Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Prohibition of liquor is hypocrisy says Lord Bilimoria

It was an ambition and with humbleness Cobra beer could still sting the beer market with its entry. According to the founder and chairman of Cobra beer, Lord Karan Bilimoria, the combination of the two words – humble and ambitious – made his life ‘humbiciously easier’ against all odds. 

Article published in the Herald Goa

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Cobra beer is not only brewed all over the world but it used to be brewed in three places in India, of which, one is now forcibly closed. It was brewed in Punjab, Haryana and the most successful one which was in Bihar, is now closed as two years ago the government imposed prohibition in the State. 

“It is sad to close down our brewery and leave people redundant and jobless. I believe that drink is freely available in Bihar and the State is losing all the excise revenue. I think prohibition is hypocrisy and it never works anywhere in the world. Jobs are being lost, government is losing, industry is losing and people’s investment is losing out. I hope it will be reversed soon. We have to adapt or die in business but we became the biggest beer exporters from India at one point of time,” said Bilimoria delivering his talk at the DD Kosambi Festival of Ideas on success of the Parsi community. There are only 59,000 Parsis in India.

He added that he had a vision before he started Cobra before the liberalisation of the Indian economy. “There were days when people in India used to wait for gas and phone connections for months, if not years. In 1991 it opened up and it took ten years to really take off. Today the consumers who were starved for choice are now spoilt with choice,” he added.

He said he was one of the first to raise the Brexit issue in the British Parliament. “Brexit is a big mistake. We have been members of the European Union for over 40 years. Yes, there are regulations from the EU that we may not like, but overall it was good in the issue of environment, health and safety. Since the formation of EU, Britain’s economy grew by over 62 percent. There were three main reasons for Brexit. Immigration, lack of control and that we paid eight billion pounds a year as our contribution. I tell you what we paid was for the peace we had which is one percent of Britian’s annual expenditure.”