Govt announces 24-hour customs clearance at 8 ports

In India, the transaction cost for exporters is around 7%-8% of the total value of the cargo, which is among the highest in the world

New Delhi: The government today announced a slew of measures, including round-the-clock customs clearance at eight ports in the country, with the aim of bringing down transaction costs on exports by Rs2,100 crore, reports PTI.

"It is expected that implementation of the 23 issues is likely to mitigate transaction costs by approximately Rs2,100 crore," minister of state for commerce and industry Jyotiraditya Scindia said here.

The government expects that a permanent reduction in transaction costs through these initiatives will have a long-term positive impact on the competitiveness of India's exports.

Reducing transaction costs should be an "ongoing task", said finance minister Pranab Mukherjee while releasing the report of a 'Task Force on Transaction Cost in Exports'.

In India, the transaction cost for exporters is around 7%-8% of the total value of the cargo, which is among the highest in the world.

India's exports rose by 36.4% y-o-y to $22.5 billion in December, 2010, the highest growth rate in the last 33 months.

During the April-December period of the current fiscal, India's outbound shipments grew by 29.5% to $164.7 billion from $127.1 billion in the same period last year.

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Fortis Healthcare Q3 net up 58% to Rs34.5 crore

The healthcare major is considering setting up a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and listing it in Singapore, Fortis Healthcare chief financial officer Yogesh Sareen said

Mumbai: Fortis Healthcare today reported a 58.69% jump in net profit for the third quarter ended 31 December 2010, to Rs34.5 crore from Rs21.74 crore for the October-December quarter of the last fiscal, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Total income of the company grew to Rs371.43 crore in the third quarter of FY'11 from Rs 232.48 crore in the corresponding three-month period a year ago, a growth of 60%, reports PTI.

"The company's financial performance in the last quarter has been outstanding and the robust results bear testimony to the ever-growing equity of the Fortis brand," Fortis Healthcare MD Shivinder M Singh said.

"Operating margins on like-to-like basis were at 16.4%. However, including the start up losses on account of the three green field ventures commissioned during September 2010, operating EBIDTA stood at Rs 53.9 crore, up 51% reflecting margins of 14.5%," the company added.

The healthcare major is considering setting up a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and listing it in Singapore, chief financial officer Yogesh Sareen told reporters on Tuesday.

The company is one of India's leading healthcare services providers with a network of 53 hospitals and a capacity of over 8,000 beds.

Cheering the third quarter numbers, shares of the company jumped 4.32% to Rs 146 in morning trade on the BSE today.

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Nicorette: Wrong choice of media

The advertising is generic and is sure to benefit all the brands in the category. Now the task will be to get some distinct image going for the brand, so that customers only ask for Nicorette at the retail outlet

The makers of Nicorette, the nicotine chewing gum brand, have been going to town to kill the smoking habit. The action began on New Year's Day, when most people resolve to kick the butt. Since then, there has been some seriously heavy ad spend in all forms of media. On Republic Day, they even launched the 'The Quit India Movement' in newspapers.

The TV commercial however is pretty straight forward and boring. Guess the marketer wanted to steer clear of any controversies. Ideally, nicotine chewing gum needs to be consumed under medical supervision (as there can be side effects), and the commercial needed to be low key so that the health ministry and other do-gooding activists don't get involved.

In the ad, a child mimics smoking a cigarette, much to the alarm of the smoker daddy. Who then decides to give it up, and opts for Nicorette, of course. Yes, the creative sucks, but more than that, I have issues with the choice of the media.

We must remember there have been nicotine chewing gum brands in the Indian market for some years now, but they were never advertised. Am sure the rivals must be thrilled with Nicorette's decision to scream through the rooftops, and must now be laughing all the way to the bank. Because Nicorette's advertising is generic in nature, and is sure to benefit all the brands in the category.

Having done the 'social work', Nicorette brand manager's job now is to get some distinct personality and image going for the brand, so that consumers only ask for Nicorette and not any nicotine chewing gum at the retail outlet. And this is going to be a tough one. The more they make the brand hip, the more they go into the area of making the drug nicotine appear cool and happening, the quicker they'll invite strife.

Which then brings me to the choice of media. I think it's wasteful (given the above) to use the mass media. Nicorette must only use the Internet and the below-the-line media to communicate with prospective consumers. One can safely assume their key target market is likely to be the middle class urban segment and above (at Rs 6.50 a gum, the brand is anyways out of the reach of the poor). That way they can quietly build a direct brand relationship with smokers who want to quit, and make sure the competition doesn't reap the rewards of their labour.

This route will also keep them away from swallowing bitter PILS (Public Interest Litigations)

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COMMENTS

B V KRISHNAN

6 years ago

Smokers who kick the habit with the help of Nicorette will get addicted to Nicorette. So it will only mean jumping from the fire to the frying pan! While Glaxo Smith Kline will laugh all the way to the bank!! Just imagine, getting evan a fraction of the smoking public as permanent customers for Nicorette will benefit their top line and bottomline immensely!!

Krishnaraj Rao

6 years ago

Sorry, don't agree. I feel that the branding is extremely strong and effective. The ad is unlikely to benefit the rival brands, and is quite likely to take away customers from them.

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