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Dec 23

RKD NewsNet December 2023

From the desk of Dr. Mohan Dewan | Assisted by: Adv. Arjun Pradhan Adv. Shubham Borkar

RKD NewsNet December 2023

1 Cover Story
Decoding Mistletoe & Holly during Christmas:
2 Spotlight
The Draft Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023: Balancing Oversight and Autonomy in the Digital Era
3 Analysis
Trademarks, Patents, Copyrights, Designs & Intellectual Property Rights
Division Rules
4 Snips & Specs
4 IPR Quiz Stories Behind Brands- Lessons Learnt from Haldiram’s Meteoric Rise Accidental Inventions: Teabag
Hidden Gems of India: Kongthong
Cover Story
Decoding Mistletoe &
Holly during Christmas:
Christmas, a time of joy, merriment, and tradition, is adorned with various symbols and decorations that have deep-rooted cultural significance. Two enduring symbols, mistletoe and holly, find their place amongst twinkling lights and colourful ornaments. But beyond mere decoration, these plants hold layers of history, folklore, and surprising brand connections.
Let's delve into their fascinating significance and explore how mistletoe even sprouted its own unique brand identity.
5 RKDecodes
Decoding Delicious Delicacies The Best Chicken Dish in the World: Butter Chicken
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Cover Story
Mistletoe: Ancient Symbolism and Tradition: Mistletoe, aparasitic plant that grows on trees, has been associated withvarious cultures and traditions throughout history. In Celticmythology, mistletoe was considered a sacred plant with healing properties, believed to bring good luck and ward offevil spirits. Druids, the ancient Celtic priests, held mistletoe inhigh regard and used it in their rituals.

Norse mythology adds a romantic twist to Mistletoe's story. According to Norse legend, the goddess Frigg declaredmistletoe a symbol of love and promised to kiss anyone whostood beneath it. Whatever its origin, the tradition persisted,gaining popularity in Victorian England. Romantic literatureand paintings romanticized the custom, and mistletoe
became a fixture in Christmas decorations. Today, a peck under the mistletoeremains a playful and flirtatious tradition, adding a touch of magic to the festiveseason.

Holly: A Symbol of Everlasting Life: Holly, with its vibrant green leaves and bright redberries, has long been associated with Christmas. In Christian symbolism, holly isoften considered a representation of Jesus Christ. The sharp-edged leaves symbolizethe crown of thorns, and the red berries represent the blood of Christ. Holly is alsoassociated with everlasting life, as its leaves remain green even in the harshest winterconditions.
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Cover Story
Together, mistletoe and holly have become integral parts of Christmas decor, adorning homes, churches, and public spaces, adding a touch of nature to the festive celebrations. Holly and Mistletoe as a Brands: Over time, the symbolic meaning of holly and mistletoe has evolved, and they have also come to represent warmth, hospitality, and the joy of Christmas. Crowned in crimson, holly and mistletoe’s vibrant colours make them a natural choice for festive decorations, wreaths, and centrepieces. The image of mistletoe is widely used in marketing and advertising during the Christmas season, promoting everything from festive decorations to romantic gifts. In 1996, a London-based company named "Mistletoe" was founded, specializing in luxury, handcrafted Christmas decorations. Their beautifully designed ornaments, wreaths, and garlands evoke the magic and symbolism of the plant, offering a sophisticated take on festive décor.

Mistletoe-themed merchandise, such as ornaments, cards, and even clothing items, has become popular, contributing to the commercialization of Christmas. The iconic image of mistletoe, often portrayed with two green leaves and white berries, serves as a recognizable symbol of the holiday season.
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Cover Story
On the other hand, here are some ways brands have leveraged the power of holly: Brands like Holly Jolly, a clothing company specializing in playful holiday wear, embrace this aspect to build a cheerful and inviting identity.

Holly's evergreen nature is a powerful symbol of resilience, hope, and enduring spirit. Brands like Holly & Ivy, a curated collection of unique Christmas decorations, draw inspiration from this meaning to create products that resonate with a message of perseverance and optimism.

High-end brands like Holly & Co., a British jewellery designer, incorporate holly motifs into their pieces to add a touch of elegance, luxury and sophistication.
Organizations like The Holly Group, a network of independent businesses, use the holly symbol to represent collaboration and shared values.
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Cover Story
Mistletoe and holly, with their rich history and symbolism, have become inseparable from the Christmas celebration. While deeply rooted in ancient traditions, mistletoe has also evolved into a brand, symbolizing romance and holiday festivities. As we continue to embrace these symbols during the Christmas season, let us not only appreciate their cultural significance but also recognize their role in creating cherished memories and fostering connections.
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Spotlight
The Draft Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023: Balancing Oversight and Autonomy in the DigitalEra
On November 10, 2023, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) unveiled the Draft Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023, aiming to revamp the regulatory landscape of the broadcasting industry in India. If passed into law, the Bill will replace the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, consolidating regulatory guidelines under one legal framework and extending its reach to cover Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms, digital media, and direct-to-home operators. The Bill however explicitly states that provisions of other acts such as the InformationTechnology Act, 2000, and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997, willnot be barred by the Bill but in addition to the provisions of the Bill. This article delvesinto the key aspects of the proposed Bill and the ensuing debates within theindustry.

EXPANDING REGULATORY SCOPE:

The Bill broadens the definition of broadcasters, now encompassing OTT contentand digital news media under its regulatory ambit that will be required to conformto a complex regulatory framework and have their content certified by a contentevaluation committee. It introduces the term "internet broadcasting networks,"covering Internet Protocol and OTT broadcasting services. This expansion reflects theevolving nature of the media landscape, acknowledging the prominence of digitalplatforms.
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Spotlight
KEY OBSERVATIONS FROM THE BILL:
  • Intimation Requirements: While not mandating registration, OTT platforms must notify the government if they meet specific subscriber / viewer thresholds in India. This allows authorities to track and regulate the growing influence of such platforms.
  • Programme and Advertising Code: The Bill mandates broadcasters to comply with prescribed programme and advertising codes. These codes, yet to be defined, will guide broadcasters, ensuring responsible content and advertising practices.
  • Content Classification: The central government may issue guidelines for broadcasters to classify their programs based on context, theme, tone, impact, and target audience. This classification must be displayed prominently at the beginning of a programme in the form and manner prescribed in the guidelines. Age ratings must be displayed prominently, reflecting the content's suitability for specificage groups.
  • Access Control: Broadcasters must implement access control measures for restricted content. Viewers will be informed of content suitability, denying access to inappropriate audiences, aligning with content classification guidelines.
  • Accessibility Guidelines: The government may issue accessibility guidelines, promoting inclusivity for persons with disabilities. These guidelines may include subtitles, specified sizes, fonts, and colours, ensuring content accessibility.
  • Penalties and Fines: The Bill outlines statutory penalties, ranging from warnings to fines for broadcast network operators. Forgrave offences, fines and/or imprisonment could also be imposed on a person or an entity contravening their respective obligations. Monetary fines that may be imposed under the Bill will consider the financial capacity of entities, emphasizing transparency, equity, and fairness.
  • Inspection Rights: The government (or its agency/authorised officer) retains the right to inspect broadcasting networks and services without prior permission. This provision ensures regulatory oversight and compliance monitoring.
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Spotlight
  • Regulatory Structure: The proposed three-tiered regulatory structure comprises of (a) self-regulation by broadcasters and broadcasting network operators through ‘Content Evaluation Committees’ (“CEC”) wherein all broadcasting network operators will be required to become a member of the CEC and must procure certifications from the CEC, for all programmes it seeks to broadcast. (b) self-regulatory organisations; and (c) the Broadcast Advisory Council. This mirrors the structure introduced under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
INDUSTRY CONCERNS AND DEBATES:
  • Industry stakeholders are questioning the rationale behind subjecting OTT broadcasting services to the same regulations as traditional cable, terrestrial, and radio broadcasting services. Critics argue that OTT platforms, offering on-demand and curated content over the internet, provide users with autonomy over their viewing choices. Unlike traditional TV or radio, viewers can opt not to consume a program, challenging the need for stringent regulations
  • Moreover, it is also contended that, Applying stringent rules and codes to “OTT” broadcasting services may increase financial and compliance burden for such broadcasters and negatively impact user experience and cost of content consumption.
  • The Draft Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023, signals a comprehensive effort to regulate the evolving broadcasting landscape in India. While the intentions behind the Bill seemgeared towards ensuring responsible content creation and fostering inclusivity, the industry debates the necessity of subjecting OTT platforms to the same regulatory framework as traditional broadcasters. The public and industry stakeholders have until December 9, 2023, to submit their comments and shape the future of broadcasting regulations in India.
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Analysis
TRADEMARKS

Dabur India Limited (Plaintiff), being the registered proprietor of DABUR RED TOOTHPASTE and its variants; filed an application under Order XXXIX Rule 1 and 2 CPC against Mi Lifestyle Global Private Limited (Defendant) with respect to their ELEMENTS RED HERBAL toothpaste. Plaintiff’s grievance was that trade dress adopted by Defendant as used on the body of the toothpaste as well as on the pack, infringed Plaintiff’s registered trade mark. Defendants thereafter proposed new labels.

The Delhi High Court, after taking into account provisions of Section 29(2)(b) juxtaposed with Section 17, observed that when one compares the device marks of Plaintiff with the proposed new labels of Defendants and compares as a whole, it cannot be said, prima facie, that the proposed new labels of Defendants infringeany of the registered device marks of Plaintiff.
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The Court stated that while comparing Plaintiff’s device marks with the proposed new marks of Defendants, one has to treat all the individual parts of Plaintiff’s marks as equally dominant, and since Plaintiff did not possessed any registration of its individual parts of its composite marks, it could not claim exclusivity over such individual parts, rather it could claim such exclusivity over the entire labels/device marks.

Accordingly, the Court disposed of the application, after taking into account the submission made by Defendant that it will only use the proposed labels, pending disposal of the suit, and further ordered to take down the images of the earlier impugned trade dress (physical/virtual) within one month from the date of the order.

PATENTS

In a significant legal exploration, the Delhi High Court in the case of Filo Edtech Inc v. Union of India & Anr., C.A. (COMM.IPD-PAT) 30/2023, scrutinized the permissibility of transferring a patent application from the Bombay Patent Office to the Delhi Patent Office without explicit statutory provision. The case delves into jurisdictional challenges, with the appellant asserting territorial jurisdiction under Section 117 A of the Patents Act and the
respondents arguing for the Bombay High Court based on the original filing location. Drawing from the precedent set in Dr. Reddys Laboratories, the Court considers the frozen jurisdiction concept at the time of filing and raises concerns about the lack of statutory provision for delegating the entire examination process to a different geographical Patent Office. The Courtis set to further examine these intricate issues on later date.

COPYRIGHTS

In Tibra Collection vs. Fashnear Technologies Private Limited & Ors., the Hon'ble Delhi High Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Tibra Collection and granted an ex-parte interim injunction against the Defendants, who were found to be misusing the plaintiff's product images, listing images, and product designs to monetarily ride on the reputation of the plaintiff. The Court emphasized that the sellers did not have any right to copy the photographs, images, or product design of the plaintiff in this manner and cause damage to the plaintiff. The Court also imposed several other directions on thedefendants.
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Analysis
DESIGNS

In the case of TTK Prestige Ltd vs ArjunRam & Anr. CS (COMM) 915/2022 (Delhi High Court), TTK Prestige Limited secured an interim victory against certain manufacturers who were accused of design piracy and trademark infringement related to the Svachh line of pressure cookers manufactured by TTK Prestige and sold under the name “Prestige.” The defendants had been marketing their pressure cookers under the name "Paristone."

Brief Facts of the Case:
TTK Prestige Limited is a manufacturer of pressure cookers under the brand name "Prestige." The dispute primarily revolves around allegations of design piracy, trademark infringement, and passing off relating to the "Svachh" line of pressure cookers produced by the plaintiff. The defendants were found selling their pressure cookers under the brand name "Paristone." The plaintiff argued that the defendants' pressure cookers not only imitated the registered design of the plaintiff's Svachh line of pressure cookers but also featured a trade dress that closely resembled the plaintiff's" Prestige" brand. This trade dress included identically printed white
letters in a similar font on an identical pink background, with a black swirl orline below it.

Contentions of the Parties:
The plaintiff contended that the defendants were involved in design piracy by manufacturing and selling pressure cookers that closely resembled the registered design of their Svachh pressure cookers. They argued that the defendants' trade dress, including how the brand name "Paristone" was presented, was almost identical to that of the plaintiff's" Prestige" brand. Plaintiff asserted that this similarity in design and trade dress was likely to cause confusion among consumers, especially those with imperfect recollection, who may mistake the defendants' products for those of the plaintiff.

The defendants, who did not appear in court despite several notices, did not formally present their contentions. They did not file a written statement in response to the plaintiff's suit or to the plaintiff's application filed under Order XXXIX Rules 1 and 2 of the CPC (Code of Civil Procedure).

Observations by the Court:
The Court handed down a temporary injunction order, which restrained the defendants from selling, advertising, or
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Analysis
in any other way dealing in pressure cookers bearing a design that is prima facie identical to and infringing upon the design of Prestige's Svachh range of pressure cookers.

The Court further restrained the defendants from using the trade dress" Paristone" for its mark, which was found to be almost identical to the trade dress used by TTK Prestige. However, the defendants were not restrained from using the mark "PARISTONE" in any other trade dress, which was not similar to the trade dress of TTK Prestige's "PRESTIGE" mark on pressure cookers that do not imitate or infringe the registered design of the plaintiff's Svachh range of pressure cookers.

Furthermore, the Court emphasized that the defendant's decision to imitate TTK Prestige's trade dress was indicative of the goodwill and reputation enjoyed by TTK Prestige in the market. The Court acknowledged the plaintiff's considerable reputation and annual turnover as factors supporting its claims.

The decision of the Court:
The Court found that the trade dress adopted by the defendant manufacturers closely resembled that of TTK Prestige, featuring identically
printed white letters in a similar font on an identical pink background, with a black swirl or line below the name. The Court noted that there were no distinguishing features between the two products that would enable consumers, especially those with imperfect recollection, to differentiate between them.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS DIVISION RULES

In a recent judgment, the Delhi High Court clarified that its Intellectual Property Rights Division Rules, 2022, do not prohibit the filing of additional documents after the respondent submits a reply or counter-statement to a rectification petition. The ruling came in response to applications filed by Respondent 1, E! Entertainment Television, LLC, seeking to introduce a YouTube video clip as evidence in support of its trading style dating back to the early 1990s.

Brief Facts:
The petitioner, filed two rectification petitions under Section 57 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 in the Delhi High Court. The petitions sought the removal of a registered trademark held by there spondent, E Entertainment Television LLC. The petitioner claimed
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that these registrations should be rectified by removing the mentioned marks from the trade mark register. In response, the respondent asserted that it had been using the trademark as part of its trading style since the early 1990s. As evidence, the respondent referred to a YouTube video titled "E Entertainment TV 1993 Year in Review" available at a specified URL link.

During the proceedings, the respondent moved applications under Order XI Rule 1(10) of the Code of Civil Procedure, seeking to introduce additional evidence in the form of a YouTube video clip corresponding to the mentioned URL link. The petitioner opposed these applications, arguing that such requests were not maintainable in rectification petitions under Section 57 of the Trade Marks Act.

The primary contention of the petitioner was that the applications were not permissible under the Intellectual Property Rights Division Rules, 2022 (hereinafter referred to as the “IPD Rules”). The petitioner emphasized that Rule 7(ii) of the IPD Rules requires all relevant documents to be filed along with the respective pleadings. The Respondent argued that the Commercial Courts Act, 2015,
and its amendments, including Order XI Rule 1(10) of the CPC, applied to original petitions.

Observations by the Court:
The Court, held that the amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure under the Commercial Courts Act, 2015, are applicable to rectification petitions filed under Section 57 of the TradeMarks Act. The Court emphasized that its focus should be on substantial justice, and in this case, denying the filing of additional documents would be a travesty of justice.

The judgment clarified that the Intellectual Property Rights Division Rules do not explicitly prohibit the introduction of additional documents and that the Commercial Courts Act provisions should be followed in such matters. The court granted permission to the respondent to file the video clip, provided an advance copy to the petitioner, and reserved the petitioner's right to contest its validity and relevance.

The decision of the Court:
Consequently, the Court held that the applications for additional evidence were maintainable.
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Snips & Specs
A. Design rights can protected for a maximum term of?
     1. 5 years
     2. 15 years
     3. 20 years
     4. 25 years

B. Which mark has the lowest level of protection?
     1. Suggestive
     2. Generic
     3. Arbitrary
     4. Fanciful
C. In M/S Crocs Inc. USA v. Liberty Shoes Ltd., it was held that the Crocs design was:
     1. New
     2. Original
     3. Both
     4. Neither

D. In the Troikaa Pharmaceuticals case, it was held that D-shaped tablets are:
     1. Common alphabet shape
     2. Known to the public
     3. Original in the eyes of the law
     4. Not to be granted protection
(Answers at the end of the Newsletter)
Stories Behind Brands-Lessons Learnt fromHaldiram’s Meteoric Rise
Haldiram's, a household name in India and across 80+ countries, commenced its journey from humble beginnings as a small shop in Bikaner. The brand's unprecedented success owes much to the vision, dedication, and strategic acumen of three pivotal figures: Ganga Bishan Agarwal (Haldiram Ji), Shiv Kishan Agarwal, and Manohar Lal Agarwal, each contributing significantly to the brand's evolution.
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The Foundation

The story begins in the year 1941 with Ganga Bishan Agarwal, opening up a small store in in the town of Bikaner in Rajasthan, India and started selling Besan Bhujia which was a popular snack in Bikaner. He had learnt cooking skills while working with his uncle who affectionately use to call him Haldi/ Haldiya (Haldi means turmeric in English used for skin bleaching in rural India) as he was very fair in colour, and slowly he came to be known by his nickname Haldi. So when he started his venture he named it Haldi Ram adding Ram to his nickname Haldi.
Haldi Ram was a visionary; he understood business strategies like none else in his vicinity. He quickly realised that the Besan Bhujiya that he was selling is a commoditised product and he would never be able to scale up if he restricted himself to a commoditised product and started experimenting to make his bhujia distinct from other (product differentiation) His relentless pursuit led to innovative changes: using moth beans instead of gram flour for making bhujia.
His vision transformed his business by crafting a unique product. His relentlesspursuit led to innovative changes: using moth beans( Turkish gram) instead ofgram flour for bhujia.

Lesson 1. Innovation and Product
Differentiation
  • Lesson Learned: Ganga Bishan Agarwal's approach showcases the importance of innovation in product development. By altering the traditional recipe for bhujia, using moth beans instead of gram flour, Haldiram's created a unique and distinct taste, setting it apart from its competitors.
  • Takeaway: Strive for product differentiation; innovation can be a key driver in capturing consumer attention and establishing a niche in the marketplace.
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Snips & Specs
Thereafter he understood that he could highlight his unique product by pricing it higher than the other in the market. Although it was a radical move which could have backfired, Haldi Ram had confidence and he succeeded in multiplying his profits while selling the same amount of product owing to the higher pricing. However, now arose the question how to market the premium bhujia, in a time where there were no celebrities for endorsements. Here Haldiram played another brilliant move by naming his bhujia as ‘Dungar Sev’, on the name of Maharaja Dungar Singh, a well-respected and popular king of Bikaner. The name dungar sev gave an impression to consumers as if the sev was something that the Maharaj loved or was limited to royalty. It immediately propelled its popularity to unprecedented heights and laid the ground work for the brand's ascent.

Lesson 2. Brand Positioning andPricing Strategy
  • Lesson Learned: Setting a higher price for Dungar Sev made it a premium product, altering consumer perception and positioning it as exclusive. The name association withBikaner's king added an aura ofprestige.
  • Takeaway: Crafting a brand perception through strategic pricing and association can elevate a product from a commodity status to a coveted premium offering.
The Growth

While the elder sons of Haldiram Satyanarayan and Rameshwarlal, shifted to Kolkata and started Haldiram Bhujia wala, in the 0s, the younger son continued to manage the Bikaner business. The brand's second phase of growth, was steered by Shiv Kishan Agarwal, the eldest grandson of Haldiram, who showcased the power of market research and adaptability. He quickly recognized a void in Maharashtra's snack and sweet market, that the market has very few local options available and the customers were unaware of Rajasthani and Bengali delicacies. Hence along with traditional Rajasthani sweets and nankeens, Shiv Kishan also introduced 'Kaju Katli' alongside other Bikaneri and Bengali sweets, leveraging free samples to swiftly capture the locals' taste buds.

When he wanted to enter the restaurant business, he observed the inclination of Nagpur customers towards South Indian snacks, he introduced South Indian offerings in his restaurant menu, once he gained the trust of his consumers regarding taste and quality of the South Indian offerings, he diversified Haldiram's by introducing North Indian items like samosas, kachoris, and chole bhature, further amplifying sales.
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Lesson 3. Market Research and Adaptability
  • Lesson Learned: Shiv Kishan Agarwal's understanding of the local markets in Maharashtra paved the way for Haldiram's expansion. Introducing “Kaju Katli” and other sweets catered specifically to his local preferences, rapidly gaining traction through free samples.
  • Takeaway: Conduct thorough market research to understand local tastes and preferences, and be adaptable in product offerings to cater to diverse consumer needs.
Lesson 4. Building Consumer Trust
  • Lesson Learned: Shiv Kishan's strategy to initially sell popular local products before introducing Haldiram's offerings helped build trust. This approach allowed the brand to earn credibility amongst consumers, facilitating the introduction of other unique products.
  • Takeaway: Establishing trust through familiar offerings lays the foundation for consumer acceptance of new and unfamiliar products or brands.
The Expansion

The Expansion of Haldiram was steered by another grands on Manohar Lal Agarwal, who joined the business in 1973, who was in charge of the Delhi Operations of Haldiram’s expanded Haldiram's footprint strategically.
During his reign, the bhujia and namkeen business was doing well, but it was limited to selected stores. He envisioned that Namkeen and Bhujia must be available in every small shop counter across India. However it could be only be done if the products could be prepacked. He introduced the 3-layer packaging for the products, a novel concept in the 1990s and got the packets distributedall over India.

He was also quick to understand that inorder to reach every small shop counter you need small economical packets of namkeen and bhujia which at time was priced as low as INR 2 and 3. He learned this lesson from the Pan Masala Manufacturers who had used this strategy before. His pivotal strategies solidified Haldiram's position as a pioneer in quality packaging, setting it apart in the market. Moreover, the aggressive expansion across cities and towns, targeting major urban centers and gradually venturing into smaller locales, immensely bolstered the brands visibility, driving the sales growth exponentially. The reafter, Haldiram started exporting its products to many countries.
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Lesson 5. Strategic Expansion and Market Penetration
  • Lesson Learned: Manohar Lal Agarwal's emphasis on packaging revolutionized the brand's presentation, boosting credibility and trust among consumers. Additionally, aggressive expansion across cities and towns, targeting major urban centers and later smaller locales, significantly enhances visibility.
  • Takeaway: A well-thought-out expansion strategy, along with innovative packaging, plays a crucial role in brand recognition and market penetration.
The triumphant journey of “Haldiram’s'” stands as a testament to the transformative power of strategic vision, adaptability, and consumer-centric approaches. It serves as a beacon for aspiring businesses, highlighting the invaluable lessons embedded in each generation's contributions, propelling a small shop in Bikaner to a global phenomenon. These strategies not only cemented Haldiram's position as a premier snacks seller but also facilitated its global expansion, with a valuation surpassing $3 Billion and a presence in over 80 countries.
Lesson 6. Globalization and Brand Building
  • Lesson Learned: Haldiram's global expansion highlights the significance of a strong brand foundation, innovative products, and consumer trust. This global journey demonstrates the importance of leveraging successful local strategies into international markets.
  • Takeaway: Successful local strategies, when executed strategically and innovatively, can serve as a platform for global expansion and brand building.
Haldiram's success story is a tapestry woven with lessons in innovation, market understanding, adaptability, consumer trust, strategic expansion, and globalization. Each phase of its growth serves as a testament to the vital lessons that propelled a small shop in Bikaner to a global snacks empire. These invaluable insights offer guidance to aspiring businesses, emphasizing the importance of strategic vision, consumer-centric approaches, and adaptability in achieving sustained success and growth in the competitive market landscape.
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Accidental Inventions: Teabag
An Invention that wasn’t anyone's cup of tea
Accidental Inventions as the name suggests refer to the discovery orcreation of something new or useful that was not intentionally soughtafter. Accidental inventions have played a significant role in shapingour world, from the discovery of penicillin to the creation of themicrowave oven. In some cases, accidental inventions have even led toentire industries and new fields of research.
These inventions often arise from unexpected or accidental circumstances, such asa laboratory mishap or a chance encounter. While not all accidental inventions maybe successful or have significant impact, they serve as a reminder that innovationcan come from unexpected sources and that sometimes the most ground-breaking discoveries can be the result of chance. In this series of articles we will betelling you about some of the lesser known accidental inventions.
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Tea, a beverage with a rich history spanning centuries and embraced by cultures worldwide, is the ‘most consumed beverage in the world’ after water. The practice of brewing tea dates back to ancient China, where it was initially utilized as a concoction for medicinal purposes during the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC–1046 BC). However, the evolution of tea brewing took an unexpected turn with the accidental discovery of the tea bag in early 20th-century New York. This article explores the fascinating journey of the tea bag, from its accidental inception propagated by the consumers rather than a manufacturer to its purposeful invention, and how it has become an integral part of the global tea-drinking culture.

The Accidental Discovery:

In the early 1900s, large tea companies in New York sold tea in loose quantities, requiring consumers to use their own pots, strainers, and tea caddies. This method was time-consuming, prompting the accidental discovery of the tea bag by Thomas Sullivan, the son of a tea merchant. In 1908, Sullivan sent out free samples of tea in silk pouches, intending for customers to open and boil them.
However, consumers found it more convenient to immerse the silk tea bags directly in water, omitting the need for a separate strainer. Sullivan started receiving feedback from customers complaining about the fineness of the silk and he realized what happened. Sullivan adapted to this consumer behaviour and began producing gauze tea bags with a more porous weave, filled with free samples of the various types of tea he offered to his customers, revolutionizing the tea-drinking experience.

The Purposeful Invention:

While the accidental discovery of the tea bag gained popularity, it was Roberta C. Lawson and Mary Molaren of Milwaukee who came up with the idea of a ‘tea-leaf holder’ in 1901, for brewing a single serving of tea, instead of brewing a large quantity of tea in a tea pot that was strikingly similar to the modern version of a tea bag.
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The patent application stated, “…the leaves shall be held togetheragainst separating and being dispersed through the infusion to bedrunk up, which would spoil the pleasure of the drink, and yet theleaves must be so held together as to be exposed fully to the waterpoured thereon in the cup, so that their qualities shall be freely givenoff and taken up by the water to produce the desired infusion.”
On March 24, 1903, their patent was approved, laying the ground work for the modern tea bag. Despite this, historical records indicate that Lawson and Molaren struggled to bring their invention to market on a large scale.

Commercial Production and Global Expansion:

Tea bags gained prominence in the United States in the 1920s, and by the 1930s, the heat-sealed paper fiber tea bag, closely resembling today's version, was patented. Manufacturers refined the design, producing smaller bags that allowed tea leaves to be evenly exposed to water, ensuring a consistent and flavourful infusion. However, production of tea bags surged globally as manufacturers attached piece of string with a paper label at the top that assisted consumers in dunking of the tea bag, up and down in the cup of hot water. This convenience and ease of use contributed to their widespread adoption.
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Contemporary Significance:

Today, tea bags have become an indispensable part of the tea-drinking experience, allowing consumers to prepare their favourite brews in as little as two minutes. The convenience of tea bags is evident in their ease of use, making them ideal for individuals in hurry or those without a dedicated tea infuser. The accidental discovery by Thomas Sullivan and the purposeful invention by Lawson and Molaren have collectively shaped the evolution of tea bags. Similarly, attaching them to a piece of string turned them into a global phenomenon, evidencing that sometimes even good inventions may require additional modifications in order to perfect them and make them practical for use.
Hidden Gems of India: Kongthong: Exploring the melodies of wonder
Welcome to a journey of discovery and wonder as we embark on a series of blogs that unveil the enigmatic and uncharted realms of India. In a country as vast and diverse as India, the troves of hidden gems and lesser-known marvels remain scattered like secrets waiting to be unravelled. Beyond the renowned landmarks and bustling metropolises, lie the hidden places that encapsulate India's rich tapestry of culture, history, and natural beauty. Our series of blogs is your passport to a world where ancient temples, forgotten caves, serene lakes, and mystical forests come to life. Join us as we delve deep into the heart of this incredible nation, shedding light on the obscure, the mystical, and therarely explored corners of India.
Each blog will be a portal to these hidden treasures, offering insights, anecdotes, and practical tips for those intrepid travellers and culture enthusiasts who seek the extraordinary and the untraded paths that India has to offer. Prepare to be captivated, inspired, and enthralled as we unveil India's hidden wonders, one blog at a time.
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In the heart of Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills district lies a gem nestled in theen chanting landscape of India's Northeast, “Kongthong”. This whistling village, also known as Khat-ar shnong or the Singing community, recently clinched the Best Tourism Village (Bronze) Award at the National Tourism Awards 2023.

The Allure

Surrounded by panoramic hills, Kongthong offers visitors a visual feast. Living root bridges, some of the wettest places on Earth, and geological formations like the Jingkieng Myor stone bridge and Wah Sohra River grace this region and to its spectacle. Tourists revel in the warm hospitality of local homestays, experiencing the authenticity of Meghalayan life. Another, attraction of the place is the, “Traveller’s nest” which are traditional eco huts run by the locals. These cumulatively add to the authentic Kongthong experience.

The village's allure, however, extends beyond Kongthong itself, with nearby attractions like Nohkalikai Falls, Mawsmai Cave, Mawkdok Dympep Valley, and Laitlum Canyons captivating travellers from around the globe.
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The culinary offerings in Kongthong are as diverse as its landscape with the inclusion of Traditional Khasi and Garo dishes. From the crispy and sweet Pukhlein to the rich and flavorful Dohneiiong, the village's cuisine is a blend of tradition and innovation. Other delicacies include, Tungrymbai, Pumaloi, and Nakham Bitchi, which offer a journey through Meghalaya's gastronomic heritage.

A Melodious Exchange

Kongthong is not just a picturesque tourist destination; it is a place that hosts a population entrusted with the preservation of a unique whistling tradition called "Jingrwai Iawbei". Each villager in this place carries a distinctive name in the form of a whistle. This tune is made by the mother of the child, within a week of the child’s birth. This The community communicates through whistles, in a melodious language that has been passed down through generations.

This whistling language is more than an auditory delight; it's a matriarchal tradition where mothers compose a specific musical tune for their newborn. As these tunes become ingrained in the children's ears, they evolve into unique names, forming the villagers' permanent identities. Every interaction becomes a musical exchange resulting in a symphony of calls echoing through the hills.

Kongthong's cultural significance extends globally. The recent National Tourism Award acknowledges the village's commitment to sustainable tourism, aligning with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. In Kongthong, every whistle tells a story, every landscape holds a secret, and every tradition echoes through time. As the village continues to draw global attention, it stands as a harmonious blend of nature's wonders and cultural treasures, inviting visitors to be part of its unique melody.
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Decoding Delicious Delicacies The Best Chicken Dish in theWorld: Butter Chicken
When it comes to food, the name of a dish holds meaning beyond just identification. The name of a dish can give insight into the history behind it, the ingredients used, or even the cultural significance it holds. In this series of blogs, we will explore the history behind famous Indian dishes.

Butter chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani, has recently claimed the top spot in the "Top 100 Chicken Dishes in the World" list by TasteAtlas, (an online guide for traditional food) solidifying its place as a global culinary sensation. This rich and flavourful dish, which is probably, the best known of all Indian dishes, is made from chicken bathed in a spiced tomato and butter (makhan) sauce. In this article we will delve into the origins of this culinary gem in Delhi, India, and its fascinating history dating back to the 1950s.
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Birth of Butter Chicken: Moti Mahal's Accidental Creation

The story of butter chicken's creation is steeped in the history of post- Partition India. Kundan Lal Jaggi and Kundan Lal Gujral, who hailed from Peshawar, played key roles in its development. Leftover tandoori chicken was mixed with rich tomato gravy infused with makhan, earning it the name "murgh makhani." In 1975, the English phrase "butter chicken "first appeared in print, highlighting its emergence as a specialty at the Gaylord Indian restaurant in Manhattan.

Controversy: Who Invented Butter Chicken?

Two families claim the legacy of inventing butter chicken, adding an intriguing layer to its history. The first story dates back before the partition of India and Pakistan, when Kundan Lal Gujral made tandoori chicken in a dhaba in Peshawar in the 1920s. After independence, he arrived in Delhi and opened a restaurant, the Moti Mahal restaurant in the Daryaganj neighbourhood of Old Delhi. Back in those days, the unsold left overs couldn’t be stored in a fridge. Gujral didn’t want them to be wasted, so he experimented with dried chunks of chicken, added tomatoes, butter, and some masalas to the gravy and thus, gave birth to the famous butter chicken.
On the other hand, another version attributes the invention of Butter Chicken to Kundan Lal Jaggi, the man in the kitchen stirring the pot at Moti Mahal while Gujral was said to be the host at the restaurant. Regardless of the conflicting claims, Moti Mahal became a landmark in Delhi, attracting patrons like Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and former U.S. President Richard Nixon.

Preparation of Butter Chicken: A Symphony of Flavours

The preparation of butter chicken involves a meticulous process that begins with marinating the chicken in a mixture of lemon juice, dahi (yogurt), Kashmiri red chili, salt, garam masala, ginger and garlic paste for several hours. The marinated chicken is then cooked in a tandoor that is a traditional clay oven, although there are also alternatives for cooking the chicken in a grill, oven, or a pan. Usually, boneless chicken is used to prepare butter chicken. The dish is served in a mild curry sauce featuring tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and, of course, butter.

The sauce is simmered until smooth and thick, with water evaporating and there are many variations on the composition and spicing of the sauce, which is sieved so as to achieve a velvety consistency. Spices such as cardamom, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, coriander,
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pepper, garam masala, and fenugreek are incorporated into the sauce. Cashew paste, malai (fresh milk cream) or yoghurt may be also used as a thickener, and the final touch involves garnishing with fresh coriander.

Trivia : Butter Chicken's Global Impact

Beyond its Indian roots, butter chicken has become a global phenomenon. October 20th is celebrated as World Butter Chicken Day. Its popularity extends to unique adaptations like butter chicken rotis in Canada, butter chicken tacos in New York, and even a butter chicken pie introduced by McDonald's in NewZealand. Reportedly, during the lockdown, New Zealanders ordered over 1,300 butter chickens in just 89 days. Butter chicken is also used as a topping on Pizzasas well as a filling in shawarma. Super markets worldwide offer ready-to-eat butter chicken meal boxes and butter chicken masala for those eager to try making this iconic dish at home.

Butter chicken's journey from the kitchens in Delhi to becoming a global fame is a testament to its irresistible flavours and cultural significance. This dish continues to transcend borders, bringing people together to savour its rich andaromatic allure. Whether enjoyed in the bustling streets or the international kitchens of New York, butter chicken remains a culinary masterpiece that has stood the test of time.
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NewsNet is a monthly compilation of articles and updates by R K Dewan & Co. This publication is intended to be circulated for informational purposes only. The publication in no way constitutes legal advice/opinion being provided by R K Dewan & Co. to its readers or the public at large. R K Dewan & Co. encourages readers to seek professional legal advice before acting upon the contents provided herein. The firm shall not be responsible for any liability or loss that may be attributed to the contents of this publication. This publication is the property of R K Dewan & Co., and the same may not be circulated, distributed, reproduced, or otherwise used by anyone without the prior express permission of its creators.
Quiz Answers: A-2; B-2; C-4; D-3
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