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Banks and Telcos Dominate India’s most valuable Brands

A recent study by the WPP Group entitled ‘Top 50 Most Valuable Indian Brands 2014’ saw banks and telcos dominating the list.

Although it is well documented that ‘Brand India’ has taken a beating in recent years, with stories of corruption and malpractice marring the countries progress alongside other global powerhouse economies, that appears to have been put behind the second most populous nation in the world, with a common belief that it is time to resurrect the nation’s image.

Having just returned from a week in India visiting the top banks there, I can vouch for a new found energy on the sub-continent, helped in no small part by a surging young, ambitious, tech savvy population (over 500m people under the age of 25).

China has made big progress in recent years, improving their image abroad and ensuring, at least from a brand perspective, that their products and services are no longer seen as a cheap alternative to traditional western offerings.

India is without doubt a growth market for brand, with evidence pointing to a lower (but increasing) level of investment in advertising, media and brand compared to China.

HDFC Bank leads the pack with a brand valuation of $9.4bn, Telco Brand Airtel, synonymous with India’s mobile revolution was in second place, with a brand value of $8.2bn, State Bank of India (SBI) are third with a brand value of $6.8bn followed by other brands such as ICICI Bank, Bajaj Auto, Asian Paints, Hero Motocorp Idea, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Reliance Communications making up the remaining top slots.

The top 50 most valuable brands in India have a combined brand value of $70bn, with service businesses dominating the top 50 slots (30%). Whilst 17 in the list are multi-national businesses, 26 are privately held Indian brands and 7 are state owned.

While India’s GDP will be 25% of the world’s GDP this year (2014), its share of the Top 500 global brands is only 6%, so India is far away from believing in building brands or buying them.

For India brands to compete alongside other global powerhouse brands, it will have to invest. I see the beginnings of this happening, with businesses looking at future changes in market demographics and asking the questions ‘how do we win and retain’ in the future. Brand is a tool that will help.

Top 10 Indian Brands

  1. HDFC Bank

  2. Airtel

  3. State Bank of India

  4. ICICI Bank

  5. Bajaj Auto

  6. Asian Paints

  7. Hero Motocorp

  8. Idea

  9. Kotak Mahindra Bank

  10. Reliance Communications

(Source: Brand Z)

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