Indian businesses operating in the UK are becoming increasingly important to the long-term growth of Britain’s economy, according to the findings of a new report.
Data compiled for the India meets Britain Tracker 2018, published by Grant Thornton in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), found that despite uncertainty over the outcome of Brexit negotiations, the UK’s 800 Indian businesses had a combined turnover of £46.4bn and employed more than 100,000 people.
In a bid to track the latest trends on Indian investment in the UK, the report’s authors looked at businesses with an annual revenue growth of 10% or more. They found the 87 fastest growing companies achieved an average annual growth rate of 44%, with seven firms seeing turnover growth of more than 100%.
The number of qualifying companies increased by almost 60 per cent year-on-year, up from 55 in 2017. Of the 87 that made the list, 22 featured in last year’s list, with one-third of the total number recording a growth rate of over 50 per cent.
Inward investment was supported by a 20 per cent fall in the value of the pound against the rupee following the Brexit vote in June 2016. The report found investment by Indian companies in the UK had increased, with capital expenditure rising from £4.25bn in 2017 to £4.69bn this year.
Once again, companies involved in the technology and telecoms, and pharmaceutics and chemicals sectors featured strongly, as did those involved in engineering and manufacturing.
The latest report was jointly launched by Mark Byers of Grant Thornton and India’s High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Y.K. Sinha, who said prime minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the UK of had given “a new focus to the UK India relationship”.
Anuj Chande, head of South Asia Group at Grant Thornton, said: “Indian companies are going from strength-to-strength in the UK. A key factor of their success is that they have established themselves in growing markets where they have the relevant expertise.
“The report clearly shows that the UK remains a highly attractive destination for Indian investors. Following the Brexit vote, the UK economy is in a period of flux as it looks at how to reinvigorate its role as a global trading nation and seeks to forge new trade deals.”
Chande highlighted the need for Britain to “showcase its expertise in design, engineering, technology and financial services” in order to safeguard continued investment into the economy.
He added: “Pivotal to this is maintaining key areas such as the unique residency/domicile taxation principles for Indians here for limited periods, and also creating a visa regime that enables students and professionals to bring their skills to the UK.
“The recent announcement of the new UK-India Tech partnership, created to identify and pair businesses, venture capital, universities and others to provide access routes to markets for British and Indian entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises is hopefully a nod to a future relationship that is stronger and more substantial than ever.”
Shuchita Sonalika, director and head of CII UK, added: “At a time where the UK is forging a future outside of the EU it will be looking to strengthen its ties with long-standing partners like India. The Indian economy is forecast to grow substantially and what the UK must focus on is both creating new and maintaining existing investment opportunities as it competes for India’s investment on a global platform.”