Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Goa a ‘hot shot’ tourism destination- film and film producers bringing name and fame for Goa on the silver screen

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Goa and its connection with films is something that goes back a long way. Whether it is the scenery in movies like Ek Duje Ke Liye or the forts that became iconic after Dil Chahta Hai or even the majestic Dudhsagar falls that formed the backdrop for a vital scene in the blockbuster Chennai Express, Goa has always treasured a special place among film makers. It is not just the Indian film industry that’s smitten by Goa, Hollywood too hasn’t escaped the charms of this state. The second of the Bourne series - 'The Bourne Supremacy' was shot in a number of locations, one of them being the picturesque beach state of India, Goa.

It is not just beaches that Goa has to offer. The runaway hit Aashiqui 2 highlighted the gorgeous Panjim Church, Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani highlighted some more unknown locations. Hits like Singham Returns were shot in Aldona, while Finding Fanny, which didn’t feature a single shot of the beach, captured the beauty of the hinterlands of Goa.

The iconic silver screen personality Amitabh Bachchan, whose debut film  Saat Hindustani was shot in Goa, has also shot several other films in Goa one of them being ‘Bhootnath’ developing a close and warm relationship with this state. One of Shah Rukh Khan's best performances in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa shot the Holy Spirit Church, Margao. His recent  hit Dear Zindagi also  captures  the best of Goa’s heritage and  architecture.

What has also helped is that these movies have done well at the box office, as a result, Goa has added to its repertoire of landmarks to include the ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ Fort or the ‘Singham’ bridge!

The records available with Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), a state government body dealing with permissions for film shootings, show that even tele-serials and reality shows are stepping into the scene.

There are several reasons why filmmakers choose to shoot in Goa. One is the landscape - the beautiful beaches, water bodies, waterfalls and mountains. The other reason is the architecture - the churches, temples and houses. What also works in the state’s favour is that there is ample amount of connectivity and transport - railways, roadways, airways, waterways, etc.

Accommodation is never a problem – so whether you are looking for resorts, five star hotels, boutique properties, hostels or homestays – Goa has it all. And the last, but certainly one of the most important reason, are the Goans themselves for their warmth and hospitality.  They are non-interfering, friendly; don’t disturb the stars by thronging at the venue of the shoot nor clamor for pictures or autographs. 

What is the reason behind this affinity towards Goa? Several filmmakers say that the calm and peaceful environs of the state forms a perfect backdrop that allows them to pen their stories. During this time, they develop a fondness for the state which leads them to shoot here as well. At the same time, filmmakers also admit that the challenge lies in exploring places in Goa that haven’t been captured on the screen already.

Today Konkani Cinema is also taking the world by storm with some really good quality movies produced by Goan film producers. While budgets may not be as high as those of Bollywood,  yet Konkani films have scored well at the box office and featured in international film festivals and bagged national  and   international laurels. The Goan film industry made a small beginning in the early 60’s.

The first full-length movie was made in 1950 Mogacho Anvddo by Jerry Braganza from Mapusa. Another landmark movie was produced and released in the year 1977 under the title Bhuierantlo Munis which was shot in USA, Paris and Russia and it was produced by Tony Coutinho and Chris Perry under the banner of Chripton Motion Pictures. Since then Konkani cinema has been rolling.

The first Konkani film to make an impact internationally was Laxmikant Shetgaonkar’s Paltadcho Munis (The Man across the Bridge) which won the FIPRESCI award at the Toronto Film Festival in 2009. Amche Noxib (1963), Nirmon (1966) and Bhuierantlo Munis (1977), the first colour film in Konkani are some significant Konkani movies over the years.  Likewise Aleesha (2004) and Antarnaad (2006) won the National Award, while O’Maria (2010) went on to become one of the biggest hits ever. Enemy, Home  Sweet Home,  Nachom-ia-Kumpasar, Digant, K Sera Sera have been  some  recent  successful  Konkani films which have entertained audiences  nationally and globally.

Marathi film producers have also done Goa proud. Films like Eka Sagar Kinare,, Disha, Hello Gandhe Sir, Chandi by Dnyaneshwar Govekar  and  many more have also been  hits at several film festivals.

The International Film Festival India – Goa  which is now  a permanent  festival venue in Goa has  also encouraged Goan film producers  as several Konkani and Marathi films  are being featured in  the Indian Panorama section.  The state government’s financial assistance has also facilitated film producers in Goa to come forth with good quality films. Use of technology and quality content has also given a fillip to Goan cinema.

Realizing the potential  that Goa has for developing Goa  as a Film Tourism Destination,  the government  is proposing  to have various infrastructure facilities in place such as a film city  which will facilitation film production and  various  segments of  film making,  training etc. Providing equipment like cranes, spot lights, reflectors, camera etc. and many other production facilities needed for film shootings and editing will also be an area which will create employment opportunities, directly and indirectly. Today Goa has also got multiplexes in some of its cities and theatres of the past have upgraded to make screenings more comfortable an enjoyable.
Hon’ble Minister for Tourism, Govt. of Goa, Mr. Manohar Ajgaonkar, said “Goa is the most preferred destination for film shootings. Goa’s picturesque locations make it a hot spot for films and producers to come and capture the scenic locations of Goa which includes the beaches, heritage, hinterlands, monsoons, adventure activities, festivals and much more. Goa is all set to organize the annual International Film Festival (IFFI) and will draw the film fraternity and film fans to Goa in large numbers. The Entertainment Society of Goa also plays an important role in easing out procedures and permissions for film shootings in Goa through a single window system. Films produced in Goa serve as a platform for promoting the state nationally and worldwide showcasing its bountiful beauty, facets, avenues and a lot more.”

The promoters of Donear Group acquire OCM Woolen Mills


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This acquisition makes the Donear Group India’s largest branded menswear fabric manufacturer


20 November, 2017: As part of the strategy to consolidate their top position in Indian textiles industry, the promoters of Mumbai-based Donear Group have announced the acquisition of OCM Woolen Mills.
The acquisition of OCM, which manufactures a premium range of high-quality all-wool and wool-blended worsted suiting fabrics, will enable the Donear Group to expand its range of products to Indian consumers for all weather conditions and for all occasions. In a win-win deal, OCM gets access to the management expertise of the promoters of Donear Group to expand its product range and distribution footprint within India as well as in the overseas markets.
The distributors of OCM, who generally witness lower sales during non-winter seasons, will be able to sell an additional range of products, especially Giza, Supima, wrinkle-resistant cotton fabric for jackets, trousers etc. and Terry Rayon fabric for suit length.
Announcing the acquisition of OCM, Mr. Rajendra Agarwal, Promoter of the Donear Group said, “Home to the holy Golden Temple and spirited people, Punjab has always been special for us. Donear Group started its major take-off in 1994 from Amritsar. OCM is India’s best-quality manufacturer of woolen & worsted fabrics, and thanks to their skilled manpower for ensuring best quality of fabric. OCM’s tweed suiting material is extremely popular for Blazer & Jacket fabric across India. No other manufacturer in India has been able to match the quality of OCM Blazer and jacket of Tweed fabric till date. We have charted out ambitious and aggressive plans to promote the OCM brand.”
OCM Private Limited (formerly known as OCM India Limited) began its journey as a Textile manufacturer 1924 and forayed into worsted fabric in 1972. It has a sprawling 37-acre complex that houses an ultramodern plant with 23,000 spindles, 120 high-speed shuttles-less looms and a woolen processing unit, with a weaving capacity of 25,000 meters of fabric per day and an employee base of 900. OCM is the first integrated worsted woolen fabric manufacturing unit in India with the prestigious ISO 9001 certification. It is also the first Indian textile company to receive the NABL accreditation in accordance with international standard ISO 17025:2005 for its in-house Quality Assurance Laboratory.
Originally a part of SK Birla Group (Birla VXL), OCM was acquired by private equity funds managed by WL Ross & Co. LLC in 2006. Since that acquisition, OCM has undergone extensive transformation across manufacturing, product development to revitalize its brand and strengthen its business. OCM’s product design function is at the forefront of global styling with design office in Biella, Italy. Due to its superior product quality, institutional customers such as hospitals, airline and hospitality companies, schools and the government undertakings consider OCM as their preferred supplier of worsted fabric.
OCM Woolen Mills is the second major acquisition by promoter of the Donear Group after it acquired GBTL Ltd. (formerly known as Grasim Bhiwani Textile Limited), the PV Suiting Fabrics business earlier in July this year. Like GBTL Ltd, OCM Woolen Mills will continue to operate as an independent unit manufacturing woolen fabric products under guidance of the Donear Group management. There will not be any change in the day-to-day management or existing policies at the

OCM unit. Post-acquisition, all entities will continue to focus on their respective brands as separate teams and the management will continue its efforts to strengthen and utilize their competencies to serve to their customers. Today, OCM offers an extensive product range under the following brands:
  • Ferrara – An Italian luxury for the discerning buyer of premium Suiting & Jacketing fabrics. It is made from the blends of cashmere, mohair, silk, rose and milk fibres
  • OCM Style - A vast spectrum of offerings with wool & wool-blended fabrics that balance affordability, latest trends and a high style quotient
  • Siena - This range is trendy, youthful and comes in vibrant colors. It drapes well, is breathable and is light weight
  • BOLD - Reflective of contemporary global styling, the ready-to-wear Jackets, Sweaters, shirts & T-shirts are the best choice for the modern, young Indian man
  • Savannah - A new wave of ethnic fusion fashion with a remarkable freshness to meet the taste of the modern Indian woman
With acquisition of OCM, the Donear Group will be able to offer a complete range of fabrics under a bouquet of brands including OCM, Ferrino Mizzoni, GBTL-Grasim (license user of TM Grasim), Donear, Graviera, Royal Classico, Donear Cottons–Belboni & Cotonova, iTR Terry Rayon Suiting and Bronson Shirting. In retail, the Donear Group is successfully operating Donear NXG (MBO) and D’Cot (EBO) branded retail stores.



Monday, November 20, 2017

Kellogg India Pvt Ltd amongst ‘Top 100’ Best Companies for Women in India






17th November, 2017 - Kellogg India Pvt Ltd has been selected amongst the ‘2017 Working Mother & AVTAR 100 Best Companies for Women in India’. Featuring in the prestigious list for the second time in a row, it is a testimony to our undeterred commitment of being a diverse and an inclusive organisation.

The list selects exemplary companies that have the most progressive policies for women in the organisation and create a supportive and cutting edge workplace for them. This award is a proof of our way of nurturing a diverse & an inclusive work environment.

Rohit Kumar, Director-Human Resource, Kellogg India, accepts the felicitation and says “Kellogg India is firmly committed to diversity and inclusion and aims to have a workforce that reflects the vast diversity of our consumer base. It continues to create an enabling environment to recruit, retain and develop women. It has more than trebled the number of women hires over the last two years. Given the fluid nature of roles in modern homes, it encourages both men and women to opt and benefit from policies like Flexible Working Hours, Work from Home, Parental Leave / Adoption for single men and women and policies on women safety during work travel. Employee sensitization workshops, Leadership programs, Mentoring and Life coaching for women give them a perspective of how successful men and women have navigated the leadership journey and are some of the many efforts to foster a supportive, positive environment to strengthen the D&I culture.”

Singapore Tourism Board brings Passion made Possible to life with the Singapore Weekender at Mumbai’s Sassoon Docks




~ Organised as part of STB’s new brand launch, the exciting activity-filled weekend will feature Singaporean talents, driven by their passion for the arts, showcasing
a different perspective of the Lion City.

Mumbai, 18 November 2017:  Following the unveiling by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) of the country’s inside-out, unified brand “Passion Made Possible” in Singapore, a series of promotional activities has kicked off in India.  The weekend of November 17-19, 2017 will see the Board partnering St+art India Foundation to present the Singapore Weekender as part of the St+art Urban Art Festival in Mumbai. The STB has partnered not-for-profit St+art India Foundation and Impresario Group to create a three-day experiential festival to showcase some of the Lion City’s brightest self-made talents in art, music, dance, food, film and photography across Mumbai – at the Sassoon Dock in Colaba as part of the St+art Mumbai 2017 Festival and in Social restaurants in the city.

Mr Lionel Yeo, Chief Executive of STB, said, “With Passion Made Possible, STB is presenting a brand that can tell a fuller Singapore story beyond just tourism. This brand articulates what we stand for as a country and supports the telling of many stories about this destination and its people. It will allow us to build a deeper and more personal connection between Singapore and our fans and friends, even when they are not actively thinking about travel. This brand is in line with Quality Tourism as it will appeal to the more sophisticated tourists who are seeking more aspirational value propositions in their travel.”

Speaking about the unconventional approach adopted by the STB for its brand launch activation in India, Mr. GB Srithar, Regional Director – South Asia, Middle East & Africa, explained “Over the years, we have been successful in establishing Singapore as a top family travel destination for Indian travellers. Our efforts to promote the country as a family-friendly destination have been effective and this segment takes up the biggest proportion of Indian visitors to Singapore. However, with an estimated 65% of India’s population being 35 years and under with strong disposable income and increasingly travelling overseas, we are reaching out to them. These young adults or working millennials seek immersive, unique and local experiences and Singapore presents a plethora of options.

We are happy to partner with St+art India Foundation and Impresario Group, both players known to break boundaries in their own fields, to present Singapore in a different light. By showcasing seven (7) Singaporean artistes and talents’ work in line with our Passion Made Possible brand to the Indian audiences, we hope to entrench Singapore as an exciting lifestyle hot spot. Many travel interest triggers, like music, art, dining can be satiated in Singapore. I am heartened by the fact that both Singaporean and Indian talents and local Mumbaikars will collaborate for many of the presentations, fostering artistic friendships.”

Warmly Invited for the Singapore Weekender @ ST+art Mumbai 2017
The STB is putting out a warm invitation to Mumbaikars and visitors in Mumbai to experience the Singapore Weekender. The public-access festival will give audiences a taste of Singapore’s vibrant arts and culture scene with a dynamic line-up of talents. Between  17th to 19th November, passionate artists the likes of Tan Zi Xi and The Yok & Sheryo, will be putting up larger-than-life installations as part of the St+art Mumbai 2017 festival‘s Sassoon Dock Art Project. Renowned architectural photographer Darren Soh will showcase his cityscapes alongside Indian photographer Vibhor Yadav. Turntablist, Producer and Asian hip hop champion DJ KoFlow will be in town to turn up the beat Lion City style, while b-boying crew Radical Forze will meet Dharavi b-boying outfit Slum Gods for a dance battle. The public can also look forward to a diverse array of interactive events including a Zine festival and screen printing workshop with Knuckles & Notch - a Singapore-based design and risograph press, as well as Singapore film screenings by Singaporean film and photography centre Objectifs.

Shedding light on the collaboration, Akshat Nauriyal, Co-Founder, Content Director and Digital Head of ST+art India Foundation said “Singapore and Mumbai are both global capitals with a strong sense of culture and thriving creative communities. This collaboration between the Singapore Tourism Board and St+art India Foundation has enabled us to showcase some of the most prolific artists from both nations through contextual projects that are deeply rooted in the contemporary realities of both cities".


A limited-edition Social X Singapore collaboration
Injecting some tongue-in-cheek flavour into the mix is Chef Bjorn Shenenfant terrible of the Singaporean culinary scene and ‘dudestronomy’ advocate. As part of the Singapore Weekender, he will be collaborating with Impresario Group’s Executive Chef Gresham Fernandes to launch a special Singapore menu that will be available at all Social outlets across Mumbai from 18 November to 8 December 2017.  

Riyaaz Amlani, CEO & MD, Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. (parent company of Social) says, "We are delighted to support Singapore Tourism Board's new brand, Passion Made Possible, by providing a platform to introduce their rich culinary heritage to an Indian audience. This collaboration will not only help Social introduce the guests to the most authentic flavours of Singapore through a co-created menu, but will also serve to bring the two countries together; reinstating the culture-defying Social experience."

Singapore is Passion Made Possible
The Singapore Weekender is designed to bring together people from all walks of life by using their various interests as a common platform, an aspect Yuemin Li-Misra, Area Director, South Asia (New Delhi) hopes will translate to Singapore when Indians next consider it as a travel destination. “When we were looking for partners for the brand launch, we wanted someone who not only embodied the Passion Made Possible ethos, but also reflected Singapore’s constant drive to think out of the box, transform and innovate. Together with ST+art India Foundation and Impresario Group, the Singapore Weekender is our attempt to bring forth not just the kind of talent that’s present in Singapore but also the many special memories that can arise from meaningful cultural exchange-exactly the kind of travel experience we hope to offer Indian travellers when they visit our city.”

COLORS Pinkathon Mumbai organised Navari Run and Baby Wearing Mothers Walk at Juhu Beach

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Mumbai, November 19, 2017: Colors Pinkathon Mumbai organised two promo events the Navari Run and Baby Wearing Mothers Walk at the Juhu beach with over 200 gorgeous women all dressed in traditional wear for a "Navari Run" followed by the baby wearing mothers walk at Juhu beach. The atmosphere was so festive and lively.
The Nauvari Run started at 6am with a fun warm-up session of zumba and yoga before it. All participants wore either Navari saris or their traditional best and ran for a short 2 kms. This run emphasized the fact that a mere element such as dressing can stop no woman from striving towards fitness.
In the second event, Colors Pinkathon with Mumbai Sling Library invited baby-wearing Supermoms at 7.30 am for a short warm-up and walk. #ColorsPinkathon conducts training sessions for women to participate with their babies to emphasize on staying fit during pregnancy and post-natal period. It also highlights how healthy motherhood is a necessity in today’s day and age, to be the torchbearers for healthy families. Most of the women who participated carried their babies in slings and harnesses, as they walked along the route.
Commenting on such initiatives especially the Navari Run and Baby Wearing walk, Model and Founder of Pinkathon Milind Soman said, “We want to change the mind-set of women. We want women to run in whatever they wear and the way they are dressed, be it sarees, salwar kameez or even the hijabs. Clothes should not become deterrent to women’s fitness. The idea is to inculcate the fitness habit in their comfort wear. We want to urge new mothers to lead a healthy life and break the stereotype of woman with infants having to stay at home. Women with infants have truly forgotten how to live for themselves, only focusing on what their child wants. The walk is for urban woman to understand that it is important to take their children along with them as they carry on with their lives, unfettered as far as possible, by any shackles of motherhood.”
Baby wearing also has immense benefits to both mother and child. Carried babies are less likely to cry, are healthier, gain weight faster, have better motor skills, coordination, increased muscle tone and a better sense of balance. Carried babies fall asleep quicker and sleep for longer periods of time, become independent faster as they are more confident and less clingy, they learn more as they are not over stimulated, but calm and alert and most importantly, are happier. Baby wearing enables better communication between mother and child as the mother becomes attuned to her baby’s facial expressions and other gestures. Lactating mothers lose less bone mass by carrying with them the extra weight of their babes as it encourages weight bearing exercises. Mothers also have less to worry about while both mother and child feel secure in each other’s company.

Pinkathon is India's biggest women's run to encourage and promote fitness & health among women and create awareness for women’s wellness & Breast Cancer. The COLORS Pinkathon Mumbai - Inspiring partners Bajaj Electricals is scheduled to be held on Sunday, December 17, 2017 at R2 MMRDA Grounds, BKC. Over 11000 women are expected to participate in this 6th edition. Online registrations are open at www.pinkathon.in for the V Wash plus 3km, 5km & Tata Salt Lite 10km multi-category run, for the 21km drop a mail on info@pinkathon.in.

Quote of SBI Chairman Mr. Rajnish Kumar on upgrade of India Rating by Moody’s

Quote – “The revision in ratings by Moody’s is a positive development and is a great enabling factor for Indian financial markets. Simultaneously, the rating upgrade of SBI amongst others indicates that Indian Financial system remains resilient and robust and poised to support growth.  The bond yields, Indian Rupee and Stock Markets have already reacted favourably. Over a point of time, this will reduce borrowing costs of Government and Financial Institutions and result in increased investor confidence in the India growth and reform story”.


'गुगल डुडल'द्वारे व्ही. शांतारामबापूंना अनोखी मानवंदना...



विख्यात दिग्दर्शक डॉ.  'व्ही. शांताराम यांचा ११६ वा जन्मदिन आणि 'राजकमलया निर्मिती संस्थेच्या पंच्याहत्तरीचे निमित्त साधून गुगल डुडल आणि व्ही. शांताराम  फांउडेनतर्फे आजपासून एका अनोख्या उपक्रमाचा प्रारंभ करण्यात आला. गुगल डुडल या वेबसाईटवर 'A Colossus of Indian Cinema' या लिंकवर व्ही. शांताराम यांच्या आयुष्यावर आधारलेले व्हर्च्युअल प्रदर्शन आजपासून चित्रपट रसिकांना पाहायला मिळणार आहे. 

व्ही. शांताराम मोशन पिक्चर  फांउडेशनचे अध्यक्ष श्री. किरण शांताराम आणि गुगल यांच्या संयुक्त विद्यमानाने हे अनोखे प्रदर्शन रसिकांसाठी खुले झाले आहे. शांतारामबापूंच्या चित्रपट कारकिर्दीविषयीचा दीर्घ आढावा घेण्यात आला आहे. शांतारामबापूंच्या जन्मापासून ते त्यांचे चित्रपटसृष्टीमधील पदार्पण, 'प्रभात'मध्ये त्यांच्या प्रतिभेला फुटलेले धुमारे. तसेच त्यानंतर 'राजकमल'ची स्थापना करून निर्मिलेल्या अनेक उत्कृष्ट चित्रपटांबाबत या प्रदर्शनात माहिती देण्यात आली आहे. 

'गुगल डुडलया वेबसाईटवर कला आणि संस्कृती नावाचा एक विशेष विभाग आहे. या विभागात शांतारामबापूंना मिळालेले सर्व पुरस्कारस्टुडिओतील चित्रीकरणाच्या जागाध्वनिमुद्रण स्टुडिओयांची दृश्यफीतही चित्रपट रसिकांना पाहायला मिळणार आहे. तसेच शांतारामबापूंनी दिग्दर्शितकेलेल्या  सर्व चित्रपटांची वेगवेगळ्या आकारामधली दुर्मिळ पोस्टर्स आणि छायाचित्रेही या वेबसाईटवर अपलोड करण्यात येणार आहेत. चित्रपट अभ्यासक तसेच माहितीपट निर्माते-दिग्दर्शक श्री. संजीत नार्वेकर यांनी या प्रदर्शनाचे लेखन आणि मांडणी केली आहे.

गुगलच्या या उपक्रमाव्यतिरिक्त 'व्ही. शांताराम  फांउडेनतर्फेही १८ तारखेला त्यांचा वाढदिवस अनोख्या पद्धतीने साजरा केला जाणार आहे. व्ही. शांताराम यांचे शांताराम हे आत्मचरित्र खूप गाजले. या आत्मचरित्राची मराठी आणि हिंदी आवृत्ती आता 'बुकगंगाया वेबसाईटद्वारे जगभरात ई-बुक स्वरूपात उपलब्ध होणार आहे. राष्ट्रीय तसेच आंतरराष्ट्रीय पातळीवर एक परिपूर्ण दिग्दर्शक अशी व्ही. शांताराम यांची ख्याती आहे. ते एक उत्कृष्ट अभिनेतेकल्पक संकलकवेगळी दृष्टी असलेले दिग्दर्शक आणि निर्माते होते. अनेक गुणवैशिष्ट्ये असलेल्या व्ही. शांताराम यांनी दिग्दर्शनची एक नवीन पद्धत रूढ केली. सामाजिकआर्थिकराजकीय प्रश्नांचे तरंग त्यांच्या चित्रपटांमध्ये उमटले होते. १९३० च्या दशकातील मूक चित्रपटांपासून ते १९८० च्या दशकामधील डिजिटल चित्रपटांच्या युगाचे ते साक्षीदार होते.