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Was unaware of husband’s dealings with Videocon group: Chanda Kochhar to ED

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Former CEO and MD of ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that she was not aware of her husband Deepak Kochhar’s business dealings with Videocon Group MD Venugopal Dhoot.

Chanda Kochhar informed the ED that she was unaware when six high-value loans worth Rs 1,875 crore were approved by the private lender to her husband and Dhoot.

According to a report by ToI, Chanda mentioned that the loan worth Rs 64 crore was given by Videocon group to Deepak Kochhar’s companyNuPower Renewables a day after Rs 300 crore loan was disbursed to Videocon group company by the bank.

The high profile banker further stated that she “didn’t discuss her bank related work with her husband or vice-versa, hence there was no question of taking any favor in lieu of the bank loan.”

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has alleged that Rs 64 crore loan was used as a kickback to the Kochhar’s.

ED has reportedly also found that Venugopal Dhoot had made payment to Deepak Kochhar’s company via Mauritius.

A letter rogatory or letter of request has been sent to a tax haven to sought payment details.

Meanwhile, on February 22, the CBI had issued lookout circulars (LOCs) against Chanda, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Venugopal Dhoot.

“The LOCs were issued after the FIR was filed in the case. LOCs are mandatory in cases where such economic offences are alleged,” the official said.

“In recent times, keeping an eye on travel plans is a top concern for regulators,” the official added.

Last month, ED had registered a criminal case against the Kochhars, Dhoot, and others to investigate alleged irregularities in sanctioning of Rs 3,250 crore loan by the private lender to the corporate group.

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Nisha Shiwani hails from the pink city of Jaipur and is a prolific writer. She loves to write on Real Estate/Property, Automobiles, Education, Finance and about the latest developments in the Technology space.



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Bennet & Bernard Group forays into FMCG space

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To enter other FMCG segments soon

The company will soon go pan India and is focused on creating an exclusive range of processed foods

Home grown diversified firm Bennet & Bernard with majority business interest in eco luxury real estate, hospitality & gastronomy has announced its foray in FMCG space with the launch of premium cold cuts under the banner of Artisan Deli in Goa market. Pioneers of world-class foods served at its multiple restaurants in Goa, Bennet & Bernard have now launched a range of eleven uniquely crafted chicken & pork cold cuts which will be available at all the leading supermarkets across Goa. With menus curated in-house, options of gluten free products, compliance to guidelines at every stage of food production, storage and transportation, the product is definitely value-add to the start of your meal every day.

Artisan Deli has evolved from the need to produce processed meats that stand a class apart purely based on their flavour, the quality of the ingredients and their presentation. Bennet & Bernard Group will soon go pan India with this brand and is focused on creating an exclusive range of processed foods in India and global markets with manufacturing units in multiple cities across the country. The company currently runs two business units: Bennet & Bernard custom homes Pvt Ltd & Bennet & Bernard Gastronomy hospitality Pvt Ltd.

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Lincoln Bennet Rodrigues, Founder and Chairman, Bennet & Bernard Group said: “Artisan Deli is personal to me. I’ve partnered with my team of seasoned restaurateurs who have been in the industry for the past few years in developing the recipes or Artisan Deli. While, we have had great success from our various restaurants, we have been determined to procure superior quality cold cuts to keep up with the standards we set.We believe that our cold cuts would meet international quality standards as well as be a healthy alternative for our consumers. For this very reason we completely avoid all artificial colour or flavour, any added MSG or hormones. We provide options for nitrite- free and some of our products are completely gluten- free. Finally, we incorporate exquisite packaging and easy availability of these products alongside great line-up of more Artisan Deli products”.

Talking about company’s ambitious plans in the FMCG segment, Mr. Lindsay Bernard Rodrigues, Co-owner and Director, Bennet & Bernard Group added: “We want to make FMCG a large business. We have got some very interesting new products in the space of healthy food & snacking ready for launch in the near future. With this launch, we aim to drive the next wave of growth for our group. We are also planning to bring international products to Indian market. Our aim is to create a unique source of competitive advantage through diversity of the businesses and create new opportunities for growth. We are also looking at possible acquisitions, both in the country and in the global market to grow rapidly. We also recently made an international acquisition with the start of business in Portugal.”

Bennet & Bernard Group prides itself from developing the most desirable Custom Luxury Homes in Goa to the finest and highest rated restaurants and further expanding its horizon in the hospitality sector in Europe. The company has also gone from handpicked locations in Goa to exotic locations of the world. With a penchant towards exclusive designs, unique architecture, idiosyncratic living concepts, smart homes along with finest quality of construction, Bennet & Bernard Custom Homes has positioned itself as a mark of quality, passion and innovation. Bennet & Bernard has created award winning projects which included Indian Green Building Council (2015) and 6-star CRISIL rating (2017).

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AnitaB.org appoints Maggie Inbamuthiah as interim Managing Director of India

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AnitaB.org, a nonprofit organization focused on the advancement of women in technology, today announced the appointment of Maggie Inbamuthiah as its interim Managing Director of India. Maggie has been working with the organization since 2016, and has played a major role spearheading the organization’s efforts and programs to advance careers of women in technology in the region.

“We are excited to announce Maggie’s appointment as the interim Managing Director of India,” said Brenda Darden Wilkerson, President & CEO of AnitaB.org. During her AnitaB.org tenure, she has worked relentlessly towards achieving our goals. With her contributions, we hope to build on our 10-year legacy on the sub-continent to advance 50/50 equity for all tech women worldwide by 2025.”

Maggie has previously worked with corporations including ANZ, Infosys, and Dell, leading their global technical and operational projects and initiatives in the HR space. An avid entrepreneur, Maggie is the Co-founder of “Mandram,” a platform to curate talks and ideas in native languages so that people can reach one another across the social diaspora with no impediment of language. She was also the Co-founder of Employee Experts and My Campus Days.

“I have always been a believer in ensuring that there is equal opportunity for all regardless of gender, social status, and background,” said Maggie. “Working with AnitaB.org has not only strengthened my belief in this pursuit but has also enabled me to curate and implement many initiatives focused on this purpose. With this new role, I look forward to continuing my efforts and driving key initiatives in India such as the 2019 Grace Hopper Celebration (GHCI 19). Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, GHCI 19 will be held in Bangalore from November 6 – 8, 2019 and promises to be an extraordinary event focused on 50/50 intersectional tech equity by 2025.”

A Post Graduate in HR Management and Organizational Behaviour from University of London and a Computer Science Engineer from NIT, Tiruchirapalli, Maggie is an athlete, yoga practitioner and teacher, and an environmentalist at heart.

About AnitaB.org:   

At AnitaB.org, we envision a future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for whom they build it. We connect, inspire and guide women in technology and organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative. In 1987, computer scientist Anita Borg, founded a digital community for women in technology. Today, our reach extends to more than 80 countries, and partners with academic institutions and Fortune 500 companies worldwide. We believe technology innovation powers the global economy and that women are crucial to building technology the world needs.

About Grace Hopper Celebration India (GHCI) 

Grace Hopper Celebration India is the flagship event organized by AnitaB.org. It is Asia’s largest gathering of women technologists. AnitaB.org has been successfully organizing Grace Hopper Celebration India (GHCI) since 2010, witnessing a significant growth year-on-year.

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Eiliant Advisors bets big on its Lifecycle Growth Advisory business

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  • Expands portfolio and adds 3 new partners
  • To raise a total of USD 12 Million across 3 new mandates in H2, FY20
  • Aims to become a USD 25 million entity by 2025 with a global footprint

Eiliant, a niche, full lifecycle growth advisory firm, announced today that it has signed up contracts for raising over USD 12 Million during H2, FY20 across 3 new mandates in the areas of deep-tech and enterprise-tech. The firm has also signed up 3 multi – year strategic growth-to-exit contracts for challenger brands across organized bakery, wellness, and chocolate. On back of this development, the firm announced on-boarding of 3 industry veterans as its new partners, making a total of 5 partners across verticals. Eiliant now aims to become a USD 25 million entity by 2025 with a global footprint. It is with this intent it is structuring itself to brace up for the growth opportunities.

Since its inception in 2018, Eiliant has grown steadily and recently advised Space-Tech start-up, Bellatrix Aerospace to raise $ 3 Million in its Pre Series – A round. The firm has developed a strong investment thesis around Space-Tech, Cybersecurity, and Health-Tech and is building capabilities on scaling and augmenting growth. Eiliant is focussed on mergers and acquisitions, growth capital augmentation, technology strategy, growth consulting and CFO advisory to enable growth, scale and competitiveness for mid-market companies and curated start-ups. Its advisory is focussed towards 4 verticals – Science and Technology, Manufacturing, Consumer and Financial Services including Fintech. Eiliant has created its own proprietary engagement framework to unlock value and accelerate growth for emerging businesses and challenger brands across their life-cycle while ensuring investors get better-than-market returns on their investments with Eiliant portfolio companies.


The company’s new partners are Dean George who has worked with Arvind, Titan, StoreKing and HCL, Jubin Mishra who has worked with Accenture, HSBC, Sony and Aavishkaar-Intellecap and Sachin Gupta who has worked with LG, Blue Dart, Toll Group before joining Eiliant. Dean George, an MBA from University of Canterbury Christchurch, New Zealand, brings in 20 + years of experience and will lead Sales and Business Operations Advisory; Jubin Mishra, an alumnus of IIM Kozhikode with 20+ years of experience will be responsible for Growth Strategy and Marketing Advisory; Sachin Gupta, a chartered accountant and alumni of IIM Bangalore joins Eiliant advisory to focus on transaction and CFO Advisory.


Speaking about the development, Mr. Udit Mitra, Founder, Eiliant Advisors said: “With Dean, Jubin, and Sachin joining, we now have a leadership team of accomplished professionals with a proven track record across businesses and geographies. At this point, we are running and curating deals across our focussed verticals and their addition will help us to broaden our service portfolio across the business life cycle of our clients. This will now enable us to work as an extension for the investors, in achieving their R-o-I and exits, while building competitive business models for entrepreneurs in mid-market and curated start-ups. With this new addition, we have a collective 100+ years of experience – which we will bring to fore to offer our differentiated services to our clients and investors.”


Adding to the firm’s development, Mr. Anish Sengupta, Co-Founder said: “As a firm, we have a significant focus on deep-tech mandates. We look for enterprise technology companies with a defensible technical moat, reached through significant research and protected by patents or copyrights. With Dean, Jubin, and Sachin coming on board, we hope to accelerate growth in this area also”.

Eiliant Advisors is currently working on exclusive mandates in deep-tech company using Artificial Intelligence and Edge Computing to deliver intelligent monitoring and energy savings for large facilities and buildings; a Made-in-India, smart urban mobility solution – automating over 3 million parking spaces across India and South East Asia using proprietary Algorithm. The firm is also looking at various deals across consumer, manufacturing which will be online in upcoming quarters. The firm is targeting to on-board 2 more full life cycle clients during the second half of FY20.


About Eiliant

Eiliant is a niche advisory firm that offers specialized services to unlock value and accelerate growth for start-up and mid-market companies across their entire lifecycle through its 4*4 strategy – focus on 4 industry verticals (Science and Technology, Manufacturing, Consumer and Financial Services including Fintech.) across 4 Service Lines ( Business Transformation and Growth Enablement, Investment Banking and M&A, Technology Advisory and Digital Strategy, and CFO and Structuring Advisory).

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‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR): An external challenge to India’s economy and security

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In recent times China has emerged as a strong player in this new unfolding global system.

It has launched a new initiative called One Belt and One Road initiative. The aim of the OBOR project is to create an economic land belt and marine link to redirect  Chinese capital to develop infrastructure and trade capacity of ASEAN, Europe, Central Asia, and Africa.

The concept of OBOR is based on certain principles where the broad aim is to establish multi-dimensional and multi-tiered connectivity to tap the market potential of the region’s leading countries to aggressively undertake job creation and promotion of consumption. It has the plan to involve more than 60 countries in the project and also plans to negotiate a free trade agreement with all of them, the entire OBOR.

OBOR

 

OBOR, CPEC, String of Pearls

China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

The China –Pakistan relations, over a period of time, have evolved to the extent that some scholars aptly call Pakistan, China’s Israel. Today, china clearly believes that Pakistan has a core part to play in its transition to global power and lies at the heart of China’s plan for ports and railways and for oil and gas. The CPEC comes at a time of growing geopolitical ambition of china, being partly a strategic gambit. One of the important aims of CPEC is to bolster the Pakistani Economy by addressing the Key infrastructure constraints in Pakistan.

CPEC as a subset of OBOR

In March 2015, China’s National Development and Reform Committee announced the OBOR initiative. The CPEC is part of OBOR and was formalized in April 2015 between Pakistan and China. This concluded with around 51 memorandums of understanding with a total investment of 46 billion dollars. CPEC has emerged out of the Chinese principle of co-operative mechanism with different parts of the world to increase its trade. It has identified the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Bangladesh-China-India–Myanmar(BCIM-EC) as the key initiatives broadly associated with OBOR.

India’s official position is that CPEC passes through the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(PoK), which is a disputed territory, and land that has been illegally occupied. India asserts that China has not shown any understanding of India’s sovereign claims and thereby it will not be part of the OBOR. Again for India, OBOR is a national initiative of China to enhance its connectivity all over to ensure that it is able to sustain its low-cost manufacturing programme which is declining due to rising domestic wages in China. This is by integrating itself to global value chains.

India has now to decide whether it would allow political differences to prevail over economic interaction.

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Dr. Ashutosh Karnatak is the new CMD of GAIL ( India) Ltd

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Dr. Ashutosh Karnatak, new CMD of GAIL ( India) Ltd
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Gas Authority of India Limited with its headquarter based in New Delhi’s Bhikaiji Cama Place has nominated its new Chairman Cum Managing Director. Dr. Ashutosh Karnatak earlier serving as Director project GAIL since 2014 has today taken over charge as the new CMD of this highly profit-making organization. The earlier CMD Mr. Tripathi has retired.

Mr. Ashutosh Karnatak carries behind him a rich experience of 37 protracted years in the hydrocarbon sector and is also concurrently serving as Director ( Projects) in GAIL.

As per the financial projections till February 2019 the state-owned gas distribution company GAIL ( India) Limited jumped in the third quarter profit beating market estimate, buoyed by a surge in revenue from its natural gas marketing segment says a TOI report published in February. According to the report, the profit for the quarter ended then on December 31 last came to a whopping 16.81 billion rupees i.e. 234.32 million dollars compared with a profit of 12.62 billion rupees last year as per the GAIL’s projections.

According to the Refinitiv Eikon data quoting TOI report sixteen analysts on average estimated the company, which also engages in the transmission of petrochemicals and liquefied petroleum gas, posted a profit of 15.51 billion in a quarter.

The TOI report of Feb 2019 further says that GAIL’s revenue from operations surged 37.3% to 197.89 billion rupees. Similarly, it’s gas marketing segment which accounts for more than 3, 4th of the total revenue enhanced to a whopping 46%.

Along with Dr. Ashutosh Karnatak who took charge as CMD GAIL, Dr. Kulbhooshan Baluni also took charge as Director IIM Kashipur and Professor Padhy as Chairperson of IIM Kashipur Campus, Dun today. Mr. KC Pandey of Awaj Suno Pahadon ki and Uttarakhand Journalists Forum extended their heartiest congratulations to all of them for their enlightened future.

Dr. K. C Pandey a renowned entrepreneur of Uttarakhand and social activist congratulated Dr. Karnatak on assumption of the charge as new CMD GAIL at his Bhikaiji Cama place office by presenting a bouquetin person.

A post-graduate from IIT Delhi Karnatak graduated in electrical engineering from HBTI Kanpur. He is credited for developing an innovative project monitoring and controlling technique ARJUNA and a capability-building model. He accompanies with him a 39 years experience in Oil and Gas sector who joined GAIL in 2014 and reached its top slot just in a span of 4 and a half years.

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Have we registered our brand name yet?

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The brand name is the very soul of the company. With the rise in the number of brands in India, the likelihood of the brand name being stolen has increased. Therefore, it is high time that we take measures to protect our brand name through Trademark registration.

Why we should consider trademark registration?

1. Because the brand name is the very identity of our product or service.
2. Because a brand name makes the customers recognize our product among many.
3. Because with trademark registration, we can deter the infringers from stealing our mark.
4. Because trademark registration gives a monetary value to our mark
5. Because trademark registration opens the door to business expansion through licensing.

This important article curated from the web.

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DPIIT summons food aggregators like Zomato, Swiggy over predatory pricing

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The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has summoned food aggregators including Swiggy, Zomato, Foodpanda and Uber Eats over restaurants complaint of them engaging in deep discounting. The dispute between restaurants and food aggregators has been going one for almost a year.

DPIIT has called meeting to resolve offline restaurant concerns, which is quite similar to what offline retailers had with e-tailers, said an official aware of the development.

The meeting will be attended by food aggregators and restaurant associations, including the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India and National Restaurant Association of India. It will be chaired by DPIIT secretary, Ramesh Abhishek.

Govt will try to address the restaurants issues through mutual discussion and find equal growth opportunity for the industry, reportedly said officials.

Commerce and industry minister, Piyush Goyal, had earlier warned e-comm firms, in almost similar cases, to avoid hurting small businesses through their predatory pricing practices. Goyal had categorically said that the government will not allow small retailers and kirana shops to be wiped out.

The restaurant associations have time and again complained against food aggregators harming their business through making consumers discount addicts.

Two months ago, restaurants had complained, about the impact of deep discounting offered by food aggregators, on their business. Through predatory pricing food aggregators are forcing restaurants to drop prices, restaurants said.

Food aggregators have also indulged in running their own private labels, who are eating away their businesses and using consumer behaviour data to consolidate their business, they added.

In January, over five hundreds of restaurants had complained to the CCI.

 

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Delhi High court restrains Hotelier Association from calling for ban on Oyo Rooms

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The Delhi High court has restrained the Hotelier Welfare Association from issuing any notices to hoteliers and service providers calling for a ban on or seeking to boycott the hotel services provided by Oyo Rooms.

The ex-parte interim injunction order was passed by a vacation Bench of Justice Jayant Nath in a suit by the owner of Oyo Rooms, Oravel Stays Private Limited (plaintiff)  against the Hotelier Welfare Association (defendant).

The Court was informed that the plaintiff is in the business of standardizing unbranded budget hotels, bed and breakfast and guesthouses through online and offline channels.

It was further explained that the plaintiff enters into business arrangements with the service providers or hotelier, in which the service provider or hotelier permits the plaintiff to have full control over pricing, booking brought in by the hotel, publishing room tariffs on its website and/or mobile application at any point in time etc.

It was the plaintiff’s grievance that the defendant had been illegally conspiring and colluding with other similar hotelier associations such as Budget Hotel Association of Mumbai to coerce the plaintiff into submitting to their unwarranted, illegal demands.

Pursuant to the various statements, notices/letters issued by the defendant, several hoteliers had expressed their apprehension in continuing their business-relation with the plaintiff, the Court was further informed.

The Court also perused one such notice allegedly by defendant association, calling upon all hotels to support a nationwide protest against OYO by boycotting and blocking OYO rooms from June 20.

The conduct, the plaintiff argued, had halted its business and could also potentially impact more than 1,35,000 bookings across India.

It was also pointed out that the defendant was earlier the business partners of the plaintiff but have now formed an association and have been acting against the plaintiff.

After hearing the plaintiff, the Court concluded that a prima facie case had been made out against the defendant for an ex parte injunction order.

The Court thus restrained the defendant from issuing notices or calling other hoteliers/service providers to boycott the plaintiff in any manner whatsoever till further orders.

Oyo Rooms was represented by Senior Advocate Neeraj Malhotra, briefed by a team of Advocates from IndusLaw Sandeep Grover, Mohit Chadha, Pankhuri Bhardwaj, Tarang Aggarwal, and Kshitij Parashar.

  1. The matter will be heard next on August 8
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Mindtree gives three board seats to L&T, Subroto Bagchi resigns

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Mindtree’s board has appointed three L&T senior leaders including chief executive officer and managing director executives S N Subrahmanyan. Engineering major L&T, whose target is to up its stake in the mid-tier IT services companies to more than 66%, has got three seats on Mindtree’s board.

The Board of Directors and the Nomination and Remuneration Committee on Thursday approved the appointments of S N Subrahmanyan, J D Patil, Senior Executive Vice President for L&T’s defence business and Ramamurthi Shankar Raman, chief financial officer, L&T as non-executive directors, the company said in a filing.

These appointments will be effective July 16 subject to shareholders’ approval.

Co-founder Subroto Bagchi has resigned from Mindtree’s board. The company said Bagchi, who is retiring on July 16, did not offer himself a reappointment.

The Bengaluru-headquartered IT firm has also approved the appointments of Prasanna Rangacharya and Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa as independent directors on the board.

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Paytm to dole out incentives for merchants at kirana stores

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In a move to make deeper inroads in the country, digital payments company Paytm on Thursday announced to push cashback from peer-to-peer UPI transactions to offline merchant payments at retail kirana stores.

The company is aiming to partner with almost 20 million retail kirana stores, enabling them to accept all digital payment modes including UPI, wallet and cards.

“Paytm will invest money in offline merchant expansion instead of driving incentive led P2P transactions. Our offline merchants create high-frequency usage and an important use-case for Paytm consumers,” said Deepak Abbot, Senior Vice President, Paytm.

UPI P2P payments are mostly done by users to receive‍ some extra money. On Paytm, the UPI users are already the ones who have been using a large host of Paytm services for a long time and don’t nerd cashbacks to make payments.

“To further help merchants get better access to capital and provide more financial security Paytm will invest on lending and insurance, rather than on P2P payments,” the company said in a statement.

Through its payment ecosystem, Paytm has already created a network effect with over 5 billion transactions in 2018-19.

It also claims to have 12 million merchant partners accepting payments through Paytm QR, which accepts all digital payment instruments like UPI, wallets, cards and netbanking.

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