India’s economy has continued to grow steadily, standing as the world’s 5th largest economy (IMF, 2019). Trade between the UK and India is now estimated to be more than $25 billion (2019) which shows an increase of 13.6% from the previous year. The most significant areas of bilateral trade between the two countries are technology, finance and renewable energy.
The DIT has a wealth of information on the Indian Market, providing trade and investment services and practical support, helping companies succeed in India and Indian companies set up and invest in the UK.
The UK has been an attractive destination for Asian Venture Capital (VC) tech investors, with British tech companies attracting a record $2.8 billion worth of VC funding and with Indian start-ups raising funding of $71 billion between 2014 and 2020. Both India and the UK have established themselves as major hubs for start-up business in Asia and Europe respectively and so despite the uncertainties of Brexit, Indian investment into the UK has remained strong.
The majority of funding has been fueled by a surge in the UK’s best performing sectors including, fintech, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and deep tech, and clean energy. For example, in 2019 UK fintech firms raised $5.38 billion, which was an impressive 7.5 times the amount raised by French fintech and three times as much as Germany.
The Indian Tech Start-Up Funding Report in Q3 2018, predicted that the funding amount of Indian start-ups would hit the $12 billion mark with 748 deals for the 2019 calendar year.
The ecosystem for start-ups in India has directly created 390,000 – 430,000 jobs, with over 60,000 in 2019. India also has approximately 335 active incubators and accelerators that can empower 5,000 start-ups every year.
Both India and the UK have a substantial number of unicorn companies established in their markets. The UK hosts an impressive 77 unicorns, with 8 of those valued at over $1 billion. India hosts 24 unicorns, making it the third-highest number of such companies in a single country globally.
James Cowper Kreston (JCK) is ranked one of the largest accounting and business advisory networks in the world. They work alongside the Thames Valley Chamber to deliver inward investment into the Thames Valley and have interests in India and South East Asia.
This particular area of expertise is led by Meera Rajah and involves many sectors of the firm, including digital technology, film and creative industries and life sciences. For example, the Media team work closely with film producers to ensure all international tax liabilities are managed effectively and assist production teams to claim available film tax reliefs in the UK. The team also provide support in many other financial areas.
Previous trips to India involved visiting the sets of several upcoming full-length feature films where the team were able to witness first-hand the work that goes into each project.
Meera Rajah, Partner and Head of South East Asia Business
Increasing globalisation and competition provides challenges for many businesses. The Kreston network provides an international reach, and access to knowledge and skills, in over 110 countries. Their specialist International Services Team has extensive experience in helping businesses in an inter-national context, including those UK companies wanting to do business with India (and South East Asia) and those Indian businesses looking to invest in the UK and Thames Valley.
Investment into the Thames Valley from India remains a consistent, if far from outstanding, performer across all sectors, but notably technology. There is a high level of interest from this market, in the Thames Valley as an investment location of choice and – pre COVID-19 – we were welcoming a delegation from India. This visit will be rescheduled, building on the efforts of the JCK-Chamber partnership in showcasing the region, in collaboration with the Department for International Trade, as an investment location of choice for Indian investors.