Marketing review

05 Jul 2007


15 Landmark stores soon
The book and music retailer recently acquired by the Tatas, Landmark, is set to expand its presence across major cities across the country, including Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Bangalore, with the Mumbai store to be housed in a heritage location.

The company''s distribution business Westland as identified publishing as an area it would like to move into in a big way. Literary critic and journalist Nilanjana Roy has been appointed Managing Editor. With the focus on general books, the aim is to publish a 100 titles annually. Westland is also believed to be in talks with some well-known Indian authors to publish their work. Thus far, Westland has reprinted the series ''Chicken Soup for the Soul'', and will publish an India-specific sequel. There will be about 20-25 titles in the Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul series which will address entrepreneurs, women and other audiences.

Volkswagen sets up sales co in India
The Volkswagen (VW) Group announced on Tuesday the setting up of a sales company — Volkswagen Group Sales India Private Ltd based in Mumbai. Managing Director Joerg Mueller, who will also manage the operations of the newly established group''s sales company in Mumbai, will lead the group''s Indian operations.

The company has also appointed Andreas Prinz as head of VW''s passenger cars at the sales company based at Mumbai. The new company plays the role of an independent distribution company for Volkswagen and Audi in India, being responsible for the sale of locally produced models and imported vehicles. The India team size is initially slated to be around 60 members until the end of this year, followed by a phased increase over the next couple of years until the entire model range is offered in India.

The company is initially targeting Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore to establish its dealer network in the country, and will later expand to other Indian cities. It intends to set up over 10 VW dealerships in 2008.

The Volkswagen brand will enter the domestic car market with its first offering assembled in India — the Passat — in the second half of 2007. It will also import the Touareg. As per market sources, the Passat may be in the Rs30 lakh — Rs35 lakh price range (ex - Mumbai) and Touareg about Rs40 lakh. As per industry ministry sources, VW India''s proposed factory site at Chakan, Pune is currently undergoing site levelling prior to the construction of its planned plant. The plant is likely to have a production capacity of up to 1,10,000 vehicles per annum, and is expected to start production in 2009.

VW''s initial product offerings (The Passat) will be assembled at group company Skoda Auto''s facility at Aurangabad. Market sources indicate that VW will also introduce a small car in the Indian market, most likely along the lines of the Polo, which is sold in Europe, and will compete in the premium small car segment. VW has a number of small cars in its global portfolio, but these do not match the Indian market definition of a small car in terms of price positioning. Most of VW''s compacts, such as the Polo, the Golf, the Eos and the Fox, would be overtly expensive if brought in straight into the Indian market.

Presently, the company, sells The VW Golf Cabriolet in India at super luxury sedan prices, through exclusive importers-cum-dealers.

IPG Group takes control of Lintas India
The IPG Group has formally announced the acquisition of the remaining 51-per cent stake in Lintas India, for an undisclosed sum. This deal enables the group to expedite development of Lintas India''s integrated businesses through closer networking with IPG''s specialised units.

The IPG Group has plans to induct units such as Rivet (CRM and retail engagement company) into India, and has also decided to bring in specialist business units such as Momentum as a partner to Lintas India''s unit Linterland.

The complete acquisition of Lintas India provides an opportunity for Lintas employees to serve IPG''s global clients across markets. IPG had initially picked up 40 per cent stake in Lintas India in 1969, which it subsequently increased to 49 per cent in 1989.

The deal was signed between the IPG Group of companies and the Indian shareholders who are part of the Lintas Employees Welfare Trust, which includes eminent names such as Arun Gandhi, executive director, Tata Sons; Humayun Dhanrajgir, ex-executive chairman of Kodak & Glaxo; Aspi Cooper, senior partner, Deloitte & Touche; Chetan Maniar, senior partner Crawford Bailey and B S Vaidya, ex-MD State Bank of India.

Lintas India Pvt Ltd has evolved from a single advertising agency into a series of companies and businesses offering total integrated communication solutions to its clients.

Parryware Roca expanding product range
Parryware Roca, which brought premium-end bathroom fittings to domestic market now plans to introduce its ''Roca'' brand tiles, taps and bathtubs during the current financial year.

The 50:50 joint venture between EID Parry and $1.6-billion Roca of Spain, Parryware Roca will introduce designer taps during the second quarter and tiles in the third quarter of the fiscal. The joint venture company plans to expand its network of designer showrooms in the country from the present 15 to around 50 during the fiscal, with each showroom showcasing the entire range of Roca bathroom sanitaryware.

The Roca range would be manufactured in the production units of EID Parry from January 2008, with imports being on presently. The domestic sanitaryware market is estimated at about Rs 850 crore, with the premium segment in which the Roca products are positioned accounting for about Rs 100 crore.

Samsung bets big on promotional offer
New Delhi:
Consumer electronics manufacturer Samsung India has launched the ''wash and cook'' offer for its semi- automatic washing machine range, targeting consumers in Northern India.

The offer, which is applicable in the States of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan, allows for the purchase of a Samsung semi-automatic washing machine, and thereby entitles the customer to an assured gift of a three-piece non-stick designer cookware set.

The complete washing machine range comprises 19 models, and product USPs coupled with our this promotional offer on semi-automatic washing machines is expected to provide a strong fillip to Samsung''s washing machine business. The company expects to see a surge of about 80 per cent in its semi-automatic washing machine sales during the promotion period, which concludes on July 31.

Samsung expects to capture a 23 per cent domestic market share in the semi-automatic washing machine category by year-end. It has a range of 12 fully automatic and seven semi-automatic washing machine models in its product portfolio. While the fully automatic washing machines are priced between Rs10,290 and Rs27,900, the semi-automatic washing machines are priced between Rs6,590 and Rs8,590.

Jewellery brand Gitanjali and ICICI Bank to launch co-branded jewellery credit card
Mumbai: Buy now pay later just got redefined when it comes to buying jewellery. Soon, you could buy jewellery on credit, and also pay for it via interest-free monthly installments. Gitanjali Gems Ltd has partnered with ICICI Bank to launch a one-of-a-kind ''Jewellery Credit Card'' in India.

Purchases of Gitanjali products made using the credit card would be eligible for a 5 % discount on purchase values upto Rs10,000, and 7.5 per cent over that amount. Simultaneously, the invoice value can be paid in interest-free EMI within three or six months. Moreover, a Rs200 spend at a Gitanjali outlet earns 8 reward points for the cardholder, which are redeemable on offers like free gift vouchers, or even the cleaning of Gitanjali products. This card is being offered as a ''lifetime free card''.

As per the partnership, the interest due to the Bank on the EMI will be made good by Gitanjali on behalf of the customers. This aims to empower the youth to indulge in this high end consumer segment, as well as offer some ease on wedding purchases.

The Gitanjali Group houses six jewellery brands, the primary brand Gili''s, premium brand Nakshtra, Asmi, Sangini, D''damas and the lifestyle product range of Desire.

As is with any other card, the interest-free credit period is a maximum of 52 days.

Nunu plans an entry into the Indian market
The baby care products brand well-known in West Asian countries, Nunu is set to enter the Indian market with a range of products. Especially popular in Saudi Arabia, Nunu''s products will be launched first up in Kerala, and later in other South Indian markets. The product range includes baby shampoo, baby powder, baby soap, baby lotions, baby oil, baby wipes etc.

HUL launches anti-dandruff shampoo range for men
Hindustan Unilever has launched an antidandruff shampoo range exclusively for men. The two variants, Activsport and Hairfall Decrease, aim to address the needs of a man''s scalp which, on average, has 33 per cent more dandruff than a woman''s. A 200 ml pack is priced at Rs135, where as a 100ml pack is priced at Rs72. The 7.5ml pack costs Rs3.

Nokia gives its $300 Million Creative Account to Wieden
SAN FRANCISCO: Wieden & Kennedy has been named by Nokida as the lead strategic and creative agency for its mobile phones account, estimated at $300 million. Wieden will handle all global campaigns for Nokia through its London office, with the agency''s first executions expected to air early next year.

The move comes as mobile-phone sales in the US market are threatened with the launch of Apple''s iPhone, which synergises iTunes, photos, internet capabilities, and an exclusive 2 year service agreement with AT&T that dictates the terms of the sale of the phone.

Traditionally US consumers first select a service provider and then buy a mobile phone for $99 or less. This in a way devalued the phone, placing emphasis on the service provider. The iPhone, which went on sale last week, is almost the first that shifts focus from the service provider to the cell phone manufacturer. Nokia, the world''s leading cellphone maker, lags in the US market.

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