He is also confident of support from government bodies even
as dissenting voices are being raised in Britain. Sathya Mithra Ashok of
CyberMedia News Service met him to know more about the steps being taken to
increase bilateral trade between India and Britain.
What are the
measures taken by the British commission to develop trade between the two
The commission itself has moved out with more setups in the south and north
India, taking the total count to ten. The governments of India and UK have
endorsed our efforts and set the goal of increasing the present $5 billion trade
to $10 billion in five years. Which way the investment flows does not matter,
what matters is a favorable framework for the flow. IT will play an important
role in the shared investments. There are nearly 70 JVs between British and
Indian companies in Karnataka alone. Some of the biggest British companies have
set up offices here. Indian companies like Wipro, TCS and others have their own
centers in the UK and employ a good mix of Indian and English staff there.
There are some noises being raised in the British parliament similar to
the backlash in the US. Do you see that affecting the business climate in the
future? Also, do you see a change in policy, if there is a change in the
A select committee has been formed in the British parliament, comprising
representatives of political parties, and trade and industry leaders to look
into improving the UK as a competitor in the knowledge sector. The loss of jobs
in the UK will be just a part of that. It will be surveying high tech industries
and whether Britain is actually losing business or jobs or whether Britain is
being profited in an indirect sense by the outsourcing. I don’t think there
will be any adverse affects on policy even if the government changes. There are
certain basic principles for aligning a country to development. They are not a
matter of politics; they are a matter of economics.
How has the media, and consequently the people of Britain, handled the
possibility of loss of jobs?
The media and the people of the UK have been reacting quite sensibly to it.
Britain went through a phase of huge unemployment in the 70s. But that was
rectified when the country began to go into businesses in different and new
sectors. Things don’t stand in a static situation.
SATHYA MITHRA ASHOK in Bangalore