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Manasi Promotes India-UK Business Relations At The House Of Lords, London

Monday, November 13, 2017
By Dominic Rebello

“India and Britain share strong historical ties dating back to over three centuries. The relationship between our two nations is deep and special as there is a lot in common between the people of our two countries. Thanks to the Indian Diaspora of about 1.5 million people, which is the largest ethnic minority group in the UK, the cultural linkages between the two nations are also strong. This has helped gradual mainstreaming of Indian culture in Britain. As a result, we share a lot more than just the love for democracy, tea, cricket and now the ‘bhangra’ and chicken ‘tikka masala’. As we are all aware, the journey of this relationship commenced with trade. What started as private commerce, bloomed into a most flourishing international system of trade with preferential treatment and lowering of tariffs as its mainstay. What was previously a more-or-less a one-sided flow of raw materials to Britain with manufactured goods being exported to India has now bloomed into a most complex inflow and outflow from both sides of raw material intermediates as well as manufactured goods and services”, said Manasi Kirloskar, Executive Director, Kirloskar Systems Ltd.

Manasi was speaking at the House of Lords, UK Parliament on October 27th 2017, in a Special Address as a Distinguished Guest and Speaker at the 17th annual London Global Convention of IOD (Institute of Directors, India) on ‘Indo-UK Trade Relations’.

The convention elicited an excellent response and saw top professionals from policymakers, leading business houses as well as government authorities from across the globe gather on a single platform and address the august audience.

It also offered a unique platform to discuss and debate some of the more persistent issues and challenges that Boardrooms are facing today in order to improve effective governance.

Elaborating on trade Manasi said “As far as trade between our two nations is concerned, at the present UK ranks 15th in the list of India’s top trading partners. The UK is India’s 6th largest export market and is 22nd amongst the countries exporting to India. The India-UK bilateral trade in goods and services in 2015 amounted to £16.33 billion with India enjoying a surplus in both merchandise and services trade. As I pondered through the trade data, the thing that strikes me the most is the huge potential that remains untapped. More disturbingly, with the exception of 2017, the trade between India and UK has been declining over the last few years. So the two countries face the immediate challenge of finding ways of exploring newer areas that can provide sustained momentum to growth in trade so as to realize the available potential that exists. This will also automatically reverse the declining trend in trade between the two countries seen in the recent past”.

According to her “One of the reasons for low trade share and declining trade between India and UK is the narrow range of items being currently traded. The main items exported from India to the UK include apparels (19.1%), machinery and mechanical appliances (8.1%), vehicles and their parts (7.2%), jewellery related items (5.6%), pharmaceuticals (5.2%) and footwear (4.8%). The major items of import from the UK consist of machinery and mechanical appliances (15.7%), jewellery related items (7.9%), electrical machinery, equipment and parts (9%) etc. Interestingly, most of India’s imports from the UK are of intermediate products, which are manufactured and become India’s finished products, especially in India’s traditional exports.”

Through her well-researched speech, she also explained how the quantity of bilateral trade between the UK and India in services is currently minuscule. “Although the UK became the second largest exporter of services globally in 2015, with exports worth US$349 billion, and the fifth largest importer of services, with total imports of US$212 billion, the share of the UK’s exports and imports of services from and to India remains under 2%. There is obviously a huge potential to increase trade in services between the two countries. It is important to broaden and diversify trade items. Not restricting it to Goods but to also extend its potential towards knowledge transfer in the area of Medical care and Education, for instance,” she stated.

Manasi impressed the dignitaries with her powerful speech which she concluded powerfully saying "To conclude, I would like to submit that whilst the strong intent of both the Governments will definitely be a deciding factor for the future of economic relations between our nations, it will be the sincerity of intent and the strength of the people to people relations that will shape the determination of the Governments."

Manasi Kirloskar as a dynamic business leader has been invited to prestigious forums to deliver talks on subjects ranging from - her challenges as the sole young heiress to Vikram and Geetanjali Kirloskar’s business empire, her vision on carrying forward her family business legacy, and her new social non-profit start-up "Caring with Colour", as also on her learning’s from her rigorous training at their Japanese Joint ventures and the Japanese way, etc.

Her start-up aims at changing the education paradigm at schools for the lesser privileged. The first pilot starts this month in Bangalore. She has also been winning prestigious business and leadership awards over the last two years for excellence and success in her business and entrepreneurial ventures. Currently, Manasi is the Executive Director of Kirloskar Systems Ltd, Director, Toyota Tsusho Insurance Broker India Pvt Ltd, and Director, Kirloskar Technologies Ltd.  She has also set up a real estate vertical and completed one large residential project as an entrepreneur.

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