Lord Bilimoria Elected First BAME Head Of Confederation of British Industry

– Pledges To Fight For Greater Boardroom Diversity –

Parsi Times is delighted to share that our very own, Indian-born Lord Karan Bilimoria, the business tycoon and founder of the famous global brand – Cobra Beer, was elected as the very first ‘Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic’ (BAME) Head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). He was elected as the new CBI President at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on 16th June, 2020. John Allan CBE, the outgoing CBI President, becomes the organisation’s Vice-President. Lord Bilimoria was voted in by an overwhelming majority of CBI members, who participated in the ballot, thus making him the first President in the organisation’s history from a (BAME) Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background.

Based in Chelsea, Lord Bilimoria replaces John Allan at the top of the business lobby group at a time when the Black Lives Matter protests have thrust race relations back into the spotlight. With the CBI pushing for greater diversity in boardrooms, the dynamic 58-year-old Lord Bilimoria has vowed make his two years in charge count, pledging to bring in greater boardroom diversity.

Speaking on his appointment as CBI President, Lord Karan Bilimomria said, “I am honoured to be President of the CBI during this hugely important time for UK business.  As the four nations of our country embark upon an ambitious economic recovery plan, I will do all I can to help ensure we build back better through inclusive and sustainable growth…. Ensuring the CBI is seen as a home for entrepreneurs and SMEs is first among my top four priorities during my time as President. Secondly, establishing the UK as a trading powerhouse, which is vital for our future prosperity. Thirdly, I will use my background in higher education to champion the UK’s unique soft power offer. And last but by no means least is the importance of acting to increase inclusive workplaces. Diversity drives better decisions. And it will be my aim to get better Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) representation in boardrooms across the country.”

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said, “We’re delighted Lord Bilimoria has been elected as CBI President. His experience, global outlook and tenacity will prove invaluable to the CBI and the UK business community.”

Born in Hyderabad to an army household, with his father being a senior Indian Army Chief, Lord Bilimoria moved to London in 1981 and qualified as an accountant with Ernst and Young. He studied Law at Cambridge University and led its debating team against that of Oxford University. In 1989, he established his brand, ‘Cobra Beer’, which soon became the mainstay across thousands of Indian restaurants in Britain and across the world. He remains its Chairman to this day. 

He was also founding Chairman on the UK-India Business Council; the former Chancellor of Thames Valley University (now the University of West London); as also the youngest University Chancellor in the UK when appointed. In 2014, he was appointed as the 7th Chancellor of the University of Birmingham. He is also Chair of the University of Cambridge Judge Business School Advisory Board. Lord Bilimoria has been an Independent Crossbench Peer in the UK House of Lords for 14 years now.

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