Google gears up for Great Online Shopping Festival – GOSF

Google has roped in 300 offline and online retailers and consumer companies for its Great Online Shopping Festival that is expected to reach 100 million consumers this year, riding on the frenzy of online shopping in recent weeks. The Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF), to be held from December 10-12, is expected to see participation of various consumer durable, FMCG and e-commerce firms in India. The organisers will also run a twoweek run-up campaign by reserving each day for a single company to partner in a day-long offers and contests for consumers, said top executives of some ecommerce companies participating in the event. ‘Rs 299 corner': Google gears up for Great Online Shopping FestivalGoogle and various e-commerce partners plan heavy-duty online advertising while consumer brands will do offline campaigns such as hoarding and other outdoor activities, said a senior executive of an e-commerce company. “On that days they are trying to get more exclusive launches. They are talking to companies like Samsung, Philips and Motorola to launch products during these days,” the person said. Nitin Bawankule, director for ecommerce at Google India, declined to comment.

GOSFIn a season of mega online sales, Google’s third edition of GOSF is expected to create a bigger hype than the last two years as it plans to line up products ranging from FMCG, consumer durables and fashion lifestyle segments to arts and collectibles, travel packages and even two-wheelers, according to sources quoted earlier. This year, the organisers will also introduce digital walls in various cities where consumers can order through their smartphones by scanning the QR codes of the products, they said. A top executive of an e-commerce firm said GOSF will also introduce a special segment called “Rs299 corner” where branded products priced between Rs600-1500 will be sold at Rs299. The products will be delivered free of charge and there will be cash-on-delivery option to woo first-time online consumers. The person also said that in the 14 days between November 27 and December 9, a lucky winner everyday will get to shop for free among a host of select items. Google started GOSF in 2012. Last year it got almost 16 million hits on all partner sites despite technical glitches in the first day, and almost 40% of the traffic came from Tier 2 and 3 cities.

– ET

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Apollo Hospitals to open 500 sugar clinics by 2019-end

Healthcare major Apollo Hospitals plans to open 500 Apollo Sugar Clinics by end of 2019 in India and overseas to spread network of diabetes care programme. “We plan to open 500 Apollo Sugar Clinics across the country and outside by end of 2019. We will be have 50 clinics in the country by the end of this year,” Apollo Sugar Chief Executive Officer Gagan Bhalla told PTI. Outside India, the healthcare provider is mulling expansion in the Middle East countries, he added. Asked about the investments required for the proposed expansion, Bhalla said: “On an average, an investment of Rs 50 lakh is required to open a clinic but it varies depending on the locations.” It would be financed through the funds from Apollo Hospitals Group, he added.

Apollo HospitalsThe company currently has it’s sugar clinics in Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Indore, Karimnagar, Pune, Kakinada, Nashik, Tiruchirappalli, Raipur, Bilaspur, Bhubaneshwar, Mysore, Visakhapatnam and Madurai. The Apollo Sugar Clinics provide robust patient outcomes via best in class multi-disciplinary care teams and proven treatment protocols. They also have life style management capabilities, he added. In September, Apollo Hospitals had joined hands with global pharma firm Sanofi to provide diabetes care programmes through it’s Apollo Sugar Clinics. Apollo Hospitals Group Founder Chairman Prathap C Reddy had stated that the partnership would be converted into a joint venture in future. Apollo Sugar is part of Apollo Health & Lifestyle, the arm of Apollo that is into primary and secondary healthcare.

– ET

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Kudankulam nuclear plant to start commercial operations by Janunary 22, 2015

Commercial operations of the first 1,000 MW unit of Kudankulam nuclear power project is now expected to start by January 22, 2015, as an earlier deadline could not be met due to technical problems. The Nuclear Power Corporation, which is implementing the 2,000 MW plant, has received permission from the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) for extending the deadline for commercial operation. The plant, having two units of 1,000 MW capacity each, isbeing set up with technical cooperation of Russia. The first unit could not start commercial operations by the earlier specified date of October 22 on account of certain technical problems. Nuclear Power Corp submitted before the CERC that technical problem relating to the turbine would be resolved by December 22, 2014 and sought one month time “for eventualities” during the rectification work. Taking into consideration the technical problem, the regulator in an order dated November 10 has allowed Nuclear Power Corp to inject infirm power into the grid for the commissioning tests including full load test of the first unit till January 22, 2015. Infirm power refers to supply that is not committed and mainly fed into the grid as part of testing purposes.

kudankulamAt Unit-I, the first and second stage turbine blades and diaphragm have been damaged which are being replaced by taking from Unit-II, according to Nuclear Power Corp. “The replacement of blades and diaphragm would take about from 7 to 8 weeks time. Therefore, the COD is expected to be achieved by January 22, 2015,” the company had told the CERC. Successful testing of reactor, turbine-generator, feed water pump system and the control and protection system of different transients are mandatory as per Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, before declaring Commercial Operation Date (COD) of the project. COD refers to the day from which the unit starts full commercial generation of electricity. CERC has also asked the company to file a status report on rectification work carried out at the unit by December 30. Nuclear Power Corp, after synchronised the unit into the grid on July 15, had earlier planned to start commercial operations in September. “However, while raising power, an increase in turbine thrust bearing temperature was observed and the temperature touched operational limit on reaching power level of 850 MW. “For attending to the technical problem, Turbine- Generator was taken off the bar and reactor was shut down on September 26, 2014,” the company has informed CERC.
The turbine high pressure casing is being dismantled for carrying out inspection of the turbine and identify the problem along with specialists of the turbine manufacturer from Russia.

– ET

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Fisher & Paykel embarks on an expansion drive in India

As it embarks on an expansion drive in India, New Zealand-based kitchen appliances maker Fisher & Paykel will have a retail network of 100 distributors and presence in 25 cities by the end of next year. The company, which has presence mostly in metros is now looking to enter smaller cities like Jalandhar, Nagpur, Thiruvananthapuram, Vizag, Rajkot and Bhubaneshwar. “We would expand our presence to 25 cities from the present 15 by the December 2015. We would have a dealership network of over 100 by the end of next year,” Fisher & Paykel Appliances India Managing Director Sanjeev Wadhwa told PTI. Fisher & Paykel India has selected 45 trade partners to sell its range of appliances in modular kitchen and bathroom fittings.

fisher & paykelIn India the company sells its kitchen and household appliances in the price range of Rs 25,000 to Rs 2.25 lakh. On new areas of expansion, Wadhwa said: “We are looking to approach non-metro places as Jalandhar, Nagpur, Thiruvananthapuram, Vizag, Rajkot and Bhubaneshwar.” The company also plans to expand its shop-in-a-shop concept from the present 16 to 30 by the end of next year.
Apart from normal retail channels, the company expects a good traction from projects business from housing and hospitality segments. “We are also in talks with the real estate developers to put our products in luxury apartments and hospitality sector,” Wadhwa said, adding that the company had already completed some apartment projects in Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Pune. On the revenue front, Wadhwa declined to disclose exact figures but said: “We would grow over 50 per cent from the next year because of geographical expansion and addition of new products in our offerings. Fisher & Paykel is aiming to make India as its top five priority markets, he said, adding the company was spending around 10 per cent of its revenue on marketing and branding exercise. Started in 1934, Fisher & Paykel has global presence in over 50 countries and has manufacturing base at USA, Mexico, Italy, Thailand and New Zealand.

– ET

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Burger King enters Indian market, starts with 12 outlets

burger kingUS fast food chain Burger King Worldwide will open about 12 outlets in India over the next 60-90 days, Rajeev Varman, chief executive of the hamburger chain’s India unit said on Saturday. The chain announced last year a tie-up with the Everstone Group to develop the Burger King brand presence in the country.  In India, the hamburger chain has changed its menu to sell mutton, chicken and veggie sandwiches. “In the long run, India is going to be one of the largest markets globally. Burger King most certainly sees India as one of the biggest opportunities in the future,” Varman said ahead of the chain’s first store opening in New Delhi. Burger King is a late entrant in the country. Rival McDonald’s Corp has been around for close to two decades and has already grown its network in tier two and three cities. “Turkey, China and Russia are each growing by around 100 restaurants a year. Here in India, we will set up our first few restaurants and use that to fine-tune our operating model before determining our growth plans,” Varman said in an email.

– ETRetail

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