While the huge cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore have traditionally been the favoured Indian destinations of UK businesses, there are a number of opportunities, many of them in life sciences, outside these traditional economic heartlands.

That is the conclusion of a report Opportunities for UK Plc in Emerging Cities of India was conducted by the UK India Business Council on behalf of UK Trade & Investment, the government’s international business development organisation. Lord Davies, Minister for Trade & Investment, noted that _“in these challenging economic times, companies need to be more adventurous in seeking out new opportunities for growth”.

He added that companies “cannot base their commercial strategies on anachronistic ideas of what India Plc is about”, adding that the country is undergoing “a profound economic transformation that presents a real opportunity for long-term sustainable and long-term growth”. The minister went on to say that India’s emerging cities “will play a pivotal role in this transformation”.

The nine emerging cities identified in the report are Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Goa, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Nagpur, Pune and Vadodara. Sharon Bamford, chief executive of UKIBC, noting that “Chandigarh is a rapidly emerging centre for biotechnology”, noted that the aim of the report is twofold: “to provide concrete sector specific opportunities and meaningful intelligence to really help British business”.

Companies seeking to enter the ‘emerging cities’ will be joining delegations to India led by UKIBC and UKTI in the forthcoming months. The report concludes that the two countries “are closely connected through language and shared history and many UK firms already have successful Indian operations and vice versa”.

In pharmaceutical and biotechnology terms, India is at the forefront of future plans for a number of drugmakers looking to cut their reliance on traditional developed markets.