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Helping developers move over debugging; India’s first Kathakali village

Middleware enhances cloud-native infrastructure through observability, monitoring and automation. Ayirur, in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district, has been christened it India’s first Kathakali village. Ram Ganesan, CEO of Sivi AI, and Ajith Sahasranamam, Founder and CEO of Ongil, on AI innovation.

Helping developers move over debugging; India’s first Kathakali village

Monday October 23, 2023 , 6 min Read


Innovation takes a ride!

Hornback, a consumer products startup founded by IIT-B alums, has created the “world’s first foldable diamond frame e-bike”—Hornback X1. As per its investor and Mahindra Group Chairperson Anand Mahindra, the bike is 35% more efficient than other foldable bikes.

Meanwhile, investment banker and former Barclays executive Ashok Vaswani will succeed Uday Kotak as MD and CEO at Kotak Mahindra Bank. Last month, Kotak had stepped down ahead of the end of his term to facilitate a smooth transition. He remains on the board as a non-executive director.

In 0ther news, the US emerged as India’s biggest trading partner during the first half of FY24, surpassing China. While exports to the US came down to $38.3 billion during Apr-Sep 2023 from $41.5 billion a year ago, India still maintains a trade surplus with the country.

ICYMI: Drones are getting bigger and going farther. US-based Elroy Air’s preproduction drone can fly nearly 500 km, and automatically pick up and drop cargo weighing up to 225 kg.

Oh, and meet Western classical musician Ayaan Deshpande, also known as ‘Mumbai Mozart’.

The nine-year-old has performed at prestigious concert venues, including in Vienna, New York, and Kazakhstan.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Optimising debugging for developers
  • India’s first Kathakali village
  • Life as early-stage AI innovators

Here’s your trivia for today: What species of fish is Nemo, depicted in the 2003 animated comedy-adventure film Finding Nemo?


Optimising debugging for developers

Observability enables companies to understand the internal state of a system while monitoring detects problems or anomalies using data collected. Middleware operates at this intersection, enhancing cloud-native infrastructure through observability, monitoring and automation.

It allows DevOps teams to debug the issue faster by bringing all the metrics, logs, traces, and events to a single unified timeline.

Issue detection:

  • Middleware offers eight observability capabilities such as infrastructure monitoring, log monitoring, APM to monitor applications errors and performance, database monitoring etc.
  • The platform uses GPT-4 to identify infrastructure and application problems quickly, with suggested solutions for issue resolution. 
  • The company recently came out of stealth mode and secured $6.5 million in seed funding in August for team expansion, product development, AI enhancement, and customer acquisition. 
Laduram Vishnoi

Art and Culture

A peek into India’s first Kathakali village

For over 250 years, Ayirur—a picturesque village on the banks of the holy river Pamba in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district—has been the centre of a long-standing tradition of promoting Kathakali. In 2023, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Surveyor General of India christened it India’s first Kathakali village.

“The village has a rich history of Kathakali—with several disciples of Guru Chengannur Raman Pillai of the Thekkan Chitta (Southern school) who practised what is known as the Kaplingadan style performing here,” says Vimal Raj, Secretary of the District Kathakali Club.

Rich culture:

  • Ayirur is just 60 km away from the famous temple shrine of Sabarimala. It has a population of 3,000, of whom around 70% are associated with Kathakali in some form or another.
  • “The village will be part of the Great Destination Challenge launched by the Ministry of Tourism. Under this, we will first establish a Kathakali Museum on land donated by the Kathakali Club," says Panchayat President Ambili Prabhakaran.
  • Kathakali displays riveting performances, usually stories from Hindu mythology. In a fine example of communal inclusion, the club has adapted Bible stories, poems, and classics into the format. 


Early-stage startup founders on AI

At the Bengaluru edition of TechSparks 2023, early-stage startup founders—Ram Ganesan, CEO of Sivi AI, and Ajith Sahasranamam, Founder and CEO of OngIL—talked about innovation in AI, and agreed building the data flywheel is the hardest challenge during the initial days.

AI landscape:

  • “One approach for an early-stage startup is to rely on publicly-available data sets to train their models. The second approach is to generate your own data using samples from public sources,” Ajith explained.
  • Besides relevant datasets and models, early-stage GenAI startups also require computing power and infrastructure, such as cloud technology, to run and scale their products.
  • AI startups that solve specific, narrow use cases require smaller quantities of datasets, computing power, and infrastructure, according to Ram.
ai startups

News & updates

  • High tension: iPhone maker Foxconn was recently subjected to searches by Chinese tax authorities. The Taiwanese-headquartered company's offices in Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces were searched by tax officials while its offices in Henan and Hubei provinces, where the company has major factories, were also inspected:
  • All-in-one: Twitch announced that it's expanding its simulcasting policy to include all live-streaming platforms. Twitch had already updated its simulcasting guidelines in August of 2023 when it allowed simulcasting on mobile services like TikTok and Instagram.
  • Snooze or lose: Hitting the snooze button when your alarm goes off may not leave you in a sleepier state than if you just got up straight away, researchers found at Stockholm University in Sweden. The study also found that young people snoozed more and were more likely to be "night owls".

What you should watch out for

  • Earnings: Several companies to announce their second-quarter earnings this week, including Reliance Industries, Tech Mahindra, Axis Bank, NDTV, Maruti Suzuki, Blue Dart, BEL, Cipla, and Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC.
  • Demanding rights: Gig workers in Pune have called a day’s strike on October 25 in protest against the denial of rights, including social security benefits. The Indian Gig-Worker’s Front (IGF) has urged the Maharashtra government to draft a Bill to address the absence of benefits and protections for gig workers. Last week, a survey found that most Indian professionals were against gig delivery workers unionising or bargaining collectively.
  • Khelo India: The 37th edition of the Indian National Games will begin in Goa on October 25. Altogether 43 sports and disciplines are in the official program of the National Games, including boxing. Indian boxers recently won five medals at the Asian Games 2023 where the country finished fourth.

What species of fish is Nemo, depicted in the 2003 animated comedy-adventure film Finding Nemo?

Answer: Clownfish.

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