The business head of Mahindra World City Jaipur (MWC), a thriving economic zone in the Indian state of Rajasthan, has highlighted the business opportunities available to UK firms looking to expand into India.
Sanjay Srivastava said there are many advantages available to businesses looking to capitalise on growing trade interest in the UK-India corridor. His comments follow the release of impressive year-end results from UK construction equipment manufacturer JCB, which opened two manufacturing facilities at MWC Jaipur in 2014.
The large number of construction projects taking place across India helped the British digger manufacturer achieve double-digit revenue growth last year, according to the firm’s latest accounts.
The Staffordshire-based company saw total revenue rise by nearly 12 per cent in 2016 to £2.62bn (2015: £2.34bn). Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased by more than a third to £287m (2015: £214m), while machine sales increased to 66,011 over the period, up from 59,844 in 2015.
Mr Srivastava hailed JCB’s recent performance and underlined the opportunities available to other British companies looking to expand into the Indian market.
He said: “We are delighted to see Mahindra World City Jaipur serve as an ideal platform for business growth for companies like JCB. MWC Jaipur, with its strategic positioning and access to India’s northern and western markets, and its world-class infrastructure, enables clients to accelerate their business plans.
“MWC Jaipur is already a destination of choice for 70+ companies representing countries such as the US, UK, Brazil, China, Germany and Switzerland, amongst others. The growing trade interest in the UK-India corridor can leverage the multiple advantages of business operations at MWC Jaipur. MNCs looking to expand their manufacturing & services base have a ready reference with the existing presence of UK based clients like JCB and Rexam/Ball Corporation at MWC Jaipur.”
JCB invested more than £60m at its 115-acre site in Jaipur, completing the project in November 2014. It joined the company’s three existing Indian manufacturing facilities in Ballabgarh, near New Delhi, and Pune, south-east of Mumbai. Capable of producing six lines of equipment for export to 80 countries around the world, and employing around 1,000 people, the Jaipur site is JCB’s second-largest plant in the world. The facility is perfectly placed to allow the company to keep pace with future economic growth and strengthen its position in India’s construction equipment sector.
A statement by JCB said last year’s “robust performance” was achieved thanks to the performance of growth markets such as India, despite a 1 per cent contraction in the global construction equipment market.
JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said: “JCB’s strong performance in 2016 was against some economic headwinds which saw the global construction equipment market shrink. Some markets grew, such as India, which rose by almost 40 per cent, while others fell, including Brazil, which was down by more than 40 per cent.”
Established in 2007, MWC Jaipur covers an area of 3,000 acres and is a joint development with Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO). It is one of only 16 projects worldwide selected to take part in the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI). The project aims to achieve a “balance between Livelihood, Living and Life” by offering an investment-friendly climate and a pro-business attitude.
India’s thriving construction industry isn’t the only draw for JCB. In 2016 company chairman Lord Bamford flew to India to celebrate his 70th birthday at the Jagmandir Island Palace, a ‘floating’ hotel situated in the middle of Lake Pichola in Udaipur, south-west of Jaipur. Last week Udaipur was voted one of the world’s top 15 cities for travellers as part of an annual poll by Travel & Leisure magazine.