Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE, DL is Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, having been appointed in 2014.
He is the Founding Chairman of the UK India Business Council, a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London, a former Chancellor of Thames Valley University (now the University of West London); he was the youngest University Chancellor in the UK when appointed.
Karan is Senior Non-Executive Director of the Booker Group PLC, the FTSE 250 Company of Booker Prize fame; he is one of the first two visiting entrepreneurs at the University of Cambridge; he is a founding member of the Prime Minister of India’s Global Advisory Council. In 2006, Karan Bilimoria was appointed the Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, making him the first ever Zoroastrian Parsi to sit in the House of Lords. He is an honorary fellow of Sidney Sussex College Cambridge and a Member of the Advisory Board of the Judge Business School, Cambridge University.
He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young and graduated in law from the University of Cambridge. He is also an alumnus of the Cranfield School of Management, the London Business School and the Harvard Business School.
Karan attended seven different schools, before boarding at the Hebron School in Ooty. When he was still nineteen he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree from Osmania University in Hyderabad. He then moved to London on a scholarship and received a diploma in accounting from the London Metropolitan University, and thereafter qualified as a chartered accountant with what is today Ernst & Young. He then graduated in law from the University of Cambridge as a student of Sidney Sussex College. He retains close ties to Cambridge University today, both as an Honorary Fellow of Sidney Sussex College and as a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Circle of Advisors for India.
He is the founder of Cobra Beer, Chairman of the Cobra Beer Partnership Limited and of Molson Coors Cobra India, both joint ventures with the global brewing company, Molson Coors.
In 2004 Karan was appointed a 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 created Baron Bilimoria of Chelsea in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
In 2008, Karan was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by the President of India. This “Overseas Indian Award” is presented to recognise exceptional achievement by members of the over 25 million strong Indian expatriate community around the world. His other awards include Entrepreneur of the Year from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and an Outstanding Achievement from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He also holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Staffordshire, Cranfield, London Metropolitan, Brunel, Heriot-Watt and West London, where he also served as Chancellor between 2005 and 2010. In February 2013, he was a delegate on Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to India, having also accompanied the previous Prime Ministerial visit by David Cameron in 2011, as well as those of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
In Parliament, Karan is active in a wide range of matters including commerce, entrepreneurship, diplomacy, defence, the European Union, the Armed Forces, education, culture, minorities’ contributions, academia, and more.