Archive for March, 2014

Gourmet Processed Food brand ‘Tify’ to be launched in India at Reliance Retail

March 26, 2014

Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL) Retail division has been an enormous amount of growth during the past year. Many new outlets have been opened across India and serve as the only place for many people to shop in many locations in India. In urban areas, the Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Fresh chain has managed to garner significant interest from customers seeking specific products that aren’t available elsewhere.

It’s no surprise then that Gautam Thapar owned ‘Tify,’ a brand of gourmet processed food has been launched in the Indian market through Reliance Retail. ‘Tify’ is owned by the Global Green Group, a large processed food exporter whose revenues exceed $200 million. It’s part of the $4 Billion Avantha Group, a major player in the fruits and vegetables good processing industry.

Commenting on the brand launch, Vijai Gill, MD &CEO said, “We have built capacities, expertise and the knowhow in this segment and we have been closely working with almost all globally renowned retail chains for the past many years. Given that India is developing as a major destination of gourmet food, we have started to increase focus here.”

Restaurant and hospitality chains such as Subway, Dominos, and the Taj Group are some of its key customers. Gill says, “With the growth of quick service restaurants, there is a lot of demand for our range of offerings. As of now, the share of revenues from India is small, but we aim to have around 25 per cent over time,” Gill says. At the same time though, every brand entering the Indian market understands how critical it is to be present in the fast-growing retail segment. The segment is dominated by RIL owned Reliance Retail. Tify is present in RIL’s Reliance Retail with plans to expand reach to more of their outlets.

Global Green gained fame as the largest exporter of gherkins. Since then, they have extended their product range to include jalapenos, pearl onions, capers, pritamin peppers, sweet and sour cherries etc. The Indian consumer is not well aware of various cuisines and is willing to try out new cuisines from other cultures. This is where many analysts believe Tify has enormous potential due to its niche offerings. The company hopes to make in-roads into the gourmet food market valued at around Rupees 15,205 Crore.

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Tendulkar, Ganguly set to venture into IMG-Reliance’s Indian Super League

March 25, 2014

While the euphoria surrounding cricket doesn’t look like it’ll be going away anytime soon, another sport has captivated the hearts of Indians – football. Aiming to capitalize on the sport’s growing popularity, Reliance Foundation, owned by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) in association with IMG and Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV sowed the seeds of the inaugural Indian Super League (ISL), a football league that will feature marquee foreign players along with local talent. The teams will be allotted on the basis of bids. Many famous personalities have expressed interest in owning a team or at least, playing a role in the same. The latest are two of India’s greatest ever cricketers – Sachin Tendulkar and SauravGanguly.

Tendulkar, widely heralded as one of the greatest ever cricketers of all time, is set to partner with Hyderabad-based PVP Ventures to bid for a football team. At the same time, Ganguly is is tying up with Kolkata-based businessman Harsh Neotia for another team. The base price for bidding has been set at 120 Crores. The deadline for submitting bids has been set as March 27th with many others apart from PVP Ventures and Ambuja Neotia Group which is headed by Harsh Neotia expressing interest in the same. PVP Ventures has been reluctant to comment on the little master’s involvement with the firm while Harsh Neotia confirmed that his company has picked up the bid documents and said a partnership with Ganguly is in the works.

Many Bollywood actors too were trying to get into the fray. These include RanbirKapoor, AbhishekBachchan, John Abraham and Shah Rukh Khan, the latter through his company Red Chillies, said people familiar with the ongoing bidding process. Former UTV boss Ronnie Screwvala too has picked up the ‘Invitation to Bid’ document floated by IMG-Reliance, the people cited earlier said.

The ISL will be held in eight cities with nine being shortlisted to far – Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. The top eight teams will be selected for the tournament. IMG-Reliance, which is managing the bidding process, is a joint venture between India’s largest private sector company and IMG Worldwide, which manages events and brands in many parts of the world.

PVP is no stranger to big sports events. The Hyderabad based company tried to buy the Hyderabad –based team in the Indian Premier League (IPL) earlier this year and their tennis team in the Tennis League to be held in December includes players such as Rafael Nadal, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna.

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Dempo to bid for Goa Franchise in IMG-Reliance’s Indian Super League

March 19, 2014

Football in India has grown to a great extent during the last 10 years. A large percentage of the youth in the country play football and take possess a keen interest in the beautiful game. While football leagues in India have been in existence for some time now, they never have catapulted to a level where they grab the attention of the crowd that follows European and World football with much passion.

That looked all set to change when the Indian Super League (ISL) was announced. The league’s inception was initiated by Nita Ambani chaired Reliance Foundation. The RIL-owned organization has played a critical role in many sports and charity events for some time now. Organized by IMG-Reliance, the league will feature local Indian talent as well as world class players from foreign countries. The league will see teams based in various cities such. IMG-Reliance along with Star India have invited bids through the Invitation To Bid or ITB documents for nine cities – Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune – of which the top eight will get the nod.

The Dempo Group of Companies has shown a keen interest in bidding for the Goa franchise. Dempo Chairman Shrinivas Dempo was quoted as saying, “As I said in the past, if at all we look at the Indian Super League, it will be as a commercial opportunity. We are yet to get the bid document but at some stage I intend to get the bid document. We will see how it goes once we have the bid document in hand.”

Dempo bidding for the Goa franchise makes perfect sense. The group has been involved in football for decades now. The club has won five National Championships over the past decade. “I am told that the bid amount for all the centers is the same. I am a little bit concerned with the market absorbability of Goa. That’s something we need to have a closer look at,” said Dempo, who is the vice president of All India Football Federation and president of Goa Football Association.

The tender document costs Rupees 5 lakh and the base price for a franchise has been fixed at 120 Crores over a 10 year period. With Dempo pitching for the ISL, there are fears that the current I-League squad may not get the attention, and funding, it has got in the past. Dempo, however, allayed such fears.”I think these are two separate things. We are very focused and determined that we will sustain the I-League club. That’s the core of Indian football. I believe there are some concerns that ISL will take over the I-League.

Dempo also went on to explain that he wishes to make the I-League stronger and promises that any group companies that will be involved in the ISL will be a separate entity. However, Dempo stressed the importance of helping both the parties in the I-League and ISL, thus strengthening Indian Football as a whole.

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Reliance Industries & BP drill to ramp up gas output from KG-D6 Basin

March 10, 2014

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has been extracting gas from wells in the KG basin off India’s Eastern Coast for some time now. However, the company has faced some problems in the area. Hence, the Mukesh Ambani owned Oil & Gas giant is planning to extend the life span of the operational gas fields in the basin. British Petroleum (BP) will be working with RIL on the same. BP and RIL have signaled intent on working together for some time now. “Following approval by the relevant authorities in 2012, a number of activities are being progressed to arrest the decline in production rates and to extend the life of the KG-D6 producing fields. These include new work-over wells and the installation of additional compression and water handling capacity,” BP said in its 2013 annual report.

BP bought a 30% stake in RIL’s 21 Oil & Gas blocks in 2011 for US$ 7.026 Billion. These included the KG-D6 blocks. BP is working with RIL arrest the output decline in the KG Basin. RIL operates wells in the KG-D6 block; its total share here is 60% and Niko Resources of Canada hold 10%. BP, as mentioned previously, holds 30% stake in the basin.

Production at the KG-D6 Basin started in April 2009. Peak output of 69.43 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) was achieved in March 2010. This would be short-lived though as water and sand seepage resulted in more than a third of the wells shutting down. Around four years later, as of March 2014, RIL is producing 13 mmscmd from the KG Basin, a sharp decline from over 60 mmscmd in the last two quarters of 2010.

BP and RIL have categorically stated that the primary reasons for the fall in output are geological factors and beyond their control. However, the oil regulators are of the opinion that RIL has failed to drill enough wells. Falling output had prompted the government to disallow proportionate cost recovery to Reliance, leading to arbitration proceedings. According to RIL’s calculations, production from the wells at KG-D6 would go down to 6.26 mmscmd by2020-21 and the wells would run dry by the following year, i.e., 2021-22. The contract period for this block ends in 2029. As a result, BP and RIL are working on extending the life span of the wells. D1 & D3, the largest of the 18 gas discoveries in the block, produced 66.35 mmscmd at its peak, while 3.07 mmscmd came from the MA field, the only oil discovery in the block. Output dropped to about 11.7 mmscmd last year.

To reverse the decline in output, remedial measures are in place and BP and RIL are working out a system by which they could arrest this decline in production. Talking about this episode, BP in a statement said, “In 2013, we made two significant gas and condensate discoveries in the Krishna-Godavari and Cauvery basins (blocks KG-D6 and CYD5), a key milestone for our partnership with Reliance. In August, the government approved the field development plan for the R-Series project in the KG-D6 block and has reviewed the appraisal plan for the KG-D6 discovery.” Also, BP has said that the resources present in the KG Basin have the potential to meet India’s growing demand for energy by increasing gas supplies from 2018. RIL and BP have surrendered most of the 21 blocks they partnered in 2011 as they did not hold commercially viable oil and gas. They currently hold only six blocks.

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Reliance Foundation pledges support for NGO’s & Satyamev Jayate

March 6, 2014

Satyamev Jayate, the now famous TV show hosted by Aamir Khan has received widespread acclaim for its portrayal of various existential issues people in India face. The show debuted last year to critical acclaim and tied up various NGO’s to support the needy. Reliance Foundation, chaired by Nita Ambani has been supporting these NGO’s. The Reliance Industries Owned charitable foundation has now pledged support to various NGOs as the philanthropic partner of Satyamev Jayate for the second time.

When asked to comment on the association, a press release from Reliance Foundation said, ‘With a vision to bridge the gap in socio-economic development in India, Reliance Foundation implements and supports initiatives that address the pressing challenges.’ Reliance Foundation has touched the lives of over 4 million people in 5000 locations across the country, it added.

“As the Philanthropic Partner of Satyamev Jayate in Season One, Reliance Foundation was able to reach out to many NGOs, engaged in exemplary work. Through various initiatives, we look forward to empowering people and delivering measurable impact. We are confident that our partnership in Season- 2 will prove to be equally rewarding and help us support many more deserving institutions that are walking our path of building a new India,” Ms Ambani, founder and Chairperson of the foundation, said.

The press release states that RIL owned Reliance Foundation matched contributions made by viewers at the end of each episode and gave it all to the 15 NGO’s participating across India. These 15 NGO’s are engaged in rehabilitation of the differently abled, women empowerment, and rehabilitation of substance abusers, victims of trafficking, orphaned and abandoned children. The money received from Reliance Foundation was used to implement various projects that touched the lives of over 500,000 people.

The NGOs supported during the first season were:

• Snehalaya, Ahmednagar

• Childline, Mumbai

• Unique Home for Girls, Jalandhar, Punjab

• Humanity Hospital Trust, West Bengal

• Himmat, Rohtak, Haryana

• Family Of Disabled, Delhi

• Amar Jyoti School, Delhi

• Azad Foundation, Delhi

• Kheti Virasat Mission, Punjab

• Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Secunderabad

• Muktangan Mitra, Pune

• Association for Rural and Urban Needy, Hyderabad

• Maitri, Delhi

• Sambhaav, Ahmedabad

• Prajwala, Hyderabad

India faces a lot of developmental challenges. Reliance Foundation has played a critical and ever-growing role in addressing these through innovative and sustainable solutions with its focus on five core pillars: Rural Transformation, Education, Health, Urban Renewal, and Promotion and protection of India’s Arts, Culture and Heritage.

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