NRI from Gujarat killed in a shootout at his strip club in North Carolina

A non-resident Indian (NRI) with roots in Gujarat was brutally killed in a shooting in the United States. Forty year old Akash Talati had shifted to US a decade ago. He was running a motel that housed a strip club in  Fayetteville, North Carolina.

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Talati was the owner of  the Diamondz Gentlemen’s Club and was apparently killed in a shootout that resulted from an altercation between the club’s security guards and a patron, who was thrown out.

According to the family, some unidentified assailants had entered the motel with the motive to carry out a loot.“When Akash tried to intervene, the assailants opened firing inside the motel leaving three other employees in the motel injured. Akash died on the spot. After the police reached there, the injured were shifted to hospital where condition of one employee is still critical.”

According to Detective J Littlejohn of Fayetteville Police, the shootout took place around 1.30 am on Saturday, local time at Fayetteville, when Talati was present inside the club. Littlejohn said, “The incident was a result of a verbal exchange between the security guards hired by Talati and a patron, who was asked to leave the club due to his behaviour. He was upset about being asked to go, there was an argument and he opened fire. Talati was shot from close range and died on the spot, while three other employees were injured.”

Littlejohn said no other Indian was injured, while one of the injured is critical. Probe is on to identify the accused, officials said.

Akash is survived by wife Mital, who hails from Surat and eight-year-old son Jay. His last Facebook post, hours before his death, read, “Life is too short for fake connections.”

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Sunny Leone’s commercials : Condoms and Ghee !

Canadian-born Indian-American actress and model, Sunny Leone who is currently active in Indian film industry is also making waves in the Indian Advertising industry.

Sunny Leone has worked hard to shed her image of a “former pornstar” but that reputation seems to be following her around. The “Navratri Themed” Condom Ad featuring Ms Leone faces opposition In Gujarat, Goa and elsewhere.

Now, there is news that Sunny Leone is planning to shoot a commercial for a much more uncontroversial product: Fresh Desi Ghee!


“It is neither the gym nor the latest diet programmes, it is ghee that has helped me maintain my physique” quipped Sunny Leone.

In order to promote Dholpur Fresh’s desi ghee, Balaji Creators has roped in Sunny Leone in their latest commercial.  Commenting on the campaign strategy , Puneet Sharma of Balaji Creators says

“Featuring Sunny Leone for the ad has been great since she is the face & inspiration to many Indian women and epitomizes hard work and perseverance – an apt quotient for the product. This is the first time we are working with Sunny Leone, infact this also the first time that she is promoting a food brand. The back drop of the ad is very different from other ghee ads. We aim to transport the audience to a different era which epitomizes quality & originality which Balaji Creators stands for”


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Patanjali ‘s advert: appeal to all Patriotic Indians on the eve of 71st Independence Day

Baba Ramdev’s business genius in launching and driving swadesi, ‘Made in India’ products is still being analyzed by business leaders and students of business alike. The Yogi turned business magnate has skillfully introduced and nurtured a series of products that take on well entrenched players in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) space including Unilever, Nestle, Britannia and even Dabur among others.

Behind a folksy, homegrown veneer, Ramdev and his trusted lieutenant Acharya Balkrishna, (managing director of the company) operate a rather strong and serious business.

“According to CLSA and HSBC, Patanjali is the fastest growing FMCG company in India. It is valued at ₹30 billion (US$470 million) and some predict revenues of ₹5,000 crore (US$780 million) for the fiscal 2015–16. Patanjali declared its annual turnover of the year 2016-17 to be estimated ₹10,216 crore (US$1.6 billion). Ramdev baba has stated in his interview with CNN-News18 that profit from Patanjali Products goes to charity.” – Wikipedia

Continuing with a tradition of pandering to emerging desi nationalist sentiment, the company has launched a campaign with “appeals on 71st Independence Day to all Patriotic Indians (facebook)”


Patanjali products also seem to be a hit with Non Resident Indians (NRIs) and the Indian Diaspora.

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Promoting desi products and Yoga: Baba Ramdev frequently tours the west to promote made-in-India products

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Check out recent headlines on the Patanjali Story.   And also an earlier blog “Indian Style Innovation? Generate electricity using bulls”

NRI in News: AT&T’s High Speed-Network is Helping Suman Kanuganti’s Smart Glasses Change the World

Imagine having just arrived at a busy airport and having to navigate to baggage claim, all the while having your eyes closed. Now imagine having to choose your bag out of hundreds of cases of luggage. This was the scenario that Aira’s Co-founder and CEO, Suman Kanuganti, gave at a 2016 global technology conference. This task, which we are casually able to do, is made exponentially difficult for the blind and visually impaired who make up more than 22 million of the U.S. population.

To help those faced with visibility challenges every day, Suman Kanuganti and his team created Aira, a live-time navigational service company that leverages wearable devices, human assisted AI, and widespread bandwidth. Aira was developed within AT&T Foundry for Connected Health, a workshop that fosters emerging Internet of Things (IoT) companies. Here, Suman was able to work closely with AT&T for nine months before showcasing Aira at CES 2017.

Aira utilizes innovative smart glasses technology, along with a dedicated team of certified agents, to guide the users’ around their surroundings while AT&T Dynamic Traffic Management gives Aira agents prioritized connectivity. The user taps on the glasses to connect to an agent who offers assistance. Using a video camera, the agents can “see” from the wearer’s perspective in near real-time and communicate back to the wearer. This way, Aira is able to help, not just in navigation, but also for various circumstances that require visionary aid. Suman’s goal is to expand on these services and develop better software to help those with dementia or autism.

About Suman Kanuganti

Suman holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Finance, but more importantly, Suman was able to cultivate his vision from his roots, pulling from his Bachelor’s in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Kakatiya University, India. His learnings as well as more than 10 years of expertise in leadership and tech has helped develop Aira into fruition, successfully enabling many to navigate independently and even allowing a visually impaired runner, Erich Manser, to finish this year’s Boston Marathon 2017. Beyond the marathon, Erich stated that Aira is helpful for every-day tasks, from picking out a special-occasion card to navigating through populated airports.

Indian Style Innovation? Generate electricity using bulls

Economic Times has an interesting story featuring Patanjali’s Baba Ramdev, Acharya Balkrishna now want to generate electricity using bulls

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Baba Ramdev and his associate Acharya Balkrishna of consumer goods company Patanjali are working on a unique form of renewable energy: Bull power.

Research of over one and a half years on the idea to generate electricity with the aid of a bull’s pulling power has yielded initial success. The aim is to ensure that the animals don’t get sent to slaughter.

The experiment is the brainchild of Balkrishna, managing director and primary stakeholder of Patanjali, and involves a leading Indian multinational automobile manufacturer and a Turkish partner. A prototype has been designed and is being tweaked to generate more electricity.

So far the design, involving a turbine, has managed to yield nearly 2.5 kilowatts of power, said those aware of the research project.

“At a time when more and more male bovines are being slaughtered, we want to change the perception that they (bulls) are not very valuable,” Balkrishna told ET, confirming that Patanjali is conducting research on this at its sprawling Haridwar headquarters “While in the morning they can be used in the farms, in the evening they can be utilised for generation of electricity.”

The article and the interesting headline leaves a lot to our imagination, especially since the technique is unproven and hasn’t been demonstrated at scale. If it does succeed, it will be an interesting innovation to watch.
You may also be interested in a more detailed feature on Patanjali (link) including articles on growth of its brand and going global.

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