Yesu Persaud has been an Associate Fellow of the Centre for some 12 years and received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Warwick in 2008. Yesu Persaud, is a leading and respected Guyanese business figure and philanthropist. He is also known for his support of human rights and democracy.
He has received several international and national awards including: the Gandhi Organisation Plaque for his contribution to promoting Indian culture in Guyana, the Cacique Crown of Honour for the development of new industries in Guyana in 1983, and the Glory of India Award and Certificate of Excellence by the India International Friendship Society in 2005. In 2006 India honoured him with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for his outstanding contributions in business and Indian history and culture. Persaud is a founding member of Guyana’s Indian Arrival Committee which was later converted into the Indian Commemoration Trust. He is one of the main persons responsible for creating the Monument Garden which marks the arrival of the first batch of Indian indentured labourers to Guyana in 1838.
He has risen from working in the cane fields of Guyana to become one of that country's leading business figures. As well as being the Executive Chairman of the Demerara Distillers Group (DDL) of Guyana, he is the founder and Chairman of the Institute of Private Enterprise Development in Guyana which stimulates and finances entrepreneurs and small businesses; the Chairman of Guyana's first indigenous private sector bank, Demerara Bank Ltd; the Chairman of the Private Sector Commission of Guyana; past President of the Guyana Manufacturers Association; the Vice President of the West Indies Rum and Spirits Association; and a member of the Advisory Group to the Caribbean's Chief Trade Negotiator, Sir Shridath Ramphal, on Caricom international negotiations.