Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Insight on Exclusive Smartphones by Amazon India and Flipkart

Ugam Analysis of Exclusive Smartphones by Amazon India and Flipkart for the 2016 Festive Season

The analysis provides insight on exclusive smartphones by Amazon India and Flipkart based on online shopper intent signals.

MUMBAI – October 18, 2016 – Smartphones is one of the most important product categories for online retailers in India. This festive season, major online retailers chose to compete on exclusive smartphones, as exclusive models account for almost 75 percent of total online smartphones sales in India [1]. But which exclusive smartphones do shoppers actually prefer and which retailers carry them? To find out, Ugam, a global leader in managed analytics, today released a study that analyses the online shopper intent signals of exclusive smartphones offered by Amazon India and Flipkart during the festive season. The study further analyses which retailers offer competitive prices for the smartphones that shoppers prefer.
The highlights of the study include the following:

1.       Amazon offered majority of the top 20 most-preferred exclusive smartphones.
Based on online shopper intent data, Amazon offered 70 percent (14 out of 20) of the most-preferred exclusive smartphones. This includes smartphones such as the Moto G Plus, Lenovo Zuk Z1 and the OnePlus2.

2.       Not so exclusive – Half of the top exclusive smartphones by Flipkart were also available on Amazon.
50 percent (three out of six) of the most-preferred exclusive smartphones by Flipkart were also available for purchase on Amazon. These included the Lenovo K3 Note, LeEco Le 2, and the Lenovo Vibe K5. Flipkart was priced lower than Amazon for two out of those three smartphones.

3.       Amazon was priced the lowest for more than half of the exclusive smartphones available on both websites.
Of the 60 exclusive smartphones we analysed, 17 exact models were available for purchase on both Amazon India and Flipkart. Amazon was priced lowest for 53 percent (9 out of 17) of these exact smartphones.

4.       Amazon’s exclusives were priced lower than the models with similar specifications available on Flipkart.
Out of 31 Amazon exclusives, Flipkart had 29 smartphones that were similar in specifications. Of these, 28 were available for purchase. We found that Amazon’s exclusives were priced lower for 57 percent (16 out of 28) of the models with similar specs available on Flipkart.

  1. Flipkart’s exclusives were priced lower than the models with similar specifications available on Amazon.
Out of 29 Flipkart exclusives, Amazon had 9 smartphones that were similar in specifications. We found that Flipkart’s exclusives were priced lower for 67 percent (6 out 9) of the models with similar specs available on Amazon.

“The Indian ecommerce war is more intense than ever.  Today, stellar growth is no longer enough; winning market share is key”, said Mihir Kittur co-founder and chief innovation officer at Ugam.  “Retailers should leverage online shopper intent signals, such as search, reviews, ratings and social media data to inform better selection and pricing decisions and, thereby, drive a competitive edge in this ultra-competitive landscape.”

Analysis methodology
This analysis demonstrates how retailers can assess their online assortment and pricing to improve their competitiveness during peak shopping seasons.
To identify the trending products, Ugam first selected all the exclusive smartphone models available on Amazon and Flipkart as of September 28, 2016. We then used Ugam’s proprietary big data platform to collect and aggregate consumer demand data such as the search volume, social media signals, and online reviews and ratings, which calculates a popularity score for each product called Shopper Intent Score (SIS).
The availability of similar products was identified by checking which smartphones on a competitor’s site has specifications similar to an exclusive smartphone. These specifications include the screen size, operating system, processor type, storage capacity, RAM and battery capacity. Ugam then tracked prices for matched products across Amazon and Flipkart to find out which retailers are priced the lowest as on October 6, 2016.

For more information on Ugam’s Pricing and Assortment solutions, please visit
[1] Economic Times, Amazon and Flipkart bank on online exclusives for festive bounty

"HOTEL PARADISO" by Familie Floz, the masters of mask theatre to come to Delhi

Iconic German play "HOTEL PARADISO" by Familie Floz, the masters of mask theatre, at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi, from 28th & 29th October 2016

The critically acclaimed play Hotel Paradiso, by the masters of mask theatre, Familie Floz, the world’s leading theatre mask specialist will be performing for the first time in New Delhi, from 28th & 29th October , at Kamani Auditorium in New Delhi. Based in Berlin, the German production, FamilieFlöz, is internationally renowned as one of the world’s leading mask theatre companies! 

Using over 25 masks  the play showcases humour, improvisation, mime and physical comedy to create a  family-friendly show. All the world’s a stage… Four actors, 29 characters, no words and loads of laughs, Hotel Paradiso is filled with guests from around the world and is touring India for the first time with its inimitable brand of visual comedy. 

With its repertoire of hit shows, FamilieFlöz has captured the hearts of young and old alike. 

Please find attached the text for listings for this play. Also attached are hi res images of the performers enacting the play. Sincerely hope you can use this information for the listings section. Incase you are interested in doing a bigger feature on this iconic German Production , we could arrange for email/telephonic interviews with the directors/producers of the play. 

Delhi to hold National Plumbing Skills Conclave & Mela

Over 2000 plumbers, architects, consultants , manufacturers and government bodies to participate in the event, organized by IPSC under the ministry of Skill Development

inauguration by Hon’ble minister of Skill Development Sh. Rajiv Pratap Rudy 

Plumbers can get the overseas work opportunity

New Delhi, 19 October 2017:

Following the Central Government's vision to make India Skillful and create employment opportunity for everyone, Indian Plumbing Skill Council under the Ministry of Skill Development is organizing 2 days (21& 22nd October 2016)  National Plumbing Skill Conclave and Skill Mela in Delhi. The event will be held at NSIC Exhibition Ground, Kalka Ji, Delhi and it would be inaugurate by Hon’ble Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Sh. Rajiv Pratap Rudy on 22nd October. The event would be attended by more than 2000 plumbers, architects, consultants, manufacturers and government bodies.  It is a platform for the plumbers to showcase their talents, learn new skills & technology, interact with industry experts and get the recognition from the authorized bodies and Government.

Commenting about the Skill Mela, Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Mr P K Chaddha, Officiating CEO, Indian Plumbing Skills Council said“The Plumbing Industry faces the mammoth challenge of huge gap between the supply and demand of skilled workforce.  A very small percentage of the plumbing workforce is actually skilled in India. It becomes our duty as plumbing professionals, members of the Indian plumbing industry and other various plumbing related organizations and associations to ensure that skilled and certified manpower in adequate number is provided across industries using plumbing skills to raise plumbing standards in India to global levels. About 90% of the Plumbing industry workforce in India is not professionally trained. Most of the skill learning in the industry happens through unstructured, on-the job training (OJT)”.

In India we are striving to match the standards and change the mind-set towards Plumbers because Plumber is a “Nation’s Water Supply Protector”. Plumber is the first soldier in the line of defense against diseases. Through this Skill Mela & Conclave we are creating different types of competitions among plumbers and will select 6 teams from here and 6 teams from Hyderabad event. Out of these teams 1 winner team will participate in the World Skills Competition which will be held at Abu Dhabi on 14-19th October 2017, he also added.

Lack of professionally trained plumbers is a major drawback for country's construction and related sectors. IPSC is endeavoring to address these issues and is making efforts to bring the skill levels of our Country to World Standards through such events.

With rapid mechanism of Plumbing / Plumbing related Industry, it is important that skilling of manpower focuses on the latest technologies and equipment. IPSC endeavors to create  National Occupational Standards (NOS),  Development of Training Contents and curriculum, develop the Job roles which are in demand in India and Globally  and also to give the recognition to Plumbing sector as an Individual trade as not the sub segment of Construction.

Plumbers and Contractors are required in majority in the Industries like Construction be it for Housing/Commercial, Water Treatment, Gas Supply, Fire Safety etc. Indian plumbing industry (manufactured products) is estimated at Rs. 20,000 Cr + market (G.I,PVC,CPVC & others) and growing over 15% CAGR.


Altered ceremonial statement

To make the wedding spell more memorable, Entice, the fine jewellery brand by the renowned KGK group, presents a magnificent assortment of chandeliers, danglers and waterfall statement earrings. Add an extra glint to the occasion of wedding with these finely crafted diamond stunners in white and yellow gold, with a whiff of colours in rubies, emeralds & sapphires.

These dazzling, lightweight statement earrings are a perfect choice for the brides and their bridesmaids to adorn themselves in the most gorgeous ways. Pair these elaborate earrings with a cuff or a cocktail ring to make an altered ceremonial statement.

Mrs. Manju Kothari, Creative Director, Entice says, “This assortment of statement earrings is the most sort after style by today’s modern bride. They dazzle just enough to make a statement and eliminate the necessity of adorning multiple jewellery pieces just to make an impact; the way what every bride needs in her trousseau for pre and post wedding occasions.

Enhancing the rich Indian jewellery heritage with a contemporary twist, Entice Jewellery offers traditional yet contemporary and elegant designs, which cater to the discerning taste of its customers. 'Entice' was launched by KGK group at the turn of the millennium in 2004 in Hong Kong. Following a huge success in Hong Kong, KGK launched its first India boutique of ‘Entice’ in Jaipur in 2009. Entice today has 5 standalone boutiques in Hong Kong and India. (Jaipur, Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi). Entice designs meet the burgeoning demand for an internationally aesthetic look, lending a unique artistic blend to their pieces. Backed by the strength and prestige of KGK, Entice aims to create an unparalleled reputation of credible leadership by providing unmatched customer delight and exceeding customer expectations at every opportunity.

Entice Boutiques in India-
BENGALURU: 6/1, Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road, Richmond Circle, Bengaluru, Tel: 080- 40948644/77
JAIPUR: 22, M.I. ROAD, Tel: 
NEW DELHI: M-39, M Block Market, GK-1, Tel: 
MUMBAI: KGK Tower, Borivali [E], Tel: 

The KGK group, established in 1905 by the Kothari family of Jaipur, is a global corporation with fully integrated operations in the Gems & Jewellery industry, and a presence across 17 countries. A pioneer in the world of precious stones, KGK Group has been sourcing, manufacturing and distributing diamonds, colored stones and jewellery for decades. Being a The status of De Beers Sightholder, Alrosa Alliance and Rio Tinto Select Diamantaire speaks volumes about the credibility and efficiency of our diamond operations ensuring nothing but the finest diamonds and at the most reasonable prices. The strength of KGK is vast, resulting in unmatchable benefits to the end consumer.

For more information on the brand and group:

Drive away the menace of anaemia

As Kolkata and Delhi celebrate victory of good over evil, The Brand Brewery comes up with unique campaign for Tata Salt Plus to drive away the menace of anaemia

Mumbai, October 18thThis festival season, the people of Kolkata and Delhi celebrated the victory of good over evil, albeit in a different manner. In both the cities, as the magnificent festivities of Durga Puja and Dusshera respectively hit a crescendo, a campaign by The Brand Brewery (TBB) -- a leading experiential marketing agency – became the talk of the town.

The campaign aptly christened Sehat-ki-Goonj was conceived and executed by TBB for India’s first iron fortified salt brand Tata Salt Plus. The inimitable initiative aimed at creating awareness about anaemia which is highly prevalent among women as well as children in India.

In Kolkata, TBB chose the setting of Durga Puja to spread the message of health because the festival that pans over four days is one of the most opulent celebrations in the City of Joy and sees lakhs of enthusiasts participate in the revelry. The brilliantly accomplished campaign centred around a simple premise that Bengalis, especially women, follow as a tradition – that blowing a conch will eradicate all negative energies and usher in wellbeing before the start of something new or auspicious.

In tandem with this thought, TBB envisaged the maverick campaign by connecting it with the aspect of health. As part of Sehat-ki-Goonj, a massive conch was placed at the FD Block Salt Lake City pandal. Women were then invited to blow the conch and the decibel units that they produced while blowing it for over 15 to 20 seconds were recorded. Every participant was gifted a free hamper which included a one kg Tata Salt Plus pack while those who won or crossed the set decibel were given a bigger hamper.

It is a known fact that blowing a conch requires enough strength and stamina. Through Sehat-ki-Goonj, TBB cracked upon the idea of using the conch as a medium to spread awareness for the campaign and bank upon the tradition of blowing a conch to eliminate evil.  

Said Mr Pradyumn Tandon, Founder and Director, TBB“About 55% of women and 73% of children in India are iron deficient, which makes us one of the worst-hit anaemic countries in the world. We felt that in a city like Kolkata, Durga Puja celebrations are the best way to reach out to women especially since the festival also symbolises the power of a goddess.”

The campaign was popularly referred to as ‘Swasther Protidhwani’ in Kolkata. A special Sehat-ki-Goonj tune was also recorded for the occasion based on the ragas ShuddhaKalyan and Bhairav– both known for celebrating good health and end of evil.

Meanwhile in Delhi, as large crowds participated in achieving proverbial victory by celebrating the burning of Ravaanat the iconic Ramlila Maidan, team TBB preferred to focus upon their health. A similar conch was also placed at the venue where women were invited to blow it and the decibel levels were checked. While it was Durga Puja in Kolkata to reach out to a larger demographic, in Delhi it had to be Dusshera celebrations. It is the day when millions relive mythology and rejoice the victory of good over evil as they witness the enactment of Rama killing Ravana.

Added Tandon, “In Delhi, we thought Dusshera was the best occasion since that is when huge crowds throng this venue to participate in Ravaandahan. Tata Salt also looks at anaemia as an evil that needs to be wiped out of our country. Hence it was a perfect opportunity to reach out to people, especially women and talk about the menace.”

During the campaigns, 950 kg of Tata Salt Plus was distributed in Kolkata and 580 kg of Tata Salt Plus was distributed in Delhi.

TBB has successfully conceived and executed several other campaigns for Tata Salt during festivities which provide the perfect setting to reach out to more and more people. The campaigns have helped in projecting the brand as the official health keeper of the nation with its purest form of salt.  The Sehat ki Goonj campaign was an extension to this thought especially with the Tata Salt Plus variant that is India’s first iron fortified iodised salt that is known to provide up to 50% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of iron. 

Beiimaan Love - Rating: ****

A perfectly imperfect love story

Beiimaan Love film is a modern day version of love gone awry when a rich, egoistic guy who is a flirt falls in love with a gorgeous lady who is focused on her career and what follows is a tumultuous love game!

Sunny Leone has played a lot of shades in Beiimaan love! She fits in the bill as a simple working girl to a domestic family daughter in law to a shrewd upmarket business tycoon! Beiimaan love is a treat for Sunny Leone fans as she charms her way out in every scene. 

The Director Rajeev Chaudhari has made an honest effort to portray love differently and depict women empowerment as he has contributed his creative best to project Sunny as a perfect Bollywood heroine in Beiimaan Love by giving her an author backed role!

It has some shades of Rajshri Production kind of cinema in the family scenes - probably it's a subconscious expression by Rajeev as he has been Rajshri's PR man!

Rajniesh Duggall has also performed well and breathes life into his character of Raj Malhotra. However, Surveen Chawla or Radhika Apte would have suited this role better instead of Sunny Leone as they would have played the corporate woman and lover's role with more conviction.

It's worth a watch for so many foot tapping numbers in one film namely Hug Me, Mere Peeche Hindustan, Mar Gaye,Main Adhoora and Sunny Leone's screen presence!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Flipkart’s Big Billion Days 2016 begins with a bang!

More than half a million products sold in less than one hour of opening the sale

Bengaluru, 02nd October, 2016: Kick-starting day one of ‘The Big Billion Days’, Flipkart announced that it sold over half a million products within one hour on Day 1 of the sale.

With massive participation from customers from across the country, the sale witnessed the highest number of concurrent users in 5 minutes of going live. This was 10 times more than any given day, making it the highest ever in the history of Flipkart.

Within the electronics and gadget category, we sold more Apple watches in 10 minutes than the total sale of Apple watches online and offline in a month. TV’s are flying off the shelves, with a number of large size (40 inch and above) LED TVs sold in 6 hours already higher than the total number of TV’s sold during The Big Billion Days 2015. Over 40% of customers who shopped for home appliances availed product exchange.Myntra also had a blockbuster sale on day 1, clocking 3 times more revenue in the first hour compared to 2015 edition of Big Billion Days.

Upon hitting this milestone, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Head, Category Design Organization, Flipkart said, “The Big Billion Days, like every year, has now set a new landmark in the history of commerce in the country. What makes it special is that the number of units sold in the first 6 hours of sale surpassed the total units sold in a day during the first day of The Big Billion Days in 2015! It’s a matter of immense delight to see this response from our consumers, inspiring us to make it even more special over the course of next 4 days of this sale.”

Flipkart is India’s largest e-commerce marketplace with over with over 60% market share of mobile commerce. With a registered customer base of 100 million, Flipkart offers more than 80 million products across 80+ categories including Smart Phones, Books, Media, Consumer Electronics, Furniture, Fashion and Lifestyle.
Launched in October 2007, Flipkart is known for its path-breaking services like Cash on Delivery, experience zones and a 10-day replacement policy. Flipkart was the pioneer in offering services like In-a-Day Guarantee (50 cities) and Same-Day-Guarantee (13 cities) at scale. With over 95,000 registered sellers, Flipkart has redefined the way brands and MSME’s do business online.

Ropose partners with Miss India Earth 2016

Roposo is the official social media partner for the world’s 3rd biggest beauty pageant -Miss India Earth 2016

Once again consolidating its stance as the ultimate social fashion destination, Roposo has announced its collaboration with Miss India Earth 2016 as the social media partner. With this partnership, Roposo plans to create the right buzz amongst its growing community of fashion aficionados for one of the biggest upcoming fashion extravaganzas in New Delhi.

Commenting on this partnership Mayank Bhangadia, CEO and Co-founder of the fashion social network, said, “Roposo has always believed in delivering incredible experiences to its users and this association will further our position as the go-to destination for fashion. Not only will be able to generate greater excitement for the already popular event but we will also offer our large user base a chance to access exclusive updates and action from this international beauty pageant.”  

The event is slated to be held in the swanky East Delhi venue of The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, on October 3, 2016. The winner of Miss India 
Earth 2016 will be joining the finale of Miss Earth in Philippines on October 29, 2016.

The pageant will see 25 participants in total competing with each other through various rounds like beauty, intelligence and communication skills. Delhi-NCR has its brigade in the game with beauties Rashi Rao, Pooja Katyal, Nikeeta Bellgard, Sakshi Gupta, and Divyanshi Jain, who are ready to put their best foot forward. The panel of Judges who would choose the best out of bests’ include NIFT Chairman - Chetan Chauhan, Maya Singh, Miss Asia Pacific 2015, Priyanka Khurana, Mrs Universe 2015, and Jasmine Duggal, Ex Editor, Vogue.

Monday, 3 October 2016

A Wireless Waiter Calling System - Restaurants to Go Digital!

Jpnovations Solutions Introduces Wireless Waiter Calling System to Boost Indian Food & Beverage Industry

A Wireless Waiter Calling System has been introduced for hotels & restaurants to Go Digital!

The innovative Jpnovations Wireless Calling Systems use a set of smart watches synced with a LED panel and a table remote that can automate the waiter calling and food ordering system in Indian hotels and restaurants.

Noida, UP, India, October 3, 2016 - With the emerging automation technologies, people are getting more accustomed to convenience and an enhanced service experience. Jpnovations Solutions Pvt. Ltd. has come up with automated solutions that will revolutionize the Indian food and beverage industry, allowing hotels and restaurants to serve their customers with an enhanced level of professionalism, swiftness and efficiency.

Jpnovations Calling Systems include a whole range of innovative solutions that allow customers to call waiters in an automated environment. One of these latest solutions uses a set of smart watches synced with a LED panel and a table remote. Days are gone when a customer has to shout at a waiter to ask for a service. These solutions offer convenience at the hands of the customer, whether he wants to order food or call a waiter for a query.

Speaking about the need of such solutions, Pardeep Gill, Director Jpnovations, states, "We have set foot into this business with the intent to set a new benchmark for serviceability and accessibility." According to him, they have developed these solutions, aiming to boost the productivity of India’s food and beverage industry.

The complete set of the Waiter Calling System includes a table remote, equipped with 3 buttons - Call, Bill, and Drink.  There is a LED board to display the current requests and other calls on the screen, and also a smart watch. According to Mr. Gill, the complete system with 10 tablets comes with a starting cost of just Rs. 20,000. The company aims at adding to the productivity and efficiency of the Indian hospitality sector at an affordable cost.

Mr. Gill reveals that such devices have long been in use abroad, but India lacked such kind of sophistication in its hospitality sector. Now, he and his company have come forward to create solutions that can play a key role in the Restaurants Automation in the country. According to him, there are several clients who have started using their system in the country and have witnessed sea changes in their business as well as customer satisfaction. One of their clients, Mr. Deepankar Arora, Partner – Tawak, states about the benefits of using Jpnovations Solutions technology, “Using jpnovations system has helped a lot in saving the time and efficiency of the staff. And has added up in better ambience and comfort to our guests. Kudos Jpnovations!”
The device functions by sending a notification to waiter’s watch and he immediately knows the demand of its customer. Being constantly updated via watch, quick verification of the orders is possible, in case there is any change. A notification by the cook, when the food is ready to serve, saves the hassle of running back and forth to the kitchen. All of the staff will be assisted with a smart watch that synchronizes with other corresponding devices. Besides monitoring and staff management, the system aims at revolutionizing the standards of the hospitality industry.

According to Mr. Gill, the device aids in more than enhancing the waiter management. It also encourages a certain comfort to customers by not having to shout in to call stewards. “Just a click of a button and viola, the waiter is at your service”, he says. Beside the benefits of reduced waiting time and improving time management, the company is currently developing a real time staff monitoring system that will help in the evaluation of the restaurant statistics.
Jpnovations will be using Big Data Analysis to accomplish this objective.

Jpnovations Solutions is started by IIT-D/NIT alumni with a vision of accelerating the hospitality sector in India with the latest technology and trends. The founders have over 5 years of research & development experience in Marketing, Manufacturing, Smart Devices and Internet of Things (IoT). Before starting this venture, they visited various countries like South Korea, Taiwan & China to understand this technology and came with this novel idea to implement various Wireless Calling Systems in most of the hospitality sectors viz. restaurants, hotels, bars, cinemas, hospitals.

K9 School India educates pet lovers

K9 School India educated pet lovers through an interesting seminar

The seminar provided a detailed insight into our very own desi dog breed.

New Delhi, October 3, 2016: K9 School India conducted an engaging seminar about desi dogs yesterday at their Training Center in Chattarpur. The objective of the seminar was to educate the pet lovers about desi dogs, their treatment while catering to the problems associated with them.

The inaugural seminar was a part of series of small talks and seminars on particular topics related to dogs which will be conducted in the coming months. The event started with the introductory session of K9 School India and Adnan’s personal and professional experience while interacting with desi dogs. This was followed by a history of the breed, their feeding patterns, a detailed understanding of their instincts, behavior problems and a general human psychology towards them.

The funds collected through the registrations and all other proceedings of the non-profit seminar were donated to Friendicoes in order to aid their Delhi shelter which is flooding and needs repairs.

Commenting on the seminar, Adnan Khan, a dog behavior consultant and Owner of K9 School India, said, “Keeping in mind Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy which is compassion towards animals, we couldn’t think of a better occasion than Gandhi Jayanti to kick-start our series related to dogs. Secondly, the seminar was organized to make people aware about the condition of desi dogs in our country, how they have been ignored and what can be done to improve the existing situation.”

The seminar included a 10 min session with dog nutritionists helping the participants to understand the feeding requirements of the dogs.  Furthermore, experiences shared by pet owners having stray dogs and locality stray dog care takers and the challenges faced by them while dealing with these dogs were discussed. The seminar concluded with an interesting Q & A session with the participants addressed by Adnan Khan.

K9 School India is a revolutionary dog training startup with a state of the art training facility in New Delhi, India. The team includes trainers, behaviour experts, dogs and executive geniuses who share a passion for dogs and a drive to deliver highly scientific and education based training to the dogs and the owners. Spread over 40,000 square feet, the centre pioneered the idea of conducting group sessions for pet parents in the country and offers various services and facilities in addition to training like swimming, boarding, dog gym, physical conditioning, pet socialisation and much more.

Sitting is the New Health Hazard

Daily Exercise Not Enough; Doctors Advocate Need to Find Ways to Become Less Sedentary at Work

·         Recent studies say that prolonged sitting poses major health hazard to people even if their exercise daily

·         Essential to break extended sitting by standing or walking a few minutes every hour

New Delhi, 29th  September 2016: Prolonged sitting, without frequent standing or walking breaks in between, is emerging as one of the most serious health hazards of the 21st century! In fact, doctors and cardiologists today are counting prolonged sitting among leading risk factors for cardiovascular and other diseases, much like smoking and high blood pressure.

While the ill effects of sedentary lifestyles have been well-known for quite some time now, recent research has concluded that even people who exercise daily face increased health risks if their jobs and lifestyles require them to sit for long hours at a stretch.

According to Dr Amar Singhal, Senior Interventional Cardiologist and Head, Department of Cardiology, Action Heart Institute, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, New Delhi, the number of hours you sit at a stretch is directly proportional to the risk of cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and stroke.

Most urban professionals today spend more than half of their waking hours sitting at work, or commuting, and in front of computers or televisions at home. The duration of sitting sometimes extends for hours at a stretch. New evidence suggests that such people face a significantly higher risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer, even if they exercise daily or head to the gym at the end of the day.

Physical inactivity has been identified by the World Health Organization as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths globally.

“Most people believe that prolonged sitting hours will not be hazardous if they exercise 30 minutes daily. However, we now have evidence to conclude that daily exercise does not undo the damage caused by long hours of sitting at a stretch. In addition to 30 minutes of exercise daily, we need to break from the sitting position every hour for a few minutes to make sure our body retains its healthy functioning processes.

“Apart from ensuring 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily, we also need to find ways to become less sedentary at work by adopting simple measures like getting up from the chair and walking around the workplace every hour, incorporating standing work stations in offices or conducting meetings while standing,” says Dr Amar Singhal.

Healthy blood circulation is key to several health parameters. In people who sit for hours at a stretch, blood circulation remains slow for extended periods of time daily. This makes the heart arteries more prone to clogging, causes elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure. At the same time, sedentary habits are also associated with declined insulin response, making an individual more prone to type 2 diabetes.

“Unlike two decades back when a genetic predisposition was the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, today poor lifestyle habits are the main driver of an individual’s risk. The bane of sedentary lifestyles is upon us. Most of us spend around 8 hours sitting at a stretch at work; then we again sit in our vehicles or in public transport while riding home. Once home, the television sets are waiting for us. Obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease are a natural corollary. This is why we are also witnessing an increase in incidence of heart diseases in young men and women,” adds Dr Singhal.
Tips to Become Less Sedentary at Work:
  • Park your car at a distance from your office, so that you walk at least 15 minutes on your way to work and back
  • Make sure to stand up from a sitting position once every hour and take a five-minute walk around the workplace
  • Stop using the intercom, walk to the colleague you want to talk to
  • Ask your office administration to install standing workstations to allow employees take frequent breaks from sitting
  • Avoid taking phone calls while sitting, make it a habit to walk around the desk whenever you take a phone call
  • Ensure 30 minutes of exercise – walking, jogging, gyming – at least five days a week

Arundhati Roy's next 'THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS' to be published June 2017

Hamish Hamilton UK and Penguin India are proud to announce that they will publish THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS by Arundhati Roy in June 2017. It is her first work of fiction since THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS, which won the Booker prize nineteen years ago in 1997.

Photo credit: Mayank Austen Soofi

ARUNDHATI ROY:  ‘I am glad to report that the mad souls (even the wicked ones) in THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS have found a way into the world, and that I have found my publishers.’

SIMON PROSSER & MERU GOKHALE: ‘To publish this book is both a pleasure and an honour.  What an incredible book it is—on multiple levels; one of the finest we have read in recent times.

The writing is extraordinary, and so too are the characters – brought to life with such generosity and empathy, in language of the utmost freshness, joyfully reminding us that words are alive too, that they can wake us up and lend us new ways of seeing, feeling, hearing, engaging. It makes the novel new – in the original meaning of novel.’

DAVID GODWIN: ‘Only Arundhati could have written this novel. Utterly original. It has been 20 years in the making. And well worth the wait.’

Meru Gokhale is Editor-in-Chief, Literary Publishing, Penguin Random House India
Simon Prosser is Publishing Director of Hamish Hamilton & Penguin Books UK 
David Godwin is Arundhati Roy's literary agent.

The Deadly 3 Ss causing Cardiovasclar Deaths

The Deadly 3Ss: Smoking, Stress and Sedentary LifestyleAre the Biggest Causes of Cardiovascular Deaths
·         Heart attack is being increasingly seen in patients as young as 20 years

·         Coronary artery diseaseoccurs a decade earlier in Indian patients than in the West

·         Sudden cardiac arrest is an important major cause of cardiovascular death

New Delhi: Heart specialists in the country are all increasingly worried about what they call the ‘Deadly 3Ss: smoking, Stress, and Sedentary lifestyle’, as younger and younger people are succumbing to heart disease including heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest.
“Although most people wrongly believe that heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest are the same, these two are different entities though linked to each other by similar risk factors and causes. Heart attack occurs due to a sudden formation of a clot in an artery supplying blood to the heart resulting in muscle damage. Cardiac arrest indicates sudden cessation (stopping) of heart function and occurs usually due to an unstable very rapid heart rhythm,” explains Dr Kartikeya Bhargava, Senior Consultant Cardiac Electrophysiologist at Medanta-The Medicity. Heart attack is possibly the commonest cause of sudden cardiac arrest. However, the latter can also occur without heart attack in those with prior heart attack or other structural or electrical heart disease.
The underlying cause of heart attack is disease of the arteries, when blood supply is hampered due to hardened or narrowed arteries. It is known as coronary artery disease (CAD) and occurs due to a multitude of causes including smoking, unhealthy diet and lifestyle, sedentary habits, lack of exercise, high cholesterol and obesity. CAD in Indians is often more severe, and occurs a decade earlier than in the West. More and more young patients with CAD and heart attack, as low as of 20 years of age, are being seen by cardiologists in recent years, notes Dr Bhargava. 
The treatment of heart attack involves rapid recognition and diagnosis followed by opening the occluded coronary artery by drugs or angioplasty to save damage to heart muscle. On the other hand, sudden cardiac arrest due to rapid fast abnormal rhythm needs urgent (within 3-4 minutes) delivery of a shock by a defibrillator and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 
In India, lack of awareness about sudden cardiac arrest, lack of CPR training to laypeople, poor emergency transport facilities and delay in reaching hospital emergency after a cardiac arrest result in a very dismal outcome after out of hospital cardiac arrest. In India, sudden cardiac death accounts for 10.3% of total mortality. For patients with known heart disease with a high risk of sudden cardiac arrest, use of implantable defibrillator devices can reduce their risk and prevent loss of productive years. A cardiologist or electrophysiologist will be the best judge of what modality of treatment is required. 
Since heart attack and CAD are the commonest causes of sudden cardiac arrest, the prevention and treatment of risk factors of CAD can go a long way in prevention of sudden cardiac arrest as well.
“My sincere advice to every single person on this World Heart Day is to quit smoking, perform regular exercise and eat healthy. There are smoking cessation centers today that can aid people to quit smoking using many means if they unable to do so themselves. Regular exercise in any form, of which brisk walking is the simplest, is essential for anyone to remain healthy and maintain a normal body weight. New research suggests that it’s not just about walking for 30 minutes—one needs to be active through the day. Hence, taking a 5-minute “walking break” every hour of sedentary work can help in achieving the desired minimum 10,000 steps a day as per the recommendations of the American Heart Association,” says Dr Bhargava. Also, maintaining a balance between family life and work and eliminating stress by modalities like yoga and meditation can be highly useful.
As an avid runner and yoga enthusiast himself, Dr Bhargava suggests that these practices of yoga, meditation and regular exercise should be incorporated into one’s lifestyle from early childhood itself and should become part of the school curriculum. Then, only one can achieve a good level of overall health in the general community.
Finally, if a person has any symptoms suggestive of heart disease like palpitation or breathlessness, or chest discomfort it is best to get checked by a doctor. Regular, periodic check-ups along with lifestyle modification is essential for anyone with known heart disease.
On the occasion of World Heart Day, the universal message this year is ‘Power your life’. The idea is to power the heart, because the heart powers the whole body.