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Twenty of India’s fastest growing companies have been recognised by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, receiving a prestigious award to join the Mayor’s India Emerging 20 (IE20) business programme. The winners, including many tech startups, were selected from regions across India and represent some of country’s most innovative, high growth businesses specialising in technology, life sciences and business services.

The 20 winners were chosen from over 300 applications from some of India’s leading business hubs such as Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi. The India Emerging 20 programme was launched by the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency, London & Partners, in collaboration with BDO and Lalit Hotels, with the aim to identify some of India’s most ambitious companies that are considering international expansion.

India Emerging Twenty (IE20) is an initiative created by London & Partners and launched by the Mayor of London with the mission to discover 20 of India’s most innovative and high-growth companies to help them grow to London. 2018 is the third year of the programme. The program supports innovative, high-growth Indian companies within the Tech, Media, Telecoms, Life Sciences, Financial and Business services sectors to grow their international business through London. It is a competition led by London & Partners in collaboration with a range of leading business advisers such as BDO and Lalit Hotels.

An initial 51 companies were shortlisted from over 300 applications. The shortlisted companies then pitched their business plans to a jury chaired by London & Partners and made up of senior venture capital investors, serial entrepreneurs, heads of leading in-market accelerator programmes and partner professional services firms for a chance to feature in the final 20.

Some of the Indian startups selected for this year’s programme include:

  • Hug Innovations (Hyderabad) – Hug Innovations is a wearable tech company developing IoT platforms that allows users to complete tasks including controlling apps, electronics, VR headsets, toys and home automation using just hand gestures. The startup currently has is also working with a number of leading companies to develop IoT solutions in personal safety, automotive, health & fitness and gaming.
  • Morph.Ai: Morph.ai is an end-to-end solution that aims to empower companies to make their services available over websites, apps and messengers by making use of natural language understanding and artificial intelligence (AI) powered chatbots. The startup was part of Nasscom 10000 startups and YES Bank’s first accelerator batch, Morph.ai helps businesses in making, deploying and training their own chatbots so as to better engage with their customers. In what could be considered as a big achievement, the startup is currently powering Manchester City chatbot.
  • Furtados School of Music (Mumbai) –  FSM is a music education firm with a vision to provide accessible quality music education to all. The company works with schools and other institutions to provide training in musical instruments. The company, which first raised funds from angel investors in 2014, has grown more than 1,000% since then. FSM are currently testing a mobile application to bring together people interested in learning music and music teachers.
  • Ittisa Digital Media services (Bengaluru) – Ittisa is an innovative marketing technology company offering analytics, digital marketing, branding and strategy services with a strong emphasis on the use of technology. The company is already working with a number of leading Indian and global brands including Flipkart, Airtel and Vijay Bank.
  • Dineout (New Delhi) – Dineout is India’s premier table reservation platform, operating out of 8 cities, with a listing of over 25,000 restaurants and real-time reservation enabled at over 3,500 outlets across the country. Currently Dineout seats more than 500,000 diners per month across its partner restaurants.
  • Chai Point (Bengaluru) – Chai Point, India’s largest organized Chai retailer, brings a perfectly brewed cup of Chai made with fresh, natural ingredients to offices and working professionals around the country. Beginning with the first pilot store set up in Bangalore in April 2010, Chai Point has rapidly grown to become the go-to brand for a perfectly brewed cup of Chai with over 300,000 cups sold every day.

The companies selected to join this year’s programme will receive help in setting up or expanding their business in London. The winners will also have the opportunity to benefit from discounted rates on a London office and tailored expert advice on marketing, access to finance and local market analysis.

Last December, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visited India on a trade mission to strengthen business links with London. During his visit he announced a number of Indian investment deals for London, including 400 new tech jobs for the capital. He also revealed plans to open a new Bengaluru office for his promotional agency, London & Partners, to provide further support for Indian businesses looking to expand in London.

Related Reading – 20 Indian Startups Selected For 2017 India Emerge 20

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “London has strong cultural and economic ties with India, and Indian businesses make an important contribution to our city. Following my visit to India last year, I see lots of opportunities to strengthen investment between London and Indian cities.

“London is a truly global business centre and presents lots of opportunities for Indian companies looking to expand their business overseas. I am delighted that my India Emerging 20 programme is helping some of India’s fastest growing companies with their international growth and London remains open to investment, talent and collaborations with India.”

Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor for Business, added: “London is the best city in the world in which to grow a business, so I am delighted that these exciting companies will now be able to explore opportunities to expand here in the capital.

“It is now 16 years since I moved from India to London. This great city welcomed me with open arms and thanks to its entrepreneurial spirit helped me to launch two successful businesses. It is great news that these 20 companies will now be able to experience the same welcoming business environment that I enjoyed.”

Further analysis of London & Partners investment data shows that 2017 was a record year for foreign direct investment from India into London1. Indian technology companies such as Wipro and Infosys have shown a strong appetite for London over the last ten years, accounting for over half of all businesses investing in the capital.

Entering its third year, the IE20 programme has helped a number of previous winner’s setup or expand in London. Indian medical technology company, RX Prism, opened a £2 million innovation hub in London, while Chennai-based analytics firm LatentView and Curadev Pharma have also expanded their operations in London since their involvement with the IE20 initiative.

Arjun Pratap, Founder & CEO EdGE Networks and 2017 IE20 winner said: “The India Emerging 20 programme has opened doors for our business and helped us with our international expansion plans. Through our involvement in the programme, we have gained valuable insight into the UK market and understood how best we can bring future focused talent solutions to build the workforces of tomorrow. London and Bengaluru share strengths in technology and innovation and London was the natural choice for us to grow our business in Europe.”

Arbinder Chatwal, Partner and Head of India Advisory Services team at BDO added: “London and India boast of a healthy trading relationship. London and other metro cities in India have thriving start – up ecosystems and it is important that Indian and UK businesses explore these opportunities across cities. London & Partners launched their proprietary property – India Emerging 20 with BDO as the nominating partner and has successfully completed 3 years of identifying high growth Indian companies, ready to scale into international markets.”

“Companies in the Indian market have great business promise, innovativeness and immense potential to scale their businesses globally – this has been affirmed by the response of the 3 year’s applicants and winners. Mirroring the last two years, we look forward this year too for great business expansion stories, with IE20 as their springboard.”

The finalists will be revealed at a ceremony in Bengaluru later this evening, attended by high profile business figures from the UK and India, where they will receive an award from Vani Kola, one of India’s leading business women and venture capitalists.

Vani Kola, Managing Director of Kalaari Capital said: “India is producing an increasing number of high growth, scalable companies. Cities such as Bengaluru and Mumbai have developed clusters of start-ups with a strong culture of creativity and innovation that is similar to that of London. The twenty winners part of this year’s IE20 programme demonstrate the strength of India’s entrepreneurial mindset and the growing strengths in areas such as technology and life sciences.”

British Deputy High Commissioner in Bengaluru, Dominic McAllister, added: “IE20 is an important element of the UK-India Technology-Partnership which was agreed by our two Prime ministers in April and formally launched in India last week by Digital and Culture Secretary, Matt Hancock. The UK and India are global leaders in technology and two of the world’s most innovative countries. The new UK-India Tech Partnership will be testimony to that. A pilot soon to be launched In Karnataka will focus on augmented and virtual reality, advanced materials and artificial intelligence – technologies which a number of our winners today are already deploying. The Partnership will seek to: develop a network of people and programmes to facilitate ideas; provide access routes for British and Indian entrepreneurs and SMEs to each other’s markets; and encourage broader innovation and productivity by helping businesses in the UK and India to develop closer relationships.

Full list of Indian companies selected as 2018 winners for IE20 programme:

  • Appnomic Systems
  • BiOZEEN
  • BlackPepper Technologies
  • Chai Point (Mountain Trail Foods)
  • Happay
  • Intello Labs
  • Ittisa Digital Media Services
  • Senseforth
  • Chakr Innovation
  • Dineout / inResto
  • Fork Media
  • Lucideus Tech
  • Morph.ai
  • Videonetics Technology
  • Wigzo Technologies
  • Hug Innovations
  • FSM Education
  • Gaia Smart Cities
  • Iksula Services
  • SaffronStays

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