The partnership will initially focus on Future Group’s 40 fashion brands and will subsequently cover all other categories
Kishore Biyani-led Future Group and retail giant Amazon on Monday entered into a partnership to build on synergies of experience in online and offline businesses.
This comes days after Biyani complained of e-commerce companies, particularly Flipkart, of under-cutting the market and selling products at even below the cost price.
The alliance will leverage strong product knowledge, extensive brand portfolio and sourcing base of Future Group, and the e-commerce platform, customer base and reach of Amazon.in.
The partnership will initially focus on Future Group’s fashion brands and will subsequently cover all other categories, Future Group said in a statement.
Future Group’s current portfolio of over 40 brands will be retailed exclusively online through Amazon.in platform.
“The bottomline in each of our retail success stories is “know your customer”. Insights into the soul of Indian consumers — how they operate, think, dream and live — helps us innovate and create functionally differentiating products and experiences.
“Partnership with Amazon, which obsesses to be earth’s most customer-centric company, will enable us to leverage their strengths, investments and innovations in technology to reach out to wider set of consumers across India,” it said.
Commenting on the tie-up, Biyani said: “Partnership with Amazon, which obsesses to be earth’s most customer-centric company, will enable us to leverage their strengths, investments and innovations in technology to reach out to a wider set of consumers across India.”
“We are excited to collaborate, leverage each other’s unique strengths and serve customers across India. The product portfolio of Future Group, their innate understanding of the Indian consumer mindset and our ability to serve and deliver a convenient, easy, trusted and reliable delivery experience to a nationwide set of customers is a win-win for all,” said Amit Agarwal, Vice-President and Country Manager, Amazon India.
Amazon.in will also partner Future Group brands in promoting the existing and new brands in markets, explore co-branding opportunities and accelerate new product development in categories which are currently not served by retailers, the company said.
The two companies will also explore synergies in areas such as distribution network, customer acquisition and cross-promotions.
It is imperative that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should carry out detailed discussions and propose Indian involvement in laying gas pipelines, setting up oil refinery, urea plants, hydroelectric power stations and road building in Myanmar
Our External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, truly speaking a Roving Ambassador, has already been to Myanmar and who has, in all probability, done the necessary ground work for a fruitful visit, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives to attend the 25th ASEAN Regional forum meeting in November. Final dates have not been made public, though indications are that the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum meetings may be held on 9-11 or 10-12 November this year. This is an important meeting and a great opportunity for PM Modi to be able to meet a great number of political leaders of this region. It would appear that apart from meeting the Myanmar President U Thein Sein in Nay Pyi Taw, he may also have the pleasure of meeting the leader of the opposition and Chairperson of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi.
Our relations with Myanmar, formerly known as Burmah, go back several centuries, as the country's population are devout Buddhists. It may be recalled, that till 1937, Burmah was a province under the British rule, and became totally independent on 4 January 1948. The present population of Myanmar is said to be 55 million, of which 2.5 million have Indian origin as roots.
In the past, literally when nobody wanted to associate and assist this country, due to the military junta that ruled, it was China that filled the vacuum and took immense advantage in building in roads into the Myamnarese society, in the fields of security, energy, business, infrastructure development, besides equipping its army, Indian association, trade wise, can be considered as one that has become increasingly important in the last couple of decades. In 2012-13, India exported $544.66 million and imported $1,412.69 billion worth of goods, mostly natural gas, wood products, copper and fish.
Indian exports covered various items such as fabric, petroleum products, fertilizer, plastics, machinery, transport equipment, food products and edible oil. Now, some developments are taking place that' includes engineering project services. Our bilateral trade has reached $2.18 billion in 2013-14 and this may reach $3 billion by 2015.
Indian investments in Myanmar have amounted to only $283 million till 2013, though it is projected that this may touch $2.6 billion in the next few years.
Already, some of the leading corporate bodies like TCIL, ONGC Videsh, GAIL, Essar, Rites, JK Paper, Jubilant Energy and Reliance Industries are actively pursuing opportunities in Myanmar.
Mention may be made of the Essar port development work at Sittwe as this, in the next few months, will enable India to get Kolkata linked with Mizoram and other North Eastern states through inland waterway, and road along the Kalandan river. In fact, Sittwe could become a key port for development with transit facilities for reaching out to Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur, as explained above.
Myanmar, in the past, had offered to help India in setting up hydroelectric power projects with a potential of over 1,000 MW across its rivers on our borders. They have the natural gas that can be utilized for setting up Urea plants, which would be mutually beneficial. A gas pipeline that could run through Bangladesh, carrying the Myanmar gas, would benefit India just as much as the transit country.
In these areas, China has taken tremendous advantage in laying the gas/oil pipe line from Yunan province, all the way to the Bay of Bengal Port of Kyaukphu. However, media reports indicate that "all is not well" in China-Myanmar relations as the later feels that the former has taken advantage of the situation.
In any case, there are two other developments that are of importance. First refers to the Chinese proposal of Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic corridor, which would covered over 1.65 million square kms and take the interest of 440 million people in that area. This BCIM corridor is expected to run from Kunming, capital of China's Yunan province, which borders Myanmar. This corridor will cover Mandalay, Dhaka, Chittagong and eventually, Kolkata. This may also come up for detailed discussions during the Asean meeting.
The other covers the growing economy and importance of countries nearer to Myanmar, namely, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. These are vibrant and have natural resources and developments involving Myanmar would have rippling effect all round.
What India has to bear in mind is the Chinese plans and development in the region. China has been actively associated with infrastructural development in the Trans-Karakoram Corridor stretching all the way upto Gwader (in Baluchistan), Pakistan, at the entrance of Strait of Hormuz. They also are associated with the Irrawady Corridor involving road, river and rail link from Yunan province, right through in Myanmar, upto the ports of Sittwe and Kyaukphu.
With all these developments happening in and around our areas of interest, it is imperative that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a strong delegation that should carry out detailed discussions and propose Indian involvement in laying gas pipelines, setting up oil refinery, urea plants, hydro-electric power stations and road building in that country. For its development, Myanmar would need tremendous amount of engineering goods and services, transport equipment and other miscellaneous goods. If need be, India should offer adequate credit facilities and come to buy-back arrangements on many of the items mentioned above.
This November visit to Myanmar is an opportunity that Narendra Modi should not miss.
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)
Should breast cancer foundations accept cash from companies selling these products?
Pinkwashing, pinkification, pinktober. Whatever you call it, slapping a pink ribbon on a product is big business. It’s called “cause messaging” and it sells – boosting potential revenues by millions, according to at least one study.
But should breast cancer research foundations accept donations from companies selling unhealthy products that could harm the very people they are trying to help? The companies may get a boost from the pink labels, but some say the foundations should be more discerning about the health effects the products could have on consumers, especially those struggling with cancer. Here are five examples of companies that have offered pink ribbon promotions. (UPDATE: And now there is a sixth example. Texas-based Baker Hughes, a fracking company, will be painting and distributing 1,000 hot pink drill bits this month as part of its “Doing out Bit for the Cure” campaign and will donate $100,000 to Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure at the Oct. 26 final Pittsburgh Steelers “pink-out” football game. Fracking, critics point out, is a natural gas and oil drilling process that adds harmful chemicals to water supplies.
Going pink gives caffeinated lemonade highly charged sales boost
Living Essentials announced this month it was going to continue its support for breast cancer awareness for a second year. It first launched its Pink Lemonade 5-Hour ENERGY campaign last year, marketing the drink to women and donating $387,531 to the Avon Foundation for Women. The company renewed its commitment in September, announcing it would donate 5 cents for every sale of a limited edition pink lemonade flavor 5-Hour to support Living Beyond Breast Cancer for a minimum of at least $200,000.
It based its donations last year on sales between the product’s launch and the end of the campaign on Dec. 31, 2012. Demand was so strong that Living Essentials ordered two additional production runs. Living Essentials President Scott Henderson said on the company’s website,
Response to the new flavor and its tie-in to a great cause generated such a great demand for Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY® that two additional production runs had to be ordered.
Living Essentials is under scrutiny by the FDA along with other energy drink companies after reports of 13 deaths within four years and 30 injuries that may be linked to high caffeine levels in the drinks and is facing a class-action lawsuit by consumers over its “no crash” claim.
This story was updated on 9/10/2014.
Theresa Sullivan Barger is a Canton, Conn.-based freelance writer specializing in business, environment, and health.