Wednesday November 30, 2022: A St John Ambulance trustee has received his Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire from HRH The Princess Royal – the charity’s Commandant-in-Chief (Youth) – during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace today.

Mohan Mansigani from north London was recognised with an OBE for charitable services to healthcare in Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 2021 birthday honours list.

“I have been lucky enough to give something back to the country that has given me so much through my work at St John and the Migration Museum,” said Mohan, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants who joined St John Ambulance’s board six years ago.

“As the son of immigrants and as a boy from Islington, being honoured in this way is beyond my wildest dreams. I would like to dedicate this award to my wife Renu Mansigani who has selflessly taught young children human values over the last 20 years through the Mill Hill Sai Centre and is truly worthy of recognition.”

Mohan is a highly commercial and creative finance director with extensive private equity experience who has played a key leadership role in establishing Casual Dining Group (previously known as Tragus), which operated brands such as Café Rouge and Strada, as a major UK restaurant business.

He also led the business through two private equity transactions including the £267m sale to Blackstone in 2007. Prior to this he was CFO at Costa Coffee and TGI Friday’s.

“My father came to London in 1951 with the aim of supporting his family back in India, thinking that he would return as soon as he achieved this goal,” Mohan added.

“In the event he stayed and, from humble beginnings, built a successful business and raised a young family.

“I was the first in my family to go to university and went on to qualify as a chartered accountant. From there I had a career as finance director of a number of restaurant chains including Costa Coffee and Cafe Rouge.”

Following the successful sale of his last business, Mohan has been able to work with not-for-profit groups and he has been finance trustee at St John Ambulance since July 2016.

His expertise was critical when St John Ambulance’s main sources of income were halted by the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. Mohan played a key role in securing funding to main St John’s financial viability and enable the charity’s teams – including almost 30,000 new vaccination volunteers – to support the NHS and local communities by delivering more than 1.6 million hours of activity.

“Looking back it seems surreal to think what happened and how we got through it both personally and as an organisation,” said Mohan.

“True credit must go to the St John volunteers who at a time when many were scared to leave their homes went out and provided vaccinations across the country.”