The Consulate General of India (CGI), Birmingham in association with the Department of International Trade(DIT) organised a Make in India, Business Seminar at Innovate 2017, the annual flagship innovation conference of United Kingdom, on November 08, 2017 at NEC Birmingham. This was part of a week-long series of Business Seminars hosted by the Indian Consulate from 6-10 November 2017 to promote "Make in India" initiative of the Government of India and the "Access India Programme’’, developed recently by the High Commission of India (HCI), London to hand- hold and mentor British SME's to access India.
The event was attended by entrepreneurs, innovators, representatives of companies from a wide array of sectors, academics and investors from all round UK. The seminar which took place in tandem with the ‘Innovate 2017’ at its India Zone which was the focus country for the first day of the two day event. It saw a significant footfall comprising of a diverse cross section of participants.
Mr. Amo Kalar, Deputy Trade Commissioner, British High Commission, New Delhi anchored the event. The event started with a welcome speech by Dr. Ruth Mckerne, CBE, Chief Executive at Innovate UK. She welcomed the attendees and appreciated this initiative of the Consulate General of India for co-hosting the event. In her address she spoke about some of the ongoing collaborative projects with India in the fields of biotechnology, industry, agriculture, health etc. She urged for establishment of more India-UK manufacturing partnerships & innovation centres.
In his key note address, Mr. Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), New Delhi, emphasized the need for enhanced UK- India collaborations, especially in the electronics & IT sectors. He also mentioned about the changing contours of the mobile phone assembling industry in India which has seen phenomenal increase from the earlier level of 60 million units to the present level 250 million units. He urged forging of stronger alliances between the two Nations, and mentioned how many multinationals like Amazon, Google and Uber achieved tremendous growth because India was very much a part of their business stratergy.
Speaking on the occasion, Acting High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom, Ambassador, Mr. Dinesh K. Patnaik mentioned the huge economic policy transformations taking place in India since the last few years. He noted that SME's form the backbone of the British business sector, a large majority of which still do not have international exposure. Therefore, the Government of India was keen to extend all possible help to them through the recently launched Access India Programme initiative. He also highlighted the main sectors which needs potential improvement in terms of collaborations such as agriculture, aerospace & automotive (especially about electric cars), larger induction of LED bulbs to effect energy saving, health care and pharmaceuticals. He then mentioned about the Access India Programme designed to British SME’s to base their operations in India so that they can not only benefit from the huge Indian market, but also export to other countries around the world.
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 specially for this programme from India, gave a highly informative and interesting presentation called ‘Transformation India’. He mentioned the various initiatives taken by the Government of India specially in the past 3 years like the Digital India, Skill India etc. Talking on the subject of taxes, he mentioned how the introduction of the new tax regime , ‘GST’, Goods and Service Tax, of Government of India has simplified the earlier complex tax services. He mentioned about 25 focus sectors in ‘Make in India’ with a consolidated potential of USD 4 Trillion.
The seminar concluded with an interactive Q& A session hosted by Mr. Richard Heald, CEO, UKIBC. The panel comprising of Mr. Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), Dr. Aman Puri, Consul General , Consulate General of India in Birmingham, Richard Heald, CEO - UK India Business Council (Moderator), Vivek Abraham, Invest India, Company representatives, responded to a wide range of queries from the participants.