Bharat Suresh Joshi, a Briton of Indian origin, has replaced Mike Nithavrianakis as the British Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai. Born in 1969 at Croydon, UK, Joshi is the first person of Indian origin to helm the British mission in Chennai, an indication of the growing influence and spread of the Diaspora in the UK. Joshi joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1995 and has had diplomatic postings in Gambia, Dhaka, Qatar and Cameroon. He would focus on enhancing the trade and investment partnership between the UK and Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry in specific, his office said. The appointment came just weeks before the British Prime Minister David Cameron visited India on November 14 last year. “It is a huge honour to represent the UK in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala. And returning to my country of origin at a time when the UK’s relations with India are growing at a faster pace than ever before is like a dream come true,” said Joshi via an official release.
He is married to Bhakti Joshi, and the couple have two daughters. The envoy has been private secretary to two British Ministers, and has held positions in Departments of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), including the European Union Department and the Press Office. According to his biography on the FCO website, he has experience of crisis management, and has been deployed to the scene of major incidents involving British nationals, including the aftermath of the bombing of the British Consulate-General in Istanbul in 2002. Joshi is likely to focus on garnering support for trade and investment, especially in information technology and information technology-enabled services.