Mastercard launches Priceless India to showcase rich heritage to domestic, global travellers - The Daily Guardian
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Mastercard launches Priceless India to showcase rich heritage to domestic, global travellers

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Gurugram [Haryana] [India], February 11(ANI/NewsVoir): Mastercard today announced the launch of its flagship Priceless program in India. The program – known as Priceless India – will enable domestic and global travellers who are Mastercard cardholders to attain unique insights and exclusive access to several unparalleled experiences in the country.
The program will roll out in two phases. In the first phase, Mastercard will launch 16 short films that will introduce several unique aspects of India’s most iconic cities and destinations for tourists. Be it the history waiting to be unlocked at the Amer Fort in Jaipur, or Mumbai’s favourite plate of wonders that takes the viewers on a Priceless India gastronomical journey, the films cater to the aspirations of discerning domestic and global travellers who want much more from their trips.
In the second phase (post-February 21), Mastercard cardholders will get a chance to partake in these experiences in real-time through curated packages that can be purchased online. These packages offer bespoke offerings to address the diverse tastes and preferences of travel enthusiasts. The multi-phase campaign aims to rekindle Indian consumers’ desire for the most unique travel and entertainment experiences.
Speaking about the launch of Mastercard Priceless India, Amitabh Kant, CEO NITI Aayog said, “India is a land steeped in history and cultural vibrancy. Each part has its own unique flavour and our cities reflect this in their own way. It is wonderful to see an initiative that celebrates some of India’s most famous cities and tourist destinations and takes it to the World. The Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, God’s own country – Kerala, the Eternal city of Banaras and the many hidden stories that you will find in India’s commercial capital Mumbai- reflect the wide range of what India has to offer. I hope that through this series of films done by Live History India, people across the world will get a sense of how incredible India truly is, and they will come and spend time here.”
Rustom Dastoor, Senior Vice President, Head of Marketing and Communications, Asia Pacific, Mastercard said, “India is now an emerging giant of the Asia Pacific travel market. Today, about 73 percent of global consumers believe that experiences are more important than possessions. However, the pandemic of the past year forced people across the globe to cancel their plans as physical travel was temporarily put on hold. The launch of Mastercard Priceless India aims to address people’s desire for exploration by offering a similar experience digitally. Mastercard is thrilled to introduce a unique experience centered around India to put the country on the global tourism map once again. Mastercard has partnered with the world’s top travel researchers, historians, art curators and more to bring the choicest benefits to Mastercard cardholders who place a premium on experiences, be it untold stories, history, food, people, culture and more.”
Mastercard’s brand promise has always been to deliver Priceless experiences that count beyond material things. Priceless India is an extension of Priceless Cities which aims to unlock several unique experiences for Mastercard cardholders. Last year, for the first time, Priceless™ Cities was launched in South Asia, with the addition of Sri Lanka to the list that celebrates over 40 cities and destinations.
This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

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India’s working women battle strongest gender bias across A-Pac: LinkedIn

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New Delhi [India], Mar 2 (ANI): Even though 66 per cent of people in India feel that gender equality has improved compared to their parents’ age, working women still contend with the strongest gender bias across Asia Pacific countries, according to LinkedIn’s Opportunity Index 2021 report released on Tuesday.
When asked about their reasons for being unhappy with opportunities to advance in their careers, one in five (22 per cent) working women in India said their companies exhibit a ‘favourable bias’ towards men at work when compared to the regional average of 16 per cent.
LinkedIn, the world’s largest online professional network, commissioned independent market research firm GfK to conduct this research between January 26 to 31. The survey was conducted among 18 to 65 year olds via an online survey.
It had more than 10,000 respondents across the Asia Pacific region from Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore. The survey covered 2,285 respondents in India, 1,223 of whom were males and 1,053 were females.
Based on it, the LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2021 highlights the difference in perception of available opportunities in the market for men and women. While 37 per cent of India’s working women say they get fewer opportunities than men, only 25 per cent of men agree with this.
This disparity in perception is also seen in conversations about equal pay as more women (37 per cent) say they get less pay than men while only 21 per cent of men share this sentiment.
A deeper analysis shows that more women in India have experienced the impact of gender on career development when compared to the A-Pac region. More than four in five Indian working women (85 per cent) claim to have missed out on a raise, promotion or work offer because of their gender compared to the regional average of 60 per cent.
The top three job opportunities sought by both men and women are job security, a job that they love and a good work-life balance. But despite having similar goals, more women (63 per cent) think a person’s gender is important to get ahead in life when compared to men (54 per cent).
Consumer sentiment from the report shows that more than 7 in 10 working women (71 per cent) and working mothers (77 per cent) feel that managing familial responsibilities often come in their way of career development.
In fact, about two-thirds of working women (63 per cent) and working mothers (69 per cent) said they have faced discrimination at work because of familial and household responsibilities.
While job security is critical for working women across India, women are laying more emphasis on the type of employer they choose to work with, the recognition they will receive for the work they do, and the skills that will be utilised on the job.
As per LinkedIn’s findings, they are actively seeking employers who treat them as equal (50 per cent) while 56 per cent are looking to get recognition at work for what they do.
Lack of required professional skills and a lack of guidance through networks and connections are also some of the other barriers that get in the way of career development for working women in India.
Significantly, women have been disproportionately impacted amid Covid-19, and the expectations to juggle home and work life have wreaked havoc in their lives.
As a result of the barriers faced by women at work, more than one in two women and working mothers in India expect organisations to offer reduced or part-time schedules (56 per cent) and robust maternity leaves and policies (55 per cent) to make the transition smoother.
Telecommuting or work-from-home has also been appreciated by women across the workforce in India during the pandemic, and it is seen as the top-ranking demand for women in the workforce today along with other flexibility programmes.
More than one in two women are also looking for more professional connections and mentors who can help them advance their careers, as 65 per cent women agree that lack of guidance through networks is a key opportunity barrier.
“Gender inequality at work and added domestic responsibilities amid the pandemic have collectively made women’s jobs more vulnerable at this time,” said Ruchee Anand, Director for talent and learning solutions in India at LinkedIn.
“As Covid-19 continues to widen these gaps, this year’s LinkedIn Opportunity Index report suggests that it is the need of the hour for organisations to reimagine their diversity practices and offer greater flexibility to care-givers in order to increase female participation in the workforce.”
Anand said reduced and flexible schedules, more sabbaticals and new opportunities to upskill and learn are critical offerings that can help organisations attract, hire and retain more female talent.
Besides highlighting the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on women, this year’s research also uncovers how an ailing economy and working in isolation continues to negatively impact the lives of the entire Indian workforce. (ANI)

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NASSCOM launches campaign to accelerate AI-led innovation

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): In an effort to promote artificial intelligence (AI)-led innovation in the country, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) is launching a campaign called AI Gamechangers.
The programme seeks to recognise impactful and scalable AI-based innovation in the country with Microsoft as the innovation partner.
NASSCOM and Microsoft will work closely to develop and promote the AI Gamechangers programme built on a shared commitment towards accelerating the adoption of AI across key sectors.
The programme will recognise innovators for their successful AI implementation at NASSCOM’s Xperience AI Summit, one of the largest AI Summits in India.
This will serve as a platform for startups, enterprises, academia, governments, and NGOs to showcase their AI-based products and solutions, providing reach and impetus to drive AI innovation for the country.
The success stories will be featured in an accompanying annual compendium which will be released at the Xperience AI Summit.
NASSCOM President Debjani Ghosh said the past decades have seen a dramatic growth of innovation and talent in India. “While the country continues to leap forward to become the global innovation hub, we expect AI to unlock 500 billion dollars of value to India’s GDP by 2025,” she said.
Anant Maheshwari, President of Microsoft India, said cloud-led data and AI innovation offer a huge canvas for India to be the tech engine of the world and drive home-grown innovation.
“Data and AI are driving transformation at scale across industries and offer a tremendous opportunity to transform public infrastructure and solve some of the most critical issues facing the country,” he said.
The entries will be judged by a panel of industry leaders and subject matter experts on three primary aspects of problem selection, solution innovation and impact achieved. The nomination window will be open from March 4 to April 16. (ANI)

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Asia Pacific central government borrowings to remain high this year: S&P

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Singapore, March 2 (ANI): S&P Global Ratings on Tuesday projected that Asia Pacific central government borrowings will remain high by historical standards in 2021 after a pandemic-driven surge in 2020.
Long-term commercial borrowing for the region is likely to be 4.1 trillion dollars this year after reaching a record 4.6 trillion dollars in 2020, it said in a report.
Although it is a reduction from last year, sovereign commercial borrowing in 2021 will still be well above the sub-3 trillion dollar annual levels recorded in the few years leading up to 2019. “We expect reduced issuances out of China and Japan to account for the bulk of decline.”
Although the fighting against Covid-19 continues, its burden on government finances is likely to be lower. For one, vaccines being rolled out in many countries should allow governments to rein in the disease and lower the infection rates globally sometime this year.
In addition, having had about a year of experience dealing with the pandemic, most governments are better poised to limit the brunt of containment measures on their finances.
“We estimate that 70 per cent or 2.9 trillion dollars of the sovereigns’ gross long-term commercial borrowings will be used to refinance maturing debt,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst KimEng Tan.
Net long-term commercial borrowings are projected at about 1.2 trillion dollars this year. This is a little over half of the amount in 2020 but well above the 500 billion to 833 billion dollars annually in 2016-2019.
The projected issuance this year will bring the Asia Pacific sovereign commercial debt stock to an equivalent of 22 trillion dollars by the end of 2021, up by 1.4 trillion dollars from 2020.
“If we include bilateral and multilateral debt, the total stock in 2021 will reach 22.4 trillion dollars, about 1.4 trillion dollars above that in 2020. (ANI)

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Quess Corp separates Chairman and MD roles, appoints new CFO

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 2 (ANI): Business services provider Quess Corp has announced the separation of its Chairman and Managing Director roles as it seeks to scale up operations and reduce debt burden.
Suraj Moraje, currently Group CEO and Executive Director, will be elevated to Group CEO and Managing Director from April 1.
Ajit Isaac, currently Executive Chairman and MD, will continue in the role of Executive Chairman. The company also appointed N Ravi Vishwanath as Chief Financial Officer of the company effective April 1.
Vishwanath was previously CFO of Teamlease and Finance Director at Sun Microsystems. Subramanian Ramakrishnan, the current CFO, is stepping down from the company on March 31 to pursue an entrepreneurial venture.
Moraje welcomed Vishwanath to the team. “His vast experience in the staffing industry, public markets and investor relations will bring great value to Quess over the coming years, as we continue to execute towards our North Star of achieving and sustaining 20 per cent return on equity.”
The company reported rapid gross debt reduction from Rs 1,147 crore in Q4 FY20 to Rs 521 crore in Q3 FY21.
Quess helps large and emerging companies achieve higher productivity and greater workforce flexibility at lower costs through integrated outsourcing and technology offerings.
It has a team of 3.3 lakh employees across India, North America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East across platforms like workforce management, global technology services and operating asset management.
Quess serves over 3,000 clients worldwide. Established in 2007, it has a market capitalisation of Rs 8,071 crore. (ANI)

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Equity indices up 1 pc, energy and IT stocks gain

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 2 (ANI): Equity benchmark indices were in the positive terrain during early hours on Tuesday with energy and IT stocks witnessing substantial gains amid positive global trends.
At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was up by 514 points or 1.03 per cent at 50,364 while the Nifty 50 ticked up by 154 points or 1.03 per cent to 14,915.
All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the green with Nifty IT up by 2.1 per cent, realty by 0.9 per cent and private bank by 0.7 per cent.
Among stocks, Bharat Petroleum Corporation rose by 5.4 per cent to Rs 479.85 per share after the company said it will exit Numaligarh refinery in Assam by selling its entire stake to a consortium of Oil India Ltd and Engineers India Ltd for Rs 9,876 crore.
Power utility NTPC was up by 3.7 per cent to Rs 112.45 while IndianOil Corporation edged higher by 3.2 per cent to Rs 103.95. IT majors Wipro, Infosys, Tech Mahindra and Tata Consultancy Services were traded higher by about 2 per cent.
However, ONGC fell by 1.3 per cent to Rs 115.55 per share. Hindalco, HDFC, Eicher Motors, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Dr Reddy’s traded with a negative bias.
Meanwhile, Asia extended the global rally in stocks as a halt in a recent bond markets sell-off eased investor nerves and lifted riskier assets.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan firmed by 0.97 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei was slightly down by 0.12 per cent.
Chinese blue-chips gained by 0.58 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced by 0.9 per cent, helped by steady and robust demand from investors in mainland China for shares in the Asian financial hub. (ANI)

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Champak Jain and the Victory Music brings to you the new romantic anthem for this love season

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 1 (ANI/PNN): Champak Jain and Victory Music bring you its new romantic number. The song by Victory Music and Sanjana is the new language of love.
The song celebrates love and simple things it stands for. It celebrates the journey of two people loving each other. Currently at 590k views Bhool has been touching hearts everywhere.
The creation of this song has been a beautiful journey. “Yashh (My partner) and me heard the song in August of 2019 on Instagram randomly on the singer Sanjana’s page. We made our father Champak Jain of Venus Music to hear just 30 seconds of the song. He liked the song immediately. We got in touch with Sanjana and asked her would she complete the song.
She was thrilled and excited the minute we contacted her and the rest was history. We contacted a mutual friend of ours and got in touch with Avinash and Shivya and they agreed instantly. Our super talented director duo Disha and Somen did a fantastic job in making the video,” says Jagrat Jain, Partner at Victory Music.
This story is provided by PNN. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/PNN)

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