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Fab 50: India down, but still second best

Chinese companies account for half of Asia's Fab 50; 10 are Indian as against 12 last year

Published: Aug 12, 2015 07:16:11 AM IST
Updated: Aug 12, 2015 08:30:54 AM IST
Fab 50: India down, but still second best
Image: Mansi Thapliyal / Reuters
HCL Technologies Ltd beat analysts’ estimates with a 73 percent rise in quarterly profit for the second quarter in a row

The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, released in April, estimates the Indian economy to grow by 7.5 percent this year, ahead of China’s forecasted growth of 6.8 percent. (At $10.36 trillion, the Chinese economy is five times India’s $2 trillion economy.) But when it comes to the number of Indian and Chinese companies on Forbes Asia’s latest Fab 50 list, the Dragon reigns supreme, while Indian companies have fallen in number.

The 2015 annual list of Asia Pacific’s best big public companies has 25 names from China (up from 16 last year), and 10 from India (down from 12 last year). For the fifth year in a row—the Fab 50 list is now in its tenth year—India contributed the second-highest number of companies to the list, behind China which has led the pack for the same number of years.

The combined market value of the Indian companies on the list stood at $235 billion, down 4 percent from 2014; their aggregate turnover was $93 billion, down 6.6 percent. The Indian companies on the list include Aurobindo Pharma, HCL Technologies, HDFC Bank, Lupin, Motherson Sumi Systems, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tata Motors, Tech Mahindra and Titan. While Aurobindo Pharma is a newcomer to the list, the two companies from 2014 that dropped out are Axis Bank and Asian Paints.

Forbes Asia calls HDFC Bank “Fab 50’s brightest star over the decade”, having made it to the list nine times, more than any other company. India’s second-largest private sector lender, HDFC Bank, had a market capitalisation of $43 billion and revenues of $9.8 billion.
The Aditya Puri-led bank has consistently delivered 20 to 30 percent year-on-year growth in net profit. The bank’s sustained performance has made it the country’s most valued Indian bank.  

The leader among Indian companies on the 2015 Fab 50 list in terms of market value is TCS, with a capitalisation of $76.3 billion. Even when market conditions have been difficult, TCS, under CEO N Chandrasekaran, has been able to retain and grow its client base and revenues, and keep profit margins intact.   

Tata Motors, another Tata Group company, reported the highest turnover among the Indian companies on the Fab 50 list, with revenues of $42.6 billion. Though the carmaker’s domestic operations have been struggling due to sluggish demand for commercial and passenger vehicles, its British subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover is going strong and is cushioning the company’s earnings.  
Interestingly, the fall in the number of Indian companies on Asia’s Fab 50 list contrasts India’s standing in the Forbes’s Global 2000 list of the world’s top companies: India’s presence on the latter rose to 56, from 54 last year.

Full list of Fab 50

(This story appears in the 21 August, 2015 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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