Semiconductor shortage could carry on till 2023 — Prashanth Doreswamy, Continental

2020年1月28日 0 Comments

The 2021 ACMA Annual Session gave us some crucial insights into the automotive components industry, especially the shortage of semiconductors. Vehicles use semiconductors for various purposes, like the infotainment system, safety systems, autonomous features, etc. Semiconductors are also used in electric vehicles, which India is pushing hard to transition to. During the ACMA Annual session, Prashanth Doreswamy, the Country Head for Continental India and MD for Continental Automotive, in a panel discussion with other industry experts, said, The shortage of semiconductors could spill over to 2022, and in some parts, even 2023. Looking back at what happened, Doreswamy said, If we look at the usage of microcontrollers (MCUs) in an average vehicle, it can have anywhere between 20 to 100 MCUs. As an industry, we missed two adjacent trends. One was the growth in the non-auto industry, as there was a huge demand for laptops, IoT devices, phones, and electronics. The second was in the process of being very lean, most of the semiconductor manufacturers had sub-contracted the wafer manufacturing to others, and we ended up with one place with 56% of the automotive requirement. These are the two trends the automotive industry missed. Speaking about an earlier situation, the Head of Continental says, We had a similar situation ten years ago. In 2011, when there was a Tsunami crisis in Japan, as an industry, we did learn a lot. Going forward, we need to change the way the automotive industry works. He adds, It takes around 2 to 6 months to manufacture wafers, and then it moves on to be made into semiconductors. Somewhere in the process, someone was holding a huge inventory and when the crisis started, those semiconductors were sold to the non-automotive industry, and thats where we got into the problem. He said, More capacities are being added. However, the system is so dry that a small jerk is causing an impact at the OEMs end. He said how the snowstorm in Texas and the Covid situation in Malaysia also slowed down the manufacturing process of semiconductors. Doresway said, To be honest, we have to live with this (semiconductor shortage) in 2021, we may see a small improvement in 2022, and we can expect to see a spillover of the shorage in 2023 as well. Speaking about the same from SIAMs perspective, Vipin Sondhi, Vice President, SIAM and MD and CEO of Ashok Leyland, said, We have learnt many lessons in the past 18 months, and the semiconductor shortage is one such lesson. We can look at it in two ways He added, SIAM has reached out to the Ministry of External Affairs to ensure India needs its fair share of semiconductors. We have reached out to the Commerce Ministry to make sure prices have not gone up, and we are working with the Ministry of Shipping for additional containers for the automotive industry. These are what we are doing with the government. Speaking about what SIAM is doing as an industry, Sondhi said, We need a dynamic master production plan, which SIAM is working on, that is testing all of us. In the long-term, we have no option of protecting ourselves as a country to protect ourselves from semiconductor shortages. We have to stay with this, but find whatever solutions we can. The semiconductor shortage did not affect the entire automotive industry, though, some were unaffected. For example, Mahindras tractor division did not feel the brunt of the semiconductor shortage, as tractors do not use them. While most of the industry had a decline in sales and manufacturing difficulties, the tractor industry posted growth. Such a situation rises many questions. One among them is why dont automakers start manufacturing semiconductors themselves, or SIAM as a whole do it? Give the fact that automotive manufacturers are not the primary customers, it does not suit the business module.

SAIL to invest Rs 4,000 cr in Jharkhand over 3 yrs, to augment Gua mines capacity to 10 MT

2020年1月28日 0 Comments

State-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) on Saturday expressed commitment to invest Rs 4,000 crore in the next three years in Jharkhand to augment capacity of its Gua mines besides installing a 4-million-tonne (MT) pallet plant. The intent for investment was made at the launch of the Jharkhand Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (JIIPP) 2021 by Chief Minister Hemant Soren. SAIL is one of the largest steel-making companies in the country under the Ministry of Steel producing iron and steel at five integrated plants and three special steel plants, including Bokaro Steel Plant (BSL) in Jharkhand. We have expressed commitment to spend Rs 4,000 crore in Jharkhand over the next three years, SAIL Executive Director (Operations) Ajay Arora told PTI. Arora said the investment will be to expand the capacity of SAILs captive Gua mines to 10 million tonnes from the existing 4 MT. At the same time, we know that as we deepen the mines, the quality of ore becomes inferior. We are going for a beneficiation technology there to upgrade ore quality from existing 61 per cent to 63 per cent. We are investing both in beneficiation of expanding capacity along with a four-million-tonne pallet plant. The pallet plant is a greenfield (fresh) project in Gua mines, and we will do it in three years, he said. Chief Minister Hemant Soren said, You all are part of Jharkhand family. And, we want our family to grow further, so that the rich identity of the state comes in front of the country and the world. Soren said an upgraded industrial policy has been prepared and it is a matter of pride that you have expressed your willingness to invest in Jharkhand. As part of its global ambition, the company is undergoing a massive expansion and modernisation programme involving upgrading and building new facilities with emphasis on state-of-the-art green technology. It has Research and Development Centre for Iron and Steel (RDCIS) at Ranchi, Jharkhand. The company has revenue to the tune of over Rs 80,689 crore. Last month, the domestic major returned to the black, posting a consolidated net profit of Rs 3,897.36 crore for the June 2021 quarter. The company had posted a Rs 1,226.47-crore net loss in the year-ago quarter. Its net income during April-June 2021 more than doubled to Rs 20,754.75 crore, compared with Rs 9,346.21 crore in the year-ago period.

Star Health’s Platinum Range of Cancer Care and Cardiac Care policies to provide enhanced cover – Check features

2020年1月28日 0 Comments

Star Health and Allied Insurance has launched two new variants of their products These products address the needs of people who are diagnosed with cancer and cardiac conditions. These policies do not require any pre-medical tests. However, the insured needs to submit the previous medical records of treatment undergone at the time of purchasing the policy. Policies are renewable lifelong and premiums can be paid quarterly, half-yearly and annually as well. Cancer Care Platinum: Health Insurance for Individuals diagnosed and surviving with cancer. Covers persons aged between 5 months and 65 years with a sum insured up to Rs 10 lakhs. Covers expenses incurred due to hospitalization for cancer and non-cancer-related ailments with applicable waiting periods. No waiting period for accidents, 30 days for non-cancer treatment, 12 months for hospice care, 30 months for treatment of cancer and pre-existing diseases. Lump-sum cover for cancer: 50 per cent of the sum insured as the optional benefit will be paid if the insured person suffers a recurrence, metastasis, and\/or a second malignancy unrelated to first cancer after a waiting period of 30 months. Cardiac Care-Platinum: Health Insurance for individuals diagnosed with cardiac ailments. Cardiac Care – Platinum covers persons aged between 7 years and 70 years with a sum insured of up to Rs 15 lakhs. Covers expense incurred due to hospitalization for cardiac and non-cardiac conditions after 30 days of policy inception. No waiting period for accidents, 24 months for named ailments and heart transplant and 48 months for other pre-existing diseases. Dr S Prakash, MD, Star Health and Allied Insurance says, As a doctor, I see most of the time people in India seeking health insurance coverage after a major diagnosis like cancer\/heart disease. Often they are not able to get cover for existing heart disease and cancer. Striving to change this and to include these deserving people as well under insurance cover, Star Health Insurance has introduced these products. These new policies are an endeavour to address a genuine and important need of our fellow citizens. Key Features of Star Cancer Care Platinum Insurance Policy 10,00,000. Policyholders can opt for a sum insured of Rs 5,00,000, Rs. 7,50,000, or Rs. 10,00,000. Note that this benefit is in addition to the indemnity sum insured. Payable up to 20 per cent of the sum insured at network providers on the indemnity basis, payable once in a lifetime. Available after a waiting period of 12 months from the policy inception. Renewal benefits: – The insured will get a Cumulative bonus of 5 per cent of the basic sum insured for each claim-free year up to a maximum of 50 per cent of the basic sum insured. – Health Check-up – Insured can avail health check-ups after each claim-free year. – Premium: For a person aged 36 yrs for Rs. 10,00,000 sum Insured, premium (excluding GST) is Rs. 23,605. Key Features of Star Cardiac Care Insurance Policy Customers can opt for a sum insured of Rs 5,00,000, Rs. 7,50,000, Rs. 10,00,000 or Rs.15,00,000. – Premium: For a person aged 50 years for Rs 10,00,000 sum Insured, premium (excluding GST) is Rs 31,035.

Prone positioning can prevent need for ventilation in COVID-19 patients: Lancet study

2020年1月21日 0 Comments

Prone positioning – rotating patients with severe breathing issues so they are face down – soon after admission can significantly reduce the need for mechanical ventilation in COVID-19 patients, according to a study published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal. The research was carried out across six countries and involved more than 1,100 hospitalised COVID-19 patients who required high-flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy used to deliver adequately heated and humidified oxygen. The findings are from a trial conducted in medical centres in the US, Mexico, France, Canada, Ireland, and Spain on severely ill patients with COVD-19 between April 2020 and January 2021. Breathing in the prone position helps the lungs work more efficiently, explained the studys lead author Jie Li, associate professor at Rush University Medical Center in the US . When people with severe oxygenation issues are laying on their stomachs, it results in better matching of the blood flow and ventilation in the lungs which improves blood oxygen levels, Li said. Awake prone positioning has been reported to improve oxygenation for patients with COVID-19 in retrospective and observational studies, but whether it improves patient-centred outcomes is unknown. In the latest study, adult patients with COVID-19 who required respiratory support from a high-flow nasal cannula, and agreed to participate in this clinical trial, were randomly assigned to the supine – lying horizontally with the face looking up – or prone positioning groups. They were asked to stay in that position for as long as they could tolerate. Both the supine and prone positioning groups received high-flow oxygen therapy and standard medical management. Patients were continually monitored to determine if mechanical ventilation was needed. The study showed that the patients in the prone positioning group were significantly less likely to require mechanical ventilation (33 per cent in the awake prone positioning group vs 40 per cent in the supine group). Study lead author, Stephan Ehrmann, from Centre Hospitalier Regional Universitaire de TOURS (CHRU), France said that awake prone positioning is a safe intervention that reduces the risk of treatment failure in acute severe hypoxemic respiratory failure due to COVID-19. Our findings support the routine implementation of awake prone positioning in critically ill patients with COVID19 requiring high flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy, Ehrmann said. It appears important that clinicians improve patient comfort during prone positioning, so the patient can stay in the position for at least 8 hours a day, he added. The researchers noted that reducing the need for mechanical ventilation means that resources can be most effectively utilised. Ventilators can indeed save the lives of people who are no longer able to breathe on their own, said Li. We now have strategies to keep patients off the ventilator, saving those devices for the sickest patients who truly need them, Li added.

The goal is to charge EVs by the time one finishes a coffee – Sanjay Gupta, NXP Semiconductors

2020年1月21日 0 Comments

Electric vehicles are seeing an increase in India, and with the launch of the Hyundai Kona and the Tata Nexon, EVs have addressed Range Anxiety for many. Fast forward to the present day, there are several EVs to choose from, both two and four-wheelers. The recent launch of the Ola electric scooter and Simple have proved that battery-powered vehicles are on par with petrol-driven ones. There are multiple contributors for manufacturers to develop EVs directly, or indirectly. One such company in India that is looking at supporting the electric vehicle movement is NXP Semiconductors, a Dutch company, headquartered in Eindhoven, Netherlands, that focuses on the automotive industry. The company has one of its design centres in India, one of the largest in the world for NXP. Express Mobility, in an interview with Sanjay Gupta, the Vice President and India country manager, discussed various topics around the companys role, and strategy towards building a robust EV ecosystem for the Indian market. The EV market globally is explosive. When you look at the EV market 10 years ago, the policies, regulations, availability of technology, and even the political will were not very clear. Today, everything is coming together never before. From the technology point of view, NXP has pumped in millions of dollars into RD to develop electric vehicles, says Sanjay Gupta. The EV market consumer currently faces two situations These two challenges translate to NXP Semiconductors directly in terms of battery management systems and power control systems. Given the two challenges, convincing consumers to switch to electric vehicles is not easy. Sanjay Gupta says, India is one of the countries known for its bad air quality. Cities such as Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, etc., are some of the most polluted cities in the world, which is not good. If we can move towards EVs, we will be doing a social cause towards health, as this is important. Nobody will understand this better than us, having suffered the most during the Corona wave. He adds, EVs will also help save money in the long run. The initial investment is more, but the reoccurring cost is much lower when comparing EVs to ICE vehicles, as EVs dont have as many moving parts compared to a petrol or a diesel vehicle. The other way to implement EVs faster is to standardise charging stations and chargers across the country. We have been working closely with the government of India to make them standard, so the experience of owning EVs will be seamless. One of the challenges is that India does not have a standard when it comes to chargers (be it AC, DC, the volts, etc.). Unfortunately, we have created various standards over time, and this has to change quickly to charge cars by different automakers. The Indian government is doing its best to promote electric vehicles in India. The government offers subsidies to carmakers, automotive component manufacturers, and even end customers. But can this be improved in some way? Can we learn from other countries? We can look at Chine and learn, says Sanjay Gupta. In the last few years, China has become a notable country in the EV space. China offered a lot of incentives to EV buyers, and India can do something similar, like give electric car buyers an income tax rebate, which, although is small, can promote the governments goal of increasing EVs on road. Another approach can be free parking facilities. But what will make the most impact is the standardisation of charging facilities to offer seamless recharges or mandating every petrol station to have an EV charger. We need to eradicate the fear of owning an electric car that makes people think theyre stuck once they buy an EV. And on the industrys part, we need to offer customers the best technology possible and a high-quality experience. We need to make them more convenient, efficient, and safer. Sanjay adds, The industry should look at making batteries last longer. Integrating better technology where the battery communicates with the car to turn off devices when the battery is low or find the nearest charging station are some of the things NXP Semiconductors is working on. When speaking about electric vehicles, some prefer long-range, while others favour quicker recharge intervals. Speaking on this, Sanjay says, India does not have the US or European culture that sees people travel more than 300 kilometres a day on a day-to-day basis. This is a small percentage. For the majority, if the range can last a 100 km journey, that addresses almost 90% of the users and this is good for now. In the long run, long-range and quick charging intervals need to be developed side by side. To really penetrate the market, manufacturers will have to break all barriers and look at possibilities of charging batteries by the time one finishes a coffee. NXP is working on three trends related to automobiles. First, battery technology, battery management system, vehicle electronics, and charging infrastructure. The second trend is about seamless payment systems that allow you to pay automatically when charging an EV. The technology NXP is working on allows payments as soon as the car is plugged in, enabling the charger to know the vehicle details. The money is automatically deducted from a digital wallet, something like the fast tags. And finally, driverless cars. More on these trends soon.

Better realisation from sugar retail sales boosted bottom line in FY21: EID Parry

2020年1月21日 0 Comments

Saying that its sugar business improved during FY21, EID Parry, part of the over Rs 38,000-crore Murugappa Group, has said the company exhibited strong resilience by focusing on process efficiencies, cost optimisation and strong commitment on the retail front. The company has worked on gaining healthy volume growth and building up a strong portfolio of its products while focusing on market development. S Suresh, MD, EID Parry, in a message to shareholders in the annual report 2021, said its focus on improving efficiencies in the systems and processes, lowering interest cost, and better realisation from sugar retail and alcohol sales have helped in enhancing the company Standalone revenue from operations of the company for FY21 stood at Rs 2,024 crore against Rs 1,875 crore in the previous year, while the profit after tax was at Rs 865 crore against Rs 2 crore. Though the last few years were marked by the companys decision to close some of its unviable operations in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry due to the non-availability of adequate cane, it has also decided to shift some of the capacities to the high cane-growing areas of Karnataka which should augur well to utilise the capacities in a productive manner in the years to come. We believe that the business need not have to manufacture sugar to sell sugar and there is enormous opportunity available in this untapped space, which we will be exploring with our solid foundation of brand and quality. While we have done well, we can do better. We are inspired to embrace more ambitious opportunities to expand our business, As a part of long-term strategy, the company de-risks itself from the cyclicality of the sugar business by way of value addition, and increasing the volume proportions sold in institution and retail segments. The company continued to focus in strengthening its presence in the branded sugar retail market to benefit from higher realisations, healthy long-term prospects and a more stable realisation for its sugar.

Govt extends tenures of UBI, Central Bank of India’s exec directors

2020年1月21日 0 Comments

Public sector lenders Union Bank of India (UBI) and Central Bank of India on Friday said the government has extended tenures of their executive directors. The terms of UBIs executive directors – Manas Ranjan Biswal and Gopal Singh Gusain – have been extended vide a notification dated August 26, the lender said in a regulatory filing. Biswals term has been extended beyond his currently notified term, which expires on February 28, 2022, till the date of his superannuation (April 30, 2022) or until further orders, whichever is earlier, Union Bank of India said. Similarly, Gusains term has been extended till the date of his superannuation, (January 31, 2022) or until further orders, whichever is earlier. His term was coming to an end on September 19. The Department of Financial Services, through a notification on August 26, has also extended the term of office of Ashok Srivastava, executive director of Central Bank of India, the lender said in a separate filing. His term has been extended beyond January 22, 2022, till the date of his superannuation (November 30, 2022) or until further orders, whichever is earlier, Central Bank of India added.

Growth pangs: Weak consumption to weigh on economy

2020年1月21日 0 Comments

The improvement in several high frequency indicators notwithstanding, the slow recovery of the services sector is worrying. Given this is the biggest piece of the economy, and that it provides the maximum opportunities for employment, any continued sluggishness in services could drag down growth. Indeed, Fitch has pared its household spending growth estimate for 2021 to 8.9%, from 9.1%, citing the tepid pace of vaccinations. It expects consumer spending to get back to pre-pandemic levels only in 2022. While sales of two-wheelers and passenger vehicles have picked up in June and July, the improvements come off a low base; apart from tractors no segment of the auto space is really doing well. Unemployment, while off its peaks, is still high. Again, there has been a slight recovery in both urban and rural spends but unless many more job opportunities are created and wages increase consumption spends will falter post the festive season. Certain sectors such as IT, BFSI and e-commerce are no doubt hiring in big numbers but the recruitment is restricted to certain segments. In general, employee costs for the corporate sector increased by just about 2.5% in the June quarter over the March quarter. Indeed, while analysts expect strong earnings growth for FY21-23 of around 25%, the bulk of the increase is coming from commodities, financials, industrials and power. To be sure, there has been a good pick up in E-Way bills and GST collections have been robust, but analysts at Edelweiss, for instance, believe the consumption-facing sector is unlikely to see any strong revival in demand. Private consumption accounts for about 55% of GDP and grew at just 2.7% y-o-y in Q4FY21 despite the help from a weak base. The bright spot has been exports which have fared exceedingly well on the back of a good global recovery.

Voice AI company Skit raises $23 million in Series B funding round

2020年1月14日 0 Comments

Voice AI company Skit has raised $23 million in its Series B funding round led by WestBridge Capital. Kalaari Capital and Exfinity Ventures also participated in the round, along with angelist syndicate led by Aaryaman Vir Shah from Prophetic Ventures, and Letsventure syndicate led by Sense AI. The company will use the fresh funds for sales and marketing, building delivery capabilities, RD to speed up innovation and global expansion. The investment comes at a time when the company is making strategic inroads into the US and SouthEast Asian markets, Sourabh Gupta, CEO and co-founder, Skit, said. To address this sizable growth, we at Skit are using voice bot innovation and our market observations to personalize caller experiences at customer contact centers, and deliver upto 50% cost reduction and superior customer experience. We are driven by the passion of our clients and our team to change the way businesses interact with their customers, According to Sashi Reddi, venture advisor, Westbridge Capital, Skits success in helping Indias largest companies, positions them well to enter the US market where there is a massive need for voice AI solutions. Skit continues to help global companies transform how customer service is delivered, Reddi noted. Skit secured Series A funding in May 2020, led by Exfinity Ventures and Kalaari Capital, AngelList. The latest B funding takes the startups total raise to $30 million. The company now plans to scale and double down its operations in both Indian and global markets. Skit In addition, the company has strengthened its workforce by over 6x, the statement added. The AI-first SaaS voice automation company, founded by Sourabh Gupta and Akshay Deshraj in 2016, offers an automation product, Vernacular Intelligent Voice Assistant (VIVA). Skit claims VIVA can currently respond in over 16 languages and covers over 160 dialects. Some of its prominent clients are Axis Bank, Hathway, Porter, and Barbeque Nation, among others. Read Also: MAC Cosmetics signs Bhumi Pednekar as its first brand ambassador in India Follow us onTwitter,Instagram,LinkedIn,Facebook

Mariyappan, Sharad Kumar win silver and bronze in high jump

2020年1月14日 0 Comments

Defending champion Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar won a silver and bronze respectively in the mens high jump T42 event as Indias medal tally at the Paralympics touched an unprecedented 10 on Tuesday. Mariyappan cleared 1.86m while the American gold winner Sam Grewe succeeded in soaring above 1.88m in his third attempt. Kumar took the bronze with an effort of 1.83. The third Indian in the fray and 2016 Rio Paralympics bronze winner, Varun Singh Bhati ended seventh out of nine competitors as he failed to clear 1.77m. The T42 classification is for athletes with a leg deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement in the legs. The athletes compete in a standing position. Earlier in the day, shooter Singhraj Adana fetched a bronze in the mens 10mair pistol SH1 event. India have so far won two gold, five silver and three bronze medals.