Young Achievers - Karan Bilimoria

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  • Updated: Nov 06, 2012 12:21 IST
In the 1980s Karan Bilimoria was a student at Cambridge when he felt that the curry houses of England needed a drink of their own. It soon became his goal to create a lager beer so smooth that it can perfectly suit Indian cuisine and be enjoyed by both ale and lager drinkers alike.

He completed Law from the Cambrige University and later also qualified as an accountant with Ernst and Young in London. And then he studied British drinking and eating habits to create Cobra beer.

In the initial years, Karan hawked crates of Cobra around the country, persuading restaurant owners to try his lager on their Asian clientele. Slowly his lager became so popular that today Cobra Beer is one of the fastest growing beer brands in the UK and has been exported to over 30 countries throughout the world. It now operates three overseas subsidiaries, in India, the United States and South Africa.

Did you know?

Karan spent part of his childhood in Delhi's presidential palace, where he remembers playing with Rajiv Gandhi. He captained Cambridge's polo team and speaks with the elongated vowels of India's upper class.


Full Name: Karan Faridoon Bilimoria
Date of Birth: November 26, 1961
Family: Karan was born in a Parsi family. His father served the Indian Army as a Lieutenant General. Karan is married to Heather and they have three children
Education: Law from the Cambrige University and accountancy from Ernst and Young
Profession: Business
2003: London's Entrepreneur of the Year award by the Ernst & Young
2003: Business of the Year award at the Eastern Eye Asian Business Awards
2004: Albert Medal by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
2004: Best Business Leader award by Sage Business Awards & The Daily Telegraph

The other side

Interests: Tennis, polo and beer tasting. Karan owns a farm in South Africa and is a member of numerous clubs including the Carlton and the Delhi Gymkhana.
Said What...

Karan believes: "If it ain't broke don't fix it is wrong. Do fix it!"

He says: "I have written goals. I also review time each hour, each day. Of course I always cram more in than I can do, so I run late. But at the end of each day, I do look back and ask, what have I done today, what have I accomplished?"

The BBC quotes Karan: "India needs to grow at probably 10% a year. India started liberalising as an economy in 1991. India is always benchmarked against China and China started liberalising 22 years ago. They are well ahead of India especially in the area of their diaspora."


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Young Achievers - Sandip Verma

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