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October - November 2006


Cobra Beer Founder Karan Bilimoria

LONDON, UK - Karan Bilimoria, CBE DL, Founder and Chief Executive of Cobra Beer, officially took his seat this week on the crossbenches of the House of Lords. As The Lord Bilimoria, of Chelsea, Karan becomes one of Britain’s youngest peers and the first ever Zoroastrian Parsi to sit in the House of Lords.

Lord Bilimoria was appointed by the Appointments Commission, a non-statutory advisory body set up by Prime Minister, Tony Blair to make recommendations for non-party-political peerages. The Commission’s remit is to find people of distinction who will bring authority and expertise to the House of Lords. The Commission recommends individuals on merit and their ability to contribute effectively to the work of the House.  Seven new non-party-political peers recommended by the House of Lords Appointments Commission have been appointed this year and since the formation of the Commission in 2000, just 36 new peers have been appointed.

Lord Bilimoria holds a number of public appointments, including Membership of the Government’s National Employment Panel and the UK Chairmanship of the Indo British Partnership. He is a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London and the Chancellor of Thames Valley University, one of Britain’s largest universities. Karan is also a Visiting Entrepreneur at Cambridge University, where he previously graduated in law.

As one of the 10 youngest members of the 753-member House of Lords, Lord Bilimoria intends to focus on entrepreneurship, enterprise, business, trade and investment, higher education and India.

Lord Bilimoria said:  “I am delighted, honoured and deeply humbled to have been introduced to the House of Lords. I look forward very much to contributing and participating in the work of the House, to working with my new colleagues and to serving my country as best as I can. I am enormously grateful to my family, friends, my community and my team at Cobra for all the support and encouragement I have received over the years.”

The Zoroastrian Parsi community numbers only around 100,000 worldwide, with approximately 6,000 Parsis in the UK, but Lord Bilimoria follows in a time-honoured path to Parliament. The first three Asian MPs in the UK - Dadabhai Naoroji, Sir Mancherjee Bhownagree and Shapurji Saklatvala – were all Zoroastrians, although Lord Bilimoria is the first Parsi in history to enter the House of Lords.

About Cobra Beer

Cobra Beer is one of the fastest growing beer brands in the UK, with a current turnover of 80 million at retail value. It has been exported to over 40 countries worldwide, and is available nationwide in more than 6,000 Indian restaurants, 5,000 outlets of major supermarkets and off-licenses and now nearly to 6,000 mainstream bars, pubs and clubs. Cobra Beer was awarded one Grand Gold medal and 11 Gold medals at the 2006 Monde Selection, Brussels - World Selection of Quality, two Grand Gold medals and nine Gold medals in 2005, two Grand Gold Medals and four gold medals in 2004, and Gold for three successive years at the 2003, 2002 and 2001 Monde Selection awards. Monde Selection also presented Cobra with three International High Quality Trophies in 2003 and a further two in 2006 for its achievements. Cobra was listed on the 1999 Virgin Fast Track 100 list of the fastest growing, privately owned companies in the UK. Headquartered in London, UK, Cobra Beer has offices throughout the world, including India, South Africa, and the USA, and Cobra is brewed in the UK, Belgium, The Netherlands, Poland and India.

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