Scottish Business Network (SBN), an international membership organisation for Scots entrepreneurs and business leaders, has revealed the appointment of serial entrepreneur Tom Thomas as SBN Ambassador to the city of Bangalore, the capital of India’s southern state Karnataka.
Born in Africa and educated in India and the United States, Thomas has founded several companies in both the technology and manufacturing sectors.
His relationship with Scotland began around 15 years ago and now he looks to capitalise on his connections and experience in building international businesses in India to support Scottish companies in one of the world’s most dynamic economies.
Home to more than 60,000 technology companies and a population of around eight million people, Bangalore is widely known as the “Silicon Valley of India”.
A host of global tech giants, including IBM, HP, Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Cisco have bases in the city while it is also home to Indian-founded international firms such as Wipro and Infosys.
Commenting on his appointment, Thomas said: “India is open for business for British companies. Karnataka is India’s largest software exporter, largest producer of aerospace and defence equipment, has the largest biotech hub, and is the largest producer of coffee in the country.
“Karnataka also hosts the highest number of startup enterprises in India. I am delighted to support any Scottish company interested in exploring market opportunities here.”
He added: “I have a great affection for the Scottish people, culture and way of life and I look forward to extending the same warmth of friendship that I have received from those Scots I have encountered.”
The city is a major centre for aviation and aerospace and is acknowledged as a world leader in advanced manufacturing, robotics and biotechnology.
It also boasts several leading institutions of higher education such as the Indian Institute of Science, Indian Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Information Technology as well as many engineering and medical colleges.
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SBN Chair Russell Dalgleish stated: “India represents an incredible market opportunity for Scottish companies and to my mind is one more accessible to UK companies than many others.
“We have traditionally viewed India as an outsource location, but it should be considered a vibrant export market opportunity for business and one Tom can help us explore.”
SBN revealed it also has plans to accelerate the identification and appointment of Ambassadors with the target of growing the current 12 International Ambassadors to 50 during 2021.