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Showing posts from November, 2011

Retail FDI - Letter from the Commerce Minister of India

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Last week, the Cabinet of the Indian Government allowed 100% FDI in Single Brand Retail and upto 51% FDI in Multi-Brand Retail - it was indeed a surprise move, given that the Winter session of the Parliament is on and the Ruling UPA is mired under various issues due to which the Upper House and the Lower House have seen continued agitation and adjournments. In the wake of this latest crisis, Union Minister (of India) for Commerce, Mr. Anand Sharma has written a letter to the leaders of all the leading political parties in India, explaining the reasoning behind the government's decision to allow FDI. Here is the full text of the letter; As you are aware, the Union Cabinet has taken a decision for liberalization of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy in Multi-Brand Retail, which holds the potential of transforming rural economy and unlocking the supply chain efficiencies in the agri-business. The policy has evolved after a process of intense stakeholder consultation whi

FDI in Retail–the saga continues!

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It was a much-awaited, welcome move by the Cabinet of the Indian Parliament to allow 100% FDI in Single Brand Retail and up to 51% FDI in multi-brand retail on 24th Nov. 2011. A surprise announcement, given that the winter session of the Parliament is under progress, which hasn’t been functioning fully due to various issues in the fore. The announcement comes after two decades of reforms that started in 1991 and over 10 years of strong growth by the Organized players of the Retail Industry in India. The Left parties along with the main opposition party in the Parliament, viz., the BJP have been publicly protesting against the decision. One senior member of the party has announced that she will burn the Wal-Mart store if it opens anywhere and she is ready to court arrest for the same! Such has been the tensions on this topic for many years now. Even the general public (read: Consumers) have been left confused due to various approaches proposed by those who are for- and against allowing

What Retailers can learn from Kingfisher Airlines

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The past few weeks would have been one of the most tumultuous for India’s five star Airline, Kingfisher ! The Airline and its promoter Dr. Vijay Mallya were in the news (and continue to be) for all the wrong reasons. The India Media which I personally respect a lot were making some scathing remarks and reports all of a sudden about the airline’s business health although it knew about it for many years now being a public limited company. With a debt exceeding Rs. 7,000 Crores (USD 1.80 Billion), Cash-and-carry of Fuel at airports and a few flights grounded for reconfiguration of seats, the Airline was abused by one and all including those who otherwise held it in high esteem. It was common to see many passengers at airport lounges discussing their wisdom and advising how the Airline should be run and how the promoter and the Management can do better. These were some of those who earlier yearned to be seen in the Kingfisher Lounges at airports! In fact, some subscribed for the Kingfish

UnHate the campaign, atleast for the Consumer’s sake!

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  There is so much brouhaha about the most recent campaign of United Colors of Benetton , the marquee fashion brand from Europe’s fashion capital, Italy. Benetton’s in-house design agency Fabrica has created the recent campaign among many others over the years, particularly the one which showed a blood smeared baby still attached to its umbilical cord which was also a much talked about one. Benetton also had campaigns which showed a nun kissing a priest, three hearts declaring “white, yellow and black” and so on. Over the years, Fabrica has attracted global talent to work in its think tank and has been a darling of the creative minds. The recent Unhate website has this to say; What does UNHATE mean? UN-hate. Stop hating, if you were hating. Unhate is a message that invites us to consider that hate and love are not as far away from each other as we think. Actually, the two opposing sentiments are often in a delicate and unstable balance. Our campaign promotes a shift in the balance

Customer Service - by Trial & Error!

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My only claim to understanding or appreciating an Apple product is my iPod Nano, which my buddy had gifted me 6 years ago. A 4 GB nano, I didn't know actually how to even switch it off when I first laid my hands on it. Since 2005, it has been one of my favourite companions, accompanying me in my life's journey. The voice clarity on the iPod was one of the best I've ever heard in my life - even the Nakamichi headphones that were kept for sampling CDs at Musicworld (where I started by professional career a decade ago) weren't as great in terms of audio quality and clarity as the original apple (white-colored) ear phones. Over the years, I have added so many other devices to my kitty for listening music but none like the iPod nano. So, when it stopped working abruptly, I was worried. I logged online and tried some trouble-shooting methods although none of them came in handy. And finally I heeded the advice of one such post - which was to visit the nearest Apple store! W