Tata Consultancy Services’ director of corporate affairs for the UK and Ireland Jim Bligh has taken over leadership of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) India Business Forum (IBF) in the UK for 2019.
Mr Bligh’s appointment was announced on Thursday by the new High Commissioner of India and IBF patron HE Mrs Ruchi Ghanashyam. He takes over from outgoing chairman Dr David Landsman, executive director at Tata Ltd.
The CII UK India Business Forum is primarily made up of Indian companies with existing or planned operations in the United Kingdom. The group’s key objectives include building “brand India”, and operating as a networking and knowledge-sharing forum. It also lobbies on regulatory issues on behalf of Indian companies, while working to enhance trade, investment and economic cooperation between India and the UK.
Mr Bligh said: “I am delighted to be taking on this important role, especially given the challenge ahead around Brexit uncertainty. The UK and India’s relationship is of critical economic and historical significance and I’m delighted to take on this role to champion our two nations’ special bond.
“Indian businesses invest billions in the UK economy, helping secure jobs and growth, while India represents a huge economic market for British firms. Despite the political uncertainty around Brexit, the CII and India Business Forum will play a key role in seizing opportunities for both nations.”
Dr Landsman added: “It has been an honour to serve for two years as the chairperson for CII-IBF UK, representing Indian companies in the UK and developing contacts across Europe.
“I’ve enjoyed working with our members both on strengthening business contacts and engaging stakeholders on our policy priorities. There will be many exciting new opportunities in the coming years and I wish Jim every success in helping Indian business to make the most of them. I look forward to continuing to support CII from the sidelines.”
In his role at IT giant Tata, Mr Bligh is responsible for public affairs and policy, as well as stakeholder, academic, industry analyst and government relations. He is a visiting fellow at Oxford University’s Oxford Internet Institute, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the executive committee of the Industry and Parliament Trust, and a member of the Confederation of British Industry London Council.
Mr Bligh joined Tata Consultancy Services in 2015 from the Confederation of British Industry where he was head of policy for employment, skills, pensions, trade and public services reform. He previously worked as head of corporate affairs at global recruitment firm ManpowerGroup. He has a degree in English from Durham, where he was president of the union, and another in Medieval and Renaissance Literature from Cambridge.
After thanking Dr Landsman for his work as chairman, High Commissioner Mrs Ghanashyam welcomed Mr Bligh to the role.
“I look forward to working closely with the CII and the Indian businesses in the UK extending my support wherever is necessary”, she said.