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    January 6th, 2018adminBusiness & Economy, World Opinion
    Apartments up for sale for South Korean nationals in Anantapur. | Photo Credit: R_V_S_PRASAD

    Apartments up for sale for South Korean nationals in Anantapur. | Photo Credit: R_V_S_PRASAD

    Builders cash in on rising accommodation needs of KIA Motors officials

    A “mini South Korean township” is coming up in Anantapur town, about 60 km from the under-construction automobile manufacturing facility of South Korean car major, KIA Motors, near Penukonda.

    With the work on the KIA factory on the outskirts of Penukonda going on at a fast pace, the arrival of Korean nationals to oversee the work at the site has increased, and so has the demand for accommodation. Signboards in Korean language have sprung up offering such lodging.

    “We have no suitable facilities here for foreigners, especially senior and middle management of KIA. Penukonda doesn’t offer good accommodation choices, and the offices at the construction site aren’t good enough to house them,” said a senior Indian official of KIA who did not wish to be identified.

    In the initial days, officials were put up in guest houses, government and private, at Puttaparthy and Anantapur. But with more South Korean nationals coming, builders with constructed buildings on the outskirts of Anantapur started to offer apartment complexes as guest houses.

    “We cashed in on the opportunity of housing the Korean nationals who would eventually want to bring their families and settle down close to the factory and the nearest city. We then started our new venture at Ramnagar and decided to even advertise in the Korean language,” said Prashant Mallem, who even employed a Korean national as a facilitator-cum-marketing agent for his apartments.

    It is estimated that 30 flats on the outskirts have been bought and occupied by Korean nationals, while almost a similar number have booked apartments.

    “Once the assembly line installation starts, a lot of South Koreans will be at work and need accommodation for a few months at least,” said Sung Min, a South Korean national, who works with a builder in Anantapur.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by V.K. Rakesh Reddy / Anantapur – January 06th, 2018

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    Association of Lady Entrepreneurs of India (ALEAP) will hold an international conference for women entrepreneurs with focus on innovation, incubation and industrialisation here from January 17 to January 19.

    Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and SAARC Secretary General Amjad Hussain B. Sial will attend.


    The objective of the conference is to educate women entrepreneurs on emerging technologies, innovative products and business models and trade opportunities for rapid industrialisation.

    Persons of national and international repute in the field of incubation and innovation, domain experts and others will share their experiences, case studies and success stories.

    The conference would provide an excellent platform for information, inspiration and interaction, said ALEAP local coordinator G. Srinivasa Rao.

    Details could be obtained by dialling 9247839834.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by Special Correspondent / Visakhapatnam – January 04th, 2018

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    Visitors at an exhibition in Vijayawada on Thursday. | Photo Credit: V_RAJU.

    Visitors at an exhibition in Vijayawada on Thursday. | Photo Credit: V_RAJU.

    Women in the city who want to keep pace with the changing trends never had it so good. Almost every exhibition hall and auditorium in the city is buzzing with exhibition-cum-sale of designer stuff that briskly move off the stalls.

    Akriti Elite, a two-day exhibition-cum-sale of designer clothes and accessories kicked off at ‘A’ Convention hall in city on Thursday.

    Event organiser Sashi Nahata said variety and richness was the cornerstone of the products carted in by the craftsmen, designers and creators at the venue. She said designers from Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore and other cities were here with an attractive range of their products that were designed to appeal to the ever-changing taste of the local women. She said Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen had recently presented an award to the Akritti Elite for its wide range of designer wear.

    The space in the auditorium has 54 stalls showcasing varieties of designer saris, dress material, kurtis, high fashion and bridal jewellery, gold jewellery, Rajasthani bedsheets, Banarasi saris, accessories, daily care products, home decor, designer bags and footwear among many other things.

    “The exhibition is part of a charity initiative,” said Ms. Nahata.

    The exhibition is open for public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by Special Correspondent / Vijayawada – December 29th, 2017

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    As you take a left from the main road in the suburb of Kurmannapalem to enter the 19,704-acre campus of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, you will fell a discernible drop in temperature. One wonders how a sudden dip in temperature in this area is possible given that steel is made by smelting iron ore in blast furnaces at a temperature of over 900 degrees Centigrade.
    The answer, according to Pramod Kumar Mahapatra, general manager (law and administration) of RINL, the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, lies in the fact that more than 50% of the integrated steel plant area is covered by a dense forest.

    The steel plant is surrounded by the Nadupuru reserve forest and other hills on the south-western side, and the Bay of Bengal on the eastern side, which helps in lowering the temperature of the area, Mahapatra said on Tuesday.

    “Production of steel generates heat, but the surrounding greenery controls pollution and creates a unique ecosystem in which normal temperature is lower by 3 to 4 degrees Centigrade than in the municipal areas of Visakhapatnam,” Mahapatra told TOI.

    According to him, the RINL invested Rs 468 crore in pollution control measures when the steel plant’s capacity was 3 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). The investment rose to Rs 1,283 crore when the plant’s capacity was raised to 6.3 mtpa.

    “These investments constituted 5.45% and 10.26% of the total project cost. Further, an amount of Rs 285 crore is being spent on environmental management every year,” he said.

    An area of 6,700 acres is under green cover, constituting 34% of the total area of 19,704 acres under the control of RINL-VSP.

    A total of 5.3 million trees have been planted in the area, though actual tree wealth is much more in view of the natural propagation of species due to stoppage of biotic and non-biotic interference in the steel plant area.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Visakhapatnam News / TNN / December 28th, 2017

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    A weaver displays a colourful sari at a handloom expo in Ongole on Thursday.

    A weaver displays a colourful sari at a handloom expo in Ongole on Thursday.

    Tie up with Amazon to market their handloom products

    Pushed to the brink, weavers of Chirala have reinvented themselves by going for a tie-up with a leading American electronic commerce and cloud computing company to improve the marketability for their eco-friendly handloom products, as the GST regime, which came close on the heels of demonetisation, has crippled the handloom sector.

    The going had been tough for the sector, thanks to unequal competition from powerloom players with Handlooms (Reservation of Articles for Production) Act implemented more in the breach than in observance, say a group of weavers from Chirala attending a national handloom expo, jointly organised by the Union and State Governments at the Kapu Kalyana mandapam here, till January 6.

    Pouring out their woes, they said the GST regime, which came close on the heels of demonetisation has further aggravated the problem, after demonetisation led to loss of purchasing power and reduced offtake since November last year.

    “GST on raw material and finished products had pushed up the cost of our products by 20 to 25%. As a result, we were forced to operate on thin or no profit margin to liquidate the stocks on hand to at least break even, while holding on to our existing customers,” says Indira Abhyudaya Silk Handloom Weavers Society president B. Shyam Sundar.

    “In this context, we decided to go for online marketing. Now we are a happier lot thanks to the tie-up with e-commerce retailer Amazon to realise better prices,” he told The Hindu.

    “’On receipt of orders online, we send by couriers the selected saris and dress material to online customers. On receipt of the products at the customer end, we get online credit of payments instantly without any hassles,” adds the head of the society with a membership of 128 weavers.

    Making a mention of the Geographic Indication tag enjoyed by their counterparts in Uppada, Mangalagiri, Venkatagiri and Dharmavaram, the weavers plead with the government for obtaining a GI tag for their products too to improve their visibility in the global market.

    They want the government to subsidise the cost of handloom products made with organic dyes, which cost four times more than the one made with chemical dyes.

    Though there are 127 registered exporters from the Chirala region with over 10,000 looms in operation, the department is planning to facilitate tie-up between 10 weavers cooperative societies with online shopping websites to start with to ensure assured market, department officials overseeing the expo add.

    Meanwhile, Handloom Assistant Director J. Sivanarayana says the government is mulling providing 20% discount on handloom products to liquidate the stocks with the cooperative societies.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by S. Murali / December 29th, 2017

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    People hanging out at the newly opened Gluttons Garrage restaurant | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

    People hanging out at the newly opened Gluttons Garrage restaurant | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

    A new generation of young entrepreneurs is bringing about a transformation to the nature of food business by moving away from the beaten track

    From building foodie networks and experimenting with food fusion concepts to hosting the city’s first food truck festival and a drive-in restaurant concept, the year 2017 was one that saw a slow, but definite transformation in the food space of the city. Foodpreneurs didn’t shy away from exploring lesser known concepts, injecting a new excitement into a business and introducing concept eating-out places, which catapulted the city’s foodscape to a new level. If the food truck culture swelled, cafes came up with a plethora of activities to engage in innovative ways with the consumer. There were open mic events, events to bring together foodies of the city, live bands and interesting contests surrounding food – all of these kept the city’s food calendar busy.

    Networking over food

    Says Sumanth Behara of Plot 17, “People have become much more experimental with food. A big part of it comes from travel. As more people step out of the city and experience the food and culture elsewhere, it also opens up their mind. This has helped the city’s food scene to evolve. Cafes and restaurants have mushroomed over the past one year and it is all a great positive sign.” Experimenting with its menu and introducing sub-brands for its bakery unit were some of the initiatives done by Plot 17 over the year. It also hosted a unique event this month called ‘Communeaty’ with an aim to create a foodie network bringing together food aficionados who want to meet new people and share their passion. “The idea behind ‘Communeaty’ is to build a foodie community in Vizag where the group can collectively go and explore new eating-out options in the city. It is a common concept in Hyderabad and Bangalore. In the coming year, we want to host one ‘Communeaty’ event every month and also host similar events in other cafes and restaurants once we perfect our model,” says Sumanth. The first event saw an enthusiastic participation of over 40 people. The concept is a win-win arrangement for food lovers and cafes or restaurants in the city. The foodie networks keep the culinary scene vibrant, exploring new pairings and flavours while meeting like-minded foodies.

    Fusion food

    The year also saw the city’s restaurant and cafe culture evolve to offer a concept of ‘fusion’ food. One of the refreshing places to come up in the city was Gluttons Garrage, a place that seeks to symbolise the meaning of ‘fusion’ when it comes to food. Here, you can order your regular wheat base pizza with broccoli or opt for other unusual options such as pizzas with lamb curry and gongura chicken. Pastas with oats, flaxseeds and also chocolates form a part of its interesting menu. “Idea is to give a fusion of cuisines. For instance, a mix of Italian and Indian in one plate. We also want to offer two contrasting food concepts – fusion food as well as health food. The city now is willing to experiment when it comes to food and it is great to see many foodpreneurs trying out new things,” says Robert Rejoice Kumar, the mind behind Gluttons Garrage. The place has three different sections – Junktion 77 which offers a mind-boggling range of fusion food, Kaloreez – the healthy food segment and Just Not Shakes with health juices and shakes and will soon introduce cold pressed juices. Varieties in cuisines and dishes remained the highlight in the city’s new cafes and restaurants, décor played a very important role in drawing the young crowd. Several residential areas like Seethammadhara saw interestingly-themed cafes opening up like The Hungry Hippo, which gave a funky look to the décor.

    If concept cafes and restaurants took the food scene forward, food festivals brought about new dimension to the eating-out culture. The recently-concluded food truck festival was one of the concepts that struck well with the people of Vizag. The festival brought the food trucks of the city on place and pepped up the festival with live music and a flea market enlivening the atmosphere at the beachside venue of MGM Grounds. Vizag also saw its first drive-in concept restaurant open at Lawsons Bay Colony when Vizag Drive-In brought together different brands under a single platform offering burgers, grills, pizzas, idlis, biryani, ice-creams and shakes. “The response has been overwhelming. We have been getting requests from several other firms to be a part of Vizag Drive-In. But as of now we are restricting to 10 brands,” P. Naga Rajesh of Vizag Drive-In.

    As the year 2017 wraps up, it is bringing in many more exciting news from the food and beverage sector. The entry of micro-breweries in the city is expected to give a boost to the food and entertainment scene. In February the city will host the three-day Ground Zero Festival that will be themed around food, travel and lifestyle.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Life & Style> Food / by Nivedita Ganguly / December 23rd, 2017

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    The Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) Limited has won ‘Silver Skoch Technologies for Growth’ award for maintaining end-to-end transformation in allotment of industrial lands.


    APIIC is exploring the industrial land through online portal and providing building permits through Auto-DCR software, which was linked to single desk portal and the entire process, would be tracked on the government’s dashboard.

    APIIC Managing Director Babu A. has said the corporation has processed more than 200 applications through the portal in the last few months, and praised the officers and staff for achieving the award.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Andhra Pradesh / by Staff Reporter / Vijayawada – December 25th, 2017

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    Ramesh Hospitals Managing Director P. Ramesh Babu and ISRO senior scientist Murthy Remilla on Saturday announced the formation of Andhra Pradesh(A.P.) chapter of the not-for-profit organization Telemedicine Society of India (TSI).

    TSI-AP will work with the State government in rolling out telemedicine facilities with a specific focus on the rural areas.

    Addressing mediapersons here, Dr. Ramesh Babu, who will be heading TSI State chapter as the President, said there was an estimated shortage of six lakh doctors in the country and an expansion of the telemedicine network would largely bridge that divide.

    The scientist said that after successfully demonstrating the proof-of-concept technology through pilot projects, ISRO was helping the States in catching up with the revolution through multiple agencies like TSI.

    Mr. Murthy added that many doctors were willing to render free service through telemedicine. Since it was practically impossible to fill the resource (scarcity of doctors) gap, the government could expand the nascent telemedicine network based on the A.P. Fibrenet as the backbone for achieving better patient outcomes.


    Dr. Ramesh Babu and Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences (NTRUHS) Vice-Chancellor C.V. Rao told the media that the TSI would be organizing its annual medical techno-science conference TeleMedicon – 2018 in Amaravati tentatively from November 1 to November 3.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by Staff Reporter / Vijayawada – December 23rd, 2017

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    December 21st, 2017adminBusiness & Economy, World Opinion

    It will start with two 100-seaters in city, Vijayawada

    TemplateMonster, of the U.S., a $15 million company with specialisation in e-solutions, digital marketing and training, will soon launch its operations in Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada.

    “We will start with a 100-seater facility each in both the cities and later scale up the manpower to 500,” TemplateMonster’s India partner Satish Babu told The Hindu .

    He said initially the Andhra Pradesh Non-Resident Telugu (APNRT) Society promised to provide rented accommodation. In Visakhapatnam, it is likely to get space at Millennium Tower, which is on the verge of completion at Rushikonda.

    On future plans, he said they would explore acquiring a site to develop a big development centre in both the cities depending on the response to their operations.

    TemplateMonster CEO David Braun, who reached here to attend a two-day international startup workshop, said they were excited to invest in Andhra Pradesh, which was all set to emerge as the Silicon Valley of India.

    $1 million startup support

    Tech-Mark Training India in partnership with TemplateMonster is hosting the international startup workshop for which over 100 registrations had been received.

    The aim of the programme is to identify startups for mentorship, grooming and funding under a programme named YuvBharat, a project of Tech-Mark India, a sister concern of Tech_Mark Pte. Ltd. (Singapore).

    In support of Startup India, TemplateMonster, U.S., has partnered with YuvBharat to give $1 million worth of technology products, training and mentoring to enable startups to market their products and services globally.

    “We have an ambitious programme to create young entrepreneurs in India. We will give cash awards and certificates of excellence to three best startups, three best at ideation level and mementos and certificates of excellence to best three women startup entrepreneurs,” Mr. Babu, co-founder of Tech-Mark said.

    He said each startup registered with YuvBharat would get $1,000 worth of content management system, web, newsletter and business promotion to strengthen startup ecosystem.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Andhra Pradesh / by Santosh Patnaik / Visakhapatnam – December 21st, 2017

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    Visakhapatnam :

    The state government has shortlisted 13 firms in the tourism sector to set up their ventures in Andhra Pradesh.
    The tourism projects range in size from Rs 20 crore to Rs 200 crore. Most of the projects are coming up along the city’s coastline.

    Firms from the United States and even from neighbouring Nepal find a mention on the list of shortlisted firms.

    Some of the projects include theme parks, resorts, go-karting tracks, five-star hotels and amusement parks

    The city’s excellent air, rail and road connectivity is one of the main reasons behind the tourism firms’ interest in setting up shop in Vizag.

    The AP tourism department in association with the sub-committee of AP Chambers of Commerce and Industry Federation (APCCIF) have received nearly 30 proposals from various places in the country during its recent stakeholders meet at various places including Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Hyderabad in October and November.

    After scrutinising those proposals, the authorities have finally zeroed in on these 13 firms.

    Tourism minister B Akhila Priya is likely to announce the names of the shortlisted firms at a formal meeting next week in Vijayawada on December 22 (Friday). The ministry would also interact with the representatives of the firms and would clarify the doubts and grievances of the representatives over the establishment of the projects in the specified time announced by the department.

    As per the new tourism policy rules, the government would allocate land to the firms, which in turn have to pay 5% of the land value as a lease amount to the government per year. For example, if the land value is Rs 1 crore, the firm will have to pay Rs 5 lakh as lease amount to the government.

    The government received proposals from nearly 30 firms. Nearly 80% of the 13 firms are showing interest to set up their projects in Visakhapatnam city. Nearly 80% of the tourism projects are located along the Vizag coast. The AP government will give land to the firms on a long term lease basis spanning about 33 years.

    APCCIF chairman G Sambasiva Rao told TOI that some of the firms are asking the government to reduce the lease amount to 3-4% of the land value. “The lease issue would be discussed soon in the next meet, mostly by next week. We want to see that all the projects are grounded by the next two years. Nearly 80% of the projects are coming up in Vizag and the remaining projects in neighbouring places like Vizianagaram,” Rao said.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Visakhapatnam News / by V. Kamalakara Rao / TNN / December 18th, 2017

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