Mktg - India;Tata Steel,Jet Airways most powerful brands
India Inc., has much to cheer from this year's Brand Finance's Brand Power Ratings (BPR). While last year, none of the Top 50 (company) Brands could manage to get an AA+ rating , strong performance by Jet Airways and Tata Steel in 2007 saw both bettering their previous ratings by bagging AA+. While brand value reflects the proportion of the company's overall value directly attributable to the use of its trademark, BPR on the other hand is a measure of the brand's strength in its marketplace, relative to its competitors, and how effectively the company manages to convert this into business results. BPR, conceptually, is similar to the credit rating which companies are awarded based on their future potential. Though Jet Airways is in a sector that is struggling from high fuel prices and low occupancy, yet its BPR went from AA last year to AA+, while Tata steel saw a greater improvement in its BPR which was AA- in the BF Top 50 list. Another positive is that many companies in the Top 50 list have an improved rating this year. Of the BF Top 50 list 2007, maximum (21) fall in the 'Strong' and above category as against the maximum (21) brands that fell in the 'Average' BPR range in 2006. The fact that Reliance Industries has got a lower BBB+ rating as against an 'A' last year comes as a surprise because it still remains India's most valued (company) brand. This is part of a larger trend whereby all five oil companies, including the three public sector oil marketing companies in the Top 50 list--IOC, HPCL and BPCL--registering lower ratings this year, direct fallout of government fiat of selling oil at below cost-price. All six IT companies in the BF Top 50 list--TCS, Wipro, Infosys, HCL, Satyam and i-Flex--have improved their brand ratings compared to last year. The financial services sector too has put up an impressive show with as many as 9 companies from the sector featuring in the top 50, all improving their BPR over the last year. In the auto sector, four of the five companies to make it to Top 50, also improved on their BPR this year compared to last year, with the lone surprise here being Hero Honda, which saw its BPR plummet despite being the only two-wheeler manufacturer to register sales growth in the last few quarters. Tata Motors once again piped Maruti Suzuki with a higher BPR. The one downer for Indian industry perhaps, is the fact that like last year, not a single Indian brand qualifies for the top AAA 'Extremely Strong' BPR.