Business Roundup #Week33

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Essel Group To Invest In Cruise Tourism

The Essel Group is seeking to invest more than $100 million (710 crore rupees) in cruise tourism, a new field for the company, says a report.

Subhash Chandra’s media and entertainment to education and finance conglomerate has set up a company, Zen Cruises, and roped in industry veteran Jurgen Bailom as its president.

“As an industry leader, we feel the proliferation of cruise tourism will bring one million jobs in the next 3-4 years. We will provide a home-grown alternative for Indians, who are presently going abroad to enjoy cruises,” the Essel Group chairman said.

Firm To Sell Stake In Burger King

Home grown PE firm Everstone Capital is set to offload a minority stake in the quick service restaurant chain Burger King five years after setting up the franchise in India,, according to a report.

Everstone, which holds about 88% of Burger King India, will offload 20%, valuing the chain at $300-350 million, according to sources. 

As per the proposed transaction, about 30-35% of Burger King India will be sold through secondary and primary offerings. Parent Burger King Worldwide holds 12% of Burger King India.

GoAir Set To Start International Flights

Budget airline GoAir will start international operations from October 11, its chief executive officer Cornelis Vrieswijik said, reveals a report.

The inaugural flights will operate to Phuket from New Delhi and Mumbai.

The airline will also launch flights to Male in Maldives from Mumbai and Delhi on October 14.The bookings for the maiden international flight will commence soon, a source had earlier said.

Dhoni Signs Huge Endorsement Contract

Former India captain and current skipper of IPL team Chennai Super Kings Mahendra Singh Dhoni has signed a huge 15 crore-rupee, 3-year brand endorsement deal with German cybersecurity company WardWiz, says a report.

Before WardWiz, Dhoni had signed a similar 3-year deal with Pune-based Indigo Paints for an undisclosed amount and had picked up a 25% stake in sports tech start-up Run Adam for being a mentor and brand ambassador for the company. 

“I am very excited to be associated with WardWiz that has always been displayed as the booster and one-stop shop in complete security for personal computers and mobile systems,” Dhoni said.

TCS Working On Key Platform Plan

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is running controlled experiments on how to open up Ignio, its artificial intelligence platform, to third party developers.

This includes rivals to build applications on, as India’s largest IT services firm attempts to establish a software brand. 

The plan for Ignio, launched commercially three years ago, looks a lot like General Electric’s strategy around its internet-of-things platform Predix.

Amazon Tests Hindi Interface

Amazon India has started experimenting with a Hindi interface for its mobile website, reveals a report.

This is its first move in vernacular languages as e-commerce companies look to onboard the next wave of online shoppers,. Amazon has launched a small pilot wherein the interface features text in Hindi, the company said. 

Until now, Amazon and its main rival Flipkart have kept their interface in English, but that has started to change as these companies started targeting new users beyond the first 100-150 million in India.

SPN launches New Content Unit

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), the Indian arm of Sony Pictures Entertainment, has launched a new independent content division called Studio NXT to create quality content and new IPs, says a report.

To be headed by Danish Khan, business head, Sony Entertainment Television, Studio NXT will start off as co-producer of SPN’s flagship game show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (KBC), along with Siddharth Basu’s Big Synergy.

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