Indian companies making important contribution to UK economy, says Grant Thornton report

Grant Thornton, in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has published an annual report on Indian businesses operating in the UK. The report, India meets Britain Tracker 2017: The latest trends on Indian investment in the UK, shows that Indian companies are continuing to make important contributions to the UK economy.

Indian companies show continued growth

The report showed that in 2016, approximately 800 Indian companies were operating in the UK, with recorded combined revenues of £47.5bn. The 55 fastest growing companies achieved an average annual growth rate of 31%, with Datamatics Infotech Limited topping the list with a growth rate of 103%.

In congruence with previous years, companies from the technology and telecoms, and pharmaceuticals and chemicals sectors are most prominent, making up 31% and 24% of the list respectively. A new addition to the top three sectors is the business services sector, making up 11% of the list (compared with 6% in 2016).

The report showed that these Indian companies employ almost 110,000 individuals in the UK, and last year had a combined capital expenditure of £4.25bn. Shuchita Sonalika, director and head of CII UK, added: “The report identifies £4.25bn of new investment last year by the Indian companies, and further jobs being created as part of their continued investment programmes. Given that the report only tracks companies set up as subsidiaries, not branches, we believe the employment numbers are even higher than 110,000.”

London continues to be at the hub of Indian investment in the UK, with 44% of the fastest-growing companies being based in the capital.

Impact of Brexit on Indian investment

Anuj Chande, head of South Asia Group at Grant Thornton stressed the importance of maintaining this relationship post-Brexit: “Whilst it is still too early to predict what impact Brexit will have on the UK’s attractiveness as an investment destination for Indian companies, the many advantages the UK can offer are not set to disappear. The UK government is also clearly keen to strengthen the UK’s ties with India and since the Brexit vote, a number of UK political representatives, including the prime minister, have made various visits to India with the hope that Brexit will open up a new free trade deal between the two countries.”

“This year’s Tracker shows a continuing expansion of Indian companies’ footprint in the UK. Yet the UK must not take the presence of Indian companies for granted. In the years ahead, as the Indian economy develops to become one of the largest and most powerful in the world, the opportunities to boost investment into the UK will grow.”

“To realise these opportunities the UK must ensure that, as it attends to its relationship with the wider world post Brexit, it protects and promotes the factors that make it such an attractive destination for Indian investment. The UK and India have much to offer each other and both countries should commit to re-forging their historic relationship for a prosperous future.”

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