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SpiceJet to conduct India’s first test flight partially powered by bio-fuel

The flight will be operated from Dehradun to Delhi. It will be received by key Cabinet Ministers and airline’s top management at IGI Airport Terminal 2.

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New Delhi/Dehradun, Aug 25 (IANS) Budget passenger carrier SpiceJet is set to conduct India’s first test flight which will be partially powered by bio-fuel, on Monday.

According to sources, a concoction of bio-fuel will power one of the turbine engines of a SpiceJet’s Q400 turboprop flight.

“This will be India’s first test flight using bio-fuels,” sources said.

“There will be government officials, who will monitor the parameters set up for such a test flight.”

Globally, bio-fuel powered flights are operated in Canada.

The development assumes significance as high air turbine fuel (ATF) prices have dented India’s domestic airline sector with all the major players reporting losses for the first quarter of 2018-19.

Currently, fuel prices constitute 45-50 per cent of the overall operations cost of domestic airlines.

India’s ATF prices are amongst the highest in the world due to the addition of state levies and taxes. The fuel is not under the GST ambit unlike the bunker fuel used in the shipping industry.

Besides, the success of the flight will pave the way for further testing and aide in fulfilling the central government’s move to curtail India’s dependence on crude oil imports.

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Chinese investors to invest $30 Million in 8 Indian start-ups

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New Delhi, Nov 13 :Chinese venture capital (VC) funds are likely to invest around $30 million in eight Indian start-ups, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said after the 2nd Startup India Investment Seminar held in Beijing on Tuesday.

“In the 1st Startup India Investment seminar, 12 Indian start-ups participated, of which 4 secured a funding of $15 million from Chinese VCs. In the current round, 8 start-ups out of 20 participants are set to get commitment of around $30 million,” it said.

The Ministry said the seminar was organised by the Embassy of India in China in partnership with Startup India Association and Venture Gurukool to foster innovation and entrepreneurship among the Indian youth. The first seminar was held in November 2017.

“The event was planned to expose Chinese VCs and investors to the promising Indian start-ups and also help Indian start-ups to reach out to the large Chinese investors for receiving investment for their companies,” the Ministry said in a statement.

42 Indian entrepreneurs representing 20 Indian start-ups participated in the event and pitched before Chinese investors. More than 350 Chinese VC funds and angel investors participated in the day-long seminar, it said.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) CEO Zheng Bin shared ICBC’s experience in India and gave an overview of the Indian start-up ecosystem and explained the process of investment.

ICBC India has established a $200 million fund for investing in promising Indian MSMEs and ventures, he said.

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Swiggy to engage 2,000 women for food delivery

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Bengaluru, Nov 13: Leading food ordering and delivery start-up Swiggy on Tuesday said it would engage about 2,000 women as delivery personnel by March 2019.

“About 2,000 women will join our delivery team by March next year. Over the last few months, we have been working on training women for opportunities in this growing food delivery sector,” the city-based online food delivery platform said in a statement here.

By deploying more women as delivery personnel across the country, the company said it aimed to create an inclusive workforce.

The company engages around a lakh personnel daily to deliver food across 45 Indian cities it operates in.

Currently, about 60 women are tied up with Swiggy across 10 cities, including Ahmedabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune, to deliver food.

World over, the employment of women as delivery personnel has been meagre.

“We are creating a women-friendly work environment with a dedicated helpline for any concern, as well as appointing more women in managerial roles,” the company said.

Swiggy is identifying ‘safe zones’ for women delivery personnel to operate in and will allow them to complete their deliveries by 6 p.m., it added.

“Since inception, we have seen the potential in investing in logistical prowess, which has helped us in having end-to-end control over the food delivery experience,” Swiggy Vice President (Operations) Sachin Kotangale said in the statement.

Set up in 2014, the food delivery platform claims to receive about 20 million orders a month across 45,000 restaurants in 45 cities, including New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Gurugram and Pune.

It raised $210 million (around Rs 1,500 crore) from multiple investment firms, and has so far raised over $460 million (around Rs 3,350 crore).

The company, which has over 4,000 employees, reported an operating revenue of Rs 442-crore for the fiscal 2017-18.

IANS

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Ashok Leyland CEO and MD Vinod Dasari resigns

Hinduja, who was the company Chairman, said he would take the responsibility of Executive Chairman till a replacement for Dasari was found.

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Vinod Dasari CEO Ashok Leyland

Chennai, Nov 13 : After 14 years in the commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland Ltd, Vinod K. Dasari, CEO and Managing Director, has decided resign to pursue other interests, said Executive Chairman Dheeraj G. Hinduja on Tuesday.

Hinduja told the media: “Vinod has resigned to pursue his own interests. He will continue with the company till March 2019. Meanwhile, the company board has asked me to take over as Executive Chairman with immediate effect.”

Hinduja, who was the company Chairman, said he would take the responsibility of Executive Chairman till a replacement for Dasari was found.

Asked whether the company would look inside or outside for a new Managing Director, Hinduja said: “The resignation was sudden. The Board needs some time to decide on the replacement.”

He said it was the Hinduja family’s policy to find the best talent. He expressed confidence that Ashok Leyland’s growth momentum would continue.

According to Dasari, it was an amicable separation and there comes a time when one has to pursue own interest.

“It was a well thought out decision. I will work with Dheeraj till the end of this fiscal,” Dasari said.

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