• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Business

Revenues rise for top Indian-owned firms in UK

The latest Grant Thornton India Meets Britain report, compiled in partnership with the CII, has shown a record high of 971 Indian-owned businesses functioning in the UK, marking a rise from 954 last year.

India and UK flags (iStock)

By: Shubham Ghosh

AS talks on a UK-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) take a break following the 14th round of talks between the two sides earlier this year, recent findings from prominent business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP reveal that a remarkable number of Indian-owned businesses in the UK have witnessed a surge in revenue, with the best-performing firms achieving an impressive average annual growth rate of nearly 50 per cent.

The latest Grant Thornton India Meets Britain report, compiled in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), unveils a new high of 971 Indian-owned businesses functioning in the UK, marking an increase from the 954 recorded last year.

These 971 companies contribute significantly to the UK economy by employing 118,430 people, up from 105,931 as mentioned in the 2023 report; generating a combined turnover of £68.09 billion, up from £50.5 billion in 2023; and paying £1.17 billion in corporation tax, compared with £944 million last year, said a release from UK Grant Thornton.

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According to the report, the Indian-owned companies in the UK are flourishing, with those who have reported two years of consistent accounts, achieving an average annual growth rate of 24 per cent.

Anuj Chande OBE, head of South Asia Business Group, Grant Thornton UK LLP, said, “Over the past year, a sluggish global economy and deteriorating international security have created a challenging environment for businesses everywhere. Despite this, the Indian economy continued to thrive and we have seen a record number of Indian-owned companies operating in the UK.

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“These businesses continue to make a significant contribution to the nation’s economy, both financially and as major employers. Despite economic challenges and uncertainty making it increasingly difficult for businesses, the average annual growth rate of Indian companies in the UK exceeds 20 per cent — demonstrating the resilience of this important segment of the country’s economy.”

The research also includes a tracker which identifies the fastest-growing Indian companies in the UK each year, measured by those with a turnover of more than £5 million, year-on-year revenue growth of at least 10 per cent and a minimum two-year track record in the UK.

The tracker has, for the first time, identified 100 businesses, out of the 971 included in the research, who expanded their revenues by 10 per cent or more. This is a significant increase compared to 79 in the 2023 report and 37 the year prior to that.

The top performing 100 companies achieved an average revenue growth rate of 48 per cent.

Of these, the three fastest-growing companies are Interglobe Enterprises (UK) Ltd (323 per cent), SAR Overseas Ltd (319 per cent), and Sterlite Technologies UK Ventures Ltd (244 per cent).

Automotive manufacturing company Jaguar Land Rover was also included in the 2024 tracker after achieving a growth rate of 25 per cent on the previous year.

Its inclusion in the list of fastest-growing companies saw the combined turnover of the 2024 Tracker companies rise to £42.80 billion, an increase of over 70 per cent on the 2023 combined turnover of £25 billion.

Technology, media and telecommunications companies retain their top spot, accounting for the most companies in the tracker this year – 27 per cent (up from 24 per cent). This is followed by manufacturing and engineering (20 per cent) and pharmaceuticals and chemicals (16 per cent). The financial services sector also made significant strides in this year’s tracker, accounting for six per cent of the fastest-growing companies, up from one per cent the previous year. This marks the sector’s best showing in the tracker since 2021.

London has remained the most popular location for the fastest-growing Indian-owned businesses in the UK, with more than 50 per cent of the 100 companies in this year’s tracker based in the capital.

Of the 52 London-based tracker companies, 21 operate in the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector.

The South was the second most prevalent region for this year’s fastest-growing companies, accounting for 18 per cent, followed by the North (16 per cent).

“Our tracker identified a record number of Indian-owned businesses achieving over 10 per cent revenue growth, hitting 100 businesses for the first time in 11 years – which is a significant increase on the numbers who have met this criteria previously. This shows the resilience of the market and the full recovery now being made as the wider business environment increasingly normalises as the long tail of COVID-19 subsides,” Anuj Chande OBE reported.

Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, CII, said, “This report highlights the positive and impactful footprint of Indian foreign direct investment in the UK, which is contributing both to the local economy as well as to India.

“At a time when India is rapidly progressing to becoming the third largest economy in the world, its participation in the UK economy is particularly beneficial. The growing footprint of India in the UK underscores the robust state of the bilateral relationship. Going forward we anticipate even closer partnerships between Indian and British business, resulting in mutual prosperity.”

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