UK’s investment in India continues to expand, to touch new high post-Covid: Report

at 1:08 pm
Nirav Modi

New Delhi (NVI): India and the United Kingdom’s bilateral relations will touch a new high in the post-COVID world, as companies from Britain continue to invest and expand in India, the Grant Thornton Bharat Britain Meets India report said.

According to the report, India is likely to be a priority country for the UK, especially post Brexit, leading to an enhanced economic partnership between the two countries.

The report was prepared in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and with the support of the UK’s Department of International Trade, which observes the latest trends on the UK investments in India.

The partnership between India and UK can be measured with the developments on the investment front where FDI inflow from the UK to India for a particular year increased from USD 898 million in 2015-16 to USD 1,422 million in 2019-20.

This report includes UK-owned corporates with operations headquartered or with a significant base in India which continues to grow, invest and expand.

As per the report, around 572 companies incorporated in India that are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly from the UK, with turnover of more than Rs 500 million, year-on-year revenue growth of at least 10 per cent and a minimum two-year track record of filing with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in India.

As the UK leaves the European Union and inches closer to its discussion on the Enhanced Trade Partnership with India, the launch of this report therefore will be a strong marker of the India-UK economic relationship.

It will also be an opportunity to highlight the role of British investments in India and attract future investors to make India as a choice of business destination.

High Commissioner of India to UK, Gaitri Issar Kumar said, “The insights from this report will highlight successful collaborations, key complementarities as well as areas of potential. This will give confidence to future UK investors who are looking for a secure footing as they partner with India. The governments of both India and the UK are committed to an enhanced trade partnership. We are developing a roadmap to a free trade agreement with an ambitious target of 100 billion pounds by 2030.”

“Our research identified 572 UK companies in India with a combined turnover of around INR 3,390 billion, tax payment of around INR 173 billion and employing 416,121 people directly. This reflects the important contribution made by the UK companies to the Indian economy as a key ally in India’s growth story,” Pallavi Joshi Bakhru, Partner and India-UK Corridor Leader, Grant Thornton Bharat LLP said.

The report also highlighted that industrial and business services are top sectors being eyed by the UK companies. In the leading investment destination, Maharashtra tops followed by Haryana, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka.

Meanwhile, the list of ‘fastest growing UK companies in India’ includes Dyson Technology, Aviva Life Insurance, Diageo Business Services, RMD Kwikform and FMC Technologies, among others.

On the other hand, the list of ‘top 20 UK companies by revenue’ includes Vedanta, Vodafone, Hindustan Unilever, United Spirits India, etc. Also, G4S Group, Vedanta Resources and HSBC Holdings feature in top UK employers in India

Apart from this, the report informed that the strength of the India-UK trade and investment partnership has only increased in the post-COVID world through continued collaboration.

India ensured that key supply chains of pharmaceutical products and surgical masks were maintained for the UK and other countries as the two sides collaborated relentlessly in vaccine research, design, and manufacturing, the report said.

“I am delighted that with the launch of this report, we now have a quantitative measurement of the economic contribution of UK companies to India. Together with our India meets Britain tracker report which is in its 7th year, we have a comprehensive picture of the bilateral investment footprint,” Anuj Chande, head of the South Asia Group at Grant Thornton UK LLP said.

The report was launched virtually by India’s High Commissioner to UK, Gaitri Issar Kumar, UK’s High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis, Joint Secretary (Western Europe) in Ministry of External Affairs, Sandeep Chakravorty, CII Vice President Sanjiv Bajaj, Grant Thornton Bhara CEO Vishesh C. Chandiok, CEO, and CBI President, Lord Karan Bilimoria, in the presence of over 300 dignitaries, industry and government representatives from both countries.