Lord Noon: Ready-meal entrepreneur and philanthropist whose vast empire earned him the nickname “Curry King”

Lord Gulam Noon, who has died aged 79, emerged from an impoverished upbringing in Mumbai to make his fortune in the UK – and ascend to the House of Lords.

Dubbed the “Curry King”, he headed the world’s largest factory for ready-made Indian and ethnic food, which today produces 564 different recipes and prepares 2.4 million meals a week for supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Ocado and Waitrose, as well as for its own label. He is also credited with making chicken tikka masala Britain’s favourite dish.

pg-46-noon-paDespite his immense wealth, estimated at £75m, Lord Noon never forgot his Indian roots – but was dedicated to the country that gave him his chance in life. “I always quote the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that you must be loyal to the country in which you live,” he explained. “I have always said that this is the best country in the world.” He was a supporter of numerous charities and good causes, and his philanthropy led to him being appointed a life peer, Baron Noon of St John’s Wood, in January 2011.

Sadly, Lord Noon passed away on 27th October 2015 – ALAG members send their condolences to his family and know that his generosity, determination and universal appeal will be greatly missed but will continue through the many projects that he sponsored both in India and the UK, through the Noon Foundation.

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