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A New Major Donation From the Karim Family

December 13, 2022

Amir Karim (HEC Montréal 1992) has once again demonstrated his unflagging support for HEC Montréal, with a major donation to the institution made on behalf of his family. This gesture is a vibrant tribute and commemoration of the arrival of his family in Quebec, 5 decades ago. The gift will go toward the construction of the new building in downtown Montreal. A committed donor and a member of the Conseil des Gouverneurs since 2008, Karim feels a deep sense of attachment to his alma mater. In recognition of his exceptional generosity, the René-Lévesque Boulevard entrance of the new Hélène Desmarais Building will bear the Karim family name.

“I think Quebec is up against some sizeable economic challenges right now. For the past century, HEC Montréal has been playing a key role in the province’s economy. I am confident that the quality of the education provided at HEC Montréal, which will only be strengthened with the new Hélène Desmarais Building, is one of the solutions for overcoming these challenges. The downtown building will shape the leaders of tomorrow, who will in turn influence economic thinking in Quebec.”

Amir Karim, President and CEO at Polykar

“Mr. Karim’s donation to the downtown building project once again shows how dedicated he is to the School and the Foundation. His altruism is truly inspiring, and we are tremendously grateful for this gift. It will help us provide the HEC Montréal community with an environment conducive to knowledge transfer, innovation and best practices in management.”

Michel Patry, HEC Montréal Foundation President and CEO


An inspiring entrepreneur

Born in Madagascar, Amir Karim arrived in Montreal when he was seven years old. He is quick to say how proud he is to be able to give back to the society that welcomed his family some 50 years ago. His contribution is a way of showing his gratitude toward his adopted home, supporting the university that forged him into the entrepreneur he is today and supporting the fundamental role that immigration plays in the province’s economic and social development.

“I would not be where I am today without the MBA I earned at HEC Montréal. The way I express my pride in being an alumnus is by giving back, not only monetarily but also my volunteering time and expertise. I don’t think there’s any better way of contributing to our society than by supporting HEC Montréal, which is so vital to our economy. In a world where the educational landscape is such a competitive one, we all owe it to our alma mater to step up and do our part, so HEC Montréal can continue to attract the best talent and maintain the value of our credentials.”

Karim holds a degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Toronto and an MBA from HEC Montréal. A HEC Montréal Foundation board member, he was admitted to the Conseil des Gouverneurs in 2008, Société Héritage in 2013 and, with this gift, the Cercle du Directeur.

A highly engaged manager and a forward-thinking leader, Karim has been a member of the leadership team of the family-owned Polykar, a world-class manufacturer of sustainable packaging solutions, since 2001. From 2001 to 2018, he directed Polykar’s national and strategic growth, following which he was appointed President and CEO.

Married and father of 3 children, Karim firmly believe in the importance of community involvement. He has served on a number of non-profit boards and associations over the years. He also heads the Polykar Foundation, dedicated to investing in communities through long-term projects that have an enduring impact on Canada and developing countries. 

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