So it’s official. Yesterday, the Ambani family issued unjustified and unfounded speculation about the change of residence. A press release denied any plans to relocate outside India, whether to London or any other part of the world.
However, social media had by then gone mad with speculation and their own set of theories. One of those Twitter accounts spoke of the emergence of the West England Company and a grand design to colonize Britain. It is not known whether this particular account was sarcastic or truly believed in its own story. Or was it the manifestation of old wounds that reopened, especially after the release of recent films like Sardar Udham Singh.
Whatever the motivation, there is certainly no denying the influence of Indian companies on the London business scene. Renowned English brands like Tetley, Jaguar – Land Rover, Royal Enfield, Hamley’s and steel major Corus are already owned by Indian companies. The Tata Group is also the largest manufacturing employer in the UK.
The acquisition of the Stoke Park estate by a company of the Reliance group is also a business decision. The heritage property to be enhanced as an upscale golf and sports resort that intends to add to the group’s rapidly growing consumer activity and expand the hospitality industry’s footprint acclaimed from India around the world.
Without wanting to be speculative, it would be fair to say that there are many synergies the UK offers for Ambani’s range of businesses, from petroleum and retail, to telecommunications or sports. In business or in life, one can never be sure that one of the UK’s most prized gems of these industries will be up for grabs.
The news also puts the brand of the city of London in the spotlight. For the rich and famous Indians, this seems to be the preferred place to invest or not. Vaccine major Adar Poonawala recently created news to settle in London. The Big Ben certainly has a welcoming ring.
(This weekly column offers insight into the discussions, debates, and soul-searching that take place in the minds of our writers)