The UK is the 6th largest investor in India. Anuj Chande highlights the key findings from Grant Thornton Bharat's new report on UK companies investing in India, 'Britain meets India.'

New report: 'Britain meets India' 

Since the 1990s we have worked closely with Grant Thornton Bharat to identify growth and expansion opportunities for companies in the UK-India economic corridor. For 2021 Grant Thornton Bharat has collaborated with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to report on growing UK trade and investment in India. The project was also supported by the UK government's Department for International Trade (DIT) and complements our own 'India meets Britain' report, also produced in collaboration with CII.

The significance of this new report is clear from the extensive commercial and diplomatic interest in its launch. The first edition of 'Britain meets India' was released in the presence of over 300 dignitaries and business leaders from both countries, including the respective High Commissioners of India and the UK, and the President of Confederation of British Industries, Karan Bilimoria, Baron of Bilimoria.

UK companies investing in India

There is ample scope for comment on UK trade and investment in India. For 2019-2020, the report identifies 572 UK companies in India, directly employing 416,121 people. These companies had a combined turnover of around INR 3,390 billion that yielded tax payments of around INR 173 billion. The report also provides an insight into these UK companies' geographic and sector preferences, and the impact they have on the Indian economy.

It is very encouraging to see that the events of 2020 only strengthened the India-UK trade and investment partnership, notably in vaccine research and manufacturing.

The cumulative inflow (2000–2020) to India from the UK is estimated at USD 29.5 billion, which represents about 6% of the total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India. In recent years India has undertaken bold economic reforms in many areas. These reforms have catapulted it into a higher position in the ease of doing business rankings: from 77 in 2018 to 63 in 2019. These reforms have enhanced India’s attractiveness as an investment destination.

  • 91 companies, with an average growth rate of 26%, feature in the 2021 list of fastest growing UK companies in India
  • Fastest growing company is Dyson Technologies, followed by Aviva Life Insurance Company
  • Highest revenue earner is Vedanta Ltd, while the top employer is G4S Plc
  • USD 26.7 billion: India’s trade in goods and services with the UK in 2020
  • INR 173 billion: Total tax paid by UK companies in India in 2019-20
  • 416,121 people directly employed by UK companies

The outlook for UK trade and investment in India

We have been working closely with Grant Thornton Bharat in the UK-India economic corridor for nearly three decades to identify growth and expansion opportunities for companies in both countries.

It is clear that in the future there are, post-Brexit, new opportunities for increased interaction between India and the UK to strengthen their trade and economic partnership. Thus, the UK-India economic corridor has an important role to play in ensuring that businesses in both countries get the support they need to increase their commercial footprint.

After identifying India as a priority country for trade and investment, the UK has developed a new strategy for partnership that also encompasses health and climate, as well as defence and security. Both countries also plan to develop their digital economies. In the future they will focus on removing trade barriers between their countries, creating jobs and encouraging innovation. The success of this economic partnership will continue to enhance India's position as an attractive investment destination.

Look out for: 'India meets Britain'

You can also find out more about Indian investment in the UK by looking out for our own annual ‘India Meets Britain’ tracker.

The eighth edition of this report, which will launch in April 2021, identifies the fastest growing Indian companies in the UK, and the top Indian employers in the UK.

To find out more about the outlook for UK trade and investment in India, and specific UK companies investing in India download Britain meets India


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