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Avinash Gupta
Avinash Gupta

Managing Director & CEO – India
Dun & Bradstreet

Dun & Bradstreet, the leading global provider of B2B data, insights and AI-driven platforms, helps organizations around the world grow and thrive. Dun & Bradstreet’s Data Cloud, which comprises of 455M+ records, fuels solutions and delivers insights that empower customers to grow revenue, increase margins, build stronger relationships, and help stay compliant – even in changing times.


ESG: The only way for sustainable and responsible growth

Dun & Bradstreet’s journey in the Indian sub-continent dates back to nearly two decades. Late 1990s was the time, India had just set foot on its course to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Much around the same time, in 1997, Dun & Bradstreet started documenting the contribution of the Indian corporate sector to the growth of the economy through our premier publication, India’s Top 500 Companies. Over these years, the publication has carved a niche for itself as one of the most credible and comprehensive compendiums on the Indian corporate sector, and the most definitive ranking of large Indian corporates.

The main idea of the publication, besides listing the leading 500 companies in India every year, is to highlight the role these top companies are playing to propel growth and development of the Indian economy. In fact, these 500 companies are the main driving force of our economy - If we look at the data, the top 500 companies contribute to nearly 24% of forex exchange earnings, 39% of India’s tax revenues and around ~90% of aggregate market capitalization of BSE for FY’21.

Besides, these companies have been creating tremendous social impact in terms of employment generation, social upliftment and empowerment. In that aspect, their role has been pivotal in improving lives and livelihood of underserved communities. In fact, this can be gauged through an interesting fact that Dun & Bradstreet discovered over the course of its twenty years of research –

In the current 22nd edition, the total income of the largest company stands at more than 5,100 billion rupees. This significantly exceeds the total income of all Top 500 companies taken together during the first edition. So, you see, the scale of growth as well as social impact has been commendable… and today’s event is to felicitate the stalwarts for their stellar performance!

There are some interesting insights emanating from the 22nd edition of Top 500 Companies

  • Although the total income of Top 500 companies has been flattish for FY’21, the bottom line increased by more than 40%, one the strongest growth in last five years
  • The market capitalization of Top 500 companies reached record levels, crossed 2.5 trillion USD mark; pushed Indian market at eight position among global stock market capitalization rankings
  • Dun & Bradstreet supports the growth stories of India Inc. including Top 500 companies globally and in India through our various data and analytics-driven products and solutions. We serve roughly 60% (300+) of India's Top 500 companies and assist these businesses in their growth journey, in strengthening relationships, and in identifying and mitigating risks.
  • According to Dun & Bradstreet data, the Top 500 Companies are more prompt in making payments compared to other businesses. As per D&B Trade Exchange Program payment behaviour report, 84 percent of payments by Top 500 companies are in the 'Prompt / Minimal delay' range, compared to 61 percent for the sample of approximately 35K businesses.
  • D&B Enquiry data shows nearly 30 percent CAGR growth in enquiry levels from global customers for India's Top 500 Companies over the last three years, indicating Corporate India's growing global footprints through growth, investment, and business linkages.

It is only fair to say that Dun & Bradstreet helps banks, financial institutions and corporates in India to reduce credit assessment risk, through our technology-based finance, risk, compliance, data and marketing solutions. In fact, all our solutions such as D&B Optimizer, D&B iAccess, D&B Hoovers, Global Financials among others help create trust and stability between the banking, financial services and insurance industries, and the MSME community, which in turn is helping address the MSME credit gap in India. Recently we acquired the rights in the credit decisioning and analytics platform of Credochain Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (“Credochain”), a data driven and analytical platform that caters to the complex requirements of MSME lending.

I read an interesting line which says “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive impact. ESG, today, helps companies to create that ‘positive’.

This positivity is also whipping up a lot of interest in the world of finance and investment. Globally, sustainable investments surpassed 40.5 trillion USD in 2020 and has outperformed its peer benchmark even during COVID-19 – implying increased investor appetite for ESG funds. The MSCI World ESG Leaders' index grew by ~25% in 2021 compared with the MSCI World Index’s gain of ~22%. In the Indian context, a total of seven asset management companies have launched ESG dedicated funds schemes and fund managers are increasingly adopting ESG norms for their investment decision-making processes.

As environmental, social and governance metrics are becoming mainstream with the emergence of more and better data, Dun & Bradstreet is also contributing by providing meaningful ESG data on public and private businesses. Our new Dun & Bradstreet ESG Ranking dataset covers over 35 million public and private companies and is constantly expanding its company coverage. Coming to our premier publication, India’s Top 500 Companies 2022, for the first time, includes ESG rankings of India’s Top 500 Companies based on Dun & Bradstreet’s ESG framework. In addition, we also have ‘the Dun & Bradstreet Corporate Awards 2022’ which also includes ESG focused special categories in addition to the sectoral and growth-based award categories.

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