Farmer Sui­cides Over­looked?

The Economic Times - - Front Page -

Farmer sui­cides due to agrar­ian crisis may be fall­ing in Ma­ha­rash­tra, but that has more to do with of­fi­cials at­tribut­ing the sui­cides to other rea­sons, re­ports

Sri­vas­tava’s point that Gur­gaon as a brand had its own unique iden­tity is echoed by Make­MyTrip’s boss Deep Kalra, who also flagged un­nec­es­sary cost as a neg­a­tive: “This is not a good idea, since it will cause un­nec­es­sary con­fu­sion for all for years to come…It’s a to­tal waste of gov­ern­ment and cor­po­rate money, which I am sure will run into hun­dreds of crores over time. All doc­u­men­ta­tion, sig­nages on roads, met­ros, list­ings, web­sites etc will need to change. Gur­gaon has been es­tab­lished as a hub for cor­po­rates, both in­ter­na­tional and In­dian; makes lit­tle sense to try and change the name…” Ad­man, TV talk­ing head and colum­nist Suhel Seth called the re­nam­ing an “epic mis­take”. “There should be logic to this. Just to in­voke Hin­duism…they can’t change names like that,” he said. Pep­siCo In­dia CEO D Shivaku­mar was one of the dis­senters, ar­gu­ing the “gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion to rename” will not make any dif­fer­ence as the city will thrive thanks to its “ecosys­tem of com­pa­nies and a large tal­ent pool”.

“I do not think it makes any dif­fer­ence to busi­ness or in­dus­try,” RC Bhar­gava, chair­man, Maruti Suzuki, said, ar­gu­ing the re­nam­ing is ir­rel­e­vant.

But a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive of a lead­ing Amer­i­can MNC said Gu­ru­gram will have even less “mean­ing” for Western cor­po­rate heavy­weights than Gur­gaon. “Our HQ peo­ple found it hard to re­late to Gur­gaon…Gu­ru­gram will de­feat them.”

Rad­hika Ag­gar­wal, Chief Busi­ness Of­fi­cer, Shop­clues, said she found “no point in the name change” and that re- nam­ing will “add con­fu­sion”.

Many se­nior cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tives, for whom Gur­gaon is a place of both work and res­i­dence, termed the re­nam­ing to Gu­ru­gram as “dis­as­trous”. Their ar­gu­ment was that over the years Gur­gaon had ac­quired a global and high-end cache de­spite be­ing a “ver­nac­u­lar” name and that Gu­ru­gram will sim­ply not have that brand sheen.

Ra­jiv Tal­war, CEO of Gur­gaon-head­quar­tered DLF, the real es­tate firm deeply in­volved with Gur­gaon’s ur­ban trans­for­ma­tion, agrees with the loss of brand value ar­gu­ment, but in a dif­fer­ent way: “Brands are in-built in our mind….who calls Con­naught Place (a Delhi shop­ping hub) Ra­jiv Chowk…Most peo­ple don’t call Ban­ga­lore Bengaluru…”

Tal­war, how­ever, reck­ons Gu­ru­gram’s many cor­po­rate and high-end res­i­den­tial com­plexes, places that gave Gur­gaon its cache, will mit­i­gate the im­pact of re­nam­ing.

Another ma­jor real es­tate firm, which did not want to be iden­ti­fied, said there will be “some ex­plain­ing to do to for­eign in­vestors” about Gu­ru­gram but Gur­gaon’s at­trac­tions may not dim.

Most real es­tate play­ers said the sub-brand­ing of lux­ury apart­ment of com­plexes – the Carl­tons, Oka­woods, Labar­nums etc – will keep the im­pact of Gu­ru­gram at the min­i­mum. Glob­al­i­sa­tion­friendly brand­ing for high­priced prop­er­ties will op­er­ate in their own space, dis­tinct from the mes­sag­ing from Gu­ru­gram – that’s the ar­gu­ment and hope of big prop­erty de­vel­op­ers.

(Re­port­ing by Taslima Khan, Ratna Bhushan, Ravi Teja Sharma, Dev­ina Sengupta, Anir­ban Chowd­hury & Sharmistha Mukher­jee)

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