UK India Business Council Chair

By UK India Business Council (UKIBC)

UKIBC Chair, Patricia Hewitt, has announced that she will be retiring as Chair of the UK India Business Council later this year after nearly nine years

She will however, remain on the Board for a further period to ensure a smooth transition and for her valued engagement in key work-streams going forward.

Ms Hewitt said: “Although I will be very sad to step down as Chair – a role that I greatly enjoy – I am also clear that this is the right time for someone new to lead UKIBC through the next stage of its growth and development. Every organisation needs to refresh its board regularly and we are no exception. I have, however, agreed with the Board that I will remain involved as a director for a further year or so, to support my successor and ensure continuity in relationships built up over many years. And I certainly won’t be ending my love affair with India!”


UKIBC CEO, Richard Heald said: “I am hugely appreciative of Patricia’s contribution to the evolution of the UK India Business Council over the past years. Her profile and impact within India is very high. As such, the Board and I am grateful to Patricia to agreeing to remain involved in our agenda going forward – particularly in the area of healthcare where she has so much to offer the UK-India dialogue. On a personal note, I appreciate her advice and guidance as Chair during what has been a transformational period in the bilateral relationship. Looking forward I will continue to value her insights.”


The Nominations Committee, chaired by Andy Scott, is leading the search for a new chair. The below document explains what the role involves. If you would like to propose someone for the Committee to consider, please contact us at:


There is a strong economic and trading partnership between the UK and India and in the post Brexit trade and investment environment this is only set to grow. The UK is already the largest G20 investor in India and India invests more in the UK than the rest of the EU combined. With growth in India outstripping that in most other major economies and continuing reform programmes to the business environment, there are huge opportunities for UK businesses small and large in multiple sectors across India. There are equally significant investment and trading opportunities in the UK for Indian businesses looking to expand internationally.

It was no coincidence that Theresa May made India the first country outside the EU she visited on becoming Prime Minister. Both Prime Ministers are committed to working together to substantially increase trade and investment opportunities in our respective countries. The UKIBC is ideally positioned and equally committed to playing its part in the furtherance of this objective.


The UKIBC is the leading business organisation promoting bilateral trade and investment relationships between UK and India. It provides UK business with the insights, networks, policy advocacy, services and facilities needed to succeed in the Indian market. It was established in its current format in 2008, evolving from various predecessor bodies dating back to the 1990s.

The Council is funded through a combination of DIT grant support and private sector income derived from services, membership subscriptions and sponsorship. Current annual turnover is £3.8m with just over 50% contribution from DIT. The objective is progressively to reduce this dependence on Government grant support with increasing contributions from own generated income.

Responsibility for the governance of the UKIBC, its strategic direction and oversight of its operational activities is vested with a 25 strong Group Board. Board membership comprises senior representatives drawn from across the business spectrum, all with strong, practical experience of doing business in and with India. The Group Board is supported by 3 Committees and an India Board, the respective Chairs of which along with the UKIBC CEO, make up an Exec Committee which oversees the day to day operations of the organisation as well as undertaking other tasks delegated from the Group Board.

Additionally, an Advisory Council, comprising Chairmen and CEOs of some of the major businesses with interests in India, provides advice and insights to help set the context for the organisation’s forward agenda.

UKIBC has a total staff complement in the UK and India of 44 with its head office in London and representative offices in Gurgaon, Mumbai, and Bangalore.

For many years, UKIBC has worked with DIT (previously UKTI) to provide the UK secretariat to JETCO. We are also now the secretariat for Sir Gerry Grimstone and the UK members of the CEO Forum. In addition, we are working with CII to mobilise business input into the new G2G working group on bilateral trade and economic relations, including the possibility of a future Free Trade Agreement.


The role of the UKIBC Chair is absolutely critical to the credibility, authority, and perceptions of the organisation, positioning it at the heart of the UK/India business landscape. He/she is the highly visible public face of the organisation and to large measure, is responsible for setting the tone for the Council’s interactions with its key audiences and stakeholders in Government and business both in the UK and India.

Going forward and building on the excellent foundations in place, the Chair will be instrumental in taking the UKIBC to its next stage of development as it reviews strategy and objectives post Brexit. It will also be important to increase the share of private sector income as constraints on DIT funding.

The Chair would be expected to visit India at least twice a year. Typically, one visit will coincide with that of a senior British Minister and may also include the CEO Forum, JETCO etc.


The main responsibilities and duties of the Chair can be grouped under four main headings:


  • Acting as the focal point for, and the promotion of, UK business interests in and with India
  • Involvement in out-bound Ministerial visits. Most notably those associated with the UK Prime Minister but also those involving other senior UK Government Ministers.
  • Involvement in in-coming Indian Ministerial visits and business delegations including chairing roundtables, hosting dinners etc.
  • Membership of the UK India CEO Forum
  • Chairing/speaking at UKIBC and other related India events in both countries.
  • Maintaining close links with counterpart Indian organisations specifically CII and FICCI.
  • All the above tailored to fit Chair’s time availability and can be shared with Dep Chairs/ CEO/leading members.


  • Fostering and maintaining close links with UK Government Ministers, No 10 and special advisers
  • Maintaining a strong, constructive dialogue and working relationship with DIT and FCO senior officials and the British High Commission in India not least given the current financial dependency on grant support.
  • Building and maintaining relationships with Indian Government Ministers and senior officials and devoting increasing focus on key State governments.
  • Maintaining a strong working relationship with the Indian High Commission in London.


  • To lead the Group Board, ensuring it has the right mix of skills and experience and setting the “tone from the top”.
  • Enabling and facilitating the Group Board to agree strategy and to hold the CEO to account for performance.
  • Ensuring that the Group Board, both directly and through appropriate Committees, has effective oversight of the organisation’s conduct, financial discipline, compliance, and risk management.
  • In delivering the above this entails chairing 4 Group Board meetings per annum, liaison with the Chairs of the Audit, Remuneration, and Nominations Committee as appropriate.
  • Providing regular support, advice and challenge to the CEO and other members of the senior executive team.
  • The Chair also currently chairs two meetings a year of the Advisory Council, one in each country.
  • In addition, the India subsidiary, UKIBC India Pvt. Ltd., has an India Board which is accountable to the Group Board for the operations in India. There is some overlap between the Group and India Boards. Although the current Chair has been chairing both Boards, the intention is to appoint a separate Chair of the subsidiary from the Group Board.


  • Liaising with major members (Strategic Partners and Corporate Plus) to ensure strong and continuing engagement strategies.
  • Effecting introductions and helping the CEO and the executive team as appropriate to recruit new major members.

PERSONal requirements

  • The Chair will be credible and comfortable operating at the most senior level with political and business leaders and an authoritative and respected ambassador for the UKIBC.
  • He/she will have extensive networks and relationships in both the corporate and political worlds in the UK and India. They will have a good knowledge of the Indian business environment, most likely built up over a number of years of practical interactions in and with the market.
  • They will have been, and ideally still are, a regular visitor to India.
  • The Chair will have significant Board level corporate experience.


The exact time commitment is open for discussion and to a degree flexible but could be in the order of 1 day per week averaged out over the year, including trips to India.

The appointment is unpaid but, of course, reasonable expenses are paid. It will be for a 3-year period commencing July 2017.




Clive Barton Formerly Serco
Philip BouveratDirectorJCB
Alan ButlerGlobal Policy and Public Affairs DirectorDiageo
Jackie Callcut Formerly AgustaWestland
James CliffeHead Business Banking UKHSBC
Mike ConnartyDirectorConnarty Consulting
Ann CormackDirectorInternational Rolls Royce
Ben DigbyInternational DirectorCBI
David LandsmanDirectorTata
Vivek NandaPrincipalAECOM
Chris ParsonsChairman, India GroupHerbert Smith Freehills
Mukesh RajaniPartnerPricewaterhouseCoopers
Markus ReinischGroup Director Public Policy GroupVodafone
Nandita Sahgal-TullyCEOIL&FS
Andy ScottInternational AdviserCBI
Vasuki ShastryGroup Head Public AffairsStandard Chartered
Emma SheldonMarketing DirectorVernacare
Parmjit SinghPartner, Head of India GroupEversheds Sutherland
Preeti SinhaSenior President and Global ConvenerYES Bank
Avinash VaziraniFund Management DirectorJupiter Asset Management
Kevin WoollardOperations Director, R&I and Adastral ParkBT



Lucy ArmstrongChairCapital for Enterprise
Graham Cartledge, CBEChairmanBenoy
Prof. Sir Michael GregoryHead, Institute of ManufacturingCambridge University
Sir Gerry GrimstoneChairmanStandard Life
Ajit GulabchandChairman and Managing DirectorHCC
Rana KapoorFounder, Managing Director and CEOYES Bank
Rahul KhoslaPresidentMax India
Kiran Mazumdar-ShawChair and Managing DirectorBiocon
Ivan Menezes Chief ExecutiveDiageo
Sunil Kant MunjalChairmanHero
T V Mohandas Pai ChairmanManipal Global Learning
Stuart PaverChairmanPavers
Subhanu SaxenaFormerly Cipla
Sir Martin SorrellGroup CEOWPP
Sir Richard Stagg, KCMGChairmanRothschild India Pvt. Ltd.
Noel Tata ChairmanTrent Ltd
A Vellayan Executive ChairmanMurugappa Group
Kevin Wall Co-Head Corporate Banking Origination, Vice Chairman Investment BankingBarclays
Kevan Watts Vice Chairman, BankingHSBC
David WhittletonDeputy ChairmanArup


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