Reliance, Tata on TIME's list of world's most influential companies

Reliance, Tata on TIME's list of world's most influential companies

New Delhi | Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries and Tata Group have made it to the prestigious TIME's list of 100 World's Most Influential Companies of 2024. TIME called Reliance 'India's Juggernaut'.

This is the second time that Reliance has found its way into the TIME list. Jio Platforms, the firm that holds digital properties of the conglomerate, was included in the inaugural TIME 100 Most Influential Companies List of 2021.

Serum Institute is the other Indian company on the list.

TIME listed Reliance in the 'Titans' category (one of the five categories under which the companies were divided, other being Leaders, Disrupters, Innovators, and Pioneers).

Tata was listed in 'Titan's' category while Serum under 'Pioneers'.

"Reliance Industries was founded as a textile and polyester company 58 years ago by Dhirubhai Ambani. Today the sprawling conglomerate -- which has aligned its growth with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision for a 'self-reliant' India -- is the country's most valuable company, with a market capitalisation of more than USD 200 billion," TIME said.

Now led by Dhirubhai's son Mukesh, the Mumbai-based company has ventures in energy, retail, and telecommunications, among others, and has made its chairman Asia's richest man, it said.

The publication went on to stated that in February, Reliance came out on top in a fiercely competitive race to dominate India's burgeoning streaming market by striking a USD 8.5 billion merger deal with Disney's India business.

"The deal will bring together more than 100 television channels and give the combined group around a 31 per cent share of India's streaming market compared to rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime with 8 per cent each," according to analytics firm Comscore.

Reliance has revolutionised several economic sectors in the world's most populous country by making world-class products and services available at affordable prices with multiple innovations.

Under Mukesh Ambani, the firm's telecom arm Jio revolutionised India's digital landscape and drove digital inclusion on an unprecedented scale with the most affordable mobile data tariffs in the world.

It set up the world's largest single location refining complex.

Reliance Retail is ranked among the top 100 retailers globally and in FY24 it registered 1.06 billion footfalls across its 18,800+ stores (67 per cent of which are in small towns and villages).

Reliance is investing USD 10 billion in building the most comprehensive ecosystem for new energy and new materials in India and has set an ambitious goal to reach net-zero carbon by 2035.

TIME described Serum as the world's biggest vaccine maker, churning out billions of vaccines. The company makes 3.5 billion doses every year, including for measles, polio, and most recently, HPV.

"Serum's CEO Adar Poonawalla says the company's success can largely be chalked up to its private ownership. Not being beholden to shareholders allows it to keep vaccine prices low (the R21 will cost USD 4 a shot)," the publication said.

Tata Group, it said, was founded in 1868 and has a vast portfolio extending from steel, software, watches, subsea cables, and chemicals, to salt, grains, air-conditioners, fashion, and hotels.

"But as rivals have aggressively courted new businesses, it struggled to keep up with stiff competition. In 2017, after over a century of family management, N Chandrasekaran took over as chairman despite having no personal ties to the family -- highly unusual when India's business landscape is ruled by family succession plans," TIME said.

As chair, he has transformed the group by investing in tech manufacturing, AI, and semiconductor chips.

In 2023, it became the first Indian company to assemble iPhones, and is building another plant, it said, adding that in September, Tata announced a partnership with Nvidia to develop an AI cloud in India.

"And this year, it announced plans for the country's first major semiconductor manufacturing facility. The moves seem to be paying off: in February, Tata's combined market capitalisation reached a whopping USD 365 billion, more than the entire economy of India's neighbour and rival, Pakistan," it added.

This is the fourth edition of annual TIME100 Most Influential Companies list, highlighting companies making an extraordinary impact around the world.

To assemble the list, TIME solicited nominations across sectors, and polled its global network of contributors and correspondents, as well as outside experts.

Then, TIME editors evaluated each on key factors, including impact, innovation, ambition, and success. The result is a diverse group of 100 businesses helping chart an essential path forward.

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