MUMBAI: The total value of India's top 50 brands has grown by a third (33%) since last year, representing the highest rate of growth in the 10-year history of BrandZ rankings produced by communications group WPP and agency Millward Brown.

India's top 50 brands are now valued at $92.2bn, up from just under $70bn in 2014, according to the analysis, which attributed the growth to a "rising sense of empowerment among Indian consumers" and the Indian government's efforts "to create a more conducive business environment".

Indian finance brands achieved 49% growth over the year, making them the highest risers in the annual rankings, but other sectors also saw impressive growth in value.

These included home and personal care brands (28%), vehicle brands (27%) and telecom providers (21%), such as New Delhi-based Airtel (#2, +34%).

More than half (52%) of the brands in the BrandZ top 50 were privately-owned, which the report said was a reflection of "India's entrepreneurial energy".

Meanwhile, almost a third (30%) of the brands were owned by multinationals, having successfully "adapted to the needs of Indian consumers" and effectively giving the perception of being "local".

Notable examples of international brands that did well included toothpaste brand Colgate (#26, +44%), lubricant Castrol (#12, +40%) and FMCG giant Nestlé (#15, +22%).

Mumbai-based HDFC Bank topped the rankings with a brand value of $12.57bn, followed by Airtel ($11bn), State Bank of India ($9.37bn), ICICI Bank ($5.12bn) and Asian Paints ($3.86bn).

Commenting on the report, David Roth, CEO of WPP's The Store, said: "The 2015 study shows that India is a market of great opportunities where consumers are feeling empowered, and this is increasingly reflected in their brand choices.

"India is distinct in many ways from other fast-growing markets, however, so simply applying strategies that have proved successful elsewhere will not work in India.

"Any brand intending to compete in India must gain deep insights into its nuances – such as the need to modernise while respecting the past, and the desire to remain fundamentally Indian."

Data sourced from WPP, Millward Brown; additional content by Warc staff