The infatuation with changing the names of cities, companies by the Government for political reasons or whatsoever has become evident. From Madras to Chennai, Banaras to Varanasi, Calcutta to Kolkata, there have been many changes in states, streets, companies owned and managed by the Government. In their defense, Government exclaims, What’s in the name? But, they do not understand that- everything and anything under the sun is built for the name, of the name, and by the name.

One such recent instance to be quoted here is the notification passed by the Railway Government on 27th October 2020 to change the name of “Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), Varanasi” to “Banaras Locomotive Works.” Although the name may be a minimal or mere arrangement of words, it does make a difference. How? Here is why we think that a name can make all the difference:

DLW has been in the locomotive business for nearly five decades now, and since its inception, it has gained a considerable amount of goodwill and brand reputation under the name. They have established their global presence under the brand name DLW, and their products have gained popularity because of the tag – “DLW.”

From the entire locomotive to its mechanical parts, sold across the globe, the brand has now attained its value and increased its valuation. The mark also signifies the quality outcome of the product. Change of the name may hamper the company’s growth and reputation due to the lack of recognition by the potential customers. 

When a brand establishes its name and fame in the market, the products are identified by the name and not by its color or appearance. Changing the name can have a great impact on the company. Commercialization of the trademark fetches increased profits – as stated by many trademark analysts’ and studies have proved that a brand with recognition is more successful than an unrecognized brand.

To state the irony, the Government had released the National IPR Policy in the year 2016– stating the importance of trademark in improving the brand’s valuation and enhancing the company’s commercialization by sale or lease. It also placed much emphasis on the evaluation and transfer of IPR. But, by changing the name and degrading the brand value-it has failed to meet its objectives. 

The change in the name’s nomenclature was due to a change in business’s nature- a shift from diesel locomotive production to the electric locomotive. However, the company continues to manufacture and trade in diesel locomotives as well. In recent years, the company had manufactured 340 electrical locomotives and 127 electrical rail engines, which justifies the change in the company’s name.

DLW had received the certification of IRIS from UNIFE this year (Feb 2020) and has become the first locomotive manufacturing unit of India to get the ISO certification. Privatization of the railway sector has to be directed towards the welfare of the common public, and the reputation DLW has achieved over the years could have been a great asset to the Government. 

Change of name can do a lot to the company, and we will have to wait for the coming year to know whether this change – from DLW to BLW will prove to be a Boon or Bane to the company. Will it maintain its valuation or degrade the name due to a change in the brand name?

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