• Three Startups from Kerala win National Startup Awards

    Three startups from Kerala made it to the list of winners of the first edition of National Startup Awards announced today in 32 categories across 12 sectors.
     NAVA Design & Innovation and Genrobotics Innovations, which were incubated by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), were among the awardees along with God’s Own Food Solutions, also from the state.
     Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Mr Piyush Goyal declared the results at a virtual felicitation ceremony in Delhi on Tuesday evening. Conceived by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the awards are in recognition of outstanding startups and ecosystem enablers that are building innovative products or solutions.
     KSUM said the honours won by the Kerala startups proved the efficacy of the state government’s support to nascent companies showing promise. “The awards have come for their commitment to solve social issues,” KSUM Chief Executive Officer Mr Sasi P M noted. “Such recognitions will inspire more startups to toe similar lines in the future.”
     NAVA won the award in recognition of its solar-powered device for toddy extraction. Capable of improving the efficiency of toddy-tapping by 72 times, the device facilitates cutting, beating and collection of the beverage. Its use cuts the number of climbing the palm to a mere three from what is manually 270 over a three-month period. The machine has earned NAVA patent rights in 28 countries where it is being used.
     Genrobotics earned recognition for its product named Bandicoot, billed as the world’s first robotic scavenger that cleans manholes and helps stamp out manual scavenging.The 50-kg pneumatic-powered and remote-controlled robot, which was developed in 2018 by fouryoung engineering graduates, can be sent down a manhole, where it would remove sewage by spreading its arm capable of 360-degree motion. Designedwith the help of Google launch pad, Bandicoot is easy to operate, equipped as it is with auser-friendly interface.
     The 2015-founded God’s Own Food Solutions won the award in the food-processing sector for its patented green flour product named jackfruit365, which the jury noticed has “streamlined the organized market for Indian Jackfruits”. Having created clinically-proven solutions to control diabetes and reduce chemotoxicity, the product had its test results showing a significant blood-sugar reduction in 996 out of 1,000 patients during 90 days.
     The awards were in the sectors of agriculture, education, enterprise technology, energy, finance, food, health, industry 4.0, space, security, tourism and urban services. They are also meant for scalable enterprises, with high potential of employment generation or wealth creation and those demonstrating measurable social impact, the Ministry said.

    KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.

  • Kerala CM launches key projects to make investment process smooth

    Toll Free No, upgraded single-window portal and e-news letter to further enhance EoDB
    Seeking to further enhance the of Ease of Doing Business in Kerala, Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today launched a dedicated Toll Free Call service, Investment Facilitation Centre and the updated version of the single-window clearance portal to make the investment processes fast, efficient, effective and transparent. The Chief Minister, through video conference, also unveiled the e-News Letter” Investor Konnect” of the Department of Industries and Commerce, strengthening the communication channel with leaders of industry and related fields. 
    These projects, launched as part of Invest Kerala 2020 campaign, come in tandem with a series of efforts by the Government that had simplified, rationalized and fast-tracked investment rules and procedures in the last four years. The launch of the new projects fulfils the commitment made by the Chief Minister before leading industrialists at the Global Investors Meet ASCEND 2020, held in Kochi in January this year.
    ‘’The interventions and initiatives of the State Government in the last four years have transformed Kerala into an ideal investment destination. Investors themselves have acknowledged this and the efforts of the government have yielded concrete results,” the Chief Minister said on the occasion.
    “Unfortunately, Kerala had for quite some time suffered from an impression that it was not an investor-friendly state, though that was not entirely based on the objective situation. But that has changed. Now the investors enjoy total confidence in Kerala,” the Chief Minister said.
    Noting that no industrialist in the state would now complain of disruptions by workers, the Chief Minister said whatever unhealthy practices that existed in isolated pockets had been resolved by taking the Trade Unions into confidence.  If such tendencies lurk their head again, the authorities should take stern action, he added.
    Asserting that Kerala offered the best investment ambience and opportunities in a wide range of sectors, Hon’ble Industries Minister Shri E P Jayarajan, who presided over the function, said manufacturing of health and medicinal products and devices was an area that would offer great scope in the post-pandemic period.
    Noting that the recent Ease of Doing Business ranking of states by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) recently was not based on a scientific assessment, Shri Jayarajan said the state government had written to the Centre about this.
    Dr K Ellangovan IAS, Principal Secretary (Industries), said the services being launched would make the investment process in the state more expeditious and hassle-free. 
    The Toll Free number--1800 890 1030—set up by the Department of Industries will provide all information on investment related queries. Linked to a Call Centre hired for the purpose, the facility will also provide handholding support and act as a channel for investor community to access information.
    The Service of the Call Centre, to be provided in Malayalam and English, will be available from 8AM to 8PM on all working days. The Call Centre will record the called contact details and the query, in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and the status of the queries resolved/ unresolved/ forwarded to line departments will be captured. The Call Centre will share the daily, weekly and monthly report to the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC).
    The dedicated Investment Facilitation Centre set up in KSIDC will receive, track and resolve all investment related issues. A one-point centre for all investment related matters, it will serve as the back office for the Single-Window Board and the proposed Investment Bureau. It will be managed by a mix of KSIDC staff and experts outsourced. 
    The upgraded version of Kerala Single Window Interface for Fast and Transparent Clearance portal (KSWIFT 2.0) will considerably reduce the strain of physical interaction by entrepreneurs for securing licenses and clearances. 
    Launched in 2019, K-SWIFT had on-board 16 departments and agencies in the system for issuing as many as 33 licenses, clearance and permits. Since entrepreneurs have been demanding that even the renewal of licenses be made available in the K-SWIFT platform, KSIDC and NIC had worked together and revised the system to include renewal of licenses in 16 Departments. This will allow existing industrial units to register in the portal and get the renewals for the licenses and permits issued through the corresponding line departments.

    The newsletter series Investor Konnect aims at strengthening the communication with leaders in various fields, investors, foreign consulates and embassies, trade bodies and other key stakeholders. It will provide the updates on events, changes in policies, new schemes, reforms and all other relevant information.
    It will carry forewords from the Chief Minister, Industries Minister, details about Invest Kerala digital platforms, recent events, investor success stories, achievements of the Department, know your rules, message from MD’s desk. 
    Investor Konnect will be mailed to more than 2000 select entrepreneurs in the state and outside, and made available on the Official websites of KSIDC, KINFRA and Department of Industries and Commerce. 
    Shri APM Mohammed Hanish IAS (Secretary Industries), Shri M G Rajamanickam IAS (MD, KSIDC), Shri V R Premkumar IAS (Director, DIC), Shri Santhosh Koshi Thomas, MD, KINFRA, and Shri Suraj S, CEO KBIP, were present.
    Representatives of industry and trade bodies CII, FICCI and KSSIA also attended the online meet.

  • Kerala Tourism wins prestigious PATA Grand Award

    Kerala Tourism wrapped itself in glory as its internationally-acclaimed ‘Human by Nature’ campaign today bagged the prestigious PATA Grand Award 2020 for Marketing, giving a huge stimulus to tourism industry in the state that is grappling with the adverse aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The icing on the cake for Kerala Tourism is that it has bagged one of the three PATA Grand Awards, which were announced live during a virtual presentation ceremony in Beijing.

    The distant event was attended by Tourism Minister Shri Kadakampally Surendran, Tourism Secretary Mrs. Rani George; Tourism Director Mr P. Bala Kiran; PATA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mario Hardy; and Macao Government Tourism Office (MGT) Director Ms Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes.

    It was for the first time that this year’s PATA Gold Awards, supported and sponsored by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), were announced virtual since its inception in 1995. This year’s awards recognised the achievements of three Grand title winners and 21 Gold Awards.

    Expressing happiness over winning the top award, Shri Surendran said ‘Human by Nature’ was a brilliant marketing strategy to revive tourism that had suffered a severe knocking in the wake of the 2018 floods and the outbreak of the Nipah virus. 

    The idea of a new campaign showcasing the culture and daily life of the people of Kerala put forth by Kerala Tourism was conceptualized and scripted by Stark Communications.

    The campaign which was carried out in national and international channels, newspapers,  magazines, portals and airport displays in key cities helped in achieving Kerala’s record growth rate of 17.2 per cent in 2019, the highest growth rate in tourism arrivals in 24 years.

    “I believe the latest award would provide a huge stimulus to the state’s ongoing efforts to rev up our tourism sector through innovative means as it is the mainstay of Kerala’s economy and contributes around 10 per cent of the state’s GDP. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to reboot the travel sector with focus on domestic tourism and safety at every point of destination,” the minister noted. 

    Smt. Rani George said: “The PATA Grand Award is a huge affirmation of the creative brilliance of our marketing campaigns and it shows that the Human by Nature campaign has struck the right note with global travellers.''

    “Right now we are in the process of supporting the tourism sector with revival package schemes. Our efforts are also geared towards putting in place SOPs for the tourism stakeholders and be a responsible tourism destination, thereby giving the tourists confidence to visit the State,” she added.

    Tourism Director Shri P Bala Kiran said, “We are trying to rejuvenate our tourism sector by innovative business models that would create reassurance for travellers and ensure a responsible and sustainable tourism industry. We need to win the trust of travellers. That is going to be the cardinal driving force for tourism industry in the state.”

    The PATA Gold Awards 2020 attracted 121 entries from 62 organisations and individuals worldwide. The winners were selected by an independent judging committee of 16 personalities from various destinations.

    Overall, PATA 2020 presented 21 Gold Awards and three Grand Title Winners for best of show entries in the categories of Marketing, Sustainability and Human Capital Development. This year, PATA enhanced the Gold Awards by introducing several new categories in order to reinforce its position as an innovative and prestigious award for the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry. New categories included Climate Change Initiative, Tourism for All, and Youth Empowerment Initiative. 

  • KSUM-funded startup Inntot bags ASSOCHAM award

    Kochi-based Inntot Technologies, backed by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) through its Fund of Fund programme, has bagged a major honour at the ICT Startups Awards 2020, for its outstanding work in the field of digital broadcast receivers through innovation. 

    The annual event, into its fourth edition, was conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in association with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (IT), Government of India, and Ericsson.

    Inntot Technologies provides high quality and very cost-effective digital radio receiver solutions based on the concept of software-defined radio with its own patented improvisations. The startup’s solution runs on ARM processors, sharply reducing the Bill of Materials (BoM) and product costs.

    Three other startups were also awarded at the virtual award ceremony, attended by Hon'ble Minister of State, Ministry Education, Communications and Electronics and IT, Mr Sanjay Dhotre; former Union Minister Mr Suresh Prabhu, who is India's Sherpa to G7 and G20; and Ms. Monica Magnusson, VP, Ericsson. The function was held on the sidelines of Smartech India 2020 event in New Delhi. 

    Inntot Technologies was started in February 2014 by Mr Rajith Nair and Mr Prasanth Thankappan with the aim of providing cost-effective and high-quality digital media receiver solutions across globe.

    KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.

  • KSUM- organised She Loves Tech In dia competition goes virtual; Startups can apply till Oct 3

    Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) is organising a virtual competition in association with She Loves Tech to create a pan-India network for entrepreneurs, firms and investors to promote technology for women and women in technology.
    The competition aims at boosting businesses led by women and any entrepreneur with  a technology that is dedicated to improve the lives of women globally.
    KSUM has invited applications from startups at http://www.startupmission.in/shelovestech  for She Loves Tech India 2020 preliminary round – The National Grand Challenge-- scheduled to be held on October 31. October 3 is the last date for submitting applications. Ten best startups from the applicants will pitch virtually on The National Grand Challenge and the winner will get the opportunity to pitch in the global finals.
    Preceding the preliminaries will be a Mentorship round on October 26 and an Investor Café for two days subsequently.
    The mentorship round will be for the top 30 startups from the applications received, which will help them prepare pitch decks and polish them to be prepared for the  National Grand Challenge.
    The October 28 Investor Café is organised by KSUM, which will be a one to one virtual meet with the Investor and startups who are looking for financial support to take their business to the next level. The 30 startups shortlisted for the mentoring round will participate for the Investor Café.
     Amongst the 30, 10 startups will get a chance to compete in the National Grant Challenge and the winner (One Startup) can attend a boot camp and get access to the International Conference, all virtual. There, the startup will get five minutes to pitch on stage and another three minutes for Q&A

  • Kerala startup BestDoc raises $2.1M to digitize healthcare sector

    A healthtech startup, supported by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), has raised $2.1 million from two major venture capital firms, including a US-based investor behind Facebook and Flipkart, giving an impetus to efforts to digitize healthcare sector.
    BestDoc, a fast-growing healthtech SaaS (Software as a Service) startup, raised about Rs 16 crore from US-based Accel and Bengaluru-based Arkam Ventures in their Pre-Series A round. The firm’s existing investor SEA Fund from Bengaluru also participated. 
    BestDoc is an Intelligent Patient Relationship Management (PRM) system for hospitals and other healthcare providers in India. 
    Founded by Mr Afsal Salu, Mr Fayaz Bin Abdu and Ms Soudabi Neduvanchery in 2016, BestDoc started off as a marketplace for doctor appointments for tier2 and smaller towns. Later, they embraced a B2B model, realizing the potential of digital adoption in healthcare system.  
    Since 2018, it has partnered with 120 healthcare providers in the country, including Apollo Hospitals, Bangalore; Dr. LH Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai; Baby Memorial Hospital, Kozhikode; Aster Group and KIMS Global Group. 
    “The company has built a slew of products, which help hospitals save staffing costs and improve operational efficiency while keeping a patient-centric approach to care delivery.In the Covid-19 scenario, BestDoc has scaled up its telemedicine and contactless solutions across several states as healthcare digitization is happening at an unprecedented pace,” said Mr Salu.
    “Kerala startups have been successful in raising fund even during the times of Covid-19. It shows the quality of startups emerging from Kerala and the confidence of investors in them. Startups have raised around Rs 350 crore equity investment in this pandemic situation,” said Mr Sasi PM, CEO, KSUM. 

    BestDoc, which has raised $2.5 million so far including a seed round from angel investors, plans to use the funds to expand across India and develop products for improving the in-patient admission and hospitalization experience.

    KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.

  • KSUM-fostered startup launches edu platform

    Technology startup Embright Infotech, mentored by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), has launched a one-stop platform for all learning and teaching solutions that aims at delivering valuable education contents by teachers to enhance skills of students.

    "Eduoskus XR", a social community and academic management application, focuses on moulding students and making them capable of being job seekers as well as job providers from the age of 14. The platform helps to develop and deliver engaging classes using augmented reality (AR) for better interaction.
    The virtual launch of "Eduoskus XR"was held in the presence of Dr Sabu Thomas, Vice Chancellor, MG University; Dr Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM; and Mr Sathyanarayanan AR, CEO and Co-Founder, Embright Infotech. 
    Some of the benefits of Eduoskus XR include use AR for teaching even while live streaming, easy attendance management and assignment submission and review.
    KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.

  • UST GlobalCEO Krishna Sudheendra named by Glassdooramong Highest RatedChief Executive Officers During the COVID-19 Times

    Survey highlights Chief ExecutiveOfficers who have stepped up to the plate to ensure the well-being and success of their employees amid the pandemic
    UST Global, a leading digital transformation solutions company,is proud to announce that CEO Krishna Sudheendra has been named to the list of the 25 highest-rated CEOs during the COVID-19 crisis by Glassdoor. The employee reviews website Glassdoorreleased the ranking, which used feedback from employee reviews between March and July 2020.

    To create the list, Glassdoor looked at the quality of employee reviews, CEO approval ratings, and how employees talked about their leadership during the pandemic.Krishna Sudheendra, one of 8 tech CEOs featured, received a leadership score of 86% and ranked 18thaccording to the survey. 

    Glassdoorevaluated employee reviews specifically related to how a leader prioritizes work-life balance, taking care of employees' overall well-being, offering flexible and remote working policies, establishing strong health benefits and maintaining frequent, clear communication.

    “I am truly humbled to be among this prestigious list of leaders who are working their bestto navigate the pandemic crisis,” said Krishna Sudheendra, Chief Executive Officer, UST Global. “At UST Global, our focus remains on our people – the ‘USsociates’ who make the company we are proud to be.I am only a representative of them,and this is a true testament to several unsung heroes who live our values every day and are committed to the purpose beyond self.  They have worked tirelessly during this pandemic, went beyond the call of duty to take care of our people, our customers, and our community.  As we work through these current challenges and look ahead post-COVID, we will continue transparent communication, listening to individual needs, and prioritizing thehealth and safety of employees while ensuring the success of ourclients and their customers.” 

    UST Global is also the recipient of the Glassdoor Employees' Choice Award, recognizing the company as one of the  Glassdoor Top 100 Best Places to Work in 2020.

    “We are honored that Krishna has been recognized by Glassdoor and our employees for his outstanding leadership within a year of his role of CEO, working through one of the most difficult times for businesses,” added Paras Chandaria, Executive Chairman, UST Global,“We know this crisis is going to fundamentally change the future of business operations and work. We stand behind Krishna, his leadership and dedication to our people who are working with our clients to transform their enterprises, so we can all come out of this even stronger and more agile.”

    Krishna Sudheendra was named CEO of the company in May 2019. With more than 26+ years leading high-growth organizations, Krishna is responsible for growing the business at scale and creating shareholder value for the company. Prior to his appointment as CEO, Krishna served as the President and CFO, handling customer, market expansion, and finance. During his 16 years career at UST Global, he oversaw several transformative deals, mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. Krishna holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Bangalore University. He is a certified public accountant and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

  • STARLUX Airlines Deploys IBS Software’s iCargo Platform to Manage All Cargo Business Functions from Launch

    STARLUX Airlines, Taiwan’s newest luxury carrier, has deployed IBS Software’s iCargo platform to manage business and operational functions for its entire cargo business. The iCargo management platform was implemented ahead of STARLUX Airlines’ launch in January 2020, which saw maiden flights to Macau, Penang and Da Nang with three A321neo aircraft. Although Covid-19 has significantly impacted flights, STARLUX’s cargo operations have been ramping up quickly during this difficult time.  

    After a rigorous evaluation process, STARLUX Airlines chose IBS Software’s iCargo SaaS-based cargo platform to provide a single, unified platform for all critical functions. iCargo now manages all aspects of STARLUX’s cargo business, including sales, airline operations, US customs, mail, Unit Load Device, cashiering, claims, cargo and mail revenue accounting, portal services, data warehousing and business intelligence modules. 

    “We chose the industry-leading iCargo management platform to achieve our goal of providing the best and seamless cargo service to our customers,” said Glenn Chai, CEO, STARLUX Airlines. “So far, iCargo has proved itself to be well worth the investment. It is an advanced digital solution featuring advanced and user-friendly functions. STARLUX is very glad to have made the right choice.” 

    “We were proud to have been selected as a launch partner for STARLUX Airlines, our first iCargo customer in Taiwan. As a startup airline, STARLUX had strict timelines for implementation and regulatory requirements, and extremely high expectations for the technology and its support of their business model. In IBS Software they found a partner with deep expertise, total commitment to driving business value, and a strong delivery track record. We’re thrilled to welcome STARLUX to the iCargo family and to continue our partnership as the airline continues to thrive,” said Ashok Rajan, Head of Cargo & Logistics Solutions, IBS Software.

    STARLUX plans to expand its network with additional A321neo aircraft scheduled for delivery, plus wide-body A350 XWB aircraft. iCargo is fully enabled to support this future growth and continue to empower STARLUX to deliver on its brand promise to customers. 

    Over the last 24 months demand for iCargo has gained significant momentum around the world, with 18 implementations going live over this period – including eight new customers.

  • The Indian travel trade is coming back in full force at ReCONNECT, the virtual travel show

    The virtual B2B travel trade exhibition is the best online gateway to India’s travel markets 
    As the travel and tourism industry gears up to restart operations globally, Fairfest Media, organisers of India’s leading travel tradeshows TTF, OTM & BLTM, have launched ReCONNECT 2020, a virtual B2B travel trade exhibition that will take place on the 18th of September.ReCONNECT is the most awaited opportunity for the global travel community to rekindle relations with the Indian travel trade and buyers, and reboot their businesses. The virtual event will bring together over 3000+ travel industry professionals in a cutting- edge digital platform for networking in the post-pandemic world.

    Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority and Kenya Tourism Board have joined the event as Premium Partner Countries. Singapore Tourism Board has come onboard as the Feature Country. Frankfurt Tourism, Visit Brussels and Zagreb Tourist Board will also be present as Feature Destinations for the first time. Spain Tourism is the Official Partner of ReCONNECT.

    International destinations like Azerbaijan, Belgium, Croatia, Ethiopia, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Singapore, Thailand, Zimbabwe and many others will be represented at the event. While helloGTXis the event’s Travel Technology Partner, OneAboveis its DMC Partner. 

    Amongst Indian destinations, Gujarat Tourism will be present as the Premium Partner State and many others are expected to join. ReCONNECT is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India, which is also setting up a virtual booth.

    ReCONNECT’s stunning virtual platform allows ease of doing business where destinations can e-meet with their buyers and media to rebuild confidence and re-energise travel. Using the AI-powered Smart Matchmaking tool, sellers can connect with the most relevant buyers for digital networking. Virtual brand promotion, video conferencing and screen sharing are all a part of ReCONNECT. Over 2,000 buyers have registered for the virtual event. 

    That’s not all. The event’s Conference Programme is bringing together the best minds of travel & tourism experts from India, Asia and beyond for exclusive knowledge sessions. Leaders from Lonely Planet India, SAP Concur, Travelstop, Thomas Cook have already confirmed. Others are expected to join soon. 

    ReCONNECT has the esteemed support of TAAI, OTOAI, FAITH, ADTOI, MTOA, IATTE, Skal International, GTAA, TOSG, TAAN, VTA, ATAA, TAAS, TAG, TTAUP, HHTDN, EHTTOA, SIGTOA, TTAA and others. 

    The virtual event is all set to provide the long-awaited restart to the Indian travel trade community and their global partners. Visit the website by clicking here to learn more about ReCONNECT, brought to you by OTM, BLTM and TTF

Kerala CM launches key projects to make investment process smooth

Toll Free No, upgraded single-window portal and e-news letter to further enhance EoDB
Seeking to further enhance the of Ease of Doing Business in Kerala, Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today launched a dedicated Toll Free Call service, Investment Facilitation Centre and the updated version of the single-window clearance portal to make the investment processes fast, efficient, effective and transparent. The Chief Minister, through video conference, also unveiled the e-News Letter” Investor Konnect” of the Department of Industries and Commerce, strengthening the communication channel with leaders of industry and related fields. 
These projects, launched as part of Invest Kerala 2020 campaign, come in tandem with a series of efforts by the Government that had simplified, rationalized and fast-tracked investment rules and procedures in the last four years. The launch of the new projects fulfils the commitment made by the Chief Minister before leading industrialists at the Global Investors Meet ASCEND 2020, held in Kochi in January this year.
‘’The interventions and initiatives of the State Government in the last four years have transformed Kerala into an ideal investment destination. Investors themselves have acknowledged this and the efforts of the government have yielded concrete results,” the Chief Minister said on the occasion.
“Unfortunately, Kerala had for quite some time suffered from an impression that it was not an investor-friendly state, though that was not entirely based on the objective situation. But that has changed. Now the investors enjoy total confidence in Kerala,” the Chief Minister said.
Noting that no industrialist in the state would now complain of disruptions by workers, the Chief Minister said whatever unhealthy practices that existed in isolated pockets had been resolved by taking the Trade Unions into confidence.  If such tendencies lurk their head again, the authorities should take stern action, he added.
Asserting that Kerala offered the best investment ambience and opportunities in a wide range of sectors, Hon’ble Industries Minister Shri E P Jayarajan, who presided over the function, said manufacturing of health and medicinal products and devices was an area that would offer great scope in the post-pandemic period.
Noting that the recent Ease of Doing Business ranking of states by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) recently was not based on a scientific assessment, Shri Jayarajan said the state government had written to the Centre about this.
Dr K Ellangovan IAS, Principal Secretary (Industries), said the services being launched would make the investment process in the state more expeditious and hassle-free. 
The Toll Free number--1800 890 1030—set up by the Department of Industries will provide all information on investment related queries. Linked to a Call Centre hired for the purpose, the facility will also provide handholding support and act as a channel for investor community to access information.
The Service of the Call Centre, to be provided in Malayalam and English, will be available from 8AM to 8PM on all working days. The Call Centre will record the called contact details and the query, in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and the status of the queries resolved/ unresolved/ forwarded to line departments will be captured. The Call Centre will share the daily, weekly and monthly report to the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC).
The dedicated Investment Facilitation Centre set up in KSIDC will receive, track and resolve all investment related issues. A one-point centre for all investment related matters, it will serve as the back office for the Single-Window Board and the proposed Investment Bureau. It will be managed by a mix of KSIDC staff and experts outsourced. 
The upgraded version of Kerala Single Window Interface for Fast and Transparent Clearance portal (KSWIFT 2.0) will considerably reduce the strain of physical interaction by entrepreneurs for securing licenses and clearances. 
Launched in 2019, K-SWIFT had on-board 16 departments and agencies in the system for issuing as many as 33 licenses, clearance and permits. Since entrepreneurs have been demanding that even the renewal of licenses be made available in the K-SWIFT platform, KSIDC and NIC had worked together and revised the system to include renewal of licenses in 16 Departments. This will allow existing industrial units to register in the portal and get the renewals for the licenses and permits issued through the corresponding line departments.

The newsletter series Investor Konnect aims at strengthening the communication with leaders in various fields, investors, foreign consulates and embassies, trade bodies and other key stakeholders. It will provide the updates on events, changes in policies, new schemes, reforms and all other relevant information.
It will carry forewords from the Chief Minister, Industries Minister, details about Invest Kerala digital platforms, recent events, investor success stories, achievements of the Department, know your rules, message from MD’s desk. 
Investor Konnect will be mailed to more than 2000 select entrepreneurs in the state and outside, and made available on the Official websites of KSIDC, KINFRA and Department of Industries and Commerce. 
Shri APM Mohammed Hanish IAS (Secretary Industries), Shri M G Rajamanickam IAS (MD, KSIDC), Shri V R Premkumar IAS (Director, DIC), Shri Santhosh Koshi Thomas, MD, KINFRA, and Shri Suraj S, CEO KBIP, were present.
Representatives of industry and trade bodies CII, FICCI and KSSIA also attended the online meet.

0

Kerala Tourism wins prestigious PATA Grand Award

Kerala Tourism wrapped itself in glory as its internationally-acclaimed ‘Human by Nature’ campaign today bagged the prestigious PATA Grand Award 2020 for Marketing, giving a huge stimulus to tourism industry in the state that is grappling with the adverse aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The icing on the cake for Kerala Tourism is that it has bagged one of the three PATA Grand Awards, which were announced live during a virtual presentation ceremony in Beijing.

The distant event was attended by Tourism Minister Shri Kadakampally Surendran, Tourism Secretary Mrs. Rani George; Tourism Director Mr P. Bala Kiran; PATA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mario Hardy; and Macao Government Tourism Office (MGT) Director Ms Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes.

It was for the first time that this year’s PATA Gold Awards, supported and sponsored by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), were announced virtual since its inception in 1995. This year’s awards recognised the achievements of three Grand title winners and 21 Gold Awards.

Expressing happiness over winning the top award, Shri Surendran said ‘Human by Nature’ was a brilliant marketing strategy to revive tourism that had suffered a severe knocking in the wake of the 2018 floods and the outbreak of the Nipah virus. 

The idea of a new campaign showcasing the culture and daily life of the people of Kerala put forth by Kerala Tourism was conceptualized and scripted by Stark Communications.

The campaign which was carried out in national and international channels, newspapers,  magazines, portals and airport displays in key cities helped in achieving Kerala’s record growth rate of 17.2 per cent in 2019, the highest growth rate in tourism arrivals in 24 years.

“I believe the latest award would provide a huge stimulus to the state’s ongoing efforts to rev up our tourism sector through innovative means as it is the mainstay of Kerala’s economy and contributes around 10 per cent of the state’s GDP. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to reboot the travel sector with focus on domestic tourism and safety at every point of destination,” the minister noted. 

Smt. Rani George said: “The PATA Grand Award is a huge affirmation of the creative brilliance of our marketing campaigns and it shows that the Human by Nature campaign has struck the right note with global travellers.''

“Right now we are in the process of supporting the tourism sector with revival package schemes. Our efforts are also geared towards putting in place SOPs for the tourism stakeholders and be a responsible tourism destination, thereby giving the tourists confidence to visit the State,” she added.

Tourism Director Shri P Bala Kiran said, “We are trying to rejuvenate our tourism sector by innovative business models that would create reassurance for travellers and ensure a responsible and sustainable tourism industry. We need to win the trust of travellers. That is going to be the cardinal driving force for tourism industry in the state.”

The PATA Gold Awards 2020 attracted 121 entries from 62 organisations and individuals worldwide. The winners were selected by an independent judging committee of 16 personalities from various destinations.

Overall, PATA 2020 presented 21 Gold Awards and three Grand Title Winners for best of show entries in the categories of Marketing, Sustainability and Human Capital Development. This year, PATA enhanced the Gold Awards by introducing several new categories in order to reinforce its position as an innovative and prestigious award for the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry. New categories included Climate Change Initiative, Tourism for All, and Youth Empowerment Initiative. 

0

KSUM-funded startup Inntot bags ASSOCHAM award

Kochi-based Inntot Technologies, backed by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) through its Fund of Fund programme, has bagged a major honour at the ICT Startups Awards 2020, for its outstanding work in the field of digital broadcast receivers through innovation. 

The annual event, into its fourth edition, was conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in association with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (IT), Government of India, and Ericsson.

Inntot Technologies provides high quality and very cost-effective digital radio receiver solutions based on the concept of software-defined radio with its own patented improvisations. The startup’s solution runs on ARM processors, sharply reducing the Bill of Materials (BoM) and product costs.

Three other startups were also awarded at the virtual award ceremony, attended by Hon'ble Minister of State, Ministry Education, Communications and Electronics and IT, Mr Sanjay Dhotre; former Union Minister Mr Suresh Prabhu, who is India's Sherpa to G7 and G20; and Ms. Monica Magnusson, VP, Ericsson. The function was held on the sidelines of Smartech India 2020 event in New Delhi. 

Inntot Technologies was started in February 2014 by Mr Rajith Nair and Mr Prasanth Thankappan with the aim of providing cost-effective and high-quality digital media receiver solutions across globe.

KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.

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KSUM- organised She Loves Tech In dia competition goes virtual; Startups can apply till Oct 3

Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) is organising a virtual competition in association with She Loves Tech to create a pan-India network for entrepreneurs, firms and investors to promote technology for women and women in technology.
The competition aims at boosting businesses led by women and any entrepreneur with  a technology that is dedicated to improve the lives of women globally.
KSUM has invited applications from startups at http://www.startupmission.in/shelovestech  for She Loves Tech India 2020 preliminary round – The National Grand Challenge-- scheduled to be held on October 31. October 3 is the last date for submitting applications. Ten best startups from the applicants will pitch virtually on The National Grand Challenge and the winner will get the opportunity to pitch in the global finals.
Preceding the preliminaries will be a Mentorship round on October 26 and an Investor Café for two days subsequently.
The mentorship round will be for the top 30 startups from the applications received, which will help them prepare pitch decks and polish them to be prepared for the  National Grand Challenge.
The October 28 Investor Café is organised by KSUM, which will be a one to one virtual meet with the Investor and startups who are looking for financial support to take their business to the next level. The 30 startups shortlisted for the mentoring round will participate for the Investor Café.
 Amongst the 30, 10 startups will get a chance to compete in the National Grant Challenge and the winner (One Startup) can attend a boot camp and get access to the International Conference, all virtual. There, the startup will get five minutes to pitch on stage and another three minutes for Q&A

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