliament. The Bill recognizes several new disabilities including intellectual and psychosocial disabilities for the first time, mandates the private sector to develop equal opportunity policies, designates special district courts for fast-tracking cases of disability discrimination, and sets requirements for representation of persons with disabilities in new government bodies.

Dr Meenu Bhambhani, VP and Head CSR, Mphasis said, “We are both excited and pleased with the recognition we have received for our joint efforts with NCPEDP in successfully pushing the national disability bill to implementation. 4-8% of India’s population has some or the other form of disability. Regulations, legislations and policies play a significant role in including or excluding this population from having access to basic citizenship rights. We are proud to have succeeded in achieving ground breaking policy changes, implemented by the Indian Government through our sustained and tireless efforts over the last few years. We are already seeing how this law is proving to be a game changer and ensuring that is included is a matter of right and not benevolence. These small steps will go a long way in safeguarding the interests of our citizens in an equitable manner.”

According to Arman Ali, Executive Director, NCPEDP “This recognition means a lot to all of us in the disability rights movement. This new law is a game changer comparable with some of the best legislations across the world and that this partnership has been recognized is a double celebration for us. This support from Mphasis in a landscape that is shrinking for self-advocacy and rights has helped us get India on the global disability map and has set for us the way forward for the next many years.”

Kangchenjunga Expedition flagged off from Shivneri

Suresh Haware and Umesh Zirpe

PUNE (SHIVNERI FORT):  Maharashtra’s saffron flag off ceremony of Giripremi’s ambitious ‘Kangchenjunga Eco Expedition 2019’ was concluded on the birthplace of Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at Fort Shivneri.

Suresh Haware, MD Haware Builders and Engineers and President Shri Sai Baba Sansthan, Shirdi handed over Maharashtra’s saffron flag to team leader Umesh Zirpe and entire Kangchenjunga Eco Expedition team. Giripremi’s climber will now unfurl the flag along with Indian National Flag at world’s third highest and India’s highest peak.

The saffron flag of Maharashtra is a symbol of courage and an epitome of valor. Giripremi’s team is determined to unfurl the flag at the top of Mt. Kangchenjunga and make the expedition successful. Flag off, the auspicious and one of the most important events of a mountaineering expedition, was organized at historic Fort Shivneri on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Along with team members, hundreds of supports and well-wishers attended the event with enthusiasm. Team members also worshipped Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for the success of the expedition.

A special Abhishek was also performed at Shivai Devi Temple with holy water of five divine rivers of Pune districts named as Mula, Mutha, Pawana, Ghod, and Bhima.The saffron flag was handed over to the team by Dr. Haware. He wished the team luck and said he is confident about the success of the expedition. He said, “Giripremi is known for making history in mountaineering field in India. I am confident that they will continue to do so and make the Kangchenjunga Expedition successful. We all have already imagined the saffron flag and Indian National Flag unfurling at the top of Mt. Kangchenjunga, Giripremi’s Mountaineers will make it in reality in coming time and will make us proud.”

Zirpe, expedition leader, expressed his gratitude towards supporter and mentors and assured about the success of the expedition. He said, “the saffron flag of Maharashtra is a symbol of courage. It inspires us to achieve new heights and goals and take on challenges. Now it is our responsibility to take this flag on top of the country and unfurl with pride. I am confident that our team members will overcome all challenges and make this expedition successful. The joy of receiving the flag at such a holy and sacred place is something else. It gives a motivation to achieve the desired success.”

Giripremi’s 10- member team will climb Mt Kangchenjunga which includes six Everesters named Ashish Mane, Rupesh Khopade, Bhushan Harshe, Prasad Joshi, Anand Mali, and Krishna Dhokale along with Dr. Sumit Mandale (World’s fourth highest peak- Mt. Cho Oyu Summitter), Vivek Shivade, Kiran Salastekar, and Jitendra Gaware. Along with the team Giripremi’s well-wishers and supporters attended the event in large number.

Giripremi’s Kangchenjunga Eco Expedition 2019 will take place in April- May 2019. The team will leave for Nepal on March 30, 2019. Mt. Kangchenjunga is the world’s third highest peak and India’s tallest peak. It is considered to be one of the toughest peaks to climb. Giripremi has organized India’s largest civilian expedition on the country’s highest peak.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Mid-cap IT firms see acquisitions as the way forward


PUNE: Mergers and acquisitions are at an all-time high in the IT services sector in India, be it a large firms like HCL Technologies or mid-cap players. Industry experts think this is the way forward for the sector.

With the world shifting to digital, IT outsourcing firms are in greater need of talent and capability to cater to the demand for latest capabilities such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. According to experts, M&A now is a good strategy, despite the risks.

Among the recent buys are HCL's acquisition of IBM products for $1.8 billion, and Zensar buying Cynosure for 33 million. Stevan Hall, President, Information Services Group (ISG) – Europe, Middle East, Africa, said last year saw highest acquisition of digital agencies by the IT firms last year. "Acquisition pipeline is incredibly healthy," Hall said.

However, Hall agreed that margins could be thin as companies are investing heavily in the space, which also has a long gestation period. The margins could be better if a company has a non-linear revenue model such as revenue-based on outcome-based work, the margins could suffer, he added.

Akhilesh Tuteja, Global Cyber Security practice Co-leader and heads the IT Advisory practice for KPMG in India and the Europe Middle East and Africa (EMA), said: "Time is over when companies can do everything on their own." According to him, at a time when the landscape is changing so fast it is impossible for companies to build everything on their own at a short time. So acquisitions are a logical way to go about despite the risks.

Since 2015, IT firms have been on an acquisition spree in terms of number and value of acquisitions. Bengaluru-based Mindtree acquired four companies between 2015 and 2016 to the tune of $141 million as opposed to seven companies it acquired between 2004 and 2010 under $50 million.

Pune-based Persistent Systems has done four acquisitions since 2015, latest one being Herald Technologies for $5.2 million. Zensar Technologies has made four high profile acquisitions since 2015. The latest one includes the US-based Cynosure for $33 million.

Pointing out the increase in the acquisition pipeline, Atul Nishar, founder and chairman, Hexaware Technologies, said that the biggest investment is happening in digital technologies as the companies want to reach out to the customers faster.

"Artificial intelligence, block chain and data analytics are driving the growth at the moment. If you take mid-cap players many of them are building capabilities in-house. These players are going for M&A for filling the gap or to take a competence to a much higher level. For, it takes a long time to build a platform or product," he said.

Arvind Thakur of NIIT Technologies said in a recent interaction with Moneycontrol that acquisitions are the key pillar of growth for the company and it will always keep an eye out for that. The company itself made two acquisitions since 2015 – Incessant Technologies and RuleTek. As the company expands its digital offerings, they are looking to acquire companies that can offer digital capabilities.

Maha initiates inquiry into police action on disabled


PUNE: The Maharashtra government expressed regret over the police baton-charge on disabled students in Pune. Several thousand deaf youth were protesting in front of the Social Welfare Commissionerate in Pune on Monday afternoon when the police action took place, resulting in injuries to 35 students.

Replying to a demand by Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde to suspend the errant policemen, state Revenue Minister Chandarakant Patil said an inquiry had been instituted into the incident.

The Shiv Sena, a constituent of the Devendra Fadnavis-led government, demanded a judicial probe. Patil, who is the leader of the Upper House, said Dilip Kamble, minister of state for social justice, would meet the students.

"The demands of the students are being discussed. We are positive about fulfilling them. Arrangements are being made to bring the students here. Action would be taken against those responsible (for the lathicharge)," Patil told the House. NCP leader Munde said if demands of the students were fulfilled at the district level itself, the protest need not have happened.

He alleged that the government was busy issuing advertisements while the youth were demanding jobs. Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe demanded a judicial probe into the incident, claiming that the police would suspend some of its personnel who would then approach the MAT (Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal) and resume office. This way, she alleged, the real culprits would go unpunished and the innocent would be targeted. She also demanded that the transfer of Balaji Manjule, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, be cancelled.

NCP legislator Vidya Chavan attacked the government saying that while it used terms like "divyang" for people with disabilities, the police was attacking them. "The chief minister, who also holds the Home portfolio, should come to the House and apologise," she said, adding that police should not be made scapegoats in the issue.

Protesting students in Pune were demanding the right to quality education, provision of trained interpreters for deaf students and stopping fraudulent distribution of disability certificates to able-bodied persons.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Draft DP by March-end, says commissioner Gitte


PUNE: The Pune metropolitan region development plan draft is expected to be ready by the end of March. Outgoing PMRDA commissioner Kiran Gitte said 70% of the work had been completed.

Gitte, an IAS officer from Tripura cadre who was at the helm of PMRDA for three years, had joined Maharashtra cadre as Amravati collector in 2014. He will return to Tripura after his five-year term of special deputation ended on February 5.

As per the central government deputation rules, officers must return to their cadre after they complete their deputation. Gitte had handed over the additional charge of PMRDA to Pimpri Chinchwad municipal commissioner Shravan Hardikar in the first week of February. "It is as per the rules and I have to go back to my cadre, but it has been an eventful five years in Maharashtra," he said.

Gitte also said the draft master plan that will be finished soon, will give much-needed thrust to projects in the area. The PMRDA plan was prepared in consultation with Surbana Jurong, a Singapore government agency, after an MoU was signed earlier by the government. The plan covers the entire 7,357 sq km area for the next 50 years. With chief minister Devendra Fadnavis pushing this region as the "growth engine" for Pune, Gitte said the plan would implement the best global practices.

During his five-year tenure, Gitte said he was able to execute and give thrust to various development projects, which included town planning schemes, the Metro rail, the ring road and the hyperloop, as well as taking building permission plans online.

Among his achievements, Gitte was able to get enough manpower for the authority, stabilize its income and even get AA credit certification, have an online building permission system, prepare the master plan, the comprehensive mobility plan and take forward the Hinjewadi-Shivajinagar Metro and ring road projects. "The projects are necessary for the region. It would definitely improve the ease of living here," he said.

Poverty can be eradicated by creating Jobs: Dr. Rama


PUNE: “There are three important aspects those should be taken into consideration while addressing the employment problem in India. First is how do we see the problem? Second is Digital Revolution and third is the Government Policies for Employment,” said Martin Rama during his speech at the International Conference on, Future of Employment: Challenges and Opportunities (FECO 2019).

This event was organized by Symbiosis School of Economics at Symbiosis International (Deemed University). Dr. Martin Rama, is the Chief Economist for the South Asia region of the World Bank, based in Delhi. He further stated that to get the freedom from poverty, jobs must be created on a large scale in a country like India having a population of more than 125 crores.

It has been observed that in the developing countries there is an anxiety about the emerging technologies like artificial intelligence or robots. There is a feeling that such type of techniques may result in loss of jobs on a large scale or it can be used as substitute for the humans. To defend this psychology, Dr. Martin Rama said that New Technologies has the capacity to generate new jobs in the market e.g. Ola and Uber companies’ generated jobs for thousands of people across the nation. Labor policies in India needs simplification in their operation and social protection is required from Job based to Individual based he added further in his speech.

Speaking at the conference Dr. S.B. Mujumdar said that, Today unemployment has become a global issue. In our country where there is a maximum number of youth available we must convert this youth into a strong human resource by giving them a skill based education. A skill based education is required for employability.

Pune’s Otakus come out to Cosplay


PUNE: Pune has officially caught the anime and magna fever! The Japanese animation and graphic book phenomenon - that has been dominating mainstream pop culture for a while now - has quite a few fans in the city.

And their love for all things Naruto, Deathnote and more was on full display at a Indo-Japanese cosplay event recently organised in Viman Nagar. Pune’s Otakus (which is anime-speak for Manga fans) turned out in large numbers to live out their fantasies at the Pune Matsuri Festival, where Rukia Kuchiki from the anime Bleach and Kyoshi from Avatar could be seen rubbing shoulders with Batman from The Dark Knight and Oda Nobunaga (from Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings).

“I grew up reading manga comics and watching anime shows, but today I got to be one in real life!”, a cosplayer from Manipur, told us excitedly at the event. “For an avid anime fan like me, it was a great opportunity to be a part of a fantasy world. I was glad I got the chance to be quirky, weird, and completely out of this world.”

Nishad Nadkarni, who was dressed up as Splicer from Bioshock, told us that he designed and created his whole costume at home. “It took me three to four days to put it together. The Splicer costume is difficult to make, as the character has two weapons in its hands. I made the entire outfit using foam and a wooden base,” he said, adding, “What I like about the character is that it appears to look like a statue, but then it can surprisingly strike back against its enemies.”

Meanwhile, Evangelin Retnamony took two weeks to create the Oda Nobunaga (from the Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings series) look. She said, “It is fun to dress up as, and play the part of, a villain. In real life, we have to follow what our parents and teachers tell us, but through these characters, we get to know the twisted world of the villains, who are quite powerful in the manga culture.” She added, “I used EVF Foam and managed to put an amazing costume together with the help of my friends.”

For the people of Pune, cosplay and comic conventions are relatively foreign terms, while the anime community in the city is still quite small. Which means that they rarely -  if ever -  get a chance to participate in an event of this scale. “We are looked upon as geeks and nerds for loving anime and manga,” said Evangelin. “Such platforms allow us to be who we want to be, without any judgement,” added Aditya Kalebere, who went as Batman from The Dark - a costume he too made on his own from scratch. Ambhahlang Pakyntein, a student, also called the experience “liberating and incredible”. “For an hour or two, we got the chance to enter the world of manga, and to live like these characters.

“What I like about the manga world is the fact that these series don’t keep their focus solely on superheroes who save the world. In fact, in manga and anime, all sorts of people - heroes, villains, and the whole spectrum of the weird, awkward and diverse humanity — gets a platform. So, there’s so much to look forward to,” said Rajeev Bhatt, an anime fan from Delhi.

Bharat Murthy, an animation film director and comics artist, who was judging the main cosplay contest, said, “I’m glad to see that the city’s cosplayers are getting such platforms right here in Pune. In Asia, the anime and manga culture is celebrated with fervour and enthusiasm, but youngsters can’t always travel to Japan to perform cosplay.” The organiser of the event Farhat Chagla added, “This was an opportunity for young cosplayers to express themselves and to give them a creative platform.”

More local trains in sight on new track to Lonavla


PUNE: The number of local trains between Pune and Lonavla is set to increase soon with a new track coming up to connect Shivajinagar to the Lonavla.

“The Shivajinagar station has been upgraded with new facilities for passengers. New railways tracks will be laid between the stations in Shivajinagar and Lonavla. Once the new tracks become operational, the number of local trains between the two destinations will increase,” an official of the Central Railway’s Pune division said.

The official said the trains between Pune and Lonavla and Pune and Talegaon witness huge crowd daily. At present, two local trains run between Pune and Lonavla. On the other hand, three trains run between Pune and Talegaon.

“All these trains are daily availed of by several passengers. There’s a need to increase the number of the trains. The new line, which will be built at Rs 2.50 crore, will be of much benefit. We hope to finish the project by June, following which more local trains can be introduce on the Pune-Lonavla route. The number of the new trains will be decided soon,” the official said.

On the new services at the Shivajinagar station, the official said the circulating area of the facility has been provided with a fresh look. The illumination at the station has also been improved. “The new circulating area of the station looks much better now. It will also be a spot of attraction for people willing to take selfies. The two footbridges at the station have also been improved in terms of the width and look. The railways has been emphasizing on proper lights at all stations. We have taken all efforts to improve the illumination system at the Shivajinagar station,” the official said.

As many as 62 trains currently originate from the Pune station. “With the Shivajinagar station being developed, some more trains can be shifted to the facility. This will reduce much pressure on the Pune station. A new local train with 15 compartments to Lonavla is likely to start from the station by August,” the official said.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Pune gets its first Veterinary Ophthalmology Clinic


PUNE: While Vet care is coming of age in India, there is still a need for specialized units like Vet ophthalmology centres. Pune will soon get its first Veterinary Ophthalmology Speciality Clinic and operation theatre as Vivet Multispeciality Clinic launches ‘The Eye Vet’ their first center at Baner –Pashan Link Road.

The clinic will offer medical and surgical services to pet animals like Cats and Dogs, Horses and other animals. These services include Ophthalmic Consultation, surgeries, cataract surgeries, Equines which includes visit to stud farms and attending to complicated or rare cases etc. The clinic is a state-of-art center with advanced diagnostics, modern equipments and trained staff,” said Dr Kasturi Bhadsavle, Veteran Ophthalmologist and founder of  Vivet Multispecialty Clinic.

Speaking on the occasion Dr Kasturi Bhadsavle said that while medical facilities for pets have leapfrogged in India, there is a dire need for super specialty medical services like ophthalmology. Pets today are not just companions, but family members. With conglomeration of nuclear families in urban India and rising disposable incomes, people today are demanding advanced diagnostics and state of art services for their pets. The reason – they are equally emotionally attached to their pets like any other family member and would not leave any stone unturned for giving best of the medical services to them.”

Further she added, “Pune is a wonderful city with many bungalows, row houses and residential complexes which house a lot of pets and the citizens are equally passionate about their pets. However there needs to be a lot of awareness about the health issues in pets and the risk factors which might result in eye ailments. The Eye Vet Clinic will also hold workshops to make aware pet owners on ailments and preventive measures. Apart from pets, ophthalmology services are also required for horses, birds, animals in the zoo,” she added.

Embrace the future with expertise: T C Sajit


PUNE: “We have to prepare ourselves to embrace the challenging future and must be equipped with the latest technologies to face it successfully,” said TC Sajit, chief human resource officer of Bangalore International Airport Ltd here while inaugurating Checkmate-2019, an international conference organised by Allana Institute.

M.C.E. Society's Allana Institute of Management Sciences organised Checkmate 2019, an International Conference on Emerging Business Strategies in a Connected World at Pune. Allana Institute is organising this conference consecutively since 11 years.

Chief Guest T.C. Sajit (Chief Human Resources officer), Bangalore International Airport Ltd.) Inaugurated the conference. While speaking at the inauguration Sajit said, “Six airports of our country are privatized and 140 are in row of privatization. 2000 aircrafts will start operations in coming seven years. Aviation industry will see tremendous growth in near future. We have to be ready with knowledge, vision and expertise."

“Automation and artificial intelligence are at doorstep and management students must be ready to adopt changes and make careers accordingly,” he added. Social worker S.Rangnathan felicitated with' Lifetime Excellence Award ' at the hands of Dr.PA Inamdar. Book of research papers of this conference also released in this function at the hands of dignitaries.

Dr. P. A. Inamdar (President - MCE Society) , Abeda P. Inamdar (VP, MCE Society), Chief Convener Dr. R. Ganesan (Director, AIMS) were present at inauguration session. Umesh Deshpande (GM, Mercedes Benz ltd), S. Muralidharan, President, Lucas India Service Ltd), Dr. Anand Verma (DGM,Ashok Leyland Ltd), Alok Bajpal (Global CFO, Net Magic NTT Communications), Sudhir Gupta (Management Consultant), Sanjay Suranglikar (Sr GM Head Strategic Sourcing Supplier Quality, Tata Toyo Radiator Ltd), Shripad Kadam (DGM, Sourcing & Procurement, Emerson India), Amit Borkar (VP, Operations, A Raymond Fasteners India Pvt Ltd), Dr. Meera Venkat (President, Raise Global), Sandhya Venu Sanjay (Sr Lead Services Excellence VPC DXC Technology), S. Ranganathan (Leadership Mentor), Kiran Bhat (MD, Xebec Communications Pvt Ltd), MJ Tarun, Pravin Rapal (Founder, innovation Next), Yahya Rasheed participated in conference.

PIMSE hosts National Seminar on Industry


PUNE: Poona Institute of Management Sciences and Entrepreneurship (PIMSE) organized two days National seminar under Quality Improvement Program of Savitribai Phule Pune University on the theme 'Industry 4.0: Ecological, Ethical, Social, Cultural Concerns' on 15th and 16th February.

The seminar was organized under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Shakeel Ahmed Director, Dr. Sheena Abraham as seminar convener and Dr. Anjum Sayyad as seminar co-ordinator. Eminent personalities such as  P.R. Trivedi, (Retired VP of Mahindra and Mahindra Pvt Ltd, Pune), Dr. Faisal Ahmed (Associate Professor and Chairman of IB, Fore School of Management, Delhi), Dr. Syed Azharuddin (Professor, Dept of Commerce, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad), Pallavi Bandgar (Founder and CEO of Shagun Masala), Dr. Subash D’Souza (Vice Principal St Joseph College Virar), Dr. Abhay Kulkarni (Director, IICMR, Pune), Rohan Pradhan (DGM, Vodafone Shared Services), Swapnil Jadhav (Practice Head IoT) & Industry 4.0, Inteliment Technologies, Pune, Neha Kejriwal (General Manager, Maersk) graced the occasion with their presence and shared valuable insights on Concerns of Industry 4.0.

Around 50 + delegates participated from institutes all over India. The seminar proved to be the meeting ground for MBA students, Research Scholars and Teacher Educators to exchange experiences, knowledge, queries and insights.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Pune Startup Fest’19 to begin on Feb 23rd


PUNE: Since last 12 years, Bhau’s Entrepreneurship Cell, College Of Engineering, Pune (BEC-COEP) has been working to promote the culture of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. They aim to inculcate the spirit of Entrepreneurship and Innovation amongst the people. It also aims to provide a plethora of opportunities to the innovative youth, such as creating an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, providing pre-incubation facilities and conducive environment for innovators in the institute so that successful commercial and social ventures are developed.

This year  BEC-COEP has planned to conduct  “Pune Startup Fest “ in association with Tricentis, as an initiative to bring together  startups in and around Pune to inspire students of COEP as well as the citizens of Pune, on 23rd  and 24th February 2019.

Under the patronage of Startup India, Maharashtra State Innovation Society and in association with Pune Muncipal Corporation, Pune Startup Fest aims to promote and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of Pune. It is an initiative to provide high visibility transformative platform for curated set of more than 100 startups to present themselves in front of a variety of audience.

A platform for entrepreneurs to connect with others

An investor zone for the startups to interact

Student startups to display their innovation

Internship zone for students to get internships

Other zones like technical zone, lifestyle zone,  social zone and agricultural zones.

Pune StartUp Fest has 7 major zones:

1.Technical Zone

Google’s founders Larry Page & Sergey Brin transformed the way we look at the internet today. Companies develop new technologies that satisfy the demands of consumers and businesses, or integrate existing technologies creatively and innovatively. This zone is dedicated to such startups.

2. Social Zone

Social entrepreneurs combine commerce and social issues in a way that improves the lives of people connected to the cause. They don’t measure their success in terms of profit alone – success to social entrepreneurs means that they have improved the world, however they define that.  

3. Agriculture Zone

The Agriculture Industry employs about 40 percent of the world population. This sector is influencing many entrepreneurs and is creating a wave of Agri-Tech based startups.

4. Lifestyle Zone

Unconventional solutions to everyday problems, innovation to sustain livehood, or a quick fix or tweak that can ease lives of various individual – everyone wants a healthy, hassle free life, and these startups will make it the perfect enabler.

5. Student Startups

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are self-made billionaires who made their fortunes in tech and they started their businesses while they were still students. There are no boundaries to being an entrepreneur, but they never stopped believing in themselves.  

6. Startup Internship

Working for a Startup can be more valuable than a Fortune100 company. A student with little proficiency might end up bagging the Internship which will add value to their career at a very early stage. Interns bring in a lot of energy and are more competitive than a regular hire at times.  

7. Investor Zone

Startups need a catalyst to accelerate their development. Seed investment, Angel Funding, Connections, Mentorship are much needed attributes from an Investor. They support as a backbone to the entrepreneur.There are also dedicated mentors who will guide students who just have an idea and don’t know how to proceed further.
The following events are being conducted for the students:
The PSF’19 is open for all and anyone with an open mind to learn something creative must attend and for the same should fill the attendee form or register for any event on and bring along with them to witness a promising two days.

TiECon Pune 2019 to be held on 12 and 13th April


PUNE: 7th edition of TiECon 2019 is the yearly flagship event at TiE Pune. It is attended by over 700+ entrepreneurs for two days of inspiring subjects on entrepreneurship, industry trends and prospects.

This year TiECon Pune 2019 is to be held at The Westin, Koregoan Park, Pune on April 12th and 13th with an electrifying theme “The Second Wave.” The theme is dedicated to support entrepreneurs to set a new benchmark across the start-up ecosystem.

TiECon Pune 2019 deliberations will be around five pillars: 1. Industries which have seen consolidation like Telecom, Airlines, stress in Banking; 2.Manufacturing which missed the disruption; 3. Agriculture, Healthcare and small to medium enterprises (SMEs), ignored for years but now becoming critical to growth; 4.Disruptive futuristic ideas; and 5.Entrepreneurship to be driven across the country.

“I am looking forward to TiECON Pune 2019. TiE Pune has always stood for quality and content which will be the focus of TiECON Pune 2019. We have experienced entrepreneurs cum mentors who will conduct Deep Dive workshops on key areas affecting an entrepreneur’s journey. TiEConPune participants will have multiple topics to choose from” said Kiran Deshpande, Co-Founder – Mojo Networks & President of TiE Pune.

Deep Dive sessions have received an overwhelming response from attendees. TiECon Pune 2019 will include following deep dive workshops – validating your idea, investment in start-ups, understanding sales & marketing for scale-up, branding, scaling to survive and design thinking.

Deshpande further added “This TiECON has phenomenal line up of speakers from various fields and industries which need a second wave of growth. Personally, I am keen to support futuristic ideas and disruptive technologies."

Building on the six-year tradition of TiEcon Pune, offers a surplus of opportunities to get funded, mentored and build connects with the city's potential as well as matured entrepreneurial community. Entrepreneurs and Founders have found TiECon Pune to be THE event for learning, inspiration, networking and business growth.

Over the last six years Indian icons like Dr. FC Kohli, NR Narayana Murthy, Ronnie Screwvalla, Sanjeev Bajaj, Devdutt Pattanaik, Ayaz Memon, actor Nana Patekar and the Late Alyque Padamsee in the past have shared admirable tracks on all walks of life including business, technology and entrepreneurship.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

GJC host’s NSE Presents National Jewellery Awards


PUNE (MUMBAI): The grand finale of the 8th edition of the country’s biggest and most eagerly awaited gems and jewellery awards were bigger and grander than ever before! All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC), presented 36 National Jewellery Awards (NJA) 2018 across 5 different categories in the presence of Anantha Padmanaban (Chairman and Convener, GJC), Shaankar Sen (Vice Chairman, GJC), Ashish Pethe (Co-Convener-NJA 2018, GJC), Celebrity Chief Guest Malaika Arora, actresses Rashmi Desai & Madhura Naik amongst others.

This year, NJA comprised Jewellery Awards (16 categories), Excellence Awards (3 categories), Store Awards (5 categories), Designer & Artisan Awards (3 categories) and Student of the Year Award. A new category for CSR Initiative and Women Entrepreneurship was added in this year’s NJA awards.

The three hour award function showcased and recognize the talent and craftsmanship in the gems and jewellery industry. Known for its stand for craft, devotion and motivation for the industry, NJA under the auspices of GJC is considered to be Industry's biggest and widest award show that recognizes all sector of the industry and offers a platform where true talent of the industry are appreciated and encourage stimulating growth and creativity in the industry.

Anantha Padmanaban (Chairman, GJC & Convener-NJA 2018) said, “GJC’s NJA awards is the largest platform that recognizes and applauds all segments of India’s gem & jewellery sector. Our exquisite designs are hidden gems and NJA awards elevate this national treasure to take Centre-stage. Despite a challenging and volatile environment, we are overwhelmed to receive over 850 entries and this shows the indomitable spirit of Indian jewellers. The new categories such as CSR Initiative and Women Entrepreneurship showcase that jewellers are socially conscious and responsible citizens.”

Shaankar Sen (Vice Chairman, GJC) said, “GJC’s NJA initiative is an ode to the inimitable talent and intricate craftsmanship of ‘Make in India’ artisans, manufacturers and designers. NJA recognizes these unsung heroes, who have nurtured people’s deep love and passion for jewellery over thousands of years. NJA recognizes the inspiration and innovative approach of manufacturers and marketers who create new fashion and design trends every year. NJA is a celebration of the best-in-class Indian jewellery.” Ashish Pethe (Co-Convener-NJA 2018, GJC) said, “This year, GJC has added several new awards in different categories to ensure that the 8th edition is the biggest, grandest and most popular ever. The NJA awards honour the rich Indian artistic, creative designs in the gems and jewellery industry and the business & marketing acumen of the jewellery manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of India. GJC’s initiatives such as NJA encourage the industry to unite and continue to strive for excellence and deliver quality.

NJA Jury comprised: Queenie Singh (Jewellery Designer), Archana Kochhar (Fashion Designer), Poonam Soni (Jewellery Designer), Tarang Arora (Amrapali), Saurabh Gadgil (PN Gadgil); Nirupa Bhatt (GIA) and Manali Jagtap - (Fashion & Jewellery Designer brand) amongst others. Ernst and Young are the process advisors to the awards this year, adding scrutiny and secrecy to the awards, thus ensuring unbiased and transparent process.

Pune Cookout Session displays importance of almonds


PUNE: A unique cookout session was conducted in Pune where almonds were the main ingredient involving unique snacking and festive recipes demonstrated by homemakers of the city. The session was conducted by Chef Nitin Shitole and Nutritionist Avanti Deshpande as three homemakers from the city led the way in showcasing how almonds could be made a part of our daily diets through snacking and festival food preparations.

Supriya Anansane who prepared lip smacking Almond Granula bar stood first in the snacking session, while Sonal Chaudhari who prepared Almond Choco Balls triumphed in the festive session. Both the cook out rounds saw innovative ideas displayed by participants to make snacking more healthier.

The interactive afternoon kick started with the three homemakers displaying their culinary skills by demonstrating a recipe each which featured almonds as the hero ingredient in snacking and festive recipes. While the homemakers prepared their dishes, Nutritionist Avanti Deshpande and Chef Nitin Shitole shared insights into why almonds make for a healthy snack.

Nutritionist Avanti Deshpande highlighted that “almonds are a powerhouse of 15 nutrients such as vitamin E, Magnesium dietary fibre, protein, and more.” Often referred to as the king of nuts, almonds are versatile nuts that form a delicious part of our daily lives and offer natural goodness in every bite. Owing to their crunchy, scrumptious and nutritious nature, almonds can be made a part of our daily diet in various ways.

Nutritionist Avanti Deshpande said, “For Indian families, food comes first and we don’t usually plan our meals especially during midafternoon or early evening snacking time. Snacking smart with almonds is a great way to lead a healthy lifestyle. Almonds have been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol when included in a healthy diet and might help in reducing levels of heart-damaging inflammation. Not just this, a handful of almonds promotes the feeling of fullness, helping you keep hunger at bay. They are naturally high in dietary fibre and low in sugars.”

Chef Nitin Shitole added, “With all of us becoming health conscious, we are always on the lookout for recipes with a healthy twist. Nuts like almonds are a healthy option, are also traditionally considered festive and hence can be used to prepare various snacks that you can serve during festivals. Almonds are easy and quick to flavour and go with just about any masala/spices. Whip up some flavoured almonds to give your family as a healthy and tasty snack, in addition to plain almonds.” The cookout session was followed by the best snacking and festive recipes being awarded with an attractive gift hamper.

Friday, February 15, 2019

MSREI buys majority stake in Pune’s KSH Infra SPV

PUNE (BENGALURU): In its maiden logistic and warehousing investment, Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI) has picked up majority stake in a special purpose vehicle owned by KSH Infra, a Pune-based warehousing and industrial logistics park developer, for Rs 350 crore.

The global private real estate investment management arm of Morgan Stanley Investment Management and KSH Infra together plan to build additional 1.1mn sq ft in Pune market.  “We are actively looking at growing our industrial/warehousing verticals and see robust demand from various segments including manufacturing, logistics companies, retailers and e-commerce players,” said Rohit Hegde, MD, KSH Distriparks. 

KSH Infra operates two warehousing and industrial logistics parks in Chakan and Talegaon in Pune totaling about 1million sq feet, leased to blue-chip multinationals. Pursuant to the transaction, KSH Infra was demerged from KSH Distriparks, which also operates an Internal Container Depot (ICD) out of Pune and has 3PL logistics business across India. 

“We plan to build a portfolio of 5.5 mn sqft of warehouse and logistic parks across warehousing and logistics hubs in the country as there is an active demand for this segment,” said Hegde. KSH Infra plans to rope in more investors at the special purpose vehicle level to expand in newer markets, he said. “The market is witnessing a rapid change as the sector is increasingly being dominated by organised players. 

KSH, with its offering of a sizeable grade A industrial park, an experienced promoter group and a capable management team has emerged as a strong player in the warehousing space,” said Prateek Jhawar, head, Infrastructure and real assets investment banking at Avendus Capital, exclusive financial advisor to KSH Group.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Ford launches app-based shared office Ride


PUNE (NEW DELHI): Ford Motor Company has announced the launch of an app-based shared mobility solution for the residents of Pune city. Ford has entered partnership with Hinjawadi Industries Association (HIA) for the Office Ride app.

The Office Ride shared mobility solution was first announced by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis last week when he launched multiple smart city initiatives.

Ford said that the Office Ride initiative also forms part of the company's efforts to collaborate with the Pune Smart City Development Corporation to explore an integrated transport system to help reduce stress on existing infrastructure and improve the commuting experience.

Each shared vehicle within the Office Ride system will offer free Wi-Fi connectivity to support a more convenient and productive daily commute. Office Ride will enable users to plan their commutes more efficiently by tracking the location of their vehicle through the app and leaving home according to the scheduled time of departure from the pickup point.

Users will be able to pay for the service through their mobile phones, using any preferred digital mode, including internet banking, digital wallets and credit/ debit cards. Ford’s Office Ride began as a pilot for Ford employees in March 2018.

Ford - in a Statement of Intent (SoI) - signed with Pune Smart City Development Corporation has also proposed to set up an integrated transport operating system. Once approved, the system will offer one-click journey planning & ticketing as well as commuter and operator analytics and establish a Mobility Innovation Hub in Pune.