Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Now Shopping TV for TV18

New Delhi: One of India's most successful broadcasters - TV18, the television news network is to enter the TV Mail order business to tap into the country's rapidly expanding middle class market of 30 million consumers. This segment of the market is expected to be worth US$30-35 billion by 2010.

TV18 is going into partnership (it calls it 'collaboration') with SB Asia Investment Fund (SAIF).

The venture will set up The Shopping Network (HSN) to leverage the TV18 network of five TV channels currently - CNBC-TV18, CNN-IBN, Awaaz, Channel 7 and SAW, plus its six web sites -- moneycontrol.com, ibnlive.com, poweryourtrade.com, commoditiescontrol.com, yatra.in and Jobstreet India.

While it is common place for consumers in developed markets to to simply pick up the phone, clicking online, calling on their mobile, or simply sending sms for their requests, it will be the first time in India that people will be able to access and buy products and services that exactly meet their requirements through TV18.

The changing socio-economic environment, higher disposable incomes, willingness to spend and availability of cheap credit, the share of organized shopping is all set to increase in the consumer’s wallet, according to TV18's CEO, Haresh Chawla. "TV18 believes that the time is ripe for a shopping enabler that integrates our media offering with a fulfillment capability," Chawla said.

SAIF spokesman, Ravi Adusumalli said that although his firm typically did not invest in early stage companies, TV18 provides the company with the ability to quickly become a dominant force in the shopping space.

SB Asia Investment Fund is a US$643 million fund that is managed by Hong Kong-based SAIF Partners.

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