Archive for June, 2014

IMG-Reliance joins forces with EPL for Indian Super League

June 24, 2014

The Indian Super League (ISL) represents the wave of change that will transform football in India for good. ISL, promoted by IMG and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Foundation has joined forces with another big entity in the world of football. The Indian Super League is partnering with the English Premier League (EPL) to help the new tournament adopt best practices from the world’s most popular football league, as well as establish a governance structure for its franchises.

Support from the Top Brass:

The Barclays Premier League, one of the best leagues in the world will assist in shaping the ISL brand, fan engagement and crucially, setting up anti-corruption and anti-doping rules. From a brand perspective though, there is a lot to be learned from the BPL, the most commercially successful league in the world. Hence, ISL also hopes to gain insights on aspects such as marketing, promotions, referee development, stadium management and player development.

“Partnering with the Premier League brings credence to the Indian Super League and to our vision of popularising the sport in India,” said Nita Ambani, chairperson of IMG-Reliance. “The alliance also presents a great opportunity of partnership and cross promotions between the ISL League partners and Premier League clubs.”

Ready for Launch:

The first edition of the Indian Super league is scheduled to take place this September. The inaugural league will be a concentrated effort of three main plays – IMG, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and Star India. There are eight teams owned by various celebrities and these teams will have eight home grounds on which they’ll play their matches. . These teams — Bangalore, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune — are owned by celebs and top businessmen who includes Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, John Abraham, PVP Ventures, HarshavardhanNeotia, Sanjeev Goenka, Spanish football club Atletico Madrid, Venugopal Dhoot and others.

According to Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the EPL, there is opportunity to further develop the sport in India. “We know from our broadcast partner Star India and our work with the AIFF (All India Football Federation) on our long-established grassroots football project Premier Skills that we run in several locations across India, that the popularity of football, and the Premier League, is growing,” Scudamore said.

Uday Shankar, chief executive of Star India, which is also the broadcaster for the ISL, said the partnership will help create local heroes. “From a game that hobbled about on the fringes of Indian sports, there’s promise that this partnership will lift and reinvigorate football.”



Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Brands to launch BCBG Max Azria in India

June 17, 2014

Reliance Industries’ retail division has been making waves in recent times. The Mukesh Ambani-owned chain has been investing steadily in overseas fashion brands and launching them in India’s vastly untapped retail market. Perhaps one of the great retail stories of this time is Reliance’s collaboration with British giant Marks & Spencer. Now, the retail arm of India’s largest sector enterprise has signed a long-term franchise agreement with American fashion house BCBG Max Azria, famous for dressing up scores of Hollywood A-listers like Angelina Jolie and Halle Berry. The high-end brand will be the first women-only brand that the retail chain will sell. The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance will open standalone stores of BCBG Max Azria, the flagship label of the billion dollar group, and BCBGeneration, the lower priced, younger brand from the stable here in India by next year. These premium pieces of clothing will range from Rupees 6,000 and Rupees 20,000 while that for Generation will be between Rupees 4,000-12,000.

BCBG Max Azria:

BCBG Max Azria was founded by the Tunisian-born French designer Max Azria. The chain was started by the designer early in his career in the late 80’s when fashion was beginning to really come into the limelight, especially in New York & Los Angeles. Perhaps Azria’s biggest credit is that he started offering boutique designs at affordable prices much before brands like Zara and H&M democratised fashion. BCBG stands for ‘bon chic, bon genre,’ a Parisian slang which means ‘good style, good attitude.’

According to Darshan Mehta, Reliance Brands’ President & CEO, the first two stores of BCBG Max Azria will open in India’s two biggest cities – Mumbai & Bangalore. ” BCBG is a brand which will be aspirational for most Indian women, who want to graduate from consuming only fast fashion, but accessible due to its affordable pricing,” he said

Sophie Rietdyk, president of licensing and international at BCBG Max Azria group said, “In collaboration with Reliance we will become an influential force in the India fashion and lifestyle arena.” The fashion house has been faced with financial woes over the past few years with talks of Max Azria losing control of his eponymous label to Guggenheim Partners which holds a big chunk of the company’s debt. The LA-based group also runs Max Azria Atelier and a luxury line Herve Leger by Max Azria. It has presence across 700 standalone and shop-in-shop stores globally.


Reliance Retail Picks Key Executives, All Set for E-Commerce Launch

June 10, 2014

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail is quietly, but steadily going about planning a much-awaited entry into India’s vastly untapped online marketplace. Reliance’s retail division handles a plethora of goods and services including groceries, clothing, automobile parts, etc. The ₹14,496-crore retail arm of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has been planning the move to the e-commerce space for the last six months, and the work that has gone into it will bear fruit when the online marketplace of India’s largest retail chain is launched officially during the last quarter of 2014.

One of the key areas of focus was the hunt for key executives to be in charge, namely CEO, COO, Heads of Sales & Marketing, Logistics, HR and Finance. These positions have been filled according to sources close to the company. A source was quoted as saying, “Reliance has zeroed in on the top five executives including the CEO for the portal and is currently in the process of negotiating their compensation packages.”

Many analysts are of the opinion that the CEO is likely to be an Indian. This is because it’s vital for the top man or woman to be able to connect with the Indian consumer and their buying behaviour. “An expatriate CEO may be very good at setting up operations, logistics, processes, technology platform and so on, but may not be able to relate to Indian consumer behaviour which differs from consumers in developed economies,” observed the source.

Fashion and Electronics:

The inspiration behind Reliance Retail is Walmart. Reliance retail will launch with two main categories – fashion and lifestyle. The company has tasted considerable success with these two categories – their stores; Reliance Trends and Reliance Digital respectively are spread across multiple cities in India and are growing in number. The company has more than 1,600 stores in over 140 cities. Groceries will be launched as the third category, again an area where the company has built a substantial presence with its Reliance Fresh stores.

In-store kiosks:

Distribution networks are the backbone of any successful operation. As such, with a widely acclaimed distribution network that has been optimized to deliver results, Reliance plans to use its distribution muscle across the country to facilitate delivery and pick-up of its online merchandise to customers. “They are looking to encourage customers to place their orders online and pick-up their orders from the nearest Reliance store. “They are also toying with the idea of setting up in-store kiosks for customers who can opt to order online from within the store itself. “This is because they don’t want to lose any business in the categories that they operate in to other online players,” said another Reliance insider.


Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio to Install 48 Towers in Mahakal City

June 4, 2014

Reliance Jio’s rapid expansion plans for their 4G services get bigger with each passing day. The Mukesh Ambani owned Telecom Company has committed to install 48 4-G ground based masts (towers) along with laying fiber cable in Mahakal City, a suburb in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. This comes on the back of the RIL-owned company seeking to bring forward the launch of its pan-India 4G services.

The company announced this on June 3rd 2014 when RJIL’s Madhya Pradesh Corporate Affairs Head Sanjeev Arorawas interacting with media in Ujjain. According to him, the 4-G connectivity will be integration of data, voice and video. He informed that laying of fiber cable up to 127 km across the city has been already done and the installation of ground based masts was in progress and likely to be finished during next month. An interesting thing to note is that the 48 towers that will be installed in Mahakal City will also be used by the police for traffic surveillance. This development has intrigued a lot of people and advocates of RJIL sharing some part of their telecom infrastructure is a great move and will greatly benefit the upholders of law in society.

An important point tackled by Sanjeev Arora during his interaction with media personalities was that of a huge misconception and somewhat of an urban legend that has been doing the rounds for quite some time – that 4G towers create radiation problems. Arora said that scientific research has proved all such theories wrong and that the 4G towers being raised all over India does not create radiation problems and there are 1000 percent less effect of it on the environment on as compared to FM radio. “Green technology has been used in its make-up and installation…it has solar panels, there is no need of diesel for its operation and it takes minimum space for installation,” he listed.He also clarified that the company would bear all expenditures if anything is damaged during installation of the towers. According to Arora, the new facility would provide availability of channels at home through fiber, besides high-speed internet and broadband facility.

Arora also confirmed that RJIL (As a part of its parent company – RIL) will provide a lot to the city including free Wi-Fi facility at some pockets of the city including Mahakaleshwar Temple, gardens, etc., and technical assistance to the administration during the Simhastha Fair – 2016. Talks are already in place to develop a garden at the Nanakheda stadium.