Home > Uncategorized > Revival Innovation – East India Company

Revival Innovation – East India Company

Tis the season to revive old brands it seems. Last month the buzz was about the Old Spice web adverts that were doing the rounds, quite funny and very interactive as the character seemed to answer questions from people in new adverts as they were released. Of course YouTube gives such viral marketing a longer shelf life.

Now, the rather shocking report (for those that know their history) that the ‘East India Company’ is to be revived by an Indian investor (it would have to be really) and is going to be the brand for a whole range of high-end consumer goods. The East India Company was of course the Military Industrial Complex of the old British Empire, complete with its own private army and indeed pretty much ran whole swathes of India at various times. In a sense it would be a little like someone setting up a high-end brand in Ireland called Oliver Cromwell or the Black and Tans!

The Sunday Times reported that after buying all the shares, which were mostly owned by British businessmen, the Indian Entrepreneur Mr Mehta, with other investors, has invested £10 million into the development of the company. The flagship store will be launched in London this spring, followed by a second in the capital by the end of the year. Then others will be opened in India and the Middle East, with concessions in Japanese department stores and franchises in Russia. Somewhat ironically the brand will sell 500 product lines including teas, coffees, furniture, chocolate, leather goods and homewares. Very much the business of the first East India Company.

Salespeople will be required to know the background to the brand and its history, which will be part of the sales pitch. Perhaps enough time has gone by that the sins of this particular company may be washed away, by Indian investors.

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