war breaks out among cell companies
The roaming rate war is raging furiously among cell operators
even though these rates might have to be changed once
the telecom regulator introduces the new access deficit
charges (ADC). Reliance first dropped its rates to Rs
1.99 per minute for outgoing calls as part of its national
roaming offensive followed by Hutch a day later. Airtel,
which had resisted the change, was the last to give in
and matched Reliance's rates.
ADC to be imposed by the telecom regulator is likely to
be an additional charge that operators will have to collect
from customers and give mainly to Bharat Sanchar Nigam
(BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) to compensate
them for providing telephony in rural areas that are economically
to sell off Binaca brand
Dabur India is in talks with Mumbai-based Anchor Health
& Beauty Care to sell off its Binaca toothpaste brand.
The brand has been up for sale for some time now. Dabur
India acquired the Binaca brand from Reckitt Benckiser
in the mid-1990s but early this year it decided to sell
off the brand citing that it was a non-core brand and
did not fit in the company's restructured portfolio.
company's restructured brand strategy revolves around
two flagship brands brand Dabur, for natural healthcare
products, and Vatika, positioned on the premium personal
care platform. These two brands are expected to account
for up to 80 per cent of the company's sales. Binaca's
valuation has been fixed at a floor price of Rs 20 crore,
and PricewaterhouseCoopers is negotiating the deal on
behalf of Dabur.
Consumer Care launches Chaabaza
Dalmia Consumer Care (DCC) has launched Chabaaza, a product
that the company says delivers the satisfaction of a pan
masala, without its adverse effects. Chabaaza contains
gumlets packed similar to the pan masala pack and
is priced at Rs 1 per pack. The product is claimed to
contain no supari, or other addictive ingredients.
recently launched a non-tobacco product called Vardan,
which simulated the bidi-smoking experience. Vardan
had been rolled out across the country and was looking
to cross the shores into the SAARC market. Similar plans
were being chalked out for its Chabaaza, too. The domestic
pan masala market is estimated to be between Rs
3,000 crore and Rs 5,000 crore. There are about 50 different
pan masala brands in the country. Chabaaza will
be supported by advertising and promotional activities,
Foods extends Pass Pass brand
DS Foods has launched a sub-brand under its Pass Pass
mouth freshener brand. The sub-brand called Pass Pass
Patak Putuk, is a date-fruit and herbal based popping
candy. Patak Putuk has been test-marketed over the last
three months at Diwali melas, the Ramlila and Himachal
success of the product can be gauged from the fact that
the product brought in revenues worth Rs 50 lakh in the
test-marketing phase. The company hopes to rake in revenues
of Rs 20-24 crore from Patak Putuk in its first year.
Pass Pass already brings in Rs 35 crore every year. Patak
Putuk will be rolled out in the north first, followed
by the south towards the middle of 2004.
goes in for new product strategy
Electrolux has chalked out an aggressive advertising and
product strategy for 2004. To position itself as a complete
home appliances company and achieve its higher growth
targets Electrolux is planning to almost double its advertising
budget next year to about Rs 40 crore from the current
Rs 25 crore or so. The company is also rolling out a new
campaign next month which would focus on the single brand
(Electrolux) strategy which the company is putting into
company is bringing all its products under the Electrolux
brand and Electrolux-Kelvinator as a brand will continue
to exist but only for direct-cool refrigerators. It has
phased out the Allwyn brand as well. The new campaign
will showcase all the products, including air-conditioners,
under the Electrolux brand and help it position Electrolux
as a complete appliances company.
rise and rise of plastic money
A recent study conducted by American Express among cardholders
across six cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai,
Bangalore and Hyderabad reveals that credit cards are
used the most for dining and shopping, and is also popular
for travel-related expenses such as air tickets, hotels
and car rentals. The Indian survey results are in line
with the other markets in the Asia Pacific region that
were surveyed. Cardholders in countries such as Singapore,
New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Australia
spend 10-30 per cent more on the same services.
consumers are also using the plastic money for everyday
spends such as petrol, hospitals, telephone services and
home furnishing. Consumers in India are also using credit
cards more and more to pay school dues for their kids.
However, India is at a low 11 per cent in comparison to
other countries in the Asia-Pacific region when it comes
to using plastic money for recurring bills such as utilities,
subscriptions and insurance.
figures on top in most trusted brands survey
A survey conducted by research agency AC Nielson ORG-Marg
has found that powdered drink brand Rasna has won the
battle in consumer confidence in the beverages category.
The brand was voted the most trusted brand in the category,
above Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Horlicks. Rasna claims to have
90 per cent volume share of the soft drink concentrate
(SDC) category. Moreover, Rasna was also declared the
15th most trusted brand in the country, rising four places
from 19th place last year.
company says Rasna's main ingredients have been products
to suit every socio-economic segment and a widespread
distribution network comprising over 11 lakh outlets.
The most trusted brands survey aims to identify the brands
that bond best with consumers. They are not just brands
that are most familiar, but are brands that consumers
believe provide quality and reassurance. The survey claims
to be the largest of its kind in India, with a sample
of over 6,000 distributed across socio-economic class,
age, income and geography.
Web World to double up entertainment centres
Reliance Web World outlets will soon double up as entertainment
centres showing films and providing digital music entertainment
for its subscribers. The company is currently tackling
the licensing issues for showing films. The Web World
will be provided with a screen on which movies will be
screened though at a fixed time each day and as each Web
World is equipped with modular furniture, they can be
rearranged to accommodate around 40 chairs.
can also view movies of their choice by accessing Reliance
Infocomm library through the Net. Each of these Web World
outlets has a customer convenience centre, a gourmet coffee
bar and a real broadband centre for accessing applications
like video chat and conferencing, multi-player online
gaming, digital personalised music, digital theatre, digital
photo imaging, virtual office and real broadband high-speed
majors cut prices of large packs again
Coca-Cola India and Pepsi Foods have again slashed prices
of its large packs. The soft drink companies were selling
their 1.5-litre PET bottles at Rs 38 the same time last
year, while this season prices of the packs have dropped
to Rs 30. And similarly, prices of 2-litre PET bottles
have dropped to Rs 35 now, compared with Rs 43 the same
period last year.
March 2003 PepsiCo and Coca-Cola had reduced prices of
their 1.5-litre PET bottles to Rs 35 from Rs 43 earlier,
while prices of the 2-litre PET packs were brought down
from Rs 50 to Rs
40. Analysts say that the price cuts have been implemented
to drive volumes and restore consumer confidence but may
not work as in an off season reducing prices may not bring
in the desired volumes.
Compiled by Mohini Bhatnagar
also see : List
of reports on marketing review