Indo-UK business and cultural ties opened a new chapter with Prime Minister Modi’s historic visit to Britain. Shuchita Sonalika, new chief of CII in London, wants to take the ties to a higher level….writes Ragasudha Vinjamuri
Shuchita Sonalika has recently taken over as the Director and Head of the UK chapter at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Based in London, she is responsible for managing initiatives that promote India-UK economic relations by way of business conferences and programmes, two-way trade and investment missions, as well as research and policy-related projects. She has earlier represented CII at multilateral fora such as the B20 and the Commonwealth Business Forum.
A graduate of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at University of Maryland, she has specialised in International Business and also holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the same University.
Speaking of her journey with CII so far, she narrates “I have joined the International Division at the CII headquarters in New Delhi in January 2009, where I have assisted in several projects promoting Indian industry’s interests in in US, Canada, Russia and Mexico. Prior to the UK posting, I was based in CII’s North America representative office in the Washington D.C. area, gathering five years of experience in handling India-US economic cooperation in sectors including Trade and Commerce, Agriculture, Defence, Space, Education, Energy, Infrastructure as well as Small and Medium Enterprises. I have also supported several CII activities in Canada”.
What is it that she would like to bring to table for the UK-India trade relations?
“Initiatives that support bilateral trade” she muses. “Through our initiative Roadtrip UK, we take smaller operating companies to other regions within the UK. We regularly hold programs along with the High Commission of India. London is an important market, but we recognise that there are lot of business opportunities outside London too. Recently we did ’Make in India’ event in Scotland, consequently many SMEs have shown interest to explore Indian market.” “There are more than 20 partner organisations that we closely work with” she says. “UK is an important market for the Indian business. Indian companies invest more in the UK than the rest of the Europe combined”
On the projects and events in the pipeline, she said: “We host business delegations from India on a regular basis. We are looking forward to our annual CII-CEO’S delegation in July 2016. State and Regional Delegations are increasing and this is a good sign. I would like to see more delegations at regional level going to India from the UK”
She shares with Asian Lite that being National Parks enthusiast, she enjoys painting and photography at leisure.
Asian Lite wishes the dynamic young lady all the best to her tenure in the UK.