Mumbai-origin Gulam Kaderbhoy Noon, who migrated to Britain with little funds and went on to found several Indian food companies that made him known as Britain’s first ‘Curry King’, died on Tuesday at the age of 79.
A member of the House of Lords, Noon was among those trapped in the Taj Hotel during the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, but was rescued. He was conferred royal honours for his contribution to business and Britain’s Asian community.
Senior Labour MP Keith Vaz said: “Today we have lost a giant, not only of the British Asian community, but also of British entrepreneurship. A decent, honourable and generous man, who was dedicated to his family, but also to his country, the United Kingdom”.
He added: “Rightly known as Britain’s first ‘Curry King’, he brought curry to the high street. There are thousands of people in Britain, in India and throughout the world who have benefited from his enterprise, jobs he created, and his big heart. The world of cricket will also miss one of its most devoted followers”.
Noon often figured in Britain’s annual rich lists.
“He was the epitome of everything a first generation immigrant can achieve, someone who literally came with nothing, but was also grateful to Britain for giving him the life chances to prove what an extraordinary man he was, whilst never forgetting his roots in India”.