Biography of Karan Bilimoria

Biography of Karan Bilimoria


Karan Bilimoria

Born: November 26, 1961, Hyderabad

Occupation/Position/Job: Entrepreneur & Founder of Cobra Beer

Karan Billimoria, an expatriate Indian businessman and founder of Cobra Beer, is one of the most famous British entrepreneurs. Karan was a pioneer in the world of business at 27 years old and has made his mark in the world of beer with perseverance and commitment. The beer he has created is extremely popular in Britain as well as in other nations around the globe. Thanks to his relentless dedication, Karan achieved a great position and was even a member of the British ‘House of Lords’. In addition to his business, Karan also helps many social institutions and organizations.

The first step is life.

Karan Bilimoria was born on 26 November 1961 in Hyderabad to Lieutenant. Gen. FN Bilimoria in a Parsi family. The father of Karan was GOC for the Central Command of the Indian Army as well as ADC for Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India. Karan’s great-grandfather Nasarwanji de Billimoria was a Brigadier of the British Indian Army and retired.

Karan was educated in the first grade at the main school in Hyderabad. His father, who was an officer in the army stationed in various areas of the country, therefore he was able to stay at the residence of his mother’s father in Hyderabad throughout his childhood. When Karan began to grow up and began being with their father, he attended seven different schools across different locations. Following this, he was taken to Hebron School in Ooty along with his younger brother. Following that, he finished his degree in Commerce at Osmania University, Hyderabad. He was chartered as an accountant and worked for Ernst & Young for four years. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in Law from Sussex College, Sydney, University of Cambridge.


Biography of Karan Bilimoria



Biography of Karan Bilimoria



Karan Bilimoria started trying his business ventures after completing his schooling since it was his first love. In the beginning, she started selling polo sticks manufactured in India for retail stores across the UK. His family isn’t thrilled about Karan’s choice because they believe he’s got enough knowledge to be able to find a job, however, Karan believes that he will be an entrepreneur of some sort. The year was 1989 and he was given the idea to begin making beer. Following this, he came up with the brand name ‘Panther’ (later renamed ‘Cobra’) together with his friend Arjun Reddy. Their uncle of Arjun introduced him to Mysore Brewery’s owners Then, the beer was available on the market. Karan went to various eateries across the nation to taste his beer.


Karan first came up with the idea to make beer during his time at Cambridge. Alongside Indian food, he believed there ought to be smooth beer. At the same time, England was going through an economic downturn. In such a scenario, the creation of a new product on the market is a huge problem. However, a good thing happened to his advantage Indian curry gained a lot of popularity in Britain during the period. In a bid to capitalize on this trend, Karan promoted ‘Cobra’ by stating that it’s recommended to drink it with Indian food. Slowly, Cobra became popular in Indian restaurants and the demand began to grow. In 2001 Karan began manufacturing Cobra Bears together with Charles Wells Brewery in England and the business’s revenue was approximately thirteen million dollars. By 2007 Cobra beer was being sold across 45 countries and by 2010, its sales had surpassed 100 million dollars.

In 2004 Karan was awarded the “Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to the field of trade and industry. Karan was also appointed an official part of the House of Lords of Britain and was the only Zoroastrian Parsi to sit in the House of Lords.

Karan Billimoria also has a connection to social services. He is the patron of the ‘There Mach Starfish Initiative’. He also serves as the chairman of the advisory board for the Pushpavati Loomba Memorial Trust. The organization is focused on the educational needs of the children of economically poor widows across India. Billimoria can also be the writer of the book “Battle for Business The Les Gassi guide for Entrepreneurship’.


Biography of Karan Bilimoria


Honors and Awards

2001-2005: Chairman of SME Board

2001-2007: Member of the National Employment Panel

2002: Asian of the Year

2003: Announced as ‘London Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young

2003-2009: Chairman of the Memorial Gates Committee

2003-2008: Vice President of Asian Business Association

2004: Awarded ‘Commander of the Order of the British Empire’

2004: Business of the Year by the London Chambers of Commerce and Industry

2005: Outstanding Achievement Award by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales

2005: ‘Indo-British Partnership’ Award by NR Eye Institute

2005: Member of UK-India Round Table

2005: Member of Birmingham Business School Advisory Council

2005: Brunel, Harriet-Watt and Honorary Doctorate by Staffordshire University

2005-2010: Chancellor of the University of Thames Valley (now University of West London)

2006: Announced ‘Man of the Year at the Drinks Business Awards

2006: Trustee of the British Cardiac Research Trust


Biography of Karan Bilimoria


2006-2011: Commissioner of the Royal Hospital Chelsea

2007-2009: Founding President of the UK-India Business Council

2008-2010: Vice President, London Chambers of Commerce and Industry

2009-2012: Chairman, India Partnership Advisory Board, University of Cambridge

2010: The Prime Secretary of India is a founding member of “Global Advisory Committee”

2011- Trustee of St. Paul’s Cathedral Foundation

2011 & 2013: Member of the Finance Committee of the House of Lords

2014: Appointed Chancellor of the University of Birmingham

Life events

1961: Born in Hyderabad

1981: Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Osmania University

1988 Bachelor of Arts Degree in Law at Sussex College, University of Cambridge, Sydney

1989: Created the brand of beer Panther

1990: Beer changed its name to ‘Cobra” and then imported into Britain


Biography of Karan Bilimoria


1996 Cobra Baber’s Beer is launched in the UK

1999: Exhibited at the General Bilimoria Wine Market

2002: Offices are opened to the public in India as well as New York

2003: Office was opened in South Africa and production started in Poland

2004: Cobra beer is exported to the US in the form of ‘Crite’.


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