Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate to launch six projects in FY18

The Shapoorji Pallonji Group entered the affordable housing segment last year by joining hands with Standard Chartered Private Equity, IFC and the Asian Development Bank.

Diversified Shapoorji Pallonji group’s real estate arm is lining up at least six projects across the country in 2017-18, with two in the affordable housing segment, a senior company official said.

“We plan to launch at least six projects this financial year. Out of these, we would be developing two projects under our ‘Joyville’ brand to build affordable homes,” Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate chief executive Venkatesh Gopalakrishnan told PTI in Mumbai.

Of the six, 2-3 projects are being planned to come up in the megapolis, two in Pune and one in the National Capital Region (NCR), he said, adding that the company already has 40 million sq ft land bank across the country.

“We will be officially launching our affordable housing project in Virar by September-October. The second project under the Joyville brand at Hinjewadi in Pune will be launched by March 2018,” Gopalakrishnan said.

The SP Group entered the affordable housing segment last year by joining hands with Standard Chartered Private Equity, International Finance Corp. (IFC), an arm of the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Under the agreement, the partnership will invest about $250 million, which will be used primarily for buying land and setting up initial infrastructure. The company launched its first project under the brand Joyville at Howrah near Kolkata.

Asked whether the company is looking to raise funds for these projects, he said, “We already have the land, so the funds would be raised on project to project basis. This would be mainly through debt.”

About the impact of the new Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) and the goods and services tax (GST), he said there will be certain teething issues in the beginning, but then developers will have to adapt to the change.

“As per the RERA, we have registered five ongoing projects, with four in Maharashtra and one in Bengaluru where the rules are out. We have projects in West Bengal and the north, but the rules there are not yet out,” Gopalakrishnan added.

Source:-.livemint.

Coolpad may launch Cool Play 6 with 6GB of RAM in India on August 20

Coolpad may launch Cool Play 6 with 6GB of RAM in India on August 20

Coolpad is all set to unveil the Cool Play 6 in India on August 20. The smartphone was launched in China back in May for a price of 1,499 Yuan which roughly translates to around Rs 15,000. The smartphone was heavily marketed as a gaming smartphone in China and was launched in two color options – namely Soft Gold and Black.

Coolpad has been teasing the launch of the Play 6 on its Facebook page with the tagline “Livetoplay” and posts such as “6 is not just a number anymore! It is a new era and new benchmark. Monster is all set for 20th Aug. The thrilling power, the invincible. Stay tuned to know more. #LiveToPlay”.

The Play 6 is set to compete with the likes of the Moto G5 Plus and Xiaomi Redmi Note 4. It comes with a metal unibody design, a dual camera setup at the rear, the latest version of Android and fairly high end hardware for the price.

The Play 6 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 processor paired with 6GB of RAM and a 4,060mAh battery that the company claims can deliver 252 hours of standby time, 9 hours of internet browsing, 8 hours of video watching and 6 hours of gaming.

Additionally, the Play 6 comes with a 5.5-inch Full HD display with a resolution of 1080 x1920, 64GB of internal storage expandable via a miscroSD card, a rear mounted fingerprint scanner and a USB Type C port for charging and data transfer. It supports 4G LTE, dualSIMs, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.

On the imaging front, the Cool Play 6 comes with a dual camera setup at the rear – a primary 13MP RGB (color) sensor paired with a secondary 13MP monochrome (black and white) sensor with a dual-LED flash. Both sensors have an aperture of f/2.0. The secondary sensor allows for the capture of images with depth of field information. On the front, there is an 8MP sensor with an aperture of f/2.2 for selfies.

[“Source-indiatoday”]

Cash Is Culture in India, but It’s Not Going to Be the Future

Cash Is Culture in India, but It’s Not Going to Be the Future

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cash is not just the norm but also embedded in culture
  • New systems like mPOS terminals are making digital more convenient
  • Apps like BHIM help bring payments from India to Bharat as a whole

In India, cash is culture. It’s everywhere, inspiring Hindi film songs, being doled out by loving grandparents, occupying a key role in religious rituals, and even fuelling a parallel economy. So resistance to any alternative method of payment is only to be expected.

This is amply evident from the way digital transactions, which had spiked from 672 million in November 2016 to 958 million in December 2016 because of demonetisation, plummeted to 763 million (February 2017) once the new currency came back in circulation, as per RBI data. The latest numbers show some growth, but it’s a far cry from the peak in December even now.

It’s a challenge that Digital India is up for. Driving the shift from cash to digital payments are a host of factors – a huge population of young, aspiring people embracing the digital lifestyle, the “India Stack” of four technology layers (presenceless, paperless, cashless, consent), and a robust real-time payments infrastructure in which the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is the crown jewel. But beyond doubt, policies such as banning the use of cash for transactions amounting to Rs. 200,000 or more are also making an impact. In his budget speech this year, the Minister of Finance announced a mission tasked with achieving 25 billion digital transactions in the year 2017-18 through various means including Aadhaar Pay, UPI, USSD, IMPS, and debit cards.

payment systems

That’s a tall order for an economy where 98 percent of consumer payments are still made in cash. Before this can happen though, several barriers lie in the way. The “cash habit” is at the top of the list, followed by the complexity of using digital payment methods.

Cash is easy
The second factor is telling. A huge reason why cash still rules as a medium of exchange is that it is simple and convenient. Digital payment mechanisms, which might be convenient in some ways – (they save a trip to the bank and are easy to carry around) – are actually less convenient at the point of use. To understand this, visualise the process of using a mobile wallet – log in, authenticate yourself, scan code, enter amount, authorise payment – and now compare it to the ease of handing out cash.

Currently, there is friction on both sides of the digital payment transaction. The abundance of payment options with their different POS hardware and procedures is confusing merchants, who don’t know where to draw the line. This isn’t making life simpler for consumers either.

Clearly, digital payments must become frictionless before they can find mass acceptance.

mpos machine eze

Technology and innovation can do much to facilitate that. For instance, Ezetap has introduced a mobile-based payments acceptance device that merchants can use for all types of digital payments. Another good example is Tonetag, one of our partner firms, which has found an alternative solution to NFC technology with a communication mechanism that uses sound waves. Merchants can even accept cards in much the same way as before; customers need to authorise the payment like they do with NFC, with a swipe, password or OTP.

Ezetap, Tonetag, and others like them reduce the friction in payments, but they don’t eliminate it altogether. Some other forces need to come together to make digital payments as convenient as cash.

Bharat, and not just India
One of these is the digitisation of low-income consumers, which received a shot in the arm when the BHIM app was launched a couple of months after demonetisation with the goal of enabling those with a bank account but no cards, to make digital payments. Another factor is the growth of e-commerce players, who, by accepting card or wallet payments on delivery, have eased even reluctant cash customers into digital payments. The next level of e-commerce, namely smart commerce, will drive digital payments even higher, using AI and analytics to spur consumption.

bhim full

To see what that looks like, you need only look to Amazon, which has mastered the use of consumer analytics to anticipate needs, personalise recommendations, or simply remind customers of something they had shown interest in.

These forces are still brewing at present. When they take firm hold, India will make more meaningful progress towards digital payments. While the timeline for that is uncertain, once the conditions fall into place, the shift from cash to digital will be swift and irreversible.

Venkatramana Gosavi is Senior Vice President and Regional Head, Infosys Finacle, and has been working with Finacle for over 15 years now.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Performers/Creatives reviews – Irvine Welsh’s two plays are exercises in tedium

Embarrassingly limp: George Russo and Perry Benson in Performers.

Not so much theatre shows as exercises in tedium, these new pieces from Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh would never have seen the light of day if they didn’t have his name attached. An audience expecting the skanky wit and vim of Trainspotting will be disappointed by this duo of tired and clumsy plays.

Performers, written with Dean Cavanagh, is potentially the more interesting of the two. Apparently, when making the 1970 movie Performance, which starred Mick Jagger and James Fox, directors Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell wanted to hire real villains to play the gangsters. Their quest for authenticity sees low-life criminals Alf (Perry Benson) and Bert (George Russo) turning up at the production offices. But with slack direction from Nick Moran, it has all the tension of a used teabag. The comic tour de force that is supposed to ensue when a pretentious young assistant director persuades Alf to take off his clothes is embarrassingly limp.

Set in 1969, it would have looked dated and if it had actually been written that year, and – in their own quest for authenticity – Welsh and Cavanagh appear to have copied out a cockney rhyming slang dictionary lock, stock and barrel.

Creatives: bland, slick shininess.
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 Creatives: bland, slick shininess. Photograph: Roberto Ricciuti/Getty

If Performers aims for comic grittiness and misses by a mile, Creatives is all bland, slick shininess; straight out of the Fame mould. It’s a musical, written with Don de Grazia, about a group of would-be songwriters attending a Chicago course run by former punk Paul, whose career has nosedived and whose personal life is complicated.

The students are all stereotypes, ranging from moody goth girl to (bizarrely) a redneck Trump supporter, and the entire thing starts to resemble an audition for the X Factor but with less convincing back stories, until a violent plot twist pushes it into outright melodrama.

The US cast are game, and Laurence Mark Wythe’s music and lyrics cry out for a better vehicle than this cliched attempt to explore the price of creativity and the pressures to sell out for a quick buck. One imagines that is exactly what Welsh has done with these abysmal efforts.

 Performers is at the Assembly Rooms until 27 August. Box office: 0131-623 3030. Creatives is at the Pleasance Courtyard until 28 August. Box office: 0131-556 6550.

Source:-theguardian