Indian companies boost post-Brexit growth in 2016 in UK: Report

PTI| Last Updated: Apr 26, 2017, 16:49 PM IST

As many as 800 Indian companies in the UK have generated 47.5 billion pounds in combined revenues last year and contributed significantly to post-Brexit Britain's economic growth, according to a new report.

The 'India meets Britain Tracker 2017', released annually by professional services major Grant Thornton in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), have found that Indian companies employ around 110,000 employees in the UK and last year it had a combined capital expenditure of 4.25 billion pounds.

"With around 800 Indian companies now operating in the UK, it is clear the UK remains a highly attractive destination for Indian investors. The Modi government's pro- business agenda is creating the right environment for Indian businesses to pursue and realise growth at home and overseas," said Anuj Chande, Head of South Asia Group at Grant Thornton UK LLP.

With continued political stability and leadership on its reform programme, India is poised for significant economic growth and prosperity, Chande said.

"Whilst it is still too early to predict what impact Brexit will have on the UK's attractiveness as an investment destination for Indian companies, the many advantages the UK can offer are not set to disappear," he said.

The UK government is also clearly keen to strengthen the UK's ties with India and since the Brexit vote, a number of UK political representatives, including Prime Minister Theresa May, have made various visits to India with the hope that Brexit will open up a new free trade deal between the two countries, Chande said.

The Tracker highlights 55 of the fastest-growing Indian companies in the UK, as well as the top Indian employers, and provides insight into the evolving scale, business activities, locations and performance of the Indian-owned companies making the biggest impact in the UK.

To be included in the Tracker, now in its fourth year, Indian corporates must have a minimum two-year track record in the UK, turnover of more than 5 million pounds and year-on-year revenue growth of at least 10 percent, based on the latest published accounts filed as at February 28, 2017.

Datamatics Infotech Limited topped this year's list with a growth rate of 103 percent, while overall companies from the technology and telecoms, and pharmaceuticals and chemicals sectors made up 31 percent and 24 percent of the list respectively.

These are the two key sectors where Indian businesses are continuing to find growth opportunities by diversifying into new spheres of activity, the report found.

The business services sector entered the top three for the first time with 11 percent, up from 6 percent in 2016 and just 3 percent in 2015.

Shuchita Sonalika, Director and Head of CII UK, said: "The report shows that Indian companies continue to strengthen their economic impact in the UK. While IT and telecom sector retains the largest composition, we are seeing greater influence of pharmaceuticals, business services, financial services, engineering, and energy sectors." "The report identifies 4.25 billion pounds of new investment last year by the Indian companies, and further jobs being created as part of their continued investment programmes. Given that the report only tracks companies set up as subsidiaries, not branches, we believe the employment numbers are even higher than 110,000,0," Sonalika said.

Among the other Indian firms listed in the Tracker include Ksk Power Ventur Plc, ranked second with a 90 percent growth rate, and Bharti Airtel (UK) Ltd, ranked third with 84 percent growth.

Of the 55 that made the fastest-growing list, 23 are new entrants while 32 featured in last year's list.

Just under half the companies included in this year's tracker recorded a 25 percent growth rate or above.

Chande, however, cautioned that while the 2017 Tracker shows a continuing expansion of Indian companies' footprint in the UK, the UK must not take their presence for granted.

"In the years ahead, as the Indian economy develops to become one of the largest and most powerful in the world, the opportunities to boost investment into the UK will grow," Chnade said.

To realise these opportunities the UK must ensure that, as it attends to its relationship with the wider world post-Brexit, it protects and promotes the factors that make it such an attractive destination for Indian investment. The UK and India have much to offer each other and both the countries should commit to re-forging their historic relationship for a prosperous future, he said.

London continues to strengthen its dominance as the leading destination for Indian investment in the UK.

Of the fastest-growing Indian companies, 44 percent are now based in the British capital, up from 39 percent last year and 25 percent in 2015.