According to Business Week’s April 2009 report on the 50 most innovative companies on the planet, Apple, Google and Toyota lead in innovation. The United States dominates the list with half of the 50 companies. India is represented by three companies: the Tata Group at #13, Reliance Industries Ltd. at #15 and Infosys at #26.
Note that the Tata Group consists of 91 separate companies in businesses as diverse as tea, cars, steel, and IT service. Ratan Tata is the chairman of the Tata Sons holding company but most of the stock in these companies is held by non-profit Tata trusts and by the instituitional and indvidual stockholders. Reliance Industries is run by the richest man in India, Mukesh Ambani, son of founder Dhirubhai Ambani. (Mukesh’s estranged brother, Anil, runs Reliance ADAG group). Reliance Industries is primarily in the petrochemicals business; it also made a huge investment in recent years into the retail sector. Infosys, based in Bangalore, was started by seven engineers and is an IT services company with a strong focus on financial services.
In my view there are many more innovative companies in India as well as in China (BW only found one in China: Lenovo).