The other day, I did buy a magazine called Fortune India 500. For those of you who are not used to the Fortune 500 ranking, I can tell you that this is a ranking of the 500 biggest companies in world, when it comes to revenue. The ranking started back in 1995 and have developed ever since. It is also now more rankings, not just the 500 biggest in the world. Like Fortune 500 India, Fortune 500 China and reports like this.
It is quite interesting to read this with some “Indian eyes”, if you get me right. The development in India over the last couple of years has been phenomenal, that is something we all know. But how big has it really been? And how is it compared to others? It is interesting to see how India compares it with other countries, especially with China. And India is, as we will see, very much the little brother to China.
In 1995, 151 of the top 500 companies were in USA and 171 in Europe. In 2010 139 is in USA and 183 in Europe. So this has not changed that very much. But in 1995 there were 149 companies from Japan and only 14 from the rest of Asia. In 2010 there are only 71 companies from Japan, and 77 from the rest of Asia! India had one top 500 in 1995, while China had 3. Today India has 8, while China has as much as 46! So it is very clear to see that even if India has developed a lot, China have developed even much more. It was quite interesting to read the magazine, and see that the Indians feel that the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) term is a bit flattering. China is just so much bigger than the other tree combined together. Russia has 6 and Brazil 7 of the top 500.
So what are the biggest companies in India then? The biggest in revenue is Indian Oil. And the next four are Reliance Industries, State Bank of India, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum. Four out the five biggest are actually in the oil & gas sector. The biggest Norwegian company, and the only one that is in top 500 (Statoil as number 74) is also in the oil and gas sector. So you can wonder why there is no more trade between Norway and India, as oil is such an important sector also in Norway… Maybe one reason is because four out of the five largest companies in India are actually owned by the Government of India?
The sector that is probably the most famous in Norway is the IT-sector. But there are actually only three IT-companies among the top fifty. (Tata Consulting Services – TCS as number 22, Wipro as number 23 and Infosys Technologies as number 29). The forth biggest is HCL Technologies as number 54. So when we see these new IT-companies coming into the country, it is easy to overlook that these companies are just a “small” part of a huge and booming economy.
So how does the future look for Indian companies? Fortune 500 made a list of 12 items that had to be worked on in order to progress even further. I will go through these items some time later. One interesting thing, that is surely good for India, is that if we look at the revenue per employee. Four of the five most productive companies in BRIC are actually Indians! I do think that the future seems good for India, but it off course depends on items like corruption, and world economy.
Talk to you soon!