Costi, July 30, 2015: Malaysian driver Tan Eng Joo (co-driver Tan Choon Hong) from the Force Motors Team has held on to his top position in RFC India 2015 after the completion of the Terminator leg of the competition with an overall 1879 points. Fellow Malaysian Mervyn Lim (Hamizan Bin Abdul Hamid), with 1824 points gained from Special Stage (SS) 1-24, is at the second position thereby helping Force Motors in holding on to the top two positions in the competition.
Kabir Waraich (Yuvraj Tiwana) of Gerrari Offroaders Chandigarh, currently the top Indian in the competition, is at the third position with 1680 points. However, the star performer of the day turned out to be Goan driver Cedrick Jordan DaSilva (Floyd Preston) who has jumped from sixth to fourth position with a total score of 1648 points. Gurmeet Virdi (Kirpal Tung) of Gerrari Offroaders Chandigarh, who started the competition on an excellent note at the top position during the Prologue leg, is not having such a good time in the competition and has slipped to the fifth spot with 1639 points.
While Tan maintained a good average of above 50 points in each of the six SS of the Terminator leg, Mervyn showed some brilliant performance with 90 points in two of the SS and a perfect 100 in two other SS. Kabir Waraich had a bad start of the day with the tyre of his Maruti Gypsy coming off in SS19, but made up for it later with 90 points in two of the SS and 95 in two other tasks. Cedrick performed all the tasks with a lot of patience and got 90 and 95 points in SS19 and SS20 respectively.
The Terminator leg of RFC India 2015, which is India’s only international off-road motorsport event, took place in Costi village of Goa and tested the competitors on various parameters including the articulation of the vehicle, their understanding of how to use the recovery equipment to cross hurdles and how to make use of the natural surroundings to progress in the competition.
The Terminator leg also witnessed the inaugural RFC India Media Challenge in which representatives of 11 media houses from across the country participated. They were made to complete two Special Stages, which were essentially speed tasks, in a Polaris RZR800. Ryan Lee of Car India won the Media Challenge and has won a ticket to Malaysia to watch the RFC Mother Event in November.
The last leg of the competition, the Twilight Zone will take place in Morlem before the winner of RFC India 2015 is announced on Friday. The best Indian driver of the competition will get an automatic free entry to the RFC Mother Event which will be held in Malaysia later in the year.
The idea of FreshMenu was born as an answer to a question that looks simple on the outset but is not that easy to answer. It is a very common question and is asked in every home; Aaj Khane Mein Kya Hai? The question is asked by every human alike; children, adults and old. Sometimes the answer you get might not be the one you like.
As an answer to that question, FreshMenu was brought to existence by Rashmi Daga. With meals prepared by finest chefs, global cuisine and a daily rotating menu of exciting meals, salads, sandwiches, burgers and desserts, FreshMenu brings the best of world food on your plate. The world palette is closer than you think. You can experience an authentic Harissa spiced Tunisian dish sitting at your home or office. The single-box meal provides a mess free meal experience. And the meals are prepared fresh and delivered within 45 minutes.
The chefs cook the food in FreshMenu’s world-class kitchen facilities and their photography team click the pictures real time. You can order food from FreshMenu’s website or app. Each dish shows the name of the dish, along with a photo and a description of what the dish is made of. The dishes are priced between Rs.100-Rs.250 which makes them hugely affordable. The dishes arrive in filling portions enough for one individual person.
FreshMenu’s vision is to deliver tasty, fresh and chef-prepared food on-demand and delivered at your doorstep. Right now, FreshMenu serves parts of Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi with a plan to expand to other cities in the coming months. If you are not happy with the answer to that universal question, then a new and better one is right in front of you. Aaj Khane Mein Kya Hai? FreshMenu.
Cover story of Rashmi Daga
Sitting comfortably at the dining table, busy checking numbers about how her business venture is Rashmi Daga, the founder and CEO of FreshMenu, a company that delivers fresh and in-house chef-cooked food at homes and offices. The ride has been a hectic one and it is just the beginning.
FreshMenu turns a year in August, but for Rashmi it seems like a lot more. Co-ordinating with vendors, crunching numbers, getting chefs on board, building a team who had the same love for making people happy and numerous other things have kept her beyond busy.
The idea of FreshMenu was not the first in line when she had thought of starting a business. It was born out of something she had experienced. She was living in Frazer Town, where getting food or going out to a restaurant was not much of a hassle. But then she moved to a high-rise building in Sarjapur. The nearest place to go out and have food was in Koramangala.
In the coming days, the idea of FreshMenu was going to come to her. So pay close attention now because this is how it started. Her husband had been travelling and the new cook she had hired was irregular and did not have much variety when it came to cooking. Once she parked her car and stepped into her house, she had no intention of stepping out for a bite of food. Plus, the nearest good food joint was far away.
She was also too busy and tired to cook. And the previous week she hadn’t got time for grocery shopping as well. This was turning to be a big pain point in her life and she knew many other people like her facing the same problem.
It was necessary that she find a solution. So she thought of a creating a company that delivers tasty, fresh food prepared by chefs with an affordable price tag. After pitching a lot of ideas from tutoring services to do it yourself cooking recipes and ingredients earlier, she had finally found what she wanted to build her company around, fresh, tasty and affordable food.
She wanted to make it easy for people to enjoy good food with a lot of variety and without going through the hassle of cooking it. She put her idea into action and the company’s vision clearly defines what they want to do.
FreshMenu’s vision is to deliver tasty, fresh and chef-prepared food on-demand and delivered at your doorstep. Right now, FreshMenu serves parts of Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi with a plan to expand to other cities in the coming months.
Chef Nabhojit Ghosh Cover Story
Surrounded by the head chefs and other sous chefs is the Chief culinary officer of FreshMenu, Nabhojit Ghosh. He is imparting key knowledge to those around him for what he calls as delighting the consumer. If merits and honours could speak, then Nabhojit Ghosh wouldn’t have to do much talking. Trained at IHM Kolkata, Executive Chef at Taj Malabar and Coromandel, Chef Trainer at Oberoi and Taj, Nabhojit has done it all and with acclaim.
He and Rashmi, the founder of Freshmenu got together on their mutual love of customer delight. They wanted people to be happy throughout the whole experience and not just by the food. Food was definitely the major part of the experience.
Chef Nabhojit is one of the primary adopters of French cuisine in India and since then has been able to consolidate his dreams of playing with flavour, aroma and food textures. With over 30 years of culinary experience, he is the pillar of food at FreshMenu. He has built his team from a hand-picked pool of chefs who share his vision for food and people. It has been an exciting ride for him as FreshMenu’s menu promises new dishes every day. And with Freshmenu growing at an exponential rate, Chef Nabhojit says he is ready for the challenge.
Contact: +91 9019245000 / +91 7022422598
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Harish & Rashmi have had an interesting journey so far! They both come from diverse backgrounds. Harish is a civil engineer& Rashmi is a homoeopathic doctor by academics. They both lived in Singapore for 4 yrs where they worked in Retail & Harish was involved in sourcing Indian products for a Singapore company. They then migrated to Australia & lived there for 10yrs. There Harish worked in Manufacturing & in Retail & Wholesale for a large discount Retail chain.
In 2004, they moved back to India & wanted to start something to empower rural women. So, they started a small factory, AEC Offshore Trading Pty Ltd with 40 workers in Bangalore & started producing handmade products using handmade paper. They started exporting this to Australia. They then started creating more & more handmade products & extended their operations to rural Karnataka to fulfil their goal of empowering rural women by providing employment to them. Today, AEC has 17 manufacturing units in Karnataka proving employment to more than 2000 rural women & export craft merchandise to over 100 craft retailers , Importers & distributors around the world.
In 2007, they saw a need for extending their operations to the domestic market & the first Itsy Bitsy was opened in 2007 in Banashankari 2nd stage as a small 400 Sqft store. Itsy Bitsy’s goal was to be a one stop shop for all Hobby, Art & Craft supplies. Today, we have 15 stores, 10 in Bangalore, 1 in Mumbai, 2 in Delhi, 1 in Hubli, 1 in Goa, 1 coming up soon in Chennai & there are more in the pipeline!
Itsy Bitsy have successfully built business models that combines business with a social cause!
At a time when Hobby & Crafts was sold largely in unorganised sector, Harish & Rashmi introduced Hobby, Arts & Crafts category in modern retailing & established it as a successful Retail chain! Itsy Bitsy’ s core categories are Scrapbooking, Card Making, Jewellery Making, Kids Craft, Paper Crafting, Quilling, Candle Making just to name a few.
Itsy Bitsy is a DIY ( Do It Yourself ) concept store & carries over 20,000 products that’ll excite & inspire creativity in all ages! Every product is available in a multitude of colours & finishes. Here’s just a few examples of how extensive Itsy Bitsy’s range is!
- Beads: over 1000 types in rotation in our unique concept bead bar
- Sequins: about 40 colours in about 30 varieties in rotation.
- Glitter: Is available in about 20 colours.
- Crystals: 45 variations in crystals
- Handmade Papers: 400 types in various sizes in rotation
- Imported Patterned Papers: Over 4000 designs.
- Felt: Is available in about 20 colours & in different sizes.
- Foam: Is available in various sizes, in over 14 colours & in regular & glitter finish.
- Quilling: 25 colours , 1mm, 2mm, 3mm, 5mm & 10mm – 125 varieties made from imported + another 200 varieties of standard quilling strips.
- Findings for Jewellery Making: 1000 varieties of findings which includes about 5 finishes. Besides, there’s also a variety of Jewellery making tools, variety of wires & cords.
- There are also a variety of adhesives ranging from craft glue to silicon glue, glue gun, adhesive tapes, foam dots & more!
Besides, this the store also carries craft supplies like a variety of ribbons, needle craft supplies, kids craft supplies like PomPoms, Chenille stems ( pipe cleaners ), Thermocol balls, craft sticks, Ice cream sticks ( popsicle sticks ) etc. Itsy Bitsy also carries uniquely creative craft kits specially designed for children. There is also a huge range of Art supplies ranging from a brush to an Easel. Both Imported & Domestic brands can be found in the store. Itsy Bitsy also carries a huge range of Baking & Party supplies. There’s also themed party supplies which are very innovative & unique!
Most of the creative Itsy Bitsy products are designed in house. Some are imported from leading craft brands around the world. Itsy Bitsy also carries leading domestic brands.
Globally Hobby, Arts & Crafts is a multi – billion dollar Industry & India has a long way to go! In countries like America, there is at least one crafter in ¾ of households.
India is an emerging market & takes lot of education before crafting can become a profitable venture.
Itsy Bitsy has done a lot in creating awareness in this sector & since it’s inception has invested a lot of time, money & effort in doing lot of free workshops, free demos in store, workshops in various places to create awareness & interest!
However, there is a shift in the buying trend in recent times. Globally people are looking for value in the consumer Industry & India is not behind. Consumers always look for value &Itsy Bitsy believes in re-inventing itself to suit the consumer needs. So we have changed our strategy & from an everyday Retailer & have now shifted to being more of a “Craft Service Retailer” where Itsy Bitsy sources, produces, packs & puts on shelves quality products at an affordable cost !
This move is also a way of saying “Thank You“ to customers who have supported the business wholeheartedly since it’s inception!
Here’s more info on Itsy Bitsy’s new philosophy & what we call the “CRAFT RETAIL REVOLUTION”. WE HAVE SLASHED OUR PRICES, BIG TIME!!!
This is probably the first time ever, a brick & mortar retailer in Craft Industry has slashed his prices, not just during a sale but has changed its philosophy to give value every day, that is exactly why we call this a “CRAFT RETAIL REVOLUTION”. Our prices are no longer Retail prices, they have become almost like “WHOLESALE PRICES”!
Bangalore, July 30, 2015: The hunt for the Benadryl BIG Golden Voice Season 3 is on, full swing. As the talent hunt show forayed into its city finale round, the competiton amongst contestants showcased an array of talent present in every nook and corner of the city. With the promise of getting bigger and better with every season and every round, the Benadryl BIG Golden Voice Season 3 today announced Priyanka Jois. as the winner from Bangalore.
Following the auditions round, five finalists were chosen from Bangalore out of which Priyanka Jois was selected as the winner of the city finale round. A contender to the bigger reward, he/she has already battled participants in abundance and will now compete with eleven other finalists from across the country to win the coveted title of the ‘Benadryl BIG Golden Voice’.
The event witnessed an array of singers showcasing their singing talent as popular artists – M.D. Pallavi along with actress Priyanka Upendra and music director Guru Kiran judged contestants and mentored them. The judges arbitrated the winner on the basis of the contestants’ selection of song, rhythm, tone as well as the overall impact they left the crowd with.
The radio network will now go ahead with 12 finalists from across the country who will attend workshops and training sessions in Mumbai to display their singing talent before singing sensation Shankar Mahadevan. After all, only one competitor can win Shankar’s heart and earn the BIG ticket to Bollywood!
Bengaluru, 31st July, 2015: Senco Gold & Diamonds, one of the largest jewelry brands of the country, inaugurated their all new exquisite store today in Bengaluru. The store, spread across two floors and showcasing exclusive range of Bengal’s world famous handcrafted jewelry, was inaugurated by renowned actress, Ms Chitrangada Singh in the presence of Mr Sankar Sen, Managing Director, Senco Gold & Diamonds & Mr Suvankar Sen, Executive Director, Senco Gold & Diamonds.
Situated in the heart of the city, this 6300 sq ft showroom will definitely be a landmark for jewellery shopping with exquisite range of elegantly designed gold, diamond, platinum and silver jewelry being available here. The legacy of Kolkata’s craftsmanship in jewelry design can be experienced in the bridal and light weighted jewelry, exclusive antique collection, diamond collection, platinum jewelry, unique love bands, etc. Moreover, traditional & intrinsic jewellery range comprising of Peacock collection, Deccan collection & Temple jewellery would be available in the store.
“We have always kept in mind the consumer demands and the change in market trend with regards to our designing and pricing and moved ahead accordingly. Though gold jewelry has always been our strength, the diamond collection introduced 10 years ago has witnessed great response with year on year growth in the category. Buying jewelry is more than an investment, as it helps create a fashion statement. We would like our consumers to enjoy jewellery shopping experience at our stores and I do hope that our hospitality apart from the wide variety of jewellery would definitely make them feel content”, said Mr Sankar Sen, Managing Director, Senco Gold & Diamonds.
The showroom will house more than 50,000 designs of gold, diamond, platinum, silver, costume jewellery & astral gems. The designs will range from modernistic to classic, chic to traditional & contemporary to vintage in both heavy & light jewelry category.
“We intend to near doubling of our turnover from domestic retail operations of Rs 1000 crore to Rs 2000 crore and expansion in the South will play a major role with 70% of the new stores coming up in the region by FY 2017 – 18. Here, stores will mostly come-up across Bengaluru followed by Hyderabad and Chennai. This is our third store in Bengaluru and 69th in India”, said Mr Suvankar Sen, Executive Director, Senco Gold & Diamonds.
The first two Senco gold & Diamonds stores in the city are located in Jayanagar and Koramangala whereas the new store is situated near Safina Plaza, RNR Majestic Landmark Building, 5 Main Guard Cross Road, Commercial Street, Bengaluru – 560001.
Pune, 31 July, 2015: The Anita Borg Institute (ABI), a non-profit organization focused on the advancement of women in computer science and engineering will be organizing ‘Tech for Good 2015’, the exclusive women-only Hackathon for students and industry professionals from computing and technology backgrounds in Pune on 8th August, 2015. This Hackathon is intended to challenge experienced coders, while also providing a learning opportunity to young students. Participants of the Hackathon will code and work on ideas/projects that will have a social impact.
Venue: Allscripts (India) Pvt. Ltd Cluster D,EON Free Zone, MIDC, Kharadi Knowledge Park, Pune , India.
The Hackathon will be held as a contest over two rounds. The first round will be conducted in five different cities (Bangalore, Hyderabad, Madurai, New Delhi and Pune). The top finalists selected from the first round will present their applications at the grand finale to be held at the largest technical conference for women in India – the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India (GHCI) 2015 in Bangalore during 2-4 December, 2015. The winning teams will be chosen by a panel of judges at GHCI 2015.
For more information on the Hackathon and to register please visit – http://gracehopper.org.in/tech-for-good-2015-hackathon/
Hyderabad, 30 July 2015: IndoUS Venture Partners’ backed CarZ, one of India’s most reputed multi-brand car repair and maintenance services company, today announced a franchisee program under the brand name ‘CarZ Xpress’. The company plans to open about 100 franchises in the next 36 months.
CarZ currently operates 12 company-owned “Grande” facilities in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. These facilities offer a full range of repair services for all makes and models of cars: routine and preventive maintenance, electrical & mechanical repair, accident repair – denting and painting, tyres and services, battery, variety of styling and performance accessories, interior and exterior detailing, extended warranty and nationwide 24×7 road-side assistance. These services are offered at convenient neighbourhood locations. The company will continue to expand the “Grande” formats as well.
The first outlet of ‘CarZ Xpress’ was launched recently in Hyderabad, Telangana. This model improves accessibility and service to the car owner as well as provides tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs seeking entry into the fast growing car service sector. The CarZ Xpress franchise network will offer a menu of quick repair & maintenance services cost effectively with quick turn-around times and at convenient neighborhood locations. Each facility shall have advanced diagnostic and repair equipment along with highly trained manpower to provide best-in class service and experience to the customers.
Venu Donepudi, MD, CarZ said, “Presently, only about 30 per cent of the cars are repaired and serviced at authorized dealers/service centres. There is a huge opportunity for organised, independent and multi-brand car repair and service providers, considering that India has a current car parcel of over 20 million. And every year over 2.5 million cars are sold in India, making it the 7th largest auto market in the world. By 2017, it is estimated that this number will grow to 7 million cars sold each year.”
“To tap this huge market, we have developed a cost effective, no frills Great Service, Budget Price model called CarZ Xpress. CarZ offers the expertise of an authorised dealer and the comfort of your local personalized mechanic. With more and more discerning car owners looking for quality and affordability, CarZ is the perfect fit, providing exemplary car service. We are committed to working with motivated entrepreneurs and making them successful while expanding our footprint across the country”, added Venu.
Vijay Gummadi, CEO, CarZ said, “The CarZ Xpress franchise is programmed in such a way that the entrepreneur gets quick return on investment while the end-customer is assured of top-end service. A CarZ Xpress franchisee gets world-class unparalleled start-up guidance, operational and marketing support. Our unique combination of talent, perseverance, process, innovation and obsession with ‘doing right’ for the car owner is well on its way to make CarZ the first major automotive service brand in India. We believe that entrepreneurs who have fire in their bellies will join us and revolutionize car service, much needed in India.”
Comprehensive support for franchisees
The CarZ franchise program will provide franchisees with comprehensive support at all stages from planning to operation. CarZ has a team of highly trained, knowledgeable industry experts to support new franchisees. Every franchisee can expect consistent support from CarZ and they include: site selection & facility set up; training and continuing education; operational support; spares sourcing support; marketing material and aids; proprietary shop management software; marketing and branding support; and customer relationship management.
Bangalore, July 24, 2015: Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), leader in the Indian automobile industry, today launched NEXA, its new premium sales channel. NEXA marks the first initiative by an automobile company to go beyond selling cars and create a new format of retail experience for the customer.
Nearly 100 NEXA showrooms will come up across India over the next 6-8 months.
MSIL has consistently led the industry in terms of reach, depth and quality of sales and service network. The high level of customer satisfaction at the network has contributed to the Company achieving a market share in the range of 45%.
To attain its medium term goal of two million annual sales by 2020, the Company is taking new initiatives in all areas of business. It is reaching out to new segments of customers emerging in a changing India.
Over the years, MSIL has relied on customer feedback to introduce new products and create new categories. It was also the first to offer a bouquet of “solutions” to customers (insurance, finance, trade-in of pre-owned cars) at its dealerships. The next step is taking the lead in offering customers “experience”, through NEXA.
Customer feedback and surveys have shown there is a growing segment of car buying Indians who desire and value personal care, warmth and attention in their car buying and ownership experience. They want people, technology, showroom ambience and processes to come together and offer them a “premium experience”. These customers want to be pampered! NEXA is designed for this segment of customers.
MSIL Managing Director & CEO, Kenichi Ayukawa said: “NEXA provides a new experience of hospitality from Maruti Suzuki. Indian market and Indian society are rapidly changing and new segments of customers are emerging. We have to take new initiatives to meet diversifying expectations from our customers”.
He added: “The mission of NEXA is to offer innovative value and direction so that we can adequately respond to the new segments of Indian customers and offer them the experience which they value. While we will of course continue to enhance customer satisfaction in our current network, with NEXA, I am confident Maruti Suzuki will be able to cater to a broader range of customers who value pampering, innovation and a personal touch in their car owning experience”.
S-Cross, India’s first premium crossover that debuts in August 2015 will be the first car to be sold under NEXA. Several new models will be added to both channels as part of the Company’s medium term goal of 2 million annual sales by 2020.
The NEXA Experience – Many firsts
At launch, nearly 1000 Relationship Managers have been recruited and trained; their number will go up to 2500 in the next 6-8 months. Many of them are being hired from sectors like aviation, hospitality and financial services, expanding the talent pool of the automobile sector, another industry first. While NEXA is best experienced by a personal visit, some highlights are shared below.
NEXA is New Hospitality Experience:
One of the core values of NEXA is pampering and hospitality. Pampering is about listening to the customer; it is about understanding his needs. The relationship managers have been trained to give the customer full attention when in conversation and being there when the customer requires. Besides, they will also exhibit qualities such as warmth, respect, courtesy and punctuality. Special attention has been accorded to maintaining customer privacy while the conversations are on. Specially designed cubicles and separate seating area fulfils this objective.
NEXA is New “Lifetime” Experience:
The Relationship Manager will ensure that the entire buying, after sales and ownership experience is smooth and hassle free. To ensure this the NEXA team has been trained using in-depth and holistic modules developed by ace trainer Dale Carnegie.
Another interesting feature is MyNEXA, a loyalty program that has been designed to offer rewards and recognition beyond the automotive industry. Through co-branded credit cards and tie-ups with lifestyle brands, MyNEXA makes the NEXA relationship more rewarding.
NEXA is New Digital Experience: NEXA will be one of the most digitally and technologically advanced buying experiences for automobile customers. Equipped with state-of-the-art ipads, every Relationship Manager will deliver outstanding in-store experience. Going paper less, the car configurator provides a virtual experience to the customer. From Apple TVs that easily mirror ipads to a digital welcome when he comes in for delivery, the customer lives through a delightful virtual experience during his stay at NEXA.
NEXA Owner’s App, a Smart Phone Application is another technology enabler which helps the customer to recall service history, emergency support, accessory purchase, event updates, booking and manage service requests and even a choice of favourite music.
NEXA is New Design Experience: NEXA showrooms have been designed in a black and white prestige monochromatic theme that showcases the displayed vehicles in their full glory. Special attention has been given to in store lighting. The entire spotlight is on the car. A dedicated in-showroom delivery area, with LEDs and music, brightens up the customer’s biggest moment of joy – car delivery – manifold. Interestingly, at the NEXA showroom the customer’s first journey in his new vehicle starts when he drives out from a premium air-conditioned showroom.
To know more about NEXA, customers can dial a Toll Free Number 1800 200 6392 as well as log into http://www.nexaexperience.com. Follow us on Twitter @NexaExperience
Click here for high resolution images of NEXA: https://flic.kr/s/aHskg4xxUW
Experience NEXA @ following locations shortly @ Bangalore:
NEXA JP Nagar: Site no. 275, 15th Cross, J.P. Nagar 5th Phase