In pursuit of establishing socially impactful and innovative businesses, the first group of the 10-month Badiri Social Entrepreneurship Programme, BSEP, has spent a week in India to receive inspiration and guidance from the country’s social entrepreneurship ecosystem on how to align their business interests with a social purpose. BSEP is the brainchild of Sharjah-based NAMA Women Advancement Establishment’s education and capacity building arm, Badiri Education and Development Academy, and the UK-based School for Social Entrepreneurs, SSE. Through their collaboration on BSEP, the SSE is expanding its reach into the Arab region for the first time. The programme aims to empower Emirati and UAE-based female entrepreneurs above the age of 20, through knowledge-exchange and expert sessions that will equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to turn their business into profitable social enterprises. With an emphasis on practical learning, the programme’s customised curriculum took 13 UAE-based businesswomen and entrepreneurs, who were chosen through a series of interviews, to London and Cornwall in August, followed by more hands-on training and expertise-sharing for a week in the UAE, and the final weeklong field visit to New Delhi, India, from 26th October to 3rd November, 2018, where they met with the owners of successful Indian social enterprises through SSE India. While in India, BSEP participants interacted with SSE India fellows who are creating significant social change through their enterprises in a variety of industries, and met with celebrated names in the subcontinent, such as Sunil Ganesh and Ankit Gupta who engaged them in a discussion on their business and how they started, and how to measure their social impact of their enterprises by devising specific metrics. They also witnessed an inspiring talk by Sharmila Karve, who is now a driving force for women entrepreneurship in her role as a Director of SSE India and the Global Diversity Leader at PwC. She spoke about her humble beginnings as a young intern at PwC India before she became one of its first female partners. In another session, the group met with SSE India 2018 Fellow, Yusra Khan, who told them about how a simple question "what is on your bucket list?" posed to street children prompted her and a group of socially-minded youngsters to start their non-profit, Bucket List, to serve street children. Highlighting the importance of these visits, Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment said, "Project visits and field trips are a central focus of BSEP, as social enterprises thrive on a unique dynamic, which is being socially conscious. Learning from other people’s experiences requires in-depth exploration and placing oneself within the physical context of the social impact of a business. "For the past three months, the 13 BSEP participants have been working intensely to shape their business model canvases and examine their value propositions. Each one has benefitted immensely from the field visits, first in the United Kingdom, UAE and now in India. These global encounters have introduced them to essential social entrepreneurship concepts, the ‘Theory of Change’ for instance. These valuable real-time interactions and learning on the field have not only helped them recognise how to incorporate proﬁtability within projects that create a positive social impact, but gain practical insights from successful social entrepreneurs in different countries operating in different socioeconomic contexts." Pitch development, learning about structuring the organisation’s systems, operations and finance, internal change processes for creating desired performance, facilitation and team leadership skills, immersion into social entrepreneurship in India and using that knowledge to build a successful social business in the UAE, were among the practical exercises conducted by Gagan Sethi of Janvikas and other leading experts. Janvikas’ session also touched on the important theme of how to build a social enterprise from within. Assia Riccio, Founder of Evolvin’ Women, TEDx speaker and one of BSEP’s participants, said, "The learning phase in India has been transformational. I met social entrepreneurs who are breaking stereotypes and changing their community for the better. Through these experiences, I have gained a better understanding of myself as an entrepreneur. BSEP is changing the way I look at my business and at myself and is offering me the guidance I really needed to bring my knowledge, experience and skills together to create a social impact." Dr. Mariam Ketait, an Emirati family doctor and well-being advocate, said the programme helped her get out of a mindset that was holding her back, and made her trust herself and others more, "I have not only learned the technical aspects of a social business through this intensive course but met many like-minded women and men in different countries who share my purpose. The bonds I have made with these change-makers will remain. The learnings of this trip have not just made me more business ready, but have had a huge impact on my personal journey as well," she noted. For a third BSEP participant, Ayesha Naseem, the BSEP journey has been equally emotional. She said, "It has been an intense experiential learning programme, fun but also had some tears. BSEP was carefully curated to give us an insight into the different ecosystems that exist to solve key social issues. While the social problems may be unique to a country, at the heart of every solution lies a deeply personal ‘why’." The lessons we learned could be applied to life and business in equal measure." "It was just amazing to witness the different ways in which so many spirited individuals around the world are working and collaborating to overcome societal challenges innovatively. NAMA and SSE UK and India have worked together to ensure that we felt comfortable in previously unknown environments. From breaking bread together to travelling 300 plus kilometres on a bus to meeting incredible social entrepreneurs, every day has been different." The India trip brings the BSEP field visits to an end, and November will see the participants attending webinars, while December is slated for the submission and pitch of their business plans and their graduation. After ﬁnishing BSEP, participants will have acquired important skills that will help them establish their own social enterprises or enhance the operation of their existing enterprises.
Export of raw sugar from India to China will begin early next year. A contract for exporting 15,000 tonnes of raw sugar has been entered to by the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) and COFCO, a Government of China run public sector company. This is due to the initiative taken by the Ministry of Commerce and several rounds of meetings held by officials of both countries the import of raw sugar has materialized now. India plans to export 2 MT of raw sugar to China beginning from next year. Raw sugar is the second product after non-basmati rice that China will import from India. It is a move to reduce the USD 60 billion trade deficit that China has with India. India’s export to China in 2017-18 amounted to USD 33 billion while imports from China stood at USD 76.2 billion. India is the largest producer of sugar in the world with 32 MMT production in 2018. India produces sugar of all three grades- raw, refined and white. Indian sugar is also of a high quality and is Dextran free because of the minimum time taken from cut to crush. India is in a position to become a regular and dependable exporter of high quality sugar in significant volumes to China.
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, launched a historic support and outreach programme for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. As part of this programme, the Prime Minister unveiled 12 key initiatives which will help the growth, expansion and facilitation of MSMEs across the country. The Prime Minister said that the 12 decisions that he is announcing today, will mark a new chapter for the MSME sector. Noting that MSMEs are one of the principal employment generators in India, the Prime Minister recalled the glorious Indian traditions of small scale industry, including Ludhiana’s hosiery, and Varanasi’s sarees. The Prime Minister said that the success of economic reforms launched by the Union Government, can be gauged from the rise in India's “Ease of Doing Business Rankings,” from 142 to 77 in four years. The Prime Minister said that there are five key aspects for facilitating the MSME sector. These include access to credit, access to market, technology upgradation, ease of doing business, and a sense of security for employees. He said that as a Diwali gift for the sector, the 12 announcements he is making, will address each of these five categories.
Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, met today in New Delhi, Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary of the Indian Department Of Industrial Policy and Promotion. They discussed the progress made on the implementation of processes agreed during the last meeting, as well as topics of mutual interest.
The Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha met with the Western Australian Tourism Minister Paul Papalia to receive further commitments from the Western Australian State Government to establish direct non-stop flights between India and Perth. The Ministers said the discussions were positive, agreeing there would be benefits for both Western Australia and India if a direct service was established. The Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, Mr Pradeep Kharola was also present in the meeting. India is already a fast growing market for Western Australia with the number of visitors increasing by 38 per cent from the year ending December 2015 to the same period in 2017. The Western Australia Government has recently committed funds to market the State to Indian consumers for the first time and has appointed a dedicated marketing representative based in Mumbai. Air India has agreed to explore the business case for the route. Jayant Sinha said that “India and Australia share strong trade, investment, sporting and education ties. Direct connectivity between India and Australia has the potential to deepen these relationships.” He said that “India has a very open air service agreement with Australia. It encourages both Indian and Australian airlines to consider making use of the liberal arrangements to mount more flights between the two countries.” He added that “many Indian carries are now permitted to fly on international routes and we hope to see many new direct flights and increased frequency between the two countries.” After the meeting, Paul Papalia said that “today’s meeting was extremely productive and significantly progressed our efforts towards establishing direct flights between India and Perth.” He said that “the Western Australian Government is serious about growing the number of visitors travelling to Western Australia from India, which is why we have committed marketing funds for the first time and appointed a market representative to work with travel trade and Tourism Australia to promote the State.” He added that “our extraordinary State has much to offer Indian travellers, whether they’re visiting for business, education or leisure.” He said that “Perth boasts the best hotels in Australia, with more than 3,000 new rooms opening in the past few years. It is also the perfect launching pad to visit our spectacular regions.”
The fourth edition of the annual UAE-India Economic Forum (UIEF), is set to take place on 24th October with the aim of strengthening ties and bilateral trade relations. The UIEF is supported by the Telangana Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Forum, to be held at Habtoor Grand Resort in Dubai, will bring together over 350 delegates from the UAE and India. The UIEF represents a new stage in the economic relationship between both the countries that share a vision to project the current US$40 billion bilateral trade to US$100 billion by 2020 according to reports. This can only be achieved with sustained efforts to constantly engage the key stakeholders, government authorities and investors in a dialogue which strengthens their faith in the establishment. The event will focus on benefits of the increased collaboration in investment, trade, infrastructure, ports, banking, finance, and tourism between the UAE and India. The summit promises to provide exclusive insights into critical topics such as investments, tourism, banking and finance, renewable energy, real estate, and technology. Commenting on the fourth edition of the UIEF, Alpana Roy, Executive Vice President at UMS Group, said, "We are glad to announce the fourth edition of the UAE India Economic Forum. The Forum is an established platform to discuss new policy framework and explore investment opportunities across industries between the UAE and India. In the recent years both countries have re-energised their bilateral trade relations with the recurring visits of their respective leaders to discuss the future of trade and investments. We are aware that the trading links between the UAE and India has existed since long." "The UAE enjoys broad and comprehensive economic relationship with India based on mutual interest. Another growing area of economic cooperation between two countries is investments. The UAE has invested over US$5 billion in India through FDI and foreign institutional investors, which makes it one of the leading investors in India. On the other hand, India is the third largest investor in UAE, Indian companies have contributed to the prominent projects in UAE. With both governments showing clarity in their vision to gain the most from this partnership, the ambitious goal of reaching US$100 billion in trade by 2020 now seems achievable," she added.
The Startup India – Maharashtra Yatra will be launched on the 3rd of October, by Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, at Raj Bhawan, Mumbai.. After a successful run in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana – the Startup India Yatra is making its way to Maharashtra. This leg of the Startup India Yatra is being conducted by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Invest India, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Department, Government of Maharashtra and Maharashtra State Innovation Society. Startup India Yatra van, equipped with facilities for individuals and Startups to pitch their ideas, is scheduled to travel to 16 Districts, with 23 Van Stops and 14 Boot Camps, and will conclude at a Grand Finale in Nagpur on 3rd of November, 2018. The boot camps will include presentations on Startup India and Maharashtra Startup policy followed by extensive ideation workshops. An idea pitching session will be held to select the foremost ideas and Startups for the Grand Finale. The aspiring entrepreneurs are required to register at www.startupindia.gov.in to participate in the Yatra. Organised under the Startup India initiative, ‘Startup India Yatra’ is a Tier 2/3 initiative that travels to small cities of the country in search of entrepreneurial talent, provide them an opportunity to get incubated, and help develop startup ecosystem in the State.
Dubai Attorney General, Essam Issa Al Humaidan, discussed with India's Consul-General Vipul, means of cooperation between the two countries in the judicial and legal fields. The meeting was attended by senior officials.
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, DCT Abu Dhabi, will be hosting the Travel Agents Federation of India’s, TAFI, annual convention from 25th to 27th September. The 12th edition of the event, which will be held at the Emirates Palace, will gather together key decision-makers from the Indian tourism industry to exchange knowledge and help members navigate this ever-evolving business environment. Themed "Innovation – Transform – Disrupt – Redefining the Offline Travel World", the event will discuss the impact of the digital world on the travel and tourism sectors. Choosing Abu Dhabi as the official host destination for this annual convention underlines the emirate’s expanding reputation as a leading destination for hosting business events. Commenting on the announcement, Saif Saeed Ghobash, Under-Secretary at DCT Abu Dhabi, said, "Hosting an event of this calibre is testament to Abu Dhabi’s growing reputation as a world-class destination for high-profile conventions and meetings." "As the UAE continues to further boost its knowledge-based economy, tourism is singled out as one of the leading sectors that guide our vision and strategy for the future. Against this backdrop, we recognise India as one of Abu Dhabi’s top overseas source markets for guests, as it has recorded a remarkable upward trend over the last few years. As such, we are proud to host this prestigious event and invite all attendees to take the time to explore the emirate’s rich offerings and enjoy unique experiences whilst they are here." The conference will be followed by sightseeing tours around Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra regions where the 480 delegates will have a chance to experience Abu Dhabi’s tourism offerings. The tour will cover iconic landmarks such as Louvre Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum, Al Ain Oasis, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque amongst many others.