Marketing review news
23 February 2006

Marico launches baby-care shampoo
Personal care and grooming products company Marico has launched Sparsh, a massage oil for babies for the South Indian market.

Marico claims, the oil consists of tulsi, turmeric, coconut and other vegetable oils. The oil is available in 50ml and 100ml packs priced Rs33 and Rs61 respectively. Marico claims, the oil consists of tulsi, turmeric, coconut and other vegetable oils.

Marico is is planning to double its Rs1,000 crore turnover within the next five years by introducing a number of new products, initiatives, and by making key acquisitions during that period.

ITC Foods enters instant mix segment; launches five new products
ITC Foods which has a range of present in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods, has entered the instant mix segment, by launching five products under the Aashirvaad brand in the Southern markets. The products include Rice Idli, Rava Idli, Rice Dosa, Gulab Jamun and Khaman Dhokla.

ITC Foods' main competitors in the segment are Orkay and MTR. The company is banking on its foods division to propel its growth in the coming years and expects the share of the division in the total turnover to increase nearly five-fold in the coming decade.

The company said the brands are different from RTE products since they require only re-heating. The instant mix has six months shelf life and is free from preservatives.

The company claims that its Aashirvaad brand is the No 1 atta brand in the country. ITC is confident of leveraging its brand image across the country and its immense distribution strength offers it a great advantage in reaching to the customers. The size of the instant mix market in India is about Rs155 crore and the South accounts for nearly 45 per cent of the market with Andhra Pradesh, Karnakata and Tamil Nadu taking the lead.

Titan Industries launches premium segment Xylys watches
Titan Industries will launch its own Swiss made premium watches brand `Xylys' The company is in talks with two (as yet unnamed) foreign fashion watch brands for distributing the watch in India. The company says it could enter into a marketing or licensing arrangement with the foreign watch brands. The watches are assembled in Switzerland and would be priced in the range of Rs10,000 to Rs33,000. The components of the watches are being sourced from different parts of the world.

The company would launch three exclusive outlets for Xylys in Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad and is aiming to capture about 15 per cent of the Rs250-crore premium watches market in India this year. Xylys would be positioned against premium international brands including Tissot and Rado.

Titan has roped in actor Rahul Bose, supermodel Saira Mohan and international tennis player Carlos Moya of Spain as its brand ambassadors.

Speciality Restaurants plans two new restaurants
Speciality Restaurants, which owns restaurant brands like Mainland China in Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad, will soon launch `Sigree', a new restaurant chain that will revive the long-forgotten recipes that were part of undivided India's culinary legacy. The company is also planning to enter into the `mall Chinese' business with Haka, a new Chinese fast-food chain which it will roll out across the country in a couple of years, said the chairman and managing director, of Speciality Restaurants Anjan Chatterjee.

According to him Sigree, "will bring back to Indian palates the magic of slow cooked Peshawari food with a modern twist in the form of low oil," Chatterjee said.

The 220-seater Sigree restaurants will first open in Pune in the first week of April. This will be followed by launches in Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata by the end of the year. Sigree will be launched in Mumbai at a location next to the Orbit mall in suburban Andheri.

AFL opens 'convenience services' retail chain
Supply chain services company AFL has launched AFL TouchWorld, a 'convenience services' retail chain that will offer services like buying and selling of foreign currency, money transfer, low-cost international telephony, international and domestic courier, travel insurance and e-ticketing. AFL has tied up with a number of companies such as Western Union, Phonewala and Air Deccan for these services.

These small format outlets will focus on servicing the growing market of people of Indian origin (PIO) travelling to India, relatives of PIOs in India, Indians travelling abroad and foreign nationals travelling to India.

The company said that with TouchWorld it hopes to service its walk-in customers better.

Customers will be able to make calls to the US and the UK at Rs 3-4 per minute, as the service used will be based on the low-cost Internet protocol technology. The first TouchWorld store has opened in south Mumbai and the company plans to set up 50 stores in all the major cities over the next three years with an investment of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh per outlet.

Rajesh Exports set to acquire Oyzterbay: to open jewellery retail chain
Rajesh Exports is ready to acquire 100-per cent stake in OyzterBay, one of the leading branded jewellery retail chains in the country, and will offer sweat equity or stock options to the retail chain's promoters.

The company has decided to take the inorganic route for its Rs 350-crore retail foray and has started acquiring small and medium jewellery stores across the country. The company plans to open 100 stores across the four southern states on a single day, by the end of the year.

These stores called Shubh Jewellers, will, however, retain the existing staff including the original owners of these businesses. The owners will get commission for every gram of gold sold while the rest of the staff will be paid salaries.

Rajesh Exports also plans to rope in a brand ambassador soon.

Indian Railways launch reward points programme for net-savvy passengers
The Indian Railways is turning customer savvy. The organisation is offering regular train travellers reward points on train travel.
The points are awarded for all categories of AC travel with the exception of AC III tier, provided the tickets are booked through the Indian Railways' Web site for internet booking - managed by Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

Indian Railways has launched its first ever loyalty programme, which would be executed through SBI Cards, called Shubhyatra and the co-branded SBI Railway Card. Among other normal credit card benefits, and also function as free platform tickets.

The Shubhyatra card can be used to acquire loyalty points for all bookings irrespective of the bank used for making payments. IRCTC has tied up with about 17 banks through which passengers can pay while booking their tickets through the internet.

Bournvita Quiz Contest again on radio?
The first and the most famous quiz contest in India Bournvita Quiz Contest that began on radio may again be broadcast through the original medium. This is as Cadbury India is planning to use the radio to broadcast the show.

Meanwhile, the company is also planning to double its adspend in the interactive space. The Rs900-crore company has appointed Ogilvy Live and I-Contract to create content on the net and the mobile.

Bakery ingredients maker AB Mauri to launch more products
Bakery Ingredients maker AB Mauri India is launching new products in the market. The new products include multi-grain bread concentrate to ingredients for cake improvements and speciality muffin mix concentrate. Mauri India has three production units, two in Kolkata, one each in Chiplun in Maharashtra and Sikandarabad in Uttar Pradesh that produce yeast and other bakery ingredients.

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