HDFC Bank, India’s largest private sector bank by market value, maintained the top spot for five straight years in the BrandZ Top 75 report, with an ascribed brand value of $21.67 billion. The annual report, brought out jointly by media and advertising conglomerate WPP and Kantar Millward Brown was released on Thursday. HDFC bank, led by Aditya Puri, witnessed a 21% increase in its value in the 2018 edition of the report, compared to 2017.

This year, the report ranked India’s top 75 brands, instead of the usual 50, to better reflect some of the new-age brands that have become popular in India, in the consumer internet era. According to the report, the collective value of India’s top 50 brands, for which comparable date with previous years exist, grew at its highest pace ever, rising 34% year-on-year to $146 billion.

At 35%, banks and insurance brands continues to contribute a major share of value in the 2018 rankings with state-owned insurance firm Life Insurance Corporation at the second spot ( a new entrant in the list), followed by State Bank of India (ranked No. 5), Kotak Mahindra (No. 7), and ICICI Bank (No. 9) in the top 10. India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki is ranked sixth. The other brands in the top 10 include tech-giant Tata Consultancy Services, which is a new entrant at No.3 and the Sunil Mittal-led telco, Airtel, at the fourth position. Jio, the broadband wireless and digital services arm of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd, which has disrupted the Indian telecom market with its aggressive pricing strategy for high-speed data, was ranked tenth on the list with a 68% year-on-year increase in its brand value.

Jio was also part of Fortune’s ‘Change The World’ list published this year in August.

“Rising affluence and middle-class aspirations also propel brands in categories as diverse as travel agencies, airlines, entertainment, technology, and telecoms,” the report said.

“A booming economy and an increasingly digital world are re-shaping India’s brand landscape and creating new opportunities. Brands that get it right, regardless of whether they are established players or newcomers, are reaping the rewards," David Roth, CEO EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and and Asia-retail practice, The Store WPP, said in a media statement. However, there is no room for complacency in this fast-paced environment where so many ambitious companies are ready to rise to the occasion.”

This year the report also expanded the scope of the rankings to include brands that had origins in India, but were listed outside India in a recognised stock exchange. It has also added privately-owned brands that have reliable financials available in the public domain were included. That allowed for unicorns (start-ups with a value of $1 billion and more) to make way to the rankings.

With the inclusion of business-to-business brands and eight new categories, “the 25 new brands that have come into the rankings now contribute about 27% of the total brand value,” said Vishikh Talwar, managing director at Kantar Millward Brown, South Asia. The revised format led to 30 new entrants, with seven of them in the top 15. These include two unicorns—e-commerce giant Flipkart (11), payment service provider Paytm (12); IT firm Infosys (13) cigarette brand Gold Flake (14), and Zee TV (15). App-based ride-hailing service Ola was ranked 21 on the list.

According to the report, four of the Top 10 brands with the greatest year-on-year percentage value increase, are in the automobiles and insurance categories: TVS and Maruti Suzuki in the automobiles; and insurance brands ICICI Prudential and Bajaj Allianz.

The Tata group's jewellery brand Tanishq topped the “Top Risers” list with a 97 % year-on-year increase in value “on the strength of strong demand for gold and diamonds and the brand’s ability to command a premium price,” the report said.

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