World’s top 10 companies

July 31, 2008

The rankings are based on a combination of the sales, profits, assets and market capitalization of these companies. Check out the world’s top ten companies.

1. HSBC Holdings

“We have a clear strategy; it is focused on investing and developing our powerful emerging markets franchises. We will continue to do that,” Stephen Green, chairman, HSBC. The ‘world’s local bank’ is HSBC’s tagline. Headquartered in London, HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world. It comprises of over 10,000 offices in 83 countries across Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. HSBC is listed on the London, Hong Kong, New York, Paris and Bermuda stock exchanges. Shares in HSBC Holdings plc are held by around 200,000 shareholders. HSBC offers a range of financial services: personal financial services, commercial banking, corporate, investment banking and markets and private bank. HSBC Holdings has reported sales to the tune of $146.50 billion and profits of $19.13 billion in 2007.

History: The HSBC Group is named after its founding member, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, which was established in 1865 to finance the growing trade between Europe, India and China. The inspiration behind the founding of the bank was Thomas Sutherland, who was then working for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. Seeing the potential of local banking facilities in Hong Kong and on the China coast and he helped to establish the bank which opened in Hong Kong in March 1865 and in Shanghai a month later.

2. General Electric

“We are going to solve tough customer and global problems and make money solving it,” Jeff Immelt, CEO, GE. Imagination at work, says the GE tagline. Innovation and research are the strongholds of GE. In 1969, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon wearing boots made of GE’s silicone rubber. GE has four strong businesses in the financial services, infrastructure, and media markets. GE Capital offers an astonishing array of products and services aimed at enabling commercial businesses and consumers worldwide. The company prides helps build the healthcare, transportation, and technology infrastructure across the globe. General Electric’s sales stand at $172.74 billion and profits at $22.21 billion in 2007.

History of research

GE’s research started in a barn in 1900 when General Electric Company completed eight years. The barn saw company’s major breakthrough technologies. One of the earliest projects of the new lab was incandescent lighting. GE scientists have thousands of patents, and two Nobel prizes: Irving Langmuir won the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 1932 and Ivar Giaever won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973.

3. Bank of America

“Bank of America helps build strong communities by creating opportunities for people – including customers, shareholders and associates – to fulfill their dreams.” Kenneth D. Lewis, chairman, CEO and president. Bank of America is the largest commercial bank in the United States in terms of deposits and second largest by market capitalization. The bank also offers talking ATMs which help customers who are visually impaired. The Bank of America sales is at $119.9 billion and profits are at 14.98 billion in 2007.


Before 1998, Bank of America organization was known as NationsBank. In 1998, NationsBank acquired San Francisco-based BankAmerica and renamed the corporation “Bank of America”.

4. JPMorgan Chase

“Our expectation is for the economic environment to continue to be weak in spite of the environment, we are confident that we are building an increasingly strong and profitable company.” James Dimon. JPMorgan Chase is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.8 trillion. With an employee strength of 1, 80,000, the company operates in more than 60 countries. It is a leading player in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. JPMorgan Chase reported sales to the tune of $116.35 billion and profits stood at $15.37 billion in 2007. Jamie Dimon is the CEO of JPMorgan Chase.


JPMorgan Chase & Co., was founded in New York in 1799. The firm is built on the foundation of nearly 1,000 institutions that have come together over the years to form today’s company. JPMorgan Chase traces its beginnings to the Bank of The Manhattan Company, which was founded by Aaron Burr in 1799 and became one of the leading banking institutions in the nation. In the 1800s, many new banks were formed across America. JPMorgan Chase has links to many of these early institutions, including the Western Reserve Bank, one of the first banks in Ohio and a predecessor of Bank One, which merged with JPMorgan Chase in 2004.

5. ExxonMobil

Exxon Mobil Corporation is an American oil and gas corporation and a descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. The company was formed on November 31, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. It is also the largest publicly held corporation by market capitalization, at $501.17 billion on April 18, 2008. Exxon’s reserves were 72 billion oil-equivalent barrels at the end of 2007 and are expected to last over 14 years. While it is the largest of the six oil giants with daily production of 4.18 million BOE (barrels of oil equivalent) in 2007, ExxonMobil is 14th in the world when ranked by held oil and gas reserves. Rex W. Tillerson is the chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil reported sales to the tune of $358.60 billion and profits stood at $40.61 billion in 2007.


Exxon Mobil Corporation was formed in 1999 by the merger of two major oil companies, Exxon and Mobil. Both Exxon and Mobil were descendants of the John D. Rockefeller Corporation, Standard Oil which was established in 1870. In 1911, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Standard Oil must be dissolved and split into 34 companies. Two of these companies were Jersey Standard (Standard Oil Company of New Jersey), which eventually became Exxon, and Socony (Standard Oil Company of New York), which eventually became Mobil.

6. Royal Dutch Shell

“This is a very exciting – though daunting – time for our industry. The world is racing ahead with ever-increasing energy needs. We are under pressure to keep up. But this race does not have only one winner. This is a race all of us must win.” Linda Cook, Executive Director of Royal Dutch Shell. Royal Dutch Shell is an MNC oil company with Dutch and British origins. It is the second largest private sector energy corporation in the world, and one of the six oil super majors. The company’s headquarters are in The Hague, Netherlands, with its registered office in London (Shell Centre). Oil giant Shell has over 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) resources under construction. Shell has been exploring and producing oil and gas for more than a century. The exploration and production work is going on in nearly 40 countries and the company employs around 35,000 people. Royal Dutch Shell reported sales to the tune of $355.78 billion and profits stood at $31.33 billion in 2007.


The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies was created in February 1907 when the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and the “Shell” Transport and Trading Company Ltd of the United Kingdom merged their operations. After the merger, 60 per cent of the new Group went to the Dutch arm and 40 per cent to the British. In 1833, the company founder’s father, Marcus Samuel, founded an import business to sell seashells to collectors in London. When collecting seashell specimens in the Caspian Sea area in 1892, Samuel realized the potential of exporting oil from the region and commissioned the world’s first purpose-built oil tanker, the Murex to foray into this market.

7. BP

BP has transformed itself from a local oil company into a global energy group employing over 96,000 people and operating in over 100 countries worldwide. BP has reported sales to the tune of $281.03 billion and profits stood at $20.60 billion in 2007. Tony Hayward is the group chief executive of BP, earlier known as British Petroleum. With headquarters in London, the company is among the largest private sector energy corporations in the world.


British Petroleum merged with Amoco (formerly Standard Oil of Indiana) in December 1998, becoming BPAmoco until 2000 when it was renamed BP and adopted the tagline ‘Beyond Petroleum’. Most Amoco gas stations in the United States have changed the look and name to the BP brand. The highest grade of BP gasoline available in the United States is still called Amoco Ultimate.

8. Toyota Motor Co

Toyota Motors is 70-years old. Headquartered in Japan, it is one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers. The company was founded in 1937 by Kiichiro Toyoda as a spinoff from his father’s company Toyota Industries to manufacture automobiles. Fujio Cho, is the chairman of the company. Toyota also owns and operates Lexus and Scion brands. Toyota’s management philosophy is ‘lean manufacturing’ and ‘just in time production’. Toyota continues to promote localization, based on the principle of producing vehicles in those countries or regions where demand exists. In Japan, Toyota has equipped Takaoka plant with the company’s most-advanced technologies. In R&D, Toyota is continuing to focus its efforts in the three key areas of the environment, safety and energy. Toyota has positioned hybrid technologies as core technologies that can contribute to resolving environmental issues. Toyota Motor Co reported sales to the tune of $203.80 billion and profits stood at $13.99 billion in 2007.


Sakichi Toyoda invented the wooden Toyoda handloom in 1890. In 1894, Kiichiro Toyoda born. In 1924, Sakichi Toyoda completed the non-stop shuttle change type Toyoda automatic loom (Type G). In 1929, Kiichiro Toyoda traveled to Europe and the United States to investigate automobiles. The British company, Platt Brothers, gained the automatic loom patent rights. In 1931, Kiichiro Toyoda started research into gasoline-powered engines.

9. ING Group

ING is a global financial services company providing banking, investments, and life insurance and retirement services. The company serves more than 75 million customers in Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Australia. Based on market capitalization (31 March 2008), ING is one of the 20 largest financial institutions worldwide. The ING Group reported sales to the tune of $197.93 billion and profits stood at $12.65 billion in 2007. The group is led by Michel Tilmant.


ING was founded in 1991 by a merger between Nationale-Nederlanden and NMB Postbank Group. During the past 15 years ING has become a multinational with very diverse international activities. ING’s history can be traced to the insurers De Nationale Levensverzekering Bank and De Nederlanden van in 1845. The oldest legal predecessor is the Kooger Doodenbos from Koog, Noord Holland, founded in 1743.

10. Berkshire Hathaway

“When a management team with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact. ” Warren Buffett. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway is based in Omaha, US. Berkshire Hathaway manages a number of subsidiary companies. Its core business is insurance, including property and casualty insurance, reinsurance and specialty nonstandard insurance. The company averaged an annual return in excess of 21 per cent to its shareholders for the last 42 years while employing large amounts of capital and minimal debt. Warren Buffett is the company’s chairman and CEO. Earlier, he used to focus on long-term investments in publicly quoted stocks. Berkshire now owns a diverse range of businesses including candy production; retail, home furnishings, encyclopedias, vacuum cleaners, jewellery, newspaper publishing and even makes and distributes uniforms and footwear. Berkshire Hathaway reported sales to the tune of $118.25 billion and profits stood at $13.21 in 2007.


Berkshire Hathaway traces its roots to a textile manufacturing company established by Oliver Chace in 1839. In 1929 the Valley Falls Company merged with the Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company established in 1889. The combined company was known as Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates. In 1962, Warren Buffett began buying stock in Berkshire Hathaway. After some clashes with the Stanton family, he bought up enough shares to change the management and soon controlled the company. Buffett initially maintained Berkshire’s core business of textiles, but by 1967, he forayed into the insurance industry. Berkshire first ventured into the insurance business with the purchase of National Indemnity Company.


The world’s largest economies

July 29, 2008

The Indian economy is the 12th largest in the world. That is, India’s gross domestic product stands at $1.171 trillion. However, in terms of purchasing power parity, India is the world’s fourth largest economy. Its GDP in purchasing power parity terms is at $3.092 trillion. These are the year 2007 figures, recently released by the World Bank. By definition, purchasing power parity (PPP) is an economic theory that estimates the amount of adjustment needed on the exchange rate between countries in order for the exchange to be equivalent to each currency’s purchasing power. India is the one of the world’s fastest growing economies, yet its annual per capita income remains quite low at $950, or about Rs 40,000. That puts India in the 160th spot. Incidentally, World Bank figures show that the world’s GDP is at $54.347 trillion. India accounts for just over 2 per cent of global GDP.

So which are the world’s largest economies?

1. United States

The American GDP is at $13.812 trillion, making it the world’s largest economy. It accounts for more than 25 per cent of the entire world’s GDP! In terms of purchasing power parity too, the United States is the world’s leading economy. However, its per capita income at $46, per year, pegs it at the 15th spot in the world.

2. Japan

Japan, with a GDP of $4.377 trillion, is the world’s second largest economy. However, in terms of purchasing power parity, Japan is ranked third by the World Bank. It’s GDP in PPP terms is $4.283 trillion. Japan’s per capita income (annual) is $37,670, making it the 25th highest in the world.

3. Germany

Germany is the world’s third largest, with its GDP at $3.297 trillion. But in PPP terms, Germany is the world’s fifth largest economy. It’s GDP in PPP terms is at $2.752 trillion. Its per capita income is the 23rd highest in the world, at $38,860.

4. China

China, the Asian giant, is the world’s fourth largest economy with a GDP of $3.281 trillion; but in purchasing power parity terms it ranks second at $7.055 trillion. It is the world’s fastest growing major economy and its giant strides have taken the world by a storm. Economists predict that over the next few decades, it could topple the US as the world’s largest economy. China’s per capita income, however, is still low at $2,630 per year.

5. United Kingdom

Britain is the world’s fifth largest economy. Its GDP is at $2.728 trillion. In purchasing power parity terms, the United Kingdom’s GDP stands at $2.082 trillion making it the seventh largest in the world. Britain is a rich nation. Its per capita income is at an impressive $42,740. That would rank it in the 19th spot.

6. France

The French GDP is at $2.563 trillion, making it the world’s sixth largest economy; but in terms of PPP, it is the world’s 8th largest (GDP in PPP terms, $2.054 trillion). The per capita income of the French at $38,500 makes them the 24th richest people in the world.

7. Italy

Italy’s GDP in absolute terms is at $2.107 trillion. That makes it the planet’s seventh largets economy. However, in purchasing power parity terms its GDP is at $1.780 trillion and its rank is 10th. Italians’ per capita income is the 30th highest in the world. It is $33,540.

8. Spain

Spain is the eighth largest economy with its GDP at $1.429 trillion. In purchasing power parity, however, it slips to the 11th spot ($1.373 trillion). With a per capita income of $29,450 per year, its people are the 36th richest in the world.

9. Canada

The Canadian GDP stands at $1.326 trillion, making it the world’s ninth largest economy. In PPP terms, however, it stands 14th in the world. Its GDP in PPP terms is at $1.178 trillion. Its people enjoy a comfortable life with a per capita income of $39,420, which is 22nd highest in the world.

10. Brazil

The Brazilian economy too has been growing at a scorching pace. It is the world’s 10th largest economy with a GDP of $1.314 trillion. But in terms of purchasing power (GDP – $1.834 trillion), it is better placed at number 9. Amongst the emerging economies, it has one of the best per capita income figures — $5,910. This places it in the 85th spot .

Team led by ex-Google employees launches new search engine

July 28, 2008

Menlo Park-based start-up Cuil Inc., which was founded by former Google employees Anna Patterson and Russell Power and ex-IBM man Tom Costello, has just entered the search market with a new engine that is claimed to be the “world’s biggest.” Cuil (pronounced ‘cool’ and meaning knowledge in Irish) is said to feature a new approach to search that will provide users with organized and relevant results based on Web page content analysis.

“The Web continues to grow at a fantastic rate and other search engines are unable to keep up with it,” said Tom Costello, CEO and co-founder of Cuil. “Our significant breakthroughs in search technology have enabled us to index much more of the Internet, placing nearly the entire Web at the fingertips of every user. In addition, Cuil presents searchers with content-based results, not just popular ones, providing different and more insightful answers that illustrate the vastness and the variety of the Web.”

In short, Cuil’s features include:

  • Biggest Internet search engine – over 121 billion web pages, 3 times more than Google and 10 times more than Microsoft.
  • Organized results – Cuil’s magazine-style layout separate results by subject and allows further search by concept or category.
  • Different results – unlike other search engines, Cuil ranks results by the content on each page, not its popularity
  • Complete privacy protection – Cuil does not keep any personally identifiable information on users or their search histories

For starters Cuil is optimized for American English but support for major European languages is planned for later this year. It interesting to see another player step up to take on Google and other search giants but Cuil will have a hard task in convincing web surfers that it can be the search engine of choice. But, it’s off to a promising start.

India’s most dependable cars

July 28, 2008

Maruti Suzuki Swift

This hatchback 5-seater by Maruti Suzuki, which hit the Indian roads in 2005, is designed after the acclaimed Concept S car unveiled by Suzuki at the 2002 Paris Auto show. It is available in diesel and petrol versions. The 1298 cc-engine petrol version has four varieties: Maruti Suzuki Swift LXi, Maruti Suzuki Swift VXi, Maruti Suzuki Swift VXi (ABS) and Maruti Suzuki Swift ZXi, whereas the 1248-cc engine diesel version of the car comes in three variants: Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi ABS, Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi and Maruti Suzuki Swift LDi. The car is priced between Rs 4, 29,280 and Rs 5, 50,812 (ex-showroom, Mumbai).

Maruti Esteem

Once known as the ‘most dependable workhorse with a great engine’ this midsize car’s old chassis gradually became unpopular so that Maruti phased out the car to make space for a new sedan — Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire. Esteem had good quality interiors but lacked cabin space and used to come in petrol and diesel varieties. The Esteem’s price varied between Rs 4,63,020 and Rs 6,15,000 (ex-showroom, Mumbai).Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, which has replaced Esteem, comes in petrol and diesel variants and are priced between Rs 4,88,683 and Rs 7,09,682 (ex-showroom, Mumbai).

Toyota Corolla

Toyota started its operations in India by launching the Corolla which was the segment leader for a long time. A fine sedan, Toyota Corolla scaled the popularity chart across the world in no time. Toyota Corolla is also the world’s largest selling car ever. Corollas are currently manufactured in Japan, USA, UK, Canada, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, South Africa, Brazil, Turkey, Philippines, Thailand, Venezuela, Pakistan and India. The 1794 cc-engine car comes in six varieties and are priced between Rs 9,00,090 and Rs 12,20,830 (ex-showroom, Mumbai).

Toyota Innova

The Toyota Innova is a medium multipurpose vehicle, which means the car is less than 4,600 mm (181.1 inches) in length as per the European system of size classification. The car was manufactured in Indonesia under supervision by Toyota Astra Motor since 2003.In India, the car replaced Toyota Qualis. It comes in both petrol and diesel variants. A particular diesel version of the car Toyota Innova 2.5 E has recently been discontinued. The 2494-cc engine car is priced reasonably between Rs 7,38,480 and Rs 10,70,740 (ex-showroom, Mumbai).

Hyundai Santro

The Seoul-based Hyundai started its India operations in 1998 with the launch of the Santro. It went on to become one of the largest selling cars in the country. This 1086-cc engine 5-seater with either automated or manual transmissions runs in petrol only and comes in four variants: Hyundai Santro Xing Non-AC, Hyundai Santro Xing GL, Hyundai Santro Xing GLS and Hyundai Santro Xing GLS AT. The car is reasonably priced between Rs 2, 73,747 and Rs 4,09,489 (ex-showroom, Mumbai).

Honda City ZX

The Honda City is a subcompact car manufactured by Japanese manufacturer Honda since 1981 for the Asian market. The first Honda City was launched in 1981 as a three-door hatchback. Since then, the car has undergone several redesigns over the years. Priced between Rs 7,13,000 and Rs 9,07,000 (ex-showroom, Mumbai), this 5-seater with either automated or manual transmissions, runs in petrol only and comes in five variants: Honda City ZX EXi, Honda City ZX GXi, Honda City ZX CVT, Honda City ZX VTEC and Honda City ZX VTEC Plus.

Ford Endeavour

The Ford Endeavour is another name for Ford Everest, a midsize sport utility vehicle sold in Asia, and the Bahamas. This 2499-cc engine, 7 seater with manual transmission runs in diesel only and comes in three varieties — Ford Endeavour TDCi 4×2 XLT, Ford Endeavour TDCi 4×2 XLT – Limited Edition and Ford Endeavour 3.0 Thunder+ 4×4.The car is priced between Rs 15,54,903 and Rs 18,17,000 (ex-showroom, Mumbai).

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is an executive car produced by the Mercedes Car Group division of Daimler AG. Introduced in 1993, the C-Class was the most affordable model in the Mercedes lineup until the 1997 arrival of the A-Class. The C-Class is built at Mercedes-Benz factories in Sindelfingen and Bremen, Germany, as well as in DaimlerChrysler’s factory in East London. This 1796-cc engine 5 seater runs on petrol and comes in two variants: Mercedes-Benz C-Class 200 K MT (manual transmission) and Mercedes-Benz C-Class 200 K AT (automated transmission). The car’s diesel variant comes with 2148 cc engine and is of two types: Mercedes-Benz C-Class 220 CDI MT (manual transmission) and Mercedes-Benz C-Class 220 CDI AT (automated transmission).The car is priced between Rs 26,73,877 and Rs 30,76,555 (ex-showroom, Mumbai).

World’s top 10 consumers of oil

July 25, 2008

1. United States

The United States of America is the single largest consumer of oil. It uses as much as 20.73 million barrels per day.

2. China

A fast growing China is the world’s second largest user of oil. The world’s most populous nation uses 6.534 million barrels per day.

3. Japan

Japan is the third largest consumer of oil. The Asian nation consumes 5.578 million barrels per day.

4. Germany

Germany is the fourth biggest consumer of oil in the world. It uses 2.650 million barrels per day.

5. Russia

Russia is the fifth largest consumer of oil. It uses 2.500 million barrels per day.

6. India

India is the sixth largest consumer of oil. It burns up 2.450 million barrels per day.

7. Canada

Canada is the world’s seventh largest consumer of oil. It uses 2.294 million barrels per day.

8. South Korea

South Korea is the world’s eighth largest consumer of oil. It uses up 2.149 million barrels of oil per day.

9. Brazil

Brazil is the ninth largest user of oil. It guzzles 2.100 million barrels per day

10. France

France is the world’s tenth largest consumer of oil. It devours 1.970 million barrels per day.

Nations with highest per capita income

July 25, 2008


Strange, as it might seem, the World Bank ranks nations, sometimes without giving their actual per capita income. No explanation is given by the World Bank, other than a footnote that says: �2007 data not available; ranking is approximate.’ However, information gleaned from other sources bears out the World Bank ranking. So the nation with the highest per capita income in the world is Liechtenstein, a small country bordering Switzerland and Austria. Liechtenstein’s per capita income is about $80,000 per annum. The principality has an industrialized economy, with banking and financial services being the mainstay. Tourism too is a major revenue earner for the nation. The personal income tax rates in Liechtenstein too are exceedingly low: basic income tax rate is 1.2 per cent on income up to 200,000 Swiss Francs, and maximum is 5 per cent on income over 2 million Swiss Francs a year.


Bermuda is tourist’s delight, located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Bermuda’s per capita income is almost 50 per cent more than that of the United States. The tiny island nation’s per capita income stands at just above $78,000. It has the second highest PCI in the world. Bermuda is a major financial centre and is particularly attractive because of its low taxation rates. Financial services are the nation’s largest industry, followed by tourism.


Norway’s per capita income stands at $76,450, which is the third highest in the world. Norway has a mixed economy consisting of state-owned businesses and a robust free market. It’s a high developed and industrialized state. Fishing, petroleum, hydel power, minerals contribute heavily to the nation’s GDP.


Luxembourg’s per capita income is at $75,880. That makes it the world’s fourth highest PCI. Luxembourg is located in Europe and is bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. The nation has highly developed industrial and financial sectors.


The per capita income of Qataris is $60,000, the fifth highest in the world. Qatar is an Arab emirate located in the Persian Gulf. The nation’s economy mainly depends on its huge oil and natural gas reserves. There is no income tax in Qatar.


The Swiss enjoy a financially comfortable life, with a per capita income of $59,880. Switzerland ranks sixth in the World Bank’s per capita income rankings. Switzerland, a truly capitalist economy, has many giant banks and multinational corporations. It also has highly developed industries in sectors like pharmaceuticals, chemicals, machine parts, electronics, precision instruments, banking, tourism, etc. Dairy farming too is an age old industry in Switzerland. It has very low tax rates.


Denmark’s per capita income is at $54,910. According to World Bank rankings, it is the world’s seventh highest PCI. Denmark has a highly industrialized economy, with robust agricultural and corporate sectors. Despite being one of the most competitive nations, the nation has a very weak financial regulatory system. Also, its labor laws are very lax and tilted heavily in favour of the employers.


At $54,100, the per capita income of Iceland is the world’s eighth highest. Iceland has a very healthy power sector which helps it be a highly industrialized country. Apart from manufacturing, the nation is also taking big strides in the fields of software generation, biotechnology, tourism, and financial services.

Cayman Islands

The per capita income of Cayman Islands is more than $48,140 and less than $54,100, as per World Bank figures. It has the 11th highest PCI in the world. At number 9 is Channel Islands and in the 10th spot is Andorra. The Cayman Islands are situated in the Caribbean Sea. It is a major financial centre and also one of the world’s best known tax havens. The nation’s economic mainstays are tourism and financial services.


The Irish have a per capita income of $48,140, ranking them twelfth in the world. Ireland too has made rapid strides in the field of information technology. Construction, apart from agriculture, too is an important part of the Irish economy.

Top 10 BPO companies in India

July 24, 2008


Genpact was born in 1997 as the India-based business process operations for GE Capital. In 2005, with equity investments from General Atlantic and Oak Hill Capital Partners, it became an independent company and was rebranded Genpact. It is India’s No. 1 BPO firm. Genpact manages business for companies around the world with a network of more than 30 operations centre’s in nine countries. Genpact offers services in finance and accounting, collections and customer service, insurance, supply chain and procurement, analytics, enterprise application and IT infrastructure. Headed by Pramod Bhasin, the company had staff strength of over 34,300 employees as on March 31, 2008. Its revenues for the year 2007 stood at $822.7 million.

2. WNS Global

WNS Global serves several industries, including travel, insurance, financial services, healthcare, professional services, manufacturing, distribution and retail. Warburg Pincus is the majority shareholder in WNS Global Services. The Nasdaq-listed company with more than 9,000 professionals was set up in 1996. Neeraj Bhargava is a co-founder of WNS (Holdings) Ltd and group chief executive officer. It posted quarterly revenue of $116.1 million for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2008, up 4.9 per cent from the corresponding quarter last year. Its revenues stand at $459.9 million, up 30.5 per cent from fiscal 2007.

3.IBM Daksh

The five-year old IBM Daksh was created by four professionals — Sanjiv Agarwal, Pawan Vaish, MJ Aravind and Venkat Tedanki — who saw a great opportunity in the business process outsourcing space. With no business model to follow, it was a big challenge to set up the company. IBM Daksh is known for a good leadership, a focused vision and an undying passion. In April 2004, IBM Corporation acquired Daksh e-Services to serve as a global hub to manage business processes for clients from across the world. With 14 service delivery centres in India, IBM Daksh has more than 36 centers around the world. Today IBM Daksh employs more than 20,000 people. Pavan Vaish is the chief executive officer of IBM Daksh Business Process Services. A co-founder of Daksh eServices, he has been with the organization since January 2000.

4.Aditya Birla Minacs WorldWide

Aditya Birla Minacs is part of the $24 billion global conglomerate, the Aditya Birla Group. Aditya Birla Minacs was formed when Minacs, Canada’s leading BPO company, and TransWorks, the BPO arm of Aditya Birla Group, joined hands to become a leading global business process outsourcing player. Aditya Birla Minacs clocked revenues to the tune of $392 million (or about Rs 1,575 crore) till March 2008, a 17 per cent rise over the previous year’s $335 million. With over 26 years of experience, Aditya Birla Minacs offers BPO solutions for Fortune 500 clients. Minacs has more than 12,000 employees at locations in North America, Europe and Asia. It serves clients in automotive, banking, financial services, insurance, telecommunications and technology verticals. Dev Bhattacharya is the managing director for Aditya Birla Minacs Worldwide Ltd, a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Nuvo.


TCS BPO is one of the leader players in the outsourcing industry. It offers services in areas such as finance and accounting, banking, HR outsourcing, KPO, insurance, payroll, healthcare, telecom, media, travel and entertainment. TCS operates from more than 41 countries and has more than 155 offices across the globe. Its head office in India is located in Bangalore. It has branches in Mumbai, Gurgaon, Goa, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow and many other places in India. While Tata Consultancy Services is India’s top software company, TCS BPO established a stronghold in the BPO space. The TCS group posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 1,290.61 crore (Rs 12.90 billion) for the first quarter ended June 30, 2008, an increase of 7.3 per cent compared to the year-ago period.

6.Wipro BPO

Wipro BPO has carved a unique position in the outsourcing industry. In 2002, Wipro took a quantum jump in the BPO services by acquiring the then Spectramind. Wipro BPO Solutions complements the services offered by Wipro Technologies, making it one of the largest BPO service players. The company with over 19,000 people, operating out of 9 different locations (India and Eastern Europe) serves clients across the globe. Wipro BPO clientele spans across banking and capital markets, insurance, travel and hospitality, hi-tech manufacturing, telecom and healthcare sectors. T K Kurien heads Wipro’s BPO operations. The IT services revenue for Wipro Technologies stood at Rs 4,405 crore (Rs. 44.05 billion), a YoY growth of 39 per cent.


Firstsource (formerly ICICI OneSource) is a leading global business process management company. Founded in 2001, the company is ranked third in Business Week’s ‘Hot player’ list of offshore outsourcing companies. The company has 17,000 employees in centres across India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Argentina and the Philippines. Ananda Mukerji is the managing director and chief executive officer. Its revenues for the year ended March 31 2008 stood at Rs 12,988 million, up 53.3 percent compared to the previous year.

8.Infosys BPO

Infosys BPO Ltd, the business process outsourcing subsidiary of Infosys Technologies, was set up in April 2002. Today, it is ranked among the leading BPO companies in India by NASSCOM, Dataquest, the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals, Red Herring, FAO Today and NelsonHall. Infosys BPO focuses on integrated end-to-end outsourcing through lesser costs. Infosys BPO operates in India, the Czech Republic, China, Philippines, Poland, Bangkok, Mexico and employs about 16,295 people. It closed FY2007-08 with revenues of $250.3 million.


HCL BPO, a division of HCL Technologies Limited was established in 2001. With over 13,200 professionals operating out of India and Northern Ireland, HCL BPO runs fourteen delivery centres across India, UK and Malaysia. The company has reported revenues to the tune of $220.9 million. HCL BPO also offers multilingual support in eight European languages and eight Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections (APAC) languages. HCL BPO’s focuses on sectors like telecom, retail, banking and financial services, insurance, hi-tech & manufacturing, and media, publishing and entertainment. Shiv Nadar is the founder, chairman and chief strategy officer of HCL Technologies.

10. EXL Service Holdings

EXL Service Holdings came into existence in April 1999 in Delaware, US. It was founded by a group of professionals including Vikram Talwar (now executive chairman) and Rohit Kapoor, who is now the CEO. Vikram was then the CEO and managing director of Ernst & Young, and Rohit managed international investments for clients at Deutsche Bank. In August 2001, Conseco acquired EXL and operated as its wholly owned subsidiary. Later, in November 2002, Oak Hill Capital Partners L.P. and FTVentures along with members of the senior management team bought EXL from Conseco making it a third party pure-play business process outsourcing service provider. The company has seen a fast-paced growth with 50 clients and staff strength of 8,200 employees. Revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 2008 were $50.9 million compared to $39.9 million in the quarter ended March 31, 2007, an increase of 27.8 per cent.