UTI Flexi Cap Fund – A flexi-cap portfolio with emphasis on business sustainability

Chandigarh, June 14, 2021: Establishing realistic financial goals is the first step toward successful investing. Understanding the investment avenues best suited to helping you achieve your goals is equally important. Mutual funds can fit well into either your long or short-term investment goals, but the success of one’s plan depends on the type of fund/s one choose. Having said that, UTI Flexi Cap Fund is an open ended equity scheme investing across large cap, mid cap, small cap stocks, having a corpus of over Rs. 18,000 crores and having over 13 lakh investors (as on May 31, 2021). This offering from UTI Mutual Fund is suitable for any long term investor.

UTI Flexi Cap Fund’s investment philosophy which is built around the three pillars of Quality, Growth & Valuation. The portfolio strategy would be to focus on businesses that have an ability to show strong growth for a long period of time and are run by seasoned managements.

“Quality” signifies the ability of a business to sustain high Return on Capital Employed (RoCE) or Return on Equity (RoE) over a long period of time. Truly high quality businesses are those that are able to generate high RoCEs and also RoEs even during difficult times for their industry or sector and therefore operate above their cost of capital at all times. More often than not, a business with high RoCE/ RoE shall be able to generate strong cash-flows and these strong cash flows become the source of economic value creation.

“Growth” on the other hand signifies long term secular growth for the business. The fund emphasizes on businesses that have steady and predictable growth trajectory rather than cyclical and unpredictable growth. Cyclical growth or de-growth can be very sharp and unpredictable and can surprise investors in either direction, as against secular growth where there is relatively more certainty in understanding the long term drivers and hence future outcomes. While high quality businesses create economic value, a high growth business enables compounding of this economic value. It is for this reason that the fund’s favorite hunting ground for stock selection is the intersection of quality and growth.

The last pillar of the fund’s investment philosophy is “Valuations”. Valuations are very important as an entry point into a great business and therefore one should very carefully study this before entering a stock. Although a Price to Earnings (P/E) multiple is a good starting point for understanding the valuations of a business but it is also a widely misunderstood and abused valuation technique. More often than not a high RoCE and high growth business would deserve a high P/E and would still be an attractive investment for long term investors who invest on the basis of business fundamentals rather than on the basis of what would outperform in the next few months or quarters. Therefore, before reaching to a judgement by looking at P/Es optically one has to carefully study the characteristics of each business and then establish the fair valuation band for each of them.

The Fund endeavor to invest across the market capitalization spectrum following the “Growth” style of investment. The scheme’s top ten holding consists of HDFC Bank Ltd., Bajaj Finance Ltd., HDFC Ltd., L&T Infotech Ltd., Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., Astral Poly Technik, Infosys Ltd., Mindtree Ltd., Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. and Motherson Sumi Systems Ltd. which accounts for around 41% of the portfolio’s corpus as of May, 31, 2021.

UTI Flexi Cap Fund would be suitable for those equity investors looking to build their “core” equity portfolio and seeking long term capital growth through investment in quality businesses that generate economic value. In short, investors with moderate risk-profile and looking to invest for at least 5 to 7 years to meet a long-term financial goal, may consider investing in this fund.

Travel app, ixigo launches Real Time COVID-19 ‘Vaccine Slot Finder’

Allows users to conveniently search vaccine slots directly on ixigo flights & trains app

Notifies users when slots are available in their area

Chandigarh, 14th June 2021: Vaccination drive against COVID-19 in India is currently in full swing. With citizens flocking to the government portals to find and book relevant slots, it sometimes becomes a challenge to get your preferred slot with such high demand. To increase the chances of getting a vaccination appointment, ixigo has launched ‘Vaccine Slot Finder’ tool on its flights & trains app displaying real-time slot availability from the CoWIN website.

This tool can be easily accessed in the ‘What’s New’ section on the app by tapping on the ‘Find vaccine slots’ option. One can select their area pin code or the district along with the age group and specify the dose they qualify for. A user can further filter the search results by selecting the vaccine type (Covishield or Covaxin), and whether they are opting for a ‘free’ or ‘paid’vaccine centre. If a slot is available, they will be redirected to the coWIN website to book the appointment. In case of unavailability of a slot, users get an option to select ‘notify me when slots are available’ which will enable push notifications for whenever the slots are available in their area.

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Rajnish Kumar, CTO & Director, ixigo said, “With this initiative we want to support the government’s efforts in accelerating mass vaccinations by providing our users seamless access to vaccine slots. Timely vaccinations will help ease anxiety and encourage safe and free movement of people going forward.”

Here’s a video on how to use ixigo’s ‘Vaccine Slot Finder’ feature:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5wnc8wxGL0

TATA ClassEdge announces launch of new Self-Study App Studi  

‘Better Planning Leads to Better Learning’

Chandigarh, June 14, 2021: Tata ClassEdge (TCE), a division of Tata Industries, was the first EdTech organization in India to provide textbook-mapped content to Indian schools that were affiliated to the national and state boards. TCE is currently in its 10th year of operations and its classroom solution is present in around 2000 schools and is being used by 1,50,000 teachers and 1.7 million students across India.

TCE has now launched Studi with Tata ClassEdge, a direct-to-students learning solution, with a focus on planning, practice and concept mastery. Mr Milind Shahane, CEO, TCE, commented “Studi has been designed to develop independent learners. Therefore, it focuses not just on what to study but how to study.”

Echoing Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Studi’s learning methods are built on the seven habits of independent learners. These include setting learning goals, understanding the big idea, revising, practicing, spacing practice sessions, testing and tracking progress.

“We want to enable students to plan and schedule their studies across different subjects, learn systematically instead of cramming and rote-learning and use effective study strategies to confidently face exams,” says Mr Shahane, “There’s a science behind effective learning and Studi packs in some of the best principles from this science,” he adds.

One of the key differentiators of Studi is its Adaptive Planner. Explains Mr Shahane, “How much time should a child spend on a subject? How should he prepare for an upcoming class test? Which topics does the child need to pay more attention to? Through the Adaptive Planner, we address these questions, and set the child on an efficient study path to achieve his learning goals.”

Another distinguishing feature is what the app refers to as the Big Idea. Essentially, it’s a short video at the beginning of every chapter that captures the main idea of the whole lesson. Says Mr Shahane “When asked to study something, almost every child is likely to ask, “Why should I learn this?” or “How does it matter?” The Big Idea provides the answer every time and the children love it.”

Also, the practice sessions are not just a one-time instance at the end of every topic. They are spaced and repeated after each week so that children retain the concepts thoroughly. In addition to practice, self-tests are provided at periodic intervals to help gauge the confidence level of children at every step.

Studi with Tata ClassEdge was piloted for four months starting from October 2020 among 5000 students from 10 schools where TCE already has a presence. “We received some amazing feedback from teachers, students and parents. Our dream was to create a unique learning solution that helps improve children’s learning skill. Even the new National Education Policy talks about learning how to learn.” says Mr Shahane.

Studi is available both as an app and a web-based solution.

Website: www.tatastudi.com

TransUnion CIBIL and Google Launch Unique Report on  Consumer Credit Demand in India

COVID-19 shifts demand for consumer credit online

Digital will drive opportunities to fulfill distributed demand

Trust in lender tops consumer purchase parameters

Chandigarh, June 14, 2021 –A joint report by Transunion CIBIL and Google titled “Credit Distributed” released today provides trends and insights on the increasing reliance of consumers on the internet for purchasing credit products caused by the unprecedented rise in digital adoption by consumers in recent times. This unique research report combines the power of data based on credit related searches on Google along with TransUnion CIBIL’s credit information insights.

Signaling a shift from traditional channels to online, this report identifies multiple new and under-tapped segments of credit demand which are distributed across loan product constructs, geographies, CIBIL score-based risk segments, end-use requirements, and borrower profiles.

The increased diversity in borrower profiles is indicated by the fact that, in 2020, 49 per cent of first-time borrowers were less than 30 years old, 71 per cent were based in non-metro locations, and 24 per cent were women. Further, these profiles vary when analyzed at credit product level based on credit appetite, credit experience, credit discipline, and channel of consumption, and have made segmentation increasingly nuanced and complex. Underlining the report’s insights is the 2.5X surge in searches for loans from non-Tier 1 cities than from tiered cities across 2017-2020. Overall, growth in searches for car loans between the two halves of 2020 grew the fastest at 55 per cent with home loans following with 22 per cent growth.

With this rapid evolution in India’s financial ecosystem, lending decisions are now powered by data across parameters and dimensions. This evolution is driving investment by lenders in technology automation, machine-learning powered scorecards, and analytical models to rapidly scale sustainable business growth in today’s dynamic market.

Commenting on the findings of the report, the Managing Director and CEO of TransUnion CIBIL, Mr. Rajesh Kumar, said: “We have collaborated with Google to combine the power of online credit-related search data with credit enquiry data from TransUnion CIBIL to create this rich research report which is a powerful reflection of consumer demand, intent and approach to accessing financial opportunities. Consumer credit demand and access has undergone a paradigm shift over the last few years, with the post-pandemic circumstances having further accelerated this change. We are excited about the potential of this partnership to help credit institutions and policy makers in strategizing for resurgence and growth in India’s emerging credit landscape.”

Adding to these insights, Mr. Bhaskar Ramesh, Director, Google India, said, “In India’s post COVID-19 journey back to growth, access to credit is crucial. With more and more consumers now coming online, the demand for credit has also dispersed and moved outside of predictable demographic pockets. The traditional customer contact model is constrained in locating, reaching, and engaging these new customers, particularly those beyond tier 1 cities. End-to-end tech-enablement by lenders to create digital paths of purchase for easy and timely disbursals is the need of the day.”

Distributed credit marks the evolution of India’s credit industry

The report captures the shifts in consumer demand that underpin the distributed nature of the post-COVID-19 credit market across five key areas:

Small is big: The report identifies the significance of small ticket (INR <=25k) loans, characterized by searches for “phone on loan”, “laptop on EMI”, and “mahila loan 30000”. The share of these loan disbursals amongst all personal loans has gone up from ~10per cent in 2017 to ~60per cent in 2020. With disbursal speed and convenience being the hallmarks of these loans, the digital-first sellers have the largest share in this category with 97 per cent of all personal loans disbursed by them being under INR 25,000. Interestingly, small loan borrowers demonstrate higher loyalty with 42X growth in repeat customer base amongst lenders in CY 2020 versus CY 2017. Moreover, this growth is as high as 64X for digital-first lenders i.e FinTech NBFCs (non-banking financial company) indicating higher stickiness driven by convenience, over the same time period.

Beyond urban India: There is a perceptible acceleration in credit demand from non-metro locations, with 77 per cent of all retail loan enquiries on the TransUnion CIBIL bureau originating from tier 2 cities and beyond in CY 2020. Also, 70 per cent of total credit enquiries are from existing-to-credit borrowers1 outside tier 1 cities. Alongside, loan-related searches from tier 2 and tier 3 locations grew by 32 per cent and 47 per cent respectively in 2020 over those for 2017. Interestingly, ticket sizes on loan products like personal loans, auto loans and consumer durable loans are geo-agnostic. In line with the geographical expansion of new digital users in tier 2/3/4 locations and rural India, and a preference for the mother tongue, local language searches for credit showed an exponential increase. Searches in local languages and for translations of terms such as ‘Credit’, ‘Term loan’, and ‘Moratorium’ have also witnessed an uptick.

One size does not fit all: For the past year, the report showcases an extraordinary diversification of demand for consumer credit, with 49 per cent of new-to-credit retail borrowers being less than 30 years old, 71 per cent of them being located in non-tier 1 cities, and increasingly, more women availing credit opportunities.

Re-iterate trust: In the consumer survey2accompanying the report, customers rate trust in the brand higher than other traditional parameters like low interest rates, which came second, before recommendations, disbursal time, and online process, all considered to drive value perception with customers.

64 per cent of credit buyers say that brand is a major factor in choosing their loan provider

Considerable time and effort goes into choosing the lender brand with 76 per cent of borrowers taking a minimum of two weeks between exploration and finally choosing the lender

Almost a third (32 per cent) of borrowers consider over five providers before proceeding to apply

Tech is the future of lending: Leveraging technology solutions to identify the most valuable customers, digital-first lenders have been able to move up the CIBIL score tiers, traditionally fulfilled by other providers. In 2020, 38 per cent of loans disbursed to the ‘prime’ credit tier was through FinTech NBFCs (non-banking financial company). Additionally, these FinTech NBFCs no longer have only ‘urban youth’ as their primary audience – 70per cent of disbursals are outside tier 1, with 78 per cent of customers being Millennials (between 25-45 years of age).

Technology to pave pathways for tapping distributed credit market

The report highlights a 2.5X surge in online searches for loans from non-tier 1 cities between 2017-2020, with 77 per cent of all retail loan enquiries in 2020 coming from tier 2 cities and beyond. With reference to product type, growth in searches for car loans between the two halves of 2020 grew the fastest at 55 per cent, with home loans following at 22 per cent growth.

Data shows digital-first financial players have forged ahead in capitalizing on this demand from beyond tier-1 cities, especially for small ticket personal loans (under 25,000 rupees) – with 70 per cent of their disbursals[1] in 2020 occurring in these locations. They also successfully scaled their lending up the credit tiers with nearly 40 per cent of these loans disbursed to “prime” borrowers3.

As demand for consumer credit, after a brief decline in Q2 2020, continued to rebound to almost 90 per cent of the pre-COVID-19 levels towards end of the year 2020, 55 per cent of users’ surveyed2 for the study reported using an online tool or recommendation to aid their credit purchase decision. Alongside the uptick in online discovery, the 1,000 consumers surveyed for the report continued to rank their trust in lenders as the top factor in decision making, with 64 per cent of respondents stating that brand is a major factor in choosing their loan provider. This is over other traditional and measurable parameters such low interest rates and speed of disbursal. In addition to the internet, customers continue to rely on various offline sources such as family and friends, before proceeding with a purchase, with 86 per cent of them taking a minimum of two weeks between exploration and finally choosing the lender and applying for a loan.

Mahindra Appoints Pratap Bose to lead its new Global Design Organization

Chandigarh, June 14, 2021: The Mahindra Group today announced the appointment of Pratap Bose as the Executive Vice President and Chief Design Officer to lead its newly formed Global Design organization. The new Global Design organization renews Mahindra’ commitment to re-shaping the future of mobility by designing and developing dynamically engineered next-generation authentic products with global appeal.

The Global Design organization will comprise of the recently announced Mahindra Advanced Design Europe (M.A.D.E), which is being set up in Coventry in the West Midlands, U.K and the existing Mahindra India Design Studio (M.I.D.S). The Global Design Organization will harness the world-class talent pool and expand its global technology footprint.

In this role, Pratap will be responsible for both M.A.D.E and M.I.D.S and will oversee design of all key business segments such as authentic SUVs including Born Electric Vehicle (BEV), LCV products (under <3.5 T), Last Mile Mobility (LMM), Large CVs, Peugeot Scooters (France) and Tractors & Farm Machines. Pratap will join on June 24, 2021 and will report to Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director, Auto and Farm Sectors, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd.

Pratap is alumnus of Royal College of Art, London and National Institute of Design, India. He brings with him over 20 years of rich global automotive design experience. His last assignment has been with Tata Motors in UK where he spent 14 years. Earlier he had worked in Piaggio, Italy and Daimler Chrysler, Japan.

Speaking about the announcement, Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director, Auto and Farm Sectors, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd., said, “We are at an inflection point in our Auto and Farm Sectors growth journey as we accelerate our transformative initiatives. Our robust pipeline of 23 new products that will be launched in the next five years would bring our design and advanced engineering capability across automotive, farm equipment and two wheelers to the fore. Having Pratap on the team will strengthen our design capability, enhance our products and widen our customer base. We are very excited to welcome him on board and look forward to writing a new chapter in Mahindra’s rich product legacy.”

The Global Design organization is a strategic initiative aimed at ensuring that products are future-ready and exceed expectations of customers across the world. To ensure world class creative output and program execution, dedicated verticals are being created in each studio location that will maximize and enhance creativity and ensure program delivery on schedule. The organization will sharpen Mahindra’s distinctive product designs anddifferentiated technology offerings across its portfolio.

Triple win for IIFL Foundation at the Asian CSR Leadership Awards 2021

IIFL Foundation, which runs CSR mandate for IIFL Group of companies, has received three awards at the Asian CSR Leadership Awards 2021. The Foundation’s flagship program- Sakhiyon Ki Baadi(SKB) won two awards at the event – for Best Innovation in CSR practices and Best COVID-19 training solution.

Ms. Madhu Jain, Director, IIFL Foundation received the ‘Social Entrepreneur of the year’ award at the forum. This award recognized her invaluable contribution towards education of girls, women empowerment, poverty alleviation and an array of measures implemented to fight the pandemic.

Sakhiyon Ki Baadi (SKB) is one of the largest and most successful girl child education programs in the country, which has brought over 36,000 out-of-school girls into education fold in Rajasthan in just over a four year period.

Over the past one year, despite the pandemic-induced lockdowns coming in and out of force, team SKB ensured that learning continued uninterrupted for these girls. This was made possible by the untiring efforts of the team to familiarize Dakshas (teachers) with online ways of teaching.

The team overcame hurdles such as absence of mobile handsets, weak network connectivity and negligible understanding of Dakshas about digital platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, etc. The Foundation conducted online sessions on digital literacy, basic and advanced English and financial literacy to upgrade the skills of the Dakshas. They were also taught how to use digital learning tools such as PDF documents. They then shared the learnings with the girls and the community. Thus, it was ensured that learning never stopped at SKB.

Ms. Madhu Jain, Director, IIFL Foundation, said, “Our team has remained committed to our objective of providing functional literacy to school dropouts and illiterate girls even during the toughest times. Taking digital learning to the underprivileged girls in rural hamlets was not an easy task. But our team’s hard work, dedication, solution-oriented mind set and deep-rooted relationships with stakeholders made it very easy.”

“The humanitarian crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated my social entrepreneurship drive. I am truly fortunate to be able to do something for the society. We have now increased the ambit of our social outreach with more interventions in the areas of health, poverty alleviation and livelihood.”

Such awards further motivate the team to keep up the good work. Going forward, IIFL Foundation will continue to make a positive impact in the society through its various programs.

Tata Digital To Acquire Majority Stake in India’s Leading Online Healthcare Marketplace ‘1MG’

Chandigarh, June 14, 2021: Tata Digital Limited, a 100% subsidiary of Tata Sons Private Limited, to acquire majority stake in digital health company 1MG Technologies Private Ltd. (“1MG”).
Incorporated in 2015, 1MG is a leading player in the eHealth space and enables easy & affordable access to a wide range of products like medicines, health & wellness products, diagnostics services & tele-consultation to customers. The company operates 3 state of the art diagnostics labs, has a supply chain covering over 20,000 pincodes across the country and through its subsidiaries is also engaged in the business of B2B distribution of medicines & other healthcare products.
The investment in 1MG is in line with Tata Group’s vision of creating a digital ecosystem which addresses the consumer needs across categories in a unified manner. e-pharmacy, e-diagnostics and tele-consultation are critical segments in this ecosystem and have been among the fastest growing segments in this space, as this sector enabled access to healthcare through the pandemic. The overall market is around $1bn and expected to grow at ~50% CAGR driven by increased health awareness among consumers and greater convenience. This category will form a key element of the Tata Digital ecosystem offering.
Commenting on the investment, Mr. Pratik Pal, CEO of Tata Digital, said, “The investment in 1MG strengthens Tata’s ability to provide superior customer experience and high quality healthcare products & services in e-pharmacy and e-diagnostics space through a technology led platform.
Prashant Tandon, Co-Founder & CEO, 1MG, said, “We are delighted to join hands with one of India’s most iconic & respected conglomerates. This marks a significant milestone in 1MG’s journey to make high quality healthcare products & services accessible to customers across India.”

IHCL ANNOUNCES THE SIGNING OF A 775-ROOM HOTEL AT BENGALURU AIRPORT

Part of Airport City at BLR Airport, hotel complex to have two brands – Vivanta and Ginger

Chandigarh, 10th June, 2021: Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), South Asia’s largest hospitality company, announced the signing of an agreement with Bengaluru Airport City Limited (BACL) for a 775-room hotel at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport). The hotel will be a combination of a 450-room Vivanta and a 325-room Ginger hotel. This will be a management contract with BACL to operate another hotel at BLR Airport where IHCL already operates Taj Bangalore.

BACL – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bangalore International Airport Limited – has been founded to develop the Airport City at BLR Airport as a world-class destination of a truly mixed-use development, consisting of business, medical and biotech parks, a world-class mall, hospitality, convention and exhibition centres and a central park. The Airport City will offer leisure, retail, entertainment and hospitality, with a multipurpose concert arena for hosting large conventions and shows.

Commenting on the signing, Mr. Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IHCL, said, “Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru is one of the fastest growing airports in the world. This new upcoming hotel complex, along with Taj Bangalore, will offer a combined inventory of 1,150 rooms catering to the needs of this dynamic and evolving market. We are delighted to extend our partnership with Bengaluru Airport City Limited.”

The proposed hotel will be strategically located in close proximity to the concert arena that is currently under development, and will be part of the sustainable Airport City being developed by BACL. The Vivantaand Ginger branded hotels will have extensive banqueting facilities to capture the growing potential of the MICE demand. It is slated to open in 2025.

“We are happy to collaborate on this hotel complex with IHCL as we believe this partnership will put the Airport City on the national and international convention circuit. This is a steppingstone towards making BLR Airport a significant destination for the region. The Airport City project will not only help meet the growing commercial needs of people, but also create massive job opportunities, as well as boost economies of the state and the country,” said Mr. Rao Munukutla, CEO, BACL.

Bengaluru is the capital of the state of Karnataka. Known as the Garden City because of its greenery, the city is widely regarded as the “Silicon Valley of India” because of its role as the nation’s leading information technology (IT) exporter.

With the addition of this hotel, IHCL will have 12 hotels in Bengaluru.

Indian Archers set off for Paris for World Cup Stage 3

Chandigarh, June 10 2021: A nine-member Women’s Recurve Team comprising of Indian Archers Deepika Kumari, Komalika Bari, Ankita Bhakat and Madhu Wedwan along with Dronacharya Awardee Purnima Mahato have set off for Paris to participate in the Final Qualification Tournament for the Tokyo Olympic Games to be held in Paris from 17th-19th June, 2021 and the World Cup Stage 3 from 20th-28 June, 2021.

NTPC Ltd, India’s largest integrated power company, has partnered with Archery Association of India (AAI) for holistic development of archery across India and to further promote Indian archery on the global platform. Through this partnership, NTPC aims to provide platform to Indian youth to showcase their talent and elevate India’s reputation in the field of Archery.

Shri Dillip Kumar Patel, Director (HR) NTPC, has extended warm wishes to the Indian Archery team. NTPC has been exemplary in not only helping the present archers achieve excellence but also helped to nurture and promote newer talents for a brighter future especially during these challenging times.

The Men’s Recurve team comprising of ace archers Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Ramesh Jadhav who have brought home the Team Silver medal after an excellent performance in the World Championship in Netherlands are also set to depart for Paris to take part in the World Cup Stage-3.

In the recent past, Indian Archers Deepika Kumari, Atanu Das, Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari had put up a stellar performance during the Archery World Cup (Stage-I) at Guatemala. In Women’s and Men’s Individual Recurve event, Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das won the Gold Medal in their respective categories.

While energizing India’s growth story, NTPC is steadily working towards being a sustainable energy company. Apart from lending support to India’s growth, NTPC has also been a pillar of support for holistic development for its communities and society at large. NTPC has supported for the development of sports in India and the step towards sponsoring Archery Association of India is one of the milestone in the long cherished journey.

Amrutanjan Healthcare’s Comfy aims to elevate women’s menstrual health and hygiene

~ Offers high quality affordable and accessible solutions

~ Launches a multi-media campaign featuring Shraddha Kapoor to create awareness about usage and benefits of sanitary napkins vis-à-vis cloth

Youtube links: https://youtu.be/BGgva-lV0JM

Chandigarh, 8 June , 2021: Comfy Snug Fit, a fast growing menstrual hygiene brand from the house of Amrutanjan Healthcare Limited (Amrutanjan Healthcare), brings new hope in women hygiene market with its superior technology to provide affordable and high quality sanitary napkins. The brand is striving to provide hygienic menstruation solutions to cloth users, and will drive awareness campaign to educate cloth users about health and hygiene benefits of choosing sanitary napkins over cloth. It has roped in renowned actress Shraddha Kapoor to drive awareness campaign around menstrual hygiene.

Studies have shown that out of the 355 million*menstruating women in India, about a third use only cloth for their menstrual hygiene management. Only 38 per cent * menstruating girls in India spoke to their mothers about menstruation. Nearly 23 million* girls drop out of school annually due to lack of proper menstrual hygiene management facilities. This lack of menstrual hygiene is leading to serious health issues for women in the country. Nearly 60,000 cases* of cervical cancer deaths are reported every year from India, two third of which are due to poor menstrual hygiene. Accessibility and affordability of high quality products are major barriers to better menstrual health.

Sharing his thoughts, Mr. S. Sambhu Prasad, Chairman & Managing Director, Amrutanjan Health Care Limited, says, The level of awareness and education regarding womens menstrual health and hygiene remains low and is still considered as stigma in major parts of our country. As a purpose led company, we will launch a campaign aimed at raising awareness about womens health and hygiene, in an effort to empower the women of India. We at Amrutanjan Healthcare, aim to elevate this issue which is one of the major concerns in the country and provide hygienic high quality solutions at affordable price point. With this goal we will strengthen our Comfy Snug Fit brand further. We are making sure we have robust distribution across the rural and rest of urban markets ensuring easy accessibility of the product. Comfy has grown over 5 times in last five years and our ambition is to be in top three in next 2-3 years.”

Starting at Rs. 20, Amrutanjan was the first company to launch a high quality napkin at a price point that was affordable to larger audience. Amrutanjan healthcare has partnered with TZMO Europe to obtain better technology and also made with pulp from North America. Additionally, the company also roped in an expert consultant from Israel for technical knowhow which has enabled it to develop a superior product. Comfy promises 80% better absorption than other leading brands in India.

The brand will launch a new campaign to drive home the important message of menstrual health and hygiene. The campaign will be launched on a variety of platforms across multiple media, including TV, digital and in-store.

Mr. Mani Bhagavatheeswaran, Chief Marketing Officer, Amrutanjan Health Care Limited, “About 2-3% of women* in rural India use sanitary napkins while majority of the rest depend on cloth. Our new campaign aims to educate them on benefits of using a sanitary napkin. As a brand which works closely to elevate the women hygiene solutions, we are excited to accelerate our journey by having Shraddha Kapoor as our first ever brand ambassador on board. She is highly popular and connects with the target audience. Additionally, having spoken out vocally about issues close to her heart, she brings an authenticity and credibility to her role as ambassador and we are looking forward to a long and fulfilling partnership together.”

Commenting on the initiative, Shraddha Kapoor says, “I am extremely delighted to be partnering with Amrutanjan Healthcare for their range of Comfy Snug Fit sanitary napkins. Their endeavour to provide feminine hygiene solutions to women across the nation and spread awareness about the topic is truly commendable. As a woman, I’ve always actively supported the cause of menstrual hygiene. Talking about periods in India is still taboo. As per reports, many girls drop out of school each year when they start their periods. Using cloth is still the norm in many parts of the country, and it poses hygiene risks for girls. Not only is it uncomfortable, cloth has a high probability of infections. I urge girls to use safer, better hygienic products such as the Comfy sanitary napkin. I am glad I could play a role in promoting womens health on a national scale by associating with a brand from the house of Amrutanjan Healthcare, which is caring, healing and touching lives for 127 years.”

Conceptualised by RK Swamy BBDO, the campaign has a unique and informative advertisement storyline. In the ad, Shraddha Kapoor can be seen shooting in a village, when a young village girl comments at the end of her shot. They strike up a conversation and it is revealed that the young girl is preparing to go to college, but is afraid of that time of the month, as she puts it. The dazzling Shraddha Kapoor comforts the girl and gives her a packet of Comfy Snug Fit Sanitary Napkin from her bag. Although wary at first, upon seeing the price blurb on the packet, both the girl and her mother who is also in the background, break into a smile. The ad ends with an infographic describing the technology used in the napkins to ensure a dry and comfortable experience.

Commenting on the campaign, Ms. Navneet Virk, Creative Head – South, R K SWAMY BBDO, says, “We built this campaign on the insight that small changes in life can make a big difference.If a young girl can comfortably and hygienically manage her period, she can go to college,and she can have access to better education, better opportunities and in the long term build a better life for herself. Typically for every girl, college life is a turning point and if things pertaining to period go wrong, many tend to drop out or stay home out only out of sheer embarrassment. Thus at this critical juncture in a girls life, through this TVC, Comfy wants to hold her hand and ease her over this threshold into a better tomorrow, helping her step out with confidence, helping her fly instead of feeling tied do. We wanted to cue liberation and that’s what the powerful campaign line does, ‘Mud ke nahin, ud ke dekho!(don’t turn back to check for stains, just fly). That’s been Comfy’s promise,that every young girl should have the power to be herself and discover her full potential.”

Credits:

Client- Amrutanjan Healtcare Private Limited

Creative – Navneet Virk, Meenakshi Ghatty, Yogesh Khairnar, Vaishali Prakash

Account Management – Divya Ajitkumar, Ramya Murthy, Monica Maria

Studio – P.Shankar, S.Kamesh

Director – Viveck Daaschaudhary

Production House – Sculptors

Producer – Chandrasekar, Priyanka Pravin Raj

Keep your house cool this summer with Ambuja Cool Walls

· Ambuja Certified Technology solutions help save on electricity bills and money

· ‘Heat Barrier Technology’ reduces temperature by 5 ⁰F

· Provides high strength and durability

· Environmental friendly – Helps conserve fertile land

Chandigarh, June 8, 2021: Ambuja Cements Ltd, a part of the global conglomerate LafargeHolcim and one of the leading cement manufacturers in India, is offering an innovative green solution – Ambuja Cool Walls – to its customers. Ambuja Cement is among the first cement companies to offer this kind of unique block and mortar solution to their customers in retail segment.

Ambuja Cool Walls is an innovative solution to the problems posed by clay bricks walls. The blocks of Ambuja Cool Walls are made of pre-cast concrete and have a special heat barrier technology that keeps houses 5⁰F cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

Ambuja Cool WallsThe solution helps strengthen traditional kiln-fired clay bricks to a factory-made autoclaved aerated concrete. They are uniform in shape and size, and they reduce waste. Walls built with Ambuja Cool Walls are even stronger than brick walls.

Ambuja Cool Walls is made of cement with other ingredients and have no natural or added salts or impurities like in clay brick and never have the problem of ‘shora’. Thus, the plaster retains its strength and helps save recurring painting costs.

“Ambuja Cement has always strived for innovation to provide customers with eco-friendly solutions for a better and a greener future. It’s our endeavour to provide world class solutions to customers in India. Ambuja Cool Walls is a testimony to our commitment to provide sustainable, high strength and durable solutions to our customers” said Mr. Neeraj Akhoury, MD & CEO, Ambuja Cements Ltd.

Tata Digital to invest in CureFit Healthcare Mukesh Bansal to join as President, Tata Digital

Chandigarh, 08 June 2021: Tata Digital Limited, a 100% subsidiary of Tata Sons Private Ltd. has entered an Memorandum of Understanding for investing of up to US$75mn in CureFit Healthcare Private Limited (“CureFit”), subject to completion of diligence process and other approvals.

CureFit Founder & CEO Mukesh Bansal will join Tata Digital in an executive role as President, Tata Digital Limited. In addition, Mukesh will continue in his leadership role at CureFit.

CureFit is India’s leading fitness player that has developed a strong ecosystem around fitness and wellness. Indian fitness and wellness market is growing at ~20% p.a and is expected to reach ~$12 bn by 2025. CureFit is uniquely positioned to capture a large share leveraging its comprehensive solution and differentiated tech platform. Curefit, with its range of fitness & wellness offerings, will help Tata Digital expand into pro-active health management space.

N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman Tata Sonssaid: “The CureFit partnership with its industry leading platform in fitness and wellness aligns very well with our overall healthcare proposition where fitness is increasingly becoming an integral part of a consumers’ life. We are delighted to have Mukesh Bansal as a part of the key leadership team of Tata Digital. With his deep consumer experience and an entrepreneurial mindset of having incubated and grown two very successful businesses, his expertise will bring immense value to us”.

Mukesh Bansal, Co-founder & CEO of CureFit, said: “Joining Tata Digital marks an exciting new step for me and my team and is a recognition of the value we have created with CureFit for fitness enthusiasts in India. Being part of Tata Digital will enable us to nationally scale up our offerings for our customers. Tata Digital has highly inspiring vision to create next generation consumer platform and I am very excited to be part of Tata Digital team that is shaping this vision

Sudhir Sethi, Chairman Chirate Ventures from CureFit board said: “Tata digital partnership will significantly accelerate cure.fit’s growth as a fitness & wellness leader and it will open up access to large set of new consumer base. It is a strong validation of the category leadership that cure.fit has and help cure.fit grow rapidly as digital health takes off in a big way in next decade”.

ICICI Prudential Life announces the highest ever bonus of ` 867 crore for policyholders  

· 15th consecutive annual bonus reflects the Company’s commitment to deliver long-term value to policyholders

· FY2021 bonus 10% higher than the previous year

· Aids 9.8 lakh participating policyholders to get closer to their financial goals

Chandigarh, June 08, 2021: ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has announced an annual bonus of ` 867 crore for all eligible participating policyholders for FY2021. The bonus declared is the highest ever by the Company till date and is also 10% higher than the bonus announced in the last fiscal.

All participating policies in-force as of March 31, 2021 are eligible to receive this bonus and will be added to the policyholders’ benefits. A total of 9.8 lakh participating policyholders will benefit from this, taking them closer to their long-term financial goals. Bonus is the share of profits generated by the Company’s participating policyholder’s funds which are added to their guaranteed maturity benefits, thus enhancing the corpus.

This is the 15th consecutive year the Company has declared a bonus, underscoring its customer-centricity and long-term investment approach to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns to policyholders. The stringent investment philosophy of the Company has ensured zero defaults in its portfolio since inception and across market cycles. As of March 31, 2021, 96.8% of the fixed income portfolio is invested in sovereign or AAA rated paper.

Mr. N S Kannan, Managing Director & CEO, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, said, “We are delighted to announce that the annual bonus for FY2021 is the highest ever in the history of the Company. What gives us special satisfaction is the fact that it coincides with the 20th anniversary of our operations. It demonstrates our customer focus, resilience and ability to navigate through the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic. What drives us in this challenging environment is the commitment to our vision of building an enduring institution that serves the protection and long-term saving needs of our customers with sensitivity.”

The Company’s entire range of traditional long-term products provides customers with safety of capital and steady returns and the life cover provides the much required financial security to the family. Lakshya, the Company’s innovative participating product, caters to the diverse needs of customers ranging from long-term wealth creation to specific income requirements at different life stages.

Vijaya Diagnostic files papers to raise funds via IPO  

Vijaya Diagnostic Centre, a healthcare chain, has filed preliminary papers with capital markets regulator Sebi to raise funds through an initial share-sale.

The initial public offer (IPO) is entirely an offer for sale of 35,688,064 equity shares by the promoters, Dr S Surendranath Reddy and investors Karakoram Ltd and Kedaara Capital Alternative Investment Fund, according to its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP).

The initial share-sale will see stake dilution of 35 per cent by promoter and existing shareholders.

Kedaara Capital-backed Vijaya Diagnostic Centre offers one-stop solution for pathology and radiology testing services to customers through its extensive network, which consists of 80 diagnostic centres and 11 reference laboratories across 13 cities and towns in the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, and the National Capital Region and Kolkata.

For the financial year ended March 2021, the company posted a profit of Rs 84.91 crore compared to Rs 62.5 crore in the preceding fiscal. Its total income rose to Rs 388.59 crore from Rs 354.18 crore.

ICICI Securities, Edelweiss Financial Services and Kotak Mahindra Capital Company have been appointed as investment bankers for advising the company on its IPO.

Vi Business Strengthens its Security Portfolio, Unveils Vi Next Generation Cloud Firewall Solutions for Enterprises

Chandigarh, June 8, 2021: With accelerated growth in digital, work from home, workloads migrating to cloud, has led to a strong need of reliable security solutions for day-to-day functioning of enterprises. Sensing the criticality to secure the business risks of its customers, Vi Business, the enterprise arm of Vodafone Idea Ltd. (VIL), has strengthened its security portfolio with the launch of Vi Cloud Firewall, a cloud-deployed security solution for enterprises.

Continuing its collaborative strategy, Vi Business has partnered with leading security technology provider Firstwave Cloud Technology to introduce Vi Cloud Firewall for the modern business needs. FirstWave Cloud Technology has helped design innovative multi-tenant and dedicated Vi Cloud Firewalls engineered for Vi’s OpenStack RedHat cloud environment and managed using FirstWave’s Cloud Content Security Platform (CCSP). The Firewall solution is powered by Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Virtual Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) technology, one of the market leaders.

Vi Cloud Firewall comes with next generation firewall features like gateway ant-virus, DDoS protection, secure VPN, data loss prevention, content filtering, real-time intelligence, amongst others. This cost-effective, flexible and network-based solution involves zero capex, zero touch and eliminates the need of any on premise infrastructure for enterprises to set up and run. It is a one-stop single solution that provides faster turnaround with scalability options, without infrastructure upgrade, completely managed services with no dependence on internal IT teams.

Introducing the security solution, Abhijit Kishore, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Vodafone Idea Limited, said, “As enterprises accelerate digital adoption and respond to the dynamic environment, they are also looking to build scalable IT and Security capabilities. Migrating to cloud applications and protection against possible security threats is amongst the top priorities for large and small businesses alike. Vi Cloud Firewall is a flexible subscription based solution offering ease of business operations, connectivity and security for businesses across domains. With the launch of Vi Cloud Firewall, Vi Business has taken another significant step towards providing comprehensive and integrated connectivity and security solutions to our enterprise customers.”

Commenting on the partnership, Neil Pollock, CEO, FirstWave Cloud Technology, said “Firstwave is delighted to partner with Vi Business to launch the innovative Vi Next Generation Cloud Firewall that is integral to Vi Business secure internet portfolio. Teams from both Vi Business and FirstWave Cloud have worked tirelessely over the last several months to bring this innovation to Vi Business customers. Businesses in India can now take advantage of Vi’s SaaS based cybersecurity services, starting with cloud firewalls and in the future Email and Web security, delivered via Vi’s incredible network and using FirstWave’s CCSP platform. The FirstWave team is excited and committed to support Vi Business in this journey.”

With Vi Cloud Firewall, enterprises and businesses across BFSI, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail, Travel, Logistics, Real Estate, NBFC, Education etc. can benefit from the best security practices maintained by accredited security professionals and 24×7 monitoring and measurement.

Note: To know more about Vi™ Cloud Firewall, visit https://www.myvi.in/business/enterprise-solutions/security/cloud-firewall

Honda India Foundation opens COVID-19 isolation centers in Haryana & Rajasthan

New Delhi, June 8, 2021: Facilitating healthcare infrastructure and support for COVID-19 patients, Honda India Foundation has set up COVID care isolation centres in the states ofHaryana and Rajasthan.

With a focus on medical support and care for patients, especially in rural areas, the foundation has already started operations at these centres with a capacity of 100 beds at Naurangpur (Haryana) and 50 beds at Tapukara (Rajasthan) respectively. The two facilities, set-up in association with Haryana and Rajasthan state governments, have round the clock supervision by trained doctors and nurses along with other medical arrangements.

Honda India Foundation opened the fully operational COVID Care isolation centres atHonda Warehouse, Village Naurangpur (Opp. NSG Gate no. 2) in Distt. Manesar, Haryana andGovernment Girls’ Higher Secondary School in Tapukara, Distt. Alwar,Rajasthan, in presence of senior state government officials and representatives from Honda.

Honda India Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of all Honda group companies in India,had earmarked a sum of INR 65 million for COVID-19 relief efforts with an aim to contribute towards COVID-19 support & relief measures in 5 states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, U.P and Gujarat. Honda is also setting up oxygen production plants in Manesar (Haryana), Alwar (Rajasthan), Kolar (Karnataka) and GautamBudh Nagar (UP). Simultaneously, HIF is reaching out to front-line warriors by distributing PPE, masks, sanitizers and also providing Government hospitals in rural areas with medical equipment like oxygen concentrators, pulse oximeters etc.

For further information, please contact:

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt Ltd. –public.relations@honda2wheelersindia.com

Honda Cars India Ltd – Saba Khansaba@hondacarindia.com

Honda India Power Products Ltd –chayan.roy@hspp.com

Virus-free. www.avast.com

IIM Amritsar inaugurated its first EMBA program to address learning needs of executives working from home

Competition creates more losers than winners, reminded Prof. Nagarajan Ramamoorthy, Director IIM Amritsar during the inaugural.

Amritsar, June 6, 2021: The first batch of the EMBA program was inaugurated on June 5, 2021, in the presence of Shri Suresh Kumar, Chief Principal Secretary to Chief Minister of Punjab, Shri Sanjay Gupta, Chairman, BoG of IIM Amritsar, Prof. Nagarajan Ramamoorthy, Director IIM Amritsar and Prof. Mahima Gupta, Chairperson MBA.

The first batch of the EMBA comprises 40 working professionals with experience ranging from 3-20 plus years. The first EMBA batch comes from prominent organizations in various sectors like BFSI, IT, Consulting, Hospitality, Retailing, Media & Entertainment, etc. The EMBA program of IIM Amritsar is an attractive opportunity for executives to complete their 2-year program in a non-residential hybrid mode. Some students responded that besides safety, another big advantage of doing the EMBA programme at IIM Amritsar is the availability of class discussions as recordings for reviewing the key points later. A rigorous, cutting-edge curriculum vetted by industry professionals and regular interactions with industry experts will make executives more beneficial for their current organization. In a virtual handshake for faculty and the participants, the students exuded confidence that they would be ready to advance their careers in leadership roles by gaining from their faculty and rich experience of the first EMBA batch.

Shri. Suresh Kumar, Chief Principal Secretary, Govt. of Punjab, graced the inaugural ceremony as the Chief Guest. Shri. Kumar reminisced about being associated with IIM Amritsar since its inception and how its growth trajectory makes him elated. Talking about the experienced professionals, he added that service professionals have a different outlook, and them seeking a path of learning is encouraging. Juxtaposing the times back when he was in the nascent stages of his career and now, Shri. Kumar described how the world had changed altogether. With the high-speed communication, high-speed data transfers, surveillance capitalism, etc., overtaking us day in and day out., he believed it essential for the working professionals to upgrade their skills to stay abreast with the pace of changing landscape. Shri. Kumar highlighted how the skills imparted by IIMs are unique in the sense that they impart out-of-box learning and help think beyond the usual. He advised all the students to keep learning without hesitation and sharpen their managerial, leadership, and strategic thinking skills with the pandemic teaching everyone new ways of governance and resilience in the face of uncertain times, Shri. Kumar wished all the students the best and urged them to learn some valuable skills that would give greater thrust to nation-building. Concluding his address, Shri. Kumar told the students of the EMBA batch to enjoy their lives through honest means by working hard and learning more.

Shri. Sanjay Gupta, Chairman – BoG, IIM Amritsar greeted the first inaugural program for the EMBA batch and wished for everyone’s safety and well-being. Shri. Gupta reiterated how learning is a continuous process, and gaining knowledge gives one wisdom. With the students coming from various industries and different job roles, he felt that it would bring an enriching experience to this program. Shri. Gupta threw light on the other aspects of life that can be learned through this program to help these professionals transition into different career paths and scale newer heights. The program was regarded as daunting since it would take up the weekends and the regular weekdays, which would be spent working for their respective organizations. Shri. Gupta thus urged the students to balance their work and academic lives with their personal lives to spend ample time with their families. He appended that the students learn from each other’s experiences to gain a holistic understanding of different real-life scenarios. Shri. Gupta concluded his address by wishing everyone luck and hoping to have an enriching learning experience through the two years.

Prof. Nagarajan Ramamoorthy, Director – IIM Amritsar, congratulated each student for securing a seat in the program as the selection criteria have been rigorous, factoring in holistic accomplishments from academics and work life. Prof. Ramamoorthy supplemented that it is an excellent achievement for all the students and that they should be confident of success in the program. “Past is never a perfect predictor of the future,” Thus, he urged the students not to be complacent and strive towards continuous learning. Prof. Ramamoorthy emphasized the importance of constant learning, knowledge, and pursuit of truth. He added that learning matters the most as “What we know is of the size of a drop and what we don’t know is of the size of the ocean.”Several professionals face the dilemma of choosing educational opportunities over stable jobs. However, with this program, the working professionals would get the best of both worlds. Professor Ramamoorthy asserted that the program rigor would be the same as a regular MBA program. Thus, only with hard work, dedication, sincerity, good work ethics, and proper time management will the students ace the program. He closed his address by wishing all students great success in their journeys.

Prof. Mahima Gupta, Chairperson – MBA, extended her heartfelt welcome to the inaugural EMBA batch of IIM Amritsar. She explicated how the first batch of EMBA has students with 3-5 years of work experience in multifarious domains such as IT, BFSI, Consulting, Media, etc. which are to perpetuate shaping the business landscape in the coming years. Prof. Gupta stressed that with such an enterprising batch of experienced professionals, IIM Amritsar should be able to create an ecosystem of continuous learning and mutual enrichment. Given the experience these professionals have had in dealing with business dilemmas, it was deemed that the batch already has a head start in the program. Prof Gupta enumerated that with the continuous synergistic efforts of the batch, the program would help build new competencies and enhance the knowledge base together with giving a lift to the qualities of leadership and teamwork. She emphasized the opportunities extended by the program in terms of networking with peers, alumni, and business leaders overall. Professor Gupta concluded her address by stating how IIM Amritsar looks forward to participation and contribution from the EMBA batch in making IIM Amritsar an even greater institution and wished for the students of the inaugural batch to find new directions in their respective careers.

Prof. Vartika Dutta, Chairperson EMBA Program (in absentia) conveyed her best wishes to the participants and sent a message for them that this program would offer an exciting opportunity to participants and equip them with the requisite skillset and knowledge to accelerate their careers and transition into leadership roles without a break in their careers. The inaugural program was hosted by Staffy Rana and the Vote of Thanks was delivered by Anshul Mathur, Program Coordinator.

Indian Institute of Management Amritsar is a premier business school with a mission to impart quality management education. The Institute is consciously expanding its programs to cater to the diverse needs of the community, state and nation. All the programs of the Institute are focused on learner-centric pedagogy to groom socially conscious leaders for tomorrow.

Quote from Ms. Revathi Kant, Chief Design Officer, Titan Company Limited

Chandigarh, June 06, 2021: “Today conscious consumption is not just a trend but a way of life and people are adapting to a lifestyle that is more sustainable and viable. Sustainability is all about having a good, purpose-driven life and leaving a better world for the generations to come. With dynamic shifts in consumer buying behaviour, sustainability in Design has become a quintessential element in the process of developing products in consideration with ecological impacts right from the initial phase to the end of product life cycle. Hence the sustainability factor for a product is decided at the Design phase. It’s not just about calling a product sustainable, but also moving the entire ecosystem so that all parameters become far better than what they were yesterday, and at the same time dramatically reducing negative impacts on the people and the planet. Sustainable Designs are not just limited to material intervention, but a detailed layered approach would determine Design success. At Titan, we are focusing on minimalism, creating recyclable products, environment sustainability and social well-being. We are on the journey of being a water positive and a neutral carbon footprint company. The future of Design looks very optimistic and very promising because if we want to achieve Prime Minister Modi’s vision on making India Aatmanirbhar and contribute towards sustainable manufacturing, then Design will continue to play a very crucial role in helping manufacturers achieve this primary objective.”

Tata Chemicals kicks off Sustainability month, celebrates World Environment Day with plantation activities

~To plant 21 saplings of indigenous species in Mithapur~

Chandigarh, June 6th, 2021: World Environment Day is observed each year on 5thJune to engage businesses, governments and citizens to address environmental challenges. Tata Chemicals with its long standing commitment to environment protection and ecological conservation celebrated World Environment Day with a series of plantation activities in Mithapur.

In line with this year’s theme of ‘Ecosystem Restoration’, Tata Chemicals has initiated a dry deciduous forest development project which will be spread over 25 acres. As the Company has always prioritized employee wellbeing and safety throughout the pandemic, this project got-off to a symbolic start with a total of 21 saplings of local species being planted, the remaining areas would be covered in a phased manner.

The month of June is celebrated as Sustainability Month across the Tata Group and as part of this initiative; Tata Chemicals will be conducting several programmes such as quizzes, contests, webinars, and pledges by employees and other stakeholders to protect the environment.

The Company has taken up several plantation initiatives for the development of open scrub forest, for coastal sand dunes stabilization through reintroduction of indigenous flora species, and grassland development. As part of this initiative, mangrove plantation for rehabilitation of tidal mudflats will also be the focus with plantation of 50,000 seedlings of Avicennia marina species during the current year. A total of around 10,000 trees saplings of dry deciduous forest species will be grown at Mithapur over the next two years.

A study of the dry deciduous forest species to be found growing at the two wildlife sanctuaries in the region – i.e. the Barda Sanctuary and the Gir Sanctuary was conducted. It highlighted the species that can survive the climatic conditions at Mithapur. Basis the study these species were considered for the plantation drive.

Some of the tree species that were propagated included Khakhar (Butea monosperma), Umro (Ficus racemosa), Vad (Ficus bengalensis), Jambun (Syzygium cumini), Karanj (Pongamia pinnata), Pangaro (Erythrina variegata), Kotha (Feronia elephantum), Tamarind (Tamarindus indica), Ber (Zizyphus mauritiana), Gundi (Cordia monoica), Ragat Rohido (Tecomella undulata), Savan (Gmelina arborea), Ingoriya (Balanites roxburghii), Bili (Crateva marmelos), Garmalo (Cassia fistula), Piloo (Salvadora persica), Neem (Azadirachta indica), Rayan (Manilkara hexandra), Goras amli (Mimosa dulcis), and Timru (Diospyros melanoxylon).

Ms. Alka Talwar, Head – CSR & Sustainability, Tata Chemicals said, “We have been strongly advocating zero harm to the environment, and ensuring ecological restoration and protection as one of the key pillars of our corporate focus. As part of our sustainability initiatives, we run multiple biodiversity conservation programmes like recovery of coral reef, the whale shark project, mangrove plantation, rejuvenating indigenous flora and fauna, and environmental education sessions. We dedicate the month of June as the Sustainability month across the Company locations and all our employees take active participation in the activities planned. We aim to continue our momentum to create a positive impact on the environment.”

Tata Chemicals’ Whale Shark project focusses on its habitat study and research on migratory pattern and breeding biology. Since its inception in 2004, the project has successfully rescued and released 813 whale sharks till date.

Its coral reef restoration project, which began in 2008 is focused on mapping the biodiversity and the boundary of the Mithapur coral reef. The project has been instrumental in the creation of 3,149.6 sq. m of additional hard surface area in the form of artificial reef structures. The restoration of Mithapur reef will aid in strengthening habitats and in the enrichment of marine species, thus helping the sustenance of biodiversity of the marine sanctuary protected area.

Tata Chemicals will continue its focus on biodiversity conservation and will accelerate its initiatives to recharge and restore the ecosystem.

ACC and Ambuja Cements reiterate their commitment to building a sustainable future on World Environment Day

~

~Green initiatives cover CO2 reduction and decarbonisation, green product portfolio, circular economy and environment initiatives

~ Investing ₹780 crore in setting up six Waste Heat Recovery Systems across India~

Chandigarh, 6th June, 2021: Celebrating World Environment Day, Ambuja Cements and ACC Ltd reiterated their commitment to sustainability by continuing to focus on sustainability initiatives. ACC and Ambuja Cements are expected to make a significant contribution towards helping its parent LafargeHolcim achieve its ‘net zero’ pledge and meet its science-based targets. The two operating companies lead the effort toward building a greener future by focusing on carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction and decarbonisation, expanding their green product portfolio and applying the principles of circular economy and environmental conservation more widely.

“The scope and opportunities for creating a sustainable future is immense. As part of a global organisation LafargeHolcim, with a proven track record of leading the sector towards sustainable construction, ACC and Ambuja Cements are well poised. Both companies have a unique advantage of technology, knowledge/skills and the vision to invest in sustainable solutions. Special occasions such as the World Environment Day help to reinforce our commitment to create the future we wish to build and strengthen our resolve to make it happen,”said Mr. Neeraj Akhoury, CEO LafargeHolcim India and Managing Director & CEO, Ambuja Cements Limited.

“Doing our business in a more sustainable way is the new normal now. Technology has bridged the gap between growth and sustainability. The global movement towards creating a more sustainable industry is fast catching up with the Indian building material market too. This is also being accelerated by greater consumer awareness, which can be seen in the growing demand for greener construction products and processes. We are well poised to provide sustainable and low carbon products and solutions to the country.“ saidMr. Sridhar Balakrishnan, MD & CEO, ACC Limited.

Both ACC and Ambuja Cements have taken several initiatives toward creating a sustainable ecosystem within the building materials sector. From running its cement carrying ships on biofuels to investing in Waste Heat Recovery Systems and large captive renewable energy sources, the two companies lead the Indian building materials industry in creating a greener future.

Ambuja Cements had recently announced the successful completion of sea trials using soya extract-based biofuel in two captive cement carriers, Ambuja Mukund and Ambuja Vaibhav, making it not just the first Indian company to move towards the decarbonisation of the country’s coastal shipping lines but also advancing its focus on two of its strategic priorities — innovation and sustainability.

Ambuja Cement and ACC are also investing ₹780 crore in setting up six Waste Heat Recovery Systems (WHRS) of 76 MW at eight kiln lines across six cement plants. The WHRS is expected to reduce the carbon footprint by 5.61 lakh tonnes annually. In addition to boosting efficiency, the proposed investments in WHRS will help LafargeHolcim plans to reduce emissions. Ambuja and ACC have relatively low carbon dioxide emissions of 531 kg and 493 kg CO2 per tonne of cementitious material respectively.

Among its impressive product portfolio, ACC sells the ECOPact range as an essential part of its strategy to advance the transition towards low-carbon and circular construction. ECOPact is a global green concrete brand from LafargeHolcim sold at a range of low carbon levels, from 30% to 100% less carbon emissions compared to standard (CEM I) concrete. India is one of 19 markets in which ECOPact is now available.

More recently, Geocycle India, the in-house waste management arm of Ambuja and ACC, secured the mandate to remove plastic waste from Yamuna River using its innovative ‘bubble curtain’ technology. The Geocycle Bubble Barrier has been established on the Mantola Canal of Agra City in Uttar Pradesh, which carries 40% of the storm and wastewater of Agra City.

The Geocycle Bubble Barrier is an innovative concept based on existing technology which makes smart use of a combination of natural currents and a bubble curtain to channelise plastic waste towards the banks of rivers and canals instead of it flowing directly into the river, where it can be collected for safe treatment. A bubble curtain is a non-invasive solution to stop plastic from entering the oceans. This technology is expected to be replicated in other parts of the country. Geocycle also supports the “Swachh Bharat Mission” by co-processing significant volumes of municipal solid waste, including non-recyclable plastics across India.

Over the years, ACC and Ambuja Cements have been recognized for achievements in rural and community development, safety, health, reforestation, clean mining, environmental awareness and protection. Awards recently won by ACC and Ambuja Cements include:

· Ambuja Cements ranked 5th globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices Worldwide in the Construction Materials category, the only Indian cement company to achieve this feat. Based on Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, Ambuja Cement is included in The Sustainability Yearbook 2021 Worldwide Rankings and also received the Bronze Class distinction for its excellent sustainability performance. Ambuja Cement is among the world’s highest performing sustainable companies as declared by Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (SAM ESG Research).

· In 2020, ACC Ltd has been awarded the Oriented Award at the Climate Action Programme 2.0° Awards for its efforts to reduce its CO2 emissions.

· Ambuja Cements Product Ambuja Kawach has been endorsed globally by the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution”.Ambuja ‘Kawach’ is the first cement brand from India to be awarded this label. Ambuja ‘Kawach’ is a cement that shields against water seepage and chemicals, making structures more durable and sustainable. Ambuja ‘Kawach’ has 33% less carbon footprint in comparison to standard (OPC) cement. Ambuja ‘Kawach’ is specially formulated to prevent water seepage in the most effective manner, resulting in improved durability and service life for residential building.

· ACC ECOPact, the industry’s broadest offering of green concrete for high-performing, safe, and circular construction has been awarded the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label. ECOPact green concrete provides higher resistance against corrosion caused by chlorine penetration and other environmental factors.

IndusInd Bank makes it to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) list for the 6th consecutive year; the only Indian bank to get featured in the list

· Announces its sustainability commitments to commemorate World Environment Day on June 5

Chandigarh, June 6, 2021: IndusInd Bank announced that it has made it to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) list for the sixth consecutive time, making it the only Indian Bank to get featured in this prestigious list. The CDP list is a global environmental disclosure system that ranks companies worldwide basis contributions made towards encouraging environmental transparency and performance.

In a bid to commemorate this milestone, as well as the World Environment Day, IndusInd Bank’s Managing Director and CEO, Mr. Sumant Kathpalia announced the following Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives that the Bank has undertaken:

  • Commitment to reducing the Bank’s specific Carbon Emission by 50% over the next 4 years
  • Increasing the allocation of capital towards Climate Finance to 3.5% of its loan book over the next two years, which is currently at 2.7%.
  • Transforming all its Pioneer branches /lobbies into Green & Plastic free zones and getting them LEED certified.
  • Supporting a tree plantation drive wherein 50,000 trees will be planted in cities where the pollution index is high.
  • Launched an employee awareness drive to spread the word on benefits pertaining to water conservation, waste reduction and re-cycling of waste.
  • Installed solar solutions of 675KW capacity which has reduced carbon emission worth 8278 tons.
  • Created water harvesting capacity of about 70 million cubic meters and also restored 15 lakes and 2 drainages systems.

Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Roopa Satish, Head – Corporate & Investment Banking, CSR & Sustainable Banking, IndusInd Bank said, “The Bank is determined to take a leadership position in mitigating the impact of climate change through committing long term targets and deploying a strategy to invest in clean energy and energy efficient projects. We recognize that embedding sustainability aspects into our business and aligning our products, services and operations with our ESG strategy contributes not only towards betterment of the society at large, but also helps the Bank to emerge as a strong long- term focused organisation. This approach is also getting the Bank more international recognition, as apart from consistently being featured as the leading Indian Bank on the CDP list, we are also the only Indian Bank, and one among 21 Indian Companies to be featured in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Yearbook 2021.”

Health and relief measures by Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance amid Covid-19

Chandigarh, June 04, 2021: “Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance, one of India’s leading insurance companies has taken some multipronged measures to support and take good care of their employees during Covid-19. With compassion and care being the key words, they swung into action with a series of pro-active and reactive measures. The Employee Shield introduced by the Company encapsulates multiple initiatives to keep a check on their employees’ well-being. Some of the highlights include Enhanced Group Medical Insurance coverage for all employees, special leave for Vaccination Day and reimbursement of the vaccination charges as also COVID-19 tests. A dedicated COVID Helpline has also been set-up for employees can call to get any kind of support with respect to COVID in case they or any of their family members get diagnosed. A Health Concierge Program in partnership with an online medical platform has also been setup for employees for online consultation with doctors and health experts and home delivery of medicines.

Under the Company’s CSR programme, COVID-19 Asha, the Company has extended its support to government hospitals in Delhi and Bangalore by proactively supplying medical equipment such as Oxygen Cylinders, N 95 Masks and PPE kits. Company is also working with various NGOs to support the society through Health Awareness Workshops and providing mobile tablets to underprivileged children for daily support in their education.”

Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance launches Vision LifeIncome Plus, a plan to suit customer’s money needs at all life stages

~ A customizable savings plan offering regular income and additional bonus ~

Chandigarh, June 04, 2021: Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance (ABSLI), the life insurance subsidiary of Aditya Birla Capital Limited (ABCL), announced the launch of a hyper-flexible savings plan – ABSLI Vision LifeIncome Plus Plan that provides guaranteed regular income plus flexible bonus pay outs.

This non-linked participating individual plan has been designed to offer various plan options which can be tailor-made to perfectly suit customers’ unique financial needs across different life-stages. This savings plan provides a customer with the comfort of a guaranteed regular income for up to 30 years to help them achieve their evolving life goals while reaping the benefits of a comprehensive life insurance cover. Additionally, the plan also brings an upside through completely flexible bonus pay-outs which can be accumulated for wealth creation or withdrawn at the customer’s convenience for an instant access to their money.

ABSLI Vision LifeIncome Plus Plan offers tax-free guaranteed additional income for life, besides providing the benefit of liquidity or cash in hand whenever one requires funds.

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Kamlesh Rao, MD & CEO, Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance, said, “Amid the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, ups and downs in the economy and the markets, saving sufficiently for the future —tomorrow or three decades from now — has become extremely crucial. Individuals today need plans which can be personalized to fit their unique needs at different life stages and can assure complete security of future financial goals. ABSLI Vision LifeIncome Plus Plan will cater to this immediate need of customers by maximizing their income and minimizing risk. This holistic solution will not only help individuals meet their short and long-term financial requirements, do legacy planning but will also offer bonus income to further increase wealth or build contingency fund.”

ABSLI Vision LifeIncome Plus Plan offers the following benefits, thereby providing enough flexibility to customize the product as per customer’s requirements:

· Choice of 3 Benefit options: Flexibility to choose amongst three Benefit Options i.e. Short-Term Income, Long Term Income and Whole Life Income (Till Age 100 or Till Age 85) to cater to customers’ needs across all life stages.

o Short Term Income –Guaranteed Monthly Income Payable for 10 years + Bonuses This can be an ideal solution for salaried individuals below 45 years, who can plan for secured income or early retirement.

o Long Term Income –Guaranteed Annual Income Payable for 20, 25, 30 years + Bonuses. This can help individuals cater to specific milestones and build legacy.

o Whole Life Income –Guaranteed Annual Income Payable for till Age 85 or Age 100 + Bonuses. This is an ideal plan for retirement and legacy planning.

· Guaranteed Regular Income: A regular flow of guaranteed income for the customers’ chosen Benefit Pay-out Period to safeguard their savings

· Flexible Bonus Payouts:Bonus declared in the form of ‘Paid Up Additions’, that can be accrued to build a wealth corpus or a contingency fund. The ‘Paid Up Additions’ can also be availed as cash pay-outs from first policy year onwards for instant liquidity needs. The plan shall also come with the additional flexibility to partially/fully withdraw the accrued Paid Up Additions anytime during the Policy Term.

· Comprehensive Life Cover:The plan offers life insurance cover until age 100 years. This plan shall offer a lump-sum benefit to the nominee, in case of unfortunate death of the life insured anytime during the Policy Term. Additionally, on opting for the Short Term Income option, this customizable plan will offer an inbuilt policy continuance benefit, which shall waive off remaining premiums in case of the unfortunate death of the life insured and thereby safeguard the customer’s family’s future in his/her absence.

· Customizable Benefits:Option to hyper-personalize this comprehensive plan by enhancing it with riders to suit customer’s requirements at a nominal cost.

ICICI Lombard redefines customer engagement with Azure AI and Azure Speech services

Increased screening of customer calls from 20% to 100%; improved Quality Audit (QA) accuracy of calls by 30%; reduced response time from 12 hours to 2 hours.

Chandigarh, June 4, 2021: ICICI Lombard, India’s one of the leading private sector general insurance company, has transformed its customer engagement using Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services. The company has leveragedAzure Speech Services and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to simplify the insurance requirements of its customers, including purchase of new policies, renewal of existing policies, and settlement of claims. The deployment of Azure AI tools has enabled ICICI Lombard to increase the accuracy of Quality Audit (QA) during its calls – from 50% to over 80%. It has also enhanced the efficiency of its internal audit process by reducing latency from 12 hours to two hours, apart from increasing productivity of its call center agents.

The ICICI Lombard digital team currently makes over 1,000 outbound customer calls daily through its call center. While the company screened and audited calls randomly to check compliance levels and quality of its tele-customer service, the high call volume was affecting efficacy of audits. It is important to evaluate adherence to approved scripts and use of appropriate tonality by agents during customer calls, as is reporting non-compliance within 24 hours. Multiplicity of language is another challenge, with customers often switching between English and Hindi during calls. Moreover, owing to the diversity of dialects across the country, ensuring clarity of accent is a concern as well.

To address these issues, ICICI Lombard’s data scientists collaborated with Microsoft’s AI team to implement Azure Speech Services and create a customized NLP algorithm. This has allowed the insurance provider to screen 100% of its calls now as against 20% earlier. It was also able to automate its Quality Assurance process to remove human bias from customer calls, resulting in improved customer outreach, increased productivity and consistency across the audit system. Further, the tools easily process customer queries in Hindi and English and detect insurance-specific keywords easily.

Girish Nayak, Chief of Customer Service, Operations and Technology, ICICI Lombard, said Given the diversity of our customer ecosystem and dynamic requirements, it was important to facilitate a seamless policy buying and claim experience. Today, customer engagement requires a focused, customized and agile approach to address queries and issues. This is where AI is empowering us to unlock human ingenuity – with Azure AI tools and services; we are also enabling our agents to enhance their customer engagement and efficiency levels. Through our partnership with Microsoft, we aim to take our customer experience to the next level.

Azure Speech Services provide a wide range of speech recognition and generation capabilities including speech transcription, text-to-speech, speech translation, and speaker recognition.ICICI Lombard is converting Speech to Text leading to 90% accuracy on important key phrases such as Registration Number.

Sashi Sreedharan, Managing Director, Microsoft India, said, To be successful in today’s dynamic business environment, organizations need to be a fast adopter of best-in-class technology; and secondly, they need to build their own unique digital capabilities. We are excited about enabling ICICI Lombard, a forerunner in digital acceleration; to enhance their customer experience significantly using Microsoft’s unified cognitive speech services.”

With Azure Speech Services businesses across industries, can build smart apps and services that speak to users naturally with the Text to Speech service. It converts text to audio in near real time, tailored to change the speed of speech, pitch, volume and more.

Natural Language Processing

Azure Language Understanding, is an AI service that allows users to interact with applications, bots and IoT devices by using natural language. Using machine teaching technology and Microsoft’s visual user interface, developers and subject matter experts can build custom machine-learned language models that interprets user goals and extracts key information from conversational phrases—all without any machine learning experience. Azure Text Analysis is an AI service that uncovers insights such as sentiment, entities, relations, and key phrases in unstructured text. It discovers insights in unstructured text using natural language processing (NLP)—no machine learning expertise required. It helps in identifying key phrases and entities such as people, places, and organizations to understand common topics and trends. Users can gain a deeper understanding of customer opinions with sentiment analysis and evaluate text in a wide range of languages.

Mahindra facilitates prospective buyers with special offerings during Covid times

Schemes include ‘Own Now and Pay after 90 Days’, Cashback on EMIs and contactless ownership experience with added benefits

Chandigarh, June 4, 2021: Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, part of the USD 19.4 billion Mahindra Group, in line with its wide-ranging response to the Covid crisis to build an organization that is empathetic and resilient, is offering special purchase schemes for its customers.

These schemes are designed to allow a measure of financial flexibility for the customer and to facilitate contactless ownership experiences for its entire product range. This is intended to make Mahindra vehicle ownership safe and affordable.

The “Own Now and Pay after 90 days” convenience for its entire range of products encourages customers across the country to purchase their desired Mahindra vehicle and opt for EMI payments after three months. Customers providing essential services in the commercial vehicle segment will also have the option to earn, save and pay after three months.

As the makers of India’s safest SUVs, Mahindra has extended its safety net to the pandemic buying experience as well. Mahindra has been a pioneer in touchless digital initiatives for its personal range of vehicles, having introduced it’s “Own Online” platform last year, which facilitates a seamless online loan sanction letter and options for offline finance partners.

Mahindra is also incentivizing tech-savvy customers. A customer purchasing the vehicle on “Own Online” platform is eligible for additional accessories worth Rs 3,000 on online booking and a further benefit of Rs 2,000 for an online loan sanction, with special processing fee and rate of interest. Customers can also convert their accessories, extended warranty or workshop payments in easy monthly instalments and avail of cashback up to Rs 3,000. Such payments can also be done through QR codes, SMS payment link and popular digital wallets at the convenience of being at home.

Other key finance offerings:

Lowest rate of interest starting from 7.25%

Up-to 100% on-road funding

Accessories and Extended Warranty funding in addition to vehicle loan

Nil foreclosure charges

Highest tenure up-to 8 years for Personal UVs

EMI starting as low as Rs 799 per lakh for personal UVs

Instant EMI for accessories and extended warranty based on Debit/ Credit Card payments

Lowest ROI for Bolero Pickup and BMT starting from 9.4%

Highest tenure up to 6 years on Bolero Pickup

Note: The company has worked out these schemes through various financial institutions / fintech companies at their terms and conditions and customers will need to get in touch with nearest dealer to avail these offers.

O2ForIndia initiative by Ola Foundation now in Chandigarh

Free access and delivery of oxygen concentrators at the doorstep for home-isolation Covid-19 patients via Ola app

Chandigarh, June 4, 2021: Ola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Ola, has made its O2ForIndia initiative available in Chandigarh to provide free and easy access to oxygen concentrators for home isolation patients during this ongoing wave of COVID-19 infections.

The whole experience is set up to be seamless through the Ola app and is completely free, including the doorstep delivery and pick up. Ola launched this initiative in Bangalore where it is headquartered and is scaling it up across the country, with a total of about 10,000 concentrators.

Under this initiative, caregivers and home-isolation patients can now place requests for oxygen concentrators through the Ola app itself by providing a few basic details. After submitting the necessary details, Ola will arrange for free home-delivery of the oxygen concentrator by specially trained personnel through Ola cabs. After the patient gets better and no longer requires oxygen support or is no longer in home isolation, Ola will arrange for the oxygen concentrator to be picked up and thereafter to be sterilised and ready for use by the next patient.

Ola COO Gaurav Porwal said, “There is an acute need for improved access to life saving equipment like oxygen concentrators as many are struggling to manage COVID-19 patients at home. Under our O2forIndia initiative, we hope to bring relief to the home-isolation patients who need oxygen support”.

Ola stands committed to contributing to community efforts during this pandemic which requires all of us to join hands and fight this together.

Prione Group toprovide free COVID-19 vaccination to its employees and their dependents

~Prione and Cloudtail to vaccinate its employees through multiple camps; the first of its kind will be held in Bangalore on Saturday, June 5th, 2021~

June 4, 2021: As India continues its fight against the pandemic, Prione Business Servicesand Cloudtail India (jointly “Prione Group”), have announced today that they will provide free vaccines to its employees. The first onsite vaccination drive is scheduled for Saturday, 5th June 2021 in Bengaluru. Prione Group has partnered with Manipal Hospitals to provide onsite COVID-19 vaccination for all its full-time employees, fixed-term /temporary contract employees, interns, trainees and their dependents free of charge. This vaccination drive will be over and the Prione Group’s existing medical insurance and COVID-19 support policy.

Eligible staff can register themselves, their spouses, two kids (18+yrs only), and parents OR in-laws, for this camp. The camp will have adequate medical staff, an ambulance backup, and a team of nurses to support the vaccinees. A standard certificate and a subsequent COWIN update will be provided. Eligible staff can choose to take their second dose at the camp as well provided it meets the timeline stipulated by the Government. This will be validated against the first vaccine dose certificate.

Shilpa Vaid, HR Head, Prione, said, “In India’s battle against COVID-19, vaccination is key to control the pandemic. Vaccines are a critical intervention to end the impact of the pandemic and an essential for all of us to safeguard ourselves from COVID-19. We, at Prione group, are doing our best to make sure that our employees and their loved ones are healthy and safe. As an employer, our first responsibility is towards our employees’ well-being and health. We are encouraging our employees to read more about vaccinations through official sources of information and thereby feel confident about their decision. Apart from arranging vaccination drives, we will also reimburse the costs of vaccination incurred by our staff independently.”

Prompted by a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases, Prione Group has strengthened the wellness initiatives offered to their employees. Apart from launching additional financial assistance in the form of advance salaryandinsurance super top-up tie ups, Prione Group has also set up home ICU facilities in Bengaluru for employees and their dependents. To equip employees with accurate information from verified sources, Prione Group has set up a voluntary task force and a COVID-19 support and resource handbook for its employees. This guide aids in finding all relevant resources like COVID-19 prevention, diagnosis, post-COVID-19 diagnosis, leave policy and important contact information. Prione Group has launched new virtual resources like a tele-consultation with a Pulmonologist, second-level opinion for six specialties and assistance in RT PCR test slots. This was offered over and above the existing offerings like tele-consultation with a general physician, COVID-19 insurance, and additional COVID-19 leaves. Employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or having a COVID-19 relapse will receive two paid weeks off as well. Through their healthcare partners, Prione group, is also equipping its employees and their families with access to hotel isolation services, additional insurance reimbursements for home quarantine, ambulance on call, nearby hospitals, and virtual monitoring support.

NTPC leads the way to care for its people   Sets benchmark by pioneering employee friendly policies

Chandigarh, May 30, 2021: Since March last year, the world, including India, have hit by an unprecedented wave of COVID pandemic. With the much deadlier second wave sweeping across India, a herculean fight back is underway to boost medical infrastructure, ensure those who have got infected get timely and quality treatment, a robust vaccination programme has been rolled out while steps have been taken to ensure the virus doesn’t spread.

Yet, the term ‘second wave’ underplays the magnitude of the recent COVID-19 crisis that has unfolded in India. It is more like a tsunami that has engulfed society across strata. COVID-19 is not just a physical calamity, and it is sure to leave a lasting psychological imprint long after it’s gone. Like any storm of such magnitude, it is difficult to wade through this one without a strong support system.

The largest power generator, NTPC has pioneered these employee friendly policies, other organizations in the country have followed. NTPC is not only providing light to the country but also pioneered great policies for welfare its employees and showed the way for many organizations in the country.

While many companies have taken drastic cost-cutting measures, which also includes offloading employees, NTPC has been utilizing all the resources at its command to not only lend a helping hand but it has gone the extra mile for its employees to provide more than a healing touch. The leadership along with the top management have been regularly taking stock of the situation and implementing relief measures for NTPC’s employees and their families.

NTPC is synonymous with ‘special care’ and it was displayed by the company when it planned for exceptional cases that needed advanced urgent care. It has developed medical infrastructure facilities at many of its locations for treating Covid patients. The company has arranged Air Ambulances for its employees giving them a new lease of life.

Additionally, those who were deceased due to coronavirus, the company has implemented various measures to ensure financially sustained and dignified life for its family members. It has extended medical facilities to all the dependent members, facility of retention of company residential accommodation, extension of educational facilities to the school going children of deceased employees, economic rehabilitation scheme to ensure monthly income, group insurance and death relief scheme.

Vandita Kaul appointed as nominee director of Bank of India  

Chandigarh, May 30, 2021: Ms. Vandita Kaul, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Department of Financial Services, Government of India has been appointed as nominee director of Bank of India by the Government of India. The bank received the communication from the Finance Ministry about Ms. Kaul’s nomination.

Ms. Vandita Kaul holds M.Sc degree in Zoology from the University of Delhi and a Diploma in Systems Management from NIIT. She has been appointed by Government of India as Government Nominee Director of the Bank, with immediate effect and until further orders. Presently she has been posted as Additional Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

She has more than 31 years of experience in the area of Finance, budgeting, IT Project Management, Operations and Customer Relations Management, Social assistance, Development of backward areas and border areas, Irrigation, Urban development, E-Governance, Administration, etc.

She joined the Indian Postal Service (IPoS) in the year 1989 and has worked under various Departments of Ministries such as Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Home Affairs and Department of Posts.

The various support measures and launch of new loan products by all Public Sector Banks to mitigate the impact due to resurgence of Covid pandemic by SBI and IBA

Chandigarh – May 30, 2021: Shri. Dinesh Khara, Chairman, SBI, Shri. Rajkiran Rai, Chairman, IBA and Shri Sunil Mehta, Chief Executive, IBA addressed a joint press conference today to announce the various support measures and launch of new loan products by all Public Sector Banks to mitigate the impact due to resurgence of Covid pandemic.

While the economy had revived well from the beginning of 4th quarter of FY21, its resurgence since April 21 has impacted the lives of individuals, and cash flows of businesses and MSMEs.

To address the disruptions caused by the resurgence of Covid pandemic,

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the statement dated 05.05.2021 has announced several measures such as

Term Liquidity Facility of ₹50,000 crore to Ease Access to Emergency Health Services (Covid Loan Book),

Resolution Framework 2.0 for COVID Related Stressed Assets of Individuals, Small Businesses and MSMEs ,

Re-assessment of Working Capital Limits etc.,

Further, Government of India with a view to providing support to MSMEs, safeguard livelihoods and to help in seamless resumption of business activity and also to give fillip to finance the critical healthcare facilities, has announced modifications to the very successful ECLGS Scheme.

Government has enlarged the scope of ECLGS. DFS, GOI has announced today the contours of an expanded ECLGS 4.0 with 100% guarantee cover by NCGTC for loans up to Rs.2 Cr. to hospitals, nursing homes, clinics for setting up on site Oxygen Generation plants.

Validity of ECLGS has been extended to 30.09.2021. Disbursement under the scheme is permitted up to 31.12.2021.

Operating Guidelines will be issued by NCGTC.

In the backdrop of the above, Public Sector Banks have undertaken.

(i) To implement the expanded ECLGS measures

(ii) To make the loan products available to business entities to improve the healthcare infrastructure and to individuals to meet the expenditure for covid treatment

(iii) To put in place systems and processes for seamless implementation of RBI’s Resolution Framework 2.0

Banks are expected to create a Covid loan book under the RBI Guidelines.

Accordingly, 3 undernoted products have been designed to provide fresh lending support to vaccine manufacturers, hospitals/dispensaries, pathology labs, manufacturers and suppliers of Oxygen, Ventilators, importers of vaccines & Covid related drugs logistics firms and patients for treatment.

1. Healthcare Business Loans for setting up Oxygen Plants under ECGLS. Loan upto Rs.2 Crores capped @ 7.5% for hospitals, nursing homes for setting up Oxygen plant, backed by 100% guarantee cover of NCGTC under ECLGS 4.0.

2. Business loans for Healthcare Facilities upto Rs.100 Crores To setup / expand healthcare infrastructure and to manufacturers of healthcare products

3. Unsecured personal Loans to Individuals from Rs.25000 to Rs.5 lakhs for Salaried, non-salaried and pensioners for meeting Covid treatment.

All the above schemes are being offered by PSBs at concessional interest rates and will form part of the Covid loan book.

In regard to Resolution Framework 2.0, PSBs have formulated Templated Approach for restructuring of Loans.

Business Loans-Three categories:

1. Upto Rs 10 lakhs : Standardised Restructuring Offer to Certain Small Businesses and MSMEs

2. Above Rs 10 lakhs and upto Rs 10 Crores

3. Above Rs 10 Crores

Loans to Individuals

To have seamless implementation in effective manner, PSBs have come out with strategic approach

· Standard templates, portal and branch based approach.

· Graded approach for restructuring

· Standard application and assessment formats

· Standard and simplified documentation

· Common outreach approach

The above initiatives taken by all the PSBs by coming together and announced today is a significant step in the right direction to mitigate the financial impact due to Covid resurgence on all affected segments of the borrowers.

The Chairman of SBI, Chairman IBA and CEO, IBA also explained the various outreach initiatives being taken by them to reach out to all the eligible customers for restructuring of loans availed by individuals, Businesses and MSMEs under Resolution Framework 2.0 of RBI.

From College Students to Design Engineers: The heart-warming story of Lava’s Design in India contest winners

30th May 2021: Lava International Ltd, a leading Indian mobile manufacturing brand, announced the winners of its Design in India (DII) contest. The contest received an overwhelming participation of 12000+entries from across the country. Based on the stages of the contest-ideation, prototype creation and presentation to the jury, three teams-Ingenium, Invincible, and Magma were declared winners. The winning teams will receive a cash prize of Rs 50000, Rs 25000, and Rs 15000 respectively.

Apart from the winning teams, the company selected two young engineers- Nafih Ahammed A.A and Syamala Dasika to join Lava’s Make in India journey by extending them a placement offer. These two young engineers who stood out in the competition will now join Lava’s India Design team and contribute to India’s Atmanirbhar journey.

Speaking at the event, Sanjeev Agarwal, Chief Manufacturing Officer of Lava International said The idea behind the contest was to pool in local Indian talent and groom them so that they become future phone designers of India. Phone designing is a niche skill that needs lots of investments in terms of time and money. As of now, most of the smartphones sold in India, are designed outside the country. We aim to build a generation of phone designers from within India.”

Meet the young faces of Lava’s India Design team:

NafihAhammed A.A, (24 years) who hails from a small village called Marancheryin Kerala and a student of NSS College of Engineering, believes that participating in the Design in India contest was a huge turning point in his life. Commenting on his achievement, Nafih said “Over the years, I participated in numerous technical events and competitions but DII became a game-changer for me. I always had a strong inclination towards semiconductor physics &electronics and was looking for a way to apply my knowledge in the real world. I am grateful to Lava for providing me a platform todemonstrate my skills.”

Interestingly at this young age, Nafih alsofeels very responsible towards the environment and has been looking for ways to recycle the e-waste from quitesometime. He believes that with an opportunity to work at Lava, he will be able to do something fruitful in this direction.

SyamalaDasika,(22 years) a student of Sir C.R. Reddy College of Engineering, Andhra Pradesh, the contest was like a ray of hope, amidst the darkness of uncertainty surrounding her future.

When asked about her experience in the contest, Syamala said, “The entire contest was a huge learning experience for me. It taught me to work hard for my dreams and never doubt myself again.I believe that if you are talented and constantly work hard, you become invincible (the philosophy which also kind of inspired the name of my team). I will remain forever grateful to Lava for giving me an opportunity to prove myself. It is an honor to be a part of India’s first mobile design team.”

Lava’s Design in India contest consisted of three rounds- ideation, prototype creation, and presentation to the jury. Throughout the process, the participants were mentored by Lava’s design team. The final winners were decided on the basis of creativity, functionality, and uniqueness and the panel was led byLava’s Chief Manufacturing Officer, Sanjeev Agarwal.

Commenting upon the success of the contestMr. Agarwal, said “The enthusiasmfor the contest was beyond our expectations. All the prototypes that the contestants presented to us were astonishing and stood out. It really became a task for us to select the winner. Our country has an abundance of talent, and if guided in the right direction, they will be able to do wonders in the future. With such talent, we are definitely moving towards self-reliance (Aatmanirbhar Bharat). We hope more companies shift their base to India.”

About Lava International Limited l #ProudlyIndian

We Make in India, We Make for India

Lava International Limited is a leading Indian Mobile Handset Company with operations in 20+ countries. In the international markets, the company is growing rapidly and is already among the top players in many of these countries it operates in.

Lava has always been at the forefront of Govt. of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Lava was the first mobile brand to take a lead in support of this important nation-building program and had set up a design team in India, becoming the first brand to design phones in the country. With this ‘Design in India’ initiative, Lava is now the only Mobile handset company that makes truly ‘Made In India’ phones with complete control on design and manufacturing within the country.

With the vision to “Empower people to do more, to be more” the company was established in 2009. Lava International Limited is headquartered in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The company has its manufacturing facilities and a repair factory in an approximately 300,000 square feet area in Noida. The manufacturing plants have a capacity of manufacturing 40 million phones per annum.

Regards,

Neetu

Virus-free. www.avast.com

Honda 2Wheelers India resumes production at its plants in a phased manner  

Announces Support Package for Dealers under lockdown

Chandigarh, May 29, 2021: Resuming business continuity in a staggered manner, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. has announced that production has recommenced at its plants in Manesar (Haryana), Tapukara (Rajasthan) and Vithalapur (Gujarat).

Honda 2wheelers India has also announced support for its authorized dealers who were under complete lockdown. In this special initiative, the company shall bear full interest cost of dealer’s inventory under complete lockdown for 30 days or more.

Speaking on this development, Mr. Atsushi Ogata – Managing Director, President & CEO, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “We are gradually resuming production operations following all COVID-19 compliance & lockdown guidelines by respective state governments. While there are visible signs of recovery in the country, we will continue to monitor the situation very closely and are moving forward with safety & well-being of all our stakeholders as a top priority.”

Elaborating on how HMSI as a responsible corporate is prioritizing business continuity at its dealer partners in these challenging times, Mr. Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Director – Sales & Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “In these difficult times, Honda 2Wheelers India is proactively extending financial support to its dealers. We are confident that, full interest support on the existing dealer inventory of those dealers who are under lockdown for 30 days or more will ease their immediate business continuity concern. Also, there is a positive momentum visible in COVID-19 vaccination drive along with various other measures by Central and State governments. However, HMSI is moving forward with a calibrated approach across its entire ecosystem ensuring synergy for stable and efficient operations. We expect easing of restrictions by various local administrations & state governments in near future and are accordingly moving forward cautiously in a stepwise manner to serve our customers.”

Warranty & Free Service to support customers amidst pandemic

Prioritizing safety & well-being of customers and associates, Honda 2Wheelers India has announced extension of warranty and free vehicle service benefits till 31st July 2021 across all its dealership networks pan-India. This extension will be applicable for all Honda 2Wheeler India’s customers, whose vehicle’s free service, warranty and extended warranty was originally ending between 1st April 2021 and 31st May 2021.

Parallely, all Honda 2Wheelers India office associates continue to Work-From-Home to maintain business continuity while extending all possible support to customers & business partners. As a socially responsible corporate, Honda 2Wheelers India is determined to take each possible step for the safety and security of all stakeholders.

Tata Digital logs into Big Basket Acquires majority stake in Supermarket Grocery Supplies Private Limited

Chandigarh, May 29, 2021: Tata Digital Limited, a 100% subsidiary of Tata Sons Private Limited has acquired a majority stake in Supermarket Grocery Supplies Private Limited (BigBasket) – India’s largest e-commerce player in the Food & Grocery segment.

E-grocery has been one of the fastest growing segments in the consumer e-commerce space and its growth is propelled with India’s rising consumption and digital penetration. The current pandemic has further accelerated its adoption as consumers seek the convenience of ordering quality groceries delivered safely at home.

BigBasket was founded in 2011 in Bangalore and has expanded its presence to 25+ cities across India since then. In the e-grocery space, BigBasket provides one of the largest assortments (50,000+ SKUs) and provides customers the convenience of home deliveries on preferred dates and timeslots. It also operates a farm-to-fork supply chain with over [12,000] farmers and several collection centers across India to deliver high quality & fresh fruits and vegetables to its customers.

Pratik Pal, CEO of Tata Digital said: “Grocery is one of the largest components of an individual’s consumption basket in India, and Bigbasket as India’s largest e-grocery player, fits in perfectly with our vision of creating a large consumer digital ecosystem. We are delighted to welcome Bigbasket as a part of the Tata Digital.”

Hari Menon, CEO of Bigbasket, said: “We are extremely excited about our future as a part of Tata Group. As a part of the Tata Ecosystem we would be able to build stronger consumer connect and accelerate our journey.”

Tata Group is building a digital consumer ecosystem addressing consumer needs across categories in a unified manner and online food & grocery is an important part of this ecosystem. Accordingly, this acquisition presents an attractive opportunity for Tata Group in its overall vision of creating a digital ecosystem.

PNB MetLife Century Plan – lifelong income and protection for generations

· Participating life insurance plan, which offers you income and protection till 100 years

· Three flexible plan options to receive interim payouts

Immediate Release

PNB MetLife Insurance today launched thePNB MetLife Century Plan, acomprehensive life insurance solutiondesigned to meet customers’ evolvinglife-stage needs includingchildren’s education, long term savings and retirement.

Rising inflation and steep increases in the cost of education (around 10-12% annually) suggest that Indians need to be more prepared to meet their long-term financial goals – particularly during these uncertain times. Moreover, as life expectancy continues to climb (17 years between 1990-2019), so has the need for adequate retirement planning.PNB MetLife Century Plan is a customer-centric solution that offers income starting immediately and up-to age 100 years along with lumpsum paid on maturity. The versatility of the plan caters to multiple needs of preparing for Children’s future, Retirement, Legacy planning and any other long-term saving objective, all rolled into one plan.

Key Features

The non-linked and participating life insurance plan offers customers the flexibility to opt from three income options depending on one’s life-stage need -1)Super Income option: the cash bonuses (if declared) will be paid from the first year onwards and a lumpsum benefit will be paid at maturity. There is minimum guarantee of cash bonuses @10%of annualized premium paid during the premium payment term. 2) Smart Income option: the cash bonuses will be paid from the first year onwards and a lumpsum benefit will be paid at maturity. 3) Future income option: Cash bonuses will be paid from 15th year of policy along with simple reversionary bonus (when declared) during first 14 years of the policy. There is minimum guarantee of cash bonus@ 30% of annualized premium for a fixed period of 20 or 30 years. Apart from three income options, you also have choice of selecting a special date like birthday or marriage anniversary for receiving the cash bonus payouts. Moreover, you can also ensure that the income continues for your loved ones even in case of your unforeseen demise with the ‘Family Care’ option.

Speaking about the launch of this new product,Sameer Bansal, Chief Distribution Officer, PNB MetLife, said, “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of financial protection and wellbeing to every Indian. At PNB MetLife, we are proud to launch Century Plan that helps customers plan their future and promises lifelong financial protection up-to 100 years. Customer Benefit is at centre of everything we do at PNB MetLife and through our Circle of Life philosophy, we offer products and solutions that address the four life-stage needs of Family Protection, Long-term Savings, Child Education and Retirement Solutions”

About PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited

PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited (PNB MetLife) has as its shareholders MetLife International Holdings LLC. (MIHL), Punjab National Bank Limited (PNB), Jammu & Kashmir Bank Limited (JKB), M. Pallonji and Company Private Limited and other private investors, with MIHL and PNB being the majority shareholders.

For more information, follow us on Twitter @PNBMetLife1, www.facebook.com/PNBMetLifeor visit www.pnbmetlife.com

· The marks “PNB” and “MetLife” are the registered trademarks of Punjab National Bank and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, respectively. PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited is a licensed user of these marks”.

· For more details on risk factors, terms and conditions, please read the sales brochure carefully before concluding the sale.

Annexure

The plan at a glance

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Bisleri strengthens employee welfare practices to safeguard against COVID-19  

~ Employees to undergo ozone therapy as a preventive measure against COVID-19

~ All employees and their families covered for Rs. 3 lakhs under Covid insurance

Chandigarh, May 26, 2021: Bisleri, industry leader and India’s most trusted mineral water brand, has initiated a series of activities to ensure its employees, and their families, are protected during the second wave of COVID-19 that has hit the country. The company has provided Ozone Therapy treatments and COVID insurance of Rs.3 lakhs, to their employees.

The company has announced two policies – Covid Insurance policy and Covid death Insurance policy. All employees along their family members (spouse and children) can cover medical expenses up to Rs. 3 lakhs each and this is included under the Covid Insurance policy. The same policy would be applicable for the employee who are on contractual role with the organisation.

Under the Covid Death Insurance policy, the family members of the Bisleri pay-roll employees would receive three years’ salary or Rs 35 lakhs, whichever is less, in case of death due to covid-19. The organisation has extended this policy for its contractual employees too. During the first wave of Covid-19, to ensure business continuity and for safety of employees at the manufacturing plants, the company had collaborated with a few properties in the vicinity to arrange for staff accommodation. These places are regularly sanitised following highest standards of safety.

Since mineral water comes categorised as essential goods and services that are permitted to operate during the lockdown, the company’s management wanted to go the extra mile to ensure employee safety and well-being. The first step towards the welfare of the employees was by boosting immunity through Ozone Therapy where 320 employees were given Ozone shots. Ozone therapy is an adjuvant therapy which helps in improving immunity and enhancing disease fighting capacity of the body. It acts as an incredible rejuvenator, normalizer, detoxifier, regenerator, immune enhancer and physical and mental energizer. These employees were followed up for 6 months and it was observed that out of these 320, only 2% contracted infection which was mild and asymptomatic. This therapy shows 98% of efficacy.

Through this initiative, the company wanted to offer its employees preventive healthcare to fight COVID-19.

As a people-first organisation, Bisleri also believes in standing in solidarity with its team members. The ‘No questions asked’ leave policy, in the event of an employee or their family members testing COVID positive, is a step towards providing them with a mental and moral support to the employees. This leave policy is also applicable if the building is sealed due to Covid cases. Bisleri has also identified mental health as one of the key priorities of its employee well-being programme and has appointed a Life Mentors, who employees can seek help from. To ensure the safety of the employees, the organisation is encouraging work from home and rotation based shifts to limit physical contact with one another. This enhances and balances the work productivity and support well-being of the employees. In addition to this, the company also regularly conducts seminars on wellness and mental health. To deal with urgent medical queries, a 24×7 consultation has been set up with the company’s in-house Dr. Mili Shah. In addition, an internal portal has been created for employee’s easy access of information on the various COVID protocols.

To ensure safety and security until the last mile, delivery personnel at Bisleri have also been equipped with gloves, shields, masks, and PPE kits. Bisleri has also installed ozone tunnels at their facilities and offices to disinfect the employees and visitors to safeguard the workplaces against the life-threatening virus.

Speaking about the initiatives, Parag Bengali, Director – Enablement, Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd. said, “For Bisleri, our employees always come first. As the entire country is still battling with COVID-19, it became very important for us to ensure our employees’ physical and mental well-being. All our initiatives were put in place to help our people get through this difficult situation together and show that Bisleri cares for them. We wanted to send out the message that we are in this together and that their company stands with them, especially in these tough times.”

Hinduja Foundation and Chopra Foundation together brought light on the importance of mental health in India through the Never Alone Summit

Chandigarh, May 26th, 2021: To increase awareness around mental health and help society cope with the stress of the global pandemic, Hinduja Foundation, the philanthropic arm of over a century-old Hinduja Group, co-sponsored a three-hour mental health awareness segment, Spotlight India, as part of the Never Alone Global Mental Health (Virtual) Summit. The event was organized in association with the Chopra Foundation, the John W Brick Mental Health Foundation, and CG Creatives. The show was curated by Satya Hinduja, Sound Artist, Futurist and Founder of Alchemic Sonic Environment – a deep listening experience designed to invoke states of reflection, receptivity and exchange.

This virtual Summit was streamed live on Facebook, YouTube, and other media platforms. Participants can also access free online tools to support their mental health and well-being through https://neveralonesummit.live/.

Co-hosted by Satya Hinduja, Sound Artist and Founder, Alchemic Sonic Environment, Poonacha Machaiah, CEO, Chopra Foundation and Gabriella Wright, Co-Founder of Never Alone Movement, Actress, and Activist, the three hour segment witnessed sessions of experts from the industry and spiritual leaders focusing on mental wellbeing and sharing stories of how people overcame issues like depression, stress and anxiety by reaching out for help and taking necessary action at the right time.

Prominent personalities were part of this nation-wide initiative. Sadhguru, Spiritual Leader and Founder of Isha Foundation; Dr Deepak Chopra, Founder, Chopra Foundation; New York Times Best Selling Author Radhanath Swami; renowned spiritual leader Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh,Dr Shantala Hegde, Assosciate professor Clinical Neuropsychology, NIMHANS, Dr Shekhar Saxena, Psychiatrist and Prof of Global Mental Health at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Veteran Actor and Padma Shri Awardee Dr. Mohan Agashe; leading YouTube content creator Ranveer Allahbadia, Holistic Lifestyle Coach Luke Coutinho, and Dr Tara Swart, Neuroscientist, Medical Doctor and best selling author, along with Paul Abraham, President, Hinduja Foundation were some of the notable speakers at the event who stressed on the importance of mental health.

Commenting on the initiative, Satya Hinduja, Sound Artist, Futurist, and Founder of Alchemic Sonic Environment, said “The understanding of the intimate interconnectedness within any environment begins by deeply listening to ourselves, our families, our communities and our home – Mother Earth. We are never alone. Alchemic Sonic Environment was pleased to partner with the Chopra Foundation’s Never Alone Global Mental Health Summit for Spotlight India, a collective deep listening platform, merging the arts and dialogue to prioritize and raise awareness of mind-body medicine and to reveal and build new sustainable ecosystems for the future of a mental wellbeing culture.

The first Never Alone Summit by the Chopra Foundation focused on protecting the mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of individuals. The integrated platform was a shared place in humanity, to share stories of dealing with bad mental health and exchange lessons; working together towards building a holistic and healthy planet. With expert advice, straight talk and personal stories by motivational speakers, the objective of the initiative was to elevate moods, rebalance thinking, and boost resilience in these challenging times.

Mahindra extends warranty and free service period on its entire range of vehicles by 3 months

Protects customers’ interests during lockdown

Chandigarh, May 26, 2021: Amidst the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown across the country, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., part of USD 19.4 billion Mahindra Group, today announced the extension of warranty and service period (not kilometres) on its entire range of vehicles till 31st July, 2021.

This will be applicable for those customers whose warranty is due to expire between 1stApril 2021 and 31st May 2021.

According to Satinder Singh Bajwa, Senior Vice President & Head – Sales & Customer Care, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., “The second wave of Covid-19 has once again restricted our customers from sending their vehicles for scheduled service maintenance or repairs. However, in these times of crisis, we stand by them and assure them of utmost support by extending warranty of all eligible vehicles till 31st July, 2021. We want to offer our customers a hassle-free ownership experience as they will continue to have an unrestricted personalized as well as digital & contactless sales and service support.”

Customers can stay connected with Mahindra’s ‘With You Hamesha’ on Twitter for the latest updates, news on after-sales offerings, digital features and technical tips on its handle @18002096006. For maximum convenience, customers can download Mahindra’s best rated – With You Hamesha app.

GJEPC Seeks Govt. Clarification On Export-related Exemption From Mandatory Hallmarking

• MoC&I forms a committee to resolve Hallmarking concerns, K Srinivasan, Convener Gold Panel to represent GJEPC

• Hallmarking implementation deferred for 15 days

• Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to resolve the problems of exporters as raised by GJEPC in the next 3- 4 days

With mandatory gold hallmarking set to be implemented in India from 1st June, 2021, the GJEPC in a representation to Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, Govt of India welcomed the decision but has sought clarity on certain issues pertaining to exports under the hallmarking provisions.

While the Hallmarking Order excludes exporters, the GJEPC has called on the authorities to “explicitly clarify that jewellers having transactions only in the export stream are completely excluded from the purview of the Hallmarking Order”.

The GJEPC chairman Mr. Colin Shah pointed out operational challenges brought on by the fact that all exporters maintain common inventory for both export and domestic streams. Shah noted that the storing of fully manufactured specified gold articles should not require compliance with the hallmarking provisions, except prior to domestic sale.

K Srinivasan, Convener, Gold Panel, GJEPC explained: “As Indian hallmarked articles do not have acceptance outside India, any legal interpretation that requires an exporter to comply with the hallmarking provisions wholly or partially, will increase the transaction costs in the export stream, making gem and jewellery exports unviable.”

Srinivasan also pointed out that purchases made by foreign buyers at domestic exhibitions like IIJS are tantamount to export sales and should therefore be outside the purview of the Hallmarking Order.

Srinivasan requested a clarificatory amendment on hallmarking exemption to manufacturers/wholesalers supplying articles to exporters.

About The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC)
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), set up by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India (GoI) in 1966, is one of several Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) launched by the Indian Government, to boost the country’s export thrust, when India’s post-Independence economy began making forays in the international markets. Since 1998, the GJEPC has been granted autonomous status. The GJEPC is the apex body of gems & jewellery industry and today represents 7000 exporters in the sector. With headquarters in Mumbai, GJEPC has Regional Offices in New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Surat and Jaipur, all of which are major centres for the industry. It thus has a wide reach and is able to have a closer interaction with members to serve them in a direct and more meaningful manner. Over the past decades, GJEPC has emerged as one of the most active EPCs, and has continuously strived to both expand its reach and depth in its promotional activities as well as widen and increase services to its members.

Regards,

Neetu

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ICICI Prudential Life Insurance introduces an innovative retirement solution with increasing regular income option

· Company’s Guaranteed Pension Plan wins ‘Product of the Year 2021”, world’s largest consumer-voted award for product innovation

· Provides customised retirement solution with increasing income to meet rising cost of living

Mumbai, May 26, 2021:

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has introduced an innovative retirement solution by combining two variants of its popular ‘Guaranteed Pension Plan’, which offers a guaranteed return on investments. This solution provides customers with increasing regular income that doubles after five years and triples after the 11th year, thereby shielding them against the rising cost of living.

In recognition of the innovative and industry-first features offered by the Company’s ‘Guaranteed Pension Plan’, it has been voted by consumers as ‘Product of the Year – Retirement and Pension Plans’ category. Product of the Year (POY) is the world’s largest consumer-voted award for product innovation in their respective categories.

Mr. Amit Palta, Chief Distribution Officer, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, said, “We are delighted that consumers have voted Guaranteed Pension Plan as ‘Product of the Year’. We believe, the industry-first features of this product resonated very well with consumers and is a testimony of our approach to developinginnovative products. It is imperative that customers plan for their retirement and the solution offered by the ‘Guaranteed Pension Plan’ enables customers to receive increasing regular income and lead a financially self-sufficient retired life.”

The pandemic has made customers appreciate the importance of financial planning, and this is specially so forlife after retirement. The customer-centric retirement or annuity products offered by the Company have enabled it to grow the annuity business segment by 120% in FY2021.

Annuity products enable customers to plan for their retirement and are available in two variants i.e. Immediate and Deferred Annuity. The Immediate Annuity option enables customers to start receiving regular incomeimmediately by paying a one-time premium. On the other hand, the Deferred Annuityoption gives customers the flexibility to start receiving income in the future; forinstance closer to their retirement. Customers have the option to defer the start of theincome for a maximum period of 10 years. Longer the deferment, higher would be the income.

ICICI Pru Guaranteed Pension Plan, is the Company’s flagship annuity productand offers industry-first features such as the early return of purchase price from the age of 76 years or on turning 80. It also includes others such as return of purchase on death or upon being diagnosed with specific critical illnesses or permanent disability due to an accident.

About ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company

ICICI Prudential Life is promoted by ICICI Bank Limited and Prudential Corporation Holdings Limited. The Company began operations in fiscal 2001 and has consistently been amongst the top private sector life insurance companies in India on a Retail Weighted Received Premium (RWRP) basis. The Company offers an array of products in the Protection and Savings category which match the different life stage requirements of customers, enabling them to provide a financial safety net to their families as well as achieve their long-term financial goals. The digital platform of the Company provides a paperless onboarding experience to customers, empowers them to conduct an assortment of self-service transactions, provides a convenient route to make digital payments for purchasing and making renewal premium payments, and facilitates a hassle-free claims settlement process. On March 31, 2021, the Company had an AUM of 2,142.18 billion and a Total Sum Assured of 20.30 trillion. ICICI Prudential Life is listed on both the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Limited and the BSE Limited.

Disclaimer

Except for the historical information contained herein, statements in this release which contain words or phrases such as ‘will’, ‘expected to’, etc., and similar expressions or variations of such expressions may constitute ‘forward-looking statements’. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, opportunities and growth potential to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the actual growth in demand for insurance and other financial products and services in the countries that we operate or where a material number of our customers reside, our ability to successfully implement our strategy, including our use of the Internet and other technology our exploration of merger and acquisition opportunities, our ability to integrate mergers or acquisitions into our operations and manage the risks associated with such acquisitions to achieve our strategic and financial objectives, our growth and expansion in domestic and overseas markets, technological changes, our ability to market new products, the outcome of any legal, tax or regulatory proceedings in India and in other jurisdictions we are or become a party to, the future impact of new accounting standards, our ability to implement our dividend policy, the impact of changes in insurance regulations and other regulatory changes in India and other jurisdictions on us. ICICI Prudential Life insurance undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date thereof. This release does not constitute an offer of securities.

For further press queries email us oncorporatecommunications@iciciprulife.com

Regards,

Neetu

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TransUnion and TransUnion CIBIL to Donate US$1 Million to India COVID-19 Relief

Contribution facilitates in-demand medical supplies to local hospitals

Chandigarh, May 25, 2021 – Throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, TransUnion (NYSE:TRU) has prioritized the health and safety of employees and surrounding communities. With the significant number of cases in India, the company mobilized support for its more than 1,500 employees across the country and the broader population. Today, TransUnion and TransUnion CIBIL are announcing a $1 million donation to Direct Relief and United Way Mumbai for necessary medical supplies.

Direct Relief and United Way Mumbai are working closely with local Indian hospitals to identify and deliver the most in-demand medical supplies, such as oxygen concentrators and other vital equipment. TransUnion’s contribution of US$500,000 to each organization will help facilitate the procurement and delivery of these supplies to locations in need.

“The unprecedented second surge of COVID-19 in India demands a collaborated relief approach from across businesses, industries and individuals. We are committed to supporting the relief efforts in every possible way and collaborating to save lives and foster well-being,” said Rajesh Kumar, Managing Director and CEO, TransUnion CIBIL. “It’s vital the corporate fraternity play a role in securing aid for the country, and we’ll remain vigilant throughout India’s time of need.”

In addition to the donation, TransUnion is helping employees remain healthy and obtain treatment where needed. The company provided online medical consultation services, isolation centers, emergency services and home testing options. The company also airlifted 50 oxygen concentrators to TransUnion offices in Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune and other prominent cities for employees and family members in need of more advanced care. TransUnion will continue to provide aid to employees, including testing and vaccination opportunities and additional wellness health programming.

As a global information and insights company with a role in economic health, TransUnion acted swiftly from the start of the global pandemic and continues to provide insights to businesses and governments to help navigate this unprecedented situation. TransUnion is also providing innovative solutions and thought leadership to its customers, such as enhancements to address increased fraud and a series of Global Consumer Financial Hardship studies to help businesses understand how consumers were impacted financially by the outbreak.

“TransUnion’s presence in India continues to grow, and this crisis is personal to our people, their families and friends, and our local communities,” said Debasis Panda, Vice President of Operations and leader TransUnion’s global capability centers in India. “The aid we have provided to our employees is only the beginning. We are committed to seeing to their needs throughout the pandemic and recovery period.”

The donation is a joint contribution between TransUnion LLC and TransUnion CIBIL, the company’s credit information business in India.

NPCI partners PayCore to enable RuPay SoftPOS solutions in India

· Empower millions of merchants to accept payments at low cost with RuPay SoftPOS

· RuPay SoftPOS enables merchants to turn their NFC enabled smartphones into POS machine to receive payments

Chandigarh – 25 May 2021: National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has announced that it has onboarded Turkey’s global payment solutions company – PayCore as one of the certified partners for RuPay SoftPOS, to drive cashless payments across the country. Millions of merchants now can convert their NFC-enabled smartphones into a POS machine to accept contactless payments through RuPay SoftPOS.

Under this association, NPCI has authorised the SoftPOS solution developed by PayCore for RuPay. This solution can be integrated into bank or aggregator acquiring systems to enable acquiring of RuPay using mobile phones enabled with NFC capability or add-ons. NPCI aims at widening the spread of RuPay SoftPOS among micro, small and medium-sized businesses in different parts of the country, with its network of banks along with PayCore. RuPay SoftPOS enables merchants to accept payments securely without any hassle from contactless cards, mobile wallets, and wearables just with their mobile phones.


Ali Kançal, CEO of PayCore commented, “We are very proud to cooperate with NPCI and support their goal of creating a cashless digital society in India. One of our main objectives with SoftPOS is to provide cutting-edge innovative technologies for inexpensive contactless payment solutions globally. With PayCore’s SoftPOS solution, which enables smartphones and tablets to be used as POS terminals without any additional devices, the investment costs required by banks to reach over 63 million micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses will be significantly reduced. India has an enormous economy where we have already invested before and have extensive market insight. Hitachi Payment, one of the largest digital payment companies in India, uses PayCore’s SoftPOS technology in its data center and SBI Payment, the payment solutions company of the State Bank of India is also among our customers. Now, with our collaboration with NPCI, we will reach more businesses in the country and introduce them to digital payments with a higher return on investment for all stakeholders.”

Nalin Bansal, Chief of Fintechs, Corporates & New Initiatives, NPCI said, “We are excited to work with a global player like PayCore to accelerate the growth of the digital economy through the launch of innovative acceptance solutions within domestic as well as international markets catering to NPCI products. The launch of RuPay SoftPoS solution is aimed at supporting small merchants which form the backbone of our economy and is one of many in the series of launches starting with its open-loop transit program in 2017. The RuPay SoftPoS will not only help merchants seamlessly manage their business transactions but also reduce the hassle of handling cash by accepting multiple payment modes including QR-based payment solutions over UPI. We believe it is important to digitally empower small merchants to ensure deeper penetration of digital acceptance infrastructure in the country. It’s our constant endeavour at NPCI to work towards financial inclusion and creating a cashless society.”

India-Morocco Look toStrengthen Ties In The G&J Sector

Chandigarh, May 25, 2021: The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and Embassy of India, Morocco, jointly organised the India Global Connect on 20th May, 2021. The objective of the meet was to understand the current business scenario with regard to the gem and jewellery sector and have discussions among manufacturers, exporters and importers of both the countries, and initiate a dialogue, explore trade opportunities and project India as a viable sourcing destination.

Morocco is India’s second-largest trade partner from the North African region. Currently, Moroccan global gem and jewellery imports amount to $122 million annually, of which India’s share is $2 million.

Gracing the occasion along with other dignitaries, were His Excellency Mr. Rajesh Vaishnaw, Indian Ambassador to Kingdom of Morocco; Suresh Kumar, Joint Secretary, MoC&I, Govt. of India; Abderrahim Belkhayat, Regional Director of the Ministry of Artisans, Morocco; G.K. Pant, First Secretary (Commerce), Embassy of India, Morocco; Khalid Rahil, Director of Heritage preservation and El Hazzaz Driss, President of Morocco Jewellers Federation and Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC.

His Excellency Rajesh Vaishnaw, Indian Ambassador to Kingdom of Morocco, said, “India has been adding modern techniques with traditional know-how to bring it more in tune with the global market. Similarly, Morocco has been a jewellery powerhouse for many years, and the combination of low-cost and highly skilled workforce has made it a hub for the jewellery trade. Both countries can benefit tremendously by cooperating, collaborating, and exchanging ideas and expertise. Today’s webinar is a first step towards the same.”

Suresh Kumar, Joint Secretary, MoC&I, commented, “India Global Connect with Morocco should explore new avenues of trade and also try to understand consumer preferences to enhance the trade between the two countries. India and Morocco have enjoyed cordial and friendly relations and over the years the bilateral relations have witnessed significant depth and growth. However, the gem and jewellery trade between the two countries is insignificant, and we should work together to achieve $150 million trade in this sector.”

Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC said, “Exports/imports of gems and jewellery between the two countries is negligible and needs to be increased, which can enable India and Morocco in further developing their businesses and economy in terms of production, employment, new methods, techniques, etc. We should collaborate for skilling/training. I am happy that we had a very insightful and meaningful discussion today.”

The bilateral trade between the two countries amounts to $2 billion and if the potential synergies are tapped through cooperation, the scope for growth could be tremendous.

The speakers noted that Moroccan consumers preferred locally made traditional, handmade jewellery for special occasions and for daily wear, women opted for contemporary jewellery — by and large influenced by European aesthetics considering Morocco’s proximity to the region, and its French colonial past.

Mansukh Kothari, Conener, Events, GJEPC added, “For any trade to flourish, it is important that there is constant engagement between manufacturers and buyers. Considering the current scenario, a series of Buyer-Seller meets and interaction through virtual platforms should be explored. I welcome Moroccan traders to visit our flagship shows IIJS Premiere and IIJS Signature, where they can engage with manufacturers for fulfilling their sourcing needs.”

The meeting concluded with Morocco participants requesting for sharing of jewellery manufacturing skills, collaborating on areas such as transfer of technology.

Panellists from Morocco included Laila Miyara, second Vice President of the Moroccan Jewellers Federation; Mohammed Majid Lahrichi, General Secretary of the Moroccan Jewellers Federation; Ahmed Lablidi, Developer, Study Programmes for Jewellery Technicians; Azeddine Mastari, Training committee of the Moroccan Jewellers Federation; Hicham Agouramen, Member of the Moroccan Jewellers Federation; Amal Bekkali, Member of the Moroccan Jewellers Federation.

Panellist from India included Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC; Sushil Jain, Dialmaz Exports; Kaushik Kevdiya, Arrow Star; Sanjay Shah, Convener – Diamond Panel, GJEPC; Vijay Kedia, Convener – Colour Gemstone Panel, GJEPC; K. Srinivasan, Convener – Jewellery Panel Committee, GJEPC; Rambabu Gupta, Convener – Silver Panel, GJEPC; and Mansukh Kothari, Convener – Events.

INTRODUCES HOMELY MEALS FOR EVERYDAY FOOD NEEDS 

~ Nutritious and delicious meals delivered to your doorstep, daily

Chandigarh, MAY 20, 2021: Qmin, Indian Hotels Company’s (IHCL) gourmet food delivery platform, today announced the launch of its subscription-based meal service, giving consumers easy access to a variety of home-style and wholesome everyday food. Offering guests a daily-changing menu for lunch and dinner across vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, the service is currently available in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Pune, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Hyderabad. This will expand to other cities in the coming months.

Choose flexible combinations of lunch and dinner menus ranging from a Single Day Delivery to Daily Meals Subscription of seven days and beyond to relish delicious favourites. The balanced meals prepared with fresh ingredients range from comfort dishes like Moong Dal and Paneer Makhani to Butter Chicken paired with a variety of Indian breads and accompaniments, to Stir Fried Greens and Hakka Noodles. A choice of Indian and international desserts make for the perfect ending to the meals.

Qmin offers a differentiated delivery experience with an enhanced focus on maintaining stringent protocols of safety and hygiene. This includes contact-less delivery and the mandatory use of protective gear for delivery executives in thoroughly sanitized vehicles. The packaging is eco-friendly utilizing bio-degradable materials, and with customized insulation boxes to preserve the food that is delivered to your doorstep with care.

Enjoy the convenience of dining in the comfort and safety of your home with affordable and homely meals delivered right to you. Call 1800 266 7646 to plan your subscription.

PayNearby ties up with Centrum Microcredit to facilitate Unsecured Business Loans to Retailers

§ End-to-end digital processes leading to disbursements within 48 hours

§ First-of-its-kind proprietary score card developed to rate potential borrowers basis rich transactional data on PayNearby eco-system

§ Loans ranging from ₹25k to ₹1 lakh; and tenures ranging from 6-24 months

§ To facilitate access to working capital credit for small businesses

§ New-to-credit borrowers are also eligible to avail the loan basis track record with PayNearby

Chandigarh, 20 May, 2021: As part of its Shop Owners Benefit Program, PayNearby, India’s leading branchless banking and digital payments network, has tied up with Centrum Microcredit Limited, the micro finance arm of the Centrum Group, to facilitate unsecured business loans to its retail partners. As part of the tie-up, loan requirements will be sourced through PayNearby’s vast network of retailers and will be disbursed by Centrum Microcredit Limited. The solution is aimed at fortifying and driving the business growth of PayNearby’s retail partners, especially in these challenging times where businesses are struggling to stay afloat due to the economic fallout of COVID 19.

The partnership will work towards enhancing the shared goals of the two organizations, which are committed to enabling financial inclusiveness and the economic wellbeing of the retailers. Retailers often need timely and small-ticket working capital loans for short tenures to keep their businesses up and running. More often than not, due to lack of collaterals or being new-to-credit, these retailers predominantly rely on alternative options such as local moneylenders or loan sharks instead of mainstream options such as Banks or Financial Institutions. But, loans from these informal sources come at exorbitantly high interest rates, pushing them further into an inevitable vicious cycle.

This partnership will allow PayNearby to facilitate competitive lending solutions to its retailers who otherwise may not be eligible for formal lending options. PayNearby is determined to ensure that the Digital Pradhans do not face a cash crunch of any kind and continue to offer their services, thus creating a thriving ecosystem for the local community.

The partnership will help Centrum harness PayNearby’s rich data acquired through processing billions of transactions per day, adding scale and efficiency to their lending business. PayNearby has an innovative and robust technology backend platform that reaches out to the deep roots of the country using advanced analytics, AI and machine learning to score thin credit files and create simple and efficient micro lending experiences for its retailers, enabling them to secure loans at the click of a button. The loans disbursed to the merchants will be on a pre-qualified basis. To enable this, PayNearby has developed a proprietary scorecard based on the transaction data of the retailers along with a set of agreed pre-qualifying criteria of Centrum; and a credit rule engine based on which eligible retailers are shortlisted.

The partnership will give Centrum access to a deeply entrenched retailer network, with rich transactional data and hassle-free access to last-mile through PayNearby’s stable tech platform. With big data available at PayNearby and the strength of an on-ground distribution network, Centrum will provide the retailers with the right lending solutions to meet their growth and sustenance needs.

Additionally, this partnership, between Pay Nearby and Centrum Microcredit, has followed a digital-first strategy in its entire product journey. It is currently funding small-ticket, unsecured loans between ₹25,000 to ₹ 1 lakh with tenure ranging from 6 months to 24 months. The turn-around time is 48 hours even for the new-to-credit and the entire life cycle of the loan starting from origination to disbursement is completely digital. Along with the convenience of applying for a loan, the partnership will ensure that retailers build a strong credit history in this journey and at a certain stage become eligible to take bigger and longer duration loans from banks.

Announcing the tie-up, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby said, “PayNearby as an entity has been championing the cause of financial inclusion in the country. However, the objective of financial inclusion is incomplete until our retailers get access to credit. We have given our retailers access to livelihood, access to insurance and access to savings with various products in the financial services spectrum. The only missing piece was access to credit. In our endeavour to making credit available to our retailers at affordable interest rates, we have partnered with Centrum Microcredit Limited. Along with PayNearby’s substantial data, together with Centrum, we are hopeful of addressing the issue of working capital credit for our retailers through these micro-enterprise loans.

Our Digital Pradhans are our backbone. They have shown great resilience throughout the pandemic by providing uninterrupted service to ensure citizens have access to essential financial resources. In these dire times, we are committed to fortify them in spirit and with financial backing to ensure their businesses function smoothly as ever.”

Speaking on the partnership, Prashant Thakker, Executive Director & CEO, Centrum Microcredit Limited said, “Financial inclusion is a key focus area for us. Our partnership with PayNearby adds to our vision of making a positive, social and economic impact in the lives of retailers by providing unsecured working capital credit to ensure their business functions uninterruptedly. With this initiative, we will be able to bring many small retailers into the mainstream credit fold. This will also help us to diversify our operations geographically and expand our offering in terms of tenure and repayment model of loans. We are excited to call on PayNearby’s rich data and massive retailer network to fulfill the dream of a financially inclusive India.”

Within six weeks of the launch, the company has received over 270 applications on its platform and has disbursed loans worth ₹36 lakhs to more than 60 retailers.

Bank of Baroda advocates hope with ‘PhirJeetenge’ anthem against COVID-19

Chandigarh, May 20, 2021: Bank of Baroda, one of India’s largest public sector banks, shows its support to the nation during the second COVID wave with a heartwarming video titled ‘#PhirJeetenge’. The essence of the video is to emphasize on the importance of holding on to hope and coming together as a nation, to work towards a brighter horizon.

The video features world renowned badminton players PV Sindhu, Srikanth Kidambi, singers Javed Ali and Aishwarya Majmudar, and radio jockeys Kartik and Archana calling on all citizens to come together and fight the virus, thereby increasing awareness on the need for precautions and the significance of getting vaccinated.

With the pandemic having created a shift in terms of the new normal, the campaign advocates the importance of a positive mindset and working, physically and emotionally, towards a better tomorrow.

Speaking on the initiative Shri. Purshotam, Chief General Manager, Retail Liabilities, WMS, Marketing, Capital Market & NRI Business, Bank of Baroda said, “At a time such as the current pandemic situation, it is important for us, from all walks of life, to unite, with one overriding emotion, that of hope. We all need to follow the guidelines set by the government and support each other. ‘PhirJeetenge’ is an anthem for each and every individual, to believe and draw on the strength that we possess, confident that we will succeed, like we always have, as a country.”

On India’s 75th year of Independence, Bank of Baroda seeks to spread the message of overcoming hurdles and winning over the pandemic together.

Link to the ‘#PhirJeetenge’ campaign video is appended:

https://youtu.be/MaNMna2qvng

IDBI Bank launches its fully digitized automated Loan Processing System for MSME and Agri lending

Chandigarh, May 19, 2021: IDBI Bank Limited announced the launch of its fully digitized, end-to-end, Loan Processing System (LPS) for its MSME and Agri. products. This new loan processing system seamlessly integrates with data fintechs, bureau validations, document storage/retrieval, account opening/management, customer notifications, and portfolio management capabilities along with embodied policy/knock off parameters. These features of the fully digitized and automated loan processing system are further aimed at providing a superior tech-enabled banking experience to bank’s MSME & Agri. customers. The platform is designed to incorporate knock-off criteria & credit policy parameters for superior underwriting standards.

Commenting on this, Shri. Suresh Khatanhar, Deputy Managing Director, IDBI Bank, stated that, ‘LPS would carry a total of more than 50 product lines and would offer seamless credit lifecycle with over 35 interface touch points to many satellite systems. The LPS integrates with the existing core database, human resource management system, and various other applications of the Bank. This utility would considerably enhance the customer experience with improved turn-around time’

Vi Announces Covid-19 Special Relief Offers for 60 Mn Low Income Users

Extends benefits worth up to Rs. 2,940 Mn to the deeply impacted

customer base

Chandigarh, May 19, 2021: Vi, India’s leading telecom operator, today announced special Covid-19 relief offers for its 60 million low-income customers to help them stay connected at all times during the ongoing second wave of the pandemic.

· As a special relief offer, Vi will provide Rs. 49 pack Free to over 60 million low income customers due to the current situation. The pack offers talktime of Rs. 38 and 100 MB data with a validity of 28 days. With this Vi is hopeful of enabling its customers to stay connected safely, and have access to all necessary information in these challenging times.

As a special gesture, with this one-time offer, VIL will be extending benefits worth up to Rs. 2,940 Mn to the low income group users in the country.

· Additionally, Vi has also launched a new Combo Voucher RC79 offering huge benefits to a large base of the population. This special recharge comes with the benefit of Double Talktime of Rs. 128 (64+64) and 200 MB of data for a validity of 28 days for a limited time period.

Geocycle to implement the innovative ‘bubble curtain’ technology for the first time in India to stop plastic from entering the Yamuna River

A bubble curtain is a Non-invasive solution to stop plastic from entering the oceans and help make Agra plastic-free

Geocycle under the aegis of UNEP India in partnership with Agra Municipality and GIZ India with technology from Canadian Pond is working towards this mission

Chandigarh, May 18, 2021: Recognizing the need to address the challenge of marine plastic pollution, Geocycle the global waste management arm of LafargeHolcim, the world’s global leader in building solutionsis piloting in India a smart and non-invasive technology to remove plastics from canals before they reach the oceans.

LafargeHolcim is the parent company of Ambuja Cements, and ACC Ltd., the two major cement producing companies in India. Geocycle India is the inhouse waste management arm of Ambuja and ACC. It is a leading provider of industrial, agricultural, municipal and plastic waste management services.

Geocycle is implementing the innovative ‘bubble curtain’ technology for the first time in India to stop plastic from entering the river Yamuna. The Geocycle Bubble Barrier has been established on the Mantola Canal of Agra City in Uttar Pradesh, which carries 40% of the storm and wastewater of Agra City.

Geocycle, under the aegis of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) India’s “Air Pollution Control Action Plan”, has partnered with Agra Municipal Corporation and GIZ India with Canadian Pond as technology provider, working towards the mission of making Agra plastic-free. Once successful, this technology will be replicated in other countries. Geocycle supports the Swachh Bharat Mission by co-processing significant volumes of municipal solid waste, including non-recyclable plastics across India.

“Geocycle’s approach to river plastic cleaning is distinct from other river clean-up projects which rely on landfilling or incineration. Geocycle’s vast co-processing infrastructure guarantees safe and environmentally friendly final treatment of the collected waste: co-processing in cement kiln recovers energy and recycles material value in waste, leaving no residue,” saidNeeraj Akhoury, CEO India, LafargeHolcim and MD & CEO of Ambuja Cements Limited.

“These two technologies – bubble curtain and co-processing combined – offer a good opportunity to fight the challenge of marine litter by tackling the problem at the source,” he added.

“UNEP India is happy to collaborate with Geocycle for the pilot project ‘Plastic Free Agra’ for the cleanup of riverine plastic waste by targeting the channels leading to the Yamuna river. The Geocycle Bubble Barrier is an

innovative concept based on existing technology which makes smart use of a combination of natural currents and a bubble curtain to channelize plastic waste towards the banks of rivers and canals instead of it flowing directly into the Yamuna river, from where it is collected for safe treatment,” says Mr. Atul Bagai, Head India Country Office, UN Environment Programme.

A bubble curtain is a non-invasive solution to stop plastic from entering the oceans. Ships and fish can pass through the air bubbles, but plastics will be stopped. The bubble screen is created by a specially designed air tube which is placed diagonally on the bed of the canal or river. It brings waste to the surface, channels the plastic on to the banks where it can be extracted. The bubble barrier is generated using compressed air passing through tubes that are placed at the bottom of the canal. These tubes are connected with a compressor which is powered by renewable solar energy. Further, aeration in the canal will increase dissolved oxygen levels in the waste water/storm water leading to an overall improvement in the water quality.

The Mantola canal has been selected for this unique project as it carries 40% of Agra city’s wastewater. Moreover, the plastic leakage into the canal is significant. Capturing the plastics floating in this canal will help in preventing the plastic litter of the Yamuna River.

The plastic waste extracted from the canal will be taken to a Municipal Solid Waste treatment and Materials Recovery Facility. The recyclable plastics will be sent to recycling facilities, while the non-recyclable plastics will be taken to Geocycle’s facility for pre-processing followed by co-processing in ACC or Ambuja cement kilns.

11 million tons of plastic enter the oceans every year, making it one of the biggest threats society faces. If this trend continues unabated there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050. Most of the plastic in the ocean gets there by way of rivers.

Here is the video on Geocycle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT_T7_3iOqU. The hashtags used on Social Media are #sustainability, #WeareGeocycle and #WasteToValue

Ashok Leyland ensures 24/7 service support to customers amidst the second wave of COVID -19

May 18, 2021, Chandigarh: India’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer, Ashok Leyland,flagship of the Hinduja Group, in their endeavor to provide uninterrupted service during these challenging times, has announced a slew of measures to support their customers and drivers. The company, reaffirming its brand promise of ‘Aapki Jeet. Hamari Jeet.’, continues to offer critical support to stakeholders who have suffered with unique challenges presented by the second wave of COVID-19.

The measures undertaken are:

· Emergency support being extended to vehicles transporting essential services including those transporting oxygen across the country through their 24/7 helpline.

· 24×7 services to Delhi Transport Corporation being provided by Ashok Leyland’s Service team

· As a part of the Service Mandi initiative, Ashok Leyland formed a task force, for seamless transportation of oxygen and medical supplies across India. This task force communicated via WhatsApp and proactively reached out to customers and oxygen manufacturers to provide any assistance possible through Service Mandi’s network of 20,000 + touchpoints across the country.

· Contactless deliveries of spare parts in-line with shifting customer preferences to continue to ensure smooth functioning of the logistics and transportation services with the help of the Leykart Digital App.

· Extension on free services for customer vehicles in the warranty period

· Ashok Leyland Workshops are being operated with due protocols across various states of India, in consultation with local authorities to provide service to operational vehicles during the lockdown

· AL Care offers support to close to 1,20,000 customers across the country

· ServiceMandi has 1,00,000 customers registered in the platform with 6,00,000 vehicles already being serviced by the team

· ServiceMandi has a 24/7 breakdown assistance call center with support in 10 regional languages

Commenting on the initiatives and measures being undertaken, Mr. Sivanesan, President and Head of Quality, Service, and Parts, Ashok Leyland, said, “We understand that our customers and drivers are doing what it takes to ensure that essential commodities and medical supplies reach the people while as many as possible stay at home. We are working with all stakeholders while maintaining COVID appropriate behavior, and through these comprehensive measures, we surely will rise through this pandemic together.

Shriram Housing Finance Limited to get capital infusion of Rs. 500 Crores from parent

Chandigarh, May 18, 2021: In a very strong reaffirmation of its belief in the affordable and mid segment housing, Shriram City Union Finance has invested Rs. 200 Crores in its housing finance subsidiary, Shriram Housing Finance Limited (SHFL). The board of Shriram City Union Finance has also approved an investment of upto Rs. 500 Cr into SHFL over the next two years, 200 of which has been invested now. The current infusion of Rs. 200 Cr will increase SCUF’s holding in SHFL to 81.16% from existing 77.25%. The funds will be used to provide growth capital to the fast growing HFC and enable it to expand its distribution network and customer base. The networth of Shriram Housing Finance which was at Rs. 576 Cr as of March 31st2021, goes up to Rs. 776 Cr with this investment.

In the recently declared Financial Results for FY 21, Shriram Housing Finance has reported a robust growth in its AUM of 70% YoY, with the highest ever quarterly and yearly disbursements of Rs. 1005 crore and Rs. 2195 Cr respectively. The company ended FY 21 with PAT of Rs. 62.4 Cr, a strong 34% growth for the year. The ROA stands at a healthy 2.5%.

Mr. Ravi Subramanian, Managing Director & CEO, Shriram Housing Finance said, “We are happy to get incremental growth capital of Rs. 200 Cr from our parent. This capital infusion will help us expand our business and support our growth plans for the next 12-15 months. We have had a great FY21 and with this capital at our disposal, we expect to ride out the second wave of the pandemic and come out stronger in FY 2022. We have always focused on growing our business without compromising on quality and we look forward to continue doing the same. SHFL has forever stayed loyal to its mission of helping people own their dream home”, he adds.

Mr Y S Chakravarti, Managing Director of SCUF added, “We are delighted to continue our support to SHFL. It is a dynamic, young and fast growing organisation and the Affordable housing space continues to impress and interest us. SHFL is an integral part of the group growth story and this investment is a testimony to that. The company is now well capitalised and poised for growth.”

Supriya Lifescience files IPO papers with Sebi

Supriya Lifescience Ltd has filed preliminary papers with capital markets regulator Sebi to raise Rs 1,200 crore through an initial public offering (IPO).

The IPO comprises fresh issue of equity shares worth Rs 200 crore and an offer for sale of up to Rs 1,000 crore by its promoter Satish Waman Wagh, according to the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP).

Proceeds from the fresh issue will be used for funding capital expenditure requirements, repay debt and general corporate purpose.

Supriya Lifescience is one of the key Indian manufacturers and suppliers of active pharmaceuticals ingredients (APIs), with a focus on research and development.

As of March, 2021, the company had product offerings of 39 APIs focused on diverse therapeutic segments such as antihistamine, analgesic, anaesthetic, vitamin, anti-asthmatic and anti-allergic.

ICICI Securities and Axis Capital have been appointed as merchant bankers to advise the company on the IPO.

Krsnaa Diagnostics files IPO papers with Sebi

Krsnaa Diagnostics Ltd has filed draft papers with capital markets watchdog Sebi to raise funds through an initial share sale.

The IPO comprises fresh issue of equity shares worth Rs 400 crore and an offer for sale (OFS) of up to 94,16,377 shares by its existing shareholders, according to the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP)

Those offering shares in the OFS are Phi Capital, Kitara, Somerset Indus Healthcare Fund I Ltd and Lotus Management Solutions.

The company, in consultation with its merchant bankers, may consider to raise Rs 200 crore in the pre-IPO placement.

Proceeds from the fresh issue will be used for financing the cost of establishing diagnostics centres at Punjab, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, and Maharashtra; repayment of loans availed by the company and general corporate purposes.

Krsnaa Diagnostics provides a range of technology-enabled diagnostic services such as imaging (including radiology), pathology/clinical laboratory and tele-radiology services to public and private hospitals, medical colleges and community health centres pan-India.

The company focuses on the public private partnership (PPP) diagnostics segment, and has the largest presence in the diagnostic PPP segment.

As of December 2020, the company operated 1,801 diagnostic centres offering both radiology and pathology services in 13 states across the country.

JM Financial Ltd, DAM Capital Advisors Ltd, Equirus Capital Pvt, and IIFL Securities have been appointed as merchant bankers to advise the company on the IPO.

Greenko Group airlifts first consignment of 1000 large medical grade oxygen concentrators

Chandigarh, 18 May, 2021: Hyderabad-based Greenko group, India’s largest renewable energy company has unlocked global supply chain network to bring in critical oxygen support systems to India while putting in best efforts to deliver mission critical oxygen domestically at the earliest time. Its first of the five dedicated cargo planes are landing in Hyderabad today with 200 large medical grade Oxygen concentrators with 10 liters per minute capacity to aid in India’s fight against the deadly second wave of infections.

Hon. Minister Shri K.T.Rama Rao , Minister of Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Industries and IT E&C of Telangana , along with Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar received the flight on behalf of the state government. Greenko Co-Founders, Mr. Anil Chalamalasetty, and Mr. Mahesh Kolli were also present at the airport for this maiden arrival of the cargo flight.

Revealing Greenko Group’s plans, Mr. Anil Chalamalasetty, MD & CEO Greenko group said to reporters at the airport today, “This is first of the five dedicated cargo planes we are bringing in through the strong global supply chains that we have set-up in the last two weeks. Within the next 5 days, four more dedicated aircrafts will land in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and New Delhi with 1,000 such large medical grade oxygen concentrators. This will aid our medical teams in tier 2 and tier 3 cities for pre-ICU support and post-ICU stabilization of patients and help combat the second wave of CoViD that has put severe strain on our healthcare infrastructure and support systems. We will continue our work to help the country and aid the efforts to fight the pandemic and have India again breathe freely.”

Hon. Minister Shri K.T.Rama Rao thanked Greenko founders for their effort, and said, “Our first priority as government as business leaders and as responsible citizens is to provide relief to the patients and avert this oxygen crisis as prudently and judiciously as we can. We are indeed grateful to the Greenko group for helping us in these efforts.”

In addition, 1000 large oxygen cylinders of 50 liters capacity each are in transit from Middle East to be delivered in the coming week to India. These systems will be deployed as stationary units in existing hospitals, healthcare units and mobile units to cater to the additional case load of oxygen deprived patients.

Greenko Group, one of the largest clean energy companies in India, is focused on establishing reliable and medium-term supply chains quickly by navigating the diplomatic, geopolitical and logistical channels so as to ensure continuous supply of essentials including oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders to multiple states in India.

“As a country, we have been fortunate to receive critical monetary and non-monetary support as aid / donations, but we need to focus on establishing strong robust supply chains for mission critical equipment and supplies locally and globally. These supply chains that we at Greenko Group have established are capable of delivering 5,000 plus concentrators and cylinders continually which will hopefully help India in fighting the pandemic and breathe freely again,” added Mr. Anil Chalamalasetty.

Mahindra supports farmers with M-Protect Covid plan

· M-Protect Covid Plan provides Covid Health Insurance of INR 1 lakh & pre-approved emergency financial support to farmers’

· Applicable on Mahindra Tractors purchased in May 2021

Chandigarh, May 16, 2021: Mahindra & Mahindra’s Farm Equipment Sector, a part of the USD 19.4 billion Mahindra Group has rolled out ‘M–Protect Covid Plan’, a new customer centric initiative committed to support Indian farmers in these testing times.

Mahindra’s M-Protect Covid plan aims to safeguard new Mahindra tractor customers and their families against the eventuality of contracting COVID-19.

Under the M–Protect Covid Plan, Mahindra will provide customers –

· A health cover of INR 1 lakh through a unique COVID Mediclaim policy to cover the customer in case they contract COVID-19 with home quarantine benefits.

· Financial support by providing pre-approved loans to support medical expenses incurred during COVID-19 treatment.

· Insuring a customers’ loan under ‘Mahindra Loan Suraksha’ in case of loss of life.

The M-Protect Covid Plan will be available on Mahindra’s entire range of tractors purchased in May 2021.

Commenting on the development, Hemant Sikka – President, Farm Equipment Sector, M&M Ltd., “At Mahindra we care about our customers and the community at large and have taken a series of initiatives to help those most in need to overcome the challenges related to COVID. Our new ‘M–Protect Covid Plan’ is a new initiative in that direction targeted at farmers, as we stand by them to drive positive change even in these tough times. With M-Protect we are privileged to serve and support them to reduce the impact of a COVID related eventuality. With M-Protect we hope our farmers continue to have a healthy life.”

Shubhabrata Saha – Chief Executive Officer, Farm Division, M&M Ltd. said, “May and June are important months for the livelihood of the farming community and COVID-19 has brought in several challenges. Our new M-Protect Covid Plan is intended to ease farmers’ worries as we support them in these crucial farming related months. Through M-Protect we will offer health, financial and insurance-related protection to bring relief to the farmer during these challenging times, safeguarding them and more so their families. I would like to thank our channel partners for the immense support they’ve extended to our farmer customers.”

For over 3 decades, Mahindra has been India’s undisputed No. 1 tractor brand and the world’s largest tractor manufacturer by volumes. With a presence in over 50 countries Mahindra has leveraged on its quality, as the only tractor brand in the world to win both the Deming Award and the Japanese Quality Medal. In March 2019, Mahindra became the first Indian tractor brand to roll out 3 million tractors.

Having worked with generations of farmers, Mahindra tractors are known for their exceptional built and performance on rugged and unforgiving terrains. Mahindra’s high quality, tough and durable tractors with a range from 11.20 kW to 55.9 kW (15 HP to 75 HP) include the technologically advanced Novo, Yuvo, Jivo range and a 4×4 range for increased productivity & earnings.

Hinduja Foundation collaborates with The Chopra Foundation to promote the importance of Mental Health during the Covid-19 pandemic

Co-sponsors the virtual #NeverAloneSummit

Chandigarh, May 15th, 2021: The Hinduja Foundation, the philanthropic arm of over a century-old Hinduja Group, is making its foray into the field of mental health and well-being. The Foundation, in association with the Chopra Foundation, the John W Brick Mental Health Foundation, and CG Creatives, will be co-sponsoring a three-hour segment, Spotlight India, within the Never Alone Global Mental Health (Virtual) Summit. The segment will be curated by Satya Hinduja’s Alchemic Sonic Environment to create a multisensory deep listening experience designed to invoke states of reflection, receptivity, and exchange. Some of the star speakers at Spotlight India will include Sadhguru, and Abhay Deol to name a few.

This virtual Summit will be streamed live on Facebook, YouTube, and other media platforms at 6.30 PM IST on Friday 21st May 2021 and participants can access free online tools to support their mental health and well-being through https://neveralonesummit.live/.

As the nature of our country is so vast and complex, this segment of the summit will be a collective deep listening journey into the profound synthesis of India. It will hold the vision to explore the natural cycles of brain development and diversity of human experience from early childhood to adulthood and its impact on our planet. Leading mental health professionals, wellness experts, brain scientists, artists, and musicians will be sharing mental health strategies, solutions, and tools to boost mental and emotional resilience for a global audience, with India at its core.We aspire to give hope, inspiration and a sense of community in order to lift spirits during these unprecedented times.

This integrative platform will be a meeting place for our shared humanity, a place to exchange our lessons and unite in building a holistic and healthy planet. Many of the participants will be sharing rituals, prayers, and creative gestures tuned to the frequency of 136.10 Hz – the frequency of the Earth’s rotation around the Sun, their voices building a collective resonance for the entire summit.

The first Never Alone Summit by the Chopra Foundation focused on protecting the mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of individuals. With expert advice, straight talk and personal stories by motivational speakers, the objective of the initiative is to elevate moods, rebalance thinking, and boost resilience in these challenging times.

Mr. Gopichand P. Hinduja, Co-Chairman, the Hinduja Group, and the Trustee, Hinduja Foundation said, “Mental Health Issues are a silent and an unrecognized pandemic in itself. With their gravity often brushed aside because of false beliefs that lead to avoidance of the condition, they compound to necessitate medical interventions. In some societies like India, seeking that intervention itself becomes a challenge because of the stigma attached. In my view, the afflicted person requires a cross-section of interventions – therapeutic to spiritual – to regain one’s self-esteem and faith, and realizes one is never alone. This Summit presents the entire integration of such elevating possibilities”.

In 2015 a study conducted by the World Health Organization shows that one in five Indians may suffer from depression in their lifetime—nearly 200 million people. Due to the stigma associated with mental

illness, a lack of awareness, and limited access to professional help, only 10-12% of these sufferers will seek help.

Commenting on the initiative, Mr. Paul Abraham, President, Hinduja Foundation said, “The world is currently living in uncertainty. We are navigating through one of the most difficult times in human history. In a crisis like this, our physical health tends to take precedence leaving absolutely no room to focus on our mental and emotional well-being. We at Hinduja Foundation are happy to partner with The Chopra Foundation and Alchemic Sonic Environment in organizing ‘Spotlight India’ as part of the Never Alone Summit 2021. We are grateful to Hinduja Global Solutions for funding our work on the mental health program. The Summit is a step towards raising awareness and normalizing the conversation about mental health and eradicating the stigma that has unfortunately developed around it. We hope that through this initiative, together we can stand for our shared humanity and promote the message of ‘You are never alone’.”

Satya Hinduja, Sound Artist, Futurist, and Founder of Alchemic Sonic Environment, said “The understanding of the intimate interconnectedness within any environment begins by deeply listening to ourselves, our families, our communities and our home – Mother Earth. We are never alone. Alchemic Sonic Environment is pleased to partner with the Chopra Foundation’s Never Alone Global Mental Health Summit for Spotlight India, a collective deep listening platform, merging the arts and dialogue to prioritize and raise awareness of mind-body medicine and to reveal and build new sustainable ecosystems for the future of a mental wellbeing culture.

Dr. Deepak Chopra MD, founder of The Chopra Foundation, said, “The Chopra Foundation is grateful to partner with the Hinduja Foundation and luminaries in India and the world to help heal the global pandemic of mental distress that is behind acute and chronic illness and tragic loss of life every few seconds. If we don’t collectively help we are heading to an unprecedented age of suffering for humanity.”

BSE declares a Final Dividend of Rs 21 per equity share of Rs 2 each for FY2020-21.

· Consolidated Net profit attributable to the shareholders for the quarter ended March 31, 2021 up to Rs 32.57 crore from loss of Rs. 1.31 crore in corresponding quarter of previous year.

· Consolidated Operating EBITDA for the quarter ended March 31, 2021 up to Rs 37.25 crore from loss of Rs. 22.15 crore in corresponding quarter of previous year.

· Consolidated Operating EBITDA Margin for the quarter ended March 31, 2021 is 24% as compared to negative 19% in corresponding quarter previous year.

· 62% increase in Mutual fund order received for the quarter ended March 31, 2021 month as compared to corresponding quarter previous year.

· 92% increase in average daily turnover in Equity segment to Rs 5,807 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 as compared to the Rs 3,024 crore during corresponding quarter previous year.

MUMBAI, May 15, 2021: BSE Ltd. (BSE), Asia’s oldest and first universal exchange and World’s fastest exchange with a speed of 6 microseconds, announced its audited consolidated and standalone financial results for the quarter ended and year end March 31, 2021.

The Board of directors of BSE Limited has recommended a final dividend of Rs 21 per equity share having face value of Rs 2 for the financial year 2020-21, subject to the approval of the shareholders in the ensuing annual general meeting. The total payout with a dividend payout ratio of 99% of the current year profits would be Rs 96.19 crore.

Quarterly Consolidated Financial Results at a Glance

Particulars

Q4FY21 (Rs Crore)

Q4 FY20 (Rs Crore)

YoY Growth

Revenue from Operations

152.18

119.56

↑27%

Less : Operating Expenses

114.93

141.71

↓19%

Operating EBIDTA

37.25

(22.15)

Loss to Profit

Operating EBIDTA Margin

24%

(19%)

Loss to Profit

Add : Other Income

17.83

36.23

↓51%

Less : Non-operating expenses

18.07

14.42

↑25%

Profit before Tax, exceptional items and share of associates

37.01

(0.34)

Loss to Profit

Add: Share of Profit of Associates

11.25

6.61

↑70%

Less : Taxes

16.51

8.18

↑102%

Net Profit

31.75

(1.91)

Loss to Profit

Net Profit attributable to shareholders

32.57

(1.31)

Loss to Profit

Yearly Consolidated Financial Results at a Glance

Particulars

FY21 (Rs Crore)

FY20 (Rs Crore)

YoY Growth

Revenue from Operations

501.37

450.51

↑11%

Less : Operating Expenses

462.53

499.79

↓7%

Operating EBIDTA

38.84

(49.28)

Loss to Profit

Operating EBIDTA Margin

8%

(11%)

Loss to Profit

Add : Other Income

153.28

179.49

↓15%

Less : Non-operating expenses

68.17

53.41

↑28%

Profit before Tax, exceptional items and share of associates

123.95

76.80

↑61%

Add : Exceptional Items

(14.53)

32.04

Add : Share of Profit of Associates

43.15

26.65

↑62%

Less : Taxes

10.87

14.88

↓27%

Net Profit

141.70

120.61

↑17%

Net Profit attributable to shareholders

144.90

122.27

↑19%

Business Highlights

Primary Markets

In financial year 2020-21, while the global economy faced adversities due to the pandemic, the various issuers raised over Rs. 3.65 lakh crores through 755 issues on BSE Bond platform. BSE BOND platform continues to be the preferred choice by India Inc to raise debt capital through private placements, structured instruments, public issues and also by Municipal Corporations for issuing Municipal Bonds. Various issuers also raised more than 1.33 lakh crores through IPOs, Preferential and Rights issues during the financial year 2020-21. The above is in addition to over Rs. 16.06 lakh crore of private placed debts and commercial papers listed on BSE during the financial year 2020-21. It is encouraging to see how Indian Investors have shown faith in investing funds in Indian corporate sector through BSE platforms. BSE continues to be the preferred exchange for investments in India. The total number of investors registered with BSE have been consistently growing and currently they stand over 6.77 crores.

Equity Cash Segment

BSE is seeing increasing participation from high frequency traders. Further, enablement of best price execution by certain large broking houses has also resulted in the increased turnover in our equity cash segment. With BSE’s superior technology and customer friendly frontend software, the average daily turnover in the equity cash segment increased by 57% from Rs. 2,676 crore in financial year 2019-20 to Rs. 4,197 crore in financial year 2020-21. The same is also reflected in the Company’s strong operational performance in the current period.

Equity Derivatives Segment

In financial year 2020-21, BSE witnessed significant growth in turnover in its Equity Derivatives Segment. The launch of Sensex 50 contracts with a differentiated expiry date from 29th June, 2020 has attracted a lot of attention and interest from the market participants. It has been the primary reason for growth in BSE’s market share in equity derivatives segment from 0.1% in financial year 2019-22 to 5.2% for the financial year 2020-21. The average daily turnover in Equity derivatives segment for March 2021 quarter was Rs. 2.78 lakh crore.

Commodity Derivatives Segment

BSE is India’s second largest Commodity Derivatives Exchange in India and offers a wide gamut of products across agri and non-agri segments. Keeping up with its spirit of innovation and to meet market requirements, BSE was the first exchange to launch ‘Options in Goods’ contracts in Gold mini and Silver kg based on spot prices from June 1, 2020. It has completed nine consecutive months of physical deliveries at the exchange designated vaults in Ahmedabad and Gujarat. The average daily turnover in the Commodity Derivatives segment is steadily rising. The average daily turnover in Commodity Derivatives segment for the year ended 31st March, 2021 was Rs 2,392 crore.

Currency Derivatives Segment

The Currency Derivatives Segment continues to provide a very liquid platform for trading in currencies. The average daily turnover in our Currency Derivatives Segment for the year ended 31st March, 2021 was Rs 20,913 crore. BSE’s market share in this segment for financial year 2020-21 was 29.6%.

BSE SME Platform & BSE Startups Platform

Small & Medium Enterprises are the backbone of Indian economy. Growth of SME’s can lead to significantly higher capital formation in the country. BSE has been actively encouraging listing of SME’s in India. As on 31st March, 2021, 334 companies were listed on BSE’s SME segment. The said companies raised funds amounting to Rs. 3,470 crore and their market capitalization as on 31st March 2021 exceeded Rs. 21,000 crores. BSE’s market share in listing of companies in SME segment stood strong at 61% as at 31st March, 2021.

BSE is the first exchange in India to launch Startups Platform in December 2018 for promoting listing of startups in IT, ITES, Biotech and many other hi-tech industries. 9 startups have already raised Rs. 33.50 crores on this platform and are listed on this platform as on 31st March, 2021.

Mutual Fund – StAR MF Platform

BSE StAR MF, India’s largest Mutual Funds Distributor platform continued its stellar growth throughout financial year 2020-21. In financial year 2020-21, the number of transactions processed by BSE StAR MF grew by 63% to over 9.38 crore transactions as compared to 5.75 crore transactions in FY 2019-20. The superior support system and distribution reach of BSE StAR MF has enabled the platform to grow exponentially with over 69,700 registered distributors in India. BSE’s market share in this segment for the year ended 31st March, 2021 stands at 81.8%.

It may be noted that the BSE StAR MF platform witnessed a consistent net equity inflow of investments during financial year 2020-21 when the industry was seeing net outflow in their equity-based schemes. The net equity inflow to mutual funds through BSE StAR MF platform during financial year 2020-21 was Rs. 22,444 crores as against net equity outflow of Rs. 25,965 crores in the industry.

BSE StAR MF platform continues to scale new peaks of transactions in a single day. The Platform has processed a record 17.84 lakh transactions in a single day on 12th April, 2021 surpassing the previous best record of 15.52 lakh transactions on 5th April, 2021. The BSE StAR MF Platform has continued its unabated growth with processing 1.1 crore transactions in April 2021 as compared to 63.17 lakh transactions in April 2020.

The BSE StAR MF app, launched in May 2019, to help Mutual Fund Distributors register clients on real-time basis and execute paperless transactions, has been well received by the investment community and has processed over 22.20 lakh transactions till 30th April, 2021.

India International Exchange at IFSC

BSE promoted international exchange at Gift City, Gandhinagar, India INX has been growing exponentially ever since it commenced trading activities on January 16, 2017. Average daily trading turnover on India INX for the financial year 2020-21 increased by 207% to USD 6.96 billion as compared to USD .226 billion for the financial year 2019-20. It has witnessed an all-time high turnover of over USD 30.21 billion on 10th March 2021. The previous all-time high turnover was USD 24.13 billion on 14th January, 2021.This increased trading activity validates the new products and initiatives taken by India INX and reflects growing interest in the IFSC among the broking fraternity. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, India INX was operational for 22 hours nonstop and has maintained its leadership as the No. 1 exchange in IFSC GIFT City. India INX is the dominant IFSC exchange in GIFT city with the market share of 88% in derivatives trading and 100% in bond listing for the year ended 31st March, 2021.

BSE’s stake in India INX stood at 90.72% as on 31st March, 2020. Thereafter, the stake has come down to 84.14% due to preferential issue amounting to Rs. 12.54 crore by India INX to certain investors. Similarly, BSE’s stake in India ICC, which is BSE promoted international clearing corporation at Gift City, Gandhinagar, has gone down from 90.1% as on 31st March, 2020 to 78.88% post preferential issue amounting to Rs. 12.63 crores by India ICC to certain investors.

Insurance Broking

BSE Ebix Insurance Broking Private Limited, a joint venture of BSE and Ebix Fincorp Exchange Pte Ltd., had beta launched its operations on 7th February, 2020 with the offering of private car and two wheeler auto insurance and currently has seven General Insurance companies, two standalone Health Insurer and three Life Insurance Companies on its platform. As on 30th April, 2021 BSE Ebix has registered 2492 Certified Point of Sales. During the financial year 2020-21, the Company intermediated issue of 8,698 policies with premium amounting to Rs 2.75 crores. BSE holds equity stake of 40% through its subsidiary BSE Investments Limited.

BSE E-Agricultural Spot Market

BSE has launched an electronic spot platform for agricultural commodities known as BSE E-Agricultural Markets Ltd. (BEAM), through its wholly owned subsidiary BSE Investments Ltd. on 11th December, 2020. During the quarter ended 31st March 2021, Frontier Agriculture Platforms Private Limited (FAPL) through its joint venture with BSE Investments Limited, picked up a 40% equity stake in BEAM. Also, on 25th March 2021, BEAM signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Steel Users Federation of India (SUFI) to help develop electronic spot markets in steel and enhance efficiencies of steel spot markets in the country.

Power Exchange

BSE along with PTC India Limited and ICICI Bank Limited had promoted Pranurja Solutions Ltd. and filed a petition with the power market regulator, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) on 7th September, 2018 for grant of license for setting up a new power exchange. CERC has granted registration to establish and operate a power exchange on 12thMay, 2021. BSE has a stake of 22.61% in the proposed power exchange through its wholly owned subsidiary, BSE Investments Limited.

Commenting on financial performance for the quarter ended, Shri Ashishkumar Chauhan, MD & CEO, said: “BSE has time and again proved itself as the most technologically advanced exchange in India by providing fastest trade execution time and uninterrupted services on a consistent basis over many years. The efforts made towards building and maintaining its technology prowess combined with culture of customer first, new initiatives and continuous innovation has started to reflect in the business growth and financial performance.”

About BSE

BSE (formerly Bombay Stock Exchange) established in 1875, is Asia’s first & the world’s fastest Stock Exchange with a speed of 6 microseconds. BSE is India’s leading exchange group and has played a prominent role in developing the Indian capital market. BSE is a corporatized and demutualised entity, with a broad shareholder base. BSE provides an efficient and transparent market for trading in equity, debt instruments, equity derivatives, currency derivatives, interest rate derivatives, mutual funds and stock lending and borrowing.

BSE also has a dedicated platform for trading in equities of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that has been highly successful. BSE provides a host of other services to capital market participants including risk management, clearing, settlement, market data services and education. It has a global reach with customers around the world and a nation-wide presence. BSE’s systems and processes are designed to safeguard market integrity, drive the growth of the Indian capital market and stimulate innovation and competition across all market segments.

Indian Clearing Corporation Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of BSE, acts as the central counterparty to all trades executed on the BSE and other exchanges trading platform and provides full novation, guaranteeing the settlement of all bonafide trades executed. BSE Institute Ltd, another fully owned subsidiary of BSE runs one of the most respected capital market educational institutes in the country. Central Depository Services Ltd. (CDSL), associate company of BSE, is one of the two Depositories in India.

Vedanta Limited   Consolidated Results for the Fourth Quarter and Full Year ended 31st March 2021

All time high EBITDA for Q4 FY2021 at 9,107 Crore, up 88% Y-o-Y

Strong Financial Performance, Att. PAT (before exceptional items) at 7,013 crore

Mumbai, India: Vedanta Limited today announced its audited consolidated results for the fourth quarter (Q4) and full year ended 31stMarch 2021 (FY2021).

Financial Highlights

Revenue

Revenue for Q4 FY2021 was at 27,874 crore, higher 24% Q-o-Q & 43% Y-o-Y, primarily due to higher volume at Aluminium business, Zinc India, Iron ore business, higher power sales at TSPL and improved commodity prices.

Revenue for FY2021 was at 86,863 crore, higher 4%, mainly due to higher volume at Zinc India, Aluminium business, Iron ore & Steel business, higher commodity prices & rupee depreciation in FY2021. This was partially offset by lower volumes at Oil & Gas and Skorpion mine being under care and maintenance, lower power sales at TSPL and lower oil prices.

EBITDA and EBITDA Margin

EBITDA for Q4 FY2021 was at 9,107 crore, higher 18% Q-o-Q & 88% Y-o-Y, primarily due to higher volumes at Zinc India, Aluminium & Iron Ore business and higher commodity & oil prices in Q4 FY2021, partially offset by higher COP at Aluminium and steel business majorly due to input commodity inflation.

EBITDA for the FY2021 was at 27,341 crore, higher 30%, mainly on account of higher volume at Zinc India, Aluminium & Iron Ore business and structural reduction in COP at Aluminium business. This was partially offset by lower oil prices and lower volumes at Oil & Gas business.

We had a robust EBITDA margin1 of 36% for the year (FY 2020: 29%)

Depreciation & Amortization

Depreciation & amortisation for Q4 FY2021 was at 2,054 crore, higher 7% Q-o-Q, primarily due to higher volume & projects capitalization at Zinc India and capitalization of pots in Aluminium business.

Depreciation & amortisation for Q4 FY2021 was lower by 9% Y-o-Y, primarily on account of lower charge at Oil & Gas business due to impairment of assets in Q4 FY2020, lower charge at Zinc International due to Skorpion mines under care and maintenance, partially offset by higher depreciation charge at Zinc India on account of higher ore production and additional capitalisation.

Depreciation & amortisation for FY2021 was at 7,638 crore, lower 16%,primarily on account of lower charge at Oil & Gas business due to impairment of assets in Q4 FY2020, lower charge at Zinc International due to Skorpion mines under care and maintenance, partially offset by higher depreciation charge at Zinc India on account of higher ore production and additional capitalisation.

Finance Cost and Investment Income

Finance cost for Q4 FY2021 was at 1,325 crore, flat Q-o-Q, higher interest cost due to lower interest capitalisation offset by repayment of borrowings.

Finance cost for Q4 FY2021 higher 24% Y-o-Y, primarily due to lower interest capitalisation.

Finance cost for FY2021 was at 5,210 crore, higher 5%, primarily due to lower interest capitalisation.

Investment Income for Q4 FY2021 was at 860 crore, higher 12% Q-o-Q & 41% Y-o-Y, primarily due to increase in interest income with a change in mix of investments.

RIDING AGAINST THE PANDEMIC, NXTDIGITAL POSTS HIGHER NUMBERS FOR QUARTER AND YEAR ENDING MARCH’21. SEES FY’21 EBIDTA GROW BY 6.16% OVER FY’20 WHILST Q4 EBIDTA GROWS BY 167% OVER FY’20.

§ NXTDIGITAL beats the impact of Covid on the media & entertainment industry – key drivers include rolling out a digital work-from-home solutions bundle comprising video, broadband & value-added services; leveraging the broadband capability of the organization to cater to the surge in demand, working with broadcasters and last mile partners to create innovative content packages and ensuring a strong business continuity plan to keep the operations going.

§ Revenue for the quarter ending March 31, 2021 grows by 6.95% over the previous quarter and by 22.38% over the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

§ EBIDTA for the quarter increased by 8.10% over the previous quarter and by 167% over the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

§ Company posted a handsome PAT of Rs 13.66 crores in the quarter as against Rs 0.32 crores in the previous quarter and a Loss after tax of Rs (43.43 crores) in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

§ For the year ending March 31, 2021, theCompany recorded an EBIDTA of Rs 232.08 crores, growing by 6.16% over the previous year. EBIDTA margins improved to 23.01% for the year compared to 21.04% in the previous year.

§ Broadband business saw a huge growth of 87% in the customer base; growing from 0.329mn in FY20 to 0.615mn in FY21

§ Despite the challenges of the year, to acknowledge the support of the shareholder family who have stood by the Company, the Board of Directors have recommended a dividend of Rs 4 per equity share, subject to shareholders’ approval.

§ In order to have a stronger Capital structure which provides a strong basis for future growth investments, the Board of Directors haverecommended a “Rights Issue”.

Undaunted by the challenges of the pandemic, NXTDIGITAL Limited, India’s only integrated digital platforms company, reaching over 5mn customers through digital cable, satellite via HITS (Headend-In-The-Sky) and broadband, continued on its high performance trajectory, posting a stellar performance during the quarter and year ending March 31, 2021. Whilst the Indian media and entertainment industry faced a degrowth of around 24% in 2020 according to reports, NXTDIGITAL refined its performance further, whilst working to ensure strong business continuity processes with zero compromise on the safety of its personnel and partners across the ecosystem.

FINANCIAL RESULTS

On a Consolidated basis, the Revenue for the quarter ending March 31, 2021 at Rs 277.96 crores grew by 6.95% over the previous quarter of Rs 259.90 crores and by 22.38% over the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The Earnings Before Interest Depreciation and Taxes (EBIDTA) for the quarter at Rs 67.54 crores was higher by 8.10% over the EBIDTA of the previous quarter of Rs 62.47 crores and a 167% growth over the EBIDTA of the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

During the quarter, the Company posted a handsome Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs 13.66 crores as against a PAT of Rs 0.32 crores in the previous quarter and a Loss after tax of Rs (43.43 crores) in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

For the year ending March 31, 2021, on a Consolidated basis, the Company recorded an EBIDTA of Rs 232.08 crores, growing by 6.16% over the EBIDTA of the previous year of Rs 218.62 crores (excluding one-time revenues of Rs 123.12 crores in the previous year). Consolidated revenue for the year remained consistent at Rs 1,008.5 crores, marginally down from Rs 1,038 crores –due to a reduction in the low-margin non-core trading business. The EBIDTA margins improved to 23.01% for the year compared to 21.04% in the previous year.

Dividend

Despite the challenges of the year, in order to acknowledge the unstinting support of the shareholder family who have stood by the Company, the Board of Directors of the Company at their meeting held on 13th May 2021 have recommended a dividend of Rs 4 per equity share of face value of Rs 10 each, subject to shareholders’ approval.

Rights Issue

In order to have a stronger capital structure which provides a strong basis for future growth investments; and to bring in a more healthy mix of debt to equity by reducing debt and improving the equity base, the Board of Directors at their meeting held on 13th May, 2021 have approved a “Rights Issue” of 2 Equity shares of face value of Rs 10 each for every 5 Equity shares of face value of Rs 10 each held in the Company at an issue price of Rs 300 per share. This is subject to regulatory and other approvals. The Board has set up a Committee of the Board to inter alia, decide on the record date and other details of the Rights Issue.

PERFORMANCE REVIEW SNAPSHOT FY 2021

Faced with the challenges of the pandemic, the company accelerated its transformation to an “all-digital” services company, redefining the business models through innovation and leveraging the product portfolio optimally. Some of the drivers included:

§ Rolling out a digital work-from-home solutions bundle that included television channels, special value-added services (including educational and other exclusive channels) and high-speed internet delivering speeds up to 1,000Mbps.

§ Leveraging the broadband capability of the organization to optimally cater to the surge in demand – the business saw a huge growth of 87% in the customer base; growing from 0.329mn in FY20 to 0.615mn in FY21. In fact, NXT’s broadband arm, ONEOTT Intertainment Ltd. added over 100,000 customers in the last quarter of FY21 alone.

§ Working with broadcasters and last mile partners to create innovative content packages to cater to the changing consumer demand – ranging from all-HD content packages to kids’ content to economical infotainment packages. The efficacy is reflected in ARPUs; in the case of DAS3 markets (where the HITS platform has a significant base), ARPUs grew from Rs 144 in FY20 to Rs 151.

§ Ensuring a strong business continuity plan to keep the operations going – delivering uninterrupted customers services and maintaining a high level of quality of service for television and broadband.

Vynsley Fernandes, MD & CEO at NXTDIGITAL Ltd. said This performance trains the spotlight on NXTDIGITAL, considering this was easily one of the most challenging years, which saw a significant impact on the media and entertainment industry. The stellar performance can be attributed to the company’s focus on uninterrupted customer service during the lockdown and after, innovative products and solutions to combat the myriad of ground challenges, driving close to a 100% digital mode of collections on a prepaid basis and the unstinting and tireless efforts of all our employees and our Last Mile partners – all of whom rose to the occasion, without exception”.

GROWTH DRIVERS FY 2022

The company will continue to focus on its transformation to an “all-digital” services company, driving a host of new products and solutions, whilst expanding into newer geographies.

One of the key growth drivers for the future will be its recently launched infrastructure sharing PaaS or Platform-as-a-Service offering. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting last month permitted the HITS platform to share infrastructure with other registered MSOs in the country. This progressive move of the government, akin to the successful model of sharing of mobile towers in the telecom space, will help competing MSOs reduce connectivity costs whilst improving the quality of service to customers. NXT, the only platform in the country which has been granted permission is looking to leverage the opportunity to provide its PaaS platform to MSOs – for which it will earn a fee income.

In line with the approval, the Hinduja Group’s HITS platform has signed on SITI Networks Limited, one of India’s largest MSOs with a connected customer base of over 8.5 million. SITI will leverage the HITS infrastructure to deliver its signals to its Local Cable Operators, thus providing its services to semi-urban and rural subscribers while also expanding its footprint across the country through satellite.

The potential market for such PaaS or infrastructure sharing services in India is estimated at over 60 million cable TV subscribers; connected to around 1,000 MSOs – largely independent or regional players, who face such cost and quality challenges. NXT is already in discussions with several MSOs, keen to leverage the PaaS solution to control their costs and improve their quality of services.

The company will continue to grow its broadband subscriber base – focusing on leveraging the installed customer base of the digital cable and HITS platforms; whilst simultaneously looking to expand its footprint.

Another key driver will be expanding the current coverage of the HITS platform to at least another 100 towns – through a unique networking model. The company also has plans to roll out new technology solutions and devices including high-end versions of the hybrid Set Top Box that will deliver linear television and streaming services, including OTT through a single device, seamlessly.

NXT continues to drive the government’s mission and vision of a “digital India” by facilitating digital services across the length and breadth of India, covering over 1,500 cities and towns; with services extending to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep Islands, the far north-eastern reaches of India, through to Kargil, Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir. It’s focus on ensuring appropriate implementation of the “Make In India” and “Skill India” missions has seen a renewed focus in the past year – as the company moved to facilitate Last Mile owners across the country move to a complete model of digital and contactless service and support; including collection of subscription revenue.

Under the leadership of GJEPC, Gem & Jewellery Industry Voices Concerns At USTR Public Hearing

May 15, 2021, Chandigarh: At the United States Trade Representative (USTR) multi-jurisdictional hearing held virtually on 10th May, the GJEPC along with other major trade bodies and leading exporters from the gem & jewellery sector represented Indian industry’s grievances over a proposed 25% import duty on 17 Indian jewellery items.

The witnesses from gem & jewellery sector in India included prominent industry bodies like SEEPZ Gems & Jewelry Manufacturers Association (SGJMA) of Mumbai and Sitapura Gem & Jewellery Association from Jaipur. GJEPC led the charge in presenting direct testimony to and answering the questions from the Section 301 Committee comprising officials from the USTR, US Departments of Commerce, Labour, Agriculture, Treasury, State Department, etc. They heard comments from a total of four panels, the first consisting of representatives from trade bodies like FICCI and CII; the second being international trade law experts from India; the third comprised of gem and jewellery industry representatives; and the fourth panel represented the seafood industry.

GJEPC as the apex body of the gem and jewellery industry in India, has been proactively engaging with all the stakeholders and conveying the implications of this move. A detailed representation was made to the Government of India on 29th March, 2021. GJEPC got in touch with its trade members through webinars and meetings; and based on the inputs received, GJEPC prepared a comprehensive guide, and provided it to all members. GJEPC also supported members in submitting petitions. In all around 140 trade members submitted petitions by 30th April. GJEPC in coordination with associations and trade members, submitted seven hearing requests by 21st April followed by the submission of the preliminary document on 3rd May. In response to the submission, USTR permitted a panel of members from the gem and jewellery sector to present their comments.

The third panel included GJEPC Chairman Colin Shah, Rajiv Jain of Sitapura Gems & Jewelry Industry Association, Suvankar Sen of Senco Gold Limited and Convener of GJEPC’s SEZ Sub-committee, Arvind Gupta of Gallant Jewelry, Rajeev Pandya of SGJMA, and Neville Tata of Renaissance Global Ltd.

Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC impressed upon the USTR, “The perception of injustice would lead to real-life consequences such as loss of jobs and livelihoods and a shift of business to countries such as China and Mexico. American jewellery companies also bank on Indian companies to fund their business by giving long credit and memo facilities, which would have major repercussions. Indian companies have established an estimated 500 offices around the USA that provide thousands of high-paying white collar jobs to locals; the imposition of duty could affect all these jobs as the Indo-US jewellery business would become unviable.”

Shah added, “The timing could not have been worse for imposing this tariff on Indian jewellery exporters, who are already reeling under the impact of the pandemic.”

R.V. Anuradha, Partner, Clarus Law Associates, an expert on international trade law, commented: “Pursuing a unilateral action under Section 301 undermines and weakens the Dispute Settlement System under WTO. A multilateral solution would be a preferable option.”

Suvankar Sen of Senco Gold Limited and Convener of GJEPC’s SEZ Sub-committeecommented, “The gem and jewellery industry employs over 4 million people who are from the non-agrarian sector who are not highly educated but are exceptionally skilled in jewellery making techniques. If businesses become unfeasible due to the imposition of this import duty, this will adversely impact jobs and lead to large-scale unemployment.”

Rajeev Pandya of SGJMA noted, “The withdrawal of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) in 2007 led to a decline in India’s market share by 28% to 22% in 2013 and for the corresponding period, China was a direct beneficiary of this action as its market share in this period increased from 18% to 25%. The new proposed duty will have similar consequences.”

Rajiv Jain of Sitapura Gems & Jewelry Industry Association warned USTR of possible supply chain disruptions, “Coloured gemstones and silver jewellery components are exported to America which is then converted into finished jewellery and reexported to other countries. All this business will be affected by imposition further duty.”

Key questions raised by the USTR included the impact of the withdrawal of GSP benefits on Indian jewellers?, If US importers shifted demand elsewhere and the varied ways that shifting the source of supply could entail compliance risks

Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC responded to the USTR and said, “Its known world over that 14 out of 15 diamonds are cut and polished in India. India is the diamond factory for the entire world. This was an industry which used to be in Israel, Belgium, and over the last 20 to 30 years it has moved to India. So with the GSP benefit, the manufacturers and retailers shifted their entire production from other countries to India.

“With the drop in GSP benefit a lot of products which were higher average unit price, they either went to China or Mexico. So they were the beneficiaries as that business started moving out of India. Last few years the imports into the US has been dropping progressively every year with no growth for the last 6 to 7 years. So further duty on jewellery will accelerate that drop and the beneficiaries will be China and Mexico. It has not moved domestically to the US, because it is still very expensive for jewellery to be manufactured in the US. But the beneficiaries have been China, Thailand and to an extent Mexico.”

Suvankar Sen added, The apprehension is that if the high duty is imposed on India, then instead of jewellery that might be coming from here, retailers might look at opportunities at importing from other countries. This is just a surmise and a risk, which is always a possibility. So, an unnecessary duty may be a disincentive for retailers to source from India directly.”

YES BANK announces appointment of Indranil Pan as Chief Economist

Chandigarh, May 15 2021: YES BANK announces the appointment of Indranil Pan as Chief Economist. In this critical role, Indranil will lead the Business Economic Banking function, the economic intelligence unit of the Bank. Under his leadership, the function will play a pivotal role in providing strategic & policy-level inputs for the Bank, based on macroeconomic developments at global and national level.

Indranil has over 30 years of experience in Economics research and client engagement & advisory. He has served as Group Chief Economist of leading Indian banks such as IDFC First Bank Limited and Kotak Mahindra Bank. He has also been associated with leading organizations like Kotak Mahindra Capital Company, CRISIL, Business India Magazine and Dalal Street Journal.

Indranil is a Bachelors in Science from Presidency College, Calcutta with a Masters in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He also holds a Post-graduate Diploma in Development Policy from Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai.

Commenting on the appointment, Prashant Kumar, MD & CEO, YES BANK said, “We welcome Indranil to lead the Business Economic Banking function as Chief Economist, YES BANK. We had embarked on a transformational journey last year to strengthen our liabilities franchise & asset-side of the business, complemented with stronger management and governance practices. Going forward in this journey, the Bank will rely on Indranil’s expertise to provide impetus to the function along with thought leadership in areas of macroeconomics research, client advisory and policy matters related to global economic trends, currency, interest rates and commodities.”

DBS Bank announces series of COVID relief measures to bolster access to healthcare

Joins hands with the Singapore High Commission, High Commission of India in Singapore and Singapore Red Cross to import three cryogenic oxygen tanks

Partners with Doctors For You, United Way Mumbai and GiveIndia to broaden access to critical healthcare resources

To launch a vaccine sensitisation campaign in collaboration with UNICEF

Chandigarh, May 10, 2021: As part of its ongoing response to the pandemic, DBS Bank India has joined hands with the Indian and Singapore Governments and partnered with leading NGOs to support the augmentation of healthcare facilities, including government hospitals and COVID centres across major cities.

The relief efforts will support organisations working to alleviate the pressure faced by healthcare facilities by facilitating the supply of critical resources such as medical equipment, oxygen supplies, vaccinations and ICU beds, essential for managing the current wave of the pandemic.

DBS Bank, with the support of the Singapore High Commission in India and High Commission of India based in Singapore, is importing three cryogenic oxygen tanks, approximately 20,000 litres capacity each, to support the ongoing relief efforts. The tanks will be donated via the Singapore Red Cross to India and deployed for use through the Ministry of Health, India, thereby complementing the ongoing efforts to provide necessary oxygen supplies to healthcare centres across the nation.

Additionally, DBS is also partnering with Doctors For You and United Way Mumbai to support the overall effort to combat the current spike in the pandemic. The partnership with Doctors For You will support the set-up of a 300-bed oxygen equipped facility in Mumbai, along with the installation of mini oxygen plants, procurement of oxygen concentrators, and provision of medical personnel. The partnership with United Way Mumbai will facilitate ICU unit beds and equipment, oxygen concentrator devices and other medical supplies to enhance existing capacity at public healthcare facilities in Mumbai and Pune.

DBS will soon launch a vaccine sensitisation campaign in collaboration with UNICEF. The objective of the campaign will be to address vaccine hesitancy by creating awareness among employees, customers and the general public.

DBS employees across Asia have started a fundraising initiative to donate funds towards healthcare support and vaccination for the underprivileged through GiveIndia. The bank has announced that it will make a matching contribution that will be deployed through various on-ground partners, thereby doubling the impact of staff donations.

The overall contribution across all the initiatives will be more than SGD 2 MN (more than INR 10 Crores).

Surojit Shome, Managing Director and CEO, DBS Bank India, said, “As India battles the current wave of the pandemic, public-private partnerships are more critical than ever. Access to emergency healthcare equipment is of utmost importance. We hope that our multiple engagements with NGOs and authorities to mobilise the necessary resources will help those who need them the most. At DBS, we believe that we are stronger together as we continue to support our customers, colleagues and the community at large to overcome this crisis.”

Simon Wong, Singapore High Commissioner, India, said, “We are greatly heartened by DBS’ swift response to the call of assistance for India. Singapore Government agencies, companies and NGOs have been working tirelessly with their Indian counterparts in the past few weeks to move critical supplies to India. Singapore has always been an all-weather friend, and we stand with India in the fight against COVID.”

Extending support to employees through this pandemic has been a core focus for DBS. The bank has partnered with Connect and Heal (CNH) to facilitate vaccination for its employees. Additionally, DBS is also helping to arrange oxygen concentrators for the staff and their families to reduce the pressure on hospital beds. Staff can also avail of medical assistance via an on-call doctor facility. Health sessions promoting mindfulness and fitness are organised to boost employee morale and wellbeing. Separate allowances and support schemes have been introduced to help employees meet COVID-related expenses.

Amara Raja Resumes Production; Committed to Environment and Sustainability

Chandigarh, May 9, 2021: Amara Raja Batteries Limited (“ARBL”) has resumed operations at its plants at Nunegundlapalliand Karkambadi at Chittoor District with effect from 8th May, 2021 after Hon’ble High Court of Andhra Pradesh granted an interim suspension of the orders passed by Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB).

Continuing with its focus on the best-in-class systems and processes for environmental, safety and health practices, the Company will continue to engage closely with APPCB to resolve any potential issues.

The Company is confident of meeting all its supply commitments and assures all its stakeholders that the temporary disruption caused during the last few days will not have any material impact on its operations or order book.

We have taken proactive measures to ensure that all our obligations to supply products and services to our customers are met in a timely manner without causing any inconvenience, whatsoever. We are assessing the impact of the short term disruption, and gearing up to sufficiently cater to the demands of all our customers and business partners. We also take this opportunity to thank all our employees, customers, partners, vendors and all other stakeholders who reposed faith in us and we will continue to strive to meet all their expectations,” a Company spokesperson said

The Company reiterates its commitment for excellence in complying with all the regulatory requirements. As a responsible corporate citizen, ARBL has always placed highest priority on the environment and to the health and safety of its workforce.

Mahindra to Open Advanced Design Centre for Mobility Products in UK

Mahindra Advanced Design Europe renews commitment to design and develop dynamic and authentic products with global appeal

Chandigarh, May 8, 2021 – Mahindra Group announced today the setting up of Mahindra Advanced Design Europe (M.A.D.E) in the West Midlands, U.K.

The new Centre of Excellence (CoE), will be a part of the Mahindra Global Design Network that includes the Mahindra Design Studio in Mumbai, India, and Pininfarina Design in Turin, Italy.

M.A.D.E is a strategic enhancement of Mahindra’s global design capabilities and renews its commitment to bring to its customers, sophisticated, authentic SUVs with an unmissable presence. M.A.D.E will further sharpen Mahindra’s distinctive product designsand differentiated technology offerings to further its safe, thrilling, yet efficient connected car experiences.

Speaking about the announcement, Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director , Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd., said, “Mahindra is poised to enter a new, exciting era to build upon our rich 75 years of automotive history to bring unique customer centric products to the Indian and global markets. A key lever to make the business future-ready is to significantly strengthen design capability across automotive, farm equipment and two wheelers globally. M.A.D.E will contribute to all future automotive and mobility products including Born EV SUVs and be a resource available to Mahindra Group companies. It will give us a quantum leap in both capacity and capability in the design space.”

IDBI Bank offers facility of  KYC updation  through Video Identification Process

Rahul Khatry,

Chandigarh, May 7, 2021: RBI, in its key announcements on May 5, 2021, on Covid measures, has decided to extend the scope of Video based Customer identification process (V-CIP) known as Video KYC. It has advised inclusion of additional categories of the customers as well as periodic updating of KYC records through Video KYC, as a customer friendly measure.

As a response, IDBI Bank has launched the facility of periodic KYC updation through the V-CIP. Announcing this initiative, Shri Suresh Khatanhar, Deputy Managing Director said “In continuation of various digital measures introduced by IDBI Bank, customers can now update their KYC through the V-CIP without any need to visit the branches. The customers can initiate the process at their convenience through the V-CIP link available on the Bank’s website. This is a completely contactless process”

Mahindra steps in with ‘Oxygen on Wheels’ to ensure swift supply of Oxygen in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Chakan, Nasik and Nagpur

· Oxygen on Wheels will partner with civic administration and hospitals to bridge the gap between supply and demand

· Mahindra has pressed into service 100 vehicles to overcome the transportation bottleneck with safe and quick transportation to deliver oxygen cylinders ‘on demand’

Chandigarh, May 7, 2021: Amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, India is dealing with an acute shortage of oxygen supply. The Mahindra Group has rolled out a free service initiative, ‘Oxygen on Wheels’ (O2W), which will strengthen the availability of oxygen by connecting oxygen producers with the hospitals and medical centres in dire need of it.

O2W is launched in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Chakan, Nasik and Nagpur with over 100 Mahindra vehicles ferrying oxygen, at the present. Discussions are ongoing with the civic administration and government departments to extend this free service to other cities as well, most importantly to Delhi, which is facing an acute shortage. Given the overwhelming response in the past 48 hours, extending this initiative to deliver oxygen cylinders directly to patients’ homes is also under consideration.

O2W will be helmed by Mahindra Logistics, a Mahindra Group company, which is partnering with the administration and local government bodies on this project. With a large fleet of vehicles at its disposal and an integrated command and control center, Mahindra Logistics is working on creating a seamless and endless chain of supply of lifesaving oxygen and transport it to the hospitals and medical centres in a way that is safe and reliable.

Talking about the initiative, Anish Shah, Managing Director & CEO, Mahindra Group said, “We are committed to deploying our resources and capabilities innovatively to address the challenge on hand. Oxygen on Wheels meets an urgent need by partnering with local authorities to help save precious lives and reduce the pressure on our healthcare services.”

Mahindra Group has been at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19. The Group’s efforts cover a wide spectrum – from raising funds to sustain the government’s relief efforts and providing ICU beds, emergency cab services, quarantine centres, to monetary support and dry rations for the underprivileged, to re-engineering its production lines and facilities to manufacture much-needed PPE, face shields, face masks and aerosol boxes to aid the fight against coronavirus.

Additionally, the Group is closely working with the Government to setting up oxygen plants and building isolation centres. M&M’s plants as well as its suppliers are not using oxygen for any industrial activity. Tech Mahindra supported Nursing Academy’s staff and students have been helping in various hospitals. Vaccination has also been a key priority for the Group, with emphasis on 100% vaccination for all its associates and their families.

Kalyan Jewellers announces wedding season offering with Muhurat 2.0

Launched its star-studded Muhurat ad campaign highlighting hyper-local jewellery designs for the new age bride

Chandigarh, May 07, 2021: In a bid to celebrate the diverse cultures and changing preferences of millennial brides-to-be, Kalyan Jewellers has revamped its wedding jewellery collection – Muhurat with new and exclusive hyperlocal jewellery designs inspired from the trends and jewellery traditions followed in various parts of the country. With this move, the company aims to consolidate its presence in the wedding jewellery segment, which contributes to a majority share in the company’s revenue. Kalyan Jewellers has 13 regional procurement centers spread across the country, enabling the brand to source a wide range of region-specific jewellery designs produced by local artisans.

Muhurat Collection includes a wide range of designs from authentic Nakashi designs of Karnataka to the elaborate Polki jewellery of Rajasthan to the precious stone studded pieces from Telangana to the filigree style distinct to Orissa, along with contemporary takes on evergreen diamond and gold jewellery designs that fit the trousseau of new-age brides-to-bes’ from around the country.

Talking about the revamped Muhurat collection, Mr. Ramesh Kalyanaraman, Executive Director,Kalyan Jewellers said, “In the past year, we have seen weddings evolve into highly personalised celebrations, with the brides choosing to stay authentic and real. This preference is also carried forth in their choice of wedding jewellery, with every ornament reflecting her personality and cultural heritage. As brand with a pan-India presence, we understand that jewellery worn on that special day is a legacy every woman is proud to own. This is also why, our exclusive wedding jewellery line has region-specific designs that are skilfully crafted and designed by local artisans from across the country. Muhurat 2.0 is truly a celebration of the new age bride of today.”

Kick-starting this wedding season, Kalyan Jewellers’ today launched the latest edition of its campaign promoting the Muhurat Collection. The star-studded campaign saw the likes of its global brand ambassadors Amitabh Bachchan & Katrina Kaif sharing screen space together with the Regional Brand Ambassador, Prabhu Ganesan come together to celebrate a truly memorable intimate ceremony. Previously, the jewellery brand had launched the Muhurat@Home to mark the trend of intimate and DIY weddings, which had become widely popular amid lockdown restrictions.

Since the launch of the Muhurat Collection in 2018, the company has launched a number of innovative initiatives such as the Muhurat Floor as well as the Muhurat-only showroom. Wedding shoppers can also avail the benefits of dedicated Muhurat floors across flagship showrooms as well as Muhurat-only showrooms that exclusively offer wedding jewellery for a luxurious, personalised and elite shopping experience.

Check out the campaign film on the YouTube page of Kalyan Jewellers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4Nc-kvq5_Y

Kalyan Jewellers’ Muhurat collection is available across the brand’s showrooms in India or through the LIVE video shopping facility by logging online athttps://www.kalyanjewellers.net/livevideoshopping/

Hershey India accredited with Great Place to Work Certification™

Chandigarh, 7 May 2021: Hershey India Pvt Ltd., a part of The Hershey Company, a leading global snacking giant and the largest producer of quality chocolates in North America, has received the prestigious Great Place to Work certification 2021 for its outstanding work in fostering employee engagement and people practices. Recognized by employees and employers around the globe as the ‘Gold Standard’ for workplace excellence, the certification is even more significant because it was achieved in the midst of a pandemic that disrupted working life. Overcoming all roadblocks, Hershey successfully took on a transformational journey in 2020 accelerating its growth through product innovation, technology and digital marketing. This recognition reinforces Hershey India as an organization that follows a ‘People First’ policy and provides its employees with strong support – from technology to health to ensuring their emotional well-being.

To honor its commitment towards the employees, Hershey India has created a high-trust workplace through employee-friendly policies, schemes and a strong work culture. To keep the employees motivated and boost their efficiency, especially during the pandemic, Hershey India set up the Hershey Cares Program, which ensured suitable insurance scheme for all frontline sales force. Additionally, special fund was allocated to cater to the medical needs of the frontline sales force and contract workers. For focusing on strengthening the individual performance of the employees, webinar training sessions were conducted by domain experts within the organization.

Furthermore, to honour the commitment of the employees, Hershey India took extraordinary steps to ensure the care and comfort of employees at the factory, including regular temperature checks to arranging food, laundry and adequate accommodation facilities were in place. To extend a sense of security to the employees, Hershey India continued to maintain regular monetary benefits as it was essential to let the workforce know in such times that we stand together in this more than ever. Additionally, encouraging gender diversity has always been a part of Hershey’s culture.

Being recognized as a Great Place to Work strengthens the company’s commitment towards offering its employees a conducive work environment where their interests are safe guarded, and every employee is given an opportunity to participate in the company’s success and thereby grow in their career.

Commenting on the certification, Abhishikta Das – HR Director, Hershey India said, “We at Hershey India are humbled to receive the Great Place to Work certification, a recognition sought by more than 1,000 organizations in India every year. We are proud of our unique Hershey culture, our values of togetherness, and integrity that have guided us to not only co-create an inclusive work environment but also prioritize people practices. The safety and well-being of our employees has always been of utmost importance and over the past few months of the global pandemic, the company has only reinforced and strengthened it by introducing a broad range of measures for work management and constant learning.’’

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience, and the leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue, employee retention and increased innovation.

Great Place to Work® Institute is a Gold Standard in workplace culture assessment. It is the world’s leading Employee Engagement and People Practices framework endorsed by around 700 organizations in India, each year. Yearly, more than 1,000 companies participate in the GPTW survey and about 60% of them get certified. With an experience of 30 years in culture research and consulting, the institute is present in more than 60 countries.

Mahindra Auto Division registers 9.5% growth in Passenger Vehicles in April 2021 over previous month

Overall Auto Sales for the month at 36437vehicles

Chandigarh, May 7, 2021: Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M Ltd.), a part of the USD 19.4 billion Mahindra Group, today announced that its overall auto sales (passenger vehicles+ commercial vehicles+ exports) for the month of April 2021 stood at 36437 vehicles.

The units sold in April this year is not comparable with April 2020, since no vehicles were sold last year in the domestic market due to COVID related lockdown.

In the Utility Vehicles segment, Mahindra sold 18186vehicles in April 2021. The Passenger Vehicles segment (which includes UVs, Cars and Vans) sold 18285 vehicles in April 2021.

According to Veejay Nakra, Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Division, M&M Ltd., “The month of April registered a growth of 9.5% in our passenger vehicles segment as compared to March 2021. With the increase in lockdown restrictions in many parts of the country we foresee continuing supply chain relatedproduction challenges. While demand remains good, there would be some impact in the first quarter as a result of low customer movement and dealership activity due to the lockdown restrictions. In times like these, our focus is the well-being and safety of all our associates and those of our dealers. Our customers will continue to experience unrestricted personalized as well as digital & contactless sales and service support.”

Passenger Vehicles Sales Summary (Domestic) – April 2021

Category

April

F22

F21

% Change

Utility Vehicles

18186

0

NA

Cars*+ Vans

99

0

Passenger Vehicles

18285

0

*Above Domestic Sales Includes sales made in subsidiary company Mahindra Electric Mobility Ltd

Commercial Vehicles Sales Summary (Domestic) – April 2021

Category

April

F22

F21

% Change

LCV < 2T

1561

0

NA

LCV 2 T – 3.5 T

12210

0

LCV > 3.5T + MHCV

333

0

3 Wheelers (including electric 3Ws)

2043

0

Exports for the month of April 2021 were at 2005vehicles.

Exports – April 2021

Category

April

F22

F21

% Change

Total Exports

2005

733

174%

Mahindra’s Farm Equipment Sector Sells 26130 Units in India during April 2021

Chandigarh, May 7, 2021: Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.’s Farm Equipment Sector (FES), a part of the USD 19.4 billion Mahindra Group, today announced its tractor sales numbers for April 2021.

Domestic sales in April 2021 were at 26130 units, as against 4716 units during April 2020.

Total tractor sales (Domestic + Exports) during April 2021 were at 27523 units, as against 4772 units for the same period last year.

Exports for the month stood at 1393 units.

Commenting on the performance, Hemant Sikka, President – Farm Equipment Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, “We have sold 26130 tractors in the domestic market during April 2021 with a growth of 454% over last year. High growth witnessed in April 2021 is due to low base due to nationwide lockdowns in April last year. There have been disruptions in supply chain due to localised lock downs and availability of oxygen along with dealerships in few states getting closed impacting demand momentum. All agri related fundamentals continue to remain strong, with bumper rabi crop harvest and forecast of a normal monsoon. We expect that tractor demand will bounce back as farmers start preparing their land for Kharif crops in the ensuing weeks. We continue to monitor evolving Covid situation across the stateswith key focus on safety of our people and partners. In the exports markets, we have sold 1393 tractors, a growth of 2388% over last year and have a strong order book.”

Farm Equipment Sector

April

F22

F21

%Change

Domestic

26130

4716

454%

Exports

1393

56

2388%

Total

27523

4772

477%

*Exports include CKD

SBI reduces Home Loan Interest Rates to 6.70%

· Home Loan Interest rates are now starting as low as 6.70% for loans up to Rs 30 lacs and 6.95% for loans above Rs 30 lacs to Rs 75 lacs. Home Loans above Rs 75 lacs get highly attractive interest rates of 7.05%

· Women borrowers to get a special concession of 5 bps

· To enhance customer experience through the YONO app, a 5 bps concession is being offered as a digital incentive to our home loan customers

Chandigarh – May 7, 2021: The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI) is now offering exclusive interest rates on Home Loans starting from 6.70% onwards. SBI always believes in extending the enabling support for improving the affordability of prospective home loan customers.

C S Setty, MD (Retail & Digital Banking) said, “SBI, being the market leader in home finance, assumes the ownership in bolstering consumer sentiments in the home loan market. The affordability for the consumer increases immensely with the present home loan interest rate offerings which reduce the EMI amounts substantially. I am sure these measures will give a fillip to the real estate industry too”.

SBI Home loan interest rates are now very attractive, starting from 6.70% for loans up to Rs. 30 lacs and 6.95% for loans above Rs 30 lacs and up to 75 lakh. The big-ticket loans above Rs 75 lacs would get home loans at 7.05%.

As we are committed to empowering the women borrower, a special 5 bps concession is being made available to them. Customers can also apply for a loan from the ease of their home via the YONO App to earn an additional interest concession of 5 bps.

M&M to Enhance its Ownership to 100 per cent in Meru

Chandigarh, May 7, 2021: In continuation of its strategic intent to grow its presence in the shared mobility space, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) today announced that it has entered into definitive agreements with shareholders of Meru Travel Solutions Private Limited (Meru) to buy their respective stakes in Meru.

It would acquire 44.14% shares from Private Equity investor, True North and others for an amount not exceeding Rs. 76.03 crores and 12.66% shares from Mr. Neeraj Gupta and Mrs. Farhat Gupta, for an amount not exceeding Rs. 21.63 crores. With this arrangement, M&M will enhance its current shareholding in Meru from 43.20% to 100%.

Meru Cabs, a ridesharing company founded in 2006 revolutionized the way people travelled in cabs by offering AC cabs at their doorstep with a single call. Today, Meru has a significant presence in the airport transfer business, operating in the ride hail segment and providing employee transportation services to corporates in India.

Neeraj Gupta, founder CEO and Whole Time Director of Meru and its subsidiary company Meru Mobility Tech Private Limited and Director of two other Meru subsidiaries – V-Link Automotive Services Private Limited and V-Link Fleet Solutions Private Limited will be stepping down effective close of business hours of 30th April, 2021. He will continue as an employee until June 30, 2021.

Pravin Shah, who was earlier President Automotive, M&M till March 2017 will be the CEO of Meru and its subsidiary companies, with effect from May 1, 2021.

Commenting on the acquisition, Dr. Anish Shah, MD and CEO, Mahindra Group said, “At the outset, I would like to thank Neeraj Gupta and the team at Meru for building a pioneering brand in the shared mobility space in India. Our association with Meru is built on our compelling strategy to scale our shared mobility businesses. Pravin has agreed to take this critical responsibility of the business and to develop sustainable and scalable business strategies.”

Neeraj Gupta said, “The last two decades in the mobility industry, building Meru to become a household name in the country has been exhilarating. The time is right for me to pursue newer interests and handover Meru in the safe hands of the Mahindra Group, one of the finest corporate houses in the country. Under the able leadership of Dr. Anish Shah, I am confident that Meru will rise to greater heights in the times to come.”

Hershey India accredited with

Great Place to Work Certification™

Chandigarh, May 7, 2021: Hershey India Pvt Ltd., a part of The Hershey Company, a leading global snacking giant and the largest producer of quality chocolates in North America, has received the prestigious Great Place to Work certification 2021 for its outstanding work in fostering employee engagement and people practices. Recognized by employees and employers around the globe as the ‘Gold Standard’ for workplace excellence, the certification is even more significant because it was achieved in the midst of a pandemic that disrupted working life. Overcoming all roadblocks, Hershey successfully took on a transformational journey in 2020 accelerating its growth through product innovation, technology and digital marketing. This recognition reinforces Hershey India as an organization that follows a ‘People First’ policy and provides its employees with strong support – from technology to health to ensuring their emotional well-being.

To honor its commitment towards the employees, Hershey India has created a high-trust workplace through employee-friendly policies, schemes and a strong work culture. To keep the employees motivated and boost their efficiency, especially during the pandemic, Hershey India set up the Hershey Cares Program, which ensured suitable insurance scheme for all frontline sales force. Additionally, special fund was allocated to cater to the medical needs of the frontline sales force and contract workers. For focusing on strengthening the individual performance of the employees, webinar training sessions were conducted by domain experts within the organization.

Furthermore, to honour the commitment of the employees, Hershey India took extraordinary steps to ensure the care and comfort of employees at the factory, including regular temperature checks to arranging food, laundry and adequate accommodation facilities were in place. To extend a sense of security to the employees, Hershey India continued to maintain regular monetary benefits as it was essential to let the workforce know in such times that we stand together in this more than ever. Additionally, encouraging gender diversity has always been a part of Hershey’s culture.

Being recognized as a Great Place to Work strengthens the company’s commitment towards offering its employees a conducive work environment where their interests are safe guarded, and every employee is given an opportunity to participate in the company’s success and thereby grow in their career.

Commenting on the certification, Abhishikta Das – HR Director, Hershey India said, “We at Hershey India are humbled to receive the Great Place to Work certification, a recognition sought by more than 1,000 organizations in India every year. We are proud of our unique Hershey culture, our values of togetherness, and integrity that have guided us to not only co-create an inclusive work environment but also prioritize people practices. The safety and well-being of our employees has always been of utmost importance and over the past few months of the global pandemic, the company has only reinforced and strengthened it by introducing a broad range of measures for work management and constant learning.’’

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience, and the leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue, employee retention and increased innovation.

Great Place to Work® Institute is a Gold Standard in workplace culture assessment. It is the world’s leading Employee Engagement and People Practices framework endorsed by around 700 organizations in India, each year. Yearly, more than 1,000 companies participate in the GPTW survey and about 60% of them get certified. With an experience of 30 years in culture research and consulting, the institute is present in more than 60 countries.

Godrej Consumer Products and Ujala Cygnus Hospital Group partner for an initiative to beat the ongoing wave of COVID-19  

Chandigarh, May 7, 2021: Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL), a leading emerging markets company, joined hands with Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, the leading tertiary care hospital group, for an initiative keeping in mind the ongoing wave of COVID-19 across the country. The relief efforts, part of GCPL’s CSR activities and under the aegis of Protekt India Movement, comprises relief supply of over 200,000 units of Godrej Protekt sanitizers and handwash products to Ujala Cygnus Hospitals.

The supply includes Godrej Protekt sanitizers which will be used for patients and healthcare workers, who are at the frontlines in this pandemic. The donation will be utilized across 13 hospitals of the Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals spread over Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

“We have seen how women & children in disadvantaged communities don’t have access to basic hygiene products which makes them vulnerable not just to COVID but to a lot of other diseases as well. They should be the first ones to get access to hygiene products, as we strongly believe that they are the present, and the future. We are extremely grateful and would like to express our immense gratitude to the Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. (GCPL) for this mammoth donation of COVID supplies at such a crucial time when the cases are again increasing. It’s highly inspiring to see how such multinational business giants are joining hands with healthcare providers in this fight against Coronavirus pandemic. Hand hygiene is the first line of defense followed by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. Keeping the hands clean is essential in preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus, as well as other germs that can cause common cold and flu.” said, Dr. Shuchin Bajaj, Founder & Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals.

Speaking about the program, Sunil Kataria, CEO – India and SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL), said, “Safety and hygiene are priorities for consumers these days, particularly so when they are travelling. Godrej Protekt’s purpose is to alleviate hygiene concerns of consumers and champion programs which helps to spread awareness of right ways to maintain hygiene. In 2020, we were the first-ever hygiene brand to partner with Indian Railways during COVID-19 times to promote travel hygiene. We have had a very successful partnership with the Central Railways where we managed to make an impact and drive positive behavioural change. We are delighted to continue the partnership this year with Northern Railways, to contribute and build a safe travel ecosystem in these unprecedented times. This will be backed by our expertise in the hygiene space and inclusion of key Protekt offerings such as hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprays and masks.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected India for more than a year. Both Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals and GCPL have been working tirelessly since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Ujala Cygnus Hospital Group has been playing a pivotal role in spreading awareness about COVID-19 virus by organising various webinars, knowledge sessions in all the mediums of communication. As a responsible corporate, GCPL has partnered with governments, municipal bodies and civil societies, to make a difference. GCPL has invested over INR 20 crores in Covid19 relief and recovery efforts over the last financial year.

ICICI Bank launches ‘Merchant Stack’; India’s most comprehensive digital and contactless banking platform for merchants

· Aims to empower over 2 crore retail merchants in the country with seamless banking services, digitally

· Offers instant banking facilities and value-added services in one place to enhance productivity and efficiency of merchants

Chandigarh,may 7, 2021: ICICI Bank today announced the launch of its ‘Merchant Stack’, a set of the country’s most comprehensive digital banking services specially curated for retail merchants. The array of digital banking as well as value-added services enables merchants— grocers, super markets, large retail store chains, online businesses and large e-commerce firms— to meet their banking requirements seamlessly so that they can continue to serve their customers in the challenging times during the pandemic. This initiative is in-line with the Bank’s principle of ‘Business with Care’ retail merchants can avail of the contactless services, many of them being first-in-the-industry, without visiting the Bank’s branches at a time when people are advised to stay home and maintain social distancing. They can avail of these facilities instantly, on InstaBIZ, the Bank’s mobile banking application for businesses.

‘Merchant Stack’ provides a bouquet of banking solutions and value-added services in ‘one single place’ for the retailer eco-system. The main pillars of the stack are 1) a new account named, ‘Super Merchant Current Account’; 2) two instant credit facilities called ‘Merchant Overdraft’ and ‘Express Credit ; both are’ based on POS transactions, and first in the industry 3) ‘Digital Store Management’ facility to help merchants take their business online; 4) exclusive loyalty rewards programme, an industry first feature; 5) value added services like alliances with major e-commerce and digital marketing platforms for expansion of online presence.

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Anup Bagchi, ICICI Bank said, “We always believe that the self-employed and the MSME segment forms the backbone of the Indian economy. A large part of this segment consists of retail merchants. There are over 2 crore merchants in the country with approximately USD 780 billion in value of transactions in 2020. They are expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. Through these trying times of the pandemic, it is our endeavour to enable the merchants with a digital banking platform that will help them to continue to serve their customers. We have thus launched the ‘Merchant Stack’, which most importantly offers a range of ‘contactless’ banking services, providing safety to the merchants and their customers alike. This new offering is part of our guiding principle of ‘Business with Care’. It is also a continuation of ‘ICICI Stack’ which we launched a year ago to offer retail customers all digital banking services from one platform.

We believe that the ‘Merchant Stack’ offers the most holistic array of banking and value-added banking services for the retail merchant ecosystem. Our research shows that this segment requires digital and instant account opening, multiple digital collection options in one place and quick working capital availability, among others. Armed with these insights, we have created a full stack that brings in a host of digital services specially curated for merchants. Further, all of the solutions are available on our mobile application, InstaBiz. We have also leveraged advanced analytics to use various parameters of POS transactions to offer instant overdraft and settlement of the swipes. We believe that this ‘all-in-one’ and comprehensive ‘Merchant Stack’ will provide easy digital banking to retailers, free up their bandwidth from paper-intensive procedures and thus boost their business growth by improving overall productivity and efficiency.”

The main pillars of the ‘Merchant Stack’ are given below:

· Super Merchant Current Account: It is a zero-balance account linked to usage of the Bank’s POS (Point-of-Sale) facilities. The merchants can continue to get the advantage of the zero balance account for a lifetime, till they use these facilities. Any merchant, even if not a customer of ICICI Bank, can digitally open the account. The Super Merchant Current Account is available in two variants —Super Advantage and Super Advantage Plus — to suit the requirements of merchants as per the size of operations. Additionally, the current account offers retailers the convenience of transacting with their customers using multiple digital modes of payment including cards, UPI and payment gateway. Similarly, merchants also get various options for making digital payments for their businesses. They also get the benefit of instant reconciliation by using the Bank’s ‘Connected Banking’ platform, that integrates banking and their accounting system, saving them both time and effort.

· Instant Credit Facilities: The ‘Merchant Stack’ offers two instant credit facilities, based on POS transactions — both being industry first initiatives.The first one, called ‘Merchant Overdraft’ empowers pre-qualified merchants with a linked ICICI Bank POS machine to get upto Rs 25 lakh digitally, instantaneously and in a completely online and paperless manner. The facility leverages advanced data analytics at the Bank to form a new scorecard with various parameters to assess the credit eligibility of merchants using their POS transactions. The new credit assessment method of the Bank is a marked improvement over the traditional industry practice of using only bank statements, financial statements and income returns to offer working capital facilities. Once the overdraft limit is set up, merchants can start using the funds instantly to meet their working capital requirements. This offers significance convenience to borrowers as they no longer need to wait for few working days to avail an OD facility.

IIFL Foundation runs seamless digital education for 36,000 girls amid pandemic

Chandigarh, May 7, 2021: IIFL Foundation, which runs one of India’s largest girl child education programs – Sakhiyon Ki Baadi (SKB) – across 1200 remote schools in Rajasthan, has been able leverage digital medium to impart seamless education to over 36,000 girls making it one of the largest such program anywhere in the world.

SKB schools are dedicated to educating out-of-school girl children of primarily underprivileged tribal communities, where girl child literacy is in single digits and worse than many sub-Saharan countries. IIFL Foundation’s Sakhiyon Ki Baadi program brought these out-of-school girls to education fold in remote inaccessible areas mostly making them the first female members or in many case the first member to receive formal education.

The Covid-19 pandemic which started a year ago disrupted the education system of 1200 SKB schools managed by 1200 teachers or Dakshas. Lockdown meant field staff could not visit the centers or conduct home visits and meetings with the community members.

There was of discontinuation of education for girls who with so much difficulty got into schools in the first place. There were reports of girl child marriage in many communities across India.

IIFL Foundation led by Ms. Madhu Jain decided to ensure that the education continues using digital mode so that 2020 doesn’t become a zero year and many dreams don’t get shattered.

Ms. Madhu Jain, Director, IIFL Foundation said, “During the pandemic, IIFL Foundation focused on turning challenges into opportunities. We revisited our vision and stayed true to our values of integrity and discipline. Lockdown provided us the opportunity to equip 500+ Dakshas with the knowledge to use a mobile phone, engage on online platforms, upgrade their English language skills and develop an understanding of basic financial concepts. This wisdom was then passed on to the students enrolled at the SKB centers through continuous online sessions.”

Most of the Dakshas belong to tribal hamlets and did not have access to or knowledge of technology prior to the pandemic. One by one, the team at IIFL Foundation successfully removed several obstacles such as absence of gadget (Android phone), poor network connectivity and lack of technical knowledge among Dakshas. This was achieved by working closely with the community members. For instance, a community member lent his android phone to the teacher so she could attend training, another community member educated them over usage of mobile app for attending online trainings and so on. The Dakshas were enthused to complete these trainings and took measures such as climbing a hill near their house to address network issues, attending sessions in groups to help each other, and so on.

To begin with, the Dakshas were brought together over WhatsApp Groups, establishing a two-way communication channel. Thereafter, they were taught to interact and participate in online trainings over virtual platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet.

With the newly built digital connect, video tutorials and PDF documents were prepared to facilitate the teaching activities. These study materials were shared over WhatsApp with the teachers. Live training sessions were conducted over Zoom and Google Meet with the students.

Through this robust system of remote working, the training team was able to co-ordinate with the on-field team. Similarly, Block Managers, District Managers, Trainers and Program Managers were connected remotely through several online platforms.

Working remotely allowed the team to define new objectives of the program (building awareness around the pandemic, ensuring continuity of the literacy programs) and staying connected.

Thus, it was ensured that the learning never stopped at the SKBs.

Hershey India accredited with Great Place to Work Certification™

Rahul Khatry,

Chandigarh, 30th April 2021: Hershey India Pvt Ltd., a part of The Hershey Company, a leading global snacking giant and the largest producer of quality chocolates in North America, has received the prestigious Great Place to Work certification 2021 for its outstanding work in fostering employee engagement and people practices. Recognized by employees and employers around the globe as the ‘Gold Standard’ for workplace excellence, the certification is even more significant because it was achieved in the midst of a pandemic that disrupted working life. Overcoming all roadblocks, Hershey successfully took on a transformational journey in 2020 accelerating its growth through product innovation, technology and digital marketing. This recognition reinforces Hershey India as an organization that follows a ‘People First’ policy and provides its employees with strong support – from technology to health to ensuring their emotional well-being.

To honor its commitment towards the employees, Hershey India has created a high-trust workplace through employee-friendly policies, schemes and a strong work culture. To keep the employees motivated and boost their efficiency, especially during the pandemic, Hershey India set up the Hershey Cares Program, which ensured suitable insurance scheme for all frontline sales force. Additionally, special fund was allocated to cater to the medical needs of the frontline sales force and contract workers. For focusing on strengthening the individual performance of the employees, webinar training sessions were conducted by domain experts within the organization.

Furthermore, to honour the commitment of the employees, Hershey India took extraordinary steps to ensure the care and comfort of employees at the factory, including regular temperature checks to arranging food, laundry and adequate accommodation facilities were in place. To extend a sense of security to the employees, Hershey India continued to maintain regular monetary benefits as it was essential to let the workforce know in such times that we stand together in this more than ever. Additionally, encouraging gender diversity has always been a part of Hershey’s culture.

Being recognized as a Great Place to Work strengthens the company’s commitment towards offering its employees a conducive work environment where their interests are safe guarded, and every employee is given an opportunity to participate in the company’s success and thereby grow in their career.

Commenting on the certification, Abhishikta Das – HR Director, Hershey India said, “We at Hershey India are humbled to receive the Great Place to Work certification, a recognition sought by more than 1,000 organizations in India every year. We are proud of our unique Hershey culture, our values of togetherness, and integrity that have guided us to not only co-create an inclusive work environment but also prioritize people practices. The safety and well-being of our employees has always been of utmost importance and over the past few months of the global pandemic, the company has only reinforced and strengthened it by introducing a broad range of measures for work management and constant learning.’’

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience, and the leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue, employee retention and increased innovation.

IIFL AMC appoints Amar Merani as Head of the Real Estate Strategy

Rahul Khatry,

Chandigarh, April 29, 2021: IIFL AMC today announced the appointment of Mr. Amar Merani as Head of the Real Estate Strategy. In this role, Amar will head the real estate strategy and lead the team in managing investments and building the company’s client base.

Amar has a rich experience of more than 25 years and was involved in fund raising, exits, and executing high-yield structured credit transactions at leading firms. Prior to joining IIFL AMC, Amar was MD & CEO of Xander Finance. His previous stints include Kotak Investment Banking, Lazard India, IL&FS Infrastructure Finance and Price Waterhouse.

Karan Bhagat, Founder, MD & CEO, IIFL Wealth and Asset Management, commenting on the appointment said, “With the emergence of REITs as a new asset class, Real Estate offers tremendous growth potential. Amar’s rich experience coupled with deep understanding of both credit and equity, will further enhance our real estate offerings.”

Commenting on the appointment,Amar Merani said, “I’m delighted to take up this role to lead the real estate business at IIFL AMC, which is a leader in the AIF space and known for innovation. I look forward to working with the firm’s talented team to create differentiated products suited for the dynamic market environment.”

Amar is an electrical engineer from VJTI, Mumbai and holds an MBA from NMIMS, Mumbai where he specialized in Finance and Operations.

About IIFL Asset Management:IIFL Asset Management is an India-focused global asset management company and part of IIFL Wealth Management. A disciplined and active management approach combined with research-led strategies allows IIFL AMC to tap into India’s potential for delivering on its commitments and long-term growth. The AMC’s diversified suite of mutual funds, alternative investment funds and venture capital funds span public and private equities as well as fixed income securities and real estate. IIFL AMC’s distinctive products bring out the entrepreneurial edge, agility and speed of execution of a boutique asset management business, while providing gold standards of corporate governance of a large corporation with a long-term focus.

Godrej Protekt partners with Northern Railways for a hygiene-based safe rail travel program spanning across 20 Indian cities

Chandigarh, April 29, 2021: Godrej Protekt, India’s most trusted personal and home hygiene brand from Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL), embarked on a hygiene-based safe rail travel program in partnership with the Northern Railways zone of Indian Railways. This program, covering both passengers and railways staff, aims to boost hygiene quotient as well as equip them with hygiene solutions during their rail journeys. As India deals with the ongoing wave of COVID-19, this travel hygiene program will be vital to empower people to take necessary precautions as they make their essential and unavoidable rail journeys. This will also help migrant workers heading back to their hometowns due to the lockdown in some cities.

The program will cover 25 long-distance trains like Jan Shatabdi Special, Bandra Terminus Haridwar Special, Yoga express, Dehradun Shatabdi special, Mussoorie Express Festival Special, Chandigarh to Lucknow Festival special, Dhanbad Junction to Firozpur Cantt special, Howrah Junction to Yog Nagari Rishikesh Special, G Satluj Express Special, Kota Dehradun Special Express, Hemkunt Express Special, Jaynagar Amritsar Special, Moradabad Saharanpur Express Special, among others. These trains will depart (point of origin) from 20 cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kota, Barmer, Bikaner, Rishikesh, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Puri, Jabalpur, Ramnagar, Dhanbad, Patna, Allahabad, Jaynagar, and Moradabad.

Around 45000+ products from Godrej Protekt will be utilized for this initiative to drive larger behavioural change. Godrej Protekt Hand Sanitizer bottle (50ml mini bottle) will be distributed amongst passengers in aforementioned trains. Thepassenger luggage will be disinfected with Godrej Protekt On-the-go Disinfectant Spray. Godrej Protekt P-W95 Reusable Face Mask will be worn by the on-board railways staff members who are travelling ticket examiner (TT), train drivers, guards, and housekeeping staff. The Protekt P-W95 Reusable Face Maskwill also be given to passengers wearing no mask at select stations under Northern Railways.

Speaking about the program, Sunil Kataria, CEO – India and SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL), said,“Safety and hygiene are priorities for consumers these days, particularly so when they are travelling. Godrej Protekt’s purpose is to alleviate hygiene concerns of consumers and champion programs which helps to spread awareness of right ways to maintain hygiene. In 2020, we were the first-ever hygiene brand to partner with Indian Railways during COVID-19 times to promote travel hygiene. we have had a very successful partnership with the Central Railways where we managed to make an impact and drive positive behavioural change. We are delighted to continue the partnership this year with Northern Railways, to contribute and build a safe travel ecosystem in these unprecedented times. This will be backed by our expertise in the hygiene space and inclusion of key Protekt offerings such as hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprays and masks.”

Commenting on the joint program, Smt. Rekha Sharma, Sr. Divisional Commercial Manager, Northern Railway, Moradabad, said “We are pleased to partner with Godrej Protekt for this travel hygiene program which is very relevant in the current context. The initiative will cover passengers traveling from cities across the country to destinations located in the Northern Railways network. Travel hygiene program will not only help to ensure safety of our passengers and employees but will also build necessary awareness of hygiene measures that one should adopt. This will encourage people to travel more by rail. We are committed to make our passengers’ journey safe, sanitized and hassle-free as much as possible.”

While some of the trains may come under different railway zones, all trains will pass through the Northern Railways network. The initiative will benefit passengers travelling from 12 Indian states including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Punjab, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Bihar along with 2 union territories which are Delhi and Chandigarh.

As a purpose-driven brand, Godrej Protekt has been keen on doing its bit to ensure people have a safe travel experience. In June last year, as part of Protekt India Movement – a mass awareness campaign to promote hygiene and inculcating the right hygiene practices, Protekt tied up with the Mumbai division of Central Railway Railways to run a joint program to improve travel hygiene and its awareness amongst passengers and rail employees. The program covered close to 400 local and long-distance COVID-19 special trains. This time around, Protekt has extended this program to the Northern Railways and will cover much larger network.

FedEx Express Joins ‘Reimagining Inclusion for Social Equity 2021’ as Official Logistics Partner  

Rahul Khatry,

Chandigarh, April 29, 2021 — FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, announced its association with Reimagining Inclusion for Social Equity (RISE) 2021 as its official logistics partner. The event is Pride Circle’s annual flagship event, and India’s premier and biggest LGBT+ conference, job fair, and marketplace.

This year the virtual event will be held May 4-8, 2021, and will host more than 1,000 changemakers, business leaders, organizations, students, diversity and inclusion professionals, advocates, and experts from around the world.

The event will include three tracks: the conference, focused on conversations around diversity, inclusion, and belonging; the job fair, connecting a very large pool of LGBT+ students and experienced professionals; and a marketplace, featuring products and services from micro-, small-, and medium-sized LGBT+ owned businesses from across India.

As the official logistics partner, FedEx Express will support the event by shipping event gifts to over 100 participating speakers across the country and around the world.

Commenting on the association, Mohamad Sayegh, vice president Operations for FedEx Express in India said, “Our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and gender equality is an integral part of our culture, and we are delighted to support the RISE 2021 event this year. We are delighted to support initiatives that foster a diverse culture and empower inclusive environments.”

Recently, FedEx Express has been recognized at the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership awards conducted by World HRD Congress and has also been named by Forbes Magazine in 2019 as one of the Best Employers for Diversity globally.

POWERGRID Infrastructure Investment Trust to open IPO of its Units on April 29, 2021 and close on May 3, 2021

Rahul Khatry,

Chandigarh, April 29, 2021: The initial public offering (“IPO” or “Offer”) of units of POWERGRID Infrastructure Investment Trust (“POWERGRID InvIT”), an InvIT set-up to own, construct, operate, maintain and invest as an infrastructure investment trust as permissible in terms of the InvIT Regulations, including in power transmission assets in India, will open on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at a price band of Rs 99 to Rs 100. The offer closes on Monday May 3, 2021. POWERGRID InvIT is issuing Units aggregating up to ₹49,934.84 million (“Fresh Issue”) and the Selling Unitholder is offering Units aggregating up to ₹27,415.08 million. The Anchor Investor Bidding Date shall be one Working Day prior to the Bid/Offer Opening Date i.e. April 28, 2021.

The Units of POWERGRID InvIT are proposed to be listed on BSE Limited (“BSE”) and National Stock Exchange of India Limited (“NSE”, together with BSE, the “Stock Exchanges”). The Trust has received in-principle approvals from BSE and NSE for listing of the Units pursuant to letters dated February 2, 2021 and February 3, 2021, respectively. This Offer will constitute at least 10% of the outstanding Units on a post-Offer basis.

The Net Proceeds from the Offer will be utilised towards the following objects: (i) providing loans to the Initial Portfolio Assets for repayment or pre-payment of debt, including any accrued interest, availed by the Initial Portfolio Assets; and (ii) for general purposes.

This Offer is being made through the Book Building Process and in compliance with the [InvIT Regulations and the SEBI Guidelines,] wherein not more than 75% of the Offer shall be available for allocation on a proportionate basis to Institutional Investors, provided that the Investment Manager and the Selling Unitholder may, in consultation with the Lead Managers, allocate up to 60% of the Institutional Investor Portion to Anchor Investors on a discretionary basis in accordance with the InvIT Regulations and the SEBI Guidelines.

Further, not less than 25% of the Offer shall be available for allocation on a proportionate basis to Non-Institutional Investors, in accordance with the InvIT Regulations and the SEBI Guidelines, subject to valid Bids being received at or above the Offer Price.

Bids can be made for a minimum lot of 1,100 Units and in multiples of 1,100 Units thereafter by Bidders other than the units subscribed for by Anchor Investors.

IDBI Trusteeship Services Limited is the Trustee, while Power Grid Corporation of India Limited is the Sponsor. POWERGRID Unchahar Transmission Limited is the Investment Manager.

The Lead Managers to the Offer are ICICI Securities Limited, Axis Capital Limited, Edelweiss Financial Services Limited and HSBC Securities and Capital Markets (India) Private Limited.

L&T completes 75 years of Construction & Mining Machinery business

Rahul Khatry,

Chandigarh, April 29, 2021: Larsen & Toubro, an Indian multinational engaged in EPC Projects, Hi-Tech Manufacturing and Services, has completed platinum jubilee of one of its oldest businesses, Construction & Mining Machinery Business (CMB).

The business has supplied over 60,000 units of various equipment in India during its 75 years association with the Construction and Mining Industry. These machines have been used to create landmarks of exceptional design and have significantly contributed to the growing infrastructure of the nation.

Commenting on the occasion, Mr SN Subrahmanyan, CEO & MD, Larsen & Toubro said: “L&T has a legacy of pioneering critical equipment needed for Nation Building and has been at the forefront of indigenous development of engineering design and manufacturing capabilities. We are delighted that our Construction & Mining Machinery Business has been fulfilling the formidable needs of mining and construction sectors with innovative equipment and commendable service records for the last 75 years.”

Expressing his delight over the glorious journey of CMB, Mr Arvind K Garg, Executive Vice-President, L&T Construction & Mining Machinerysaid, “It has been our absolute commitment to serve valued customers over the last seven decades. L&T has pioneered and introduced global technologies, equipment, and practices for the development of the nation. At this important juncture, we thank our customers for their association and patronage.”

L&T utilized its deep knowledge and experience gained since 1945 and developed its own ‘Make in India’ road machinery comprising of Vibratory Compactors and Wheel Loaders. These indigenously designed and manufactured machines are now aiding road construction and highway development and enabling L&T move towards fulfilling the national mission of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

The company took a major step in 1973 by introducing Hydraulic Excavators in collaboration with Poclain SA-France. This was a revolutionary and pioneering initiative which needed efforts to establish a completely new concept in earthmoving and made L&T a strategic partner in Infrastructure construction. Some of the other collaborations included – Albaret-France, JI Case, USA, Vibromax-Germany, Detroit Diesel-USA.

Later in 1998, the two engineering giants Komatsu and L&T formed a Joint Venture to manufacture Komatsu’s state-of-the-art, world class machines. Komatsu PC200-6 excavator turned out to be the benchmark in ‘Quality, Reliability & Durability’ and became an iconic model. With the introduction of several models of excavators, such as PC71, PC130, PC300 and PC450 in later years, L&T achieved a leadership position and built a large and loyal base of over 25,000 valued customers.

Continuing with the spirit of innovation, L&T recently introduced Komatsu PC210-10M0 Hydraulic Excavator which has been a runaway success and breached all records to become the fastest growing model in the 22-ton class, reaching 1000 mark in 10 months period and is now well on its way to become the market leader.

As mineral mining expanded in India, Komatsu and L&T decided to transform mining to make it safe, environment friendly and sustainable and introduced large mining machines, such as Dump Truck HD785, Dozer models D155 & D475, Excavator models PC1250 & PC2000. These machines have created new benchmarks in performance, productivity, and long life at customer sites. L&T also delivered Komatsu’s mammoth 240 Ton class 830E Dump Trucks and 16 CuM class PC3000 Hydraulic Excavators for mega mining operations, which reinforced its unmatched capabilities developed over time.

To meet the growing coal production requirement, Coal Mining companies started overburden removal by contractors. This required a new segment of Mining Tippers which matched very well with Komatsu’s PC450 Excavator. L&T also formed an alliance with Scania to offer its latest generation Tipper Truck, which has since become highly popular in the mid-mining industry for its exceptional performance, unbeatable economy, operator comfort and safety.

L&T has a long tradition of customer service with an underlying belief – “In Service, Lies Success”. Hence, to support the large population of construction and mining machines, L&T focused on developing strong infrastructure for after-sales and service support. It now has six world-class Service Centres, a team of highly skilled and experienced service engineers, a Central Training Centre, 30 Dealerships for construction equipment and a network of parts depots across India. This has proved to be the real differentiator in machine uptime and utilization.

EARTH DAY, IHCL ANNOUNCES PROGRESS TOWARDS A MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

~ 15 IHCL hotels have introduced bottling plants

~ 27 IHCL hotels currently operate on renewable energy

Rahul Khatry,

Chandigarh, APRIL 22, 2021: A pioneer of Indian hospitality and South Asia’s largest hospitality company, Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), continues to reinforce its commitment towards adopting and strengthening it sustainable business practices. From phasing out single-use plastic, reduction in carbon footprint, water conservation and utilization of renewable sources of energy to extensive community engagement, IHCL will continue to drive responsible tourism at every step.

The Company marked the occasion of Earth Daytoday with a milestone achievement of 47 of its hotels achieving EarthCheck Platinum Certification, representing 11 continuous years of social and environmental impact by ensuring sustainable tourism management practices. With this, a total of 78 EarthCheck certified IHCL hotels have generated significant savings since 2008 by:

· Reducing water consumption by approximately 3,000,000 kilolitres

· Reducing greenhouse emissions including approximately 232,000,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e)

· Saving approximately 1,202,000,000 mega joules of energy

· Reducing waste sent to landfill by 17,000 cubic metres

The Company has further strengthened its endeavor to phase out single-use plastics from across its hotels, in addition to introducing bottling plants that will replace all plastic water bottles with reusable glass bottles at 15 hotels across the globe, which can result in eliminating 0.2 million kilograms of plastic. Currently, 27 hotels are powered by renewable energy, an initiative that has been further strengthened by IHCL’s recent partnership with Tata Power to provide energy from Green Source to its key hotels in Mumbai.

In its pursuit towards excellence and creating benchmark in the tourism industry, IHCL will continue to pioneer sustainable practices for a greener future.