05 May Partnership delivering tangible opportunities
Partnership between UKTI and the UK India Business Council is helping UK companies respond to increasing Indian opportunities says UKTI India’s Director General, Kumar Iyer
India is the fastest growing major economy in the world and one of the largest. Its demographics are positive. Half of its 1.2bn population are below 25 years of age. The middle class is also growing exponentially. This means a strong consumer base with significant opportunities for business growth.
India has strong ties with the UK, a reforming Prime Minster in Narendra Modi, and a forecasted GDP growth rate of over 7 per cent (in a world of otherwise low growth and low yields). Consequently, UK companies looking for mid to long term returns are taking a close look at India.
The UK is the largest major investor into India with UK companies held in high regard, scoring favourably in trust and quality. Alongside companies that have become household names in India including Hindustan Unilever, BP, JCB, and Vodafone, there are countless smaller but no less innovative companies that are creating a niche for their products and services.
India has ambitious big budget programmes designed to attract foreign partners and investment in its growth. Prime Minister Modi’s Make in India programme is widely publicised, but others cover smart cities, renewable energy, digital, skills, and start-ups. Mr. Modi himself has called upon India to draw upon the UK’s strengths in technology, innovation, and capital.
There are many relatively untapped opportunities for small companies. Just recently UKTI and UK India Business Council ran a delegation of UK food and drink companies to Mumbai and Bengaluru. Many of the companies saw the scale of opportunity and came away with various exciting leads. Another group of automotive companies took part in Auto Expo 2016 and we are looking forward to seeing new business wins in the coming months.
Fintech is another growing sector where India has a real demand for disruptive technologies to service rural customers. There are further opportunities in agritech, healthcare and pharma, energy, skills, sport, infrastructure, and retail. These are all sectors that will play a role in the modernisation of India.
UKTI and the UK India Business Council can help you explore the Indian market and win business. The UK has its largest diplomatic presence in the world in India, with a strong network of diplomats and local specialists spanning the entire country. We have trade and investment experts based in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Pune and Ahmedabad. With our national and state level government contacts, we can effectively support your business. Additionally, we can help with company launches and missions.
The UK Government’s support for companies focuses on only the things government can do best, which is why our partnership with the UK India Business Council is critical. The UK India Business Council is our close partner on the ground, providing companies with the day-to-day practical support required to get started in market. This includes market research and advice at the start of your India journey, helping with premises, recruitment, and establishing your entity in country.
By using the UKIBC’s Business Centres and Launchpad® service, companies can de-risk their entry and reduce cost. We would urge you to also track the live opportunities that we post on UKTI’s Exporting is GREAT platform. This is updated daily with business and export opportunities in India.
It is undoubtedly a good time for UK companies to take a closer look at India with the partnership between UKTI and the UK India Business Council offering a strong platform to help you in that process.