Fortune GLOBAL 500 And Indian IT Companies


When will the Indian IT industry contribute its first member to this list?

In its 15 Aug 2011 issue, FORTUNE magazine acknowledged that it “erroneously omitted Chrysler Group from the GLOBAL 500 list” published a fortnight earlier. It goes on to regret this error.

Sounds more like a blunder to me.

Apart from this blemish,¬†this year’s FORTUNE GLOBAL 500 issue is a lot better than the lacklustre one of last year’s. The GLOBAL 500 list is preceded by a short leader article that explains its salient features. The country-wise ranking of the largest corporations is back. The infographic accompanying the “The Best New Cities for Business” article is brilliant (Ahmedabad and Gurgaon are the two entries from India). Despite the missing editorial and the industry-wise ranking, this issue is worth archiving unlike the last year’s.

Wal-Mart and Wistron respectively define the top and bottom of this year’s list.

(US$ Billion)
(US$ Billion)
1 Wal-Mart Stores 421.85 16.39
500 Wistron 19.54 0.38

Way back in 2007, I’d wondered which would be the first Indian IT company to enter this fabled list. At the time, my prediction was TCS in 2015.

Now, this is what I get when I use the last two years’ figures to update my model and extrapolate it until 2020 (download this model at item # 17 here).


As you can see,

  1. TCS will now enter the Fortune GLOBAL 500 in 2017 and not 2015 as predicted earlier.
  2. Newcomer COGNIZANT can expect to gain membership to this club in 2019.
  3. WIPRO and INFOSYS are unlikely to make it until 2020, which is our model’s last year.

These predictions assume that all year-on-year revenue growth in the future will not be significantly higher than present rates. Unless any of these companies does a big ticket acquisition and grows revenues inorganically, this assumption is likely to remain valid.

With its trailblazing growth during the last few years, Cognizant enters this list.¬†Because of tthe internal fraud in SATYAM that came to light in 2009, its absence from this list shouldn’t come as a surprise.

I initially attributed TCS’s delayed entry (from 2015 to 2017) into this list to the slowdown it suffered during the Great Recession. However, the bad times of the past couple of years didn’t leave GLOBAL 500 corporations unscathed and therefore can’t possibly explain this postponement. If there are any financial analysts amongst readers, I leave this to them to figure this one out and enlighten the rest of us with their comments below.

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