Emerging Sectors

India is about more, much more, than IT and outsourcing. There are myriad opportunities across sectors. India is rapidly scaling up its infrastructure in order to sustain its growth. India’s manufacturing sector is also developing fast, with world-class companies such as Bharat Forge, Tata Motors, and Mahindra. India’s healthcare industry will grow to over £40 billion in the next three years. India aims to train 500 million people, which opens up a market for British skills providers. Rising income levels among India’s middle class opens up new retail opportunities. The entertainment and media sector is expected to reach £17.8 billion in 2018 – creating a lucrative market for technology businesses with smart IP.


The Indian Government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign is perhaps the single biggest development in the new government’s policy making to date, bringing a new mind-set in government, changing focus to fostering investment, innovation, protecting intellectual property, and building best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure.

India is a leading automotive manufacturer, with significant effort being placed on green technology. Defence and civil aviation is also an area of massive expansion. India increased foreign direct investment limits in defence to 49% and liberalised the licensing of private domestic firms to produce defence equipment to boost manufacturing in the sector. Even current offset arrangements should be seen as an opportunity for alliances by UK companies. Frugal and other innovative models will increasingly come to the fore. For more details on opportunities in this sector, click here.


India has the third largest internet literate population in the world today and it is estimated that there will be over 500 million internet users in India by 2018. However, internet penetration in India is currently only 19% and there is a significant opportunity for growth in penetration and usage base in India with the Government’s Digital India initiative.

More and more Indian consumers are adopting digital technologies and this opens up a plethora of opportunities in sectors such as finance and banking, retail, healthcare and education. As the Digital India initiative takes shape, demand for technology related services such as building the broadband infrastructure; creating identity solutions, payment systems, web or mobile based delivery structures and so on is expected to increase. For more details on opportunities in this sector, click here.


India is the fourth-largest energy consumer in the world and India’s energy consumption grew at 7.1% in 2014-15, the highest rate of increase among major economies. Coal, oil and natural gas are the most important sources of primary energy in India. Following the Government’s stated ambition to add 175 Gw of capacity in the renewable energy sector by 2022, to the existing 36.3 Gw, India’s energy market represents a robust opportunity for UK companies. For more details on opportunities in this sector, click here.


The financial services sector has been an important contributor to India’s GDP accounting for nearly 6% share in 2014-15. The audit, consulting and advisory services market, including those for professional services, in India is pegged at around £ 1 billion, and growing at 10% annually.

Indian Government is liberalising the sector. The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act which includes a key provision allowing foreign investors to increase stakes in local insurers from 26% to 49% was passed in March, 2015. Foreign Investments are to be allowed in Alternative Investment Funds. The distinction between different types of investment (i.e. Foreign Portfolio Investments and Foreign Direct Investment) is to be replaced with composite caps which will create headroom and flexibility for overseas investors. For more details on opportunities in this sector, click here.


India is projected to spend some US$1trillion by 2020 on a spectrum of infrastructure projects – roads, ports, airports, power (including nuclear) and urban regeneration/rail, new cities and towns.

In June, 2015 the Indian Government launched the 100 Smart City Mission (SCM) along with two other major missions Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Housing for all by 2022. India’s ‘Smart City’ initiative is part of a larger plan to develop industrial corridors such as the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor (CBIC) and the Bangalore-Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC). Many industrial and commercial centers are expected to be recreated as Smart Cities along these corridors.

In September, 2015 the government of India announced a list of 98 cities to be built as ‘smart cities’ in next 5 years allocating a budget of £ 9.8 billion in 2015. With the focus on developing smart cities and companies looking to offer value-added and specialised services such as technology consulting, networking, middleware, sector-specific applications, and systems integration, the initiative offers immense opportunities for UK businesses For more details on opportunities in this sector, click here.


Currently, on an upward growth curve, the industry is expected to touch £123 billion in revenues by 2018, up from £61 billion in 2013, demonstrating a CAGR of 15% for 2013–18. An increasingly affluent population is spending on private healthcare, and Indian pharma and biotech companies are increasing investments and growing internationally.
Indian government recently permitted FDI up to 100% under the automatic route for manufacturing of medical devices and the liberalisation of the insurance industry in India will also boost healthcare insurance. For more details on opportunities in this sector, click here.


The Indian retail sector is likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% to reach £624 billion by 2018, while online retail is estimated to grow four times to reach USD 14.5 billion for the same period. The exponential growth of online retail can be attributed to key factors such as increased internet penetration, proliferation of smart phones and credit cards, value-add services such as ‘cash-on-delivery’ and most importantly, a dramatic shift in consumer attitudes and buying behaviour.

India allows 100% FDI in single-brand retail and up to 51% FDI in multi-brand retail, subject to certain conditions. 100% FDI is permitted under the automatic route for the food processing sector and for wholesale trading businesses, inclusive of B2B e-commerce.

Online retail is expected to be at par with the physical stores in the next five years and India’s e-commerce market is estimated to reach £60 billion by 2019. With organised retail penetration at 19% as of 2014, opportunities exist for UK retailers, food and drink producers, and logistics and other associated services. For more details on opportunities in this sector, click here.


India’s young population needs the qualifications and skills to drive the economy deep into the 21st century. Over the next decade India will have a surplus manpower of 4-5 crore and there is a need to provide this youthful manpower with skills and ability to tackle global challenges. In July, 2015, the Indian Government launched the Skill India Campaign which included the launch of the National Skill Development Mission and unveiling of the new National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015. Targets and strategies are in place to provide vocational qualifications to 500 million, and to create 40 million new university places. Both by 2022. For more details on opportunities in this sector, click here.


The sports sector in India grew by 10% in 2014 to £ 480 million. The growth and development of the Indian sport industry is creating opportunities in the areas of sports equipment and goods, sportswear, sports management and sports engineering professionals. For more details on opportunities in this sector, click here.

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