Budget reaction from Mr.M.R Jaishankar, CMD, Brigade Group, Mr.Om Ahuja, CEO, Residential, Brigade Group and Mr.Vishal Mirchandani, CEO, Retail and Commercial, Brigade Enterprises




Budget reaction from Mr.M.R Jaishankar, CMD, Brigade Group
Overall the budget proposals are below my expectations. I would rate it 7 on 10.
While it is not a bad budget, it is not a great budget either. Much more could have been done to give a fillip to the industry since substantial effort is made to improve the rural sector.
The proposal to boost Affordable Housing is encouraging. It benefits both the end customer and the Developer. For the Developer, there will be a saving of 13% to 14% on tax on income considering MAT is applicable.
For Individual first home buyers, an additional tax break of Rs. 50,000 acts as a further incentive.
Exemption of Dividend Distribution Tax on REITs was awaited and is welcome. Similarly, the extension of the Sunset clause for SEZs to 31st March 2020 is also welcome.
Exemption of Excise Duty on RMC for affordable housing.
Other welcome measure is to bring back black money to the mainstream by introducing a Compliance Window.
Initiatives in doing ease of business particularly in Tax Administration. 

Budget reaction from Mr.Om Ahuja, CEO, Residential, Brigade Group

“Overall a good budget when it comes to balancing multiple challenges economy is facing and maintaining fiscal discipline. Retaining fiscal deficit in 2015-16 & 2016-17 at 3.9% &  3.5% without compromising growth oriented initiatives like growth of rural economy, agriculture and farmers welfare, infrastructure development & boost to employment and growth is highly commendable.  With multiple new taxes, cess, taxing dividends in hands of investors over Rs.10 Lacs on the one side and undeclared income disclosure scheme & multiple reforms in tax dispute resolution framework on the other side reflects the Government intent to bring better environment for “ease of doing business” & attract FDI for “Make in India” initiative. For Real Estate Industry, few key initiatives are a welcome step. Overall the budget for the Real Estate industry is positive with three key initiatives:

Common man – Smaller benefit for common man, deduction for additional interest of Rs. 50,000 per annum for loans up to Rs. 35 lakh sanctioned in 2016-17 for first time home buyers, where house cost does not exceed Rs.50 lakh.

Affordable Housing – (1) Service Tax Exemption on construction of affordable houses up to 60 square metres under any scheme of the Central or State Government including PPP Schemes,  (2) 100% deduction for profits to an undertaking in housing project for flats upto 30 sq. metres in four metro cities and 60 sq. metres in other cities, approved during June 2016 to March 2019 and completed in three years (3) Extending the excise duty exemption, presently available to Concrete Mix manufactured at site for use in construction work to Ready Mix Concrete will help the industry by reducing the input cost. 

REIT’s now a possibility – Exemption of Dividend Distribution Tax for distribution of dividends by SPVs to REIT & INVITs will now make REITs  a possibility in India. This will help the industry in creating newer avenues for raising capital and capitalizing the income yielding assets. Investors in India will now have a new attractive asset class to build long term wealth with regular income.

Few industry expectations like increasing tax deductions for common man for housing loan interest and easing liquidity for the industry were missing but few initiatives rolled out making affordable housing industry growth will now see mission “Housing for All ” a possibility in India.”

Budget reaction from Mr.Vishal Mirchandani, CEO, Retails and Commecrial, Brigade Enterprises

– This budget clearly outlines the Social Economic development agenda of the Central Government with relative fiscal discipline which is good.
– Good infrastructure development plans announced along with planning budget penetration to rural areas. We see a boost to roads, railways & rural development.
– Rs 25000 crores recapitalisation of PSU Banks may prove to be less as this year will be the year for cleaning up balance sheets across the board and we may still see some negative surprises in the sector. However the plan to soon propose a roadmap for consolidation of PSU banks and setting up of Bank Board Bureau headed by Vinod Rai is positive and shows that action is being taken on the subject. So in essence, the budget is providing short term boost as well as a structural road map for this important sector.
– Almost all negatives have been avoided like Long term capital gains tax, service tax etc.

Real Estate positives :
– Increase of HRA deduction at Rs 60,000/- , this is a broad based benefit.
– First time home buyers of homes less than Rs 50 lakhs to get higher interest deduction of Rs 50,000/-.
– Affordable housing sector has been identified for benefits on both cost and sale fronts in the development process.
– Extension of benefits to SEZs until 2020 provides time to realize associated benefits.

Government has announced a good structural approach to the country’s budget, it is now important that interest rates are reduced and private sector investment is accelerated.
It would have been better if the budget had made some positive provisions for home loans which would have made a significant positive impact on the economy.










February 29, 2016 – Bengaluru: As part of its efforts to raise awareness on Malaysia as a destination of choice, Tourism Malaysia has embarked on a Sales Mission to India and Sri Lanka from 25 February to 3 March. The 9-day sales mission covers the Indian cities of Chandigarh, Lucknow, Bengaluru, Kochi, and Colombo in Sri Lanka.


Leading the Malaysian delegation is Dato’ Daljit Singh, who is the Indian Community Relations Advisor to the Minister of Tourism & Culture Malaysia and a member of Tourism Malaysia Board of Directors. He is accompanied by senior officials from the Tourism board. The delegation also comprises 57 representatives from 16 travel agents/tour operators, 10 hotels/resorts, six tourism products/attractions, two state tourism authorities, and four airlines. Some of the notable delegates include Genting Malaysia Bhd, Legol and Malaysia Resort, Sunway Lagoon, Tourism Johor, Tourism Selangor, Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air, and AirAsia.


The sales mission serves as an excellent platform to engage with the local media and update them on the latest tourism developments and products, as well as to network with the local tour operators, product owners, and airlines. It is expected to increase tourist arrivals and receipts from the South Asian market during the peak travelling season from May to July. 


During the sales mission, Tourism Selangor will be promoting the ‘Discover Selangor’ campaign, which is a continuation of ‘Visit Selangor Year 2015’. They will be highlighting some of the best attractions and experiences Selangor has to offer.


The South Asian market is important to Malaysia, contributing 1.3 million tourists in 2014. India remained its top 10 arrivals in the same year, ranking sixth with a total of 770,108 tourists, while Sri Lanka recorded 61,670 tourists. In 2015, Malaysia welcomed 722,141 Indians and 51,337 Sri Lankans to the country.


During the Sales Mission, Tourism Malaysia will also organise a travel mart for the travel trade players to meet and network. This is a platform to showcase Malaysia’s diverse tourism offerings and highlight the scope for collaboration between travel agents in Malaysia and India.


Malaysia’s tourism sector continued to be a significant contributor to the country’s economy in 2015. Global tourist arrivals were at 25. 7 million with receipts up to RM 69.1 billion.











For more media releases, media info and media features on Malaysia’s tourism industry, kindly visit the Media Centre of Tourism Malaysia’s website at http://www.tourismmalaysia.gov.my/


MALAYSIA TOURISM PROMOTION BOARD OR TOURISM MALAYSIA is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Malaysia. Tourism Malaysia focuses on the specific task of promoting Malaysia at all levels. Since its inception, Tourism Malaysia has grown by leaps and bounds and it has emerged as a major player in the international tourism scene. In 2014, Malaysia registered 27.4 million tourist arrivals and RM72 billion in receipts, making tourism its second largest foreign exchange earner.


Through the Tourism NKEA (National Key Economic Area), collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, other Government agencies and the private sector have been enhanced to help secure Malaysia’s position as a leading tourist destination and achieve the country’s target of 36 million tourist arrivals and RM168 billion in receipts by 2020.    


The targets set under the Tourism NKEA will be achieved through the implementation of twelve Entry Point Projects (EPPs) clustered under five themes: Affordable Luxury; Nature Adventure; Family Fun; Events, Entertainment, Spa and Sports; and Business Tourism.   


For further details please contact:

Deepa Venugopal








New Delhi, India, February, 2016: Mr. Ankur Jain, Founder of Bira91 (B9 Beverages), India’s first Craft Beer company has been listed in ‘40 UNDER 40’ LIST BY FORTUNE INDIA Magazine.

Fortune India’s 40 under 40 is an esteemed list of individuals whom editors at Fortune magazine consider to be the most influential leaders for the year.  Fortune is an international business journal best known for its annual ranking of companies and individual achievers from the world of business. It qualifies and features the most innovative entrepreneurs who have successfully turned ideas into profitable businesses. The list includes business leaders, political personalities, sportsmen, fashion designers, and others who are under forty years old.

Launched in February 2015, Bira91 is taking the market by storm and is well on its way to change the dynamics of the beer market in India. The article specifically mentions the quirky logo, its vibrant social marketing and how the brand went viral with a growth of 30% month on month. It also states that Bira91 has recently raised USD 6 million in Series A funding by Sequoia Capital.

“After establishing a stronghold in seven cities with 30% share in the premium beer market within a year of its launch, our key focus remains in maintaining a personal connect with the consumer as well as spreading the love and culture for perfect tasting beer. It is a proud moment for us as a brand to get acknowledged by Fortune India and we owe it to our consumers. Consumers love Bira91 and recommend us to people they know. This kind of strong word-of-mouth puts Bira91 in an extremely unique position full of limitless opportunity and serious responsibility in the coming years and we are all geared up for it.” said Mr. Ankur Jain, CEO, B9 Beverages.

About Bira91
Bira91 is a specialty beer brand by B9 Beverages that is youthful, trendy and Indian. It resonates with the young adults as it is not only accessible but affordable despite being positioned as hip and premium in the market. The key focus of the brand is the taste and is reflected in its Blonde (Lager) and White (Wheat) flavors. It has paid a lot of attention towards establishing the brand’s image with the logos resonating the ideology of the urban population. Proud of being ‘Imagined in India’, it reflects a beer revolution which is not only contagious and does not shy away from identifying itself with being creative, fun and unorthodox. Also, the 91 stands for India’s country code. 
B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd. is India’s leading craft beer company. B9’s key brands include Bira91 White and Bira91 Blonde craft beers available in draft and bottled formats. B9 was founded by Mr. Ankur Jain, an entrepreneur and engineer.








The Most Prestigious Stars Sparkle in Platinum 



From Charlize Theron’s plunging diamond pendant to Lady Gaga’s statement diamond drop earrings, the world watched as celebrities sparkled in naturally white platinum jewelry at the 88th Annual Academy Awards.


Platinum jewelry is the best choice for special occasions, and platinum jewelry is the everlasting trend to reflect your own shine.

Following is a list of stars who celebrated their achievements in PLATINUM:


Charlize Theron in Platinum by Harry Winston

-Platinum Secret Cluster necklace with diamonds (48.8 carats)

-Platinum and diamond cluster earrings (15.49 carats)

-Platinum and cushion cut diamond ring with micropave (8.78 carats)

-Platinum and micropave diamond band ring

-Platinum Queen ring with diamonds (7.44 carats)


Lady Gaga in Platinum by Lorraine Schwartz

*Total value of her jewelry is $8 million

-Platinum and diamond earrings


Priyanka Chopra in Platinum by Lorraine Schwartz

-Platinum and diamond front back earrings (50 total carats, priced at $3.2 million)

-Platinum and diamond ring (22 carats, priced at $3.4 million)

-Platinum and diamond pinky ring (10 carats, priced at $850,000)

-Platinum and diamond bypass ring (8 carats, $300,000)


Cate Blanchett in Platinum by Tiffany & Co.

-Platinum earrings with marquise and round diamonds (priced at $125,000)

-Platinum Starfish cuff with round diamonds

-Platinum ring with a 2.30-carat round diamond and round diamond border (priced at $110,000)



Reese Witherspoon in Platinum by Tiffany & Co.

-Platinum earrings with pear shaped and marquise diamonds (priced at $250,000)

-Platinum bracelet with baguette and round diamonds (priced at $300,000)

-Platinum bracelet with marquise, pear shaped and round diamonds (priced at $195,000)

-Platinum bracelet with marquise and round diamonds (priced at $125,000)

-Platinum ring with an emerald cut tsavorite (7.49 carats) and diamonds (priced at $150,000)


Olivia Wilde in Platinum by Neil Lane

-Edwardian choker with pearls and diamonds

-Platinum earrings with pearls and diamonds

-Platinum and diamond ring


Jennifer Garner in Platinum by Neil Lane

-4 Platinum and diamond bracelets (150 total carats, priced at $2.5 million)

-Platinum swirl drop earrings with diamonds and emerald (10 carats)

-Platinum and emerald cut baguette diamond ring (10 carats, priced at $250,000)

-2 Platinum and diamond rings


Kerry Washington in Platinum by Harry Winston

-Vintage 1963 three row platinum hoop earrings with diamonds (42.54 carats)

-Platinum three row diamond Carpet ring (12.02 carats)


Common in Platinum by Fred Leighton

-1930’s platinum and diamond star brooch


About Platinum Jewelry

Platinum is the ideal choice for red carpet jewelry because it holds diamonds and precious gemstones more securely than any other metal. It is not only the highest quality metal, but its density makes it one of the most durable and enduring precious metals. Platinum is also naturally white, unlike white gold, which means it will not cast any tint onto a diamond or gemstone, allowing the stone’s genuine color to sparkle brightly.


For more information, please visit Platinum Guild International USA’s sites:

Consumer website: www.platinumjewelry.com

Press website: www.pgi-press.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/jewelryplatinum

Twitter page: www.twitter.com/ptjewelry

Hashtag: #BePlatinum


Race for 7: Bengaluru Runs to Raise Voice of Rare Disease Patients









Rare Disease Patients Participate in Race for 7

More Education & Awareness Needed for Rare Diseases

Bengaluru, February 28, 2016: Matching strides with those of rare disease patients, a few thousand Bangaloreans participated in Race for 7, a unique event organized by the Organization for Rare Diseases India (ORDI) to commemorate world Rare Disease Day. The objective was to raise awareness for the 70 million estimated patients in India suffering from a rare disease. The 7km event was flagged off by South Indian Cine Star Kishore Kumar G, Rajeev Gowda, Member of Parliament, and Naz Haji, Quintiles India Head at St. Joseph’s Indian High School. Running and walking through Cubbon Park amidst a highly charged atmosphere, the event saw over 50 patients with rare diseases participate, some coming from as far away as Mumbai and Delhi. This included Nihal Bitla, a patient suffering from Progeria (the medical condition which featured in the Hindi movie Paa) who travelled all the way from Mumbai to extend his support to the cause of rare diseases.

Speaking on the occasion, Kannada Cine Star, Kishore Kumar G, said, “I am humbled to be part of this noble initiative which champions the rights of people living with rare disease. It’s time we all get together, create awareness and extend our support in initiating change that will help improve the lives of patients living with rare diseases. You and I can make a difference!”

The post event entertainment witnessed performances from some of the patients present for the event. Nidhi Shirol, a patient suffering from Pompe Disease, and Jayanth Gowda, a patient suffering from MPS Type4, had the audience singing along and dancing to their song performances. The participants were in high spirits and were seen shaking their legs enthusiastically to the music and Zumba performances by Quintiles employees, the primary sponsors of Race for 7.

Prasanna Kumar B Shirol, Founder Director, ORDI and the father of Nidhi Shirol, “I am glad to see an overwhelming response to the first Race for 7. Today is a historic moment for us as it is for the first time  in India we have seen so many people come  together to create awareness for rare diseases. This support from each one of you has given us a voice which we hope reaches the policy makers. We require everyone’s support to convert this hope into a resultant ‘Rare Disease Policy’.

“When we talk about rare diseases, it’s all in terms of statistics…7000 rare disease, 70 million patients in India, an average of 7 years to diagnose, 50% of those affected are children…and so on,” said Naz Haji. “Behind all these statistics are real people…many born like you and me but who go through the rest of their lives challenged not just by their disabilities but by the lack of knowledge and awareness that exists abut rare diseases. That is why Race for 7 assumes so much importance. It is a platform to build awareness so that a strong ecosystem of various stakeholders can come together to help patients and their caregivers live their lives with hope and dignity so that rare diseases are no longer a statistic.”

ORDI was founded to address the many challenges in the management of rare disease in India. It aims to address the unmet needs of rare disease patients in India and serves as an umbrella organization for rare disease patients and other stakeholders throughout the country. The funds raised from Race for 7 will be utilized to help ORDI in its mission to improve health of patients with rare diseases across India through awareness, advocacy, collaborations and information dissemination.

Jayant Gowda, a youngster suffering from MPS, Type 4 disorder said, “Thank you everyone for coming here and supporting us in creating awareness. We hope all this translates into fruitful results and next year we meet again to celebrate and not just to create awareness.”

Dhanya, a patient suffering from Osteogenesis Imperfecta (a brittle bone disorder), said, “On behalf of all rare disease patients, we would like to thank each and every one for being a part of this event. We are greatly pleased with the response we have received and take pride in the fact that people have extended their support in improving and amplifying the voices of rare disease patients.”

About Organization of Rare Diseases India (ORDI):

Founded in Feb 2014, ORDI is a patient centered non-profit organization with the mission to improve health of patients with rare diseases across India through awareness, advocacy, collaborations and information dissemination. ORDI represents the collective voice of all patients with rare diseases in India to effect government policy making. ORDI has identified and taken on the grand challenges facing the rare diseases community in India and is committed to systematically and holistically addressing those challenges. For more information, please visitwww.ordindia.org or contactus@ordindia.org

For more information, please contact:


Weber Shandwick

+91 9886571641/9591845834




Prasanna Kumar B Shirol

Founder Member – ORDI

+91 9980133300



Chowdiah Memorial Hall – Sunday, the 6th of March, 2016 – 6.15 to 9.30 PM  








“Offbeat 16” will be a music show organized by SMTA, a Non profit to raise funds for the mentally challenged on March 6th at Chowdiah. The press release is attached. We would like it if you could give good coverage as the money raised goes to the mentally challenged people


Warm regards

Sridevi Rao




 India Chapter



“Offbeat 2016” is being organized by SMTA, a non profit in aid of Mentally Challenged

Chowdiah Memorial Hall – Sunday, the 6th of March, 2016 – 6.15 to 9.30 PM



Offbeat, the music show with a difference is back with the 2016 edition by the India chapter of a non profit electronics organization (SMTA) to raise funds in aid of the mentally challenged at Chowdiah Memorial Hall on Sunday the 6th of March from 6.15 to 9.30 PM


The beneficiaries are:

YST: a workshop for the mentally challenged 

Vishwashantiniketan: a group home for the differently abled.


“Offbeat 2016” showcases the unconventional and less celebrated heroes of today’s society, that is the mentally challenged citizens and the less celebrated actors and actresses of Hindi Cinema on whom popular songs have been picturised.


Well known singers will be entertaining you that evening. To name a few, we have Sinchan Dixit, Samanvitha Sharma, Manoj Vashishta, Govind Kurnool and Aniket Prabhu. Singers like Shruthi Bhide, Anoop Kulkarni and Aditya Vittal will also be introduced that evening. Orchestra will be by Pradeep Patkar and team.


Date: Sunday, 6th of March, 2016

Chowdiah Memorial Hall, 16th cross, GD Park Extension, 2nd Main Road, Malleshwaram – Bangalore 560003

Contact: 080 23445810/23443956

Time: 6.15 – 9.30 PM

For info and tickets contact: Rajeev Kulkarni : 9739820374 /

 Dr Vasudha Theertharam : 9886019151

QNET Reiterates Greater Need for CSR Initiatives


           QNET Reiterates Greater Need for CSR Initiatives
            Partners With Lions Club to Donate RO Water Purifiers
at the Christ Faith Home For Children

Bangalore / Chennai, February 28, 2016: QNET, one of Asia’s direct selling leaders and pioneers in e-commerce based direct selling, continued its humanitarian efforts under the CSR banner of We Care donating seven RO water purifiers at the Christ Faith Home For Children – a rehabilitation center for children & women at Chennai. QNET has partnered with Lions Dist. 317 F Service Foundation in this noble effort.
QNET is driven by two important philosophies – Raise Yourself to Help Mankind – RYTHM and InService which encourages selfless service. QNET works with credible NGOs and associations like Lions Club, so as to encourage active involvement of all its employees and independent representatives, on ground. QNET is inspired by the example of selfless service set forth by Mahatma Gandhi.

The QI Group of Companies, the parent company of QNET, is a proud member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Network – the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.

QNET internationally has been working extensively to cater to the needs of homeless and destitute as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. It has been sustaining a health check drive at the Home of Hope, Bangalore, where more than 200 Destitute Adults have undergone a 2 month intense health program through the consumption of NUTRIPLUSTM Protein Power – health supplement from QNET, India.

In India, through its Indian operations, QNET is also a member of Health Foods and Dietary Supplements Association (HADSA).

QNET – WE CARE is a CSR initiative of QNET in India, which supports causes of the underprivileged members of society in various areas right from health of individuals of destitute adults to supporting victims of natural disasters and more. Recently, QNET had also donated Kidney Dialysis units at the Shirdi Sai Hospital, Devasandra, Bangalore.

As a prominent Asian direct selling company, QNET provides a wide range of life enhancing products that are offered through its proprietary e-commerce platform to customers and distributors in more than 100 countries. The company also has some 25 offices and agencies worldwide, and more than 50 stockists, apart from localized operations or franchisees in a number of countries. In UAE QNET operates from 3 locations, offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as a logistics hub in Mussafah.

Established in Hong Kong in 1998, QNET is a member of the Direct Selling Association of Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. QNET is also a part of the Hong Kong Health Food Association and the Health Supplements Industry Association of Singapore among others.
QNET is active in sports sponsorships around the world, including football, badminton and more, due to the company’s strong belief that the drive, passion and teamwork of sports mirrors that of QNET. QNET recently signed a new and exciting partnership with Manchester City Football Club (MCFC), as its official direct selling partner for three years.
The Christ Faith Home For Children since 1986, has been supporting and empowering thousands of parentless children, deserted women and people below the poverty-line through institutions including orphanages, schools and vocational training units.