Bengaluru to London – Bringing India’s Startup Ecosytem to the UK

IGF’s last stop saw us gather in Bengaluru for a two-day event exploring the ‘New India Inc.’ and the dynamic entrepreneurs and investors driving the next generation of Indian business and economic growth. Here we look at the keys to the success of this thriving tech scene, and the opportunities for engagement, collaboration and investment in the UK.


Prof. Manoj Ladwa

Founder & CEO, India Global Forum

Nikhil Kamath

Co-Founder, Zerodha & True Beacon

Prashanth Prakash

Partner, Accel

Sachin Dev Duggal

Chief Wizard and Co-Founder,

Key Takeaways
  • India has arrived and the UK needs to understand how far it has come, and where it is going for the partnership to be a success.
  • India is undergoing a dramatic shift, and as a country is on upward trajectory for immense growth – but there is a need to build resilient companies.
  • Bengaluru business environment is unique – tech & start-up business support rather than compete with each other’s growth.
  • Delhi/Gurgaon also offers an exciting start-up environment with ease of access, connectivity & competitive costs.

Reimagine Series: Geopolitics in a New Competitive Era

A challenging China, a chaotic western withdrawal from Afghanistan, and war in Europe - it’s clear that we’re witnessing a watershed moment of change in geopolitics. What’s less clear now is what the consequences of that are. Has globalisation had its day? Have we returned to a time of competing spheres of influence? Is democratic decline now chronic? Our esteemed speakers have their say on what our future geopolitics could and should look like.


Ashok Malik

Policy Advisor, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India

Sir Malcolm Rifkind

Former Foreign Secretary, UK Government

Key Takeaways
  • India is the country with the greatest potential of all. It’s a huge country, as big as China, with one big difference that it is governed by the rule of law.
  • China has accumulated material power and capacity at a much faster rate than projected. The growth of China is a big development & the great disturbing question is its alienation of its Asian neighbours.
  • The UK-INDIA FTA, which is in negotiation stage, will help both countries to address present global crises. UK has the expertise & India has the scale — there’s a lot we can achieve together with this collaboration.
  • This is a moment of great change for the global system. The UK is looking to balance its European identity with a more global approach, including in Asia. India is trying to do just the opposite.

Global Disruptors Series

What does it take to create a product or service that changes the market status quo and dominate a sector? This IGF Series does a deep dive into the minds of trailblazers whose cutting-edge innovative ideas have disrupted the market and changed the way we do business.


Sachin Dev Duggal

Chief Wizard and Co-Founder,

Ravi Gupta

Founder, Safexpay

Key Takeaways
  • India is no longer a destination for cheap outsourcing, but a place where tech talent can drive companies domestically and globally.
  • Businesses are looking to supply customers with products that are innovative and tech enriched. There is a huge demand globally for the unlocking of the potential of software.
  • Post Covid, digital payments economy is booming in India – UPI is one of the innovations that India created, because of which we can scale up faster.
  • Covid has been an enabler for lots of innovation – where pilots of new financial payments are ongoing in India, with UK & UAE markets lined up next.

Two Titans of the Digital Global Economy

The division between telecoms and technology has perhaps always been a false one. And now more than ever, BT’s solutions are at the heart of the digital services supporting many areas of modern life. In this session IGF sits down with a pioneering Chief Digital & Innovation Officer, to discuss her vision for the UK & India’s intertwined digital futures, and the investment, talent, and innovation that will be required to achieve it.


Harmeen Mehta

Chief Digital & Innovation Officer, BT

Key Takeaways
  • BT’s biggest hub outside the UK is in India. We have got to make it easier for both countries to work together.
  • There’s no problem Indians think we cannot solve. The bigger the problem, the more energized we are. As a country, there’s a grit built into you.
  • At the core of our BT strategy is digitizing the whole company. One of the biggest advantages that we want to play on is our presence in India because that’s one of the largest digital skill hubs in the world.

Bridging the Opportunity Gap: Using Digital for Economic and Social Impact

Digital and AI are transforming sectors and supply chains. But there’s also a vital role in bridging the opportunity gap for people and communities in the UK & India. Our final digital panel bring three unique perspectives to this dual mission: turbocharging our economies whilst also providing key societal benefits.


Amit Kapur

Country Head (UK & Ireland), TCS

Jinender Jain

Sr. VP and Head of Sales (UKI), Tech Mahindra

Key Takeaways
  • Four areas to look at in closing the digital divide: access, skills, motivation and confidence.
  • The tech world believes in longer jumps - digital and AI help our businesses run faster, change better, and grow stronger. There is a huge breadth of opportunities which AI is offering, and people are leveraging it deeper & deeper.
  • UK- INDIA FTA will be in effect by Diwali. Talent flows should happen in a much more seamless fashion including data protection & collaboration between universities.

Investing in India, Exporting from India: Diageo & the India Story

Diageo's CEO discusses the company’s India journey. Why is India such an important market? How is Diageo supporting India’s export drive? What are the global consumer trends that we can see emerging from India? How could a UK-India FTA be a gamechanger for industry?


Ivan Menezes

CEO, Diageo

Key Takeaways
  • One in two bottles of whisky is consumed in India.
  • Alcohol taxes are a big source of revenue which support development and education that the state governments must do.
  • We are at the early stages of seeing top quality Indian Whiskey getting exported. There’re phenomenal gins being created in India right now.
  • India is a bright spot in the world right now. We are looking at global GDP at 3 per cent, India is going to beat that easily. Inflation is now such a big shock in the west. In India, it’s not a big deal.

A Relationship Reimagined – What Does the Future Hold for the UK & India Together?

Britain’s top representative in India gives his views on how the UK-India relationship should be reimagined 75 years on from Indian independence. He will then be joined by some leading figures in the Indian start-up ecosystem to discuss how tech and digital are also driving the relationship forward


Alex Ellis

British High Commissioner to India, FCDO

Mohandas Pai

Co-Founder & Chairman, Aarin Capital

Nikhil Kamath

Co-Founder, Zerodha and True Beacon

Jaynti Kanani

CEO & Co-Founder, Polygon

Key Takeaways
  • There’s renewed sense of purpose in the UK-India relationship. A deeper level of trust is being built.
  • First time the UK is doing an FTA with a country like India with a very different economy to its own.
  • Indian tech entrepreneurs should be spending more time in the UK and vice versa. This will allow collaboration to grow organically.
  • By 2025 India will have 250 unicorns. The UK and India should create a digital high-tech partnership.

On the Road to Smart Mobility


Bhavish Aggarwal

Co-Founder & CEO, OLA

Key Takeaways
  • Some of the biggest innovation in the next few decades will be in the field of mobility & energy & that’s where OLA fits in.
  • The Indian consumer is probably the most intelligent and value conscious anywhere in the world. OLA has been building for this market.
  • In many ways, electric vehicles are much safer than gasoline vehicles. But there needs to be a lot more public discourse and policy framework. India’s government has been one of the most progressive in terms of creating a framework for electrification.
  • The beauty of the India-UK partnership is that it’s based on shared values and aspirations. There’s a lot of synergy.

Reimagine@75 Debate: The Idea of Great Britain

A period of flux in international relations is starting to settle into a new period of competitive multipolarity. But post Brexit, and post US hegemony – where does Britain fit into this new picture? Does this island still see itself as a global power with a responsibility to lead within an invigorated Commonwealth– assertively promoting its political, economic and cultural values interests? Or is Britain’s role now that of facilitator – attempting to influence the larger present and upcoming powers who will really decide the fate of the 21 st Century? What is the Idea of Great Britain?


Dr Shashi Tharoor

Member of Parliament for Thiruvananthapuram, Lok Sabha

Lord Jonathan Marland

Chairman, Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council

Rt Hon Baroness Usha Prashar

Cross Bench Peer, House of Lords

Dr Tristram Hunt

Director, Victoria & Albert Museum

Key Takeaways
  • Britain has always been Global and post Brexit it’s on a cusp in a way. Britain has a real role to play in connecting democracies.
  • We are a creative island. Whether it’s music, drama, literature, film, museums – Britain has great reach and strength.
  • Leadership within the Commonwealth can be an important part of the role, but only if India is also involved.
  • Prosperity agenda, Britain has a lot of expertise that can be used to help other countries globally.
  • Singapore on the Thames is a rather nice idea, better than the Empire 2.0 idea that was thrown up during the Brexit debate.