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TV18 Group and SAIF equity fund to launch India's first home shopping network

19-May-2006
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TV18 Group and SAIF equity fund to launch India's first home shopping network

Television Eighteen India Ltd has announced that it would launch the country's first fully integrated Home Shopping Network (HSN) for the Indian market. The group has secured initial funding from SAIF Partners, an Asian private equity fund.

Both TV18 and SAIF are committed to this initiative through its various lifecycle stages – and intend to make this initiative the No. 1 home shopping channel and online venture in India.

Said Ravi Adusumalli, SAIF partner, “Through our investment in the largest Home Shopping Network in China, we have extensive experience in this sector and are excited to partner TV18 on a common goal. Given TV18's capacity to reach out to millions of people, we have a tremendous competitive advantage over a pure start-up. Although we typically do not invest in early stage companies, TV18 provides the company with the ability to quickly become a dominant force in the shopping space.”

On his part, Haresh Chawla, CEO, TV18, commented, “TV18 believes that the time is ripe for a shopping enabler that integrates our media offering with a fulfilment capability. With an existing franchise of over 70 million adults that TV18’s media properties reach out to, and the potential universe of affluent middle class Indians, it is only a matter of time before TV18 attains a dominant position in this space."

“For the first time, by simply picking up the phone, clicking online, calling on their mobile, or simply 'SMS'ing their requests, people will be able to access and buy products and services that exactly meet their requirements. Our ability to build value and give value back to our viewers is what will differentiate us from the rest,” Chawla added.

The organised shopping market is witnessing a tremendous boom and is expected to become a $30-35 billion opportunity by 2010. With a changing socio-economic environment, higher disposable incomes, willingness to spend and availability of cheap credit, the share of organised shopping is set to increase in the consumer's wallet. Studies estimate that the spending population is expected to increase from 280 million in 2002 to 686 million in 2010. Nearly 75 million sq. ft of mall space is estimated to become available in India by 2007.

However, a critical factor to note is that the 'spender' or 'spending population' is not easily accessible at a single point. Poor infrastructure, absence of quality locations and complex taxation issues confront sellers. Additional complications arise on account of the mind-boggling availability of choice. With hundreds of brands hitting the shelves every day, making the right choice takes up a significant amount of time of the spender in the transaction process, thus delaying buying decisions.

Thus, there is a need for a countrywide "virtual platform" that can bring forth products and services which have been evaluated by a team of experts – all of which will enable faster decision-making and enable transactions.

The TV18 HSN will leverage the TV18 Network of five channels – viz, CNBC-TV18, CNN-IBN, Awaaz, Channel 7 and SAW. It will also leverage six Internet properties – viz., moneycontrol.com, ibnlive.com, poweryourtrade.com, commoditiescontrol.com, yatra.in and Jobstreet India.

BMR & Associates acted as transaction advisors for TV18 on this deal, while Edelweiss Capital acted on behalf of SAIF Partners.

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