Owner, Entrepreneur

Dr Wali Tasar Uddin MBE, JP, FRSA, D.Litt

Wali Tasar Uddin was born in Moulvibazzar, Bangladesh on the 17 April, 1952. lives with his wife, Syeda and three of his five children in Edinburgh

Education : High school education in Moulvibazzar.

Career : He travelled to the UK in 1967 where he started working in restaurants in London and entered further education. In 1976, having gained sound experience in the catering profession, he moved to Edinburgh.

Wali Tasar Uddin, is respected both throughout Europe and Bangladesh as a successful businessman, a community leader and an outstanding humanitarian.
Well known for his acumen in the restaurant profession with the famous, Verandah, Lancers and his most recent venture Britannia Spice restaurants in Edinburgh, Dr Uddin has extensive interests in the commercial world. He is Chairman/CEO of both the Universal Koba Corporation Ltd and Frontline Travel (Frontline International Air Service) Ltd. Britannia Spice is an exceptional restaurant which has won many international awards since it first took the Edinburgh dining scene by storm in 2000. In 2006 alone, it was named Best in Scotland by both BIBA and the British Curry Awards. Dr Uddin's contribution to the restaurant sector was recognised in 2006 with BIBA's Industry Personality of the Year award as well as the Asian Jewel Lifetime Achievement award.

As Chairman of the Bangladesh-British Chamber of Commerce, Dr Uddin was key player in the success of Expo Bangladesh 2005 - the UK's first single country trade fair for Bangladesh. This pioneering initiative by the BBCC was to promote trade and investment between the UK and Bangladesh. A hundred companies from Bangladesh were represented alongside UK-based organisations with an interest in Bangladesh's export trade and non-resident Bangladeshi businesses in the UK. Now the Chamber is expanding its interest into other European countries under Dr Uddin's leadership.

Dr Uddin is also an active director of the Edinburgh & Leith Chambers of Commerce, the Institute of Directors and Rotary International. He is Chair of the University of East London Business School Advisory Board. He is a Director of the Council of the Foreign Chambers of Commerce in the UK and a founder member and Director of Britain in Europe. The Junior Chamber voted him Young Scot of the year in 1992. In 1998 he was chief researcher and associate in an ITV documentary on Bangladesh for the Tonight with Trevor MacDonald programme.

This success in the business world has brought recognition from many sides. In 1984, Dr Uddin was the first Bangladeshi in Scotland to be made a Justice of the Peace. In 1993, he was appointed as the first Honorary Consul-General of Bangladesh in Scotland and in 1995 he was made a Member of the British Empire for his services to race relations. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and, in 2003, was included in Debretts' People of Today. In 2000 he was awarded a Doctorate in Business Administration (Honouris Causa) by Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh.

Respected as a community leader in Scotland, Dr Uddin chairs the Council for Bangladeshis in Scotland, was a founder of Edinburgh's Central Mosque and is a director of the Shahjalal Mosque and Islamic Centre. Dr Uddin is also Chairman of the Commonwealth Society of Edinburgh and the BanglaScot Foundation. He is a Director of the Edinburgh Mela, the vibrant festival founded by Edinburgh's South Asian communities, and the Edinburgh Bangladesh Samity.

Dr Uddin's humanitarian work impacts people in many countries. Typically, Britannia Spice was one of the first restaurants in Edinburgh to organise a benefit after the Boxing Day Tsunami. Dr Uddin was also a key fundraiser for the 2001 Gujarat earthquake appeal and on the Rotary Club committee which raised money for "shelter boxes" after the Kashmir earthquake in 2005. He regularly supports Save the Children, the Great Scottish Walk and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.

In Bangladesh, Dr Uddin's efforts have touched thousands of people over the years. In 1991 following the disastrous cyclone, he was instrumental in raising over £140,000 which was used to build a concrete cyclone shelter and Baharchara-Ratnapur High School. Then in 1998 he was involved in raising over £220,000 to enable Onneyshan to oversee the construction of a model village and training centre. Dr Uddin is also Director and Chief Co-ordinator of the Sylhet Women's Medical College and Hospital, a Trustee of the Bangladesh Female Academy and an advisor to the Atish Dipankar University of Science & Technologies in Dhaka.

Much has been said and written about the diminutive British-Bangladeshi with the sincere and winning smile. The fact that the Scots, not known for their unreserved acceptance of "incomers' have come to admire, like and respect him is an eloquent testimony to Dr Uddin's many years of hard work. The whole community respects his successful business empire: his tireless efforts for the larger community and the many charitable initiatives he has played pivotal roles in - the affection and love that is given to him merely reflecting his commitment to the community and that, the Scots will always acknowledge, with deep and sincere gratitude.

Hobbies : He readily admits he is a keen supporter of Heart of Midlothian Football Club.

Fellow of Restaurant Hall of Fame

Awards/Positions

 Honorary Consul-General of Bangladesh in Scotland

· Chairman and Chief Executive, Universal Koba Corporation Limited T/A Britannia Spice, Edinburgh

· Chair, Bangladesh-British Chamber of Commerce, UK & Europe

· Founder and Chair - Bangladesh Samity (Assoc) Edinburgh

· President and Chair of Ornate Arcade Ltd

· Director - Edinburgh Mela Ltd (founding director); Edinburgh and Leith Chambers of Commerce; Sylhet Woman’s Medical College Hospital (2005)

· Honorary D.Litt Degree – Napier University (2007)

· Honorary D.Litt Degree – Heriot Watt University (2007)

· Doctorate in Business Administration (Honouris Causa) - Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh (2000)

· Asian Jewel Lifetime Achievement Award - Institute of Asian Professionals/Bank of Scotland (2006)

· BIBA Industry Personality of the Year award (2006)

· Asian Power 100 (2005)

· Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

· Young Scot of the Year - Junior Chamber of Commerce (1992)