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CSR: Brands That Are Not Made In India

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Make in India’ movement on 25 September 2014. The goal was to encourage the corporate houses to set up production in India and for the citizens to use the products that are made in India. The movement has paid off with improving the state of economic affairs significantly.

With the masses showing desire towards using more swadeshi products, the brands are using local icons, languages and culture for advertising to attract more audience. This has caused many international brands to be misconstrued for Indian. These are 10 brands that are mistook for having Indian origins.

1. Iodex

“Iodex maliye kaam pe chaliye!”

The tagline had caught on so much that the balm is included in the home remedies suggested by Indian grandmothers. This has led many to believe that it is an Indian brand. However, the product is owned by GSK Consumer, a UK based FMCG company.

2. Eno

“Eno kaam kare sirf 6 second me”

The catchy tagline has caught on to majority of the country. Eno soda is the first thing that is used by many Indian households to deal with acidity and stomach issues. The brand has been in the country for a very long time and has embraced the culture by coming up with different flavours to appease the Indian taste palette. The product however is owned by Glaxosmithkline which is a UK based company.

3. Star TV

Star TV has launched many top Indian TV serials which have dominated the prime time slots in India for the last decade. The Saas- Bahu sagas of Indian families have drawn viewers by the millions which is one of the reasons for giving it a feel of Indianness. Star TV is owned by 21st century fox which is US based conglomerate. The channel was originally supposed to air popular American shows in India but they ended up launching local shows which became highly successful.

4. Reynolds

The 80’s and 90’s kids wrote all their exams using 045 Reynolds ball pen. It was a classic pen loved by children and adults alike. The campaign by Sachin Tendulkar gave it unparalleled visibility and it was the best selling pen few decades ago. The brand has faded but people still think it is an Indian brand whereas the routes of the brand are completely American where it was started in 1945 that explains the ‘045’ pen.

5. Bata Footwear

Bata is eponymous for classic durable Indian footwear. For most Indian children, their first school shoes are Bata shoes. Somehow the name also sounds Indian. It was in fact founded by Tomas Bata in 1894 and has its headquarters in Switzerland. It has a retail presence in more than 70 countries. The company is a true example of ‘Think Global , Act Local’.

6. Lifebuoy

‘Lifebuoy hai jahan tandurusti hai wahan’ is one of the most famous jingles in the Indian Advertising Arena. Lifebuoy was the highest selling soap in India by a distance for a very long time and their marketing campaigns established them as an Indian brand. The brand was actually launched by Procter & Gamble and landed on Indian shores in 1895. Generations of Indians have been using this soap without knowing about its American origins.

7. Colgate

The classic white Colgate toothpaste is present in every Indian household. For the older citizens of the country, Colgate is often synonymous to toothpaste. It has a monopoly in the Indian toothpaste market. The white toothpaste vis-a-vis the fancy variants by other companies made people think that this is a heritage Indian brand. Colgate was launched in the US in 1873 and has been in India for more than 100 years.

8. Maggi

Maggi has been more than just a food form in India. It has been a go to meal for all students or office goers who live away from families, can’t cook and can’t afford to eat out everyday. The two minutes noodles bowl has held the country under its spell for years. The monopoly of this fast food is so strong, that several other products have been launched in the Indian market to compete with this, but none of them have been so successful. There was a ban placed on this product by the government as the lead amounts were found higher than permitted standards. However, the brand image didn’t suffer as much as it should have and got its first position back soon after the product was launched. The product was designed for India, but is owned by Nestle which is a Switzerland based company.

9. Tatra trucks

Tatra trucks are widely used in the Indian military establishment. Their use in the military combined with the similarity with India’s most trusted brand and largest selling truck company, Tata , created a perception that it is an Indian brand. Tatra is a Czech vehicle manufacturer. The company was founded in 1850 as Schustala & Company.

10. Vicks Vaporub

Do you have cough and cold? Rub Vicks and you will be good to go. This brand has been helping Indians with their runny noses since 1964. The brand is so dominant that all vaporubs or balms are called Vicks. Vicks rules the Indian market. It was invented in the United States in 1890 and the brand was acquired by Procter & Gamble in 1985.

Thank you for reading the story until the very end. We appreciate the time you have given us. In addition, your thoughts and inputs will genuinely make a difference to us. Please do drop in a line and help us do better.

Regards,
The CSR Journal Team

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