and Continental Airlines announce a tie-up
New Delhi: Kingfisher Airlines announced
a tie-up with Continental Airlines, ranked fifth in
the world, with a view to provide better customer service
to passengers travelling on the India - US sector.
two airlines plan to share a comprehensive partnership
in areas of frequent flying, airport lounge access and
future code sharing with a view to facilitate smooth
transfer between them, and leverage increased service
primarily on the New York - India route.
October 2007, members of the frequent flyer programmes
of the both airlines would be able to earn and redeem
air miles on all flights operated by either airline.
Kingfisher Airlines currently operates 187 domestic
flights everyday connecting 29 key Indian destinations,
and has a growing fleet of 31 brand new aircraft.
Renault launches two new variants of the Logan
Chennai: Mahindra Renault announced the launch of
two new variants of its recently launched Logan, one
each in petrol and diesel.
to company sources, the 1.6 GLX petrol vehicle is to
be priced at Rs5.35 lakh, with the 1.5dCi DLX diesel
model costing Rs6.11 lakh. The new variants were introduced
in response to customer feedback, incorporating enhancements
such as adjustable rear-head restraint, trunk room light,
outside mirrors with manual adjustment, front and rear
power windows and central locking systems. The new variants
are to be first launched in Tamil Nadu, followed by
company is also looking at expanding its national dealer
enters the bubble gum market
Mumbai: Cadbury India entered the Rs180-crore domestic
bubble-gum market with an eye to corner a 10-per cent
market share within the next 18-24 months. The market
has been growing annually at about 20 per cent as per
bubble-gum brand Bubbaloo is already sold in 25 countries
worldwide. The company has set-up a separate manufacturing
line at its Bangalore facility for specifically for
bubble-gums with an investment of Rs20 crore. As per
Cadbury India''s marketing director Sanjay Purohit, the
company plans to spend around 35 per cent of the sales
value to establish the brand in India via advertisements.
The company plans to distribute the product through
mass market network across the country, with a roll
out planned within in the next 2-3 weeks.
slated to enter DTH business
New Delhi: Consumer electronics giant Videocon is
planning to venture into the Direct-To-Home (DTH) broadcasting
business. Government sources reveal the company has
applied for a DTH licence, and is expected to commence
services sometime next year. The domestic DTH market
has shown recent rapid growth due to the implementation
of Conditional Access System (CAS) earlier this year,
with TataSky, DishTV and DD Direct as the current major
players. Bharti Airtel, Sun TV and Anil Ambani''s Reliance
group are expected to launch their own DTH services
sometime by year end.
services the largest share of DTH customers of around
3 million, followed by Dish TV''s 2 million. Tata Sky
has secured a total subscriber base of over half a million
customers, with plans to attain the one million mark
by August this year. Given the present growth rate,
India would have anywhere between 15 million to 20 million
DTH subscribers within the next five or six years.
Motor India introduces CNG Santro
New Delhi: Hyundai Motor India on Wednesday launched
an alternate fuel variant of its hot selling hatchback
Santro, with a dual fuel option of CNG. Priced at a
starting price of Rs3,25,361 (ex-showroom Delhi), the
CNG powered Santro counters rival Maruti''s Wagon R LPG
duo, which comes at a base price of Rs3.49 lakh (ex-showroom
Delhi). The CNG kit would be retrofitted at the dealership
level, and the alternate fuel variant has been introduced
only in Delhi as of now. The company would source the
CNG equipment from auto components maker Minda Auto
Gas, which also provides LPG kits to rival Maruti.
has introduced four variants of the CNG Santro -- XK
(non A/c), XL, XO and AT (automatic transmission). The
car comes with a two-year unlimited mileage warranty,
with the company offering an additional warranty for
the same period on the CNG kit and fitment. The car
can be run on both petrol and CNG, with the CNG cylinder
capacity being approximately 12kg. The running cost
is estimated in the range of Re1 per kilometre, making
it one of the most cost effective modes of road transportation,
possibly even cheaper than some two wheelers.
launches a Limited Edition Fiesta
New Delhi: Ford India Motors has added additional
features to its mid-size Fiesta sedan for a limited
edition version commemorating the rollout of the 50,000th
unit in the country. The variant is priced in at Rs6,25,500
onwards (ex-showroom, New Delhi), and is available in
the Exi and Zxi variants for both petrol and diesel.
The Electric Sun-Moon Roof, however, will cost an additional
Rs30,000 over the indicated starting price.
new interior and exterior features, the limited edition
Fiesta provides increased levels of comfort and styling,
aiming to further strengthen its position in the segment.
The car will be seen in two brand new colours in the
Fiesta range - Brush Steel and Jeans Blue - and will
be available in the regular colours of Diamond White,
Panther Black, Plantinum, Moon Dust Silver And Paprika
Red as well. New features include new beige leather-vinyl
seat covers, five-spoke alloy wheels for more style
and driveability, and a rear spoiler for a sportier
the Fiesta is available in six-series line up with three
diesel and three petrol variants.
auto major Chrysler and Chinese Motor company Chery
partner in a watershed deal
Beijing: US Big Three auto company Chrysler finalised
a landmark deal with the Chinese Chery Motor, to see
Chinese-made vehicles grab their first major chunk of
part of a 25-year deal, small cars made in China would
be exported to the United States and other markets under
the famous American brand.
deal is also an attempt for Chrysler to propel itself
out of the doldrums, with the first US sales expected
in two years, and Chery''s small and sub-compact cars
beefing up Chrysler''s product offerings in the small-vehicle
segments where it lacks a strong presence. The deal
is seen as a quick way for Chrysler to expand its product
range, which is currently skewed towards pick-up trucks
and four-wheel drives.
plans to leverage the deal to make a protected entry
into fiercely competitive international markets by using
Chrysler''s sales network. The deal expects to see cars
exported first to South America and Eastern Europe within
12 months, followed by sales in the United States.
two firms initially plan to make less than 100,000 vehicles,
with the first cars using the landmark Dodge brand after
modifications to comply with tougher international safety
is a state-owned enterprise based in the Chinese province
of Anhui, and has been on an aggressive expansion since
its set up in 1997. It sold 305,200 vehicles last year,
most of them in China, and has set an ambitious target
of 500,000 for the current year.
which booked an operating loss of €1.1 billion
($1.5 billion) in 2006, has undergone dramatic restructuring
in recent months, axing 13,000 jobs in US plants. DaimlerChrysler
had announced in May that it had agreed to sell an 80.1-per
cent stake in the loss-making Chrysler to a US private
equity fund, Cerberus.
hoping to replicate the ''iPod effect'' with the new version
classic Fiat 500
Italian car maker Fiat is looking to remodel itself
on fashionable technology group Apple, with hopes to
mirror the i-Pod''s success with its new version of its
classic Fiat 500 model.
new Fiat 500 will be modelled on the rounded bubble-like
design of the original 1950s "cinquecento"
(500 in Italian), of which 4 million cars have been
sold since its launch exactly 50 years ago.
Italian automaker hopes to make the car a trendy, young
vehicle with a cult following, just like its predecessor,
and builds on the success of previous "nostalgia"
cars - new versions of previous classics - such as BMW''s
success with a new version of the Mini, and Volkswagen''s
acclaim for its new Beetle model.
McArthurGlen may venture its designer shops into
New Delhi: McArthurGlen, a leading European designer
outlet developer and operator is likely to foray into
India in the near future, with UK-based Retail Management
Consultants (RMC) learnt to be acting as advisors for
helping it set up its India business.
has 16 designer outlets across the UK, France, Austria,
the Netherlands and Italy, with more likely to come
up soon. These outlets house several branded stores
each, and offer permanent discounts of 30 to 70per cent
on the products sold.
are a total of 1,300 branded stores across these outlets,
with the permanent discount offered on big labels believed
to be the main reason behind the popularity of these
each outlet houses between 80 and 170 stores, with brands
such as Armani, Bulgari, Hugo Boss, Prada, Benetton,
Calvin Klein, Marks & Spencer, Nike, Puma and Tommy
Indian retail sector is witnessing unprecedented action
ranging from real estate acquisitions to the hiring
of personnel, and even lobbying with the government
for amendments to FDI rules.
Reliance, RPG and Pantaloon are the organised retail
players in the country, with the Bharti group expected
to sign an agreement with US-based Wal-Mart shortly
followed by opening its retail stores next year.
UK-based Tesco and French retailer Carrefour were earlier
in talks with Indian players for retail joint ventures,
they are likely to wait for amendments to the FDI rules
in the multi-brand segment before entering the country.
Presently, FDI is allowed only for single brand stores
and cash-and-carry ventures in the retail sector.
Ulka re-christened Draft FCB
Mumbai: FCB Ulka is now Draft FCB. With the merger
of Draft and Foote Cone & Belding (FCB) in July
last year, these two agencies came under a single management
team and a unified profit and loss umbrella.
is a direct marketing agency, or a below-the-line (BTL)
advertising firm, with considerable expertise in customer
relationship management and retail activities. It is
a part of the IPG Group, which also took over the remaining
51-per cent stake in Lintas India recently. FCB, on
the other hand, is a mainline advertising agency, with
a 135 years history.
per industry sources, IPG have stake-increase designs
with the re-christened Draft FCB, similar to its acquisition
of Lintas India, and would like to see its stage increase
from 51per cent.
looks at a non-geared ride in two months
New Delhi: The Suzuki Motor Company, having somewhat
secured its lead in the Indian car market with Maruti,
has now decided to train its guns on the fledgling two-wheeler
business. The Japanese auto company had entered the
Indian two-wheeler space around two years ago, via Suzuki
Motorcycle India, it''s wholly owned subsidiary, launching
two 125cc motorcycles.
it appears set to enter the niche non-geared scooters
segment. On the anvil is a 125cc scooter in direct competition
to Hero Honda''s ''Pleasure'', Bajaj''s ''Krystal'', Honda''s
''Activa Dio'' and TVS'' Scooty, and could hit the market
in another two months.
a 150cc indigenous motorcycle is under development and
could hit the market by March next year. Suzuki is also
considering imports of some of its globally known high
capacity bikes such as the Hayabusa and the GXR-1000.
frantic expansion in product line-up would be beefed
by a simultaneous increase in the dealer count to 300
over the next two years, accompanied by capacity expansion.
The reason behind entering the niche variomatic scooters
segment is apparently the good growth exhibited by the
segment. Suzuki is entering it with a more powerful
product than what its Indian competitors, with existing
players offering only 100cc or less powerful scooters,
which are aimed mainly at mobility for women. Suzuki''s
product would be positioned as a family scooter.
appears to be entering the market at a time when the
overall two-wheeler market is passing through a slowdown,
even though the segment they have chosen to enter, variomatic
scooters, has not witnessed a south bound sales trend.
Variomatic scooters account of only about 10 per cent
of the two-wheeler market.
the company''s decision to enter the 150cc bike space
could prove risky, given declining sales in the overall
market over the last few months, driven at least in
part by tighter loans for two wheelers. Suzuki could
also face aggressive competition from Bajaj Auto, which
is already getting muscling up the 150cc and above bike
Life signs on Sachin as their brand ambassador
Prague: Aviva Life Insurance, a joint venture between
UK''s biggest insurer Aviva and India''s Dabur, has secured
the little master Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador,
and has named its new child insurance policy after the
cricketer''s title -Little Master.
per Aviva India managing director Bert Paterson, Sachin
is the most popular sports icon in India across age-groups,
and his popularity transcends religion, caste and geographical
boundaries. The new product - Aviva Little Master -
is slated as a tribute to the brand ambassador, and
the company will be launching a nationwide campaign
featuring Tendulkar soon.
is a pioneering endeavour for Aviva India to have gone
in for a brand ambassador to increase its market presence,
currently slotted at shade over four per cent.
Little Master, the 20th product from Aviva India, is
a unit-linked plan designed for parents to secure their
child''s future. The policy is available for children
up to 17 years of age, with the parent''s age being between
18 and 45. The policy, with minimum annual premium of
Rs15,000 for a 10-year term or above and Rs25,000 for
less than 10 years, provides accidental death benefit,
a comprehensive health benefit and income benefit, the
clove cigarettes to debut in Indonesia
Jakarta: Indonesia''s HM Sampoerna, a 98-per cent
owned subsidiary of cigarette major Philip Morris International,
announced that it will launch a clove-flavoured cigarette
under its flagship Marlboro brand. Pungent "kretek"
clove cigarettes are hugely popular in Indonesia.
company would begin marketing the product on the main
Indonesian island of Java, and the resort island of
Bali in the second half of this year, with nationwide
sales to commence from next year. Exports may begin
Morris is a unit of the Altria Group, and acquired the
98-per cent share in HM Sampoerna in 2005. Indonesia
is one of the most profitable tobacco markets in the
world, with more than 60 per cent of Indonesian men
as smokers, and cigarette firms as stock market leaders.
Airways is all for cooperation with the newly merged
Seattle: Noting that cooperative arrangements are
necessary for better the market share of Indian carriers
in the traffic in and out of the country, Jet Airways
Chairman Naresh Goyal said his company favoured such
cooperation with the newly merged Air India.
India''s market share has lower than 20 per cent of the
total traffic in and out of the country, with foreign
airlines carrying over 80 per cent of traffic. Goyal
foresees this shrinking to around 10 per cent soon,
given airline expansion plans in the industry.
Airways has placed an order of 10 Dreamliners with Boeing,
which will start joining the fleet in 2011. Additionally,
it has also placed an order for 10 long range Boeing
777, with two of these planes slated to join the carrier''s
fleet this month.
Chairman of Jet Airways outlined an ambitious agenda
for his airline, which will see the 777s on the North
America route starting out of Mumbai first, and later
with a major hub in Brussels, Belgium. In a period of
a year, Jet Airways is looking to increase the frequency
that will include the Chennai-Los Angeles sector, and
a Mumbai-San Fransisco route via China.
''King of Retail'' prepares to defend his empire
New Delhi: Kishore Biyani''s favourite way to spend
the weekend is trawling the aisles of one of his Big
Bazaar supermarkets eyeing what customers are loading
According to Biyani, the pioneer in Indian supermarket
retailing, a customers'' story is an open book, read
by looking at his shopping cart. However, his store
jaunts have taken on a special meaning these days. He''s
now looking at fend off deep-pocketed competitors who
are threatening to outspend and outsell him.
visits Big Bazaar, clothing, home ware and other stores
up and down the country to see what''s working and what''s
not before competition heats up in what analysts foretell
will be the "Great Indian retail gold rush."
sees the real competition as two years away, by which
time he aims to be armed and ready to defend his retail
empire. Till now, Biyani has a clear lead from competition
in the retail sector, and now aims to blanket the increasingly
affluent nation of 1.1 billion people with his stores,
targeting the average Indian''s obsession with bargains.
spirits cheaper, wine will get dearer
With the scrapping of additional customs duty (ACD),
the overseas liquor industry and the importers will
hugely benefit from increased sales due spurred on by
an overnight price drop of up to 30 per cent in retail
prices of foreign brands. However, wine producers may
not benefit uniformly, and premium wine might just become
the additional duty on liquor used to take the total
import duty to as high as 550 per cent. Now, with the
scrapping of the ACD, the customs duty will come down
to 150 per cent (164 percent taking into account some
residual special duties), resulting in a significant
drop of up to 30 per cent or more in the retail price
of foreign whiskies, vodkas, gins and other hard liquor.
Beer will share similar benefits, as the basic duty
remains unchanged at 100 per cent.
price of wine, on the other hand, may suffer as the
basic duty has been enhanced from 100 per cent to 150
per cent, which is within the agreed outside limit of
the WTO. The more expensive premium wines, which also
previously attracted 100 per cent basic duty and only
20 per cent ACD, as compared to 75 per cent ACD on cheaper
wines (under $25 a case), may become costlier.
globally beer and wine fall in the same category due
to their lower alcohol content. Wine has more health
benefits, proven consistently by several neutral, multinational
scientific studies. Apparently due to pressure from
local industry, the duty on wine has been hiked to the
maximum permissible 150 per cent.
domestic beer market is a lot bigger in size. With 105
million beer cases consumed annually, it could be assumed
that the duty at the level of 100 per cent would hurt
the local beer industry.
per consensus, the lower-end wines are likely to benefit
the most. The retail price of these are likely to decline
by about 25-30 per cent, pegging them closer to domestic
ads losing traction
Mumbai: Speed, stunts, and style are the essential
ingredients for a two-wheeler television commercial.
Are these enough to make the two-wheeler manufacturer
stand out in the consumer''s mind, given the steep level
to auto-analysts, the answer is no. Companies need fresh
strategies and ideas to market their two wheelers, and
experts feel creative campaigns in this sector suffer
from uniformity and fatigue.
the two-wheeler segment is facing a slump, especially
in the entry-level segment, owing to an increase in
interest rates up to 17 per cent (on average).
manufacturers are hopeful of an improvement in the situation
by September, prior to the onset of the festive season.
To combat the current situation, manufacturers are focussing
on launching new variants and models to keep the buzz
and excitement going. Therefore, advertising and promotional
activities are most crucial to back these launches by
helping create top-of-mind brand recall.
Pandey, vice-chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific,
says Indian biking is in its early stages, which prompts
companies to highlight the features that the bikes usually
have. An emotional connect happens gradually with the
maturing of the market. Pandey had created the memorable
''chal meri Luna'' ad in the 80s, and coined in
the concept of brand personification. Alec Padamsee''s
''buland bharat ki buland tasveer - Hamara Bajaj''
had made the Bajaj brand a family name. More recently,
the Bajaj Avenger ''I feel like God'' campaign was one
that stands out in memory.
launched in India
Mumbai: Partnering with Crown Beers, St Louis-based
Anheuser-Busch Cos Inc (A-B) has launched Budweiser
in India, with its eyes set on growing its beer market
outside the US.
launch is expected to heat up competition in the Indian
beer market, dominated by two players - United Breweries
Ltd, which controls over 45 per cent of the market,
and UK''s SABMiller, which holds around 35 per cent.
Mohan Meakin, a relatively smaller player, has close
to 8-9 per cent.
as these players are jostling for market share, Danish
brewer Carlsberg and Belgian brewer InBev are planning
to enter India soon. Carlsberg is reportedly looking
at introducing the Polish brand Okocim Palone in India.
Cos Inc Indian venture, Crown Beers India Ltd (CBIL),
will brew and distribute Budweiser in four western and
southern states that account for over 50 per cent of
the Indian beer market.
has built a 5-lakh hectolitre brewery in Andhra Pradesh
and launched a strong beer, Armstrong, to suit the taste
buds of the Indian consumer. Priced at Rs68 per 650
ml, A-B has placed its beer in the high-end market.
two-thirds of the Indian beer market consists of strong
beers. The company aims to position Budweiser as a leading
brand in the premium category, in a market exhibiting
strong growth. Though India''s beer market has been growing
at 12 per cent annually over the last five years, high
taxes and excessive regulation in production pose a
major challenge to the US brewer.
alcoholic beverage market is still very small, and major
brewers see a huge potential for growth over the next
few years. India''s beer market of 8 million hectolitre
is dwarfed by other Asian markets like China, which
are 150 times larger.
per capita intake of beer is still less than a litre,
compared to the US or Europe, where it is 80-90 litres
and 100 litres respectively.
Deccan enhances seat capacity
Bangalore: Low cost airline Air Deccan has announced
an enhancement of seat capacity for southern travellers,
with a view to service the growing demand.
airline said it had replaced its 72 seat ATR 72 with
a brand new 180 seat Airbus A320 on the existing Chennai-Madurai
and Chennai-Coimbatore sectors. It has also introduced
an additional ATR 72 flight from Chennai to Thiruvananthapuram
in the evening, making it convenient for business travellers
seeking a same day return flight.
Deccan has more than 2.5 lakh seats per month in South
India alone, and leads the market with a 40 per cent
share in terms of seats offered in the region.
Deccan, the leader of low cost aviation in India, has
seen remarkable growth not only in leisure but business
travel as well. With time at a premium, Indian corporate,
small business travellers, and SMEs have switched travel
preferences from trains to low cost air travel. Cities
of the past like Trivandrum, Madurai and Coimbatore
are now becoming cities of the future, developing into
modern cities with big IT and corporate companies setting
up infrastructure. Air Deccan''s flights at affordable
fares are sought after by leisure as well as business
travellers on these routes.
Deccan presently offers the largest seat inventory among
all airlines in the South, connecting as many as 19
destinations. It flies close to 3,000 flights a month
within the South. In June 2007, over 2,800 flights were
on time within one hour, and approximately 2,500 flights
were on time within 15 minutes.
aims at defence supplies
Mumbai: The Rs6,500-crore Godrej group has plans
to push its military equipment supply business aggressively.
In the interim, it would be making machineries and equipment
for the armed forces, expecting huge earnings from the
nuclear business once the Indo-US civil nuclear deal
the defence sector heating up, Godrej is planning its
foray into the sector, and has formed a separate team
to manage the defence business. No other details about
their foray were forthcoming at the present time. Godrej
and Boyce is already a supplier of airframe sections
for the Brahmos missile, besides supplying equipment
for satellite launch vehicles which are built by the
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
group also supplies equipment for the nuclear sector,
both civilian and military, as well as equipment for
experts feel defence is set to become big business for
Indian companies, with the defence ministry proposing
to give contracts worth Rs30,000-crore for defence production
to private players in the coming years. This has aroused
the interest of a number of private players. Since the
relaxation of norms for private sector participation
in defence deals, companies like L&T and the House
of Tatas have acquired licences for the manufacture
of defence related products.
Tata group is looking to consolidate its defence businesses
under a unified entity. Among the automakers, M&M
and Ashok Leyland supply vehicles to the military, as
does Maruti with its Gypsy brand.
few foreign players such as Lockheed Martin and Rolls
Royce are also eyeing the country''s defence sector,
even as top-notch international players like EADS, Boeing,
and Rolls Royce scout for Indian partners.
to the opening up of the sector in 2001, the government
placed defence orders strictly with PSUs and foreign
players. Today, it allows foreign direct investment
up to 26per cent in defence projects.
going slower than last year
New Delhi: Maruti Udyog may have posted a robust
25 per cent growth in sales last month, but managing
director Jagdish Khattar says times are difficult, and
the company has been trying out various ways of keeping
its head above water.
interest rates impacting sales, Khattar sees it as difficult
for the company to equal the growth rate of last fiscal.
In June, for example, only 71-72 per cent of Maruti
cars were financed as against 80 per cent previously.
Banks too are more judicious with loans, and the overall
market growth is being driven by new launches, which
did not have a base last year.
concern over floods in various parts of Maharashtra
and Gujarat, he pointed out that most of Maruti''s car
deliveries to the South pass through these two states,
and annual floods could be a cause for worry.
the June quarter, Maruti logged a sales growth of 17
per cent against the 20 per cent last fiscal. Khattar
and his team have been working overtime to beat the
slowdown by increasing penetration in hinterland regions
via innovative schemes.
Pareek, general manager - marketing informed of the
launch of two promotional schemes to beat the current
slowdown that allow for increasing product penetration.
While the ''Ghar Ghar Mein Maruti'' scheme targets panchayats
and primary health centre workers in rural areas, ''Lalkar''
is a sales scheme involving employee referrals.
former has seen 2,300 cars being sold last month, even
as Lalkar brought in sales of 1,930 units. According
to Pareek, dealers in rural areas were being encouraged
to recruit locals as salespersons for driving Maruti''s
rural penetration plans.
agreed that these schemes, though good for sales enhancement,
signify a greater spend on promotional activities.
MotoStores may be Noon to Midnight
Mumbai: With life getting busier by the day, Motorola
India is working on a new retail format for its destination
stores, to be called MotoStore. It is entertaining the
idea of keeping them open from 12 noon to 12 midnight,
in a bid to offer convenient shopping to workaholics.
pilot store has been opened in Delhi, and based on the
learning derived from this store, the company will look
at rolling out the model across various cities. The
company aims to open 10 such stores across the country
in the next 12 months, and is also looking to more than
triple its shop-in-shop stores from about 30 now.
increasing competition in the business phones category,
the company is planning to introduce its Blackberry-type
model, MotoQ, in the country soon. Though it hasn''t
set any timeline for the launch of MotoQ, company sources
say it is likely to hit the market before the end of
model is expected to be launched in both GSM and CDMA
formats, and the price is likely to be upwards of Rs25,000.
everyone''s enthused by small cars
New Delhi: With a number of players scrambling to
jump on the $3,000 car bandwagon, the original small
car company Suzuki Motors, for now is content to wait
and watch from the sidelines.
just Suzuki, but most big names from Japan, including
Honda and Toyota, seem to be reluctant to enter the
"cheap" car fray. Even South Korean major
Hyundai Motor does not have immediate plans to enter
the low-cost car category.
now, Ratan Tata will probably only find company in Carlos
Ghosn, the Renault-Nissan boss, for launching a car
that redefines the floor price for cars.
Motors'' cheapest car anywhere in the world is a 660cc
one in the home market, priced at roughly $9,000. Compatriot
Toyota sells its new small car, Aygo, in Japan for around
$10,000. For these companies to think of making a vehicle
for less than a third of the existing cost dynamics
does sound slightly improbable.
car that will come at this price would have a different
customer profile, and would be a completely different
product from existing small cars in terms of engine,
speed capability, etc. Analysts point out that the low-cost
car can be viable only in the Indian market, as exports
to other markets could run into trouble over emission
norms, safety regulations, etc.
viable product at this price level is possible only
with a very high level of localisation with no export
low-cost car pioneer Ratan Tata differs. He still maintains
that the Tata small car would be launched in early 2008.
Tata Motors has completed its styling and designing
and has tested the prototypes within the plant.
seems to echo his sentiment, asserting that Nissan-Renault
is looking at a small car priced below the Logan at
around $3,000 and would be develop such a product with
M&M in India.
company to Tata and Ghosn, global consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers
pinpoints the ''India Advantage''. In a detailed analysis
of what PwC calls the low-cost car phenomenon, it says
that by 2014, every other low-cost vehicle would be
assembled in the Asia Pacific region, with India and
China accounting for 34 per cent and 11 per cent of
Coffee Day to invest Rs100 crore in 15 months
Mumbai: Cafe Coffee Day, a division of The Amalgamated
Bean Coffee Trading Co, will invest anywhere between
Rs95 crore to Rs100 crore as a part of its expansion
plan in the next 12-15 months.
the company has 435 outlets in 83 cities, and is looking
to go up to 700 outlets in the next 12-15 months. Another
50 outlets in Vienna and Karachi would come up in the
next two years. Each outlet would cost about Rs25-30
is seen as a great potential market, for its want of
hangouts for the youth. Vienna has also shown an encouraging
response for Indian coffee, which accounts for its place
in the company''s expansion plans. Cafe Coffee Day has
an outlet each in Vienna and Karachi. The India expansion
plans will cover Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
company would fund the growth through internal accruals
and has no immediate plans to go public. There are no
immediate plans for any joint venture or acquisitions
FY06-07, Cafe Coffee Day''s turnover was Rs400 crore.
In FY07-08 the turnover is forecast at around Rs600
crore, with a 50 per cent revenue growth in the next
Lifestyle setting up 27 more outlets
New Delhi: Gitanjali Lifestyle, a subsidiary of
Gitanjali Gems, recently announced that it would set
up 27 retail outlets by the end of this year, at a combined
investment of about Rs5 crore.
of these outlets would showcase Swiss, French and Italian
watches such as Morelatto, Nina Ricci, Jacques Lemans,
Moschino and Paris Hilton under the multi-luxury retail
brand Bezel, and two outlets for Greggio, an Italian
silverware brand that offers products such as tableware,
cutlery and gifts.
international brands will be launched in the country
for the first time.
Piramal acquires Italian shirt brand Men''s Club
Mumbai: The Ashok Piramal Group-owned Morarjee Textiles
Ltd recently acquired a 67-per cent controlling stake
for an undisclosed sum in Men''s Club, an Italian brand
Rs213-crore company is looking for another acquisition
for its front-end business in Europe, but is yet to
zero in on a prospect. The company prefers to acquire
a brand offering high value-added products that fits
well with the company''s strategy. It also hopes to make
a dent in the Japanese and European markets through
a turnover of Rs27 crore for Men''s Club for the year
ending March 2008, the manufacturing has been outsourced
to a plant in Southern Italy, and the company plans
to let Men''s Club maintain a relative independence in
order for the the brand to retain its authenticity.
group has a design centre at Milan, and has plans for
foray into the US market sometime in the next two years.
The company supplies fabric and shirts to various international
brands such as Flex, Polo Ralph Lauren, Paul Smith,
and domestic ones including Zodiac, Allen Solly and
Louis Philippe. It also supplies to women''s apparel
brands such as Marks & Spencer and Zara. It will
start supplying trousers next year.
the second-phase of expansion, the company will look
to acquire 10-12 acres of land in either Tumkur district
of Karnataka or in Visakhapatnam, which will entail
an investment of around Rs50-60 crore. Capacity expansion
will double to 25 lakh pieces of fabric per annum. The
plant would also support the company''s garment unit
based in Bangalore, Integra Apparels, which makes medium
to premium brands, and exports both menswear and womens
wear to Europe, Australia and the US.
company will undertake an investment of Rs150 crore
over the next year in its expansion to build synergies
between its fabric, garment and brand divisions. Funding
will come from internal accruals, debt and the 50 remaining
warrants of the company''s rights issue.
unveils new datacard offers
Bangalore: Reliance Communications unveiled new
offers for its data card, which goes under the brand
data card is like a SIM card, and is used in laptop
computers. It plugs into the PCMCIA slot and has a small
antenna that connects the computer to Reliance''s CDMA
network. Reliance also offers USB modems, connectivity
via Reliance mobile (through data cable) and fixed wireless
phones (FWPs). The CDMA network allows for an Internet
access speed of up to 144 kbps.
company has been promoting its data card to corporates,
enabling internet access for executives on the move,
and is now actively targeting the mass market with new
tariffs and bundled offers. Laptop users can now affordably
get online for just Rs174. The company is targeting
2 million laptop users in the country who do not own
data cards, which comprise 80 per cent of all laptop
The company claims a 75-per cent market share in the
national data card market. Tata Indicom''s V card and
Airtel''s data card are the other players in the data
up with four laptop vendors - HP, Acer, Lenovo and HCL
- Reliance expects to bundle a data card for free with
new laptops to attract new Internet users. The Reliance
network covers 9000 towns and 3.5 lakh villages.
launched in Mangalore
Mahindra Renault has launched the Logan in the Mangalore
market. According to Leon Prabhu, head, sales (personal
segment), the company is keen on capturing 40 per cent
of the market share in ''C'' segment in Dakshina Kannada
region with this launch. The price of the vehicle ex-showrooms
in Karnataka for the 1.4 petrol version is Rs4.33 lakh,
and for the 1.6 petrol version is Rs5.33 lakh. For the
1.5 diesel version, the car is priced at Rs5.53 lakh.
Agencies is the dealer for the car in Mangalore.
Beer plans foray into wine making
Hyderabad: Cobra Beer, a leading global beer company,
plans to foray into the wine segment by launching four
varieties by the year-end.
Poonam Chandel, Chief Operating Officer (COO) said the
company had finalised the brand, blends and packaging,
and has zeroed in on Maharashtra for its wine production.
The company is looking at an initial volume of 15,000
cases in this category, which will be scaled up to 50,000
company will also invest $20 million to set up Greenfield
breweries in Patiala (Punjab) and Andhra Pradesh, though
it is yet to decide on the plant location in Andhra
Pradesh. These units would have the capacity of producing
three lakh cases.
company is planning to enter markets in Jharkand and
Kerala in the second phase of its expansion in the country.
the beer market in India is growing fast, per capita
consumption is still at a low 0.7 litres.
Hollywood star to be Reebok''s Brand Ambassador
New Delhi: Leading sports goods brand Reebok announced
Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson as its new brand
ambassador, marking its foray into the burgeoning lifestyle
sports goods brand also revealed its latest `Scarlett
Hearts Rbk'' collection, a fashion forward athletic inspired
footwear and apparel line in India. The brand embodies
the pulse points of Reebok''s brand-individuality, authenticity
of a life lived to the fullest in perpetual motion.
These characteristics make the new Brand Ambassador
the perfect fit for Reebok''s new women''s footwear and
Reebok''s core remains sports, it is looking at sports
inspired lifestyle in a big way, as contemporary youngsters
love a sporty causal look. Reebok is best poised to
synergise fashion with sports and provide the customer
the much desired look and feel.
and Blues plans more stores
Mumbai: Italian leather brand Blue and Blues is
setting up 18 exclusive stores across the country, over
the next three years, and has marked a turnover of Rs40
crore for the same time span.
its portfolio in the Indian market, Blue and Blues would
extend its product range to include products such as
belts and office products. It also intends to setup
a new manufacturing base in Delhi.
and Blues has appointed O&M to handle its brand,
which has the tagline Coloured Leather.
conscious tipplers can now go with Romanov diet vodka
New Delhi: The UB Group''s United Spirits Ltd has
launched the first brand variant of its flagship vodka
brand, Romanov, named Romanov Diet Mate Vodka.
Diet Mate includes a herbal ingredient, Garcinia, which
helps in controlling cholesterol and burning body fat.
The variant is priced at a 10-per cent premium to the
original omanov Vodka. The company expects the product
to do very well, and believes that it will achieve at
least 10 per cent of the sales of the original Romanov
Vodka flavour. Romanov Vodka sold nearly 8.5 lakh cases
last year, and has a CAGR of 45 per cent.
domestic vodka market is sized at about three million
cases, of which brands from the UB stable, Romanov and
White Mischief, account for 70 per cent. White Mischief
clocked sales of 1.1 million cases last year.
asks Xenitis to set up a small car plant
Kolkata: Andhra Pradesh has asked the Rs650-crore
Xenitis Group to make a wish list for setting up its
proposed small car plant in the State. Xenitis, engaged
in the manufacture of computer hardware and components,
and motorcycles, had lately unveiled plans to embark
on the manufacture of small cars.
Praveen Kumar, sector head of APinvest, the nodal government
agency, visited Xenitis'' manufacturing facility at Chinsura
in Hooghly district and later made a presentation at
the Xenitis'' corporate office here.
had earlier approached the Andhra Pradesh Government
for setting up a semiconductor unit in the state. However,
the initiative did not fructify. APinvest later wrote
a letter to Xenitis urging it to consider Andhra Pradesh
as a destination its new initiative of manufacturing
small cars, offering the advantage of being located
in the most happening State in the country.
Motors may contract manufacture for French company
Mumbai: Makers of the convertible San Storm, San
Motors, the automotive division of the San Group, is
all set to bag a contract manufacturing order from a
niche French car company.
French company, similar to Britain''s Morgan, TVR and
Lotus kind of small car companies, has been manufacturing
a model that is available in coupe and convertible form.
This model will soon be manufactured at San Motor''s
plants in the country, according to Behram Ardeshir,
director, San Motors. Due to corporate reasons, the
name of the French company and the model were not disclosed.
says production is likely to commence by the end of
this year. The company has facilities at Goa and Bangalore,
though it was yet undecided, which would be utilised,
or whether one of them would be singled out. Presently,
the Goa facility has an annual production capacity of
3,000 cars, while the Bangalore facility is utilised
to manufacture the chassis and body of the San Storm,
which are later transported to Goa for final assembly.
company would start manufacturing the French model with
an initial local content of 40 per cent, which is likely
to grow to 60 per cent in the near future. Minus the
power train, the complete car would be shipped to France.
The power train has been outsourced from another automotive
company, and hence would be fitted at the French factory
manufacturing has now become a trend among small and
big international auto majors to offset rise in manufacturing
costs in developed nations.
company is also conducting tests on a new convertible
designed completely in-house, which will have a 1.6-litre
Warner Brothers in tie-up
Bangalore: AOL has tied up with Warner Brothers
to promote the latest Hollywood blockbuster Harry Potter
& the Order of the Phoenix.
in association with Warner Brothers, has launched a
micro site www.aol.in/harrypotter. The micro site hosts
content from the movie including videos, photos, wallpapers
and memorabilia. The micro site also hosts two games
''Fight the Death Eaters'' and ''Dolore''s Cat'', and has
a contest with prizes to be won.
Warner Brothers & AOL are part of Time Warner, a
global media and entertainment company.
eyeing acquisitions in India
Bangalore: Communications services group WPP is
looking at acquisitions in India and the rest of Asia
as part of its growth strategy. The group is seeking
companies in non-traditional areas such as brand identity,
public affairs, digital and direct marketing.
Digital recently acquired a 100-per cent stake in digital
marketing agency BLUE Interactive Marketing, Singapore.
Last year, it acquired a majority stake in Bangalore-based
design firm Ray + Keshavan.
has witnessed phenomenal growth from the Indian and
Chinese markets, which have been growing at over 20
per cent for the past several years. Asia Pacific, Latin
America, West Asia and Africa account for about 20 per
cent of WPP''s revenues, and the company is looking to
grow these to one-third in about five years.
key driver of growth in Asia will be new media, along
with traditional media. While both traditional and new
media are growing fast in Asia (particularly India),
the digital medium will be the new leg of the company''s
growth strategy. Presently, only 2 per cent of global
ad spends comes from online advertising, which are estimated
to grow to 8 per cent in 3-4 years. Mobile marketing
is another area to track in the long term.
Another area of increasing
importance in India is analytics, with Group M, a WPP
entity, through its outfit Meritus Analytics India in
Bangalore, doing a lot of work in this field for as
number of WPP companies.
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