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BW Businessworld

The Definitive Ranking Of India's Largest Companies

The BW Real 500 list is India’s most comprehensive one. It takes into account the assets created by companies and the income they generate on such assets

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We are seeing an exponential potential in BW Real 500 rankings. In fact, India’s largest, widest and most comprehensive rankings, the BW Real 500 list, is exhibiting its bestest growth — and how. Even in the prevailing tough business environment, the top 500 companies swelled their assets over FY17 by 9.63 per cent to a whopping Rs 1.56 lakh crore. In terms of business growth, it has been a phenomenal year as the BW Real 500 represents more than 60 per cent of the Indian economy, generating lakhs and lakhs of jobs.

The BW Real 500 list is India’s most comprehensive one. It takes into account the assets created by companies and the income they generate on such assets. Asset creation is the solid backbone of any economy. Over the past few years, the focus of the authorities has been on asset creation, which then drives jobs and economic growth. On that mean score, the BW Real 500 list has not been lagging at all.

Once again, of course, the largest corporation tag, is sported by Reliance Industries. This Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate has been continuously transforming itself from an oil-and-gas entity into an widely integrated consumer-focused corporation with enormous investments in its new businesses in retail, telecoms and the media.The entity racked up huge capex last year, to the tune of $10 billion largely on its new and growing ventures. And, if the investment and return trends are anything to go by, this behemoth seems well set to dominate the rankings for a very long time to come even as analysts liken the visionary Ambani to Jeff Bezos and Jack Ma.

The oil-and-gas sector stands tall in the top 10 list of the BW Real 500 rankings, with five companies including Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (Rank 2), Indian Oil Corporation (Rank 3), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (Rank 7) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (Rank 10), not to forget Reliance Industries. Others in the top 10 are Tata Motors (Rank 4), National Thermal and Power Corporation (5), Larsen and Toubro (6), Tata Steel (7) and Bharti Airtel (9).

This year’s BW Real-500 rankings exhibited a considerable improvement in the key balance-sheet and profit-and-loss parameters. In size and scale, the top-50 companies in the BW Real 500 list account for more than 68 per cent of the total assets and income of all the 500 companies.

This time around, the top 50 companies have shown better growth than our list last year. Total income increased 10.6 per cent this time, a huge rise over last year’s 8.6 per cent. This, perhaps, shows that, contrary to popular beliefs, Indian companies are exhibiting better growth rates and the strength to put their assets to the best use, extracting more and more revenues from their ever-mounting assets.In fact, one of the notable movers in this year’s rankings has been Grasim Industries. The Kumar Mangalam Birla flagship company has pole-vaulted 19 spots to figure in the top 12. It acquired quite a few assets, further cementing its place in the BW Real 500 rankings.

Piramal Enterprises, the flagship company of the Ajay Piramal Group has jumped nine places, from 45 last year to 36. Ashok Leyland, the auto giant, zoomed eight places to 42.
Keenly looking at the way the rankings have been evolving, there’s no doubt that the Indian economy sports vast potential. Many of these companies have exhibited enormous growths in their asset bases, and an equally large number have extracted more and significant revenues from these assets. Not only that, despite a year that was marked by the introduction of the GST and the problems associated with its implementation, BW Real 500 companies have consistently delivered steady growth rates.
Of course, some of the structural adjustments of the Indian economy are still underway, as the work on some of the landmark reforms is ongoing. The Bankruptcy Code, the GST, RERA, among others, are increasingly formalising the Indian economy as more and more entities get into the mainstream economy. This will only imply that more and more business would flow to the top companies.
If some of the clear prognostications of the corporate top honchos are to be believed, the next decade is going to be India’s. With its ginormous demographics rapidly deepening technological penetration, and ballooning well-set aspirational middle class (and a supportive and encouraging government), more companies are likely to put on the mantle of driving India’s growth. Digital penetration means that more and more services will be accessible to both the masses and the classes. That means more business growth for the taking. If that takes place, the BW Real 500 list as it appears today will only grow — and swell.
What more can one say?  Seeing this year exponential potential, we look forward with anticipation — and not a little trepidation — to next year’s BW Real 500 rankings, wondering who will scale that ladder, and who will slide down its sides. Till then, presenting the most comprehensive BW Real 500 rankings. Read on.


India’s 50 Biggest Non-Financial Companies

India’s 50 Biggest Financial Companies

India’s Biggest Non-Financial Companies

The Lossmakers

Highest Reserves

High Debt Equity