MindTree appoints Hieronimus as new chairman on Soota’s exit

Albert Hieronimus was chairman of Bosch; Ashok Soota resigned in January to pursue a new business venture

New Delhi: Mid-size IT firm MindTree today announced the appointment of Albert Hieronimus as its new chairman with immediate effect. Before joining MindTree, Mr Hieronimus was chairman of Bosch Ltd.

MindTree chief executive officer and managing director Krishnakumar Natarajan said, "In line with good governance practices, we are segregating the roles of the chairman of the board and the company's CEO and MD."

In January this year, co-founder Ashok Soota resigned as executive chairman from the company to pursue a new business venture. He was relieved from his duties on March 31, 2011. However, Mr Soota said he did not have plans to divest his stake in the company, PTI reports.

MindTree offers IT services, product engineering services, independent testing and infrastructure management and technical support.

The MindTree stock, which has shed about a third of its value in the past three months, climbed about 6% to Rs419 in the first hour of trading on the Bombay Stock Exchange today, following the announcement.

Founded by former Wipro leaders like Mr Soota and Subroto Bagchi, the company posted a 40% year-on-year decline in net profit at Rs30.49 crore for Q3FY11 from Rs50.47 crore in the previous corresponding quarter.

Mindtree acquired Kyocera India's R&D centre in October 2009 to work on IPR in the 4G long-term evolution wireless infrastructure and 3G smartphone. However, a year later, the company said it would convert that business into R&D services for network infrastructure and handset firms.


Exports cross $200 billion mark in Feb; to touch $235 billion in 2010-11

Exports went up by 49.7% year-on-year during February to $23.5 billion, taking the April-February 2010-11 figure to $208.2 billion, an increase of 31.4 % over the year-ago period and past the yearly target of $200 billion

New Delhi: India's exports grew by an impressive 50% in February, crossing the $200 billion mark during the first eleven months of 2010-11 on the back of rising demand from the US and other markets, reports PTI.

Exports went up by 49.7% year-on-year during February to $23.5 billion, taking the April-February 2010-11 figure to $208.2 billion, an increase of 31.4 % over the year-ago period and past the yearly target of $200 billion.

Imports also increased by 21.2% in the month under review to $31.7 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $8.1 billion, according to the commerce ministry data released today.

During April-February 2010-11, imports grew by 18% to $305.3 billion over the same period last year. The trade gap for the period stood at $97 billion.

The exporting sectors which performed well during the 11 months of fiscal include engineering (81%), petroleum and oil lubricants (34%), cotton yarn and made-ups (43%), chemicals (22%) and electronics (40%).

"The growth which we are seeing is basically from the markets of Asia, Latin America and Africa. In these new markets demand for our products are increasing," Ramu Deora, president of India's apex exporters body Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO), said.

However, Mr Deora said that demand is still weak in several European markets.

The US and Europe were the traditional markets for Indian exporters, but after the global economic crisis, exporters increased their engagement in new markets of Asia, Latin America and Africa.

The government is providing duty incentives to exporters for these new markets.

Commerce secretary Rahul Khullar had said that going by this trend, the country's exports are expected to touch the figures of $230-$235 billion. Imports may end up to $350 billion and balance of trade to $105-$115 billion by the end of 2010-11.

Oil imports in February dipped by 0.3% to $8.21 billion from $8.24 billion in February 2010. However, non-oil imports grew by 31% to $23.48 billion from $17.9 billion.

During April-February 2010-11, oil imports grew by 12.4% to $88.17 billion from $78.41 billion in the same period last year, the data said.

Non-oil imports during the period also went up by 20.4% to $217.12 billion from $180.33 billion in the corresponding period last year.


Minute Maid: What NOT to do in an ad

Nostalgia works best when used for brands that have been around for decades. Used for a Johnny-come-lately brand called Minute Maid, the ad strikes no chord with the viewer

Coca-Cola wants you to relive your first love with their drink called Minute Maid. Frankly, I had never even heard of this brand before. Apparently, it's a lemon drink. And the promise is this: Natural nimbu juice, as in 'Bilkul Ghar Jaisa'.
Quite bafflingly, the commercial takes you down the nostalgia route. And features two kids attracted to each other. They play around all the time, and when they need to re-energise in the heat, they bond over good ol' ghar ka prepared nimbu juice. One freakish quirk the boy has is that each time he drinks his lemonade, he undoes the little gal's hair. We then cut to them as grown ups. This time the chap gulps on Minute Maid, and the childhood memories return in a flash. And he once again undoes the girl's hair in a public place. The link? Well, Minute Maid not only revives his freakish habit, it also reminds him of fresh, ghar ka prepared lemonade.

This commercial is a dud, to put it mildly. Some very serious issues immediately hit you in the face; wonder why the client and its ad agency remain blissfully ignorant of them. One, for a rather unknown brand, nostalgia as a creative route is tenuous. How can I feel that emotion, however much I logicalise the story, for a brand I haven't even heard of? Nostalgia works best when used for brands that have been around for decades, and it's possible we may have childhood associations with them. It's then that the emotion works. Used for a Johnny-come-lately brand called Minute Maid, the ad strikes no chord with the viewer.
Next. What's the direct link between first love and first drink? Again, the association has been stretched, it isn't natural, so the creative becomes less effective. Substitute lemonade with a toy, a book, a dress, a food item, a cycle, etc, etc, and the commercial still works. This isn't good news. The best advertising ideas are those where the stories are seamlessly connected with the product in question.
Finally, the mindless choice of the male protagonist. It's that very irritating bugger from Tata Tea's 'Jaage Raho' campaign. Where he lectures us to cast the votes. He's the sort of dude who evokes rather violent emotions, leave alone sweet nostalgia. This remarkably poor casting is the last nail in Minute Maid's ad coffin.
So if you are feeling nostalgic this season, I suggest you stick to ghar ka nimbu paani.




6 years ago

How can we stop the lies of advertisements? it is legal. Moreover, minute maid may not be real lemon juice but they get around it by disclaimers and notices and all legal stuff. So what do we do? I am worried about my kid who faces umpteen ads on the kids channels like Disney and Ceebies about stuff that is not good for kids like the Chocolates, Cookies all artificial stuff that is extremely unnatural, full of sugar and bad for anyone's health and also acidic to the body. What do we do now? The Government should come out with regulations for Kids channels. Harmful products should be banned from production at all.


6 years ago

The best part is that Minute Maid doesn't hide the simple fact that it also contains all sorts of artificial sweeteners, colouring agents, preservatives and the rest of it - including an assortment of chemicals. Not only is this a dumb ad - it also lies to us blatantly like most other ads.

And we let them get away with it.

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