Despite Brexit jitters hit the world, India will shine bright: Analysts
Posted by on 24 June

Despite Brexit jitters hit the world, India will shine bright: Analysts

New Delhi: As Britons voted to exit the European Union, its decision radiated around the globe on Friday, blowing up a storm in financial markets that may take time to die down and retarding prospects for a recovery in world trade. However, India stood as a bright spot with global investors betting on the nation’s strong economic fundamentals. Jacob Nell, UK economist of Morgan Stanley, said: “Our most preferred countries are India and Korea.” The note from Morgan Stanley said that it sees protracted political and economic uncertainty, leading to a weaker pound, higher inflation, and a hit to growth. “This event does not in itself trigger a global recession, but our economics team forecast prior to the vote that global growth would likely be 3.1% in 2017 in a “medium stress” UK exit scenario versus 3.4% in the base case; this is due mainly to the impact on European growth and global financial conditions tightening,” said Nell. This sentiment was echoed by American businessman and chief economic adviser at Allianz, Mohamed A. El-Erian. He said: “India is better placed to navigate volatility on account of Brexit. Equity, sovereign bond, currency markets will come under pressure in the near-term.” HSBC Global Research in a note said, “Asia is in a reasonably strong position to withstand the latest tremors from Europe. Broadly, the impact should prove manageable. But, at the margin, is should be the external trade and finance (or debt-) dependent economies that feel the biggest squeeze: Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand. More insulated, at least in growth terms (if not in terms of FX volatility) should be India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. China and Vietnam are somewhere in between.” Analysts are also hopeful of economic reforms from the government, including potentially a revamped national goods and services tax. Jimeet Modi, CEO, SAMCO securities said, “While markets are jittery, this is a god sent event, especially for Indian investors. While we saw a steep fall in the indices, the trajectory of Indian markets remains upwards.” “The exit of Britain from the EU does raise questions and jitters, there are fears of a cascading effect occurring politically as well. Other EU members like the Dutch have already asked for a referendum & the very existence of the EU is now being questioned. There will be volatility in the currency, but as we cut across the noise, we must understand that the exit is not so simple. There will be negotiations in Brussels and the process itself could take a long time,” added Modi. Jayant Manglik, President, Retail Distribution, Religare Securities, said “The progress of monsoon in India so far is satisfactory. Another positive is the latest policy announcements to encourage FDI in several sectors. There is also a possibility for passage of GST bill in the upcoming monsoon session of the parliament. So if we put together the immediate negatives from global markets and recent domestic developments, we’re no doubt in a better position to absorb this setback and rebound quickly.” Credit Suisse in a note said, “The British people have voted to leave the EU. This outcome will lead to a rise in political risk across Europe. Beyond the UK, the precedent that the UK referendum outcome sets for other European countries disillusioned with the European Union will lead to questions about whether other countries (i.e. Sweden) may be next to demand a referendum. Finance Minister Arun Jairley and RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said a solid economy and planned government reforms would allow the country to withstand any major impact from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. Meanwhile, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said, “We have enough firepower to deal with the situation. And the fire-power will be used judiciously in a manner that we maintain stability if our economy.” While Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said the government and RBI are ready with measures to curb volatility, Banking Secretary Anjuly Duggal stated that Brexit will not impact India in medium or long term.
0 0 638 24 June, 2016 special feature more
LDF will have big victory: Bignewslive and Businesszoom survey
Posted by on 15 May

LDF will have big victory: Bignewslive and Businesszoom survey

Thrissur: In a survey conducted by Bignewslive and Businesszoom predicts that LDF will come to power with 104 seats in Kerala. UDF will garner only 36 seats and BJP will not open their account in assembly elections 2016. Barring few central Kerala districts of Thrissur, Palakkad and Malappuram, where Muslim league is prominent, all other districts will be with LDF, the survey predicted. The results of the survey – district vise: Thiruvananthapuram: Total seats – 14; LDF – 12; UDF – 2 1 – Thiruvananthapuram: LDF; 2000-3000, 2 – Nemam: LDF; 2000-4000, 3 – Kazhakuttam: LDF; 1000-2000, 4 – Vattiyurkavu: LDF; 1000-3000, 5 – Aruvikkara: UDF; 500-1500, 6 – Kaattakada: LDF; 500-1500, 7 – Parassala: LDF; 2000-3000, 8 – Kovalam: LDF; 1000-2000, 9 – Neyyatinkara: LDF; 2000-3000, 10 – Nedumangaad: LDF; 2000-3000, 11 – Chirayinkeezhu: LDF; 2000-4000, 12 – Varkala: UDF; 500-1500, 13 - Aattingal: LDF; 20000-30000, 14 - Vamanapuram: LDF; 2000-5000. Expert opinion: Minister V Sivakumar will lose the election. The presence of Biju Ramesh is crucial in Thiruvananthapuram as Biju may capture the votes of Tamil speaking people and ezhava community. LDF will increase their account to 12 from 6 at present. At Nemam, UDF may go down to third place. At Kazhakuttam, Vattiyurkavu and Nemam, the support of minority community voters will help LDF. A strong fight is expected at the LDF sitting seat at Kovalam. Kollam: Total seats – 11; LDF – 11; UDF – 0 1 – Kollam: LDF; 2000-5000, 2 – Iravipuram: LDF; 6000-8000, 3 – Chathannoor: LDF; 12000-15000, 4 – Kundara: LDF; 14000-16000, 5 – Chadayamangalam: LDF; 25000-26000, 6 – Punaloor: LDF; 16000-19000, 7 – Pathanapuram: LDF; 10000-12000, 8 – Kottarakkara: LDF; 22000-25000, 9 – Kunnathur: LDF; 12000-15000, 10 – Karunagappilly: LDF; 4000-6000, 11 – Chavara: LDF; 500-1000. Expert opinion: LDF will have a clean sweep in Kollam district. Prominent UDF leaders including minister Shibu Baby John will lose. Pathanamthitta: Total seats – 5; UDF – 3; LDF – 2 1 - Thiruvalla: LDF; 1000-1500, 2 – Ranny: LDF; 1000-3000, 3 – Aranmula: UDF; 500-2000, 4 – Konny: UDF; 500-2000, 5 – Adoor: UDF; 3000-5000. Expert opinion: Strong fight will take place at Aranmula and Konny. Alappuzha: Total seats – 9; LDF – 7; UDF – 2 1 – Aroor: LDF; 10000-13000, 2 – Cherthala: LDF; 13000-16000, 3 – Alappuzha: LDF; 18000-25000, 4 – Ambalapuzha: LDF; 8000-10000, 5 – Kuttanadu: LDF; 1000-2000, 6 – Harippadu: UDF; 2000-5000, 7 – Kayamkulam: LDF; 2000-5000, 8 – Mavelikkara: LDF; 15000-18000, 9 – Chengannur: UDF; 500-1200. Expert opinion: Chengannur becomes unpredictable with the entry of ex-Congress leader Sobhana George. Strong fight expected for Chennithala at Harippadu and for M Liju at Kayamkulam. Kottayam: Total seats – 9; UDF – 6; LDF – 3 1 – Pala: UDF; 500-2000, 2 – Kaduthuruthi: UDF; 2000-3000, 3 – Vaikom: LDF; 10000-12000, 4 – Ettumanoor: LDF; 2000-3000, 5 – Kottayam: UDF; 1000-2000, 6 – Puthuppally: UDF; 8000-12000, 7 – Changanassery: UDF; 2000-4000, 8 – Kanjirappilly: UDF; 2000-3000, 9 – Poonjar: LDF; 1000-2000. Expert opinion: Strong fight expected for UDF at Pala, Changanassery and Kaduthuruthi. LDF has strengthened at Oommen Chandy’s constituency Puthuppally and the Chief Minister’s lead will decrease considerably. Idukki: Total seats – 5; LDF – 4; UDF – 1 1 – Devikulam: LDF; 4000-6000, 2 – Udumbanchola: LDF; 500-600, 3 – Thodupuzha: UDF; 14000-15000, 4 – Idukki: LDF; 1000-2000, 5 – Peerumedu: LDF; 5000-6000. Expert opinion: idukki will favour LDF this time. Prominent UDF leaders like Roshy Augustine will lose. Ernakulum: Total seats – 14; LDF – 7; UDF – 7 1 – Perumbavoor: UDF; 1000-2000, 2 – Angamali: LDF; 1000-1500, 3 – Aluva: UDF; 2000-3000, 4 – Kalamassery: UDF; 750-1500, 5 – Paravoor: UDF; 400-600, 6 – Vypin: LDF; 5000-8000, 7- Kochi: UDF; 3000-5000, 8 – Thripunithura: LDF; 3000-5000, 9 - Ernakulam: UDF; 500-1000, 10 – Thrikkakara: LDF; 600-1000, 11- Kunnathunadu: LDF; 2000-3000, 12 – Moovattupuzha: LDF; 500-1000, 13 – Kothamangalam: UDF; 1000-2000, 14 – Piravam: LDF; 1000-2000. Expert opinion: Severe competition between UDF and LDF expected. Minister K Babu who is tainted with Bar related corruption may be pushed to third place. Strong fight anticipated in Ernakulam, kochi, Kalamassery and Paravoor. Thrissur: Total seats – 13; LDF – 13; UDF – 0 1 – Chelakkara: LDF; 5000-10000, 2 – Kunnamkulam: LDF; 7000-10000, 3 – Guruvayoor: LDF; 2000-4000, 4 – Manaloor: LDF; 5000-8000, 5 – Wadakkangery: LDF; 2000-3000, 6 – Ollur: LDF; 1500-2500, 7 – Thrissur: LDF; 1000-2000, 8 – Nattika: LDF; 10000-12000, 9 – Kaipamangalam: LDF; 20000-25000, 10 – Iringalakuda: LDF; 500-1000, 11 – Puthukkad: LDF; 15000-20000, 12 – Chalakkudi: LDF; 1500-3000, 13 – Kodungallur: LDF; 2000-4000. Expert opinion: Complete sweep for LDF. Prominent leaders like Thomas Unniadan, Padmaja and CP John will lose. At Puthukkad, UDF may be relegated to third place. Palakkad: Total seats – 12; LDF – 10; UDF – 2 1 – Thrithala: UDF; 500-1000, 2 – Pattambi: LDF; 500-2000, 3 – Shornur: LDF; 10000-18000, 4 – Ottapalam: LDF; 8000-12000, 5 – Kongadu: LDF; 7000-11000, 6 – Mannarkad: UDF; 1000-2000, 7 – Malampuzha: LDF; 15000-20000, 8 – Palakkad: LDF; 1000-3000, 9 – Tharoor: LDF; 20000-22000, 10 – Chittoor: LDF; 1000-2000, 11 – Nenmara: LDF; 1500-2000, 12 – Alathoor: LDF; 15000-20000. Expert opinion: Strong fight at Thrithala. At Palakkad and Malampuzha, UDF may be pushed to third place. Malappuram: Total seats – 16; UDF – 11; LDF – 5 1 – Kondotti: UDF; 15000-20000, 2 – Eranadu: UDF; 3000-4000, 3 – Nilambur: LDF; 500-2000, 4 – Vandoor: UDF; 8000-10000, 5 – Mancheri: UDF; 15000-20000, 6 – Perinthalmanna: LDF; 1000-3000, 7 – Mankada: UDF; 2000-5000, 8 – Malappuram: UDF; 25000-30000, 9 – Vengara: UDF; 35000-36000, 10 – Vallikkunnu: UDF; 5000-8000, Thirurangadi: UDF; 25000-30000, 12 – Thanoor: LDF; 500-1000, 13 – Thirur: UDF; 5000-8000, 14 – Kottakkal: UDF; 20000-25000, 15 – Thavanoor: LDF; 5000-6000, 16 – Ponnani: LDF; 4000-5000. Expert opinion: Sitting seats of UDF Nilambur, Perinthalmanna and Thanoor may be seized by LDF. Strong fight in Mankada and Thirur. Kozhikode: Total seats – 13; LDF – 12; UDF – 1 1 – Vadakara: LDF; 500-1000; 2 – Kuttiadi: LDF; 2000-4000, 3 – Nadapuram: LDF; 5000-8000, 4 – Koyilandi: LDF; 3000-4000, 5 - Perambra: LDF; 10000-13000, 6 – Balussery: LDF; 4000-5000, 7 – Elathoor: LDF; 12000-15000, 8 – Kozhikode North: LDF; 10000-12000, 9 – Kozhikode South: LDF; 1000-1500, 10 – Beppoor: LDF; 3000-5000, 11 – Kunnamangalam: LDF; 500-1500, 12 – Koduvally: UDF; 2000-3000, 13 – Thiruvambadi: LDF; 2000-3000. Expert opinion: LDF will make significant achievements in the district. Strong fight at Kunnamangalam, Kozhikode South and Beppoor. Wayanadu: Total seats – 3; LDF – 3; UDF – 0 1 – Mananthavadi: LDF; 500-1500, 2 – Sulthan Batheri: LDF; 2000-4000, 3 – Kalppatta: LDF; 1000-2000. Expert opinion: LDF may have a clean sweep. Prominent UDF leaders like Sreyas Kumar will lose. Kannur: Total seats – 11; LDF – 11; UDF – 0 1 – Payyannor: LDF; 25000-35000, 2 – Kallyasseri: LDF; 35000-40000, 3 – Thaliparambu: LDF; 25000-28000, 4 – Irikkur: LDF; 1000-2000, 5 – Azhikode: LDF; 4000-5000, 6 – Kannur: LDF; 1000-2000, 7 – Dharmadam: LDF; 22000-25000, 8 – Thalasseri: LDF; 32000-38000, 9 – Koothuparambu: LDF; 3000-6000, 10 – Mattannur: LDF; 30000-35000, 11 – Peravoor: LDF; 1000-2000. Expert opinion: Total dominance by LDF expected in the district. Ministers KC Joseph and KP Mohanan will lose. Kasaragod: Total seats – 5; LDF – 4; UDF – 1 1 – Mancheswaram: UDF; 1000-2000, 2 – Kasaragod: LDF; 1000-2000; 3 – Uduma: LDF; 1000-2000, 4 – Kanjangad: LDF; 10000-12000, Thrikaripur: LDF; 10000-12000. Expert opinion: Close contest in Mancheswaram, Kasaragod and Uduma. Mancheswaram and Kasaragod are prospective constituencies for BJP. General Analysis: BJP may gain second place in 3 to 8 constituencies. UDF may be pushed to third place in 5 to 8 constituencies and LDF may be placed third in 1 to 3 constituencies. The most prominent tri-angular contest will take place at Kazhakootam, Vattiyurkavu, Aranmula, Chengannur, Thripunithura, Puthukad, Poonjar, Malampuzha, Palakkad, Kunnamangalam, Kasaragod and Mancheswararm. Constituencies where close contests take place: Mancheswararm, Kasaragod, Uduma, Azhikode, Kannur, Koothuparambu, Peravoor, Mananthavadi, Vadakara, Kozhikode South, Kunnamangalam, Thanoor, Nilambur, Mankada, Perinthalmanna, Palkkad, Thrithala, Wadakkanchery, Irinjalakkuda, Thrissur, Perumbavoor, Kochi, Kothamangalam, Paravoor, Thripunithura, Movattupuzha, Kalamassery, Pala, Piravam, Udumbanchola, Ettumanoor, Chengannur, Aranmula, Ranni, Chavara, Varkala, Vattiyurkavu, Kazhakoottam, Kattakada, Aruvikkara, Parassala, Neyyatinkara, Thiruvananthapuram and Nemam. As per the close finish in the above mentioned constituencies there could be a variation in gains and losses of UDF and LDF by 5 to 10 seats. But according to Bignews the survey result is 90% appropriate. The main questions asked in the survey and percentage of responses: Is there an anti-government feeling in Kerala? Yes: 66.4; No:16.7; NA: 16.9 Do you believe in the corruption allegations against minister? Yes: 65; No: 24.1; NA: 11.9 Could the government curb fundamentalism? Yes: 25; No: 70.9; NA: 4.1 Do you believe in the development claim of UDf government? Yes: 20.9; No: 55.4; NA: 23.7 Was there any serious attempt from the government to curb violence against women and children? Yes: 18.1; No: 59; NA: 22.9 Do you believe in the ‘Anti-development’ propaganda against the left? Yes: 18.1; No: 59; NA: 22.9 Will ‘Saritha’ and ‘Solar’ issues have an impact? Yes: 46; No: 34.1; NA: 19.9 Will BJP become an alternative? Yes: 17.9; No: 70.4; NA: 11.7 Do you believe Pinarayi Vijayan is a culprit in Lavlin case? Yes: 40.9; No: 49.5; NA: 9.6 Could liquor police reduce liquor consumption? Yes: 39.1; No: 40.9; NA: 20 Will it do harm to UDF for placing corruption tainted minister as the candidates against the interest of VM Sudheeran? Yes: 60.5; No: 30.9; NA: 8.6 Will controversial land deals do affect UDF? Yes: 56; No: 40.7; NA: 3.3 Will BDJS alliance help BJP? Yes: 26; No: 51.2; NA: 22.8 Is the efficiency of candidate important while casting the vote? Yes: 42.5; No: 30.3; NA: 27.2 Is the prominence of party alliance important while casting the vote? Yes: 63: No: 20.3; NA: 16.7 Do you expectations in youngsters? Yes: 70.4; No: 21.2; NA: 8.4 Do you believe that Congress and BJP are having an understanding any constituencies? Yes: 40.8; No: 39.2; NA: 20
0 0 696 15 May, 2016 special feature more
Shifa Al Jazeera Medical Group to spend Rs 10 crores in charity works in Kerala
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Shifa Al Jazeera Medical Group to spend Rs 10 crores in charity works in Kerala

Kozhikode: Shifa Al Jazeera Medical Group is planning to conduct charity works worth Rs 10 crores in three years in Kerala. The plan was announced in a function to donate money, which comprised of educational loan, house loan and medical loan to selected six persons from various parts of the state. The function was conducted at Kozhikode press club on Wednesday. The chairman of Shifa Al Jazeera Medical Group and winner of “Pravasi Bharathiya Award” Dr KT Rabeeullah is the leader of this venture. The beneficiaries of the financial assistance will be selected from media reports and authentic information passed on by committed individuals. At the function held at Kozhikode, Vijitha Noukha from Ponnani – Azhikkal-Chamravattom and Rumseena, daughter of Muhammad from Maranchery-Mukkala, both of whom have scored A+ in all subjects in the SSLC examinations, were given financial assistance for further studies and renovation of house.  Vijitha Noukha was given one lakh rupees and Rumseena was granted Rs 3,60,000. Besides, Pilakkadavath Ayisha from Malappuram, who, despite being qualified for participating in Asian University Softball Championship, was unable to take part in the competition because of financial constraints, was granted Rs 2 lakhs. Ayisha will now participate in the championship to be held at Taiwan on May 18. Also, Bindu, who is residing at a single room house made with plywood walls and plastic sheet roof with three children including two girls at Santom Colony, Fort Kochi, was given one lakh rupees as first installment. To support the education of all the three children and building a house, the Group will donate two lakhs each in the next five years. Moreover, victim of an anonymous accident and undergoing treatment, 20-year old Raeez from Kannur, was granted Rs two lakhs. This was for settling the balance amount in the hospital bill. Earlier, Dr KT Rabeeullah has donated Rs 50,000 each for the relatives of those killed in the fire-cracker tragedy at Paravoor in Kolam district. Also, Dr Rabeeullah has offered five cents of properties and Rs three lakhs to the mother of murdered law college student Jisha from Perumbavoor. The monetary support was handed over by Shifa Al Jazeera Medical Group Advisory Board Chairmen KP Mohammed Kutty (Saudi Arabia), EM Najeeb (Oman), Group CEO Ashraf Vengad (Riyadh), General Manager of Muscat Shifa Al Jazeera Hospital Muhammed Shakeer and Media Vice President Satheesh.
0 0 933 14 May, 2016 special feature more
From Kerala to India, a Brand Ambassador Experiment
Posted by on 04 March

From Kerala to India, a Brand Ambassador Experiment

Planet of Ads 3 While driving through my city, I accidently noticed a huge flex board carrying a life size picture of Prithviraj, the young superstar of Malayalam Cinema.  From the very first look itself, I realized that it’s an outdoor design for a famous clothes chain which he is endorsing since last few years. Another day, when I opened a leading Malayalam daily, he was in the front page itself as a jacket ad with his charming smile.  At that instance too, I thought it’s a full page ad for the same chain but when I took a detailed look I came to know that was not for the textile group but for a different brand, a leading builder in Kerala. Such things happen now and then in the advertising scenario. Recently when I suggested the name of a leading Malayalam actress as a brand ambassador for a client’s proposed curry powder brand, he with no second thought rejected the name because he felt the lady I suggested is featured in too many ads and it’s not easy for the commoners to know which brand she is endorsing for. Even if what the client said is hundred percent true, we can’t blame the leading lady either. The actors know well that after their heydays no brand will approach them to endorse their products or to become their brand ambassadors. Actors are not the only one concerned with the rise and fall of their stardom. The agencies which suggest these actors as brand ambassadors for their clients are always worried about each and every move these stars make and are always bothered about their behaviour on and off screen. Things could turn upside down even with a single flop and the star stand to lose the stardom and brand value. Nowadays the agencies also fear every single word their brand ambassadors churn out as there are n number of chances for them end up in the umpteen troll pages celebrating social media blunders. But if a branding agency gets it right with choosing the best suited brand ambassador for their clients, the very thing can work wonders to bring their brand into the forefront and keep it in the public eye for the time intended. Such a campaign made Malabar Gold, now a leading jewellery brand in India to reach the coveted position it shares with the established brands from their homeland like Alukkas, Josco, Kalyan and Bhima. Malabar Gold had a humble beginning and was limiting their operations to Northern Kerala with six branches at their first phase. In the second phase, they decided to spread wings to a more wide market and go on nationwide to achieve the goals set by their promoters. The best part of the game plan was the location they chose to open their 7th branch.  No major cities in Kerala like Thiruvanathapuram, Kochi, Kottayam or Thrissur, which were obvious choices for the other brands from Kerala, received the honour of hosting the all new 7th branch of Malabar Gold. The most suited location chose by the promoters for their expansion was Bangalore, which had entirely different market behaviour and tradition than the local market in Kerala. There the brand had to face tough competition from the national brands and even from the jewellery brands owned by Keralites which had won the trust of the local community through their presence over the years. But Malabar Gold entered that Garden City not as just another brand from Kerala, but as a National Brand with the most suited brand ambassador who gifted them the pan Indian image they cherished. The agency which helped Malabar Gold to spread their wings nationwide chose none other than Sania Mirza as the brand ambassador and the same was officially announced at a private function in Mumbai to give the needed impetus to the brand repositioning. By selecting a rising tennis star, the agency succeeded to assure their esteemed client a place among the leading national brands and could also give them the acceptance as a national brand when they ventured out from the country. The same tactics was adopted when Malabar Gold decided to launch their chain of jewellery outlets in the neighbouring Tamil Nadu. Without going for any tinsel super star, they roped in Isaijnani Ilayaraja as their brand ambassador for the southern state. The musical advertising film featuring the music maestro who has more fan-following than the super stars of the state became an instant hit among South Indians and with this ad the reach of Malabar Gold among the neighbouring states as a prestigious jewellery brand was established beyond doubt. The branding strategy created by the agency for Malabar Gold can be a model for the advertising agencies as well as similar brands who wants to make it big in the national market. The strategy also taught others some valuable lessons in choosing the right brand ambassadors and keeping them for the cherished time and getting the maximum out of them. Malabar Gold was the one to exploit the popularity and acceptance of Mohanlal, the Malayalam Superstar to the brim. Even though the company terminated the contract with the star some years back, people of Kerala still sees him as a brand ambassador for the brand. Malabar Gold has used the charm of superstars like Surya and Kareena Kapoor whenever they needed to pump up the national image. Favour Francis favourfrancis@gmail.com 9847881382      
0 0 1022 04 March, 2016 special feature more
Fans and Fanatics, rise of a religious brand
Posted by on 19 February

Fans and Fanatics, rise of a religious brand

Planet of Ads (2) The state of Kerala has witnessed two major comebacks in this decade. The first one was the rise of Jayan, the late superstar of Malayalam cinema and the people behind this unique reincarnation was a group of Mimicry Artists while the reason of resurrection behind the second was obviously the wave of intolerance now lashing across the nation with increased vigour.  As a column that deals with issues and trends in advertising and branding, we can ignore the first for the moment and move on to the second which has immense potentials to become the first religious brand in the state. And it’s quite natural that the readers are wondering about what the columnist is talking about? A religious brand? Are not all the existing religions in a way or other good brands? May be true to an extent.  But here the column wants to put forward before the eager readers the case of Dinkan, a cartoon character first appeared in print 33 years ago and made a tremendous comeback in recent times through social media and has become the latest rage among those who find the growing religious intolerance among the countrymen. Social Media is no doubt the best place for the reincarnation of such an idol as the timeline wars between various religious groups and individual fanatics make it more a space for silly mudslinging than serious discussions on the roots of religion. And through the same space many enthusiastic young rationalists introduced Dinkan, the super rat, as a tit for tat for the blind and illogical claims by various religions and their social media proponents. With a tinge of humour in all the posts, Dinkan soon became an instant hit and has even found a covetable place among the Gods of Comic Religions all over the globe. Dinkoism is the new term used to represent the rituals and practices by the ‘followers’ of Dinka Religion and many hard core devotees has even come up with chants and prayers songs praising the deeds of Dinkan. ‘Dinka Sooktha’ a religious recital praising Dinkan produced by a group of youngsters are doing rounds in the social media circles winning many a laughs. The change of Dinkan from a comic book superhero with kids as his primary fans to a cult figure with youth and even adults as his new fans triggers the possibility of creating the first ever official religious brand which could attract a wide customer base all over the globe if properly marketed. Mangalam Publications published Dinkan, the mighty of the mightiest, as a cartoon series in their children’s magazine ‘Balamangalam’ in 1983. It became an instant hit among the kids of eighties and nineties till the super rat series met an abrupt end in 2012. Now in the wake of ever increasing popularity of their yesteryear super hero, Mangalam publications has decided to revamp the Dinkan comic series from the next issue of their popular weekly magazine. But with immense possibilities in the offing, it would not be a wise decision to limit Dinkan only to a simple cartoon series. The brand potentials of Dinkan must be exploited to the brim with a series of products like Dinkan Idols, Dinkan Key Chains, Dinkan Calendars, Dinkan Coffee Mugs etc. The idea may seem a little weird, but with a generation who loves to show off anything special they have through facebook and wait for the flood of likes they are going to get through such posts, anything is possible. Once entered the market, Dinkan is sure to rule the roost. Soon after the launch, facebook will be flooded with photos of young men and women posing with Dinkan Idols on the dashboards or Flying Dinkan hanging from the front mirror of their vehicles. They’ll post selfies wearing graffiti tees with words like ‘I love Dinkan’ ‘Keep Calm and Believe in Dinkan’. There are chances that the morning coffee selfies will be then titled ‘having coffee with Dinkan’ accompanied by a photo of the ‘postmaster’ holding a Dinkan Coffee Mug. In the wake of the Dinkan storming Media scene with a bang, one of the latest movies by the famous Malayalam actor Dileep has been christened as Prof Dinkan which prompted otherwise silent and devotees of Dinkoism to the street. They even conducted a vociferous protest in front of ‘Dhe Puttu’ a restaurant in Kochi co-owned by the star. The director of the movie denied the allegation and added that the character played by Dileep in his movie is in no way resembling the omnipotent Dinkan.  The opportunity could be used effectively by the brand owners of Dinkan to release a movie – Dinkan Returns with a fitting tagline like ‘the Origanl Dinkan Movie’ and strike gold in the box office. As an extreme branding move, they can even bring out Dinkan underwear and market it wide among the followers of Dinkoism all over the world. The only trouble with the move is that the feelings of the devotees of traditional religions may feel hurt hard sooner or later when Dinkan fans will be posting photos showing off their elastic strips with Dinkan inscribed on them. That too will not be considered as a problem by a land where people queue up to get blessings from naked saints and buy anything churned out by the innumerable demigods sprouting every other day. Favour Francis favourfrancis@gmail.com 09847881382  
0 0 1027 19 February, 2016 special feature more
One request, please don’t kill this man: Ashiq Abu
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One request, please don’t kill this man: Ashiq Abu

According to history, authoritarian rule may win, but will not last long. Kanhaiya Kumar has said nothing against country and he said he respects the constitution of the country. He just pointed out that what is happening now-a-days is not the democracy and legislation envisaged by Baba Saheb Ambedkar. He also invited people for open discussion. Moreover he said he is against all types of terrorism including that of Afsal Guru. How come he is construed as enemy of the state? Only repression is the means to make silent a brilliant man who raised intelligent questions. But these fascist authorities are challenging not only the best brains in India but also in the world. To make them silent, force is only the means for the rulers and they are just doing that. This action against Kanhaiya Kumar, who is a brave and profound communist, is clear example of suppressed ruling by the governing forces. One request, please don’t kill this man.    
0 0 654 18 February, 2016 special feature more
Looking for studies abroad? The avenue is open
Posted by on 11 February

Looking for studies abroad? The avenue is open

If you want to pursue the career of your choice and still find it difficult to get admission in the right college/university abroad, here is a golden opportunity to join the college which is apt for you. Major online news portal Bignewslive provides sufficient information regarding admission for Medicine, Engineering, Law, Arts, Science, Commerce, MBA and much more in various colleges and universities in the countries like US, UK, Canada, Russia and China. Bignewslive along with famous educational consultancy service provider Eduworld has formed the educational help desk. The desk will conduct ten educational expos at prime centers in India with officials from major universities from around the world taking part in it. The expo will open up the opportunities for those chasing the dream of studying abroad by providing all the details including fees at major colleges/universities in various parts of the world. For more details : 00971 55704313 UAE 00971 556963439 Contact us through mail: bigeduhelp@gmail.com.  
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Want to pursue higher studies in India? Here is the opening
Posted by on 11 February

Want to pursue higher studies in India? Here is the opening

If you want to pursue the career of your choice and still find it difficult to get admission in the right college, here is a golden opportunity to join the college which is apt for you. Major online news portal Bignewslive provides sufficient information regarding admission for Medicine, Engineering, Law, Arts, Science, Commerce, MBA and much more in various colleges and universities in India. Bignewslive along with famous educational consultancy service provider Eduworld has formed the educational help desk. The desk will conduct ten educational expos at prime centers in India with officials from major Indian universities taking part in it. For more details: 0091 9995905090 0091 9986371075 Contact us through mail: bigeduhelp@gmail.com.    
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Nobody is subordinate to me: MA Yusuf Ali
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Nobody is subordinate to me: MA Yusuf Ali

I never consider anybody as my subordinate. If any of my staff doesn’t send their parents any money I used to send whatever amount I can to those parents’ accounts: MA Yusuf Ali opens up… I always consider the people working in my firm as colleagues and not as subordinates, according to famous business man and proprietor of Lulu Group, MA Yusuf Ali. Naturally to improve the living standards of employees are important and needed for the well being of the company. I don’t admonish those who don’t send money to their family back home. If any parents inform me that they are not getting money from their children, I try to convince those staff member and persuade him to send money. Even after that if he doesn’t send money, I myself send whatever possible to those parents’ accounts. After coming to know this, some of them understand their mistake and will come to apologise to me. It is a must for the company to have peace of mind at all my colleagues’ homes. At present, whoever earning high incomes in lakhs in my company is mostly those who have joined me as executive or salesman, not anybody who joint from outside overnight. It is like a child growing up and becomes father and grandfather in a family. These disclosures came in an interview of MA Yusuf Ali conducted by famous journalist Unni K Warrier for Malayala Manorama. Here is the full interview Unni Warrier conducted with MA Yusuf Ali Looking from the 11th floor of the office, which has a look-alike of five star hotel, the desert looks like a sea of milk. The vicinity is too deep that one can’t identify where the desert merges with sky. The sun reflects from the sand like from that of a mirror. At a distance, vehicles speed through the road with glitter of sun.  The only greenery is that of palm trees planted at both sides of the road. In the middle there is blue colour of a lake. The climate is very hot with strong winds blowing frequently.  This is the backside of Abu Dhabi city. At the other side of office one can see plenty of skyscrapers, competing with each other in terms of height. This is the office of Lulu Group, constructed in the middle of city, which itself is developed in the middle of desert. MA Yusuf Ali is standing with hands folded and looking at the panoramic view of sky and desert. After a while, he broke the silence. I used to stay in house next to that road. A room without A/C in searing heat. Many a nights I used to lie down gazing the sky on the terrace. Also there were some nights I slept off tired after loading goods to vehicle. Yusuf Ali, popularly known as ‘Yusuf Bhai’ is now one among top thousand billionaires in the world and the 40th ranked billionaire in India. He was developing his empire over the last 4 decades. He spoke at length about life and maintains a smile even when there was a difference of opinion. He spoke about happiness, celebrations, anguishes, tears and virtues. At times he looked disturbed when talking people who have hurt him. Q: Have you ever felt hurt by Malayalees? MA: I will not say all malayalees have hurt me. But a few among them have pained me. It was me who stood as guarantor for a big newspaper to help them getting license to publish in Abu Dhabi. After a few months their channel continuously spread the rumour that I have encroached two cents of property in Kochi. They even showed footage shot from various angles of our new Lulu centre. I don’t demand anybody to remember the favour I have done. But one shouldn’t propagate false and bad news against anybody. Those who criticized me didn’t enquire who the real Yusuf Ali is. I grew up working in this desert for the last 42 years. All these are the result of hard work put in by me and my team. The royal family of Abu Dhabi has given me 44 acres of land free of cost to construct the largest shopping mall in Abu Dhabi, “Murshim Mall”. The cost of land alone now will come to around Rs 3800 crores. Besides, they gifted property worth Rs 600 crores to build my house. I never asked for any of these favours. It is the result of the love this country has for me. It is the reward for the love and respect I gave to this country. Reward for doing such a big business and creating job opportunities for many. It is this Yusuf Ali, they say, has encroached two cents in the home state Kerala. Every news should have some truth in it. They propagated it throughout day and night. I could have stopped it but I didn’t. They don’t know Yusuf Ali. But they should have enquired how Yusuf Ali reached this level. There was a time when I used to do loading and unloading of goods amid the exhausting heat of the desert. (Yusuf Ali’s temper and voice rose unusually, secretaries came to the door. Yusuf Ali said by showing both his palms) This is a hard worker’s hand. God knows it. I haven’t done anything against the will of god. Not even a single paise is made through illegal means. All these wealth came through hard work, prayers and god’s blessings. (Emotionally Yusuf Ali recited a verse from Quran, which meant “God is with those who are truthful and kind”). I am saying this in the month of Ramadan. I haven’t stolen anything from anybody. I haven’t made anything through illegal means. I challenge you to show me anything I made through wrong means. I will repay it or may be double that amount. (He kept silence for a few minutes). Brother, why I am not disclosing these things to anybody is not because of fear but because of pain. I am an ordinary businessman and a simple human being and it really hurts when you are accused of something which you haven’t even imagined. There was period when I dreamt about having an A/C during the desert temperature was around 52 degree Celsius. Now Yusuf Ali may be in Forbes list of billionaires, but deep within me there is a middle-class youth who stepped into a ferry to reach gulf with plenty of dreams. Q: Is it true that you have done loading and unloading or was it just an impulsive reaction? MA: I never say anything out of impulsion. When we were running general store in Abu Dhabi many a times due to shortage of workers we used have done loading goods to the vehicle. I am proud to say that. From those days to even today I am prepared for hard work and that mindset was the only asset I had when I came to Abu Dhabi. Q: Do you remember the long ferry journey to Gulf? MA: It was about 43 years back. I reached Abu Dhabi on December 31st in 1973 after sailing for 9 days. My father’s brother MK Abdulla, who had business those days here, came to receive me. The Gulf those days was not so attractive as it is now. A real desert. Very few big buildings. We began with a grocery called general store, where essential commodities were sold. Q: Abu Dhabi during those days? MA: Electricity will be available only for few hours. There were only 2 good roads. A/C was a luxury for only rich people. Not so many trees like now-a-days. Heat will exceed 50 degree Celsius most of the days, but I never felt the heat as my mind was full of cold and happy dreams about the future. It is those dreams which took me to this position. It was not possible to go home once in two years. Even if we can manage to arrange a ticket, we will not go as we were anxious about continuation of job here. We were thinking that after reaching a good position only we will go home. (Even today Yusuf Ali need not take a ticket, he owns an aircraft). Q: Time spent in Ahamedabad? MA: Our family is of businessmen for the last four generations. My blood also is the same. My father’s brother MK Abu was in Ahamedabad and we had a general store and agency for Prestige cooker. That’s when I first saw a pressure cooker. In my home town Natika there were only traditional kitchen utensils and wood burning stove those days. I studied the details of pressure cooker like valve, washer etc.. as I had a habit of studying deeply about anything if I get interested in it. It was while in Ahamedabad, I joined business management class. Q: You learned business at Ahamedabad? MA: Nobody can learn business from school. It is like a child learning to walk, can’t say when one has learnt it. Every step is part of learning. Even now I try to study things from people around me including the boy who serves me tea. Those days a feeding bottle called ‘Popsy’ was launched. The company placed a typical display for ‘Popsy’ in front of our shop, which was a new experience for us and the company gave us a special gift. Even those days I used to dream about doing something new. yusafali1 Q: Have you ever gone to that old shop later? MA: When I went to Ahamedabad last time to receive ‘Pravasi Bharathiya Samman’, I walked through the street where our shop was situated and I saw the old shop ‘Key Traders’. A lot has changed now. But still the flooring of the shop is same even after 46 years. I stood on that floor for some time nostalgically as it is on that floor Yusuf Ali started dreaming big. I got my youthfulness back. Q: Where were you staying those days? MA: We were staying in a small room at place called ‘Panchkua’. I used to lie down on the terrace gazing at the sky, dreaming about doing something big and reaching somewhere big. Q: Do you remember the first journey to gulf spending nine nights in the ferry? MA: I didn’t sleep at all. I had a bundle of magazines, which I read again and again, especially Boban & Molly, to reduce tension. In the nights I used stay awake thinking about new country, new language, new business etc… Q: After reaching Abu Dhabi? MA: Shortage of facilities like lack of good water etc.. Because of extreme heat very few people used to come out in the day time. Not much business also. But still we managed to do some good business. We used to collect items from various people and sell it. The moment when we thought why don’t we import these items directly led to the birth of Lulu. The search for opportunities to import opened up new avenues for us. We started directly dealing with producers and we became businessmen come importers. That’s how Lulu grew from small scale business to super markets, hyper markets and Malls. Q: Life those days? MA: Brother, we didn’t have time sit worried about the living conditions and to move forward we had to work till late nights. There were nights we couldn’t sleep because of heat. Never worried about lack of A/C and had we wasted time worrying about all those we wouldn’t have reached this position. Every day we thought what to do tomorrow and even now I think about tomorrow. Q: Are you sleeping less even now-a-days? MA: I sleep only for five hours and daily practice yoga. Offer prayers five times a day and remember father, mother and ancestors every day. Q: Was Yusuf Ali a mother’s baby? MA: Can anybody say whether father or mother was their favourite? Father was always busy with business. Father’s elder brother (Vallyuppa) and mother groomed me. I learnt compassion, kindness, virtue etc.. from my mother. She will never say no to anybody. Her doors were never closed in front of hungry. Those days there was poverty in my home town Natika. Most of the people were fishermen who did not know how to hide their hunger in the name of pride. They will ask anybody when they are hungry. Q: Heard that your school fiends used to come to your house to have food MA: Yes. Without any classification of religion and caste my mother used to call and give food to everybody who was hungry. Present MLA TN Prathapan used to come to my home and had food many a times when he was studying with my younger brother Ashraf Ali. Prathapan himself has disclosed that born in fisherman’s family he had experienced poverty. My mother will share food with whoever asks her. A couple of days after my mother expired, an elderly woman came to my house and wanted to meet me. She wanted to hand over the receipt of bangle pledged by her to me. I asked my secretary to give her the needed money, but she insisted to meet me. She told me that the bangle belonged to my mother and she had given to that lady when she didn’t have enough money to help her. Actually that lady didn’t come to get money from me but to apologize for not being able to give back that bangle to my mother. That day I cried many times thinking about my mother. She proved that virtue is more glittering than a gold bangle. These types of deeds take you closer to god. I always treaded the way my mother showed me. My ‘Vallyuppa’ Kanchi Kunjahammed Haji and his wife Kunjubeevi taught the virtue of compassion to my mother.
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At Last, High Court rules in favour of Kalabharathi
Posted by on 04 February

At Last, High Court rules in favour of Kalabharathi

Thrissur: At last, victory for Kalabharathi and students. High Court asks Sangeetha Nataka Akademy to issue certificates for Kalabharathi - KSNA music and dance courses Kerala High Court has ruled in favour of Thrissur-based Kalabharathi and its students in the case between Kalabharathi and Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademy. The verdict states that certificates for the dance and music courses conducted by Kalabharathi in association with KSNA to be issued to the students within a month’s time. It was during the tenure of previous government that Kalabharathi along with Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademy conducted 1 year and 6 months courses in classical dance and music in cooperation with various educational institutions. The new governing body of KSNA has decided not to recognize the above mentioned courses conducted involving prominent artists in respective fields on argument that Akademy doesn’t have authority to conduct coaching. Kalabharathi, after approaching the governing body of KSNA to settle the matter amicably many a times without any gain, decided to move the High Court. Besides, a student approached court saying Akademy’s decision is political vendetta and KSNA is bound to give certificates to students who completed the courses. Kalabharathi, represented by Adv. Binoy Vasudevan, joined as parties to the above mentioned case. Other than the regular theory and practical classes, Kalabharathi has conducted various workshops and seminars involving most eminent art personalities in the respective fields. Moreover, Kalabharathi has conducted theory exams in three terms and practical exams in final term under the supervision of best teachers from various educational institutions. The latest High Court decision is a blessing for the students who are eagerly waiting for the certificates, which they deserve.
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