The Consulate General of India, Birmingham and Leeds University Business School hosted a ‘Make in India’, business seminar on 10th of November, 2017 as part of a week-long series organised by the Consulate General of India in seven prestigious institutions in the Midlands and North of England.
Prominent members of the business community, civic leaders, members of Chambers of Commerce, members of Council, senior managers and company representatives from an array of sectors attended the event.
Consul General, Dr. Aman Puri, welcomed the gathering and outlined that in the UK there are:
• 800 Indian operating companies
• Employing 110,000 people
• With a combined revenue of £47.5 billion pounds.
He also added that the single largest employer in the UK, in the manufacturing sector, is Tata, India’s largest conglomerate. He mentioned that the British businesses, especially the SMEs must study the opportunities in India, and explore the first hand developments to develop their India business plan.
Ms. Shruti Chandra, Manager at Invest India (which is the official investment promotion and facilitation agent of the Government of India, mandated to facilitate investments into India), gave a highly informative and interesting presentation called, ‘Transformation India’.
Amongst other things she highlighted the bright prospects for potential investors in the future years in India. She spoke about the various initiatives taken by the Government of India especially over the past three years like ‘Digital India’ and ‘Skill India’. On the subject of digital India she discussed the interesting fact that India is now the 2nd largest Nation ‘on the internet’. At the same time it is the largest nation which is still ‘not’ on the internet, thereby implying the untapped potential in this sector.
Ms Chandra also spoke about the Prime Minister’s ‘Public Wealth Scheme’ ‘Jan Dhan Yojna’ under which a no frills basic bank account has been provided to a large section of the population. Talking on the subject of taxes, she introduced a case study where a trader in India had to pay multiple taxes on goods moving from one state of the country to another. This meant they had to go through several state border check posts thereby causing tremendous delays. With the introduction of GST recently, all these check posts have now been removed ensuring free and speedy movement across the country.
In his address Professor Peter J Buckley, Professor of International Business and Founder Director of the Centre for International Business at the University of Leeds (CIBUL), signified the importance of engaging with the world around us and how important our cultural ties are for community integration and experience.
Mr Bharat Joshi, British Deputy High Commissioner, Chennai, in his address spoke about how British companies in India are extremely successful and are looking further to expand and access the India opportunity. He also mentioned that UK-India is a crucial relation for the UK, and there is an immense untapped potential in the trade and investment relationships between the two countries.
Ms. Rita Hunt, Consultant, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) UK, shared her experience of working with CII UK and noted that the Indian Business environment and the government’s attitude towards SMEs has undergone massive transformation which makes it the right time for the UK SMEs to come forward and seek help which is available at CII, free of cost.
The presentation segment of the programme was followed by a Question and Answer session and panel discussion, with panelists Mr. Vivek Abraham, Mr Bharat Joshi, Ms Rita Hunt and Dr. Aman Puri.
The event was attended by nearly 50 participants. In the networking session that followed, the participants suggested that more such events were welcomed to help facilitate British businesses explore the opportunities available in India.