Jaguar Land Rover boss to help highlight opportunities in India


Influential figures in the UK’s automotive and advanced manufacturing industry, including the boss of Jaguar Land Rover, will be highlighting the huge opportunities for SMEs to access the world’s fastest-growing major economy at a prestigious event in Coventry.


The Consulate General of India and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub are hosting the Accessing India: Automotive and Advanced Engineering Sector session as part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Festival.

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Among the speakers will be Dr Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India – Birmingham; Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, Chairman and Founder of Warwick Manufacturing Group and Investment Commissioner; Jonathan Browning (pictured), chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.


They will be speaking at the International Digital Laboratory at the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick tomorrow (November 23).


India has a growth rate of 7.36 per cent and has the second-largest start-up eco system in the global economy.


The UK is the third largest investor in India and bilateral trade between the two countries has grown rapidly over the last 10 years, reaching £18 billion last year.


The West Midlands is the export capital of the UK with the region having a 24% share of GDP from the export of goods compared to London’s eight per cent while Coventry and Warwickshire is a leading location for foreign investment with more than 3,500 new jobs having been secured in the region in the last 12 months – an increase of almost 100 per cent.


One of the topics for discussion will be a flagship programme called the Access India Programme (AIP) created by the High Commission of India in London to give comprehensive support to British SMEs wanting to export to India.


The AIP allows high-growth SMEs in the UK to access free advice on everything from legal matters to taxation and accounting practices to mentoring support.


Dr Puri, Consul General of India, Birmingham, said the Indian economy is at inflection point, it’s the third largest economy in the world in PPP terms and will be the driver for global demand in the next two decades.


He said: “Automotive and Advanced Manufacturing sectors have immense potential for UK-India partnership, as world leading R&D is happening in the Midlands in future mobility and autonomous vehicles.


“With the thrust on electric vehicles by Government of India, it is likely to be one of the key markets in the world, and British companies must seize this opportunity and be a part of this growth story.”


Jonathan Browning, chairman of the CWLEP, said this high-profile event had been organised to help Coventry and Warwickshire SMEs in the automotive and advanced engineering sectors to make the most of opportunities available in India.


“This will be a really useful event for SMEs in Coventry and Warwickshire planning to explore entering India which is expected to remain one of the fastest-growing economies in the world,” he said.


“Good trade relationships have been developed with India over many years particularly regarding the success of Tata and its relationship with Jaguar Land Rover and the UK is seen as an important market for Indian investment but investors require support around local knowledge and opportunities to maximise their chances of success.


“The Access India Programme has already directly helped several UK businesses since it started in September 2017 who recognise the importance of establishing business relationships in India.


“This conference, panel discussion and networking event has an experienced line-up of speakers who will be passing on their extensive knowledge on doing business with India and it will be the perfect way to complete the end of the first week of the Coventry & Warwickshire Business Festival for 2018.”