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NRI for stronger ties between Scots, Indians

Charan Gill of Glasgow has set up Scotland House in Delhi to forge links with companies and entrepreneurs aiming to expand to India.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2006 20:16 IST

Scotland's Indian tycoon Charan Gill has launched a bid to improve business links between Scotland and India.

Gill of Glasgow has set up Scotland House in Delhi to forge links with companies and entrepreneurs aiming to expand. He aims to help Scottish firms tap into the lucrative Indian market.

He said, "The number of friends and associates who have been enquiring if I had any business contacts in India has been growing to such an extent over recent months that I felt I had to do something to help progressive Scottish companies exploit the massive commercial opportunities available to them in India."

"The opening of Scotland House marks the first step towards realising my desire to build a bridge which will enable Scottish businesses to explore markets which they currently find daunting. SMEs in Scotland don't have a phone for the local guy in India but they have a phone number for me."

So he has made it his job to create a link "between those people and the people in India".

"I have always believed business is done on the streets. Business is done by people who know local people. India is very entrepreneurial," he said.

He plans to promote investment in real estate and business parks as well as the development of rural areas and wants to work with Scottish colleges and universities in an effort to attract students from India.

He decided to establish Scotland House after a recent visit to Tallinn in Estonia where friend and fellow entrepreneur John McGlynn has set-up a similar venture.

The launch this week was attended by delegates on a trade mission to Delhi which had been organised by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

Gill, who last year sold his Harlequin restaurant chain for £8 million, said, "I'm honoured by the SCDI's support for Scotland House. As can be seen from its current trade mission to India, the SCDI is already doing a fantastic job here and I hope to work closely with it, and other organisations, to help foster business relationships.

"I think, for me to make this work, I have got to spend more time in India. I want to spend time between Scotland and India. They are my homes."