From Delhi to London for an India versus Pakistan contest. This, in a nutshell, is the description of banker-turned-politician and Delhiite Tarun Ghulati’s immediate mission as he looks to challenge sitting London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a Pakistan-origin Londoner, in the May 2024 election.
Currently in India for the blessings of his countrymen, Ghulati, who claims to be a proud Sanatan Dharam follower, like Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, aspires to become the second Indian to occupy a prime post of an elected representative in Britain after the Prime Minister. “After my win, I am looking forward to hosting the Indian business community that will frequent Britain subsequent to the signing of the FTA in coming days,” said Ghulati, who loves to spend time in South Delhi’s Greater Kailash neighbourhood with his parents whenever he is in town. I will create opportunities for individuals and businesses from all communities to thrive and transform London. I want to see all Londoners smiling again.
The 63-year-old, who in the past had a brief association with the Conservative Party, is contesting as an independent candidate in the mayoral election—against over half a dozen contestants—and is keen to seek support from all Londoners from different communities and nationalities. “Absolutely,” he said, when asked if he would also be reaching out to Pakistan-origin Londoners despite the fact that he is challenging a sitting Mayor who has his roots in that country. “I am going to represent all the circa 9.6 million Londoners, including Asians, Romanians, Ghanaians. Somalis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans, or Polish-origin people among others. There is no doubt about reaching out to all and serving them with equal vigour,” he said. London has about 500,000 Indian-origin residents.
Ghulati, who has served in HSBC Bank and Citibank during his successful professional career, belongs to a family which has served society selflessly for over 140 years, sandwiched between three centuries, the 19th, 20th and 21st. This serves as a guiding light for him. Tarun’s father served as Secretary, Government of India, and his paternal grandfather was also a top civil servant. On the maternal side, his family set up industries, including co-founding Punjab National Bank and other financial institutions. As politician, a member served as the Minister of Agriculture in pre-independent India. In the past few decades, Ghulati has served in several countries and worked to promote trade and commerce in emerging economies.
Following the ancient Indian saying of vasudhaiva kutumbakam (One world, one family), Ghulati vows to promote increased cohesiveness between countries whose diaspora live in London, by building people-to-people and business connections. Ghulati told The Sunday Guardian, “I am absolutely delighted to announce my candidature for the forthcoming London Mayor elections 2024 from India, my Janmabhoomi. I want to take advantage of synergistic opportunities across all the nations whose diaspora call London home. I will be visiting several nations to strengthen the living bridge that weaves the unique and beautiful fabric of London.” In London, Ghulati wants to transform transportation and movement. Unnecessary road closures to be reviewed, Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) to be abolished, underground system to be extended and improved, bus services enhanced, removal of congestion charge over weekends and holidays etc. Ghulati is looking forward to building a thriving London, doing away with barriers to growth and ensure safety of all citizens. He will ensure visible police presence in all the boroughs including opening of new police stations. Crime reduction will be a key target. He is passionate about creating opportunities for the youth and next generation and tech and innovation are important enablers for him across sectors.
He said his run for London Mayor is not about politics, but about people, as he seeks to maintain a clear and unbiased vision for the city. “My goal is to make London the greatest city, bringing back the pride and vibrancy of all its residents.” He said he is determined to do whatever it takes to ensure London, his home for 20 years, remains the leading Global City and all Londoners feel safe, secure and empowered with opportunities for growth. Improving well-being and living standards are critical for him, he said, adding that he believes much more needs to be done for the low, and middle-income households across London. Ghulati claims his extensive experience and remarkable journey in the world of banking and financial services, both globally and in London, position him as a visionary leader. He has lived across countries in Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and the UK, worked in 6 countries primarily with Citibank and HSBC. Tarun holds an MBA, M. Com (Business Administration), post-graduate diploma in international trade and post-graduate diploma in marketing & advertising.