Mayor of London heads to India

23 November 2012

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will visit India next week on a trade mission to promote London and forge greater economic links with the world's second fastest growing economy.


The Mayor will arrive in India on Sunday (November 25) and is set to visit three of India's major cities in three states - Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai - on a five day promotional trip which is seeking to build on the huge exposure London received this summer. He will meet with major investors, top business leaders and senior politicians and promote areas of vital interest to London's economy including financial services, infrastructure, transport, higher education, sport, tourism, digital/hi tech and creative industries.


The Mayor will address business audiences at the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the Indian School of Business and Amity University. He will also support trade missions organised by the London Chamber of Commerce and UKTI, the India Scholarship programme for SMEs, and the London Universities International Partnership in India at the same time.


Whilst in India, the Mayor will hand over the Olympic and Paralympic cauldron petals to Indian sporting representatives, illustrating the spirit of international cordiality shown during London's summer of sport. He will also visit Magic Bus, a London-based Indian sports charity.


Boris Johnson will be joined by a delegation of top business leaders representing key sectors such as retail, financial services and construction. The delegation consists of: Tony Pidgley, Chairman of Berkeley Group; Jitesh Gadhia, Senior Managing Director Blackstone; Charlie Mayfield, Chairman John Lewis Partnership; Alpna Khera, CEO of Serco India; Gerry Grimstone, Chairman Standard Life and TheCityUK.


Also in the Mayor's delegation is Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor for planning; Gordon Innes, CEO London&Partners; David Parfitt, Chair Film London; and David Waboso, Director of Capital Programmes Transport for London. The Mayor’s mission has also been supported by UK Trade & Investment London Region and the Foreign Office.


The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: '2012 has been an extraordinary year for London with the very best of our city witnessed by billions across the world. I want to exploit that exposure to attract overseas investment into the capital, recognising that in an ever more competitive world, London cannot be complacent. Export markets are increasingly important to our future prosperity and when choosing where to locate and invest in Europe, I want London to be the number one choice.


'The staggering growth of India's economy and its rapid urbanisation presents a massive opportunity for this city. My message over the course of his trip is that 'London loves India'. I'll be banging the drum for the capital and listening hard to ensure we can further strengthen our ties with this great nation.'


India is the world's second fastest growing economy, experiencing rapid urbanisation and a growing consumer class. The Indian government has a target to invest £1trillion into infrastructure projects over the next five years. This all presents huge economic opportunities for London, both in attracting investment into the city and exporting goods, services and skills. For the last three years, India has already been among the top four global investors into London and the country's leading multi-nationals are already major employers in the UK. Tourism between London and India is also rising dramatically, creating economic benefits for both the city and the rest of the UK.

Notes to editors

The Mayor is on a five day visit to India, accompanied by a delegation of top London business people, to promote London as the destination of choice for investors and international trade. He will be taking part in a series of high-level meetings with Indian business leaders, senior politicians and investors in the key business hubs of Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

The visit is part of a wider series of trips Boris Johnson is planning to key overseas markets in the next 18 months, including China, Brazil and the Middle East. The aim is to attract foreign investment, promote export, create jobs in the capital and build on the huge exposure London received as a result of hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


The Berkeley Group builds homes and neighbourhoods. It is publicly-owned and listed on the London Stock Exchange. Berkeley was voted Britain’s Most Admired Company across all industries in 2011 and has been ranked the most sustainable major housebuilder in Britain for the past seven years.


Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, the companies we advise and the broader global economy. We do this through the commitment of our extraordinary people and flexible capital. Our alternative asset management businesses include the management of private equity funds, real estate funds, hedge fund solutions, credit-oriented funds and closed-end mutual funds. The Blackstone Group also provides various financial advisory services, including financial and strategic advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services. Blackstone has invested or committed almost USD 2.4 billion in India across 24 different investments, making it one of the largest global institutional investors in the country. Our focus has been on supporting the development of the energy, real estate and consumption-driven sectors of the Indian economy, helping to extend further the country's economic progress. In addition, Blackstone has advised major multinationals on inward investment into India and also Indian companies on their global expansion plans. Further information is available at Follow us on Twitter @Blackstone.


Established in 1825, Standard Life is a leading provider of long term savings and investments to around 6 million customers worldwide. Headquartered in Edinburgh, Standard Life has around 9,000 employees internationally. The Standard Life group includes savings and investments businesses, which operate across its UK, Canadian and European markets; corporate pensions and benefits businesses in the UK and Canada; Standard Life Investments, a global investment manager, which manages assets of over £163.4bn globally; and its Chinese and Indian Joint Venture businesses. At the end of June 2012 the Group had total assets under administration of over £211bn. Standard Life plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has approximately 1.5 million individual shareholders in over 50 countries around the world. It is also listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, ranking it among the top 10% of sustainable companies in the world (All figures at 30 September 2012)


Serco is a FTSE 100 international service company with over 110,000 employees in 700 contracts, in more than 30 countries. Serco is a global service player, providing operations and maintenance and consultancy services across Transport (Aviation, Light Rail, Marine, Intelligent Traffic Management), Healthcare, Defence, Justice, Immigration, Business Process Outsourcing, and Integrated Facilities Management in the UK, US, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Serco has a strong base in India having established the headquarters of its international business covering all of Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australasia in Delhi. It sees a significant opportunity to use its international experience and capabilities to help deliver world class front-line services in India, customised to customers’ needs and at local costs particularly as part of the light rail and traffic management systems that are currently being developed as well as in the future other areas such as healthcare and vocational training. Serco has also established a powerful global 'business process outsourcing' business (BPO) providing services to multinational clients. In total, they employ 57,000 people supporting over 250 clients and as part of that they have 40,000 people in India delivering BPO services for both international and Indian domestic customers from 42 centers across the country.


The John Lewis Partnership operates 39 John Lewis shops across the UK (30 department stores and nine John Lewis at home), and 286 Waitrose supermarkets. The business has an annual turnover of nearly £8.7bn. It is the UK's largest example of worker co-ownership where all 81,000 staff are Partners in the business.