Contributed By – Meera Siva, CFA
Date: Friday, July 6, 2018, Chennai
The relation between UK and India, for trade and money, has a long history. UK and India continue to work closely in cross-border investments. In this talk, Sam Prasanth Kumar, Prosperity Adviser at British Deputy High Commission, shared the various programs for investment and collaboration between the two countries in various domains, including fintech.
Sam fosters relationship and facilitates partnerships between UK and India public and private sector institutions in Ease of Doing Business, Smart Cities and Financial Services, including FinTech. He is well experienced in working with non-profit organizations. He holds a Masters’ degree in Social Work and a Bachelors’ degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai.
UK investments into India accounts for 1 in 20 jobs in the formal sector. Likewise, India invests more into the UK than it does into the rest of the EU combined. Last year, Indian firms created the second largest number of new jobs in the UK (Tata Global Beverages, HCL, Reliance, Axis Bank, ICICI, TVS logistics, HCL Insurance BPO, Dr Reddy’s Laboratory, to name a few).
Indian Ministry of Commerce & Industry data shows that UK goods exports to India grew by 31.2% in FY 2017-18, at $4.8 billion while imports from India to UK was up 13.6% at $9.7 billion. Research collaboration between UK-India has been on an exponential growth track – from almost 1 million in 2008 to around £400 million by 2021.
There have been many successful partnerships at the company level. For example, Hero Global Design (Hero Cycle) and 42 Gears Mobility Systems from India setup operations in the UK. Westminster Healthcare and Dental Nursing academy of New College Lanarkshire established operations in India. There is also interest from Indian companies to raise funds in the UK through Masala bonds.
There are many awards, grants and programs that help foster relations between the two countries. One significant initiative is Chevening Fellowships/Scholarships. Others of interest include Tech Rocketship awards and the recently launched FinTech Rocketship Awards for entrepreneurs. Another interesting award is the India Emerging Twenty (IE20), created by London & Partners and launched by the Mayor of London. Its mission is to discover 20 of India’s most innovative and high-growth companies to help them grow to London.
Some of the channels for partnerships through investment include the Pontaq’s UK-India Innovation Fund and Innovation Lab. Business partnerships are also forged through various groups and organizations such as various City Councils such as London, Manchester as well as business groups. Many cities have City Councils that offer various incentives and information sharing programs to attract businesses.
Besides investment and programs, there are also many ways in which knowledge sharing happens between the two countries. There are UK firms that are looking to share technology such as in payments for public buses and flood detection/monitoring. The UK is also actively partnering with the FinTech Center of Excellence that is coming up in Chennai.
There are focus groups in the British Deputy High Commission for each vertical – Smart Cities, Financial Services, Energy, Ease of Doing Business, Healthcare, Skills – to find ways to collaborate.