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Monday, April 28, 2008

'Tata one of the largest global brands'

London, April 27: Tata, one of India's biggest group of companies on an acquisition spree has emerged as one of the largest global brands, according to a UK-based independent consultancy firm.

Valued at USD 11.4 billion, Tata is ranked 57th among top 100 brands listed by Brand Finance, an independent company focused on the management and valuation of brands.

Coca-Cola heads the list followed by fellow American companies Microsoft, Google, Wal-Mart, IBM and GE while UK's HSBC is placed 7th.

Expressing his happiness, R Gopalakrishnan, Executive Director of Tata Sons, and member of the Group Corporate Centre said it was a first for an Indian brand to be listed among the world's largest. "For the first time, an Indian brand has got into the list of the largest global brands, although it is number 57 and they have valued it at USD 11.4 billion," he said. Referring to recent acquisitions, Gopalakrishnan said, "each of them have a strategic significance for the company. If you see the three biggest acquisitions in value, the Anglo-Dutch steel company Corus is the biggest. When completed and approved, Ford's Jaguar and Land Rover will be second and the third will be Tata chemicals' purchase of General Chemicals." He said the total amount of acquisitions done by Tata is probably around USD 25 billion in the last 4 to 5 years and ‘apart from the apparent glamour, it is hard work’. "A lot of Tata companies are focussed on extracting value from these acquisitions by setting up integration committees, by cutting costs, by enhancing values, market access, so on and so forth," Gopalakrishnan said. He also said that the Group has achieved ‘some significant progress’ in South Africa in the last two to three years. Now it is making forays in the USA and UK. "Wherever we go we are trying to present ourselves as responsible people, community-sensitive and yet be there to make profits," he added.

Noting that the greatest brands have withstood the test of time and have a sharp image in the mind of the people, he labelled Tata as one of such brands from India. "In most people's mind it represents largeness, leadership and trust," he said. Citing actions initiated by Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group to measure and track the brand by international firms, Gopalakrishnan said Tata brand has increased its value over a period of time quite successfully. "The first step he (Ratan Tata) took was to get Inter-brand, a UK-based company to value the Tata brand in 1997 which came to a figure of USD 3.5 billion. The second time they valued it in 2005 using the same technique, it came to the figure of USD 5.5 billion," he said. "But this time, Brand Finance, an independent company, valued it and their figure is USD 11.4 billion. This indicates that the Tata brand has increased its value over a period of time quite successfully," added Gopalakrishnan.

Tata has also emerged as the mentor, fighter and winner.

In an effort to enhance the brand value, the Group has taken a number of steps. Each one of the Tata company has to sign a Brand Equity and Brand Promotion (BEBP) agreement, he said, adding, ‘We are seen as a very good mentor, very good fighter and very good winner’.

The Financial Express

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