NEW DELHI: India has the second-largest number of homegrown corporate champions holding their fort against the might of multinational giants, according to a recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report.
The country was ranked second behind China among the ten rapidly growing economies in terms of number of such homegrown leaders.
Consultancy firm BCG shortlisted 50 homegrown companies from developing economies such as Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and Thailand that are leading their domestic markets and fending off fierce competition with innovative business models.
While 15 companies were shortlisted from China, 11 Indian companies made it to the list. The Indian firms include Apollo Hospitals, Bharti Airtel, CavinKare, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), ICICI Bank, The Indian Hotels Company, ITC, NIIT, SKS Microfinance, Subhiksha and Titan Industries.
Of the 50 global homegrown champions, 21 had revenues exceeding $1-billion in 2006 and the entire groupís sales had risen by about 50% between 2005 and 2006, the report revealed. For instance, in India, Bharti Airtel has maintained its leadership in the booming telecom market by taking on Hutchison Telecom, which later sold its Indian operations to Vodafone in 2007.
Among other examples, GCMMF, which markets dairy products under the Amul brand, has given tough competition to foreign majors such as Cadbury, Nestle and Unilever. ITC leads in the ready-to-cook segment in India.
In the banking sector, ICICI Bank, Indiaís largest private sector bank, has maintained its leadership position, competing with the likes of Citibank, HSBC and Standard Chartered. There is a catch though: Indian laws donít allow foreign banks to expand their operations in the country beyond a certain limit.
IT education and training major NIIT has left US-based Lionbridge behind. Watch major Titan is way ahead of its competitors, Japan-based Citizen and Swiss watch maker Swatch, in the Indian watch industry.
The report also throws light on successful strategies that the homegrown companies have in common. Unlike global companies, local leaders are not constrained by existing product offerings. Instead, they customise products and services to meet different requirements of the consumers.
These leaders, the report said, turn globalisation to their advantage by deploying the latest technologies. Besides, many homegrown champions find innovative ways to benefit from low-cost labour pools and go national to prevent regional rivals from challenging them.