BY S VENKAT NARAYAN
Our Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI, January 16:
Last Monday afternoon, Indian cricket team’s Captain Virat Kohli announced on Twitter that he and his Bollywood actress-wife Anushka Sharma had been blessed with a baby girl.
Moments thereafter, at least 10 consumer companies producing diapers and juices made a dash to be associated with India’s highest paid celebrity, who is possibly the richest cricketer on the planet. His current brand value is $237.5 million, or INR 1,734 million.
Proctoer & Gamble’s Pampers, Tropicana fruit-juice-maker, Pepsi, food delivery platform Zomato, deliversy services company Dunzo, and Liberty Shoes were among those who released advertisements across social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to celebrate the occasion.
Kohli does not endorse any products made by these companies. They are said to be considering signing him on.
A senior executive aware of the development said: Kohli’s management firm has been getting feelers from brands with child-centric products for endorsements even before the birth of the baby.”
While brands he endorses are naturally leveraging the birth of the baby, at least eight to ten other brands want to sign him now, he added.
“Here’s to new roles and a new innings,” P&G’s Pampers said on its social media handles with a short video congratulating the new parents.
“GoodnessComesHome, #ItsAGirl,” PepsiCo’s Tropicana posted on its Instagram handle, with visuals of the “goodness of fruits.”
Dunzo posted a picture of a stork carrying a bundled baby captioned “Just Delivered” on its Instagram and Twitter handles.
Liberty Shoes posted a diagram of baby feet cradled by a pair of hands captioned “Beginning of the Much Awaited Innings” with the Virushka hashtag. (Virushka is a name coined by the media here for Virat (Kohli) and Anushka (Sharma).
Pepsi, which Kohli endorsed until 2017, made a direct reference to its Swag tagline in its social media message “A Swagstar is Born” blended with its logo.
A PepsiCo India spokesman said in an email: Leveraging topicality via fixed and fluid moments is very important to consumers. Moment-marketing fulfils these requirements and helps brands to further create impactful connect and engagement with consumers.”
Prasoon Joshi, chief executive officer of McCann Worldgroup India and chairman Asia-Pacific at McCann, said: For brands, associating with big moments of celebration such as this is aimed to create positive rub-offs on themselves.”
Kohli is India’s most expensive celebrity as far as endorsements go. He charges INR 50 million to INR55 million for a day’s work—much more than what MS Dhoni, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan charge in India, and more than what football icon Lionel Messi, golf superstar Rory McIlroy and Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry abroad.
The 32-year-old’s 17 endorsement deals include Puma, Audi, Manyavar ethnic clothing, Blue Star airconditioning, Himalaya personal care, e-commerce fashion portal Myntra, e-sports platform Mobile Premier League, edtech company Great Learning, Wrogn clothing line, Uber, Boost Energy, MuveAcoustics, and MRF Tyres.
CBSL and IFC launch National Financial Inclusion Strategy
Sri Lanka’s first National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) aunched recently, aims to make financial services more accessible, efficient, and affordable for all households and businesses in the country.
The NFIS is a joint effort led by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka—with technical and financial assistance from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group—under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program. The development of this strategy was a multi-stakeholder effort supported by the government of Sri Lanka.
“The National Financial Inclusion Strategy symbolizes our country’s commitment towards a better and inclusive Sri Lanka that will benefit all individuals and enterprises. I believe this strategy will complement the Government’s efforts to minimize the provincial income disparities, urban-rural inequalities, and to promote inclusive growth,” said Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
“More importantly, this strategy prioritizes future generations, having identified financial literacy as a key pillar. The proposal to strengthen the national curriculum in this area is a positive step. Investing in the education of our younger generation is the most significant investment we can make as a nation, as this will be a particularly helpful approach to the systematic correction of the financial habits of Sri Lankans,” the Prime Minister said.
HNB – Havelock City partnership offers exclusive Ezy Pay Home Loans facility
HNB PLC has partnered with Havelock City mixed-use development project to offer prospective homeowners of state-ofthe-art luxury apartments in Stratford and Melford Towers (Phase 3 – COC certified) and Peterson and Edmonton Towers (Phase 4) with the exclusive Ezy Pay Home Loans facility.
The partnership is set to offer customers the unprecedented opportunity to make a payment of only 20% and immediately occupy the limited units available in Phase 3 of the project or invest in apartments available in Phase 4, scheduled to be completed by May 2021. Further, Havelock City will take on the customer’s interest payment for one year.
“We have witnessed an increase in the demand for apartments and are aware that there is a limited stock of units available in the heart of Colombo. Therefore, we hope that this partnership with Havelock City will offer our customers looking to invest in a home of their own the facility to either move into an apartment immediately or invest in a home of their dreams,” HNB Head of Personal Financial Services, Kanchana Karunagama said.
Prospective homeowners can make use the bank’s flexible repayment options, such as the Step-up facility, which offers a repayment option in line with the customers evolving income. Customers can also obtain a maximum repayment period of 25 years for the loan facility for an attractive interest rate starting from just 7%.
DPL lends a hand to children in Monaragala Rubber Farming Communities
As part of its ongoing efforts to empower and uplift the livelihood of its farmer co-operative societies, Dipped Products PLC (DPL) distributed school bags to the children of 1,500 smallholder rubber farmers for the 10th consecutive year, under its flagship Firstlight CSR project.
This year’s distribution recorded the largest donation of school bags, which was nearly a two-fold increase from the previous year, bringing the total value of the distribution up to nearly Rs. 1 million.
Taking place at the Pinwatta Bodimalu Viharaya in Medagama, Monaragala, this latest distribution marks the Company’s continued efforts to support the smallholder rubber farming communities, by ensuring that their essential needs are looked after.
“Especially in this time of economic uncertainty, with the nation facing significant challenges and hardships, it is truly touching to see the positive impact which we continue to have on the underprivileged smallholder rubber farming communities. We believe that programmes like Firstlight hold the key to enhancing the livelihoods of our 1500-strong rubber farmers, providing them with an improved quality of life, whilst paving the way to open up new opportunities and a brighter future. This is why, with the enthusiastic response we have received over the years, we have now also expanded this school bag distribution to include the District of Kegalle,” Dipped Products Deputy Managing Director, Pushpika Janadheera said.
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