• Friday, May 20, 2022

Business

Woman representation on the boards of Indian companies in UK more than doubled: report

Photo: iStock

By: Pramod Thomas

A NEW report has revealed that there are 850 Indian companies operating in the UK now, up from 842 in the 2020.

Together they recorded £50.8 billion total turnover, up from £41.2bn in 2020, and employed 116,046 people, an increase from 110,793 last year.

The new research by Grant Thornton UK, in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has said that 47 per cent of these firms have at least one woman on their board, compared with 20 per cent in 2020.

Indian companies in the UK have paid £459.2million in corporation tax, down from £461.8million in 2020.

Indian investors have continued to invest in the UK and they were involved in ten acquisitions (the highest of any single EU country) in 2020, including four in the technology and telecoms industry and two in manufacturing, the report said.

Birlasoft Solutions tops the list of the fastest-growing Indian company, recording 158 per cent revenue growth. Diligenta (owned ultimately by Tata Sons) was the largest company listed, with revenue of £388million and a growth rate of 62 per cent.

While technology and telecoms continues dominate in the fastest growing space, the proportion of pharmaceuticals and chemicals companies increased significantly this year, up to 27 per cent of the total from 15 per cent in last year’s report.

London remains preferred location for fastest-growing companies, and the South is found to be growing in popularity, the report revealed.

Anuj Chande, head of South Asia Business Group, Grant Thornton UK LLP, said: “Despite the challenges of the past year and, as Britain aims to increase trading and investment links around the world post Brexit, the long-standing ties between Britain and India only look set to deepen.

“As the UK government looks to supercharge the economic partnership to support growth, jobs and prosperity, and India continues its journey to becoming one of the world’s largest economies, the ‘living bridge’ between the two countries, formed by more than 1.5 million Indian diaspora living in the UK, will be more important than ever.

“India is also likely to benefit from the major modifications made to the UK’s immigration policy, with the new point-based system for visas for skilled workers likely to benefit India significantly due to the creation of a more level playing field.”

While commenting on the report, minister for investment Gerry Grimstone has said that deeper trading ties with India will ensure more fast-growing companies like Birlasoft and Diligenta will have the opportunity to bring jobs and growth to the UK, as we build back better, and stronger, from Covid-19.

“Trade and investment flows between India and the UK have remained on a positive trajectory despite the pandemic. Our governments are committed to remove trade barriers and encouraging collaborations in innovation and technology development particularly in sectors where our nations have complementary capabilities,” said Gaitri Issar Kumar, high commissioner of India to the UK.

Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, CII, said: “As discussions around the India and UK Enhanced Trade Partnership agreement continue, and as nations continue to battle the pandemic, CII and its members have worked towards facilitating an economic recovery path which has been invaluable and it is therefore highly encouraging to see the role our Indian industry has played here in the UK.”

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