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Despite scam, Brand Tata shines

The Tata Brand has been dragged into the 2G scam, Tata Nanos have been catching fire, and group chairman Ratan Tata is set to retire in 2012, but it remains strong and respected throughout the world, Tata Sons executive director R Gopalakrishnan told journalists on Friday. HT reports.

business Updated: Apr 08, 2011 22:53 IST
HT Correspondent

The Tata Brand has been dragged into the 2G scam, Tata Nanos have been catching fire, and group chairman Ratan Tata is set to retire in 2012, but it remains strong and respected throughout the world, Tata Sons executive director R Gopalakrishnan told journalists on Friday.

He was giving a presentation on ‘Building Indian Corporate Brands — early experiences and lessons from Tata.’

Tata has made it to the list of the world’s 50 most valuable brands, the first Indian company to break into the group. It also featured on the list of 20 most respected global brands by Germany-based PSB.

Ratan Tata’s exit may have a short-term impact, but “at Tata you do not think of the next leader for next five years, a guy who comes and cashes the stock options and goes off to the Bahamas, but for a guy who can be there for 30-40 years ideally. There is a different way of thinking and I hope that the cultural gene which is deeply embedded at Tatas will be guiding (the new chairman).”

A hint that Tatas will look for a successor from within?

On the impact of the Tata name being dragged into the 2G scam, and certain products not meeting customer satisfaction (Nano catching fire), Gopalakrishnan said, “The episodes are real and you can’t deny that. It also impacts in the short-term. But honestly there are only two responses: fix the problem by understanding where it belongs, and be open and honest about how it happened.”

Gopalakrishnan said the group has remained tolerant, adaptive, coherent and conservative in its 140-year history. A comparison of Tata with six other strong Indian brands (in January and February 2011) showed that Tata is on top across the three dimensions of relevance, affinity and personality.

He, however, said that Brand Tata also comes on top on parameters of winner, mentor and fighter. But this has not been the case always as till the year 2002 it was considered more of a mentor rather than being a fighter and a winner.

On the lessons that Tatas have learnt in their long corporate history Gopalakrishnan said that brands must first earn respect and then strive for love. Brands must have good practices and must focus on doing the right things.