London’s tech sector set to grow following EU referendum

As London launches an initiative to find India’s best emerging companies, new research shows the city’s technology sector will continue to be a key driver of growth and jobs for the capital and wider UK economy over the next ten years.

Old Street Roundabout

The Deputy Mayor for Business Rajesh Agrawal, who also chairs London & Partners, will announce the findings today (Friday) during his international trade visit to India, aimed at strengthening tech and trade links between London and India.

According to the new research, commissioned by London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promotional company, employment in London’s digital technology sector is predicted to grow by almost a fifth (18.5 per cent) over the next ten years, taking employment in the sector to 284,400 jobs by 2026. Meanwhile, the number of digital tech companies in London is set to grow by a third (33.2 per cent) during the same period, taking the total number of digital technology companies in the capital to 61,800 by 2026.

The increase in both the number of jobs and companies in London’s tech sector over the next decade is set to outpace the growth of both the UK-wide tech sector and London’s economy as a whole.

During his visit, the Deputy Mayor has been meeting with senior Indian business leaders and high growth companies to reassure them that London remains open for business. He has urged digital businesses to follow the lead of a number of Indian technology companies that have already committed to London including leading software company HCL Technologies and Infotech Software Services. 

Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, said: “With everything London has to offer to exciting tech companies – from start-ups to established firms – it’s no surprise that this sector continues to play a crucial role in the capital’s vibrant economy.

“Over the last week I have met leading figures from Indian politics and business, including some innovative tech companies, and discussed how we strengthen the relationship between London and India.”

London, the UK and India have long established trade ties and share hundreds of years of trading history. Now, Indian businesses are the second largest foreign investors into London, with more Indian companies choosing to move to the capital than Japan and China, according to data from London & Partners. Meanwhile the UK is the largest G20 investor in India, accounting for just over 9 per cent of investment over the last 15 years.

Indian companies have shown a strong desire to be part of London’s booming tech sector, with ICT companies representing the largest sector for growth and accounting for almost two thirds (62%) of all investment projects. Across all sectors, Indian businesses employ nearly 50,000 people in London.

To further strengthen business links between London and India, London & Partners recently announced that it has opened applications for the next round of its India Emerging 20 (IE20) initiative, a programme to discover some of India’s most innovative and high growth companies with global aspirations.

Last year’s competition saw more than 10 times as many applications as places from companies all over India and across the life sciences, technology and professional services sectors. The final 20 companies selected for the programme will be given the opportunity to come to London to meet and learn from senior business leaders, venture capital investors and decision-makers from major global companies.

Since being chosen for last year’s programme, a number of companies have attracted investment and expanded into London including Teabox, Kyazoonga and Seclore, which have all received venture capital funding. Winners for the second cohort of companies will be selected by a judging panel early next year.

Lord Karan Bilimoria, Founder of Cobra Beer said: “The India Emerging 20 programme this year really captured London’s ease of doing business and the strength of ties between India and Britain. Fledgling companies from across the world should be coming from the UK to grow, expand and find new markets, and build a great brand. India is, along with the US, one of Britain’s two top global allies and the second-greatest creator of jobs in the UK. London is all the better for being a home to people of diverse backgrounds, including employees and businesses from India.

“We need to look for new areas of bilateral trade and partnership with India as it continues to grow faster than any other major economy in the world. From digital technology and aerospace engineering to food and fashion, Indian entrepreneurship, creativity and industry are getting the global recognition they need to thrive. There is no better place than London to showcase this.”

During his seven day visit to India, The Deputy Mayor has visited Delhi and Mumbai where he reassured Indian companies and business leaders that they remain welcome post-Brexit and that London is open to investment, trade and talent from around the globe.