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BW Businessworld

The Elite Company

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As global branding consultancy, Interbrand, rang the BSE opening bell on Tuesday morning, it unveiled the 2012 edition of their ‘Best Global Brands’, keeping with their tradition of launching their annual listing in stock exchanges around the world.
Ironically, not a single Indian brand figured in the top 100 list of most valuable brands worldwide, which was topped by Coca-Cola. And the actual valuation had very little to do with this. In fact, the Tata brand was valued in excess of $16 billion earlier this year, making it the top Indian name in a similar list by another consultancy, Brand Finance. By sheer numbers, this outdoes SAP (No. 25 in the Interbrand list), with a valuation of $15.64 billion. ICICI and Bharti Airtel also figured in the top 100 in yet another list by Millward Brown’s BrandZ. 
But it’s not all about numbers. Graham Hales, CEO, London for Interbrand says, “The brand needs to have a public profile and awareness beyond its home country.” This means, at least 30 per cent of its revenue has to be offshore earnings, it has to be present in at least three continents, and in emerging markets. And this is where Indian brands fall short, but there is hope. “There are good signs already... With Indian brands expanding globally, that (global presence) is beginning to happen. Tata is a frontrunner,” says Water Interbrand chief strategist and head Ashish Mishra. India’s isn’t the only casualty. Interbrand’s list left out bigwigs such as Walmart, which, though present in several countries, often does so under many brands.
These lists give an indication of a brand’s strength since they’re not only evaluated on their finances, but also reputation, customer loyalty and accessibility. Valuation experts say there is a strong connect between brand health and long-term performance. Appearing on these global lists enable brand owners, investors and stakeholders to evaluate and compare brands. And Indian brand owners will certainly benefit from knowing where they stand.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 22-10-2012)