It is with the greatest regret that Mosaic announces the passing of our long-time Ambassador Lord Gulam Noon Kt. MBE. Lord Noon had been courageously battling lung cancer for the past year.
Mosaic Chairman Shabir Randeree CBE, who was very closely associated to Lord Noon, commented:
“Lord Noon is a unique figure in British history and no amount of words will do his lifetime of service to this country justice. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sensitive time, and I personally, and Mosaic are fortunate to have been associated with such a remarkable man. He was the most distinguished of character, humility and business acumen – we shall miss our friend and mentor deeply.”
Mumbai-born Lord Noon was an immensely successful businessman who inspired a generation of entrepreneurs from all sections of British society. Affectionately known as the ‘Curry King’ of the UK, Lord Noon was Chairman and Founder of Noon Products Ltd, a family business founded in 1989 that specialised in frozen and chilled ready-made ethnic meals, supplying major supermarkets worldwide.
Noon, as he is commonly called, was also Founder, Chairman & Managing Director of Bombay Halwa Ltd, a company based in West London that specialises in Indian sweets, Indian snacks and finger foods, plus aviation catering. He has spent a lifetime in the food business, having started out in Mumbai at the age of 17, when he took over the reins of the family confectionery business, Royal Sweets, in the late 1950’s. He was one of the youngest JPs in India in 1968.
His footprint surpassed the food industry and helped open the doors for many of the Asian businesses that now count as the fabric of British enterprise. He was the Founder and former Chairman of the Asian Business Association, which works directly under the umbrella of the London Chamber of Commerce and in 1998 he was appointed to the main board of the London Chamber of Commerce itself. In January 2002 he was elected President of the LCCI for an 18 month term. Lord Noon was also appointed to the Board of Transport for London in 2004, a government body chaired by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.
Throughout his lifetime, Lord Noon was rightfully recognised for his remarkable contributions to all aspects of his life. In July 1994 he was voted ‘The Asian of the Year’ by the community; in 1998 the Asian Business Network awarded him an ‘Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award’, which was presented by the Rt Hon Mr Jack Straw MP; In 1996 he received an MBE in the Queen’s Honours List and this was followed in 2002 by a knighthood bestowed by Her Majesty in her Jubilee Year Birthday Honours List.
Lord Noon was also the recipient of multiple honorary degrees and doctorates, including from the University of Surrey (MUniv, 1998), Guildhall University London (2001), the University of Central England, Birmingham and Middlesex University (both in 2002), and Kingston University in 2005. Lord Noon’s interest in, and engagement with Higher Education saw him appointed as the Chancellor of the University of East London in Janunary 2013.
Lord Noon was widely renowned as a man of principle and altruism. He believed in providing opportunities to the most disadvantaged and regularly gave his time to multiple charitable causes. In November 2012 to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of Mosaic, Lord Noon was appointed an Ambassador and has given his time and support regularly since. He was on the Board of CARE International UK for four years (2002 – 2006); he was a Founder Member of Cancer Research UK; he has also held multiple Trusteeships including with the Arpana Charitable Trust UK, the British Food Trust, the Maimonides Trust, the Memorial Gates Trust, which was established to commemorate the contribution made in world wars by the people of the Commonwealth, and finally he was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Noon Foundation.