12 Sep 2017 15:16 IST

Feluda to keep an eye on UBI debit cards

Customised cards will feature illustrations by Satyajit Ray

Get ready for a shopping date with Bengal’s super sleuth Feluda.

The iconic Satyajit Ray creation, private investigator Pradosh C Mitter popularly known by his nickname Feluda, is going to be a part of new customised debit cards launched by the State-run United Bank of India (UBI).

“Feluda has a universal appeal. We are riding on him to particularly connect with young citizens,” said Pawan Kumar Bajaj, MD and CEO, UBI.

This will be the first time a character from Bengali literature will be featured on a bank’s debit card. Previously, Feluda images have made its way on to T-shirts.

According to Sandip Ray, son of Satyajit Ray, a set of eight illustrations, out of a library running into thousands, has been handed over to the lender for a time-bound tie-up.

The illustrations, sketched by Satyajit Ray himself, are part of a series of Bengali novels and short stories on the fictional detective character.

“As of now there is no revenue-sharing agreement with the bank. UBI approached me, and we found the idea interesting. So we went ahead with a set of eight pictures,” Ray told BusinessLine.

Good demand

UBI’s Platinum Moments Card, launched in December 2016, has seen good traction with nearly 5,000 such cards being issued till date. Customised offerings come at an issuance charge of ₹500 and an annual maintenance of ₹250 from the second year.

The lender is keen to come up with more such customised offerings in line with customer demand.

“If the demand arises, we are open to more such tie-ups,” Bajaj CEO said.

The iconic Bengali sleuth made his literary debut in 1965 in the story Feludar Goendagiri in a children’s magazine.

It was the first of 35 complete stories/novels in the series. Nine years later, in 1974, Feluda made his silverscreen appearance with Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress).


Merchandising tie-ups based on fictional detective characters are pretty uncommon in India. E-tailers are known to have co-branded merchandise based on popular TV shows such as BBC’s Sherlock.

There are also global sites like CafePress which sell merchandise based on Agatha Christie’s characters such as Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple.

Moreover, there’s the The Sherlock Holmes Memorabilia Company, which is the only global retailer exclusively dedicated to the sale of Sherlockian memorabilia.

It has a portfolio of over 100 unique products, original images (archive library), Granada TV (Jeremy Brett) film set props, website/domain names and internationally registered trademarks.