Study: 16 Asian brands most primed for success globally

Reliance Industries, the parent company of Indian digital services firm Jio Platforms, has been named the second brand behind Apple to be primed for success and have responded well to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest FutureBrand Index 2020 which surveyed about 3,000 individuals globally. Reliance Industries is among the 16 Asian brands that made it to the top 100 ranking. 

The FutureBrand Index is a global perception study that reorders PwC’s Global Top 100 Companies by Market Cap on perception strength rather than financial strength. It demonstrates that well-perceived companies are those that are best able to consistently align the totality of the experiences they create with their wider corporate purpose. 

According to the index, Reliance Industries is seen by respondents to be “very well respected” and “seen as behaving ethically”, as well as being associated with “growth”, “innovative products” and “great customer service”. In particular, the index said that people have a strong emotional connection with the organisation. Part of its success could be attributed to chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani’s recasting of the firm as a one-stop shop for Indians. According to FutureBrand, Ambani built on the existing petrochemicals business, transforming it into a digital behemoth designed to meet every customer need.

In April this year, Reliance Industries and Facebook signed an agreement for an investment of US$5.7 billion by the latter into Jio Platforms. Jio's vision is to enable a digital India for 1.3 billion Indians and Indian businesses, especially small merchants, micro-businesses and farmers. Meanwhile just last month, Jio Platforms also received a US$4.5 billion investment from Google. This marks the first investment from the Google For India Digitisation Fund which aims to accelerate India’s digital economy over the next five to seven years through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments. Reliance Industries was a new entry in this year's ranking.

The two other Asian brands to make the top 10 were Samsung, which jumped six places to third, and Chinese liquor brand Kweichou Moutai which was ranked fifth, falling three spots from the previous index. According to FutureBrand, as far as working for the company and buying its products, Kweichou Moutai ranks above average for both, and is perceived as highly resilient. Furthermore, 62% of those surveyed see it moving ahead over the next three years. However, the index said that picture may change.

At the time of writing the report, Kweichow Moutai’s position as China’s most valuable publicly-listed company had been wiped out after Chinese state media accused it of reaping the benefits of corruption and bribery. The report added that the article, published by a division of the newspaper People’s Daily, destroyed the firm’s share price and made worldwide headlines. The other Asian brands that made the top 100 ranking were Ping An Insurance, China Life Insurance, China Merchants Bank, Tencent, Tata Consultancy, China Construction Bank, Alibaba, Agricultural Bank of China, NTT, China Mobile, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, PetroChina, and Bank of China.

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Companies that performed well in the FutureBrand Index 2020 took their brands in distinctive directions and acted with genuine authenticity and personality. They also prepared to think unconventionally to do the right thing, think beyond profit, prioritise customers and their needs even if it means forging a different path to rival firms, and honed in on sectors that will be fundamental to human life in the future.

The report added that companies in the top 10 also cared about their own people as intently as their customers, including a firm commitment to diversity and inclusion, realised the true value of an open culture that fosters a happy and productive workforce, and embraced innovation, change and agility to maintain resilience in the face of fast moving, sector-specific, national and international events.