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Vaccine Man of India: Adar Poonawala

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Adar Poonawala biography

Adar Poonawalla (born 14 January 1981) is the chief executive officer (CEO) and executive director of Serum Institute of India. Founded in 1966 by his father, Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla, it is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced.Adar is an alma mater of the prestigious Cathedral & John Connon School of Mumbai as well as the University of Westminster.He resides at a 50+ acre home in Koregaon Park, Pune

Aadhar Poonawalla joined Serum Institute in 2001 after graduating from the University of Westminster in London. Then exporting its products to 35 countries, Poonawalla concentrated on the company’s international market and getting new products licensed and pre-qualified by the World Health Organization for supply to United Nations Agencies including UNICEF and PAHO. As of 2015, the company exports its products to over 140 countries; 85 percent of its revenues are from overseas.

In 2011, he became the CEO of Serum Institute of India with full control of day-to-day operations of the company. In 2012 he played a major role in the acquisition of Bilthoven Biologicals a Netherlands-based government vaccine manufacturing company. Poonawalla is a board member of the GAVI Alliance, the global Vaccine Alliance.

He initiated and launched in 2014 Serum Institute’s oral polio vaccine, which went on to become a bestseller for the company and every year plans to launch a new vaccines for public health starting from 2017. In 2014, it was reported that he planned to expand the product portfolio to include vaccines for dengue, flu and cervical cancer.

In 2013 he hosted Charles, Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a private visit to Serum Institute’s manufacturing facility in India.

In 2016, he was selected by Economic Times as business leader under the age of 40.

He was also listed by GQ magazine as one of the 50 most influential young Indians and was awarded philanthropist of the year 2016.

On 7 January 2016 he launched www.adarpcleancity.com, a city-wide initiative where he committed and spent 20 million dollars to clean up the city of Pune using hundreds of trucks, Glutton machines and bins across the city under his personal management and dedicated team.

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Why Vodafone-Idea rebrands as ‘Vi’?

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Recently Vodafone-Idea rebrands itself as ‘VI’, which is a very big move in this pandemic.

The new logo represents integrations as the company says.
Does change the logo is so easy for a big company? How much it will cost the company? Does just changing the logo is the solution? Today we are going to find solutions for such questions and will find why Vodafone-Idea changed its logo?

Let’s start with a short introduction of the history of Vodafone-Idea Limited:-
Vodafone’s journey started in 2007 when it entered the country by acquiring 67% controlling stakes from Hutchison. In 2011 Vodafone bought over Essar’s stake and by 2014 had established it’s full control over the company once the government allowed 100% foreign direct investment in the telecom sector, starting with about 28-million subscribers. Vodafone was a big name during that time and everybody believed it would be the number one telecom company in India.

The strategies of the company helped it reached the top within 10-12 years where it started from scratch in the Indian telecommunication market. With brands like Jio and Airtel ruling the telecommunication sector in India, it seemed Idea and Vodafone will just vanish into thin air. But slowly Jio grasped its hand in Indian Telecom Market by giving cheap call rates, distributing sim cards at low rates, and providing 4G internet to each person at a low rate made other companies change their strategies. When Jio became very popular, everyone had Jio on their lips. Jio brought a new revolution in the Indian Telecom market and brought tension for other companies.
Airtel maintained high-speed connections in rural areas and it’s provoking ads made users to buy Airtel sims. As one company grows, it brings losses for another company. The idea gradually started losing its customer in rural areas. So now it was a need to make a move for the idea, so the company thought to join hands with Vodafone and become Vodafone-Idea Limited.

The decision by Aditya Birla Telecommunication Ltd to merge with Vodafone was fruitful. It made both companies stable in one name and helped them to sustain their customers. But just merging was not enough for them, they need some strategy. But here the company lacked and made it to see the worse time in their life, where the company’s existence was in question.

After 2 years of merging, the company thought to rebrands itself as ‘VI’. A big step is taken by the company for its existence, as in these 2 years, the time has changed a lot. This step could be the reason for the company downfall also. Nowadays social media plays a very important role in anyone’s life. If a company wants to be safe and increase its profit, it should know how to advertise a product. Just in 2 days people started making memes on the company’s new logo and gave a displeased review on it, people are getting frustrated by the new advertisement. I feel Vodafone’s old ads having ZooZoo character in them were best, they should have gone with that idea.

Till now Vi has not changed any existing plans, but it can change in the future. As just changing the logo will not work itself that’s what experts say:

Mathias Lloyd, a Business Strategist, and former telecom and technology executive said: “A brand change alone will not be enough for VIL to recover lost ground. The company will need to focus on pricing and improving its services, as a lot of customer loss from both Vodafone and Idea has happened due to network quality deterioration and the more aggressive pricing and offerings from competitors Jio and Airtel.”

Does just changing a logo is so simple? Let’s hear what experts say on that:
“New brands are expensive to launch. Vi is not entirely new but even replacing the past – signage’s, dealer boards, graphics will be a costly affair. Plus, building awareness for the new brand in consumer minds is not easy,” Sandeep Goyal, chief mentor, Indian Institute of Human Brands.
Experts say the cost is high for rebranding because companies have to pay for everything. This includes the cost of consultants and market researchers, who test whether the rebranding move is a good idea. Then comes the actual implementation, which includes signage on buildings, change of company letterheads, websites, and name tags. Even Vodafone has seen many name changes from Max Touch, Orange, BPL, Hutchison Essar to Vodafone.

Some say Vodafone Idea, a new brand name should have come after the two companies merged at a corporate level.
So, it is not as easy as we thought. For a company it’s logo plays an important role, what message a logo conveys to the audience is very crucial. History has many incidences when a logo was the reason behind the company’s downfall.

What are Vodafone-Idea’s marketing plans?

The telecom operator Vodafone-Idea(or say ‘VI’) has become the co-presenting sponsor of the upcoming Dream11 IPL 2020, scheduled to commence from September 19, the company said on Saturday. Vodafone and Idea have had an engagement with the IPL cricket tournament in the past but this is the first-ever sponsorship deal that Vodafone Idea has signed since its inception in August 2018. The company has acquired the co-sponsorship rights of the live broadcast of the T-20 premier league which will be held in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, and telecast on the Star Sports network, Vodafone Idea (VIL) said in a statement.
Dream11 had bagged IPL 2020 sponsorship rights for ₹222 crore after Chinese mobile handset company Vivo pulled out of it due to the ongoing India China issues. Vi did not disclose financial details of the co-sponsorship deal that it has signed with Star Sports.
So this a good step for marketing as Indians are mad when it comes to cricket. Initially, Vivo used this marketing strategy and it was beneficial for Vivo, hope this strategy works well with Vi also. So instead of Vivo, we are going to see just “Vi”.

“We believe that the massive reach of the Star Sports network will help them take Vi’s new brand identity and proposition to millions of viewers across India,” Star Sports CEO Gautam Thakar said.

Why was a need to change the logo and have a fresh start?

It was never smooth sailing for Vodafone ever since the company entered the country. At first, the company was slapped with a massive tax bill, and with the entry of Reliance Jio Infocomm, the company lost all it’s a dream to become the number one telecom company in India. Jio is now India’s largest telecom operator with more than 330 million users. It acquired all of these customers within a short span of three years.

Vodafone-Idea’s share was listed at Rs 23.41 on October 1, 2018, today it’s at Rs 11.10. Many thought Vodafone and Idea after merging will give a tough competition to Jio but it failed. Jio was the first operator in India to make phone calls completely free because they came bundled with the 4G data pack. Vodafone-India couldn’t immediately offer this without taking a hit on operating expenses. It was a real revolutionary move that changed the whole of India, no company was ready to provide free phone calls. With this, move Jio acquired millions of customers.

Airtel has shifted focus and wants to improve its ARPU instead of adding subscribers. According to OpenSIgnal, Airtel leads the charts with an average download speed of 8.7 Mbps, followed by Jio at 6.3 Mbps. Vodafone and Idea (as separate entities) were at 5.9 and 5.4 Mbps, respectively.

Vodafone-India cannot even improve or invest in improving its service offering now because of huge debt and the absence of working capital. Vodafone-Idea’s capital expenditure in the quarter stood at just Rs 2,840 crore, lower than even Rs 3,200 crore.
Vodafone-Idea’s board has approved fund-raising of up to Rs 25 crore, which is critical for this debt-laden company to reduce debt and pay the additional burden of AGR dues as per the Supreme Court verdict.

The company believes a single-brand approach will reduce the cost of maintaining two brands and also improve operational efficiency.

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Indian economy in deteriorating condition?

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With the rising number of cases due to COVID-19 the Indian Economy has been on a rollercoaster ride.

According to a UN report India’s growth rate projected to slow to 1.2% in 2020. Our Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently released a statement saying that our economy is in the right direction. All the international rating agencies like Moodies, Goldman Sachs have reduced India’s growth rate forecast. But our government says that
they have fine tuned everything. Unemployment is on all time high.

As per CMIE’s data, the monthly unemployment rate in April
stood at 23.52%, up from March’s 8.74%.Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has been saying it time and
again that government needs to pay attention to the Indian
economy. But has the India government done enough?

The economic impact of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in India has been largely disruptive. India’s growth in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2020 went down to 3.1% according to the Ministry of Statistics. The Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India said that this drop is mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic
effect on the Indian economy. Notably India had also been witnessing a pre-pandemic slowdown, and according to the World Bank, the current pandemic has “magnified pre-existing risks to India’s economic outlook”Unemployment rose from 6.7% on 15 March to 26% on 19 April and then back down to pre-lockdown levels by mid-June.

During the lockdown, an estimated
14 crore (140 million) people lost employment while salaries were cut for many others.More than 45% of
households across the nation have reported an income drop as compared to the previous year.

The Indian economy was expected to lose over ₹32,000
crore(US$4.5 billion) every day during the first 21-days of
complete lockdown, which was declared following the
coronavirus outbreak. Under complete lockdown, less than a quarter of India’s $2.8 trillion economic movement
was functional. Up to 53% of businesses in the country
were projected to be significantly affected.

Supply chains have been put under stress with the lockdown restrictions
in place; initially, there was a lack of clarity in streamlining what an “essential” is and what is not.
Those in the informal sectors and daily wage groups have been at the most risk.[10]
A large number of farmers around the country who grow perishables also faced uncertainty.

The facts are right in front of us. All we need to see is what do we really develop ? Do we need false sense of hope and false promises or do we need concrete results. Every citizen should be aware of the economy and the growth a country is looking forward to.

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