We live in a Global Economy. In 1962, the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan came up with the term “Global Village”. In his books, he described how the globe “has been contracted into a village by electric technology and the instantaneous movement of information from every quarter to every point at the same time”. The internet changed the way we think and relate, the way we do business and travel; we must be aware more than ever that we live and act inside a global network. The industrial revolution, the extensive use of computers and the growing need for mass produced goods pushed small companies forward to the point that they became huge conglomerates of factories and international corporations that employ thousands of people and are worth billions of dollars. Here is a list of 10 biggest firms in the world by revenue. Revenue represents the “gross income” from which costs are subtracted to determine net income.
10. Volkswagen Group
Revenue: $254 billion
Volkswagen was founded in 1937 by the National Socialist Party in order to produce the Porsche type 60 or the Volkswagen car. Today the company has 100 factories in 27 countries and 502,000 employees. Its headquarters are in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany but its operations extend in 153 countries. Volkswagen Group had $254 billion in revenues at the end of 2012.
9. State Grid Corporation of China
Revenue: $290 billion
This is the largest electric utilities company in the world. It employs 1,564,000 of people, transmits and distributes power through the whole of China. It was founded in 2002 when the former State Power Corporation of China was divided in two. The Company revenue was $290 billion in 2012.
Revenue: $303 billion
Vitol Group is a Dutch owned multinational trade company founded in 1966 in Rotterdam. It trades crude oil, coal, natural gas, agricultural products and carbon emissions. The company ships 400 million tons of crude oil per year and it is the largest energy trader in the world. Vitol is a private company with only 2,800 employees and its revenue was $303 billion in January 2013.
7. Saudi Aramco
Revenue: $365 billion
Saudi Aramco, official name Saudi Arabian Oil Company is a natural oil and gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. It has its origins in the oil shortages of World War I. Today the company owns the world’s largest oil field and its value has been estimated at US$10 trillion, the world’s most valuable company. Its revenue was $365 billion in 2011.
6. British Petroleum
Revenue: $370 billion
BP is a British oil and gas company headquartered in London, England. It has operations in 80 countries, produces 3.3 million barrels of oil per day and it has 20,700 service stations. Its origins date back to 1909 but in 2012 made $370 billion in revenues.
5. Sinopec Group
Revenue: $411 billion
China Petrochemical Corporation is the largest oil refining and petrochemical enterprise in Asia. It ranked first in the Top 500 Enterprises of China in 2007. It had$411 billion revenue in 2012.
4. China National Petroleum Company
Revenue: $425 billion
CNPC is a state owned oil and gas corporation. It has 464,000 employees, 30 international exploration and production projects operating in Canada, New Zeeland, Peru and Venezuela. On July 2013 CNPC signed a $4.2 deal to acquire 20% of Mozambique offshore natural gas. It had a $425 billion revenue in 2012
3. Exxon Mobil Corporation
Revenue: $453 billion
ExxonMobil is the world’s third largest company by revenue. It is an American oil and gas corporation headquartered in Irving, Texas and a direct descendent of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company which was established in 1870. It was created in 1999 by the merger of Exxon and Mobil and it made $453 billion in revenues in 2012.
2. Royal Dutch Shell
Revenue: $467 billion
The Royal Dutch Shell Group was created in 1907 by merging two rival companies, Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and Shell Transport and Trading Company of the United Kingdom. Today it has operations in over 90 countries, 44,000 service stations worldwide and produces around 3.1 million barrels of oil per day. It had $467 billion revenue in 2012.
1. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Revenue: $469 billion
Wal-Mart is an American retail corporation. The company was founded in 1962 by Sam Walton. It is still a family owned business controlled by the Walton family who owns 48 percent of it and the biggest private employer in the world with over two million employees and one of the world’s most valuable companies. Walmart is the largest grocery retailer in the United States and it has 8,500 stores in 15 countries under 55 different names. Its revenue in January 2013 was $469 billion making Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. the biggest company in the world by revenue.