Cobra beer founder Lord Bilimoria has welcomed India’s next high growth multi-national companies to London as new figures revealed the country’s tech firms are investing in London at an unprecedented rate.
Leading entrepreneur Lord Bilimoria, who attended the IE20 event (India Emerging 20) which has demonstrated the Indian economy’s extraordinary depth and breadth in technological innovation, said that London and the wider United Kingdom offered the best opportunities for businesses to internationalise.
Data from London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s business and promotional organisation, shows that Indian companies are the second biggest investor in London, ahead of China and Japan, but behind the USA.
Since 2005 there has been a 117 per cent increase in Indian companies across all business sectors investing in London, with a 133 per cent increase in tech companies investing in the city, which accounts for 46 per cent of all projects.
Major tech investments in London from India in recent years include software testing service Cigniti Technologies, customer support company Kayako and many others.
Separate data from analyst fDi Intelligence also shows that London has cemented its position as Europe’s most attractive city for foreign direct investment (FDI), attracting more projects and creating more jobs than any other city.
The new analysis shows that between 2010 and 2014, London attracted 1640 FDI projects, outperforming other major European business centres such as Dublin and Frankfurt and recorded more than two and a half times the amount of overseas investment projects than its closest competitor – Paris (645).
During the IE20 event at St James’ Court Hotel, Lord Bilimoria, who was last year named International Indian of the Year 2014-15, said: “It is vital that we continue to foster connections with one of our most important trading partners here in London, where Indian companies have more than doubled in number in the past ten years. Like many Indian companies, the IE20 are young and fast-moving and have a brilliant future ahead of them, and London is absolutely the right place for them to grow.”
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP said: “India is the fastest growing major economy in the world and Indian companies are now the second biggest foreign investor in London. To welcome 20 of their brightest and best businesses demonstrates how attractive the city is for Indian companies with global ambitions.”
Following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Kingdom last year which resulted in $13 billion of commercial deals being signed, over one million Indian businesses were made aware of the IE20 programme – designed to identify Indian companies destined for global growth – with the judges whittling entries down to just 20 places.
During a rigorous selection procedure, the companies, in financial and business services, technology and life sciences, were selected to come to London to meet and interact with senior business leaders, venture capital investors and decision makers from major global companies.
The winners come from a broad range of categories including life sciences, artificial intelligence, IT services, cyber security, sports tech, travel tech, adtech, e-commerce and analytics.
Opening the London Stock Exchange on Monday with leading Indian investors, Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “London is a world-leader when it comes to raising capital, just as the UK is a springboard for Indian firms looking to expand in Europe.
“Whether they’re in life sciences, technology, or finance, Britain is open to investment and we stand right behind ambitious companies as they look to grow across borders.”
Gordon Innes, CEO London & Partners, added: “Following Indian Prime Minister Modi’s recent visit, we wanted to bolster our already strong ties with India. India is such an exciting economy with so many emerging, global companies. And London is the world’s preeminent global city, home to 40% of the top 250 companies from the Fortune Global 500.
“That’s why we developed the India Emerging 20 programme: to support Indian businesses looking to scale up and internationalise. Particularly, technology businesses, because of London’s recent emergence as one of the world’s largest tech clusters.”
The IE20 programme is being run by London & Partners in partnership with British Airways, which flew the company representatives from India to the UK, BDO, Newland Chase and UK Trade and Investment. This week the company representatives have flown to London for a programme aimed at helping them facilitate international partnerships, alliances, business opportunities and to find out about setting up a global HQ in the city.
Arbinder Chatwal, BDO’s Head of India Advisory Services Team, said: “The winning companies will benefit from opportunities to meet and network with peers, industry experts and investors, enabling them to gain insight into how to maximise their global potential.”
Over the past 20 years, Indian companies have established themselves globally in terms of size, dynamism and innovation. IE20 offers an opportunity for companies to test themselves against the best and win recognition on the international stage.
The benefits include opportunities to meet and network with peers, industry experts and investors, which offers the opportunity to maximise a company’s global potential.