CBI's new East Midlands Chair targets skills and productivity growth to boost region

27 Jan 2022 01:50 PM

Overcoming skills shortages and driving up productivity can help East Midlands businesses bounce back from Covid and build a sustainable and prosperous future, according to the CBI’s new regional Chair.

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE – founder and Chairman of Morningside Pharmaceuticals in Leicestershire – has taken over as Chair of the CBI East Midlands Regional Council. He succeeds Darren Wilson of LKAB Minerals in Derbyshire, who has held the position for the past two years.

Dr Kotecha has long been active in public service at both national and regional level. He is a Department of International Trade Export Champion and sits on the Department’s SME Trade Policy Advisory Group.

He is also part of the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, the Midlands Engine Council & Health Boards and Co-Chair of the Loughborough Town Deal Board.

Dr Kotecha has won a number of prestigious business awards, including being named a 2021 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Regional Champion for Excellence in Sustainability and making LDC’s 2021 list of the UK’s Most Ambitious Business Leaders, as featured in the Times. In 2017, he was awarded an OBE for services to entrepreneurship, innovation in pharmaceutical services and philanthropy. He was also named the national Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2019 National Business Awards.

He is stepping into the role at a difficult time, but believes the East Midlands has plenty of strengths to call upon which can help businesses navigate current hardships and emerge stronger in the future.

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Chair of the CBI East Midlands Regional Council, yesterday said:

“I am thrilled to be taking over as Chair of the East Midlands CBI Regional Council at what is a challenging yet potentially exciting time for business.

“The CBI has some bold ambitions designed to grow prosperity and opportunity throughout the East Midlands economy, as we look to rebuild from the pandemic, nurture new cross-sector collaborations and move towards a low-carbon future.

“Doing so will take a concerted effort from Government, education and enterprise. Leaders must foster a culture of growth by investing in the infrastructure, people and skills this region needs to combat pockets of deprivation and raise aspirations and attainment.

“If we get the key decisions right at this pivotal time, I am confident there is a bright future in store for East Midlands businesses. I look forward to playing my part in this new role alongside regional CBI colleagues.”

Richard Blackmore, CBI Midlands Director, yesterday said:

“I am delighted to welcome Nik to the role of Regional Chair, and would also like to place on record my thanks to Darren for his huge contribution to the region during the challenges of the past two years.

“Nik brings a wealth of knowledge of the region and insight into the issues that matter to businesses. His expertise will be a major asset for businesses and for the CBI as we look to work towards a net-zero future and implement the strategies for growth set out in our Seize The Moment economic vision.”

The following new members have been elected to the CBI East Midlands Regional Council from January 2022: