Marketing review

30 Mar 2006


Intel launches `Ruggedised' PC platform for rural India
Global chip major Intel has launched a new "ruggedised" personal computer for rural India". The rugged computers are designed to withstand adverse weather conditions including heat, dust and humidity and can run on alternate power sources, including car batteries. The chassis is designed to keep the motherboard cool at temperatures as high as 45 degree Celsius, and resistant to humidity levels of 70-85 RH (relative humidity).

The total power consumption of all the peripherals is less than 100 watts. The platform comes installed with a certificate-based access, allowing banks to verify the validity of installment payments against the purchase of the PC.

The Ruggedised PCs would be manufactured by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like HCL Infosystems and Wipro.

According to the company, the PC platform design has been created in India, in collaboration with other Intel worldwide centres, and would be taken to other countries also. The Intel-powered PC platform — which includes microprocessor, motherboard and software — is equipped to operate in a community setting. Intel's solution partners for the initiative include NIIT, Microsoft, TCS and Red Hat among others. The community PC range may be priced in the Rs20,000 to Rs30,000.

Intel expects many of these community PC platforms to be used in internet kiosks.

Chutney variants from Heinz
Heinz India has launched two new flavours of sauces — Chatpata Tomato Chutney and Chatakdar Coriander Mint Chutney, in its bid to tickle ethnic taste buds.

The new variants have been launched in the Mumbai and Delhi markets. Launched with the tagline 'Chatakdar swaad aisa, ghar ki chutney jaisa,' Heinz has positioned its ethnic range as `Home Style Sauces' to accompany meals and snacks such as samosas, idlis, pakoras, cutlets and even parathas.

The company says it is the first to bring out branded coriander chutney hence it is difficult to make projections for the product's growth as the packaged food market was still nascent. Apart from the main tomato variant, Heinz currently manufactures a vitamins-enriched sauce for kids (Heinz Champ) and a chilli variant imported from its subsidiary in Thailand.

Filmy targets 40 million homes
Sahara One Media and Entertainment's recently launched new film channel, Filmy, is targeting to grab close to 50 per cent of the viewership and revenue shares of the genre leader. The channel is upbeat about its performance in the first month-and-half since launch and claims that it has received the highest launch GRPs (30) across genres.

Filmy says there is a war of titles in the movie genre, and the channel, which manages to have a couple of big releases each month, becomes the leader. The channel is trying to change this with its innovative ideas and content. He says there is hardly any differentiation in the segment. The only differentiation that a movie channel has today its individual logo.

The channel also plans to go ahead with its usual focus on premiers. It has lined up four premiers for the month of April, which include films like Hum Kaun Hai and Hanuman. Also on the cards is Aath Bajega Filmy Challega, when the channel airs a recent release at 8:00 pm.

A whiff of cricket
Public sector company Karnataka Soaps & Detergents has signed up Mahendra Singh Dhoni as its brand ambassador. The 24-year-old wicket-keeper / batsman is the first ever brand ambassador hired by the company. Yet Dhoni and Mysore Sandal soap have already hit print and television campaigns in English and Indian languages managed by state-owned sibling MCA (Marketing Consultants & Agencies).

A new 30-second film for cinema theatres is due to be shot in April-May. For the first time in its history, the soap's stockists and retailers will be in lucky draws for silver and gold coins against target sales. Small gifts like celebrity's picture cards, bats, balls and wickets as prizes are also being planned to inspire cricket-crazy youngsters to buy Mysore Sandal soap. In addition to the 150-odd field force on its rolls, Karnataka Soaps is pressing 400 more sales personnel on the job using an incentive-based contract scheme.

In the 450,000-tonne toilet soaps market worth Rs4,900 crore, Mysore Sandal holds a small, 6500-tonne share. Dhoni is endorsing all the `MS' or sandal-related soaps of KS&DL - which include the super-premium Gold (Rs50 for 75g); Baby; normal sandal soap and the seasonal glycerine-based wintercare version Classic.

Hindware to expand retail presence
Hindustan Sanitaryware and Industries which offers a range of bathroom solutions, is increasing its retail presence with 20 more boutiques coming up in the next six months. Hindware has 23 boutiques and two larger outlets positioned as `arcades'. The second arcade, which is about 3,000 sq ft in area, was inaugurated in Chennai on Wednesday. Somany said the company was moving towards becoming a total home solutions company. Seven months ago, Hindware entered the kitchen solutions market with hoods, hobs and sinks.

Hindware has a market share of 35 per cent with two strategic business units, building products and the packaging products division.

He said the company was gearing up to meet the challenge of international brands present in the market. Hindware had introduced 80 new products recently and invested about Rs 250 crore in upgrading its manufacturing units.

The company is also sourcing products from dedicated manufacturers in India and aboard.

SaharaOne introduces new logo
SaharaOne Television has inaugurated a new logo which retains the company's distinctive saffron and green stripes next to the name Sahara. Designed by Yellow Frog a design outfit of Percept H, part of Percept Holdings Company, the logo gives SaharaOne Television the crucial singular visual identity along with colour palettes that give continuity and a never-ending promise said the channel in a news release.

Subex unveils new brand signature
Subex Systems has unveiled a new brand signature with an ellipsis followed by the three italicised words, 'Powering the ROC'.

The signature illustrates Subex's solution focus in helping telecom operators establish the Revenue Operations Centre. The combination of the ellipsis and italics denote a sense of urgency and forward motion, emphasizing Subex's recognition of the criticality of the ROC to an operator's business said the company.

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