India Global Forum, London Conference

🇮🇳 🇬🇧“We desperately need to reimagine the mutual value and potential of UK-India relations in the face of growing global mistrust in the established multilateral world order.” – Manoj Ladwa, Founder and CEO of India Global Forum

India and the UK are bound by strong, complex, ties of history and culture. Yet, 75 years on from Indian Independence, Britain’s status as a great power has been in steady decline, whilst India is on the cusp of attaining superpower status.

Can the UK-India relationship be reimagined for the new global order?

In March, I visited Bengaluru for the India Global Forum. I saw first-hand a thriving breeding ground for tech unicorns, that are supercharging India’s global growth. On Wednesday, I co-hosted the India Global Forum: Reimagine@75 at the Taj London.

Joined by change-makers from both nations, the forum aims to explore our common future, across trade, finance, digitisation, climate, travel, security and cultural identity.

Here are my Wednesday takeaways:

  • Greener cities will be at the heart of long-term sustainable growth. Bhavish Aggrawal, co-founder of Ola Electric and Ola Cabs (India’s ride-hailing unicorn), has recently opened the largest scooter manufacturing facility in the world. With his electric two-wheelers, he hopes to lead India’s EV revolution, with a specific focus on reducing pollution in cities.
  • Last month, India saw the birth of its 100th unicorn. In the first four months of 2022 alone, India has given birth to 14 unicorns with a total valuation of $18.9 billion. Prahsant Praketh, an early stage venture capitalist with Accel, has defined India as a ‘start-up state’. He firmly believes that start-ups are the key to Prime Minister Modi’s vision of a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25.
  • As we enter a new geopolitical era – multipolar and increasingly competitive – India’s status as a key strategic player has been cemented. In a post-Brexit UK, the much maligned phrase ‘Global Britain’ signalled a renewed role on the global stage, albeit ill-defined. Tristram Hunt, Director of Victoria and Albert Museum argued in favor of ‘Global Britain’ – including standing up for democratic values and promoting open societies where ideas, culture and expression can flourish.