Personal profile

Research interests

Sushil’s research is in the area of international trade and development. It covers broadly: (i) Trade in primary commodities such as coffee and tea, with a focus on problems faced by commodity producers. (ii) Agricultural trade, with focus on consequences of trade barriers. (iii) International development issues such as Fair Trade, CSR, social enterprises, Environmental improvement initiatives, SMEs, and food security. The research aim is to analyse the interaction between international trade, ethical trading and economic development – it is mostly applied and issue-driven with a strong policy focus. His ongoing research projects include study of non-tariff measures in agriculture trade, market concentration in coffee markets, social enterprises and voluntary social standards.

Scholarly biography

Sushil is the lead for the Centre for Change, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management (CENTRIM) Research Group on ‘Enterprise, Trade and Sustainable Development’. His research on the risks, returns and trade barriers faced by agricultural commodity producers has been supported by the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD), Food & Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Commonwealth Secretariat, International Coffee Organisation and the Institute of Economic Affairs. His publications on the rise of ethical trade such as Fair Trade provides a different perspective on socially responsible trading and has attracted considerable trade and media attention - it has been discussed on radio programmes and newspapers including the Financial Times, Independent and Guardian. He has also published widely on international development issues such as environmental initiatives, humanitarian logistics, virtual trade and food security.

He is on the Editorial Board of Emerald Journal ‘Qualitative Research in Financial Markets’ and member of European Trade Study Group, Development Study Association and UNCTAD Group on Non-Tariffs Measures in Trade.

Sushil has been the Economics & Finance Subject Leader in Brighton Business School from 2014 to 2019. He led a team of 19 members in matters of curricula, assessment, work load, timetable, course review, staff recruitment and introduction of a new BSc (Hons) Economics and MSc Finance pathways. Sushil held the position of Director of the International Business Programme, University of Dundee from 2005 to 2013; the role involved designing, organisation and planning of the MSc International Business programme.

Before joining academic economics, Sushil worked for over fifteen years at key professional positions in international trade and development. These include Consultant for the Commonwealth Secretariat for developing coffee industry in the Republic of Vanuatu; Director of Tea Promotion in London; adviser to the Commerce Minister for India on trade promotion and trade policy issues, and MD of a Sugar Corporation. He also served on the Boards of the International Tea Committee, International Coffee Organisation and the UK Tea Council. He also worked as Development Officer responsible for planning and implementing socio-economic developmental projects aimed at benefitting the region/poor.

Knowledge exchange

Sushil has led and participated in several funded research and consultancy projects. He is part of the CENTRIM Team for the EU funded ‘SPARK Project’ on enabling social enterprises across three regions in the UK, Belgium and The Netherlands to develop and deliver more sustainable and high impact innovation leading to increased growth. Previous projects include FAO funded research on ‘trade barriers in agricultural commodity trade’; British Academy funded project on developing ‘price-risk management solutions for coffee, cocoa and tea producers’; Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience funding for project on ‘virtual water and climate change: implications for food security’; advising a Scottish engineering enterprise in developing global marketing strategy under the Knowledge Transfer Partnership Programme; conducting market research for developing a global marketing strategy for a company engaged in industrial weighing and renewable energy products; and an expert for the Commonwealth Secretariat, London project for preparing feasibility report on development of coffee industry in the Republic of Vanuatu.

Approach to teaching

Having spent much of his career as a practitioner, Sushil relates his teaching with real-world examples and experiences, and adopts a problem-based interactive learning approach to teaching. Students appreciate this as it helps them engage and better understand the concepts and their applications. He teaches courses on economic theory and applications, business economics, development economics and research projects. As subject lead he was instrumental in strengthening of quantitative teaching across different courses.

Supervisory Interests

Sushil is an active PhD supervisor and welcomes students that wish to work in the areas of trade and international development such as trade policy, trade barriers, global commodity markets, environmental economics, migration, FDI, ethical trading (e.g. Fairtrade, organics, CSR, social enterprises), SMEs and international macroeconomics.

He has a rich experience in the PhD process and helping students in successful completion of PhD and pursuing their career goals. His most recent and current PhD researchers include topics in the area of trade and economic growth, environment, global oil market, Islamic business, CSR, exchange rate regimes, and areas related to international development.    


Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Strathclyde

External positions

External Examiner, MSc in International Business, University of Dundee

Member, UNCTAD Group on Non Tariffs Measures in Trade

Member, Europeon Trade Study Group

Member, Centre for African Research on Enterprise & Economic Development, University of the West of Scotland


  • HB Economic Theory
  • Coffee
  • Fair Trade
  • International Trade
  • Non-tariff Measures
  • Development
  • Agricultural Trade


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • Falcon Coffees KTP

    Laing, T. & Mohan, S.


    Project: Research Councils / Government Depts.