Lord Bilimoria has been elected as the new CBI President at its Annual General Meeting on 16 June 2020.

Indian-born Lord Bilimoria was elected by an overwhelming majority of Confederation of British Industry (CBI) members who participated in the ballot, becoming the first President in the organisation’s history from a (BAME) Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background.

Lord Bilimoria has a distinguished career and is one of the country’s leading entrepreneurs.

Having matriculated at Sidney in 1986 as a Law undergraduate, Lord Bilimoria went on to found Cobra Beer just three years later. He remains its Chairman to this day.

Lord Bilimoria was also founding Chairman on the UK-India Business Council, a former Chancellor of Thames Valley University (now the University of West London), and, in 2014, he was appointed as the seventh Chancellor of the University of Birmingham. He remains Chair of the University of Cambridge Judge Business School Advisory Board, and has been an Independent Crossbench Peer for 14 years.  In recognition of his distinguished career, he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the College in 2007.

On hearing the news of this appointment, Lord Bilimoria commented, “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.

“One of my key pillars during my Presidency will be to promote universities and business working even more closely together and my alma mater Sidney Sussex College and the University of Cambridge will feature prominently!”

On Lord Bilimoria’s election as President, 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.”

The Sidney community extends its warm congratulations to Lord Bilimoria on this exciting news.

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