The Top 10 Biggest Companies in India
When India hosted the 13th BRICS summit in September 2021, it was the sixth-largest economy in the world with a GDP of $3.05 trillion.
That’s more than double the GDP it had when the country first joined the group of emerging economies in 2009 (alongside Brazil, Russia, China and later South Africa), at $1.3 trillion.
What are the major industries and companies driving this growth in GDP, and rising alongside it? This time we’re highlighting the top 10 biggest companies in India, the world’s most populous democracy.
What Are the Biggest Public Companies in India?
India’s growth to one of the world’s most powerful economies came extremely quickly, considering it only became a federal republic in 1950.
In 1951, the country was considered relatively impoverished compared to the Western world, with 361 million people, a per-capita income of just $64, and a literacy rate of 17%. By 2021, the population had surged to 1.2 billion, income rose to $1,498, and literacy climbed to 74%.
And most of that growth was fueled internally, as the Indian government was largely protectionist until the 1990s. Today, its free market policies and wide cultural reach help bolster the country’s massive industrial, agricultural, and telecommunications industries.
Here are India’s biggest public companies by market capitalization in October 2021:
|Top 10 Indian Companies||Category||Market Cap (USD)|
|Reliance Industries||Oil and Gas||$230.7B|
|Tata Group||Information Technology||$186.7B|
|Hindustan Unilever||Personal Care||$85.6B|
|Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC)||Financial||$66.0B|
|State Bank of India||Financial||$54.3B|
|Kotak Mahindra Bank||Financial||$53.3B|
Topping the charts are two massive conglomerates, Reliance Industries with a market cap of $231 billion and Tata Group with a market cap of $187 billion.
Reliance started in textile production before a string of oil discoveries and purchases saw it overtake state-owned oil enterprises in revenue. Now the conglomerate also has holdings in petrochemicals, retail, telecom, and mass media, making chairman and largest shareholder Mukesh Ambani the richest person in Asia with a net worth of $100 billion.
But India’s largest conglomerate is Tata Group, with more than 25 subsidiaries in IT (its largest income source), airplanes, food and beverages, and industrials. Tata Motors is India’s largest vehicle manufacturer, and the owner of South Korea’s Daewoo and the UK’s Jaguar Land Rover.
India’s Top 10 Biggest Companies Mainly in Financials
Outside of major conglomerates and a well-known subsidiary, India’s top 10 biggest companies are concentrated in the financial sector.
One of those is HDFC Bank with a market cap of $135.1 billion. An offshoot of the #6 ranked company Housing Development Finance Corporation, HDFC Bank is India’s largest private sector bank by assets.
In total, financials make up six of India’s 10 biggest companies. In addition to HDFC, they include banking provider ICICI Bank (which also has subsidiaries in the UK and Canada), commercial lending company Bajaj Finance, and banks Kotak Mahindra Bank and State Bank of India (the country’s first national bank and its largest).
But there were two non-financial companies bigger than most of India’s banks; Financial software developer and consultant Infosys and personal products company Hindustan Unilever, a subsidiary of British consumer goods giant Unilever.
India is also an agricultural powerhouse—the world’s largest producer of milk and second largest of tea—but most of it is consumed internally by its sizable population. Agriculture accounts for 18.1% of the country’s GDP, behind services at 55.6% and the industrial sector at 26.3%.
With more rapid economic growth on the horizon, India’s biggest companies list might shift over time. What other companies or industries do you associate with India?
China’s Growing Trade Dominance in Latin America
Over the last two decades, trade between China and Latin America has grown significantly, which has threatened U.S. dominance in the region.
China’s Growing Trade Dominance in Latin America
Over the past 20 years, China’s economic presence around the world has grown significantly, including in Latin America.
Now, China is one of Latin America’s largest trade partners, which is threatening U.S. dominance in the region. This graphic by Latinometrics uses IMF data to show trade flows between China and Latin America since the 1980s.
Two Decades of Trade Growth
Four decades ago, the United States had a much stronger trade relationship with Latin America than China did. In 1981, Cuba was the only Latin American country trading more with China than the United States.
Here’s a look at total trade flows between Latin America and the two countries since 1980. Latinometrics calculated trade flows as total exports plus imports.
|Trade Flows by Year||U.S. & Latin America||China & Latin America|
Things stayed relatively stagnant until the early 2000s. Then suddenly, at the start of the new millennium, trade between China and Latin America started to ramp up.
This uptick was driven largely by Chinese demand for things like copper, oil, and other raw materials that the country needed to help fuel its industrial revolution.
Momentum has continued for two decades, and now China is the top trading partner in nine different Latin American countries. In fact, in 2021, imports and exports between China and Latin America (excluding Mexico) reached $247 billion—that’s $73 billion more than trade flows with the United States that same year.
Trade between China and Latin America is expected to keep growing, at least for the time being. By 2035, trade flows between the two regions are projected to more than double, according to World Economic Forum.
China’s Global Economic Presence
China’s trade takeover of Latin America speaks to a wider trend that’s happening on a global scale—over the last two decades, China has surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest trading partner.
While China is likely to remain the world’s leading trade partner for the foreseeable future, growth is likely to slow in the short-term, given ongoing supply chain issues and geopolitical tensions that have disrupted the global economy.
Visualized: The Value of U.S. Imports of Goods by State
U.S. goods imports were worth $2.8T in 2021. From east coast to west, this visualization breaks down imports on a state-by-state basis
Visualized: The Value of U.S. Imports of Goods by State 2021
For nearly 50 years and counting, U.S. imports have exceeded exports—and 2021 was no exception. Imports of goods to the U.S. equaled $2.8 trillion, relative to $1.8 trillion for exports, putting the 2021 goods trade deficit at its highest level on record.
Using the most recent data on global trade from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, we take a closer look at the value of American goods imports and visualize them state by state.
The Top 10 Importing States, by Total Goods Value
The top 10 states by import value account for 64.5% of all U.S. imports, or $1.8 trillion.
|Rank||State||Import Value ($B)||Share (%)|
|Top 10 States||$1,838.6||64.5%|
Overall, the goods trade deficit—the amount by which a country’s imports exceed its exports—was more than $1 trillion in 2021, increasing over 18% from the previous year. Goods imports specifically increased by nearly $502 billion, a 21% increase year-over-year.
California, the U.S.’s top importer, saw over $470 billion worth of goods come in last year. Some of its big ticket items fell in line with the state’s tech sector’s needs, like automatic data processing machines and accessories and parts for said machinery. California’s own deficit is quite high—the state’s goods exports were only valued at approximately $175 billion. The state’s busy ports are a key entry point for goods arriving from Asia, which helps explain this deficit.
In contrast, the country’s top export state is Texas at $375 billion, outweighing its imports and shipping out goods like coal and petroleum. All but three of the country’s top importers—Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Georgia—were also among the country’s top 10 exporters.
Where are Imports Coming From?
Here’s a look at the country’s top trade partners for goods imports and the value of their imports in 2022 as of April.
|Rank||Country||Import Value ($B) as of April '22||Share of Total|
|#7||🇰🇷 South Korea||$36.5||3.5%|
Over half of the top import partners for the United States are located in Asia. China is by far America’s top source of goods, making up 17% of the country’s imports.
Meanwhile, Canada and Mexico each account for roughly 14% of America’s goods imports due to the close proximity, strong economic ties, and trade agreements.
What’s Being Imported?
Imports of goods increased to a value of $2.8 trillion in 2021, the highest on record. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, industrial supplies and materials and crude oil saw some of the most notable increases.
Consumer goods like cell phones, household goods, toys, games, and sporting equipment increased in import value as well, reflecting a trend that the pandemic’s online shopping and delivery demand started.
Additionally, imports of foods, feeds, and beverages were the highest on record in 2021. It is also notable that in April of 2022, exports of goods hit the highest number on record at nearly $175 billion, with exports of feeds, food, and beverage also reaching the highest number of exports recorded. This is likely attributed to food shortages worldwide caused by the war in Ukraine.
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