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.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Piyush Prasad appointed Manager, Market Operations, Harley-Davidson India

Piyush Prasad has joined the Harley-Davidson India as Manager, Market Operations, based at Gurugram. In this position, he will report to Peter Mackenzie, Managing Director for Harley-Davidson India and China.

Piyush will oversee Motorcycle, General Merchandise, Parts & Accessories, Service and Customer Experience performance within the Indian market. He will be responsible for balancing and aligning market-level, retail business growth with enterprise objectives, while delivering consistent service and support to Harley-Davidson dealers.

Piyush Prasad said: "India is a very important market for Harley-Davidson and I'm excited about the opportunity to help lead the Motor Company's growth here."

Before joining Harley-Davidson, Piyush worked with Renault India as National Head - Corporate, Fleet, and Institutional Sales. Prior to that, he was with General Motors India, Mahindra & Mahindra and Hyundai Motors. Piyush brings with him more than 17 years experience in the automotive industry.

Piyush has obtained a Masters in International Business from the Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University. He is married with two children and is a martial arts enthusiast, avid reader and loves riding motorcycles.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Yamaha launched ‘Street Rally’ for sporty scooter buyers

The updated ‘Next Generation Real Boy’s Scooter’ is now more advanced, masculine & sporty

Launch date
Cygnus Ray ZR ‘Street Rally’ edition
July 16, 2018
Rs. 57,898
(Ex-showroom Delhi)
  • Rally Red
  • Racing Blue

India Yamaha Motor (IYM) Pvt. Ltd. has introduced another exciting edition to its Cygnus Ray ZR scooter series with the all new ‘Street Rally’ edition in India recently. The ‘Street Rally’ edition draws design inspiration from globally reputed two-wheeler models of Yamaha and offers a uniquely manoeuvred sporty imagery to the already masculine appearance of the Cygnus Ray ZR design trend. The scooter will be priced at Rs. 57,898 (ex-showroom Delhi) and will be available at all authorized Yamaha dealerships from last week of July 2018.

The new ‘Street Rally’ edition is available in two different colours – Rally Red and Racing Blue, and adopts a newly designed ‘Wing Style fairing’ (front fairing) inspired from Yamaha MT-09 which along with serving as the wind deflector, will also enhance the sporty look. The new ‘Knuckle Guard’ protects from windblasts on the handle grip and the movable front fender protects from mud splatter, while both adds up to its sporty appeal. The characterized ‘Rising Air Tail’ along with the sharp, sporty mirrors and fully digital meter comes along with ‘roller rocker arm’ that reduces horsepower loss and ‘easy-to-use power’ settings in extremely low speed ranges.

 The Cygnus Ray ZR ‘Street Rally’ edition continues to draw power from an air-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, 2-valve, 113cc “BLUE CORE” engine with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) unit, which provides both smooth initial acceleration and pickup. Presence of 170 mm diameter front disc brake and alloy wheels reduces the inertial moment of the steering assembly and thus, contributes to light, agile handling characteristics. Additionally, it also offers 1) large under seat storage room (21 litres capacity) with front pocket enough to fit a 500 ml bottle, 2) key secure grip system, and 3) Edgy and high rising tail light, two-level raised seat provides great comfort to the rider while reducing fatigue.

Speaking about the launch, Mr. Roy Kurian, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Yamaha Motor India Sales Pvt. Ltd., said: “Yamaha’s Cygnus Ray ZR ‘Street Rally’ edition perfectly combines power and style that makes it an aspirational buy. Continuing with Yamaha’s legacy to provide technologically advanced, sporty and stylish products, ‘Street Rally’ will bring excitement to scooter customers who look for sporty scooters with easy manoeuvring along with smooth power delivery. The globally known ‘Unique style of Yamaha’ that outlines any product innovation including the ‘Street Rally’ edition will help the brand to keep up its incremental ascent in the Indian two wheeler market.”

Till date, IYM has enhanced its scooter line up in India by consistently launching products that respond to a wide variety of user needs, such as the Cygnus Ray Z targeted to young people, the family-oriented Cygnus Alpha, the premium fashion scooter Fascino and the Cygnus Ray ZR for real boys.

Isuzu Motors India rolls out 10,000th vehicle from its plant in SriCity

Rolled-out ISUZU D-MAX V-Cross; reinforces ISUZU’s commitment to India

Isuzu Motors India rolled out the 10,000th vehicle from its factory located in SriCity, Andhra Pradesh. The company rolled-out a ISUZU D-MAX V-Cross from its assembly line marking the milestone and commitment to the Indian market. The plant which went operational from April 2016 has been producing ISUZU D-MAX V-Cross - India’s First Adventure Utility Vehicle, ISUZU mu-X, a 7-seater, full-size family SUV in the personal segment and ISUZU D-MAX S-CAB and Regular Cab models for the commercial segment.

Isuzu Motors India crossed the cumulative sale of 10,000 units in March 2018 which includes the models that were manufactured at Hindustan Motors facility near Chennai till early 2016. The SriCity plant was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Nara Chandrababu Naidu in April 2016 and the company rolled out the first V-Cross, marking the commencement of its manufacturing operations in India. The plant is one of the key manufacturing hubs for ISUZU, globally and has already begun exports to neighbouring countries of Nepal and Bhutan. The plant follows the highly regarded ‘Isuzu Manufacturing Management’ philosophy which translates into delivering quality across all products.

Commenting on the milestone, Mr. Naohiro Yamaguchi, Managing Director, Isuzu Motors India, said: “The roll-out of the 10,000th vehicle from SriCity marks an important milestone in the journey of ISUZU in India. It is a testimony to show our commitment to India and the trust Indian customers have built on us and our products. It is just the beginning and we will continue to remain focussed on our core objectives of delivering value and quality through our products.”

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Isuzu Motors India sponsors the 2018 Rain Forest Challenge (RFC) in India

The 5th edition of India’s toughest international off-road motorsport event will be held in Goa between 21st July and 28th July, 2018

Isuzu Motors India has joined hands with Cougar Motorsport Pvt. Ltd. to promote the spirit of adventure by sponsoring the 2018 edition of RFC India. This is the 5th edition of India’s toughest international off-road motorsport event, to be held in Goa between 21st July and 28th July, 2018.

ISUZU has been selling the D-MAX V-Cross, India’s First Adventure Utility Vehicle from May 2016, and ever since, the vehicle has become the most preferred choice for many adventure seekers and auto-enthusiasts in the country. On the other hand, the ISUZU mu-X, a full-size 7-seater SUV, developed on the same D-MAX platform, is gaining huge traction for its unmatched capabilities of taking on any terrain at ease. It is becoming a part of many Indian families, thanks to the space and safety it offers.

ISUZU has a strong legacy of making tough, durable vehicles that can perform in the most demanding terrains. The vehicles have consistently performed in some of the toughest rally raids and off-road challenges across the world, including the DAKAR Rally Raid, the Australasian Safari, Pharaohs Rally, British Cross Country Championship (BCCC) and China Silk Road Rally to name a few. The V-Cross has proved its mettle in a few such grueling rallies in India as well.

RFC India was launched in the year 2014 by Delhi-based Cougar Motorsport as the India Chapter of the iconic Rainforest Challenge of Malaysia, which is counted among the top ten toughest motor races in the World. Today, RFC India is amongst the top three RFC Global events out of the 51 editions being held across 21 countries. The event enjoys a cult following in the Indian off-roading and adventure sports communities; thousands of off-roaders and adventure enthusiasts from across the country converge in Goa every year to witness this week-long battle amongst India’s best off-roaders.

“ISUZU RFC India 2018” will witness participation from 41 teams from various parts of the country where they will undertake 26 Special Stages (SS) or challenges. The total benefits to the top Indian driver of ISUZU RFC India 2018 will amount to US$ 10,000, including an automatic free entry worth US$ 3,900 to the RFC Mother Event, to be held in Malaysia at the end of the year.

Commenting on the association, Mr. Ken Takashima, Deputy Managing Director, Isuzu Motors India, said: “We are happy to be associated with this edition of RFC India, as we see a right fit in terms of promoting the spirit of adventure in India. Our products are highly regarded for its tough-build, durability and reliability across the world. Our products are receiving tremendous response in India and to many adventure enthusiasts, the V-Cross is an aspirational vehicle. I wish the RFC India team and the participants the best.”

Commenting on this partnership, Cougar Motorsport’s Founder & Director, Mr. Ashish Gupta, said: “Our association with Isuzu Motors India started a couple of years ago with the India 4X4 Week, where they not only participated as an exhibitor but also sponsored some of the sessions. I am happy to renew our association with them and have them as the Title Sponsor for RFC India 2018. ISUZU D-Max V-Cross is India’s first Adventure Utility Vehicle and has some superlative features, which make it the perfect vehicle for off-roaders and adventure enthusiasts. I am sure that this partnership will be mutually beneficial and the brand will get to showcase all the major highlights of this amazing vehicle to a substantial section of the Indian off-roading community that would be attending the event.”

Krishnapatnam Port commissions 5 new e-RTGCs

KPCT strengthens its the container handling capacity with new eco-friendly cranes

Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal (KPCT), a deep drafted Container Terminal, on the east-coast of India, announced the commissioning of 5 nos. of Electrical Rubber Tyred Gantry cranes (e-RTGC) further bolstering its container handling capacity in the backdrop of a strong year-on-year container volume growth of 88% in FY 2017-18.

An environmentally sustainable growth is one of the key foundations of Krishnapatnam Port and it received a shot in the arm with the commissioning of these 5 new e-RTGs which have the potential to reduce energy costs by 80% and operating noise level by 65% whilst cutting down more than 1400 tons of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions vis-à-vis the traditional diesel run RTGs.

Designed to offer significant operational performance, the new e-RTGs are expected to infuse further pace to the yard side container handling activities resulting in faster turnaround time for both the container vessels as well as the by-road trailers.

Commenting on the development, Mr. Anil Yendluri, Director & CEO, Krishnapatnam Port Co. Ltd., said: “We are proud and excited to welcome the new e-RTG fleet which will further strengthen our “Clean air” initiative through drastic cut in the emissions and will also boost our operational efficiencies multifold offering enhanced productivity for our customers and partners.”

Mr. Jithendra Nimmagadda, Chief Operating Officer, KPCT, commented: “Addition of the new e-RTGs is in-line with our philosophy of ‘Creating capacity ahead of the demand’ whilst we are in the process transforming KPCT from being a gateway container terminal on the east coast of India into a Transshipment hub in South Asia”.

Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal is the country’s fastest growing container terminal and is planning to increase its container handling capacity from the current 1.2 million TEUs per annum to 2 million TEUs in its quest to emerge as the Global Transshipment hub.

Friday, 13 July 2018

DNV GL to offer global water management certification

DNV GL has been accredited by the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) to issue certificates proving compliance with the AWS international standard for water management.

The accreditation enables DNV GL to certify companies globally. Antonio Astone, Global Service Manager for Assurance and Supply Chain in DNV GL – Business Assurance, comments: “We are pleased to be able to help companies to better manage their use of freshwater. Water is becoming a scarce resource in many areas of the world and companies are increasingly being scrutinized for their water management. Hence, the accreditation to the AWS Standard is a great opportunity to help these organizations understand, assess and prove their efforts.”  

The AWS is a global partnership dedicated to promoting the responsible use of freshwater. Certification to The International Water Stewardship Standard is a mark of having met the global benchmark for responsible water management. The standard provides a globally applicable framework for major water consumers to understand their water use and impacts and to work collaboratively and transparently to achieve sustainable water management within a catchment context. 

"We now have over 50 sites registered for certification, 21 certifications realized and a host of companies and organizations globally committed to following the AWS Standard. Working with respected and credible global certification bodies such as DNV GL is vital to support our rapidly escalating growth and the interest in the AWS Standard system," says Mona Karraoui, AWS Accreditation and Training Manager.

Ingunn Midttun Godal, Director of Business Development in DNV GL – Business Assurance, comments: “Being accredited by the AWS is important to our work of supporting companies in achieving sustainable business performance in all areas of their operations and value chains. Internationally acknowledged standards that set a benchmark and enable organizations to continually improve their efforts related to responsible water usage are needed. As one of the world’s leading certification bodies, we look forward to helping companies to put this topic on the agenda and drive change through certification, contributing positively to responsible freshwater usage around the world.”

Getronics completes acquisition of Pomeroy creating a Billion dollar plus leading global IT services platform

With this strategic acquisition, Getronics establishes itself as a leading Information & Communication Technology (ICT) service provider on a global scale, with a broadened services offering and capabilities to provide an exceptional customer experience. Getronics is owned by Bottega InvestCo S.à r.l., whose founder and majority shareholder is the Brazilian/American entrepreneur Nana Baffour, Chairman and Group CEO of Getronics.

Getronics has acquired Pomeroy, one of the leading US providers of digital workplace transformation services. The newly expanded company, with combined revenue of approximately $1.3 billion, will be a leading global player in the field of Managed Digital Workspace, Applications, Industry Specific Software Solutions, Multi-Cloud Management and Unified Communications. With a presence in 23 countries and coverage in over 110 countries through the Global Workspace Alliance, Getronics will continue to build local customer relationships and provide local solutions, backed by the strength of  a global service delivery organization.

Getronics, the leading European provider of digital transformation solutions with a rich history that extends over 130 years, is expanding its capabilities with Pomeroy’s resources and leading expertise in digital workplace transformation, infrastructure optimization, network and data center services. With locations coast to coast in the US serving campus and distributed IT environments in retail, healthcare, financial institutions, services and manufacturing, the acquisition of Pomeroy enables Getronics to expand its global services capabilities focused on business transformation to the North American market. 

“We are very pleased with the successful acquisition of Pomeroy. Our combined revenues now reach $1.3 billion, achieving our goal of becoming a billion-dollar  company two years earlier than originally planned,” stated Nana Baffour, Chairman and Group CEO of Getronics. “This reflects the power of our dreams and the dedicated execution of our team and financial partners, and we are excited about the value and customer experience that the new combination will allow us to deliver. Our operations are now significantly strengthened globally, extending from Brazil to Singapore and from Spain to the US and Canada, with over 2,800 active clients, served by approximately 9,000 employees. With this scale, we are poised to succeed in our ambition to be the preferred partner for our customers in enabling business transformation using the latest technology.”

“This is an outstanding combination and an incredibly exciting event for our clients as well,” said Brian Robinson, current CEO of Pomeroy and Global CFO of the newly combined company. “Getronics’ global service delivery capabilities and service offerings will be a compelling added value for North American clients. We  look forward to introducing Getronics’ Applications, Cloud and Unified Communications solutions to further enable our clients to transform their businesses utilizing the latest digital tools as part of the workspace of tomorrow.”

The acquisition of Pomeroy was supported by a US$815 million financing and recapitalization transaction. CPPIB Credit Investments Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Permira Debt Managers and White Oak Global Advisors, LLC led a US$550 million first lien senior tranche of the financing.

Exicom announces partnership with Kinetic Green for advance Lithium-Ion Batteries

Exicom partners with Kinetic Green, India’s largest manufacturer of ICAT and Government approved electric three-wheeler vehicles to provide them advanced Lithium-Ion Batteries for application in their E-Rickshaws. 

E-Rickshaws are going to become back bone of Indian Transport System as they provide noise & pollution-free “first & last” mile connectivity in the most economical manner. The use of Exicom lithium-ion batteries in E-Rickshaws have many benefits including high Energy Density leading to low weight thereby operating for more kilometers between charges, fast charging time of 2 hours, long life of 1500+ cycles, low self-discharge, higher efficiency, i.e., 25% low charging cost, zero maintenance, no requirements for water Top-Up, option of 2 cycles per day and many others. 

Exicom is the largest supplier of Li-ion batteries in India with a deployment of more than 650 MWhr. Exicom’s ‘Make in India’ Lithium ion batteries and Chargers with Intelligent BMS have all the safety features to protect the battery and vehicle in turn. From Exicom’s in-built BMS, the user can get complete information on number of charge and discharge cycles of the battery which helps him in providing hassle free service. Further to this, battery provides complete information to driver on Dashboard about charging requirement, kilometers remaining for charging, etc., which makes customer comfortable. 

This partnership between Exicom & Kinetic Green represents a strong commitment from both organizations to provide pollution free green mode of transportation that is best in safety, reliability and efficiency. Kinetic Green’s e-Three-Wheeler ‘Kinetic Safar’ has been approved by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) to meet all Government safety norms as per Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR). Exicom supplies the entire kit including Lithium-ion Battery, BMS (battery management system) and charger for it. 

Mr. Anant Nahata, Managing Director, Exicom, said: “Kinetic Green’s selection of Exicom as its partner is a testament of our world-class battery and charging infrastructure solutions. We’re thrilled to play a significant role in our country’s transformation towards electric mobility.” 

Exicom is committed to realize the vision of making India a 100% Electric Vehicles nation and aims to support Government’s mission of shifting 30% of country’s fleet to electric mode by 2030.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Tata Motors extends special monsoon offers and strengthens network outreach

Tata Motors Ltd. has announced special monsoon offers for car buyers across the country, for the entire month of July. The company is continuously leveraging the maximum potential of its expanding network and consumer insights, in order to connect with its customers in a more effective manner.

In July 2018, the company is offering first year’s insurance on Tigor, Nano, Hexa, Safari Storme, and Zest models, at Re.1. Customers can also reap benefits of consumer discounts, ranging between INR 20000 and INR 30000, on select models. Additionally, exciting exchange discounts, up to INR 15000, for the prospective car buyers, on the aforementioned cars as well as on all variants of Nexon and Tiago.

On account of the auspicious occasion of Rath Yatra, Tata Motors will be offering customer across Gujarat an additional reason to rejoice, by presenting them with additional consumer discounts and first year insurance at Re. 1 on the Nexon and Tiago variants. 

Commenting on the offer roll-out, Mr. S.N Barman, Vice President – Sales, Marketing & Customer Support, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit (PVBU), Tata Motors, said: “Making this monsoon special for our customers, we have rolled out these offers, keeping in mind the dynamic demands of all customers; with the sole purpose of providing them with maximum benefits. We firmly believe that this proposition will provide a huge boost to the buyer morale, thus cultivating for them a strong sense of association with our brand. On the back of the on-going Turnaround strategy, we have made good progress and are entering the consideration sets of the consumers. Our aim is to now fortify our presence by offering efficient after-sales services, reduction in complaints, and meaningful offers that cater to the ever-evolving demands of all consumers.”

Tata Motors’ Turnaround strategy, has proven robust results. The company’s passenger vehicle domestic sales in June 2018 were particularly impressive at 18,213 units: a growth of 63% over last year. In the first quarter of FY 19, the PV business recorded a growth of 52%. Coexisting with this growth story, the company’s network has also witnessed a strong growth from 400 to 746 outlets, which is further expected to reach 850 by the end of this year.

The said list of offers dovetails with the company’s overall strategy to ramp up sales efforts and should set the tone for an aggressive festive season starting next month.

HCIL to hike car prices, to be effective from August 2018

Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL) announced a proposed price hike on its models in the range of Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 35,000 and the revised prices will be effective from August 1, 2018.

Mr. Rajesh Goel, Sr. Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Honda Cars India Ltd., said: “Due to the increasing pressure on input costs, impact of custom duty hike over past few months and higher freight rates, we are forced to consider increasing the prices of our cars. The increased price will be effective from August 1, 2018.” 

“The introductory price of the recently launched All New Amaze will also be revised from August,” he added.

Tata Motors Group global wholesales at 100,135 units in June 2018

The Tata Motors Group global wholesales in June 2018, including Jaguar Land Rover, were at 100,135 units, higher by 12%, over June 2017.

Global wholesales of all Tata Motors’ commercial vehicles and Tata Daewoo range in June 2018 were at 44,229 units, higher by 53%, over June 2017.

Global wholesales of all passenger vehicles in June 2018 were at 55,906 units, lower by 8%, compared to June 2017.

Global wholesales for Jaguar Land Rover were 37,490 vehicles (*JLR number for June 2018 includes CJLR volumes of 7,640 units). Jaguar wholesales for the month were 10,354 vehicles, while Land Rover wholesales for the month were 27,136 vehicles.

*CJLR – It is a JV between JLR and Chery Automobiles and is an unconsolidated subsidiary for JLR

Honda 2Wheelers India launches 2018 CD 110 Dream DX

Attractively priced starting at Rs. 48,272 (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. announced availability of 2018 CD 110 Dream DX. Highly popular amongst first time motorcycle buyers, new 2018 CD 110 Dream DX traces its legacy to Honda’s first mass motorcycle Dream D which was launched in Japan in 1949.

The 2018 edition of CD 110 Dream DX gets new attractive gold graphics and chrome muffler protector. The utilitarian CD 110 Dream DX gets a heavy duty rear carrier which adds practicality and versatility. The long seat and wheelbase promises a comfortable ride while the strong and durable suspension promises a stress-free commute.

Commenting on the new version, Mr. Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Senior Vice President - Sales and Marketing, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd., said: “The iconic CD brand has been winning the trust of millions of customers globally since 1966. Taking forward its legacy, 2018 CD 110 Dream DX offers the same level of trust and reliability. We are confident that the new edition too will garner good response from our customers especially when there are sentiments in rural demand.”

Powering the CD 110 Dream DX is the trusted 110cc HET (Honda Eco Technology) engine which produces a balance between power and mileage. It brings with it the trusted Honda brand name along with super features like a long seat, high ground clearance, long wheelbase, rear metal carrier and a key lock utility box.

Since its launch in 2014, CD 110 Dream has made space into the lives of utility seeking customers. A wide handle turning angle leads to easy handling in traffic. Tubeless tyres, viscous air filter and maintenance-free battery in CD 110 Dream DX promises easy tension free ownership.

New 2018 CD 110 Dream DX colours and price

2018 CD 110 Dream DX is now available in 4 attractive colours (NewBlack with Cabin Gold / Black with Green Metallic / Black with Grey Silver Metallic / Black with Red / Black with Blue Metallic). The 2018 edition of CD 110 Dream DX is attractively priced starting at Rs. 48,272 (ex-showroom, Delhi).

Jaguar Land Rover India inaugurates new retailer facility in Chennai

Jaguar Land Rover India announced the opening of VST Grandeur’s new retailer facility in the Poonamallee area of Chennai. VST Grandeur has developed yet another state-of-the-art facility, which was inaugurated by Mr. Rohit Suri, President & Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover India Ltd. (JLRIL), and Mr. VT Ravindra, Director, VST Grandeur, located at one of the most rapidly upcoming areas of Chennai, designed and equipped to provide the highest quality of sales and after-sales services.

The facility has an integrated service workshop and is equipped with 17 service bays with state-of-the-art equipment manned by a team of highly trained staff including technicians and other service personnel.

Mr. Rohit Suri said: “We are delighted to introduce our new retailer facility in Chennai and are committed to easing accessibility for our customers to Jaguar and Land Rover products within the city. The opening of this ultra-modern facility for our esteemed customers is in line with this objective.”

The customers can even book their cars by visiting the online booking platform at www.findmeacar.in and www.findmeasuv.in

For more information on Jaguar and Land Rover product range in India, visit: www.jaguar.in and www.landrover.in

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Deepak Phenolics uses Honeywell Connected Plant Technology to train operators

Operator training simulation based on Honeywell UOP’s cumene process technology enables safer and more efficient production

Honeywell announced its Honeywell Connected Plant technology is helping drive more reliable and efficient operations at Deepak Phenolics Ltd.’s (DPL) phenol and cumene plant in Dahej, Gujarat. DPL is using Honeywell Connected Plant UniSim Operations to train process operators on safe, efficient and incident-free startups and operations.

Honeywell deployed the operator training simulator (OTS) technology two months ahead of schedule, taking only five months from the kick-off meeting to site acceptance test. This was the first time the OTS system was developed on Honeywell UOP’s Q-Max cumene technology, which is based on highly selective, stable and regenerable catalysts. This latest generation of cumene technology provides higher yields, improved product quality and lower utility consumption.

“The collaborative efforts from both companies will result in fewer process upsets and improved environmental performance, while positively contributing to employee health and safety at Deepak Phenolics’ plants,” said Rahul Khare, regional business leader, Honeywell Connected Plant. “DPL is currently able to effectively train operating personnel on various production and emergency scenarios faster and more efficiently than through other alternatives.”

Customized process scenarios helped field and console operators to understand and practice normal operations and emergency conditions prior to the commissioning of DPL’s cumene plant. The Honeywell Connected Plant solution accelerates knowledge transfer by consolidating an entire lifetime of experience into a concise operator training curriculum. 

“Our company has realized significant benefits by optimizing less expensive feed for startup, identifying gaps in controller actions and preparing a smooth start-up procedure with high reliability and minimum hydrocarbon loss,” said Jay Shah, technology lead, Deepak Phenolics Ltd. “The OTS model delivered to the Dahej facility was customized to our needs and is a best-in-class solution for training operating personnel.”

Honeywell Connected Plant is a suite of applications that delivers higher levels of safety, reliability, efficiency and profitability. These proven industry solutions are based on decades of domain knowledge and controls experience. They turn data into actionable insight so industrial manufacturers can optimize operations, predict plant failures and eliminate unplanned downtime. This new level of consistent high performance makes every day the best day of production.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

“Intelligent Apps loaded with Digital Twin will drive people and industry”: Dr. Jitendra K. Das

“Intelligent applications or Apps will impact the lives and drive people at both personal and industrial level. These apps will no longer be the apps which we use today, but will be much more intelligent, advanced and loaded with AI and Digital Twin”, said Dr. Jitendra K. Das, Director, FORE School of Management, New Delhi. 

Dr. Das was the Chairperson of the session themed – Role of Robotics, AI and Automations to Make In India at the recently held “8th Manufacturing Innovation Conclave” – Building manufacturing, Building India, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with co-panelists – Mr. Harish Mehra, Business & Solutions Head, Tata Consultancy Services, Mr. Kush Mishra, Chief Technology Officer, SenRa, and Mr. Prabhakar K. Chaudhary, Managing Director, HAL Robotics. 

Talking about the manufacturing industry which is undergoing a paradigm shift centered around technologies like the Machine Learning, IoT, Autonomous or Assistive AI, Dr. Das mentioned how India needs to seriously think of investing on developing resources in  these technologies, which promises better quality, greater efficiency, higher speed while enabling the per unit manufacturing cost to be lower. To achieve this goal, China is increasingly building capabilities in AI-based solutions.

Gartner predicts that by 2021, “50 per cent of large industrial companies will use digital twins, resulting in those organizations gaining a 10 per cent improvement in effectiveness”.

Mr. Harish Mehra explaining how even a small change in design, can impact productivity in any manufacturing unit and how the advance robotics technology shall do wonders in such scenario, spoke about Industry 4.0 and how Robotics, AI & Automation shall play critical role in the success of the “Make in India” programme. The applications of Advanced Robotics where a robot is not just performing a task but also is capable to take decisions, is something the industry will take help from. The digital twin technology shall record how things are working in the factory in real time and autonomous or assistive AI will analyze and take control of the machines accordingly and in case of a potential failure will shut down a particular machine unit. 

“Robotics has to be of assistance to the human kind and to be used by the humans rather being replacements for human beings”, said Mr. Prabhakar Chaudhary. “India missed the opportunity during PC revolution and the Smart Phone hardware industry. Manufacturing has to be the core area of opportunity and employment and hence India has to gear up to be a key player by adapting to newer technologies faster”, he added. 

Mr. Kush Mishra touched upon AI technology used in Tesla cars, equipped with sensors to prevent loss of lives by precisely averting accidents acquiring real time information from the streets, providing critical inputs to the driver and taking control of the braking system, if required. 

The session focused on understanding Industry 4.0 trends those are driving manufacturing Innovation like the Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality and Digital Twin and analyzing the challenges which manufacturing industry may face. When looking at AI, decision makers however must distinguish between autonomous and assistive/augmented solutions as it pertains to accelerating the demonstration of business value for optimizing operations and not for negative impacts on the mankind. 

- By Nirmalya Pal