Archive for August, 2011

Mukesh Ambani appoints Navin Wadhwani as head of its M&A division

August 30, 2011

Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) has hired Navin Wadhwani, currently managing director at NM Rothschild and Sons (India) Pvt. Ltd., to head its M&A division. Manoj Modi, a close aide of Mukesh Ambani, confirmed the news but hasn’t commented on it per se. This appointment is in tune with RIL’s plans to diversify into newer areas with the $9 billion profit in its coffers.

Mukesh Ambani, in his annual report to shareholders for the 2010-11, outlined the fact that the corporate giant was gearing up for the next phase of growth by launching their own initiatives as well as by forging fruitful partnerships with leading companies.

Navin Wadhwani will set up a dedicated M&A team for the group, hitherto being managed by Manoj Modi & Alok Agarwal. Having accomplished such huge market cap and profits RIL would like to target inorganic growth too by acquiring successful businesses. Mr. Wadhwani, who has around 20 years of experience, joined NM Rothschild in 2003 to develop and expand the firm’s corporate advisory coverage in the utilities, infrastructure and transportation sectors. Mr. Wadhwani has specialized in advising on financial restructuring in the electricity and infrastructure industries. Before joining Rothschild, Mr. Wadhwani was with Arthur Andersen’s corporate finance division for 10 years. He also worked with Grindlays Bank for a year.

According to a February report, by HSBC Securities & Capital Markets, Reliance Industries will generate $ 22 billion in cash by the year 2012. This year it generated $ 7.2 billion in cash by its offloading of a 30% stake in oil & gas production sharing contracts in India. It also announced its intention of acquiring a major foothold in the Indian telecom scene by its takeover of Infotel Broadband Services. In February, RIL made its third shale gas purchase, taking the total investment made in such assets to $3.44 billion for a potential 25.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas trapped in the rock.

In March, RIL formed an equal joint venture with U.S.-based investment and technology development firm DE Shaw and Co. LP, the world’s largest hedge fund manager. In June, RIL announced a deal to buy out Bharti Group’s 74% stake in two insurance joint ventures with France’s AXA Group for an undisclosed sum. For the quarter ended June, net profit rose 16% to $1.28 billion.

It seems that Reliance has charted out an immediate growth plan and looks armed with its massive profit margin to ensure higher returns for its shareholders.

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Reliance Digital – Stepping up its ante

August 25, 2011

Reliance Digital, a one-stop shop for electronic commodities, is well known for offering cutting edge technology for the entire range of household electronics, appliances, computers, gaming and telecom products. Now in its sixth year, Reliance Digital has gained the reputation of being India’s popular electronics chain, and in an effort to live up to that calling, it is eyeing better growth prospects that can help push its current status quo to a higher level.

For starters, Reliance Digital has rolled out many new stores back to back in a short span of time over the last few months, the latest of which being launched in Pune. Banking on the growing popularity of the store format, Reliance Digital is gradually expanding its reach well into prime Indian cities and towns. What works in favor of Reliance Digital is its value proposition that fits perfectly with the purchase sentiments of average Indian audiences who are primarily driven by price points. Products are priced in a way to reinforce a sense of value-for-money – a quality highly sought by Indian customers.

The store is also trying to up the ante by bringing in latest technology making waves around the world. For instance, in an effort to play up its calling of the store that offers cutting edge technology, Reliance Digital recently announced the launch of ‘Slingbox’ – a TV streaming device, that allows users to remotely view and control their cable or satellite television systems from any internet enabled device, be it a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. This product has garnered rave reviews world over, and now it is slated to encroach Indian retail space as a result of growing popularity of internet enabled devices and smart phones.

Reliance Digital, today, enjoys the standing of being a store for every Indian. The price points match every preference and liking, and there is something for everyone to choose from. As the purchase patterns take on a shift, Indian retail chains realize the importance of constantly catering to the change in demand and expectations. Reliance Digital is one such store that is constantly in a state of evolution in order to mould itself better to cater better to every customer.

Ranvir Singh visits Reliance Digital Pune

August 19, 2011

‘Band Baaja Baraat’ star Ranveer Singh was the star visitor at the Reliance Digital consumer electronics retail stores launched in Pune last Saturday. Reliance Digital – the Consumer electronics retail giant launched 5 new stores on a single day in Pune and had Ranveer Singh dropping by at 2 of their stores – one at Phoenix Market City, Viman Nagar and the other at KPCT, Fatima Nagar.

Ranveer enthralled audiences with his spontaneous dance and got the crowd literally dancing to his tune, especially all the young girls who had come to visit the stores. To celebrate Raksha Bandhan, he even got a little girl to tie a rakhi on his hand. He also danced away with an old lady admirer who had been waiting patiently and eagerly at the Fatima Nagar store to catch a glimpse of the star.

The vistors were in for a pleasant surprise, as Ranveer handed over Reliance Digital Gift Vouchers to those answering some simple questions & trivias.

About Reliance Digital:

Reliance Digital, the value-driven electronics retail chain, is the most popular destinations for purchase of electronics items. Carrying over 4000 different products of 150 brands – both domestic and international – Reliance Digital is a state-of-the-art, one stop shop for all consumer electronic items.

Reliance Retail ready to implement expansion plans

August 17, 2011

Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), is ready to commence the process of implementation of its pre-empted expansion plans, which have so far been stalled due to frosty economic conditions. The supermarket and hypermarket chains of Reliance Retail Ltd. are now ready to expand following a change in management that will undertake the task of changing the overall format of Reliance Retail.

Earlier last month, Reliance roped in new members for top level management of Reliance Retail from Wal-Mart China. Ex-Wal-Mart heads Rob Cissell and Shwan Gray have stepped into the Reliance format and they will be taking over as chief executive officer (CEO) and chief operating officer (COO) of the Reliance Retail business respectively. Their principle role will be to turn around the retail business of Mukesh Ambani led subsidiary and make it profitable within the next two years.

As for changes in retail structures, the process of overhaul will mainly focus of revamping cash and carry, FMCG and consumer electronics segment. Reliance Retail intends on doubling its store count in each of these segments within this year. Bijou Kurien, President and Chief Executive-Lifestyle, Reliance Retail noted, “We’ve identified the problems and have set the stores on the new path.”

Under its previous management, Reliance Retail had been in the process of reformation of the entire value chain but the new management, now ready to take on the reins of the entire company, is expected to gradually improve upon and make profitable the big format that Reliance Retail is. Putting Reliance Retail on an upward trend, the company hopes the new management and its refreshing processes turn the situation around completely for the RIL subsidiary.

Reliance Retail currently operates over 90 value and specialty stores, including value formats such as Reliance Fresh and Reliance Mart and specialty formats such as Reliance Digital, Reliance TimeOut, Reliance Footprint, Reliance Trends and Reliance Jewels.

Reliance Digital to inaugurate five new stores in Pune on 13th August

August 10, 2011

Reliance Digital, India’s fastest growing consumer electronics retail chains, is set to launch five new stores in the buzzing city of Pune over this weekend. The new Reliance Digital stores, to be inaugurated on 13th of August, are located in Phoenix Market City Mall, Viman Nagar; Amanora Town Center Mall, Hadapsar; KPCT Mall, Fatima Nagar; Bund Garden, Next to Ruby Clinic and iStore at Phoenix City Mall, Viman Nagar.

Increasing its total store count by a whopping count of five in a quick span of time, Reliance Digital is all set to take make grand entry in Pune. On occasion of the mega launch, Reliance Digital is offering customers special offers on all purchases made over the weekend. It is giving away free gift vouchers worth Rs. 1000 with purchases made on 13th and 14th of August. Making the occasion even grander will be Bollywood actor Ranvir Singh from ‘Band Baaja Baraat’ fame, who is expected to drop in at Reliance Digital stores in Viman Nagar and Fatima Nagar on 13th of August at 3 pm and 5 pm respectively.

About Reliance Digital: Reliance Digital, the value oriented consumer electronics chain, is one of the most popular destinations for purchase of electronics items. Carrying over 4000 different products of 150 brands – both domestic and international – Reliance Digital is a state of the art, one stop destination for all consumer electronic items, ranging from home appliances, gaming and communication devices to entertainment utilities. From audio and video products (Television sets, DVD players, Car Audio players), Electronic Musical Instruments, Digital Cameras, Gaming consoles and software, Computers and related accessories, Mobile and Fixed line devices to Air Conditioners and Kitchen and Home Appliances, Reliance Digital carries it all. Value for money and friendly services are standalones for this electronics monolith, which is now making its presence felt across every major Indian city.

‘Happiness epidemic’ at Reliance TimeOut, Chennai

August 8, 2011

Reliance TimeOut – a one-stop shop for all things books, stationery and recreational items – played host to the launch of the book ‘The Happiness Quotient’- a wellness book – written by Dr. Rekha Shetty. The book tells a story of a corporate hot-shot who happens to find the seven keys to happiness, namely physical wellness, emotional wellness, personal wellness, family bonding, nurturing the workplace, social bonding and ‘dharmic’ living, with the help of a “sadhu mama”. At the book launch, held on 3rd August at Reliance TimeOut outlet in Axis Mall, Chennai, author Dr. Rekha Shetty spoke in depth about her work and explained the seven keys to happiness that she has enlisted in the book.

The book launch at the Reliance TimeOut outlet was an out-of-the-ordinary event that saw an excited and interested crowd being greeted by a tray of ice and a bag of apples. Guests were asked to pick up a cube and a fruit each, following which the author demonstrated the symbolic connotation to each item. “The choice is yours. You can be cold and numb like the cube or be free flowing like the water it turns into,” Dr. Shetty said. This exercise was followed a few breathing exercises where the guests were asked to scratch the surface of the apple and take in its revitalizing fragrance.

Guests present at the Reliance TimeOut outlet were doubly ‘happy’ with the ‘buy one get one free’ offer on the book, which was a part of the special launch offer.

About Reliance TimeOut: Reliance TimeOut is a one-stop shop for books, music, stationery, toys and gifts items. Carrying over 1,35,000 books from every genre, 65,000 movie and music collection from world over, 21,000 stationery items, 8,000 toys and 19,000 gifts articles to choose from, the store offers something for every liking and budget. From book launches and music releases to interactive discussion sessions, Reliance TimeOut endeavors to support creative art and talent in all its forms and function.

Reliance Retail: Mukesh Ambani all set to Realize his Retail Dream

August 4, 2011

Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Retail Limited, a retail subsidiary from the house of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), is eyeing multilateral growth in its retail processes, as new management is all set to take charge of the prolific arm. The new management team at Reliance Retail will commence operations from next month with a primary target of making the business more profitable.

Rob Cissell and Shwan Gray have stepped into the Reliance format and these ex Wal-mart China execs will be taking over as chief executive officer (CEO) and chief operating officer (COO) of the Reliance Retail business respectively.

Major focus will be emphasized on FMCG and consumer electronics and durables business and cash and carry segment. These core focus areas are expected to turnaround the retail business for Reliance considerably in the near future. Reliance Retail has been in the process of restructuring of the entire value chain and the new management is expected to gradually improve upon and make lucrative the big format of Reliance Retail.

Reliance Retail currently operates over 90 value and specialty stores, including value formats such as Reliance Fresh and Reliance Mart and specialty formats including Reliance Digital, Reliance TimeOut, Reliance Footprint, Reliance Trends and Reliance Jewels. The new management is required tweak the current processes for these formats in an effort to encourage large profit margins.

Mukesh Ambani had announced his plans of realizing the ‘mega dream of retail’ to his shareholders in his last AGM, and entry of proficient executives from Wal-Mart China, Mukesh Ambani hopes to revive his retail segment.