BUSINESS OF BRANDS. Lufthansa spruces up for a new world

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February 22, 2018

A slimmer crane and a darker shade of blue are major changes in brand identity

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There is soon going to be a different ‘crane’ in the skies. The over-100-year-old flying bird on the tail that is perhaps the most familiar feature of German airline Lufthansa will still be in the airline’s colours though it will now be slimmer and fitter.

While it is retaining tradition by keeping the crane and its yellow-and-blue colour scheme, Lufthansa is changing just about everything else associated with the airline and the Group to give it a contemporary look.

The series of changes announced in Frankfurt and Munich earlier this month — unveiling for the Indian market is slated for later this year — also includes a change in the airline’s livery after 30 years. According to the airline, it did intensive preliminary studies that involved numerous experts and worked on 800 designs and colours developed in its own labs before settling on a darker shade of blue which will now become the colour of its aircraft. Blue provides the airline reliability, clarity and value. This darker blue will also become the Group’s predominant colour, complemented by yellow. Studies showed the airline that it should retain those colours. The Group also gets a new logo which no longer bears the crane, and is written completely in capital letters.

The aircraft’s interiors will have a modern look and the crew will get new uniforms, often with yellow accessories. The tableware, amenity kits, blankets and pillow cases will also have a new design. The company maintains that about 160 million items will be changed over the next two years. The airline plans to use yellow on all its boarding passes and at all Lufthansa counters at airports.

To go with its new look, Lufthansa has also launched a new campaign, #SayYesToTheWorld, which questions familiar and routine ways of thinking.

According to the airline all these changes have been done to make the over 100-year-old airline more relevant in this day and age of digitisation and changing customer expectations. That is why it has also developed its own typeface, which is easier to read on mobile devices and smart watches. Says an industry watcher with over three decades of experience in heading a global airline in India and abroad, “It is a slight modification of a well-established brand signage. Such a thing has been successfully done by Mercedes, Volkswagen and other world-class brands. The timing is right for Lufthansa since the changes are going along with strategy changes for the airline group.”

Opinions on whether the brand relaunch will help Lufthansa connect with the new, digitised world, however, are divided. Some like Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director, Samsika Marketing think the changes are contemporary and will help the airline connect with the new-age flyers, creating another customer segment. “I think it is a process of moving from dated to updated and skipping the trap of being outdated.” On prospects for the Indian market, he says, “The aspirational segment will definitely be attracted, and the age level of that has come down by at least 10 years. What people could achieve at the age of 35-40 they are now achieving at 22 to 28 years. They will be attracted by this contemporary brand identity and I am sure it will do well for its top and bottom line.”

Harish Bijoor, brand strategist and Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, finds the makeover contemporary and the crane more futuristic, but is disappointed by the change in the blue. “It makes the airline look classier, for sure. However, the brightness gets lost, yellow offered it that brightness. Blue is a cold colour if you really look at it. In an airline, cold is not good, warm is excellent. For an airline that spent decades cooking up its warmth with yellow, there seems to be death in the blue. It is more joining the crowd than standing out from the crowd and that is a worry for me. Whenever you rebrand you try and stand apart and not join the rest. Blue is a no-brainer,” he says.

However, Devangshu Dutta, Chief Executive, Third Eyesight looks at the revamp as more an internal drive. Pointing out that any company which undertakes a revamp has to communicate the revamp widely not only externally but also internally, Dutta says that if internal changes in terms of process are not made then it is nothing more than cosmetic changes. Says he, “The identity changing is not enough. There has to be a significant shift in the entire customer experience. Especially with the digital experience, you have to make sure that it is also absolutely up to date.”

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PremjiInvest, KKR join race to acquire Vishal Mega Mart

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February 21, 2018

Written By Reghu Balakrishnan

Mumbai: American private equity fund KKR & Co. and Wipro founder Azim Premji’s family office PremjiInvest have joined the race for acquiring fashion hypermarket chain Vishal Mega Mart, two people aware of the development said.

Source: livemint

Swiggy gets $100 mn funding, Zomato $200 mn: Food delivery sector heats up again

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February 9, 2018

The food delivery sector is on course to hit $1.5 billion by the end of 2018 and $2.5-3.5 billion by 2021 in GMV terms.

Written By Sulekha Nair

With Swiggy getting $100 million in funds and Zomato $200 million a week ago, the food delivery sector seems to be poised for growth again after a bleak couple of years.

From the latter half of 2015 through to 2016 and also the first half of 2017, a number of food-tech startups shut down. Remember TinyOwl, SpoonJoy, Eatlo among others? But the industry emerged with new learnings on account of several startups shutting down and with improved focus on consumer satisfaction and key geographic areas, said RedSeer Consulting.

Zomato and Swiggy have had steady growth throughout 2017 with improved operations by reducing delivery costs and time and innovations like cloud kitchen, said industry experts. The market has been growing steadily in the last four quarters and the consistent performance by Zomato and Swiggy has led to investor confidence and the investments, they said.

In the latter half of 2017, ride-hailing app Ola (owned by ANI Technologies) decided to get into the food delivery space again, this time around by acquiring German-firm Delivery Hero’s Foodpanda India. The pendulum seemed to be swinging positively since then for the food delivery sector in India.

RedSeer Consulting predicted the food delivery sector is on course to hit $1.5 billion by the end of 2018 and $2.5-3.5 billion by 2021 in GMV terms. The sector valued at $750 million is expected to grow well. The food-tech industry is growing at a 15 percent quarter-on-quarter rate and the players are moving towards self-fleet to have a better overall control on the consumer experience, it said.

Now Swiggy, the food ordering and delivery platform, has raised $100 million in Series F funding, its largest round yet. “With this funding, we will further invest in building differentiated offerings, plugging the white spaces in the ecosystem, and developing our technology while keeping superlative customer experience at the core,” said Sriharsha Majety, CEO, Swiggy.

A week ago, Zomato raised $200 million from Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group, the Mint reported, valuing the company at about $1.1 billion.

“The amount invested in Swiggy and Zomato is significant and I am sure six months later, there will another similar amount being raised,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman and managing director of Teknopak Advisors. But Singhal predicts that six months later, there will another similar amount of funds being raised. “However, let’s not forget UberEats is also there. There are quite a lot of others too in the game but Swiggy, Zomato and Foodpanda currently lead the pack,” he said.

Is the food delivery sector looking bright again? Looks like the food tech sector is back in vogue, said Paula Mariwala, Partner, Seedfund and Co-Founder, Stanford Angels. With a lot of gunpowder now available in the hands of the major three players in the sector—Foodpanda, Zomato and Swiggy—growth is expected to be exponential. Mariwala is surprised though at the funding that food delivery startups have been getting recently. “I thought people are waiting and watching before investing in the sector. But for sure, the focus is back on profitability. There is a matrix put on profitability. I am sure the funds have been on a caveat. With the kind of funding given, I expect consolidation and focus on unit economics,” she said.

This is a moment for the industry to be more aggressive, said Rohan Agarwal, engagement manager at RedSeer Consulting. It will pan out in two ways. The market will grow beyond the top 5-6 metros and more markets will open up in places like Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Chandigarh among others, he said. This will require capital and that is where the funding received by the players will help, he said. “The funding will be utilised in the expansion of the new markets and garnering higher volumes by innovating the model,” Agarwal said.

The three main players in the food delivery sector have now recapitalised and raised money. “Rightfully then, food reviews will be a big bet in India and those who are adept in terms of logistics, technology, etc will lead,” said Singhal. All the three players have technology in place in the context of merchandise and exclusive labels which distinguishes one from the other, he pointed out.

In fact, Zomato and Swiggy have been extensively using data and building cloud kitchen verticals. These are known as mini-kitchens that only service online food delivery where chefs from other partner restaurants can come and cook.

Though having deep pockets will help these players to scale up soon, it will widen the space between the competitors, said Harish HV, partner, Grant Thornton. But what is important is to provide efficiency and reach, he said.

Echoing Harish HV, Devangshu Dutta, chief executive, Third Eyesight, a consulting firm said, in the final analysis what the customer and the restaurant on board any of these food tech platforms are looking for is quick service and promised delivery on time. “If this promise is not delivered, having cloud kitchens or any other technology won’t help.”

Dutta says to call food delivery startups as tech startups is a misnomer. He says that they are basically in the logistics game.

What consumers can look out from the ecosystem is better pricing, variety and a wider choice and better or quicker and reliable delivery. Each food delivery operator will have to offer slightly different merchandise with brands and discount. There may be an overlap of restaurants and kitchens in all three food delivery startups but service will be the differentiator.

Source: firstpost

Metro Cash and Carry targets doubling of revenue from in-house labels

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February 2, 2018

Written By Deepti Govind

Bengaluru: Wholesale retailer Metro Cash and Carry Pvt. Ltd, plans to aggressively promote its own brands to the hotels, restaurants and cafés (HORECA) industry, its fastest-growing customer base, as it targets doubling of revenue contribution from in-house labels.

Source: livemint