Britain Meets India: Latest Trends in UK Investment in India

11 Oct 2022

With major reforms undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in enabling ease of doing business in India, the country continues to enhance its attractiveness as an investment destination. In the past year, India and the UK embarked on a mission to strengthen their bonds starting with the collaboration in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the health crisis and other global headwinds, India continued to be a key investment destination for the UK. This is only expected to be strengthened further post Brexit, with the enhanced partnership including the India-UK FTA, which is currently under discussion. 

The Britain Meets India (BMI) report 2022, in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and supported by the UK’s Department of International Trade (DIT), identifies the fastest growing UK companies in India and those that contribute significantly to the country’s economy through employment generation. The report and India Meets Britain tracker are an endeavour to highlight the companies that are making a significant impact in this important corridor. 

The research has identified 618 UK companies in India, with a combined turnover of approximately INR  3,634.9 billion, and around 4,66,640 employees. 58 companies met the qualifying criterion and feature in the 2022 Growth Tracker, achieving an average growth rate of 36.3%. 22 companies from the 2021 Growth Tracker feature in the 2022 list. 

As per the report, the fastest growing UK company in India is Ayana Renewable Power Ltd., followed by Johnson Matthey Chemicals India Pvt Ltd – both registering a growth rate of over 100%. The top UK employer is G4S with more than 1,35,000 employees. Vedanta Ltd continues to be the highest revenue earning subsidiary of a UK company in India.

Additional benchmarks include annual turnover of more than INR 500 million, year-on-year (y-o-y) revenue growth of at least 10% and a minimum two-year track record of filing with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in India. The data is based on the latest published accounts filed on 31 March 2021. This report highlights the top UK companies in India by revenue, growth and employment generated. It also captures the geographical dispersion of these companies in India along with their sectoral classification.

Global Context

New policies to strengthen ties 

In 2020, India announced the new National Education Policy, which allows leading global universities to operate in the country. The UK, as a hub for many renowned universities, and a top destination for Indian students can certainly see this as a favourable development. To strengthen this further, the UK and India have signed a Migration and Mobility Partnership. 

This partnership also includes a Young Professional’s scheme that will make it easier for young Indian and British professionals to work and live in each other’s countries for two years. This is in addition to the new post-study graduate route that allows students to gain work experience in the UK for a stipulated period after completion of their studies.

Focus on sustainability

At the COP26 World Leader’s Summit in 2021, PM Modi made commitments to meet half of India’s energy needs through renewables and announced a 2070 net zero target. India and the UK can be ideal partners in this process through joint innovation and partnership in smart power, energy efficiency, offshore wind and electric mobility. The UK is also a part of the International Solar Alliance, led by India, to mobilise USD 1 trillion of solar investments by 2030.

75 years of bilateral relations 

The year 2022 marks 75 years of bilateral relations between the two countries, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of Indian independence. Even before India’s independence, UK companies, such as Britannia, Unilever, Oxford University Press, HSBC, Amalgamated Metal Corporation, British American Tobacco and GlaxoSmithKline, had made India their home and are household names even today. The foundation for further inward investment in India from the UK is likely to be strengthened by the announcements and the recent developments in the India-UK corridor. 

This article was first published in CII Northern Insights, September 2022 issue.

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