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Personal finance Monday

A quick look at the latest developments in the world of personal finance

Post offices can now sell insurance plans; JPMorgan MF launches JPMorgan EEMEA Equity Off-shore Fund; HDFC Mutual Fund introduces HDFC FMP 100D October 2010 (1); Bank of Baroda floats Baroda Utsav Deposit Scheme till 31st December; IndusInd Bank ties up with Unistream Bank for remittances

Post offices can now sell insurance plans

Post offices can now distribute insurance products with Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), allowing each circle of the Department of Post (DoP) to act as a corporate agent of insurers.

"Each circle of India Post should be treated as a separate unit to grant independent corporate agent licence with various insurers," insurance regulator IRDA said while granting permission to postal circles to distribute insurance products.

It, however, said that in the case of metropolitan areas, the head of circle may approach IRDA for prior approval of further division in the circle as separate units to obtain licence to act as corporate agent in view of the large population. The DoP has 22 postal Circles for providing postal services.

The IRDA allowed each circle to tie up with two non-life insurance companies, two life insurance companies, one agricultural insurance company and one standalone health insurance company for this purpose. Corporate agents act as insurance agent for insurers and procure business on behalf of the insurance companies through its executives. IRDA had last month sought views from insurers for granting corporate agency licence to the DoP to promote financial inclusion.

However, IRDA has disallowed the head office of India Post to engage in the distribution of the insurance products. In its individual capacity, the head/corporate office of India Post shall not obtain license to act as corporate agent of any insurance company. The head/corporate office of India Post shall not engage in the distribution of insurance products of any insurance company registered with IRDA in any other capacity.

JPMorgan MF launches JPMorgan EEMEA Equity Off-shore Fund

JPMorgan Mutual Fund has launched JPMorgan EEMEA Equity Off-shore Fund, an open ended fund of funds - overseas scheme.
The primary investment objective of the Scheme is to provide long-term capital appreciation by investing in JPMorgan Funds - Emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa Equity Fund, an equity fund which invests primarily in a diversified portfolio of companies incorporated or which have their registered office located in, or derive the predominant part of their economic activity from, an emerging market in central, eastern and southern Europe, Middle East or Africa.

The Scheme offers a growth option only. During the new fund offer (NFO), the units will be offered at face value of Rs10 per unit. The Scheme has an exit load of 1% if units are redeem within 12 months from the date of allotment. The Scheme opens on 18th October and closes on 29th October. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. The minimum target amount is Rs1 crore. MSCI EMEA (total return net) is the benchmark index.

HDFC Mutual Fund introduces HDFC FMP 100D October 2010 (1)

HDFC Mutual Fund launches HDFC FMP 100D October 2010 (1), a close-ended income scheme.
The investment objective of the Plan under the Scheme is to generate income through investments in debt/money-market instruments and government securities maturing on or before the maturity date of the respective Plan.

Each HDFC Fixed Maturity Plan offers growth and dividend (payout) option. During the new fund offer (NFO), the units will be offered at face value of Rs10 per unit. The exit load for the Plan is nil. The Scheme opens on 18th October and closes on 20th October. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. CRISIL Liquid Fund Index is the benchmark index. Bharat Pareek and Anand Laddha are the fund managers.

Bank of Baroda floats Baroda Utsav Deposit Scheme till 31st December

Bank of Baroda has launched a new term deposit scheme called Baroda Utsav Deposit Scheme till 31 December 2010.

The Scheme is for term deposit having maturity of 444 days. The Scheme is only for term deposits (fresh and renewal) that are less than Rs1 crore. It carries an interest at the rate of 7.50% per annum. Deposit interest rates for all other tenors remain unchanged.

IndusInd Bank ties up with Unistream Bank for remittances


IndusInd Bank has signed an arrangement with Moscow-based commercial bank JCB Unistream for India bound remittances. This tie up will give remitters an option to send money from any branch of Unistream, towards direct credit into over 60,000 bank branches in India.
“Having established ourselves as a major player in remittances from Middle East, we are now keen to reach out to NRIs across other major markets. This arrangement with Unistream will help us tap into India bound flows from Europe & UK” said Amit Talwar, SVP & Head Global Remittances, IndusInd Bank, from Mumbai.
Operating in 95 countries, Unistream Bank serves over 6 million clients a year and holds 35% market share for remittances in Russia to CIS countries.

User

Airtel: Mobile office

The real power of this campaign lies in the marketing idea, which is fresh and innovative, and once that is in place, half the communication battle is won

Interesting new campaign from Airtel. A good example of how a sound marketing strategy can result in not just focussed, relevant creative work, but also expand the market category as a whole. Airtel has decided that rural India must use more mobile phones. And the way that's done is through making business sense rather than resorting to hard sell. As in, instead of selling the connections per se, they are telling small townies and villagers they can convert the phone into a source of revenue, and not just use it as a communication device.

The two commercials star 'art-film' actors Shreyas Talpade and Rajpal Yadav. In one film, Yadav plays a small-time tour guide who wants to start his own business. Talpade, his pal, shows the way. He tells the former he can get tourist gangs through his phone itself, so the device becomes a 'mobile office'. No need to spend money on a brick-and-mortar structure. And sure, the trick works. The man is inundated with gullible firangi travellers, to whom he sells cow dung as a work of art.

In the second ad, Yadav plays a village paanwala. And he's worried about his stagnating sales as only that many people come for a paan in his village. Talpade helps expand his business with a 'mobile paan' idea. Now people from other villages too order paans on the phone, as the paan shop's sales go through the roof. 'Airtel bajega to tarakki bolegi!' is the thought.

Sure, the creative itself isn't sizzling, but that doesn't really matter. In fact, I like the simplicity and the earthiness. The real power lies in the marketing idea, which is fresh and innovative, and once that is in place, half the communication battle is won. I would go ahead and say the marketing and advertising frat must use this campaign as a case study on the sort of value-additions that happen
when the brand manager from the client's side and the account planner from the ad agency's side work in sync as partners. The strategy can become so powerful, there's very little work left for the creatives to do.

Yes, I agree, category expansion is a route fraught with peril, as rival brands will benefit too when the market expands. But that risk a market leader has to take if it wants to make inroads into new
markets.

And by the way, not that it matters much in this context, but both Talpade and Yadav do a great job. As they do in similar roles in the feature films. Good casting.
 

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