He was conferred the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri (D.S.P.N.), which carries the title ‘Dato’, by the Governor of Penang in July 2006. In April 2007 he was conferred the Dato’ Paduka Mahkota Perak (D.P.M.P.) by the Sultan of Perak on the occasion of His Majesty’s 79th Birthday, the only
foreign banker to have been so honoured twice.
In London, He was Chairman on the Council of the British Malaysian Society and a former Council Member of The Royal Society for Asian Affairs. He was a Trustee, Director and Vice-Chairman of Asia House, the only such organisation in Britain which embraces and promotes the Century of Asia as
its core value. He was also a Trustee of Britain’s National Youth Orchestra. He helps the Oval House Theatre and The Geffrye Museum in their fund raising activities.
In the UK, he is a member of М.С.С., The Royal Automobile Club (RAC), The Oriental Club and The Arts Club.
He started his Banking career in 1967 and was with Hsbc for close to 44 years . He was the first Indian to be made CEO of HSBC India in 1999 and the first Asian to Head HSBC in Malaysia in 2002 . During his service in India he was appointed a Group General Manager of HSBC holdings Plc
He retired from the HSBC Group at the end of 2011 after 44 years service but continued as a Non-Executive Director of HSBC Bank Bermuda Limited, The Saudi British Bank (SABB) and HSBC Private Banking Holdings (Suisse) SA. He completed his tenure in these Boards by end of June 2018. He is a Non-Executive Director of Tata Capital UK and Tata Capital Singapore and its subsidiaries.
He is a committed environmentalist, a passionate conservationist and an advocate of the Arts.
He was the moving spirit in marking HSBC’s 120h year in Malaysia and the release of its anecdotal history “HSBC Its Malaysian Story” and has also been responsible for the publication of two histories of personal experiences during the Japanese occupation of Malaya in WWII.
Whilst in Malaysia, he initiated and completed the restoration of “Suffolk Housing” in Penang – a unique Anglo-Indian style mansion which became the seat of Government during British times.
Zarir Cama was born in Bombay, India on 26 May 1947 and educated at St Paul’s School, Darjeeling and St Stephen’s College, Delhi. He is married to Shelialla and they have two children, Nyresa and Yashan, who currently live and work in London and Hong Kong.