'Don’t run for valuation': Rahul Salgia, Founder and CEO of DigiValet, tells new age entrepreneurs - The Daily Guardian
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‘Don’t run for valuation’: Rahul Salgia, Founder and CEO of DigiValet, tells new age entrepreneurs

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Rahul Salgia, Founder and CEO of DigiValet, recently got into an exclusive chat with NewsX for its special segment NewsX A-list. Giving us an insight into DigiValet, Rahul Salgia said, “DigiValet is known for its guest-room solutions. We have some of the most iconic hotels in the world on our clientele. DigiValet is installed in hotels like Ralphs in Singapore, Armani in Burj Khalifa in Dubai, The W in London. We serve some of the most iconic hotels to offer the best guest-room experience that want to offer to their guests. “

As the world grapples through Covid-19 pandemic, DigiValet has come up with a unique contactless check-in solution called ‘Through’ that can potentially revolutionise the hotel industry. Talking about Through, Mr Salgia said, “Through is a new offering for contactless check-in. When a guest has an upcoming reservation, he receives an SMS from the hotel, saying that you have an upcoming reservation and displays a personalised link. The moment the guest clicks on the link, he gets re-directed to the check in page where he can put his id, credit card details and that’s all. He doesn’t need to go to the front office to give his card, take his credit card back, probably share anything with the front office. Thereby, keeping himself and the front office executive safe.”

“In this process, the guest also saves a lot of time. Nobody wants to wait in a queue or wait at the front office to get a key. This is not just a contact less solution, this is a change in the way check-ins are going to happen in the future,“ Mr Salgia added.

When asked if it was the pandemic that inspired him to come up with the idea of ‘Through’, Mr Salgia shared, “We had the technology to do contactless check-in, which we were using for luxury hotels for in-room personalised check-in. When the pandemic happened, we realised that there would be a new world. We thought we should re-purpose the technology that we have, to produce something that will be suitable for contact-less check-in, avoid personal check-in and make this whole solution usable even after the pandemic.”

He expressed, “This is something we designed during the pandemic and then the whole thought was to democratise the technology. We thought we offer our technology to a few luxury hotels but why not democratise this and make it available to every possible hotel. Our entire team worked overtime from home and made the technology possible for hotels as they are opening now.”

On his plans to offer the technology to other industries, Mr Salgia said, “Through is specifically designed for hotels but DigiValet is getting into more verticals. We are getting into healthcare as hospitals are trying to bring in patient-room solutions. We are also trying to bring in solutions for senior living –residential solutions for senior living and service residences. “

Starting a business, especially if it is novel, is not easy. Mr Salgia too had his share of challenges. He told NewsX that while starting out, his challenges were primarily two-fold. “Firstly, when you come up with an innovative idea, you try and take it to customers. Everyone likes innovative ideas but the next question they ask is where is it installed and who is using it. It is a quite ironic. They want the most novel idea but at the time they want it to be proven.”

“The second challenge was the ‘Made In India’ tag. Today, all Indians feel a sense of nationalism when we speak of Made In India but it was not the same 10 years ago. India and premium products don’t go together. Normally, premium products come in from Europe or Germany so we also had that baggage in those days. Gradually, people approached us when they had technology challenges and threw a challenge at us saying, ‘If you can fix this, then you have the job’. The turning point came when we were able to successfully deliver it. People started believing that an Indian company like DigiValet can deliver such solutions,” he added.

Sharing his views on Atmanirbhar Bharat and how self-reliant is India in the technology space, Mr Salgia said, “I have a different opinion on technology and Atmanirbhar Bharat. While we have 200 billion dollar software industry, we are not even close to being a leader in product technology. There is a long way ahead. We have great amount of talent and technology but we don’t use it for ourselves. We are only outsourcing jobs. We are working for other companies. This is the time when entrepreneurs in India have to realise that we have to build technology and world’s best products in India. This is just the beginning. If people think in the right direction, time will not be far when we can actually make great world-class technology products. Only then, we would be able to rightly call ourself ‘Atmanirbhar’.”

When asked what are the challenges for India in becoming truly Atmanirbhar, Mr Salgia responded, “Technology entrepreneurship is quite a gamble. I would say entrepreneurship is lacking among large groups. Secondly, the investment ecosystem isn’t as conducive in other countries like United States. “

After hotels and hospitals, DigiValet is now working towards offering technological solutions to senior and residential living. He said, “Senior living would be on a priority, as we believe that the trend to move to communities focused on later life is on rise. Not just in western world but also in India and some of other markets. Moreover, Technology will play an important role in making life comfortable for later lifers. We are already building these products, already signed some contracts with some interesting projects in London and some other markets, where we will be using technology to monitor their goals like walking steps, water consumption, health targets and how they are working towards them. We are also working on a very innovative technology to predict what would be the impact of aging on people so we are bringing a lot of solutions around senior people.”

“All of our residential solutions are going to be self-use. The residential market is very large and diverse. We are trying to focus on few markets and few services where we can make it a successful model and then grow it towards larger community,“ he added.

On a parting note, Mr Salgia gave a piece to advise to all new age entrepreneurs, especially those who dream big but quit quickly. He said, ”Don’t run for valuation. Once you have a successful business, when you have customers believing in you, everything will happen. This is a reverse trend to what is happening right now but that is the mantra to success.”

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Celebrating ‘100 years of Bollywood’

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Celebrating ‘100 years of Bollywood’

In commemoration of ‘100 years of Bollywood’, a live audio-visual musical journey of songs from 1913 to 2013, covering songs from Raja Harishchandra to Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, from Prithviraj Kapoor to Ranbir Kapoor, from Saigal to Sonu Nigam, will be held. The event, which will also be a fundraiser, will be organised by Gunjan Foundation at Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus Marg, at 06:30 p.m on 10 October, 2022.  The proceeds from this show will go towards the education of underprivileged children, for the foundation expects all children in the community to learn and experience school education.

Sushma Singhvi founded the Gunjan Foundation, a non-governmental social organization, in 2004 with the mission of pursuing educational and other welfare measures to uplift marginalised sections of society.

The Gunjan Foundation is providing full scholarships to about 200 school students. It has now widened its horizons further. Its vision also includes continuing to support advanced and professional courses in the future. For the past five years, Gunjan has been financially supporting four to five marginalised students who are pursuing such advanced and professional courses. This year, Gunjan Foundation’s first batch has passed out from the 12th grade, ready to embrace the growth opportunities of the world. Not wanting to leave these students midstream, it is also Gunjan’s endeavour now to see these students through college. The Gunjan Foundation is planning to provide scholarships to deserving students for higher studies.

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Dussehra brings business back on track for effigy makers

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Dussehra brings business back on track for effigy makers

Every year, Dussehra is celebrated to commemorate the triumph of good over evil as Lord Rama killed Ravana on this day. The festival is celebrated in full swing across the country by burning the effigies of Ravan, Kumbhkaran, and Meghnath.

After a hiatus of a few years, the effigy business is getting back on track.

Earlier, Naveen, a local artisan from Titarpur in New Delhi, revealed, “People are coming back in huge numbers to book Ravan effigies. Due to Covid, during the past few years, the business was not so good, but things are getting better now and customers are back. But now, the rates of effigies are a bit higher as compared to previous times. Now it costs Rs 500 per foot. We began the preparation two months ahead of the festival and we start the deliveries two days before Dussehra.”

“During Covid, Ravan idols were made in fewer numbers. We used to create only small mannequins of 5 feet and 10 feet for the common people, who could burn those effigies on the streets. But this year, the situation is quite different. We are celebrating every festival and the effigy business is also going really well. The craze among the people for Dussehra is very high. We are flooded with bookings this year. This year, we will see a good hike in sales. We have been working day and night for the past two months to create these effigies. We create effigies from five feet to fifty feet and the pricing begins from Rs 500 per foot, “Sonu, a local artist said.

On being asked whether the firecracker ban has affected the sales in Delhi or not, Naveen said, “No, it doesn’t matter. We only construct the effigies. It’s the customer’s choice to put firecrackers in them or not. They do it by themselves. People opt for eco-friendly firecrackers to create less pollution during Dussehra. “

Effigy maker Poonam said, “Yes, we are facing a big loss due to the firecracker ban by the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi. Every year, CM Kejriwal puts a ban on firecrackers. During Diwali, everyone bursts crackers, but only during Dussehra, he puts a ban on them. We don’t put crackers in the effigies; people bring them and put them on their own. But because of the ban, there has been a huge downfall in the number of clients. Mostly, the customers cancel their already booked orders due to the ban. If the government doesn’t want us to do our business, then simply tell us. We don’t want to face loss at the last moment. “

“The number of firecrackers has now been reduced from 500 to 300 by CM Kejriwal. We don’t put crackers in the mannequins; that’s the customer’s call whether to put crackers or not,” said Mahendra Karari, Ravan effigy creator.

Apart from making effigies during the festive season, local vendors indulge in their different businesses for the rest of the year for their source of income.

“Dussehra festival comes once a year, and we have our other source of income as well. I am a driver for the whole year. But during Dussehra, I have made Ravan since my childhood in Titarpur, said Naveen.

Karari said, “We work in the hotel line during the whole year, and some of us work in brass bands during the marriage season, and some people work at local sweet shops.”

In some regions, the celebration, also known as Vijayadashami, celebrates Goddess Durga’s triumph over the buffalo Demon Mahishasura.  

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Why Dussehra holds an important place in Indian culture

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Dussehra brings business back on track for effigy makers

D

ussehra, or Vijayadashami, as many call it, is one of the most important festivals in India. In the northern Indian states, it’s called Dussehra, while in West Bengal, it’s called Vijayadashami.

Dusshera falls on the tenth day of Sharada Navratri. However, despite the fact that celebrations and cultural practices vary according to the location in India’s culturally rich country, the festival’s fabric that binds everyone together remains.

History

Dussehra symbolises the triumph of good over evil, and it is tied to two stories. After a fierce battle that lasted more than nine days, it is said that Maa Durga conquered Mahishasura on this day. According to another tale, Dussehra is observed to commemorate Lord Rama’s victory over Lanka’s ten-headed evil king, Ravana.

Significance

The tenth day of Navratri, which is comprised of nine days dedicated to honouring each form of Goddess Durga, is Dussehra. Vijayadashami, on the other hand, is the day of victory. While some connect it to the famous Ramayana conflict, others do it to remember Goddess Durga’s triumph over the demonic Mahishasura.

In some regions of the country, Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami or Dasain, makes way for the Diwali celebrations.

Twenty days after Dussehra, one of the most significant and widely celebrated festivals, the festival of lights, Diwali, commemorates Lord Rama’s return home following his victory over Ravana. However, the main message of the Dussehra festival is that of good triumphing over evil, and it is on this day that people pray for prosperity and good health.

Celebrations

The nine days of Navratri culminate in the killing of Ravana and the burning of his life-size effigy at the Ramlila, together with those of Meghnad and Kumbhakaran, on the day of Dussehra, or Vijayadashami, when the holiday is celebrated with great grandeur.

As each of Ravana’s heads represents a different negative attribute, Dussehra also represents purging oneself of sins or undesirable traits.

In several southern Indian states, Shami Puja is also known as Banni Puja and Jammi Puja. Devotees wish Maa Durga farewell on Dashami, and the visarjan is performed either at Aparahna time or Pratahkala while Dashami Tithi is in effect.

The tenth day is also known as Vijayadashmi, when Maa Durga’s idol is submerged in water in the hopes that she will keep an eye on them and fend off all misfortunes and evils. Vijayadashmi and Dussehra commemorate the triumph of good over evil, and worshippers celebrate the festivals by indulging in various foods with their loved ones.

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136 ft Durga Puja pandal to enter Guinness Book as world’s tallest

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136 ft Durga Puja pandal to enter Guinness Book as world’s tallest

A 136 ft tall puja pandal in the capital of Uttar Pradesh is going to attract everyone’s attention. The Durga Puja pandal, situated in Jankipuram, Lucknow, is going to be recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest ever.

The pandal is a replica of the under-construction Chandrodaya temple of Vrindavan, which is built to be one of the tallest religious monuments in the world with a height of above 700 ft and spread over a 5,40,000 sq ft area.

The pandal stands tall in the middle of Durga Puja Park in Jankipuram. It was built by the Utsav Puja Committee, which has also been celebrating the Puja for the last 28 years.

While emphasising the features of this tallest pandal, Rakesh Pandey, General Secretary of the Durga Puja committee, said,  “This entire pandal has been built by 52 artisans from Kolkata and Assam and a time of over one month has been taken to build this tallest pandal.”

“A total of Rs 32 lakhs has been spent on making this tallest Durga Puja pandal. Every day about 70 thousand devotees come to the pandal to offer their prayers to Durga Maa”, Rakesh Pandey said further.

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PM Modi arrives at International Kullu Dussehra festival

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Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a warm welcome as he arrived for the international Kullu Dussehra Festival today. He will be participating in the Dusshera festival here for the first time.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended greetings to citizens on the occasion of Dussehra and expressed his happiness to be a part of the International Kullu Dussehra Festival that is to be celebrated here from October 5 to 11 at the Dhalpur Ground in Kullu.

The festival is unique in the sense that it is the congregation of more than 300 deities of the valley. On the first day of the festival, obeisance will be paid to the deities in their well-decorated palanquins at the temple of the Chief Deity Bhagwan Raghunath Ji, and then it proceeds to the Dhalpur Ground.

“I am elated to provide the citizens of Himachal Pradesh with the gifts of projects in education, health, and infrastructure worth thousands of crores,” PM Modi said, adding that he will seek the blessings of the country by joining the Raghunath Ji Yatra. 
“I am very fortunate to participate in the Kullu festival after so many years,” he added. 
The Prime Minister will witness this divine Rath Yatra and the grand assembly of the Deities in the historic Kullu Dussehra celebrations.

PM Modi’s remarks came after he inaugurated AIIMS Bilaspur and laid the foundation stone of multiple development projects here.
On Independence Day, referring to the Amrit Kaal—the next 25 years till 2047, when India will be marking 100 years of Independence—the Prime Minister urged people to focus on “Panch Pran’ (five vows).

He said the country has met various challenges in the past 75 years and there were certain unfulfilled dreams, “the next 25 years are very significant for our country.” He explained the five vows. 
The  first vow is for the people to move ahead with a strong resolve for a “developed India”. “We should not settle for anything less than that,” 
The second resolve is that “in no part of our existence, not even in the deepest corners of our minds or habits, should there be any ounce of slavery”. 
The third resolution urged Indians to be proud of their country’s heritage and legacy. 
He said the fourth resolution, which is equally important, is unity and solidarity. 
“Amongst 130 million countrymen, when there is harmony and bonhomie, unity becomes its strongest virtue. “On August 15, Prime Minister Modi stated. 
PM Modi said the fifth vow is the “duty of the citizens,” in which even the Prime Minister, Chief Minister cannot be excluded as they are also responsible citizens and have a duty towards the nation”. 

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13 Indians caught up in fake IT job scam rescued from Myanmar

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Exercise caution before taking up jobs in Thailand: MEA

India announced on Wednesday that 13 more of its citizens had been rescued from Myanmar after being lured there under the pretext of lucrative IT jobs and the officials were in contact with Laos and Cambodia to assist in the repatriation of more victims of similar frauds.

After more than 100 workers were recruited by dubious IT companies to work in Myanmar, the external affairs ministry issued a warning to Indian citizens on September 24 about fake job offers being circulated on social media platforms. 32 Indian citizens were rescued from a remote area of Myanmar last month after being forced to work under difficult circumstances by businesses involved in digital fraud and fake crypto currency activities.

“We have been actively pursuing the case of Indians being trapped in fake job rackets in Myanmar. Thanks to the efforts of @IndiainMyanmar & @IndiainThailand, around 32 Indians had already been rescued. Another 13 Indian citizens have now been rescued, & reached Tamil Nadu today,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.

Bagchi said some more Indian citizens had also been rescued from “fake employers” and were in the custody of Myanmar authorities for “illegal entry into that country”. Legal formalities have been initiated to get them “repatriated at the earliest”, he said.

Instances of similar job rackets have come to light in Laos and Cambodia, and Indian embassies in Vientiane, Phnom Penh and Bangkok have been helping repatriate people from these countries, Bagchi said.

Details of agents allegedly involved in the job racket have been shared with authorities in various states for appropriate action. “We would reiterate extreme caution in accepting dubious employment offers overseas,” Bagchi added.

According to recent reports in US and Cambodian media, officials in Cambodia conducted a number of searches in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville against cybercriminal organisations linked to the “pig butchering” scam. The word “fatten” refers to the process of a farmer fattening a hog before butchering it. The deception depends on getting victims to keep depositing money into phoney websites run by con artists, according to the investigative journalism website ProPublica.

“Workers from around Asia are tricked into going to Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar for seemingly well-paid jobs that instead trap them inside scam sweatshops run by Chinese criminal syndicates. Those who resist directives to engage in online fraud face beatings, food deprivation or worse,” ProPublica reported.

Victims of the scam in the US, Canada and other countries lost huge amounts of money, sometimes more than a million dollars to fraudsters who convinced them to download a trading app called MetaTrader and deposit their savings in sham brokerages accessible via the app, according to the report.

Since mid-September, police operations in three locations in Cambodia have released thousands of workers who were being held against their will. The Sihanoukville raids between September 18 and 22 resulted in the release of 1,480 foreign citizens from India, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, according to numbers from the provincial police quoted by Cambodia’s VOD News. The precise number of Indian citizens was not immediately known.

The Indian embassy in Cambodia tweeted on September 24 that 14 Indian nationals had been rescued from “human trafficking gangs”, and reiterated a warning that citizens intending to visit the country for employment or business should check the background of the firms offering jobs.

People familiar with the matter earlier said that Indian embassies in Myanmar and Thailand were in touch with some 50 Indians who sought help, though some reports have suggested that up to 300 Indian workers may have been illegally taken to the Myawaddy area in Myanmar to work for rackets engaged in call-centre scams and crypto-currency fraud.

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