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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

SulaFest 2017 – What an incredible 10th edition!

Bangalore, 8th February 2017:
The country’s most gorgeously situated Gourmet World Music Festival went several notches higher in its 10th edition!
The event saw festival goers from across the country at a weekend to remember and this year was an even grander production with even more amazing memories.
SulaFest partygoers enjoyed a mega-mix of great music, wine, drinks, gourmet food, fashion, shopping, activities and more at the idyllic environs of Sula’s scenic vineyards!
The festival this year being a 3 day affair – adding Friday dedicated to Indian artists had also added one more stage – The ‘Tropical Stage’. Friday’s highlights were Nucleya at the Atmasphere Stage and Indian Ocean at the Amphitheatre Stage. Sula’s all new musician talent hunt competition “Rise and Shine” contest winner - Anhad performed to a thrilled audience at the Tropical Stage.  
The Bloc Party from the UK made their India debut and rocked the Amphitheatre stage on Day 2, Saturday – while Loco & Jam from Germany performed to a haven of fest-goers at the Atmasphere Stage. The Tropical Stage highlight this day was Peter Schumann’s performance.
Amphitheatre Sunday headliner – Infected Mushroom from Israel set the stage on fire! German ensemble Jan Blomqvist & Band created magic at the Atmasphere Stage located amidst the vineyards.

The 10th edition of SulaFest was presented by RAW Pressery. Like Sula, RAW recognises recycling as one of its most important objectives and they used the festival as a platform to raise environmental awareness & conscious engagement. The brand introduced their innovative recycling ingenuities through active art installation, recycling plastic bottles generated at the festival. The plastic bottles collected through this initiative, will be recycled to make t-shirts, which will then be distributed to underprivileged children.

Kick started at SulaFest, RAWcycle is expected to activate collection drives in 4 cities through 600 points of collection via retail, direct to home and event led channels. RAW also launched a coconut water at the festival.
In Sula’s aim to become the world’s most sustainable wine producer and with this mindset, SulaFest this year, went all sustainable by using only recycled and eco-friendly material for stall and other d├ęcor. Only natural material was allowed at the festival making it one of the most environmental friendly events in the world!
Another new addition to the festival this year was the ‘Globe in a Glass’ stall where fest-goers had the opportunity to meet and taste with the people behind various brands from the Sula Selections portfolio. The renowned wine profile Robert Joseph was attending the festival for the first time showcasing his brand Le Grand Noir.
Sula also launched their new limited edition Valentines wines at the festival, this being a big hit. Also, a SulaFest 10th edition signature drink ValenSeco had been created - a mix of Sula Seco Rose and RAW Pressery Valencia Orange juice.
In addition, there was Whisky, Beer, Vodka, Liqueur, Tequila, Sambuca and even Bourbon on offer - Jack Daniels, Budweiser, Monkey Shoulder, Cointreau, Grant’s, Skyy Vodka, Aperol, Antiqua Sambuca and J├Ągermeister to name a few!
The festival welcomed Hershey's premium chocolate ‘Brookside’ on board this year. Fest-goers had the opportunity to try three exotic flavors - Pomegranate, Raspberry & Goji and Blueberry & Acai! They also paired well with a wide variety of wines.
Brightening up the weekend even further was the SulaFest Bazaar with a selection of fun and funky items for sales.
Adding a sporty element, fest-goers could participate in SulaFest sunrise yoga sessions - and even partake in a morning SulaFest fun run to get their energy levels back on track!
As always, SulaFest goes out to benefit locally based NGO’s and non-profits. Apulkee (farmers welfare), Sharan (animal welfare), Hausla (children welfare), Awhaas (animal welfare). This aligned with Sula’s long-standing commitment to give back to communities and causes in need.

Celebrities seen over the weekend were Kabir Bedi and Parveen Dusanj, Vineet Jain, Sapna Bhavnani, Aparna Badlani, Kim Sharma, Anjana Sukhani, Narendra Kumar, Arjun Khanna, Prahlad and Mitali Kakkar, Ranvir Shorey, Sonnalli Seygall, Vikram Raizada, Cecilia Oldne, Kelvin and Andrea Cheung, Malini Agarwal, Mona Juneja, Santino Morea, Dinesh Vazerani and Mayank Ruia to name a few!
Speaking about SulaFest 2017, Cecilia Oldne, Global Brand Ambassador and Vice President - Marketing, Sula says, “Cheers to 10 years! What a beautiful weekend and what an amazing crowd!  See you next year!”
Raimund Imo, Festival Director of SulaFest 2017 says, “What an incredible weekend this has been! The vibe has been electric with thousands of fest-goers and the best line up so far! We could see that people had the time of their life! All of us have been touch by the joy spread around. Next year, we embark on the beginning of another decade of SulaFest and we promise that we will have many more surprises for you in store then!”
Anuj Rakyan, Founder and Managing Director – RAW Pressery says, "Being a part of SulaFest this year has been an amazing experience for us. Good vibes and the flowing energy resulted in a great celebration of music, art and food. We loved our interactions with the festival goers and were heartened with their response specially around our newly launched Tender Coconut Water and our RAWCycle recycling initiative – both introduced at this year’s festival. Our aim to recycle all PET waste at the festival into wearable apparel was especially well received. At RAW Pressery, we are strong believers of healthy living and a wholesome lifestyle and I was extremely elated to see this spirit resonate through the three days.
The brand's philosophy, ALL GOOD. NO BAD was effortlessly integrated into the SulaFest spirit and we look forward to more integrations going ahead.” 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank commences its banking operations

Bengaluru, February 6, 2017:  Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd, one of the leading microfinance companies in the country, today, announced its transformation to a Small Finance Bank.
Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Ltd. (Ujjivan SFB) commenced operations with five pilot branches in Bengaluru which will provide full service offerings. In the next one month, the bank will comprehensively test its technology, channels, people and processes as part of its roll-out.    Ujjivan SFB plans to extend these services across 457 branches in 24 states in a planned and phased manner over the next few months.
Commenting on the launch, Mr. Samit Ghosh, MD and CEO of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Ltd. said, “The launch of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank is a significant milestone. We started our journey as an NBFC in 2005 with a mission to empower the economically active low income group by providing them with a full range of financial services, which the SFB platform now enables us to do so. Ujjivan SFB would offer a no minimum balance savings bank account with the full range of banking services & benefits using the latest technology to the unserved and underserved customers. We will provide a whole host of benefits such as door-step & paperless banking, mobile, internet and phone banking, access to biometric ATMs and Aadhar enabled debit cards. These benefits are normally available only to premier customers of commercial banks.”
“The deposit & savings products of Ujjivan SFB have been designed and developed based on comprehensive research & in-depth understanding and so also to fulfill comprehensive financial inclusion objectives amongst the segments we aim to serve.’’ Mr. Ghosh said.
The bank would offer competitive and attractive rates of interest on Fixed Deposit and Recurring Deposit products in the range of 5.5% to 8% which is higher than the average rate of interest offered by most banks. The savings bank account is being offered with full range of benefits like accessing multiple channels such as Biometric ATMs, RuPay Debit Card, Phone, Internet & Mobile Banking at the market rate interest of 4%.
Mr. Ghosh added, “As an NBFC-MFI, we have always taken pride in being a customer centric organization with a high customer touch-point backed by state-of-the art technology and infrastructure. The 3.5 million customer base and industry high customer retention rate of
Ujjivan reiterates the success of our decade long commitment and validates our approach to serve underserved and unbanked across the country. Our primary goal is to reach out to the larger unbanked & under banked populace through our unique bank, and provide them with easy-to-use & access banking services where they are treated as valued customers.” 
The customers of Ujjivan SFB will have unlimited access to ATM transactions on Ujjivan’s ATM network and a total of six free transactions on other bank’s ATM networks, making this one of the highest free transactions offered by any bank, currently.  
Ujjivan SFB will also offer remittance services enabling customers to transfer money within Ujjivan and other bank accounts in a very reasonable and affordable manner. This has always been a key requirement of customers from this segment. Customers can also visit branches to avail this facility.
Ujjivan SFB has invested significantly on technology and digitization. Ujjivan SFB will bring this service in a seamless manner through the internet and mobile banking option. Aadhar enabled KYC and our simplified process will enable account opening in 5-7 minutes using biometric authentication on a hand-held device. 
Ujjivan SFB has significantly focused on training and reskilling the existing workforce to take up new, diverse and strategic roles in the bank. Of the current employee strength of approximately 10,000, close to 2,000 employees are new entrants with banking backgrounds. 
Ujjivan SFB’s goal is to build a leading state of the art mass market retail bank in five years to serve the vast unserved & underserved customer base who currently are outside the formal banking system.    

About Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Limited

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Limited is a banking company licensed under Section 22 (1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to carry on small finance bank business. It is also a wholly owned subsidiary of Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd. The bank has commenced its operations with effect from February 1, 2017.