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12 Indian Brands That You Thought Were Foreign


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We Indians have “foreignphilia” .We think Every best thing comes from the West and we have already set a benchmark there. The Indian jingoism and Indian pride movements are on the back burner today and brands are getting bolder in embracing foreign-sounding names.The brands like Flying Machine and Britannia which originally come from India are intentionally obliterated because in India the locally produced brands are often considered inferior and so businesses consciously choose to build a “fake” foreign image of themselves .this glamour associated with foreign brands and their mystique and aura has given an impetus to foreign-sounding names. I guess this is it “To impress an Indian, talk in Hindi if you are a foreigner or talk in English if you are an Indian”.

 So here are 12 Brands that have foreign-sounding names, but as Desi in origin-


Munich Polo is a premium kids wear brand with an obvious German heritage right?Wrong!. It sashays itself as German, chose to design the website of this brand discussing so much about German culture and the German city of Munich erasing all the traces of its Indian origin.To add cream over the pie, it has created its webpages in German whereas in reality this is an Indian brand owned by Catmoss Retail Pvt Ltd.


This leather goods manufacturer is actually based in Pondicherry, India.The tanneries in Tamil Nadu supply leather products and accessories to some of the biggest brands worldwide and in India to this stylish brand name.


La Opala who are the pioneers of this high-end tableware may have a French name but its products and the company are wholly Indian. It’s just that everything sounds better in French.


This premier brand’s name Louis Philippe is inspired by French King ‘Louis Philippe’.This brand is purely Indian and is owned by Madura Fashion and Style, a division of Aditya Birla Group.This group also owns other clothing and lifestyle brands with exotic names like ‘Van Heusen’, ‘Peter England’ and ‘Allen Solly’.

5.AND Designs

This brand is providing trendy threads with a trendy brand name not only in India but also overseas. AND Designs was founded by Anita Dogre, Meena Sehra and Mukesh Sawlani in 1995 and since then this brand has been experimenting with international styles and fashion.


Woodland has been the most successful brand in projecting itself as a foreign brand but has lost its original roots. From its merchandise to use of foreign models in endorsements it is hard to accept that Woodland is an Indian company. It even terms itself as ‘Woodland International’ on its website, though its products are shipped only in India.



This is an Indian multinational company with its branches in India,  Middle East and other parts of Asia. This Indian multinational brand deals with engineering and construction with the headquarters of this company in Mumbai.

8. MRF

The fast speeding tyres on the formula one race tracks and of our cars that we have been relying on are from an Indian brand.The Madras Rubber Factory(MRF) exports to more than 65 countries across the globe.


This cosmetic brand that people actually mistake as a foreign brand is an Indian brand.It has got its name from the French opera ‘Lakme’ which itself is the French form of Indian Goddess Lakshmi, known for her beauty. This popular brand is owned by the Tata Group.



This leading clothing brand for men and women is amazingly famous for its sweaters all over the country. This Italian brand name was specifically chosen for the Indian customer base, keeping in mind their fascination for foreign brands. But this is actually a 100 % Indian woollen brand from the Ludhiana based Nahar Group.



Well, Da Milano does sound from Milan or Paris but it is an Indian brand based in Delhi. Despite being a wholly Indian brand, the ‘Italia’ underscores at the top of its website enhances the credit to the Italian sounding name of this brand. They provide high-end leather accessories and home furnishing products in India and abroad.



American Swan is an online fashion brand under the American Swan Lifestyle Company whose headquarters are in Gurgaon. This international sounding Indian brand sells jeans, jackets and fashion accessories was launched by Sanjiv Gupta, Puneet Johar and Anurag Rajpal.

Every company has its own reasons to sound foreign and it boils down to exploit the psyche of consumers and make money.So the next time you make step into a mall, make a note of the brands you choose, may be they are actually Indian brands and focus on quality. May be you realize the potential of the indigenous market and not fall for the same prejudices again and again and remember these lines said by Shakespeare “What’s there in the name?”.




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