Those who oppose Brexit have suggested that departure from the European Union could stifle the UK’s global trading relationships. This long-established claim is far from the truth, an empty assertion that fails to look at the details.
Despite Brexit fears, Britain’s successful standing within the global technology sector remains firm. This was recently boosted by the arrival of India’s most exciting entrepreneurs, who are pumping vast sums of money into Britain’s burgeoning technology sector. The figures show that Indian entrepreneurs have invested £4bn in the sector, over the past two years – more than Stockholm, Berlin and Paris combined. Since the EU referendum, London’s technology businesses have received more foreign direct investment from India than any other European city.
Additionally, Indian tech entrepreneurs have increasingly decided to launch their own products in the UK, not only choosing the capital, but also Bristol and Birmingham as their gateway to Europe. India’s biggest rival to Uber, Ola, has decided that Britain would be its third launch country. It is now operating in Cardiff, with the intention to scale-up to Manchester and then nationwide.
There are a variety of reasons why the British sector continues to be attractive to India’s finest tech entrepreneurs. The UK and India continue to recognise a historic relationship – cultural ties that are rooted in food, entertainment and language. More than 1.5m people in Britain have a family connection to India. Moreover, London is still the European hub for venture capitalism, providing access and opportunity to investors. Finally, the digital talent provided by the UK is appealing to Indian entrepreneurs who want to work with creative and energetic individuals.
The future for Britain and India looks promising – 2019 will see the introduction of a unique tech entrepreneur visa, the so-called ‘start-up visa’, making its increasingly easier for Indian entrepreneurs to settle and work in the UK’s tech sector. Britain will remain the top location for India’s tech entrepreneurs. Further, the possibility of a free-trade deal suggests that, whilst Brexit related challenges undoubtedly lie ahead, there is opportunity and optimism around every corner.