EUR/USD: Focus on Italian bonds and Draghi speech

  • The EUR fell below the 20-day SMA on Friday, signaling the recovery rally has likely ended.
  • The pair may pick up a bid today if Italian government bond yields continue to rise despite lingering budget tensions.
  • The investors will pay attention to what Draghi says about the Eurozone economy, interest rates and Italy.

The EUR/USD closed well below the 20-day simple moving average (SMA) on Friday, signaling the recovery rally from the recent low of 1.1415 has likely found a temporary top at 1.1472.

Further, the spot hit a ten-day low of 1.1326 in Asia, validating the Friday’s bearish close below the 20-day SMA.

Friday’s losses, however, could be erased if the spread between the Italian 10-year government bond yield and its US counterpart continues to narrow.

It is worth noting that the European Commission (EC) initiated excess deficit procedures against Italy last week after the nation refused to substantially alter its budget proposals. The bond yield spread, still, eased to 307 basis points on Friday – down 20 basis points from last high of 327 bps reached last Tuesday.

The common currency may also pick up a bid if ECB’s Draghi while speaking in the European Parliament, downplays the recent slowdown in the German economy and risks arising out of the Italian budget crisis. The gains, however, could be moderate as the central bank President is also expected to reiterate that rates would remain low for some time after the asset purchases are complete.

 EUR/USD Technical Levels


Today Last Price: 1.1338
Today Daily change: 8.0 pips
Today Daily change %: 0.0706%
Today Daily Open: 1.133
Previous Daily SMA20: 1.1366
Previous Daily SMA50: 1.1488
Previous Daily SMA100: 1.1548
Previous Daily SMA200: 1.1791
Previous Daily High: 1.1422
Previous Daily Low: 1.1328
Previous Weekly High: 1.1473
Previous Weekly Low: 1.1328
Previous Monthly High: 1.1625
Previous Monthly Low: 1.1302
Previous Daily Fibonacci 38.2%: 1.1364
Previous Daily Fibonacci 61.8%: 1.1386
Previous Daily Pivot Point S1: 1.1298
Previous Daily Pivot Point S2: 1.1266
Previous Daily Pivot Point S3: 1.1204
Previous Daily Pivot Point R1: 1.1392
Previous Daily Pivot Point R2: 1.1454
Previous Daily Pivot Point R3: 1.1487


RBI Board Member Says Banks Could Be Recapitalised With Government Bonds

RBI Board Member Says Banks Could Be Recapitalised With Government Bonds

Banks could be recapitalised with government bonds, said an independent director on the central bank’s board on Thursday, at a time when the Reserve Bank of India and the government are at loggerheads on regulatory issues. S Gurumurthy has been a vocal member on the RBI board asking for easier lending and capital restrictions for the country’s banks and more cash for small businesses, a view that is supported by top finance ministry officials and has deepened an ongoing rift between the government and the central bank.

One way for the government to increase capital adequacy in state-run banks under Basel 3 regulations is to increase equity capital on one hand and sell sovereign bonds to the lenders on the other hand.

The move won’t need actual cash infusion but only an accounting entry in banks, a process which has been used before as well by the government to increase capital adequacy ratios in banks.

For weeks, government officials in Delhi have been pressuring the Mumbai-based RBI to accede to a range of demands, prompting RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya to warn late last month that undermining a central bank’s independence could be “catastrophic,” bringing the feud into the open.

However, the government and the RBI are now getting close to ironing out some of their policy differences ahead of a board meeting on Monday.

Mr Gurumurthy called for heavy import curbs on items to contain the country’s current account deficit. He while speaking at an event in New Delhi


Banks, autos, FMCG & pharma see big investment moves by FIIs, DIIs

Private and public sector banks, metals, automobiles and pharmaceuticals, among other sectors, saw additional flows from domestic and foreign institutional investors during the September quarter, data compiled by Edelweiss Securities has revealed.

The larger part of action revolved around banks, two-wheelers, FMCG, pharmaceuticals, gas distribution and midcap IT names.

DIIs rose their holdings in private banks, PSU banks, metals & auto, while FIIs increased exposure to the pharmaceutical space. They tread with caution in private banks, two-wheelers and FMCG names as well.

FIIs also added gas distribution players, while DIIs reduced holdings in them.


Entering A New Industry? 8 Ways To Break In Successfully

It’s never easy to get your foot in the door of a new industry. Whether you’re looking to start a business venture or simply collaborate with a brand in that market, the process of breaking in is a tricky one that must be handled with care: You can’t expect to be welcomed with open arms without proving yourself to industry veterans.

We asked eight members of Young Entrepreneurs Council about what it takes to successfully enter an unfamiliar industry. From making the right connections to offering a prototype or free services, here’s what they had to say.

All images courtesy of YEC members.

Entrepreneurs share tips for entering a new industry.

1. Talk To Industry Veterans, Potential Customers And Advisors

When it comes to getting a firm grasp on a new industry, one of the best ways is to leverage the experience of the veteran entrepreneurs in your industry. If you meet with them and ask many questions, you can learn quickly what it took them years to learn. If you combine this with reading books, the effect compounds. The next step is to meet with customers in the industry to understand their pain points to determine how you can innovate and differentiate yourself in this new space. Write down notes and reflect on the stories you hear to put the pieces of the puzzle together. The last step is to find a problem to solve and make an assumption you can measurably test to validate your business idea and meet advisors who can guide you before you go fully commit yourself. – Dan San, Meural

2. Partner With An Industry Leader

In my career, I have had many opportunities to enter into a new industry I really knew nothing about. Then I developed a mentality I like to call, “don’t buy it, sell it.” Why purchase a product or service you know you can sell, with just a little more knowledge and understanding? If you partner up with the right person or company, not only do you gain access to an unlimited supply of whatever that product or service is, but you also gain access to knowledge that you cannot read in FAQ or terms and conditions. Sometimes, the best way to break into anything when it comes to “the unknown,” is to admit your own ignorance to yourself, bite the bullet, and ask for help or advice. And, anyone will let you sell their products or services in exchange for more information. – Jason Criddle, Jason Criddle and Associates

3. Offer Free Or Discounted Services At First

One awesome tactic to break into new territory is to offer to do the project for free, or at a reduced rate, in exchange for feedback. This allows you to work with a client who will help you understand the industry. You will be upfront that this is your first project for this industry, but you are applying the same knowledge from other industries so it should work out fine. The client is getting great work, but at a discounted rate. You are getting inside knowledge on how to build a better service or platform. If there are any mistakes, both you and the client know this is a first time and so expectations are not as high. It takes a good client to make this work, but can be a success for both parties. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design

4. Network With Anyone You Can

The best strategy for breaking into a new industry is to meet people in that industry. Research industry organizations and get involved. Become a member, join a committee, go to the events. Meet your new peers, learn about their work, care about their work and then show them your struggle. People want to help. Obviously, you don’t want to reach out to a potential competitor. However, you can reach out to just about anyone else. The best referrals that I have ever received came from someone random. Not the “big fish” everyone is always trying to meet at networking events. Especially if you are among other business owners, we’ve all been there, ask for help. – Allyson Case, Integro Rehab LLC

5. Be Continually Curious

Who said curiosity killed the cat? Following your curiosity is the key to learning a new industry. We hold the library of Alexandria at our fingertips with the internet today. It has never been easier to become more intelligent than 99 percent of the population on a given subject. I start by going down the Google rabbit hole. I open 10-15 tabs, watch the top rated YouTube videos, add the expert’s names to an Evernote file and circle the subject like a shark. If the idea is to understand autonomous cars, Google the biggest companies, top YouTube videos, “why autonomous cars will change world,” and on you go. Once you start watching experts and realize you know what they are about to say, you’re an expert. – Codie Sanchez,

6. Create Prototypes To Showcase Your Industry Knowledge

I always believe in creating some prototype software to showcase my knowledge and understanding of an Industry. When I wanted to reach out to a transportation industry, I first talked to a few people and figure out the issues they are having. Then based upon the issues, I created a prototype and showcased to C-level executives. It takes around one month to build a prototype, efforts pay off as I can use it to earn business. Don’t be afraid of barging into new verticals, all that is needed is energy to learn and solve problems. There is always a beginning. – Piyush Jain, SIMpalm

7. Make A List Of Questions You Have, Then Find The Answers

When I want to dive into a new venture, I start going to the bookstore to learn everything and anything on the subject. Then I create a list of what I want to search online and the questions I have pertaining to the venture. Before you know it, I am looking into forums and connecting with people who have already succeeded in the particular venture. I want to be able to learn from them and areas of improvement as well. For example, I was looking to create a new travel app that made it easy for young women to coordinate their travels. I connected with travel agencies, started reading books about travel journeys to get inside the head of a traveler, and reaching out to a network of well-traveled young women. The community of women was how I was able to build traction for the app. – Sweta Patel, Silicon Valley Startup Marketing

8. Connect With Trusted Influencers And Get Their Endorsement

One of the best ways to make your brand or business well-known or respected in any space is to connect with a brand, website, or influencer who is already trusted and has a massive following. This is something we are commonly seeing in the world of social media, and specifically on Instagram, where visual content is king. No matter what it is you have to offer or sell, simple brand association can go a long way when trying to connect with a new audience. The important thing here to remember is that you don’t want to go in too strong and come off as just a paid placement or advertisement. Instead, it should be able to the value provided and blending in with the user experience that is expected from the people or brands they are already following. – Zac Johnson, Blogger


UK gambling regulator calls on industry to stamp out sexism

The UK’s gambling regulator will on Monday call on the industry to stamp out sexism, warning that women attending an annual conference taking place this week are “expected to wear nothing more than swimsuits”.

Gambling Commission chief executive Sarah Harrison will warn that the regulator could boycott the ICE Totally Gaming event, the world’s largest gambling industryconference, unless attitudes change. Past guests at the conference have said companies hosting stands frequently use “scantily clad” women to attract people to their product displays.

Harrison’s warning comes amid fierce debate about the treatment of women employed to provide hospitality at events, following revelations about the men-only Presidents Club dinner, where female staff were allegedly groped and sexually harassed.

Formula 1 last week took the decision to stop using “grid girls” – models who display sponsor and driver names at Grand Prix – while darts events have scrapped so-called “walk-on girls” to escort players to the oche.

Harrison will say that last year’s ICE event inspired her to urge senior figures from the world of gambling to follow suit by addressing a “significant stain on the industry’s reputation”. “This is an industry where we have a number of talented, powerful and successful women,” she will tell the International Casino Conference, an event held on the eve of the ICE event.

“Yet from walking around the exhibition you wouldn’t know this. Instead you saw men representing their companies wearing expensive tailored suits whilst their female colleagues were expected to wear nothing more than swimsuits. I say bring this to an end now.”

“And to go further, any future participation by the Gambling Commission in events like this will depend on there being change,” Harrison will add.

Previous guests at the ICE conference, held at the ExCel conference centre in London’s Docklands, told the Guardian that event was renowned for the use of underdressed women, including Playboy models, to advertise gambling products.

“A lot of the promotional activity involves attractive young ladies, often not wearing that much,” said one previous delegate. “It’s not all skin, but there’s quite a lot on show typically. Girls in body paint and not much else. One company had a Playboy-themed slot machine on display and they brought along Playboy centrefolds.

“You had paunchy slot machine buyers going up to get their pictures taken with them. It was a bit pathetic, but I’ve never seen any predatory behaviour like the Presidents Club.”

As the industry prepared for the event, the European Casino Association (ECA) and Clarion Gaming, which organises the ICE conference, urged companies planning to exhibit to be aware of potential allegations of sexism.

“In the spirit of the 21st century, when both women and men play strategic and decision-making roles in businesses, we encourage all exhibitors to mindfully represent support staff promoting their products at the show in a non-offensive and non-stereotyping way,” they said in an open letter.

“For both organisations, it is clear that presenting a modern and diverse gaming industry should be at the heart of the show. For this to be successful and ensure that all participants feel equally welcome, the respectful representation of genders is crucial,” the letter added.

ECA chairman Per Jaldung said: “It is imperative that our industry presents its positive image … Our industry is modern and inclusive, and we call on exhibitors to showcase the great products and services they offer in a respectful manner that does not rely on outdated stereotypes.”

Ewa Bakun, head of content strategy at Clarion Gaming, said: “We have been exerting a soft pressure on our exhibitors and educating the ICE audience on the ways the industry can evolve to create a more inclusive culture and improve gender diversity across all organisational levels.”

In Harrison’s speech on Monday, she will point to the fact that the UK’s highest paid chief executive is Denise Coates of gambling company Bet365, who paid herself £217m last year. And she will say that a push for greater diversity is “not about political correctness” but will help businesses respond better to customers’ needs.


RBI’s New Norms On Bad Loans A Wake Up Call For Defaulters, Says Government

Image result for RBI's New Norms On Bad Loans A Wake Up Call For Defaulters, Says Government

Banks will face penalties in case of failure to comply with the guidelines, RBI said.

New Delhi: In a bid to hasten the resolution of bad loans, RBI has tightened rules to make banks identify and tackle any non-payment of loan rapidly, a move the government said should act as a “wake up call” for defaulters. The Reserve Bank of India abolished half a dozen existing loan-restructuring mechanisms late last night, and instead provided for a strict 180-day timeline for banks to agree on a resolution plan in case of a default or else refer the account for bankruptcy.

Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said the new rules are a “wake up call” for defaulters.

“The government is determined to clean up things in one go and not defer it. It is a more transparent system for resolution,” he said,” he told PTI here.

Under the new rules, insolvency proceedings would have to be initiated in case of a loan of Rs. 2,000 crore or more if a resolution plan is not implemented within 180 days of the default.

Banks will face penalties in case of failure to comply with the guidelines, RBI said.

Financial Services Secretary said the RBI’s decision would not have much impact on provisioning norms for banks.

The revised framework has specified norms for “early identification” of stressed assets, timelines for implementation of resolution plans, and a penalty on banks for failing to adhere to the prescribed timelines.

RBI has also withdrawn the existing mechanism which included Corporate Debt Restructuring Scheme, Strategic Debt Restructuring Scheme (SDR) and Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A).

The Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) as an institutional mechanism for resolution of stressed accounts also stands discontinued, it said, adding that “all accounts, including such accounts where any of the schemes have been invoked but not yet implemented, shall be governed by the revised framework”.

Under the new rules, banks must report defaults on a weekly basis in the case of borrowers with more than Rs. 5 crore of loan. Once a default occurs, banks will have 180 days within which to come up with a resolution plan. Should they fail, they will need to refer the account to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) within 15 days.

Last year, the government had given more powers to the RBI to push banks to deal with non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans.

The gross NPAs of public sector and private sector banks as on September 30, 2017 were Rs.7,33,974 crore, Rs. 1,02,808 crore respectively.

“In view of the enactment of the IBC, it has been decided to substitute the existing guidelines with a harmonised and simplified generic framework for resolution of stressed assets,” RBI said in the notification.

As per the revised guidelines, the banks will be required to identify incipient stress in loan accounts, immediately on default, by classifying stressed assets as special mention accounts (SMAs) depending upon the period of default.

Classification of SMA would depend on the number of days (1- 90) for which principal or interest have remained overdue.

“As soon as there is a default in the borrower entity’s account with any lender, all lenders – singly or jointly – shall initiate steps to cure the default,” RBI said.

The resolution plan (RP) may involve any actions/plans/ reorganisation including, but not limited to, regularisation of the account by payment of all over dues by the borrower entity, sale of the exposures to other entities/investors, change in ownership, or restructuring.

The notification said that if a resolution plan in respect of large accounts is not implemented as per the timelines specified, lenders will be required to file insolvency application, singly or jointly, under the IBC, 2016, within 15 days from the expiry of the specified timeline.

All lenders are required to submit report to Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) on a monthly basis effective April 1, 2018.

In addition, the lenders shall report to CRILC, all borrower entities in default (with aggregate exposure of Rs. 5 crore and above), on a weekly basis, at the close of business every Friday, or the preceding working day if Friday happens to be a holiday.

The first such weekly report shall be submitted for the week ending February 23, 2018, the notification said.

The new guidelines have specified framework for early identification and reporting of stressed assets.

In respect of accounts with aggregate exposure of the lenders at Rs. 2,000 crore and above, on or after March 1, 2018 (reference date), resolution plan RP should be implemented within 180 days.

“If in default after the reference date, then 180 days from the date of first such default,” the notification said.


Hero XPulse First Look Review — A Pulsating Adventure Motorcycle

Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

World’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp has unveiled the XPulse adventure motorcycle at the Auto Expo 2018. It is also India’s first 200cc dual-purpose motorcycle targeted towards young and thrill-seeking riders. The motorcycle looks to be in its production form and will replace the Impulse in India. We bring you the first look review of the Hero XPulse, the most affordable adventure bike in the country.

Hero XPulse Design

The overall design of the Hero XPulse is of a typical adventure bike with a tall stance and minimalistic body panels. Up front, the Hero XPulse features a full-LED headlamp, a windscreen to avoid wind buffeting and a high-set beak-shape fender. The adventure motorcycle also gets knuckle guards to protect the levers in case of a fall.

Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images


The Hero Xpulse features a simplistic fuel tank design with no additional bodywork. There are not much body panels, and the design is clutter free. The single-piece seat is sculpted for lower ride height and the slightly front set foot pegs offers a commuters riding posture which is good for an adventure motorcycle. The enduro-style foot pegs add to the raw look of the Hero XPulse.

Recommended Video – Watch Now!
    Honda XBlade First Look Walkaround, Specs, Details, Features – DriveSpark
    Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images


    The tail section of the Hero XPulse sports an LED tail light, but the large plastic rear mudguard feels out of place and does not go well with the adventure styling. The upswept exhaust enhances the looks of the motorcycle and also has impressive water wading capacity. The XPulse also gets a rear luggage rack. The bike also gets a skid plate to protect the engine during off-roading.

    Hero XPulse Sheet

    Expected Price Rs 1.12 lakh
    Engine Type Single Cylinder, oil cooled
    Fuel Used Petrol Only
    Engine Displacement 200cc
    Power 18.1bhp
    Torque 17.2Nm
    Transmission 5-speed
    Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images


    Hero XPulse Engine Details

    The Hero XPulse draws power from an all-new 200cc air-cooled, fuel injected engine producing 18.1bhp and 17.2Nm of peak torque. The engine comes mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The same engine does the duty on the recently unveiled Xtreme 200R naked street fighter. But Hero might tweak the power output accordingly to suit the XPulse adventure motorcycle.

    Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images


    Hero XPulse Features

    The Hero XPulse is a modern adventure tourer with a host of features. The XPulse sports a new fully-digital instrument cluster, full-LED headlamp, clear lens turn indicators and sleek LED tail light. The prominent feature of the XPulse is the first-in-segment turn-by-turn navigation system which is extremely useful for a touring motorcycle. The motorcycle also gets off-road button tyres which enhance the looks of the Hero XPulse.

    Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images


    The suspension duties on the Hero XPulse are handled by telescopic forks at the front with the travel of 190mm and ten-step adjustable gas-charged mono-shock suspension at the rear with the travel of 170mm. The motorcycle is equipped with a 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear wheel with a ground clearance of 220mm. The XPulse features disc brakes at both the ends.

    Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images


    Hero XPulse Rivals

    Currently, the entry-level adventure motorcycle segment does not have many players in the Indian market. The only offering is the Royal Enfield Himalayan, but with a bigger 400cc engine. The Hero XPulse will be the most affordable bike in the segment with a 200cc engine. KTM is also planning to launch the 390 Adventure which should spice up the things in the entry-level adventure bike segment.

    Hero XPulse First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images


    DriveSpark’s Thoughts On The Hero XPulse

    The Hero XPulse is an adventure motorcycle with a simple design and advanced features. The XPulse will replace the popular Impulse which was retailed with a 150cc engine. The Hero XPulse will be a game-changing product in the country with its features and design. Hero MotoCorp is expected to launch the XPulse in India by the end of 2018 or early 2019 with a price tag of around Rs 1.2 lakh ex-showroom.


    UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — A Tough American Cruiser

    American Motorcycle manufacturer UM Motorcycles launched the new Renegade Duty S cruiser in India at the Auto Expo 2018. The UM Renegade Duty S is priced at Rs 1.10 lakh ex-showroom (Delhi). The Renegade Duty S is an all-new cruiser with new design language and engine. Let’s find out more about the newly launched UM Renegade Duty S in this first look review.

    UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images

    UM Renegade Duty S Design

    The UM Renegade Duty S sports a rugged look with minimalistic body panels. UM is branding the Renegade Duty S as a dual-purpose cruiser which can be ridden both on and off-road. The overall design language revolves around that strategy and features a raw look. The Duty S is finished in a matte green colour which further enhances the looks of the motorcycle.

    UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images


    Up front, the UM Renegade Duty S features a classic round headlamp with a blacked out housing. The front mudguard is sleek, and it exposes the front tyre for a butch look. The telescopic front forks get black cover and LED lights and reflectors on either side. The sloping fuel tank design is the key element of the overall design language.

    Recommended Video – Watch Now!
      Auto Expo 2018: Aprilia RS 150 – Full Specifications, Launch, Price – DriveSpark
      UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images


      The engine, side panels, alloy wheels, muffler and suspension, are blacked out which gives an aggressive look to the UM Renegade Duty S. The step-up seat is wide and large and is very comfortable for both rider and pillion. The rear section also features a chopped mudguard which adds to the raw appeal of the Renegade Duty S.

      UM Renegade Duty S Fact Sheet

      Price Rs 1.10 lakh
      Engine Type Single Cylinder, oil cooled
      Fuel Used Petrol Only
      Engine Displacement 223cc
      Power 16bhp
      Torque 17Nm
      Transmission 5-speed
      UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images


      UM Renegade Duty S Engine Details

      The new UM Renegade Duty S draws power from an all-new 223cc single-cylinder, an oil-cooled engine which produces 16bhp and 17Nm of peak torque. The engine comes mated to a 5-speed gearbox sending power to the rear wheel via chain drive.

      UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images


      UM Renegade Duty S Features

      The UM Renegade Duty S is loaded with several premium features such as new analogue instrument cluster with digital display for gear position indicator, odometer and fuel gauge. The motorcycle also gets LED headlight and tail light and also a LED strip on the front forks to improve the visibility at night. The UM Renegade Duty S also sports a ground clearance of 180mm.

      UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images


      The UM Renegade Duty S is equipped with 41mm telescopic forks at the font and dual-hydraulic spring suspension at the rear. Braking duties are handled by 280mm disc at the front and 130mm drum brake setup at the rear. The Duty S gets 17-inch alloy wheel at the front and 15-inch wheel at the rear.

      UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images


      UM Renegade Duty S Rivals

      The UM Renegade Duty S is the latest cruiser from the American brand, and it features a new design language and engine. The Renegade S is pitched as a dual-purpose cruiser which can handle a bit of off-roading as well. The UM Renegade Duty S rivals the likes of the Bajaj Avenger series.

      UM Renegade Duty S First Look Review — Design, Specifications, Features And Images


      DriveSpark’s Thoughts On The UM Renegade Duty S

      The UM Renegade Duty S spots an all-new design which leans towards rugged looks with minimalistic body panels. The raw look of the Renegade Duty S is the highlight of the motorcycle. The new engine and several new features add a premium touch to the UM Renegade Duty S. With an affordable price tag; the Renegade S will be a tough competitor to the Bajaj Avenger series.


      ‘The biggest challenge is overcoming people’s apathy’: Inside Simple’s marketing strategy

      Simple is re-introducing itself through an ad campaign its been running on billboards and subway ads in various U.S. cities.

      The ads pair everyday concepts most familiar and tangible to the seven-year-old neobank’s target millennial customer base, like binge watching and sweatpants, to convey how enjoyable and sensible its own offering — banking and budgeting, the latter of which major banking institutions are only now building into their experiences — can and should be. The company also wants to show it’s not “just an anonymous organization that doesn’t have a point of view,” said Valarie Hamm Carlson, Simple’s vp of brand. It’s a group of people that share the view of everyday consumers that banking shouldn’t be complicated.

      “Every once in a while we need to jump back out there and say, ‘here’s who we are and if you don’t know us we we want introduce ourselves’ so people get a sense of our personality,” Carlson said. “Ideally we want that to come from the product but it’s always good to have a little bit of air cover and we haven’t done a lot of that in the past.”


      PepsiCo steps up marketing investment on its ‘big brands’


      PepsiCo has revealed that it would be increasing its advertising spend behind its “big brands”, such as Pepsi, Gatorade and DEW. This is with expectations of positive impact, said Hugh F. Johnston, vice chairman, CFO and executive VP at PepsiCo.

      Johnston added that the brand’s strategy in the beverage business is focused on brand building.

      The brand’s strategy in the beverage business is focused on brand building.

      He added that it is also focused on innovation and execution in the marketplace. However, “like most advertising campaigns, that will take several quarters to fully realise the impact”, he explained.

      “So we expect sequential improvement in each of the quarters, starting with Q1,” Johnston said.

      According to Indra K. Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Inc, the company looks to step up investment spending in advertising, marketing, frontline workforce training, digital capability, data analytics and e-commerce. The move comes as its investment in e-commerce across multiple channels, from e-grocery, to direct to consumer, to pure play, helped drive exceptional growth in 2017, Nooyi said. As a result, PepsiCo’s e-commerce business is now approximately US$1 billion in annualised retail sales.

      “We are leveraging big data and predictive analytics to sharpen real-time marketing messages, dynamic merchandising and tailored offers. And we’re increasingly collaborating with retail customers to make e-commerce a point of differentiation for PepsiCo,” she added.

      The company also has “robust marketing innovation lined up for 2018”. This includes the launch of its Pepsi Generations campaign and the launch of Mountain Dew Ice, featured with Doritos Blaze at the Super Bowl. Other initiatives include the introduction of its new sparking water bubly, and further marketing support and packaging innovation. This comes as LIFEWTR enters its second year from launch.

      “Furthermore, as a company, we will double down on new capabilities in areas such as e-commerce, digital and brand marketing to make us even more competitive,” Nooyi said.

      Regarding its pricing strategy, PepsiCo expects its pricing to be competitive in the marketplace. However, pricing lower is not part of its strategy to gain market share.