Friday, December 23, 2011

Mumbai to host Global PR Conclave on Feb 13

Theme: PR – Interface or Interference – Media and PR perspectives

MUMBAI, December 23, 2012: The Public Relations Council of India (PRCI), one of India's largest community of public relations, communication and media professionals, and academicians, will host its Global Conclave and Awards event in Mumbai on February 13, 2012.
PRCI is engaged in providing training, setting standards of professional excellence, and uphold principals of ethics. As a leading voice in the industry, PRCI also advocates for greater understanding and adoption of public relations services. Established in 2004, PRCI has its headquarters at Bangalore with over about 20 active chapters located in Mumbai, New Delhi, Baroda, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Kerala, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Pune, Manipal, Mysore, Chhattisgarh, Guwahati and Mizoram.
One of the signature properties of PRCI is the annual Chanakya Awards that recognizes the outstanding contribution made by corporate, educational institutions, to the PR profession and the society at large. PRCI also felicitates PR practitioners for their outstanding contribution by inducting them into the PR Hall of Fame. The entire award process is determined by an independent jury.
PRCI Global Conclaves have so far been held Bangalore, New Delhi and Chandigarh and this time round Mumbai chapter has offered to play the host, says B N Kumar, Chairman – PRCI Mumbai Chapter & Global Conclave.
For the Mumbai conclave the theme as: PR – Interface or Interference – Media and PR perspectives
Apart from the formal inaugural address by a VVIP, we also plan a keynote address by a Corporate Captain. 
PRCI is inviting industry captains, top media and PR professionals and several dignitaries to grace the Conclave and enlighten the delegates with their thoughts. Over 250 delegates from across the country are expected to attend the event.
The delegate fee is pegged at Rs 3,000 for non members (Rs 2,600 for members) and USD 60 for foreign porofessionals.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mumbai, Karachi media agree to end Indo-Pak hate campaign

Karachi declaration calls for restraint on language by Indian and Pakistan media

KARACHI: Calling for ending hatred and suspicion and easing the visa regime between India and Pakistan, Karachi and Mumbai Press Clubs have created history by signing an agreement for cooperation and mutual exchange.
In a joint declaration signed by office bearers of Karachi and Mumbai Press Clubs, during the visit of a media delegation from Mumbai, the media organizations have called for control and restraint on language used by journalists in covering developments in India and Pakistan.
During the seven-day long visit, the Indian delegation observed that the general consensus among various sections like media, businessmen, small shop keepers and even the man in the street was that the neighbours should now begin to normalize their relationships in their mutual  interest.
“Indo-Pak Peace is an idea whose time has come,” said Dr Masuma Hasan, Chairperson of Pakistan Institute of International Affairs. “Our observation that the people in general are fed up with the long strife between the two countries and everyone wants an atmosphere of goodwill and cooperation so that all of us can live in peace and contribute to the growth of the region,” she said.
The visit was the result of a joint initiative by the Karachi Press Club and Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER). Mumbai media delegation visited the Press Clubs at Karachi and Hyderabad (Sind), various newspaper offices and took part in discussions with media organizations, chambers of commerce and Karachi University.
Karachi Press Club President Tahir Hassan Khan said no one can now stop the media initiative from moving forward which will immensely help in establishing people-to-people contact. He also urged media persons from both sides to observe absolute restraint in their language while covering events related to both the countries. “Let politicians and bureaucrats fight, but we must come together to work for peace and growth of our nations,” he said.
He said Pakistani media sacrificed a lot and lost precious lives and reflecting similar feeling a sign at Hyderabad Press Club said: A Free Press Means a Free Nation”.
Prakash Akolkar, Chairman, The Press Club -Mumbai, said the delegation was overwhelmed by the rousing reception that received everywhere – from Karachi airport to chambers of commerce – and observed that the people from both the sides want peace and happiness. “We speak the same language, our eating habits the same, our clothes do not differ much and if there is anything that separates us is the border,” Akolkar said.
Happy to work together: Karachi & Mumbai Press Clubs
Media professionals, business leaders and politicians across the country have also called for easing the visa regime and facilitate free and frequent visits by people from both the sides.
Delegation coordinator Jatin Desai said it is about time that both the countries began sincerely implementing what they agreed upon at the recent SAARC summit. He also called for increasing the number of journalists being posted by India and Pakistan in each other’s country. This will help in people from both sides getting the proper perspective of happenings in the respective countries. He lamented the fact that as of now just two Pakistani media persons are allowed to operate in India and vice-versa.
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Vice President Kurram Sayeed pointed out that businessmen in India and Pakistan could gain a lot by mutual cooperation. Indian business, for instance, could use Pakistan route for gaining access to Europe on one side and China on the other. “It will be a win-win situation if the business communities of both the nations worked together in a spirit of cooperation and understanding,” he said.
Pakistan has huge coal resources and energy is one field in which both of us can cooperate,” he said.
Contentious issues like Kashmir and cross-border terrorism also came up during the media delegation’s discussions at various forums.
Concept PR CEO B N Kumar who was also part of the delegation called for ending the feeling of hatred and suspicion on both sides and opening up the means of communications for improving the relations between both the nations.
PILER Executive director Karamat Ali said “I am of the firm opinion that Indo-Pak peace would help contribute to the development of SAARC countries. We need improve the people-to-people contact and enlarge the relationships to the entire SAARC region.”
“We only read or hear about SAARC only during summits and there is hardly any follow-up after the agreements and declarations,” he said. “Neither India nor Pakistan will grow if they continue to live in strife and losers would be the people,” he added.
Contrary to the initial doubts about the atmosphere of mutual suspicion, the media delegation was pleasantly surprised to find that the feeling across the socio-political spectrum was that it is the right time for renewing peace and cooperation between the two countries. “If we lose time now we will suffer forever,” said Dr Muhammad Farooq Sattar, Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Deputy Convener of MQM (Muttahida Quami Movement), the party floated by Altaf Hussain who is in self exile in the UK.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Patience pays! Reliance tells you how!

Dear Customer,

We thank you for your patience during the recent outage of Blackberry services. These outages were due to an issue with a core switch (located at European Network Operations Center of RIM) responsible for directing BlackBerry network traffic.

As a token of appreciation for your patience, RIM has announced an offer of premium applications worth more than US $100 (approximately Rs.4800/-) absolutely free of charge, for Blackberry users.

Various premium applications will be made available on BlackBerry App World from October 19th, 2011 to November 30th, 2011. All these applications will remain available to download free of charge till December 31, 2011. Starting January 1, 2012, these premium applications will return to full price on BlackBerry App World.

For more details, terms and conditions of the offer and a list of these applications, please visit

Thank you for choosing Reliance, No.1 Network of India.

Customer Care
Reliance Communications Limited

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sachin Ahir hails MCHI Code of Conduct for developers as Property 2011 opens

·       India’s largest Property Expo Features 15,000 properties 

·       Clear titles and clearances – MCHI Hai Toh Bharosa Hai
·       About 100, developers 10 home finance companies participate

MUMBAI, October 6, 2011: In what is described as India’s largest real estate expo, the four-day MCHI Property 2011 got off to a flying start today with a wide array of 15,000 multi-location properties backed by all clearances put on display at the MMRDA Grounds, BKC. 
Mr. Sachin Bhau Ahir, Hon’ble Minister of State for Housing, Government of Maharashtra, formally inaugurated the exhibition.
Mr Ahir appreciated MCHI for adopting a self regulatory code of conduct for developers. He was also all  praise for the Chamber for taking adequate care to e sure that the properties on display at the exhibition had necessary clearances and expressed the hope that customers would take benefit of the assurance: MCHI Hai Toh Bharosa Hai.
On the proposed new DC Rules, he said the policy clarifications would be announced soon.
The 19th Real Estate & Housing Finance Exhibition features properties from across Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region with varied sizes and convenient price points.
The exhibition assumes an added significance in view of the fact that MCHI has recently adopted a self regulatory code of conduct for developers and set up a consumer grievance redresser mechanism to ensure transparency in real estate transactions.
Home buyers can scan through an array of properties displayed, thus saving them time and effort, which they would otherwise have to spend if they were to check individual properties.  Now, they can do so all under one roof and in air-conditioned comfort.
MCHI President Mr. Paras Gundecha said the exhibition will also provide an excellent opportunity for buyers of getting their dream home financed by over 15 leading banks and financial institutions who are at service at the venue.
Mr. Gundecha recalled that recently MCHI has endorsed a code of conduct for its member developers to scrupulously adhere to ethical business practices. MCHI has also set up a consumer grievance redresser forum to attend to buyers’ complaints.
Unbelievable as it may sound, but all aspects related to home buying will be assembled under one roof. Properties on display include 1 BHK to 4 BHK flats, Penthouses to second homes along with affordable homes across different price points at the exhibition.
MCHI Exhibition Committee Chairman Mr. Bandish Ajmera pointed out this is the best time to buy property as the event offers the best of the opportunities. Plus, it is also an auspicious time as many good things in life are normally launched on the Dussera Day.
Prospective home buyers can thus compare different projects, weighing their pros and cons and then making a final decision on buying their dream home. Once the buyer decides on a property, developers organize site visits for them for a physical check. This helps in speeding up the home buying process. Developers also could be offering home buyers special discounted rates if they make spot payments at the venue itself.
Mr Dipesh  Bhagtani, Exhibition Committee coordinator, proposed a vote of thanks.
Elaborate arrangements have been made for the benefit of visitors to Property 2011 like free shuttle bus services from Bandra (E) and Kurla (W) stations and a Kid’s zone centre run by professionals to take care of tiny tots while parents go round the sprawling exhibition. To take care of visitors gourmet needs, the exhibition will have a cafeteria offering a sumptuous spread of Lunch, along with Snacks etc.
About MCHI
Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI), formed in 1982, is the most prominent and the only recognized body of Real Estate Developers in Mumbai and MMR. MCHI brings together members dealing in Real Estate Development on one common platform to address various issues facing the Industry. Members of MCHI account for 80% of Development of New Residential Accommodation and Commercial Properties in Mumbai and MMR MCHI helps both the Central and State Governments in meeting their objectives of providing housing, which is a basic necessity. MCHI has a strong Membership of over 1000 leading Developers in Mumbai and has expanded across MMR, having its own units in Thane, Kalyan -Dombivali, Mira – Virar City, Raigad and Navi Mumbai. MCHI works towards raising awareness among the General Public, Real Estate and Construction Industry in and around Mumbai and MMR.     

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ten simple ways to fight corruption - Lok Pal or No Lok Pal!

My agenda to fight, sorry resist, corruption:
  1. 1.       There is no point in fighting or talking about it. Just resist it
  2. 2.       Be the change that you want to see
  3. 3.       Never, ever bribe any one for anything at any cost
  4. 4.       Plan your holidays, travel in advance, do your railway bookings online and never bribe booking clerks – which most of us do!
  5. 5.       If you happen to jump a traffic signal, violate traffic rules (or for that matter even if your drives does so), please p[ay up the fine
  6. 6.       Do not argue with the police when you know you are at fault and never ever try to show off your position (I am from the media, what do you think…etc etc)
  7. 7.       Never break the queue at any place. Most of try to find friends in long queues and seek favours (arrey bhai mera bhi ticket le lo na???) at cinemas, railway ticket counters etc etc.,
  8. 8.       Never try to point fingers at others. (Woh toh saala corrupt hai) Remember, if you point one finger at some one, three fingers (of your own) point at you, and thumb towards the sky (God?)
  9. 9.       This one is for businessmen: Give up that feeling – paisa diye bina kuch nahin hota hai. Paisey Dena bandh karo. Use your business forums, associations strength for it
  10. 10.   Most important: Corruption begins at home. Don’t bribe your children with chocolates and increased pocket money to score well in exams. There are better incentives – like spending some time with family, taking them out on holidays or short week-end trips etc.,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

FM Radio policy set to create more waves

The Union Cabinet in its meeting today has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to approve of the 'Policy Guidelines on Expansion of FM radio broadcasting services through private agencies (Phase-Ill)'. Cabinet has also cleared the proposal of the Ministry for conducting ascending e-auction, as followed by Department of Telecommunications for the auction of 3G and BWA spectrum, mutatis-mutandis, for award of license of FM Channels, as recommended by the GoM on Licensing Methodology for FM Phase-Ill.

FM Phase-Ill Policy extends FM radio services to about 227 new cities, in addition to the present 86 cities, with a total of 839 new FM radio Channels in 294 cities. Phase -III policy will result in coverage of all cities with a population of one lakh and above with private FM radio channels.

Salient features of the approved Policy for Phase-Ill as against Phase-11 are as under;-

i) Radio operators have been permitted carriage of news bulletins of All India Radio. 

ii) Broadcast pertaining to the certain categories like information pertaining to sporting events, traffic and weather, coverage of cultural events, festivals, coverage of topics pertaining to examinations, results, admissions, career counselling, availability of employment opportunities, public announcements pertaining to civic amenities like electricity, water supply, natural calamities, health alerts etc. as provided by the local administration will be treated as non-news and current affairs broadcast and will therefore be permissible.

iii) The limit on the ownership of Channels, at the national level, allocated to an entity has been retained at 15%. However channels allotted in Jammu & Kashmir, North Eastern States and island territories will be allowed over and above the 15% national limit to incentivise the bidding for channels in such areas;

iv) Private operators have been allowed to own more than one channel but not more than 40% of the total channels in a city subject to a minimum of three different operators in the city.

v) FDI+FII limit in a private FM radio broadcasting company has been increased from 20% to 26%;

(vi) Networking of channels will be permissible within a private FM broadcaster's own network across the country instead of in 'C' and 'D’ category cities only of a region allowed at present.

(vii) A choice is proposed to be given to the private FM broadcasters to choose any agency other than BECIL for construction of CTI within a period of 3 months of issuance of LOI failing which BECIL will automatically become the system integrator and set up co-location facilities and CTI.

(viii) Special incentives for North East (NE) Region and Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) and Island territories: 

• Private FM Radio broadcasters in North East (NE) Region and Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) and Island territories will be required to pay half the rate of annual license fee for an initial period of three years from the date from which the annual license fee becomes payable and the permission period of fifteen (15) years begins.

• The revised fee structure has also been made applicable for a period of three years, from the date of issuance of guidelines, to the existing operators in these States to enable them to effectively compete with the new operators.

• Apart from the fee relaxation, it is further proposed that Prasar Bharati infrastructure would be made available at half the lease rentals for similar category cities in such areas.

• The limit on the ownership of Channels, at the national level, allocated to an entity has been retained at 15%. However channels allotted in Jammu & Kashmir, North Eastern States and island territories will be allowed over and above the 15% national limit to incentivise the bidding for channels in such areas;

The provisions of the Policy will also be available to FM Phase-II operators.

The incentives provided in the Policy with regard to J&K, North Eastern States and Island territories will make the operations viable in these areas and are expected to result in better offtake of channels. The steps taken in the new policy will bring down operational costs and improve viability in general. To improve the viability further as against a maximum of 4 channels in D category cities permitted in FM Phase-II, FM Phase-Ill proposes only 3 FM channels in D category cities so that there are lesser operators to share the advertisement pie. The reduction in the lockin period of shareholding of promoters/majority shareholders from the present 5 years to 3 years will give them greater freedom to change the Share Holding Pattern.

Content diversification because of news content provided by All India Radio, because of categories being specifically permitted and because of multiple ownership of channels in a city except in D category cities will allow operators to distinguish themselves from others to be able to cater to niche audiences. This will also increase the overall listenership base and the listening time.

E-auction for the channels will be conducted in batches and number of batches will be decided by the Ministry of I&B, depending upon the response from the bidders after auction of first batch. The Ministry of l&B will appoint an independent expert agency, though a transparent selection process, following established procedure, to conduct e-auction. The Ministry will separately issue a detailed Information Memorandum, in due course, enabling the prospective bidders to participate, and also indicating the cities, reserve prices city-wise, number of channels to be taken up in each batch and other procedures for e-auction. A Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for participation in the Auction(s) will also be issued in due course of time.

Monday, May 9, 2011

When to drink...water I mean!!

I knew water is important but I never knew about the special times to drink it. 
Did you??
Drinking water at the correct   time
maximizes its effectiveness on the Human   body :

2 glasses of water after waking up -  helps activate internal organs 

1 glass of water  30 minutes before a meal - helps digestion
1 glass of water before taking a bath - helps   lower blood pressure
1 glass of water before going to bed -   avoids stroke or heart attack
Please pass   this to the people you care about.......
I JUST   DID...!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Repo rate hike discouraging, says CREDAI

MUMBAI, May 03, 2011: The hike in repo rate by 50 basis points is bound to make the cost of borrowing dearer, according Mr Lalit Kumar Jain, National President CREDAI – Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations.

“This move is highly discouraging and even disappointing,” Mr Jain, who is also the Chairman and Managing Director of Kumar Urban development Limited. It is a big blow for both the developer and the home buyer, he said,

This was the least that was expected of the Reserve Bank at a time when everyone is concerned about the high cost of inputs that is leading to high cost of property, he pointed out and called for immediate withdrawal of “this retrograde proposal”.

“It is really paradox that the government talks of housing for all and affordable housing for the middle class families, while on the other hand the cost of finding is hiked,” he said.

Friday, April 29, 2011

CREDAI calls for time-bound action to fight corruption

·       “We are hurt to be branded as corrupt”, says CREDAI President Lalitkumar Jain
·        Govt systems, procedures lead to frustration and corruption
·        Single window for clearances, code of conduct for developers mooted

Hurt and insulted by wild allegations of corruption against the real estate sector, CREDAI (Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India) has presented a time-bound programme to the government to tackle the menace.
The Confederation today presented a time-bound action plan to Union Urban Development Minister Mr. Kamalnath at the two-day 11th National Conference (NATCON) of CREDAI at Singapore.
Lalitkumar Jain (left) and other CREDAI
team members cheer Kamalnath
CREDAI national president Mr. Lalitkumar Jain, in his speech, regretted that the developer community was being branded as being corrupt and sought an appointment with the Prime Minister to discuss ways and means to check the cancer of corruption instead of indulging in blame game.
This country is, sadly though, rated to be one of the most corrupt nations of the world. Any citizen of this great country will feel hurt and humiliated. The Real Estate Sector is rated to be the biggest contributor to this notoriety. As a responsible citizen and an honest businessman I and all my colleagues in real estate feel greatly insulted,” Mr Jain said.
“With a great sense of responsibility I must say that we the developers are the victims of the system and not the beneficiaries," he said and lamented that the real estate sector was being branded as the breeding ground for black money and corruption.
“We hate this system which makes us look ugly”, Mr Jain said pointing out that it is the various government procedures and delays in clearances that rise to corruption. “We curse every person who exploits us to give us a legitimate permission which we deserve instantly and without any illegitimate demand.”
Delving into the issue of the long process of clearances, he said this process involved connecting with more than 150 people in about 40 departments of central, state government and municipal corporations. “After investing heavily in to land cost, even a day’s delay in approvals adds to the costs. And in desperation and when speed becomes important, the concept of speed money creeps in,” he pointed out.
“Each and every developer has to go through the frustrating processes of getting approvals and this is the mother of all problems. We have to obtain more than 40 certificates, NOCs, and clearances. This takes anything between 2 to 3 years. Each person in the system cashes in on the desperation of developers. As you all are aware, this business of ours is highly capital intensive,’ he said.
The McKinney report to the Government of India as long ago as in 2001 said that land approval related hurdles are costing 40% higher to home cost, he said.
Hence, instead of blaming it on anybody, CREDAI decided to get into the roots and find a solution as a top priority agenda and launched a revolutionary concept – Mission Transparency. The campaign, launched a month ago, has been evoking tremendous response from among not only stake holders, but the media, he said.
CREDAI presented two key documents to Mr Kamalnath at the NATCON – a compilation of best practices by some state governments that can be emulated by the rest of the country and a comprehensive checklist for approvals.
Mr Jain urged the Centre to have the Best Practices document circulated among all States by the Independence Day this year and finalise the comprehensive checklist by the next Republic Day after consultation with the various Central and State government departments and even the municipal corporations and development authorities across the country.
“One year from today, we should have the new systems in place to be implemented,” he said.
For the developer community, he said CREDAI would launch an aggressive nationwide campaign to sensitize the governments, NGOs, media and citizens at large on the issue. “It is our conviction that the developers are builders of the Nation as they will be the most important stake holders in urban development of the country. We also are responsible citizens of the country and will like to conduct our businesses with utmost diligence, dignity and above all honesty.
For details, please contact:
Anilkumar Yadav
Concept PR – 9869632008 –

Khusboo Vyas
Concept PR – 9819303885 –

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Corruption is a way of life

We are all corrupt!
The success of Anna Hazare’s fast against corruption raises many questions and the most important of them all is – who is corrupt and who is not!
I think as a nation, India is corrupt!
Given a chance quite a few of us would like to travel ticketless in trains and buses and feel elated over skipping toll nakas, traffic signals.
We blame the traffic police for being corrupt, but when we break the rules, we will instantly offer money to the police constable.
Shame that many of do carry Rs 50 note along with the driving license as if to save time in bribing a cop.
We crave for favours during school and college admissions and are prepared to pay donations even without a receipt and then we blame the school and administration for this corruption.
We take pride in rushing for a hit movie – 1st day 1st show – even by buying cinema tickets in black. I have been witness to a police officer buying ticket in black to favour a journalist.
Do we not find ways to evade income tax by negotiating with the CA?
Instances could run into hundreds and thousands.
I am convinced that corruption cannot be eradicated.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Voda...disconnection follows you, not network!!

Voda, not onions give me tears!!!

When the country was enjoying last night’s match, I was crying, screaming and complaining to Vodafone – repeatedly!!
I am aggrieved customer of Vodafone! My phone services have been barred at least five times in a month for no fault of mine.
Over the past one month or so, I have been doing nothing but keep calling the customer care and visiting their store.
My services were debarred first on the very 3rd day of getting the connection for exceeding the credit limit! I promptly paid more than what Voda asked for since I didn’t want to face with another disconnection.
Then within a week, the services were barred on the ground that my documentation was not proper. At Voda Store (read Rajinder Shetty), I was reassured that there was nothing wrong  and that the services would be resumed.
Yet, services were barred at regular intervals and I was made to dance, wait endlessly at Voda Stores, complains to the customer care (or careless?) centres.
Voda says “Happy to help You” and the only help that I have been getting is disconnection!!!
And to my shock and dismay, the services were stopped last without any warning or notice, that too when I was half way through from office to home.
Hope telecom service providers realize that one takes a phone connection only because it is necessary. Who would have been responsible if a customer landed in a distress situation and heI had no phone to contact any one????
Does anyone in Voda realize the seriousness of such sudden disconnections?
The joke does not end there!!!
When I contacted the customer care, I was again told that documentation was improper. A request for reconnection was taken. But my services remained barred. I called a second time to be only told that there was no request for reconnection registered!! And I was promised (by the so-called customer care executive Ismail)  that the services would be restored in half an hour.
For Voda, they never had that half an hour and I called a third time. After endless waiting, I was informed that there were no requests for restoration of services were registered!!!!
This so-called customer care executive (read Pratik) promised I would not have any problem after an hour or so.
The entire nigh as passed and the services were restored at 7.51 AM today after a fourth complaint.
Each time you calls Voda Customner Care, the tape-recorded voice says..Hello….Happy to Help you…etc etc and each time you speak to their executive (whenever he or she comes online after repeated calls and disconnection of these calls, that is!!!) they promptly apologise.
Angrez chale gaye, sorry reh gaya!!!
I was told afresh that there is no problem with the documents or verification and that mt services would continue.
Chaas ka jala, doodh to phoo-phoo kar peeta hai!
I don’t trust Voda guys.
Now, I will wait for another disconnection and another bout with Voda!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Aamir and unsung heroes get Lokmat Maharashtrain of The Year Awards

Winners will be role models for the Gen-Next, says CM

MUMBAI:: Several Maharashtra icons like actor-film maker Aamir Khan and doctor couple Smita and Ravindra Kolhe, who have carved a niche for themselves braving daunting circumstances and contributed to the progress of the State with their rare work, were felicitated with the Lokmat Maharashtrian of the Year Awards.

Smita and Ravindra Kolhe, who devoted their lives for providing health services to tribals in remote Melghat region of Vidarbha region, presented with the award in the category Public Service-Social Service.

In the 1st edition of the awards, aimed at providing inspiration to Maharashtrians, a galaxy of those who contributed to the society in their own way were given the honours and Chief Minister Mr Prithviraj Chavan presented the awards recently.

“The winners selected by Lokmat would prove to be role models for the future generations of Maharashtra,” Mr.  Chavan remarked.

In an emotional acceptance speech Dr. Ravindra Kolhe remarked that “I have grown up reading Lokmat and never in my life imagined that my favourite newspaper would recognize the work being done by me and my wife in a remote area. It is a great honour.”

Among the other awardees were Kalpana Joshi who has patented a medicine for treatment of cancer in the category Science-Technology and Sanjay Gaikwad who has revolutionised distribution of Bollywood films in the category Business.

Kalpana Raut, a tribal girl, who is also known as the “Sawarpada Express”, won the award in Sports category. This award was given by the Union Minister for Sports, Ajay Maken who said that “Maharashtra has good sports infrastructure, best sportspersons and hence the route to the Olympic gold goes through Maharashtra.

He remarked that Maharashtra had outstanding sportspersons with a rare killer instinct, which is necessary to win a game.

Sculptor Bhagwan Rampure, best known for his creation of the ‘Bull’ at BSE and of Mirza Ghalib in Delhi, won the award in the category Art.

Aamir Khan who has time and again proved his talent and versatility in not only acting, but film direction and production was honoured in the category Entertainment. Aamir received this award via video link and thanked Lokmat, speaking in Marathi.

Maharashtra Home Minister Mr R. R. Patil, who enjoys a clean image as a politician and is an inspiration to many rural youth, was named Maharashtrain of the Year in the category of politics. In his acceptance speech, he emphasised the need to promote value-based politics in the country. For this, he said, people with clean image should join politics.

The award event was the culmination of a 2 month-long process that led to the creation of a transparent, inclusive and democratic award that rises above conventional definitions like birth place, language, culture and community, and stands out as an appreciation of those people who have made Maharashtra prouder, richer and even better through their contribution to the society.

In the process of compiling a list of nominees, Lokmat used its formidable presence and network that gives it access to the farthest corners of the state. The list was drawn from the fields of Public and Social Service, Science and Technology, Politics, Business, Art, Sports and Entertainment. A senior editorial team short-listed the nominees with 5 in each category which was put up for public voting via SMS and Facebook.

While announcing this Award, the Chairman of Lokmat Media Limited and Rajya Sabha member Mr. Vijay Darda remarked that “Selecting seven personalities who are symbols of Maharashtra’s pride and who contributed in this process of development will be a historic event in the state. Each and every person believing in the pride of Maharashtra should participate in this process.”  The voting process witnessed a huge response from across the country.

The final selection saw a thorough scrutiny and debate among a jury comprising Justice (retd.) B.N. Deshmukh, Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, Lila Poonawalla, Anna Hazare, Rajdeep Sardesai, Gulzar and Dilip Vengsarkar who had a tough task of  choosing the ‘First among equals’.

Speaking after the ceremony, Rishi Darda, Jt Managing Director and Editorial Director, Lokmat, said: “Lokmat Maharashtrian of the Year is not just an award. It is an acknowledgement of people whose work is contributing to Maharashtra’s progress. It is also a forum where many of these unseen and unsung heroes and their work comes into spotlight and serves as an inspiration for all of us.”

The Awards go to reaffirm that Maharashtra soil nurtures leadership of thought and action in its own way.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

KUL to make it big on Mumbai horizon; bags 11 acre plot near airport

MUMBA: In one of the largest redevelopment projects in Mumbai, Kumar Urban Development Limited (KUL) has bagged the Khiranagar project at Santa Cruz involving development of a massive 11 acres for mixed use.
The housing colony at present has 16 residential societies with 40 flats in each building and a total of 640 tenants. Apart from relocating these families in brand new flats, KUL plans to build residential as well as commercial premises utilising an approved FSI of 2.
Built in 1976, Khiranagar also has a coaching classes, maternity nursing homes and huge open space
The site, which is within 3 KM from the domestic airport, has a height limit of 27 metres. It is located just half a km from the Western Expressway.
The property is located on the S.V. road, which is one of the most traveled roads in Mumbai and is 5 minutes away from Bandra, the Queen of Mumbai suburbs, and the shopping hub of Mumbai.
It is easily considered to be one of the most prime properties in terms of visibility, accessibility and catchments since it is well connected to all the arteries of the Mumbai city - National Highway, S.V. road, Linking road, railway station, airport etc.
One of the most popular commercial office space hub / CBD known as Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) is about 3-4 kms from the property. The vicinity is densely populated by middle and high income groups.
To cater to the absence of a good shopping destination, KUL plans to develop a commercial space with office, shppoing and a retail mall at the location.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Howzzat! A Double Century by SUBWAY

SUBWAY® restaurant chain, long known as the international purveyor of healthier alternatives to traditional unhealthy fast food, is celebrating this week as it opens its 200th submarine sandwich restaurant in India. Its success is founded on its Indian customers loving the taste of freshly baked bread toasted with their favorite Indian and international flavors finished with their choice of fresh vegetables and a great variety of sauces

The internationally renowned submarine sandwich chain has worked closely with local chefs to ensure a good balance of vegetarian, non vegetarian on its menu .To match the Indian consumer's palate for strong, bold flavors , SUBWAYÒ restaurants in India offers a wide array of popular local and international favorites, including Paneer Tikka, Veg Shammi ,Alloo Patty, Chicken Tandoori, along with international flavors like Italian BMT, Subway Club, Turkey ,Tuna etc

The menu also includes a selection of 97% Fat Free subs which are well suited to India's growing interest in health and wellness.

A training center for the India market and dedicated resources in every major city are crucial to the chain's consistency and popularity.

The SUBWAYÒ chain in India (and around the world) is 100% franchisee owned and operated. By keeping investment costs low through cooperation with local equipment vendors individual franchisees have grown their businesses to include up to 10 restaurants. 66% of franchisees in India own at least 2 restaurants - a testament to a great business model.

According to one of the many multi unit owners Griffith David "I am extremely happy to be associated with a brand which focuses on healthy and fresh products. Few years back when I got into retail business,. I sensed an opportunity in the consumer space in India and Subway has been a great fit for me. Subway allows its franchisees to run the business like it is their own. Franchisees therefore spend a lot of time and effort into their business and are rewarded for it .. There is a lot of learning and best practices at Subway that one can take away and implement in other areas. I find my association with the brand as satisfying and enriching"

Notes to Editor

The brand is not stopping here and has been growing steadily in India since its first location opened in New Delhi in December 2001. The company's goal is to have 530 stores open by 2015. However, the Country Development Manager for India-Manpreet Gulri believes that this is a conservative goal since being a convenience business ,customers want to see Subway in more of the places they work, study, shop and live.

With more than 34,000 outlets in 95 countries, Subway, is the world's largest sandwich franchise.Headquartered in Milford, Connecticut, the SUBWAY® chain was co-founded by Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck in 1965. The 2010 Zagat ® Fast Food Survey, the SUBWAY® brand was ranked "number one" by consumers in the "Most Popular," "Top Service" and "Healthy Options" categories for food brands with 5,000 or more locations. SUBWAY® is a registered trademark of Doctor's Associates Inc. For more information about the SUBWAY® chain, visit

Friday, February 18, 2011

What's brewing at Concept?

What's brewing in the world of communication? 

The latest is that Concept Group has launched “brew”, with an idea to exchange views on the developments, innovations and trends that the media and marketing environment is witnessing and designing.

This periodical, brings to its readers a wide perspective on communication related subjects from the desks of business heads and field experts across the specialised verticals and group companies under the Concept umbrella.

Nirmal Suchanti, Chairman Concept Group, says “brew is a contemporary and ingenious way of maintaining the relationship with the clients and associates at all times.

I have built this agency on a strong foundation of relationships and it is a pleasure to see the young team carrying forward the torch.”

A uniquely sized periodical, brew is designed to focus on 

 every communication vertical, individually.
“This thoughtpad”, as Concept Group’s Managing Director, Vivek Suchanti likes to call it, “will be a window into the super-specialised arena of advertising and public relations. With the ever evolving  communication environment, advertising and public relations in particular are facing newer challenges every day. brew is the channel that Team Concept would like too use to  share expert opinions on a bouquet of issues.””
The idea of the periodical itself has been brewing in the head of Concept’s Director, Dhaval Desai, since the last quarter. “We have been thought leaders from the very inception of Concept Communication, I wanted our voices to be heard above the din of presentations and portfolios. Our boys and girls are enthusiastic thinkers, giving them this platform will also help us keep them motivated, agile and inspired in every situation.”
Necessarily then, the publication needed to stir clear of news-based articles and develop a blog-sphere in print. “In the PR space we are constantly advising clients to keep the dialogue open with customers and investors … it was time we applied the advice on ourselves,” says Ashish Jhalan, Director, Concept PR.
Ashish’s enthusiastic team of PR specialists (that include senior journalists like BN Kumar and CP Thomas) has been the back-bone of the editorial team at  brew led by Concept’s Ex- Creative Director, Sheena Seth.
“Designing and conceptualizing brew, has been an exciting challenge. Developing content for the thoughtpad, with the team is very inspiring. The passion with which they look at their areas of specialization is finally finding a space, that does tend to get lost in the slide presentations they are usually limited to. Since Brew is not just limited to sharing ideas from the Concept teams’ desks but presents the views and opinions of our associates across industries and media, readers will get an interesting perspective on varied aspects of communication and public relations,” says Sheena

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Press Club launches media awards

Mumbai : Winners of the Press Club Mumbai awards for Excellence in Journalism were honoured on Tuesday February 15, 2011 at a glittering ceremony at JK Banquets, Mumbai.

Chief Guest super cop Julio Reberio and stylish batsman of the 1960s Ajit Wadekar handed out the awards to the winners. Some of the jury members, Justice (Retd) B N Srikrishna and Senior Journalist Ayaz Memon, were also present on the occasion.
The awards was given in two categories: Pradeep Shinde Award for the Crime Story of the Year – 2011 and K N Prabhu Award for Cricket Story of the Year – 2011. The all-India competition attracted around 140 entries from different centers. Significantly, the runners-up journalist in the crime category is from Srinagar, Kashmir, while the winners (joint byline) for the best crime story are from Kerala.

The award ceremony started with the short documentary film on the Press Club history and the contribution of late K N Prabhu and late Pradeep Shinde in the field of journalism.

Besides cash prizes totalling Rs 2.10 lakh, the winners and runners up have been each awarded with a trophy and citation. The Press Club hopes to expand the number of categories next year.
The Press Club’s Excellence-in-Journalism Awards – 2011 were sponsored by the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) and Indusind Bank, and ICICI Bank.


Pradeep Shinde Award for the Crime Story of the Year - 2011
G Vinod & Sanjay Chandrashekar Chief Reporters, Malayala Manorama

The investigations conducted by chief reporters G. Vinod and Sanjay Chandrasekhar of Malayala Manorama unearthed shocking instances of misappropriation and irregularities by Coimbatore-based lottery tycoon Santiago Martin with the full knowledge and connivance of political leaders. Malayala Manorama, in a series of investigations carried out from August 20, 2010, exposed the loss to the state exchequer estimated at Rs. 41 crore a day through illegal trade of Bhutan and Sikkim lotteries in Kerala.
Pradeep Shinde Award for the Crime Story of the Year - 2011ALL INDIA RUNNER-UP
Syed Basharat, Special Correspondent - Kashmir Times
Beneath the conflict smokescreen, lie shattering stories of crime against women in Kashmir. This is a story of a 12-year-old daughter, whose father was dragged to court accused of drugging his daughter with powerful sleeping pills, and then raping her in his home, in a Srinagar locality. Kashmir society has generally neglected this grave issue of crime against women. Many such incidents go unreported and unnoticed. The state’s political turmoil has overshadowed everything else, as public discourse, media, and even the NGOs only focus on Kashmir’s battle for autonomy. In this, stories like those of a hapless girl who has no shoulders to cry go unreported.

K N Prabhu Award for Cricket Writing - 2011
Akshay Sawai, Sports Editor, Open magazine

Akshay Sawai, currently the sports editor of Open Magazine, started his career in 1995 as a sports reporter with Mid-day. He later joined the Times of India and then became the sports editor of Hindustan Times. He won number of awards in the past. He has covered several international events, including tennis Grand Slams, Test cricket and World Cup cricket. The jury in the cricket category adjudged a series of his stories in Open Magazine to be the collective winner.

K N Prabhu Award for Cricket Writing - 2011
ALL INDIA JOINT RUNNER-UP G S Vivek, Special Correspondent - Indian Express
Anand Vasu, Deputy Editor, Sports Illustrated
G S Vivek, presently working with The Indian Express in Delhi, started his career with The Statesman before working with Mail Today and The Indian Express. A left-arm medium pacer and batsman, he has represented Delhi state in the under-19 team and was a professional player in the Kolkata League.  He was awarded the Indian Cricket Writer of the Year 2008-09 and also won the Best News Story the same year in the annual sports writer’s awards conducted by the Sports Journalist Federation of India.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

CM to look into Ajit Pawar attack on media

A delegation of journalists under the banner of 'Patrakar Halla Virodhi Kruti Samiti' (Action Committee Against Attacks On Journalists) on Monday met Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in light of the threat issued to the journalist fraternity by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar at a function held in Nanded recently. Press Club, Mumbai too was part of the delegation.

The delegation submitted a memorandum to Mr Chavan, in which they demanded that Mr Pawar must tender a public apology in the next 48 hours. The delegation also demanded that the Superintendent of Police posted in Nanded must be transferred immediately and the Inspector under whose leadership media was manhandled must be dismissed forthwith.

Mr Chavan gave a patient hearing to the members and assured that he would look into the matter.

The Press Club, Mumbai members who were part of the delegation include Mr Sunil Shivdasani (Secretary), Mr Devdas Matale (Joint Secretary) and Mr Mrityunjay Bose (Managing Committee member).

The organisations and journalists that were part of the delegation include: Patrakar Halla Virodhi Kruti Samiti (SM Deshmukh), Maharashtra State Accreditation Committee (Prafulla Marpakwar), Prasad Mokashi (Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh), Aniket Joshi (Mantralaya Vartahar Sangh), Marathi Patrakar Parishad (Kiran Naik), TV Journalist Association (Prasad Kathe), Bombay Union of Journalists (Inderkumar Jain), Maharashtra Working Journalists Union (Sunil Kuhikar) and Maharashtra Bahujan Patrakar Sangh (Purushottam Aware-Patil).

The Patrakar Halla Virodhi Kruti Samiti would meet again on Wednesday to decide the future course of action.

The delegation also pointed out that in the recent past there has been a spate of attacks on journalists across the state and it was high time that the Maharashtra Government enact a law to make attack on journalists a cognizable and non-bailable offence.

Pawar at a public meeting in Nanded had talked of "banning" the media when a television channel cameraman was focusing on a farmer who intervened during his speech to raise a problem, accusing the media of giving negative publicity. Following this incident journalists were manhandled by policemen as also Pawar's supporters.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sahara salutes Mumbai, Dantewada & Kargil martyrs

Sahara India Pariwar, a major business conglomerate of India, observed Shaheed Diwas of the Father of Nation - Mahatma Gandhi, at Sahara Shaher along with the families of the Martyrs who laid their lives for the country during three of the worst attacks inflicted on the nation in recent times, which are the Kargil War, 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attack and Dantewada Massacre. It has been over a decade that Sahara India Pariwar is financially and emotionally supporting the families of martyrs who displayed the unmatched valor, grit & courage at the time when our nation was under attack. Today, 298 families of martyrs are being provided financial assistance from Sahara India Pariwar and the total support extended so far, amounts to over Rs. 20 crores.
The ceremony witnessed the felicitation of the 127 families of Kargil, Mumbai and Dantewada martyrs by Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara, Managing Worker and Chairman, Sahara India Pariwar and other members of Sahara India Pariwar.
The families of Kargil, Mumbai and Dantewada martyrs came together from all across the country on the occasion of Shaheed Diwas to join Sahara India Pariwar in paying tribute to the national heroes who attained immortality through their supreme sacrifice of life in upholding our esteem and strengthening the edifice of our indivisible national unity. 
On this occasion, Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara, Managing Worker and Chairman, Sahara India Pariwar said, “We are indebted to the brave sons of our beloved motherland who have laid their life for the nation and its people. The sacrifices of the families of the martyrs are also no less, who have faced the trauma, pain and difficulty, which ascended on them. We have to remember that these gems of our nation were cast in these homes and among these families only. It is our responsibility to take full care and give highest respect to the families whose bright sons placed their love for the nation and its billions of people, above their own affections, hopes, aspirations and even life. I, on behalf of the entire Sahara India Pariwar, extend my gratitude to them and their families and would like to re-emphasize our commitment towards them. Today, I feel privileged to host the families of martyrs and I feel really honoured in doing anything for them. The sacrifice of the martyrs is so great that no honour can match it. In fact the family members of these great martyrs have honoured us by accepting our small gesture of honour for them. We truly feel honoured and stand highly obliged”
On knowing about some of the Kargil Martyrs families where children are still small and they are facing some financial problems, Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara, today announced to further extent Sahara’s financial support to the 301 children of 152 Kargil martyrs, who are still below the age of 18 years, till their adulthood.

Sahara India Pariwar is a major business conglomerate in India with operations in multiple sectors, including financial services, housing finance, mutual funds, life insurance, city development, real estate activities, print and television media, film production, sports, information technology, healthcare, tourism, hospitality, commodity sales & services and consumer products.
Sahara India Pariwar has always been prompt in its services towards the nation and its nationals who have sacrificed their lives at the altar of nationalism. Sahara India Pariwar’s commitment to Social Welfare is evident from the fact that 25% of its profits every year are dedicated towards social development activities. In fact, it’s the firm conviction of the Chief Guardian of Sahara India Pariwar, Hon’ble Saharasri, Subrata Roy Sahara that every organization, along with its own development and progress should also contribute towards the cause of the society and the nation at large.
Sahara also works on various Health programmes, including Mobile Healthcare Units, under which 49 medical vans across the country are running 30 days a month, throughout the year, taking free primary healthcare services to the remotest rural areas where medical services do not exist. Besides this, Sahara also works on various programs on Nutrition, Literacy, Vocational Training, Civic Development, Behavioral Change, Communication and Rehabilitation of the Physically Challenged People.
Under its Disaster Management initiatives, Sahara has always stood up in the need of the hour of the country, be it super cyclone of Orissa, earthquake in Gujarat, drought in Rajasthan or floods in the state of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Sahara has adopted Bhimasar-Chakasar village in Taluka Anjar, District Kutch for relocation, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the village along with basic amenities, panchayat ghar, bus stop, post office, play ground, primary and secondary school and street lights. When the devastating earthquake hit Latur district of Maharashtra, Sahara India Pariwar came forward to rehabilitate the earthquake stricken citizens of the region and also developed a cluster of earthquake houses in Killari Village in Latur, The houses were handed over to the villagers by Reverend Mother Teresa.