About the Programme


The Access India Programme (AIP) is run by the High Commission of India in London. This market entry support programme is the first of its kind for supporting UK businesses access the Make in India initiative of the Government of India. The programme focusses on providing support to small and medium UK enterprises.

Make in India was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 September 2014. It is designed to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure, with a focus on 25 sectors of the economy.

Investors from the UK have responded positively to the “Make in India” initiative which will help in building greater synergies with the UK’s robust manufacturing industry and experience in sustainable development, innovation and skills, and the new opportunities available in India.

Bilateral investment and trade between both the countries has been increasing considerably. However, the focus has been on large companies and multinationals. If we are to give an impetus to our bilateral engagement, we need to focus on the SME sector.

India and the UK remain committed to working together to substantially increase trade and investment opportunities. During the visit of Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister to the UK during November 12-14, 2015, and again during the visit of the Prime Minister of UK to India from November 6-8, 2016, the Prime Ministers of both the countries agreed to continue working towards strong, sustainable and balanced growth, and agreed on the importance of structural reforms and pursuing credible fiscal policies in order to raise living standards.

Under the Access India Programme, we seek to identify high-potential UK SME companies and assist them in establishing themselves in India. For these companies, the programme will provide a detailed programme of activity, mentoring, networking opportunities and market entry support services. These services could be in areas including strategy advisory, operational market entry support, tax and legal support, financial services, project financing, M&A, location services, technology collaboration, facilitation of approvals from central and state agencies will be provided.

Through this programme we will focus on the UK SMEs that possess high-end technologies and innovative products. These companies not only require the necessary market information, but also information on the business processes involved in market entry. An intensive and sustained effort to engage them, going beyond publicity and information campaigns can significantly help in mobilising these SMEs to Make in India.

AIP Programme Objectives

Who we are:

AIP is a unique integrated platform for market entry services that combines services rendered by government, not-for-profit and private entities. It is truly a one-stop source for companies requiring market entry support services with the additional benefits of special workshops, networking, information exchange etc.

AIP aims to strengthen ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in India and intends to make the market entry of small and medium sized companies a smooth process. It is geared to address the divergent requirements of manufacturing, technology and service sector companies.

What we offer:

This programme not only offers a wide range of information, workshops, networking and business support services under a single platform but provides a mentoring support to make the first foundations in India strong and effective. The services include strategy advisory, operational market entry support, tax and legal support, financial services, project financing, M&A, partner search, location services, technology collaboration, facilitation of approvals from central and state agencies and access to government agencies. Market entry of the selected companies shall be closely supervised to ensure success.

The programme support will be for selected high-potential UK SMEs that are at an advanced stage of Market Entry with a clear intent for localisation. However, companies that are still at an early stage of market entry but possess medium to long term potential for localisation and manufacturing in India shall also be considered for support. Technology companies interested in partnering with Indian companies/institutions for technology tie ups will also be supported under the programme.

AIP Programme Benefits

Make in India is India’s flagship initiative. Government legislation is geared to encourage international business to choose India. A popular misconception is the idea that only major business can benefit. The Government of India is therefore focused on facilitation to smaller international businesses too.

The High Commission of India in London will deliver the Access India Programme (AIP) in collaboration with the UK India Business Council and a selection of expert Programme Partners and Mentors. Pilot programmes are already taking place to build this bespoke programme tailored to UK SMEs. The focus is on sharing your expertise, innovation, and helping you explore mutually beneficial collaboration with India.

Key Benefits

The programme is designed to provide you not only a blend of strategic advisory support combined with high-level interaction that is both business to business and business to government. Guidance from experienced partners, mentoring the steps and choices you make. To do so, the programme will interlink practical workshops, with tailored one to one support.

Some of the key areas the programme will cover to prepare you for success are:

  • information on market landscape in India
  • understand and review of your India Business Plan
  • practical support developing and converting your India business plan into reality
  • Indian business culture
  • policy, regulation and legislation in your segment in India
  • legal requirements for your India presence
  • taxation
  • choosing your India business model
  • partnerships in India
  • taking advantage of economic incentives from the India government
  • understanding the drivers of local, state and union government
  • developing and fostering government relations
  • mapping your required business network to succeed
  • understanding of HR rules and regulations
  • protection of your IP

As a programme member, you will become part of an exclusive community, able to share in experiences and best practice. You will enjoy access to resources, unique insights and knowledge, and be able to benefit from enviable network connections across government and business in the UK and India.

The programme prepares you to fast-track your India presence, and in parallel, signposts how to and what you will need to effective implement your overall strategy.

AIP Programme Team

AIP programme is implemented and monitored by the High Commission of India in London with the support of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

AIP Steering Committee

Headed by H. E. Mrs Gaitri Kumar, comprising of representatives of partner ministries and institutions shall monitor the programme and review the progress on a quarterly basis.

AIP Project Team

Shri Charanjeet Singh, Deputy High Commissioner, High Commission of India, London and Head of AIP Project Team

Shri Manish Singh, Minister (Economic), High Commission of India, London

Supported by AIP Knowledge Partner, UK India Business Council (UKIBC), responsible for the day-to-day management of the AIP Programme.

Mr Richard Heald OBE, Chair, UK India Business Council

Mr Prasenjit Dhar, AIP Programme Manager & Associate Director (Advanced Engineering & Energy), UK India Business Council

Knowledge Partner

UK India Business Council (UKIBC)


The UK India Business Council supports UK businesses with the insights, networks, policy advocacy, services, and facilities needed to succeed in India.

Our first-hand experience of entering and growing businesses in India make us uniquely qualified. We want to share our experiences to help others achieve success whether they are well-established in India or in the early stages of their engagement.

Working with the UK Government and other influential and connected partners, we ensure business interests are conveyed to India’s Union and State legislators. The UK India Business Council seek to influence decisions that will make it easier for UK businesses to operate in India.

For those seeking practical advice, our talented team provide a range of sector-specific research, market entry and expansion services that help businesses understand – and take – the opportunities.

For those setting up operations in India, we provide an unrivalled network of government and business contacts, service providers, and our specialist staff to support business success.

Our Membership network is at the heart of our support. Through our wide variety of events and our member-only Sector Policy Groups, we enable business people to meet each other, identify potential partners, suppliers and customers, and to learn from top business leaders and commentators, including those on our Advisory Council.

Associate Partners

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the development of India, partnering industry, Government and civil society, through advisory and consultative processes.

For 125 years, CII has been working on shaping India’s development journey and, this year, more than ever before, it will continue to proactively transform Indian industry’s engagement in national development.

CII is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization, with about 9100 members from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs and MNCs, and an indirect membership of over 300,000 enterprises from 288 national and regional sectoral industry bodies.

CII charts change by working closely with Government on policy issues, interfacing with thought leaders, and enhancing efficiency, competitiveness and business opportunities for industry through a range of specialized services and strategic global linkages. It also provides a platform for consensus-building and networking on key issues.

Extending its agenda beyond business, CII assists industry to identify and execute corporate citizenship programmes. Partnerships with civil society organizations carry forward corporate initiatives for integrated and inclusive development across diverse domains including affirmative action, livelihoods, diversity management, skill development, empowerment of women, and sustainable development, to name a few.

With the Theme for 2020-21 as Building India for a New World: Lives, Livelihood, Growth, CII will work with Government and industry to bring back growth to the economy and mitigate the enormous human cost of the pandemic by protecting jobs and livelihoods.

With 68 offices, including 10 Centres of Excellence, in India, and 9 overseas offices in Australia, China, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, UAE, UK, and USA, as well as institutional partnerships with 394 counterpart organizations in 133 countries, CII serves as a reference point for Indian industry and the international business community.

For more information, visit or contact:

The City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of Britain’s ‘Square Mile’, that houses the world’s leading financial and professional services hub. This is home to over 250 foreign banks, including more than 15 large Indian financial services firms and banks, and the world’s largest market for rupee-denominated masala bonds.

Based in Guildhall, the City Corporation looks after and promotes the City of London and is dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. It is headed by the Lord Mayor with the Court of Common Council being its main decision-making body. It aims to support and promote London as the world’s leading international financial and business centre, and to attract new business to the capital and the whole UK.

The City Corporation has a long-standing programme of work in India, opening a representative office in Mumbai over 10 years ago. It has been actively supporting the UK Government and UK Financial Professional Services industry with engagement on India, particularly in areas of Innovation (Fintech & Cyber), Insolvency, Green Finance and Insurance.


Established in 1927, FICCI is the largest and oldest apex business organisation in India. Its history is closely interwoven with India’s struggle for independence, its industrialization, and its emergence as one of the most rapidly growing global economies.

A non-government, not-for-profit organisation, FICCI is the voice of India’s business and industry. From influencing policy to encouraging debate, engaging with policy makers and civil society, FICCI articulates the views and concerns of industry. It serves its members from the Indian private and public corporate sectors and multinational companies, drawing its strength from diverse regional chambers of commerce and industry across states, reaching out to over 250,000 companies.

FICCI provides a platform for networking and consensus building within and across sectors and is the first port of call for Indian industry, policy makers and the international business community. For further information visit


ICICI Bank UK Plc is a wholly owned subsidiary of ICICI Bank Limited, India and was incorporated in February, 2003 in the United Kingdom. It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and PRA. ICICI Bank UK Plc has 7 branches and 6 business centers in the UK.

ICICI Bank UK Plc’s parent, ICICI Bank Ltd is a leading private sector bank in India with a network of 5,275 branches and 15,589 ATMs across India.

Key areas where ICICI can assist companies setting up operations in India include:

  • Dedicated MNC desk based out of London for UK Companies to assist them with their Indian banking requirements in collaboration with its Indian counterparts
  • Set up of Branch Office/ Liaison Office/ Project Office
  • Trade Finance: Full product suite of trade finance products, including Letters of credit, Bank Guarantees, Import Financing, Pre and Post shipment financing, Risk participation etc.
  • Transaction Banking: Comprehensive collection and payment services network across India including bulk tax payments
  • Global Markets: Innovative FX services and products to clients by incorporating the best practices followed globally and leveraging technology to deliver bespoke solutions and user friendly experience.
  • Fund Based Products: Diverse range of fund based products including RCF/Term Loan/Working Capital facilities
  • Retail Banking: Retail accounts for local employees with attractive account features

Invest India

Invest India is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of the Government of India. It operates under the aegis of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, and serves as the preferred point of reference for investors considering a location, industry or partner in India. Invest India’s team of domain and functional experts provide sector-and state-specific inputs, and hand-holding support to investors through the entire investment cycle, from pre-investment to decision-making, to after-care and grievance-redressal. Additionally, all facilitation and hand-holding support to investors under the “Make in India” program is being provided by Invest India. All the services provided by Invest India are pro-bono. Further information

Manchester India Partnership

The Manchester India Partnership (MIP) was established in February 2018 to build and strengthen trade, investment, cultural, and educational ties between India and Greater Manchester.

India has the fastest growing economy in the world and the MIP brings together businesses, universities, and the public sector to develop a strategic approach to engaging one of the UK’s most important international partners.

There are numerous similarities between India and Greater Manchester’s ambitions, making them ideal collaborators.

Initiatives backed by Indian government, such as Digital India, Make in India, and Clean Energy India, align perfectly with Greater Manchester’s research and innovation strengths in technology, advanced manufacturing and energy – creating huge opportunities for collaboration across trade and investment plus broader cultural, visitor and academic connections.


RSM is a provider of audit, tax and consulting services to middle market businesses. It is the seventh largest business advisory firm in the United Kingdom and the sixth largest, globally. RSM has a strong regional office network, with major offices in most key cities throughout the UK, which enables it to provide a consistent national service in all its local markets. RSM UK is represented internationally through its independent membership of RSM International.

Whether serving growing entrepreneurial companies, public sector organisations, owner managed businesses, private individuals or listed companies with overseas operations, RSM’s goal is to help its clients achieve their ambitions. RSM’s experts help organisations manage risk, improve decision-making, drive productivity, enable change and realise value, and its sector specialists guide businesses through the specific issues that are affecting their industry. RSM understands the challenges and can help its clients move forward with confidence.

When you work with RSM, you have access to its global expertise, as well as professionals with a deep understanding of the local and regional challenges you face. Its India desk in the UK provides advice and practical assistance to UK businesses wishing to explore business opportunities in India and to companies and individuals in India wishing to conduct business or invest in the UK. Working closely with its offices in India, RSM uses its substantial technical and commercial expertise to provide a seamless service across the UK/India corridor to help companies maximise opportunities in both countries.

Singhania & Co.

Established in 1997, and based in central London, Singhania & Co. is here to solve all your legal matters, contentious or non-contentious, in the area of property conveyancing , litigation , Immigration , and corporate law. With 23 years of extensive experience, our team of solicitors and advocates are multilingual experts, who strive to find a solution to all your legal queries and issues. Our main motto is to provide supreme quality services, while being sensitive to your needs. So, whether you need help with immigration or setting up your enterprise in Europe, our highly-qualified professionals with diverse experience in diverse jurisdictions will strive to offer you an end to end service and give you the best legal advice possible.

Visit for more information.

AIP Facilitation Partner

Invest India


AIP Programme Mentors

Rolls Royce


BAE Systems