Asian entrepreneurs race ahead

Sep 05 2006 by Nic Paton Print This Article

The wealth of Asian entrepreneurs in the UK has grown by three times as the economy as a whole since 1998, with Asian success stories increasingly being seen in "non-traditional" sectors and industries.

A study by Barclays Business Banking said real Asian wealth had increased by 69 per cent since 1998, compared with a 22.8 per cent growth in the economy as a whole.

There had also been a noticeable shift by business owners towards higher value industrial sectors such as pharmaceuticals, IT and media.

The entry level for joining the top 200 Asian wealth creators had more than doubled from 2 million in 1998 to 5 million in 2005.

Report author Dr Spinder Dhaliwal, a lecturer in entrepreneurship at Surrey University, said there had been a significant shift in Asian wealth creation away from traditional industries such as textiles and manufacturing towards new hi-tech and service sectors.

Wealth creation in new economy sectors such as IT, media and the internet had increased by more than 690 million in the eight years to 2005.

This compared to, for example, the textiles sector which showed no real growth over the same period.

The pharmaceuticals industry was now the largest source of Asian wealth in the UK, up 50-fold (an increase of 1.5 billion) between 1998-2005, in the context of a static UK pharmaceuticals sector.

Meanwhile, Asian businesses more than trebled wealth creation in the service-orientated hotels sector.

Satish Kanabar, corporate director Barclays Business Banking, said: "Asian wealth is now built on a much broader base of entrepreneurs who are challenging traditional stereotypes and making serious money in hi-tech industries.

"As a result, Asian wealth creation is more important than its headline contribution to overall economic growth would indicate Asian entrepreneurs are actually in the vanguard of the UK's emerging high-tech, service economy."

Asian wealth creation in the UK was no longer reliant on the performance of a handful of Asian entrepreneurs, the survey also found.

Since 1998 the top 10 per cent of Asian wealth creators had accounted for a diminishing proportion of total wealth generated.

While almost two-thirds of Asian wealth was generated by the top 20 performers in 1998 by 2005 this proportion had fallen to 30 per cent.

Less than one per cent of wealth was generated by non-business activities, indicating that little wealth was inherited, it added.

Wealth generated by Asian women within the top 200 more than quadrupled between 1998 and 2005, with the number of women listed within their own right doubling within the same period.