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UK’s investments in India continue to grow: CII-Grant Thornton Bharat report Britain Meets India
Feb 18, 2021

India-UK bilateral relations will touch a new high in the post-COVID world, according to the report Britain Meets India, developed and published jointly by CII and Grant Thornton Bharat.

As the UK leaves the European Union and moves forward on the Enhanced Trade Partnership with India, the launch of this report will be a strong marker of the India-UK economic relationship. It also highlights the role of British investments in India and would attract future investors to make India as the business destination of choice.

The Report was launched by Ms Gaitri Issar Kumar, High Commissioner of India to UK; Mr Alex Ellis CMG, High Commissioner of UK to India; Mr. Sandeep Chakravorty, Joint Secretary (Western Europe), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India; Mr. Sanjiv Bajaj, Vice President, CII; Mr Vishesh C Chandiok, CEO, Grant Thornton Bharat and Lord Karan Bilimoria, President, Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Ms Gaitri Issar Kumar, High Commissioner of India to UK, said, “The insights from this report will highlight successful collaborations, key complementarities as well as areas of potential. This will give confidence to future UK investors who are looking for a secure footing as they partner with India. The governments of both India and the UK are committed to an enhanced trade partnership. We are developing a roadmap to a free trade agreement with an ambitious target of 100 billion pounds by 2030.”

Mr Alex Ellis CMG, High Commissioner of UK to India, noted, “Both India and the UK must think about coming together to create a global impact. Both the economies will have to create a lot of jobs in the next decade and build back in a more sustainable way. Investment is not an abstract word. It’s actually about creation of more jobs, protection of our planet. It is also about the flow of ideas and talent between the two countries so we can share new approaches to deal with problems of the world.”

Mr. Sandeep Chakravorty, Joint Secretary (Western Europe), Ministry of External Affairs, GoI, said, “Besides a free trade agreement, mobility and an interim trade deal, we are working on a 10-year 360 degree roadmap to strengthen our relationship with the UK. Going forward, we see investments in India’s clean energy sector coming from the UK.” 

Presenting the report findings at the launch of the first ever BMI Tracker report, Pallavi Joshi Bakhru, Partner and India-UK Corridor Leader, Grant Thornton Bharat LLP said, “Our research identified 572 UK companies in India with a combined turnover of around INR 3,390 billion, tax payment of around INR 173 billion and employing 416,121 people directly. This reflects the important contribution made by the UK companies to the Indian economy as a key ally in India’s growth story.”

Mr. Sanjiv Bajaj, Vice President, CII and Chairman & MD, Bajaj Finserv Ltd remarked while launching the report, “As we prepare to welcome the UK Prime Minister Rt Hon Boris Johnson to India, our Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry, Sh Piyush Goyal and the UK Secretary of State, Elizabeth Truss, supported by Indian and UK industry, are very keen on increasing bilateral trade and investment as also make progress on the enhanced trade partnership between India and UK. With UK exiting European Union and signing the trade agreement it has made it inevitable for India and UK to cement its bilateral economic partnership further. The UK and India are among the largest investors in each other’s economies. UK stands as the 6th largest inward investor in

India, ranking third among the G20 countries, and accounting for nearly 6% 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.”  

Highlighting the importance and timing of the report, Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII said, “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 UK to fruition. Year 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.”

Anuj Chande, head of the South Asia Group at Grant Thornton UK LLP, stated, “I am delighted that with the launch of this report, 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 7th year, we have a comprehensive picture of the bilateral investment footprint.”

The Report includes UK-owned corporates with operations headquartered or with a significant base in India, with turnover of more than £5 million, year-on-year revenue growth of at least 10% and a minimum two-year track record in India. The Tracker also highlights the top Indian employers – companies that employ more than 1,000 people in India. This report comes on the back of the highly popular and much-referenced India meets Britain tracker report which has been jointly produced by CII and Grant Thornton UK for 7 years now.

A soft copy of the report may be downloaded by clicking here.


Key highlights from Britain Meets India report

• FDI inflow from the UK to India for a particular year increased from USD 898 million in 2015-16 to USD 1,422 million in 2019-20. On the other hand, India is likely to be a priority country for the UK, especially post Brexit, leading to an enhanced economic partnership.

• Industrial and Business Services are top sectors being eyed by the UK companies; Maharashtra tops as the leading investment destination followed by Haryana, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka.

• The strength of the India-UK trade and investment partnership has only increased in the post-COVID world through continued collaboration. India ensured that key supply chains of pharmaceutical products and surgical masks were maintained for the UK and other countries as the two sides collaborated relentlessly in vaccine research, design, and manufacturing.

• The list of ‘fastest growing UK companies in India’ includes Dyson Technology, Aviva Life Insurance, Diageo Business Services, RMD Kwikform and FMC Technologies, among others. The list of ‘top 20 UK companies by revenue’ includes Vedanta, Vodafone, Hindustan Unilever, United Spirits India, etc.

Also, G4S Group, Vedanta Resources and HSBC Holdings feature in ‘top UK employers in India’.

About BMI report: For the purposes of this report, CII and GT Bharat have identified 572 companies incorporated in India that are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly from the UK. Additional benchmarks were an annual turnover of more than INR 500 million, 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. Hence our data is based on the latest published accounts filed as on 31 March 2020. The data captured in this report is as per information available till 1 December 2020.

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