Dinesh is a respected figure in business having founded and built the travel giant eBookers.com. He has been an active campaigner for the Liberal Democrats since 2014. He is a donor and hands-on helper to several charities, and he’s a distinguished speaker on business politics and British-Indian relations.
His expertise and experience falls into four categories:
Business and Technology
In 1980 Dinesh started out selling travel tickets from a tiny kiosk in Earls Court underground station. By 1996 he had employed 235 in Tottenham court road.
He became one of the first businesses to sell travel tickets online, to much scepticism at the time.
By 1999 it had grown to be the pioneering online travel agent eBookers.com. By the time he sold his business in 2005, it had achieved FTSE 250 status and he had employed 2,000+ people and operated in 11 European countries. The company sold for £247m.
Listen to Dinesh’s story of growing eBookers.com on John Amaechi’s podcast here.
After joining the Liberal Democrats in 2014 Dinesh soon became a popular figure within the party.
Based on his personal experience as a first generation immigrant and an entrepreneur, Dinesh is a passionate advocate for free trade and freedom of movement. So he became a natural choice for spokesperson for the Remain campaign (Open Britain) during the referendum.
In the same year as the referendum he was appointed as enterprise adviser to Tim Farron. The following year, in 2017 became Deputy Treasurer of the Liberal Democrats. In 2018 he was elected Vice-Chair of the party’s governing Federal Board and in the European Parliamentary Elections in May 2019 be was elected Liberal Democrat MEP for London. He was an MEP until Brexit on 31st January 2020.
In Brussels, he was elected chair of the EU-India delegation (also known as the India desk), which handles all EU and India issues such as trade and relationships.
He also sat on the Internal Market Committee, focussing on removing obstacles to trade and free movement of people, goods and services among the EU Members States in order to make a true single market. Finally, he was a member of the Committee on Budgets, which is in charge of ensuring European taxpayers’ money is put to good use.
The son of an Indian diplomat, Dinesh first came to live in the UK in 1968. As an immigrant who fully engaged in every aspect of British life and went on to bring up his family here, Dinesh embodies the Liberal values of his party, such as commitment to diversity and inclusion and an open and internationalist outlook.
Dinesh is well connected within the Indian business community in the UK and in his role as Chair of the India Desk in the European Parliament, he worked to promote closer links with India, and double trade between the two.
Since selling eBookers.com in 2005 Dinesh has donated £3.5m to charity and has helped to mentor and grow many entrepreneurial initiatives.
His philanthropic work includes being global trustee of TiE London, an organisation aimed at supporting entrepreneurs with education, mentorship, networking and funding and founding two Indian charities. Chikitsa gives 120,000 people free medicine each year through 15 clinics around Deli. Shiksha gives 11,000 street children every year free education allowing them to avoid child labour.
He has also been a member of the advisory board and trustee to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, an advisor and donor to Scope UK and is still a board member and trustee of Lepra.
Dinesh is an acclaimed mentor and speaker on entrepreneurship, having given keynote lectures at some of the world’s leading business schools including London Business School, Judd, Cass and Said. His subjects have ranged from sharing his personal story of starting eBookers.com, handling growth and different business models.
His knowledge and success in business are well sought after. He has served on the advisory Board of PolySwarm (a blockchain company), The Squa.re and two years as president of ceo.org in the UK.