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Interview Mr Kunal Kumar: India’s Smart Cities Mission, perspective for French companies

Aurélien Sostaponti - 31-mai-2019 07:10:45
BUSINESS FRANCE IN INDIA India’s Smart Cities Mission Perspectives for French companies on the occasion of Ambition India 2019 – Business France Replies by: Mr Kunal Kumar Joint Secretary (Mission Director – Smart Cities), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India Q1. Could you please provide a brief introduction of India’s Smart Cities Mission (SC Mission)? India’s Smart Cities Mission was launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on June 25, 2015. The main objective is to promote cities that provide holistic and integrated infrastructure and a great quality of life to their citizens while maintaining a clean and sustainable environment. The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development and idea is to look at compact areas, create replicable models which will act like lighthouses to other aspiring cities. The process of selection of 100 smart cities was based on the principle of Cooperative and competitive federalism —all cities were given equal opportunity to enter through All India Challenge conducted in four rounds. The cities competed in a two-stage challenge process at the State and Central level. Key features of this process were Citizen Engagement and City Empowerment where cities were encouraged to decide their aspirations and execute them with support from Central and State Government. Integration, innovation and sustainability are guiding principles of the Smart Cities implemented through provision of integrated infrastructure and services, promoting circular economy and sustainable habitats, reimagining paradigms of governance and spurring innovation in delivery of solutions. Technology is one of the many instruments that smart cities are adopting to solve urban challenges. Inclusiveness is built into the mission to ensure that each and every citizen benefits from the urban transformation that is taking place in the smart cities. Each Smart City has formulated its own concept, vision, mission and plan (Smart City Proposal--SCP) which is appropriate to its local context, resources and level of ambition. Every SCP includes core-infrastructure elements such as assured water supply, electricity supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient mobility and public transport, affordable housing, safety and security, health and education. Smart Solutions in SCP include a bouquet of services that ensure that service delivery levels are achieved and measured, citizen services are seamlessly delivered, grievances are timely registered and resolved and safety is increased through video surveillance and monitoring. Q2. Please share some highlights of the progress of the Smart Cities Mission since its launch in 2016? Since the launch of the mission in June 2015, the work has progressed at a brisk pace. 100 cities were selected over a period spanning from January 2016 to June 2018. Post selection, each city has incorporated an SPV or Special Purpose Vehicle, with dedicated management and organisation structure to drive the project implementation and other initiatives of the mission. The SPV has appointed the project management consultant (PMC) that will support the SPV in planning, design and implementation of the projects. The projects can be broadly categorised into four themes : • Ease of Living - urban mobility, affordable housing, water and sanitation, safety and security, vibrant open spaces • Smart Governance – Integrated Command and Control Centres, Smart Card, Online Services, Intelligent Traffic Management System, Smart Poles • Connected Communities – Smart Education/ Classrooms, Skill Development, Public Art, Built Heritage • Urban Resilience – Solar and Wind Energy, Waste to Energy Plants, Green Buildings, Energy Management The 100 smart cities have proposed to execute 5 151 projects worth € 26.65 billion (INR 2 05 018 crores) in 5 years from their respective dates of selection. Financial innovation is built in the design of their capital investment plans. 64 % of the total projects i.e. 3492 projects, worth € 17.16 billion (INR 1 32 068 crore) have been tendered in SCM of which work orders have been issued in 41 % i.e. 2745 projects worth € 11.32 billion (INR 87 131 crore). 860 projects worth € 1.88 billion (INR 14 465 crore) have been completed. This is a significant increase in pace of implementation—289 % increase in tendered projects and 358 % in implementation/completed in last 16 months! Mission Cities have successfully expedited work on key projects which include: Integrated Command and Control Centers (ICCC) in 71 cities with operational in 16 cities; Smart streets projects in 69 cities; Smart Solar energy projects in 47 cities; Smart Water management projects in 67 cities; Smart Waste Water management projects in 56 cities. Projects are being executed through Public Private Partnerships in 61 cities. Q3. With regards to the Indo-French cooperation on Smart Cities, what views would you like to share? The relationship between India and France dates back to several decades and has been scaling heights in recent years. Indian Prime Minister paid a landmark visit to France from 09-12 April 2015. Former French President Hollande paid State visit to India during 24-26 January 2016 and was our chief guest for India’s Republic Day celebration. Our Prime Ministers have been meeting regularly on different platforms. The scale of cooperation between the two countries may be understood from the fact that almost 1000 French companies are present in India with a total turnover of more than € 17.8 billion (20 Billion USD). French companies have; the third largest FDI inflow, 25 R&D centres in India and employed around 300 000 people in India. On the other side, 120 Indian companies operating in France with an estimated investment stock of 1 billion Euros and employing around 7000 people. With regard to the Smart City Mission in India, France and India are collaborating on a very interesting project, City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain (CITIIS) Challenge. CITIIS was launched on 9th July 2018 by the Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in partnership with Agence Française de Développement (AFD), European Union (EU) and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA). The program, the total size of which was € 100 Million, was open to all the 100 smart cities During the Challenge process for selection of projects under CITIIS, 36 Smart cities submitted a total of 67 proposals belonging to various themes. Of these, 13 projects from 13 cities and 12 States were selected for award by a distinguished jury comprising of nine experts from India and France. MoUs have also been signed between AFD (French Development Agency) and UT of Chandigarh, Puducherry and State Government of Maharashtra for development of Chandigarh, Puducherry and Nagpur. (Support for preparation of SCPs and implementation of projects) As part of urban transport improvement initiatives in India, financial assistance to various Metro projects were provided by AFD such as Bangalore Metro (€100 million - Phase 1, € 200 million -Phase 2), Kochi Metro (€ 180 million) and Nagpur metro. With regard to technical collaboration, technical support was provided to various Metro projects such as signaling system in Bangalore Metro, telecommunication and power & traction in Kochi Metro etc. The two countries have been working together in several fields ranging from civil nuclear cooperation, defense, and space to cultural, scientific and technological areas, including cybersecurity and digital cooperation. I would like to see this cooperation grow in the areas of urban development and combating climate change. Q4. In terms of projects, kindly elaborate the type of projects for which international companies can be useful to India’s Smart Cities Mission. I would like to see international industry actively participating in India’s urban sector via one or more of the following three tracks: 1) Providing technical support/capacity building support to cities/design and execution professionals already working in India; 2) Undertaking projects design and implementation of projects through competitive bidding/consortium building; and 3) Bringing in investment to Indian projects. Some areas we would like their participation in are: • Smart energy systems, net zero cities/precincts • Urban design of complete streets Reviving local economies • Increase on disaster resilient cities and communities • Urban Mobility and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) • Design of cities promoting circular economy; water and waste management Design of accessible urban spaces for the old and the people with disabilities Q5. Could you help us understand what are and will be the different types of preferred tendering processes to be used for projects under the Smart Cities Mission? We do not prescribe any particular tendering process to be used for projects under the Smart Cities Mission. The smart city SPV has the authority to carry out the tendering process for all projects. The tendering process is often guided by the procurement rules prescribed by the state governments. The state governments have their own procurement rules, procurement manual and in some instances standard documents to be followed by the state agencies. The city SPV undertakes a project development phase for individual projects that includes preparation of the feasibility study and/or Detailed Project Report (DPR). The tendering of the projects is done after the approval of the feasibility study/DPR. The tenders are published widely to maximise participation. Most of the tenders are evaluated both on cost and quality; lifecycle costs are taken into consideration for long gestation projects. Level playing field is made available so that the best companies can participate. Their participation has been one of the highlights of the Mission. Not only the best Indian companies, but renowned international companies have participated and are successfully executing projects in various cities. Q6. Can you elaborate what is the emphasis given, under the SC Mission to 3 sectors: mobility (urban transportation), water-waste management and connectedness of services for citizens? The Smart City Mission in India is envisioned as an urban rejuvenation initiative encompassing holistic development of urban areas including, but not limiting to, smart command and control centre, smart roads, smart solar, smart waste water and smart water projects. The three sectors with regard to mobility (urban transportation), water-waste management and connectedness of services for citizens are an integral part of the Mission and have been central to its objectives.Mobility (urban transportation): Smart transportation leverages smart infrastructure that includes multi-modal connected conveyance, automated traffic signals, tolls and fare collection, data integration—incorporating weather and traffic data, linking emergency services data as well as information from government agencies— drives the system. A central command centre ties together the smart transportation ecosystem, with real-time and updated data, handling passenger information, traffic signals, incident management and vehicle health monitoring. Optimized ‘on-demand services’ ensure that citizens can use all modes of transport according to their needs. Shared mobility solutions help provide first and last mile connectivity in conjunction with public transportation, they can act as feeder services and improve access to metro/rail or bus services. We are aiming to make public transportation robust and accessible through multi-modal shared mobility, so that citizens can choose it for all their commuting needs be it travel for work, travel for daily needs or for leisure. This can help move people away from private vehicles, which can contribute to lowering congestion and pollution. Cities under the Mission, are using technology to develop such seamless and connected transportation systems. Technology driven smart public transportation offers more attractive, reliable, convenient and complete choice of mode to commute. This reduces dependency on cars, arrests urban sprawl, and enables city authorities to develop compact cities with more focus on moving people rather moving cars. Lesser cars on roads will also reduce city’s air pollution levels. Moreover, with the continuous advancement in development of electric vehicles, smart transportation is destined to transform cities to zero emission mobility smart cities. In the Mission cities till date, total of 734 smart transportation projects worth € 3.64 billion (INR 28000 crore) are under implementation/completed. Electric mobility projects worth € 0.08 billion (INR 601 crore) are under implementation/completed in 21 cities. Public transport operations and traffic management are integral part of all ICCC enabled cities. Smart streets worth € 0.67 billion (INR 5146 crore) are under implementation/completed in 35 cities. I would like to mention that this is just the tip of the iceberg and many more such projects are being conceived across the country as I pen this down. Water and Waste Management: Under Smart Cities Mission various initiatives are undertaken for improving water systems in smart cities. These projects include installation of smart water meters, providing house service connections, upgradation of water supply systems, interlinking of water network data with SCADA system etc. The aim is to upgrade the existing water supply systems to 24X7 water supply systems. A total of 315 projects with estimated cost € 2.96 billion (INR 22 817 crore) are at various stages of implementation across the Mission. Of these, 35 projects worth € 0.16 billion (INR 1218 crore) have been completed, 126 projects worth € 1.32 billion (INR 10 119 crore) are under implementation and 45 projects worth € 0.57 billion (INR 4391 crore) are under tendering stage. Several initiatives with regard to waste management are also being implemented under this mission. These projects include waste to energy plants, waste to compost plants, waste water treatment plants, recycling and reduction of construction and demolition waste etc. A total of 323 waste management projects with estimated cost € 1.96 billion (INR 15 116 crore) are at various stages of implementation across the Mission. Of these, 90 projects worth € 0.19 billion (INR 1456 crore) have been completed, 177 projects worth € 1.32 billion (INR 10 182 crore) are under implementation and the rest 56 projects worth € 0.45 billion (INR 3478 crore) are under tendering stage. Regarding waste to energy plant, a total of 18 projects worth € 0.31 billion (INR 2401 crore) in 17 smart cities are at various stages of implementation. Of these, 4 projects worth € 0.026 billion (INR 202 crore) have been completed, 6 projects worth € 0.23 billion (INR 1790 crore) are under implementation and 2 projects worth € 0.043 billion (INR 338 crore) are under tendering stage. As mentioned in the case of mobility, there are many more projects than the ones which have found mention here, and hence the amount of work that remains to be taken up is clearly very large. Connectedness of Services for Citizens: Smart Cities leverage ICT based technologies and digitalisation to make governance citizen-friendly and cost effective, bring about accountability and transparency, provide services without having to go to municipal offices, form e-groups to listen to people and obtain feedback, and use online monitoring of programs and activities with the aid of online tools. In line with this, Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCC) are being built by many smart cities to help cities in better urban planning and management. ICCCs function as single source of information and point of resolution of the civic functions of the city. They are bringing transparency through information sharing, a step towards becoming an inclusive city. Some of the ways an ICCC will impact citizens’ lives are: • Improved decision making for (local and other levels of) governments • Improved environmental sustainability and climate change outcomes. • Improved quality of services to citizens • Safety of citizens • Making cities more inclusive A total 71 out of 100 smart cities have started work on ICCC as one of its projects under the Mission. Till date, 16 Smart Cities have operationalised ICCCs worth € 0.38 billion (INR 2927 crore), work is in progress in another 44 cities worth € 0.54 billion (INR 4170 crore) and remaining 11 cities have their projects under tendering. Q7. Regarding the finances of the projects under the SC Mission, what is the extent of the available government funding and to what extent is the PPP and the private funding expected? The Mission encompasses 100 cities which have proposed to execute 5151 projects worth € 26.65 billion (INR 2 05 018 crores) in 5 years from their respective dates of selection. innovation is built in the design of their capital investment plans. The distribution of funding envisaged from different sources is as follows: • Central and State government: € 12.16 billion (INR 93 553 crore) (45%), • Convergence : € 5.46 billion (INR 42,028 crore) (21%), • Funds from PPP : € 5.33 billion (INR 41,022 crore) (21%), • Loans/Debt : € 1.27 billion (INR 9,843 crore) (4%), • Own sources : € 0.34 billion (INR 2,644 crore) (1%), Other sources: € 2.07 billion (INR 15 930 crore) (8%). Q8. Several foreign investors have remarked that most ULBs are not financially selfsustainable and tariff levels fixed by the ULBs for providing services often do not mirror the cost of supplying the same. Could you please share your opinion in this regard with us? I ascribe to the idea of ‘Think Global, Act Local’. While most development takes place at city level, they have to be mindful of the impact of their actions on the planet. To achieve that we must empower our cities to not only act but also think, analyse and take decisions. Having said that, cities need to become autonomous in terms of meeting their financial and other resource needs for infrastructure development, and day to day management. Lack of adequate infrastructure adversely affects a city’s ability to attract investment, and hence economic sustainability. Most of the ULBs lack in mobilization of resources and financial autonomy. The total revenues of all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in India merely amounts to about 1% of India’s GDP. The resource base of ULBs typically consists of their own sources, state revenue, government grant, loans from state governments, and market borrowings. They are sometimes not aware of the opportunities and avenues of generating revenues through taxes and non-tax charges. Even if they are aware, they do not have the skill to optimize tax collection. ULBs in India, therefore, have a minimal revenue base and largely dependent on Central and State grants, which constrains the ability of ULBs to invest adequately in capital expenditure like creating infrastructure and, thereby, improve quality of life in the city. Strengthening capacities of ULBs is necessary for effective resource mobilization. Their financial capacity is often restricted not only by low tax base but also low capacity for mobilization of existing resources, as result of which the ULBs are not able to harness property tax as per their potential due to undervaluation; non-availability of database of properties; low rates; low collection efficiency and lack of indexation of property values. We do realise financial self-sufficiency of the ULBs is an absolute must. Steps are being taken at all levels to empower ULBs to become self-sufficient. While the Constitution of India envisaged a two-tier system of federation, the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 added third tier of government viz. urban local bodies. The amendment aimed at devolution of functions, finances and functionaries to ULBs. We, at the Ministry encourage cities to raise funds through municipal bonds, review of property tax system to improve efficiency and transparency in collection and mobilization of resources. Only in the last couple of years we have started to see a renewed vigour from Indian cities in raising money from the market through the instrument of Muni bonds. Several new initiatives for financial innovation are also being attempted and are showing encouraging signs of transformation. We are working on Capacity building of local government leaders such as Commissioners in : • financial management, preparation of financial statements for increased efficiency • improving the quality of service delivery which is the cornerstone for effective and sustainable urbanisation • exploring innovative/alternative sources of revenue generation at the municipalities level such as PPP, Municipal bonds, venture capital financing, crowd source financing, entertainment tax, mobile towers, user charges for solid waste, water, parking, value capture financing, etc. • enhancing citizen participation, e-governance tools like on-line procurement, tenders, and online expenditure reports. I am sure with all the efforts Government is making in this direction, local governments will soon be in a better position than they were a few years ago.

Keolis opens a new section of the Hyderabad automated metro (India)

sophie Canciani - 25-sept.-2018 06:57:20
  On Monday 24 September, 2018 Keolis opened a new section of the automated metro line 1 in Hyderabad, adding 16 km of track to the existing 30 km   With this new section, the network is now 46 km long and is expected to carry more than 150,000 passengers per day   This achievement paves the way for the final phase of the network and confirms Keolis’ leadership in automated metro systems   Keolis and its partners have completed the opening to the public of the first line of the automated metro in Hyderabad, which was partially opened in November 2017. This extension adds 16 km of track to the current 30 km network in use. To mark the occasion, an official flagging-off ceremony was held on Monday 24 September at Ameerpet station in the presence of the Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana States, His Excellency E.S.L. Narasimhan.   With the extension, the network now stretches over two lines for a total of 46 kilometers and includes 40 stations, which places Hyderabad’s metro as the second biggest network in India. The extended line, which now links Ameerpet to LB Nagar, includes two important interchange stations, Ameerpet and MG Bus Stations, with the latter being one of the biggest elevated stations in the region. It now allows commuters to reach the south east of the city, and thus crucially serve the most densely populated areas of Hyderabad, which are located nearby to its old city. The number of daily passengers is expected to rise from 85,000 to more than 150,000. When the network is finally completed in 2019, it will be 72 km long, include 66 stations and carry an expected 1.5 million passengers per day.   Eric Moinier, Managing Director of Keolis Hyderabad, said: “ This is a major milestone we have reached today alongside our client and partner Larsen & Toubro and it takes us closer to the final stage of the network’s completion, which is expected to happen within the next year. With this extension more Hyderabad residents and visitors - to this growing city - will benefit from a modern, clean and safe transport solution. We will continue to strive to give them the best passenger experience.”   The 18 trains running on the network are built by Hyundai Rotem and equipped with the communication-based train control (CBTC) system provided by Thales, which allows improved headways and safety for passengers.   Keolis was awarded the operations and maintenance contract in 2012 by the concession-holder L&T Metro Rail. The core elements of that contract includes operating and maintaining 57 metro trainsets as well as stations, depots, track, signalling, telecommunications, ticketing systems and ticket sales at stations. Keolis Hyderabad currently has 800 employees.   As a pioneer and global leader in automated metro systems, Keolis counts 320 km of lines in cities such as Hyderabad (India), London (United Kingdom), Lille and Rennes (France), Shanghai (China) and Doha (Qatar).   About Keolis   Leading the way in public transport, Keolis partners with public decision makers to make shared mobility an asset for cities and their communities. Internationally recognised as the leading operator of trams and automated metros, Keolis adopts a determined innovation approach with all its partners and subsidiaries (Kisio, LeCab, EFFIA, Keolis Santé and Cykleo) to develop new forms of shared and customised mobility, and reinforce its core business across a range of transport modes including trains, buses, cars, trolleybuses, shared private hire vehicles, river shuttles, ferries, cycles, car sharing services, electric autonomous vehicles and urban cable cars.   In France, Keolis is now the leader in medical transport services through the creation of Keolis Santé in July 2017 and positioned as the number two car park operator, through its subsidiary EFFIA.   The company is 70% owned by SNCF and 30% by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ). Keolis employs 63,000 people in 16 countries and recorded a turnover of 5.4 billion euros in 2017. Today, over 3 billion passengers worldwide have used one of the shared mobility services offered by Keolis. www.keolis.com   * Historically based in France, Keolis has expanded its operations in Germany, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, India, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, Sweden, the UK and the USA.

Orolia Awarded $34 Million Contract to Deliver Personnel Recovery Devices to the US Army

Sophie CANCIANI - 03-mai-2018 06:03:18
  Sophia-Antipolis, France, April 11st, 2018 – Orolia, a world leader in Resilient Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) solutions with a significant presence in the Asia Pacific region, announced today that its subsidiary McMurdo Inc. was awarded a $33,986,800 contract to manufacture Personnel Recovery Devices (PRD) for the US Army. This PRD is a dual-mode, MIL-SPEC Personal Locator Beacon that will be integrated into the Army’s Personnel Recovery Support System (PRSS). The PRD will be capable of transmitting both open and secure signals (training-combat dual mode) to alert and notify that a soldier has become isolated, missing, detained or captured.    This innovative positioning device will optimize a successful rescue operation for soldiers in a distress situation through secure enhanced capabilities. It has been designed to meet military standards and specifications, and has improved accuracy, decreased size, weight and power (SWaP) requirements.    “We are extremely proud and honored to have been selected by the US Army as the provider of this critical positioning device for the safety of US warfighters. Easy to incorporate into Personnel Recovery operations, the PRD is based on Orolia’s new rugged and small PNT platform dedicated to Combat Search and Rescue (C-SAR) and other dismounted soldier Assured PNT applications. This award, which follows the 2016 contract from the U.S. Coast Guard to produce 16,000  FastFind 220  personal locator beacons, is a testimony to Orolia’s world leadership in Resilient Positioning, Navigation and Timing,” said Jean-Yves Courtois, CEO of Orolia.    The Personnel Recovery Support System, Personnel Recovery Device contract was awarded by the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland on behalf of the Army Air Warrior Product Management Office at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama with an estimated completion date of March 6, 2022.    About Orolia Orolia is a world leader in Resilient Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) solutions that improve the reliability, performance and safety of critical, remote or high-risk operations. With expertise in government, maritime, aviation and enterprise applications, Orolia provides virtually fail-safe GPS/GNSS and PNT products and solutions for their customers’ most mission critical needs. Orolia’s European headquarters is in France, with a commercial presence in more than 100 countries worldwide. www.orolia.com   Orolia US Press Contact: Elodie Cally – PR / Communications Director    elodie.cally@orolia.com  

Say Cheese with François Robin

Julian Hoarau - 30-mars-2017 14:24:20
  The best cheese in the world comes undoubtedly from Europe where artisans and big producers use their ancestral know-how to produce a wide variety of fine cheese. From French Camembert to Italian Burrata, the range of cheese is very diverse. Today, the dairy industry in the European Union is the most productive and the most successful in the world. Its strict regulations by the European Union and the CNIEL ( National Interprofessional Center of the Dairy Economy, France ), a privately run organization whose main objective is to promote dairy products and to facilitate relationships between dairy producers and processors, makes cheese from Europe, the best and safest products for the consumer.   The European Union & the CNIEL have several initiatives lined up to create more awareness about cheese in India, especially to showcase the wide & rich cultural diversity of French cheese. As a continuation to the promotional campaign of 2015, a Press event & a Networking cocktail of Cheese tasting of Vegetarian Cheese was organized on Monday 27 th March at Indigo, Mumbai for members of the media (food journalists, critics, bloggers and culinary specialists), food importers, chefs & restaurateurs.   French Chef François Robin who has been awarded Best Cheese Monger of France demonstrated exclusive recipes based on the available vegetarian cheese (without any animal rennet) and add a unique Indian touch to create fusion food, using the cheese as the main ingredient. All cheese presented and available for tasting will allow all Indian guests to safely taste and enjoy the best France has to offer.   Furthermore, two workshops for food bloggers will be organized on the 28 th March at Artisan, Sofitel, BKC Mumbai and on the 29 th March at Chérie , New Delhi . Following these 3 events, a major consumer promotion campaign with a series of cheese tasting sessions will take place at Foodhall and Hypercity stores in New Delhi from 30 March to 23 April 2017 .   Cheese consumption in India   Positive trends indicate that sales of cheese in 2016, are estimated at 23 billion INR i.e 60 400 tons & should almost double in value to 40 billion INR with sales of 100 000 tons in 2021.   Even though the consumption of cheese has increased by 15-20% in India in recent years, Indian consumption of cheese is quite low compared to world consumption (200gms vs 7kgs) but food habits are changing. This is largely due to the fact that disposable incomes are increasing & today Indian consumers are open to acquiring new tastes. Also traditionally Indians are big consumers of dairy products and cheese is consumed as a part of meals or as a snack.   France ranks 3rd as a supplier of cheese to India after Italy & Denmark, with a market share of around 13% and the consumption of French cheese has been steadily rising in India. Spreading awareness about the variety, textures and qualities of the French cheese is very important & an adaptation to local tastes is necessary to increase consumption since cheese is tasty & also an important source of protein.   Distribution of cheese & the regulatory environment is still a challenge, however the availability of imported cheese in gourmet stores across India and the innovations offered by companies are helping to develop the market.       About François Robin: "François Robin takes his first steps in the world of cheese by helping his parents in the Vendée region of France. This experience allows him to discover the secrets of making goat cheese but does not convince him to continue in this way. He then directed his studies on science and mathematics, but subsequently favored more artistic professional experiences (film festival, contemporary art center ...). Finally, the need to return to the source is felt, so he decides to enroll in a 9-month training center to prepare a Certificate of professional qualification of "Crémier Fromager". He began his career as a cheese specialist with Nicolas Julhès in Paris where cheeses, wines and delicatessen of high quality are found. Francois learns to tune the cheeses with the finest dishes while appropriating their history. These new skills permitted him to join the famous Fauchon delicatessen where he found his place in the cheese department, which he animates and develops in close collaboration with Hervé Mons, a world-renowned refining cheese maker and manages to create a real synergy with the other departments of the grocery store. He participates in the contest of the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France that he wins in 2011 from his first participation after only 4 years of experience in this field.       Cheese is divided into Four types:   Soft: Ripened from the outside in with a white rind, often runny at room temperature.   Examples: Brie, Camembert, Reblochon, Mont d’Or   Semi-soft : Smooth or creamy interior with little or no rind. Flavor ranges from mild to pungent   Examples: Raclette, Abondance, Morbier, Port Salut   Hard: Firm texture with tastes ranging from mild to pungent; easy to grate   Examples: Emmental, Beaufort, Mimolette, Tomme de Savoie   Blue: Green or blue veining caused by the addition of the mould penicillium roqueforti during production   Examples: Saint Agur, Bleu de Auvergne, Bleu de Gex       About Business France   Business France is the national agency supporting the international development of the economy, responsible for fostering export growth by French businesses, as well as promoting and facilitating international investment in France. Business France has 1,500 personnel in 80 countries throughout the world, who work with a network of public- and private-sector partners. For further information, please visit: www.businessfrance.fr and youbuyfrance.com.in   Contacts:   Julian Hoarau-Bouaziz Marketing and Communication Dept Email: Julian.hoarau@businessfrance.fr   Téléphone: +91 (0) 11 43 19 63 03   M obile: +91 837 689 50 05   Purva Marwaha   Marketing and Communication Dept Email: purva.marwaha@businessfrance.fr Téléphone: +91 (0) 11 43 19 63 06  

Dr Shailesh Ayyangar conferred Officer of the National Order of Merit

Julian HOARAU - 17-nov.-2016 06:04:04
Mumbai, 15 November 2016 On behalf of the President of the French Republic, H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, conferred the high French distinction, Officier de l’Ordre national du Mérite (Officer of the National Order of Merit) on Dr. Shailesh Ayyangar, Managing Director - India and Vice President - South Asia, Sanofi, on Tuesday, 15th November 2016. The honour comes in recognition of his outstanding contribution and dedication to promoting public health, particularly amongst children and diabetics, and turning scientific innovations into therapeutic solutions. Dr Shailesh Ayyangar Dr Shailesh Ayyangar , born on 15th October 1954, is the Managing Director - India and Vice President - South Asia, Sanofi (Global healthcare leader present in India since 1956) and President - Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), unanimously elected for four consecutive years since 2013. A graduate in Veterinary Science, Dr Ayyangar holds a Post-graduate Degree in Business Management from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, Gujarat. In his career spanning over three decades, he has gathered wide-ranging experience in the pharmaceutical industry. In April 2002 he joined Sanofi as Managing Director, which was further extended to the combined Company Sanofi-Aventis, in 2005. In 2010, he was assigned additional responsibilities for Sanofi’s South Asia Zone comprising Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In 2014, Dr Ayyangar was listed among ‘India’s Best CEOs’ in Mid-Sized Companies category by Business India magazine, and in 2013, he was recognized as ‘Most Valuable CEO’ in Mid-Sized Companies category by Business World magazine. Along with his corporate vision for positioning Sanofi as a market leader, Dr Ayyangar also undertook initiatives for social and educational development. Thus, Sanofi India has implemented several projects for promoting public health, particularly amongst children and diabetics. Sanofi provides full financing for a programme – supported by the Public Health Foundation of India – aimed at promoting hygiene among Indian schoolchildren. Further, Sanofi India helps towards recreational facilities in Indian hospitals and conducts free health check-ups near its Goa plant. At Dr Ayyangar’s initiative, almost 300 Sanofi employees carry out voluntary work for the benefit of underprivileged children in Mumbai. It may be noted that the company also came to the aid of people severely affected by the 2013 and 2014 floods in North India. Ordre National du Mérite Ordre National du Mérite  (French National Order of Merit) was instituted in 1963 by General Charles de Gaulle. It is awarded for distinguished services rendered in public, civil, military posts, or a private profession.

The “French Tech Tour to India 2016”, a platform to bridging further the French and Indian Tech ecosystems

Purva Marwaha - 26-oct.-2016 07:56:15
Business France, the Trade & Investment Commission of France in India, is organizing, with several stakeholders and partners, the first edition of the “French Tech Tour to India”, a multi-purpose and multi-format platform to run over the Embassy and the Consulate Generals of Delhi NCR, Bangalore and Mumbai from the 24 th  to the 28 th  of October, 2016.     The “French Tech Tour to India 2016” will also enable an active  participation of the “French Tech” ecosystem at the NASSCOM Product Conclave 2016  (Bangalore, 26 th  and 27 th  of October, 2016), with the objective of strengthening reciprocal awareness between the French and Indian Tech ecosystems, and promote France towards Indian Tech companies as a leading Innovation and Business Hub in Europe through a dedicated roundtable, Mr. Bertrand DIARD, Chairman of Tech in France and Serial Entrepreneur (Talend, Influans, Restlet and BonitaSoft), shall deliver a Key Note.   Curated  networking events across New Delhi  (24 th  of October, 2016),  Bangalore  (26 th  of October, 2016) and  Mumbai  (28th of October, 2016) are also been organized. These events will gather representatives from the “India Tech” ecosystem the delegation coming from France on this occasion and the “French Tech” players already active and making in India. In this regard, over 50 Digital and ICTs “French Tech” players are currently availing legal set-ups in India.   The Ambassador of France to India, Mr Alexandre ZIEGLER says “ « French Tech Tour to India will offer its participants a one-week program across Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. It will be an immersive program for 9, carefully selected, innovative “French Tech” startups and SMEs who are looking at expanding in the Indian market. I am convinced that the multiple interactions, which will take place over the course of this week, will pave the way for further collaborations, agreements and partnerships between French and Indian Tech stakeholders!. ”     In addition, Mr. Loïc RIVIERE, Secretary General of TECH IN France, and Mr. Mani DORAISAMY, Co-Founder of Guesswork.co, one the Indian laureates of the Season 1 of this “French Tech Ticket” are part of the “French Tech Tour to India 2016” delegation, which benefited from the support of Air France, sponsoring some participants and Awardees, thus showing its commitment towards Tech startups and SMEs globally.   For some years now, the French Tech ecosystem has enjoyed a steady and strong development, driven by a new generation of entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, designers and other talented people. Like India, France has emerged as a leading Startup Power, home to vibrant Tech Hubs and talents, and imbued with a strong entrepreneurial culture.   France stands among the leading ecosystems globally when considering Tech-related Entrepreneurship and Innovation; as ascertained by the fact that France led -for the 6th consecutive year- the race in the “Deloitte Fast 500 2015 EMEA” ranking with 87 laureates.   The “French Tech Tour to India” finds its origin in the statement that with over 5,000 and 6,000 Tech startups respectively, and many large corporates involved in Open Innovation and Acceleration programs, India and France both belong to the Top 5 of the Tech startup ecosystems in the world. Yet, further initiatives need to be developed to exploit the true potential for synergies and value co-creation between the 2 Startup Powers.   Hence, in addition to the “French Tech Tour to India 2016”, and with further initiatives to come, the call for applications for the Season 2 of the “French Tech Ticket” program has been actively promoted over Q3 2016 towards the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem. The “French Tech Ticket” consists of a 1-year program to welcome foreign entrepreneurs and early stage startups to set up and accelerate activities in France. It is noteworthy to mention that India ranked first, for the second consecutive year and by a large margin, in terms of the number of applications received for the 2017 promotion, which shall consist in a pool of 70 foreign startups.   On a concluding note,  “Building on the promising level of cooperation shown at the Economic, Investment, Academic and R&D levels, the “French Tech” and “India Tech” is relevant  to co-create further economic value, which gives us even more eagerness to bridge and synergize further the two ecosystems. Business France is thus deeply engaged in this drive aiming at further encouraging “India Tech” players to consider France as both a relevant partner, market and Hub in Europe, and vice versa. The “French Tech Tour to India 2016”, to become an annual rendezvous, shall contribute to this ambition in complement to other initiatives. ” says Mr. Sylvain BIARD, Managing Director Mumbai Office and Head, Tech & Services Department, Business France.          

FranceCol named the new face of Creative France in India

Julian HOARAU - 16-août-2016 07:05:56
NEW DELHI. AUGUST 1st, 2016 – A jury of distinguished businessmen and institutional representatives in New Delhi led by the French Ambassador and Business France, France’s national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, has chosen FranceCol Technology as the new face of Créative France in India.   Following the official launch of Créative France in January aimed at showcasing French ingenuity across various sectors; #CreativeNextIndia was the second phase of the campaign to identify an inspirational French entrepreneur or small or mid-sized enterprise (SME) who has demonstrated creativity and innovation in their business, to be named a campaign ambassador. French entrepreneurs and many French companies of all sizes have chosen to set up business to showcase their innovative expertise in India. They form the pool of creativity that the Embassy has wished to highlight this year with the #CreativeNextIndia challenge.     FranceCol, a young R&D company, was named the next face of the campaign for its creation of a wheel drive. With an aim to revolutionize sustainable development in India, FranceCol Technology has developed an embedded wheel motor, which allows the electrification of any bicycle, motorcycle or wheel chair, without any structural modification. This cost effective solution for urban mobility converts mechanical energy to electrical energy and is poised to revolutionize transportation in India. It is environment friendly, durable and presents a perfect solution to using public transport in the cities as well as in rural India. The battery operated bicycle is built to travel 100 kms in a single charge and is ideally adapted to young Indians who do not want to depend on public transport, and would like to commute efficiently and at a reasonable cost.   Addressing the French community in India, Ambassador Ziegler said, “ France is a creative and innovative country. It is the world’s fourth most dynamic country for patents. Here, in India, more and more of our companies are locating R&D centres, which innovate, create and eventually make in India some of the solutions that will shape tomorrow’s world. In the backdrop of the Creative France campaign, I am proud to award a French company in recognition of its spirit of innovation .”   Dr François Bernot, ‎Scientific Director - FranceCol Technology , observed, “ The Indian market is huge, with a true need for cost-effective devices. Our electric bicycle is the fruit of a joint R&D collaboration of Indian and French teams. They have invented a solution that adheres to the principles of “sustainable development’, “frugal innovation”, and is accessible to all and perfectly suitable for transporting a large number of Indians .” The CreativeNext contest was hosted on Twitter from June 14 and urged participation from small and medium-sized French businesses. All participants were encouraged to submit a short video; picture or presentation, showcasing their groundbreaking business model. For more information on Créative France and the global campaign ambassadors, please visit: http://creative.businessfrance.fr/  
About
Sophie Clavelier, Country Head   Welcome to the French Trade Commission Business France in India!     Our key mission is to promote trade relations between France and India. We assist French- based companies seeking potential partners and new markets in India, while helping Indian businesses to identify potential French suppliers, commercial and technical partners.   In India, our 4 offices are located in business hubs, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai. We have a dedicated multicultural team of 38 experts in the following growing sectors: Agrofood Industry Industry and Cleantech Lifestyle and Healthcare Tech & Services Our Trade Commission also has a Press office in charge of helping French companies to communicate in India as well as a Market Access Department enabling them to better understand and adjust to the Indian regulatory and fiscal framework. In

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