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Vaulting To The Big League

Source | : By Rajeev Dubey 

What next? That’s the question on top of the mind once you see business after business ride the ladder of corporate success from being small, robust firms – sometimes struggling, sometimes faltering – into medium-sized and then large, very large corporations. Bharti Airtel was there barely 15-16 years ago. It is now India’s largest telecom firm. Sun Pharma, the largest pharma major by far today, was another one. India’s corporate landscape is dotted with many such climbers.

Business Today chronicles the emergence and rise of such companies through two annual projects – the Fastest-growing Emerging Companies (the issue you are reading) featuring companies between Rs500-1,000 crore and India’s Best SMEs (later this fiscal) involving companies from Rs1 crore to Rs500 crore. And, of course, the country’s biggest firms are capped in the annual BT 500 ranking.

This year’s Fastest-growing Emerging Companies study is vital because companies not just endured natural business and economy-related shocks and turbulences, including oil price volatility, rise in global commodity prices and the Brexit shock through the last fiscal, but also unnatural disruptions such as ‘demonetisation’ which directly impacted the fortunes of emerging companies. Demonetisation, in particular, sucked cash out of the economy and debilitated businesses and supply chains, sales, distribution and retail chains like never before, the effects of which lingered on for more than a quarter. The jury’s still out on what demonetisation achieved. Our sample of 115 companies shortlisted for the exercise saw their total income in fiscal 2017 growing 12.7 per cent, while profits increased 16 per cent over the previous year.

But the real gainer was the spirit of entrepreneurship. The winners of this year’s study panning across manufacturing, services and agriculture showed no sign of slowing down. They provide a fascinating cross-section of what goes right – or wrong – in the twists and turns of the corporate world. The stories we have put together capture how entrepreneurs struggle with challenges and how they overcome those with sheer grit, pluck and, of course, some luck.

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