Lord Rumi Verjee
As an immigrant from East Africa I arrived in the UK with little more than a desire for a good education and hungry for an opportunity to succeed. More than fifty years later, I feel very fortunate to be in a position where I can give something back to my adopted country and also give expression to the philanthropic spirit that has shaped my own family’s cultural DNA for generations.
From my earliest years there have been many people generous in their support of me, who have given me a break, a first step onto the ladder; and believed in my capacity to realise dreams that I was passionate about. I have also always believed in giving back. It is the mantra I live my life by. I am proud of the tradition of charitable giving that runs deep in my family, proud of the work we have done together and proud of those organisations and individuals that we have been able to support.
The Rumi Foundation is an essential expression of the Verjee family ethos and over the years, we have supported a vast portfolio of relationships and projects; not just in the UK, but in India and across the African sub-continent too.
There is a belief I hold very dear, that with success comes the personal responsibility to always act with generosity and compassion; and I look forward to seeing it evolve in the years and generations to come.
Lord Rumi Verjee
About Rumi Verjee
Lord Verjee is a highly successful entrepreneur and since September 2013 a member the House of Lords, the Upper House of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
In business Rumi Verjee founded Domino’s Pizza in the United Kingdom and for over twenty years was Chairman of heritage British luxury brand Thomas Goode & Co. Today, he is the Chairman of The Rumi Endowment Company Limited – a real estate investment business investing in prime UK properties – and also Ipanema Properties in Brazil.
Lord Verjee’s success is entirely self-made: a fourth generation Indian born in Uganda, much of the Verjee family’s assets were seized by Idi Amin’s regime and after the expulsion of the Asian population from Uganda, he travelled to the UK and made it his home. Lord Rumi Verjee is now an Honorary Fellow of the University of Cambridge where, as a student, he had studied Law at Downing College.
Lord Verjee has always sought to share his success and experience through philanthropic work. He is Chairman of WE UK (formerly Free The Children) and co-hosts their annual signature event WE Day UK with Holly Branson. He is also a Member of the World Presidents’ Organization, the Global Leadership Foundation and was on the Advisory Board of the British Olympic Association for the London 2012 Olympic Games. In 2009 he was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for charitable services and in 2013 was appointed by HM The Queen to the United Kingdom House of Lords, as a Peer, where he sits as Lord Verjee of Portobello in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Passionate in his belief that young people should have access to opportunities to develop their ideas, capitalise on their talent and realise their potential, The Rumi Foundation was launched in 2006 and has supported a great number of projects over the years since.
The Rumi Foundation is Lord Verjee’s proudest achievement.