Prasad Sangameshwaran
Jul 29, 2019

India's top local brands

Local brands tend to cool off, but their story is far from over.

Air India gained altitude
Air India gained altitude


It’s a mixed fortune for local brands in this year’s edition of India’s top 100 brands.

In the top 10, foods major Amul which was at number four last year dropped two spots to settle at number six. Retailer Big Bazaar has also lost two ranks and settles in at number 10. But it’s not the usual reason—the onslaught of online retail.

One can take solace from the fact that Amazon, which is having a solid run in India, also drops two slots to bow out of the top 10 and moves to number 12. Homegrown retailing giant Flipkart tanks from the 30th position to 57th rank.

In the airline space, national carrier Air India might not exactly be in the pink of health, but it’s the top ranking local airline brand in the study at number 31, an improvement of eight ranks from its previous year’s position. Jet Airways may officially be out of business, but the brand remains in the top 100 even as its ranking nosedives from 65 to 76.

The airline that benefitted the most from the Mayhem in Indian skies is Indigo which drops a rank to settle in at rank 85. The other local airline brand SpiceJet that has also benefitted from the exit of Jet does not even figure in the top 100. 

If there are dark clouds in the aviation business, on ground it is good news for the local brands. Cab aggregator Ola picks up top speed to race into the top five—the only local brand to find parking space at the top of this list.

Ashish Bhasin, CEO Greater South, Dentsu Aegis Network and Chairman and CEO India, also a member of the Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific Executive Board, analyses the local brands scenario from the post-globalisation point of view. After India opened up its economy in 1991, there have been few local brands that have grown from strength to strength. “In the corporate sector Indian businesses have been successful, but there have been fewer examples consumer brands at scale. We can certainly see a lot more than the Ola’s,” he says.

Bhasin adds that in the FMCG space, which accounts for a large part of marketing spends, there have been hardly any newer brands—but FMCG marketers have been relying heavily on variants.

In the financial services space, SBI emerges as the top Indian financial brand, at number 36. ICICI Bank drops from 41 to 46, while HDFC Bank sees a huge downward spiral to 69th rank (it occupied the 47th rank in 2018).

Among the fastest risers in this year’s edition include Mother Dairy that shoots up the ranks from 87 to 50 and Baba Ramdev’s FMCG brand, Patanjali that continues to pace ahead from 45 in 2018 to 13 this year. The local brands in India might be on the slow track as far as India is concerned, but the story is far from over.

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