India Inc India Inc: Friday, 07 April 2017 09:18

Who’s really driving the UK-India partnership?

by Manoj Ladwa

The UK-India Awards will unveil the true depth and spirit of the relationship by celebrating the people and businesses in the driving seat, writes India Inc. CEO Manoj Ladwa.

The past few days have seen a hive of activity within the UK-India space, with visits from senior British ministers to India for two very important dialogues and highlighting once again the many people and businesses who have been steering this bilateral relationship for years.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond arrived for the annual UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue, during which he was accompanied by Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney along with leading FinTech entrepreneurs from the UK. In his own words, Hammond was there to “bang the drum” for British businesses working in and with India.

His enthusiastic post-Brexit UK-India drum-banging came just before energy minister Greg Clark arrived in India for the first-ever India-UK Energy for Growth Dialogue. This new engagement takes forward a commitment made by Prime Ministers Modi and Theresa May during the latter’s visit to India in November last year to provide future direction for the energy sector, infrastructure financing, and opportunities for wider collaboration between the two countries. And, next week will see UK defence secretary Michael Fallon arrive for talks in New Delhi.

These developments soon after Mrs May invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to set the clock ticking on Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) quite clearly reflects the proactive approach of the British government towards ensuring it is not seen as isolationist in any way. And, it is at times of uncertainty, she hopes that old friends like India can be most relied upon.

According to latest figures, the total turnover of the fastest-growing Indian companies in the UK rose 18 per cent since 2015 – from £22 billion to more than £26 billion. This is a significant boost to the UK economy, which has remained the largest G20 investor into India for years.

There is no doubt that UK-India relations are at a crucial point, given the backdrop of Brexit in the UK and Prime Minister Modi’s determined growth agenda in India. There is a lot written and said about the historic relationship between the two countries but it is now time to dig deep and analyse the true impact of the oft talked-about special bond and the people who really make things happen.

This is where the UK-India Awards 2017 come in. India Inc. has done this digging and narrowed down businesses and individuals who deserve recognition for their relentless, and often unsung, work behind the scenes to ensure the bilateral relationship is possibly poised for its biggest growth spurt yet. These include professionals from around the world who have the expertise and insight to advise new entrants into the India, high-profile politicians who ensure the Indian voice is never muted in UK policy circles and personalities who have a knack to wield the soft power tool with finesse. A comprehensive list of categories for nomination can be accessed here.

Alongside the awards ceremony, India Inc. is also collating ‘The UK-India 100’ – a list of individuals whose line of duty may or may not fall within the UK-India space but they have invariably gone that extra mile in recent times to ensure the relationship vibrant on all fronts. These are the UK-based drivers who have worked hard over the years to keep India on British business roadmap and vice versa.

We are now stepping into the final phase for this grand launch on 12 May 2017, with just days left to nominate deserving UK-based individuals for the inaugural 'UK-India 100’ list – which is intended as a keepsake for any Indian companies keen on the UK market and, of course, any British businesses keen on doing business in India.

Please make sure you get your nominations in before they close!

Manoj Ladwa is the founder of India Inc. and chief executive of MLS Chase Group @manojladwa

 

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