Marketing review news
30 June 2005

New tariff plans from Tata Indicom
Tata Teleservices has introduced a range of new post-paid mobile tariff plans, which fall under three categories — normal rental plans, zero rental plans, and advanced rental plans.

The normal rental plans branded 'Do More 99', 'Do More 149' and the others under the 'Do More' series require no security deposit and offer up to 20 per cent savings over customers' previous bills.

The Do More plans are not charged rentals for call waiting and forwarding facilities.

There are also unlimited free local / intra-circle calls to any Tata Mobile and to any Tata fixed phone at 40 paise a minute for a nominal monthly rental depending on the plan chosen.

Surana Telecom gets distributorship of Chinese major Hisence's products
Hyderabad-based Surana Telecoma will market Chinese major Hisense's range of LCD and Plasma TVs and air-conditioners in the country. Surana has been appointed by the $4-billion government-owned Hisense to be its sole distributor in India.

Subject to the Chinese firm's approval, Surana Telecoma would also consider the possibility of assembling these products in India.

The company plans to introduce Hisense refrigerators and Innova range of air-conditioners in the Indian market soon.

TAM Media to double sample size
Tam Media Research is doubling its sample size of TV homes from just under 5,000 at present to 10,300.

This is in response to the latest National Readership Survey findings, that show a 32 per cent increase in cable and satellite homes.

The peoplemeters will be installed in Class-I towns (towns with a population over one lakh).

Of the 10,300 peoplemeters, about 200 to 300 will track the `elite' households. The 'elite' TAM service is expected to be ready by the year-end while it is also learnt that TAM is mulling a similar facility for semi-urban and rural areas. The latter, though, is still in its early stages of development.

UB to offload some liquor brands
The UB Group is said to be divesting part of its 'Indian made foreign liquor' (IMFL) brand portfolio.
The recent $300-million takeover of Shaw Wallace Company has swelled UB spirits portfolio to over 130 brands selling about 56-million cases in an overall IMFL market estimated at 112-million cases annually.

Industry analysts say the brands to be offloaded include heritage brands like Diplomat Whisky, Blue Riband Gin, Gold Riband Whisky, and second-line SWC brands such as Old Tavern Whisky.

Holiday travel offers from Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines has announced some great travel deals from Mumbai to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang (Malaysia), Australia and New Zealand.

Tickets (planned by August 18) to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang are available for purchase from June 20 till July 2 and a return-ticket will cost Rs10,699 exclusive of taxes.

Return fares on the Australia and New Zealand sector start at Rs20,699 to Sydney; Rs22,699 to Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne or Perth; and Rs28,699 to Auckland or Christchurch. Tickets to Australia and New Zealand will be available from June 20 till July 31.

The promotion valid on the airline's daylight flight, SQ 421, from Monday to Thursday. Under the offer, passengers have the facility of making a change in their travel dates at a later point.

The airlines has also joined hands with the Singapore Tourism Board and Millennium Copthorne Hotels, Singapore's largest hotel chain, to come up with a summer travel offer on travel to Singapore and beyond.

The offer includes special return Economy Class fares on Singapore Airlines from all cities it operates in India, a special hotel offer for a minimum of two nights from Millennium Copthorne Hotels, and discount booklets worth Singapore $250 from the Singapore Tourism Board.

The promotion is valid for outbound travel from July 1 to September 30, 2005. Tickets for the promotional offer will be available for sale between June 20 and July 23.

Fares start from Rs12,699 to Singapore. For travel beyond Singapore to Malaysia, Bangkok, Jakarta, Bali, Hong Kong, China and Australia, fares range from Rs12,699 (to Malaysia) right up to Rs29,699 (Australia).

Barista to set up coffee lounges and highway bars
Barista Coffee will invest an estimated Rs50 crore in using the latest technology, differential pricing and a host of market initiatives to build the brand.

The company will soon unveil the coffee brand in two new avatars — a premium coffee lounge in New Delhi's South Extension locality, and a chain of `Barista Coffee on the go' bars on major national highways, in collaboration with IOCL.

The company will invest between Rs45 lakh and Rs50 lakh in the 3,000-sq. ft. coffee lounge, where a selection of specialty coffee, continental food and desserts accompanied by live bands and a dance floor will be available.

The company plans to launch at least four or five lounge bars in the metros in the current fiscal.

The company has also tied-up with IOCL to launch coffee for travellers on national highways. `Barista coffee on the go' bars will offer lower priced coffee and a limited menu of convenience foods such as sandwiches. The first of these will come up at Karnal on the Delhi-Chandigarh highway in July and the company plans to roll out at least 15-20 of these on major national highways, along the Mumbai-Pune region and the Bangalore-Chennai, Bangalore-Mysore stretches, to begin with.

Bata India looks at improving retail operations
Bata India is planning substantial improvements in its retail operations seeing the potential retail boom.

With the central government considering opening up of the retail sector to FDI, the company is foreseeing definite action in the sector. Bata India will thus open new stores, refurbish existing ones, and create innovative product lines.

The company will close down sixty unviable stores and firm up plans to outsource products to four manufacturing units in tax holiday states in Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal. The company is also exploring third party manufacturing units in other tax-free States such as Assam and Jammu & Kashmir.

Yamaha Motor launches 100cc bike
Yamaha Motor India has launched Libero G5, a 100cc motorbike priced at Rs41,000. The company says its target is to sell three lakh bikes this year, compared to 2.5 lakh last year. The company has set itself a target of one million bikes by 2010.

The G5 has features like higher ground clearance, rear shock absorbers, and a longer wheelbase.

The company is planning to up its ad budget to Rs70 crore this year and ads featuring the G5 Yamaha will hit the airwaves soon.

Last year, the company achieved a turnover of about Rs900 crore.

The company is also planning to revamp its dealer network and will replace some 75 dealers with new ones, although the total number of dealers, around 450, would not change.

Cosmetics to be asked to adhere to new labelling norms
After Johnson & Johnson baby oil controversy the Government may make it mandatory for manufacturers of cosmetics such as lipsticks, soaps, fairness creams, beauty oils and shaving products to adhere to new labelling norms.

Under the new norms cosmetic products would have to mention the ingredients on the labels in descending order and that imported cosmetics would have to be registered.

Registration requirements are in place for import of any drug in the country, there are no similar requirements for import of cosmetics.

Currently, companies such as Procter & Gamble, Gillette, L'Oreal, Revlon and Amway import premium cosmetic products into the country.

Satyam brand valued at over $1 b
The valuation of the Satyam brand has breached the $1-billion mark and according to the company's latest annual statement, its brand value was computed at Rs4,662 crore or $1.06 billion. Satyam Computer Services is set to achieve revenues of $1 billion later this fiscal.

In order to compute the brand value, the previous two years' profits were considered at present value and weightage applied to arrive at profit. And five per cent of average capital employed was provided for non- branded purpose. While income tax at current rate was provided, brand multiple was based on internal evaluation.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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