Manchester garners Indian investment interest following flight launch

Tim Newns

Greater Manchester is primed to reap investment benefits from India following the recent launch of the first direct route between Manchester and Mumbai last week.

Representatives from the Manchester India Partnership and MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, delivered two concurrent events in India last month, promoting the city region’s strengths in digital innovation and advanced materials.

The 14th annual Deloitte Technology Fast 50 event saw MIDAS, alongside the Manchester India Partnership, award five of India’s fastest growing tech companies the prize of an establishment support package, including complementary air travel, accommodation, and discounted office space, to help them set up business operations in Greater Manchester.

E-commerce and online payment-related businesses dominate the 2018 winners list, with Moglix, Razorpay, Cashify, and Element42 taking four of the top five positions, and the last going to Oriano Clean Energy, a specialist in solar power.

Rajiv Sundar, Technology Fast 50 Program director and partner at Deloitte India, said: “This year we have seen new players from the e-commerce ecosystem dominate the top rankings.

“We have got representation across B2B e-commerce, used mobile e-commerce, e-commerce for FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) distribution, last mile logistics and payment technologies.

“We also continue to have leading companies in the video analytics, data analytics, digital marketing, edu-tech, and cyber security companies.”

As part of a separate programme focused on advanced materials, supported by the Department for International Trade, two events also took place in Pune and Bangalore, which were attended by senior figures from some of India’s largest industrial companies.

Ahead of the opening of the Graphene Engineering Innovation Institute (GEIC) in December, Graphene@Manchester and MIDAS showcased the opportunities available to Indian corporates by utilising lightweight materials, such as graphene, and how they can leverage Manchester’s material research and innovation expertise to drive technology innovation.

Tim Newns, MIDAS chief executive, said: “India is a key market in Greater Manchester’s internationalisation strategy as it presents significant opportunities to the city region, but these opportunities are mutual, and Manchester can also help India with its own plans for economic growth.

“Although India is already one of the UK’s primary sources of foreign direct investment, the new direct route between Manchester and Mumbai will remove the barriers that can sometimes stall trade, investment and knowledge exchange.

“Greater Manchester has already succeeded in attracting a spate of high-growth Indian businesses, including Tech Mahindra, 42 Gears and Hero Cycles, but we are serious about securing additional investment from more Indian companies following the launch of the direct Manchester-Mumbai route – as demonstrated by the level and frequency of in-market activities we are delivering.”