Hong Kong hotel magnate first donor to new London business school
Posted on 21/07/2017
(L-R) Provost & Senior Vice President (Arts & Sciences), Professor Evelyn Welch MBE, Dr Aron Harilela, Mrs Laura Harilela, King’s President & Principal, Professor Ed Byrne AC
Hong Kong-based businessman Dr Aron Harilela, Chairman and CEO of Harilela Hotels Ltd, is the first major funder of the new King’s Business School based at Bush House in Aldwych and to be officially launched this autumn.
In recognition, King’s has renamed the entrance to Bush House as The Padma & Hari Harilela Hall- named after Dr Harilela’s parents. The space will serve as both an entrance to the building, and a social space for students, academics and business leaders to congregate. A plaque in the entrance was unveiled at an event last night, hosted by King’s Principal and President, Professor Ed Byrne AC and Profossor Evelyn Welch, Provost & Senior Vice President (Arts & Sciences).
Dr Harilela has donated £2.5 million in support of the university’s new school which aims to educate and train the business leaders of tomorrow and will be based in Bush House, the former headquarters of the BBC World Service, providing a stunning home for what will be the first such school in London in many years.
He said: ‘London and the UK are very close to me. In fact, London is one of the most forward-looking cities I know. People embrace change and modernity here, much more than in many other cities. My father was also very important to me, and I thought I should make the link with London in more ways than just business.’
Dr Harilela cites King’s values and international activity as two reasons for supporting the university.
‘I think the world is becoming more polarised and people are becoming disheartened. I want to show that businesses can benefit society, and we’re all working towards the same goals.’
Dr Harilela said: ‘I am honoured to join such a distinguished group of philanthropists who have supported King’s College London’s transformative work. The new King’s Business School will pioneer innovative approaches to education, which will inspire and support our future business leaders and a new generation of entrepreneurs. I am particularly pleased to make this donation in honour of my parents, to create the Padma and Hari Harilela Hall, which will serve as the entrance hall to the Business School in Bush House and a location for the best and the brightest new business minds to study, socialise and exchange ideas’.
Professor Ed Byrne AC, President and Principal of King’s College London said: ‘This gift is wonderful for King’s and our new Business School. I am hugely grateful to Dr Harilela for his generosity and vision in supporting the university at this timely and defining point in the future of global business education. Entrepreneurship will be a key focus of the School, and King’s is proud to have cemented this significant partnership with Dr Harilela and the Harilela family, as global business leaders.’
The Business School is being created by converting the already thriving and highly-regarded School of Management & Business at King’s. It will pioneer innovative approaches to education, which will inspire and support our future business leaders and a new generation of entrepreneurs.
For further information please contact International PR Manager – Stuart Coles at King’s College London: Stuart.Coles@kcl.ac.uk +44 (0) 207 848 3076