Lighthouse invests INR 284 crores in Kushal’s Fashion Jewellery in a Series B funding round

Bangalore, 29th February 2024: Lighthouse India Fund IV AIF has invested INR 284 crores in Kushal’s, India’s leading fashion and silver jewellery brand. Kushal’s is the first investment by Lighthouse from its newly raised, fourth private equity fund. This round also includes a secondary buy-out providing part exit to its first institutional investor India SME Investments, which invested in 2019.

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Founded in 2006 by the Gulechha family, Kushal’s offers a diverse range of fashion jewellery for weddings, festivals, occasions, and everyday wear. The Company retails its products through its 75+ stores across 25+ cities in India and online channels. Kushal’s relentless focus on design, quality and customer experience has enabled it to differentiate in a segment dominated by unorganised players and enjoy high brand salience. The Company has earlier raised funds from India SME Investments followed by MOPE. The current round of growth capital will be utilized to build the brand and scale its retail presence.

Commenting on the Lighthouse investment into the Company, Manish Gulechha, Co-Founder of Kushal’s Retail, shared, “Kushal’s was founded with a vision to offer women the most exclusive and on-trend fashion jewellery; combined with exceptional quality and best-in-class shopping experience. The funding will facilitate investments in brand building, technology, people and retail expansion. We are thrilled to have Lighthouse as a partner in our journey. With their guidance and support, we hope to accelerate our growth, delighting consumers across the country. With their guidance and support, we hope to accelerate our growth, delighting consumers across the country.”

Anshul Jain, Managing Director at Lighthouse, added, “Kushal’s is at the forefront of organising the large, fragmented fashion jewellery market in India with its premium product range catering to the needs of aspirational consumers. The Company is uniquely placed to grow with strong macro tailwinds in the category and changing consumers’ preference for fashion jewellery that is becoming an integral part of their lifestyle. We are pleased to partner with the Gulechha family in this journey and are very excited about the Company’s future.”

Mitin Jain, Managing Director at India SME Investments, added, “Kushal’s high-quality management team has set the gold standard for a large pool of small and medium enterprises in India while also creating huge value for its investors”.

India’s fashion and silver jewellery market is valued at Rs. 30,000 crores with an annual growth rate of 20% with organized retail at 5 to 6% market share. As one of the pioneers in this sector, Kushal’s is reshaping fashion jewellery retailing in India. With over 2 million satisfied consumers already served, the brand’s stores and services provide a premium, contemporary experience designed for the modern Indian woman.

Kofluence appoints Sohail Qadri Khan as Vice President – Client Success

Bangalore, 26 February, 2024: Kofluence, the disruptive AI-driven Ad-Tech influencer marketing platform, is pleased to announce the appointment of Sohail Khan Qadri as the Vice President of Client Success. In his new role, Sohail will lead the strategic management of large and key accounts across India, with a dual focus on enhancing existing partnerships and cultivating new business opportunities to upsell and cross-sell influencer marketing initiatives.

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Sohail brings over 25 years of extensive experience, having held key positions with organizations such as iRealities Technology, Answerz Digital Pvt Ltd, vMobo, dgm India, Digital Direction of RK Swamy BBDO, and Lintas India among others. Sohail’s most recent tenure was with iProspect India, Dentsu International, a leading global digital-first media agency, where he excelled as VP – Account Management & Client Servicing, playing a pivotal role in driving client satisfaction and business growth. Prior to this, he served as National Business Head of SVG MEDIA, a part of the Dentsu International network.

Commenting on the appointment, Sohail remarked, “The Indian Influencer Marketing industry has witnessed a significant uptick in spending over the past few years, boasting a robust CAGR of 30-40%. However, despite the exponential growth, influencer marketing, both globally and in India, operates within a nebulous space, lacking a universal marketplace or standardization. This lack of transparency presents challenges for industry players, which I believe Kofluence, with its data-driven platform, is adeptly addressing. Bringing some much-needed calm to the chaos, Kofluence provides predictability and automation through its proprietary SAAS platform, streamlining every step of the campaign lifecycle, from creator discovery and matchmaking to campaign management, reporting, and payments. I am thus excited about my shift from a comprehensive agency background to Kofluence, a company that is already paving the way for the future.”

Kofluence, Co-Founder Ritesh Ujjwal said, “We are delighted to have Sohail join our leadership team. At Kofluence, we find ourselves at an exciting juncture, and Sohail’s extensive industry knowledge and proven track record of success make him an invaluable addition to our team. With Sohail leading our account management efforts, we are confident in our ability to deliver exceptional results for our clients and further drive the expansion of influencer marketing across India.”

Kofluence, CEO & Co-Founder Sreeram Reddy Vanga said, “At Kofluence, we take pride in our ability to empower brands to swiftly and effectively execute influencer activations at scale, maintaining a high standard of quality and impact throughout. With this commitment in mind, we are thrilled to welcome Sohail to our team. His wealth of experience and expertise will play a crucial role as we pursue our mission of engaging with key brands across the influencer marketing landscape, whether they are seasoned veterans or newcomers to the field.”

Yamaha Track Day Event in Bangalore Thrills Over 300 Ardent Yamaha Fans

Bangalore, 26th February 2024: India Yamaha Motor (IYM) Pvt Ltd., organised an exclusive Track Day event for its customers, at Aruani Grid in Bangalore on 25th February 2024. The event, organised as part of the exciting “The Call of The Blue” brand campaign, witnessed an enthusiastic participation of over 100 Yamaha owners and more than 300 ardent Yamaha fans from Bangalore and nearby areas, making it an extraordinary success.

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The Track Day Event at Aruani Grid, Bangalore provided Yamaha owners with a wonderful opportunity to experience the thrill of riding their own Yamaha motorcycles on a track. Participants got the chance to explore the dynamics of lean angles, high-speed cornering, precise braking, and body movement, while also discovering the benefits of advanced features such as quick shifters and traction control systems available on their machines.

Along with the display of Yamaha’s favourite bikes, the spectators were treated to a mesmerising YZF-R3 and MT-03, two new additions to Yamaha India’s lineup that promise to redefine the standards of performance and style in their respective categories. Several other engagement activities were also integrated, that include Yamaha Apparels & Accessories display, Photo-op zone, and Gaming zone, adding an extra layer of excitement and engagement to the event.

This event serves as one of many platforms organized by Yamaha to reinforce its global identity as an exhilarating brand with a rich racing legacy, fostering a sense of pride and community among its customers.

With “The Call of the Blue Track Day Activity”, Yamaha aims to engage with a wider audience across India and promote the updated 2024 line-up of Exciting, Stylish & Sporty two-wheeler range comprising of the YZF-R3 (321cc), MT-03 (321cc), YZF-R15 V4 (155cc), YZF-R15M (155cc), YZF-R15S (155cc), MT-15 V2 (155cc), FZS-Fi Version 4.0 (149cc), FZS-Fi Version 3.0 (149cc), FZ-Fi Version 3.0 (149cc), FZ-X (149cc) and scooters like AEROX (155cc), Fascino 125 FI Hybrid (125cc), Ray ZR 125 FI Hybrid (125cc), Ray ZR Street Rally 125 FI Hybrid (125cc).

IIIT-Bangalore Hosts ISEC 2024

Bangalore, February 23, 2024: The International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIIT-B) successfully hosted the 17th edition of the Innovations in Software Engineering Conference (ISEC 2024) from 22nd to 24th of February. Formerly known as the India Software Engineering Conference, ISEC is the flagship annual conference of iSOFT, the India chapter of ACM SIGSOFT, under the esteemed umbrella of ACM India.

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Prof. Debabrata Das, Director of IIIT-Bangalore, speaking about ISEC 2024, said, “ISEC 2024 has once again showcased the remarkable strides being made in software engineering (SE). To host ISEC is a matter of pride for IIIT-Bangalore. The participation of SE scholars during the conference has shown a great potential to lead to future collaborations and recruitments in the area of software engineering. The primary objective of any research conference is exchange of niche technical knowledge, networking and community building. It is time IIIT-B asserted its position as an important institution which could be a meeting hub for SE researchers and a seat of many great projects in SE and help Indian community to remain as one of the super power in software research and development. I think hosting ISEC is a strong step in that direction.”

Software engineering has always been a hotbed of many hard problems of computer science. These emerged from the challenges of various software development activities like requirement analysis, design, coding, and testing. These problems had been addressed by software engineering researchers using classical computer science techniques for several decades with great success.

As General Chair of ISEC 2024, Prof. Sujit Chakrabarti of IIIT-Bangalore emphasised the significance of ISEC 2024 within the current context. Prof. Sujit stated, “Now, with the emergence of much-talked-about technologies like language models, generative AI, and ML, researchers are trying to address classical SE problems using these emerging methods. Further, software engineering techniques have upped their game to meet the challenges posed by the emerging applications of computing, be it cloud, IoT, ML, LLMs, or cybersecurity. Considering this trend, ISEC 2024 saw a fair spread of these ideas in the papers, workshops, tutorials, talks, panel discussions, and poster presentations. There was a balanced representation from academia and industry, in applied as well as fundamental topics, from faculty members and PhD students.”

Prof. K. V. Raghavan (IISc) and Dr. Raveendra Medicherla (TCS Research) served as the organising co-chairs of ISEC 2024. The conference featured an illustrious lineup of invited speakers who graced the event with their expertise and insights. Prof. Abhik Roychoudhury from the National University of Singapore, Dr. Akash Lal from Microsoft Research and Dr. Alessandra Gorla, from the IMDEA Software Institute, delivered keynote talks.

The success of ISEC 2024 marks IIIT-B’s commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration in software engineering. As the conference drew to a close, participants departed with fresh insights, renewed inspiration, and strengthened connections, poised to drive future advancements in the ever-evolving landscape of software engineering.

Shahi Exports collaborates with Government Model Higher Primary School

Bangalore, February 19, 2024: Shahi Exports, India’s largest apparel manufacturer and exporter, has extended its support to multiple schools in the city to bring meaningful and positive changes in the traditional education system. As part of this Akshara program initiative, Shahi collaborated with the Government Model Higher Primary School, located in Chokkasandra, Peenya, and has provided a computer lab and extended support in supplying basic amenities, including a sanitary napkin incinerator machine. The inauguration of the new facility was held in the city in the presence of the Shahi team, school authorities, teachers, and children.

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Sharing details of the infrastructural development of the school, Shahi highlighted the below list of amenities that are provided to the school children:

· Computer Lab: 10 computers and UPS batteries for the children from 5th to 8th standard

· Floor Art painting (Nali Kali Thattegalu) for the 1st to 3rd standard children

· Basic Amenities: Cupboards, sports materials, library books, green boards, a suggestion box, chairs, tables, and academic-related charts for all the children and staff

· Interactive Screen for audio-visual tools and virtual classes: this will be utilized by 1st to 8th-standard students for smart class

· Sanitary Napkin Incinerator: for the girls to burn the sanitary napkin during school hours. This will help to maintain hygiene.

The event was graced by Anjanappa, Block Education Officer, Peenya Bangalore; Mr. M. Muniyappa, BBMP Corporator, Bangalore North along with senior officials from Shahi: Mr. Venkata Chalapathy, Senior General Manager, Human Resource; Ms. Chitra Prasad, Senior General Manager, Organizational Development; Ms. Suguna Sarojini Manne, Senior Manager; and Mr. Ramprasad Murugesan, General Manager Production.

The Akshara program is developed under Shahi’s Shikshanam initiative. The program conducts a thorough need-assessment study to understand issues of the schools and Anganwadis and builds a plan to provide support. The issues found in the assessment highlighted a need for infrastructural improvement, basic amenities for school children to access education, and academic encouragement. Shahi has nationally impacted around 2824 children, 11296 parents, and family members through this Akshara program.

Mr. Naveen Tahilyani appointed as Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director – Tata Digital Private Limited

Bangalore, February 7, 2024: Tata Digital Private Limited, a subsidiary of Tata Sons Private Limited, is pleased to announce appointment of Mr. Naveen Tahilyani as new Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director for the Company.

Mr. Naveen Tahilyani is currently the CEO and Managing Director of Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited. He comes with a strong understanding of Indian consumer landscape and an extensive experience in the financial services sector. He has a proven track record of driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and achieving operational excellence.

Naveen has a Bachelor of Technology degree in Electronics and Communication from IIT Madras and a Postgraduate diploma in Business Management from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Naveen succeeds Mr. Pratik Pal who has served Tata Digital with dedication since its inception. Under Pratik’s leadership, Tata Digital achieved significant milestones including launch of the Tata Neu app, and the foundation he helped to lay will continue to shape the company’s future success.

Given Pratik’s background and strong contribution to Tata Digital, he will continue in Tata Digital to ensure continuity and contribute with his wealth of experience to the organization.

Mr. N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, said: “Pratik has been successfully leading the Company since its inception and led Tata Group’s foray into digital commerce. I would like to thank Pratik for his significant contribution to Tata Digital.”

He further added “I am delighted to welcome Naveen to Tata Digital. Naveen brings in strong understanding of consumer domain and a very successful track record of leadership. I wish Naveen success in his new role.”

Naveen will take up new role effective February 19, 2024.

RADIUS-OIS Unveils Next-Generation Intelligent Agent Console ‘Intello’

[Bangalore, 5th February, 2024] – RADIUS-Omnichannel Interaction System, a leading provider of Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions is excited to introduce the newly redesigned and upgraded intelligent agent console, Intello. This substantial enhancement underscores RADIUS’s dedication to delivering cutting-edge, customer-focused solutions within the CCaaS sector. The launch of Intello represents a crucial milestone, showcasing RADIUS’s commitment to innovation and excellence in serving the evolving needs of the industry.

 The next-generation agent console elevates the customer experience with its powerful and sophisticated features, including an intuitive interface with breezy navigation and a
customizable dashboard with diverse themes for personalization. It allows seamless switching between various interactions and channels, enhancing communication and productivity. Core features include integrated AI tools for deeper insights, audio and video capabilities via WebRTC, and a multi-feature-single window interface for streamlined access to multiple functions. Moreover, its robust integration with Data and Information Management Systems puts essential information readily at agents fingertips.

 “As a niche player in the industry, we firmly believe in the power of integrating customer
feedback with the comprehensive research of our team. With this symbiotic approach, we
prioritize a customer-centric focus to drive innovation and stay ahead in the market. This not only addresses current user needs but also anticipates future demands, ensuring our
application’s functional superiority, user satisfaction, and sustainable business growth,” said Chief Architect of RADIUS-OIS Mr. Suman Subudhi. “We are dedicated to staying ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving industry through our focus on innovation and engineering excellence.”

 Intello, leveraging the power of Gen AI along with other advanced technologies, enables
agents to provide highly personalized interactions at every customer touchpoint. Additionally, it boasts robust security and compliance measures, ensuring the utmost protection of sensitive customer information.

 “We’re inviting industry leaders and SMEs to discover the potential of RADIUS-OIS and how it can transform their approach to customer engagement,” added Business Head, Mr.
Srinivas PV. “With the latest Intello, we are redefining what an intelligent, cost effective, and adaptable solution should be.”

KOMATSU INDIA UNVEILS UNIQUE MACHINE CARE PROGRAM (MCP-5)

Bangalore, February 5: Komatsu India Private Limited (KIPL) and L&T Construction & Mining Machinery jointly unveils and bring to you the unique Machine Care Program (MCP-5), first-of-its-kind in the Indian construction equipment industry. This extended powertrain warranty program of 5 Years/12,500 Hours* is offered for the Komatsu Hydraulic Excavators that are produced in the state-of-the-art Komatsu’s manufacturing facility at Oragadam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

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Komatsu, a global leader in construction and mining equipment, has partnered with L&T Construction & Mining Machinery and introducing unique Machine Care Program (MCP-5) tailored specifically for Komatsu models PC205-10M0 and PC210/PC210LC-10M0 excavators, this comprehensive service initiative is poised to redefine customer experience and satisfaction by optimizing equipment performance.

The Key Highlights of the Machine Care Program (MCP-5) are;

Digitally Enabled Service: Avail 1 year of complimentary filters up to 3000 hours and Extended 5 Years/12,500 Hours* powertrain warranty for maximum uptime.

Comprehensive Support: Energy-saving operator training, KOMTRAX reporting for enhanced monitoring, Regular maintenance, PM clinics and more Undercarriage inspections.

Genuine Spares: Expedited access to genuine Komatsu parts, lubricants, and services for peak performance.

Predictive Maintenance: Leverage cutting-edge KOMTRAX & KOWA technology for timely interventions and minimized breakdowns.

L&T Construction & Mining Machinery, with its extensive nationwide network of dealerships and service stations, guarantees best-in-class sales and after-sales support for Komatsu equipment in India. This special program is a game-changerin the construction industry, ensuring that our customers experience unparalleled equipment efficiency, productivity, and reliability.

Experience the True Peace of Mind when you purchase our new Komatsu Hydraulic Excavators with this unique special program. Feel the power, efficiency, performance, productivity, and peace of mind.

Get Uber Green rides anywhere in Delhi now

Bangalore, 5th Feb 2024: Uber’s global flagship electric vehicle service, Uber Green, is now available in Delhi, allowing residents to book sustainable, eco-friendly rides with just a few taps on the app. Now, riders will see the Uber Green option when they fire up the Uber app to book their rides. The service will help support riders make a conscious choice to pick more sustainable means to travel in all new, quiet and clean EVs.

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The Uber Green display at the Bharat Mobility Expo 2024 received a lot of love with visitors clicking photos at the ‘Location par aa gaya hun’ selfie booth. Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Government of India, visited the Uber Green display at the Expo today.

Mr. Nitish Bhushan, Director – Central Operations, Uber India & South Asia, said, “We believe the future of transport is shared and electric and are committed to becoming a zero-emission platform in India and globally by 2040. Delhi is our third stop in India where we have launched Uber Green, with several riders in Bengaluru and Mumbai already swearing by the latest offering, to reduce vehicular emissions in the city. We will take this product to more cities soon and continue to invest in the sustainable mobility value chain.”

How to book an Uber Green Trip:

· Open the Uber app and enter your destination in the ‘where to’ box

· Select Uber Green at the bottom of the screen

· Review the booking details including the price for the trip and tap Confirm Green

· Enjoy your ride