BrowserStack Raises $50M From Accel

Cloud-based website-testing tool BrowserStack has raised $50 million in a series A round of funding led by Accel. The company also announced the opening of its new North American headquarters in San Francisco. The Mumbai-based BrowserStack lets developers test how their websites perform with various operating systems, devices, and browser configurations, all through a cloud-based interface. It intends to grow its testing infrastructure, expand its team, and raise its brand awareness globally. The funds will also help bankroll BrowserStack’s new San Francisco hub. “Today’s funding allows BrowserStack to invest in enhancing our testing infrastructure suite and expanding our enterprise go-to-market capabilities while maintaining our extraordinary growth trajectory — especially in the North American market, where we expect to increase our presence significantly over 2018,” said company CEO and co-founder Ritesh Arora.

Nargis Ahmed Receives Community Hero Award

Bangladeshi American community activist Dilafroz Nargis Ahmed was honored with the 2017 AARP Asian American and Pacific Islander Community Hero award in New York City. Ahmed is the director of India Home’s Desi Senior Center in Jamaica, Queens. Ahmed came to the United States in 1981 and worked full-time as a travel agent for 26 years. In 1988, Ahmed helped to form the organization Bangladesh Shangshod where she was general secretary and participated in collecting and distributing winter clothes to the needy and other similarly humanitarian minded projects. Bangladesh Shangshod was the first and only organization that came forward to teach English, American customs, training and job placement, and free medical services to newly arrived Bangladeshi immigrants, according to reports. Ahmed has also been active in mainstream local politics for the Asian American Democratic Association of Queens where she served as a co-chairman of the voter registration committee, the New York State Democratic Party’s South Asian Pacific Division where she was elected as a member-at-large and was appointed by then Queens Borough president, the late Helen Marshall, to serve as a member of Community Board 8 since 2002, according to her bio. Along with receiving the 2017 AARP Asian American and Pacific Islander Community Hero award, Ahmed has received many other awards from various organizations in the past for community involvement.

GBCS Recognized by CEO Report

CEO Report announced the TriState 2018 Corporate Culture Awards winners and honored Edison, N.J.-based IT staffing and professional services company Global Business Consulting Services Inc. GBCS is led by Indian American founder and CEO Pradeep Nigam. The Corporate Culture Awards celebrated 24 TriState companies who foster a creative, collaborative and successful workplace culture. An independent committee of business leaders selected the winners based on the quality of applications submitted. The Corporate Culture Awards program honors companies that foster a creative, collaborative workplace culture to enhance performance and sustain a competitive advantage. Smart leaders understand that culture is a company’s greatest asset, driving performance and growth, CEO Report said. What’s more, a successful culture is actively and intentionally cultivated and developed, it added. Corporate Culture Awards winners have championed for a positive, productive culture in their organization, and have worked with employees to develop successful cultural practices, CEO Report added.

Judge Says KFC Franchisee Can't Advertise Chicken as Halal

A federal judge in Illinois has ruled that Afzal Lokhandwala, owner of eight KFC franchises in the state, cannot advertise the chicken he sells as halal. Lokhandwala, a Muslim, sued KFC, arguing that the chain had initially agreed to allow him to advertise that his chicken met Islamically approved slaughter requirements beginning in 2002. But Judge John Robert Blakey of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that KFC has “the absolute right” to approve or deny any advertising by franchise owners in their stores, according to a report. In 2009, the fast-food chain decided it could not promise halal food or kosher food because of varying interpretations of what constitutes acceptable food within those religious groups, the report said. The chain said it could also not certify that some chicken parts were not cross-contaminated with nonhalal or nonkosher parts. Lokhandwala argued that KFC never mentioned the policy change and asked the judge to declare that enforcement of the policy is in bad faith. But the judge found that the contract gives KFC complete control over how its product is marketed.

Weyco Group Partners with Samar Lifestyle

Addressing an opportunity, Weyco Group has signed a licensing agreement with Samar Lifestyle Private Limited, part of Sara Group, to produce and distribute Florsheim Footwear in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. "We are excited to work with Samar Lifestyle to grow our business in India and Pakistan," stated Tom Florsheim Jr., chairman and CEO of Weyco Group. "Their expertise in both footwear manufacturing and retail distribution will allow us to deliver the perfect consumer experience. We are very excited to partner with the Sara Group and build the Florsheim brand in a growing and important global market." Added Samar Lifestyle managing director Kayum Dhanani: "Florsheim is an iconic brand and has a great history in India and we are looking forward to building on its legacy and heritage. Florsheim enjoys great brand loyalty amongst customers and trade partners alike and combined with our strong product and brand management capabilities, and understanding of the Indian consumer, we are confident we will build another success story." The Florsheim collection will be available starting in the Spring/Summer 2018 season across more than 100 points of sale across India.

PwC Appeals 2-Year Ban on Audits in India

PricewaterhouseCoopers’firm in India is appealing a two-year ban on auditing public companies by the Securities Exchange Board of India. PwC is appealing the ban and asking for the appeal to be heard on an expedited basis. “We are happy that Securities and Appellate Tribunal has expressed its intention to resolve our appeal against SEBI on an expedited basis, and has set an expectation of a tight timeline of six weeks to dispose the appeal,” the Price Waterhouse Network of firms in India said in a statement. “The clarification that current engagements can continue through the year, is welcome. Over the years, our stakeholders have witnessed the huge investment we made in tools, training and infrastructure and we remain committed to maintaining the highest standards of quality in our services.”

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