Ajai Desai

West Midlands International Trade Team

Graduated in 1991

As Director of International Projects at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce - and as part of the West Midlands International Trade Team - Ajay has made a significant contribution in assisting British businesses to trade internationally, particularly in China, India and South Africa.

In October 2013 he is accompanying a delegation of 20 companies from the West Midlands and wider area to Johannesburg and Cape Town promoting 'UK PLC'. And in 2009 he also led a team that included our own academics on a renewable energy mission to New Delhi, India.

Ajay grew up in India and completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Calcutta 30 years ago. After studying for a Master's degree in Business Administration with us in 1991, he joined the Chamber of Commerce in 2001 - and has since pushed ahead around 30/40 projects, mainly with an international trade aspect.

He has played a direct role in increasing entrepreneurial skills in small and medium enterprises and young people across the UK and Europe. Under his guide, the Chamber of Commerce was one of seven partners across six countries - including Spain, Italy and Romania - that investigated how to improve the capacity of businesses to carry out their own energy audits. This project helped the companies to not only save money on their energy bills and be more competitive in the world economy but to contribute to the European (Kyoto) targets for CO2 emission reduction.

Ajay is also currently working on a two-year youth enterprise and unemployment project that will offer more effective online training on entrepreneurship to young people and allow them to consider starting their own businesses as an alternative to not having a job.

He said he still uses "100 per cent" of the knowledge and skills he learnt while studying at the University.