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Top Indian brands look beyond profits

News, 02 September 2016

MUMBAI: A ranking of the most valuable Indian brands is dominated by conglomerates with the leading ones looking beyond the bottom line to other factors such as reputation, purpose and social responsibility, according to a new study.

The 2016 Best Indian Brands Report from Interbrand India highlighted the changes that are taking place in the marketplace, where diversified and financial businesses continued to be the most valuable brands, accounting for 37% and 27% respectively of the total brand value of the 40 brands listed, Mint reported.

But technology, telecom and auto are emerging growth sectors, reported Gonzalo Brujó, CEO, EMEA and LATAM, Interbrand, with healthcare, e-commerce, fashion, luxury and sports the next big opportunities.

"You see a lot of conglomerates in the (India) rankings, which is very unique," he said, but added that no Indian brand appeared in Interbrand's top global brands listing.

"Indian brands must accelerate their growth to compete globally," he stated. "These businesses grew from industries to conglomerates. The conglomerates are now trying to grow global by transcending domains, reinventing around purpose, waking up to strategic corporate citizenship.

"This shift is marked by industry-driven brands transforming to fast-moving consumer-centric brands, customer-centric innovations and digital pervasiveness."

The point was echoed by his colleague Ashish Mishra, managing director of Interbrand India, who stressed that brands were increasingly B2H (business-to-human) rather than B2B or B2C.

"People today are more interested in what we make happen rather than what we make," he said. So brands "aligning themselves to a purpose creates an inspiring brand-led culture on the inside, which in turn anchors the multiple micro-experiences for the customer on the outside".

Tata, Airtel and Reliance Industries took the top three spots in the ranking, two conglomerates sandwiching a telecoms brand.

The fastest growers were Maruti Suzuki, the automaker's brand value increasing by 16% as it moved into newer segments in an effort to climb up the value chain, and HDFC Bank, whose brand value rose 15% as it focused on new, digital solutions.

Data sourced from Mint; additional content by Warc staff