Indian investment in the UK is only growing despite the Brexit saga

29 July 2019 3 min. read
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As UK-India relations come to the fore in light of UK-India week last month, professional services firm Grant Thornton has released a report that details the substantial contribution that Indian firms are making to the UK economy, both in terms of value generation and employment. 

Grant Thornton’s analysis is based on data from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and focuses on Indian-owned companies that either have their headquarters in the UK, or have a significant share of their operations in the country. The list of firms evaluated were also shortlisted based on certain revenue criteria.

For instance, only those firms were examined that generate a turnover in excess of £5 million and year-on-year increments in revenue of more than 10%. Lastly, the firms in question must have been operational in the UK for more than two years. Overall, 850 firms were shortlisted.

Number of Indian companies in the UK

The first indication of the significant contribution that these firms are making is that each of them employs over 1,000 people in the UK, in addition to several other promising figures that the firm states. For instance, these firms cumulatively generated revenues of just under £48 billion for this financial year, which is £1 billion more than that for the last period.

Drawing on this, these firms paid more than £684 million in corporation tax over this financial year, which is substantial when compared to the £360 million paid in taxes for the last period. In terms of employment, all the firms cumulatively employed nearly 105,000 people across the UK for this financial year.

As a result, the economic contribution of Indian-owned firms is only growing in size, thereby strengthening the relationship between the UK and India as well. According to the report, the contribution from Indian companies extends to other dimensions as well.

Contribution to tax and employment

Recognising the importance of digital skills in the contemporary economy, and the gap in this talent pool prevalent in the UK, Indian firms that operate in the tech domain have been conducting training and talent programmes amongst the youth in the UK, in addition to taking on a number of trainees, mentees and interns.

Tracking the investment patterns of these firms, the report also reveals that Indian companies in the UK appeared unaffected by the ongoing Brexit negotiations and the related uncertainty. As per the report, Indian firms have only increased their investment in the UK in this period.

Not only are Indian firms investing in the UK by establishing and growing their business there, but the ultra high net worth individuals in India appear to be investing in UK real estate more than anywhere else. According to the report, this is being facilitated by the UK.

Regional and sectoral distribution

“In the context of leaving the European Union (Brexit), the United Kingdom is looking to strengthen trade and investment with non-EU countries globally. India, as one of the fastest growing economies in the world and as a member of the Commonwealth, is very much in the UK’s sights,” state the report's authors.

As a result, UK-India relations are stronger than ever, which was celebrated at the UK-India week this year. A number of individuals and companies have been given recognition for their outstanding contribution to the economic relationship between the two countries: Jo Ahmed, a partner at Deloitte, and Sannam S4, named Consultancy Firm of the Year.