Brand Sustainability in Guwahati

Monday, 18 January 2021



Brand Sustainability in Guwahati

Swapnil Bharali | December 13, 2020 15:34 hrs

One may call it the new big brand in town, the talk of the town, the cynosure of all eyes, the latest go-to destination because it truly is all of that.  

The big thing to have hit the city is Hard Rock Cafe – a chain of theme restaurants that was started in 1971 by Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton in London. Its theme became special and associated with the genre of rock music when, in 1979, the restaurant began covering its walls with rock and roll music memorabilia. 

The practice expanded to other outlets crossing international borders and ever since it came to the Indian metropolitan cities, Hard Rock Cafe has been an ever popular destination because of its brilliant musical ambiance and highly recommended food. Guwahati today finds itself of the Hard Rock Cafe map and rightly so. 

While wishing the best for this new brand, what remains a matter of concern is Guwahati’s inability to sustain the great brands from continuing their operations in the city and eventually closing shop. And the reasons for same remain totally unknown. One would still recall the fanfare with which Air India launched its international services from Guwahati only to fold up operations within months of starting. That it was an airline and could not sustain in keeping this remote corner of the country directly connected internationally was understandable. Any traveller would prefer to fly into one of the bigger metros unless otherwise with the specific intention of visiting the northeast. Such travellers were few in those early 2000s.

But what about HSBC, Mainland China, Machaan – brands that have sustained well elsewhere but not in Guwahati? How about McDonalds refusing to set foot in Guwahati even when its outlets can be found on the resting points of the highways of states like Maharashtra, Punjab etc? Also, why doesn’t Guwahati yet have a proper, full-fledged 5-star hotel and we keep hearing about the Marriots running into troubled waters even before completion of their property construction? And then, we keep hearing about sporting brand outlets closing down within a few years of operations.

This sustainability factor of big brand outlets in Guwahati perhaps requires a proper research by the business community that seeks to bring the good stuff to the city. Repeated closure of brand outlets across various businesses does not speak well of the consumerist behaviour of the city which otherwise boasts of tremendous spending power.

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