The shortlist of India Inc. hosted inaugural UK-India Awards 2017 reads like a catalogue of past successes and a promise of the vast potential for the future, writes India Inc. CEO Manoj Ladwa.
A new report by a leading UK-based think tank released this week claims there is enough untapped trade potential to offset the possible effects of Brexit on Britain’s exports to the European Union (EU).
Open Europe, in its ‘Global Britain: Priorities for trade beyond the EU’ research, finds that Britain can make up for any export loss as it exits the EU by building on under-developed links with India and by making the country a priority in its trade negotiations.
In a related development this week, Grant Thornton and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) released their annual ‘India Meets Britain Tracker’, which reveals that around 800 Indian companies operating in Britain generated £47.5 billion in combined revenues in 2016 and sustained over 110,000 jobs for the UK economy.
These are just the latest figures to add weight to Prime Minister Theresa May’s rallying call that Brexit does not mean Britain will become inward-looking in any way. Indeed, her actions have tried to demonstrate just how important India will be to this post-Brexit outward-looking Britain; by making it her first trade delegation destination as PM outside Europe in November 2016.
And, here is where the significance of the India Inc. hosted UK-India Awards, being launched in London against this Brexit backdrop, can be best explained. There is no doubt the so-called “special” relationship has often seemed strong on rhetoric and short on substance; but at the same time there have been some great success stories that deserve being celebrated.
At a time when there is a question mark on Britain as a base for expansionist Indian companies, our UK-India Awards Shortlist reflects just how much of a pull factor Britain continues to exert on Indian companies with global ambitions.
There are an equal number of UK companies active in India and there are ground-breaking deals that are being struck even as I write this. And, driving this engagement forward are individuals working in various capacities, often behind the scenes, who India Inc. will honour in the first-of-its-kind ‘UK India 100’ list of most influential people.
The UK-India Awards ceremony, on May 12, will be a celebration of their hard work as well as the deep UK-India bond at a crucial turning point in the UK-India relationship.