Marketing review news
07 October 2004

Airtel launches wi-fi services in 'hot spots' in Mumbai
Airtel has launched wireless fidelity services at a number of strategic locations in Mumbai. These include the Bombay Gymkhana, Café Mocha (coffee shop) outlets, Cha Bar at Oxford Bookstores and a few other high profile city restaurants according to a release from Airtel.

The company is also planning to open 12 more wi-fi zones in the city by the end of October mostly at airport loungers and hotel lobbies.

Subsequently, Airtel will launch wi-fi outlets in Delhi and Bangalore.

The hotspots work on 802.11b wireless technology, and support a peak download speed of 11 Mbps.

ICICI Bank offers festival scheme for cardholders
ICICI Bank has launched an 'everybody wins' festival scheme for its debit and credit card holders.

According to the scheme, customers who make a transaction worth Rs2,000 will be eligible for a 5 per cent refund on the purchase value. The offer is open from October 1 to December 31 and will have a maximum refund limit of Rs5,000.

ICICI Bank has a credit card base of 2.5 million, which has a default rate of 6.5 per cent.

India; second most attractive retail destination: A.T. Kearney
AT Kearney has ranked India as the second most attractive retail destination among emerging markets globally — even ahead of China — in its 2004 Global Retail Development Index (top 30 Emerging Markets) report. This is despite there being a ban on foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector

The consultants have ranked India 88 on a scale of 100, on parameters such as economic and political risks, market attractiveness, market saturation and time pressure. Russia, with 100 points, is the most attractive emerging retail destination, according to the report.

In India retail sales per capita increased by one-third between 1999 and 2003 though the retail market continues to be fragmented and the top ten organised retailers hold only about 2 per cent of the market share.

The report said two foreign retailers, Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm and Metro AG, are in the top five; and South African retailer Shoprite is also considering a foray into the country.

Marrybrown to expand to West and Northern India
Malaysian fast food company, Marrybrown, is planning to outlets in Mumbai and Delhi. The company, which has a substantial presence in the Southern cities of Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore plans to go through the franchisee route in the North.

The company is also shortly planning to launch a new retail model called Marrybrown Express comprising takeaway and delivery outlets spread over 500-600 sq ft. Officials said these would require an investment of between Rs15 and 20 lakh.

The company will initially launch these express outlets in Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The first Marrybrown Express outlet will come up on the ECR highway in Chennai.

The company is planning to tie up with petroleum companies to set up Marrybrown Express restaurants on highways. More outlets will also be opened in theatres and shopping malls.

The company plans to set up 25 new outlets by the end of the current fiscal, which would be a mix of express and mid-sized restaurants.

Marrybrown had a turnover of Rs10 crore this year and is targeting 50 per cent growth in the next one year.

Headlines Today for aggressive marketing
Headlines Today, the round the clock English news channel from the TV Today group, is fast catching up with the Prannoy Roy-promoted NDTV channel in viewership.

According to recent TAM figures for the week ended September 25 Headlines Today notched up a channel share of over 28 per cent amongst the English news channels in six metros. This is just behind NDTV 24x7, which has a little more than 30 per cent share. Headlines Today is ahead of other international channels such as CNN, BBC and CNBC.

To catch up with NDTV, the TV Today is spending Rs5 crore for marketing the channel with a dedicated media campaign.

The new campaign will be through print, outdoor, radio and television advertising and will retain the channel's catchphrase, 'Sharp News for Sharp People'.

After making changes in its technical side, there are plans to introduce more news segments to tap different segments of viewers. The channel is even planning to expand its staff strength by adding another 20-30 people over the next few months.

Headlines Today has also tied up with Barista for an in-outlet contest, spread across six metros with 50 outlets. Another component of the campaign would be in the form of in-store contest based on posters, tent cards and tray mats to create a good brand presence in the stores.

Godrej plans to re enter air-conditioners
The appliances division of Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company is planning a national launch of Godrej split and window airconditioners in the summer of the coming year. Earlier this year the company introduced Godrej split airconditioners in Chennai and other parts of south.

Godrej first launched its split airconditioners in the Indian market in the mid-90's but in 2000 the company's refrigerators and washing machines began doing very well it decided to focus on refrigerators.

The company has now decided to refocus on split airconditioners as it wants to become a full-line appliance manufacturer in India and achieve 3 per cent market share in the split airconditioners segment.

The company is planning to use Hitachi compressors to relaunch six models of Godrej airconditioners (three models each in the split and window categories). It will also focus on enhancing the look and feel of Godrej airconditioners to gain a substantial presence in the airconditioners segment currently growing at the rate of 25 per cent per annum.

IOC to take Xtracare
The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), in a bid to strengthen its foothold in the retail oil market, is strengthening its focus on branding. After launching its Xtrapremium branded fuel, the company has launched its first branded retail outlet called Xtracare in Tamil Nadu's Erode district.

A total of 1,000 such outlets will be opened across the country. Tamil Nadu alone will have nine of them. Of the total Xtracare outlets, 125 on highways will have extra facilities, such as service stations, spare parts shops, ATMs and other banking activities as well as snack counters. Highway outlets with these facilities will be branded 'Swagat'.

The company has earmarked Rs1,400 crore for the development of its overall retail market for this year, including building new outlets. Sources in the company say a total of Rs265 crore has been invested for developing Swagat outlets alone.

Besides branding its outlets, the company will also sponsor sporting events to further its brand equity.

ITC Foods extends Mint-O brand
ITC's Foods Division has launched `Mint-O Fresh', a hard-boiled mint candy in two flavours. With this launch Mint-O, which was available only as compressed mint tablets, will be offered as hard-boiled candy also.

According to the company the Mint-O Fresh pack brand communication is focused on product benefits of fresh breath also depicted through a TV commercial. Mint-O Fresh will come priced at 50 paise, and will be made available in over a million outlets across the country.

New Pantene range launched
Procter & Gamble India has launched its new Pantene range of shampoo with Amino Pro-V complex in the Andhra Pradesh market.

P&G officials say that this was the only shampoo that deposits a unique combination of pro-itamins and three essential aminos on the hair.

Colgate-Palmolive launches awareness campaign with IDA
Colgate-Palmolive India is launching a month-long awareness campaign this month jointly with the Indian Dental Association (IDA) to promote oral hygiene. The company plans to organise dental check ups and oral health care education at public places, schools, orphanages and slums.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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