‘Grand Dame of Chowringhee’ to sport a new look

The 138-year-old Oberoi Grand Kolkata, the oldest property from the stable of EIH, is well set for a facelift with 50 brand new rooms and suites. But Prithviraj Singh (Biki) Oberoi, the 89-year-old scion of Oberoi family, has one regret.

“I had spent a substantial portion of my life in Kolkata. I feel sad when I come back. The pavements along the entire Chowringhee area, where the hotel is located, and also the hotel’s arcade are occupied by hawkers. I’ve written to the city mayor and that has been of no avail,” rued Oberoi sitting within the hotel premises.

Srei sees strong growth in equipment finance

Even as the power sector remains a slowcoach, Kolkata-headquartered Srei Group, one of the largest holistic infrastructure companies, is optimistic of accelerated growth in the infrastructure space. The group is particularly betting on equipment finance business. Srei Equipment Finance (SEFL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Srei Infrastructure Finance, is an industry leader in this space, financing every third construction and mining equipment in the country.

ITC joins fight for Horlicks

The battle over acquiring two of the leading MFD brands – Complan and Horlicks seems to be hotting up with the Kolkata-headquartered FMCG major ITC leading formally joining the race. ITC Ltd would be interested in acquiring GlaxoSmithKline’s malted food drink (MFD) brand – Horlicks, albeit with a rider – ‘if it comes for a right price’, said ITC’s CEO Sanjiv Puri. For ITC, which recently launched its packaged milk processing facility, malt-based brands could be a natural addition to its expanding food portfolio.

Spicing it up

Call it adding spices to your everyday palate or something else. JK Masale, owned by the Kolkata-headquartered JK Spices & Food Products, is gearing up to emerge as a leading premium spices and food products brand pan India. At the same time, the company is also looking at expanding into newer geographies across the world – not only with its own brand, but also getting into the manufacturing of private label brands. JK Masale is also looking at putting up new manufacturing facility to eat a larger slice of the Rs 40,000 crore spices pie in the country.

Kesoram denies charges of insider trading

B K Birla group flagship company Kesoram Industries on Wednesday gave a point-by-point rebuttal to charges of insider trading and short-changing minority shareholders.

The allegation and subsequent reports in a section of media conveniently "cherry picks" and distorts isolated facts to come up with the charge that the promoters of the company had made a profit at the expense of its public shareholders, when in reality the promoter group has continuously infused funds into the company and otherwise sought to provide all necessary support, Kesoram Industries said.

Vivel unveils new campaign

Its brand philosophy has always been Ab Samjhauta Nahin. And it has always chosen the path of empowering and educating women to challenge stereotypes and help enable self-action, with the firm belief that no one should have to compromise on their dignity or be discriminated against. And now to take this brand philosophy forward, Vivel, the leading personal care brand from the ITC’s stable, is coming up with a unique campaign through educational videos and interactive workshops, teaming up with senior Supreme Court lawyer Karuna Nundy.

Mamata takes fight to BJP with federal front plans

The emphatic win against the no-confidence motion in Parliament would have come as a shot in the arm for Narendra Modi-led NDA government, but it seems to have failed to dampen the spirits of Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her proposed federal front. Mamata has clearly set her eyes on Delhi, come 2019 general election.

Shareholder alleges insider trading by Kesoram

Kesoram Industries has been caught in a massive controversy at a time when it is scouting for a partner to give a new lease of life to its loss-making tyre business. The flagship company of BK Birla group is facing allegations that it has indulged in insider trading and short-changing minority shareholders.

The controversy centres around Kesoram’s alleged share sale to Camden Industries in a bulk deal and investment in Cygnet Industries and subsequently Cygnet selling shares of Century Textiles to Pilani Investments.

Taking Ekante to a new level

Initially the invite for expression of interest to run the Eco Island at Rajarhat in the eastern fringes of the city found no takers among some of the best-known star hotel properties. And three years down the road, the state government, through West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (WBHIDCO) has not only built a successful brand around this but is now well set to take this brand to the next level.

Tata Global Beverages brings in new products

Tata Global Beverages Ltd (TGBL) will now focus on extension and scaling up its product lines – bringing in new products, said N Chandrasekaran, chairman, TGBL. “The focus of the company going forward will be to try and scale specific platforms and operations and also capture the growth in the Indian market. Even though in volume term, we continue to be number one in the Indian market, we can't say the same in value terms.