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Lord Bilimoria Talk at TedxOxbridge

As part of India Week, we are looking at one of the most successful Indian businessmen in the UK, the founder of Cobra Beer, Lord Bilimoria.

Lord Karan Bilimoria was born in Hyderabad in India before coming to Britain to study Law at Cambridge. After graduating in 1988, he found that his cultural heritage helped him to see an opportunity for a business venture. He saw a gap in the beer market. For people who enjoyed the refreshing taste of lager with curry, but found that traditional ones were too fizzy to go with food, there were no options on the market. This led to him to found Cobra Beer in 1989.

Cobra Beer was a huge success and became one of the most popular and well known beers in Britain. Through his work with Cobra, as well as a number of other projects, Karan Bilimoria received a CBE for services to business in 2004.

Last year, he was invited to speak at a TedTalks event about the future of global business. He explained his vision of what needs to stay the same and what needs to change for business to flourish over the next twenty years. You can watch his talk below.

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Indian Lunch Review Day 3: Biryani

As part of India Week, we are trying a different Indian dish for lunch every day this week. Each day we will be eating something from the menu at Masala Zone and will be reviewing it for you. Today's dish is Biryani.

So, we enter Day Three of our attempts to try every Indian dish known to man (or at least five of them anyway), and up today is Biryani. Expectations were high after two cracking lunches on Monday and Tuesday, so the dish had a lot to live up to.

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My Experiences of Working in Mumbai

As part of India Week, Alex Hayim, a chartered surveyor, describes his experiences of working in real estate in India.

"...and so after years of selling UK real estate to the next big fund or property company I decided that it was time to get out of the comfort zone and head East.

I had always been drawn to India - perhaps in part due to my historic family connections and in part the sheer vibrancy and scale of the place. India was being discussed as the next big thing behind China and I wanted a piece of the action.

It was 2005 and the Foreign Direct Investment route into India had finally opened for non-Indian property companies. With the global market hugely optimistic, all the big Western ‘players' were looking for the next big market to invest in. China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam.

And then there was India with its population of over 1 billion, burgeoning middle-class, cracking but improving infrastructure, highly educated workforce, historic connections and sheer work ethic and warmth of population.

I had been hired by a well-known British property company to go and help set-up their business in India, and it was Mumbai rather than Delhi or Bangalore that was to be home for the next four years.

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Indian Business: Facts and People

For India Week, we are focussing on the business and cities of India today. To introduce the subject, here we take a look at some interesting facts about business, politics and travel in India.

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Indian Tea Tasting: Assam

For India Week, we will be trying a different blend of Indian Tea every day of the week and giving our own opinions of it, as well as a little of the history. Today's tea is Assam.

We are on to Day 2 of our journey through the teas of India and on to Assam. Often used within the blend of English Breakfast teas, it is a stronger, fuller flavour than the Darjeeling we had yesterday. Whether you prefer that or not is just a matter of taste- it has split the office in half. Unlike with the more subtle Darjeeling, the stronger flavour allows you to add milk and sugar to the Assam without loosing its distinctive taste.

Surprisingly, just like Darjeeling tea is grown in the Darjeeling area, so the Assam plants are grown in the Assam area- the world's largest tea-growing region. To get its distinctive taste, the tea plants need very hot daytime temperatures, matched with a lot of rain- something the lowland areas of Assam are perfect for. 

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