Major business delegation from Northern Ireland visits India

A 16-strong delegation from Northern Ireland will be in India from 29th March to 4th April to develop business and education links throughout the country. The group will be based in Mumbai and Delhi. Individual mission members will also be exploring business in Chennai, Nagpur, Kolkata and Bangalore.

The delegation has been organised by Invest Northern Ireland and will be led by Lord Diljit Rana, a leading businessman and Honorary Consul for India in Northern Ireland.

The delegation includes several companies with significant business in India such as Delta Print and Packaging, which has joint venture packaging plants near Chennai, Randox Laboratories, a global leader in diagnostic systems, and SRS, a specialist in concrete block production machinery which recently established a distribution network in the country.

The Red Sky Group of east Belfast has an office in Chennai and substantial business in facilities management services with India-based companies such as United Breweries, India Cements, Mitsubishi and India Infoline. The company currently employs over 130 people in India.

Another mission company, PWS Ireland of Newry has a joint venture operation at Nagpur manufacturing directional signs including solar-powered systems for India’s developing network of highways.

Visiting India for the first time are: Beatties Re Cycling, Newry, waste management; Micon Distribution, Lisburn, a distributor of marble and granite products; Mourne Granite, Kilkeel, a manufacturer of granite products; and Outsource Ireland, Omagh, a business improvement consultancy.

Included in the group, which is being assisted by the Mumbai-based Invest Northern Ireland Trade and Investment Office, are senior staff from Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster, both of which has long established relationships with Indian institutions such as the Bengal Science and Engineering University and the University of Madras.

The universities are seeking to expand technology transfer agreements and to offer study opportunities for undergraduates and postgraduates in Northern Ireland. The University of Ulster group includes representatives from Business Retail and Financial Services, Student Marketing International and its Ulster Business School.

Barry Clarke, Invest NI’s Senior Vice President India, commenting on the mission, said: “The strength of this delegation, particularly the number of companies visiting India for the first time, and those consolidating their existing position in the market, shows the high level of interest in Northern Ireland in doing business here.

“As a result of regular business missions organised by Invest NI over the past six years, India has become a vitally important market for Northern Ireland companies across a broad range of industrial sectors.

“Our companies now see India as a very dynamic market and a great place in which to do business.  Indian partnerships are also helping them compete in Gulf state markets.  In the current economic climate, competitiveness is key to the survival and growth of Northern Ireland companies.”