Vijay Mallya is enjoying his honeymoon period in the UK after having fled from the nation due to unpaid loans tied to his defunct Kingfisher airlines. While his Kingfisher airlines did not take off as expected, Mallya has been smart enough to invest his money into varied business, with RCB and Force India being his prime sporting ventures.
While Mallya has to be credited for putting India on the global F1 map by coming out with an ‘Indian’ F1 franchise in Force India, he is actually trying to shed ‘India’ out of the Force India brand name, in order to attract more global sponsors.
Mallya has recently registered six business using the ‘Force One’ name. Force One Grand Prix, Force One Racing, Force One Team, Force One Technology, Force One Hospitality and Force One Brand are these six new ventures and all have been registered under Force India director Thiruvannamalai Ventkatesan Lakshmi Kanthan.
Mallya apparently wants to give his F1 franchise a more international flavour.
“There are some people who believe the current name Force India is restrictive psychologically,” Mallya said in an interview with Motorsport.com.
“I’m considering along with the other shareholders what steps to take but it’s a major decision and one that is not going to be taken in a hurry without due consideration.” he added.
Banks are looking to recover $1.4 billion from Mallya.
“Force India was born out of Vijay owning the team,” said the COO of Force India.
“Since then we’ve lost the Grand Prix there (in India), the Indian sponsors no longer were interested in sponsoring us. Now we have no Indian sponsors whatsoever, apart from Vijay’s Kingfisher.” he added.
“So it kind of makes sense to change it from India in order to attract sponsors more globally, and not restrict ourselves to being Force India.”
Due to the loss of Indian sponsors, Force India could turn into Force One for the next F1 season.