Campaign India Team
Nov 28, 2023

Raymond: From 'the complete man' to an 'incomplete' man?

SOUNDING BOARD: Experts weigh in on whether Raymond, a brand that has long been associated with 'The Complete Man' tagline, will take a beating amid the latest family wrangle playing out between its MD and chairperson Gautam Singhania and his wife, Nawaz Modi Singhania

Raymond: From 'the complete man' to an 'incomplete' man?
Textiles-to-real estate conglomerate, Raymond's shares have taken a beating since last week when its chairperson and MD, Gautam Singhania announced separation from his wife of 32 years, Nawaz Modi Singhania - also a Raymond board member. With Nawaz Modi reportedly demanding 75% of the billionaire industrialist's INR 11,000 crore empire as part of the settlement and allegations of physical assault on Raymond's head honcho, more than INR 1,500 crore in the brand's market value has been erased. 
Just a few years back, Gautam Singhania was at loggerheads with his father and former chairperson emeritus of the Raymond Group of clothing, Vijaypat  Singhania over property and a range of other disputes, with the latter even accusing his son of ‘pushing’ him out of the JK House building, the family property in South Mumbai.
Considering that the brand succeeded in building a strong salience amongst Indian consumers with its campaigns revolving around family values defining a 'true gentleman', Campaign India asked industry experts to weigh in on the matter, asking them:

Will the Raymond family's latest wrangles and the resulting fall from grace of its top boss impact the menswear brand's carefully nurtured-through-the-years image of ‘the complete man’?

Is the once-enviable legacy of a brand known for creating the popular tagline under threat with yet another family feud playing out in public, or will it remain insulated from the latest shenanigans of its top management?

Anita Nayyar, COO - media, branding and communications, Patanjali Ayurved

There are many established brands over the decades that have their own value in the minds of consumers. These brands tend to become bigger than the individual or the organisation they come from and one such brand is Raymond. Surely the current events will and have impacted the market value of the brand from a business perspective however very often with such a well-established brand like Raymond the customer value may not deplete as fast as the business value. 
You may want to correlate the impact on the brand with the earlier event when the differences arose between father and son and notice that the brand did not get impacted in the minds of the consumers as much. 
However, it is for the owner to introspect if he is 'the complete man'. There could be his own perspective with which he is acting in a particular way as there are two sides to a story. Over the years a lot of effort has gone into building the brand love and loyalty for Raymonds and hopefully, the brand should not suffer a sizeable impact.

N Chandramouli, CEO, TRA Research

A CMD or CEO of a company is the face and primary brand ambassador of the organisation. The person at the helm is expected to behave in a manner that is consistent with the brand image of the organisation. We have seen how investors punish stocks as well as brands for behaviour which is perceived as inconsistent with expectations. This can impact even more when it comes to family feuds, which may have an impact on the ownership. A stock price is essentially the perceived value of the company, and perception plays the most important role in investor sentiment. In Raymond’s case, its advertised image is that of ‘the complete man’, but in Gautam Singhania, you have a CMD, who seems quite distant from this image.

Prathap Suthan, co-founder, Bang in the Middle

I don’t think this dispute,  however acrimonious, will affect the brand Raymond and 'the complete man'. To the buying public, there is no link to the brand. No equity is linked to the brand. Namewise especially. If it was Singhania Suiting, maybe. Even otherwise, a feud in the owning family doesn’t really rub the gloss off the brand. The brand and the tears are two unconnected stories to the normal buyer, and I doubt if they have even heard of the fight and divorce and the book (An Incomplete Life: The Autobiography by Vijaypat Singhania) and every other detail of the house of Raymond.

Ambi Parameswaran, independent brand strategist

'The complete man' campaign, the way it was conceptualised by Nexus in the 90s is not the way it is run today. It is no longer true to the original ethos of a person who has human values and who spends time with his family and all that. So the campaign also has kind of got diluted today to depict a very well-dressed man but without much emotional gravitas. So I don't think that's an issue.
Finally, it's a B2C brand that stands right on top today and it doesn't really have much competition. So I don't think all these managing director shenanigans are going to have much impact on the brand image of Raymond to the average consumer. Every brand may have a core essence but the first purpose the brand has to serve is 'value for money' and to deliver the product. If because of all this boardroom drama, the quality of the suiting goes down, or the quality of service they offer in their outlets goes down, then it's different. But otherwise, I don't think it's going to have a huge impact.

Abhijit Avasthi. co-founder, Sideways Consulting

For the large part, I don't think Brand Raymond will get shaken up much for the lay consumer of the product. Primarily because most will not associate the family affairs with the brand - they are far too distanced. The corporate brand will, however, be impacted for certain.

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