All posts by Swapnil Walekar

Consumers enthralled at shopping fest!


The 10-day Sakal Shopping Festival received an overwhelming response from Puneites on its third day on Sunday at the Agricultural College grounds in Sinchan Nagar.

The shopping festival is being hosted by Sakal Media Group (SMG) from January 20 to 29.

Thousands of enthusiastic people thronged the venue to enjoy the shopping bonanza at the shopping festival. The festival offers over 500 stalls providing a wide range of shopping

From home décor, furniture to kitchen appliances and other consumer products such as fabrics, bags, shoes and jewellery, this festival has it all.

“The Sakal Shopping Festival is a one-stop shop for all your needs. I managed to find the things I wanted at good deals. Everything which is needed in our homes is available here. Today being a Sunday, there were plenty of crowds. I plan to visit again on a weekday when there will be less crowd so that I can shop and select products with ease,” said Sonali Jadhav, a visitor at the shopping festival.

Another visitor was happy to see cashless transaction facility at the venue. “The best thing about this festival is I could make payments through cards and Paytm for small transactions. It is very difficult to find easy payment modes at street shopping festivals. Also, it is safe to carry no cash at crowded places like this one. Another thing that amazed me was the man who is selling refreshments (buttermilk) here. It helped me as I was tired after the long hours of shopping at the festival,” said Anjali Kembhavi.

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‘DCF, SMG have people’s support to solve problems’


“Common people are highlighting their demands by launching agitations, which is happening across the globe. We can find lasting solutions to their problems with the help of global institutions. Let us create a great Maharashtra and great India. Let us participate in the projects launched by Sakal Media Group (SMG) and Delivering Change Foundation (DCF) to achieve a sustainable development,” said Abhijit Pawar, Managing Director of Sakal Media Group (SMG) here on Tuesday.

Pawar was speaking at a two-day conference organised by DCF and SMG here.

Speaking about complex local issues, Pawar said, “Every section of society should be developed. This will happen only with the help of innovative and effective research that is being carried out in the world.” He said there are many problems in society and solutions have to be found with the help of experts.

“Jobs, skills and financial issues are the main problems faced by the world. Local issues are much more complicated and these should be solved scientifically,” he said.

“Problems of women, farmers and youths should be sorted out. Global organisations can help you solve them. However, all citizens have to come together for this purpose. DCF and SMG have prepared an agenda to solve their problems,” Pawar said.

“The SMG has reached out to 70 lakh women across the State through the Tanishka Women’s Dignity Forum. Simultaneously, 16 lakhs students from 4,000 colleges are also connected with the group through Young Inspirators Network (YIN). Over 10 lakh farmers are connected with the SMG. DCF can solve their problems as these sections are directly participating in its projects,” he said.

“The SMG and DCF have an agenda ‘Board room to grass-root’, for which it has support of the people, government and many global partners. We want to implement the agenda transparently. Development should be beyond caste and religion,” he said.

Pawar said DCF is focusing on development of some select sectors, in which farmers have been chosen on priority. “Three lakh farmers are going to be trained by institutions from Israel,” he said.

Urging the participants to join hands in this work, Pawar said, “The SMG and DCF is a platform for development of women, youths and all sections of society. So, come forward and take advantage of the opportunity! We have an apex council, which has a role much like the chief minister’s council, which is close to grassroots. So, be a part of this transformation! This conference will give an overview of all sectors.”

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‘DCF is an effective medium for transformation’


Connecting boardroom to grassroots is crucial for bringing about a desired change in society and Delivering Change Forum (DCF) aims at connecting the dots and converging efforts for this transformation, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said.

Fadnavis was speaking at the inaugural function of the ‘Delivering Change Forum’ (DCF) at Nehru Centre, Mumbai on Tuesday.

This is the right time to implement new concepts leading to transformation in a country which has the largest youth population in the world, he said. “We have to strive hard so that these new emerging concepts reach policy makers and then are implemented,” said Fadnavis.

To achieve this, NGOs and experts need to join hands with the government, he said.

In a democracy, many groups work at various levels, Fadnavis said, and added, “Many of them appear to be in the driver’s seat. However, in reality, they serve political and social interests of specific people. But to ensure all-round development of the State, all need to come together. This forum will make it possible,” said Fadnavis.

Through DCF, these efforts can be integrated, he said. In India, 50 per cent of the population is below the age of 27 years. Similarly, 65 per cent population is below 35 years. This is the largest age group in India and in Maharashtra, which can bring about the desired transformation. “We need to reap benefits of having the largest youth population,” the chief minister said.

He added, “We are blessed with new technology and we have the ability to implement new concepts. We should use this manpower in a positive manner, otherwise it could prove to be a curse. India will not get this advantage all the time.”

In 2010, India became the country having the largest youth population in the world. This situation will start changing in 2035. “We have 17-18 years at our disposal. We can bring about a positive change in this time span,” said Fadnavis. “In all, 17 sectors have been chosen to ensure a positive change. If we concentrate on these 17 sectors, including education and health, there will be a significant change in coming seven years in Maharashtra and in India,” said Fadnavis, adding, “Good governance and positive thinking is needed for the same.”

Praising Abhijit Pawar, the Managing Director of Sakal Media Group, the Chief Minister said, “The credit for implementing the concept of DCF goes to Abhijit Pawar. An apolitical person alone can bring all the people together for social change. Abhijit Pawar has done the same in exceptionally good manner. Through initiatives such as DCF, YIN and Tanishka, women and students have been brought together for a social change. Such an initiative is an important part of the change.”

“Agriculture is undergoing a change due to global warming and climate change. In years to come, while performing several experiments in agriculture, it is equally important to encourage youngsters to take up modern farming. Today’s entrepreneurs need to create awareness about how it is rewarding, if one invests money in farming,” said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Many companies are carrying out several activities in sectors such as health, education and skill development under their CSR (Corporate social responsibility) in 1,000 villages chosen by the State government. The target is set to carry out all-round development work in these villages. In the next phase, 2,500 villages will be brought under the scheme.

To initiate social change, there is a need of a special platform such as DCF. Through this forum, all sections of society should come together and not only envision the social change but also make it possible. The forum should prepare a road map for this change, said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Sakal Media Group is fulfilling its social commitment through initiatives such as Tanishka and YIN. As the social change is underway, developments in financial, educational and social sectors should reach all sections of society, said Fadnavis.

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Brainstorming to change scenario in Maharashtra!


A two-day brainstorming conference of the Delivering Change Forum (DCF) will be held in Mumbai, starting from Tuesday. Many eminent personalities who are committed to bringing about a positive change in the society by going beyond their respective professional goals, will attend this two-day conference.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will inaugurate the conference which has been jointly organised by Sakal Media Group and the DCF, in co-operation with the State government and many prestigious institutions from across the world.

The DCF has been a forum to help experts coming from various walks of life and who have been working for various strata of society, to create a wise society. The DCF has taken the lead in this direction. Experts from various countries and eminent invitees from across the State, who are active in several fields, will work to bring about a positive change in Maharashtra in the future.

The meet will be held in the state-of-the-art complex of the Nehru Centre. DCF Founder and Chairman Abhijit Pawar will elaborate on the concept of the conference.

Experts will present their experiences at the meet. These experts have governmental and managerial experiences and passion for bringing about a change in the society. They have honed these skills while working for the upliftment of the downtrodden in every nook and corner of the world while using modern technology. These experts, who have successfully brought about a change through their projects at many places in the world, will reveal their methodologies during various sessions that will be held during the two-day convention.

The experts participating in this conference are active in the fields of rural and urban development, basic infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, water, cooperation, women and child welfare, social justice, law, industry and trade, energy, finance and revenue. They have been continuously studying the latest developments in their respective fields.

This conference promises to give these experts the unique opportunity to interact with each other and to share details about the effective methodologies developed by them while working on the projects. The experts will also discuss the nature of challenges faced by them and how to overcome them.

They will also provide insights on how to establish a dialogue with members of the society. They will discuss on how to mingle with the people while working for them and challenges faced while doing so. Similarly, they will discuss how to solve these problems by using technology and management skills to deliver effective methodologies.

These experts and representatives participating in this conference will continue to jointly work even after this meet in the fields chosen by Sakal Media Group and the DCF. It is an effort to raise the standard of life of people living in rural and urban areas by delivering positive change in these fields.
PEMANDU (which functions under the aegis of the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office) CEO and BFR Institute MD Dato’ Seri Idris Jala, IDC Herzliya, president and founder Uriel Reichman, IDC Herzliya Research and Global Engagement Director Eric Zimmerman, ZKM Karlsruhe MD Christiane Riedel, Tel Aviv Yafo Municipality Chief Knowledge Officer Zohar Sheron, Horasis Chairman Frank Juergen Richter, Palladium Strategic Growth and Innovative Development Financing Head Peter Vanderwal, Vital Capital Founding Partner Eytan Stibbe, Palladium Global Brand Director Isteban Gomez Nadal, Catapult Ideas Founder and CEO Joshua Caleb Collins, Palladium Thought Leadership Director Eduardo Tugendhat, ZKM Chairman and CEO Peter Weibel, Berlin University of the Arts Design Research Lab head Gesche Joost, Germany Baden Wuerttemberg Science, Research and the Arts Minister Petra Olchowski, Snapp Co-Founder Assaf Kindler, Musketeer app Founder and CEO Shaul Avidov, Programmer and Digital Artist Eyal Gever, Philosopher and writer Peter Sloterdijk, Allan Gray Orbis Foundation CEO Anthony Farr, Founder and CEO of MentorCloud Ravi Gundlapalli, Fraunhofer Institute of Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB) Director Katja Schenke-Layland, Jethro Ltd CEO & Founder Gabi (Gavriel) Nahum, Palladium EMEA Region Director Jose Maria Ortiz and Pune Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar.


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Farmers need technology for agriculture: Nilangekar


“Farmers need not be told how to do farming. They need state-of-the-art technology to bring prosperity to the agricultural field,” Labour and Skill Development Minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar said here on Sunday.

Patil Nilangekar was speaking at an agricultural meeting organised by Sakal International Learning Center (SILC). Sakal Media Group’s DCF Advisories Director Bobby Nimbalkar and SILC Director Dr Apoorva Palkar were present on the occasion.

Patil Nilangekar further said that farmers will be able to achieve progress with the help of modern technology. “The old farmers can predict what kind of crops can be cultivated by merely looking at the soil. The farmers are also well versed in predicting the weather by just looking at the clouds. This is a precious skill. If the farmers are taught more modern skills, progress will be faster,” he said.

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Paani Foundation announces Water Cup Competition!


The Water Cup Contest 2017, organised  by Paani Foundation with an initiative of actor Aamir Khan for a drought-free Maharashtra, was launched in Mumbai. Sakal Media Group’s Managing Director and Founder of Delivering Change Foundation Abhijit Pawar (L) and Aamir Khan were present on the occasion.

The Water Cup Contest organised by ‘Paani Foundation’ with an initiative of film actor Aamir Khan is becoming a people’s movement and Jalsena or volunteers working in the field of watershed management are coming forward through this initiative, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said here in a statement. He spoke at the function held at Sahyadri guest house in Mumbai. This year, the competition will be held in 30 talukas in 13 districts of the state.

Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao, Satyajeet Bhatkal, Dr Avinash Pol, Popatrao Pawar, film director Nagraj Manjule, music director Ajay Atul and representatives of Tata, Piramal and Reliance companies were present.

Sakal Media Group’s Managing Director and Founder of Delivering Change Foundation Abhijit Pawar was present as a special invitee. Due to efforts taken by Aamir Khan, a people’s movement has been created in many drought-struck villages of the state, added Fadnavis.

He further stated that the water conservation slogan of the State government remained just a slogan and could not become a people’s movement in the past. Aamir Khan said that last year, through the competition organised by Paani Foundation, 1,368 crore litres of water was collected. He added that through public participation, this unbelievable feat was made possible in just 45 days. He said that if a similar experiment is repeated this year, then, he would be happier than the success and happiness he has received through the success of his recent film Dangal.

CM praises Abhijit Pawar
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis praised Sakal Media Group’s Managing Director and Founder of Delivering Change Foundation Abhijit Pawar for his work. Fadnavis said that Sakal Media Group is making significant contribution in the area of water conservation. He added that Tanishka Women’s Dignity Forum, the women’s network of Sakal Media Group, has also made significant efforts to conserve water. Fadnavis added that through such positive efforts, it is now possible to overcome the challenge of water scarcity.

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2-day meet on transforming Maharashtra from Jan 24!


Delivering Change Forum, which aims at providing a platform for those who can bring about a positive transformation in society, is set to conduct a two-day international conference at Nehru Centre in Mumbai on January 24 and 25.

This conference is being organised by Sakal Media Group, Delivering Change Foundation, along with the government of Maharashtra and various well-known institutions from across the world. The conference will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

All the dignitaries participating in this conference, including experts from various countries and well-known personalities working in different sectors from across India would in the future work towards transforming Maharashtra.

Abhijit Pawar, Founder and Chairman, Delivering Change Foundation, will deliver the keynote address. The conference will see speakers from across the world share their experiences, ideas and innovations about bringing about a change in society. The speakers will focus on how existing resources can be used more effectively while bringing about a transformation.

The experts have shown keen interest in actually working for start-ups, businesses in other sectors, industrial training, smart cities and villages, investment required for the same, skills that would be useful in the future and need of science and technology for bringing about a positive change in the State.

All these experts are hence going to be associated with Maharashtra through Sakal’s Delivering Change Foundation.
The conference also aims at initiating a discussion which can analyse the needs and challenges of a changing society and suggest solutions for the same.

Groups would be formed that would consist of well-known people from different economic and social communities and their participation would be ensured to bring about a positive change at all levels of the society.

For this, Sakal Media Group has selected 16 sectors including education, farming, rural development, infrastructure and industry among others.

In the coming years, Delivering Change Foundation is planning various initiatives with all people who have been contributing for these sectors. This conference is open only to invitees. For more information, visit

The participants
The conference will see participation of Dato Sri Idris Jala, CEO of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU), the Prime Minister’s office, Government of Malaysia; Eytan Stibbe, Founding Partner Vital Capital; Esteban Gomez Nadal, Global Brand Director, Palladium, a leading consulting firm in the Impact and Development field; Prof Peter Weibel, Chairman and CEO, ZKM, a leading German Institute in Media and Art; Prof Uriel Reichman, Founder and President of IDC Herzliya; Frank Juergen Richter, Chairman, Horasis who is working towards sustainable future; Prof Peter Sloterdijk, Philosopher and Author; Eyal Gever, Programmer and 3D Sculpture Artist; Gesche Joost, Professor for Design Research at the Berlin University of the Art; Eric Zimmerman, Director of Research and Global Engagement at IDC Herzliya; Christiane Riedel, Managing Director, ZKM Karlsruhe; Peter Vanderwal, Strategic Growth and Innovative Development Financing Lead at Palladium; Petra Olschowski, State Secretary, Ministry of Science, Research and Arts, Baden-Württemberg, Germany; Joshua Caleb Collins, Founder and CEO of Catapult Ideas, a business incubator that aims to source the world’s best high school entrepreneurs; Anthony Farr, CEO at Allan Gray Orbis Foundation; Zohar Sharon, Chief Knowledge Officer, Tel Aviv municipality, Israel; Shaul Avidov, Founder and CEO, Musketeer. There are many more participants from different fields. Their names will be declared soon.

Delivering Change Forum on Jan 24th & 25th, 2017!


Delivering Change Forum, a two-day international conference, which would bring leaders from diverse fields on a single platform and focus on bringing about a transformation, will be held at Nehru Centre in Mumbai on January 24 and 25.

This was announced by Abhijit Pawar, Managing Director, Sakal Media Group and Founder Chairman of Delivering Change Foundation, while addressing a gathering at ‘Angel Investing Master Class – How to build a high yield investment portfolio’ organised by Mumbai Angels Network in the city on Wednesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Pawar said the conference will see participation of well-known speakers from various countries. He added that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is also actively involved with this programme and wants to work with people from various sectors at the ground level to transform the State.

Pawar urged all those gathered, who want to devote their time for transforming the State, to register for this programme.

He stated that 1,000 people from across the State would be selected to be part of the CM’s Transformation Council which will analyse various issues that the State is facing and suggest solutions. Pawar also spoke about various initiatives of the DCF including the Smart City and Smart Village projects.

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Sakal Auto Expo takes off in city!


City’s biggest automobile exhibition, the Sakal Auto Expo, kicked off at Pandit Farms on Saturday with good response from Punekars. The Expo features various brands of luxury cars and also showcases pre-owned cars.

The two-day expo is an unique opportunity for enthusiastic customers to get an idea of a variety of options available under one roof. Speaking to Sakal Times, one of the customers at the expo, Vijay Chavan, said that the exhibition presents all the available options for the same budget from different brands.

“Though this is the first time I am coming to the expo, I find it really interesting. There are so many cars that fit into my budget and I get to decide which brand I can go ahead with. It is great to get deals on the floor as well. I am planning to bring my family along on Sunday so that they can also experience the car we might buy soon,” said Chavan.

Another customer at the expo, Chaitanya Kulkarni, said that the expo gives an opportunity to choose good pre-owned cars as well.

“Secondhand cars are also available in the expo, which makes it altogether more interesting. The brand I was looking for is available in the pre-owned section and is also in good condition. There are also good schemes under finance,” added Kulkarni.

– Expo – Auto Expo
– Dates – Dec 17-18
– Time – 11 am to 7 pm
– Venue – Pandit Farms

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SMG appoints Krishna Menon as CMO!


Sakal Media Group has today announced the appointment of Krishna Menon as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for the group’s media business. He will be based at Mumbai and report to Pradeep Dwivedi – CEO, Sakal Media Group.

At Sakal, Krishna will be responsible for all brand marketing activities for trade and readers, marketing communications, Sakal Labs solutions and activationsfor media business including Print, TV, Digital and Events.

Krishna Menon, a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, Pune, has over 17 years’ experience across Television, Print, FM Radio, Brand Activations & Management, Digital VAS and Telecom with good brands. In his most recent role, Krishna was the Vice President – Sales and Brand Solutions at Asianet News Network Pvt. Ltd. Also, he has worked with Dainik Bhaskar Group as National Business Head- Divya Marathi, OnMobile Global, E18-Network 18 Media, Radio Mirchi and BPL Mobile Cellular Ltd. in previous assignments.
Confirming the appointment,Pradeep Dwivedi, CEO, Sakal Media Group, said “We are delighted to have Krishna Menon on board as CMO. His extensive experience across multiple media businesses in sales & marketing shall provide us a definite edge in serving our advertisers and readers alike. His understanding of the Maharashtra market shall also be an advantage in sustainably growing our leadership position.”

Starting his new role, Krishna Menon, said ““The Sakal Media Group today stands at the threshold of a historic leap forward as it expands its footprint to access audiences across various demographics, geographies and distribution technologies in its heartland. I am excited to be part of this momentous journey.”

Tanishka polls a big hit in PCMC area!


Thousands of women cast their votes on Tuesday in the Tanishka Women’s Dignity Forum elections in Pimpri-Chinchwad.

The elections were held for the first time on such a large platform in Pimpri-Chinchwad and Maval. The polls have received an overwhelming response from the women.

The election started with the traditional ceremony and a puja of the ballot boxes at different polling stations. In all, there were around 24 voting centres in Pimpri-Chinchwad and Maval where the Tanishka women members cast their votes in a disciplined manner. Women exercised their voting rights at various polling centres located at Pimpri Waghere, Sangvi, Pradhikaran, Sant Tukaram Nagar, Bhosari, Talegaon, Lonavla and Dehu Road.

Since 7 am on Tuesday, Pimpri-Chinchwad city beamed with enthusiasm as thousands of women turned up for Tanishka elections. Though it was for the first time that Tanishka Forum is conducting elections on such a huge platform, the curiosity among the women was visible at every centre across the city. Pimpri-Chinchwad Mayor Shakuntala Dharade herself cast her vote at Nrusinha High School and encouraged women.

There was a huge crowd at Vidyaniketan polling centre in Pimprigaon since morning. Candidates were campaigning for the election.

A similar scene was observed at Hotel Govind Garden in Pimple Saudagar. It was worth appreciating that every woman present to cast vote had come for herself and for others like her. Women from all sectors – housewives, IT, engineers or in other white collar jobs, labourers, elderly or retired and even students – graced the Tanishka election.

Mayor Shakuntala Dharade said, “Tanishka is a unique platform for women by Sakal Media Group. This exercise will develop leadership qualities among woman who will become ambassadors for change in society. This initiative will help in a great way towards the women empowerment.”

In Talegaon also, the Tanishka poll received an overwhelming response. Women gathered from 8 am to 2 pm at Swami Vivekanand English Medium School in Talegaon.

In Dehu Road area, the polling was organised at Narayan Guru temple where hundreds of women cast their votes. Tanishka members from Sainagar, Mamurdi and Dehu Road participated in this poll. Tanishka members from Kivale, Vikasnagar, Shrinagar, Dattnagar, Ravet and Gahunje also participated in the election.

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Kids Idol ’16 registration begins!


Sakal Media Group has organised ‘Kids Idol 2016’, registrations for which began from December 12.

As part of the event, dance and fancy dress competitions will be organised for children.

The registrations would be open from December 12 to 19 at Pune Central, Karve Road, University Road, Pimpri and Amanora Park Town between 12 pm and 9 pm and also at Sakal Office at Shivajinagar and Bhudhwar Peth from 11 am to 5 pm.

The entry fee for solo dance competition is Rs 100, for duet dance Rs 150 and for fancy dress Rs 100.

Dance competitions would be conducted group-wise. The Group I will have children from Nursery to Standard III, Group 2 will have children from
Std IV to Std VI and Group 3 from Std VII to Std X.

For fancy dress competitions the groups will be, Group 1 for children from Nursery to Std I while Group 2 will have children from Std II to Std V.

The dance auditions, solo and duet would be held on December 21 at Pune City One Mall, Pune Central, Pimpri, on December 22 at Pune Central, Karve Road, on December 23 at Pune Central Mall, University Road and on December 24 at Pune Central Mall, Amanora, Hadapsar, Road from 5 pm to 8 pm.

The fancy dress competition and dance finals would be held at Pune Central Mall, Amanora, Hadapsar Road on December 25.

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