Clean tech export opportunities from the UK to India

Client: British High Commission Delhi


The British High Commission Delhi wanted to validate clean tech as a high-value sector for UK exports, quantify and qualify the opportunity, identify target UK companies and Indian projects, and optimise the British High Commission’s support for the UK’s cleantech sector by recommending initiatives to overcome real and perceived trade barriers.


CLT identified sub-sectors and technologies where UK competitive advantage overlapped with Indian demand, quantified and qualified the opportunity, recommended policy options to support trade, and provided case studies and a database of UK firms interested in export.

CLT led a team of 10 people from the UK and India to map out high-value cleantech sectors by matching Indian needs over a 5-year time horizon with areas of UK competitive advantage. We studied Indian plans and policies and interviewed large commercial players, SMEs, industry associations and academic stakeholders in both the UK and India.

Five sectors were identified where UK competitive advantage overlapped with strong and accelerating demand in India. Within those sectors, we determined which sub-technologies or processes reflected the best opportunities through interviews with people along the supply chain.

In order for the High Commission to be able to compare the opportunity relative to other sectors, we quantified the current markets, their future growth, accessibility to UK firms, and the real and perceived barriers to trade. This gave the High Commission evidence to support future initiatives focused on clean tech.

To support future trade missions, we developed a detailed database of over 250 firms across the five clean tech sectors. We also categorised each firm’s industry sub-sector and its position along the value chain, and outlined its relevant technology or service.

To inform the High Commission’s future initiatives, we spoke with the ‘bridging organisations’ like business councils and networks that connect UK and Indian business, and mapped their activities. We then identified where the High Commission could support trade by leveraging existing activities and avoiding duplication of effort. We also highlighted where new efforts were needed to overcome identified barriers.

Finally, we synthesised all learning in order to recommend five precision initiatives that would support trade. They were within the remit, budget, capability and scope of the High Commission.