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Wednesday, May 29, 2002

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Vertebrand sets up shop in Chennai, Hyderabad

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THE Bangalore-based Vertebrand Management Consulting, a brand management consultancy, is expanding its operations to Chennai and Hyderabad.

Started in 1999, the company received initial funding from Mr R.Vasu, an entrepreneur who made his money by marketing incense sticks (agarbathis). "We set up shop at a time when the market was flooded with VC-funded technocrats who had little knowledge of brand building," explains Mr Raghu B. Viswanath, Managing Director of the company, and a former Titan executive. Cashing in on this opportunity, Vertebrand started offering consultancy services in the area of brand management and sales and marketing especially for start-ups and established family-run businesses.

Typically, its area of work involves taking on brand `partnerships' or offer strategic consultancy. In the first case, the company takes on assignments with companies for a time-period to achieve specific brand building objectives.

"We work on projects such as evaluating a new product, finding new opportunities in sales and marketing, rationalising distribution channels and so on," says Mr Anustup Datta, Head - Business Planning Services.

As a part of its strategic consultancy, Vertebrand carries out extensive market research to offer the required information to the client.

"The objective is not only to offer data to the client but also translate this into a plan of action. We call this `mind' to `market' strategy," he says. The company has also developed proprietary modules on various aspects of brand management such as opportunity assessment, brand identity and positioning, brand perception tracking and valuation, to offer customised solutions.

It also offers its service at an operational level. For instance, it takes on outsourcing assignments to run the sales and marketing functions of a client. "This is practically running the company for the client," says Mr Viswanath. He points out that the recession provided the ideal environment for growth as the company posted over a 100 per cent growth this year with its revenues crossing Rs 1 crore. He expects retailing and services sector to offer potential business for them in the future.

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