Crisis Management 101: Indian Brands That Bounced Back

The landscape of brand reputation is turbulent, and in the era of digital virality, even a minor slip-up can spark major controversies. However, what truly defines a brand is not the crisis itself, but how it manages and overcomes it. Let’s delve into some interactive case studies of Indian brands that weathered storms with adept PR strategies and emerged stronger. As you read through, choose the PR paths you think these brands took, and discover the actual courses of action and their outcomes.

1. Maggi Noodles and the Controversy of Lead Content

In 2015, Maggi, a beloved instant noodle brand in India, faced a crisis when reports surfaced about excessive lead content in their products.

What would you have done?

A) Immediately pull products off shelves nationwide.
B) Release a statement denying all allegations.
C) Collaborate with third-party labs for unbiased tests.
Real-life decision & result: Nestlé India opted for [A], recalling products worth INR 320 crores. After ensuring safety compliance, they re-launched Maggi with a robust PR campaign highlighting trust and nostalgia. Today, Maggi has regained its dominant market position.

2. Cadbury’s Worm Infestation Incident

Cadbury Dairy Milk, India’s leading chocolate brand, faced backlash when consumers reported worm infestations in their chocolates in 2003.

What’s your PR strategy?

A) Challenge the claims, attributing them to storage issues at retail ends.
B) Revamp packaging and launch an awareness campaign.
C) Stay silent and wait for the storm to pass.
Real-life decision & result: Cadbury chose [B]. They introduced the ‘double-wrapped’ packaging technique, and with the help of Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, ran a campaign assuring quality. This move not only restored faith but also enhanced their brand image.

3. Kingfisher Airlines’ Financial Turbulence

The flamboyant airline, once termed the ‘Ritz in the sky,’ began facing severe financial troubles by 2012.

How would you handle it?

A) Adopt transparency, revealing financial woes to stakeholders.
B) Deny financial problems and continue operations.
C) Seek government bailouts publicly.
Real-life decision & result: Kingfisher, unfortunately, leaned towards [B]. Despite denials, they couldn’t sustain operations and lost consumer trust. This example underscores the importance of honesty and timely communication in crisis management.

4. Snapdeal and the Snapchat Mix-Up

In 2017, Snapchat’s CEO allegedly made a comment that India was a “poor country.” This led to a case of mistaken identity, and Snapdeal, an unrelated Indian e-commerce platform, faced the brunt of public anger.

Your move?

A) Capitalize on the confusion with humour.
B) Release a formal statement clarifying the mix-up.
C) Offer discounts to capitalize on the sudden attention.
Real-life decision & result: Snapdeal tactfully chose [B]. By quickly clarifying the confusion through press releases and social media, they managed to douse the flames and even garnered empathy from the public.

5. tomatoes Response to the Gold Rush

Zomato, a major food delivery app, saw numerous restaurant partners pulling out from its ‘Zomato Gold’ program, alleging it was hurting their profitability.

How would you respond?

A) Discontinue Zomato Gold immediately.
B) Engage in dialogue with restaurants and make amends.
C) Push aggressive marketing for Zomato Gold.
Real-life decision & result: Zomato took route [B]. By opening channels of communication with aggrieved partners and tweaking the program’s features, they managed to retain many participants, ensuring mutual growth.

In conclusion, these case studies elucidate that PR crises, though daunting, can be turned around. The key lies in timely action, transparency, and understanding the pulse of stakeholders. The Indian market, with its diverse consumer base, requires a nuanced approach. And as seen, brands that listen, adapt, and communicate effectively can truly bounce back from challenges.

Keywords: Crisis Management, Indian Brands, PR strategies, brand reputation, digital virality, interactive case studies, market position, brand image.

Remember, every crisis harbours an opportunity for reinvention and reaffirmation. Brands that seize this, like the ones mentioned above, leave an indelible mark on the annals of PR history.


Twenty7 Inc. is a creative communication PR Agency with 360-degree solutions for integrated brand building of the business/ clients. Deciphering the clients and their target audience, we devise customized innovative strategies that best suit the requirements of their business and fetches the desired result of establishing them as ingenious thought leaders in the sector. We at Twent7 Inc. have a very practical disposition and staunchly believe in adapting to the changing scenario of the market. Likewise, the narrative of the storytelling/ message is shaped to deliver exclusive results that stay relevant to the brand and also their audience.

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