Robbie joins the Prime Minister for a trade delegation in India

Did you hear about the ministerial visit to India in February? Well our very own Robbie Swales was invited to accompany the Prime Minister and other business leaders on the trip! He left on 17 February on a specially chartered plane, alongside David Cameron, several government ministers, CEO’s from leading global brands and FTSE 100 companies - and a number of representatives from UK owned SME’s who, like Steps, have successfully built their business in India. It was very hush-hush, with a media embargo in place until the morning the delegation arrived in India, but even that couldn't quell the real buzz of excitement in the office!

The whistle-stop visit, lasting just 3 days, was a hectic schedule of site visits, business delegations, networking events, roundtable discussions and a Queen’s Birthday Party – with over 2000 guests from the political, military, business, cultural and media industries in India. Rajan Tata, the most eminent businessman in modern India was present, as were a number of business leaders from the three Chambers, who represent the top tier of Indian business.

The event, hailed as the biggest business delegation visiting India from the UK, kicked off with an address by David Cameron. His speech focused on the burgeoning business relationship between these two great nations – and the future of this dynamic and forward-looking union. Highlighting trade opportunities, potential for economic growth, the importance of skills development and the benefits of harnessing the cultural diversity within a global business context – the Prime Minister framed the delegation programme for the days ahead.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said, “We are on track to double our trade with India by 2015. India has the potential to become one of the largest markets in the world. Steps are rightly recognising that they can reap the rewards of looking outside Europe for trading partners, selling goods and services to high growth markets outside the EU. Government is clear that we must build deeper ties with India. This means supporting and encouraging a range of companies, both large and small, to do business there in the future, and I am delighted that Steps are part of the delegation for this trip.”

Robbie has been building Steps’ capability in India, working alongside our Country Head, Mohan Madgulkar. An independent trainer and facilitator himself, Mohan has been in touch with Steps for over 5 years, sharing his insight into the learning and development market in India and gaining knowledge of our UK business model. Two years ago, when the time was right for Steps to develop its offering in India, Mohan joined the team and has been at the helm of our business in India since. It’s a great partnership – Robbie bringing the expertise and experience from our UK business and Mohan delivering a fantastic knowledge of the Indian market and the potential of local acting talent.
We’re delighted to have been asked to attend this trip” says Robbie, “Mohan and I have been steadily building the business in India, making some fantastic connections, creating a robust team of Actor-Facilitators and, with them, developing a truly unique form of Indian drama based training. What an adventure we’re on – and it’s great that UKTI are continuing to support our growth in this exciting and dynamic region.”

The trip included time spent in Mumbai and Delhi – and once the Prime Ministerial visit is over, Robbie boarded yet another plane – this time following Greg Barker MP, Minister for Business Engagement with India, to Bengalaru. Here Robbie attended additional UKTI events, as well as an evening reception at the British High Commission. What a busy few days!!

Published February 2013


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