All is well and desi! Turns out we aren’t all that swayed by the winds of globalization. Even today, there are some iconic Indian brands that are keeping foreign brands on the edge.
1. Café Coffee Day
Café Coffee Day is an Indian café chain owned by Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company. Chikmangalur-based Amalgamated Bean coffee trading company is the largest producer of Arabica beans in Asia, growing coffee in its own estates of 12,000 acres and exporting to various countries including USA, Europe and Japan. Today, Café Coffee Day, or CCD, as it is commonly known, has almost 1534 outlets across 28 states of India. It has also recently expanded outside India with outlets in Karachi, Vienna, Dubai and Prague. Foreign brands like Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Costa Coffee and Gloria Jeans Coffees have not been able to stir this brand from its place.
2. Thums Up
It is well known among marketers that Coke actually bought this iconic soda drink in 1993 from the erstwhile owners Chauhan Brothers to kill it, since it was reigning over the market with the largest share (36 per cent). Even after being acquired by the company, it still continued to be the drink favored by the masses, and still has the highest market share that stands at 16 per cent with Pepsi and Sprite at a close second (15 per cent).
3. Old Monk
It is the nation’s favorite drink. Launched in 1954, this dark Indian rum is owned by Mohan Meakin Limited. Old Monk has a distinct vanilla flavor, and comes with an alcohol content of 40 per cent. It is produced in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, and is available in all parts of India.
The uniqueness of this brand is that although it indulges in practically zero advertising, its popularity depends on word-of-mouth and customer loyalty. Until recently, Old Monk was crowned as the largest selling dark rum in the world, a title which it lost to McDowell’s No.1 Celebration Rum only last year. Old Monk has been the biggest Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) brand for many years now.
Formed in 1946, Amul is a brand managed by the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF), a cooperation jointly owned by 3 million milk producers in Gujarat. Started by Dr Verghese Kurien, founder-chairman of the GCMMF for more than 30 years (1973–2006), Amul spurred the White Revolution in India. It is one of the largest milk products’ players in the country, and has withstood competition from private players for years.
The MRF story is a truly remarkable one. MRF, or Madras Rubber Factory started out with a funding of Rs.14000 way back in the 40’s, and is today a multi-billion legacy producing quality tyres used all across India and the world, along with a presence in paints, coats, toys, motorsports and cricket training.
6. Royal Enfield
The brand’s iconic motorcycle Bullet enjoys the longest motorcycle production run of all time, making it one of the oldest running bikes of the world. Today the bike is produced at its Chennai facility and is exported to counties in Europe and the US. The craze for this bike is evident from its waiting period. Royal Enfield’s current market share in the 250-800cc segment is 97.7 per cent.
Lakme is one brand that is giving a stiff neck to neck competition to the billion dollar L’Oreal Group, and how! Owned by Hindustan Unilever and run by CEO Pushkaraj Shenai, Lakmé started out as a 100 per cent subsidiary of Tata Oil Mills, part of the Tata Group. It was named after the French opera Lakmé, the goddess of wealth, also renowned for her beauty. Lakmé began operations in 1952, funnily because the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was concerned that Indian women were spending precious foreign exchange on beauty products, hence personally requesting JRD Tata to manufacture them in India. Lakmé is the current market leader in the Indian cosmetics market with a 17.7 per cent market share.
Solely owned by Indians Rajesh Agarwal, Sumeet Arora, Rahul Sharma, and Vikas Jain – Micromax started its telecom operations in 2010 – at a time when India was already a hot market captured by international giants Nokia, Samsung, Sony, etc. When Micromax launched their first Android smart phone, no one had much hope from the phone; since Samsung was the only credible brand favored for androids, then. However, as international brands were fighting it out in the crowded urban market space, Micromax launched its phone in the rural market. With cheaper, credible and features-laden phones as their USP, Micromax attracted millions of middle class customers. Micromax today boasts of an impressive 13 per cent market share, giving tough competition to Nokia, which stands second at 20 per cent. Today, the brand has grown strong enough to pull an international celebrity (Hugh Jackman) as its brand ambassador. Go, Micromax!
Bharti Airtel is an Indian multinational telecommunications services company, operating in 20 countries across South Asia, Africa and the Channel Islands. Airtel, headed by Sunil Bharti Mittal is the world’s fourth largest mobile telecommunications company by subscribers, with over 275 million subscribers across 20 countries. It is also the largest cellular service provider in India, with 192.22 million subscribers.
Raymond Group is one of India’s largest branded fabric and fashion retailers. Founded in the year 1925 in Mumbai, Raymond today owns some of the well-known apparel brands like Raymond, Raymond Premium Apparel, Park Avenue, Park Avenue Woman, Manzoni, ColorPlus, zapp, Notting Hill & Parx. The group has over 60 per cent market share in worsted suiting in India. Its products are exported to over 55 countries including the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and the Middle East.