Marketing review news
30 December 2004

IDBI Bank goes HouseFull
IDBI Bank has launched its `HouseFull scheme' under which 100 per cent loan is disbursed to consumers who purchase any of the 250 displayed projects in and around Delhi from over 35 builders participating in `Homes 2004 property exhibition.

The scheme has also been kicked off in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Mumbai.

Under the scheme, the bank extends 100 per cent financing (subject to certain conditions) for buying houses in National Capital Region at 7.25 per cent for floating loans and a fixed rate of 7.75 per cent for three year, and 8.25 per cent for five years. The bank is offering home loan consumers life insurance cover from Birla Sunlife during the loan tenure for a nominal one-time premium as an incentive.

Under the HouseFull scheme, customers taking a home loan will get a chance to win a prize. IDBI Bank will furnish the house of the winner with appliances such as flat TV, washing machine, air conditioner and home theatre system.

Electricity powered two-wheeler launched
Eko Vehicles Pvt Ltd a Bangalore-based company has launched, Eko Cosmic, a two-wheeler that runs on electricity. Priced at Rs25,000 the battery-operated two-wheeler can run 50km on a single charge with two people riding. A new charge costings Rs3.

The cost of running Eko Cosmic for 50km comes to Rs3 and. No maintenance is required as the vehicle's gel battery is sealed.

The two-wheeler can run at a maximum speed of 40km. The company had in the early '80s launched the country's first electric two-wheeler, Vidyut 150.

The vehicles come with a charger, which can be plugged into any electric point and needs four hours for a full recharge. The company is also setting up rapid battery chargers at several places in the city so as to recharge to full capacity within 10 minutes. The life of a battery is around five years.

The Karnataka Government has given the manufacturer road tax exemption and is in the process of providing sales tax exemption.

The company says it has already sold 18 lakh vehicles in Finland and China.

Cookie Man to open 20 more stores by March `06
The Australian cookie chain, Cookie Man, is on an expansion binge. The company is planning to open 20 more stores in India by March 2006, taking the total number of stores to 40.

Opening its first outlet in Chennai in January 2000, Cookie Man is present in various malls in Bangalore, Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

Cookie Man follows the franchisee model. The recipes come from Australia and the dough comes from Chennai. There are mother stores across the five cities where cookies are freshly baked and supplied to other outlets. The company recorded a turnover of Rs3 crore at the end of March 2004. By the end of March 2005, it is expected to reach a turnover of Rs9 crore, which it hopes to double by March 2006.

Faber Heatkraft Industries to expand presence on new launches
Faber Heatkraft Industries, a joint venture of Faber SpA of Italy and Heatkraft of Pune, is targeting a turnover of Rs75 crore in 2005 up from Rs52 crore in 2004. The company has introduced several marketing initiatives including new product launches and lifetime warranties on select products, among other things.

The company recently launched the Baffle Filter range of electric kitchen chimneys, built keeping in view cooking habits of Indians. The company has also introduced a lifetime warranty on a select range of kitchen chimneys.

Faber Heatkraft sells more than 30 models of chimneys in India, priced between Rs 4,990 and Rs65,000 and has a 50 per cent share of the domestic market for kitchen chimneys.

Apart from kitchen chimneys, Faber's product offerings in India include cooking ranges and built-in gas hobs. The venture is considering entering in to the manufacture of microwave ovens and kitchen sinks.

HT Media ties up with Virgin Radio
HT Media Ltd, the media division of Hindustan Times for its print, radio, Internet and TV business has entered into a pact with aviation maverick Richard Branson's Virgin Radio Asia, for its FM radio venture.

Currently, foreign direct investment of up to 20 per cent funding from foreign institutional investors is permitted in private FM radio. However, the policy for the second phase of FM privatisation is expected to be quite different from the first round.

Sources say that scope for FDI in private FM radio cannot be ruled out, as it is permitted in all other media segments like print and television.

Virgin Radio Asia was launched in 2002 for the Asian region. It began with operations in Thailand and China. London-based Virgin Radio, however, was started in 1993, but was subsequently bought by a company in Scotland, SMG.

McDonald's to expand further
McDonald's India plans to add 18-22 outlets to its existing network of 65 outlets across the country funded by a Rs50 crore expansion plan.

McDonald's is also planning to expand the offerings on its menu and customers will be treated to a larger basket of offerings on its Rs20 `Happy Price' menu.

The company is also planning to roll out Cold Kiosks, to be either be part of the main outlet or adjacent to the McDonald's outlet, which will offer customers an innovative range of cold desserts such as ice creams with unusual flavours and coatings.

The company is foraying into new destinations such as Surat and Nashik in the West and three to four cities in northern India. It will also plan additional outlets in cities such as Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Baroda.

Tata Tea to launch flavoured tea bags under brand Tetley
Tata Tea is introducing 'customised' flavoured tea bags with its acquired brand, Tetley, in India.

Three of these flavours — masala, ginger and lemon — have been customised specially to suit Indian consumers, while the fourth — earl grey — a popular flavour worldwide, will be introduced for the first time here. At present the company is test-launching the flavoured tea bags in Delhi and select metros in the North and Mumbai.

Though the market for tea bags currently accounts for a meagre 1 per cent of the total 700-million kg tea market, it grew by a healthy 25-30 per cent in 2003-04.

The company is targeting the consumer segment with its flavoured tea bags. The flavours are being launched at a 'comfort price pack' of 12 tea bags for 20 as against the normal price of Rs32.

Recently Hindustan Lever launched Lipton Green Label tea, HLL's flavoured variant of Lipton tea in tea bags.

Reliance Infocomm launches fixed wireless telephony
Reliance Infocomm has unveiled its fixed wire-free phone (FWP) for subscribers in Tamil Nadu circle.

The new cordless telephony service from Reliance incorporates advanced features such as Internet connectivity (at a speed of 150 kbps), short messaging service, caller line identification (CLIP), phone book, missed calls and voice-mail etc and is offered under both post-paid and pre-paid variants with the entry cost of the cordless new instrument (LG's LSI 110) fixed at Rs4,300.

The post and pre-paid variants come with two plans at monthly rentals of Rs700 and Rs435 with 30-day validity recharge vouchers of Rs770 and Rs 480. Depending on the plans, the bundled usage would also offer unlimited free calls to Reliance numbers across the country/Reliance numbers in Chennai-TN circles.

The pulse rate for calls made to other network under both plans would be Rs1.10 for local calls and Rs2.20 per 30 seconds for STD calls.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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