In politics, as well as in business, personal relationships are underestimated sometimes and underutilized almost all times.
The Finance Minister of the fastest growing economy in the world, Minister Jaitley, will represent PM Modi at the unveiling of the Gandhi memorial in Parliament Sq in London on March 14th. Remember this against a backdrop where no other Western government has managed a state visit from the PM of India since his election. Yet the Indian Finance Minister visits as a personal representative of PM Modi barely two weeks after his budget speech and a couple of months after a major surgery.”
So how do you get such coups?
Thanks to the personal relationship of British Indian Minister Baroness Verma who went to meet Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in person and ask for his attendance at the unveiling of the Gandhi memorial in Parliament Sq, London on 14th March (I was there in the room, when the offer was made and accepted). Add the close links between the Conservative Party and BJP – she was the only British Minister at the swearing-in of PM Modi as a Conservative Party representative.
PM Cameron has been clear about the importance he places on UK’s relationship with India and also the importance the Indian Diaspora and their personal relationships play in that. This is proof of it – without Minister to Minister personal rapport this could not happen. It could not happen at anything lower than ministerial level, and anything less than a long-standing mutual respect between peers.
So to recognize the Indian diaspora worldwide, the power of its relationships, I’m privileged to be host at an event Minister Verma will be supporting; the NRI Foundation dinner with Finance Minister Jaitley as guest of honour prior to the unveiling of the Gandhi memorial; bringing together and celebrating successful nonresidents from across the globe – because personal relationships make all the difference for countries and companies.
Alpesh Patel is CEO of a UK Asset Management Company investing in Global businesses. He is a Board Member of the UK India Business Council and a former Financial Times columnist and Bloomberg TV presenter on global investing – as well as the author of 18 books on investing.