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Old October 31st, 2019, 10:03 PM   #5721
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IIT-Madras CFI students to showcase their innovations

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Old November 1st, 2019, 10:07 AM   #5722
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India's first University based Research Park

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Old November 1st, 2019, 10:09 AM   #5723
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SRM & VIT are creating their own Research Parks. Let's hope Anna U & Madras U where cream of TN talent is, also come up with their own research parks.
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Old November 2nd, 2019, 09:20 PM   #5724
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T.N. to ink pact on renewable energy with Massachusetts

MoU will facilitate policy dialogue, R&D and investment

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The idea of an energy transition policy is expected to hold greater relevance for Tamil Nadu, whose installed capacity for windmills is around 8,500 megawatt (MW) and solar plants, 3,600 MW.

As for R&D, institutions of higher learning other than Anna University and IIT can also be part of collaborative projects that may be planned. From the other side, as of now, the University of Massachusetts is taking part in the overall programme. In the field of industrial investment, Tamil Nadu is keen on drawing lessons from the American concept of incubators, providing space and other forms of support to startups for carrying out projects in clean energy.

Meanwhile, Tangedco is about to finalise a tender for “smart meters” in a few weeks. Initially, 1.4 lakh such meters will be installed in T. Nagar, Chennai. The meters provide for remote-controlled disconnection of services and interface with mobile devices, the official added.
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Old November 2nd, 2019, 10:20 PM   #5725
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From agricopters to e-bikes, students of IIT Madras showcase innovative products at Open House

IIT-M’s Centre For Innovation (CFI) students showcasing their projects at the Open House on Saturday.

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Rovers, drones, e-bikes for better mobility, a 3D food printer and a text-to-braille converter were among the multiple innovations showcased at the CFI Open House 2019 by students of IIT Madras on Saturday.

Several young children and students who visited the showcase were especially interested in Team Anveshak’s all-terrain rover and Team Raftaar’s formula racing car.

‘Constantly refining’

“This year, we were placed 12th in the University Rover Challenge held in Utah and we’re working on refining the rover we’ve built over the next one year,” said Mohit Kumar, a member of Team Anveshak.

Among Team Sahaay’s innovations was a menstrual waste management system where a portable dustbin comes equipped to wrap used sanitary napkins in bio-degradable plastic which can then be taken to incinerators.

A team from the Aero Club showcased a smart ‘agricopter’, which would optimise energy, time and efficiency, helping farmers to survey and spray their fields.

Moving around the two-wheelers they have developed, the team from DbyT Dynamics said they were developing personal mobility solutions with the vision of implementing a shared e-bike mobility service within the IIT-M campus.

Towards a green campus

“We hope to reduce congestion as well as vehicle emissions through the use of these e-bikes and want to work towards a green campus,” said Dhairyasheel Deshmukh, a team member.

Among their projects, the iGEM team from IIT-M has been creating an online video repository where they’ve made over 70 educational videos in English and eight regional languages.

Their other projects aim to teach the basics of genetics and synthetic biology to the public. “We want to take our content to schoolchildren next and have created comic books explaining the basics for them in a fun way,” said Amrita Mahesh, a member of the team.

Well-received projects

Akash Anandan, the student executive head of CFI, said several innovations from the centre have been accepted and lauded by government agencies and private industries for their potential to improve lives.

“The CFI aims to encourage students who have a range of ideas for innovations in a number of fields. The four competition teams, which are a part of the centre, have been getting better results with every passing year and we want to showcase these interesting innovations to the public,” he added.
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Old November 3rd, 2019, 12:04 AM   #5726
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World's First Fully Automated Robotic Kitchen | Cooking 600+ Recipes | Commercial Version launch

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Old November 3rd, 2019, 03:01 AM   #5727
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What the Workplace Will Look Like in 2025

Artificial intelligence is poised to change everything.

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Fast-paced technological and digital innovations have not only changed the way that we live but also the way that we work. Today, organizations around the world are integrating digital workplaces as part of their digital transformation strategy to make it easier for employees to communicate, collaborate and engage.

Given the quick evolution of the digital workplace, we should pause and look toward the near future to see what digital workplaces will be like in 2025. If we know what will be essential to office workers in the future, we can build and select platforms that stay ahead of the curve.

Digital workplaces are the future of work

A digital workplace is the complete set of tools modern office workers need to complete their work. They drive employee mobility and flexibility without compromising on productivity. In fact, digital workplace platforms have the ability to revolutionize and disrupt the way employees work. When implemented in the right way, digital workplaces can reduce costs, increase efficiency and achieve business outcomes faster.

Digital workplaces integrate all the required business applications including cloud storage, group messaging tools, collaboration tools, project management, automated processes and more. The rise in their popularity is a result of the increasing demands of workers to be able to handle more responsibilities. Today’s manager needs to be able to lead projects, create custom processes, collaborate with remote workers, share documents and create a complete strategy.

In today’s workplace, we have baby boomers who entered the workforce even before email was normal, and now they must learn a new system every month to solve even the smallest of problems. Simultaneously, digitally native generations are entering the workplace who know nothing before smartphones and have high expectations for how tools should function.

A digital workplace must bridge these gaps and be a tool that is extremely user-friendly, intuitive, highly functional and convenient to use. The many benefits of digital transformation include:

1. Better collaboration

By digitally transforming business processes, employees are able to easily communicate with each other and access all the required work files seamlessly. This fosters trust among employees and makes the work environment more collaborative. It also allows employees from different departments to work closely with little to no communication gaps.

2. Improved transparency

When employees are able to access all the required information about a particular project or task through a single platform, it improves visibility and transparency across the organization. More importantly, transparent and digitized business processes make it easier to identify any bottlenecks.

3. Increased productivity

Handling mundane and repetitive tasks every day that could have been easily handled by automation tools can take up a big part of an employee's time, which they could have used to handle more important and complex tasks instead. With digital transformation, companies can automate repetitive parts of a business process and in turn improve employee productivity.

Here are the essential dimensions of a digital workplace that must be present to unite the entire organization.

Inclusive

The digital workplaces in 2030 need to be inclusive of all employees no matter where they are working from or the device they are using. Workplaces aren’t fixed physical locations anymore and digital versions should support that.

When participating in a digital workplace, everyone should feel like they have access to the same data and contacts. A digital workplace can level the playing field by opening up all information and force teams to work in public so that everyone stays up-to-date and can celebrate together.

With an inclusive digital workplace platform, employees are able to access their work data and projects online even while they are traveling or working from home. Virtualizing and digitizing workspaces allows organizations to optimize their business processes and bring change from within.

Great digital workplaces also level the playing field when it comes to ableness and other marginalized groups by putting the focus on the work to be done rather than the environment.

Immersive

Digital workplaces of the future will offer augmented and virtual reality features to employees who aren’t working from the same physical office space. The capabilities that are currently being incorporated in digital workplace platforms will probably be fundamentally reinvented in the near future to align with the latest technological trends and workforce expectations.

Digital workplace platforms will continue to adopt the latest technology to make sure that everything is kept on a common platform. The more work that can be included in your digital workplace, the better. This ensures a common system of record for everything that happens in the organization, and employees can access any of the business applications or data through a single interface.

Digital workplaces also need to support monitoring control and only give employees access to data that is relevant to them. At the same time, chatbots can use natural language processing to simplify work interactions among employees and allow them to manage their core responsibilities seamlessly.

The ever increasing capabilities of the digital workplaces will help empower the employees by completely overhauling job roles and responsibilities within the organization.

Intelligent

Automation is already a part of digital workplaces, and by 2025, intelligent automation will allow organizations to automate complex parts of the business processes that require decision making and problem-solving.

By 2025, artificial intelligence in digital workplaces will be able to help organizations optimize and digitize business processes to a much higher level than is currently available. At the same time, data-driven digital workplace tools will be able to make robust decisions without the involvement of any employees.

Through AI, business tools will be able to analyze data and patterns in order to make optimum decisions. This will create a hyperpersonalized digital work environment powered by data-driven behavior and allow employees to focus more on their core responsibilities.

Engaging

Organizations need to remember that work begins and ends with people. No matter what new technologies or tools they are using to accomplish their work, if the employees are not able to leverage the tools the right way or if the employees don’t find the tools useful enough, then it defeats the whole purpose of investing in new technologies.

Therefore, the real focus of digital workplaces of the future should be on employees. Tools must align with employee needs and always focus on keeping it simple and streamlined. Organizations need to offer them with the right tools that can help them maintain work-life balance in order to hire and retain better talent. This will result in aesthetically beautiful, immersive digital work environments in the physical world. For a workforce increasingly concerned with health, wellbeing and happiness, this will also be a key employer attractor.

Looking to the future

The practice of looking into the future and coming up with well-considered ideas and predictions is not new, but it does require rigor and creativity. When considering the dimensions of digital workplaces of 2025, you have to remember that while the dimensions will stay the same, the technology that you use to integrate these dimensions will depend on the latest technological trends of the next decade.

One thing that seems to be certain is that we will spend less time looking at interfaces and more time interacting with people in the environment. Our digital experience is therefore bound to become more physical as digital starts to disappear as a separate notion.
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Old November 4th, 2019, 08:49 AM   #5728
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Atal Innovation Mission joins hands with Great Lakes business school to launch incubation centre

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The event is also expected to display ideas from new entrepreneurs, which can be later incubated in Atal Great Lakes Balachandran Incubation.

CHENNAI: Business school Great Lakes Institute of Management, near Chennai, has partnered with Atal Innovation Mission, the flagship initiative of the Niti Aayog to promote entrepreneurship, to launch the Atal Great Lakes Balachandran Incubation (AGBI) Center.

The facility, of over 10,000 sq. feet will be inaugurated on November 18 in the presence of Great Lakes’ founder chairman Bala V Balachandaran, ..

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//economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/71887020.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
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Old November 4th, 2019, 08:05 PM   #5729
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Tamil Nadu’s AI And Blockchain Policy To Be Framed Around Ethical Use Of AI

Tamil Nadu to create separate policies for AI and blockchain use in egovernance

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The state government has implemented AI systems at many public sector touchpoints

As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning continue to catalyse innovation across the country, the big worry is whether human jobs will be replaced by automation and how deeply robots and machines will impact social life. To address these fears, the Tamil Nadu government has said it will include provisions to promote ethical use of technology in the state’s AI and blockchain policy.

The policy would govern the use of AI and blockchain technology across various government services, according to a TOI report, Santosh Misra, the CEO of state’s egovernance agency said the state is working on separate policies for AI and blockchain, and claimed that the AI policy is likely the first official policy in the world to address the safe and ethical use of the technology.

Misra claimed that no other state or country has announced a standalone policy to address the safety and ethics in AI. While that cannot be verified presently, the approach is certainly right keeping in mind the pitfalls that many experts see in the proliferation of AI. The AI and blockchain policies are expected to help the state government leverage these emerging technologies for service delivery and solving governance issues.

According to the report, focusing on blockchain and AI, TN’s AI policy is said to be the first from a state government in the country. However, earlier this year, the Telangana government has also released a draft for blockchain policy to encourage blockchain startups.

In July, Tamil Nadu government announced to deploy a blockchain platform created by the TNeGA for better service delivery to citizens. The project is said to cost INR 90 Cr, where the platform will be developed to bring in transparency, efficiency and safety and security in the system.

Another use case led by TN includes an AI-powered attendance system for students, which is being implemented in two corporate schools, reported TOI.

Optimistic about the TN’s measure to counter the disaster of AI applications, the state is rolling out new policies keeping in mind the safety and ethics of people, Misra added.

Misra also announced that an information and communication technology (ICT) conference will be held this month in Chennai to bring together the state’s ICT leaders, policymakers, academics and entrepreneurs.

Earlier this year, PM Narendra Modi made a statement during a press conference urging the Indian startup ecosystem stakeholders, teachers, policymakers and students to build artificial solutions that are ‘Made to work for India.’ “I believe AI can be utilised to eradicate poverty and disease, and by doing so, prosperity can be brought to the poor and underprivileged sections,” he added.
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Old November 4th, 2019, 08:19 PM   #5730
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Freshworks valuation soars 3.5X in 15 months with $150 Mn fresh round

Software product companies are having a ball in India.

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Freshworks is a formidable and parallel player in B2B tech space. The firm has expanded its footprint in the US and looking to add 100 more employees across sales and engineering functions.

Meanwhile, it also has raised $150 million fresh funds from existing investors including Google, Sequoia and Accel Partners. According to a Moneycontrol report, the company has hit a valuation of $3.5 billion in the new financing round.

With the fresh proceeds, the California and Chennai-based firm has raised $400 million total risk capital across nine rounds. It’s worth noting that Freshwork’s valuation has jumped 3.5X in less than 15 months. In August 2018, it turned Unicorn with $100 million round co-led by Sequoia and Accel.

Besides the US, Europe and India are primary markets for the Girish Mathroobotham-led firm. Freshworks also has a presence in Australian, Japanese and the Middle East markets.

Freshworks offers a slew of software tools, including CRM for sales, customer support software, and IT management, among others, meant for businesses. Currently, the company uses over 1,50,000 organisations, including Cisco, Toshiba, Honda, and Hugo Boss.

Since its inception in 2010, the company has acquired eight companies including Airwoot, Framebench, Konotor, Frilp. According to multiple media reports, the company is also planning a public offering in the next two years. Freshworks, indeed, is an outlier in B2B SaaS space from India along with Zoho
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Old November 5th, 2019, 10:32 PM   #5731
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Three Waves: Tracking the Evolution of India’s Startups

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Entrepreneurship is embedded in India’s economy and culture. This opinion piece traces the roots of India’s startup ecosystem and where it is headed in the future. The co-authors include Somshubhro Pal Choudhury, a partner at Bharat Innovation Fund, a $100 million venture fund that backs entrepreneurs building deep-tech companies in India; Supriya Sharma, partner – insights at CIIE.CO, a leading entrepreneurship center based at the Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad; and Sanjay Jain, a partner at Bharat Innovation Fund.

India’s startup economy has been booming. The last decade has seen significant activity on multiple fronts including the founding of new startups, amount of funding and number of investment rounds, influx of global investors and startups, development of regulatory infrastructure, global mergers and acquisitions, and internationalization. Entrepreneurial success stories abound. At last count, India had 26 unicorns, with eight new entrants joining the club in 2018 alone.

Amid all this fervor, it is important to take a step back and reflect on how the Indian startup ecosystem has reached its current position. History repeats itself, they say, but our intentions lean more towards understanding the patterns of evolution. That can help us equip ourselves and create interventions to keep the momentum going.

Like most old economies and cultures, entrepreneurship and trade have blossomed in India for centuries. Built on these foundations, India’s current entrepreneurial ecosystem is a result of three waves of entrepreneurial activity with distinct focus areas – Information Technology (IT), consumerism and innovation. In our view, each of these waves is marked by distinct kinds of businesses, predominant activities and ecosystems comprising various social, regulatory, technological, economic and cultural elements. While each wave draws upon the previous one, we find that it is distinct from its predecessor and successor.

We will elaborate upon these waves, but only after touching upon the foundations of entrepreneurship in India. After all, we must begin at the beginning (or as far back as we can go).

Of Oceans, Seas and Risk Takers

Culturally, many communities in India are believed to be entrepreneurial and avid risk takers. Historically, Indian traders are known to have travelled as far as Egypt, Bahrain, Vietnam and Burma (Myanmar), among other countries. Entrepreneurial communities in India own and run many family-owned small- and medium-sized businesses as well as large behemoths such as Reliance and Bajaj. A report published in 2018 notes that 111 of the most popular family-owned businesses had a total market capitalization of some $839 billion. This number does not include the vast number of small and medium-sized family-owned businesses spread across India.

“At last count, India had 26 unicorns, with eight new entrants joining the club in 2018 alone.”

Plenty of data support these entrepreneurial inclinations. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor estimates some 20% of Indians (aged between 18 and 64 years) intend to start a business in the next three years, while more than 11% are nascent entrepreneurs (against the global average of 12.6%). About 63.7% of people in India consider entrepreneurship to be a desirable career choice, against the global average of 62.4%.

A stroll along the streets of the old cities of Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad (and many others) or a drive through the industrial clusters spread all over the country reveals the entrepreneurial spirit embedded in the cultural and economic milieu of India. These embedded entrepreneurial inclinations, we believe, have laid the foundations for waves of entrepreneurial activity in India.

Wave 1: IT Matters

The roots of information technology can be seen in the setting up of schools of technology and management and entry of IBM in India in 1950s (only to exit two decades later). In 1968, the corporate giant, Tata Group, set up Tata Consultancy Services and took on several computerization related projects in India. It partnered with a U.S. based mainframe-manufacturing company and thus began the era of offshoring.

However, the wave of IT and IT-enabled services began taking cognizable form with the founding of companies like Patni Systems around the 1980s. Founders of these companies were educated in prestigious schools (mainly in the U.S.) and closely witnessed the market asymmetries to realize the unlocked value in offshoring. They returned home to set up IT businesses to capture this value. These IT companies also became nurturing grounds for entrepreneurs. Early employees of such companies went on to establish giants like Infosys, many of which, in turn, became breeding grounds for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The growth of these IT companies and increased offshoring of R&D created a pull on technical education. As a result, engineering became the almost de facto choice for higher education, thus leading to the creation of a large pool of engineers. In 2014, India was estimated to be home to some 25% of the world’s engineering graduates.

With almost a non-existent venture funding industry back then, most of these businesses in the first wave were bootstrapped and they focused on services. Stories are often told of N. R. Narayana Murthy, founder of Infosys, borrowing money from his spouse and being continually broke. Such was the entrepreneurial zeal and the size of the offshoring opportunity that many IT businesses established in the 1990s have now grown into some of the largest and most successful companies founded in India. Today, India’s IT/ITES and BPO firms constitute a $180 billion industry primarily focused on the global market.

The success of Indian IT businesses also brought more prosperity to the country’s middle class. Between the 1960s and 1990s, a typical middle-income household had one primary earner who was either employed by the government or a public sector undertaking or ran a small local business. Children’s education was taken seriously and they were often guided towards engineering or medical schools. Once they had graduated, engineers found immediate employment with IT companies (through campus placement) and brought home salaries that were higher than their parents’ incomes. As IT businesses grew, so did the paychecks of their employees, the effects of which also spilled over to other industries.

Since more money was now available to be spent, the Indian economy opened up to global markets, creating more avenues for consumption and setting in motion the next wave of entrepreneurship.

Wave 2: Rise of Consumerism

The Indian consumer story was sparked by an increase in expendable income. This wave started around the middle of the last decade and created opportunities for a variety of business models.

With the liberalization of policy infrastructure, more capital was now becoming available. The investment thesis — a growing emerging middle class with higher incomes would consume more, use smartphones and access the internet often. Internet usage was expected to become cheaper, therefore improving access. Thus, models around e-commerce, specialized retail, marketplaces, hyper-delivery networks and organizing the unorganized sector were being bet upon.

This was a mammoth wave of entrepreneurial activity in India; the ‘startup’ expectations were also seen to have taken birth around this wave. Substantial investments around the consumer investment thesis first came from the U.S., later followed by China and Japan. Unparalleled opportunities were created; these not only led to the India foray of large consumer brands like Amazon and Uber, but also the emergence of more than 25 home-grown unicorns (like Ola, Zomato, Swiggy, PayTM and many more). Not to forget, Walmart acquired Flipkart at a valuation of $22 billion.

This wave is also marked by many me-too platforms and aggregator models, albeit with business model innovations and adapting processes to India’s unique culture and demands like ‘cash-on-delivery.’ Quite unlike their Chinese counterparts that have enjoyed a near monopolistic luxury, these Indian born ventures are competing strongly in an open market against global, well-funded, and well-matured competitors. Some of the ventures have succumbed but several have succeeded and are now setting their eyes on global expansion.

“India has evolved from being the IT, services and business process outsourcing hub of the world to being a significant R&D center for multinationals and many Silicon Valley startups.”

Wave 3: Up the Innovation Curve

The latest wave in India has two defining characteristics — B2B models and deep-tech, IP-driven innovation.

Closely clued into the global ecosystems, Indian startups are moving up the intellectual property ladder, too. We are seeing fewer ‘me-too’ e-commerce models and more startups building unique products and solutions. The target customer is no longer only (or primarily) India and an increasing number of startups in India are now born global. These entrepreneurs are more seasoned, with experience of having worked in large multinationals, and have a global exposure with working in the U.S. or Europe before returning to India. Most importantly, these entrepreneurs have a product mindset unlike their counterparts from the previous generation who were more services focused. These entrepreneurs are building from India, for the world. Playing in the global market also brings home strong IP sensibilities for the ecosystem.

The other characterizing feature of the current wave is the salience of B2B models. The growth of the IT businesses from the first wave and the consumer-driven startups from the second wave along with the drive for traditional businesses to compete on a global playing field has created opportunities for business (as against consumer) products and solutions. The demand for B2B solutions from the global markets is a few times over. Many of us would have heard startups shying away from B2B models often citing the difficult working relationships. This is beginning to change with businesses that were themselves struggling startups in the recent past, now creating a more encouraging market for other young B2B startups.

The mass consumer segment from the second wave appears to be hyper-invested now with winners already picked, but there are several niche opportunities that are getting capitalized. Beyond the current unicorns, the next wave of 100 startups in India are much more diverse, going beyond consumer to B2B marketplaces, healthtech, enterprise-tech, robotics, fintech and many more. Some of these startups include Grey Orange Robotics, Medgenome, Blackbuck, Bankbazaar, Uniphore, etc.

The startup ecosystem is now shifting to more B2B models that have deep-tech and IP-driven innovation at their core. Examples include some of the startups in our Bharat Innovation Fund portfolio including Entropik Technologies (platform for Emotion AI, mapping EEG brainwave signals, facial expression and eye tracking), Detect Technologies (high temperature magneto-resistive sensor and signal processing for leakage and corrosion detection in oil refineries) and even a number of new-age Space-tech startups building affordable connectivity solutions, nano-satellite platforms and 3D printed modular rocket engines, taking a cue on the affordable Space-tech success from Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO). There are now multiple success stories with Zoho and Freshworks leading the unicorn SaaS space from the southern city of Chennai. We now see over 500 AI startups in India leveraging the affordable talent and easier access to large pools of data and as well as a number of in-house and outsourced data science teams offering services to global customers.

While a plethora of challenges remain, most startups in the current wave seem to be adopting the Israeli way of establishing a global connect and customer base for scaling-up, after development, piloting and achieving product-market fit, done affordably in India in comparison to their global counterparts.

“These entrepreneurs are building from India, for the world.”

The Digital India Push

Digital India has been a big initiative by the Indian Government over the past decade across political party lines. The push towards this started with the development of public goods digital infrastructure known as ‘IndiaStack’ in 2009 and issuance of biometric IDs to Indians. IndiaStack is a presence-less, cashless, paperless, consent-based scalable architecture that promises to revolutionize and accelerate India’s digital push. It promises to enable the country leapfrog from being a digital infrastructure poor country to being a leader. In the last eight years, over 1.2 billion Indians have received their biometric IDs — Aadhaar — and onboarded on the Universal IDentification (UiD) project. This was the fastest ever rate of reaching a billion users, surpassing the growth of giants like Facebook, WhatsApp or even mobile phones!

The IndiaStack infrastructure seems to have enabled a more efficient opening of over 500 million bank accounts for citizens who never had one earlier. These bank accounts were opened with an aim to ease citizens’ access to formal credit and direct transfer of government benefits and subsidies. This IndiaStack infrastructure has also made its presence felt in the private sector with the country moving fast from largely an all-cash economy to cashless digital transactions.

Additional infrastructure layers are being built on IndiaStack. For instance, ‘HealthStack’ aims to enable India’s flagship healthcare scheme of insurance to 300 million citizens and ‘Digital Sky’ focuses on drone and small aeroplane flight plan authorization. A uniform single taxation scheme, launched recently, for the entire country has increased the tax net significantly and simplified the age-old taxation norms that have plagued the growth rate for decades. Infrastructure is ready for every citizen to have a Digital Locker for e-signed documents like driving license and certifications. India’s digital infrastructure is also attracting considerable interest from countries that are on the path of deeper digitization.

What Next?

Riding on the above three waves and the government’s push for digitization, India’s startup ecosystem now stands firmly with over 300 incubators and accelerators, about 30,000 active startups. In 2018, institutional venture funding of over $4 billion channeled towards tech startups only speaks of the growing size of this ecosystem. With over 50 central and state government policies for supporting startups, the rails of policy and regulation are also getting stronger in India. The recent thrust on building technological infrastructure and enhancing the ease of business is further fuelling the growth of the ecosystem. While economic challenges remain, we are positive about the strong political will and the promise of bold reforms for the long run to get the economy to $5 trillion.

As 2019 flies by, we are closely witnessing the evolution of the third wave. We are seeing startups apply Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to create solutions across sectors. Novel use cases of IoT, blockchain and the IndiaStack are also emerging. We are seeing startups that are born global, creating solutions for the world as well as those that are applying next-gen technology to address deep and complex challenges of inclusion and livelihoods in India. The future holds immense promise and we are humbly contributing to its creation.
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Old November 6th, 2019, 10:38 PM   #5732
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Zoho Charges Ahead with 50 Million Business Users

Introduces WorkDrive, a Content Collaboration Platform, with Knowledge and Context of Underlying Business Processes

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Zoho Corporation, a global, privately held company that offers the most comprehensive suite of business software applications in the industry, is thrilled to announce today another historic milestone for the company: 50 million business users. This news comes at a time when Zoho is growing considerably. The company now has 10 data centers around the globe, which support more than 45 different applications that help businesses located in more than 180 countries. With the recent launch of Catalyst, Zoho continues to be a major player in the developer space as well, offering no-code, low-code, and pro-code applications. As more and more people around the world turn to Zoho for their business needs, the company is redoubling its efforts to provide the best, most unified platform, services, and applications in the industry.

“Expect Best is a web development and digital marketing agency that works with over 300 customers. Therefore, we need to stay organized, efficient, and be able to work with our clients at every stage of the projects. Zoho's Workdrive has allowed us to do all this and more”

With this in mind, Zoho has rearchitected its content collaboration platform from the ground up, optimizing it for teams and businesses. WorkDrive now provides the underlying document management across all Zoho business applications, allowing for unified search, single storage, contextual integration, as well as many other vertically integrated capabilities. Businesses seek to go beyond storage today and need enterprise-grade solutions in areas like multi-level security, compliance, and audit control. The unit of work is no longer the individual, but the team. Sharing and collaboration must be implicit in workflows and business processes, rather than be patched onto solutions that originated as consumer and single-person models. WorkDrive is integrated into the platform, services, and applications layers of the Zoho technology stack and incorporates capabilities like virus detection, encryption, image processing, and other AI tools in the proper business context.

"A content collaboration platform must understand the context of the documents it stores. A proposal may turn into a sales contract and then into a service level agreement. In this case, the customer engagement went from prospecting to sales to service management. By understanding the connections between these documents—hence their underlying context—a content collaboration platform can connect and engage the relevant people," said Vijay Sundaram, Zoho's Chief Strategy Officer. "WorkDrive creates a common, unified file system across all business processes, so the business context is easier to understand and preserve, making the system significantly more valuable to the customer. This unique type of a solution can only come from a vendor who also offers the business applications."

Zoho is also announcing its revamped Workplace suite of productivity applications, which includes Cliq, Notebook, Connect, Writer, Sheet, Show, Showtime, Mail, Meeting, and WorkDrive. Among other new capabilities, Workplace now features an integrated app dashboard that houses customizable widgets that display information from each of the nine apps included in the suite. Here are some of the key features of WorkDrive and the revamped Workplace suite:

WorkDrive for Better Team Management and Collaboration
  • WorkDrive comes with a built-in Zoho Office suite (Writer, Sheet, and Show).
  • WorkDrive introduces Team Folders, a shared workplace with role-based member permissions for cross-team collaboration and storage.
  • WorkDrive deploys virus scanning, encryption, and WAN acceleration at the platform level, thereby strengthening all Zoho services and applications built on top of it.
  • WorkDrive introduces image, video, and document conversion services.
  • WorkDrive is integrated with Zia, Zoho's AI assistant, providing unified search as well as OCR in applications such as Zoho Notebook.
  • WorkDrive provides administrators advanced analytics, data administration, and granular access controls.
  • WorkDrive has an advanced external file-sharing feature, allowing users to collaborate with external stakeholders while maintaining control of the files.
  • External users who have edit permission can add files to a shared folder or edit shared Zoho Office Suite files.
  • WorkDrive brings businesses advanced team management capabilities, allowing administrators to manage settings at the team and Team Folder levels.

A New Workplace for a New Workforce
  • Zoho Sheet is integrated with Zia, Zoho's AI assistant, giving customers automatic insight into their data, data cleansing, and even the ability to scan data tables within images and convert them into spreadsheets.
  • Zoho Cliq allows users to build bots, custom message actions, commands, and schedulers that connect with other workplace tools to centralize and consolidate data.
  • Zoho Writer gives business users the power to create documents with fillable fields. They can publish those documents as a web form to collect responses or generate merged documents (docx/PDF). Users can deliver the merged documents via email or send the filled document for signature.
  • Zoho ShowTime offers on-demand training with ticketing and course completion certificates, allowing trainers to reach customers across time zones and provide flexible learning.
  • Zoho Mail features email retention and eDiscovery whereby admins can retain organization-wide emails for a specified period and easily search across those retained emails and retrieve relevant information.
  • Zoho Notebook is enhanced by Zia, Zoho's AI assistant. Users can employ the Ask Zia feature to save content to Notebook, search for notes, set reminders, and share notes with voice commands.
  • Zoho Meeting has added new moderator controls, including the ability to lock meetings, switch presenters, and mute or remove participants.

Customer Statements

"Expect Best is a web development and digital marketing agency that works with over 300 customers. Therefore, we need to stay organized, efficient, and be able to work with our clients at every stage of the projects. Zoho's Workdrive has allowed us to do all this and more," said Alex Dibben, Managing Director of Expect Best Ltd. "We started with Zoho One and were impressed by how much it helped our business that we decided to also integrate Workdrive. Workdrive has given us a huge amount of storage space and increased our ability to juggle our many clients and their projects with ease."

"Prior to Workdrive, we had been finding it hard to manage client files and coordinate internal and external programs, we also were using multiple platforms which affected our collaboration abilities and decreased security," said Bob Sullivan, Co-Founder of Vector Solutions. "When we switched to WorkDrive, Zoho showed us how one application can change our efficiency tremendously. One of our favorite aspects is being able to create folders where our clients can see only their secure documents while we can see everything from all clients. It improved our collaboration and work ability greatly."
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Old November 7th, 2019, 04:39 AM   #5733
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Sometimes I want to start a business just so I could checkout the full power of Zoho's products.
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Old November 7th, 2019, 07:44 AM   #5734
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Old November 13th, 2019, 03:51 AM   #5735
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Tamil Nadu at work on safe & ethical AI policy

Tamil Nadu will unveil a policy for safe and ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI), in what is arguably a first-of-its-kind move in the country.
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Old November 13th, 2019, 02:44 PM   #5736
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Chennai students innovate with biometric voting machine

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The students of PCKG Government Higher Secondary School in Kodambakkam, who came up with the device, are to meet the President of India on Children’s Day
How can the process of voting be made simpler, more accessible and transparent? These are the questions that a team of students from PCKG Government Higher Secondary School in Kodambakkam sought to find answers for: and they came up with a biometric voting machine. And now, they have been invited to meet the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, on Children’s Day in New Delhi.

“Despite our country having a huge population, our voter turnouts are much lower than in other countries. Through the Biometric voter machine which we have designed, people only need to go through a fingerprint or a retinal scan. The machine can then procure their corresponding Aadhaar data, based on which, they will be shown the candidates for their constituency,” explained Pradeep Kumar, a class 10 student of the school.

He, along with M.V. Jebin of Class 12 and N. Sudarshan, Sushil Raj Singh and A. Vishal from class 12 worked on this smart voting system, which they say, will lead to a more accessible and fair election process.

From the team of 5, Sudarshan, Sushil and Vishal have already flown to Delhi and will be participating in a Children’s Day event with the President on Thursday. Their team project was chosen from among 200 student projects from across the country and will be among eight teams, which will showcase their innovations.

The students said that through this system, a voter needn’t go to the specific booth that he has been assigned to, but can vote from any machine since their biometric credentials will be linked to their Aadhaar data. “Our next step is to develop a software which can be used in ATM machines where people can cast their votes through a fingerprint or retinal scan. Since there is a biometric verification, people can’t cast duplicate votes,” they explained.

The biometric voting machine is among the many projects that students in the school have been encouraged to work on, in the Atal Tinkering Lab which has been set up in the school under NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM).

K. Vijayalakshmi, a Maths teacher, said the school was working with the Learning Links Foundation and encouraging children to work on project ideas beyond their classroom lessons. “The school’s projects have been recognised by the Atal Innovation Mission from among schools across the country several times,” Ms Vijayalakshmi said. She and science teacher Vasanthi Devapriya have helped the team.

Stating that the school recognised the need to encourage students to innovate, K. Tamilarasi, the headmistress of the school said that students of classes 6 to 12 had at least one science and mathematics period every week set aside for time in the lab on their school campus. “Hands on experiments and innovations are important for students to imbibe concepts well,” she said.
https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities...le29962190.ece
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Old November 14th, 2019, 10:18 AM   #5737
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Chennai start-up VAANGO selected by US Accelerator upward Labs

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Facial recognition technology has been generating increasing buzz in the recent times.
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Old November 16th, 2019, 10:29 PM   #5738
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FMO To Provide $5 Mn Infrastructure Development Fund To Agritech WayCool

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The company had raised $16 Mn in January this year

It’s investors include LGT Impact, Caspian and Northern Arc Capital

FMO’s portfolio includes Lenginkart, Orb Energies, etc
FMO To Provide $5 Mn Infrastructure Development Fund To Agritech Waycool

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Netherland development finance company, FMO Entrepreneurial Development Bank, on November 14, announced that it is planning to invest $5.2 Mn (INR 37.31 Cr) in Chennai-based WayCool Foods And Products for Infrastructure development.

“The Company focuses on India’s fragmented food value chains and leverages technology and automation to improve logistics and distribution services, reduce food waste, increase farmer income and improve the quality of the produce for the consumer,” FMO said in its statement.

Previously in September 2019, Social enterprise-focused investment firm Aavishkaar Group had raised $27 Mn from FMO. Other Indian companies in FMO’s portfolio include new Energies business Orb Energy, SME lending startup Lendingkart, micro-lending startup Ftcash and digital payments startup Innoviti.

Founded by July 2015 by Karthik Jayaraman and Sanjay Dasari, WayCool is an agritech platform that provides an omnichannel platform for the distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables to local shops and modern retail outlets.

WayCool has its retail presence in Chennai through its SunnyBee brand, which operates retail stores and mobile stores on trucks. SunnyBee also runs other private label products and brands through partnerships with sister companies.

WayCool aims to build a large food distribution business by creating an efficient and informed supply chain. The company currently distributes its products — produce, staples and dairy serving — across its distribution channels to four thousand clients.

Earlier in January, WayCool raised $16.9 Mn (INR 120 Cr) from institutional lenders and prominent angel investors in both equity and debt. The investors included LGT Impact, Caspian and Northern Arc Capital.

With $540 Bn contributed to India’s overall $880 Bn retail market in 2018, food and grocery became the single largest consumption category in India. According to Inc42 DataLabs, the total funding in Indian agritech startups has increased to $66.6 Mn (INR 463 Cr) in 2018 from $46.1 Mn (INR 320 Cr) in 2017.
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Old November 17th, 2019, 10:07 AM   #5739
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“YES PAPA!” Brandgenuity hired to represent ChuChu TV, the world’s most watched kids’ channel on YouTube

Agency will serve as agent for North American licensing

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YouTube channel, ChuChu TV, and Dream Theatre, its global master licensing agency, announced today that Brandgenuity will serve as ChuChu TV’s agent in North America for licensing. With 23 billion views and 36 million subscribers, ChuChu TV dominates preschool entertainment on YouTube. The hit channel ChuChu TV Nursery Rhymes and Kids Songs reimagines classic nursery rhymes and toddler-loved songs including Johny Yes Papa, The Finger Family and Wheels on the Bus, while ChuChu TV Surprise Eggs Learning Videos teaches children about discovery while having fun.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Brandgenuity,” said Jiggy George, Founder and CEO, Dream Theatre. The team’s passion for ChuChu TV’s mission, combined with their expertise in building strategic licensing programs, was just what we were seeking.” And he added, “Above all we were looking for ingenious ideas and big thinking as we all enter this new territory of digital property expansion.”

“We are delighted about this partnership which paves the way for kids in North America to have ChuChu TV products and services, and to engage with the brand in a meaningful way. We are sure that it will bring them as much joy and learning as our content,” says Vinoth Chandar, Founder, CEO and Creative Director, ChuChu TV.

ChuChu TV is among the top YouTube Kids brands in the world. Launched in 2013, it has become a global phenomenon, with a wide audience from around the world averaging 500 million views per month across its family of channels. Learning and entertainment are at the heart of ChuChu TV, whose memorable, fun videos feature diverse characters, positive endings, educational content, music and choreography. ChuChu TV viewers span from 2-8 years old, many of whom view along with their parents as well. USA is one of the top 3 territories for ChuChu TV with a prodigious 3.5 billion views and 4 million subscribers, making it one of the most popular networks of channels in the US for preschoolers and young kids. ChuChu TV’s recent story episodes from its Storytime channel, targeting 4-8 age group, teaches good habits to kids and have received a fabulous response in US, garnering millions of views in a very short period of time.

Dream Theatre and Brandgenuity plan to expand the ChuChu TV brand and its assets to publishing, toys, back to school and more.

“We are very excited to build this program,” said Jay Asher, Partner at Brandgenuity. “The ChuChu TV brand has all the distinguishing assets retailers and licensees need to succeed: unique characters, memorable music, endless rich content and an engaged audience that feels a true emotional connection.”
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Old November 17th, 2019, 10:31 AM   #5740
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