Indian-origin entrepreneur Karan Bilimoria is Birmingham varsity chancellor

  • PTI, London
  • Updated: May 12, 2014 18:54 IST

Prominent Indian-origin entrepreneur Karan Bilimoria has been appointed as the new chancellor of the UK's prestigious University of Birmingham.

Lord Bilimoria, the 52-year-old India-born founder of Cobra Beer, will take up his role at an installation ceremony in July, making him the seventh chancellor of the university.

"I am honoured and humbled to have been asked to be Chancellor of this internationally-renowned university with its vibrant, global community," Lord Bilimoria said.

"I am also delighted to have the opportunity to take on such a prominent role at the university where both my mother, my uncle and my maternal grandfather studied; the university that instilled the value of higher education in them, and in turn drove my own passion for learning and discovery," he added.

He succeeds Sir Dominic Cadbury, who stepped down last December after 11 years into the role.

Professor David Eastwood, vice-chancellor of the University of Birmingham, said: "We are absolutely delighted that Lord Bilimoria will be our new Chancellor. He is a highly respected global businessman and crossbench peer with a clear passion for higher education and the value it brings to society and to the economy.

"He not only encapsulates the university's commitment to internationalisation but his appointment underlines further the importance we place on forging strong, mutually beneficial partnerships between business and higher education." Lord Bilimoria, already a member of the University of Birmingham Business School Advisory Board, is chairman of the Cobra Beer Partnership Limited and of Molson Coors Cobra India, both joint ventures with the global brewing company, Molson Coors.

Hyderabad-born Lord Bilimoria is also the founding-chairman of the UK-India Business Council.

In 2004, he was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to business and entrepreneurship, and in 2006, he was appointed an independent crossbench peer in the House of Lords and was made Baron Bilimoria of Chelsea in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, making him the first- ever Zoroastrian Parsi to sit in the Lords.

In Parliament, Lord Bilimoria is active in a wide range of matters, including commerce, entrepreneurship, education, diplomacy, minorities' contributions, and academia.

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