Hyderabad: The UK Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP), a Department for International Trade initiative, is nurturing ties with the Indian entrepreneurs, who are looking to scale up their operations and go global, by making Britain their international base. Since the programme started in 2005, roughly over £1.5 billion worth of economic value has been created in the UK, which also takes into account new jobs created and increase in the valuation of companies that have set up base.
The programme aims to bring quality foreign direct investment (FDI) into the UK by attracting overseas entrepreneurs and their innovation-rich technology companies. The British Government’s programme was established 15 years ago to help the world’s best entrepreneurs go global with the help of a group of dealmakers (those who enable FDI deals come into the UK). Once in the UK, the programme supports these businesses to scale-up and internationalise, creating high-value jobs, contributing significantly to UK’s productivity and economic growth.
Alpesh Patel, dealmaker, Global Entrepreneur Programme, UK Department for International Trade, told Telangana Today, “We primarily look at scale-up stage companies, which have outstanding potential and have the capability of becoming a billion dollar company, willing to locate their global headquarters and intellectual property into the UK, and go global. They continue to be in India but they can expand into the UK. The programme chose India as its first market as it felt the country has the greatest potential of having quality entrepreneurs. These companies represent a variety of sectors including niche areas such as cybersecurity and medical technology. They represent across geographies including Hyderabad.”
“Of all the countries from where companies have relocated their global headquarters into the UK, India has always dominated. Each dealmaker brings 6-8 companies into the UK. There are dealmakers spread out across the globe,” he added.
The GEP does not look at the money that is coming into the UK but is keen that the intellectual property comes into the nation. Though the FDI could come into a British-Indian company operating in the UK, the money could actually come from the US. The programme constantly measures the valuation of the company from the time an Indian company has moved to the UK to the stage it scales up, if there is an increase, he explained.
Patel adds, “The programme was set up because the UK recognised that the wealth of a nation is directly proportionate to the intellectual property that it generates. It wants to improve the entrepreneurial gene pool and the talent in the UK. The idea is to attract the best and the brightest talent into the UK. This also spreads prosperity in India.”
The British government also engages with the Indian government counterparts as a part of several initiatives that include ‘Go Global’ that aims to provide advice and mentoring by the UK government to help governments in India to help businesses become global by improving ease of doing business (EoDB). Tech Hubs, an initiative that connects technology clusters in the UK with those in India so that they share knowledge, know-how, trade and invest with each other. Einstein Challenge is another innovation-centric technology initiative for social impact, jointly contributed by both the nations.
The GEP has been one such initiative that helps to build bilateral ties between India and the UK, improve government-government know-how in terms of what policies will help, for instance what kind of accelerators and incubators are needed to nurture the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Indian companies that are in the scale-up stage with revenues of over $100,000, having strong track record, capabilities, achievements, intellectual property, growth and the trajectory of business, are potential candidates if they have plans to go global and want to make the UK their international base.
“Not just profit-oriented companies, GEP also encourages social enterprises that are willing to solve the world’s problems, not just India’s problems. For instance, World Wide Generation, a company in the UK uses blockchain to make sure that the money from governments, NGOs, corporates doing social impact work goes where the money should go and check if the money actually reached the place where it was supposed to reach. This company not only is helping to track social fund movement but is also woman-founded (UK is keen to encourage women-founded companies). There are cleantech companies in India that are taking care of carbon capture. Another blockchain company in India tracks if clothes were manufactured legally and if there was any child labour employed,” he informed.