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OPPO’s First Research and Development centre to open in Hyderabad

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Oppo logo. (Photo: Twitter/@oppo)

OPPO to set up its first India R&D centre in Hyderabad

Chinese smartphone maker OPPO on Monday said it was planning to set up its first India research and development (R&D) centre in Hyderabad.

In line with its objectives, the company has hired Tasleem Arif as its R&D Head in India, OPPO said in a statement.

“We are focused towards offering unique experiences to our consumers in India through our innovations and technological capabilities. The opening of our first R&D Centre in Hyderabad is a step in that direction and strengthens our commitment to the Indian consumers,” said Charles Wong, OPPO India President.

As the Vice President and Head R&D, OPPO India, Arif will be leading the team which will focus on software localisation for Indian consumers as well as device quality.

Prior to joining OPPO, Arif was working at Samsung as Head – Samsung Make for India Innovations (R&D) and India Hardware-Software Product Planning.

He brings to the new role almost 15 years of experience in mobile software, design and development.

“We are excited to have Tasleem on board and believe that with his expertise we will be able to build a strong R&D team and make this centre second largest after China,” Wong said.

The Hyderabad R&D Centre will be OPPO’s seventh facility globally with the other six being located in China, Japan and the US.

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Hyderabad Airport leads post-lockdown revival of aviation sector

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Witnessing a steady increase in the number of passengers and air traffic, Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) is leading the revival of the aviation sector in India post the Covid-induced lockdown.

The daily passenger footfall at RGIA has gone up by over six times and the Air traffic Movement (ATM) by over five times since the recommencement of domestic operations from May 15.

With the central and state governments relaxing the quarantine norms under Unlock 4.0 and Unlock 5.0, there has been a significant jump in the passenger footfall, sources at the airport said.

The RGIA has handled over 1.2 million domestic passengers from the day of recommencement till September 30. Over 13,500 domestic flights were handled during the same period.

Sources say the growth rate of Hyderabad Airport post recommencement has been impressive compared to other airports in the country.

Billed as the world’s third fastest-growing airport in the category of 15 million passengers in the world, it is one of the busiest airports in the country and the best-connected in south and central India.

In the first few weeks post recommencement of domestic operations after a gap of two months, the daily passenger footfall was 3,000 but the same surged to over 20,000 in September.

Hyderabad Airport has also seen an uptick in the ATMs from about 40 daily ATMs in the first few weeks of the restart, to over 230 domestic flights daily.

The RGIA regained its 52 destinations out of 55 destinations before Covid, thus restoring about 95 per cent domestic connectivity till August.

The airport was handling 550 air traffic movements and about 60,000 passengers daily before the Covid-induced lockdown came into effect in March.

With a new domestic destination – Jagdalpur in Chhatisgarh from September 21, RGIA is now connected to 53 destinations in the domestic sector. Nagpur, Mangalore, Kozhidode/Calicut and Jabalpur are the latest destinations which recommenced in the last four weeks.

Metro cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai remain the top five destinations.

The top three airlines who are serving the domestic traffic from Hyderabad International Airport are IndiGo, SpiceJet and Air India.

Though all commercial operations were suspended in March with the imposition of lockdown, RGIA continued to handle evacuation flights operated by various countries for their citizens.

It subsequently handled evacuation flights under the Vande Bharat Mission and the Air Transport Bubble agreements initiated among various countries.

Under the Air Transport Bubble arrangement, Hyderabad International Airport is now connected with the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah), Qatar and Bahrain.

Apart from these, many charters from various countries are also operating on a regular basis.

The airport witnessed on an average over 11 international air traffic movements daily in September. The numbers are expected to increase further, once the outreach of the Air Transport Bubble agreement gets further enhanced covering other countries as well.

This week, the airport extended its indigenously developed digital solution of E-boarding services to international flights, becoming the first airport in India to do so.

To meet the new challenges posed by the pandemic, airport operator GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) overhauled the entire passenger processing modes to follow the government directives.

The airport kept raising the bar to innovate across various operational processes using the technology which included the contact-less replication of keyboards at self-check in kiosks onto one’s smart phones to help aid printing of boarding card and luggage tags in a contactless way.

Recently, RGIA achieved Airports Council International’s (ACI) Airport Health Accreditation’ for its measures strengthening safe travel.

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Alibaba 11.11 global shopping festival now in 2 phases

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Alibaba Group. (Photo: Facebook/@alibabagroupofficial)

Alibaba Group will hold its 11.11 global shopping festival with new innovations and features to meet rapidly changing consumer trends next month and this time, the festival expands the concept from ‘single’ to ‘double’.

A new sales window will be added from November 1 to 3, ahead of the main event on November 11, with the aim of providing merchants, specifically new brands and small businesses, the opportunity to showcase their products and tell their brand stories amid the pandemic.

The annual event will continue to support the merchants with new innovations, valuable consumer insights and trusted technology, fulfilling the mission of 11.11 when it was created 12 years ago, Alibaba said in a statement.

“Through our expansion from ‘single’ to ‘double,’ 11.11 will be offering more opportunities for merchants both online and offline to engage with consumers as well as provide a better consumer experience overall,” said Jiang Fan, President of Taobao and Tmall.

Alibaba Group’s annual 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, also known as Singles’ Day, amassed a record-high total gross merchandise volume (GMV) of 268.4 billion yuan ($38.4 billion) last year.

This year, more than 2 million new products will be introduced, which is double the amount compared to last year.

Offline small- and micro-merchants across China, such as street stalls and neighborhood grocery stores, will be able to participate in the excitement of 11.11 by connecting with consumers through Alipay’s digital lifestyle platform.

This year’s festival will feature 14 million value-for-money products from more than 250,000 brands available on Tmall.

Also, to cater for the needs of customers in lower-tier cities, Taobao Deals’ “RMB1 Sales” campaign will enable consumers to purchase goods at huge discounts with free shipping.

The 11.11 Global Shopping Festival began in 2009 with participation from just 27 merchants.

More than 250,000 brands are participating in this year’s event.

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Indian Railways mulling idea to convert passenger trains to express

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Indian-railways

The Indian Railways is mulling idea of converting several passenger trains into express trains to provide better services to passengers and speed up the train services, but no decision has been taken by the Railway Board yet.

A Railway Ministry official said that the news of railways planning to convert 181 passenger trains to express is not “actually based on any decision” of the Railway Board.

He said, no decision like this has been taken by Railway Board as yet.

The official said, “However, as an idea conversion of slow moving passenger trains to express by speeding up can be seen as process for passing on the benefits of improved infrastructure and rolling stock to passengers.”

He said that the passengers will have better facilities due to availability of reserved accommodation including AC accommodation and the passengers will also benefit due to lesser journey time and faster transit.

The official pointed out that the line capacity utilisation of railways will improve due to faster transit better throughput.

“However, it is still in planning stage and nothing has been finalised yet,” another official said.

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