Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Aug 05, 2006


News
Features
Stocks
Cross Currency
Shipping
Archives
Google

Group Sites

Home Page - Rice
Marketing - Brands
Agri-Biz & Commodities - Exports & Imports
Basmati industry smitten by renaming bug

Harish Damodaran

Companies undergo name change in bid to convey `new business focus'


A FILE picture of basmati paddy in full bloom

New Delhi , Aug. 4

In 1889, two brothers, Khushi Ram and Behari Lal, formed a rice milling partnership at Lyallpur (now Faisalabad in Pakistan). About 105 years later, this firm was made a limited company, while still being called Khushi Ram Behari Lal. In 1999, it was renamed KRBL Ltd.

"I quite regret the decision. The earlier name had an oriental charm that went well with our product," Anil Mittal, great-grandson of Khushi Ram and Chairman of KRBL, notes light-heartedly. His Rs 725-crore company - the country's top basmati rice exporter in volume terms - owns the India Gate brand.

A more recent story is of two other brothers from Bhikiwind in Amritsar, who ran a rice trading partnership called Lalchand Tirathram.

In 1976, the younger brother, Tirathram Arora, broke away to form a separate firm with his three sons, Jugal Kishore, Satnam and Gurnam. The old firm, under Lalchand Arora and his son, Raghunath, continued as Lalchand Tirathram Rice Mills till 1990, when it got incorporated as LT Overseas. By then, the partnership of Tirathram and his sons had also become Satnam Overseas Ltd.

Today, the Rs 540-crore Satnam Overseas and the Rs 400-crore LT Overseas are leaders in the domestic branded basmati segment.

Yet, as companies, they are little known compared to the recall levels of their respective brands, Kohinoor and Daawat. A fact that has led Satnam Overseas to rechristen itself again as Kohinoor Foods Ltd.

"The new name reflects our new corporate identity as a branded food company from a bulk commodity exporter," says Gurnam Arora, Joint Managing Director.

Echoing the same line is V.K. Arora, Managing Director of LT Overseas. "Everybody knows Daawat, but not LT Overseas," he admits, even as the company has already registered a subsidiary, Daawat Foods Private Ltd.

Another rice processor to have undergone a name change to convey a `new business focus' is B.S. Uppal's Rs 560-crore Lakshmi Energy and Foods Ltd, which was earlier simply Lakshmi Overseas Industries.

The renaming bug has not claimed everyone though. Take Amar Singh Chawal Wala and Deva Singh Sham Singh, the two Amritsar-based companies that own the popular Lal Qilla and Elephant basmati brands.

Or, Delhi's Shivnath Rai Harnarain India Ltd (Shri Lalmahal) and Amir Chand Jagdish Kumar (Aeroplane)

These big names in the rice export and domestic milling business are some distance away from becoming ASCW, DSSS, SRH or ACJK Ltd. At least, as of now.

Related Stories:
Branding: Buzzword for rice biz
`Super' row over Basmati in the making

More Stories on : Rice | Brands | Exports & Imports

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page



Contest Contest

PNB Readership Survey Contest

Stories in this Section
Basmati industry smitten by renaming bug


Rainfall deficit down to 7 pc
Indian equity in Bharti down to 26 pc
Decks cleared for Idea Cellular's foray in Mumbai
Inflation up as pulses, vegetables turn dearer
Iran gas pipeline: Consultant to decide on pricing
Oil PSUs may avert rise in under-recoveries in Q2
Ministry rejects RIL demand for compensation
Iran wants to renegotiate 5-mt LNG deal with India
Satyam to scale up operations in China
Tech Mahindra, GMR Infra IPOs oversubscribed
GE Shipping sailing stable
Himalya attracts more attention
MFs stay net buyers in debt market despite rate hikes
Chidambaram defends advisory to banks on PLR
PSU bankers `surprised'


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2006, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line