Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

India roadshow showcases Midlands export success and market interest

Businesses in the Midlands in a variety of sectors have been encouraged to find export opportunities to India at an event organised by the Department for International Trade at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena on July 1.

  • The Department for International Trade (DIT), advisors from Invest India and partners from across the UK joined forces to celebrate exporting success of Midlands businesses to India at The India Roadshow, Coventry, Monday 1 July.
  • HMRC goods exports figures show that the Midlands exported a total of £2.02bn to India in 2018.
  • Midlands-based Export Champions speaking at the event included: MoBros, StadiArena and Filtermist.

India is the world’s fastest growing major economy, the UK’s 16th largest trading partner and 19th largest export destination, presenting significant opportunities for trade and innovation partnerships with UK businesses. HMRC statistics for UK goods exports to India in 2018 were £8.0bn, up 19.3% since 2017.

East Midlands exports to the India amounted to £244mn in 2018, while the West Midlands amounted to £423mn, a rise of 7.9% from 2017.

The roadshow included presentations from successful exporters, StadiArena, Mo Bros and Filtermist, and a panel discussion on the opportunities, challenges and support available to businesses looking at India as their next export market.

StadiArena, a stadium consultancy company, found a lack of international sporting infrastructure in India, and the country’s pedigree and passion for sports meant opportunity for the business to share its services. Managing Director, Ian Stokes, detailed their exporting journey which began in 2008 with the help of DIT (then UKTI), when they began attending events, trade missions and utilised the funding and research available. In 2016, the then Governor Narendra Modi opened the first StadiArena in Ahmedabad.

Mo Bro’s, a Leicester-based producer of beard grooming accessories first turned to DIT in 2016 for help with its exporting operations after they saw a growing demand for its products. An International Trade Advisers (ITA) helped identify four key markets where demand for their products was strongest, one of which was India. Founders Kunal Keval and Savan Dattani, told attendees about the growing beard care market in India that they were exploiting through an e-commerce channel, and the influence of social media on public perceptions of male grooming.

Filtermist, a manufacturer of oil mist filters, exports to 60 different countries and one key market has been India. The company’s Director of International Sales, Stuart Plimmer explained the process of finding a distributor, and the growing demand with increased awareness of pollution. With the rise in sales, the business decided to set up a company in India in 2018, using the LaunchPad scheme to recruit.

A few key tips shared by all was the need to map out finances, be mindful of bureaucracy, the impact on timing on manufacturing, marketing and sales, and the importance of in-market research.

The India Roadshow has travelled around the UK, it began in Cardiff on 24 June and will finish in Edinburgh on Friday 5 July.

Ian Harrison, Head of Exports for the Midlands said:

“The India Roadshow highlighted the export opportunities available in India for businesses based in the Midlands, and what today has shown is there is huge potential. We are pleased that we able to host on the of largest turnouts of the tour, testament to the interest in India from across the Midlands.

“Listening to businesses like Mo Bros, Filtermist and StadiArena speak about their success gave valuable insights businesses that are interested in this growing economy.

“To any businesses looking to export to India, I encourage you to get in contact with your local International Trade Adviser, so you can begin the process of scoping the market and finding the right partner right away.”


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