New Delhi: In a list of 1,000 publicly-traded companies in the world, which were the biggest spenders on research and development, only four Indian companies managed to be in the list. The list is compiled by global management consulting firm Booz & Co. Last year, there were six companies which had made in the top 1000, according to Economic Times.
Tata Motors, BHEL, Dr Reddy's Lab and Sun Pharma are in the top 1000 list this year. Those from last year's list which did not make it this time are Ranbaxy Laboratories and Aditya Birla Nuvo. The combined R&D spends by them grew 43 percent to $516.2 million. The four Indian companies featured have had moderate sales growth of 15.5 percent with $10.8 billion in combined sales in 2008 as against $9.4 billion in 2007.
Tata Motors (rank: 338) alone spent $246 million as against $150 million the previous year. "For our long term capital expansion we have not restricted our R&D spends and we'll continue to spend more this fiscal also," says a Tata spokesperson.
It's followed by BHEL (rank: 590) that put $115 million in 2008, an 82 percent jump in its R&D spends. Dr Reddy's Laboratories, ranked 774, committed $84 million which is 7 percent more than its 2007 spend. So did Sun Pharmaceutical Industries which spent $71 million in 2008, up by just 2.89 percent.
The top 10 global R&D spenders in 2008 according the study are, in descending order: Toyota, Nokia, Roche Holding, Microsoft, General Motors, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Ford, Novartis and Sanofi-Aventis. Toyota spent $8,994 million in R&D that was 4.4 percent of their sales. Nokia spent $8,733 million that was 11.8 percent of its sales. In third rank came Swiss healthcare company Roche Holding that's spent $8,168 million or 19.4 percent of its sales.
Overall, R&D outlays for these Global 1000 companies rose by 5.7 percent to $532 billion, while sales were up 6.5 percent. The study explains that companies have been maintaining R&D expenditure because innovation is a fundamental component of strategy in the long term.
Product cycles and investment cycles are linked since most commitments are made to product development investments years in advance. "The recession is viewed as an opportunity to get a leg-up on competition especially as the upturn begins," says Thomas A Stewart, Chief Marketing and Knowledge Officer with Booz & Co.
In 2008, two-thirds of R&D spending was concentrated in three industries: computing and electronics (28 percent), health (23 percent), and automotive (16 percent). India was in the 28th position of the top 40 countries that spent the maximum on R&D whereas China was 16th. "Both India and China are growing at 30 percent on their R&D spends, the highest among all countries," says Stewart.