Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Kerala Tourism bags 2 Prestigious Golden City Gate Awards at ITB Berlin

Kerala Tourism has bagged two prestigious Golden City Gate Awards at the world’s leading travel trade show ITB Berlin. Kerala Tourism was chosen for the awards for its Biennale campaign ‘Live Inspired’ and also the posters designed as part of the ‘Live Inspired’ campaign.

The awards were presented to Sri. KadakampallySurendran, Minister for Tourism, Cooperation and Dewaswoms, Government of Kerala, and Sri. P Bala Kiran IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism at the Kerala Tourism stall at ITB Berlin by Sri Wolfgang Jo Huschert, President of The Golden City Gate.

The ‘Live Inspired’ multimedia campaign showcased the cultural, artistic and human experience in Kerala. The campaign film was conceived and scripted by Stark Communications and directed by cinematographer Sameer Thahir.

Kerala Tourism had 15 co-exhibitors for this year’s ITB Berlin. As many as 157 films from 37 countries competed with each other for the awards. A 45-member jury scrutinised and rated the films and print advertisements in 15 categories. The Diamond Award for the Best Film out of all First Star Awards, was bagged by Catalunya/Spain for its “The Route of Fate”.

This is the 18th time that the Golden City Gate Awards were held at the ITB Berlin. Since inception in 2001, the Golden City Gate has been positioned as the creative and innovative expression of the tourism industry and has been taking its place within ITB Berlin as aninternational film and multi-media competition.

The competition presents films of various categories in the ITB Cinema. Thethree top submissions in each category are awarded with City Gates in Gold, Silver and Bronze. The coveted Diamond Award of the media competition is awarded for the best contributions from all categories every year. The categories include City Tourism, Region, Hotel, Economy, Event, Travel magazines and documentaries, Commercials, Music, Print campaigns, online webinars, online websites, Newmethods and techniques for innovative solutions, and the like


Media Streams -New Media and PR solution venture launched

An innovative media relations and PR solution venture by name Media Streams was inaugurated in a programme at Hotel Apollo Dimora, Trivandrum by Sri.T.P.Sreenivasan IFS (Retd.), Former Ambassador of India and Governor for India of the IAEA. Sri.Shanker Ramakrishnan, Film maker and actor and a lot of other dignitaries attended the programme.


Media Streams is a professional group in the field of media tracking and intelligence, media relations, public relations, content development, communication etc. The venture caters to the needs of individuals as well as organisations. Media tracking is a facility extended for high profile persons, public figures, political leaders, business magnates etc. by periodically providing them on a platter with all the information about them or having a bearing on them which appeared on the print and electronic media. Media Streams also keeps track of the online reputation of organizations, product or service and helps them stay one step ahead by following the latest industry happenings which could directly or indirectly impact an organization’s decisions. Apart from facilitating extensive media coverage for press releases, they also organize press meets on an end to end basis. The venture provides content for a wide variety of areas including articles on chosen subjects, speeches for all occasions, websites, brochures and marketing materials, catchy captions and slogans for advertisements, content for debates, seminars, workshops etc. They also organise seminars, workshops etc. and provide corporate communication services,training materials, presentations etc.for firms and companies.


Sri.T.P.Sreenivasan highlighted the changing face of the world on account of the giant leaps in digital technology and the proliferation of knowledge and the role Media Streams can play in the emerging scenario. Sri.Shanker Ramakrishnan underlined the relevance of digital technology in making great things happen in the world with special reference to the film world.


Asia's largest startup conclave Huddle Kerala to begin on April 6

Asia’s largest startup ecosystem congregation, Huddle Kerala, will be held at The Leela Beach Resort,  Kovalam here  on April 6 and 7, providing a platform for start-ups to pitch in their products and interact with a wide array of  technology  and industry leaders from around the world.

Chief Minister Shri. Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the conclave, being organised by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in association with Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IAMAI Startup Foundation.

The guests to the conclave at the renowned beach resort in the Kerala capital include Sharjah Digital Transformation Higher Committee Chairman Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi and Prince Constantijn of Netherlands.

There will be a beach-side huddle meant for discussions and night stalls as part of the conclave. This is going to be one of the best networking startup events in the country.

For registration, visit Registration will be closing on by April 3.

 KSUM chief executive officer (CEO) Dr. Saji Gopinath said that the first-of-its-kind global event in the state will ensure maximum connect with technology experts and leaders from countries in Asia and Europe, apart from providing opportunities for close interactive sessions between the participants.

 “The conference would be to pitch in a platform for upcoming startups to showcase their product and business model in front of the entrepreneurs and industry stalwarts”, he added.

Startups, investors, academicians and industry leaders will attend the event, which is expected to have the participation of 2,000 members with 40 speakers in 30 sessions.

 Huddle Kerala will primarily focus on the emerging sectors like blockchain, cryptocurrency, internet of things (IoT), gaming and e-sports, cybersecurity, digital entertainment, augmented reality, virtual reality, e-governance and mobile governance among other latest technologies.

The conference features two days full of stage programmes, in addition to several side events, talks at networking sessions, roundtable discussions and facilitated workshops.

The speakers’ line-up includes successful founders, serial entrepreneurs and investors.

The philosophy behind Huddle Kerala is to help the next generation  world-conquering companies move forward.  At the very core of the event is to facilitate founder and investor meetings and build up a huge start-up community.

The Huddle 100 Competition will kick off on the first day with 100 companies pitching in the first round. The next day 10 best companies will continue pitching and they will be mentored by the top-notch industry leaders and coaches. Out of these, semi-finalists are chosen, further narrowing down to finalist.

Start-ups will have the opportunity to showcase their products at designated start-up Zone (demo booth) at the venue.

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

World’s leading location-based marketing specialist Posterscope and mobile app builder Zoho Corporation are the sponsors of the event.


Trip of a Lifetime for Bloggers; a Unique Marketing Success for Kerala Tourism

Traveling across Kerala and imbibing the spirit of all that God’s Own Country offered, thirty bloggers from across the world concluded their jaunt undertaken as part of the much spoken about Kerala Blog Express in Kochi today.

The Kerala Blog Express, which came to a close today, provided an experience like never before for the bloggers, who would now post their experiences of the state on social media space for holidayers looking forward to a trip to Kerala.  With the conclusion of the Fifth Edition of Kerala Blog Express in Kochi, Kerala’s Tourism sponsored ‘Trip of a Lifetime’ has achieved all that was intended for this unique mode of destination marketing.

The Kerala Blog Express which set off on a two-week-long journey after being flagged off by Sri Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Cooperation and Devaswoms, the team went around the state capital and witnessed history etched in places like the famed Kuthiramalika palace and the Padmanabhaswamy temple.  After spending time at the globally renowned beach destination of Kovalam, they continued their journey towards Alappuzha where they experienced the backwaters with a stay in houseboats. A trip around the model Responsible Tourism villages in and around Kumarakom proved to be an experience of a lifetime for the bloggers who took a keen interest in getting to know more about Kerala’s successful implementation of its responsible tourism initiatives that had local community friendly as well as nature-friendly tourism measures at its center.

Moving ahead from Alappuzha, the Kerala Blog Express had a brief halt at Kochi, where the bloggers indulged themselves in the experience of a Muziris Heritage site visit, traveling to Paliyam Palace, and the Chendamangalam Synagogue. The bloggers also had a riveting experience by opting for a country boat ride in Kochi’s backwaters.

Traveling further north, the bloggers set foot in Munnar, the picturesque hill station that is considered the pride of Kerala. In Munnar, they were treated to a variety of cultural events and visits to the tea estates and tea factory there. From Munnar, the Kerala Blog Express chugged on to Kerala’s cultural capital Thrissur and had their fill of the experience that the Chathakudam Temple Pooram offered to them.

Traveling further to Kozhikode, the bloggers had the chance to partake of the experience that the martial arts offered at the famed C V N Kalari. They explored Kozhikode’s sweetmeat lane (Mithayi Theruvu) in local autorickshaws. They were also entertained by the wall paintings organized by ‘Compassionate Kozhikode’, after which they visited the Beypore Shipyard before settling down for lunch after a hectic noon.

A visit to the Ezhuthupara and a ‎rappeling adventure made the Kerala Blog Express’s Wayanad jaunt meaningful, after which they traveled to Kannur and indulged themselves in a kayaking session at Dharmadom. A visit to the Muzhipilangad beach and a session of quad biking was completed before walking into the St Angelo’s Fort in Kannur.

Further north, the arrival in Kasaragod opened before the bloggers a boat ride across Valiyaparamba backwaters. The Kasargod leg of the trip was complete with a Muthappan temple theyyam recital, and sightseeing at Bekal Fort and its surrounding areas.

The 30 bloggers took a train to Kochi as they reached the final leg of the two-week-long trip. After meeting with the press on March 31, they continued with their sightseeing itinerary in Fort Kochi and Mattancherry on April 1, the last day of the tour. A farewell meal was arranged for the bloggers at the Marari Beach, after which they would take off to their respective homelands on April 2.

The 30 bloggers from countries such as the US, the UK, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Romania, Venezuela and Peru had embarked on the two-week long journey across the state, which provided them with much fodder to document their experiences in Kerala so that the travelers who look forward to travelling to the state could benefit from.

Throughout the two-week-long trip, multiple Live Videos and pictures were shared to a wide audience on a day-to-day basis via Kerala Tourism’s Facebook page, which has garnered 15 lakh followers so far. Bloggers also shared snippets of their everyday experiences in Kerala through their social media handles such as Instagram and Twitter, thus reaching millions of their followers from every corner of the world over the course of their journey. The fourth edition of Blog Express, last year, was able to generate around 400 blogs and similar social media content, the results of which can be seen in the sizeable increase in tourist arrivals to the State in 2017.

For Kerala Tourism, the fifth edition of Kerala Blog Express provided much scope in its efforts at destination marketing. The blogs and documentaries uploaded by the bloggers are expected to take Kerala’s fame beyond all that has been achieved hitherto in terms of tourism marketing


Huddle Kerala: Investors see Kerala as a fertile market for startup investments

The two-day ‘Huddle Kerala’, a leading brainstorming event for startups, innovators and technology companies in Asia, wound up at Kovalam here today with investors showing robust faith in Kerala’s technological advancements and promising to invest in its fledgeling enterprises besides offering mentorships.

Twelve investors, 40 startups from outside Kerala and 120 mentors participated in the inaugural edition of the conclave, organized by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in association with Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IAMAI Startup Foundation. The event also attracted some High Network Individuals (HNIs) who showed their keenness to tap the potential of Kerala’s startup ecosystem.

Mr Anil Joshi, Founder and Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures, one of the prime investors in Kerala Startups, said they have already invested in four companies and would be investing in two more startups ‘very soon’.

 “I can’t say much about it but we will be investing in two more companies soon,” he added.

Pointing out that their association with Kerala startup ecosystem is getting deeper with every passing day, he said, “We started with one company and today we have four companies.”

Mr Manoj Kumar Agarwal, CEO and Co-founder, Sea Fund, said his company would also be investing in the Kerala-based startups. “One of our prime focus areas is Kerala market and we are so excited by the kind of work going on in here, especially in the field of technology. What is important for Kerala is to move outside and get into new markets. That’s where we have decided to help them. When it comes to investment, local investments have to happen. We will help them in this regard too. Money is one part of it. But our main focus is to help them by way of mentoring and coaching,” he said.

Mr Agarwal said his company would be investing in the sectors like healthcare, real estate, operation automation, and robotics.

Ms Dianne Dain, Head, United Nations Technology Innovation Lab (UNTIL) who was the chief guest at the valedictory session, said the organization is planning to collaborate with the Kerala government and KSUM for resolving various issues.

Kerala IT Secretary Shri M Sivasankar said the government had envisaged a larger event next year with the participation of more number of startups, experts and other stakeholders.

Mr Jithendra Singh Minhas, CEO of Internet and Mobile Association of India Startup Foundation, Kerala’s favourable environment for the startup ecosystem and the government support were chiefly responsible for the conduct of an event like Huddle Kerala.

Earlier on Friday, Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, while inaugurating the event, said Huddle Kerala is expected to become a benchmark event for startups across the world.  “The event will provide an opportunity for startups across the state have a close interaction with founders of international startups and technology experts. The aim is to create a fund for startups coming up in the state with a corpus of over Rs 500 crore in the next three years,” he added.

A major event of the conclave was the announcement by global IT networking major Cisco that it would launch an incubator for startups at the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Kerala (IITM-K) in association with the NASSCOM Foundation.

Cisco India chief Harish Krishnan said the ‘thingQbator’ to be set up in the state will be the first of its kind in the country and three more are planned in other states. It will focus on startups to nurture and develop ideas in the domain of Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technology, among other things.

The state government also announced a Kerala Innovation Challenge (KIC) to find solutions to socially relevant problems. As part of it, the state would host global think tank Singularity University’s (SU) India Global Impact Challenge (GIC) and has invited applications for innovations and ideas for startups that can have an impact on a billion people over the next ten years.

Out of the 50 startups that pitched their products, 10 were shortlisted and three emerged winners. Clapresearch, Humble Innovations and SignNEXT won the first, second and third place, respectively.

KSUM authorities said all the ten shortlisted startups are being considered by the investors and the ultimate decision would depend upon the quality of the product they come up with.

In the Huddle Kerala Hackathon held during the conclave, startups —  My Visual Passport, My Farm and Smart C — bagged the first, second and third place, respectively.

Rohin Malhotra’s Nimble Labs won a grant of Rs seven lakh in the national level pitching of startups held by the Internet Mobile Association of India (IMAI) in the IoT platform while  Spiqi, the startup by Jai Vikram, and Switch on, a company of Anirudha Banerjee, bagged the second and third prize, respectively.

More than 1,300 delegates and 600 startups participated in the ‘Huddle Kerala’, one of the largest congregations of its kind in Asia. The event was held close on the heels of Global Digit


Summit #FUTURE, which turned out to be a huge success.

In the beachside huddle, an interactive session held on Thursday, 10 founder talks, 20 tech talks and 150 one-on-one networking meetings with investors and mentors were held.

World’s leading location-based marketing specialist Posterscope and mobile app builder Zoho Corporation were the sponsors of the event.


Innovative Hyperloop to transform tourism infrastructure development in GCC

GCC capital investments in tourism infrastructure are expected to reach US$56 billion by 2022, with the UAE ranked the most competitive in the region, driven by the development of multiple revolutionary transport projects, according to the latest research published ahead of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2018.

According to Arabian Travel Market’s research partner, Colliers International, lightening-speed, innovative Hyperloop train systems combined with the Haramain High Speed Railway, the development of key international airports in Saudi Arabia and airport expansion in the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait are just some of the projects set to transform tourism infrastructure development in the GCC.

Tourism infrastructure will feature heavily in the programme at ATM 2018, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25, with Hyperloop and future travel experiences kicking off proceedings on ATM’s Global Stage on Sunday 22nd April between 13.30 and 14.30. Moderating the session, Richard Dean, a UAE-based business broadcaster and presenter will be joined by a host of high-profile panellists including Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline, Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), and Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director Middle East and India Operations, Hyperloop One.

Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM said: “As we move towards an innovative and technologically-driven future, it is important to explore the impact ultra-modern travel infrastructure will have on the tourism industry in the UAE and wider GCC region. ATM’s opening session ‘Future Travel Experiences’ will explore this evolution as technological advances bring new and improved modes of transport to the market.â€

Virgin Hyperloop One, a futuristic transportation concept through which pods, propelled by magnets and solar, will move passengers and cargo at speeds of 1,200kph, is the most prominent tourism infrastructure development in the UAE at present.

Backed by Dubai-based DP World, Hyperloop One has the potential to transport approximately 3,400 people an hour, 128,000 people a day and 24 million people a year.

In November 2016, Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) announced plans to evaluate a hyperloop connection between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which could reduce travel times between the two emirates by 78 minutes.

Press said: “Providing a hyperloop connection that allows both UAE residents and tourists to travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in just 12 minutes is just the beginning. In the future, other emirates and indeed other GCC countries could also be linked, with journeys between Dubai and Fujairah as low as 10 minutes and Dubai to Riyadh in 40 minutes.â€

Hyperloop One isn’t the only concept to boost tourism infrastructure in the region. Airport and cruise terminal expansions, improved domestic inter-city road and rail work and the growth of low-cost airlines will keep the GCC at the forefront of tourism infrastructure and innovation.


Oman tourism arrivals to increase CAGR 13% to 2021

Tourism arrivals to Oman will increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13% between 2018 and 2021, according to data released ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2018 (ATM), which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25.

Commissioned by ATM, the Colliers International data, predicts the rise will be fuelled by visitors from across the GCC, who accounted for 48% of guests in 2017. In addition, arrivals from India (10%), Germany (6%), the UK (5%) and Philippines (3%) are also expected to contribute heavily to the growth, supported by new visa processes and improved flight connections.

Historically, the Middle East has been the largest source market for Oman, with arrivals from this group increasing at an annual rate of 20% between 2012 and 2017.

These trends have contributed to a spike in companies looking to enter the Omani tourism market, as demonstrated during ATM 2017 when the number of attendees interested to do business with the Sultanate increased 13% compared to the 2016 edition of the show. The number of attendees from Oman increased 18% over the same period.

Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said: “The latest data demonstrates the growth in visitors to Oman will continue, supported by strategic investment from the government as it turns to tourism to diversify its income streams. Oman is a fantastic destination with responsible, eco, cultural and heritage attractions, as well as being a key travel hub, with significant opportunity to capitalise on transit itineraries for stopover visitors.â€

Accommodating the predicted influx, a number of major hotel chains have recently announced properties in Muscat, driving the 12% CAGR over the next three years; from 10,924 rooms in 2017 to 16,866 in 2021.


Facebook ranks Kerala Tourism Page as the Best FB page in 2017

In line with its proactive efforts in the social media space, Kerala Tourism’s Facebook page has trumped other state tourism boards by climbing on to the top slot. The Kerala Tourism Facebook page attained first place in a ranking done by Facebook based on total engagement with tourists that included reactions, shares and comments on the page between the January 1 and December 31, 2017 time frame.

The Kerala Tourism page pushed the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department’s Facebook page to the second place. The Kerala Tourism Facebook page had garnered 1.5 million likes to emerge as the top page. The Gujarat Tourism Facebook page was ranked third.

Facebook recently released the data on the top-ranked Facebook pages of government bodies, ministries and political parties in India. Mr. P Bala Kiran, Director, Kerala Tourism, has received the award at Facebook office, New Delhi from Mr Nitin Saluja, Public Policy Manager (India, South and Central Asia) today morning.

Shri. KadakampallySurendran, Honorable Minister for Co-Operation, Tourism and Devaswom, Government of Kerala has congratulated the entire team for this huge achievement.

Speaking on the achievement, Smt Rani George IAS, Secretary, Department of Tourism, Kerala, said, “Kerala Tourism has been able to successfully convey the reasons as to why Kerala is a destination that should be on every traveller’s itinerary. The department’s presence on social media has taken this message across to millions across the world, and the new laurel from Facebook is indeed heartening.”

Sri P Balakiran IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism said: “Kerala Tourism’s activity on Facebook and other social media space has been focussed and proactive. The page has been able to keep travellers from India and abroad engaged with interesting and innovative posts on the various projects and activities undertaken by the department. The ranking comes at a time when Kerala Tourism has upped the Digital marketing budget to 15% and been communicating to the people across the globe in exciting ways.”


South Korean delegation visits Maker Village

A two-member delegation from South Korea visited Maker Village, India’s largest electronic incubator, on Thursday in connection with the K-Startup Grand Challenge 2018 to be held in Seoul in July, which will open a window for startups to compete and win attractive monetary prizes.

The contest, being organised by the National IT Industry Promotion Agency, Korea (NIPA), will give an access to the contestants to Korea’s top tech companies with expertise ranging from smartphones and software to semiconductors. Besides giving immense investment opportunities for the Indian startups, it will also pave the way for Korean startups to come to India and operate.

The delegation, comprising Mr HyoGeun Kim ( Harry), Executive Director, NIPA and Mr Tak Lee, Executive Advisor, NIPA, said they were much impressed by the support and encouragement given by the Kerala Government to boost the startup ecosystem in the state.”Some of the most modern equipment in the maker village are a perfect example of it,” they said.

The screening and interview of the competition, which is open to all the South West Asian countries, will be held at Bangalore in July.

Besides India, the contest is open to all South West Asian countries.

Interested startups can begin applying through NIPA’s website, for which the closing date is June 14.

Eighty participants will get the opportunity to take part in the contest which will be held in Seoul. First, second and third prize winners will get 10,0000 USD, 40,000 USD and Rs 20,000 USD respectively, followed by a consolation prize of Rs 6,000 USD.

Those who are selected will get the opportunity to live in Korea for six months . In addition to that, the first 40 startups will get monetary assistance worth Rs 15 lakhs.

To get more details of the contest :


International MSME Day Celebrations and Metro MSME Award Distribution held

Thiruvananthapuram: International MSME Day celebrations and Metro MSME Award distribution was held in Thiruvananthapuram. Distributing awards for eminent personalities from the MSME sector, Minister for Agriculture Adv. V. S. Sunilkumar said that MSME sector has a significant role in boosting the economy of the state. Minister for Tourism, Cooperation and Devaswom Kadakampally Surendran inaugurated the MSME Day celebrations. The event was presided by K. Muraleedharan MLA.

Minister for Ports, Museums, Archaeology and Archives Kadannappally Ramachandran released Logo of Metro Expedition and Executive Knowledge Lines. Website inauguration was done by the Minister for Fisheries, Harbour Engineering & Ports Mercykutty Amma.

Kathreenamma Sebastian from MSME-DI, Shivaraj S.V. from NSIC, S. Gautham Yogeeswar from DIC, and Krishnan from LUB participated in the seminar held on various topics pertaining to the MSME sector.

The function was organized by Metro Mart in association with MSME-DI, NSIC, TCCI, CISSA, DIC, KFC, LUB and Machine Maker. Attendees at the event included KTDC Managing Director M. Vijayakumar, KITCO Associate Principal Consultant Dr. Chandrasekharan Nair, TCCI President Raghuchandran Nair, and KTM Society President Baby Mathew. The gathering was welcomed by Metro Mart Managing Director Siji Nair and vote of thanks was given by Raj Nijith.


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