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Raksha Bandhan goes digital this year

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With travel restrictions and physical distancing becoming the new normal this year, traditional visits to our siblings for Rakhi this year are being substituted by virtual Rakhis sent online.

Major e-commerce sites have seen massive jump in the number of orders placed for rakhis and e-gifts given the restrictions and apprehensions about travel and social distancing.

Snapdeal saw rakhi orders jumping three-fold as more users have opted to buy or send Rakhis online. Adding to the trend, Snapdeal’s shoppers moved to completely digital solutions for Raksha Bandhan this year by choosing E-Gift cards as the topmost Rakhi gift.

The platform witnessed a surge in the sale of digital gift cards two weeks before Rakshabandhan. It logged an increase of 70 percent in the sale of these cards, vis-à-vis last year, the company announced in a statement.

Last year, travel accessories like go-pro mounts, selfie sticks, and backpacks were widely picked as Raksha Bandhan gifts. Ethnic clothes were also widely bought as gifting. This year, as India continues to be cautious of the virus, digital gift cards saw a big boost in sales.

“The number of Rakhis sold this year exceeds the number of Rakhis sold in the last two years combined. This is primarily due to the shoppers exercising caution and avoiding the festival linked travel,” the company said.

Flipkart has also seen a sale of over 1,00,000 rakhis per day. Overall, the platform has seen 2x growth as compared to previous year in terms of units sold.

The North is the largest chunk in the pie, with almost 45 percent demand coming from the region, followed by Eastern states with 25 percent share, the company said.

The top 10 cities generating demand are New Delhi, Bangalore, Patna, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and Gurgaon

Ferns N Petals has witnessed 100 growth in in comparison to the previous rakhi seasons. It has received 10,000 rakhi and rakhi gift orders every day, total 300,000 orders till Saturday. There have been 400-600 orders per day for virtual gifts like Guitarist on Video Call, Personalized Video message, and celebrity video message. The company is anticipating to close this season at 1.5 million orders.

“More and more customers are shopping online than before, in order to maintain social distancing. With this shift in buying behaviour, we have witnessed a huge surge in customers who want rakhis to be delivered in other countries like the US, followed by the UK, Singapore, UAE and a couple of other countries,” informed Manish Saini, COO, ecommerce, Ferns N Petals.

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Designer Tarun Tahiliani to sell 33% stake to Aditya Birla Fashion

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Veteran fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani has entered into a strategic partnership with Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) to launch a new line of contemporary men’s ethnic wear brand and will sell 33 percent of his existing Luxury Couture business to the group, with the option to increase it to 51 percent in the next few years.

Tahiliani commented: “Last year, we celebrated 25 years of the Tarun Tahiliani label. The next big leap for the brand was to take our craftsmanship and expertise and offer it to a larger Indian market that knows and values quality and is actively seeking it. It was clear that we needed a partner who could not just help us with this scale, but also have the same dedication to quality and the customer. And that could only have been the Aditya Birla Group. Over the years, I have admired what Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla has built and created for the Aditya Birla Group, specifically his landmark excellence in building fashion retail in India.”

The first set of retail stores by the brand will open in September this year. It aims to build a Rs 500 crore business in the next five years with more than 250 stores across the country. ABFRL will hold 80 percent stake in the new entity while Tahiliani will hold the remaining 20 percent, said a statement.

“I am excited and look forward to this unique opportunity of taking our signature India Modern aesthetic to a broader consumer base across the country. The Tarun Tahiliani brand will continue to be the studio doing couture and occasion wear, building on its experience and success,” he said.

Commenting on the partnership, Ashish Dikshit, Managing Director, ABFRL said: “We believe that over the next few years, ethnic wear is going to be an important category as confident Indians rediscover their culture and heritage. Tarun Tahiliani has been at the forefront of the emergence of the Indian design industry. We are proud to partner with him to launch a new brand that gives the emerging Indian consumer a new range of celebration wear reflecting the unmatched, exquisite design excellence at more accessible prices.

“The ethnic wear segment is a large and growing market with a significant opportunity to build scale. The combined expertise of Tarun Tahiliani and ABFRL will enable the new brand to make a strong impact in the market. The existing couture brand will continue to benefit from the fast-growing luxury segment of the market. This partnership is in line with our stated strategy to craft a portfolio of brands that address the entire gamut of ethnic wear segments: value, premium, and luxury.”

The proposed acquisition is subject to necessary statutory approvals and signing of definitive agreements, said the statement.

source: The Statesman

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On Women’s Day, read stories of real, unapologetic women

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Ahead of the International Women’s Day on March 8, two collections of short stories of flawed, rebellious and most importantly real women, are set to be published by Penguin.

The new titles — “Women Who Misbehave” and “Impetuous Women” — are stories of women who step across the Laxman Rekha, who are unapologetic, strong and unconventional but always flawed.

“Women Who Misbehave” is written by Sayantani Dasgupta, an assistant professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and much like the women within its pages, contains multitudes and contradictions. At a party to celebrate her friend’s wedding anniversary, a young woman spills a dangerous secret. A group of girls mourns the loss of their strange, mysterious neighbour. A dutiful daughter seeks to impress her father even as she escapes his reach. A wife weighs the odds of staying in her marriage when both her reality and the alternative are equally frightening. An aunt comes to terms with an impulsive mistake committed decades ago.

In this wildly original and hauntingly subversive collection of short stories, Sayantani Dasgupta brings to life unforgettable women and their quest for agency. They are violent and nurturing, sacred and profane. They are friends, lovers, wives, sisters and mothers. Unapologetic and real, they embrace the entire range of the human experience, from the sweetest of loves and sacrifices to the most horrific of crimes.

“Impetuous Women” by Shikhandin (the nom de plume of an Indian writer who writes for adults and children) is about women who step across the Lakshman Rekha, whose transgressions fly in the face of the establishment, the patriarchy, often their own families and loved ones.

From two housewives who play a potentially lethal game of keeping up to an expert baker who serves revenge with chocolate sprinkles on top; from a stern hostel warden who examines her relationship with the teenagers she must surveil to a grouchy widow shuts out the world; From a couple madly in love and desperate for a bit of privacy to a tender bond between a husband and wife, these stories create an unforgettable portrait of modern-day India and the experiential realities of being impetuous, of being women.

This darkly comic, thrillingly tragic collection of stories is sensuous, bittersweet and whimsical by turns, and always wildly, subversively original.

source: The statesman

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Psychotherapy boosts positive effects in panic disorder patients

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Psychotherapy appears to be beneficial in the longer run for people suffering from panic disorder, a new study suggests.

The findings, published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, indicated that 70 per cent of the patients clearly improved and 45 per cent were remitted two years after treatment.

Psychotherapy is a general term for treating mental health problems by talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health providers.

“Many people adapt to their panic disorder by various restrictions in their daily living,” said researcher Thomas Nilsson from Lund University in Sweden.

“Treatment is crucial as the disorder often leads to a downward spiral in which the margin for everyday life activities becomes increasingly narrow,” Nilsson added.

For the study, the team included 221 participants and studied not only the short and long-term effects of therapy but also how treatment outcome was affected by offering the patients to choose their treatment.

The options were two forms of therapy, specifically designed to treat panic disorder — a psychodynamic psychotherapy (PDT) and a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

One half of the patients were allowed to choose their form of therapy and the other half were randomly assigned to one or the other.

The researchers’ hypothesis was that the patients offered a choice between two validated treatments would benefit from receiving their chosen form of therapy.

In previous research this has been the case, and psychologists generally take patient preferences into account in treatment decisions. Therefore, the researchers were surprised by the result — patients who had chosen PDT tended to have better outcomes than those who were randomly assigned to the same treatment.

source: The Statesman

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