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Bite at ‘Bhajji Da Dhabha’, buy Bhajji products
M.S.Unnikrishnan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 15
Harbhajan Singh has been so far taking wickets and powering the Indian cricket team to victories with his spin tricks, and at times, with his batting prowess. But now, Bhajji is all set to spin a different ball game, to cash in on his name "Harbhajan Singh", literally.

Fans can get set to have a bite at "Bhajji Da Dhaba" in a leisurely ambience, shop for Harbhajan Singh's signature line of apparels and accessories, play with his sports equipments, learn the art of spin bowling and hard-hitting batting at his academies, and taste the newest health and energy drink...the list is endless.

Bhajji today signed an agreement with License India, a licensing solution provider, to market his brand image, to rake in the moolah. License India will identify the right opportunities for licensed merchandise to leverage the brand equity of the off-spinner, besides setting up a chain of restaurants under the name of 'Bhajji Da Dhaba'.

Here, Harbhajan would be joining an elite band of cricketers who have ventured into the restaurant business, though most of them stand alone ones — Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Ajay Jadeja, S Sreesanth and Robin Uthappa.

After signing the agreement here today with License India president Gaurav Marya, Harbhajan said "setting up of a restaurant has been part of my plans for years". "Bhajji Da Dhaba would be the best bet for my first licensing deal", he said. "I'm also eager to launch my first signature product in a few months and look forward to develop additional sports equipments and academies", added Bhajji.

The first product of the Harbhajan Singh brand is expected to hit the market by the end of this year.

Marya said the total world-wide retail sales of licensed merchandise reached $191.7 billion, representing an increase of $4.3 billion in 2007.

“License India could not have any other best alternative than Harbhajan Singh as he is the man who is loved by crores of people, who really want to be linked with him.

“Personality licensing is a very upcoming business domain in India, and is fast gaining acceptability, which is expected to reach its maximum level in the coming years", elaborated Marya.

The deal would also include a 'Crazy Bhajji Contest' in which fans would be given a chance to win Harbhajan Singh's merchandise and gift packs, by logging on to licenseindia.com and answer 10 questions relating to Harbhajan.

"The emergence of modern and more organized retail in India, estimated at $200 billion, has been projected to grow at 5 per cent per annum. The industry has now evolved into a sophisticated $ 13 billion business", said Anupama Bindra, business head of License India,

She said 'Bhajji Da Dabha' will be set up in all the key cities of North India, including Punjab and Chandigarh, and all the metroes of the country. Licence India, however, did not disclose how much the deal was worth, or the duration of the deal.

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