Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

© Asian Media Group - 2024


Lord Dolar Popat


THERE is no dearth of stories of immigrants succeeding and flourishing and amassing significant wealth in the process but among all these narratives, the tale of Dolar Popat, a peer in the House of Lords, stands out. Not that many Lords are refugees or start their working lives in a burger bar. Born in Uganda, Popat was only 17 when he reached the UK with just £10 and a cardboard suitcase to escape the grasp of Idi Amin’s brutal regime.

“I got on that plane less than a month before my 18th birthday. I brought with me £10 of my own money…..and a suitcase made of cardboard,” he said about his journey into the unknown. But the youngster had a fire in him to prove himself and he embarked on a relentless journey towards success in his new country of residence. He started out as a waiter at a Wimpy Bar, and rose to prominence as a business magnate and ultimately secured a seat in the House of Lords. The path was not easy or smooth but Popat, who is the first person with origins in India’s Gujarat to become a Conservative member of the House of Lords, found a strong backing from the former prime minister and now Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron – besides his spiritual mentor Pujya Morari Bapu. Popat, whose autobiography A British Sub ject chronicles his remarkable journey and underscores the significance of integration in Britain, is a tireless servant of international trade and passionately works towards serving both the UK and Uganda – the two countries that he holds close to his heart. While Lord Cameron made him a peer in 2010 and also appointed him the trade envoy to Rwanda and Uganda with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Popat’s effectiveness in his role

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