EPFO Set for Brand Makeover to Widen Reach among Sub­scribers

Re­tire­ment fund body’s ini­tia­tive seen as an ef­fort to re­build im­age dented by protests against govern­ment move to tax with­drawal of PF money

The Economic Times - - Economy: Macro, Micro & More - Yogima.Sharma@ times­group.com

New Delhi: Re­tire­ment fund body Em­ploy­ees’ Prov­i­dent Fund Or­gan­i­sa­tion (EPFO) is get­ting a brand makeover, a move seen as an ex­er­cise to re­build its im­age in the wake of some con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sions re­lated to the or­gan­i­sa­tion in­clud­ing some that trig­gered vi­o­lent protests. To be­gin with, EPFO will soon get a tagline to brand it­self and this is likely to be fol­lowed by a brand am­bas­sador who would be the face of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

A se­nior labour min­istry of­fi­cial said the idea is to en­sure EPFO be­comes a house­hold name and peo­ple should make use of it in a big way. “Many of our sub­scribers who are poor work­ers are not aware of the ben­e­fits like the pen­sion, prov­i­dent fund and even the de­posit-linked in­surance scheme un­der EPFO be­sides sev­eral new ini­tia­tives un­der­taken in the last two years. Hence we aim to reach out to the last mile sub­scriber,” the of­fi­cial told ET.

As part of this ini­tia­tive, EPFO may also ren­o­vate all its 120 of­fices across

the country to make them all look sim­i­lar to the State Bank of In­dia build­ings and in­stall its logo and sig­nages on their fa­cades. EPFO re­cently in­vited sug­ges­tions from its field func­tionar­ies on the suitable tagline for the or­gan­isa- tion. “A need has been felt over time to have a tagline for EPFO that can be used for brand­ing EPFO while pub­li­cis­ing schemes, ini­tia­tives and a va­ri­ety of com­mu­ni­ca­tion,” EPFO has said in its or­der dated April 19.

“Sug­ges­tions, there­fore, are in­vited from our field func­tionar­ies in coin­ing a tagline for EPFO that truly de­pict its char­ac­ter from the per­spec­tive of pub­lic, at large. Ap­pro­pri­ate re­ward for this is un­der ac­tive con­sid­er­a­tion,” the let­ter stated.

The func­tionar­ies could sent in their sug­ges­tions till April 26.

Some brand ex­perts see the ini­tia­tive as a re­sponse to a cou­ple of con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sions that some­what dented EPFO’s im­age re­cently.

“EPFO has been in a bit of flak in re­cent months as a re­sult of which it's es­sen­tially be­nign im­age has taken a hit," brand con­sul­tant Har­ish Bi­joor said. The govern­ment had first im­posed a tax on with­drawal of PF money and later re­stricted the with­drawal of the em­ploy­ers’ con­tri­bu­tion to it. Both the de­ci­sions drew wide­spread protests from the salaried class and trade unions, and had to be rolled back.

“It is a rep­u­ta­tion man­age­ment process for front-fac­ing govern­ment en­tity, and it can be help­ful if there is cer­tain uni­for­mity,” said Bi­joor.

EPFO aims at pub­li­cis­ing ben­e­fits at­tached to pen­sion, PF & de­posit-linked in­surance scheme among poor work­ers

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