to launch low-priced broadband service
Tata group company, VSNL, is planning to expand its internet
and broadband business aggressively. It is making large
investments to launch its broadband services at tariffs
comparable to dial-up accounts. The company is also extending
its reach to over 100 cities.
The broadband services will be launched in eight cities
initially for as low as Rs389 for a connection that offers
200 megabits download or 20 hours of surfing, one of the
cheapest in the market.
majority of VSNL's investments are being utilised to ramp
up its broadband network. VSNL currently has 30,000 broadband
customers and eight lakh dial-up users. The broadband
connection will be built into VSNL's `Total Internet'
package, which would allow its dial-up subscribers to
access broadband services.
plans to launch broadband services in four metro cities
and Bangalore and Pune this year.
enters the Indian market with X-Trail
Motor has launched its sports utility vehicle, X-Trail,
in India in two grades Comfort with an ex-showroom
price in Chennai of Rs 21.08 lakh and Elegance priced
at Rs 24.14 lakh.
According to the company the future strategy of the company
would depend on the success of the SUV in India, having
chalked worldwide sales of 140,000 in 2003.
The X-Trail would be imported as completely built units
from Nissan's plant in at a 104 per cent import duty.
The X-Trail comes with a 2.2-litre common rail diesel
engine and six-speed manual transmission.
prices rise marginally
Cola makers, Coca Cola India and PepsiCo, have in a concerted
move effected a marginal increase in prices of colas in
select areas of the country. The prices of both the 200
ml and 300 ml pack of Coke and Pepsi have increased by
Re1 and PepsiCo is said to be contemplating implementing
a further hike in in the price of its 300ml pack.
says it was not getting any incremental penetration by
continuing at lower price points and was subsidizing those
consumers who could afford to pay more for the drink.
Cola says the price cut was anyway for a specified period
to increase penetration. The difference in pricing would
further differentiate the 200ml and 300ml-pack sizes in
the consumer's mind and the value each pack size delivers,
thereby altering the ratio in which each contributes to
two companies have increased prices in the major cities
just now leaving the rural and small towns untouched for
to launch Meera hair oil nationally
Cavinkare is planning to go national with its Meera Herbal
Hair Oil. The nationwide launch will be backed by a Rs10-crore
campaign spread over a nine-month period.
company feels it would be easy to market the brand in
the north since it perceives the brand to have a pan Indian
company has launched another variant of Meera hair oil
that contains coconut oil with hibiscus, amla,
henna, khus khus and fenugreek.
bottle has a visibly suspended porous cylinder containing
these ingredients and the oil derives its nourishing properties
on a continuous basis.
company is also looking at distributing the oil in beauty
oils constitute 50 per cent of the Rs1,800 hair oil market
and have a growth rate of 11 per cent, while the hair
oils had a growth rate of 4 per cent.
to test market Gatorade
PepsiCo is planning to test market its $2-billion energy
sports-drink brand Gatorade and expanding the non-carbonated
beverages portfolio by launching bottled ice tea.
to the company, Gatorade would be available in non-returnable
bottles of half-a-litre, instead of the 200ml and 300ml
glass bottles meant for soft drinks.
said to be scientifically formulated to replace fluids
and electrolytes and provide energy to enhance athletic
performance, will be initially imported into India. The
company will use the distribution channel of juice brand
Tropicana for Gatorade, sources said. It could be priced
around Rs40 per litre.
is also planning to get into bottling and marketing Lipton
ice tea next year.
present, Lipton ice tea is being sold in cartons but PepsiCo
plans to bottle the beverage in several pack sizes, including
200ml and 300ml glass bottles as well as PET bottles across
the country, using the existing bottling facilities of
fruit drink, Slice.
this year, HLL and PepsiCo formed an alliance to distribute
Lipton ready-to-drink (RTD) tea and tea-based hot beverages
in India. Industry sources said apart from ice tea, PepsiCo
is also looking at a slew of products, including green
tea, herbal tea and diet tea.
Tak signs pact with SET MAX for cricket updates
News channel AaJ Tak has signed a pact with general entertainment
channel SET MAX for the forthcoming Videocon Cup-Super
Challenge 2004 whereby MAX will provide access to its
commentators and other panellists to Aaj Tak for
its half-hour cricket capsule, Runbhoomi.
Pakistan and Australia compete with each other in the
tournament in the Netherlands.
war in prepaid cards
Bharti's Airtel brand has responded to Reliance Infocomm's
massive price cut in its prepaid card by a similar price
cut. AirTel has announced the launch of pre-paid starter
kit for Rs199. With this launch, AirTel has lowered the
entry cost into the category by 33 per cent from the existing
Rs299 to Rs199.
addition, new AirTel pre-paid users will get free airtime
worth Rs50 on the first recharge. The recharge will, however,
have to be for a minimum of Rs324 and will have to be
availed within a period of 96 hours of purchase.
Infocomm announced 60 per cent reduction in the pre-paid
segment dropping mobile-to-mobile call charges to 99 paise
from Rs2.49 a minute, making it the cheapest pre-paid
option in the market.
Crocker desserts mixes launched in India
General Mills, the US-based foods company has launched
the Betty Crocker range of dessert mixes in India. These
include Devil's Food Cake Mix, Chocolate Fudge Brownie
Mix, Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix and an all-purpose baking
mix called Bisquick.
Betty Crocker desserts range is being sourced from the
General Mills plant at Nasik, Maharashtra, which also
manufactures the base for Betty Crocker mixes sold in
the UK and parts of Europe.
Mills India's product range includes the Pillsbury brand
of atta, cake mixes, custard, semiya and
pizza and the Green Giant brand of canned corn and speciality
Guild to strengthen marketing in India
Guild International, the jewellery marketing division
of the global platinum industry, has received a fillip
by the reduction in customs duty on platinum and is planning
to further strengthen and expand marketing activities
company's marketing strategies include monitoring customer
attitudes, generating awareness and promoting desire in
customers' mind for platinum in the growing Indian market.
which started Indian operations in 2000, has 192 authorised
retailers spread across 32 cities in India.
by Mohini Bhatnagar
also see : List
of reports on marketing review