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Wipro recognised in HRC’s 2021 corporate equality index

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], February 8 (ANI): IT consulting major Wipro Ltd has been named to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 corporate equality index (CEI).
The CEI is a premier benchmarking survey and report on US corporate policies and practices relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality administered by the Human Rights Campaign.
This is the third time that Wipro has been included in the CEI, demonstrating its commitment to sustained diversity and inclusion efforts.
Wipro scored 95 out of 100, earning perfect marks in multiple categories including workplace protections and inclusive benefits. Wipro has also been named to the Indian equality index, demonstrating that its commitment to equality and inclusion extends to its offices around the globe.
“Cultivating a culture of inclusion and making it a way of life requires a sustained and conscious effort,” said Sunita Cherian, Chief Culture Officer and Senior Vice President for Corporate Human Resources.
“This has become more important in our new remote ways of working. We are proud to be recognised by the Human Rights Campaign for our efforts as we continue to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment that embodies our values of respect and openness,” she said in a statement on Monday.

Wipro has a history of working to advance LGBTQ+ inclusion with this mission formally included in its inclusion and diversity charter since 2018.
The decision led to important revisions to Wipro’s code of business conduct, supplier code of conduct and equal opportunity policy, and meant that it will now include protection against discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression. (ANI)

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Consumer recovery in India getting underway: Fitch

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Singapore, Mar 4 (ANI): Household spending in India is likely to grow by a real rate of 7.9 per cent year-on-year in 2021, marking an improvement from the negative 14 per cent contraction in 2020, Fitch Solutions said on Thursday.
Despite unemployment remaining heightened at 8 per cent through 2021 and 2022, consumers’ confidence is returning with people expecting an improvement in their general economic situation. This will aid the spending recovery story from H2 2021 onwards.
“We forecast household spending in India to return to growth in 2021 after the Covid-19 pandemic led to a contraction in consumer spending in 2020,” said Fitch.
“While growth will return to positive in 2021, we do note the recovery will be slower than most countries as a result of the significant contraction over 2020.”
Consumer confidence took a hit over the past four quarters and was at the lowest in May 2020 due to economic slowdown. The poor consumer demand impacted credit growth as people postponed the non-essential spending.
In January 2021, India’s future expectations index increased for four successive quarters and stood at 117.1, indicating that a recovery will be underway.
Fitch said the forecast for household spending over 2021 considers the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Indian consumer spending and government stimulus measures used to support the economy.
However, in nominal terms, total household spending will only be 3.3 per cent higher than what it was in 2019 (Rs 125.6 lakh crore in 2021 compared to Rs 121.6 lakh crore in 2019), highlighting the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic had on consumer spending.
Food and non-alcoholic drink spending were prioritised in household budgets in 2020, and so growth in spending on these items while remaining positive will be slightly lower than in 2020.
“We forecast food and non-alcoholic drinks spending to grow by 7.4 per cent year-on-year in 2021, from the 10.1 per cent growth we forecast for 2020.”
Spending within other consumer categories were estimated to record significant contractions over 2020 as households cut spending on non-essential items. “As such, these categories will grow from a relatively lower base over 2021 and thus will report stronger growth over the year,” said Fitch.
The dynamics behind its forecast outlook assume that the economy will grow by a real rate of 9.5 per cent over 2021, an improvement from 7.9 per cent contraction estimated over 2020. (ANI)

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TCS debuts solution for Covid-19 testing and vaccine management

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Mar 4 (ANI): Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Thursday announced the launch of a Covid-19 testing and vaccine management software solution to streamline every stage of the journey, enabling more individuals to return to normal life experiences.
The product leverages artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as the company’s network of technology partners.
TCS said the suite transforms all five stages of testing and vaccination journeys: research and manufacture, allocate and transport, store and distribute, schedule and administer, and monitor and re-open.
“It enables ecosystem participants at each of these stages to seamlessly share critical information among themselves while complying with privacy and consent regulations, and to scale up their operations so that communities receive the required quantities of tests and vaccines.”
Debashis Ghosh, Business Group Head for life sciences, healthcare and public sector, said the TCS suite of Covid-19 testing and vaccine management solutions is built to enable transparency, ease of access and equity that will collectively accelerate a return to normalcy.
“The pandemic is changing our world in many ways, driving stakeholder collaboration across industries that share a commitment to getting testing and vaccines to everyone,” he said.
In designing its new solution suite, TCS emulated the example of successful retailers and other consumer-centric enterprises to adopt their proven, people-centric approach to optimise testing and vaccination ecosystems.
Besides, given the urgency of the problem, re-purposing proven use cases from other consumer-facing industries helped speed up the design of end-to-end solution, said TCS. (ANI)

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Equity indices plunge on weak global cues, metal stocks hit badly

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Mar 4 (ANI): Equity benchmark indices fell sharply during early hours on Thursday as traders booked profit on weak global cues.
At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 650 points or 1.26 per cent at 50,795 while the Nifty 50 edged lower by 194 points or 1.27 per cent to 15,052.
All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the negative terrain with Nifty metal down by 2.9 per cent, PSU bank and financial service by 2.3 per cent each, and auto by 1.3 per cent.
Among stocks, JSW Steel dropped by 3.4 per cent to Rs 413.65 per share while Tata Steel was down by 3.2 per cent to Rs 752.25. Hindalco too dipped by 2.6 per cent to Rs 349.80 per share.
Banking and financial stocks too fell with HDFC down by 3 per cent, Bajaj Finserv by 2.8 per cent, HDFC Bank by 2.7 per cent, Axis Bank by 2.5 per cent and ICICI Bank by 2.4 per cent.
However, Adani Ports, ONGC, Grasim and Tech Mahindra traded with a positive bias.
Meanwhile, resurgent worries about rising US bond yields hit global shares as investors waited to see if Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will address concerns about the risk of a rapid rise in long-term borrowing costs.
The MSCI’s ex-Japan Asian Pacific shares lost by 1.7 per cent in early trade while Japan’s Nikkei fell by 2.46 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down by 2.53 per cent, South Korea’s Kospi by 1.93 per cent and Shanghai composite by 1.58 per cent. (ANI)

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Cloud Kitchen startup ‘Kouzina’ celebrates 7 years with all-India expansion

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 3 (ANI/NewsVoir): Kouzina has grown from a single brand single kitchen in December 2013 to more than 40 multi-brand cloud kitchens across 7 cities in the country today, the company has seen consistent growth.
The Bangalore-based company offers a digitally powered platform that delivers quality food from a network of hyperlocal cloud kitchens. WarmOven is one of the company’s leading brands that specializes in cakes and desserts, having pioneered this category online.
The brand has become a leader in the cakes and dessert space by focussing its product innovation solely based on customer need. “Having pioneered the cakes and desserts category online, we ensure that our customers get the best delivery experience in this category by investing in all aspects of the experience from freshly baked cakes to exceptional packaging.
We constantly listen to what the customer has to tell us and implement the changes that are required so that we can delight every single customer. We aim to be a dessert and bakery brand that customers trust for every occasion,” says Radhakrishna, Brand Manager of WarmOven.
WarmOven has something to offer everyone – a range of unique products that encourage customers to make every moment worth celebrating with a cake. Their latest Mini Cakes of 250 grams have become a trend for smaller celebrations.
Surprise cakes, smash cakes, half cakes and a range of premium Entremets create ‘wow’ moments for customers. The brand also promotes unique celebratory concepts like ‘Do not Blow Candles’ that aims at educating customers about celebrating responsibly.
Products co-created with other FMCG players offer customers the same great WarmOven cake with a blend of flavour and texture of other loved products. Collaborations with other such partners help the brand create unique products while increasing its reach to a wider market.
Kouzina also caters to fast food and snacking through Indiana Burgers and KaatiZone that are co-located in the same kitchens.
Indiana Burgers is a nostalgic Bangalore brand from the 1980s that continues to deliver delicious juicy burgers across the country. The burgers range from simple ‘on-the-go’ burgers to Gourmet Meals and the popular Beast Burgers.
What started in Bangalore about 2 decades ago, with the aim of making street food healthier and hygienic, has now evolved as a much-loved and trusted fast-food brand across the country. KaatiZone has extended beyond Kaati rolls into Cheeserias, Healthy Wraps and the newly introduced sell-out, Rice Bowls.
“We are humbled to see our brands grow and to receive continuous love from customers. We aim to extend the Bangalorean experience to the rest of the country. We strongly believe that our burgers and rolls will speak for themselves,” says Kranthi Kumar, Brand Manager, Indiana Burgers & KaatiZone.
Founded by entrepreneurs with deep experience in the food delivery space, Kouzina announced funding round in June 2020 and is backed by leading entrepreneurs such as Jyoti Bansal, Anuj Srivastava, Harpreet Grover and others. The company plans to continue aggressive expansion into additional cities and is also exploring a technology-enabled franchising model for its expansion.
Founded by Gautam Balijepalli, Mahesh Madiyala, Sumit Gupta, and Rohankumar Rao in 2013, WarmOven is a delivery-based cakes and desserts brand that wholly operates online. Its cloud kitchen-based model is expected to display significant growth following the pandemic.
All Kouzina kitchens are FSSAI certified and maintain high hygiene standards. WarmOven and other brands are available on delivery platforms like Swiggy, Zomato, Dunzo, Paytm and Amazon or their website www.warmoven.in.
It has never been just about the food, there is an emotion attached to every food bag going out of the Kouzina kitchens.
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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California Walnuts launches global marketing initiative with coordinated “Power of 3” events across the globe

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI/NewsVoir): The California Walnut Commission announced today the second annual “Power of 3” global marketing campaign, which builds on the successful 2020 campaign. “Power of 3” will launch on March 3rd with a first-ever global event celebrated in the USA, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the Middle East to showcase how they like to get their daily handful of walnuts.
The Power of 3:
Launches March, the 3rd month of the year.
Emphasizes the rich essential plant-based omega-3 ALA content of walnuts (2.5 grams/28 grams).
Encourages a handful a day (28 grams) as a simple way to improve overall nutrition.
This campaign is a fun and engaging way to build on one of California walnuts’ core benefits as the only nut that is a rich source of plant-based omega-3 ALA (2.5 grams/28 grams). ALA is an essential nutrient needed by the human body that can only be provided through the diet and has been associated with benefits for heart health, brain health and healthy ageing.
28 grams serving of walnuts provides plant-based protein (4 grams), fibre (2 grams) and is a good source of magnesium. Walnuts are also a good source of vitamin B6 (0.2 mg/28 grams) and an excellent source of copper (0.45 mg/28 grams) and manganese (0.1 mg/28 grams) all of which contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system.
“There was tremendous excitement around the globe for the Power of 3 campaign last year and we are thrilled to bring it back on an even bigger scale in 2021,” shares Pamela Graviet, Senior Marketing Director, International, for the California Walnut Commission. “This campaign makes it simple for consumers to remember just how easily they can improve their overall diet with a handful of walnuts.”
The campaign will employ a variety of communications tools, including a video that is a core component of the campaign and will be used across all markets. Recipes, developed by influencers in each country, will be shared across the globe providing inspiration to consumers.
Other elements will vary by market including digital and social media, blog posts, sweepstakes, influencer programs, recipe tips and tricks, easy recipes, instore promotions, advertisements and more to generate awareness that a handful of California walnuts is a powerful addition to the diet.
The Science behind Plant-Based Omega-3 ALA
All omega-3s provide health benefits, so it’s important to get these good fats from a variety of sources. As the only nut significantly high in omega-3 ALA (2.5 grams/28 grams), one of the easiest ways to get more ALA into your diet is to start with walnuts.
ALA and Heart Health
A study from Advances in Nutrition found that ALA may help improve heart health just as we have seen in studies focused on EPA and DHA.[1] The literature review provided evidence showing the potentially beneficial role ALA may have in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, including stroke and heart attack.
According to a clinical trial published in The Journal of Nutrition, eating a diet rich in omega-3 ALA, from foods like walnuts, may help to lower the risk of heart disease through anti-inflammatory effects.[2] Given the current promising data, there is a need for well-controlled clinical trials to clarify the effects of ALA on risk for cardiovascular disease and to determine the recommended amount of ALA to consume for heart health benefits.
ALA and Brain Health
A review study from Progress in Lipid Research assessed the tissue levels of omega-3 DHA formed from ALA.[3] They reported several important findings. The first was that ALA leads to the synthesis of EPA in some cases, and in particular, may contribute to DHA levels in the brain. Evidence from a variety of studies suggests dietary ALA may be able to fulfil the human requirement for DHA in the body when higher levels of ALA (at least 1.2 grams) are consumed.
Assessing the synthesis of EPA and DHA from ALA in humans is limited to blood level measurements. The takeaway from this study is that through its conversion process, ALA may play a role in maintaining DHA levels in important issues such as the brain. More research is needed to fully understand the effect of this process on the body.
ALA and Healthy Aging
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2020) looked at regular consumption of foods rich in marine or plant-based omega-3s and the risk of death among individuals who have suffered a heart attack.[4] In addition, research from one of the largest clinical trials looking at the benefits of a Mediterranean diet suggested older Spanish individuals (ages 55-80) with a high cardiac risk who supplemented a high fish diet with dietary ALA saw a reduced risk of all-cause mortality.[5] Specifically, study participants who consumed at least 0.7 per cent of their daily calorie intake from ALA had a 28 per cent reduced risk of all-cause mortality.
California Walnut Commission
The California Walnut Commission (CWC) was established in 1987 to represent the walnut growers and handlers of California and is funded by mandatory assessments of the growers. The Commission is an agency of the State of California that works in concurrence with the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and is mainly involved in health research on the consumption of walnuts and export market development activities.
Non-Discrimination Statement
The California Walnut Commission (CWC) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, colour, national origin, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program (not all bases apply to all programs). Persons with limited English proficiency or disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, American Sign Language, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the CWC offices at (916) 932-7070.
To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html or write a letter with all information requested in the form and either send to USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, fax to (202) 690-7442, or email to program.intake@usda.gov. CWC is an equal opportunity employer and provider.
[1] Fleming JA, Kris-Etherton PM. The evidence for a-linolenic acid and cardiovascular disease benefits: comparisons with eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Adv Nutr. 2014;5(6):863S-76S. doi: 10.3945/an.114.005850.
[2] Zhao G, Etherton TD, Martin KR, West SG, Gillies PJ, Kris-Etherton PM. Dietary alpha-linolenic acid reduces inflammatory and lipid cardiovascular risk factors in hypercholesterolemic men and women. J Nutr. 2004; 134:2991-7. doi: 10.1093/jn/134.11.2991
[3] Barcelo-Coblijn G, Murphy EJ. Alpha-linolenic acid and its conversion to longer chain n3 fatty acids: Benefits for human health and a role in maintaining tissue n-3 fatty acid levels. Prog Lipid Res. 2009;48(6):355-74. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2009.07.002.
[4] Lazaro I, Rueda F, Cediel G, et al. Circulating Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Incident Adverse Events in Patients With Acute Myocardial Infarction. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 Oct, 76 (18) 2089-2097. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2020.08.073.
[5] Sala-Vila A, Guasch-Ferre M, Hu FB, et al. Dietary a-linolenic acid, marine o-3 fatty acids, and mortality in a population with high fish consumption: findings from the PREvencion con DIeta MEDiterranea (PREDIMED) study. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016;5(1):e002543. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.
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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Bajaj Electricals, Mahindra Logistics sign Rs 1,000 crore project for integrated logistics services

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 3 (ANI): Bajaj Electricals Ltd (BEL) and Mahindra Logistics Ltd (MLL) on Wednesday signed a five-year, Rs 1,000 crore agreement for logistics optimisation and outsourcing arrangement.
The deal is an end-to-end redesign and outsourcing of BEL’s entire logistics by MLL with the twin objectives of achieving enhanced service levels coupled with a logistics cost saving in excess of 25 per cent.
“The total contract value of this one-of-its-kind deal in Indian logistics industry will be in excess of Rs 1,000 crore over the next five years, and is the outcome of a unique and collaborative solution,” both companies said in a statement.
MLL has developed for BEL a redesigned and consolidated logistics network with storage optimisation, transportation management and inventory movement through technology, best practices and automation.
At the heart of the network, there will be two mega-warehouses in New Delhi and Mumbai with latest technology, automation and skill-building enhanced by sustainable warehouse practices.
The network will further operate IT-enabled fulfilment centres from which BEL’s dealers, distributors, customers will have delivery lead times.
MLL will deploy long-haul fleets and local distribution trucks enabled by tracking technology and control tower operations. There will also be a transition towards sustainable logistics using electric delivery trucks from EDel by Mahindra Logistics.
For BEL, the project marks a significant transition towards leveraging logistics management as a competitive advantage. “We have been actively working towards various strategic initiatives to enhance value for our customers and other stakeholders,” said Executive Director Anuj Poddar.
“This collaboration with MLL is one such key initiative and I am confident that it will help transform our logistics, help us serve our customers efficiently, strengthen our competitiveness and also drive improved margins.”
Rampraveen Swaminathan, CEO and Managing Director of MLL, said: “Adapting our learnings from disparate industry verticals allowed us to create an innovative solution for the consumer durables and electronics business leveraging our reach, know-how and tech investments in equal parts.” (ANI)

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