• Saturday, June 22, 2024


635 UK companies employ over 660,000 in India: Report

India-UK FTA will benefit the large and mid-market companies by removing tariffs and reducing barriers to trade, the report said.

Narendra Modi with Rishi Sunak during the G20 Leaders’ Summit on September 9, 2023 in New Delhi, Delhi. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

THERE are 635 UK companies operating in India with a combined turnover of approximately £51 billion and employing around 666,992 people, according to the 2023 edition of ‘Britain Meets India’ (BMI) report.

The third edition of the report, launched by Grant Thornton Bharat in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and supported by the UK government’s Department for Business and Trade (DBT), has revealed that the number of companies has increased to 635 this year from 618 firms with a turnover of £36bn in 2022.

The largest UK company in India by revenue is Vedanta Ltd with a turnover of more than £14bn. The top UK employer is G4S with around 1,35,000 employees.

The report comes as the 13th round of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations are ongoing between India and the UK, expected to significantly boost the bilateral trade partnership estimated at around £36bn in 2022.

Technology is the most dominant sector for these firms in 2023 as against business services last year.

Of the 635 UK companies, 68 per cent are classed as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and 60 per cent have their parent firm headquartered in London.

The report also pointed out increasing investment from companies in the south of England (20 per cent), north of England (8 per cent), and Midlands (7 per cent). The remainder are based in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

As many as 147 companies in the report met the qualifying criteria to feature in the ‘BMI Growth Tracker’, with an average growth rate of 46 per cent.

According to the report, 83 per cent of Growth Tracker companies in India are located in Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, and Karnataka.

“It’s fantastic to see even more UK companies thriving in India this year, generating thousands of jobs and delivering significant growth for both our countries,” said UK minister for international trade Nigel Huddleston, in a message for the report launch.

“By unlocking barriers to trade and making it easier to sell abroad, we are generating even more opportunities for British businesses in India – which is expected to become the third largest economy by 2035 – and around the world.”

The report revealed that in 2023, 11 UK companies achieved triple-digit turnover growth rates and business services (22 per cent) and industrial products (19 per cent) emerged as the leading sectors among the fastest-growing companies in the growth tracker.

A survey of 608 mid-sized businesses in the UK revealed that two-thirds already had a business presence established in India. Of these, 94 per cent have plans to further expand their presence, with the majority citing plans to do so within the next two years.

“With the India-UK FTA having the potential to further strengthen the bilateral partnership and boost economic prosperity on both sides, the BMI report offers clean insights into the business camaraderie that exists between the two nations,” said Pallavi Joshi Bakhru, Partner and India-UK corridor leader at Grant Thornton Bharat.

Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, said, “With more than 900 Indian businesses operating in the UK and more than 600 UK businesses finding success in India, our dynamic business relationship supports more than half a million jobs across both countries.

“India’s middle class is expected to double from 30 million people in 2019 to 60 million people in 2030, before reaching nearly 250 million in 2050; this group will drive India’s consumer spending in healthcare, education and premium products, creating enormous opportunities for UK firms selling high quality, iconic brands and products.”

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