Why tech for good companies should think about India for their next export journey

Zoe Bagnall
Content and PR Executive | Business West
1st October 2020

Exports to India from the UK have been growing exponentially and between 2017 and 2018 they increased by 39.2%. Tech has played a significant part in this growth.  

What are the opportunities for UK tech companies in India? 

India has an ever-expanding consumer market of 1.2 billion people and is predicted to be the world’s third largest economy by 2030. It also has the third largest internet literate population. However, its internet penetration is low in comparison to other growing economies, standing at 50%. This presents significant opportunity for UK tech firms with ambitions to help grow the internet user base with new solutions. 

Technology solutions from the UK are attractive to Indian buyers, and as a result, a UK-India Tech partnership was established in 2018, which aims to pair businesses, universities and tech leaders in the corridor with a view to increasing tech investment, trade, and research and development.  

India’s EdTech market is expanding  

One outcome of COVID-19 for India has been the growth of the EdTech sector. A report by Redseer and Omidyar Network India found that the Indian EdTech market has experienced growth of 120% during the pandemic, with a valuation set to increase from $735 million to $1.7 billion by the end of 2020.  

The same report also suggests that despite this growth, there is a stark need for upskilling. According to the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 2019, published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), while India fares well on market size, innovation, and economic stability, it lacks in workforce skills including vocational training and digital expertise. This provides an opportunity for UK buyers to introduce EdTech products that can increase the skills of both teachers and pupils.  

Opportunities for health tech companies 

In 2019, as part of the UK-India tech partnership, British health tech specialists worked with Indian tech and clinical leaders on a project which aimed to establish how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be utilised to drive early diagnosis of life-threatening illnesses.  

The same project also led the UK government to invest £1 million in the pilot stage of the Healthcare Artificial intelligence Catalyst. This was backed by the Department of International Trade and focused on exporting UK health with an end goal of driving forward innovation and technology to sustain the economy and reduce poverty throughout India.  

In August 2020, a new medtech partnership was established between the UK and Indian governments to help ensure essential medical equipment is available throughout the pandemic.  

With the health tech sector being the second most profitable in the UK, and with coronavirus highlighting the importance of using technology to ramp up healthcare systems, it is an opportune time for businesses looking to export.  

The rise of clean tech  

You would be hard pressed to find a country in the world that had not started focusing its efforts on cleaning up the environment through technology solutions and India is no exception. The world is moving towards renewable energy at an increasing rate due to the drive to conserve natural resources in the face of climate change.  

India has ambitious targets to achieve 175 gigawatts of renewables by 2022 and UK companies that offer clean tech solutions to help achieve this will be warmly welcomed. With the UK having installed more offshore wind capacity than any other country, there is a pool of clean tech talent in the UK that could partner with India to globalise their solutions. 

With the likes of Tech Nation identifying clean tech as an emerging sector, while analysis by Deloitte suggests digital technology could be used to reduce 7.3 million tonnes of UK carbon emissions, there is ample opportunity for clean tech companies to pitch their ideas to the market.    

The areas mentioned are by no means the only sectors where tech companies in the UK can expand into India. If you have a tech for good product that aims to have a positive impact on society, apply now to have the chance of participating in Tech 4 Good South West

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