Indian corporates are global digital challengers

18th May 2018
Indian corporates are global digital challengers

May 18, 2018: As part of its Global Challengers Report 2018, tech analyst,BCG,  has named 17 Indian companies that are driving the digital revolution in emerging markets as well as globally.
IMF estimates for GDP growth at constant prices show India should grow at 7.4% in 2018. This is the world’s seventh-highest rate. Indian companies have an access to a heavily digital consumer base in India: The number of online shoppers in India has been growing by 45% p.a. (compound annual growth rate 2009–2016) which is the second-highest figure after Indonesia (66%). Digitally influenced spending in India will increase to more than $500 billion by 2025.Indian consumers also have the highest readiness and openness to innovation worldwide: 85% of survey respondents reported likeliness to ride in a self-driving car—compared to ~ 30% in Europe and the USA.
A disproportionally large representation of Indian global challengers (17%) on the 2018 list reflects the relative size of India’s national economy. India is the second most–represented country on the global challengers list and hosts 17 challenger companies—compared to China’s #1 as host to 25 companies on the list.These 17 Indian challengers have experienced tremendous revenue growth: 4 times more than S&P 500 companies and keeping margin levels high in the last 5 years.However, only 3% of unicorn companies come from India, which is still very low compared to China with 33%.
Indian challengers are going digital: Nowhere is the trend toward digitization more evident than among the 17 Indian challengers who are leveraging digital technologies both to win locally and compete globally with multinationals.Reviewing the last 5 years of the Indian challengers, BCG sees a major shift toward digital adoption. The majority of Indian global challengers—71% compared to the average of 100 global challengers with 59%—is leveraging digital capabilities to succeed, in other words, they are either digital natives or significant digital adopters.
Godrej, Sun Pharmaceuticals, Reliance Industries, and Mahindra & Mahindra are global challengers in 2018 who achieve their leadership positions by leapfrogging their developed-market counterparts and disrupting existing business models.

  • Godrej Consumer Products uses advanced analytics for better sales decision-making and is building cutting-edge salesforce capabilities through technology-enabled learning.
  • Sun Pharmaceuticals has launched a first-of-its-kind mobile application to connect doctors and patients.
  • Reliance Industries’ Jio built an extremely low-cost network (based in part on owned rather than rented towers); its costs are less than half its competitors’. The result is a high-quality mobile network that has gained about a 15% market share and carries some 1.7 billion gigabytes of data traffic every month (the highest rate in the world) at the lowest prices in the world—0.05 rupees/MB.
  • Mahindra is leveraging IoE (Internet of Everything) to reduce shop-floor changeover time and tracking manufacturing in real time, which makes them able to significantly improve output quality.
  • Mahindra Group, the parent company of Mahindra & Mahindra and Tech Mahindra, is pursuing new forms of digital engagement with customers in multiple subsidiaries. A new hotel app accounts for 35% of bookings at the company’s hotels and resorts. An AI-backed advisory portal for farmers was downloaded 200,000 times in its first three months.

    “Going forward, we believe the Indian global challengers have an outstanding position to capitalize on their strong competitive advantage combined with a number of the defining characteristics of emerging markets,” said Sharad Verma, a BCG senior partner in New Delhi and report coauthor. “The Indian market contains one of the world’s last remaining pools of high demographic and economic growth, which the global challengers can access with efficiency and value-based productivity while developing digitally enabled workforces and leveraging collaboration in digital ecosystems.”