What Powers a Name?

14 09 2010

The other day, I was driving through one of the arterial roads of Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad and I saw a new office complex. My eyes fell on the board being erected. I could see the logo KVK written stylishly. My instinct told me, it would be another power company. I confirmed later it indeed was a power company – KVK Energy and Infrastructure.

Yesterday, I was having a chat over phone with a friend. He mentioned a hot stock , BGR Energy, a Chennai based power equipment supplier.

Unconnected events and unconnected information. Yet, I had my own a-ha moment , this morning.

Recall  the power companies that you  know. The pattern of their names pattern will soon become evident to you –   three letters, followed by  word -‘Power’ or ‘Energy’ . Besides KVK and BGR mentioned above,  the other biggies that follow this pattern are – GMR, GVK, KSK and JSW.

It is true that there are many power companies which do no fall into this pattern like Reliance Power, Tata Power, Torrent Power, Adani Power, CESC etc. Also, there are many three- lettered names belonging to companies which have nothing to do with the power sector viz. SKS, ITC, GSK, HCL, DCM, HMT etc.

There are fads in naming companies much like names of kids or Hindi cinema titles. My daughter has two classmates named Ankita and three named Aditya. In Hindi cinema, long English titles are currently in vogue. I Hate Luv Storys, Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, We are Family etc. 

In the case of power companies,  the trend might have started with the success of the first Independent Power Producers (IPPs) from the south GMR and GVK. Since these were successes others followed. I think this naming trend comes out of  part fashion, part superstition and plain creative lethargy.

To make naming simpler for the new power companies , I can’t help offering my two-bits.

Choose  three letters from your name. Easiest is to choose the initials of your name. (GMR, GVK, BGR, KVK are all initials of the promoter like Grandhi Mallikarjun Rao, GV Krishna Reddy, BG Raghupathy etc).

 If  it is not your money alone, you have partners then you could choose the initials of the partners ( KSK gets its name from the partners).

If you are a doting parent you could choose first letters of your kids’  names.

If you are a God-fearing businessman who attributes all your wealth to Gods, choose three of your favourite Gods’ initials.

Please take care that the initials so chosen do not clash with an existing company. Also avoid some popular  three letter initials. SRK is best avoided. In every language and every city, fans of SRK, both in and out of media , have made it sure that SRK stands for Shah Rukh Khan. Others to be avoided are NTR, YSR, MGR etc. These represent larger-than- life heroes/ leaders, who have a fan following even to this day. If you want to avoid some stone throwing on your steel and glass building, just before an IPO, these letters are best avoided.

If all these does not help here are some 3 letter initials which are up for grabs. IWM, GPR, IDK, MMM, LLL.

If you are wondering what these letters stand for, here are their expanded forms:

IWM – I Want  ( your) Money – shows focus of the company,

GPR – Great Power Rip-off – tell it the way it is, not using prefixes like Reliance and do a GPR.

IDK – I Don’t Know ( anything about the power business)

MMM – Minister, Money and Mafia

or

LLL – Land, Licence and Luck  ( your core competencies to be in the power business ).

Until a three-lettered power company has a failed IPO or worse goes bankrupt, this trend may continue.

– G. Mohan

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