The University of Leicester is to confer the degree of Doctor of Laws upon the founder of King Power Group and chairman of Leicester City Football Club, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
He will be awarded the honorary degree by University Chancellor Lord Grocott at a ceremony at De Montfort Hall on 22nd January, before an international audience of graduating students and their families.
Ave Vinick, from the University of Leicester’s Development and Alumni Relations Office, said: “We are honoured and delighted to welcome Mr Srivaddhanaprabha to the proud worldwide fraternity of University of Leicester alumni. His contributions to business, sport, and social causes make him truly deserving of his honorary degree and exemplify the ideals to which our graduates aspire.”
Srivaddhanaprabha said: “I would like to express my thanks to the University of Leicester for this great honour and to the people of Leicester for the warm welcome they have extended to me, my family and colleagues since King Power first arrived in the city.
“I feel very fortunate because I do what I love, so I put love into everything I do. I came to the football industry with Leicester City because of my love for football and the Club and its fans have already repaid me several times over with their passion and loyalty. It is a great privilege to be the Chairman of this great Club and an accepted member of this wonderful community.
“What has impressed me the most is the people of Leicester and their united will for us to succeed. My family and I cannot achieve our ambitions for the Club alone, so an honour such as this is as much for the people of Leicester as it is for me.”
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is founder of King Power Group, one of Asia’s leading duty free retailers, and is the chairman of Leicester City Football Club. He was a pioneer in an establishment of the duty free business in Thailand and has become one of Thailand’s leading businessmen.
He began his travel retail career in Hong Kong, returning to his native Thailand to open the country’s first downtown duty free shop as a joint venture with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, before expanding the business to Cambodia, Macau and China.
Today, King Power Group operates the duty and tax free businesses at both the country’s airports and in city centres, and is the master commercial concessionaire at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. The Group has complemented its highly successful core retail activities to include other tourism and travel related business – theatre, restaurant and hotel and in-flight duty free business – and employs over 10,000 people. It is also committed to raising funds and actively participating in projects for the less privileged in society through the King Power Foundation.
In addition to his business interests, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha has a passion for sport, especially polo and football. He established an outdoor polo field in Thailand, ranked as one of the top international facilities, and has served as the President of Thailand Polo Association (TPA).
He acquired Leicester City Football Club in 2010.