Dr Diljit Rana MBE, a leading figure in the Indian community
in Northern Ireland, led a trade mission of 13 companies to India
from 11-17 November. The mission members spent two days in New Delhi,
11 and 12 November, before leaving for Mumbai.
The mission, seeking to build business in Indias fast growing
marketplace, was organised by Invest Northern Ireland, the economic
development agency for Northern Ireland.
Apart from exporters specialising in biotechnology, civil engineering,
road construction equipment and consumer goods, the delegation included
five IT businesses including two contact centre operators, Answercall
and HCL Technologies. The latter is a joint venture between New Delhi-based
HCL Technologies and British Telecom.
Commenting on the mission, Dr Rana said: Business opportunities
in India for Northern Ireland companies are substantial, particularly
in the areas of infrastructural projects, information technology and
consumer goods. India is a rapidly developing marketplace with particularly
strong links with the United Kingdom. In 2000, for example, UK-India
bilateral trade was worth over $8 billion.
Dr Diljit Rana, Chairman, Andras House, has made a major contribution
to the economic regeneration of the city of Belfast through the development
of hotels, restaurants, fashion shops and modern office accomodation.
In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Northern Ireland
economy, Mr Rana was awarded MBE (Member of British Empire) by Queen
Martin Bell, Invest Northern Irelands mission manager, said,
Investment programmes by the Indian authorities on the modernisation
of the motorway network, on airports and harbours provide significant
scope for companies offering a broad range of products and services.
The companies that took part in the mission represented a range of
sectors from software to consumer goods and all are optimistic about
the opportunities that India offers. Northern Ireland companies can
also offer Indian businesses a platform for expansion into Europe, which
is soon to become the worlds biggest marketplace. The companies
Randox Laboratories Ltd Manufactures clinical chemistry kits,
reagents and quality control sera for use in hospitals and veterinary
Relay Software Specialises in software solutions for the insurance
industry, in particular the insurance broker market.
Rutledge Recruitment & Training Provides advice, training,
and business support services to individuals, companies and organisations.
They have a specialist