The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tata Steel speeds up brandwagon

Calcutta, April 9: Tata Iron & Steel Company (Tisco) plans to increase its revenues by over five times from Rs 750 crore to Rs 4,000 crore in the next four years. Tisco managing director B. Muthuraman said the sales from branded products would be around Rs 1,500 crore this year and Rs 2,700 crore next year.

“Our objective is to decommoditise the steel sector. If products like soaps are branded, steel too should come that way,” he said.

Tisco plans to sell all of its flat products through the distribution channel under these brand names. The company sells about 40 per cent of its total flat products, both hot-rolled and cold rolled products, through the distribution channel while the remaining 60 per cent is directly sold to customers.

Tisco, the largest producer of steel in the private sector, currently has three brands — Tata Tiscon, Tata Shaktee and Tata Steelium.

While the branded cold rolled strips for the distribution channel will be available as Tata Steelium, the TMT rebars would be embossed with the brand name Tata Tiscon and galvanized sheets would come with the Tata Shaktee tag.

The company has also been training distributors and dealers on how to manage the brands in a market that has never experienced any such marketing. A brand protection group has also been formed in order to protect the brands from fakes.

“Since branding is our primary focus, we are going to use all means to popularise our brands,” Muthuraman said. He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Repositioning the East’ being organised by CII here. Muthuraman is set to become the deputy-chairman of CII (eastern region) while Sanjay Budhia will be the chairman.

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