Bajloor Rashid MBE is a successful British Bangladeshi businessman and philanthropist. He came to the UK in 1978 to further his education. He soon joined his brother in setting up a number of restaurants in Kent and London.
As a result he gained prominence in the early 1980s as a young entrepreneur of the booming curry industry. This led to him becoming one of the most prominent figures in the history of the Bangladesh Caterers Association, the largest body of curry restaurant owners.
For more than forty years, his strong entrepreneurial sense has resulted in him setting up many restaurants and businesses.
He was one of the few restaurateurs to attain every rank within the Bangladeshi catering community. He served as the BCA's national president from 2006-2012. He was a co-founder of the BCA Awards, which was established by him under his presidency. Bajloor was instrumental in the BCA Awards gaining prestige and industry recognition in a very short time.
With respect to awards and recognition, in 2012, the BB (British Bangladeshi) Power 100 List, ranked him as one of the top ten most influential BB individuals in the UK. The following year he was awarded first place in the Community Personality category in the BB Power 100 Awards 2013. He has been recognised in the BB100 2016 in the Networks and Associations category. Channel S Television awarded him Business Personality of the year in 2013.
The British Bangladeshi Who's Who, is an annual publication, which is a celebration of individuals from various sectors who are at the top of their respective fields. Bajloor has been listed a number of times in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 for his work in Catering and Communications. In 2014 Bajloor was awarded in recognition for his outstanding contribution. From 2015 to 2019, he has been listed for his work in the Business & Community Sector.
Mr Rashid's business activity has been prolific in the UK and Bangladesh. His efforts include state-of-the art restaurants, a property company, an insurance company, a hospitality resort and three medicare service institutions including a 500 bed medical college hospital in Bangladesh. Mr Rashid is also a director of a Bangladeshi travel tour company and a chairman of a company specialising in gas filling station outlets.
As well as being a member of various community organisations, humanitarian causes have figured large in his adult life. He is a dedicated social worker and has always been at the forefront of many community movements. He is passionate about environmental issues and has been involved in assisting the plight of communities blighted by some of the worst natural disasters such as Cyclone Sidr.
His many career highlights include becoming either a director or chairman of 20 different successful companies where he helped create a vast array of employment opportunities. He says "The best way to address social injustice among the have-nots is to teach them skills and get them into work". He ensured that the members who joined the BCA had every opportunity, to not only develop their business and social skills, but also to build their leadership and philanthropic capabilities. In the BCA, Mr Rashid was instrumental in giving the BCA Awards international status and industry recognition, through his drive to build the brand. He received a BCA Honours Award in 2012.
Whilst president of the BCA, he was at the forefront of the great Trafalgar Square demonstration which attracted tens of thousands of people. This sparked a debate in the House of Commons just days later about the immigration rules. The demonstration was aimed at drawing government attention to the problems the curry industry had over skilled chefs being included in the shortage occupation list of UKBA in 2008.
Mr Rashid continues to work hard in building up a substantial support network of agencies, working closely with the UK Government, members of Parliament, UKBA, MAC and the Police . This is to help support the BCA programmes and the lives of half a million people directly and indirectly dependent on the curry industry.
His work has been recognised by sitting and past Prime Ministers and also by the leader of opposition, Mr Ed Miliband MP, who all have singled out Mr Rashid’s contribution to the curry industry.
Mr Rashid is focused on passing on his expertise to a new generation and raising the profile of the UK curry industry.
A huge believer in 'on the job' education and giving something back, and knowing how much it helped him, he now works on a plan to produce skilled man power for the curry industry from within the UK, by promoting education and training.
Mr Bajloor Rashid was awarded an MBE in the 2012 New Year Honour's list of Her Majesty the Queen, for his life long contribution to the British Bangladeshi catering Industry.
In 2013, he was unanimously elected as the Chairman for Progressive Life Insurance Company Limited. He now sits on the Board as a Founding Director.
From 2014 until 2020, he was the Founding President of the UK Bangladesh Catalysts of Commerce and Industry (UKBCCI), which he founded. Bajloor Rashid was a key business figure in setting up this chamber of commerce based in London. The UKBCCI is a leading umbrella organisation for successful British-Bangladeshi entrepreneurs in the UK and Bangladesh. Since stepping down as President, he is now a Director of the UKBCCI. He is also the founder of the UKBCCI Business & Entrepreneur Excellence Awards and has been the driving force behind it since 2016.
Bajloor was honoured at the Curry Life Awards in October 2018. He became the first recipient of a new award known as the Curry Life MA Rahim Memorial Award, which is dedicated to the life of M A Rahim and was the main award of the night. It was awarded due to Bajloor’s outstanding contribution to the curry industry, as well as the wider community.
He was Election Commissioner for London Bangla Press Club UK for the last terms (8 years).
Mr Rashid is married and has four children. His eldest son is a Solicitor, who has recently married. His youngest son and eldest daughter both work in the City, whilst his youngest daughter Zarin is currently studying for a Masters in Psychology at Kings College University and plans to do a Doctorate to be a fully qualified Psychologist.
He lives in Ashford and is proud to call Kent his home.