Quantity surveyor Cyril Sweett plans to expand its global presence after starting talks with a number of firms in India.

Francis Ives, Cyril Sweett chairman, said the consultant aimed to form an alliance to tap into the growth in India's economy.

He said: "We have clients that want to work over there, and there are Indian clients that want to work over here, so it makes sense."

Ives declined to reveal which Indian firms were in the frame but confirmed that he had travelled to India to discuss a possible tie-up with a number of players in the Indian market.

He said: "We're not interested in small partners - we want partners that are able to service whole regions or continents."

The link-up would add to Cyril Sweett's current presence in the Middle East and Asia through its association with construction consultant DG Jones and Partners.

Its presence in Europe includes an alliance with German firm Drees+Sommer, a wholly-owned office in Paris and a joint venture in Madrid.

We’re not interested in small partners – we want partners that are able to service whole continents

Francis Ives, chairman, Cyril Sweett

Cyril Sweett's plans come at a time of increasing consolidation between global partners in the QS sector.

Davis Langdon last week revealed plans to unify all its partners under a single name, apart from its Asian company, which would remain as Davis Langdon & Seah.

It also comes as concerns grow over the merits of expansion through global alliances compared with acquisition or simply setting up an office in the local market.

The worries follow the collapse last May of Gardiner & Theobald's alliance with Rider Hunt Levett & Bailey in Asia and Australasia, after a disagreement over operations in the Chinese market.

Ives said: "We can't afford to keep opening offices at risk. We would rather have an association with the best we can than to set up offices on our own."