Archives May 2024

Malaika Arora Stuns as Show Stopper for Archana Kochhar and Lavie at Bombay Times Fashion Week

Mumbai, 6th May 2024: In a mesmerizing display of elegance and style, Bollywood icon Malaika Arora graced the runway as the showstopper for renowned fashion designer Archana Kochhar’s latest collection in collaboration with the renowned handbag brand Lavie at the Bombay Times Fashion Week. The event, held at Grand Hyatt, BKC, Mumbai, witnessed an electrifying atmosphere as Malaika effortlessly showcased her exquisitely styled outfit alongside the premium potli by Lavie Luxe, captivating the audience with her grace and charm.

Malaika Arora’s ensemble, adorned with handwoven Lucknowi embroidery, reflected the essence of Archana’s “Ainna” collection, paying tribute to Indian weaves and artisanal craftsmanship. Paired with Lavie Luxe’s statement Potli, featuring intricate detailing and luxurious craftsmanship, her look exudes sophistication and glamor, perfect for festive celebrations and bridal elegance.

Malaika Arora's ensemble,

Known for her impeccable sense of style and poise, Malaika Arora slays in a flawlessly crafted ivory ensemble from Archana Kochhar’s “Ainna” collection, elegantly complemented by a Lavie Luxe embroideredpotli as she sashayed down the runway in a show-stopping ensemble. Her presence added an extra layer of allure to the already stunning creations, leaving the audience in awe of her beauty and charisma.

beauty and charisma.

Malaika flaunting Lavie Luxe’s Embellished Potli, adorned with intricate embroidery pattern. The striking design, with its beautifully beaded dual handles, exudes sophistication, adding a touch of charm to her evening attire.

Malaika flaunting Lavie

Celebrating the epitome of elegance and style! Malaika Arora and designer Archana Kochhar strike a pose together, radiating grace and sophistication at the Bombay Times Fashion Week. Malaika’s captivating presence on the runway, coupled with Lavie Luxe’s exquisite potli, captivated the audience and left a lasting impression.

MTR KARUNADU SWADA – A Unique Food Festival Celebrating Karnataka


Bengaluru, 6th  May 2024 – Continuing with its 100-year celebration, MTR is back with the 3rd edition of its iconic Food Festival – MTR Karunadu Swada. This cherished food festival is being held on 4th and 5th May at Jayamahal Palace Convention Centre in Bangalore to delight the hearts of consumers and make them experience often-forgotten recipes from various parts of Karnataka. The festival was inaugurated by Hon’ble Mr. Justice N. Santosh Hegde, Former Judge and Former Solicitor General of India.

Under the leadership of MTR’s cuisine center of excellence, over 50 home chefs are showcasing more than 100 dishes from six regions of Karnataka, including Uttara Karnataka, Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Kalyana Karnataka, Udupi, and Hale Mysuru, taking the attendees on a sensory journey through the state’s culinary legacy. MTR Karunadu Swada is a one-stop celebration of Kitchens across Karnataka, using locally sourced ingredients, unique spice blends, and recipes passed on through generations.

On this occasion, the brand is extending this unique experience beyond the food festival by launching a special recipe book which is inspired by the dishes showcased at the festival. The book features a curated collection of over 100 forgotten recipes from Karnataka, allowing people to recreate these forgotten dishes at home.

Mr. Sunay Bhasin, CEO MTR, expressed his thoughts, “MTR Karunadu Swada is born out of MTR’s love for the food and culture of Karnataka. It is a celebration of Karnataka’s diverse flavours and our commitment to uphold the rich culinary heritage of the state. With evolving consumer needs and fast-paced lifestyles, we’ve inadvertently lost touch with traditional recipes and flavours that once defined our culture. This food festival serves as a bridge back to our roots, a heartfelt effort to preserve a piece of Karunadu heritage through these treasured dishes.”

In addition to the gastronomic experience, the event features celebrated Karnataka dance forms like Yakshagana and Dollu Kunitha, making it a complete cultural immersion, and highlighting Karnataka’s vibrant artistic traditions.

Marriott International Opens 150th Hotel in India: Katra Marriott Resort & Spa

Marriott International Opens

India – 4th May 2024 – Marriott Hotels, the namesake brand of Marriott Bonvoy’s extraordinary portfolio of over 30 hotel brands, today announced the opening of Katra Marriott Resort & Spa in the serene landscapes of Katra, Jammu & Kashmir. The brand’s debut in the spiritually significant destination marks a milestone as the 150th Marriott International hotel to open in the country. Nestled amidst the serene landscapes of the Trikuta hills, popularly known as the Vaishno Devi Hills, this purely vegetarian resort offers a captivating blend of heartfelt service and spirituality. Here, guests are invited to partake in leisurely nature walks, all while immersing themselves in the vibrant culture and culinary delights of Katra.

Katra, a spiritual region known for Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine and Trikuta Hills, offers a picturesque landscape for fulfillment seekers. The resort provides unparalleled access to the region’s nearby attractions, including Patnitop Hill Station, Mansar Lake, and Krimchi Temple, all of which are within an hour’s drive from the resort. Katra’s local market is 5 minutes away from the resort, where guests can enjoy authentic local cuisine and shop for traditional handicrafts and souvenirs, intricate paper-mâché creations, and walnut wood carvings. The city is accessible by road and well connected to leading metro cities in Northern India like Delhi, Chandigarh, and Amritsar. Katra is 50 km from Jammu Airport and 222 km from Srinagar International Airport.

Commenting on this significant opening for India, Ranju Alex, Area Vice President, South Asia, Marriott International said “As we celebrate the milestone opening of our 150th Hotel in India, we acknowledge not just our prominent presence in the country, but also the unique and enriching experiences our hotels provide through their distinctive architecture and design, world-class food and beverage offerings and curated amenities that provide exceptional, one-of-a-kind stays. We continue to have confidence in the resilience of our brands and our teams and remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing our growth through a strong pipeline of hotels.”

Inspired by the natural beauty of its surroundings, the design of Katra Marriott Resort & Spa seamlessly transforms myth into mesmerizing reality. The Greatroom lobby, comprising an open and warm reception with an enigmatic central sculpture adorned with ancient inscriptions envelopes guests with a calm, mystic aura from the moment they enter the resort. The flower chandelier, reminiscent of shrine offerings, offers an immediate connection to the beautiful rituals of the land. Each element, from the mandala-inspired lounge seats to every intricate detail, embodies the hotel’s unwavering commitment to seamlessly merging spirituality with breathtaking design, promising a transcendent experience for all who step through its doors.

Unforgettable Stays

Katra Marriott Resort & Spa features 100 modern, inviting guest rooms, suites, and cottages, offering breathtaking views of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and lush green landscapes. Each cottage offers a sanctuary of relaxation with natural sunlight, plush comfortable bedding, and contemporary comforts. Some of the rooms open to private balconies, providing guests with space to unwind and relax over the harmonious symphony of birdsong and views of rolling green hills. The cottage suites also feature a private swimming pool, allowing guests to indulge in a refreshing dip within the comfort and privacy of their own space.

For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, the Quan Spa offers five therapy rooms with treatments that embrace the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and contemporary wellness practices. Enriching experiences are also provided through the rich nature cover that envelops the Katra Marriott Resort & Spa. Guests can start their day with revitalizing yoga sessions or guided walks amidst the picturesque backdrop of Trikuta Hills. As twilight descends, serenity awaits to soothe the senses, with the evening rituals of hi-tea at Vat Vriksh, commonly known as the banyan tree.

Fitness enthusiasts can recharge their body and mind at a fully equipped fitness center or indulge in some quiet calm by the poolside. Kids can enjoy themselves at the Kid’s Club, a wonderland of fun and engagement, with a dynamic play area that sparks joy and creativity.

Exquisite Dining

The resort promises a delightful culinary adventure for those seeking pure vegetarian and non-alcoholic indulgences. TPK (Three Peaks Kitchen), the contemporary all-day dining restaurant, features international favorites and myriad flavors of traditional Katra cuisine. Meanwhile, the KBC (Katra Baking Company) is an inviting and sophisticated space for guests to relax and reconnect over bakery delights, artisanal teas, full-bodied coffees, and creatively infused mocktails, dressed with seasonal ingredients amidst a relaxed ambiance.

A Place for Celebrations

With over 12,000 square feet of event spaces encompassing two stunning venues – The Pine Ballroom and Mulberry Hall, including three lawns the resort offers the largest banquet space in the city. With its flexible layouts and the picturesque landscape as a backdrop, the hotel emerges as an ideal destination to host weddings, intimate family gatherings, and corporate team outings

“We are excited to welcome guests to Katra Marriott Resort & Spa, our spiritual haven, nestled at the foothills of the divine Vaishno Devi Shrine, where hospitality meets fulfillment,” said Satish Srinivasamurthy, General Manager, at Katra Marriott Resort & Spa. “Whether you seek spiritual solace, leisurely indulgence, memorable weddings, or wellness escapes, we are dedicated to crafting enriching experiences and offering thoughtful services that reflect the true essence of wonderful hospitality.

Monash College and Microsoft’s Future Skills Initiative Shapes Tech Education with Innovative AI Collaboration

4th May 2024: Future Skills Monash College has today announced a unique collaboration with Microsoft, which will deliver a fresh new approach to technology education and industry partnership in Australia.

With Microsoft’s AI learning content, certifications, and expertise integrated into Monash College’s Future Skills programs, students will benefit from industry-relevant education, ensuring they are well-equipped to meet the evolving demands of the technology sector.

The initiative will not only elevate the standard of AI education but also offer an extensive suite of Microsoft certifications and badges. Monash College CEO Jo Mithen said these credentials provide tangible, industry-recognized qualifications, empowering individuals to advance their careers in AI and technology.

“Monash College is proud to partner with Microsoft in pioneering AI-driven solutions that redefine the educational landscape. Together, we’re not just shaping the future; we’re defining it,” said Ms Mithen.

“At Monash College, we’re equipping our students with the skills Australia’s and Victoria’s economy needs, and part of that is exposing them to cutting-edge opportunities that prepare them for the demands of tomorrow’s workforce. Our collaboration with Microsoft exemplifies this dedication, as we leverage AI to enhance learning outcomes and empower our students to thrive in a rapidly evolving world.

“By joining forces with Microsoft, Monash College is opening doors to endless possibilities. Through this innovative AI collaboration, we’re reimagining education, driving innovation, and equipping our students with the skills they need to excel in the digital age.”

A feature of the partnership, and a global first, will require all Future Skills students to complete a Microsoft ‘Responsible AI’ learning path, ensuring students are grounded in the principles of fairness, equity, and responsibility in developing and using AI applications.

Microsoft subject matter experts will work alongside the Future Skills academic team to carefully consider how best to expose students to relevant AI concepts and applications in the context of their studies. Students will benefit from greater confidence when contemplating or using AI applications which will directly benefit employers, particularly within the small and medium business sector.

To launch the partnership Sarah Carney, Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft Australia and New Zealand, delivered a keynote with a panel of employers that explored the impact of AI in the tech, healthcare, and energy sectors.

Sarah Carney quotes

“Future Skills Monash College and Microsoft are committed to setting new benchmarks in education and training. The partnership represents a unique meeting of industry thought leaders and trainers, aimed at providing unparalleled upskilling and reskilling opportunities. It’s an important step towards empowering employers and professionals not only in Victoria but across Australia.”

Amazfit to Bring AI-Powered Wellness Service for Smartwatches in India

According to recent reports, Amazfit, a leading global smartwatch brand, is set to introduce Zepp Aura, an AI-supported rest and wellness service, in India.

While details about the launch are still under wraps, sources suggest that the subscription service will be available for all major Amazfit smartwatch models. The move comes as the company recognizes the future of smart wearables lies in AI-driven advancements that empower people to take control of their well-being. This groundbreaking development came to light after Mr. CP Khandelwal, the CEO of PR Innovation and brand custodian of Amazfit in India, hinted at the potential launch of Zepp Aura in India on X (formerly Twitter).

Amazfit to Bring

Zepp Aura is a comprehensive, real-time, personalized sound health solution that features science-backed music composition, daily tips, and more, seamlessly integrating with Amazfit smartwatches. With its AI-generated compositions and the ability to read natural mood indicators such as heart rate, body temperature, and blood oxygen levels, Zepp Aura adjusts to the user’s biorhythmic feedback, providing therapeutic soundscapes to relax, soothe, and restore.

Amazfit has been at the forefront of mental and physical wellness, having launched a range of smartwatches dedicated to the holistic well-being of its users. The introduction of Zepp Aura is expected to further solidify the company’s position in the smartwatch market, offering a unique and innovative wellness solution to its customers in India.

Recently, the Amazfit Balance smartwatch also received the Zepp OS 3.5 interface, which integrates the AI-powered natural language interface. Amazfit is the first smartwatch brand to integrate a natural-language user interface (LUI) powered by LLM AI into its operating system.

The Zepp Flow will allow users to communicate with the smartwatches without specific commands. The Amazfit Balance smartwatches now support comprehensive training programs for half- and full-marathons. The smartwatch can now display a complete record of the user’s overnight heart rate variability (HRV) data.

AASOKA by MBD Group Partners with 3000 Schools, Aims for 20,000 in Next Two Years

New Delhi, 4th May 2024: AASOKA, a leading edtech initiative by MBD Group, is excited to announce a landmark achievement in forming strategic partnerships with over 3000 schools throughout India in the academic year 2024-25. This partnership supports a ground-breaking learning and teaching model that has already been adopted by over 9 lakh students and 70,000 teachers in more than 438 cities across the country. AASOKA is spearheading the integration of blended learning solutions into schools’ educational frameworks, significantly enhancing the education landscape.

The AI-powered, learner-centric platform AASOKA offers comprehensive and customized curriculum solutions for students from Kindergarten through Grade 12. This approach not only empowers schools, teachers, and students but also underscores AASOKA’s commitment to transforming educational experiences and outcomes.

Ms. Monica Malhotra Kandhari, Managing Director of AASOKA & MBD Group, said, “With the launch of AASOKA, our goal has been to collaborate with schools in their quest to deliver top-notch education through personalized and engaging learning experiences. Our six decades in the education sector uniquely position us to meet the evolving needs of schools, teachers, parents, and students. Last year, we introduced AASOKA 2.0, powered by AI, which enhances our ability to track and visualize students’ academic progress across various dimensions, leading to notable improvements in student performance. Our customer base has expanded from 300 to over 3000 schools in three years, with a retention rate of 90%. We’re committed to further expanding our reach to 20,000 in the next two years and continuing to enrich the educational journey.”

AASOKA isn’t just expanding its reach, it’s continuously innovating to transform education. The platform is doubling its footprint in key markets, demonstrating its commitment to regional impact. But that’s not all. New features are constantly being added to the platform to create a more cohesive ecosystem. Among the integration of several key series, AASOKA’s foundational learning series paves the way in the realm of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy. This exciting new addition harnesses the magic of much-loved characters to create captivating and interactive learning books. This approach is not only improving student engagement but also setting a new standard for an engaging education. Another new series, Coding and Computers, enriches the knowledge of students by introducing them to the world of coding and programming, thereby improving their computational and digital skills. It encourages them to explore and develop an interest in new and emerging technologies like AI.

AASOKA is also facilitating in-person training sessions for teachers across the country to ensure their proficiency in NEP 2020, NCF, and the latest technologies including AI. The comprehensive training curriculum of AASOKA covers crucial aspects to enable trainers to leverage technology and enhance their teaching methods.

AASOKA aims to offer a comprehensive 360-degree solution that includes a Learning Management System (LMS), School Management System (SMS), fee management, attendance tracking, digital content, adaptive tests, and tools for homework and assignments, learning gap analysis, and detailed evaluation of student learning outcomes.

Philips India launches a limited-edition trimmer co-designed by Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli

limited-edition trimmer

New Delhi, 4th May 2024: Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology and innovation, is proud to announce the launch of a limited-edition trimmer that is co-designed by Cricket Icon Virat Kohli. Representing a fusion of precision engineering and Virat Kohli’s signature style, this trimmer promises to elevate the male grooming routine to new heights.

Crafted to match the expectations of modern men, the trimmer boasts a plethora of cutting-edge features that ensure an unparalleled grooming experience. Its skin-friendly stainless steel and self-sharpening blades glide effortlessly through the beard & mustache, delivering precise results every time.

This limited-edition trimmer offers three distinct stubble and beard combs, catering to an array of styling preferences. With trimming capabilities ranging from an ultra-close 0.5mm to a versatile 5/7mm, achieving your desired look has never been easier. Engineered with our exclusive SkinProtect comb and rounded tips, it ensures a seamless trim and prevents any nicks or cuts, providing a consistently smooth finish. Embracing Durapower technology, this trimmer endures even the most rigorous grooming sessions and lasts four times longer than ordinary trimmers. Featuring self-sharpening blades that eliminate the need for oiling, maintenance is effortlessly streamlined, allowing individuals to confidently present their best selves without distraction.

Commenting on the launch, Deepali Agarwal, Business Head – Personal Health, Philips Indian Subcontinent, stated ” At Philips, we are thrilled to launch the first-ever exclusive limited-edition Philips Beard Trimmer 1000, co-designed by legendary Indian cricketer Virat Kohli. This partnership brings together world-class Philips technology with Virat’s visionary input to craft a grooming masterpiece. It brings together two leaders in different realms of life who believe in being the best-in-class – Philips as a leader in men’s grooming devices and Virat as a world-class professional sports star. This first-ever limited-edition Philips Beard Trimmer 1000 is designed for young Indian men, many of whom are cricketing fans and can now own this exclusive grooming tool co-designed by Virat. At Philips, we invite consumers and fans alike to embrace a piece of Virat’s legacy.”

Virat Kohli, Philips India Male Grooming Brand Ambassador expressed his excitement, stating, “Partnering with Philips India to co-design this trimmer marks a special milestone for me. It’s not just about endorsing a product; it’s about infusing my personal experiences into every aspect of its design. Over the years, Philips has been my grooming companion, evolving alongside my style and needs. This collaboration is an extension of that journey—a blend of innovation and familiarity that reflects my own grooming evolution. I’m excited to share this trimmer, crafted with a personal touch, with all those who, like me, value both style and convenience in their grooming routine.”

A Celebration of Luxury and Style in Pushpanjali R Chawla’s Language


luxury and style

In the lush settings of Lutyens Delhi, esteemed luxury connoisseur Pushpanjali R Chawla recently orchestrated an exquisite high tea event, showcasing her unparalleled acumen in the luxury sector. The afternoon affair witnessed the seamless blend of glamour, functionality, and artistic flair embodied by the creations of two prominent brands, Totally TALA by Tala Alamuddin and Ahikoza by Namrata Karad.

The event reimagined handbags into more than mere statement accessories but also elevated them as a woman’s perfect plus one. By bringing Totally TALA and Ahikoza together, Pushpanjali’s unforgettable high tea event offered the guests a unique experience to delve deep into the realm of haute couture and artisanal craftsmanship.

In a whirlwind of unmatched timeless appeal and contemporary design, Ahikoza’s handbags are favored by celebrities such as Alessandra Ambrosio and Alia Bhatt charmed the crowd with its refined and sophisticated curation of geometric and classic silhouettes, adorned in vibrant candy colors.

Meanwhile, excelling beyond the paradigm, Totally TALA showcased a collection that featured unconventional shapes and lively patterns. Pieces including the tassel jettaway bag emerged as favourites among luminaries like Amal Clooney, which captures the essence of modern luxury with a playful twist.

Pushpanjali R Chawla’s keen eye for detail and depth of knowledge for nuances of luxury allow her to redefine the concept of fashion and lifestyle that exceeds expectations and sets new standards of perfection.

Sunaina Jairath Joins Aliaxis India

Sunaina Jairath

Sunaina Jairath has joined Aliaxis India (Ashirvad) as Vice President – Brand and Communications continues to strengthen our brand presence and drive their strategic objectives forward.

With over 22 years of experience in Communication, Public Affairs, Policy advocacy and Impact Communication Sunaina brings a wealth of expertise to our team. In her new role, she will lead our Public Relations, Brand and Corporate Communication Strategy, overseeing media and stakeholder relations, social media management, and internal communications.

Her extensive experience and strategic vision will be invaluable as we grow leveraging ecosystem tailwinds.

Best Agrolife Ltd to Introduce Patented Rice Herbicide Formulation Orisulam

Mumbai, 4th May 2024: – Best Agrolife Ltd (BAL), a leading manufacturer of specialty and patented agrochemicals in India, has announced the registration of two innovative formulations. Best Agrolife Ltd (BAL) group has been granted 9(3) Formulation Indigenous Manufacture (FIM) registration from CIB & RC for its patented formulation Bispyribac Sodium 0.25% + Penoxsulam 0.25% + Pyrazosulfuron Ethyl 0.20% GR. The three molecules of this combination belong to the ALS (acetolactate synthase) inhibitors herbicide group. The ALS inhibitors disrupt essential amino acid synthesis in weeds providing triple the effectiveness in control of weeds.

BAL will be introducing this formulation in the upcoming Kharif season under the brand name “Orisulam.” With an estimated annual business potential of approximately Rs 2000 crores in the rice herbicide segment, BAL anticipates “Orisulam” to be an important growth driver.

“Orisulam” is a broad-spectrum pre-emergence, early post-emergence and post-emergence contact and systemic herbicide for paddy. Its patented triple combination of three molecules ensures weed control of grasses, broad leaves, sedges. It offers a comprehensive strategy with a flexible window of application and the granular formulation has been specially designed for ease of application.

The Best Agrolife group also received 9(3) FIM vs FIT registration for Boscalid 25.2% + Pyraclostrobin 12.8% WG. This fungicidal combination is effective in specialty crops such as grapes for the control of downy mildew and powdery mildew diseases.

BAL has been making significant strides in its product portfolio. Earlier, the company received registration for its patented formulation “Defender”, a groundbreaking formulation for effective control of BPH in the crop health segment in paddy.

This year, the company has achieved several milestones including the registration of Fomesafen Technical 95%, patent for “Tricolor” formulation, patent for “Warden Extra” formulation, and the patent for “Shot Down” formulation.