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13 Indian firms in Asia's 100 fastest-growing list

November 21, 2007 14:16 IST
Thirteen Indian firms have been named in 100 fastest-growing small and mid-size companies in Asia, with some emerging on top in terms of sales and capital returns.

According to 'Asia's Hot Growth Companies' list, prepared by US-based financial magazine BusinessWeek, India is home to a higher number of such companies than China, whose presence is limited to just eight firms. Besides, India is next only to Taiwan and Japan, which have been represented by 24 and 18 firms respectively.

There are 13 firms from Hong Kong, seven from Korea, four from Malaysia, nine from Singapore and two from Thailand.

The single firm from Pakistan is Packages Limited, a manufacturer of paper products is ranked at the 84th position.

Among the Indian firms, Lakshmi Machine Works is ranked 17th, followed by Kirloskar Brothers (18th) and Godrej Consumer Products (23rd).

Other Indian companies named in the list are Marico (40), Colgate-Palmolive India (45), Hexaware Technologies (53), GlaxoSmithkline Pharmaceuticals (60) Panacea Biotec (68), Bajaj Hindustan (72), Motherson Sumi Systems (79), Cummins India (83), I-flex Solutions (93) and Titan Industries (98).

Hong Kong-based Ajisen Holdings has been ranked at the top, followed by Raffles Education of Singapore.

In terms of highest sales in 2006, three Indian firms -- Cummins India, Titan Industries and I-flex Solutions -- are ranked first, second and third, respectively.

Cummins -- which manufactures diesel, gas, and dual fuel engines for power generation and other industrial purposes -- had sales of $498.8 million, while Tata Group's Titan Industries recorded revenues of $491.2 million.

Information technology solutions provider I-flex raked in sales of $484.3 million. In terms of three-year average return on capital, Godrej Consumer was ranked on top across Asia with 106.7
per cent. Godrej Consumer and Marico were named as the second and third biggest companies with a return of 57.7 per cent and 57.2 per cent respectively on the basis of capital return last year.

Based on market value, I-Flex was ranked at second position with a value of about four billion dollars.

The overall list took into consideration parameters like sales, profit, capital returns and market capitalisation.

"They are in decidedly less sexy lines of business, everything from noodle shops to chemical fiber manufacturing. But these Asia stars do enjoy some big advantages, like relatively high barriers to entry and growing demand from Asia's newly affluent consumers," the magazine said.

In an accompanying report, BusinessWeek said that annual scorecard of top 100 small and midsize businesses in the region are not high-flying dot-coms.

Tech leaders in India have been hammered by the appreciation of the rupee. "The rupee has gone up 12.6 per cent against the greenback over the past 12 months, making Indian companies catering to US customers less competitive with their foreign rivals," it noted.

Outsourcing services specialist Hexaware Technologies recorded a 22 per cent decline in profits to $6.8 million in the recent quarter on account of rupee appreciation. The firm is looking to open a development centre in China next year in addition to the existing one in Mexico, the magazine added.

"Clients in the US want to de-risk" their exposure to the rupee, he says. Having employees in China would provide Hexaware "with an additional low-cost center," the company's Executive Chairman Atul Nishar was quoted as saying.
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