The total value of India’s top 100 brands has increased by 2 per cent, from $162.1 billion in 2020 to $164.9 billion in 2021, according to the latest Brand Finance India 100 2021 report. This uplift in brand value over the course of the first year of the pandemic is an impressive feat given the global economic crisis following the implementation of national lockdowns in March 2020, when business activity was brought to a halt, affecting both production and consumption.
Among the brands that came on the top of the list include Tata Group, Reliance Industries, and Mahindra Group. In BFSI, HDFC Bank took over State Bank of India as the best financial brands.
Tata Group has retained the title of India’s most valuable brand by a considerable lead with a brand value of $21.3 billion. Operating in more than 100 countries across six continents and employing over three-quarters of a million people, TATA Group is a force to be reckoned with on the global stage, said the report. With 30 companies under the TATA Group umbrella, ranging from Tata Steel and Tata Motors to TCS and Tata Consumer Products, the brand has managed to protect itself from COVID-19 damage – this year recording a 6 per cent uplift in brand value.
There are eight further conglomerate brands in the Brand Finance India 100 2021 ranking, which accounts for over a quarter of the total brand value, making it the most valuable brand category in India. Reliance Industries (up 9 per cent to US$8.1 billion) and Mahindra Group (down 6 per cent to US$5.4 billion) sit in 4th and 9th place, respectively.
Ajimon Francis, Managing Director, Brand Finance India, commented: “Despite being one of the worst-hit nations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian brands have shown remarkable resilience to the challenges that have ensued since the first lockdown in March 2020. Over the past year, the nation’s top 100 most valuable brands have recorded a 2 per cent uplift in total brand value, showcasing their strength. Yet the current national health emergency presents an even greater challenge than last year’s lockdown.
In these trying times for all of India, brands will need to play their part in supporting recovery.”
After conglomerates, banking is India’s second most valuable sector, with its 16 brands accounting for 16 per cent of the total brand value in the ranking. Indian banks have bucked the global sector trend, recording a cumulative brand value growth of 8 per cent year-on-year.
HDFC Bank has become India’s most valuable banking brand, up 11 per cent to $6.6 billion and claiming 5th spot in the ranking, ahead of last year’s most valuable Indian banking brand State Bank of India (down 9 per cent to $5.8 billion) which sits in 7th.
ICICI claimed the spot of India’s third most valuable banking brand, brand value up 23 per cent to $3.5 billion. This success follows moves in 2018 to pursue more innovative banking solutions, with a focus on digital and technology-driven processes. The Union Bank of India saw the fastest year-on-year brand value increase in the ranking, growing by 163 per cent to $1.2 billion and simultaneously soaring 39 places to claim 31st spot.
The third most valuable sector in India is IT services. Tata Groups, IT services business TCS brand value jumped 11 per cent to $14.9 billion, which contributes a significant proportion of TATA Group’s conglomerate brand value.
Infosys is the highest-ranked standalone IT services brand and 3rd in the overall Brand Finance India 100 2021 ranking, jumping up one place from last year following a solid 19 per cent brand value growth to $8.4 billion.
Among the Indian IT services players, LTI is the fastest-growing IT services brand this year not just in India but also globally, recording an impressive 68 per cent brand value growth to $982 million. For the last five years, LTI has consistently delivered double-digit growth year-on-year and shows no signs of slowing down
Fellow IT services brands HCL (up 13 per cent to $5.5 billion), Tech Mahindra (up 11 per cent to $2.3 billion – included in Mahindra Group’s conglomerate brand value), and Mphasis (up 13 per cent to $536 million), have all recorded healthy uplifts in brand value this year.
Another IT major, Wipro (down 1 per cent to $4.3 billion), has dropped one rank but remains a formidable player in the IT services space.
A notable challenger brand in the market, Hexaware has swiftly risen through the ranks, moving 10 spots up since last year.
In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. According to these criteria, Jio has claimed the title of India’s strongest brand as well as the world’s strongest telecom brand, according to the Brand Finance Telecoms 150 2021 report, with a Brand Strength Index score of 91.7 out of 100 and the elite AAA+ brand strength rating.
Despite only being founded in 2016, Jio has quickly become the largest mobile network operator in India and the third-largest mobile network operator in the world, with almost 400 million subscribers.