The strongest brands in India: Ola leads the list

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Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, customers stayed at home for the most part in 2020. With that in mind, it’s noteworthy that a ride-sharing app topped the list of indigenous Indian companies. Ola has surpassed Amul as the most powerful Indian brand, according to a question posed as part of Campaign Asia-Top Pacific’s Asia’s 1000 Brands research.

According to Sridevi Nair, SVP of planning at Publicis Worldwide India, Ola was regarded as a safe option for individuals without a car to commute during the epidemic. “Safety became the new luxury, and I believe this is what changed the game for Ola,” she added. Brands that respond quickly and are adaptable to meet the needs of the moment leave an impression. And when it came to travel, the necessity of the hour was for a safe and sanitary method of conveyance. Ola prioritised passengers and improved their safety and sanitation practice.”

Nair went on to say that the brand also conveyed safety steps to reassure passengers, which sparked a lot of discussions and, as a result, had a good impact on brand scores.

In agreement with Nair, Oindrila Roy, head of the strategy at Essence India, stated, “Ride-sharing as a category underscores consumer consciousness and has demonstrated this multiple times in the past year.” It is not surprising that key brands in this category reacted quickly and implemented strict measures to ensure the safety of all drivers and passengers. When key brands in this category prioritise consumers, every effort will be rewarded.”

While Nair and Roy emphasised the brand’s efforts during the pandemic, Kiran Khalap, MD and co-founder of chlorophyll, attributed the brand’s rise in rankings to its ongoing marketing efforts. He stated, “The new marketing motto is 365, not the previous 360.” Brands are effective when they remain there in the thoughts of the client even when the product is not being used. That’s every day of the year. Ola has achieved this prestige in the eyes of the Indian consumer.”

Shortly after the lockdowns around the country, PM Narendra Modi called for a movement #VocalforLocal too. This was quickly followed by calls for a boycott of Chinese products deemed “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, state security, and public order.” This resulted in the suspension of 59 mobile applications, including the short video creation site TikTok Cricket was impacted by the ‘conflicts’ with China. The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) stated that its contract with Vivo, the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League (IPL), was being reviewed before it was cancelled.

Due to the sponsorship of Dream11, Vivo returned in 2021 as title sponsor. But despite these disputes, China’s mobile phone brands have nonetheless been doing well. OnePlus ranked third, followed by Oppo (fifth) and Vivo (sixth). To reach number 12, Xiaomi went up to seventh place.

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