Published: 10/09/2018

Dinesh Dhamija, founder, former Chairman and CEO of Ebookers.com, has been appointed to the board of trustees at the international specialist charity, Lepra.

Dinesh will work alongside Lepra’s existing trustees to achieve Lepra’s strategic vision to make leprosy a disease of little consequence; easily diagnosed and treated, leaving no disability and attracting no stigma.

Dinesh was one of the first business professionals in Europe to recognise the significance of the internet, starting the UK’s first interactive travel website, in 1996. Three years later, he launched ebookers.com achieving great commercial success and selling the business for £247m in 2005.

Dinesh founded Copper Beech Group in 2006, and continues as chairman. He has founded two Indian charities, SHIKSHA and CHIKITSA and was also President of the Indus entrepreneurs’ organisation TiE London, a position he held from 2014 to 2017.

In his new role, Dinesh’s main focus will be to provide guidance on the specialist charity’s fundraising and profile building strategies, helping to raise further awareness of this disease which currently affects more than 7 million people worldwide. While over 200,000 people are diagnosed and treated each year, a further 4 million are living with life-changing disabilities as a result of delayed treatment and research shows over 3 million cases remain undiagnosed.

Commenting on the appointment, Dinesh Dhamija said he was very keen to join the board due the dedicated team of trustees and staff, and its vision to achieve a leprosy free world.

He said: “Leprosy is a worldwide problem which affects millions of vulnerable of people, yet it has been forgotten by much of society.  Lepra’s long history of working at the forefront of efforts to beat this disease is inspirational; I relish this opportunity to join the board to use my skills and experience to build on this stellar work and maximise the charity’s impact.”

Charles Bland, Chair of Lepra’s Board of Trustees, comments:

“I am delighted to welcome Dinesh to Lepra’s Board of Trustees. Dinesh’s extensive experience within the private and third sectors, and his natural creative flair and business acumen will be an invaluable addition to Lepra.

“Dinesh joins us at an important time in Lepra’s development as we intensify efforts to transform the lives of people affected by this devastating disease, pushing for early treatment, supporting disabilities and removing the stigma which currently causes so many people to hide away. Dinesh’s fresh thinking and entrepreneurial expertise will be an asset as we continue towards our goal to beat leprosy and we look forward to working with him in the months and years to come.”

Find out about our other trustees here