Riding on the universal appeal of brand ‘Durga Puja', India Inc plans to woo the non-resident Bengalis (NRBs) populace. Companies cutting across sectors – real estate, healthcare, and entertainment – are increasingly using overseas Puja forums not only for brand awareness but also to forge business tie-ups.

Sponsorships or associations from Indian companies, account for nearly 40 per cent of the budget of some of these Pujas abroad.

City-based event management firm Candid Communication has arranged corporate sponsorships for four Pujas in London this year. A number of Kolkata-based companies will also take part in a pre-Puja event called ProbashParbani in London, next week.

Real Estate pitch

“The huge congregation of professionals make such events a fitting opportunity to strike relationships,” Chandan Kanti Chowdhury, Chief Operating Officer, Jain Group of Industries, told Business Line . A regular sponsor to Durga Pujas in the UK, Jain group plans to attract investors' interest in its waste-to-energy projects in India.

With NRBs wishing to return to Kolkata, real estate majors such as Ambuja Realty, Shrachi and Calcutta Riverside Projects set up stalls in overseas Pujas or participate in pre-Puja events and conferences to promote premium projects. “We are participating in North American Bengali Conference (NABC) for last 10 years,” Sumit Dabriwal, Managing Director, Highland Group, said.

Although it would be difficult to quantify the return from such campaigns, industry sources point out that close to 30 per cent of real estate demand in Kolkata is generated by non-resident population.

Health cards

Medical tourism service providers too are exploring business opportunities with custom-made offerings. Advatech Healthcare Ltd plans to launch its health card for parents of NRBs staying in India. “The health card will not just cater to medical needs; but will also address issues of loneliness through escort services, Kaustuv Bhadra, Director – Brand and Marketing, Advatech, said.

Medica – a Kolkata-based hospital chain – reports an increase in NRB interest for a similar product following its participation in a UK-based Puja in 2010.


Bengal film industry too isn't far behind. Flop-E , a Bengali film plans to hold its premiere at the “Panchamukhee” Puja at Harrow Arts Centre in London, this year.