Technology companies, biotech and pharmaceutical firms, as well as retail-focused giants dominate the list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2014. Cloud computing outfit Salesforce.com tops the ranking for the fourth year in row, followed by drug-maker Alexion Pharmaceuticals and ARM Holdings.
This year, the U.S. shows its incredible power of innovation, but there are many Asian companies on the list as well. A quarter of all firms in the top 100 are Asian, with two Uniliver subsidiaries, Chinese instant-food manufacturer Tingyi and Thai convenience store operator CP All are the most innovative companies on the continent. The annual list, revealed by Forbes, doesn’t rate firms based on their popularity or the number of innovations they were responsible for in the past year. Rather, it is compiled by the so-called “innovation premium”, or how likely companies are to come up with the nest big innovation.
The formula for estimating innovation is quite complicated, but analysts from Finstra Consulting and Innovators DNA who complied the list, explain that it is basically how equity investors feel about a company – whether it will keep generating profitable net growth, or not. It seems investors are most positive about technological companies, biotech research and pharmaceutical corporations, as well as some of the largest retailers worldwide. While Jeff Bezos’ Amazon is the most innovative retail-focused company, the French luxury brand and apparel/accessory manufacturer Hermes is the highest ranking in its industry, landing on the 13th position.
The World’s 10 Most Innovative Companies for 2014 are:
- Alexion Pharmaceuticals
- ARM Holdings
- Unilever Indonesia
- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
- BioMarin Pharmaceuticals
- CP All
- Aspen Phramacare Holdings
Japanese retailer Rakuten comes at 17th position, while hotel chain Marriott International is at No.18 and most innovative in the hospitality industry. To enter the race for the world’s most innovative company, firms need at least seven years of public financial data and $10 billion in market cap. No Middle Eastern or African managed to make it to the top 100 list, despite recent investments in innovation, technology and science in some countries. South America on the other hand shows improving performance with Brazil’s AmBev, the Chilean Falabella, and Mexican Grupo Bimbo and Walmex (their Wal-Mart) finding place in this year’s list.