Our Bureau

New Delhi, Jan. 24

TATA Sons on Tuesday said that the brand value of the group companies and products has increased to Rs 24,396 crore. "Not many have undertaken the brand valuation exercise, but I think we are the biggest (brand) in India. We are head and shoulders above anybody," said Mr R. Gopalakrishnan, Executive Director, Tata Sons.

The valuation was done in 2005, on 17 group companies, and the result was ahead of the brand valuation of Rs 3,700 crore done in 1997 of five group companies.

The brand exercise by the Tatas assumes importance in the wake of the group's increasing expansion in the international market. The group is focusing on building the brand Tata in the overseas market as well.

Mr Gopalakrishnan added that South Africa was an example of this process in which the South African Government was running a campaign on national television about Tata as an Indian conglomerate, which was partnering the country in its progress.

Listing telecommunication, insurance and retail as three new areas for substantial investment, he admitted that the combined investment of the group companies could be about Rs 1,80,000 crore over the next 10 years. He, however, did not provide any further details about the investments.

Conceding that till recently Tatas had an image of "old," Mr Gopalakrishnan said the holding company and group companies had undertaken an exercise to connect with the younger generation. The restructuring exercise and the measures taken to cut costs also helped to give better performance perception and all this collectively pushed up the brand value of the group companies. "As much as Rs 4,000-5,000 crore cost was cut down in the last five years. Tata Steel and Tata Motors alone cut down expenses by up to Rs 3,000 crore," he said, adding that this was good on an average turnover of about Rs 30,000 crore and a profit of Rs 6,000-7,000 crore.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 26, 2006)
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