labels: industry - general, economy - general, marketing - general
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Sajeev Nair
24 October 2003

Mumbai: A good economic out-turn and a near-good monsoon have resulted in most Indian companies paying average and above-average bonuses this year, making this festive season a cheerful one. Telecom companies from Reliance Infocomm and Siemens, restaurant chain McDonald's and retailers are also showering freebies. All this will make 2003 an year worth remembering.

Reliance Infocomm Ltd, in an effort to increase its subscriber base during the festive season, is promising prizes worth Rs 10 crore and bumper draw offers ranging from a Chevrolet Optra car to Samsung TVs for new customers.

The offers are for customers subscribing to a new Reliance India Mobile (RIM) connection between 16 October and 15 November 2003, says Reliance Infocomm president (wireless products and services) S P Shukla.

The offers are under the company's month-long promotional scheme, 'RIM Celebrations', and the new subscribers will be entitled to the benefits of 'Free Talk Scheme', which has been extended for the festive season, he adds.

The telephony major is also giving away Zenith computers and Videocon air-conditioners and consumer durables including TVs, automatic washing machines, refrigerators, apart from a host of RIM accessories also during this festive season. Winners of daily draws will be given USA/Canada vouchers, which allow 51 minutes of calls to the US (excepting Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada from their new RIM phones, Shukla says.

Electrical and electronics major Siemens Ltd has launched a silver variant of its C55 mobile phone - C55 Silver - targeting the festive season gift buyers in the country. The model, incorporated with Java and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), is equipped with Li-Ion battery.

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has slashed international long-distance (ISD) tariffs by a massive 70 per cent on account of the festive season. The slashed rates will be effective from 21 October midnight to 21 November. According to company sources all calls to the US, Canada and European countries (except the UK) will now cost just Rs 9.60 a minute, down from Rs 24, and calls to the UK will cost Rs 7.20 a minute. The promotional scheme will be applicable to all basic, cellular, WLL mobile and PCOs, they add.

The telephony service provider has extended its earlier announced scheme for Dussehera, which was valid up to 5 October to 31 October 2003. The company plans to offer a 100-per cent free talk-time to new connections under this scheme.

On the IT front, PCS Industries Ltd has launched a multimedia personal computer - Oriion Silver Magic - priced below Rs 20,000 as a special Diwali offering, which runs on an Intel Celeron 2.0 GHz processor.

The PC has a 40 GB hard-disk space, 52X CD-ROM and a multimedia kit, 128 MB RAM and Intel 845 GV chipset-based motherboard. PCS, which is slated to have received bookings of over 1,000 PCs, expects to sell 2,500 units this Diwali.

Retail chain Ebony is offering assured gifts, besides points on purchases for Rs 500 to Rs 60,000, while Westside chain of stores is offering a bumper prize of Rs 15 lakh and Tanishq jewellery worth Rs 1 lakh, apart from the usual assured gifts this festive season.

The Globus chain, under its buy-and-win gold campaign, is offering one, two and five gm gold coins on offer, a luxury cruise on Star Cruises and the Maruti Versa. Retail chains like Shoppers' Stop, Pantaloon, Lifestyle and The Home Stores have also announced freebies and assured gifts to woo customers this festive season.

Amul chocolates and Cadbury India have launched new varieties under different schemes to lure the sweet-toothed in the country. The companies expect the sales of chocolates to more than triple during this festive season, thanks to the good economy.

Crystal specialist Swarovski and Radico Khaitan, distributors of Californian wine Carlo Rossi and Andre, are also offering freebies with every purchase, as they expect customers to shell out more doles, compared with that a year ago.

Enjoy this Diwali.

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