Bangalore-based Practo Technologies Pvt Ltd., a web-based clinic management software developer, has raised Rs 25 crore (around $4.6 million) from Sequoia Capital in a Series A round of funding. Practo’s flagship product is Practo Ray, a web-based software tool which provides automated appointment scheduling and storage of healthcare records including X-rays, files, prescriptions and billing. Practo’s platform currently manages 10,000 appointments per day, with 8,000 doctors at 5,000 dental, wellness and other healthcare centres across India.
The money raised will be used to launch its various products globally and expand Practo’s 80-member team to around 350 over the next two years.
Shailendra Singh, managing director of Sequoia Capital India, said in a statement, “In a short span of time, Practo Ray has become the preferred platform for thousands of doctors to book appointments, issue prescriptions and store patient records, and millions of patients can now access their appointments and health records online or through their mobile devices.
“We believe Practo has the potential to become the dominant Cloud-based healthcare platform in India and we are excited about the new services that Practo is planning to launch on top of the robust platform it has already built,” he added.
Practo has recently launched Practo.com that helps patients find doctors and connect with them through their dedicated online interface. It provides customised search options and shares details on doctors and clinics. In addition, the company has also launched an online API for partners to launch other online services that doctors and clinics may use. Several pharma companies and healthcare vendors are currently building applications on the Practo API.
Practo’s founder Shashank ND said in a statement, “The idea to create Practo Ray – our online software for clinic management, came out of our understanding of the doctor’s pain in managing patient records, scheduling appointments, etc. This prompted us to initiate an easy-to-use, technology-driven service that allows efficient patient care.”
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)
source: http://www.techcircle.vccircle.com / Home> Internet / by Nandita Das / July 30th, 2012
July 30th, 2012Business & Economy
The Vijay Mallya-led United Spirits Ltd (USL), the largest spirits company in the world in terms of numbers, has initiated a total overhaul of its business structure, with a strategic shift in focus from mass selling brands to premium brands.
The focus has shifted to premium brands that would bring in a larger profit margin per case, almost 3.3 times more than the regular segment. The new approach to the business appears to be a leaf taken from the manufacturer of Royal Stag and Blender’s Pride whisky, French spirit behemoth Pernod Ricard, USL’s nearest rival.
For USL, the alarm bell rang in FY11 when Pernod Ricard, whose sales were around onefifth of USL’s, made a profit of about Rs 500 crore when the United Spirits Ltd’s profit figure hovered around Rs 400 crore.
Pernod Ricard India has led the way for the industry by generating handsome profits, from small volumes. The primary focus of Pernod’s business strategy is to focus on premium brands such as Royal Stag and Blender’s pride whiskies. The French company’s market share is less than one-fifth of USL, which controls 55% of the 250-million cases Indian spirit market.
An industry source said the French company generates profit of nearly Rs 350 per case while the USL’s average profit per case is around Rs 200 per case.
“USL’s premium brands share of the company’s overall contribution pie is at 55% today and expected to be up by another 5% by the end of this year. This is a significant increase from just 9% in 2005 and is an outcome of sustained premiumisation focus.
Specifically, we have brands cross-lined to Pernod’s brands — pricing of Signature is at par with Blender’s Pride nationally while McDowell’s No.1 Platinum is cross-lined with Royal Stag,” a senior USL official said.
It is the competitor’s success in generating larger profits from smaller volumes that had triggered off a new thought process within the top management of the USL. The focus has shifted to striking a fine balance between volume and margin.
The strategy, christened “premiumisastion”, has been changing the face of the group from one identified with its mass selling brands such as Bagpiper, the largest selling spirit brand in the world until recently, to premium brands such as Mcdowell No. 1 Reserve, Mcdowell No. 1 Platinum whisky, Mcdowell Celebration rum, Mcdowell No. 1 Caribou rum , Mcdowell No. 1, Royal Challenge, Signature Premier, Antiquity etc.
source: http://www.economictimes.indiatimes.com / The Economic Times / Home> News> News By Industry> Cons. Products / by M. Padmakshan, ET Bureau / July 30th, 2012
Selected as Strategic Global Prime Partner
Wipro Technologies, the Global Information Technology, Consulting and Outsourcing business of Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT) today announced that the company has signed a large multi-year contract with Royal Philips Electronics as their Global Prime Partner in its Transformational program, towards enabling enhanced business growth and profitability.
As a part of this strategic global engagement, Wipro will work with Philips on their transformational roadmap towards optimizing and enhancing all their business processes of Idea to Market, Market to Order and Order to Cash across a wide spectrum of technology enabling platforms that include Integration, User Interaction and Security & Authorization. Wipro will also be the System Integrator for key initiatives across these Philips’ businesses and platforms.
Jeroen Tas, Chief Information Officer, Royal Philips Electronics said, “As Philips continues to drive performance improvements across its businesses, we would like to reiterate our commitment to invest in innovation and customer intimacy that are at the heart of our transformational Program. We are pleased to bring on board a valuable and like-minded partner like Wipro to help us drive our vision of sustainable growth and profitability.”
N S Bala, Senior Vice President and Global Head – Manufacturing and High-Tech, Wipro Technologies said, “We are delighted to have been chosen as a strategic global Prime Partner by Philips in their transformational journey. Wipro will leverage its strong understanding of the business domain and capability in new and emerging technologies, to enable Philips become more agile, deliver innovative products and solutions to its customers, faster and strengthen their leadership position in the market place.”
Wipro Technologies offers strategic business and technology solutions and advises customers on Business Process Optimization & Engineering, cutting across diverse functional and engineering areas such as Supply Chain Management (SCM), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions (MES). It also enables intuitive man-to-machine interactions, provides industry insights using analytics and drives innovation across intelligent – connected devices for better customer experiences.
source: http://www.wipro.com / press release / Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
July 28th, 2012Arts, Culture & Entertainment
Three internationally known Indian women – Aishwarya Rai, Shilpa Shetty and Freida Pinto – hail from Mangalore. There’s more to the region’s beauty palette than these three glamour girls. Bollywood’s super agent Reshma Shetty is believed to be the brains behind Salman Khan’s recent success. Reshma, whose family hails from Mangalore, also manages the Chammak Challo star Kareena Kapoor.
Around the time Aishwarya became the toast of the country, a dusky, leggy lass with a coastal connection emerged: Sheetal Mallar. Her family hails from Padubidri. Sheetal was a prominent feature on international ramps. Having worked for labels like Armani and Fendi, she became the face for Maybelline Cosmetics. Even the male model contingent in India has its fair share of names from this town: India’s best-known fashion choreographer Rahul Dev Shetty and young model Roshan Isaac, to name just two.
In music, singer Shweta Shetty, Bollywood and Tollywood composer Sandeep Chowta and Kannada music director Gurukiran Shetty – all from towns around Mangalore – have had their moments of glory.
While genetics may have something to do with beauty, fashion guru Prasad Bidappa says a subtle socio-cultural evolution has seen families from the region allowing their children to break from traditional career choices. Others cite the fact that Mangaloreans are enterprising, have an appetite for risk-taking and have plenty of role models to choose from within their close-knit community.
Beautiful places produce beautiful people, says Bidappa. “I find the Mangalore-Coorg belt simply breathtaking; it is one of the most beautiful, scenic parts of Karnataka. It gives you both ends of the spectrum. In Aishwarya you have the light-eyed, classical beauty; on the other end is Freida, who is dusky and stunning. Somewhere in between is Shilpa. You have the mix right there.”
Rohit Shetty, the director and cinematographer whose works include ‘Bol Bachchan’, ‘Golmaal’ and ‘Golmaal Returns’, is the only Indian filmmaker to have three Rs 100-crore grossers to his credit.
Says actor Suniel Shetty: “I was born in Mulki and brought up in Mumbai. Bappanadu temple is where I offer prayers.” Suniel is also an entrepreneur like Mangalore-born-and-raised Manmohan Shetty, who founded and developed Adlabs Films Ltd, one of India’s largest media and entertainment firms.
Bidappa argues that talent from smaller towns blossoms when it reaches big cities. “There are a lot of girls in Mangalore who look like Aishwarya. One of the things that work for people whose parents have moved to bigger cities is that they have a broader outlook and are willing to let their children dabble with the arts. You are seeing the same scenario unfold for 20-year-old model Dayana Erappa, whose career picked up after she moved to Bangalore.”
“What helps youngsters from Mangalore as they try to make a mark in the glamour industry is that they have many role models to look up to,” says fashion designer Krishnamani Ballal, who retails under the label Krsna.
“Also, most Mangaloreans can trace their roots back to warrior races or clans. Being enterprising and adventurous is in our genes.”
Says Shilpa, who has strong ties with the city: “My father’s ancestral house is in Karkala, which is green and open. To me, Mangalore is synonymous with connecting with nature.”
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / Home> City> Mangalore / TNN / July 28th, 2012
July 26th, 2012Business & Economy
Five years after Bangalore-based MTR Foods was acquired by Norwegian foods group Orkla Brands International for about $100 million (approx Rs 430 crore then), the Indian breakfast mixes, spices and snacks maker is in no hurry to bring in Orkla’s products such as frozen pizzas and chocolates to India. In Delhi to announce the launch of meal mixes under the Rasoi Magic brand, MTR Foods CEO Sanjay Sharma told ET that the eight-decades-old firm is looking for local buys and doubling spends to compete with rivals like Britannia. Excerpts:
Orkla operates in many categories like frozen pizzas, chocolates and confectionery. But we have decided not to bring in Orkla brands into India, at least in the next few years. That’s because we believe MTR is still quite an under-leveraged brand. We need to create a lot more value for MTR first.
But other processed foods companies like Britannia and McCain are betting big on packaged processed foods…
We will invest in these categories depending on how they evolve. Take frozen foods-maybe 0.1% consumers in India buy frozen foods. The category has a long, long way to go. Compare that with spices-branded spices itself is a Rs 8,000-crore business. This is the big space for us right now. Meal mixes is another category we are bullish on. It is nascent-at about Rs 60 crore now, but we expect it to triple by 2014. Internal estimates suggest that the category can grow at a CAGR of 45% in the 2012-14 period.
Breakfast mixes-one of your core categories-has become crowded with multinationals, Indian brands and private labels. How are you coping?
We are going aggressive on advertising, for one. We’ve doubled ad spends. From a ratio of 8% to sales last year, our spends have gone up to 16% of sales.
You’ve recently forayed into packaged snacks in Bangalore. When are you scaling up the category?
We are testing ready-to-eat ethnic snacks in Karnataka. The category is still under development. Our aim is to develop ethnic snacks for specific markets. A pan-India presence in ethnic snacks could take us 5 years.
source: http://www.articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com / Home> Interview> India / by Ratna Bhushan / ET Bureau / July 25th, 2012
The plant is built using crystalline silicon photovoltaic technology, which has the longest operational experience, the release said.
A 5-MW eco-friendly solar power plant has been commissioned by Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) at Shivanasamudra near Mandya.
BHEL, which has been involved in the design, manufacture, supply, setting up and commissioning of the plant, will operate and maintain it for three years.
According to a release here on Wednesday, this is the largest solar power plant in the State and has been synchronised with the main grid. The solar power is stored as DC power, which is then converted into AC and fed into the 66 kV grid.
The plant is built using crystalline silicon photovoltaic technology, which has the longest operational experience, the release said.
source: http://www.TheHindu.com / Home> News> Cities> Bangalore / by Staff Reporter / July 26th, 2012
July 24th, 2012Arts, Culture & Entertainment
Pria Kataaria Puri is back at the Blenders Pride Bangalore Fashion Week and this time with a “young, very wearable and feminine prêt line.” The Mumbai-based designer is known for her innovative designs and this time too she insists that we won’t be disappointed. “I don’t endorse anything that I wouldn’t wear myself. So the clothes that I will be showcasing here are those that I have enjoyed wearing. In fact I am addicted to them. I came up with the designs almost a year ago and only after being satisfied with the feel and look did I decide to put together a collection,” she says. The fact that her friends started asking her to make similar clothes for them further motivated her to showcase this line, she adds. “These outfits are easy to wear and maintain and I guess that’s why I found myself wearing only these clothes for a long time. After a while my friends started referring to this line of clothing as ‘Pria dress’!”
As we get a sneak-peak into the collection we realise that the use of a new age fabric like silk lycra — that is easy to maintain and breathable — is what is making this practical line popular. “Today, life is all about making things simpler. When it comes to clothes, I hate to spend time on ironing them. I live out of a suitcase so I know how necessary it is to have manageable clothes. Clothes from this prêt line can do without ironing. You can fold them in a bundle and carry them or just throw them into a washing machine after one use, get them out and wear them without bothering about the creases.”
The fact that the clothes are something that you can wear all day comes as an added advantage. If you team it up with a simple sandal, you are good to carry it off at your work place and just by changing into heels; you can even head to a party in the same outfit. You could also throw in a belt to jazz up the outfit a bit.
This feminine, very wearable and affordable line is called Summer Love: Young, Wild, and Free. It includes jackets, tunics, maxis and dresses that carry floral geometric prints.
Can’t wait to see the collection and update your wardrobe with a couple of outfits from it? Well, Pria can’t wait to reach out to you either. “This is my second Bangalore Fashion Week outing and I am looking forward to it. I am very impressed with the way it is organised. I also feel the models here are better than the ones who participate in the Lakmé Fashion Week. I have even threatened to poach the hair and make-up artistes who are roped in for the fashion week here,” she says. The keen interest of Bangaloreans in fashion trends and their elegant sense of style is also something that draws her to the city, she adds. “While the Bangalore Fashion Week is something I look forward to, I really hope they have more buyers this time. The Indian fashion scene is equipped with creative designers. We just need to better our retailing prospects,” she ends.
source: http://www.dnaindia.com / Daily News & Analysis / Home> LifeStyle> Report / by Shruti LL/Place:Bangalore/Agency:DNA/ Monday, July 23rd, 2012
Think about delivering a baby while hearing music of your choice in labour room, soon it will be a reality in hospitals run under the Medical Education Department of Karnataka. The government on Monday announced its plan to open the Centers of Integrative Medicine (CIM) in four hospitals in Karnataka including two hospitals in Bangalore.
Announcing the project, Medical Education minister S A Ramdas said that the pilot project will be initiated in Bangalore Medical College and Research Center, Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, Hubli and a Music therapy center at Vanivilas Hospital in Bangalore and Cheluvamba hospital in Mysore
Hospitals attached to the Bangalore Medical college like Victoria General and Vani Vilas and the KIMS in Hubli will operate Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy and Homeopathy to treat the patients of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, HIV, Cancer and Infertility, said the minister.
“Karnataka is the first State in India to introduce integrative medicines in mainstream government hospitals. An expert committee including a physician, a psychiatrist and qualified practitioner of integrated medicines will train a team of 37 doctors and therapists in 4 hospitals from August 14 this year. The OPD will start from November 1, 2012,” said Ramdas.
Government will spend Rs. 1.25 crore in center every year to start the project. The decision to start alternative medicine therapies in mainstream government hospitals was taken after a five-member committee appointed by the ministry submitted a report last week.
“Yoga and music therapy have worked in reducing stress during pregnancy. Music therapy is helpful for a woman to deliver a baby naturally,” said Dr R Nagarathna, a committee member and Dean, SVYASA University.
Dr Sudha, Director, Soukya and also a committee member said: “Non communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetes can be controlled by alternative medicines. But proper diet, yoga and Ayurveda also help in controlling CT4 counts of HIV patients. The study was conducted on a group of 20 HIV+ patients and it showed improvement in their mental and physical strength.”
sourc: http://www.articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / Home> City> Bangalore / by Hetal Vyas, TNN / July 23rd, 2012
July 22nd, 2012Arts, Culture & Entertainment
Pics: Inchara Digitals
Daijiworld Media Network—Udupi (PS)
Udupi, Jul 22:
Various dishes of Tulunadu like ‘Pelatha gatti’, ‘Are padde’, ‘Thimare chutni’, ‘Aati kashaya, ‘Sarnadde’, ‘Raccha chutni’, ‘Pathrode’, ‘Gendadde’, ‘Ragimanni’, folk games, and cultural activities came alive on Thursday July 20 in Ucchila Shree Mahalaxmi Temple premises to observe ‘Aatidonji Dina’.
As many as 1,500 women of Yermal Thenka, Bada, Uchila, Mulur, Kaup, and Polipu villages under the banner of Kaup Nalkupatna Mogaveera Mahila Okkuta engaged in the commendable job of organizing Aatidonji Dina which was a day with various events.
Inaugurating the programme, G Shankar said that this event was in favour of social empowerment. “These kind of traditional programmes teach many things to the younger generation,” he said. He announced a donation of Rs 25,000 for the programme every year.
Later, prizes were distributed to the winners of various competitions. Kaup taluk panchayath member Shambhavi Kulal presided and asserted that the participation of women in social programmes is very important.
Mogaveera Mahajana Sangha president B Keshava Kunder was the chief guest. Bennekudru Shreekula Mahashtree Temple committee president Anand C Kunder was also present.
source: http://www.daijiworld.com / Karnataka / Daijiworld Media Network- Udupi (PS) / Sunday, July 22nd, 2012
July 22nd, 2012Arts, Culture & Entertainment
Daijiworld Media Network-Udupi
Udupi, Jul 21:
After the announcements of the formation of new Udupi Diocese, the first delegation to invite newly appointed Bishop of Udupi Diocese visited Shimoga Diocese Bishop’s House on Wednesday, July, 18.
The delegation headed by Convener of the Commission Fr Stany B Lobo dean of Kallianpur deanery along with Karkala, Udupi, Kundapur, and Shirva deanery delegates.
Fr Stany B Lobo dean of Kallianpur deanery, Fr John Barboza dean of Karkala deanery, Fr Anil D’Souza dean of Kundapur deanery, Fr Stany Tauro dean of Shirva deanery and Fr Joshewi Fernandes on behalf of Fr Fredrick Mascarenhas dean of Udupi deanery, met Fr Dr Gerald Isac Lobo at Bishop’s House, Shimoga
There are several formalities that need to be completed before the inauguration of the new Diocese which is supposed to be held on 21st September, 2012 at Milagres Kallianpur. During the inauguration the representative of the Pope, Salvatore Pennacchio (Apostolic Nuncio in India) along with all Bishops of Karnataka and other Bishops are expected to attend the same.
source: http://www.daijiworld.com / Karnataka / Daijiworld Media Network-Udupi / Saturday, July 21st, 2012