Online Event

Co-Innovate West London Meets India Conference

16 June 2021    10:00 AM BST

Strengthening Trade and Investment Relations between UK and India

UK-India economic, social, political, technological, healthcare, and cultural relations in the post-COVID-19 and Free Trade era have started to move to another level with growing investments and strategic engagements between both countries. The UK-India relationship has grown and evolved in recent years. After Brexit, the Indo-Pacific region has emerged as a top priority for the UK’s new Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policies. India, the “Pharmacy of the World” beckons West London SMEs to benefit from a range of bilateral trade and investment opportunities, at a time when the Ease of Doing Business in this vibrant, diverse, and fast-growing country is more favourable than ever before.

The Co-Innovate Programme’s – Journeys and Bridging the Gap, in-house innovation directors and academics, in collaboration with external specialists and professionals, have designed a series of thematic conferences, workshops, and 1:1 and group mentoring activities to help London’s SMEs to navigate the journey ahead – a roadmap for economic recovery.

Our research-led and knowledge driven-virtual (for now) events can help your business to become more agile, and adapt to the changes and challenges ahead, regionally, nationally, and globally. And grasp new business and investment opportunities to diversify and grow.

Aim of the Event:

The West London Meets India conference and sector-specific workshops are designed to help London’s SMEs to explore the business, trade, and investment opportunities that India has to offer in various sectors and learn how to do business there. There will also be an opportunity to receive mentoring and further advice for SMEs interested in enhancing their India journey, including participation in virtual and/or actual bi-lateral trade delegations.

Format of the Event:

Scene setting and thought-provoking speeches and presentations by keynote speakers. Participants will also be able to explore the practicalities of various topics in small groups, network and build alliances.

Keynote Speakers:

Kevin McCole, Managing Director, UKIBC - India Business Overview

Siddharth Mukne, Associate Director, UKIBC - Market Entry

Andrew Dakers, CE, West London Business - West London Economy

Dr Onkar Sahota, Member of London Assembly Health Committee - Pandemic Healthcare Perspective

Ash Verma, Honorary Fellow, Brunel University, London - Indian Diaspora Perspective

Professor Rob Holdway, Innovation Director, Co-Innovate Journeys programme, and Professor Associate, Brunel University London School of Engineering Design & Physical Sciences - Co-Innovate Programme

Dr Monomita Nandy, Director of Internationalisation and Exchange Coordinator, Brunel University London - Brunel University Perspective

Other speakers will be confirmed

Agenda of the Event:

10.00am – 11.00am Introduction and Welcome Speeches – Inauguration

11.05am – 12.00pm Doing Business with India - Panel Discussion

12.05pm – 1.00pm Part 3 – Market Entry Panel Discussion

What is Co-Innovate?

Co-Innovate is an innovation support programme for London based SMEs, entrepreneurs, and start-ups jointly funded by Brunel University London and the European Regional Development Fund. Our goal is to help companies achieve business growth through collaboration with Brunel University London’s world-class academic expertise, students, knowledge assets, and facilities.

Event speakers:

Kevin McCole - Managing Director , UKIBC

Kevin joined the UK India Business Council in December 2008 and has a range of responsibilities: coordinating the work of the team across the UK and Indian offices; directly leading the Advocacy, Advisory, Membership, Communications and Research teams.

He also leads the UKIBC’s relationships with the Department for International Trade and directs the UKIBC’s engagement with Government bodies across the UK and India, including the UK’s Devolved Administrations, English cities, and Indian States. Kevin has directed major projects, including developing strategies to generate more trade and investment between India and Greater Manchester, the Leeds City Region, and the Sheffield City Region. He remains a Strategic Advisor to the Sheffield City Region, attends the Manchester India Partnership Board meetings, and is on the Advisory Board for the West Midlands India Partnership.

Siddharth Mukne - Associate Director, UKIBC

Siddharth is responsible for promoting bilateral trade between UK and India. He is also responsible for engaging with businesses across the UK and help them to develop India market entry strategy so that they can enter/expand in the market successfully. He has a strong background in Business development, International trade management, Project management, Account management & Operations; having worked with multinational engineering, advance manufacturing & life science companies across Europe & India. Originally from India, where he lived & studied his engineering & International trade management. He also holds an Executive MBA & master’s degree in International marketing from UK universities.

Andrew Dakers - Chief Executive , West London Business

Andrew’s career has spanned IT at the BBC, business change management at GSK, campaigning for WWF-UK, leading Public Affairs at corporate responsibility charity Business in the Community, and leading Spark! a West London-based Education Business Partnership. Andrew was a founder director of fast fashion brand Strawberry Kats. Andrew was Course Leader and a tutor in Business Ethics & Sustainability on the University of Bradford’s MBA programme (2010-15). The online MBA is ranked #8 globally by The Financial Times. Andrew was selected as a London Leader 2012/13 by the London Sustainable Development Commission. He has worked in Fiji, India, Uganda, UAE and the USA, and gained an MSc Development Management from The Open University in 2002.

Dr Onkar Sahota - Member of London Assembly Health Committee

Dr Onkar Sahota AM is a practising physician and a Member of London Assembly Health Committee, which he chaired between 2013 and April 2021. He was elected to London Assembly for Ealing and Hillingdon in May 2012 and is Deputy Leader of the Labour Group and also serves on the Assembly’s Budget and Performance, Oversight, Confirmation Hearing, and Fire Resilience and Emergency Committees.

He currently sits also on the London Assembly Oversight and Budget & Performance Committees. He has previously served on the Economy and Environment Committees. Heathrow Airport is within his constituency which impacts on the UK Economy and Environmental concerns.

Ash Verma - Director, Ash Verma Consulting

An Honorary Fellow of Brunel University London, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (MCIPD, the Automated Customs International Trade Association (ACITA) Ash is a Business Consultant, Mentor, Facilitator, Social Entrepreneur and one of the founder members of West London Business.

Ash has been acknowledged in the Asian Power 100 publications as one of several influencers on Asian matters in the UK and was the co-author of the report on the former Employment Department Group’s “Policies, Practices and Procedures on Race Relations”.A former British Civil Servant, Ash has held senior leadership, consultancy, delivery, and advisory positions across various areas of Government policy ranging from regeneration and economic development to international trade and community cohesion to health and wellbeing during a fifty-year professional and business career.

Professor Robert Holdway - Co-Innovate Innovation Director and Professor Associate , Brunel University London School of Engineering Design & Physical Sciences

Rob is also a Director of the award-winning environmental and innovation consultancy Giraffe Innovation Ltd. He is an award-winning designer described as Britain's leading eco-design consultant by the Manufacturer. Rob has worked with Unilever research, Red Bull Advanced Technologies, Dell US, and Defra leading sustainability and design research. Rob also presented on Channel's 4 'Dumped' programme where people lived on a landfill site.

Dr Monomita Nandy - Director of Internationalisation and Exchange Coordinator, Brunel Business School, Brunel University London

She conducts research with local and international businesses on emerging issues in finance and accounting. Dr Monomita applies an interdisciplinary approach to sustainable development models.

Ask the Experts! What Do You Want to Know About Doing Business with India?

Following workshops:


Learn and understand about:

• Opportunities in growth sectors

• How to Do Business with India

• Building Relationships and Trust

Workshop 1 – Healthcare - 9.30am – 11.00 am, Thursday 17th June 2021

Workshop 2 – Education - 11.30am – 1.00pm, Thursday 17th June 2021

Workshop 3 – Food and Drink - 9.30am – 11.00am, Friday 18th June 2021

Workshop 4 – Design and Manufacturing -11.30am – 1.00pm, Friday 18th June 2021

Workshop 5 – E-Commerce - 9.30am – 11.00am, Tuesday 22nd June 2021

Email Co-Innovate team on for further information to book on these workshops and your question(s) for our speakers.

Who is this event for?

This event is for all businesses, aspiring entrepreneurs and anyone interested in business research projects.

Academics and students are welcome to attend.

Register for a free place in the event.

Once registered, our team will contact you to gather more information about you and provide you with a link to the event.