News in brief: Business & Economy
A professor at Carnegie University in the US, Scott Fahlman is credited to have been the
inventor of the smiley emoticon in 1982, when he first used colon, dash and brackets as
part of expressing his feelings on the university's electronic message board.
Shemaroo Entertainment has launched its first three titles–'Downfall', 'All About My
Mother' and 'Amen' under its World Cinema label.
Fiama Di Wills has launched Shine In Style, a new shampoo variant, expanding its
premium range of shampoos to five.
ITC Welcomgroup, the Hotels Division of ITC Limited was conferred the NCPEDPShell
Helen Keller award for the third time in recognition of its substantial contribution
to the cause of promoting employment opportunities for differently abled people over an
extended period of time.
Bangladesh's government launched its tourism brand name 'Rupomoy Bangladesh'
(Beautiful Bangladesh) in a bid to attract tourists from home and abroad.
Dooars and Terai tea, which account to about 30% of the total tea produced in India, can
now be distinguished by its new brand mark - an elephant standing against the backdrop
of tea bushes. This is the fourth tea logo in the country. Tea produced in Assam,
Darjeeling and the Nilgiris already have their own logos in place.
Coca-Cola is getting into the unsweetened, flavoured-water category with the launch of
Dasani Essence that will have no sugar, no calories and no preservatives. PepsiCo offers
Aquafina FlavorSplash, which is also a no-calorie and all-natural drink.
Italian eye-wear major Luxottica is venturing into the Indian market and plans to set up
exclusive outlets under the brand name Sunglass Hut.
Harlequin Mills & Boon India, one of the world's leading publishers of romance, has
started a short story-writing contest, called Passions, exclusively for India.
Compact Disc India (CDI) will invest $63 million for an animation feature film and
multi platform gaming project with legendary Brazilian footballer Pele.
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Barclays of UK has become the first bank in Europe to pilot Microsoft Surface
technology, which will allow users to 'grab' digital content with their hands and navigate
for information about premier banking with simple gestures and touches.
The Microsoft Hyderabad campus has kicked off its annual 'Giving' campaign and
community week that encourages employees to take up social initiatives throughout the
Apple files ''swipe gesture'' patent for touchscreens news
Apple Inc., maker of the iPhone and iPod Touch media player, filed a patent application
for software that lets users control computers and phones using swipes of their fingers.
Apple's system would allow users to insert spaces, line breaks and uppercase characters
by swiping the screen rather than pressing keys, according to the application titled "Swipe
Gestures for Touch Screen Keyboards."
India is now the world leader in production of organic cotton with an output of 73,702
tonnes in 2007-08 according to Organic Exchange's Organic Cotton Farm and Fibre
NXP Semiconductors India has developed a solution based on RFID (Radio Frequency
Identification) technology that will help oil companies prevent commercial use of LPG
cylinders meant for homes.
Shipping Corporation of India's new VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) 'Desh Viraat'
collided with a small cargo vessel on its maiden journey off Korea.
Religare Enterprises has agreed to acquire Lotus India Asset Management Company
from the majority shareholders, Alexandra Fund Management, an affiliate of Singaporebased
Fullerton Fund Management Company Ltd and India-based Sabre Capital.
The Hotel Leela Ventures-operated 'Rio' became operational in 2008 while Goa
Coastal Resorts and Recreation's Pride of Goa and the Victor group of Hotels' Kings
Casino commenced subsequently. Casino Royale, operated by High Street Cruises and
Entertainment that opened in Oct 2008, is the latest to join the fleet anchored in the
Mandovi River. The Advani Pleasure Cruises operated 'The Carvela', launched in
2002, was the first offshore casino in India.
MTV has already launched a line of clothing called MTV Gear by licensing its brand to a
Bangalore-based clothing manufacturer (Primus Clothing).
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Haier Mobile has launched its Icon series handsets under the brand name 'Sumukha' for
MTV India is planning to enter the stationery segment in collaboration with Ballarpur
Industries Ltd to launch a rage of notebooks and diaries under the MTV brand.
Collaboration with the jeans wear brand of Wrangler to manufacture helmets under the
MTV franchise is also on the cards. MTV is using its highest TRP-driven programme —
Roadies — and building it as a mini sub-brand.
After the introduction of Barish Bima Yojna (BBY) for kharif crops in 2004, Iffco-
Tokio General Insurance Company evolved a variant of its weather insurance product —
Mausam Bima Yojna (MBY) — recently.
After 'Aamchi Mumbai', 'Hamaari Delhi' and 'Namma Bengaluru' campaigns,
digital imaging company Canon India launched 'Namma Chennai'. The initiative is
aimed at reaching out to regional markets which have been the company's focus to garner
better market share.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will now be endorsing Dabur's Chyawanprash
already being endorsed by Amitabh Bachchan.
The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has been authorised by the
Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) to collect production data from
industrial units on its behalf for compiling the new series of Index of Industrial
Production (IIP). Production data relating to 209 products is compiled by DIPP for the
IIP. The remaining data is collected by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) from
In a bid to bring smaller players on the electricity trading platform, the country's first
power bourse — Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) — has lowered the minimum tradable
volume under the day-ahead market to 1 mega watt (MW), from the earlier limit of 10
B Ramalinga Raju, Founder-Chairman of Satyam Computer Services, has received the
Frost and Sullivan Excellence in Leadership Award for 2008 in November 2008.
Indo-Russian joint venture Ural India Ltd and Chinese public sector automobile
company First Auto Work (FAW) signed a memorandum of understanding to form a
small car and bus manufacturing unit in West Bengal.
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Chennai-based Exim Rajathi has entered into an agreement to export tea to Pakistan
where it is being marketed under the brand 1013 Janoowala and sold in countries such as
Afghanistan, Iraq and even as far as Russia.
Man Booker Prize 2008 winner Aravind Adiga has decided to donate a part of his prize
money to his alma mater St Aloysius College of Mangalore to start a special scholarship
for the higher education of under-privileged children.
Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces has launched two new 'Safari' destinations in the
forests of Madhya Pradesh–Pashan Garh and Banjaar Tola in Panna National Park
and Kanha National Park respectively.
The automotive aftermarket division of Bosch, which at present has 250 outlets offering
after sales services for all brands of cars under the business unit Bosch Car Service, is
mulling options to offer after sales service for two-wheeler of all brands.
Wipro Furniture has launched a new range of office furniture — I'M, which, the
company claims, is India's first Leg and Beam based system.
Larsen & Toubro and Malaysia-based Scomi Engineering will together build the
country's first monorail system in Mumbai.
BSA Motors, a new business unit of Tube Investments of India (part of Murugappa
group), has launched five models of eScooters and has signed on South Indian actress
Tamannah Bhatia to endorse the brand
MMTC Ltd has bagged the Capexil (Chemical and Allied Products Export Promotion
Council) award for 17th time in a row.
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has signed an MoU with Uranium Corporation of
India for joint cooperation in uranium exploration and development.
Sterlite Industries has bagged the CII-EXIM Bank Award for Business Excellence at
the 16th CII Quality Summit held at Bangalore.
Satyam Computers, the official IT services' provider for FIFA World Cup in 2010
(South Africa) and 2014 (Brazil), will organise the Satyam Football Challenge every
year in India.
Novatium Solutions has partnered with BSNL to bundle its Nova netPC along with
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Sify Technologies has announced revamped mail service from Sifymail called WIYI
(World In Your Inbox).
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, the country's first greenfield airport developed
under the public-private partnership initiative, was inaugurated at Shamshabad near
Japan's largest mobile operator NTT DoCoMo (acronym for Do Communications Over
the Mobile Network) picked up a 26 per cent stake in Tata Teleservices (TTSL) for a
consideration of $2.7 billion or Rs 13,070 crore. The Japanese company offers its services
and data applications under the brand i-mode and is known for its mobile applications
such as 'Imadoco' and 'Osaifu-Keitai'. The first one is a service that allows the user to
know the exact location of his friends and family using GPS on mobile phone while the
latter is a mobile commerce platform.
Survey of India (SoI) has entered into an agreement with Tele Atlas Kalyani India
(TAKI) to allow it to release SoI-approved digital maps of India. TAKI, formerly
Kalyani Net Ventures Ltd, is a 60:40 joint venture between Tele Atlas Asia Pacific and
the Kalyani Group formed in April 2008.
HCL Infosystems has launched the HCL Leaptop Series 39 laptop, which are specially
designed for Indian conditions.
Paramount Airways has launched its 'frequent flier' programme and packaged it as a
'lifestyle product' in which points accumulated can be redeemed for a variety of lifestyle
products such as golf course memberships. The airline has also launched 'Royale
Concierge' — a portal through which a frequent flier could avail himself of a range of
The Kandla-based Jaisu Shipping and Tata Consultancy Services have joined the
Volvo Ocean Race India Stopover Team as sponsors, supporting the hosting of stopover
event, being hosted by Cochin Port Trust and Kerala Tourism.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories has launched an initiative called Roshni to create awareness
on diabetes among the public and facilitate early intervention for children by propagating
healthy living habits.
A $30-million commitment from Yale University and $5 million from Infosys cofounder
Nandan Nilekani has funded the "Yale India Initiative" that will be used to
create faculty positions, curricular and scholarly programmes and research leading to an
increased engagement with India.
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Wipro Technologies and Oracle have announced the launch of the innovative solutions
lab (OZONE) that will be used to co-develop solutions across specific industry processes
in human capital and customer relationship management and supply chain management.
Intel has launched Intel® Core™ i7 processor, which it said was 'the fastest desktop
processor on Earth'.
World's first electronic auction of tea was organised by the Calcutta Tea Traders
Association in partnership with the Tea Board, in Kolkata recently. The buyers were
Bajaj Enterprise, Gujarat Tea Processors & Packers, Duncans Tea, Asia Tea & Exports
Ltd and M.K. Corporation.
The Delhi headquartered Bharat Hotels is to call all its hotels 'Lalit' instead of the name
The Grand by which they are known at present.
DQ Entertainment has signed an agreement with Turner Networks to produce
animation series Balkand and Ravan, based on the mythology Ramayana.
Chennai-based CaratLane, a Web site to sell certified and high-quality diamonds as well
as readymade and custom-made diamond jewellery was launched recently.
Comedian Jerry Lewis will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the
Academy Awards ceremony in February. The 82-year-old actor has raised over $2 billion
(£1.3bn) for the Muscular Dystrophy Association through his annual Labor Day telethon.
Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan will promote Kentucky Fried Chicken's
(KFC) 'Zinger' Burger. The campaign uses Murali's unique bowling action to drive home
KFC's 'Finger Lickin' Good' brand proposition.
The fourth and final phase of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO)
campaign launched in association with the BBC World Service Trust (BBCWST) aims at
promoting condoms and India's HIV/AIDS control efforts centers on a puppy called
'Condom'. The film summarises this in the tagline, 'Jo Samjha Wohi Sikander' (The
One Who Understands is the Winner).
In its first phase, the Condom campaign featured a Jo Bola Wohi Sikander contest,
which ran from 1 December to 20 December 2007. Phase 2 was a national campaign,
with a TV and radio ad featuring a 'kabaddi' match. Phase 3 featured condom ringtone
ads in August and September 2008.
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Sweden's AB Electrolux, which had shut its Indian operations and sold assets and brand
rights to Videocon three years ago, is moving back to India and is planning to launch
built-in kitchen appliances under the Electrolux brand. Xcite, a multi-brand electronics
retail chain will sell Electrolux's Frigidaire in India.
Frigidaire, which has a range of products, including refrigerators, water filters, washing
machines and air-conditioners, was earlier owned by General Motors. It has been with
Electrolux since mid-80s. Electrolux products are now manufactured, marketed and
distributed by Videocon Industries. Videocon owns the brand rights for Electrolux for
five years which expires in 2010.
Swimwear and beachwear company Banana Moon, set up in 1986 by Daniel
Flachaire, Véronique Flachaire, Bernard Donati and Nat Maori, has made its debut in
Arvind Limited, the textile and apparel company, will be demerging its branded apparel
and retail business which operates under the MegaMart brand into wholly owned
subsidiaries from 1 April 2009.
The branded apparel business which markets Arrow, Flying Machine, Newport, and
Excalibur will be demerged into Arvind Lifestyle Brands. The retail business which
operates under the banner of MegaMart will be demerged into Arvind Retail. Under the
MegaMart banner, Arvind presently has about 150 stores across the country along with
the license for world's largest value brand Cherokee.
Tata Indicom has appointed two brothers from cricket – Yusuf Pathan and Irfaan
Pathan as brand ambassadors in its ad whose punchline is 'Suno Dil ki Awaaz'.
Femina magazine has launched a new monthly 'What to Wear' targeted at 25+ SEC A
women which is complimentary with Femina.
Titan Industries has unveiled Braille watches designed for the visually impaired,
branded Titan Braille.
The India Today Group is planning to launch Harper's Bazaar and Robb Report in
the Indian market.
The Robb Report is a luxury lifestyle magazine, featuring products such as cars,
watches, and real estate for affluent connoisseurs. It was originally started by Robert
White as a magazine to complement the purchase of a Rolls-Royce automobile.
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The Reserve Bank of India has reduced the short-term indicative rates — the repo rate
and the reverse report rate by 100 basis points each to 6.5 per cent and 5 per cent —
with effect from December 8.
The Union government has approved a hefty hike in the salaries of executives and nonunionised
supervisors of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs). Only profitmaking
CPSEs would be eligible for implementing the revised pay scales.
Wadhawan Food Retail launched its 50th Smart Store in Karnataka recently.
Wadhawan Food Retail operates multiple food and grocery brands including Spinach in
Maharashtra and Kolkata, Sabka Bazaar in Delhi NCR and Smart in Karnataka,
launched its 50th Smart Store recently.
Wadhawan Food Retail also has a home décor and utility lifestyle store called 'The
Home Store' in Delhi NCR, Jaipur and Bangalore.
Harper's Bazaar is an American fashion magazine that was launched by Harper Brothers
in 1867 as a weekly in New York. It became a monthly later and was re-launched as
Harper's Bazaar by William Randolph Hearst in 1913. Harper's Bazaar considers itself
to be the style resource for 'the well-dressed woman and the well-dressed mind'.
The Indian Railway Catering Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the tourism arm of
Indian Railways, is tying up with travel company Cox and Kings to launch the largestever
luxury rail service in India.
Tata Tea has launched its Tata Tea Jaago Re Soccer Stars campaign targeted at
schoolchildren through which the company plans to promote football among school
children and provide them an opportunity to participate in the Arsenal International
Medical care provider Apollo Health and Lifestyle plans to expand its presence across
the country under the formats 'Reach Hospitals' and maternity hospital chain, Cradle.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched India's first 3G mobile services of
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) in Delhi.
The Asian Forum on CSR, Singapore, awarded Hindustan Zinc (a company of Vedanta
Group in zinc business) the Asian CSR Excellence Award 2008 under the Poverty
Alleviation Category for the "Zinc Integrated Poverty Alleviation Programme