Multinational Companies or MNC companies are nothing new to India. Industrialization of Europe and colonization of the Indian subcontinent by Britain and various other powers played a major role in MNCs arriving on shores of this country.
MNC companies flourished in India for various reasons. The pre-independence Indian subcontinent was a rich source of raw material for companies from industrialized Europe.
Destruction of mercantile ships by Kaiserliche Marine of imperial Germany and Kriegsmarine of Nazi Germany during World War-I and World War-II made it imperative for European companies to manufacture goods in the subcontinent rather than ship raw material to their respective countries.
Post-1947, these companies found India to be an excellent market for their products and chose to continue operations here, till some of them such as Coca-Cola was forced to close shop during 1970s due to nationalization and similar drives by the Indian government.
Some MNC companies that arrived before the British colonials left the Indian subcontinent after shredding it into three parts, managed to survive economic and political upheavals of India and continue to flourish.
History of MNCs in India
The history of MNC companies in India dates back to 1870 unless one considers East India Company as one.
The first Multi National company to arrive in India was Germany’s, Von Siemens. This company, founded by brothers Werner and Carl Von Siemens constructed a telegraph line from Tehran in Iran to Kolkata in India that year, marking the entry of the first MNC in this country.
Today, Siemens continues to flourish in India, despite some restrictions it faced during the two world wars, due to its German origins.
In India, Siemens is involved in various major projects including power supply, industrial machinery, elevators and lots more. When mobile phone entered India, Siemens was among the first to launch handsets that worked on the cellular technology- a precursor of the modern day Global System for Mobile (GSM).
Siemens AG of Germany rightly deserves the accolade of being the first MNC to open a business in India.
Cadbury Fry, the world’s second largest confectioner is also an MNC with a significant presence in India. Known here as Cadbury India Ltd, the company manufactures a variety of chocolates and beverages in the Indian market.
The company first opened its business in India in the 1940s by importing chocolates made in the UK.
Later, it began manufacturing its brands of chocolates including Dairy Milk, 5-Star, Bournville and others locally in India. Cadbury India Ltd makes the most popular energy drink mix- Bournvita.
It also sells Cadbury’s Drinking Chocolate and Cadbury’s Cocoa powder.
Another Multi National Company worth mentioning on top of the list is America’s Colgate-Palmolive. The company launched its ubiquitous and world-famous Colgate toothpaste in India in the 1940s. Till date, Colgate regular toothpaste holds sway over India’s toothpaste market, holding about 45 percent of the share. In addition, CP also markets soaps and other cosmetics in India.
List of Top 30 Multi National Companies in India:
Every person who uses a mobile phone in India has heard of Vodafone. It ranks among the top three mobile service providers in India. It is Indian subsidiary of UK-based Vodafone plc, the world’s second-largest mobile network.
Amazon ranks among the top MNC to operate in India.
This American online store has captured hearts of most Indians for high-quality products and excellent customer service. Amazon can be called the pioneer of consumer-driven e-commerce in India.
GlaxoSmithKline ranks among the topmost pharmaceutical MNC companies of the world. This British MNC is present in India since 1924. Known for its superior quality yet affordable medical products, GSK also produces Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) products such as baby food, cosmetics and nutritional supplements.
4) Unilever Hindustan
One of the first MNC to set foot on India was Lever Brothers of the Netherlands. It is an FMCG major worldwide and in India manufacturing foodstuff, soaps and cosmetics and other household products.
5) Proctor & Gamble
This America MNC is better known for Camay soap and Crest toothpaste worldwide. In India too, P&G offers numerous FMCG products. Top among these is the Ariel brand of detergent powder.
Germany’s HeidelbergCement marked its entry into India in 2006 following the acquisition of some major cement manufacturers in this country.
Today, the company sells brands of ordinary Portland cement and speciality cement for a wide range of applications in India.
South Korean MNC Samsung is best known in India for its smartphones and high-quality electronics and home appliances. Samsung sells online and through brick-and-mortar stores in India.
Sanofi is one of the topmost pharmaceutical MNC companies of the world. Sanofi was formed by a merger of several global medical giants. The company is best known for superior quality prescription medicines of world standard available in India.
Italian fashion giant Benetton has spread its operations across India. The brand makes formal, casual and sportswear for people of all ages and has retail outlets including stores at most major malls.
Almost every sports lover in India knows about German sportswear manufacturer Adidas. Bats manufactured by the company are used by several top Indian cricketers. Adidas also sells a variety of fitness gear.
Toyota cars made their entry into India during the Portuguese rule of Goa before December 19, 1961. Though the company had limited operations in India till over a decade ago, the launch of Toyota passenger and commercial vehicles has taken the country’s auto market by storm.
12) F. Hoffmann-La Roche
Switzerland’s F.Hoffmann La Roche ranks as the topmost companies in medical products, diagnostic equipment and healthcare. The company now sells advanced healthcare and diagnostic solutions to Indian hospitals.
Italy’s MNC Chicco has found growing favour among newborn parent in India. Chicco manufactures superior quality baby care products from oils and soaps to readymade garments and prams.
From hair colour to shampoo and professional salon products, Garnier Labs of France has a considerable size of the Indian market. Garnier manufactures hair care products in India and also has a small range of deodorant sprays.
15) IBM India
US-based IT major, IBM is present in India for years. Indeed, India is one of the biggest markets for IBM products that includes computers, peripherals, mainframes and other IT hardware.
Not many know of the German MNC, Beiersdorf AG. However, in India, it is famous for its brand of cosmetics, soaps and skincare products marketed under brand name Nivea. Almost every household in India has used Nivea products.
BASF ranks among the earliest MNCs to enter the Indian market. Germany-based BASF is a global leader in industrial and laboratory chemicals. Additionally, the company also makes speciality products for this country’s pharmaceutical industry.
DHL can rightly be called the pioneer of courier services in India.
DHL’s worldwide courier service that enables individuals and companies to send documents and merchandise worldwide laid the foundation stone for Indian enterprises to grow into foreign markets.
PepsiCo of USA is better known for its Pepsi range of soft drinks. This includes Pepsi Cola, 7-Up, Mountain Dew, Slice, Tropicana, Gatorade and Lay’s chips, among others. The company has 38 bottling plants operated by partners in India. It also markets Quaker Oats in this country.
20) Otis Elevators
The boom in construction of high-rise buildings in metro cities across India has led to a surge in demand for reliable elevators. Otis of USA is one of the leaders in India’s elevator industry and is present in this country since decades.
South Korean confectionery manufacturer Lotte has introduced its world-famous brands of waffles and crème biscuits as well as exclusive chocolates and other snacks in the market. Lotte is a global brand and most of its products are now made in India.
LG Electronics derives its name from Lucky Goldstar. This South Korea based electronics and home appliances giant now offers quality products that are made in India. LG also exports its Indian made products to foreign markets. The company has a sizeable portion of the smart-phone market of India.
Japan’s Panasonic is a household name in India. From air conditioners to giant TV sets and mobile phones, Panasonic also manufactures a large number of its electronics and home appliances at manufacturing units in India. Panasonic batteries have been present in India since the last few decades.
Once known for its high-quality photography products including film and camera, Germany’s Agfa has now diversified into imaging solutions for the healthcare sector and various other industries.
Agfa has been present in India for nearly a century.
American freight company UPS was formerly called United Parcel Services. Over decades, UPS remains the preferred choice for Indian companies and individuals to send anything from documents to gifts, samples and merchandise worldwide. UPS continues to play a major role by providing courier and freight services to the Indian industry.
The company also operates dedicated freighter aircraft services to India.
Piaggio India is the subsidiary of the Italian firm that is well reputed worldwide for Vespa two-wheelers-mainly high-end scooters. In India, Piaggio has also launched electric scooters that work on battery, as part of its global environment protection drive.
South Korean industrial giant Hyundai makes passenger and commercial vehicles in India as well as industrial equipment and elevators. Hyundai is also involved through partnerships with some defence projects in India.
28) Mercedes-Benz India
Owning a Mercedes-Benz car in India is considered as a status symbol. Though Mercedes-Benz was exporting cars from its European manufacturing units to India, these vehicles are now assembled locally with some components manufactured here.
UK-based McVitie’s is most famous worldwide for its Digestive biscuits. In India, McVitie’s manufactures these and other biscuits that conform to British standards.
McVitie’s biscuits are mainly targeted at health-conscious and discerning consumers of India.
30) Bristol-Myers Squibb
UK’s pharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers-Squibb has consolidated its presence in India by launching medicines that are used for treating life-threatening disease and medical conditions. The company has an excellent record in global and Indian pharmaceutical markets.
Before concluding this article, we emphasize the above list does not indicate the popularity of any company or its financial standing or popularity among consumers. This list is generated at random.
MNC companies are an integral part of the Indian economy.
Indeed, an increasing number of top MNCs are already present in India or planning to enter this country in a big manner shortly. Make in India and Skills India initiatives launched by the Indian government is encouraging the increasing number of MNCs to open manufacturing bases in this country or expand operations. The Indian economy relies heavily on MNC.
Further, MNCs operating in India have also generated mass employment opportunities for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers as well as professionals in various sectors. Their contribution to India’s development and economy deserves rich accolades.