India should be a key destination for UK businesses
Kevin McCole from UKIBC lays out why UK businesses should target India and how to succeed in that complex market.
India is a large, fast-growing economy and one of the ‘BRIC’ nations tipped to be one of the emerging economies. Since 1991, the Indian economy has quadrupled, despite the global financial crisis. This growth is largely driven by domestic demand, fuelled by a rapidly growing middle-class. It is an important market for UK goods and services, including consumer products.
India is expected to become the world’s fifth largest consumer economy by the year 2025, according to a McKinsey report in 2010. The consistent economic growth in India has been an important factor that has contributed towards the decline in poverty and the rise of the young middle-class Indian.
India doesn’t just have a large population it also boasts a total road network spanning 3.34 million KM, which is the second largest in the world and their rail route is the second largest in the world too.
There are three drivers for this impressive growth:
Emerging Consumers - With over 1.2 billion people – the world’s largest democracy, of whom 572 million are under the age of 24, India is currently the country with the biggest youth population in the world and on course to exceed China’s population by 2030. Combined with rising income levels and a growing middle-class, India matters and presents significant opportunities for UK businesses.
Emerging Regions - The next round of economic growth will take place in India's emerging cities, with rapid development in rural areas.
Emerging Sectors - India's rapid economic growth means growing opportunities. Businesses are increasingly interested in growing their business beyond borders in order to remain competitive in their sector.
UKIBC is led by business, with a board and members drawn from all sectors and from the largest firms to the newest start-ups. We are backed by the UK government through UKTI (the government's trade and investment arm) and ensure that the business voice is heard by the governments of both countries. Together we work on promoting trade and investment between the UK and India in both directions. The UKTI have professional advisers across nine offices covering the length and breadth of India as part of the British High Commission network, UKTI helps UK businesses develop their business in India and Indian companies to invest in the UK. Every region has dedicated sector specialists to help new and established exporters. They also work closely with our extensive network of contacts in the Indian government, public sector agencies/departments, trade organisations and local companies, to help British companies to find and win business.
The origins of the UKIBC lie back in 1993, when the Indo-British Partnership (IBP) initiative was mooted by the Prime Ministers of both countries. In 2005, IBP evolved into a private limited company, Indo-British Partnership Network (IBPN). Acknowledging the vast opportunity for business in the UK-India corridor, the UKIBC was created in September 2007, with an enlarged and clear mandate to increase bilateral trade and investment.
In order to help UK businesses capture the opportunities, we arrange regular events, seminars and roundtables with high-profile business leaders, ministers, policy-makers and industry experts from the UK and India. Our events aim to help UK companies, both big and small, understand the Indian market, its various sectors, network with like-minded people and do business in India. Most of our events are open to all, but we also host more exclusive occasions for our members and invitees only.
Our membership will appeal to companies seeking to explore the Indian market, looking to enter it or expand its business operations. India offers enormous opportunities. But is large and complex, and should not be seen as one market but a series of interconnected regional markets where the legislative and investment climate may change from one state to another. The UKIBC plays a pivotal role for companies through our network, knowledge and unparalleled market intelligence.
One of our key roles is to prepare companies to understand the Indian market, the business culture, market entry structures, building their teams, finding customers, managing finances, legal considerations and incentives and supporting networks. For more information on how to do business in India please see www.ukibc.com
We recognise that all business are different, so we offer various levels of membership tailored to give companies the best possible footing to enter India. We offer a Strategic Partnership, Corporate Plus Membership, Corporate Membership and Associate Membership. Through our membership we provide access to sectoral knowledge, UKIBC research and case studies, events and the opportunities to network with business leaders (UK and India-based).
Our key sectors highlight opportunities in the emerging sectors of India: Advanced Engineering; Digital Innovation; Infrastructure; Life Sciences & Healthcare; Retail, Lifestyle and Logistics and Skills & Education. We also offer a service tailor-made for SMEs: UKIBC Sector Subscription to provide intelligence, events, reports and delegations to small companies around specific industry sectors.
Our insights also help us to shape the business agenda through research papers, reports and regular publications. We produce half a dozen reports each year which correlate directly with the needs of UK companies.
Our work does not stop with the publication of a report though; we employ an extensive implementation programme to guarantee that genuine links are made between Indian and British businesses.
The UKIBC plays an integral role in securing a favourable regulatory environment for trade and investment between both countries. This includes acting as an intermediary for UK PLC to both Indian and UK governments in order to create the conditions whereby the relative strengths of both countries have the greatest chance of success.
UK India Business Council is a business-led organisation promoting business links between the two countries. Essentially, our mission is to facilitate an increase in trade between both nations through business-to-business dialogue. We inform UK Plc of the opportunities in India, and more importantly, how they can capture them.
Through our partnerships, and with an extensive network of influential corporate and individual members, we provide the resource, knowledge and infrastructure support vital for UK companies to capitalize on the opportunities in India. For more information please see www.ukibc.com