So far, so good in India
Just four days into an 11-day trade mission to India, Surrey team members are saying connections are already paying dividends.
"The initial response to bioLytical coming to India has been better than anticipated and we are very optimistic that we will form the partnerships and relationships to get our advanced technology into India's HIV testing algorithms," said Robert Mackie, chairman of bioLytical Labratories, one of the companies travelling with Surrey's trade mission.
Upkar Tatlay, managing director with Onux Nexus, is representing a number of companies, including four from Surrey, and said a number of deals are close.
"We're coming to India representing a number of Canadian companies in the biotech industry looking to secure business deals," Tatlay said. "We have meetings with key companies in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chandigarh already confirmed as part of the program. I believe we're on the cusp of brokering solid agreements that we can bring back to our clients in Canada."
Mayor Dianne Watts told The Leader from London Friday she feels the trade mission holds tremendous promise.
Travelling with her are Couns. Tom Gill, Linda Hepner, Barinder Rasode, some city staff and 24 local companies, who Friday morning were on a London stopover on the way to Mumbai.
The group has targeted business specific to those companies attending.
"We have done significant groundwork both in India and in Surrey to create business relationships and create business opportunities," Watts said. "There is a significant amount of excitement amongst the businesses on the trade mission."
In this case, she said, the city is acting as a catalyst for local businesses.
"It's important for government to play the role of facilitator then get out of the way and let business do what they do best – create jobs," she said.
Rasode will be networking with Bollywood groups regarding bringing back movie shoots to Surrey.
She will be meeting with Yash Raj Films, rated the 27th biggest film company in the world and the largest in India.
She will also be meeting with 15 others, including the Anupam Kher acting school.
The trade mission trip takes place Feb. 10-21 and includes time in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar.
Kevn Mickelby, a partner with PriceWaterhousCoopers said those on the trip have reason to be excited.
"From a strategic perspective, the delegates are justifiably excited about pursuing expansion opportunities in what is currently one of the mot promising economies on the planet," Mickelby said.
The budget for the trip is $128,000 which includes travel costs for the mayor, three councillors and three staff members. Participating businesses are paying for their own expenses.