Accenture Opens Groundbreaking Innovation Hub

Accenture has launched its first Innovation Hub in Bangalore, a state-of-the-art facility that combines the broad range of Accenture’s leading technology capabilities in a vibrant and collaborative environment to help clients transform their businesses for the digital world. The hub offers clients access to Accenture’s industry knowledge, technology capabilities and business acumen in more than 40 industries. The location gives clients “hands on” access to all six elements of the Accenture Innovation Architecture and enables clients to identify and develop emerging trends and technologies and then quickly prototype, scale and implement innovative solutions. More than 4,000 people will work at the hub. “Technology has a huge multiplier effect and enables organizations to drive competitive differentiation, transform customer experiences, create innovative business models and achieve breakthrough business results,” said Bhaskar Ghosh, group chief executive of Accenture Technology Services. “At the Innovation Hub in Bengaluru, we are pioneering a shift in traditional technology strategy, development and delivery models to an approach that leverages ‘the New’ to help clients innovate more quickly.” The hub is 440,000 square feet of space throughout 10 floors, featuring numerous capabilities including Accenture Lab, Accenture Liquid Studio and the Accenture Innovation Center, among others.

Lattice Sells Subsidiary in India

Lattice Semiconductor, nearly nine months into a stalled bid to sell the company to Chinese investors, has sold a subsidiary in India and plans to cut an additional 30 jobs. Lattice, Portland's largest tech company, announced in November that it planned to sell its business to a newly formed investment firm called Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, reports said. The deal needs approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. However, a group of U.S. House members took an early stance against the transaction and CFIUS has taken no action on Lattice's sale, prompting the company to resubmit its application twice, reports said.

Krishna Verma Honored for Commitment

Wilson, N.C., psychiatrist Dr. Krishna Verma recently received the Mental Health Association in Wilson County’s 2017 Recognition and Service Appreciation Award. Verma received a crystal plaque, thank-you gifts and balloons, and MHA board members Kathy Sandifer and Susan Stillwell serenaded him in song, according to a Wilson Times report. “MHA is honored to recognize and thank Dr. Krishna Verma for his many years of dedicated service to the field of mental health,” Sandifer said in a news release. Verma completed medical school at the University of Rajasthan, worked as an internist in India and Algeria and completed psychiatric residency at the Medical Research Council of Basildon, England, and additional psychiatric residency at Cleveland Metro General Hospital in Ohio. He worked for 17 years as a general psychiatrist with the Wilson-Greene Mental Health Center and the Wilson Medical Center. For the last 10 years, he has been working as an independent psychiatrist at Psychological Medicine Clinic.

SmartAssist.io Announces $5M Series A Funding

SmartAssist.io, an AI-powered service for customer support, announced Series A financing of $5 million from Madrona Venture Group. The company offers an artificial intelligence service to resolve customer support tickets to increase efficiency and accuracy while reducing costs. Led by CEO Pradeep Rathinam and CTO Prashant Luthra, the company leverages the customer support intelligence service of Wise.io, which was acquired by GE Digital last year, and is at the core of the new entity. “Customer support is a crucial touchpoint with consumers, but it can be hard to manage and costs can quickly grow out of control,” said the founder Rathinam. “By bringing AI together with the human touch we are able to speed up responses, make agents more productive and save time and money for consumer focused global companies.” SmartAssist already works with global companies such as Groupon and Twilio to speed up responses and increase accuracy of customer support agents. Added Madrona managing director S. Somasegar, “We strongly believe that AI technologies will transform our lives. Customer support which brings together organized information, human interactions and a clear business need stands out as one of the most tangible applications of this technology and we are excited to be investing in this team and technology.”

Mahindra Automotive NA Donates $100K

Now in its third year, the Mahindra Urban Agriculture Grant Program announced donations totaling $100,000 in funding or Mahindra farm equipment to six southeast Michigan nonprofits. By awarding these grants, Mahindra Automotive North America renewed the company's commitment to this region's robust urban agriculture movement, as well as continued to fulfill its parent company the Mahindra Group's global corporate social responsibility initiatives. "Mahindra is committed to lifting up and celebrating the communities in which we operate," said Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group. "There are few better examples of our RISE philosophy in action than the work Mahindra Automotive North America is doing in Detroit. MANA's pioneering Urban Agriculture Grant Program continues to lift up Detroit residents by giving them access to fresh, sustainable produce and inspiring work opportunities for the underserved." An estimated 1.2 million pounds of fresh food have been grown and distributed to Detroit residents through the efforts of the groups that received Mahindra grants or equipment over the past two years.

Mars Brings M&M’s to India

Mars International India Pvt. Ltd., the local arm of American chocolate maker Mars Inc. announced it will bring M&M’s to India. This is the sixth chocolate brand that the family-owned American chocolate maker is bringing to India, according to a LiveMint report. The last brand that Mars launched in India was Galaxy in November 2013. Its most successful brand in India is Snickers, accounting for most of its revenue in the country. It also sells Mars, Bounty and Twix in India, the report said. “With M&M’s, we wish to expand the bite size category in India with a shareable snack. We feel this is the right time to make M&M’s available here,” said Andrew Leakey, general manager of India and the Indian sub-continent at Mars Chocolate Ltd. in the report. M&M’s will initially be available in chocolate and peanut variants, and priced at Rs 80 for a 45-gram pouch and Rs 150 for a 100-gram pouch. It will be sold at 84,000 retail outlets across the country.

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