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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

DoT, aviation ministry to meet in 10 days on in-flight connectivity norms
DoT and the civil aviation ministry officials will meet within 10 days to discuss "operational details" of in-flight connectivity,  cleared recently by the Telecom Commission. The meeting - the date for which is yet to be finalised - will also be attended by telecom companies, airlines and in-flight connectivity providers, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told reporters. She was speaking on the sidelines of a Communications Ministry conference to highlight the achievements of the government in the last four years. "The discussions on the operational model will entail questions like who will be investing in infrastructure, who will be providing the services. There is no standard model...We will have to see what is suitable in the Indian context," Sundararajan said.  

BSE, Ebix plan to launch insurance platform by year-end
Leading bourse BSE and its joint venture (JV) partner Ebix, a US-based insurance exchange, are awaiting approval from the IRDAI to start an insurance distribution exchange platform, and expect to launch it by the end of this year, a senior BSE official said. The platform will allow distribution outlets, stock brokers, wealth management advisors and financial institutions to sell life and non-life insurance products. "We have tied up with Ebix for distribution of insurance in an exchange model, and are expecting IRDAI approval soon," Ashishkumar Chauhan, managing director and chief executive, Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) told reporters on the sidelines of a 'retail technology' conclave. "It is expected to be launched by the end of this year," he added.

Purina introduces Pro Plan in India
Purina a leading pet care company has expanded its portfolio in India by introducing its flagship brand Pro Plan in the super-premium pet food segment. The Indian pet food category represents a huge potential with estimated 19 million pets and is expected to double in value over the next five years. Commenting on the launch, Varindra Sewak, MD, Purina PetCare India Pvt. Ltd, said, “We successfully launched Purina Supercoat in Specialist Channel earlier this year and now we launch Pro Plan with the proposition of “nutrition that performs” to target the super-premium segment. The product roll out is in line with our endeavor to offer our consumers with the best nutrition across key price segments.”

Tencent Games ‘Arena of Valor’ to feature in Asian Games 2018
According to a recent report by Morgan Stanley ‘eSports: Game On’ eSports is on track to be a $1.5 billion industry by 2020. Tencent Games’ ‘Arena of Valor’, one of the most popular and addictive MOBA games (multiplayer online battle arena), will be featured in the upcoming 2018 Asian Games. The Asian esports Federation (AeSF) and the Olympic Council of Asia (“OCA”) announced its selection of a total of six games that have been included for the multi-sport event in Jakarta later this year. The 2018 edition of Asian Games will include esports titles for the first time, although they will be demonstration events and will not be included in the overall medals tally.

Bharat Forge picks strategic stake in UK's Tevva Motors
Bharat Forge Ltd yesterday said it has picked up a strategic stake in UK-based Tevva Motors, a provider of electric powertrain solutions for commercial vehicles, for 10 million pounds (Rs 90.30 crore). By virtue of this investment, Bharat Forge has also acquired a license for commercialisation of the Tevva technology within India and for strengthening its research and development activities in the e-mobility space, the company said in a regulatory filing.

BMW India launches petrol variant of new X3
German luxury car maker BMW yesterday launched petrol variant of its all-new X3 sports utility vehicle priced at Rs 56.9 lakh (ex-showroom) in India. Commenting on the launch, BMW Group India President Vikram Pawah said,"With the launch of the all-new BMW X3 xDrive30i, now our customers can also experience unadulterated driving pleasure in a refined petrol engine option."

TCS expands partnership with M&G Prudential
Software services major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) yesterday said it has expanded its agreement with M&G Prudential, which will expand the deal size to more than USD 1.2 billion. TCS had announced its 10-year partnership with M&G Prudential in January this year, which was worth USD 690 million. Under the deal, the administration of over four million life and pensions contracts were moved from Capita (Prudential's previous partner) to TCS' Diligenta. "The agreement has now been expanded to cover an additional 1.8 million customer policies which will move from M&G Prudential to TCS, bringing the total number of policies covered by the partnership to 5.8 million, and is worth an additional 500 million pounds (USD 668 million) over the term of the contract," TCS said in a statement yesterday.

OPIC gives $5 mn loan to Grameen Impact via IndusInd Bank
The US government arm Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has given USD 5 million loan to Grameen Impact Investments to support domestic small and medium enterprises. The financing to Grameen Impact, a non-banking financial company, comes through IndusInd Bank in the form of a loan guarantee agreement. The loan is to be deployed through the bank's Impact Investing division, which will support Grameen Impact's lending to local small and medium enterprises. The OPIC guarantee enabled the bank to disburse an equivalent of Rs 33.5 crore loan to Grameen Impact, IndusInd Bank said in a statement.  

Uber bets on local languages to drive growth in India
US-based cab aggregator Uber yesterday said it plans to make its platform available in seven Indian languages, including Hindi, Gujarati and Tamil, to commuters in India as it looks to further strengthen its position in the market with localised offerings. The company has launched a 'Lite' version of its app that is designed to work well in low connectivity situations as well as on phones with low storage space. The made-in-India app has been launched as a pilot in Delhi, Jaipur, and Hyderabad.

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