Sir Gulam Noon

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is a businessman who brought authentic Indian foods to our supermarkets - Sir Gulam Noon. An instinctive businessman, he was brought up in a complex family situation with a step-brother and sister who were also his half-siblings and a cousin who assumed a paternal role after his own father died. They were not well off, but they had managed until their father's death when Gulam was seven. After that, it was a struggle and as a young teenager Gulam would spend the evenings working in his family's two sweetshops in Bombay. He had an entrepreneurial eye and saw business opportunities to improve and expand.

After a brief holiday in Engand he announced to his family that he wanted to expand into this country too. He built a confectionary business here and, seeing the huge public appetite for Indian food in restaurants, started manufacturing it for the supermarket shelves. After a disastrous fire at his factory in 1994, he built up his business again and now makes more than a quarter of a million curries a day. His biggest seller, not surprisingly, is chicken tikka masala. Gulam Noon was given an MBE for services to the food industry in 1994, and in 2002 was knighted.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Nat Bhairav by Shivkumar Sharma, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Brijbushan Kabra
Book: Long Walk To Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Luxury: Videos of cricket matches

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 12 Mar 2004 09:00


Role Contributor
PresenterSue Lawley
Interviewed GuestSir Gulam Noon

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