Professor Kumar, a Professor of Marketing and Co-Director of the Aditya Birla India Centre at the London Business School has been awarded an honorary fellowship by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in recognition of and for his contribution to the world of Asian art, a release from the LBS said.
In her citation, Professor Nirmala Rao, Pro-Director, Learning and Teaching at SOAS said, "We have the opportunity to honour a man who has been one of the most highly regarded in the world of art, culture and education."
"Nirmalya is a passionate supporter of the arts and it is his interest as a collector and enthusiast of modern Indian visual art that brought him to the attention of SOAS and its friends," she added.
Kumar has put together one of the largest private collections of Jamini Roy, considered by many to be the father of Indian modern art, and of Rabindranath Tagore paintings.
"Rather than simply seeing it as his personal collection, he sees himself as a custodian to help increase the visibility of these artists and the understanding of the context, part India's freedom struggle in the early 20th century, in which modern Indian art emerged", Rao said.
"It is with great respect for the institution of SOAS that I am honoured to accept the honorary fellowship bestowed on me. I feel privileged to now be a part of an academic institution that has been so critical in helping understand Africa and Asia," Kumar said.