654 Indian diaspora-owned firms employ over 174,000 people in UK: Report

Indian diaspora-owned companies with a combined revenue of 36.84 billion pounds employ over 174,000 people and pay over 1 billion pounds in Corporation Tax, according to a first-of-its-kind research.

The 'India in the UK: The Diaspora Effect' report, released here on Tuesday, analysed data related to 654 Indian diaspora-owned companies in the UK with a turnover of at least 100,000 pounds and found that they collectively invest around 2 billion pounds through capital expenditure.

The report, produced by Grant Thornton UK jointly with the Indian High Commission in London and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI UK), zeroed in on a select few of an estimated total of over 65,000 diaspora-connected companies.

"This report does not claim to be an exhaustive record of the full contribution of the UK businesses owned by the Indian diaspora. It covers over 650 relatively large businesses owned by the Indian diaspora, which were looked at in greater detail," said Ruchi Ghanashyam, the Indian High Commissioner to the UK who was the catalyst behind the project which began in March last year.

"Though this report looks only at the businesses with an annual turnover of more than 100,000 pounds, we hope that contributions of the many smaller enterprises will be added in future reports," said the envoy, as she dedicated the report to the 1.5-million-strong Indian diaspora in the UK, which she noted has been described as a "living bridge" between the two countries by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The report aims to help develop a better understanding of the contributions of businesses owned by people of Indian origin to the UK and builds on the insight developed by Grant Thornton's annual 'India Meets Britain Tracker', which track the fastest-growing Indian companies in the UK.

"This report celebrates the contribution of the Indian diaspora not just to the UK's economic prosperity, but increasingly to its wider society too," said Anuj Chande, Partner and Head of the South Asia Group, Grant Thornton UK.

Among some of its other highlight findings, of the 654 companies researched, around 35 per cent have one or more women directors on their board and 23 businesses generate 80 per cent of the total jobs provided by the Indian diaspora companies in the UK a total of 140,000 jobs.

The top five employers include B&M Retail Limited, with 26,496 jobs, followed by Vedanta Resources Ltd (25,083), Boparan Holdco Ltd (21,949), Hinduja Automotive (19,601) and HC-One Ltd (10,949).

"The economic contribution of the Indian diaspora in the UK is rightly applauded and commented upon but to date it has not been quantified. This report is an attempt to fill that gap," said Baroness Usha Prashar, Chair of FICCI UK.

"It provides very helpful information which we hope will be built upon in the future. This is an excellent start and the report's key findings are a matter of both pride and celebration," she said.

The report, with the tag line 'Celebrating the energy and entrepreneurship of the Indian diaspora in the UK', finds a sector-wide sweep of diaspora-owned firms, with hospitality dominating the landscape at 19 per cent, followed by healthcare and pharmaceuticals at 15 per cent, retail and wholesale (13 per cent), real estate and construction (13 per cent) and food and beverage (9 per cent) to complete the top five.

London dominates the overall spread, with 52 per cent of the diaspora-owned companies based in the UK capital.

The estimated India-related contribution to the UK economy, combining the figures for India-owned companies from the annual Tracker with the latest diaspora findings, brings a combined turnover of around 85 billion pounds, with over 1.7 billion pounds paid in taxes and close to 280,000 employees.

"These are significant numbers. We anticipate that these numbers are likely to grow even further as the bilateral relationship develops," notes the report.

The methodology used for the inaugural report is based on the latest published accounts of companies that are majority owned by the Indian diaspora, with at least one director of presumed Indian origin living in the UK.

The authors stress that the facts and figures contained within the report should be treated as indicative, rather than absolute, with the outlook likely to be further defined over the next few editions.

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