Simon Arora, British Asian Trust UK Advisory Council Member gives keynote speech at “Go for Growth” networking evening in collaboration with Brown Shipley and TiE UK North.
On Thursday 6 March, Simon Arora, a member of The British Asian Trust UK Advisory Council and retail entrepreneur was the key speaker at a special networking event held at the Private Bank, Brown Shipley Offices in Manchester, in collaboration with TiE UK North.
Simon Arora is CEO of B&M Retail, now one of the country’s largest retailers. Simon and his brother Bobby acquired B&M in 2004, when the chain had just 21 stores and was a loss-making business. Since then, the brothers’ commercial acumen has helped the chain grow to over 370 stores and £1 billion+ annual revenues.
Given his strong Indian identity, Simon is actively involved with The British Asian Trust, and spoke about his rise in the world of retail and his pride at being a second generation Indian. Simon spoke at length about how the business’ remarkable growth story has its origins in South Asia and a future in Europe. He also spoke about his support for The British Asian Trust and why he feels it is so important to give back to his country of origin through the Trust.
Simon Arora said: “It was a pleasure to speak about both my journey as an entrepreneur. But my one take away for all guests was the message that you should never forget where you come from. I am proud of being Indian and The British Asian Trust has allowed me to give back to my country of origin, channeling my success as a retailer back into South Asia.”
Ashok Kallumpram, a member of The British Asian Trust’s Regional Chapter North was also on hand to talk about the work of the Trust that was established by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2007 and has helped to transform the lives of over 1 million people living in South Asia. The charity acts as a “social fund” to support high impact charities within the areas of education, livelihoods and health.
Tariq Marfani, from TiE UK North also spoke about the importance of mentorship and developing the potential of the new generation of entrepreneurs. Kevin Doran, Chief Investment Officer at Brown Shipley, spoke about the state of savings and investments in light of the recession and the impact this has had on savers in the UK.
The British Asian Trust:
The British Asian Trust was founded in 2007 by a group of British Asian business leaders at the suggestion of HRH The Prince of Wales. It serves as a “social fund” to support high impact charities within the areas of education, health and livelihoods in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Over the last five years the Trust has touched the lives of 1 million people living in the poorest communities in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the UK. Over the next five years we aim to touch over 2 million more lives in South Asia, for which we need to raise over £10 million.