Marketing review news
15 August 2005

Amara Raja honours Narain Karthikeyan with limited edition battery
Amara Raja Batteries has introduced a limited edition series of car batteries "to commemorate Narain Karthikeyan reaching the pinnacle of motor sport with his entry into Formula 1 racing."

About 5,000 `Amaron PRO - NK Racing Edition' batteries will be launched carrying the picture of Narain and his signature across the label.

These batteries will have better technical features, in terms of higher cranking ampere and reserve capacity and they will also come with a 50-month warranty.

Amara Raja's engagement with Narain dates back six years, when the ace motor driver was a relatively unknown face.

Hutch unveils HutchMail
Hutch introduced the concept of HutchMail, an affordable GPRS-based solution that allows executives real-time access to their office mail on Hutch phones. The phones can also be deployed across all levels of a corporate organisation.

The handset-independent HutchMail service makes the concept of the `Wireless Worker' a reality for Indian executives by significantly reducing the cost of such a service.

HutchMail users can now use their Hutch phones to access mails from Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes.

IA introduces one-point info service
Indian Airlines has expanded the scope of its round-the-clock help line (1407) to make it a pan-India service.

The toll-free number 1407 can now be used from any part of the country to get information on all Indian Airlines (IA) services.

The facility is available in different Indian regional languages also and users can gain information on flight departure or arrival timing, flight schedules, fares, seat availability, telephonic reservation, current status of booking or details about new offers.

The service is currently available in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali and Assamese.

Calls to 1407 would be toll free when they are made from MTNL or BSNL phones (both landline and mobile) both in six metros and others.

Lancaster range of cosmetics launched
Beauty Concepts has launched the `Lancaster' range of high-end cosmetic products in India. The company had tied up with 'Central' chain of malls of Pantaloon Retail India for a shop-in-shop arrangement.

The company has opened its first shop-in-shop at Hyderabad Central while the second shop would come up at Pune Central. Similar shop-in-shops would come up at Gurgaon and Mumbai shortly in Central's malls.

The company has decided against using celebrities for promoting the 'Lancaster' range and will instead associate the brand with social events of women to reach out to target customers.

The company also plans to organise educational programmes for women on skincare through international skincare experts.

Mahindra launches Champion Alfa
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has entered the 0.5 tonne-payload segment in three-wheelers by launching its Champion Alfa model priced at Rs1.12 lakh, ex-showroom, Hyderabad.

The company has a 42-per cent market share in the 0.75-tonne payload segment, where its main competitor is Bajaj Tempo's Minidor. The diesel engine Alfa will compete with Piaggio's APE and Bajaj Auto's GC1000.

It will be rolled out across the South and Maharashtra by October and be available nationwide by year-end.

Parle Agro plans new products
Parle Agro is is planning to enter the confectionery market and will launch a new brand soon.

The company has already initiated a second rung of distribution for the confectionery category since it launched its Frooti brand in triangular packs priced at Rs2.50.

Apart from confectionery, Parle Agro intends beefing up its beverage portfolio and has already lined up a series of new beverages, which would range from health drinks to iced tea. The beverages have already been lined up and will soon make an appearance in the market.

Parle Bisleri to enter fruit juice biz
Parle Bisleri has firmed up plans for a diversification into the fruit juice business. The company plans to invest Rs100 crore in fruit juice projects in the next three years. This amount will be raised through internal accruals and institutional loans. Initially the company will launch mango and guava juice under the Alfa umbrella brand.

Bisleri has also chalked out aggressive growth plans for its operations in Eastern India and plans to grow by 100 per cent in the next one year and by 250-per cent in the next three years and is firming up expansion plans for Sikkim also.

Star One plans game show, 'Super Sale'
Star One, basking in the success of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, has decided to launch another show on the lines of the international game show, Sale of the Century.

Sajid Khan, the showman, would anchor the show featuring three contestants who would challenge each other over different rounds of the game. The anchor would put forward a series of questions enabling the winner to buy consumer durables, furniture and holidays at rock bottom prices.

A washing machine worth Rs20,000 for instance, can be bought only for Rs20 at the show, which will go on air from August 15, and has been positioned at the 7.30pm-time slot between Monday and Friday.

Titanium Card introduced
HDFC Bank and MasterCard International have launched a premium credit card called the Titanium Card.

This card is targeted at individuals with an income of over Rs7 lakh per annum and the credit limit would be Rs 1.5 lakh to start with. The annual fee is Rs3,000 and Rs 2,500 for HDFC Bank clients.

Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar

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