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The India Centre for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development


Lord Gulam Noon MBE, KBE
Lord Gulam Noon MBE, KBE

UK’s Curry King, Entrepreneur

The late Lord Gulam Noon MBE, KBE was known universally as the “Curry King”. He pioneered Britain’s love affair with chicken tikka masala, now our national dish.

Noon came to Britain in 1964 and set up an Indian sweet shop in Southall, London. The budding entrepreneur already knew the ropes because at 17 he took over the management of his late father’s sweet shop in Mumbai.

He renamed it Royal Sweets and grew an exporting international market.  

In 1967, the businessman opened Noon Products, where he made chilled and frozen Indian and Thai ready meals for UK supermarkets.

But in 1994 a serious fire at the factory almost put him out of business.

Against the advice of his accountants, Noon refused to claim bankruptcy, which would have meant he was not liable for his employees or their pensions. Instead, he used his personal wealth to keep all of his workers afloat.

Noon never shied away from speaking unpalatable truths.

He was among those trapped in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel by terrorists, during the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, but was rescued and later appeared on BBC News to describe his experiences.

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