TLG published its first ever Index of Thought Leaders (2011, PDF) conducted in an emerging market. Topping the list is Infosys, the Bangalore tech giant which built its name through outsourcing and is now pouring R&D money into revolutionary new technologies, such as 3D phone screens. Second is Tata, the much admired conglomerate that owns Jaguar Land Rover and Tetley tea in the UK.
The top ranked foreign firm is Google, which enters the Index at number three.
[advt]One of the most eye-catching results is the absence of Apple from the Top 20. The Californian tech group, which came top in TLG’s most recent Thought Leaders’ reports in Britain and the United States, only managed 40th place in the India index.
Commentators have blamed Apple’s inability to crack India on its failure to adapt its business model to local tastes and budgets. Indian consumers can by a new Tata Nano car for the same price as three Apple iPhones.
The unique 2011 BRIC Index was conducted by TLG in partnership with the international research consultancy GlobeScan.
- Western brands need to watch out. Self-confident Indians place seven local champions in their Top 10. (UK index had just four indigenous British brands.)
- Index leaders have successfully penetrated Western markets. Infosys (No. 1) and Tata (No. 2) are both true global corporations, with significant investments in US and UK.
- Top-rated brands exploit high value sectors previously dominated by the West. Infosys develops 3D phone screens. Tata makes Land Rovers.
- Indians value engineering and construction. In India, civil engineering giant Larsen & Toubro comes 5th. By contrast, US and UK dominated by tech and consumer brands.
- Local knowledge makes the difference. Western firms that succeed (Google, Nokia and Facebook) are those that adapt their models to local conditions, or ones that form JVs with locals in the driving seat (Suzuki, Unilever).
- Apple fails to crack India. The tech giant topped both US and UK indices, but slumps to 40th in India.
India’s Top 20 Corporate Thought Leaders
|1. Infosys Technologies||11. Hero-Honda Motors|
|2. Tata Group||12. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC)|
|3. Google India||13. Bharti Airtel Limited|
|4. Maruti-Suzuki||14. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited|
|5. Larsen & Toubro||15. Aditya-Birla Group|
|6. Nokia||16. The Oberoi Group|
|7. State Bank of India||17. HDFC Bank|
|8. Facebook||18. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories|
|9. Hindustan-Unilever||19. Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited|
|10. Mahindra||20. Hyundai Motor India Limited|