In 2014, a new government started the long process of adopting political, economic and fiscal reform, it's taking time to undo the previous years of mis-management but there's progress.

Economic growth is strong at roughly 6%, trade rules are easing up and, with Brexit on the horizon, the country could become a key ally to the UK in shared future prosperity. But according to Anuj Chande, a partner at Grant Thornton specialising in the Indian economy, warm sentiments heading in one direction might not be returned wholesale in the other.

The problem, according to Chande, is that India is transforming itself into an international powerhouse of trade. Twenty years ago it would have been grateful for attention from British business, but today it can afford to be a lot choosier.

"I think many countries have woken up to the opportunity, but UK companies have some catching up to do," he explains. "The Japanese, Germans and Americans all have a bigger presence there."

But with a shared history - for better or worse, common language and a linked regulatory system, British firms do enjoy something of an advantage. Chande says Indian regulations originated from British ones and the two codes haven't deviated much.

Companies heading to the country will find a thriving technology scene, investment opportunities in building and infrastructure projects and a big defence sector. Mumbai is home to a burgeoning financial service industry, while Bangalore and Pune are vying for the title of ‘Silicon Valley of the East'.

And while the UK is no longer the preferred option for tie-ups, it is definitely still in the mix. "Overall the India opportunity is huge and I would encourage companies to take advantage," advises Chande. "There is a diverse range of sectors - and the scale is not something we can afford to ignore".

One company flying the flag for UK-India trade is Rock & Roost, a new online-only furniture business with a made-to-order model in the vein of The company, which is raising investment on the Crowdcube crowdfunding platform, has a history of working with businesses in the country.

Rock & Roost was originally a pure-play technology company trading as Apparel Systems, which has developed a multi-million pound turnover and healthy profits. The existing business provides a platform that smooths the supply chain between factories and fashion retailers, the new one is its own retail business, offering exotic furniture and homeware products.

The business works both with Indian software developers, with its specialist software servicing Indian factories producing goods for the UK market. Its CEO, Jennie Rourke, believes the country has a huge amount to offer British brands.

"Travelling to India is a such a sensory experience," she explains. "It's incredibly large and diverse and I always look forward to going. Our development office is located in Pune, which is sometimes called the ‘Oxford of the East', because of its talented graduates.

"Our software is developed there; we design and specify what needs to be done here in the UK, but they essentially translate that into software programmes. Our experience is that they are highly effective and intelligent and the work they produce is good.

Naturally, working with partners thousands of miles away has its downside. Communication is one challenge: although English is widely spoken in India, it's not the country's primary language. Then there is the legal system, which mirrors fundamental principles in the UK.

"Although it's based on the UK legal system, India can be quite bureaucratic," says Chande. "The government is working to streamline the system and it's improving quickly, so things like IP law are strong compared to, say, China.

"A good indicator is however the length of time it takes to start a business. In the UK it can be done in a day, in India it might take several weeks."

Businesses looking at India would also do well to swat-up on the cultural differences. India is family-orientated and very hierarchical, plus people mix business and pleasure more freely than in the UK. It's important to ensure you talk to decision-makers, says Chande. The company owner, not the CEO for example, might be the person who really calls the shots  

"People don't like to say ‘no' or to admit they can't do something. They prefer to show willing, which can lead to difficulties, especially if they don't subsequently ask for help. It pays to make sure all parties completely understand each other and that there's a clear path to a positive result."

But Rourke also points out that this can be a British trait too, so it's doubly important to ensure every party is on the same page. Aside from these hurdles, Rourke senses a big appetite to work with British companies.

Business meetings should always start with a good chat about non-business issues, says Rourke. You might mention family, then discuss cricket, then another subject before turning to the task in hand.

She says people are polite and welcoming to the British. English language skills at senior levels are very common.

"The guys we work with are proud to be part of a British company and that feeling is reciprocated because we've built up a strong bond. They're very keen to do good work and the skill levels are extremely high - it's a win-win."

With an economy in full bloom and an outward-facing government, now is a good time to investigate the opportunities India has to offer. Businesses that do their research, take time to establish strong bonds and, most of all, respect the skills, will thrive.

As the UK detaches itself from the EU's single market (probably), trade with countries further afield will become essential to the UK's continued economic growth. The US, Canada and Australia will be obvious targets, but you'd be foolish to ignore India.