Indian brands remain resilient during global slowdown

Tata Consultancy Services retains its crown as India’s most valuable brand
28 September 2023
Sunset at Nariman Point, Mumbai
Deepender Rana

Executive Managing Director, Insights Division, South Asia

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has retained its number one position in the 10th anniversary edition of the Kantar BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands Report for the second consecutive year, with a brand value of US$43 billion. TCS continues to successfully capitalise on global demand for digital transformation, despite a tough year for the business technology category in general. HDFC Bank, Infosys and Airtel also hold on to their top four positions, while State Bank of India rises one place to enter the Top 5.

India’s Top 75 brands have a combined brand value of $379 billion, a decline of 4% from 2022 – a modest decrease given the ongoing economic volatility across most of the world. This is testament to Indian brands’ resilience, stability and consistency. The decline has been driven by brands in the Business Technology and Services Platforms category, which have a major presence in international markets, and therefore have been impacted by global pressures, recession threats and geopolitical instability. 

India’s automotive brands have an exceptional year

The Automotive category produced the Top 75’s two fastest risers: TVS (No.51; $1.90bn) and Mahindra (No.47; $2.01bn) and achieved the second highest category growth at 19%. India’s automotive brands have quickly responded to changing consumer needs, notably the shift in preference from hatchbacks to SUVs, and the demand for electric vehicles.

TVS gained 59% in value and leapt 24 places thanks to a number of successful product launches and a 10-year partnership with BMW that gives it leverage in markets such as Europe, the US and Canada. Mahindra, which grew its value by 48%, has made itself incredibly meaningful in Indian consumers’ eyes, and has also significantly boosted its salience. 

Financial Services and Telecom Providers perform well

The ranking’s 16 Financial Services brands contribute the biggest chunk of its total value. They grew 6%, thanks to the boom in digital banking, led by Axis Bank (No.17; +28%) and ICICI Bank (No.6; +18%). 

Telecom providers also performed strongly, resulting in a 17% rise in total brand value. Airtel (No.4; +29%) took full advantage of the end of the price wars to focus on what makes it special and relevant to Indian consumers’ lives. This included offering differentiated digital services, such as the Xstream entertainment app and Wynk music app. Airtel has also successfully leveraged the rapidly increasing demand among businesses for data and connectivity related solutions, and digital products that enable the delivery of an enhanced omni-channel customer experience. 

There are four newcomers to the 2023 Indian brand ranking, plus two re-entrants. PhonePe – the highest entry at No.21 – has quickly become India’s leading digital payment app by investing heavily in the strength of its infrastructure, building connections with partner banks, and developing a huge network of merchant acceptance points. Also making their debut are fintech brand Cred (No.48; $2.0bn), photo and video sharing app ShareChat (No.67; $1.33bn) and entertainment platform Star (No.71; $1.30bn).

2023 is the 10th ranking of India’s most valuable brands, during which time the Top 50 have increased almost fivefold in value, from $69.6bn in 2014 to $339.9bn in 2023. The last decade is a story of strength and resilience: 33 of the brands in the current Top 75 were also in the 2014 ranking. The companies behind India’s most valuable brands have consistently outperformed the key market indices – the SENSEX and the NIFTY50 – with share price growth over 10 years of 99.6% compared with 83.2% and 81.7% respectively.

Kantar BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Indian Brands 2023

 Rank 2023 Brand  Category Brand Value 2023 ($M US)  
 1  Tata Consultancy Services   Business Technology & Services Platforms   42,869
 2  HDFC Bank   Financial Services   33,612 
 3  Infosys   Business Technology & Services Platforms   24,170 
 4  Airtel   Telecom Providers   22,517 
 5  State Bank of India  Financial Services  14,483 
 6  ICICI Bank   Financial Services  12,976
 7  Asian Paints   Paints   12,839 
 8  Jio  Telecom Providers  11,773
 9  Kotak Mahindra Bank   Financial Services  10,332 
 10  HCL Tech   Business Technology and Services Platforms  9,361
It has been India’s decade. Our GDP has almost doubled with an 82% growth, while the world GDP has grown at 30%. This delta is even more when it comes to the most valuable Indian brands, which have almost quintupled in value (4.9 times), compared to the most valuable global brands, which have grown by 2.4 times. So Indian brands are significant value creators for our economy. We expect this trend to accelerate in the next decade as Indian brands don’t just thrive in India, but also explore growth overseas in their quest to become true multinational giants. Our IT services brands have already done that, with TCS and Infosys already featuring in the Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand list. The strongest Indian brands have forged powerful connections by consistently adding value to people’s lives, and consumers see them as different to their rivals in ways that really matter. Brands must keep investing in building equity to create future demand, even as they capture existing demand which requires a better balance between short- and long-term strategy.

There is great diversity within the India Top 75: they are a combination of established names and dynamic young brands, both global and local in footprint. What they have in common is their ability to be essentially Indian. Through a deep and detailed understanding of consumers in the market, and adopting the local culture and ethos, even huge international brands are seen and cherished as ‘homegrown’. The trust and loyalty this engenders has helped Indian brands to suffer less and recover more quickly from the storms that have buffeted them over the past 10 years.
Other key highlights from the Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable Indian Brands report include:

Sustainability credentials have a major influence on consumer decision-making – almost 9% of Indian brands’ Demand Power – a Kantar BrandZ measure of the ability to drive predisposition to buy – comes from perceptions around sustainability. However, only 8% of brands in India are seen as leaders in this area, compared to 11% globally, indicating an opportunity for those that can do more. 

Differentiation is key to commanding Pricing Power – the ability to justify price charged. Brands that have grown in both Demand Power and Pricing Power over the last year did so by being Meaningfully Different. There are different routes to being perceived as differentiated: a brand could be seen as distinct, to be a specialist, or to have purpose.

The strength of the domestic economy has acted like a shield – Overseas contribution for the Top 30 Indian brands accounts for 31% of brand value, compared with 47% for Japan, 59% for the UK, and 85% for France. This has protected the ranking from the worst effects of international volatility. 

Read more about the results in the Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable Indian Brands report available now at  

For an overarching view of brand performance, Kantar has launched a new, free interactive tool powered by BrandZ’s wealth of data and Meaningful Different Salient framework. Kantar BrandSnapshot delivers intelligence on 10,000 brands in 40+ markets, offering a quick read on a brand’s performance in a category. Explore for free on Kantar Marketplace today.  

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