My Lords, I declare my various interests in this area. I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord MacGregor, on initiating the debate. I also congratulate my friend the noble Lord, Lord Leigh of Hurley, on his excellent maiden speech. He is a fellow chartered accountant and we have known each other for many years. As he humbly said in his speech, he is also a fellow entrepreneur and a successful one at that. I read a book by a Wharton professor about givers and takers: in life you have givers, takers and matchers. It is not necessarily the case that the givers will get further in life, but when they do get there they always get there in a much better way and have a more sustainable, happier future. The noble Lord, Lord Leigh, is a giver. He has given to this House today his expertise as an entrepreneur, as an expert in corporate finance and as a chartered accountant. We welcome him here.
Lord Bilimoria and Samson Sohail – Cobra Beer’s Sales Director, are seeking a highly motivated Personal Assistant. Working alongside Lord Bilimoria’s Parliamentary Researcher and the Cobra Sales team, the selected candidate will assist Lord Bilimoria and Samson Sohail with parliamentary, business, personal and charitable affairs. Read More →
Lord Bilimoria was the interviewee on “Walk the Talk” on NDTV, one of the leading commercial broadcasters in India. During the discussion, he spoke extensively about his career as a businessman, entrepreneur and politician, as well as about his life at home and abroad.
Lord Bilimoria was a keynote speaker at the School of Oriental and African Studies on the 12th October, 2013, where he presented a speech at the School of Oriental and African Studies entitled The Everlasting Flame of Zoroastrian Identity: An Unbroken Thread of Achievement from Cyrus the Great to Today as part of the “Looking Back: Zoroastrian Identity Formation Through Recourse to the Past” conference, held to mark the launch of a ground-breaking exhibition in the Brunei Gallery at SOAS.
It is a privilege to speak here today at SOAS at the conference, “Looking Back: Zoroastrian Identity Formation Through Recourse to the Past” and also on the occasion of the launch of the outstanding “The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination” exhibition and catalogue, led by Dr Sarah Stewart of SOAS. I congratulate Dr Stewart and her editorial team, Pheroza Godrej, Ursula Sims-Williams, Firoza Mistree and Professor Almut Hintze, who I have always respected as one of the world’s leading living Zoroastrian scholars.
Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, CBL, DL and Gareth Thomas MP are pleased to announce the establishment of the Zoroastrian All Party Parliamentary Group.
The event, hosted in the Members’ Dining Room of the House of Commons on Monday 14th October with the assistance of the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (ZTFE), was attended by over a hundred MPs, Peers and members of the international Zoroastrian community, including the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and Dr Virander Paul, the Acting High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom.
My Lords, I join in wishing the noble Lord, Lord Barnett, a very happy 90th birthday. He has asked an excellent question in that it relates to forward guidance. For a long time I have been saying that when setting interest rates the Governor of the Bank of England and the Monetary Policy Committee should look not just at inflation targeting but at the wider economy. This is excellent news. However, is it wise that the governor should tie himself down to a specific level of 7% unemployment, after which interest rates are to be raised, unless inflation is going out of control? When does the Minister think that the 7% will be achieved? Secondly, would it not have been wiser to have had a wider remit taking into account other aspects of the economy, not just inflation targeting?
On Saturday 28th September, Lord Bilimoria unveiled the Parsi Faith Hill and Farohar at the Balaji Temple in Tividale, near Birmingham.
The Farohar is an ancient symbol of Zoroastrianism that was also widely used to represent the old Persian Empire, where Zoroastrianism served as the state religion. Today, the image is associated with that of a fravashi - somewhat approximating to a guardian angel in western etymology, although the origin of the symbol remains one of some scholarly debate.
Made out of Tata Steel – the founders of which are a prominent Parsi family – the Farohar will become a valuable resource for many generations to come.
For photographs of the day, as well as more details about the Balaji Temple – please visit the following link.
Lord Bilimoria was a keynote speaker at the launch of the Sirius Programme in Manchester on 4th September 2013.
Organised by UK Trade and Investment, the three-day Entrepreneur Festival brought together talented graduates from around the world to experience the benefits of starting their business in the United Kingdom.
Lord Bilimoria was interviewed for the Financial Times’ “My First Million” column, which was published on Saturday 14th September, 2013.
The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has launched the Sirius Programme at a festival in Manchester.
The program, which aims to attract entrepreneurs and young businesspeople from around the world, is seen as a major initiative by the British Government to increase the scope and diversity of the British economy. Students and recent graduates with an early stage business plan will receive £12,000 investment, expert advice and help with the logistics of moving to the UK.
Lord Bilimoria, a key figure in the government drive, was interviewed on BBC Breakfast television about the scheme. He said, “I found this country’s environment fantastic, I saw the glass ceiling that existed absolutely shattered before my eyes. People don’t realise what a great country this is to do business.”