The Indian School of Business (ISB) and the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment (VCC), a joint Columbia Law SchoolThe Earth Institute center at Columbia University in New York, are releasing the results of the first-ever survey of outward investing Indian multinational enterprises (MNEs) today. The survey is part of a longterm study of the rapid global expansion of MNEs in BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China. The results released today document the growth of Indian MNEs in particular. The Survey starts with 2006 data as a base period. Future surveys will cover the growth of Indian MNEs in 2007, the effects of the downturn in 2008, and subsequent developments in 2009 and thereafter.

The survey ranks Indian multinationals on the basis of their foreign assets (Table 1 below). The 24 selected MNEs held over USD 15 billion in foreign assets in 2006, with the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), which ranked first, accounting for just over USD 4.7 billion and the Tata Group following with nearly USD 4.2 billion. Together, these 24 companies had nearly USD 13 billion in foreign sales in 2006 and employed 60,000 workers abroad. India was the fifth largest outward investor among emerging markets in 2006, after the other three BRIC countries and Hong Kong (China). The focus of India’s overseas investment up to 2006 has been on oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, IT and metals.

The emergence of multinational enterprises from developing countries is an inevitable byproduct of globalization,” says Ajit Rangnekar, Dean, ISB. “The long-term impact of such investments cannot be measured by taking snapshots of share prices during growth or recessionary times. We are delighted to collaborate with Columbia University on this study as the true story of growth unfolds only when progress is studied over a long period and is compared to MNEs in other countries.”

Adds Karl P. Sauvant, Executive Director of VCC: “Indian multinationals are new players in the world foreign direct investment market; together with their other BRIC counterparts, they are bound to transform it rapidly.

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