businessman standing on coins and draws a graph
businessman standing on coins and draws a graph

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the value of top 75 Indian bands declining by 6 per cent to USD 216 billion in 2020, and entities are staring at a bleak future, according to the world's biggest advertiser WPP.

It will not be easier till the economy - which is expected to contract by up to 10 per cent in FY2021 - returns back to growth mode, Preeti Reddy, South Asia chief executive for group company Kantar's insights division, told reporters.

"2021 will also be a tough year for brands. Things will not improve much and we will have a period of stagnancy even if it is not de-growth," she said.

It will not be easier for the brands till the economy comes back to "some growth" and India, currently reporting the highest number of new infections among major economies, gets some hold over the spread of the virus, she said.

Indian brand valuations have not been at par with the world, the agency said, pointing that the value of the top 100 global brands has increased by 5.8 per cent.

Pointing out exceptions, like the brands in telecom and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) which have grown despite the pandemic, she said companies will have to continue to invest in brands to increase their valuations.

Largest private sector lender HDFC Bank retained the most valued Indian brand tag in 2020 as well, despite an 11 per cent drop in value to USD 20.26 billion and was followed by the IPO-bound life insurance behemoth LIC at USD 18.29 billion (down 9 per cent), as per the Brandz Top 75 most valuable brands list.

Fourth placed Airtel (36 per cent gain to USD 13.94 billion), seventh placed Jio (up 26 per cent to USD 6.87 billion), eighth placed Flipkart (40 per cent to USD 6.5 billion) and ninth-placed Paytm with 50 per cent appreciation to USD 6.27 billion were the highest gainers among the top ten.

The country's largest lender SBI saw a 36 per cent erosion of the brand value to USD 5.38 billion during the year, it said.

Reliance Retail, which gained 102 per cent in value to USD 2.3 billion and was ranked 25th, was the fastest riser this year, as per the list.

A slowdown in the value of companies in the banking and automotive sectors hit the overall top brands list, it said.

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Free Press Journal