India’s strongest brands have bounced back from the pandemic to increase their brand value by a massive 35% CAGR since 2020, when COVID-19 hit the country. India’s top 75 brands are worth a combined $393 billion, equivalent to 11% of India’s national GDP.
The growth rate of the Kantar BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands far outpaces the rate of growth being posted in other major markets around the world.
Tata Consultancy Services (US$45.5 billion) is the new number one most valuable Indian brand, claiming the top spot from HDFC Bank (no.2, $32.7bn) which had held the position since the first ranking was unveiled in 2014. TCS’s brand value has been accelerated by global demand for automation and digital transformation following the pandemic.
The Top 10 Most Valuable Indian Brands together contribute just over half of the ranking’s total value. There has been significant movement at the top, in addition to the two most valuable brands switching positions. There are two new entrants – Infosys ($29.2bn) which has rocketed up to no.3 from 12th position, and ICICI Bank ($11bn) which has climbed two places to no.9. State Bank of India ($13.6bn) has also risen four places to no.6.
There are brands from 23 different categories in the 2022 Indian Top 75. There are a total of 14 newcomers , from 11 categories – including online gaming, education, apparel and real estate, reflecting the diversity and dynamism of the Indian economy.
Technology and Banking brands account for over half of the total value. Six B2B Tech brands and 11 Consumer Tech brands contribute 35% to the total value of the ranking, reflecting the rise of Tech India. Overall, B2B brands (tech, payments) are on average almost three times as valuable as B2C brands, reflecting the fact that many of the B2B brands play on the global stage while B2C are more focused on the domestic market. Six banking brands deliver 19% of the total value. Also notable for their performance are Insurance brands, which have performed well as the pandemic increased consumers’ focus on protection of life and health and Telecom Providers, led by Airtel (No.4; $17.4bn) and Jio (No.10; $10.7bn), which took full advantage of growth opportunities as everything moved online, from education to work to parties.
Key newcomers to the ranking include Vi (No.15; $6.5bn); formed from a merger between Vodafone and Idea, Byju’s (No.19: $5.5bn), the educational technology brand that has become India’s most valuable education brand, and Adani Gas (No.21; $4,5bn).
Deepender Rana, Executive Managing Director- South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar says: “India’s leading brands have grown at an exceptional rate, despite global economic headwinds, putting the disruption from COVID-19 behind them. Indeed, they have both driven and benefited from the transformation in consumer and business behaviour as a result of COVID-19, especially where it relates to the use of technology. The challenge now is to sustain momentum as inflation bites worldwide and consumers and businesses adjust to the new normal. Brand owners will need to work harder to identify and build on what makes worth paying for and ensure ROI on their marketing expenditure to avoid a margins squeeze.”
The pillars of brand building in India:
Kantar BrandZ has identified Four Fundamentals responsible for powering brand growth: Function, Convenience, Experience and Exposure. India differs from other markets around the world, however, in that a brand’s sustainability credentials and purpose matter more.
Overall, 65% of Indians feel anxious about climate change, and 64% believe businesses must play their part. The highest-ranking brands in the Top 75 are clear on purpose and have a relevant sustainability agenda. These include services platform Zomato (No.30; $3.1bn), which offsets the carbon footprint of its deliveries and packaging. Swiggy (No.20; $4.8bn) elevates consumers’ quality of life with speedy delivery of meals, groceries and healthy items, as does Flipkart (No.12; $8.9bn), while also helping smaller local brands to connect with consumers via its platform.
Soumya Mohanty, Managing Director, Insights Division, Kantar says: “Purposeful and sustainable brands are rewarded. Indian consumers look further than the brand attributes that affect them personally – they want brands to improve people’s lives and have a positive impact on wider society. They vote with their wallets, choosing brands they see as ‘doing the right thing’. Indian brands should have a clear view of their purpose, connect strongly with it by embedding it in their culture, talk about it in creative and powerful ways, and deliver on it – without fail.”
Salience – the ability of brands to spring quickly to mind when a consumer has a need – is also vitally important. India’s Top 10 brands are far more salient than their counterparts in most other countries. However, for growth to be supercharged, brands must also have strong meaning as well. They should have functional meaning – doing a good job of fulfilling a need – but also a layer of emotional meaning. The Kantar BrandZ India Top 75 far exceed other Indian brands on all these of these vital predictors of success.
Other key highlights from the analysis include:
- 57 of the brands in the 2022 Top 75 have been in the ranking since 2018, while 19 have moved up the league table.
- The share prices of companies behind strong brands are protected in a ‘bear’ market and recover more quickly. Between August 2014 and June 2022, the SENSEX India Index gained 63.8%, while a portfolio of the most valuable Indian brands rose 81.8%.
There are eleven consumer tech brands in the Top 75, reflecting the increasingly digital way Indian consumers live, which is 11% of the total brand value. The four most valuable brands in this category are Flipkart (No. 12; $8.9bn), Byju’s (No. 19; $5.5 bn), Swiggy (No. 20; $4.8bn) and Nykaa (No. 25; $3.7bn).