Brexit uncertainty has not dampened the appetite of Indian businesses investing in the UK. As per the latest annual India meets Britain Tracker published by Grant Thornton UK LLP in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), there is a significant increase in the contribution of Indian companies to the UK economy over the last year and technology and telecom companies continue to dominate the index for the fastest growing Indian companies in the UK.

India meets Britain Tracker provides an overview of the complete landscape of Indian investment into the UK. It also provides a tracker of the fastest growing companies, as measured by those with turnover of more than £5 million, year-on-year revenue growth of at least 10% and a minimum two-year track-record in the UK. 

The 2019 report was launched in India last week during events hosted by the UK government’s Department for International Trade in association with Grant Thornton UK LLP, Grant Thornton in India and CII in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi. The report was initially launched earlier this year in London by the UK Minister for Investment and the Indian High Commissioner to the UK. The events saw attendance from both existing and prospective Indian investors in the UK. 

There are now a record 842 Indian companies operating in the UK, up from c. 800 in the previous year, with combined revenues of almost £48 billion (£46.4 billion in 2018 report). Indian companies paid a combined total of over £684 million in corporation tax, which is almost double the amount recorded in last year’s report (£360 million), and employed 104,783 people (104,932 in 2018 report).

Anuj Chande, Partner and Head of South Asia Group at Grant Thornton UK LLP, commented:

“Given the continuing uncertainty driven by the UK’s exit from the EU, it is encouraging to see that Indian investors continue to invest confidently in the UK and in fact, there are now more Indian businesses active in the UK than ever before.” 

Vishesh C Chandiok, CEO, Grant Thornton India LLP, said:

“There are 842 Indian companies in the UK employing nearly 105,000 people, making India the second-largest international job creator in the UK. With Modi 2.0 and a new regime in the UK, there is greater hope that the relationship between the two economies will scale new heights.”

Lakshmi Kaul, Head & Representative – UK, CII, added:

“The UK remains a highly attractive destination for Indian investors. A record number of Indian companies are now based in the UK, employing nearly 105,000 people, as the country provides an excellent environment for long-term business. The report findings demonstrate hope and reassurance to Indian companies investing into UK especially amidst uncertainty surrounding Brexit.”

Crispin Simon, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for South Asia and British Deputy High Commissioner for Mumbai & West India, said: 

“The UK and India have a strong fundamental trade and investment relationship. UK-India trade continues to increase, over the last three years, between 2015-2018, total trade between the UK and India has increased by 27%, to £20.5bn. The quadrupling of Indian-parent companies in the UK over the past 4 years, tells me that we are doing something right to attract and retain investors and we hope to continue to do so. It was a privilege to launch “India Meets Britain Tracker 2019” in India that highlights United Kingdom’s complementary strengths to propel India’s economic growth and transition towards a more services orientated economy: not just as a partner of choice, but the partner of choice.” 

British Deputy High Commissioner in Bengaluru, Dominic McAllister, said:

“We are determined that the UK will be the best place in the world to grow your business. The UK Government is committed to facilitating the closest possible relationships between business leaders in both our countries – including supporting pioneers in innovation. The UK and India can do great business and achieve real change. Both governments are committed to taking this further by building on the technology partnership; leveraging finance; and sharing skills and expertise.”

British Deputy High Commissioner in Hyderabad, Dr. Andrew Fleming, said:

“I have just returned from the UK where I was struck by the number and diversity of opportunities for Indian companies wanting to establish a presence there. Year on year, we see the number of companies from AP and Telangana making this move increase and succeed. I am determined we will use the UK-India Tech Partnership to accelerate this trajectory, a win-win for all of us.”

This year’s tracker includes 62 companies that recorded an average growth rate of 37%. The total combined revenue of these companies reached over £12 billion last year.

Three companies in this year’s Tracker reported growth of more than 100%. The fastest growing of these is TMT Metal Holdings Limited, with a growth rate of 649%. This was followed by Route Mobile (UK) Limited, which reported growth of 189%, and BB (UK) Ltd, which achieved turnover growth of almost 129%.

Indian technology and telecoms companies continue to dominate the Tracker as they have done since its launch in 2014, this year, they account for 35% of the fastest-growing companies. Engineering and manufacturing companies are the next in line, accounting for 16% of the 2019 Tracker. This is followed by pharmaceutical and chemicals companies, which account for 15%, continuing historically strong representation.