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FEATURES/FAB 50 | Oct 5, 2012 | 16030 views

Indian Companies on the FAB 50 List

Despite soaring inflation and slump in growth, 11 Indian companies managed to buck the trend

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Asian Paints -

CHEMICALS—COATINGS/PAINT
SALES $1.8 BLN
MARKET VALUE $6.3 BLN

Low-profile 70-year-old company makes a repeat appearance on the list. Despite India’s high inflation and slowing demand, posted a 10 percent jump in revenue spurred by greater sales of paint for interiors and exteriors. It operates in 17 countries.  Faced tough environment in the Middle East due to the Arab Spring. But that was offset by growth in Asia.

In March, it appointed a new Managing Director and Chief Executive, KBS Anand, a career Asian Painter. Three of the four founding families still own more than half the company. Descendants Ashwin Choksi, Ashwin Dani and Abhay Vakil are regulars on the India rich list.

In the past 6 years, the company has rapidly gained market share, thanks to growth in its premium category; now sells 53 percent of the paint sold by listed paint companies. But it’s heading into difficult times because of the slowdown in consumption of discretionary items. Frequent price hikes are also likely to hit volume. Asian Paints has consistently raised prices over the past three years because of raw material price increases.

 Number of times the company appears in previous year’s list =1 


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Image: Punit Paranjpe / Reuters
Bajaj Auto 

CONSUMER DURABLES—VEHICLES
SALES $3.7 BLN
MARKET VALUE $8.8 BLN

Revved up by a 30 percent increase in exports—it sold nearly 1.3 million motorcycles overseas this past year—it makes the Fab 50 for the first time since 2006. The company is world’s third-largest motorcycle maker, but domestic sales were sluggish because of intense competition, high interest rates and rising petrol prices. It accounts for 70 percent of motorcycle exports from India.

 Number of times the company appears in previous year’s list = 1


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Bharti Airtel 
TECHNOLOGY—WIRELESS TELECOM
SALES $14 BLN
MARKET VALUE $17.9 BLN

Operates in 20 countries in the subcontinent and in sub-Saharan Africa. Its 262 million customers include 56 million in Africa. Returns to list for the fifth time. New Delhi company provides services from wireless to national and international long distance to digital TV. Launched 4G services in April. Beset by falling profits the last 10 quarters. Sunil Bharti Mittal—founder, chairman and managing director—and his family were worth $8.1 billion as of March.

 Number of times the company appears in previous year’s list = 4
Image: B Mathur / Reuters
 
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HDFC Bank 
BANKING—REGIONAL
SALES $6.5 BLN
MARKET VALUE $25.2 BLN

The country’s second-largest private sector bank returns to the list after a miss last year ended a 5-year streak. The 18-year-old bank went on a massive expansion spree in the past year, adding 558 branches—for a total of more than 2,500—and 3,000 ATMs. Locations as remote as the Himalayan town of Leh and the beach city of Port Blair now sport branches. Looking to turn people without bank accounts into customers, it plans to reach 10 million families over the next 5 years.

 Number of times the company appears in previous year’s list = 5

Image: Getty Images


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HCL Technologies 
TECHNOLOGY—SOFTWARE
SALES $4.2 BLN
MARKET VALUE $6.9 BLN

The Noida-based software firm appears on list third time in a row. The Americas and Europe supply bulk of revenue, which rose 17 percent while workforce increased 9 percent last year, taking the total to more than 84,000 employees. Founder and billionaire Shiv Nadar holds a 62 percent stake.
 Number of times the company appears in previous year’s list = 2

This article appeared in the Forbes India magazine issue of 12 October, 2012
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