7 Marquee Indian brands which are misfits in today’s world

According to Marketing fundamentals creating a brand value for a product is extremely important as it translates into trust a customer has on this product. Overtime, as the brand performs better on customer’s evaluation criteria, the trust deepens and establishes a long lasting relation. So, is a brand name perpetual?

Global brands

Again, marketing states that brand names have a never ending legacy. That is why, even after the product is stopped, the brand name continues. In the last decade, hundreds of brands went bust which were deemed safe, steady and unsinkable. Similarly, in India numerous brands fell either due to their inability to innovate/catch-up with modern trends, frauds or management’s myopic view.

Earlier version of Kodak camera

Here are 7 relished and still famous Indian brands which are more or less dead:

1. Rajdoot: Ek Jaandaar Sawari, Ek Shaandaar Sawari

Rajdoot was common household name in India during 80s. Rajdoot Excel T (173 cc) model was apt for Indian consumers with a perfect mix of power and mileage. India’s two-stroke motorcycle (use of “Bike” word was uncommon) was manufactured by Escorts group in 1962.

Rajdoot Excel T bike which was the largest selling product line from the brand

But, inability to innovate, poor design and pathetic after sales service led to the fall of Rajdoot after a reign of almost two decades.

2. Ambassador: The King of Indian Roads

Ambassador was an iconic Indian brand making the owners proud. It had a unique significance for India as it was the first car manufactured in India. Considered a status symbol, Ambassador was the official car for government officials.

Ambassador whose production has been stopped by Hindustan Motors

But, entry of Maruti and other foreign brands ended its dominance as they offered contemporary designs and better efficiency. Poor marketing, neglecting changing trends and high prices led to Ambassador’s failure whose production was stopped in 2014 by parent Hindustan Motors.

Ambassador print ad depicting it to be a big family car


3. GoldSpot: The Zing Thing

India has been a popular soft drink market even though per person consumption is still meager in comparison to global stats. In 1977, when majors like Coke and Pepsi were asked to leave, Parle launched Goldspot along with Thums Up and Limca.

Parle's soft drink portfolio during 80s


GoldSpot was widely popular and a significant contributor in revenues. But, when Coke reentered Indian markets, Ramesh Chauhan decided to sell GoldSpot to Coke. The soft drink major discontinued the product despite its popularity to promote its own line of Orange flavored drinks under brand “Fanta”.

Gold Spot soft drink by Parle with tagline the zing thing

4. HMT watches: Timekeepers to the nation

HMT watches was the most sought after watch brand till 90s enjoying a comfortable 90% market share. The state owned company produced watches in collaboration with Citizen of Japan and was first to introduce Quartz watches in 1970s. This “Desh ki Dhadkan” stopped beating when economic liberalization opened up Indian market the company’s complacency came out in open. With yearly decline in demand, the Indian government has ordered a phased closure of the company.

HMT janata watch, one of the largest selling product line under the brand HMT

5. Bajaj Scooters: Hamara Bajaj

80s and 90s were the decades dominated by scooters. Several models like Bajaj Super, Bajaj Chetak and LML Vespa flooded Indian market. Scooters defined Bajaj’s identity as a Two-wheeler manufacturer and made them leaders of the segment.

Bajaj Chetak whose production was stopped in 2009 is all set to make a re entry


But, with advent of Fast, powerful, trendy and efficient bikes, the scooter segment lost its sheen. Instead of overhauling, Bajaj put a full stop on scooter manufacturing which later benefitted Honda which is now the leader of this segment with a healthy yearly growth.

Piaggio Vespa's scooters with striking designs

6. Binaca: Have a Blast!!!

Binaca was a famous toothpaste brand, second only to Colgate in market share during 70s. The brand was then owned by Reckitt Benckiser. The brand sponsored one of the most successful radio programs, Binaca Geetmala which made the brand familiar to people belonging to rural strata. When Dabur acquired the brand in 1996, it had great plans for Binaca. But, the product was neglected as it didn’t fit the portfolio of Dabur and was reduced to Binaca toothbrushes.

Binaca Fluoride toothpastes once ruled the markets

7. Dalda: Jahan Mamta, Waha Dalda

This was a product developed keeping consumer insights in mind. The product was under the aegis of Hindustan Unilever and initially faced hiccups due to its unique nature. The product, Vanaspati Ghee had the deep fry properties and smell similar to that of Ghee but the price was much less. Thus, it was affordable and had demand too.

Dalda displaying mother's love and care for her child

Dalda enjoyed monopoly till 90s when it started facing competition from Refined Oils, Palm Oils and Sunflower Oil. HUL waited for the right opportunity and offloaded the product to Bunge. This American Agri product giant is still trying to rebrand Dalda and give it a fresh lease of life.

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