Tata Consultancy Services, India’s leading IT services company, has been named the globe’s fastest growing brand in the IT services industry. According to research firm Brand Finance the brand value of the IT firm currently stands at $8.7 billion, more than $6 billion higher than five years ago.
Initially founded as an internal unit of Indian conglomerate Tata in 1968, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has since grown to one of the 10 largest IT services firms of the globe. On the back of dozens of acquisitions, global expansion and organic growth the firm in 2011 for the first time broke through the ‘magical’ barrier of over $10 billion in revenues, firmly establishing itself as a top 20 international player. Following spell of (strong) back-to-back growth, TCS currently turns over $13.4 billion, and employs a workforce of more than 318,000 in 46 countries.
For many in the business world TCS’s surge has not remain unnoticed, and the firm finds itself increasingly top of mind with executives seeking IT services and/or outsourcing support. Yet sheer size does not necessarily translate to branding, with several well-known examples around where brand value is off market capitalisation, or vice versa. In the case of TCS, the company a number of years ago consciously set the goal to actively manage its brand in the marketplace, in order to compete with and differentiate itself from established US- and European-based rivals such as Cognizant, CSC, Atos, Capgemini and CGI. According to a recently released study by Brand Finance, the bottom-line result can be called remarkable. In 2010 the TCS brand – the dollar value of its reputation, image and intellectual property – was valued at $2.3 billion, five years down the line the value has grown to $8.7 billion. This 271% jump in brand value makes TCS the fastest growing brand in the IT services landscape, ousting its key competitors in terms of momentum, and lagging just the globe’s absolute exceptions such as Twitter, with around +300% the fastest grower across all sectors.
“Its [TCS] focus on putting the customer first and becoming a trusted business partner over the long term have held the brand in good stead. Not only has TCS become one of the strongest brands in its sector, it has also seen the largest increase in brand value – adding over $6 billion to the value of its brand over the past five years”, comments David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance.
The key question is: how did TCS manage do it? Natarajan Chandrasekaran, CEO of TCS, not surprisingly points at the firm’s “industry leadership in customer satisfaction”, as well as highlighting the strong business performance and talented employee base as the foremost drivers. He in addition says that the firm has benefited from “several strategic initiatives taken to boost the brand”, relating to the effectiveness of its overall branding strategy. In recent years, TCS’s branding, public relations, sponsorships, employer brand and community programmes have been recognised with 50+ awards worldwide.
A number of key initiatives stand out. To create large-scale awareness the firm among others sponsored major international marathons in cities such as New York, Amsterdam, Berlin, Singapore and Mumbai, as well launched a popular app during the FIFA World Cup (‘TCS social soccer app*’) and at a more regional/local level boosted its presence in media. From a more client perspective, the TCS brand was augmented through further investments in though leadership, and significant upgrades in its presence at leading industry and leadership forums worldwide, such as the World Economic Forum at Davos.
Chandrasekaran says the firm is proud of its surge up the branding tables, yet looking ahead emphasizes that the IT services consultancy has set its eyes on further growth. “We will continue to invest towards brand leadership in every country and community we operate in.”
* The TCS social soccer app provided social media sentiment analysis of the 2014 FIFA Football Cup.