Focus on new tech to cut emission, enhance mileage: Maruti

The company also claimed that “three of the most fuel efficient cars in India” are all from its stable.

The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India(MSI) is focusing on new technologies to cut emission per vehicle while enhancing fuel efficiency for its future models.

The company said it has been able to bring down weighted average of CO2 emission for its entire fleet by nearly 19 per cent over a decade since 2007—08.

“Going forward, we will continue our focus on investing in new technologies and strengthen our capability to bring down emissions per vehicle by enhancing fuel efficiency of our cars,” Maruti Suzuki India Executive Director (Engineering)C V Raman has said in a statement.

Besides upgrading current engines and transmissions, and making models more aerodynamic to enhance the fuel efficiency, MSI has also focused on new generation light weight platforms, such as the Heartect on which Baleno and new Dzire models are based, for “safer and more fuel efficient vehicles“.

“We work on platform strategy and keep on rationalising them to offer better value to the customers by better fuel efficiency and better performance, which leads to reduction in emissions,” Raman added.

On its effort to cut emissions, the company said it has reduced the weighted average of CO2 emission by around 19 per cent for its entire fleet.

MSI has aslo said that it had started the exercise to reduce CO2 emission from 2005-06 by taking 100 as base for its entire fleet. It came down to 80 in 2016-17 as compared to 98.5 in 2007-08.

Introduction of mild hybrid system in mass market vehicles along with factory fitted CNG in vehicles have helped the company offer more eco-friendly vehicles, it added.

The company also claimed that “three of the most fuel efficient cars in India” are all from its stable.

These are the diesel variants of hatchback Celerio (27.62 kmpl), compact sedan Dzire (28.4 kmpl) and mid—sized sedan Ciaz (28.09 kmpl).


Overseas aid ‘should focus on education’, say MPs

South Sudan

The UK’s overseas aid budget should target more of its funding towards education projects, says a cross-party committee of MPs.

The international development committee says the proportion spent on education should be lifted from 8% to 10%.

There are 250 million children around the world without access to school – and efforts to tackle this have been “shamefully underfunded”, say MPs.

Committee chair Stephen Twigg warned of a “global learning crisis”.

The select committee says that the Department for International Development’s spending on education is £526m per year – less than on supporting health, civil society and intervention in disasters.

  • UN warns of schools lost in conflict
  • Who really paid up to help Syria’s refugees?
  • Does the UK give more aid than other countries?

But the MPs say that in terms of long-term impact, investing in education will reap dividends in preventing conflict, improving life chances and improving economic development.

Mr Twigg says: “Education has been shamefully neglected by the international community and many national governments.”

The committee heard that there had been a “clear decline in international aid spending on education since 2011”.

“Even though we know the benefits of education, there is not enough funding from the international community to deliver this, particularly in the low-income countries which need most support,” said Mr Twigg.

Former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, told the committee that such development funding suffered from being “short-term and unpredictable”.

“We cannot forever continue with this situation where the only way we fund humanitarian aid, whether it be for education, health, shelter or food, is through a begging bowl,” said Mr Brown.

Earlier this week, Unicef warned that warfare and conflict are preventing 25 million young people from getting any access to school, particularly in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

In south Sudan, Unicef says almost three-quarters of primary-school-age children are missing out on education.

The international community set targets for universal primary education to be achieved by 2000 and then 2015, which, despite progress being made, were both missed.

The current target, part of the sustainable development goals, aims for this to be fully achieved by 2030.

However, Unesco, the UN agency that monitors global access to education, warned last autumn that, on current trends, the target was already unlikely to be achieved.

The international development committee says that funding would need to be more than doubled to achieve the international goals for education.

Figures from the OECD have shown that the UK is one of the biggest providers of international aid, both in cash terms and as a proportion of national wealth.

An analysis of international support for Syria’s refugees also showed that the UK was among the countries that had met their funding pledges, while a number of countries still had to deliver the aid they had announced.

A DFID spokesperson said the department was “proud to have supported over 11 million children in primary and lower secondary education from 2011-2015”.


4 New LG X Series Phones Focus on Different Feature Sets

4 New LG X Series Phones Focus on Different Feature Sets

Smartphone makers are doing all they can to come up with the next best thing and until now, each attempt was designed to put more of the best technology in a single device. But there is only so much you can put in a form factor as small as a smartphone.

The new approach by LG takes a step back and deploys devices that specialize in one particular aspect of smartphone technology above all others. The four new LG X phones are part of a series the company launched earlier this year.

Introducing the LG X Series

The first two phones, the X Cam and X Screen focused, as the names suggests, on the camera and screen. This time around the new phones called X Power, X Mach, X Style and X Max also focus on different components.

The new X series phones share many of the base specs of LG’s flagship G and V series handsets, but they add on the specialized features. The information LG made available on these phones is very limited, so we will have to wait until they are released later this month to find out the exact specifications. The price and availability for each device will be announced locally in each market.

The X Power

This phone has one of the largest battery capacities of any smartphone on a slim 7.99mm body with 4,100mAh (Samsung Edge 7 has 3600 mAh and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus has 2915 mAh). So the power is considerably more than the top brands in the segment. Additionally, LG said the company’s fast charging (PE+) technology allows the X Power to be charged twice as fast.

The X Mach

The X Mach is built for speed and performance, with support for LTE Cat. 9 3CA for faster data transfer and a 1.8GHz processor to manage power intensive applications. It also has a QHD IPS Quantum display, a curved form factor and a large 1.55m sensor camera.

The X Style

According to LG, the X Style differentiates itself with curving lines, extra-slim body, and a large display. It is made to consume multimedia content.

The X Max

LG has provided even less information for the X Max than for the other three phones, with the company saying only that it has a “Large display” — but the size of the screen hasn’t been made available either.

The New LG Strategy

LG doesn’t even appear on the list of “Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, Market Share and Year-Over-Year Growth, Q1 2016 Preliminary Data” by IDC. How will the company’s strategy pan out as most other manufacturers adopt a more-is-better approach for their devices?

The company might find an audience with small businesses that need the specific technologies the X series of phones bring. Still a full set of specs and more importantly a menu of prices must be available before business owners can know if the phones are worthwhile.

Image: LG Electronics

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Use The Growth Gears to Focus on the Present, Prepare for the Future

Grow Your Business Gears by Checking The Growth Gears

As pointed out in several books (including “The Three-Box Solution” and “The 7 Irrefutable Rules of Small Business Growth“), managing a business and growing a business require two different mindsets. Just because a business is first-class in its product or service doesn’t mean it will be around tomorrow (i.e. Netflix, Kodak, etc.)

Many business owners recognize that they need to step it up for their businesses to get started, but they are confused about how to get started.

How do you grow your business in this environment when the only thing you know is your business?

What is The Growth Gears About?

The Growth Gears: Using A Market-Based Framework To Drive Business Success attempts to solve a problem that many owners face: They can’t see outside their business to grow.

The reason the book argues that many business owners have this problem is because they are operationally minded, one of two camps that The Growth Gears says owners fall into. Operationally-minded owners know how to run a good business. They are tinkerers who know how to refine their business process, strategies and personnel to satisfy their current customers.

The downside to being operationally-minded is that you can get so focused on the present that you lose sight of the future.

That’s where the marketing-minded owner comes in. The marketing-minded owner is geared toward growth. This kind of owner knows their current customers in the present and keeps their eyes on the future. They are the owners who are able to transform business process, insight from customer data and signals from the future into a business that successfully evolves through an uncertain future.

The downside to being a marketing-minded owner is that you’re so focused on the future that you can lose your business in the present.

Combining these two mindsets (operation-focused vs marketing-focused) is the goal of The Growth Gears. The authors suggest that businesses that run well today but stay prepared for the future will be in the best position to survive. The way to obtain this mindset is to develop the “three gears” of a marketing-focus business explained in the book while staying operationally fit in the present.

Author Art Saxby is a finance guy who decided to try marketing. His venture into marketing turned into a successful career working for companies like Frito-Lay, Coca-Cola and Kellogg’s. He also co-founded Chief Outsiders, a “rent-an-executive” agency with co-author Peter Hayes.

Hayes is an engineer with experience working for agencies that provided service to companies like Dell, Motorola, and 3M before co-founding Chief Outsiders with Saxby.

What Was Best About The Growth Gears?

The best part of The Growth Gears is the simplicity. Saxby and Hayes refine the complexity of business growth and development into just two mindsets. Using those mindsets, they apply a simple 3-process model and then demonstrate how this model can be applied to some of the toughest questions that business owners have (Should we lower our price? What do we need to know about our competitors? etc.) using direct and easy-to-understand examples.

What Could Have Been Done Differently

The Growth Gears is packed with helpful advice that can help any business owner (although it is aimed at owners and upper-level executives like CEOs, CMOs, etc.) to think further about the conditions surrounding their business. The one area that could benefit from more attention is the book’s  section on assessments. The assessments (especially the first) lack the level of detail that can be found in the content.

Why Read The Growth Gears?

The Growth Gears is a great book recommendation for any business owner who wants to improve their SWOT analysis but wants another perspective. Saxby and Hayes draw on their years of experience of fixing and growing businesses (Both authors have experience growing businesses from millions to billions.) to present a simple model (“three gears”) and easy-to-understand examples that can be used and reused to supplement other forms of business planning.

If you have ever been in the situation of having a good business but you’re planning to grow it more, this book offers a perspective that is definitely worth looking into.