Vikram Mehta, when he was chairman of Shell, India had almost begged his chairman in London to enter into a JV with Reliance and the offshore KG6. In fact, Mehta travelled specially with Mukesh Ambani to London to make the case. But the London chairman refused. And, today, Shell has in any case wound up as a partner in the KG6 fields. Last year British Gas spent $7.2 billion buying a 30 per cent stake in the KG6 fields. And earlier this month Shell has bid $40 billion to buy over British Gas. So in the end, willy nilly, Reliance has Shell as its partner!

Sunny drive

Tata Power Solar, India’s largest integrated solar player and Manipal Institute of Technology, India’s leading technology institute, which is a constituent of Manipal University, unveiled today SERVe (Solar Electric Road Vehicle), the university’s first prototype solar car ready for exploring commercial viability. Designed by 27 students of SolarMobil team, the vehicle is custom-fit with bespoke solar panels designed by Tata Power Solar. SERVe is a showcase of an industry-academia effort that will help increase the role of solar innovation in green mobility, with an objective of proliferation of
eco-vehicles. Weighing 590 kg, this four-wheeled, two- seater, prototype can revv up to 60 kmph with a cruising speed of 30 kmph. The car houses a direct solar drive, powered by solar panels, to maintain the cruising speed and is supplemented by extra power from its high-end energy storage system.

Hoofing it

Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor has invested about ?5 crore in Italian luxury shoemaker Tod’s, picking up a 49 per cent stake in Tod’s Retail India Private Limited from Indian television and film producer Ekta Kapoor. The deal was managed by Barclays Bank. This is Ranbir Kapoor’s second business investment, having earlier won a bid in the IMG-Reliance Indian Super League for the Mumbai franchise, along with his CA Bimal Parekh. Tod’s is an Italian brand with a turnover of €1 billion and

produces shoes and other leather goods. It entered India in 2007 through a 51:49 JV with Bhukhanvala Holding, which later sold its entire stake to Ekta Kapoor. Currently, the brand has one showroom in DLL’s Emporio Mall in Delhi, with a second one scheduled to open later this month in Mumbai’s Palladium Mall. Other celebrities-turned-investors include Amitabh Bachchan, who picked up a share of brokerage house Stampede Capital Ltd for an estimated T1.21 crore. He holds a stake in listed company just Dial too. Salman Khan has also invested an undisclosed amount for about a 5 per cent stake in online travel company Yatra.com.

Carving a future

Ceat recently felicitated the recipients of its CSR initiative, Project Swayam, which focusses on empowering underprivileged women by professionally training them in motor driving, with the aim of making them financially independent. Started in March 2014, the project has covered more than 3,000 women from low income groups in its mobilisation drive. Today,

35 Swayam-trained women are ready to embark on the next level of their journey as professional vehicle drivers and they will be placed with Priyadarshini Taxi Services, V-Link, Meru Cabs and School Van services, amongst others. Jobs as drivers with various radio taxi services like Uber, Ola Cabs, Concierge Services, online driver portals, etc, are also being explored. Project Swayam has been implemented by the RPG Foundation.

Watch for your trip

Adding a new first to its impressive line-up of firsts, Cleartrip has launched an app for the Apple Watch, which can be enabled through the Watch app on
your iPhone. The idea with the Watch app is to give users the information they need, when they need it, in the most lightweight manner possible. Opening the Cleartrip app on the Apple Watch will show travellers a concise list of all their upcoming flights. Cleartrip for Apple Watch also supports glances to give contextual, time-sensitive information. Cleartrip for Apple Watch also supports notifications, with a choice to be notified on the Apple Watch if a flight is delayed, rescheduled or cancelled by the airline.

Post it!

He made the humble postcard famous. Pradeep Lokhande, founder & CEO, Rural Relations, Pune, popularised his ‘rural postcard’, which he describes as a highly personalised two- way communication, which he has established over 20 years across 49,000 villages, to enable his clients’ brands or government initiatives to establish multi-language communication channels.

And now, he has taken the same postcard and printed his daughter’s wedding invitation on it with a collection of sketches on the reverse, laminating it and enclosing it in an envelope – which he has, however, couriered to those on his guest list.



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