Lever, TCS top 5 Indian firms on Forbes 'most innovative' list

Five Indian companies have made it to the Forbes' list of the world's 100 most innovative companies that investors think are most likely to "generate big, new growth ideas".

InnovativeHindustan Unilever, leads the Indian firms at No. 14 in the 'World's Most Innovative Companies' list, released in New York today; followed by Tata Consultancy Services – India's top information technology company – at No. 57.

The others are Larsen & Toubro (58), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (65), and Bajaj Auto (96).

The list is topped for the fourth year in a row by California-based global cloud computing company Salesforce.

Hindustan Unilever recorded an innovation premium of 54.7 per cent.

Forbes said the innovation premium is a measure of how much investors have bid up the stock price of a company above the value of its existing business based on expectations of future innovative results like new products, services and markets.

The innovation premium of TCS was 39.58 per cent and the Mumbai-based Hindustan Unilever had a market capitalisation of $71.25 billion as of May 2014.

Larsen & Toubro had an innovation premium of 39.4 per cent and had a market cap of $19.81 billion; while Sun Pharma had an innovation premium of 38.34 per cent and a market cap of $19.88 billion.

Bajaj Auto saw an innovation premium of 31.73 per cent and a market cap of $10 billion.

Salesforce, with a market cap of $35.87 billion, had an innovation premium of 75.9 per cent and continued its reign as Forbes' most innovative company for the fourth straight year.

"A key to Salesforce's success has been its ability to move into bigger companies, selling to enterprise-class large customers who require more modifications and attention than a small or medium business," Forbes said.

The other companies making up the top five on the list are Connecticut-based biotech firm Alexion Pharmaceuticals (2), British semi-conductor company ARM Holdings (3), fast moving consumer goods company Unilever Indonesia (4) and New York-based biopharmaceutical company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (5).

The US was home to a majority of the companies on the list, with 41 firms headquartered in the country, followed by Europe with 29 companies.