Indian businesses expand footprint in Britain

Indian businesses expand footprint in Britain
Indian High Commissioner to the UK Gaitri Issar Kumar at the 2022 'India Meets Britain Tracker' launch in London

The number of Indian companies operating in the UK is on the rise, resulting in greater job creation and revenues, despite a tough economic climate, finds latest research released in London this week.

The 2022 ‘India Meets Britain Tracker’, collated annually by professional services major Grant Thornton and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to weigh up the contribution of Indian businesses to the UK economy, finds there are now 900 Indian companies operating in Britain – up from 850 in the 2021 Tracker. They reported combined revenues of £54.4 billion, up from £50.8 billion last year, and employed 141,005 people, up from 116,046 in 2021.

“The growth in the number of Indian-owned companies in the UK, identified by this research, is remarkable and reflects the increasing appetite and appeal for Indian businesses to invest and set up operations in the UK,” said Gaitri Issar Kumar, Indian High Commissioner to the UK.

“The pandemic has created uniquely challenging economic circumstances over the past two years. Despite this, Indian businesses in the UK have succeeded in expanding their combined turnover and increasing the number of jobs they support,” she said.

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The Tracker, now in its ninth year, also identifies the fastest growing Indian companies in the UK, measured by those with a turnover of more than £5 million, year-on-year revenue growth of at least 10 per cent and a minimum two-year track record in the UK. This year, 37 companies met the qualifying criteria, achieving an average growth rate of over 38 per cent, and the top three fastest growing companies in terms of year-on-year revenue growth were: MSSL (GB) Ltd (248 per cent), Prodapt (UK) Ltd (114 per cent) and Route Mobile (UK) Ltd (98 per cent).

“The difficult economic conditions of the past year have clearly favoured companies with a track record of fast growth, with almost all the businesses on this year’s list having featured in previous years,” said Anuj Chande, Partner and Head of South Asia Business Group, Grant Thornton UK.

“Despite ongoing challenges faced by all companies over the past 12 months, our latest research finds that the number of Indian companies operating in the UK has increased and that many continue to grow at a rapid rate, with some recording triple digit growth,” he said.

The majority of the fastest growing companies included in the 2022 Tracker are based in London (46 per cent), continuing the trend seen in recent years. For the ninth year in a row, technology and telecoms companies dominate the Tracker, accounting for 35 per cent of those who qualified for inclusion this year. This is followed by the pharmaceuticals and chemicals sector (27 per cent) and engineering and manufacturing (14 per cent).

“While London continues to dominate as the location of choice, for the first time, more of the fastest-growing companies are also starting to be located outside of the city, highlighting the appeal the whole of the UK holds to overseas investors,” said Chande.

He noted that the year ahead provides many opportunities for India and the UK to continue to develop their close and mutually beneficial relationship, with negotiations on an FTA having the potential to bring the two countries closer than ever.

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“A free trade agreement (FTA), once concluded, would confirm the two nations as true partners. It paves the way for an enduring economic relationship that benefits the people of both countries and brings exciting opportunities for businesses in India and the UK for many years to come,” he said.

Chandrajit Banerjee, CII Director General, added: “The relationship between the UK and India continues to grow and it is encouraging to see that the number of Indian-owned companies operating in the UK has continued to grow since the last research, despite the disruption faced by the pandemic.

“Following the UK Prime Minister’s recent visit to India, the two countries can now focus on deepening their relationship further for the future, with the start of negotiations on a free trade agreement signalling long-term intent.”

To compile the ‘India meets Britain Tracker 2022’, Grant Thornton analysed data from 900 UK-incorporated limited companies that are owned directly or indirectly, or controlled, by either an Indian-incorporated parent or an Indian citizen resident outside the UK.

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