Billionaire Mukesh Ambani has overtaken the likes of Satya Nadella of Microsoft and Google’s Sundar Pichai to be ranked Number 1 among Indians and second globally on the Brand Guardianship Index 2023.
Brand Finance constructs its Brand Guardianship Index in a similar way to the Brand Strength Index that underpins its corporate brand valuations.
“We have constructed a balanced scorecard of measures that capture the ability of a CEO to act as the guardian of their company’s brand and a steward of long-term shareholder value,” Brand Finance said in the 2023 report.
The Brand Guardianship Index includes ‘equity’ factors, which reflect current perceptions, ‘performance’ factors which reflect the tangible results of these perceptions, and ‘investment’ factors which support future performance.
“Brand Finance’s Brand Guardianship Index (BGI) 2023 saw the rise of Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, and Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries Ltd to 1st and 2nd position respectively,” the report said.
They both now rank above last year’s leader, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, who now sits in third place.
The majority of the top 10 on the index are chief executives from India or Indian origin.
Shantanu Narayen of Adobe and Pichai are ranked fourth and fifth. Deloitte’s Punit Rejen is at No.6 and Tata Group Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran is at the eighth spot. Piyush Gupta of DBS is at No.9 ahead of Huateng Ma of Tencent.
Mahindra Group Head Anand Mahindra is in the 23rd position.
“Mukesh Ambani, Managing Director and Chairman of Reliance sits in second position and is the longest serving CEO in the ranking at 40 years,” the report said.
Ambani, it said, has gained increased mainstream awareness globally since news broke in 2022 of his potential interest in buying Arsenal Football Club, a valuable English football club that plays in the top-flight English Premier League.
“As the face of the Reliance brand, Ambani continues to oversee Reliance’s transition into green energy, and the diversification of its telecoms and retail branches, including the launch of its new FMCG brand, Independence.
“Ambani has demonstrated a long-term commitment to positive change, through the investment of legacy revenue from Reliance’s petrochemicals business into building a more diverse and sustainable business portfolio,” it said.
This has raised his perception as chairman and managing director of the group and is reflected by Ambani’s top performance on the ‘inspires positive change’ metric within the Brand Guardianship Index.
The Brand Guardianship Index is a global recognition of CEOs, who are building business value in a sustainable manner, by balancing the needs of all stakeholders—employees, investors, and the wider society.
The Brand Guardianship Index celebrates the CEOs, who balance the needs of commercial success, long-term brand building and personal reputation management.
According to Brand Finance, the role of a brand guardian is to build brand and business value. It is a global recognition of the CEOs, who forge win-win partnerships to build a sustainable future, redefining the role of a CEO from an ultracompetitive entrepreneur to a collaborative diplomat.
The Brand Guardianship Index and the Brand Guardianship Ranking are based on a survey of 1,000 market analysts and journalists—two stakeholder groups who have informed and influential views on chief executives’ reputations. Only 50 of the respondents of the survey carried out in November/December 2022 reside in India.