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Business News 2009
Business News->UK business should look towards the rising stars of India
UK business should look towards the rising stars of India

(21 January 2009)

Sharon Bamford, CEO UKIBCBritish companies looking to do business in India should look beyond the traditional centres of New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai and towards the smaller, faster growing regions and cities, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said today. Speaking from Pune during his week long mission to India, the Minister revealed the preliminary findings of new research identifying the nine rising stars of India which are experiencing rapid economic growth and business expansion.

“Pune is a city which is transforming itself from an emerging city to a thriving metropolis offering immense opportunities for UK business. It is just one of a handful of future investment hotspots in India offering future business potential for UK companies,” Lord Mandelson said.

The report highlights Pune as the ‘benchmark city’ alongside other high growth cities including: Ahmedabad, Vadodra, Chandigarh, Goa, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi and Nagpur. Exports to India soared last year to £4.55billion but much of the trade between the UK and India focussed on the established Indian centres. “As the global economy slows down, competition intensifies and costs increase; cities outside these established centres offer some of the best business environments for UK companies to consider,” Lord Mandelson added.

The research, "Opportunities for UK Plc in Emerging Cities of India" was conducted by the UK India Business Council and commissioned by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). Based on social indicators, physical and cultural infrastructure, economic size, growth and the local business environment it aims to position the nine cities and regions as an impressive alternative for UK investment.

The report set out how business opportunities match up with UK strengths across UKTI’s priority sectors including:

  • Advanced Engineering: Ahmedabad, Vadodra, Indore, Pune
  • Life Sciences: Ahmedabad, Vadodra, Chandigarh, Goa, Indore, Pune
  • Energy: Kochi, Pune
  • Environmental Sciences: Vadodra, Goa, Pune
  • Food & Drink: Chandigarh, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Pune
  • Built Environment: Ahmedabad, Vadodra, Goa, Jaipur, Kochi, Pune
  • Creative & Media: Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Goa, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Pune
  • ICT: Vadodra, Pune

Nagpur, for example has received just nearly US$300 million in national government funding to improve road, air and mass transit links and upgrade infrastructure; Chandigargh, has excellent connectivity, in both the IT transport sectors; Ahmedabad, Vadorda, Indore, Goa and Chandigargh have proven to be hubs of life science activity with new R&D centres being developed while Pune, Jaipur and Goa are fast being cultural hubs.

Lord Mandelson added: “As the next phase of reforms places greater emphasis on India’s urban development agenda, it’s cities like Pune that are well placed to make a generational leap forward. This makes them ideal business locations.

“India’s economy is one of the fastest expanding in the world, with a rapidly expanding consumer class. The UK has strong ties with India, and UK companies are well positioned to help Indian companies realise their development plans.”

Sharon Bamford, UK IBC, CEO said: "When the business environment is as tough as it is now, companies need to look at new markets, and at new opportunities in existing markets. What the “Opportunities for UK Plc in Emerging Cities of India” research does is set out 'where' and 'how' UK businesses can take advantage of the opportunities created by the rapid growth of India's cities beyond the existing business centres. The UKIBC and UKTI remain committed to developing India – UK links in the traditional Indian business centres, which continue to offer tremendous opportunities. What we are doing now is expanding the UK's reach to find new opportunities and partnerships. Our next step is to work with UKTI to take UK companies to the "emerging cities". This is a very exciting prospect. It will be a win for India and its business community. And it will be a win for the UK and its business community."

About the UK India Business Council (UKIBC)

The UK India Business Council (UKIBC) is the lead organisation supporting the British Government in the promotion of bilateral trade, business and investment between the two countries. UKIBC seeks to play an influential role in creating and sustaining an environment in which free-trade and investment flourishes. A key objective in this regard is the highlighting, and dismantling, of bureaucratic and regulatory barriers to entry. For more information, go to

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