Marketing review news
31 August 2006

Mitsui, Toyota tie up to retail Toyota cars
One of the world's largest trading groups Mitsui is setting up a 51:49 joint venture with logistics major TCI India, called Bussan TCIIL Automotive India to retail Toyota cars in India. As part of the deal, Mitsui will set up retail outlets apart from after-sales and other support services.

Apart from retailing Toyota cars, the JV will be engaged in providing logistic and marketing support to Toyota dealers and customers. It will also provide repair and maintenance services, including accessories, spare parts, tools, motors, bodies, beams, etc.

Mitsui already has an existing JV with the TCI group for logistics solutions for the automobile sector under Transystem. Transystem is a logistics partner for Toyota Kirloskar Motors.

Mitsui has a global partnership with Toyota, the world's second largest automaker, for promoting its automobiles and components. It handles logistics for Toyota's manufacturing operations in North America and Europe and has export arrangements for the Toyota cars in various countries.

This is the first entry into retailing of a large global MNC and could open the floodgates for various such ventures stretching across sectors like telecom, electronics, apparel, automobiles, IT, food products for major global brands.

Air Sahara offers `fly unlimited' scheme from September 4
Air Sahara has launched a unique scheme whereby customers can fly on as many days as they want in one year simply by paying Rs699 per day for the next 365 days. They will have to pay the airport charges and fuel surcharge as applicable from time to time

According to the scheme customers have to pay Rs291,635 upfront and from September 4 they can fly as many times as they want merely by paying the prevailing taxes for the next 365 days. Those who want to enjoy the luxury of unlimited flights for 30 days have to pay the airline Rs32,970, and those who want three months of unlimited flying have to pay Rs80,910.

The catch is that the tickets are non-transferable and will be in the name of the person opting to avail the scheme.

Reliance Communications to launch NGN-based services, `Home Zone' plan
Reliance Communications will soon become the first company in the country to deploy a next generation network (NGN)-enabled Internet Protocol (IP) technology across a 65,000-km-long optic fibre network.

The new network will support a wide variety of advanced IP-based services such as interactive multimedia services, including video telephony and video conferencing.
Users of the services can get telephone calls anytime, anywhere through any device irrespective of it being a mobile phone or a fixed line telephone. Consumers will also get an integrated bill for all the various communications services.

The launch of the new platform is slated for later this week. This will have the capacity to carry 12 billion minutes of ILD traffic, thus multiplying the existing capacity to carry 4.5 billion voice minutes per annum.

The network, which is being laid by Lucent Technologies, would allow the company to deploy new product and services that may evolve on newer technology platforms, which would result in a savings of almost 50 per cent in capital expenditure.

In another development, the company has announced the `Home Zone' tariff plan. As per this plan, customers from their home locations can make calls within the circle to Reliance phones (fixed or mobile) at 40 paise a minute, any mobile phone at 50 paise a minute and any fixed phone at Re1 a minute. The `Home Zone' towns are located across Mangalore, Mysore, Gulbarga, Hubli, Tumkur and Davanagere regions of Karnataka.

New range from Titan
Titan Industries has introduced its Xylys range of watches. The watches are priced between Rs8,000 and Rs33,000, and come in three collections of contemporary, classic and sports and offers over 60 distinctive models.

BharatMatrimony soon in brick-and-mortar variant which has put lakhs of netizens on the path of matrimony has now decided that there is much more to the business of matrimony than the information highway.

It is looking at tapping the $15-million market for wedding planning and managing, Indian style. The company is firming up plans to set up at least 300 brick and mortar matrimony centres across India and other parts of the world, where trained counsellors and tech-savvy staff will provide the same services that the friendly neighbourhood marriage bureaus currently do.

The service will especially be targeted at parents and the elderly who often have to do the scouting for spouses for their children and visit countless numbers of marriage bureaus.

Visitors to BharatMatrimony Centres would find the experience very different from the ordinary marriage bureaus in that they would have a computerised database of over 200,000 prospective brides / grooms to search from for the right person.

The company is planning to develop these centres into one-stop destinations and solutions providers in the matrimony business and will have an array of services from horoscope matching to other value-adds. Revenues for the on-line matrimony business are expected to be Rs 80 crore this year, growing 70 per cent over last year. Next month, BharatMatrimony will open shop in the UK, adding to existing destinations of US, Dubai and Canada.

Godrej Sara Lee to launch more products
Godrej Sara Lee is planning to launch about half a dozen products over the next couple of months in the insecticide category. The last products launched by the company include Ambi Pur, a car perfume and Hit. The new products would be in the household insecticide category.

The company recently launched the insecticide product Hit, Seek and Kill created indigenously at the company's R&D centre. Priced at Rs69 and Rs135 for 250ml and 500ml respectively, the company claims that the product reaches the remotest cracks and fissures, which are the breeding ground for cockroaches.

Bipasha, Zayed to endorse Pantaloon brand
Pantaloons Fresh Fashion, the fashion retail division of the Future Group, has signed up Bipasha Basu and Zayed Khan as brand ambassadors, to endorse the retail brand.

Bipasha and Zayed will endorse the entire range of Pantaloons apparels that include casual, formal, western, ethnic, party and sports wear.

The company says Bipasha Basu and Zayed Khan will add their personal style statement to Pantaloons, which will help enhance the fashion imagery of the brand. Hence, we are proud to simultaneously sign the two Bollywood icons to endorse our flagship fashion retail brand.

Maruti tops in sales satisfaction
Maruti has once again topped the rankings in the JD Power Asia Pacific Sales Satisfaction Study 2006. The company has been placed at the top slot for the third straight year.

According to the JD Power Study, Maruti outperformed other car-makers on all the six key parameters — delivery process, delivery timing, salesperson, dealer facility, paperwork and deal quality.

Skoda, which bagged 784 points on a scale of 1,000, was the only other player to rank above the industry average. Seven of the nine players considered improved their performance as compared to 2005 and the industry recorded improvements on all fronts except the deal parameter as customers expressed resentment over price hikes.

Goodyear to open shop-in-shops
Goodyear India plans to introduce its internationally acclaimed shop-in-shop sales outlets in India and said that it would open 300 international and multi-brand format exclusive shop-in-shop outlets by 2008 at a total cost of Rs50 crore. These stores would offer the customer a wider choice across various brands.

All the shop-in-shop outlets will sport a similar frontage, layout and colour theme and they will attempt to offer more than just tyres. Besides wheel alignment and balancing, the new format stores will give advise on tyre maintenance and offer accessories such as alloy wheels and car-care products — perfumes, car wash, and so on.

The company has entered into tie-ups with manufacturers of car-care products for supplying these accessories. Earlier this week, the company announced the opening of six new retail outlets in Chennai.

Goodyear India plans to open 12-15 stores in the northern, southern and western regions and 3-5 stores in the east. The company, which already has 16 showrooms in Chennai, plans to open 12 new stores by the end of 2008.

Katrina Kaif to endorse Silk n Shine
Marico has roped in supermodel and popular Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif as its brand ambassador for Silk n Shine, a post-hair wash product. The company believes that today's young woman is pressed for time wanting to pack her 24 hours with everything possible without compromising on looking and feel good. Silk n Shine gives just that, great looking healthy hair in five minutes.

The company said, "Katrina Kaif is a true representation of our brand's values and makes a great ambassador for Silk n Shine."

Nirlep enters into marketing pact with HPCL
Nirlep Appliances, one of the largest manufacturers of non-stick cookware and kitchenware with a market share of over 35 per cent in the Indian market, has entered into a nationwide marketing pact with HPCL for marketing non-stick cookware, regular inner and outer lid pressure cookers and gas stoves.

According to the agreement between the two companies, customers walking into HPCL dealerships will be offered the cookware at discounted prices. The company expects to add to its existing distribution through association with HPCL and BPCL.

Nirlep's products are already being sold through 2,000 BPCL gas dealer outlets.

Emami to turn Boroplus into a global brand
Emami, flagship of the Rs 1,000-crore Emami Group with significant presence in the personal care and health products segment of FMCG business, plans to turn its "Boroplus Antiseptic Cream", claimed to be a market leader in India, into a global brand.

The company is hiring an international ad agency for this purpose and is planning brand promotion support in 15 top international locations accounting for 80 per cent of the company's export business.

The international markets include Africa, CIS and SAARC countries. Emami also plans to introduce an ayurvedic line of products for NRIs in the UK.

The company is also scouting for international partners for marketing and manufacturing alliances. Besides new product launches, the company also plans to launch Ayurvedic Spas and Clinics abroad in a big way through strategic alliances.
Emami will also introduce a new ayurvedic line of products for NRIs in the UK.

Nokia launches the handcrafted Vertu Constellation
Nokia has launched its handcrafted mobile phones the Vertu Constellation in India. The collection showcases seven handcrafted models — in black, tan, chocolate or pink leather, made available in stainless steel and gold finishes.

The phones have a large user memory that can store up to 1,000 names in phonebooks, 220 calendar notes, and 100 SMS message. It allows one button access to lifestyle services 24 hours a day from anywhere across the globe. Through this, one can do bookings or send a gift to someone around the globe. It also has world weather facilities that informs as to exactly what to expect when you get to your destination and this requires a GPRS connection.

The mobiles are priced from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. Vertu will be launched in seven malls in Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai and entrepreneurs are the main target groups.

Clothes softener launched
BSC, which is part of the SAHA Group of Thailand, has tied up with India based Pierre Sumer Overseas to launch BSC Essence cloth softener in the country. The company claims that BSC softener is a world-class fabric softener that nurtures the cloth fiber by maintaining its puffiness.

The cloth fiber looks fresh and soft when the cloths are rinsed from this chemical. The freshness of the cloth remains intact and the valuable garment looks as fresh and soft, as it was when the cloth was purchased for the very first time. It prevents the cloth from clinging on to the body, when it is worn in an air-conditioned room or during winters.

Essence softner is environment friendly and helps in protecting the worth of the cloths.

According to the company the cloth softener is environment friendly and helps in protecting the worth of the cloth, and provides soft and gentle protection to infants' clothes. Price from Rs49 onwards the product is available at all the premium stores in India.

Also available under the same brand are BSC Organic and Micro-soft Towels, BSC Essence Ironing Starch and BSC Essence Stain remover.

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