New Britain Meets India’ report identifies 572 UK firms in India

London, Feb 17 (PTI) A new Britain Meets India’ report released on Wednesday has identified 572 UK companies in India, with a combined turnover of around Rs 3,390 billion, tax payment of around Rs 173 billion and employing 416,121 people directly in 2019-20.

The report, by Grant Thornton Bharat and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), is the sister tracker of an annual India Meets Britain’ tracker of Indian companies operating in the UK. It has highlighted some of Britain’s fastest growing companies in India, led by Dyson Technologies and Aviva Life Insurance Company, both of which registered a growth of over 100 per cent.

The highest revenue earner has been identified as metals and mining major Vedanta Ltd and the top employer is London-headquartered security services company G4S Plc.

This reflects the important contribution made by the UK companies to the Indian economy as a key ally in India’s growth story, said Pallavi Joshi Bakhru, Partner and India-UK Corridor Leader at Grant Thornton Bharat LLP.

The report, launched at a virtual event attended by Indian High Commissioner to the UK Gaitri Issar Kumar, UK High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis and Sandeep Chakravorty from the Ministry of External Affairs among others, also found that the annual foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow from the UK to India increased from USD 898 million in 2015-16 to USD 1,422 million in 2019-20.

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 seventh year, we have a comprehensive picture of the bilateral investment footprint, said Anuj Chande, head of the South Asia Group at Grant Thornton UK LLP.

Industrial and Business Services are found to be the top sectors being eyed by the UK companies in India, with Maharashtra the leading investment destination followed by Haryana, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka. Besides Dyson and Aviva, the list of fastest growing UK companies in India includes Diageo Business Services, RMD Kwikform and FMC Technologies. The list of the top 20 UK companies by revenue Vedanta, Vodafone, Hindustan Unilever and United Spirits India.

With the UK exiting European Union and signing the trade agreement, it is inevitable for India and the UK to cement their bilateral economic partnership further, said Sanjiv Bajaj, CII Vice President and Chairman & MD of Bajaj Finserv Ltd.

The UK and India are among the largest investors in each other’s economies. The UK stands as the sixth largest inward investor in India, ranking third among the G20 countries, and accounting for nearly 6 per cent of all inward investment into India for the period April 2000-March 2020. Even though we have these indicative figures suggesting roughly the landscape of investment, it was absolutely necessary to analyse and present a baseline for British Investments in India, he said.

For the purposes of the new report, the researchers identified companies incorporated in India that are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, from the UK.

Additional benchmarks were an annual turnover of more than Rs 500 million, y-o-y 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.

The year 2021, is a year for economic recovery and a year that we very much hope will bring the much-awaited Enhanced Trade Partnership Agreement between India and the UK to fruition, said CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee.

2021 is an important year for the CII as it completes its 40th year of operations in the UK. CII representative office in the UK is the oldest international office in the CII network. We were often asked about the UK investments in India and it was therefore important that we brought these figures to you, to now present a holistic picture of bilateral investments, he said.