Top 10 Brands in India
As the fifth-largest economy in the world, India is home to some major brands that are mostly unnoticed on the global stage. That’s the reality put forth by Interbrand’s exhaustive fourth annual Best Indian Brands report released at the beginning of September.
“There are no Indian brands in Interbrand’s Best Global Brands league table yet,” the report begins. “There are a fair number of Indian businesses that are global, but they haven’t been able to establish themselves as global brands so far.”
However, a better understanding of brand by some of India’s top performing companies is fostering the emergence of Indian brands on the world stage for the first time. Be ahead of the curve with this brief look at the top 10 Indian brands of the 40 overall identified in the report.
1. Tata Group
A 148-year-old, Mumbai-based, multinational holding company, the Tata Group occupies the enviable position of repeating at India’s top brand. According to Interbrand, Tata Group’s brand value grew by 11% over the past year. While it plays in virtually every sector of the Indian economy, the most notable developments over the past year concern its automotive subsidiary, Tata Motors, which released two popular models—the Zest sedan and Bolt hatchback—and enlisted global football star Lionel Messi as a brand ambassador.
India’s leading telecommunications company saw its brand value rise by 8% over the past year, fueled by major service expansion initiatives and a one-of-a-kind partnership. In August 2015, Airtel announced a launch of 4G LTE mobile services in nearly 300 population centers nationwide. That same month, the company teamed with Uber to provide mobile wallet payment options for passengers of the ride-sharing app service.
3. Reliance Industries
Another conglomerate holding company, Mumbai-based Reliance Industries saw a 3% uptick in its brand value over the past year. The lucrative sale of one of its jointly owned pipelines has facilitated investment into its shale gas operations. A new CEO of its sports entertainment and marketing division was named in November 2015 in an aggressive bid to play in that space. Finally, Reliance can boast owning the world largest start-up, Jio, a telecom network operator. “The fruition of these investments in the following years is expected to grow the Reliance brand value significantly,” the report says.
4. HDFC Bank
The brand making the biggest jump among companies occupying the top 10 spots in the Interbred report, HDFC registered at 15% increase in brand value between reports. “HDFC Bank is no longer a bank. It is a marketplace,” the report states. Recent developments include SmartUp, a solution service targeted toward startups, and PayZap, an app that is a hybrid of traditional mobile banking services and e-commerce platforms.
5. LIC (Life Insurance Company of India)
India’s largest insurance company clocks in as its fifth-most valuable brand. LIC dominates the domestic life insurance market, controlling approximately 70% of market share. It is at the forefront of culture wars this year, after adding a third gender option to insurance firms following a decision by India’s Supreme Court. “The move is significant given LIC’s market dominance that drives trends in the sector,” the report reads.
6. SBI (State Bank of India)
A public sector financial services company, SBI controls assets in excess of $300 billion and is ranked 232nd on the Fortune Global 500 as of 2016. In February, SBI made a high-profile push to recruit Japanese firms looking to do business in India. “This SBI Japan Desk serves as a one-point comprehensive and reliable information support source for India-bound investments of Japanese companies.” In other news, SBI Card, a major Indian credit issuer, teamed up with seven Indian e-commerce services to introduce a new digital payment card.
A global business consulting, IT and outsourcing firm, Infosys is the fifth-largest sponsor of H-1B visas. The company netted a 12% uptick in its brand value between reports. This past year saw the company enter into the mobile banking space, launching digital financial services for Indian teenagers. April 2016 saw the launch of Mana, a new AI platform designed to enhance automation for clients.
The third banking company occupying the list, ICICI registered 6% growth in brand value. It began in 2016 with the announcement it would expand into South Africa, opening a full-service brand in Johannesburg. It also announced a partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to open a trade facilitation center, which aims to streamline financing for small and medium-sized Indian business pursuing trade growth.
Another giant, Mumbai-based holding company boasting a double-digit brand value increase over the past year, Mahindra benefited from a large aerospace contract with Airbus in a bid to satisfy Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Made in India” initiative. Mahindra is currently seeking to make a splash in the U.S. this fall when it rolls out the genZe, a new generation of Vespa-like electric scooters.
A family-owned conglomerate firm founded in 1897, Godrej controls divisions in real estate, consumer products, industrial engineering, appliances, furniture, security and agricultural products. Currently embarked on a mission to growth 10 times the size it was in 2010, Godrej recently acquired a majority stake in Canon Chemicals, a Kenyan beauty care company. It’s the latest plank in a strategy to grow its presence in sub-Saharan African, where Godrej revenues total approximately $200 million annual. A glut of new consumer products anchors its 2016 initiatives, although a recent setback occurred with the death of a family icon and power broker, Parmeshwar Godrej.
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