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Innovation: Tata ahead of BMW, Nokia, Dell!

Last updated on: April 16, 2010 21:09 IST

Innovation: Tata ahead of BMW, Nokia, Dell!

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Rediff Business Desk

If you one of the naysayers who feels that Indians do not innovate, pause for a while before drawing a conclusion.

According to the Bloomberg BusinessWeek's annual special report, 'The 50 Most Innovative Companies', India's very own Tata Group has beaten mammoth brands like BMW, Nokia, Coca-Cola, etc to emerge as one of the world's most innovative firm.

Tata is ranked 17th in the list this year.

While 89 per cent of executives in India said innovation was key to economic growth, in the United States, only 72 per cent said innovation was important, according to the report.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek's 'The 50 Most Innovative Companies' special report is based on data from Boston Consulting Group.

Tata: Rank 17

Tata companies operate in seven business sectors: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals.

They are, by and large, based in India and have significant international operations. The total revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $70.8 billion (around Rs325,334 crore) in 2008-09, with 64.7 per cent of this coming from business outside India, and they employ around 357,000 people worldwide.

There are 28 publicly listed Tata enterprises and they have a combined market capitalisation of some $60 billion, and a shareholder base of 3.5 million. The major Tata companies are Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Tea, Indian Hotels and Tata Communications.

Ratan Naval Tata is the chairman of Tata Sons.

Click on NEXT to know about the only other Indian company in the list. . .


Image: Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata smiles during the unveiling of Tata Motor's new car Aria at India's Auto Expo in New Delhi.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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Ironically, in a recent study published by the Economic Intelligence Unit, India ranked a pitiable 58th in the international innovation scale.

The EIU study further said that it did not expect any major cahnge in India's position in the next five years.

And if you study the 2005 World Investment Report by UNCTAD, India ranked a dismal 66th among 117 countries on the Technological Activity Index. Countries like Kuwait, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe ranked higher than India!

But take heart, Tata is the not the only company to represent India.

Reliance Industries which was ranked 15th in 2009, slipped to 33rd position this year. But it still managed to beat Dell (35), Oracle (40), Nike (43), and Facebook (49) among others.

Reliance Industries: Rank 33

The Reliance Group, founded by Dhirubhai H. Ambani (1932-2002), is India's largest private sector enterprise, with businesses in the energy and materials value chain. Group's annual revenues are in excess of $28 billion.

The flagship company, Reliance Industries Limited, is a Fortune Global 500 company.

Major group companies are Reliance Industries Limited (including main subsidiary Reliance Retail Limited) and Reliance Industrial Infrastructure Limited.

Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani is the chairman and managing director of RIL.

Click on NEXT to find out the top 10...


Image: Mukesh D Ambani, chairman and managing director, Reliance Industries
Photographs: Reuters
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Tata ahead of BMW, Nokia, Dell!

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Even though the top four comapnies are American with Apple topping the list for the sixth consecutive year, the study found that the majority of corporations in the top 25 are based outside the US and 15 of the top 50 are Asian -- up from just five in 2006.

While 73 per cent of respondents in India said their companies planned to invest more on innovation, only 48 per cent in the US, and 34 per cent in Japan indicated any hike in such spending. The study feels that the US may not be dominating the list in the near future.

Apple: Rank 1

Apple Inc is an American multinational corporation that designs and manufactures consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include Macintosh computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.

Fortune magazine named Apple the most admired company in the United States in 2008, and in the world in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Steve Jobs is the chief executive officer and chairman of Apple.

Click on NEXT to read more...


Image: Apple chief executive officer Steve Jobs at the 82nd Academy Awards in Hollywood
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
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Google: Rank 2

Google Inc, a public cloud computing and Internet search technologies corporation, too retained its 2009 ranking.

Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program.

The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Eric E Schmidt is the chief executive officer and chairman.

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Image: Google co-founders Larry Page (L) and Sergey Brin.
Photographs: Rick Wilking/Reuters
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Innovation: Tata ahead of BMW, Nokia, Dell!

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Microsoft: Rank 3

Headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA Microsoft Corporation improved its position to 3rd from 2009's 4th place.

A multinational computer technology corporation Microsoft develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of software products for computing devices.

Its most profitable products are the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software.

As of the third quarter of 2009, Microsoft was ranked as the third largest company in the world, following PetroChina and ExxonMobil. It is also one of the largest technological corporations in the world.

Bill Gates is the chairman and Steve Ballmer is the CEO.

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Image: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the Search Marketing Expo in Santa Clara, California.
Photographs: Robert Galbraith/Reuters
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Innovation: Tata ahead of BMW, Nokia, Dell!

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IBM: Rank 4

IBM too improved its position to rank 4th in the 2010 list. It was ranked 6th in 2009.

The world's biggest technology company and the second most valuable by global brand, IBM is a computer, technology and IT consulting corporation head-quartered in Armonk, North Castle, New York.

IBM is one of the few information technology companies with a continuous history dating back to the 19th century.

IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software and offers infrastructure, hosting, and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology.

Samuel J Palmisano is the chairman, president and CEO.

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Image: US President Barack Obama listens to IBM chairman Sam Palmisano in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
Photographs: Jason Reed/Reuters
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Innovation: Tata ahead of BMW, Nokia, Dell!

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Toyota: Rank 5

Toyota, headquartered in Toyota City, Aichi and in Tokyo slipped from his 2009 ranking (3rd) to the 5th position in 2010.

In addition to manufacturing automobiles, Toyota provides financial services through Toyota Financial Services division and also builds robots.

Toyota Motor Corporation (including Toyota Financial Services) and Toyota Industries form the bulk of the Toyota Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the world.

Fujio Cho is the chairman and Akio Toyoda is the president.

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Image: President and CEO of Toyota Motors Akio Toyoda.
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
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Amazon.com: Rank 6

Amazon.com, an electronic commerce company is America's largest online retailer. It climbed five spots to rank at 6, from the 11th position it held in 2009.

Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, it started as an online bookstore, but soon diversified to product lines of VHS, DVD, music CDs and MP3s, computer software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and so on.

Amazon has established separate websites in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, and China.

Jeffrey P Bezos is the chairman, CEO, and president.

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Image: Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com Inc., shows a Kindle in Cupertino, California.
Photographs: Kim White/Reuters
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Innovation: Tata ahead of BMW, Nokia, Dell!

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LG Electronics: Rank 7

LG Electronics is the world's second-largest manufacturer of televisions and third largest producer of mobile phones.

With its headquarters in the LG Twin Towers in Yeouido, Seoul, South Korea, LG Electronics is the flagship company of LG Group, one of the world's largest electronic conglomerates.

The company has 75 subsidiaries worldwide that design and manufacture televisions, home appliances, and telecommunications devices. LG Electronics owns Zenith Electronics and controls 37.91 per cent of LG Display.

LG jumped from 27 (in 2009) to 7th in 2010.

Skott Ahn is the president and CEO.

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Image: LG Electronics CEO and president Skott Ahn speaks during a news conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Photographs: Albert Gea/Reuters
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BYD: Rank 8

A first-time entry in the list, BYD Auto, is a Chinese automobile manufacturer based in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.

The firm was established in 2003, and it is part of the rechargeable battery maker, BYD Co Ltd.

In 2009, the company sold 448,400 cars in China, of which about two-third were the BYD F3 model.

This year China's rise has been the biggest. In 2009 its only representative was PC maker Lenovo Group (56). Today it boasts of five companies among the top fifty --  BYD (8), Haier Electronics (27), Lenovo (29), China Mobile (44), and Taiwan-based HTC (47).

Wang Chuanfu is the chairman.

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Image: BYD chairman and president Wang Chuanfu. Chinese carmaker BYD Co is backed by US billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters
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General Electric: Rank 9

General Electric too improved its position. It was ranked 17th in 2009.

GE is an American conglomerate corporation incorporated in the State of New York.

In 2009, Forbes ranked GE as the world's largest company. The company has about 323,000 employees around the world.

The list of GE businesses varies over time as a result of acquisitions, divestitures and reorganisations.

GE's divisions include GE Capital (including GE Commercial Finance and GE Money and GE Consumer Finance), GE Technology Infrastructure (including GE Aviation, the former Smiths Aerospace and GE Healthcare), GE Energy Infrastructure (including GE Energy Financial Services), GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms and NBC Universal, an entertainment company.

Jeffrey R Immelt is the chairman and CEO.

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Image: Jeffery Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric.
Photographs: Chip East/Reuters
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Sony: Rank 10

Sony Corporation, a conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, and one of the world's largest media conglomerates, climbed four places to rank 10th among the top 50 most innvoative companies in the world.

Sony is one of the leading manufacturers of electronics, video, communications, video game consoles, and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets.

Its founders Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka derived the name from sonus, the Latin word for sound.

Sony is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony Group, which is engaged in business through its five operating segments - electronics, games, entertainment (motion pictures and music), financial services and other.

Sony's principal business operations include Sony Corporation (Sony Electronics in the US), Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Ericsson, and Sony Financial.

Howard Stringer is the chairman, president and CEO.


Image: Sony Corp chief executive officer Howard Stringer.
Photographs: Toru Hanai/Reuters
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