The Story of the Cellular Phone Brand Orange

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : BSTR002 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 200;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 125


Brand Management
Case Length : 8 Pages
Period : 1995 - 2001
Pub. Date : 2001
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Hutchison Telecom, BPL
Industry : Telecommunications
Countries : India


The case gives an overview of the issues concerning the ownership of the 'Orange' brand in India. It outlines the rise and the subsequent problems confronted by the rights holder of the 'Orange' brand, Hutchinson. In February 2000, Hutchison Max introduced its Orange brand in India. In May 2000, France Telecom purchased the worldwide rights for the brand from Vodafone. However, Hutchison, through an earlier agreement had retained the rights over the brand in India. Hutchison had to pay royalty to France Telecom. After taking over the brand, France Telecom wanted to own the brand in India and made an offer to pick up a significant stake in Hutchison's India operations. But this was turned down by Hutchison.

Subsequently, France Telecom demanded that the Orange brand licensing agreements be reworked and a higher royalty be paid by Hutchison for use of the Orange brand. Hutchison officials rejected a higher royalty payout. In late 2000, Hutchison officials announced that they were no longer interested in Orange. This seemed to have put to rest the issues relating to the ownership of the Orange brand.

Aimed at the MBA/PGDBA students as part of Business Strategy curriculum, the case helps them to understand complexities, which can affect business strategies with specific reference to the case of 'Orange' brand of cellular service in India. The case also shows how the legal environment can have a profound influence on the choice of strategy.


Brand Licensing


  Page No.
Introduction 1
The Making of an Empire 2
Mobile Mania 3
Welcome Orange 4
Orange is Squeezed 5
But Not Hutchison 6


Orange, brand, India, Hutchinson, February 2000, Hutchison Max, May 2000, France Telecom, Vodafone, royalty, late 2000, Business Strategy, cellular service, legal environment

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