News & Views

UK welcomes Modi: Two great nations, One glorious future

Sherrards were honoured to be engaged as the legal advisors to the Europe-India Forum, which recently hosted and organised the “UK Welcomes Modi” reception at Wembley Stadium, being the keynote event of the official visit of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UK.

Manoj Ladwa, who is a founding member of the Europe-India Forum, stated in his introductory comments in the event’s welcoming brochure that:

‘UK Welcomes Modi’ is the largest reception any world leader has received in the UK since Pope John Paul II and Nelson Mandela … The UK’s 1.6m strong British-Indian community can, and indeed must, act as real bridge-builders for this modern partnership.  The reception at Wembley Stadium is an ambitious and historic occasion – an occasion to, of course, extend a warm welcome to Prime Minister Modi, but in doing so to also vibrantly celebrate the tremendous contribution Indians have made to all walks of life in the UK.  Whether it is our share values of individual and community responsibility, encouraging enterprise and innovation, or a common and peace-loving global outlook, British Indians stand out.

Prime Minister Modi paid tribute to India’s very special relationship with the UK.  He said: “It was a historic day for a great partnership between two great nations.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron gave a very warm speech of introduction, saying emphatically that: “Team India, Team UK – together we are a winning combination”.  Arguably one of the largest cheers for Cameron was when he said: “British Indians put the ‘great’ in Great Britain.”

The event was vibrant, colourful and sensational, with performances from the British Asian community, including Jay Sean, Kanika Kapoor, and Sonna Rele.  But it was Mr Modi that the crowd had come to hear, and when Mr Cameron finally came to introduce him, he was drowned-out by their cheers.

Mr Modi spoke of our “two vibrant democracies”, of the special relationship between Britain and India, of Mr Cameron’s love and admiration for the British-Indian community, and also about the weather: “I was told London would be cold,” he said, “but not this much!

Every pronouncement he made – from references to Mahatma Gandhi to talk of advances in sanitation in India and the country’s railway system – was greeted with cheers.

Jean-Paul da Costa, Head of Corporate at Sherrards, commented: “Manoj Ladwa and the Europe-India Forum have done an amazing job organising this event.  It was absolutely thrilling to be involved in this project, and I doubt that Wembley Stadium has ever seen anything quite like this before.  The team at Sherrards including Hayley West, Roshni Chauhan and Vickie Ryland pulled out all the stops.

Alasdair McMillin, Sherrards’ Managing Partner, added: “We have been involved in looking after clients and taking them out to India for a number of years and, indeed, handling inward investment into the UK, but we have never seen or been involved in anything like this before.  The event at Wembley was utterly unique!

Facts Highlighting the connectivity between the UK & India

1.    Britain is home to more Indian companies than the rest of Europe combined.

2.    The British Government’s Employment Minister, the Right Honourable Priti Patel MP, has confirmed that India had become the UK’s third largest job-creator by 2014.

3.    Priti Patel has been appointed as the first Indian Diaspora Champion by David Cameron.

4.    The Indian community is the largest diaspora in the UK, continuing to make Indian culture a key part of British identity, with a remarkable contribution to British life.

5.    British companies are creating one in every twenty jobs in India’s private sector.

6.    The UK and India share a common system of law, based on the principles of “common law”.