21 Luxury Brands That Sound Foreign But Are Indian

*Conversation within yourself*

Oh, the brand sounds western. Check.

Material seems original. Check.

Is western model posing with the product? Check.

Let’ s buy! The brand is definitely American.

Wrong!

That’s where everyone goes wrong. Sometimes, we as consumers can get easily baffled and hypnotized into buying products due to such naïve thoughts put into our head by the diabolic marketers. In response to which, we return back home with a product that was brought by an Indian company (which has marketing schemes similar to the international brands).

Well, here are a few brands we’ve been purchasing products and clothing from since the start of our life, and we never got a hinge that they were Indian brands, (you might want to be seated and have a glass of water somewhere around):

1. FLYING MACHINE

Living in India, you must’ve definitely heard of the textile company, “Arvind???. Well, yes, the same company which has the license of foreign brands like, Lee, Arrow and Wrangler. But, little do you know that Arvind Limited has its own retail brands like, Flying Machine, Newport, and Excalibur, which sells outfits made by the fabrics manufactured by Arvind Limited. In short, Flying Machine was never a foreign brand. It was just a disguised Indian. *wink*

2. WESTSIDE

How can anyone doubt a name like that to be Indian? Oh, and it’s owned by Trent, which is soo American (mocking tone activate), right?  Mate, if you’ve ever thought that way, you were totally wrong. Trent is just another retail arm of Tata group. Westside is headquartered in Mumbai, which also happens to be its location of the launch, after which it spread like a forest fire through the country. Though Westside isn’t that bad, you actually get pretty great clothes there. (Good work, Tata Group!)

3. ROYAL ENFIELD

You must be thinking that this brand seems so royal and the bikes are just so exotic and vintage, that it may definitely be one- of – those- old – American – brands – that – was – just – never – heard – of – before. A lot of people also believe rumors that Royal Enfield was started by the British when they ruled India.

Wrong, again. Royal Enfield is purely Indian. As a matter of fact, their exotic bikes have never even been exported out of India, until recently. It is a name under which Enfield Cycle Company started manufacturing bicycles, motorcycles, and lawnmowers (in the year 1983). Though it does have a British touch as originally, it was a British motorcycle company, Redditch company, which partnered with Madras Motors in India to form ‘Enfield India’ to assemble the 350 cc, Royal Enfield, ‘Bullet’ motorcycle in Chennai. The tooling was sold to Enfield India so that they could manufacture components. Today, as the times have changed, (ever since independence), Royal Enfield is headquartered in Chennai.

4. McDowell’s No.1

The name, “McDowell”, initially originated from the Scottish “distillery king”, Angus McDowell, who established “McDowell and Company” in India in 1898 which was an overseas branch of “McDowell of Scotland”. In 1951, “McDowell and Company” were acquired by UB Group of Vittal Mallya, which makes it purely Indian. Its first distillery was started in Kerala. Though, this liquor brand has established itself successfully outside India and sells its products in Africa, Canada, Far East, Japan and the Middle East.

Aapka No.1 is actually as Indian as you are. No dissimilarity at all, pal.

5. HIKE MESSENGER

Buahaha *evil mockery laughter* on those who thought and still think Hike Messenger is American! Folk, I think it time we give India some credit for coming up with an app so popular and famous, that it was used in the American reality TV series, America’s Next Top Model, and advertised by Tyra Banks herself! (How cool is that?). It was launched in the year 2012 as a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Softbank. And for those of you who yet have zero clue about HIKE, it’s an instant messaging app for smartphones, through which you can send text messages, use graphical stickers, emoticons, images, videos, audios, files, voice messages, contacts and your location, to your friends. Think of it as WhatsApp, just a lot more Indian.

6. CHING’S SECRET

Thinking about the lovely Asian Pacific flavors of this wonderful food brand would simply give anyone a “foodgasm???. The noodles, sauces, instant soups and Schezwan chutneys, seem to have gotten their recipes rooted deeply in the Chinese cookbooks. So, we lazy people, simply jump to the conclusion that Ching’s might just be one of those Chinese imported brands. Now that is so totally wrong. Ching’s is an Indian cuisine brand, founded by Ajay Gupta, in the year 1996, in Mumbai. Besides, it’s even got a Desi slogan: Hunger Ki Bajao.

7. WHITE MISCHIEF

Those hot cheerleaders from IPL T-20 must have had you thinking that this vodka and brandy brand must be foreign. Don’t get so intoxicated by their looks that you end up thinking this way (please?). Now, White Mischief is manufactured by the same Indian liquor brand, United Spirits Ltd. With Zayed Khan as the Brand Ambassador, this brand could not get more Indian than this.

8. RAYMOND

Raymond is one of India’s most popular and largest branded fabric and fashion retailers. Providing men with posh and elite suits, it is one of leading producers of suiting fabrics in the world. It owns and retails other apparel brands like Raymond, Raymond Premium Apparel, Park Avenue (men and women), ColorPlus and Parx, through The Raymond Shop. TRS also happens to be one of the largest network of formal apparels in India and overseas. This brand was never western.

To be honest, we are not that far back in the rat race of the world. We are at the same position as our foreign sister companies and brands and can give them an equally tough competition as well.

However, why do brands seem to market themselves as ‘foreign’? Is it to seem aspirational? As Indians, do we have an inferiority complex about products made locally? Are we more likely to buy a product if it’s endorsed by a white man?

9. Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo, which was established in 1984, is a leading clothing brand for men and women. It is famous for its woolen apparels all over the country. This Italian brand name was specifically chosen for the Indian customer base, keeping in mind their fascination for foreign brands. But this is actually a 100 per cent Indian woolen brand from the Ludhiana-based Nahar Group.

10. Peter England

Peter England is one of India’s leading menswear brand. The name was given an English touch thanks to India’s obsession with foreign sounding products. In reality, it is part of Madura Fashion & Lifestyle, a division of Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd

11. Louis Philippe

The premier men’s apparel brand’s name is inspired by French King ‘Louis Philippe‘. Louis Philippe is totally Indian however, launched in the country in 1989 and owned by Madura Fashion and Lifestyle.

12. HiDesign

The leather goods manufacturer HiDesign is actually based in Pondicherry, India. Tamil Nadu‘s tanneries supply leather products and accessories to some of the biggest brands worldwide.

13. Lakmé

Lakmé is a leading Indian cosmetics brand which is owned by Hindustan Unilever. It started as a 100 per cent subsidiary of Tata Oil Mills and was named after the French opera Lakmé.

14. La Opala

La Opala is the pioneers of the high-end tableware and is one of the leading crockery brands in India. It may have a French name but all their products and the company itself is fully Indian. Guess what? It is manufactured and headquartered at Kolkata.

15. Da Milano

Da Milano is a completely Indian brand despite having an Italian sounding name and the ‘Italia’ written at the top of its website. They provide high-end leather accessories and home furnishings in India and abroad.

16 Allen Solly

Allen Solly is a premium apparel brand popular all over the country. Often, it is mistaken as an international brand because of its name but it is a subsidiary of the Aditya Birla Group and licensed under Madura Garments, so yeah, all those trousers, shirts and wallets are all made right here.

17. Van Heusen

Van Heusen is a premium fashion brand with a Dutch name. Seriously guys, that’s all that’s Dutch about this brand. Though it’s owned by an american company called PVH Group, it operates under and is licensed by Madura Fashion & Lifestyle by Aditya Birla Group in India!

18. Chandon Wine

Chandon, owned by French specialists Moët Hennessy, is no different from a lot of the other foreign sparkling wines that you get in the Indian market. The main difference is that it is produced with grapes grown barely a couple of hundred kilometers outside of Mumbai

19. Franco Leone

The premium footwear brand with the Italian name (yet again) is actually based out of Delhi. It was actually owned by 2 Italians before it was bought by an Indian.

20. Munich Polo

Munich Polo is a premium kids-wear brand with an obvious German heritage right? Wrong. This is another one of those Indian brands who had to appeal to the Indian mindset of preferring European sounding names for their products.

21. American Swan

American Swan is an online shopping site that sells jeans, jackets and a whole bunch of other fashion accessories. It’s owned by The American Swan Lifestyle Company, but it’s headquarters are in Gurgaon. They’re also totally Indian.


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