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India zones in on UK food industry

28 February 2012

Retail, food supply chain and logistics companies are being invited to attend the largest India business event of the year – the UK India Business Council Networking Summit - designed to show how UK firms can find opportunities for growth by venturing into the booming Indian market

The one-day event, which will take place on 14 March 2012 at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester brings together over 500 business figures from across the UK and India, a country where food processing alone is predicted to become a £159bn industry by 2015.

Attendees include Waitrose, DHL Supply Chain, Tea People and FCL UK. Delegates will also meet export and trade finance experts, risk analysts and other retail, supply chain and logistics companies that have successfully entered India.

Richard Heald, CEO, UKIBC said, “India not only has a 1.25 billion population including a 330 million-strong middle-class, the average Indian income will grow by 27 times over the next four decades. This makes it an attractive market for retailers and UK consumer goods firms.

The Indian Government’s recent announcement of increasing Foreign Direct Investment in single brand retail from 51 per cent to 100 percent will also create huge opportunities for UK businesses in India.”

At the UKIBC summit, UK companies in the sector will have an opportunity to learn about market entry and expansion strategies in India from firms already reaping the benefits of expanding there, such as Pizza Express, whose Head of International Development, Jasper Reid, is a keynote speaker.

Mr Heald added: “India is not one single market, but many markets and businesses must have the right entry and expansion strategy to succeed. We will highlight various models including export, joint venture, sole proprietorship, branch office and subsidiary. The UKIBC Summit will also address regulatory issues, intellectual property protection, financing, business culture and marketing.”

Why India?
As India has the ninth largest economy in the world by GDP and the third by purchasing power parity, UK firms are increasingly looking there for expansion and investment opportunities. While it has not been immune from the global slowdown its GDP grew by 8.5% in 2010-2011. For firms here grappling with tough conditions in the Eurozone, India represents an ever expanding consumer market which, one way or another, will impact on UK businesses.

How India?
The theme for this year's summit is based around market entry and expansion strategies, and will attract speakers from UK businesses and Indian multinationals. Companies taking part include Tata Consultancy Services’ Chief Executive Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Bournville College, Pearson, Get Through Guides and Grant Instruments, with more to be confirmed.

The full day event with plenary sessions and sector specific discussions will highlight opportunities in India and, particularly, how to capture them. There will also be a strong emphasis on expert advice, networking, exhibiting and a business to business hub.

The summit is ideal for those companies considering questions such as ‘Is India the right market for us? Is it right now? If yes, how do you engage?’ They will discover how to grow their company in India by joining interactive panel discussions, attending one-to-one meetings with the experts, finding new business contacts at the B2B hub, meeting UK businesses succeeding in India along with an SME delegation and political leaders, taking away compelling case studies, hot-off-the-press market intelligence, and practical tips and by participating in informal networking events throughout the day.

Businesses are encouraged to attend if they are:
Interested in Indian business
Thinking of exporting to or entering the Indian market
Considering their market entry strategy to India
Planning to expand their business in India
Wanting to understand the Indian market and make new business contacts
Interested to meet UK companies that are successfully doing business in India
Looking to find Indian business partners

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