Tata Group tops best Indian brands in 2016: report

In the brand league table, Tata Group was followed by Bharti Airtel, Reliance industries, HDFC Bank and Life Insurance Corporation


Valued at Rs742.18 billion, the Tata Group registered a strong 11% growth in brand value this year. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Valued at Rs742.18 billion, the Tata Group registered a strong 11% growth in brand value this year. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Mumbai: Tata Group, the Indian conglomerate with business interests that range from auto, technology and steel to hospitality, ranked as the top brand in the 2016 Best Indian Brands Report released by Interbrand India, on Wednesday.

Valued at Rs.742.18 billion, the Tata Group registered a strong 11% growth in brand value this year. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Tata Group has topped the brand league table. It was followed by mobile service provider Bharti Airtel Ltd, the Mukesh Ambani promoted Reliance industries Ltd, HDFC Bank and state-owned insurer Life Insurance Corporation of India, as they took the top five spots on the list this year.

“The Tata brand represents a pioneering legacy, a rich heritage, and a forward looking vision to establish a successful global enterprise with the community at its heart. Despite upheavals in global markets over the past year, we have retained our commitment to sustainable, profitable growth, both in India and overseas. The values driven approach to business that our 660,000 colleagues across the world espouse, ensures that we are able to achieve an emotional connect with our customers and other stakeholders,” said a spokesperson at Tata Sons.

The annual report, in its fourth edition this year, is released by Interbrand India, a brand consultancy which is part of the Omnicom Media Group, an advertising and public relations conglomerate. The firm identifies the most valuable Indian brands as a part of its list. Moreover, the rankings are an analysis of the financial performance of the branded product or service, the role the brand plays in purchase decisions, and the brand’s competitive strength.

What was perhaps the common factor among the top ten companies on this list was that they had a genuine interest beyond profits and growth, which also focussed on intangible assets such as reputation, sustainable growth, and doing more for society, said Gonzalo Brujó, CEO, EMEA and LATAM, Interbrand. He said these top companies were also characterized by their ambition for growth locally as well as in different markets internationally, acquiring companies that were core and complimentary to their business. “You see a lot of conglomerates in the (India) rankings, which is very unique,” he said. The Best Global Brands ranking, in contrast, listed more individual brands, such as Coca Cola.

While India is being considered a force to reckon with, it was interesting to note that not a single Indian brand made it to the firm’s top global brands listing. “Indian brands must accelerate their growth to compete globally. These businesses grew from industries to conglomerates. The conglomerates are now trying to grow global by transcending domains, reinventing around purpose, waking up to strategic corporate citizenship. This shift is marked by industry-driven brands transforming to fast moving consumer-centric brands, customer-centric innovations and digital pervasiveness. Historically, diversified and finance sectors have dominated the Indian market. Technology, telecom and auto are the emerging growth sectors. More importantly, healthcare, e-commerce, fashion, luxury and sports are the next big opportunities,” said Brujó.

This year the league table was dominated by certain categories. Diversified businesses and financial services accounted for the two most significant sector in this year’s league table. While diversified businesses made up 37% of the total brand value of this year’s Best Indian Brands table, financial services formed 27% of the value. Telecom, auto and technology were the other significant contributors to the value, accounting for 9%, 7.5% and 7%, respectively.

While 90% of the brands on the list continued to grow consistently, there were some trail blazers which registered high growth in brand value. The group of top gainers this year, was led by Maruti Suzuki Ltd which registered a 16% increase in brand value, which was driven by a foray into newer segments and an effort to move up the value chain. The brand value of HDFC Bank also grew by a steady 15%, primarily supported by its focus on new solutions and digital pervasiveness. The other key risers were Mahindra (14%), Idea Cellular (12%), Infosys (12%) and Dabur (12%.)

The league table was also expanded this year to track a broader set of brands. The list of the top 40, up from the top 30 released last year, included new entrants such as consumer products brand Britannia Industries, IndusInd Bank, Kingfisher, Yes Bank, NTPC, Union Bank, Canara Bank, Ashok Leyland, JSW, Jindal Steel and Power.

“Indian businesses and brands will need to be the global frontrunners in designing lives and creating better experiences, at the speed of life. This needs the Indian brands to reinterpret themselves in the context of a global role and purpose. Simply because today it’s all about people – B2H (Business to Human) as against B2B or B2C. And people today are more interested in what we make happen rather than what we make. Thus aligning themselves to a purpose creates an inspiring brand-led culture on the inside, which in turn anchors the multiple micro-experiences for the customer on the outside. This is really the way Indian brands can lead and grow their businesses global,” said Ashish Mishra, managing director of Interbrand India commenting on the transformation that India’s best brands needed to make to be counted amongst the best in the world.

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