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Saturday, 23 July 2011 00:00
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Ekta Kapoor once felt an extra ‘K’ in her serials helped. Rebranding West Bengal can’t be about just that

At one time, serial queen Ekta Kapoor is said to have believed an extra ‘K’ in the names of her serials gave them divine luck. So, for a while, the serials whose names began with a ‘K’ started sporting another ‘K’. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee seems to be bitten by a similar bug, given her desire to drop the ‘West’ from the state’s name, or is it an attempt to distance her reign from the 34 years of Left rule the state had to endure before she came to power?

Rebranding, as any corporate will tell you, has to be about more than just a change in spelling or a new logo, though that’s what the rest of the world sees. The lower-case ‘a’ in Airtel wasn’t just about giving a branding agency a huge fee, Jubilant Organosys was not just about a new name for a company whose initials stood for the chemical Vinyl Acetate Monomer, nor was Tata Motors just about a shorter and more elegant name than Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company Limited. In each case, rebranding was part of a strategy to take the company to a different level. While moving from Telco to Tata Motors, the company made a big shift from old-fashioned trucks to passenger cars, eventually leading up to the Nano revolution and the takeover of Jaguar-Land Rover. For VAM, it was about moving into high-end pharma research, oil exploration and even the food/retail business—it is the India arm of Domino’s Pizza and that business has a market cap that’s pretty close to that of the global parent.

Most of West Bengal’s problems remain with it, and while three-decade-old problems take a while to fix, Banerjee is adding a few of her own. Rebranding, or even good vaastu, isn’t going to help unless that changes.


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