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. As many as 147 companies in the report met the qualifying criteria to feature in the 'BMI Growth Tracker', with a combined turnover of Rs 3,923.9 billion and achieving an average growth rate of 46 per cent.
There are 635 companies incorporated in India that are owned or controlled from the UK with a combined turnover of approximately Rs 4,88,840 crores and employing around 666,992 people, according to the 2023 edition of 'Britain Meets India' (BMI) report. The third edition of the annual report, collated 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), was launched in New Delhi on Sunday.
It 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 GBP 36 billion in 2022.
"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," he said.
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.
As many as 147 companies in the report met the qualifying criteria to feature in the 'BMI Growth Tracker', with a combined turnover of Rs 3,923.9 billion and achieving an average growth rate of 46 per cent.
"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, who was among those present at the launch in New Delhi.
"The sectoral analysis of 635 UK companies found that technology is the most dominant sector this year. India is a leading hub for GCCs [Global Capability Centres] for large UK retail giants due to its reputation for innovation, and a large and skilled workforce of coders, engineers, and software developers. The government has improved infrastructure and made it easier to do business in India, further boosting the country's appeal as a GCC hub," she said.
Others at the launch event at the British High Commissioner's residence included Christina Scott, Deputy British High Commissioner to India, Deepak Shetty, Chairman of the CII Infrastructure Council, and Vishesh C Chandiok, CEO, Grant Thornton Bharat, along with industry leaders and government representatives from both nations.
"Our dynamic business relationship supports more than half a million jobs across both countries. UK companies are also increasingly turning to India to sell their high-quality goods and services. India's middle class is expected to reach 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," said Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, in a statement.
The report finds 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.
"The 2023 edition of the report confirms that the UK-India economic partnership has only strengthened in the last few years. This has manifested in the trade and investment flows; and this growth highlights the significant potential of the India-UK relationship, especially in sectors like defence, infrastructure, climate and clean energy, particularly hydrogen; along with health, technology and innovation," said Deepak Shetty, CEO and Managing Director of JCB India.
"An FTA would certainly provide a fillip to this already strong bond, and CII looks forward to the early completion of the negotiations. CII also welcomes initiatives to boost collaboration in fields such as science and innovation and ease professional and student mobility," he added.
The 'Britain Meets India' report is the Indian counterpart to the 'India Meets Britain' tracker report, released in London annually to identify the fastest-growing Indian businesses operating in the UK.
This press release first appeared in The Economic Times on 09 October 2023.