A Grant Thornton UK executive shares his observations on the growth of Indian companies in the UK over the past few years and how historic ties between the two countries can be leveraged for a stronger business partnership. Cast your mind back to April 1991 - over a quarter of a century ago. The world was truly a different place in every sense. In India two significant events took place. In this year, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated and the Indian Finance Minister, Manmohan Singh introduced a slew of measures to open up and liberalise the Indian economy after years of protectionism. The vision was to allow the world access (albeit restricted) to one of the world's emerging economies and permit Indian corporates to expand outside India. It was on the back of this, in 1991, that I saw a great opportunity from a UK angle to work on the India-UK corridor and set up Grant Thornton's South Asia's group with a particular focus on India. I vividly recall in 1991 when a number of Indian corporates - both large and small - took advantage of the globalisation opportunity offered by the economic liberalisation and decided to venture out. The UK with its historical, cultural and linguistic advantage was an obvious choice. Indian corporates set up offices in London and other parts of the UK sought to form strategic partnerships with the UK counterparts and even make acquisitions. Rather disappointingly, the UK corporates were in many cases a little wary or ignorant of what an Indian connection could offer. To our loss, some of these companies went to the US and other parts of Europe and are today truly thriving as successful global IT businesses. Reflecting back on the 25 years, I would say that the UK corporate view on India remained much the same for a number of years and has only changed in the last 15 years when India and its importance to the world economic order and the influence in the UK economy started to be recognised and truly accepted. This has been helped by the visibility received in the UK from the two major landmark acquisitions by Tata of Corus and Jaguar Land Rover in 2006 and 2008 respectively.