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Cobra beer to add froth at British queen's diamond jubilee event:

London, April 18, 2012: Cobra Beer, run by Indian origin entrepreneur Lord Karan Bilimoria, has been chosen as the sole supplier of beer for British Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee function to be held at Buckingham Palace garden on June 4.

Cobra draught beer will be served to guests at the function, accompanying hampers provided by Heston Blumenthal and Waitrose, bottles of water from Hildon, and Moet and Chandon champagne, the company said in a statement.

Performers and their guests at the function, to be attended by nearly 12,000 people, will also be able to enjoy the unique taste of Cobra at the exclusive reception at Buckingham Palace following the concert.

"It is a matter of great pride for all of us at Cobra to be the supplier of beer for the Queen's jubilee picnic and concert. Cobra has existed for just over one-third of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, and in that time it has become a household name," said Lord Karan Bilimoria, founder and chairman of Cobra Beer.

"Given Cobra's Indian heritage, we feel our presence at these celebrations also serves to represent the Commonwealth, an institution which we know Her Majesty values greatly," he said.

Bilimoria, who is the president of UK-India Business Council, said selection of Cobra as the sole supplier of beer for the queen's function was a matter of great pride for the 2.5 million-strong Asian community living in Britain.

He said Cobra beer, positioned as "splendidly Indian, superbly smooth", will be the perfect accompaniment to the special picnic being provided by Heston Blumenthal and Waitrose, and to the regal atmosphere of the event. ....IANS//

UK Asian of the Year For Cobra (beer) Boss

 In UK, he hated the fizzy and gassy lager.It did not go well with the curry and the Indian food. In the year 1989, he  came up with an idea to import Indian lager to Britain. In 12 years, Cobra beer became the fastest growing bear brand in the UK market, and turnover in retail value terms is now approaching £50 million

A chance introduction with a brewer from Bangalore (who supplied to the Indian army) laid foundation for a fresh business opportunity. Karan wanted to sell Indian beer in England. Initially, he imported a deliberately less gassy, smoother lager from Bangalore. He christened the lager as ‘Cobra beer’ and sold it through Indian restaurants and grocers. That was in the year 1989.

England was in the midst of a harsh recession. Karan had a debt of £ 20,000 to cover. Financially, his enterprise had to depend on a bank overdraft and small business loans. Marketing and brand building costs were a big drag on the budding enterprise. However, what helped the enterprise click was the reason that the gassy and harsh Euro fizz beers did not go well with the spicy Indian curry. They were difficult to drink and reduced the excitement of visiting an Indian restaurant. Karan’s premium lager beer with a 5 % ABV and a full bodied 1046 degree gravity, turned out to be the ideal choice. First, the British Asians and later, the Britons started opting for the less gassy, smoother lager – Cobra beer. This gradual shift in beer drinking preference helped Cobra beer to grow rapidly. In the June 1997, Karan started brewing his beer in Bedford, UK.

During the years 1995 – 1998, sales of Cobra beer soared by 68.77%. In 1999-2000, his enterprise clocked a 52% growth in sales. About 90% of the Indian restaurants stock Cobra beer and offer it to their clients. In 12 years, Cobra beer became the fastest growing bear brand in the UK market. Cobra beer is available in 330 ml and 660 ml bottles. Karan also introduced the draught beer. Not content with the Indian restaurant market, Karan also started looking at other outlets – pubs, bars, nightclubs, supermarkets and off licence chains. Karan also introduced wines to his product line. Christened General Bilimoria wines, these complemented the Indian food, much like Cobra beer. Besides British market, Karan is exporting Cobra beer to a host of places.

Karan Bilimoria  born in Hyderabad, is a son of an Army General – Lt. General F.N. Bilimoria, PVSM, and ADC – a commander in Chief of the Central Indian Army. Armed with a business degree, Karan went to England when he was 19. Initially, his education was not well regarded when he intended to join The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). He had to complete an accounting foundation course at the London Guildhall University to become eligible for registration as a student. He joined Ernst and Young as a trainee. In 1986, he qualified as a chartered accountant with the ICAEW. Later, he went to the Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University to study law. While he was studying law, he played polo. He captained Cambridge University’s Blues polo team


Mr. Karan Bilimoria  founder and CEO of Cobra beer became the fastest growing bear brand in the UK market, and turnover in retail value terms is now approaching £50 million