Friday, September 28, 2018

India’s first and world’s second autonomous store in Kochi ..

Bangalore, the garden city of India is the pensioner's paradise of yesteryears.

Watasale store in Kochi, Kerala, India. World's third, pic courtesy Better Indian.
Bangalore, though has some practical difficulties of traffic, commutation, timing, it is a great place to be in for many reasons. The climate, the people from across the country, the sincerity and hardworking nature of the people and the openness in society to experiment and study from others.

Having moved to this place in '07 from Kerala, yours fathfully  wanted to be near to the technology hub and in the technology capital of the country, to experience new trends in technology first hand !! But, no more !!

I was really taken aback, to read about the country's top technology in retail application, the fully autonomous store in the world, which had opened in Kochi in July 2018. It was not opened in Bangalore, Mumbai or Delhi, it was opened in the south of India, in the state of Kerala, in the port city of Kochi.

Watasale brilliant guys, ready to take on the world !! source twitter ..
Step aside IIT, IIM, IISc, Harvard and MIT guys, you are good only at theory .. Here comes the brilliant practical Kochi guys blending perfectly Artificial Intelligence, Deep learning and sensor technology into a retail application.

What makes Kochi so unique to implement a very forward looking technology ?? Is it a better level of public awareness of technology and development, a better level of intelligence, a constant  desire to live better and more comfortably, warm and better acceptance of achievements, a constant challenge to out-perform and do better than others .. ??

The Amazon Go autonomous store concept store in US has been only partially successful. Here in Kochi, the concept is being brought in a different flavour, made fully operational and implementable as a 24-hour store with their own AI- Deep learning-RFID sensor based hardware/software combo linked to the customer QR code and credit card.

Click here for the video of Watasale ..

Its a great challenge, Already running successfully for the past one month in Kochi, they have to show the world that Autonomous stores can be implemented and can be successful across the world ..

Click here for the Hindu newsreport ..

Wishing these ambitious, smart, techie Kochi youngsters all good wishes when they take on the likes of Amazon and Walmart !! It is very much possible and within their reach ..

Good Luck and Good Wishes to Watasale team !!  Keep Shopping, Keep walking ..

Mail me for a case study on WATASALE that I prepared after my visit and interacting with the key partners .. 

George..

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What went wrong at Kochi International Airport on Aug 15, 2018 ?

Aerial view of the airport during the floods, pic courtesy- Newsminute
A partly Oxfam funded study (click here for the report) on what made water levels in Kochi International airport reach a whopping 8.8 metres (that of a 2 floor building) in the new International terminal on August 15, 2018 ? 

Was it

1. a technical flaw in acquisition of low lying farm land on the Periyar river banks with poor drainage thru the Chengal creek    OR 

2. incompetent and short-sighted economic interests in acquiring the 1253 acre land at Nedumbassery, North of Kochi city in 1992 at cheap rates   OR 

3. the heavy inflow of water during the floods from the reservoirs at Idukki, Mullaperiyar and Idamalayar at times exceeding 2500 cumecs (cu. metres per sec) which was responsible for the airport flooding.

There are there are still disagreements among the key stakeholders in understanding the exact reason for the airport flooding.

Click here for the video of the airport flooding ..

One thing is clear, the world's first and only 100% solar energy powered  international airport's global reputation took a nosedive and it will take some time and solid explanation from the airport staff with the traveling public on why they should continue to patronise Kochi International Airport into the future ..

George 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Toyota Suzuki grand Indian alliance ..

Showing the way ..
For the first time in its history, Toyota will manufacture cars of its competitor in its plants and popular Toyota models will be made in it's competitor's plants .. Is it cooperation, collaboration or manufacturing alliance, whatever be it, it's indication that automobile giants are getting stressed .. 

Suzuki Baleno
Toyota Motor Corp. (2017 global production 9 million) and Suzuki  Motor Corp. (2017 global production 3.3 million) join hands together to manufacture competitor's cars in their respective manufacturing facility in Bidadi, Bangalore India and Hansalpur, Gujarat India respectively.. Toyota in India (162,240) has just one tenth the output of Suzuki in India (16,46,000), though globally Toyota produces three times as much vehicles as Suzuki .. 



Toyota Corolla
Toyota will manufacture Suzuki's top brands Baleno and Vitara Brezza at their plant no.2 in Bangalore while Suzuki will manufacture Toyota's most famous and the world's largest sold vehicle Corolla in its Gujarat plant. While Suzuki will benefit from Toyota's advanced technology and production system, Toyota will benefit from Suzuki's country-wide maintenance, service facilities and it's superior domestic manufacturing supply chains.

This strategic collaboration is a win-win for both companies as there is significant give and take happening in both the companies.

Three valid questions that arise are the following - 

Suzuki Vitara Brezza
1. Is this the future of collaboration in global automobile manufacturing?

2. Will Toyota and Suzuki consolidate their manufacturing prowess in the global automotive sector ? 
Will these cars be a match to Tata's e-vision ?

3. Will Toyota once again emerge as top global automobile manufacturer overtaking Volkswagen and Renault ?

Their collaboration in the electric hybrid vehicles sector will once again redefine global manufacturing and supply chains.

Honda globally produced 5.2 million automobiles in 2017, 58% of Toyota global production. In India Honda manufactured and sold app 300,000 units output in India in 2017, double that of Toyota.

If the ecosystem improves and there is promise of excellent growth in India and Africa, will Toyota and Honda join hands in India and try to bring in better cars for the world in future ? 

George .. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Market cap and revenues, top performers .

Here is a list of the global top in Market cap (top 4 - future potential) and annual revenues (top 3 - present reality) .. 

What distinguishes them ?

Corp.    Market cap $b.     Revenue $b
                  (Sept '18).               2017

Apple.            1,100.                  229
Amazon.        1,000.                   178
Microsoft.      855.                      90
Alphabet.       840.                     111
.......
.......

Walmart          281.                    500
Exxon Mobil    352.                    244
Berkshire.       530.                    242
Hathaway ..

Why this anomaly in the global corporate scene ? 

The first thing that comes to our sight is -

a. the top four companies are all young organisations and from the digital domain
b. the largest corporates in the world in terms of sales are from the retail, energy and an MNC conglomerate which is many fields from hospitality, bank, transportation etc..
c. the large market cap of the digital companies, is it a phenomenon that will last for long is it just speculation given the novelty in the area ?

Has it got anything to do with the sector, future growth potential, technology, people, markets, leadership etc .. etc ..

George 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Global food crisis ..

With a global population of 7.5 billion people, in 2017, every ninth person on Earth suffered from chronic food deprivation. Adverse climate variability - extreme droughts and floods, combined with conflicts was wreaking havoc on global food production. 

Imagine what would happen by 2050 in just 32 years, when we would have to feed another 2.5 billion mouths more.. High time we got together to find innovative solutions to this global food crisis !!

Innovative farming methods are the only way this issue can be sorted out.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Sewage Treatment ..

Sewage treatment is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater, primarily from household sewage. Physical, chemical, and biological processes are used to remove contaminants and produce treated wastewater that is safer for the environment. Wikipedia

Sewage is generated by residential, institutional, commercial and industrial establishments. It includes household waste liquid from toiletsbathsshowerskitchens, and sinks draining into sewers. In many areas, sewage also includes liquid waste from industry and commerce. The separation and draining of household waste into greywater (household or office watewater without fecal contamination) and blackwater (wastewater from toilets containing pathogens and fecal contaminanats) is becoming more common, with treated greywater being permitted to be used for watering plants or recycled for flushing toilets.


Sewage treatment generally involves three stages, called primary, secondary and tertiary treatment.
  • Primary treatment consists of temporarily holding the sewage in a quiescent basin where heavy solids can settle to the bottom while oil, grease and lighter solids float to the surface. The settled and floating materials are removed and the remaining liquid may be discharged or subjected to secondary treatment. Some sewage treatment plants that are connected to a combined sewer system have a bypass arrangement after the primary treatment unit. This means that during very heavy rainfall events, the secondary and tertiary treatment systems can be bypassed to protect them from hydraulic overloading, and the mixture of sewage and stormwater only receives primary treatment.
  • Secondary treatment removes dissolved and suspended biological matter. Secondary treatment is typically performed by indigenous, water-borne micro-organisms in a managed habitat. Secondary treatment may require a separation process to remove the micro-organisms from the treated water prior to discharge or tertiary treatment.
  • Tertiary treatment is sometimes defined as anything more than primary and secondary treatment in order to allow ejection into a highly sensitive or fragile ecosystem (estuaries, low-flow rivers, coral reefs,...). Treated water is sometimes disinfected chemically or physically (for example, by lagoons and microfiltration) prior to discharge into a stream, river, bay, lagoon or wetland, or it can be used for the irrigation of a golf course, green way or park. If it is sufficiently clean, it can also be used for groundwater recharge or agricultural purposes.

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