KKR looks to invest $400 million in Hero Future Energies

Source: Economic Times, 26 August 2022

KKR and Co. is in advanced negotiations to invest around $400 million in Hero Group’s renewables energy company Hero Future Energies (HFE), in what would be the US private equity manager’s single largest cheque in the Indian clean energy space so far, said people aware of the development.

The final rounds of negotiations are ongoing before a formal announcement, which is expected in a few weeks. The investment is for a significant minority stake but comes with significant governance rights that would make KKR a co-promoter along with founder chairman and managing director Rahul Munjal. Munjal is the nephew of Pawan Kant Munjal, chairman and chief executive officer of Hero MotoCorp. The investment will largely be a primary infusion to reduce debt and grow the business. JP Morgan is advisor on the transaction.

KKR declined to comment.

Rahul Munjal and his spokesperson didn’t respond to ET queries.

Valuation may cross one billion
Apart from the Hero Group, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) is an investor in the company, along with Masdar, also known as Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co., which picked up 20% stake for $150 million in November 2019, valuing the New Delhi-based company at $750 million. The KKR round is expected to see valuation cross the $1 billion threshold.

KKR will be using its infrastructure fund as the vehicle for this investment. But it will be kept outside the KKR-backed Virescent Infrastructure, which manages the Virescent Renewable Energy Trust, India’s first renewable energy infrastructure investment trust (InvIT). It is not clear yet if KKR will subsequently bring on board one of its limited partners or a co-investor.

Decade-old HFE operates in wind, grid-connected solar, rooftop sectors and energy storage and has a portfolio of 1.5 GW of operating assets and another 1.5 GW under construction. According to its website, the company has a pipeline of 500 MW of large-scale, grid-connected solar projects in Europe, Africa and South Asia. It aims to have a capacity of 5 GW by 2024. In 2021, HFE had sold a 49% stake in two of its projects totalling 500 MW to O2 Power.

HFE’s wholly owned subsidiaries include Hero Wind Energy Pvt Ltd (HWEPL), Hero Solar Energy Pvt Ltd (HSEPL) and Hero Rooftop Energy Pvt Ltd (HREPL). These in turn house the various individual projects as special purpose vehicles (SPVs) created for undertaking wind and solar energy projects.

Early this year, the company partnered with US-based Ohmium International to set up 1 GW of green hydrogen production facilities in India, the UK and Europe. Last month, the company won a contract for the construction of a 10 MW grid-connected energy storage plant in Kerala by the Kerala State Electricity Board.

he operational portfolio comprises wind capacity of over 580 MW in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, as well as solar capacity of over 950 MW in Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan as of December 31, 2021. It has long-term power purchase agreements with the distribution companies of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, several private industrial and commercial customers and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). The diversification of assets in terms of location and presence of strong counterparties reduces associated credit risks, experts said.

According to Crisil Ratings, the holding companies of the Hero Future Energies platform are majority owned, directly or indirectly, by the promoters of the Hero Group.

“These entities draw strength from their 20% and 13.99% stakes, respectively, in Hero MotoCorp,” said Manish Gupta, analyst with Crisil.

These promoter entities have funded the initial equity requirement for the platform.

“Presence of the Munjal family members on the board of group companies substantiates the importance of the venture to the Hero Group and the Munjal family,” Gupta said in a report in April. “The market cover of HFE holding companies declined from 5.2 in September 2021 to 3.8 as on March 23, 2022, primarily on account of fall in market capitalisation of Hero MotoCorp. The planned equity infusion in HFE by its shareholders, will be primarily utilised for reducing the debt at the holding companies by September 2022.”

In the past three months, the Hero MotoCorp stock has appreciated 7%.

HFE is expected to have cash flow for debt servicing of over Rs 1,275 crore in FY23. That will adequately cover its long-term debt obligation of around Rs 1,010 crore. In addition, HFE had cash and cash equivalents of more than Rs 720 crore on a consolidated basis on March 23, including Rs 499 crore unencumbered cash. The holding companies had unencumbered cash of about Rs 320 crore on March 23, as per Crisil’s calculations. Market cover for the consolidated debt stood at 3.8 times on March 23.

“For KKR it’s a great platform to build on while the investment will help Hero Future Energies ( HFE) to deleverage and the primary infusion will help in the growth plans,” said a person aware of the investment thesis on condition of anonymity.

KKR Infrastructure Fund’s first India transaction was a co-investment in May 2019 with Singapore’s GIC in Indigrid, an operator of 11 electricity transmission assets, where it invested $148 million. In April 2020, it acquired five operational solar energy assets from Shapoorji Pallonji Infrastructure Capital (SP Infra). It transferred those assets to Virescent Infrastructure, the renewable energy platform KKR launched in October. It entered India’s highway sector by signing definitive agreements to acquire Global Infrastructure Partners’ entire stake in Highway Concessions One (HC1) and seven highway assets totalling 487 km for an undisclosed sum.

Q1 GDP growth: High on services and base effect

Source: Economic Times, 25 August 2022

Indian economy likely grew 15.1% in Q1 of FY23 aided by a favourable base and revival in services as all Covid restrictions were removed. Kirtika Suneja reports on expert estimates ahead of the April-June quarter national income estimates ahead of the offcial data release next week.


GDP rose 20.1% in Q1 FY22, 4.1% in Q4

GDP estimates for April-June

KEY DRIVERS
Investment growth likely recovered
Rail freight, GST e-way bills corroborate growth
GVA growth is seen at 14.5%.
Vaxx drive booster for contactintensive services
17-19% growth in trade, hotels, transport, communication
High corporate travel, lower infections in Q1
Lockdown easing benefited urban consumption

DRAGS ON GROWTH
Russia-Ukraine war, high commodity prices dampened consumption
Severe heatwave hit wheat output, farm growth
Farm growth may slip to 3% from 4.1% in Q4
Slowing exports impacted the industry
Rising interest rates and high inflation

WHAT’S AHEAD
Steady growth seen but multiple risks
FY23 GDP pegged at around 7%
Demand destruction in India’s key trading partners: US, EU, China
Uncertain global environment, geo-political situation
Slowdown in global growth
Inflation and monetary tightening could dent demand

Key success factors to setup business in India

https://indolinkenglish.wordpress.com/category/key-success-factors-in-india/, March 19, 2011

This article was published few years ago and is being republished as the opinions expressed are even more relevant in current business scenario.

With India opening its doors for foreign direct investments in most of the sectors and more transparent and liberal government policies, India has become much more attractive business destination.

The present article aims at encouraging executives from small and middle scale European companies to set up business in India. With this objective we present the main variables which make India an attractive business destination, the major obstacles limiting the access to available opportunities and, finally, a few suggestions to avoid those constraints and increase their chances of success in setting operations in this country.
Any internationalization process, regardless of its magnitude or destination, constitutes a major decision in the life of a company, with far reaching implications. Given the difficulties which that decision implies, in the introduction of this paper we present an approach which may break the generic conflict many industrial SMEs face in venturing on their first foreign establishment.

1.        The conflict of many SMEs when assessing a foreign setup

As managers, we share at least one common objective: make our company prosperous now as well as in the future. We daily devote vast efforts to pursue a goal which appears ever more distant, as shown by decreasing market shares, profit figures far from our targets, mounting liquidity problems, growing labor disputes… which eventually jeopardize the company‟s long-term viability.
The instinctive reaction to this situation is to redouble our efforts in tackling each one of these problems as they arise and, generally, jumping from one to another as their effects on a certain local area become unbearable. We are genuine experts in solving problems; each day we return home exhausted after resolving a countless number of problems to find ourselves, on the following day, with an almost identical number of similar fires to extinguish.
This modus operandi has two pernicious effects on business performance, because:

    The attention of the management team is scattered through a number of problems which exceeds the amount they can manage effectively
    It generates high bad multitasking levels, which are utterly inefficient
    Enormous efforts are  diverted to combat undesirable effects, or problems‟ symptoms, rather than addressing their root causes

Thus, it is not surprising that many of these problems eventually develop a chronic nature, which decisively burdens the companies‟ progress.
1.1      Root cause analysis
While that is the most common approach to dealing with daily problems, there is an alternative approach. According to Dr. E. Goldratt, author of the Theory of Constraints, “Systems converge; common causes appear as we dive down. If we dive deep enough, we’ll see that there are very few elements on the base –the root causes– which through cause-and-effect connections are governing the whole system. The result of systematically applying the question Why? is not enormous complexity, but rather wonderful simplicity”

Should we believed this principle of “inherent simplicity” and looked for the ultimate cause/s of the loads of undesirable effects we encounter, we may identify a few root problems or limitations in which to focus our attention and leverage our efforts to substantially improve the performance of the company as a whole.

Chart 1 depicts a simplified analysis of that type, on some harsh facts numerous industrial SMEs have been facing for several years now. The chart is read from bottom to top, and arrows represent “IF…THEN…” connections. An ellipse around the arrows implies that two or more causes have to concur simultaneously to produce the predicted effect.

This way we would start reading the diagram with the sentence “IF our production is mainly local AND costs in low cost countries (LCC’s) are sensibly lower than those in western countries THEN our costs are higher than those of competitors from LCC’s.

If we go on reading each of these connections until we complete the chart we will notice that all undesirable effects presented initially grow from just two root causes (squared by dotted lines): sticking to traditional management methodologies, which restrict our ability to  develop  a decisive competitive edge, and location of the production in high cost countries, Europe in our case, where price of resources is appreciably higher than those in lower cost countries, whose companies have a growing presence in our markets.

In the analysis, it should also be noted the presence of three negative feedback relationships, or vicious circles, which aggravate the situation in each cycle; this would explain to a large extent the progressive deterioration that many of our SMEs have experienced in recent years.

Chart 1

This is a simplified analysis. Some entities, which might have facilitated a better comprehension, have been omitted due to space limitations.
 
1.2      The generic conflict
Given the article‟s internationalization approach, we focus our current analysis on the location issues, leaving for another occasion the questioning of the paradigms which shape the managing methodologies above mentioned.

In view of the presented diagram it is clear that, if our objective is to have a prosperous company now and in the future, we need to keep our costs competitive globally. And if so, a sensible action to be taken immediately could be to relocate part of our production in a low cost company.

This need is clear since a long time for most managers; however, many of them keep on postponing this decision. Why?

The answer could be found in the fact that to reach the aforementioned objective it‟s equally vital to avoid risks which may compromise the viability of the company.

And to match this need the right decision seems to be not to embark in a foreign setup.

It‟s obvious that we can‟t setup business units in LCC‟s and, at the same time, not embark on foreign setups. Chart 2 summarizes this generic conflict faced by many managers.

Chart 2

1.3      Direction of the solution
Traditionally, we address such conflicts through three alternative strategies:

    Choose one of the actions, usually the one that meets the most urgent need, so that we leave the other unmet. This, by definition, entails forgoing the common objective.
    Keep on jumping from one action to the other as the effects of not achieving the unmet need become unsustainable. This prevents, likewise, achieving the objective.
    Agree to a middle or compromise solution between both actions, which does not fully satisfy either need but is, somehow, bearable from both sides. This is again an option that inhibits the achievement of the goal.

There is an alternative way of dealing with the conflict: should we find that any the underlying assumptions, which make us believe we are in a conflict, although apparently true, is erroneous, we could break the conflict and solve the problem.
Let‟s see…If we focus on entities C and D‟ and try to reveal the underlying assumptions behind this connection, in order to avoid risks which may compromise company viability we must not embark on foreign setups BECAUSE…
1.        A setup in an unknown environment implies substantial risk.
2.        Continuing with the activity the same way it has been so far ensures our company‟s long term stability

There’s absolutely no doubt about the certainty of the first assumption, any foreign setup involves risk, which will be greater the more distant or unknown the destination is.
But, the assumption that keeping things the way they’ve been till date guarantees the security of the company in the long-term, IS IT REALLY TRUE?
Although this perception keeps on restraining the overseas expansion of many companies around us, abundant experiences show that in the current environment of global competition, for many  industrial companies, such business immobility entails a risk higher than that involved in a foreign venture.

We can see that the apparent conflict is nothing but the result of a distorted perception of inherent risks, which has paralyzed for so many years an internationalization process which is vital to the survival of many companies. It appears that we, as humans, have an asymmetric perception of risk. We are very precise assessing risks of „doing‟, while we usually underrate or neglect those of „not doing‟.
A business is, by definition, an activity involving risk and our responsibility, as managers, is to guide companies through a path of progressive growth while reinforcing their stability. Trying to avoid systematically any immediate risk involves, in the long-term, the assumption of a significantly larger risk that may become a threat to the viability of the company as a whole. Chart 3 shows the proposed solution.

Once we have established the importance, for some industrial companies, of pursuing foreign ventures and shown how to break the conflict which often blocks them, we devote the rest of the article to present opportunities, obstacles and key success factors of one of the most popular alternatives nowadays, India.

To be continued . . . . . .

India Inc better placed to tackle interest rates, inflation, says S&P; strong economic growth to help revenues

Source: Financial Express, 23 August 2022

Companies and banks in India could feel the bite of rising rates and inflation, but rated firms are better cushioned to withstand the pressure, S&P Global Ratings said on Tuesday. It said that further hike in interest rates is on the cards as the inflation remains above the RBI’s upper tolerance limit of 6 per cent despite a 140 basis points increase in the policy rate in the current fiscal year.

“In a stress scenario we conducted, credit profiles will deteriorate for companies that account for 20 per cent of the outstanding debt analyzed. This is according to a stress test of more than 800 largely unrated companies in India, representing USD 570 billion in debt. Rated issuers are generally better cushioned to withstand rising rates and higher input costs,” S&P said in a report.

The US-based rating agency said it expects India’s continued strong economic growth to positively affect companies’ revenues.

S&P had in May cut India’s growth projections for the current fiscal year to 7.3 per cent from 7.8 per cent estimated earlier, on account of high oil prices, slowing exports, and high inflation. “… inflation is eroding the purchasing power of the poor because energy and food account for a chunk of their consumption basket. Despite this, there are factors supporting growth,” it said.

S&P said a normal monsoon will prop up agriculture production and help control food inflation. The rebound in contact-based services will also boost growth, especially as COVID-19 vaccination penetration improves and people learn to live with the virus.

“More rate rises are coming, in our view… Despite the 140 basis points rise in 2022 so far, policy rates are well below historical levels,” S&P said, adding it expects consumer inflation at 6.8 per cent for fiscal 2023.

S&P said India’s sound external position and growth momentum will offset the downside pressure on sovereign credit metrics. India faces a higher current account deficit this year, and external flows are weighing on the rupee’s exchange rate versus the dollar. It said the country’s external balance sheet remains sound with ample foreign exchange reserves and limited external sovereign debt.

“Large rated corporate credits, in general, have adequate cushion to withstand rising rates, widening credit spreads and increasing input costs. This is mainly due to the significant deleveraging and improvement in operating fundamentals over the past two years. “Most companies also do not need meaningful funding for capex or financing, shielding them from the increase in funding cost,” S&P said.

Robust infrastructure pipeline, PLI schemes Aiding India Inc: Birla

Source: Economic Times, 18 August 2022

While recession and inflation remain global concerns in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, factors such as a robust infrastructure pipeline and the production-linked incentives from the government are helping companies in India, Kumar Mangalam Birla, the chairman of Ultratech Cement, said at the company’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.

“Thus, while businesses will need to remain on guard regarding financial market volatility and cost pressures this year, one could expect the medium-term growth recovery to remain on track,” he said.

The present global crisis has had two fallouts – concerns around energy security of some regions and inflation due to elevated energy prices, Birla said. “This has triggered central banks to normalise monetary policy faster than anticipated, denting consumer confidence and dampening risk sentiment in the financial markets.”

The Indian economy has not remained unscathed by these global developments, he said. However, there were silver linings in the form of a firm economic recovery in India, a normal monsoon and sufficient foreign exchange reserves despite rising trade deficit.

“With these silver linings, India appears to be well placed to ride through an uncertain global economic environment,” Birla said.

The country’s largest cement maker has announced an ambitious capacity expansion plan which will take its manufacturing capacity to 159.25 million tonnes per annum by 2025 from 119.95 million tonnes at present. The company has already added 50 million tonnes per annum capacity in the last five years.

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina gives green signal for CEPA with India

Source: Economic Times, 18 August 2022

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given the green signal to begin formal negotiations for signing a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) with India in what can also boost trade and investments in eastern and north-eastern India in a big way.

This will be Dhaka’s first trade pact with any country, and it has given preference to India despite requests from China and Japan to have free-trade agreements, ET has learnt. Pacts with Japan and China are still at an assessment stage.

The CEPA will figure high on the agenda during Hasina’s proposed visit here on September 6-7.

The proposed deal is expected to boost Bangladesh’s export earnings by 190% and India’s by 188%, and gross domestic product by 1.72% and 0.03%, respectively, as revealed by a Dhaka-Delhi joint feasibility study.

The CEPA will cover trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights and ecommerce.

In the last fiscal year, Bangladesh’s exports to India rose to nearly $2 billion for the first time. Imports from India totalled $14 billion.

Officials from Dhaka said Bangladesh already enjoyed duty-free and quota-free benefits for the exports of all but 25 products, including tobacco and alcohol, to India, as a least developed country under the South Asian Free Trade Area agreement.

During the visit of PM Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in March 2021, he and Hasina issued instructions on concluding the joint feasibility study relating to the signing of the CEPA.

Accordingly, Bangladesh’s Foreign Trade Institute and India’s Centre for Regional Trade conducted the detailed joint feasibility study. In May this year, they sent the study report to their respective commerce ministries. The report suggested launching negotiations for the signing of the CEPA.

Once the trade deal is signed, Bangladesh’s export earnings will go up by $3-5 billion and India’s by $4-10 billion in the next 7-10 years, according to a final draft report of the joint feasibility study.

It will also open new investment windows for both countries, the study claimed.

“It may be concluded that the estimates and analysis of this study indicate that the proposed CEPA between India and Bangladesh is not only feasible but also mutually beneficial in terms of possible gains in the realms of trade in goods and services, and investment,” according to the study.

Bangladesh is India’s biggest trade partner in South Asia, and India is the second biggest trade partner of Bangladesh.

CSR: Industry calls for progressive capitalism, see benefits percolating down

Source: Financial Express, 04 August 2022

Progressive corporations are ensuring that the benefits of capitalism percolate down, said Rajashree Birla, adding that the key to meaningful corporate social responsibility (CSR) was running it like a business.

“We need to build a society that works for everyone,” the Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development chairperson said at the All India Management Association’s (AIMA) Business Responsibility Summit.

“Aditya Birla Group has a social vision embedded in the business vision,” Birla said, adding that the group had received excellent return on its CSR investment in terms of the number of lives turned around.

Birla also insisted that CSR impact depended on the engagement of the top management.

She said the Aditya Birla Group’s CSR projects had one- and five-year plans and involved partnerships with the government, NGOs, and development agencies. “They help us get the bang for the buck.”

Dr Bhaskar Chatterjee, the architect of mandatory CSR in India, expressed satisfaction at the change in mindset of corporate leadership since the introduction of mandatory CSR in April 2014, with company leaders no longer asking why they were being asked to spend on CSR.

“CSR has moved from the backroom to the boardroom,” he said.

CK Ranganathan, AIMA president and chairman and managing director at CavinKare, highlighted the role of mandatory CSR in tackling the Covid-19 crisis. The structures and systems put in place by companies to comply with CSR obligations allowed them to promptly respond to the crisis, he said. In the first year of the Covid-19 crisis, CSR spending peaked at Rs 25,000 crore, he added.

Ranganathan also pointed to the transition of CSR towards environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. He said ESG issues were becoming important for investors and consumers in the developed world and Indian companies needed to pay attention to attract their capital. Millennials and Gen-Z are also looking at companies’ ESG record before buying their products or working for them, he said.

AIMA Director General Rekha Sethi also stressed on the importance of human and environment health in business conduct. “The environmental cost of doing business is beginning to be counted more seriously and companies need to watch their ways to avoid restrictions by governments and rejection by consumers,” she said.

Honda Cars India July sales rise 12 pc to 6,784 units

Source: Economic Times, 01 August 2022

Honda Cars India on Monday said its domestic sales last month increased by 12 per cent at 6,784 units. The maker of City and Amaze also exported 2,104 units last month.

The company had reported sale of 6,055 units in the domestic market and 918 units in overseas markets in July last year.

“We have witnessed a good demand trend in the last few months across model line-up. Unfortunately, the ongoing chip shortage continues to impact and slowdown our supplies. We are diligently aligning our production to meet the demand as quickly as possible,” Honda Cars India Director (Marketing and Sales) Yuichi Murata said in a statement.

On a cumulative basis, the company wholesales have grown by 40 per cent over last year, he added.

“As we approach the festive period, we hope that the demand will continue to stay strong and bring in the much needed festive cheer for the industry after the challenging situation last year,” Murata said.

Exide Energy Solutions to set up Li-ion battery cell manufacturing facility in Bengaluru

Source: Economic Times, 28 July 2022

Exide Industries on Wednesday said its subsidiary has executed a sales agreement in Bengaluru to set up a lithium ion battery cell manufacturing facility. Exide Energy Solutions Ltd NSE 2.85 % (EESL) has executed the lease-cum-sale agreement with Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) for procuring land parcel in Bengaluru, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The plant would be used to set up multi-gigawatt Li-ion battery cell manufacturing facility for the new-age electric mobility and stationary application businesses in India, it added.

New UK parliamentary panel to promote trade, investment ties with India

Source: Economic Times, 27 July 2022

A new cross-party UK parliamentary panel has been created to promote trade, investment and people-to-people ties with India, backed up by British Indian think tank 1928 Institute.

The India (Trade and Investment) All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) was formally registered last week as part of celebrations of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence and is made up of 25 members of Parliament and peers of different political affiliations.

With a stated goal to promote trade and investment between India and the UK for the mutual betterment of their citizens, whilst building an inclusive living bridge between the two countries, the new APPG hopes to support the ongoing India-UK free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations and promote its benefits once concluded.

“Given 75 years of India’s Independence, the creation of an All-Party Parliamentary Group focused on India will set the tempo between the UK Parliament and India/Indians,” said Navendu Mishra, Indian-origin Opposition Labour Party MP for Stockport in north-west England and Co-Chair of the new APPG.

“Investment in people is the best way to ensure economic stability and this APPG intends to benefit the peoples of both the UK and India. In particular, I’m looking forward to bringing investment to Stockport and to the Greater Manchester region, both from stronger cultural ties and from utilising the trade agreement,” he said.

“Furthermore, what better way to celebrate the 75 years of Independence then to strengthen the living bridge between the countries and to solidify an equal partnership between these two great nations,” he added.

From trips across different parts of Britain to visits to India, the India (Trade & Investment) APPG said it will work with diverse stakeholders and encourage beneficial collaborations.

“It’s a new chapter in the story of the Indo-British trade partnership and I’ll be working tirelessly to ensure that we get the best possible FTA and that it is utilised after. The group’s establishment coincides with the 75th year of India’s Independence and it will be a parliamentary driving force behind the UK-India story in the years to come,” said Lord Karan Bilimoria, Indian-origin businessman and Co-Chair of the APPG.

“This APPG will be the conduit which not only connects UK and Indian policymakers but connects businesses and entrepreneurs to drive growth. The APPG will ensure that dialogue and engagement will cut across all levels of business, particularly encouraging a wider lens on female led business and start-ups,” added Baroness Sandy Verma, the President of the new group.

The APPG is chaired by Conservative Party MP Bob Blackman and includes other Indian-origin parliamentarians as vice-chairs, including Lord Meghnad Desai, Baroness Usha Prashar, Labour MP Virendra Sharma and Tory MP Gagan Mohnidra.

“We are honoured to facilitate the APPG as its Secretariat and look forward to collaborating with diverse partners to champion trade, investment, and development,” said the 1928 Institute, a University of Oxford spinout focussed on Indian diaspora research in the UK.

“We intend to create an energised, inclusive, and pluralistic space to accelerate the improvement of material conditions for all. Our vision spans opportunities from Pembrokeshire to Punjab, and we encourage you to get in touch to help shape this nascent space,” it said.

The new APPG will officially kick-start its activities when Parliament resumes after its summer recess under a new Prime Minister in September.

APPGs are informal, cross-party groups in the UK formed by MPs and members of the House of Lords who share a common interest in a particular policy area, region or country and have no official status within Parliament.