Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

The steadily rising Indian economy was already showing signs of weakness since the past few years.  The unprecedented crisis brought by Covid-19 thus, highly accentuated the existing problems and opened the floodgates to an array of difficult challenges. Like everywhere else in the world, the pandemic hit Indian businesses unevenly, favoring some and devastating others.

According to Kantar’s report, the total value of the Brandz Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands declined by 6% in 2020. However, more than two dozen of Indian top brands succeeded in increasing their brand valuations despite the challenging circumstances. The category level view of the brands’ journey reveals a complicated story.

India’s Top Brands

India’s five biggest brand sectors of 2020 are Banks, Telecom Providers, Insurance, Technology and Household. HDFC bank retained its top position for the 7th consecutive year, with a brand valuation of about $20.3 billion. Kotak with a brand valuation of $7.9 billion was ranked at sixth among the Top 75. Banks captured 19.5% of the Top 75, however, as a sector, it declined by 21% in 2020.

Telecom Providers overtook Insurance and Technology to claim the position of the second largest brand sector with 12% stake in Top 75. Airtel became India’s fourth topmost brand with a valuation of over $13.9 billion, growing by 36% in 2020. At the seventh position, Jio grew by 26%, with a valuation of $6.8 billion.

Flipkart demonstrated an outstanding performance growing by over 40% and climbed to the eighth rank followed closely by Paytm at the ninth position – a company that succeeded in growing its brand value by over 50%.

Image Source: Statista

India’s retail sector did considerably well and grew by almost a third over the past year, becoming the sixth largest sector of the Top 75. The auto sector, however, fell from 2019’s fifth largest sector to 9th largest in 2020.

Declining Categories

Entertainment sector has been worst hit by the Covid-19 crisis and fell by about 68%. The auto sector was already struggling before the pandemic and registered a negative growth of 37%. Travel services sector fell by 32%, while technology shrunk by 20%. Despite navigating a challenging time, the current scenario is expected to boost auto sales (due to public preference of own vehicle over shared rides owing to hygiene and safety requirements). Local travel is also likely to rise as people are giving up long-haul vacations in favor of nearby weekend trips. Technology is expected to receive a strong boost in the upcoming year and the banks and insurance sector that did poorly this year is projected to perform better in the coming year.

Fastest growing brands of 2020

Companies providing essential services to the lockdown induced India dominate the top rising brands list. Food and retail categories registered an upswing – Maggi and Nestle rose by 46% and 44% respectively, while Reliance retail and D-Mart grew by 102% and 38%. With restaurants shut for months, minimum contact food delivery service provider, Zomato rose by 51%. As people relied increasingly on touchless payment options, Paytm grew by 50%. Online job portal Naukri.com also grew rapidly by 34% as the demand for new jobs increased phenomenally due to rising unemployment numbers.

Overall the year 2020 has been a year of disparity for the Indian brands. The Top 75 Brands list provides a window of opportunity to understand the pandemic impact on the different economic sectors and not just a grouping of winning and losing brands.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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