Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Walmart Vriddhi brings a digitally enhanced learning experience to

 Walmart Vriddhi brings a digitally enhanced learning experience
to train MSMEs for faster growth and recovery

 End-to-end program of interactive virtual training, personalized consultation and ecosystem support to equip Panipat MSMEs for online and offline growth

 India’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) now have the opportunity to embark on a digitally enhanced entrepreneurial journey through the Walmart Vriddhi Supplier Development Program. The journey features interactive online training experiences and personalized mentoring, with access to resources and experts to support growth. This supports the goals of Digital India by providing MSMEs with the tools to adopt new technologies to expand their business

The Walmart Vriddhi Program was launched by Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) in December 2019 with the aim to empower 50,000 Indian MSMEs to “Make in India” for domestic and global supply chains. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the program was reshaped to emphasize digital experiences, and this allowed it to be rolled out to more MSMEs. In the future, it will offer a mix of digital and in-person training, mentoring and network experiences via physical Vriddhi Institutes when conditions are favorable.

The e-institute-based Vriddhi Program provides MSMEs an easy-to-use interactive learning experience through online modules with a blend of teaching and assessment tools. Participants receive personalized feedback through virtual classrooms, formal assessments and one-on-one advisory sessions. To prepare MSMEs to sell through new online and offline channels in India and abroad, the program will also offer advanced training that includes personalized mentoring and the opportunity to work with service providers and peers.

The Vriddhi entrepreneurial journey equips MSMEs with tailored knowledge of key aspects of business management, enterprise growth, customer-centric services, manufacturing best practices, responsible sourcing and more. In response to the challenges brought about by COVID-19, it has been extended to reinforce the ability of MSME leaders to identify strategic issues, expedite digital adoption and increase efficiencies in their businesses.

Designed by Walmart in partnership with the program’s knowledge manager, Swasti, the curriculum is tailored to the business challenges and growth aspirations of MSMEs in the communities in which it is offered.

“Walmart Vriddhi opens up opportunities for MSMEs to sell into Walmart’s supply chains or the open marketplace. Wherever they are in their journey and whatever their aspirations for growth, that openness makes the program unique and puts the supplier at the center of everything we do,” Judith McKenna, president and CEO of Walmart International, said. “With today’s digital enhancements, we’re helping more entrepreneurs expand their capabilities and build sustainable businesses that add value to their communities.”


Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Chief Executive Officer, Flipkart Group added, “As India adjusts to the ‘new normal,’ digital transformation is a path to resilience for businesses. In concert with the government’s Digital India initiative, we want to help Indian MSMEs digitize so they can react to market trends and challenges with speed and agility, better serve their customers and grow their business. Flipkart and Walmart are working together on Vriddhi and other programs to make a real difference for MSMEs and to contribute to sustained economic growth for India.”  

Walmart Vriddhi’s first all-digital e-institute will initially be open to MSMEs in Panipat, Sonipat, and Kundli, an area that is a hub of textile, steel and kitchenware production with a strong entrepreneurial heritage and a skilled workforce. Eligible MSMEs can access the digital training experience through a mobile application available on iOS and Android in both English and Hindi.

Vriddhi will progressively roll out e-institutes to other regions in India, providing tailored training, mentoring and ecosystem support.

“The need to work with India’s MSME sector and its workforce to enable holistic measures to support their growth and evolution has never been more pressing than it is today. The multi-level, online training approach that the Vriddhi Program affords is tailored to address the identified needs of the MSMEs and will help them build and adapt their businesses to serve domestic and global supply chains. This will fast track their growth and ensure longevity for their business,” Shiv Kumar, Co-founder and Chief Mentor, Swasti, said.

In recent months, Walmart has actively worked with its various MSME suppliers and Panipat-based businesses to help them cater to the rising demand for essential PPE and hygiene products. Flipkart Samarth has also helped local artisans, weavers and many rural & women entrepreneurs get back to business.


Drawing on the extensive eCommerce experience Walmart and Flipkart have in India, as well as in wholesale retail and sourcing for global markets, Swasti has extended advisory support to MSMEs on financial schemes, government programs and business operations, offering best practices for business realignment and continuity during these challenging times.

Essential to Business Survival During and

    New India Study Finds Smooth Digital Transactions

 “Essential to Business Survival” During and After Pandemic

  • 93% respondents in India believe a national digital ID gives low-income groups access to consumer services they would have previously been excluded from
  • Economist Intelligence Unit report for TransUnion highlights which emerging technologies could present challenges for and increase fraud prevention, economic inclusion and consumer privacy


 A new global and India study by the Economist Intelligence Unit for TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) has overwhelmingly found the key to whether or not companies go out of business hinges on providing consumers friction-right digital transactions. About 94% of India and 85% of global executives surveyed as part of the study said they believe smooth transactions are “essential to business survival” rather than merely a competitive edge.


“COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated digital transformation with 61% of our global survey respondents saying their organization has changed their digital transaction process due to the pandemic,” said Shaleen Srivastava, executive vice president and head of Fraud, Solutions and Alternate Data at TransUnion in India. “But all of this digital progress will be wiped out if we can’t remove these barriers to building bilateral digital trust. For instance, two-thirds of global executives in the study who said their company changed their digital transaction process as a result of the pandemic experienced glitches."


The report, New Dimensions of Change: Building Trust in a Digital Consumer Landscape,” included responses from 162 executives from India, and 1,448 executives in Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, the Philippines, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S. The research uncovered how technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), national digital IDs[1] and super-apps[2] can help overcome hurdles and possibly create new challenges to building digital trust.


Artificial Intelligence (AI), Biometrics and National Digital IDs Will Play an Increasingly Important Role in Fraud Prevention

Overwhelmingly respondents answered that: 1) biometrics will be the dominant payment customer authentication method; 2) improved fraud detection and security is the greatest benefit to using AI; and 3) a national digital ID system will help prevent consumer fraud.


Approximately 93% of India and 85% of global executives say biometrics are likely to be used to authenticate the vast majority of payments in the next 10 years. About 37% of India and 43% of global respondents noted that improved fraud detection and security is the greatest benefit to using AI. This was the top selection by far with smoother customer experience being the second most used answer globally at 29% worldwide and 27% in India. Furthermore, the vast majority of executives, 95% in India and 79% globally, think national digital IDs will help fraud prevention in consumer transactions.


“Ensuring consumer trust starts with preventing fraud. Our research overwhelmingly showed that biometrics, AI and national digital IDs aren’t just a fad for consumer fraud prevention. They are key for trusted commerce for the foreseeable future,” said Shaleen.


National Digital IDs Hold the Key to Economic Inclusion

Seven in 10 executives globally and 93% in India believe a national digital ID gives low-income groups access to consumer services they would have previously been excluded from. By industry worldwide, respondents from consumer lending and telecommunications think such IDs give lower-income groups access to services they might otherwise lack. Both industries have led the way over the last decade in reaching the community of financially-underserved customers, manifested in innovations like microfinance and mobile money.


Executives Believe Consumers are Comfortable Sharing Personal Data

About 91% of India and 73% of global executives believe consumers are comfortable sharing personal data with private companies. Nearly 71% of worldwide and 93% of India executives believe consumers are comfortable sharing personal data with governments. Brazilian, Chinese and Dominican Republican executives have vastly differing views about whether or not consumers are willing to share data with private companies versus government bodies (more than 10% difference in each country between sharing with governments and companies). Chinese respondents believe consumers are much more comfortable sharing personal data with government bodies than companies. Brazilian and Dominican Republican executives have the opposite belief.       


“Technological innovations like AI, biometrics and national digital IDs paired with proven fraud prevention methods like device intelligence can provide a more convenient and inclusive way for consumers to transact that still protects security and privacy,” Shaleen concluded.


Microsoft and NSDC collaborate to empower 1 lakh underserved young women

 Microsoft and NSDC collaborate to empower 1 lakh underserved young women across India with digital skills

                        Over 70 hours of content on digital, employability, nano entrepreneurship and communication skills will be provided free of cost to underserved young women

  • The initiative is aimed at bringing more young women into the future workforce

  With a vision to enhance skills for employability, Microsoft today announced a collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to skill more than 1 lakh underserved women in India over the next 10 months. This initiative is an extension of Microsoft’s partnership with NSDC to provide digital skills to over 1 lakh youth in the country.

 The partnership is focused on enhancing women’s workforce participation by equipping underserved young women from rural communities with the skills required to thrive in a digital economy. As part of the collaboration, more than 70 hours of course content will be made available free of cost, covering topics such as digital literacy, enhancing employability, nano entrepreneurship and communication skills. 

 The program will curate a series of live training sessions and digital skilling drives to help create opportunities for young girls and women, particularly first time job seekers and those whose jobs may have been impacted by COVID-19, to join the future workforce. These live training sessions will be delivered online through the Microsoft Community Training (MCT) platform. The MCT platform will also allow the trainees to access rich content already available on MCT as well as provide a forum to engage with peers.

 Commenting on the partnership with NSDC, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India said, “COVID-19 has accelerated India’s digital transformation and a workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills will be the key to unlocking the country’s next phase of growth. Providing equal opportunity and access to digital skills for underserved young women will be an important part of this journey, ensuring an inclusive economic recovery. Our partnership with NSDC is aimed at bridging the gender gap in access to digital skills, enabling everyone to succeed in a digital economy.”

 Dr. Manish Kumar, MD & CEO, NSDC, said, “NSDC is nurturing a conducive ecosystem in which women across formal and informal sectors get access to appropriate skill development opportunities. Mainstreaming of content, delivery of training and use of digital platforms are key to increasing participation of women. Our partnership with Microsoft will help in economic empowerment of women.”

 Under this partnership, eSkill India, NSDC’s digital skilling initiative, will support in building the outreach of this engagement through its skilling ecosystem which includes sector skill councils, training partners, and training centres. Microsoft and NSDC will award a joint e-certificate to participants post course completion. Furthermore, 20,000 young women from regions with least female labor force participation will be selected by NSDC and skilled  through a dedicated skills for employability training program for employment in IT/IT enabled job roles.

The partnership with NSDC is an extension of Microsoft’s global skilling initiative to help 25 million people worldwide acquire new digital skills needed for the COVID-19 economy and part of Microsoft India’s ongoing commitment to support young women for a career in technology.


Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card is fastest to

 Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card is fastest to cross 1 million milestone


·         Issued about 1.4 million cards since launch in 2018

·         Any registered customer of Amazon India including those who are not customers of ICICI Bank can now apply for the card

·         Offers KYC facility over video for fully contactless and digital application process


Chennai: Amazon Pay and ICICI Bank today announced that the Bank has issued about 1.4 million Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit cards. In the process, the credit card has become fastest in the country to cross the milestone of 1 million, in less than 20 months of its launch. Amazon Pay and ICICI Bank introduced the co-branded credit card, powered by Visa, two years ago.


The credit card offers unique customer benefits like always-on reward which is unlimited, instant issuance of the card for select customers in less than 60 seconds, direct crediting of reward points to Amazon Pay balance and contactless payment feature to help customers pay in a safe manner. ICICI Bank and Amazon Pay now enable more customers to experience and enjoy the benefits offered by the card, through a two pronged strategy. One, the partners are expanding the net by allowing registered Amazon customers to apply for the credit card even if they are not customers of ICICI Bank. Two, the Bank has continuously been increasing customers’ convenience by offering new initiatives and offers. Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card was among the first credit cards in India to introduce ‘Video KYC’ facility for new applications in June 2020, in order to enhance customer convenience during the ongoing pandemic. This enabled new-to-bank customers across the country to apply for the card in a safe and contactless manner.


Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sudipta Roy, Head – Unsecured Assets, ICICI Bank said, “The Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card has received an amazing response from customers, which is the catalyst behind the milestone that the card has achieved in a short time. The success is a testimony to the best-in-industry rewards that the card offers. The Bank enabled video KYC facility across the country in June 2020, thereby allowing new-to-bank customers to apply for the credit card seamlessly from anywhere in the country. We believe that with this facility, more customers will be able to apply for the card in a contactless and safe way.”


“At Amazon Pay, we are constantly innovating and creating new experiences on behalf of our customers. In line with our vision, Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card offers the most rewarding, convenient, and trusted experience to our customers. To make digital payments more convenient and seamless we have introduced instant issuance of cards in under 60 seconds and 100% digital video KYC enabled issuance, we are bringing our vision alive for our customers. It is the trust that customers have in us that encourages us to further innovate on behalf of them”, said Mr. Vikas Bansal, Director and Head Financial Services, Amazon Pay


“Ecommerce is estimated to touch 300-350 million Indian shoppers by 2025. The Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card powered by Visa offers convenient and secure payments to this customer segment. We are delighted to note that this has become the fastest growing co-branded card product in India, surpassing 1 million cards.” said Mr. Shailesh Paul, Head of Merchant Sales & Acquiring and CyberSource, India and South Asia, Visa.


Customers can apply for the Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card on the Amazon India app or website. They get a digital card in a 100% contactless and paperless manner. The physical card is also sent to the customer by the Bank within a few days.


Key features of the Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card include:

·         It’s a lifetime free credit card. No joining or annual fee for the card

·         Get unlimited reward points on card spends based on category of spends.

·         5% reward points for Amazon Prime members and 3% for all other customers shopping on

·         2% for spends on digital categories on such as bill payments, recharges, add money to Amazon Pay balance, travel & movie bookings

·         2% for spends on Amazon Pay merchants, e.g. Swiggy, Bookmyshow, Yatra, and many more

·         1% for spends on any merchant location in the country where Visa cards are accepted. Customers also get fuel-surcharge waiver and no cost EMI offers on a large selection. No earnings on fuel, EMI transactions and gold purchases.

·         One reward point is equal to one rupee

·         No upper limit on reward points that you can accumulate

·         Reward points don’t expire and can be redeemed from over 16 crore products on and Amazon Pay merchants

·         The card can be used at more than 4 million merchant locations in India – everywhere you shop


The reward earnings are credited monthly, after the billing cycle date of the card to the customer’s Amazon Pay balance. Customers can redeem these earnings to purchase from more than 160 million items available on across categories like mobiles, electronics, grocery, appliances, fashion and bill payments among others. The reward earnings can also be used with Amazon Pay partner merchants for purchasing flight tickets, booking hotels, food delivery, movie tickets and much more.


பொல்லாத உலகின் பயங்கர கேம்


பொல்லாத உலகின் பயங்கர கேம் (PUBG) படத்தின் 'ரணகளம்' பாடல் ப்ரோமோ வீடியோ வெளியீடு

பொல்லாத உலகில் பயங்கர கேம் (PUBG) 
படத்தின் 'ரணகளம்' பாடலின் ப்ரோமா வீடியோ வெளியிடப்பட்ட சில மணி நேரங்களிலேயே அசாதாரண வரவேற்பைப் பெற்றுள்ளது. படத்தில் நடித்துள்ள நடிகர், நடிகையரை அறிமுகப்படுத்தும் காட்சியாக இப்பாடலின் ப்ரோமா வடிவமைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.
உலக நாயகன் கமல்ஹாசனின் அண்ணன் சாருஹாசன் நடித்த 'தாதா 87' திரைப்படம் கடந்த 2019ஆம் ஆண்டு வெளியாகி நல்ல வரவேற்பைப் பெற்றது. இப்படத்தில் நடித்ததன் மூலம் உலகிலேயே வயதான நாயகன் என்ற பெருமையை அவர் பெற்றார். தாதா 87 வெற்றிப்படத்தை இயக்கிய  விஜய் ஸ்ரீ ஜி தான் தற்போது 'பொல்லாத உலகின் பயங்கர கேம்' (PUBG) படத்தையும் இயக்குகிறார். இது ரசிகர்களின் எதிர்பார்ப்பைக் கூட்டியுள்ளது.
பப்ஜி படத்திற்கு இசையமைப்பாளர்  லியாண்டர் லீ மார்ட்டின் இசையமைத்துள்ளார். ஏற்கெனவே தாதா 87 படத்தில் இவரது இசையில் 'ஆறடி ஆண்டவன்' பாடல் ரசிகர்கள் மத்தியில் ஹிட் அடித்தது.
தற்போது  PUBG படத்திற்காக விஜய் ஸ்ரீ ஜி-யின் வரிகளுக்கு இசையமைத்துள்ளார். முண்டாசு கவி பாரதியாரின் 'நான் வீழ்வேன் என நினைத்தாயோ' வரிகளுடன் பாடலைத் துவக்கியுள்ளார் விஜய் ஸ்ரீ ஜி.
இப்பாடலை, பிரபல ராப் இசைக் கலைஞர் ஃபைவ் ஓ  (Five O) 
பாடியிருக்கிறார். இவர் லாட்வியா நாட்டைச் சேர்ந்தவர். இவருடைய ஆல்பங்கள் Aizejot, CitadaksReps, Nothing Compares, Nesteijties, Vis Man Ir Arlauts மிகவும் பிரபலமானவை. சர்வதேச புகழ் பெற்ற ஃபைவ் ஓ, பப்ஜி படத்தின் 'நான் வீழ்வேன் என நினைத்தாயோ' பாடலின் மூலம் தமிழில் அறிமுகமாகியுள்ளார்.
படத்தில் புரட்சி செல்வி ஐஸ்வர்யா தத்தா,

 நடிகர் விக்ரமின் தங்கை மகன் அர்ஜூமன், 
அனித்ரா நாயர் , ஆராத்யா, சான்ரியா, சாந்தினி மற்றும் பலர் நடிக்கின்றனர். பாலாஜி பாஸ்கரன் ஒளிப்பதிவு செய்கிறார். இப்படத்தின் பாடல்களை 
இசை வெளியீட்டில் தனி ட்ரெண்ட்டை ஏற்டுத்திவரும் "டிரெண்ட் நிறுவனம்" வெளியிடுகிறது.  
பாடல்கள், லாட்வியாவில் உள்ள ஜெனிஸ் ஸ்ட்ராம் ஸ்டூடியோஸ் (Janis Straume Studios) மற்றும் சிங்கப்பூரில் உள்ள அர்டாண்ட் ஸ்டீடியோஸில் (Ardant Studios) பதிவு செய்யப்படவுள்ளன. தீபாவளியன்று பாடல்கள் வெளியாகிறது. பொல்லாத உலகில் பயங்கர கேம் படத்தின் இசை சரவெடி தீபாவளி தினத்தில் ஆரம்பமாகிறது. படம், உலகமெங்கும் பொங்கலன்று வெளியாகிறது.

Home purchase affordability improves in

 Home purchase affordability improves in 2020 across major cities in India: JLL

 ·                    Kolkata overtakes Hyderabad; to become the most affordable market in 2020

·                    Affordability expected to either remain at similar levels or increase in 2021

·                    Mumbai moves closer to affordability threshold; likely to breach it in 2021

 JLL announced the launch of its annual Home Purchase Affordability Index (JLL HPAI) today which shows that from 2011 to 2020, home purchase affordability improved across key Indian cities which were part of the Index. This was despite a bigger fall in annual household income as compared to residential property prices. A sharp decrease in the cost of funding (average home loan rates reduced from ~8.9% in 2019 to 7.5% in 2020), more than offset the adverse impact of lower incomes on affordability, the report added.

 “We believe that the initial signs of revival were visible in the residential market in the third quarter of 2020, with sales of residential units witnessing an uptick. Furthermore, our analysis suggests that despite a fall in household income in 2020, home purchase affordability has increased in 2020 across all the markets under consideration,” said Ramesh Nair, CEO and Country Head, JLL India. “Interestingly, in 2021, we’re expecting home purchase affordability to either remain at similar levels or improve. But the broader recovery of the residential market and the likely pace of translation of demand into actual sales volumes will be dependent largely upon the economic environment and the prevailing consumer sentiments,” he added.

 Until 2019, JLL HPAI indicated that Hyderabad was the most affordable residential market. In 2020, Kolkata overtook Hyderabad to become the best market in terms of home purchase affordability. Mumbai continued to be the only market below the affordability threshold of 100. However, the report points out that Mumbai is the fastest moving city, showing a significant improvement on JLL HPAI from 47 in 2011 to 95 in 2020.

 “The future of the residential market and the sustenance of the recovery process depends on the containment of the virus. 2021 can pan out in two different ways. If the virus is contained by Q1 2021 and economic activity resumes at full capacity, affordability is expected to improve across all the cities under consideration. In fact, in this scenario Mumbai is expected to breach the affordability threshold. If the virus outbreak is not contained in the first quarter of 2021 and economic activity remains subdued, affordability levels are likely to remain at similar levels in most cities,” said Samantak Das, Chief Economist and Head of Research & REIS India, JLL.

 JLL HPAI signifies whether a household earning an average annual income (at an overall city level) is eligible for a housing loan to buy a 1,000 sq ft residential property in the city, at the prevailing market price and home loan interest rate. It analyses the interplay between three pivotal factors - property prices, income and home loan rates to determine the current and the emerging trends in the home purchase ability of urban households. The index covers the top seven markets in India - Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

 Residential market turns the corner with sales up 34% in Q3 vs Q2 2020

Q3 2020 sales increased by 34% versus Q2 2020. Mumbai accounted for 29% of the total sales in the quarter, while 22% of sales was contributed by Delhi NCR. Growth in sales activity was also driven by stronger demand in Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. Prices remained largely stable across all the seven markets when compared to the previous quarter. It is important to note that developers in certain markets are providing moderate price discounts and flexible payment schemed to kickstart sales, thereby facilitating cash flows to tide over the crisis in the short term. These could be the first signs of a broader recovery of the residential market in the country.

Increased affordability has not been enough to drive fence sitters to effect purchases. Affordability is necessary when determining home purchases, but not enough to drive sales. A homebuyer considers the prevailing economic condition, employment scenario and future income flows. With the current muted consumer sentiment and uncertainty around job security, what is required is policies directed towards improving the overall economic outlook.