Sunday, May 2, 2010

Business Trivia

Brand Icon: Hanung Toys

Hanung is India's largest soft toy manufacturer and a preferred supplier to some of the well known global

retailers like IKEA.

Hanung Toys & Textiles came into existence in 1991. Conceived by Ashok Kumar

Bansal, Hanung became a leader in the soft toy market in India within a span of ten

years. The company started with a modest order of Rs 6 lakh from IKEA. From there

on, Hanung was on the growth path becoming the largest exporter of soft toys and

then later diversifying into soft furnishing products during the early 2005.

The company has collaboration with a South Korean company. It adopted the Korean name–Hanung which

means - Stem of Tree.

Hanung has two domestic brands–a chain of toy store under the brand Play-n-Pets which is a more

upmarket brand and Muskan which is a more affordable range of toys.

Cadbury Schweppes launched Canada Dry and Orange Crush in the Indian market in the 1990s. In 1999

Coca Cola took over the beverages business of Cadbury Schweppes and the two brands were phased out.

Funskool created in 1987 is a joint venture between the world's largest toy manufacturer Hasbro and the

Indian tyre major MRF. Playdoh is a non-toxic substance that can be moulded into any shape, in various


The 137-year-old café Leopold Café was immortalised by Australian author Gregory David Robert in his

bestseller, Shantaram.

Chivas Regal is a premium Scotch whisky produced at Strathisla Distillery by Chivas Brothers in

Aberdeen, Scotland.



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Grey Goose is a brand of vodka (currently owned by Bacardi) founded by US billionaire Sidney Frank. The

vodka is distilled in Cognac, France from French wheat and is imported to the US.

The EP-101 was the world's first compact, lightweight digital printer- and the origin of Epson's printer

business. Not only did these miniature printers find their way into calculators but they also gained use in a

wide variety of other information processing equipment and measuring instrument applications. Epson was

then known as Shinshu Seiki Co (a subsidiary of Suwa Seikosha Co.)

In 2008, the Gujarat government suggested that all PSUs in the state should donate 30% of their profits

before tax as charity. The shareholders of Gujarat Alkalies & Chemicals, where the government has a 36.7

stake, defeated the proposal. However, another state-owned firm, Gujarat Mineral Development Corp., could

do little as the government held 74 per cent in it. But that didn't prevent shareholders at the company's

annual general meeting (AGM) from objecting, which resulted in the AGM being postponed. Several fund

managers and institutional investors have made informal requests to the government and the management

of these companies to drop the proposal.

The Seiko Quartz Astron is etched in the annals of horological history as the world's first quartz watch.

The origin of this watch can be traced back to a project for developing a quartz timer for the 1964 Tokyo

Olympic Games. It was the product of Epson's precision processing and electronics technologies

Epson has the global tagline 'Exceed Your Vision' is introduced to strengthen brand promotion worldwide.

Epson developed the Printing Timer electronic recording system to keep official times at the 1964 Tokyo

Olympics. Linked to a pistol, a phototube, and photo-finish equipment, the printing timer was able to

automatically time events from start to finish. Moreover, it revolutionized time keeping as it was able to print

the record simultaneously.

Mercerization is a treatment for cotton fabric and thread that gives fabric a lustrous appearance. The

process is applied to materials like cotton or hemp. The process was devised in 1844 by John Mercer of

Great Harwood, Lancashire, England, who treated cotton fibres with sodium hydroxide. The treatment

caused the fibres to swell, which in Mercer's version of the process shrunk the overall fabric size and made it

stronger and easier to dye

OK Soda was a soft drink created by Coca-Cola in 1994 that aggressively courted the Generation X

demographic with unusual advertising tactics,

including endorsements and even outright

negative publicity. It did not sell well in select

test markets and was officially declared out of

production in 1995 before reaching nationwide

distribution. The drink's slogan was

"Things are going to be OK." International

market research done by Coca-Cola in the

late 1980s revealed that "Coke" was the

second most recognizable word across all languages in the world. The first word was "OK."



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Margarine was invented in 1869 by French chemist Hippolyte Mège-Mouriés. It came in response to the

offer of a prize by Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France to anyone who could make a satisfactory

substitute for then scarce and expensive butter, suitable for use by the armed forces and the lower


'Partnering for the Good Life'-punch line of Religare

'Values that bind' is the punchline of Religare Financial Services

Pepsi was the first company to introduce a two-liter bottle in the soft-drinks' industry in 1970.

Gurbaksh Chahal is an entrepreneur who founded and sold online advertising network Blue Lithium to

Yahoo! for $300 million.

HCL Infosystems runs "i-learn" (distance learning program at the company) and "e-kaksh" (provides

fortnightly classroom webcasts to company employees). "Mindia TecXpert" is a fast-track programme that

grooms young engineers for leadership positions

The Bottler Hall of Fame was established by Pepsi in 1983 to recognize the achievement and dedication of

international bottlers

Herman W. Lay Award of Excellence was established at Frito-Lay in 1984 to recognize world-class

selling excellence

Pepsi-Cola sponsored the first Western-produced consumer commercial in the Soviet Union,

appearing during the Goodwill Games in 1986.

"Mustang," a Diet Pepsi commercial, became the first advertisement ever to appear in a home video

cassette–"Top Gun" in 1987

A Pepsi advertisement in 1996 was world's first commercial filmed in space–a large blue Pepsi can in

orbit outside the MIR Space station.

Tropicana was founded in 1947 by Anthony T. Rossi who invented a pasteurization process to

aseptically pack pure chilled juice in glass bottles, allowing it to be shipped and stored without refrigeration.

Logitech joined with Agilent Technologies (a HP spin-off) to create the first laser-driven mouse in 2004.

Founded in Amsterdam in 2002 by Dutch entrepreneur Yves Gijrath, the Millionaire Fair holds shows

around the world.

Dilip Kapur, founder of Hidesign, did his PhD in International Affairs at the University of Denver. He

also runs a boutique hotel called Promenade.



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Deepak Puri, the chairman of Moser Baer, a mechanical engineer from Imperial College, London, started

with a time recorder unit, moved to manufacturing floppy disks and is now the world's second largest optical

storage media manufacturer.

Pramod Chaudhary, chairman and managing director of Praj Industries, as a student of IIT-Bombay,

Chaudhary had closely tracked the oil shock of 1971 and how Brazil worked a way to make ethanol out of

sugarcane. Chaudhary worked for Bajaj Tempo (now Force Motors) and Widia India (now Kennametal)

before setting up his own fabrication unit.

There was a cartoon where an American parent was telling his child that he could not outsource his

homework to India. This convinced Krishnan Ganesh, founder of, that there was a big

market waiting to be tapped.

V.G. Siddhartha, chairman of Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company that runs Café Coffee Day

started out in life as a research analyst at JM Financial, a financial services group, back in 1983, after

graduating in economics from the state's Mangalore University.

Miditech, founded by Niret Alva & Nikhil Alva, had an award winning show on BBC World in 2000 called

Hospital. Their range is wide, from 'Gali Gali Sim Sim' for children to 'Indian Idol 4', from animation to

documentaries. 'Living on the Edge', which aired over more than 200 episodes on Doordarshan, got them

the Green Oscar. Both studied at Delhi's St Stephen's. Niret a history graduate and Nikhil a mathematics


Sula Wines founder Rajeev Samant studied engineering at Stanford University but quit his job at Oracle

in 1996 to make wine in India at his 30-acre family estate at Nashik. He partnered with Californian

winemaker Kerry Damskey. Samant named his brand Sula, short for his mother's name, Sulabha. Sula

recently launched a cheaper wine brand Samsara.

Born into a family running a match factory in Sivakasi and an alumnus of XLRI, Jamshedpur, K. Pandia

Rajan founded Ma Foi (means my word in French) Management Consultancy in 1992 with the support of

his CA wife Latha.

In 1980, Gautam Adani was an ordinary worker in a Mumbai diamond processing unit earning a salary

of Rs 1,000 a month. Today, Adani, 45, straddles a vast empire which boasts an annual turnover of Rs

23,000 crore. It's a long way from his early days of struggle when he quit his diamond polishing job to

travelling around Ahmedabad on a scooter, selling plastic pipes.

Sanjeev Bikhchandani started his career at Glaxo Smith Kline (then Hindustan Milkfood Marketing) in the

late 80s. His Infoedge runs portals such as (matrimonial site), (property), (education), (brokerage) (caters to the Middle East

market), Quadrangle (executive search firm), (career guidance) and

(professional networking site).



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Subramania Saminathan, chairman and managing director of Pyramid Saimira, a commerce graduate

from Loyola College, started working when he was only 19 when he started a consultancy firm for

aquaculture companies.

Union Bank of India has launched its mobile banking service called U-mobile.

The Berliner is a newspaper format slightly taller and marginally wider than the tabloid/compact format;

and is both narrower and shorter than the broadsheet format. Newspapers with the Berliner format include

the British daily The Guardian, weekly The Observer and the French daily Le Monde.

ING Vysya provides the Orange account for its subscribers.

The Linear Induction Motor (LIM) rail metro system developed by the Banaras Hindu University (BHU)

can save more than Rs 100 crore per kilometre if adopted for the proposed metro project here in place of the

conventional metro system, used in Delhi metro.

Priya Food Products promoter G P Agarwal also owns G P Foods that markets potato chips under the

brand name Pogo

Titan Industries has attempted to connect itself with the rural consumers through the Anant Loyalty

programme according to which each Goldplus store educates around 1,000 customers per day on

jewellery products.

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs was founded in 1869 by Marcus Goldman, a German-Jewish immigrant to the US.

Thirteen years later, his son-in-law, Samuel Sachs, joined the firm and hence the name, Goldman Sachs.

In 1896, it was invited to join the New York Stock Exchange. Goldman Sachs had managed the Sears,

Roebuck and Company IPO in 1906, which is billed as one of the biggest such exercises till date.

In the year 1974, Goldman Sachs pioneered a new concept in mergers and acquisitions — the white

knight. Electric Storage Battery faced a hostile takeover from International Nickel and Goldman Sachs'

arch rival, Morgan Stanley. The company's stock was trading cheap when compared to its liquid assets. This

made it a plum target for a takeover.

Goldman Sachs knew it could not protect the independence of Electric Storage Battery but it could get its

shareholders a better price. So, it brought in United Aircraft as the white knight and International Nickel had

to fork out a higher price.

The client got a higher price and Goldman Sachs a fat fee. More crucial, the message went around quickly

that if you are in a spot of bother, Goldman Sachs are good people to have on your side.

Robert Maxwell was found dead, having fallen off his yacht in 1991. He was known to have piled up bank

loans of $2.8 billion and plundered $500 million from two public companies and the pensions of 33,000

British workers.

Goldman Sachs found itself in an awkward situation as it was the chief financial "enabler" of Maxwell. In the

end, Goldman Sachs had to pay a settlement of $254 million — the largest in the long history of the City

of London.



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Recent punch lines

Frito-Lay India–"Chala change ka chakkar"

Union Bank of India–'Your dreams are not only your own'

Indian Overseas Bank–'Partner in Growth'

Bank of India–'Rishton ki Jamapunji'

Kunwer Sachdev went on to become one of the biggest inverter manufacturers in India since he launched

his company Su-Kam in 1998.

Rajasthan Dairy Cooperative Federation markets its products under the brand Saras.

Allen Breed, Walter Linderer and John Hedrik held patents for airbags.

The 1973, Oldsmobile Toronado was the first car with a passenger air bag intended for sale to the

public. By 1988, Chrysler became the first company to offer air bags as standard equipment.

Horton Automatics, co-founded by Dee Horton and Lew Hewitt, developed and sold the first automatic

sliding door in America in 1960. The duo had invented the sliding automatic door in 1954.

Philadelphia pharmacist named Asa Candler invented the coupon in 1895. Candler bought the Coca-Cola

Co. from the original inventor Dr. John Pemberton, an Atlanta pharmacist and placed coupons in

newspaper for a free Coke from any fountain-to help promote the new soft drink.

In 1882, industrialist Walchand Hirachand started his empire-building from a small project for the railways

in 1920 when he successfully completed the Bhor Ghat tunnel for a railway route from Mumbai to Pune.

Walchand set up Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) in 1926, which went on to build some of India's

landmark construction projects.

The first patent for bar code was issued to inventors Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver in 1952.


The toll-free 108 is a popular number for medical, police or fire emergencies that has been launched by the

not-for-profit Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI). The service started in AP and is

spreading to other states.

EMRI was founded by Satyam Computer Services Chairman B. Ramalinga Raju on a public-private

partnership model and it retains Satyam as a strategic partner. EMRI has also introduced 15 specially

equipped motorcycles, called Prime Responders In Case of Emergencies (PRICE) in Hyderabad,

Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada as these can reach a victim quickly.

Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju roped in former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as the chairman emeritus,

and management consultant Rajat Gupta, Harvard Business School's Krishna Palepu and robotics

professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Raj Reddy on EMRI's governing board.

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