Fresh valuation under way for Brand Tata

Mumbai, Aug 9 | Updated: Aug 10 2005, 05:30am hrs
The Rs 77,000 crore Tata Group is undertaking a fresh valuation exercise for Brand Tata. The process, being carried out across 17 group companies by global brand consultant Interbrand, is expected to be completed over the next few weeks, R Gopalakrishnan, executive director, Tata Sons, said on Tuesday.

He said preliminary estimates from figures received so far suggested that the value of the major Tata Group brands would be around Rs 25,000 crore in all, or about $6 billion. "These are initial estimates. It could even be $5 billion or $7 billion, but this is the range," Mr Gopalakrishnan said. The total market capitalisation of the Tata Group stands at around Rs 1,42,000 crore. Group market cap got a boost after the listing last year of infotech major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which alone commands a market cap of Rs 61,599 crore.

This brand valuation exercise is the second after an earlier one in 1997, undertaken by the same agency. At that time, the value - across 5 companies - was pegged at $1 billion. Mr Gopalakrishnan also said the Tata Group was drawing up a major overseas brand expansion plan, particularly for markets like South Africa, which was important for the group owing to its foray in the cars and trucks segments. "There will be things we will do. For example, if we are in mining, we will try and build a hospital, or get into adult literacy etc," he explained. "The key elements to be conveyed by the brand are reliability and trust."

Mr Gopalakrishnan, who took select mediapersons through a detailed presentation on Brand Tata, said the perception on the brand had improved considerably between June 2003 and July 2004, but as a "person", the brand was still perceived by some as not very youthful.

However, the enduring qualities of the brand were trust, commitment and nation building. "If brands aren't trusted - youthful or otherwise - they're dead!" he said, adding that trust was still seen as one of the key qualities of the Tata brand. He said it was important to strike a balance between emerging businesses and traditional ones.