The chief executive of a top pharmaceutical firm has spoken about travelling to India as part of prime minister Theresa May’s first trade trip.
Dr Nik Kotecha joined a delegation of 39 mainly small and medium-sized firms seeking new business on the three-day trip to India earlier this month which was led by May.
His Leicestershire-based business Morningside Pharmaceuticals was hailed by the prime minister as a “great example of what the United Kingdom can offer the world as we leave the EU”.
It supplies drugs to some of the biggest international relief charities and global agencies including the Red Cross, World Health Organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières and the United Nations.
Dr Kotecha visited India in a bid to build relationships with manufacturing facilities in the country and develop new technologies to create jobs and growth in the UK.
He told Eastern Eye it was an honour and privilege to be invited on the trip.
“It is not something people get to do every day, and to be one of the small number of companies invited from the UK was quite an honour,” he said.
“We got to meet high-profile companies who were very keen for the companies to export to India, but also looking at investment from India into the UK.”
Dr Kotecha featured in the Asian Rich List Midlands 2016, which ranks the wealthiest Asians in the region. It is published by the Asian Media and Marketing Group which also
produces Eastern Eye.
A few of the drugs produced by Morningside including tablets for diabetes, depression and contraception. They are manufactured in India, but the majority of their medicines are made in Europe.
Speaking about May, Dr Kotecha said: “We went to visit a school in Bangalore; it was quite charming to watch her with the young kids.
“We got some time to spend with her on her RAF jet, as well as in the receptions in the evening.
“She was charming and engaging, she had been well briefed – she knew about our companies work with the NHS and aid projects.”
During her visit, May said Britain would not need to ease visa restrictions in order to reach a trade deal with India once the UK has left the EU.
She announced a new service to be offered in Britain to improve business travel for Indians, including faster clearance through border controls and a “bespoke” service for certain high-net individuals.
Dr Kotecha, whose company supplies a large range of branded and generic medicines twice daily to NHS Hospitals, wholesalers and pharmacies in the UK, believes the visa process should be made easier.
“If we want to do business in India and we want to export to India, and if we want India to invest in our country, there should be an opportunity for good quality, high level candidates from India to work in the UK; it should be made easier,” he said.
“If there is a need for that talent, that talent should be available.”
May announced that £1 billion’s worth of deals had been signed during the trip.