In 2013, British MP Theresa May, who would one day become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, awarded SudhirChoudhrie the Asian Businessman Lifetime Achievement Award. It was a distinct honor for the Indian-born entrepreneur who had become a British citizen in 2010. Born in 1949 during the tumultuous days of “The Partition” in India, SudhirChourdhrie faced numerous challenges in addition to the political upheavals that followed Indian independence in 1947. He lost his father while still a boy. He was also diagnosed with a heart defect, a condition he would struggle with for the rest of his life. But nothing would prevent SudhirChoudhrie from pursuing his entrepreneurial dreams.
After graduating from the University of Delhi with a degree in economics, he established an export business along with his brother. The business involved buying television equipment in the U.K. and selling it to the burgeoning Indian broadcast industry of the 1960s. SudhirChoudhrie’s early success with bilateral trade between the U.K. and India would become a lifetime pursuit. But he would also expand his trade activities to many other nations, including the former Soviet Union. Mr. Choudhrie facilitated a robust import-export trade with the Russians for agricultural equipment. By 1975, he had founded the Magnum International Trading Company, a firm which is still thriving today more than 44 years later.
In the coming years, SudhirChoudhrie would expand his interests to a variety of other sectors. For example, in 1995 he established a joint venture with Taj Hotels Resorts to create Taj Kerala, one of the most successful resort complexes in the world today. He also delved into the aviation industry. In 2003, Mr. Choudhrie liked what he saw in the potential of Air Deccan, the first airline in India to operate on a “budget” model. When Mr. Choudhrie came in as an expert investor, Air Deccan had just a single plane. Five years later, the aviation firm has carried more than seven million passengers and conducts 200 flights per day. SudhirChoudhrie is recognized as among the most innovative and successful international businessmen in the world today.
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