Indian economy's bid for progress through aviation
Aravind Ramachandran

Indian economy bids for progress through better aviation

Home to 18% of the world's population, India has all the makings of what a booming aviation market should look like. The growing middle class, which currently accounts for 3.5% of the global total (according to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report ) is one of the key predictors put forth in the IATA passenger demand forecast model. On the whole, the travel market is projected to grow at around 11.5% at present, hitting $48 billion by 2020.   The Indian Railways , which is a monopoly owned and operated by the Government of India, reports an annual revenue of $25 billion (INR 1.68 trillio...
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When humans crack under stress can AI keep its cool?
Aravind Ramachandran

When humans crack under stress, can AI keep its cool?

When an aircraft hits a snag while in flight and plunges thousands of feet without warning, it is natural for people inside it to be scared. But the only thing that can relieve such fear is timely information with a reasonable assumption of safety. Passengers may typically seek this from the cabin crew, who are extensively trained on customer experience, flight safety and above all, emergency management. In fact, this "reassurance through a human presence" has been the crux of the argument against unstaffed airline cabins, or more accurately a cabin which is staffed by AI powered machines. How...
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This is why airlines are not ready for Bitcoin just yet
Aravind Ramachandran

This is why airlines are not ready for Bitcoin just yet

​ Customer : Can I pay you in bitcoin? Ticket counter agent : Mmm, no. I am sorry. Customer : Why not??? It is the currency of the digital age! Ticket counter agent : I'm sorry, we do not accept bitcoin. Cash or card? Customer : But why not? This conversation could be happening right now, at the ticket counter of any major airline, in any of the busy airports around the world. Interestingly, both parties are quite right and perfectly justified in their positions on the topic. So let us look at both sides of the coin and try to explain why. Bitcoin, despite the initial bad press about being use...
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Soul searching for tech innovators
Aravind Ramachandran

Soul searching for tech innovators: Tell customers WHY not just WHAT

Once upon a time, people would thank technology for letting them do things they never dreamed possible. Those times are gone, and people are harder to please than ever before. Today's users want to get things done faster, easier, more efficiently and at a definite cost advantage over the long term that would ultimately pay for the technology itself. Otherwise, investing in technology just doesn't make sense! ​ ​ HAX , a hardware accelerator which supports multiple start-ups in the robotics space, recently hosted a demonstration of the technologies developed under their incubation. A common con...
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Aravind Ramachandran

Aviation in Africa: Need for local partnerships and an economic challenge

​The continent of Africa has a total of 54 independent countries, but international trade to and from the region is dominated by just five countries. Growth is steady on the whole (around 1.5% in 2016 and 2.6% in 2017) standing just behind Asia as a continent, and expected to strengthen in the coming years. But some countries in the region stand out - Ethiopia has been growing at 10% by IATA estimates while Kenya shows a 6% growth rate according to World Bank estimates. This distribution of trade across the expanse of the continent calls for a good connectivity network as can be provided only ...
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