BUSINESS TODAY has been ranking India's largest companies - BT 500 - since 1993 based on their market capitalisation. In the early days we based it on the market cap of companies as on March 31. Like in everything else, there is change. In 1997, we took a close look at the methodology to make the first change. We then started ranking companies based on their marketcap during the fiscal - April 1 to March 31. In 2002, we began using average market cap between April 1 and September 30. In 2016, we reverted to the 12-month ranking, taking the period from October 1 to September 30. This gives you the advantage of looking at not just the 12 months' numbers but also the most recent numbers from the stock exchanges.
In the main tables, along with the October-September market cap, we have also provided the average market cap over the past two fiscals for a better understanding of how the company performed.
Later, from page 106 we have a series of tables that rank the companies by assets, profit after tax, total income and debt. Companies in the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector have not been ranked on these parameters as their method of capturing and measuring these metrics is markedly different from all other sectors. In the tables, companies that fall under the BFSI sector have been highlighted so that you can easily identify them.
For the purpose of our study, we used the Accord Fintech's Ace Equity database. To arrive at our listing, we began with a master sample of 3,997 listed and actively traded companies. We used BSE market cap in all cases, except for those companies that are listed only on the National Stock Exchange or NSE, which are very few. Companies that were not traded on a minimum of 20 per cent of the 245 trading days in the October 2018-September 2019 period were excluded. This reduced the number of companies to 3,325. Thereafter, we extracted the average market cap of each company over this period (October 2018-September 2019) and used it to rank the top 1,000 companies. You can find the Top 500 from page 76, and the ranking of 501-1,000 companies can be accessed online at www.businesstoday.in.
The study is not limited to market cap. Metrics such as total income, net profits and total assets, debt, return on net worth (RONW) and return on capital employed (ROCE) have also been showcased for the reader to make discerning comparisons. For most companies, the financial year ending is on March 31. Where there are exceptions, they have been mentioned in the footnotes.