Indian companies look to London despite challenges of global pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has brought wide-scale disruption to businesses around the world. Despite these challenges, UK and India continue to strengthen their long-standing bilateral trade relations, with several Indian companies choosing to set up operations in the UK capital this year.

London & Partners, London’s international trade, investment, and promotion agency, provides support for international businesses looking to expand into the UK capital and has assisted 16 Indian companies set up offices or grow their presence in London since March this year. These companies include Wipro, Cygnet Infotech, e-Zest, Skillmine, Urolime, Big Data Bees, Inceptial Technologies, coMakeIT.

London is a top destination for Indian companies looking at international expansion, with recent data from Department of International Trade ranking India as the second largest investor into the UK capital behind the US. London also came in as the second most popular city for Indian companies looking to expand overseas over the last five years, based on number of projects, demonstrating opportunities for Indian businesses in the UK capital. London is home to over half of the estimated 900 companies operating in the UK.

Hemin Bharucha, Chief Representative, London & Partners said:“London and India have longstanding business and trade links, while also sharing common values of innovation and entrepreneurialism. We are seeing lots of opportunities for Indian businesses in London and they are increasingly looking to the UK capital as a launchpad into new global markets. London’s ecosystem provides access to growth capital, policy makers, world-class universities and talent all in one place and these fundamental strengths attract Indian companies looking to expand internationally.”

The tech sector in both London and India has demonstrated its ability to adapt and innovate during the pandemic, with several Indian tech companies expanding into the UK capital this year. London & Partners has helped a number of these tech companies, providingfree support, advice and access to London’s business ecosystem.

Gujarat-based multinational Indian SaaS-Software company Cygnet Infotech has set up its European headquarters in London this year. The 1,000-employee firm has delivered over 2,000 high-value software solutions to a diverse client portfolio around the globe, and its solution has been recognized by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the tax authority of the UK Government as a VAT solution.

KevalHutheesing, Director, Cygnet Infotech said:“When considering international expansion, we were looking for somewhere we could access the EU market easily. In London, you are part of a thriving tech ecosystem as well as having easy access to the wider EU market. The city is also strategically placed so we can work with our offices in both the US and India due to its favourable time zone. London & Partners really helped connect us to relevant contacts in London which simplified the decision making and setting up process.”

IT firm e-Zest, an agile digital technology innovation partner for Fortune 500 enterprises, public sector organisations and software product companies (ISVs) expanded its operations to London. Its 700+ strong global team is now part of the London business ecosystem where it will continue to help organisations adopt innovative technologies to improve their processes, optimise their profitability and amplify end-user experience.

“The UK has been an integral part of the global e-Zest strategy. The journey so far has been exciting and full of new experience and learnings. As we move forward to a new digital era, we look forward to helping organisations adapt and adopt digitally to the new normal. London & Partners has played a pivotal role in our growth and we look forward to their continued support in the years to come,” said Athang Kale, Vice President, e-Zest Solutions Limited (UK).

Skillmine, a new generation IT Consulting & Managed Services provider that helps customers optimise their IT investments, has also launched their business in the UK capital earlier this year. The company employs over 450 professionals and has a wide presence in India, the Middle East, and America.

Anant Agarwal, Managing Director, Skillmine said:“With the support and guidance of London & Partners, we were able toset up our business operations in London in May this year. They helped us access London’s business ecosystem and its thriving talent pool, as well as facilitated specialist advice with their networks and partners. London is a global tech hub and we are excited to grow our business in the city.”
As the tech sector continues to boom in London, it’s not just international companies making waves in the city. Established London-based firms are also contributing significantly to the dynamic business ecosystem, offering competitive services and proving to be game-changers in their own right.

Take, for example, Swiftcomm. A homegrown success, Swiftcomm is a leading player in London’s business telecommunications and IT support sector. Providing comprehensive tech solutions tailored to individual business needs, the company has proven its capability to compete with incoming international businesses. This robust competition not only promotes a vibrant and diverse tech ecosystem in London, but also ensures the continuous improvement of services and solutions for all businesses in the capital.

Swiftcomm, like other UK-based firms, is a testament to the opportunities available in London’s thriving tech scene. It demonstrates that while incoming businesses are capitalising on the benefits of expanding in the UK capital, local companies continue to hold their ground, contributing to the city’s position as a global tech hub.