Posts tagged with "india"

Veep of Marketing at Lexus via 360 MAGAZINE

Vinay Shahani

Vice President – Head of Marketing at Lexus, Toyota Motor North America

*Listen to Vinay Shahani’s full conversation with Vaughn Lowery on the 360 MAG Podcast HERE.

As a crowded child growing up in and around Detroit, Vinay Shahani was exposed to the motor industry at a very young age. He started working at the Ford Motor Company when his father (of Sindhi descent) emigrated from India to the United States in the 1960s. Vinay became a car lover under the influence of his father: “He was in the car business, and I was also in the car business because I was his son, and I loved that.” Once he moved to Michigan, Vinay earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Stanford University. Currently, Vinay lives in the Dallas area.

Vinay is Vice President of Marketing for Lexus, a Japanese high-end car brand created by Toyota Inc., a position he has held since January 2021. He is responsible for Lexus’ marketing activities, including advertising campaigns, media and digital, product marketing and lifecycle management, auto shows, incentive and experiential marketing, and motorsports. He creates a “speak up” environment to make the opinions of all members of his team visible (agency partners and internal staff). Identifying social and commercial values helps expand the brand to various groups of consumers who may not align with the preferences of the Asian population, such as Walton Isaacson (black, Hispanic, and LGBTIQ community) and the IW group.

In addition, he oversees motorsports, engagement marketing, car shows, and other consumer events throughout the United States. Vasser Sullivan is a race team, with worldwide competitors such as Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi, that Lexus empowers with some of the best drivers –  “We definitely want to win, and we have a winning team.” Meanwhile, Lexus also helps improve consumers’ skills in car track by providing the opportunity to study professionally at Performance Driving School.

Since the brand is determined to treat consumers as valued guests, one of Vinay’s top initiatives iis Lexus Hospitality, as it is inspired by the Japanese spirit of hospitality and is committed to providing excellence in customer service. 

Another dimension within the marketing field is monitoring and analyzing the results after experimenting with the Lexus IS 500 model and the Lexus RC F Track Edition. 

Under the massive influence of the metaverse today, Vinay mentions that Lexus is creating its own Mark Netscape plus Upstream to figure out what the role of Lexus is as a brand in the metaverse. In addition, they are in talks with global partners like Lexus International to find out what is being sought out in Japan while identifying markets in the US, Canada, and Great Britain. Based on the diverse target audience of Lexus in the United States, Vinay seeks to use digital media and the National Brand Day to show brand culture and emotion, even

creating a TikTok account to get closer to younger audiences.  

As a high environment-friendly brand, by 2035, Vinay plans for Lexus to be a ‘global 100% battery electric’ vehicle brand to reduce fossil fuel consumption and emissions. With these measures, it’s great to see the carbon footprint will be reduced thanks to the company’s shift. 

Finally, Vinay adds that “it is important that we know who we are as a brand from a strategic perspective.” With this, they are trying to add attractive and technological accessories to their vehicles that give the driver great confidence in the handling and control of their car. “Maintaining a love for performance cars gets your heart rate up, it excites you, and that’s something we definitely want to associate with different brands.”

Article: 

Andrea Esteban, Vaughn Lowery, Krishan Narsinghani, Armon Hayes

Resources:

Lexus & Toyota Motor North America

Links to the 2023 product announcements: Toyota New Product Showcase and 

Lexus New Product Showcase

RZ images can be found within the 2023 Lexus RZ album on this page.

Link to each brand’s Livestream press conference:

Toyota | Lexus

Link to Toyota Connected ‘Cabin Awareness’ Concept press release

Links to the final PDFs of the speaker support slides for each presentation:

Toyota , Lexus × Sequoia First Drive

Follow Vinay Shahani: Instagram | LinkedIn

H&M awards for sustainability inside 360 MAGAZINE

H&M Foundation Award

H&M Foundation awards 5 innovations a total €1 million grant for their efforts to make the fashion industry planet positive.

A laundry solution that prolongs garments’ life, AI helping smallholder cotton farmers to increase yield and income, an invention realising the circular recycling of elastane and polyester blends, carbon-negative viscose made from CO2 emissions and regenerative agriculture making planet positive alternative to goose down – these are the five Global Change Award winners 2022, sharing a €1 million grant from the non-profit H&M Foundation.

The H&M Foundation launched the Global Change Award in 2015 to transform fashion and make it planet positive, in order for the industry to fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. That means finding and supporting disruptive innovations that address one or several of the earth’s global commons – land, water, oceans, climate and biodiversity. As the aim is to find innovations that allow major change for the entire industry the winners are free to collaborate with any actor they want.

“The winners of the Global Change Award hold the key to the complex challenges we are facing and prove that it’s possible to reinvent fashion. Their game-changing innovations are really inspiring and can help transform the fashion industry into a planet positive one” says Karl-Johan Persson, board member of H&M Foundation and Chairman of H&M Group.

The response from applicants was overwhelming and made it clear that there is no shortage of disruptive innovations out there. The momentum to transform the fashion industry into a planet positive one, to protect our planet and improve people’s living conditions has never been stronger. This year’s winners are:

BioPuff® by saltyco (UK) – A planet positive alternative to goose down, crafted from plants that heal damaged land.

BIORESTORE (Sweden) – A laundry solution that restores old and worn garments to mint condition.

CottonAce by Wadhwani AI (India) – An AI solution that reduces pesticide use, increases yield and raises incomes for smallholder cotton farmers.

Re:lastane (China) – The first mild process making elastane and polyester blend fabrics recyclable.

Rubi (US) – Planet positive viscose and lyocell made from carbon emissions.

In addition to the financial grant, all five winners also get access to the one-year GCA Impact Accelerator programme provided by H&M Foundation in partnership with Accenture, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and The Mills, offering the winners invaluable coaching and support, along with a strong network and memories for life. The GCA Impact Accelerator aims to help the winning ideas scale at speed through business, technology, investor and innovation readiness, and industry access. It also offers winners a mix of inspiring digital sessions and meetups at key locations.

The Global Change Award was initiated in 2015 by non-profit H&M Foundation to transform fashion and make it planet positive. By catalysing early-stage innovations that can accelerate this shift, the aim is safeguard humanity and our planet. Planet positive fashion means that every garment made needs to have a positive impact on earth’s shared resources – it’s global commons: land, water, oceans, biodiversity and climate.

Each year, five winners share a 1 million euro grant and get access to the yearlong GCA Impact Accelerator provided by the H&M Foundation in collaboration with Accenture, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and The Mills Fabrica. Neither H&M Foundation nor H&M Group take any equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations, as the aim is to find innovations that allow major change for the entire industry.

The H&M Foundation is privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M Group. Its overall aim is to accelerate the progress needed to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. 

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Hikers via Exodus Travel for use by 360 Magazine

Exodus Travel Voted Best Operator

Multi-award-winning small group and self-guided tour experts Exodus Travels have been named the Best Operator in National Geographic’s Traveller Magazine’s sixth annual Reader Awards. The awards acknowledge and celebrate the destinations, experiences, tour operators, personalities, and destinations that continue to make traveling truly great.

The 15 award categories were shortlisted by National Geographic judges and voted on by readers. Voters were asked to champion the locations and organizations that have supported their travel aspirations over the past 12 months. The companies that have provided exceptional customer support, retained consumer trust, and have continued to have a positive impact on the entire travel community during challenging times.

The Best Operator category celebrates the remarkable people behind the scenes ensuring travelers feel safe, inspired, and secure when turning their adventure dreams into realities. The reader votes were resoundingly in favor of Exodus Travels.

“We are thrilled to receive this award, and to have the support of the National Geographic Traveller Magazine judges, and our far-reaching travel community,” says Robin Brooks, Marketing & PR Director of Exodus Travels North America. “It’s a privilege to share this award with all the winners and to see the incredible people and places that continue to inspire global exploration and discovery. I’d like to congratulate the incredible local guides, teams, and travel industry partners we are privileged to work with across the globe. They have kept us smiling through the past 19 months – this win truly belongs to them!”

For close to 50 years, Exodus Travels has been providing a vast range of award-winning holidays across seven continents. Now, with over 250,000 people hosted, and more than 600 trips in 100 countries, the adventure travel company has the perfect travel itinerary for solo travels, couples, groups, or families, all ages, activity levels, and interests.

Here are a few of the many Exodus Travels itineraries that continue to inspire travelers year after year:

Italy: Walking The Amalfi Coast

Exodus’ best-selling tour with hundreds of happy travelers to prove it. Live like an Italian and be immersed in the land of La Dolce Vita’s famous Amalfi Coast. From walking the “Path of Gods,” unveiling the secrets of Pompeii and swimming in secret coves, to discovering Roman ruins, the isle of Capri, picnic lunches, and unparalleled cuisine. This trip has been running for over a decade, with guests staying at the beautiful Hotel Due Torri. The hotel is run by the Acampora family, providers of genuine Italian hospitality who embody the beauty of Italian living.

Costa Rica : Discover Costa Rica

Take a large dose of exotic animals, river cruises, stir in jungle hikes, expert local naturalist guides, the country’s most famous volcano, beach time, lava fields, hot springs, and an abundance of fresh local cuisine and you’ll get this spellbinding immersion in Costa Rica. Spot monkeys, sloths, sea turtles, giant butterflies, and more. Includes village visits, coffee and fruit plantations, day and night hikes, eco-lodges, and expert guides. Pura Vida!

India: In Search of Snow Leopards

Recognized as one of the most elusive animals on the planet, the snow leopard is one of the world’s most mystical and hard-to-spot mammals. In the winter, when they need food, they descend from their homes in the mountainous regions of Central Asia and can be spotted by the rare few who make the annual pilgrimage to this remote region of India. In addition to the ever-elusive snow leopard, Himalayan trekking guide Valerie Parkinson will ensure travelers take in all of the unique wildlife that can be spotted in this special, and rarely traversed, part of the world. There will also be visits to Himalayan Buddhist communities, which adds to the truly transcendent feel of this unique adventure.

Croatia: Cycling the Dalmatian Coast

Go beyond the expected and bike through the playground of the Adriatic. Ideal for cycling enthusiasts of every level, this adventure by two wheels mixes alfresco thrills with cruises, landscapes from Game of Thrones, historic vineyards, local farms, UNESCO Sites, and even time for R&R on the beach. Tour Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik, Mljet and the Peljesac Peninsula. And for those who prefer–E-bikes are available upon request!

Egypt: Alexandria to Aswan

Treasures half as old as time, camel rides, felucca sailing, Nile cruise, and expert local Egyptologist guides are just the start of this classic adventure through the land of the pharaohs. Immerse yourself in the myths of this epic ancient civilization as you tour the Pyramids, Sphinx, Egyptian Museum, and Khan el-Khalili night bazaar in Cairo. Be transported back millennia as you discover the wonders of iconic Alexandria. You get to cruise the eternal waters of the Nile and discover Luxor, Valley of Kings and Queens, Aswan, and more. Complete with delicious cuisine, internal flight, and memories to last a lifetime.

Peru: Inca Trail Moonstone Trek

Between Cuzco and the Sacred Valley lies a small rural valley, that is where this quest begins. From there, adventures will trek seven miles from the beginning of the Inca Trail, discovering rarely visited Andren towns, relics, and snowcapped peaks. Wildlife, breathtaking scenery, ruins, and true isolation make this bucket list adventure especially rewarding.

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Plate created by Heather Skovlund at 360 Magazine use by 360 Magazine

Cooks Who Feed – Aprons for Kids

Cooks Who Feed has already provided over 300,000 free meals to those in need. Now they will further that mission with the sale of their new aprons for kids. Every apron sold will provide 100 meals for those who need assistance. The new aprons come in three color combinations, and two sizes, fitting ages 3-12. 

“We are really excited about our new aprons for kids,” explains Seema Sanghavi, founder of Cooks Who Feed. “Not only is there a great mission that the sale of them will support, but the aprons will help inspire kids to do more cooking, too. They are a win-win for everyone.” 

Made using only high-quality fabrics that are eco-friendly and sustainable, the aprons for kids are all handmade through fair trade. They also match adult aprons offered by Cooks Who Feed, offering people a fun opportunity for kids and parents to have matching aprons in the kitchen. 

Getting kids to cook is beneficial no matter what age they are. There is always something that kids can do to help learn to prepare meals, from preschool age through their teen years. It’s important to make sure kids are doing age-appropriate tasks, but that they get involved. A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity highlights the importance of kids learning cooking skills from an early age, which will help with confidence, retention, cooking practices, skills, cooking attitude, and diet quality. 

Additional benefits that children learn by learning to cook and prepare meals to include:

  • Encourages an interest in food preparation and healthy eating habits.
  • Children learn a lifelong skill that they can use, as well as food safety awareness.
  • Kids get experience with following directions by using a recipe, as well as practicing math skills associated with measuring. They can also engage in scientific observations by seeing how foods change form during the preparation process.
  • They can help develop fine motor skills, as well as other skills related to various types of cooking, such as using your senses.
  • Kids can learn about family traditions by helping with meal preparation. This helps them understand their family more, as well as be in a position to carry those traditions on.
  • Cooking with kids can be a bonding experience that also creates great memories. It also helps to boosts self-esteem once they have successfully helped to prepare a meal.

“Kids who learn to cook are going to grow up with a great skill and hopefully a healthier diet,” added Sanghavi. “This holiday, getting them their own apron will help inspire them to get into the kitchen. Plus, it supports a charity, so that’s hard to beat.”

Parents and grandparents who want to get kids interested in cooking with them can encourage them to do so by letting the child pick what will be prepared. They can also encourage them by being supportive of their effort and how the dish turns out. Additionally, finding ways to make it fun is a good way to get them more interested, including getting them their own apron, a cookbook for kids, and a special cooking utensil. 

Cooks Who Feed brings food lovers together to fight hunger. For every apron sold, food waste is rescued and 100 meals are provided to those in need. The company’s mission also focuses on sustainability, ensuring that all of their aprons are eco-friendly, and are ethically handmade. 360 Magazine is pleased to cover an important organization for the people of the world.

The aprons for kids are available in three designs and are mini versions of their top three adult aprons. They are 100% 9oz cotton canvas, available in one size that fits ages 3-7 and one for ages 8-12. The aprons feature an adjustable neck strap, reinforced stress points, one double pocket below the waist, and a chest pocket. To see the aprons for children, visit the site: https://cookswhofeed.com/products/the-mini-chef-christine-cushing-apron.

Cooks Who Feed has teamed up with five celebrity chefs so far, offering handcrafted aprons, with sales of them helping to feed the world. The company offers individual sales online, a retail line, and wholesale/corporate gifting options. The aprons are produced ethically in Dehli, India, where 40 women are employed to make them by hand. To get more information or help support the mission, visit the site at: https://cookswhofeed.com.

Farmers Protest illustration created by Rumnik Ghuman from 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

India’s Food Soldiers

By: Rumnik K Ghuman

Exactly a year ago, Narendra Modi’s government with little public or parliamentary debate, passed three farmer bills. According to them, these bills are a gift to the farmers, but in reality, the bills are a gift for the rich agribusinesses in India. The majority of the population in Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan are farmers, they make their entire income based on their produce. Some call the farmers ‘India’s Food Soldiers’ and many people have shown support to the farmers. 

The first bill that was released was The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce(Promotion and Facilitation) Act. This act allows the farmers to produce and have free trade outside the physical premises of the specific markets under the APMC Act (Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee law). Under this act, the specific markets that the government has listed are agribusiness typhoons. These businesses are only going to set the price at a low rate so it’s cheaper for them. This act is in their favor because the farmers will not be able to go somewhere else to sell so they have to agree to the price the agribusiness sets. This puts the farmers in a low position to control their own products. 

The second bill that was passed was the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act that made the decision to remove some items such as cereals and pulses from the list of essential commodities. This act was passed to attract foreign direct investment to the sector. This bill is limiting the number of items farmers can produce and sell. Certain states can only produce certain items based on the weather and the field the farmers have. This puts the farmers at a disadvantage when producing and won’t make as much money as they would normally. 

The third bill was regarding the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act. This bill states to have a nationwide price limitation on all produces. This act doesn’t give farmers any empowerment over their produces which is putting them at a disadvantage. Combining all of these acts together, puts all farmers at a disadvantage, to not have a free trade market for them, price points that are lower than normal, and limited items to sell. The agribusinesses have connections in the government which is why the agribusinesses have more control over the price and are the only buyers that the farmers can sell to. 

In August 2020, many farmers from the States of Punjab and Haryana gather to protest in the capital, Delhi. The farmers had seen that one bill was passed and they needed to stop for more to be released as in Haryana, these laws were issued as of August. September was when the government passed the Farmers Produce Trade and Commission Act, which put more fire into the farmers to get justice by removing these bills. Many farmers across the country were angry and had to show it somehow as the news was not covering the farmers’ protest in the capital because the news channels were owned by the agribusinesses or the government. So some farmers set their own fields on fire, marched to government offices, or protested at the capital. 

At first, the crowd of farmers was much smaller, so the government brushed it aside. It wasn’t until on November 23, 2020, when protesters march from around India toward Delhi. Once they reached the edge of the city on November 26, the protesters met a large group of police officers who used tear gas, water cannons, and physical force to keep them from entering the city. Over the entire year, over 1000 deaths have happened whether that be by the cold weather or by protestors hanging themselves. A majority of the population were elder men that have been farming for all of their life and don’t know another way to provide an income for their families. In Punjab, farmers have always had a hard time making an income as they don’t have much money to afford the necessities to run the field correctly. They take big loans to buy a tractor, but later can pay it off and then hang themselves. 

There have been big protests, but 360 Magazine feels the number of people from different religions, states, ages, and genders who came out to support the frontlines of the capital is unbelievable. The men were already fighting for their rights, but the women have been standing like hard rock with them. The women at the border are providing food and protesting as well. It’s amazing to see all come together to roll back new agricultural laws. Multiple women and kids have been injured during the violent behavior of the police but they still come back or stay to support. 

As many people from Punjab and Haryana reside in England, the United States, and Canada, the protestors sitting in the cold, were getting worldwide support. Even though these supporters are not in India to help physically, they showed their support by organizing protests in their cities, doing marches to bring more awareness, sharing on social media about what’s going on, and donating or sending money to their families back home to go provide food for the protestors as it was freezing at the start of the protest. Many other industry workers in India went on strike as well to show they are with the farmers. 

Punjab is known for its music and their music really reaches a higher population. It was the only way to show to the world this is the reality of the protest which the news channels were not recording nor reporting to the world. So many Punjabi singers came together to make a ‘Kisaan Anthem’(Kisaan means farmers in Punjabi) that tells and shows every detail of the protest with live footage. Multiple Punjabi singers personally came and served the protestors, sat with the protesters, and tried their hardest to talk to official officers to get these laws rolled away. 

As we are speaking about the Farmers’ Protest, it is still going on and it’s been exactly a year since it started. The government has been pressured to speak about the bills in the parliament and hopefully will take the bills back. No Farmers No Food.

Image via Elektra Music Group for 360 Magazine

Prateek Kuhad – Khone De

PRATEEK KUHAD SHARES KHONE DE OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO

WATCH HERE

NEW EP SHEHRON KE RAAZ

AVAILABLE NOW

Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad has shared the official music video for Khone Do. The track appears on his recently released Hindi EP, Shehron Ke Raaz, with the video streaming now on Prateek’s official YouTube channel.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Reema Sengupta (aka Reema Maya), the whimsical video meanders through fantastical dreamscapes, with the collage art brought to life by Rushil Bhatnagar and Sourya Sen, and serves as a surrealist exploration of the shared dreams of lovers depicted through experimental photomontages.

Kuhad stated, I wanted to explore the idea deep physical and emotional intimacy that lovers share by the idea of them being in bed together. I’ve experienced that intimacy and I’m sure so many others have as well. Reema took that idea into a fantastical and dreamy world that’s privy only to these lovers, that they share together and that outlines their relationship. It’s a gorgeous take on the sentiment behind the song!

Director Reema Sengupta (Maya) elaborated, We wanted to visually explore the concept of timelessness in love. In the music video for ‘Shehron Ke Raaz’, we did it through a nostalgic dance video rooted in real spaces. In the music video for Khone Do we’re looking at timelessness in love through dreams – where the past, present and future can all co-exist in the same frame. The track feels like a beautiful lullaby, it makes you feel like everything is going to be okay. We took the simplest, most instinctive thought that the song evoked and embarked on an ambitious adventure to make an epic 4-minute-long dream.

Last month, the artist shared the official video for the EP’s title track, a slice-of-life music video that pays a charming ode to old Bombay and captures a theme that is central to the four-track Shehron Ke Raaz EP, secret stories of love nestled in the big cities. The video is streaming now on the artist’s official YouTube channel.

The Shehron Ke Raaz EP arrived earlier this month and has already amassed nearly ten million streams globally. Kuhad returns to his Indian roots on the project, recording in Bombay and singing in Hindi as he explores the intimate, often hidden worlds that lovers create for themselves. There’s a sweetness to his delivery that transcends language and culture, resulting in a dreamy and profoundly moving body of work that speaks to the kind of fundamentally human desires that bind us all. The four-track collection includes an acoustic version of Kuhad’s 2020 breakout hit Kasoor, and was heralded by singles Tere Hi Hum and the EP’s title track. Shehron Ke Raaz is available now on all streaming platforms via Elektra Records.

Last fall, Prateek announced his signing to Elektra Records, making history as the first solo Indian act to join the storied label. The news was heralded by the re-release of his 2018 breakthrough EP cold / mess, lauded by Atwood Magazine as an utterly breathtaking, expansive piece of indie folk mastery. The collection has racked up critical praise from NPR, Vulture, Billboard, Uproxx, and former President Barack Obama, who featured cold / mess on his 2019 Songs of the Year playlist. In February, Kuhad shared cold / mess (on piano), a stripped-back take of the delicate ballad.

About Prateek Kuhad

Hailed by Rolling Stone India as one of the country’s leading singer-songwriters, Prateek Kuhad has taken the rest of the world by storm in recent years, writing and performing in both Hindi and English and garnering a slew of accolades and honors around the globe with his mesmerizing, cinematic songwriting.

Growing up in the small city of Jaipur, India, Kuhad’s childhood listening diet consisted primarily of the Indian pop and Bollywood soundtracks that filled the local radio dial, as well as his parents’ CD collection, which contained only limited Western music. A move to New York City for college opened Prateek’s eyes to a new world of music, discovering Elliott Smith and inspiring him to seriously pursue his musical ambitions. While Kuhad has long been a household name in his native country (he became one of Spotify India’s most-streamed artists when the service launched there and the cold/mess EP debuted at #1), 2019 proved to be his breakout year in North America, with a star-making turn at SXSW and a cross-country headline run that culminated with three sold out shows in New York City.

Prateek’s debut album In Tokens and Charms was an instant hit, earning the artist an MTV Europe Music Award, Indie Album of the Year honors from iTunes, and the title of Best Pop Artist at the Radio City Freedom Awards. The album’s opening track, Oh Love, captured first place in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition, which previously helped launch artists like Gotye and Passenger to global audiences. Kuhad has sold out auditorium and amphitheater dates across India, landed arena support slots with the likes of Alt-J and Mike Posner, and traveled the world for headline and festival performances in the US, UK, Australia, Singapore, Canada, and France.

Prateek Kuhad

Shehron Ke Raaz EP

AVAILABLE NOW

Tracklisting

  1. Shehron Ke Raaz
  2. Khone Do
  3. Tere Hi Hum
  4. Kasoor – Acoustic

Connect with Prateek Kuhad via their website, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

photo by Elektra for use by 360 Magazine

PRATEEK KUHAD – SHEHRON KE RAAZ

Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad has debuted new EP Shehron Ke Raaz. The four-track collection includes an acoustic version of Kuhad’s 2020 breakout hit “Kasoor,” and was heralded by singles “Tere Hi Hum” and the EP’s title trackShehron Ke Raaz is available now on all streaming platforms via Elektra Records.

The artist returns his Indian roots on the project, recording in Bombay and singing in Hindi as he explores the intimate, often hidden worlds that lovers create for themselves. There’s a sweetness to his delivery that transcends language and culture, resulting in a dreamy and profoundly moving body of work that speaks to the kind of fundamentally human desires that bind us all.

Big cities have countless stories of lovers lost in their own little worlds, and while their particular corner of the city may be small in the grand scheme of things, their emotional universe is large and all-encompassing,” Kuhad explains. “This EP explores love in a very gentle and personal manner. The stories are hidden, and they belong to those who wish to participate in them. The music attempts to represent hope, mystery, and wonder in the most beautiful way possible.”

In October, Prateek announced his signing to Elektra Records, making history as the first solo Indian act to join the storied label. The news was heralded by the re-release of his 2018 breakthrough EP cold / mess, lauded by Atwood Magazine an “an utterly breathtaking, expansive piece of indie folk mastery.” The collection has racked up critical praise from NPR, Vulture, Billboard, Uproxx, and former President Barack Obama, who featured “cold / mess” on his 2019 Songs of the Year playlist. In February, Kuhad shared “cold / mess (on piano),” a stripped-back take of the delicate ballad.

Hailed by Rolling Stone India as “one of the country’s leading singer-songwriters,” Prateek Kuhad has taken the rest of the world by storm in recent years, writing and performing in both Hindi and English and garnering a slew of accolades and honors around the globe with his mesmerizing, cinematic songwriting.

Growing up in the small city of Jaipur, India, Kuhad’s childhood listening diet consisted primarily of the Indian pop and Bollywood soundtracks that filled the local radio dial, as well as his parents’ CD collection, which contained only limited Western music. A move to New York City for college opened Prateek’s eyes to a new world of music, discovering Elliott Smith and inspiring him to seriously pursue his musical ambitions. While Kuhad has long been a household name in his native country (he became one of Spotify India’s most-streamed artists when the service launched there and the cold/mess EP debuted at #1), 2019 proved to be his breakout year in North America, with a star-making turn at SXSW and a cross-country headline run that culminated with three sold out shows in New York City.

Prateek’s debut album In Tokens and Charms was an instant hit ߝ earning the artist an MTV Europe Music Award, Indie Album of the Year honors from iTunes, and the title of Best Pop Artist at the Radio City Freedom Awards. The album’s opening track, “Oh Love,” captured first place in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition, which previously helped launch artists like Gotye and Passenger to global audiences. Kuhad has sold out auditorium and amphitheater dates across India, landed arena support slots with the likes of Alt-J and Mike Posner, and traveled the world for headline and festival performances in the US, UK, Australia, Singapore, Canada, and France.

Oscar Stone illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Oscar Stone LTD

By: Emily Bunn x Vaughn Lowery

Oscar Stone LTD is a family-owned jewelry firm based in the Bronx, New York. Oscar Stone sells timeless jewelry, including customizable earrings, watches, bracelets, pendants, chains, and mouth grillz, which are all created from the beginning to the end internally. Oscar’s most popular article, baguette diamond earrings, dazzle his clients with their blinding beauty. Oscar Stone recognizes the value of using durable diamonds and jewelry from the Bronx community.

While lockdown created a lull for other companies, Oscar used the downtime to bolster his burgeoning business. His reach on social media via Instagram featured Oscar to many celebrity customers, including Jojo Simmons, Young Dirty Bastard, and Kid Capri, among others. Oscar Stone‘s jewelry exudes a true dedication to his craft, which is why his extensive list of clients keeps expanding.

The last authentic district of New York, the Bronx, houses the next largest jeweler in New York. Oscar Stone LTD stands apart from other jewelers such as Jacob the Jeweler, Greenwich Street Jewelers, and Martin Busch Jewelers because of its innovative approach to bespoke jewelry and sustainable practices and inspirational dedication to their craft. Oscar’s relentless pursuit of fine diamonds and customer satisfaction during the pandemic has allowed his business to flourish more than ever. Looking to the future, Oscar aims to continue creating custom designs for his customers and grow his business to become a familiar name.

We talked with Oscar about his background in gemology, his favorite custom orders, and his business expansion plans in the Bronx.

How did you get started in making jewelry and performing gemology for Oscar Stone?

I’m a G.I.A. accredited gemologist. Basically, growing up my whole life, [my] family– aunts, uncles, cousins– we all just did jewelry. So getting the jewelry was the easy part. It’s a family trade, really; it’s one of our best-kept secrets.

How did you build your clientele when you began in the jewelry business?

I knew about jewelry; gold wasn’t something crazy new to me. It’s like all your aunts and uncles own auto repair shops–you fix a couple of the tires, do a couple of oil changes, and you just kind of figure it out by yourself. When I had my own spot, building my clientele did really start from scratch. I didn’t have any celebrities or influencers, so I just had to open up shop and see what I could do. Before I did that, I actually did go to GIA (Gemological Institute of America) diamond school. I knew that GIA offered courses for this type of stuff. I spent a couple of months educating myself–[even] just [concerning] diamonds; there’s so many things about diamonds.

Once I finished the education, I decided to really bring in some clients. I was in business for about three years, and then I just started going heavy on social media. Once I started publishing my work on social media, the followers started coming. You know, not[hing] crazy yet, but I started getting a couple thousand [followers]. That’s when the business started taking off. I started hiring friends of mine and a lot of people, [and] my staff grew from four or five people to like twenty-five people. Business exploded when I started getting people who were verified on Instagram and had 300–400,000 followers. Once I started getting those clientele, the ball really started rolling. And that’s where we are now, about a year later.

What celebrities/notable clients have you done jewelry work for?

I would say the biggest guy that I’ve done work for would be, Jojo Simmons from RUN–D.M.C. I’ve done work for Young Dirty Bastard, who is the son of Old Dirty Bastard from the Wu Tang Clan. [Regarding] household names, I’ve done guys as big as Tonio Skits and Darius D.K. [Also,] I’ve done work for [Kid] Capri.

How do you source the best diamonds/gems for jeweling?

I don’t always get the same diamonds from the same supplier. The reason is, once you start working with somebody for diamonds and you guys get comfortable, then they start sending you lesser quality parcels. A parcel is basically like a bag of diamonds, [which come in] a lot of different sizes. They should all be the same clarity, and you sort through them to see that the quality is consistent.

I can buy 50 carats of diamonds this month [or] this week, and then I’ll run out by making all the jewelry. And so, I need to reorder. If the quality starts to become inconsistent with the price that I’m paying, I’ll switch over to another diamond supplier. Most of my diamond suppliers are in India, so I’ve had to fly out there a few times and look at some parcels, look at some factories, and see how they’re all doing it.

[Or, for example,] if I have to build a watch and do it three weeks, and [clients] don’t give me enough time, I have to get [diamonds] local[ly].

What is your favorite jewelry design you sell?

My favorite designs [are] always the custom pieces I make. I always love doing custom work, I just love like how intricate they are. I just did a piece for a client of mine–it’s this huge custom piece that spins when you spin it. I’ve had the most fun working on it, that’s my favorite piece right now. I’m working on another one that might top it, but we’re gonna keep it under wraps for now.

What is your jewelry specialty?

My signature I would say is the baguette earrings, that’s what most people know me for. Out of all my followers, I would say 20,000 of them might have been from the baguette earrings.

I do really, really good with the baguette diamond earrings that are on my website. I could sell as many as 20 pairs a day. A lot of people [who] are from out of state buy that. A lot of people [come] in store as well. The baguette diamonds are just such a popular thing for me right now. I have to make hundreds and hundreds of pairs just to keep up with demand.

What is the most popular order you receive from clients?

The baguette diamonds are just like something you really don’t see out of New York. And so, people love them. It’s also my bread and butter…It’s gonna go, it’s gonna sell, and sell classic.

What’s next for you?

I’m going to be moving to another location on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx–I’m true to the Bronx, I don’t wanna leave the Bronx. So, I’m moving to a store that is down the block from me. It has three times the retail space, and a basement attached to it. I’ll be able to really put a factory down there. As long as the people keep loving my jewelry and what I do, I’m going to keep delivering the best I can. To do that, and to give the best prices, you need to do things in-house. I’m going to have a 1500 sq ft basement where I’ll be able to put ten diamond setters down there and set diamonds all day. The second floor will be an office to do all the online [work]. On the floor-level will be retail and the showroom, so people who want to see things in-person, I can show them right there. That is my short-term goal in the next one or two years. Long term, I want to be a household name, but one thing at a time.

Photo Credit:  Anthony Duque

Oscar Stone LTD Baguette Diamond Earrings

Cash and wallet illustration for 360 Magazine

Digital Health Revenues to Jump 34% by 2023

Although the COVID-19 pandemic put enormous pressure on the global healthcare sector, one of the promising side effects has been the rapid growth of digital health services. During the crisis, hospitals were facing the most challenging public health threat they have ever experienced. However, digital health has stepped in providing innovative and effective solutions for chronic patients or those in need of immediate healthcare. As a result, the revenues of the entire sector jumped by 30% YoY, reaching $109bn in 2020.

According to data presented by Trading Platforms, digital health revenues are expected to hit $132.2bn in 2021. The entire industry is forecast to continue growing and reach a $177.5bn value by 2023, a 34% increase in two years.

Digital Fitness Revenues to Jump by 40% in Two Years, eHealth Segment Follows with a 27% Increase

The digital health market covers many technologies, including mobile health apps, connected wearable devices, and telemedicine. By tracking physical activities or identifying early signs of developing diseases, these technologies enable millions of people worldwide to monitor and record their health conditions more efficiently and in a user-friendly manner.

The surge in the use of the internet and smartphones and the shift towards a healthier lifestyle have been driving the impressive growth of the entire sector even before the pandemic. However, the COVID-19 has undoubtedly fueled the widespread use of digital health apps and solutions.

In 2019, the entire market generated $83.3bn in revenue, revealed the Statista data. After the pandemic struck, revenues jumped by $25.6bn in a year. The widespread use of digital health solutions is expected to continue this year, with the entire sector growing by 20% YoY. By 2023, global digital health revenues are forecast to increase by another $45.3bn.

As the largest segment of the market, digital fitness is expected to generate $76.3bn in revenue in 2021. By 2023, this figure is forecast to grow by nearly 40% to $106.2bn.

E-health services are set to witness a 27% growth in this period, with revenues rising from $55.8bn to $71.3bn.

China and the United States to Generate 50% of Total Revenues

The Statista survey also revealed the following years are set to witness substantial growth in the number of people using digital fitness apps and eHealth services.

In 2021, the unified market is expected to count close to 3 billion users, almost 40% more than before the pandemic struck. By 2023, this figure will jump over 3.5 billion and continue growing to 4 billion by 2025.

The number of people using digital fitness apps is expected to jump by 27% in the next two years, rising from 980 million to over 1.2 billion. The eHealth segment is forecast to witness a 17% growth in this period, with the number of users reaching 2.2 billion by 2023.

As the world`s largest digital health market, China is forecast to generate $38.5bn in revenue in 2021, up from $30.8bn last year. In the next two years, the Chinese market is expected to hit $52.7bn value.

With 261.6 million users and $26.3bn in revenue in 2021, the United States ranked as the second-largest market globally. By 2023, this figure is set to jump to $31.4bn.

India, Japan, and Germany follow with $6.2bn, $4.2bn, and $3.5bn in revenue in 2021, respectively. Statistics show that China and the US, as the two largest markets, are expected to generate nearly 50% of global digital health revenues this year. By 2023, their combined revenue share is expected to slip to 47%.

The full story can be read here.