Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Mercedes-Benz redefines the luxury business sedan segment, introduces the first-ever ‘Made in India’ long wheel base new E-Class

India’s largest luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, redefined the luxury executive sedan segment with the launch of the first-ever right hand drive (RHD) long wheel base (LWB) version of the new E-Class luxury business sedan. From its launch, this intelligent business sedan will be ‘Made in India, for India’. With over 13 million units sold globally, the E-Class sedan and estate are the best-selling vehicles for Mercedes-Benz. The new E-Class with its high quality appointments is an illustration of excellent craftsmanship and reflects modern luxury synonymous with Mercedes-Benz. The new E-Class sedan in its 10th generation, is a comprehensive luxury business sedan that intelligently blends driving performance with unmatched luxury and comfort, boasting of the ‘most spacious’ rear cabin in the segment. The new LWB E-Class was launched by Mr. Roland Folger, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India.

Mr. Roland Folger commented: “The new E-Class with its rich history spanning over 2 decades with around 34,000 units on Indian roads, remains a very important product in our portfolio, playing a vital role in the product strategy of Mercedes-Benz India. Majority of our E-Class customers in India are chauffeur driven, and hence it was a natural decision for us to introduce the long wheelbase new E-Class in India and create a new benchmark in the luxury executive segment. India becomes the only country in the world to offer the right hand drive long wheelbase version of the new E-Class, and it took almost 48 months to develop this masterpiece from scratch. As a part of offering the ‘Best Customer Experience’ to our customers, we are glad to introduce to them their favourite luxury business sedan, which will be made in India, for India, from the day of its launch.”

Mr. Markus Schaefer, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management, elaborated: “With the start of production of the new long-wheelbase E-Class, we are continuously expanding our portfolio of ‘Made in India’ products, offering our Indian customers numerous technical innovations of the most intelligent executive sedan. Building nine different model derivatives for local demand in top quality, Pune has become one of our most flexible plants and an absolutely integral part in the global and efficient production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars. This is a great success story made possible by the hard work and dedication of both the management and the workforce in Pune.”

Mr. Folger added: “The new long wheelbase E-Class is truly a ‘Masterpiece of Intelligence’ with its various path breaking innovations. The new E-Class is delightful to drive and fulfills the desire for individuals seeking driving performance, while ensuring it presents the most luxurious rear cabin experience, comprising unparalleled luxury appointments, for those preferring to be chauffeur driven. What makes the new E-Class an even more intriguing value proposition for the customer, is the highly competitive service packages that start at just Rs. 64,700 and sets an industry benchmark for lowest cost of ownership in the segment. We are very confident that the new long wheelbase E-Class will continue the success story of the business sedan in India.”

LANXESS extends its supports for quality education with Teach for India

LANXESS India Private Ltd., a subsidiary of leading global specialty chemicals company LANXESS, renewed its commitment towards quality education by fulfilling its promise of aiding Teach For India (TFI) in their quest to support fellows volunteering to educate under privileged children in municipal schools. 

LANXESS India contributed an amount of Rs. 52,87,500 to the organization as part of its pledged five-year commitment to support the not-for-profit organization’s efforts towards providing quality education to children. The company has committed a sum of  EUR 75000 (approx. Rs. 53 lakhs) per year for Corporate Social Responsibility projects in India for the period 2014-2018.

Dr. Jacques Perez, Managing Director and Country Representative, LANXESS India Pvt. Ltd., handed over the cheque to Ms. Dimple Gujral, Chief Financial Officer, Teach For India (TFI), at LANXESS House in Thane. LANXESS has been contributing to TFI since 2010, starting with a sum of Rs. 50,000 per year. LANXESS has supported over 65 TFI fellows (trained teachers on a 2-year full-time paid commitment) and around 2,000 students directly so far. This contribution works as a support for the fellows who volunteer to teach the kids at the municipal schools since they generally give up their jobs to fulfil these social commitments. 

Speaking on this occasion, Dr. Perez said: “We, as responsible corporate citizens, believe that quality education is among the necessary building blocks for any progressive economy and therefore, it becomes all the more imperative for us to ensure that we support such initiatives in order to play our part judiciously and constructively. We believe in the vision of Teach for India and it complements our corporate social responsibility framework.”

On behalf of TFI, Ms. Gujral said: “We are thankful to LANXESS for their continued support and encouragement in our earnest endeavor of improving children’s lives through education. Our fellows are striving every day to bring out the best in every child and handholding them on the path to a bright future. The support from corporates like LANXESS gives us confidence to sail forward in this journey.”

LANXESS believes in empowering education and has taken many initiatives in India, in the areas of education, skills training and preserving cultural heritage. The company has previously contributed to NGOs, technical institutions and schools to support education in every region that it operates in.

Teach for India is a nationwide NGO, that aims to eliminate inequity in education in India. Through its Fellowship program, TFI recruits qualified college graduates and working professionals to serve as full-time teachers in low-income schools for two years. Fellows work to bridge the educational gaps that their students face, by using innovative methods in classroom.

Renault KWID crosses the 1,30,000 sales milestone

Renault India, one of the fastest growing automotive brands in India, forayed into the compact hatchback segment, with the Attractive, Innovative and Affordable Renault KWID. KWID has been true game-changer and volume driver for Renault India, with more than 1,30,000 cars sold so far.

The growing acceptance of KWID by first time buyers is reflective of KWID being a truly aspirational product, offering an outstanding value proposition. Together with first time buyers, KWID has been instrumental in Renault witnessing new and diverse consumer trends across urban and rural India. Renault launched the KWID with a 0.8L engine and in a short span of time introduced the 1.0L MT and Easy R- AMT variants to cater to various customers.

In a short span of time, Renault has grown its presence exponentially in India, becoming one of the youngest and fastest growing automotive brands and the number one European brand. Renault grew its market share to 4.5 per cent at the end of 2016, achieving a robust three-digit growth over 2015.

Over the last few years, Renault has focused on establishing a strong base in India. Together with a strong product offensive strategy led by KWID, Renault has been continuously undertaking strategic measures across all key business dimensions, ranging from product, network expansion, pioneering customer oriented activities and several innovative marketing initiatives to ensure unmatched customer satisfaction.

Renault stands true to its commitment to keep building on the success of KWID with breakthrough product innovations. After the 1.0L MT and AMT launches last year, Renault has a lot of plans for KWID to keep pace with evolving customer preferences and has a strong product lifecycle strategy for KWID. KWID was one of the best-selling cars in 2016 and will continue to be a key volume driver for Renault to achieve its aggressive growth plans in India.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Mahindra drives in its new electric CitySmart car, the ‘e2oPlus’ in Chennai

Mahindra Electric, part of the diversified $17.8 billion Mahindra Group and a pioneer in the development and production of electric vehicles in India, announced the launch of its new electric CitySmart car, the ‘e2oPlus’ in Chennai. With zero emission, the ‘e2oPlus’ is set to usher in a whole new concept in urban mobility and is priced at an attractive Rs. 7.70 lakhs (for the P4 variant ex-showroom Chennai, post FAME incentive).

On a full charge, the Mahindra e2oPlus can travel for upto 140 km and can achieve a top speed of 85 kmph. Powered by the latest electric drive train technology from Mahindra Electric, the e2oPlus can effortlessly cruise through city traffic and drives Mahindra’s vision of the Future of Mobility. The tall-boy design and spacious interiors make for a compact city car that can comfortably seat four adults.  

Mr. Mahesh Babu, CEO, Mahindra Electric, mentioned: “As the pioneers in integrated and electric mobility solutions in India, it has always been our endeavour to make electric vehicles more accessible across segments. The e2oPlus is a near perfect amalgam of the dramatic advancements in automotive technology, electronics and information technology, combined with minimal running costs. As a listening organisation, the e2oPlus has been evolved keeping in mind the feedback from our potential customers. I am confident that with its technologically advanced features, home charging facility, easy manoeuvrability and affordable ownership, the e2oPlus will soon be accepted as a mainstream car. There has never been a better time to embrace electric vehicles as it not only serves the purpose of a smart city car, but also fulfils the need to contribute positively to the environment.”

At the core of the e2oPlus is a collection of connected features that have been developed to make the car both easier and more enjoyable to drive and maintain. Whether it is planning a route, checking the health of the car, or remotely cooling the car, the e2oPlus seamlessly integrates technologies to offer functionality and is aptly designed for easy urban commuting. 

The host of innovative features include remote diagnostics through telematics, connectivity through smart phone app, new and advanced infotainment system, regenerative braking, Hill Hold control for easy driving in hilly terrains, REVive for reserve charge and automated messages amongst others. 

Charging the e2oPlus is as simple as charging a mobile phone. Customers can choose between 3 trim levels (P4, P6, P8) and 4 exciting colours namely Coral Blue, Sparkling Wine, Arctic Silver, Solid White. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Ford India inaugurates Eureka Ford sales and service facility in Chennai

Committed to elevating the ownership experience, Ford India extended its sales and service network in Chennai with the inauguration of Eureka Ford’s showroom and service facility in Kandanchavadi.

The new facility is the fifth Eureka Ford facility in Chennai the existing outlets covering areas Perungudi, Teynampet, Vadapalani, and Alwarpet till now.

Led by Mr. Mani Sundhar, dealer principal, Eureka Ford, the new 3S (Sales, Service, Spares) facility is located at N.284, OMR, Kandanchavadi, and spread over 21,236 square feet with eight dedicated mechanical bays for servicing.

Inaugurating the new facility, Mr. Anurag Mehrotra, Executive Director, Marketing, Sales, and Service, Ford India, said: “Embarking on the next phase of growth in India, Ford is focused on creating a differentiated experience for customers, rooted in trust, transparency, and attentiveness. With the continued expansion of our network in Chennai, we are committed to ensuring a hassle-free ownership experience and deliver on our promise.”

The new Eureka Ford showroom in Chennai will showcase Ford’s most vibrant, feature rich and value for money product portfolio including the Ford EcoSport, Ford Endeavour, Ford Aspire, and the Next-Gen Figo.

Embarking on the next phase of growth, the shop floor at Eureka Ford in Chennai will deliver Ford’s promise of a differentiated experience, by:

Living the promise of trust & transparency: Ford has introduced service price promise via the service price and parts price calculator on its website. The price promise allows the customer to know the cost of periodic maintenance or parts even before booking the service at a Ford dealership. Using the cost calculator, customers carrying the print-out of the web quote will get treated to complete trust and transparency at Eureka Ford dealership.

This is not it. Ford service price promise joins a whole host of features and services launched by Ford across dealerships to ensure customer convenience, accessibility and affordability namely:

Ensuring savings through sub assembly levels for repairs: For vehicles coming to Eureka Ford for servicing, the ‘Sub Assembly Levels for Repairs’ will enable a substantial saving in the overall ownership costs by breaking up an auto part into sub-components. Ford’s latest offering Figo Aspire offers unparalleled ownership experience with close to 850 parts available under sub-assembly.

Competitive parts pricing: Ford has worked with supplier base to attain increased levels of localization on the products, thereby achieving competitive price points while maintaining high quality. According to the independent survey of parts pricing, Ford has been rated among the most affordable against a formidable set of competitors.

Also, Ford’s customer-focused initiatives such as pan-India roadside assistance, quick service support, mobile service vans, vehicle report card is part of the process across a network of 376 sales and service facilities in 209 cities across the country.

Zebronics launches its advanced ‘ZEB – Fit 500’ smart band with Heart Rate Monitor

Want to get fit, fast and strong? Just listen to your heart. In sync with the dynamic lifestyle, Zebronics India Pvt. Ltd., India’s leading supplier of IT peripherals, audio/video products and surveillance products, launched its advanced smart band ‘ZEB–FIT500’ with Heart Rate Monitor, an optimal way to burn your calories and improve your workouts.

The Heart Rate sensor supports both automatic and manual mode. The automatic mode takes the heart rate data in every 5 minutes and you can view the heart rate data graph on the Mobile Phone application. The sensor also works dynamically, means even when you are running or walking it will keep on taking the heart rate data. An ideal choice for anyone who wants to monitor heart rate while working out.

In addition to the heart rate tracking, ZEB-FIT500 also tracks other fitness metrics which includes steps taken, calories burned, active minutes and distance travelled via the Step Pedometer.  To help you stay active throughout the day, ZEB-FIT500 also gives you sedentary reminder, encouraging you to achieve your daily step goal. ZEB-FIT500 monitors your sleep & wakes you up with its silent vibration alarm letting you create your own sleep patterns in sync with your fitness goals.

Designed to suit your active lifestyle, correspond the band to your smartphone, and keep a track of the notifications and also calls with the Caller ID function on your band. Its Anti Lost Alert and Find Phone shall also help you locate your phone during the SOS situations. Lastly with the Camera Remote Shutter, snap the photos on the smartphone with the touch on your band, Say Cheeze!

Speaking on the launch of the newest fitness band, Mr. Pradeep Doshi, Director, Zebronics India, says: “Training with the readily available information about your Heart Rate with ZEB – FIT500, takes the guesswork out of your fitness regimen and lets you focus on your body. Keeping the health-conscious generation in mind, we have bought an ideal combination – Tracking your steps and heart rate graph helps you reach your fitness goals and stay healthier in the long run”.

To get started all you need to do is, download the ZEB FIT App (Android & IOS) and strap your band on the wrist. The band is available in shades of Blue, Red and Black at leading retail stores across India. 

Chennai hosts the third edition of BMW Golf Cup International 2017

BMW India kick-started its much awaited Golf Tournament – BMW Golf Cup International 2017 in Chennai. The BMW Golf Cup International 2017 will be held across twelve cities in India – Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Lucknow, Noida and Gurgaon.

An exclusive, invitation-only event, the BMW Golf Cup International 2017 is an amateur golf tournament series designed for esteemed BMW customers that provides the right mix for an exclusive social interaction. India is one of the 42 participating countries where more than 100,000 players will compete across 1,000 qualifying tournaments. The winners of the tournaments from each Indian city will compete at the National Final. The national winners will come together at the BMW Golf Cup International 2017 World Final.

Mr. Frank Schloeder, President (act), BMW Group India, said: “BMW’s association with Golf has been a long standing one. BMW Golf Cup International celebrates this passion for golf in India by inviting amateur golfers to compete and hone their skills at breathtaking golf courses. Chennai edition has been a great success and we look forward to see this budding talent shine at the national finals.”

BMW India dealers will identify amateur golfers amongst BMW owners who would be interested in participating in the tournament. The tournaments will be held in accordance with the rules of the respective local golf club.

Ms. Vasanthi Bhupati, Managing Director, KUN Exclusive, said: “It is with immense pride that we host BMW Golf Cup International 2017 in Chennai. It has been an unforgettable golf season and our customers have thoroughly enjoyed the luxurious sporting atmosphere exclusively created for them.” 

The BMW Golf Cup International 2017 has three categories, A (for handicaps up to 12), B (for handicaps 13 – 28) and Ladies Category (for handicaps up to 28).

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

FARO names Katrona Tyrrell as Chief People Officer

FARO announced the appointment of Ms. Katrona Tyrrell as Chief People Officer (CPO). She will report directly to Simon Raab, Ph.D., FARO’s President and CEO.

Ms. Tyrrell will advise the senior leadership team as it works to scale FARO’s vertical sales organization while maintaining and strengthening FARO’s entrepreneurial culture, employee engagement, and career development. As CPO, she will guide all aspects of human resources for the company, including Human Resources business partnering, talent management and Human Resources Information Systems.

“Our culture is a fundamental component to what makes our company special and high-performing,” said Simon Raab, Ph.D., FARO’s President and CEO. “We created the CPO role specifically to bolster this important foundation. Strength in this area of our business allows us to succeed in everything else we do and is essential to propel our growth. Katrona’s extensive background and experience building, maintaining and leading talent and corporate culture strategies will complement the founder-CEO mentality we have returned to the company. I’m excited for her partnership, perspective, and the contributions she’ll make.”

Ms. Tyrrell joins FARO from IDT Corporation where she was the Global Senior Vice President - Human Resources, leading a team that was responsible for global succession planning, leadership development, performance management, employee engagement, and organizational effectiveness. Prior to joining IDT in 2006, Ms. Tyrrell held leadership and management positions at Towergate Partnership, Ltd. and Roberts & Partners Managed Services in the UK. 

Ms. Tyrrell holds a post-graduate diploma in strategic management from Crawley College in the UK.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Royal Orchid Hotels Ltd. Q3 FY17 net profit doubles to Rs. 4.23 crores

Royal Orchid Hotels Ltd. (ROHL), a fast emerging hotel chain operating 5 and 4 star hotels for business and leisure travellers, reported its third quarter financial results for the period ended December 31, 2016.

Key financial highlights for Q3 FY17 v/s. Q3 FY16:

* Revenue of Rs. 22.13 crores in Q3 FY17 v/s. Rs. 23.98 crores in Q3 FY16

* EBIDTA before exceptional items of Rs. 6.92 crores v/s. Rs. 4.44 crores

* Net profit of Rs. 4.23 crores in Q3 FY17 v/s. Rs. 2.01 crores in Q3 FY16

* EBIDTA margin of 31 per cent for Q3 FY17 v/s. 18.5 per cent Q3 FY16

* 2 properties and 139 new rooms added during third quarter

Quarter on quarter highlights:

* Revenue of Rs. 22.13 crores in Q3 FY17 v/s. Rs. 19.19 crores in Q2 FY17

* EBIDTA before exceptional items of Rs. 6.92 crores v/s. Rs. 5.20 crores

* PAT of Rs. 4.23 crores v/s. Rs. 2.74 crores [รก 54 per cent]

* EBIDTA margin of 31 per cent for Q3 FY17 v/s. 27% Q2 FY17

* EPS of Rs. 1.55 v/s. EPS of Rs. 1.01

Financial highlights for April-December FY17 v/s. April-December FY16:

* Revenue of Rs. 60.75 crores in April-December 2016 v/s. Rs. 63.65 crores in April-December 2015

* EBIDTA before exceptional items of Rs. 14.19 crores v/s. Rs. 10.18 crores

* PAT of Rs. 6.47 crores v/s. Rs. 4.44 crores

* EBIDTA margin of 23 per cent for April-December 2016 v/s. 16 per cent in April-December 2015

* EPS of Rs. 2.37 v/s. EPS of Rs. 1.63

Commenting on the results, Mr. Chander Baljee, Chairman & Managing Director, said: “During the quarter we added 139 rooms and in the first nine months 519 rooms. The financial performance in third quarter was partially impacted due to social unrest in Karnataka due to Cauvery water issue. We are optimistic and expect last quarter to be better on account of Hotel Royal Orchid – Bangalore (our flagship property) which had undergone renovation in rooms & food and beverages outlets have started yielding revenues from the month of December”.

Awards & recognition

1. Royal Orchid Hotels was Awarded as one of the Bengaluru’s Hot 50 Best Brands at the Brand Summit and Awards for 2015 and 2014 which has been organized by Paul Writer.
2. Trip Advisor Winner 2015 – Hotel Royal Orchid is Awarded with TripAdvisor “Certificate of Excellence”.

3. Rocheston Accreditation Institute New York, has conferred the prestigious honour of the “Distinguished Bar” upon Geoffreys at Hotel Royal Orchid, Bangalore, 2016.

4. Royal Orchid Metropole, Mysore, has been Awarded “The Best in Heritage Hotel” Category Tourism Awards 2016 the by Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FKCCI), Bengaluru, Karnataka.

5. Regenta Resort Varca-Goa won the “Best Debut Beach Resort” for India Hospitality Award (West & South) 2016.

6. Royal Orchid Beach Resort, Goa, was Awarded for “Best 5 Star Fun & Fly Resort and the Best Food & Beverage Manager in 5 Star Category (South) – Mr. Sujit Kushwaha” by the Goan Hospitality Award of Excellence 2016.

Royal Orchid Hotels is a fast emerging hotel chain operating 5 and 4 star hotels for business and leisure travelers. It currently operates 35 hotels in 24 cities across India and East Africa under brands – Hotels Royal Orchid, Royal Orchid Central, Royal Orchid Resorts, Royal Orchid Suites, Regenta, Regenta Central, Regenta Inn and Regenta Resorts. Regenta is the newest brand of the group which is business-centric brand under the house of the Royal Orchid Hotels Group. It is designed for the corporate traveler whose watchword is value and convenience. Currently they are 15 hotels under this brand. ROHL follows an “Asset Light Strategy” through Management Contracts.

With sales offices at 11 locations across India like Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Jaipur, Goa, Pune, Mysuru, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Hyderabad, Royal Orchid is pertaining deep into the market for a better market share and following an aggressive feet-on-the-street approach to meet all potential clients in the corporate sector and travel agents parallely.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Annamalai University established MoU with CITEP to conduct unique one-year PG Diploma

Annamalai University, the only unitary, residential, multi-faculty University in Tamil Nadu accredited with ‘A’ Grade by NAAC, established a Memorandum of Understanding with Centre for Indian Trade and Export Promotion (CITEP), a Not for Profit incorporated Organisation to promote trade, industry, agriculture and exports to conduct one-year Post-Graduate Diploma in “Export Management and Entrepreneurship” through hybrid mode.  

The unique speciality of this course is its highly practical exposure to the students on various aspects of export management and entrepreneurship soft skill development with options to become executives in the field of international trade; to become a successful exporter by facilitating direct marketing assistance; to become successful entrepreneur by coordinating from selection of technology up to marketing. 

The Centre is also providing a host of self-employment opportunities. For details, contact: Sriram (9840466111) / Harishmohan (9566011100).

Hyundai launches the new 2017 Grand i10

Hyundai Motor India Ltd., the country’s second largest car manufacturer and the largest passenger car exporter, has launched the new 2017 Grand i10.

The changing market trends and rising customer aspirations has always been the key driving force at Hyundai Motor India. Considering the evolving market dynamics and customer voice, Hyundai Motor India proudly presents the new bold & stylish 2017 Grand i10. Redefined exterior styling, hi-tech features and improved performance and fuel efficiency are the key highlights of the new 2017 Grand i10.

The new 2017 Grand i10 is specially crafted for aspirational customer who lives high on social status, follows modern tradition & values and is above stereotyped thinking. New avatar of Grand i10 is a perfect combination of performance and fuel efficiency. The new 1.2L DSL engine & petrol 1.2 L are much more refined, responsive and easy to drive.

Speaking at the launch of new 2017 Grand i10, Mr. Y.K. Koo, Managing Director & CEO, Hyundai Motor India Ltd., said: “Grand i10 is a phenomenal product. It is an aspirational car that has won the hearts of its customers across the globe and has become a landmark product in HMIL’s growth story. Over 5.5 lakh units of Made in India Grand i10 have been sold in India and world markets which show strong brand admiration. The launch of the new 2017 Grand i10 will create new benchmark for the segment by offering enhanced modern premium Hyundai experience to the aspirational customers.”

Sporty styling

The exterior projects bold, sporty and dynamic styling, while the interiors echo generous flair of comfort, luxury and hi-tech appeal. The new 2017 Grand i10 comes with many design refinements and projects Hyundai’s new design identity with the cascade design front grille and aerodynamic profile, characterized by signature Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language which gives the new 2017 Grand i10, a curved natural flowing line.

In the front, the new 2017 Grand i10 features new radiator grille design, redesigned new bumper and new LED DRLs (daytime running lights) to give the front more bold and sporty look. On the rear, new 2017 Grand i10 comes with dual tone bumper lending a bold & sporty appeal, along with aesthetically incorporated reflectors. Also, in the front, air curtain has been added which will be segment first. Design of diamond cut alloys and wheel covers has been refreshed to boost the sporty quotient while the side body moulding has become sleeker, thus offering a fresh profile to the new 2017 Grand i10.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

New FARO Vantage Laser Tracker Product Line sets a new standard for portability, mobile device control, ruggedness and value

FARO, the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement and imaging solutions for factory metrology, product design, construction BIM/CIM, public safety-forensics and 3D solutions and services applications, announces the release of a next generation of Laser Trackers. The new FARO Laser Tracker Vantage product family (http://www.faro.com/LaserTracker/in) sets a new price/performance standard for addressing challenges in large-scale metrology including, but not limited to, assembly alignment, part and assembly inspection, machine installation and alignment, and reverse engineering.

The FARO Vantage product family consists of two high performance models, the VantageE with an operating range of 25 meters and the VantageS with an operating range of 80 meters. Both compact models offer industry leading portability with an integrated master control unit (MCU), hot swappable batteries that eliminate the need for AC power and cabling, and industrial grade Wi-Fi for reliable, wireless communications. This set of advanced features, along with a single carrying case, enables easy transport between job sites and/or locations within the factory by a single user.

The new FARO Vantage Laser Tracker platform is the first that utilizes FARO RemoteControls (patent pending) for advanced control of the system using a mobile phone or tablet device. The mobile device not only controls the movements of the laser tracker but also delivers enhanced functionality such as live video feed from targeting cameras so that a single operator can now easily control the laser tracker from anywhere in the measurement area. Also included are innovative workflow management features such as remote accuracy checks and programmable remote warm-up so the user can schedule the device to turn on in advance and make it ready for immediate operation when the operator arrives.

 FARO RemoteControls also includes next generation functionality where the laser beam can be automatically re-established with a simple set of gestures, indoors or outdoors. This dramatically improves efficiency and productivity by eliminating the challenge of a broken laser beam and the need to manually reacquire the target. Finally, FARO RemoteControls significantly reduces user training by dramatically increasing the ease of use for the operator.

Both FARO VantageS and FARO VantageE fully support FARO’s patented Super 6DoF (Degrees of Freedom) TrackArm solution, which enables a Vantage Tracker and a FARO ScanArm, or multiple ScanArms, to work together to create an integrated 3D measurement solution across a single coordinate system. Super 6DoF completely eliminates line-of sight challenges and significantly expands measurement range while maintaining superior accuracy with two instruments-in-one operation.

“The new FARO Vantage Laser Tracker product line is proven effective for the most environmentally challenging applications as it is tested to rigorous International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards for shock and vibration, tested for extreme thermal conditions and is IP52 rated for dust and water resistance,” stated Simon Raab, Ph.D., FARO’s President and CEO.  “We are very conscious of our role as an innovator in this space, but we are even more conscious that it is our responsibility to innovate with the end user experience as the main driver. The New Vantage Laser Tracker series provides a combination of innovation in usability along with value driven pricing that sets a new, highly accessible price/performance standard for laser trackers in large scale precision measurement. We are confident that the breakthroughs offered in the FARO Vantage platform will make it the go-to option for a variety of demanding factory metrology applications.”

PSA - CK Birla Group sign JV pact for vehicle, component plant in India by 2020

The ceremony of signature held recently lays the foundation for a long-term partnership between the two Groups and represents a key milestone in the development of the PSA Group in India, a cornerstone of its strategic growth plan “Push to Pass”. The CK Birla Group further deepens its capabilities in the auto component and automotive sector in India.

The partnership entails two joint venture agreements between the PSA Group and the CK Birla Group companies. As part of the first agreement, the PSA Group will hold a majority stake in the joint-venture company being set-up with HMFCL for the assembly and distribution of PSA passenger cars in India. As per the second agreement, a 50:50 joint-venture is being set-up between the PSA Group and AVTEC Ltd. for manufacture and supply of powertrains. The manufacturing sites for both vehicle assembly and powertrains will be based in Tamil Nadu.

The initial manufacturing capacity will be set at about 100,000 vehicles per year and will be followed by incremental investment to support a progressive ramp-up of the long term project. The manufacturing capacity for powertrains will cater to the domestic market needs and global OEMs. The performance of the industrial set-up will be supported by a significant level of localization, in order to reach the necessary cost competitiveness.

This long term partnership will allow both companies to participate in the growth of the Indian automotive market, which is expected to reach 8 to 10 million cars by 2025 from current 3 million in 2016.

Commenting on the agreements, Mr. Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA Group, said: “Benefitting from the strong support of our Indian partner, the CK Birla Group, and a shared vision, this project is consistent with the strong execution of our Push to Pass strategic plan and represents a major step in PSA Group’s worldwide profitable growth in key automotive markets.”

Speaking to the press in Paris on this momentous occasion, Mr. CK Birla, Chairman, the CK Birla Group, said: “We have embraced ‘Make in India for India and the World’ for several decades and are among the early adopters of frugal manufacturing in the country. I am confident that the coming together of the latest state-of-the-art technology from the PSA Group and the engineering and manufacturing excellence of the CK Birla Group will benefit the automotive sector in India.”

IIA National Conference on Internal Audit in February 3

The Institute of Internal Auditors India - Madras Chapter is organising a two-day National Conference on Internal Audit in Chennai on February 3 and 4. With its theme “Staying Ahead, Staying Relevant”, the conference will focus on the use of technology to improve speed, quality and reporting systems of Internal Audit. Around 300 delegates from India, Asia, the Middle East, Sri Lanka and other neighbouring countries are expected to participate. 

Mr. P.R. Loganathan, Former Region Director, IIA-Global & Chair Tech Sessions and Director, Cisma Consultants, Chennai, in his address, gave an insight into the theme of the Conference “Staying Ahead Staying Relevant” and also a summary of the 18 technical sessions grouped under three parallel tracks. The speakers are from General Management, IT and Internal Audit.

CA. K. Vidyadharan, President, IIA India, and Partner, Mountbatten & Co., Chennai, said: “Auditing and Technology have become indispensable in today’s complex business scenario particularly, when we are being asked to audit the new age companies. Looking at standards and how it can be applied for critical thinking is very essential in terms of output and technology. This conference would be useful to Risk Management and Internal Audit Professionals, IS Audit professionals, CEOs, CAEs, Chief Risk Officers, Heads of ERM, practicing Chartered Accountants, Cost Accountants, Company Secretaries and Management Consultants.”

Mr. Giridhar Janardana, Conference Chairman, IIA, and Partner, BlueRidge Consulting, Chennai, said the two-day National Conference provides a forum to generate new thinking and a new vision. The conference offers participants an opportunity to discuss topics under three parallel tracks with six technical sessions under each track covering Emerging Internal Audit Practices, Forensics and Fraud Management and the Rapid Risk Response Solutions. Eminent speakers from India and abroad will address the delegates. In addition, guest speakers from IIA Global Headquarters in Florida USA are also participating.

Mr. P.K. Ranganathan, Madras Chapter President of IIA, and CFO, Hinduja Foundries, Chennai, said for the first time we have planned to reward excellent in Internal Audit by presenting three National Awards such as IA of the year Award / Innovation Award / Agile Tech Application Award.

Mr. Manoj Kumar Jain, Conference Secretary, and Partner, Yoganandh & RLLP, Chennai, said: “We will be releasing a handbook on Role of Internal Auditors in Internal Financial Controls. Chartered Accountants, Cost Accountants and Chartered Financial Accountants are also eligible for this credit.” He summed up at the end that the conference will be a wholesome knowledge feast for the participating delegates.

In a joint press conference, this evening at Presidency Club, organized by PRISM, they said this is a Mega International Conference is being held in Chennai on February 3 and 4, 2017, and over 300 delegates are participating, including delegates from Malaysia, Singapore and the US. Last year it was held in Delhi, this year in Chennai, and next year it will be held in Mumbai. To embrace change in the current technological innovation, 18 sessions in 3 tracks in 6 topics, it is being held, cyber security and forensics and fraud management is the key area which will be discussed in the session. The new Company’s Act 213, the ensuing GST Bill from July 2017 and post-Budget issues were also discussed. 

The National Chapter of Institute of Internal Auditors – India, started in 1941 and Madras Chapter was inaugurated in 1977 and has 6 offices like Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Yamaha’s all new powerful FZ25 debuts in India

India Yamaha Motor Pvt. Ltd. launched the much awaited FZ25 to its successful and popular FZ Series. The new model FZ25 has been developed with a newly-designed air-cooled, 249 cc, 4-stroke, SOHC, 2-valve, single-cylinder, high-torque fuel-injected engine on a lightweight frame (148 kgs) enabling the joy of control as the rider intends. These features will establish the FZ25 as a “Powerful, mid-class, street fighter” for the Next FZ World. The design emphasizes both the senses of mass forward layout and downforce, evoking the powerful muscles of an athlete. This newly launched street model delivers riding enjoyment as well as excellent fuel efficiency and environmental performance and is targeted for biking enthusiasts in the age group of 20 to early 30s. 

The wide speculations finally made it to the much-awaited grand launch at the Pullman Hotel, New Delhi as Bollywood heartthrob John Abraham revealed the new model to public applause and delight. The FZ25 will be available at across all authorised Yamaha dealerships in three exciting colour schemes – “Ballistic Blue”, “Warrior White” and “Knight Black”. The new model will be available in the market beginning February 2017.

Based on a reliable 249 cc single-cylinder engine proven on sport bikes for the Japanese market, the model’s engine has been fine-tuned and optimized for the Indian traffic environment, primarily in the intake/exhaust systems and the ignition system. Building on the reputation, the new model has been developed with Yamaha’s New Generation Engine Development Ideal – ‘Blue Core’ featuring overall improved performance including fuel efficiency, acceleration and environmental friendliness. The model is compliant to BS-IV emission standards.

With its maximum power output of 20.9 PS at 8,000 rpm and maximum torque of 20 N·m at 6,000 rpm, the new 249 cc model also offers an impressive array of new features including the LED headlight (first 250 cc model in India*) and an LCD instrument cluster with a high-quality look evoking a sense of innovation, a mudguard that moves with the swing arm, wheels with a spoke design like that of MT Series bikes and racing style footpads (rear seats) making it an irresistible option as the top-end model of the FZ Series. At the same time, it offers the nimbleness and easy-to-use character for daily use as well as riding excitement in a variety of usage scenes. 

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Masaki Asano, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor India Sales Pvt. Ltd., said: “The FZ series has been a great performer ever since its launch in 2008. FZ Series performed very well in India and crossed 1.3 million sales since its launch and has developed as a strong brand in the deluxe segment. Now the deluxe segment customers can step up to a premium model and Yamaha is very happy to offer an option which is armed with more power, impressive new features, sporty look and aggressive styling. Introduction of new FZ25 Model in FZ family will surely appeal to today’s confident generation. With this launch, Yamaha will line up a compact FZ series only to enhance its solid brand image in performance motorcycles.”

Mr. Roy Kurian, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Yamaha Motor India Sales Pvt. Ltd., added: “FZ25 is a refined mix of raw power along with superb control and balance. The bike has been personalized for street smart, new age macho riders with aspiration to move towards a more powerful bike. For a powerful bike like this, it is important to have balance and control. Following the FZ legacy, the bike also inherits high level of riding performance and styling DNA worthy of its series. While the bike has been engineered for new age biking enthusiasts, its superior design and comfort makes it perfect for daily use as well.”

With the new launch, the company is confident that it will be able to make new inroads in the customer base especially those who wants to step up from the deluxe segment to premium. The company is very bullish on the new launch and is very confident that it will keep up with the strong growth numbers the company has witnessed in the last few years. 

Nissan GT-R offers a #LegendarySalute to India

Nissan Motor India is celebrating the 68th year of the Republic with a record-breaking tribute to India and its people starring the legendary Nissan GT-R sports car. The company is set to enter the Limca Book of Records for the world’s largest-ever outline of a country map. This was achieved by a Nissan GT-R which carved out the approximate map of India spanning three sq. km. on the dry surface of Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan. This latest feat of the GT-R, captured in a video released today, salutes the Indian Republic.

Speed and precision were critical to accomplish this incredible act which marks the arrival of the iconic Nissan GT-R supercar in India. Nissan chose Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan as the location for the record attempt for its level and dry lakebed surface, stunning vistas, and soil which is soft enough to leave a deep impression to be captured by camera drones high above.

The Nissan GT-R’s precise and crisp responses enabled the car to manoeuvre through the twists and turns to trace the complex proportions of India’s landmass on the sandy surface in a dry section of the lake.

With major turns and bends along the periphery, the GT-R’s renowned driving performance, power and handling was put to its ultimate test. At the helm of the vibrant red GT-R was professional rally driver Rahul Kanthraj, who piloted the car to achieve the record.

To ensure accuracy, the map was created by plotting the co-ordinates on a GPS device and multiple laps were done to approximate the actual map. The exciting results were captured on video with drones and onboard cameras.

The dimensions of the map were about 3km in length and 2.8km in width with a total outline periphery of 14.7km. Officials from the Limca Book of Records were on site to validate the process. Once certified, this unique record will be included in the 2018 edition of the book expected to be published in June 2018. The Limca Book of Records is a compilation of records that is published annually in India documenting human and natural world records. It is published annually in three languages: English, Hindi and Malayalam.

As a mark of respect and appreciation for India and Nissan customers on Republic Day, the company has issued a video that showcases the legendary GT-R as it sets the new  record.
To watch the full video, go to:   www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AqKcVgZUIA

The Nissan GT-R was launched in India in December 2016 in its Premium Edition. The first delivery of the supercar in the country was to Bollywood action star and Nissan Brand Ambassador, John Abraham. The GT-R is produced at Nissan’s world-class plant in Tochigi, Japan. India’s first official Nissan High Performance Centre (NHPC), in Noida, provides exclusive sales and service for the 2017 Nissan GT-R.

Apart from its 3.8-litre handbuilt twinturbo V6 engine producing 565HP, the 2017 Nissan GT-R comes equipped with ATTESA E-TS advanced all-wheel drive system. Instead of the traditional 50/50 torque split between front and rear axles, this electronically controlled system provides up to 100% of available torque to the rear wheels, and can send up to 50% of torque to the front wheels. This provides the steering feel and response of a rear-wheel driven vehicle, while giving the added confidence that only AWD can offer.

Tata Steel executes definitive agreements to acquire majority stake in a port company

Tata Steel Ltd. (TSL) has executed definitive agreements with Creative Port Development Private Ltd. (CPDPL) and their promoters for the proposed development of “Subarnarekha Port” at Chaumukh village of Balasore district in Odisha.

As per the agreements, TSL will acquire majority equity stake in CPDPL, and the port development is envisaged through a wholly-owned subsidiary, Subarnarekha Port Private Ltd. (SPPL). The acquisition and development is subject to certain conditions precedent, detailed technical assessments and financial closure.

CPDPL, promoted by two technoprenuers, Mr. Ramani Ramaswamy and Mr. Ramaswamy Rangarajan, had entered into a Concession Agreement with the Odisha Government in January 2008 to develop the Subarnarekha Port as an all-weather deep-draft facility. Detailed engineering study to arrive at the configuration and the project cost will be undertaken soon.

Speaking on the development, Mr. Koushik Chatterjee, Group Executive Director (Finance & Corporate), Tata Steel, said: “The investment to develop the Subarnarekha Port will address the strategic needs of Tata Steel in the future. The location of the proposed port makes it attractive to structurally enhance the competitive position of our Indian operations and we look forward to working together with the current promoters to make Subarnarekha a very efficient port in the future. With the growth envisaged in Kalinganagar in the future, our offtake through Dhamra is also slated to increase”.

Mr. T.V. Narendran, Managing Director, Tata Steel India and South East Asia, commented: “As Tata Steel grows in India in the future, securing competitive logistics solution is a key aspect in de-risking our in-bound and out-bound supply chain. The proposed Subarnarekha Port will address the long-term strategic needs of the company and we look forward to working with various stakeholders to develop this port. Our commitment to the State and people of Odisha will be reinforced with this investment”.