Karim Sumar has been recognised on the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, being awarded an AM – Member of the Order of Australia, for significant service to the Ismaili community, and to the convenience retail industry.
Sumar has worked in the convenience industry for more than 20 years, currently working at EG Australia as the QSR and New Concepts Director. He also served on the board of the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) for almost 12 years, and for four of those years he was the chairman.
He balances this with extensive work serving the Ismaili community, a global, multi-ethnic community whose members comprise of a wide diversity of cultures, languages and nationalities and live in Central Asia, the Middle East, South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, North America, the Far East, Australia, and NZ.
His Highness the Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, and in July 2015, the Aga Khan appointed Sumar as President of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim Council for ANZ.
In 2019, His Highness the Aga Khan became the Global Founding Patron of The Prince’s Trust, and Sumar is one a Trustee of the Prince’s Trust in Australia and had the privilege to meet His Royal Highness Prince Charles during his last visit to New Zealand.
“I am overwhelmed in terms of the recognition; it was totally out of the blue and I didn’t have the faintest idea that I was even being considered,” Sumar told C&I.
“My upbringing back in Africa was quite a difficult time, so it really made me want to give back to people who were underprivileged, because I was one of those recipients. I always wanted to give back and I always laugh about it at work saying that my work is part time and that my community engagement is what is full time.”
Sumar said that he is “blessed” to have been able to find an employer in EG Australia, that recognises and supports the work he does for the Ismaili community and has committed to supporting any additional time off that is required for his community service.
“I am most humbled and honoured by this recognition. I am so blessed to have numerous individuals; my colleagues, my amazing wife Ambreen, my family and the countless volunteers in my life who give me constant support so that together we can make a difference in the lives of the communities we live in.
“This honour is also for all my colleagues in the convenience industry, this is a recognition for all our service to the industry and associations like AACS.”
From the team at C&I, we would like to congratulate Karim for this great achievement.
And keep your eye out for the August/September issue of C&I Retailing magazine, which will include a Face Time article on Karim Sumar with a more detailed insight into his life and the work he does for the Ismaili community.