We’re very happy to be joined by Jonathan Ursell to continue our Meet Our Client Series. Jonathan is a Director at UKIBC who support UK businesses with the advocacy, strategic advisory and membership services needed to succeed in India.
Initially tasked with developing a new WordPress website for UKIBC we have been working together since 2015. Some of the key features of the UKIBC website that we built include a tiered login system that allows UKIBC’s members to register on the site to gain access to reports, case studies and business opportunities. The website checks with Salesforce every time someone new registers on the site to ensure that paid members are automatically upgraded to a paid membership package that gives them special privileges.
We caught up with Jonathan and asked him to share some news from UKIBC, what it’s like working with Moove and his role as Head of Commercial Services.
#1Can you give us an introduction to UKIBC?
The UK India Business Council is the premiere bi-lateral trade body for the UK-India trade corridor. The UK and India have a long history together. One that can be ever more prosperous. Our work is varied across Government, Business and Academia acting as a conduit for all. These relationships give us unique insights, which serve our clients well as they develop strategies and tactics within the UK-India space.
#2Who are the main contributors and partners involved with UKIBC?
There are many to list here! From a Government perspective, we work with both the UK and India Governments. The overarching aim is to support the ease of doing business environment between the two countries that will increase trade.
We are also appointed to support specific activities by both Governments. We also work at Regional level with MOUs across key India States and working with UK regions prioritising trade and investment relations with India. Major business collaborate with us through membership of UKIBC. We are a conduit for dialogue between business and government to position sector needs, whilst also supporting individual requirements.
And then, we have individual clients (SMEs, MSBs, MNCs) who use our expertise on a project basis. This can encompass public affairs work, but also support in the execution of tactical commercial objectives such as supporting the selection of an ideal partner or creating a presence in India.
#3Can you tell us more about your “Strategic Advisory Services”?
Our approach is very simple regardless of the service. If you are looking towards India, we believe that first and foremost you have to get your strategy right. Helping formulate the overall business plan, gives your entry into a market the best chance of success. Triangulating these to investment cost, regulatory requirements, market landscape and given India’s size, the location to choose tend to be part of the thinking.
Right now though, it is probably inevitable to talk about COVID-19. We are spending a lot of time, helping people trading or invested in India, understand their options to navigate the variety of economic challenges the pandemic is causing everywhere. Interestingly, we also are spending a lot of time speaking with businesses and providing advice on the potential value India could have in the new world. India is well positioned to play an even more prominent role in global supply chains as businesses seek to de-risk their previous reliance on China.
UKIBC & Moove
#4We have worked together since early 2015, what has your experience been of working with us?
I have to say, it has been very positive. If I was to use a few adjectives to describe I would say Moove are thorough, detailed, planned and organised. There is flexibility in the relationship, as we have built-in add-ons such as the links to Salesforce and we have chosen to use Moove as a result to create other sites for various major programs we have run or run for Government and/or Government agencies.
#5What was the reason that you wanted to work with Moove on your website project?
We went through a tender process and were impressed at the detail of the response, the focus on quality, the ability to help us qualify and clarify our own requirements and the clear plan to execute within given timelines gave us confidence Moove would be a great partner to transition away from our previous proprietary CMS provider.
#6How has the website that we designed and built for UKIBC impacted the amount of new members that you receive?
The website’s layout was far cleaner than what we previously had, and made it easier to achieve a variety of objectives we set ourselves at the time. The biggest impact was that the number of unique visitors doubled. We had a specific objective in partnership with DIT (Department for International Trade) to create knowledge and awareness of India across 1000s of UK businesses. The numbers were also designed to exponentially increase YoY, so this organic growth of visitors supported and enhanced our key relationship within UK government.
#7Would you say that our work has helped you to achieve your marketing outreach goals?
Yes, Moove have always been able and willing to help and have played a positive role in our achievements. You have also provided suggestions to enhance our approach that we have always found valuable.
Your Role as Director
#8What does your role entail and what do you enjoy most about your role?
The role is multifaceted and I enjoy the variety. However, the primary objective is to support businesses. I enjoy meeting very interesting businesses across varied sectors and discussing how best to address India. When we play a part in their success, this really does give satisfaction as we all feel we are contributing to a wider prosperity agenda.
#9What challenges does UKIBC face in 2020?
COVID-19, Brexit… All of these things could be major challenges, though also opportunities arise. I believe the challenge is to communicate why our offering is essential to your business success. We are all undoubtedly going to have to be financially prudent, and we are no exception. So, we have to ensure industry and academia understand the value-add we undoubtedly provide.
#10What has worked well for you in growing marketing outreach?
I think we have much to do and learn on this front. However, our approach is to reflect on the unique insight and intelligence we can provide because we have highly knowledgeable staff. So, our approach is centred on positioning who we are and what we are: thought leaders in the UK-India corridor. We do this through the high value content we create.
#11What are your favourite sources of information that help you stay on top of the latest business trends?
I am not sure I have a favourite but I have feeds set up for BBC and Bloomberg. I use LinkedIn groups for a number of forums related to India but also on marketing and business development, stay in touch with a number of trade association bodies who are sector specific and work across sectors where the UK and India share synergies, and have a number of google alerts that keep me up-to-date with investments between the two countries.
#12And finally, what’s next for UKIBC?
In uncertain times, our focus does not particularly change. Our efforts as a connector between Government, Business and Academia are even more important as the economy is going to become even more collaborative post COVID-19. Our focus will be on ensuring we articulate that now more than ever, we play a key role.
Thanks, Jonathan! Here’s to the continued Moove and UKIBC partnership!
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