Marketing review news
25 November 2004

BPL Tele handsets launched
BPL Telecom has launched its range of GSM mobile handsets and has also initiated discussions with Intel Corporation for enhancing its existing manufacturing capabilities in Kerala. The company has earmarked an investment of Rs 50 crore for the facility. So far, it has already invested Rs18 crore in the handset manufacturing facility.

The company has launched seven models of which two are manufactured in India while the other five are outsourced from Korea. These handsets, priced between Rs3,800 and Rs13,000 will be retailed through the company's distributors and dealers' network countrywide.

The company hopes to launch around 20 handset models in the coming months and generate between Rs35 and Rs50 crore from its mobile handset sales this fiscal.

Titan enters into service pact with LVMH Group
Titan Industries, the domestic watch manufacturing major, has entered into a pact with global luxury goods company Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) Group, to service it's entire range of watches in India through the Titan customer care centres.

Titan has set up its service centres into a separate business unit as part of a recent corporate restructuring exercise, and expects to build a robust revenue stream from it.

Hence, the LVMH watch brands available in India (Tag Heuer and Christian Dior) can now be serviced at select Titan's own customer care centres and also its authorised service centers.

The watch and jewellery division of LVMH had entered India in July 2002 and has now announced plans to expand the watch portfolio by bringing in brands such as Fendi and Zenith aimed at niche segments. The company has 40 stores across 18 cities and is expected to add 15 more stores in smaller cities such as Coimbatore and Lucknow by next year.

Lotte India to expand product portfolio
Lotte India Corp, the Korean company, which acquired a majority stake in the Murugappa Group's confectionery business, not too long ago is now planning to diversify into different product categories like chocolates, biscuits, snack foods and ice creams. The products are likely to roll out in two-three years.

The parent company in South Korea manufactures and markets a huge number of brands including beverages, bottled water, flavoured water and fruit juices which it plans to introduce into India gradually. Apart from repackaging its blockbuster brands such as Coffy Bite, Lotte recently rolled out Butter Scotch, a new sugar boiled candy.

Lotte will use the Parrys brand for the next five years and is paying EID Parry a royalty of Rs5 lakh a year.

The Korean company is initially planning to begin manufacturing and marketing a range of chewing gums brands like Spout and Lotte Xylitol, a sugar free gum and a $100-million brand worldwide.

Lotte's chewing gum brands will take on brands such as Big Babool from Perfetti and Boomer from Wrigleys.

P&G launches Tide detergent bar, withdraws Ariel bar
Mumbai: Procter & Gamble Home Products has launched detergent bar under the brand name Tide to take on Hindustan Lever's Rin Supreme and is withdrawing Ariel detergent bar.

The company is introducing the New Tide Bar at three price points — Rs5 for a 75gm bar, Rs8.50 for a 125gm bar and Rs13 for a 200gm bar.

The company says it is introducing the bar because 95 per cent of consumers in India use a combination of powder and bar. The new product has green speckles called Whiteons a P&G proprietary technology, which helps in whitening the fabric.

Tide, as a brand, has a global turnover of $4 billion and is a market leader in 23 countries.

The Indian detergent market is valued at Rs5,000 crore and is the world's third largest detergents market. Bars account for 43 per cent and detergent powder for 57 per cent of total detergent market.

HLL launches Bru Malabar filter coffee
Hindustan Lever has launched a premium brand of roast and ground coffee, Bru Malabar. A 200 gm pack of Bru Malabar is priced at Rs 38, Rs 9 more than same sized packs of HLL's Green Label coffee.

Bru Malabar will be a blend of 90 per cent coffee and 10 per cent chicory, as against Green Label, which is a 53:47 concoction. The new brand will be sold through the same distribution channels as Green Label.

According to company spokesman, the market for filter coffee in volume terms is about three times that of instant coffee, and comprises about 5,500 tonnes a year. However, in value terms, both contribute the same revenue as each kilogram of instant coffee costs almost four times a kilogram of filter coffee.

Almost the entire annual production of 15,000 tonnes of filter coffee consumption is concentrated in south India, which explains why Bru Malabar is targeting the southern region, more particularly Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

The brand will be promoted mainly through print and outdoors, as also through sampling exercises.. The promotion also involves trial packs of 50gm each, which are not yet available on retail shelves.

Parry's to sell branded sugar
E I D Parry has launched refined packaged sugar under the Parry's Pure Refined Sugar brand. The company plans to increasingly look at branding and value addition of sugar, till now looked at as a commodity.

The company is looking at a wide range of value-added products in sugar including breakfast sugar, icing sugar, castor sugar, and sugar cubes.

Parry's Refined Sugar is 99.9 per cent pure, free flowing and free of impurities and sediments. It will be available in pouch packs of Rs 23.50 a kg, PET bottles at Rs 29 per kg and is also available in cubes and stick packs.

The launch in Chennai will be followed with its entry into major towns in the South.

Perfetti ups activity in confectionery segment: launches new sugar-free gum
Confectionery major Perfetti Van Melle has launched its first sugar-free gum brand, Happydent Protex, in India. It has tied up, among others, with Café Coffee Day (visitors to the café get a sugar-free gum at the time of billing) and malls across the country for sampling.

Perfetti owns brands such as Chlor-Mint, Center Fresh, Alpenliebe, and Mentos in the gum and sugar confectionery business.

The company is now targeting a larger slice of the Rs1,600-crore domestic confectionery market and is putting in plans to expand capacities at its Mannesar and Chennai plants and is also considering expanding its product portfolio in India in the gum and sugar confectionary categories.

Perfetti set up shop in India in 1994 and has invested approximately Rs500 crore in its domestic operations in this period, he added.

The company is now planning an investment between Rs20 crore and Rs30 crore to add another 6,000 to 7,000 tonnes to its existing 40,000-tonne capacity.

Samsung focuses on IT retail network
Samsung Electronics has launched a slew of new products, including X-30 Note PC and SyncMaster 730MP.

Samsung's aim for the 21st century in India is to lead the digital convergence revolution and accelerate its transition through the introduction of innovative digital products, thereby creating an aspirational digital lifestyle for the average Indian consumer.

As part of its strategy, the company will establish 600 technology retail counters along with its partners focusing on the new digital products by the first quarter of 2005.

The retail strategy will have three key ingredients — table top displays, shop-in-shop and digital brand shops.

The company also announced the launch of SyncMaster 730 MP, the 17-inch TFT-LCD TV Monitor that comes with the `wise-link' technology where various digital gadgets can be connected directly to the display and is positioning the product as a true example of a digital lifestyle — having an integrated FM radio, a digital memory card reader and a full-fledged LCD TV functionality with a remote. It has also unveiled SCX 4100, the `world's smallest' digital multi-function device, which can scan, print and copy at the same time; and X-30 Note-PC, which is a thin mobile computing device.

LIC unveils two policies
The Life Insurance Corporation of India has launched new policies Jeevan Anurag and Jeevan Nidhi, a money back and a pension product respectively.

Jeevan Anurag is a money back plan that takes care of the need for higher education of the policyholder's son or daughter. The premium can be paid in a single lump sum or in instalments.

The money back payments start flowing back at the rate of 20 per cent of the sum assured during the last three years before maturity, the balance 40 per cent being payable on maturity along with bonuses if any.

These payments are guaranteed in addition to the payment of the basic sum assured in case of the demise of the policyholder at any time during the term of the policy, the release said.

Jeevan Nidhi is a pension plan with endowment funding. The policy provides for life cover during the waiting period, along with guaranteed additions of Rs50 per thousand for each of the first five years and bonuses if any, thereafter.

On survival of the policyholder beyond the term of the policy, the amount accumulated is used to generate a pension for the policyholder. Pension, called an annuity, will depend on the interest rates prevailing at that time.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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