Bhanu Choudhrie is a British-Indian philanthropist and businesswoman who has been appointed as the Chancellor of Aston University. Her charity, the Choudhrie Foundation, supports education in developing countries. She also funded the construction of a new library at Durham University to honor her late husband, Sir James Chadwick. In 2015, she donated $4m towards building a new cancer center at the university where her husband was once a student.
She is currently Chair of Bridgepoint, Inc., one of the largest private healthcare companies in Europe and Asia. She spent several years as the Chair of J Sainsbury plc and is a member of the Advisory Board for Lloyds Banking Group. She is Vice-President of The Girls Day School Trust and serves on numerous other international corporate boards, including Hill & Knowlton, Thomas Cook and Macro Advisory Partners.
In 2010 she was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her work with charities, particularly those supporting children’s education in India. In 2016 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Bhanu Choudhrie was born in Mauritius to parents from India and Sri Lanka but lived her entire childhood in India. Her father, Bhagat Singh Choudhrie, was an Indian civil engineer who helped construct several roads in India. He married Bhanu’s mother, Rabindranath Chattopadhyay; her father’s name is now changed to Sir Samir Chattopadhyay. Bhanu grew up in Calcutta (now Kolkata), where they ran a tea shop together.
Her father died during World War II when she was six years old. Bhanu’s mother, who received a small pension from the Indian government, became ill when Bhanu Choudhrie was ten years old and could no longer work. She went to live with her grandparents in Calcutta, who took care of her until she died at 18.
Bhanu Choudhrie attended Loretto Convent School in India and then studied law at the University of Delhi. When she was 21 years old, she married an architect, Chandru Choudhrie. The couple moved to London, where Chandru had won a scholarship to study for a Masters’ Degree at the Architectural Association to know more click here.