Lord Karan Bilimoria


Business and retail speaker and entrepreneur Lord Karan Bilimoria is known as the chairman and co-founder of the Indian beer chain, Cobra Beer. An expert business speaker on topics of business leadership, marketing and branding Lord Bilimoria is a life peer, boasting the title of Baron.

A qualified Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young and Cambridge University Law graduate Lord Karan Bilimoria has always been a high achiever, and made his first foray into the world of business speakers and entrepreneurs following a trip to India with the Cambridge University Polo Team where he noticed that the quality of the British teams polo sticks paled when compared to their Indian counterparts. Taking advantage of a gap in market left following the outlawing of imports from Argentina after the Falklands War Bilimoria began importing Indian polo sticks and selling them to high end British retailers such as Harrods and Lilywhites.

The success of this business venture helped provide Lord Karan Bilimoria with the capital to embark on his next entrepreneurial escapade; along with his friend and fellow business speaker Arjun Reddy Karan founded the now infamous Cobra Beer brand.

Beginning in a small flat in Fulham, London Karan and his associates decided to create a beer that lacked the gassiness of traditional larger and the bitter taste of ale, developing a premium lager brewed to perfectly accompany delicate food at meal times. As any one who has visited an Indian restaurant can attest, Cobra Beer has gone on to become the beverage of choice in the UK; now working as a retail speaker Karan Bilimoria boasts over twenty five years of success with Cobra Beer, the product has been nominated for a number of awards whilst Bilimoria’s own business achievements have been recognised by numerous business groups as one of the fastest growing beer brands in the UK.

Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE began building his business network rapidly from this point, working as an after dinner speaker at corporate events and highlighting the specific tricks and trails of marketing used to make Cobra so successful. However, not content with gaining success in the beer market, Lord Bilimoria has since extended his interest in the alcohol industry when, in 1999 he launched the General Bilimoria Wine brand which produces fine wines in France and is the house wine of some of the most well regarded Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK. A range of South African wines were added to the General Bilimoria portfolio in 2002, and a Spanish range was added in 2004.

As well as working as a business and retail speaker Lord Karan Bilimoria is a guest lecturer at Cranfield University School of Management, the Cambridge University Business School (The Judge Institute of Management) and the London Business School; he was one of the first two people to hold the prestigious title of Visiting Entrepreneur at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, Cambridge University and works as an after dinner speaker at a variety of other educational events and in 2004 Karan was awarded the RSA Albert Medal, for his work in business education and as a specialist retail speaker, later that same year he received a CBE in her Majesty’s Birthday Honours.

To book Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE as the business management speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing agent@championsukplc.com or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.

When at corporate events, Lord Karan is known to cover the following topics:

  • Business Management
  • Cobra Beer
  • Retail & Marketing
  • Business Leadership
  • Marketing & Branding
  • Chartered Accouting