Rasna to foray into food product under child & health category

Fruit drink concentrate maker Rasna is working on launching its first exclusive food product for kids by July this year, a top official said here today. “We are doing some test marketing on a completely new product. Not in South. We will be launching all India in July. It is a food product, not a drink. That will be  our first food product category (in domestic market),” Rasna Chairman and Managing Director Piruz Khambatta reporters here. Noting that the company was only retailing beverages in India, he said, “We are only in the beverage segment in India. Abroad we have food products like chutneys. What we are testing is a food product in the child and health category. I am very clear that India’s future is health category.”

rasnaKhambatta and senior company officials were here to announce Bollywood Actor Akshay Kumar as the Brand Ambassador, besides rolling out a marketing campaign on the  occasion. “He (Akshay Kumar) is not only the brand ambassador for the domestic market but also for the Middle East and other countries”, Khambatta said. To a query, he said the company was looking at a 20-25 per cent growth this year. “We are looking at a CAGR for both domestic and exports of 20-25 per cent”. Currently, Rasna Pvt Ltd has nine factories in India with a total capacity to produce 500 crore glasses. “Of the total 500 crore glasses, we make Rasna orange for at least 60 per cent which is about 300 crore glasses”, he said. On the exports market, which contributes 30 per cent of total sales, he said the company was looking at setting up two manufacturing plants to serve the exports  segment. “Exports contribute about 30 per cent for us. We have not decided the land for the manufacturing plants”, he said. Rasna exports products to the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, he said, adding they were also looking at entering South Africa.
The company has allocated Rs 40 crore towards marketing campaign, expected to begin from Southern region, which contributes a majority of business to Rasna, dhe said.

– ET

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Myntra may soon exclusively sell Marks & Spencer products online

Myntra.com is close to signing an exclusive deal with Marks & Spencer (M&S) to sell products of Britain’s leading retailer on India’s largest fashion e-commerce platform. The tie-up, which will make India just the second market where M&S will sell its products through a third-party website, signals growing interest in India’s rapidly growing online bazaar among well-entrenched brands that have sold products only through brick-and-mortar stores in the country. The two companies have finalised the terms of the partnership and the final agreement is expected to be signed soon, people familiar with the development told ET. A Myntra spokesperson declined to comment on the matter. Venu Nair, managing director of Marks & Spencer Reliance, however, said the company has held talks with various e-commerce companies in India including Myntra, Jabong,  Snapdeal and Amazon. “We have not spoken just to Myntra but all online platforms. Those were more of general meetings but nothing has progressed beyond that,” Nair said, adding, “Online is a channel that we said we will explore but currently we are nowhere close to that.” In India, M&S operates through a 51:49 joint venture with Reliance Industries. The company runs 47 M&S branded outlets and plans to more than double the number in the next two years. M&S sells products online through its own
websites in several countries. Last year, the company switched from an Amazon-run e-platform to its own ecommerce site in the UK as part of its focus on online sales.

marks & spencerAccording to the latest report by PwC, online retailing in India grew 56% annually between 2009 and 2014. E-tailing in India is expected to swell to $6 billion (about Rs 37,200 crore) in 2015 from $3.5 billion last year, as per the report.
With online sales expected to surge in India in the coming years, analysts say it is becoming imperative for companies running physical stores to embrace e-commerce platforms sooner than later. Myntra may soon exclusively sell Marks & Spencer’s products onlineMyntra may soon exclusively sell Marks & Spencer’s products online. At the same time, there is a rush among India’s e-commerce companies to add global brands tom their portfolios. Labels like M&S are considered a prize catch since these brands are already popular in India and are expected to find ready customers online. Over the past two years, online fashion retailers like Myntra and Jabong, and marketplaces such as Flipkart and Snapdeal, have been pushing fashion and lifestyle products aggressively through heavy discounts. This has made traditional retailers from Future Group to department store chain Shoppers Stop sit up and take notice of the changing retailing landscape in the country. Analysts say that given the boom in online sales, it will be hard for brands such as Zara, H&M and Gap to ignore the potential of e-commerce platforms. “More and more brick-andmortar brands realise that they cannot just stay in the brick-andmortar environment since the customers are moving online,” said Nitin Chhabra,  CEO of Ace Turtle, the Bengaluru-based firm which has the mandate from Myntra to bring dozens of global brands to its fold. In recent months, Ace Turtle has received enquiries from several global brands with annual revenues of more than Rs 200 crore in India to go online, Chhabra said, adding, “Going on those multi-brand marketplaces is a quicker way of testing the market and you are quickly off the ground due to instant reach of these e-commerce sites.”

Bengaluru-based Myntra sells dozens of global labels on its site and has exclusive arrangement to market global brands such as Amsterdam-based Scotch & Soda, UK’s Superdry, Spain’s Desigual and Italy based Replay in India. But M&S could be the company’s most coveted exclusive deal so far, according to market watchers.

– ET

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Bharat Forge forms 51:49 JV with Rafael

Betting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, Bharat Forge on Thursday announced a joint venture with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems for manufacturing high-tech defence components. The Kalyani Group announced the 51:49 defence joint venture with Rafael. The deal comes within months of the government’s move to allow 49% FDI in defence manufacturing. The 51:49 joint venture will make Spike anti-tank guided missiles for the Indian armed forces and will involve transfer of technology from Rafael. “We believe in the vision of ‘Make in India’ and our proposed joint venture with Rafael is a step in this direction,” said Baba Kalyani, chairman of Kalyani Group, a $2.5 billion (Rs 15,535 crore) firm.

rafaelAnnouncing the JV, Baba Kalyani said, “The government’s defence focus plan gives us huge scope of work. We plan to add the group’s muscle, might to the ‘Make In India’  plan.” Bharat Forge will make a substantial investment in the JV over a period of time. The Kalyani-Rafael JV will help manufacture high-tech systems in remote weapons and
missiles. “Rafael is working with Indian defence space for last 20 years. Defence production will be a strategic thrust area for Bharat Forge,” Kalyani said. The JV will be set up close to Hyderabad and the land for the same is being identified, Bharat Forge said. “As part of our global strategy, we form alliances to develop military applications based on our proprietary technologies,” said Itzhak Gat, chairman of Rafael. “In Kalyani Group we see lot of synergy and opportunities for growth in new markets and especially in India which is a strategic market for us.” Kalyani Group executive director Amit Kalyani said that the government had recently increased foreign direct investment cap in defence to 49% and the partnership will be among the first few ventures under the new FDI limits. India is the largest customer of Israeli military equipment.

– ET

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Amrita Institute opens Asia-Pacific region’s first robotic facility for neurosurgery

Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi today claimed it has become the first healthcare facility in Asia-Pacific region to use robotic technology for neurosurgery, successfully conducting four surgeries for treatment of epilepsy this month. The new generation robotic surgical technology – ROSA – will assist a broad range of surgical interventions to treat Parkinson and Epilepsy treatments, brain tumours,  hemorrhagic strokes and endoscopic surgery of the brain, a press release said. The robot is comparable to a “GPS” for the brain and can be used for guidance, precision and accuracy during a variety of cranial procedures. It requires surgical  planning with preoperative imaging data, patient registration and precise positioning and handling of instrument. To date, ROSA is the one of two robotic assistants approved for neurosurgical procedures and in routine clinical use in Europe, the United States, and Canada, the release said.

neurosurgery“Though robotics doesn’t replace a surgeon’s skill and cannot accomplish all neurosurgical tasks, it provides a precise, mathematically correct trajectory to the destination in the brain. In that trajectory, it will guide the surgeon’s instruments for whatever be the purpose. Besides providing this precision and accuracy, it allows the surgeons to focus on other aspects of the surgery,” said Dr Prem Nair, Medical Director of Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences said. The Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences has already commissioned a da Vinci robotic technology for surgical solutions for Gynec-oncology, Urology and Gastrointestinal cases. Progressively, more robotic surgical machines will be inducted to set up India’s first Centre for Excellence in Robotics in the healthcare sector at the Kochi facility of Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences. The latest robotic surgical technology is designed and manufactured by Medtech Surgical of France and marketed worldwide by Schiller AG of Switzerland. “The field of robotic neurosurgery is still in its early stage of development and we have been given the tasks of developing several of these applications. Medtech specifically has developed a robot for spine surgery and we have been given the task of helping expanding the applications of robotics in spine surgery,” he said.

– ET

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Government launches Ebiz portal

Taking a major step towards achieving its aim of improving India’s ranking on ‘Ease of doing business’ index, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government on Thursday launched an eBiz portal (www.ebiz.gov.in). eBiz, which is a G2B portal has been launched with eleven government services. “The eBiz portal is a response to the challenge put to us by PM Narendra Modi to improve ease of doing business,” said Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the launch. “We shall keep expanding the eBiz portal. Many pilot states have been identified for implementation of these single-window services,” Sitharaman said. DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant said that the aim of the portal is to eliminate needless procedures and integrate use of technology. “PM Narendra Modi has really challenged all of us to make India an extremely easy place to do business. There will be a radical shift in government’s service delivery approach from department-centric to customer-centric,” Kant said.

ebiz“Right now 11 services can be availed online end-to-end 24*7 on government’s G2B eBiz portal. In the long run, 26 central government services across nine departments will be integrated on the eBiz platform,” Kant said. “A lot of hard work done by Infosys, our tech partner, who built the back-end for this portal,” Kant added. Government takes up PM Modi’s challenge on ease of doing business; launches eBiz portal. Stating that an ideal government is one where those wanting to do business will not have to visit the corridors of power, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “A portal of this kind can eliminate problems created by discretionary exercise of power.” “The world watches us as to see whether we are decisive or not. I am glad that the world has started to view us differently,” Jaitley said, while underlining the importance of credibility of the economy and need for promptness in decision making process.
Explaining how ease of doing business would increase with the eBiz portal, MoS Finance Jayant Sinha said, “Businesses of different sectors and sizes can benefit from  this portal. They can be brought under the umbrella of digital businesses,” Sinha said. “We have all the necessary building blocks to make it much easier to do  business,” Sinha added.

Applauding the government’s initiative, World Bank Country Director Onno Ruhl said, “What is being launched today is a path-breaking initiative. We at World Bank see ourselves as partners of India in improving ease of doing business.”

– ET

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