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India 2015: TOP 50 ANALYSIS | Newcomers

Brands new to Top 50 all originate in India 

Four brands entered the BrandZTM Top 50 Most Valuable Indian Brands in 2015. And reflecting the growing strength of Indian brands, all four newcomers are brands that developed locally. In contrast, two of the brands they replaced in the ranking are owned by multinationals that are traded on Indian stock markets.

Two of the newcomers – Axis Bank and Canara Bank – are in the financial services category; and two are in auto or auto aftermarket – the tire producer MRF and automobile maker Royal Enfield. Three of the newcomers are privately owned and one, Canara Bank, is a State Owned Enterprise.

The presence of these brands in the BrandZTM India Top 50 in part reflects the strength of their categories. Financial services led in category growth, increasing by 49 percent. Auto and auto aftermarket grew 27 and 28 percent, respectively.

With a valuation of $2.5 billion, Axis Bank not only joined the BrandZTM India Top 50, it arrived in eighth place. That’s because, despite its relatively high brand value, Axis Bank did not until now derive over a quarter of its revenue from its retail business, a BrandZTM ranking eligibility requirement.

In an illustration of its commitment to building its brand for retail customers, Axis Bank recently launched a social payment app called Ping Pay. It enables users to transfer funds easily to any of their contacts on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, without knowing the recipient’s account details. Users can accompany the money transfer with messages, which makes the transaction social as well as financial.

The state owned Canara Bank, which entered the BrandZTM India Top 50 at number 36, is one of India’s oldest financial institutions, established in 1906. In advancing a policy of inclusion, the bank added more ATMs and branches, especially in rural areas, raising the number of branches to 5,682 as of March 2015. Canara Bank also launched several initiatives to expand retail credit.

MRF, which began as a balloon factory around 70 years ago, is one of India’s leading makers of replacement tires. The popular brand launched an online campaign to build word of mouth for what the company calls India’s first radial tire for a motorcycle. Closely associated with motorsports and cricket, MRF entered the ranking at number 37.

Royal Enfield, a motorcycle maker, entered the BrandZTM India Top 50 at number 50. The brand, a subsidiary of Eicher Group, is present in major Indian cities and towns, with 11 of its own stores and through a network of dealerships. The company began in the UK around 125 years ago.