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Mar 26, 2015

B2X announces Rapid Expansion in India

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B2X announces Rapid Expansion in India
B2X, the leading technology provider of customer care services for smartphones, today announced a massive rollout of smartphone customer service centers called SMARTBARs in India. B2X India currently operates more than 80 stores in 50+ cities and will continue to expand through 2015. Now the biggest and fastest growing supplier of customer service for smartphones in India, B2X was able to grow quickly through the successful acquisition and rebranding of The Service Solutions (TSS) service center locations for Apple as well as adoption of the company’s proprietary Aftersales Management Software (AMS).

India is currently the third largest market for smartphones in the world and by 2016 it is estimated that it will surpass the United States to become the second largest. Additionally, India’s smartphone growth rate is the fastest in the world at 27% according to IDC. By end of 2015, analysts predict there will be 212 million smartphone users in India.

“India represents a huge market for us, and it’s one that is quickly growing, particularly in the smartphone space. Therefore, we’ve been very pleased to see the pace with which B2X India has integrated into the broader B2X Smart Service Platform,” commented Thomas Berlemann, B2X Chief Executive Officer. “In addition, we’re seeing big technology innovation from the Aftersales Management Software (AMS) developed by TSS that will also be rolled out globally, now that TSS has become B2X India.”

The B2X India SMARTBAR service center network now has a presence in 50+ cities across 14 states in India supporting key brands including Apple, Motorola, Samsung and YOTAPHONE, among others in the region; all powered by its AMS technology. "Our goal is to be the go to brand for both consumers and OEMs when it comes to providing customer support for smartphones. Excellent customer experience is at the forefront of all our service locations unlike the traditional service ecosystem," said Sreevathsa Prabhakar, MD of B2X India.


In addition to rebranding existing service centers to B2X branded SMARTBARs, B2X has integrated its AMS technology platform to monitor and optimize the entire aftersales process of devices. It is a brand and product neutral system across all types of service networks that is highly scalable and offers a secure architecture with data segregation. B2X will integrate the AMS platform into its broader Smart Service Platform but also plans to license it to the entire OEM, retailer and service provider ecosystem.

The platform provides OEMs, retailers and service providers with a range of benefits, including an improved customer experience, full transparency for operations management and warranty cost reduction through process control and penalty management. Consumers receive fast and high quality service as well as fully transparent device tracking and status notifications. The Service Partner Network benefits from automated process and working capital control as well as an embedded knowledge base.
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Mar 25, 2015

IMD Business School Plans Expansion in Singapore

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IMD Business School Plans Expansion in Singapore
IMD Business School Plans Expansion in Singapore With New Executive Learning Center
New facility launch slated for May 2015

IMD, a top-ranked business school and worldwide expert in executive education, will plant deeper roots in Singapore with the opening of a new IMD Southeast Asia Executive Learning Center. The new Executive Learning Center will include state of the art teaching space, rooms for breakout discussion, dining facilities, a boardroom and IMD''s main offices in Southeast Asia.

The IMD Southeast Asia Executive Learning Center will be housed on Beach Road in the new South Beach Tower. Located in the heart of downtown Singapore, the complex has gained notary for its design by Foster and Partners that includes a unique canopy "environment filter." Rabobank, Facebook, Sanofi, Bain & Company and De Lage Landen are just some of the companies who will also be tenants in the building.

"More than providing executive education, in our customized approach and in our high-touch engagement with clients, IMD is becoming a true partner for Asian business," said Margaret Cording, IMD's Regional Director in Southeast Asia and Oceania. "By establishing a Center where discussion and learning can take place, our new facility is one of the ways we are investing in these partnerships."

"I am extremely proud of IMD's growth in Southeast Asia and that now our clients can choose to come to our campus in Lausanne or in Singapore," said IMD President Dominique Turpin. "While IMD will always promise Swiss excellence, with the new IMD Southeast Asia Executive Learning Center, we look to seek deeper bonds and connections to Asian-based business leaders."

IMD runs workshops and other development programs for companies in Singapore and across the entire region.

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Mar 22, 2015

This Week BSE Sensex falls 0.85% and Nifty 0.89%

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stock markets this week
Indian stock markets fell for the second consecutive week in a volatile trade this week (Mar 16 to22). BSE Sensex ended below 29,000 and CNX Nifty slumped below 8,600 level. The S&P BSE Sensex reumed modestly higher at 28,546.31 points and moved between 28,209.66 before ending the week at 28,261.08 points, showing a fall of 242.22 points or 0.85 per cent. The Sensex tumbled by 1,187.87 points or 4.03 per cent in two weeks.

The 50-issue Nifty also traded between a high of 8,788.20 points and low of 8,553 before closing at 8,570.90 this week revealing a fall of 76.58 points or 0.89 per cent.

Meanwhile, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) continued to invest in equity shares as they bought net Rs1,016.16 crore during the week, including provisional figure of March 20 as per SEBI data.

This week, at BSE Sensex 12 out of 30 scrips earned good profit, while 18 suffered loss. And, BSE and Nifty fell to 18,436.47 crores and 92,839.963 crores respectively this week.
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Mar 20, 2015

Mahindra First Choice Wheels raises $15 Million

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Mahindra First Choice Wheels raises $15 Million
Mahindra First Choice Wheels Ltd. (MFCWL), India’s No. 1 multi-brand used vehicle company, has signed a definitive agreement to raise $15 million (Rs. 94 Crores) from San Francisco based investment advisor firm, Valiant Capital for a minority stake in the company. This is the second round of external private equity raised by MFCWL, with the first one in 2008 from Delhi based Phi Capital, who continues to be an investor in the company.

MFCWL has experienced rapid growth in its retail, wholesale and technology enabled businesses. The capital will be used to fund its growth plans over the next few years.

Founded by Mr. Anand Mahindra, MFCWL’s mission is to “organize” every facet of the used car industry and most important of all provide the used car consumer with a choice of certified pre-owned vehicles and a purchase experience that mimics the new car buying experience. “MFCWL is yet another example of innovation and entrepreneurship within the Group, where new business models are being explored and implemented with persistence. It is exciting to see marquee investors attracted to MFCWL and participating in its growth story where much is yet to come!” said Mr. Anand Mahindra, Chairman & Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra and also the Chairman of Mahindra First Choice Wheels.

MFCWL is the only true used car business with a successful “hybrid” business model bridging the consumer experience online and on the ground. With the physical presence critical to the used car business, the company has invested aggressively to provide consumers with a consistent omnichannel experience. Commenting on this strategy, Mr. Rajeev Dubey, President (Group HR, Corporate Services and After-Market) & Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, “We believe the “brick + click” ecosystem is very powerful in the used car business and over the years we have seen our consumers and dealers appreciate this value proposition. We will continue to invest in the overall growth of the hybrid model in the years to come”.

To enable the hybrid used car ecosystem, MFCWL has launched several technology enabled products and services to address the key drivers of trust deficit in a used car transaction namely – vehicle condition, paperwork, pricing and experience. “Consumers are looking for more tools and insight related to used vehicles. We are leveraging our deep wholesale and retail experience on the ground to launch a slew of technology enabled products that will materially increase the confidence with which they can transact on used vehicles – whether buying or selling”, said Dr. Nagendra Palle, CEO & Managing Director of MFCWL. He added, “We have had a very successful partnership with Phi Capital over the years and we welcome Valiant Capital as a new partner to support us in our endeavour to become a world class used car company.”

The company plans to use the fresh funds infusion to accelerate its growth both of the physical network as well as adoption of its technology enabled products and services used by all stakeholders in the industry – NBFCs, Banks, OEMs, Dealers and Consumers. MFCWL is planning to end this fiscal year (2015) with 500 franchise outlets and grow to 1,800+ outlets in the next 5 years. In addition, it plans to use the funds to broaden its reach for its products and services across other used vehicle categories. In Fiscal Year Ending 2015, MFCWL used vehicle volumes sold will be 140,000 between its retail and wholesale and it will complete 140,000 Autoinspekt inspections,

The used car market, with an estimated size of 3.2 million units, is already larger than the new car market and is growing faster than the new car market. The current slowdown notwithstanding, it is expected that the used car market will become almost double the size of the new car market in the next 5 years.
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Mar 19, 2015

Airtel Reboots ‘My Airtel’ Mobile Application

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Airtel Reboots ‘My Airtel’ Mobile Application
Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, today announced as all new avatar of its ‘My Airtel'mobile application. The application has been redesigned on Android to follow an intuitive and easy to use interface which allows customers to conveniently discover, access and self-manage Airtel services across mobile, fixed line and DTH platforms1. 

The new version of the ‘My Airtel’ application also comes loaded with a wide range of fresh features and capabilities, and fits within the company’s wider agenda of driving an enhanced digital experience for customers. The new ‘My Airtel’ application is now available for select users, and will be rolled out for all customers over the next few days.

“With design simplicity, intuitive commerce flows and high performance as our priorities, we at Airtel have been working towards re-energizing the experience our customers enjoy while interacting with us through our online properties. A first step in this very direction – the all new ‘My Airtel’ app has a contemporary design interface that will simplify our customer journeys and allow them to do much more – efficiently and effectively. I would like to encourage all our customers to experience the bigger and better version of ‘My Airtel’ and enjoy the ‘Airtel Surprises’ that come along with recharges”, said Srini Gopalan, Director – Consumer Business, Bharti Airtel (India).

Customers can now use ‘My Airtel’ app to recharge any mobile number, and receive ‘Airtel Surprises’ coupons with exciting offers like coupons worth value of first, birthday week and many more in weeks to come.

In partnership with mydala, India’s largest coupon and discount marketing platform, present in 200 cities in India, ‘Airtel Surprises’ will leverage a series of exclusive tie-ups with merchants across categories like shopping, food, wellness, entertainment – and offer coupons for popular brands like PVR Cinemas, CafĂ© Coffee Day, Flipkart.com. amazon.in, Ebay.in, Myntra.com, Archies, VLCC, among others.

The newly added ‘I Want To’ feature will allow customers to make their frequent tasks (e.g. recharge of a specific prepaid mobile number) a quick action on their application’s home screen – thus helping them replicate the action in no time.

The in-application payment experience and card store feature have now been upgraded and Airtel’s payment stack is now PCI-DSS certified to ensure a safe, secure and faster check out experience for customers across My Airtel and also the PC and Mobile web experiences. Push notifications with alerts such as low balance, pack expiry and payment due date will also be available on the app. Additionally, customers on ‘My Airtel’ will not incur any data charges for using the application.

Betting big on delivering an improved online experience for its customers - the company has already launched a new fast-loading homepage for its websitewww.airtel.in, a brand new 4G experience at www.airtel.in/4G and an omni-channel experience to order a brand new Xiaomi RedMi 4G atwww.airtel.in/mi. Airtel is currently focused at re-engineering its online experience to ensure improved interfaces, reduced load time, payment failures etc.
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Mar 18, 2015

MapmyIndia launches its new Map APIs

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MapmyIndia
MapmyIndia today announced the public launch of its Map API platform for software developers and enterprises. MapmyIndia’s API (Application Programming Interface) platform consists of individual APIs for interactive mapping and visualization of location-based data, geocoding (location search), reverse geocoding (address look-up), routing (driving directions), and other location-based analytics such as distance matrix (distance from multiple locations). 

With these APIs, users can now easily add valuable location intelligence capabilities and MapmyIndia map data to their consumer (B2C) apps, business (B2B) apps and enterprise IT systems. The APIs are REST (HTTP/JSON) and JavaScript based, thus supporting apps built for various web, mobile and cloud platforms and can be accessed at http://www.mapmyindia.com/api.

Rakesh Verma, Managing Director of MapmyIndia, said at the launch “We are excited to help software developers and enterprises increase the value of their apps and IT systems by integrating location intelligence capabilities. MapmyIndia is more attractive than other map platforms as it offers best-in-class map data, a price point that starts at free and affordably scales up based on usage, and additional services including custom API and app development as well as base map data licensing options. MapmyIndia APIs help developers build location-based apps very easily and quickly. We are extremely happy that 200 developers have already signed up since we privately released the APIs last month, and welcome all developers and enterprises to try MapmyIndia APIs”.

By using MapmyIndia’s Map APIs, software developers and enterprises can integrate MapmyIndia’s map data into their location-based applications. MapmyIndia’s map database has been continuously built and updated over the last 20 years by employing state-of-the-art mapping and video car survey technologies and the continuous efforts of 400+ field surveyors and 150+ map specialist engineers. Even after the entry of multinational competitors, MapmyIndia remains the preferred source of digital map data for over 1500 enterprises including leading automotive companies, businesses across all verticals and governments at all levels and over 1 million consumers, given its superiority in terms of comprehensiveness, level of detail, accuracy, quality and freshness. MapmyIndia’s map database currently includes street-level data for 8000+ towns, house-level data for 93 cities, 10.8 million points of interest, and pan India data for 645,000 villages, 22,000 pin codes, and 2.2 million kilometres of road network with navigation attributes.

MapmyIndia APIs are available free, forever, to developers to build and test an unlimited number of applications. Users that deploy commercial applications, and want higher levels of API transactions and customer support, can choose from one of the available paid plans. The process of building an app powered by MapmyIndia’s APIs is quite simple. A developer visits the API website, signs up with his/her details, gets a license key instantly, and can start developing and deploying an app immediately. Complete documentation explaining each API, including live demos and downloadable source code of examples, is also available. Enterprises that need quick and hassle-free solutions to their specific location needs can leverage MapmyIndia’s additional services to develop custom APIs and complete applications, and additional data licensing solutions for the underlying vector map and location database of points of interest, house addresses, pin codes, localities, roads, cities, towns, villages, districts and states across India, as well as pan-India census geo-demographics and locality-wise population and income estimates across major cities.

MapmyIndia Map APIs are available for use immediately. Interested users can learn more and sign up athttp://www.mapmyindia.com/api/.
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Mar 17, 2015

ITM University hosts ‘Lean for Leadership’ Workshop

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ITM University hosts ‘Lean for Leadership’ Workshop
With the aim to provide its students exposure to best global practices in industry, ITM University, Gurgaon hosted ‘Lean for Leadership’ workshop, an initiative by American Society for Quality (ASQ).

ITM University shapes its students for leadership roles with such initiatives and strives for making them highly competent skilled professionals who are ready to meet national needs and international standards.

“In today’s competitive world it is crucial to delight your customers more than your competitors do. In order to do this, it is imperative for organizations to maintain total quality, instantaneous service, and flexibility in terms of what you want to offer and what the customer is looking for like competitive pricing besides other factors. The workshop will give important insights to our students into crucial need for focus towards quality and global practices,” said Prof. Prem Vrat, Pro-Chancellor, ITM University, Gurgaon.

The session concluded with the thoughts that the country’s policy of ‘Make in India’ will be successful if global quality standards are maintained, and projects are cost effective with minimal wastage to ensure ‘Zero Defect, Zero Effect’.

ITM University is the first university in India to be selected by ASQ and form a Students’ Chapter to usher in world-class process in every part of academic and professional life.

Many eminent people from the industry, including Mr Sachin Garg, Vice President, Max Life and Ms Savita Bradoo, Director Quality, Convergys, participated in the workshop and shared their experiences gained over the years.

Mr Ciby James, Director, ASQ (India), conducted the workshop, which received a good response from the students. Prof. Ravindra Ojha, Director School of Engineering and Technology, ITM University, Gurgaon, led the students of the varsity.

ASQ is a leading authority on quality in all fields, organizations, and industries. ASQ (I) offers high-end training programs leading to certification which are considered a universal benchmark. Besides running a number of useful national and international workshops and seminars, it also conducts Certificate course for student to provide them an enabling foundation for leveraging quality tools to accomplish their major domain projects and objectively enhance their profiles for placements.
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Mar 16, 2015

Abhijit Sen joins General Atlantic as Advisor

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General Atlantic
General Atlantic ("GA"), a leading global growth equity firm, announced today that it has appointed Abhijit Sen as an advisor. Mr. Sen, a senior executive with significant experience in the financial services industry, will work closely with General Atlantic''s global investment team to provide broad strategic support for the firm's investments in the financial services sectors in emerging markets.

As CFO of Citi for the India Subcontinent for 18 years, Mr. Sen led Citi's corporate finance function in India, providing oversight to its strategic planning, controllership, tax and corporate treasury groups, as well as the company's finance operations in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. In this role, he focused on financial reporting, policy formulation, risk assessment and financial planning around new business initiatives. Mr. Sen was a member of all key strategic management committees of Citi's India franchise and served as chairman of the board of the company's centers of excellence in India, where he gained significant corporate governance experience. Mr. Sen also served on the boards of NSDL Limited and Grameen Finance India.

Sandeep Naik, a managing director of General Atlantic and head of its India and South East Asia team said, "We are excited to have Abhijit join GA in this advisory role. He brings nearly two decades of experience in finance, franchise building, risk management and corporate governance, which provide him a unique perspective that will serve the firm and our portfolio companies well. We expect that Abhijit's extensive knowledge of financial services in India and South East Asia will provide strong support to our ongoing efforts in the region."

Mr. Sen said, "I'm impressed with GA's focus on identifying remarkable growth companies. The firm's track record in India speaks for itself and I look forward to collaborating with the GA team to build upon the firm's successes."

General Atlantic's global team is dedicated to identifying attractive high growth companies and providing capital and strategic support to build market leaders. Mr. Sen joins GA's growing team of advisors, which comprises senior executives with industry and operational expertise in key focus areas for GA and its portfolio companies.

The firm's recent investments in India include CitiusTech, And Designs India, Mu Sigma and IndusInd Bank. Recent global investments in the financial services sector include Adyen, OptionsHouse, Santander Asset Management, Hyperion Insurance Group and XP Investimentos.
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SafetyKart announces winners of Women’s Day Competition 2015

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SafetyKart announces winners of Women’s Day Competition 2015

SafetyKart, India’s first health and safety focused e-commerce portal, conducted an online drawing and writing competition on Women’s Day, the results of which are now out. 9 winners across three categories won total cash prize worth INR 50,000.


SafetyKart announces winners of Women’s Day Competition 2015
16th March 2015, New Delhi: Results for SafetyKart Women’s Day Contest 2015 are declared and 9 participants have won a total cash prize worth Rs. 50,000. The results were announced 8 PM IST via SafetyKart’s Blog Page on 15th March,2015 and all winners were sent email notifications. The details of those who won the contest are as follows:

Category 1 – Growing (6 yrs – 10yrs)
  • 1st Prize – G. Darshani – Rs. 5,000
  • 2nd Prize – MaliniVenkataraman – Rs. 3,000
  • 3rd Prize – Vaidehi Prakash – Rs. 2,000
Category 2- Still Growing (10yrs – 18 yrs)
  • 1st Prize – Himani – Rs. 7,500
  • 2nd Prize – Nandini Prakash – Rs. 5,000
  • 3rd Prize – VijetaAnand – Rs. 2,500
Category 3 – Grown Ups (18+ Yrs.)
  • 1st Prize – Saloni Patel – Rs. 10,000
  • 2nd Prize – SaniaSidiqqui – Rs. 7,500
  • 3rd Prize – Jyoti Arora – Rs. 5,000
Besides the 9 contest winners, the top 10 entries in each category will receive SafetyKart vouchers worth Rs. 500 each. SafetyKart, the only e-commerce portal dedicated exclusively to health, conducted this Women’s Day Competition for the first time ever.

However, the overwhelming response to the contest, which received participation in thousands, exemplified the success of the initiative and the inclination of young minds towards women empowerment.The winning entries have been published on SafetyKart’s blog, Scroll. Alongside these, some other selective entries can also be found on the site.

“The competition was a huge success. We received hundreds of entries and most of them were great pieces of creativity. I would like to congratulate the winners and hope that they would continue contributing great deal towards the cause of women empowerment”, said Mr. GuhaPatra, Co-Founder& Director at SafetyKart.com. “As for our commitment, we’ll be donating Rs. 5 per registration to Safeycity.in. We hope this small contribution can pave way for a bigger change in the society”, added Mr. GuhaPatra.

SafetyKart plans to host this competition annually and the great response this year has given a boost to their expectations.More details about the winners can be found at SafetyKart’s Blog Page: www.blog.safetykart.com
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Mar 15, 2015

Commodity Awareness Programme

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Commodity Awareness Programme
Commodity Awareness Programme Organised by MCX and FMC to Promote Hedging

With an objective to create awareness, and educate the market participants about the benefits of hedging, Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX), Forward Markets Commission (FMC), and Bhadrak Jewellers Association, jointly organised an awareness programme at Bhadrak (Odisha) on January 22.

The programme served to explain in detail all the technicalities associated with the working of a commodity exchange. The experts elaborated on the topics such as the benefits of hedging, importance and need for risk management measures, role of commodity futures exchanges, and the regulatory perspective. They further explained to the market participants about the benefits and advantages—higher liquidity, transparent pricing, central clearing, robust risk management and surveillance system—of trading on a regulated commodity exchange platforms such as MCX. It was a platform to create a better understanding of the commodity futures market among the participants, thereby enabling them to hedge risks, in the face of volatile market conditions. Other topics included, economic benefits of commodity futures, historical perspective and growth of commodity markets in India, and diverse and innovative product basket offered by MCX among others.

Mr. Navanit Ray Parekh, President, Bhadrak Jewellers Association said, "Armed with the necessary knowledge shared by the experts today, we will now be able to better understand the functioning of the commodity markets, and hedge our bullion price risks by trading on the regulated commodity exchanges such as MCX."

"It was interesting to know about the different variants of both Gold and Silver contracts with different lot sizes —gold mini, gold petal, gold guinea, silver mini and silver micro— offered by MCX, to suit the requirements of the commodity value chain participants", he further added.

This informative seminar gave the participants a detailed insight into the world of futures trading and the plethora of benefits thereof to the stakeholders of the underlying commodities. Moreover, the speakers emphasised on the manner in which the participants can manage the risks arising from fluctuating prices by hedging such risks using commodity futures contracts.

The programme was attended by more than 100 market participants and the queries put forward by them were answered by the experts. They thanked FMC and MCX for organising this interactive session which helped them gain an insight into the commodity futures markets.
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