Four of India’s 10 largest export companies specialize in petroleum-related sectors. Two huge Indian automobile manufacturers also rank among the country’s top 10 product exporters.
To give some international perspective on large Indian company performance, the overall value of India’s exports rose by 1.7% from US$317.5 billion in 2014 to $323.1 billion during 2018. From 2017 to 2018, international sales of India’s exported goods expanded by 9.2%.
In the analysis below, we compare 10 among India’s top exports-related companies based on asset values, sales and profitability as of December 2018. Also presented is the Indian city where each business has its headquarters.
India’s Top 10 Major Export Companies
Below are some of India’s biggest exports-related companies organized by asset value. Shown within parentheses is the primary industry in which each company operates. Also shown is the change in asset value as of December 2018 compared to May 2017.
- Reliance Industries (oil, gas): US$125.2 billion up 27.9% from 2017
- Oil & Natural Gas (oil, gas): $65.5 billion, up 13.5%
- Indian Oil (oil, gas): $46.6 billion, up 24.9%
- Tata Motors (car/truck maker): $44.6 billion, up 12.9%
- Tata Steel (iron, steel): $26.7 billion, up 4%
- Hindalco Industries (aluminum): $23.7 billion, up 7.7%
- Coal India (diversified metals, mining): $17.8 billion, no change
- Steel Authority of India (iron, steel): $17.8 billion, up 10.1%
- Bharat Petroleum (oil, gas): $17 billion, up 18.1%
- Mahindra & Mahindra (car/truck maker): $12.4 billion, down -24.4%
Eight of these Indian businesses grew their asset values from May 2017 to December 2018, led by fossil fuels company Reliance Industries via its 27.9% increase. In second place was the 24.9% gain for Indian Oil followed by another oil and gas competitor Bharat Petroleum (up 18.1%). Also posting double-digit asset improvements were automobile manufacturer Tata Motors (up 12.9%) and Steel Authority of India (up 10.1%).
Year over year, Coal India maintained its asset size while car and truck supplier Mahindra & Mahindra experienced a -24.4% reduction in its asset base.
Sales is the life blood of most businesses, and particularly for firms that compete in international trade. Seven among India’s largest exports-related companies increased their year-over-year sales as of December 2018.
- Reliance Industries: US$60.8 billion, up 45.5% from 2017
- Indian Oil: $52.9 billion, down -2.2%
- Tata Motors: $43 billion, up 4.4%
- Bharat Petroleum: $30 billion, up 4.2%
- Tata Steel: $19.9 billion, up 23.3%
- Oil & Natural Gas: $18.7 billion, down -6%
- Hindalco Industries: $14.9 billion, down -1.9%
- Mahindra & Mahindra: $14 billion, up 30.8%
- Coal India: $12.6 billion, up 14.5%
- Steel Authority of India: $6.6 billion, up 11.1%
Leading the slowdown in annual sales were two petroleum industry players Oil & Natural Gas (down -6%) and Indian Oil (down -2.2%) while aluminum firm Hindalco Industries experienced a -1.9% decline in business income.
Nine of India’s top 10 major exports-related companies had a profitable year as of December 2018.
- Reliance Industries: US$5.6 billion, up 30.2% from 2017
- Oil & Natural Gas: $3.1 billion, up 40.9%
- Indian Oil: $3 billion, up 76.5%
- Tata Motors: $1.7 billion, no change
- Bharat Petroleum: $1.3 billion, up 8.3%
- Coal India: $1.3 billion, down -18.8%
- Mahindra & Mahindra: $1.1 billion, up 124%
- Tata Steel: $303 million, reversing a -$443.7 million loss
- Hindalco Industries: $283 million, up 810%
- Steel Authority of India: -$411 million, down -37.4%
Besides Tata Steel which was able to transition from a -$443.7 million loss in 2017 to $303 million as of December 2018, six of India’s major international businesses also managed to boost their bottom-line profits led by aluminum firm Hindalco Industries 810% year-over-year gain and auto maker Mahindra & Mahindra’s 124% improvement.
Steel Authority of India registered a -$411 million loss as of December 2018, albeit -37.4% lesser than the -$656.3 million loss incurred for the period ending May 2017.
Six of India’s top 10 major export companies have their headquarters located in Mumbai. Two other companies are based in the capital city of New Delhi.
- Bharat Petroleum: Mumbai
- Coal India: Kolkata
- Hindalco Industries: Mumbai
- Indian Oil: New Delhi
- Mahindra & Mahindra: Mumbai
- Oil & Natural Gas: Dehradun
- Reliance Industries: Mumbai
- Steel Authority of India: New Delhi
- Tata Motors: Mumbai
- Tata Steel: Mumbai
Note: Some of the above company offerings may include products other than the principal category shown within parenthesis under the Assets tab.
For example, Hindalco Industries produces not only aluminum but also copper rods, copper cathodes, sulfuric acid, gold and silver.
Similarly, Mahindra & Mahindra manufactures a wide range of automotive vehicles, agricultural tractors, implements and industrial engines. Mahindra & Mahindra subsidiary businesses encompass aerospace, construction equipment, information technology, logistics, real estate and retail.
See also India’s Top 10 Exports, India’s Top 10 Imports and Top Indian Trade Balances
Forbes Global 2000 individual company profiles, Example of top Indian company compiled for this study: Reliance Industries. Accessed on September 30, 2019
Forbes Global 2000 rankings for the UK, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 30, 2019
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 30, 2019
Wikipedia, Category: Companies of India. Accessed on September 30, 2019
Wikipedia, List of companies of India. Accessed on September 30, 2019