Money: Cobra founder Bilimoria lined up as CBI president - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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MoneyCobra founder Bilimoria lined up as CBI president

04:55  27 may  2019
04:55  27 may  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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Lord Bilimoria , the cross-bench peer who founded Cobra beer and backs a second EU referendum, is being lined up as the next president of the CBI . Sky News has learnt that Lord Bilimoria is expected to be appointed this week as the latest vice- president of Britain's biggest employers' group.

Bilimoria , the founder of Cobra Beer, is also Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, a Member of the Advisory Boards of the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge as well as the Cranfield School of Management, and was previously Chancellor of Thames Valley University.

Cobra founder Bilimoria lined up as CBI president © Reuters British entrepreneur Karan Bilimoria founded Cobra beer

Lord Bilimoria, the cross-bench peer who founded Cobra beer and backs a second EU referendum, is being lined up as the next president of the CBI.

Sky News has learnt that Lord Bilimoria is expected to be appointed this week as the latest vice-president of Britain's biggest employers' group.

That would place him in line to take over from John Allan, the Tesco chairman, when his two-year term as president ends in the summer of next year.

If confirmed, Lord Bilimoria's appointment will mark him out as a comparatively rare figurehead for the country's most prominent business lobbying group.

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Founder and Chairman of Cobra Beer. Karan Faridoon Bilimoria , Baron Bilimoria of Chelsea,[1][2] CBE, DL, FCA (born 26 November 1961) is a British In 1989, along with his friend Arjun Reddy, Karan founded Cobra Beer in a little flat in Fulham. The idea for the beer had come up while he was a

More from Business . Cobra founder Bilimoria lined up as CBI president . Last year's collapse of Carillion and the travails of Interserve, which owns a poorly performing construction business , underlined the crisis engulfing large swathes of the sector.

He is an entrepreneur who remains at the helm of the business he created, while most CBI presidents have tended to be picked from the ranks of grandees who chair FTSE-100 companies.

Lord Bilimoria would also become the first British Asian to head the CBI at a time when it, and other business groups, are under pressure from Westminster to improve ethnic and gender diversity in the top echelons of the private sector.

Cobra founder Bilimoria lined up as CBI president © NetStorage Lord Bilimoria is a contributor to Sky News' discussion programme The Pledge

He launched Cobra from a flat in south-west London in 1989, growing it to the point where it became an omnipresent fixture in the UK's licensed Indian restaurants.

A contributor to Sky News' discussion programme The Pledge, Lord Bilimoria is also chancellor of The University of Birmingham and holds several other advisory roles.

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That’s 26 years since Karan Bilimoria , then a 26-year-old graduate, became fed up with drinking gassy lagers when out for a curry, and decided to create “It was very simple; I hated fizzy lagers and I loved English ale, real ale, and so I came up with the idea of a beer that would have the refreshment of a

Cobra founder Bilimoria lined up as CBI president . Theresa May was broken by Brexit, it is likely to break her successor too. May's exit stirs memories of Thatcher - but one left a legacy to build on.

His vocal backing for a second referendum is, however, likely to be a flashpoint among those CBI members keen for the UK to leave the EU at the earliest opportunity.

Lord Bilimoria is a member of Business For A People's Vote and has been a signatory to a number of letters published by the group calling on the government to change course.

Theresa May's resignation on Friday may ultimately complicate the CBI's position on Brexit because her successor as Conservative leader and prime minister is expected to be drawn from the party's Brexiteer ranks.

Cobra founder Bilimoria lined up as CBI president © PA Lord Bilimoria pictured in the annual Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race in 2014

The CBI has 190,000 members and has become increasingly strident in calling for a resolution of the Brexit impasse amid parliament's inability to reach a consensus.

Last week, prior to Mrs May's emotional resignation statement, Mr Allan called on politicians to "do whatever it takes and do it fast" to resolve the gridlock in Westminster.

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"It's not for business leaders to tell politicians when to trigger democratic events," he told the CBI annual dinner.

"But be in no doubt political failure today means economic failure tomorrow.

"We need to find a way through."

CBI presidents serve a two-year term in the role, although they also tend to spend a year either side of their tenure as vice-president.

Cobra founder Bilimoria lined up as CBI president © Reuters Reuters

The holder of the role oversees the CBI's president's committee, a group of dozens of leading businesspeople who play an important role shaping its policy priorities.

The exception to the two-year term was during the presidency of Paul Drechsler, who now chairs London First.

He held the CBI post for three years as the lobbying group sought to provide continuity during the protracted Brexit negotiations.

If he is confirmed in the role, Lord Bilimoria will also face shaping the CBI's ongoing response to a Labour front-bench which is determined to nationalise key industries, such as water, energy infrastructure and rail.

The CBI openly opposes the policy, and recently held talks with John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, about the party's nationalisation drive.

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It comes as the event brought in a cashless system, where revellers had to pick up electronic wristbands to use for purchasing food and drink on site. Next article Cobra beer founder Bilimoria lined up as CBI president .

Lord Bilimoria could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

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