CRISIL is India's first credit rating agency, incorporated in 1987 and was promoted by the erstwhile ICICI Ltd, along with UTI and other financial institutions.
It commenced operations from 1988 onwards. In 1995, in partnership will National Stock Exchange, CRISIL developed CRISIL500 Equity Index. In 1996, it made a strategic alliance with the Standard & Poor's (S&P) Ratings Group and in the following year Standard & Poor's (S&P) Ratings Group acquired 9.68% shares in it.
In services Industry, the CRISIL in 1998 set up the Indian Index Services Ltd as a joint venture with the NSE and in 1999, it developed a Risk Assessment Model (RAM) which became a banking industry standard. S&P acquired the majority stake in the company in 2005 and so today CRISIL is a S&P company.
India's second credit rating agency is ICRA (Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency) which was set up in 1991. It was promoted by Industrial Finance Coroporation of India (IFCI), other leading financial/investment institutions, commercial banks and financial services companies as an independent and professional Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency. Today, ICRA and its subsidiaries together form the ICRA Group of Companies (Group ICRA). ICRA Limited is a Public Limited Company, with its shares listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange.
The third Credit rating Agency in India was CARE, that started working in 1993. It was mainly promoted by the IDBI.
Later another Credit rating agency ONICRA was established which now Onicra Credit Rating Agency Of India Ltd. This is a private sector agency set up by Onida Finance. Today it has a niche market and provides assessment, grading and rating models for individuals & MSMES (micro, small and medium enterprises.
The Credit rating market take a definite shape in India after the SEBI made it mandatory for any debenture that has maturity of more than 18 months maturity.