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Innovation and Collaboration to Drive Realty Revival in 2021: CII Realty and Infrastructure Conclave 2020

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Innovation and Collaboration to Drive Realty Revival in 2021: CII Realty and Infrastructure Conclave 2020

Real estate businesses need to reimagine, adapt to survive in the next normal

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with JLL as Knowledge Partner, today organized the 12th Edition of CII Realty & Infrastructure Conclave 2020. A virtual thought leadership forum attended by the country’s top real estate professionals, this conclave has been one of India’s leading platforms for experts to discuss opportunities, share insights and predict the course for the industry for over a decade.

The two-day event scheduled on 10th and 11th September 2020, will throw light on the reimagined chapter of growth in Indian real estate, fuelled by renewed demand and fresh perspectives.

Delivering the welcome speech for the conclave, Ramesh Nair, Chairman, CII Realty & Infrastructure Conclave and CEO & Country Head, India, JLL, said, “These are dynamic times. We all agree that no sector has escaped the slowdown caused by the pandemic. The stakeholders of the real estate need to prepare for long-term impacts of the pandemic. But this is also a time to innovate and reimagine. Ongoing changes will only accelerate the pace of transformation that would have taken many years, otherwise. It is time to reinvent spaces, rethink strategies, bring collaboration into workplaces and make them more human.”

He further added, “The office is here to stay, but its format and functions may change significantly. With significant levels of capital available, investors continue to see real estate as a valuable asset class. This has brought many investors who took a ‘wait and see’ approach at the onset of the pandemic back into the market. While office will lead the recovery, the worst is behind the residential sector. Home loans rates are at its lowest in 15 years and developers are offering attractive discounts, payment plans and schemes. Since May, each month has been better than the previous month for our industry. Growth prospects look brighter for the remaining months of 2020 and 2021.”

Speaking at the keynote address Christian Ulbrich, Global CEO & President, JLL, said, “Offices of the future will be less about densely packed floors, and more about providing flexible creative hubs for people to interact, socialise, innovate and learn – the things people have missed most during lockdown.”

Christian further added, “Post pandemic, as many businesses embed a blend of home and office working, central business districts will revive to again become the beating hearts of major cities across the globe.”

“The retail, hospitality, and commercial segments within the real estate sector were growing significantly, thus providing the much-needed infrastructure boost for India’s growing needs. Due to the pandemic, the worst impacted sub-segment of the real estate sector are the retail and hospitality sectors,” said B Thiagarajan, Deputy Chairman, CII Western Region MD, Blue Star Ltd. “Demand for warehousing is now increasing due to an increase in E-commerce activities. The non-resident Indian (NRI) investment in the sector is very prominent. We have seen a hike in the numbers of enquiries from the NRI community,” he added

As businesses open in a staggered manner, companies need to be prepared to face the short-term jolts and be ready to embrace the impending prospects of growth in the medium to long term. While globally, all stakeholders in the real estate industry are preparing themselves for long-term impacts of the pandemic, this is also an opportunity to reinvent. Real estate businesses will have to understand, comprehend, plan and implement innovative ways to stay ahead of the curve. Real estate as an asset class is here to stay, however adaption is important to survive.

Adoption of technology will be the key going ahead. Corporates globally are revaluating real estate strategy to make it more resilient to shocks. De-densification, splitting up of offices will gain momentum as more focus will be on collaborative technology. More corporates will adopt flexible working practices. The phenomenon of Work from Home (WFH), at best, a supplement to the traditional way of working from office. There will be an increased focus on health, safety and wellness features and the importance of property management to expected to grow.

Workplaces will undergo massive design modifications. There will be a combination of core and flex, long term and short term and urban and suburban. One thing is for sure, the future will be hybrid. Apart from creating a human experience, landlords and corporates will have to provide a sense of safety and security. There will be a greater demand for better quality office buildings which have the best technology systems and sustainability features. Office is here to stay but the format will change.

The residential story

While there are certain uncertainties, the worst is behind for the residential sector. With interest rates at their lowest levels and developers offering more flexible to accommodate buyers’ concern, this could be the best time to buy a property. There is also renewed interest from Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and joint families. Residential sales in the affordable and mid segments is expected to show the fastest turn around. Consolidation in the market is likely to further speed up.

The current situation has given developers an opportunity to innovate, reinvent and revisit their strategies on maintaining business continuity to navigate through this pandemic. While the primary focus is shifting to overall well-being, the focus on health, sustainability and wellness is renewed vigor and is gaining prominence across asset classes. But a broader recovery is expected in 2021.

Silver lining

There are positive signs aplenty. With the economy opening gradually, retail footfalls have started picking up, office absorption levels improving and industrial production accelerating. Hotels have been allowed to re-open and many companies are planning a reentry into their offices. Over the next couple of quarters, all eyes will be on the ability of India to survive or contain the pandemic.

As the country’s most anticipated annual real estate event, CII’s annual Realty & Infrastructure Conclave provides a fitting platform to the foremost stakeholders of the Indian real estate industry to discuss, debate and share their vision for the sector’s collective and progressive growth.

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Scholastic Expands And Adapts Resources To Support Students And Accelerate Learning Through Summer Reading

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Scholastic Expands And Adapts Resources To Support Students And Accelerate Learning Through Summer Reading

Many districts, from New York City to San Francisco, are announcing an expanded focus on summer learning including social-emotional support, online experiences, and holistic learning opportunities for all students. Research has long proven that in a typical year, summer reading strengthens skills and today’s school leaders are hoping to use this time as a springboard to further support students after a challenging and historic year. To ensure families, schools, libraries, and communities have the tools they need, whether that is through in-person programming, remote at-home learning, or a hybrid, Scholastic has expanded and adapted free resources and low-cost offerings for summer learning.

“This past school year, we worked together with our school partners to find new ways to send millions of books directly to the homes of children who were not in school, while expanding our online learning programs supporting remote, hybrid, and in person learning. As summer approaches, we are continuing to pioneer ways of bringing literacy and learning to school and homes, so children can experience the social emotional impact of good literature and stories, accelerate their learning, and build confidence for the next school year,” said Dick Robinson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Scholastic.

According to the Scholastic Teacher & Principal School Report, 99% of educators agree that for students to reach their highest academic potential, their social-emotional needs must be met, and nearly all educators (98%) agree that literacy is critical to students’ health and emotional wellness. To increase access to reading, help support students’ social-emotional needs, build skills and motivation, and encourage a community around literacy all summer long, the Scholastic Summer Reading website provides:

  • Free Resources for Academic and Social-Emotional Support:
    • Scholastic Summer Reading Program: From April 26–September 3 kids can participate in this free, safe, and fun online program through Scholastic Home Base where they will be encouraged to read, celebrate their achievements, and help increase access to books for their peers. By keeping Reading Streaks™, kids will unlock a donation of 100,000 books from Scholastic that will be distributed across the country to locations where access to books is needed most.
    • Yale Child Study Center + Scholastic Collaborative: To address social emotional learning, the Yale Child Study Center + Scholastic Collaborative provides a resiliency workbook for kids and a Family Help Desk staffed by experts in trauma, anxiety, early childhood, and reading development.
  • Offerings to Promote Book Choice and Build Home Libraries:
    • Summer Reading Virtual Book Fairs: From June 1–July 30, schools can host their own Summer Reading Book Fair to provide students with access to new books, favorite characters, and series through an exciting and immersive virtual experience. All orders are delivered to students’ doorsteps and shipping is free on book-only orders over $25. Schools receive 25% in rewards for each purchase and 2% throughout the rest of the year.
    • Special Summer Reading Book Club Flyers: Filled with a variety of new favorites and beloved classics, special Book Club collections will be offered in May and June for kindergarten–grade 2 and grades 3–6. Collections offer exclusive value pack deals including select $2 books, 10 title packs for $10, and three free books for every $50 purchased in a class order. Orders $25 or more are eligible for free shipping directly to students’ homes making it even easier for children to enjoy stories all summer long.
  • School-Wide And Community-Based Programs:
    • “Grab & Go” Book Packs: Each developmentally appropriate grade-level book pack includes engaging, culturally relevant, authentic texts—in English or Spanish—in addition to family engagement activities, tips, and support for independent reading at home. The customizable book packs can be delivered directly to schools or to single sites, and are packaged for easy distribution.
    • Research-based Print and Digital Resources: Instructional programs to support building essential reading skills and accelerate learning this summer include Scholastic LitCamp, a combination of innovative reading and writing lessons with an engaging and interactive summer camp approach; Scholastic Scholar Zone powered by Bell Xcel, an evidence-based summer learning program for ELA and Math that empowers schools to tailor to their needs; and, among other offerings, online reading programs like Scholastic F.I.R.S.T., W.O.R.D. and Literacy Pro.
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Martin UAV Unveils V-BAT 128, Featuring Increased Payload, Endurance for Defense and Private-Sector Application

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Martin UAV Unveils V-BAT 128, Featuring Increased Payload, Endurance for Defense and Private-Sector Application

Agile VTOL UAV is now available for military missions, public safety, energy and emergency response

PLANO, Texas, March 30, 2021 — Martin UAV, a leading advanced aviation technology manufacturer in the United States, today announced the public release of the latest unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the V-BAT 128, for defense and commercial use, including search and rescue, firefighting, logistic resupply, and energy and oil and gas operations.

Martin UAV previously demonstrated its upgraded version of the V-BAT featuring an increase in power, payloads and endurance at the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE). Over the course of several weeks, the V-BAT 128 flew numerous missions, showcasing its VTOL capabilities and the versatility of its small footprint; one of the impressive features noted from those involved in the exercise is the aircraft’s ability to transition from take-off to a vertical hover and persistent stare capability while maintaining a sensor line of sight, in spite of difficult terrain.

“Martin UAV continues to push the boundaries of what is possible for unmanned aircraft systems,” said Heath Niemi, chief development officer. “We have listened to the customer and expanded the capabilities and agility of the V-BAT 128, delivering technology that serves a wider range of mission needs. We’re proud to make the V-BAT 128 available to the broader market and to provide more power and payload that can be transported in the bed of a pick-up truck, or, inside a Black Hawk.”

As the interest and adoption of UAV/UAS increases across commercial industries, the company stated a renewed commitment to support these verticals adapting to new technologies. Most recently, the company announced the addition of industry veteran Bill Irby as the Chief Operating Officer, who previously held leadership roles with Textron, L3 Harris and Northrop Grumman. Martin UAV strives to make UAVs more accessible and easier to implement, empowering organizations to streamline operational efficiencies, security and increase the safety measures for its staff.

The V-BAT 128 is designed to make transportation and rapid tactical deployment easier for both defense and commercial applications. It can be assembled by two personnel in less than 30 minutes. The aircraft’s duct fan propulsion design provides for top operational safety by eliminating exposed rotors, which are commonly found in propeller-driven VTOLs.

V-BAT 128 is ideal for takeoff and landing on both stationary and moving platforms, in areas with a footprint of less than 12-feet by 12-feet. The upgraded V-BAT provides significantly enhanced payload capacity of 25 pound and interchangeable payloads to meet mission-specific requirements. Increased endurance of up to 11 hours, and higher thrust were made possible by leveraging a more powerful engine, the Suter TOA 288 model. With a wingspan of 9.7 feet, the V-BAT 128 can reach over 90 knots reaching altitudes of 20,000 feet.

For more information on Martin UAV, its V-BAT and use across industries, visit: martinuav.com.

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Boston Scientific Announces Agreement To Acquire Lumenis LTD. Surgical Business From Baring Private Equity Asia

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Boston Scientific Announces Agreement To Acquire Lumenis LTD. Surgical Business From Baring Private Equity Asia

Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with an affiliate of Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) to acquire the global surgical business of Lumenis LTD., a privately-held company that develops and commercializes energy-based medical solutions, for an upfront cash payment of $1.07 billion, subject to closing adjustments. BPEA will retain ownership of the Lumenis global aesthetics and ophthalmology businesses. With 2021 net sales anticipated to be approximately $200 million, the Lumenis surgical business includes premier laser systems, fibers and accessories used for urology and otolaryngology procedures. Foundational to its urology portfolio is the proprietary MOSES™ technology, which has demonstrated differentiated clinical outcomes and efficiency in the management of patients with kidney stones.

Worldwide, more than one in 10 adults develop kidney stones each year with up to 50 percent of patients having a repeat stone within five years of the first occurrence.[1],[2],[3],[4]  While some kidney stones may pass through the urinary tract naturally, complex or larger stones require intervention to remove them from the urinary tract. This can be done through surgery or less invasive procedures such as lithotripsy, which uses a small telescope-like device, a ureteroscope, to locate the stone and a laser to break it apart. Laser lithotripsy is a leading modality for minimally-invasive surgery of kidney and urinary stones, whether through flexible ureteroscopy or percutaneous nephrolithotomy.

“The MOSES laser technology, paired with our LithoVue™ Single-Use Digital Flexible Ureteroscope and comprehensive kidney stone management portfolio, will enable execution of our strategy for our stone franchise,” said Meghan Scanlon, senior vice president and president, Urology and Pelvic Health, Boston Scientific. “With double-digit compound annual growth from 2015 to 2019, we look forward to adding the innovative Lumenis laser portfolio, talented employees and surgical laser center of excellence to our organization. The acquisition will expand our global footprint throughout Europe and Asia and accelerate the delivery of our robust stone management offerings to more urologists – ultimately serving more patients worldwide – while also improving our top-line growth and margins.”

Boston Scientific has had a relationship with Lumenis for more than 20 years and currently sells the Lumenis urology laser portfolio in the U.S. and Japan through a distribution arrangement. Upon completion of the acquisition, Boston Scientific will sell these lasers and fibers – as well as the otolaryngology laser portfolio – to all geographies including high-growth regions like China.

“We take great pride in our heritage of innovation in surgical laser solutions which are helping millions of patients worldwide,” said Tzipi Ozer-Armon, chief executive officer, Lumenis. “Notably the proprietary, patent-protected MOSES technology has revolutionized urology laser procedures by improving the clinical efficacy and efficiency for kidney stones. We are confident that Boston Scientific, as a global leader in urology, and our long-time commercial partner, is the best organization to carry this legacy forward.”

The company expects to complete the transaction in the second half 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. The impact to adjusted earnings per share is expected to be immaterial in 2021, approximately two cents accretive in 2022 and increasingly accretive thereafter. On a GAAP basis, the transaction is expected to be dilutive in 2021 and less dilutive or increasingly accretive thereafter, as the case may be, due to amortization expense and acquisition-related net charges.

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