Trivandrum: Start in Kerala and expand to London to have a global presence – this was the key takeaway for IT Companies and Startups from Kerala at a session on ‘Opportunities in the UK – the Innovation Hotspot’ organised by London & Partners, the official promotional agency for London.
In his introductory address, Alexander Varghese, Chief Administrative Officer of Technopark, Trivandrum based UST Global called upon IT Companies and Startups from Kerala to explore and take the advantages of the opportunities in UK. “We were one of the early companies from Kerala to set up base in the UK five years back and we definitely had the first mover advantage”, he added.
Jeff Cao, Head of Asia Pacific at London & Partners introduced London and its tech spots to the audience. He also explained how London & Partners help overseas companies to set up business in London as they are the official promotional organisation for London and for attracting and delivering value to businesses, students and visitors.
“Over the last three years, UK has seen a phenomenal burst of growth in the digital, creative and technology sectors and London is one of the best cities for ‘convergence’, where technology, telecommunications, creative and media companies partner to create mould-breaking businesses”, he added.
Pru Ashby, Head of Partnerships at Tech City, spoke via video link from London, about some of the opportunities that Indian technology companies could access in the vibrant market there. She also gave details of the startup ecosystem in London where there has been a 700% growth in technology startups in the last three years. She is part of the team set up by the UK government to support Tech City in London which is now the fastest growing tech cluster in Europe with over 3,000 companies.
Mikele Brack, Business Development Director of Future Cities Catapult, also via VC, spoke, on bringing together UK business and academic excellence. She invited companies from Kerala to join their cluster to collaborate on international projects and research. Future Cities Catapult is a global centre of excellence on urban innovation.
Tim Stovold, Partner at Kingston Smith LLP, threw light on some of the incentives on offer for Indian tech companies looking at UK opportunities. He gave a detailed presentation on tax planning, domestic and international corporation tax issues, employment tax, including incentives and share options and income and capital gains tax planning for owner / managers of businesses during the life of the business and on exit.
The session was supported by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), Chennai and Nasscom, Kerala. About 100 CXOs from various IT Companies and Startups from Trivandrum and even Bangalore, attended the session.
Kerala IT News