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Friday, January 9, 2015

Dilip Doshi spins Montblanc attempted Indian entry ... !!

The art and the habit of writing is slowly dying !  Can you recall the last time when you wrote a [handwritten] communication to your friend or family member !  ~ in this beautiful World, there are still some who write with pen and some more who carry pen in their pocket all the time.  Besides the ubiquitous ball pens, there are the fountain pens – with nib, reservoir of ink and more.  Mont Blanc meaning "White Mountain"  is the highest mountain in the Alps and the highest peak in Europe outside of the Caucasus range.  It rises 4,810 m (15,781 ft) above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence. 

Montblanc International GmbH  is a German manufacturer of writing instruments, watches, jewellery and leather goods, often identified by their "White Star" logo.  Founded by the stationer Claus-Johannes Voss, the banker Alfred Nehemias and the engineer August Eberstein in 1906, the company began as the Simplo Filler Pen company producing up-market pens in the Schanzen district of Hamburg. Their first model was the Rouge et Noir in 1909 followed in 1910 by the pen that was later to give the company its new name, Montblanc.  The company was acquired by Dunhill in 1977, following which lower price pens were dropped and the brand was used on a wide range of luxury goods other than pens. Today Montblanc forms part of the Richemont group. Its sister companies include luxury brands Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chloé, and Baume et Mercier. Montblanc is owned, through Richemont, by the South African Rupert Family.
Montblanc Gandhi pen

A trademark identified with Montblanc is the white stylised six-pointed star with rounded edges, representative of the Mont Blanc snowcap from above, the symbol being adopted in 1913. The number "4810," the mountain's height in metres, is also a commonly recurring theme. ~ some complain that most of my posts are peppered with Cricket ….. and this one on “pens” too has a great left-arm spinner bowling the Company over. 

Today’s TOI reports that former  India spinner Dilip Doshi has put a spanner in luxury accessories player Montblanc International's attempts to enter the country through a fresh joint venture. Sources told TOI that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) had decided to defer a decision on the proposal from Montblanc to set up a single-brand retail venture in the country with watches and jewellery retailer Titan, where the German firm was to hold a majority 51% stake. Doshi's Entrack Trading Company had a tie-up with Montblanc, and has now taken it to court and the case is pending in the Gujarat high court. Citing the case, the FIPB deferred a decision a few weeks ago, a move that may result in the new joint venture having to rework its plans. Reports had earlier said the new partners wanted to start operations around January .

 Although the government rules earlier required a foreign company to seek a ‘no objection’  from an erstwhile partner to enter into a fresh tie-up, norms have been amended to prevent Indian players from blocking overseas companies' plans to re-enter the market. But, with a court case pending, officials are unwilling to take chances. There are, however, indications that the government will look at possibilities to clear the proposal even as the court case goes on. The cricketer-turned-businessman has worked with Montblanc for several years and has been instrumental in the luxury brand's operations in India through a distribution tie-up with a presence through 18 stores, starting with five-star hotels. Rules now permit foreign companies to set up wholly owned ventures. While FDI up to 49% is permitted through the automatic route, any overseas investment beyond the threshold requires FIPB approval. A majority foreign ownership comes with the rider that 30% sourcing has to be done from domestic companies, preferably micro, small and medium enterprises -a concern in the luxury goods segment where finding local vendors is often difficult.

Dilip Rasiklal Doshi, made his unique debut in Chepauk - one of only two Test bowlers that played in their first tests after the age of thirty, yet went on to take 100 wickets, the other being Clarrie Grimmett.  Dilip Doshi, the slow leftarm spinner with spectacles, was born in Rajkot in 1947, debuted in 1979 when he was 32+, went on to play 33 Tests and 15 One dayers.  With figures of 6/103 & 2/64 he was India's best bowler in that debut match. He was a real bunny with the bat making 129 runs in 38 innings with 20 as the highest.  Took 114 test and 22 one day wickets.  With his batting skills [the absence of it] and being termed as a slow mover, still Doshi made his ODI debut during the 1980-81 tour of Australia. At Gabba, against NZ, he produced his best figures of 4/30.  Dilip Doshi had a long stint in English league playing for Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire. 
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A couple of years ago, Montblanc raised a furore and had to tender an unconditional apology in the Kerala High Court on the issue of sale of its high-end Mahatma Gandhi edition pens, saying it did not intend to hurt the sentiments of any citizen.  The special limited edition pen  (241 pieces) signifying the 241 mile Dandi march had hand-crafted rhodium plated 18-carat gold nib depicting Gandhiji holding his trademark lathi — all in gold, priced at Rs.14 lakhs apiece.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

17th Dec 2o14.

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