Friday, 27 November 2015

Helpchat processed 1 lakh request during the festive season

Helpchat1Helpchat, the chat-based personal assistant app that helps you get more things done has recorded an overwhelming response to its ‘Festive Season Help’ feature. The service was introduced to assist Helpchat users in navigating through the many deals and discounts across online and offline retail channels during Dussehra and Diwali time. Helpchat processed more thanr 1 lac consumer queries during this time.
Of all the request on the app, 60% were related to online shopping. 42% of the weekly request focused exclusively on the best e-commerce discounts and deals. The category that witnessed maximum traction is mobile phones wherein consumers posted several request regarding potential purchases via popular marketplaces such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal etc.
Ankur Singla Founder and CEO, Helpchat said, “We have received an exceptional response to our ‘Festive Season Help’ feature. It is exciting for us to see that in a short span of time, Helpchat has indeed become the default behaviour of consumers. During the festival season, a very large number of users turned to our  platform for different kind of request, like from where to buy their Puja Samagri, the best deals on consumer electronics, top offline sales to the best location for a Ravan effigy in their cities. We are pleased to be the personal assistant of choice for the entire spectrum of our users’ needs.”
About 50% of the request on Helpchat came from Tier 1 geographies like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune & Hyderabad. More than 80% of the users belonged to the age bracket of 25-35 years and almost 35% of them were female. Besides online shopping, the other areas that recorded maximum request during this festive season were offline sales (23%), apparel shopping (19%), help with choosing the best electronics and appliances (11%) and queries about local Puja shopping (5%).

MSLGROUP Calls For a New Era of Sustainable Business

Two weeks before world leaders convene at the United Nations climate change conference (COP21) in Paris, to negotiate an agreement on climate, MSLGROUP has spotlighted the voices of global leaders, Millennial change-makers and sustainability experts who are leading the momentum towards sustainable development and sustainable business.
The report highlights key takeaways, through a series of expert-written opinion pieces.
Led by Millennials, people are demanding businesses take meaningful actions to address climate change. MSLGROUP’s global community of 250 Millennials* at, of which 90 of them are Millennials from China and India, share that they are frustrated, worried, and want immediate climate action. Similar to their global peers, both Chinese and Indian Millennials want to hear about greener products and expect businesses to collaborate with governments to address climate change. Interestingly, Chinese and Indian Millennials are different in one key way: Indian Millennials believe that the change starts with them personally, while Chinese millennials believe the change starts with the government.
With new global goals announced by the United Nations, business is expected to play a bigger role in sustainable development. Experts from the UN and Salterbaxter MSLGROUP view the seventeen new Sustainable Development Goals as an opportunity for business growth and global impact. Business will play an essential role in implementing the goals, especially as it relates to partnerships, innovation and investment.
Savvy businesses have already pivoted, raising the bar for others to transform and embrace disruption, innovation and new business models. MSLGROUP trend-watchers share examples of businesses that are already maximizing resources, creating positive handprints, collaborating across boundaries, changing people’s behavior and switching to clean energy. There is a race to the top that is widening the gap between businesses that already focus on sustainability and those that do not.
Climate change and sustainability are complex topics – businesses must make these easier to digest to successfully engage consumers and employees. Sustainability leaders at leading businesses and organizations share their approaches to sustainability and citizenship, with examples of their latest initiatives and their projections for the near future. Action on sustainability is essential to attracting and retaining top talent.
Human rights are a growing priority and responsibility for business, and a crucial part of the future of sustainability. Human rights experts and advocates highlight the growing pressure on businesses from the UN (and peers that are early adopters) to strengthen human rights policies and increase disclosure and assessments. Collaboration with human rights experts, and a proactive stance on newer human rights issues will help businesses achieve real impact.
According to Pascal Beucler, SVP and Global Chief Strategy Officer, MSLGROUP, the shift to sustainable business is unstoppable: “Sustainability has become one of top-most priorities for businesses today. Businesses are now increasingly eager to find more ways to add value to their triple bottom line. One could say that there’s a collective desire to be socially and environmentally responsible in how businesses are conducted. Material sourcing and climate change realities are only pushing brands to introspect new ways to operate, and the upcoming COP21 Climate Change Conference in Paris is going to significantly accelerate the movement.”
“Considering the fact that Millennials in both China and India have seen first hand the impact of human activity on their local environments, it is no surprise that they feel WORRIED, ANXIOUS and SAD about climate change. Millennials sense an urgent need to address the global issue, where Chinese and Indian businesses should seize the opportunity, engage concerned Millennials and involve them as active agents of change to make the difference that is desperately needed,” said Schubert Fernandes, Asia Practice Leader for Corporate & Brand Citizenship at MSLGROUP.
The Tipping Point for Sustainable Business and are part of MSLGROUP’s global initiatives to give Millennials a voice on the issue of climate change. These efforts culminate at an event of the same name, Chance for Change, which takes place in Paris during COP21. The event will bring together business leaders and inspiring Millennials and will explore how the millennial generation can lead the response to climate change.

Sony MAX gets viewers to put on their dancing shoes with the premiere of ABCD2

“You need to fight with your own film. When I made the first part there was no Indian film ABCD could be compared with. But now people will compare the second one with my own film. When I made the first part a lot of people discouraged me saying – here comes another director trying to make Step Up. I have tried to concentrate on the story and bigger, more nuanced and better dance sequences in this one” commmented Remo D’Souza, Director.
Directed by ace choreographer turned filmmaker, Remo D’Souza with actors Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor and Indian Michael Jackson, Prabhudeva in lead roles, ABCD 2 highlights the struggle of talented dancers who wish to be mentored by Prabhudeva to live the dreams of their lives and win the International Hip Hop festival in Vegas. The movie proves to be an aspiration for all passionate dreamers and inspires them to chase their goals.

AXN ups the thrill for weekend entertainment

“AXN offers the widest range of shows across diverse genres like premium reality, crime, and edgy drama. We are home to the most iconic shows and characters. In order to cater to the TG who seeks new and latest content that airs day-and-date with the U.S., we had created a specific slot – ‘Fresh From The U.S.’ – wherein we have been programming the freshest shows and their latest seasons over the weekends. This exclusive slot is a perfect getaway for viewers to experience new, fresh stories, never-seen-before on Indian Television. With premieres of iconic shows like Limitless and Elementary (Season 4), we continue to live up to the brand promise of providing a thrilling entertainment experience,” commented Saurabh Yagnik, Executive Vice-President and Business Head, Sony PIX & AXN India.
Based on the 2011 blockbuster film by the same name, Bradley Cooper starrer Limitless is one of the most anticipated crime-drama shows of 2015. With an impressive rating of 8 out of 10 on IMDB, this critically acclaimed show features Jake McDorman and Jennifer Carpenter as the leads and is produced by Academy Award winner Bradley Cooper himself who also continues his role from the movie. In the show, protagonist Brian Finch (Jake McDorman) discovers the brain-boosting power of the mysterious drug NZT. He is then forced by the FBI into using his extraordinary cognitive abilities to solve complex cases for them. The show has been very well received in the U.S. and across the globe, with its premiere episode being viewed by over 17.6 million people in the first 2 weeks of its release in the USA.
In India, Limitless premieres on 21st November, and can be watched every Saturday at 11pm only on AXN.
After adding to the thrill quotient of Saturdays, the latest season of Elementary is all set to make Sunday television viewing even more exciting. Starring Jonny Lee Miller as detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson, Elementary is the modern-day drama about a crime-solving duo that cracks NYPD’s most impossible cases. Elementary Season 3 finale left things in a fairly dark place for Sherlock & Watson. Now, in Season 4, Holmes and Watson must rely upon one another to rebuild their lives, notwithstanding the untimely return of Sherlock’s estranged but wealthy father, Morland Holmes (John Noble).
Catch Elementary Season 4 on Sunday 22nd November at 10PM only on AXN.

Grey Goose in association with Colors Infinity & VH1 brings Born Stylish

Grey1GREY GOOSE, COLORS INFINITY and Vh1 have teamed up to bring a whole new level of glamour to your television screens this November with Born Stylish. Needless to say Fashion, Style and Grey Goose share an intrinsic connection. Born Stylish, which premieres on Saturday, 28thNovember, 2015 at 8.30 pm on COLORS INFINITY and Vh1 simultaneously, is a date with style icons to explore their élan.
Viewers will watch Bollywood style icons like Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, and Anil Kapoor, amongst others, spill the beans on their evolution of style through the years, but it doesn’t end there! For the first time in India viewers will get to see International fashion pioneers like Jean Paul Gaultier, Anna Zegna of the Ermenegildo Zegna family, Massimiliano Giornetti of Salvatore Ferragamo and many more, interacting with our host, ace designer Pria Kataria Puri.
Speaking on the occasion Manish Seth, Director Marketing, India & Southeast Asia, Bacardi, “GREY GOOSE, a global luxury icon, has always been at the forefront of fashion & style. In India, we’ve been celebrating style since inception. Taking this legacy forward, we are elated to announce our association with Viacom18 for the launch of Born Stylish, a series which synergizes with the identity of Grey Goose. Grey Goose epitomizes style and this association symbolizes our appreciation for the best in style.”
Commenting on the premiere of Born Stylish, Ferzad Palia, Executive Vice-President Viacom18, Head of English and Youth Entertainment, says, “Keeping in sync with the disruptive programming of COLORS INFINITY, we are elated to present yet another differentiated show. It’s a perfect fit in the edgy line-up of international shows and awards that air on Vh1 as well. Born Stylish marks another leap forward in English entertainment as our first ever homegrown celebrity talk-show dedicated to fashion and style of international standards.”
Produced by Pramod Films, RA Luxury and Zeus Selling Solutions, Born Stylish will create an interesting platform which will showcase what it takes to make a celebrity as stylish as they are, both on and off screen.
On the format of the show, Prateek Chakravorty, Producer, Pramod Films, says, “It has been an exciting journey, from inception to execution, of this avant-garde concept. And now that it is finally ready to hit television screens I am certain it will create a milestone in the genre of chat shows.”
Adding to that, Pratik Laxmi, Producer, RA Luxury says, “The concept is entirely novel and no one has attempted to bridge the gap between national and international fashion before. We are sure viewers will gain a unique perspective on style with this show.”
Each episode will have a specific theme suited to the celebrity guest who will be talking about their style quotient and how it has grown, both on and off-screen. In addition, there will be exclusive interviews with global fashion stalwarts, style tips from Pria Kataria Puri and a volley of rapid fire questions. With all of this packed into a half-hour episode, it’s bound to be a dapper Saturday evening.

Videocon d2h launches active hd hollywood channel services

Videocon1Videocon d2h Limited (NASDAQ USA: VDTH), India’s fastest growing DTH service and India’s most valued company on NASDAQ (NASDAQ USA: VDTH) by market capitalization has launched a new active HD Channel – Active HD Hollywood Channel Services for its subscribers.  The Channel – Active HD Hollywood Channel Services will be available on Ch No. 940 on its network, it will air handpicked Hollywood movies everyday @ 9 pm. This active channel- Active HD Hollywood Channel Services is available to all High Definition subscribers of Videocon d2h for free in the initial phase of launch. The service will be available on paid subscription basis from a later date.
For this launch of Active HD Hollywood Channel Services, ŠKODA has been roped in as channel partner. This is part of Videocon d2h’s ongoing commitment to provide unmatched viewing experience for its subscribers.  Active HD Hollywood Channel Services will showcase a line-up of critically acclaimed popular films. With new titles being released every day @ 9 PM, viewers can look forward to quality Hollywood movies, including such mega-hits as  Pandorum, Broken City, Jobs, Astro Boy, Remember Me, A Single Man, Agoraa, The Women in Black, Blindness, Something Borrowed, The Conspirator, The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part -2, London Boulevard, Now You See Me among others.
“We have observed that there is a genuine requirement to watch highly acclaimed Hollywood movies in HD and there are very few catering to this opportunity” said Mr. Saurabh Dhoot, Executive Chairman of Videocon d2h. “Not only are we launching a new premium Hollywood HD movie channel, but we’re bringing value to our consumers. This channel will definitely resonate well with the young audience.
Mr. Anil Khera, CEO Videocon d2h, added: “We are excited to offer Hollywood movies fans across India access to high-quality entertainment in HD. With Active HD Hollywood Channel Services, we continue to provide high quality world class programming content delighting consumers. We are confident that our unique content offering of Hollywood movies in HD will make this an instant hit with subscribers.
Speaking on the same Mr. Ashutosh Dixit, Director – Sales, Service & Marketing, ŠKODA Auto India said, “ŠKODA looks at innovative platforms that resonate with the brand’s image to connect with its audiences. The audience of the Active Hollywood HD channel largely overlaps with the kind of consumers our brand converses with. This association will benefit both brands and we expect good traction from this partnership”.

OYO Rooms announces MoU with Tourism & Hospitality Skill Council

Oyorooms1OYO Rooms, India’s largest network of branded hotels announced that it has been selected by the Tourism and Hospitality Skill Council (THSC) to train and certify hospitality staff across the country. The two partners will exchange an MoU to this effect on November 26th at the National Conference on Skill Development, in the presence of Mr. Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Union Minister of State Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. THSC is a sector-specific council under National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). It operates under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), to ensure that people employed in unorganised segments can access growth opportunities through up-skilling / re-skilling and Recognition of Prior Learning. Tourism and hospitality is one of the 29 skill sectors identified by the government of India as a priority area for skill development.
Announcing this partnership, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO of OYO Rooms said, “It gives us immense pride to be selected by THSC as a training partner for mass skill deployment in Indian hospitality sector. This is a valuable opportunity to drive rapid upskilling and certification of hotel workers. Our team is also excited about being a part of the “Skill India” initiative and contributing to building employment opportunities and upward movement opportunities in the sector.”
Commenting on the partnership, Praveen Roy, Chief Executive Officer, THSC, said, “The Hospitality sector is grappling with manpower and talent crunch to meet the surge of upcoming demand, and faces a huge training vacuum. THSC encourages a progression path which is supported by tenure, caliber and on-the-job skilling, besides just formal education. We are pleased to have OYO rooms take up this mandate. Their scale of network and depth of partner engagements will encourage more people working in the unorganized sector to participate in this exercise.”
The Government of India has set itself the mission of making India the skill capital of the world. Ministry of Skill Development has been tasked with the vision of creating a skilled India. It is aided in these initiatives by its functional arms – National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) and 33 Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) as well as 187 training partners registered with NSDC. Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skill Council (THSC) is part of the same structure assigned with the task of skilling India in the Tourism and Hospitality sector.

PayUmoney hits another milestone with its latest and extensive merchant base of over a lakh

Payum1Persistently rolling its wheel uphill, PayUmoney attains another significant milestone of a widespread merchant base of over one lakh. Crossing the benchmark, the number goes beyond a whopping 1, 10,000 at present. PayUmoney is the only online payment solution company that has very efficaciously maintained a fine balance between the number of consumers and the merchants. This feat makes PayUmoney the ‘most accepted online payment solution’ in India at present.
Adding to the insights of the accomplishment, Mr. Nitin Gupta, CEO & Co-founder, PayUmoney commented, “One of the major USPs of our brand, is its wide acceptance. With this success, we have taken the industry norms a notch higher and set a new yardstick for its players. We realized that it practically makes no sense having millions of consumers and a small merchant base catering to them. A balance between the two must be maintained in order to even out the chaos that could be created, when millions of users are dependent on some fifty thousand odd merchants.”
However, the cause of this development in PayUmoney could also be attributed to its empathetic approach towards the merchants. Having identified the loop holes and concerns of the traders empaneled with the company, it has accordingly segregated the merchant base into two categories. The first category is the merchant base trying to set its businesses up, with limited capital to adopt expensive online payment solutions. The second category is the slot of small startups, with an initial round of funding, looking at integrating a reliable and cost effective online payment system.
PayUmoney has devised seven unique tools to suit specific requirements of small merchants. These tools are Email invoicing, SMS invoicing, Web front, Web store, Events tool, PayUmoney Button and PayUmoney app. It is important for startups to have an online system which gives their customers a seamless and secure online transaction experience. In view of this, four different value propositions were built for the consumers, which were instant refunds, buyer protection, faster checkout and reward points. Owing to such policies and services in place, PayUmoney will continue with its efforts in offering the best in the digital payment space.

Zee Cinema to telecast Shamitabh

Directed by R. Balki, Shamitabh features the stalwart of Hindi cinema, Amitabh Bachchan, along with eminent superstar from the South, Dhanush. Known for mainstreaming out-of-the-box screenplays, R. Balki, this time delivered a stellar concept bringing forth the unforgettable baritone  of Mr. Bachchan and superlative acting prowess of Dhanush.
He titled the film innovatively, SHAMITABH, which when decoded, is the combination of Dhanu’sh’ and ‘Amitabh’. This movie also marks the Bollywood debut of southern superstar Kamal Haasan’s youngest daughter, Akshara Haasan.
The only Bollywood film to be shot in picturesque locations of Finland, Shamitabh also marks legendary music director Illyaraja’s comeback in Hindi mainstream cinema. The film also shows a real life incident about Amitabh Bachchan where he was rejected by All India Radio due to his heavy baritone.
The film narrates the story of Danish (Dhanush) who is a mute aspiring actor from a small village but with great acting talents. To pursue his dreams, Danish lands up in Mumbai where meets assistant director Akshara Pandey (Akshara Haasan) who is impressed by his antics.
In spite of their dual efforts, Danish is unable to get work in movies as he cannot speak. With the help of new technology using the voice of an outcast artist Amitabh Sinha (Amitabh Bachchan), Akshara devises and creates ‘Shamitabh’. Together they take the film industry by storm and earn a lot of fame and success. An unstoppable fight of ego comes in action and the clashes drift the duo apart, destroying the success and name that they had achieved.
Will Akshara be able to mend the differences between Danish and Amitabh? Will the duo come together as Shamitabh ever again?

The Quint raises Rs 5.28 lakhs through a BitGiving campaign for Choti Nirbhaya’s stable future

Quint1On the fateful night of November 9, 2015, Delhi repeated its ugly history all over again when a four-year old girl was brutally raped and assaulted by a man close to her family. She has now been christened ‘Choti Nirbhaya’. The Quint, a leading digital content platform, started a BitGiving campaign to collect funds to support the child’s medical treatment and ensure that she gets a robust educational grounding for a stable future. The Quint received a heart-warming response to its initiative and raised Rs 5.28 lakhs from 256 contributions in India, with an average ticket size of Rs 2,000. The raised funds will be allocated towards the girl’s recovery and to support her family in this time of need.
The BitGiving campaign ran from Oct 17 to Nov 16. Its goal was to raise Rs. 5 lakhs which has been surpassed thanks to the benevolence of the people who contributed towards the noble cause of enabling Choti Nirbhaya and her family to overcome this tragic event.
Choti Nirbhaya’s story struck a chord with renowned personalities from across various fields. Singer Anupam Roy, actor Raveena Tandon, director Mahesh Bhatt, musician Raghu Ram, and TV anchor Richa Anirudh appealed to the readers of The Quint to come out and donate generously so that the victim could aspire for a financially secure future as an adult. Their pleas, along with those of the girl’s family, have elicited a positive response from the people of India as they made significant contributions on the crowd-funding platform, BitGiving.
The Delhi government also acknowledged The Quint’s reportage of the incident and applauded its efforts to raise funds for the girl’s education and recovery. “The Delhi government is working to cut short the procedure, so that the victim and her family can get the help at the earliest. We are thankful to The Quint for bringing this issue to our knowledge. We compliment the organisation for pursuing the case diligently,” said Nagendra Sharma, spokesperson of the Delhi Government.
Speaking on the funds raised, Ritu Kapur, Co-Founder and CEO, The Quint, said, “The ‘Choti Nirbhaya’ case has turned the spotlight yet again on the deplorable state of women’s safety in India’s capital. The four-year-old girl has undergone a series of surgeries at New Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital but her parents have been told that she will not be able to bear a child as an adult. The parents are anxious that she should emerge out of this incident as a self-sufficient adult and to ensure this it is imperative that the child is educated well. Our fund-raising efforts were primarily targetted to this end and we are pleased at the generous contributions that have been made to help Choti Nirbhaya have a better and brighter future.”
The four-year-old survivor of the shocking incident was lured to a desolate spot by the perpetrator, not far from her home, with the promise of ‘sweets’. The brutal assault that followed caused her serious injuries and indelible mental trauma.  She comes from an extremely poor family living in the slum area of New Delhi’s Keshav Puram. Her father is a daily wage laborer, working as a painter. Her mother works as a domestic help. Their income supports the girl’s grand-parents, two physically disabled uncles and her two siblings. The funds raised via the campaign will play a pivotal part in helping the family overcome this tragedy and will ensure a secure future for Choti Nirbhaya.