UK Co-operation with Tamil Nadu and Thoughts on Post-COVID Recovery

Date & Time

Wednesday, Jul 15, 2020 at 10:00 - 11:00

This event is brougt to you by the UK India Business Council. 

In this session moderated by UKIBC’s Managing Director, Kevin McCole, the Government of Tamil Nadu and the British Deputy High Commission, Chennai will discuss how they are evolving their policies and building a stronger system to support existing businesses, and initiatives taken to attract investments into the State, as the world grapples with COVID-19.

Joining to share their insights are Deputy High Commissioner at the British Deputy High Commission, Chennai, Oliver Ballhatchet MBE, and Dr Neeraj Mittal, Managing Director and CEO, Guidance at the Government of Tamil Nadu. Dr Mittal will be accompanied by his colleague Dr Aneesh Sekhar, Executive Director, Guidance, Government of Tamil Nadu for the Q&A session.

Don’t miss this interactive webinar where as well as answering your questions, our guest speakers will discuss:

  • The opportunities that Tamil Nadu presents for renewed investments and new investments, and potential new business practises for a new business environment.
  • The presence and contribution of international businesses in the State of Tamil Nadu and the key policy, structural and regulatory steps that have been taken by the state government to attract investors.
  • Economic implications, positive or negative, due to COVID-19 in the State of Tamil Nadu.
  • Expectations from industry as we gradually move towards opening of the lockdown.
  • Immediate areas of focus for the Government of Tamil Nadu.


Dr Neeraj Mittal, I.A.S. is the MD and CEO Guidance at the Tamil Nadu Industrial Guidance and Export Promotion Bureau.

Prior to this he had worked as Senior Advisor at office of ED World Bank, Washington DC handling multilateral development at IBRD/IDA/IFC for the constituency and Ease of Doing Business for India; and before that, Joint Secretary (Marketing) in Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas when he rolled out world’s largest Cash Transfer Program in LPG “PaHaL”. In the state of Tamil Nadu, Dr Mittal has wide exposure as he held various positions including Collector, Coimbatore, Joint Commissioner-Transport and Tsunami Rehabilitation, and Executive Director ELCOT.

He is a graduate of the IIT-Kanpur with a B. Tech in electrical engineering and also holds an MBA from Cranfield University in U.K. and Ph.D. in Economics/MIS from Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University, USA.

He brings with him rich experience and expertise to use technology to improve efficiency, convenience, participation and transparency to continue the efforts of improving the investment climate in the State of Tamil Nadu.

Oliver Ballhatchet MBE is the Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, representing the UK in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

Oliver joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2004, firstly working on Counter Terrorism, then the Western Balkans, before heading overseas to work in the British Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil on Energy and Global Climate Change.

In 2011, Oliver moved to the British Consulate-General in Rio de Janeiro, where he was the Political Consul until 2017. For the past two years, Oliver served as the Deputy Head of the UK Government’s UN Peacekeeping Joint Unit.

During Oliver’s nine years in Brazil, he was also the Olympic and Paralympic Attaché for the British teams at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This work was recognised when Oliver was appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours List.

Oliver has visited India before. Straight after University, he spent three months teaching in a junior school in Patiala, Punjab, before travelling the country by train. He has both a Degree and an Honorary Doctorate in Law and is joined in Chennai by his wife and three-year-old daughter. Oliver has a keen interest in sport, especially the game of cricket, and is looking forward to pursuing this with more enthusiasm in Chennai!

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