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Vol 6 Issue No.61 Nov - Dec 2016

Fintech will revolutionise financial sector, advance inclusion Shri V.P. Nandakumar MD & CEO, Manappuram Finance Ltd.

Sherly Regimon

MILAN DESIGN

Nicaragua the cheapest and worthiest tourist location in Latin America

Audi a4 Nov-Dec 2016

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Printed by: Ajit Ravi Published by: Ajit Ravi Owned by: Ajit Ravi Printed at: S T Reddiar P.B. No: 3627, Veekshanam Road, Cochin Published at: Pegasus, L5-106 Changampuzha Nagar Kalamassery Ernakulam-682 033 e-mail: editor@uniquetimes.org uniquetimesindia@gmail.com Ph:0484 3242220, 6555533, 4025666 Mob:+91 98460 50283, 94470 50283 Editor Ajit Ravi Sub-Editor Vignesh Associate Editor Ravi Saini Editor-In-charge Jebitha Ajit Legal Advisor Adv. Sreelatha Parameswaran Correspondents Dr. Thomas Nechupadam Vivek Venugopal- Quarter Mile Bejoy George Amrutha V Kumar Marketing BAHRAIN PRESTIGE MARKETING Tel: +971 55 2000933 Email: gopal@prestigemarketing.in UAE Tamquest Entertainments LLC P.O. Box 232886, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Mr.Safi Mulankaad Clap PR and Events:++971 508414706 Email: riju@tamquestevents.com Tamil Nadu Andhrapradesh & Karnataka PEGASUS Ph: 09288800999 Kerala Sunilkumar NN Your wing Photographer Ashique Hassan Creative Design PEGASUS

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Cover Photograph Sherly Regimon MILAN DESIGN Nov-Dec 2016

Editorial

November is the month of autumn. But for French philosopher and author, Albert Camus, autumn was not a season for sadness. “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”- he said. All successful people think alike. They always see the silver lining in the dark clouds. This issue shares an unusual success story of a female entrepreneur. Sherly Regimon, founder of the fashion store “MILAN”, has woven a sparkling success story in Kochi using her passion for fashion. The DNA of her success lies in innovation. Her fashion store “Milan” found its success by introducing designer materials which Keralites could only see in Bollywood before. What made her unique was her attempt to design exclusively for Kerala. By talking about the digital India programme, V.P. Nandakumar, CEO and MD, Manappuram Finance, says that India is heading for exciting times where technology will be the next big disruptor fostering innovation. In Auto feature, our expert team shares the new secrets of A4, Audi’s hot-selling premium compact sedan. In Travel, we take you to the beauty secrets of Nicaragua, a Latin American country which steeped in political turmoil. What is a quarterly results statement? The stock market article examines this question in detail. Regular articles on cinema, technology, health, beauty, book review, business diary etc. are there. Relax and leaf through with a peace of mind. Enjoy reading.


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CONTENTS

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Fintech will revolutionise financial sector, advance inclusion

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The fabulous tourism business landscape of Kerala

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Milan: exclusive design house for Kerala

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The persuader

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Gadgets

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Recipes

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How to stay young...?

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Nicaragua the cheapest and worthiest tourist location in Latin America

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Audi a4

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UNIQUE DIARY

ATM Fraud: FM seeks report from RBI

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he Finance Minister of India, Arun Jaitley, has asked the respective agencies including RBI, which are investigating the ATM fraud and security breach involving nearly thirty-two lakh debit card, to send the probe report. Several banks have advised the customers to change their pin number immediately. So far, nearly nineteen banks have reported that their customers have experienced fraudulent transactions. In some of the cases, the money has reportedly been withdrawn from foreign countries like US and China. As per the information, there are nearly sixty crore debits cards distributed in the country. Anyway, the security breach has negatively affected the customers. However, an investigation is on. The exact reason of the security crisis and the measures taken by the authorities to overcome the crisis are not yet publicized.

Tax revolution: GST can be paid using credit or debit cards

"Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy". Norman Schwarzkopf

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s per the newly proposed tax system, the Goods and Services tax can be paid online using credit or debit cards. It is said that the new tax system will be beneficial to traders as well as industrialists. If it is implemented properly, it could turn our country into a single market. A senior revenue official informed a national media that the people can use any mode of cash transfer to pay their tax. And, the best part is that we can even transfer our money from the private banks. So, it is not necessary that we should open up an account in a government bank. The government is expected to implement the new tax system from the start of the next fiscal itself.

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MP to further liberalize industrial policies, regulations

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he Madhya Pradesh government is planning to liberalize its industrial policies and regulations. Moreover, the government is reportedly considering an amendment in the law to make sure that the industrialist communities are not detained or prosecuted for their unintentional mistakes. This unusual announcement was made by the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, itself. The state has recently conducted the “Global Investor’s Summit”. It is said that this proposal may have been initially triggered during the discussion session of the summit. Anyway, the experts say that we should not forget the Bhopal gas tragedy. We should not let our people again pay for the unpolished and irresponsible policies formulated by the authorities, they added.

Flipkart’s sales quickly jump up: E-commerce giant prepares for Diwali sale

The golden rule for every business man is this: “Put yourself in your customer’s place.” Orison Swett Marden

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ven before starting the actual Diwali sale, the Flipkart authorities claim that their sales jumped up abruptly this week. They added that they were actually not running any advertisement campaigns or other offers during that period. On the other hand, its rivals were running huge sales campaigns offering huge discounts and gift during that period. The sales of some products like electronic goods and fashion products dramatically spiked nearly three to four time their sale on an ordinary day. It is learned that the e-commerce giant does not expect this kind of sudden hike in their sale. Anyway, it is planning to organize a festival sale on October 25-28. However, if the sales rate is growing like this, at the end of this month the e-commerce giant’s sales average will definitely stand at nearly four times higher than the normal monthly sales average.

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UNIQUE DIARY

MOPE to invest in Dairy Classic

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otilal Oswal Private Equity Investment Advisors is planning to invest nearly one hundred and ten crore rupees in Dairy Classic, a Bangalore-based Ice Cream Company. Earlier also, the MOPE invested in milk products. It seems that the organization find it safe and worthy to invest in milk and milk products. Earlier this year, it invested nearly fifty crore rupees in Parag Milk Foods. Dairy Classic was established in 2003 by a group of young professionals. It offers nearly one hundred and twenty-five varieties of ice-creams. The company has a huge expansion plan. It is likely to construct a big production unit in the outskirts of Bangalore very soon.

Govt plans to amend Aircraft Act 1934

"The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it". Debbi Fields

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n a bid to give more teeth to the Aircraft regulating authorities and security authorities, the NDA-led central government is set to amend the Aircraft Act 1934. The proposal is expected to be presented before the Parliament on this winter session. If the amendment is passed, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security will get more powers to impose fine on the violators. Presently, there are certain regulations, which restrict these agencies to deal with certain violations. Particularly, these agencies cannot deal with the majority of the issues related to pilots, crew members and airlines. Anyway, it is the need of the time because the country recently witnessed a sudden surge in the domestic passenger traffic.

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BUSINESS

Shri V.P.Nandakumar MD & CEO Manappuram Finance Ltd.

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With digital transformation, banks will be able to bring down operating cost and also increase efficiency and productivity to such an extent that serving the needs of customers at the margins actually becomes profitable.


Fintech will revolutionise financial sector, advance inclusion

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T

he digital India programme is a flagship initiative of the Indian government with the vision of “transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.” By deploying the JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile) trinity, the government hopes to extend the reach of the formal financial system to the farthest corners of the country. The masses should be able to get access to the formal banking channels for both savings and loans. With digital transformation, banks will be able to bring down operating cost and also increase efficiency and productivity to such an extent that serving the needs of customers at the margins actually becomes profitable. Promise of Digital Payments The digital payment landscape in India has been

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developing at an exponential pace. Although at a nascent stage, it is witnessing high volumes of digital payment transactions. With a population of over 1.25 billion, India is one of the largest markets for payments. According to a report by Google Inc and Boston Consulting Group, India's digital payments sector growth will be worth around USD 500 billion by 2020, a substantial increase from current estimate of approximately USD 40 – 50 billion. This means the country will observe USD 500 billion flowing through digital payments, which is expected to contribute to around 15 per cent of the country’s GDP. To support this momentum, India will move towards the most advanced digital payment ecosystem over the next five years, backed by Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Aadhaar, as also as

a growing internet user base, smartphone penetration and a conducive regulatory environment. Traditionally, India has been a cash economy. Currency in circulation in India accounts for 18 per cent of the GDP as compares to 3.5 to 8 per cent in the mature markets such as UK, USA etc. In 2015, cash contributed just 20 – 25 per cent of overall consumer payment in developed nations, like UK, USA, France and Germany as compared to 78 per cent in India. However, the trend shows a steady decline, having come down from 89 per cent in 2010 and 92 percent in 2005. Clearly, the rate of shift from cash to non-cash has quickened in recent years reflecting the increased use of non-cash instruments such as cards, and digital payment (electronic/ ECH payment, mobile wallets etc.)


We are heading for exciting times where technology will be the next big disruptor fostering innovation and hastening obsolescence, at a pace that will surely leave many existing players behind.

The government’s objective of financial inclusive is “to bank the unbanked.” The digital push will provide the necessary impetus to the process. As the architect of the UIDAI Shri Nandan Nilekani says, “the government is focusing on minimizing cash and driving financial inclusion and making sure payments are electronic as much as possible. The government spends as much as USD 80 billion annually on different subsidies, all of which will gradually be put on this electronic platform.”

With use of digital payment system, it is estimated that non-cash contribution to payment transactions will increase from current level of 22 per cent to 40 per cent by 2020 and further to 50 per cent by 2025. Of this, digital payments are expected to contribute to around 26 per cent by 2020 and 37 per cent by 2025 according to Google Inc and Boston Consulting Group. Digital Infrastructure It is estimated that of the

USD 500 billion of total payments through digital payments instruments by 2020, the largest contribution would come from person to merchant (P2M) of around USD 200 billion, followed by business to business (B2B) of approximately USD 150 billion and peer to peer (P2P) of around USD 45 billion. To support these volumes, a competitive digital payment landscape has been built-up involving telecom companies, banks, wallet companies, e-commerce / tech firms and, most recently, payment banks.

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Unified Payment Interface (UPI) is an integrated open architecture system that will bring together services like Immediate Payment Service, Automated Clearing House, Rupay etc. onto one platform. UPI provides the infrastructure to all payment services providers (banks, fintechs and payments banks) that will enable secure, real-time peer-to-peer, person-to-merchant and businessto-business payments. Once the UPI is rolled out, individuals and businesses can their manage money held in multiple accounts at different banks through a single mobile application. The smartphone will be turned into a bank. Users will be able to make payments for online purchases as well as groceries and also send and receive money from friends and family. All they have to do is to download a UPI-linked bank app,

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create a virtual identity (like an email address) and share that with the counterparty. It is a matter of pride that India’s UPI is likely to be more advanced than anything available in China or even the West. Big Data Analytics and disruptive change Big data analytics is “the process of examining large data sets to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends, customer preferences and other useful business information.” And big data, in this context, is defined as “extremely large data sets that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions.” Unlike the manufacturing sector, the financial sector does not involve production or logistics

processes. Instead, the sector is required to process a huge volume of real-time transactions backed up by a large volume of historical data to support decision-making. Big data’s potential value is significant here and it will likely set off a series of disruptive changes to the industry. Thanks to technology and modern web based apps, banks can now capitalise on their knowledge of customers’ credit behaviours and build customised and innovative financial products to cater to their requirements. Various traits of customers are being analysed using their social behaviours, spending habits, lifestyle and consumption patterns, and record of re-payment. A customer’s payment profile often reveals the individual’s pattern of behaviour regarding how much they have paid, what they have paid for, who was paid, the banks involved, transaction time and


and thereby provide more individualized and tailored services. What the future holds Financial institutions that master these data-driven advantages will enjoy increased operational efficiency and business performance. From general management at the macro level, the shift will be to “lean management of detailed processes and performance.” Profitcentric will give way to customercentric, and a comprehensive risk-management culture will take over from the current focus on containing collateral-damage. In the coming decade, big data will make inroads into the financial sector at an increasingly faster rate, sparking a new wave of innovation and creativity. It will trigger the emergence of new commercial formats, such as increasingly sophisticated Internet banking and mobile finance. Next-gen technologies like voice-based payments, biometrics and iris authentication through mobiles, QR codes, wearable devices and internet of things will play a significant role in driving the adoption of digital payments. location, and so on. In fact, it says much more about the individual than any social media metric or record. Consequently, where traditional credit card approval methods use simple indicators like income or employment status, banks can now use data analytics to screen new credit card applicants based on analysis of online information about their consumption habits and (online) purchasing behaviours. Simultaneously, the bank can place this information in the wider context of current economic information and local economic ecosystem to understand their customers’ offline behaviours. Based on the picture that emerges, the bank can decide whether or not to accept new customers into its credit system, having duly weighed the customer’s spending potential against the embedded risks.

In the area of risk management, where big data reworks the traditional risk management model with cloud computing, data analytics can significantly improve accuracy of risk estimation and at a much lower cost. Fraud, default in payments and bankruptcies are some common occurrences which weigh on banks’ balance sheet. Data analytics is being increasingly used tool to minimise such occurrences based on the customer credit history and payments pattern. While minimising risk and addressing defaults is one aspect, big data analytics comes into its own when banks design their products and offerings based on the peculiar traits of the customer. This is the area of precision marketing, where big data analytics can sift through huge volumes of data, allowing financial institutions to collect and analyze relevant customer data,

Armed with vast consumer transaction data, many Internet start-ups will also emerge within the financial sector. Their focus will be on creating and capturing what is called “white space” opportunities. These are the new profit growth opportunities that emerge by determining potential gaps in existing markets, either by identifying entirely new markets, or by “mapping incremental innovation in products or services.” In short, we are heading for exciting times where technology will be the next big disruptor fostering innovation and hastening obsolescence, at a pace that will surely leave many existing players behind  V.P. Nandakumar is MD & CEO of Manappuram Finance Ltd. and Chairman of Kerala State Council of CII.

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BUSINESS

Rajesh Nair, Director, Ernst & Young LLP Rajesh is also the President of the Kerala Chapter of TiE Global

Since Kerala was on the International sea route and more importantly international spice route, the cuisine has seen the best of various cultures. The use of coconut and coconut milk, blending with vegetables and meat alike, is a rarity.

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The fabulous tourism business landscape of Kerala

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O

nce you look at Kerala seriously, you will definitely feel that God has been unfairly kind to the state. Bestowed with the topography of the heavens, it presents the best of hills, plains, rivers, lakes and the idyllic coastlines. The sylvan backwaters and the heady city mosaic are sketched with multiple shades of green. A colour, which presents the best of the environment, borders every picture ever clicked in Kerala. Brevity has been conscious for the style of the prose. But, the

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data is vast to fit tomes, when one looks at the ‘TOURISM’ in Kerala. Kerala has been on the radar on many a decade. The natural beauty of the state has been lauded in many a publication including the National Geographic and the Coned Nast traveller. In a rapidly urbanising India , the rest of India also come into Kerala to savour a natural blend of the ‘green’ with the ‘concrete’ – where it has never been a war but a natural symbiotic growth. This is

at a time where the ‘concrete’ seems to be clearly winning over ‘green’ in the rest of the world, why just India. The business case for tourism is also vibrant and compelling. A dollar spend in a sector begets a dollar or two in building the economy in the region. The multiplier is quite high when it comes to manufacturing – roughly $ 4.5 for every $1 spend on the economy. But, for a tourism conducive locality like Kerala – the multiplier for tourism is more $6.7 for every dollar


The Muziris Biennale has proved that Kerala has a world culture breathing in it.

spend. This is because it is not just the employment and the ecosystem that tourism generates but the linkages it has around the entire business landscape! From a business standpoint, there is no debate! The other linkages are too strong to ignore :Traditional Kerala The state is a veritable collage and cultural fusion of the world. The best of Kerala is also seen in Kochi where the best way to understand people is to savour the Onamsadya- a feast organised during the Onam (popular harvest festival). During the festival season, the delicious aroma of cooked rice and beauty of the banana leaves fill the air, spreading enormous

happiness and joy. The banana leaves are brightened by the silver drops of water dancing on the green contours of the leaves. All the dishes are arranged in an order that makes the palate look like a painting. Several islands of colours spread on the leaves. The best of Kerala is not a ‘see and go’ theatre– it is a ‘stay and experience’ proposition! Artistic Kerala The Muziris Biennale has proved that Kerala has a world culture breathing in it. The wide diaspora of Keralites working around the world and profuse indulgence of the Dutch, Jews and Portuguese have given an artistic identity, which not only finds similarity with the global tourist but also presents

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Kerala is among the fastest rising mobile population in India and this prepares for e-commerce in unprecedented ways.

a unique flavour that only Kerala, particularly Kochi, retains. Within a short time since its inception, the Muziris Biennale has been rated amongst the best and is on the world tourist calendar. Egalitarian Kerala The HDI indicators of Kerala are not be scoffed at. The best countries in India and the world will take a decade to reach some of the figures that Kerala boasts of. A society such as this will focus on development locally and show the world that ‘small and local’ will thrive. The conscious society is law abiding and is well aware of its duty and its rights. An exemplary model of secularism and plurality, it has amongst the highest density of religious institutions, where people of different caste and creed celebrate together. The local governance is participative, inclusive and provides last mile governance through a well-networked web of Panchayats and Taluks. Culinary Kerala Since Kerala was on the

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International sea route and more importantly international spice route, the cuisine has seen the best of various cultures. The use of coconut and coconut milk, blending with vegetables and meat alike, is a rarity. The Jew, Portuguese blend has taught us intricate meat and fish dishes, which Keralites have adopted as their own. But the real blend comes from eating an Onam meal (Sadya). The best culinary memory of Kerala is the fabu-

lous feast at noon. The delicious aroma of cooked rice, mingled with cooked vegetables and the wood smoke wafting through the rooms where the banana leaves are laid. The leaves are brightened by the silver drops of water dancing on the green contours of the leaves. The dishes are brought in from the smoke-blackened kitchen, which always had that pleasurable whiff even when there was no cooking. And then, the array of vegetarian


delicacies… ‘Connected’ Kerala Kerala is among the fastest rising mobile population in India and this prepares for e-commerce in unprecedented ways. The average time the young and old Keralite not just connecting but transacting commerce on their phone is reaching astounding levels. Digital literacy is high and slowly the digital infrastructure will swell to

meet the demands. Every service provider has Kochi as one of the priority cities to focus on looking at the potential market of consumers. With the right focus on building infrastructure and ‘smartly’ aligning policies, the sky is the limit. A small incident that comes to my mind now is the media frenzy over the Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple’s hidden wealth. Recently, the media gave exciting news valuing

the temple assets and comparing it to the Vatican and other such much-visited places of spiritual importance. I think that that is not the important tenet around the discovery. I feel that, the important thing is that perhaps the God is indirectly telling the non-resident Keralaite that “all the wealth in the world resides in God’s own Country“! 

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Milan:

exclusive design house for Kerala

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n this edition we present to you someone who has simply etched fashion in her heart. When we spoke with her, we could sense her passion, commitment and determination to make things work, which we are sure will take her to greater heights. Meet, Mrs. Sherly Regimon, who is the artistic brain behind the very popular Milan Design at Cochin. She holds graduation in Physics, completed MCA, and done B.Ed too. However, destiny had an efficacious career for her, right where her heart lies. Milan, in its very small time of inception, has captured every malayalees hearts, with its exceptionally innovative fashion and style. Milan gifted Kerala a new aesthetic sense of adorning an attire. Let’s get into the mind of the master brain behind this rapidly successful venture called Milan. On how did this all began. They were three sisters and a brother. Her hometown Ranni had very few textile shops back then, and hence they used to hit the nearest town Kottayam to purchase clothes. She remembers

how they used to verbally elucidate designs to the tailor. So I should say that the passion for designing on her own was always on her mind. Later she got married into a business family, where her husband ran textile shops in Piravom and Koothattukulam. She used to travel along with her husband for purchasing materials for their shop. This was two decades ago and she used to take mix n match stuff for herself, and her relatives encouraged her fantastic selection. That led her to experiment with a section of her own in the shops, which turned successful. Scores of exhibitions followed later all around Kerala and were all tremendously positive. The idea of expanding the business led her to open Milan in Cochin, the fashion city of Kerala. By now, travelling and fashion has become the utmost thing she loved and it was a unique decision to make her passion her sure-shot business. About her business and progress. It was her dream to intro-

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Sherly Regimon with Family

duce innovative concepts to the people of Cochin. It was a first when Milan introduced designer materials which we could only see in Bollywood before. Each and every material and clothes are handpicked carefully keeping the customer in mind, so that the customer themselves can design an attire as per what they have in mind. Usually, North India makes sarees and dress materials for their own crowd. Sherly used to find it difficult selecting the right garment for a Keralite. That’s when the idea came into her mind to design exclusively for Kerala and bring about an essential fashion sense from our own region. It was definitely a risk to design separately. However, it was worth a trial and a huge hit. She kept finished striking designer and traditionally hand woven kanchipuram and banaras sarees on the ground floor, and do boldly encourages the customer to try out their own designing ideas on the same cloth

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which could be purchased separately on the top floors. This made buying a personal business for the customer. Milan customers thus could feel the attire as their own and could bring in an own touch. The customer could easily add on a personal signature to what they wear and it is special. She vows that it is only after the arrival of Milan, this new wave of designing has come to Cochin. Milan’s research team makes an average of 70 sarees a day. Imported selected fabrics from around the world is introduced to the land of Kerala by Milan. Unlike other players in the market who persuades their own ready-made designs to the clients, Milan boldly encourages their customers to be creative with what they wear. Milan do not endorse repetitive and uninteresting fashion. Sherly heartens fashion which clubs along with comfort as well as being economically viable. Milan provides fashion, style and quality, at par with Bolly-

wood, even below the rates you get in Mumbai. She sources it straight out from the manufacturers even in remote villages. Each season Milan brings about new style. For Onam, Milan introduced amazing florals. The traditionally woven kanchipuram and banaras range is an exotic display. Their self-design Ornamental Bridals and Jewellery Saree was a huge hit in the immediate past. She is extremely happy that she had this brilliant idea popping up in her head, and customers even bring their own ornaments asking Milan to replicate it on the clothing. Sherly is now in preparation of something pioneering panache again for the coming season for December. She conceived the very successful idea of Milan Fabric Festival which displays, exhibits cum sells. Challenges and growth. Travel sometimes was a challenge. Her husband supported her


It was a first when Milan introduced designer materials which we could only see in Bollywood before. Each and every material and clothes are handpicked carefully keeping the customer in mind, so that the customer themselves can design an attire as per what they have in mind.

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Sherly used to find it difficult selecting the right garment for a Keralite. That’s when the idea came into her mind to design exclusively for Kerala and bring about an essential fashion sense from our own region.

immensely in all what she does. She has a son and a daughter. However she does most of the things single-handedly for Milan. She also doubts whether North Indian traders looked at the South Indian buyers condescendingly. However, she admits that there is a tremendous change in the attitude overtime. We see representatives from North canvassing in Kerala all the time nowadays. Hence, the availability of fabrics has increased and we get every kind of material available in the state today. Milan is not selling just clothes, but Milan is selling fashion. Sherly makes sure she purchases fashion materials which will delight her customer and surely will sell-off. She vouches that she will happily travel on road how many ever kilometers from an airport if she can pick up the right stuff for her clients.

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She advices the upcoming generation to do hardwork to succeed and be very focused on all what they do. Commitment will definitely pay you back well. The Inhouse Development. Majority of employees are picked up fresh, and Sherly thinks that experienced hands might come with baggages. She thinks that employees are extremely important in the growth of her business. Hence adequate training is given to all staff in the areas of learning new fashion, and sense of mixing and matching materials, and impeccable customer support. All staffs undergo learning on the values that Milan should hold inorder to treat the customer spotlessly. They huddle every week to remind themselves about new and required learning.

Passion Travelling anytime. Fashion above that. She loves changes, designing novelty, seeing her customers happy. She really loves cooking, however, has given it a short break as she is busy with her work now. Future vision She is thoughtful now on how to make Milan’s presence felt online, that too voguishly. From several ideas and applications that she has considered, she is still trying to develop something exclusively new for Milan. Again, Milan’s research division is always on the move formulating new fashion what the Kerala crowd would yearn for. The design helpline is ever-ready to weave the customer’s heart on the material for them 


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s Mis en Queataka Karn

s Mis en Que gana n a l Te

TM

s Mis du ilna Tam

Event by

s Mis en Querala Ke

s Mis en Que hra d n A

powered by

Reigning Miss South India Ms. Meera Mitun

CONVENTION CENTRE & HOTEL

CAMELOT

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FEATURE

It will be difficult for all to hide and stagnate behind the cover of tradition. Such Veil of ignorance must be busted, internally. Within you lies the strength to remove the cobwebs in your understandings. Vinod Kumar

The persuader T

he plain ground of ten acres lays unused for most part of the year. Just on the outskirts of the city is this mega sized land with no utility value. Nobody would go there for a stroll, a pass time, to play games or even to park vehicles. This is the reason that the organizers of the Music Expo And Concerts (MEAC) chose this as venue for 2016. Suddenly, this scrap land got much value. MEAC became the most popular word trending in city and neighboring township. This sleepy society suddenly woke up. Every individual in this geography became provoked to procure and acquire a piece of the activity called MEAC. Everyone wanted to make profits. A stampede enroute to the path of making gains became imminent. The society has discovered a new mental experience. That is scarcity and deprivation. Before, MEAC decided

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to occupy this scrap land, the individuals and citizens was in a sense of abundance and surpluses. How did this sense of prosperity, downgrade it’ self to lack? The arrival of MEAC and it’s occupying of this piece of ten acre land, that nobody wanted, has kick started new dynamic in behavior. The people became divided. Each began competing with the other. Many fought to retain prominence in this public music concerts. Disputes has now become common, to attract the organizers, to choose appropriate vendors. Contracts will be awarded and nobody wants to be left out. The social map and space became virulent. The tone of confinement and shortages became evident. Now it has opened up to an opportunity for social reformers, to step in and work for social harmony. Have you been in such, situations of hostility between people? Do you have an accountability to resolve


conflicts in your society? Well, we can debate about this topic. But actually, these confrontations, though external to your neighborhood, are not isolated events. Your home may not be isolated or immune from rogue social behaviors. Disorder in any part of your neighborhood can have repercussions in the way you live. The people of your community, can impact the comfort and conveniences that you need. Your parochial and limited social view will be demolished. Now, opening up to learning of demography and new social order will be inevitable.

What method will you use, to scale up your social Reach and Influence? Identify and recognize that many parts of your culture need to be upgraded and updated. It will be difficult for all to hide and stagnate behind the cover of tradition. Such Veil of ignorance must be busted, internally. Within you lies the strength to remove the cobwebs in your understandings. New normals of economic and political indulgences can enhance, your clout and leverage in your society. The objective is to discover the serenity and tranquility that prevailed, before the arrival of

MEAC. Strangely, modernism of MEAC and progress will not be reversed. There are strong equalizers of social conduct and tenets that levelise all equations. These rules and laws will prevail. The lethargy and complacence has to be vanquished. But you want to remain invincible. For this, the method is to train yourself to be the persuader. The persuader will shake off all psychological grips and other controls, upon himself. The persuader is aspiring to be an expert in transactions. The persuader can profile and calibrate the sentiments of the mob and public.

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Are you a coachable person? Will you enhance your responsibility to make a New Harmony Zone in your society? There is an obligation to be engaged in the events and activities of our neighbourhood.

The persuader gets the training to dilute the torments, and diffuse any turbulence in the people. He participates in social issues. The persuader is eager to express spontaneously and work with strong intent. The responses from the persuader has traces of intuition and lots of good luck.

social quotient. Construct the plan by which to improve the way that you live. Decide to be nominated as the social persuader. Social harmony is a result of joint effort. Therefore, you must work to get your listeners to align to the same page, as you.

and activities of our neighborhood. The talent of the future is to be able to converge and merge the people who are polarized. The people have the right to be diverse. But the inclusiveness and the ability to accommodate pluralistic lifestyle can make you the master persuader.

The persuader is benevolent and charitable. He exudes generosity and kindness. The public spirit gravitates to persons who work for other people. You may term it as social conscience.

The lifestyle of the social persuader has three indicators. That is sacrifice, service and austerity. Persuaders get dividends from social capital. They are never ignored, neglected or discarded. The trail and analysis shows that the rise in cost of living, inflation, monthly earnings and inflations does not destroy the social persuader. He has no fear of big purchases like the buying of a refrigerator, car or not even the house. The requirements and home needs are given to the persuader at the cost price.

The people need the education. That the concerts from the Musical Expo And Concerts is limited to a duration of two weeks. After the fortnight, they will dismantle all equipment and leave the city. All the expensive tickets and precious car passes will have lost all value. The entire ground will once again remain wasted. All things that you thought as rare, will become almost garbage. The performances and entertainment will be shelved, as only a memory. The perceptions will change and be transformed.

The centres of social care also comes to help the persuader. The hospitals and services of care are willing to give support, to the social persuader.

The social harmony will be restored. The futility of all confrontations, will become revealed. The persuader need to be alert. The expert persuader must make this, a society of learners. The persuader is the behavior coach. The MEAC is only a temporary activity. The social authority is reward, that stays for the longer time period. Salutes to the social persuader! ď Ź

But there are adversaries to persuaders. The adversaries are rogues and bullies. They charge with duress and are a menace to social harmony. Intimidation to others is a common weapon with rowdies, who coerce those who comply with law. The persuaders are energized and lively. They can activate the people’s attitude, so that the threats can be neutralized. But the skills and talents to be elected as the persuader in society, is not easy to achieve. For, this, we must prepare, work, qualify and be experienced. Everybody has basic abilities. But your honesty, courage, integrity and confidence will help to be a persuader. Invest in your own daily improvement, towards accomplishing, the art of good

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Therefore, take your mind audit. Are you a coachable person? Will you enhance your responsibility to make a New Harmony Zone in your society? There is an obligation to be engaged in the events


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Adv Sherry Samuel Oommen is a practising lawyer at High Court of Kerala who specialises in tax and Corporate Laws. Presently he heads the tax practice of Nash Capital Partners. Prior to Nash, he single-handedly led the entire Tax vertical of KPMG in Kerala. Apart from being a qualified lawyer, he is also a chartered accountant, cost accountant and a company secretary. He is available at sherryoommen@nashcp.com

Since the whole system of GST is supported by the information technology, the need for human intervention should be kept minimum and exercised in clearly defined situations, so that the dealers can do business with a reasonable, simplified, procedures.

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Goods and Service Tax Would there be dual control?


I

n the past couple of weeks, I have been interacting with a few trade associations on the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The question often raised is whether there would be dual control by both the central and state government in the GST era. Further, for traders currently dealing with the State VAT department sole, would they, now, fall

within the purview of the aegis of the central government? Lastly, would the ease of doing business be simpler in the GST regime? A brief The Finance Ministry in its GST FAQs released in August 2016 has clarified that keeping in mind the federal structure of India, there would be two components of

GST– Central GST (CGST�) and State GST (SGST). Consequently, both the centre and the state would simultaneously levy GST across the value chain. The centre would levy and collect CSGST, while the State would levy and collect SGST on all transactions within a state. The input tax credit of CGST would be available for discharging the CGST liability on the output at each stage,

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while SGST would be available for discharging the SGST liability on the output at each stage. Further, no cross-utilization of credit is permissible. My thoughts In light of the above position, a trader who is currently dealing with the State VAT department would now be required to also deal with the officials of the Central Government as well. In my interaction, in unequivocal terms, I have noticed that the very thought of dealing with two departments scares most traders. If such be the scenario, will the promise of “simplification”, as one of the propagated attributes of GST, ever fructify? Will this help India Inc’s cause in moving up the ranks in the scale of ‘Ease of Doing Business’? These are issues that the GST Council would need to address seriously. As a possible solution, I would

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believe that the GST council should consider adopting threshold limits for the purpose of determining duality of control. For instance, traders’ upto a turnover of INR 5 crores would only be subject to assessment by the state GST Department and in other cases, by both. Further, persons not making inter-state purchases can be handled solely by the state GST Department. This would help in the ease of doing business. Further, I would also suggest that since the whole system of GST is supported by the information technology, the need for human intervention should be kept minimum and exercised in clearly defined situations, so that the dealers can do business with a reasonable, simplified, procedures. The ‘Model GST Law’ has specific provisions of human intervention and use of discretionary powers by officers.

For instance, Section 45 of the GST law provides that the proper officer may scrutinize the return and related particulars furnished by the taxable person to verify the correctness of the return in such manner as may be prescribed. The said officer shall inform the taxable person of the discrepancies noticed during the course of scrutiny and seek the explanation of the dealer. If the explanation of the dealer is found acceptable, no further action shall be taken. One can only assume that the vesting of such unfettered discretionary would only open the flood gates of confusion, needless complexities leading to harassment. I would urge industry associations, specifically the trade associations, to actively discuss these issues with the Government. Or else, doing business in the country will turn into a nightmare


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How to analyse quarterly results statement

In the current scenario, when most of the companies are reeling under debt pressure, the interest cost becomes an important figure. Any reduction in the debt cost is considered as a positive factor for the company. Currently, many companies are undergoing debt restructuring plans,and it directly impacts interest cost

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According to the SEBI guidelines, it is compulsory for the listed entities to declare their quarterly financial results. There is a prescribed format in which financial performance of the company is to be updated to the exchanges. Over the years, SEBI has made many improvisations in making it simple and inclusive. While it is a compulsion for the companies to announce results in a prescribed format and time frame, it comes as an opportunity for investors as quarterly results surely make an impact on the share prices on bourses. As the results dates are announced in advance, there is always an opportunity for market participants. Equity markets run on expecta-

tions, and hence there is always a built up of expectations ahead of results. On the results day, there comes a reaction based on actual numbers announced by the company. While it is difficult to provide estimates, it is surely easier to analyse the results statement. And, as fast as we analyse or decode the results statement, it provides us better opportunities to take a rational decision. Going ahead in this article, we are providing a few pointers that would help the readers understand the quarterly results statement in a simple and better manner. Quarterly Results Statement As mentioned earlier, there is a prescribed format for presenting quarterly results; and the com-

panies announce the results for four quarters viz.- March, June, September and December. Usually, the March quarter is the last quarter of the fiscal as in India our Fiscal year starts from the first day of April and ends on the last day of March. The last quarter results of the fiscal year are most important ones as not only it provides whole year results analysis, but also the company management announces guidance commentary for the next fiscal. There are few companies where other quarters are yearly close. However, most of the companies are now realigning with March quarter yearly ending. Following is a format for Quarterly results of Voltas Ltd.

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While analysing the quarterly results statements, there are few basic factors. Like, if a company announces both stand alone and consolidated results, we have to analyse consolidated results and not the stand alone ones. Just to put an example, in the case of the infrastructure companies, real estate companies or the ones having subsidiaries abroad, there is a great amount of difference in stand alone and consolidated figures.

other few manufacturers are to be analysed on year on year (Y-o-Y) basis. Other sectors, including services segment like IT, Banking, Telecom, and Retail, are to be analysed on sequential (Q-o-Q basis).

The second factor is that we have to compare quarterly results with previous results and that comparative analysis provides us a lot of insights. However, one needs to understand which quarter to consider for comparison. Like, in few sectors, we need to consider sequential performance. And, in some cases, it is better to consider yearly analysis. To make it simple for our investors, all cyclical sectors like Cement, Steel, Sugar and

Net Sales First and the foremost parameter is sales growth. For analysis purpose, we consider net sales figures and not the gross sales. We have to decode the sales growth further, as it comprises of volume growth and price (realization) growth. If growth in the net sales is volume based, it is considered better as compared to price growth. The simple factorprice-rise eventually affects the volume growth as consumers are

Decoding the Quarterly Results Statement Going ahead in the article, we have provided important parameters to be analysed from the income statement of quarterly results.

price sensitive. Further, an increase in volumes also makes sure that the capacity utilisations are higher, resulting in better operating leverage. Here, there are few more aspects to it, like for realty companies it is not the results that matters.However, we have to analyse how the realization per square feet has moved over the few quarters. Similarly, for telecom companies, it is the average revenue per user (voice / data). To put it in the simple words, sales growth is a result of price and volume growth. And, if the growth is driven by volumes, it is considered as good. In the case of the price growth, if the company is able to pass on the additional raw material cost to users it is considered as positive. Further, to extend on same lines, segment wise performance analysis is also important. Shree Cement has Power and Cement as major segments. In Grasim also,

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there are four segments. Analysing which segment is driving growth is very important. In simple terms, one poor segment may be a drag on the overall performance of company despite other segments performing well. Apart from this organic and inorganic growth (through acquisitions) should be adjusted for. Other Income Next important parameter is other income. We have to closely analyse the contribution of other income to the profitability. If the other income is regular (despite higher contribution to profitability), it is not alarming. In the case of Banks (other income is an integral part) and few companies with subsidiaries (providing dividends) it is a common scenario. However, if there is frequent fluctuation in other income, we need to be a bit cautious. Expenditure While income is an important part where growth is important, expenditure is where the company needs to remain very vigilant. If sales is increasing, naturally expenditure would also increase. Hence, in the case of manufacturing companies, we have to consider the expenses as a percentage of sales. How much extra sales requires extra expenses. If the percentage remains same or lower, it is considered as a positive factor. In expenses, the focus also needs to be on how much is being spend on employees. Usually, for a company in a growth mode, it increases every quarter. Further, the expenses also comprise of depreciation amount. There are two aspects to it. The first factor is that the increase in depreciation amount indicates that there is capex being undertaken. This indicates towards company’s expansion plans. The second factor is that this impacts the profitability but we have to look at the cash profit generated as depreciation is added back. Hence, the depreciation is an important parameter to be analysed. In the services sectors like IT and Banking, it does

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not make an impact. However, in Telecom, which is a high capital intensive industry, the depreciation figures are important. In the current scenario, when most of the companies are reeling under debt pressure, the interest cost becomes an important figure. Any reduction in the debt cost is considered as a positive factor for the company. Currently, many companies are undergoing debt restructuring plans, and it directly impacts interest cost. In Banking and financing companies, it is an integral part of the business and hence needs to be looked differently. EBIDT Margins Margins indicate how efficient the company has been in terms of utilising its resources. Look for margin expansion, especially earnings before interest, depreciation and tax (EBIDT). If the EBIDT margin last quarter was 25 per cent and if the same if 22 per cent this quarter, it is a sign that margins are under pressure. This could be due to higher costs including input costs, increase in wages or lower realisations. The important factor is that the company has to be consistent on the margin front. Higher fluctuations on the margin front show that the company has been inconsistent in resources utilisation. As regards the growth in margins, any higher and sudden growth in margins needs to be watched closely. Any inventory gains and sudden decline in raw material prices should be moderated. However, if higher margins are sustainable, it is a positive factor. PAT While arriving at a profit after tax figure, there is one important factor known as the tax. Analysis of tax is very important. A few of the companies enjoy tax benefits for having manufacturing units in certain areas. If those tax holidays are over the taxation figures also impact the bottomline of companies. Though a rationalisation of taxation is under way, till the final implementation tax figures need to

In this article, we are providing a few pointers that would help the readers understand the quarterly results statement in a simple and better manner.


be analysed carefully. While analysing the PAT in quarterly results, we need to focus on PAT margins. Adjustment for minority shareholders should be watched closely. Further, any extraordinary income or losses should also be adjusted. Like, the profit from the sale of properties and sale of investments should be deducted. And, any extraordinary losses should also be adjusted accordingly. As for earning per share (EPS), we see basic EPS and diluted EPS. Basic EPS is the total earnings per share based on the number of shares outstanding. Diluted EPS is a company’s earnings per share calculated using fully diluted shares outstanding (includes the

impact of the stock option or convertible securities). An increasing trend of EPS is a sign of a company performing well and generating profits. Notes and Management Commentary While the financial performance is one part, notes at the bottom of results statement should also be read carefully. Many a times few important adjustment are mentioned in notes -like the change in accounting policies, re-arrangement of figures, and investment value diminution. Further, any prior period adjustments are also mentioned. Finally, it is the management

commentary or conference all that makes an impact on share price. Like, in the recent case of Infosys June 2016 quarter results, the results managed to meet the street estimates. However, cut in guidance for FY17 as a whole from 11 percent to 8-9 percent resulted in weakness in stock price. Similar was the case with L&T in the previous quarter when it increased its guidance for order intake and stock was positive despite below street estimate results. Above mentioned are few of the important aspects for quarterly results statement analysis. If it is followed with principles, it can provide a good opportunity to maximise profitability for the investors ď Ź

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Android 5.1 Lollipop OS 8 MP Primary Camera 2 MP Secondary Camera 5 inches Display 2 GB RAM 16 GB Internal Memory 128 GB Expandable Memory 4G support 2 GHz Octa core Processor


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COOKERY

Toshma Biju

ORANGE WINE

Ingredients

• • • •

Oranges........................ 10nos Sugar............................ 11/2 kg Water............................ 5 litres Yeast............................. 1teaspoon

Method Wash and dry the oranges. Now, cut the orange segments out and crush it well to release the juice. Bring the juices to a boil. Pour the water on top of the crushed oranges, zest, and sugar. Cool it. Put it into a big Bharani. Add all the ingredients together, and give a good stir. Cover for a week stirring every day. On the 10th day strain the wine and discard the solids. Keep the liquid for another 20 days. Then, bottle the wine and rack it.

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GRAPE WINE

Ingredients

• • • • • • •

Black Grapes................ 4 kg Sugar............................ 4 kg Water............................ 4 litres Yeast............................. 2 teaspoons Luke Warm Water........ 1/2 Cup (for dissolving the yeast) Cloves........................... 3 Sugar............................ 1/2 Cup (for caramelizing)

Method Clean and wash the grapes well. Dissolve yeast in luke warm water and keep it aside. Mash the grapes with your hands. Add half the quantity of sugar to the crushed grapes and mix well. Transfer the crushed grapes and sugar mixture to the jar. Add the dissolved yeast and Cloves to the jar. Add water to the jar. Mix everything well. Keep the jar closed and airtight for around 21 days. Stir the mixture with a wooden spatula on alternate days for 21 days. After 21 days, strain the grape pulp mixture into another vessel using a muslin cloth or a clean unbleached cotton cloth. Add the remaining sugar and mix well. Keep it for another 21 days so that the sediments settle down and the wine becomes clear. Strain the mixture again using a muslin cloth without disturbing the sediments. If you wish to caramelize the wine, you can do it a few days before straining. Store the wine in clean, dry, glass bottles.

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PINEAPPLE WINE Ingredients

• • • • •

Pineapples....................... 1 kg Lemons........................... 2 Water............................... 5 bottle (5*650 ml) Sugar............................... 2 kg Yeast................................ 2 teaspoons

Method Slice the pineapples and place it in the pan with 5 bottles of water. Bring the pan to the boil, and then simmer for 15 minutes. Add the sugar and the juice of the lemons. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Then, cool it. Add the yeast. Then, put the lid on with the air-trap in place. Leave it in a warm place for 7 days, stirring daily. After 7 days, clean the fermenting bin, leaving the sediment behind. Fit an air-trap, and leave it to stand for 1 month.

GINGER WINE Ingredients

• • • • • •

Crushed ginger................ 1/4 kg Water............................... 2 1/4 bottles Sugar............................... 1 1/4 kg Dried chilli....................... 10(crushed) Citric acid........................ 2 tsp Sugar............................... 3 teaspoons (for caramelizing)

Method Place the ginger in a plastic fermenting bucket. Then, pour over 1 bottle of boiling water. Cover and leave it for nearly 24 hours. Then, add remaining water, sugar, yeast, and dried chilli it until the sugar is dissolved. Cover and leave to ferment for three or four days. Then, add citric acid and caramelized sugar. Then, transfer it into a Bharani. Fit a bubble trap and allow it to ferment for a couple of months. Then bottle it.

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BEAUTY

How to stay young...? I

t is told that "look young when you are old, as opposed to looking old when you are young". Youth is a gift but the way we utilize it is where we see the success. When it comes to the traditional relatives that we have, our youth ends when we cross 30. But is it so? Why do women age fast after 30? Our body and brain believe in that and thus it is reflected in our appearance as well. It is possible for you to look very young and ravishing when you hit 60. Look at how astounding Aishwarya Rai looks in "ae dilhaimushkil" and had dynamic chemistry with Ranbir Kapoor, someone lot younger than her. Actress Ellen Burstyn had to be given prosthetics and makeup to older in "interstellar" and she herself was 80. Beauty is a matter of perspective and, though we can't

control aging, we can look the way we want to. All you will be needing is some fine tips. Here are some simple yet effective ways. Use natural products It is a general notion that movie stars look young because they use a lot of makeup and camera and Photoshop will alter the appearance. The fact that makeup affects skin is indeed a big question. When used the right way, it is beneficial for us. Most of the makeup products have artificial ingredients and chemicals. We won't feel the effect currently, but it enhances the change 15-20 years from now. Skin wrinkles and darkens. Sometimes, rashes will appearance and you will have to spend a lot on repairing that. So, use natural products. Turmeric powder -milk combination is the most popular option.

Apply it on your face and wait till dry. Then soak your face again and wait for another 10 minutes. Don't pull your facial muscles during the process. After that rinse your face with water and wipe off the mask by circling your fingers over the skin slowly. Honey-milk combination has the same effect. You may use Ayurveda products with doctor's advice. Natural anti-oxidants combat with aging process without collateral damages. Lifestyle In this urban population, it is literally difficult to keep a check on the lifestyle, but it is a necessary element. Avoid too many junk food and replace it with fresh fruits and vegetables. Drink lemon juice every day as it has natural anti-oxidants in it. Applying lemon on your face is also equally effective. Green tea, grapes, berries, nuts, whole grains, and fish, are the major food items with anti-oxidant properties in them. If you have a smoking habit then consider quitting as it is one of the most destructive forces that induces aging and limit alcohol to home-made red wine and cham-

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pagne. Wash your face after going out every day and do this several times a day to remove deposits of pollutants on your face. Make sure that you give priority to the area under your eyes and neck as they contain the softest muscles in human body. Exercise daily. Do at least sit ups, bending and walking processes daily. Climb a flight of stairs 5 times every day. Food items Since aging is something that we can't keep track on, having few things in your hands will help you in preventing it such that you don't have constantly worry about it. Apart from Lime juice, eating tuna, sardines and anchovies are good because they contain omega 3 fatty acids and other antioxidants. Have them in your diet on a regular basis. Probably you are aware of this trivia "chocolate is good for health". Eat dark chocolate. Avoid refined carbohydrates products like sugar, "maida" and white bread as much as you could as they contain oxidants. Just follow these methods the best way you could. One thing that you will have to remember is that you should start it as early as possible, today if necessary. Only then, the process will be effective. So, sit back and enjoy. Excelsior! ď Ź

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The best time to visit this country is January-June. During that period, the local weather is somewhat adjustable to the foreigners.

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Nicaragua

the cheapest and worthiest tourist location in Latin America

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T

his country was not very popular until it embraced a violent revolution in 1960s and 1970s. The diverse culture and demography were not at all an issue for the Nicaraguans. But, they never tolerate dictatorship or colonial rule. Keeping aside all odds, these people belonging to the diverse community united together to fight the social evils. Earlier, this country was a Spanish colony. Later, the country acquired independence in 1821. After that, this Latin American country witnessed several issues including political crisis and financial struggle. Putting an end to all struggles, a muchneeded revolution perpetrated by the Nicaraguans had forcefully erased the taints, and gifted a new identity to the country. The citizens of this country are mostly friendly people. They are very enthusiastic to encourage and entertain their guests. The natural diversity and beauty turn this country into one of the most popular tourist locations in the Latin American region. Now, Nicaragua is a representative democratic republic. So, it is also one of the safest places. When we think about Nicaragua, the first thing comes into our mind is Corn Island. We cannot completely describe the beauty of this land by avoiding this island. The Corn Islands are two islands located in the east of Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. Its beautiful beaches and calm atmosphere make this one of the fascinating tourist locations. It is a perfect place to try scuba diving and snorkelling. Green sea turtles, nurse sharks, hammerhead sharks, and Barracudas are some of the marine life that can be seen in and around the island. Spanish is the official language of the country, but some native tribes living in the eastern coastal

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region speak their own indigenous languages. The best time to visit this country is January-June. During that period, the local weather is somewhat adjustable to the foreigners. But, even in that season, sometimes you will feel hot and dusty. It depends on the location that you choose to visit. Just like its natural beauty, the climate of this region is also somewhat diverse. San Juan del Sur is a comparatively developed region in this country. It is famous for its beaches and parties. It is located in southwest Nicaragua. The road connectivity from this place to other cities

is fairly better. You can choose this place as a central destination point. The ‘Sunday Funday’ party is definitely a craziest thing that you will get to experience here. Unlike other weekend parties, this party starts at 2 PM. It is better to learn about this party clearly before joining this crazy fun. Nicaragua is actually the land of volcanos. You should compulsorily visit at least one volcano to say that you have entirely explored this beauty of this land. If you don’t want to miss an opportunity to see a living volcano, visit Concepcion and Maderas. It is situated in Ometepe island, located


in Lake Nicaragua. You can actually hike both islands. If you want to explore it deeply, you must hike at least one volcano. As I told you earlier, this country is blessed with diverse culture, tradition, demography, weather, and natural beauty. Even after the rigorous invasion and suppressive administration, the country still preserves the beauty of diversity. This is the first and most relevant lesson we learn from the Nicaraguans.

To see some colonial ruins and architecture, we can visit Granada. You might feel that this city is a little bit different from other cities in the country.

To see some colonial ruins and architecture, we can visit Granada. You might feel that this city is a little bit different from other cities in the country. Their food, culture, architecture, and even Spanish accent are totally different from the other regions. You can actually point out several colonial ruins and colonial cultural traces in this ancient city. Here also, you can see a volcano. Masaya- a semi-active volcano- is located near this city. You can actually use the local bus service- the Chicken Bus- for your journey. By doing so, you can considerably reduce your travel

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At last but not least, you should visit Somoto canyon. I am sure that it will be the best part of your journey. It is actually not a tourist destination.

56

expenses considerably. It is surely a fun bus. The bus staffs and locals are too friendly that you will not feel like traveling in an alien country. Anyway, it does not mean that the roads are good. You will definitely feel that you are traveling in an under-developed country.

Anyway, do not try street foods unless you are very sure that it is good to eat. You may get several variety dishes here. The cost may also be reasonable but it does not mean that it is safe to eat. Think twice before trying a new, unfamiliar, dish.

The most interesting fact about this country is we do not have to pay a single penny in the hospital. Again, it does not mean that you will not be affected by any diseases. Even if you are affected by a disease, you will get a free treatment in the hospital. For that reason, we should admire their administration. Even if they are struggling for money, they do not let their people struggle. The medical security and social security are the need of the time.

At last but not least, you should visit Somoto canyon. I am sure that it will be the best part of your journey. It is actually not a tourist destination. So, it is a least explored territory. It is always fun to explore an unexplored land. You may find it hard to locate an accommodation or western style hotels here. But, I must say that the local hotels situated in this region are far better than the expensive western hotels. Moreover, the best part of the journey is swimming in the

Nov-Dec 2016

canyon. It is always better to hire a local tourist guide. You can taste some different local dishes here if you are extremely enthusiastic in experiencing diverse food. Guadlupe Church Granada, Museum EI Ceibo, Puerto Salvador Allendr, Catedral de Granda, Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia, Chocomuseo Granada, Iglesia de La Merced, Mombacho Volcano, Montelimar Beach, Leon Cathedral, Indio Maz Biological Reserve, Masaya Volcano, Islets of Granada, and Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve are some of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. If you love to spend an eventful vacation and to experience the natural diversity and cultural diversity, plan a trip to Nicaragua ď Ź


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AUTO REVIEW

VIVEK VENUGOPAL

The new A4 (internal code name B9) sure looks wider than its predecessor, the B8. The new headlamps are slimmer and the top end model gets the matrix LED treatment.

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Audi a4

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W

hile it may not look much different from its predecessor, this is the new A4 – Audi’s hot-selling premium compact sedan. The A3 may be the brand’s entry-level car currently, but the A4 has always been a sales topper, rubbing shoulders with the Q3. Now, while replacing that, the Audi India went conventional with the styling and radical with its choice of engine. There are no 3.2 V6 or 2.0 litre TFSI or even a 2.0L TDI, this time. As of now, the only engine

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the new A4 comes with is the 1.4-litre turbo petrol– it is same as the one that you get in the base Skoda Octavia or VW Jetta. Audi says that they are on the right track with this, when the market is moving towards petrol car and claims it delivers 17.4kmpl. They also say that the new car is only 0.3 seconds slower taking 8.5 seconds to do 0-100kmph. Now, I understand downsizing, but I am sorry, it looks like a step backward when an all-new model is almost 100 kgs lighter yet slower overall than its predecessor. Bring on the nice engines, Audi.

The new A4 (internal code name B9) sure looks wider than its predecessor, the B8. The new headlamps are slimmer and the top end model gets the matrix LED treatment. The front grille has taken on the latest hexagonal theme and the air dams underneath are now more pronounced. The wing mirrors are not mounted on the door than on the A pillars. The silhouette and rear are very similar to the old car, but there are stronger character lines all around. The familiarities with the old A4 is so obvious. But, it has become more aerodynamic with an impres-


sive Cd of 0.23. Insides the A4, it feels more Q7 than any Audi sedan on sale right now. The dashboard is very similar to the one in the flagship SUV, and the introduction of the virtual cockpit will surely have you floored. The traditional gauges have been replaced by virtual ones on a highresolution TFT screen like we first saw on the latest TT. Not only is it now possible to configure the colour and layout to suit different driving modes, but also the dials make way for the satellite navigation system which is way more convenient than taking your eyes off the road to look at the screen on the centre console. We were not big fans of the unnecessarily large AC vent running the length of the entire dashboard, but the quality everywhere is top notch. The MMI Screen doesn’t fold away, but is sure nice with great graphics. The

front seats are even more shape than before and it is a nice place to be in for a long drive. The rear seat seems to have been moved lower and further back to liberate more space, although this means, slightly more difficult ingress and exit. Overall, the cabin feels nice and cosy and there is choice of all black and black-beige interiors. The 1395cc engine is pretty high tech, with built-in exhaust headers, direct injection, turbo charging and many more. It produces 150bhp and 250N-m. It is mated to an equally high-tech 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and the combination works well in day to day city driving, giving you a smooth, jerk-free experience. It is when you demand some acceleration that the car struggles. There is a moment of hesitation before the engine gets into boost and the gearbox finds

itself in the right gear. Then, it has to work hard to the redline for some actual oomph, sounding a little-strained while at it. It gets annoying after a while when you know you have to cane it out of its comfort zone to do an overtaking maneuver that you give up driving fast and settle down to a relaxed cruise. This was never the case with the earlier 1.8 TSI, 2.0 TSI or the 3.2V6 – all three urged you to drive faster and faster. The handling is benign but it is the ride quality that has gone leaps ahead with this generation. It rides superbly over bad roads with its raised suspension. The bumps are absorbed with absolute ease and there is no unwanted bounciness or floaty feeling over undulating surfaces. The steering is sharp and the brakes feel adequate; so no complaints there ď Ź

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MOVIE REVIEW

Shivaay

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his is an action drama produced and directed by Ajay Devgan. The story revolves around a Himalayan mountaineer who transforms into an extraordinary man to protect his family. The film is packed with several action sequences. It discusses an emotional story. We could say that Ajay Devgan marked a noteworthy comeback with his spectacular film. Apart from Ajay, Sayesha Saigal, Erika Kaar, Abigail Eames, and Vir Das appear in prominent roles in the film. The film is getting good reviews from the audience. It can be categorised as a technical film. The director extensively used the technology to enrich the scenes. It is worthy to watch. Celebrate this Diwali with Shivaay.

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

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t is a typical Karan Johar film. So, we have no doubts whether it is a romantic drama or not. It is definitely a mind-blowing romantic film. The film revolves around a girl who develops a budding romance with a singer. In each scene, the magical hand of this master director is extensively evident. After a brief break, the quintessential actress, Aishwarya Rai, appears in a prominent role in this film. Moreover, the King Shah Rukh khan, also become a part of the film by giving a guest appearance. So, in all sense, it is a very special film. The film made this Diwali even more romantic. Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma demonstrate marvelous performance.

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Nov-Dec 2016


Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

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his movie is a crime thriller directed by Edward Zwick. It is the latest of the Jack Reacher Film Series. Tom Cruise, the most loved action hero, appears in the lead role. The story of the film revolves around investigator Jack Reacher who embarks on a mission to prove that his former colleague is innocent. The central character believes that his former colleague who was accused of treason by the authorities is wrongly implicated in the crime. In the end, Mr Reacher confronts a bitter reality. Cobie Smulders acts as the Reacher’s friend, Susan Tuner. Apart from Mr Cruise and Ms Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Madalyn Horcher, and Robert Catrini perform in the prominent roles. The film is produced by Tom Cruise and Don Granger.

Doctor Strange

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his movie is a science fiction directed by Scott Derrickson. It actually narrates a strange story. The movie will take you directly into the complicated world of fictions. Benedict Cumberbatch performs in the lead role as Doctor Stephen strange. This strange doctor’s life changes dramatically after a terrible car accident. In some scenes, we will feel that Doctor Strange is trying to use an unconventional method to heal his pain. The story of the movie is written by Scott Derrickson, C Robert Cargill, and Jon Spaihts. Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and Mads Mikkelsen act in the prominent roles. The critics assure that the film will be unpredictable and intriguing.

Nov-Dec 2016

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BOOK REVIEW

Small Great Things Author : Jodi Picoult Price : `1164 (approximately)

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he writer took a complicated subject in her new emotional novel. The racial fights and racial discriminations have always been a sensational subject across the world, especially in the United States. The writers several times portrayed heart-breaking stories on this subject as an effort to eliminate this social evil from their society. Here, Ms Jodi, one of the renowned writers of US, who wrote nearly twentythree novels, takes us to the life of Ruth Jefferson, a black nurse working in a labour ward. In this novel, the black lady mistakenly or unintentionally kills a white baby. The story enters into a real twist when a white attorney decides to defend the black lady. It is necessary to create mutual understanding and trust between a lawyer and a client, so both of them starts learning each other finding their mistakes and eliminating prejudiced beliefs.

Replica Author : Lauren Oliver Price : `812 (approximately)

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his novel is a ‘flip book’. You can find two versions of the same story in a single book. You can turn this flip book in one way and read Lyra’s story. On the other side, you can read Gemma’s story. It is an extremely emotional story. Each version contains several heart-breaking revelations. Altogether, it is a fantastic classic work. The writer is the co-founder of content development company Paper Lantern Lit. The film rights to this novel were reportedly acquired by Awesomeness TV. We can find some mesmerizing characters in this novel. I warn you these characters are too good that it will not leave you even if you leave the book.

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Nov-Dec 2016


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CLASSIC ASSOCIATES O.S. 58, G.C.D.A. Shopping Complex 4th floor Marine Drive, Kochi- 682031, Kerala, India Call us: 0484 - 3043133 Email: nishijith.john@gmail.com Nov-Dec 2016

65


BOOK REVIEW

The Mothers Author : Brit Bennett Price : `1057 (approximately)

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t is an extremely intriguing novel written by a Stanford University graduate, Brit. It is her first novel. Through this novel, we are getting a new promising writer for the fascinating world of fiction. The book discusses love, secrets, and ambition. The word ‘what if ’ is one of the prime elements of the story. We all used this word in some situation or other. More often, we use this word to purposefully erase a mistake in our past and to paste a new future. It is somewhere closely connected to your imagination. Here, the main character of the story also wants to ask herself that what if would have happened if she took a different decision in the past.

Two By Two Author : Nicholas Sparks Price : `1084 (approximately)

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he master storyteller now comes with a remarkable story of unconditional love. This story says that nothing in this word is stable. Once, Russell Green was a happy husband leading a happy family. Suddenly, without giving a proper explanation, the time took his happiness leaving behind a big surprise of single parenting. The story also indirectly says we have an inborn quality that helps us to learn and explore. Here, through an unexpected responsibility, he finds himself. Moreover, he finds happiness and his life again. Surprises are the gift of time. Our duty is to find happiness in it whether it is an unpleasant surprise or good surprise. This journey of him through the reality is terrifying as well as rewarding. This hard journey extensively tests his emotional stability and internal strength.

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Nov-Dec 2016

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Nov-Dec 2016

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