Rashik Parmar MBE FBCS Group CEO BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London on behalf of the BCS.

The honour is in recognition of the organisation’s focus on AI Ethics and for supporting the Lord Mayor of the City of London's Ethical AI Initiative - part of his Connect to Prosper programme.

Rashik, who was joined at the private ceremony by friends family and colleagues at Mansion House said, “I’m incredibly humbled to have been granted this honour which means a great deal to me. This is a proud moment and I would like to offer my sincere thanks to The City of London for bestowing this honour on me.”

Rashik Parmar holding the Freedom of The City of London award
Rashik Parmar holding the Freedom of The City of London award

The Freedom of the City of London is an ancient tradition - believed to date back to the 13th century. The honour allowed the recipient to carry out their trade or craft in the square mile. These days, it is offered by the City of London as a way of paying tribute to those who have made an outstanding contribution to London or public life, or as a way of celebrating a significant achievement.

Rashik was nominated by The 695th Lord Mayor of London, Professor Michael Mainelli who said: “It is entirely appropriate that Rashik should join the list of distinguished individuals who have received this honour. After a career dedicated to IT this recognition is richly deserved.

Rashik has an unrivalled level of experience gained from a distinguished career in technology leadership. It was a real pleasure to attend the ceremony today and spend time with Rashik and his guests at Mansion House.”

Recent high-profile recipients of the Freedom include former England cricketer, Sajid Mahmood; Nobel Prize-winning mathematical physicist, Professor Sir Roger Penrose; and singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran.

Career dedicated to IT

Over four decades at IBM and formerly VP Technology for IBM in EMEA, Rashik helped drive its European technical strategy with a focus on guiding companies toward digital transformation and cloud computing.

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A Fellow of both IBM and BCS, Rashik gained his MBE for helping local businesses and for his work at IBM’s Academy of Technology. He is also a Visiting Professor at Imperial College London.

Rashik chaired the Employment and Skills Panel of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for seven years.

A recognised thought-leader, Rashik pioneered the creation of value for customers using data and analytics. He also established and chaired BCS’ Fellows Technical Advisory Group (F-TAG), which explains the opportunities and challenges of emerging technologies.

Rashik recently helped to found a new radio station, Rangoli Radio, which serves the Hindu community.