FICCI UK Council masterstroke for bilateral ties, says outgoing chair Baroness Prashar

FICCI UK Council masterstroke for bilateral ties, says outgoing chair Baroness Prashar

“We managed to establish a very dynamic and energetic council and establishing it was a masterstroke,” said Baroness Usha Prashar, the outgoing chair of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) UK Council, in her farewell speech at India House in London this week.

She shared her memories of taking on the role that involves championing the UK-India partnership, persuaded by FICCI UK Director Dr Param Shah four years ago. The prominent British Indian peer said she was particularly inspired by the genesis of FICCI in the advice of Mahatma Gandhi to aspire towards the goal of “business with purpose”.

She said: “I think there is an enormous potential for upgrading institutional links and help to deepen the relationship, build better cooperation and understanding in areas such as education, research, innovation, enterprise, green finance, technology, employment, capacity building, financial inclusion and more.

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“Another area which was important during my tenure was regional engagement to go beyond being London centric and given FICCI’s footprint all over India, I think that regional outreach was extremely important.”

Baroness Prashar then formally handed the symbolic FICCI UK Council badge over to British Indian professional Priya Guha, Venture Partner of Merian Ventures which invests in women-led innovation.

Guha said: “One role of business is to make a concrete contribution to economic growth on both sides and clearly, we have that in the India-UK relationship. But, actually, the role of business is so much more – to open our eyes to other things, to build cultural ties, to strengthen relationships, to deepen a very strong bond and take that to the new stage of its potential.”

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The Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami, welcomed her to the new role and also led tributes to Baroness Prashar for her invaluable advice and guidance within the UK-India corridor over the years.

“She has been part of the very fabric of this country,” he said.

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