The reception was kindly hosted by Nomura in London.

“Be Bold in Business” Lord Bilimoria tells Exeter alumni

Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE DL, gave Exeter graduates an inspiring talk on entrepreneurship at the Business School’s flagship alumni reception. 

The University of Exeter Honorary Graduate who founded Cobra Beer, and is now Chairman of the Cobra Beer Partnership, spoke in detail about the attributes needed to become a successful entrepreneur.

He shared the trials and errors that he personally has experienced on the road to establishing Cobra as a premium world beer. The audience heard advice on many facets of business; including the importance of integrity and crossing the credibility gap, and how encouraging creativity to build a compelling story can produce an instantly recognisable brand.

Lord Bilimoria, who is the Founding Chairman of the UK India Business Council and the first ever Zoroastrian Parsi to sit in the House of Lords, then fielded questions from the audience on business mentoring, working with a business partner, and finishing the discussion by turning attention to the EU Referendum and its impact on Cobra.

Young entrepreneurs based at Exeter’s Innovation Centre were also at the event, giving alumni the chance not only to network with fellow graduates, but also to meet some of Exeter’s most promising entrepreneurial talent.

Graduate Alex Somervell whose own start-up One Third Stories started off at the Innovation Centre, said "Hearing how Lord Bilimoria approached a problem and gap in the market with such a clear solution and vision was really inspirational. As someone trying to do the same, I was pleasantly surprised by his candour and found it incredibly encouraging. Hopefully I'll get the chance to do the same for someone going forward."

Alex’s start-up aims to revolutionise language learning by creating bedtime stories which start in English and end in a different language, gradually introducing words in the target language. You can read more about his business and its progress here, or find their Kickstarter campaign here.

The event, which was sold out, was the first of two flagship Business School alumni receptions of 2016, and was kindly hosted by Nomura at their London headquarters. Look out for updates on the second 2016 event, taking place in the Autumn, on our website and in our e-newsletters. In the meantime, why not come along to one of our bimonthly Business informal networking events? The next one is in July, and you can book a free place here.

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Date: 17 March 2016

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