Marketing review news
10 August 2006

Turner International launches Indian version of Sesame Street
Turner International India has announced the launch of Gali Gali Sim Sim, the Indian version of its internationally famous series, Sesame Street.

The 65-episode series will start broadcasting nationwide on Cartoon Network from August 15 and will address a host of issues related to early literacy, creative thinking and reasoning, family and community life, health and hygiene and significance of cultural plurality.

The series targets children between two and six age group and features animated segments, live action films with music, story and art drawn from various elements of Indian culture and regions of the country. The series will also be aired on Doordarshan for an effective reach in the rural areas.

Amway unveils anti-ageing product
Global health, beauty and household products company, Amway India, has launched its anti-ageing product, Artistry Time Defiance Intensive Serum.

According to the company, "The product has been designed to reduce wrinkles, protect the skin from seasonal changes and premature ageing." The product priced at Rs 9,999, has been on offer in other countries for some time now and is available in India through Amway distributors.

The health and beauty segment has contributed 8 per cent to the company's total turnover of Rs633 crore in the last fiscal and the company expects the segment to grow to 10-12 per cent within a couple of years.

Diageo liquor brands may soon be sold in Food Bazaar
Mumbai: Soon Johny Walker Whisky and Smirnoff Vodka may be available on retail shelves of Food Bazaar in Bangalore. Diageo India, the maker of these famous spirits is said to be in talks with Kishore Biyani's Future Group (formerly Pantaloon Retail) for selling the Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker brands. At present Karnataka is the only state in the country where the laws allow liquor retailing through modern day retailers.

Diageo India is lobbying with the Government to make changes in the law pertaining to liquor retailing in the rest of the country too. The company has taken on the onus of `redefining the liquor retailing environment' and has created teams to cater to the modern trade. Moving away from small liquor shops, it will now create merchandising space within Food Bazaar.

It also plans to innovate in packaging and introduce party and celebration packs at the Food Bazaar outlets. Apart from liquor, the shelf space would accommodate bar accessories and even soft drinks to go as mixers with the drinks being sold.

Self-service in `kirana' stores coming soon
One may have serve service in neighbourhood kirana stores if Bangalore-based retail consultants RAMMS' project is a success. The consultants are working on a project along with an FMCG company to incorporate the concept of self-service in `kirana' stores and the pilot project may be kicked off in Delhi this week. Under the project, `kirana' stores, having 500-sq.ft retail space, will offer self-service convenience like in a supermarket.

Prathish Nair, head, marketing, RAMMS said, "Studies show that 70 per cent of buying happens on impulse. To encourage this, we need to give consumers a touch-and-feel experience. And our pilot study has shown us that `kirana' storeowners are willing and eager to add this feature in their shops." The project will be carried out in Delhi and Mumbai to begin with and will subsequently be rolled out nationally.

Tata Sky launches DTH service
Tata Sky, a joint venture between the Tata and Star group, has launched its direct-to-home television service.

The DTH service would offer 55 channels that provide entertainment, sports, movies, music, news and documentaries at an introductory price of Rs200 per month.

Tata Sky is also planning to increase the number of channels on offer and would have a pan-India presence. The service would provide Star, Sony, Discovery, Disney, MTV, NDTV, ESPN Star Sports, NDTV and National Geographic channels among others.

A customer would have to pay Rs2,999 for a set-top box (STB), Rs1,000 as installation charges apart from the introductory special price of Rs200 per month. The DTH service has established an extensive customer service network across the country including having three 24 / 7 call centres to solve customer problems.

The company would retail the hardware and pre-paid recharge vouchers through popular consumer electronic stores and has also tied up with LG, ITC and Indian Oil for sale of the pre-paid recharge coupons.

Tata AIG Life offers micro-cover products
Tata AIG Life Insurance has launched three micro-insurance products designed as per the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority's micro-insurance guidelines released in November 2005.

As per the guidelines, the maximum cover (sum-assured) that can be offered on health and life insurance policies ranges between Rs30,000 and Rs50,000. The training requirement for micro-insurance agents has also been lowered to 25 hours.

Tata AIG Life has also set up micro-insurance sales offices in Kodad, Chitoor, Joanpur, Jhalawar and Kannur. For distribution, the company has hired 400 women agents besides tying -ups with NGOs and community groups. Product information, application forms and training material have been introduced in nine vernacular languages

SaharaOne's new reality programme
Entertainment channel SaharaOne is now giving bollywood star wannabes a try at becoming a Bollywood star.

SaharaOne television in association with Endemol India is starting a new reality programme, Super Stars. The programme will give Bollywood fans an opportunity to showcase their talents and perform like their favourite stars. The show will begin with a five-city audition that starts from August 10. The participants, who have to be above the age of 18, will be judged on the basis of their originality and similarity. The programme jury includes film actress Urmila Matondkar and chorepgrapher Shiamak Davar.

Kotak launches flat fee for share transactions
Kotak Securities is offering investors the privilege of a flat fee for shares purchased by them, the company said here. Kotak Sec is offering a service branded `Kotak Flat', as a fixed fee-based brokerage model to its Internet-based traders and customers.

For all deliveries up to Rs5,000 and non-deliveries up to Rs50,000, the brokerage would be Rs9 per deal (statutory charges extra). For deliveries exceeding Rs5,000, investors will have to pay an additional Rs9 for every transaction amounting to Rs5,000. Moreover, `Kotak Flat' is applicable on all trades — delivery, square off and options/futures — and invests on both the NSE and BSE.

Internet-based trading is very popular and has grown to 12 per cent of the total trade as compared to just 2 per cent a couple of years ago. With an easy brokerage structure, the brokerage house plans to acquire a million customers online by the end of this year.

Nokia launches E-series phones
Nokia has launched its `E-series' range of phones, which are optimised for business use. The new devices — Nokia E50, Nokia E60, Nokia E61 and Nokia E70 — offer secure mobile access, advanced voice and data functionalities and combine productive features of e-mail, connectivity options and superior voice quality.

The company has announced the prices of all the models except that of E-50. The other models are priced between Rs19,000 and Rs20,000. The E-series devices are the first mobile handsets in the industry to support remote device management based on OMA DM (standard made by Open Mobile Alliance).

Basmati companies go on renaming spree
Basmati rice companies are changing their names to align with the names of their brands in order to enhance recall. Hence Santnam Overseas a leading basmati rice company that sells the Kohinoor brand with a large presence in the export market has changed its name to Kohinoor Ltd.

Also LT Overseas that sells the Daawat rice brand, and operated as Lalchand Tirathram Rice Mills till 1990 when it assumed its current name has registered a subsidiary, Daawat Foods Private Ltd.

Another rice processor to have undergone a name change to convey a new business focus is
B S Uppal's Rs560-crore Lakshmi Energy and Foods, which was earlier simply Lakshmi Overseas Industries.

Ruchi to work up a lather
Ruchi Soya Industries (RSIL) has forayed into the soap segment, with its new brand `Ruchi No1'. The soap brand is being made available in two sizes, the 75 gm pack for Rs8 and the 100 gm pack for Rs10, in three different fragrances, rose, jasmine and lime.

Microbial insecticide developed for commercial use
The Directorate of Oilseeds Research (DoR) has developed India's first microbial insecticide, branded 'Knock WP' and is offering it for commercial use. The product made from Bacillus thuingiensis (Bt), belonging to the kurstaki variety, is also the first one to be registered from the public sector for use against the lepidoptera insect pests, according to scientists of the DoR.

The DoR is also offering the technology for sale on a non-exclusive basis at a cost of Rs 2 lakh.
The offer includes production methodology, based on solid-state fermentation, and the Bt-1 strain, along with the data generated for registration.

A senior entomologist at the DoR, said the technology would help bring Bt within the reach of the average Indian farmer and encourage its inclusion in the majority of the integrated pest management (IPM) programmes.

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