Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared the UK and India as an unbeatable combination. From Make in India, Startup India, Skill India, Digital India, Smart Cities and Healthcare for all, the GREAT for Collaboration is a campaign showcasing UK’s support and willingness to partner with India in its remarkable growth story.
GREAT for Collaboration
GREAT for Collaboration is a UK government campaign crafted specifically for India, to showcase, celebrate, and inspire mutually-beneficial business ties between the two countries. During PM Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK in November 2015, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) launched a video featuring the UK and India’s most senior business figures talking about what makes the relationship so special.
India invests more in the UK than anywhere in Europe, and is a growing trading partner. UK, in turn, is the largest G20 investor in India for the last 15 years.Last year, India emerged as the third largest investor in the UK. UKTI now wants to go a step ahead and align their vision of having Indian startups go global using UK’s launchpad, with PM Narendra Modi’s initiatives. “We want to do even more, by deepening our partnership with the Indian Government to reflect PM Narendra Modi’s priorities. That could be Start-up India, Stand-up India, Make in India, Transforming India or the many others that are out there. Entrepreneurship is part of the Indian fabric that we want to tap into, it is what drives the 48 million MSMEs in India. We want to be part of that growth story. So when the tech world told us access to capital was a barrier, we put UK VCs in a room with hi-growth Indian tech startups.”
Great for Collaboration works in India because of our shared history, language, and ideas. “There are numerous sectors where it has really worked. The automotive we are proud of –JLR. Together, the UK and India make more cars than the whole of Italy does, and Indian companies have a massive part to play in the supply chain to satisfy the demand,” says Amo Kalar, Director at UK Trade and Investment.
Last year, about 1,750 jobs were created in the tech sector alone by Indian companies, and close to 50 per cent of Indian investment into the UK was in tech, totalling £206 million in capex, with the total jobs created over the last few years in this sector estimated to be 5,000–7,000.
The report, titled ‘India meets Britain: Tracking the UK’s top Indian companies’ by consultants Grant Thornton UK and CII,states that Indian companies based in Britain are boosting growth rates in the country, clocking an increase in revenue of £4 billion: from £22 billion (Rs 2.1 lakh crore) in 2014 to £26 billion (Rs 2.5 lakh crore) in 2015.Currently, Bharti Airtel tops the list of Indian companies contributing most to Britain’s growth, followed by HCL Technologies, Emcure Pharma, Apollo Tyres, and Wockhardt, among others.
‘Next year, expect GREAT for Collaboration to drive all of our sector-based activity, from disruptive tech, to skills transfer, to car parts, to capital!’ says Amo. UKTI is batting for startups to join the fray.
Finding the ‘Tech Rocketships’ of India
In a gala that saw the who’s who of the Indian startup ecosystem lock horns and engage in mindshares with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their visit to India, Prince William flagged off the Tech Rocketship awards 2016. Now in its third year, the awards provide top Indian startups with expert business advice and support from leading professional services companies in the UK. This year the competition gets bigger and better: the 10 most promising startups from the competition will win a week-long business trip to the UK, where they will meet venture capitalists, experienced industry leaders and entrepreneurs who will provide them with guidance on how to establish a firm footing abroad – starting with the UK.
“Katherine and I are thoroughly impressed by the energies and ideas we have just seen. India has been leading the way in the areas of innovation and technology,” said Prince William, after getting his hands dirty on exhibits of indigenous products around Mumbai’s Todi Mill Social. While The Duke felt the adrenaline in a Mahindra Formula E racing car simulator, The Duchess typed her daughter’s name ‘Charlotte’ on the Braille machine engineered by Sanskriti Dawle of Project Mudra, a past winner of the Tech Rocketship Awards.
What to look forward to
UKTI’s raison d’etre is simple: to ensure the UK remains the first place Indian business infuses its ideas, investment, and energy. And, on the flipside, to ensure UK companiesfrom food and drink manufacturers to the service industries, see the opportunities that India presents.
The Technology summit, a top-class exchange of ideas; with the best UK and Indian technology thought leaders and speakers exchanging ideas with business, where they are working with CII as India’s country partner, will be held in early November 2016.
The Global Entrepreneurship Programme, another initiative in India has a pipeline of over 40 companies that they work with at any given time, to land around 10–12 to the UK with their global HQs. It is focussed on young early-stage companies of outstanding potential.
“We are working with companies from Cyber to cleantech, and try not to focus on just the major cities. From the last visit with the Duke and Duchess, especially exciting is Project Mudra which we are keen to have set up in the UK and a Reputation from Delhi who have set up and announced £2m investment into the UK,” Amo reveals.