‘Art’ is considered one of the most powerful forms of communication since the artist has the creative liberty to express his/her thoughts through artistic mediums like audio, visual, etc. When we discuss ‘visual creativity’, one form that makes a tremendous impact is ‘Painting’. However, as mentioned by Edgar Degas, a famous French artist – ‘Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do and you can understand the true beauty of an art form when you look at the art from an artists’ perspective.

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India has always been famous for its creative diversity, whether it is the traditional Indian paintings or the modern art that was begun in Kolkata in the late nineteenth century. Celebrated Indian painter Raja Rajiv Varma is considered the father of Modern Indian Art who drew on Western traditions and techniques including oil painting and easel painting. Oil painting has definitely emerged as one of the leading art forms when it comes to oil painting on canvas or some other surface. Let’s have a look at important aspects of Oil Painting.

Oil Painting – Origin, Advantages

Though Oil Paint existed since the 11th century, it gained prominence in the 15th century after advantages of using Oil Paint became widely known to the artists. During the 10th & 11th centuries, it was used for making Buddhist paintings by Indian & Chinese painters in western Afghanistan. Some of the primary advantages of Oil Paint are

  • Provides more depth of color.
  • Takes more time to dry when compared to acrylic paint, due to which artists can work on the other aspects of painting while the color dries up.
  • Can be used with other media like varnishes, resins, etc. which aid in adjusting the translucency and other important aspects of the painting.
  • Oil paints can be used on different surfaces like Fabric, Wood, Paper, Canvas, Linen, etc.

Due to these advantages, Oil paint is considered a preferred medium for painting and ‘art collectors’ & ‘art enthusiasts’ also treasure oil paintings by well-known artists!

Oil Painting – Drawing methodologies

Artists using Oil Paint normally begin by sketching the main subject on canvas, with charcoal or thinned paint. Oil paint is usually mixed with linseed oil, artist grade mineral spirits, or other solvents to make the paint thinner. Traditionally, artists use paintbrushes for drawing, but there are other tools like palette knives, rags, etc. that are increasingly being used by them. By using hog-bristle brushes along with the above mentioned tools and techniques, oil painters are able to create pigment textures that enhance the beauty of the painting.

How to buy authentic Oil Paintings online

Art collectors are passionate about art and are always on the look for oil paintings online and acrylic paintings online since treasuring art is one feeling that only a ‘art lovers’ can understand. Likewise, talented artists find it difficult to take their artwork to the audience, now with a platform like Gallerist.in; they have the option of putting their oil paintings on sale.

Gallerist.in is an online art gallery with close to 7,000+ artists, a place where art collectors & art lovers can buy oil painting without any hassles. You can also find other traditional Indian art forms on gallerist.in, which makes it a ‘go-to’ destination for someone who is passionate about art!

References – 1

There is a famous quote ‘Be prepared for the Worst and hope for the Best‘ however, most of the times we do not have the foresight to predict the worst which gives us less time to prepare for the future. An ideal example of this saying is the ‘Lehman Brothers Collapse’ in the year 2008 which caused a financial meltdown and adversely affected every possible sector. Jobs were wiped out and still the world economy is struggling to recover from the crash.

Though it is very difficult to look out for a job [irrespective of your work profile, experience, etc.] during the time of crisis, it is definitely not impossible. As a job seeker, you need be smart, proactive, well-connected with job consultants in India and act positively when a ‘good opportunity knocks your door’. One thing that has changed significantly since that period is the ‘positive’ impact of technology on every aspect of our lives, including job search 🙂

Network with a purpose

Irrespective of your experience, expertise; when it comes to job-hopping you can never follow a linear approach. Since organizations now have many touch-points where they publish the same openings e.g. job portals, business networking websites, etc. it becomes critical that you stay updated about the same. You need to build a formidable & reliable network, whether it is in the online or the offline space. Focus on ‘building a network, rather than network building’ so that you utilize your time on things that matter the most!

Choose the best staffing solutions

When you think about job search, you would always think about posting resumes on job sites and sending the resume to traditional recruitment or staffing companies in India. However, you have to identify which recruitment agency is genuine or reliable since there is a possibility that a lesser-known recruitment agency might try to extract money from the candidate with the promise of getting them a job. No matter how desperately you are searching for a job, you should always stay away from such recruitment agencies.

There are reliable staffing solutions in India like the ManpowerGroup that have been around for many years, have the required expertise in hiring, career development, executive search, etc. They also offer outplacement services for organizations [large, SME, startups] in case of any untoward incident in an organization that results in employees being laid-off. If an organization is looking to hire people for leadership roles, they can utilize their service & network to hire the best people for their organization.

Highlight your ‘primary’ & ‘secondary’ skills

There are many of us who would be working on the same domain for many years and eventually that ‘domain skill’ becomes your primary expertise. Unless you are a ‘domain expert’ and irreplaceable in your organization, it is always advisable to have some secondary skills so that it helps you when things are not going your way! A fresh graduate has an opportunity to choose his/her own career path and they even have the flexibility to try out various options at the start of the career.

There is always a debate on whether you should be a ‘generalist’ or ‘specialist’ & it all depends on whether that ‘skill’ is in demand or not. If you are in the technology sector, you need to keep yourself updated with the latest technologies so that you are no longer a part of the herd that has the same skill-set

Which according to you are some of the methods to stay relevant in the job market, please leave your suggestion in the comments section…

The value of digitally influenced spending in emerging markets will approach $4 trillion by 2022, amounting to about 50% of all retail spending in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. But the dynamics will vary widely between markets, requiring B2C companies to ‘de-average’ their offerings in order to succeed, according to a report by The Boston Consulting Group [BCG] that was presented at the World Economic Forum. The report is titled Digital Consumers, Emerging Markets, and the $4 Trillion Future.

Image Source – Digital Influence

Half of the population in emerging markets worldwide is now connected to the internet, the report says – a stunning increase from 2010, when fewer than a quarter of those in emerging markets were online. In addition, by 2022, nearly 900 million more emerging-market consumers will be online, versus just 80 million new internet users in developed markets. That means that more than 90% of all internet newcomers during the next four years will be from emerging markets.

Smartphone penetration doubled in emerging markets between 2013 and 2017, from 22% to 44%, and smartphones are the preferred way for people in these markets to access the internet. The report was led by BCG’s Center for Customer Insights [CCI] and is based on a survey of more than 15,000 urban internet users in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco, the Philippines, and South Africa.

Nimisha Jain, a BCG partner in New Delhi, who leads CCI in emerging markets, said

Emerging markets are on the brink of a major digital revolution. The share of digitally influenced retail in total retail spending will surge from 33% in 2017 to 47% by 2022. There are major differences across emerging markets, however – and in order to succeed in those markets, B2C companies will have to approach each one differently.

China is leading other emerging-market countries in internet usage, with 20% of its retail sales already coming from e-commerce. But e-commerce is advancing in other emerging economies, too. Overall, e-commerce in emerging markets will grow from about 15% of all retail sales in 2017 to 20% of all retail sales in 2022. The online portion of retail in China already exceeds that of the United Kingdom [16%], the United States [13%], and Germany and France [11% each].

A Shift in Consumer Behavior

Even more dramatic in emerging markets will be the growth of digital influence—the effect of information that consumers collect online, often by smartphone, on their online and offline purchases. By 2022, there will be $3.9 trillion in digitally influenced expenditures in emerging markets, BCG forecasts. That huge number represents both a challenge and an opportunity for B2C companies, the authors say.

How digital influences consumer behavior differs by country and by category. The report identifies three stages of digital evolution: digitally aware, digitally advancing, and—farthest along – digitally evolved. People in China [now in the digitally evolved category] are the most apt to turn to the internet for help in making a retail purchase; 39% percent of retail spending in China is digitally influenced. Brazil, India, and Indonesia [which are in the middle category, digitally advancing] have high levels of digital influence [35%, 14%, and 12%, respectively], but relatively low levels of online spending [between 3% and 5%]. Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, and the Philippines are in the first category, digitally aware. In these early-stage countries, a variety of factors, from modest-size middle classes to a relatively undeveloped fintech ecosystem, have constrained the growth of e-commerce.

When a country’s markets advance from one digital stage to the next, consumer behaviors change, too, the report shows. One such change is in the expectation of a better experience, whether that takes the form of something practical like a good recommendation engine or something fun like the ability to see oneself in a shirt or hat that one is considering buying.

Altogether, 81% of people in digitally evolved markets say that they look for a fun or enjoyable experience in deciding where to buy. In contrast, the shopping experience matters to only about one in four people in digitally aware markets, and to only one in ten people in digitally advancing markets.

Another difference relates to how people pay for their online purchases. In less advanced digital markets, cash on delivery is still common – used by 88% of Filipinos, 86% of Moroccans, 58% of Kenyans, and 54% of Nigerians. In more advanced digital markets, buyers almost always pay for online purchases digitally – whether through an online mobile wallet or a credit or debit card. For instance, 94% of Chinese use a digital method of payment, as do more than three-quarters of Brazilians. In addition, Chinese consumers make 70% of their online purchases through smartphones, a level of mobile commerce that sharply exceeds the level in developed countries. In 2016, Chinese mobile payments were nearly 50 times as great as those in the US.

Jeff Walters, a BCG partner and CCI’s leader in Greater China, said

One lesson of this study is that emerging market consumers aren’t uniform in their behaviors. Different markets have distinct requirements. This is something any online seller would learn if it tried to enter China without appreciating the need to create a fun experience or if it tried to do business in parts of Asia or Africa without understanding the workings of cash on delivery.

Developing Economies’ Use of Social Media

Social media is a big part of digital influence in emerging markets. In CCI’s survey, 95% of Filipinos and 74% and 73%, respectively, of Kenyans and Moroccans say they sometimes use social media to guide their retail purchases. At 37%, Indian consumers are the least apt of all emerging-market consumers to use social media to guide them in making a retail purchase; if they are looking for an online source of information, internet users in India are much more inclined to go to a shopping website.

Social media is also popular as a venue for direct e-commerce, whether through a brand’s social media account or in peer-to-peer transactions in which consumers buy and sell from one another with no intermediary. Peer-to-peer transactions over social media are especially popular in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.

In all emerging markets, air travel is the category most subject to digital influence and the product or service most likely to be bought online, with mobile phones a close second, the survey shows. But countries can be outliers in certain product categories. For instance, Brazilian consumers are much likelier than Indian or Indonesian consumers to buy a small appliance online. And Indian consumers don’t book their holidays online at anything like the same frequency that Brazilian consumers do.

BCG’s report comes at a time when emerging markets are growing at three times the rate of developed markets and contributing much of the world’s growth. In the last two decades, according to the World Bank, emerging markets’ share of the world’s gross domestic product has risen from 11% to 28%, and their share of global household consumption expenditures has risen from 11% to 24%.

The complete report can be downloaded here

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most awaited and vivacious festivals in India. This festival is dedicated to the beloved god of prosperity- Lord Ganesha. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated throughout the world – from Mauritius, Canada, to the US – wherever you find large Indian population. The colorful and vibrant celebration of this festive is filled with passion and devotion. Loud music, chants, and folk dance represent the onset of this festival.

Image Source – Life Insurance

Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10-day festival and marks the birthday of Lord Ganesha. Since originated in Maharashtra, the festival is celebrated on a large scale by the people of Maharashtra. Also, it is quite popular among Hindus residing in other parts of the country.

The advent of Lord Ganesha is said to remove obstacles and bring a splendid fortune. Therefore, it is believed to worship Ganesha before starting any important task. On the first day of the festival, people carry the idol of Ganesh at home. They worship him with great devotion for the next ten days. Also, they invite friends and family to visit Ganpati at their place and take his blessings. It is believed that placing an idol of Ganesh at home during the celebration is the way of welcoming him and his blessings at home. After the cheerful 10-day celebration, Lord Ganesha’s idol is submerged in Holy River or sea portraying his abode to heaven.

Since a lot of people will be visiting your house, make sure your home is covered from damages caused due to unforeseen events. It is advisable to buy house insurance as the policy not only provides you with peace of mind but also covers you financially in the events of mishaps. Unlike motor insurance, house owners insurance is not compulsory, yet it holds an equal significance in one’s life. This is because, unlike your car or bike, your house is an appreciating asset; and any loss or damage to this will mean a big hole in your pocket. All the more, the emotional pain of reconstructing a house or reinstalling its contents is painful, difficult and tedious. However, insurance companies offer several plans under ‘house insurance’ such as content insurance, landlords’ insurance, tenants’ insurance, structure insurance, etc.

A regular house insurance plan covers for loss and damage caused to your valuables due to a fire accident, theft, allied perils, and burglary. There are several reasons why you should have a house insurance policy

Protection against damage caused to your valuable assets and personal belongings – A house insurance policy offers coverage against damage of contents kept inside the insured house, including various valuable, expensive, and essential belongings like jewellery, furniture and electrical goods.

Coverage against natural and human-made calamities – A home insurance policy protects your house against damages caused due to natural disasters, such as floods, lightning, storms, earthquakes, typhoons, etc. Also, the plan covers your home from man-made hazards and anti-social activities, alike. These are acts such as thefts, strikes, riots, other activities caused out of malicious intent, etc. Also, it financially enables you to recover from the loss and rebuild your home.

It is never too late to make the right decision. We all know that precaution is better than cure. And by buying a house and content insurance, you might just save yourself from an unexpected loss.

How many of us have faced a situation where we visited a doctor based on some symptoms and later on realized that the visit was not at all necessary. Also, there is a huge amount of difference in the healthcare services available in metros [tier-1 cities] vis-a-vis non-metros [tier-2, tier-3] cities vis-a-vis rural areas. However affordability of smartphones, increased mobile penetration, improved data speeds [with 4G]; are playing a critical role in improving the overall healthcare industry. Along with the advancements in the healthcare industry, Indian healthcare sector does face a plethora of challenges.

Image Source – HealthCare

For entrepreneurs, with huge challenges comes ample opportunities to create business that could solve the problem at a ‘larger scale’. With technology, there has been an emergence of ‘frugal innovation’ in the healthcare sector where entrepreneurs have come up with business models that has made accessibility to ‘quality healthcare services’ available to all [irrespective of your city/town of residence]. This is where serial entrepreneur Ashutosh Lawania [Myntra Co-founder] and Prasad Kompalli [former business head at Myntra] came across an opportunity and came up with the idea of mfine – an end-to-end doctor consultation app which would make it convenient for patients to access high-quality healthcare services at the click of a button.

mfine brings in instant and continuous connectivity with top doctors of the best hospitals. The startup has partnered with leading hospitals and senior consultants are made available for online consultations always and anytime. mfine‘s app for doctors boosts the efficiency and effectiveness using standard medical protocols and AI. mfine‘s AI driven platform helps improve the quality of diagnosis and promotes better outcomes with better engagement.

The company helps people make informed choices about their health with patient needs as a top priority. mfine is effectively creating a ‘cloud clinic’  and follows an unique model of partnering with leading and trusted hospitals instead of aggregating individual doctors on the platform. It acts as a virtual centre for the hospitals, rather it is a new OPD center on the cloud bringing in more patients and offering premium services, long-term care programs, super specialties without any upfront investments. Today we have a chat with Prasad Kompalli, Co-founder & CEO – mfine about the app, healthcare in India, why cloud clinic, etc. So, lets get started with the Q&A…

[Note – ‘I’ in the Q&A refers to Prasad Kompalli]

Please walk us through the core team behind mfine ?

mfine was founded in February 2017 by myself and Ashutosh Lawania [Myntra co-founder]. We were later joined by Ajit Narayanan, ex-Myntra CTO, Arjun Choudhary, ex-Myntra head of growth marketing and Dr. Jagadish Prasad, an interventional neuroradiologist, and founder of Femiint Health, a hospital in Bengaluru.

Every idea is born out of a problem, what is the problem being solved by mfine and how did you come up with this solution ?

mfine comes from the idea to make access to quality healthcare easy and simple. We strongly believed that technology, in particular mobile internet and AI can transform healthcare delivery in India leading to better quality and experience for the consumers. When you look at Indian healthcare industry, it is characterized by very low doctor-patient ratio [1:1700] and more than 70% percent of medical bills are paid out-of-pocket by patients. Not much is being done at the primary and secondary care level to prevent further expensive and life threatening complications.

Tech is an inevitable solution to this problem. mfine leverages on the massive adoption of smartphones and mobile Internet to dramatically change the access and reach of specialists doctors. We envisioned and are building a one of its kind virtual hospital that brings the best care providers and state of the art tech together. We have built an AI powered diagnosis engine that can be infinitely scalable assistant to those top specialist doctors. The combination of mobile tech and AI solves for access and quality.

Looking deeper at the Healthcare sector, we understood the complexities with the overall space being vast with many different players, different economic models, incentive structures and varied consumer behaviors. We zeroed in on high quality and on-demand access to be at the foundation of what we would build. To bring in the much needed trust and quality, we partnered with hospitals as providers and these hospitals are trusted and premium institutions such as CloudNine, Femiint Health and Aster CMI Hospitals. With technology we are able to take the high quality care beyond the walls of the hospitals.

The entire healthcare ecosystem is still broken [with some parts being organized and some being unorganized], how does a startup like mfine solve this problem and make the sector more organized ?

The healthcare sector is actually getting organized pretty fast. Several reputed institutions are setting up pretty high standard hospitals and existing ones are expanding. Mfine indirectly contributes to the acceleration of markets movement towards organized sector – as we work with branded, accredited hospitals and increase their reach beyond the physical boundaries of their hospitals. This will lead to more and more consumer spending towards organized sector that has senior high quality specialist doctors

Startups [as well as hospitals] are exploring newer avenues to engage with patients [even after they are done meeting the doctor at the hospital] e.g. Apollo Hospital has Ask Apollo app, Aegis has a similar app, etc. and other startups like Portea are looking into Home health care services, Practo acts more like an aggregator, how does an app like mfine solve lingering problems in the healthcare sector in India ?

We have a very unique take on the problem statement and solution approach as far as healthcare delivery in India are concerned. We are building the most sophisticated healthcare delivery channel for primary and secondary care – a category we call ‘cloud clinic’. The Cloud Clinic is designed to deliver high quality care from the biggest and the best in healthcare via an always-on, on-demand service. Our differentiation also comes from the fact that we are creating a digital assistant for the doctor and at the same time building a robust mobile health companion for the patient.

Firstly, we are focussed on bringing trusted, reputable and high-quality hospitals with top specialists into digital space and are not a marketplace of individual doctors. Secondly, our AI powered tech system can scale quality care and make it reach millions of people. Thirdly, hospitals look at mfine as a new centre they are opening without any upfront capital and marketing investment. They see mfine expanding their services to cloud so that they can serve more new customers and also retain existing customers better. These three aspects make us very unique in the way we build mfine as a tech-led and consumer experience focussed business.

Can you please list down the treatment areas currently being covered on mfine ?

mfine currently covers nine specialties: pediatrics, general medicine, fertility, gynecology, dietetics, orthopaedics, gastroenterology, and cardiology.

How many hospitals are there on-board on mfine and is there a provision where a patient can select a particular doctor on mfine ?

The patients can choose top doctors from more than 45 leading and reputed hospitals such as CloudNine, Aster, Rainbow and Ovum.

When it comes to medical treatment, most of us plan to visit the doctor first [irrespective of the symptom and the density of the problem], how is mfine building that trust in it’s customers [that they might not need/may never need to visit the doctor unless and until required] and how has been the overall response from the early adopters ?

We have done more than 30,000 consultations and aim to reach 100,000 consultations by the end of the year. We have partnered with 35 hospital brands in Bangalore and are expanding our network continuously.

There are some patients who have written to us about their experience with mfine. For example, We once had a user from Trichy, whose infant needed to consult with a pediatric endocrinologist. It was difficult to find one in such a small town and he used mfine to find a pediatric endocrinologist in Bengaluru, who treated the baby through the app.

There was another incident where a 70 year old woman was diagnosed with Dengue by mfine care team. From then on, the son used mfine exclusively for his mother’s treatment and with constant monitoring and help from our doctors, she was cured while being at home throughout.

Use cases are plenty and there are many more such examples. We believe that mobile can be a game change in the delivery of primary health care. From access, to diagnosis, to preventive healthcare, technology can disrupt the future of ‘visiting a doctor’..

mFine team with Prasad Kompalli [Center, Front Row – Blue T-shirt] & Ashutosh Lawania [Center,Front Row – Yellow T-Shirt]

How seamless is the overall process of registration, payment, consultation and doctor visit [if required] via mfine and can you comment on the O2O [Online-to-Offline] or vice-versa experience [i.e. Patient visits the doctor, reports gets uploaded and than again moves to mfine after the offline consultation] ?

With mfine app, one can easily reach the doctor that they select instantly, on demand. The process to get diagnosis and prescription online from a top doctor doesn’t take more than 30~40 mins. If the doctor decides that you need to a physical visit, mfine organizes the visit with the same doctor at the same hospital without charging extra and the appointment is pre-booked in the hospital system as well. When the patient is going for this physical visit, the experience is smooth no registration, no payment is needed to be done.

Similarly, when a patient chooses to follow up with the Doctor (s)he met at the hospital, (s)he can login to mfine and give the code of the Doctor/Hospital (s)he got along with the visit file and start follow up consultation with the doctor. (s)he can upload any information [test reports, etc.] and get the complete consultation done and get advised on the further treatment plan/actions.

How big is the overall healthcare market that mfine is trying to address ?

Healthcare sector in India is $280B dollar market. We are catering to a massive $50B market of primary healthcare and secondary healthcare in India. We see a huge opportunity to bring the much needed, tech-driven transformation in the $50B primary healthcare delivery. Coupled with the spread of mobile and smartphones in particular, along with dropping bandwidth costs, we expect services like mfine to take-off across the breadth of the country; starting with early adopters in metros and tier 1 cities. We see that solving for access is the most important first step in this journey.

Access to high quality care, access to super specialties and access 24*7 are going to be key levers of growth at this point. In parallel, we are also building the tech that can standardize and in turn scale the quality of healthcare delivery. This will help us reach millions of families and deliver better healthcare to all. We would like to be the trusted place for managing one’s own health be it preventive or curative. We believe we can scale this across the country and beyond and help people gain much more control over their health.

Many doctors might not be tech-savvy, what is overall learning curve involved in getting well-versed with the mfine Doctor app ? Also, please let us know if you have an in-house team of experienced doctors [for at least first level of consultation] ?

Doctors are very keen to adopt digital medium and they are excited to partner with mfine. The app is very simple to use and very structured for doctor to be very efficient. A new doctor gets comfortable with the app, typically in 1~2 days of using it. We have in-house team of experienced doctors that serve two purposes – a. They prepare the case sheet in detail for the Sr consultant and also follow up with the patients proactively and b. They define the triage protocols and implement medical standards in capturing data of the illnesses, suggesting treatment plan and also ensuring quality of communication.

Which are some of the best experiences [case studies] that customers have gained via mfine and how mfine has bridged the gap of bringing best level of healthcare for Indian citizens located outside metro cities?

Most people might have this notion that acute conditions always require a hospital visit. This isn’t the case for all medical conditions. Non-emergency health concerns can be addressed through digital space. One such medical condition that we treated on mfine was ‘Dengue’. The patient was 64 years old, female with a known history of hypothyroidism and arthritis. She had high fever, chills, loss of appetite, and complained about frequent, dark urine. Our team of doctors advised her to get a blood test done.

The results showed that she was dengue positive. Through mfine, doctors were able to monitor and manage her condition closely while she rested and recuperated at home. This was one example. There was another example where the patient [from a 2nd tier town in South India] needed Pediatric Endocrinologist and we could deliver the right care for the child with one of the doctors on our panel.

Which are some of the technologies being used in the development of mfine and how does your team leverage emerging technologies like AI, ML, Data Mining, etc. in enhancing customer experience and bridging the gap in the Healthcare market ?

We leverage AI/ML systems in combination with standard medical protocols, to make high quality care reach consumers across the country. We designed the system that can assist doctors in their diagnosis and treatment, not just business workflow automation. We are able to create a standard reference system for doctors in each specialty, that’s powered by a combination of well-established medical protocols and our AI system’s algorithms.

In a unique way, the same expert system is used to power the experience on the consumer app also, be it structured and effortless data collection, reminders for follow up based on signs/symptoms and execution of care protocols for chronic conditions.

So far mfine has tied-up with how many hospitals in India and it is currently operational [in terms of doctor engagement] in how many cities in India ? What are the future expansion plans, either in terms of offerings and cities in which it currently has doctor tie-ups ?

We are currently operational in Bengaluru with 35 hospitals. We will be expanding rapidly across India and will be having hospital network in 5 major cities by end of 2018. We will continually expand the specialties that we will offer and make mfine a comprehensive care platform for families and individuals. We will also be introducing long term care programs for consumers to be able get the required help in managing and recovering from chronic conditions

Can you comment on the overall funding of mfine and how has entrepreneurial experience of Ashutosh Lawania [w.r.t Myntra], your stint at Myntra and the experience of PrimeVp team helped in building & scaling mfine ?

Our seed round was closed in 2017 where we raised $1.5 million from Stellaris Venture Partners, healthcare entrepreneurs Mayur Abhaya and Rohit M.A. We recently closed our Series A, with $4.2 million led by Prime Venture Partners, and participation from our existing investors; Stellaris, and Mayur.

Overall we understand and feel deep passionate about ensuring high quality consumer experience. We also learnt how to set up operational processes, people processes to ensure we can scale the company and the product without breaking. Coming from successfully building a consumer internet firm earlier, we understand the importance of being data driven, developing deep domain expertise, creating systems and processes that can scale massively from the very beginning.

How has technologies like AR, VR, data generated from sensors in wearables, etc. helping in building a better healthcare experience, reducing stress & pain, remote surgery, etc.

Within our company’s focus most immediate relevance would be of wearables. Sometime during the next year we will be integrating with state of the art devices that can collect vital parameters of the patient and pass it on to the doctor he/she is consulting with. Heart rate monitors, pulse oximeters, glucose monitors are all relevant for us to integrate with.

If you can some insights into the DAU/MAU/other relevant details about mfine and how it plans to keep the customers more engaged [either with good content on healthcare/home remedies/etc.] on the platform ?

We will be focussed on providing personalized, clinically accurate information to the user. We will be building digital health tracking tools that consumers can use to track their various health parameters.

[mFine for Android can be downloaded from here & mfine for iOS can be downloaded from here]

We thank Prasad Kompalli for sharing his insights with our readers. If you have any questions for him about mfine, healthcare, etc. please email them here or share them via a comment to this article.

In what will no doubt be one of the most exciting developments to watch, home grown JetSetGo, that currently manages the largest fleet of private jets and helicopters in India announced its plans to bring the dream of flying cars and on demand urban air transport one step closer to reality starting nowhere else but right here in our own country.

Image Source – JetSetGo

Rather than piling dozens or hundreds of people into big jets that fly back and forth between crowded airports or spending countless hours stuck on city roads, the company announced plans to use its existing fleet to provide inter-city and intra-city air shuttle services in smaller jets and through vertical take-off and landing [VTOL] making full use of the third dimension to blast traffic jams into the past. With initial launch routes starting from September 17 between Mumbai and Bangalore along with helicopter shuttles within Mumbai connecting to surrounding industrial clusters like Tarapur and Vapi, the company wants to use learnings from these routes to further expand offerings across the country thereafter.

This comes close on the heels of Uber’s Elevate initiative and the 19+ companies that have drawn active investor interest globally from Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk to Airbus’s Vahana and Boeing’s bets on electric cargo and passenger aircraft to develop the new age flying machines of tomorrow which now increasingly appear closer to reality than people once believed.

Already enabling amongst the highest number of non-scheduled aircraft movements across the country, Kanika Tekriwal, CEO and Co-founder of JetSetGo believes solving the problem of technology that most companies are racing towards only solves one part of the problem. What is equal or arguably more important is having an enabling environment from a regulation standpoint, creating the right level of initial customer demand to bring these flying cars to market, understanding to bridge infrastructure gaps and complex operating dynamics till the world makes a full transition to the Jetsons world of flying cars are all equally important.

Sudheer Perla, her Cofounder added

Even if available, it likely will be some time before people and regulation warm up to ‘flying’  their own cars versus driving as one is used to now. So early adopters to bring flying cars to market are likely to be fit for purpose ride sharing platforms most possibly through a more asset heavy and a more regulated model. The challenges here are far greater than those faced by existing ride sharing platforms where it was all about an aggregation play.

Since we have already solved parts of the problem by aggregating private jets and helicopters the closest proxy at the moment to flying cars and operating and managing them, it now is all about trying to expand our on demand air charters to a much broader market segment in a cost effective, seamless and a sustainable manner. Since the first generation of electric aircraft are likely to carry no more than 4~5 passengers, much like a private jet, a point-to-point air shuttle service as a premium offering at the right price points for superior value is the first step towards building that new age platform and market appetite to usher in electric flying cars into our country over the coming years.

Only time will tell a Jetsons future will come to fruition, but for this proudly desi-made multiple award winning startup that has risen against many odds now making the movers and shakers of India move from any Point A to Point B in the fastest possible manner, they are bringing it one step closer to reality. Consumers interested in zooming through the third dimension can book a ride at SkyShuttle

LALA World, the leading fintech organization aiming to develop an AI and Blockchain powered global, digitally-decentralized financial ecosystem, has partnered with TransferTo. TransferTo is a leading global digital value services network. A first for a Blockchain-based company, under this collaboration, LALA World will have direct access to TransferTo’s services network to offer its customers mobile top-up solutions in over 150 countries.

Image Source – LALA World

Globally, there are over 5 billion mobile phone users and the demand and need to stay connected – with call, text and data access – is high. This key partnership with TransferTo will enable LALA World to access over 600 mobile operators, across more than 150 countries and offer its customers a safe and reliable solution to seamlessly top-up the mobile phones of their loved ones back home – all credited in real-time, directly to the recipients’ mobile, and in local currency.

Sankalp Shangari, Founder & CEO of LALA World, said

LALA World has a mission to touch more lives every day and connect people through digital financial services. By partnering with TransferTo, we are able to accelerate our global expansion as we grow our product portfolio, thereby enabling easier solutions for our customers to stay connected across the world. TransferTo is a digital value services leader and innovator, and we are thrilled to be joining such a successful network.

Peter De Caluwe, CEO, TransferTo, said

We are very pleased to be welcoming LALA World into our global network. Our technology will enable it to seamlessly connect to our platform, through a single API connection, and by interconnecting it with our network partners, LALA World will have the ability to expand its portfolio, grow its business and deliver new solutions to customers.

LALA World iOS and Android app users can use the services not only in India, but they can now recharge the mobiles of friends and family in 150 countries across the world. TransferTo first launched its digital value services network in 2005 and has since processed more than 450 million transactions.

About LALA World

LALA World is an established and fast-growing Asian technology company using Blockchain to create a connected financial ecosystem for the unbanked, migrants and refugees around the world. Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Singapore, LALA World is a social business with a presence in 5 countries and over 100 global partners including government agencies and NGOs. LALA World’s vision is simple – to touch 100 million lives by 2020 and make them better. For more information, please visit LALA World

Traditionally released by the Central Statistical Office [CSO] of the Government of India, Quantta has used its extensive database on the Indian Economy to provide an advance signal to senior leaders in Government about the state of the economy.

Image Source – Niti Aayog

Using data from several sectors, that drive growth, it predicted a First Quarter growth rate of 7.83% indicating that the Indian Economy is firing on all cylinders. The actual numbers released this evening by the Central Statistical Office showed a GVA growth of 8.00% very close to the prediction made by the collaborative effort between NITI Aayog and Quantta.

The Indian Economy has shrugged off the effects of macro-economic factors such as the implementation of GST on the road to growth to zoom ahead with GDP predicted to grow 7.85% in FY 18-19 by economists in Quantta & Niti-Aayog. The Services and Construction sectors have shown strong growth and growth in the energy demand indicates a robust commercial and industrial sector.

Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog said

The Leading Economic Indicator Index being developed by Quantta Index in collaboration with NITI Aayog was put up on the website of Quantta here on the 29th of August 2018. Their analytically designed and empirically validated estimate of 7.83% Q1 GDP growth are a shade below the GVA of 8.00%. Congratulations to the entire team for being proven right.

Ritesh Bawri, Founder – Quantta Analytics said

It is a proud moment for Quantta to work with the highest echelons of Government to provide an advance warning system so that the Government can take proactive action to drive growth in the Indian Economy

The GDP growth comes on the back of several headwinds, including a hardening of oil prices. India imports approximately 220 million tons of crude oil each year pegged at approximately US $87.725 billion according to the Ministry of Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell. Also, in the past year the Indian Rupee has depreciated from ~ Rs. 64 to the US Dollar to over Rs. 71 to the US Dollar. Despite this, ‘we expect the Indian economy to do well in the first half of Financial Year 2018-19’.

The proprietary algorithm uses machine learning, that uses data from several sectors such as aviation, railways and cement to predict the state of the Indian economy. The algorithm was tested using ten-year historical data. The model showed over 80% confidence level in predicting the historical GDP figures.

Also, the model was able to accurately predict the directionality of the economy. The outcome would be the ability to provide early warning signals to the Government of India for course corrections if any. Quantta worked with a small team at NITI Aayog which provided help and support to develop the algorithm. Quantta is a full stack technology platform focused on the Indian Economy. They have built cutting edge tools to collate, aggregate, and organize behavioural insights into customer behaviour.