Meet our Board Directors – Saqib Bhatti
Saqib Bhatti is LEP Board Director with responsibility for Growing Businesses. Here are his
thoughts on the opportunities ahead for businesses in the GBSLEP area.
“For me there are two key opportunities we must make the most of. The first is as part of the devolution deal and the West Midlands’ Combined Authority. The LEP is working hard with its partners from the other LEPs to make sure the region can capitalise fully on this. It requires a lot of hard work, co-ordination and effort but I have no doubt that we will make it work with our partners and thrive in the process.
“The second is the new landscape that we face after the referendum. I believe our region has the resources and the talent to thrive in this new environment I believe we will be best placed to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise in the coming months and years.”
Why are you involved in LEP?
“I am proud of the leadership that the LEP provides and the hard work that goes in to making this region, globally recognised, as a great place to work, live and play. It is quite a sight when you see cooperation and coordination from political and business leaders across the region with one objective and one objective only; to improve the lives of the people that we are serving.”
Which of the LEP’s achievements are you most proud of?
“I am incredibly proud of the hard work that has gone into making the GBSLEP Growth Hub a success and the progress that has been made in such a short period of time.
“I am determined to make the Growth Hub the primary port of call for businesses to go to. The speed at which we have set the Growth Hub up and the way in which we have brought together the partners from across the region including our Universities and the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce as well as many others, is a testament to how the LEP focuses everyone to work towards improving the region and I am incredibly proud of that. No matter where I am in this country or the world that is a message I take with me everywhere.”
What is your favourite piece of music and book?
“I listen to all sorts of music but generally my taste in music ranges from the Beatles to the Led Zeppelin to Bhangra and some R&B.
“I read a lot of books so it is hard to pick one but I am currently reading Shantaram. It’s a book which says to me that no matter how well you plan your life, sometimes you need to expect the unexpected and be ready to adapt.”
Where is your favourite place in LEP area?
“It is hard to pick one part of LEP because as you step out of the city centre, there are many thriving areas. However, I do like good food, so I would have to say areas such as the Balti Triangle do take my fancy, because there is always a new restaurant to try and not necessarily South Asian Cuisine which reflects the changing nature of the city and its diversity.”