A Tata badge sits on the front grille of an automobile. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Tata Remains Most Valued Indian Brand, Flipkart Biggest Gainer

A bitter boardroom battle with ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry failed to impact the Tata brand even as its value fell marginally last year.

The metals-to-hotel conglomerate remained on top of Brand Finance’s list of 100 most valued Indian brands. IT firms were some of the best performers. Domestic companies also fared better than their global peers, with the collective brand value growing 15 percent this year, ahead of the global average of 11 percent, according to a press release by Brand Finance.

While the Tata brand’s absolute value did fall 4 percent to Rs 87,220 crore over the last calendar year, Natarajan Chandrasekaran’s appointment as chairman of Tata Sons is expected to “steady the ship”, said the Brand Finance release. The marginal drop is an improvement from the 11 percent fall in 2015-16, said the consultation firm’s Chief Executive Officer David Haigh.

The 4 percent fall can even be seen as “stabilisation in challenging times”, considering the Tata name operates in several industries and countries, making for testing conditions, Haigh said.

As Tata’s new chairman, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, settles in and attempts to streamline the conglomerate’s activities, we expect Tata to return to brand value growth soon.
David Haigh, Chief Executive Officer, Brand Finance.

Tata Sons’ board had removed Mistry in a surprise move citing loss of trust in October last year. After multiple rounds of claims and counter-claims on corporate governance, two Mistry firms moved the National Company Law Tribunal to bring charges of oppression and mismanagement against Tata Sons, but were denied relief.

Also Read: Did The NCLT Want A Trial Before The Trial In The Tata-Mistry Case?

On the business front, Tata Steel Ltd. has put a major chunk of its U.K. steel business on the block. On Tuesday, the company reported that it finally settled the U.K. employee pension fund, surprising investors with a loss.

The Taj Hotels brand, owned by Tata's Indian Hotels Company Ltd., fell dramatically by 14 places to the 93rd place on the brands list.

Flipkart Steals The Show

India’s homegrown e-commerce giant Flipkart saw the highest jump with its brand value more than doubling last year to Rs 3,457 crore. The company is currently looking to acquire its peer Snapdeal as it looks to take on Amazon India.

Also Read: What A Flipkart-Snapdeal Marriage Will Mean As SoftBank Plays Matchmaker

IndiGo Airlines, Power Finance Corporation Ltd., Eicher Motor Ltd.’s Royal Enfield, and Yes Bank Ltd. are some of the other top gainers in brand value, according to the data.

ITC Ltd. emerged as India’s most powerful brand as the only one to receive a AAA rating on the list.

For over a decade, ITC has been expanding its strategic presence beyond tobacco into food and beverage, personal care, apparel and stationary segments. This has strengthened its position over the Indian household, the release said.

Micromax Tumbles

Smartphone maker Micromax saw the largest fall in brand value by 39.5 percent to Rs 2,984 crore.

Other losers include Bank of Baroda Ltd., Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd., the bad-debt stricken Punjab National Bank Ltd. and Bank of India Ltd., all falling more than 20 percent in value.

Breaking Into Top 100

Bajaj Group, led by Rahul Bajaj and Rajiv Bajaj, entered the top 100 brands and is ranked at 21. Other entries to the list included Officer’s Choice, MRPL, Shriram, Indiabulls Housing, Mphasis Ltd., Biocon Ltd., JK Tyre Ltd., Dish TV Ltd. and Welspun Group Ltd..

Mahindra re-entered the top 10 list on the back of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and Mahindra Agri Divisions Ltd.’s performance, the release said.

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