We have lists; and we have lists. Lists of the best banks, of the most admired companies, of the best CEOs, of the best colleges, of the richest men, of the most beautiful women abound. But what about a list of best-performing companies? Especially from amongst those south of the Vindhyas.
There were none. And so we decided to create one.
We believe that the best-performing company should be identified not by its financials (these can be engineered!) but by how these financials are perceived by the investors. This belief took us to the capital market and to stock prices.
You might ask whether the market is perfect; whether we can trust it to be an indicator of high-performance. Well, No and Yes. “No” because markets can be wrong. That way, nobody is infallible; but that should not make us distrust it. “Yes” because in the market millions of faceless investors transact with each other at arms-length distance. To that extent they are objective. I might think that Katrina Kaif is not beautiful; but if thousands of viewers who have no axe to grind think she is beautiful, she must be beautiful.
Also market price changes reflect changes in the wealth of investors; and the goal of any company is to create wealth for its shareholders. Hence we told ourselves that the best indicator of a company’s performance is how it has rewarded the shareholders. So we went about finding it. The result of that effort is this list of South India’s top 25 companies based on the return that they gave across in the last five years. Read on.
– Team Prime Academy
10. MRF LTD
Industry - Tyres – Large
MRF started as a rubber balloon factory in 1946 in Madras when they received Rs 14,000 funding every week. They commenced rubber manufacturing in 1956, and there was no looking back. MRF tyres are actually ‘Made in India’; of course, none of us who grew watching TV from the 1980s can forget the MRF ads with the ‘muscle man’ lifting the tyre above his head. The company started exporting to US and Beirut in the 1960s and now has presence in over 65 countries. The company has six interdependent manufacturing facilities, 180 offices and 3000 dealer networks. It won the JD power award 10 times till date and bags TNS and CAPEXIL awards as the most trusted tyre company in India. Their laboratories test designs and raw materials based on customer recommendations and test tyres after manufacture before sending them out for sale. MRF’s revenues grew nine-fold from Rs 2989 crore in 2004 to Rs 22,495 crore in 2016 .
9. BHARAT ELECTRONICS LTD
Industry - Electronics - Others
One of the pioneers of defence and non-defence security systems in India, BEL had come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1954 when it was set up as an association with CSF France (Now Thales) to manufacture essential communication equipment. It first set up its manufacturing unit in Jalahalli, Bengaluru and now has eight other units in Ghaziabad, Pune, Machilipatnam, Panchkula, Kotdwara, Navi Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad, each catering to a particular product mix and customer focus. It has two foreign offices in New York and Singapore. The company’s strength lies in its R&D and it partners with DRDO labs. BEL’s turnover in 1956-57 was just Rs 2 lakh and grew to Rs 7521.6 crore in 2016. Its green footprint is reflected in the large gardens across all the units, use of wind and solar power, biogas, rainwater harvesting, effluent treatment and green buildings. BEL contributes to education, healthcare and rural development through CSR activities and own infrastructure and facilities.
8. CHOLAMANDALAM INVESTMENT AND FINANCE COMPANY
Industry - Finance - Large
Cholamandalam was incorporated in 1978 as the financial arm of Murugappa Group. With humble beginnings as an equipment financing company, it now has a comprehensive portfolio of businesses offering vehicle finance, home loans, home equity loans, SME loans, investment advisory services, stock broking and other financial services. With 700 branches across India, 90 per cent of them in Tier II, III and IV cities, it caters to 7.5 lakh ‘happy customers.’ The company’s net profit grew by CAGR of 25 per cent through 2014-16 and Assets under management by 3-year CAGR of 13 per cent to Rs 296,504 crore in FY 2016.
7. MINDTREE LTD
Computers - Software - Medium / Small
Mindtree provides software and digital solutions to 2000 clients globally, with expertise in infrastructure and applications management including cloud computing, data analytics, SAP, Oracle, Strategy and consulting services. It caters to a wide variety of clients including banking and finance, insurance, consumer goods, manufacturing, software, semiconductors, retail, media and entertainment, transportation and logistics and travel and hospitality. Its clients are based out of the US (65.9% share of revenue), Europe (24.5 per cent), India (2.8 per cent) and rest of the world (6.8 per cent). Mindtree has a look-forward strategy focusing on innovative business models, creating experiences, developing systems that respond to the environment and digitizing value chains. It has 70 brands catering across 182 countries and owns 1600 digital properties. Its revenue saw a whopping 22 per cent growth in FY 2015-16.