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Press Release - 07 December 2007

Mobile phone entrepreneur to speak at Bath-India Economic Forum

Business people interested in the booming Indian market will get the chance to hear some expert opinions at a forum organised at the University of Bath, including those of leading entrepreneur Sunil Bharti Mittal.

Mr Mittal, President of the Confederation of Indian Industry and Chairman of the Bharti group, India’s largest mobile phone operator, will be one of three main speakers at the Bath India Economic Forum, on Wednesday 12 December.

Places on the free forum are still available and can be booked using the Forum’s website (see Related Links).

Mr Mittal, with his two siblings, built the Bharti Group into India's largest mobile phone operator in just 10 years. The Group also has partnerships with Axa for insurance and with the Rothschild family for exporting fruits and vegetables.

Mr Mittal will talk about the internationalisation of Indian business, covering the following areas:

• The opening up of the Indian economy, including the free flow of capital, the regulatory regime for overseas investment by Indian corporates, and the free flow of goods and services

• India and its attractiveness as a destination for international capital, and the rapid rise in private equity investments

• Indian companies turning into true multinationals by overseas acquisitions

• The rising confidence of the global community, the evolution towards global standards and the import of international best practices

• The Indian workforce a global workforce, with its favourable demographics and the rise of outsourcing

• Challenges for India, such as streamlining administrative procedures, the education system, direct tax rationalisation and infrastructure.

The other speakers include Suresh Seetharaman, the co-founder and President of Virgin Comics LLC and Virgin Animation Ltd, and Richard Perry, Head of Business Services, UK India Business Council.

The speakers will cover issues such as entrepreneurship in India, Indian companies in the UK and the social and the environmental impact of economic growth in India.

The University’s School of Management is organising the Forum and its Dean, Professor Andrew Pettigrew, will give the welcome speech.

“Last year India attracted foreign investment worth billions of dollars to help its booming economic development,” said Sam Manly, one of the Forum’s organisers, and an undergraduate at the School of Management.

“It’s not just that it’s a place where Western companies outsource their call centres – India has well-educated graduates and experienced business people who make running whole business processes there an attractive prospect. India has enormous potential for growth over the next decade and beyond."

The Forum was held for the first time last year; this year the School of Management has been delighted to work in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry to bring even more speakers and a wider audience to the forum.

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