Home / News / World /  India beats China in 'Forbes Asia Best Under A Billion' mid-sized businesses
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A list of the best 200 mid-sized businesses in the Asia-Pacific area was released by Forbes Asia last week in its 2022 edition. These are publicly traded businesses with yearly revenues under $1 billion. The number of Indian businesses that made the "Best Under A Billion" list this year was 24, down from 26 in 2021.

In terms of Asian nations, this put India in fourth place, one spot ahead of China, which had 22 enterprises on the list. With 30, Taiwan has the most publicly traded companies, followed by Japan with 29 and South Korea with 27.

The unranked list was created from a lengthy list of more than 20,000 publicly traded businesses in the Asia-Pacific area with annual revenues of more than $10 million but less than $1 billion.

According to Forbes Asia, the purpose of the list is to highlight businesses that have long-term sustainable performance across a range of parameters. Using information gathered on debt, revenue, and earnings-per-share growth over the most recent fiscal one- and three-year periods, as well as the strongest one- and five-year average return on equity, a composite score was created. Based on the most recent information that was made publicly accessible as of July 11, 2022, Forbes used full-year yearly results.

Besides these quantitative criteria, qualitative screens were used to exclude certain companies that were deemed not to fit the profile Forbes Asia was looking for and to maintain fairness. Companies with serious governance issues, questionable accounting, environmental concerns, management issues, or legal troubles were excluded, and so were state-controlled firms and subsidiaries of larger companies. Forbes Asia said that their criteria "ensured a geographical diversity of companies across the region."

The Best Under A Billion list this year emphasises the change in consumer spending from healthcare and pharmaceutical firms, which dominated the list last year, when the region was still largely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Fashion designers, mall owners, restaurant owners, consumer electronics manufacturers, entertainment businesses, and dealers of luxury brand goods have all benefited from the post-pandemic return to normal life.

75 businesses who were on the list from the previous year are back this year, demonstrating their adaptability in a rapidly changing economy. Taiwan's Aspeed, which has been on the list for nine years straight, stands out in this regard.

Among the companies highlighted in the report by Forbes Asia is Indian apparel manufacturer Dollar Industries. Following recovery from COVID-19-induced trade and supply chain disruptions, Dollar Industries booked 30 per cent sales growth for the fiscal year ended in March, with net profit soaring 72 per cent. Besides expanding its clothing range for women, the company recently added a spinning mill and a warehouse.

Dollar Industries is a Kolkata-based company that was established in 1972 and produces clothing and hosiery under numerous brand names. It has a market value of $389 million, revenue of 181 million dollars, and net income of 20 million dollars.

Another Indian company that made the list is Aarti Industries Limited (AIL). AIL makes chemical products used in the downstream manufacture of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, polymers, additives, surfactants, pigments, and dyes. Over the last decade, AIL has transformed from an Indian company servicing global markets to a global entity with state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in India.

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It was started in 1984 and is based in Mumbai. It has a market value of USD 3.28 billion, 939 million in revenue, and 175 million in net profit.

AIL says on their corporate website that they are a leading Indian manufacturer of specialty chemicals and pharmaceuticals with a global footprint and that they combine process chemistry competence (recipe focus) with a scale-up engineering competence (asset utilisation) to create a sustainable future. Singapore had seven companies on the list.

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One of them is the upscale watch shop The Hour Glass. Sales at The Hour Glass soared by over 40% to $766 million during the previous fiscal year, while net profit increased by 86% to $115 million as homebound customers sought out ways to spend their money. The Hour Glass has 50 stores around Asia-Pacific and sells brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. As of the close of the stock market last week, it had a market value of $1.12 billion.

Another Singapore company that made the list is UMS Holdings which provides precision engineering and manufacturing solutions that support the semiconductor industry.

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UMS' net profit attributable to shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2021, increased by 46 percent to an all-time high of $38.7 million on record revenue of $198 million, which was 65 percent higher than what it managed in the prior fiscal year. This growth was primarily driven by the sustained increase in semiconductor demand. Its market capitalisation as of previous week's end was $592 million.

The company specialises in manufacturing front-end high-precision semiconductor components and performs assembly and final testing services. Its key client is Applied Materials, which is among the biggest makers of machinery used to manufacture semiconductors and supports the likes of chipmakers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Samsung.

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UMS Holdings also works with businesses in other industries such as aerospace and oil and gas.

"This is a significant achievement as it affirms that our business model is dynamic and strong, that our vision of constantly doing better and delivering on our commitments to customers and stakeholders has been well recognized," said Andy Luong, chairman, and chief executive of UMS Holdings, to The Straits Times (Singapore).

(With ANI inputs)

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