Skyscanner, global travel search engine adds hotels and car hire to flights app

Skyscanner, the global travel search engine have announced that travellers will be able to search for hotels and car hire from the existing flights app. Planning travel will now be super easy with flights, hotels and car hire searches all addressed in one app.

With growing smart phone penetration and social media revolution, Indian travellers are increasingly logging onto the internet to plan their vacations. According to the IAMAI-IMRB [Internet and Mobile Association of India-Indian Market Research Bureau], online travel accounts for 61% of Indian ecommerce and the online travel industry is expected grow at around 40% to reach Rs 122,815 crore by end of 2016.

The trend for both searching and booking travel on mobile has accelerated dramatically in recent years, with the Skyscanner apps having been downloaded over 40 million times worldwide. 45% of all Skyscanner searches in India are now made using a mobile device*, while the last year alone has seen a 24% increase in people booking via smartphones in India**.

In an effort to make searching and booking travel even easier, the free Skyscanner app [compatible with both iOS and Android devices] will continue to deliver personalized, relevant and inspirational travel information, in addition to exciting brand new features designed to save travellers time and money.

New SkyScanner features to save money

A new Explore Top Deals section provides easy to navigate deals including:

  • Summer holiday deals – For those on the hunt for sunshine this summer, find all the best options per month from your chosen airport
  • City breaks – Travellers can find the cheapest options for a last minute weekend city break with this new feature
  • Everywhere – For those with set travel dates yet totally flexible on destination, challenge Everywhere to find the top deals from your chosen airport
  • Timeline view – This view allows travellers who have searched for a specific destination in the Explore Top Deals section the chance to easily find the best flight options for the near future

New SkyScanner features to save time

The Quick Search section also has a number of new and refined features, including:

  • Hotels and car search sync – Hotels and car hire are now automatically synchronized with flights search so travellers no longer have to re-input check in times, destinations, pick up locations, etc
  • Revamped hotels booking view – Quick snapshots of all the key information (images, reviews, price) for hotel results with the revamped hotels booking view
  • Instant flight search – Search results are instantly refreshed, and as new parameters are set the search automatically starts in the background so no waiting for new results to load and as new parameters are set the search automatically starts in the background so no waiting for new results to load
  • Ratings – To help travellers to pick the best flights for them quickly and easily, search results can be ordered by price, duration or ‘rating’ – the latter of which takes into account the price, number of stops and duration and is reflected in a colour coded smiling/frowning face and score out of 10

Kavitha Gnanamurthy, Senior Marketing Manager, Skyscanner said

We at Skyscanner understand the demands of the evolved traveller, providing them with the opportunity to plan a cost effective trip. With our unified app, we become the perfect travel partner to design an easy and smart trip, incorporating all of ones travel needs under one roof.

Balint Orosz, Head of App Product, from Skyscanner said

At Skyscanner we believe it’s important to continue to innovate and develop technology as the needs of our customers evolve. We’ve incorporated all of the learnings and user feedback from our standalone hotels and car hire apps into this new, upgraded offering, making it the ultimate app to serve all your travel needs.

Visit for more information and how to download the Skyscanner app.

About Skyscanner

  • Skyscanner is a leading global travel search company providing free search of flights, hotels and car hire.
  • Founded in 2003, Skyscanner helps meet the travel planning needs of over 50 million people each month.
  • Skyscanner is available in 30 languages.
  • Skyscanner’s highly-rated free mobile apps have been downloaded over 40 million times.
  • The privately-owned company employs over 700 staff and has ten global offices in Edinburgh, London, Singapore, Beijing, Shenzhen, Miami, Barcelona, Glasgow, Sofia and Budapest. For more information, please visit Skyscanner
Posted in Android, Mobile, Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

ITC Infotech’s ‘iTech 2016’ sets a new benchmark in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

ITC Infotech successfully concluded the 2nd chapter of iTech 2016, its annual technology innovation & co-creation platform aimed at promoting entrepreneurship. As part of iTech 2016, ITC Infotech organised a 30-hour hackathon on augmented reality [AR] and virtual reality [VR] at its Bengaluru campus on July 16 and 17, 2016.

The event concluded with ITC Infotech hosting a unique ‘Showcase’ session where the winners were provided the opportunity to directly present their solutions to ITC Infotech’s biggest global customers as well as the business division heads from ITC Ltd. to explore real-time business opportunities.

Image Source* – iTech 2016

The hackathon was organised for professionals, developers and students as well as talented individuals from start-ups. It provided the participants with an opportunity to develop their ideas into prototypes, addressing a host of crowd-sourced business challenges from the Manufacturing, Consumer Goods, Retail, Hospitality, Education & Stationery Products, Banking, Financial Services & Insurance and Agriculture sectors.

A total of 45 teams were shortlisted from over 1,700 entries. The winning teams received cash prizes in addition to mentorship and go-to-market partnership offers. The winners, a team of 4 students from SRM University, created a smart phone app, titled ‘Nomi’, that would re-define the shopping experience in stores. The app, designed using artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning, creates an immersive and interactive AR and VR environment to assist customers choose the right product.

The first runner-up, a team of 3 students from M. S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology, created a Smart Helmet, ‘ridAR‘, based on AR to help bikers navigate smoothly on roads. The second runner-up, a team of 4 professionals from SAP India, created a Virtual commerce platform aimed at increasing the sale of lifestyle retailing products by reaching customers through the various digital communication channels available in the market today.

The teams ranking fourth and fifth were also recognized for their AR/VR solutions in the categories of hospitality and education & stationery products, respectively.

The panel of judges consisted of business leaders from ITC Infotech’s partners and global clients, such as KONE, BAT, Microsoft, PTC and SAP Labs along with senior leaders from ITC’s businesses.

Commenting on his experience as a jury member, Jason Schern, Senior Vice President, Global Services, PTC said

It was great to see a mix of both students and professionals from start-ups applying emerging technologies and combining augmented reality and virtual reality to create business transforming solutions. I am taking back with me a really great perception of the level of capabilities of both of students and start-ups here in India. iTech 2016 made it much easier for me to understand the skills and capabilities that can be leveraged for companies like PTC global services and others.

Commenting on the success of the event, Sushma Rajagopalan, CEO & MD, ITC Infotech, said

Though AR and VR technologies are still at a nascent stage, they have the potential to revolutionize customer and employee experience. The maturity of the solutions that emerged at the hackathon was indeed encouraging. In addition to selecting 3 winners, we were compelled to award prizes to the two other teams in the top 5 as well as 7 ideas that had high business relevance. Through iTech, our annual technology festival, it is our endeavor to offer a platform that will build an ecosystem of students, IT professionals, entrepreneurs from start-ups, technology enthusiasts, clients and partners and help create solutions for real business challenges. We will help the winners implement their solutions and assist them in gaining global market access in an accelerated time frame

ITC Infotech believes in promoting innovation and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship in the ecosystem. iTech 2016 is a step towards nurturing entrepreneurs and start-ups in creating the technologies of the future.

About iTech 2016
iTech, an ITC Infotech initiative, is an annual technology innovation platform. The platform will focus on leveraging emerging and disruptive technologies to create business-ready solutions, for addressing some of the most challenging problems faced by the industry. For more information, please visit

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Industrybuying unveils ProcMan to centralise industrial product procurement for enterprise customers

India’s leading B2B e-commerce platform Industrybuying unveiled ProcMan, a customized product solution for enterprises that eliminates the inefficiencies and centralizes their industrial product procurement process. The product includes an Online Catalogue Interface [OCI] that has the ability to integrate with most of the ERP systems available in the market.

The latest development comes in order to expand its enterprise arm by providing an innovative platform that solves the major challenges involved in customized product discovery, vendor consolidation, pricing, logistics & supply chain, approval protocol, resource allocation and purchase through purchase orders.

Rahul Gupta, Co-founder, Industrybuying said

While interacting with companies, we saw that medium-large enterprises are usually quite efficient in managing their direct spends, however they would like a solution for managing their indirect or non-bulk expenditures. There are a lot of tech-enabled solutions available in the market to help enterprises manage their purchases like raw material, fuel, chemicals & gases through e-procurement or e-auctions, integrated systems with OEMs, etc.

However, for other types of supplies there is no ready solution because they fulfill such requirements from a highly fragmented and relatively unorganized supply chain consisting of several product/brand specific wholesalers, agents, traders, re-sellers, distributors, stockists, buying houses, dealers, etc. It is marred with low price visibility and unpredictable availability as a result businesses end up managing thousands of vendor codes each not amounting to any significant business volume individually.

Procman solves these problems and provides complete transparency in their procurement process. It delivers direct savings of up to 20% due to better pricing in addition to indirect savings in the form of planned procurement, less manpower, less paperwork and also avail tax benefits on these purchases as applicable.

Industrybuying is all set to drive its enterprise sales through ProcMan, targeting annual GMV of Rs. 180-200 crores and at least 40-45% of sales contribution by March 2017.

Commenting on the newly developed product Udit Srivastava, Sr. Vice President, Product Engineering said

Our product & engineering team have been working endlessly for the past 6 months. The product provides the flexibility of using it through a custom portal which works well for relatively small businesses and it can integrate with ERPs of the large enterprises, too. We are optimistic that this cloud based solution will eliminate all the inefficiencies and become a one-stop solution for enterprise customers.

By integrating this platform, the enterprise will get an instant access to over 5000 vendors and best negotiable prices for the ordering & re-ordering process. It will also help them to generate custom reports to analyse spend, ordering history, shipment history and payment history. Some of the enterprises have already integrated this product and have started availing benefits during their product procurement.

At present, Industrybuying has more than 150 enterprise customers on its e-commerce platform and around 5000 vendors spread across the length and breadth of the country. The platform is an appropriate solution for enterprises & businesses to procure industrial utility products online as it provides technology & services that enable selection, payments, customer support & fulfilment – all as a wholly integrated experience.

About ProcMan

ProcMan is a customized cloud based platform that allows enterprises to centralise online procurement process efficiently through desktop or mobile. It brings comprehensive digital catalogue/products together at one place, helps create a custom e-catalogue after analyzing the current spends and allows best negotiable rates to be fixed for a period of time that allow greater efficiency in the buying process and facilitates in achieving significant cost savings.

Some of the powerful features such as vendor consolidation, customized product discovery, order management, custom reports to analyse the entire spend, document repository for all rate contracts, bills, invoices, delivery receipts, payment advice’s and payment receipts to streamline the entire workflows and allow enterprises to plan and control over the entire spending for their industrial procurement. For more information, please visit ProcMan

About Industrybuying

Industrybuying is a leading Business e-commerce platform, selling a wide range of business and industrial products to SMEs as well as large businesses. It has over 4,000 registered sellers and more than 60,000 registered businesses – SMEs & large corporates that are procuring online from Industrybuying. Industrybuying offers over 1 million products across 45+ categories ranging from Safety and Security, Electrical and Lighting, Power and Solar, to MRO supplies and many more categories.

Industrybuying is backed by some of the leading Indian and global investors. Based out of Delhi NCR, the company has a Pan-India footprint with fulfillment centres in Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad & Bangalore. For more information, please visit

Posted in e-commerce, IndustryBuying, Technology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Leverage the power of direct mail marketing to grow your business in 2016 [Guest Article]

Marketing is an essential part of any new start-up or business. To succeed in whatever domain you’re targeting, you need to pay more attention to direct mail marketing as it is still a fundamental marketing tool. Without it, you won’t be able to diversify your customer base. Today’s competitive business environment makes it hard for companies to stand out. And yet, it’s not something impossible to achieve. In spite of the fact that many have ditched email in favour of social media, email marketing remains one of the most productive ways to win over customers. Here are some guidelines to help you leverage your power and grow your business using direct mail marketing.

Augmented reality

Direct mail is probably one of the oldest (but also most effective) forms of marketing a business. In the last couple of years, advanced technology and social media has made this strategy go extinct. Believe it or not, very few companies still use emails to appeal to customers; and that’s because many rely on sponsored Facebook ads and tweets. The good news is there’s still great power in direct mail; you just have to learn how to use it and make it work for your business goals. For your business to stand out and make itself different from all other emails people get in their inboxes, you need to blend email marketing with augmented reality apps, thus bring your products and services to life. There are sensible ways companies can use to integrate technology into their marketing campaign and win over valuable customers.


People love getting stuff for free, whether we’re talking about discounts, vouchers, or any other freebies. Truth be told, you can’t get your product out there without offering some free samples to people; because free samples might be exactly what people need to buy, and even spread the word. However, you shouldn’t just send emails with subject lines titled “Click here to get X for free” because nobody will want it. You have to be creative and craft a message that sounds interesting and attention-grabbing. To appeal to your customers, you have to stand out from your competition.

Put some thought into your emails

Believe it or not, some of the world’s biggest brands make one huge mistake when sending emails to customers – they don’t put enough thought into the creation of their message. Whether you want to offer something to customers for free or invite them to read your latest post, it is important to make sure your email sounds well – it has to be both structurally and grammatically correct. If you’re not the most experienced writer, hire someone to handle the copy-writing. Innovative engaging and creative emails work the best

Be different

The power of direct mail marketing can be outstanding. To make your emails stand out, you have to be different. Your approach has to be unique and ingenious for people to want to know more. Direct mail might be one of the oldest and most used marketing forms out there, but for an email to be memorable it has to engage. Think outside the box for once, and dare to come up with the most out of the ordinary subject lines. Make your emails persuasive and you’ll be able to appeal to a wider audience. Don’t rely solely on social media, as social media is no personal and it doesn’t make customers feel special and appreciated.

Combined campaigns

The finest companies out there abide by more than one technique to market their business. Direct mail marketing can work miracles; however it must be integrated into additional campaigns to provide you with the best results. Email marketing doesn’t work alone; it has to be used together with direct mail and social media to boost your company’s bottom line and yield dividends.

Whatever business objectives you might have for this 2016, make sure to implement the best strategies. Increase brand awareness with social media, but make your potential customers feel that you can about them with email and direct mail marketing. Have a target audience in mind before getting started, and focus on a group of people that might actually have an interest to buy whatever you’re selling.

This is a guest article by Denny

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Max Life Online Term Plan : Ideal Plan to safeguard your family’s future…[Review]

Life Insurance can be looked at in two ways- for the customer, it could be another Investment that can be covered as a part of 80C but for their family members, it means a lot more….it means Assurance. Assurance that if something untoward occurs then your family does not have to bear the brunt.

We insure our cars, house, bike and even mobile phones these days. In today’s fast paced world, life has become uncertain. One insurance policy that comes in handy in such circumstances is the ‘Term Plan’. A Term Plan is a basic life insurance plan that reimburses sufficient amount of sum assured to the beneficiaries of the insured after his/her demise.

Image Source* – Online Term Plan

However, during the planning process, there are many doubts that linger in customer’s minds about any Insurance Policy namely Premium Payment Cycle, Sum Assured, Hidden Clauses and Dependents covered as a part of the Insurance Policy etc. So, it is very critical to choose the best Term Plan or Term Life Insurance Policy.

Unlike other insurance policies that have attached investment benefits to it, Term Plan is a pure life cover plan. There are many financial institutions that offer Term Plans but one which scores above all the competitors is the Online Term Plan offered by Max Life Insurance. Let’s delve into more details:

Note : Views expressed in the review are based on interaction with existing customers of Term Plan by Max Life Insurance

Low Premium Payment, various Policy options

The main advantage of taking a Term Insurance is that you have the flexibility of choosing a plan with low premium and flexible payment options. Max Life Insurance has a unique term plan with three death benefit options:

Max Life Online Term Plan Basic Life Cover – This is the basic and most affordable plan. The annual premium amount is Rs. 7400 and the sum assured is Rs 1 crore.

Max Life Online Term Plan Life Cover + Monthly Income – As the name suggests, this insurance cover comes with monthly income. It also ensures that your family does not struggle to make ends meet. The annual premium amount is Rs. 10,100 and the sum assured is Rs 1 crore (+ 40,000 per month).

Max Life Online Term Plan Life Cover + Increasing Monthly Income – This is the most ideal term plan. It ensures that with rising inflation, your beneficiaries’ income also increases to cope up with increasing costs. This policy comes with increasing monthly income. The annual premium amount is Rs. 11,100 and the sum assured is Rs 1 crore (+ 40,000 per month increasing at 10% p.a).

Image Source* – Max Life Insurance

In case of death of the policy holder during the term, the nominee gets the sum assured. It is always advisable to choose the correct mix of Term Plan based on your age, income, dependents, health condition etc.

Double Security

As mentioned earlier, all the three plans mentioned above ensure that your dependents do not have to suffer after the demise of breadwinner. However, Max Life Online Term Plan Basic Life Cover & Max Life Online Term Plan Life Cover with Increasing Monthly Income are the preferred options by customers since they provide additional security to your family.

Choosing the RIGHT Term Plan

Depending on the factors mentioned above it is always advisable to consult your financial advisor before zeroing in on a Term Plan. If there is still that lingering question – How much cover do I need, than you have the option to choose the right plan by logging on to Term Plan Calculator. Selection of the wrong Term Plan will not only hamper your savings but would also have a lasting effect on your dependents! Ensure you make the wisest decision of your life and choose the best Term Insurance Plan

If you are an existing customer of Max Life Insurance [Term Plan] #MaxLifeTermPlan, please leave your experience or feedback in the comments section…

Disclaimer : Information provided in the article is based on my research and interaction with existing customers. Insurance is a subject matter of solicitation, please read the offer document before investing.

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Zuver, an integrated Driver on Demand App announces their operations in Pune & Bangalore

Zuver, Your Driver on demand, a Mumbai-based start-up launched in early April 2016 has launched operations in Pune and Bangalore. Co-Founded by Sidhanth Mally and Sovin Hegde, Zuver has gained significant traction since its introduction in the driver on demand segment and will soon operationalize in other metros as well.

After having established itself substantially in Mumbai, Zuver now intends to position itself as the dominant player in other parts of India, thereby creating a stronghold and a launchpad for it to drive into various other markets in India. Zuver had already acquired a credible operational presence spanning both Pune and Bangalore through their investor footprint namely the Hermes Group and Shruth and Smith Holdings respectively.

Zuver’s USP is that it promises a reliable, skilled, well-trained ‘driver on demand’ service at your doorstep at just a tap of a button. With 100 drivers on their network in Mumbai at present, Zuver has already plat-formed 25 drivers in Pune and 70 drivers in Bangalore. Pune and Bangalore users will be able navigate stress free through long and arduous stretches of traffic jams while subscribing to affordable transportation services provided by Zuver like Drivers on Demand, Monthly Driver Subscriptions including just pickup and drop, Outstation Drives and Valet Parking. On popular demand, Mumbai – Pune trips will also be covered by Zuver allowing both one way and return options.

Speaking on this, Sidhanth Mally, Co-founder of Zuver said

Pune being the sixth Largest Private Vehicle Market in India with no focused Driver on Demand Player catering to it, Zuver allows you to book, track and pay for a premium driver service all through the App. Zuver aims to carry out 50 trips a day within the next 3 months out of Pune and will on-board 50-100 drivers in that time-span. Our success in Mumbai is evident with the affirmative response we have received from our customers, and we will take this opportunity to repeat the same in Pune and Bangalore

Sovin Hegde, Co-founder of Zuver added

With 50 Lakh potential customers struggling to drive in increasing traffic and explosively expanding city limits, Bangalore is the 2nd highest city in terms of car ownership city in India. With a young population that has a large disposable income we are excited to provide trips all round the clock right from work commuting hours at dawn to party time well beyond dusk! We have around 70 reliable, skilled, well-trained drivers in Bangalore and are looking to on-board 200 drivers in a short period

Zuver for Android and iOS is available here & here respectively.

About Zuver – Driver on Demand
Zuver is a start-up with a unique selling proposition –a service that promises reliable, skilled, well-trained ‘driver on demand’ at your doorstep. They aim to make their drivers the gold standard for industry drivers and create a new benchmark. This mobile-first company that offers the best in class service is on its course to expand its presence in other metros. Zuver, Your driver on demand is available on Android and iOS or at 022-43686868. For more information, please refer Zuver

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WorkApps raises $1 million seed funding from SRI Capital

WorkApps – India’s first Enterprise Workflow Collaboration [EWC] company announced that it has received seed fund of $1 million from legendary enterprise SAAS investor – Sashi Reddi, Partner – SRI Capital. WorkApps product is being rolled out simultaneously in US, Europe and APAC later this year. The core management team at WorkApps includes Rudrajeet Desai, MVS Murthy and Shankar Borate

Rudrajeet is a first-generation entrepreneur in the consumer Internet and mobile industry space. MVS Murthy is a BFSI professional with 19 years of experience in Product development, Portfolio Management, Channel Management, Strategy & Business Innovation in large corporates like ICICI Bank, Edelweiss & Tata AIG, among others. Shankar Borate is a computer scientist from IIT with 20 years experience in building a wide range of products for giants like Adobe, Symantec, Intuit, Siemens & GE.

Sashi Reddi, Managing Partner, SRI Capital stated

We foresee the next big wave for Indian start-ups in the Enterprise Collaboration market globally. With over two years of product testing, I am extremely excited about the potential of WorkApps to be a pioneer in the Enterprise Workflow Collaboration [EWC] category. With Rudrajeet, MVS Murthy and Shankar Borate leading the global product roll-out, I’m confident that WorkApps will be able to create immense value to large enterprise customers in the Enterprise Collaboration space. WorkApps will create a digital inside enterprise and enable diverse teams to digitally come together to co-create using real-time collaboration. Though there are many players in this space, none of them cater to the Large Enterprise market, which is where WorkApps has built a very robust and scalable product.

Rudrajeet Desai, Founder and CEO of WorkApps said

We are excited to have SRI Capital as one of our early investors and to have Sashi join our board. Our next phase is about rolling out the product globally and creating a deeper impact for certain industries. Enterprise Workflow Collaboration (EWC) on SAAS will be a dominant force in the enterprise space and our product will enable large enterprises to augment communication efforts, improve efficiency and change the way people collaborate and work together.

MVS Murthy, Co-founder and COO, WorkApps said

Enterprises have limited bandwidth and assorted knowledge to work with pure play service companies. This makes it difficult to create a one-view of the entire organization’s requirements. One of the most unique differentiators of WorkApps Inc. is our hybrid Product and Consulting model where an Enterprise doesn’t need to pay hourly development fee and yet get a lot of flexibility for Customization and Integration into their own systems. We co-create with our Customers and pass on an ownership that is unique to each of them.

About SRI Capital
SRI Capital is a seed stage investor focused on the “as a service” economy. Interest areas include software, data, analytics, services—anything where the customer pays a subscription amount on a recurring basis for that offering. They have over 20 investments in Enterprise SaaS, SME and Consumer SaaS sectors in India and US. For more information, please visit SRI Capital

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Salman Khan and Sunny Leone – most searched Bollywood actor and actress in the last 10 years – Google

Google announced the most searched for Indian Cinema stars over the last 10 years. These stars are the actors, actresses, directors, musicians and movies that have inspired the most digital curiosity in India between 2006-2016.

Salman Khan and Sunny Leone took out the top spots for the most searched-for Bollywood actor and actress in the last 10 years, Honey Singh and Prabhu Deva were the top singer and Director, while Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha were the most searched for classic actor and actress.

Sapna Chadha, Google India’s Marketing Head said

Indians have been turning to the web to find out more about their favorite stars for over a decade now and we have been evolving Google Search to give them richer, better answers. With around 1 in 10 mobile searches in India related to Indian cinema, we recently launched a range of immersive Search experiences that give film lovers an easy way to discover and explore everything they want to know about their favorite movies, stars, music, dialogues actors and more

Now when you ask Google questions about films, actors, song lyrics, film trivia, trailers, screening times and more, you’ll get rich, contextual answers.  For example try asking Google What films has Prabhu Deva directed? or Who starred in the film Hero” and Google Search now shows rich, contextual answers.

These Search experiences were highlighted at an event in Mumbai featuring Director Karan Johar – the second most searched for director in the last 10 years — where Google launched a  video tribute to Indian cinema.

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About the author

Hey, Welcome to Himanshu's blog. Himanshu is a engineer, blogger, startupper & an aspiring entrepreneur from Bangalore, India. To know more about him, please visit this page.

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