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February - March 2008
Doctor of Engineering Honoris Causa to Prof. Nathu Puri by London South Bank UniversityProf. Nathu Puri, ex-Chairman and Founder of the Purico Group of Companies and an alumni of the London South Bank University (LSBU), has been honoured with a Degree of Doctor of Engineering Honoris Causa by the University in the presence of Lord & Lady Navnit Dholakia, Rt. Hon. Kenneth Clarke QC MP and Home Office Minister, Vernon Coaker MP.
Prof. Deian Hopkin Vice Chancellor of LSBU said “A successful industrialist and entrepreneur, renowned philanthropist and devoted supporter of education – not to mention Indian cricket - Nathu Puri is one of the most powerful Asian businessmen in Britain. He is also an Alumnus of the National College of Heating, Ventilating, Refrigeration and Fan Engineering, which makes him an Alumnus of London South Bank University and thus a great role model for our students.
“Nat Puri has a certain style of doing things his way. That it might be said is the appropriate way to discuss Nat Puri, the Businessman, as well as Nat Puri, the Philanthropist. He does it all in his own manner, often defying conventional logic but proving the success of real entrepreneurship.”
“Last year Nat Puri was given the inaugural Hindu Forum of Britain Award for Excellence in Community Service. Today, we also acknowledge his service. He is a great role model for our own students, proof that through education and endeavour one can achieve anything but also through philanthropy, return the rewards of that achievement to society.”
Prof. Nat Puri received his Diploma from the National College for Heating, Ventilation, Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Fan Engineering, now part of the Department of Engineering of the London South Bank University in 1967.
Nat Puri said “It is a great honour for me. Coming here in 1966 with very few resources, I could have never dreamt of this day. I am delighted and grateful for the honour bestowed upon me. My education at the National College played a major role in my future success, I can never forget that. It is a great Institution. I am also grateful to some of my dear friends and family, who have helped to make it an extra special day for me, by their presence.”
Nat Puri was born in Mullan Pur, a village in Punjab, just outside Chandigarh, India. He came to UK in 1966 to study Air Conditioning. After returning to India in early 1969, he came back after 6 months on receiving an attractive offer from his ex employer, F G Skerritt Ltd., of Nottingham. He left them in 1975 to set up on his own and went back in January, 1983 to acquire Skerritts. It was the start of his acquisition spree, now part of Purico Group of Companies. His businesses are based in UK, USA, Germany, China, Mexico, Hungary and Poland. Before the recent sale of some of his US interests these businesses employed over 7500 people.
Nat Puri is 68 years old, is married and has one son. He lives in Nottingham, England. These days he spends most of his time on voluntary and charitable projects. He set up The Puri Foundation, a charitable trust in 1988 and The THREE R’s EDUCATION TRUST in 2006. He is keen to support education at all levels.
The Indian Institute of Advance Research (IIAR), Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat, India, (a project of the Puri Foundation) was opened by the President of India Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam on 28th April, 2006.
Prof. Puri is working with the University to establish scholarships for Commonwealth Students who may want to study Engineering at the London South Bank University. These scholarships will be available for students starting in October 2008.