Indian Brands you always thought were foreign
A brand is an identity of any product or company. It embodies the image of the company/product – the interface with the outside world. Depending on how a company projects itself or its product, we associate certain characteristics with it. Branding is therefore, one of the most important things companies must take care of to be successful with its target audience. Quite often this leads to branding in a manner different from that of the core identity of a company. In some cases, the quest to compete with international standards can result in a branding exercise that makes people perceive the brand as “foreign” when it is actually not!
“Determine who you are and what your brand is, and what you’re not. The rest of it is just a lot of noise”
– Geoffrey Zakarian
Here, we present 8 brands that you probably thought were of foreign origin but are actually Indian brands!
Royal Enfield, founded in 1955 as Enfield India, was a partnership between Enfield Cycle Company (parent company) and Madras Motors. Enfield India started assembling the Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle in Madras, initially using components from England but by 1962 all components were made in India too. By 1971, the parent company had dissolved but Enfield India continued to manufacture the ‘Bullet’. In 1999, the ‘Bullet’ motorcycles were re-branded as ‘Royal Enfield’. The brand has gradually grown in stature and in 2014, outsold Harley-Davidson by roughly 34,600 motorcycles.
Louis Philippe is a premier brand of men’s apparel and one of the largest apparel brands in India. It is a brand of Madura Fashion & Lifestyle, a division of the Aditya Birla Group. Founded in 1989, it has sales worldwide and has further enhanced its digital presence with its online fashion and lifestyle magazine, ‘The Label’.
Café Coffee Day
Café Coffee Day is an Indian coffeehouse chain owned by Coffee Day Global Limited, which is based in Chikmagalur, Karnataka. Founded in 1996, Café Coffee Day, or CCD as it is popularly known, is headquartered in Bangalore. It has over 1500 outlets in India and has also expanded outside India with outlets in Austria, Czech Republic, Malaysia and Egypt.
Hidesign is a leather goods manufacturer headquartered in Pondicherry, India. Founded in 1978, its leather collection includes handbags, clutches, briefcases, laptop cases, wallets and belts. It has over 60 exclusive retail stores in India and a distribution network in more than 20 countries. Its founder and president, Dilip Kapur, began the company with Rs. 25000, using the money to buy a sewing machine and leather!
IFB Industries Limited, originally known as Indian Fine Blanks Limited, started their operations in 1974 by collaborating with Hienrich Schmid AG of Switzerland. Its product range includes Fine Blanked components and tools such as straighteners and decoilers as well as home appliances and kitchen solutions.
L&T (Larsen & Toubro) was founded in 1938 by two Danish engineers Henning Holck-Larsen and Søren Kristian Toubro as manufacturers of dairy equipment. Headquartered in Mumbai, it has now grown into a leading Indian multi-national conglomerate and is India’s largest engineering and construction company. Additionally, it has business interests in manufacturing goods, information technology and financial services.
MRF or Madras Rubber Factory was founded in 1946 as a toy balloon manufacturing unit. In 1960, MRF ventured into manufacture of tyres and by 1967, it became the first Indian company to export tyres to USA. In addition to being the largest tyre manufacturer in India, it has also launched Funskool India and ventured into motorsports (MRF Racing, MRF Rally Team) & cricket (MRF Pace Foundation).
Jaguar began as Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922 in England by two motorcycle enthusiasts. In 1945, its name was changed to Jaguar Cars Limited. In 1989, it was acquired by Ford only to be sold to Tata Motors almost 20 years later in 2008. This luxurious vehicle brand has in recent years manufactured cars for the British Prime Minister as well as holds royal warrants from Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles.