The challenging economic and social conditions created by the global pandemic and a pre-covid-19 slowdown in the Indian economy led to erosion of brand value of Indian firms
New Delhi: India's largest private sector lender, HDFC Bank, retained its top position among the country’s 75 most-valuable brands, according to a report by WPP Plc and Kantar.
This is the seventh consecutive year in which HDFC Bank dominated the ranking, followed by Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and Tata Consultancy Services. The bank's brand value stood at $20.2 billion, registering an 11% decline over last year.
Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd, which registered 102% jump in brand value, became the fastest gainer this year at number 25.
The challenging economic and social conditions created by the global pandemic and a pre-covid-19 slowdown in the Indian economy led to erosion of brand value of Indian firms. More than half of the brands on the BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian brands list have declined in brand value. Only 11 brands managed to grow consistently in last five years.
The 2020 edition of the ranking was worth $216 billion in brand value, a decline of 6% over last year, driven largely by a slowdown in the banking and automotive sectors. Despite the overall decline in brand value, 26 brands increased in value and five were new entrants.
Most notable among them is Reliance Retail, which rose to 25th spot with brand value at $2.3 billion, up 30 places, with telecom brand Jio contributing to the overall success of the parent company.
Reliance Retail has invested in its digital commerce capabilities, comprising JioMart’s online B2C business and the kirana digitisation programme, with plans to digitise five million kirana stores by 2023.
However, its current valuation does not include its latest acquisition of Future Group's retail business including chains such as Big Bazaar, FBB, Easyday, Central and Foodhall formats, pending approal from the concerned authorities.
Among categories, retail (33%), personal care (32%) and telecom service providers (25%) emerged as the fastest growing with their brand value increasing due to value creation and pivot to digital which helped customers especially during lockdown.
Ecommerce firm Flipkart, at 8th spot ($6.5 billion), made its debut on the top ten list with a 40% jump in brand value. D-Mart at 16th position ($3.3 billion), with a 38% jump, also saw its brand value increase significantly. Instant food brand Maggi had one of the highest brand value growth of 46% this year. Despite the paints industry struggling in India, Asian Paints' brand value grew by 14% as it focused on meaningful difference, communications and innovation.
For millions of Indians who stayed at home during the crisis, telecos have supplied a much-needed lifeline and fulfilled a growing demand for data-driven services like online gaming and media streaming. Airtel at number 4 ($13.9 billion), was the top telecom brand with 36% jump in brand value, while Jio at 7th spot ($6.9 billion) saw its value increase by 26%. Among the five new entrants was BSNL at number 75 ($583 million).
David Roth, chief executive of The Store WPP, EMEA and Asia and Chairman of BrandZ, said “Brands globally are being tested by the pandemic, especially in countries such as India where the economy was slowing down prior to covid-19. Many Indian brands have risen to the challenge and demonstrated their ability to innovate and adapt in ways that are world class. Our analysis proves conclusively once again that companies who invest in brand building are better placed to survive such challenges and come out stronger."
Two personal care brands, Dove (No. 61) and Close Up (No. 69) made their debut on the list as consumers priortised self-care like never before.
Preeti Reddy, chief executive - South Asia, insights division, Kantar, said the performance of retail, telecom and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands has shown that being agile in times of crisis is critical for growth.
“The post covid world will also offer brands opportunities around sustainable consumption because it is at the top of mind of consumers. A sense of purpose, trust and responsibility have become crucial. The data shows that brands that deliver on these parameters have gained brand value and will continue to do so," she added.
BrandZ analysis showed that consumer expectations of brands to act more responsibly have tripled in the last 10 years and this year’s ranking demonstrates that Indian companies are striving to deliver better products and services.
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