A well-known Wolverhampton businessman has been honoured by the city’s University.
Sham Sharma, owner of Zuri Coffee, received an honorary fellowship from the University of Wolverhampton.
The award, presented at a graduation ceremony on Thursday, 13 September, was made in recognition of Sham’s contribution to the University, and support of current students through a number of prizes and awards.
He said he was “thrilled” to be receiving the award and to be sharing the special day with graduates.
Sham had some words of wisdom for the graduates: “Success is not often measured by how much money you have; it can be determined in other ways. Think of being successful. Don’t be afraid of criticism or failure, it’s part of learning curve and we never stop learning. As you journey through life, be open-minded and collaborate with others.”
Sham Sharma came to the UK in 1969, aged 12, and learnt English at secondary school. In 1977, he enrolled at the University of Aston to study sciences and started a clothing business while studying for his degree – by 1987, he had nine successful outlets.
In the following decade, he became a member of the City Council’s Education Committee and was inspired to train as a teacher. He started Sunitek, an IT company, in 1997 and the business grew year on year, becoming a major supplier of hardware and software to schools and colleges in Wolverhampton.
During 2011 Sunitek was hit by the riots and the business took a downturn as it lost a lot of stock. But through hard work Sham was able to build the business up again.
In 2012, Sham became chair of Wolverhampton Forum. He sold Sunitek in 2014 after opening the popular Zuri Coffee, serving Indian inspired street food, in 2013.
He joined the city’s Economic Growth Board in 2015 and was appointed director of the Wolverhampton Business Improvement District in 2016.
Following the success of Zuri, he plans to establish a chain of coffee shops.
Honorary awards are presented by the University of Wolverhampton to people who have made a significant contribution to their field of expertise.