Marketing review

18 Jan 2007


SBI launches Platinum Account
The State Bank of India has launched a new term deposit product termed as the `SBI Platinum Account', carrying an interest rate of 9 per cent per annum compounded quarterly. The deposit will be available from 22 January and is for a maximum period of three years, according to the bank.

The depositor will have the right to exercise `put options' to receive the deposit with the accrued interest at 8.25 per cent per annum on expiry of one year; and at 8.50 per cent on expiry of two years. There is no provision for premature penalty for exercising put option. However, no interest will be paid if deposit is withdrawn before the completion of one year.

The scheme is open up to 31March, 2007.

SBI had earlier announced that effective 8 January 8, its interest rate would rise to 8.25 per cent only on domestic term deposits of Rs15 lakh and above but less than Rs1 crore having maturity of one year and above.

SBI has now extended the higher interest rate of 8.25 per cent to all deposits of one year and above with effect from January 22. The revised rates for all deposits will be applicable only up to March 31.

Senior citizens will be offered an additional rate of 0.50 per cent annually over and above the rate for deposits of "one year and above".

ICI Paints launches 'Dulux Light'
ICI Paints has introduced Dulux Light and Space Emulsion developed with Lumitec Technology, patented by ICI Paints globally. The paint has the capability of reflecting up to twice as much light as is available in the room. Company officials said India is the second market after the UK for the product to have been launched.

The paint is available in 8 shades and in white and is priced around Rs200 a litre.

HDFC Bank offers 'Instant Loans'
HDFC Bank has launched its `Instant Loan' service under which the bank offers spot approval for personal loans to the existing customers.

"In the first phase, the programme will be offered in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai and will thereafter be extended across the country. Customers will also be able to access the facility through Net banking and phone banking

Godrej Sara Lee to re-brand products
Godrej Sara Lee is planning to re-brand all its household insecticide products to fight growing competition and get more consumers.

With the help of a Rs82-crore promotional budget, to be spent over the next three months, the company plans to give Good Knight, Hit and Jet brands a new logo, new product design and packaging, and also plans launch new products under these brands.

The company is also working with consumers to design innovative products, which will help its brands evolve and cater to new consumers. As part of the plan, a premium segment mosquito repellent under the same brand name accompanied the Good Knight brand launch. Called Good Knight Advanced Activ +, the product is a vaporiser that works on two power modes - normal and Activ+.

The liquid repellent present in the vaporiser contains Transfluthrin molecules (whose formula is sourced from German company Bayer), which give double repelling power in the Activ+ mode. The company is likely to launch a new liquidator machine and refills under the re-branded Good Knight. Spurred by the demand for mosquito coils over the last 18 months, the company is working with consumers to develop a new coil-based product.

The company is also developing a new product under Hit, Godrej Sara Lee's fastest moving brand. It is also developing a new product based on the Seek and Kill cockroach repellent. Aside from its household insecticide business, the company also plans to launch new products under its air care business comprising the Ambi Pur brand of car and home perfumes. The company has also signed up film actor Rani Mukherjee to endorse the Good Knight range of products.

Starbucks decides on single-brand retail entry
US-based retail coffee-house chain Starbucks' has decided to enter India in partnership with New Horizons Retail Private Ltd, in which Pantaloon Retail holds 49-per cent stake. Starbucks will sell its merchandise under its own name. The chief executive of Indonesia-based specialty retailer Adiperkasa P T Mitra holds 51-per cent stake in New Horizons Retail Private Ltd.

According to the plans, the joint venture company would engage in developing and managing the chain of Starbuck Cafes in India and would also possess the trademark licence from the US-based parent company.

Starbucks will set up the Indian joint venture through its Singapore-based subsidiary, Starbuck Investor, and would initially pick up 18 per cent stake in the Indian company while the remaining 82 per cent would be held by New Horizons.

Indian ties up with Galileo for e-ticketing
Indian has entered into a partnership with Galileo India, a global distribution service provider, for e-ticketing on the airline's domestic sectors.

These e-tickets will be issued on the Galileo platform for flights departing from 11 cities to six metros. In the first phase, e-tickets could be issued for departures from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bhubabeswar, Pune, Nagpur and Goa to Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.

The airline also plans to introduce a passenger services system, which will give customers benefits like check-in, self check-in kiosks and special service to passengers with special needs.
Indian and Galileo have also reached an agreement to distribute domestic content through the global distribution system to all Galileo agents worldwide.

Galileo will also setting up an exclusive call centre at Indian's premises with a toll free number.

According to officials at Indian last year India emerged as the fastest growing market for e-ticketing. In 2006, 60 per cent of the tickets booked on domestic sectors were e-tickets.

Ajanta launches modular switches
Gujarat-based clock maker Ajanta has launched its Orpat `Lifestyle' modular electrical switches. The switches would be 30 to 40 per cent cheaper compared to other matching brands.

The trendy Orpat modular switches, introduced in gold, platinum and diamond series, are made of fire-retardant and heat-resistant polycarbonates, can withstand one lakh operations and temperatures up to 960 degrees Celsius in case of fire.

Amul introduces pro-biotic ice cream
Gujarat Milk Marketing Federation's brand Amul is launching two ranges of pro-biotic ice creams — Amul Prolife and Amul Sugarfree. This marks the brand's entry into the pro-biotic segment. The organization plans to build the pro-biotic range into a Rs 100- crore brand within the next two-three years.

According to the company pro-biotic is a live beneficial culture (good bacteria), which if taken in adequate proportions, confers beneficial health effects. It helps in digestion, improves the immune system, and fights against allergic reactions.

While Amul had earlier tested this market segment through the launch of an isabgol-enriched ice cream, this will be the company's first full-fledged attempt at capturing a good share of the pro-biotic enriched foods market in India. Both the brands will be available in 125ml (Rs15), 500ml and 1.25 litre (Rs120) packs in five flavours, vanilla with chocolate sauce, strawberry, chocolate, shahi anjir and fresh litchi.

The company would use all media — print, TV and outdoor and the focus of its promotions would be on the products' wellness qualities.

Now ask questions to Yahoo! Answers
Yahoo! India has launched ` Yahoo! Answers' an online community where anyone can ask and answer questions on any topic.

The President of India, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, posted the first question on the India version of the forum: "What should we do to free our planet from terrorism?" The president's question has already elicited response from Leander Paes, Kiran Bedi and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, said a statement from the company.

The number of unique users of `Yahoo! Answers' worldwide service is more than 74 million, according to the company. Within months of the launch, the service became the second ranked education and reference site on the Web, according to the company.

Apart from ordinary netizens prominent figures will also post questions on pressing issues for the collective knowledge of the Yahoo! Answers community, said a statement from the company.
Yahoo! plans to launch this service in regional languages by the second quarter of financial year 2007. The service is currently available in 16 languages worldwide.

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