Other States

LAC hotspots turn brand buzzwords in Kashmir Valley

‘Galwan’, ‘Pangong’, and ‘Finger 5’ continue to remain flashpoints between India and China in eastern Ladakh, but for a Delhi-based shoe company these volatile locations have become money-spinners; a range of winter shoes named after them is gaining popularity across the Kashmir Valley.

Earlier this, the Valley’s widely circulated English and Urdu newspapers were splashed with advertisements from the firm showcasing its new range with models named after the flashpoints including ‘Galwan’, ‘Doklam’, ‘Kargil’, ‘Pangong’, and ‘Point 5’ among others.

Wasif Ahmad, owner of Big Raja Footwear, a shop in Srinagar, says the marketing pitch has definitely spurred sales. “The branding does generate curiosity among the buyers and draws attention,” he said.

The people of Kashmir are news buffs and these names resonate with them.

“One hears of ‘Galwan’ all through the year on the television, which saw a bloody conflict between India and China, leaving several soldiers dead on both sides. Suddenly, you get to flaunt the shoe of the same name — it does add to machismo,” said Sajad Ahmad, a gym trainer.

The brand has set up special outlets in volatile south Kashmir’s Pulwama, Kulgam and Anantnag, besides Sopore and Kupwara in north Kashmir.

Hilal Ahmad, of Kohinoor Footwear in Pulwama, said the names of shoes did create a buzz among youth in the town.

“One customer remarked that buying the shoes reminds us of Ladakh, which once was a sister district of Kashmir region and now is a separate Union Territory (UT),” a salesman at the shop said.

Tapping into the emotional connect with these locations has paid off for the firm which has witnessed a surge in sales since the brand was launched in 2014 in J&K, especially in the rural pockets of the Valley.

Pawan Kumar Lakra, Delhi-based proprietor of the shoe company, said, “I zeroed in on these names on the basis of their popularity this year. There is a tendency in India to name brands after borrowed foreign names. I was keen to name the range of shoes after the popular spots of India like ‘Doklam’, and ‘Galwan’, which are a part of India. The quality of my shoes is attracting my buyers but the branding too helps locals to connect with it.”

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 7:08:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/lac-hotspots-turn-brand-buzzwords-in-valley/article33431167.ece

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