Marketing review

20 Sep 2007


Titan Industries to market Hugo Boss watches
Titan Industries, the watch and jewellery arm of the Tata Group has announced that it will exclusively market and distribute Hugo Boss watches in India.

The company, in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange, disclosed that it would be the sole and exclusive distributor of the well-known international brand, Hugo Boss.

The Boss Black collection comprises watches for both men and women, and is due to be marketed in India starting this month. The range is priced between Rs13,495 and Rs49,995, and would be available in select Titan showrooms and stores such as Shoppers Stop and Lifestyle.

Titan Industries has entered into an agreement with MGI Luxury Asia Pacific Ltd, which is a subsidiary of the Movado group Inc, and is licensee of the Hugo Boss brand. The agreement allows the company to market and distribute the product.

The Movado Group, Inc. designs, manufactures and distributes watches in the high-end segment with respected brand names.

Cipla introduces i-pill helpline on emergency contraception
Emergency contraception (EC), a safeguard against unintended pregnancies, though an available option is not well known in India. To dispel the several myths associated with emergency contraception and provide information on the newly launched i-pill, Cipla recently launched the "i-pill helpline" service.

Emergency contraception is the only method a couple can use to prevent pregnancy after a contraceptive failure. i-pill is the first single-pill emergency contraception from Cipla to be made available over the counter in the Indian market today.

Cipla says i-pill is not an abortion pill is an emergency contraceptive pill. An abortion pill contain drugs known as antiprogestins, which stop the development of a pregnancy after it has occurred.

On the other hand, emergency contraceptive pills like i-pill, which contain common female hormones prevent pregnancy in the first place and so do not cause an abortion.

Cipla''s i-pill prevents pregnancy by stopping or delaying release ovulation (release of an egg), blocking fertilisation by affecting the egg or sperm, or preventing implantation by making the lining of the uterus inhospitable for pregnancy and therefore has to be taken within 72 hours or three days of contraception.

i-pill contains the hormone levonorgestrel, and when taken immediately offers maximum protection against pregnancy. It is a one-pill packet and can prevent pregnancy by up to 89 per cent if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse.. It is available without a prescription at all chemist outlets.

The helpline is intended to provide answer queries, while ensuring confidentiality, regarding the usage, benefit, product availability and possible side effects.

The help line operators have been specially trained by Cipla and can be reached by dialing either:

  • 1800-22-9898 - National Toll Free number (can be accessed only through BSNL phones)
  • 022 - 32000055 (Mumbai)

The helpline service is operational from 9.30 am to 6 pm all 7 days of the week including bank holidays. Over a period of time, the helpline service will be available round the clock. The company has also launched an exclusive website ( along with the helpline service.

SpiceJet offers roving check-in In Mumbai, Delhi; to follow suit in 15 more
Low- cost carrier SpiceJet has introduced roving check-in at the Mumbai and Delhi airports and plans to implement it in other 15 airports it flies to in phases.

In contrast to the existing conventional check-in facility where passengers queue up for check-in to receive their boarding passes, the roving check-in facility provides hassle free air travel experience where the SpiceJet''s staff will approach the passengers directly at the airport with hand-held PDAs and handover their boarding passes on the spot.

Announcing the roving check-in facility, SpiceJet''s spokesperson Ajay Jasra said, "SpiceJet has initially inducted the hand-held PDAs and Bluetooth-enabled mobile printers at Delhi and Mumbai airport looking at the rising number of passengers. This service, in future, will also be extended to smaller cities like Jaipur, Goa, Guwahati, Varanasi and Kochi."

"The roving check-in service will help passengers who are physically challenged, elderly passengers and mothers with new born babies. SpiceJet has always been sensitive towards saving passengers'' precious time and is open to invest heavily in technologies to enhance customer care" he further added.

The airline says it operates over 96 daily flights in 15 cities viz Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jammu, Srinagar, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bangalore, Goa, Varanasi and Kochi.

Flying Machine prepares to fly long haul with Abhishek Bachchan on board as brand ambassador
Arvind Mills group company Arvind Brands has plans to fly its flagship denim brand, Flying Machine, to international destinations that include the US and western Europe, in addition to extensive plans for the brand in it''s home market, India.

According to J Suresh, CEO, brands and retail, Arvind Brands, the company has created a really global brand with Flying Machine.

The denim brand is present in markets such as the Middle East, Kenya, South Africa and Russia through other brands from its stable. Additionally, Arvind Brands has also been marketing and distributing brands such as Arrow, Lee, Excalibur and Wrangler in the domestic market.

It recently entered into a joint venture with luxury and casual apparel maker Diesel for a premium branded retail venture. According to a Morgan Stanley report, Arvind Mills is eyeing a five to seven times increase in its branded apparels business over the next three to four years.

In FY 2007 the turnover of the company''s branded apparel business was around Rs250 crore.

It has now signed up Bollywood star celebrity Abhishek Bachchan to endorse the Flying Machine brand.

Earlier this year, Arvind Brands announced a package to re-launch Flying Machine with an Italian designer, a new brand identity and exclusive retail stores.

Bachchan''s endorsement of the Flying Machine brand gives is designed to give the re-launch a huge push, and will be supported by a new multimedia campaign.

According to Abhishek Bachchan, "Flying Machine reflects the pride of India and is a phenomenal example of India''s potential at present day. Their designs, quality and value are top notch and that this is done by an Indian brand is remarkable. I am glad to be associated with Flying Machine as its brand ambassador." He was speaking at the unveiling of the autumn-winter collection at the press conference in Mumbai.

Arvind Brands CEO J.Suresh, talking about the brand''s venture of its renewed line, said "The new Flying Machine is all about a ''state of mind'', which wrenches the hinge of any limits on style and performance and goes beyond, while also taking pride in running along lines of originality and roots. Abhishek Bachchan is symbolic of today''s ''no-limits India'', which prides itself on its strides even as it remains rooted in the cultural sensibilities. Abhishek Bachchan brings on board a terrific persona, a fresh and an impeccable style, youthfulness and an incredible ability to marry class with mass."

Flying machine products are designed by young Italian Designer, Chicco, who has been a designer for a number of internationally successful denim brands, such as Replay and Evisu.

According to Chicco, "The AW07 collections is set in the streets of Europe and is inspired by ''Fashion Tripping'' a concept, representative of a fantasy that combines influences from every fashion capitals into a young persons wardrobe."

Over 300 new options will be launched this season. The denims are dark and distinctive with clean washes and new fits and coordinated with a large collection of shirts, knits, jackets, winter wear and cool accessories to give a thematic global look.

Alok Dubey, business head, Flying Machine, commenting on the designer''s work for the line, said, "Chicco''s designs have given Flying Machine the cutting edge of designer fashion and a very international air. The potent combination of superstar Abhishek Bachchan, Italian designer Chicco and our world class retail environment designed by JHP London, will amplify the brand''s badge value and reinforce the brands core identity as an iconic international fashion brand. The pricing of course remains sensible and competitive."

Flying Machine products are at leading retail outlets, department stores, and over 50 exclusive stores.

Vodafone to ''Make The Most Of Now'' with Hutch essence
New Delhi:
looking to carry forward the legacy of an enduring brand, UK mobile giant Vodafone plans to keep intact its predecessor''s assurance of following customers wherever they go, while communicating with them to ''Make The Most Of Now''.

According to Vodafone-Essar director of marketing and new services, Harit Nagpal, "Hutch was a much likable brand and we plan to carry forward such an endearing brand like Hutch. There has to be continuity in messages and flow of the services that the earlier brand stood for."

Nagpal added that Vodafone chose to retain the symbolic ''pug'', along with some animated characters as the company did not want to alienate customers from the erstwhile brand. However, marking the first important change in branding, Hutch''s tag-line of ''Wherever you go our network follows'' would be replaced by Vodafone''s ''Make the most of now''.

Industry sources peg the exercise of re-branding Hutch to Vodafone, along with subsequent branding costs in the range of Rs80-100 crore.

Nagpal, choosing not to disclose the costs of the re-branding campaign, said the cost was marginally more than what it takes to retain a brand campaign, saying, "most of the cost goes toward changing the appearance of dealers to suit the changed brand." He expects about six to eight weeks for the changeover to be complete in the company''s dealers premises and shops, which he says would be eat up about 50 per cent of the rebranding costs.

Vodafone has secured an exclusive arrangement with broadcaster Star India to get absolute and uncluttered media visibility. For 24 hours, Star TV will air no other advertisements but Vodafone''s.

The breaking of TV media campaign is planned for Thursday, followed by a campaign in print short of the weekend.

Lara Dutta and Bobby Deol to endorse ''Pantaloons''
New Delhi:
India''s leading fashion retailer, Pantaloons has announced popular actors and bollywood sensations, Lara Dutta and Bobby Deol, would be the new faces of Pantaloons.

The duo will feature in all new print and television advertising for Pantaloons, with the first campaign featuring Lara Dutta & Bobby Deol scheduled to release shortly.

The Pantaloons brand plans to leverage the Bollywood stars'' universal appeal that spans across urban India, overflowing from the metros onto smaller cities and towns.

"Pantaloons stands for a ''fresh feel and fresh attitude''. Bobby Deol and Lara Dutta, who are very stylish actors, fit well with the brand," said Sanjeev Sanjeev Agrawal, CEO, Pantaloons, CEO, Pantaloons. "We believe that our association with Bobby and Lara, will help enhance the fashion imagery of the ''Pantaloons'' brand. Hence, we are proud to sign the two Bollywood icons to endorse our flagship fashion retail brand," Agrawal added.

According to Actor Bobby Deol, "Fashion is constantly changing and Pantaloons promises to keep up with ever changing fashion trends. The fashion edge that it provides makes me want to make Pantaloons my style statement. It is great to be associated with a fresh and youthful brand Pantaloons."

Actress Lara Dutta added "Pantaloons has a wide range of stylish fashion wear for the Indian women, offering apparel and accessories that suit every mood and occasion. With its promise of ''fresh fashion'', it guarantees something new every time one goes there. That makes Pantaloons my kind of store and I am proud to be associated with it."

Star seals the deal for an exclusive Vodafone rebranding campaign
New Delhi:
Star India has announced that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Vodafone Essar for its rebranding campaign that will see the brand transition from Hutch to Vodafone.

According to a Star India statement, Vodafone will have access to all of the commercial airtime across the Star India network from 9pm on September 20, to 9 pm of September 21. This will be used to run TV commercials, transition bumpers and contest spots to promote the Vodafone brand.

The advertising coup allows Vodafone direct access to 63 million TV viewers across 13 channels, in five languages.

According to Star India chief operating officer, Uday Shankar, the exclusive advertising deal "is an idea whose time has come", which will kick start dynamism in broadcasting advertising that has been lacking thus far.

It''s a dog''s life: Hutch''s pug survives, the brand goes
New Delhi:
Finally, Hutch is now, officially, Vodafone-Essar. The brand migration from Hutch to Vodafone was completed on Wednesday, with the pug that endeared the mobile company to the hearts of its consumer, having survived the re-branding exercise as its brand ambassador.

The re-branding marks one of the final steps in the completion of the acquisition that took place in May 2007. In July 2007, the company was renamed Vodafone- Essar.

India is now the 26th country where Vodafone has operations. Vodafone operates across five continents, with 40 partner networks, serving over 200 million customers worldwide.

According to a Vodafone-Essar statement, the re-branding marks a significant chapter for Vodafone in its evolution as a dynamic and ever-growing brand.

The brand change will happen over the next few weeks, and will be unveiled nationally through a high profile campaign that will span all important media formats.

According to Asim Ghosh, managing director, Vodafone-Essar, "We''ve had a great innings as Hutch in India, and today marks a new beginning for us. Not as a departure from the fundamentals that created Hutch, but an acceleration into the future with Vodafone''s global expertise."

Company Marketing and New Business Director Harit Nagpal termed the transition as probably the largest ever undertaken in the country, saying that the exercise is even larger than Hutch''s own previous brand transitions. The brand touches over 35 million customers, across 400,000 shops and a few thousand of employees of the company as well as that of its business associates.

With the pug surviving, what remains to be seen, how the old dog now learns new tricks.

Whirlpool bets on water purifiers
Whirlpool India plans to launch reverse osmosis (RO) water purifiers by the end of the year. The company is aiming for a 25-per cent market share of the Rs350-crore RO-based water purifier market within its first year.

Presently, the company''s RO products are being test marketed in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

According to Tamal Kanti Saha, vice-pesident sales, the company plans to cash in on its extensive retail network. Whirlpool products sell across 11,000 outlets in India, which the company seeks to leverage as an edge over its competition.

Branded "Purafresh", the water purifiers cover the price range of Rs13,500 to Rs21,500.

Custom palates aboard Jet Airways during Durga Puja
Tickling the palate at 37,000 ft seems to be on Jet Airways to do list. For the upcoming Durga Puja festival, Jet Airways, in addition to announcing attractive fares to Kolkata on some of its domestic routes, has also planned to offer delectable Bengali specialty meals onboard select flights to and from Kolkata.

Passengers can benefit from special fares to Kolkata between October 9 and 21, which will be applicable for a round trip. Ticket sales for this festive offer close on September 29.

Information on these special fares will be available on the airline''s web site or alternatively passengers can contact their travel agent.

The in-flight food festival comprises Bengali delicacies like aloo posto (aloo with poppy seeds), luchi (puris), chholar dal (chana dal cooked with dices of coconut), bhekti maccher kalia (fish in thick gravy), ghee bhaat (rice with clarified ghee), tomato khejurer chutney (tomato and date chutney).

Baskin Robbins looks at retailing to kids through kids'' movies
Baskin Robbins, the premium ice-cream retailer is seeking B2B associations with international and domestic children''s films, aiming to benefit from co-branding.

The quest comes from having tasted some degree of success with co-branding initiatives with Hollywood blockbuster Spiderman 3 and Coca-Cola earlier in the year.

According to the company, targeting kids via its association with the Spiderman movie, Baskin Robbins saw increased footfalls at its retail spots, which powered their business to four times the monthly average in that particular month.

Below the line, the ice-cream chain also gave away free comics with each scoop of its ice cream, and also used the Spiderman brand in television commercials on kids'' channels.

The company is reported to have been in talks with the producers of the Bollywood movie Hanuman, but the film''s delayed release has proved to be a dampener to its plans.

Baskin Robbins retails through 240 outlets across 52 Indian cities, and plans to increase this count to around 300 outlets by December, following which it has set itself a target of rolling out 100 outlets each year. Baskin Robbins is looking at a cluster presence across many cities, with special focus on tier-II and III cities on account of latent business opportunities in smaller towns. Exemplifying its small town experience, the company claims that its store at Shillong does greater business than its store in Juhu, Mumbai.

The chain claims that its standalone stores are more profitable than the kiosks it has in many malls, though the kiosks rank higher in terms of footfalls. It attributes this differentiation to mall purchases being a manifestation of impulse buying, while in-store purchases is more deliberate or destination oriented.

Since Indians prefer fruit and nut flavours, the company is planning regular research and development programmes to customise its offerings. Global per capita consumption of ice-creams is at about one litre per year, while Indians seem to have a miniscule per capita consumption of 150ml a year.

Experimenting with a variation in its retail format, Baskin Robbins recently launched a lounge format for its outlet in Bangalore, and six in Hyderabad. A lounge outlet required a higher investment of Rs25-30 lakh, where as a standalone store needs about Rs12 lakh, and a kiosk can be set up for about Rs7 lakh. Baskin Robbins saw a turnover of Rs42 crore in the previous fiscal, and is estimating it to grow to Rs50 crore in the current fiscal.

Brussels Air partners Jet Airways for frequent fliers
Jet Airways has announced that Brussels Airlines will be its new frequent flyer programme partner.

The programme has been made effective from Tuesday.

Jet Privilege members will now be able to accrue and redeem their JPMiles on all Brussels Airlines operated flights.

Symbiotically, members of Privilege Programme of the Belgian airline can earn and redeem air miles when they fly on the entire Jet Airways network.

Peter England to launch family stores, enters premium shirts Peter England Elite
Aditya Birla Nuvo''s Peter England Fashions and Retail Ltd has decided to launch Peter England family stores that will house men''s, women''s and kids'' wear, along with accessories.

The launch would happen by mid-next year, according to Aloke Malik, president, Peter England Fashions and Retail Ltd.

According to Malik, work on the stores is already underway, and the company expects to crystalise something by December. It plans to open a limited number of large format, mid-value stores, admeasuring 10,000-15,000 sq ft in size, which will leverage the established brand equity of Peter England.

These stores are targeted at sub-35 age bracket, and will host the company''s brands in segments where they have a manufacturing facility.

The company is evaluating outsourcing options for its kids'' wear segment, according to Malik.

Targeting young office goers, Peter England launched its premium shirts, branded Peter England Elite. Aggressive ad campaigns are in the loop to promote this new range through outdoor media, print, on ground methods, along with the Internet, according to Venkataramani K, brand director, Peter England.

Priced between Rs995 to Rs1,395, Peter England shirts and trousers would be available in its flagship and select retail outlets. The new brand focuses on the mid-priced aspiring customer.

In the first phase, Peter England Elite will be launched in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Nagpur. Its countrywide distribution will take about 6-8 months.

According to Malik, Peter England garnered revenues of Rs270 crore during the current fiscal, and plans to create a Rs500-crore Peter England brand within 3-4 years.

FritoLay plans aggressive campaigns, to add variants to its brands
New Delhi:
PepsiCo India''s FritoLay brand is revving up through an array of marketing campaigns and variant launches, with the onset of cooler climes and its flagship cola business taking the seasonal backseat.

According to Deepika Warrier, marketing director, FritoLay division, PepsiCo India, its consumers have received the recent campaign for FritoLay very well. While maintaining the well-entrenched Lay and Kurkure brands, the company plans to highlight Cheetos and Quaker Oats from its stable, with a slew of new campaigns scheduled during the year for the two brands.

Marketing campaigns for Cheetos, the snacks brand for children, and Quaker Oats, the breakfast cereal brand, will be undertaken for enhancing brand recall. Cheetos will additionally get new 3-D packaging, and will see brand icon ''Chester Cheetah'' to lure kids.

Additionally, the company plans to introduce variants for both brands by the end of the year, and is also planning to introduce new brands, some from its global portfolio. Part of the list of probable is global brand Doritos, the company''s tortilla chips brand, which is presently being tested for a possible India launch.

According to the company''s overall strategy to focus on health, FritoLay will also see changes in its current manufacturing methods for its products, such as using rice bran oil, which it says would reduce saturated fat levels by 40 per cent. It will also see nutritional labelling on product packages. New launches too will have to qualify as "health and wellness oriented".

Targeting the wider Indian Diaspora, FritoLay India is in talks with its US arm to commence manufacture of its teatime snack there. Also, with minor region-specific changes, Kurkure is likely to be manufactured in Pakistan and the UK, according to Warrier.

OCM and Burlington in strategic alliance for worsted wool fabrics
Amritsar-based textile manufacturer OCM India Ltd has forged a strategic alliance with Burlington WorldWide for the manufacture and sale of worsted wool fabrics under the Burlington brand in the Indian market, and for exports.

Burlington WorldWide (BWW) is a division of US-based global, diversified textile manufacturer International Textile Group Inc (ITG), majority owned by WL Ross and Co, and has annual revenues in excess of $1.0 billion. ITG was formed by WL Ross in 2004 and operates in five primary business segments - automotive safety, apparel fabrics (Cone Denim and Burlington WorldWide, government uniform fabrics, interior furnishings and commission finishing.

As this is a marketing and commercial partnership between the two companies, Burlington WorldWide is reported to have agreed to invest Rs12 crore towards doubling of existing capacity for exports.

OCM too is majority-owned by W L Ross & Co. LLC of New York.

The strategic partnership provides OCM the technical and manufacturing know-how for export to the US, Europe and Asian markets. In the domestic market, Burlington will provide marketing and commercial support to OCM, supplemented by technical and manufacturing support for development of advanced manufacturing processes and operations, and development of new wool fabrics.

OCM is optimistic about this partnership being able to kick start its exports with a 25 pe cent contribution to its overall revenues, as well as corner a fair share of the domestic apparel market by lending an international edge to the brand, according to Rajeev Surana, CEO, OCM India.

Ads on Delhi Metro through Reliance Anil Dirubhai Ambani Group''s BigStreet
Another "big" media arm from the Reliance Anil Dirubhai Ambani Group. BigStreet is one more media division from the Reliance ADAG collection.
With its film production unit Adlabs, its radio initiative Big FM, its online entertainment portal Big Adda, its music and movie distribution business Big Music and Home Entertainment, and BigFlicks, its movie rental division, Reliance ADAG has now entered into out-of-home (OOH) advertising via its latest division BigStreet.

According to Jayyant Bhokare, vice-president, business development, Big FM, this division aims to offer clients a better marketing approach, for which BigStreet has acquired the advertising rights for all Delhi Metro Rail Stations.

The company plans to create even more advertising opportunities inside these stations over a period of time.

BigStreet plans to expand into at least 25 towns across India in what it terms as "the immediate future", and is keen to aggregate inventories in the first place. According to Bhokare, the company could buy out OOH adspaces from existing players, or even acquire billboards on long-term lease from them to build its inventories in its target markets.

The OOH advertising segment has recently seen the entry of a few organised players, with the bulk of the business still largely unorganised. According to Bhokare, the presence organised lasrge players, such as Reliance BigStreet would add professionalism and transparency to the industry.

BigStreet has already landed Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance account for Delhi Metro Rail Station.

Bentley Motors to market its super-luxury cars Azure and the Continental GTC in India
Bentley has unveiled the Azure and the Continental GTC in India.

Both cars are manufactured at the UK plant, and are to be imported via the CBU (completely built unit) route. They are priced at Rs3.8 crore for the Azure, and Rs2.1 crore for the Continental GTC (ex-showroom - Delhi).

Presently, the cars are available through Delhi-based Exclusive Motors Pvt Ltd, which is the India partner of Bentley Motors.

According to Ian Hession, regional sales manager, Bentley Middle East Africa & India, "We come to India not by chance but with a plan and it''s the growing acceptance among discerning Indian connoisseurs for such high-priced, super-luxury vehicles that''s making us more confident about the market''s potential. We are positive that this is the market of the future."

According to Satya Bagla, managing director, Exclusive Motors, the Azure offers the ultimate glamour, sophistication and accommodation for adults in supreme comfort, while the Continental GTC is designed for customers looking to experience phenomenal performance, style and excitement of the Continental GT with the added benefits of classic open-top Bentley motoring.

Adding further, Ian Hession says, "They are very elegant and at the same time effortlessly modern. They will appeal to different customers: people who are tired of driving sports cars that require too much effort; people who want to move up from more standard convertibles; and people who want to make a statement about what they drive, yet still own a car that they can use every day of the year."

Suzuki''s non-geared scooters to commence sales in October
New Delhi:
Suzuki Motor Corp''s Indian bike unit will begin selling its first scooter in mid-October.

According to Atul Gupta, vice president, sales and marketing, Suzuki Motorcycle India, automatic scooters have shown growth, whereas motorcycles have shown otherwise in recent times. Reportedly, motorcycle sales in India fell 14.4 per cent to 2.17 million units in the April-August period from a year ago. However, sales of cheaper scooters rose 19 per cent to 435,164 units.

Also, with interest rates going up five times since June last year, rates on auto loans went up by an estimated 300-350 basis points.

Dilip Chenoy, director general at the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers attributed positive scooter sales to new products, lower cost and better financing opportunities.

Honda Motorcyle and Scooter India Pvt Ltd presently dominate the domestic gearless scooter market, which is a subsidiary of Honda Motor Co.

Suzuki plans to infuse Rs1.5 billion into its Indian operations by August 2008, mostly to address expanded capacity and marketing. The company plans to double its dealer network to 290 by next year.

Dell introduces storage solutions for small and medium businesses
New Delhi:
Computer company Dell has launched data storage solutions for small and mid-sized business companies, with a view to secure a larger chunk of the fast-growing SME businesses.

According to Pallab Talukdar, director, enterprises business, Dell India, the company aims to simplify IT for their customers and change the economies of storage.

Competitors to Dell in this segment include global majors HP and IBM, who also provide their storage solutions for small and medium businesses.

Dell''s new product, called the MD3000i in Storage Area Network (SAN) array, is a storage consolidation solution that is designed specifically for the needs of small and medium business customers.

According to Talukdar, product cost changes basis different capacities; as an example, he cited that one terabyte capacity of the product would cost less Rs3 lakh.

According to Praveen Asthana, Dell''s global storage director, the product provides a simplified solution, from installation to ongoing maintenance and management, combining powerful performance with the ability to grow with the business.

The company will sell the product directly to the small and medium business market, according to Talukdar. Dell is increasingly focusing on the small business space, and has rolled out the ''Vostro'' notebook and desktop personal computer line targeted at the same segment.

Phased, low-key launch for Bharti-WalMart: Mittal
According to Bharti Group chairman and managing director, Sunil Bharti Mittal, the launch of its retail venture, for which it has partnered US retail giant Wal-Mart, will be a phased, low-key affair, with its launch planned in phases over a period of time, similar to the group''s telecom business.

Bharti Enterprisesd has reportedly planned to invest $2-2.5 billion by 2015 in the retail sector, and has entered into an equal joint venture with Wal-Mart for its wholesale cash-and-carry business. Bharti will handle the front-end retail part of the business on its own.

According to Mittal, Bharti will be in the frontline and Wal-Mart in cash and carry businesses. He expects no changes to this model till the government eases FDI norms in retail.

In the cash-and-carry business, a company operates like a bulk dealer on behalf of several manufacturers, selling merchandise to retail traders.

J L Morison plans relaunch of ''Baby Dreams'' child care brand
The Rs110-crore J L Morison India is planning to relaunch its baby care brand ''Baby Dreams'', after a year of lacklustre presence in the Indian market.

According to Bipin M. Vengsarkar, executive director, J L Morison, the off take of the baby care range has been wanting, and the company is relooking at the brand, as its turnover has been under a crore in the past two quarters. The company attributes the non-performance of the range to the failure of its mass media strategy.

The other factor, according to Vengsarkar, which contributed to poor sales, was the fact that despite a good distribution for the brand, retailers became impatient for their ROI, which made them switch to the other established brands. With Johnson & Johnson (J&J) being synonymous with the baby care market, the brand''s domination has ensured most new entrants find it difficult to make their presence felt.

According to industry sources, even Marico''s baby care brand has failed to make a significant dent in this segment, and Wipro has chosen to focus on its diaper''s brand rather than its baby care range.

Changes in the Baby Dreams range will see J L Morison adopt a different distribution channel for its products, via the direct sales route. The company will adopt a new strategy that will see it approach doctors, especially paediatricians to promote its range.

Avoiding changes to product formulation, the company also plans to channel its efforts in re-packaging the Baby Dreams range, with a special focus on its lotions and oils.

J L Morison remains cautious with its pricing strategy, choosing to wait for new entrants to enter the category. According to Vengsarkar, the company is yet unsure whether it would change the pricing, depending new entrants and their pricing strategies. He estimates that existing brands such as Sparsh from Marico might also see a relaunch.

Baby Dreams was launched a year ago as a sub-brand of the flagship Morisons brand. The products were priced at a marginal premium to existing J&J offerings.

The relaunch is likely to happen sometime next year.

Nature''s Bounty brings Sicilian wines to India
New Delhi:
Nature''s Bounty Wines and Allied Products Pvt Ltd (NBWAP) launched three brands of Sicilian wines in the domestic market, attempting to strengthen its position here. The company has a tie up with Italian winemaker Calatrasi.

Amit Burman, chairman, NBWAP, expects the wine industry to gain pace, and witness growth even faster than the current rate. Typically, an increase in competition leads to high growth, since every participant invests not only in promoting and distributing its products, but also in educating the consumer.

The company plans on launching the three brands of Calatrasi Maranfusa, D''istinto and Terre di Ginestra 2002. additionally, it also plans to introduce ready-to-drink wine-based liqueur shots, in four flavours of banana split, chocolate, melon and pancakes. These would be priced at Rs110 per shot.

Burman expects a 150-per cent jump over the company''s previous fiscal sales of Rs2.5 crore with the addition of these three new brands. NBWAP currently has two brands in its portfolio and plans to increase it to four in the coming fiscal.

One of these new brands would be from the traditional wine producing countries such as Italy and Spain, and the other from emerging wine producing nations such as Australia and South Africa. A year ago, NBWAP commenced domestic wine marketing and distribution with the launch of its brand Czarina Creek Wine in four variants

Trent opens Star Bazaar in Mumbai
Trent Ltd, Tata Group''s retail arm has launched its hypermarket format, Star Bazaar, in Mumbai at Thakur Mall in suburban Dahisar.

The hypermarket is spread over 50,000-sq ft, and will offer non-vegetarian food, and will run a run a live bakery, while selling in-house labels of garments, among other things.

Brand names of the value apparels, which would be priced onwards from Rs99, are Edward, France Giovanni, Spike and Fashion Street in different categories of men''s wear, while Navya is the brand name for Indian wear, and Tammy is for kids wear. The garments are sourced from across India, including hubs like Jaipur, Tirupur and Mumbai.

Selling in-house labels has been a profitable line for Trent, be it in garments, staples or home cleaners, according to Neeti Chopra, Marketing Head, Trent. The company''s in-house labels, according to her, are doing well mainly on account of the high degree of customisation that the company is able to offer basis the needs of its audience.

Other Star Bazaar location is the 50,000-sq ft retail space in Ahmedabad, set up in 2004. The company plans to launch a third hypermarket in Bangalore within the next two months, followed by another in Mumbai by December-January.

By 2009-2010, the company aims to be present in the top 15 to 20 cities, having opened 23 to 25 Star Bazaars. To manage the back end of the hypermarket, Trent has tied up with regional vendors and small operators for transportation of goods.

Adidas ''Originals'' comes to India
Adidas India has launched its global lifestyle brand ''Adidas Originals'' in India. The company opened of its first store in Delhi.

The brand is inspired by authentic historical moments in Adidas'' vast sporting history. The Adidas Originals store will provide the fashion-conscious consumer a range of products, including footwear, apparel and accessories, as well as the collection available at Adidas'' sports performance stores.

According to Andreas Gellner, managing director, Adidas India, Adidas Originals as a brand stands for individuality, creativity and self-expression, which is reflected in the company''s collections. He expressed confidence that the brand will be able to gather the same success and admiration in India as it has internationally.

The store currently showcases the Adidas Originals Fall/Winter 2007 collection in the international sport heritage lifestyle (SHL) format. It predominantly features white interiors with blue highlights, offering the consumer a highly stylised ''boutique'' feel.

Big FM partners MTV for the Weekly Top 100
Working on positioning itself as a radio station that ensures accuracy and credibility in data while compiling its weekly music mix, Big FM has announced a MoU with MTV that will allow it to share MTV''s song content, and permission to the same as a source for the radio station''s 100 chartbusters.

Under the MoU, MTV will share its song play-out data on a weekly basis, and will get due accreditation for the same.

Big FM introduced the 100 chartbusters format, which comprises songs ranked and rated as the top 100 in Delhi. The station presently plays the top 100 songs ranked as per the weekly chartbuster ranking model, where top 100 songs are ranked week-on-week, and a refreshed play-list put into place.

Other than MTV, data is also gathered from ringtone downloads, which is a strong indicator in gauging the popularity if music, and from music album sales at Music World and other music stores. Additionally, it also takes into account weekly call-out research of the new song releases, and a panel of consumers and play-outs across radio stations.

Bombay Dyeing to refurbish its retail outlets
Textile maker Bombay Dyeing is going in for a major retail makeover. The makeover will see a range of new-look stores this financial year, at an investment of approximately Rs60 crore over the coming three year period.

The redesign would see its stores sport a new look in terms of architecture, interior design, graphic design and brand strategy, with a view to help create a distinct customer experience.

The company is looking at refurbishing its existing 450 stores, and set up new flagship stores, which will host its entire range of textile products under one roof. These will additionally host high-end products catering to the luxury segment.

According to Ness Wadia, joing managing director, Bombay Dyeing, the company is also planning to introduce khadi home furnishing products in its stores. Explaining the need for the redesign, Wadia explained that though the existing company stores scored low on infrastructure, the brand still survived. According to him, the least they could do was give loyal customers a good shopping experience.

Bombay Dyeing has partnered Bengali designer Sabyasachi for its high-end designer home furnishings, and has appointed ex-Raymond''s expert S K Gupta as its new CEO.

Claridges to re-build Sea Rock at Bandra Lands-end in Mumbai
: It will soon be a story of rising from the ashes for the 1993-bomb blasts survivor, Mumbai''s Sea Rock Hotel. But first it will be razed to the ground, before it rises again.

Delhi-based Suresh Nanda and son Sanjeev Nanda, the new owners of the hotel, have reportedly secured the necessary approvals to rebuild the hotel, once a preferred locale for several Bollywood blockbusters.

According to Peter Leitgeb, president and CEO of The Claridges Hotels & Resorts, which is Sea Rock''s holding company, the demolition is expected to commence by the end of 2007, with the detailed blueprint being put in place. The "new" property would be soft-launched by the company by mid-2010, and the new owners say, it would host some never-before features that would be a first in Mumbai.

Claridges has reportedly earmarked $220 million for the hotel component alone. The overall development cost is yet to be made public.

Taj Lands End''s "new" neighbour will boast around 350 five-star deluxe hotel rooms, and could also have state-of-the-art meetings and conferencing areas, exotic food and beverage concepts, with health and wellness facilities.

If the promoters have their way, the sea-front area would wear a "beach resort look", with of adventure/water sports activities being part of the deal. The other parts of the property will form 90 serviced residences, and a shopping mall housing the most premium of brands.

With the promoters being in talks with the Mandarin Group for over two-and-a-half years, there is a possibility, according to Leitgeb, that the hotel would be launched under the Mandarin brand. Talks are also on with premium international spa companies like Banyan Tree, Six Senses and others to manage spa facilities across their premium luxury hotels.

Claridges at New Delhi will continue to remain the group''s flagship property. The palace resort at Mussoorie, the Nabha Palace, has also been branded as a Claridges property.

The management is looking to grow the Claridges brand as a collection of premium luxury hotels in India and neighbouring countries, sometime in the future. The 137-room Claridges Hotel in New Delhi is currently in the final stages of its first phase of renovation.

The Nandas have put in Rs40 crore, with two similar-sized investments planned for phase two and three. The entire Sea Rock project will be completed by 2009-10, morphing into an ultimate luxury boutique hotel once the renovations are completed.

Samsung plans high-end CDMA handsets
Samsung Telecommunications is planning to come up with a series of medium to high-end CDMA phones in India, independent of Tata Indicom with whom it has partnered to launch its "Explore", the country''s first ''mobile web browser''.

Vice-president and head of Samsung''s CDMA division, Hyunbai Kim, said the company plans to launch many other models with the same mobile web browser technology, which uses the Qualcomm Single Chip (QSC). Most of these can be expected in coming months, at price points lower than the Rs5,499 at which the Explore is currently available.

The company is also evaluating options to launch more CDMA phones, albeit independently, as it wants to avoid a price war at the lower-end of the mobile handsets market.

Samsung''s manufactures its CDMA handsets in China and Korea. According to Kim, the market for CDMA handsets is a 20-million unit, which generates $80 million in revenues.

Tata Indicom, with its subscriber base of 20 million, is looking to acquire market share with the Explore, according to Pankaj Sethi, president, value-added services business unit, Tata Teleservices.

The Explore addresses limitations in mobile internet access that are faced by WAP users. Mobile WAP browsers can access limited sites, which are WAP enabled, and moreover, access speeds are relatively slow.

With the Explore, browsing would be more comfortable as pages load in under 30 seconds. Video streaming at this point would not be a feature, according to company sources.

Tata Teleservices targets India internet users
Tata Teleservices has set its sights on Internet users, with a new Internet-enabled phone that the company estimates will account for up to 15 per cent of its sales in a booming mobile market.

The company has tied up with electronics major Samsung for the launch of their internet-browser-enabled phone Explore.

The company estimates monthly sales between 100,000 and 150,000 coming from the new Samsung handset, according to Manzoor Ameen, who heads the company''s operations in Bangalore, capital of India''s southern state of Karnataka. .

The company estimates that at least 15 per cent of the existing user base would switch to the new mobile phone, which will come bundeled with unlimited mobile Internet access for an affordable Rs99 a month.

The move is set to redefine non-computer based internet access in India, as it places the web in the grasp of the common man with this offer, at the same time overcoming geographical limitations related to the provision of the service.

The potential of the market can be estimated from the fact that India adds six million mobile-phone users each month, which equals the number of computers estimated to be sold in the country this year.

The number of Internet users in India is estimated at 42 million, while the number of mobile phone users reached 157 million at the end of March.

Earlier in the year, Google''s vice president Vinton G Cerf, during a visit to India, had predicted that mobile phones, not computers, would drive growth of the worldwide web.

At Rs5,499, the phone comes packed with other features such as a 0.3-mega pixel digital camera, an FM radio, an MP3 player, a mobile tracker, an SOS alert, and the provision to insert external memory cards.

Starter kits and SIM cards would be charged extra. Customers can choose between tariff plans for internet access between options such as Rs10 a day, Rs30 for 7 days, and Rs99 for a month, each of which offers unlimited access at speeds of about 156 kbps, according to Srinivas Rao Sarapalli, chief operating officer, Tamil Nadu Circle, Tata Teleservices.

Additionally, both pre-paid and post-paid consumers can use this phone. The company presently has over 1.9 crore subscribers, of whom 60 per cent access the internet via their mobile phones.

''Samsung Explore'' is India''s first full-fledged Web browser phone, targeted at consumers who aspire to reap the benefits of high-quality mobility. It is said to pack in a host of the latest cutting-edge features like ultra-slim and sleek form factor, 0.3 MP camera, full-fledged MP3 player, FM with one-time Auto Tune, large 1.77-inch TFT colour screen to make pictures & websites come alive, unique customized-for-India applications, expandable memory to take care of your photos, MP3, video clips-and Samsung''s security features of Mobile Tracker and Emergency SOS Alert.

A mobile web browser, or micro browser as it is called, is designed for use on mobile phone, and is optimised to display Internet content for small screens on portable devices. These browsers work with smaller application files, which enable bandwidth-efficient and fast delivery on wireless handheld devices.

Some of the important benefits of the Mobile browser are:

  • It provides personal connectivity on the move
  • A default landing page with, short cuts to popular sites
  • Easy navigation to open sites, search engines & emailing options
  • Access to virtually all the links as they are displayed on the computer
  • Maintains history of the recently visited sites for quick access
  • Customisable screens for better viewing (zoom in/out)
  • Image on/off control to enable rapid opening of sites
  • Delightful better user experience, as compared to WAP browsers

Ajanta Pharma to market Prollenium Medical Technologies'' Revanesse dermal filler
Ajanta Pharma has worked out an in-licensing agreement with Canadian Prollenium Medical Technologies to exclusively market its dermal filler Revanesse in India.

Prollenium Technologies has its expertise in the area of "medical aesthetics". Revanesse adds volume and smoothens imperfections in the skin, also helping to protect fragile areas of the skin from ageing.

India''s dermatology market is estimated at Rs1,300 crore, according to industry sources.

Reliance ropes in A R Rehman, Vishwanathan Anand, Aamir Khan for Vimal relaunch
Ahmedabad: Under a proposed theme of ''Icons of India,'' Reliance is trying to replicate the magic of Doordarshan''s 1990''s hit, mile sur mera thumhara, which say masteros come together to form a jingle burnt in every Indian''s memory.

The company is attempting to get music composer A R Rehman, chess grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand, and Bollywood star Aamir Khan among others to endorse the relaunch of Vimal.

According to industry sources, talks are on for facilitating the theme, though there is no information about timelines and agreements.

The company is preparing for a nationwide relaunch of its textile brand during the forthcoming festive season. Reliance sees its entry in to organised retail as a massive opportunity to bring its textile brand ''Vimal'' back in to the forefront. Vimsl the biggest being a bridge between its oldest and newest businesses.

Reliance also plans to market readymade garments through tie-ups with well-known brands in the segment.

Bridal Asia hopes to attract 30,000 visitors
Bridal Asia, the annual wedding fashion exhibition, is now targeting Dubai, London and South East Asia.

Held in New Delhi every year, Bridal Asia features bridal clothes, jewellery, accessories for men and women, along with silver ware and home décor furnishings.

According to Divya Gurwara, CEO, Bridal Asia, the company is now looking to take the event international, covering Dubai, London and South East Asia as they have a huge NRI population. Year 2003 saw a Bridal Asia fashion show held in Pakistan.

The 2007 Bridal Asia exhibition-cum-sale will be hosted in Delhi from October 16-18, and will feature 80 participants, who include prominent apparel designers such as Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Malini Ramani and Gaurav Gupta; jewellery designers like Tanya Kohli. Also part of the event would be fashion houses, jewellers, home furnishing companies and accessory designers from the country. additionally, four designers from Pakistan will also showcase their products.

International fashion brands such as Jimmy Choo, Gucci and Etam will also feature in the event. Around 75 per cent of the products featured are in the apparel segment (lehengas, sarees, kurtas etc) and in jewellery.

Shaadionline, a wedding services management company will also participate in Bridal Asia.

Gurwara estimates 30,000 visitors to the event this year. Bridal Asia has been held annually since 1999. its first edition saw 45 participants and 9,000 visitors, and last year there were 70 participants and 25,000 visitors. India''s wedding industry is estimated at around Rs30,000 crore.

Aston Martin, Apple iPod, YouTube, Bang and Olufsen tops UK Superbrands'' Coolbrands list
According to a study by independent brand research firm Superbrands, Aston Martin is absolutely the "coolest".

Superbrands questioned over than 2,000 consumers to come up with its list of UK''s coolest brands, which saw Apple''s iPod in second place, followed by video website YouTube in the third, and Danish hi-fi firm Bang and Olufsen in fourth place.

Computer-maker Apple secured three slots for its products in the top 20 list - the second with the iPod, the seventh by Apple, and the 19th by iTunes.

According to Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the Coolbrands Council, the top 20 reflects contemporary changing needs, wants and interests. He said Coolbrands are two, pretty distinct, subcategories, the first comprising brands that became "cool" by virtue of their necessity or prevalence in an individual''s life, such as online companies Google and Amazon, and the second made up of a list of things people really want, but know they''ll most likely never get, such as a Rolex or a Ferrari.

The clear winner of the coolest title, Aston Martin, is back in British hands, where it is thought to rightfully belong, with its sale to a UK consortium led by racing mogul David Richards and a pair of Kuwaiti companies, who bought it from US auto giant Ford for £479 million.

Aston Martin was founded in the UK in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford. In 1975 it passed in to American hands, before Ford acquired a 75-per cent stake in it in 1987. In 1994, Ford took full control of the company.

Aston Martin is based in Gaydon, Warwickshire. Its current line up includes models such as the Vantage and DB9. The company is showcasing its new flagship, the DBS, at the Frankfurt motor show.

The car is part of legendary James Bond films. The first Bond movie to feature an Aston Martin was Goldfinger, in 1964.

The survey shows the following as the top 20 brands:
1. Aston Martin
2. iPod
3. YouTube
4. Bang & Olufsen
5. Google
6. Playstation
7. Apple
8. Agent Provocateur
9. Nintendo
10. Virgin Atlantic
11. Ferrari
12. Ducati
13. eBay
14. Rolex
15. Tate Modern
16. Prada
17. Lamborghini
18. Green & Black''s
19. iTunes
20. Amazon

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