Friday, 17 August 2018

Nissan India extends comprehensive service support to affected customers in Kerala

In light of the recent natural calamity in Kerala, Nissan India has stepped forward to extend comprehensive service support to its affected Nissan and Datsun customers in the State. Special emergency repair teams have been set up and additional trained manpower will be deployed from dealerships in neighbouring States to expedite turnaround time for the repairs. Free towing service is being offered and repairs will be carried out under the guidance of Nissan technical experts.

Nissan India has also issued an essential safety advisory through customer care and has set up a 24*7 special desk (Helpdesk Support Number: 022-62613360) for faster insurance claims and settlement for flood-affected vehicles. In addition, exclusive bays have been assigned for customers across Nissan and Datsun workshop in Kerala. For more details and support, customers can call the 24*7 toll-free helpline number 18002093456.

Mr. Sanjeev Aggarwal, Vice President (Aftersales & Supply Chain), Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd., said: “We empathize with the current situation in the State of Kerala and are taking necessary measures to extend support to our customers in the State. Along with our dealer partners, we have activated a comprehensive service support network to help the affected customers in their hour of need.”

Thursday, 16 August 2018

BASF India closes acquisition of vegetable seeds business from Bayer

BASF SE closed the acquisition of Bayer’s global vegetable seeds business, mainly operating under the brand Nunhems. The transaction adds a well-recognized brand with a very successful business track record to BASF’s portfolio.

The acquired vegetable seeds business comprises 24 crops and about 2,600 varieties. It also includes well-established, strong R&D and breeding systems with over 100 unique breeding programs in more than 15 crops.

The addition of the vegetable seeds business enhances BASF’s global offer to farmers. It strengthens BASF’s seed platform and complements the recently expanded agricultural solutions portfolio, which includes seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming.

This closing completes BASF’s acquisition of a significant range of businesses and assets with combined 2017 sales of €2.2 billion, which Bayer offered to divest in the context of its takeover of Monsanto. The all-cash purchase price amounts to a total of €7.6 billion, subject to certain adjustments at closing.

TVS Motor Company contributes Rs. 1 crore to Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund

TVS Motor Company contributed Rs. 1 crore to the Kerala Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF), in lieu of the distressing flood situation in Kerala. The cheque was handed over to Kerala Chief Minister, Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan, by Mr. Swaran Singh, CEO, Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the social arm of TVS Motor Company in Thiruvananthapuram.

Commenting on the contribution, Mr. Swaran Singh said: “TVS Motor believes in supporting the communities around us especially in difficult times. Our contribution is a step towards this. Our prayers are with the people of Kerala and we sincerely hope that the situation will improve.”

Honda NAVi-lution spreads across 1 lac FUNtastic customaniacs

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI) announced the FUNtastic NAVilution spreading across 1 lac happy customaniacs. Honda disrupted Indian 2Wheeler industry with the launch of NAVi amongst huge fan fair at Auto Expo 2016. The ‘most talked about’ two-wheeler of the country - Honda NAVi is the first 100% indigenously developed model by Honda R&D India, i.e., from the concept development to commercial production.

Spreading the FUN element not only in India but around the world, Honda NAVi will be available in two new international markets - the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica within this year. Currently, NAVi is exported to 10 countries.

Speaking on the stupendous achievement, Mr. Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd., said: “The trendy NAVi is a style statement and trendsetter for the youth. The unconventional design, looks and endless possibilities of customization has helped us to engage young 2Wheeler enthusiasts not only in India, but around the world. They all are enjoying the NAVi fun ride & exploring unique customisation options.”

NAVi is a design statement in its standard form and is FUN TO SEE, absolute pure FUN TO RIDE and FUN TO CREATE with customization options. The 2018 edition now comes with more exciting features like new stylish fuel gauge and metal muffler protector which provide for extra convenience. It is also available in two new vibrant colours - Ranger Green and Ladakh Brown with new body coloured elements - grab rail, headlight cover, rear view mirrors and sporty red colour cushion spring adding to its FUNtastic looks.

Honda NAVi is powered by 109cc engine which makes 8PS at 7,000 rpm and delivers a peak torque of 8.96Nm at 5,500rpm gets tubeless tyres. It gets upside-down telescopic forks at the front and a hydraulic monoshock at the rear. The NAVi is available at an attractive price of Rs. 44,775 (ex-showroom Delhi)

The standard NAVi is available in 6 colour options: Patriot Red, Shasta White, Sparky Orange, Black, NEWRanger Green, NEWLadakh Brown.

Gurumurthy appointed to the Board of RBI

The Centre appointed RSS ideologue S. Gurumurthy and Satish Kashinath Marathe as part time non-official Directors on the Central Board of Reserve Bank of India for four years. 

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued their appointment notification after the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved their names as recommended by the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

FARO Design ScanArm 2.5C brings color to 3D scanning

High resolution color scanning capabilities for 3D design professionals

FARO, the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement and imaging solutions for product design announces the first arm-based solution to include high resolution, 3D color scanning capability. This exciting introduction includes full color 3D scanning as standard, out-of-the-box functionality in the new FARO Design ScanArm 2.5C (DSA 2.5C) (

The Design ScanArm 2.5C is compatible with the FARO 8-Axis FaroArm system, which effectively doubles the arm reach and substantively improves the ease of use, is specifically designed to address design challenges across a range of industries including Computer Graphics, Industrial Machinery, Auto Manufacturing and Engineering Services. A color 3D representation is the perfect baseline for product visualizations and special effects.

Live demonstrations can be scheduled at:

This innovative leap forward enables parts and objects to be reconstructed and visualized as vividly as they appear in the real world. The true-to-life functionality not only allows design professionals to proceed with an even higher level of confidence but also, as a result, accelerates the completion of important projects. Faster end to end project cycle time is also supported and enhanced by rapid scanning color capability of up to 240,000 points per second.

Consistent with the FARO commitment to optimizing ease of use through advanced ergonomics, the Design ScanArm 2.5C, like its predecessor the Design ScanArm 2.0, is available in three highly manoeuvrable arm lengths – 2.5m, 3.5m and 4m. This ensures that end users can select the option that optimally fits with the specific design objectives for their projects. Furthermore, hot swappable batteries ensure that the user can bring the scan to the project rather than needing to bring the project to the scan.

Greater efficiency with 3D color

The DSA 2.5C significantly exceeds the baseline expectations that FARO documented from prospective users during an exhaustive product development process. Not only do the vividness and sharpness deliver spot-on representation of the color of the real-world object, but now finer details including texture, and even text, can be clearly extracted for product visualization, computer graphics or identification of key features during the product design or reverse engineering processes. Finally, greater efficiencies can be realized as full color can be captured in a single scan, removing any need to take pictures or apply texture in the post scanning process.

“FARO continues to be laser focused on optimizing the productivity of design professionals,” stated Thorsten Brecht, Senior Director - Product Design. “By integrating exceptional quality color into the design process, we have created a best-in-class 3D reality experience by allowing users to capture more information, in true-to-life detail richness and color, in less time than ever before. The DesignArm 2.5C is yet another example of FARO pushing the boundaries of innovation and accepting the challenge to lead the market.”

Friday, 10 August 2018

Toyota offers environment-friendly concept of ‘ECO Car Wash’ service to customers

In line with its endeavor to create ever better sustainable society, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) further drives an environment friendly car cleaning solution, thus reducing the water consumed for washing cars through their new Eco Car Wash service. This eco initiative essentially supports to maximize the reduction of water utilization to an extent of 95% for every single car cleaned at Toyota’s service outlets.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor, was the first in the industry to introduce Eco Car Wash in the year 2014, have always been the forerunners of eco awareness and sustainable solutions towards conservation of natural resources. Toyota has been striving relentlessly to conserve the scarce water resource by introducing the eco car wash across its dealership over the years.

Till date, 100 plus dealerships have adopted this eco concept of car wash to offer best-in-town vehicle servicing experience to its customers in the region. Toyota has developed video manuals and standard operating procedures to train the technicians on this unique car wash technique, offering quality service while achieving 100% customer satisfaction.

Globally, Toyota takes inspiration from the ‘Toyota Earth Charter’, and has formulated environment friendly policies for its business operations, which have been followed since 1992. The company remains committed on the vision of greener tomorrow and have announced long term eco-initiatives towards the society and environment through their Global Environment Challenge 2050 which is in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Out of the total 17 challenges, 12 are directly linked to the six environmental challenges declared by Toyota. Toyota India is declared as the ‘Model Plant’ leading two of Toyota’s Environmental Challenges 2050, in the Asia Pacific region [out of 6 global environmental challenges], representing Zero CO2 emission plant and minimum water consumption.

Under the collaborative approach, TKM has also designed unique initiatives to raise awareness among its stakeholders and inspires them to be future change agents. With this waterless car wash at dealerships, Toyota contributes to around 253 million litres of water savings annually, while ensuring 100% cleanliness of the cars. ECO wash is a unique concept which gives a fine finish with zero water usage, by cleaning the vehicle with eco-friendly products without affecting the environment and preserving the most valuable natural resource - Water.

The ECO wash products used at Toyota dealerships are ready to use water-based formulation designed to effectively clean dirt & grime from vehicle painted surface without damaging the surface. Easy to use, dry wash is a water-based product. This new eco product delivers to the customers the perfectly cleaned cars at no extra cost and no extra time over the traditional water wash.

Commenting on the eco-concept service at dealerships, Mr. N Raja, Deputy Managing Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said: “At TKM, eco initiatives have always been the top priority. In progression with India’s ‘National Water Mission’, we have been steadily implementing desirable measures towards conservation of water, taking the local operational needs into account. We, at Toyota, have adopted varied methodologies to effectively minimize the water consumption and usage of recycled water in our manufacturing operations, while ensuring lower impact on ground water levels.”

In addition to reduction in water consumption, this eco method of car washing at our service outlets helps to avoid possible contamination of soil channels that occurs with the use of alkaline solutions in shampoos under conventional car wash.

The ECO wash method of cleaning cars consumes just about 5% of the water as compared to traditional car wash. An accumulative benefit that we see from this key change will, we hope, make a huge impact on the water conservation endeavors in the region we operate in. Moreover, through this eco initiative, we widely promote and develop eco conscious minds amongst our customers, who now opt for such eco car wash over the traditional washing of vehicles while enjoying our quality service with 100% cleanliness.”

Going forward, TKM plans to expand the eco car wash to its other service dealerships, as a part of their green initiative with a view to outreach larger number of customers availing this eco service and contribute to enhanced water savings.  On the other side, customers are also excited to be a part of this new initiative, and have been appreciative of this excellent eco based car service offerings of Toyota with even better cleanliness of their cars.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor has undertaken several unique environment friendly initiatives to preserve the Mother Nature. Many eco-initiatives are being implemented in the manufacturing operations to reduce water consumption to almost ZERO by adopting sustainable methodologies. On fresh water consumption, 92.8% of TKM’s water demand for manufacturing is met by rainwater harvesting and recycled water. The purchased fresh water consumption in overall manufacturing is only @ 7.6%.

By 2025, TKM aims to be SURPLUS on water with ZERO fresh water consumption at plant, while also focusing to cater to the local community water requirements with such surplus water generation through rain water harvesting & other water conservation methodology adopted at our manufacturing facility.

Apart from the above plant initiative, TKM has also undertaken community based eco initiative through rejuvenation of the Lingegowdanakere Lake spread across 3.5 acres [Ramnagara District, Karnataka] to enhance ground water levels, catering to water requirements of the local community in Bidadi region during water scarcity period owing to low rains, sustain the rare bird species from extinction in the region & contribute to increase the agricultural produce of the region.

LANXESS: Frederique van Baarle to head the Procurement and Logistics Group function

Frederique van Baarle (47) will take over as Head of the Procurement and Logistics Group function at specialty chemicals company LANXESS on December 1, 2018. The Dutch native is currently head of the Marketing & Sales Engineering Plastics sector for the EMEA region within the High Performance Materials business unit. She succeeds Bernd Makowka (63), who is retiring after 33 years at LANXESS and Bayer AG.

“With Frederique van Baarle, an experienced and successful manager will take over the management of this important area for our company,” says Hubert Fink, Member of the Board of Management of LANXESS.

Frederique van Baarle began her professional career in the chemical industry at the Dutch company Royal DSM in the year 2000 after studying international marketing, obtaining an MBA and graduating at the French business school INSEAD. At DSM, she held a number of internal management roles. Van Baarle joined LANXESS in 2011 and assumed various management positions in sales and marketing in the High Performance Elastomers business unit (now ARLANXEO) and the High Performance Materials business unit.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Nestlé Wagner digitises production with Getac's fully rugged computing solutions

Getac A140 tablets increase productivity and flexibility throughout the food production process at flagship German facility

Getac recently announced that Nestlé Wagner GmbH, has selected the Getac A140 fully rugged tablet to digitise workflows and optimise productivity at its headquarters in Nonnweiler, Germany.

Nestlé Wagner GmbH produces around 350 million frozen food products annually, making it one of the largest manufacturers of frozen pizzas in Europe. Using the Getac A140, the company has achieved wide-ranging digitisation of its production processes, significantly increasing efficiency and allowing greater flexibility in day-to-day operations.

Nestle Wagner GmbH chose the fully rugged Getac A140 due to the quality assurance benefits it provides and the ability to roll it out extremely quickly to employees at the site, where it will complement existing laptops and special industrial computers already in use.

“The Getac A140 is extremely robust and reliable due to its outstanding build quality,” says Christian Joseph, Team Leader Operational Excellence at Nestle Wagner GmbH. “Its rugged design and impressive performance makes it ideally suited to everyday use on the production floor.”

High level safety and usability in a wide range of temperature zones

In the food manufacturing process, it’s critical that no contaminants enter the food at any point. With the deployment of the fully rugged Getac A140, Nestlé has the confidence that if a tablet is accidentally dropped, it won’t break apart, ensuring production quality is maintained.

The use of the tablets has also proved to be extremely user-friendly. Not only are the devices easy to handle, the 14” screen offers enough space to clearly display key software applications. For example, all standard SAP information can be displayed on-screen and transactions can be carried out quickly using the A140’s stylus. Furthermore, the A140’s high degree of tolerance to temperature fluctuations means it can be used in a wide variety of different temperature zones.

“The A140 is our largest and most powerful tablet,” says Rowina Lee, Vice President of Global Sales & Business Development Centre, Getac Technology Corporation. “It stands out thanks to its excellent performance, its industry-leading level of safety and its extraordinarily rugged characteristics. With its reliability and comprehensive functionality, the tablet is perfectly suited to the production conditions at Nestlé Wagner GmbH.”

Industry 4.0: Digital workflows optimise production efficiency

With the Getac A140, the company has a fully rugged mobile device at its disposal for simply and rapidly accessing information, as well as gathering data directly on-site.

“Until today, we worked with a predominantly paper-based system, so that, for example, each change to the documentation of the numerous standards which food production requires had to be printed out and specially filed in a folder,” Christian Joseph explains. “With the new digital workflows, employees on the production line can easily access and make changes to the documents directly on the tablet if required”. The company can also use the A140’s integrated cameras to simplify and improve its production process. By making it possible for employees to take photographs or record videos directly on site, any potential difficulties occurring on the production line can be documented and distributed in real-time, ensuring they are resolved as quickly as possible.

 “With these Getac devices, we are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by Industry 4.0, utilising mobile data capture to benefit from an increased level of production performance,” Christian Joseph confirms. “Getac is also helping us to simplify, accelerate and digitise our processes right here on site, where events occur. This way we can ensure continuous compliance to the latest quality standards. New opportunities have opened up for our employees to extend their level of competence and media usage, which is a key factor for us in developing the digital factory of the future.” 

The device is safeguarded by Getac with the industry-leading bumper-to-bumper warranty, which even covers accidental damage.

Further information on the Getac A140 fully rugged tablet is available at

Breakthrough FARO 8-Axis FaroArm sets new standard

Real time part rotation accelerates inspection and design workflows

FARO, the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement and imaging solutions for factory metrology and product design introduces the FARO 8-Axis FaroArm system ( After more than 30 years of continuous innovation in portable measurement arms, FARO once again drives the industry forward. This comprehensive, solution combines either the portable Quantum FaroArm, Quantum ScanArm or Design ScanArm portfolio products with a functionally integrated, yet physically separate, 8th axis.

The 8th axis is a complete rotational axis identical to and a natural extension of all FaroArm products. It plugs directly into the FaroArm and results in a seamlessly integrated, high accuracy additional axis that requires no additional setup time or effort. Moreover, unlike a turntable, the 8th axis is completely transparent to the measurement software, so no software updates or upgrades are needed.

This innovative functionality enables the part to be rotated in real time relative to the Arm versus requiring the Arm to be moved around the part. As a result, it is not only easier to scan and measure typically harder to reach areas, but also both measurement time and human measurement error are dramatically reduced since the part itself rests on a stable, consistent platform.

The 8-Axis system is ideal for addressing a range of non-contact measurement and design challenges, including point cloud comparison with CAD, rapid prototyping, reverse engineering, and 3D modeling of free-form surfaces.

Live web demonstrations can be scheduled at

Faster scanning with higher confidence

The extended reach of this system via the easy to use part rotation functionality allows the user to scan, measure and digitize features on both small and large parts with a single Arm position. As a result, this process is up to 40% faster relative to a standard 7-Axis Arm system.

Improved operator effectiveness

The operator is now able to focus with minimal distraction on the actual scan or measurement of the part since reaching around the part is no longer required. Also, this allows complex objects to be digitized, not only faster, but also more comprehensively.

Expedited post-processing activities

Due to reduced need to move the Arm to different positions around the part or move the part itself into several positions in order to capture all necessary features, a minimum number of scans need to be aligned. As a result, post processing activities are both simplified and completed faster.

“We are excited about the 8-Axis system as another FARO first, which enables a new standard for both inspection and design efficiency,” stated Simon Raab, Ph.D., FARO’s President and CEO. “Based on our engagements over the last two years with both inspection and 3D design professionals, we are confident that we are uniquely addressing their core pain points including speed and productivity, ease of use and end to end cycle time in the most creative and easy to implement manner.”

BASF and NMMC collaborate on safe water and sanitation project in Navi Mumbai

Over 10,000 citizens from Turbhe Store, a suburb of Navi Mumbai, will now have access to clean and affordable drinking water through the “Landmark Project”, a water and sanitation initiative by BASF, with the support of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC). The concept for the Landmark Project was first developed through a series of social dialog sessions in Mumbai during BASF’s 150th anniversary activities in 2015, and has now come to fruition in an innovative, community-based social business model. 

In the first phase of the Landmark Project, a rainwater harvesting plant and a smartcard based community water treatment plant, commonly referred to as a “water ATM”, were introduced in Navi Mumbai by the NMMC Mayor Jayawant Dattatray Sutar, along with Dr. N. Ramaswami, Commissioner, NMMC, and Dr. Raman Ramachandran, Chairman and Managing Director, BASF India, and Head, BASF South Asia, as well as other dignitaries from BASF and NMMC. 

The Landmark Project was set up by BASF on land provided by NMMC, and after two years will be handed over, to be owned and operated by a local community-based organization. It represents a holistic approach to water and sanitation. The solar powered, cashless water ATM will dispense potable drinking water at just Rs. 8 per 20 liters when accessed with a debit card. Uniquely, water is harvested from rain and other sources, and is purified using innovative technologies including an ultrafiltration solution from BASF. The facilities are located at Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Vidyalaya School No. 22, Turbhe Store. Creating a revenue stream from the water ATM will help ensure its long-term viability, ensuring continuing funds for maintenance of the water ATM and rainwater harvesting system. 

Mr. Jayawant Dattatray Sutar said: “As a planned urban center, Navi Mumbai has seen tremendous growth in the last few years and it is our duty to offer holistic and sustainable services that elevate living standards of our citizens. I am very happy to see this joint effort between the NMMC and BASF, which will offer clean drinking water to the residents of Turbhe Store.” 

Dr. Ramaswami said: “This project is a great example of how innovative chemistry can enable simple and cost-effective technologies to offer clean water and sanitation facilities. We are glad that companies like BASF are taking the lead in providing solutions and encouraging such partnerships.” 

Dr. Raman Ramachandran said: “Clean drinking water can consume almost 15% of the income of Mumbai slum residents, meaning that they must often rely on an unsafe water supply. Thanks to the critical support of NMMC, this project can now offer access to affordable, clean drinking water. This is a good example of how we ‘create chemistry’ to develop sustainable business models and communities.” 

inge®, BASF’s brand of ultrafiltration membranes, utilizes patented and highly robust Multibore® fibers made from PESm – a modified Polyethersulfone – in an In-to-Out filtration process. Extremely tiny pores of only 20 nanometers diameter inside the membranes provide a secure barrier against suspended solids, viruses and other microorganisms and let only pure water pass. 

Under its next phase, the Landmark Project will integrate community management for safe and affordable sanitation with the refurbishment of existing public toilet near the school, as well as the establishment of a project for women’s hygiene near the toilet. 

The Landmark Project is being implemented in cooperation with a group of expert partners. WaterLife India designed and constructed the water ATM and will run it for 10 years using BASF ultrafiltration technologies, while STEP, an organization which provides environmental engineering expertise, is the implementation partner for the overall project.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

MCCI’s 182nd AGM

“Need for revitalizing the manufacturing sector”: L.Ganesh, Chairman, Rane Group

The Madras Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI) held their 182nd Annual General Body Meeting on August 2, manifesting that they are one of the oldest Chambers in India. The occasion saw Mr. Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, the Executive Director of Cognizant Technology Solutions India, being elected as the new President of the Chamber. 

He will now be accompanied by Mr. Srivats Ram, the Managing Director of Wheels India Ltd., as the Chamber’s new Vice President. 

During the occasion, the outgoing President, Mr. Ram Venkatramani spoke about the past activities done by the Chamber, such as the recent seminar on the effects of GST. He also mentioned that the Chamber hopes to work more with the State Government to boost the economic growth. 

The Chairman of the Rane Group, Mr. L. Ganesh, honoured the event as the Chief Guest and emphasized the need for revitalizing the Manufacturing Sector, as it has the largest multiplier effect on job creation. “With a population of 1.3 billion, the lack of a strong manufacturing sector would make the country excessively import dependant”, he added.

Mr. Ganesh also observed that the size of India’s service sector seems disproportionate to the country’s per capita income. This makes the country very urban-centric and does not promote inclusivity.

The newly-elected President of the Chamber, Mr. Ramamoorthy addressed the gathering that, with positive growth rates and continual progress on human development indices, Tamil Nadu offers a great platform to boost the inclusive growth. MCCI will continue to collaborate with the administration to further strengthen the State’s reputation as one of the leading business and investment destination”, he added.

The MCCI CSR Award for the best Corporate Social Responsibility project was also Award during the event. Grundfos Pumps and the V-Excel Educational Trust team members received the Winner’s Award, presented by Mr. Ganesh. The team produced low cost sanitary napkins, for children with special needs. The team engaged in a lot of R&D and now send these special sanitary napkins to Government schools. 

The first Runner Up, were the BNY Mellon Technology and National Agro Foundation team, followed by the ITC Ltd., and Exnora Green Pammal team who were the Second Runner Up.

Friday, 3 August 2018

New MCCI President and Vice President

The Madras Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI), at its 182nd AGM held in Chennai on August 2, 2018, elected Mr. Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, Executive Director, India, Cognizant Technology Solutions India Pvt. Ltd., as its President, and Mr. Srivats Ram, Managing Director, Wheels India Ltd., as the Vice President for 2018-2020. 

“I am truly honoured to be elected as the President of MCCI, a position held by stalwarts from diverse industries over the Chamber’s 182-year history,” said Mr. Ramkumar Ramamoorthy. “With enviable growth rates and continued progress on human development indices, Tamil Nadu offers a great platform to accelerate inclusive growth. Leveraging this platform, MCCI will continue to champion the cause of industry and commerce in the State, celebrate and turn the successes of its members into inspiration for others, and collaborate with the administration to further strengthen Tamil Nadu’s reputation as one of India’s leading business and investment destinations.”

Thursday, 2 August 2018

LANXESS India incumbent MD Neelanjan Banerjee to lead India region

German specialty chemicals company LANXESS is establishing a new regional structure which will comprise the regions EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Americas (North and South America), APAC (Asia-Pacific) and India for enhanced focus and growth in the new regions.

As part of the new organization, the newly formed India region will be headed by the then LANXESS India Managing Director & Country Representative, Neelanjan Banerjee, starting September 1, 2018. He will assume these tasks in addition to his current function as head of the Advanced Industrial Intermediates Business Unit (BU AII) in India. Banerjee joined LANXESS in 2006 as head of the former Basic Chemicals business unit and the Saltigo business unit in India. He is based in Thane.

“India is an important region for LANXESS that offers a lot of potential,” said Matthias Zachert, Chairman of the Board of Management at LANXESS. “The new regional organization under the leadership of Neelanjan Banerjee is specifically geared toward driving growth in India in the coming years.”

Ford India celebrates One Million Customer Milestone

Ford India joined the elite group of automakers in the country and welcomed its one-millionth customer in India.

In a special ceremony, characteristic of the company’s Feels Like Family promise, Ford India’s President and Managing Director, Anurag Mehrotra, welcomed Nikhil Kakkar from New Delhi, the company’s millionth Indian customer at Dwarka Ford and delivered Ford Freestyle, India’s first compact utility vehicle. 

“We are proud and excited to reach one million customers in India and remain indebted to our customers for their faith and trust,” said Anurag Mehrotra. “Our unrelenting focus on India strategic pillars – Strong Brand, Right Products, Competitive Cost and Effective Scale – continue to ensure that we grow faster than the industry & bring more customers to the Ford family.”

In India since 1998, Ford has invested more than US$2 billion and remains committed to building a sustainable, profitable business in one of the world's fastest-growing auto markets.

Known for Safety and Quality, Ford has brought some of the most renowned nameplates to the Indian market, with Ikon, Endeavour, Fiesta, Figo, and EcoSport being the most-selling ones in India.

Committed to bringing products that Indian customers want and value, Ford’s product line-up today offers a vehicle to suit the needs of every consumer – ranging from Entry level hatchback and sedan in Figo and Aspire to CUV like Freestyle and SUVs like EcoSport & Endeavour. Ford portfolio in India also includes the iconic Mustang, world’s top-selling sports car in the world.

The power of choice provided by Ford also extends to powertrains – from the 1L EcoBoost to the 5L V8 engine.

Along-side new products, Ford has continued to grow closer to customers with the continued expansion of its nationwide dealership network as well as world-class after-sales offerings. Presently, Ford has more than 465 sales and service outlets in 267 cities across India.

To enhance affordability, Ford has introduced many pioneering initiatives such as Service Price Promise, which allows customers to calculate the vehicles’ periodic maintenance costs even before booking the service at the dealership. The website also includes parts prices online for customers, ensuring transparency.

To strengthen customer convenience, Ford has appointed Retail distributors to sell Ford genuine parts across the country. The retail distribution has led to Ford genuine parts being available across 3,500 touchpoints – 2,000 of those are independent repair shops.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Export sector should be brought under priority lending by banks: Dr. A. Sakthivel

While reacting to the monitory policy announced by RBI, Dr. A. Sakthivel, Regional Chairman, FIEO Southern Region, citing the inflation outlook, said that it is on the expected lines. However, he pointed out the tight liquidity condition faced by the exporting sector, especially by the MSME sector, and requested the RBI Governor for bringing export lending under priority lending immediately.

The unfavourable condition in our major markets and tough competition from the neighbouring countries, coupled with the higher interest cost and deficiency in dispensation of working capital requirement of the exporters, necessitate for placing of export finance under priority sector lending, he added.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

MMA’s 6th Raghu Pillai Memorial Oration

Swami Shuddhaanandaa enlightens the crowd

The Madras Management Association (MMA) hosted a very spiritual Raghu Pillai Memorial Oration this year on July 30, as Swami Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari spoke on the topic “Mindful Leadership in the 21st Century”. This was the 6th Annual Oration, held in the memory of Raghu Pillai, who was one of the founders of Indian corporate retail.

He was best known to be part of the team that created FoodWorld Supermarkets and the CEO of Future Value Retail. He passed away in 2011 due to a sudden heart attack.

This year’s speaker Swami Shuddhaanandaa is the founder and mentor of the Lokenath Divine Life Mission in Kolkata. He is a motivational speaker and has authored books on meditation and stress reduction. The event was held at the MMA Management Centre in Chennai.

Swami began his speech by remembering Raghu Pillai’s legacy and hoped to address the audience using the way Mr. Pillai lived. He said that even if our ‘Physical’ time on this earth was short, the legacy that is left behind keeps us alive forever. 

He referred to Raghu Pillai’s mission and his vision. And the way he conducted himself with his team and colleagues and more importantly, his mindful empowered self, which made him a pioneer in the retail industry. “The enlightened are those who practice before they preach”, said Swami, directly referring to Pillai’s leadership.

He said that his leadership spread values to the people, rather than just motivation. Swami explained that it was important to be a ‘doer’ and influence people with energy, just as Pillai.

Quoting the words of yogi Sri Aurobindo, that the night is darkest before dawn, Swami explained that one can have excessive negative thoughts in the mind, which is fuelled by external substances such as the news, etc. 

But, in order to create a presence of global divine conscience, we have to look ahead for the dawn and see the good things around us. He assured that there are good people engaged in peaceful activities and one should get to know the good, such as them.

Swami cleared this statement, using another quote by Elon Musk when he said, “The whole world in nothing but energy.” And according to Swami, the energy should be positive. 

According to Swami, a global research found out that the amount of ‘Screen Time’ in the world is steadily increasing. With more people engaged in their electronic gadgets, such as the mobile phones or computers, the amount of physical interaction and engaging in pleasant, everyday conversations has come down.  

“The expression that the ‘world is out there’ is a myth. The world is our minds”, explained Swami. This statement was well received by the audience, as he made the crowd realize that mindful empowerment is the result of our personal actions and not by influences from the outside. 

Finally, after a short meditation session guided by Swami, he ended his enlightening speech of the evening.

HSBC appoints Surendra Rosha as CEO India

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd. announced the appointment of Mr. Surendra Rosha as Chief Executive Officer for HSBC India, subject to regulatory approvals.
Mr. Rosha, who is currently HSBC’s Head of Financial Institutions Group (FIG) for Asia-Pacific, has extensive experience in working with retail and commercial banks. 

Peter Wong, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd., said: “I am delighted to confirm Surendra’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer India. His 27 years of experience in financial services makes him ideally suited to leading our bank in India and driving forward our strategy in one of HSBC’s key markets.” 

Mr. Rosha began his financial services career when he joined HSBC’s Indian operations in 1991. He has worked in multiple roles in FX trading, Corporate Treasury Sales, Treasury and Capital Markets across a variety of countries. He has extensive experience in Global Banking and Markets – including in Sales, Treasury and Capital Markets in India during 1991-2005; and as Head of Global Markets in Indonesia in 2005; Head of Institutional Sales, Asia Pacific in 2007 and Head of Financial Institutions Group (FIG), Asia-Pacific in 2015, both in Hong Kong. 

Mr. Rosha succeeds Mr. Jayant Rikhye, who is taking a leave of absence for medical reasons. 

Born in 1968, Mr. Rosha returns to India after 13 years of working abroad. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Bombay University and a Master’s Degree in Business from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Monday, 30 July 2018

GST @ 1 - The Journey so far and the Road Ahead...

The Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) organized a seminar on the topic “GST @1 – The Journey so far and the Road Ahead”, on July 27 in Chennai. The seminar featured special speeches by the Principal Chief Commissioner for GST & Central Excise of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Mr. C.P. Rao, and by the Additional Chief Secretary Commissioner for State Tax for the Government of Tamil Nadu, Mr. T.V. Somanathan. 

An overview of the effects of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) during the past year was given by Mr. K. Vaitheeswaran, the Advocate & Tax Consultant, and the Chairman of the MCCI GST Committee. 

The seminar firstly addressed the gathering about the milestones of the taxation system in the country before the implementation of GST, namely, the 1994 Service Tax, Haryana implementing VAT (Value Added Tax) in 2003, Tamil Nadu following the step in 2007 and finally the implementation of GST itself in 2017.

Mr. Vaitheeswaran spoke about the reform aspects of GST, stating that it led to the harmonization of every other taxes. It presented a stage where there are uniform tax rates across the country and have a better supply chain management. More importantly, GST produced transparency in the taxation system. According to Mr. Vaitheeswaran, the implementation of GST also saw a massive reduction in indirect taxes on goods. 

New concepts were brought up by GST, such as the reverse charge mechanism for notified supply of goods and services, or even both, the taxation of stock transfers, the concept of place and time of supply and taxing on Inter-unit billing. 

Shortly after introducing GST in the country, an Integrated GST (IGST) was implemented on imported goods by the Customs Department.  

The roles of the GST Council were highlighted in the event. Close to around 28 council meetings, that included participants from every state were held. These meetings saw harmonious co-operation from every member and the council had come up with a lot of unanimous resolutions. 

The Council is also in charge of the modification of tax rates and respond to issues on account of procedural compliance.

Within a year after the implementation of GST, there were 21 amendments to the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST). Fourteen in 2017 and seven in 2018. The major issue with the implementation of GST was that the supplier of services is forced to register multiple times in case the service is provided for different States in the country.

Finally, the seminar elucidated on the future of GST and the important changes that has to be made, such as avoiding frequent changes to the law. New pro-active amendments have been proposed and finally, when compared to other countries and their implementation of GST, India always has a distinct advantage. 

The country has successfully implemented and monitored GST, when countries like Australia, Singapore, etc., withdrew the concept of GST shortly after implementation.

“Indian techies are preferred all around the world”, says Prof. Bala V. Balachandran

The Andhra Chamber of Commerce (ACC) along with the Madras Management Association (MMA) hosted a talk titled “Paradise Regained – AIMLA enables Strategic Profitability for the Technopreneur” by Prof. Bala V. Balachandran, the founder, Dean and Chairman of Great Lakes Institute of Management, India. 

‘AIMLA’ was an acronym created by Prof Balachandran, which expands into Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Algorithmic Analytics.

In his speech, Prof. Balachandran, who is also a JL Kellogg Distinguished Professor of Accounting and Information Management at the Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois, focused on trending topics such as the Block Chain technology, what was known as the internet of things, 3D printing and augmented reality. 

They were mentioned by Prof. Balachandran as the game changing technologies of doing work in the future.

He mentioned that when he encountered a problem while driving a Tesla car in the US, he contacted Telsa’s helpline where he found out that the faults in the car were remotely fixed by engineers of the Tata Consultancy Services, in Chennai and in Bangalore. 

Using this real-life example, he emphasised that Indian engineers and IT professionals or “Techies” are preferred around the world. 

To tackle the problem of high unemployment rate of graduates, he said that the unemployed should be given the skills of Block Chain, machine learning, artificial intelligence and 3D printing, through the National Skill Development program. This, according to Prof. Balachandran, will boost the number of Indian software engineers, ready for jobs across the globe. 

According to his studies and research, he predicts that by 2020, there would be 4 billion people connected to the internet, where 4 trillion dollars of revenue will be generated. Twenty-five million apps will be present and 30 zettabytes of data will be used. (One zettabyte is equal to one trillion gigabytes [GB]).

This allowed him to urge the gathering, that this is where the Indian IT professionals could “lead the competition” and could take the top ranked spot in the world. 

He also gave a seven-step advice to the ‘Technopreneurs’, which were to develop a well mapped digital strategy, experiment, engage in reverse mentoring, integrate with technology, update skills regularly, recognize the changes and to be distinct.

His speech was well received by the audience, who are regular attenders of his events. Prof. Balachandran was casually addressed as ‘Uncle Bala’ by many in the audience, while quizzing him about his vision and current trends.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Ranjit Pratap takes over as 90th President of the Rotary Club of Madras

A great honour for the Chennai Super 'King'

Mr. Ranjit Pratap has taken over as the 90th President of the Rotary Club of Madras, which is the third oldest club in India. Born in 1953, Mr. Ranjit is a B.Com. graduate from the Madras Christian College and graduated in Management from Indiana State University. 

Since 1988, he is the Managing Director of Rayala Corporation Pvt. Ltd., a company well known for the autombile dealerships during 1947. Later on, Rayala branched off into manufacturing typewriters with the brand name “Halda”, a joint venture with Facit AB, Sweden.

Subsequently, he promoted Facit Asia Ltd. (1962), another Indo-Swedish joint venture for manufacturing calculators and adding machines, and currently dealing in auto components & light engineering products, supplying to the auto industry and the Defence sector.

In 1995, Mr. Ranjit promoted yet another successful joint venture with Braun AG of Germany, now part of P & G of the US, to manufacture personal care and domestic appliances for the Indian market. This company was set up with the technical expertise of Braun, AG. Today, this joint venture is turning out high quality oral care products, and Braun gets substantial parts of the production from the Indian plant for its new emerging markets in developing countries.

Besides being Chairman of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (Southern Region) and the German Business Group, Chennai, Mr. Ranjit is also a well-known real estate businessman. An active sportsman, he devotes more time for playing tennis and horse back riding. He is also a great swimmer and a ardent follower of yoga. His hobbies include record collection of vintage and classic cars in south India.