South Indian Bank becomes title sponsor of GKSF Season 6

Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF), the largest event of its kind in Asia, has secured title sponsorship from the South Indian Bank (SIB), premier sector bank of Kerala for its Sixth season.

One of India’s leading private sector banks, SIB has extended its support to the festival to bolster the Government’s efforts to transform Kerala into the country’s trade and tourism hub.

Mr. A P Anil Kumar, Minister for Tourism, Kerala exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding on the partnership with Mr. Abraham Thariyan, Executive Director of South Indian Bank (SIB) at a function in Trivandrum.

“SIB is taking on the role of GKSF’s title sponsor for the second year in a row; their contribution to the festival has risen to Rs 4 crore this year,” Mr. Anil Kumar said.

“GKSF this season will be a turning point; the Government’s efforts are focused on bringing it to the people,” he added. “This is also a great opportunity to showcase Kerala-made products and our state’s tourism potential to the outside world.”

Season 6 of GKSF starts from December 15, 2012 and concludes on January 31, 2013. Over the past five editions, the festival has successfully established itself as a key event on the tourism and retail calendar.

“GKSF will be an entirely new experience this time. We have conceptualized several new programmes to make the festival more attractive, including setting up of a 15-day Global Village in Kochi in December-January and a series of thematic exhibitions,” Mr. U.V. Jose, Director, GKSF said in his welcome address.

For the growing number of businesses and retailers taking part, GKSF has proven to be an excellent branding and sales opportunity; while for customers it has become an important shopping season, offering special offers, discounts, services and prize draws.

“Tourism and trade are among the fastest growing sectors in Kerala. GKSF has successfully brought the two together to the advantage of both the consumer and the Government,” said Mr. Thariyan.

Senior officials from the Bank and GKSF were present at the function. Mr. V. Vijayan, State Co-coordinator proposed the vote of thanks.

Buoyed by the response from the retail industry and shoppers alike, the Government has decided to scale up the festival this season with initiatives including the 15-day trade fair at Kochi, greater focus on Kerala handicrafts and indigenous products, 100% VAT refund for shoppers from outside the state, a whopping 101 kg of gold and other high-value items as prizes.

New facilities for merchant establishments include options for Online Registration and registration through Akshaya Centers, with attractive early bird discounts.

The 48-day fiesta will take place across all 14 districts and is expected to involve nearly 10,000 retail outlets and attract 30 million customers. A record 50 lakh coupons were distributed during the last season; this time the target is to double that number.

An added advantage for the festival is that coincides with the peak tourist season for Kerala, in particular the arrival of a large number of devotees for the Sabarimala pilgrimage.

The Grand Kerala Shopping Festival is conducted by the Tourism Department in co-ordination with the departments of Industries & Commerce, Finance and Local Self Government.


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