A survey report indicates that Kolkata, which was home to many of the country's top brands even five decades ago, is once again emerging as the hub of popular business names that have national presence.
Latest Brand Trust Report of Trust Research Advisory shows that things have started looking up for West Bengal last year. As many as 44 Bengal-based brands have found place in the list of top-1,000 national brands this year, says the latest TRA report.
The report is all the more significant considering that nine multinational brands are in the top-20 segment of the list with only Tata figuring in the top five. The top-100 list is dominated by international brands such as Samsung, Sony, LG, Hyundai, HP, Dell, Nokia, Coke and Pepsi. Only Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore are ahead of Kolkata in brand building. Emami, a homegrown brand, has topped diversified FMCG category with a national ranking of 18.Hindustan Unilever Ltd has ranked 28 while Nirma bagged the 24th spot.
Economist Dipankar Dasgupta, who was earlier attached with the Indian Statistical Institute in New Delhi and Kolkata, termed the latest TRA findings to be an indicator of resurgence of Bengal.
“Most of the homegrown brands are from the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector. But, MSME should be a thrust area here. It can make a difference”, he added.
In the 60s, homegrown brands from Bengal, such as Boroline, Jabakusum, Amabassador, Sen Raleigh, Sur Refrigerator and Murphy Radio, used to dominate the national market, rubbing shoulders with the then multinational brands such as ICI, Phillips, Dettol, Shaw Wallace and Dunlop.
The TRA study, is conducted according to parameters set by Indian Statistical Institute, Mumbai, also showed that 14 brands from Bengal have for the first time featured among top national brands. The survey was conducted for the last five years.
New brands from Bengal that have found place in the national scene are Cookme in cooking spices, Century Ply in home decor, Keo Karpin in haircare, Anmol Biscuits, Dark Fantasy and Raja Biscuits in foods, Anjali Jewellers in ornaments, Polar in electrical, Arish Ayurvedic in herbal medicine, Sreeleathers in footwear, and Keya Seth along with others.
Commenting on the outcome, N Chandramouli, CEO of TRA, said, “There has been an encouraging trend in this year's report for the West Bengal-based companies.“ He said that a number of products, such as Keo Karpin Hair oil (a regular name in Bengali household from Dey's Medical Company), are a surprise direct entry. Keo Karpin is nationally positioned at 618th place along with Century Plywood at 336th and Anjali Jewellers at 556th.”
The other significant brands from Eastern region that have been recognized for their “trust factor“ in the report include Turtle, Kutchina, Khadims, Linc Pens, Berger Paints , Keya Seth Spa and Rupa Frontline.
Century Plyboards, which is one of the first time entrants in the top-1000 list, is in top 350 out of top 1000 on the list.
The head of national food chains such as Mainland China and MD of Situations Advertising, Anjan Chatterjee, said the fact that 44 brands featured in the list of the top 1000 speaks about the quality that Kolkata has. “These companies have good brand strategy as well,“ he added.