Panel discussions, seminars at India-UK Manufacturing Summit help to promote India, UK manufacturing sectors

The 18th India-UK Manufacturing Summit drew to a successful conclusion on July 18, 2017 at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London. The British South India Council of Commerce (BSICC) partnered with Europe India Centre for Business and Industry (EICBI) and UK Karnataka Business Chamber to organise the event.

Virendra Sharma MP, the Chairman of Indo British All Party Parliamentary group, welcomed the delegates attending the business meet. EICBI Chair Sujit Nair hosted the summit, which held various panel discussions and seminars about developing links to improve relations between India and the UK’s manufacturing sector.

The first panel discussion was about UK India relationship – 'Make in India', finance by UK. The panelists included Lord Swraj Paul, Chairman, Caparo Group Ltd; Baroness Verma, Former Energy & Climate Change Minister and former International Development Minister, United Kingdom; Hon Virendra Sharma MP (Ealing Southall); Hon Bob Blackman MP (Harrow East); Vijay Goel, Chairman, Assocham UK/Ex Chairman – London Chamber of Commerce Asian Business Association and Chi Onwurah Labour MP(Newcastle upon Tyne Central).

Various discussions during the summit were aimed to establish an understanding of major challenges and opportunities in manufacturing sector for companies in India. 

(From left) Vijay Goel, Marion Fellows MP, Virendra Sharma, Bob Blackman, Swraj Paul, Baron Paul,Sandip Verma, Baroness Verma, Chi Onwurah andSujit S Nair launching a panel discussion of the summit at UK Parliament.
(From left) Vijay Goel, Marion Fellows MP, Virendra Sharma, Bob Blackman, Swraj Paul, Baron Paul,Sandip Verma, Baroness Verma, Chi Onwurah andSujit S Nair launching a panel discussion of the summit at UK Parliament. Photo Courtesy: EICBI

The summit was a major success, with delegates providing positive feedback after it ended. During the summit, a report titled 'Spotlight on Asian business' which looks at the contribution of Asian business to London was launched. The report was launched by Lord Swraj Paul, Baroness Verma, Hon Virendra Sharma MP, Hon Bob Blackman MP, Vijay Goel, Chi Onwurah Labour MP, Marion Fellows MP, Aditya Rathod (Executive Director – UAE Exchange); Arbinder Chatwal (Head of India Advisory services – BDO) and Sujit Nair.

“I thought the afternoon was a great way to network with businesses in our sector. The delegates were all from a similar industry meaning networking was really useful. I've taken away some thoughts on India which I can feedback to those members who are interested in this growing overseas market,” said James Fudge, Head of Events, Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA).

The panelists and the audience discussed about how UK is perfectly placed to finance manufacturing growth in India. The next panel discussion was titled ‘Manufacturing Reform Inputs for India from recent British successes and failures’. The panelists who participated in the discussion included Mike Berry, Director, 600 group/Board Member – Manufacturing Trade Association (MTA);  Sterlin Edward, KTC Edibles; Amrti Johal – Head of litigation, Singhania and Steve Westlake – Managing Director, Coborn Engineering Ltd.

This panel discussion focussed on the lessons which India can learn from the success and failures of the British Manufacturing sector.

Panel discussion in progress at the summit.
Panel discussion in progress at the summit. Photo Courtesy: EICBI

The third panel discussion was about ‘India’s Manufacturing sector reforms: Progress and Major Challenges’. This panel discussion looked at the current status of India's manufacturing sector and what reforms are needed.

Other discussions focussed on sustainable manufacturing and how it can be carried out by reducing negative environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources and effect of international manufacturing collaboration in India which looked at the risks which companies face as a result of pursuing international collaboration and how to mitigate that risk.

Following this session, Dr Paresh Rughani, International motivational speaker and executive corporate trainer, moderated a motivational session which encouraged all the delegates to introduce themselves and their work and what they intend to get out of the summit.

Manufacturing has emerged as one of the high growth sectors in India. Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, had launched the ‘Make in India’ program to place India on the world map as a manufacturing hub and give global recognition to the Indian economy. India is expected to become the fifth largest manufacturing country in the world by the end of 2020. 

The Government of India has set an ambitious target of increasing the contribution of manufacturing output to 25 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025, from 16 per cent currently. It has the potential to touch USD1 trillion by 2025 and create up to 90 million domestic jobs by 2025.

“There were some really insightful case studies which are always great to hear and add real value. For us it was a great opportunity to meet other UK businesses and businesses from Southern India; this is really positive for forging and continuing to build strong relationships and links between the UK and India,” Sarah Butcher, Membership Manager/ExportSurrey – Surrey Chambers of Commerce, said after the event.