Business Today has been ranking India's largest companies BT 500 based on their market capitalisation since 1993. Initially, we based it on their market capitalisation as on March 31. In 1997, we made the first change in methodology - ranking companies by average market capitalisation between April 1 and March 31. In 2002, we began using average market capitalisation between April 1 and September 30. Starting 2016, we reverted to the 12-month ranking taking the period from October 1 to September 30. It gives you the advantage of looking at not just the 12 months' numbers but also the most recent numbers from the stock exchanges.
When you see the main tables, along with the October-September market cap, we have also given the average market cap over the past two fiscals for better understanding. And if you really want to know how companies stack up on different parameters, go to page 136 where we have a series of tables ranking the companies by assets, income, profits as well as debt. Companies in the banking, financial services and insurance or the 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.
We used the Prowess database of the Mumbai-based Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy and Accord Fintech's Ace Equity databases. To arrive at our listing, we began with a master sample of 5,296 listed companies. We used BSE market cap in all cases, except for those companies that are listed only on the NSE, which are very few. Companies that were not traded on a minimum of 20 per cent of the 248 trading days in the October 2016-September 2017 period were excluded. It reduced the number of companies to 2,667. Thereafter, we extracted the average market cap of each company over this period (October 2016-September 2017) and used it to rank the top 1,000 companies. You can find the Top 500 from page 104 onwards, and the ranking of 501-1,000 companies have been put online at www.businesstoday.in.
The study is not limited to market cap only. Metrics such as total income, net profits, 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 ends on March 31. Where there are exceptions, we have mentioned so in the footnotes (see page 104).
Research by Niti Kiran