The Indian government has set its sights on becoming only the 14th country in the world to secure a data protection "adequacy" deal with the European Commission, which would allow the free flow of data between firms in India and businesses based in EU member states.
The move could spark a three-way race between India, the UK and South Korea over which country can secure an agreement first.
With a no-deal Brexit seemingly firmly on the cards, the CBI has this week urged the UK Government to secure its own adequacy agreement to prevent the £240bn UK data industry from falling off a cliff edge.
However, gaining adequacy status is not a simple tick-box process. The quickest ever deal took 18 months to finalise and the most recent, which saw Japan join the exclusive club, took years to complete.
South Korea started its quest back in 2015 but has been told it needs to beef up its data protection legislation to be considered.
Currently, there are just 14 countries which have signed agreements, Andorra, Argentina, Canada, Faroe Islands, Guernsey, Israel, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, New Zealand, Switzerland and Uruguay. The US also has a deal in place, although this is through the so-called Privacy Shield.
If the India deal goes through, it would mean that the EU recognises the country’s data protection regime as equivalent to that required by GDPR and would allow EU firms to store and transfer data in India, as well as to outsource data projects to the country.
It would seem that India is also far from the finishing line, however, as it has still not passed its own Personal Data Protection Bill. A draft was submitted to the IT Ministry last July but has yet to be introduced to the Parliament in New Delhi.