London, Jan.22 (ANI): British Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has suggested to the British companies, seeking to do business in India, to look beyond the traditional centres of New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai towards the smaller, faster growing regions and cities of the country.
The British Minister has made suggestions on the basis of the preliminary findings of a new research identifying the nine rising stars of India that are experiencing rapid economic growth and business expansion.
The report highlights Pune as the "benchmark city" alongside other high growth cities including: Ahmedabad, Vadodra, Chandigarh, Goa, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi and Nagpur.
"Pune is a city, which is transforming itself from an emerging city to a thriving metropolis offering immense opportunities for U.K. business. It is just one of a handful of future investment hotspots in India offering future business potential for UK companies," Lord Mandelson said
"As the global economy slows down, competition intensifies and costs increase; cities outside these established centres offer some of the best business environments for U.K. 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 and Investment (UKTI).
UK Trade and Investment is the UK Government's international business development organisation, supporting businesses seeking to establish in the UK and helping UK companies grow internationally
Exports to India soared last year to 4.55 billion pounds but much of the trade between the U.K. and India focussed on the established Indian centres.
Based on social indicators, physical and cultural infrastructure, economic size, growth and the local business environment. The report aims to position the nine cities and regions as an impressive alternative for UK investment.
"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, " said Lord Mandelson while adding: "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."
The UKTI report has stated 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 and Drink: Chandigarh, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Pune Built Environment: Ahmedabad, Vadodra, Goa, Jaipur, Kochi, Pune Creative and Media: Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Goa, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Pune ICT: Vadodra, Pune.
Nagpur, for example has received just nearly 300 million dollars in national government funding to improve road, air and mass transit links and upgrade infrastructure; Chandigarh, has excellent connectivity, in both the IT transport sectors; Ahmedabad, Vadorda, Indore, Goa and Chandigarh have proven to be hubs of life science activity with new R and D centres being developed while Pune, Jaipur and Goa are fast being cultural hubs.
According to Sharon Bamford, UK India Business Council's Chief Executive Officer, 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 centers, " said Bamford while adding : "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," he further added.
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
The final research findings are expected to be published next month. It will provide UK companies with in-depth practical information related to market entry into India including a set of useful networks and contact.
It will address the key entry barriers and familiarise its readers with the local business environment.
This research follows from similar research conducted by UK Trade and Investment last year around business opportunities in China's developing regional centres. (ANI)