CURRENT AFFAIRS LEARNING MATERIAL 18th December’09 – 23rd December’09 1. It was all Zoozoos for Ogilvy at Effie night 18 dec‘09 EFFIE‘s 2008 had the unpleasant distinction of sharing the date with the night of terror— 26/11. However, last evening as the credits started rolling, memories, past and future, were forgotten by everyone to cherish the present. Vodafone Zoozoos has a long way to go and the journey in terms of awards began last night. Vodafone and its agency Ogilvy dominated the night in more than one way. From categories like mobile advertising, integrated advertising campaign and services all the way to client of the year; Marico uncommon sense award and the Brand Equity bravery award, Zoozoos aka Vodafone dominated it all. And in the process Ogilvy rightly got its due under the sun. Ogilvy ended the evening with 13 metals—3 gold (one each in integrated advertising campaign, consumer products and services category) and 5 silver and bronze. With 120 points on the leader board, Ogilvy was way ahead of competition all evening. Therefore, the suspense that Effie Agency of the Year holds otherwise became predictable every early on in the evening. JWT came number two last evening with one gold (in the integrated advertising campaign category for The Times of India‘s Teach India), two silver and a bronze. It also bagged the Grand Effie for the Teach India campaign it did for The Times of India. JWT and Bennett, Coleman & Co also sat on the Yahoo Big Idea Chair for its ‗Day in the life of Chennai‘ campaign for The Times of India Chennai. Lowe, which came number three on the leader board, also picked up the Best Case Study award for Tata Tea‘s Jaago Re initiative. It picked up the solo gold for the evening in the Consumer Products category for Tata Tea‘s Jaago Re campaign. Among the other agencies that picked up metals are Mudra, 1 Rediffusion, Arc Worldwide, Bates 141 and McCann Erickson. If Effie winners are any indication of what India can expect at Cannes, then Vodafone and Ogilvy will have many more steps to climb and lot more acceptance speeches to deliver in the next year and we are sure neither of them would mind! 2. Rajasthan Royals ropes in Moov as fitness partner 18 dec09 AHMEDABAD: Rajasthan Royals has roped in Paras Pharma, makers of Moov and Dermi Cool, as their fitness & hair-styling sponsor, reports Mitul Thakkar. While the Ahmedabad-based health and personal care firm‘s flagship pain-relieving brand, Moov, will be the fitness partner, hair gel brand SetWet would be the hair styling partner for the Rajasthan Royals in the third season of IPL starting in April. Announcing the tie up, Paras Pharma CEO S Raghunandan said, "Rajasthan Royals was the obvious choice for partnership as the team spirit echoes our brand promise. Cricket is the pulse of the nation and IPL provides marketers a unique opportunity to reach out to the masses across geographies and languages." 3. RIL names Van De Vivjer as CEO of global business arm 18 dec‘09 Reliance Industries (RIL), India‘s biggest private company by sales and market value, has appointed Walter Van De Vivjer as president and chief executive officer of its international international business opportunities business subsidiary Reliance Exploration & Production DMCC (REP). Mr Van De Vivjer has been associated with RIL as an adviser over the past three years. He will succeed Atul Chandra, who will work with the chairman‘s office as senior adviser on, said an RIL statement released on Thursday. According to the statement, Mr Van De Vivjer will be responsible for overseeing the operations of RIL‘s current portfolio of international assets, and he would also focus on developing the company‘s E&P portfolio in North America and other high potential foreign countries. RIL, with a cash reserve of $4 billion, has been aggressively scouting for opportunities to acquire energy assets overseas. Over the years, it has successfully acquired oil assets in Yemen, Oman, East Timor, Columbia, Kurdistan and Australia. Last month, it has put in a nonbinding preliminary bid to acquire the Dutch petrochem company LyondellBasell. Mr Van De Vivjer was formerly associated with the global oil company Royal Dutch Shell. During his association with Shell for over 25 year, Mr Van De Vivjer has gained extensive technical and managerial experience in both the upstream and downstream oil industries in various countries, including the Netherlands, the UK, the US, Qatar and Oman. He left Shell in 2004. Mr Van De Vivjer, a civil engineer from Delft University of Technology, had also served as CEO and co-founder of Delta Hydrocarbons BV. Shares of RIL on BSE dipped by 1.23% to close at Rs 1,034.05 on Thursday over the previous day‘s close. 4. RCOM names Safawi CEO of mobility biz 18 dec‘09 Anil Ambani‘s Reliance Communications has just inducted Syed Safawi as president & CEO of its national mobility business. Mr Safawi, who till recently was executive director at Bharti Airtel, will be responsible for both the CDMA and GSM operations of RCOM. As president of the wireless business, he will be reporting to RCOM‘s group managing director Satish Seth, a senior company executive told ET. In a written response to ET‘s email query, RCOM chairman Anil Ambani confirmed Mr Safawi‘s induction. ―We are glad to have Syed Safawi leading our mobility business to the next frontier of growth. With a strong and experienced team supporting Syed, I‘m confident Reliance Mobile will achieve a leadership position at a significantly accelerated pace,‖ Mr Ambani noted in the email. Mr Safawi was handling Bharti Airtel‘s international operations and its eastern and western circles. A Wharton alumnus, he brings in 22 years of experience cutting across the FMCG and telecom space. Prior to Airtel, he spent 11 years at Coca-Cola. Mr Safawi could not be reached for an official response on his induction into RCOM despite repeated attempts by ET. Interestingly, Mr Safawi‘s entry is the second highprofile induction into the RCOM fold from outside the system, coming as it does after the RADAG poached ex-Vodafone Essar director & chief technical officer Naresh Gupta as president, Reliance Globalcom, a wholly-owned RCOM subsidiary. Incidentally, the CEO slot for RCOM‘s mobility business had been vacant for several months ever since former wireless business chief SP Shukla relocated to the company‘s special projects cell that is scouting for mobile service opportunities in offshore markets like Africa and Sri Lanka. 5. Banks face tighter capital standards under Basel 18 dec‘-09 SAFE SIDE: GLOBAL REGULATORS WANT AUTHORITIES TO LIMIT BONUS & DIVIDEND PAYMENTS BY ‘WEAKER’ BANKS Big banks will have to set aside more profits or even raise capital as protection against hard times under tighter proposals from international regulators set to be phased in from 2012. The new rules proposed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision will introduce stricter limits on what counts as top-level assets and on risk exposure from trading in derivatives and securities. Basel committee chairman Nout Wellink said the proposals, released on Thursday, would result in more resilient banks and a sounder banking and financial system. ―They will promote a better balance between financial innovation and sustainable growth,‖ he said. The announcement contained little detail on the size of a planned global leverage ratio which would limit banks‘ ability to lend but the committee said the new standards would probably take effect by the end of 2012. It said there would be a grace period for transition. ―The fully calibrated set of standards will be developed by the end of 2010 to be phased in as financial conditions improve and the economic recovery is assured, with the aim of implementation by end-2012,‖ the committee said in a statement. ―The Committee will put in place appropriate phase-in measures and grandfathering arrangements for a sufficiently long period to ensure a smooth transition to the new standards.‖ Under the plan, the ―predominant‖ form of top-quality tier one capital must be common shares and retained earnings and limits will apply to other qualifying assets. Current rules allowing hybrid or debt-like capital to make up 15% of tier one assets will be phased out. The United States had wanted to keep hybrid capital as part of core capital, while Europeans believed it should only be common equity. In a report released for consultation, the committee made up of bank regulators from more than 20 countries said that under current rules, banks could hold as little as 2% of common equity to risky assets. Banks will be subject to a capital charge for mark-to-market losses associated with a deterioration in the creditworthiness of a counterparty. The new rules include measures to encourage the build-up of capital buffers in good times that can be drawn down in bad times and a global minimum liquidity standard for internationally active banks. — Reuters 6. Dell logs on to tech services business 19 dec‘09 TO TAP MID-MARKET ENTERPRISE CLIENTS; MOVE SET TO INCREASE COMPETITION IN SECTOR The top-tier Indian technology services companies, including Infosys Technologies, TCS, Wipro Technologies and HCL Technologies, will have to brace for some stiff competition from Dell Services — the new player in the services arena. Particularly so, as the hardware maker‘s services arm will focus on $20-50 million contracts, the sweet spot for the Indian technology service providers. Computer maker Dell Inc launched a technology services focused company, Dell Services, that will focus on the mid-market enterprise customers. The company has integrated Perot Systems to its services business. Dell bought Perot Systems in September for $3.9 billion, and the combined services entity has already pitched for 88 contracts. These contracts, mostly in the $20-50-million range are similar to what Indian technology players target. Analysts say, the $7.5-billion services giant, with about 50% of its 42,000 workforce in India, could drive down prices, much like it has done in the hardware business and pose challenge for the Indian technology majors. ―Dell might do to services what it has done to hardware by direct selling — bring down prices of services and put margins under pressure,‖ said Diptarup Chakraborti, principal research analyst, Gartner. In a conference call, Peter Altabef, president, Dell Services, said: ―The small and medium businesses are underserved, and we will go after them with customised services. Part of our strategy is to increase services offering from remote locations (like India). The Perot integration brings us lot of additional capability and cross-selling opportunity.‖ Citing an example of crossselling, Mr Altabef said for a manufacturing company, which was a Dell client on the hardware side, now does SAP consulting as well, an expertise Dell Services got from Perot. ―We closed the deal in less than 10 days,‖ he added. In India, it recently won a Rs 90-crore contract from Max Healthcare. Among the services that the Dell will provide, include enhanced support, managed IT services, business process services, IT and business consulting, as well as applications development, maintenance and testing. The company will focus on healthcare, manufacturing and government businesses. Amit Singh, head of IT practice at Avendus Capital, an investment bank, said: ―Margins in hardware are wafer thin. Services will add to Dell‘s profitability and add a complete solutions player to the market offering hardware and software services.‖ Typically in hardware business, margins are less than 4% and in services over 20%. That‘s why Dell acquired Perot Systems and now Dell Services could potentially change the way services are delivered. ―They could offer some services on phone (much like the Direct from Dell‘s PC selling model). The teleservices could be for support services and remote infrastructure management. Dell has very strong branding and could do to services what it did to computers — commoditise them,‖ said Mr Chakraborti of Gartner. Dell has an edge over other services providers, as it offers complete hardware and software services capability, matched only by the likes of HP and IBM. Raman Roy, CMD, Quatrro BPO Solutions, said: ―Dell will shake up the market and create services at multiple price points. Dell will also expand the market with its hardware-cum-services offering, as a single-window capability to midmarket is not available. Competition from Dell will impact profitability and pricing.‖ Dell Services‘ plan to target the mid-market segment and helps the new player differentiate from the big boys like IBM and Accenture. Many of the mid-market customers are not interested in doing business with the really big outsourcing firms. Steve Schuckenbrock, Dell‘s president for large enterprise operations, said: ―Lot of outsourcing companies will talk about the big mega deals. The sweet spot for Dell Services is a contract value of up to $50 million in the 3-6 years time frame.‖ That‘s what Indian majors primarily target and will have to cope with one more competitor. MEGA BYTE Dell Services will focus on $20-50-m contracts, the sweet spot for the Indian technology service providers Co has an edge over other service providers, as it offers complete hardware and software services functions Dell bought Perot Systems in Sept for $3.9 b, and the combined services entity has already pitched for 88 contracts. Co has integrated Perot Systems to its services business 7. Dr Reddy’s anti-diabetic drug 19 dec’09 HYDERABAD: Dr Reddy‘s Laboratories said it has reached the third stage of clinical trial for an anti-diabetic drug, which could become the first innovative molecule from India. The company also said it has completed the first stage of human trials for an anticholesterol compound with promising results. The antidiabetic compound ‗balagletazone‘ has reached phase iii clinical trial stage and has the ―potential to become the first innovative molecule from India,‖ Dr Reddy‘s Laboratories founder K Anji Reddy said. The company is also working on a new cholesterol lowering compound, he added. ―We are developing an anti-cholesterol compound, which is showing a very promising potential. We have just concluded our phase i clinical trials,‖ Reddy said. 8. Wipro inks pact with German co 19 dec’09 NEW DELHI: IT major Wipro Technologies has entered into a deal with telecom company Telefonica O2 Germany to provide testing services to the European firm. The scope of this partnership will involve the company supporting the testing operations of O2, providing solutions like test analysis, management and execution, deployment, integration and implementation management services, Wipro said in a statement. The size of the deal was, however, not disclosed. ―We are confident that Wipro‘s leadership in telecom and independent validation services for the growing German telecommunications market will also enable our transformation journey,‖ O2 Germany managing director (service technology) Carsten Wreth said in the statement 9. Sun asks Taro investors to vote against board 19 dec‘09 Co’s Letter Follows A Similar Missive By Taro Last Week Drug maker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries has asked the shareholders of Israel‘s Taro Pharmaceuticals to vote against election of directors and indemnification proposal at the annual general meeting on December 31. Sun Pharma chairman Dilip Sanghvi has sent a letter to Taro‘s shareholders, with which it has been locked in a takeover battle, saying the promoter family, led by chairman Dr Barrie Levitt, has been busy protecting its interests rather working for the shareholders‘ best interests. ―As Taro‘s largest shareholder, it is difficult to accept abuse of shareholders‘ money and being left in the dark about the true state of Taro‘s financial affairs. Now its time to vote against the election and re-election of directors and indemnification proposal,‖ Mr Sanghvi said. Sun holds a 36% stake in Taro which has not disclosed its financial results between 2006 and 2008. India‘s most valuable drug firm Sun has been fighting a legal battle with Taro ever since the foreign company backed out from a $454-million merger deal last year, exactly a year after signing the deal. Sun is now looking at raising its stake in Taro through a tender offer. 10. Mukesh Ambani among top five best CEOs in the world 19 dec‘09 Mukesh Ambani, who heads India‘s most valuable company Reliance Industries (RIL), has been ranked among top five best performing CEOs in the world by the prestigious Harvard Business Review (HBR). Mr Ambani, the only Indian to feature among the top 50 CEOs, is in the same league as Steve Jobs of Apple, Yun Jong-Yong of Samsung Electronics, Russian energy firm Gazprom‘s Alexey Miller and John Chambers of Cisco Systems. He is also ranked number two among the top 10 emerging market CEOs with Mr Miller at the top. KV Kamath of ICICI Bank is the other Indian in the list of top 10 emerging market CEOs. He is ranked at number 9. The Harvard Business Review said it ranked CEOs of large public traded companies in a study conducted over 2,000 CEOs worldwide. The entire group represented 48 nationalities and companies based in 33 countries. It put Mr Ambani in the list of ―up-through-theranks leaders‖ along with the Samsung boss. ―Among the upthrough-the-ranks leaders on our list are Yun Jong-Yong, who joined Samsung straight out of college and worked there 30 years before becoming CEO, and Mukesh Ambani, who joined RIL in 1981, when it was still a textile company run by his father.‖ HBR said. ―These CEOs not all be household names, but here‘s an objective look at who delivered the top results over the long term,‖ HBR said, ranking Steve Jobs as the top CEO in the world. Mr Jobs, it said, delivered 3,188% industry-adjusted return (34% compounded annually) after he rejoined Apple as CEO in 1997, when the company was in dire strait. From that time until the end of September 2009, Apple‘s market value rose by $150 billion. He was followed by Yun Jong-Yong, who ran South Korea‘s Samsung from 1996 to 2008. ―Mr Yun is an example of a leader who has stayed out of the limelight. During his tenure, he capably transformed Samsung from a maker of memory chips and me-too products into an innovator selling digital products, such as cell phones. 11. Little Krishna creates waves overseas 20 dec‘09 While the Indian market has not taken to animated content, an Indian animated property is creating a flutter in overseas markets. Little Krishna, the maiden project of Big Animation, part of ADAG‘s Reliance Media-Works, was first acquired by Viacom Media‘s animation entertainment channel Nick for the South Asian territory. Now, international television content distributor Evergreen Entertainment has bought the film for global distribution. Produced by Big Animation and Iskcon‘s India Heritage Foundation, Little Krishna is the first Indian animation content Nick and Evergreen Entertainment have ever bought. Big Animation has made Little Krishna in two formats — 13-half hour episodes and three feature films of 85 minutes each. The 13-part series is already being broadcast on Nick in India and earlier this month won the best animation award at the Asian Television Awards in Singapore. The series has already won five FICCI Frames Awards, three Golden Cursor Awards, one award each from ASIFA and TASI. Nick has since also bought licensing and merchandising rights, while Hungama licensed digital rights including mobile ring tones and digital wallpapers and BIG Home Video, another Reliance Media-Works company, has bought the home video rights. ―Little Krishna is our first Indian IP product. We‘ve been offered many other shows from India but never felt that they were entirely suitable for the world market. The series offers such a fresh look from anything that we have seen to date coming out of India. It has already done phenomenally well since its premiere on Nick India,‖ said Evergreen CEO Steve Walsh. Evergreen‘s agreement with Big Animation is on a royalty share basis, though the deal size was undisclosed. However, market sources said the deal sizes of such products usually range between US $ 2-3 million per film per territory. Evergreen has already sold the broadcast and DVD rights for Little Krishna in Malaysia to Nexus IT Solutions, and in Brazil to Europa Filmes, which had distributed the Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire in Latin America and the Pokemon films in many territories. The company will start marketing the series from the New York International Children‘s Film Festival, to be held during February- March 2010, but is already in discussion with broadcasters in Europe, North America, Latin America, Europe and Far East. ―We had concerns that the series might be perceived as being too Indian, but this sale to Brazil along with another sale to predominantly Muslim Malaysia shows that our concerns were unfounded,‖ Mr Walsh remarked. It took seven years to produce Little Krishna, during which period its creator changed its name from Anirights Infomedia to Big Animation, after Reliance ADAG acquired it two-and-a-half years ago. Big Animation CEO Ashish SK said the company is planning promotions across all media. ―We had a good run in India and for the first time an Indian original animation IP is making its presence felt globally. The deal with a global distribution giant like Evergreen was the icing. It will give a boost to Indian animation. We are also looking to have the series dubbed in local languages across all countries and from this month, Little Krishna will available be on every major shelf in the country.‖ 12. Italian wines for India 20 dec‘09 RIONA Wines, a joint venture between the Sangli-based grape grower KT Mane and Cantine Enzo Mecella and Terese Cortesi Moncaro, expects to crush its first harvest in February 2010. However, the Indo-Italian joint venture is not waiting to launch Indian wines. Instead, it is launching its Italian range of wines from the Marche region. The joint venture wine company has begun with the marketing of imported Italian wines although Enzo Mecella, owner of the Cantine Enzo Mecella, a winery from the Marche region of Italy, said they will also import wine in bulk from their Italian locations. This wine will be bottled at the Riona winery in Sangli, western Maharashtra. ―We will make local Indian wine, preferably reds. We will also import wine in bulk from our Italian wineries and bottle it here. At the topend, we will bring in our own bottled wines,‖ Mr Mecella explained. Riona Wines, in which Mr Mane holds 64% while the balance 36% is divided equally between Enzo Mecella, owner of the Cantine Enzo Mecella, and the Terese Moncaro cooperative, will require an investment of Rs. 18 crore. Mr Mane said he has tied up investment for this venture with Italian banks since they offered better rates of interest. The 15 lakh litre capacity winery is waiting for the installation of its imported machinery, Mr Mecella said. 13. Unique identification number by Feb 2011 20 dec’09 India will become the first country in the world to issue a unique identity number for each of its residents from February 2011 which will allow an on-line verification, a top official said Wednesday. ―We will start issuing the unique number by February 2011,‖ Nandan Nilekani, chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), said here Wednesday at a talk organised in the Parliament House Library. He said that giving a unique number to each Indian was a big challenge as UIDAI will make sure that there is no duplication. The project estimated to cost around Rs.30,000 crore will cover the entire population of the country. Nilekani said that biometrics will be used to prevent duplication and the authority will keep the same kind of information as is mentioned on voter I-card. ―We want to keep minimal information,‖ he said, adding that there will be no invasion of privacy. 14. NTEL UNVEILS FUTURISTIC CHIP 20 dec’09 The world‘s leading chipmaker, Intel Technologies, unveiled its futuristic chip on Wednesday which was developed with significant contributions from its research and development (R&D) centre in Bangalore. The concept chip, which has 48-cores called ‗single-chip cloud computer,‘ has processing power 20 times higher than the ones currently being used. The chip developed over a period of two years saw a team of 40 people across three labs of Intel globally — Hillsboro, US, Braunschweig, Germany and Bangalore contributing equally to the project. 15. TWITTER BRIEFLY BLOCKED BY HACKERS 20 dec’09 Hackers briefly blocked access to the popular Internet messaging service Twitter, steering traffic to another Web site where a group reportedly calling itself the ―Iranian Cyber Army‖ claimed responsibility. Users trying to reach Twitter early Friday were redirected to a Web page that a news channel reported had a picture of a green flag and a message that said, ―This site has been hacked by the Iranian Cyber Army.‖ 16. Ducati to drive into India’s luxury bike market, sell 150 units next year 21 dec‘09 Italian Co Sees More Potential Here Than In China; Plans To Open Four Dealerships Italy‘s Ducati is looking to ride the fledgling Indian superbike market with models costing more than a top-end car as it sees consumers returning in hordes to the luxury segment after the lull caused by the slowdown. Ducati, which sells bikes for Rs 14-60 lakh, plans to sell over 150 bikes in India in 2010. The company hopes bike enthusiasts will overlook the cost factor and lap up its products. ―The bike culture runs in the genes here,‖ says Ducati Asia-Pacific CEO Mirko Bordiga. The company thinks India has bigger potential than China in this arena. At present, the Indian superbike segment sees annual sales of around 1,000. The Chinese market, by comparison, is limited to less than 100 units annually due to government restriction to sell smallerengine bikes. Not surprisingly, India happens to be Ducati‘s most attractive market in Asia. The company is looking to open four dealerships next year in addition to the existing two. It also plans to sell over 150 bikes in 2010 against the 35 units that were lapped up since its July launch. Motorcycles in the high-powered engine capacity of 500-2,500-cc come under the superbike category and sell for Rs 10-60 lakh in India. Global manufacturers think India‘s superbike market is poised for greater growth. Better roads and a growing motor sports culture are helping the superbike market grow in India, says Yamaha‘s national business head Pankaj Dubey. Besides Yamaha, Ducati, Honda, Harley Davidson, Suzuki, Triumph and Kawasaki have all had launches to their name in the domestic market in the past two years. India is estimated to sell 7 million twowheelers annually. Despite the high import duties at 113% that jack up prices, upcoming launches in the superbike segment are expected to add to that number. Yamaha, for instance, plans to launch more models in the 1,000-1,600-cc segment during the January Auto Expo in New Delhi. The company debuted with the YZF-R1 and the 1670cc torque monster MT-01 models in November 2007. Their success — 150 units have been sold — prompted Yamaha to launch its Rs 20 lakh-flagship VMax a few months ago. Suzuki Motorcycle India, meanwhile, will add new models in the over 1000-cc range, aiming to sell over 150 bikes in 2010. Its Rs 12.5-lakh Hayabusa, among the largest selling superbikes here, was launched last year. ―The superbike demand in India is consistently growing,‖ said Suzuki Motorcycle India marketing & sales vicepresident Atul Gupta. 17. NOW, HERBIE HAS A CHOPPER 21 dec‘09 BEETLE BANNER TO TAKE AERIAL ROUTE IN MUMBAI After being to Monte Carlo and going bananas, Herbie is now taking to the skies. The Beetle, which captured millions of hearts as the curvy, temperamental Herbie in The Love Bug and a series of other rocking misadventures on screen, will soon be seen in the Mumbai skies. Volkswagen, the world‘s largest carmaker after its takeover of Porsche, has lined up an innovative campaign that will see the Beetle being promoted through a huge 10,000 sq ft banner that will travel through the skies of Mumbai on a copter around Christmas eve. The German carmaker has tied up with aircraft leasing company Deccan Charters for the campaign, a person close to the development told ET. ―We have been contacted by the agency of an auto major and are working with them on a campaign,‖ said Sanjay Saihgal, VP (business development) at Deccan Charters, but declined to share any name. Volkswagen did not respond to an e-mail. It launched the Beetle in India earlier this month with a price tag of Rs 20 lakh. ―The Beetle will create a niche for itself and is expected to have a product segmentation of its own,‖ said Neeraj Garg, director on the board of Volkswagen Group Sales India. ―It is being used as a brandbuilding strategy for Volkswagen.‖ In November, it launched what is known as 'roadblock' in marketing parlance, blocking out other advertisers by buying all the advertising space in a leading national newspaper. Running an aerial promotion such as this requires special permissions from the Director General Civil Aviation (DGCA) as well as permissions from city authorities. The expense and the many permissions that are required for such a campaign make this a fairly exclusive exercise limited to a few firms with big budget launches. Deccan charges between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 2 lakh for every hour in the air. The banner, made of a special material so it doesn't tear in the wind, can cost anywhere between Rs 6 lakh and Rs 10 lakh, depending on the size. Also, it is not manufactured in India and in this case, was imported from Australia. ―We intend to market it more aggressively because the cost is comparable to having a number of billboards in a city like Mumbai, and it creates a tremendous amount of hype,‖ said Jigar Thaleshwar, manager, marketing and business development (western region), Deccan. He said this was the first time such a campaign was being done in India, although hot air balloons atop buildings and occasionally aircraft have been used. An executive tracking brand launches in India, however, said such an aerial campaign was done in the 1980s by department store Akbarallys. ―Such campaigns create imagery that is needed for iconic brands, which are known the world over but are only now making an entry into India,‖ said Sam Balsara, CMD of Madison World. Most companies opt to carry out the exercise in two to three cities so that usage of the banner is maximised. For multiple brand launches, a portion can be changed and the rest retained, so the same banner is used more cost effectively for more than one launch, said people familiar with out-of-home advertising methods. 18. Feel The Heat 23 dec’09 KENSTAR introduces energy efficient water heaters — Jacuzzi and Hot Spring. They are available in 1,3, 15 and 25 litres capacity. 19. Fragrant Force 23 dec’09 NIKE unveiled Nike 150 range of perfumes and deos for men and women. The range includes Blue Wave, Green Storm, Cool Wind and On Fire. These are available in 150 ml for Rs 750. 20. Trade@9: Banks need to open earlier 21dec‘09 Brokers May Find It Tough To Get Funds For Derivatives Trades If Banks Aren’t Open Traders and brokers transacting in the equity derivatives segment could be in a spot of bother, if banks do not advance their business hours from January 4. Stock exchanges will be open for trading between 9.00 am and 3.30 pm from that day, as against 9.55 am to 3.30 pm currently. Market watchers say the pay-in of funds for transactions (of the previous day) in the equity derivatives segment takes place before the market opens, and terminals are deactivated in case the broker has insufficient funds to meet his obligations, which include profit/loss on trades, and margin commitments. ―The exchange presents the debit obligations to the respective clearing banks (where brokers have their accounts) at 9.31 am, and if the broker does not have sufficient funds, his terminals are deactivated at 9.40 am,‖ said a derivatives trader. This may not pose a major problem on a normal trading day. But if the market turns volatile, and exchanges open at 9.00 am for trading, the broker will have to have the requisite funds in his account at 8.31 am. Whether, the client pays up the broker or not, the exchange debits the broker‘s account. So far, clients could transfer funds to their broker‘s accounts through the real time gross settlement (RTGS) system, which opens at 9.00 am. If the client is unable to make the payments on time, the broker will decline to undertake further transactions, and may even square off outstanding positions. In the case of cash market transactions, the pay-in happens at 10.30 am. There is comparatively less risk for the exchanges when it comes to cash market pay-in, because the exchange can withhold the delivery of securities in case the broker does not pay up. Some large commercial banks will be forced to advance the timing of their branches by an hour in the morning to facilitate brokers. This is largely because bankers fear that they will lose business it they do not advance timings. As things stands now, branches in the suburbs open by 9.00 am while many branches located in the central business districts such as Nariman Point/Fort in Mumbai and Connaught place in Delhi start at about 10.00 am. A senior banker said that branches in central business districts will have to open early at 8.30 or 9.00 am. Many customers of private banks are comfortable using internet for funds transfer and thus their business may not hamper even if the branch does not open by 9.00 am. However, in case of public sector banks customers are not very tech-savvy since most prefer to transfer funds through cheques. It is estimated that less than 20% customers of public sector banks use internet for funds transfer while the ratio is significantly higher in case of private banks. Some banks have proposed to Indian Banks‘ Association (IBA) that they will open branches an hour in advance on weekdays and take a day off on Saturday. As of now, neither the broker community nor the exchanges have raised the issue of advancing bank timings with IBA. TIME TRAP Pay-in of funds for previous day’s transactions in the equity derivatives segment takes place before the market opens Terminals are deactivated if the broker has insufficient funds to meet his obligations Some banks have proposed to the Indian Banks’ Association that they will open branches an hour in advance on weekdays 21. Currency options may get regulatory go-ahead soon 21 dec‘09 Sebi, RBI & FinMin Officials To Discuss Framework AFTER the successful launch of currency futures, India‘s financial sector regulators are set to launch currency options shortly. The framework for launching currency options will be discussed by regulators, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and finance ministry officials at the High-Level Co-ordination Committee on financial markets (HLCC) on Monday. The proposal is being mooted by Sebi. The regulators are also looking at introducing more currency derivatives, government officials familiar with the development said. Members of HLCC are also likely to give a green signal to introduce currency futures for pairs other than the dollar-rupee. The move comes more than a year after currency futures based on dollar-rupee contracts were first introduced in the country. These products that allow small businesses to hedge their forex receivables and payments have become hugely successful since then. Between the three exchanges — BSE, NSE and MCX-SX — the market is registering volumes of $2.5-3 billion on a daily basis, prompting policymakers to look at expanding the suite of products. ―Exchanges will have to judge the market in terms of its interest and depth before introducing other futures-based currencies,‖ said a government official on condition of anonymity. ―As for options, they usually are launched after futures are in order. Introduction of options will be a good development as it will lead to diversification,‖ he added. Contracts with the euro, yen, the British pound as one of the legs are said to be on the cards. ―RBI has given an in-principle nod for futures in non-dollar currencies,‖ said an NSE official. ―But there will have to be a directive from Sebi and RBI before exchanges can actually launch such products,‖ he said. ―Given the extreme volatility in various asset classes and currencies, it is imperative for participants to not only mitigate risk against the US dollar, but also against other major currencies,‖ said U Venkatraman, executive director, MCX Stock Exchange. His exchange recently estimated that the correlation between contracts of rupee with the yen, euro, pound (as the other leg) against the dollarrupee is in excess of 78%. The report explained this is an indication that market players having exposure to currencies other than the dollar have significantly greater risk due to volatility in currency exchange rates. Futures with non-dollar currencies can minimise this risk, Mr Venkatraman said. EXPANSION MODE The currency futures market is registering volumes of $2.5-3 billion on a daily basis HLCC likely to clear currency futures for pairs other than the dollar-rupee Futures with non-dollar currencies is expected to minimise risk 22. Infosys eyes $500 m in revenues from new engagement model 21 dec’09 BANGALORE: India‘s second-biggest software exporter Infosys Technologies, which currently derives around $165 million from new engagement models, sees revenues from such engagements to be around $500 million going forward, the company officials told financial analysts earlier this month. These new engagement models (NEM) include application and outcome-based pricing, transaction-based pricing and platform-based solutions that can be used to serve multiple customers without having to deploy additional software engineers. ―Infosys currently has 84 clients in NEM model with deal size of $165 million. The company is currently looking at newer NEM opportunities which would be greater than $500 million to be executed going forward,‖ financial brokerage firm Angel Broking said in a research note on Wednesday. Infosys‘ efforts on the non-linear front are also expected to pay off over next five years. Revenues from new, non-linear initiatives will contribute 33% of the company‘s revenues, from around 5% currently. 23. Stepping Style 23 dec’09 BATA unveiled its 2009 winter collection. It includes styles like metallic, patent and two tones and is available in a variety of colours. They start from Rs 599 onwards. 24. Refined Art 23 dec’09 ELITAIRE unveiled its new collection of antique products from Italy. The range comprises Cleopatra, Big Ben Grandfather clock, Chaise Lounge, Dancing Lady, Chess Board, Chandlier and Clock / Candelabra. It starts from Rs 5 lakh. 25. VIDEOCON IN TALKS TO MAKE, SELL PHILIPS TV 23dec‘09 Deal May Help Indian Firm Compete Better With Korean Brands Videocon, the consumer durables maker which had partnered Japan‘s Toshiba and Akai in the past, may make and sell televisions under the century old Philips brand as South Korea‘s Samsung and LG eat up market share in the $ 7.5 bn durables industry. P N Dhoot president of the Videocon group and Murali Sivaraman, CEO Designate, Indian Subcontinent of Philips met recently to evaluate the possibility of the Indian company manufacturing and selling television under Philips‘ brand name in India, at least three people familiar with the development said. It is not necessary that the discussions will lead to a deal. If a deal happens, it is expected to strengthen Vidoecon‘s position in the television market where it has been losing grip as its brand lost appeal to nimbler and better made Korean products. Philips, the inventor of audio casette tapes and compact discs which is a household name in India, could help Videocon gain lost ground. ―In terms of recall, Philips is a perpetual brand‖ said a rival on conditions of anonymity about the Philips brand. Murali Sivaraman, CEO said, ―I would not like to comment on it. It is in the realm of speculation.‖ P N Dhoot denied the move and said the discussion had looked at contract manufacturing for Philips in India. The Videocon group, one of the few to survive the onlsaught of inexpensive, but better consumer durables from global makers, has been looking to acquire global technologies and manufacturing facilities. It had in the past also exploited the poor management of global companies in India when it bought out the manufacturing units of Sweden‘s Electrolux AB. If the discussions evolve into a deal, it could be similar to Videocon‘s deal with Electrolux where it gained control three manufacturing facilities in India and a separate licence agreement to distribute products under the Electrolux, Kelvinator and Allwyn brands in all SAARC countries, the person said. While for Videocon it may be a cornerstone of its near-term strategy after terminating a deal with Japan‘s Toshiba, it wouldn‘t hurt Philips if it gets royalties without any expenses. Videocon, which launched colour televisions in 1985, and BPL, had dominated the Indian consumer durables market in the 80s and 90s when there were few rivals. But the opening up of the economy brought in the then little known names such as Samsung and LG into India which swamped the market with far superior products, technology and financing schemes with banks. While BPL faded into near oblivion, Videocon survived with different strategies. Other than buying Electrolux‘s units in 2005, it bought French television maker Thomson in the same year. Subsequently, it tried to buy Korea‘s Daewoo Electricals, but failed. It also hired onetime arch-rival K R Kim, from LG India who has cut down total brands to four from 13 and is for a few strong brands. But there may be pitfalls too if Philips eats into the Videocon brand, experts say. It could be a repeat performance in the negative for Videocon as other brands such as Akai that encroached upon Videocon brands. ―Philips is not really a premium brand and could cannibalise into the Videocon brand sales‖ said Nabankur Gupta, founder and CEO, Nobby Brand Architects and Strategic Marketing. ―Videocon lacks a spearhead brand after its marketing and manufaturing agreement with Toshiba ended and Videocon Bazooka too lost its uniqueness.‘‘ For Philips, it may be a kind of heads I win, tails you lose situation since it has put healthcare and lifestyle as the ``overarching theme‘‘ of its vision. ―It makes good sense for Philips to look for a partner to market the brand,‘‘ said Gupta. 26. Its knack for snacks gives it Chataka taste 23 dec‘09 BALAJI WAFERS IS A NAME TO RECKON WITH IN THE RS 600-CR GUJARAT SNACKS MARKET CHATAKA Pataka Tangy Tomato Snacks happens to be all over Gujarat — present in almost every paan shop and organised retail outlet, but with no jumbo billboards screaming its delights. With simple ideas that may seem outlandish in this age of brazen marketing, Chataka creator Balaji Wafers Pvt Ltd has managed to fend off bigger players like Pepsico and Haldiram‘s in the Rs 600-crore Gujarat market for over two decades since launch. ―Balaji survives solely on word-ofmouth publicity,‖ Mahesh Manjawala, executive director, Triton Communications, adding that the group has few advertisements to its name. That publicity, say industry watchers and rivals, comes from the Gujarat-based snacks maker‘s ability to localise flavours. ―Balaji understands the palate of the consumer well,‖ says Mr Manjawala. Indeed, Balaji products like Chataka Pataka, Ratlami Sev and Sing Bhujiya, among others, suit the tastes of a specific market. The company offers masala wafers to cater to the Gujarati palate, chaat masala for the Maharashtra market and a range of spicy snacks for Rajasthan. Here, it scores over Haldiram‘s, which too has flavours to cater to the North Indian palate, by a better understanding of the Gujarati consumer. Balaji‘s pampers the Gujarati‘s sweet tooth by keeping its khattameetha less spicy. ―Balaji‘s product mix is just right,‖ says Mr Manjawala. Those products get an extensive reach in Gujarat, courtesy 10 sole distributors and a 400dealer network, complemented by a fleet of 150 trucks and 3,500 minivans. According to industry watchers, tremendous dealer support is one of Balaji‘s key strengths. Balaji keeps its dealers happy and is flexible in dealings, says Shashin Shah, an Ahmedabadbased dealer. ―Our salespeople always get easy money,‖ he says, adding that the group encourages dealers to arrange their own fleet, for which they are compensated. Not to forget a certain factor called pricing. Balaji‘s namkeen and wafer packets come for as less as Rs 1 and Rs 5, respectively. Balaji MD Chandu Virani says volumes help him offer such prices. The pricing plan drove PepsiCo‘s Kurkure down the same path, he says, adding that his rivals had to offer similar schemes to retain consumers. This strategy of marrying price, flavour and distribution is estimated to have catapulted the group to a 90% share of the state‘s wafers market and 70% of the namkeen market. After beating local brands like Samrat & Real, Balaji has since spread to Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, eyeing a bigger bite of the Rs 3,000-crore branded snacks market. Rivals are understandably frustrated with Balaji‘s success. But some months ago, Lays and Haldiram‘s got a godsend opportunity to learn management practices from the group. Representatives from the two companies came calling at Balaji‘s premises, taking in operations at the plants and potato fields where the company sources its raw materials. Lay‘s went back a lot wiser. ―We are impressed by the simplicity and efficiency of Balaji‘s operations,‖ said a PepsiCo spokesman while Haldiram‘s could not be reached for its comment. PepsiCo has since been trying to convince Mr Virani for a sellout. The group is against the idea, focusing instead on an expansion overdrive. Plans are afoot to expand the snacks range and cater to the global markets. Balaji is also embracing innovations; an automatic food-tech potato processing machinery was installed recently at one of its plants. Like most family-run businesses, Balaji too had humble beginnings — its delivery van sputtered to life on a loan of Rs 25,000 from a 1,000-metre plot in 1989-90. Before that, Chandu Virani, born in a farmer‘s family, moved to Rajkot from Dhundhoraji village in Jamnagar after acute drought in the mid-1970s snatched all means of livelihood. ―While our attempts to do farm equipment business flopped miserably, robbing our family of savings, I also had to shelve plans to run a dairy retail outlet,‖ he recollects. At 17, Mr Virani was meeting ends by working as a canteen boy & doorkeeper at Rajkot‘s Astron Cinema for Rs 90 a month. Help came in the form of Mr Virani‘s then employer, Govind Khunt, who outsourced the canteen business to him and his brother. From that ramshackle canteen, Balaji has grown to a group that boasts of three plants—two in Rajkot and one in Valsad—that churn out 30 lakh packets per day and a Rs 300-crore turnover in 2008-09. Mr Virani still refers to his former employer as ―seth‖, much to the latter‘s embarrassment, who believes ―Chandu has grown in stature and is now a seth himself‖. Those days helped Mr Virani find a name for the grandiose business that was shaping up in his mind. ―In 1983-84, a small Hanuman temple was set up in the cinema hall‘s canteen. That inspired me to name the then homemade potato wafers Balaji,‖ he says. Today, Balaji‘s aura of invincibility, which allows it to even host rival representatives, is a hot topic in B-schools, discussed maybe over its own snacks. 27. Designed To Awe 23 dec’09 MINAWALA jewellers introduced Autumn Leaves, designer jewellery for women. The jewel interprets shapes of nature with style and simplicity of thought. 28. Idiotic! 23 dec’09 PANTALOONS launched the 3 Idiots movie merchandise available exclusively across their stores in the country. 29. Govt opposes demerger of Vodafone Essar 23 dec‘09 The government on Tuesday opposed the demerger scheme of Vodafone Essar — proposing the transfer of tower business to another group company in the form of a gift — saying the move would result in evasion of tax payment. Vodafone had proposed to transfer the passive infrastructure (tower business) of its seven firms, operating in various circles, to Vodafone Essar Infrastructure in the form of a gift. The application is being heard by the Delhi High Court. During the proceedings in the court of justice SK Mishra, additional solicitor general Parag Tripathi and Premlata Bansal, appearing for the Income-Tax department, opposed the move contending the operator was trying to evade the capital gain tax. ―They (Vodafone) are trying to evade taxable revenue and taxable profit. How can seven companies give their assets as gift to one company? They cannot gift each other. Companies can do only transactions,‖ submitted the ASG. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Rajiv Nayyar, appearing for the Vodafone Essar Group, contended its seven concerns, including Vodafone Essar Mobile, Vodafone Essar South, Vodafone Essar Gujarat and Vodafone Essar Digilink, are giving their passive infrastructure as a gift to Vodafone Essar Infrastructure. Under passive infrastructure, they are transferring their wireless and broadband towers. This includes all the rights, including rental, liabilities and revenues earned by them. The ASG submitted it was ―evasion of government revenue and was against the accounting standards‖. It would effect the taxable income and taxable profit of the companies, he added. ―Such style of gift is impossible,‖ he said, adding the nature of transfer was something contractual. ―Moreover, it is also not very clear that the assets which they are transferring is movable or immovable,‖ the IT department submitted. Vodafone Essar Mobile Service has filed a petition under Section 391 and 394 of The Companies Act, 1956, seeking the court nod for reconstruction and amalgamation of the companies. The court has listed the matter for a January 18, 2010, hearing. 30. Telcos blame govt for delay in no. portability 23 dec‘09 WITH India failing to keep its January 1 deadline for the implementation of number portability — the facility that allows mobile customers to change their operator, but retain their number — private telcos have now shifted the blame for this delay on the government. The Cellular Operators Association of India, the body representing operators on the GSM platform, has now said that the delays were on account of the government has failing to carry out comprehensive testing that is critical to ensure correct call routing post MNP implementation. ―The test schedule by Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) in this regard is yet to be finalised,‖ explained COAI‘s officiating director general T R Dua. The industry body has also added that the processes required to be put in place to address security concerns in the post MNP scenario were yet to be defined. ―In spite of repeated request by the industry, the MNP operators in the two zones are yet to interconnect with each other so as to ensure a cost efficient and robust MNP solution. In a phase wise implementation of MNP, there is a concern that a subscriber calling a ported number from a service area where MNP is not implemented in the first phase may not be able to get through. Hence it is important for all networks to be MNP ready in the first phase itself so as to ensure successful call completion. This concern is yet to be addressed,‖ Mr Dua added. He also said that operators had conveyed these concerns to the government. Mr Dua also said that he delay in the introduction of MNP was beyond the control of the service providers. But last week, minister for Communications, Gurudas Kamat told lawmakers in the upper house of Parliament that MNP was delayed since operators had not completed upgradation of their networks. In another move that could derail the implementation of MNP in the country, the home ministry has also pointed out that minority shareholders of US-based Telcordia Technologies (one of the two companies chosen to implement this technology here) were only a front, and had no experience in running telecom operations. 31. Indian-origin CEOs head 8 US cos: Forbes 23 dec‘09 PEPSICO chief executive Indra Nooyi inevitably tops the list of what Forbes calls ―Eight IndianFlavoured CEOs‖ who lead US corporations with revenues of at least $2 billion as the premier business magazine chronicles the rise of Indians in corporate ranks in America. ―The chief executive of PepsiCo would be prominent no matter what. The fact that the current one — Indra Nooyi — is an Indian immigrant (and female, in case you‘ve been living under a rock) makes her all the more noteworthy,‖ it says. ―It‘s not a surprise that we‘re seeing Indians rise in corporate ranks,‖ Forbes quotes Richard Herman, co-author of a book on migrants to the US, Immigrant, Inc, as saying in an article published Monday. ―Despite these personal success stories the number of immigrants who are leading corporate America, Indian or otherwise, is still a tiny fraction,‖ according to Forbes. But, says Mr Herman, ―look at where the data was ten years ago and maybe it was zero or one (Indian then).‖ Future CEO candidates might want to look for a tough assignment in order to break through, he says. Of the featured eight, Nooyi, 53, says Mr Herman, is part of a growing trend where US companies are being created, or led, by foreign-born individuals who bring in something special. Vikram Pandit, the embattled CEO of Citigroup, is the other prominent native Indian in the corner office. Third on the list is Kenya-born Francisco D‘Souza heads Cognizant Technology Solutions, which outsources IT services for its Western world clients. D‘- Souza, whose grandparents hailed from Goa, joined the company in 1994 when it was founded and within three years had gone up the ranks to become director of North American operations. Next comes Shantanu Narayen, 46, at the helm at Adobe Systems. The diversified software company‘s flagship Internet video tool is Flash. ―At least one top boss of Indian descent is plotting a growth strategy,‖ says Forbes of Quest Diagnostics‘ head Surya Mohapatra, fifth on the list. Mohapatra has raised $750 million from the capital markets for acquisitions. 32. SMALL MOBILE COS DIAL C FOR CRICKET 22 dec‘09 KARBONN, LEMON, AIRPHONE USING CRICKET FOR MARKETING SMALL mobile phone manufacturers are embracing the big-budget world of cricket advertising as they look to give their obscure regional brands maximum hype in the shortest span of time. Brands like Lemon Mobile, Airphone, Lava Mobiles, Onida Mobiles and Karbonn Mobiles, launched in the last 15 months or so, have lined up budgets of Rs 50-100 crore to spend on cricket-related advertisement campaigns on television. The first four brands advertised heavily during the recent India-Sri Lanka T-20 matches while Karbonn Mobile has bagged the title sponsorship for the ongoing one-day international series between the two sides. ―Cricket and Bollywood are the only two high-impact, high-reach properties in India,‖ says Shashin Devsari, executive director of Jaina Group, the owner of Karbonn, which is spending over Rs 50 crore in marketing. Mr Devsari adds that both guarantee a certain return on investments. The likes of Lemon and Lava swear by the appeal of India‘s most popular sport, as their target audience is the youth in urban markets and first-time users in semi-urban and rural areas, where cricket scores over everything else. Onida, for instance, has made cricket its top marketing priority as it is targeting the male population in smaller cities. The company will use a big part of its Rs 100-crore budget for this fiscal in promoting its cellphones. Pitted against bigger, established players like Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson in the 130million annual Indian handset market, small companies are targeting consumers with featureloaded handsets of Rs 1,800-6,000. ―Going after cricket for its universal appeal makes sense,‖ says Shripad Nadkarni, director at Mumbai-based MarketGate Consulting. The huge costs involved — cricket ad slots are said to be up to 100% more expensive than other prime-time TV placements — are hardly a deterrent for these companies. They prefer the short bursts of high-impact exposure through cricket to scattering spending across different media, according to industry watchers. Indeed, cricket serves as the perfect vehicle for small companies looking to ride the shifting brand loyalty in the handsets category. With a countrywide distribution network already in place, the prospective wide reach through cricket also fuels their national ambitions. ―It gives them an opportunity to generate brand pull,‖ says Harminder Sahani, CEO of Delhibased Wazir Consultancy. Adds SN Rai, co-founder, Lava International: ―Cricket is expensive but it delivers in impact and reach.‖ Lava is spending a major part of its Rs 60-crore advertising budget on the game. Their limited budgets are another reason why these companies are backing a sure-fire marketing tool like cricket. ―Karbonn wants high brand saliency and credibility in a short period of time. Only cricket can help achieve that,‖ says Naveen Khemka, VP, Zenith Optimedia, the brand‘s media-buying agency. Shoestring ad budgets also make companies look beyond cricket. ―We are advertising only on TV programmes that have TRPs of over 3 and 4,‖ says Intex Mobile marketing head Naved Chaudhary, The brand, which is to spend Rs 8 crore on marketing, is a regular on programmes like Baalika Vadhu on Colors and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on Zee TV. It is also a big advertiser on Mahua TV, a channel catering to audiences in Western UP, Bihar and Jharkhand. 33. LG rejigs go-to-market strategy ELECTRIFYING STUFF 22 dec’09 COMPONENTS OF LG’S GO-TO-MARKET STRATEGY ACCOUNT STRATEGY AND PLANNING: The company will segment its key dealer accounts in order to know where to play and how to play. TRADE TERM: Company will come up with a more leaner trade term structure. A 3 slab sales incentive scheme for dealers will be introduced KEY ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT: Since around 20% of its trade partners were contributing 80% to the business, LG plans to move from catalogue selling to display selling. It will try and provide a maximum number of its models on display in these outlets. FLOOR SALESMAN PROGRAMME: Company plans to train more than 40,000 sales people employed by dealers. Training to focus on selling skills, behavioural skills, product and technology details. MOMENT OF TRUTH PROGRAMME: The strategy is to make the customer feel at home in dealer‘s outlet. The sales people will be trained to understand the consumer‘s need and ensure that they are delivered the right product 34. Fuller dreams a dream, Ford & Pepsi make it a reality 22 dec‘09 Global Web Reality Show ‘If I Can Dream’ Will Document The Lives Of Five Young People Trying To Make It To Hollywood SIMONFuller, the creator of ‗American Idol‘, has unveiled a global web reality show called ‗If I Can Dream‘, initially bypassing TV in favour of Hulu, with Ford and Pepsi on board as advertisers. The show, produced by Fuller‘s 19 Entertainment, will document the lives of five young people trying to make it in Hollywood. ‗If I Can Dream‘ represents significant milestones for Hulu.com. It marks the first time it has distributed a full length original programme and the first time a recurring programme will have been available globally. It will be broadcast 24-hours a day on ificandream.com with a recap show available for viewers around the world at the end of each week on the News Corporation, NBC Universal and Walt Disney-owned Hulu.com. In addition to being shown globally on the web, ‗If I can Dream‘ will be broadcast in the US on radio in a deal with Clear Channel and will also air on News Corp‘s MySpace. The group of five comprises a musician, an actor, two actresses and a model and will follow them as they leave their hometowns and head for Los Angeles and a shared house in the Hollywood Hills. While it echoes previous reality shows, such as MTV‘s ‗The Real World‘, because it is played out on the web it will allow the audience to directly interact with the wannabe stars. Viewers will be able to connect with the contestants through text, blogs, MySpace, Twitter and Facebook as the action unfolds in real-time. The collective online thoughts and ideas of the audience will be recorded through blogs and video messages on ificandream.com allowing the five to test ideas, rehearse and audition in front of their audience. As well as the original five housemates viewers will be introduced to a rolling cast of other new hopefuls, visitors and other participants. Fuller said that in creating the show he wanted to push boundaries of mainstream entertainment: ―The next frontier is the video world of authentic real-time interaction. ‗If I Can Dream‘ experiments with technology to provide for the first time a complete open door opportunity that allows the viewer to experience reality in a way never before attempted. ―It is time the public got to see the truth behind what it takes to launch the careers of young artists who have a dream that one day on pure merit they can be professional entertainers and gain the recognition they crave. This is the dawning of a new age.‖ Pepsi‘s partnership with ‗If I can Dream‘ is part of its Pepsi Refresh Project, launching in 2010. Pepsi will invest $20m in community projects created in association with the soft drink giant. Ford will use its involvement to create a fresh marketing initiative to pre-promote the launch of the 2011 North American Ford Fiesta. The car firm said it would use the reality show to build on the social media campaign, the Fiesta Movement programme, which generated over 675,000 Flickr views and 5.5 million YouTube views in 2009. Connie Fontaine, manager, brand content and alliances at Ford, said: ―The Ford Fiesta already has the attention of socially vibrant consumers months before it goes on sale in North America next summer. ―The role that 19 Entertainment and Ford have created for Fiesta is really exciting and will provide viewers a different look at the cast members through amazing technology and the Fiesta.‖ (Brand Republic (C) Campaign) 35. Get Grooving 23 dec’09 MITASHI introduces MX 2009 music players. The player can play DVDs, VCDs, MP3, radio and more. 36. Dress Up 23 dec’09 WILLS Lifestyle unveiled its Autum-Winter 2009 collection. It comprises designer wear, formal wear, sports wear, evening wear and accessories for both men and women. The ensembles are priced between Rs 2,999 – 14,999. 37. Tata Motors to bring in hybrid city buses 22dec’09 NEW DELHI: After developing the electric version of its flagship passenger car Indica, country's largest auto maker Tata Motors is now working on hybrid city buses aimed at providing ecofriendly transportation solutions for Indian cities. "The work is going on for hybrid city bus ... We think this will be a better solution," Tata Motors managing director (India Operations) Prakash M Telang said here. He, however, declined to comment about the stage of the development work and when the company will launch the product. "We are trying our best and we will come out with the product as soon as possible." When asked if Tata Motors would showcase the product in Delhi Auto Expo next month, Telang said: "We will have surprises in the Expo. We will showcase some concept cars, some ready products. Its too early to talk about it, lets see what we have in Auto Expo." According to sources, Tata Motors is working on a series of hybrid buses based on LCV and high capacity bus platforms. 38. Reliance Life's new brand promise is 'All is Well' 24 dec’09 NEW DELHI: Reliance Life Insurance has entered into an association with the makers of '3 Idiots', as per which the insurance firm will use the thought 'All is Well' -- one of the mainstay theme of the film -- to promote its products. "'All is well' is a brand promise. It is a way of saying that if someone has our policy, his financial needs in the various milestones of his life would be covered by our plans," Reliance Capital Chief Marketing Officer Sanjay Jain said. The makers of '3 Idiots', Vidhu Vinod Chopra Films, and Reliance Life have entered into a tie up and would drive immense benefits from the synergy and will be jointly promoting the concept of All is well , the company said. "It is a win-win situation for both of us. We are running a brand campaign and we are using the footage of the movie which in turn is promoting the film," Jain said. This will be the first tie-up for Reliance Life Insurance in the entertainment space, as per which the company would reach out to masses with a simple and endearing proposition --'Jab hai saath Reliance Life Insurance. All Is Well'. The campaign is running over 50 TV channels and 37 radio channels covering more than 250 cities in India. 39. Cos eye handsome gains with sanitizers 24dec‘09 Godrej, Paras, Wipro & Himalaya Cashing In On Swine Flu Scare FORdecades, personal hygiene for Indians started and ended with Lifebuoy soaps and Dettol hand wash. Not any more. With swine flu scare sweeping across the country and spreading consciousness about hygiene like never before, a bunch of consumer product makers including Godrej Consumer Products, Paras Pharmaceuticals and Wipro Consumer Care have jumped into this market with hand sanitizers. Hindustan Unilever too has launched its hand sanitizer in select markets under the Lifebuoy brand alright, but it‘s facing competition from Himalaya Herbal Healthcare, one of the few existing players that had so long restricted its sales mostly to hospitals, and a spate of new regional brands. ―Lifebuoy has launched hand sanitizers in select markets,‖ said a Hindustan Unilever spokesperson. There is also speculation that Reckitt Benckiser, makers of Dettol antiseptic liquid and soaps, too will bring out its hand sanitizer soon as the category sees brisk sales despite premium pricing compared with liquid soaps. ―What we have sold in the last three months is probably equivalent to what we sold in the last three years,‖ Saket Gore, business head, consumer products, at Himalaya Herbal Healthcare, said about the company‘s hand sanitizer brand Pure Hands. While the company has widened the distribution network for its hand sanitizer, Himalaya has not started advertising its brand, unlike most of its competition that are very aggressive in marketing their product. Marketers are using different positioning from convenience (no need for water and towels) and effectiveness (safer than traditional methods) to even emotion for their respective brands. Godrej Consumer Products, for example, is tapping distribution points like kirana and general stores, and even small chemist outlets for its Protekt hand sanitizer. ―Concern about H1N1 influenza (swine flu) specially among schools, offices, shopping and traveling has been increasing rapidly, and it‘s the risk factor of the disease that‘s fuelling growth,‖ said Dalip Sehgal, MD of Godrej Consumer Products. Paras Pharmaceuticals is positioning its Dermicool hand sanitizer indirectly against soaps and is mainly targeting women. It was the first in the category to advertise on television. ―When people are outside-the-home in shopping malls or travelling, even water can have germs. Hand sanitizers offer far better protection against germs, and we believe the category will become crowded in times to come,‖ says S Raghunandan, MD and CEO of the company that makes Moov painkiller, Krack cream and D‘Cold anti-cold lozenge and cough syrup. Wipro Consumer Care entered this space about three months ago by extending its Chandrika brand to hand sanitizers. It is mainly focusing on schools to create awareness about its hand sanitizer brand. ―We don‘t expect the category to be too large but it‘s the need of the hour. For parents of school going children, the HINI flu scare is an emotional issue,‖ said Vineet Agrawal, president of Wipro‘s consumer care business. According to a Nielsen study, sales of hand sanitizers in the United States soared 245% on reports of the H1N1 flu strain. In the UK, hand sanitizers has grown three-folds since the HINI scare broke about 10 months ago. This sudden surge in demand around the world has brought alive an almost non-existent market, where the only available hand sanitizers were expensive imported brands. 40. E&Y is top deal advisor in India, Morgan in world 24dec‘09 ERNST and Young tops league tables for financial advisors to Indian M&As for 2009, with 22 deals worth $5.6 billion, while Morgan Stanley looks set to topple Goldman Sachs as the world‘s top M&A deal advisor by value for the first time in recent years. The top two investment bankers are still in close competition, as a year draws to a close — Morgan Stanley worked on $574 billion worth of deals, while Goldman Sachs, in some cases in the same deals, worked on $535 billion, according to the preliminary league tables from mergermarket, a globally accepted market intelligence tracker. Boutique firm Rothschild was the busiest M&A advisor, doing the maximum amount of work, while JP Morgan, though still at number three, has fallen off in Europe and Asia Pacific. Global M&A activity has perked up in the fourth quarter of 2009, seeing the maximum activity in 5 quarters, with $575 billion worth of deals announced so far. Globally, the top deals for the year were Pfizer-Wyeth ($63 billion), followed by Rio-BHP ($58 billion), the sale of GM assets ($48 billion), Roche-Genentech ($44 billion), and Merck-Schering ($43 billion). Asia Pacific, however, remains the only region where M&A activity has almost returned to its 2007 levels, driven by increasing outbound activity from China, global financial services selling off Asian assets and the massive Rio-BHP JV deal looming over the region. The region announced 2,084 deals worth $402 billion, a drop of merely 1% in value, and 10% in volume compared with 2008. For the year to date, Asia-Pacific makes up 24% of global M&A value and volume, though US alone still accounts for 32% of global M&A activity. The top deals in Asia-Pac include Rio-BHP JV, China Yangtze Power-China Three Gorges ($15 billion), and Nippon Oil-Nippon Mining ($12 billion). There are no India-focused deals in the top 10. Indian M&A activity hovered at around 4% of the total in Asia-pacific by value, and 9% in volume. BofaML ranks as runner up to Ernst & Young in value, with 7 deals worth $4.9 billion and BMR advisors enters the lists at second spot in terms of volume with 10 deals worth $277 million. Ernst & Young works its way up from 15th spot in terms of value in 2008. Others in the top ten Indian M&A advisors include Citigroup at third sport, UBS Investment Bank, Enam, JM Financial, Kotak Investment Banking, Bansi Mehta and Co, Credit Suisse, with RBS and Barclays Capital at 10th place. 41. Nestle made misleading drink health claims: FDA Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:09am IST WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Swiss food giant Nestle made misleading claims about the health benefits of some children's beverages, U.S. regulators said in letters released on Tuesday. The Food and Drug Administration, in a December 4 letter, said Nestle made unauthorized nutrient content claims about Juicy Juice Brain Development Fruit Juice Beverage (Apple), Juicy Juice All-Natural 100% Juice Orange Tangerine and Juicy Juice All-Natural 100% Juice Grape. The FDA said the company, for example, used the statement "no sugar added" on the brain development drink. That type of claim is not permitted for foods intended for children under age 2, the agency's letter said. Pam Krebs, a spokeswoman for Nestle Beverage, confirmed the company had received the letter on the Juicy Juice products. "We are intending to fully cooperate with the FDA in bringing this matter to a conclusion," she said. In a separate December 3 letter, the FDA said Nestle's Boost Kid Essentials Nutritionally Complete Drink, in vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavors, was promoted as a "medical food" but did not meet requirements for that type of claim. A representative for Nestle Healthcare Nutrition, the division that markets the Boost products, could not immediately be reached for comment. The FDA posted the letters on its website here#recent. 42. Morgan Stanley resumes Yahoo with overweight rating Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:05pm IST (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley resumed coverage of Yahoo Inc with an "overweight" rating, saying the online ad market appears to be firming and the internet giant's homepage redesign is driving usage. The brokerage is expecting the top U.S. seller of online display ads to deliver "material" sequential revenue growth in calendar fourth-quarter after witnessing seven quarters of negligible to negative quarter-on-quarter growth. Larger budgets and slowing inventory growth is expected to give Yahoo a strong and stable pricing power in 2010, analyst Mary Meeker said in a note to clients "Yahoo's new homepage, which, in part, serves up better content owing to leveraging insights from clicks, queries, editors may be putting Yahoo in the pole position to become the news source of first resort," Meeker, who has a $20 price target on the stock, said. The analyst said she is positive about Yahoo's chances of becoming an increasingly crucial player in the future of journalism. Meeker also expects Yahoo's deal with Microsoft Corp to help expand margins and lower risks. Microsoft and Yahoo had earlier this year signed a 10-year global Web search partnership to challenge market leader Google Inc, a pact that U.S. and European antitrust regulators are evaluating. Shares of the company were up 3 percent at $16.49 Wednesday morning on Nasdaq. They touched a high of $16.53 earlier in the trade. 43. Kodak, Samsung agree to settle patent dispute Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:44pm IST NEW YORK (Reuters) - South Korean electronics giant Samsung has agreed to pay Eastman Kodak to settle a patent dispute over digital camera technology, the U.S. camera maker said on Wednesday. The settlement follows a ruling last week by an U.S. International Trade Commission judge that Samsung had infringed on two Kodak patents on digital cameras. Kodak had initially complained to the commission in November 2008, saying the digital cameras in mobile phones made by Samsung and LG Electronics Inc infringed on technology it had patented. Then Samsung filed its own complaint with the ITC in February, saying some Kodak digital cameras infringed on its technology. The ITC is a popular venue for patent infringement cases because it can stop imports of items made with the technology in question. The two companies are negotiating the settlement, which calls for Samsung to make a nonrefundable payment to Kodak this year toward its future royalty obligations. The camera maker did not disclose the amount of the payment. Kodak shares were up 10 cents at $4.42 in trading before the market opened. 44. Microsoft loses Word patent appeal Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:36pm IST SEATTLE, Dec 22 (Reuters) - A U.S. court of appeals on Tuesday upheld a $290 million jury verdict against Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) for infringing a patent held by a small Canadian software firm, and affirmed an injunction that prevents Microsoft from selling versions of its Word program which contain the offending software. The ruling, by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit -- which handles many patent and trademark cases -- may signal the endgame of a long-running dispute between Microsoft and Toronto-based i4i Ltd. On Aug. 12, a jury in a federal U.S. district court in Texas ruled in favor of i4i Ltd against Microsoft, for infringing a patent relating to the use of XML, or extensible markup language, in the 2003 and 2007 versions of Word. The jury slapped more than $290 million in damages on Microsoft and the court granted i4i's motion for an injunction preventing the world's top software company from selling versions of Word that contain the disputed patent technology. That injunction was stayed while Microsoft appealed the case with the Court of Appeals. According to Tuesday's ruling, which upheld the injunction, Microsoft will be prevented from selling infringing versions of Word from Jan. 11, 2010. However, industry experts say the most likely outcome is a settlement between the two parties that allows Microsoft to pay a royalty to i4i and continue selling Word. "I4i is especially pleased with the court's decision to uphold the injunction, an important step in protecting the property rights of small inventors," said Michel Vulpe, founder and coinventor of i4i, in a statement. Microsoft would not immediately comment on the matter. The case is: i4i Limited Partnership and Infrastructures for Information Inc v. Microsoft Corp, an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in case no. 07-CV-113. 45. China to require Internet domain name registration Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:29pm IST By Lucy Hornby and Yu Le BEIJING (Reuters) - China has issued new Internet regulations, including what appears to be an effort to create a "whitelist" of approved websites that could potentially place much of the Internet off-limits to Chinese readers. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology ordered domain management institutions and internet service providers to tighten control over domain name registration, in a threephase plan laid out on its website (www.miit.gov.cn) late on Sunday. "Domain names that have not registered will not be resolved or transferred," MIIT said, in an action plan to "further deepen" an ongoing anti-pornography campaign that has resulted in significant tightening of Chinese Internet controls. Only allowing Chinese viewers to access sites registered on a whitelist would give Chinese authorities much greater control, but would also block millions of completely innocuous sites. The rules did not specify whether the new measure applies to overseas websites, but local media reported the risk that foreign sites that have not registered could also be blocked. "If some legal foreign websites could not be accessed because they haven't registered with MIIT, it would be a pity for the Internet which is meant to connect the whole world," the Beijing News said on Tuesday. Chinese Internet controls currently follow a blacklist strategy, whereby censors block sensitive sites as soon as they discover them. Earlier this summer, MIIT tried to require that all new Chinese computers be shipped with the Green Dam filter software, but partially backed off after an international outcry. The anti-pornography drive since this summer has also netted many sites with politically sensitive or even simply user-generated content, in what many see as an effort by the Chinese government to reassert control over new media and its potential for citizens sharing information and organizing. "One interpretation is that all foreign websites would need to register in order not to be blocked in China," said Rebecca MacKinnon of the Journalism and Media Studies Center at the University of Hong Kong. "These are the folks who brought us Green Dam so anything is possible. They are people with a track record of emitting unreasonable schemes." The registration requirements could constitute a barrier to trade, if Chinese citizens are prevented from accessing legitimate overseas businesses, added MacKinnon. China banned a number of popular websites and Internet services in 2009, including Google's Youtube, Twitter, Flickr and Facebook, as well as Chinese content sharing sites, including sites popular for music and film downloads. Angry Chinese Twitter users flooded a Twitter look-alike service (t.people.com.cn) launched by the official People's Daily on Tuesday, causing it to be immediately shut down. Many virtual private network, or VPN, services used to get around Web restrictions have also become harder to use from China, while 20 million people living in the frontier region of Xinjiang have been cut off from the Internet and international telephone services since deadly ethnic riots in July. "What usually happens when suddenly compiled rules appear without warning is that they are rarely enforced. My gut reaction is that this is yet another of those cases," said Beijing-based technology commentator Kaiser Kuo. 46. IBM gets $83 mln deal from Digicable Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:39pm IST NEW DELHI (Reuters) - IBM on Tuesday said it had signed a 10-year outsourcing deal with cable and broadband distribution firm Digicable, which will make an initial payment of $83 million. IBM already has contracts with Indian media companies Sun TV and Tata Sky, K.S. Raghunandan, its director of solutions for India and South Asia, told reporters he expected significant growth in deals in the sector. "This is the minimum commitment. As Digicable grows, there is significant potential for this to grow," he said of the Digicable deal. IBM has annual revenue of $2 billion globally from the media and entertainment industry, he said. Digicable, in which British investment firm Ashmore owns a 49 percent stake, has more than 8 million subscribers in 70 cities of India. IBM will support the integration of the firm's digital media content delivery and value-added services such as video-on-demand, interactive TV and Internet services on TV, it said in a statement. 47. LG Elec to start producing solar cells in January Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:30am IST SEOUL, Dec 22 (Reuters) - South Korea's LG Electronics Inc said on Tuesday it would start commercial production of solar cells and modules next month at its local plant, as clean energy emerges as the next growth engine for many technology firms. LG's production line is able to produce 520,000 solar modules using silicon wafers annually, a number capable of producing enough electricity to power 40,000 homes for a year. LG (066570.KS: Quote, Profile, Research) said it planned to set up another production line for operation by 2011. Total investments for the two lines would reach 220 billion won ($185.6 million), LG said in a statement. The global market for solar cells is estimated at $11 billion this year, according to LG. ($1=1185.4 Won) 48. Federer and Serena named ITF World Champions Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:57pm IST LONDON (Reuters) - Roger Federer and Serena Williams were named 2009 ITF World Champions on Tuesday after capturing four grand slam singles titles between them in 2009. It is the fifth time Switzerland's world number one Federer has won the ITF award, based on performances at grand slam events, Tour events, Davis Cup and Fed Cup. Williams took the award for the second time despite her foul-mouthed outburst at a line judge at this year's U.S. Open. Williams was fined $175,000 and put on probation for two years by the Grand Slam Committee following the tirade that resulted in her receiving a point penalty and losing her semi-final against Kim Clijsters. Federer had no such shadow hanging over his season. "It is an honour for me to be named ITF World Champion for a fifth time," Federer said in an ITF statement. "It was an incredible year for me both on and off the court. "To win my first Roland Garros title, break the all-time Grand Slam record and regain the No. 1 ranking is amazing. It means a lot to me to finish the year again at the top." Federer took his grand slam haul to 15 with his titles at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Williams, who captured the world number one spot at the season finale in Doha, has 11 singles majors after winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Serena and sister Venus were named women's doubles World Champions for the first time with Bob and Mike Bryan taking the men's doubles honour for a record sixth time. "This has been another memorable year for tennis, with some outstanding performances by our World Champions. Roger Federer has truly earned his place in the history books, while the Williams sisters remain the strongest competitors on the women's tour," ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said. 49. Star Union Dai-ichi Life aims to double premium- CEO Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:18pm IST MUMBAI, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Star Union Dai-ichi Life Insurance Ltd expects to more than double premium income in Jan-March quarter with structured products for corporate clients, its chief executive said on Tuesday. The insurer, which began operations in Feb. 2009, is 51 percent owned by state-run Bank of India (BOI.BO: Quote, Profile, Research), 23 percent by Union Bank of India (UNBK.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) and 26 percent by Japan's Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance Co. The company hopes premium income will rise to 6 billion rupees by March-end, from 2.4 billion rupees now, as it launched new structured products for corporates to effectively manage gratuity and leave encashment funds, said K. Sahay. It has also tied up with state-run Central Bank of India (CBI.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) to offer annuity to reverse mortgage clients, Sahay said. "Corporate plans will help us grow our income as the year-end (fiscal) approaches," he said. The insurer has kept a target to break even in the next 4 years, he said, adding it has underwritten 71,000 policies so far. The insurer has a paid-up capital of 2.5 billion rupees. "We do not need additional capital to grow till the next fiscal," Sahay said. The company currently distributes its policies through 5,700 branches of its Indian founders, he said. Star Union is one of the latest private insurers to start operations in India that has 22 life insurance firms, including the country's largest insurer Life Insurance Corp. Indian laws currently permit foreign investment of up to 26 percent in insurance companies. The parliament is considering a law to raise the foreign-investment limit to 49 percent. 50. CBS and Walt Disney may join Apple TV venture - WSJ Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:53pm IST Dec 22 (Reuters) - Apple's (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) plan of offering television subscription via the Internet might receive a boost with U.S. media companies CBS (CBS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Walt Disney's (DIS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) probable participation in the venture, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. The planned subscription service by Apple may offer television shows from major networks for a monthly fee, which could significantly alter the television business, the paper said, citing people familiar with the matter. Apple is aiming to complete licensing deals and expects to introduce the subscription service in 2010, the paper said. The video strategy is part of Apple's plan to overhaul its iTunes store, which sells downloadable music, video and games, the paper said. Apple, CBS Corp and Disney were not available for comment. 51. Two China web firms set up fund for Hollywood films Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:35pm IST SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese Internet portal firm Sohu and video sharing firm Ku6 said on Tuesday they will set up a fund to buy licences to show Hollywood movies and television shows on their websites, catering to increasing user demand for Western media. Both firms will invest up to $10 million in total for the fund and also pledged to remove pirated video content from their websites, Ku6, a unit of Shanda Interactive Entertainment, said in a statement. China is home to the most number of Internet users in the world but as sectors in the industry grow at a rapid clip, such as online gaming and online video sharing, regulation and piracy have emerged as chief concerns. China, which imposes strict controls on imported media material, said on Tuesday it regretted the loss of its appeal against a World Trade Organisation ruling that its import monopolies violated trade commitments. China had appealed the WTO ruling against import monopolies on books, film and audio entertainment, saying that it should have the right to control imports that might harm public morals. A panel of trade judges turned down China's appeal on Monday. The United States, which brought the original complaint, had argued that China should not impose monopolies on imports of products that are authorised for sale, or are widely available in pirated form. Most of the American clips on popular video sharing websites in China are pirated, although increasingly, regulation and self censorship is playing a role in bringing down the numbers. Video sharing firm Tudou's Chief Executive Gary Wang said this month the movement from television sets to Internet videos was happening at a much faster pace in China than in the United States as Chinese youth want a greater variety of programmes than those offered in China's tightly controlled media sphere. American movies, cartoons and television shows are rarely shown on Chinese television channels. Recently Youku, a leading Chinese video sharing website, was involved in a lawsuit with Sohu Inc over what Sohu alleged was unauthorised use of its videos. 52. ADB to provide two loans totalling $850 mln to India Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:18pm IST NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has signed two loan agreements totalling $850 million with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the finance ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. The ADB will provide a $700-million loan, in three tranches in as many years, to state-run India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd. to fund the country's infrastructure programme. The Manila-based bank will lend $150 million in four tranches over a period of three years, the statement added, for the restructuring and development of Khadi industry, which makes India's traditional handspun fabric. 53. Brands that make good on doing good succeed - survey Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:46am IST SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Doing good really does pay, with a global survey finding more than six in 10 people would buy, and recommend, a brand that gave back to society or helped the environment, even if it wasn't the cheapest. Sixty-four percent of respondents to the "Good Purpose" poll of just over 6,000 consumers, by public relations firm Edelman, also said they expected brands today to support good causes. More than two-thirds said they would switch brands if another, similar-quality product supported a good cause. "People all over the world are now wearing, driving, eating, and living their social purpose as sustained engagement with good causes becomes a new criterion for social status," Mitch Markson, Edelman's chief creative officer, said in a statement. "This gives companies and brands associated with a worthy cause an opportunity to build longterm relationships with consumers that, in turn, allow them to feel valuable." The survey also revealed that, during the global economic downturn, more than half of the respondents said a company or brand had earned their business because of its do-good credentials. And while the recession had reduced the amount of money people gave towards good causes, it made them spend more of their time on volunteer work or in socially responsible programmes, the survey showed. The desire to help out also extended to the environment, with the poll finding 83 percent said they were willing to change their consumption habits to make the world a better place in which to live, including moving to an eco-friendly house (70 percent) and buying a hybrid car (67 percent). The survey was conducted among 6,026 consumers aged 18-64 earlier this year across 10 countries: the United States, China, Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Brazil, Japan and India. 54. Spyker extends offer for GM's Saab Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:54am IST By Gilbert Kreijger and Niklas Pollard AMSTERDAM/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden said a last-ditch bid by Spyker Cars for Saab offered a thread of hope the iconic brand would survive, as talks between the Dutch luxury carmaker and General Motors triggered an extended deadline. Russia-backed Spyker said on Sunday it had lodged a renewed fast-track offer to buy Saab from General Motors, imposing an expiry of 2200 GMT on Monday, but said on Monday night it had extended the expiry. The surprise new offer from Spyker -- which made 43 luxury cars last year against Saab's sales of 93,295 -- came just two days after talks with GM over a rescue of the loss-making Swedish manufacturer collapsed. "It is open-ended. It has been extended until further notice," Spyker Cars Chief Executive Victor Muller told Reuters. Swedish Enterprise Minister Maud Olofsson earlier told a news conference the renewed approach from Spyker had offered a slim thread of hope of finding a solution for Saab. "It is very late, there is a very tight timetable, and that means the situation is very difficult," she said after meeting with representatives of Saab and local authorities. Spyker Cars said on Sunday it had submitted a new offer to GM, including an 11-point proposal addressing issues that arose during the due diligence process for its old bid. "We've had various discussions with them today," Muller told Reuters prior to the extension of the offer expiry, adding that talks were "definitely" ongoing. The Swedish government said it would allot 542 million Swedish crowns ($75 million) to measures, mainly for education and job schemes, to help deal with the thousands of jobs set to disappear if Saab was shut down. Abandoning the 60-year-old Swedish auto brand would eliminate 3,400 jobs in Sweden and hit 1,100 Saab dealers, but General Motors raised hopes on Sunday when it said it would evaluate several new expressions of interest for Saab. "We should be careful about fueling new hopes in a situation where the people in Trollhattan, and at Saab and their subcontractors are thrown between hope and despair," Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told journalists. Shares in Spyker Cars closed up 19.9 percent at 2.05 euros in Amsterdam as its renewed approach to Saab sparked talk the Dutch firm -- which had a market capitalization of just 26.6 million euros ($38.12 million) at Friday's close -- may exponentially expand operations and perhaps become profitable. "The stock's value is close to nothing but if they succeed to buy Saab, invest, and turn the company around then the shares can become valuable," said a Dutch analyst who declined to be named. RUSSIANS WITHDRAW Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet, citing unidentified sources, said the ownership structure backing the Spyker bid had been altered to placate worries at GM and that Russian parties were no longer involved. "That which was considered a problem has been solved," the newspaper quoted a source as saying. Russian banking tycoon Vladimir Antonov holds a stake of almost 30 percent in Spyker Cars. Russian state-controlled Sberbank and Canada's Magna tried to buy a stake in GM's Opel unit until GM decided to keep it last month. Russia is keen to obtain Western technology to reenergize its local car industry. Spyker Cars CEO Muller said if a deal is achieved, Saab and Spyker Cars would operate as sister companies where Spyker could benefit from Saab's technical resources and its distribution network, while Spyker would bring entrepreneurial skills to Saab. "The synergies are very, very clear," he said. Spyker Cars said its new offer eliminates the need for a European Investment Bank (EIB) loan approval prior to year end, which would allow the deal to be concluded within GM's deadline of December 31, but Muller said approval of the EIB loan could still take place in 2010. "The ball is in GM's court and I don't know how GM views this. That remains to be seen," said Paul Akerlund, local union leader at Saab in Trollhattan. Saab Automobile spokesman Eric Geers has declined comment. 55. John Woo to get lifetime award at Venice film fest Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:54pm IST ROME (Reuters) - Chinese director John Woo, famed for his choreographed action movies such as "Face/Off" and "Mission: Impossible II," will receive a lifetime award at next year's Venice film festival, organizers said on Monday. Woo, who besides being a film-maker also founded the Lion Rock production company and is an author of video-games and graphic novels, "has renewed action movies to the core" both in Asia and Hollywood, the festival said in a statement. Best known for his stylized action scenes and slow-motion sequences, Woo counts among his admirers the likes of Martin Scorsese, Sam Raimi and Quentin Tarantino. The 63-year old director recently returned to his roots with "Red Cliff," an epic film about an ancient Chinese battle and the most expensive Asian-financed movie made with a $80 million budget. Next year's Venice film festival runs Sept 1-11. 56. Petronas to sponsor Mercedes F1 team Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:55pm IST KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian state oil and gas company Petronas will be title sponsor of the Mercedes Formula One team next season, Mercedes announced on Monday. The team, formerly champions Brawn GP, will become Mercedes GP Petronas with the oil company's branding across the car and team liveries in what they said was a long-term agreement. "The new title partnership also paves the way for future collaborations between the two companies," Mercedes added in a statement. It said Petronas would be able to "generate sustainable business growth, particularly in their downstream lubricants market, through the strategic partnership and business alliance with Mercedes-Benz." Mercedes said their 2010 car would be presented in its new livery for the first test of the new season at the Valencia circuit in Spain on Feb. 1. Petronas, who previously sponsored the BMW-Sauber team, will continue to be the title backer of the Malaysian Grand Prix -- the third round of the season at Sepang on April 4. "Petronas's home base in Kuala Lumpur is located in the middle of a fast-growing region for the automotive industry which makes this new partnership even more valuable," said Mercedes motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug. The deal with Mercedes will be a blow to both Swiss-based Sauber, in urgent need of sponsors after the withdrawal of BMW at the end of the season, as well as the new Malaysian-backed Lotus team. Lotus F1 boss Tony Fernandes, who also runs AirAsia, had hoped to bring Petronas on board given that his team have government support and his airline is a major purchaser of aviation fuel. The Lotus car company is also owned by Malaysian state car company Proton. Mercedes have signed Germany's Nico Rosberg as one driver and are widely expected to have seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher as the other if he makes a comeback at the age of 41. 57. India's Tata Steel to reduce carbon emissions Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:00pm IS KOLKATA, Dec 21 (Reuters) - India's Tata Steel (TISC.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) is trying to bring down carbon dioxide emissions to 1.8 tonnes per tonne of steel produced by 2012 from 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide now, a top official said on Monday. "Our target is to bring it down to 1.8 tonnes by 2012 and to 1.5 tonnes by 2020," Managing Director H.M. Nerurkar told reporters on the sidelines of a CII conference in Kolkata. He said Tata Steel's carbon dioxide emissions were already below global industry averages of about 2.2 tonnes per tonne of steel. He said that while it was relatively easy to bring down carbon emissions to 1.7 tonnes per tonne of steel, it would be difficult to lower them below that. On the prospects for Tata Steel's European unit Corus, Nerurkar said there was a slight recovery in Europe and it was expecting more orders in the infrastructure sector. Last week Corus got a 350 million euro order ($510 million) contract to supply rail tracks to French operator SNFC. [ID:nBMA00662] 58. India's Bhel gets $135 mln power plant order Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:06pm IST MUMBAI, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Indian power equipment maker, Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL.BO: Quote, Profile, Research), said on Monday it has got an order worth 6.4 billion rupees ($135 million) for a 270 megawatt power project in the eastern state of Jharkhand. Bharat Heavy will design, engineer, manufacture, supply, erect and commission the steam turbine, generator and boiler for the power plant, it said in a statement. ($1=46.8 rupees) 59. Tag Heuer to scale back use of Tiger Woods for a period Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:25am IST Tag Heuer: * Tag heuer stands by brand ambassador tiger woods * Tag heuer says it will continue its relationship with tiger woods * Tag heuer says will modifying woods' role in the coming months' marketing programs * Rpt - tag heuer says will modify woods' role in the coming months' marketing programs * Tag heuer says relationship with tiger woods has always been extremely professional and productive * Tag heuer says "will downscale the use of his image in certain markets for a period of time, depending on his decision about returning to professional golf" 60. Aegis Logistics plans to buy Shell India unit Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:08pm IST By Nandita Bose MUMBAI (Reuters) - Aegis Logistics said it was to buy an Indian unit of Royal Dutch Shell for an undisclosed sum, in a deal that will help the Indian oil, gas and chemicals logistics company enter new markets. Aegis said on Monday it planned to fund the acquisition through cash in hand. "We have a binding agreement with Shell for the sale of the company and we did that today," Raj Chandaria, Aegis vice-chairman and managing director, told Reuters by telephone. Aegis Logistics will buy Shell Gas (LPG) India Pvt Ltd, which imports and markets wholesale Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), and has an import and storage facility at Pipavav, in the western state of Gujarat. "Now there are certain regulatory approvals needed and once they are through, which we hope will happen in the next 90 days, then we will be able to financially complete the transaction," Chandaria said. Apart from importing, marketing and distributing bulk LPG and propane, Aegis also retails auto LPG under the Aegis Autogas brand through its stations spread over eight states in India. "We also enter into a new market segment in which Aegis is not present, which is the commercial and industrial cylinder segment," Chandaria said. The acquisition also helps the Aegis Autogas business, as Shell also has a presence in the autogas segment, he said. Shares of Aegis ended up 0.65 percent at 185.35 rupees in a Mumbai market that fell 0.7 percent. Royal Dutch Shell could not be immediately reached for comment. 61. Hyundai to set up commercial vehicle JV in China Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:22am IST SEOUL (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor Co said on Sunday it had signed an initial agreement to create a commercial vehicle joint venture with China's Baotou Bei Ben Heavy-Duty Truck Co Ltd with a total investment of $400 million. The 50-50 venture with the Chinese truck maker will be launched next year, taking over Baotou Bei Ben's existing large truck business that has an annual capacity of 40,000 units, the South Korean carmaker said in a statement. Hyundai will initially focus on heavy duty trucks with a sales target of 100,000 units in China by 2014 and gradually increase investment to expand its business to include the full line-up of commercial vehicles. "Entering China's commercial vehicle market is essential in establishing Hyundai's reputation as the most comprehensive car manufacturer in the world's largest auto market," Choi Hanyoung, vice chairman in charge of Hyundai's commercial vehicle division, said in the statement. "Our business in China will play a pivotal role in helping us achieve our global sales target of 200,000 units in commercial vehicles by 2013." Choi told Yonhap news agency that Hyundai would differentiate with low-price, quality products in the Chinese market from competitors such as German truckmaker MAN and Volkswagen's Swedish unit Scania Hyundai was planning to enter U.S. commercial vehicle market within two to three years via a joint venture, before its foray into Europe, he was quoted as saying. 62. Dhoni banned for two ODIs for slow over rate Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:25pm IST CHENNAI, India (Reuters) - Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been banned for two oneday international matches for his team's slow over rate in Friday's second ODI against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka squared the five-match series 1-1 by winning the day-night game in Nagpur by three wickets with five balls remaining. The match ended 45 minutes after the scheduled time due to frequent discussions between the Indian players in the tight chase. India were ruled to be three overs short of target, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said in a statement on Saturday. "The captain receives two suspension points while the players are fined 10 percent of their match fees for the first two overs short and 20 percent for every additional over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time," the ICC said. Two suspension points resulted in a ban of one test or two ODIs, depending on which came first for the player, the statement said. "The India side was at par until the 42nd over but bowled only eight overs in the last hour which is unacceptable," match referee Jeff Crowe said in the statement. Dhoni, who smashed a century on Friday, will miss the third and fourth matches in Cuttack on Monday and in Kolkata on Thursday. India named Virender Sehwag as stand-in captain. The final match will be played in Delhi on Dec. 27. 63. Malaysia hopes third time lucky for Asian Games bid Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:54am IST KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia is considering bidding for the 2019 Asian Games after twice being rejected for the region's biggest multi-sports event. The country's Youth and Sports Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek told local media that Kuala Lumpur also wanted to stage the 2013 International Olympic Committee (IOC) Congress. "If Malaysia is given the opportunity to host the IOC Congress it will strengthen Kuala Lumpur's bid for the 2019 Asian Games," he was quoted by Malaysia's Bernama news agency. Malaysia previously lost out to Qatar in the bidding to host the 2006 Asian Games and pulled out of the race for 2010 due to financial reasons. The Chinese city of Guangzhou will host next year's Asian Games while South Korea's Incheon stages the event in 2014. The first Asian Games was held in New Delhi in 1951. 64. Google in talks to buy review site Yelp - reports Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:48am IST By Alexei Oreskovic and David Lawsky SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc is in talks to buy Yelp Inc, the popular website for reviews of local businesses, in a deal that could help the Internet search leader tap a lucrative local ads market, media reports say. Google may pay more than $500 million for Yelp, according to reports confirmed to Reuters by a person familiar with the situation. It came as the Web giant embarked on an acquisition spree that has netted at least five companies since August. By swallowing privately held Yelp, Google would own one of the Web's most popular repositories of local restaurant and small-business information, including more than 8 million reviews penned by Yelp's users. That trove of content and a heavy focus on local businesses could provide a valuable foothold for Google as it seeks to convince local merchants to shift their advertising spending to the Internet. "The local advertising market is a multibillion dollar market that for all intents and purposes is still untapped on the Web," said Needham & Co analyst Mark May. In July, Internet portal Yahoo Inc teamed up with AT&T Corp in a partnership that involved the phone company's 5,000 sales people selling Yahoo advertising inventory to local businesses. News of the recent talks between Google and Yelp -- backed by Benchmark Capital and other venture capital firms -- and the $500 million price tag were first reported by the blog TechCrunch. The source familiar with the situation said talks were currently bogged down by concerns among some Yelp investors that the company could be selling itself prematurely, and that it could be worth far more than $500 million if it had a chance to develop its business. The source added that Friday's news stories may have been floated to put pressure on for the deal to be consummated at a price that was too low. SECOND-TIME SUITOR Yelp said in an emailed statement that it is frequently approached to discuss "partnerships, investments and more, and the company does not comment on private discussions that may occur." A Google spokeswoman said the company does not comment on rumors or speculation. Google has had its eye on Yelp for some time. According to one former Google executive, the Internet company had had "early discussions" with Yelp about an acquisition several years ago, but ultimately passed on the deal. "Yelp doesn't monetize very well, so it's always a bit hard to justify an acquisition," the person said. The local businesses that Yelp sells online advertising to are more interested in promoting their businesses through coupons than online ads, he added, noting he believed Yelp was still an unprofitable business. Yelp was founded in 2004 and has received $30 million in funding from Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners. The acquisition talks are the latest in a string of recent deals by Google, including the $750 million acquisition of mobile ad firm AdMob announced in November, that are designed to extend Google's reach into new advertising markets. The world's No. 1 Internet search engine generated roughly $22 billion in revenues last year, but has seen its top line growth slow from the 40 percent-plus clip it was managing as recently as early 2008. Google has stepped up efforts to court local merchants recently, encouraging businesses to register their information on its small-business online directory. But some analysts say Google will have its work cut out trying to sell online ads to local merchants more comfortable with traditional channels like local television, newspapers and the Yellow Pages. Needham's May estimated that Yelp, which had 8.9 million unique visitors to its site in November according to comScore, is generating revenue at an annual rate of $15 million to $20 million. "That's a pretty tough nut to crack," May said about selling online ads to local merchants. "Whether Google can crack the code on it, is still to be seen." 65. Jury awards $100 mln verdict against BP in Texas case Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:42am IST By Kristen Hays HOUSTON (Reuters) - A federal jury in Texas on Friday ordered BP Plc to pay $100 million to 10 workers who were sickened by a 2007 chemical release at its Texas City refinery. BP spokesman Ronnie Chappell said the company was "shocked and outraged" by the verdict and would appeal. "We believe the evidence showed that BP did not cause harm to anyone on April 19, 2007," Chappell said in a statement. "The verdict, and punitive damages award in particular, is utterly unjustified, improper and unsupportable." "They're like an ostrich with its head in the sand," said Tony Buzbee, the workers' attorney, of BP. "They don't understand the meaning of responsibility." The workers said they were exposed to the chemicals while repairing two refining units damaged in a plant wide 2005 shutdown prior to Hurricane Rita's strike on the Texas Coast. They said BP had a poorly maintained workplace and lacked sufficient monitoring to detect toxic chemicals or warn workers of a release. BP countered that the plant did not release a toxic substance, and the company had no control over the "odor event" that stemmed from another unidentified party's negligence. Buzbee represents another 133 workers suing BP over the chemical release. Originally his clients asked BP for $5,000 each in damages, Buzbee said, but went to trial when BP wouldn't budge from a $500 settlement offer to each worker. BP declined to discuss the settlement negotiations. The 475,000 barrel per day (bpd) plant, the third-largest in the United States, has a troubled and costly history. An explosion at the refinery on March 23, 2005, killed 15 workers and injured 180 others, prompting extensive civil litigation and a federal criminal plea to violating the U.S. Clean Air Act. BP paid more than $2 billion to settle hundreds of blast-related lawsuits and a $50 million fine to resolve the criminal case. In addition, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has imposed record fines on BP for safety violations at the plant. In 2005, BP agreed to pay OSHA $21.4 million. This year the agency fined the company another $87.4 million for failing to live up to its 2005 agreement to fix safety violations at the refinery. BP is contesting the 2009 fine. BP is serving a three-year probation as part of the company's criminal penalty, and compliance with that 2005 agreement with OSHA is a key part of the probation. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is negotiating a settlement to a lawsuit that could cost BP more than $100 million for violations of pollution regulations at the refinery between 2005 and 2008. 66. Radio Misty partners with Maneybhanjyan Tourist Festival Media News Siliguri, December 18, 2009 Radio Misty 94.3 fm, the First and Number one fm station of North Bengal have partnered with Maneybhanjyan Tourist Festival to be held from 8th January. This three days festival will promote culture, music, art and the region as tourist spot. Reunited club is organising this festival. The festival is scheduled at Maneybhanjyan, 28km from Darjeeling, and the organisers have lined up cultural events, games and horse rides for tourists through forested and hilly trails. Tourists from all across world are excepted to participate in this festival. Tourists can avail of horse riding and go till Dooteria, 19km from Maneybhanjyan. However, Maneybhanjyan, which is the starting point of all treks to Sandakphu, is more known for its Land Rovers. Six of Series I, six of Series II and 12 of the 109S model operate in the area at a time when they are virtually off the roads in most parts of the world. This will be major tourist attraction. In all three days of festival there will be Cultural programmes including top Band performing live. Situated at an altitude of 6,600 ft above sea level, Maneybhanjyan is the base camp for the trekkers to the Singalila range. The place offers a scenic view of the Mount Kanchenjunga .The view of illuminated Darjeeling town at night from Maneybhanjyan is a unique experience. Says Nishant Mittal, Chief Executive Officer, Radio Misty with this association we will promote on air this tourist festival, so that more and more people can visit this beautiful place. 67. Rahul Gandhi rules as the Forbes India Person of the Year Media News Mumbai, December 19, 2009 Forbes India, the country‘s most influential business magazine, has announced its first "Forbes India Person of the Year." In the issue which will hit the stands by the 19th December, the magazine features a special package of stories about the lives and work of 21 fabulously talented, vastly influential people and their credentials for being Person of the Year. To name just three: Karambir Kang, the General Manager of Taj Mahal Hotel who stood up and delivered even at the worst moment in his life; Jean Dreze, a development economist who has shown us how economic policy can be an instrument of deep social transformation and Rahul Bhatia, who‘s built India‘s most profitable low-cost airline. Finally, there could be only one winner. And the team chose Rahul Gandhi. As Indrajit Gupta, Editor, Forbes India, says, "In making our choice, we fully realise that we‘re gambling partly on hope. But then, we reckon Rahul Gandhi represents the best chance India has to clean up the cesspool that politics and governance have become." Views echoes by Dinesh Narayanan, the author of the profile of Gandhi, and guest columnist Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, IBN18 Network. Why a ‗person of the year?‘ The purpose of the exercise isn‘t to put an individual — or even a set of individuals — on a pedestal. Yes, their achievements and their contributions to our lives must be recognised. But the main goal here is to find something else. After 2007‘s hype, 2009‘s collapse and the year of sober introspection that was 2009, 2010 will be an inflection point in India‘s history. It is a time in which we must find a new way of doing things. One that‘s not borrowed from the West, not learned from management tomes; one that is rooted in our own culture, history and unique circumstances. Our way. An Indian Way. And through the profiles of these 21 remarkable people, we can find that way. The year-end special issue also features a series of lists that will open up a world of possibilities. Lists that look ahead to 2010 and predict and influence the way we will think, compete, dream, watch, read, listen, eat, drink, plan, travel, splurge. The way we will live. 68. Cartoon Network makes comic books available on mobile afaqs! news bureau | afaqs! | New Delhi, December 17, 2009 Cartoon Network has tied up with a Mumbai based mobile entertainment firm, Nazara Technologies, which will convert the print version of comic books related to characters such as Ben 10, The Powerpuff Girls, Johnny Bravo and Dexter, for mobile consumption. The comic strips will be available for download on GPRS-enabled handsets for variable charges such as Re 1 for a day, Rs 10 for a week and Rs 30 for a month. The download facility will be accessible only to subscribers of Airtel, Idea, Reliance Mobile and Tata Docomo. Later, a downloadable application will also be launched, which will enable consumers to download a complete comic book. "Mobiles and mobility are an integral part of a kid's lifestyle these days. About 63 per cent of kids use a mobile phone at least once a week in India, as per Cartoon Network's New Generations study," says Siddharth Jain, vice-president and deputy general manager, distribution and business operations, South Asia, Turner International India, in an official communiqué. Although few cartoon character owners such as ACK Media, Raj Media and Diamond Comics have already extended their content to the mobile platform, and mobile operators such as Airtel and Tata Docomo have launched their dedicated comic portals, the mobile comic books market is still in its nascent stage. According to an industry estimate, the size of mobile comic books market has not even touched the figure of Rs 1 crore as yet. Comic content owners usually have a 15-20 per cent of revenue sharing arrangement with mobile operators. For the record, Airtel launched its dedicated mobile comic portal in October 2009 on the Airtel Live platform. It offers comic strips of more than 300 Indian and international comic characters such as Akbar, Birbal, Popeye and comic strips supplied by Amar Chitra Katha. Tata Docomo has a mobile portal called Comix on-the-go, which offers more than 2,000 comic titles related to characters such as Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh. 69. JWT wins creative duties for Whyte & Mackay Savia Jane Pinto | afaqs! | Mumbai, December 21, 2009 Whyte & Mackay (W&M) has found a creative partner in JWT. The Bengaluru office of the agency will service the account. The brands that JWT will work on include the luxury brands portfolio, including Whyte & Mackay scotch, Isle of Jura (single malt) and Dalmore. The other brands that come under W&M include Glayva, Fettercairn and Vladivar vodka. It also owns several other Scotch whisky brands such as Mackinlays, John Barr, Cluny and Claymore. The scotch maker didn‘t share the exact figures on the spend, however it expects a 40-50 per cent increase on the spends since last year. Advertisement The scotch maker company was completely taken over by Dr Vijay Mallya owned United Spirits in May 2007. Scotch whisky is also being bottled in India following the acquisition, giving a huge fillip to the scotch market in the country. As creative partners, JWT will be responsible for building an integrated strategy for the brands under W&M. During the pitch that was called for in Bengaluru, W&M was looking for an agency that had a good understanding of the luxury liquor business. The incumbent on the business was Equus Red Cell. About four agencies participated in the pitch. W&M was looking for a partner with a strong base in Bengaluru. In the second year of its presence in india, W&M wanted an agency that would understand the scotch industry, the consumer and bring W&M‘s DNA to the fore. Of the choice made, Anant Iyer, business head, luxury, United Spirits says, ―Their superior understanding of the brand DNA and their activation ideas that we feel will resonate with the consumers.‖ Mindshare handles the media duties for W&M. Incidentally, JWT handles the creative duties for Black Dog, a UB Group owned liquor brand, which gave the agency an edge over the other participants. Recently, Relax and unwind, the latest campaign for Black Dog, was released. Speaking to afaqs!, Rajesh Gangwani, branch head, JWT Bengaluru says that since liquor is a segment that comes under many restrictions when being advertised, it will be necessary to create a rounded communication plan. "Brand activation and presence across major touch points and premises will be necessary," says Gangwani. The brand has been working on the positioning of 'A little extra that works wonders'. Gangwani confirms that JWT will continue with the positioning and build on the 'little extra' bit. 70. Mukesh Anand appointed principal consultant at RK Swamy BBDO afaqs! news bureau | afaqs! | New Delhi, December 22, 2009 Mukesh Anand has recently joined RK Swamy BBDO as principal consultant, with the mission and vision of providing innovative market solutions to his clients. According to Anand, his position at RK Swamy is comparable to designations higher than senior creative director in other agencies. "My objective behind joining RK Swamy is to contribute to as many brands as possible. I am presently working on brands such as Zuari Industries, LIC, and Asia Motor Works. There are many more to follow in a short while," says Anand, in an interaction with afaqs!. Advertisement Anand has an intriguing career graph. He joined the industry as copyeditor. Eventually, he served as a creative director for different agencies. However, his new role in RK Swamy is of a planner, providing thought leadership to clients' brands. Anand's versatility and his wide knowledge base are highly appreciated by the management of RK Swamy BBDO. "Mukesh has the experience of both a creative person and a client handling one. No wonder, he is the one who can provide effective strategies from both marketing and creative point of view. Also, being from the client's side, he can very well narrate their point of view, which, otherwise, gets overlooked by the creative team," explains Sangeetha N, president (W) and executive creative director, RK Swamy BBDO. Prior to this, Anand worked with the Heroes Project (HP) in Mumbai as creative director. His role involved developing communication plans and managing advertising campaigns and programming content at HP. In the past, he has worked with agencies such as McCann-Erickson and JWT (then HTA). While talking about his previous assignment at HP, Anand says, "Three years in HP has been a great experience. I learned a lot and loved the freedom of working there." However, according to him, his six-year tryst with JWT played the most important role in shaping his career in advertising. "It's JWT which formed a solid foundation for me. It mentored me and taught me the basics of advertising." From 2003 to 2005, Anand worked with RK Swamy BBDO's Delhi office. As a result, his second innings in RK Swamy is like a homecoming. "I'm now looking forward to another smooth and effective tenure in RK Swamy BBDO," he adds. Other than this, Anand was one of the six Indians who were selected under the European Union-India Economic Cross Cultural Programme in 2005, to participate in the media training project on creative content development at Deutsche Welle Television, Berlin. Some of the campaigns he has been a part of are Elementary Education (School Chale Hum), TB DOTS (Teen Hafta Bhai), and the UNICEF Girl Child Trafficking film (Lalli). Anand has also collaborated on Hindi feature film scripts and has worked as a screenplay consultant with writer-director, Neeraj Vora on an Abbas-Mastan film. He has co-scripted two feature film scripts with director Kabeer Kaushik, one of which was Chamku, released in 2008. He also writes poetry. His first book of Hindi poems, 'Tum Kabhi Boodhi Mat Hona', was launched in November this year. Screenwriter-director, Anurag Kashyap has written the foreword for his book. At the Indian Telly Awards 2007, Anand was nominated in the Best Lyrics category for penning the title song of 'Femina Miss India contest'. 71. It's all black and white for eBay Savia Jane Pinto | afaqs! | Mumbai, December 22, 2009 The Indian consumer has definitely become savvier on the internet, and for many, ecommerce has become a way of life. eBay, the e-commerce portal where one can buy and sell various products, has released its newest communication created by Wieden + Kennedy (W+K), the agency that was recently appointed for the brand. eBay took over the five-year-old Bazee.com about four-and-a-half years ago. Since then, the brand has been advertising on digital media. However, its last campaign, released in December 2007, was a full-fledged, multi-media one. Right time to make a noise Advertisement Online transactions, on the face of it, are an easy and convenient way of shopping. But perhaps, consumer perception needs to change for e-commerce to grow further. Studies say that close to 45 million Indians spend time online. Of these, at least 35 million visit the internet on a daily basis. Approximately 90 per cent of this 35 million surf the net to look for products or search for the best deals, even if the final purchase happens offline. Kashyap Vadapalli, director, marketing and operations, eBay India, tells afaqs! that it's this 90 per cent of online visitors that the company hopes to target. "There is a vast segment of people who rely on the internet to make the initial search for any product, be it jewellery or electronic items," he says. The online shopping industry works on certain triggers, namely, variety (the range of products a site can offer); the deal (whether or not the portal offers the best price deals) and convenience (how easy it is to trade - buy or sell). eBay has been working on building all three triggers. The creative agency was briefed on creating communication that highlighted these three aspects of ecommerce. Far sightedness - Doordarshan is the way to go To talk about the ease of transacting at eBay, W+K thought that creating a format would be a good idea, as it would allow for continuity and become a platform to showcase eBay. The format that the creative team came up with was that of a typical Doordarshan (DD) chat show. To add to the charm and drama of DD, the anchors for the show are Dr Narrotam Puri and Komal GB Singh, who have hosted many a show on DD. Currently, the campaign comprises four ads. The creative idea involves a mock show called 'The eBay way', where Puri and Singh answer queries from callers. In one of the ads, a girl calls up to ask how she should manage three new boyfriends, apart from the three that she's already dating. Singh advises her to visit eBay, and the girl is stunned. Puri clarifies that though she won't find any new boyfriends on eBay, she would most definitely find the best deals on the site. Similarly, in the other three situations, called 'Dog', 'Credit Cards' and 'Oscar', callers pose different problems, to which the constant solution offered by the hosts is to visit eBay. Each of the films highlights different offerings that eBay can deliver upon, such as discounts, safe payments and a wide variety of products. The creative team at W+K includes: V Sunil, executive creative director; Mohamed Rizwan, senior creative; Hanif Kureshi, senior creative and Umesh Grover, writer. "The treatment and delivery of the campaign are in keeping with the kind that used to happen on DD," shares Rizwan. He also says that the anchors prescribing eBay for all problems is aimed at giving the campaign a humourous twist. "They'd sell eBay to a caller, no matter what," he says. The films have been shot in black and white and have a very 70s feel. The four films have been shot by Jacob John, the resident creative director at W+K, who, many a time, dons a director's hat. eBay way or the highway? afaqs! spoke to a couple of adlanders on what they thought of the commercials. Devika Sharma, planning head for Lowe Lintas, Mumbai, says she looked hard for a strong consumer insight, but didn't find any. "All that there is to the commercials is Uncle and Aunty pushing eBay," she says. Sharma points out that all callers to the show were youth; and the youth usually log on to Google or ask their peer groups for suggestions, not call in on a show hosted by older people. She adds that the show didn't necessarily draw attention to something strong about the brand, but just spoke of how eBay is great on discounts. On what interests him about the ads, Nilesh Vaidya, creative head, Euro RSCG Mumbai, says, after a long pause, "It was good seeing Narottam Puri and Komal GB Singh after such a long time. Period." The commercials are being supported with print, outdoor and radio, which, keeping in line with the campaign theme, are also reminiscent of the DD format.
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