UKIBC and High Commission of India launch Phase II of AIP

By Kealan Finnegan

On Friday 17th January, the High Commission of India (HCI) in partnership with UKIBC, launched phase II of the Access India Programme at India House in London. This flagship programme of HCI supports small and medium UK manufacturing enterprises to enter India through end-to-end market entry support, working towards the wider Make in India programme.

The event was graced by the High Commissioner, Deputy High Commissioner and several top officials from HCI. In her opening remarks, HE Ruchi Ghanashyam, the High Commissioner of India to the UK, spoke about the importance of AIP and the key role it will play in helping India realise its ambition to become a world-class manufacturing hub.

Richard Heald, CEO of UKIBC, spoke about the success we have achieved in the first year of AIP, with more than 10 of the AIP’s first cohort of UK SMEs having now entered the Indian market. He also laid out the implementation plans for this second phase. As in the first phase, the programme will provide activities, workshops, mentoring, networking opportunities and market entry support services. 

UKIBC Managing Director, Kevin McCole, chaired a panel with Minister (Economics) Singh, UKIBC members Rolls Royce and MBDA – two of our larger companies supporting SMEs in India – and Tevva Motors and Crib Gogh, two of the SME cohort from phase I. They discussed the benefits they have received from AIP, including access to partners, knowledge sharing – on issues such as intellectual property and regulatory information – and building networks in India. 

UKIBC will continue our role as knowledge partners to the HCI to develop AIP into this exciting second phase. In addition to supporting 50 companies that have already been selected in the initial phase, HCI and UKIBC will select at least 20 more companies to join in phase II and support them through workshops, introductions, mentoring, and facilitating partnerships. 

AIP is an important programme for both our countries. Our discussions and surveys have found that UK companies often struggle to find a partner in India. UKIBC and HCI will leverage our extensive government and non-government networks to help companies, particularly UK SMEs, through this programme. Additionally, our expertise on the market landscape in India, and understanding of the policy, tax, regulatory, and legal requirements, will help support the participating companies to enter India for the benefit of UK and Indian economic growth and innovation. 

If you are interested in the Access India Programme visit or get in touch with Prasenjit Dhar at 

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