Naming Energy companies

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 must a power company. It sure was, 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 eureka moment , this morning. ( Even a-ha moments for collector of trivia is also just that, trivial).

I  tried recalling all the power companies I know. I found many of the new companies being set up had a pattern in their names. A 3 -letter acronym, folowed by Power or Energy and then the mandatory Limited. Besides KVK and BGR mentioned above, I could immediately think of 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, Adani, CESC etc. Also, there are many 3 letter initials which are not power companies like SKS, ITC, GSK, HCL etc.

But I guess there is a fad, may be a small one.

There are fads in company names, much like names of kids or Hindi cinema titles. My daughter has 2 classmates named Ankita and 3 boys in her class named Aditya. In Hindi cinema, long English titles are currently the fad. I Hate Luv Storys, Once upon a time in Mumbai, We are family etc.  In the 80s, many diversified companies shortened their names to abbreviations only like DCM, ITC, CMC, HMT etc.

In the case of power companies, I guess the trend would 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 laziness.

To make life simpler for some of the new IPPs in future, I can help a little with my creativity. Here is a to-do list for the “Power” entrepreneur.

Choose a 3-letter acronym. 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’ ( legit only) names.

If you are a God-fearing businessman who attributes all your wealth to the many Gods, choose 3 of your favourite Gods’ names initials.

Please take care that the initials so chosen do not clash with an existing company. Also avoid some popular 3 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 stand for, here are my own expansions.

IWM – I Want 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 power business)

MMM – Minister, Money and Mafia or LLL – Land, Licence and Luck  ( your core competencies to be in the power business ).

Until a 3-letter company has a failed IPO or worse goes bankrupt, this fashion will continue.


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