Export Britain

How can UK India Business Council help you do business in India?

Dickie McCallum
Managing Director
UK India Business Council

It’s important to be informed about the economic and administrative landscape. India has 29 states that operate more like separate regional markets with their own legal and financial conditions.

A compelling market

With the right support British businesses of all sizes can do well in India. And the time to enter India is now. With a rapidly growing middle class, large youth population, high demand for Western, particularly British, products and widespread use of English, India is an important and accessible market for the UK’s small to medium businesses.

There’s no doubt that challenges exist, but UK India Business Council can help you minimize them. For example, India is hugely price conscious and UK models may need to be adapted to work here. We can help inform businesses about viable pricing plans and put them in touch with reliable distributors. For those new to the market, recruitment in India can be a challenge and UK India Business Council can help to de-mystify and simplify the process. We provide a market entry platform, called Launchpad, where we can hire someone onto our payroll to be a dedicated expert consultant for the client in the UK, which is a much simpler and risk controlled way of taking your first steps into the Indian market.

Regional approach

It’s important to be informed about the economic and administrative landscape. India has 29 states which in some ways operate more like separate regional markets with their own legal and financial conditions. There is no single business hub, but a series of business clusters located across the country. That’s why we’re taking a region-by-region approach with our UKIBC Business Centres, because that’s how UK businesses will be best positioned to access the market.

We know that the first big challenge for businesses coming to India is often finding suitable office space. Our UKIBC Business Centres are unique in India, they represent high-end business real estate at a cost-effective price. The first three locations are already up and running in Bangalore, Gurgaon, and Mumbai. Each provide UK companies with access to open plan, modern incubation facilities, hot-desk workstations, private offices, training areas, event rooms, networking event programmes and a large cafeteria.


The UKIBC Business Centres are designed to be a home-away-from-home for the UK companies that rent space. We want people to feel comfortable here; everyone speaks English and understands the needs of a business taking their first steps in India.

Not only do we have our own market experts in situ, providing market entry and expansion advisory services, there’s an informal and collaborative feel in the UKIBC Business Centres where UK business people meet each other and our advisors, over coffee, over lunch. The simple fact of sharing the same space is where a lot of value lies for clients.

The UK India Business Council team offers a full range of bespoke market exploration and familiarisation services. The most common requests from UK businesses are those seeking reliable Indian contacts, partners and distributors. The advisors will not only find the leads but also make the first approach to establish contact and warm up the leads.

Among the UK businesses currently hot-desking or renting incubation space in the UKIBC Business Centre in Gurgaon, there’s an interesting mix of sectors: a provider of specialist engineers for the IT industry, two educational institutions, a digital innovation company aiming to bring Angry Birds into India, an estate agency, an ex-pat recruitment firm and the British council who run their English language courses for Indian corporates from the centre.

Happy customers

Since opening our doors 15 months ago, we have helped over 100 UK businesses make good headway in India. It is unfair to single out just one, but I will - Derham & Derham, a small company founded by brother and sister team Rupert and Emma Derham. Their business manufactures cheese for export to India and Rupert has now relocated here to drive the business forward. We are very proud of the credit Rupert has given us for the part we have played, when he said “Through our interactions with UK India Business Council, we have had adverts in magazines across India, we have met some really exciting PR firms to develop our strategy and have brought our cheese directly to consumers by exhibiting in malls and commercial centres. The help of UK India Business Council has been invaluable and we certainly would not be in the exciting position we are today without their expertise.”

Another fantastic client is The Welding Institute (TWI), who held a workshop in the UKIBC Business Centre in Gurgaon. Chris Wiseman, TWI’s Corporate Sector Manager delighted our team by saying: “The hard work of the UK India Business Council team really helped us deliver a high quality and productive event. The effort they put in to identifying and attracting such a relevant audience to our workshop was well planned and very effective. On the day, the team showed real professionalism that greatly enhanced our overall projection. The depth of debate, and the enthusiastic signals we were receiving from leading potential industrial stakeholders for our ideas was particularly encouraging.”

These are only two out of hundereds of businesses we have supported, and we have entered 2015 excited at the prospect of helping many many more.

View the Cathay Pacific partner page View the Control Risks partner page View the DHL Express partner page View the Experian partner page View the UK Export Finance partner page