Delhi/ Mumbai/ London, Nov 16, 2015: Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron has today announced the appointment of businessman Sudhir Choudhrie as his Adviser on India.
The role will involve helping the party develop its relationship with the British-Indian community and provide advice on Britain’s foreign and business relationships with India. The role is also tasked to help the new leader to gain a better understanding of the UK Indian community, its needs and concerns as part of Tim Farron’s wider commitment to increasing the diversity of the party.
During the recent Lib Dem leadership election Tim spoke passionately about the need for the party to reach out to Black, Asian, and Minority ethnic (BAME) communities and for the party to become far more reflective of the communities it is seeking to serve.
Tim Farron has also committed to visit India in 2016.
The appointment of entrepreneur Mr Choudhrie comes ahead of President Modi’s visit to the UK between the 12 and 14 November and follows Mr Farron’s appointment of two Middle East Advisers last month.
It is further evidence of the importance the new Liberal Democrat leader places on building relationships with Britain’s ethnic minority communities and strengthening the party’s voice in foreign affairs.
Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said:
“India is a key strategic partner for the United Kingdom and the British-Indian community contributes so much to our country. I am determined that the Liberal Democrats do all we can to maximise the economic, cultural and social benefit of these relationships”
“Sudhir has been a committed supporter of the Liberal Democrats for many years and I look forward to being able to draw on his vast business experience, unparalleled network in both the UK and India, and wise political counsel.”
Sudhir Choudhrie said:
“I have long believed that the Liberal Democrats best embody the internationalist and pro-enterprise values that characterise the British-Indian community. India, with its ever vibrant and expanding consumer market of over 1.2 billion people, and home to more than a quarter of the world’s millennials, is slated to emerge as the world’s third largest economy by 2030, which makes the country extremely attractive. It is thus, critical that both India and UK collaborate on a common agenda of growth and I am honoured by Tim Farron’s decision to ask me to fulfil this role, especially coinciding with Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK.”
- Sudhir Choudhrie, who is married with two children, is a pioneering and successful international businessman and entrepreneur, with over forty years’ commercial experience in fields as diverse as hospitality, health, travel, real estate, niche technology and energy.
- Mr Choudhrie has established a strong reputation for facilitating the growth of the companies he invests in, helping to broker strategic partnerships and cross border investment.
- His family owned international private equity firm headquartered in London, with offices in India. Established as a holding company for private investors who have been involved in venture capital funding for more than 30 years wherein he has strived to bring together entrepreneurs, strategy consultants, project managers and financial analysts, solely with an aim to create stakeholder value by organic growth and strategic partnerships. For example, in 2003 Mr Choudhrie invested in Air Deccan, India’s first budget airline, which consisted of just one plane; five years later, the airline was carrying seven million passengers a year on 200 flights day. He also served as a non-Executive Director of Ebookers PLC, the pioneering internet travel search agency, and founded Adidas Indian Trading, introducing the brand to India.
- Mr. Choudhrie is the Chairman of IHHR Hospitality Pvt Ltd (IHHR), which is the company behind the award-winning Ananda and Ista brands. Founded in 1998, IHHR owns and manages world renowned destination spas like Ananda in the Himalayas. The company’s Ista brand of luxury business and leisure hotels throughout India were recently rebranded and operate under the Hyatt brand of Hotels.
- He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Home Secretary at the Asian Business Awards in 2013.
- Sudhir Choudhrie has made a significant contribution to British-Asian culture. The Choudhrie family founded the Stellar Art Foundation to promote the work of Asian artists in the UK, who they feel are too often not given the recognition they deserve.
- Sudhir Choudhrie has been an active supporter of the Liberal Democrats for thirteen years. Mr Choudhrie has provided valued strategic advice to four Liberal Democrat leaders, and the party has benefited from his input on economic and business policy for many years. The Choudhrie family have also supported the Liberal Democrats financially, facilitating the party’s 2011 office move as well as well as our campaigns over many years.