Sunday, August 15, 2010

Young Indians taking over UK Boardrooms

S Kalyana Ramanathan / London August 15, 2010

More than six decades after the British left India, a new change is sweeping across company boardrooms in the UK.

A new generation of Indian expats top the list of non-British, UK-based company directors under the age of 30, according to a research.

The survey, commissioned by PR firm Eulogy! India and conducted by B2B customer information management company Blue Sheep, shows that Indian directors account for more than one in 10 non-British directors in the UK under the age of 30. The research analysed Companies House database, the UK government register of UK companies, and examined every single company, Eulogy! said. All limited companies in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are registered at Companies House, an Executive Agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. There are more than two million limited companies registered in Great Britain. More than 300,000 new companies are incorporated each year.

The study, however, did not cover the extent to which Indians hold leadership positions.

Adrian Brady, CEO, Eulogy! London, said the study revealed the superior quality of graduates coming out of Indian universities and B-schools, their confidence and business acumen. Interestingly, the US does not figure in the top 10, even though it continues to be the number one investor in the UK. A recent report released by the UK Trade and Investment showed that in 2009-10, of the 1,619 new investments (projects) flowing into the UK, 484 were from the US, creating over 15,000 new jobs. India, with 91 new projects, is the fourth-largest investor in the UK behind the US, Japan and France.

The research also revealed that Indian expats account for eight per cent of directors between the ages of 18 to 25, and 12 per cent of those between 26 and 30, demonstrating that the young Indian entrepreneurial spirit is thriving in the UK.

Indian directors also share top billing with those from Ireland in the 31-35-year bracket, with both accounting for 10 per cent. In total, 69 per cent of Indian company directors in the UK are under the age of 40.

Rohan Srinivasan, director of Eulogy! India, said, “This research shows that there is clearly a new generation of young Indian entrepreneurs having a huge influence overseas.

Following David Cameron’s visit to India recently, this research reinforces why India is now seen as a vital regional and economic partner for the UK. It is one of the great business centres of the world, so it speaks volumes that companies there benefit so much from the ambition and drive of these young directors.”

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