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Brand Wars

Brand Wars
Combat Strategies for Indian Brands

  • Rajiv Gupte - Professor at MET Institute of Management, Mumbai, India
  • Anand Limaye - Professor (visiting faculty) at MET Institute of Management, Mumbai, India

October 2021 | 292 pages | SAGE Response
Market disruption, pandemic-ridden economy and China’s digital and mobile dominance—Indian brands are swimming through these rough tides to survive and win. They are financially and strategically battling to takeover and conquer not just the Indian market but the global terrain as well.

Derived from the warfare strategies used by countries to win wars, Brand Wars illustrates proven and tested brand strategies by analyzing the success and failures of more than 500 iconic brands over the last 50 years. It also presents original models such as Brand Combat, Battlefield and Capability Leveraging to help brands develop capacity, capture value and use the right resources against competition. Filled with suggestions for sustained competitive advantage, this book will encourage small and big businesses alike to compete in the marketplace and fulfil their aspirations.

Foreword by Amitabh Kant
Advantage COVID
Vocal for Local
Brand Combat Model
Building Brands
Branding in Turbulent Times
Grand Strategy
Battlefield Model
Sustaining Competitive Advantage
Building Frontiers
Getting the Act Right
Means-end Theory and Start-ups
China Plus One
Suggested Readings

Dr Rajiv Gupte and Professor Anand Limaye have covered the facts in this excellently researched book titled Brand Wars: Combat Strategies for Indian Brands, applying military strategies to win business wars. The book is a result of extensive in-depth research and comprehensive analysis. It also covers the aspirations of Indians and future generations. The authors have suggested a way forward to make India Atmanirbhar Bharat, Swavalambi Bharat and Karmayogi Bharat. The accomplishments of the vision of our prime minister to fulfil the dream of Swami Vivekananda to elevate India to Vishva Guru Bharat. The book provides very useful inputs to young political leadership, diplomats, armed forces and the corporate world about interdependence. Those spiring to join the governing mechanism of India through the Union Public Service Commission and state service commission will find it very useful to articulate and project their viewpoint in a convincing manner. 

I compliment and congratulate the authors for excellent projection of point of view in simple manner and providing a road map for Indian brands and India to succeed in the 21st century.

Lt Gen. (Dr) D. B. Shekatkar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chancellor, Sikkim University; Chairman, Report on Defense Reforms

Global economic slowdown, Sino–American trade war, geopolitical upheaval and then COVID, all these today are offering big challenges and also big opportunities to businesses. New economic sectors are opening up, new business models are taking shape. At the macro level, the government is giving effective economic stimulus. The economy is slowly but certainly reviving. Many predict as high as 11 per cent growth. At the same time, at the micro level, the industry has to get the act right. The challenge is to be globally competitive while being locally relevant—new strategies for new challenges. While India is witnessing a drive for Atmanirbhar Bharat and Vocal for Local, the opportunity to capture the world market is available to Indian entrepreneurs. This well-timed book offers a competitive strategy for this. Indian brands can compete with multinationals using these proven and tested strategies based on military experiences. Dr Rajiv Gupte and Professor Anand Limaye have researched and demonstrated this phenomenon in this book. A must read for entrepreneurs, business executives and students of business!! 

A fresh approach, well stated!

Shri Ashish Kumar Chauhan
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Bombay Stock Exchange; Chancellor, Allahabad University

This book is a comprehensive guide to the Indian and foreign fast-moving consumer goods brands. This research generates aspirations of the young Indians to make in India, fulfil Indian needs and aim for the global market rather than competing with the success metric set by foreign goods. It is a very apt book in the present times as India is moving towards being ‘atmanirbhar’ and ‘vocal for local’ as that is the vision of Honourable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. I am sure that the book will serve the purpose of a business—a handbook for entrepreneurs, small- and large-scale business projects as well as business and management students and practitioners. I congratulate Dr Rajiv Gupte and Professor Anand Limaye for an extensive study entitled Brand Wars: Combat Strategies for Indian Brands. I wish the publication great success and wide readership.

Professor Ami Upadhyay
Vice Chancellor, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

The book is a result of deep investigations of the prominent market brands and strategies used to promote them in the context of battlefield scenarios normally observed in wars and war games. The authors have done a commendable job of linking complex military posturing and their strategic deployment aimed at achieving the desired impact. This book makes interesting reading not only for the student of the subject of management but even for a normal reader interested in such linkages. With fine tuning, adaptation and improvisation, many military strategies can be superbly deployed to achieve success in the commercial world, as explained by the author with relevant examples. Lastly, I quote a thespian, ‘Books are to mankind, what memory is to an individual.’

I compliment the authors for their innovative approach to the analysis and presentation of the brand wars.

Dr Vijay Page
Director General, MET Institute of Management

It is a very thoughtful and well-written book. Starting from the title of the book to the details, I found it to be quite interesting. I feel the idea of comparing a real battlefield with the war of brand by itself is a novel and innovative perspective. The in-depth way of addressing various competitive and winning strategies clearly reflects the high quantum of research work being done. I am happy to learn many new and relevant terms while reading the book. I certainly feel that this book will be very useful for almost all types of audience irrespective of age or occupation. This book is worthy enough to read, possess and recommend to others. My sincere and best wishes for its success!

Vipul Solanki
Director, Nest Academy of Event Management & Development

From Chanakya to Sun Tzu to the guerrilla tactics of the Great Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the military has and will continue to offer invaluable lessons for the business world. This book will be welcomed by students and practitioners for the clarity of insights and practical framework for its application. Afterall, the origin of word ‘strategy’ comes from the Greek word strategos for general ship of war!

Atul Jayawant
Group Executive President, Aditya Birla Group

To tackle the penetration war waged by multinational brands within Indian markets, it’s high time that Indian companies start enhancing and changing the perception of Indian consumers about their products and thus compete with their foreign counterparts strategically on national as well as international turfs. This book by two imminent Mumbai professors exhibits the capacity to guide us in these changing times and knock the doors of global markets to give established foreign brands a run for their money. The book brings out how Indian brands are slowly claiming their share in the market and narrates David and Goliath stories about how small brands can also fight big brands and win. It tells us about how proven and tested military strategies helped even small players sustain and grow. Across the sector, across the scale, the book is a must read for entrepreneurs and brand managers. A different perspective, useful insights and simple narrative, the book also promises to stir up the oncoming revolution called self-reliant India (Atmanirbhar Bharat). It has strong stimulants for commoners to take to smaller businesses and show their might. After all, existing global brands were once local start-ups!

Chittaranjan Tembhekar
Senior Assistant Editor, The Times of India

I have known Rajiv for more than 40 years now. I am very happy that he has used the COVID time productively to come up with a book on brands, a subject which is close to his heart. The book starts rightly by explaining the significance of a brand and opening opportunities post-COVID. He takes us to the battlefield model, which is the outcome of his research. The model is independent of type of industries, countries, products or services. I especially like the chapter on suggestions for start-ups. He has even given examples of a few startups and analysed them for us. The book has a natural flow, and the authors’ passion and skills are obvious. A must read for every marketing professional! Short and impactful reading!

Ujwal Andhari
Co-founder Softcell Technologies Ltd, a Start-up Coach and Mentor

I am fascinated by the book’s deep insight—a must read for entrepreneurs and business executives. It is a very refreshing book with an innovative approach. This book rightly underscores the importance of brands and states how to win the war of brands using military strategies.

Atul Bhopale
Nexgen Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, USA

The book is a result of profound examinations of the methodologies utilized in wars and war recreations. The authors have done a commendable job of linking complex military posing and branding to accomplish the required effect. Although it is targeted primarily at those who have developed some understanding of the concepts of branding, the book’s thoughtful examples of more than 500 brands showcase why some brands are indispensable and why some fail. The book is intended to appeal to those engaged with branding across the spectrum, from start-ups to multinational corporations. Dr Rajiv Gupte and Professor Anand Limaye have covered the facts in this superbly investigated book. A really reviving book and the first of its kind!

Namrata Wagle
News Anchor, IBN Lokmat

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ISBN: 9789354790669