By Steve Gilroy, Vistage — The World’s Leading Chief Executive Organisation

India is the second largest developing market (after China). Although traditional perceptions of India are ones of the outsourcing/call centre industries, of Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, India is now developing so rapidly, that significant business opportunities now exist in ‘second tier’ cities such as Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Pune and Jaipur.

India’s annual growth rates have ranged from 8% to 10% over the past few years and a rapidly growing middle class now exists. Subsequently, there are opportunities in many business sectors, including life sciences, manufacturing and energy to name a few. Ernst & Young have recognized India as one of the emerging biotech leaders, with growth rates of around 37% and a pharmaceutical industry of around £14billion. Other sectors also seeing rapid growth and substantial sizes are the automotive and mobile phone industries. Automotive component manufacturing has grown more than five-fold in the last decade.

Like any other market, India has its own challenges and opportunities. Local transport and infrastructure, while developing rapidly are still chaotic by western standards, and local bureaucracy can be daunting for the un-prepared. However, there is a wealth of advice, expertise and a wide range of government and other groups out there that can help any UK business to enter the Indian market.

The European Chamber of Commerce has a range of services available to EU business owners/entrepreneurs and arranges networking and informational events as well as providing specific ‘on-the-ground’ services.

The UKTI also provides a wide range of practical informational and business support services to help UK businesses take advantage of the opportunities in India. Specifically, their services includes the following:

• An export health check to help assess a company's readiness for exporting and help develop a plan of action;

• Training in the requirements for trading overseas;

• Access to an experienced local International Trade Adviser;

• Specialist help with tackling cultural and language issues when communicating with Indian customers and partners;

• Advice on how to go about market research and the possibility of a grant towards approved market-research projects;

• Ongoing support to help business continue to develop overseas trade and look at dealing with more sophisticated activities or markets;

• Advice on a range of international trade assistance available from UKTI and others.

Vistage – the world’s leading Chief Executive peer-group organisation – is hosting a special event for UK entrepreneurs and business leaders that will explore the options and practical routes to establishing a business link in India (and the other BRICS countries). In a single day you will be able to understand the global economic situation and the BRICS opportunities, assess which routes to market may suit you, hear from UK CEOs who have already started business in these countries, learn from country experts and receive the ‘CEO’s guide to going international’.

With UKTI trade advisors on hand to outline government support, including export guarantee schemes, trade missions and introduction services, experts in international accounting, local law, financial direction, banking and representatives from country chambers of commerce, plus other attending CEOs with the same interest – you will have all of the connections, background information and toolkit you will need to develop a strategy for India.

For more information on this special event please click here and take advantage of the early bird discounts to an event that could provide you with a pathway to international growth.