The Consulate General of India (CGI), Birmingham in association with the University of Nottingham organised a Business Seminar on November 06, 2017. This was part of a week-long series of Business Seminars hosted by the Indian Consulate to promote "Make in India" and the "Access India Programme, developed by the High Commission of India (HCI), London recently to hand- hold and mentor prospective British SME's desirous of doing business in India.
Prominent members of the business community, senior managers / representative of companies from a wide array of sectors, academics and community leaders attended the event.
Dr. Aman Puri, Consul General of India, Birmingham spoke on India – UK partnership in terms of trade & Investment. He also mentioned the huge contributions of the Indian Companies operating in UK. He also added that the single largest employer in the UK, in the manufacturing sector, are the Tata’s India largest conglomerate. He mentioned that the British Businesses especially the SME’S must explore the fresh opportunity now available in India, and take advantage of the ongoing rapid developments there. Dr. Puri highlighted the challenge currently faced by the British economy in terms of skilled manpower including researchers, engineers, doctors & nurses etc and urged British companies to tap the huge pool of the English speaking skilled professionals available in India.
Mr. Vivek Abraham, Assistant Vice President from Invest India (which is the official investment promotion and facilitation agent of Government of India, mandated to facilitate investments into India), who came especially for this programme from India gave a highly informative and interesting presentation called ‘Transformation India’. Amongst other things he highlighted the bright prospects for potential investors in the future years, in India. He mentioned the various initiatives taken by the Government of India especially in the past 3 years like the Digital India, Skill India etc. On the subject of digital India he mentioned the interesting fact that India is now the 2nd largest Nation ‘on 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. He also mentioned about the Prime Minister’s ‘Public Wealth Scheme’ ‘Jan Dhan Yojna’ under which no frills basic bank account has been provided to a large section of the population. Talking on the subject of taxes, where a trader in India had to pay multiple taxes on goods moving from one state of the country to another, and had to go through several state border checkposts 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.
Addressing the gathering leading Business personality, philanthropist, founder of the Purico Group of Companies Professor Nathu Puri acknowledged the positive changes that have come about in the business environment of India in the last few years, and urged the business community in Britain to take advantage of the numerous opportunities created for prospective business persons to set up their base in India.
Chairman of the Purico Group Mr. Anil Puri described in detail the business activities of their company and the fact that they would seriously explore the prospect of investing in India now as the business environment has become more welcoming for an International investor.
Professor Michele Clarke, Associate Pro Vice Chancellor (Global Engagement), Asia-Pacific, University of Nottingham addressed the gathering as the keynote speaker, and recounted the various ongoing collaborations of the University of Nottingham with several educational institutions of India.
This was followed by a detailed presentation by Mr Saikat Sen Sharma, Counsellor (Economic), High Commission of India, London which focused on highlighting the user- friendly approach of the AIP initiative towards the companies interested in investing in India. He strongly urged British SME's to apply in AIP on www.accessindia.co.uk
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 Governments attitude towards SME's have undergone massive transformation which makes it the right time for the UK SME's to come forward and explore the Indian opportunity. She also suggested SME’s to assistance from CII which would be provided free of cost.
Attendees of the Seminar shared their experiences and sought further insights during the Q&A session which was responded to by panellists Mr. Nathu Puri, Dr. Aman Puri, Mr Vivek Abraham and Ms Rita Hunt who answered a wide array of questions.