Hari Harilela,one of the most known Indian origin entrepreneurs in Hong Kong who founded a billion-dollar enterprise,has been honoured with a honorary doctorate in Business Administration by the Edinburgh Napier University.
He was conferred the honour on in recognition of his outstanding contribution to business and higher education at the university’s summer graduation ceremony yesterday.
Harilela,90,who is Chairman of the Harilela Group,owns a range of companies across the world including restaurants,hotels and real estate.
He has been previously honoured with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman from India as well as the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
As a philanthropist,he contributed substantially to the relief effort in the wake of the 2001 Gujarat earthquake and is also a firm supporter of education and the growth of young people,a university release said.
Harilela,who received the honorary degree accompanied by his wife of 65 years Padma and his son Aron,said: “I am delighted to be honoured in this way. I live my life by three very simple rules: never cheat,don’t be greedy and don’t look
sideways”. He added,”I sincerely believe one thing that is very important in one’s life is that if you do all the work for yourself you are very selfish.
“You shouldn’t just give back to a community with money but get involved in its heart”.
Born in 1922 in Sind,Harilela was brought up in Hong Kong. Professor Dame Joan Stringer,Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University,said: “Dr Hari Harilela’s life has been one of fortitude and determination,a vivid example of how one can not only overcome poverty but also go on to make a tangible difference to the lives of many”.