The bilateral trade between India and the UK has more than doubled from £16.4bn in 2013 to £35.9bn in 2022
By: Pramod Thomas
THE number of Indian-owned companies operating in the UK has reached an all-time high of 954 this year, according to the ‘India Meets Britain Tracker 2023.
The analysis, released on Thursday (11), revealed that the combined turnover of these companies has more than doubled since 2014, growing from £19 billion to £50.5bn in 2023.
“We all agree that now we are on the cusp of something sensational and as a British government minister, I want to be a part of that,” said Lord Dominic Johnson, minister for investment in the Department for Business and Trade (DBT).
“I want these two free democracies – India and the UK – who believe in the values of liberty and human endeavour to come together to truly, by our common partnership, create a stronger set of economies as one.”
The Tracker, released annually by professional services firm Grant Thornton and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to analyse the contribution of Indian businesses to the UK economy, marks its 10th edition this year.
The three fastest growing companies in this year’s research by year-on-year revenue growth were, LT Foods International Ltd (807 per cent), Taj Hotel (491 per cent) and Reliance Big Entertainment (UK) Private Ltd (364 per cent).
“Nobody seems to know that Indian companies are here in such numbers… I think we can do better with this. There is an opportunity for us to find verticals in which we can connect the two economies for joint opportunities in which Indian businesses come here to leverage opportunities and take finished products back into the Indian economy,” said Indian high commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami.
Doraiswami also called on UK companies to leverage opportunities on offer in smaller Indian cities and rural areas with a “considerable upsurge in demand”.
With the ninth round of negotiations on an India-UK free trade agreement (FTA) now complete, the latest research found that the number of Indian-owned companies operating in the UK remained at its highest level over the past 12 months despite businesses and economies worldwide still feeling the impact of the pandemic.
“The significant Indian diaspora here is also believed to have encouraged more Indian companies to look at the UK as their natural home,” said Anuj Chande, head of South Asia Business Group, Grant Thornton UK LLP.
The average annual revenue growth rate among the Tracker companies also almost doubled compared to last year (38 per cent) to hit a record high of 71 per cent.
While London remains the preferred location in the UK – with 35 of the 79 companies in this year’s Tracker headquartered in the UK capital.
Many Indian-owned companies are starting to look beyond London for growth opportunities and those located outside of the capital now account for more than 50 per cent of the total.
The north of the UK is the most popular region outside of London, with 20 per cent of all Tracker companies located there. This year, for the first time, the Tracker also includes a company headquartered in Northern Ireland.