NRI industrialist and founder of Cobra Beer, Lord Karan Bilimoria has won the 2006 India International Foundation annual award for excellence in Industry.
Executive Director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan here, M N Nandakumara has bagged the award for promoting Indian Art and Culture in the UK.
Lord Bilimoria, who founded the Cobra Beer in 1989 with a loan of 20,000 pounds when he was 28 years old, has turned it into a global beer brand with an annual turnover of 145 million pounds.
Recipient of many awards and CBE from the Queen in 2004, Lord Bilimoria is also Chancellor of Thames Valley University, London.
Nandakumara, who did his Ph.D from University of London and a post-graduation in Sanskrit, is the main force behind Bhavan's activities of promoting Indian culture and running the classes of music and dance up to degree level.
The awards were presented by Baroness Usha Prashar, Chairperson of the Judicial Appointments Commission of the UK at a function in London.
The function was attended, among others, by Lord Navnit Dholakia, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, Keith Vaz, NRI MP and former Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Madhav Chandra, Minister (Politics) in the High Commission of India in the UK, Hardyal S Luther, Foundation President, Rami Ranger, MBE NRI industrialist, Judge Mota Singh QC and Kartar Lalvani, NRI industrialist.
Manmohan Singh Kumar, Assistant Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF, UNO, New York and a renowned economist won the Pride of India award. Lord Dilijit Rana, India's Honorary Consul General in Ireland and a leading NRI entrepreneur, bagged the award for Social Services.
Other recipients of the awards included Paramjit Dhanda, Baroness Shreela Flather, Prof Bharat Jassani, Fauja Singh, Rasik H Patel, Spinder Dhaliwal, Judge Usha Karu, Sukhbir Singh Kapoor, Rajat Mathur, Harshad A Navsaria, Kiran Matharu and Surinder Singh Purewal.
In his address, Foundation President Hardyal S Luther said People of Indian origin worldwide have made significant progress in diverse fields and it was one of the aims of the foundation to recognise such outstanding performance and award them so that they could inspire others.
He said the Foundation had recently organised eye cataract operations for 110 people in Patna. It would shortly organise artificial limb camps for 200 people in Maharashtra and Punjab.
"We are working to award 50 scholarships to the poor children in the developing states of India," he said.
Baroness Usha Prashar said she was proud of achievements of NRIs in diverse fields during the last four decades."In fact it is almost like dream come true. NRIs have emerged as model citizens and they also acknowledged the sacrifices made by their parents in bringing them up and providing them good education and moral values," she said.