Marketing review

10 May 2007


Vegetable hawkers gear up against organised retail
Facing the onslaught of organised retail with its air-conditioned ambience and rock bottom prices the country''s vegetable hawkers are revamping their operations.

The hawkers will soon sell fresh fruits and vegetables in the National Capital Region in refrigerated trolleys under an experimental project called Infrachill Direct-to-Home conceived by the Delhi-based ACME Cold Chains.

The project is being launched this summer in the National Capital Region and envisages tapping the potential of vegetable distribution through the portable mobile cold chain to vend fresh farm produce.

A pilot will be run for three months and based on the feedback a national rollout is planned in a phased manner.

ACME Cold Chains will invest Rs1 crore in on the pilot test consisting of the cold chain linking the distribution centre with the hawkers through IT logistics for enabling them to retain the farm freshness of the produce.

Dedicated Mobile Trading Zones will be identified in the cities for the hawkers to vend their products under the brand name `All Fresh''. ACME would source the produce directly from farmers and distribute to the hawkers.

ACME will also help with financing of the carts and depending on the response, micro-finance facility will be tapped. Each of the trolleys would cost about Rs10,000.

i-mint loyalty programme launched
i-mint'' a co-branded loyalty and rewards programme with partners such as Bharti Airtel, Indian,, Lifestyle International, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and ICICI Bank will be launched in four cities including Chennai, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Pune, this fiscal and will be offered to about 50 lakh consumers.

The programme was recently launched in Ahmedabad and has been running in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Under the programme, offered by relationships management company Loyalty Solutions and Research (LSRL) customers are given an `i-mint'' card which will aggregate points to one''s account as and when one makes a purchase at any of the partner outlets. These points can be redeemed for gifts or discounts at any of the outlets.

For instance, points earned through a purchase at Lifestyle can be redeemed at an HPCL outlet. Additionally the i-mint programme can be clubbed with other ongoing discounts at these outlets to give more benefits to consumers.

LSRL has registered over 15 lakh consumers since its launch last August and signed up about 100 merchants. It is now planning to rope in neighbourhood stores (mainly grocery stores) with a minimum turnover of Rs 6 lakh a month, said Mr Bobba.

Ceat begins brand restructuring exercise
Identified by its rhino mascot and the Cricket Rating Series besides tyres, Ceat is getting into a 360 degree rebranding exercise backed by an investment of Rs20 crore rework the parent brand, `Ceat'' (tyres), `Ceat Shoppe'' (retail outlet selling tyres) and promote the `Ceat Cricket Rating.''

The `Ceat'' brand will be restructured and repositioned based on customer feedback, past legacy and market research. Internally, employees would be asked to come up with their views. Externally, the company will ask buyers, dealers, agents, passengers and the youth in general as to where the brand stands, where it should be and what is expected of it.

Advertisements will be based on the feedback generated and will be displayed across the electronic, print and Internet media. The company intends to expand its retail presence through its chain of exclusive Ceat Shoppe outlets and will double the existing chain of 75 dealerships by the end of this year and make its presence felt in the tier 2 cities.

Apart from this the retail outlets will wear a new face and have features like two-wheeler tyre balancing, headlight alignment and provision of nitrogen gas in tyres as added services - the first of its kind in the country.

The Ceat Cricket Rating award will be promoted on a higher scale with a wider audience spread over a longer period.

Dell to enter mass segment of PCs
Computer manufacturer Dell plans to enter the mass segment of personal computers and launch low-cost personal computer priced at about $238 or Rs 10,000 across the world, including India. The company is at present testing the product and would customize the product according to the market and customer needs.

The company has meanwhile launched three new laptops for the Indian market — Latitude D630, D830 and D531 with prices ranging from Rs52,000 to Rs 64,000. The new products will have longer battery life, increased connectivity and performance, according to the company. The company is also planning to launch D430 ultra-mobile notebook and Dell Precision M4300 computers in the coming weeks.

Gujarat Alkalies unveils new ''green'' logo
The State-owned market leader in chlor-alkali sector, Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals is going in for an image makeover and has adopted a new logo with a slogan: "Promoting Green Technology," conceived to address the issue of global warming.

The company has already planted and nurtured one lakh trees at its Vadodara and Dahej complexes and continues to plant 1,000 saplings every year, the company said in a release here.

It has devised a rainwater harvesting system for recharging and improving water table and reducing carbon emission, besides working on four Clean Development Mechanism projects to garner revenues. It is also contemplating to set up wind power projects to meet part of its growing energy requirements arising from diversification and expansion plans.

The bio-waste generated at Gujarat Alkalies goes through vermicompost process and the company has a dedicated secured landfill site that conforms to the Hazardous Waste Management Act for disposal of solid waste.

Liquid effluents are treated and discharged on the parameters prescribed by the Gujarat pollution Control Board.

Wadhawan Foods introduces Sangam Direct retail programme
Wadhawan Foods Retail is planning to introduce the doorstep non-store delivery format through HLL''s Sangam Direct before it launches its Spinach stores in new markets. The company intends to add categories such as frozen foods and fruits and vegetables to its list of doorstep deliveries.

Having set up multi-channel distribution systems, Wadhwan Foods would be exploiting the synergies between its store and non-store formats. For instance, it would now have the call centres operating on behalf of Sangam Direct to direct calls to its nearest Spinach outlets to service customers.

Instead of contacting the warehouses, the call centres would contact the nearest Spinach stores, saving on delivery time. Company officials said the biggest challenge in non store formats included achieving scale and competencies.

Levi Strauss Signature banks on hypermarkets
The youth jeans wear brand from Levi Strauss and Co, Levi Strauss Signature is banking on hypermarket for sales expansion. It is in talks with retailers such as Bharti-Wal-Mart, Reliance and the Birla group for space in their forthcoming retail ventures.

Signature, present in the "affordable" price range of Rs600-Rs900 (for denim wear), is already present in 14 Big Bazaar stores in India and would be present in 20 stores by the end of this month.

The brand us optimistic about hypermarkets as the operate in the value, standard and premium segments with prices starting from Rs199 and going up to Rs899 and Signature as a brand is suitable for this format.

Levi Strauss Signature made a pilot launch in the South in 2005 and is going for a national rollout in August this year. It is currently present in 70 cities in the South and in some parts of the East across 17 standalone stores and 350 multi-brand outlets. It hopes to be in 1,000 MBOs by end of 2008.

Signature has signed on model Deepika Padukone as its brand ambassador. A TV campaign devised by ad agency JWT was also launched a few days ago featuring Ms Padukone on MTV, Zee Cinema, Star Gold and a few regional channels.

Now a blind date for film buffs
Pyramid Saimira Theatre is planning to introduce a `blind date'' for film buffs - a biometric card that allows them to watch 120 shows a month.

The company, which is testing the card and the relevant systems in some theatres in Tamil Nadu, would come out with a widespread offering in June.
The company plans to enroll 50 lakh cards in the first year and plans to have one crore members thereafter.

Company officials said using the Rs100 card viewers can just walk into the chain of theatres managed by the company. If they like it, they can stay back, If they don''t they can walk off and join the show in a nearby theatre.

The company would go for a soft launch of the system in Andhra Pradesh in June, where it is planning to have 100 single screen theatres and 25 multiplexes in the next two years.

SPICE adds a new dimension on the pre-paid platform
Spice Telecom, cellular service provider present in Punjab, has launched the all new ''Spice TOTAL'' exclusively for pre-paid customers. This first-of-its-kind pack provides Spice pre-paid subscribers the opportunity to avail of zero processing fees (no admin fees and daily rental) with the added advantage of lowest ever call rates to local landline and CDMA mobiles.

The Pack will be available at an introductory recharge of just Rs 255 for new subscribers. On recharging new subscribers will get the Spice TOTAL call rates mentioned as under, talktime of Rs175 with 2 months validity, Zero Rental and Full Value on subsequent recharges. Apart from this new subscribers will also receive a free SMS package that will provide them with 2000 free local SMS.

Existing subscribers can avail of the Spice TOTAL pack benefits by recharging with Rs 201.

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