10.06.2010

i-mint and PAYBACK team up for success in India

Collaboration of India’s and Europe’s leading customer reward programmes boosts benefits for shoppers and retail partners

MUMBAI / MUNICH. 10 June 2010 – Europe’s largest loyalty programme expands to India: In a strategic investment, PAYBACK has taken over a controlling stake in i-mint, India’s leading loyalty programme. Both companies team up for joint success in one of the world’s most rapidly growing consumer markets.

“Fusing PAYBACK’s international expertise with i-mint’s local know-how and pan-India market presence brings cutting edge new services to Indian shoppers and retailers”, says PAYBACK founder Alexander Rittweger. “We are a strategic investor focussed on the long-term. Together with i-mint, we are building a world class customer retention and direct marketing platform to support the retail revolution sweeping India.”

“The strong platform created by i-mint, coupled with PAYBACK’s proven track record in delivering significant consumer and retail partner value, is a winning combination”, comments Sandeep Reddy, Managing Director, Peepul Capital. Peepul was instrumental in bringing all partners together and will leverage its wide network in India to support i-mint’s growth. The India-focussed private equity fund has teamed up with PAYBACK as a co-investor, taking a minority stake in i-mint. Peepul has been a strong believer in the robust domestic consumption story and has made several investments across sectors like Consumer Services, Specialized Engineering and Telecom.

PAYBACK’s experience in designing and operating hugely successful loyalty and marketing programmes complements i-mints key strengths: A vast customer base, a well known brand and a strong partner portfolio comprising 1500 companies in India, including market leaders such as ICICI Bank, HPCL, Air India and MakeMyTrip. Last year, 120 billion INR of sales were generated through
i-mint-cards.

i-mint members can soon experience even more attractive collection and redemption possibilities, like easy conversion of points against merchandize in partner stores. In addition, access to PAYBACK’s industry leading IT tools enables i-mint to bring advanced data mining solutions to India. The resulting consumer insights will be translated into first-of-their-kind direct marketing services, enabling Indian retailers to target customers with more relevant and personalized offers.

“Partnering with PAYBACK turns i-mint into an even more powerful customer retention and business intelligence tool”, says Vijay Bobba, i-mint’s founding CEO, who continues in his role. As a result, Bobba expects to sign up more leading national brands soon. Launch customer ICICI Bank has signed a long-term partner contract, underlining its commitment to i-mint under the new ownership.

“India’s booming consumer market provides tremendous opportunities for i-mint’s enhanced multi-partner loyalty programme. In addition, the rapid rise of organized retail increases the value of customer retention significantly”, explains Ms. Vishakha Mulye, Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Venture. i-mint’s founding investor continues to hold a minority stake in the company.

About i-mint:
The i-mint multi-partner programme has become India's largest loyalty programme since its launch in June 2006 and continues to show strong, sustained growth. The portfolio of around 1,500 business partners features well-known brands and companies throughout India. These include ICICI Bank, service station chain HPCL, Air India, textile group Welspun and India's most successful electrical and music store Music World. Over 9.5 million members currently use the scheme and enjoy i-mint benefits. Sales made using i-mint cards totalled EUR 2.1 billion in 2009.

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