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Economic Times | ET Now| Dec 20, 2017 | Opinion | Edited excerpts |
In an interview with ET Now, Rishad Premji , Chief Strategy Officer, Wipro, says there is always employability for relevant skills.
What is your view on skilling in IT sector?
Given how much change is happening in the technology space, the lifespan of skills is becoming much shorter and as a consequence the need to upgrade faster is that much more important. Upgrading of skills, moving your capabilities into new skill areas is very, very important and organisations and the IT industry is very focused on helping people get there. Reskilling of people to move into new technology areas is a big focus today.
While it is about doom and gloom and hiring at Nasscom that you are part of, you sort of clarified, that there are enough jobs. Would you really put the onus there on jobs while it is the right skill set that is really required now?, It is not as bad as it is really made out to be?
There is always employability for relevant skills. Look I think there is a still a lot of growth potential in the industry from an employment standpoint as well. The speed may not be as fast as it has been historically but certainly there is an opportunity for growth. You have seen what the industry added last year which is 150,000 people net jobs. I think it will add a similar number this year. There is still a lot of growth in the industry both in terms of overall revenue growth and employability.
Be optimistic. There is huge opportunity in terms of what your engineering degree can do for creating employment whether it be with IT services companies, some of the product companies or in the start-up ecosystem. I would be quite optimistic if I am an engineer in India even today.
Be optimistic. There is huge opportunity in terms of what your engineering degree can do for creating employment whether it be with IT services companies, some of the product companies or in the start-up ecosystem. I would be quite optimistic if I am an engineer in India even today. – Courtesy
The Times of India | Ranjani Ayyar | TNN | Nov 16, 2017 |
CHENNAI: For the second year in a row, a Chennai native is among the innovators and entrepreneurs in the Forbes’ ’30 under 30′ list in the area of healthcare. The 2018 edition includes Akshaya Shanmugam, 29, the CEO of Lumme Inc., which is cracking the code to beat addictive behaviour by combining wearable technology, machine learning, and behavioural psychology. In January this year, 27-year-old Vivek Kopparthi had made it to the 2017 list for his contributions in neonatal care technology. After completing her schooling at Chettinad Vidyashram, Shanmugam went on to pursue engineering at Meenakshi Sundararajan Engineering College. In 2009, she moved to the US for higher studies. While Shanmugam was pursuing her PhD in an area that involves developing health monitoring systems outside hospitals, she met Abhinav Parate who was working on a thesis with wearables. With Parate and a few professors, Shanmugam set up Lumme to solve the global addiction problem. “Our platform automatically detects addictive behaviour, predicts indulgence in addictive behaviour, and prevents it by delivering clinically validated interventions. It also helps individuals gain better insights into their daily life and helps them understand the why, how, and what surrounding their lifestyle choices,” said Shanmugam.
A CUT ABOVE THE REST: Akshaya Shanmugam, the CEO of Lumme Inc., is among the innovators and entrepreneurs in the Forbes’ ’30 under 30′ list in the area of healthcare. The technology is in the process of being clinically validated and Shanmugam hopes to launch the product in the market by the summer of 2018. “The first phase of our launch is the smoking cessation platform. We will tie up with corporates so they can include this as part of their employee wellness programmes,” she said. ‘Predictions made with 95% accuracy in 2 trials’. Explaining how the platform would work for a person who smokes, Shanmugam says for the first two weeks, users wear the smartwatches and go about their routine. The platform passively monitors smoking behaviour and looks at other factors like the time of the day, their movements and social interactions. Itthen makes an assessment of the smoking patterns of the users and predicts when they are likely to smoke next. Based on the prediction, the platform is able to send an alert 6 minutesbefore they are abouttolight a cigarette. “We have had two national scale clinical trials and are in the midst of the third. With the first two, we were able to make predictions with95% accuracy,” shesaid. This work is the outcome of research conducted at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Yale School of Medicine. Lumme is funded by the National Institutes of Health and has raised $1.7 million in funding. “It is quite an honour to be part of this list. It is a validation that there is potential in the technology that we have developed. This only drives us further to make meaningful contributions to the field of healthcare,” said Shanmugam. – Courtesy
This Anthyesti funeral Startup Made its Founder Vow to Make Her Presence on Earth Worthwhile to Benefit Mankind
The Weekend Leader | | 01 Nov 2017 |
Death is grim business, but Shruthi Reddy Sethi, a young, enthusiastic software engineer in Kolkata has made it her business to make it easier for those left behind. With her uniquely focused services, in just over a year, her company Anthyesti has notched up a turnover of Rs 16 lakh. Shruthi’s work begins in the aftermath of a life sadly ending. “Once we get a call,” she explains, “we first arrange for the hearse van and also ask if there is any need for preservation, such as a freezer box. “After the hearse van moves to the crematorium, we assist the family to procure the KMC (Kolkata Municipal Corporation) death certificate if they seek our help. We then offer them our priest package if they want.” Her company – Anthyesti – offers well-organized and efficient post-demise packages such as VIP hearse services, mobile freezer or embalming, repatriation of remains, and Shraadhs (a ritual to pay homage to the deceased in the family) for communities such as the Arya Samaj, Gujaratis, Marwaris and Bengalis. These services range from Rs 2,500 to Rs one lakh.
Yes, that’s right, Shruthi Reddy Sethi, 32, is a funeral services planner – officially the first such company in this sector in Kolkata. “I first shared the idea of setting up a company that provides cremation and funeral services, with my husband,” she says. He promised to support her. “But my parents,” she adds, “especially my mother, were very upset and said that this kind of ‘ignominious’ work was an insult for an IT engineer. She didn’t talk to me for a month!” Shruthi had moved to Kolkata in 2015 to be with her husband who had shifted there with his job. Originally from Hyderabad, where she completed all her education, she was the older of the two siblings, with a brother. Her father worked as an electrical engineer in Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), while her mother sold saris from the home to supplement the family’s income. Shruthi studied in Sai Public School till Class 10, after which she joined Little Flower Junior College in 2002. By 2006 she had completed a degree in engineering from Bhoj Reddy Engineering College and she left her home town. “I joined an IT company in Bengaluru as a junior programmer,” she says, “and moved back to Hyderabad with another IT job in 2011.”
In 2009, she got married to Gurvinder Singh Sethi who worked in Tata Motors in Hyderabad. “Life was moving smoothly till my husband was transferred to Kolkata in 2011,” says Shruthi. Her employers let her work from home at first, but in 2015 when they asked her to move back to Hyderabad, she resigned. Shruthi had to plan her next step. “I wanted to do my MBA as I thought it would help me set up my business,” she recounts. “With a view to joining one of the year-long executive programs in IIM and other reputed B-schools, I took the GMAT exam and cleared it.” She got admission offers from IIM-Indore and IIM-Lucknow. She was about to get enrolled in one of them, when Siddharth Churiwal, a businessman friend, suggested: ‘Rather than spend that money on a degree, use it for bootstrapping your business. Have faith and you will find everything else on the way up.’ His advice took seed, even though Shruthi had no idea of the nitty-gritty and formalities of entrepreneurship. “The concept of a funeral service start-up was subconsciously in my mind,” she recalls, “as I saw my husband facing a lot of problems at the death of his maternal grandfather in 2014 – making all the arrangements for cremation and prayers meant that he didn’t have time to grieve with his family.” So that’s how she started setting up a company geared to efficiently and sensitively taking care of every aspect relating to the processes and ceremonies following a death, starting from embalming human remains to the conclusion of all rituals. She had the business logic for it. “There is a large population of single old people in Kolkata,” she explains. “There are many people who live all by themselves. They would be more than happy to find someone to help in their last moments.” In order to gain knowledge of the market and costs, Shruthi began to visit crematoriums, find out about the number of deaths every day, research charges for hearse vans, mortuaries, priests and pujas. People working in this male-dominated sector were mostly uneducated, and many were drunkards. “My friends and family thought that I had lost my mind as I was busy with the dead throughout the day,” Shruthi says. “It was very tough.”
Finally, Shruthi started Anthyesti Funeral Services Private Limited on 19 February, 2016, with an investment of Rs one lakh, which she borrowed from her husband. She is the founder-director of the company with 99 percent shares, while her mother, Suhasini Reddy – who came around to support her daughter – is the other director with one percent share. “It took me days before I zeroed in on the name Anthyesti, which means funeral rites in Sanskrit,” Shruti shares. The company started with two employees in a rented office space of around 1,000 sq. ft. The concept was new to Kolkata and while Shruthi invested in marketing, the gradual increase in her business was mainly due to word-of-mouth publicity. “There were no sudden breakthrough moments,” she says. “I built contacts with hearse van drivers and priests to be paid on a case-to-case basis,” she explains. “We got enlisted on Justdial in April 2015, from where I started getting calls for funeral services.” But people normally called for the hearse van and not for cremation or performance of last rites. Shruthi found a solution and purchased two freezer boxes in June 2016 and an air-conditioned hearse van with an investment of around Rs seven lakh. Now, bookings for Anthyesti’s can be made on the phone or online. The company now has six employees, receives around 35 orders every month, and its turnover has touched Rs 16 lakh in just over a year.
Wait there is more – with an eye on the future.
Anthyesti also offers services for pre-planning funeral service packages – ranging from Rs 6,000 to Rs 20,000 – for those who live alone. “Pre-death packages are an assurance to such clients that, should something happen to them all of a sudden, we are there to carry out the last rites,” says Shruthi. “Our legal agreements for this are prepared and vetted by experienced lawyers.” Anthyesti is filling a much-felt gap. “Death is a crucial part of life and it needs to be served with professionalism, poise and dignity,” says Shruthi. “Staying calm, sensitive and empathetic is what I and my team focus on.” Shruthi plans to expand and scale up through the franchising model by 2020. She feels her experience has taught her the value of money and the fact that death is the only truth in life. “Make your presence on earth worthwhile so that you can benefit mankind,” this mother of a four-year-old son says wisely. She also shares her mantra for women entrepreneurs: “Have belief and never underestimate yourself. Small things will take care of themselves when you aim big.” – Courtesy / Take a Look at http://www.anthyesti.com/
The New Indian Express | Roshne Balasubramanian | ENS | 30th October 2017 | She helps you become a successful engineer |
CHENNAI: In India, the unemployability of engineering graduates has been a concern for a long time. “On an average 1.5 million students complete engineering every year. But 4/5th of them are not employed,” rues Vaishnavi Jayaraman, founder EQuad Engineering Services. “Many students don’t know basic formulas and concepts by the end of their curriculum, as they are theory driven,” explains the gold medalist from SSN College of Engineering. During her MBA in entrepreneurship (part of Global Module at Google and Harvard Business School), Vaishnavi developed the business idea further. “Since minimal industry exposure was leading to unemployability of the students, I decided to give fresh graduates and engineering students practical and application-oriented training that focused on enhancing their technical skills. Industry visits are not taken seriously and are seen as a just a way to score marks. Same with mini projects — a lot of students buy these projects outside and present them. Then how will they get the needed hands on experience?” she points out.
Tapping the potential of these engineers in different branches, EQuad has so far trained several students. “Initially, we paid the students a stipend and trained them because it was an ‘I am an engineer why do I need training’ situation. Later, when they were turned down by companies because of lack of technical skills, there knew! We have recently started charging a modest fee, which goes into buying components and equipment for prototypes that students work on,” she shares. Students are trained by internal engineers with industry experience, for three months, focusing on specific skills and also current industry trends. With players such as TATA Motors, Reliance Power and Parry Agro in their list of industry partners, Vaishnavi also wants to tie up with educational institutions that are interested in teaching their students from the grassroots level. “Real time exposure to industry problems can make them the best version of themselves. And this is the change that we are trying to bring about,” she adds. – Courtesy / Take a Look at —-> http://equadservices.in/
The New Indian Express | Express News Service | 28th October 2017 |
KOCHI: In perhaps the biggest contract win for a startup from Kerala, Fourth Ambit Technologies, a firm that was virtually incubated in Kochi’s erstwhile Startup Village, has signed a pact with All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for setting up online community portals for over 10,000 technical institutions across the length and breadth of the country. The deal will see the edu-tech company working with AICTE and its member institutions to leverage its online platform and technical infrastructure to set up private online community portals for AICTE approved institutions, a senior company official said. Such a community portal will help these institutions to onboard and engage alumni, parents, corporate partners and other well-wishers, thereby facilitating value for their students and faculty. The MoU was signed by AICTE chairman Anil D Sahasrabudhe and Fourth Ambit CEO Rahul Das at AICTE office in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. “Setting up online community portals for over 10,000 technical institutions across the country and fostering multi-dimensional value for over 50 million users is a daunting task. But, backed by a robust tech platform, led by an inspired team, supported by corporate partners, enabled by AICTE and state universities, we are confident of creating history and nurturing a self-fulfilling value-based ecosystem,” says Rahul Das, CEO of Fourth Ambit.
A supporting ecosystem will be set up at the Fourth Ambit platform level by onboarding partners across themes like skilling, entrepreneurship, networking, jobs, internships, faculty capability building, higher education, social causes, and technology evangelism.“AICTE has signed MoUs with other organisations as well for leveraging quality initiatives for the students and faculty at large in terms of internship, job opportunities and skilling tests. We hope the project with Fourth Ambit will synergise the benefits of the same under one umbrella for the student community,” says AICTE chairman Anil D Sahasrabudhe. The project will be activated in a phased manner across the various states with the AICTE regional office and state universities playing a key role in the rollout. Fourth Ambit, co-founded by four classmates from Government Model Engineering College, Kochi, has been operational since 2012 with over 1,000 college communities already on its platform. – Courtesy / Download AICTE Circular MoU between AICTE ans Fourth Ambit / Click here to Take a Look at ——> https://www.fourthambit.com/
Economic Times | Brinda Dasgupta | ET Bureau| Oct 27, 2017 |
The upcoming placement season may be muted compared to last year’s recruitment drive, but engineering graduates still have reason to cheer. Startups across sectors are heading to the Indian Institutes of Technology and other engineering colleges to pick the best and brightest of talent. Up for grabs are roles of data analyst, AI engineer, user-experience engineer, mobile software developer and augmented reality engineer, with annual pay of Rs 9-16 lakh. Paytm, Exotel, Pepperfry, Voonik, Go-Jek and Razorpay are looking to cherry-pick talent from among 10,000-plus students graduating in 2018 from IITs and thousands more from other engineering colleges. New-age companies are focussing on expanding their technology teams and roles in data science and machine learning are commanding premium salaries, said Rohit Chokhani, principal founder at Mumbaibased early-stage venture capital firm White Unicorn Ventures.
“In the last year, the 21companies in our portfolio hired more than 200 in technology roles and this year we’re expecting at least a 30% increase over that. Across the startup ecosystem, technology hiring may grow by at least 15%.” Go-Jek, the Indonesian hyperlocal transport, logistics and payments startup, plans to hire about 30 techies for its India development centre. Freshers will be put through a two-month boot camp on coding, DevOps, design and user experience, followed by 10 months of rigorous mentoring by senior developers, said Sidu Ponnappa, director of Go-Jek. They can expect packages upwards of Rs 16 lakh. Paytm, an e-payment and ecommerce platform, has already made 25-30 offers across the National Institutes of Technology and other regional engineering colleges, said Manav Jain, associate vice-president of the Noida-based company. “Those with strong coding skills irrespective of programming language, strength in data structures, algorithms and problem-solving skills will be preferred,” said Jain. The company is looking to fill software development, machine learning and data science roles. Paytm piloted an internship programme at five engineering campuses this year. These interns will complete part of their curriculum at the company by working on live projects and will be mentored by senior colleagues. They will be offered the option of coming on board on a full-time basis.
‘MID-SIZED STARTUPS BEST OPTION’
In the current scenario, mid-sized startups are the best option for a fresher, according to Siddharth Ramesh, chief technology officer at cloud telephony company Exotel. “They have none of the elaborate processes of large corporates that sometimes hinder learning and none of the chaos of small startups where things are constantly changing,” Ramesh said. Big data is also an area in vogue, with not just Paytm but Razorpay also looking to ramp up this profile. “We will hire 30-odd people to work not just on big data, artificial intelligence and mobile software development, but also front-end and back-end development,” said Anuradha Bharat, head of people operations at Razorpay. Salaries are expected to range from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 25 lakh, a 30% increase from last year. Exotel plans to hire at least 10 graduates for its software engineering and site reliability engineering teams.
While skill sets are not paramount, what is more important is the ability to keep abreast of changing trends and the ability to use multiple technologies simultaneously, said Ramesh. “Those with the capability to take complete ownership — from writing and monitoring code to deploying it into production systems — will be preferred,” he told ET. At fashion technology startup Voonik, almost 25 posts in software development, DevOps and data analysis will be filled. A new role that the company is introducing this year is that of a business analyst, meant for engineers who are good with numbers but not keen on coding, said Sameer Nandan, head of HR. Techies can expect salaries starting at Rs 9 lakh and going up to Rs 16 lakh. Mumbai-based Pepperfry will be hunting for techies who can work on bolstering augmented and virtual reality offerings. The Mumbai-based startup will also hire freshers to work in core Java, machine learning and big data, Deepak Sharma, head of product development, told ET. The 100-strong technology team will be ramped up with a few dozen new members.- Courtesy
College Teachers to be Offered Sabbatical Leave to Set Up Startups : Kerala Okays Plan to Offer Leave to College Teachers to Set Up Startups
| Oct 20, 2017
Thiruvananthapuram: College teachers in Kerala can now dabble in entrepreneurship with the state government giving its nod to a proposal of the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) to grant sabbatical leave to the faculty members of all colleges who intend to establish startups. According to the proposal, which came up for deliberations at the 18th meeting of the Executive Committee of the KSUM, college teachers can start their own startups, form their groups or join as founders/co-founders along with students. An expert panel, comprising KSUM CEO Dr. Saji Gopinath and with four other members, will select 10 faculty members on a pilot basis for the implementation of the project. Representatives of KTU, CUSAT, AICTE and Dinesh Thampi, CTO, TCS, Kochi are other members in the panel. IT Secretary M. Sivasankar said the Kerala government’s project is the first-of-its-kind in India. “The participation of teachers, with active support from college authorities and parents, will bring experience and responsibility in the startups,” he hoped.
Dr. Gopinath said the KSUM had submitted the proposal to the government to give an impetus to the functioning of startups and culture of innovation. “The initiative will greatly contribute to the government’s determined efforts to strengthen and accelerate the startup ecosystem through active participation of the teaching community.” As per the proposal guidelines, college teachers members can avail sabbatical leave with or without pay from their institutions. The scheme is open only to regular teachers of the institutions. Besides, the institution should give an undertaking to re-induct the faculty member on completion of the sabbatical leave, if he/she desires to rejoin. Sabbatical leave will be given as per the rules applicable to the institution where they are working. In case of non-payment or payment of reduced salary, the faculty member will be paid a fellowship of Rs. 50,000 or last drawn salary whichever is lower during the period of sabbatical leave. The maximum duration of the fellowship is 24 months. Faculty members, with innovative project in Proof of Concept (POC) or prototype stage or above only, will be considered for fellowship. All the benefits, including R&D grant, scale up grant, seed fund, international exchange programme, business visits, training and mentoring available for startups, will also be extended to startups by faculty members. – Courtesy
India-Israel Global Innovation Challenge
India and Israel are joining forces in order to address some of the world’s most pressing innovation challenges. Startup India and the Israel Innovation Authority invite entrepreneurs, startups, research teams, etc., to submit their solutions to challenges in the areas of agriculture, water and digital health.
The most promising proposals will have access to
- Cash Prize of INR 2.00 – 5.00 Lakh
- Additional Cash Prize of INR 10 – 25 Lakh for water challenges only (sponsored by Livpure)
- Cross-border mentorship and incubation/acceleration support
- Exclusive Summit with industry leaders and potential partners in India as well as Israel
- An opportunity to pilot with leading partners in India
Who can participate?
Anyone who has a good idea, or is working on a solution, which caters to the selected problem statements in the areas of agriculture, water, and digital health, can participate in the challenge. Startups, individual innovators, students, researchers, not-for-profit organizations, etc. are all eligible. All stages – be it ideation, prototype, ready for field trial, and further – can participate in the challenge.
Applications close on 27th Oct 2017
- Healthcare Challenge #1:Solutions for real-time health monitoring, home care, remote care, periodic counseling and advice on health management for NCDs (Non-Communicable Disease)
- Healthcare Challenge #2:Innovative, inclusive, low cost diagnostics and predictive solutions in rural areas
- Agriculture Challenge #1:Solution for reducing postharvest loss and improve market linkages
- Agriculuture Challenge #2:Affordable easy-to-use solutions to enhance agricultural productivity and increase farmers’ earnings
- Water Challenge #1:Low energy and cost effective sustainable solutions for wastewater treatment/ desalination/ recycling or purifying large water sources and surface water
- Water Challenge #2:Innovative and affordable solutions that produce potable drinking water at point of use in both rural and urban areas
For More Details and Terms & Conditions : https://www.startupindiahub.org.in/content/sih/en/reources/innovation-challenge.html
NITI Aayog calls for applications for ‘Mentor India’
NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), Government of India’s flagship program to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, is inviting applications for ‘Mentor India’. Mentor India is as a strategic nation building initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor schools students in 900+ Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) established by AIM in schools across India. Through Mentor India, AIM is looking to engage leaders who can dedicate 1 – 2 hours every week in one or more such labs and enable school students to experience, learn and practice future skills such as design and computational thinking. Envisaged to be the largest formal volunteer mentor network, it is aimed at maximizing the impact of ATLs. AIM is looking for corporates / professionals / academicians / students etc. who are keen to contribute to this strategic nation building initiative. ATLs are dedicated works spaces where students (from Class 6th to Class 12th) learn innovation skills and develop ideas that will go on to transform India. The labs are powered to acquaint students with state-of-the-art equipment such as 3D printers, robotics & electronics development tools, IoT & sensors etc. With 900+ labs already identified, AIM will establish 2,000 such labs by end of 2017. The labs are designed to spur the spark of creativity, and go beyond regular curriculum and text book learning. The labs will let students explore skills of future such as design and computational thinking, adaptive learning and artificial intelligence.
Mentor India has already received strong support from Corporate India. More than 30 of India’s top thought leaders have signed up as Brand Ambassadors for the initiative. More than 90 ATLs in schools across India have been adopted and are being supported by various corporations / institutions from multiple sectors. AIM is actively looking to engage with more corporations / institutions to adopt ATLs and enable their employees to join Mentor India as volunteers. Furthermore, AIM has signed a SoI with AICTE to provide mentorship support of affiliated colleges for 366 ATLs.
Possible areas of contribution from mentors include technical knowhow, innovation and design, inspirational, and business and entrepreneurship. Mentors are expected to discuss with students the various problems our Indian society is facing across multiple themes, and motivate students to develop solutions to these community problems. Mentor India program will be further extended to provide support to Atal Incubation Centres and Existing Incubation Centres as well. Proposed recognition for mentors include digital certificate of recognition, honour board for top mentors, meet and greet with prominent dignitaries and invites to Government of India events. The deadline for submission of applications to join Mentor India is 30 Sep 2017. The applications can be submitted online at: http://aim.gov.in/mentor.php / More Details …http://niti.gov.in/content/atal-innovation-mission-aim