Use a UK Sole Representative Visa to Expand Your Business Into the UK

If you are thinking about expanding or relocating your business, London is arguably the most globalised and business friendly city in the World. Any seasoned businessman or investor will tell you then when it comes to starting a new venture, location really is key. Here are my top 10 reasons why you should think about moving your business to London.

1. Market Stability

Leading fiscal institutions predict that the combination of a thriving population, relatively low business taxes and independence from the Eurozone will allow the UK to surpass Germany and become the largest European economy by 2030. Nowhere is this market confidence demonstrated more than by the investment in tall buildings in London. There are over 250 tall buildings either under construction, with planning permission or awaiting permission set to accommodate the next generation of young professionals and the super wealthy in central London.

2. Supply Chain

Whether your business is a service provider or a manufacturer of goods, from centuries of successful experience, there aren’t many places as good as London for a business to find everything it needs at hand. Super fast connectivity or an unbeatable supply chain to design, plan, source, make and ship a product. Being in the heart of a heavily integrated global network puts you steps ahead of your competitors. The UK has established trade relationships and world-class supply networks giving domestic businesses access to every corner of the globe. The UK is currently the world’s 4th largest exporter of finished goods, commodities and services as well as the 4th largest importer.

3. Record low business Tax

From the introduction of the new Conservative UK Government and the release of the new pro business budget, Corporation Tax on UK Businesses is the lowest amongst G7 and G20 countries at just 20%, to be reduced to 18% by 2020. Furthermore, as a green light for innovation and to boost the UK’s knowledge economy there are further tax cuts for the development of Intellectual Property and those investing in research and development.

4. Access to Talent

Access to talent is the most important motivator for businesses to move and can be the biggest issues limiting a business’s growth. Small to medium-sized businesses are usually located where business owners happen to live and not where the optimal workforce may be found. Where talent is in short supply, labour costs will rise. With this in mind, the UK has the highest proportion of higher-education graduates in Western Europe. Businesses that come to the UK have access to one of the World’s most talented resident labour markets and brightest graduates.

5. Popular Culture

If you need to sense which way the wind is blowing, nowhere in the World has such a fresh breeze and I’m not referring to the prevailing weather system. If you and your business rely on being up to date with fashions or current affairs, to capture new trends and exploit opening markets and technologies, then the UK is the right place to be. And, with everything around you to quickly adjust to a dynamic business environment.

6. A guaranteed level playing field

Small or expanding businesses can be particularly vulnerable to subtle market obstacles created by more established competitors. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime regularly produce comparative global stats on crime and corruption and consistently place England, Wales and Scotland at the bottom of countries facing criminal activity such as fraud, bribery and corruption. In accordance with being a business friendly environment, the UK have set up multiple anti corruption bodies and legislative laws to minimise fraud, bribery and corruption through transparent reporting processes and working closing with those who suspect they have been unduly commercially disadvantaged.

7. Digital Telecommunications

The UK Government has committed to funding the further expansion of super fast broadband coverage beyond the major commercial programmes. From a recent independent survey by an independent body, London and nearly all of Britain has the best super-fast broadband in Europe, overtaking Germany and set to make the UK a leading competitor well into the digital information age.

8. Transport Infrastructure

London is at the heart of a relatively large, heavily integrated transport system by road rail and air supported by the most established shipping facility in the World. London has an international hub airport and has the largest air transport system in Europe. London also has on going rail infrastructure investments interconnecting London to other parts of the UK and Europe with an emphasise on constantly improving efficiency and reducing time and cost.

9. Time and Place

London, or more accurately Greenwich, quite literally is at the centre of the known World. Britain’s geographic location makes is possible to trade with Asia over breakfast and the Americas by afternoon tea. Stirling, the currency of Britain, is the World’s oldest currency still in use and the English Language is the UK’s greatest and most enduring export, also the World’s main business language.

10. London and the UK’s Soft Power and Global Influence

The UK is ranked third globally for ‘soft power’ which is to says its ability to influence and persuade other inhabitants of planet Earth without the need for ‘hard power’ (bullets and aircraft carriers). The UK has far-reaching friendly influence based on reputation, culture, creativity, business and political prowess. This advantage also extends to businesses within the UK that can be empowered to shape outcomes and make deals beyond usual boundary limitations. The UK has more membership to international bodies than any other country on the planted, here are a few: the Commonwealth of Nations, the European Union, the G7, the G8, the G20 the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation, the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Ultimately if you want to punch above your weight, British companies are empowered to make deals that can free your business to expand globally.

Be part of London’s on-going growth into a new information era and bring your Business to London. There are a number of pro business initiatives that have been set up to aid businessmen, investors and entrepreneurs wishing to see what life is like in London and the UK.

Continental Europe Warming Up to Indian Markets

The executives of the Indian IT industry are known for their sense of style, but there is a flip side too which Indian geeks should really focus upon. Ever heard of caste and gender prejudice stalking the IT corridors?

According to a survey carried out by a London-based outsourcing advisory firm though Europeans appreciate our dressing sensibilities, but caste and gender discrimination have left a more bitter taste in their mouths. The later has an high impact on the former.

The firm surveyed almost 35 top companies across Europe, asking them to talk about the obstacles they face while doing business with their Indian counterparts.

Different countries had different versions.

Nordic region companies talked about the awkwardness in attitude of the Indian men when it comes to interacting with their female counterparts. It is often observed that Indian teams sent for sales pitches don’t comprise even a single woman. On the other hand the people they are pitching too are generally women.

Business deals are generally fixed during drinks and dinner but Indians generally lack the adeptness to manage it.

Another disappointing factor that has come to the fore is that respondents felt that Indians over commit and also are not very flexible when it comes to sharing information.

Further, Indians working onshore in Europe made little or no attempt to assimilate with the local people, rather preferred socializing and living with other Indians.

However, despite all these negative feedbacks, Continental Europe is proactively looking forward to do business with Indian Outsourcing companies.

Significant goings-on have already been observed in the Benelux which includes Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg as well as Germany.

Nonetheless, the Nordic countries are showing much more interest. Nordic countries are home to heavyweight companies like Ikea, Nokia, Shell and Ericsson.

According to a top source from a leading advisory firm, if one communicates with 10 companies in Germany for potential business prospects, in all probability only two will respond. On the other hand, if one contacts 10 companies in Nordic, rest assured at least 7 will give a call back.

That continental Europe is upbeat about India is justified by the fact that India major TCS is doing a good business here. TCS has witnessed its European share doubling to 30 percent in the last 10 years.

Moreover, though Europe looks upon India as a traditional country, the continent by far has not been able to do away with its rigid mindsets.

Europe still looks at IT as an integral function of the company and therefore hesitates when it comes to outsourcing the same. Case in point being: German Pharma giant Bayers and chemical major BASF. Though both these have international operations, however they still retain IT services in house and employ almost 20,000 people for the job.

However, global meltdown has put the companies on a contemplation mode. By now they’ve figured out that outsourcing is the key to cutting costs. However, Indians have their own set of challenges when trying to enter these markets.

In continent Europe, business is based on relationship-building, unlike the US and UK markets, where businesses are purely revenue-focused.

When it comes to UK and US markets, Indian IT companies just send a few people on project basis. Here they focus much more on the verticals and are not at all regionally focused.

When it comes to European markets, Indians just can’t do with knowing the business nuances, they need to know the intricacies of the culture as well.

Some big players like TCS, Infosys, HCL and Cognizant realizing the potential of the European market have started investing here in a more sustainable fashion.

As Indian companies slowly but surely seem to grab the eyeballs of more and more clients, the European companies in turn are warming to the idea of off shoring and working hand in hand with Indians. The best parts being they even have opened up to the idea of accepting Indians in the IT consultative or advisory space.

Business Aviation

Cessna Citation X

In November 2009 Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. company, delivered the 300th Cessna Citation X. The Citation X has enjoyed most recent success in Russia and Eastern Europe.

The Cessna Citation X is the world’s fastest non-military aircraft, top speed very close to the speed of sound at.92 Mach. Launched in 1990, the Citation X is the top of Cessna’s range of light and mid-size business jets.

Cessna Aircraft Company is the world’s largest manufacturer of general aviation aircraft. Having produced more than 6,000 Cessna Citations, they are also the manufacturer of the largest fleet of business jets in the world.

Cessna Authorised Service Centre London England, jewel amongst FBOs Europe

In the UK, one of the major business aviation centres in Europe and FBOs Europe, Marshall Aerospace Business Aviation Centre London England has during the noughties been awarded Cessna’s Citation Service Centre Parts Sales Performance Award for two years in succession. They can see Cessna Inventory as becoming a key growth area for the company. They are busy developing maintenance hangars and AOG support teams with the capability to offer AOG support to customers with a “round-the-clock” global corporate aircraft maintenance service for business aircraft commercial operators.

Based at the Marshall Airport Cambridge in the UK, Marshall has been established in the business, corporate and general aviation sector for over 40 years. They have enjoyed the status of a Cessna Authorised Service Centre London England for over 30 years. To meet growing demand, the company is currently doubling its business aviation facilities with a new integrated MRO/ FBO capability at Cambridge.

Global contrast, Production and job cuts.

All of this is good news and takes a long term view at a time of global recession. In the short term, Gulfstream is reducing mid-sized aircraft production. New orders are down despite a large-cabin backlog increasing production in 2009. Cessna announced at the beginning of the year that it would be cutting jobs in a $30 million restructuring. The slowdown in the private jet industry has knocked on the head, at least temporarily, Cessna’s new plane, the Citation Columbus.

The private jet industry has blamed last summer’s fuel price spike, the recession, and public opinion about private jet travel. Bombardier too said that it would be slowing production of Learjet and Challenger. Embraer also released a 20-year market forecast predicting a 10% drop in demand for regional jets, which included a 60% decline for the 30- to 60-seat market sector.

Business aviation has an image problem which includes the negative publicity surrounding the episode late in 2008 when the heads of America’s troubled automotive manufacturers travelled in corporate jets to Washington to ask for government bail-outs.