Wednesday, April 8, 2020

World University of Design Adds New Dimension To Design Education With Its New Courses

Launches new courses in Computer Science & Design, User Experience & Interaction Design, International Fashion Business and Performing Arts to make students future ready

To bridge the gap between the changing job market requirements and the academic curriculum, World University of Design - India's first and only university dedicated to education in the creative domain, has introduced a bouquet of new niche courses across various creative streams for the academic year 2020-2021. The age of artificial intelligence is coming, and nature of jobs is expected to take a drastic turn. Design industry is one of the fast-moving industries which is undergoing massive transition every day in the digital age. Design has been looked as a vital component of success in the emerging scenario. Thus, the demand for design related courses has significantly increased in recent times.
There are very few educational institutions in India that offer courses in creative domain which perfectly blends theoretical and practical knowledge. World University of Design (WUD) is one such institution offering one of the largest portfolio of design courses in India which includes over 34 cutting-edge programs based on transportation design, product design, game design, film & video, Digital Drawing & Illustration, built environment & habitat studies, design management, art education and curatorial practice among others. Going way beyond traditional offerings, the University is launching 5 new courses across Design, Fashion, Animation and Performing Arts from the upcoming academic session. This update in curriculum is aimed at making the industry professionals ready to face future work challenges.

On the introduction of new courses Sanjay Gupta, Vice Chancellor, World University of Design said, “We at World University of Design are committed to impart best-in-class education to our students while equipping them with superlative industry skills. All the courses at World University of Design are designed on the basis of exhaustive research and insights of industry stalwarts. These courses are aimed at making our students future-ready and we are confident that these new courses will help in bridging the gap between corporate and academia.”

The newly launched industry specific courses are as follows - 

  • COMPUTER SCIENCE & DESIGN (4-years B. Des) – Over past several years, focus on user experience, Interaction Design and Design Methods in all IT products and services have increased. Thus, demand for professionals in all these spheres has gained momentum. This course is specially curated to develop an interdisciplinary skill set among students and provide them with opportunities across fields such as the arts, entertainment/ gaming, mobile application development, multimedia, product/web design, cyber security, digital analytics and other interactive systems. Under this course there are 4 specializations which include - Games developer, 3D programmer, Web developer and Multimedia programmer.

  • USER EXPERIENCE & INTERACTION DESIGN (2-year M. Des) - This master level programme is aimed graduates of traditional streams to prepare them for a human-centered experiences in an interactive digital context. The program focuses on computer technology and usability problems faced by computer users globally; consequently, teaching students the methodologies needed to solve these problems. Emergent technologies will be used to teach students about new design concepts and designing for the future. After completion of this course one can explore a career in the IT industry, business, education, health, media, defence and government as Digital Project Manager, Creative Director, Mobile Application Designer, User Interface Designer and Web developers etc

  • FASHION BUSINESS MANAGEMENT (3-Year BBA) – This course focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration and integration of design thinking at all levels of Strategy, Planning and Implementation in the global & local fashion business. Students will engage with digital technologies from the outset and will have the opportunity to build their skills throughout the course. The course will offer opportunities to students for global experience through International study programs. One can tap into the broad range of available career options after this course such as buying, merchandising, marketing, branding, PR, Publishing & Creative Direction etc.

  • INTERNATIONAL FASHION BUSINESS (2-Years M.Des) - International Fashion Business program is designed to forge leaders in the global world of the fashion. This master’s program comprises of three main focus areas i.e.
Ø  Fashion knowledge & analysis: Fashion cycle, fashion studies, fashion trend forecasting, analytics, quantitative methods and design thinking
Ø   Data analysis & planning: Digital marketing, Omni channel marketing, data analysis, & strategic planning
Ø  Business application: import/export, domestic retail, overseas commercial development, fashion operations, online and offline distribution
From the placement perspective, students will get employment opportunities in Fashion Design, Fashion Retail, Fashion and/or Luxury Brand Management and Fashion Business Management besides entrepreneurship.

  • PERFORMING ARTS  - DANCE, MUSIC (4-year BPA, 2-year MPA) - The performing arts industry in India reached INR275 billion in 2018 according to FICCI report. Thus, the need for courses in new age performing arts has gained relevance. This is one of the most unique blends of theoretical and practical curriculum offered by WUD which includes subjects
like Theoretical Surveys, Stage Performance, Appreciation Seminars, Comparative studies. This course can help students in fulfilling their career aspiration while pursuing their hobbies and passions. 

About World University of Design
World University of Design (WUD), located in the education hub of Rajiv Gandhi Education City in Sonipat, Haryana, boasts of an unusually large and highly qualified faculty members who have been educated and trained at prestigious institutes such as NIFT, NID, LCF -London, FIT – New York, SPA and Delhi College of Art among others. The university is being shaped and mentored by an illustrious Advisory Board comprising of stalwarts from the field of design such as Neha Kirpal, Veer Munshi, Mr. AG Krishna Menon, Ms. Payal Jain, Mr. Peter D’ascoli, & Mr. Amardeep Behl. In its first year itself, WUD has been recognized as 'The Most Upcoming University' by ASSOCHAM India; and Ranked 2nd in the Top 10 Private Universities offering Professional Education at Education World GRAND JURY 2019-20 Awards. WUD is the youngest university in India to be awarded co-funding under the ERASMUS+ programme of the European Union for the project titled ‘Design ERASMUS+ and Innovation Capacity Building in India’. WUD is also a full member of Cumulus, the international association of universities & colleges of art, design & media that has over 160 member universities in 60 countries. This provides the widest possible access to WUD students to interact and engage with international students on a global scale. WUD has consistently focused on student-learning experience

As India stays home to beat COVID-19, Airtel unlocks its entire kids content catalogue for its customers

Airtel Xstream now offers FREE unlimited access to premium kids content, including movies, LIVE TV and learning shows

With parents looking to keep children engaged while managing work from home during the ongoing COVID-19 nationwide lockdown, Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) today said that it is making available the entire kids content library on Airtel Xstream for FREE to all Airtel Thanks customers.

Airtel Xstream, an india-first video network for premium digital content, offers a wide range of quality content for education and entertainment for kids. This includes TV Shows, Short Films, Movies, Cartoons, Documentaries, Nursery Rhymes and more.

Airtel Thanks customers can access Airtel Xstream on smartphones by downloading the Airtel Xstream app from Google Play and Apple app store, on TV through Airtel Xstream Hybrid STB, and on PC through   

Says Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer, Bharti Airtel: Today, we are launching a kids channel in our Xstream platform and opening it up to all our valued customers for free. We hope this provides some relief during these unprecedented times.”

Some of the popular offerings for kids on Airtel Xstream includes Bal Ganesh, Leapfrog: Amazing Amusement Alphabet Park, Toonpur ka Superhero, Aladdin, Tales of Akbar-Birbal, The Lego Batman Movie.

Airtel Xstream is part of Airtel’s vision of building a world-class digital entertainment ecosystem for Digital India and make it accessible to customers through innovative devices and exciting applications.

Airtel Xstream brings one of the widest entrainment catalogues – hundreds of satellite TV channels, tens of thousands of movies and shows in English, Hindi and multiple Indian languages, millions of songs, plus access to all the popular OTT entertainment apps on one platform. It enables customers to access all this content across the screen of their choice – TV, PC, and Smartphone with a unified User Interface.      

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Paytm to feed daily wage earners in Mumbai in association with KVN Foundation

Continuing its efforts to strengthen its fight against COVID-19, India’s leading digital payments & financial services platform, Paytm has partnered with the KVN Foundation to serve meals to migrant workers and daily wage earners. Together, they are already serving 75,000 meals per day across Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Noida.

KVN Foundation launched the ‘Feed My City’ initiative in Bengaluru, on 27 March 2020. Initially, they were serving 500 meals per day to people who have lost their source of income due to the lockdown in the country. In the last 11 days alone, they have served 3 lakh meals across the nationThey aim to serve 30 lakh meals over the next few weeks.

People willing to support the campaign can log on to their Paytm App and donate by clicking on the ‘Feed My City’ tab. Donations for this noble cause can also be made to the city of one's choice on the Paytm app.

Siddharth Pandey, Vice President - Paytm said, “The livelihood of daily wage earners has been affected during this lockdown. We wanted to help them and ensure that their children and families do not go hungry. Our partnership with the KVN Foundation is a step in this direction. We will continue to work towards providing relief to the ones who cannot fend for themselves.”

The KVN Foundation added, “During this crisis, the daily wage worker, migrant worker and those without any safety nets, steady income, insurance or savings have been the worst affected, without any hope or relief. In countless little ways, all these people add value to our lives on a daily basis. We can’t have a full meal knowing fully well that millions of these people are starving to death. Paytm has now made it possible to contribute easily to this cause, to the city of your choice. We request you all to contribute generously to ensure that no lives are lost due to hunger during this lockdown period.”

Over the last few weeks, Paytm has launched several initiatives to fight the spread of the Coronavirus. The company is aiming to contribute Rs. 500 Crores to PM CARES Fund, and has already collected over Rs. 80 crores within the first week. Also, the company is distributing personal hygiene products, such as hand wash and sanitizers to people who do not have the means to buy it.  

Nippon Paint India to Help Over 1000 Automotive Workers AmidstCovid-19 Crisis

 Nippon Paint India-Automotive Refinish has donated internally-raised funds to over 1000 workers and painters in the automotive refinish business as the Covid-19 crisis continues to wreak havoc to business and economy in the country. The funds have been generated through a Trust that is run and funded by employees of Nippon Paint India – Automotive Refinish business for the welfare of painters and colour matchers associated with the business.Nippon Paint aims to show solidarity and its support to members of the struggling automobile refinish industry that continues to face hardship amid economic slowdown in the country and the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Sharad Malhotra, President, Nippon Paint India – Automotive Refinishes & Wood Coatings said, “The Covid-19 epidemic has dealt a heavy blow to many members of India’s economically weaker sections of the society. It is not just our duty but a privilege to be able to help our fellow countrymen. Automotive refinish business, along with the rest of the automobile industry, is going through an unprecedented challenging time and it is our duty to look out for our community members and ensure a safe future for them.”
Nippon Paint India is a leading producer of high-quality paints and coatings for automotive refinish, industrial and decorative sectors. Nippon Paint India is part of the NIPSEA Group which, together with Nippon Paint of Japan, forms the largest coatings group in Asia Pacific and the 4th largest in the world in terms of revenue.

About Nippon India

Founded in Japan, Nippon Paint has over 139 years of experience in paint manufacturing. Nippon Paint is now the number one paint manufacturer in Asia, and is one of the top paint manufacturers of the world. Nippon Paint India is part of NIPSEA Group, which has over 20,587 employees with 72 manufacturing facilities and operations in 16 countries efficiently serving all aspects of the business, from production to customer satisfaction. Nippon Paint Automotive Refinish portfolio provides complete paint and consumables solutions for organised car dealer body shops, independent body shops and small sized body shops.

JLL India|Indian Residential Market Update |Developers sitting on unsold inventory worth INR 370,000 crore

Developers sitting on unsold inventory worth INR 370,000 crore


·         The sales of residential units decreased by 29% in Q1 2020 over the same period last year 
·         Q1 2020 recorded new launches of 40,574 units, an increase of 3% compared to Q1 2019
·         Mumbai and Bengaluru continued to dominate new launches and formed nearly 60% of the overall launches during Q1
·         However, new launches in Mumbai witnessed a substantial decline of 18% compared to the same period last year
·         New launches remained largely unchanged in Bengaluru (increase of 3%) and Delhi NCR (decrease of 3%)

A rebound in India’s residential property market will be influenced by the intensity, spread and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Government stimulus measures and monetary policy adjustments by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will further mitigate the adverse effects of the pandemic and help steady consumer confidence in the residential property market, according to   the ‘India Real Estate Market Update Q1-2020- Residential’ released today by JLL, India’s largest real estate consultancy firm today.

The homebuyer community deferred their purchase decisions due to the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, which led to sales declining by nearly 30% in Q1 2020 on a y-o-y basis. “The impact of the ongoing pandemic on business activities became more prominent since the beginning of March 2020 in the country” adds the report.
However, even though new project launches came to a standstill in March, Q1 2020 witnessed a rise of 3% in new launches as compared to the same period last year. Q1 2020 recorded new launches of 40,574 units compared to Q1 2019.

The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to weaken GDP growth, which is expected to fall below 5% in FY 19-20 and potentially reach 2008-09 levels in FY 20-21. However, the residential real estate market appears to be at an advantageous position today as compared to the Global Financial Crisis, led by a series of structural reforms by the government in the past five-to-six years,” said Ramesh Nair, CEO & Country Head, JLL. “When the COVID-19 scenario stabilises, factors such as better-priced deals, enhanced financial health of banks and greater demand from end users will aid in improving buyer sentiment. Sales are expected to regain some traction towards the end of 2020 supported by the festive season during that period,” he added.

Owing to the economic slowdown as a result of the current situation, consumer confidence has also taken a massive hit, which is having a direct implication on the home buying decision process.
Lower mortgage rates, combined with other measures taken by the government to improve sentiment, is expected to arrest this declining trend. These factors will further aid in the recovery of the residential market in India.
Subdued sentiments weigh in on the offtake of home loans


Source: RBI, JLL Research
Note: Data pertains to housing loan disbursals by commercial banks


Developers have locked-in capital of INR 370,000 crore

The first quarter of 2020 witnessed an increase in unsold inventory as launches outpaced sales by a significant margin. Unsold inventory increased from 442,228 units in Q4 2019 to 455,351 units in Q1 2020. Moreover, Mumbai surpassed Delhi NCR to become the market with the maximum quantum as well as value of unsold inventory.

Mumbai accounts for majority of the locked-in capital
2019 Q4
2020 Q1
Unsold Inventory
Unsold Inventory
(INR billion)
Delhi NCR
Source:  Real Estate Intelligence Service (REIS), JLL Research                                                                             
Note: YTS (years to sell) denotes the number of years required to offload the unsold inventory

Across the top seven cities, developers are sitting on an unsold inventory worth INR 370,000 crore at the end of March 2020.

An assessment of years to sell (YTS) reveals that the expected time to liquidate this stock has increased marginally from 3.2 years in the last quarter of 2019 to 3.3 years in Q1 2020. With anticipated slower sales in the coming quarters, the time to sell is likely to increase significantly.
“Thus, the duration to monetise the existing inventory of around 455,000 units is expected to extend. Resultantly, developers will have to sit on this unsold inventory worth INR 370, 000 crore for a relatively longer duration. Having said this, the RBI’s intervention to provide a 3-month moratorium on all term loans by financial institutions will alleviate short-term liquidity concerns and help developers survive in these uncertain times,” the report notes.


New launches continued, developers focus on mid and affordable segments

The current quarter saw a modest increase of 3% in new launches of residential units on a y-o-y basis. The healthy streak in launches in the beginning of the quarter was dampened by the growing concerns of the impact of COVID 19 on the real estate business starting in early March. The market gradually slowed down in the beginning of March before it came to a standstill, on account of the nationwide lockdown.

Marginal growth in new launches        

Q1 2016
(in units)
Q1 2017
(in units)
Q1 2018
(in units)
Q1 2019
(in units)
Q1 2020
(in units)
Y-o-Y Growth 2019 (%)
Note: Top 7 cities include Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata                                                                                       
Source:  Real Estate Intelligence Service (REIS), JLL Research

Mumbai and Bengaluru continued to dominate new launches and formed nearly 60% of the overall launches during the quarter. The overall increase in new launches was driven by smaller markets like Pune, Kolkata and Chennai. While new launches in Mumbai witnessed a substantial decline of 18%, as compared to the same period last year, it remained largely unchanged in Bengaluru (increase of 3%) and Delhi NCR (decrease of 3%), according to the report.

“New launches witnessed a modest 3% increase in Q1 2020 y-o-y, even though businesses hit a grinding halt in March 2020. Homebuyers deferred their purchase decisions in light of the current situation, resulting in an almost 30% y-o-y dip in sales during the first quarter of 2020. With the anticipated slowdown in economic activity, the real estate sector, which contributes 8% to the Gross Domestic Product of the nation, is poised for some immediate challenges,” said Samantak Das, Executive Director and Head of Research, REIS, JLL.

The crisis is likely to aggravate the liquidity crisis faced by developers and restrict new launch to a minimum even after normal business conditions are restored. In the subsequent quarters, developers are expected to focus on completion of under-construction projects and clearing their unsold inventory. Moreover, consolidation in the residential market, with an increasing number of joint developments, will continue to be a major trend with the size of pie belonging to reputed developers increasing consistently.
Development focus on mid and affordable segments continued in Q1 2020, as developers continued to capitalise on the demand and supply side incentives of the government, to cater to the unmet demand in the lower and mid income groups and target first time homebuyers. A closer analysis of launches during the first quarter of 2020 shows a sizeable proportion of 62% in the affordable and mid-priced segments

Looking back to look ahead
In the first half of the month, walk-ins reduced by 50% and buying discussions at advanced stages were being deferred. At present, with a nationwide lockdown imposed, launches and sales have come to a standstill. The economy is facing a slowdown and the uncertainty regarding the future is increasing. In such a scenario, it is difficult to provide a detailed, quantitative assessment of the COVID-19 impact on the future of residential real estate market. However, a look back at some past unprecedented disruptions to the economy could provide an indication of the expected outcomes. 

The Global Financial Crisis and the announcement of demonetization were a drag on the Indian economy. While the GDP growth toppled from 7.7% in FY 2007-08 to 3.1% in FY 2008-09, it has been on a declining trend since the demonetization move in 2016-17 (Figure IV). These events impaired economic growth and had far-reaching effects across key industries including real estate.
GDP growth has been on a declining trend since demonetization
Source: RBI, JLL Research
Note: FY 2019-20 is expected to register a lower than 5% growth due to the Covid-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a similar impact on GDP growth, which is expected to fall below 5% in FY 19-20 and could even reach 2008-09 levels in FY 20-21. However, following a series of structural reforms by the government, the residential real estate market appears to be at an advantageous position today as compared to the 2007-08 Global Financial Crisis
Residential market scenario

Global Financial Crisis
Valuation of residential properties
Nature of the market
Sellers’ market
Buyers’ market
Home loan rates
Ability of banks to lend
Higher due to sound financial position and presence of security as well as RBI’s efforts to infuse liquidity
Tax benefits
More tax benefits for developers as well as buyers introduced by the government in the last 4-5 years
Speculative fear
Relatively less because of lower demand from investors
Project portfolio
Across different price segments, with focus on            high-end to luxury
Affordable and mid-segment housing, which is more in sync with demand
Source: JLL Research
Unlike in the past, the government has also been prompt in announcing various stimulus packages. The RBI has also played a vital role by slashing repo rate by 75 bps, bringing down the current rate to 4.4% in addition to other measures to infuse liquidity.

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management, headquartered out of Chicago. A Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, JLL operates in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 93,000 as of September 30, 2019. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, please visit
In India, JLL has an extensive presence across 10 major cities (Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Kochi and Coimbatore) and over 130 tier II & III markets with a cumulative strength of close to 12,000 professionals. Headquartered out of Mumbai, we are India’s premier and largest professional services firm specializing in real estate. Our services cover various asset classes such as commercial, residential, industrial, retail, warehouse and logistics, hospitality, healthcare, senior living, data centre and education. For further information, please visit