TV18 to launch home shopping network, receives funding from SAIF

MUMBAI: Television Eighteen is entering the home shopping network (HSN) space which is already occupied by Subhash Chandra's Asian Sky Shop and Hinduja's Shop 24x7.

The company has secured initial funding from SB Asia Infrastructure Fund (SAIF) Partners to launch an integrated HSN. Though TV18 CEO Haresh Chawla refused to divulge the amount, market sources put the investment of the Asian private equity fund at around Rs 30-40 million.

TV18 will be putting up a national "virtual platform" network which "will bring forth products and services that have been evaluated by a team of experts." According to a company statement, the shopping network "will leverage the TV18 network of five channels (CNBC-TV18, CNN-IBN, Awaaz, Channel 7 and SAW) and six internet properties (,,,, and Jobstreet India). Collectively, the HSN will have a pool of more than 70 million adults to tap into - people who are very loyal to the TV18 brands and are decision makers with the ability to spend."

The organised shopping market is is estimated to become a $30-35 billion opportunity by 2010. "With a changing socio-economic environment, higher disposable incomes, willingness to spend and availability of cheap credit, the share of organised shopping is all set to increase in the consumer's wallet. Studies estimate that the spending population is expected to increase from 280 million in 2002 to 686 million in 2010. Nearly 75 million sq.ft. of mall space is estimated to become available in India by 2007," TV18 said.

However, the 'spender' or 'spending population' is not easily accessible at a single point. Poor infrastructure, absence of quality locations and complex taxation issues confront sellers, TV18 said. Additional complications arise on account of the mind-boggling availability of choice. With hundreds of brands hitting the shelves every day, making the right choice takes up a significant amount of time of the spender in the transaction process, thus delaying buying decisions.

"TV18 believes that the time is ripe for a shopping enabler that integrates our media offering with a fulfillment capability. With an existing franchise of over 70 million adults that TV18s media properties reach out too, and the potential universe of affluent middle class Indian's, it is only a matter of time before TV18 attains a dominant position in this space," said Chawla.

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

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