London: Europe India Centre for Business and Industry (EICBI) is an independent, nonpartisan organisation that promotes business opportunities across sectors between India and UK/EU. EICBI was formed to make Indian companies aware of business opportunities in UK/EU and vice versa. The organisation also provides the ground support required for companies to expand and prosper in the EU, UK, and India. EICBI has been holding regular virtual activities throughout the pandemic with UK-EU and India members of Parliament.

The EICBI EuropeIndia40 Leaders list, which is in its 3rd year of discovering 40 young leaders below the age of 40 years and their contributions in promoting EU-India or UK-India relations. The list was announced during a virtual ceremony on 5th November. The 2021 Class consists of 22 women and 18 men and represents 19 different nationalities— Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

“Some of the 2019 and 2020 Leaders have already made an impact and others who are in their 30s will probably start making a huge impact by the time they are in their early 50s.” says Sujit Nair, global entrepreneur and chairperson of EICBI. Nair further says, “Being part of the list gives them exposure. For example, Adam Pustelnik from Poland who was part of our 2020 list is the Deputy Mayor of Lodz. Following his selection as a EuropeIndia40 leader and the subsequent exposure, he was invited by some of the trade bodies in India to speak to companies who are looking to invest in Poland.”

In 2013 Nair was recognised worldwide as one of the Top 99 most influential foreign policy leaders under 33 years by Washington DC-based Young Professionals in Foreign Policy and Diplomatic Courier, a Global Affairs Magazine. Nair founded EICBI because of the painstaking statistical work of the Cambridge historian Angus Maddison, which showed India’s share of world income during 1700s was around 22.6%, which was almost equal to Europe’s share of 23.3% at that time. Today, India’s share of Global GDP is around 8% whereas continent Europe’s share is around 16% and therefore Nair believes that there is a huge potential to tap into opportunities between the two regions. The population of Europe is 447.7million whereas the population of India is 1,4billion; EICBI intends to tap the potential of 2 billion people.

The top 40 leaders are decided by the Executive Committee, typically the 2019 and 2020 cohort nominate new candidates, and there is an open nomination process where candidates can nominate themselves, and the Executive Committee scout between continents for high achievers and leadership qualities.

Some notable members of the 2021 Top40 are:

Ada Dyndo from Poland is the principal consultant at European Business and Technology Centre, has successfully facilitated the market entry of various Polish companies to India and led the establishment of partnerships with local chambers of commerce, business organisations and governmental entities.

Ana Rocha is a Portuguese and German singer, composer and lyricist, Musician, Singer, Speaker, and Translator. A few of her contributions include the vocal-video performance of “Vaishnav Jan To” bhajan, for the Embassy of Brussels during the International Celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary.

Dr. Dhanasree Jayaram is an assistant professor at the department of Geopolitics and International Relations, and Co-coordinator Centre for Climate Studies, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Karnataka, India, for her contributions to climate governance and geopolitics.

Krupa Sheth is a Cabinet Member Environment for Brent Council-UK, was elected as a Councillor for the first time at the age of 20, making her the youngest ever Asian to be elected to a councillor post in the UK, currently serving her third term as a Councillor. She works closely with the High commission of India to support the requirements of Indian Students, businesses, and the Indian community living in the UK, and is a strong supporter of the Mahatma Gandhi Future Leadership Program,

Mikkel Beyer Mogensen from Denmark is a Project Manager at Asia House, a non-profit organization improving commercial ties between Denmark & Asia. He  has been working with the NORDIN SME Platform, a highly operational market access program designed to help Danish SMEs find success in India.

Pinder Chauhan Birdi is the Unitary Authority Councillor at  West Northamptonshire, UK. Pinder has a wide range of experience in politics, within the Conservative Party. Serving as the first Indian female County Councillor from 2017 – 2021 and re-elected in May 2021. Pinder is the Chairman of South Northamptonshire Conservatives Association and also serves as a board member for the Hope Centre for helping alleviate poverty and homelessness.

Sanam Arora is the founder and chairperson of the  National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK, the largest association of Indian-origin students and young professionals outside India. NISAU is a not-for-profit organisation she founded during her time as a student at the London School of Economics which has grown to be the leading voice of the young Indian diaspora, not just in the UK but also globally. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisation worked very closely with the Indian and UK Governments to support Indians stranded in the UK.

Sreeman Bommisetty from Belgium is the founder and president of Indian Confluence, a platform that celebrates unity, Indian cuisine, culture, and art.

Svenja Hahn from Germany is a member of European Parliament, is the standing shadow rapporteur on India for Renew Europe group in the International Trade committee of the European Parliament since 2019. Hahn has revigorated trade links with ASEAN countries.

Tomas Petricek Czech Republic Politician is a former Minister of Foreign Affairs 2018 – 2021. During his tenure, he strengthened bilateral ties between India and Czech Republic by engaging in discussions and interactions with Indian Government leaders, officials and the Indian community.

EICBI promotes all relations trade, commerce, and culture, they coordinate the diaspora in the UK and the EU with India. Aarien Areti, Vice-Chair of EICBI and the first Indian Conservative Councillor for Kensington and Chelsea, and Campaign Director of the Conservative Friends of India tells TSG “The top CEO’s of Google, IBM, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Adobe, Mastercard are all from India, there is a lot of talent that comes out of India.”