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Bartercard To Enter India In Early 2008

Bartercard, the Australian trade exchange that depicts itself as the leading exchange in the world, will start retail barter operations February 2008 in India, through a subsidiary.

Rakesh Thapar, Indian license holder for Bartercard, reveals that the company has signed on Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting as brand ambassadors and is currently putting its franchisee network in place.

Professionals and small to medium businesses, with an average trade volume of 100,000 rupees (US$2,500) a month, will be Bartercard�s target in India, and it has set itself a target of 3,500 members in its first year of operation. The company will spend 100-million rupees (US$2.5 million) on marketing and brand-building.

None of the leading trade exchanges in the country are in a hurry to enter retail barter. Rakesh Bhatnagar, CEO, Net4barter, one of the largest trade exchanges in India, says it�ll take at least 18 months before the Indian market is ready for retail barter. Harish Pillai, CEO of Essel Group�s Intrex India, seconds Bhatnagar. But if retail barter is yet to take off, barter at the corporate level seems to be working.

Increasingly consumer durables, automobiles, real-estate, FMCG and industrial products companies are also looking at deals, not just for trade schemes but also for core business areas like the sourcing of raw materials. For instance, Intrex recently helped a power tools company convert excess inventory into media space.

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