Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd slipped 59 places to rank 155th on the 2021 Fortune Global 500 list released on Monday. Reliance took a beating on the rankings as revenues dropped owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is its lowest ranking since 2017.
Walmart continues to top the Fortune list with a revenue of USD 524 billion, followed by China’s State Grid at USD 384 billion. With USD 280 billion revenue, Amazon came in at the third spot, replacing Chinese giants. China National Petroleum was ranked fourth and Sinopec Group fifth.
Reliance’s revenue fell 25.3 per cent to USD 63 billion, mostly because oil prices plunged in the second quarter of 2020 when the global spread of the pandemic wiped away demand. Other Indian oil companies on the list too slipped ranks as their revenues tumbled because of the fall in oil prices.
State Bank of India (SBI) moved up 16 places to rank 205 but Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) dropped 61 places to 212th rank. This is the second straight year of SBI improving its ranking. It had moved up 15 places last year. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) was ranked 243rd, 53 notches lower than last year’s ranking. Rajesh Exports was another firm that improved its ranking with a massive 114 positions jump to 348th rank.
Tata Motors slipped 20 places to rank 357 and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) fell to 394 from 309 last year. Fortune said companies are ranked by total revenues for their respective fiscal years ended on or before March 31, 2021. While SBI had a revenue of USD 52 billion, IOC had revenue of USD 50 billion. ONGC had revenue of USD 46 billion and Rajesh Exports USD 35 billion.
“Walmart claimed the top spot for the eighth consecutive year, and for the 16th time since 1995,” Fortune said. Mainland China (including Hong Kong) once again has the most companies on the list at 135, up 11 from last year. Adding Taiwan, the total for Greater China is 143. The US is up one with 122, and Japan held steady with a total of 53 firms.
“Fortune Global 500 companies generated revenues totaling more than one-third of the world’s GDP. They generated USD 31.7 trillion in revenues (down 5%), USD 1.6 trillion in profits (down 20%) and employ 69.7 million people worldwide,” it said. Apple (No. 6) netted USD 57 billion in profits, and is the Fortune Global 500’s most profitable company in 2021, ending Saudi Aramco’s (No. 14) two-year reign.