Our soldiers want OROP Modi says hes busy doing yoga Rahul

first_img“Before the elections, Modiji went to Haryana, Punjab, and said OROP will be done immediately when they will come to power,” said Gandhi while addressing his party workers at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata.“It has been one year now. The soldiers are crying and threatening to launch an agitation. They are asking the government to disclose as to when the OROP would be implemented… Modiji says I am busy doing yoga, ask me later,” he added.Earlier in May, the Congress Vice-President had said that he would ‘pressurise’ the Centre to act on the One-Rank, One-Pension issue at the earliest. Gandhi, who met a delegation from the ex-servicemen cell of the party, said the UPA regime had made provisions for the scheme and had even allocated the money but the government failed to implement it. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIThe Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), a leading association of retired military personnel, has said that they would agitate and call for a hunger strike, if their demands for one-rank, one-pension are not met. Officials of the IESM announced their plans to launch an agitation after a meeting with Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to discuss the OROP issue ended inconclusively.Major General (retired) Satbir Singh, who is the vice-chairman of IESM, said that their meeting with the Defence Minister was inconclusive. He said they will hold a rally at the Jantar Mantar from June 14 and will begin the hunger strike from June 15. “The Chief of Army Staff had told us to meet the Defence Minister before holding a meeting. We, the members of Indian Ex-servicemen movement (IESM), met the Defence Minister. He told us that the ministry is working on it.”last_img read more

OVL seeks financial autonomy to invest 1 bn

first_imgONGC Videsh Ltd has sought greater financial autonomy to decide on investments of up to $1 billion (about Rs 6,400 crore) without government nod to speed up acquisition of overseas oil and gas fields.Board of OVL, the overseas arm of state explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp, currently has powers to decide on investment of up to Rs 300 crore. An amount higher than that has to first go to an Empowered Committee of Secretaries (ECS) and then to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cash“We are seeking at least Navratna PSU status for OVL… $1 billion investment powers should be granted to us,” the company’s Managing Director Narendra K Verma told reporters here. Navratna status gives boards of public sector units financial powers to decide on investment projects of up to Rs 3,000 crore. “We are are seeking more than Navranta powers,” he said. “We are seeking powers to decide on investments of up to $1 billion.” Greater financial powers will help the company make quicker decisions on acquiring oil and gas assets abroad. Verma said the Rs 300 crore financial power for OVL was set in 2000 when the rupee-US dollar exchange rate was completely different. “Right now Rs 300 crore is nothing,” he said. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsOVL has 35 projects in 16 countries from Brazil to New Zealand and is looking at certain acquisitions in oil and gas rich regions.Navranta PSU status is granted to a state firm if it has made consistent profits above a certain level. One of the conditions for grant of Navranta status is that the company should be listed on stock exchanges. “Listing is a requirement but there exemptions can also be granted,” he said. OVL is currently 100 per cent owned by the ONGC. Recently the parent firm turned down a request from the Department of Disinvestment (DoD) to get the company listed saying low oil prices do not offer favourable valuations.  “I don’t think this is the ideal time to list an oil exploration company. Low oil prices are not ideal time for listing,” Verma said. “Our portfolio predominately consists of exploration assets and a few producing properties. Markets typically do not fully value exploration assets and all our exploration assets will not get true valuations,” he added.He said the company does not need funds and has been raising loans from parent ONGC as well as the market to meet cost of acquisitions and development of assets.The company has Rs 6,614 crore loan from ONGC and another Rs 29,000 crore from the market. The Rs 5,000 crore ONGC loan is being converted into equity, he said.Listing will lead to certain other stipulations including change of ownership. “Currently we are seamlessly integrated with ONGC and all our requirements of funds, technology and manpower are fully met from ONGC. Listing will change that,” he said.Also, it is challenging to value assets during times of low oil prices. “I do not want to comment on the issue (of government seeking listing of OVL) but I can explain to you the rationale for a listing. A company is listed to leverage additional financial resources. We are leveraging debt financing,” he said.Converting Rs 5,000 crore ONGC loan into equity will raise the equity capital of OVL to Rs 15,000 crore, Verma said. This will improve its debt-to-equity ratio and help it independently raise funds on the strength of its own balance sheet instead of relying on ONGC’s financial status. ONGC had in 2013 done a similar loan-to-equity conversion for OVL.last_img read more

5 Ways Small Business Owners Can Benefit from Artificial Intelligence Today

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now » Artificial intelligence and machine learning are often associated with tech giants like Google and Amazon that have created the most popular machine learning libraries and platforms. Since efficient AI/ML solutions require vast volumes of costly data to train, small companies are often reluctant to integrate AI into their business workflow. These worries are overblown though. These days, turning your small business into a full-fledged data-driven company might be easier than you think. To prove this, here are five easy tips on how to kickstart AI transition of your small company right now.Intelligent CRMsCRM systems are designed to compile information about consumers across different channels (e.g email, phone, social media) and to provide sales forces with an integrated environment to manage interactions with current and prospective consumers, and automate marketing and lead generation.Related: 5 Reasons Machine Learning Is the Future of MarketingThese days, small businesses can benefit from AI functionality embedded into popular CRM platforms like SalesForce. In 2016, SalesForce launched its Einstein AI, which allows developers to integrate AI functionality into their CRM applications on top of Salesforce. Einstein AI can help small businesses analyze consumer sentiments in recorded phone conversations, emails, social media posts and customer reviews, evaluate the customer feedback, and adjust marketing and lead generation activities accordingly. Sales persons of small businesses can get a better understanding of customer intents in inquiries to automatically route leads, personalize marketing campaigns and more. With AI-enabled CRM, small businesses can automatically get more insights from their customer data and make their marketing and sales teams more efficient and consumers more satisfied.Intelligent customer service solutionsCustomer service and support are one of the key components of efficient customer retention and satisfaction. However, the quality of customer service might deteriorate when support agents have to perform menial and repetitive tasks instead of focusing on unique support experiences for consumers.To make support agents more efficient, small businesses can integrate AI software into in-house customer services. Such AI solutions as Digital Genius, for example, can suggest or automate answers, and classify tickets and messages to quickly route them to the right team, freeing up your support agents’ time for dealing with issues which require human engagement. By using AI in their customer service, small businesses can radically reduce average handling time and automate repetitive questions to reach the ultimate goal of improving employee and customer satisfaction.Related: Artificial Intelligence Is Likely to Make a Career in Finance, Medicine or Law a Lot Less LucrativeAI for marketingManaging marketing budgets efficiently often requires deep domain expertise, which entails additional and often undesirable costs for small businesses. Fortunately, these days small enterprises can use even modest budgets effectively with AI solutions for marketing. Small businesses can entrust their marketing campaigns to such AI-powered platforms as Acquisio, which manages marketing operations across multiple channels (e.g Adwords, Facebook, Bing), analyzing advertising performance and making informed suggestions about the best budget distributions in terms of PPC (pay per click).Using AI marketing solutions, small companies can find the best marketing strategy and dramatically reduce their CPC (cost per click) thanks to the sentiment analysis algorithms that analyze customer engagement with their marketing campaigns. Automation of regular bids and efficient budget monitoring will also mean saving money on hiring additional marketing and advertising staff.Related: Want to Be More Like Amazon? Start By Making Your Startup More Data-Driven.AI for competitive intelligenceWhen your competitors produce gigabytes of content and hundreds of updates each day, it may be hard to keep track of their strategies. Knowing your competitors well, however, is crucial for reacting to market trends and staying competitive.Fortunately, AI-powered competitive analysis tools like Crayon can help you address this hard challenge. Crayon AI can track your competitors across different channels (websites, social media, web applications), identifying price changes and subtle modifications in messaging and PR activities. In pair with powerful natural language processing and business metrics, this functionality can give small businesses a better understanding of ongoing changes in their competitors’ strategy. In addition, AI-enabled competitive intelligence involves powerful analytical capabilities that allow for instant identification of competitors’ product gaps, weaknesses and strengths which can be used to adjust your own business strategy and be never blindsided by the competitor’s actions.Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your BusinessAI-ready solutionsNowadays, small businesses can plug AI-ready tools into literally every element of their business workflow that involves data. Leveraging state-of-the-art sentiment analysis, classification and prediction algorithms small business can instantly draw useful business insights from any bit of their data.For example, with such AI-enabled tools as Monkey Learn, small companies can use sentiment analysis and entity extraction in their Google Sheets, CSV and Excel data without any coding. It’s easy to integrate, and the platform also enables automatic classification, tagging and processing of support tickets, and classification of inbound emails and other communications. The system can be also used to analyze product reviews and distill them into useful reports containing practical business insights. All these features will save small business the cost and time needed to review data flowing into their communication channels.As AI/ML market is booming, small businesses have more options to kickstart their AI strategy now. Instead of hiring additional data scientists and marketing specialists, small companies can use third-party tools with easy-to-use interfaces and efficient machine learning functionality to plug their data and workflow into intelligent platforms. Workflow automation coupled with business intelligence will save small businesses time and money while enabling them to stay competitive in the emerging data-driven economy. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 5 min read November 16, 2017last_img read more