Marketing review news
21 December 2006

Tata Tea to launch Tetley in new formats
Tata Tea is planning to bring in new formats for Tetley in India on the lines of products in overseas markets. Hence Indian consumers may soon find Tetley tea available in semi-transparent, eco-friendly and pyramid shaped tea bags, that are sold in UK and elsewhere in Europe.

To add `mystique' to the segment, Tata Tea is also considering bringing in infusions like adding flora aroma to tea bags thereby creating value-added tea bag variants in the segment. Unlike in overseas markets tea bags comprise less than one percent of the market but the company is pegging growth rates in the segment at between 15 and 20 per cent.

Tetley tea bags currently command a 30 per cent value share in the segment while the leader with a 50 per cent share continues to be HLL's Taj Mahal brand.

HLL advertises to keep up with competition
Intensifying competition in categories like soaps and skin care is leading FMCG company Hindustan Lever (HLL) to aggressively up its adspend as its market shares in these categories has slipped in the six months from March to September.

The company increased its adspend in the soaps and skincare category by 34 per cent in the first nine months of 2006, to Rs988 crore, to grab consumer attention towards its established brands. Also in the September quarter HLL launched 23 new variants of Sunsilk shampoos (including a new range of hair colourants), five new variants of Pond's face-wash and two new variants of Lakme colour cosmetics and skin care products.

By investing in advertising its brands, HLL hopes to "maintain and grow" its market share and "consolidate market leadership" in categories where it operates, according to a company spokesman. Apart from protecting its turf, investments are also going into expanding presence through new product lines and brand extensions.

Motorola launches India made mobile for Rs 1,649
Motorola has launched a mobile branded Motofone designed for Indian conditions, with a host of features suited for the Indian market and which is manufactured at Motorola's Chennai plant.

MotoFone is a rugged handset, priced attractively at Rs1,649 and comes bundled with two-year connectivity from the State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam. The company is also planning to tie up with other operators to offer similar packages.

Honda Motor to bring small car to India
Honda Motor Company plans to introduce a small-size car in India. Industry experts say Honda in the past has evaluated the possibility of introducing its compact cars - the Jazz - in India but deferred the decision due to the high cost of manufacture.

It is estimated that even if the company achieves a high level of localisation on the Jazz hatchback model, it would still have to be priced close to the Honda City.

Therefore Honda is evaluating introducing an all-new India-specific small car, which may have a few elements borrowed from its models sold in the western markets. Honda may also use one of its current platforms for developing the new small car, so that the development and manufacturing costs of the proposed new car can be minimised.

The new car may be in the premium compact car segment, which has models like the Maruti Swift, Ford Fusion and the Hyundai Getz.

Honda is targeting production and selling of more than 150, 000 units in India by 2010 end.

Lifetime prepaids a big success: TRAI
Pre-paid cellular cards having a lifetime validity were a huge success with as many as 16 million subscribers enrolling for the scheme since its launch by mobile operators six months ago, says a study conducted by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

The study has found that the scheme provided an average revenue per user (ARPU) of Rs218 compared with an ARPU of Rs268 for the overall pre-paid card segment.

The results of the data analysis show the scheme as being one of the factors responsible for the growth of mobile subscriptions in the current year. At the same time, service providers seem to be getting a reasonable ARPU despite the fact that the scheme was primarily targeted towards low usage and marginal customers TRAI said.

Various operators launched lifetime validity pre-paid cards in December 2005 and January 2006. This scheme entitles subscribers to receive incoming calls for an indefinite period.

The Trai said that 51 per cent of the users on lifetime scheme were newly acquired subscribers and the rest were the existing subscribers who migrated to these schemes. On an all India average, 72 per cent of lifetime scheme subscribers were reported to have recharged every month, despite having the facility to charge only once in six months.

ICICI Bank offers free ATM usage facility
The savings account holders of ICICI Bank can use any bank's ATM free of charge, giving access to over 18,000 ATMs.

To avail of the free usage facility, customers have to maintain a quarterly average balance of Rs 10,000 in their accounts. While the customer will be charged at the time of the transaction, all charges will be reversed in the subsequent quarter the bank said.

Existing ICICI Bank Gold Privilege, Silver Privilege or Senior Citizen Savings Account holders are eligible to avail themselves of the 'Non-ICICI Bank ATM free scheme.'

Zapak to set up gaming café chain
Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani's online gaming company Zapak Digital Entertainment, will to set up a chain of gaming cafes with an investment of $100 million (Rs447.6 crore) over three years to cash in on the gaming boom in the country.

The investment will be made to enlarge the content portfolio of and establish a development centre that will create the games. The company is aiming to set up 100,000 kiosk seats in three years. Starting with 15 stand-alone cafes next year, Zapak plans to reach out to 200 cities through a franchise model in the future.

The cafes would provide the essential broadband access for its online offerings and help build Zapak communities. Reliance expects Indian gaming scene to move towards a very profitable online gaming model and become the biggest online business in five years.

Currently operating on an advertised based model, Zapak is seeing 20,000 registrations a day.

Sathyam Cinemas launches pre-paid movie card
Sathyam Cinemas has launched Fuel, claimed to be India's first-ever pre-paid movie card, which moviegoers can use to pay for tickets and snacks online and inside the Sathyam multiplex.

According to Sathyam Cinemas the card would be a convenient option for those who did not own credit cards and would also make good gifts.

A starter pack comes priced at Rs300 and contains the Fuel Card with a stored value of Rs250. It can be topped up to a maximum of Rs1,000 each time it is recharged, and there is no processing fee. Add-on cards can be bought for Rs50.

Sathyam Cinemas has set up a call centre and a `Window' on its premises to cater to people who want to book tickets by phone or in person. The cards are valid for a period of 12 months. Recharged credit cannot be carried over, says a press release issued at the launch.

Khaitan Electricals ropes in Karisma Kapoor
Khaitan Electricals has signed up Bollywood heroine Karisma Kapoor as its brand ambassador.

The actor has signed a three-year endorsement contract with the company for endorsing its product range across different categories. This comes at a time when Khaitan Electricals is rolling out the `Khaitan Fantasy' and `Khaitan City' retail chains.

Between now and March 2007, the company would open 22 exclusive company-owned Khaitan Fantasy retail outlets which would showcase and sell only designer fans priced in the Rs 5,000-1,00,000 range.

The company has also firmed up plans to put in place 200 Khaitan City outlets, including franchisee outlets, by the end of fiscal 2007-08.

The Khaitan City outlets would stock the complete bouquet of electrical solutions offered by the company for the household sector. The company has initiated talks with the likes of Wal Mart to sell fans through the global retail major's chain of outlets.

DuPont India launches branded quilts
DuPont India has launched the DuPont ComforMax quilts in India using DuPont's ComforMax insulation system to provide added warmth. The quilts are available in vibrant designs and exquisite fabrics, and the unique health and insulation attributes and benefits of these quilts will be an ideal way to get cozy this winter.

DuPont ComforMax will initially be available in 11 designs in select retail outlets in the Delhi NCR (National Capital Region), like Jagdish Stores, Mos, Home Saaz, Rajco, Ritu Wears and all leading home furnishing stores. This will be followed by a phased expansion into other regions.

The quilts available in double and single sizes will be available in the price range of Rs2,500- to Rs5,000 and have been designed by designer Vishal Kapur, who is an alumnus of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. Each quilt has a specific theme that reflects the creativity of the designer and is aimed to aesthetically appeal to the customer.

The company said DuPont ComforMax is a newly developed multi-layer synthetic insulation system made in world class carding technology and impregnated with anti-bacterial silver nano-particles, which make the quilts extremely healthy and hygienic, yet provides the superior warmth and comfort and is very light in weight too.

It also provides incredible softness and is very durable. The aesthetically designed anti-bacterial quilt gives a feather touch experience and is an ideal product for the 'health and hygiene' conscious up-market 'new-age living' concept consumers.

United Spirits to launch a slew of brands
United Spirits will soon launch a series of brands including wine from the Bouvet Ladubay stable priced between Rs2,000 and Rs2,500 per bottle. The wine to be launched in India during the Christmas season will be imported from the France-based company Bouvet Ladubay, acquired by UB recently.

UB will also launch two more non-aged Scotch Whiskey brands priced between Rs1,500 and Rs2,000 per bottle with the liquor being sourced from Scotland by early next year. Next in line will be Feni, priced around Rs500 per bottle to be launched as a premium brand positioned along with the Tequila brand.

The new launches are part of the brand stretch strategy adopted by the company.

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