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BUSINESS | News in Brief: September 2009

Mo Vi: Mobile Video Plans Global Expansion | interTrend Communications: Mosaic Award | Leela Hotels & Lufthansa Airlines: Leela Cuisine | Walmart: New Asia CEO

Mo Vi: Mobile Video Plans Global Expansion

Mumbai-based made-for-mobile content provider MoVi has teamed up with Dallas-based telecom convergent solutions provider Corpus to launch video-on-demand unicast for broadband 3G mobile users, according to a press release.

MoVi plans to launch its “mobisodes” initially across seven leading Asian mobile markets along with Corpus’s expertise while the joint offering will be scaled up globally, the release added.

“The proposed MoVi-Corpus joint portfolio for the 3G media platform is a premium mix of video-on-demand and value-added services, the world’s first that stands to benefit all of the creators, operators and consumers in the digital value chain of convergence,” says Amit Dev, co-founder of Third Generation Mobile, the holding company of MoVi brand.

The launch is will give mobile operators the value-added opportunity to increase the critical ARPU — Average Revenue Per User — while loyalty coupons attached in the mobisodes serve to retain customers on the mobile operators' network, thus reducing the dreaded churn factor.

As mobile consumption is rapidly evolving, mobisodes seek to bring the next big growth wave in the telecom industry as they are made available on-demand instead of the conventional broadcast platform.

“This joint package truly leverages all the essential skill sets and learning by our experts for a tailor-made solution strategy to match mobile media advertisers with specific client needs,” adds Sachin Tummala, co-founder of Corpus Media Labs.

Original 300-second duration mobisodes are custom-produced for consumption by customers over an icon-based interactive application, enabling them to pull content of their liking. Says Amit Dev, “With the new mobisodic content revolution, we bring the creative best of India to the rest of the world, so for our subscribers, anytime is prime time!”

The mobisode type exclusive content and its loyalty-based promotion can be sampled at both: www.movi3G.tv or www.corpus.com.

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interTrend Communications: Mosaic Award

interTrend communications, Inc., alongside its longtime client J. C. Penney Company, Inc. have been recognized by the American Advertising Federation for multiethnic media usage with a Mosaic Award. Both teams were present in New York Sept. 24 to receive the honor for the outstanding usage of media in multicultural initiatives for JCPenney’s “Double Happiness” holiday campaign targeting Asian Americans.

This is the second award that interTrend and JCPenney have won for this campaign. They were also awarded an ADDY Award this past April.

The concept of the “Double Happiness” campaign came from the understanding that while Asian Americans are inclined to celebrate Western holidays because they live in the U.S., they have deeper connections to their homeland holidays. One particular holiday is Christmas, for which the timing is in close proximity to the Lunar New Year, the most celebrated holiday in Asia. While Asian Americans feel deeply rooted to the Lunar New Year, they cannot help but to enjoy the holiday cheer in the U.S. around Christmas time. Thus, Asian Americans are torn during the gift giving season. Born from this insight was the “Double Happiness” campaign, which fused the holidays together to provide double the holiday cheer. “The campaign appealed to the sentiments of the Asian American consumer because it showed that JCPenney was insightful about the cultural differences and making efforts to incorporate them into their campaigns,” noted Julia Huang, president and chief executive officer of interTrend.

interTrend Communications, Inc. is a aleading, 100 percent minority owned, full-service marketing agency targeting a wide range of Asian American segments that offers marketing solutions that not only touch millions of Asian consumers across the nation but also greatly influenced the general market.

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Leela Hotels & Lufthansa Airlines: Leela Cuisine


The Jamavar Restauant at the Leela Kempinski in Bangalore.

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts has joined forces with Lufthansa, the European airline offering the most flights to India, to provide authentic Indian cuisine to travelers, according to a Leela press release

For the next two years, first class and business class passengers on Lufthansa flights to and from India will be served Indian cuisine prepared by two chefs of the Leela group as part of the airline’s Star Chefs program.

Lufthansa passengers can dine on prawn curry masala with thalimpu sadam or lal mans, a Rajasthani meat dish, or Alleppey fish curry. For vegetarians the menu offers an appetizer of moong dal pakoda chat with imli chutney, followed by khade masale ka paneer (cottage cheese) with jeera rice and dal tadka, and for dessert kacha golla.

With over 36 years as a chef at some of India’s finest luxury properties, chef Farman Ali has distinguished himself as a pioneer in preparing fine Indian cuisine and presides over the kitchens at the group’s flagship Leela Palace Kempinski Bangalore. His culinary mastery ranges from Hyderabadi, Marwari, Kashmiri and Awadhi cuisines to those of Gujarat and the northwest frontier. Under his stewardship, the Indian restaurant, Jamavar, was ranked one of the world’s top dining places by Forbes Magazine. 

Surender Mohan is sous chef at The Leela Kempinski Mumbai where he is at the helm of the award-winning Jamavar. His culinary skills impressed former U.S. President Bill Clinton when he visited The Leela in Goa.

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Walmart: New Asia CEO

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., has announced that Scott Price has been named executive vice president, president and CEO, Walmart Asia. In this role, he will report directly to Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Walmart International, and have responsibility for the company’s current operations in Asia, including China, India and Japan as well as business development in the Asia region. Based in Walmart’s regional office in Hong Kong, Price will assume his role Oct. 15.

Price most recently served as CEO of DHL Express Europe. Prior to that, he was chief executive officer, DHL Express Asia Pacific. He also was the president of DHL Express Japan, DHL's largest market in the Asia Pacific region. Prior to joining DHL, Price spent a decade with the Coca-Cola Co. During that period, he assumed various roles which included country leader in Japan, and as director and country manager in China, which included Hong Kong, Macau and Mongolia.

“Scott brings tremendous global and regional experience and expertise to this position. He is the ideal candidate to lead this highly competitive region,” McMillon said. “In his roles with Coca Cola and DHL, he has established a history of delivering results in the Asian markets. He knows the countries, he knows the customers, he knows how to run a business and he knows the region’s potential. We are eager to leverage his insight and capabilities to further our efforts in this region.”

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COVER STORY
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COMMUNITY: Incredible India Festival
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