India Inc India Inc: Friday, 30 June 2017 13:55

The race is on. Let’s make India and the UK a ‘Winning Partnership’

The UK’s ‘transactional’ relationship with India has less value than it once did. We need a transformational relationship fit for the age of radical ideas, writes India Inc. CEO Manoj Ladwa.

Timing is everything. As Prime Minister Theresa May and her team opened Brexit negotiations in Brussels, the London launch of a new collection of essays penned by some of the most authoritative voices in the India-UK landscape comes as a timely reminder that this Europe-centric debate is taking place at a time of growth and upheaval in other international markets, India foremost among them.

Winning Partnership: India-UK Relations Beyond Brexit’ presented me with the formidable task of editing a compilation of thoughts, ideas and, indeed, warnings as India and the UK embark on their own very different journeys. The contributors to this repository of ideas are people who have lived and breathed the India-UK relationship, people I hope the powers that be would be inclined to listen to.

At a macro level, great deal of excitement rests on the UK’s promise to be open to the world, but the UK government is entirely focused on Brexit for the next two years or more. The consensus seems to be that, although the UK and India will continue to have an extraordinary bond after Brexit, this could be a time of radical change in that relationship.

However, both sides understand that the UK, in particular, may have become too relaxed about this relationship even as the pendulum has started to shift towards India, the fastest-growing major global economy.

At a micro level, the spotlight is on Prime Minister Modi as he tries to chart a different course to other world leaders in his negotiations with President Trump and maintain the formidable economic growth India has witnessed during his premiership. The global community is watching this leader closely, knowing that India’s economic growth has been unleashed and could transform the lives of millions.

The UK’s relationship with India has been predominantly transactional, but it needs to become transformational.

Transformational partnerships create value by stimulating dynamism and innovation. India and the UK need to understand where the true value comes from the partnership, and how they can turn this special relationship into a truly global one – a relationship that changes the world for the better, tackling significant issues such as security and climate change together.

When the British Prime Minister made her first international visit outside Europe to New Delhi last November, the response was regrettably mixed. It shows that there needs to be an open dialogue about the UK’s partnership with India and the Indian diaspora needs to take a significant role in this.

It is against this backdrop that India Inc. will be hosting a standalone launch of ‘Winning Partnership’ in New Delhi on Monday.

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


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