India Port Container Ship

The Sheffield City Region (SCR) has launched a search for businesses to apply for its new India Growth Champions scheme.

The scheme, a joint venture between the SCR and the UK India Business Council (UKIBC), is on the hunt for 10 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who want to develop their business links with India, which will culminate in a trade mission to the country in autumn 2020.

Successful applicants will receive 10 days of dedicated support. This will include the development of an India business plan, providing company-specific market research and competitor analysis alongside workshops and business mentoring.

Each successful business will be guaranteed a minimum of five appointments with potential partners whilst in India as part of the trade mission.

Rachel Clark, Director of Trade and Investment at the Sheffield City Region, said: “The India Growth Champions scheme is an exceptional opportunity for SMEs from across the region to develop their trade with India – an economy that will be the third-largest in the world by 2030.

“India has been an under-exploited export market for the SCR. Whilst the EU accounts for 55% of our goods and services, India and China combined account for only 6%. We want to begin to change that. This scheme opens opportunities and we are confident it will lead to real growth for the companies involved.”

The scheme is set to be officially launched on Tuesday 17 March at an event at the Grant Thornton office at Holly Street, Sheffield, when the application process will open.

In 2016, the Sheffield City Region exported £66m worth of goods to India – making it the region’s thirteenth largest trading partner. The Sheffield City Region now has more than 420 active exporters to the country. By 2025 the SCR aims to increase both the amount and numbers trading with India by more than 50%.  

The launch follows a successful trade mission to Maharashtra, India by delegates from the SCR, PES Performance Engineering, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and the UKIBC in November. The visit highlighted the immense potential for trade to be increased between the two regions.

For more information on the India Growth Champions scheme please visit the SCR Invest website.

Neina Sheldon
Article by Neina Sheldon
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