THE NUMBER of Indian-owned companies operating in the UK grew in the past year, up from 850 to 900, with a corresponding hike in revenues and job creation figures, according to the latest research released in London.
The 2022 India Meets Britain Tracker, launched on Thursday (5), revealed these companies employed 141,005 people, up from 116,046 in 2021, and had combined revenues of £54.4 billion, also up from £50.8 bn last year.
“India is a very special place, and its growth has been nothing short of remarkable,” said Lord Gerry Grimstone, minister for investment in the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT)
“This growing, confident, outward-looking India has benefited the world and certainly benefited the UK. Our relationship is defined by our people, our mutual investment and mutual trade. In the last five years, Indian investment into the UK has more than quadrupled and we calculate that it supports almost half a million jobs on our shores,” he said, pointing to the ongoing India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiation as the “biggest deal yet to come”.
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, is now in its ninth edition.
“The pandemic has created uniquely challenging economic circumstances over the past two years. Despite this, Indian businesses in the UK have succeeded in expanding their combined turnover and increasing the number of jobs they support,” said Gaitri Issar Kumar, Indian High Commissioner to the UK.
The Tracker also identifies the fastest growing Indian companies in Britain, measured by those with a turnover of more than £5 million, year-on-year revenue growth of at least 10 per cent and a minimum two-year track record in the UK.
For 2022, 37 companies met the qualifying criteria, achieving an average growth rate of over 38 per cent. The fastest growth among these was registered by MSSL (GB) Ltd, part of the Motherson Sumi group, which bagged the Tracker Award of the year for its 248 per cent growth. The other companies to bag the awards for their fast growth included tech firm Prodapt (UK) Ltd, which grew 114 per cent, and Route Mobile (UK) Ltd with 98 per cent.
“Despite ongoing challenges faced by all companies over the past 12 months, our latest research finds that the number of Indian companies operating in the UK has increased and that many continue to grow at a rapid rate, with some recording triple-digit growth,” said Anuj Chande, partner and head of South Asia Business Group, Grant Thornton UK.
The majority of the fastest-growing companies included in the 2022 Tracker are based in London (46 per cent), continuing the trend seen in recent years. For the ninth year in a row, technology and telecoms companies dominate the Tracker, accounting for 35 per cent of those who qualified for inclusion this year. This is followed by the pharmaceuticals and chemicals sector (27 per cent) and engineering and manufacturing (14 per cent)
“While London continues to dominate as the location of choice, for the first time, more of the fastest-growing companies are also starting to be located outside of the city, highlighting the appeal the whole of the UK holds to overseas investors,” said Chande, noting that the year ahead provides more opportunities for businesses to grow.
“A free trade agreement, once concluded, would confirm the two nations as true partners. It paves the way for an enduring economic relationship that benefits the people of both countries and brings exciting opportunities for businesses in India and the UK for many years to come,” he added.
To compile the ‘India meets Britain Tracker 2022′, Grant Thornton said it analysed data from 900 UK-incorporated limited companies that are owned directly or indirectly, or controlled, by either an Indian-incorporated parent or an Indian citizen resident outside the UK.
“The relationship between the UK and India continues to grow and it is encouraging to see that the number of Indian-owned companies operating in the UK has continued to grow since the last research, despite the disruption faced by the pandemic,” said CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee.
“Following the UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s recent visit to India, the two countries can now focus on deepening their relationship further for the future, with the start of negotiations on a free trade agreement signalling long-term intent,” he said.