Mr Virendra Sharma was first elected as MP in the Ealing Southall by-election on 19 July 2007. The by-election was called following the death of the sitting Labour MP, Piara Khabra. Virendra Sharma's arrival in Parliament was the end of one long chapter of public service and the beginning of another.
Since 2007 he has been elected twice more. Mr Sharma was born in India and speaks fluent Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu. He is married with a grown-up son and daughter and 3 grandchildren. He served as a councillor in Ealing for 25 years including a term as Mayor.
The grandfather-of-three came to Hanwell from India in 1968 and started out as a bus conductor on the 207 route before studying at the London School of Economics on a Trade Union Scholarship and eventually working as a day services manager for people with learning disabilities in Hillingdon.
Mr Sharma currently chairs the Indo-British All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), leads the APPG for Gurkha Welfare, and is Co-Chair of the APPG on Nepal, the Tuberculosis Group, the Hepatitis Group and is Vice-Chair of the APPG for British Hindus. He has previously chaired the APPG for Tamils and is still actively involved as the Vice Chair.
Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE, DL is the founder of Cobra Beer, Chairman of the Cobra Beer Partnership Limited, Founding Chairman of the UK India Business Council, a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London, a former Chancellor of Thames Valley University (now the University of West London); he was the youngest University Chancellor in the UK when appointed and is presently Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, making him the first Indian-born Chancellor of a Russell Group University in Great Britain. He is President of the UK Council for International Students Affairs (UKCISA) and since 2017 Lord Bilimoria has been a Bynum Tudor Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford. He was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman in 2008 by the President of India and is a founding member of the Prime Minister of India's Global Advisory Council.
Dr Shashi Tharoor is a second-term Lok Sabha MP and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs. He has previously served as Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs in the Government of India and as Under-Secretary General during Kofi Annan's leadership of the organisation. Dr Tharoor, who holds a doctorate from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, is also an award-winning author of works of both fiction as well as non-fiction. In 1998 the World Economic Forum in Davos named him a Global Leader of Tomorrow. He is also a recipient of several awards that include the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, India's highest honour for overseas nationals; the Encomienda de la Real Order Espanola de Carlos III awarded by the King of Spain; "New Age Politician of the Year" from NDTV, the Hakim Khan Sur Award for National Integration, and the Priyadarshini Award for Excellence in Diplomacy.
He is the author of hundreds of articles, op-eds, and book reviews in a wide range of publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, TIME, Newsweek, and The Times of India. His work as Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) and as former minister under erstwhile UPA government has received praises from various corners, recent one being his constituency topping the charts of Urban Governance in the cities of India.
Lord Rami Ranger CBE, FRSA is a successful businessman who has been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen on Eight occasions. Six times for Business and twice personally for community services and was made a Member of British Empire in 2005 and Commander of British Empire in 2016. Rami is married to Renu and has three daughters.
Rami set up his first business in 1987 with a mere 2 pounds capital from a rented room in Hayes and through his sheer dedication and commitment, he now runs two of Britain's fastest growing companies with an annual turnover in excess of £ 200 million. He sustains thousands of British jobs by exporting British supermarket products to over 110 countries.
His company, Sun Mark Ltd, has received the Queens Award for Enterprise for an unprecedented 5 consecutive years in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and in the process made British business history as no other company has received this accolade before. Sun Mark has been added to the Sunday Times most profitable 100 companies in Britain in their "Profit Track 100" league table for the past three years running.
Ramesh Arora is passionate about people, culture and the hotel and tourism industry. A seasoned hospitality entrepreneur with over four decades of global experience across the industry, Ramesh is driven by purpose and results. Apart from having a savvy knack for business, he has his fingers on the pulse of all that's new and next in the industry. From fine- tuning operational strategies to devising systems, processes, and standards at the institutional level – he just can't stop tinkering. Ramesh has been instrumental in creating a new paradigm for hotel operations that integrates wellness into every aspect of operations with the focus on mindful living, happiness, and sustainable tourism.
A globally knowledgeable hospitality professional, Ramesh is a certified hotel administrator from AH&MA, USA, as well as a fellow member of institute of Hospitality United Kingdom. He has worked hard to build a network of relationships within the travel industry that spans continents, cultures, and generations. His approach of having an attitude of gratitude has been recognized for its unique approach to hospitality and for delivering innovative solutions for travellers seeking authentic experiences around the world. Ramesh has been a visionary in the hotel industry for decades, and he has been recognized for his contributions to the hospitality industry and to society in general. His work has been honoured by prestigious organisations such as PATA, which awarded him "Hotelier of the Year" at ITB Berlin; Stardust, which presented him with the "Lifetime Contribution to Hotels and Tourism" award; and India Travel Awards, which named him India’s Tourism Ambassador. His work was also recognized by the House of Commons in London, which presented him with a "Happiness Ambassador" Award. With experiences spanning diverse cultures from Asia, Middle East, and Africa, to Europe and the UK, Ramesh has managed hotels from conception to completion and is adept at every aspect of hotel operation. He has been involved in every aspect of hotel operations, development, and management, with expertise in marketing, finance and profitability. In addition to overseeing two luxury hotel brands in London -The Montcalm London and Park Grand London Hotels, Ramesh is serving as the Managing Director of the Montcalm Hotel Group in London since 2000. The Hotel group owns 24 properties and is the largest privately owned hotel group in London.
Ramesh, who has a strong emphasis on the application of digital marketing and technology, was quick to embrace the initial online booking trend while others hesitated. The group's impressive growth can be attributed to its constant focus on maintaining the highest RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) and enhancing its reputation as one of the most respected hotels in London. It is no surprise that his laser-sharp focus, and go-getter attitude have yielded the desired results. His personal interests shaped his business philosophy, including philanthropy, wellbeing, mindfulness, meditation, time management, supporting charities such as United Nations Women UK and Karma Foundation for children’s education and women's empowerment. Furthermore, Ramesh's zeal for tourism is undoubtedly a central factor in his life—which he practises daily. He curates daily reflections at the crack of dawn to promote a positive mind and finds his passion in sharing these with his close network and humanity more generally.