funny bone

Zee Tamil’s ‘Comedy Khiladis’ enters a crowded comedy reality TV space. Can it have the last laugh?

The show hopes to differentiate itself with its diverse range of contestants and fresh content.

It is the opening episode of Zee Tamil’s reality show Comedy Khiladis, and the rules of the show are crystal clear.

“It is time for you all to take an oath,” Vigneshkanth, a judge on the show, tells the contestants. All 31 of them repeat after him. “I will not steal concepts from other shows and pretend that I created it,” he continues, to roaring laughter from the audience. “If I get eliminated, I will not bring my parents and make a scene, crying and providing content for the show.”

Comedy Khiladis, which features participants from all over Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, Trichy, Madurai, Coimbatore and Tirunelveli, is aired every Sunday afternoon. Among the judges are actress Devadarshini and Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara comedian Daniel Annie Pope, better known as Danny.

Comedy Khiladis (2018).

Like in any other reality show format, the contestants in Comedy Khiladis will be scored on their performance and narrowed down through rounds of elimination. It is up to the contestants to choose whether they want to perform in groups or fly solo. The opening act of the first episode brought alive the Rajinikanth-Kamal Haasan rivalry with a hilarious twist: filmmaker K Bhagyaraj, who has worked with both actors, played a wicked umpire.

Comedy Khiladis (2018).
Comedy Khiladis (2018).

“Naa epo varuven epdi varuvenu yaarukum theriyadhu, aana varavendiya nerathula correct ah varuven (Even I do not know how and when I will arrive, but I will arrive when the time is right),” Chitti Rao, a 21-year-old contestant said, mimicking Rajinikanth’s famous line from Muthu (1995). “It has been 300 years since this dialogue came out. Tell me something new,” the umpire retorted with a yawn.

Rao said that he chose to play Rajinikanth because the actor is back in the news after he announced his decision to join politics on December 31. The announcement came shortly after Haasan officially declared his political ambitions in November.

“The director wanted us to perform something that could connect to the audience quickly, with it being the first performance of the first episode,” Rao said. “So Rajini sir and Kamal sir were going viral at the time for their news about politics.”

Comedy reality shows are highly popular on Tamil television. The makers of Comedy Khiladis hope the show will stand out with its wide range of amateur participants.

“Comedy is a very important part of the whole Tamil culture, which include films and television,” the cluster head of South Business, Zee Entertainment, Siju Prabhakaran, told “Having said that, comedy is very difficult to crack. There is a very fine line between good comedy and bad comedy. We wanted to take a different approach. We wanted the show to connect with youngsters who can sit and enjoy comedy with the family.”

The effort to choose contestants from across the state was novel, Prabhakaran claimed. “But the whole proof of the pudding is in that if you are going to have a good laugh about the show, the content would have served its purpose.”

The young comedians are tremendously confident, which improves the quality of the performances, Devadarshini pointed out. “Right from their script and their confidence, they look quite good,” said the actress and judge about the show. “I have been in the industry for donkey’s years. But even now when you put me on stage, I get butterflies in my stomach. Moreover, comedy is a really difficult genre. It is very easy to make people cry, but not to make them laugh. If not for timing, the comedy will fall flat. It is a genre which can easily be criticised. To excel in something like that with confidence is very difficult.”

The contestants do need to impress the judges, but the real target is the audience. “There are a lot of television channels and a lot of comedy shows,” Danny pointed out. “I want to do something different in them. That is what I expect from the show. The contestants need not entertain us at all, but they should be able to make the audience laugh.”

Television actress Nandhini, another judge on the series, said that the freshness in the show’s content was enough to beat the crowd. “There might be many such shows, but the fact remains that fans love today’s Rajinikanth better than yesterday’s Rajinikanth,” she said.

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The next Industrial Revolution is here – driven by the digitalization of manufacturing processes

Technologies such as Industry 4.0, IoT, robotics and Big Data analytics are transforming the manufacturing industry in a big way.

The manufacturing industry across the world is seeing major changes, driven by globalization and increasing consumer demand. As per a report by the World Economic Forum and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd on the future of manufacturing, the ability to innovate at a quicker pace will be the major differentiating factor in the success of companies and countries.

This is substantiated by a PWC research which shows that across industries, the most innovative companies in the manufacturing sector grew 38% (2013 - 2016), about 11% year on year, while the least innovative manufacturers posted only a 10% growth over the same period.

Along with innovation in products, the transformation of manufacturing processes will also be essential for companies to remain competitive and maintain their profitability. This is where digital technologies can act as a potential game changer.

The digitalization of the manufacturing industry involves the integration of digital technologies in manufacturing processes across the value chain. Also referred to as Industry 4.0, digitalization is poised to reshape all aspects of the manufacturing industry and is being hailed as the next Industrial Revolution. Integral to Industry 4.0 is the ‘smart factory’, where devices are inter-connected, and processes are streamlined, thus ensuring greater productivity across the value chain, from design and development, to engineering and manufacturing and finally to service and logistics.

Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics are some of the key technologies powering Industry 4.0. According to a report, Industry 4.0 will prompt manufacturers globally to invest $267 billion in technologies like IoT by 2020. Investments in digitalization can lead to excellent returns. Companies that have implemented digitalization solutions have almost halved their manufacturing cycle time through more efficient use of their production lines. With a single line now able to produce more than double the number of product variants as three lines in the conventional model, end to end digitalization has led to an almost 20% jump in productivity.

Digitalization and the Indian manufacturing industry

The Make in India program aims to increase the contribution of the manufacturing industry to the country’s GDP from 16% to 25% by 2022. India’s manufacturing sector could also potentially touch $1 trillion by 2025. However, to achieve these goals and for the industry to reach its potential, it must overcome the several internal and external obstacles that impede its growth. These include competition from other Asian countries, infrastructural deficiencies and lack of skilled manpower.

There is a common sentiment across big manufacturers that India lacks the eco-system for making sophisticated components. According to FICCI’s report on the readiness of Indian manufacturing to adopt advanced manufacturing trends, only 10% of companies have adopted new technologies for manufacturing, while 80% plan to adopt the same by 2020. This indicates a significant gap between the potential and the reality of India’s manufacturing industry.

The ‘Make in India’ vision of positioning India as a global manufacturing hub requires the industry to adopt innovative technologies. Digitalization can give the Indian industry an impetus to deliver products and services that match global standards, thereby getting access to global markets.

The policy, thus far, has received a favourable response as global tech giants have either set up or are in the process of setting up hi-tech manufacturing plants in India. Siemens, for instance, is helping companies in India gain a competitive advantage by integrating industry-specific software applications that optimise performance across the entire value chain.

The Digital Enterprise is Siemens’ solution portfolio for the digitalization of industries. It comprises of powerful software and future-proof automation solutions for industries and companies of all sizes. For the discrete industries, the Digital Enterprise Suite offers software and hardware solutions to seamlessly integrate and digitalize their entire value chain – including suppliers – from product design to service, all based on one data model. The result of this is a perfect digital copy of the value chain: the digital twin. This enables companies to perform simulation, testing, and optimization in a completely virtual environment.

The process industries benefit from Integrated Engineering to Integrated Operations by utilizing a continuous data model of the entire lifecycle of a plant that helps to increase flexibility and efficiency. Both offerings can be easily customized to meet the individual requirements of each sector and company, like specific simulation software for machines or entire plants.

Siemens has identified projects across industries and plans to upgrade these industries by connecting hardware, software and data. This seamless integration of state-of-the-art digital technologies to provide sustainable growth that benefits everyone is what Siemens calls ‘Ingenuity for Life’.

Case studies for technology-led changes

An example of the implementation of digitalization solutions from Siemens can be seen in the case of pharma major Cipla Ltd’s Kurkumbh factory.

Cipla needed a robust and flexible distributed control system to dispense and manage solvents for the manufacture of its APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients used in many medicines). As part of the project, Siemens partnered with Cipla to install the DCS-SIMATIC PCS 7 control system and migrate from batch manufacturing to continuous manufacturing. By establishing the first ever flow Chemistry based API production system in India, Siemens has helped Cipla in significantly lowering floor space, time, wastage, energy and utility costs. This has also improved safety and product quality.

In yet another example, technology provided by Siemens helped a cement plant maximise its production capacity. Wonder Cement, a greenfield project set up by RK Marbles in Rajasthan, needed an automated system to improve productivity. Siemens’ solution called CEMAT used actual plant data to make precise predictions for quality parameters which were previously manually entered by operators. As a result, production efficiency was increased and operators were also freed up to work on other critical tasks. Additionally, emissions and energy consumption were lowered – a significant achievement for a typically energy intensive cement plant.

In the case of automobile major, Mahindra & Mahindra, Siemens’ involvement involved digitalizing the whole product development system. Siemens has partnered with the manufacturer to provide a holistic solution across the entire value chain, from design and planning to engineering and execution. This includes design and software solutions for Product Lifecycle Management, Siemens Technology for Powertrain (STP) and Integrated Automation. For Powertrain, the solutions include SINUMERIK, SINAMICS, SIMOTICS and SIMATIC controls and drives, besides CNC and PLC-controlled machines linked via the Profinet interface.

The above solutions helped the company puts its entire product lifecycle on a digital platform. This has led to multi-fold benefits – better time optimization, higher productivity, improved vehicle performance and quicker response to market requirements.

Siemens is using its global expertise to guide Indian industries through their digital transformation. With the right technologies in place, India can see a significant improvement in design and engineering, cutting product development time by as much as 30%. Besides, digital technologies driven by ‘Ingenuity for Life’ can help Indian manufacturers achieve energy efficiency and ensure variety and flexibility in their product offerings while maintaining quality.


The above examples of successful implementation of digitalization are just some of the examples of ‘Ingenuity for Life’ in action. To learn more about Siemens’ push to digitalize India’s manufacturing sector, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Siemens by the marketing team and not by the editorial staff.