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India ranks high relative

to fast-growing markets


Its Citizenship rank presents a challenge


China is the country with which India is most often compared, but it is not the only country with which India competes. A partial but more complete picture includes the other BRICS and a sampling of fast-growing markets from Southeast Asia.


In this competitive set, India ranks higher in culturally-related attributes than in business-related attributes, but it shows overall strength and demonstrates strong potential to move up in the Best Countries ranking, developed by Y&R’s BAV Group with US News and Wharton business school. India ranks lowest in attributes pertaining to Citizenship.


These insights emerge from analyzing the Best Countries data for the BRICS, along with Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, in two ways:


  • Identifying the 34 attributes (of the 65 contained in the Best Countries study) in which India ranks in the Top 30, and comparing India’s rank with other countries, based on the perception of business decision makers.


  • Comparing India’s rank with the ranks other countries, based on the perceptions of business decision makers, elites, and citizens, across the nine categories into which the 65 attributes are aggregated.


Across the 34 attributes considered, business decision makers rank India ranks No. 1 in Many Cultural Attractions and No. 30 in Individualistic, not surprising in a collectivist culture. Insights are more sharply summarized by referencing just five representative attributes: Unique, Influential Culture, Entrepreneurial, Innovative, and A Leader.


India leads in cultural dimensions, ranking No. 2 in both being Unique and having an Influential Culture. And in business-related dimensions, India ranks higher than all the other countries in this sampling, except China and Russia.


For example, India ranks No. 15 in being viewed as A Leader, making it well positioned to move up the ranking, but still well below China, at No 3, and Russia, at No. 1. Similarly, India ranks No. 21 in Innovative, well below China, which ranks No. 2, but just about even with Russia, No. 20, and higher than the other nations.


These summary insights—India’s relative strength in culturally-related compared with business-related attributes, and its overall strength—is corroborated by the ranking results for the nine categories in which the 65 attributes are aggregated: Adventure, Citizenship, Cultural Influence, Entrepreneurship, Heritage, Movers, Open for Business, Power, and Quality of Life.


When compared with the BRICS and Southeast Asian countries, India ranks No. 25 in the nine categories overall, higher than all countries except China. India leads in two categories (Heritage and Movers), Brazil leads in three (Adventure, Citizenship, and Cultural Influence), and China leads in one (Entrepreneurship). The Movers category includes these attributes: Distinctive, Different, and Unique, which are culturally-related; and Dynamic, which points to future potential.


India is third in Entrepreneurship and Power, after China and Russia. The Power category includes these attributes: Strong Military, Strong International Alliances, Economically Influential, Politically Influential, and A Leader. And India is fourth in Open for Business, after Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam.


In addition, the general population ranks India ranks No. 52 in Citizenship, the lowest rank of all the BRICS, but higher than the Southeast Asian countries. The Best Countries top scorers in Citizenship, an important determinant of international stature, are Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.