September 2023

Self-made entrepreneur to be made Honorary Professor of University College Birmingham

By Anna Fawcett

Share post:

Read time: approx 1 mins

Surinder Arora, Founder and Chairman of the Arora Group, will be made an Honorary Professor and Fellow of University College Birmingham at the institution’s graduation ceremony this week. 

A significant figure in the hospitality industry, University College Birmingham recognises Surinder’s contribution to the hospitality sector, and how his career can inspire future workers across the breadth of opportunities that a career in catering, tourism, business or culinary management can provide. 

Having arrived in the UK as a teenager from India, Surinder founded his business in 1999, running a four-star hotel at Heathrow for airline staff. From there, he built a business based on strong principles of enterprise, including the purchase of the Renaissance London Heathrow hotel in 2012, where he had previously worked as a waiter in the 1970s.

Surinder Arora said of the award: “Huge congratulations to all those graduating and my sincere thanks for this prestigious, honorary award.  It is comforting to know that although I was unable to complete graduation myself, working with the principle of hard work and enterprise, University College Birmingham is recognising me and others who have built up a business empire by learning on the job. 

“If I can leave you with my advice for a successful career; surround yourselves with people you trust and respect, believe in yourself, work harder than those around you, treat your staff like family and clients like royalty and most of all, never give up!”

Surinder’s story will go far in offering aspirations to our current and future graduands. The hospitality sector, whilst under challenge, can still present a space for skilled and passionate individuals to thrive. This spirit of entrepreneurialism in combination with University College Birmingham’s skills-focussed and industry-ready curriculum, will enable a seamless pathway into industry for learners across all disciplines. 

Explore how University College Birmingham’s courses and programmes can take your career to the next level here.


Back to top