London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Wednesday appointed Indore-born Rajesh Agrawal as his deputy mayor for business to boost the city’s interests following the European Union referendum.
Khan tasked Agrawal, who arrived in Britain in 2001 and grew a two-person enterprise into a multi-million pound business, with championing London’s interests and protecting jobs and growth while negotiations take place on Britain’s exit from the EU.
The mayor wants Britain and London to remain part of the European single market, and for the city to be granted more autonomy to safeguard its business interests. This includes greater powers over infrastructure, housing and planning.
London, along with Scotland, voted to remain in the EU during the June 23 referendum.
Agrawal is the founder and CEO of Xendpay, an global money transfer service, and RationalFX, an online foreign exchange service. Born and brought up in Indore, he developed his enterprise working from a small office into a huge business with offices in Birmingham, France and Spain.
Khan said: I know that Rajesh is the best person for the job of protecting jobs and growth in London as we deal with the fallout of the referendum.”
He added, “London must stay in the single market and be given more powers to ensure we can remain competitive, in order to attract the global enterprise that London’s prosperity relies on. Having arrived in London equipped with the ambition to succeed, Rajesh has created a multi-million pound business from scratch and knows first-hand the challenges that our business leaders face, and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.”
Agrawal said: “Having run my own global businesses, I know how important it is that London remains welcoming to European and international trade. I stepped on a plane for the first time 15 years ago to make the journey to London, and found a city that welcomed me with open arms and didn’t make me feel like a stranger. This openness to talent and enterprise must not change as a result of the referendum.”
He said Khan is determined to build a coalition that ensures the needs of business and financial services are at the fore over the coming months of negotiations with the EU. “These are extraordinary times and with this comes clear opportunities to reshape our city’s business landscape,” he said.