With a shared language and many cultural similarities, it was not hard for us to choose the UK as the departure point for our European expansion at the end of the last century. But in the years since we have found many more reasons to like the business environment here, not least the UK’s unique take on innovation.
The nation has a rich cultural heritage that respects inquiring, investigative and innovative thinking. For centuries British minds have pushed the boundaries of human endeavour and this innovative spirit continues today. This is important because globally there is no shortage of money to support new ideas, new companies and new markets. It will flow to where innovation promises a return, and the UK promises that.
Crucially, the country nurtures this innovation. Regional clusters like Tech City in London are helping to foster it, while the extension towards Canary Wharf focused on the financial technology (‘FinTech’) community is a smart commercial move that can help connect this innovation with the UK’s largest economic sector.
Then there is the fact that the UK is also a great consumer of technology, and this too makes it an exciting market. People in the UK like to try out diverse technologies including e-commerce, click & collect and smartphones. They have proved time and again that they are willing to take risks and try new ideas – this drives a desire among companies to use technology as a basis for their growth initiatives. And it means the people we recruit here are open and accepting of new technology.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The UK ranks amongst the world’s most stable economies, with robust and proven banking and legal systems. While that sounds a little obvious, for any foreign investor these are some of the most important considerations of all.
When it comes to international trade, few modern countries have been doing it as long as the UK and understand it quite so well. As a result, the country is extremely welcoming of foreign businesses and its people and willing to provide the support and encouragement we require. This quality makes the UK not just a valuable location itself but also a great springboard into the wider European market.
Finally, the UK is already home to a large number of world-class companies including global brands such as BP, Barclays, Unilever and Vodafone. As long as it continues to create such major brands the country will always be of interest to foreign investors, as these are exactly the sort of companies that constitute our own customer base. Success after all, attracts more success.
Infosys has been supporting British businesses for over 15 years now. Our relationship with the country is amongst our most precious and we believe its unique mix of indigenous talent, international perspective, business acumen, and technology nous will long make it an important market for us and businesses like us.
Srikanth Iyengar is head of UK operations of global consulting and technology company Infosys.