labels: rpg group / rpg enterprises, gramophone company of india
Gramophone will be a brand name news
27 August 1999

A familiar name will soon become even more familiar as RPG group unit Gramophone Company of India Ltd launches ''Gramophone'' as a new brand. The brand the company has been using so far is HMV, which it will continue to use, under licence from EMI of Britain. The new brand will run parallel with HMV, and may focus on different kinds of music, including live recordings.

The Gramophone Company has, after protracted negotiations with partner EMI, secured a 25-year extension of rights to market its music products under the HMV brand in India. As part of its strategy to market multiple brands, the company has also acquired popular local brands like ''Sangita'' and ''Sargam'' in the south, which cover devotional, classical and other traditional forms of music.

Immediately the company will associate the Gramophone brand with special products. However, popularising the new brand will place the company in a better position to negotiate with EMI when the current agreement with the British company expires after 25 years.

The RPG group acquired a stake in Gramophone Company of India from EMI in 1985. The British company had then agreed that GCIL would continue to be the registered user of the HMV trademark in India for a period of 10 years. Negotiations over renewal ran for four years until the new, 25-year agreement was signed in April 1999.

EMI has a stake of close to 10 per cent in the equity of the Gramophone Company of India. The British company has already set up its own subsidiary, Virgin Music India, with headquarters in Mumbai.

The Gramophone Company had Rs 3.93 crore profit in the year ended 31 March 1999, representing a 45 per cent increase.

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Gramophone will be a brand name