Datanet India, a sixteen year old Information Technology enabled Services Company, has launched the much needed District Factbooks for India which will provide the compiled publications of the latest district level socio-economic data. This data will be available for 560 out of 640 districts in India for over 15 categories. Datanet India is in the business of collecting and compiling district level data for past 15 years and has 720 web sites.

Source – Datanet India

Earlier these district level data, collected through government agencies, were not available on one platform and the government publications were published late. Datanet Factbook will help simplify the work process of collecting data by compiling all the data and making them available on one portal.

All passionate data-seekers would benefit from this one-stop data guide to make out easily where the district stands in the Indian platform. The statistical data, maps, graphs and charts shown offer the exhaustive information about a particular districts. Considering the potential usage of these District Factbooks, these are being made available online at its portal Datanet India Ebooks and are also being offered in print, eBook and web access formats to cover the vastly scattered users.

The socio-economic data is mainly used for the district level strategic planning and research by the policy makers, academicians, researchers and marketers to assess the status of a particular district on various socio-economic parameters. The data would further help in comparing different districts within a state and also with the nation.

Talking to the media about this launch, Co-founder and Director of Datanet India Dr. R.K. Thukral said

Datanet India has 720 websites and is into collecting data on India, its sectors, regions states and district and has been serving the socio-economic research fraternity in India and abroad for the last 16 years. The efforts of Datanet India have been recognized by Limca Book of Records for having the largest cluster of websites providing socio-economic statistical data.

Datanet India had ventured with its first web portal IndiaStat in 2000 and since then has increased its services many fold. IndiaStat, a prime website  of Datanet India which is the most comprehensive e-resource of socio-economic statistical data about India and its states, is now a cluster of 56 associate sites, out of which 19 web sites are sector-specific, 31 web sites are state-specific and 6 are region-specific.

In January 2010, the company introduced DistrictsOfIndia which provides socio-economic statistical information of 620 districts, out of 640 districts of India, as per census 2011. It had launched its portal ElectionsInIndia in 2013 which provides constituency-wise election data, since independence, for all the 543 parliamentary and 4120 assembly constituencies in India. Besides, the company has also published many publications related to pre and post – electoral analysis.

Dr. R. K Thukral, Co-founder and Director of Datanet India, added

The books on statistical data of Indian districts are few and far from comprehensiveness. Out of 640 these District Factbooks have been released for 560 districts and remaining 80 districts are under process. The categories covered in these fact books are Administrative Setup, Demographics, Economy, Market size, Life style, Infrastructure, Industries, Labor and Workforce, Agriculture, Education, Health, Environment and Pollution, Housing, Crime and Law, Social and Welfare Schemes, Electoral.

Datanet India’s services are being subscribed by all the IIMs, IITs, ICSSR & ICAR institutions. Other than these Indian Institutes almost all the Ivy League Universities from USA and Cambridge, Oxford & LSE from the UK are the few esteemed members. They claim that these District Factbooks will be useful for Academicians, Government Officials, Economic Researchers, Marketers, Media Professionals, Strategic Planners, NGOs, Consultants, Policy Makers, Libraries, Start-ups, and Political Scientists.

About Datanet India

Datanet India was established as an IT-enabled private limited company in February 2000 to render its services in the socio-economic information domain. As its core activity, Datanet collects, collates and compiles in ready to use socio-economic statistical data about India, its various sectors, regions, states and districts to make it available online. For more information, please visit Datanet India

In pursuit of its green mission, Kumari Builders and Developers [earlier coverage here] is working towards obtaining ‘Platinum’ certification for its Kumari Amaranthine project in Bengaluru’s Bellandur area. The certification is in compliance with the Green Homes Rating System issued by the Indian Green Building Council [IGBC].

As a step towards this goal, Kumari Amaranthine, ready to be occupied by August 2018, is already pre-certified as a ‘Platinum-rated project’. It is one among the 17 Platinum-rated pre-certified projects in Karnataka. The IGBC Green Homes Rating System addresses green features under the following categories: site selection and planning, water conservation, energy efficiency, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation and design process.

The futuristic project embraces a green future with the clear aim to reduce, reuse and recycle. Kumari Amaranthine’s green features include roof gardens, solar panels and grey water recycling systems for effective energy, water and waste management.

Ashok Naidu, Director, Kumari Builders and Developers said

Having met all criteria under the IGBC categories and with an achievable target of 92 points out of 100, Kumari Amaranthine is well on its way to obtaining Platinum certification. We will leave no stone unturned in reaching this goal towards conserving the environment, while offering our customers a quality living space and ensuring that every family at Amaranthine does its bit for the environment.

What does the Platinum certification ensure?

To the environment it means long-term protection through the much-needed conservation of precious resources such as water and energy.

About 50,000 litres of water is saved every day at Kumari Amaranthine from recycling alone. An advanced Sewage Treatment Plant [STP] ensures that money is saved on buying additional water from water tankers, otherwise needed for car-wash, landscape watering, and use in toilet flush tanks. The project also has a separate grey water treatment plant which handles the used potable water. The recycled grey water can be used for domestic purposes.

The energy-saving measures adopted at Amaranthine include a 40KW in-house solar plant, energy-saving fittings and efficient distribution of power, among others. Moreover, the structures have been built with clay blocks – a 100% natural, green product that is non-toxic – and the windows fitted with glazed glass. Both clay blocks and glazed glass provide better insulation. It helps reduce the need, and therefore, costs of AC and other ventilation devices.

To every home owner, the Platinum certification would translate into direct savings on utility bills.

At Kumari Amaranthine the monthly water savings through recycling alone amounts to a whopping 15,00,000 litres. Water costs about 10 paisa per litre in Bengaluru, and hence the savings per home per month stands at about 1,500 rupees. This is for water saved through recycling alone. Water consumption is further reduced through low flow water fixtures, rain water harvesting and bore well recharge.

The clean and green energy generated from the solar plant combined with other energy-saving factors at Kumari Amaranthine leads to savings of up to another 1,500 rupees per month per home. This saving is as per calculations by EDGE, a unit of International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group.

Leading global travel search engine, Skyscanner [earlier coverage here] has analysed two years’ worth of travel search data from over 60 million monthly users to answer the one questions that always puzzles travellers: When is the best time to book flights?

A recent survey of Indian travellers revealed 72% do not know when is the best time to book flights. Skyscanner’s survey further unveiled 69% of travellers incorrectly estimate the best air fares can be found less than 12 weeks before departure, when in fact the best deals are snapped up by travellers who plan in advance. Traveller’s eyeing up Bali for their summer trip can save up to 51% on flight tickets by booking 25 weeks in advance or risk paying 27% more than the average fare when they leave booking to the last minute.

The same trend appears for air fares to Indian traveller’s favourite summer destinations, traveller’s looking to vacation in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok can grab flights for 35% and 33% less than the average fare, respectively, when booking 24 weeks prior to departure.

Skyscanner recommends booking 24 weeks in advance for travellers venturing to Europe or the USA for their summer vacations for savings of 22% and 18%, respectively.

Skyscanner also revealed the most inexpensive months to travel to visit some of Indian travellers’ favourite locations. November is the cheapest month to travel to Bangkok when flights 10% cheaper than the average fare, while visa-friendly Bali can be best enjoyed in April with a 10% saving on the average fare.

Commenting on the findings, Reshmi Roy, Senior Growth Manager, Skyscanner India said

We hope Skyscanner’s data can provide travellers with clarity on how and when to get the best deal on flights and what to expect if booking is left to the last minute. After reviewing flight prices from the last two years, we can clearly see that it pays to plan. Booking at the right time can make a huge difference to one’s expenditure on their trip, up to 51% in some cases.

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’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

Uber celebrated the first anniversary of UberMOTO, Uber’s bikesharing product, in the country. This month also marks the completion of 2 million trips on uberMOTO, a key milestone for the company and testament to the potential of bike sharing to improve last and first mile connectivity.

Prabhjeet Singh, GM, Uber Delhi and North India said

uberMOTO gives riders the option to book a motorbike ride via the Uber app, a mode of transport that has long been the preferred way to get around cities in India. Currently available in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Jaipur, the success of uberMOTO reflects how Uber easily blends into the fabric of the cities, providing multiple commute options at the push of a button.

To celebrate the success of uberMOTO, Uber introduced a Zip Zap Zoom Index, a round up on how bike sharing has touched riders, driver partner and the cities in the last 12 months.

Fun facts about uberMOTO

  • Riders from 181 cities across the world booked a ride on uberMOTO in India
  • A female rider in Gurgaon took the highest number of rides, accounting for 1393 trips in one year
  • A single driver partner in Gurgaon has taken 5573 trips in the last one year
  • Every 18 seconds an uberMOTO ride is requested in Hyderabad
  • Kalupur Railway Station is the top destination for uberMOTO in Ahmedabad  
  • In Jaipur, no new vehicles have been added ensuring better asset utilization of existing two-wheelers, in an effort to reduce congestion in the city
  • One out of every four trips on uberMOTO are to/from metro stations in Gurgaon

UberMOTO is a step forward in Uber’s commitment to help the address the first and last mile connectivity transportation needs. By integrating Uber’s on-demand technology platform with motorbikes, the objective is to use today’s transportation infrastructure more efficiently and effectively.

Five reasons that make uberMOTO a must-have for all cities

  1. Expands access to public transport: Public transit is the mobility backbone of cities. uberMOTO promotes the use of public transport as people now have an affordable and efficient transport option for their last mile connectivity. Today, one out of every four trips on uberMOTO are to/from metro and railway stations.
  2. Saves time: With uberMOTO, commuters can ride and swiftly maneuver through traffic. It is the quickest way to get anywhere, anytime of the day. Riders can save time traveling by motorbike when and where it makes sense, such as for short trips in heterogeneous traffic that’s more easily navigated via small vehicle, or along routes where public transport isn’t easily accessible or convenient.
  3. Affordability: uberMOTO rides are one of the most affordable commute options in the city. Several studies have also explored the correlation between access to transportation and essential opportunities including education and employment.
  4. Empowering a dignified living: The positive impact of ride sharing on congestion, safety and cities are real and important, but it’s also important to note the economic activity generated by the people who drive on Uber. Owning a motorbike is much more affordable than owning a car. The lower cost barrier of uberMOTO makes it even easier for more people to pursue this micro-entrepreneurship opportunity.
  5. Hop on, hop off commute: Whether you are riding to the office for an early morning meeting, catching the metro at the nearest station or heading to the mall for a fun-filled evening, travelling in a city on uberMOTO is the smartest hop on, hop off option.

Have you tried uberMOTO, do leave your experience in the comments section…

Conquest, BITS Pilani’s International Startup Challenge, hosted its first networking session in the city at the Accel Office in Koramangala. Conquest, backed by DCB Bank, serves as a brilliant launchpad for emerging startups across the country.

Source – LetsVenture

As part of the mentoring sessions, the participants were provided with expert guidance from industry leaders. Some noteworthy mentors include Brijesh Bhardwaj, Product Manager at Hike, Suvonil Chatterjee, ex-CDO Housing and Flipkart and current advisor at Unacademy, Abhishek Nayak, CEO, Bicycle AI and Rishabh Kaul, CEO, Belong.

Expressing her views on the Networking Sessions, Meera Iyer, CMO at BigBasket and one of the mentors, said

For an economy to be sustainable, it needs to nurture the culture of new setups and new constructs surfacing constantly, and I feel that these mentoring sessions wherein such ideas and the youths behind them are groomed, is a really strong medium to connect to. This sharing of ideas also has mutual benefits, helping me in ideate on similar lines and implement them in my daily life.

Conquest, through its tie-ups with incubators and investment firms across the country, offers funding and incubation opportunities for participating startups. The top startups at Conquest receive, in addition to USD 1M worth resources, Rs 3 lakh worth of equity-less funding.

Conquest 2017, in association with Zoho, Accel, WNS and PayU, witnessed a participation of more than 1000 startups from across the nation. These applications were scrutinized based on their models, sustainability, user traction and a number of other parameters, after which, the top 50 were shortlisted for the Networking Sessions held in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Fundraising, Product Management, Customer Acquisition, Tech, and Scaling up & Operations comprise the five categories in which the startups received expert guidance from the mentors.

Two more mentoring sessions were organised by the Conquest team, in New Delhi and Mumbai. Now the participants await the announcement of the coveted spot in the top 10 startups of Conquest 2017. The finalists will then present their ideas before the jury at the Grand Finale to be held on 27 August at Hyatt Regency, New Delhi.

Talking about the mentoring sessions, one of the mentee start-ups said

I was pleasantly surprised by the paramount expertise and brilliant insights offered by the mentors. Not only were the mentors willing to hear us out, but also agreed to keep in touch after the sessions. I look forward to setting up a meeting with them.

The Grand Finale of Conquest has the reputation of being a star studded networking event, with attendance from numerous industry stalwarts. Previous editions have witnessed attendance from the likes of R. Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM, Padmaja Ruparel, President, Indian Angel Network, Sanjay Nath, Managing Partner, Blume Ventures and Nilesh Kothari, Managing Partner, Trifecta Capital. With two insightful panel discussions, fishbowl sessions open to the audience and a networking lunch with industry leaders, the finale fulfills any startup enthusiast’s dream.

For more details on the process of Conquest and the Grand Finale, visit Conquest official website.

Over the past few years, digital transformation has become a watchword for many businesses. In this new era defined by cloud computing, social media and mobile strategies, companies are pursuing new IT tools, and it is clear that the best use of tools require a disruption to operational procedures.

Image Source – Skills

As companies seek success with new products and new customers; there are many areas that must be addressed in order to become a truly digital service provider. One of the critical success factors for service organizations is to understand how technical support, the backbone of customer satisfaction as well as customer retention is evolving with regards to technology adaption and workforce skills.

The direct impact of technology on business outcomes gives modern IT a two pronged approach – first is to focus on strategic efforts and the second being a continuation with the current tactical work. The backbone of the service organization is to build an appropriate team structure with multi faceted competencies. The nature of work is changing. With this change, we cannot accurately estimate the overall impact on job numbers but, onething is certain: technical skills will be in high demand. Even though job titles look familiar, it is important to understand how roles are changing in an environmentdefined by cloud computing, digital technologies and mobile devices.

The Four Pillars of a Functional IT Framework

However, before we discuss the workforce skill trends, let us first understand how technical support is evolving at a dramatically fast pace. Afunctional IT frameworkdescribesfour primary IT disciplines – Infrastructure, Development, Security and Data.

Infrastructure – The Infrastructure pillar is the bedrock of IT operations. With a broad reach and a long history, Infrastructure contains many of theroles most often associated with IT. At the core of this function, system administration and network operations take care of the back-office tasksthat have been part of IT since the mainframe era. However, today’s setup requires physical server maintenance,virtual system administration, network configuration, and storage planning.

These tasks, which have traditionally centered on ‘on-prem’ components still establish the foundation for the rest of the IT architecture. Interestingly, we are observing a growing importance of application implementation. While Infrastructure pillar is not directly responsible for application development, they are accoujtable for installing applications and keeping them running. This activity is very relevant as it alludes to a definite connection point between Infrastructure and Development.

Development – While Infrastructure focuses on hardware, Development centers on software. It is important to note that companies building software for external customers have separate product development teams. However, in times to come, there will clearly be an overlap between the software product teams and infrastructure and these two pillars work seamlessly to provide the best application for the end user.

Security – As technology needs become more complex and the digital stakes get higher, security is perhaps the most important pillar of any organization. Security most often begins as an off-shoot of Infrastructure, since the traditional security approach has been heavily focused on technology. The need for further specialization is driven by new layers of technical tools, business processes that establish secure practices.

Traditionally organizations have used firewall and antivirus as the means for securing their infrastructureand endpoint devices. However for digital organizations, this security perimeter is not sufficient as applications and data regularly travel outside the walls of the firewall. New tools such as DLP [Data Loss Prevention], IAM [Identity and Access Management], and SIEM [Security Information and Event Management] must be layered into operations along with firewall and antivirus, and security professionals need to shift their mindset from preventing all attacks to detecting the inevitable breach and acting quickly and decisively.

Data – As Security is an offshoot of Infrastructure, Data is an off shoot of Development. The skills and thinking needed in Development translate well to Data, where there is an abstract component of dealing with bits and bytes. The recent growth in the amount, veracity, velocity and variety of data that a company can manage has brought focus to certain specialized skills, but there is a foundation that must be built beforemoving to more advanced applications.

New age technical support competencies

These four pillars and their overlap has created a complex environment which requires rethinking the strategic and tactical competency development of a technical service function.

To the extent that hardware is still involved at the core of technical services at the first level of technical support, the responsibilities have definitely evolved in the past few years. From a PC running on Windows most originations have started utilizing other operating systems and smartphones heavily. In many cases enterprise application are accessed over cloud by employees and customers. Pure hardware repair is a passé as companies explore BYOD and utilize warranty support, but familiarity across multiple operating systems is needed as a basic step inensuring productivity. Beyond devices the first line of defense is now interacting with a complex back end system comprised of many components.

The four pillars mentioned above clearly alludes to the fact that service desks must befamiliar with all these areas in order to route issues to theproper experts. Networking knowledge is still a priority as connectivity is the one most important aspect of modern computing. High-profile back end approaches such as virtualization and cloud computing drive front end skills for properly troubleshooting application problems.

Storage options must be well understood for questions about data handling. Even as cloud computing and mobility change the overall nature of infrastructure, the connection between the backend and the front end remains a vital link for supporting a tech-driven workforce.

Development is perhaps the least likely destination for a pure play technical support organization, but the momentum behind DevOps is creating more overlap than ever between Infrastructure and Development, so a transition from tech support to software coding is quite visible in near future.

For many organizations, security posture is primarily determined by the implementation of technology such as firewalls and antivirus. As such, level one support often has knowledge of security tools that ensure end users are properly protecting corporate assets. However, Security is growing to encompass processes suchas regulatory compliance or risk management along withend user education. As companies develop new procedures,service desk responsibilities will likely evolve to incorporatethe relevant steps in secure operations.

The final IT pillar, Data, represents another stretch area for technical support functions. The support function has traditionally been ‘interrupt-driven’ : a problem is logged and it gets resolved. As businesses recognize the value of analytics, there is significant potential for support technicians to collect & analyze data. The patterns they find could highlight widespread issues or suggest efficiency improvements.

Along with the technical skills that help the first line of defense respond to diverse issues, there is a growing need for knowledge in operational procedures and project management. Expertise in IT service management, using a framework like ITIL or COBIT, is usually a first step for support technicians. This knowledge is necessary to formalize processes for a growing number of requests and to ensure that thoserequests are properly cataloged. Beyond these, project management skills come into play with increasing man-power experiencewho start to analyze the collected information and attack any systemic problems.

Out of all the changes happening across IT, the support desk role may be undergoing the most dramatic change. The required technical skills cover a broad range of topics, policies and procedures which are needed to handle a large number of requests and customer service is more important than ever. Whether the first line of support is managed in-house or outsourced, there is a growing need for well-rounded technicians to support digital strategy.

The field of information technology now attracts an accentuated focus than ever before, and businesses are struggling to understand the best approach for this ever changing environment. With new trends seeming to pop up on an annual basis, there is a rush to understand the implications of new innovation and the path forward from legacy architecture. The technology industry has become incredibly dynamic and complex, and a tactical approach to technology support quickly needs to become strategic or else, service providers will lose the plot against their customers whose business needs force them to get rapidly digitalized.

About the author

Pradipto Chakrabarty is the Regional Director, CompTIA, the voice of the world’s information technology industry. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, professional certifications and public policy advocacy. You can view his profile here

The world’s lightest multi utility jacket has been created in Bengaluru by an ex- IBM engineer. Weighing less than 179 grams this comes with a hoodie, has a water-resistant shell & a secret compartment – that allows you to fold the jacket into its own pouch! Unlike other light jackets which are just simple rain covers –this is a proper multi utility jacket that comes in 3 colours & can be used for different occasions.

This innovative jacket is being launched on Fueladream. Thanks to crowdfunding [which eliminates dealer margin & inventory costs] the FEATHER is being rolled out at a breakthrough price of just 499 INR [includes free shipping and all taxes]! Check it out here

The Feather is the 3rd innovative product launched by Versatyl Wear, all on Having already wowed audiences with the Ultimate Travel Jacket and the Waterproof Bomber Jacket, it was only a matter of time before they came out with another game changing product.

The Feather is also mobility friendly as it folds into a secret compartment to turn into a little pouch making it easy to carry even to a business meeting. A pack of two jackets is available at just 899 INR and Saneen the creator hopes this will create massive demand for it.

The brains behind Versatyl Wear, Saneen Javali, is an exIBM engineer who has already raised over INR 3.9 million over 4 hugely successful crowdfunding campaigns! What’s more, they have also delivered over 2500 jackets to happy customers!

Versatyl is running its fifth crowdfunding campaign with Fueladream, and they have realised that crowdfunding not only affords them the ability to take an exciting, innovative product to the market with a much higher visibility than e-commerce platforms, but it also gives the consumer the chance to buy new and interesting products at amazing prices.

Saneen Javali, says about crowdfunding and this new jacket

It’s exciting to put together the World’s lightest utility jacket. Crowdfunding is a game changer which has helped me build a brand and go to the market easily.

Ranganath Thota, Founder & CEO Fueladream said

Saneen always surprises us with his innovations. We are sure that Indian customers will be delighted with the FEATHER & make this another very successful campaign.

About Fueladream

FuelADream is a crowdfunding marketplace for people & organisations that aim to raise funds for creative ideas, causes, charities etc. and impact 2.2 billion people in India, Africa & S.E Asia. The platform went live in mid-April 2016 and has already raised close to INR 3.9 CR from over 105 campaigns. It is the brainchild of Ranganath Thota. His team is focused on transforming how people raise and contribute money for ideas, social causes and other activities. For more information, please visit Fueladream

As the famous author Robert Kiyosaki of the ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ fame says – Let the money work for us instead of working for the money. As the quote indicates that you might be making handsome amount of money but you need to let the money do the talking by investing it in the right place at the right time. When it comes to investing, there are a plethora of options but those depend on your financial strength, existing portfolio, current market trends, liabilities, etc.

Image Source – Mutual Funds

The financial plan of a 22-year old who has just started working would look very different from the financial plan of a 35-year old who has a family [wife, kids, other dependents, etc.]. It goes without saying that their risk appetite would also be different.

Everyone wants to make money but when it comes to investing, we do not take the risk since passive investors are mostly not aware of the right investment offerings. Hence, it becomes important for financial institutions to educate retail investors so that they can also make their money work 🙂 One such initiative is launched by Reliance Mutual Fund called the Mutual Fund Day or the #MFDaysOn7th that is celebrated on 7th of every month.

Broad objectives of Reliance Mutual Fund Day are:

  • Start an industry-wide revolution for mutual fund investments.
  • Educate potential investors about mutual fund investments.
  • Dedicate one single day which serves as a reminder for all to invest in mutual funds.
  • Help the investors to fulfill their dreams by investing in the asset class.

The background for starting this initiative is that in India only 3% of the people are investing in Equity Funds and the remaining 97% are investing in traditional way of investments like FD, RD, Loans and other small deposit schemes. Though Mutual funds as an investment vehicle have gained immense popularity over the last couple of years with its average Assets Under Management [AUM] touching a record high of Rs 17.37 trillion as of January 2017, its penetration is fairly low as compared to other global and peer benchmarks [Source]. They are clearly missing out on the India growth story and hence the company wants them to be aware of Mutual Funds which is not just equity but the common most vehicle for retirement plan.

If you are an active investor who has already invested in mutual funds and want to help your friend or your near & dear ones then you should definitely check out their other initiative called Fund For A Friend. Via this initiative you can nominate your friend to play a game on Mutual Funds and in return he would get know about the ‘depth of understanding’ he has about investing in mutual funds 🙂

So, if you are wary investor planning to take your first step into the world of mutual funds then there is no better place to start off than #MFDaysOn7th. As their tagline says

Har mahine ki tarikh saat, Kijiye Mutual Fund ke aadat ki shuruat!