Brandwatch: Tata India’s Most Valuable, HDFC, the strongest

16 Aug,2018


By A Correspondent


Tata Group is by far the most valuable brand in India, with a value surpassing that of the second (Airtel) and third (Infosys) ranked brands combined, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy.


After a few years of below 5% growth in brand value, Tata Group has surged ahead with a 9% growth to US$14.2 billion consolidating its No.1 rank by a huge distance. Considering Tata has been way ahead of the rest at $13.1 billion in 2017, this 9% is a tremendous surge, reflecting a solid year. The US$1 billion increase is the result of much tactical streamlining, refocusing and re-energising of Tata’s key businesses TCS, Tata Motors, Tata Steel and Tata Chemicals.


Said David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance: “Under the pragmatic leadership of chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Tata Group is pursuing a consolidated long-term strategy as it ushers in a new era. Chandrasekaran has reviewed the Group’s most senior positions, introduced an experienced team of former bankers tasked with overseeing group finance’s and made tactical leadership changes across the financial services and hotel brands. This year’s success can truly be attributed to a productive first year in office for the new chairman.”


India’s 10 Most Valuable Brands


HDFC Bank takes title of India’s strongest brand

A similar surge is observed in HDFC Bank which has broken into the top 10 this year, following a 19% brand value growth and claiming 8th rank among India’s most valuable brands with a US$4.1 billion valuation. Over the past year, HDFC Bank has grown steadily, making small and sensible acquisitions whilst maintaining its focus on digital banking. The bank has cleverly attracted young customers who want to buy, pay and invest at the click of a button, directly through their cellphones, even offering preapproved personal loans that can be expended within seconds. HDFC Bank is clearly proving its resilience and growth in the face of banking scrutiny and headwinds sweeping the sector.


Aside from measuring the overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Along with the level of revenues, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value. According to these criteria, HDFC Bank is India’s strongest brand this year with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.0 and a corresponding brand rating of AAA.


And Kotak Mahindra Bank is India’s fastest-growing brand

Another banking brand which has had a successful year is Kotak Mahindra Bank, (up 74% to US$2.1 billion), making it the fastest-growing brand in the Brand Finance India 100 2018. The brand has not only expanded its countrywide presence but also shown tremendous discipline in shaping its governance and customer experience. It has also recently strategically partnered with Ripple, to provide near-instant cross-border remittances using blockchain technology.


Public-sector banking brands take a dent

On the whole, India’s public-sector banking brands have taken a big dent in both their brand value ranks and growth, whilst the country faces its worse crisis of confidence across the banking sector. Most of the top 100 PSU banks have seen a decline in brand value growth: SBI at 19%, IDBI Bank at 30%, Punjab National Bank at 16%, Syndicate Bank at 9%, Central Bank of India at 21%, and Bank of Baroda at 14%.


Addd Haigh: “In a year of non-performing assets hitting the major banks, with further tightening of India’s financial sector alongside market uncertainties, the towering strength of strong governance is now more important than ever. The year ahead will be a test for brands navigating their way through the changing governance landscape.”


Telecoms dial down brand values

There are huge changes afoot across the telecoms sector too, courtesy of Reliance Group’s disruptive operator Jio, triggering a drop in brand value of Airtel (down 14% to US$6.7 billion), Idea Cellular (down 15% to US$1.7 billion) and BSNL (down 23% to US$ 0.5 billion).


The Indian mobile ecosystem has witnessed incredible growth in recent years, with package offerings and cut-price plans expanding, and 4G becoming more popular in a bid to satisfy the needs of a mobile-data-hungry population.


Brands to watch

From among other notable brands featuring in this year’s Brand Finance India 100 league table, Maruti Suzuki has zoomed ahead with a 26% brand value growth to US$3.2 billion over the past year, jumping from 17th to 13th spot in the ranking. It has certainly been a year of many successes for Maruti Suzuki where it has redefined its brand standards, maintained growth of Nexa, its alternative retail dealership format for premium cars, alongside a plethora of product offerings that charmed the market.


In this year’s Brand Finance India 100 2018, it is evident that brands with strong fundamentals have stood to gain significantly: Bajaj Group (up 30% to US$2.4 billion, ranked 19th), Bharat Petroleum (up 21% to US$2.4 billion, ranked 20th), Yes Bank (up 21% to US$0.7 billion, ranked 36th), and TVS (up 19% to US$0.5 billion, ranked 53rd).


Finally, there is one brand that has been consistently making its presence felt in the rankings over the last 3 years. The motorcycle manufacturing brand Royal Enfield is gradually taking the “Made in India” tag to a global scale, and it has again registered a 25% brand value growth this year, making it one of the steadiest-growing brands in India. With a brand value of US$0.6 billion it moved up from 59th in 2017 to 43rd this year.


View the full Brand Finance India 100 2018 report here

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