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October - November 2005


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General Bilimoria’s Tempranillo Scoops Silver Medal at Monde Selection, Brussels
London, UK – General Bilimoria’s Tempranillo has been honoured with a Silver Medal at the prestigious Monde Selection, Brussels – World Selection of Quality, the oldest and most representative organisation in the field of Quality Selections worldwide. Having been introduced only six months ago to General Bilimoria’s portfolio of premium house wines specially chosen to complement spicy food, the wine has already received great acclaim from the trade and consumers.

“I am delighted by our tremendous showing at this year’s Monde Selection,” said Karan Bilimoria CBE DL, Founder and Chief Executive of Cobra Beer. “Spain is becoming widely recognised for its exciting developments and superb wines, and General Bilimoria’s elegant Tempranillo is a testament to the fine wines being produced in this region.”

Renowned author and drinks journalist Oz Clarke presented the medal to General Bilimoria wines at a glittering party on July 15. He commented that, “Being awarded a silver medal by Monde Selection is impressive for a wine in its first year of release, and I am delighted to present this award to General Bilimoria Wines.”

Cultivated along Valencia’s Mediterranean coastline, the Tempranillo is known for being the noblest of all the Spanish grape varieties. Its low oxidative levels make it high quality wine that needs prolonged aging – General Bilimoria’s Tempranillo is aged for six months in American oak barrels, creating a rich, ruby-red colour, is finely complex bouquet, with blackcurrant and vanilla aromas. Its smoothness and excellent balance of flavours enhance the complex, varied tastes found in spicy food.

Launched in 1999, the General Bilimoria brand now features four wines from South Africa, three from France and two from Spain. The South African range captures the best the region has to offer from a crisp Colombard-Chardonnay to a fruity Pinotage and Chenin Blanc, the most planted grape in the area. The French vintage encompasses Terret Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah Grenache, while the recently added Spanish range cultivated along Valencia’s Mediterranean coastline includes Tempranillo and a Dry Muscat.

General Bilimoria is a division of Cobra Beer. Headquartered in the UK it has offices throughout the world, including India, South Africa, and the USA.


THE LAUNCH OF “SHASHI KAPOOR’S PRITHVIWALLAHS” BY DEEPA GAHLOT
(Report by our Special Correspondent Manji Patel-Vekaria)

The Nehru Centre in London was the setting for the launch of the book by Deepa Gahlot entitled “Shashi Kapoor’s Prithviwallahs.”

On 15 January 1944, Prithviraj Kapoor, already a fully established and famous theatre and film star, realised a long-cherished dream; and Prithvi Theatre was born. Over the next 16 years, his repertory toured the country, giving one remarkable performance after another. Stars were born and legends created. It remained for Shashi Kapoor to fulfil his father’s last dream. On 5 November 1978, the curtain rose on G P Deshpande’s “Uddhwasta Dharmashala” directed by Om Puri, and Prithvi Theatre, was reborn.

Shashi Kapoor, the Bollywood legend, is the most recognised ‘cross over’ actor in India who has also acted in a number of British and American films, most notably “Siddhartha.”

A freelance journalist, columnist, and film & theatre critic in Mumbai, Deepa Gahlot also edits three cinema journals. She won the National Award for film criticism in 1998. When I asked Shashi Kapoor during the interview, he told me,”This book is dedicated to my late wife Jennifer Kendal who passed away in London of cancer on 7 September 1984. Life will never be the same again.” His son, Karan Kapoor, was also present on this occasion and Lord Meghnad Desai chaired the evening event.


ICICI LAUNCHES IN HEART OF INDIAN COMMUNITY - SOUTHALL

On 5th September 2005, ICICI unveiled their fourth branch for the UK in Southall. Attending the launch were leaders of the Indian community in Southall as well as local business leaders and prominent personalities.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sonjoy Chatterjee, MD &CEO of ICICI Bank UK Ltd commented, “Southall is of immense importance to us. A huge percentage of the Indian community either live here and in surrounding areas or visit Southall from all over the country. For this reason, Southall is hugely symbolic and significant for us. We look forward to the support of the local community and businesses for our products and services.”

Remarking on the ICICI approach, Mr Chatterjee remarked, “We are a full service bank in the UK, meaning that we can provide services ranging from current and savings accounts just as the other mainstream banks do but also add India based services such as remittances and India mortgages. Through our service philosophy, our customers are encouraged to ‘expect more’ from us.”

He added, “We are keen to demonstrate our serious intent in the UK market by offering products that are more competitive than those offered by other high street banks not simply for the reason of capturing market share but because we believe that customers need to derive greater value than what they presently get. For this reason we have brought to the UK market mainstream products, such as HI-SAVE, which is an online no-frills savings product offering UK’s best savings rate at 5.40% AER, together with a rate guarantee at a quarter percent over the Bank of England’s base rate.

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