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Collage Maker-25-Jan-2023-04

UP finance minister Suresh Kumar Khanna and Dr Shashank Vikram

Uttar Pradesh Finance Minister, Bureaucrats To Visit UK To Woo Global Investors

Uttar Pradesh government’s top level bureaucrats led by the state’s Finance Minister & Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Suresh Kumar Khanna are visiting the United Kingdom to woo global investors. On January 28 Jan, Dr Shashank Vikram, IFS who is the Consul General of India in Birmingham will be hosting “a high profile” gathering of investors to meet the minister and top officials. Birmingham which coincidentally is recognised as the “Engine” of UK economy inspired by James Watt will play host to strengthen ties between the UK and Uttar Pradesh. UP minister Khanna’s visit is primarily to woo investors for the UP’s Global Investors Summit to be held shortly in his state. It is learnt that Khanna and his core team along with Dr Vikram have identified a roadmap and strategies to be followed to enhance trade and economic ties between the UK and UP. Khanna is ambitious with his plans as UP’s vision is to become a $1 trillion economy. Towards this objective the state government has provided a single window clearance for 25 sectors it has opened up for the global investors. With the BJP government elected for the second time in UP, there is political stability. But, the moot point will these roadshows in the UK following the USA earlier, encourage global entrepreneurs to UP?
Collage Maker-16-Jan-2023-04

Odisha-Based Sri Sri University Signs MoU With W20 For Knowledge Partnership

Odisha-based Sri Sri University is the first University in India to sign MoU as a Knowledge Partner with W20, under the aegis of G20 Presidency of India. Prof Rajita Kulkarni, President at Sri Sri University says “We look forward to working with the W20 team this year across important priority areas like women entrepreneurship, climate change, education and skill development.” W20 is the official G20 engagement group focused on gender equality. Its primary objective is to ensure that gender considerations are mainstreamed into G20 discussions and translated into the G20 Leaders’ Declaration as policies and commitments that foster gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Envisioned by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji, Sri Sri University which became operational in 2012 blends the best of the East and the West, enabling the holistic development of its students. In a span of 10 years the university is offering different courses in areas of management, architecture, humanities, agriculture, health and wellness, science, literature, osteopathy and performing & fine arts.  In 2021 Sri Sri University was ranked 1st in State & Zone, and 8th in India (quantum jump from 26th Rank in 2020) under the category of Best Private Universities and 27th in the category of Top 50 University of Eminence (Deemed & Pvt) by Indian Institutional Ranking Framework.
Collage Maker-03-Jan-2023-04

UK-Based Neelabha Chatterjee

Chatterjees Of Luxmi Group Eye Global Markets, LUK In UK To Launch BrrrGrr

The Rs 1000-crore Kolkata based Luxmi Group owned by the Chatterjees has been producing some of the world’s most coveted teas for over 100 years now. The group which owns Darjeeling’s prestigious and elite Makaibari tea estates are intensely focusing on the global markets for tea, and other lines of businesses. Neelabha Chatterjee, younger son of Dipankar and grandson of PC Chatterjee has decided to settle in the UK.  He went as a student at Cranfield and chose not to return family’s tea estates. He has set up LUK Hospitalities which owns two branded hotels in Birmingham. Besides, he is all set to launch American style burgers, wings and shakes in the West Midlands region called ‘Brrgrrr’. The Kolkata-based Chatterjees have diversified into carpets, furniture in India and now hospitality in the UK. The third generation is strengthening the group’s presence in different sectors. In India, Neelabha’s brother Rudra who is handling the family’s traditional tea business is eyeing the global tea retail markets. To start with, it will be the USA. Besides, he plans to expand hand-woven carpets brand Obeetee and furniture brand Manor and Mews with its atelier in London and manufacturing units in Europe and Jaipur. The Chatterjees came into limelight when Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented a packet of Silver Imperial brand from Makaibari to the late Queen Elizabeth when he visited the UK in 2015.
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King Of Puri To Visit UK In The Spring Of 2023

The City of London and the UK has lured all. The King of Puri is no exception. Dibyasingha Deb, known as Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb IV, will be travelling to the UK in May 2023. He is the current titular Gajapati Maharaja and Chairman of the Shree Jagannatha Temple, Odisha and the current Adhyasevaka (known as the first and foremost servitor) of Lord Jagannatha and according to customs also considered to be the living reflection of the Lord. Huge preparations are on to welcome the King of Puri to the UK. The King, the current head of the house of Bhoj Dynasty, will be accompanied by his wife Maharani Leelavati Patamahadei. The 70-year old King’s travel in the UK is organised by the Shree Jagannatha Society of UK. Reportedly, Odia’s population in the UK is over 5000. “Pleased with support and growth here the King of Puri is on a mission to spread the Jagannath Sanskruti in the UK and across the globe,” admits Siba Ranjan Biswal, one of the leaders of the Odia community in the UK. The King’s itinerary includes visits to the Jagannatha Temples in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Bath.  The King is expected to visit the City of Greater Manchester which has hosted the 43rd Annual Convention of the Odia community in August 2022.  
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Odia Actor-Politician Anubhav Mohanty Seeks “Love in London"

Well known Odia star Anubhav Mohanty and youngest BJD MP is focusing on his first love — movies. It may be recalled that the Odia actor and his actress wife Varsha Priyadarshini made headlines when their marital discord became ugly. This popular star and sitting MP from Kendrapara, made a big splash two decades ago on the silver screen with his film “I Love You “. It was a super hit and made him a star overnight. Recently, the Odia star was seen in London shooting for his film Love In London. Film’s Director Tapas Sargharia who is also a well-known screenwriter and actor is thrilled that he was able to sign Anubhav for this project. “A large chunk of the film is shot at the iconic places – London Eye, London Bridge and Thames River”, said Sargharia. “It’s a love story with a difference,” he assures. Poulomi Das is the heroine. Anubhav revealed that the film’s climax is “unusual and the audience will have Goosebumps.”  This love story is deep-rooted in the social values, culture and tradition of Odisha. Film will hit the big screen in 2023. “It’s a huge balancing act between the Parliament and dates to shoot,” says Anubhav. “But I never lose a single day in the Parliament”, he says.  That’s work-life balance for him.
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Deepak Chopra, Doug Roland Team Up With Chef Vikas Khanna To Make Social Impact Films

Michellin Star Chef Vikas Khanna is on a roll as far as directing social impact films are concerned. His film Last Colour produced by Jitendra Mishra on Amazon Prime has had good reviews. Not one to rest on his laurels, he managed to get the world renowned speaker-author Deepak Chopra and Oscar nominated social impact filmmaker Doug Roland as Executive Producer and Producer for his latest documentary Barefoot Empress co-produced by Mishra . The short documentary follows the journey of 96-year-old Karthyayani Amma as she joins a first grade class, to realize her lifelong dream of receiving an education. The film is inspired by Khanna’s grandmother who was not given an opportunity at an education. Khanna who has partnered with non-profit Leap to Shine, said, he will “use the film to raise funds in service of providing high quality education for girls in underserved communities in India.” Barefoot Empress has helped rehabilitate 11 classrooms in India. According to Dr Deepak Chopra, “Barefoot Empress carries a universal message of hope and perseverance that has the power to move viewers, and the momentum to impact the lives of thousands of girls in India.” Barefoot Empress has qualified for the Oscar shortlist, won at the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, where it picked up the Biogen Award and the Best Short Documentary at the Big Apple Award.
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Indian Doctors In UK Gear Up To Save National Health Service; Forge Ties With Indian Hospitals

There is an estimated shortfall of 12,000 doctors and 50,000 nurses in the UK. To meet this shortfall the country is exploring various avenues.  Thus, between September and November 2022 two MoUs were signed between the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) and BAPIO Training Academy (BTA) UK and Bengaluru-based hospitals – Gleneagles and Vydehi Superspeciality (formerly Mallya hospital). This tie-up demonstrates the fact that the vast Indian medical community that serves the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK has been an active and conscientious supporter of the NHS system. The tie-ups are with the aim of developing and providing world-class training and exchange programs for doctors and nurses in India to meet the growing demands of effective and safe delivery of emergencies. BAPIO with its Education Academy in the UK has actively geared up its resources to mitigate the current crisis faced by the NHS system. Chandru Iyer, Deputy High Commissioner UK in Bengaluru says, “Such tie ups will enhance collaborative training avenues for Indian medical students and professionals in the UK.” According to Prof Parag Singhal, Executive Director- BTA and National Secretary, BAPIO this training initiative is designed specially to help International doctors gain experience at core and higher levels in UK hospitals. The BTA Indo-UK Training Programme has been developed in partnership with University of South Wales and Kingsway Hospitals.
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Arvind Singh, Tourism Secretary

Indian Tourist Sector Moves In The Fast Lane; Gears Up For G20 Meetings

India is emerging as a popular tourist and business destination against the backdrop of the Free Trade Agreement between India and UK to be signed soon. The MICE industry is flourishing with several business delegations travelling to India not just to Tier 1 but to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. West Midlands Mayor Andy Street who led the West Midlands, UK delegation to India, did not confine his visit to New Delhi but travelled to Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru. He played Kabbadi and has promised to host the World Kabbadi tournament in Birmingham in 2024. Global Tech Advocates hosted their global meet with the Tech India Advocates led by British citizens Ani Kaprekar, Af Malhotra and Nilesh Gopali. The 40-plus delegates visited Bengaluru, Hubballi (Hubli), and Deshpande’s Tech Foundation. The global organisation TiE will host their annual summit in Telangana. About 3000 entrepreneurs are expected to attend. Bill Gates, N R Narayana Murthy, Gautam Adani, Telangana Minister K T Rama Rao are expected to take part in the summit. At the recently held World Travel Market in London, Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India and Rakesh Kumar Verma, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Tourism stated that “India is  gearing up for the G20 Presidency to start from December 1, 2022. India is expected to host over 200 meetings across 55 cities in the country.”
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Saraswat Bank Signs MoU With GCSE To Offer Concessional Loans To Saraswat Entrepreneurs

To a cheering audience at the recently held 3rd Annual Conclave of Global Chamber of Saraswats Entrepreneurs and Professionals(GCSE) in Goa, Chairman of Saraswat Bank Gautam Thakur announced a lucrative and special loan scheme to support young Saraswat entrepreneurs. Honouring his commitment, Saraswat Bank’s top brass signed a Memorandum of Understanding with GCSE on November 17.  Saraswat Bank has initiated an exclusive scheme Loan For Entrepreneurs And Professionals (LEAP) that would provide loans/ OD facility for first generation entrepreneurs from the Saraswat Community at a concessional rate of interest. Founder Director of GCSE Siddharth Sinkar, said, “Not only will LEAP boost the morale of the existing young first generation entrepreneurs for scaling up their businesses. This will also promote the entrepreneurial drive amongst the Saraswat minds.” This facility will be offered only to members of Saraswat Chamber. While GCSE would do the basic due diligence of applications routed through them, the final decision to grant loan will rest with the bank.
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Odisha’s IISER Appoints “Geek Gayak” Sandeep Ranade As Visiting Scientist

The prestigious Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Berhampur, Odisha has appointed Sandeep Ranade popularly known as “Geek Gayak” as a visiting scientist. Ranade probably is the first non-PhD scholar to be appointed to this post. He is expected to inspire students to do research in different areas of music. Pune-based Ranade, a software engineer, became globally popular after he won the Apple Designer of the Year Award 2021 for his App –NadSadhana. According to developers at Apple, “NaadSadhana is the sort of future-world app that could only be created by someone with an extremely specialized, almost-impossible skill set. Sandeep Ranade was that someone.” Ranade began singing from the age of four and by the 11th grade he had developed a great liking for vocal music. He has a masters from Johns Hopkins, two decades of tech-world experience, and a thriving career as a Hindustani classical vocalist. He returned to India to pursue both technology and music. He gave the app a test run by recording “Na Corona Karo,” a song about taking precautions against Covid-19 that went viral in social media after it was shared by AR Rahman and others. Ranade says his App is fully based on AI, and is trained not to adjust to the complexities of each instrument, but to the mix of the orchestra and the mood of the singer.
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Repatriated SBI UK Head Sharad Chandak Tipped To Be Dy MD

State Bank of India’s Sharad Chandak, Head of UK Region and also the Head of its subsidiary SBI UK has been transferred back to India. Chandak, an old guard at the bank, is currently Chief General Manager in SBI India hierarchy and is likely to be promoted to the Deputy Managing Director’s post of the bank and stationed in Delhi. Talking to shortpost.in Chandak says despite Covid and other odds faced by various banks and businesses at large in the UK, the SBI subsidiary succeeded in giving the parent SBI a dividend of 2.5%. With an Open Banking platform for non-customers of the bank the YoNo App that was launched during his tenure expanded remittance operations to Nepal and soon Sri Lanka operations will commence. To have a wider outreach to areas where bank’s branches do not exist, Chandak with his team has drawn up plans to start “Kiosk banking.” These kiosks are likely to be opened where the footfall is high like the malls. In 2023 Chandak said SBI UK will launch a development finance product that will offer financial support to those in the real estate sector. Sudhir Sharma, CEO (designate) will move into Chandak’s seat. Sanjay Pandey, currently Executive Director and Deputy CEO in the UK also returns to India and his colleague Varsha Bhat who is in the UK will take charge.
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Amish Tripathi Bags Additional Portfolio Of Education At Indian High Commission UK

Celebrated author, writer and bureaucrat and currently Director, Nehru Centre in London, Amish Tripathi (48) has obtained a two year extension to serve in London. In addition to his current posts as Director, Nehru Centre Amish has been offered an additional portfolio — Education. With this he is now Minister (Culture & Education), High Commission of India. This move reflects on him as a powerful Indian bureaucrat as extensions are very seldom rather unprecedented and happen in very special cases. Amish says, “My team and I will manage all interactions with the British Education ministry, universities here in the UK and actively support Indian students here.” Following a memorandum of understanding struck on July 21, 2022 that is a part of the UK-India Enhanced Trade Partnership by the UK and India to recognise each other’s higher education qualifications, Universities in the UK expect a surge in applications from Indian students. In 2020-21 the UK attracted 84,555 Indian students, with 73% coming for masters courses mostly of one year’s duration. In the year ended March 2022, as many as 107,978 Indian students were issued study visas to the UK, marking a significant rise of 93% compared to the same period before that. The UK government had indicated in 2019 that it was going to reintroduce the post-study work visa route for international students graduating from July 1, 2021 resulted in a massive boost in student numbers.
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Indians On A Roll: Birmingham City University Confers Honorary Doctorate On Shankar Mahadevan

The award-winning Indian singer and composer Shankar Mahadevan is to receive an honorary doctorate from Birmingham City University (BCU) for his outstanding contribution to music and the arts. West Midlands Mayor Andy Street made the announcement on behalf of the University before the globally acclaimed Mahadevan is formally invited to receive the University’s highest honour at a ceremony in 2023. The announcement follows a BCU India and West Midlands India Partnership-organised visit by Mahadevan to BCU’s 400 mn pound campus featuring creative industry facilities, including Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (RBC). Shankar had toured RBC with fellow Indian musicians including Zakir Hussain earlier this year, meeting with students, staff and partners, and committing to exploring links and opportunities between the Bangalore-based Shankar Mahadevan Academy and the Conservatoire. “When I started my career, never did I expect that one day I would be awarded a doctorate for music,” said 55-year old Mahadevan, part of the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio. The honorary doctorate announcement underlines BCU’s commitment both to their strategic partnership work in India as well, reflecting a recent call to urge policymakers to place greater emphasis on the value of the Creative Arts in higher education and recognise the role universities play in strengthening the sector’s growth and innovation.
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Maharashtra Tourism Minister In London To Woo Global Tourists, MTDC Privatisation On The Anvil

The Shinde-Fadnavis government in Maharashtra has given Mangal Prabhat Lodha, a reputed builder and staunch BJP loyalist an important portfolio. He has been appointed Minister of Tourism, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Women & Child Development. And one big task he has been entrusted with is to attract global tourists to the state. Toward this objective he has decided to camp for over a week in London for roadshows. Incidentally, his wife Dr Manju Lodha, author-poet, is also in London to release her book Ankahin Kahaniyan at the Nehru Centre to be launched by the Indian High Commissioner. The minister is expected to use this event to hobnob with the biggies and woo them to Maharashtra. Post the book launch Lodha accompanied by Saurabh Vyas, Tourism Secretary, Dr BN Patil, Director, Directorate of Tourism and Dr Dhananjay Sawalkar, Dy Director, Directorate of Tourism will attend World Travel Market between November 7-9.  Lodha and team are likely to privatise MTDC’s 30 resorts. The Lodha team is likely to engage Tatas (Taj group), Mahindra group and other experts from the travel trade and hospitality to revamp, refurbish and make all properties productive and profitable. The current Maharashtra government’s thinking is developing strategy is the job of the government but businesses have to be run by private enterprises.
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Grant Thornton UK Business Head Chandru Iyer To Take Over As British Deputy High Commissioner, Bengaluru

Indian origin British citizen Chandru Iyer, former Head of Business Development, South Asia Group at Grant Thornton UK is changing his career track.  Iyer will don the mantle of a diplomat. He moves from the UK to Bengaluru to take over as the British Deputy High Commissioner. Chandru’s experience in the India-UK business corridor gives him the additional responsibility to oversee the trade and investment in the South of India and South Asia. Incidentally, the term of Alan Gemell, the current British Deputy High Commissioner in Mumbai who is also the Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for South Asia, comes to an end and thus it appears that Chandru’s role becomes more formidable extended to South Asia beyond south India. Chandru’s appointment comes at a time when the relationship between the two countries is extremely amicable and signing of the Free Trade Agreement is just round the corner. Hailing from Nagpur, Chandru needs no introduction to the corporate world, the India –UK business corridor, Department of International trade and the media in the UK. Fluent in various Indian languages Chandru was a popular host at several formal events hosted by Grant Thornton UK including the annual Diwali party. His name featured in the “Top 100 Influential People in India UK business relations”. He was instrumental in developing Grant Thornton’s strategic growth plans in the South Asia region.
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West Midlands Mayor To Visit India, Woo Indian Business Investments

With a huge success hosting Commonwealth Games in the City of Birmingham, Mayor Andy Street is set to travel to India between November 6-12 leading a big delegation of business leaders and politicians. Andy’s India trip includes visits to Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai. Andy’s visit in early November comes at a time when the UK is undergoing a huge political, social and economic turmoil and the Free Trade Agreement that was scheduled during Diwali has been postponed. Thus this mission is expected to build on the on-going negotiations for a new UK-India FTA and will promote opportunities for bilateral trade and investment between India, the West Midlands and the wider UK. During his visit it’s learnt that his delegation will sign various MoUs. Meeting with the Chairman of the ICCR Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe has been scheduled in New Delhi and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre will sign a MoU with the ICCR. Andy and Senior representatives from The West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) and partners including the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) will explore business partnerships with CII members, meet Telangana leaders in Hyderabad and visit WE Hub to encourage women entrepreneurship. They have lined-up meetings with the Tata Group, TVS, Mahindra & Mahindra, Switch Mobility, Firstsource, Air India and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).    
Vikas Khanna

Celebrity Chef Vikas Khanna In India To Direct His Second Film

This month end New York-based Michelin Star celebrity Chef “Amritsar ka puttar” Vikas Khanna will visit his mother in Punjab and join his co-producer, business partner and friend Jitendra Mishra, President-Elect of CIFEJ (International Centre of Films for Children & Young People, UNESCO ) to restart shooting their film that has already been approved by the NFDC.  This movie earlier titled The Home of the Rain Catcher produced by Mishra, Vikas’ mother Bindu Khanna and Poonam Kaul under the banner House of Omkar was on the list of 14 projects selected for the Co-Production Market Film Bazaar in 2019 by NFDC. But, the project had to be put on hold due to Covid-19 pandemic. Now, with fear of Covid-19 behind us, it’s business as usual. So, both Vikas and Jitendra are busy finalising the cast and script for the movie.  Both friends came together for The Last Colour starring Neena Gupta. It was Vikas Khanna’s directorial debut while Mishra was the producer.The film which is streaming on Amazon Video made it to the final list of Oscar 2020 Eligibility for Best Film. In all, the two friends have produced one feature film, one feature documentary, three short films. Mishra’s company Cinema 4Good has produced, distributed and promoted more than 110 films.
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Legal Eagle Ashu Thakur On A Roll, Closes Deal For Asian Paints And Mumbai-Based Restaurateur In Europe

Mumbai-based Ashu Thakur who heads Ashu Thakur & Associates, a law firm, has been flitting in and out of London for the past few months to help two of her key clients close the deal. It may be recalled that the Mumbai-based Restaurateur Riyaaz Amlani was keen to sell his stake in Mumbai-based French restaurants Slink & Bardot, and Soufflé S’il Vous Plaît back to his partner Alexis Gielbaum and Nick Harrison. Now, there has been a change of heart. Amlani, CEO of Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality and President of National Restaurant Association of India, is keen to stay invested and Thakur seems to be working on the finer points in light of the new development. The other deal Ashu worked closely on was the signing of the JV between the French designer Maximiliano Modesti’s Les Ateliers 2M and Asian Paints. The JV between two firms Asian Paints and Modesti saw the launch of brand INK in India. The collection comprising six distinct patterns combines techniques of screen-printing, block printing and embroidery. According to Amit Syngle, MD & CEO of Asian Paints, this collaboration will help the customers provide a complete portfolio of home décor products and services. Clearly, Ashu is on a roll.
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Spices Board Scouts For Brand Ambassadors In The UK To Promote Turmeric Latte Globally

To add more “zaika” to the growing exports of spices from India, BN Jha, Marketing Director, Spices Board of India has embarked upon a new mission:  promote Turmeric Latte. Jha who was in London at the IFE Manufacturing 2022 Fair is scouting for brand ambassadors from UK who can promote this turmeric drink globally. During the pandemic and post Covid “haldiwala doodh” has given big boost to turmeric sales, and its exports have quadrupled because of its medicinal properties, says Jha. During 2020-21 turmeric ranked fifth with an export share of 6.16% of the total exports of spices valued at Rs 27,193.20 crore. Turmeric is globally recognised for its immunity properties. This is why Spices Board is aggressively marketing Turmeric Latte world over. Interestingly, the demand for organic products is growing rapidly in developed countries like Europe, USA, Japan and Australia. The current estimated share of organic foods in these countries is approximately 1-1.5%. This awareness and value for turmeric including other spices is seeing the Spices Board going all out to increase their market share from the current level.  Under the Act of Parliament, 52 spices have been brought under the purview of the Spices Board. However 109 spices are notified in the ISO list.
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Dr Kondal Reddy Kandadi (centre) receiving MBE Award

UK's Bolton University Forges Ties With Hyderabad-Based iVOlViS

University of Bolton in Greater Manchester has been in the forefront of forging ties with India’s educational institutions. To strengthen its ties with India, Bolton University sought special permission from the Queen’s Office, and conducted the MBE Award Ceremony to honour Dr Kondal Reddy Kandadi at its recent Graduation ceremony. This was unprecedented; never before such an award ceremony was held at the University’s graduation ceremony. Reddy was the former Deputy Vice Chancellor at University Of Bolton who left the UK shores last year at the peak of his career to return to his homeland Telangana to start his own educational venture iVOlViS by collaborating with Bolton University. “At iVOlViS, we are deploying globally proven educational pedagogies, systems, processes, people and technologies to achieve this core goal of realising the Power of Education in every child,” says Dr Reddy. Besides, Dr Reddy, Telangana’s high powered bureaucrat Jayesh Ranjan was conferred with Honorary Doctorate degree for his “outstanding contribution to the development of collaborative relationships between India and Manchester (particularly in the technology sector). “For the past many years I have tried to forge more partnerships between the province of Hyderabad and the UK and that is why I am getting this fabulous recognition by the University of Bolton and why I have received this honorary doctorate,” explained Ranjan.
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Ghanshyam Nabar and Anand Piramal

How West Midlands Is Attracting Indian Businesses

Birmingham-based Ghanshyam Nabar is go to man. This 40-year old director of West Midlands India Partnership (WMIP) is helping Indian businesses find opportunities in the UK, particularly West Midlands. As somebody responsible for WMIP he is driving collaborative engagement between the West Midlands and India to unlock mutually beneficial and sustainable economic opportunities. He brings to table rich experience to ensure deals fructify and its win-win situation for both India and the United Kingdom. Such a laser-focused approach has seen him and his organisation gaining recognition and bagging awards. At the recently held UK India Awards his organisation won the award for the Best Business Promotion Agency Of The Year Award. WMIP edged out contenders like The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Department of International Trade UK, Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Manchester India Partnership to win the award. Nabar had won the same award for two years in a row for the Manchester India Partnership. Recently, WMIP hosted a do for the Indian delegates at Edgbaston ground. Spotted at the cricket match were Ajay Piramal and his son Anand. Besides, there were Telangana’s Principal Secretary Industries & Commerce Jayesh Ranjan, Prakash Wakhankar, BBC commentator and head honcho at the Mahindra BSA, Ankit Agarwal, CEO, Sterlite TECH, Dr Ravi Limaye, MD of Wockhardt. Looks like Nabar and his organization are creating the desired impact among the Indian diaspora.
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Akshaya Patra Chalks Up Plans To Serve Another 1 Million Free Meals In The UK

Former BBC Global Food Champions, The Akshaya Patra Foundation (TAPF) UK, is growing rapidly with huge support from UK people. Speaking to shortpost.in, Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, CEO &Trustee, TAPF UK stated that his team is exploring all possibilities to open more kitchens in the UK. This means an addition to the existing kitchen at Watford which is already serving half million free meals a year.  The new kitchens are likely to come up in the Midlands and North England in Manchester and will serve one million free meals every year, taking the total free meals distributed to 1.5 million a year. According to a TAPF study there are 8 million people in the UK affected by food poverty. Of these, nearly 5 million suffer from acute food insecurity. This includes low-income homes, the unemployed, the vulnerable and the homeless. There are close to 3 million children who sleep hungry during school holidays. Unfortunately, for 3 million children in the UK, holidays turn out to become “hungry holidays” instead of happy holidays. Besides, there are close to 300,000 homeless persons across England today. There are even more adults who are deprived of a basic plate of food.  TAPF, winner of the Organization for Social Impact award at the India Global Forum, serves hot, tasty vegetarian food to the needy every day at no cost.
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Hunt On For CII’s UK Head With Sudden Exit Of Lakshmi Kaul

The news that Lakshmi Kaul, Head & Representative, Confederation Of Indian Industry, UK has moved out caught everyone in London by surprise. Nobody knows where Kaul is headed. Unlike her predecessor Suchita Sonalika who moved to the USA in 2018 to head the CII office in Washington, sources say it is unlikely that Lakshmi will stay within the CII.  While Lakshmi was in New Delhi last week, CII’s senior director in Delhi, Kavita Choudhry flew to London to hold the fort till a new successor is found. Kavita who has worked with CII for over a decade was responsible for the Europe sector for over four years as well as the South East Asian corridor. Though Kavita is capable and has rich experience, the sudden departure of Lakshmi has perplexed trade, business and media especially at a crucial time when negotiations related to the Free Trade Agreement are in full swing. CII plays a stellar role in the UK as a powerful trade organisation representing Indian business interests. Lakshmi’s warm demeanor and social engagements have proved very valuable to CII over the years. Lakshmi who worked for over 15 years in the UK handled a whole gamut of things ranging from relationship building, public relations, research, strategy and policy work to creating community networks. Lakshmi will definitely be missed.
Retiring Indian High Commissioner UK, Gayatri Issar Kumar

L to R: Retired Indian HC Gayatri Issar Kumar, Lord Karan Billimoria, Bangladesh HC Muna Tasneem & Sujit Ghosh Acting Indian HC

London Calling Indian Business And Netas, UK Is New “Summer-Capital” Of India

Retired Indian High Commissioner to UK Gayatri Issar Kumar at her farewell hosted by the Indian Journalists Association there said in lighter vein that London looked like India’s new “summer capital”.  There is a ring of truth to what she said. Post Covid, no sooner were travel rules relaxed than there was a beeline of ministers, bureaucrats, businessmen air dashing to London. Union Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, Telangana’s IT Minister KT Rama Rao, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Salman Khurshid landed here in quick succession to engage with the Indian diaspora. Goyal’s frequent visits and systematic follow-ups were to generate investments through government bonds and expedite progress of FTA, slated to be concluded by Diwali this year.  Senior BJP leader and RSS ideologue Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, who is set to visit London, is scheduled to address Indian groups and includes the Overseas Maharashtrians Professionals and Entrepreneurs Group. India’s growing soft power is the message. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also plans to visit London.  Sometime in July, the Chief Justice of India and law department secretaries have their scheduled visits and public engagements. And finally, the Commonwealth Games will likely see the entire sports lobby from India travelling to the West Midlands in the UK. Clearly, London is not just a summer capital. Indian business and politics seems to evolve and revolve around it.
ucb 1

Indian Universities Ink Pact With University College Birmingham, To Boost Skills Development Curriculum

Every region in the UK is actively pursuing collaborations and tie-ups with Indian organisations.  Recently, the University College Birmingham (UCB) entered into a tie-up with a range of academic institutions and organisations in India as part of a continuing drive to boost skills development in India. Bharat Sakhuja, Associate Director of the University’s International department and Alice Wilby, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Access, Participation and Student Experience) at University College Birmingham from the University were in India recently to meet Dr Sangeet Jaura, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Chitkara University, Professor Tabrez Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor of GD Goenka University, Dr Manju Gupta, Dean Academics at IMS Noida, Ved Mani Tiwari, Chief Operating Officer of the NSDC. The duo told shortpost.in, “The new linkups will offer a wide range of potential benefits and opportunities covering key areas including student mobility and up-skilling, progression arrangements, teacher training and cooperation, as well as collaborating in joint conferences and seminars.”  They also shared that discussions were held towards creating more opportunities for Indian students to attend short courses in the UK.  Collaboration between these Indian institutions and UCB will allow effective mobility of students between the institutions and enable them to consider integrated pathways which would be beneficial not only for students but for the academics in raising the level of teaching.
Anup Ratnaparkhi

Indian Bankers, Bureaucrats In UK On The Move: ICICI’s Anup Joins Ribbon Plc

ICICI Bank’s blue-eyed boy Anup Ratnaparkhi, who currently heads Branch Banking and NRI operations in the UK, has put in his papers.  Thirty-nine-year-old Anup, who had a 14-year long stint, is joining the London-based Ribbon Plc as Chief Commercial Officer. This venture has been promoted by his former ICICI boss Asesh Jani. It is an AI powered technology company that promises to offer a hyper-personalised digital experience to users. Ribbon is loaded with features including an embedded payments marketplace, access to deposits, FX, Crypto & Equity trading platforms. It was Asesh who had spotted Anup’s talent in ICICI and moved him up from Hyderabad to London. The scene at the State Bank of India, UK is no different. Most professionals posted here from India are currently in a flux. Most of the senior staffers who were transferred out of India have completed their term and will now return to India. This includes SBI UK head Sharad Chandak, ED Sanjay Pandey and COO Anurag Joshi. Elsewhere too, it seems to be the season of retirements or transfers. Gayatri Issar Kumar, the Indian High Commissioner in UK is into farewell party mode as she retires in September. Meanwhile, Rohit Vadhwana (IFS) who is First Secretary for Investment & Trade and also handles the Press portfolio, has been posted to Kenya.
CA SIDDHARTH SINKAR, Founder Director at GCSE

Saraswat Brahmins’ Goa Conclave, To Channelise Community Business Spirit Over One Day

Saraswat Brahmin entrepreneurs from across the globe will converge in Goa come September 10, for the first Annual Conclave. The Saraswat Brahmin community of business leaders from different parts of the world joined hands and formed the Global Saraswat Entrepreneurs Chamber (GSEC) in 2019, resurrecting the nearly 30-year-old Saraswat Chamber of Commerce set up by Suresh Prabhu, senior BJP leader and former chairman of the Saraswat Cooperative Bank. This one-day conference is expected to draw some of the biggest names from the community including, Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar, singer activist Hemaa Sardesai, hoteliers Vithal Kamat (Kamat Hotels Group), Raghunandan Kamath (Natural Ice Creams) and Marathi actor Ashok Saraf to name just a few. The underlying objective of the conclave “to build a wise, vibrant and prosperous community ecosystem for Saraswats in business and profession,” says Siddharth Sinkar, founder director of GCSE. The Saraswat community is primarily known as an ethical and philanthropic segment of society that channelised and harnessed cumulative energies for collective excellence in society. In the fields of business and commerce the community has been a frontrunner in the banking and cooperatives sectors.
Pankaj Munjal, Chairman and Managing Director of Hero Cycles

Munjal’s Foot Is In Europe’s Door, 150 Mn Pound Invested In UK E-Bike Plant

Pankaj Munjal of Hero Cycle’s fame has ambitiously big plans to strengthen the company’s presence in overseas markets, particularly across Europe. His company Insync Bikes Ltd has geared up to manufacture top end e-bikes at Trafford in the United Kingdom. Munjal, who visited UK to unveil his plans, told shortpost.in, “Manchester has given us more than what we had expected or planned.’’ The immediate future plan involves development as part of the budgeted £150m group-wide investment. His Manchester-based Global Design Centre has innovated an e-bike with artificial Intelligence functions that will incorporate advanced technologies such as Google services integration and introduce anti-theft systems and advanced telematics. Approximately 300 e-bikes will be manufactured every month at Trafford and priced at £3000 per piece. These e-bikes are expected to hit the road by August-September of 2022. The company received an award for being a Fast Track Indian company in the UK from among 900 companies surveyed by Grant Thornton in its India Meets Britain tracker report. Despite difficult conditions in the UK and Europe, Insync Bikes ranked 7th on the growth rate parameter. If the Indian experience is an indication, it will be among the top four players, sooner than later

TRENDS & VIEWS

Technology Cannot Disrupt Original Content Provider: Short Post Editor

They say time flies. How true!  Today is our #SecondAnniversary. Two years back at the height of Covid-19 Pandemic when lockdown was the way of life we took a leap of faith and launched Short Post (Jan 28, 2021), the first-of-its-kind website in the country that focuses on Authentic Gossip. The Oxymoron is deliberate. Well, the response has been quite encouraging. That’s what has kept us going. Till date we have posted close to 2000 stories in the areas of Politics, Business, Entertainment and Sports. Each insightful story of around 225 words has been contributed by Senior Editors. There is a sense of satisfaction of creating a new segment in the market – authentic gossip — and in the process creating a brand (in a limited sense), creating demand (readers) and creating supply (writers). Well known advertisers — IDFC FIRST Bank, ICICI Lombard – supported us.  And that really boosted our confidence. Thank you!