China is not the only nation of 1.3 billion people, iconic cultural treasures, towering mountains, deserts and growing global influence. India is incredible – or so the famous ads tell us, as I’ve not been myself – and likely to figure much more strongly in our lives in the years ahead.
India, of course, is also a member of the Commonwealth with traditionally strong links with Britain, and now there is growing momentum to forge closer ties. It looks like they even share a common slogan, with their Global Britain and Global India monikers.
To promote trade and investments, “UK-India Week” was held in London and Buckinghamshire last week, bringing together bigwigs from Britain and the subcontinent over 5 days to engage in bilateral talks.
Among high-level activities was an early morning yoga session (coinciding with the International Day of Yoga). There may or may not have been a Bollywood dance featured somewhere.
The UK-India Leadership Conclave kickstarted with… a yoga pose!
Here’s the fantastic @edielush doing the eagle pose with our very own @manojladwa #InternationalDayofYoga #UKIndiaWeek2018 pic.twitter.com/FiqMha4LvH
— India Inc. (@IndiaIncorp) June 21, 2018
The week included a two-day UK-India Leadership Conclave to talk post-Brexit opportunities in areas such as smart cities, social impact, renewable energy and electric vehicles.
Promisingly for young talent, an India-UK Technology and Talent Exchange programme was launched at the conclave called TechXChange (which curiously appears to have emerged 10 years ago under a different purpose). TechXChange aims to ensure that startups in both countries are given the right support to succeed.
Great to join @indiaincorp @ficci_india @HCI_London for 🇬🇧 🇮🇳 #tech & #innovation panel and launch of #techXchange building on fantastic UK-India Tech Partnership. Collaboration between both ecosystems will be key driver for growth. https://t.co/nvPxpQbi71 pic.twitter.com/lnah1VE43d
— Priya Guha (@UKPriyaGuha) June 20, 2018
Lest you think I’m – ahem – currying favour, one startup area in which India could improve in appeal is as a digital nomad destination.
India is an iconic country on anyone’s bucket list, sprawling from Ladakh to the tropics – and it’s easy to see why globetrotting freelancers would want to live and work there. I saw Poorna recently on a long flight, about a young Indian girl who scaled Everest, and I’m now itching to visit Darjeeling and Bhongir, both appearing in the movie.
Yet the country’s highest ranked city on Nomadlist, the ultimate city index for digital nomads, is Thiruvananthapuram in the southern state of Kerala: a lowly 397 worldwide. Legendary Goa, a popular backpacker destination throughout the years, is ranked 406. Both are far ahead of Agra (680) – famous for its Taj Mahal – and capital Delhi (853).
Remember The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel? Jaipur, according to Nomadlist, is ranked 729, suggesting its perhaps not the best exotic digital nomad destination. But the biggest surprise is India’s Silicon Valley, Bangalore – just 450 on the list.