Category — Market Entry

Twitter Acquires Indian Mobile Startup

Twitter Inc., has announced it will acquire Indian mobile phone marketing start-up ZipDial as the U.S. microblogging service looks to expand in the world’s second-biggest mobile market. The deal is said to be in the region of $30 million.

One of the founders of ZipDial is California-born Valerie Wagoner who moved to India and was intrigued by the Indian ‘missed call’ system – where people call each other, let the phone ring once or twice and intentionally hang up, using the missed call to convey a message. Since consumers hang up before the call connects, no charges are incurred.

ZipDial’s clients include International Business Machines Corp., Yum! Brands Inc., KFC and Procter & Gamble’s Gillette, Disney, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter. Each company is assigned a special phone number which consumers can call. The call automatically disconnects after one ring. The companies then communicate with the consumer via text messages providing information, services, or even staging contests, thereby promoting their services. The technology is “especially appealing in areas where people aren’t always connected to data or only access data through intermittent Wi-Fi networks,” Twitter said in a blog post.

“Twitter has struggled with not only growing user base in the past year, but also with engaging with their existing user base,” Neha Dharia, a Bangalore-based analyst for Ovum Plc, said by e-mail. “If used effectively, ZipDial could help them in growing their active-user numbers.”

“This acquisition significantly increases our investment in India, one of the countries where we’re seeing great growth,” Twitter said in a statement.

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January 26, 2015   No Comments

Taco Bell to Expand Footprint in India

Yum! Restaurants, the operator for U.S.-based fast food brands in India, has announced plans to open 25 Taco Bell outlets by 2016 according to a news report by Livemint.com.

“We are expanding our footprint. We will open 20-25 Taco Bell outlets by end of 2016. We will enter new cities,” Unnat Varma, general manager, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, India, said. “After two years, we will expand rapidly by opening 25-40 outlets every year,” he added. These new outlets may be company-owned or franchised, he concluded.

Taco Bell's Tikka Masala Burrito

Taco Bell’s Tikka Masala Burrito

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January 14, 2015   No Comments

India in Top 15 for Sealed Air, Growing Fastest

Fortune 500 company New Jersey headquartered  Sealed Air Corporation says India is its fastest growing geography. “India for us I would call within Sealed Air, a mid-sized country, it’s in the top 15 countries but with the highest growth rate,” Jerome Peribere, president and CEO told  the television network NDTV.

Sealed Air is a packaging company known for its brands – Cryovac food packaging, Bubble Wrap cushioning, and Diversey cleaning and hygiene. It has two units in India – in Mumbai and Bangalore. The company is growing at 3 times India’s GDP growth and expects even more robust growth going forward by creating value addition in industries.

Bubble Wrap - a Sealed Air product

Bubble Wrap – a Sealed Air product

Because of the company’s level of expertise in their laundry business in India where their technology has been able to save 40% both in the usage of water and in energy consumption, Peribere said, “We are going to increase our manpower by 50 per cent, and we are going to make our global laundry labs in India because we have an extraordinary and growing business here in India.”

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January 13, 2015   No Comments

U.K. Miner to Invest $500 Million to Develop Diamond Project in Bunder

Sam Walsh, CEO of London-based Rio Tinto Group has had three discussions with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the planned $500 million Bunder diamond mine in the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India, and the Odisha iron ore project in eastern India.

“We’re waiting for approvals, forestry and environment approvals, which I am hopeful will come through in the near term,” Walsh said, referring to the Bunder project.

India’s retail diamond jewelry market is worth about $10 billion and forecast to expand at 15 percent a year through 2019, according to Rio Tinto. The Bunder project would restore India as a major producer of diamonds, it added.

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January 13, 2015   No Comments

Rio Tinto to Export Australian Uranium to India by 2017

Sam Walsh, the chief executive of Rio Tinto Ltd., announced that his company is expected to start exporting uranium to India in another two years by which time safeguards to use the uranium only for power generation would be in place.

Modi and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed a deal in September for Australia to sell India uranium, in a show of international acceptance toward India’s nuclear program.

India has nuclear energy agreements with 11 countries and imports uranium from France, Russia and Kazakhstan. Rio Tinto is one of the world’s top uranium producers.

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January 13, 2015   No Comments