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RATCH leads three-way venture for IPS project #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 27, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384955?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

RATCH leads three-way venture for IPS project

Mar 27. 2020
By THE NATION

RATCH Group Company Limited has teamed up with Nava Nakorn Public Company Limited (NNCL) and PEA ENCOM International Company Limited (PEA ENCOM) in developing a Bt2.176-billion cogeneration independent power supply project (IPS) with a capacity of 40 megawatt .

The three parties entered into a shareholder agreement today (March 27) to form a joint operating entity, in which RATCH Group will take 40 per cent of total shares , NNCL 35 per cent and PEA ENCOM 25 per cent.

Kijja Sripatthangkura, RATCH Group’s chief executive officer, disclosed that the project is developed in a form of a cogeneration independent power supplier to generate electricity and stream and directly sell to and serve the demand of industrial users in Nava Nakorn industrial zone in Nakorn Ratchasima province, via the grid network of Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA).

The project will help stabilise the power system, a vital infrastructure for industrial sectors. It is expected to start commercial operation in July 2023.

Following the NNEG power plant located in Nava Nakorn Promotion industrial zone, Pratum Thani province, it is the second project RATCH Group has joined forces with NNCL, a strategic partner specialising in industrial estate development.

Also, it is the beginning of collaboration with PEA ENCOM International Company Limited, a PEA subsidiary focusing on investment power business. The company is confident that collaboration among the three companies will bring about other investment opportunities in the future”, Kijja said.

In 2020, RATCH Group targets an increase of 780-megawatt in generation capacity.

The project is one of the company’s investment targets . On March 19, It acquired a 49 per cent stake in the 92-MW Nexif Cogeneration SPP project in Rayong.

Huawei tests if Chinese consumers ready to buy new phones #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 27, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384906?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Huawei tests if Chinese consumers ready to buy new phones

Mar 27. 2020
Richard Yu, chief executive officer of consumer business at Huawei Technologies Co., in Munich on Sept. 19, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Michaela Handrek-Rehle.

Richard Yu, chief executive officer of consumer business at Huawei Technologies Co., in Munich on Sept. 19, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Michaela Handrek-Rehle.
By Syndication The Washington Post,  Bloomberg · Nate Lanxon

Huawei Technologies is about to test the demand for flagship smartphones in China, and the chief executive officer of its consumer business said he’s confident markets and manufacturers are ready.

Richard Yu said that the Chinese government’s strict limitations on public mobility at the start of the year to bring the spread of Covid-19 under control are beginning to relax as the virus has died down, and the country is open for business again.

“It’s under control and most stores are open,” he said in an interview on Thursday ahead of the company’s launch of its P40 range of flagship smartphones. “The supply chain and manufacturing in China has recovered.”

The covid-19 outbreak is just the latest in a number of high-profile existential challenges to Huawei. The company’s also been battling global scrutiny over its telecom equipment, and was added to a U.S. government blacklist that blocked it from using popular versions of the Android operating system.

Yu said he’s confident a relationship with the U.S. can be rebuilt.

“We want to continue our partnership with Google,” he said, adding that Huawei is in discussions with the Alphabet Inc. company. “We hope this issue can be solved, but we’re not the government so we can’t make the decision. They’re a smart government, and I hope they can give a license.”

In the first quarter of 2020, amid the novel coronavirus’s rapid spread across the globe, shipments of Huawei’s wearable devices grew 75%, while PCs and wireless earphones grew about 110% and 150% respectively, a spokeswoman for the company said.

Yu said one significant contributor to the growth of these products was the large number of people working and going to school from home.

Still, demand for smartphones is slowing, and manufacturers are trying to find new ways to convince consumers they should upgrade their devices. Bendable products are an increasingly popular strategy being tried out by some of the world’s biggest device makers, including Huawei.

In February, it announced a second-generation version of its Mate X folding phone, which up to that point had been sold mostly in its home country. Yu said the phone isn’t profitable, but demand is outpacing supply.

“With time and more production we can bring the cost down and make it more competitive,” he said.

Yu also said that the P40 — which comprises three models with a range of features and price points — is the first Huawei smartphone to only support fifth-generation, or 5G, networks.

He said he was confident that “2020 is the first year 5G will take off, so that’s why the P40 is purely a 5G phone.”

Ben Wood, chief of research at analyst group CCS Insight, said that although “arguably there could not be a worse time to launch a set of premium smartphones, Huawei may be in a better position than some rivals.”

Wood agreed that indications are that Huawei’s home market is starting to recover from the impact of Covid-19, and “given that Huawei has been shipping over 40 million units a quarter in China in recent times, this provides a strong foundation for the business.”

The P40 range announced Thursday sits at the top end of Huawei’s product line and comprises three variants: the P40, P40 Pro, and P40 Pro Plus. They all feature high-resolution multi-lens camera systems, and the top models include screens that curve at the edges.

The phones also introduce Huawei’s Celia voice assistant as an alternative to the Google Assistant, which as a result of the U.S. trade embargo isn’t available on the open-source version of Android used by Huawei for the devices.

The P40 goes on sale in April, starting at 799 euros ($878).

As the covid-19 pandemic continues to spread across Europe and the U.S., Yu said he’s hopeful governments in affected countries would be able to contain the crisis.

“I hope the U.K. and the world recovers soon from coronavirus,” he said. “The experience from China was that the government very strictly limited the mobility of people, and quickly everything came under control. I think governments in the rest of the world are taking action like China and will quickly control it too.”

Central Pattana waives rents of retailers closed under order #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 27, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384899?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Central Pattana waives rents of retailers closed under order

Mar 27. 2020
By The Nation

Central Pattana Plc will waive the rental fees of retailers ordered to close temporarily by the government as a measure to curb spread of the Covid-19 contagion. At the same rime, the company has launched some necessary services for customers, including food delivery & take-home pick up counters and drive-throughs , while supermarkets , pharmacies and convenient stores in its properties stay open.

The company will join government relief efforts for all sectors affected by the ongoing crisis . To keep its business operation uninterrupted, the company is formulating a recovery plan which will apply when the situation returns to normal, to ensure the return of investment for stakeholders. Central Pattana would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to all medical personnel and relevant authorities for their dedication in this trying time.

Below is excepts from a statement by Preecha Ekkunakul, President and CEO of Central Pattana Plc :

” As Covid -19 continues to spread more rapidly and the situation gets more severe, everyone needs to work together and support one another in a concerted effort to slow down the pace of this unprecedented pandemic. Central Pattana, together with all members of our corporate families nationwide, will endeavour to overcome this challenge, and emerge even more stronger together.

We and our partners have an important duty to ensure that our customers continue to have access to essential products and services, as well as to proactively keeping up preventive measures for the safety of our customers, partners and employees in all our shopping centers nationwide.

In compliance with the authorities’ mandate to have people stay at home, refrain from traveling and avoid social gatherings, we have temporarily closed our shopping centers in Bangkok, and in some provinces. Nevertheless, we have been working closely with our partners to make sure that essential products and services continue to be accessible to our customers.

1. Care for our customers

Providing necessary services to ensure that daily lives continue by keeping open supermarkets and essential services such as banks, pharmacies and convenience stores, and by allocating space and helping our food & beverage partners organise food pick-up and delivery service. We have also set up call centers, pick-up counters and drive-through pick-up points to enhance convenience and safety for our customers.

2. Care for our partners

We have closely collaborated with our partners to handle the rapidly-changing situation while ensuring that we are open to provide services to customers. We have alleviated the burden of our partners by waiving the rents, during the temporary closure period, of retailers who were ordered by the authorities to close and offering rent discounts of 10-50 per cent for stores that are still open, and in addition, we are providing support to retail stores in the form of ‘Pick Up & Delivery’ as well as preparing a business plan for the return of service once this crisis is over.

3. Care for employees

We look after our employees, both on the front lines and in the support teams. We have taken stringent preventive measures and workplace hygiene for our employees’ safety and have rolled out remote working policy to let some of our employees work from home to help control the spread of the disease. We have also provided special health insurance coverage specifically for Covid-19 for all of our employees.

4. Maintain continuity of business operation

We are confident that with complete cooperation from all parties, we will overcome this challenge together. We are ready to support every business to resume normal operations and to help coordinate government aids for all sectors affected.

As for ourselves, we have implemented measures to reduce our operating costs, and to provide guidelines for our team to reduce the impact on the company.

Virus outbreak accelerates delivery, drive-through service #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 27, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384885?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Virus outbreak accelerates delivery, drive-through service

Mar 26. 2020
By THE NATION

Major shopping malls and supermarkets have started delivery and drive-through service, catering to customers who prefer to stay home or not wanting to get out of their cars as the Covid-19 outbreak continues.

Tops Supermarket of Central Food Retail Group recently launched Tops Drive Thru, a new service to allow customers to shop on its website, drive to the delivery locations and pick up their orders without getting out of their vehicles.

The first Tops Drive Thru is now in operation at Central Plaza Chaengwattana, before expanding to 17 other branches. Consumers can shop conveniently in just four steps:

1) Shop at www.tops.co.th.

2) Choose Click & Collect/Drive-Thru.

3) Choose the location customers want to pick the items, starting with the first at Central Plaza Chaengwattana from March 25.

4) Pick up items safely and conveniently without getting out of the car. Staff will prepare products to be collected in advance.

The Mall Group has also allowed customers to order any items from some of its branches in Bangkok and items from its Gourmet Market premium supermarket nationwide and they can ask those venues to send items to their home or they can pick them up via a drive-through channel or pickup counters.

Hospitality business Dusit International has capitalised on the synergy of its hotel and food businesses with the launch of a food delivery service as more and more people adopt the ‘work from home’ practice.

The service, currently in operation and available form 10am to 20pm daily, involves Dusit Suite Hotel Ratchadamri, Bangkok, Dusit Princess Srinakarin hotel, and Baan Dusit Thani standalone restaurant.

Dusit jumps on the wagon

Dusit jumps on the wagon

Customers can ask for foods to the delivered to a specified location while a 10 per cent discount will be given if orders are collected at designated spots.

Dusit recently delivered lunch boxes to medical staff in some hospitals in Bangkok and the provinces and will continue to do so.

Meanwhile, The Market Bangkok (Rachaprasong) shopping mall has launched take- home service at its pick-up counter on the ground floor.

The service is available daily during 11am to 20pm. There are more than 30 food shops at the venue participating in the service.

The Market Bangkok

The Market Bangkok

Many provinces, including Bangkok, have ordered temporay closure of high risk venues including department stores, barring the food sections which must only cater to take-home orders. Clients are not allowed to sit and eat at the outlets.

Nokia chief aims to accelerate Thailand’s 5G journey #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 27, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384870?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Nokia chief aims to accelerate Thailand’s 5G journey

Mar 26. 2020
David Oxford, Nokia Thailand's country director,  aims to accelerate Thailand's 5G journey.

David Oxford, Nokia Thailand’s country director, aims to accelerate Thailand’s 5G journey.
By Sirivish Toomgum
THE NATION

The 5G wireless broadband technology will have a significant impact on the overall lifestyle of Thai citizens, as well as on enterprises in Thailand, said David Oxford, Nokia Thailand’s country director.

“The impact will come in two waves. Firstly, enterprises, such as transportation, manufacturing, logistics, or even the government, will be able to provide much more efficient services with lower latencies and higher data speeds. These new services that enterprises look to serve their customers will increase the overall operational efficiency in Thailand.

“Secondly, consumers will experience greater data speeds, and gain access to a variety of services such as augmented reality, virtual reality and mobile gaming which will drive entirely new industries in Thailand,” he added.

He said that 5G is more than just a new radio technology — it’s an end-to-end transformation of the network.

The 5G ecosystem currently consists of various types of systems, not just radio access equipment. It ranges from Internet Protocol to software solutions. Nokia has a complete end-to-end portfolio which includes all these sub-systems, he added.

“With regards to 5G, the key for Nokia is to provide value for our customers as they roll out new services to enterprises and end-users. Our strategy is to focus on ensuring that we have a compelling set of solutions and features that allow our customers to be competitive as 5G comes alive here in Thailand.

“We are focused on new features including enhanced security, slicing, higher output power, and having frequencies available for the Thai market.”

Nokia is also focusing heavily on the enterprise space where 5G can add significant value, especially in areas such as manufacturing, logistics and port management.

“We have a dedicated enterprise team developing use cases to address this particular space.

“We’re working with all the operators in Thailand on 5G at this time as they start their journey with 5G and look forward to working with them as they deploy networks throughout this year,”.

Oxford said that the telecommunications space is competitive in Thailand, not only from an operators point of view, but also from a market perspective.

“This is a good thing for the operators, as it helps to drive down cost and to optimise the overall efficiency of the network. As a result, this also pushes vendors to provide the best value to our customers.

“At Nokia, we are focused on our ability to provide the best value for our customers as they look to roll out 5G networks.”

He added that for over 20 years, Nokia has defined many of the fundamental technologies used in today’s mobile networks, in terms of developing standards, solutions, and ecosystems.

“We are a global market leader in network technology, and already have 69 commercial 5G agreements, including 20 that are in live commercial operation.”

Nokia created a strong enterprise team a few years ago, as it knew that 5G would be heavily focused on enterprise.

“We are well aligned with the enterprise space and have teams specifically focused on developing enterprise use cases for a variety of different industries in Thailand.

“In Thailand, private LTE [long-term evolution] technology would be a key focus for us. We believe that for areas such as ports, manufacturing, and other enterprises in the Eastern Economic Corridor could take advantage of private LTE systems. Our private wireless solutions will help drive industrial digitalisation and automation, in line with the Thailand 4.0 initiative.

“Nokia is paving the way for Industry 4.0 initiatives globally, with over 120 private wireless networks across multiple industries and countries. We are working with enterprises in the energy, transportation, public sector, manufacturing, and logistics sectors as they look to deploy their Industry 4.0 initiatives.”

When asked if it was challenging for him to work at this time of the Covid-19 outbreak here, he said, “The health and safety of our employees is always our top priority. As such, we are monitoring the situation closely to ensure the safety of our employees. To date, we have taken a range of steps across countries to keep our employees safe.”

“We are working with relevant authorities and government to follow the updated guidance in Thailand. We are also working with our customers to ensure that we can support them during this period so that they can continue offering much needed telecommunication services.”

Regarding his management style, Oxford said that he focuses on collaboration and listening.

“I like to hear from different groups about a certain topic, situation or a certain deal we have to work with and make sure that I fully understand the available options so I can make an informed decision about how to move forward.”

Oxford is not an unfamiliar with Thailand as he had lived here for eight years previously and had many chances to travel across the country.

“Unfortunately, since I moved back to Thailand and took up this job, I have been very busy and I haven’t had the chance to travel too much.

“Over the eight years that I lived here, I’ve been able to understand Thai culture and enjoy how courteous Thai people are. I love Thai food — but am unable to eat spicy food! On weekends there’s always a chance to see and do things within Bangkok and even beyond the city.”

In his leisure time, Oxford likes to go to the gym and work out to stay in shape.

“I really enjoy playing tennis when I have time. Beyond exercising, I do enjoy watching movies and travelling — of course things I wouldn’t recommend that we do during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Biography

As country director of Thailand at Nokia, David Oxford oversees all the company’s business and operations in the nation.

Previously he was Nokia’s Customer Team Head in Indonesia and the Philippines. Before joining Nokia, he worked with General Electric in Thailand for nearly five years. During this period, he served as the company’s regional product leader for industrial telecommunications and before that, the business development manager for End-to-End Solutions.

Oxford began his career as a systems engineer with Motorola in the United States. He later took on several senior roles with the company across Asia.

Oxford graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington before obtaining an MBA in Telecommunications from the University of Dallas.

Almost overnight, the $100 billion fitness industry goes virtual #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 27, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384860?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Almost overnight, the $100 billion fitness industry goes virtual

Mar 26. 2020
A client runs on a treadmil. MUST CREDIT: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

A client runs on a treadmil. MUST CREDIT: Scott Eells/Bloomberg
By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Naureen Malik · BUSINESS, TECHNOLOGY

Reese Scott started boxing 17 years ago and dreamed of setting up her studio for almost as long. In 2018 she started Women’s World of Boxing, the first female-owned boxing gym in New York and, according to ClassPass Inc., the most popular workout in Manhattan on its app.

Last week, as social distancing measures took hold across the city – and then the country – she temporarily closed her 2,300-square-foot, exposed-brick studio and, for the first time, streamed her workout on Instagram. From her Harlem apartment she maneuvered lighting and camera frames to best display her full 5-foot-4-inch frame in a 2-by-3-foot space. Especially challenging, she says, is that clients need to be able to see her footwork.

“It is life-changing,” she says. “Going from having brick-and-mortar, an established clientele, and an established flow of business to all of a sudden I have to be very creative and launch a virtual online business in less than a week.”

Scott is one of more than 350,000 fitness instructors and trainers in the U.S. who’ve seen in-person studio classes and personal training sessions dramatically shift in the 10 days. To keep their businesses afloat, they’ve turned to streaming options, whether Zoom, Instagram Live, FaceTime, or YouTube. Many of these classes are being offered for free – for now – as a way for trainers to stay connected while they figure out how to get new and existing clients to pay for their services.

The results can be charmingly DIY, as when an instructor from Shadowbox demonstrated crunches by touching her toes with a container of Clorox in one hand. But depending on your tolerance for choppy video, poor lighting, and unflattering camera angles, they can be a maddening experience as well. The pivot to streaming has highlighted the difference between paying $30 for a class in a tightly controlled environment and one where pets can scramble your position on a downward dog and children need to be kept clear of kettlebells.

Boutique outfits have been the fitness industry’s biggest driver of growth for much of the past decade. The latest study by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association found that premium clubs made up the fastest-growing brick-and-mortar exercise category and pushed the industry to an almost $100 billion estimation this year. From 2013 to 2017, membership at boutique studios grew over 120% despite thousands of free instructional videos on YouTube and an estimated 250,000 apps devoted to fitness.

“The central benefit of these boutique experiences is face-to-face interaction,” says Rick Stollmeyer, chief executive officer of fitness-booking app Mindbody. On a typical day the platform will book more than 1 million classes out of 2.5 million available, but that number has essentially dropped to zero. “People are jumping into alternative ways to connect, but it’s already abundantly clear that it’s devastating,” Stollmeyer says. “They’re seeing revenues drop off 80, 90% and in some case 100%.” (SolidCore, which has 72 studios, and Flywheel Sports, with 42 locations, both laid off 98% of their workforce last week.)

Barry’s Bootcamp LLC CEO Joey Gonzalez spent 48 hours over the weekend converting his garage into the closest approximation of the club’s famous “red room,” in order to give the virtual classes a similar look and feel that a class at one of the chain’s 70 locations worldwide would have. The company currently broadcasts two or three classes a day on its @barrys Instagram feed, available for free. “Obviously we were not prepared for this,” Gonzalez says. “We’re operating as a business with zero dollars of revenue coming in and just figuring out how to pay our employees.”

But competition in virtual fitness, like in the physical world, is fierce. The pandemic-driven shutdown is prompting some big brands to either accelerate their online offerings or beef them up. Equinox, which has about 350 gyms and boutique studios, said on Monday that its Variis EQX app will now be available widely for download.

Nike Inc.’s Run Club app already offers guided workouts, but the company has made all premium content on its Training Club app free through June 9. Adidas AG is supplementing free training from its Runtastic app with daily virtual sessions on the brand’s Adidas Runners Instagram account.

Meanwhile, on-demand fitness services such as Peloton and Aaptiv have seen their numbers surge. Beachbody CEO Carl Daikeler, who founded his workout-from-home concept in 1998, says new subscriber sign-ups are up more than 200% from the same time last year, and volume is up nearly 80%. (There are approximately 1.5 million subscribers.) “There’s not a shortage of content available,” he says. “The shortage is from programs that are engaging and will really work. Fitness is the easiest thing in the world to skip.”

Nathan Forster started the streaming workout platform Neo U 18 months ago, says its average number of daily subscribers grew 600% last week. And its kids’ programming has accounted for some of the most popular videos on the site. “Even before coronavirus, everyone knew that the at-home model was here to stay,” he says. “It didn’t need a pandemic to light it on fire, but that’s what it has done.”

The businesses that had already begun to create online options are now at a distinct advantage. “Having our own app was huge,” says Helaine Knapp, founder and CEO of City Row, which has nine locations across the U.S. When they saw that gym closings would become inevitable, the crew spent two days shooting workouts on their phones so they’d have a bank of content. “We have a production coordinator who was able to get the right instructor, put together a setup in the studio, and have a subset of trainers that have already been trained for the camera,” Knapp says.

Those without their own proprietary outlets have had to get more creative. Nathaniel Jewell, founder of the San Francisco-based mobile rowing studio Dryft, says he decided to use Zoom over Instagram TV or Facebook because the classes can be more interactive. But not being able to control the experience has its own challenges. For each class, Dryft has a team available to troubleshoot customer’s IT questions or help fix a mic or camera that’s not working. “It’s like a mini live TV show production behind the scenes,” Jewell says.

Boxing instructor Scott found herself tapping into a network of other studio owners (as well as her own clients) to create a virtual business model on the fly that also could stick around in the long term. For her first online class, 200 people tuned in. “It was amazing,” she says. “They remind me that I am not alone. It keeps me focused. I have no choice but to level up my game.”

Mindbody’s Stollmeyer finds a measure of hope thanks to this sort of resilience – at least, so far. “These are people’s passions,” he says. “What are they going to do, throw in the towel? And then what, now go look for a job?”

– – –

ONLINE WORKOUTS WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN SWEAT

– Barry’s: The famously intense strength and cardio interval workout is now typically hosting three classes per day on Instagram. Most are bodyweight focused, but it’s begun to stream band exercises this week using its own “band together fit kits.” Classes on its @barrys Instagram account are free; the company’s band kits are available for $32.

– Beachbody: This 20-year-old workout-from-home concept is still going strong. The top program among its nearly 1,400 workouts is Morning Meltdown 100, which provides some much-needed structure for those now working from home. The goal is to simply finish to finish the 100 workouts – whether it’s 100 days or 300 days. The half-hour morning burn is designed to melt off layers of fat thanks to its high-energy, motivational style of training. Check out the nutrition plans, too. Currently offering a 14-day free trial; a 12-month plan is $99.

– City Row: Originally focused on rowing as a low-impact, calorie-torching workout, it now broadcasts similarly effective classes that are focused on bodyweight exercises. Its City Row Go app, however, is the best move if you happen to own a rower at home. Classes on its @cityrow Instagram account are free; they air every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7:30 a.m. but are also saved for later viewing.

– Dryft: Begun as the world’s first “mobile fitness” studio in San Francisco last August, the 1,200-square-foot, solar-powered truck would show up for lunch workouts in office parks around the Bay Area. Now on Zoom, they remained focused on corporate and group workouts that offer an unlimited number of guests, your choice of songs, and even a personalized company “hype” video ahead of class. $5 for individual drop-ins; from $125 for group and corporate bookings.

– Equinox: On its new Variis app, workout brands under the Equinox banner – including PureYoga, SoulCycle, and Precision Run – are all available for streaming for members. Options include the popular Firestarter, a 30-minute cardio class that leads you through jumping jacks, squats, and a range of high-energy moves. Every Sunday night, the @Variis Instagram account releases its weekly class schedule and new classes are posted every day at 8 a.m. EST on Variis IGTV.

– Neo U: Boot camp and dance options are perennially popular but this streaming service has a robust collection of programming for kids, too. Classes include bodyweight basics, cardio, and yoga – there’s one called “Downward Puppies” – and are broken into three categories: the “Minis” (4-6 years), “Smalls” (7-9 years), and “Bigs” (10-12 years). Subscriptions are $15 per month; yearly subscriptions are currently half off at $50 per year.

– Mile High Run Club: Instead of its three treadmill studios, the running club is now offering several Instagram live sessions a day with an overview of workouts to make it easier to follow. For those without treadmills, Dash Strength is meant to keep runners in top form with squats, lunges, pushups, and other exercises to help with speed and endurance. Check the @milehighrunclub Instagram account for updates.

– Nike: The most famous brand in sports formed a team of master trainers to create content on the company’s Training Club app and will start live streaming this weekend. The first one is by trainer Kirsty Godso, so expect the burpees from her Project Equinox classes in Soho. She will be lead the first session via YouTube Live on Saturday, March 28, at 11 a.m EST. The Training Club app is $15 per month or $120 per year.

– Tone House: One of Manhattan’s hardest workouts has introduced a virtual alternative called Housework three times a week at noon. These hour-long sessions are staggered with a lower body workout on Mondays, core on Wednesday, and conditioning on Friday. They’re held on Zoom so the trainers can still shout out at you. And yes, it’ll still hurt. Each session costs $20, or $15 with a 10-class pass.

World War II-style mobilization may carry risks for companies #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 27, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384857?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

World War II-style mobilization may carry risks for companies

Mar 26. 2020
 Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX/File photo

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX/File photo
By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Susan Decker, Christopher Yasiejko · BUSINESS, HEALTH, COURTSLAW, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS

Automaker General Motors and Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, have offered to make hospital ventilators, and other manufacturers are being called upon by the Trump administration to quickly make 500 million N95 air-filtering respirator masks.

But as companies help government fight the coronavirus pandemic in a potential World War II-style mobilization, they are venturing into a legal minefield over patents.

“I don’t want to be the jerk saying people shouldn’t do things to save people’s lives,” but potential contractors “should have eyes wide open,” said Ranga Sudarshan of Covington & Burling, a Washington lawyer, who represents government contractors in intellectual property disputes at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

There are hundreds of patents on things related to N95 respirators, the gold standard used to protect health-care workers from transmission, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Among the owners are the U.S. government, 3M Co., paper and health-care companies, individuals and universities.

Yet public pushback against lawsuits in a time of crisis can be swift.

Earlier this month, Labrador Diagnostic LLC, a patent-licensing firm owned by SoftBank Group Corp.’s Fortress Investment Group, filed a patent-infringement suit against bioMerieux SA, a French company developing coronavirus tests. Even though Labrador later said the suit wasn’t over Covid-19 tests but infectious disease diagnostic tests that predate discovery of the virus, it was blasted in news articles and on Twitter as being “pure evil” and as “greed in the apocalypse.”

Labrador later announced it would offer its patents royalty-free for any company developing a coronavirus test. Gordon Runte, managing director of Fortress, said in an interview that he took 50 threatening calls.

“I don’t know what else to do here to prove we weren’t aware of the Covid-19 testing plans,” he said. “We’re not Satan. We’re good human beings here, and still we’re being thrown under a freight train.”

Patent wars have been waged in nearly every industry yet there are questions about whether litigators will take a break as coronavirus ravages Americans and the economy.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that cites the Defense Production Act, which can force companies to break or delay other contracts to satisfy the prioritized orders, said Christoph Mlinarchik, a government contracts expert.

Trump, in a tweet after signing the order, said he would invoke the act only as a “worst case scenario in the future,” but some Democrats are calling on him to invoke it now, saying time was lost while Trump downplayed the threat of the virus in January and February.

Such orders, Mlinarchik said, “may cause short-term havoc for business relationships,” but “what company would be foolish enough to stain themselves with the long-term stigma of refusing to prioritize or allocate medical supplies during a national emergency and pandemic?”

Concerns that patent-infringement claims would deter contractors in a time of national emergency goes back more than a century. In April 1918, Acting Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt warned that the exposure of patent suits made manufacturers “reluctant to take contracts that may bring such severe consequences.”As a result, federal law ensures that patent owners can’t block the use of any patented invention for something made on behalf of the government.But it doesn’t stop them from pursuing royalty payments in lawsuits against the government at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington. In some instances, the contractors have to indemnify the government, which puts the contractors on the hook for any royalty demands.

Many companies have social responsibility policies that would limit suits but companies that lose out on government contracts may be tempted to seek compensation for their intellectual property, especially when the emergency slows, Sudarshan said.

Pandemic Profits?

A recent trial in Delaware revealed how even tangential connections to the pandemic can roil legal teams. Pacific Biosciences of California Inc. contends a federal jury in Delaware invalidated its patents for a hand-held DNA sequencer because the defendant falsely claimed tests to learn how coronavirus works would be unavailable if the patent owner won. In a statement, PacBio accused its rival of trying “to profit from the current coronavirus pandemic.”

The dire health situation can lead to an “act now, worry later” attitude. An Italian company used its 3-D printer to make copies of a needed valve for ventilators that was patented by another company. The original designer refused to release design files, so they had to be reverse-engineered, the Verge reported.

For some of those stepping up, what’s more important is making sure their products are safe. Fashion designers like “Project Runway” star Christian Siriano have worked with state and local governments to pivot their operations into making non-medical masks and hospital gowns, the New York Times reported.

Citizen groups have been vocal in demanding that patents not get in the way of a vaccine or treatment being widely — and cheaply — available.

“We need to set aside outdated ideas about monopolies and exclusivities and focus on sharing knowledge and solidarity,” Robert Weissman, president of the nonprofit group Public Citizen, wrote Monday.

Drugmakers are aware of the public relations issues. AbbVie said it wouldn’t stand in the way of others making generic versions of its patent-protected drug Kaletra as an experimental treatment for coronavirus.

There are already hints that there may be patent fights over future drug treatments. Gilead Sciences Inc., which has been criticized for the high price of its HIV drugs, is developing an experimental drug called remdesivir and the Chinese government has said it’s seeking a patent on the treatment.

(Adds companies stepping forward to make gowns and masks in 19th paragraph. An earlier version corrected the number and owners of patents on N95 respirators in fourth paragraph.)

E-commerce also faring poorly in social distancing era #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 26, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384838?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

E-commerce also faring poorly in social distancing era

Mar 26. 2020
By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Gerald Porter Jr., Jordyn Holman · BUSINESS, HEALTH

Coming off his best sales month ever in December, Eric Powell, the founder of online retailer Ratio Clothing, was looking to keep the momentum alive with new spring and summer collections for his custom dress shirt business. The customary post-holiday hangover in January and February was winding down.

But instead of a rebound, Ratio’s sales plunged sharply after the first week of March as the coronavirus outbreak suddenly and drastically changed consumer spending.

“It just hits you like a freight train,” said Powell, 38, who is based in Denver. “I knew things were coming, but I didn’t anticipate how bad it was going to get.”

Ratio’s experience shows that e-commerce isn’t being spared from the outbreak — even companies that are technically operating normally since they have few or no stores to close. Since the start of 2020, online sales growth for apparel has plunged to zero from a growth rate of about 30% the previous quarter, according to data from e-commerce software firm ChannelAdvisor. The steepest drop came at the beginning of March, the study shows.

Meanwhile, data from e-commerce research company Edison Trends shows that from March 2 to March 22, a handful of e-commerce brands including Stitch Fix and ThirdLove saw a weekly average drop of 7% in sales.

As consumers grapple with the pandemic and a stalling economy, their spending priorities are shifting amid the uncertainty, said Mike Shapaker, chief marketing officer at ChannelAdvisor.

“Right now everybody’s focused on getting enough food, toilet paper and whatever you need to live,” Shapaker said. “If we come out of this, we can see everything spike back up, or this becomes a new normal for quite a long time.”

While it’s still early, major brands appear to be experiencing less of a blow amid the outbreak, Edison Trends data shows. Nike’s online sales posted comparatively modest declines in the first two weeks of March, while Adidas experienced a sharp increase due to a broad promotion.

Nonetheless, most retailers will only absorb a fraction of lost sales from store closures, according to a report from Moody’s Investors Service. While companies selling groceries and essentials may benefit, “most brick-and-mortar operations will not be able to offset the steep loss from store sales with their online platforms,” Moody’s analysts including Christina Boni wrote.

Powell, meanwhile, is quickly running through his options to keep his business afloat. For now, he has furloughed several employees after scaling back advertising on Google and Instagram until the “dust settles.” Because Ratio sells customized shirts, it carries less finished product in its inventory, so offering discounts isn’t feasible, he said.

“While we’re hoping for the best, we have to plan for the worst, and we simply can’t predict how long this will last,” he said.

Caitlin Mociun, 38, is facing the same bind at her jewelry business, Mociun. In early March, she said demand for her products, which include rings, necklaces and earrings, was strong. But then came a “massive drop.” For five days, she watched her online sales fall sharply.

“As a small business, if people don’t keep buying things, we will cease to exist,” Mociun said.

SoftBank’s Son is betting on himself after go-private talks #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 26, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384835?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

SoftBank’s Son is betting on himself after go-private talks

Mar 26. 2020
Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group, in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Feb. 28, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Dimas Ardian.

Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group, in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Feb. 28, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Dimas Ardian.
By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Tom Metcalf, Pei Yi Mak · BUSINESS, WORLD, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS, ASIA-PACIFIC 

SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son is continuing to bet on himself, even after he considered and then abandoned the idea of taking his conglomerate private.

Son discussed the idea with investors including Elliott Management and the Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund Mubadala in the past week, the Financial Times reported, before moving ahead with a plan to sell assets instead.

The Japanese billionaire is backing himself in other ways. A regulatory filing Tuesday shows his stake has risen to 26.9% from 25.5% and, with SoftBank’s shares gyrating wildly, he also pledged more stock against his holdings.

Son committed an extra 600,000 shares, or about 0.3% of his holdings, to lenders, the filing shows. It means 38.6% of his stake is now pledged to global banks including UBS Group and Nomura Holdings, more than triple the level in 2013.

He also loaned 30 million shares — about 5% of his holding — to Son Equities, according to the disclosure. The holding company is invested in GungHo Online Entertainment, a gaming firm founded by his youngest brother Taizo Son whose shares have dropped 33% this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The size of Son’s pledges — 216.9 million shares worth $7.4 billion — are among the most significant tracked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That amount trails only Larry Ellison, Russia’s Suleiman Kerimov and China’s Qin Yinglin on the ranking of the world’s 500 richest people.

“It’s most common among controlling shareholders,” said Michael Puleo, assistant professor of finance at Fairfield University’s Dolan School of Business in Connecticut. The practice is rare right now because of the stock market rout and it is much more expensive to satisfy margin calls, he said. “Banks want nothing to do with high-risk loans.”

SoftBank spokeswoman Hiroe Kotera declined to comment on Son’s personal finances.

SoftBank’s shares have tumbled since February with investors concerned about some of its investments.

The past week Son began thinking of a leveraged buyout after Gordon Singer of Elliott’s London office expressed interest in buying more SoftBank shares last week, one person said, according to the FT. The plan was eventually abandoned for a number of reasons, including difficulty in getting an investor consortium together so quickly for a large deal, Tokyo listing rules and tax considerations.

The regulatory filing doesn’t explain the rationale for Son’s 30-million-share transaction but the shifting of stakes is a reminder of the complex web of relationships that have long underpinned one of Japan’s largest fortunes.

When GungHo was spun out of SoftBank in 2015 all the shares owned by Taizo Son’s holding company were pledged to his brother’s Son Holdings, according to a statement at the time. Son has also leveraged his stake in the Vision Fund, which invests in tech startups, including WeWork and DoorDash. That boosts his returns if things go well, with outsize losses if they don’t.

Leveraged bets are common among the wealthy, but the marketwide plunge triggered by the spread of the coronavirus is pressuring rich families across the globe, who over the years used share-backed debt facilities. Some are now facing margin calls, adding to broader financial turmoil.

India’s Gautam Adani and his family put up an additional $1.4 billion of stock as collateral on existing debt earlier this month. In China, shareholders of at least 14 firms were asked to supply additional shares. The Hinduja family, one of the world’s richest clans with interests in finance, energy and real estate, are repaying debt backed by equity they hold in lender IndusInd Bank Ltd. after a stock rout caused a breach in loan terms.

Like Son, SoftBank isn’t averse to pledging its holdings. Its stakes in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and SoftBank Japan both include pledged shares.

The company’s enormous debt load and ties to unprofitable startups from WeWork to Oyo Hotels through its $100 billion Vision Fund are worrying investors. Other assets like chipmaker Arm Holdings aren’t listed and may prove difficult to monetize quickly. Moody’s Japan downgraded SoftBank’s unsecured debt rating on Wednesday, saying the Japanese investment firm’s plan to sell off assets during a market downturn threatened the value of its entire portfolio. SoftBank responded to the downgrade by saying it was “biased and mistaken.”

SoftBank shares have tumbled 27% since Feb. 12, even after soaring this week on Son’s plan Monday to unload 4.5 trillion yen ($41 billion) of assets.

The disposal includes the sale of about $14 billion of its shares in prize asset Alibaba. That amount will probably increase, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Anthea Lai said in a note this week.

Even for a billionaire who embraces risk as much as Son, the past few weeks have been tumultuous.

At the start of the month his fortune stood at $17 billion. In two weeks it was cut in half. So far this week it has climbed by about 50% as markets embraced his plan.

Son may be comfortable with such swings. He saw $70 billion wiped from his net worth in the dot-com crash. But falling fortunes aren’t the only potential downside of pledging shares.

“It can get painful for more than one reason,” said Fairfield University’s Puleo. “There’s the loss of wealth but it also creates very negative headlines.”

Strict virus-prevention measures in place at CKP power plants, offices to ensure uninterrupted supply #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 26, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384828?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Strict virus-prevention measures in place at CKP power plants, offices to ensure uninterrupted supply

Mar 25. 2020
By The Nation

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the spike in inflection cases in Thailand , CK Power Public Company Limited (CKP) has reaffirmed that power plants under its responsibility in Laos and Thailand will continue to generate electricity for the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) and Electricite du Lao (EdL) at full capacity without any impact from the current situation, said Thanawat Trivisvavet Managing Director.

Power plants under the management of CKP comprise the Xayaburi Hydroelectric Power Plant, Nam Ngum 2 Hydroelectric Power Plant, Bangpa-in Cogeneration Power Plant 1 (BIC-1) and Plant 2 (BIC-2) and Bangkhenchai Solar Power Plant.

Regardless, guidelines have been issued to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and to safeguard the safety of our employees at head offices and power plant areas, both in Thailand and Lao PDR, in accordance with the announcement of the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand and the Lao PDR, are listed below:

The measures earmarked for power plant areas, defined by the company as restricted area with strictly limited access. are not limited to the following.

Whilst working, if any employee has a body temperature exceeding 37.5 degrees celsius, fever, cough, nasal congestion, sore throat, shortness of breath, or a cold, he/she must visit a doctor immediately. The entry/exit of third parties, only in case of an emergency and when it is necessary, has to be considered by the power plant manager on a case by case basis. Once approved, a physical examination of the visitor by the power plant doctor must be first conducted. And lastly, all employees must strictly refrain from assembling for any type of activity within the power plant.

The measures for employees including contract employees and regular contractors who work in the company’s area as well as all employees in subsidiary companies are listed as follows.

1. No traveling abroad allowed for either business or personal purposes, and previously approved leave for travel shall be cancelled.

2. In case of employees having obtained special case approval to travel abroad, or in case of any close contact of employees especially family members (living together) who travels back from abroad, employees must report to the supervisor and the Human Resources Department immediately and start to work from home (WFH) for 14 days. In this regard, health reports must be submitted to the supervisor and the Human Resources Department on a daily basis for 14 straight days since the day such employees start WFH. Medical certificate shall also be provided to the company at least 1 day prior to returning to work.

3. In the event that any employee has been in close contact with those infected with Covid-19 and those at risk, such as people who recently returned from abroad, those with travel history or were in areas affected by the ​​epidemic, he/she must notify the supervisor and the Human Resources Department immediately and start to work from home (WFH). Health reports must also be submitted to the supervisor and the Human Resources Department for 14 straight days from the date of notification to work from home.

4. In the event that an employee developed any respiratory illnesses, fever, cough or cold, he/she must notify the supervisor and stay at home or see a doctor immediately. And if an employee in the high risk group is deemed necessary by a doctor to be tested the Covid-19 infection, that person must notify the supervisor and the Human Resources Department immediately.

5. Pregnant employees and those with congenital disease at risk of serious illness must start working from home, if infected.

6. For those who have been screened and told by the hospital to undergo a Covid-19 test or been informed of Covid -19 infection and require treatment, the company would provide full reimbursement as a special case (In addition to the budget for normal medical welfare benefits which still can be reimbursed as a company’s policy).

7. Employees must disclose all information regarding previous travel records, contacts, or close contacts with Covid-19 patients and keep the company informed.

8. All employees need to refrain from organising and participating in sports and social gathering activities.

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