Stop to enter into catalogue retailing
Mumbai: Shopper''s Stop is to start
catalogue retailing in the country under a franchise agreement with the Home Retail
Group of the UK.
the catalogue retail business, the company''s Managing Director B S Nagesh said
it is a business where a customer orders through a catalogue that lists numerous
products. Customers can order a product and get it home-delivered, and can even
order via the Internet. Under this format, the store can reach customers through
Home Retail group is a £6 billion UK Company. Shopper''s Stop has an exclusive
franchise agreement with the company, he said.
The company is to conduct
a pilot test in the last quarter of this year in one of the metros before going
pursuing it on a larger scale.
India repositioning itself into solutions provider
Mumbai: Network service
provider Cisco India is reportedly repositioning itself as a solutions provider
from a product-based solution provider.
to Cisco vice president Anil Bhasin, "Earlier, we used to look into any one
area of business. Now, we are looking at solutions aimed at helping the business
achieve its objective".
India is a strategic advisor to Kishore Biyani''s Future Group, and is in talks
with other retail players as well. The company is looking at Special Economic
Zones as a driver for growth.
launches new range of notebooks, desktops
New Delhi: Dell announced its
launch of a new range of notebook and desktop computers, under brand name ''Vostro,''
designed specially keeping in mind the needs of small businesses.
Vostro brand products and services have been designed specifically for simple
network and businesses with less than 25 employees, and are priced in the range
of Rs22,000 and Rs36,000.
will initially import this new range, and will later it will manufacture it in
India. The company will use its existing channels for distribution, and is in
talks with big players in the segment, with plans for direct sales as well.
expects a growth of over 30 per cent in revenue in the current fiscal, on account
of new product launches. Last year, its turnover was Rs2,000 crore.
partners with Barclays Bank
Mumbai: MetLife India Insurance has entered
into a banc assurance agreement with Barclays Bank, eyeing 5 per cent market share
in the booming domestic insurance space, up from its current 2.5 per cent.
company is also to strengthen its agency network to 40,000 from the current 25,000
via the tie-up.
MetLife is to inject an additional capital of Rs231 crore
that will be raised from its foreign partners. Subsequently, the total capital
would Rs761 crore.
commenced operations in India in year 2002, Metlife has a gross written premium
of Rs344 crore. The company has also achieved sales of Rs274 crore in the first
six months of this year. It has operations in life insurance, automobile and home
insurance, retail banking and in other financial services, and has partnerships
with UTI-bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank, Karnataka Bank and Dhanalakshmi Bank
in Insurance business.
Network''s Boomerang targets adult viewers
Chennai: Cartoon Network has
launched Boomerang, a two-hour programme block from 9-11 pm, to cater to its more
adult viewers. The channel says 50 per cent of its audience is over 15 years of
age, and about 30-40 per cent of this are over 25. Boomerang is targeted at the
parents or the adults with a child in them. Cartoon Network''s primary audience
is the 4-14-year-olds.
shows in Boomerang block would include Tom & Jerry, Johnny Bravo, Popeye and
Scooby Doo. This block of programming is being promoted as a relief to adults
returning home after a long tiring day at work.
Network has tied up with MSN.com to create micro sites for Boomerang, aiming to
build a community around Boomerang to allow viewers to converse about it, download
wallpapers and play games based on the shows. Subsequently, a micro site devoted
to Johnny Bravo will be built.
Network also has plans to promote Boomerang on-air and in print
financial institutions, telecom companies and others such as Microsoft feature
among the channel''s advertisers, indicating that the channel has a following among
35 per cent of Cartoon Network''s revenue comes from these non-traditional advertisers,
and the channel hopes to bring in new advertisers with the launch of Boomerang.
About 200 brands currently advertise on the channel, which has 21.7 million viewers.
Pogo, Turner''s other children''s channel, has 21 million viewers.
ratings for January-June 2007 indicate that 98 per cent of the top shows are on
these two channels, which occupy first and second place among channels of their
is brand ambassador for Kinetic''s new 125cc scooter
Mumbai: Kinetic Motor
Company has signed up actress Bipasha Basu as brand ambassador for its upcoming
Kinetic SYM scooter.
actress has been signed for a contract period of a year and a half. The agreement
allows her to endorse all Kinetic models, but the company plans to primarily see
her endorse the upcoming Kinetic SYM model.
new 125cc scooter is primarily targeted at female customers, hence the choice
for the right celebrity (actress) to endorse the product, after a detailed study.
The actress would be promoting the new scooter at its launch next month.
customers can call the one-point call centre for test drive, sales and after-sales
service. This centre serves as a direct point of contact between the company and
would be the first SYM model to be launched in the country and will be manufactured
at the company''s plant at Pithampur in Madhya Pradesh.
the scooter will have 10-15 per cent import content from Taiwan, for parts such
as telescopic suspension and the cylinder head. The company is looking for sales
of 55,000-65,000 units in the first year, and is projecting an annual growth of
15-20 per cent.
scouts for specialist agencies to take over
Chennai: Ad agency Ogilvy &
Mather (O&M) is on the prowl to acquire specialist outfits in high growth
areas such as new media and healthcare communications, and is planning around
four or five acquisitions in India. It is looking for the acquisition to be compliment
existing businesses in cultural, commercial and in product terms.
there aren''t many outfits around that would be fit to be acquired. O&M has
huge investment plans for India, with a focus on Bangalore. The agency network
is also taking steps to globalise out of India, by using the Indian agency as
an outsourcing base. It sees this outsourcing opportunity leveraging high value
creativity, rather than low cost.
lower ad spends in India as a percentage of sales, are on account of an antiquated
distribution system. The usual effect of advertising where you put in something
quickly through the modern retail trade hasn''t worked with India yet. Advertising
usually explodes with a concentration of retail trade.
buys out FCB Ulka
Mumbai: IPG (Interpublic Group) has bought out the residual
49 per cent stake in FCB Ulka. The agency was a 51:49 joint venture between FCB
(Foote Cone & Belding), an IPG company, and Ulka Advertising and was set up
>M G Parameswaran,
executive director, FCB Ulka, said, the agency would now have a more integrated
global system, with more people from the agency working on global assignments.
IPG would bring in its global skill sets into the country. Recently, the IPG Group
bought out the balance stake in Lintas India, another IPG-owned agency. The amount
for buying out the residual 49-per cent stake remained undisclosed.
stores under Peter England brand soon
Bangalore: Aditya Birla Nuvo is
planning to open a chain of family oriented specialty stores under the Peter England
brand. The 12,000-15,000 sq feet stores will sell both apparel and accessories
catering to men, women and children in the value category.
Peter England operates mainly as a men''s wear brand in the mid-priced value category.
The first few stores are expected to be test marketed in the South, with the company
investing around Rs400 crore in this venture.
Madura Garments (part of Aditya Birla Nuvo) separated its fashion brands (Van
Huesen, Allen Solly and Louis Philippe) and its popular brand Peter England.
England recorded retail revenues of Rs200 crore in the last fiscal. The brand
has been growing at 25 per cent year-on-year, with its retail network covering
around 230 franchise stores, 30 company-owned stores and a number of wholesale
stores across the country.
Life plans tie-up with co-op banks
Aviva Life Insurance is planning to
unite with the cooperative banks in India in an alliance to expand its reach,
besides augmenting its direct sales force.
Aviva (which holds 26-per cent stake in the joint venture company with Dabur)
has tie-ups with Centurion Bank of Punjab, ABN Amro, American Express Bank, Lakshmi
Vilas Bank and IndusInd Bank, among others.
assurance accounts for 60 per cent of Aviva''s distribution, with the remaining
40 per cent contributed direct sales.
Coffee plans another 100 retail outlets
Bangalore: Tata Coffee Ltd (TCL)
plans to launch 100 coffee outlets in the country over the next five years to
enhance its presence. TCL currently has one such outlet under the brand name of
Tata Mr Bean Junction at Kochi in Kerala.
five are planned for the current financial year, for which the locations have
not been finalised. Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore are on the list for selection,
which will be owned by the company. All subsequent outlets are planned via the
company plans to launch a brand in the Russian market, possibly ''Eight O'' Clock''
which it acquired last year from Gryphon Investors for Rs1,015 crore. It is also
evaluating new markets such as Australia.
company plans to add 15-20 rooms to its Holiday Homes in Coorg in Karnataka this
Essar adds 1.5m more
New Delhi: Vodafone Essar has extended its lead over
PSU telecom company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) in June, in terms of global
system for mobile communications (GSM) subscriber numbers.
Essar (formerly Hutch Essar) has a lead of 2.33 million subscribers on BSNL as
of June. Earlier, the gap was just 1.3 million in the previous month, as per figures
released by the Cellular Operators'' Association of India (COAI).
was the No 2 GSM player in India, in terms of subscriber numbers, till two months
ago, when Vodafone Essar redefined the hierarchy, and now it appears to be consolidating
UK-based Vodafone, the world''s largest mobile operator, acquired a controlling
stake in Hutch Essar earlier this year.
Bharti has also increased its lead on Vodafone Essar. While it earlier lead by
11.5 million GSM subscribers in May, the difference now is 11.95 million. Bharti''s
market share has increased to 31.4 per cent in June, up from 31.2 per cent in
showing an increase in market shares include Vodafone Essar with 22.61 per cent
(22.36 per cent in May), Idea with 11.86 per cent (11.69 per cent in May), Aircel
with 4.98 per cent (4.91 per cent in May) and Spice with 2.33 per cent (2.30 per
cent in May).
shares of many GSM operators have dipped as well. BSNL''s share has come down dropped
from 21.43 per cent to 20.90 per cent, Reliance Telecom''s from 3.3 per cent to
3.2 per cent, MTNL''s from 1.95 per cent to 1.92 per cent, and BPL''s from 0.83
per cent to 0.80 per cent.
slip in BSNL''s GSM growth is being attributed to a delay in its mega tender. Though
Ericsson emerged as the lowest bidder for the 45-million line tender, communications
minister A Raja wants a re-look at the whole exercise, saying that $107 per line
cost quoted by Ericsson is far too steep.
are 135.9 million GSM subscribers in the country, as on June 30, 2007, against
130.6 million in May. The total addition in GSM numbers was 5.4 million in June.
>Growth in the
segment is being driven primarily by aggressive network expansions by the operators
coupled with decreasing tariffs and increasing affordability.
seeks an Atlantic tail wind
New York: Jet Airways is going all out to win
over business class travellers from the US to India.
is offering competitive premier tickets on the Newark-Brussels-Mumbai flight for
$6,150, compared to standard club fares starting at $6,792 for most European carriers.
New York newsprint has been carrying full-page advertisements announcing Jet''s
inaugural Newark-Brussels-Mumbai flight on August 5.
is offering eight first-class suites for $10,085, about 20 per cent lower than
comparable British Airways offers. Jet''s new Boeing 777 will offer the world''s
longest first-class bed at 83 inches, complete with storage closets, a dining
table and other technological gizmos.
experts opine Jet''s expensive gamble to offer a lot of frills may be somewhat
of the mark, as what American executives really want is time-saving flights to
India. Jet, with no immediate plans for a non-stop flight to India, is likely
to find it difficult to win over business travellers loyal to long haul US carriers.
>Air India too
is commencing a daily non-stop 15-hour flight between New York''s JFK airport and
Mumbai on 1 August, a first in a planned series of new non-stop, long haul connections
between the US and India.
counters that the decision for a pit stop in Brussels to pick up passengers would
ensure flights flew fully booked. Jet, which is offering the largest economy passenger
seat in the world for $850, also wanted all 274 of them filled.
has general insurance, credit cards on its mind
Kolkata: Dena Bank is thinking
of entering the general insurance business and plans to foray into the credit
card business via an agreement with a leading public sector bank.
bank does not intend to enter the life insurance business because of larger capital
availability and long gestation period, and a possible conflict of interest with
bank assurance partner Life Insurance Corporation. Instead it is exploring the
idea of a general insurance venture, where the bank would have a minimum 26-per
cent stake. If the deal does come through, Dena will be the second bank to foray
into general insurance, following Allahabad Bank''s pioneering footsteps.
Bank is also said to be exploring a pact with a bank for its foray into the credit
card business, with the rumoured partner being none other than State Bank of India.
If this fructifies, Dena will get a royalty although it may not have to carry
the credit risk.
Bank has recently entered into a business tie-up with the ministry of railways,
installing 117 ATM machines at various railway stations along with 85 kiosks.
The bank is aiming for a total business of Rs56,000 crore this fiscal, estimating
growth to be around 22 per cent this year.
Coffee Day changes gears to take on Starbucks
Bangalore: Café Coffee
Day (CCD) is saddling up to take on Starbucks in India, while simultaneously mapping
aggressive plans for enhancing its overseas presence.
company is looking at 700 café-outlets across the country as an ideal number
to battle Starbucks.
the division of ABTCL, presently has some 440 outlets in India, Vienna and Pakistan.
It has plans to set up a total of over 2,000 outlets over the next four-and-half
years, forecasting that coffee retailing is poised for interesting times in the
coming decade. CCD aims to be among the top-three global coffee giants over the
next five years, by building a presence in some 2,000 locations across 65 countries.
is adding 20 odd outlets a month, and plans to hit the 750-mark by June 2008.
The company has two outlets each in Vienna, Austria and in Karachi, and is looking
to expand in both countries. It is also looking at Germanic speaking countries
in Europe such as Switzerland, Germany and Czechoslovakia to expand operations
via its overseas outfit, the Cyprus-registered Café Coffee Day International.
CCD has had good success in Guwahati, Jammu and Katra among other places, and
plans to add three outlets in Kashmir. Majority of CCD''s outlets are concentrated
in Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi, though it has a presence in over 80 cities
across the country. The company is setting up a captive furniture plant in Chikmagalur
to meet its café expansion requirements.
plans a revival for Wearhouse chain
Bangalore: Gokaldas Exports is planning
to re-launch its Wearhouse chain of retail outlets in about sx to eight months.
Around two years ago, Gokaldas had shut down most of its 36 Wearhouse outlets
across India, in cities such as Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Delhi. As on date,
only three outlets of the company are operational, all in Bangalore.
to Rahendra Hinduja, director, Gokaldas Exports, the company had invested around
Rs35 crore in Wearhouse, but the ROI of about 10-15 per cent did not match the
company''s expected rate of return. As the retail sector stabilises, the company
would re-launch the chain, starting with the South.
four months, Gokaldas has been supplying in bulk its ''Camel'' brand of products
to the German retailer Metro.
to market Yipes products in India
Mumbai: Reliance Communications (RCom),
plans to market the products of its latest US-based acquisition, Yipes Holdings,
with a planned spend of Rs1,000 crore over the next couple of years.
to Punit Garg, president, global business, RCom, the company will be spending
about Rs1,000 crore in the next couple of years to roll out Yipes products across
the globe. For India, Reliance plans to roll out some of Yipes'' products on the
existing infrastructure platform.
currently services nearly 1,000 enterprise customers across verticals such as
finance, legal, government and healthcare. Yipes Managed Premium Internet, Yipes
Hawkeye, Yipes OnDemand are some of the products that the company has in its portfolio.
product FinancialConnect! (for electronic trading and market data distribution)
are used by the New York Stock Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Stock Exchange other
major exchanges for communicating with the traders.
aims to bring these technologies to Indian stock and commodity markets and replicate
their success here. Reliance also plans to initiate talks with various government
agencies to showcase e-governance and e- connectivity related Yipes products.
chairman, Anil Ambani, at a press conference to announce the deal with Yipes,
said the company has invested Rs2,000 crore for the expansion of Flag network,
and the entire investment was made from the cash flow generated from Flag''s operations,
which is profitable at the net level for the first time. Reliance plans to invest
about Rs6,000 crore in Flag''s Global Next Generation Network in the coming years
as part of its global expansion plans.
subscriber base has swelled by 20 million after it was listed on stock exchanges
in January 2006, taking its total to 35-million subscribers.
to re-launch the Vimal brand; plans to set up retail chains
Ambani''s Reliance Industries is to re-launch its textile brand Vimal.
August-September, the company plans to set up retail chains in fabric and garments
across India, and has partnered an English architect with expertise in retail
concepts for the venture.
company apparently plans to use the element of surprise in its favour, by surprising
customers with its designs and prices at their outlets. Vimal has invited Italian
designer Maurizio Bonas of ''Made in Italy'' fame, to instruct Indian tailors in
Italian designs for trousers and jackets via a workshop last year in which about
80 tailors participated.
the designer liked the company''s work culture, and is now in talks for a long
term partnership. His designer labels are available in Tokyo and London, and he
hops to bring them to India via Vimal.
''aggressive'' business plans, the company will first make available its fabric
at the existing Vimal outlets in Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad, Mumbai,
and at its flagship store in Ahmedabad. Thereafter, it will expand across the
plan is to first utilise existing retail infrastructure before entering malls.
The company is investing in its back-end business and is working with its fibre
division to innovate by introducing antiperspirant, anti-bacterial, quick dry
and soil release materials.
ventures into Saudi Arabia cars market
Dubai: Indian auto major Tata Motors
has ventured into Saudi Arabia''s passenger car market with the launch of three
launched its 2008 models of the Indica, Indigo and the Marina, all of whom conform
to safety, quality and reliability specifications of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,
at a price range of SR30,000-35,000.
The upscale brand, Indigo-Marina
station wagon has a price tag of SR33,400. The company has appointed Mohamed A
Alhamrani & Co Intertrade Ltd (AIT) as its sole distributor in the Kingdom.
company''s focus would always be on after-sale service, for which they have set
up an alliance network of 35 service points to cater to the different needs of
entrs into branded organic spices segment
Bangalore: ITC Foods has its
foray into the branded organic spices segment.
offerings comprise chilli, turmeric and coriander powders under the Aashirvaad
Select Organic Spices range. Aashirvaad had earlier obtained India Organic Certification
for its range of select organic spices, and the packaging was made of ECF (elemental
chlorine free) board which does not contain chlorine and is therefore totally
India likely to introduce a small car, but not at the Rs1 lakh price point
Delhi: Ford India is mulling the launch of a compact car for the local market,
but not in the Rs100,000 price range as proposed by its competitors. Ford does
not have any product in its portfolio in that price range.
currently sells only mid-size sedans in India, such as the Fiesta, and premium
hatchback Fusion and SUV Endeavour in the Indian market. It has an entry level
sedan, the Ikon, competing head to head with competition''s Maruti Suzuki Esteem,
and the Mahindra Renault Logan.
diesel presently contributes nearly 70 per cent to the overall sales of the model.
Ford India has achieved localisation levels of 60 per cent on Fusion, while Fiesta
is made from 80-85 per cent locally sourced components.
India ready to join airline grouping Star Alliance
New Delhi: The ''new''
merged Air India, is all set for an induction into 17-airline global grouping
- Star Alliance.
India will make a presentation about its strengths before a working group of the
Star Alliance on September 13. The CEOs of the member airlines of the alliance
would meet on December 13 to take a decision on the induction of Air India as
If Star Alliance decides in the affirmative, integration of
the airline with other members of the group would take between 12 and 18 months.
alliance includes Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and United Airlines. Other similar
alliances are SkyTeam and Oneworld.
alliances facilitate partner airlines to jointly undertake many activities, including
passenger and baggage transfers, and sharing of airport lounges.
Electronics set to launch LCD TV sets by August
Chennai: Onida brand owner
Mirc Electronics, backed by an Rs100-crore R&D budget and a new production
line, is ready to make and launch a range of LCD TV sets by August. The company
will produce all but the LCD panels, which will be imported from Samsung and LG,
at its new facility at Wada near Mumbai.
from significant cost savings, the new facility will also allow the company to
bring into the market a new range of slim TV''s, a segment with the most rapid
growth in demand. It will introduce a 29" slim and 21" ultra-slim model.
The 29" model would be slimmer by almost 15 per cent than existing 29"
flat TVs, and 21" model would be at least 40 per cent slimmer than existing
company, under the ''Onida'' brand, markets air-conditioners, washing machines,
microwave ovens, home theatre systems and DVD players. It also intends to roll
out a new range of fully automatic washing machines. TV sets remain the mainstay
of Mirc''s business, contributing 60 per cent of the company''s Rs1,600-crore turnover.
has earmarked an overall marketing spend of Rs80 crore for the year. Ad agency
McCann Erickson manages the company''s creative account.
company is looking at a Rs2,000-crore turnover for the current fiscal
new car qualifies for excise relief
New Delhi: Ford India launched a diesel
variant of Fusion, which allows the company to avail excise duty benefits offered
to diesel cars with engine capacity up to 1.5 litre and petrol cars with 1.1 litre
company''s diesel variant is priced at Rs6.59 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), and will
be powered by a 1.4 litre Duratorq engine. The new product is an attempt to increase
the company''s offering in the diesel segment. Currently it has Fiesta, whose diesel
variant contributes 65-70 per cent of total sales of the model.
company has a capacity of manufacturing 100,000 units, but production hovers at
about 65,000 units due to certain bottlenecks.
Silks losing out to big players
Mumbai: Gujarat-based Garden Silk Mills,
known for the Garden Vareli brand of saris and dress materials, will restrict
production to the current numbers and has no expansion plans. This is on account
of a continuous fall in revenues from the segment, attributed to the entrance
of big retailers.
company informed BSE that it has tied up with China Textile Industrial Engineering
Institute to set up a continuous polymerisation plant with a capacity of 2,60,000
tonnes per annum, is in keeping its plans of expanding its backward integration,
which is more profitable than the fabric business.
over Rs1,200-crore sales of Garden Silks, only Rs200 crore comes from saris and
dress materials, the rest coming from its yarn and polyester manufacturing.
company has also tied up with Oerlikon-Barmag of Germany and TMT of Japan for
the supply of machinery and technology for the polyester yarn plant with a capacity
of 55,000 tonnes per year.
company is open to tie-ups with malls for setting up shop, but has declines to
make any further investment in the retail business. It currently has 293 retail
outlets in 65 cities, including 18 company owned depots.
Mumbai: Ogilvy & Mather is planning to initiate
its second agency Meridian''s Mumbai operations, and has plans of extending a branch
office to New Delhi in the future. At present, Meridian is a mid-sized Bangalore-
based agency, with accounts such as Arvind Mills, Dockers and Himalaya Drug Company,
Communications P Ltd has appointed Rensil D''silva as executive creative director
and Kumar Subramaniam as president.
a press conference, Piyush Pandey, executive chairman, and also national creative
director, O&M (India & South Asia), said, "We are re-launching and
re-charging Meridian with the Ogilvy values and Ogilvy thinking. The purpose is
to build everlasting brands and create solutions for clients and give a thrust
to the business."
merged its other agency David with Bates recently, O&M is now focusing on
its Indian initiative with Meridian.
press release from O&M said that the agency was ranked at number three in
the worldwide WPP ranking. The ranking is a combined tally of the offices of Ogilvy
in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata.
Mumbai alone is No. 7 in the worldwide ranking. There is no Indian WPP company
in the top 19 other than Ogilvy & Mather India, said the release.
Entertainment to start a new youth channel
Mumbai: Zee Entertainment Enterprises
Ltd would launch a channel targeted at a young audience as it expands beyond its
traditional base of senior viewers.
a general entertainment channel, will focus on a younger audience without alienating
the senior age group. With half of India''s billion-plus population below age 25,
broadcasters are now going beyond cartoons and movies dubbed in regional languages
to hook young adults.
Disney, which operates the Disney Channel and Toon Disney in India, bought a children''s
Hindi entertainment channel last year from UTV Software Communications Ltd., and
also acquired 14.9 per cent in the Indian broadcaster.
India has a Hindi-language channel for young adults, while Time Warner''s Cartoon
Network dominates the kids'' entertainment space, though it has initiated some
level of engagement with the working young with a programming slot branded as
has 71 million cable TV homes, the world''s third-largest base, and is slated to
become the top pay TV market in Asia-Pacific by 2015.
mobile services market to surpass $25 bn by 2011
New Delhi: The cellular
services segment in India, which the world''s fastest growing wireless market,
is expected to more than double to $25 billion by 2011, as per global consultancy
and research firm Gartner.
earnings of cellular services market in 2006 was $8.95 billion and would reach
$25.617 billion by 2011, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of
18.4 per cent.
market penetration is also projected to shoot from 12.7 per cent in 2006 to 38.6
per cent in 2011.
overall penetration will be primarily driven by a sharper focus on the rural market.
By 2011, Gartner predicts that 58 per cent of the rural population and 95 per
cent of the urban population would be covered with mobile connections.
growth, however, could be restrained because of problems in the allocation of
scarce spectrum, which could impact expansion plans and quality of service, mainly
because of inadequate investment in or upgrading of networks.
agency opines that there was still scope for reducing mobile tariff, since call
rates have dropped to about 2.6 cents per minute, which is high compared to fixed
line tariffs of 0.9 cents per minute.
rural market presents immense growth opportunities as mobile penetration was just
two per cent. Many companies are planning to tap this market by introducing handsets
that would cost below Rs1,000.
bullet train eats into domestic air carriers
Taipei: Taiwan''s first bullet
train has somewhat dented domestic aviation, forcing airlines to cut back on flights
or shut down services altogether amid warnings the situation will get worse.
Airways Corporation was the latest carrier to move on costs, requesting the closure
of two daily flights between Taipei and Chiayi in the south.
inauguration of the island''s first high-speed railway, capable of handling 100
million passengers a year, in January had dealt a lethal blow to domestic airlines.
for the last decade due to the general economic sluggishness and completion from
the island-wide highway system. The bullet train could be the last straw.
operations of the Japanese-built high-speed train were launched in January, with
Taipei finally linked to the southern port city of Kaohsiung in March. Passengers
pay $1,490 dollars (US $45.40) for a standard class seat from Taipei to Kaohsiung
- which amounts to 70 per cent of the price of an air ticket - for a 90 minute
trip at speeds of up to 300 kmph.
launch, passenger numbers on flights have dwindled dramatically, dropping 24 per
cent year-on-year in February, 42.7 per cent in March, 43.6 per cent in April,
49.1 per cent in May and then 58.8 per cent in June. The Taiwan High Speed Rail
Corporation (THSRC) initially scheduled 19 round trips a day, but is now expected
to increase frequency to 37, with 88 daily services as the ultimate goal.
give Taiwan''s four major domestic carriers a boost, the CAA has reduced landing
fees by 50 per cent, but that could well amount to locking the stables after the
horse has bolted. Mandarin Airlines, one of the domestic players, swung into a
loss of about $10 million in the first half of this year from a net profit of
some $80 million dollars in 2006. TransAsia Airways said numbers on its Taipei
to Kaohsiung flights have plunged 50 per cent.
group ties up with Talwalkars for fitness centres
Mumbai: Kishore Biyani''s
Future Group inn partnership with healthcare chain Talwalkars plans to invest
around Rs100 crore over the next three years for launching 50 ''Fit and Active''
centres in shopping malls across India.
two companies have united efforts to form a joint venture, Talwalkars Pantaloon
Fitness Private Limited. The company plans to spend Rs2 crore as initial investment
in each of these centres.
area of each such centre would be around 7,000-15,000 sq ft depending on the availability
of space. These centres will be equipped with equipments imported specially from
some of the world''s best fitness equipment makers including Nautilus, Trecor and
Schwinn, and would also offer fitness regimes like yoga, aerobics, spin-cycling
The joint venture also plans to launch health clubs with gyms,
spas, and swimming pools, offering customers a complete range of options in the
areas of health, wellness and beauty. Around 3,500 personnel would be employed
in the 50 centres, which are aimed at reaching Tier I and Tier II cities via retail
the next few months, the first two centres would come up in Bangalore, followed
by one in Siliguri and another in Noida. By year end, around 10 centres would
be operational in various parts of the country.
is also planning stand-alone gyms in Singapore, the Middle East and other Asian
countries in the next two years.
opening 25 exclusive outlets
Ahmedabad: Lee, the denim fashion brand, will
open another 25 new exclusive outlets across India by year-end. The company currently
has around 75 stores across the country, including 35 exclusive outlets, and is
looking at a total number of Lee outlets in all categories of about 125 by the
end of the current financial year.
part of its marketing strategy, Lee is open to setting up franchise-based exclusive
outlets, and even share shelf space with other brands in partnership.
Retail opens more stores
Visakhapatnam: Reliance Retail Ltd has added three
more stores, in addition to the existing three, and is planning to set up another
six more in the next two months. The three new stores have been set up at Peda
Waltair, Dwarakanagar and Santipuram in Vizag, and are in the non-food category.
These new stores will feature a new section for avid mobile handset purchasers,
offering a wide variety at affordable prices.
launches Notting Hill
Kochi: Raymond Apparel Ltd has launched Notting Hill,
the new brand apparel, in the Kerala market.
new apparel brand under the popular price segment would feature wide a spectrum
of men''s lifestyle products ranging from formal wear to relaxed casual wear, and
will target young professionals between the age group of 22-30 years.
range comprises suits, shirts, trousers, jeans, t-shirts and accessories such
as ties, handkerchiefs and socks.
Hill would be retailed across the country in a phased manner, via 400 distribution
points by the end of this year. Notting Hill adds to the company''s existing brand
portfolio, which includes leading apparel brands such as Park Avenue, Colour Plus,
Parx, Manzoni and Zapp.
has recently set up a Design Studio in Italy that provides the company''s various apparel brands with
access to international quality inputs in the areas of design and product development.
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