‘Deadpool’ Director on His Franchise Exit and ‘Terminator’ Future

Image result for tim miller deadpoolDeadpool fans were shocked when director Tim Miller exited the sequel in October, but the filmmaker admits there was a sense of relief when he left.

Insiders told THR at the time that Miller exited the project over creative differences with star Ryan Reynolds, and when asked if we can thank Reynolds for Miller’s upcoming Terminator movie, the director responded with joking reluctance, “Yeah, if you want.”

“I felt like there was more stories to tell there, but I’m happy that somebody else is telling them,” Miller said of Deadpool 2 during a conversation moderated by The Hollywood Reporter‘s editorial director Matthew Belloni that is the centerpiece for this week’s THR cover story. “There was a sense of relief in that I get to do something new versus Deadpool 2. I think it would’ve been a great movie, but it was also going to be a continuation of what we had done. This really gave me a chance to do something new.”

Miller, who is working with producer James Cameron on the Terminator movie, also addressed why he chose to direct another film based on a pre-existing property following Deadpool. The film will follow Cameron’s Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), while ignoring the three films Cameron was not involved with.

“I feel like there was so much more to be done with these characters,” he said of the Terminator franchise. “I mean, I wanted to make Deadpool 2. I was going to do that, until I wasn’t. So, there was that, which took up about seven months of my time. But even then, David [Ellison, who has the rights to the Terminator franchise] and I were talking, like after Deadpool 2, it was going to be this [Terminator].”

Cameron, who is currently filming the first of his four Avatar sequels, revealed that he read Miller’s Deadpoolscript several years before the Fox film got made. The risky R-rated movie needed all the help it could get to score a green light, and Cameron did what he could after reading the script.

“And the next day, he’s like: ‘Oh, they should be making this movie. I’m going to call somebody. Don’t tell anybody, but I’m going to call somebody,'” said Miller.

Deadpool was a big hit when it was released in February 2016, going on to be the top-grossing X-Men film of all time with more than $783 million worldwide.

David Leitch is directing 2018’s Deadpool 2, which features series newcomer Josh Brolin as Cable. For his part, Reynolds has said of Miller, “I’m sad to see him off the film. Tim’s brilliant and nobody worked harder on Deadpool than he did.”


Chili’s opens three more restaurants

Chennai, September 24: Chili’s India (South and West) to open three more restaurants in India by the end of the year at an investment of ₹5 crore a restaurant.

 chilis india

Chili’s Grill & Bar is an American casual dining restaurant chain that features Tex-Mex-style cuisine. The company was founded by Larry Lavine in Texas in 1975 and is currently owned and operated by Brinker International.

 At the launch of second Chili’s outlet in Chennai, Ashish Saxena, CEO, said the company to open two in Mumbai and one in Bengaluru by December 2017. There are 15 Chili’s restaurants in West and South India.

Chili’s India is operated by Tex Mex Cuisine India Pvt Ltd, which is franchisee of the US-based restaurant chain Chili’s Grill and Bar for the West and South India. TVS Capital Funds is a major investor in the company. Though the restaurant chain witnessed drop in sales post demonetisation and GST, Saxena feels that the expansion helps company reduce operation costs. The company was able to cut down its imports by more than 30 per cent thanks to the growing local supply-chain in the last four years. In addition to their regular menu, the company offers a nutritional menu, allergen menu, and vegetarian menu.

According to Saxena, all this was possible because of growing popularity for American cuisine that involves grilled dishes. Gopal Srinivasan, Chairman, TVS Capital Funds, said in a market research done by the company few years ago Chinese, Italian and Mexican cuisine top the list of the most favoured food in India since they have flavours that are similar to Indian cuisine.

“This offers a lot of potential. I think South and West India alone can account for 150 Chili’s restaurants,” he added. The company registered a revenue of ₹62 crore and expects to close next fiscal with ₹95 crore. So far, ₹75 crore investment has gone into the expansion.


Keventer Agro to expand dairy business in North-East, strengthen presence in Bengal

Mayank Jalan, Chairman and Managing Director
Mayank Jalan, Chairman and Managing Director plans to diversify product basket with value-added offerings

Kolkata-based Keventer Agro Ltd, a group outfit of the ₹1,800-crore Keventer Group, looks to expand its dairy business by entering the north-eastern markets and strengthening its footprint in West Bengal.

Plans are also afoot to diversify its product basket by having value-added offerings like curd and yoghurt.

According to Mayank Jalan, Chairman and Managing Director, Keventer Agro, the company is in ‘active talks’ with multiple people in Guwahati for establishing its presence in Assam.

“North East is going to be a special focus for us. We are currently studying the opportunities there,” he told BusinessLine.

“This apart, we have a huge pipeline of new offering for our consumers,” Jalan added without divulging further details.

Dairy, currently accounts for nearly half of the company’s ₹800-crore turnover. Apart from dairy, food processing —frozen food and beverages — is the other major segment.

The company, which sells its pouch milk and ice cream under the ‘Metro’ brand, operates primarily in the Greater Kolkata region and has a market share of 20-22 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.

The company recently raised ₹170 crore from private equity firm Mandala Capital to fund expansion plans.

“We are in a position to leverage another ₹300 crore and deploy nearly ₹480-500 crore in the next 18 months towards expansion of the dairy business,” he said.

The company currently has one factory at Barasat with a capacity of producing 400,000 litres of liquid milk a day. The aim would be to ramp up production to six-to-seven lakh litres a day over the next two years.

While Bengal will continue to remain at the core of its strategy, Keventer Agro is also exploring possibilities of expansion in Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha.

Co-packing agreements

As a part of its expansion strategy, the company will look at satellite units (third party manufacturing) and enter into co-packing agreement (for dairy products) with local entrepreneurs. The company has six factories in Tamil Nadu, two in Gujarat and one in Kota running under such co-packing arrangements.

Under co-packing agreements, Keventer will look at entrepreneurs who are willing to invest in setting up a factory. However, the raw materials will be supplied by the company and finished products will be brought back.

Dubai conclave to explore potential of India-UAE business ties

In 2015-16, India exported goods worth USD 30 billion to the UAE with heavy machinery, petroleum products, and food and dairy products being the main export commodities. Indian businesses have equally established a strong footprint in the UAE.

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A two-day conclave, aimed at identifying potential areas of investment and collaborations between India and the UAE, is being held in Dubai. The conclave, which begins today, will focus on areas that should be tapped for growth such as defence, energy, security and maritime trade, its organisers said.

Another significant pillar of the India-UAE ties that will be discussed is the geopolitical and economic impact of strong relations of the two countries on the Asian region, said the organisers of the ‘The Economic Times India UAE Strategic Conclave’. Trade and commerce forms the backbone of historically strong bilateral relations, with India being UAE’s top foreign trade partner, the organisers said.

In 2015-16, India exported goods worth USD 30 billion to the UAE with heavy machinery, petroleum products, and food and dairy products being the main export commodities. Indian businesses have equally established a strong footprint in the UAE. As many as 4,365 Indian commercial companies are registered with the UAE Ministry of Economy, as of end-2016 and over 2.8 million Indians reside in the UAE. “At The Economic Times, we have closely evaluated the full spectrum of relationships between India and UAE and we strongly feel that this association will act as a significant contributor to the economic progress of the region. Hence, we have designed this conclave to discuss the potential areas of investment, collaborations and ways to further improve the business environment,” said Deepak Lamba, president of Times Strategic Solutions.

The conclave will aim to identify potential areas of investment and collaborations between India-UAE, thus helping to drive landmark projects in the region, among others, he said. Harsh Mariwala, Chairman, Marico, Gautam Singhania, MD, Raymond, Ravi Khanna, CEO, Aditya Birla Solar and Rana Kapoor, Founder and CEO, Yes Bank and Chairman, Yed Global Institute are among those scheduled to attend.

E-commerce firms switch from online to offline strategy to get ahead in Indian market

This week say Aditya Birla Group shut down e-commerce site Abof and move back to its offline retail business, while Amazon acquired stake in Shoppers Stop in exchange for offline presence.E-commerce firms switch from online to offline strategy to get ahead in Indian market

Future Retail may buy Hypercity from Shoppers Stop – a win-win for both buyer and seller

By acquiring Hypercity, Future Retail aims to leverage its retail capabilities by building economies of scale, reducing overall cost of operations, expanding the number of small/convenience outlets (especially in the metros), and pushing the sales of its margin-accretive private label consumer products.

Future Retail may buy Hypercity from Shoppers Stop – a win-win for both buyer and seller

Moneycontrol Research

After taking over four regional retail brands (Bharat Retail and Big Apple in north India, Heritage Fresh and Nilgiris in south India) to strengthen its store network in the past, Future Group’s agenda to expand its grocery retail footprint pan-India has led to speculation of it eyeing Hypercity, a business that hasn’t done too well under Shoppers Stop. Will it result in a win-win deal?

About Hypercity

Hypercity, a subsidiary of Shoppers Stop (also co-owned by K Raheja Corp), is one of India’s most renowned supermarket retail brands. Its 19 big-box format stores span marquee locations of Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru, Bhopal, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jaipur, Pune, Ahmedabad, Delhi, and Noida.

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About Big Bazaar

Big Bazaar, Future Retail’s flagship brand, is India’s largest organised store-based retail market, with nearly 20-25 percent market share. The brand’s 253 outlets are spread across 127 cities in 26 states of India (as on June 30, 2017).





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How does Future Retail benefit?

By acquiring Hypercity, Future Retail aims to leverage its retail capabilities (by adding about 1.4 million square feet of retail space to its existing 13.8 million square feet area), building economies of scale, reducing overall cost of operations, expanding the number of small/convenience outlets (especially in the metros), and pushing the sales of its margin-accretive private label consumer products.

Moreover, the company is likely to shift its product mix in favour of apparel, especially on the value fashion front, to boost margins. Since there will be no gestation period in connection with the Hypercity stores (the outlets will be fully functional right away and no major capex will be required either), benefits of the takeover will start accruing to the company’s top-line almost immediately. How things pan out at the operating and bottom-line levels solely depends on how optimally the company manages to sweat the new assets under its purview post-acquisition.

Furthermore, the company’s aggressive consolidation strategy is directed at competing with efficient brands like D-Mart (operated by Avenue Supermarts), one of the bigger players in western India.

The move is in line with Future Group’s plans of achieving an aggregate turnover of approximately Rs 1 lakh crore by FY21 end.

Shoppers Stop stands to gain as well

Though the contours of the agreement are far from final, prima facie, it appears to be a good deal for Shoppers Stop, too, as it gets rid of one of its loss-making business segments. This should enable the company to focus more attention on its core retail businesses (clothing, merchandise, accessories, cosmetics) that may fetch better margins in the medium to long-term.

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Evidently, Shoppers Stop should definitely witness an improvement in its financials should it succeed in hiving off Hypercity.

What will the transaction value be?

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The valuation is largely a function of the fundamental parameters. Given the rather subdued operating matrix of Hypercity, it is unlikely that Shoppers Stop would command a premium for this entity. We expect the deal to be valued close to 0.7x FY17 revenue, translating to a valuation of close to Rs 974 crore. However, the exact clauses of the arrangement in terms of payment of consideration by Future Retail to Shoppers Stop (by way of cash disbursements, taking Hypercity’s debt on its books, allotment of shares in Future Retail to Hypercity shareholders, or a combination of the three), will only be known in due course.







Now, chaiwallahs come from IIT & Harvard

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For those who have studied at IIT Delhi, and quite a few who haven’t, Sassi ka Dhaba, opposite the institute is an institution in its own right. In 2010, when Raghav Verma hadn’t still passed out of the hallowed IIT portals, Sassi was the only go-to place for chai with paranthas and the like, fuelling long hours of study. Now, in 2017, five years after he founded Chaayos, one of India’s most successful and rapidly growing tea startups, Sassi is just a fond memory. While it continues to exist, Verma as well as other entrepreneurs are now busy brewing their own kadak cuppas for millions of chai fans around the country.

One of the biggest changes in India’s food scene in the last five years has been what can only be called the cafe-isation of chai. India’s favourite hot beverage — the market is estimated to be more than Rs 1 lakh crore (assuming two cups of chai a day for every adult Indian) — is not just being brewed, boiled and sipped at home or at unorganised chaiwallahs found outside offices, markets, and neighbourhoods but at trendy chai cafes. From ginger and masala chais to customised elaichi-only or hari mirch chais and inventive mithai brews (made with condensed milk at Chaayos, described as the “hot chocolate” of chai), there is a cup for every palate, as well as a price point.

Chai Point, started in 2010 by Harvard alumnus Amuleek Singh Bijral in Bengaluru, was the first of these chai startups to start changing the game. Today, with over a hundred outlets pan-India, it claims to serve more than 3 lakh cups of tea every day. Chaayos has grown from 7 cafes in 2015 to 40 cafes in Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh after it received an impressive $5 million funding from Tiger Global.

Verma, one of the two Chaayos founders, recalls the initial scepticism. “When we started, one question everyone asked us was whether Indian customers will pay that much (Rs 40-150) for chai. But right from our pilot project in Cybercity, Gurugram, we found that people did and happily came back. A key to our business is repeat clientele, which is as much as 40-45%,” he says.

Verma will not share his revenue numbers but says year-on-year growth is 300%. The company is now looking at highways (they’ve opened an outlet in Karnal) and airport formats, besides 24-hour cafes and large 100-150 seaters (they opened one in Delhi’s Karol Bagh).


Crocs India To Quadruple The Number Of Retail Stores By 2020

Crocs claims to have cornered over 10 per cent share of the total market size in the organized non-leather, non-sports casual footwear segment


Encouraged by its continued profitability for the past four years, the Indian arm of US based manufacturers of patented plastic shoes, Crocs, wants to quadruple its presence in the retail market by expanding to over 250 stores from the current 58 stores by the end of 2020.

Crocs India operates via the franchisee route with presence across a mix of standalone and multi-brand outlets in tier-1 and tier-II cities. Going forward, the company plans to expand its presence in large-format departmental stores like Lifestyle, Shopper’s Stop, Pantaloons and multi-brand stores like Metro, Inc.5 and Regal.

Crocs which has positioned itself as a premium casual lifestyle brand, claims to have cornered over 10 per cent share of the total market size in the organized non-leather, non-sports casual footwear segment.

Speaking to BW Businessworld, Deepak Chhabra, Managing Director of Crocs India, said, “Crocs has been consistently growing over the past 5 years. We grew by 73 per cent year on year in 2016. This year we are again eyeing a high double digit growth.” On expanding its presence in the online platform he said, “Online remains an integral part of our business but we expect it to stabilize in the coming years to about 10-12 per cent of our overall business.”

The total footwear market size is pegged at about $5 billion or around Rs 32,000 crore in India, with per capita consumption of 1.2 pairs. Men footwear dominates over the women footwear. Crocs clocked $1billion or over Rs 6,400 crore in annual global sales last year. So far it has been able to sell 350 million pairs globally since its inception in 2002. Crocs is among the top 10 non-athletic footwear brand with distribution in over 100 countries. It sold 55 million pairs last year, the average selling price (ASP) being Rs 2,800.

The brand started its operations in 2007 in the country. Its sales have been growing over the last three years. It sold 900 thousand pairs of shoes in the year 2015, 1.5 million in 2016 and are expecting to sell 2.0 million pairs this year. It is a franchise model and largely with single pan India partner, Metro Shoes- Footwear Retail Company.

Impact of GST:
Talking on the effect of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the sales of shoes in India, Chhabra said that their products attract 18 per cent rate under the tax reform and their sales have remained unaffected by the implication of the tax law. He said, rather it has helped them to expand their business.

Crocs is available through both retail and online channel. Retail has been more profitable for the brand, also strategically more important as online channel is mostly driven by deal seeking customer whereas brick and mortar is where the consumer gets to experience the brand as a whole.

“There is a conscious effort to restrict discounted online sales and grow our retail footprint,” added Chhabra.


Competition Commission admits petitions against NIIT Limited

Picture courtesy: www.niit.com

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has admitted petitions against skills and talent development company NIIT Limited for alleged unfair practices employed against its business partners.

These petitions were filed by a group of NIIT franchisees in Hyderabad, who accused the company of using its dominant position to exploit them by way of collecting higher revenue share and through other unfair trade practices.

Filed under Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act (anti-competitive agreement and abuse of dominant position), the matter was posted for hearing on October 12.

The Delhi-based listed global management and training solutions provider offers training and courses for various job requirements in class room format as well as in digital medium while using its own infrastructure and through a net work of 400-odd franchises across the country.

Major Mankaj Ray, one of the petitioners who runs a NIIT franchise institute in the city, alleged that the company has been directly soliciting business from potential customers in a franchisee’s territory while restricting the franchisees from seeking any business outside the NIIT.

Among other allegations, the petitioner held that the company had unilaterally increased its share of revenue for a particular course to 48 per cent in July 2017 from 42.67 per cent in April to maintain its revenue despite a reduction in course fee.

“There is no parallel in computer education industry where such a high share is levied from a franchisee. The industry norm is 25-30 per cent while NIIT takes approximately 50-55 per cent of the revenue earned by a franchisee,” the petitioner alleged. The petitioner also alleged that a popular placement oriented course, which was started in collaboration with ICICI Bank, was being offered by NIIT at its own centers while denying a similar opportunity to the franchises.

In their complaint petitioners sought interim relief for an uniform pricing and revenue sharing policy across the centres, passage of 20 per cent of total revenue to a franchisee for revenues generated from customers by NIIT’s on-line platforms,Training.com, Imperia and nguru.


Mandala Capital picks up 15% in Keventer Agro for Rs 170 crore

Metro Dairy Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keventer Agro, the holding company of the Keventer Group.
Metro Dairy Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keventer Agro, the holding company of the Keventer Group.

Singapore-based private equity firm Mandala Capital has picked up close to 15% stake in Kolkata-based Keventer Agro for $25 million (around Rs 165170 crore) in an allcash deal.

The deal, which pegged Keventer Agro’s enterprise value at $180 million (around Rs 1,100 crore), is one of the biggest PE investments in the dairy space in eastern India. The entire sum will flow into Keventer Agro Ltd’s pouched milk business sold under the brand name Metro Dairy and will be used to fund the  the dairy arm’s future growth plans, sources close to the deal said.

When contacted, Keventer Agro managing director Mayank Jalan confirmed the development but refused to share details of the deal.

Metro Dairy Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keventer Agro, the holding company of the Keventer Group. The company is the second largest dairy player in Bengal, next only to industry leader the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd, which sells its products under the Amul brand. The company also has presence in processed and fresh fruits and vegetables business. For the financial year ended March 31, 2017, Keventer Agro clocked a turnover of Rs 800 crore, while the dairy business, a revenue of Rs 340 crore.

Information suggests that the company has suggests that the company has chalked out plans to invest Rs 400 crore in its the dairy busi ness over the next two years beginning fiscal 2017-18. The capital expenditure will be funded by a mix of debt amo unting to Rs 250 crore and equity of Rs 180 crore.

The plans include enhancing capacities of existing units, setting up new ones, foraying into new geographies, launching new brands and new variants to communicate better with the new millennials and strengthening its back-end and frontend infrastructure, a top company executive said on conditions of anonymity .

The move will help the company become the number 1 dairy player in eastern India, clocking a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore plus business from the dairy business in the next three to five years.