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BW Businessworld

Third-Time Lucky?

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In its third attempt to crack the Indian world of brands, global brand consultancy Interbrand will now refocus its India strategy by merging its Indian operations with Water, the brand strategy and design consultancy of the Mudra Group.

While globally Interbrand has built a giant reputation in advising corporations to create and manage brands as valuable business assets, its Indian operations have had a chequered past. It first set up its Indian operations in 2001, in partnership with Equitor, a Bangalore-based consultancy. The two drifted apart a few years later. The consultancy then re-entered India on its own with an office in Mumbai in 2010.

Experts say the consultancy never put its weight behind the Indian foray. For key client engagements in the country, like the case of working for the Godrej Group, Interbrand's key people on the account were based out of the UK. "The Indian office was seen more as a sales office or a feeder operation," says one executive familiar with Interbrand's Indian operations.

Also, during Interbrand's second innings, the Indian market had matured to such an extent that clients no longer hired international consultancies just because they were international. "Indian marketers are looking for consultancies that bring international experience combined with local intelligence," says one industry source.

While the team in India will continue to be called Water, it will transition to Interbrand after a short period.

Hopefully, Interbrand will be third-time lucky.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 19-03-2012)